View RSS Feed

In the Parks

In The Parks - Disneyland's Rivers Return, Universal Transforms, Cinco De Mayo Events

Rate this Entry
by , 04-29-2010 at 10:09 PM
Disneyland's River's of America are just about to be refilled after a long refurbishment and they'll bring with them some new surprises. California Adventure continues to evolve into a playground a little more worthy of the Disney brand. Transformers prepare to rock our world at Universal while King Kong is prepped for his big Summer return.

And that's just the start of all the news we've got for you today. Xcelerator returns to Knott's Berry Farm as well as lots of long missed details. And all over Southern California, Cinco De Mayo events are popping up like so many Jumping Beans. let's get to it.

There is quite a bit happening at the Disneyland resort this week, as usual. The Rivers of America refurbishments are coming to a close as planks for docks and the last plants find a home along the riverbed. The river may reopen as soon as May 8th. The Matterhorn continues to test new 3 seat vehicles out in public view. If you are lucky, you might catch a glimpse of one of these stylish new vehicles before they are pulled back off the track. Also, Disney's California Adventure is a hive of activity with multiple high profile projects in different stages of completion. Let's get to it

Big Thunder Trail:
Big Thunder Mountain Railroad is down for refurbishment and the area in front of the attraction is finally getting some much needed resurfacing.

Big Thunder's exit

The not so lovely pathway that guests are using at the moment.

The walls next to the loading dock along the Rivers of America have come down to allow foot traffic into Fantasyland during resurfacing.

Rivers of America:
The River should start filling up again on Thursday and could reopen within the next few weeks. But the Mark Twain will miss the reopening of the rest of the river as it gets a few finishing touches.

The loading station for the two large boats on the river

The front of the Island with exposed Fantasmic infrastructure

The Dock for the rafts to Tom Sawyer's island is nearly fully re-planked

The Mark Twain, which will miss next weeks opening date, received a brand new paddle wheel

Meanwhile, the sailing ship Columbia is now linked up with the rest of the track and it can now be moved in order to replace the track it has been sitting on during the refurb

The animals and foliage are receiving their final placements along the back end of the river

Treehouse? Lookout? All we know is it isn't on fire

The Village People unveil the new old Keel boat


You didn't think this forest planted itself did you?

The Indian Chief presides over the progress on his river
Matterhorn Bobsleds:
The Matterhorn Bobsleds have reopened. However, only the Fantasyland side track is in public operation. This is to allow continued testing of the new, fancy doodle 3 seat bobsleds that will guarantee at least 6 people per train.

New Captain EO rainbow shirts have popped up in the Star Trader.

In DCA the Red Car Trolley line has moved to the front of Tower of Terror. This can cause a bit of crowd confusion, as folks bunch up and try to figure out where to go. Cars Land's rockwork is beginning to take shape already and the Little Mermaid gets a roof. Not to mention the Silly Symphony Swings reaching a more completed status.

Red Car Trolley:

Curb work is being done behind the fences at the entrance of HPB. This should be trimmed up very quickly as no track work is being done

The Little Mermaid: Ariel's Undersea Adventure:

With the viewing area of World of Color in the foreground, the show building for the little mermaid ride is rapidly springing up in the background

Silly Symphony Swings:


The track for a portion of the racers ride has been laid as the perimeter of the rockwork that will surround the area begins to go up

Notice the arch to the left

This will serve as an archway of rock that visitors can enter the land through

Site lines are beginning to change in Paradise Pier and will hopefully obscure those hideous power lines
that Disney almost decided to bury before they cut the budget

New merchandise has sprung up in the Greetings from California shop at the front of the park.

The new logo items use a more classic font for 'California Adventure' and even more classic Disney characters

Other vintage style merchandise has sprung up as well

It's okay to just PRETEND to eat junk food

Roy E. Disney Tribute - Say farewell to Roy E. Disney and hello to the newly rededicated Animation Building at this very special event. The event it is just over a week away and you can still buy tickets for the next few days. Movie screenings on the studio lot, re-dedication of the Animation Building, an opportunity to dine in the studio commissary, and meet some Disney celebrities. You might just get to meet Bob Iger!
Pollyanna - just a few spots remain for this 50 and fabulous event. I attended the Toby Tyler screening last month and really enjoyed it. It is a great deal - free (with a $5 processing fee). The Studio Disney Store will likely be open.

For more information visit the events page

Xcelerator made it's return this past Monday after a September 16th accident that injured two riders. We took a ride on it this past Wednesday and everything looks great and feels back up to par.

Wipeout is currently down for refurb

Wipeout proped up during refurbishment.

Timber Mountain Log Ride:
The Timber Mountain Log Ride is probably one of the best log ride attractions ever built. It is an older attraction and, to some, could seem a bit dated. However, it still stands as a great example of a well paced, innovative ride for it's time. We are thrilled that Knott's continues to honor and maintain this attraction, though it could use some touching up and TLC.

The Themeing is in need of some attention

Calico Saloon:
Over in the Calico Saloon, Knott's answer to the Golden Horseshoe, they continue to have a live, thematically appropriate show. It is a charming show of music and comedy.

Pony Express:
Pony Express has been closed for refurbishment and is scheduled to be up and running this weekend. If you make it to the park, please send us some pictures!
Other scheduled refurbs include:
Montezooma's Revenge: May 03 - May 18
Sierra Sidewinder: May 19 - May 28
GhostRider: June 01 - June 16

New walk in dryers in the park:

At the exit of both Bigfoot Rapids and Perilous Plunge, new full body family dryers are available for use. The upcharge fee is $5.00 for 4 minutes.

Perilous Plunge

Bigfoot Rapids
Ghost Town:
themeing details are slowly returning to Ghost Town. We reported the return of the Catawumpus last week. This week we take a look at the peek-ins that have recently been restored to their former glory.

Assay Office: An Assay office was the location where the
purity of precious metals was verified

Hop Wing Lee's Laundry

Inside the figure is working properly and ironing

The pond near Mystery Lodge

The park looks great and is well worth a visit. Let's hope they stay on the right track.

Universal Studios has quote a few construction projects of its own. King Kong returns this Summer, Transformers moves in next Summer, and the backlot sets destroyed by fire are just about complete. F!an fills us in on what's new at our favorite Hollywood Studio park.
Quick Info

  • Buy a day get the rest of 2010 for free ends 4/30 (Friday)
  • AAA members can get a 3 day pass for $59 (first use must be on or before 8/31 and last use must be on or before 12/31) by either presenting the advertisement in the May edition of Westways magazine to a USH ticket booth or by purchasing tickets online at

Backdraft and SFX Stages have FINALLY been removed from the Park
maps and now there are signs on all levels of the Starway stating they are
closed. The crane is gone as are all of the ventilation units from both of the previous attractions.

The center section of green refurb wall is now
themed and features Bumblebee

Studio Tour:

Exterior work of the new King Kong building appears to be coming to a close.


The old Hot Topic location is out from behind refurb walls and not a trace of the former occupant is left. The windows are covered with generic CityWalk artwork.

Buy a 2010 Play Pass for the new price of $54.99. Right now, if you purchase a play pass for 54.99 you get the rest of 2010 for free.

Upcoming events:
May 1 - The Karate Kid Challenge
May 9 - Show mom how much you really do love her. Buy a Play Pass and receive a Free Friend coupon valid on Mother's Day in your value book.

Aquarium of the Pacific Día del Niño Celebration

In celebration of Día del Niño(Children's Day), the Aquarium of the Pacific will host a special festival for kids. Celebrating the amazing talents of children of all cultures, this festival will feature international music and dance performances by kids. An international choir, Mexican folkloric dance, hula, and West African dance are among the children’s performances. There will also be arts and crafts, storytelling, interactive music performances, face-painting, and more. Celebrate the children in your life through this special annual event. General Admission: $23.95 (Children FREE) Sat, May 1 & Sun, May 2, 9 am - 5 pm - Aquarium of the Pacific, 100 Aquarium Way, Long Beach

Sesame Street Live at the L.A. Zoo
• Join us for Sesame Street Live Weekend at the L.A. Zoo Saturday and Sunday, May 1st & 2nd
• Meet Bert, Ernie, and Grover and bring your camera to take a picture with them between 11 am and 3 pm.
• Get discount coupons to Sesame Street Live “1-2-3 Imagine! With Elmo & Friends” coming soon to your neighborhood.
• For more information go to LAZOO.ORG Sat & Sun, May 1 & 2, 11 am - 3 pm - 5333 Zoo Dr., Los Angeles

Starting Saturday May 1st and going all the way to Sunday May 23rd the Viva la Musica features Latin music, food and fireworks. There will be four full weekends of International Latin performers. They will perform live in the Shamu stadium along with local bands and entertainment. The hours are extended too for a full day of fun from 9am-9pm. All of this is free with Park admission

More info here
Exotic/Classic Auto Display sponsored by Stokes Tire Pros, , Art Exhibit sponsored by Pacific Palisades Art Association, Health & Education, Technology, Environmental, Financial, Home & Garden Design. Sponsors also include Altour Palisades and Wells Fargo Bank. Sun, May 16, 10am-2pm, on the streets of Via de la Paz and Antioch

Calabasas Fine Arts Festival
The Calabasas Fine Arts Festival has become a beloved community tradition the first weekend of May each year. Housed at the beautiful Calabasas Civic Center and the upscale Commons at Calabasas, the festival attracts hundreds of artists and thousands of qualified collectors and art buyers. Artists are encouraged to share their creative work, knowing that the quality and originality they bring greatly enrich this wonderful destination event. Sat & Sun, May 1 & May 2, 10 am - Calabasas Civic Center, 200 Civic Center Way, Calabasas

Game Day 2010
Come one, come all for a fun filled day at Lollipop Theater Network's Game Day 2010! Spend some time at the Nickelodeon Animation Studios with your favorite games... super sized. Decorate cupcakes, dance to some groovy music, glam it up with the Giuseppe Franco Salon crew, meet Dora, SpongeBob and Patrick plus so much more...Your participation will bring smiles to hospitalized children nationwide. Sun, May 2, 12 - 4 pm - Nickelodeon Animation Studios in Burbank, 231 West Olive Ave., Burbank

KidsFest San Diego KidsFest — an interactive children’s festival held May 1-2 in San Diego at NTC Promenade — transforms more than 100,000-square-feet of outdoor space into an inspired wonderland, filled with hands-on activities where kids are encouraged to explore and let their imaginations run free. Saturday, May 1 10:00a to 6:00p Cost $15 - $20 Under 2 free
Last Fridays on Main Street
Great local offers from participating merchants including discounts, 2 for 1's, and most merchants stay open late! There will be free bike valet in front of the Library at 2911 Main from 5 pm - Midnight. Some merchants will be offering discounts to those who valet their bikes! Fri, Apr 30 - Santa Monica Main Street, Santa Monica

Art Night
18th Street’s long standing and popular ‘ArtNights’ opens the art center to the public to their gallery receptions, concerts, and open studios by current artists in residence. Supported by the Santa Monica Cultural Affairs Division, this FREE event treats LA to one big art party. Without a doubt, Art Night is not the usual.Sat, May 1, 6 - 10 pm - 18th Street Arts Center, 1639 18th St, Santa Monica

25th Annual Pow Wow 2010
The American Indian Student Association presents the 25th annual UCLA Pow Wow in order to educate the UCLA community and increase awareness of American Indian culture and heritage, to expose and introduce the Los Angeles American Indian community to an institution of higher education, and to protect and preserve American Indian spirituality and culture.Sun, May 2, 10 am – 6 pm - North Athletic Field, UCLA, Westwood Free and open to the public.

Sherman Oaks Spring Festival
Prepare to have your mind blown as the All Stars of the North Hollywood School of Rock will perform in their Spring Festival. Every show features shredding guitar licks, kicking drum beats, rocking keyboard solos, funky bass lines and scorching vocals. You’ll leave saying "THOSE KIDS ROCK!!" Admission FREE, all are welcome.Fri, Apr 30, 7 pm - Ventura Blvd will be closed for the festival between Van Nuys and Kester, Sherman Oaks

Saint Frances De Sales School Fair
This year’s St. Francis de Sales School Annual Fair features free concerts, a firework shows on Friday and Saturday nights and exciting rides, carnival games, a silent auction and food from around the world. FREE. Fri, Apr 30 - Sun, May 2 - St. Francis de Sales School, 13368 Valleyheart Drive, Sherman Oaks

Free Balloon Rides The Great Park Balloon
- El Toro Marine Corps Air Station
Passengers will soar between 250-400 feet above the surrounding landscape, enjoying a bird’s eye view of the retired air station’s transformation into the first great metropolitan park of the 21st Century. The Great Park Balloon is the first major attraction of the Orange County Great Park, a 1,347 acre public space on the site of the former El Toro Marine Corps Air Station. Thu & Fri: 10 am-3 pm; 7-10 pm; Sat & Sun: 9 am-3 pm; 7-10 pm Tel: (866) 829-3829

Brea Railroad Days
This weekend is the ever popular Railroad Days, now in a new location, Downtown Brea, after losing their location in Downtown Fullerton last year. Here's a link to the website. SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA RAILWAY PLAZA ASSOCIATION - RAILROAD DAYS This is the same event, a few years ago, Engine 1 of the Disneyland Railroad, the C.K. Holliday, was actually brought out of the park and set up on display.

Gregg Young & the 2nd Street Steel Drum Band, concert.
Smooth Jazz Artist of the Year, LA Music Awards, will perform Caribbean, Reggae, Soca, Jazz, Blues, Rock’N’Roll, and Movie Themes as House Band at Dome Arclight Entertainment Center Music on the Courtyard Series. Time: 6 to 9 p.m. Location: The Dome Arclight Entertainment Center, 6360 W. Sunset Blvd., Hollywood, CA 90028. Cost: Free admission & the public is invited.

Cruisin' Morro Bay Car Show.
Classic cars from around the country cruise to Morro Bay to show off their shines. Come on out, bring the family and friends and see these outrageous cars. Friday, Saturday and Sunday

International Festival.
Soka University’s 9th Annual International Festival. Soka University’s 9th Annual International Festival features over 700 international musicians and dancers performing on three stages, international food, demonstrations and workshops, ceramic sale, crafts, non-profit and business exhibitors, games and inflatable rides. SUA’s International Festival is part of the Orange County’s Imagination Celebration held in cooperation with the OC Department of Education and Arts OC. Time: 10:30 am – 5:30 pm. Location & address: Soka University, 1 University Drive, Aliso Viejo, CA 92656. Cost of admission or tickets: FREE, parking on campus: $10. [email protected]; 949.480.4081;

Discovery Science Center Presents: SFSEA Rocket Launch 2010
This May, join the challenge to design, build, and launch a rocket made from a 2-liter plastic soda bottle that uses a combination of pressurized air and water for propulsion. The competition will consist of creating and launching a rocket that will deploy a parachute. The person with the longest “hang time” in the air wins! Let’s see just how smart you are! May 1, 2010; Location: The Boeing Company, 5301 Bolsa Avenue; Huntington Beach Free event!

Cinco De Mayo Fiesta and Classic Car Show
Come sing and dance at this colorful show of Mexican culture, music and dance. The entertainment line-up includes award winning Mariachi Estrella de Jalisco, a group that will make you shout “Ahua”; Ten piece, salsa band, Bomba Chante with their energetic and explosive rhythms; beautiful Ballet Folklorico and more. Also there will be a classic car show, featuring classic, vintage, muscle cars, low riders, trucks and specialty vehicles. Sun, May 2, 1 pm - Virginia Avenue Park, 2200 Virginia Ave, Santa Monica

Cinco de Mayo. Mexican festivities at the 19th Annual Cinco De Mayo Fiesta include Mariachis, Aztec Dancers, Ballet Folkloric, ballad singers, and live bands. Other activities include children’s games and crafts, authentic food and drink and art exhibit. Time: Noon to 6 p.m. Location: Max Berg Plaza Park, 100 Calle Puente, San Clemente, CA

Cinco de Mayo Celebration
For twenty years, the San Clemente Cinco de Mayo Committee has been partnering with the City of San Clemente to celebrate culture, art and entertainment in the Spanish Village by the Sea. For this 20th annual year, the committee is showcasing live entertainment, a restaurant salsa showdown, a spectacular student art exhibit, quick draw art contest, savory food court, cultural dancing, children’s games, activities and much, much more! Sat, May 8, 12 - 6 pm - Max Berg Plaza Park, 1100 Calle Puente, San Clemente Fiesta Cinco de Mayo in Old Town what better place to celebrate Cinco de Mayo than in California's birth place, Old Town? Old Town will offer performances on five different stages, food from local restaurants, and cultural and historical exhibits. Saturday, May 1 11:00a to 10:00p at Old Town San Diego State Historic Park, San Diego, CA Price: Free

As we bring another long update to a close, we'd like to remind you that there is always a world of fun theme park information to read on MiceChat:

  • Dateline Disneyland which is packed with great news and photos from the Disneyland Resort.
  • Weekend Update Offers a world of Disney theme parks and other sights and landmarks!
  • And you'll always find something interesting on the forums and on MiceAge.

Help us out by sharing the link to today's blog with your friends and family on
Facebook, Twitter, and beyond!

A huge thanks
to today's photographers and news contributors CaptPhoebus, F!an, David Yeh, Pratt55, MickeyMaxx, Monorail Man, Sir Clinksalot, David Yeh, Dustysage and Fishbulb.

If you've got news, photos, or tips to share, please contact [email protected]. We'd love to hear from you and make your news and photos a part of our weekly updates!

Have a wonderful weekend and thank you for your continued support of MiceChat and of In The Parks!

Your Editors this week -
Dustysage & Fishbulb

Submit "In The Parks - Disneyland's Rivers Return, Universal Transforms, Cinco De Mayo Events" to Digg Submit "In The Parks - Disneyland's Rivers Return, Universal Transforms, Cinco De Mayo Events" to Submit "In The Parks - Disneyland's Rivers Return, Universal Transforms, Cinco De Mayo Events" to StumbleUpon Submit "In The Parks - Disneyland's Rivers Return, Universal Transforms, Cinco De Mayo Events" to Google


Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
  1. Monorail Man's Avatar
    • |
    • permalink
    Great Update this week! I especially like that DCA Messenger Bag, might have to pick it up this weekend.

    I really wish Xcelerator would get a paint job, it needed one quite long ago. But otherwise, Knott's has been looking great.
  2. Emmanuel_4's Avatar
    • |
    • permalink
    Great Update!!!
  3. RedHandedJill's Avatar
    • |
    • permalink
    Everything looks wonderful! Wonderful, wonderful update
  4. composerboy's Avatar
    • |
    • permalink
    It's too bad the Log Ride is now mostly a ride through empty fluorescent - lit, bare concrete buildings.
  5. Barbossa's Avatar
    • |
    • permalink
    Thanks for the update!
  6. Disneyphenom's Avatar
    • |
    • permalink
    Kinda surprised that the Renaissance Pleasure Faire has not been on local events for the last several weeks.
  7. jaxbistro's Avatar
    • |
    • permalink
    Bummed to see the old Bobsleds go...I felt my first boobie on that ride.

    Great update, as always. I need to get back to Knott's, it's been over 20 years since I've been there. Are the Wacky Soap Box Racers still there?
    Updated 04-30-2010 at 05:55 AM by jaxbistro
  8. WheresMickey's Avatar
    • |
    • permalink
    Nice update!
  9. michael darling's Avatar
    • |
    • permalink
    These updates are always fun to review.
    Really diggin the Lonesome Ghosts tee. Wouldn't it be fun to see a dark ride based on all the old shorts? Perhaps stage it like TGMRide, but focus on the fab 5, with their most famous scenes.....
  10. TacAlert's Avatar
    • |
    • permalink
    To bad Knott's couldn't take the time to paint Xcellerator since being closed for 8 months.
  11. KENfromOC's Avatar
    • |
    • permalink
    A COMMENT ABOUT THE NEW BOBSLED DESIGN: Will young children still be able to ride? Right now kids as young as 3 (and at least 35" tall) can ride on the bobsleds mainly becuase they can be held and "cocooned" (if you will) by their parents. But if these new designs go into effect that may not be so. I have a 3-year old, and while she has yet to go on the Matterhorn I do know someone who did take their (just turned) 3-year old on it - and the little boy apparently enjoyed it. But I doubt that parent would have put his little boy in a seat by himself, even well strapped in. The smae is somewhat true of Splash Mountain now compared to the former seating arragnement.

    Any comments or thoughts on this?
  12. Sparky's Avatar
    • |
    • permalink
    >>It's too bad the Log Ride is now mostly a ride through empty fluorescent - lit, bare concrete buildings.<<

    I went on the ride not that long ago and it had the same show scenes that it has had for many years. It may have been flourescent lit, but, it was decidedly not empty or bare.
  13. JADP's Avatar
    • |
    • permalink
    Quote Originally Posted by KENfromOC
    A COMMENT ABOUT THE NEW BOBSLED DESIGN: Will young children still be able to ride? Right now kids as young as 3 (and at least 35" tall) can ride on the bobsleds mainly becuase they can be held and "cocooned" (if you will) by their parents. But if these new designs go into effect that may not be so. I have a 3-year old, and while she has yet to go on the Matterhorn I do know someone who did take their (just turned) 3-year old on it - and the little boy apparently enjoyed it. But I doubt that parent would have put his little boy in a seat by himself, even well strapped in. The smae is somewhat true of Splash Mountain now compared to the former seating arragnement.

    Any comments or thoughts on this?
    I was wondering the same thing, as I have a 3 year old whom we have been telling can go on Matterhorn now. And of course he's all excited
    about it and we are going in a couple weeks, but I would never let him ride in his own seat...Iwonder how this will work?
  14. Joshnyah's Avatar
    • |
    • permalink
    Great update, Great Photo's, I think I will go back and read it again.
  15. Fishbulb's Avatar
    • |
    • permalink
    Quote Originally Posted by JADP
    I was wondering the same thing, as I have a 3 year old whom we have been telling can go on Matterhorn now. And of course he's all excited
    about it and we are going in a couple weeks, but I would never let him ride in his own seat...Iwonder how this will work?

    No don't worry about it, you will still be able to ride the old style bobsled then. The new bobsleds won't be put into use until the next major refurb for the Matterhorn. When will that be? Probably towards the end of the year.
  16. NetteNutt's Avatar
    • |
    • permalink
    I must have either the mickey and the seal or the ghosts shirts. I have a friend who will be there in a couple of weeks and I'm going to send the money with him.
  17. Hot Sauce 1's Avatar
    • |
    • permalink
    WONDERFUL update. Thanks so much for all your hard work on these. One of these days I will have to forego a trip to Disneyland and actually visit Knotts instead. Wait, did I just say that?
  18. JiminyCricketFan's Avatar
    • |
    • permalink
    I see that the Cinco De Mayo Fiesta and Classic Car Show in Santa Monica is listed for Sun, May 3. But Sunday is May 2. I assume that it IS a Sunday event and not a Monday one.
  19. cablubber's Avatar
    • |
    • permalink
    Great Update!
  20. Lonnie0616's Avatar
    • |
    • permalink
    Is anyone else beginning to wonder if the new Little Mermaid ride will be completed before the Silly Symphony Swings?
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast