It’s time for a Disneyland and Disney California Adventure edition of In the Parks. Old school Fantasy in the Sky fireworks have returned to Disneyland until the fancy new 60th anniversary fireworks are ready later this Spring. We’ll show you the short and simple show in photos and video. Frozen Fun has finally officially opened at both parks and we’ll have a look at the last remaining bits that opened just in time for the kick off date this past Wednesday.  A new exhibit, Snow Queens, Art of Ice, has opened in the Opera House, while a charming retelling of Frozen has opened at the Royal Theatre in the Princess Fantasy Faire.  Of course, we have already told you about the beautiful additions to the Storybook Land Canal Boats, but they are worth repeating as they are quite lovely to see.  The big news is the opening of Olaf’s Snow Fest in Disney California Adventure.  The real-snow playground and meet and greet is impressive and we tell you how to navigate the crowds there. We’ll share our thoughts on the First Time in Forever Frozen Sing Along and Freeze the Night, both of which are in Hollywood Land in DCA.  Lastly, we see that walls have finally gone up around Soarin‘ and the Condor Flats area as they prepare the area and the ride for a major makeover.  Let’s get started.

 

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In Disneyland the holiday decor is melting, giving way to spring time plantings and modest refurbishments until the new 60th Anniversary campaign begins.

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The exterior of the Stroller and Wheelchair rental facility is getting some care.

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Not a single stick of Christmas to be found here on Main Street.

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Town Square is already seeing some spring plantings.

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The snow and the red and gold banners on the castle are holiday leftovers.

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Tomorrowland’s planters have also been touched up with a bit of early springtime color.

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But don’t worry, the weather has warmed here and the ice on the castle should be melted away before long. 😉

Fantasy in the Sky Fireworks Returns

For a very brief period, from now until the 60th celebrations this summer, you can step back in time and catch Fantasy in the Sky fireworks.  Originally run from 1958 to 1999 the show has appeared periodically since then. The version that premiered last night was a scant 5 minute show that included little of the razzle dazzle that we have grown accustomed to from Steve Davison and his pyrotechnic wizards. But that’s really OK. This show is just a temporary offering while Steve and his team prepare the newest generation of Disney fireworks for Disneyland’s 60th Anniversary.

A special thank you to Andy Castro for offering a few shots that he took on the first night of performances (Thursday, January 8th).

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Below is full video of the show.  The video has one minor cut in the middle due to a technical issue.  However, a mere 3 seconds was lost.

Snow Queens Art Of Ice

If you just don’t think that you have gotten enough vitamin Anna or Elsa in your diet, there are some interesting bits of art in the lobby of the Opera House.

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The Royal Theatre

The Royal Theatre has another wonderful show on their stage as Mr. Smythe and Mr. Jones present the story of Frozen.  The infectious energy of the performers shines here as the troupe reenacts the basic plot points from the film while avoiding the songs.  This show, however, strips the story down to the bare essentials exposing the rather convoluted structure of the source material.

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In the end, the show is arguably the most entertaining offering in this spot right now.  This show offers fast pass return times so it is advisable to run over to the Hub, where the Walt and Mickey statue is at the center of the park, and pick up a ticket for the next available showing.

Matterhorn Under Refurbishment

The Matterhorn has gone down again for a refurbishment that will see cosmetic changes including rumored upgrades to Harold the yeti.  Any chance we can have some new, more comfortable bobsled seats?

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Frozen Fun Disney California Adventure

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At Night, this ornament is a little more interesting.

Frozen Fun

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Olaf’s Snow Fest (Stage 17)

The new Olaf’s Snow Fest is a surprisingly well executed play area featuring real snow and a meet and greet with the titular snow man himself.  There are two ways to wait in line for this experience.  You can get in a line to see Olaf, which is of course a much longer wait, or you can queue up just to enter the play area (check things out, and play in the snow without seeing Olaf).  Either way, there is a wait.

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To the right of the building is the queue to enter Snow Fest and meet Olaf…

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Yes, that is 150 minutes or rather 2 and a half hours.  Upon entering, guests in this line are taken to the Olaf Check-In counter inside and given a pager.  Once their turn to meet Olaf arrives they are called over to get into a final line that leads to ol’ carrot nose himself.

If you just want to go in, see the sights, buy the expensive food, and merchandise, and play in the snow, that is a comparatively shorter wait off to the right of the building.

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Upon entering we were absolutely blown away by this indoor meet and greet and play area. Guests are suddenly transported to a Norwegian inspired courtyard out of Arendelle.  At the far end of the expanse is the slender rooftop under which Olaf is meeting guests.  Directly in front of you is the large, elevated, snow play area.  A gazebo punctuates the near right corner of this play spot and acts as a stage for atmosphere actors and musicians.

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Elsa’s magical Snowflake hovers above, freezing the far end of the village.

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The decor is quite impressive for a temporary experience.
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Yes, the clock works.
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A thick vinyl laminate covers the floor, with a cobblestone look.
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Glowing icicles dangle from the eaves.

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Live musicians and storytellers entertain the crowd.

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Playing in the Snow

The big gimmick of this indoor play area is the snow.  The play area is open to all, but they occasionally close it to freshen up the compacted snow.

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“Snow” will also shower the guests now and again. When this happens, the area is simply beautiful.
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In this shot we can see the workers tilling the snow for guests.
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In addition to the play area, guests can also go sledding.

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Of course, everything has a line, and the sledding is no exception.

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Meeting Olaf

If you queued 3 hours to meet Olaf, they at least try to keep you occupied while you wait inside.  Once you enter you receive a pager that holds your place in line as you wander the Arendelle courtyard.  When your pager goes off, you will then check in to meet the snowman.

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After check-in you will be guided to the small queue that ramps up the right side of the village.

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Soon you will be face to face with the cutesy Olaf.

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Food
To the left of the entrance is a food stand offering all manner of themed vittles.  The price for the basic offerings is high, but the area looks spectacular.

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$6 for a simple cupcake? Ridiculous.

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The Build your own cookie Snowman item is also absurdly priced considering you have to build it yourself too.

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Merchandise

To the right of the entrance is a basic merchandise area.  If you didn’t hit Wandering Oaken’s outside, you can grab something in here.

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Olaf’s Snow Fest is a surprisingly pretty “temporary” meet and greet that Disney should be very proud of.  From the design, to the execution, everything is well done.  There is no way to reduce the silly wait times to meet these characters, it’s just what it is.  The kids love them and Disney has heard the message loud and clear.

Anna and Elsa’s Royal Welcome

Want to meet Anna and Elsa?  Okay.  Get over to the Animation building and grab your FastPass in the beginning of the day.  Located just outside the Art of Animation to the left, the mobile FastPass carts distribute tickets to see the Royal pair inside.

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The ugly Fastpass carts.

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Freeze the Night

Freeze the Night is officially open. Where the T Party offered a riot of sensory overload, Freeze the night dishes out a bland pallet of blue lighting and dance music.

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The ice sculptors are neat, but its not the sort of thing that’s interesting to stand and watch for very long.

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Marshmallow looks amazing!

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The real test will be the weekend crowds as the family night party kicks into full gear tomorrow.  Unfortunately it all comes across as a watered down, under saturated, reason to play dance music.

The worst part of all versions of the DCA dance parties is the effect that the “temporary” structures have on the theme of Hollywood Land itself.  If management is still concerned about such things as area theme they might find a better way to handle the nighttime events in this area.  As it stands now, if you wander through this area in the day, it feels like an abandoned music festival.

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The Marshmallow photo op is hidden during the day.

For the First Time in Forever, A Frozen Sing-Along Celebration

The interior retheme of the Muppet Vision Theater is, for the most part, impressive.  The show is a mix of film clips and character appearances, framed by a “history” lesson that serves only to recount each plot point from the movie.

Have you had enough Frozen yet? Because there's more. . .
Have you had enough Frozen yet? Because there’s more. . .

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Opening day, crowds lined up to see the new show with the line stretching to out into the main entry way.

 

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Night time shot.
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Entering the queue we see that it is inspired by interior shots of the Arendelle palace from the film.

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The holding area is redressed as a theatre lobby in Arendelle.

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As both Muppets and Tough to be a Bug do, this experience has punny theater posters.

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We’ll let you decide if they are funny or not.

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Inside the theatre, the space is completely transformed. With a few flourishes, the entire feel of the room has changed.

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A historian greets the crowd and begins the recounting of the story of Arendelle, complete with inexplicable sing-along moments.

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The two historian characters narrate the experience and bellow the lyrics from the sidelines.

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Occasional character appearances from Kristof, Anna, and Elsa take place.

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Showings occur throughout the day, every hour. A FastPass is available (and highly advisable once word gets out that the show is now open).

This sing along show is beautifully crafted from a production standpoint.  This is a much higher quality of execution than the Florida version.  What we are saying here is that everything looks wonderful.  That is it.  The conceit that we are in a theatre devoted to historical reenactments is a total stretch.  It’s a transparent device that facilitates screening the songs from the movie and trotting out the characters… again. But we all know that they literally could have gotten away with Elsa and Anna reading selections from Craig’s List and kids would flock to it. So it doesn’t really matter, does it?

Grizzly Peak Aviation Field
This week we saw walls go up in the former Condor Flats area of Disney California Adventure. Say buh-bye to the Pressler-era, airfield of exposed steel beams and suggestions of theme.  We will now get an expansion of the National Park theme from Grizzly Peak with a more vintage look throughout.  This will also include the refurbishment of Soarin’ with the highly anticipated digital projection, new screens, and refurbished ride system,

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Condor Flats is now Grizzly Peak Airfield.

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That closes this week from the Disneyland Resort.  If you have seen the Frozen Fun offerings we would love to hear what you have to say about them.  Until next week, we will see you In The Parks.

  • Disneygayguy

    Looks good!! Can’t wait for the 60th Celebration to begin and to Paint the Night!!!!

  • thedustycoyote

    That Art of Ice show looks amazing. A Frozen offering I’m actually interested in seeing – and the only one I haven’t seen advertised anywhere.

  • mathdance

    Does anyone have before and after pictures of the Muppet/Crown Jewel theatre?

  • mathdance

    So many questions about Olaf’s place . . . though it may be closed before we arrive in June:

    With the pager system, can you or members of your party, leave the building and do something else? How cold is it inside? Will the kids need coats, boots and gloves? Can you just spend 20 minutes in the snow and leave without meeting Olaf?

    • FixitKronk

      I took my son there sat night and the wait times were drasticly lower in the evening. we were already wearing beanies and jackets because it was cold outside and expected it to be cold inside, but to our surprise its not that cold inside. I saw several people take their pagers and leave to go ride mike and sulley next door. the only thing that was cold is the snow of couse and my wife was wearing thin cloth shoes and so she quickly exited the play area.
      I would say if your used to going to play in the snow the way my son is the experience is a little underwhelming and the “snow” is more like a ton of shaved ice. but there were many southern California kids that were slipping and sliding and having fun. the area is too small and crowded to throw snowballs or build a snowman.

    • JoshLightyear

      The Disney Parks Blog announced that the Snowfest would close at the end of April. 🙁
      However, if you find time to arrive before then, I have a few answers to the questions you have in mind. The pager will work with in & outs from the building. You can wander through Hollywood Land, from Disney Junior up to the Tower of Terror. It isn’t that cold in the building, maybe 60-70 degrees, however touching the snow with your bare hands does get rather chilly. Don’t get a frost bite, gloves are available for purchase at the merchandise location inside the building, for both adults and children. There is an option just to go inside the Snowfest without having to meet Olaf, however that line can get just as long if not longer. Always ask for the advice from a Cast Member located at the entrance of the location for the best advice to go inside and experiencing the best it has to offer. 🙂
      I hope this was helpful. I love the Snowfest!

      • mathdance

        Thank for the info. Though we really won’t make it until June. We live in Utah, so we have a snow fest in our front yard. My wife often builds a comparable luge in our yard. I would much rather have the 60th anniversary offerings than this.

        It’s too bad that Snow Fest will probably be the shortest lived of the Frozen Fun offerings because it looks like the only one passes the “Splash Mountain” test: a unique Disney experience regardless of having seen the movie or not.

    • stitch1085

      I’d like to clarify a few things about Olaf’s Snow Fest:
      1) The best time to go to just be inside the building is around 6 or 7 when Freeze the Night begins. You will only be able to look at the snow play area and purchase food and merchandise.
      2) The snow play area is basically room temperature, it’s not cold at all. Your breath isn’t visible inside.
      3) Don’t let the wait time freak you out to meet Olaf! There will probably be a mini line to get a pager in order to see Olaf (I waited about 30 minutes to get the pager on Friday night). Once you receive the pager you can go anywhere in Hollywood Land (from Tower of Terror all the way to Disney Junior) and the pager WILL work. My friend and I ended up going all the way to the Pacific Wharf area to get some food (the cast member told us it would be well over 45 minutes before we were paged to meet Olaf). Once we finished eating we returned to the entrance to see Olaf and told the cast member that we think our pager went off but were unsure and the cast member let us inside to the check-in desk to check-in. Sure enough, we had been paged and they let us right into the line! It was great! My advice for meeting Olaf (and if you want to stay within “pager” range is to:
      1) Get the pager
      2) Head over to Tower of Terror and get a fast pass for this experience
      3) Walk back over to the Animation Academy and learn to draw Olaf or Marshmallow
      4) Head over to Monsters Inc. and enjoy that attraction
      5) Visit Off the Page (trade pins and vinylmation there if you’re a collector)
      6) Go inside Olaf’s Snow Fest and wait out the remainder of your time inside

  • DisneylandPlanner

    I love condor flat becoming grizzly peak airfield!!!!

  • garyman

    Extending Grizzly Peak over to Condor Flats is the right thing to do in my mind. Look forward to seeing it completed.

  • MyFriendtheAtom

    the Frozen Fun Dance party is just awkward

    • Co Foo

      ElecTRONica was pretty cool. I understand that the movie was getting older, but the theme worked really well for the area.

  • joshteevee

    I took my son to Olaf’s Snow Fest last Saturday. It might be worth noting that the snow play had no wait at 9am, but queues had formed for everything by the time we exited at 9:30. They did usher us off the snow (politely) after about 20 minutes. The sledding is fun, and Photopass photographers snap your pic on the way down.

  • Big D

    Real snow? I could care less about Frozen and it is starting to get to me a little bit just how much of a presence there is in the parks, but I have to be honest, I do want to go inside Olaf’s meeting area and play in the snow.

  • mkyears

    I went last night to check out the frozen fun offering and have to admit it’s a little strange. You have hundreds of little children running around excited to see anything from Frozen while loud dance music plays and people are double fisting drinks. I just found this disjointing it doesn’t seem right for some reason. I mean with Mad hatter it wasn’t directly aimed at kids as much as the Frozen overlay appears to be.

    • ayalexander

      took the words right off my keys. It feels odd being there with the alcohol and the music and then all the kids right there. It feels wrong.

  • Sgt. Tibs

    Are there any close-ups of the signs on the walls surrounding the matterhorn? Looks like they would make interesting reading.

  • CADisney

    Great, long update – thank you! Condor Flats was a nice nod to California’s aviation history, but the Grizzly Peak theming is my favorite of California Adventure, and I love that they’re extending this around Soarin’. Any rumors of Taste Pilot’s Grill getting a makeover or new name? Not sure if “Test Pilots” fits the theme of a Grizzly Peak airfield.

    Main Street looks incredible and brand new, as always!

    • Marko50

      I hope the Taste Pilot’s Grill’ MENU will be getting a makeover.

  • JDN

    Excellent update – I thoroughly enjoyed the photos and editorial. Thank you.

  • Disneykin Kid

    Everyone keeps saying that the Frozen Fun is only temporary til May, but they way they built the Sing Along theater and Olaf’s area doesn’t LOOK temporary. Maybe temporary for 5 years, but not 5 months.

    You know it all depends on customer demand, they’re not going to close it if there are still a lot of people wanting to see it. And if you close it in May, all the Summer vacationers will miss it. In 5 months they can just say it’s part of the 60th celebration. The 60th is kind of sparse on new attractions, just updating new ones, so this can pad the lineup.

    The one glaring problem with the Fantasy Faire show has always been this – why do two guys sing all the songs, when you have the princess (who should be singing, because she sang in the movie) -? They should at least add a female singer, so it’s a trio. Let it Go should not be sung by guys.

    The Frozen Sing Along show is too long, it should be trimmed by at least 5 minutes, maybe 10. A longer show is good for Aladdin, but not for a movie recap.

    • We expect a lot of this to be extended for a long period of time. If it’s popular and pulling in a crowd, I doubt it will be removed. And as long as guests aren’t screaming for the Muppets, Disney would be hard pressed to remove a popular sing-a-long to return a 1/3 full Muppet theater.

    • Disneykin Kid

      Also the point in the Sing Along where the king and queen die is awkward, the historian tells the assistant to ‘hush hush, I’ll tell you later’, they should just say that ‘they died’ with reverence, or cut that part of the video out, with just a simple mention.

    • toonaspie

      Yeah it would not surprise me one bit if Muppets does not come back and this show is still running during the 60th.

      • SteveColorado

        I wonder in what demographics/market segment would Muppets be more popular than Frozen?

      • Kenny B

        SteveColorado….

        The people who have a sense of humor and don’t want to watch the same thing they have own their home television.

    • Anonymouse

      “why do two guys sing all the songs, when you have the princess (who should be singing, because she sang in the movie) -? ”

      Its impossible to answer this question without being offensive so here’s the real world truthful answer. (Most) Pretty Actresses Can’t Sing

      I feel terrible for pointing this out, but anyone who’s taken photos with the actresses at the Royal Theater vs the actresses in the Princess Barn across the way know that Disney reserves their most attractive actresses for the stage shows.

      So if we are to admit that the Royal Theater actresses are the best looking of the face characters then we have to also accept that an overwhelming majority of these $17/hr actresses aren’t trained singers.

      And thats where the premise of the Royal Bards comes in. These are trained stage actors that have musical and theater backgrounds. Sure, they may not be anyones first choice for singing a Rapunzel or Elsa song, but it fits in with the theaters purpose. To be elaborate storytime for children.

      That said… yes, ending the show with two men singing Let it Go is incredibly awkward.

      • Golden

        Oh, that’s the reason? Guess they better cut Jasmine from the Aladdin show then…

        What a ridiculous answer. Disney has had pretty girls singing in their shows forever.

      • Disneykin Kid

        I realize that most pretty princesses can’t sing, that’s why I suggested that they add a female singer. In the princess show way back at the Fantasyland Theater, they had male and female hosts who sang, the princesses didn’t sing, and somehow it was ok. So they just need to add a female vaudevillian/host/singer. The could probably do away with the hand maidens, or at least cut out two, right now I think they have four.

      • Anonymouse

        @Golden

        Clearly you are unaware of the payscale differences between the Aladdin cast and other Characters.

        Also, why have so much anger at a Disney forum?

  • MrOCT31

    I agree with the more comfortable bobsled seats! Those seats are like self inflicted torture. What hobbit did they use to test those seats on?

    • peanutj

      Those bobleds are horrible! I think they were tested on something smaller than a Hobbit. I’m only 5’0″ and I was cramped. They should also replace the track. When I rode it last month I was jolted so much that I thought I’d broken my butt bones.

    • ayalexander

      Yeah. I’d said -I think- in a previous post that I wish the track were smoother like Big Thunder, but because Matterhorn’s track was built directly onto the support of the mountain structure, they can’t reroute the track. Even if they installed smoother track, its the hairpin turns and the sharp drops that they can’t reroute, so those things will be sure to hurt your shins and your butt for years to come, unless they level the whole mountain and rebuild it so track and mountain are two completely separate structures.

      • Marko50

        ayalexander, you seem to be in denial about the reason for the painful Matterhorn. It’s not the track, as you keep insisting. It’s the vehicle. The layout never had problems until these new trains.

      • ayalexander

        Marko50, I have been on Matterhorn before the new bobsleds and I had to eventually stop riding it because the jolting and the sharp drop would hurt my tailbone and back, and once, I hit my head on the handlebars. There was something wrong even with the old layout and that was the fact that nobody these days wants to sit in each other’s laps so therefor a vehicle that could hold 4 people was constantly reduced to 2 people, by adding a third seat and making it individual seating, they increased ride capacity.

      • Marko50

        “There was something wrong even with the old layout and that was the fact that nobody these days wants to sit in each other’s laps…”

        But isn’t that how you ride a bobsled? At any rate, I don’t have a problem with it nor does anyone else I know, although I have read here and elsewhere that others don’t care for it. Eh, to each their own.

        As to the cause of the aches and pains, I guess we’ll have to agree to disagree. The best ride on the Mountain was before they linked two vehicles together which, of course, was the way it was made to perform.

    • ayalexander

      -I change my opinion, they could do to Matterhorn like they did to Big Thunder IF… they remove all track, catacombs and hollow out the inside leaving only the support beams, then they could build a separate track structure between the beams and create a different, separate and smooth track structure that could bring the Matterhorn to par with Space Mountain and Big Thunder, but that might mean only 1 track instead of two (simply cause there’s not enough room) -once they do that, they could build new caves and catacombs around the new track and build larger bobsleds that appear more like real toboggans with 3-4 LARGE seats per vehicle.

  • tooncity

    Look….. Disney has actually made a real effort! Terrific! Wow!
    Why are people celebrating a glorified Meet n greet? It’s not the second coming. How about some REAL effort on REAL attractions in all the dead, closed, attractions-turned-into restaurants spaces in Disneyland proper. Disney has trained their customers to expect so little, that a well-done meet n greet garners’ an Angles Choir!
    Just distract them with shiny, sparkling things and charge them a $100 a day, for the privilege.

    • martinjbell1986

      We found the only negative comment of the week!

      • tooncity

        Yeah yours!

    • tooncity

      Love your smugness. Demonize people that have an opinion other that YOURS.

  • bumblebeeonarose

    I’m so excited about the theming from Grizzly Peak spreading to Soarin’. The area is going to look so much better, and maybe be a bit cooler. I hope they do something nice with the restaurant too, though I hope it stays a burger place with topping bar.

    I think it was only the Snow Play area that has an announced closing in April. I’m sure the sing along and princess meet and greet will be around for a while. Perhaps they’ll reopen the Snow Play next winter. Although I don’t think it really needs to be closed just because winter is over. I mean snow inside, that’s fun, but snow in summer (hmm…where did I hear that from) that’s a cool concept.

    I really want to see the new Frozen stage show in Princess Fantasy Faire. I do hope they eventually bring back Belle and Rapunzel though. We saw Rapunzel once nearly two years ago, when we went to see it this summer they had technical difficulties and cancelled the show halfway through. We haven’t seen the Belle show yet.

    • Co Foo

      That toppings bar is awesome.

  • Werner Weiss

    Great “In the Parks” report!!

    My favorite sentences in this report are, “This week we saw walls go up in the former Condor Flats area of Disney California Adventure. Say buh-bye to the Pressler-era, airfield of exposed steel beams and suggestions of theme. We will now get an expansion of the National Park theme from Grizzly Peak with a more vintage look throughout.”

    That’s wonderful news. The tight area between Grizzly Peak and the Soarin’ “hanger” will work much better as a mountain valley than an as a “high desert airfield.” I hope Soarin’ will get a Yosemite Valley granite facade.

  • daveyjones

    i finally saw frozen a couple of weeks ago while spending time with my sister’s kids (3 and 5). the three year old (girl) had the whole thing memorized, the five year old (boy) was only interested about a quarter of the time, and this old disney fan thought it was a pretty weak film.

    maybe it’s the fact that CGI animation rendered in the style of hand drawn just doesn’t work right. the shadows and lighting are TOO realistic and smooth, and the effect is sort of uncanny valley-ish.

    • Kenny B

      Turn off your “auto motion plus”, or whatever your TV calls it.

      It adds fake frames to whatever your watching – makes everything but live television look like a soap opera, and CGI/Cartoons way too smooth. —- It should be in the advanced section of the video options on your TV – For some reason everyone has it turned way up, and have no clue what the heck it is.

  • Darth_Goofy

    We did the Frozen Sing-along on New Years Eve and thought it was simply stupid. Now let me pre-face this by saying I love the film, we do sing along, we’ve seen it dozens of time etc.

    This show… oooof.

    The “framing” is idiotic. The live action performers are stilted and stale with their delivery and it makes next to zero sense in any sort of context. Why not, if a live action element is required… have Olaf come out on stage as the walk around character. Have Josh Gad or a sound alike record some lines, and have him host a sing along. The end. The Jr. archivist or whatever the heck he was supposed to be, was pretty lame. I can appreciate corny/cheesy Disney schtick as much as the rest of the people on this site
    … but this … I dunno… was pretty lame.

    Also, the pre-show area. Would a countdown timer be too much to ask? How about someplace to sit other than the floor. How about some form of pre-show? There’s a large area over the top of the white railed columns near the ceiling that is black that could easily be home to some projected animations if nothing else.

    I understand that Disney just needs to write the word Frozen on the outside of the building, and an army of little girls will flock to it….BUT….. for a billion dollar company to phone it in like this is really a disappointment. On the flip side, we really enjoyed the Olaf snow play area. We have yet to try the Animation Academy stuff.. Also, electronic dance music does nothing for me… regardless of the color of paint and light bulbs layered on top of it.

    • Disneykin Kid

      The whole stage concept in the Sing Along could have been improved – they should have made it look like a real stationary stage, instead it is kind of a stage with a window to the outside that changes views and becomes a movie screen, then back to a stage again. It should have just tried to fool the viewer to be a real stage. The sing along elements could have been kind of ethereal, like thoughts coming into view. And the stage elements, backdrop etc. could have changed like a real theater.

      • Disneykin Kid

        And the curtain dropping at the end has the same flaw as the Honey I Shrunk the Audience curtain (with the dog) – the scale of the curtain looks miniature.

      • Darth_Goofy

        That was a lot of the problem I had… since the source material was the actual footage from the movie.. which is not designed to feel life-sized vs the scale of the set…. it includes character close-ups 20 feet tall… it just was very weird. I would almost have appreciated it more if the would have just acknowledged the existence of the footage in a more contemporary framing perhaps? I really don’t know. Short of going full World of Color.. and taking existing animations of the characters and reframing them so that the camera makes it appear that they are life-sized for the stage…. I don’t see there being an eloquent solution. Certainly not for a “temporary” bandaid of a show.

      • Disneykin Kid

        Yeah, when you first enter the theater, it’s a stunning looking view of the harbor, it almost looks 3D with the ship in the water. They should have maintained the conceit that it is a real theater and changed the backdrops like a real theater. The movie clips could have been ethereal in the air, like your thoughts are remembering the events. The HD, almost 3D looking screen could have been used more imaginatively.

  • bob1

    There was mention of the Matterhorn going down for a modest refurbishment. As I understand it, the reason that the tracks cannot be replaced and smoothed out, as was done on Big Thunder, is due to the fact that the track and mountain were built as one steel framing unit. Understood.

    How about getting the Imagineers working on a new vehicle ride system such as Indiana Jones? They could use the existing track with tight turns, etc., but have the vehicles themselves smooth out the ride and make it much more enjoyable and exciting instead of the jackhammer it is now?

    Just a thought.

  • Marko50

    I was at the resort on Tuesday. The reason I went that day is I had never experienced Three Kings Day before. But most of Frozen was open, so…

    I was disappointed that the Frozen show in the Fantasy Faire didn’t soft open. I enjoy Messers Smythe and Jones. I also didn’t have time for the Storybook Land voyage, but that isn’t going anywhere. But I did enjoy lunch at Rancho de Zocalo. Consisted of flan and tres leches cake. Yum. No, didn’t get the Mickey check mark.

    On the other side, I had the Kings Day Cake. It was OK. Not a fan of glazed fruit, though. But at least it’s off my bucket list. Also had the Chicken Mole for the first time. It was good, but I didn’t care much for the sides. And I didn’t get pics of any characters in seasonal dress.

    Pics I DID get were of Anna and Elsa. Wasn’t necessarily going to get a FastPass – I didn’t think any would be left. But I had no trouble at about 1 or 2 in the PM getting one – and it was for 6:30 – 6:50, so still would have had plenty of time. Both Anna and Elsa were there and were pretty chatty. Got many more pictures taken by the PhotoPass person than I would have taken by myself.

    Saw the Sing-a-Long. Meh. But I did sing my heart out. I can keep with the program!

    Freeze the Night left me…uh, cold. I loved the Mad T Party – at least the band part – but I don’t think I’ll be coming back for Freeze the Night. I will say that it was pretty cute seeing the toddlers up to tweens dancing. The Ice Breakers (dancers) were pretty cool, though. Kind of a mashup between the Hottest Deck in Town from the Mad T and Stomp! from…uh, Stomp!

    And that leaves Olaf’s place. I was in here a couple of times. I enjoyed watching the people playing and sledding in the snow. It was obvious that they were having bunches of fun until they were – nicely – herded out. Gotta say though, although it was billed as a snow area, it seemed to be more of an ice area. Just sayin’. Wait time was @30 min for just the snow areas and @90 min adding a visit with Olaf.

    And I’ll close this the way it started. Food. I had the Rock Troll Meatballs the first time in. And in spite of the picture that may put in your head, they were yummy! The cream sauce seemed to have a hint of parmesan in it and, although they wouldn’t seem to get along, the lingonberries really complemented the meatballs! But they were out of the White Hot Chocolate.

    Next time in, I had the Corn Dog Bites. I’m not a fan of the Disney Corn Dogs that many people salivate over. I didn’t care for the Bites for the same reason I don’t care for the dogs. To each their own, I guess. But they did have the WHC this time around and it was worth the wait! I’m sure some will find it on the sweet side, but I thought it was heavenly! Could it be because I was comped on this item? Nawwwww….

  • JiminyCricketFan

    I love the Grizzly Field idea! It is so much easier to pull off a mountain area than a desert. Also it will bring some beauty to that area that sorely needed it.

    As to the Frozen meet and Greet… I love the detail (Wow! real snow!) However, I think there is weird decisions being made. So much money on an experience that so few people can experience and will last such a short time. I SO much wish that the extra money would be put to a real ride that would last for a lot longer and be enjoyed by many more people.

  • SpectroMan

    Ugh – that video of Fantasy in the Sky was NOT Fantasy in the Sky. That was some mess I have no interest in seeing. Had they done the REAL show, complete with “God Bless America” ending by the large choir, it might mean something to the guests. Geez.

  • WDWorldly

    I hope they reuse the Frozen “phallus icicles” on the castle next year.