Since this past summer we’ve been telling you in these updates all about the new attractions and entertainment coming to Anaheim for 2015, and this Thursday morning Disneyland Resort President Michael Colglazier will address a crowd of DCA managers to finally begin announcing some of what’s coming to the Anaheim parks in the weeks and months ahead. That internal presentation to management on Thursday will be followed up by a public media announcement on Friday. In this update we’ll fill you in on the upcoming projects Michael Colglazier will admit to in his Thursday presentation, and what upcoming projects he won’t announce, along with the latest TDA gossip and rumors.

On Thursday morning at the stroke of 8 o’clock the lower and middle management of Disney California Adventure Park will shuffle in to the Magic Kingdom Ballroom at the Disneyland Hotel for a rare “Salaried Update” by Michael Colglazier. Michael will host this presentation just as he begins to count down the final year in his three year Anaheim contract. As the previous three DLR Presidents weren’t allowed to stay past their 3 year contract, if history repeats, Michael will be here to kick off the 60th in May but likely won’t be here when the celebration ends in ’16.

Introducing Michael on Thursday morning will be new DCA Vice President Kris Theiler, a refreshingly down to earth yet very sharp businesswoman who took over DCA earlier this year when Mary Niven moved over to take the reigns as Disneyland’s Vice President for the 60th anniversary. The Vice Presidents stick around Anaheim much longer than the Presidents do.

Frozen in Time

Michael will present his thoroughly polished script to the troops, approved by Disney’s Legal team as all executive communication is nowadays, as he finally announces what we’ve already been talking about for months; the nearly complete takeover of DCA’s Hollywood Land Backlot area by Frozen. While splashy artwork appears on the overhead screens in the ballroom, Michael will reveal the following additions to DCA that will open to the public on Saturday, December 20th.

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Replacing MuppetVision 3D will be “For The First Time In Forever; A Musical Sing-Along”. This will be a live action musical production show, similar in scale to the Fantasyland Theater shows. The MuppetVision theater will be rebranded the “Crown Jewel Theater” for the run of the show. MuppetVision has been closed since November 1st, and you’ll hardly recognize it as the same venue when the new show opens on the 20th.

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Next door, Stage 17 will be remade into Olaf’s Snow Fest, a snow playground where you’ll be invited to build a snowman and play in the snow while you wait to meet Olaf. Using snow making machines and an industrial strength air conditioning system, the interior of Stage 17 will be made into an Arendelle snowfield.  Borrowing an idea from WDW’s Dumbo the Flying Elephant play-queue, visitors will be issued a pager and sent out into the snowbanks to play while they wait to be paged to go meet Olaf.

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Elsa and Anna will move in to an updated Disney Animation attraction across Hollywood Blvd. The girls will take over the Character Close-Up portion of the building, an area that was originally designed for rotating character meet n’ greets. But when that building opened in 2001, an era when dismal films like Atlantis and Treasure Planet were underwhelming audiences, the temporary meet n’ greet concept for that space was quickly abandoned.  Frozen’s Scandinavian visuals and secondary characters will also take over the building’s other lobby spaces.

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And last but not least, a late addition to the Frozen menu of offerings is a new cocktail-fueled dance party that will replace the Mad T Party. The latest version of this uniquely DCA concept is called Freeze The Night, which will bridge the gap nicely to the kickoff of the 60th Anniversary and the new Paint The Night parade coming to Disneyland in May. You do remember previous updates where we explained why TDA suits chose the secret code word “Project Bridge” for this big Frozen initiative, right? Get ready to line up for that ice bar this winter.

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Meanwhile, over at Disneyland, WDI has been working feverishly to install a new Frozen vignette into the classic Storybook Land Canal Boats ride in Fantasyland. While Storybook Land receives regular refurbishments for cosmetic and horticulture work, it hasn’t had a new addition since Agrabah arrived and moved Toad Hall to a new spot along the canals back in 1995. The addition of Frozen in Storybook Land not only slots the blockbuster fairy tale into the top tier of Walt Disney’s classic animation, but it ensures Frozen remains in Anaheim long after the temporary additions in DCA are scrapped next year.

The overall goal for this major Frozen push into DCA is to keep the AP’s and the tourists alike happy and entertained during a rather aggressive winter refurbishment schedule for both parks, before a barrage of new 60th Anniversary entertainment can begin in May. TDA suits from several departments went to Florida and experienced the Frozen offerings at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, and came back with the guiding principle that their Frozen offerings can’t look as chintzy or feel as flimsy as WDW’s offerings at Hollywood Studios, even though most of the DCA offerings will only last until early May. TDA’s ability to secure a healthier budget from Burbank will help.

The one wild card in all this is the new musical stage show in MuppetVision; if that tests well with park visitors by Disney’s Guest Research department, it’s likely that the Frozen sing-along will remain in DCA through 2015, and the original MuppetVision will not return to Anaheim until a new Muppet show can be created by WDI.

60th Anniversary Preparations

While all these Frozen additions will be announced by Michael Colglazier on Thursday morning, there’s a lot more coming to Anaheim that he won’t be talking about. In no particular order, here’s what’s been either green lighted or nearing a green light for both Anaheim parks:

At Disney California Adventure…

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Soarin’ Over California refurbishment: Using new 4K digital projectors, a new audio system, and in-theater effects, the lone breakout hit from DCA’s opening in 2001 will be upgraded for 21st century audiences. This refurbishment will also prep the theaters for the eventual arrival of the Soarin’ The World film after that attraction opens at Shanghai Disneyland sometime in 2016. (And what a mess the muddy Shanghai Disneyland project is with its horribly delayed timetable! Bog Iger’s claims to opening the park in November 2015 now seems improbable.)

Not only will DCA’s Soarin’ Over California attraction get a huge technical upgrade, but the entire Condor Flats area will receive a cosmetic upgrade and themed makeover placing the area in an idyllic post-war era and the dawn of jet-age aviation. Gone will be the last vestiges of Paul Pressler’s “hip and edgy” late 1990’s aesthetics and his cheap design standards. Taste Pilots Grill will close for the winter for a major cosmetic refurbishment, and the entire area will have a newly themed look and feel when Soarin’ reopens in May.

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Luigi’s Flying Tires closure: As we told you in past updates, Luigi’s Flying Tires will be floating away for good in 2015, with the closure now pushed back a month to February. An entirely new ride is planned to be installed over the basic foundation of the existing ride, with riders zipping around in WiFi controlled dancing cars in an attraction with the current working title “Luigi’s Festival of the Dance”.

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World of Color upgrades: World of Color, the night spectacular that signaled the first shift in DCA’s fortunes from laughingstock to hot spot, is scheduled to receive its first big refurbishment since it debuted in 2010. The Paradise Pier lagoon will be drained this winter, and the massive grids of fountains dubbed the “aircraft carrier” by Disneyland’s entertainment team will be thoroughly upgraded with new equipment. An updated and improved World of Color show, using new technology and lots of tweaks learned from the past few years of programming and observations, is set to debut as part of Disneyland’s Diamond Celebration anniversary this spring.

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Meanwhile, there’s plenty more coming to Disneyland that Michael won’t be allowed to mention on Thursday…

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Fantasyland Dark Ride Upgrades: We’ve been telling you since early 2013 how WDI wants to upgrade and remake all five of Fantasyland’s classic Walt-era dark rides for the 60th. That plan continues to move forward, and the revamped Alice In Wonderland that opened last July was just a small preview of what’s in store. New projection-face animatronics will be installed in Alice In Wonderland, after they were purposely held back at the last minute this past summer. Peter Pan’s Flight, as the most popular of the dark rides, will receive the most attention and funding in this plan, and it will close in January for several months. Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride will also receive a lot of attention during its winter rehab, as the work there will center mainly on the new technology of digital mapping projection effects to plus up its show. Snow White and Pinocchio will be the last to get upgrades, although Snow White already got the first generation of digital mapping several years ago from a separate Tony Baxter project.

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Matterhorn Upgrades: After a rather disastrous refurbishment in 2013 that saw the debut of uncomfortable new sleds made with shoddy materials, the original E Ticket attraction needs help. The Matterhorn will close in January for several months for another upgrade, focusing on new Abominable Snowman animatronics to replace the 1978 versions (the snowman’s name is Harold, as the Matterhorn Cast Members will be happy to tell you). New special effects and other cosmetic upgrades will also be installed throughout the mountain.

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During the closure, Disneyland’s entertainment department will try to figure out how they are going to install the new version of the 1960’s Christmas star on top of the mountain next December as part of the 60th and its nostalgia campaign.

Paint The Night and 60th Anniversary Additions: Disneyland’s Diamond Celebration will kick off in mid May, 2015. Thus far the aesthetics and design scheme that’s been approved is a classy mixture of modern good taste and nostalgic kitsch. A diamond encrusted overlay is coming to the Castle, with lots of royal blue bunting and crystals draped around the Resort to help celebrate. The big entertainment offerings are a new fireworks show by Steve Davison, and a longer and plussed up version of the new Paint The Night parade that recently debuted at Hong Kong Disneyland. Those new backstage crowd control alleys they just finished behind Main Street will come in handy a lot during the Diamond Celebration. A formal media announcement on the 60th Anniversary is slated for January, but that media event has already been cancelled before so that’s still a bit iffy.

Backstage Magic

While this list of upcoming offerings may sound exciting to the average Disneyland fan, there’s a more exciting offering that’s already opened for Disneyland Cast Members. Backstage at the Harbor House entrance to the parks, a new Cast Members only, full service Starbucks recently opened to long lines and rave reviews. The new backstage Starbucks, which looks exactly like a Starbucks in any upscale suburb, has already had to add staffing and four extra hours to its daily operation as hordes of arriving Cast Members wait in line for their caffeine fix or their lunch. For Disneyland and DCA Cast Members, it’s a dramatic change from the dingy and greasy backstage cafeterias run by Sodexo, especially the notoriously bad InnBetween cafeteria behind the Plaza Inn. The Starbucks locations in the parks and Downtown Disney also continue to operate to huge crowds and pull in numbers that put them among the most successful Starbucks locations in the world. Starbucks couldn’t be happier with its decision to sign up as a Disney Parks sponsor.

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And while the Cast Members stay caffeinated and TDA execs stay mum on the future, there’s an even bigger project on the horizon. The plan to add an entirely new Star Wars themed land to Disneyland continues full steam ahead. It’s ironic that the Toontown Cast Members will soon be debuting colorful new costumes, which they’ll only get to wear for about 18 months as the Star Wars project is currently planned to kick off and bulldoze Toontown before the 60th Anniversary celebration ends in 2016.
Okay, that just about wraps things up for this update. While the great freeze spreads across the Disneyland Resort for this winter, the Force awakens at Disneyland as Star Wars finally prepares to settle into its own land. With plans changing by the minute, we’ll keep our eyes on these and other developments.

If you enjoyed today’s update, please be sure to share with your friends on Facebook and TwitterWe’ll see you again soon.

  • Susan Hughes

    Frozenland is going to be a crowd nightmare. Smart move on the part of Disney to “not” open it up until the APs are blocked out. Imagine the uncivilized chaos caused by APs overwhelming that area during the busiest time of the year.

    • AvanteGardens

      I think someone needs a transfer to resort parking. Then you can get a full dose of crowding all day long.

      • Susan Hughes

        My hats off the the Parking CMs. What a tough, tough job during the busy times. And angry guests-a-plenty. That can’t be easy.

      • stevek

        I think someone needs a transfer to someplace that will make her happy. Possibly anywhere but Disney.

      • Susan Hughes

        I love The Disneyland Resort. I love the happy guests who visit there. I can’t stand “those” who ruin things for everyone. Case in point…

        • Frozen standby line eliminated
        • Fantasmic festival seating eliminated
        • GAC eliminated; replaced by DAC (and still being modified)
        • “Frozenland” not opening until late in December

        What prompted Disney management to make these changes? Here’s a hint…
        • Southern California Annual Passport eliminated

      • will1494

        I am a Resort Transportation and Parking CM. Just imagine a stampede of people coming at you all hours of the day coming in from both side. Now imagine the stampede was full of 3 ton vehicles and drivers not paying attention to anything but their cell phones. Especially at Mickey and Friends.

      • FixitKronk

        don’t mind susan- shes what we call a cASSt member

  • AvanteGardens

    As a lifelong Californian, watching soaring actually gives me a feeling of pride, and that really augments the overall ride experience. I’m sure Soaring the World will be great, but I doubt it will it be as moving for me.

    I don’t think the last Matterhorn rehab was “disastrous”. They did a great job on repainting the exterior rockwork and snow. I don’t mind the new ride vehicles that much, but then again I’m not 6 feet tall. I don’t see why they didn’t change it to a single bench with dividers like the seating system on Splash Mountain. It would have been more like a real bobsled. Its more dangerous to stand up on Splash Mountain but you don’t see any seatbelts there. My guess is that the main problem with Matterhorn is (and correct me if I’m wrong) it’s the same track from when the ride first opened. It needs to be re-engineered to smooth it out, in the same way that they redid the Space Mountain track.

    Now, if they would like to really do something great for the parks 60’th, they should restore our castle back to its original height by cutting down the trees that stick up behind it and restoring it to its original color scheme. (For those who don’t know, the bright colors make the castle look closer to the viewer, and thus not as tall)

    • Susan Hughes

      I agree with you about Soarin. I’m sure the new version will be nice. But I too feel a sense of pride when I watch our great state of California highlighted in such a beautiful way. I will miss “Soarin Over California” a lot.

    • LoveStallion

      Yeah, but it’s fair to give the rest of the world its due. At least we’ve been able to enjoy Soarin’ Over California IN California. It must be awkward to watch the same film in Florida.

      Granted, Soarin’ Over Florida would just be footage of pancake flatness and swamps.

      I actually teared up the first time I rode Soarin during AP previews for DCA. We waited over two hours. Totally worth it.

      • mainejeff

        “Give the rest of the world its due”??? Huh? Why does Disney feel the need to make all of its parks the same? I can understand changing Soarin at EPCOT……but changing Soarin at DCA is stupid. Are they going to change DCA to DWA?

      • Jayce

        Nah Soarin over Florida would also have gators and squitos! 🙂

      • LoveStallion

        @mainjeff,

        I don’t think it’s a need to make all of its parks the same, but the appeal of a flight over just California isn’t universal. Soarin’ Over the World™ has broader appeal and is a smart money move, as one film can populate all parks.

        From a creative standpoint, I don’t love it either, but I completely understand why they’re doing it. I wish they’d reshoot the one over California (remember, the current film is actually pre-9/11 – a very different world) and give us the option for each.

    • Algernon

      Yes, the place is overgrown with trees.

      • mainejeff

        I think that they should cut every tree down everywhere……that’ll teach the Lorax!

      • AvanteGardens

        Algernon, when you go back to Disneyland circa 1955 in your virtual reality machine will it be full of mature trees or will it be full of mud like the real Disneyland 1955? I would never suggest that they cut down all the trees, just the handful that are directly behind the castle. I think they were put in to hide the fantasyland theatre. They could probably replace them with younger shorter ones.

    • grizzlybear55

      I can’t stand the thought of losing California from Soarin’. Frankly, I don’t care about seeing the rest of the world — unless, of course they give it its own attraction, and leave our Soarin’ alone. This is a California attraction in a California park, and I can’t get enough of it. What a sad loss it will be.

    • stevek

      Soarin is a fantastic ride and I will miss the great views of California. That being said, a change will be good though they will be going quite a bit away from the overall California theme of the park…which is already quite a bit muddled as is.

    • Golden

      I agree. I’m not a Californian, but I personally think that they would be better at DCA to simply change the final Disneyland sequence and keep the rest of the movie.

      In the rest of the world, you can have Soarin over the World. SoC doesn’t make sense there. But it is such a unique and enjoyable ride… I will seriously miss it if it changes.

    • ayalexander

      The problem with cutting down trees in Disneyland is most big trees you see are directly hiding backstage buildings. If you cut down the trees behind the castle (they are actually behind storybook not the castle) then you would clearly see the large green building structure that houses the stage for fantasyland theater. Cutting down those trees is the worst idea. Believe it or not, backstage Disneyland is not flat dirt ground like it was in the 50’s, its all large green buildings housing rides, and repair shops. if you cut down the trees to the left of the castle, you will see ugly green structures and buildings…AND the tower at the end of the matterhorn cables. Not good show at all.

    • DavePurz

      The track has been replaced over the years, but I’m sure they deliberately kept it rough to simulate going down a cut ice run. The problem is the new ride vehicles have exactly ZERO padding or shock absorption capability, making for a MISERABLE ride.

      I rode it once when the current cars were initially introduced and stayed away until two months ago, when I gave them a second chance, thinking it COULDN’T have been as bad as I remembered. Big mistake… it WAS that bad. I’m staying away until the cars are updated again.

      If I want back breaking bumps and lateral JERKS, I’ll drive down the 5 and visit Ghostrider at Knotts.

  • Lakerfan3224

    Is the design for Star Wars Land in Toontown going to be similar to the previous plans in Tomorrowland or totally different?

    • rstar

      I would think it would be similar in look, but be fairly different in design due to the fact that in Tomorrowland it would have been just a facade overlay of existing buildings. With Toontown the space is a bit more open, and they have back stage space to use as well. I think they can do a much better job with that plot of real estate than Tomorrowland. It’s a shame to see Toontown go, but it seems it just doesn’t get the traffic much anymore.

  • MyFriendtheAtom

    umm i liked treasure planet

    • Eeee-va

      Me too! I think “Dismal box office receipts” would have been a more accurate description of the problem with Treasure Planet especially.

  • MyFriendtheAtom

    So Aladdin’s being replaced or not?>

  • Park Hopper

    What’s going to happen to Star Tours. Are they going to leave it where it is or move it? And if they move it, what will replace it?

    • LoveStallion

      A fair question, to be sure.

      Personally, I would prefer an expanded Fantasyland, but only if done right.

    • ayalexander

      That’s a really good question. At first I assumed that Star Tours, naturally having its home in Tomorrowland was going to stay in Tomorrowland, but if you think about it, moving Star Tours to a new building may increase ride capacity if they build the new land with 6 simulators instead of the existing 4. But, there is an issue, if you look at Disneyland through Google maps, you will see that the Star Tours building is already quite large as it is, and yet small inside…Star Tours will have to stay right where it is, in order not to take up too much real estate in the new Star Wars Land. Besides, Star Tours is a galactic travel agency operating in many locations, Tomorrowland is just another agency location, operating as a satellite outpost from this new “Star Wars Land”.

  • Primogen

    Disney hasn’t announced the details for their Star Wars land at Disneyland yet.

  • Kennyland

    The return of the Christmas star on top of the Matterhorn sounds cool. Can’t wait!

  • Dan Heaton

    That’s sort of a misleading headline. I was hoping for more news on Star Wars. While I totally understand why Disney is putting so much Frozen is DCA, it doesn’t excite me that much. It will bring a lot of crowds to the park, though.

  • Fukai

    The last Matterhorn refurb made the mountain look better, and added a Single Rider line, but the new bobsleds are a catastrophe. The ride is so rough my back can’t take it. It certainly needs fixing.

    As far as bulldozing Toontown for Star Wars land … what’s going to happen to Star Tours in Tomorrowland? They HAVE to move it. Will they put the new Iron Man ride that’s going into Hong Kong in 2016 in it’s place? Same simulator system, I believe. Both of these things seem unlikely. It’s one thing to get rid of Mickey’s Toontown Fair, but another to bulldoze Toontown and Roger Rabbit’s Car Toon spin. I’ll believe it when I see it.

    • MRaymond

      If Star Tours is moved to the new land, put a new ATIS in the original building. Don’t jump on me with rocks in hand, this is a comment for fun. Imagine the ATIS in 3D in a full motion simulator. Your simulator is launched by being hoisted into the Might Microscope. Then off you go. Multiple destination include;
      Snowflake crystals – A classic
      A backyard pond – It’s own ecosystem
      Human bloodstream – with a trip to check out some nano-machine virus fighters
      Ant mound – a microscopic city
      An old watch – lots of moving parts
      You get the idea. Disney Edutainment at it’s finest.

      • stevek

        Would love it but highly unlikely to fly with today’s audiences. If anything, I can see them converting to the Iron Man simulator in Tokyo and then putting a new ST in SW Land. There have been lots of different rumors but one of the most “reliable” I heard was that it was staying as is and would somehow be made to work with the new SW land. Not sure how though.

      • DarthSavage

        Body Wars?

  • scarymouse

    I guess I’m falling in the Disney trap especially after seeing the new Star wars trailer.I am super excited to have a Starwarsland to peruse. Sorry to see Toontown go especially Roger Rabbit, I think some of it could possibly relocate parts of toontown in DCA or closer to small world . Great update!

  • WDWorldly

    It’ll be strange having an entire Star Wars Land separate from the park’s Star Wars e-ticket in Tomorrowland. Star Wars (and Marvel and Monstropolis) would really fit better in a third gate.

  • TifaOnACloud

    For the last time, 4k digital projection is in no way outside of “set it and forget it” an upgrade over 70mm IMAX film. Its not even close to the resolution and color depth. The only plus will be the lack of degradation from improper handling. All the attraction really needs is a fresh print and someone to take proper care of it. This is purely a cost thing and it saddens me to no end how badly this will downgrade the film for those that notice.

    Still hating the whole tear down Toon Town thing.

    • Rogermeyers

      Yepp u get it. This is a cost saving downgrade. I think some people without the specific knowledge just hear the words digital and HD and assume that means something better than film when that is noot the case!

    • AvanteGardens

      Who says it going to be just one 4k projector? Maybe its going to be 4 projectors per screen. That would take care of the resolution problem. I’m just praying that they don’t try to make it 3-D. Ugg.

      I for one wont miss toontown

    • Jabroniville

      Toon Town was neat for its day, but now looks dated and really, its time has come. The only good ride in it is the Roger Rabbit thing, and the rest is just cheesy old Meet & Greets. I get a bit of a nostalgic twinge seeing them, but nothing big.

  • JiminyCricketFan

    I am disappointed that Disney will not throw in the towel and change out those awful Matterhorn sleds. I am sure that people who get a injured back from riding will really appreciate the new paint and flash of a new animatronic.

    • ErikJung

      I’ve been assuming my discomfort on the Matterhorn was due to my big belly and the new sleds not being compatible. I’m glad to see its not just me.
      As I’m a single rider, I usually get put into the last seat in the bobsleds. So painful! On my last visit in September, I was put in the fourth seat (first of the second sled). Sooooo much better! No pain and I didn’t feel like I needed to visit a chiropractor afterwards!

    • stevek

      They are quite painful…to the point I no longer look forward to riding. Sadly, my kids don’t enjoy it either. Kind of a bummer as it was always a classic.

      • Chernabog

        Yeah until they replace those horrible bobsleds my back simply cannot take riding on my tailbone with no padding (and I’m 5’6″, not 6 feet tall). Honestly, no back issues on any roller coaster (that includes every single ride at Magic Mountain) but after the Matterhorn I can hardly walk the next day. Plus — no hugging your date, or if you’re a parent, hugging your child (Matterhorn now has a higher height requirement IIRC). Ruined one of my “must do” rides at the park.

  • tooncity

    The Muppets will never come back. As bad as the Muppets are they’re infinety more charming than anything from that horrible movie Frozen. Muppets have never been treated well under Disney. Nobody is willing to attach their career to a franchise that has NO corporate vision for it.

    • mainejeff

      “Horrible movie Frozen”??? Blasphemy!

      I agree however….especially as it concerns the Muppets. Universal would have treated them much better. I don’t think that many Disney fans really appreciate their brand of humor which requires a bit of thinking and an understanding of sarcasm.

      • tooncity

        Frozen has AWFUL Animation. Not even close the level that Pixar creates. Frozen is even below crud from Dreamworks. When I watch Frozen (only for a few minuates at a time), I can imagine some miminum wage, animation school graduate playing around with the latest Aniamtion program, with the glee of a 10 y.o. boy who just found his dad’s gun. The thrill of all the power to make over exaggerated facial expressions, without restraint. I’m a hand drawn anaiamtion guy, but I love what Pixar has done. Frozen is artistic trash, and forgetable. just like all the other computer animated movies that have been put out inthe last 10 years.

        I was watching the Christmas CMA’s last night and there it was “Let if Go, Let it Go, I think I’m going to hurl!”

      • Kenny B

        Toon, your crazy. And a troll…..

        Anyways – the snow is fantastic looking. Disney is cribbing on Pixars style, yes. It still looks fantastic.

    • Westsider

      Muppets Most Wanted – Released March 11, 2014 at El Capitan Theater – Total Box Office $72 Million

      Frozen – Released November 19, 2013 at El Capitan Theater – Total Box Office $1.275 Billion

      That’s just over 1.2 Billion reasons why Frozen is replacing the Muppets in DCA.

      • TodAZ1

        Yeah, but the Muppets released in 2011 (with Amy Adams) did $165 million box office. Still nowhere near Frozen numbers, but not as anemic as you’re portraying.

    • Oaktown

      “horrible movie”

      “artistic trash, and forgetable”

      “even below crud from Dreamworks”

      It’s annoying that the popularity of the film has created a standard of hyperbole from those who didn’t enjoy it. I mean, I don’t care much for Star Wars, but that doesn’t mean that I can’t recognize that others do, and that there are objectively positive things about it.

    • stevek

      I think you are clearly in the minority on both the quality of the actual movie and animation. Many may not like the Frozen phenomenon but I’m not sure anyone can really blame Disney for cashing it. Muppet Vision is one of the most poorly attended shows in the resort and I really never felt like they fit to be honest (here or in Florida). It’s really time for Disney to either truly make a plus up statement around the Muppets or remove them from the park. I dare say that beyond the hardcore Disney/Muppet fans, they won’t be missed and the attendance shows that.

  • BC_DisneyGeek

    Only potential downside I can foresee with the Freeze The Night event is having to explain to kids why this particular Frozen attraction is more for adults.

    All good news here.

  • Disneykin Kid

    Star Wars in Toontown makes no sense. Toontown is actually a very small area, unless you tear out the backstage buildings. And what about the fireworks? Are you going to close Star Wars Land every night during the fireworks?

    It makes more sense to put it in the Thunder Ranch area, there is more land there, look at Google maps. The desert scape of Tattooine could at least blend next to Big Thunder. It makes even more sense to put it in a third theme park, where they can charge another separate admission and really do it right. The overflowing customer base in SoCal calls for a third theme park.

    • gmaletic

      I think it’s going to intrude into Thunder Ranch as well.

    • Chan608

      1. “Star Wars Land” will be take over Big Thunder Ranch with mostly ride buildings and possibly an indoor area in Toontown.
      2. The new high-tech fireworks for the 60th anniversary possibly wouldn’t require closing the area. Also, there would be a show building in the way, anyway.

  • cellarhound

    So, if Star Wars goes into Toon Town…

    What does this mean for Tomorrowland?

    Seriously. They are going to have to do something major… More just than revamping, but perhaps re-imagining of tomorrow… Is there enough optimism left in Glendale to follow Walt’s utopian visions? Or will dystopian cynicism rule? (Dark and Light side of the force parallel to be sure.)

    • DLFan1995

      While optimism IS waning, cynicism hasn’t totally taken over.

  • muppetmama2006

    Thank goodness the Matterhorn is getting some attention! We rode this past weekend and got SOAKED. It was about 9:30 and we almost had to leave and skip Fantasmic so wet and cold was my daughter. Later we saw another group come off equally drenched. All the sleds are covered in water; the cast member said it’s the new sleds. Hopefully they will fix it!

  • gmaletic

    > And what a mess the muddy Shanghai Disneyland project is with its horribly delayed timetable!

    What’s wrong with just saying, “Shanghai appears delayed”? Why do you have to trash what’s going on there? It’s more polite, more mature, and you’ll look less ridiculous if the project really does manage to open in 2015, or turns out to be a big hit in spite of a late opening.

    • AvanteGardens

      I think he was referring to other updates where he has talked about it in detail.

  • disneyfreeek

    I’m sorry, did they say BULLDOZE TOONTOWN? Why don’t they just hose in with dip? Glad I get to see it one last time, =(.

  • Indy Fan 1

    Toontown is not going anywhere. Muppets will be back in May and Soarin over the World is going to Epcot and never to California.

  • tooncity

    Some evil corporation demolishing toontown, to build a money make venture.
    Isn’t that the plot of “Who Frame Roger Rabbit!”? Who’s Judge Doom in this case?

    I don’t see Disney tearing out a Real attraction like RR Cartoon Spin. Seems like they could get away with tearing out Donald”s and Goofy’s House and the Chip and Dale coaster, and be just fine with keeping everything on the right-hand side of the land. If they did take out cartoon spin, that would be Disney throwing away about $300 Million in attraction that’s only been amortized for 20 years. That’s not the Disney I know and love. I don’t think an accountant would stand for that. Did I just say and accountant would protect Roger Rabbit?

  • MainSt1993

    Um, why would ToonTown be bulldozed for Star Wars? Lucy – you got some ‘splainin’ to do!!

  • Brisal73

    Now does Frozen leave Disneyland or will they keep the meet and greet and parade float?

    • Susan Hughes

      Yes. The Frozen meet and greet at Disneyland will close when Elsa and Anna make their debut at DCA.

  • Timekeeper

    I’ll take a pound of sugar on Frozenland in DCA (which is possible, as Mad T had their last performance last Sunday) and the new Fantasyland Dark Ride upgrades (except for the new face-projection AAs on Alice, DLR has a budget when it comes to their parks, remember?)

    I’ll take a grain of salt split in four parts:
    One for Soaring Over The World replacing Soaring Over California, as that ride really is still garners lines over ten years; SOTW would only make sense in Florida as the ride is located in Epcot’s Future World, in the Land Pavilion, which in of itself is odd, as we mostly ‘soar’ over different parts of California’s ‘lands’; but shouldn’t it be in a pavilion devoted to our fascination of aeronautics and love of air travel? (Oh wait, we have the Gran Fiesta Tour in the Mexico Pavilion and as a sub-theme for MK’s Tomorrowland.)

    One for Star Wars replacing Mickey’s Toontown and one for Tomorrowland’s future theme;
    Star Wars replacing Mickey’s Toontown would be a bad mistake, almost as bad as removing MSEP from DL. Unless Roger Rabbit’s Cartoon Spin is relocated someplace else in DLR (or moved to DHS in WDW), I’m not going believe it unless announced on the Disney Parks blog, which moves me to my next point: What is Tomorrowland’s new theme going to be? If you want a big guess, see Brad Bird’s Tomorrowland movie come next year. I think TWDC is going to wait if the movie is successful in the box office and memorable enough in the public eye to warrant an attraction or eventual-retheme, same with Star Wars: The Force Awakens (just call it ‘Episode VII: The Force Awakens’ already, Abrams! No minimalist titles unless its a new Science Fiction movie like Nolan’s Interstellar.)

    Last part goes to Arendelle in Storybookland: I would much rather have an expansion to the canal that would include Beauty & The Beast, Mulan, Hercules and other Disney Animation properties that don’t have a dark ride representation in Fantasyland, (not counting Little Mermaid, Snow White, Peter Pan, Pinocchio, Alice In Wonderland and Mr. Toad as those do have dark rides.)
    But that would cost money, so what would be going on the chopping block: the Patchwork Quilt, Toad Hall, Cinderella’s Castle? Anything that really doesn’t
    but please, no Toy Story or other Pixar properties; as it’s bad enough that it has two dark-ride-like attractions, listening to “You’ve Got A Friend In Me” from a recent american story on King Arthur’s Carrousel doesn’t have the same resonance with Fantasyland’s fairy-tale settings.

    -Timekeeper

    • SteveColorado

      Let me get this straight. You are advocating adding works like Mulan, Hercules and others (Pooh?!?) and keeping works like Mr Toad instead of far superior works like Pixar?!? Good grief, I get the nostalgia act but you’re pumping up stuff that were never popular nor that good, not to mention something that almost no one today has seen (Mr Toad). Even the classics have run their course. I’m mean, how much more can you squeeze out of something that it is 50 (my age) to 80 years old, esp. in comparison to a lot of more recent and popular properties? Whatever happened to Walt’s focus on the customers instead of on nostalgists that want to freeze imagination?

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  • Aladdin

    IF they actually Bulldoze and “DIP” all of Toontown, THAT would be an ENORMOUS Screw you to families with younger kids. It would be incredibly sad to see them turn Mickey and Minnie into homeless mice! THAT is NOT the way to treat the mouse in charge of Disney! And just what are they drinking at Disney, that makes them even consider getting rid of Roger Rabbit’s Car Toon Spin?!?!?!?! I just can’t comprehend the imagineering idiocy of getting rid of this entire land! THERE IS ABSOLUTELY NO REASON TO ELIMINATE THIS ENTIRE LAND just for the sake of Star Wars, When they are Planning a brand new 3rd park in Anaheim that will REQUIRE A HUGE DRAW LIKE STAR WARS to get folks over there! IGER, and IMAGINEERING!!!! WAKIE UP!!!! HELLO!!!! THERE IS ROOM FOR TOONTOWN TO STAY

  • Careforthemouse

    Disney, I know you’re listening. I 100% support more Star Wars presence in the parks; I think most Disney fans do. However these rumors to replace Toontown, no matter how much validity they have, are sad. Toontown plays an important role in Disneyland. If the charm and cohesiveness Toontown provides was ever taken away, you would likely hear voices of disappointment, even from fans who don’t read columns like this. We all dwell on rumors, and until anything is announced, nothing is official. With that said, Star Wars should make its official mark on Disney Parks. Here’s to hoping the location and timing keeps the long-term overall appeal of Disneyland and the Disneyland Resort in mind. From someone who truly cares, thank you.

    • SteveColorado

      Would you care to take a poll of Roger Rabbit vs Star Wars? I barely even remember that movie and they built a tacky land from something that wasn’t even that popular when it came out.

      • griglager

        Please don’t feed the trolls Care.

  • Polo33

    Wow, that’s an amazing amount of upgrades going on ! Hopefully the brass green lights the biggest upgrade needed, Tomorrowland !!

  • Susan Hughes

    I certainly hope the rumors of the demise of ToonTown is just that…rumors. Star Wars Land in that location is SO TOTALLY out of place! If they’re going to bring in a fleet of bulldozers, let them steer their way into Tomorrowland.

    Innoventions, Autopia, Captain “Pedo” and Nemo could easily create enough space for Star Wars Land. Marvel can move to DCA, Autopia never had anything to do with the future, Michael Jackson (and his 80s MTV video) is dead, and Nemo is too costly to run for an attraction with low ridership per hour.

  • Susan Hughes

    I certainly hope the rumors of the demise of ToonTown is just that…rumors. Star Wars Land in that location is SO TOTALLY out of place! If they’re going to bring in a fleet of bulldozers, let them steer their way into Tomorrowland.

    Innoventions, Autopia, Captain “Pedo” and Nemo could easily create enough space for Star Wars Land. Marvel can move to DCA, Autopia never had anything to do with the future, Michael Jackson (and his 80s MTV video) is dead, and Nemo is too costly to run for an attraction with low ridership per hour.

  • Jabroniville

    Funny- I remember a lot of complaining and gnashing of teeth of the Starbucks intrusion into the parks. Lo and behold, they’re making a TON of money and are hugely successful everywhere. It can look a bit weird to see another corporation infuse itself into Disneyland (though the ORIGINAL park had even more, with all the sponsorship deals), but obviously it was the right move. I’m not even a coffee drinker and I get it.

    The ToonTown/Star Wars thing is… I dunno. TT is very dated in a quaint, nostalgic sort of way (it looks like a lot of theme park stuff did in the ’80s and ’90s), but it isn’t that big of a part of Disneyland to make getting rid of it a tragedy. The Car Toon Spin is a good ride, but similarly not a huge thing. BUT, the whole area is rather small (even assuming you gobble up some other areas to make a Star Wars Land fit- are we assuming they just make a few narrow roadways for the new land or something?

    It seems Tomorrowland would be a better fit, BUT that’s both getting a big movie next year, AND has a far greater importance to Disneyland as a whole.

    It’s a bit of a thinker.

  • Larry Parker

    Check this link for a possible map of the conversion of Toontown: http://www.slashfilm.com/disneyland-rumors-star-wars-land-replace-toontown-plus-frozen-take-dca/

    • ayalexander

      Do you really think that massive park-sized idea will fit in the footprint of toontown. No. Micechat once said something about Disney going to remove BTR Jamboree and the Fantasyland Theater to make the Outdoor portion of the Star Wars Land and then the footprint of Toon Town being the indoor portion of the land plus the E-Ticket ride. I like the latter idea. Having a Outdoor/Indoor land so you can experience a little bit of both. And when they build this Star Wars Land, I hope it has two rides at least, one being the big E-Ticket.

  • Skimbob

    Remember Toontown was removed at MK and replaced by an addition to Fantasyland. People in Florida were very upset but the change happened anyway. I am more in favor of Tommorrowland being reworked for Star Wars which makes much more sense. There is a ton of land available and Show wise it would fit better there. The subs, Innovention and Autotopia should all go and make this area the success that it can be. My only concern is my seaguls. They could move them to DCA at the wharf. Mine Mine Mine LOL.

  • Golden

    I went to Disneyland before Toontown was there, and I guess I’ll go after it is gone…

    And it had its place, and I enjoyed it, but I won’t be mourning its loss. I would like them to try to find a way to ‘shift the boundaries’ of Fantasyland to keep Roger Rabbit, though.

  • MasterElwood

    Can´t they figure out a way to play Soarin´ over California AND over the world?

    Alternating times, California in the left – World in the right theater… something like that!

  • SpectroMan

    1. The CM Starbucks being that crowded is a frightening sign of the times..can we say caffeine addiction?
    2. I wouldn’t mourn the loss of ToonTown EXCEPT that it’s been great to have a Roger Rabbit ride all these years, a rather obscure character and film these days. They should keep it, but probably will instead retheme as they did with Superstar Limo to something Star Wars. Meh.

  • MikeK

    I appreciate and look forward to your updates. However, I found your title “The Force Awakens” a little misleading. I read it two or three times to see if I missed something. I’m not complaining though.

  • PortoParadiso4Me

    I feel that Toontown CAN be saved, if:

    1.They add more characters to the land. Besides Mickey and Minnie, the only other characters usually out in this land are Pluto and Goofy. It IS the land of “toons” after all. But where are they all? Donald and Daisy should be here every day, as well as Chip and Dale and their sweetheart Clarice, (who is used all the time in Japan). Roger Rabbit should definitely return, he was out for one of the recent Halloween parties as well as out during Easter time. I have also seen video of a small show from Walt Disney Studios Paris that had a Jessica Rabbit character; it would be so fun to see the two of them together here.
    A few more classic “Toon” characters that I feel should be seen in this land-
    The 3 little Pigs and the Big Bad Wolf and also Horace Horsecollar, Clarabelle Cow,and Clara Cluck.

    2.Atmosphere talent/music groups. Remember when they used to have musicians play at the gazebo? I feel that atmosphere musical groups add so much to the lands. (I still miss the steel drum performers in Adventureland)

    3.Some sort of character show or small cavalcade, perhaps similar to the Toontown Morning Madness show that used to play almost every morning to the select travel bureau folks.

    4.Redo or update Chip and Dale Treehouse, Goofy’s House, Donald’s Boat and Toon Park. And bring back the Jolly Trolly!

    • ayalexander

      Those are good ideas, but I don’t think those ideas would “save” the land, just postpone its inevitable and gruesome death. Even with the original gang (The fab 5 plus horace, clarabelle and clara) they aren’t enough to draw in peoples interest in the land. Another problem is, ToonTown is tucked away in a far corner underneath the railroad tracks, I know people who visit the park and never know that land exists. According to MiceChat, if Star Wars Land is built, the entrance and some themed structures would be located in areas currently occupied by BTR Jamboree and the Fantasyland theater, utilizing ToonTown’s footprint as the indoor half of the land with the entrance to the E-Ticket ride located in the new show building. Or so MiceChat says

    • second blue teacup

      Characters aren’t attractions.

      Making the land a character dumping ground in a last-ditch attempt at driving peopple under the tracks would just be another deadly step to the Meet & Greets Instead of Actual Attractions paradigm that currently rules with an iron fist at Walt Disney Walmart in Florida.

      • PortoParadiso4Me

        I realize that, but I thought Toontown was supposed to be THE place to meet the characters yet they are hardly seen there.

        Believe it or not guests still ask all the time where are all the characters at.

        If you want more attractions then use the side of the land that has the treehouse, boat,etc. and put something new there.

  • Big D

    Here’s a funny story for you, back in 1998 when the Plaza Inn was closed for a lengthy refurbishment (which meant the Inn Between was closed to), Disney brought in an In N Out truck backstage for the cast members. The line was so long that CM’s frequently came back late from their lunch breaks so they took it away and brought in a Burger King truck instead.

  • ericg

    Swapping out the IMAX 15/70mm projectors for 4K digital projection on Soarin’ Over California is a HUGE downgrade in quality. 15/70mm film is the equivalent of 16K resolution. Effectively the digital “downgrade” will be 1/4 the current resolution.

    Second, the 4K projectors cannot project onto a screen the size of Soarin’s. You all will see that the projected image will not fill the screen.

    I don’t know why Disney needs to rush this change. There is nothing wrong with continuing the use of 15/70mm film for Soarin’. Also in 2015 IMAX is slated to release a laser projector that likely will be able to fill a true IMAX sized screen.

  • Susan Hughes

    The “official word” just came out today from Disney. Some casualties of the Frozen takeover include the Tangled and Beauty and The Beast shows being cancelled and a new Frozen show taking it’s place in the Royal Theater at Disneyland. Sad.
    And either good or bad news…Elsa and Anna will “not” be returning to Disneyland when all of the Frozen stuff ends on May 15th. They’ll stay inside the Animation Building. I hope that means Rapunzel and Flynn can come home to their tower, now that their show is gone.

  • Vanellope26

    In the comments section on the parks blog they said Belle and Rapunzel will rotate through again in the future. The Frozen show will be very popular so they probably want that to run exclusively until the crowds are the size of the other shows. Each show I’ve gone to filled up completely, but usually just before it started.

    . I think the Frozen night party will not have as much alcohol because it is being billed as family entertainment.

    I have 2 little kids and I kind of forgot to go into toon town on the last 2 trips over 2 years. Roger Rabbit was popular but due to some executive dispute he was deemphasized so little kids don’t know him. Is the roller coaster still themed to Gidget from the Rescue Rangers? I think that 0% of people under 20 have any idea who she is. It doesn’t make sense to have a little kids land with characters that little kids have no clue about. Little babies can go on the majority of Disneyland rides. You don’t really need a little kids land. Little kids will be out of their mind happy about the Frozen stuff. They may want to spend their whole vacation in the Frozen area if DCA. And for those that aren’t that into Frozen, Baymax will be thier obsession they should just add something from that movie.

    There is a large, intense fan base for Star Wars. I think the new movie and merchandising will be so huge. If Frozen can make 1.27 billion, I think Star Wars can make 2 billion in ticket sales if the movie is not terrible. They’ve cut Toon Town out at other parks for things that aren’t as popular as Star Wars, I think it’s days are numbered.

    Tomorrowland should really be super hero land. If the Tomorrowland movie does really, really well I could see them keeping it. If it repeats the John Carter/Lone Ranger performance I think they will change the theme.

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