Goofy takes flight, Wilderness Exploring, Fourth of Color, Carthay construction +MORE
by, 06-27-2011 at 02:14 AM
Goofy unofficially opened the gates to his new Sky School in Disney California Adventure this weekend, giving guests a sneak preview at the remodeled roller coaster as final touches were being applied next door at the lavish new Paradise Garden dining courtyard. Meanwhile, visible work is gearing up again at the park's new Carthay Circle Theater and work continues finishing the new Pan Pacific Auditorium-inspired gates at the park's main entrance. Over at Disneyland, most of the Main Street Emporium interior is behind walls while the store undergoes a major refurbishment. Finally, Disney is gearing up for the Fourth of July holiday with scheduled nightly fireworks and special World of Color shows through the long holiday weekend.
More information on the construction projects featured in today's column can be found in the MiceChat Project Tracker threads — just look for a Project Tracker watermark and click that photo for more information and to join the on-going discussion.
We've got another full update today, so let's get started.
Inside Dateline Disneyland
- Welcome to Disneyland!
TouringPlans.com crowd level recap, Emporium refurbishment
- Fourth of Color
Special fireworks and a new World of Color pre-show set for Fourth of July
- California Construction
A look at the on-going construction at Disney California Adventure...
- Wilderness Exploring
Adventure is out there with Russell and Dug at the Redwood Creek Challenge Trail
- Disneyland Hotel Remodel
Disneyland Hotel remodel continues
- This & That
Golden Horseshoe refurb wraps up
- Weekly News and Information Round-Up
Weekly theme park hours, closures and refurbishments, Al Weiss retires, Big Thunder defense, Grad Nite changes
Sponsored by TouringPlans.com | Do More. Wait Less.[/color]
WELCOME TO DISNEYLAND!
A major refurbishment is now underway inside the Main Street Emporium as most of the store's interior is behind construction walls.
Our friends at Touring Plans have their weekly crowd recap:
Expect high crowd levels all week long as we head into the July 4th weekend. Due to this, now more than ever it's a good time to subscribe to TouringPlans.com to let us help you plan your strategy to avoid the crowds! The TouringPlans.com Crowd Calendar rankings are based on wait times for all days on record. Because choosing the least crowded days to visit, but not having a good plan of attack for avoiding crowd concentrations is like ordering Diet Coke with three Big Macs, especially with the high Summer crowd levels anticipated, we highly recommend that you follow a Touring Plan. You can now access these Touring Plans on the go with our Lines Mobile Wait Times app!
Here’s how the observed wait time submissions of our Lines Mobile Wait Times app users and our data team compared to what our professional statisticians predicted on the Crowd Calendar.
— Fred Hazelton Statistician, TouringPlans.com
Crowd Calendar Prediction Actual Crowd Levels DISNEYLAND RESORT DISNEYLAND PARK CALIFORNIA ADVENTURE DISNEYLAND RESORT DISNEYLAND PARK CALIFORNIA ADVENTURE Sun. June 19 7/10 5.7/10 6.6/10 7/10 5.1/10 6.9/10 Mon. June 20 5/10 4.7/10 5.0/10 6/10 4.9/10 5.8/10 Tue. June 21 5/10 4.8/10 5.2/10 6/10 4.9/10 5.9/10 Wed. June 22 6/10 5.0/10 4.6/10 6/10 5.7/10 5.2/10 Thu. June 23 5/10 5.2/10 5.0/10 7/10 6.8/10 5.1/10 Fri. June 25 6/10 5.4/10 4.9/10 7/10 5.3/10 6.2/10 Crowd levels are based on a scale from 1 to 10, with 1 being the least crowded conditions and 10 being most crowded.
The store's main entrances are closed off as the central portion of the retail space is closed.
Side entrances, such as the Carriage Place Clothiers doors and the Crystal Arcade are the only way to access the shop right now
Shelves are up on the refurbishment walls.
FOURTH OF COLOR
Disney announced a special Independence-day themed World of Color pre-show for this year's Fourth of July weekend in addition to the traditional holiday fireworks show at Disneyland. The World of Color pre-show will feature fireworks along with utilizing the show's fountain and light infrastructure and will run immediately before all World of Color shows July 1—4. Disneyland's holiday fireworks show will run once nightly July 1—4 as well, but will be a shorter version of the show the first three nights. The complete show will only run once on July 4. The regular summer fireworks show, "Magical," will not be offered July 1st through July 4th.
Celebrate America with Special Independence Day Shows at the Disneyland Resort
We’re celebrating July 4th in a very special way at the Disneyland Resort! From July 1-4, guests can experience special nighttime spectaculars celebrating America. At Disney California Adventure park, we’ve got an all-new Independence Day “World of Color” pre-show which will run prior to each showing of “World of Color” and will combine video, water effects, lighting and fireworks to create a spectacular celebration of American independence.
At Disneyland park, guests can commemorate Independence Day with “Disney’s Celebrate America! A Fourth of July Concert in the Sky.” This special fireworks show combines patriotic music with bursts of red, white and blue to celebrate the land of the free and the home of the brave. [ LINK ]
Independence Day Entertainment Schedule
July 1 — 4
Disney's Celebrate America!
A Fourth of July Concert in the Sky
World of Color
with special Fourth of July pre-show
Disney California Adventure Park
9:00 PM, 10:15 PM
This won't be the first time World of Color has offered a special holiday show. New Year's Eve was the first time a special holiday show was offered and it did not disappoint. We hope the Fourth of July show is as well-produced as the New Year's Eve offering (pictured below):
Work continues on the remainder of California Adventure's $1 billion-dollar remodel and expansion...
BUENA VISTA STREET
Work continues on finishing the new main entrance turnstiles at Disney California Adventure.
Inside the parks, work is ramping up again at the Carthay Circle Theater. In front of the new building, the Red Car Trolley tracks are being installed.
Scaffolding is up around the Carthay tower
Framing in architectural details behind construction walls
The new pump house is coming together nicely.
It looks great so far!
A look at the backside of the new pumphouse, as seen from the It's Tough to be a Bug queue in A Bug's Land:
GOOFY'S SKY SCHOOL
& PARADISE GARDEN DINING AREA
On Saturday, Disney soft-opened the re-themed Goofy's Sky School roller coaster. The attraction, previously known as Mullholland Madness and themed with roadsigns and a giant cartoony fold-out road map, has new become Goofy's chicken-farm-turned-flight-school where Goofy teaches student pilots how to fly. Animated billboards along the roller coaster track give Goofy's step-by-step lesson on how to fly.
Little details: a new weathervane atop the Sky School water tower
After the nice new water tower entrance, the main queue for the attraction is largely the same as its Mullholland Madness version. The colors here are different and now posters and framed pictures and certificates tell the story of how Goofy turned his chicken farm into a flight school.
The extent of the theming here is framed items bolted to the wall. They're full of clever in-jokes and references, but they fail to make the experience particularly immersive.
The load area has some nice new props and a new mural.
The ride itself loses the green-and-orange color scheme of Mullholland Madness and the cheap and tacky road signs. The coaster is now painted sky blue and cartoon cloud cut-outs have replaced the traffic signs. More billboards have been added as well, several of which are animated.
The net effect of this attraction's makeover doesn't amount to much. It looks nicer than Mullholland Madness, to be sure, but the overall improvement here is negligible at best. The animated billboards are just barely adequate, but don't even compare to the simplest of Disneyland's Fantasyland dark rides. The floor of the roller coaster is a sand pit, unchanged from Mullholland Madness; and most of the experience amounts to nothing more than zipping through a maze of steel. There is no ride soundtrack or sound effects except for the obligatory safety spiels, delivered by Goofy himself. This remodel makes no great strides in creating an immersive Disney-quality experience, but it isn't a complete loss. If nothing else, the Goofy overlay is more aesthetically enjoyable than the garish Mullholland Madness theme, and that's a win. Yet, it's a bit of a shame that a classic character such as Goofy has been reduced to such an attraction. We hope that the lifespan of this overlay is very short and redevelopment gets underway here in just a few short years and not decades from now.
Below is complete video ride-through of the attraction.
Meanwhile, work is wrapping up at the new Paradise Garden dining area next to Goofy's Sky School. The exit stairs at Goofy's Sky School give a good view into the new area while construction walls are still up.
This area is set to officially open this Friday, July 1.
Nearby, Bayside Brews is still behind walls, but a new sign has appeared on a lamp post but is currently covered up.
A look at Cars Land progress...
A new awning is up at the Curios shop
Mater's Junkyard Jamboree construction:
Over in the Grizzly Peak Recreation area, the Redwood Creek Challenge Trail has welcomed Russell and Dug from Disney-Pixar's "Up." The new overlay offers six tasks young Wilderness Explorers can complete to earn "badges" so they can graduate as Senior Wilderness Explorers in a small ceremony at the Ahwahnee Camp Circle.
Wilderness Explorers can grab their activity map at the entrance to the Challenge Trail.
The inside of the map has scratch-off circles that Explorers scratch off to reveal their "badges" once completing each task.
The map at the entrance to the Challenge Trail has been updated with the new "Up" theme.
The Ahwahnee Camp Circle Wilderness Explorer Ceremony show happens several times daily and features Russell and Dug honoring Wilderness Explorers who successfully earned all of their badges.
DISNEYLAND HOTEL REMODEL
Over at the Disneyland Hotel, work continues on the Fantasy Tower's remodel as well as the overhaul of the former Never Land Pool.
The old entrance area to the Never Land Pool
He's still here... for now.
THIS & THAT
Back in Disneyland, walls have come down around the Golden Horseshoe following the restaurant's refurbishment.
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WEEKLY NEWS AND INFORMATION ROUND-UP Weekly Theme Park HoursJune 27 — July 3, 2011
Disneyland Park Disney California Adventure Monday-Sunday: 8am - 12midnight Monday-Sunday: 10am - 10pm For a complete listing of theme park hours, visit the Disneyland.com Theme Park Calendar
Expected Crowd Levels presented by TouringPlans.com Disneyland Park Disney California Adventure HIGH 7.3—8.8 out of 10 HIGH 8.4—9.2 out of 10 Closures and Refurbishment Schedule Disneyland Park
- Matterhorn Bobsleds: Closed for refurbishment July 11—September 1.
Disney California Adventure
- Goofy's Sky School: Opens July 1
- Boardwalk Pizza and Pasta: Opens July 1
- Paradise Garden Grill: Opens July 1
- Red Car Trolley: Attraction set to open spring 2012.
Downtown Disney & Hotels of the Disneyland Resort
- Never Land Pool: Area closed for remodel and re-theming.
HEAD OF DISNEY PARKS ANNOUNCES RETIREMENT
Al Weiss, President of Worldwide Operations for all of Disney Parks and Resorts, has announced his retirement. The Disney Parks Blog has his retirement announcement:
Al Weiss Announces Retirement
We have some news to share today regarding a key member of the Disney team. Al Weiss, former head of Walt Disney World and current President of Worldwide Operations for all of Disney Parks and Resorts, has decided to retire after almost 39 years with the company. Al started off working at Walt Disney World as a teenager and will leave his imprint on so many aspects of our business. Some of the highlights of his tenure include launching Disney Cruise Line, opening Animal Kingdom at Walt Disney World and integrating worldwide park operations. Al’s official retirement date will be November 1 of this year. (Below is Al's retirement announcement.)
Fellow cast members,
After careful thought and consideration, it is with both pleasure and sadness that I announce after 39 long and wonderful years I will be retiring from The Walt Disney Company. Thanks to all of you who have been part of my unforgettable career with this amazing company.
I began my time with the Walt Disney World Resort as a teenager doing “z runs” in Magic Kingdom park. After many years and much hard work, I am proud to finish my career as president, Worldwide Operations, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts. There are very few companies like Disney that give individuals an opportunity to grow and develop so much in their careers. Disney is truly an organization that promotes from within and allows our talented cast members to follow their dreams.
Over my long history with Disney, I have seen the opening of so many exciting things: theme parks, resorts, attractions, shows and now even cruise ships. I have had the great pleasure and honor to work beside such great talent and leadership, and I feel confident the company will continue to thrive and do magical things for many years. The best is yet to come …
While I will miss the great people, exciting projects and stellar vision of Disney, I am very excited to begin the next chapter of my life. I will not miss my weekly Monday morning commute to California, but I will look forward to spending time with family, grandchildren and friends and traveling this great big world in which we live.
Thank you for almost four decades of fun, challenges, good times and bad. Most of all, I thank you for the magic that I know each of you and Disney will continue to create for our cast and guests every day.
It’s kind of fun to do the impossible.
Best wishes and God bless,
President, Worldwide Operations
Walt Disney Parks and Resorts
Full story: Disney Parks Blog: Al Weiss Announces Retirement
DISNEY MOVES GRAD NITE TO CALIFORNIA ADVENTURE IN 2013
Some big changes for Grad Nite are coming soon... Details from the Disney Parks Blog
Disneyland Grad Nite – New Twists on a 50-Year Tradition Coming in 2012 and 2013
As our 50th Grad Nite season comes to an end, we are excited to announce new twists and enhancements coming in 2012 and 2013 to this traditional rite of passage so many of us experienced as high school graduates.
In 2012, Grads will have more time, more flexibility and more room for their celebration at the Disneyland Resort including the opportunity to enter Disneyland park or Disney California Adventure park at any time during their Grad Nite visit. Students will receive a park hopper ticket allowing them a full day to experience both parks!
In addition, 2012 Grads will now receive a special FASTPASS option to use during their visit and a private showing of “Fantasmic!” to kick off the exclusive private party that begins when Disneyland park closes.
Beginning in 2013, the private party will move to Disney California Adventure park where Grads will enjoy all the newest offerings including an exclusive “World of Color” viewing and the new Cars Land.
Full story: Disney Parks Blog: Disneyland Grad Nite – New Twists on a 50-Year Tradition Coming in 2012 and 2013
UK POSTMAN STEALS MAIL, CLAIMS BIG THUNDER MOUNTAIN DEFENSE
From The Telegraph, via the OC Register:
Thieving postman traumatised by Disneyland rollercoaster accident spared jail
George Ramplin, 43, told Chelmsford Crown Court that the ride induced flashbacks to a fatal road accident he was involved in as a 10-year-old.
Judge Laura Harris said was prepared to take an exceptional decision and not send him to prison.
Instead she imposed a six month community order with a six month curfew between 7 pm and 7am and ordered Ramplin, of Harwich, to pay £350 towards the Royal Mail's legal and investigation costs.
Judge Harris said the post traumatic stress disorder provided an explanation "for this completely irrational" behaviour, adding: "This is a tragedy for you and your family."
The court had been told that Ramplin's ride on Thunder Mountain triggered a childhood memory of a fatal school minibus crash 30 years earlier and that it was this that led to him turning to stealing parcels.
Ramplin survived the May 1978 accident near Harwich when he was just ten. However, the court was told that seven children and one teacher died and he spent weeks in hospital having to undergo several operations for serious head injuries.
But the court was told that memories of it flooded back during and after the Thunder Mountain ride during a family holiday last August and triggered post traumatic stress disorder in him.
And as a result it was claimed that over a five week period leading up to last Christmas he stole parcels containing DVDs and computer games from Harwich delivery office.
The court did not hear whether the family visited the Thunder Mountain roller coaster at Disneyland, Paris, Disneyland, California or Magic Kingdom in Florida. All three parks feature the ride.
His barrister Katrina Jamieson said : "Thunder Mountain is a very fast, frightening roller coaster ride. After being on there Ramplin was terrified and worried there was going to be an accident and all of a sudden memories of the accident when he was ten came flooding back.
"He was having flashbacks to the scene of the accident, dead children's bodies, and he lost two and a half stone in weight and his confidence disappeared. He was experiencing sleepless nights and was snapping at everyone."
After his arrest for theft from Royal Mail, Ramplin, 43, of Oaklands Road, Harwich, was diagnosed with post traumatic stress disorder and is now receiving therapy, she said. But she added that his mind was clearly very muddled at the time he took the parcels.
Full story: The Telegraph: Thieving postman traumatised by Disneyland rollercoaster accident spared jail
OK—that wraps up this week's Dateline Disneyland. Be sure to check out our sponsors over at TouringPlans.com and see predicted crowd levels and wait times when planning your Fourth of July visit!
For all of our U.S. readers — have a safe and happy Independence Day weekend!
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