View RSS Feed

Dateline Disneyland

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

Rate this Entry
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
Sponsored by TouringPlans.com | Do More. Wait Less.




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.





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 Matterhorn Mountain at Disneyland with nearby dining, freeway access, FREE parking and FREE Wi-Fi. For more information on HoJo Anaheim, room rates, or to book your stay today, visit HoJoAnaheim.com/MiceChat.

MiceChat.com and Annual Passholder Discounts Available Every Day!
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.



See Disneyland from the comfort of 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 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!

Don't forget to visit our great sponsors over at Touring Plans when planning your next visit to Disneyland!

You can help us by buying yourself something through one of our Amazon.com product links! All you need to do is click on any Amazon link you see in today's column. It doesn't cost you anything, but your purchases will help support Dateline Disneyland so we can keep the updates coming to you every week! To start shopping on Amazon using our referral code, click any Amazon item in today's update or click here.

We're only here because of your continued support. If you've enjoy Dateline Disneyland over the last four years, 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 Disneyland!
- Andy


Interested in sponsorship or advertising opportunities
with Dateline Disneyland?
Contact us!
Please support our sponsors





Keep the updates coming!
Please support us





FTC-Mandated Disclosure:
Promotional consideration for the April 23, 2012 edition of Dateline Disneyland was provided by
TouringPlans.com | Do More. Wait Less.

Submit "Red Cars hit the tracks, Matterhorn safety, T Party set-up, Uni's Transformers +MORE!" to Digg Submit "Red Cars hit the tracks, Matterhorn safety, T Party set-up, Uni's Transformers +MORE!" to del.icio.us Submit "Red Cars hit the tracks, Matterhorn safety, T Party set-up, Uni's Transformers +MORE!" to StumbleUpon Submit "Red Cars hit the tracks, Matterhorn safety, T Party set-up, Uni's Transformers +MORE!" to Google

Comments

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
  1. C. Andrew Nelson's Avatar
    • |
    • permalink
    Great report! It's very exciting to see Buena Vista Street coming together. Seeing the Red Car Trolley on its tracks makes me a bit giddy.

    So, it still looks like the Cars Land mountain range still has some gaping holes in it. They will be patching those up, right?
  2. BestBeatingHeart's Avatar
    • |
    • permalink
    You kept mentioning a re-work of the Bugs Life mural, yet nothing still has come about... any update to this rumored happening?
  3. mratigan's Avatar
    • |
    • permalink
    Thanks andy
  4. MrTour's Avatar
    • |
    • permalink
    Great update! Helps make my Monday mornings!

    The handrails on the Matterhorn bridge look awful. It sickens me to think that we live in a state with a budget in crisis and yet have the funds to pay people to go out and knit-pick. I have seen this kind of stuff in my own place of employment; it costs money, it institutionalizes everything, and it's just not warranted!
  5. WheresMickey's Avatar
    • |
    • permalink
    Great update!
  6. Mac Daddy's Avatar
    • |
    • permalink
    Thanks for the great update, Andy! Not sure what kind of crack they are smoking over at TDA, but the LAST thing Carsland needs this Summer is some sort of loud DJ character to literally STOP TRAFFIC. What are they....insane? They need traffic to MOVE in that park for at least the first 6 months. One of the most irritating things on crowded days in that park is to get stuck behind Phineus and Ferb as they stop right in the middle of traffic and cause gridlock until their little show is over. Same thing with Minnie's Fly thing over at Soaring, except at least there is extra room over there. They need to FIRE the marketing genius who keeps coming up with these stupid ideas.
    Updated 04-23-2012 at 06:40 AM by Mac Daddy
  7. Emmanuel_4's Avatar
    • |
    • permalink
    Great Update!!!!
  8. Terrytiger's Avatar
    • |
    • permalink
    There has already been a Mr. Toad's Wild Ride live-action movie starring the Monty Python gang in 1996.
  9. Concieved@DL's Avatar
    • |
    • permalink
    Thanks For the great update. I am glad to see that the Voices of Liberty are coming to DL. That have a great history with WDW. One thing that I see is that it looks like a tight fit for the Red Car Trolly as it passes under the Hyperion Bridge. I hope that is not the case. To bottleneck the entryway of the park is not a good idea. Oh well I hope that is just a optical illusion. Thanks agasin.
  10. penguinsoda's Avatar
    • |
    • permalink
    So cool to see that we will be getting our own "Voices of Liberty" singers in the resort! I look forward to spending a lot of time listening to them! Great report as always. Things are really starting to come together. Sad about the Carnation Garden area.... I will miss it.
  11. wec's Avatar
    • |
    • permalink
    Regarding the "Carnation Plaza Gardens", for those who will miss it, it will live on in the virtual reality Disneyland Adventures Kinect game. As for the real one, unfortunately it's time has come. It just makes sense to have the princesses there and freeing up the Fantasyland Theater for more live entertainment. Yeah I do get the crass commercialism of putting the princesses up front...but it does make sense. That's my 2 cents worth anyway.
  12. Wreckless Abrandon's Avatar
    • |
    • permalink
    So excited to see that DL is getting a "Voices of Liberty" singing group! I'm always a fan of live performers. It makes the place feel even more alive! Sad that the Carnation Garden is going away, but I understand how Disneyland is a place of constant change.

    As for the railings on the Matterhorn, my first reaction was "great, another OSHA over-reaction?" But even though I can't remember specifically where that is in the ride, if it makes that section more claustrophobic, I'm all for it! Tight squeezes simulate speed, and Disney is doing a great job making it fit thematically!
  13. a-mad's Avatar
    • |
    • permalink
    Thanks for the report on Transformers, Andy. One question I have, since you've ridden it - isn't the ride 2 levels? Does your ride vehicle go into some type of elevator at one point in the ride? How does that specific motion fit into the ride? I'm sure its gotta be cool... but I'm interested in how it feels from a ride experience. Also - if you disembark and board from ground level, does it go down one level again before the end of the ride?
  14. Sparky's Avatar
    • |
    • permalink
    Disney has officially announced Starbucks in the parks on the Parks Blog.
  15. Dustysage's Avatar
    • |
    • permalink
    Fantastic update Andy! Nice to see the Red Car out in public. Looks great on Buena Vista Street (even if it may end up being difficult to operate in the expected crowded conditions this summer).

    Quote Originally Posted by a-mad
    Thanks for the report on Transformers, Andy. One question I have, since you've ridden it - isn't the ride 2 levels? Does your ride vehicle go into some type of elevator at one point in the ride? How does that specific motion fit into the ride? I'm sure its gotta be cool... but I'm interested in how it feels from a ride experience. Also - if you disembark and board from ground level, does it go down one level again before the end of the ride?
    The ride is in fact on two levels. However, you'd never know that. At no point do you feel you are in an elevator. You do move between levels, but due to special effects, you'd never know it if you weren't told in advance. It's a brilliant attraction!
  16. a-mad's Avatar
    • |
    • permalink
    Quote Originally Posted by Dustysage
    Fantastic update Andy! Nice to see the Red Car out in public. Looks great on Buena Vista Street (even if it may end up being difficult to operate in the expected crowded conditions this summer).



    The ride is in fact on two levels. However, you'd never know that. At no point do you feel you are in an elevator. You do move between levels, but due to special effects, you'd never know it if you weren't told in advance. It's a brilliant attraction!
    Awesome! I figured it worked somewhat that way... but was curious how they pulled it off. Can't wait to ride. Thanks for the descrip Dusty!
  17. cablubber's Avatar
    • |
    • permalink
    Monster's Inc. looks nice and vibrant! Not so happy with Mad T Party though. It's going to be sad to see Carnation Plaza Gardens go. I wish Disney would instead try to revive the historic area instead of replacing it. Thanks for the update!
  18. DisneyFunGuy's Avatar
    • |
    • permalink
    Great report, Andy...as always!!

    #1. The best part of all (for me) is all the new entertainment Disney is bringing on board this summer! There's going to be so much to see & experience, I can't wait. And all the new entertainment looks like a lot of fun, and very well themed to each location!

    #2. How come BVS looks like it's going to have very limited space for people to walk when the Red Trolley Cars are going? I suppose I'm still used to the very open space that the Sunshine Plaza once offered. Now with the new buildings our further, and the RTC, it just looks so tight.

    #3. As much as I enjoyed elecTRONica, I'm really looking forward to the new Mad T Party opening up this summer! I'm sure it'll be just as fun (if not more) than what elecTRONica had to offer. And this time, with lots of color added.

    #4. Now then, if DCA can just get rid of the "Aladdin" show and replace it with something that will be better themed for Hollywoodland and that era, I'd be very happy! A musical extravaganza like, "One Mans Dream" would fit perfectly in the Hyperion Theatre!

    #5. And speaking of theatres, let's (finally) return the Fantasyland Theatre back into a stage show venue! I, for one, am very happy the Princess Fantasy Faire is moving to the current location of the Carnation Plaza. I know that location has a rich heritage, but it's time to move on and I'm sure Disney will create a lovely new meet-n-greet. But by doing this, it will give way to putting a new and exciting stage show back at the Fantasyland Theatre! WOOT WOOT

    #6. In closing, I have a feeling this summer is going to be VERY, VERY busy for both Parks! Infact, more busier than anyone is expecting! Let's think New Years Eve crowds most likely every day this summer...and that part won't be fun for me! But it's to be expected. =)
  19. Tinkbelle's Avatar
    • |
    • permalink
    Great update!

    The Voices of Liberty sound wonderful! They gave me goosebumps.

    I am still a little concerned about BVS - I think it is coming together beautifully, but it is looking cramped and even more so with the trolley out there. I think it also makes the trolley look quite large in proportion to the buildings and area.

    While it is nice that they gave Monsters Inc. some TLC, I have to agree with you and Mintcrocodile that it is really tacky.
  20. DCACM's Avatar
    • |
    • permalink


    Have these shutters always been on backwards?
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast