In The Parks - Disneyland Resort News, Pirates Construction, Knott's
by, 08-12-2010 at 01:59 PM
What a lucky Summer we've had so far in Southern California. The weather has been lovely and mild, the parks all seem to be on a general campaign of cleanliness, and new attractions are packing in the crowds at many local attractions. The OC Fair has had record crowds this Summer, as have Universal Studios and California Adventure. Florida may be the undisputed champ when it comes to volume of theme parks, but Southern California is the epicenter of family entertainment these days. This week, we apply a bit of detail to the Cars Land construction so you can match up the metal beams with what is yet to come. We also visit the moisture maniacs at Universal and get more behind the scenes info from Knott's Halloween Haunt. And, as always, we've got news, photos, tips, and deals from all over the Southland.
Alice In Wonderland:
By the time you read this, Alice in Wonderland may be reopened. Al Lutz received word that the temporary set of safety scaffolding around the exterior portions of track at Alice In Wonderland is nearly complete. Cal/OSHA was set to inspect it on Thursday, and if Disneyland gets the green light from the inspectors the ride will reopen on Friday the 13th. A permanent fix is still being debated and designed at WDI, and the major refurbishment needed for the project has yet to be slotted in to the 2011 calendar.
Under normal circumstances, the ride might have been kept closed until the final fix could be made. But with Star Tours closed and several attractions slated for Fall refurbishments and overlays, Alice was needed to enhance ride capacity in the park. Never fear Alice lovers, the temporary scaffolding and railings is just that, TEMPORARY!
The new railings and the painted tarps aren't pretty
But this is all temporary so the attraction can keep running until the long term solution can be designed and built.
A few weeks ago, we spoke about how Vinylmation has infiltrated nearly every store in the Magic Kingdom with little regard for theme or exclusivity. The homogenization of products not only makes the shopping experience less special, but sometimes creates odd merchandise situations. What would be so special about a Vinylmation figure purchased at Disneyana as opposed to one from the gift shop in the hotel? It becomes an item with little sentimentality or significance. In the end it looses it's meaning.
This week we take a look at another offender, Jack Skellington Merchandise. It is understandable that Jack have a place in New Orleans Square. A perennial attraction exists in this area based on The Nightmare Before Christmas and the New Orleans Square's vibe lends itself well to the character.
But WHY is Jack Skellington featured in Adventureland and even more inexplicable in the futuristic setting of Tomorrowland? Let's take a look at the overexposure and poor merchandising of Jack Skellington.
Main Street, USA:
We give a pass to Jack on Main Street as these have become the generic shops of the park. One expects to find that last minute gift at the Disney Emporium. Let's call this "Last chance Jack."
We aren't thrilled with Jack merchandise in the Adventureland Bazaar.
New Orleans Square:
At home in New Orleans Square, Jack has a year round shop with nods to other villains as well. This is the most appropriate spot for this Gothic character and we enjoy seeing him here.
Here is where we must question the decisions made by the merchandising group in regard to Jack.
Typical Star Traders fare? We sure hope not. Jack is found nearly everywhere at the resort these days. But regardless of his popularity, Disney should be careful not to overexpose this beloved character and certainly expend a little more effort in merchandising the park's stores. We sincerely miss the days of unique store merchandise when shopping at Disneyland was a fun.
Star Tours Refurb:
The adventure continues in 2011
The concrete has been stripped from the floors already!
The obvious footprints of construction in the overflow queue area
Just a tip: MiceChat is giving away 4 $25 Amazon Gift Cards in the month of August. One a week. All you have to do to be entered is follow us on Twitter or Facebook. If you are already following us, then you are already entered! And if you haven't followed us yet, just click the Facebook or Twitter link below:
Recognizable details are beginning to take shape in Cars Land. So much so that we are able to compare the current construction progress to the models of the attraction presented at the D23 Expo last year.
The current Pacific Wharf with Cars Land construction behind it
And the model - The Pacific Wharf area in the foreground which will be to the right of the entrance to Carsland
Flo's Drive in Diner takes a circular shape
Now the model
A worker gives scale to the massive project
The Little Mermaid: Ariel's Undersea Adventure
Not too much new with the Mermaid construction (that we can see), but we still love looking anyway!
Again, not much to see at the big ugly burger. But it should be blasting off soon.
Jeffrey, from D23, is back with the next edition of the Disney Geek videocast:
Knott's Berry Farm is continuing to transform itself into the Scariest place on earth in preparation for Knott's Scary Farm Halloween Haunt 2010. Mazes and decorations are slowly taking their places around the park. We take a look, this week, at the progress on mazes onstage and get a peak at some of the creatures that will lurk within Fallout Shelter.
OFFICIAL KNOTT'S TICKET PRICES ANNOUNCED FOR
HALLOWEEN HAUNT EVENTS
It's Friday the 13th and Knott's announced their pricing for this year's Haunt. basic tickets range in price from $33-$50 depending on the night you would like to go. Additional fee applies to the pre-scare dinner which gives you early access to the park. The closer to the weekend and Halloween, the higher the price.
CLICK HERE TO VIEW TICKET PRICES
DIRECTLY FROM KNOTT'S
MICECHAT EVENT TICKET PRICES WILL BE ANNOUNCED ANNOUNCED FOR WEDNESDAY AUG 18th
If you are joining MiceChat for the Special Weekends of Horror events at Knott's this year we will have tickets on sale right here on MiceChat starting Wednesday August 18th. The pricing will be something worth waiting for if you are joining the group. But, below are full details of the events and what is offered.
Friday October 1st
(Pricing to be announced Wed. Aug 18th)
Knott's Scary Farm - Fourth Annual MiceChat Knott's Scary Farm Halloween Haunt Maze Meet.Saturday October 9th•PreScare All you can eat Buffet Dinner
•Early entry into Haunt
•The World Famous MiceChat Maze Death March.
On October 1st join the Web's largest Haunt Meet for a night of fun in the fog shrouded nightmare of Knott's Scary Farm. The night will start off at 4:30pm with a Pre-Scare buffet followed by early entry into the Haunt. We'll ride the Log ride and Mine Train view The Hanging, then embark on the world famous MiceChat Maze Death March! Haunt Meet Information Discussion on MiceChat HERE
(Pricing to be announced Wed. Aug 18th)
Knott's Scary Farm - Behind the screams tour and Haunt Shows.
•PreScare All you can eat Buffet DinnerSCREAM FOR MORE Package
•Behind the screams tour of one of the mazes prior to Haunt opening to see how the magic is made.
•Souvenier Haunt T-Shirt and Refillable Mug.
•Meet Halloween Haunt Legend and Founding Father John Waite, Lighting designer Andrew Strain, and Knott's Preserved Author Eric Linxweiler.
•The Knott's Scary Farm Show Run: a tour to view of all Haunt Shows. Includes VIP seating.
•Front of the line access to all mazes.
(Pricing to be announced Wed. Aug 18th)
Come scream on October 1st. Then come back again and scream for more on October 9th. Includes admission and amenities for both the October 1st meet and October 9th meet all for one low price.
Haunt Meet Information Discussion on MiceChat HERE Join us as we take an eye popping look behind the screams to see how the haunt comes together every year. Visit the mazes with your Mice pals. See the terrifying shows. Meet the magic makers, designers, monsters, and staff who help make Knott's Haunt the granddaddy of Halloween.
Now onto what's happening in the park...
Onstage, the walls continue to take shape and are then painted black. This maze has us particularly interested with it's 50's, sci-fi feel and absurdly mutated creatures.
Planks of wood prepared to be used
Nothing much to see just yet.
Notice the metal walls
The maze weaves under the metal supports for Sierra Sidewinder, Jaguar and Montezuma's Revenge
Over in the Prop Shop, some of the creatures are being assembled. These are some pretty interesting little beasts. See if you notice the Simpson's reference.
Molds drying in the arid heat as a Ghost rider thunders in the distance
Monkeying around in the prop shop
Ohhhhhh How adorable
It's a Spider! It's a Pig! It's Spiderpig!
The new Virus Z maze is being built in Fiesta Village in the spot previously occupied by last year's Quarantine. At the moment, everything is still open and exposed. However, just like Fallout Shelter, the walls will soon be painted and sealed up.
The entrance to the maze
nothing but the fresh scent of pine
Props are shuffled and moved into the mazes as construction continues. We found this little monster that populated last year's Uncle Bobo maze.
Hello there! Where's the egress?
Lockdown's signage is ready to go.
The path that leads to Club Blood and Lockdown are receiving their decorations already
Those spiders sure are busy
KNOTT’S HALLOWEEN HAUNT LOOKING FOR A FEW GOOD MONSTERS
Knott's Berry Farm is holding an open hire event where 1,000 monster positions for the 38th Annual Halloween Haunt will be filled.
Positions include maze monsters for 13 mazes and the chance to audition for “street” monster positions in one of 3 scare zones.
- Monday, August 16
- 9:00 am to 6:00 pm
- Knott’s Employment Center
- Located on Grand Ave. between La Palma Avenue and Crescent Avenue in Buena Park
Knott's Looking For A Few Good Monsters
Sandy Graham Benefit Scavenger/Hidden Mickey Hunt
August 29 · 9:00am - 7:30pmSandy Graham, our Vampire/Nymph Queen from Knott's Halloween Haunt, needs our help. She recently had a brain tumor removed and is incurring major costs with ongoing medical therapy and bills. Her health is still touch and go and she needs all of us right now!!!!
CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFO
Terminator is temporarily closed according to the Magic Mountain Facebook page. No reason behind the closure was listed and no ETA on when the ride will reopen has been announced.
No Salvation for YOU!
We enjoyed some classic Universal Studios Hollywood shows this week. Of course, the real reason we stopped by was to check on construction projects associated with the new Transformers ride, take a ride on the Studio Tram Tour and get more information on the upcoming Halloween Horror Nights.
Transformers: The Ride:
Transformers: The Ride is making progress, but none of it too apparent just yet. Pile drivers and tractors have been playing around the construction site preparing the foundation for the new show building.
Many have wondered if this show building is really big enough to house what Universal is claiming will be better than Spiderman at Islands of Adventure. We recently decided to take a look at the actual size of the current construction area alongside the existing show building for Spiderman in Orlando. Here is what we found.
The show building for Spiderman
The Show building for Transformers
These two pictures are at the same scale. The footprint of the Transformers ride is clearly smaller than Spiderman. But, it is possible that this new attraction will use more vertical space. We have no doubt that big things are in the works, but it does appear that they will be in a much smaller package.
Halloween Horror Nights:
LATE BREAKING NEWS:
It was rumored on the Halloween Horror Nights Facebook page that a new maze was announced. "Hello Kitty: Claws of Death". Sadly, as amazingly silly as this would have been, it was just a Friday the 13th prank cooked up by the folks on the site's Twitter page. It is also untrue that Justin Bieber tried out to be a Scareactor and was cut.
Gotta hand it to the twitter page folks. That is some funny stuff.
Saturday October 2nd
Universal Studios First Annual
Halloween Horror Nights Meet
Join MiceChat as we hold our very first Halloween Horror night meet at Universal Studios. This year, there will be 5 mazes at Universal Halloween Horror nights including the Terror Tram. Add to that the shows and regular attractions and you have a full night of fun. Don't miss out! Haunt Meet Information Thread On MiceChat HERE
More work is appearing near the Psycho set. It sure does look like they are planning the same scare zone on the tram that they used last year.
Wild West Stunt Show Arena is another area used for maze construction.
Maze being constructed in the overflow queue area of the Mummy.
The Studio Tour:
The Studio Tour is the signature attraction of Universal Studios Hollywood. As a tip, it is usually best to get on this attraction before noon if at all possible. Otherwise, your wait may stretch to an hour or more on busy days. Another tip; cover anything that you don't want to get wet. Cameras, phones, mogwai, anything that needs to stay dry should be stowed. This Summer Universal is using water effects at every chance. It's quite nice on warm days, but let's just hope they remember to turn them off this Fall. Lot's to see on the Studio Tour. We'll break it down for you.
Just a little mist to get you started
King Kong 360º 3D:
Approaching the King Kong building there is a new piece of scenery that has been waiting to make its debut for some time now. Visitors riding the tram into the worlds largest digital 3D screen now see a smashed and smoldering tour tram.
That's one mad ape
Yeah, you can get very wet on Kong with all the dino spit and splattering gore thrown at the tram. Luckily for us, when we exit the attraction, we see that it was really all just Hollywood magic water.
The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift:
One of the silliest pieces on the Tram Tour is this "demonstration" of robotic, motion controlled arms in stunt scenes. We began to wonder why they kept this display around. . . then the Tour guide announced Fast and the Furious 5. OH, and yes, you get wet here too.
"You got any other moves guys"?
Here's a video Dusty took a couple of years ago (nothing's changed since):
Just after Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift we get a look at more movie cars. In particular some vehicles from Jurassic Park 2. Then again, you guessed it, you may get wet.
Look out! Dino water
Got my phone
Sharks spit water. Especially animatronic ones
Pirates of the Caribbean 4 Set Construction:
Here's something you Pirates junkies will love. Construction is nearly complete on the expansive Pirates 4 set taking shape in the Universal backlot. Just look how massive this thing is. Disney won't let Universal talk about it on the tour, so they just drive by without saying anything, but this is the real deal. Just a perk of the Universal Studios Tram. It is a live studio after all and you never know who or what you will see!
For those who know the studio, this is the huge wall with the pond in front of it.
The movie version of Waterworld came out in 1995 and was the first film to have a budget over $200 million. The film didn't completely bomb but it certainly wasn't a big success. Despite that fact the movie was just okay, Universal built the Waterworld Stunt Show shortly after and it has had a life that has far outlived its source material.
This isn't a show with the usual "We're making a movie" conceit. It is a real show with water, explosions and stunts that is actually pretty entertaining. The rotating cast of actors is culled from Hollywoods talent pool which brings the show up to a higher standard than the usual park fare.
Oh, and you may get wet (very wet)
Still a fun show after all these years!
A few hints on seeing Waterworld
- The later in the day you see the show, the earlier you should arrive to see it. Meaning, the show gets busier as the day goes on. And while you may be able to walk right in to any performance in the off season, the show does fill up when the park is busy.
- During the earliest shows of the day, the theater may not fill up and many guests tend not to make the journey all the way across to the far end of the arena. These seats are actually pretty good and are shaded for the first two performances.
- Green seats mean you will get wet. But, there is a margin of error. If you are even within 2 to 3 rows of the splash zone, you may still. get very wet. As we did this week.
- If you show up to find a seat just before showtime and the arena is filled, you may be the target of the preshow comics who spray water at unwary latecomers. You can avoid this fate by entering from behind the stadium seating. Instead of walking through the main theater entry, head to your right around the back and enter at one of the smaller opening/exits.
Animal Actors show:
The Animal Actors show, next door to the now abandoned Wild West Stunt Show arena appears to be on its last leg. The pre-show, which features clips from Evan Almighty (the Universal bomb that has the claim to having the record for most animal actors used in a single film) greets visitors and is an indication of things to come.
The show starts with an adorable monkey approaching the mic on stage to announce the start of the show. What follows is a series of animal tricks made to seem as if the animals are frantically readying to perform. It's cute when it works, but when it doesn't it can bring the show to a crawl or screeching halt.
"Alright team get ready for the show"
The opening can be forgiven but the show features little more than dogs and birds performing and doing the usual tricks. There are a few nice surprises featuring a flock of pigeons and a lazy dog that doesn't want to perform it's tricks, but overall the show could use some freshening up.
This bird stole her dollar
This Blue and Gold Macaw balanced on the force of the air in front of this big fan. Cool!
The show is worth seeing if there is no wait, otherwise, your time could be better spent elsewhere in the park. Cute animals, below average entertainment value. This is the weakest link at Universal Studios at the moment.
This is the final few days of the OC Fair. They close on the 15th! Last call for fried butter at the heart attack Cafe.
Days & Hours
Saturday-Sunday 10 a.m.-Midnight
Prices - Admission: ( Children under 6 are free everyday. CLICK HERE FOR A FULL LISTING OF DISCOUNTS AND PROMOTIONS)
Single Day: General $10, Senior (60+) $7, Child (6-12) $5. No fees for customers who use Ticketmaster's online TicketFast (print-at-home) option!
Group Sales (15+): General $8, Senior (60+) $5, Child (6-12) $3. (Mail or fax order form by July 2.)
Super Pass: General $30, Senior (60+) $25, Child (6-12) $20.
“Weird Al” YankovicAugust 14th
8 p.m. at Pacific Amphitheatre
8:30 p.m. at The Hangar
Big Sandy and His Fly-Rite Boys /
The Hula Girls / Altar Billies
6 p.m. at Action Sports Arena
“Weird Al” YankovicAugust 15th
8 p.m. at Pacific Amphitheatre
Which One's Pink?
Performing the Pink Floyd Classic,
The Dark Side of the Moon
8:15 p.m. at Action Sports Arena
8 p.m. at Pacific Amphitheatre
Common Sense / Better Chemistry /
6 p.m. at Action Sports Arena
Enjoy an evening of silent film at the historic Paramount Ranch in Agoura Hills. Begin early - bring a picnic dinner and relax before seeing the films. A flashlight is recommended due to limited lighting in the parking area. Sponsored by the National Park Service, Hollywood Heritage, and the Silent Society.
Tickets are $6.00 for the general public, $3.00 for children under 12, and $5.00 for Hollywood Heritage Members.
For More Information: Silents Under the Stars
Call: (323) 874-4005 or email [email protected]
Long Beach Jazz Festival.
Top jazz artists perform in this annual event that brings thousands to the beach. The concert will be held through Aug. 15. longbeachjazzfestival.com
07/24/2010 - 08/22/2010, Times: Friday and Saturday 8pm, Sunday 2pm Location: Miles Memorial Playhouse, 1130 Lincoln Blvd, Santa Monica Phone: (310) 202-9229 Admission: $20 general, $15 students, $10 children 12 and under Theatre, dance, music and inspired storytelling leap into the Miles Memorial Playhouse as Boomkat Dance Theatre’s “Never WonderLand” kicks off its five-week run on July 24. Getting lost somewhere between London and NeverWonderLand, Peter Pan and Wonderland’s Alice, brother and sister, find a fresh start in this inventive prequel for all ages to J.M Barrie and Lewis Carroll’s beloved children’s tales.
Aquarium of the Pacific Discounted Late Nights Special Extended Hours
The entire Aquarium will be open, except Lorikeet Forest, until 10:00 p.m. After 5:00 p.m. everyone gets in for the kid's price of $11.95. Watch the nighttime activities of our animals, touch a shark, and enjoy the beautiful evening lighting of the Aquarium's architecture. Ppurchase tickets at the Aquarium ticket window at 5:00 p.m.
Queen Mary Summer Concert Series.
The Queen Mary is part of the summer-long 2010 Long Beach Sea Festival to bring concerts to the community. Concerts include:
- Joan Baez and special guest Roger McGuinn Friday, Aug. 13 at 7:30 p.m
- Smokey Robinson Wednesday, Aug. 18 at 7:30 p.m
- Beach Boys Thursday, Aug. 19 at 8:00 p.m
- Lucinda Williams with special guest JP, Chrissie & The Fairground Boys Thursday, Aug. 26 at 7:30 p.m
National parks are free this weekend!
No need to visit the Grizzly Peak area in DCA, when you can visit the real thing this weekend for free.
Jazz by the Bay.
Free Friday night concert. Time: 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.. Location: Gabrielson Park, Anchor Street and Bridgeway, Sausalito, California 94965. ci.sausalito.ca.us
Aloha Celebrity Races and Polynesian Festival.
Sunday - The Celebrity races are a chance to discover the excitement of outrigger canoe racing. Join the fun or cheer for friends in the race. The Polynesian Festival follows with a taste of the tropics- fresh flower leis, Hawaiian shaved ice, Maori face painting, print making and dance performances. Co-sponsored by Pu Pu O'Hawaii Outrigger Canoe Club. Time: Races start 9 a.m.; Festival starts 11 a.m. Cost: Free.
Scion’s unlock the TC Grand Finale Event.
August 14, 2010 from 3 to 7 p.m. Location: Bangar Hanger, 3021 Airport Avenue Featuring performances by 12th Planet, Rob Wonder and The Spits. Free food from LA's finest food trucks: Grill 'Em All, The Grilled Cheese Truck, Asiadog, & Get Shaved. Video art from Dust La Rock, Sage Vaughn, Mark Mothersbaugh and more! Free haircuts from Barracuda Hair. Chat with Scion Racing team member Ken Gushi and check out the Scion drift vehicles. Admission free with RSVP at: http://www.scion.com/unlockthetc/
This just in!
Character Warehouse has announced that they have received a new large shipment. As a proud MC sponsor we want to give all our readers a chance to save. Over 1,275 upcs of new product.
Character Warehouse Store Locations HERE
Enjoy the wonderful SoCal weather this weekend. No matter where you go and what you do, we hope you have a wonderful time. And if you happen to run across some interesting news or have photos that you'd like to share with us, we'd really appreciate hearing from you. Contact [email protected] with your news, photos, or comments. And please don't forget that there is always a world of fun theme park information to read elsewhere on MiceChat, might we suggest:
- Weekend Update Offers a world of Disney theme parks and other sights and landmarks!
- Dateline Disneyland which is packed with great news and photos from the Disneyland Resort.
- And you'll always find something interesting on the forums and on MiceAge.
Just a tip: MiceChat is giving away 4 $25 Amazon Gift Cards in the month of August. One a week. All you have to do to be entered is follow us on Twitter or Facebook. We'll contact the winners via direct message on Facebook or Twitter and if they respond within 48 hours, we'll send them a gift card! If you are already following us, then you are already entered! And if you haven't followed us yet, just click the Facebook or Twitter link below:
Tell your friends about MiceChat and In The Parks, sharing is caring!
Today's update was brought to you by our fantastic and talented crew of photographers and news contributors Pratt55, SirClinksalot, Captphoebus, Coheteboy, F!an, Fishbulb and Dustysage.
And that brings us to the end of another wonderful update . . .