Spring Break crowds, Toy Story parking, Rivers of America, DCA construction, +MORE
by, 03-21-2010 at 09:28 PM
Spring break crowds have hit the Disneyland Resort and just in time Disney has opened up 2,500 new parking spots in the new Toy Story Parking Lot but just hope you don't get stuck parking in the off-site lot. Meanwhile, in the parks work continues on the major Rivers of America refurbishment in Disneyland, and construction continues on various projects in California Adventure's on-going $1 billion expansion, including World of Color and Cars Land. We've got another big update this week with lots of great photos from Mac Daddy and MonstersGoBoo!
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.
There's a lot to get to in this busy spring break edition of Dateline Disneyland, so let's get started!
WELCOME TO DISNEYLAND!
The comparatively-quiet winter off-season has ended at Disneyland as spring break crowds hit the parks.
Add holiday crowds with local 2fer crowds and you've got yourself one busy Magic Kingdom.
Don't expect crowds to lighten up too much anytime soon — the lull after spring break will go by fast and then summer crowds will fill the park once again.
RIVERS OF REFURBISHMENT
The big Rivers of America refurbishment continues through May...
Construction continues throughout California Adventure as the park undergoes a multi-year $1 billion remodel and expansion.
DISNEY'S WORLD OF COLOR & PARADISE PARK
Work continues on bringing together the final pieces of Paradise Park, the 9,000-guest World of Color viewing area.
New lanterns on the Paradise Park trellises
Disney's new World of Color show is now expected to officially open June 11th when the popular Summer Nightastic! promotion returns to the Disneyland Resort, according to a recent Disneyland Resort press release [NOTE: The official press release was later edited, removing the June 11 date. Below is an excerpt of the press release as it was originally issued].
“Summer Nightastic!” Returns
Beginning June 11, “Summer Nightastic!” returns to the Disneyland Resort, featuring exciting evening events that will electrify the night at Disneyland and Disney’s California Adventure theme parks.
Headlining the entertainment is the new nighttime water spectacular – “World of Color” – at Disney’s California Adventure park. Surpassing all previous water productions, “World of Color” brings Disney animation to life with powerful fountains that are the stars of the show, forming the world’s largest projected water screen. In the making since 2005, “World of Color” combines hundreds of magnificent fountains, LED-produced dazzling colors, and an all-new kaleidoscope of audio and visual effects to take water-infused entertainment to a new level of artistry.
Located in Paradise Bay, Disney’s newest production features an unprecedented infrastructure of water effects, larger-than-life projections, lasers, fire, fog, surround sound and stunning images. This technical wizardry, combined with classic, animated Disney and Disney•Pixar film sequences, creates an emotional experience for guests as jaw-dropping effects sweep across the lagoon and soar into the sky. [FULL PRESS RELEASE]
The DisneyParks Blog gave another sneak peek into World of Color last week and the special cut paper stop animation created for the show
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THE LITTLE MERMAID & CARS LAND
Work on the Little Mermaid foundation continues...
Over in Cars Land, a crane is up to start work on the towering Radiator Springs rock work.
SILLY SYMPHONY SWINGS & RED CAR TROLLEY
A crane has also moved into the Silly Symphony Swings site as construction continues on that project.
New trees for much-needed shade have been going in around the Swings
Over in the Hollywood Pictures Backlot, brick pavers are now being laid down Hollywood Blvd. around the new Red Car Trolley tracks.
A look at Trolley work new the Tower of Terror:
Disney opened the new Toy Story Parking Lot on Friday, adding over 2,500 new parking spots for theme park guests. The OC Register's Around Disney Blog shared more information on the new lot and created a great interactive map showing the location of the lot in relation to the theme parks and other Resort parking.
New Disneyland Resort parking lot opens
The parking lot was built on land Disney bought 12 years ago with the intention of constructing a future theme park. For now, Disney has an agreement with the city to run a parking lot there for up to 10 years.
The lot, called Toy Story, sits east of the Anaheim Convention Center on Harbor Boulevard south of Katella Avenue. The lot will have 2,678 new spaces, said Suzi Brown, a Disneyland Resort spokeswoman. Another 1,000 spots were already there.
Regular-car parking will cost $14, the same as at other Disney lots, Brown said. Visitors can take free shuttle buses to the parks. The lot is expected to be open every day. [FULL STORY]
Around Disney also had an interesting story on laid-off bus drivers being re-employed by Disney to shuttle guests to and from the new Toy Story lot:
Laid-off drivers hired for new Disney lot
At least 15 laid-off bus drivers are going back behind the wheel of the public vehicles that they used to run.
But in their new jobs, they will shuttle visitors to and from Disney theme parks — all paid by Disney.
For its new parking lot that opens Friday, Disney arranged to hire some laid-off drivers and lease public buses that were out-of service because of budget cuts by the Orange County Transportation Authority.
George Kalogridis, the Disneyland Resort president, got the idea after reading about cutbacks at the transportation agency. He knew that Disney was about to contract for shuttles for the upcoming lot on Harbor Boulevard, so he asked his staff to look into using OCTA’s buses and possibly their out-of-work drivers.
“We had a need. There was an opportunity,” Kalogridis said. [FULL STORY]
THIS AND THAT
Looks like koi fish have been added to the Castle moat
Sanuk, a popular sandal store in Downtown Disney, has finally closed to allow its neighbor, Ridemakerz to expand. Both stores occupy the space previously used by Department 56.
Sanuk is hoping to find a permanent location in Downtown Disney soon.
Ridemakerz will reopen in June in its remodeled space.
Work continues on the Disneyland Hotel remodeling project.
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WEEKLY NEWS AND INFORMATION ROUND-UP
Weekly Theme Park HoursMARCH 22 - 28, 2010 Disneyland Park Disney's California Adventure Monday - Sunday: 8 am - 12 midnight
Monday - Thursday: 9 am - 9 pm
Friday: 9 am - 10 pm
Saturday - Sunday: 10 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.
DISNEYLAND PRESIDENT TAKES HANDS-ON APPROACH
The OC Register's Around Disney blog had a great feature story on Disneyland Resort President George Kalogridis, giving a look at the kind of work George is doing at job as Disneyland Resort President
New Disneyland Resort president gives inside look
Five weeks into his job leading the Disneyland Resort, George Kalogridis traded in his suit and tie for a white custodial uniform.
On Thanksgiving, Kalogridis emptied trash cans, swept litter along a parade route and sorted recyclable plastic and glass from the garbage in Disneyland.
He answered visitors’ questions about parade times and restroom locations. And he took his break with the custodians, joking about the difficulty of cleaning up popcorn and cotton candy.
Kalogridis wanted to see the perspective from the ground floor at his new job – especially on a busy holiday.
“I always respect the fact that cast members (employees) work in the park, typically giving up (holiday) time with their families and friends,” Kalogridis said. “It’s important to send a message that I respect that and I would do the same thing.”
Kalogridis, 56, is paying close attention to details while keeping an eye on the big picture. He leads Orange County’s largest private employer, with about 20,000 workers who serve 20 million annual theme-park visitors.
He strolls Disneyland and Disney’s California Adventure often. He says he can’t help looking at the small stuff – he has since starting at the company’s bottom.
[ . . . ]
Michael Crawford, an Epcot visitor from North Carolina, said he wrote a letter to every Disney official from then-President Michael Eisner on down about his disappointment with the rehab of an attraction in 1999.
Kalogridis, a vice president, called him at home.
“I was floored,” Crawford said. “He must have been hearing from hundreds of people. For him to make the rounds, I was really impressed by that.”
In the early 1990s, Kalogridis was manager of Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort and Spa. An event planner causally mentioned that she wished the dew had disappeared before an outdoor convention meeting had started.
Meg Crofton, now the Walt Disney World Resort president, recalled how Kalogridis had crew members dry the grass with towels.
“That’s the attention to detail – and how he’ll do everything possible for guests – that George is famous for,” Crofton said.
Miller said she once walked around Epcot with Kalogridis. She was impressed how he greeted many employees by name, asking about their families.
“He just touches so many lives in ways that’s really personalized,” Miller said.
For the full article, visit: Around Disney: New Disneyland Resort president gives inside look
ELECTRICAL PARADE MAKES FINAL RUN
The Around Disney blog also has the final dates for the Electrical Parade before it moves to Florida
Last chance to see Disney’s Electrical Parade
Disney’s Electrical Parade will begin its last run in Disney’s California Adventure starting this weekend.
After spring break, Disney plans to ship the light-covered floats and costumes to Walt Disney World in Florida, where the parade will appear this summer.
“We are hopeful that we will get it back eventually, but they have it for the summer at least,” said Denny Newell, senior show director at the Disneyland Resort.
The remaining dates for the California parade are [now] through April 11 and April 16 to 18. The parade will begin at 9 p.m. nightly.
For the full article, visit: Around Disney: Last chance to see Disney's Electrical Parade
FESS PARKER, STAR OF 'DAVY CROCKETT,' DIES
Television icon Fess Parker, known for his role as Davy Crockett passed away last week. D23 has more on the life of this legendary star.
REMEMBERING FESS PARKER
03.18.10 - Fess Parker, the enormously popular actor who launched a coonskin cap craze in 1954 when he starred as Davy Crockett in the first of five hour-long episodes for Walt Disney's Disneyland TV series, passed away at his home in California's Santa Ynez Valley today, March 18, from age-related causes. He was 85 years old. Parker went on to play another iconic American hero in the popular Daniel Boone NBC TV series that lasted for six seasons and 165 episodes. In addition to his numerous successes in the world of entertainment, Parker became a phenomenally successful businessman, developer, and vintner through his Fess Parker's DoubleTree Resort (in Santa Barbara), and Fess Parker Winery (in Los Olivos). Commenting on Parker's passing, Disney President and CEO Bob Iger said, "Like many kids growing up in the 50s, Davy Crockett was my first hero, and I had the coonskin cap to prove it. Fess Parker's unforgettable, exciting and admirable performance as this American icon has remained with me all these years, as it has for his millions of fans around the world. Fess is truly a Disney Legend, as is the heroic character he portrayed, and while he will certainly be missed, he will never be forgotten."
Noted film critic and author Leonard Maltin, added, "Fess had an enormous impact on a whole generation of kids. It's almost impossible to overstate how popular Davy Crockett was, and it made him an overnight star. The nicest part about meeting him in later years was discovering that he was just as genuine and likeable as he seemed on screen."
For the full article, visit: D23: REMEMBERING FESS PARKER
Alrighty, that finishes up the March 22nd edition of Dateline Disneyland. Thanks to our photographers Mac Daddy and MonstersGoBoo! for their help this week. Thanks, as always to you, for reading. We're here every week thanks to your readership and donations. If you read and enjoy Dateline Disneyland every week please consider helping us out and donating a buck or two so we can pay the bills and keep the updates coming your way. Without your support, these updates could not happen! You can donate safely and privately with PayPal by clicking here. Thanks so much!
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