End of Line for ElecTRONica, Faire well to Carnation Plaza, Buena Vista details +MORE
by, 04-16-2012 at 02:58 AM
Disney California Adventure finally pulled the plug on its long-running ElecTRONica nighttime dance party this weekend. The popular TRON-themed event was extended several times and proved to be a successful venture for Disney who will replace the nighttime offering with an Alice in Wonderland-themed party this summer. Meanwhile, construction rages on in both parks as Disney prepares new and refreshed attractions, restaurants and shops for the big summer season. In California Adventure, Buena Vista Street and Cars Land continue to get plenty of new details and finishing touches. Meanwhile, in Disneyland, work continues on projects such as the major Matterhorn Bobsleds refurbishment as work gets ready to begin at the new Fantasy Faire princess meet-and-greet area later this month.
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Inside Dateline Disneyland
- Welcome to Disneyland!
Touring Plans crowd forecast
- Magic Kingdom Makeovers
Carnation Cafe expansion, Matterhorn refurbishment, Plaza Gardens closure
- End of Line
ElecTRONica ends after year-and-a-half run
- California Construction
A look at the on-going construction at Disney California Adventure...
- Downtown Changes
Downtown Disney remodels and changes
- Rat Race
MiceChat's world-famous Gumball Rally is back!
- Weekly News and Information Round-Up
Weekly theme park hours, closures and refurbishments
Sponsored by TouringPlans.com | Do More. Wait Less.
Spring break is over and now Disneyland enters a brief slow period before the start of summer. With so much happening this summer, you probably won't see Disneyland as quiet as you will over the next couple weeks for a very long time. Our friends at Touring Plans have crowd forecasts and tips to help you enjoy the calm before the storm...
WELCOME TO DISNEYLAND!
The next few weeks might be the only remaining weeks of the year that crowd levels are low to moderate at Disneyland. TouringPlans.com can help you navigate the parks with our per-park Crowd Calendar, Lines - Mobile Wait Times App that gives access to current and estimated wait times for attractions, and Touring Plans detailing the best plan of attack for hitting the attractions. With spring break crowds here, it's a good time to subscribe to TouringPlans.com to plan your strategy to avoid the crowds!
Below are the predicted resort-wide crowd numbers for select days generated by the TouringPlans professional statisticians as measured for the upcoming week. For the access to the full year and per-park crowd level predictions, visit our Crowd Calendar.
— Fred Hazelton Statistician, TouringPlans.com
Crowd Calendar Prediction
Crowd Tips Tues., Apr. 17 5/10 Here are some quick-hit notes that we hope you'll find helpful as you prepare your visits for the week:
- Full block outs this Saturday.
- Tuesday will be the lightest day for crowds this week in Disneyland.
- Disney California Adventure is a 5.8 on the Crowd Calendar on Monday.
Wed., Apr. 18 5/10 Thu., Apr. 19 5/10 Fri., Apr. 20 7/10 Crowd levels are based on a scale from 1 to 10, with 1 being the least crowded conditions and 10 being most crowded.
Construction at the expanded Carnation Cafe restaurant on Main Street continues...
Looks like there's still plenty of work to be done before its summer re-opening.
On Wednesday, our friends at Touring Plans broke the news that the Carnation Plaza Gardens at the end of Main Street would be officially closing April 30 to make way for the new Fantasy Faire princess meet-and-greet area:
Fantasy Faire to Begin Construction April 30 at Disneyland
While there has been a lot of hype and coverage of the massive expansion at Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom dubbed “New Fantasyland” – across the country in California its older sister park is prepping for a notable addition to its own Fantasyland area, as well, with the forthcoming Fantasy Faire.
Fantasy Faire at Disneyland is going to be carved out next to the castle area in what was the Carnation Plaza Gardens Stage plus some extraneous landscaping area. Per Disney:
Major equipment for the overhaul move in on April 30, 2012. Work will continue through 2013, with an anticipated opening in Winter 2013. Expect pathway closures and heavy construction equipment in the vicinity for the duration of the construction. [ LINK ]Guests will travel through a village square surrounded by fairytale cottages and pavilions to the heart of the square – Tangled Tower, inspired by the film. The village square will come alive with activities and entertainment, including a Royal Ribbon Parade where guests can dance and interact with Belle or Rapunzel. Guests can visit the their favorite Disney royalty from such films as “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs,” “Cinderella,” “Sleeping Beauty,” “Beauty and the Beast” and “Tangled.”
The Fantasy Faire Stage will be a new entertainment venue where the stories of Disney’s fairy tale heroes and heroines will be brought to life, letting guests become part of the story as well.
And at night, the Fantasy Faire Stage will come alive with the classic music and dance offerings that Disneyland park guests have loved for years.
Since last August's announcement of the Fantasy Faire project, Disney had been reluctant to offer any solid information on when the historic Carnation Plaza Gardens would actually close. Initial reports from the Orange County Register had the area set to close last September but it never did. The delays caused some fans to speculate if the much-criticized project would actually happen. It seems like last week's report from Touring Plans helped push Disney to finally admit the project was still in the works and they officially announced the April 30th closure date and performance schedule for the venue's final days:
Carnation Plaza Gardens at Disneyland Park to Begin Transformation to New Fantasy Faire Experience on April 30
As Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Chairman Tom Staggs and Disneyland Resort President George Kalogridis announced at the D23 Expo in August of last year, Carnation Plaza Gardens at Disneyland park is being reimagined into the new Fantasy Faire – an enchanting village square that will immerse guests in the stories of their favorite princesses. Carnation Plaza Gardens Stage will become the Fantasy Faire Stage, where the tales of Disney’s fairy tale heroes and heroines will be brought to life each day.
This transformation will begin with the closing of Carnation Plaza Gardens at the end of the Disneyland park operating day on April 30. There are three more chances for Disneyland park guests to enjoy the Jump, Jive, Boogie Swing Party at Carnation Plaza Gardens before it closes:
- April 14 – featuring Doc Anello & the Swing Machine
- April 21 – featuring Stompy Jones
- April 28 – featuring Swingtown
And starting May 5, Disneyland Resort guests can keep on dancing each Saturday night when the Jump, Jive, Boogie Swing Party continues at the Westside Stage in the Downtown Disney District. [ LINK ]
Below, the Downtown Disney stage where swing dancing will relocate to while the Fantasy Faire is under construction.
On the other side of Sleeping Beauty Castle, the Matterhorn Bobsleds continue their major six-month refurbishment.
It looks like the mountain's repainting project is just about finished.
Workers were adding some "finishing touches" to the re-paint by throwing mud around the base of the mountain.
Yes, we really have video.
Note, the vines that crawled along the side of the mountain have been removed
END OF LINE
Over at California Adventure, the popular ElecTRONica nighttime dance party ended this weekend.
Big crowds came out Sunday for the dance party's final night.
Very big lines for folks wanting their final TRONtini.
With ElecTRONica ending, California Adventure will now be without a nighttime dance party offering until the new Alice In Wonderland-themed Mad T Party officially begins June 15.
Bye bye, Flynn's Arcade
A program waves goodbye.
Below, a video clip with some views and highlights from ElecTRONica's final night.
Lots of progress continues to be made along California Adventure's new Buena Vista Street.
The Los Feliz Five and Dime
Scaffolding can seen going back up around the Carthay Circle Theater's tower
The Clarabelle's Ice Cream and Practical Cafe facades are looking great. Photos don't really do this area justice.
Lots of Trolley wires up in the air...
While the wires have proved to be a bit controversial with some fans as some think they're unnecessary or ugly, we're happy they're here. The wires, while maybe not the most attractive element of Buena Vista Street, will add a layer of authenticity here and hopefully help the area become a believable escape, unlike the contemporary stucco-and-neon strip mall that was the previous Sunshine Plaza.
Last week, Disney finally announced an official return date for California Adventure's Pixar Play Parade. The parade has been on hiatus since January 2011 and was originally set to return November 2011 but with shifting construction timelines, never made it back. It will finally return to the park's new expanded parade route this summer and will include some modifications due to new height limits put in place by the Red Car Trolley wires.
Your Pixar Pals Are Getting Ready to Come Out and Play at Disney California Adventure Park This Summer
After taking a break for the past year to accommodate the Disney California Adventure park expansion, all your favorite Pixar pals are getting ready to bring the party back to the streets with the return of the Pixar Play Parade.
The Pixar Play Parade brings to life the worlds of some of the most popular Disney●Pixar films, from “Toy Story” and “Cars” to “Finding Nemo” and “Monsters, Inc.” Along the way, the infectious soundtrack and energetic spirit of the performers get everyone into the fun of the show.
And when the Pixar Play Parade starts rolling again on June 15, fans of the procession will notice a few updates. “The biggest change that fans will see is that we reconfigured the Omnidroid float in ‘The Incredibles’ unit,” says Show Director Robin Trowbridge. “Jack Jack is now repositioned, and we are introducing Violet to the parade for the first time. It’s really cool!”
More people than ever will be able to “join in the party,” too, as the parade is presented up to twice daily along the new, longer Disney California Adventure park parade route, winding from the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror in Hollywood Pictures Backlot all the way to Silly Symphony Swings on Paradise Pier.
To prepare for the return of the Pixar Play Parade, “Pixar Pals! Monster Mayhem” and “Pixar Pals! The Incredibles: Heroes in Training” will come to a close April 29. “Our Pixar Pals have done a great job keeping guests entertained during the construction effort in the park,” said Robin. “Now, we’re excited to bring back the full parade, better than ever!” [ LINK ]
Scaffolding has gone back up
The new marquee
They did a great job with the Carthay Circle Theater. While we would have preferred an attraction here, it'll still be a gorgeous place to get a meal.
Elias and Co. Department Store
The Hyperion Bridge towers
Views at Buena Vista Street construction from the Monorail:
The leftover Intolerance elephants from the original Hollywood Pictures Backlot marquee have been removed. All that remains for now are the bases as this area of the park continues its minor re-theming into Hollywood Land.
Meanwhile, the Monsters Inc. facade refurbishment continues...
Trolley wires down Hollywood Blvd.
The Cove Bar is still closed during its refurbishment.
Disney recently announced that the Cove Bar's main restaurant, Ariel's Grotto, will get some changes this summer. World of Color dining packages will no longer be offered at the restaurant and a new breakfast menu will debut and all meals will become character dining.
Dinner with Ariel and Her Princess Friends Coming Soon to Ariel’s Grotto
[ . . . ] Beginning June 15, 2012, guests may join Ariel and her princess friends for breakfast, lunch or dinner for an enchanting Character Dining experience filled with music, laughter, delicious food and the opportunity to meet Disney Princesses. Reservations for dinner at Ariel’s Disney Princess Celebration are now open. Call the Disney Dine Line (714-781-DINE) or emailing dining your reservation requests to [email protected].
“World of Color” dining packages will no longer be offered at Ariel’s Grotto after June 14, 2012, but guests may still enjoy “World of Color” package options at other park locations to receive a ticket for access to the “World of Color” Viewing Area. [ LINK ]
California Screamin's queue shade structures are all blue now.
A look at Cars Land progress...
Mater's Junkyard Jamboree
"Mater's Petting Zoo" sign
Junkyard Jamboree entrance
The back of Sarge's Surplus Hut
More Radiator Springs Racers testing going on...
Over in Condor Flats, the plane from the front of Taste Pilot's Grill has been removed. No word yet on any other changes to the restaurant's facade now that its centerpiece has been taken away.
Construction in Downtown Disney continues at the La Brea Bakery expansion...
The Sunglass Icon store is now closed as it undergoes a complete remodel
Newly Remodeled Sunglass Icon Flagship Store Coming to the Downtown Disney District
[ . . . ] A brand-new, fully remodeled Sunglass Icon store will open just in time for summer 2012!
As you approach the location, you will immediately be awed by the strong black architectural storefront portal that is offset by the soft glow of color-changing lights. The newly constructed flagship store will feature a focal wall made of two layers of patterned glass and a back layer with a two-way mirror to allow for visibility and dynamic reflections. The use of color-changing LED lights above the millwork and LED cubes hanging from the ceiling will add just the right touch of whimsy.
A new interactive feature will be the “Social Sun” screen which allows for a fun, social experience. Imagine trying on a new style of sunglasses, taking a picture and immediately emailing it to a friend or posting it to Facebook so friends and family can give feedback on your sunglass selection!
Sunglass Icon will open in June 2012. [ LINK ]
Work at the LEGO Store continues...
The fun new LEGO sculptures are still covered up for now...
Not much to see yet at the former Compass Books store (future Earl of Sandwich restaurant)
The Compass Books magazine kiosk is now closed as well
MiceChat's annual Gumball Rally is quickly approaching. The event is an intense day-long ride-a-thon that takes participants on the quest to complete every attraction in Disneyland in one day. It's a great event for just about any Disney fan. The event sells out every year, though, so you'll definitely want to get your tickets soon! Grab a couple teammates and head to the parks to start training today!
MiceChat Gumball Rally — May 19, 2012 — Sign Up Today!
What's a Gumball Rally? Well, it's the biggest, best and most fun Disney fan event in the known universe. The Rally is a race to find out who can ride the most attractions at Disneyland in a single day. Sounds fun, right? Well, it is even more fun than you can imagine. Yes, it is harder than it sounds. Yes, it will challenge you physically. But, it's one event that folks of any age can compete in and have a great time in the process. Whether you win or lose, you are always a winner when the race takes place on your favorite rides at your favorite place on earth.
But that's just a little piece of the puzzle. If you've never heard of the Gumball Rally before, please visit the Rally Information Page for more information and FAQ.
- When: May 19, 2012
- Where: Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, California
- Cost: $29.99 per person.
- How do I sign up?: MiceChat Events Store Gumball Rally Sign Up
- How does the Rally work?: Rally Information Page
- Note: About a week or two before the event, you'll receive both an email and a phone call from our Rally staff to answer any questions you may have and make sure you know when/where/how the event works.
This year, we are making event t-shirts available, including a lite breakfast at the ESPN Zone in Downtown Disney and have all sorts of prizes and giveaways at our Award Party (sponsored by the Howard Johnson Anaheim Resort). There's even a special game show to help keep you entertained while we wait for the results! [ FULL EVENT INFORMATION ]
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WEEKLY NEWS AND INFORMATION ROUND-UP Weekly Theme Park HoursApril 16 — 22, 2012
Disneyland Park Disney California Adventure Monday-Thursday: 9 am - 11 pm
Friday-Sunday 8 am - 12 midnight
Daily: 10 am - 10 pm 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 MEDIUM 3.7—7.2 out of 10 MEDIUM 5.8—7.1 out of 10
Closures and Refurbishment Schedule Disneyland Park
- Matterhorn Bobsleds: Closed for major refurbishment including the addition of new ride vehicles through June 14.
- Frontierland Shootin' Exposition: Closed for refurbishment April 30-May 25.
- Indiana Jones Adventure: Closed for refurbishment May 1-2
- Walt Disney's Enchanted Tiki Room: Closed for refurbishment May 7-10
- Carnation Cafe, Blue Ribbon Bakery, Gibson Girl Ice Cream Parlor, Candy Palace, and Penny Arcade: Food service locations and shops are closed for major restaurant and shopping expansion projects affecting current spaces.
Disney California Adventure
- Redwood Creek Challenge Trail: Closed for refurbishment April 16-22.
- Silly Symphony Swings: Closed for refurbishment April 23-26.
- The Little Mermaid ~ Ariel's Undersea Adventure: Closed for refurbishment April 30-May 3.
- Goofy's Sky School: Closed for refurbishment May 7-17.
- ElecTRONica: Tron-themed nighttime dance parties ended April 15. The new Mad T Party evening dance party will begin June 15.
- Ghirardelli Chocolate Company and Soda Fountain: New Ghirardelli chocolate shop and soda fountain will open in the space formerly occupied by the Mission Tortilla Factory. New dining location opens late-spring 2012.
- Buena Vista Street: Re-themed main entrance including new Red Car Trolley attraction are under construction through summer 2012.
- Cars Land: New 12-acre land opens summer 2012.
- Disney California Adventure: Entire park will be closed to the public to apply finishing touches and for a media event on June 14, 2012.
Downtown Disney & Hotels of the Disneyland Resort
- La Brea Bakery & Cafe: Quick-service cafe portion closed. Reopens spring 2012 with significant modifications.
- Island Charters and LEGO Imagination Center: Downtown Disney retail location closed permanently. A temporary LEGO Store has opened in this location, with a permanent replacement yet to be announced.
- Compass Books and Cafe: Book store and cafe to close permanently March 31. Earl of Sandwich dining location to open in space late-spring 2012.
Disney gets ready to bring Starbucks Coffee to theme parks
It looks like it's only a matter of time now before Starbucks is available on Disney property. It's long-overdue and we're excited to see it finally happen.
Disney (Almost) Confirms Starbucks Coming to Disney Parks
Search for Starbucks along with Disney on Google and immediately, multiple results come up via the Walt Disney World Moms Panel with guests asking where is it? Even before the Moms Panel was created, the elusive Starbucks-Disney connection has been on the tips of guests’ tongues for years. Although Disneyland Paris has a Starbucks Cafe in its Disney Village, the Disneyland Resort is dotted with them just outside the property borders and even Universal Studios Orlando has gotten a taste of it inside the theme park, the North American Disney Parks have not been very Starbucks friendly. But all that is surely about to change.
This MiceAge report from January (via DisneyFoodBlog.com) talks about both Starbucks and Earl of Sandwich coming to the Downtown Disney District at Disneyland. While the latter has been formally announced, Lutz claims that the Starbucks deal, after overcoming long-term issues Starbucks has had with Disney Parks and being able to maintain its integrity, is pretty much sealed, but is being regarded as very sensitive and highly secretive until it’s ready to come out in the open.
Today we have learned that Disney Parks has registered two domain names: disneyparksstarbuckssurvey.com and disneystarbuckssurvey.com, both currently inactive. Although we have had enough experience and research to know that while domain names don’t guarantee anything, most of the time they do point to something concrete (though it can be years before we see the end product). But here, our confidence of the news isn’t so much in the domain name registration process itself, but of the quad-shot, venti sized legal teams at both companies. Quite simply, there is little chance Disney would have of getting away with registering domain names using Starbucks’ name unless there was mutual consent involved, survey or no survey.
Whether Starbucks coffee will be available inside the parks or restricted to the Downtown Disney Districts remains to be seen, but it would not be unprecedented to have a third party own and operate kiosks inside the parks.
Full Story: Stitch Kingdom: Disney (Almost) Confirms Starbucks Coming to Disney Parks
'Modern Family' episode filmed at Disneyland to air in May
From the OC Register's Around Disney blog:
‘Modern Family’ sets air date for Disneyland episode
The “Modern Family” episode that is set at Disneyland will air next month, ABC has announced.
The full cast filmed the episode at Disneyland over three days in March, including during the busy Leap Day when the park was open for 24 hours.
Yani Chang, a publicist for the ABC show, said the Disneyland episode is scheduled for May 9.
During filming, the cast could be seen throughout the park, including by the entrance in front of the train station and along the Rivers of America in Frontierland.
“Modern Family,” a comedy, won five Emmys last year.
Full Story: Around Disney: ‘Modern Family’ sets air date for Disneyland episode
California High-Speed Rail plans stop short of Disneyland area
From the OC Register:
Bullet trains stop short of O.C. in new plan
For years, the idea of a high-speed rail system in California has been sold as a line that would whisk passengers from the San Francisco Bay Area to the resort area of Anaheim.
But now it appears that line will stop short of the Disneyland area, ending instead in Los Angeles – at least in the first phase, according to new plans released by the California High Speed Rail authority this week.
The rail agency has been looking at ways to make the $68-billion line more cost efficient and confirmed this week that new plans show the southern terminus at L.A.'s Union Station, potentially saving $6 billion.
Instead of getting to Anaheim at speeds of up to 220 mph via train, travelers would have to take slower trains to make the 30-mile trek south of Los Angeles.
That's potentially bad news for high-speed rail supporters and tourism officials counting on the line bringing millions of passengers annually directly to Anaheim, within miles of Disneyland and the surrounding resort area. The Walt Disney Co. has strongly advocated for the project.
But some Anaheim officials are quick to point out that Anaheim isn't being cut out of plans all together. And Orange County and Los Angeles transportation officials have long been talking about other options.
Anaheim Councilwoman Kris Murray said Anaheim is still working on getting faster trains between L.A. and Anaheim – just not the "electrified" lines that are projected to be so expensive.
"We (on the City Council) are working closely with the resort district for enhanced train service to better serve Anaheim and the region," Murray said. "We still believe that can happen with trains that travel 90 to 110 mph, just not the 220 mph of the electrified lines."
Full Story: OC Register: Bullet trains stop short of O.C. in new plan
Alright, that does it for this week's column. Did you get to party at ElecTRONica one last time? Let us know in the comments section below!
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