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Dateline Disneyland

Red Cars hit the tracks, Matterhorn safety, T Party set-up, Uni's Transformers +MORE!

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by , 04-23-2012 at 02:22 AM
Disney has announced its final arrangements for the popular entertainment at Disneyland's iconic Carnation Plaza Gardens as fans rally to save the dance-and-music venue from the upcoming Fantasy Faire meet-and-greet area. Meanwhile, work continues on the major Matterhorn Bobsleds refurbishment and the Main Street dining expansion projects. Across the Main Entrance Plaza, construction continues in the new Buena Vista Street area as the new Red Car Trolleys hit the tracks. In Hollywood Land, Alice is getting ready to move in with the upcoming Mad T Party nighttime dance party. We also take a detour to Universal Studios Hollywood this week to take a look at Universal's impressive new Transformers: The Ride 3D attraction which is currently in soft openings.

Get a closer look at today's update! You can now click on any photo in today's column for a large, high-resolution version of the image.

We've got a lot to cover today, so let's get started!

Inside Dateline Disneyland
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WELCOME TO DISNEYLAND!
Our friends at Touring Plans are here with their weekly crowd forecast:
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

RESORT-WIDE
Crowd Calendar Prediction
Crowd Tips
Tues., Apr. 24
4/10
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.
  • Thursday will be the lightest day for crowds this week in Disneyland.
  • Disney California Adventure is a 4.6 on the Crowd Calendar on Monday.
Wed., Apr. 25
4/10
Thu., Apr. 26
3/10
Fri., Apr. 27
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.
See Disneyland crowds for the next 365 days.
Get Disneyland wait times on your iPhone, Android, or Smartphone.

Do more. Wait less.




Disney announced early last week that the popular "Voices of Liberty" 8-piece a cappella group from Epcot at Walt Disney World will begin performing at Disneyland's Main Street Opera House on June 15.
The Voices of Liberty Will Soon Ring Out at Disneyland Park
After nearly three decades, the talented 8-part a cappella group The Voices of Liberty continues to “wow” guests at Epcot in Walt Disney World Resort with their amazing harmonies on such American classics as “Ol’ Man River” and “Yankee Doodle.”

[ . . . ] Disneyland park is getting its very own Voices of Liberty, bringing one of the great traditions of Walt Disney World Resort to the Disneyland Resort for the first time. Soon, guests from sea to shining sea will be able to enjoy the impeccable sounds of this beloved group. The new Voices of Liberty will hold court at the Main Street Opera House, also home to The Disneyland Story presenting Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln. [ LINK ]


Disney also shared a video of Epcot's group for those unfamiliar with this show. This will be a nice addition to Disneyland's Main Street Opera House, home of the very patriotic "Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln."




MAGIC KINGDOM MAKEOVERS
Half-way down Main Street, work continues on the Main Street dining expansion projects.


Not much to see yet...







At the end of Main Street, the Matterhorn continues its refurbishment as the paint job appears to be just about finished.














This bridge is getting some new rope railings because, you know, in over 50 years this has particular spot has been so dangerous for Guests and Cast Members. We suspect this is another over-the-top Cal/OSHA-mandated safety measure. Kudos to Disney for at least trying to make it look thematically appropriate.











LAST DANCE

On the other side of Sleeping Beauty Castle, the final days for the Carnation Plaza Gardens are quickly passing as Disney turns a blind eye to fans rallying to save the iconic venue.


The Orange County Register's Around Disney blog featured a story over the weekend discussing fan efforts to save this small corner of the park from the upcoming Fantasy Faire princess meet-and-greet area.


Fans try to save iconic Disneyland dance venue
Walt Disney himself danced at Carnation Plaza Gardens at Disneyland. Entertainers, including Duke Ellington and the Osmond Brothers, performed there.

And every Saturday, dozens, if not hundreds, of swing dancers twirl on the classic dance floor tucked under a red-and-white-striped canopy.

After next weekend, the iconic plaza will begin a transformation that will displace the regular swing dancers for awhile and move other daytime entertainment.

Fans, especially the swing dancers, are trying to prevent the venue from becoming a princess meet-and-greet area called Fantasy Faire. On Saturday night, many of the regulars dressed up to show their support: Men sported zoot suits and pompadours and women dolled up with A-line skirts with petticoats and up-dos decorated with flowers and feathers.

See pictures of the Saturday swing dance at Disneyland by clicking on the photo.

“They should leave it the way it is,” said Lance Indes, 29, of Cypress, who started dancing at the plaza at age 13. “Keep it vintage. Keep it classic.” [ LINK ]




While the fans of the evening swing dancing fight to save their dance floor, the visiting Disney Performing Arts groups will have to settle for performance space that is being carved out for them in a far corner of Frontierland. Late last Friday, Disney officially announced the new "Big Thunder Ranch Jamboree" in the former Festival Arena. The Jamboree will play host to the visiting Disney Performing Arts groups on an upgraded stage area as well as offer character meet-and-greets and crafts and other activities.

Come on Down to the Big Thunder Ranch Jamboree at Disneyland Park
Starting May 3, we’ll be rounding up some good times and bringing a whole new energy to Frontierland at Disneyland park with the opening of the Big Thunder Ranch Jamboree.

Encompassing the former Festival Arena site, the Big Thunder Ranch Jamboree will feature music, dancing, crafts, pin trading and plenty of Disney characters in their finest Western wear. Every Friday, Saturday and Sunday, we’ll be throwing a good, old fashioned Hoedown, where you can kick up your heels with the likes of Minnie Mouse, Donald Duck, Goofy and Chip ‘n Dale. From time to time, classic favorites like Horace Horsecollar, Clarabelle Cow, Clara Cluck or those silly Country Bears might even stop by!

What’s more, Big Thunder Ranch Jamboree is also going to be the newest spot to catch visiting performing ensembles as part of Disney Performing Arts. Disney Performing Arts provides an opportunity for middle and high school students and community groups from across the country to perform in Disney Parks as well as take workshops taught by entertainment professionals to improve their performance skills. You’ll be able to enjoy some of these young instrumentalists, singers and dancers as they put on the performance of a lifetime onstage at the Big Thunder Ranch Jamboree. [ LINK ]



It's worth noting that Disney has made an effort to minimize the focus on the Fantasy Faire project by avoiding the topic altogether on its official Disney Parks Blog. It wasn't until two weeks ago when the fan site Epcyclopedia.com began reporting the Carnation Plaza Gardens closing date that Disney was forced to confirm the following day that the new attraction was still in the works. Until that point, Disney had been avoiding public talk of the project after its initial announcement was met with strong criticism from fans.


While the loss of the Carnation Plaza Gardens may be a blow to Disneyland's rich history, it's important to remember that change is necessary to keep the park progressing into the future. It could be argued that Carnation Plaza's time had come and it was time to find new use for this largely undeveloped corner of the park. Regardless of the park's entertainment needs, what is most frustrating here is Disney's avoidance of the issue and how they've completely ignored the concerns of fans in the process. In a time when Disney uses Walt Disney quotes to justify their actions wherever they see fit, it's sad that they are ignoring the concerns of fans who actually value the history of Disneyland and Walt Disney.

Below, Big Thunder Ranch will soon be home to Disney Performing Arts groups


The old Festival Arena (currently closed) will soon be open for performers and character meet-and-greets.


Looks like the stage and lighting are getting some upgrades




CALIFORNIA CONSTRUCTION
A look at the on-going $1 billion remodel and expansion efforts at Disney California Adventure

BUENA VISTA STREET
Work continues at the new Buena Vista Street entrance plaza...





















A ride on the Monorail gave an exciting sneak peek at one of the new Red Car Trolleys on the tracks in Buena Vista Street's Town Square area...


Gorgeous!









A look to the south gives a great view of Carthay Circle.





You might be able to see glimpses of the great new tile work along Buena Vista Street in our photos, but what you don't see is a lot of great detail that Disney has put into the Buena Vista Street tile work. Disney released a video discussing the Buena Vista Street tile murals that you'll be able to see when the area opens June 15.


Fiddler, Fifer and Practical Cafe:


Last week, MiceAge's Al Lutz shared some information on the much-anticipated arrival of Starbucks Coffee at Disneyland. The plans are now for the first Starbucks-serving location to be the new Fiddler, Fifer and Practical Cafe on Buena Vista Street:

When Pigs Fly
The long saga of TDA executives trying to get Starbucks into the Anaheim parks is now over three years old, but it’s the closest to being public now than it’s ever been. After an initial deal fell apart in ’09, TDA has been doing a slow-motion dance with the Starbucks corporate team up in Seattle since 2011. Just as we’d reported back in ’09, the major sticking points still revolve around the training of Disney Cast Members who would be operating Starbucks’ equipment and using their proprietary materials and processes to create your drink. [ . . . ]

The first in-park Starbucks is now slated to open this June on Buena Vista Street with the re-launched Disney California Adventure. Starbucks will take up residence in the Fiddler, Fifer and Practical Café, as an odd hybrid of a regular Starbucks and a Disney-run operation. While the Fiddler, Fifer and Practical Café (dubbed the Pig Café by Anaheim’s Foods group) will maintain all the great 1920’s theming and architecture already shown to the public, subtle Starbucks logos in rubbed brass and period-appropriate signage will be added near the entrance doors. It won’t scream Starbucks with green awnings and bright logos like your neighborhood location, but once anyone gets within sight of the front door they’ll be able to spot the logo and tell that it’s a Starbucks. (Now you know why Bob Iger decreed that the huge tree already planted in front of the Pig Café be moved over a few feet at big expense, as he knows this new corporate alliance needs to go well and the subtle Starbucks logos can’t be too hidden.)

Once inside the Pig Café, the restaurant will operate like a traditional Starbucks during the morning hours just after the park opens. It’s at that time of day that the four separate espresso machines each staffed by a Starbucks-trained barista will be going full blast (where most of Starbucks’ “big” stores only have two machines), and the refrigerated cases near the front will offer a selection of Starbucks own grab-n-go breakfast and pastry items. Later in the day the location will switch over solely to a Disney created menu for lunch and dinner options, while Starbucks espresso drinks will still be offered through park closing. Over a hundred seats at a few dozen tables inside and out at the Pig Café should soak up most of the lunch and dinner crowd, although it’s expected that the morning business will be mostly to-go orders as people stream into the park and head to Cars Land with their Venti Latte and Danish.

While DCA jumps head first into the theme park Starbucks business, neither TDA nor Burbank thinks it should end there. The refurbished food locations on Main Street USA at Disneyland are also in the sights of TDA’s Project Orange team for the future, but the Pig Café location will be the first to open this June. Starbucks, for their part, is more hesitant and will be keeping a close eye on the Pig Café this June to make sure their product is being served correctly before they agree to more theme park locations. - Al [ FULL STORY ]




Carthay Circle fountain and the new Clarabelle's Hand-Scooped Ice Cream




Elias and Co. Department Store:








Hyperion Bridge


A look down Buena Vista Street and the Hyperion Bridge






The former Candy Shoppe facade is now this blue-gray color


The Carthay Circle Theater


Work continues on the Carthay tower









HOLLYWOOD LAND
ElecTRONica has mostly disappeared from Hollywood Land.


No more stage!






Set-up for the upcoming Mad T Party is already going up




The fountain still exists under the temporary ElecTRONica stage. The Mad T Party stage will also go up here.


The fountain wasn't around very long before being taken apart for ElecTRONica. It's a shame, it was a nice little feature for the area.


It's in pretty bad shape now...


Set-up for the House of Cards bar area is going up.


End of Line bar signage has been removed


Flynn's Arcade is no more (but the classic arcade games are expected to remain in a re-themed space for the Mad T Party)




Green boxes for the Mad T Party can be found scattered throughout the area.





Nearby, the Mosnters Inc. facade is now freshly repainted.


The colors are fresh and vibrant again, which is nice. It's just too bad the facade doesn't really fit in at the new DCA.




Hopefully this facade can get a major reworking in the future. The whole thing is a perfect example of the tackiness and cheapness that characterized Disney California Adventure when it opened in 2001. It's just painted walls!




This isn't a view you should see when walking by a family-friendly dark ride at a Disney theme park.



Meanwhile, more of the cheesy puns were recently removed from Hollywood Land's Hollywood Blvd.


The "Dial 'M' for Muscle" neon sign for a non-existent gym has been removed.


While this building still features a neon sign for "La Brea Carpets" (a riff on the famous La Brea tar pits), the cardboard cut-outs of oriental rugs that were once in the storefront windows have thankfully been removed.


Hopefully this will be leaving soon.


Next to La Brea Carpets, the Barber Shop window still exists, but it's no longer called "Ben Hair" (a play on "Ben-Hur")


At least the pun is gone...



PACIFIC WHARF

Not much to see yet at the upcoming Ghirardelli Soda Fountain.


PARADISE PIER

New awnings are going up at the California Screamin' queue after the awning structures were repainted blue


Looks good.



CARS LAND

A look at Cars Land work...




The finish line banner is now in place


Mater's Junkyard Jamboree





Disney recently gave a look at how virtual reality technology helped them create Cars Land:



Filming was taking place in Cars Land on Sunday...







Disney recently announced two new entertainment offerings coming to Cars Land:


Look Who’s Rolling into Cars Land June 15 at Disney California Adventure ParkWhen Cars Land opens June 15, the tiny town of Radiator Springs will also be teeming with atmosphere entertainment inspired by the Disney•Pixar film, “Cars.”

Big and red on the outside, gentle and good-natured on the inside, Red the Fire Truck shows up with his sirens blaring and his bell ringing, heading to meet up with his good buddy, a Volunteer Firefighter. The Firefighter lets everyone know the flowers in the area need watering. It’s “Red to the Rescue,” but each time the Firefighter attempts to use Red’s hose, it backfires on him! In all the fun, the plants manage to get wet, and you might too!

Bringing a completely different kind of beat to the street is “DJ’s Dance & Drive.” DJ, the ultimate party car, rolls into town with his giant speakers, built-in disc changer and his very own dance party, led by a girl named Spinner. This gang stops traffic everywhere they go, creating a spontaneous, interactive dance party. Spinner and the crew teach us moves like the Overdrive, the Reverse and the Hairpin Turn, while DJ calls up the hits, from “Life in the Fast Lane” to “Car Wash.” DJ’s going to shift Cars Land into high gear!

Cruise on down to Cars Land this summer at Disney California Adventure park. The residents there will be glad you rolled into town! [ LINK ]









The entrance sign is now behind cover until the grand opening.




Filming at Mater's Junkyard Jamboree




TRANSFORMING THE COMPETITION

Typically, I exclusively cover Disneyland Resort here at Dateline Disneyland but last week I, along with several colleagues here at MiceAge/MiceChat were invited by Universal Studios Hollywood to preview their new Transformers: The Ride 3D as it began "technical rehearsals." I wanted to share some thoughts on this new attraction here as we enter a major summer for Southern California theme parks. While on-ride photos and video were prohibited, we were allowed to take photos of the fantastic queue spaces. Do note that Universal Studios Hollywood comped our theme park admission for this preview.


I'm going to cut to the chase and just say that Universal Studios has a big hit on their hands. Transformers: The Ride 3D takes the technology pioneered at Universal Orlando's Spider-Man ride to the next level, seamlessly combining incredible 3D film footage with practical dark ride sets that you experience onboard a very unique ride system. MiceChat's April 19 edition of its In the Parks blog discussed the ride experience in more depth, but the real point I'd like to get across is that finally, Universal Studios has produced an attraction that can truly compete with Disney.


Don't let the attraction's unfortunate facade fool you, once you enter its doors you're fully transported into the world of Transformers and the experience doesn't end until you exit. From the fully-themed queue to the incredible on-ride experience, the attraction shows the remarkable level of quality that Disney is typically known for. The technology for this ride is truly impressive with all of its parts pulling together to form an impressively entertaining whole, all in spectacularly clear 3D.


While this ride may not be enough to compete against Disney's Cars Land, Universal is certainly taking the right steps to becoming a real competitor. With their new Transformers attraction and the upcoming Wizarding World of Harry Potter addition for the Hollywood park, Disney should take notice and start to take some chances. Universal has and they'll soon be reaping the benefits.


The huge indoor queue will be appreciated in the hot summer months


Great details and theming in the queue


If you haven't visited Universal Studios in a while, now would be a great time to revisit the park.




DOWNTOWN CHANGES
Back at the Disneyland Resort, a look at the changes happening in Downtown Disney. The La Brea Bakery expansion:





Remodel work is underway at Sunglass Icon


A temporary handicap ramp for Blink has been set up during construction.



Once the temporary LEGO Store moves out of the former Island Charters space, Disney will get to work on installing another Disney-branded shop, this time in the form of an art gallery. Disney announced the new WonderGround Gallery last week. Here's more information from D23...

WonderGround Gallery Comes to Downtown Disney at Disneyland Resort on June 9, 2012
WonderGround Gallery certainly adds new meaning to the phrase “state of the art.” The 1,442 square-foot store, which was just announced today on the Disney Parks Blog, will rotate and exhibit Disney’s latest commissioned artists and their works—with the help of the latest tech gadgets and trends—in a whole new way at Downtown Disney, Disneyland Resort, beginning June 9, 2012.

It will be the first of its kind, a tech-driven art store at a Disney theme park. And while specifics of how the social-media generation will interact with the art are still in the development phase, the WonderGround promises to be much more interactive than your traditional art gallery or store. “Shoppers are ready to use emerging technology in a Disney retail setting,” Barbara Romo-Cole, merchandise marketing manager, says. “At WonderGround, our unique products and displays will allow guests to be immersed into the show and to experience just that—the first Disney retail location to utilize the latest technology trends.”

WonderGround Gallery will showcase many pieces at one time—with varying styles, techniques, and mediums—so there’s bound to be something for every Disney art lover. And when it opens, more than 25 artists will display their interpretations of Disney’s most iconic stories, ranging from the classic Mickey Mouse to characters from the latest Pixar releases. “This first showcase will really focus on artwork inspired by Disney•Pixar films, characters and icons, and Mickey Mouse,” says Michelle Harker, merchandise marketing and communications. “We will offer some of these art pieces in a variety of formats, including originals, giclées, prints, and more. There will also be a selection of lifestyle gallery-esque merchandise available, including note card collections, journals, and novelty items. It will be great to see things in oil, digital, paper sculpture, tin, and more… all come together in one place!”

Wondering where the name came from? The official word is that “WonderGround Gallery draws inspiration from Disney’s deeply rooted art and storytelling-driven heritage, especially the idea of stepping through the looking glass, which the greatest artwork allows us to do.” And we Disney art collectors can’t wait to do just that!
“I think it opens up the door for new art and new interpretations of some of our beloved classic characters,” Michelle says. “It pays tribute to the history of Disney art and storytelling, but it lets new generations of artists tell their stories about these characters and what they mean to them. We’re hoping to change the way that people think about art.” [ LINK ]


Meanwhile, work continues on the main LEGO Store's remodel:





Not much progress yet at the upcoming Earl of Sandwich restaurant.





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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.



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WEEKLY NEWS AND INFORMATION ROUND-UP
Weekly Theme Park Hours
April 23 — 29, 2012

Disneyland Park
Disney California Adventure
Monday-Thursday: 9 am - 9 pm
Friday 9 am - 12 midnight
Saturday-Sunday 8 am - 12 midnight
Monday-Thursday: 10 am - 8 pm
Friday-Sunday 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
LOW-MEDIUM 2.5—6.2 out of 10
MEDIUM 3.7—6.3 out of 10
Crowd levels are based on a scale from 1 to 10,
with 1 being the least crowded conditions and 10 being most crowded.

For daily crowd predictions for the next 365 days, visit
Closures and Refurbishment Schedule
Disneyland Park

  • Matterhorn Bobsleds: Closed for major refurbishment including the addition of new ride vehicles through June 14.
  • 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
  • ElecTRONica: Tron-themed nighttime dance parties ended April 16. 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 plans to bring "Mr. Toad's Wild Ride" to the big screen
Nevermind that the ride is already based on a movie, Disney wants to make another movie that's based on the ride. Confused? We are, too.
Disney Plots A ‘Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride’ Movie
Disney has feature film plans for Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride, one of its longest-running theme park rides. The studio has set iconic commercials and video director Pete Candeland to develop a live-action/CGI mix feature that will bring to life a theme park ride that originated in Disneyland on its opening in 1955. The twisting, turning ride was also popular at Walt Disney World in Florida, but the geniuses at the park closed the ride in 1998 and replaced it with The Many Adventures Of Winnie The Pooh, which by comparison is a 10-minute nap for parents. Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride is based on Disney’s adaptation of The Wind In The Willows. Tron: Legacy producer Justin Springer will produce Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride, and the studio is looking for a writer to draft the plot into a film. Disney, which turned its Pirates Of The Caribbean attraction into a billion-dollar feature franchise, has a version of 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea with David Fincher among several percolating projects inspired by theme park attractions.

The Verve-repped Candeland is best known for his work with animation and for creating and directing the music videos for The Gorillaz. He also worked with Paul McCartney to create a cinematic opening to The Beatles Rock Band for Harmonix.
Full Story: Disney Plots A ‘Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride’ Movie



Walt Disney World restores classic character
We don't normally cover Walt Disney World in this column, but we thought it was important to share this bit of news about Disney restoring a significant piece of Walt Disney World history.
Historic Orange Bird Returns to Adventureland at Magic Kingdom Park
Well, isn’t this a surprise?

Early this morning, D23 representatives announced the return of the historic Orange Bird character live in Adventureland before a small group of D23 members.

In case you aren’t familiar, Orange Bird was a character who was developed specifically for Magic Kingdom Park in the 1970s. This cheerful bird originally greeted families at Sunshine Tree Terrace in Adventureland, where guests could also enjoy citrus drinks and buy Orange Bird gifts. At one time, the character even had his own record, which was released in 1971 to feature “The Orange Bird Song” – a tune penned by the Sherman Brothers (composers of the songs in “Mary Poppins” and “The Jungle Book”).

Beginning today, Orange Bird will return to Sunshine Tree Terrace signage and quirky drink cups, and a new line of Orange Bird merchandise has already appeared on the shelves! Also, an Orange Bird statue that was on display at Sunshine Tree Terrace in the 1970s was retrieved from the WDI Sculpture Studio in California, and is now on display.

We’ll have photos to share from the announcement shortly, but in the meantime, here’s a brand-new desktop wallpaper by Jason “Tiki” Tackett for you to enjoy!


Full Story: Historic Orange Bird Returns to Adventureland at Magic Kingdom Park



Alright, that does it for this week's column. Will you miss Carnation Plaza Gardens? Are you planning on checking out Universal Studios this summer? Let us know in the comments section below!

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Comments

Page 2 of 2 FirstFirst 12
  1. DCACM's Avatar
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    I love how the building resembles an early model auto... radiator and cap, running lights, fenders.
  2. Awe_inspired's Avatar
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    Great update! Thank you, I always look forward to them. I'm looking at a map right now of the "Hollywood Pictures Backlot". Without removing Muppets, you could fit TWO Indiana Jones Adventure-size show buildings into that area. By removing Muppets you could fit three. This area could be stupendous!!
    Updated 04-23-2012 at 12:23 PM by Awe_inspired
  3. Freddie Freelance's Avatar
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    While this building still features a neon sign for "La Brea Carpets" (a riff on the famous La Brea tar pits), the cardboard cut-outs of oriental rugs that were once in the store front windows have thankfully been removed.
    The puns could have been worse: they could have gone with an actual La Brea Avenue carpet store, Lawrence of La Brea.

    DJ, the ultimate party car, rolls into town with his giant speakers, built-in disc changer and his very own dance party, led by a girl named Spinner.
    I'm sure this will go away quickly, possibly before it opens, or at least the girl named "Spinner" will change to another character.
  4. Timekeeper's Avatar
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    I'm glad the Orange Bird is back in Florida; "The Orange Bird Song" is one of the songs which should have been on the Sherman Brothers Songbook, but neither here nor there. As for the Disneyland Resort, I lament the loss of a piece of the Original Disneyland, but am glad in the restoration in two others (the Matterhorn and the Carnation Cafe being indoors.)


    Timekeeper
  5. Barbossa's Avatar
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    Great update!
  6. Dadoo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DCACM


    Have these shutters always been on backwards?
    HOLY CRAP! That's funny!
  7. TodAZ1's Avatar
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    The old Festival Arena (currently closed) will soon be open for performers and character meet-and-greets.
    Ok, how many damn M&G's will Disney parks have???? Getting sick of it!!
  8. Scotty's Avatar
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    Not so sure the temporary entrance/exit to DCA should be abandoned once BVS opens. There doesn't seem to be a lot of space for pedestrian traffic. Having the choice to go down BVS or take the current temporary route into and out of the park might help alleviate the bottleneck and crowd flow that looks likely to occur.
  9. SpectroMan's Avatar
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    I think fighting to keep Carnation Plaza Gardens at this point is futile. It was neutered so long ago that is has no sense of place without it's burger and ice cream stands, and nice seating areas with tons of attraction posters.

    I realize I'm in the minority, but I'm already sick of Transformers and I haven't even ridden it yet. Spiderman at IOA is not one of my favorites and this won't be either.

    HOORAY for the Orange Bird branding and merchandise - that was the smartest thing the Magic Kingdom has done in a long while.
  10. ***jest's Avatar
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    Disney turning a blind eye to fans? No! They would never do that, would they?
  11. TRACYZWORLD's Avatar
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    Sounds like its time for me to write yet another letter to Disney Execs. as this is the first I have heard about Carnation Plaza Gardens. I just have to share that I am again very disappointed with this current managements lack of regard for historic locations in the Park. I know the saying, Walt wanted the park to constantly evolve, blah, blah, blah but I cant imagine he would have wanted the park to turn in its present direction. Fantasyland Theater has already be ruined by yet another "PRINCESS" venue so soak folks in and make them spend more money. Now were going to make another Princess meet and greet??? I suppose there will have to be merchandise too?? What a tackey approach to degrade the view of Sleeping Beauty Castle. Whoever thought this one up should be fired, plain and simple. I am sorry to vent. I know there must be others that share my opinion. I will write my letter as I have written many, many in the past and add my two cents. When it comes to the park, its just about as close to my heart as one could get. What a sad, sad, time.
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