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In the Parks

Disneyland Memories, Magic Mountain, DCA Blue Sky, Discovery Science Center Contest

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by , 01-28-2011 at 01:26 AM

WOW! What a week! California Adventure has relaunched the Blue Sky Cellar with an all new focus on the Little Mermaid attraction as well as a cool nod to some other prominent future attractions. Disneyland has premiered the new Small World projection show - The Magic, the Memories, and You. They have also decided to close down all of Critter Country for six weeks during the refurbishment of both Splash Mountain and the Hungry Bear Restaurant. We even have some fun and interesting news from outside the Disney universe this week as we take a tour of Six Flags Magic Mountain with the Captain and the Man. Finally, the Discovery Science Center celebrates the opening of their new “The Body” exhibit by giving a set of four tickets away to a lucky reader who can correctly answer the trivia contest below. It’s time for In the Parks!!!

A big adventure starts tonight and you're invited:

While both the wine reception and breakfast with Disney legend Jack Lindquist have now sold out, the rest of the schedule only requires admission to Disneyland or California Adventure. We hope you'll see something you like and join us. On Saturday, we'll be giving away over $1,000 in prizes during our Mice And Go Seek, Eye Spy, and Magical Mystical Trivia contests. On Sunday we give away our grand prize 2 night stay at the Grand Californian Hotel!!!

We are trying something new this year, each of the meets and events is hosted by a well known MiceChatter, Moderator, Admin, or Columnist. It will be a great way for you to meet new folks and old!

3 days of fun, food, friendship and frivolity await. January 28th through 30th at the Disneyland Resort.


Here's our handy printable times guide you can download and print out at home:

The "Off Season" is here, and wait times for attractions rarely creep past the thirty minute mark. This means that it is a great time for Disney to touch up a few things. Sure, it's a trade off, shorter wait times for more maintenance, but it has to happen and it's good a thing!

The Magic, the Memories and You!:
Last night brought the West Coast premiere of Let the Memories Begin to the it's a small world façade. In The parks was there for the first public performance. The regular show schedule is as follows.

The Magic, The Memories & You!
•7:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday
•8 p.m. and 9:10 p.m. Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays

So, is the show a hit?

The amazing and wonderful Sue Kruse of was there with us last night and shares her thoughts...

Last night I went to Disneyland to watch the west coast debut of The Magic, the Memories and You! with just a touch of skepticism in mind. When I first heard about the concept of projecting people’s photos onto the façade of It’s A Small World, I thought it was kind of a stinker. I mean why on earth would anyone care about seeing other family’s photos? I really thought that could not possibly be of interest to me. Boy, oh boy, was I ever wrong. You see the show isn’t about someone else’s memories. It’s about everyone’s memories. It may not be you in that photo but you know the story of that photo all the same because it could just as well be you, you’ve lived that same experience.

And what’s more, the word Magic in the show’s title isn’t just hyperbole, the show is truly magical ... and eye-popping. It’s filled with effects that make you ask, “How’d they do that?” There are moments when you can’t even distinguish between what is the real façade of the attraction and what’s animated ... the tiles on Small World pop out, vines grow up, clouds float by, fires burn, brilliant colors fill every inch of space on the face of the attraction, a little girl blows out a candle and as she does hundreds of candle flames float up and extinguish.

And then there are those moments that pull at your heart strings, Stitch appears and says, “Ohana means Family,” Walt Disney speaks those famous words, “To all who come to this happy place, welcome.”

It’s making me tear up just writing about it. I can’t wait to see the show again.

But don’t take my word for it, let me tell you what the Valenzuela family had to say. Dad Jeff, mom Lisa, and their two adorable kiddies were one of the first families to have their photos in the show and they loved it. When I asked if it was all they expected it to be, Jeff quickly replied, “More! It’s like having a present at the end of the night. Am I going to be up there, did I make it? It’s anticipation.”
Lisa added, “It’s a little bit more personal too because you know, usually a show, you go to see it, but now you’re in the show. It’s amazing.”

Would they want to send in photos to try to be in the show again? Lisa responded enthusiastically, “Of course, who do I send them to?”

the Valenzuela family

And the answer to that is:

Memory submission is as easy as 1-2-3:
Choose to share your memory on;;;; or

Describe your memory. Memories can upload as photos, videos or text-only.

Then all it takes is hitting the “submit” box and, once reviewed, a lifetime Disney memory is stored and shared.

Thank you Sue, we had nearly the same exact reaction you did. Finding the show to be much better than we expected and magically Disney in nearly every way.

The key here is that the photos of guests that visited the park are not so much the focus as they are the accent. What shines here is the amazing technology on display. Pulling at the emotions are the combination of the theme of people creating memories at Disneyland and the stirring music by composer Mark Hammond.

If you have a picture that is in the show, you certainly are invested. But if you don't it is actually very entertaining to watch and, at times, surprisingly moving.

The technology is similar to the tech used for the nightly projections on small world during the holidays. but this, of course lasts a little longer. Clocking in at around 10 minutes. The show transforms the surface of it's a small world into a variety of things. Let me just show you a few highlights...


The vehicles and trolleys are all packed up backstage because Main Street U.S.A. is getting quite a bit of repaving done. Not much has changed from last week, with a few more “tasteful” covers being placed over the trolley tracks.

The pavement around the trolley tracks getting some attention

More work down the center of Main Street.

The 20th Century Music Company is also being refurbished.


Critter Country will be closed for six weeks while Splash Mountain (which is scheduled to return on May 26th) and the Hungry Bear Restaurant are refurbished. Few guests seemed obliged to travel past the Haunted Mansion to simply ride Winnie the Pooh or make a trip around The Rivers of America in a canoe. Without the restaurant and a major “E-Ticket” pulling guests to the far west-end of the park, traffic was minimal. Management decided to capitalize on this opportunity to spruce some things up.

Fresh coats of paint and maintenance on “Splash's” animatronics are planned for the downtime. But it's what’s happening on the load/unload station that could have the most impact on improving this ride’s guest experience. The last time “Splash” had a major overhaul, new loading gates were installed to keep visitors safe on the dock. Unfortunately, during this rehab, it was decided to reconfigure the seating arrangement in the logs. When the ride reopened, the newly installed gates and seats did not line up. This resulted in endless confusion between guests and cast members trying to efficiently assign seating on the ride. This current rework will fix the problem by installing new loading gates that will match up with the seating configuration in the logs. These new gates will increase capacity for the ride, making the load time for each log far more efficient. Good news indeed.

Are you a hungry bear? You'll need to look elsewhere for your picnic basket!

It's a Small World:

The beloved attraction, it's a Small World, has returned to operation after a brief “down time” to remove the holiday overlay that lasted well into the New Year. The attraction is now open with the premiere of the new Let the Memories Begin night time show.

For such a small world it certainly is pretty.

Disney California Adventure entertains thousands of guests daily, all the while being rebuilt and rebranded. Let’s look at the progress of Carsland, The Little Mermaid, Goofy's Sky School, and much more…

Today the Blue Sky Cellar opens to the public and we bring you a sneak peek of what to expect. Don't worry. We won't spoil everything. Promise

Before even entering the Blue Sky Cellar, visitors get a great view of the progress of Carsland. The imagineers took advantage of this and mounted a visual guide to the land on the railing.

When you enter, the Cellar the wall to your right features the new attraction posters for Paradise Pier and some more renderings of Goofy's Sky School.

It is interesting to see how the designs evolved.

The new Paradise Pier attraction posters that reflect the classic Disneyland attractions. I actually REALLY like these and think they are great. They lend a sense of place to these otherwise simple (Screamin' excluded) attractions.

The back wall with the two work desks are something that a fan can spend literally HOURS studying.

The left desk features the evolution of the track layout...

The right table features a bit of the architecture and materials used in the building...

Above the desks is a 1" replica of the hand painted mural that will stand as the back drop for the loading area. The 86' mural will greet guests as they board their clam shells.

The Model of the 6 minute 30 second ride still remains in the center of the room but is joined by a 1" scale replica of the Ursula scene. She will be all in Black light and glowing evil. At 8' tall and 12' wide she will be a very impressive villain figure.

Then finally in the screening room area a new video screens that talks about The Little Mermaid ride along with the progress of the new Paradise garden Restaurants, Goofy's Sky School and Carsland. One of my favorite parts of the video was watching Lasseter and Staggs ride the test vehicle for the new Radiator Springs Racers. Hysterical.

Finally, to the right of the video screen, where the old DCA Park map was. is a new rendering of the park. Now, I won't blow the surprise on this one. But I will say, stay for a bout 5 minutes and just look at the map. Think digital projection, think Snow White Transformation room effect. Cool stuff happens on the Map.

There are also additional pictures in this thread on MiceChat

The Blue Sky Cellar is on the agenda for MiceChat's 6th Anniversary Celebration this weekend. Come join us!

The rebuilding of DCA's entrance has been going along very smoothly. Guests are handling the new entrance configuration just fine. Though the earth movers are allowed to operate during park hours, they are under severe noise restrictions so they won’t interfere with the guest experience.

The entrance for now.

Plaza behind walls.

Those machines seem to be having an awful lot of fun playing in the dirt.


Grizzly River Rapids has re-opened after a minor refurbishment period. A few of the ride scenes were repainted, and normal upkeep was performed. Most notable was removal of some of the more garish, X-Games themed props and elements from ride vehicles and scenes. Again, this is a minor aesthetic alteration, but it is one that will eventually fit in more closely with the “classically themed” park vision.

The only brightly colored kayak we saw.

The air is filled with the scent of freshly finished wood emanating
from this canoe along the queue.

Another newly finished canoe sits in the extended queue.

The truck between the loading station and the trail is now bare.

The rafts sport more subdued accouterments.

No more sport gear in the lift hill.

All that can be seen before the first drop.

Before the final drop.

The geysers at the end of the ride were repainted and sport a beautiful turquoise hue


Most of the action on the Little Mermaid ride is happening inside the show building. While on track for an early summer soft opening, the building’s exterior still has work to be done. “Work walls” have been pushed back, closer to the construction site and the walkways on the left side of the building continue to be built.

The Little Mermaid show building.

The walls have receded again.

Work behind the wall.

The more finished side of the show building.

Installation of a ride marquee has begun


Painting has begun on the track for Goofy's Sky School. The aerial tones will not only blend in better with the beach side Victorian theme, but they will also blend more with the blue sky they are trying to emulate.

Nothin’ but blue skies.


We now see that Boardwalk Pizza and Pasta restaurant building has had the awning reinforced, and the metal framework is being erected for a fancy façade.

This is going to be so nice.

More trees, more seating.

Disney has begun to work on the park that will replace the Maliboomer. Pepper trees are the first things to appear on the scene. Nice.


Carsland is coming along. This week we take a look over the fence and see what is beginning to happen on the other side of the barrier.

An overview of the epic scope on the project.

Towards Flo's and Luigi's.


The carpet is being replaced in the Animation lobby. While this effectively closes off access to the central area, Sorcerer's Workshop guests are still able to access the Animation academy and Turtle Talk with Crush via side entrances. It is nice to see Disney trying to keep as many attractions open as possible during this construction-filled time.

Don't go this way.

See? Closed.

The Turtle Talk entrance
is around the right side of the building.

Yes, backstage.

to get to Animation academy head towards Tower of Terror and enter the door to your right.

We took another trip to Magic Mountain and were pleasantly surprised with what we found. Although it is the slower season, they still have face characters roaming about, the park was spotless, and the crowd was pleasant. Very impressive.


While at the park Superman: Escape from Krypton was testing. They are currently testing forward facing and backward facing vehicles. We have it confirmed that this is only for testing purposes. When the ride officially opens on March 19th both ride cars will be launching backwards.

That's gonna be a pretty wild ride.


De Ja Vu continues to be a problem, with consistent down time. Will they get this operating in time for the Summer season?


Raoring Rapids, along with all the other water rides at the park, are getting a large amount of attention during the colder months when ridership is lighter.


We also spotted the Atom Smasher over in the Gotham Backlot. It is getting a nice bit of attention. While some things may be down, other attractions have easy wait times in the off season.


As stated at the outset, overall, the park looks great. Face characters are all over the place and the park is spic and span. The “feel” of Magic Mountain has certainly improved from the rough mid-90's, and the place is really worth a trip.

Capt. Phoebus and the Green Lantern


Tell me the truth Wonder Woman!

There are the ubiquitous advertisements everywhere.
But If it helps the park, well...

Park like settings are becoming a priority.

The park is transitioning though and removing the more expensive licensing deals.

No more Thomas. The charming train ride will thankfully stay though.

Yeah there are still some rough edges.

But Rome wasn't rebuilt in a day. They will get to it.

All signs point to a great Summer ahead.

If you still aren't sure about visiting the park, we have the perfect solution for you. Our friend Robb Alvey over at holds a truly fantastic Coaster enthusiast event at Magic Mountain every year.

Saturday - March 19th - Six Flags Magic Mountain

$53 - Six Flags Magic Mountain (Everyone pays one price)
$10 - Event T-Shirt

Event Includes:

Six Flags Magic Mountain:
- 2 Hours Morning ERT on select coasters
- Breakfast
- Catered Lunch
- Q&A Session with park management
- 2 Hours Evening ERT on select coasters
- Free parking until 8:30am
- Free Kodak Photo Voucher
- FOUR HOURS of total ERT!
- Many more surprises and extras that will be announced soon!


A final event schedule with more details will be emailed to you prior to the event.

Get your tickets NOW before the sell out!!!

This is a great way to see Magic Mountain in the very best light and enjoy extra ride time with minimal waiting. It is a full day event that comes with lunch and free parking. Really, what more could you ask for at $53.00?

It's time to head to the Discovery Science Center to join the Sesame Street gang in a fun interactive exhibit for kids and adults alike. Sesame Street Presents: The Body comes to Discovery Science Center on January 29. Let's take a little preview.

The exhibit starts at Mr. Hooper's shop

Learn about hands here

A favorite is the Organ organ

Press a key to hear a song about a particular organ of the body.

Compete against friends in a virtual race to the finish.

Boogie with Grover

Play a game show with Guy Smiley

Visit the stoop at Sesame Street.

Oscar the grouch teaches about digestion.

This exhibit will cover everything from fingers and toes to your ishy squishy insides.

Answer the question below correctly in the comments section below and you might just win an invitation to celebrate Elmo's Birthday at the Discovery Science Center on February 3rd from 7pm-9pm. We have four passes to give away to one lucky reader.

Q. The four major displays are "Your Insides",
"Your Outsides", "How you Work" and...

Find the answer here:
Correct answers will be entered into a drawing and one lucky winner will be chosen at random. GOOD LUCK!

Ice at Santa Monica
Runs through Mon, Feb 15, 2011 - Third Street Promenade, 1300 3rd St Prom, Santa Monica
Chill out this holiday season by booking your next event at ICE. Get inspired and skate through the season in our fun-filled event cabanas. Whether it’s a birthday party, corporate event, or family get-together, ICE can accommodate all your needs for groups of 15-300 people. Admission & Skate Rental: $10

Orchid Expo 2011 Show and Sale
Fri - Sun, Jan 28 - 30 - Westminster Mall, 1025 Westminster Mall, Westminster
The show celebrates the Chinese Lunar New Year and Tet with orchids. Show theme: Orchid Extravaganza. Displays featuring thousands of orchids, vendor sales, orchid culture seminars, two free repotting workshops, free screening of the new orchid documentary: "the Judge, the Hunter, the Thief, and the Black Orchid." Art display by members of the Westminster Mall's Kids Club. The event is free and open to the public.

Festival of Human Abilities
Sat, Jan 29 & Sun, Jan 30, 9 am – 5 pm - Aquarium of the Pacific, 100 Aquarium Way, Long Beach
Join the Aquarium of the Pacific for its eighth annual Festival of Human Abilities, a celebration highlighting the creative talents and abilities of people with disabilities. Included with general admission to guests. Free to Aquarium members; 20% off for their guests.

Food Truck Festival at Santa Anita
Sat, Jan 29, 11:30 am - 4 pm - Santa Anita Park Infield, 285 West Huntington Drive, Arcadia
Dine and drink with the most popular food trucks in the county while the excitement of the thoroughbred racing encircles you, literally! Experience the magnificent beauty of historic Santa Anita Park. Thrilling races every half-hour and handicapping experts to help you to go home a winner. Live music and a great "Pony Park" with activities for the kids.

Lunar New Year Festival
Sat, Jan 29, 11 am - 5 pm - Pacific Asia Museum, 46 N Los Robles Avenue, Pasadena
The Lunar New Year celebration will be a FREE, fun-filled day for the entire community. Held throughout the Museum including a fully tented parking lot, all the galleries will be open to enjoy along with crafts, demonstrations and hands-on activities, food and gift vendors, plus live music, dance, martial arts acrobatics, magic and more onstage.

Chinese New Year Festival
Sat & Sun, Jan 29 & 30 - Downtown Business District, Garvey Avenue (Between Garfield and Nicholson), Monterey Park
This year's Festival will feature vendors offering unique gifts and specialty items, food booths with various types of delectable items, amusement rides, and lots of live entertainment. The traditional Chinese New Year lion and dragon dancers along with firecrackers will kick-off the Festival Saturday morning. Various types of entertainment will be featured on two stages both days. A large carnival fun zone by Midway Amusements will be featured in parking lots at the corner of Garvey and Lincoln Avenues.

6th Annual Los Angeles International Children's Film Festival
Sat, Jan 29, 11 am - 3 pm - Santa Monica Library, 601 Santa Monica Blvd, Santa Monica
The Los Angeles International Children's Film Festival will feature animated, live-action and documentary short films, clustered in one-hour blocks for different age groups. All are welcome; there is no charge for any of the screenings.

There's a whole world of Disney and theme park fun to discover on MiceChat, might we suggest:

  • Check out our newest column - SAMLAND - where we look at fabulous Disney history.
  • 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.

Today's update was brought to you by our fantastic and talented crew of photographers and news contributors , Sir Clinksalot, Captphoebus, Pratt55, F!an, Fishbulb, and Dustysage.

Tell your friends about MiceChat and In The Parks - sharing is caring!

If you have photos or news to share, please contact [email protected]. We'd love to hear from you!

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Updated 02-02-2011 at 05:02 AM by In the Parks



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  1. The Disneylander's Avatar
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    Is it just me, or are there so many positive things going on at the Resort nowadays? I love it. Wonderful update as always.
  2. ravencroft's Avatar
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    Staying Healthy for a chance to the Elmo Birthday Celebration
  3. Sour Balls's Avatar
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    Staying Healthy
  4. jcruise86's Avatar
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    What an excellent, upbeat update! Thank you!

    Shorten the title, "The Magic, The Memories, and You" to "Magic, Memories, & You" or "Magic & Memories".

    I liked the Paradise Pier attraction posters at the Blue Sky preview center.
  5. Barbossa's Avatar
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    Great update!
  6. k_peek_2000's Avatar
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    Nice update. I am a bit disappointed in the BSC coverage. I wish there was more in depth photos. But I am sure those will surface by this afternoon so I can't complain.
  7. TCadillac's Avatar
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    Really, really awesome photos of Superman the Ride. I am extremely anxious to ride this backwards. I haven't been on this ride in years, because it was rather dull.
  8. Mac Daddy's Avatar
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    Thanks for the great update!! Between all of the work at DCA, the new Star Tours, Memories over at IASW, and now the Pirates Premier coming to Disneyland in May, there is so much to look forward to! Thanks for your amazing coverage every week!
  9. skoolpsyk's Avatar
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    Anyone know when the Small World show happens? once a night? only on weekends?
  10. In the Parks's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by skoolpsyk
    Anyone know when the Small World show happens? once a night? only on weekends?
    Sure! The Magic, The Memories & You! show schedule is as follows

    • 7:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday
    • 8 p.m. and 9:10 p.m. Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays
  11. skoolpsyk's Avatar
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    Awesome! thanks so much!
  12. D tale oriented's Avatar
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    Seems like all the SoCal parks are making largely positive changes. The next few years should be exciting!

    Also, I love between Goofy and Mermaid, the juxtaposition of Ariel and aerial! :P
  13. lighttragic's Avatar
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    is it just me or does the westcoast bash say free parking just untill 830am? that doesnt make sense
    Updated 01-28-2011 at 09:37 AM by In the Parks
  14. In the Parks's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by k_peek_2000
    Nice update. I am a bit disappointed in the BSC coverage. I wish there was more in depth photos. But I am sure those will surface by this afternoon so I can't complain.
    Really sorry about that. There was a large amount to try and show all at once, while at the same time not wanting to give too much away. Add to it the chance to cover the premier of The Magic, The Memories & You! and we had a pretty jam packed update.

    I did try to add a few more pics but also linked to the thread that featured a few more photos that didn't make it into this particular update.

    Thanks for reading, and really hope you enjoyed it.

    is it just me or does the westcoast bash say free parking just untill 830am? that doesnt make sense
    For a regular day guest it wouldn't, you are right. But the check in for the event is very early. You show up right as they open the parking lot. They allow enough time for all of the event goers to show up and get into the parking lot before allowing regular day guests in. If you show up any time after 8:30am you stand the you will have to pay for parking.
    Updated 01-28-2011 at 09:38 AM by In the Parks
  15. sir clinksalot's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lighttragic
    is it just me or does the [Link to unauthorized site removed] bash say free parking just untill 830am? that doesnt make sense
    First, it's West Coast Bash ...

    Secondly, yes ... ERT starts at 8:30am (Check-In starts earlier). If you are a WCB attendee and you get to the park before 8:30 you get FREE parking. Its an incentive to get there, check-in and get in the park to start riding. The people who do the checking-in like to get into the park and ride some rides too.
  16. DrBuzzler's Avatar
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    The Food Truck Fest at Santa Anita Park this Saturday is not free.

    Ticket Info:
    $12 pre-pay, parking included
    $12 at the door (parking $4)
    For more information, call 800-574-6401

    2011 Food Truck Festival | Santa Anita Park
  17. Brad Buys's Avatar
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    I thought splash mountain was closed till May 26th. That is more than six weeks.
  18. In the Parks's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DrBuzzler
    The Food Truck Fest at Santa Anita Park this Saturday is not free.
    Thanks for the help there, much appreciated.

    I thought splash mountain was closed till May 26th. That is more than six weeks.
    Yes you are correct. The land will close for 6 weeks, however the ride refurb will last longer. May 26th is the scheduled re-opening date.
  19. Brad Buys's Avatar
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    I can not find the May 26th date for Splash Mountain on Disneys Site. Anyone know the url for refurbishments.
  20. Dustysage's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brad Buys
    I can not find the May 26th date for Splash Mountain on Disneys Site. Anyone know the url for refurbishments.
    Disneyland only lists refurbishments and closures 3 months out. So this particular refurbishment goes beyond what you can find on the Disneyland web site.
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