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.

Tomorrowplan Crowd Estimates for Disneyland Resort from Mouseaddict


January 30 – Febuary 5

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  • To prepare for the anniversary, even more attractions are closed this week, including the Disneyland Railroad and it’s a small world.
  • Look even further into the future with Tomorrowplan crowd projections in the Mouseaddict app.

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

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!

Join a select group of animation superstars with a casual and fun MiceChat 10th Anniversary cocktail party at the lovely Anabella Hotel, located just steps away from the Disneyland Resort. We’ll have a brief discussion with the animators about 2-D and 3-D animation, past and future. Then we’ll enjoy a night of drinks, nibbles, and interaction with some of the most creative folks in the Animation industry!

SIGN UP FOR ANIMATE THE NIGHT HERE

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.
This enchanted morning will last from 9am until 1:30pm and will include a light breakfast of fresh fruit and assorted bagels as well as a delightful lunch of apple walnut salad, truffle mac and cheese with broccoli, and a delicious grilled beef tri tip with mashed potatoes and assorted desserts. Twelve lucky attendees can upgrade to the “VIP Package”, which offers VIP front row seating as well as a keepsake gift signed by our special guests. SIGN UP FOR AMAZEMENT SATURDAY HERE
After the morning sessions we will head into DCA for a day of play including a scavenger hunt and one of our famous trivia contests with fabulous prizes sponsored by Fairy Godmother Travel.
FREE DCA scavenger hunt event from MiceChat and D23 during MiceChat Anniversary weekend. Come join us at 3:30 on Saturday, February 7th for a one hour quest celebrating the upcoming D23 Expo. There will be all sorts of surprises along the way. It’s free, but you’ll need to sign up to participate. Don’t miss out, lots of great prizes! SIGN UP FOR THE D23 CHALLENGE FOR FREE HERE – JUST A FEW SPOTS LEFT

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.

TICKETS AND INFORMATION FOR THE MICECHAT ANNIVERSARY HERE

MiceChat Anniversary Hotel Offer

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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.

Find out all the details of the event here!

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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.

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© Disney

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.

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Concept of the Disneyland Forever Fireworks show. © Disney

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.

Off Season

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.

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Stroller and Wheelchair Rental

Just outside the front gates of Disneyland, the stroller and wheelchair rental facility is still under refurbishment.

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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.

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We’re pretty sure the gardens in Kansas don’t have this sort of color right now. It’s not too late to book a flight folks . . . it’s BEAUTIFUL in California right now!!!

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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.

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With so many projects going on, you can get a rare look behind the magic as refurbishment is happening in full view in many places.

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  • 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.

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The Starcade is also behind walls again as the Big Hero 6 meet and greet is removed.

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  • Magic Eye Theatre: Closed indefinitely.

Matterhorn Bobsleds

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.

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  • Matterhorn Bobsleds: Closed for refurbishment, reopens May 16.

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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.

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  • “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.

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  • 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.

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They need to plant some new trees and bushes on the berm behind the Mansion, the safety railings and show building are becoming increasingly visible as the old trees have been removed.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

Cinderella Preview

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.

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Wednesday morning over half of the surface treatment has already been removed.

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  • 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.

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This is the only remaining Rosie.

 

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This is an interactive quiz.

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Additional seating has been set up for diners grabbing their bread bowl of soup.

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  • 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.

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  • World of Color: Dark for refurbishment and enhancements. Reopens March 13.

 Refurb Round-up

  • 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!

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  • FerretAfros

    Didn’t it’s a small world have a printed scrim a week or two ago? Any word why they swapped it out for a plain one?

    And any update on the 60th exhibit in Innoventions? Is that still a thing? I noticed that the big event this week made no indication of anything like that being in the pipeline

    • MyFriendtheAtom

      no fantasyland refurbs announced either and with no Luigis replacement theres officially no new Attractions announced

      • KittyKatta

        Exactly. As excited as I am for the new parade, theres nothing really “new” announced and it feels like Disney is relying far too much on flashy lights rather than Imagineered attractions. And that feels a bit hollow considering they are trying to celebrate 60 years of Walts dream.

      • TacAlert

        Disney knows they offered nothing new. But they also know everyone will still come, especially APs.

      • BuckyRister

        Cause all hell is gonna break loose after the 60th has wrapped up…coming from a galaxy far, far away.

    • DanO

      I looked back at last week’s post and it had the same wrap that’s there. But I do remember something. It may have been on the higher-back parts. Small World isn’t just getting the holiday overlay removed. They wouldn’t normally cover it for that. The facade is getting some TLC and a fresh coat of paint during the process. No doubt to make it pretty for the 60th and the Forever projection mappings.

  • Larry Parker

    I hope the castle swans return as the upcoming decorated castle pic portrays. They’ve been gone a long time now.

  • DCAPAPA

    The big question is, “Will DLR EVER get a new ride?” It’s been 3 years and there is nothing coming in site. If WDW went 3 years without a new attraction, they would be screaming in Orlando. Well, DLR is looking at at least 7 years without a new ride. Absolutely unprecedented in this modern age of theme parks. I don’t understand the complete abandonment of any development by Disney in Anaheim. Not even a single new ride!!!!!
    I really hope USH really lands a big blow to DLR over the next few years, but the problem is, I’m not sure Disney would even care. They seem to have no interest for their Anaheim resort anymore. It’s all about Orlando and Asia.

    • KittyKatta

      That is exactly what a lot of “Frozen Defenders” are missing when they try to argue back at the “whiners”. We get it, Frozen is a mega hit and deserves a place in the parks. But what we are getting is the absolutely cheapest and un-imagineered versions of Frozen possible. And the more cheap stuff you cram in the less truly “Imagineered” stuff that gets pushed away.

      Sing-Alongs. Cardboard cutouts of the same stale artwork. Video Clips. New “Events” that are just Carbon Copied from other parks. Recycled parade floats.

      These aren’t displays of what the Imagineers are capable of. These are quick, short sighted responses to an unexpected hit. And the awful lesson being learned here by Disney accountants is that they don’t have to spend money to get crowds. (And you know our ticket prices are set to make a jump soon so what exactly are we paying more for?)

    • Algernon

      But they *have* put in new stuff: Club 33 Land, Safety Railing Land, Pixar Cartoon Land (formerly Tomorrowland), Removed Classic Rides Replaced With Nothing Land, and Price Hike Land.

    • ayalexander

      You people are just so overly dramatic. Its only been three years since a new ride. Also the parking situation has worsened so before they add a new ride which will boost attendance again, they know they have to fix the parking problem, on top of that, Disneyland Park and Disney California Adventure have more rides than any Disney Theme Park in the world, and combined, those two SoCal parks have more rides than in all of Walt Disney World. And all the rides they have currently, are still popular, which means Disney does not have a financial need for a new attraction. It makes more sense at the moment to focus the money on the parking situation. Go to business school people.

      • KittyKatta

        “Overly Dramatic”?

        When talking to friends who are casual Disney Park visitors then I’m very quick to defend Disney also. But on boards like this where we’re all a bit too nutty for Disney then I think we should drop the defenses and be more honest about what is missing from the parks rather than calling people “Overly Dramatic” for pointing out some pretty hard truths.

        Even though I’m one of the people complaining about the lack of “New” things at Disneyland, my annoyance has less to do with getting something new than it does with getting precipices as if something new was coming. And so far, guests have been paying more for profits than for experience.

    • Disneyobsession

      I somewhat agree with you because yes WDC has neglected DLR way more than WDW or any of their Asia parks, but you do have to remember that new attractions aren’t the best thing for DLR. Just look at Knotts or SFMM, they both get new attractions almost every year, but does that boost their attendance very far? No. What makes DLR light-years away from other theme parks is their QUALITY. Now I’m aware that DLR announced nothing new for their 60th, but they did announce quality improvements, which once again, is key to Disney’s success. So with that note, I’m glad DLR is deciding to focus on quality opposed to quantity. And regarding the Asia parks, WDC may have just made a bad bet with Shanghai Disney, because as it stands now, China’s economy is rapidly slowing down due to falling manufacturing orders and with a plummeting real estate market.

  • DubiousEndeavors

    I always really liked the theme in Condor Flats, especially the buildings. Its the high desert, there really isn’t much scenery. Carthay Circle is going to look great with the 60th decorations!

  • jcruise86

    THANK YOU, Norm!

    Disney, please bring out the Yeti from the AK
    and put it on the ground at the end of one side of the Matterhorn in a little cave.
    Put in a lightweight Yeti into Everest
    (wrote the Micehatter who had no idea what he was writing about! :))

    Would the MK’s Philharmagic work in the Captain EO theater?

    Bob Iger & Thomas Staggs are in denial about Disneyland’s Tomorrowland.
    Remove entrance rocks,
    move Astro-orbiter back atop the Peoplemover bldg.,
    & put in a new Peoplemover.
    Then return to me for further instructions.

    Or just build the amazing Star Wars Tomorrowland
    that we Micechatters know nothing about.

  • TacAlert

    Interesting in the picture of the castle, the new handrails are not pictured, as far as I can see.

    The celebration is for Disneyland, not DCA.

    With all the “safety” protection put in at DL, it is surprising to see the construction workers walking around on the Matterhorn track with no railings to protect them from falling.

    • Algernon

      I noticed that there were no handrails, as well. I would hope that maybe they plan to get rid of them, but we know better than that. Things only go one way…

    • Lobot

      Also notice that the newly added safety railings from the bridge/drawbridge are absent. I’m guessing this rendering was done a while ago? That, or the illustrator was just being a bit lazy (those fine repetitive details are tedious to paint!)

  • 22branch

    I really don’t understand why DLR isn’t moving forward on any Marvel or Star Wars attractions. We don’t need an entire land, just give us something. I love Disneyland of the past but it’s time to give us something modern and new. When I was a kid the Eisner era brought us Star Tours, Captain EO, Splash Mountain, and Indiana Jones. I LOVE all of those attractions. It’s time to bring something new to the park besides parades and fireworks. My Overall 60th opinion…mew.

    • They are most certainly moving forward on both Marvel and Star Wars for all of their resorts. The fact that they haven’t announced any concrete plans may make folks feel like nothing is being done, but there is a massive effort going on right now to prepare new lands and attractions all over the world. I wish it was all coming sooner, but Disney doesn’t do big attractions quickly. They’ll take their time, but what they’ll deliver will drive millions of new visitors to the parks.

      I do think that they’ll have some things to announced in time for the D23 Expo that will delight the fans and create a media frenzy.

  • johntodd

    The one-floated thought of turning Tomorrowland into a “Star Wars” land was brilliant. Even putting just a Millennium Falcon set piece on top of the Peoplemover platform would be a spectacular visual that could reinvigorate the land. The Star Wars property is just going to waste right now, and it looks like they’re going to follow the “Frozen” marketing plan with the new Star Wars movies… wait to see if it’s a hit before waiting another year to take advantage of it.

    In Facebook parlance, SMH…

  • Skimbob

    So are we stuck looking at the shrouded castle until May 22. If so why didn’t they wait to get started until May. It can’t possibly take that long for the little bit they are doing.

    That is strange about the painted scrim being gone now in front of IASW. It was originally blank. I am thinking they must be getting close to uncovering the back part of the facade since it has been behind a white scrim since at least Star Wars weekend when I was there.

    • DanO

      I can’t imagine the scaffolding is going to be on the castle until May. My thoughts are they’re just getting the infrastructure in place and fresh paint. The decor will probably go on as easily as the Christmas decor and that will come in the first few weeks of May.

      • Aladdin

        For the 50th, some of the gold was painted ahead of time, HOWEVER the main features, the 5 gold crowns were all placed on the cast overnight. I wouldn’t anticipate see much, if any, of the diamond decorations, prior to May 22nd.

  • RSZero1

    My daughter noted the other day – Frozen had Arendale (sp?) added to the story book canal, but why not Repunzel’s tower? Merida’s Castle or the mystic stone circle? Tiana’s restaurant? It’s something small as well, but would be a lovely addition.

    Its little things like these that seem to be missed opportunities…

  • tooncity

    Save Roger Rabbit Cartoon Spin from being removed for Wookkies, Ewoks and Jar-Jar Binks. I’d give up the rest of toon-town, but there’s no reason to remove a Popular attraction. I don’t want to hear about how it wouldn’t fit the Star Wars theme surrounding it. Hog Wash! Disney has plopped down many attractions in the WRONG area over the years.

    Winnie the Pooh in Critter Country
    American Sings in Tomorrowland
    Buzz Lightyear in Tomorrowland
    Pirates Lair on Tom Sawyer Island

    Little Mermaid in San Francisco-land DCA
    Donald Duck in Mexico Epcot
    Sorcerers Hat in-front of the Chinese theater Disney Studios

    There’s more that I’m missing, but Save Roger from Judge Doom (Iger the Terrible). I think I miss Michael Eisner (Star Tours, Splash Mtn, Toontown, Fantasmic, Indiana Jones- all within 5 years). Nobody built like that since Walt.

    • gracin7

      Some of those attractions you say don’t fit their areas are actually in the right spots specifically Pirates Lair which while it does not fit the Tom Sawyer theme, it is a great addition and if it did not have the name of Tom Sawyer attached to it then there would be no complaint.
      Buzz lightyear definitely fits in tomorrow land, while its not necessarily futuristic the made up world where he is from is similar to any futuristic world which is what the ride is sort of based on.
      And Donald Duck is most definitely fit to be in Mexico at Epcot. Have you seen the movie The Three Caballeros? Its a film that even premeired in Mexico and has Donald in it as a main character…

      • tooncity

        You missed the point. Try actually reading it. The POINT was in defense.

  • ejw

    Disney Parks Blog is finally hinting that “something” is coming to the Haunted Mansion…

    “What’s Hiding Inside the Haunted Mansion at Disneyland Park?”
    http://disneyparks.disney.go.com/blog/2015/01/chilling-challenge-whats-hiding-inside-the-haunted-mansion-at-disneyland-park/

  • Susan Hughes

    All Disneyland Resort Cast Members will be getting new name tags for the 60th. I’m guessing it will have a diamond look to it. Does anybody know what the 50th anniversary name tags looked like?

  • griglager

    “The Starcade is also behind walls again as the Big Hero 6 meet and greet is removed.”

    But…they had already taken out the Big Hero 6 meet and greet a week prior to closing Starcade again; had the arcade games aligning the back wall.

    …preparations to reopen the upper level perhaps??

  • TweedlDum9

    Susan the 50th nametags were gold and had the year you were hired.

  • pineapplewhipaddict

    I’m going to keep hoping that they do something about those brutal bobsleds. I don’t know of a single person that wants to ride the attraction anymore BECAUSE of those bobsleds. Once in a blue moon I tough it out but thoroughly regret it afterwards.

    I firmly believe that the Hatbox Ghost is waiting behind that funny lenticular facade. I wonder how long we have to wait before he materializes?

    I can’t wait to see the redwood area expanded. I have a feeling it’s going to be beautiful – far more pleasing to the eye than a bland desert.