It’s a huge week of news for the Disneyland Resort. The 60th anniversary celebration, dubbed the Disneyland Resort Diamond Celebration, was announced amid a flurry of pomp and pageantry this past Wednesday night. The result is a park that is under heavy construction and refurbishment. it’s a small world, Matterhorn Bobsleds, Sleeping Beauty Castle, Snow White’s Grotto and Wishing Well, The Magic Eye Theater, World of Color, the entire lands of Critter Country and Condor Flats, are all down in preparation for the big event that kicks off on May 22nd. Today, we scope out the projects in the park and tell you what to expect if you are visiting at the resort at this time of renewal.
We also want to remind all of our readers that the big MiceChat 10 Year Anniversary Weekend is nearly upon us.
DON’T MISS: MiceChat 10th Anniversary Weekend at Disneyland
February 6 – 8th
It’s been 10 years since we first started MiceChatting. Our big celebration will be held in and around the Disneyland Resort and will include a cocktail reception with legends of animation, panel discussions with Disney Imagineers, authors and even a beloved legend or two. We’ll celebrate Yesterland, give away fantastic prizes, and enjoy a wonderful time with friends old and new at the Happiest Place on Earth. If you’ve been with us from the beginning or have only recently found us, we look forward to seeing you at the Disneyland Resort February 6th through 8th. Below are the must attend events for our 10th anniversary! TICKETS AND INFORMATION HERE
AND the first 400 people to the big noon meet and group photo on Sunday, Feb 8th (at the hub) will receive a very collectible MiceChat Tencennial enamel pin inspired by Disneyland’s own Tencennial in 1965!
Celebrate MiceChat’s 10 years of Disney and theme park magic with our special AMAZEMENT Saturday epic event at the ESPN Zone. We will treat you with three fantastic panel discussions with notable legends and surprise guests:
- “This Animatronic Life” – The fantastic story of how Animatronics have transformed the theme park experience.
- “Disney in the Book” – Meet the authors behind some of the hottest Disney books currently available. You’ll have a chance to pick up your own signed copy of these fantastic tomes. More details will be shared shortly.
- “Voices of Magic” – The voices behind some of your favorite Disney characters will reveal the secrets behind bringing the magic to stage and screen.
- We will also celebrate the 20th Anniversary of Yesterland with MiceChat legend Werner Weiss.
The day will start in the classic style, as we’ve done for the last 10 anniversaries, with breakfast at the Riverbelle Terrace, a trip around the Rivers of America aboard the Mark Twain, and a classic noon meet and group photo in front of the castle (we’ll meet you all at the Walt and Mickey statue at noon).
This year, we have a very special program planned for you after lunch.
MiceChat is turning 10 years old, Yesterland is turning 20, and Disneyland is turning 60! That’s a lot of memories. Just after lunch we’ll join Werner Weiss of Yesterland and special guest hosts for a historic tour of Disneyland Park the way Walt would have remembered it. It promises to be a wonderful day full of tributes, memories and magic.
Please note that the Yesterland portion of the afternoon has SOLD OUT. You can join the YESTERLAND TOUR WAIT LIST HERE.
MiceChat Anniversary Hotel Offer
Looking for a hotel room for the MiceChat Anniversary? The delightful Anabella Hotel (just behind California Screamin’ at DCA) is offering a remarkable MiceChat 10th Anniversary Rate:
- $89 (Standard Room Types)
- $139 (Concierge)
- Rate is valid 2/6/15-2/8/15
Rate only available for those who call in to reservations at 800.863.4888. Don’t forget to ask for the “MiceChat 10th Anniversary” rate.
During a special after-hours presentation on Main Street, U.S.A., at Disneyland, Tom Staggs, Chairman, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts, announced that the Disneyland Resort Diamond Celebration marking the resort’s 60th anniversary, will commence Friday, May 22.
The announcements put the lion’s share of the work on the shoulders of prolific Imagineer, Steve Davison. Show-heavy offerings spread out over the two parks will make night times particularly maddening inside Disneyland with both a new, evening parade and a brand new fireworks show.
Also, the new Paint the Night parade that made its debut in Hong Kong, will also be coming to California for the festivities. For full coverage of the event and the announcements be sure to check out Shelley Valladolid’s article from yesterday HERE.
The off-season has returned and the park feels like a spacious wonderland of minimal wait times and leisurely strolls. Of course, a fair portion of attractions are down for refurbishment as well. But, it’s a fair enough trade as the parks prepare for a gigantic summer of celebration.
Stroller and Wheelchair Rental
Just outside the front gates of Disneyland, the stroller and wheelchair rental facility is still under refurbishment.
Spring is Coming
Another wonderful benefit of the late winter off-season is getting to see the flowerbeds in the park awaken with spring color. Here in Town Square, the plantings have already donned the vibrant tones of a new year of growth.
Sleeping Beauty Castle
The centerpiece of the park is getting yet another makeover as a new milestone rolls around. Disneyland’s 60th will see the castle bejeweled and draped as usual.
- Sleeping Beauty Castle: Castle will be closed for refurbishments and installation of 60th Anniversary overlay. The Enchanted Chamber gift shop and Walk-Through attraction are scheduled to reopen March 3. Castle overlay will debut by May 2015.
Magic Eye Theater
With no new release on the horizon, the fate of the Magic Eye Theater is left in limbo. The Big Hero 6 preview is closed and many believe that Captain EO won’t be returning as that would require a digital upgrade to the aged film’s 70mm prints. It’s time to play the waiting game again until perhaps the new Tomorrowland film preview.
The Starcade is also behind walls again as the Big Hero 6 meet and greet is removed.
- Magic Eye Theatre: Closed indefinitely.
The classic Matterhorn Bobsleds is down again for its annual, 6 month refurbishment. Rumors point to updated animatronics for the Yeti and a redressing of the show scenes. What we are all really praying for are new bobsleds that aren’t so painful.
- Matterhorn Bobsleds: Closed for refurbishment, reopens May 16.
it’s a small world
The charming boat ride around the world is down at the moment to remove the holiday overlay. This will be a short turnaround as the ride is scheduled to return by next week.
- “it’s a small world”: Closed through February 5 to remove holiday overlay.
Critter Country Closed
With Splash Mountain under refurbishment, there is little reason to go into Critter Country. Or so thinks TDA as they seize the opportunity to refurbish the entire land while the tentpole attraction is down.
- Critter Country, including Splash Mountain: All Critter Country attractions, stores and restaurants are closed for refurbishment and will reopen April 3, 2015.
Haunted Mansion Returns
Haunted Mansion finally returned to its spooky self and is accepting guests once more. All has pretty much returned to normal save for one strange addition just past the attic scene.
As the Doombuggy slowly travels through the attic it passes the killer bride and begins to venture out to the ledge overlooking the graveyard. Now, to the right of the track, is an obviously temporary wall, strangely close to the track. On this wall is a faux window with what appears to be a lenticular depiction of one of the bat sconces from the portrait hallway. The area is far too dark to photograph without a flash. We shot regular and night-vision video to share the finding with you. Could this wall be hiding the preparations to bring the long-rumored Hatbox Ghost figure back into the mansion?
Refurb Round Up
- Snow White Grotto and Wishing Well: Closed for refurbishment. Reopens May 1.
- Disneyland Railroad: Closed through February 12 for refurbishment.
- Peter Pan’s Flight: Closes February 2 for refurbishment, reopening date unknown.
Disney California Adventure will not be left out of the Disneyland 60th Anniversary madness. The Carthay Circle Theater will get bejeweled as well to remind you that there is something special happening resort-wide.
World of Color – Celebrate! The Wonderful World of Walt Disney
In addition to the Carthay, a brand new addition of World of Color will debut to celebrate Disneyland’s Diamond Anniversary.
Opening May 22, 2015, “World of Color – Celebrate! The Wonderful World of Walt Disney” illuminates the night in a modern celebration of Walt and his dream of Disneyland.
Mickey Mouse will take guests on a fun-filled and inspirational journey through the unparalleled imagination of Walt Disney, exploring his decades-long legacy of memorable animated moments and the dream of Disneyland park.
Starting today, guests can see an extended sneak preview for the upcoming live-action film, Cinderella, complete with a magical sequence being shown exclusively in Disney Parks. The preview will run in the Bug’s Life theater through March 26th.
Grizzly Peak Airfield
The new Grizzly Peak airfield is under construction and it is clear they are very serious about redoing this once blandly themed area.
- Soarin’ Over California: Closed for refurbishment and enhancements. Reopens May 15.
- Taste Pilot’s Grill: Closed refurbishment and enhancements. Reopens March 13.
Boudin Bakery Tour
The Bakery “Tour” returned in a more self-guided iteration. The lobby area has been opened up, allowing restaurant guests to freely wander in and through the tour. The only remaining vestige of the original tour is the flat-screen near the entrance. It still dutifully plays the original introduction to anyone stopping to pay attention.
- Pacific Wharf Cafe: Closed for refurbishment. Reopens February 6
World of Color
The World of Color platforms are receiving some much needed upgrades and refurbishments in preparation for the new show this summer. The original World of Color will return mid-March.
- World of Color: Dark for refurbishment and enhancements. Reopens March 13.
- Redwood Creek Challenge Trail: Closed for refurbishment. Reopens March 3.
- Grizzly River Run: Closed January 20 for refurbishment. Reopening unknown.
- Boardwalk Bazaar, Point Mugu Tattoo, Sideshow Shirts: Closed through February 12 for refurbishment.
- Ariel’s Grotto: Closes February 2 for refurbishment, reopening date unknown.
- Blue Sky Cellar: Closed indefinitely.
There you have it. What are your thoughts on the both anniversary offerings? Are you excited to see what is coming? Do you think that there should have been more? Will you be visiting the parks during the off-season? Tell us in the comments below.
And don’t forget to join us for MiceChat Anniversary weekend – You’ll find both free and paid events at the link – Information HERE.
The first 400 guests to join us for the noon meet at Disneyland’s central hub on Sunday the 8th of February get a free enamel pin. Follow the link for information on how you can also win a $25 Amazon Gift Card!