11/21: Sleeping Beauty Castle Walk-Through, "small world" returns, DCA work, +MORE
by, 11-21-2008 at 01:27 AM
Welcome again to Dateline Disneyland. Many, many thanks to our photographers this week who came to the rescue once again and provided the great photos in this update: David "Darkbeer" Michael and Matt "2DieFR" Gottula. Without their help, we wouldn't have an update at all this week, so thanks very much for coming to the rescue.
Feel free to click on any of the Project Tracker photos to be taken to their respective threads on MiceChat, and be sure to check out Dateline Disneyland on Twitter, where you can get mini-updates and links to Disneyland news throughout the week - Twitter.com/DatelineDisney.
Let's get to it, shall we?
WELCOME TO DISNEYLAND!
The 2008 holiday season officially starts today at the Disneyland Resort. Today will mark the first day that everything comes together - Santa's Reindeer Round-Up opens in Frontierland, "it's a small world" is officially open, and the "Believe... in Holiday Magic" fireworks spectacular begins its nightly performances, complete with the fancy Castle snow lighting effects.
The new snowflake sculptures atop the Disneyland main gate turnstiles are the first sign of the holidays upon entering the park.
Of course, we've been seeing holiday decorations slowly going up around the parks since before HalloweenTime ended on November 2.
But the parks is now dressed head to toe in its holiday finest and it's officially the holiday season at Disneyland.
The Sleeping Beauty Winter Castle overlay is now complete and ready to sparkle in the evening.
The overlay is a great feature for the holidays, despite its cluttered and somewhat tacky aesthetics which can be attributed to the unfortunate design of the icicles.
Nevertheless, the Castle overlay has been improved this year, most notably on the back of the Castle, where there is now snow where it just sort of ended last year. Not only that, but it appears the back of the Castle will be lit this year as much of the snow on the back of the Castle has embedded LEDs when there weren't any last year. Nice!
We've been tracking the Sleeping Beauty Castle walkthrough progress for months now since construction walls first appeared. From the outside there's been very little in the way of visible progress on the project, but finally, as we get closer to a still unconfirmed opening date, signage for the attraction has appeared.
Construction walls were still up around the area as of 11/19 when these photos were taken, however, rumor still suggests that Disney is hopeful for an opening today. Still, it's very possible that the attraction may still need a couple more weeks to be ready for its first guests.
We'll keep you posted both here and via Twitter when the attraction finally opens.
"it's a small world" holiday
After an 11-month refurbishment, "it's a small world" officially re-opens today in its holiday version. The attraction soft-opened to park guests on Wednesday.
Newly painted and textured queue walkways.
While much of the show remains the same from previous years, there are a couple significant changes. When the attraction first closed early this year for refurbishment it was reported by MiceAge's Al Lutz that the Papua New Guinea rainforest scene would be removed entirely to be replaced by an American-themed scene.
As the rumors spread, Walt Disney Imagineering came out to various media outlets to try to silence the murmurs. Imagineering both confirmed and denied various aspects of the reports, including the addition of various Disney characters to the show. What is now very clear is that the Rainforest has been moved rather than completely removed. It has now been added to the end of the Polynesia room, which has resulted in some parts of Polynesia to be moved or removed to make room for the abbreviated rainforest scene. Personally, I think the rainforest is too bright now and seems sort of out of place, but after over four decades of being in the same place it's probably safe to say that the rainforest's re-staging will seem awkward to most fans.
Despite its awkwardness, it's good to see the show scene remains in some capacity. As for the Disney characters and the America-themed show scene, we'll see them make their debut when the traditional version of the attraction returns after the holiday season.
The other notable addition to "it's a small world" is the large new sun prop near the end of the finale "white" room. Interestingly, this sun isn't really all that new and is really a part of the original show returning after being gone for some time, possibly even since the show's end at the 1964 World's Fair. 2DieFR talks about the returning icon in his discussion on the MiceChat boards: New Sun Prop in small world "White" room - Recreated or Original?
Outside, work continued at the nearby Fantasy Faire Gifts earlier this week.
...And Small World Mall is all decked out for the holidays..
Over at California Adventure, Paradise Bay is all dried up as it prepares for World of Color construction.
Scaffolding at the Sun Wheel continues to rise higher around the ferris wheel.
The Christmas tree in Golden State Park is now up.
THIS AND THAT
The Timon parking lot has been downsized as part of it has been taken over for World of Color construction access.
Back inside Disneyland, the "Celebration Custom Printers" has taken over the Disney Showcase annex, which has been doing custom printing on hats and other items for some time now. The new name for the store is not only for better visibility, but also for the upcoming "What will you celebrate?" marketing campaign which will focus heavily on custom celebration vacations which will of course need custom celebration vacation souvenirs.
Santa's Reindeer Roundup at Big Thunder Ranch opens today.
Also, the National Thanksgiving Turkeys that President Bush will pardon on Thanksgiving will soon call Disneyland home. Past turkeys have called this pen home during park hours. You can even vote for the names President Bush will give the turkeys when he pardons them at the White House's 2008 Thanksgiving web site: whitehouse.gov/holiday/thanksgiving/2008/
Holiday napkins are now at park dining locations.
And finally, the new snowflake ice sculptures at the main gates light up in a blue glow in the evening.
Alright, that should do it for this week's update. Thanks, as always for reading, and thanks again to our amazing photographers, David "Darkbeer" Michael and Matt "2DieFR" Gottula. As always, you can see many, many more of David's photos in his smugmug albums: darkbeer.smugmug.com.
See you again next week!