The big debut of 'World of Color' has come and gone and the Disneyland Resort is now in full summer mode. Disneyland has everything open and ready for the summer crowds, and construction continues in California Adventure as the park sees some of its biggest crowds ever thanks to its fancy new water and light show. Meanwhile, in Downtown Disney, the newly expanded and remodeled permanent location of Ridemakerz has opened.
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.
Thanks to Mac Daddy, Macro & Fishbulb for extra help with some photos this week.
Weekly News and Information Round-Up Weekly theme park hours, closures and refurbishments, Michelle Obama and daughters see World of Color, Sign language services at Disneyland, more.
WELCOME TO DISNEYLAND!
Summer is here at the parks and everything that can be open for guests is open and ready for the summer crush.
Until Star Tours closes next month, you'll see very little as far as refurbishments and construction around Disneyland. Currently, the only notable in-park work is the facade refurbishment at Disneyland First Aid at the end of Main Street.
Construction continues at various Disney's California Adventure projects as World of Color brings in heavy crowds.
WORLD OF COLOR
The big debut of World of Color is now properly logged in the history books, but the crowds continue to pour in to see the new 25-minute water-and-light show.
The OC Register ran a story about the new show's popularity early last week. Disney is already touting World of Color's popularity to local media, noting they've added a third showing of the show nightly since it opened. While the show is good and bringing in big crowds, you'd be smart not to believe all of Disney's hype; Cast Members are already scheduled for three showings nightly, and Disney's PR machine is using this opportunity to help paint the new DCA in a better, more popular, light.
Disney show draws big crowds on debut weekend
Disney added extra shows and filled its viewing area to capacity each night on the opening weekend of the “World of Color” light-and-water nighttime show at Disney California Adventure.
And the show is continuing to draw crowds into the week.
At least 36,000 guests got reserved spots to see viewings at Disney California Adventure on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Visitors either got Fastpass tickets that guarantee watching spots or bought dining packages, which sold out.
While only two shows were scheduled each day, Disney put on a third show each night because of the popularity, said John McClintock, a Disneyland Resort spokesman said. A third show was added for Monday night, as well. Disney is evaluating the demand on a day-to-day basis, tacking on an extra show as needed.
Disney is offering tickets, using the Fastpass system, to guarantee a space in the standing-only amphitheater area used for watching “World of Color.”
On Friday, about 1,000 people were lined up for Fastpasses by 7 a.m., so Disney opened part of the park three hours early to let visitors take out Fastpasses. See a full story about Friday’s line for “World of Color. On Saturday and Sunday, Disney kept its opening hours in tact, but officials allowed visitors to line up a half hour early inside the park before getting tickets at 10 a.m., McClintock said.
Those visitors who didn’t get reserved spots also watched the show in other areas around Paradise Bay, where the show is produced.
“World of Color” is part of a $1 billion expansion project at Disney California Adventure, which has failed to draw as much business as its next-door neighbor, Disneyland. And Disney is hoping the show will provide a major boost for the nine-year-old park. [ FULL ARTICLE ]
World of Color is the shining star of the Resort right now, and with the influx in crowds at California Adventure, more dining options are needed. It's ironic that now, after 9 years California Adventure has to make quick fixes to meet the demands of large crowds seeking dining options. DCA opened with far too many dining options, many of which closed and left largely unused (Hollywood & Dine), removed (Malibu-ritos; Strips, Dips & Chips), or gutted and turned into attractions (Soap Opera Bistro), and now the park is looking to outside vendors for new dining options.
Owner Esteban Nocito also stated in his post that they're adding a second truck for the deal and also, he's hiring people to help out with the new venture, which lasts from July 15th to August 22nd at the park. [ FULL ARTICLE ]
PARADISE GARDEN DINING AREA
The old Burger Invasion food location which previously served McDonald's is finally behind construction walls after McDonald's left Disneyland theme parks on September 2, 2008. Burger Invasion has sat vacant since the McDonald's contract ended with Disney and now the dining location is finally behind walls as work gets underway to turn the Burger Invasion and Pizza Oom Mow Mow area into the re-themed Paradise Garden dining area.
The whole area will look totally different from its current aesthetic. Gone will be the tacky oversized burger and punny pop culture reference names, and in their place will be a Victorian-style beachside dining courtyard.
Wire mesh is starting to go up on the steel framework for the Cars Land rockwork. Soon we'll be seeing the backside of the Radiator Springs mountain range and views of Radiator Springs Racers construction will be largely obscured!
RED CAR TROLLEY
Work continues on the Red Car Trolley track in front of the Tower of Terror as well as on the connecting pathway between Hollywood Land and A Bug's Land. Thematic details from the connector path can now be seen.
THIS AND THAT
In Downtown Disney, Ridemakerz opened on Wednesday after expanding and constructing its permanent store interior.
And a summer concerts stage in Downtown Disney has gotten an interesting Sorcerer's Apprentice overlay...
AROUND THE PARKS
We'll end today's photo update with a couple shots from around the parks...
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Tomorrowland Terrace: Restaurant closed through July 2 for refurbishment. Stage will remain open for shows and performances during restaurant closure.
Disney's California Adventure
The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror — Disney's FASTPASS Distribution: Distribution area closed and Fastpass service not offered through August 15 for nearby construction related to upcoming Red Car Trolley attraction.
The Little Mermaid: Ariel's Undersea Adventure: Under construction. Opens Spring 2011.
Souvenir 66 and Corn Dog Castle: Store and dining location closed for remodeling through May 2011.
Red Car Trolley: Track under construction in Hollywood Pictures Backlot. Attraction set to open spring 2012.
DISNEY NOW OFFERING REGULAR SIGN LANGUAGE SERVICES
From the OC Register:
Previously, hearing-impaired visitors had to call ahead of time to request sign language interpreters, who were assigned to special events on an as-needed basis for the past two decades, said Betsy Sanchez, a Disneyland Resort spokeswoman.
Starting Sunday, the interpreters were made available at set hours at both Disneyland and Disney California Adventure. Hearing-impaired visitors are asked to pick up schedules when they arrive at the parks and find out when the interpreters will be on duty.
“It’s an effort to make sure that all of our guests are getting the best experience possible,” Sanchez said.
Seven interpreters are on staff now and Disney plans to hire one more, said David Gill, a Disneyland Resort spokesman.
This isn’t the only service for hearing-impaired visitors at the Disneyland Resort: Devices for amplified audio and captioning are also available. Last year, the parks also began offering devices for visually- impaired guests, who can hear descriptions of rides.
In the biggest change to the company's appearance code in a decade, the Walt Disney Co. has decided to let most female employees at Disney theme parks worldwide, including the Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, forgo pantyhose when wearing skirts.
Although it may seem a trivial change in any other business, the relaxing of dress codes at Disneyland is a significant move considering that founder Walt Disney was adamant about making sure all employees maintained a well-groomed, all-American look.
"That clean-cut look never went out of style as far as Walt Disney was concerned," said David Koenig, the author of four books on Disneyland and a regular writer for a website about the Disney parks.
Koenig recounts a time in the 1970s when some Disneyland managers brandished rulers to ensure that employees' sideburns and hair length met strict grooming standards.
But since then, the company has regularly revisited and relaxed its appearance and dress codes. The last major change to the policy came in 2000 when the company let male employees wear mustaches. Disney tweaked its guidelines again a few years later by allowing male employees to style their hair in cornrows.
Disney officials said the latest change, announced companywide May 28, was prompted by a routine review of company guidelines and a comparison with the dress codes of other Fortune 500 corporations.
"We continuously evaluate our appearances," Disneyland spokeswoman Betsy Sanchez said. "We are trying to stay relevant."
Disneyland officials confirmed that the first family, minus President Obama, visited the theme park Thursday night but offered no details (or photographic evidence).
The White House confirmed the Disney visit but was equally mum on specifics, the New York Times reported.
The Obamas and their entourage swept into Disney California Adventure after the Anaheim theme park closed at 6 p.m. Thursday for Grad Night celebrations. The Obama girls apparently did not climb on any rides or visit Disneyland.
The first family vacationed in Southern California this week after Michelle Obama gave a speech on Sunday to military families at Camp Pendleton.
On Tuesday, the first lady and her daughters stopped by Warner Brothers for a tour of the studio lot, popped by Pink’s for hot dogs and watched the Los Angeles Lakers beat the Boston Celtics in Game 6 of the NBA Finals from a luxury suite at Staples Center.
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