The Disneyland Resort Celebrates The Haunted Mansion and More

Written by Norman Gidney. Posted in Disney Parks, Disneyland Resort

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Published on August 08, 2014 at 3:00 am with 40 Comments

Refurbishments on Main Street, new arcades, turnstiles and more as we begin this In The Parks Disneyland update. The Haunted Mansion is celebrating 45th years of scares and we’ll fill you in on what’s in store for you (or should we say “What’s in STORES for you”).  We then glide over the empty Finding Nemo lagoon to check the progress there.  The Magic Eye Theater will be closing soon to have Captain EO return, find out when.  We also get a first look at the newly designed disabled waiting area at the exit of Space Mountain.  Let us know what you think.  We then close out with a few musings from inside Disney California Adventure, and we share information on the big Knott’s Scary Farm MiceChat meet.  Tickets are on sale now too! We won’t get into the new Adventureland Trading Company game as  Dateline Disneyland covered it perfectly on Monday with an excellent comparison to its counterpart in Frontierland.  Are you ready?  Let’s get going.

Tomorrowplan Crowd Estimates for Disneyland Resort from Mouseaddict


August 8 – 15

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  • As this unexpectedly “slow” summer comes to a close, hotels are currently cutting prices to entice guests to their surplus of rooms.
  • These projections show the average crowd levels for the day. Levels will fluctuate throughout the day, with peak crowds generally occurring after lunch and then again after dinner.
  • Enable the Tomorrowplan feature in the Mouseaddict app to see the latest projections for the next two full weeks, updated every day.

The free Mouseaddict app for iPhone and iPad features more than five dozen categories of searchable resort information, weather forecasts, park and show schedules, the latest news and articles from MiceChat, and more. Download free on the App Store or at mouseaddict.com.

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Front Gate

The rolling refurbishment of the front gates of Disneyland continues as the eastern, center bank of turnstiles goes behind tarps.

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Main Street Construction

We see little visible progress on the eastern arcade along Main Street.  At the same time the Castle Bros. façade is being touched up.

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The first aid station on center street.

New Frozen Treats

Some new Frozen themed treats have appeared in the Candy Palace.

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These treats aren’t new . . . but they are “Frozen” related.

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Speaking of the Candy Palace, new slushie machines have been installed at the counter closest to Coke Corner.

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But these treats are both new and frozen. ;-)

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Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage

Color is being added back to the coral in the Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage lagoon.  The attraction is supposed to return on September 27th.

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The Haunted Mansion turns 45
Saturday, August 9th is the 45th anniversary of the opening of Disneyland’s The Haunted Mansion.  In development for over 7 years, this amazing attraction has been a wildly popular experience since the day it opened and Disney is not one to miss the opportunity to cash in on this milestone.  While many 45th anniversary merchandise pieces are available now in the park, Disney has something even more extravagant planned for next weekend.

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Steve Adams

Dave Avanzino

Dave Avanzino

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Yakovetic

Mike Peraza

Mike Peraza

The Art of Haunted Mansion Collectables is an event that celebrates artwork inspired by the Haunted Mansion, produced by some of the most popular Disney artists today. Scheduled to appear are artists: Steve Adams, Dave Avanzino, David Bird, Britni Brault, Brian Crosby, Jeremy Fulton, Brian Kesinger, Daniel Killen, Bridget McCarty, Miss Mindy, Mike Peraza, Javier Soto and Yakovetic. You can meet the artists August 16 from 9 a.m. – 12 p.m.

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Haunted Mansion Framed Paper Sculpture ~ Dave Avanzino

Haunted Mansion Framed Paper Sculpture ~
Dave Avanzino

Nemo’s Ghost Yakovetic

Nemo’s Ghost
Yakovetic

Also debuting as part of the event from our talented team of Ink & Paint artists is the next in the series from our hand-painted cel collection, featuring none other than the Hatbox Ghost. This piece is an edition size of 300 and will be available framed only.

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This piece is an edition size of 300 and will be available framed only. © Disney

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© Disney

The event happens on August 16 from 9 a.m. – 12 p.m.  For a complete list of artists who have contributed to this 45th Anniversary collection visit DisneyParksMerchandise.com. The Scare LA convention this Saturday is featuring a panel on the Haunted Mansion featuring Alice Davis and Bob Gurr.

Let’s now take a ride through the mansion, enjoy the gardens, and visit the graveyard.

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There will also be around 100 new Mansion-themed bits of merchandise for fans to buy starting now.  But hurry.  Quantities are limited.

Big Hero 6 Coming to the Park

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Walt Disney Animation Studios, “Big Hero 6” is coming  to theaters on November 7th, 2014.  Disney has recently announced that the characters from the upcoming film will be making appearances at the U.S. Parks. Hiro and  Baymax will be flying to both Disneyland and the Walt Disneyland Resort.  We will have to wait for further details.

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Here’s our guess…

The Magic Eye Theater

The Magic Eye Theater is set to close August 16th and 17th to remove the Guardians of the Galaxy preview.  Does this mean we will get a restored print of Captain EO?

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Space Mountain Disabled Access

At the exit of Space Mountain the expanded wait area  for disabled riders has been unveiled.

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The walls inside the Starcade have also been removed.

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Today’s Update Sponsored by O-Zell Soda

A portion of every O-Zell purchase supports the restoration of the Walt Disney Birthplace in Chicago. Pick up some delicious natural soda AND help a great cause at the same time: O-Zell Soda 

 


 

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With little happening inside Disney California Adventure we offer a few pics and sprinkling of commentary.

 

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Buena Vista Street is lovely as the summer blossoms explode.

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This is still one of the most wonderful entrances to a land in this park

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With nothing really major coming down the pike what will become of the Blue Sky Cellar?

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What are your thoughts and ideas? Share them in the comments.

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Speaking of comments…

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We would like to hear what you think is causing the slow pace of th refurbishment at the Paradise Pier gazebos.

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Is it the constant vibrations from the coaster that is delaying progress? Or perhaps the work is being done by elves at night who are meticulous in their craft. Let us know.

 

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A lovely spot in DCA.

 

Knott’s Scary Farm MiceChat Haunt Meet Tickets On Sale!

Join us, if you dare, in the fog-shrouded streets of Ghost Town for the 8th annual MiceChat Knott’s Scary Farm Halloween Haunt 2014. Leave the real world behind and enter a dream-land of spooky fun with fellow MiceChat readers.

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There are two ticket types:

MiceChat Knott’s Haunt event ticket (Basic) – $119.99*

  • Admission into Knott’s Scary Farm
  • Backstage tour of a new maze before the event
  • All you can eat Private Pre-scare Boofet dinner
  • Special insider presentation during dinner.
  • Early entry into Haunt
  • Front of the line access to all mazes (excluding the up-charge Trapped maze)
  • Skeleton Key access to select mazes
  • Priority Seating for Elvira Ring-Mistress of the Park

MiceChat Knott’s Haunt event ticket with TRAPPED VIP Maze – $129.99*

  • All of the above PLUS ADMISSION INTO TRAPPED: The New Experiment – special upcharge maze (Purchasing this ticket will gain you admission into the Trapped maze with the MiceChat group. By purchasing this ticket you will be randomly assigned a return time during event check-in at the beginning of the night. If you miss the reservation time you will forfeit your ticket.)

* Plus tax and PayPal processing fees

That’s right. You could buy your own ticket and wander around, aimlessly from line to line, starving to death from hunger, without a single person to hang out with. OR, you could pay one simple price and get an entire night of food, entertainment, friends, frights, and fun and exclusive insider opportunities!

DON’T MISS THE  LATEST MICECHAT PODCAST

Summer 2014 is in full swing and theme parks all across the country are preparing their offerings. This month’s show is your guide to the best of what theme parks have to offer you this summer. From Disney to Universal, SeaWorld to Knott’s Berry Farm and all points in between. Slap on some sunscreen and press play to hear our thoughts on where you should spend your hard earned vacation dollars this summer. 

Direct Link  |   MiceChat Podcast on iTunes

We hope that you enjoyed this weeks Disneyland Resort edition of In the Parks.  We will be back next week with a trip to Knott’s Berry Farm and a look at the progress of Halloween Haunt and other projects there.  See you soon, In The Parks.

About Norman Gidney

Norman Gidney, also known as Fishbulb, produces and edits many of the articles on MiceChat. Tune in every Tuesday for the Orlando Parkhopper and every Friday for In The Parks. But you'll also find his photos in the Weekly Round Up, SAMLAND, and numerous other columns on the site.

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40 Comments

Comments for The Disneyland Resort Celebrates The Haunted Mansion and More are now closed.

  1. Glad to see they’re making way at the Magic Eye theater for hopefully a Star Wars Rebels preview. That Disney/Lucasfilm animation they previewed to huge audiences at Comic Con would fit in perfectly next to Star Tours. After the new DisneyXD series premiers in October they could then switch over to a Big Hero preview.

    With Transformers walking around Universal, it’s sad Disney can’t get it together fast enough to put Groot, Gamora or Starlord in Innoventions (or walking around tired/neglected Tomorrowland to distract from its current issues). They’re not capitalizing on current Disney Box Office draws to make them Disneyland Draws. I’d go to Disneyland to become an honerary Guardian of the Galaxy member in one of their new games, not an honerary landowner in Frontierland.

    • That’s exactly the kind of comment that scares me. Bringing MORE blatant cross-promotion and film marketing into the park is really the last thing they need. At least there is an actual Transformers ride at Universal. A “Star Wars Rebels” preview? Yes, let’s encourage the idea that theme parks should be places we sit down and watch elaborate commercials. Why not just always have a big ol’ movie trailer in a prime attraction location? Makes perfect sense! Sadly … it DOES make perfect sense to the profit-hungry people at Disney. They used to create things like The Matterhorn, Space Mountain, It’s a Small World, New Fantasyland, Splash Mountain, The Haunted Mansion, Pirates of the Caribbean and Big Thunder as their new attractions.

      Now they just put in an extended trailer for a movie and everyone’s happy.

      • If you notice 45 yrs since Haunted Mansion. DysCorp hasn’t developed an attraction since that has been more immersive with an orignal story line since. (not counting Pirates) Disney had good momentum in the 70s-80s with Thunder and Space, then the 83 Fantasyland update and Star Tours and Indy. It stalled to a screaching halt after the failed 98 Tomorrowland reboot. The 2000s have been dismal as far as creativity for the Parks. Guests are starved for an original attraction not just cross promotional movie trailer attractions. We don’t like to pay the high premiums to come into Disney to watch disguised commercials. Its like paying for cable to have many of your channels be flooded with info mercials and no substance, Tom Foolery at its best. As far as the gazebos go……..no comment. :(

      • Darth, I agree that the Haunted Mansion is unsurpassed, but have you been on Radiator Springs Racers?

        Another nice Disney ride that compares favorably to other E tickets is the 6-night Disney cruise to Alaska. :)

      • This is precisely why I don’t bother to go to Disneyland anymore. The current character mania is another reason.

        People, just say no…..Disney will get the message sooner or later. As long as people mindlessly slurp up anything, regardless of lack of quality or originality, that Disney serves up, the more Disney will think they can get away with this money grubbing nonsense.

        BTW, as well Radiator Springs Racers is executed, uhhhh….it is based on yet another Disney film. I know Walt did this too, but at least he threw in a few original rides with ORIGINAL ideas (Pirates, Mansion etc).

      • Tower of Terror was an original storyline not based on a movie.

  2. THANK YOU for the excellent update! I love anything having to do with my all-time favorite attraction, the Haunted Mansion. The don’t make ‘em like that any more, though I have liked the upgrades including the killer bride.

    The Space Mountain exit looks a bit sterile & a little bit boring, but it’s still a big improvement.

  3. My thoughts on the gazebos:

    There is zero – ZERO – excuse for it at this point. This is a job that could be done with serious attention over a week. It’s been, what, nearly three months? This can’t be due to any vibrations from the coaster. One does not lean on the railings there and feel a mini earthquake every time a coaster launches.

    For my unrelated two cents:

    Bring back the wave action.

    • Agreed . The gazebos are not a priority and they don’t use them anymore anyway . Just take the gazebos out completely .

  4. $4 for a puny frozen sugar cookie? How magical. How come it seems like soon I’ll be able to pay for park admission to Knotts Berry Farm for the same price as a Disneyland sugar cookie?

    • ^ ^ Heff. how about $12.95 for a candy cane that wasn’t made the same day?

      From Andy Castro’s Dec. 2, 2013 weekly update
      “If you don’t want to get to the parks that early, Disney is selling pre-made candy canes. They are made with the same technique and same ingredients, just off-stage and not on the same day you buy them.”

      I’ll add a link.

  5. Well, I just bought my tickets to MiceChat’s HAUNT excursion, and I urge everyone else to do the same. There’s safety in numbers, hehehe…

    PS: I believe this year’s Trapped is called Lock And Key. Last year’s was The New Experiment. :)

  6. The best thing Disney could do to celebrate a milestone anniversary for The Haunted Mansion is to fix the broken attraction loading process. It’s such a shame how quickly guests are rushed through the first two rooms (entry and stretching room). It’s an exquisitely designed entry process, with perfectly timed narration, if only the process were restored to the way it should be. “When hinges creak in doorless chambers” means nothing if the front door is wide open. Cast members don’t even bother waiting until guests are situated in the stretching room and the doors are closed before starting the narration. It all leads to things feeling very rushed, very chaotic — and completely lacking in story. The story is THERE, but the cast members just don’t tell it. That’s ironic, because if any single attraction exemplifies the reason they’re called “cast members,” The Haunted Mansion is it. They are putting on an elaborate show that should begin when guests walk into the entry room. The amount of time this would add to each group is minimal, the amount of “show” it would ADD to each guest is huge. It’s a shame Disney can’t even get this right about one of their signature attractions.

    • Yes its sad, but whats even more sad is the fan boys ruining the show by reciting the whole speech from the ghost host. Its so annoying hearing people around you reciting the words when in the stretching room. Yes, we know you are a fan and yes I give you kudos for memorizing the speech, now let me enjoy the attraction and not have to listen to you next to me reciting the speech.

      • ^ ^ This!

      • Yep, agreed. If they want to show off, just lip sync it, but otherwise, SHhhhhh.

      • EC82 excellent point! But whats even more annoying to me is during the bayou intro of POTC when women (usually) feel the need to fill the silence with their gossip or what they did at the salon yesterday or who facebooked what! Would you do that in the movie theater? That silence is an important buildup to the talking skull and waterfall. Shut up! If the ride is so uninteresting to you then why are you here?

        Hey next time that happens try looking right at those annoying people right in the eye and just tell them “please dont add to the show”. If they have the immaturity to ruin other peoples experience then you have the right to tell them not to!

    • You have such wonderful ideals for bringing guests into the Mansion, and such a process would work brilliantly… if the attraction was to only put through a couple hundred guests per hour.

      ” ‘When hinges creak in doorless chambers’ means nothing if the front door is wide open.”

      In order for the most people to experience the attraction and to avoid hour+ waits (during non-Holiday, mind you), the Foyer to be filled. If you cannot hear the entire Foyer narration, it’s because it’s timed to the stretching rooms, and because the Guests are too slow to fill all the available space. Cast Members do not start that narration. The same goes for if the doors are still open when the narration starts; the Cast Member cannot close the Foyer door on a guest, so the door is open until everyone fills in the space.

      It’s also very difficult for the Cast Member to do things like close the door when they are being asked about Death Certificates every 3-5 groups.

      “Cast members don’t even bother waiting until guests are situated in the stretching room and the doors are closed before starting the narration.”

      This is a situation that is normal, and in fact cannot happen any other way. The narration starts automatically, and the Cast Member has no control over when it starts in relation to when the doors are closed.

      “The amount of time this would add to each group is minimal”

      The amount of time that would add to the entire attraction’s wait time is bigger than you think. Even 30 seconds for each group that enters the Foyer, every 2 minutes, is 600 extra seconds added per hour, or 15 minutes added onto the wait time. At a people-eater like the Mansion, 15 minutes of queue can mean the difference between tucked away in switchbacks or sticking out the front gate. If it’s more than 30 seconds per group, that extra wait time starts to balloon rapidly.

      It’s not that the Mansion’s show is being neglected. It’s that the Cast Members have a lot less control over it than you think they do, and the attraction needs to get a high number of guests through per hour to keep wait times low.

      • ^ ^ Good post. I did once get to go through the HM alone because I was the first one there on an uncrowded day. It was awesome. The CMs were funny.

      • The funny thing is, until the mid-1990s, what I described is exactly how it WAS done. Of course it CAN be done, since it was designed that way. Managers simply think about things as narrowly as you do and offer lots of reasons for why it CAN’T be done. That’s pretty much the Disney way — explain why a good idea isn’t feasible and shouldn’t be done.

  7. How ironic that The Walt Disney Company has nothing to feature in its “Blue Sky” area. Boy, if that doesn’t just say it all …

    • EC82 is right, it’s sad that Disney has no exciting new attractions being built. Bob Iger said that Stars Wars would be coming to Disney Parks in a big way, I just hope it’s something more than meet and greets.

      • ^ ^ Some folks working in Shanghai to open in December of 2015 might disagree.

  8. What would really make for a great 45 year anniversary present for the Haunted Mansion is if they bring back the Hatbox Ghost.

    • They can’t “bring back” a character who was never actually part of the show.

      • Actually for a brief period when the attraction opened, the Hatbox ghost was in the mansion. Go check out the Disneyland History Institute. They have a video on youtube with footage of the ghost inside.

  9. Thanks for the update. I love the Haunted Mansion and pray that someday the suits will get a clue as to what they should be doing. Show for me is everything and some areas of the park are missing that important element.

  10. Is seating being added to the ODV stand next to the gazebos?

  11. Since Iger will be leaving in the next year or two, it may be that we will need to wait for the new CEO before attractions are green lighted.
    The Magic Bands are working much better now at WDW then they did last fall, so this should no longer be an excuse.
    There are so many potential attractions available or in the pipeline–anyone have a clue as to what could come (eg Star Wars, Doors Coaster, Western River Expedition, return of Country Bear Jamborree)

    • I predict Bob Iger will still be the CEO in 2017. As the chair of Disney’s board he gets to help pick himself and his CEO compensation. He is an excellent communicator, gets along even with famously challenging personalities, and he has more studio experience than Thomas Staggs, his most likely replacement in the company. I’d like John Lasseter or Jeffrey Katzenbert to replace him–though Katzenberg would have to sell Dreamworks Animation to Universal for (maybe) 3-4 billion first. BTW, I don’t actually know what I’m talking about. Thank you, internet! :)

    • Wmatzner, I’m glad Magic Bands are working much better. One reason we’ve delayed our Central Florida trip (besides letting the Gringott’s mania–hopefully–subside a little) is to be sure they could work out bugs in the system.

      Magic Bands might be impressive, like those super-expensive-to-develop space pens our astronauts used to write upside-down in zero gravity, but Univesal’s proven passes (one can get at their fancier hotels) seems wiser, like the Russians just using pencils in space.

      (Disneyland’s current & old FP system is still my favorite, since using it requires only knowledge and effort rather than just $$$$.)

      I don’t think Magic Bands have helped Thomas Staggs or Jay Rasulo seem like obvious replacements for Iger. They were really into MyMagicPlus, but Iger got Pixar (and Frozen’s billion+); Marvel (three big hits in 2014 alone in X-men, Cap’n America & Guardians); and Star Wars which could again be big.

      Now to get off track, why isn’t Disney better prepared with merchandise of that dancing . . .

      Spoiler for verted

      . . . from the end of Guardians? I like the movie too much to give away that detail.

  12. I’m pretty sure Bob Iger knows what he’s doing. A Star Wars expansion is definitely coming soon based off of what he said in the latest earnings report. Disney will keep investing in their parks, its just got to be done correctly. People think that Disney is bothered by Universal’s great job at the new Harry Potter land, and will rush E-ticket rides into all of their US parks to try to compete. Maybe they’re actually happy that Universal invested tons of money into a dead franchise with no new movies and no new books. I still say it was a good call for Disney to pass on Harry Potter EVEN with the great job Universal has done with it.

  13. Those exit doors at the Space Mountain handicapped entry look an awful lot like they plan to connect the back end to the new Main Street corridor. If they don’t intend guests to actually use those doors, the signage is a extravagant…

  14. Captain EO not coming back – next in the Magic Eye is Big Hero 6. To do a restored print would cost too much – so even if it came back, it will be the old print. They don’t want to invest money in a location that probably will go with the next major TL overhaul.

  15. Norm, great report!

    I love the Haunted Mansion and am glad they are celebrating it.

    The Frozen themed desserts seem out of place in Summer. The colors look much more appropriate for winter. I know Olaf loves summer, but is not getting communicated with these.

    The gray area added to Space Mountain really looks like an airport waiting area. No imagination added to that space. Very sad!

    The Blue Sky theater could be a great place to feature true “blue sky” imaginations of new attractions. I would love to see possibilities and then vote for my favorite. I think that Disney could gage true guest interest in attractions before they spend the big bucks to build them.