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In The Parks - Disney, Universal, and Knott's Get Ready for Summer

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by , 05-20-2010 at 09:47 PM

Wild, wacky, and wonderful. Southern California is simply brimming with theme park activities and events. And if it's news your looking for, you've come to the right place, we've got photos, news, and construction updates from Disneyland, California Adventure, Universal Studios, Knott's Berry Farm, and local attractions all over the south land. Let's see what's brewing for this weekend.

Disneyland's construction walls have finally come down and rides are returning to normal operation just in time for the big Summer Crowds that appear on Memorial Day weekend. Things have been freshened up and the smell of paint and wood fill the air on the west side of the park where everything new is old again.

Main Street, U.S.A.

Two new posters have appeared in the entry tunnels under the Main Street train tracks.

The new Monorail poster has been hung in the tunnel to the right.

And an Indiana Jones poster has been hung in the tunnel to the left
Main Street Corn Dog Cart:
The Main Street Corn Dog Cart made it's much anticipated return to the end of Main Street, U.S.A. this past week.

Yummy heart clog dogs (they really are delicious . . . and deadly)
Maintenance crews are trimming up the blue paint on the walls near Tomorrowland Terrace during park hours.

Let's be clear, we are VERY, very happy to see that the little things, like paint touch ups, are being taken care of efficiently and effectively. For years, this was done almost exclusively during the night shift and rarely during park hours in view of guests. Still, we'd rather that it be done during the day than not done at all - even if it is a bit of bad show.

Pirates Lair on Tom Sawyer's Island:

The young landscaping of the recent refurbishment to the Rivers of America will take some time to grow in. But until it does, you can catch an interesting view of the petrified fauna of the new forests.

New trees are staked for support.

Big Thunder Mountain:

Big thunder Mountain Railroad has reopened after a brief refurbishment. The attraction is now refreshed and ready to thrill Summer crowds.

The ride looks and sounds better than ever

The recorded spiels emanating from the town of Rainbow Ridge

are crystal clear once again.

"Two coins in a fountain.."
and then some

This goat is so hungry that he'll eat anything

Big Thunder Ranch:

And now for an udderly adorable update on some non-dynamite eating real livestock in the Disneyland Ranch.

Mama moo cow is keeping a watchful eye on the newest members of the Disneyland family

baby goats!

Oh you kids!


The tester Bobsleds make another appearance

Silly Symphony Swings

A quick shot of the artists concept drawing of the ride illustrates that Disney has plussed the look of the attraction considerably.

Actual awnings have been built instead of the cheap trellises shown in the concept drawings.

Twinkling lights line the trim

In front of the attraction, plants are finding new homes

Hard to believe that this was once a concrete jungle.
Redwood Creek Challenge Trail

Is down for refurb

The Little Mermaid: Ariel's Undersea Adventure

Construction continues to race along swimmingly.


A substantial trellis has been built to keep patio diners more comfortable

Food and Wine Festival

Get to the Food and Wine festival before it ends on May 31st

Red Car Trolley

The strip down the main entrance to Hollywood Pictures Backlot is taking more time than we had thought. But the completed work looks fantastic.


Speaking of Red Cars... Last week we spotted the new tester ride vehicle under a tent being readied for a run on the small portion of track that is currently visible. This week we actually got the chance to see the thing move. It only went a short distance, but for a ride that is still two years away, that's big.

The frame for the rockwork continues to grow ans will soon become a berm of red rock themeing.

Ta-da! Movement!

3 Days $108
Is Disneyland worried that World of Color won't bring in the crowds? Disney has announced that Southern California residents can get a discount on three days worth of tickets for Disneyland over the summer, Disney announced Wednesday.
The summer pass costs $108 for three separate visits to a Disney park, or $36 a day. That’s half the price of a regular, single-park day pass for an adult. Residents have 45 days to use all three tickets, each good for one park per day. Passes can be upgraded to park hoppers for an extra $21. The valid period for all 3 days to be used is from June 11 to August 29.

Last year, the passes cost $99 — $9 cheaper than this year. Blackout dates are July 2 to 4 and Aug. 22 to 23. Tickets are available online at and at some grocery stores.

We'd also like to focus a bit of attention on Universal Studios this week as they frantically wrap up projects for Summer. Attractions are being plussed, including the House of Horrors walkthr and Jurassic Park, while the big new King Kong 360º 3-D gets it finishing touches. Kong won't be ready for guests until July 1st, but the newly rebuilt New York Backlot sets will be open for tours and filming on May 27.

House Of Horrors:
The House of Horrors attraction is getting some updates. The inside Queue is receiving new horror movie props while the maze itself has received a few new figures and strobe scare effects. We took a tour and It was ghastly fun.

The House of Horrors scares guests year round

The Horror movie props in the inside queue are in the process of being updated

The entire attraction is good old fashioned creepy goodness


The crazy Access Hollywood people have disappeared

KING KONG 360º 3-D
2 seamless concave screens each measuring 187' long and 40' high. 16 HD projectors at 60 FPS (vs 24 FPS for a feature film). 68 speakers at 108 decibels. 3 minutes long.

The Kong Show building is fully enclosed now and is receiving some rock work detailing

Kong's exit

War of the Worlds set:

Recently on a visit to Universal, we spotted something gruesome (but fun)

There is a leftover body from Halloween Horror Nights hidden amongst the rubble

look for the legs - lol


The highlighted area outlines the show building being worked on at the moment

Jurassic Park:

The Jurassic Park River Adventure has received some updating. A new tour boat has been added to the Hadrosaur scene in an attempt to further explain where your boat SHOULD have gone and that you have been knocked of course.

An old reference but ...

...still very funny
The New Special Effects Show:
Above, on the upper lot, the old Creatue from the Black Lagoon theatre is being repurposed as the new Special Effects Stage show (which has moved from the lower lot to make room for Transformers). When finished, it will more closely resemble the sound stages of the lower lot.

Character counts!


Hot Topic has reopened and we take a look at where it went.

The temporary location has closed

Ahh Here it is - back in its old location but with a new look

This is Hot Topic? The soul has been sucked out of it.
Is Paul Pressler working for them now?

CityWalk StreetFest:

Every Sunday May 16-June 13 from 3-8pm, USH CityWalk welcomes you to StreetFest. StreetFest is a family friendly street fair filled with live music, street entertainment, and food all over CityWalk.

Some of the street entertainers includes bands, magicians, trapeze artists, stilt walkers, and atmosphere groups. CityWalk Swim Team.

When enjoying StreetFest, play The StreetFest Passport Game for free to win prizes such as gift cards to CityWalk shops and restaurants and even Annual Passes to Universal Studios Hollywood. The game is simple. All you have to do is visit one shop/restaurant from each of the four zones and get a stamp on your passport (no purchase necessary). See the booth in Fountain Court for more details and to play the game.

CityWalk StreetFest Schedule:
Every Sunday 3-8pm unless noted
Flip Flop Shops 4-5pm-Free gift and promo discounts on flip flops.
Hard Rock Cafe-Free guided Hard Rock memorabilia tour and ALL ACCESS crd preloaded with points and priority seating at all Hard Rock Cafes.
iFLY Hollywood Indoor Skydiving-25% off standby flights (subject to availability).
Jodi Maroni's Sausage Kingdom 3-4pm Free gourmet sausage samples.
Jon Lovitz Comedy Club-Free VIP entry passes to attend upcoming shows. Karl Strauss Brewing Company 5-6pm
Free brewery tours, including free beer (21+) and appetizer samples.
Universal CityWalk Cinemas Stadium 19 with IMAX 11am-4pm
Meet the Minion characters from the upcoming Universal Pictures feature "Despicable Me".
Popcornopolis-Free gourmet popcorn samples and free upgrade to large on any small Shave Ice purchase.
Saddle Ranch Chop House 5pm-7pm
Bull Riding COntest. $500 prize to winner. Free cotton candy to first 200 visitors.
Samba Brazilian Steakhouse & Lounge 5-7pm
Free Caipirnha samples (21+) and 1/2 price Caipirinhas with purchase of appetizer (bar only).
Free mini doughnut samples. Free lemonade with purchase of a bucket of doughnuts (4-6pm).
Subway 3-8pm
Free sample sandwiches and special promo offer coupons.
Wasabi at CityWalk 3-4pm
Free Crunchy Roll and Bite Size Garlic Chicken samples.

Select Sundays
Buca di Beppo May 16 3-4pm
Free pizza samples and special offers.
Camacho's Cantina May 16 3-4pm
Free chicken taquitos samples.
Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. May 16, 23 June 6, 13 3-5pm
Free sample appetizers.
Martin Lawrence Gallery May 16 2-4pm
Meet Spanish artist Felix Mas on the Spanish Masters Tour.
NBA Nation presented by T-Mobile & Kia Motors @ Globe Fountain 2-10pm
Shoot, dribble, slam dunk, and meet NBA Legend Darryl Dawkins.
Kelly Slater's Quicksilver Boardrider's Club May 30 3-8pm
Free gift with purchase of Roxy swim or Quicksilver board shorts.
Howl at the Moon on the CityWalk Stage June 13 3:10pm and 4:10pm
Dueling piano players from Howl at the Moon presenting a family friendly version of their show on the CityWalk Stage.

It’s time to get wet and wild at Knott’s Soak City. Acres of waterlogged fun await you! Take advantage now of the low priced Season Pass and get the entire 2010 season for $54.99 for a Regular (ages 12+) and only $49.99 for Junior and Senior pass (ages 3-11 and 62+). Or pick up a money-saving coupon at Burger King to save $8 on single day Regular admission.

Mrs. Knott's Chicken Dinner Restaurant

Buffet Hours: 9:30am-2pm We have your passport to a culinary excursion! A banquet has been prepared at Mrs. Knott's Chicken Dinner Restaurant featuring the most delectable dishes from around the world. We are serving up the best cuisine from Mexico, Italy, Germany and Asia alongside all your traditional American favorites. Mrs. Knott's International Sunday Brunch is only $19.95 for Adults, $15.95 for Seniors (60+) and $13.95 for Kids (3-11). To make your reservations, call (714) 220-5055.

2010 California Ghost Hunters Conference.
Join the 8th annual California Ghost Hunters Conference sponsored by the Ghost Trackers Paranormal Research Group. John J. Oliver, professional psychic/medium and STAR of "Haunting Evidence" will be guest speaker; Gloria Ramirez (Young) brings a comprehensive lecture dealing with ghost hunting, photography and equipment; and bonus visits to historic and HAUNTED venues - the Meek Mansion and McConaghy Mansion, plus San Lorenzo Cemetery. These two magnificent mansions are currently being renovated allowing for better odds of hauntings and have great history. Location: LaQuinta Inn & Suites, 20777 Hesperian Blvd., Hayward, CA. Cost: $150 person. Call: 408-207-3612Registration:

Celebrity Classic Hosted by Drew Brees. The 12th annual Celebrity Championship hosted by NFL Pro Bowl Quarterback Drew Brees brings together over 50 of the best celebrity golfers in the world for a purse of $100,000. The tournament consists of a 2-day Celebrity-Amateur and a 36-hole, celebrity-only competition. The general public is welcomed to all three days of the tournament, which includes fifth annual Military Appreciation Day on May 23 where military families get in free. Family Day will also be hosted in conjunction with Military Appreciation Day on May 23. Don’t miss this rare opportunity to see your favorite sports heroes and entertainers. Proceeds will benefit Rady Children’s Hospital, Pro-Kids Golf Academy, San Diego Armed Services YMCA and other San Diego Charities. Three-day tournament tickets are $10. Children under 10 and guests with military I.D. are free. Location: Morgan Run Resort and Club 5690 Cancha De Golf Rancho Santa Fe, CA 92091 Time: May 21 and 22: 7am – 6pm May 23: 9am – 4pm

National Jet Boat Association Drag Boat Races. The National Jet Boat Association brings speed boat racing to Lake Ming. Fast boats categories: jets, hydros and alcohol, compete on the 1/4 mile liquid track. Saturday all boats participate in qualifying runs. Sunday is elimination day, when after several rounds, the fastest boats win. Cruisin' T's sells commemorative T-Shirts and Rex's Nitro Burgers offers a variety of food for sale including the famous Nitro Burger. Time: 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Location: Lake Ming Lake Ming Road, Bakersfield, CA. Cost: $12 Saturday; $15 Sunday; $20 Two Day Pass; Children under 12 free.

Doheny Blues Festival at Doheny Beach in Dana Point includes 26 acts on three stages over a two-day weekend period. Vendor Village, International Food Court and plenty of restrooms are the basics in this event that features top acts such as Bonnie Rait, Robert Cray Band, Little Feat, Eric Burdon & The Animals and many more. Now ten years strong, this annual beach concert event is one to rival the Long Beach Blues Festival. It doesn't actually compete with the other event which is held on the Labor Day weekend. This event is held in the spring (May) on the grass lawns of Doheny Beach. Guests can bring low back beach chairs, one bottle of water, and not much else. You have to buy your food there as they don't allow bringing food in the arena area.

Mariposa Rotary Fine Art & Wine Festival
The beautiful and historic Mariposa County Courthouse provides lush lawns and the serene setting for tthe 6th Annual Time: 11am to 6 pm. Cost: The event is Free. $10 to taste wine. Location: Mariposa Courthouse, Bullion Street, Mariposa, CA.

Monterey Rock and Rod Festival
Classic and custom pre-1972 car show and oldies rock festival to benefit Gateway Center of Monterey County, Inc., a non-profit, 501(c)3 organization serving the needs of developmentally disabled adults in Monterey County. See The Shirelles with Beverly Lee and Freddie "Boom Boom" Cannon. Friday night Sock Hop. Monterey County Fairgrounds Fee: Varies Time: Fri. 6 p.m. - 10 p.m.; Sat. 9 a.m.-10 p.m.; Sun. 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.

Indie Music Fest The Music Box @ Henry Fonda Theater
6126 Hollywood Boulevard Los Angeles, California 90028 When: May 22, 2010 12:00 AM
This is an all day event Tons of bands, fun, and more!

Yorba Linda Lobsterfest

May 21, 2010 Gates Open 5:30 - 11:00 p.m. One of Yorba Linda's biggest events, the all-you-can-eat Lobsterfest is YL Sunrise Rotary's main fundraiser each year. Live & silent auction, live entertainment under the stars by "The Hypnotics" $75.00 per Adult/Child, in advance $85.00 at the door, if available Rain or Shine. No Refunds. Yorba Linda Community Center Casa Loma @ Imperial Highway

Greek Festival
May 21-23, 2010 Come experience the sights, sounds and tastes of Greece at the 2010 OC Greek Fest: St. John the Baptist Greek Orthodox Church’s 49th Annual Greek Food Festival celebrating the food, music, and culture of Greece! Authentic Greek foods and homemade Greek pastries; traditional Greek dancing and Greek music (live music by Fotia); an outdoor marketplace and expansive 'Zorba’s Kidz Zone' with carnival rides & games and other activities for the children—plus more!—are all ready for your visit to Greece right here in Anaheim. 405 N. Dale St.

Discovery Science Center Presents: Speedcubing at the Cube - Santa Ana
Saturday, May 22, 2010 Join us on Saturday as Rubik’s Cube speed solvers showcase their skills at Discovery Science Center! Come watch as the quickest cubers compete against each other and against themselves to set and break speed solving records. Events will include blind-folded solving, one-handed solving and more! Think you're a speedy solver? Participation in our competition is free with paid admission to the Science Center. Discovery Science Center 2500 N. Main St. Santa Ana, CA 92705

Stroll & Savor Wed, May 19 and Thu, May 20, 5:30 - 9 pm - Belmont Shore, 2nd Street, Long Beach
A "taste of Belmont Shore", Stroll & Savor is one of the most popular events on 2nd St. Savor delicious cuisine from over 30 restaurants and specialty food merchants. Stroll E. 2nd St. and dance to live music. Ticket books of 12 available for $10 the week of the event at Hide & Seek Boutique, La Strada, Mail Boxes Etc. & We Olive.

Disney In Concert: Tale Old Time
Sat, May 22 & Sun, May 23 - Warner Grand Theatre, 478 West 6th Street, San Pedro
An evening full of film memories and live orchestral music awaits anyone willing to follow (with a little pixie dust) the hearts of Disney animated friends from the silver screen. $15-$35

Bimmerfest 2010
(Thank you to DoomBGI for sending in the following)
At the Rose Bowl in Pasadena on Saturday. I went every year for several years, but haven't been in a while. It used to be in Santa Barbara, but the Pasadena location is much more convenient. If you drive a BMW, you can drive right in and be a part of the show!

Susanville Indian Rancheria Memorial Powwow. $16,500 in cash prizes for 20 dance competition categories (including tiny tot) at the 1st Annual Susanville Indian Rancheria Memorial Powwow. Maidu, Pomo and Miwok Dance Groups will all be represented.. Schedule: * Friday, May 21 - Sunday, May 23, 2010: Traditional Dance Demonstrations of local Indian Tribes, Dancing and Vendors * May 21: Vendors will be open at 4 pm; War-dancing and Grand entry 6:30 until 11 pm * May 22: Vendors open at 10 am; dancing and Grand Entry at 12:30 pm and again from 6:30 until 11 pm * May 23: Vendors open at 10 am; dancing and Grand Entry from 12:30 until 6:00 pm. Location: 845 Joaquin Street, Susanville California 96130 Cost: Free admission.

Loews Coronado Bay Resort Surf Dog Competition. Time: 10 a.m. Cost: Free to watch; $50 for dog registration. Location: Dunes Park/Beach 700 Seacoast Drive Imperial Beach, CA 91932.

Date: May 22, 2010 Times:
10a.m. - 10p.m.
The free event will include over two dozen local entertainers, organizations and government entities that make up the "green" community in Long Beach and surrounding areas. These groups are active participants in environmental stewardship and are excited to share their practices with the public.

Well, that just about does it for another In The Parks photo extravaganza. Did we scratch your theme park itch? Do you have any news or events that you'd like to share? We'd appreciate hearing from you, please contact [email protected] with your news or photos. And we would 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.

How can't you express your thanks for the content you read on this site? Sharing the link to today's blog with your friends and family on Facebook, Twitter, and beyond!

Today's update was brought to you by our talented and dedicated crew of
photographers and news contributors CaptPhoebus, F!an, David Yeh, Pratt55, MickeyMaxx.

Wherever you go, and whatever you do, we hope you have a wonderful weekend. We'll see you In The Parks!

Your Editors this week - Dustysage & Fishbulb

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  1. RedHandedJill's Avatar
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    Awesome job!
  2. Emmanuel_4's Avatar
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    Great Update!!
  3. Experiment 626's Avatar
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    Thank you, allot of stuff to do! O_O
  4. TDLFAN's Avatar
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    I can't wait to hear the reviews of the new Kong attraction.
  5. Barbossa's Avatar
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    Thanks for the update! What's the opening date for Silly Symphony Swings?
  6. Mac Daddy's Avatar
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    Great job, Dusty, Fishbulb, David and Capt Phoebus! We really appreciate the time it took to get all of these photos and info together!
  7. WheresMickey's Avatar
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    Nice report!
  8. whamo's Avatar
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    You guys have a sharp eye, to notice the new posters in the Magic Tunnel. Most people just rush through the tunnel to the other side. I'll be in the park today, Wooo-hooo! I'm anxious to see the refurbished attractions and such.
  9. Let's Enunciate's Avatar
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    Terrific as always.
  10. cal4iri's Avatar
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    Good stuff!! Thank you!
  11. disneyland255's Avatar
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    Wonderful Update! Thanks for the info on Kong 360
  12. Concieved@DL's Avatar
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    My last update till I get there myself. 42 hours and counting. Thanx
  13. Zorro825's Avatar
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    Great update as always! As far as Hot Topic at Universal, I've heard that they changed up the look of the Universal location to attract more customers.
  14. jcruise86's Avatar
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    "The Main Street Corn Dog Cart made its much anticipated return to the end of Main Street, U.S.A. this past week."
  15. FigmentJedi's Avatar
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    Hot Topic never had a soul.
  16. Timekeeper's Avatar
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    Love this update!

  17. Crazee4mm's Avatar
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    I'm wishing that another show had taken up residence in the old Conan, Fear Factor, Beetlejuice's Rockin' Graveyard Review, Creature theater. The special effects attraction down the "Starway" always left me cold.
  18. cablubber's Avatar
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    Thanks for the great update!
  19. dmomof4's Avatar
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    Great update! Short, sweet and to the point! The body (legs) at the War of the Worlds Set has been there atleast a couple of months...we also noticed it! Now where exactly is the new Special Effects Show going? I am not familiar with the Black Lagoon Theater (?)..
  20. michael darling's Avatar
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    "Oh you kids", "moving along swimmingly"......hilarious! Got a good chuckle out of those.
    "oh you kids".......hahahahahahaha.
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