It's time again for Dateline Disneyland. This week we'll check in on the ever-progressing Disney's California Adventure makeover including World of Color, Paradise Park, The Little Mermaid, and Cars Land. We'll also get a first glimpse at Disney's newest Princess, Tiana as she prepares to come home to Disneyland this fall in a new parade in New Orleans Square.
Of course, you can track the progress of the projects you see in this week's update by clicking on the photos with Project Tracker watermarks. MiceChat's Project Trackers are where you can find the latest news and discussion on the current projects going on around the Disneyland Resort.
WELCOME TO DISNEYLAND!
Disney has released publicity photos of Princess Tiana, from Disney's upcoming The Princess and the Frog, as she will be seen in Disney's theme parks.
Disney will soon be auditioning for Tiana's Showboat Jubilee!, an all-new daily cavalcade through New Orleans Square and aboard the Mark Twain Riverboat. Al Lutz broke the news on the show earlier this May:
The entertainment plan is to debut a 20 minute Mardi Gras style mini-parade and musical show called Tiana's Showboat Jubilee that will perform four or five times per day this November and December. The Showboat Jubilee will start as a procession of two dozen jazzy musicians, dancers and performers in the back alleys of New Orleans Square, marching and celebrating and encouraging people to parade along with them down to the riverfront. When the growing procession finally heads out of New Orleans Square and down towards the water, the Mark Twain will depart from its dock and steam towards the bend in the river in front of New Orleans Square.
On board the Mark Twain for each show will be 50 specially selected park visitors, no doubt picked by the roving scouts because they were wearing one of those "Celebrate" buttons that are de rigueur for any Disneyland visitor nowadays. Along with the hand selected tourist families hanging along the riverboat's railings pounding tambourines and waving flags will be Tiana herself, plus her prince and Louis the singing alligator and comic relief in the movie. The rowdy procession and the Mark Twain will both stop alongside each other at the river's edge, and a 7 minute musical show takes place that is predictably heavy on audience participation and dancing.
Once the show is over, the procession heads back into New Orleans Square and the Mark Twain blasts its whistle and steams on for the rest of its trip around the river. The 50 guests on the Mark Twain will then get a special meet n' greet time with Tiana and her characters while the Mark Twain makes its way back to the dock.
Brady MacDonald at the Los Angeles Times' Funland blog confirmed the new show last week:
As the “second-line” procession reaches the Rivers of America dock, a group of pre-selected theme park visitors will board the waiting riverboat (the Mark Twain at Disneyland and the Liberty Belle at Disney World) where Princess Tiana and other “The Princess and the Frog” characters will greet them.
After departing, the riverboat will stop along the riverfront for a performance including songs from the film. The show will be repeated several times a day, with viewing areas along the waterfront.
Below, Princess Tiana poses with Tony Award winner Anika Noni Rose (left), who provided the voice for Princess Tiana in the upcoming film.
Time to hop into Disney's California Adventure to check in on the park's $1 billion makeover and expansion.
GRAND CALIFORNIAN HOTEL GAS LEAK HALTS TRAFFIC
Only a day after the pizza oven fire scare, construction workers hit a gas line at the Grand Californian, causing traffic to be halted between the Grand Californian and Paradise Pier Hotels on Disneyland Drive. Luckily, the incident wasn't major, and the Hotel guests were unaffected.
The union released the tally totals today: 92 percent cast votes against the proposal yesterday.
Exactly 1,079 of the current 2,100 rank-and-file union members that wash dishes, clean rooms and wait tables at the three Disney-owned hotels in the resort voted on the contract proposal at the Disneyland Hotel, said Unite Here 11 President Tom Walsh.
Only 89 voted in favor of the proposal.
“It was quite an overwhelming rejection by a majority of 92 percent — a much higher percentage than what I predicted,” Walsh said. “Hopefully, this will be something that helps break the gridlock.”
The dispute centers on health-care premiums: Disney wants to ease Unite Here workers into Disney Signature, a group of seven plans that require varying degrees of employee contributions. The union wants to keep the status quo where Disney pays into a union trust that provides health care at virtually no cost to the workers — co-pays and prescription drugs are only a few dollars.
This dispute has been running for 18 months, ever since the old Unite Here contract ended.
MORE SOURCES TALK ABOUT CAPTAIN EO RETURN
And finally, the OC Weekly reported that their sources are confirming that a HalloweenTime return for Captain EO, Michael Jackson's campy 3D space movie will return to Tomorrowland in time for Disneyland's HalloweenTime. Al Lutz first broke the Captain EO news in his July 28 MiceAge column.
DISHNEY: INSIDER SAYS CAPTAIN EO WILL BE BACK
Good news--kind of. Depending on who or what you want to believe, the Weekly has received an inside tip that the 3D space-y alien thriller starring Michael Jackson will indeed be returning to its former home at Tomorrowland just in time for Halloween festivities and that park officials have been keeping mum on the event just for the element of surprise (and hype).
The tip reads:
"Actually, I was in the theater last Friday, spoke with staff who had said that they ARE in fact planning a return of Captain EO. The creative staff (Imagineering) had been in the theater the day before to see how they could quickly install the old show before Halloween time.
My guess is that they are remaining silent on this issue to keep the element of surprise and to keep the park from being over run if they announce it too early.
Keep in mind, the show closed in 1998 at Disneyland, five years after any allegations. So that was not a factor in it leaving. It was an old show at the time.
A return right now is the perfect choice for Disney because now Michael Jackson is relevant again and there will be a draw. The show will still hold up and will be more well received than Honey I shrunk the Audience. This gives them time to plan a NEW show that will eventually be installed into the theater."
Nice! Now: Can you imagine the lines?? (But, of course, we'll probably be there anyway. We waited three hours for the Nemo submarine, after all.)
Okay - that should wrap up this week's Dateline Disneyland. Thank you for reading - be sure to discuss the column in the comment section below!
Don't forget that MiceAge and MiceChat has loads of new content weekly! If Dateline Disneyland isn't enough to satisfy your Disneyland itch, then don't miss David "Darkbeer" Michael'sIn the Parks column which runs here every Friday and is packed full of Southern California theme park news, photos, and gossip. And if you want even more Disney theme park goodness, don't miss MiceChat's Weekend Update, which takes a look at Disney theme parks and other international landmarks, curiosities, and oddities every Saturday!
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See you here again soon! -Andy
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