View RSS Feed

Dateline Disneyland

Star Tours 2, Waterfails, Rapunzel, Building Cars Land, Red Car, Toy guns, +MUCH More

Rate this Entry
by , 08-16-2010 at 02:06 AM
Disneyland's Alice in Wonderland is open once again after temporary measures were put in place to keep guests and maintenance workers from falling off the elevated outdoor portion of the ride track. If one thing is good about Alice's horribly tacky safety additions is that they're temporary until a permanent solution can be installed. Meanwhile, construction walls are up around Star Tours in Tomorrowland as work starts to gear up on the ride's major overhaul. Over in Disney California Adventure, construction continues on the park's $1 billion remodel and expansion including the major Cars Land and Little Mermaid projects. Outside the parks, the Disneyland Hotel continues its big remodel as well as the hotel's fan-favorite waterfalls fade into Yesterland.

Thanks to boy33 for extra help with Alice in Wonderland photos this week.

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 plenty to get to this week, so let's get started!

Inside Dateline Disneyland

Sponsored by Howard Johnson Plaza Hotel - Anaheim Resort

Disneyland's classic Alice in Wonderland ride reopened over the weekend with the new temporary safety barrier installed to help keep maintenance workers and ride operators safe from falling off the ride's elevated outdoor section.

The ride's new look is significantly less charming than before and the new tarp-covered safety scaffolding looks painfully temporary, no matter how much effort went into the Wonderland-themed design on the tarps and the oversized leaves lining the edge of the new scaffolding.

The new safety precautions on this 50-year-old attraction are a result of a concern a Cal/OSHA employee voiced during an unrelated visit to the park about a month ago. Disney opted to voluntarily close the ride to install the temporary safety measures until a permanent fix could be made in the future.

The OC Register's Around Disney blog had more information on the closure in a recent article:

Disney ride reopens after safety fix
The Alice in Wonderland ride at Disneyland reopened Friday after a monthlong closure to fix a potential safety hazard, park officials said.

The ride, in the Fantasyland area of the park, was shut starting July 15 so that crews could install a barrier along the outside, elevated track where the rides carriages travel. The barrier is intended to help prevent maintenance workers from falling off the ride’s track.

Disney said it voluntarily closed the ride to fix the potential problem.

On the same day as the ride closed, an official from the California Division of Occupational Safety and Health, had noticed the potential problem while touring the park on an unrelated matter. When the safety official notified Disney of a “potential safety issue,” Disney closed the ride until it could find a fix.

The safety barrier is a temporary measure, said Betsy Sanchez, a Disneyland Resort spokeswoman. The ride likely will have to be closed again for some time when a permanent barrier is installed. No timeline has been set for that.

In the meantime, the ride will be open for visitors, Sanchez said. [ FULL ARTICLE ]

Photos don't fully illustrate just how bad this looks in person.

New faux wall

Nearby, Gepetto's Sweet Shop next to Pinnocchio's Daring Journey will soon close to make way for a meet-and-greet featuring characters from Disney's upcoming animated film, Tangled

The meet-and-green opens October 15. Disney released concept art of the character location last week:

Over in Tomorrowland, construction walls now surround Star Tours as work gets underway inside the attraction building.

A peek behind construction walls show the indoor queue flooring is being torn out

No work yet on the outdoor queue area

Disney released a video last week previewing a travel commercial that will be shown on the large screens in the Star Tours queue when it reopens in 2011.
27CDB6E-AE6D-11cf-96B8-444553540000" width="437" height="265" id="viddler">

Over in Adventureland and Frontierland, Disneyland has brought wooden toy guns back to store shelves after roughly a nine-year ban on the toy.

The OC Register's Around Disney blog had more information on the return of the toy guns:

Disneyland resumes sales of wooden toy guns
Disneyland recently began selling wooden toy guns again, about nine years after pulling them off of store shelves.

Disney officials decided to resume sales of the toy guns, which are now orange and green, because of customers’ requests, said Betsy Sanchez, a Disneyland Resort spokeswoman.

Disneyland had continued selling plastic guns, including space-like and pirate-themed ones, Sanchez said.

The new toys are big sellers, she said.

“They are so incredible popular they often sell out,” Sanchez said.

She declined to reveal the number of guns sold.

Disney stopped selling the historic, 1800s-style guns in 2001 when California legislators passed a law requiring all toy guns to be brightly colored to avoid being mistaken for real weapons.

But Disneyland fans continued to request the guns that used to be available in Frontierland and Adventureland.

“They seem to be really nostalgic,” Sanchez said. “They are really an element of the show and theming of the lands, particularly Adventureland and Frontierland. They are part of the overall experience.”

The colored guns now are available in Disneyland at Pioneer Mercantile, Indiana Jones Adventure Outpost and Pieces of Eight, as well as World of Disney in Downtown Disney.

The guns are sold individually and in sets. [ FULL ARTICLE ]

The toy guns range between $12.95 and $16.95 in price

A look at California Adventure's ongoing $1 billion remodel and expansion...

Work continues on the Hollywood Pictures Backlot and A Bug's Land connector path behind the Red Car Trolley walls near the Tower of Terror

Meanwhile, guests might notice a new small detail related to the Red Car Trolley in front of the Tower of Terror, hinting at how thematic details will set apart the rethemed Hollywoodland and Buena Vista Street areas from their Sunshine Plaza and Hollywood Pictures Backlot predecessors

The LA Times Funland blog discussed the upcoming Red Car Trolley attraction in a recent blog post:
Red Car Trolley to ply Disney California Adventure streets in 2012
Come spring 2012, the Red Car Trolley will add a much-needed burst of kinetic energy to the streets of Disney California Adventure. Somewhere, Walt Disney is smiling.

Reminiscent of the Pacific Electric Railway that ran throughout Southern California in the 1920s when Walt Disney first arrived in Los Angeles, the Red Car Trolley will feature a butterfly grill evocative of the original and seating for 20 passengers amid a green-and-cream interior.

The Red Car will depart from DCA’s main entrance along the newly rechristened Buena Vista Street, past a replica of the Carthay Circle Theater and through the renamed Hollywoodland district before stopping at the Tower of Terror attraction and reversing direction.

“Power poles” will extend from the tops of the battery-powered trolleys to decorative overhead wires, which will be powerless in part out of concern for the balloons sold to park visitors and the parade floats that travel the route. Pendulum-like wigwag signals will swing at several key crossings. [ FULL ARTICLE ]

Work continues on the upcoming Little Mermaid attraction at Paradise Pier.

Over in Cars Land, work continues on the massive amounts of faux rock work that will make up Ornament Valley and Radiator Springs. Views from the Hyperion Theatre stairs into Cars Land give a sneak peek at the creation of the rock work.

And views from Mickey's Fun Wheel show progress at the upcoming Radiator Springs Racers attraction and the rest of Cars Land

Rock wall rising behind Pacific Wharf:

This last weekend marked the final days of the Disneyland Hotel waterfalls as they close today, Monday, August 16 to make way for a new wedding lawn for the hotel.

The classic waterfalls will be missed. Here's a look at them from their final weekend of operation:

Hidden caves were both romantic and adventurous.

The old Fantasy Waters show area at the Disneyland Hotel will also be removed during the hotel remodel.

The remote control Jungle Cruise boat pond continues to be dismantled

The steering wheels and pay stations are all gone now

And construction continues at the Wonder Tower

The "Celebrate Today!" logo has been removed from the Disneyland Hotel hat icon and been replaced with the Hotel logo

Downtown Disney's build-your-own skate deck stand has closed.

Back in Disneyland, we finally got photos of the Honda CR-Z display in Innoventions for you.

Nothing too exciting, really.

Summer Nightastic/Honda CR-Z sweepstakes entry stations

And Chip N Dale Treehouse in Mickey's Toon Town is behind refurbishment walls

And we've got just a couple shots from around the parks to end today's photo update

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!
The HoJo Anaheim is now 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.


Weekly Theme Park Hours
AUGUST 16 — 22, 2010

Disneyland Park
Disney California Adventure
Monday - Sunday: 8 am - 12 midnight
Monday - Sunday: 10 am - 11 pm
For a complete listing of theme park hours, visit the Theme Park Calendar

Closures and Refurbishment Schedule
Disneyland Park

  • Haunted Mansion: Closed August 30 - September 16 to install Haunted Mansion Holiday overlay
  • Main Street Vehicles: Closed September 7 - 30 for refurbishment.
  • Space Mountain: Closed September 12 - 16 to install Space Mountain Ghost Galaxy overlay.
  • Roger Rabbit Car Toon Spin: Closed September 20 - December 16
  • Indiana Jones Adventure: Closed for one day September 22.
  • Mark Twain Riverboat: Closed September 27-30.
  • Star Tours: Closed Star Tours 2 revamp. Reopens May 2011.

Disney California Adventure

  • Toy Story Midway Mania!: Closed August 30 - October 10 to install safety gates in load station.
  • Bountiful Valley Farm area: Closes permanently September 7 for Cars Land construction.
  • Maliboomer: Closes permanently September 7 for removal.
  • Pizza Oom Mow Mow: Closes September 7 to begin retheme to Boardwalk Pizza and Pasta. Reopens May 2011.
  • Mullholland Madness: Closes October 12 to begin re-theme. Reopens May 2011 as Goofy's Sky School.
  • Burger Invasion: Closed for retheme to Paradise Garden Grill. Reopens May 2011.
  • 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.

Downtown Disney & Hotels of the Disneyland Resort

  • Arcade (Disneyland Hotel) Closed permanently July 30 as part of Disneyland Hotel remodel
  • Jungle Cruise Remote Control Boats (Disneyland Hotel) Closed permanently July 31 as part of Disneyland Hotel remodel
  • The Lost Bar (Disneyland Hotel) Closed permanently August 1 as part of Disneyland Hotel remodel
  • Croc's Bits & Bites (Disneyland Hotel): Closed permanently August 1 as part of Disneyland Hotel remodel

From Around Disney:

Attendance drops 4% at Disneyland Resort parks
Fewer visitors headed to Disneyland Resort parks in late spring and early summer, despite the declared success of the new “World of Color” show, Disney reported Tuesday.

The two California parks, Disneyland and Disney California Adventure, experienced a 4-percent slip in attendance, compared to roughly the same three-month period the year before.

It was the first dip in visits in about a year. Despite the struggling economy, attendance has either stayed flat or increased by as much as 20 percent per quarter over the previous year.

The Walt Disney Co. on Tuesday released its earnings report for the third quarter, which ran from April 4 to July 3. Disney President Bob Iger and Jay Rasulo, chief financial officer, discussed the report on a webcast with investors. See a previous story about Disney’s third-quarter earnings.

The Disneyland Resort is the largest private employer in Orange County, with about 20,000 workers in two theme parks, the Downtown Disney entertainment-shopping area and three hotels.

Even though park attendance is down, Bob Iger, Walt Disney Co. president, credited the new “World of Color” water-and-light show with drawing “record crowds to Disney California Adventure.” Iger said the success of “World of Color” — the first major attraction to open in the park’s $1-billion expansion — is a “promising sign of our investments there.”

“World of Color” debuted June 11 — just three weeks before the quarter ended, meaning some of the initial attendance bump could show up later.

The “World of Color” also proved to be a major expense, contributing to an 8-percent drop in income for Walt Disney Parks and Resorts, Disney reported.
For the full article visit:
Around Disney: Attendance drops 4% at Disneyland Resort parks

Disney has taken another look at its Fantasyland expansion plans for Walt Disney World and realized they're not as good as they thought they were. It's a good thing, and now changes are in the works:

Disney says Fantasyland expansion plans are changing
Disney is redrawing the sweeping Fantasyland expansion plans it laid out last year, even as bulldozers clear land for the project inside the Magic Kingdom.

With the revisions, begun under new Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Chairman Tom Staggs, designers are attempting to rebalance the plans, which initially tilted heavily towards young girls by emphasizing attractions and experiences built around Disney’s stable of animated-movie princesses.

“We took a hard look at it amongst a number of us and said, ‘Can we make the appeal broader? Can we make it even better?’ “ Staggs said during an interview this week with the Orlando Sentinel.

The Fantasyland expansion is a critically important project for Disney. The Magic Kingdom, the busiest theme park in the world, now draws more than 17 million visitors a year and needs added capacity to ease pressure on crowds inside the park. The project, billed as the largest expansion in Magic Kingdom history, also comes as Disney World faces heightened competition from Universal Orlando, where the new Wizarding World of Harry Potter has drawn rave reviews — and enormous crowds — since opening in June.

Staggs declined to discuss specific changes to the Fantasyland plans, saying Disney would unveil them “in due course.”

The original plans called for a lavish indoor ride based on the movie The Little Mermaid, a trio of interactive princess character-greeting areas, an elaborately themed Beauty and the Beast restaurant, an expanded Dumbo attraction for young children, and a vaguely defined fairies-themed area.

Staggs said much of what was included in the original plans will be incorporated into the final product and that the changes are “improving it on the margin.” He characterized the revisions as part of any creative project’s natural evolution. As an example, Disney cited Hong Kong Disneyland, where early blueprints included an area dubbed “Glacier Peak” that was eventually replaced with a section themed around the company’s Toy Story film franchise.

“Our process is always iterative and always goes through changes as it goes along,” said Staggs, who was the Walt Disney Co.’s chief financial officer when he switched places with parks-and-resorts chief Jay Rasulo at the start of this year. Staggs added: “I believe one of my most important jobs is to make sure that I’m enabling and challenging our creative process to create the best possible result.”

Disney first announced the Fantasyland expansion plans 11 months ago, with Rasulo personally unveiling them during a convention in Anaheim, Calif., for a company-sponsored, $75-a-year fan club. Staggs is now running the theme-park division and Rasulo is CFO following an executive shuffle orchestrated by Disney President and Chief Executive Officer Bob Iger.

The Fantasyland construction is well underway: Yellow backhoes and mountains of dirt are visible behind temporary construction walls erected inside the Magic Kingdom.
But rumors have been building for weeks that changes were afoot, fueled by reports from a pair of well-known Disney bloggers, Jim Hill of Jim Hill Media and Al Lutz of

Company followers say there have been two pivotal developments since the Fantasyland plans were first announced: Staggs was installed as head of Walt Disney Parks and Resorts, and Universal opened the Wizarding World of Harry Potter.

Staggs, who has three young sons, is said to have expressed concerns that the initial plans for Fantasyland were too narrowly tailored to girls. The Wizarding World, meanwhile, has delivered impressive early returns for Universal Orlando since formally opening June 18.
For the full article visit:
The Daily Disney: Disney says Fantasyland expansion plans are changing

Okay - that finishes this week's edition of Dateline Disneyland! Thanks for reading and please be sure to discuss this week's update in the comments section below! Thanks again to boy33 for extra help this week.

Dateline Disneyland is now on Facebook! Be sure to become a fan of Dateline Disneyland on Facebook where you can get the latest news and info from Dateline Disneyland right on Facebook! Click here!

We're only able to be here because of your support and donations. If you read and enjoy Dateline Disneyland every week be sure to tell a friend or consider helping us out and donating a buck or two so we can pay the bills and keep the updates coming every week. Without your support, these updates could not happen! You can donate safely and securely with PayPal by clicking here. Thank you so much!

Also, remember that MiceChat has loads of new content all week long! For even more Disneyland news, photos and information check out the In the Parks column on Fridays. And MiceChat's Weekend Update, tours the world of Disney theme parks and other worldly sights and landmarks!

Don't forget to join us on Twitter! There are nearly 7,000 other Dateline Disneylanders who follow us on Twitter, 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

Dateline Disneyland

FTC-Mandated Disclosure:
Promotional consideration for this, the August 16, 2010 edition of Dateline Disneyland, was provided by
Howard Johnson Plaza Hotel
Anaheim Resort

Submit "Star Tours 2, Waterfails, Rapunzel, Building Cars Land, Red Car, Toy guns, +MUCH More" to Digg Submit "Star Tours 2, Waterfails, Rapunzel, Building Cars Land, Red Car, Toy guns, +MUCH More" to Submit "Star Tours 2, Waterfails, Rapunzel, Building Cars Land, Red Car, Toy guns, +MUCH More" to StumbleUpon Submit "Star Tours 2, Waterfails, Rapunzel, Building Cars Land, Red Car, Toy guns, +MUCH More" to Google


Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast
  1. Barbossa's Avatar
    • |
    • permalink
    Thanks for the update!

    RE Alice: It's amazing how paranoid some people have become in this world. A better alternative would've been to come up with some better safety procedures for maintenance workers - but I guess not a lot of people are using common sense these days and everything has to be dummy-proof.

    RE Toy Guns: It bugs me to this day that on my 2nd trip to the park with my parents and sister back in 1988, I didn't get one of those pirate toy guns they sold in the shop outside of POTC. Those were great! They had nice wooden handles and metal parts and weren't in those ugly colors. From a distance, they actually looked like the real thing, but again, a sign of the times.

    RE Little Mermaid: I recently got a 2nd hand book "The Great American Amusement Parks: A Pictorial History" by Gary Kyriazi (published 1976). Lots of great b&w photos of all the old parks like Coney Island and the various pier parks. I can really see what inspired the design of the Little Mermaid building and can't wait to see the final product.
  2. pussnboots's Avatar
    • |
    • permalink
    The gun thing is only sensible, I mean come on, it is LA...
  3. indianajack's Avatar
    • |
    • permalink
    Nice update, thanks!

    It's a shame about the waterfalls, they'll be missed.

    Any chance we'll get back a slide, acorn pit or some activity at Chip n' Dale's? Something to do back there would be nice...
  4. whamo's Avatar
    • |
    • permalink
    Those toy guns have strange colors so people won't think they're real. It's a shame to see the waterfalls leave the D.L. hotel. They had a magic all their own.
  5. JesterMn's Avatar
    • |
    • permalink
    I'm all for meeting that Prince from Tangled... he looks pretty cute!
  6. hadesthecat's Avatar
    • |
    • permalink
    I remember walking on the Peoplemover track from the station towards the Star Tours turn. I can just imagine the fit OSHA would have thrown.
  7. WheresMickey's Avatar
    • |
    • permalink
    Nice update!
  8. NetteNutt's Avatar
    • |
    • permalink
    Thanks for the update! Nice to see a different view of Carsland. I likethe photos of the construction but all the ones from the fun wheel were beginning to feel like "the amazing backside of ROCKS" Nice to see what is going on in front.
  9. Mac Daddy's Avatar
    • |
    • permalink
    Great update, Andy! Thanks!
  10. socalkdg's Avatar
    • |
    • permalink
    Those stairs are going to become popular for people taking Carsland photos. Nice to see the rock work coming along.
  11. HighLeveller's Avatar
    • |
    • permalink
    Major bummer the waterfalls are closing already. I was planning on photographing them a whole bunch when I go to DLR in a few weeks, for the purpose of making an interactive computer model sometime later on, for posterity purposes. I'd only briefly seen them and this general area once before, late at night after park-closing.
  12. RSoxNo1's Avatar
    • |
    • permalink
    When did all that rockwork go up for Carsland? That looks like a huge wall has already been built.
  13. JADP's Avatar
    • |
    • permalink
    Wow, I turn around for one second and Cars land progress really picks up! So exciting!!!
    Those guns really are ugly, still I could see my Boys wanting them, and at least they brought them back.
  14. casey-eo's Avatar
    • |
    • permalink
    Fantastic update! So many things to report and the photo's were great. I'm so sad abut the waterfalls. Carsland coming along. Just for nostalgic reasons, I'd love to buy one of those guns. I use to have one back from 89'.
  15. TDLFAN's Avatar
    • |
    • permalink
    While I am not too excited about the Cars theme being used for a new land, I sure hope that Imagineering can pull it off nice enough to be engaging and memorable. But I still wonder if the Arizona like desert panorama is a good fit for Disney CALIFORNIA Adventures...
  16. unclemike's Avatar
    • |
    • permalink
    Am I not thinking clearly, or does that "EST. 1942" metal street marker make no sense? Isn't the whole area supposed to be 1920s LA/Hollywood?
  17. ExCandyMaker's Avatar
    • |
    • permalink
    It's sad about the waterfalls and the old Fantasy Waters. Anybody who was a teenager when the Fantasy waters show was up and running probably remember it as the cheapest date in town!
  18. Disneykin Kid's Avatar
    • |
    • permalink
    Alice - welcome to the world of having to idiot-proof everything. Colorful toy guns - idiot-proof again. Waterfalls for wedding lawn - shades of DCA 2001.
  19. eicarr's Avatar
    • |
    • permalink
    The good thing though I guess is that the Disneyland Hotel must becoming a discount hotel. The waterfalls and shows being replaced by a grass lawn and the paddleboat marina being replaced by kiddie watersides and urine. Putting fiber optics in a headboard is rather silly waste of money in a hotel that lost its experience as a park getaway/oasis. But even with the dull chain hotel grounds and urine pool... as long as it's under $100 I'll give it a try.
  20. ferrarifann's Avatar
    • |
    • permalink
    nice update but.. "The meet-and-green opens October 15..." ...?? lol =P
Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast