Hello! We're back from vacation and ready to bring you the latest news and info from the Disneyland Resort! California Adventure has unveiled its latest nighttime dance party as park-goers wind their way through construction and refurbishment walls in both parks. The new ElecTRONica gives guests the chance to enter the world of TRON with lasers, lights, music and vintage arcade games in the Hollywood Pictures Backlot. Meanwhile, Paradise Pier continues to see major demolition around two now-closed dining locations and the deconstruction of the Maliboomer thrill ride. Elsewhere, construction continues on the upcoming Little Mermaid and Cars Land attractions. Of course, Disneyland park continues to buzz with activity as well, with refurbishments in Toon Town, reopened shops and rides, and early preparation for the holiday season.
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.
Many thanks for Fishbulb and David Yeh for their help with photos this week.
We've got another big update, so let's get started!
This & That 'Cars' come to Ridemakerz, Getting ready for a small holiday
Weekly News and Information Round-Up Weekly theme park hours, closures and refurbishments, Disney explains Halloween fireworks change, Garden Grove wants Resort-area recognition, Disney plans 'Magic Kingdom' movie
WELCOME TO DISNEYLAND!
The Disney Clothiers store on Main Street has reopened after the shop underwent a remodel.
Interestingly, the shop lost a lot of thematic touches. Much of the theming "clutter" decorating the walls has been removed along with overhead hanging Victorian-style lighting fixtures. The centrally-located cash register area has also been removed and a new cash wrap has been added to the northern side of the store. Also removed are the guest fitting rooms, which were reportedly closed off to avoid shoplifting and other questionable activities that were taking place in the rooms.
In-theme displays have been downsized. Is making the store appear less cluttered at the sacrifice of rich theming a good thing or a bad thing?
The navy blue accent paint is an interesting choice...
No more dressing rooms
In Frontierland, the Mark Twain has reopened after a brief refurbishment that included re-oiling the deck.
Further back in the park, Roger Rabbit's Car Toon Spin has gone down for a refurbishment that will last through mid-December.
On the other side of Toon Town, Mickey's House is getting a facade refurbishment. "Meet Mickey" is still open during the refurbishment.
Over in Fantasyland, the Village Haus refurbishment continues behind construction walls.
ELECTRONICA OPENS THE GRID
Disney debuted its new ElecTRONica nighttime dance party over the weekend in California Adventure to pretty solid reviews from the fan community.
ElecTRONica is the successor to the summer's surprise hit Glow Fest, which similarly took over the Hollywood Pictures Backlot with after-dark dance parties complete with lights, loud music and booze.
By day, the event doesn't look that great....
...But at night it takes on a whole new life and welcomes park guests into the world of TRON.
Combining dynamic music and dance, fun food and drink, and the computer-world environment of “TRON: Legacy,” the “ElecTRONica” festivities will take place Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights this fall, plus all week Thanksgiving week, Nov. 19 -28, and nightly during the Christmas vacation period Friday, Dec. 17, through Sunday, Jan 2. “ElecTRONica” is expected to continue through mid-to-late April 2011.
The adventure will begin in Sunshine Plaza at a “TRON”-themed stage where, at 6 p.m., an exciting music, video and dance show will welcome guests and prepare them to enter the world of TRON.
When the high-powered Sun Plaza welcoming show has concluded, the party will transition into Hollywood Pictures Backlot. Guests will pass through an “ElecTRONica” archway to a street alive with a computerized color grid. There, they will have the sensation of being digitized and transported into the computer mainframe world of “TRON: Legacy.” [ FULL PRESS RELEASE ]
LASERMAN entertains crowds at ElecTRONica...
A nine-minute 3D preview of the upcoming TRON: Legacy film can be seen in the Muppet*Vision Theater.
And a recreation of Flynn's Arcade and the End of Line bar are nestled in the back corner of the Backlot.
Nostalgic 25-cent tokens with the Flynn's Arcade and ElecTRONica logos let guests play vintage 80s-era arcade games
The OC Register's Around Disney blog has a video preview of Flynn's Arcade:
As DCA entertains guests in the Hollywood Pictures Backlot with ElecTRONica, the rest of the park continues to be a mess of construction, including the park's main entrance. Half of the west mural has now been removed and it's only a matter of time until the rest of it moves on to Yesterland.
It's a strange, but definitely exciting view!
The Farmer's Market area is now gone as work continues to turn the area into the entrance and one of the new rides of Cars Land.
More of Cars Land's rock work goes up in the distance...
PARADISE GARDEN DINING AREA
Over at the future Paradise Garden dining area, the carnival basketball toss game, the S.S. rustworthy water play area, and the old seating areas have been completely removed and heavy work is taking place on the restaurant buildings as well.
All of the tacky clutter that used to be in front of the restaurant buildings is now totally gone!
Mullholland Madness closes this week to begin its remodel into Goofy's Sky School. So far, the concept art for this re-theme is pretty tame, and while it'll be nice to see the tacky cartoon map disappear from the side of the roller coaster, the changes don't promise to be too dramatic.
The concept art for the re-theme really doesn't promise much...
Down the way, the Maliboomer continues to be dismantled...
DISNEYLAND HOTEL CONSTRUCTION
Over at the Disneyland Hotel, even more construction continues as the Hotel's major remodeling project pushes on...
THIS & THAT
Ridemakerz in Downtown Disney recently introduced a line of customizable Cars-themed car kits.
The Ridemakerz store gives shoppers the chance to select toy cars, pick accessories and assemble them inside the store with special tools, similar to Build-A-Bear Workshop for stuffed animals.
Until now, the Downtown Disney location only sold cars based on real models. Now, the store also plans to carry cars that look like the “Cars” movie characters: Lightning McQueen, Sally and Mater. The cost starts at $35 each.
“We’ve been so lucky. Disney invited us to come up with customized treatments for their ‘Cars’ characters. It’s really a fantastic blend of Ridemakerz and Disney-Pixar cars,” said Larry Andreini, chief executive officer of Ridemakerz. [ FULL ARTICLE ]
And back in Disneyland, "it's a small world" is starting to get ready for the installation of its holiday overlay, beginning with the Christmas lights on the facade.
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WEEKLY NEWS AND INFORMATION ROUND-UP
Weekly Theme Park Hours
OCTOBER 11 — 17, 2010
Disney California Adventure
Monday: 8 am - 12 midnight Tuesday: 8 am - 6 pm Wednesday: 9 am - 8 pm Thursday: 8 am - 11 pm Friday: 8 pm - 7 pm Saturday: 8 am - 12 midnight Sunday: 9 am - 12 midnight
Monday - Tuesday: 10 am - 9 pm Wednesday - Thursday: 10 am - 8 pm Friday: 10 am - 11 pm Saturday - Sunday: 10 am - 10 pm
Village Haus Restaurant: Closed until December 19 for refurbishment.
Roger Rabbit Car Toon Spin: Closed through December 16 for refurbishment.
Donald's Boat: Closed October 12-21.
"it's a small world": Closed October 25 - November 11 to install holiday overlay.
Pirates of the Caribbean: Closed November 2 -3 for refurbishment.
The Blue Bayou Restaurant: Closed November 2 -3 due to Pirates of the Caribbean refurbishment.
The Jungle Cruise: Closed November 15-17
Mr. Toad's Wild Ride: Closed November 29 through December 2 for refurbishment.
Star Tours: Closed for Star Tours 2 overhaul. Reopens May 2011.
Disney California Adventure
It's Tough to Be a Bug!: Closed through October 25 - 29 for refurbishment.
Redwood Creek Challenge Trail: Closed November 1-18
Maliboomer: Closed permanently for removal.
Mullholland Madness: Closes October 12 to begin re-theme. Reopens May 2011 as Goofy's Sky School.
Pizza Oom Mow Mow: Closed for retheme to Boardwalk Pasta and Pizza
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, Jungle Cruise Remote Control Boats, Hook's Pointe, The Wine Cellar, The Lost Bar, and Croc's Bits & Bites (Disneyland Hotel): Closed permanently for removal as part of Disneyland Hotel remodel.
DISNEY EXPLAINS REASON FOR PRIVATE HALLOWEEN FIREWORKS
From the OC Register Around Disney blog:
Disney explains Halloween fireworks change
Some Disney fans, especially annual passholders, were angered by the company’s decision to limit the Halloween fireworks show to after-hours parties. But Disney officials said they had a good reason: The viewing areas were too packed.
Last year, the company debuted the Halloween Screams fireworks show that all Disneyland visitors could watch. The show proved so popular that streets often backed up around the Disneyland area as visitors, especially annual passholders, came to the park at night to see the fireworks.
This year, Disney decided to make Halloween Screams part of the restricted-admission, trick-or-treat parties that were moved to Disneyland from Disney California Adventure. See a story about the Disney Halloween fireworks change.
“It wasn’t an easy decision,” said Jeff Van Langeveld, director of marketing strategy for the Disneyland Resort during a meeting with reporters. “It was wildly popular. It was actually, frankly too crowded.”
Visitors last year filled up prime spots in front of Sleeping Beauty Castle, where viewers can see projections on the facade and a 20-foot orb. Zero the Ghost Dog from “The Nightmare Before Christmas” flies over the castle to the Matterhorn. To provide another viewing area, Disney experimented with showing the same projections on mist screens on Rivers of America.
“We didn’t’ feel like we were delivering a good Halloween experience,” for those who couldn’t get spots in front of the castle, Van Langeveld said.
Disney can cap attendance at the 10 night parties so that most visitors could see the fireworks from in front of the castle, Van Langeveld said. Plus, Disney wanted to offer a new experience as part of the Disneyland parties.
Disney also hiked prices for the night parties this year. Last year’s tickets cost a minimum of $32 each. Mickey’s Halloween Party tickets cost between $49 and $59 each this year.
GARDEN GROVE VIES FOR RESORT-AREA PERKS
From the OC Register:
Mayor: Garden Grove will get on resort map
GARDEN GROVE – Working with Anaheim and marketing the resort area together will be extremely beneficial for Garden Grove and help improve its reputation, Mayor Bill Dalton said.
He and other City Council members moved one step closer Tuesday night to approving the formation of a tourism improvement district to boost marketing efforts, especially for the hotels in both cities, which largely attract tourists and business guests to Disneyland and the Convention Center.
About 2.5 percent of the bed tax from hotels north of Lampson Avenue will go into the tourism improvement district and hotels south of Lampson will contribute 0.5 percent of their bed tax. The hotel assessments are expected to generate $2 million annually and help fund marketing efforts under the umbrella of the Anaheim Visitors and Convention Bureau.
About 80 percent of this money would be used for collective marketing efforts through the Anaheim/Orange County Visitors and Convention Bureau, while the remainder will be used for street improvements on Harbor Boulevard and other tourism promotion activities in Garden Grove.
Resident Peggy Bergen told the council she was concerned about Garden Grove's name being buried in this joint effort.
"It's great that we are all working together to promote tourism," she said. "But I've seen in the past that Garden Grove is not mentioned anywhere in the hotel brochures. They are called Anaheim hotels although they are in Garden Grove."
Bergen said she is concerned as a taxpayer about Garden Grove's visibility in the arena of tourism.
"We're going through all this effort for InternationalWEST," she said. "We should brand it at ours. Hotels should be able to say, 'We're a hotel and we're proud to be in Garden Grove.'"
DISNEY CONSIDERING MAGIC KINGDOM MOVIE
If this movie is made, let's just hope it doesn't become another "Country Bears"
Disney is considering making a film version of its ever-popular Magic Kingdom theme park setting, which isn't too surprising considering the success of the studio's Pirates of the Caribbean franchise. But the Mouse House's take on the film is something of a revelation: Essentially, it could turn out to be The Avengers with Mickey Mouse and the gang.
Variety has the report on the project, which originated as a pitch from Battlestar Galactica's Ron Moore. He wrote a family-adventure script, which takes place in Disneyland ala Night at the Museum. Marc Abraham and Eric Newman will produce, though they are now looking for a new writer to develop the project.
"While executives say the project isn't a top priority, it is one they're keeping their eyes on as a potential platform that could showcase a number of high-profile Disney characters, including Mickey Mouse and friends," says the trade. "Some at the studio are referring to Magic Kingdom as Disney's own Justice League or The Avengers -- movies that need other films to rollout at the megaplex in order to introduce audiences -- especially younger moviegoers -- to a cast of characters or overall properties they may not be fully familiar with."
Alrighty! That wraps up this week's edition of Dateline Disneyland! Thanks, as always, for reading and please be sure to discuss the column in the comments section below!
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See you at the parks! - Andy
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