View RSS Feed

Dateline Disneyland

Captain EO returns to Tomorrowland, Rivers of America, Red Car Tracks, DCA work, MORE

Rate this Entry
by , 02-28-2010 at 06:52 PM
Welcome again to Dateline Disneyland. The big news last week was the much-anticipated return of the 1986 Michael Jackson 3D musical spectacular Captain EO. With "Honey, I Shrunk the Audience" evicted from Tomorrowland, Captain EO has returned for a limited engagement along with a line of nostalgic merchandise. Meanwhile, as the rest of Disneyland continues through its winter off-season refurbishments, Disney's California Adventure makes progress with its $1 billion expansion and remodel. New tracks for the upcoming Red Car Trolleys have been laid in the Hollywood Pictures Backlot, and construction continues on Cars Land and various Paradise Pier attractions including the massive Disney's World of Color nighttime water spectacular and the Paradise Park viewing area.

Thanks to our photographers this week: Mac Daddy, scorsese, Fishbulb, and Brian "Splashmoun10" Rechenmacher.

For more information on any of the construction projects featured in today's update, just look for a Project Tracker water mark and click that photo for more information on the project and to join the on-going discussion.

Inside Dateline Disneyland

Disney's press release has details on the classic show:

'Captain EO' Returns to Disneyland Park
Classic Attraction Featuring Michael Jackson Now Open

ANAHEIM, Calif. (Feb. 23, 2010) – “Captain EO,” the classic musical spectacular that thrilled Disneyland park guests from 1986-1997, is now open at Disneyland. The attraction’s return to Tomorrowland provides new audiences the opportunity to experience the original 3D production for the very first time, as well as a nostalgic look back for longtime fans wanting to see “The King of Pop” in a rare performance created for the big-screen.

Twenty-three years ago, at the height of his phenomenal entertainment career, Michael Jackson joined forces with Disney, producer George Lucas and director Francis Ford Coppola to create a groundbreaking 17-minute 3D film experience starring Jackson as Captain EO performing two original songs, and featuring Academy Award®-winning actress Anjelica Huston, and a cast of merry, mythical space characters with dual personalities who undergo magical transformations to become Jackson's electronic band in conquering the forces of darkness.

The colorful Disney-created characters include: Hooter, the little green elephant-like creature who sneezes wild musical notes through his flute-like trunk; Fuzzball, the orange-haired space monkey with butterfly wings; the Geex, a golden-haired, two-faced personality with two left feet, one right foot and two shaggy heads named Idy and Ody; Major Domo, whose mirrored silver costume becomes a complete set of drums, and Minor Domo with his sparkling purple torso that turns into an electronic synthesizer played by Hooter.

For all its technology, “Captain EO” is first and foremost a musical spectacular and a thrilling space-fantasy adventure. The realism of the 3D process will once again make it seem that Jackson dances right out of the screen into the theater. While it’s not possible to replicate some of the special effects elements from the original presentation, it will boast a new 70mm print of the film and sound better than ever thanks to acoustical enhancements made to the theater since the film last played there. The total effect is one of motion, color and high energy filled with Jackson’s musical brilliance and various illusions to create an exciting and realistic journey in space for the audience.

During the journey, Captain EO and his merry crew discover a colorless planet where they are confronted by the Supreme Leader (Huston) and her forces of darkness. Using the power of music, dance and light to fill the planet and the theater with all the shades of the rainbow, the EO crew turns the black and white land into a magical world of color and happiness.

“Captain EO” makes use of more famous-name talents than any other film of its length ever produced. The production called on Hollywood’s finest choreographers, set designers, costume creators and special effects artists – all of them excited by the challenge of shooting this kind of imaginative film in three dimensions.

It's great that even temporary attractions get treated to fancy new signage like the neon Captain EO marquee.

Captain EO shows now run continuously at Disneyland. No date has been set for the end of this attraction's limited engagement.

The beautiful new marquee glows blue at night.

And a line of Captain EO merchandise is available while supplies last at the Main Street Emporium, the Star Trader and Tomorrowlanding.

Work continues on the lengthy Rivers of America refurbishment.

Looks like the Indian Village has been cleared for some TLC during the River refurbishment.

Construction continues throughout California Adventure as the park undergoes a multi-year $1 billion remodel and expansion.

Lots of progress has been made on the installation of the Hollywood Pictures Backlot's stretch of Red Car Trolley tracks.

The Red Car route will travel from California Adventure's remodeled Buena Vista Street entrance down through the Hollywood Pictures Backlot, ending at the Hollywood Tower Hotel courtyard and is expected to open May 2012.


Construction continues on the new Little Mermaid E-Ticket ride that is scheduled to open spring of next year.

And more track continues to go in at the upcoming Radiator Springs Racers mega E-Ticket opening in 2012 as part of Cars Land.


Construction continues on the new wooden boardwalk beneath the Silly Symphony Swings...

And the Golden Zephyr is all wrapped up during its refurbishment.

California Adventure's Wine Country Trattoria is still closed while its refurbishment continues.

The Grand Californian's pool refurbishment seems to be wrapping up.

Work continues on some Downtown Disney facades.

And finally, work continues on the multi-phase Disneyland Hotel remodel.

Dateline Disneyland is sponsored by our good friends at the
Howard Johnson Plaza Hotel - Anaheim Resort.
A short walk from the park, HoJo Anaheim is conveniently located next to Disneyland with nearby dining and freeway access. For more information on HoJo Anaheim, room rates, or to book your stay today, visit

Rooms now available for as low as $59 per night!
Now through June, the HoJo Anaheim is offering deeper discounts for Disneyland Resort Annual Passholders! On select nights, Disneyland Resort Annual Passholders can get rooms for as low as $59 per night, plus tax. For more information visit the HoJo Anaheim Innsider Boards which features an up-to-date listing of available nights, or call (714) 776-6120 and ask for In-House Reservations to book. If your date isn't listed, the HoJo Anaheim still offers rooms for 20% off their best available rate if you call (714) 776-6120.

And we'll wrap up the photo section of today's update with some shots from around the park...

For a complete listing of theme park hours, please visit the Theme Park Calendar
Disneyland Park
Monday - Thursday: 10 am - 8 pm
Friday - Sunday: 8 am - 12 midnight

Disney's California Adventure Park
Monday - Thursday: 10 am - 6 pm
Friday - Saturday: 10 am - 9 pm
Sunday: 10 am - 10 pm

Disneyland Park
  • Matterhorn Bobsleds: Closed through March 11 for refurbishment. Closed again April 12 - 16, April 19 - 23
  • Tomorrowland Terrace: Restaurant closed through July 2 for refurbishment. Stage will remain open for shows and performances during restaurant closure.
  • Little Red Wagon: Popular Main Street corn dog cart will be closed through May 4 for refurbishment.
  • Disneyland Monorail: Closed April 19 and 20.
  • Big Thunder Mountain Railroad: Closed April 26 through May 16.
  • Rivers of America: Closed through May 6 for a major refurbishment. The closure of the river will result in the necessary closure of the following attractions:
    • Sailing Ship Columbia: Closed through May 6
    • Mark Twain Riverboat: Closed through May 6
    • Davy Crockett Explorer Canoes: Closed through May 6
    • Pirate's Lair on Tom Sawyer Island: Closed through May 14

  • King Arthur Carrousel: Closed May 8-10.

Disney's California Adventure Park
  • It's Tough to be a Bug! Closed for one day, March 8.
  • Golden Zephyr: Closed through April 2 for refurbishment.
  • Princess Dot's Puddle Park: Closed April 12-16, April 19-23 for refurbishment.
  • Redwood Creek Challenge Trail: Closed April 12 - May 20 for refurbishment.
  • Award Wieners: Closed through April 18.
  • Wine Country Trattoria: Closed through April 26.
  • Silly Symphony Swings: Orange Stinger is now closed for retheming. Reopens as the Silly Symphony Swings late April.
  • The Little Mermaid: Ariel's Undersea Adventure: Under construction.
  • Souvenir 66 and Corn Dog Castle: Store and dining location closed for remodeling through May 2011.
  • Disney's World of Color Nighttime Spectacular: New show under construction. Debuts Spring 2010.
  • Paradise Park: Former Golden State Amphitheater area is closed and a new, larger viewing area for Disney's World of Color viewing under construction in same location. The new viewing area is scheduled to open February 2010 as Paradise Park.

MiceChat 2010 Gumball Rally

When: May 1st, 2010
Where: Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, California

This year, relive the classic magic of Disneyland in a special way with MiceChat's "Classic" Gumball Rally! Team up with your favorite Disneylanders and embark on a journey through Walt Disney's original Magic Kingdom to find out which team can ride the most attractions at Disneyland Park in a single day! We're also offering a shorter and less competitive "Family" version of the event which is open to teams of all ages, whether or not they have kids. As an added bonus — MiceChat Gold members receive 20% off registration fees for a limited time!

Register your team today!

The MiceChat 2010 Gumball Rally is proudly sponsored by the Howard Johnson Plaza Hotel — Anaheim Resort which is offering deeply discounted rooms during Rally weekend, as well as free event parking! For more information about the Gumball Rally and how it works, visit

D23 recently announced a line-up of Disney stars and Legends who will join the Official Community for Disney Fans at the club's first anniversary party at Disneyland on March 10. In addition to the previously announced event features and special guests, Captain EO has been added to the attraction roster for this event. Avoid the weekend crowds and enjoy your own private D23 showings of this classic 80's attraction.

In addition to D23 Members — major stars in their own right! — the D23 First Anniversary Party at Disneyland will play host to a number of VIPs who have contributed significantly to Disney's legacy, including:

  • Bob Gurr. Named a Disney Legend in 2004 for his decades of innovative work at Walt Disney Imagineering, Bob specialized in vehicle design and worked on the designs of the Autopia automobiles and the antique cars and double-decker buses used on Main Street, U.S.A. He also played a lead role in the design of the Monorail, Matterhorn Bobsleds and Flying Saucers attractions and more.
  • Tony Baxter. A legendary Imagineer, Tony has played a key role in the design and creation of many Disney attractions and theme parks of the last 40 years, including Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, Splash Mountain, the Indiana Jones Adventure and the overall creative role for Disneyland Paris.
  • Kevin Corcoran. Named a Disney Legend in 2006, Kevin has enjoyed a long and distinguished acting career with Disney, starring in such classic films as Old Yeller, The Shaggy Dog, Swiss Family Robinson and more.
  • Bill Farmer. Named a Disney Legend at the inaugural D23 Expo in 2009, Bill's voice is familiar to cartoon fans around the world as the voice of Goofy and Pluto. He has also lent his talents to a long list of Disney favorites, including Who Framed Roger Rabbit and Beauty and the Beast and such Disney·Pixar films as a bug's life, Toy Story and Toy Story 2.
  • Margaret Kerry. Margaret was the original live-action model for Tinker Bell.
  • Dave Smith. Named a Disney Legend in 2007, Dave Smith, chief archivist, the Walt Disney Archives, founded the Disney Archives in 1970.
  • Dan Roebuck. For more than two decades Dan has enjoyed a successful acting career. He currently shines in the role of Dr. Leslie Arzt on the hit ABC series LOST.
  • David Stollery. Named a Disney Legend in 2006, David Stollery enjoyed a solid acting career before he came to the Walt Disney Studios but it was there that he made his biggest mark. He played Marty Markham, the spoiled rich boy in The Adventures of Spin and Marty, and Dan Thompson in Westward Ho The Wagons!
  • Denny Newell. A senior show director at Disneyland, Denny is a 24-year Disneyland Cast Member who has played a directorial role for Celebrate! A Street Party, Disney's Electrical Parade, A Christmas Fantasy Parade, Drawn to the Magic and Pixie Hollow.

D23 Members and their guests will savor specialty coffee and an array of tantalizing Disney-inspired desserts including pastries, cookies, cupcakes, and of course, Mickey-shaped krispies! A "no host" beverage bar will also be available to toast this memorable affair.

And, naturally, there will be a few D23 surprises, including a special, limited-edition commemorative pin in honor of D23's first anniversary, the perfect gift to remember this enchanting event.
For more information and to buy tickets to this event, visit: D23: FIRST ANNIVERSARY PARTY AT DISNEYLAND: WEDNESDAY, MARCH 10, 2010

Also from D23 — the club will host a members-only one-hour live chat with Imagineer Tony Baxter on this Thursday, March 4.

02.25.10 - Please join us next Thursday, March 4 for a D23 Member-exclusive live chat with longtime Imagineer Tony Baxter. To join the Live Chat, which will take place from 2 to 3 p.m. PT., D23 Members can sign in using the Member name and password they provided during the D23 Membership signup process.

Tony has played a key role in the design and creation of many Disney attractions and theme parks of the last 40 years, including Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, Splash Mountain, the Indiana Jones Adventure and the overall creative role for Disneyland Paris. Now a senior vice president of Creative Development and creative director of Disneyland Park, Tony is responsible for providing imaginative ideas and input for Walt Disney's original theme park. Some of his recent projects as creative executive include the refurbishments and re-openings of the 3D space adventure Captain EO (for which he worked as a producer on the original), Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln and the Sleeping Beauty Castle walkthrough attraction. Tony welcomes your questions about his career and Imagineering accomplishments, but may not be able to answer questions concerning projects currently in development at Disneyland Resort.
For more information on this event, visit: D23: JOURNEY INTO HIS IMAGINATION

And finally, from the Orange County Register:

Could Comic-Con move to Anaheim?
This city is making a bid to attract Comic-Con from its home base in San Diego to the Anaheim Convention Center starting in 2013.

City officials confirmed Tuesday that they have submitted a proposal to Comic-Con board members, who have toured the Anaheim Convention Center in recent weeks.

Comic-Con International, which began 40 years ago as a small convention attracting comic-book fans and science-fiction aficionados, has grown into one of the region's largest annual conventions, routinely attracting more than 120,000 attendees.

It has gained worldwide attention as a proud "geek-fest," where self-described sci-fi geeks who idolize superheroes and grew up worshipping "Star Wars" often dress as their favorite fictional characters to walk the convention halls – from intimidating Klingons to scantily clad Princess Leias.

Movie studios and TV executives flock to the convention to offer previews of potential blockbusters and create buzz about new television series that they think will appeal to such a crowd.

The San Diego Convention Center has expanded in recent years, but it has struggled to keep up with the demand for space as the size of the convention balloons.
Anaheim officials say they offer many advantages, including a more central Southern California location and closer proximity to the Hollywood studios and Los Angeles-area television headquarters.

"We're attracted to it because of its sheer magnitude," said Charles Ahlers, president of the Anaheim/Orange County Visitor & Convention Bureau. "It's one of those things where it's hard to unseat an annual convention from any area, and Comic-Con has a long history in San Diego. But we think we have a lot to offer."

Ahlers said the convention would be great for Anaheim restaurants and hotels and estimates that it could have an impact on Anaheim of $40 million to $50 million.

The Anaheim Convention Center has 815,000 square-feet of convention space, compared to about 550,000 square feet in San Diego, Ahlers said.

Anaheim has more affordable hotel rooms and more rooms within walking distance of the convention space, compared to San Diego, he added.

Anaheim has some experience with large conventions, including its largest annual gathering – the NAMM Show. That trade show, closed to the public, attracts music-merchants from around the globe, celebrity musicians and up to 85,000 attendees each January.

Comic-Con is traditionally held in July.

"That would be a great time for us," Ahlers said. "The parks (Disneyland Resort) fill up many hotel rooms during that time, but with this we'd be booked solid."
For more the full article, visit: OC Register: Could Comic-Con move to Anaheim?

Okay! That finished this week's edition of Dateline Disneyland. Thank you for reading and many thanks to our photographers this week: Mac Daddy, scorsese, Splashmoun10 and Fishbulb. Be sure to discuss today's update in the comments section below!

Your contributions go towards keeping these updates and are the reason we're still here! Without your support, these updates could not happen! Please consider donating to Dateline Disneyland via a safe and quick PayPal donation. To donate, click here.

Don't forget to join us on Twitter! We now have over 6,000 followers! So see what you're missing out on and recieve updates throughout the week with links to breaking news, mini updates, photos, and links to newsworthy MiceChat discussions. Visit now!

See you here next week!
- Andy

Don't forget everything else MiceChat has to offer, including:
In the Parks
News, photos and more from Southern California entertainment offerings including Disneyland Resort, Knott's Berry Farm, and Universal Studios Hollywood.

Weekend Update,
Tour the world of Disney theme parks and other destinations around the globe!

Submit "Captain EO returns to Tomorrowland, Rivers of America, Red Car Tracks, DCA work, MORE" to Digg Submit "Captain EO returns to Tomorrowland, Rivers of America, Red Car Tracks, DCA work, MORE" to Submit "Captain EO returns to Tomorrowland, Rivers of America, Red Car Tracks, DCA work, MORE" to StumbleUpon Submit "Captain EO returns to Tomorrowland, Rivers of America, Red Car Tracks, DCA work, MORE" to Google

Updated 03-01-2010 at 11:33 AM by Dateline Disneyland (Added column banner.)

Disneyland Resort , Disney's California Adventure Remodel/Expansion , Disneyland Hotel , Downtown Disney , D23


Page 2 of 2 FirstFirst 12
  1. Goover's Avatar
    • |
    • permalink
    I LOVE that picture of the tower of terror and the one at the hub!

    Great update .
  2. mondo's Avatar
    • |
    • permalink
  3. saphron37's Avatar
    • |
    • permalink
    Thanks for the update!
  4. Barbossa's Avatar
    • |
    • permalink
    Great stuff. Thanks for the update!
  5. bayouguy's Avatar
    • |
    • permalink
    OK, for the PeopleMover?
  6. Tinkbelle's Avatar
    • |
    • permalink
    Is the refurbishment schedule listed here up-to-date? I was just looking at May 8-11 on Disney's website and it lists the Mark Twain as being down during that time as well as the sings at DCA.
  7. Captain Cameron's Avatar
    • |
    • permalink
    Captain EO rules!!! So amazing...Cannot wait for the world of Color!!!
  8. DizneeSmurf's Avatar
    • |
    • permalink
    Does anyone know if Radiator Springs Racers will be what Rocket Rods was supposed to be like?
  9. count_justin's Avatar
    • |
    • permalink
    ugh, i cant wait until the rehab on the rivers of america is finished and the major expansion of DCA, both are eye sores, i have to look at walls covering them all day, but the many attractions make up for it. lol
Page 2 of 2 FirstFirst 12