Dining in Paradise, Goofy flies, Celebrating Fourth of July, Buena Vista Street +MORE
by, 07-04-2011 at 01:23 AM
Disney California Adventure celebrated the long Fourth of July weekend by opening two new dining locations, officially launching a re-themed attraction, and introducing a new holiday-themed World of Color pre-show. The park's big winner of the weekend is the wonderful new Paradise Garden dining area which houses two excellent new restaurants in a beautiful new Victorian-style seaside garden that seats 900 guests. Next door, the re-themed Goofy's Sky School roller coaster is now officially open and drawing big crowds. And a few steps away in Paradise Bay, Disney cooked up a great new Independence Day-themed pre-show for the popular World of Color water spectacular. Meanwhile, Disneyland celebrated the holiday with its annual holiday fireworks show as a couple minor refurbishments wrapped up around the park.
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.
It's another big update this week, so let's jump right in!
Inside Dateline Disneyland
- Welcome to Disneyland!
TouringPlans.com crowd level recap
- Fourth of Color
Disneyland Resort celebrates Independence Day with special nighttime entertainment
- Dining in Paradise
Paradise Garden opens, brining great new dining options to Disney California Adventure
- California Construction
A look at the on-going construction at Disney California Adventure...
- Disneyland Hotel Remodel
Disneyland Hotel remodel continues
- This & That
Moonliner refurb, Frontierland ODV
- Weekly News and Information Round-Up
Weekly theme park hours, closures and refurbishments, Disney making a movie based on the Matterhorn
Sponsored by TouringPlans.com | Do More. Wait Less.[/color]
WELCOME TO DISNEYLAND!
Disneyland was dressed up in its patriotic best for the Fourth of July holiday week. Our friends at Touring Plans have a look back at the holiday crowd levels.
Expect high crowd levels all week long as we exit 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 26 8/10 8.2/10 8.2/10 9/10 7.8/10 8.5/10 Mon. June 27 8/10 8.2/10 8.3/10 9/10 8.9/10 8.6/10 Tue. June 28 9/10 8.2/10 8.5/10 9/10 7.9/10 8.7/10 Wed. June 29 9/10 8.3/10 8.5/10 10/10 9.4/10 9.7/10 Thu. June 30 9/10 8.2/10 8.5/10 10/10 7.9/10 9.7/10 Fri. July 1 8/10 7.2/10 8.4/10 8/10 6.7/10 8.7/10 Sat. July 2 9/10 8.7/10 9.1/10 6/10 5.2/10 6.6/10 Crowd levels are based on a scale from 1 to 10, with 1 being the least crowded conditions and 10 being most crowded.
FOURTH OF COLOR
This weekend Disneyland Resort theme parks celebrated the Independence Day holiday with a special holiday fireworks show at Disneyland and a holiday pre-show at World of Color in Disney California Adventure. The short four-minute World of Color pre-show may feature audio excerpted from Disneyland's Fourth of July fireworks show, but it still manages to feel unique and engaging.
Disney tends to do patriotic attractions and shows rather well, and this was no exception. The show combines the impressive World of Color infrastructure with bursts of fireworks, patriotic projections and strong music. The pre-show is a great way of offering holiday-themed entertainment offerings on Paradise Bay without removing the regular World of Color show that is still only a year old.
Still, be aware that when compared to Disneyland's fireworks display, the World of Color preshow is the lesser of the two options if you're seeking a complete Fourth of July experience. However, for those familiar with Disneyland's Fourth of July fireworks show, the World of Color preshow is a nice change of pace that is pretty impressive, even at such a short running time.
Below, MiceChatter asianbma shared some great videos of the World of Color Independence Day pre-show as well as the holiday fireworks at Disneyland. Keep in mind that the Fourth of July fireworks at Disneyland run in an abbreviated form July 1—3. The short show is in the video below. The complete show runs only today, July 4th.
If you're planning on visiting the parks today, July 4, below is the evening entertainment schedule. With high holiday crowds expected, be sure to pick up your World of Color FASTPASS early.
Independence Day Entertainment Schedule
July 4, 2011
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
DINING IN PARADISE
On Friday, the new Paradise Garden dining area opened on Paradise Pier in Disney California Adventure. The new dining area utilizes the buildings of two former restaurants (Pizza Oom Mow Mow and Burger Invasion) and space previously occupied by a tacky water play area (S.S. rustworthy) and some carnival games. The renovated space is now a lush Victorian-style garden area that includes dining space for 900 guests, a bandstand and plenty of shade.
This view was previously dominated by a giant hamburger. Now, lush landscaping in a turn-of-the-century Victorian garden is the scene — and it's fantastic.
You can take the path on the left to more seating area
Great new shaded dining space with fans and lighting
The great thing about the new shade structures and trees along the west side of the dining area is that the tacky Goofy's Sky School roller coaster blends into the background and is hardly noticeable. This is definitely a good thing.
The former P.T. Flea Market pin shop that once sat near the entrance to A Bug's Land has been relocated here. It's been gutted and fixed with fantastic antique lighting fixtures and fans, providing a shady, cool dining area.
New covered seating areas stretch along the main parade route.
Live music scheduled through summer at the Paradise Garden Bandstand entertains guests while they dine.
The rethemed and rebuilt restaurants offer great new dining options.
At Paradise Garden Grill, you choose the meat of your choice and pair it with the mediterranean sauce of your liking. If you're not sure which sauce you'll like, ask for a couple to try on the side! Our group was very pleased with our lunch at Paradise Garden Grill. Those who tried the lemon-oregano chicken noted it was juicy, fresh and nicely seasoned. The member of our party that tried the beef kefta noted that it was delicious with its great blend of spices. The sauces we sampled (tandoori-spiced yogurt, tzatziki, and chimichurri were all flavorful, while not being too overbearing for the meats. My personal favorite was the great, mildly tangy tzatziki. While one meat skewer may seem a bit high for the $10 price, the portions seemed perfect for our group. Just the right amount for a satisfyingly full meal, without being too much.
Chicken skewer plate with sauce on the side
Beef kefta with yogurt sauce
Chicken with yogurt sauce.
Over at Boardwalk Pizza and Pasta, a selection of flatbread pizzas, freshly-prepared pastas and entree salads are served up in a large cafeteria-style setting. The restaurant, formerly known as Pizza Oom Mow Mow, no longer offers indoor seating space and the cafeteria set-up similar to Disneyland's Plaza Inn now occupies the entire space.
The interior here is beautifully crafted. Lots to see without being overwhelming or cluttered.
Pizza takes center stage as you enter the restaurant.
Pasta is available in the left wing of the building, with salads on the right.
Your pasta meal, freshly prepared on-stage
Our group sampled the five-cheese ravioli and the chicken sun-dried tomato pastas for dinner. The pastas weren't bad, but weren't as great as the mediterranean skewers we enjoyed from the Paradise Garden Grill at lunch time. The ravioli are large and filling, but the pesto had far too much olive oil to really enjoy. The chicken on the sun-dried tomato pasta felt like pre-made chicken, not freshly-cooked. The sauce, however, was delicious and packed a delightful, mildly-spicy kick. Overall, the pasta options here are perfectly portioned, but aren't the solid winners that the skewers next door are.
Spaghetti with meatballs
Sundried tomato pasta
Five-cheese ravioli with pesto
Over in the salad area...
Chicken ceasar salad $8.49
Boardwalk field greens $7.49
Italian chef salad $8.49
For dessert, espresso brownies ($3.29) and limoncello cheesecake ($4.99) are available. The espresso brownie was rich and moist, with a mild espresso taste. Being coffee fans, we would have preferred the coffee taste to be a bit stronger, but overall the brownie is tasty and reasonably priced. The limoncello cheesecake was tasty with just the right amount of lemon, but possibly not worth the $4.99 price.
Great details can be found in the dining garden
Nearby, the Bayside Brews beer stand is now open.
Some lighting has yet to be fully installed or functional at this point, but that doesn't stop the area from looking even more impressive at night:
There's probably only one real downside to the entire Paradise Garden project, and that would be the restrooms of the area. It's a minor issue, to be sure, but an obvious one when you see it. The exterior of the restroom facility has been properly re-themed, but once you step inside the old Route 66 theme featuring tile cacti and a stretch of highway is still there. It's a tacky remnant of the old theme for this area, and something we hope will be fixed in the future.
Next to the lavish new Paradise Garden dining area, the re-themed Goofy's Sky School roller coaster is now officially open for business.
With the official opening, FASTPASS for this attraction is now available (pictured below).
We shared a full video ride-through of the re-worked ride last week which we're posting again below, but first is a nighttime ride-through to show how the show looks after dark.
For the daytime video, watch below:
Los Angeles Times writer Brady MacDonald reviewed the re-themed Goofy's Sky School early last week, calling out the attraction for being a cheap fix. While Brady's claim was spot-on, we hope that Disney opted for the cheap fix so a proper Disney attraction can take over this space in the near future.Review: Disappointing Goofy's Sky School coaster marks end of Paradise Pier makeover at Disney California Adventure
The Goofy's Sky School makeover of an off-the-shelf roller coaster at Disney California Adventure amounts to little more than a Band-Aid meant to hide an unseemly scar that earned the Anaheim theme park its on-the-cheap reputation.
I took a spin on the "refreshed" Wild Mouse-style coaster over the weekend and found little has changed from the previous Mulholland Madness version of the ride. The minor cosmetic surgery performed on the coaster amounts to nothing more than a fresh coat of sky-blue paint, a few Goofy billboards and a propeller slapped on the front of the cars.
[ . . . ] Inspired by the 1940 cartoon short "Goofy's Glider," the remade ride's new flying- academy back story follows the clumsy anthropomorphic dog's attempts to teach a group of novice pilots how to fly. Naturally, things go awry.
I didn't expect much from the re-imagineered ride, found at any freeway fun park or traveling carnival. But I could not have imagined much less from the team at Walt Disney Imagineering.
An ordinary Wild Mouse coaster doesn't belong in a Disney park and is an embarrassment compared with the Space Mountain, Big Thunder Mountain and Matterhorn coasters across the way at Disneyland. Simply put, the ride should have been removed rather than remade.
The best thing that can be said about Goofy's Sky School is that the modest makeover successfully integrates the ride into the 1920s and '30s seaside amusement park motif and Victorian and Craftsman architecture of the re-imagined Paradise Pier.
The removal of the Caltrans maintenance-yard theme of Mulholland Madness eliminates the final eyesore from a Paradise Pier landscape that once included the Orange Stinger wave swinger, the Maliboomer drop tower, the Burger Invasion fast food stand and Dinosaur Jack's Sunglass Shack.
The transformative change of Paradise Pier accomplished over the last three years has been both striking and essential. The addition of the Toy Story Midway Mania, Little Mermaid: Ariel's Undersea Adventure and "World of Color" attractions, along with the retheming of the Silly Symphony Swings ride, the boardwalk games and the updated restaurants, have turned Paradise Pier from an industry laughingstock into a symbol of Disney's commitment to reinventing the park.
While Disney will declare the makeover of Paradise Pier complete, much of the themed land still needs attention. The queues of Mickey's Fun Wheel, the California Screamin' coaster and King Triton's Carousel still don't match the 1920s and ’30s seaside amusement park motif. Likewise, the Man Hat 'n' Beach and Point Mugu Tattoo retail shops retain the old strip-mall architecture and bad California puns that typified DCA circa 2001. [ FULL STORY ]
Work continues on the remainder of California Adventure's $1 billion-dollar remodel and expansion...
BUENA VISTA STREET
At the park entrance, work continues on finishing the new Pan Pacific Auditorium-style entrance gates.
A new tree has been planted behind construction walls.
Work on the Carthay Circle Theater continues...
A look at the new Carthay Circle pump house
A look at the Carthay Circle Theater construction from Mickey's Fun Wheel:
Over at Pacific Wharf, a new candy/treat window has opened next to Cocina Cucamonga. This window previously sold candy-decorated fortune cookies when this building housed the Lucky Fortune Cookery, which has since moved. In recent years, it has been mostly un-used, except as prep area for California Food and Wine Festival presentations.
The new candy and cookie window, called Dulce Aventura (Sweet Adventure), will serve as the primary location to buy these sorts of items when the Sunshine Plaza candy shop closes later this year for Buena Vista Street construction.
Cars Land work progresses...
Disney released a concept video depicting the main street of Cars Land as it will look when it opens in 2012. This is the first time Disney has officially released the video online, but it has been circulated previously elsewhere on the web. In case you haven't seen it before, you can check it out below:
A look at the work at the Cars Land gateway in Pacific Wharf
Views from the Fun Wheel:
DISNEYLAND HOTEL REMODEL
Outside the parks, work continues at the Disneyland Hotel as it continues its major remodel project.
Almost done with the Fantasy Tower!
Formerly called The Pavilion, this structure now sports a nice tiki theme, matching the Tangaroa Terrace and Trader Sam's complex across the bridge from it.
Work continues at the former Neverland Pool, which has been stripped of theming and is set to be renamed the "E-Ticket Pool."
The Adventure Tower entrance:
THIS & THAT
Back inside Disneyland, the Matterhorn will go down for a refurbishment next Monday that will stretch into early September.
If the Matterhorn is one of your favorites, now is the time to ride. Rumors suggest that the ride will finally get its new lap bar-equipped bobsleds during this long closure.
Nearby in Tomorrowland, the Moonliner rocket has finished its re-painting. Looks nice and fresh now.
Over in Frontierland, walls are down around one of the outdoor vending locations and a pretzel cart is now in place.
Back in California Adventure, new posters for old Mickey Mouse cartoons are up around half of the lower Silly Symphony Swings deck.
These are a nice touch!
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 HoJoAnaheim.com/MiceChat.
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.Experience Disneyland at home with the HoJo Mattercam!See Disneyland from home via a live rotating video feed of Disneyland Park and Disney California Adventure Park from the rooftop of Howard Johnson Plaza Hotel - Anaheim Resort! The HoJo Anaheim's newly upgraded Disneyland webcam now features new views including video feeds of Disneyland's nightly fireworks! Check it out now!
WEEKLY NEWS AND INFORMATION ROUND-UP Weekly Theme Park HoursJuly 4 — July 10, 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 7.5—8.8 out of 10 HIGH 7.8—9.0 out of 10 Closures and Refurbishment Schedule Disneyland Park
- Matterhorn Bobsleds: Closed for refurbishment July 11—September 1.
- Haunted Mansion: Closed August 29—September 15 for Haunted Mansion Holiday overlay installation.
Disney California Adventure
- Engine-Ears Toys, Baker's Field Bakery and Bur-r-r Bank Ice Cream: Close permanently August 1, 2011. Shops and dining reopen May 30, 2012 as new Buena Vista Street offerings.
- Mission Tortilla Factory: Attraction is permanently closed. Expected to reopen with new non-tortilla factory exhibit summer 2012.
- 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.
Disney set to make adventure movie based on Disneyland's Matterhorn
Another theme-park related film... this time based on the Matterhorn. Weird. From the Hollywood Reporter:
Disney Prepping Adventure Movie Based on Matterhorn Ride (Exclusive)
Disney is developing an adventure movie project inspired by the Matterhorn ride and has set Jason Dean Hall to pen the script. Justin Springer (Tron Legacy, Prom) is producing the project, which has a working title of The Hill.
The Matterhorn, also known as the Matterhorn Bobsleds, is part of Disneyland’s Fantasyland section. Opened June 1959, the elaborate ride was inspired by Walt Disney's desire for a toboggan-themed roller coaster as well as thoughts he had after an extended trip to Switzerland, the site of the famed mountain. The ride, a centerpiece of the park, was refurbished in 1978, with one of the upgrades being the addition of three automatronic Abominable Snowmen (aka Yetis) who growl at riders.
The idea behind The Hill is to do a thrilling, fast-paced movie centering on five young adventure seekers who, for mysterious reasons, are called to the top of the mountain and encounter a Yetis on the journey down.
Adapting Disney rides into film franchises is a priority for the company. Pirates of the Caribbean is the most successful of the rides-turned-movies, generating $3.7 billion worldwide over four films. A movie was made out of the Haunted Mansion, and another is being developed with Guillermo del Toro producing. 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea was a Disney film, then a theme park ride, and is now being rebooted as a David Fincher directing vehicle. The ultimate theme park movie might be Disney's Magic Kingdom, which is set entirely in the park. That project is being developed by writer Michael Chabon and director Jon Favreau.
Full story: The Hollywood Reporter: Disney Prepping Adventure Movie Based on Matterhorn Ride (Exclusive)
Alrighty, that's all for this edition of Dateline Disneyland. If you still haven't, go check out our sponsors at TouringPlans.com!
Please be sure to join in on the discussion below and share Dateline Disneyland with your friends and family!
For even more photos, check out the Dateline Disneyland Smugmug photo albums. Our unedited photos taken for our weekly updates are available here to view in high resolution: datelinedisneyland.smugmug.com.
We're only here because of your support. If you enjoy Dateline Disneyland every week please consider helping us out by donating a buck or two so we can pay the bills and keep the updates coming! You can donate with a click of a button via PayPal — click here!
Don't forget that MiceChat has lots of new content throughout the week! 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!
See you at the parks!
Interested in sponsorship or advertising opportunities
with Dateline Disneyland? Contact us!
Please support our sponsors
Keep the updates coming!
Please support us
Promotional consideration for the July 4, 2011 edition of Dateline Disneyland was provided by
TouringPlans.com | Do More. Wait Less.