Sherman Bros honored, D23 celebrates, World of Color testing, DCA construction, more!
by, 03-14-2010 at 10:19 PM
It's been a busy week at the Disneyland Resort. Construction continues at Disney's California Adventure on an array of new shows and attractions, including Disney's World of Color which undergoes after-hours testing quite often these days. Meanwhile, Disneyland played host to D23's big first anniversary party in Fantasyland mid-week, bringing out a variety of rare walk-around characters for meet and greets as well as a host of Disney celebrities and Legends. Meanwhile, work continued around the park before the first spring break crowds began crashing the gates over the weekend. While major projects like the multi-month Rivers of America refurbishment continue, other projects wrapped up including the thematic reworking of the Frontierland moat and the installation of a new Sylvania-sponsored "it's a small world" marquee. We've got loads of great photos this week including shots from Mac Daddy, Fishbulb, David Yeh.
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.
We've got a lot to get to this week, so let's get started!
WELCOME TO DISNEYLAND!
Attraction posters have now gone up on the blank walls the closed up Disneyland's former stroller shop after it closed when the new, larger central stroller shop opened earlier this year in the Main Entrance Plaza.
Down on Main Street, the faux door on the 20th Century Music shop is the new home to the Sherman Brothers window on Main Street.
The window was presented to Richard Sherman in a ceremony Thursday morning
The Sherman Brothers are responsible for some of the most memorable songs and scores in Disney film and theme park history, "Mary Poppins," "The Jungle Book," "The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh," and The Enchanted Tiki Room, "it's a small world."
Richard Sherman with Disneyland Resort President George Kalogridis, Disney Parks and Resorts Chairman Tom Skaggs and Mickey Mouse.
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FIXING THE FRONTIER
Further down Main Street, in the Central Plaza, work has wrapped up in front of the entrance to Frontierland. The waterway has been appropriately re-themed and the end result shows a real night-and-day difference between the plain cement lip that was put in recently (below), to the new embankment that looks like a muddy shore you'd find on the American Frontier.
The new themed embankment shows an impressive difference between what had been put in before.
Inside Frontierland, work continues on the big Rivers of America refurbishment.
Construction continues throughout California Adventure as the park undergoes a multi-year $1 billion remodel and expansion.
DISNEY'S WORLD OF COLOR & PARADISE PARK
Nightly light and fountain testing in Paradise Bay is now routine as it gets closer to World of Color's late-spring debut.
In Paradise Park, the new lighthouse has been hit-and-miss with its shimmering LED lighting in the evenings, but it seems like the kinks have been worked out.
It's really quite nice at night, and the LED lighting actually shimmers in a sort of magical way. Never mind that this is supposed an early 20th century seaside public park, the modern-day LED lighting here is pretty special.
During the day, work continues on the rest of Paradise Park as the Resort's horticulture team has moved in to bring some much-needed greenery to the park.
THE LITTLE MERMAID & CARS LAND
Construction continues on the new Little Mermaid E-Ticket ride coming to Paradise Pier next year.
SILLY SYMPHONY SWINGS & RED CAR TROLLEY
Construction continues on the new boardwalk queue for the Silly Symphony Swings.
And over in the Hollywood Pictures Backlot, work continues on the new tracks for the upcoming Red Car Trolley, which is set to open in 2012.
Wednesday night, D23 hosted a big three-hour after-hours party in Fantasyland at Disneyland. The $65 per-person private ticket event was in honor of the club's first anniversary.
The event kicked off at 9 pm with a blast of fireworks from Sleeping Beauty Castle.
An array of desserts were available for event attendees at multiple locations throughout Fantasyland.
And partygoers were even allowed to indulge in a Disneyland taboo by purchasing alcohol at bars serving wine as well as domestic and imported beers.
Special vehicles were on display including Walt Disney's personal electric "runabout"...
...as well as Cinderella's coach
Disney celebrities were out and about including Imagineer Bob Gurr...
...and voice actors from The Princess and the Frog
Rare characters were also out for meet-and-greets throughout Fantasyland all night
Event attendees could had all of Fantasyland open (except for the Matterhorn, which was down for refurbishment) along with Captain EO and the Astro Orbitor in Tomorrowland.
Was the event worth the $65 admission fee? It really depends on what you feel is worth $65. Sure, Fantasyland attractions are available every day, but it was definitely special to have all of the classic attractions available with minimal wait and in the company of friends and Disney Legends. I'm personally not very interested in getting photos with walk-around characters, but even I got into the spirit at the party when I saw Jiminy Cricket and the Country Bears out and about — and for the Disneyland history geek in me it was really exciting to see Walt Disney's electric runabout. At the end of the night, I had a blast and would do it all over again in a heartbeat — $65 ticket price and all. Still, for a D23 member from the start, I couldn't help but compare this event with D23's "Flowers and Fireworks" event I attended at Epcot in Walt Disney World last summer. The Flowers and Fireworks event was completely free for members, and offered reserved seating for D23 members at one of the final International Flower and Garden Festival concerts and a private desert party during Epcot's "IllumiNations" fireworks show.
At check-in for the Epcot event, members were given special event lanyards and a welcome packet that included a welcome letter, a guidebook to Epcot's Flower and Garden Festival, and a Fastpass for Soarin,' one of Epcot's most popular attractions. The welcome packet at the First Anniversary Party was a press release for the 2011 D23 Expo and a welcome letter from D23 Head, Steven Clark. No fancy lanyard was given to Anniversary Party attendees — just a nondescript blue wristband.
The First Anniversary Party did a fantastic job of offering a plentiful array of desserts that were continuously being replenished throughout the night. Nevertheless, the chocolate-dipped Mickey crispy treats can be bought in restaurants and shops throughout the Resort any day of the week. Comparatively, last summer's dessert party at Epcot was truly something special as event attendees were told that the desserts were specially selected because they were some of Walt Disney's favorites. I still don't know if Walt was actually a fan of Coca-Cola floats, cheesecake, and haystack cookies, but even being told that he was made the event that much more special.
Still, while the Epcot was smaller and more intimate, the Anniversary Party was in no way crowded — there was plenty of space for all of us, and most rides were a complete walk-on (I saw King Arthur Carousel and the Mad Tea Party running completely empty many times throughout the night). And the Disneyland event had plenty to offer that the Epcot event did not — a whole land of attractions open for guests with little-to-no wait; Disney celebrities and Legends available for small talk, photos, and autographs all night long; and a bunch of rare characters out for photos. The Anniversary Party can't be faulted too much for skimping on small details like event lanyards and meager welcome packets — these special touches were missing from other events like last year's free Walt Disney Studios and Archives tours (these same tours now cost members $50 per person!). The Party was a lot of fun and helped convince me that renewing my D23 membership was worthwhile.
Well done, D23 and happy anniversary!
THIS AND THAT
"it's a small world" has finally received its new marquee, as part of the new Sylvania sponsorship.
The Matterhorn Bobsleds are open again after their refurbishment
A new embroidered Captain EO jacket has hit shelves, and stock of the original Captain EO merch lineup has been replenished after much of it sold out.
Work continues on the Disneyland Hotel remodel. The old glass elevator has been removed.
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AROUND THE PARK
WEEKLY NEWS AND INFORMATION ROUND-UP
Weekly Theme Park Hours Disneyland Park Disney's California Adventure Monday - Sunday: 8 am - 12 midnight
Monday - Thursday: 9 am - 7 pm
Friday - Sunday: 9 am - 10 pm
For a complete listing of theme park hours, visit the Disneyland.com Theme Park Calendar
Closures and Refurbishment Schedule Disneyland Park
- Matterhorn Bobsleds: Closed April 12 - 16 and 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
- 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 May 29.
- 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 this spring as Paradise Park.
2011 D23 EXPO & DESTINATION D ANNOUNCED
Disney announced the dates of its second D23 Expo last week as well as a new event — Destination D — that will alternate with the D23 Expo.
D23 ANNOUNCES DATES FOR D23 EXPO 2011 AND BRAND-NEW DESTINATION D 2010 EVENT!
D23 announced its latest members-only event on its first anniversary & capping a year in which Disney's first-ever fan community grew to encompass tens of thousands of members from all 50 U.S. states and more than 30 countries worldwide.
The inaugural Destination D, whose theme is "Disneyland '55," will be held this September 24-25. Destination D: Disneyland '55 will take D23 Members on a journey through the design, creation, debut and magical history of the world's first Disney theme park. The first Destination D will be held in the Grand Ballroom of the Disneyland Hotel. Tickets for the event will be available this summer.
Destination D: Disneyland '55 will offer two full days of special presentations, panels, screenings and guest speakers that let fans meet and talk with key figures in Disneyland's history. Future Destination D events will explore other important aspects of Disney's creative legacy. Following its premiere in September, Destination D will alternate annually with the enormously popular D23 Expo.
The next D23 Expo is set for August 19-21, 2011, returning to the Anaheim Convention Center. Tickets for the D23 Expo 2011 will go on sale August 19 (one year in advance), with specially priced tickets available exclusively to D23 Members. In addition, D23 Charter Members will have access to a special Charter Member Lounge at the D23 Expo 2011, at no additional cost.*
The first-ever D23 Expo attracted nearly 40,000 Disney fans when it debuted last September, bringing the entire world of Disney under one massive roof. During the D23 Expo, fans were treated to appearances by superstars like Johnny Depp, Miley Cyrus and John Travolta; explored exciting, new concepts and attractions from Disney Parks and Walt Disney Imagineering; peered into Disney's history at special panels, presentations and displays; and discovered the newest entertainment, products and events from throughout The Walt Disney Company.
"The first D23 Expo surpassed all of our expectations, and our 2011 Expo is already shaping up to be a jaw-dropping, not-to-be missed showcase of the best and brightest Disney has to offer," said Steven Clark, head of D23.
For more the full article, visit: D23 ANNOUNCES DATES FOR D23 EXPO 2011 AND BRAND-NEW DESTINATION D 2010 EVENT!
DISNEY ENDS VOLUNTEER PROGRAM
Disney ended its "Give a Day, Get a Disney Day" program last week after it reached its goal of getting 1 million people to sign up to volunteer. The program, which was expected to run through 2010 ended just three months after it started.
‘Give a Day, Get a Disney Day’ Reaches Goal
March 9, 2010 – “Give a Day, Get a Disney Day” – a first-of-its-kind program of Disney Parks – reached its goal of inspiring 1 million people in 2010 to give back to their communities through volunteer service in the United States, Puerto Rico and Canada.
Since the program started just 10 weeks ago, on Jan. 1, a million people already have volunteered or have committed to volunteer in their communities, according to Disney Parks and HandsOn Network, the nation’s largest volunteer network and a facilitator of “Give a Day, Get a Disney Day.”
To celebrate the good deeds of these individuals, Disney Parks offered each volunteer who completed an eligible project a free one-day admission to one theme park in Walt Disney World Resort in Florida or Disneyland Resort in California. Although registration is now closed and the program has ended, those who volunteered have until Dec. 15, 2010, to redeem their free park ticket (certain block-out dates apply).
“By any measure, the ‘Give a Day, Get a Disney Day’ program exceeded our expectations,” said Tom Staggs, chairman of Walt Disney Parks and Resorts. “These one million volunteers touched their communities with their hearts and hands. Their commitment to service is truly worth celebrating, and there’s no better place to celebrate than at Disney Parks.”
Volunteerism has been a part of the Disney culture since the beginning. Through Disney VoluntEARS, cast members have been giving back to communities for more than a quarter century. More than 5.5 million hours of volunteer service worldwide have been donated, and Disney’s commitment to volunteerism will continue even as “Give a Day, Get a Disney Day” draws to a close.
For more the full article, visit: Disneyland News: ‘Give a Day, Get a Disney Day’ Reaches Goal
Okay, that should wrap up this week's column. Thanks to Mac Daddy, Fishbulb and David Yeh for their help with photographs this week. More of David's wonderful D23 First Anniversary Party photos can be seen in his trip report on MiceChat: Coheteboy Does D23 Anniversary Party 03.10.2010
As always many thanks to you for reading!
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