Disneyland and the Jungles of Anaheim

Written by Norman Gidney. Posted in Disneyland Resort, Features, In the Parks

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Published on July 26, 2012 at 11:45 pm with 39 Comments

With the recent news of civil unrest in Anaheim, many potential guests are concerned, debating whether or not a visit to the happiest place on Earth is also a safe place. We answer those questions for you here, (Spoiler alert, there’s nothing to worry about) and we tell you what to expect when visiting the resort. We will also look at the progress of the Fantasy Faire village project, check on how Cars Land is holding up and get you up to speed on what’s going on in the Jungle (Cruise that is).

A lot of news has been made of the recent civil unrest in Anaheim, which stem from the shooting deaths of two men in the Anaheim area at the hands of Anaheim Police in a two day period. We are not here to get involved in the debate over the reason and circumstances behind the shootings. We’ll leave that to the general media (and any comments left condemning either the police, those who lost their lives, or the protesters will be deleted from this blog), our present concern is how these occurrences will affect Disneyland visitors and their safety.

The protests, the largest of which happened Tuesday night, with at least 600 protestors in city streets, occurred about two miles north of Disneyland in downtown Anaheim, near City Hall and the police stations.

However, as of this writing, NONE of the protests have ventured into the resort area.  If you are staying at any one of the Disneyland Resort hotels, or any hotel immediately adjacent to the Disneyland Resort,  you likely have nothing to worry about. The resort area, South of the 5 freeway, is filled with hotels and thousands of tourists milling back and forth right up until an hour or two after Disneyland closes for the night.  North of the 5 freeway, things get a bit more dicey.

But the point is this, the resort and surrounding area is still pretty safe.  Guests traveling by foot along the roads surrounding the Disneyland resort area are no more or less safe than they were a month ago.  The problems are close, but the freeway acts as a sort of buffer between Disneyland and those areas.

One other thing to keep in mind is that the resort has dealt with these types of problems in the past.  There are stories Imagineers have told us about staying in the Disneyland hotel during the construction of DCA and hearing shots ring out in the neighborhood just over the fence. But at the same time, a major enhancement was made to the resort area. The prostitutes, drug dealers and ugly store fronts were largely swept clean. In their place, the dramatically beautified and sanitized area you see today was created. The change has been dramatic. It wasn’t necessarily safe to walk the streets around Disneyland at night pre-DCA, but it certainly is much safer to do so today. And because of that seedy past, Disneyland well knows how to protect itself and its guests from the unwanted intrusions of the real world.

A quick look at wait times shows that Disneyland doesn’t seem to be suffering from a drop in attendance due to the protests.

Should you avoid Disneyland due to media reports of riots in Anaheim? Not in our opinion. But you might want to be a little extra vigilant when walking around the city until all this blows over.

FANTASY FAIRE VILLAGE
We now move from strife to pageantry with a view of the Fantasy Faire Village progress. Let’s see what the status is of the future home of Disneyland’s princess population.

MATTERHORNED
The wait times at the Matterhorn show no signs of abating.  While the wait sign below displays 45 mins, the line actually stretched further for another good 15 minutes. It would be wise not to forget the Single Rider option here.

The line actually stretched all the way around the mountain!

LONELY LIL’ BILLY
It seems that the Billy show back in the Big Thunder Ranch has never really picked up steam (or an audience).  It is great to still be able to see these performers in the park, but their brand of tomfoolery is so much more effective in the intimate setting of the Golden horseshoe.  It’s ironic, since their broad humor can’t seem to cover the expanse they are currently playing to. Let’s hope they get beck inside soon!

JUNGLE CRUISE NET WORTH
A mesh netting has been installed on each of the Jungle Cruise boats as a safety precaution. The ride is also scheduled to be down through Wednesday as bumpers are added which will allow the boats to be stabilized against the dock for load/unload. Jungle Cruise suffers from a higher than normal number of injury complaints, mostly due to the motion of the boat while loading and unloading.

What do you think of these nets folks? Will it help keep you from losing an iPhone, or from getting your fingers caught between the boat and the dock (once the new bumpers are installed)?

DCA ENTRANCE
Over at the Entrance to Disney California Adventure, work has seemed to stall on the planter on the right side of the gate.

CARSLAND
In all honesty, Cars Land seems to be holding up rather well considering the amount of traffic that flows through here.  Radiator Springs Racers, when it is working, is pulling in 3 hr wait times still, a little over a month after opening, and the food locations are keeping up with the rapid pace too.  But, there are just a few flies in the ointment that we have noticed.

Fancy Fake Foliage FailMany of the ornate decorations are starting to have problems. The beautiful tail light flowers in front of the courthouse have started to become chipped and faded. And many of the lights are already burned out. Though, considering that they are within easy arm’s reach of guests, it’s amazing that they still look presentable at all!

Luigi’s – The slow wait times on this unique attraction have been talking their toll on the beautiful queue.  We have had reports of the custom, brass tire finials being vandalized or stolen.  We were also witness to kids playing on the fake car lift near the queue as though it were a jungle gym.

Mater’s – Again, some of the casings on the ride vehicles are fading.  It’s understandable, since there is virtually no shade on them throughout the day.  The Imagineers did factor this in and gave them the pre-worn look of a junkyard native.  So, let’s just say that they are becoming more authentic looking.

Honestly, they don’t look bad at all. But the seats remain painful and require some padding on the sides to keep kids from getting hurt when their heavier parents slide into them and smash them against the side of the vehicle.

A Place Of Beauty
We have to admit that Disney California Adventure has really been coming into it’s own and it’s quite common to come across some quite lovely scenes in the park.

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And there you have it.  Although there are some unfortunate things happening near the resort, there is no real need to be afraid or cancel a trip to the happiest place on Earth.  Really.  The Disneyland Resort is still very safe and the parks are in great shape.  We set out to the park without hesitation and hope you’ll feel comfortable doing the same.

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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39 Comments

Comments for Disneyland and the Jungles of Anaheim are now closed.

  1. trying to keep fellow mice chatters and Disneyland guests informed so that everyone stays safe.
    so i have been tracking the facebook page for the protest that is being planned in the resort area.

    I have to say that it does worry me a bit because of the thousands of families with children that will be present this weekend. Some of the comments i am reading on facebook seem to be coming from many young people that are angered and maybe missed informed of what could happen if this does not stay calm.
    there are comments of people urging others to carry gas masks, and protection and others are being angered more by supposedly some more news of another shooting last night in Anaheim. (police shot a burglar that tried to run them over with his car).

    Please all stay safe and lets hope that it is just all internet anger. I am doing my best to try and put some reasoning in the facebook page and hopefully deter people from causing damage to people or property.

  2. Why so negative. Holy cow. Its like the this whole site for the past month has been trying to convince everybody that Cars Land was a big failure. I think they just cant fathom that this park is a success now.

    • I have to respectfully disagree with you. Our coverage of Cars Land was glowing. The fact that we are presenting information on how the land is holding up under intense crowds doesn’t mean that we are being negative. There is very little negative that we have to report about Disneyland these days. And if a bit pops in here and there, it certainly does NOT mean that we are being overly negative. However, I would say that some folks are simply incapable of hearing anything about Disneyland which doesn’t drip with pixie dust. Sadly, that’s just not the real world and we aren’t one of those sites who whitewashes the truth. Perhaps you should take another look around the site, because you couldn’t be further off base on your comment.

      • That’s right. It’s not being overly negative to point out that the emperor has no clothes. You can bet Disney monitors this site. If you don’t like something, or have an idea, you are better off posting it here than sending Disney a letter. They may actually listen to an idea they see here, where there is no proof that they didn’t come up with it on their own, and no fear of being sued. I also feel they have PR shills that post here, and on other sites, defending the faith, and putting out “corrective” corporate spin. Of all the Disney sites, this one is the best. If you do, or do not like something, and want your voice heard, post it here.

      • I agree with Dusty’s respectful disagreement.

        I understand how it can appear to be a negative outlook however. The majority (at least I think it is a majority) of participants on this site have a kind of unspoken agreement. We all pretty universally love Disneyland and all things Disney.

        We feel a certain ownership. We are not just talking about an amusement park. We are talking about a philosophy of life. We are a community and want that community to continually improve.

        Can we be a little snarky about it? Oh yeah! Are we being disloyal? No way! Cars Land is, like all aspects of the Disney Parks, a continual work in progress. This site is just one of many places where we can voice opinions safely and test out our ideas amongst like minded people.

        That said, Thanks to DLHWaterfalls for contributing. It is possibly a valid point being made and we all might want to continue to revel in the innate coolness of the new additions to OUR community.

  3. I’m not worried..We will be there on Monday and Tuesday this week.

  4. It is my understanding that the planter on the right side of the DCA entrance will not break ground until after Labor Day. The idea is to keep DCA free of construction for the summer.

  5. For anyone considering a visit to The Disneyland Resort, if you’re in the “Green Zone”, you’ll be safe. The area I refer to as the “Green Zone” is the Anaheim Resort, indicated by the green light poles, traffic lights and bus benches. Venture into areas where the light poles and traffic lights are grey, well then you may consider turning around.
    And in my opinion, even though the areas surrounding the resort are basically “the hood”, the riff raff seem to keep away from The Disney Resort. I think it’s a sign of respect.
    And there were much more troubling times during the 70s, when Harbor Boulevard was lined with adult book stores and strip joints. And seeing prostitutes walking the street in front of Disneyland was common.

  6. As for the jungle cruise netting, I think it’s looks fine and if the jungle cruise skippers see that as a solution, all the better.

    Hmmm, I have to wonder when the speed on the new fantasy faire will speed up? Fall maybe?

    Timekeeper

  7. My only concern is for the little kids who will have their view blocked or hindered due to the nets on the JC.
    I hope they move the Bill Hill Show back inside. These Gentlemen deserve to have the large crowds watching them every day again. They are wonderful! I was called on stage several years ago was embarresed but played along. What fun…I do need to get the video and destroy it though.
    I always stay at the Anabella when I visit my “Happy Place” and we always walk through the gardens and cut through the Hotel Californian. I have never been uncomfortable but we do try and go when others are making the same journey at night. The only scary place is the corner of Katella and the crazy drivers who have nearly run me down when they run the lights to make their turns while we are in the crosswalks legally. I’ve had several close calls. Warning to others keep on your toes when crossing the roads, drivers are in a hurry and not paying attention so you must be aware and ready to jump out of the way.
    As far as the negative comments, I am happy to read the good and the bad. I don’t find the bad to be negative just informative and believe that Disney is watching and hopefully will see things here that they have missed and will correct them.
    Sure Cars Land will have it’s glitches, everything has a break in period from restaurants, to new programs for computers, etc.. I for one, hope that most will be solved by the end of September, if not oh well, it won’t be the end of the world. I will be happy to see the completed park in all it’s beauty.
    Thanks to all who post I am happy to have Mice Chat to keep me connected.

  8. If Disney needed to install some measure to keep hands and arms inside the boats, then the netting on the Jungle Cruise boats isn’t that bad, Unfortunately, the boats no longer look like Bogey & Kate should be at the helm, and the negative impact on the overall experience cannot be ignored. However, given techskip’s comments, it is understandable why the nets were installed. Of course, I’d be happy to sing the praises of the nets if, in trade, the CMs were allowed to go “off script” again!

    I think peoplemover and GramaCAR nailed it about responsibility, particularly as to parents and small children. Considering how many decades the Jungle Cruise has been around, there would have been changes long before now (and CM complaints more than 5+ years ago) if the problem were the boats rather than the guests. Disney, however, is obligated to take action in response to matters that are reasonably foreseeable, and as an old lawyer joke goes: “On a clear day you can foresee forever!” When current levels of personal accountability are combined with the risk (likelihood?) of litigation, we get nets on the decks of Jungle Cruise boats, teacups that now barely spin, a tuned down Indy aatraction with greatly reduced pyro effects, silly doors on parking lot trams, etc.

    On a brighter note, I love how the vegetation in DCA is maturing and filling in. Great photo of the Fun Wheel, Fishy!

    • What did the slow the teacups spin down or were you joking? My daughter loves to spin it hard and fast so she can watch me try and walk afterwards like a drunken sailor.

      • In early 2004, the teacups were adjusted to be more difficult to spin after a guest fell after purprtedly becoming dizzy during the ride. I have read that the guest had a disability, but it is not clear what role that played in the change. It is still a fun, classic attraction, and arguably one of the most iconic. However, the days of carefully watching the cups spin while waiting in the queue in order to spot the “fast” ones, and then spinning so fast that you received comments or curious looks from other guests are now as much a memory as making sure you saved a “C” ticket for one last ride on the teacups before heading home.

  9. As a Skipper myself, I can tell you now that the nets are a bad idea. All this is going to do is make even more adults either stand up themselves while on the boats to see better, or worse yet their children will constantly be doing it as well. I’m sure they will also get bad about lifting up their kids or having little ones stand up while they hold them by the waist. All of those are bad ideas. While I agree that people can get injured at the load/unload areas, those injuries are can be completely prevented by the guests themselves.

  10. One of my favorite things about visiting Disneyland is the garden like setting of all the trees and flowers. Finding those secluded benches to sit and chill out for a bit ahhhhh, couldn’t be better.

  11. I’m looking forward to September, and when the temperature cools down. It’s going to be hot and humid this week.

  12. A few years back I was in DL with my then 75 year old mother, and she took a fall while getting out of the Jungle Cruise, ending up on the bottom of the boat. After a few minutes making sure nothing was broken, a CM and I helped her to her feet, where she laughed the whole thing off and then exited the boat. It never occurred to either of us to complain or sue Disney or whatever. She slipped, she got up, no big deal.

  13. I hope and pray that the horrid corner at the ranch will not stay the home of Billy, this is exactly why something needs to happen in this corner of the Park,Put Billy back in the saloon and a new land in the Ranch ,The new Oz movie trailers are very promising,I hope that it is received well so we can get something done to that corner of the park.Don’t send Billy to die there, no guests means a limited run as for everything else that has ventured there.As for the safety measures well a little netting never hurt, besides the little ones can see right thru it,no problems.less injuries is a good thing for everyone.