Holiday crowds turned out for Valentine’s Day and the long President’s Day weekend as Disneyland continues various refurbishment and enhancement projects in both theme parks. In Disney California Adventure, Luigi’s Flying Tires closes permanently today and Walt Disney Imagineering will soon get to work on transforming the unsuccessful attraction into an all-new experience. Meanwhile, work continues transforming Condor Flats into the new Grizzly Peak Airfield and in Disneyland, the Innoventions Dream Home is being gutted to make way for something new.

Don’t miss your weekly Disneyland Resort crowd forecast — provided by our friends at MouseAddict — in the Weekly News and Information Roundup at the end of today’s update!

It’s another busy week at Disneyland, so kick back, relax and enjoy your holiday with today’s Disneyland update.

Welcome to Disneyland!

Valentine’s Day and President’s Day weekend crowds hit the parks this weekend

Mini rose trees in Town Square planters. A nice touch.

The Market House (and Fiddler, Fifer and Practical Cafe in Disney California Adventure) are still out of the new Starbucks “You Are Here” mugs and acrylic tumblers, but they do have new ceramic hot drink tumblers available.

The new ceramic tumblers are $19.95 each.

The warm weather means a beautiful early spring on Buena Vista Street



Flat Tires

In Cars Land, Luigi’s Flying Tires will fly for its last time today, Monday, February 16. Disney confirmed the ride will close permanently at the end of the day today to allow work to get underway on installing a new ride which, as Disney has said, will “feature a new ride system and ride vehicles.”

Al Lutz first reported back in 2013 on remote-controlled vehicles being added to Luigi’s Flying Tires to help push the flying tires around. That plan has seemingly evolved into new WiFi-controlled trackless vehicles replacing the tires altogether, which was reported in a September 2014 MiceAge Update:

The current plan is to replace the Flying Tires and the oddball and easily overlooked “Festival of the Flying Tires” backstory with a new attraction that removes the need for the riders to steer their own vehicles. A fleet of 1950’s Fiat cars, ostensibly Luigi’s extended family visiting from the old country, will spin and twirl around the floor in a choreographed musical production number in the new ride tentatively called “Luigi’s Festival of the Dance”.

The new ride will keep the existing tire showroom building and indoor queue, and use a version of the WiFi controlled system that guides autonomous vehicles through the Ratatouille ride at Disneyland Paris and Mystic Manor at Hong Kong Disneyland. The massive fans and deep basement that powered the Flying Tires ride system will be put into mothballs, while the new ride is built literally on its grave.

It’s a shame Luigi’s Flying Tires couldn’t deliver a worthwhile experience. Not only did enlarging Disneyland’s classic one-seater Flying Saucers to three-person tires weigh on the fun factor but the ride came along with a sharp learning curve that riders were expected to tackle in a short two-minute ride. No simple flat ride should require this much instructional signage:

In addition to all of the signage, riders had to listen to a Cast Member spiel about how to properly board and operate their tire before boarding. The loading area even included a tire ride vehicle parked so riders could practice boarding a tire before actually having to do it for real.

Take a ride on Luigi’s Flying Tires in our video below:

Getting Ready to Dazzle

The parks continue to get ready for the big 60th Anniversary before it kicks off in late-May.

Full Steam Ahead

The Disneyland Railroad has reopened but riders will notice that the Primeval World diorama is covered while it gets some much-needed TLC.

Shine Bright Like A Diamond

At the end of Main Street, Sleeping Beauty Castle remains behind scaffolding and tarps while the icon gets repainted and decorated for the park’s 60th Anniversary celebration.

If you look closely you can see glimpses of the new color scheme coming to the castle. Looks like it’ll be significantly toned down in comparison to the bright pink-and-blue color scheme that was added 10 years ago for the park’s 50th anniversary.

Snow White Grotto is still open but the waterfall isn’t running and the whole scene needs some work.

Fixing Up Fantasyland

In Fantasyland, Peter Pan’s Flight is closed through early May for refurbishment and enhancements.

Matterhorn Bobsleds are also closed through mid-May for refurbishment and enhancements

And in the back of Fantasyland, “it’s a small world” continues to operate while its facade gets a much-needed refurbishment.

Hibernating

Critter Country and all of its attractions and shops remain closed through early April while Splash Mountain and Hungry Bear Restaurant get major refurbishments.

Views at work from the Mark Twain

Hungry Bear Restaurant work

Recalibrating

In Tomorrowland, the Innoventions Dream Home had suddenly and quietly closed just days before last week’s blog post. In just a week, the Dream Home’s common areas seemed mostly-gutted, with just a few large digital picture frames, a couple arm chairs and some rugs leftover.

Good bye, Elias family.

The Dream Home’s closure comes less than a month after a MiceChat Editor’s Note reported on a rumor that the Innoventions Dream Home would close and be transformed into a big exhibition space celebrating Disneyland’s 60th Anniversary.

The February 10th MiceAge Update noted that the Marvel exhibits and meet-and-greets would also close soon for enhancements.

Will the Inventions building begin turning and use its unused preshow areas again when the attraction reopens with new and upgraded offerings for the 60th?

Meanwhile, the Starcade and Magic Eye Theater are still closed following the closure of their Big Hero 6-related offerings.

Flatlined

Over in Disney California Adventure, Condor Flats continues its transformation into the new Grizzly Peak Airfield.

Work continues on the desert rocks at the land’s entrance.

Note the new green-and-brown color scheme on Taste Pilot’s Grill, which is rumored to get a new dance floor and bandstand inside as well as be renamed Smoke Jumpers Grill

Work of Color

Over in Paradise Bay, World of Color is still undergoing its big refurbishment and enhancement project to get that show’s infrastructure ready for the new “World of Color: Celebrate!” show, which will debut in May as part of Disneyland’s 60th anniversary.

The lighting pits along Paradise Bay are getting new paint as well…

Compare the new brighter colors with the old…

Dry Run

Meanwhile, Grizzly River Run remains closed through mid-March.

Nearby, the Redwood Creek Challenge Trail should reopen early next month following its refurbishment.

The Challenge Trail’s marquee is back in place…

Hotel Happenings

Over at the Disneyland Hotel, work continues on the hotel’s new fall safety additions.

And work continued over the weekend on finishing up the Monorail pool’s refurbishment.

Merch Madness

In Disney California Adventure’s Hollywood Land, the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror now has a full line of “Hollywood Tower Hotel” signature merchandise, similar to the recent Haunted Mansion and Adventureland lines.

Pillow front…

…and back

Luggage tag

Coaster

This & That

Back in Disneyland, the Main Street Opera House has been closed recently while Disneyland Resort Cast Members attend screenings of a new film about the story of Disneyland. Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln and the Disney Gallery exhibit are not open to regular park guests while these Cast-only presentations take place.


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Weekly News & Information Round-Up
Weekly Theme Park Hours
February 16-22, 2015
[B]Disneyland Park[/B] [B]California Adventure[/B]
Monday: 8 am – 12 am
Tue.-Thu.: 9 am – 11 pm
Fri.-Sun.: 8 am – 12 am
Monday: 8 am – 10 pm
Tue.-Thu: 9 am – 8 pm
Fri.-Sun.: 8 am – 10 pm
[CENTER]For a complete listing of theme park hours,
visit the Disneyland.com Theme Park Calendar
[/CENTER]
[center]Closure and Refurbishment Schedule[/center]
[b][center]Disneyland Park[/center][/b]
  • Matterhorn Bobsleds: Closed for refurbishment, reopens May 16.
  • Snow White Grotto and Wishing Well: Originally scheduled to be closed for refurbishment until May 1 but is open but water features are not fully functional.
  • Critter Country, including Splash Mountain: All Critter Country attractions, stores and restaurants are closed for refurbishment and will reopen April 3, 2015.
  • 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 May 22, 2015.
  • Disneyland Railroad: Closed for refurbishment. Reopens February 13.
  • “it’s a small world”: Closed to remove holiday overlay. Reopens February 6.
  • Peter Pan’s Flight: Closed for refurbishment and enhancements. Reopens May 8.
  • Magic Eye Theatre: Closed indefinitely.
[b][center]Disney California Adventure[/center][/b]
  • Ariel’s Grotto Restaurant: Closed for refurbishment. Reopens February 28.
  • Soarin’ Over California: Closed for refurbishment and enhancements. Reopens May 15.
  • Taste Pilot’s Grill: Closed refurbishment and enhancements. Reopens March 13.
  • World of Color: Dark for refurbishment and to upgrade infrastructure for new show. Reopens March 13.
  • Redwood Creek Challenge Trail: Closed for refurbishment. Reopens March 3.
  • Grizzly River Run: Closed for refurbishment. Reopens March 20.
  • Luigi’s Flying Tires: Closed starting February 17 for re-Imagineering into new attraction. Reopening not yet announced.
  • It’s Tough to be a Bug!: Dark while theater is used for “Cinderella” sneak peek.
  • Muppet*Vision 3D: Dark indefinitely while theater is used for Frozen-themed show.
  • [B]Blue Sky Cellar:[/B] Closed indefinitely.
[b][center]Downtown Disney and Disneyland Resort Hotels[/center][/b]
  • Grand Californian Hotel – Mariposa Spa: Closed for refurbishment February 9-11.
Tomorrowplan Crowd Estimates for Disneyland Resort from Mouseaddict

February 16 – 22

Mon
Tue
Wed
Thu
Fri
Sat
Sun

  • Despite the high number of refurbs, the wonderful warm weather has kept the entrance gates humming during this “off season!” We expect a small dip this week with cooler temps and maybe a little rain toward the weekend.
  • The Happy Lunar New Year Celebration begins on Thursday at California Adventure, and we expect that to tick up the Addictometer just a bit.
  • Look into the future with crowd projections two weeks in advance with the Tomorrowplan feature, only 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.

[center]Headline Roundup
A quick look at noteworthy Disney theme park headlines from around the web.[/center]
  • Celebrate Gospel will return to Disneyland in Big Thunder Ranch Jamboree on February 21. (Disney Parks Blog)
  • The Mad T Party will return to Disney California Adventure in May as part of Disneyland’s 60th Anniversary celebration (Disney Parks Blog)
Alright, that wraps up this week’s edition of Dateline Disneyland. Did you get your last ride on Luigi’s Flying Tires over the weekend? What do you think of the new paint colors appearing on Sleeping Beauty Castle? Let us know in our newly-upgraded comments section below!

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For more Disneyland news, be sure to read MiceChat’s weekly In the Parks blog. And be sure to check out our sister blog, Dateline Disney World – a fantastic weekly photo blog covering Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida!

Thanks for reading. See you at Disneyland!
[B]- Andy[/B]

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FTC-Mandated Disclosure: Promotional consideration for this edition of Dateline Disneyland was provided by the Howard Johnson Plaza Hotel & Water Playground.