Happy Valentine's from Disneyland Resort, Universal, Santa Ana Zoo and Beyond
by, 02-10-2011 at 10:41 PM
For all you theme park lovers out there, we are rolling out a capacious amount of park news and info for you today. Disneyland and Disney California Adventure start off the lineup with some on-going projects, we then take a look at the Santa Ana Zoo, some coaster news from Six Flags Magic Mountain AND Sea World San Diego, topped off with a walk through Universal Studios Hollywood. We had so much to share with you this week that we had to pull some out for next week so we wouldn't exceed our image cap! It's the Valentine's weekend edition of In the Parks! Will you be mine?
Disneyland goes through the usual routine at the beginning of every year. Construction walls go up so maintenance can be conducted before the parks get packed with Spring Break crowds.
It is a real treat to have the Disneyland Band welcome you at the front gate.
Valentine planters in Town Square
This week, walls came down around the first re-paving projects on Main Street, while others went up. What has been done so far looks great!
Main Street U.S.A.:
Work has begun directly in front of the Main Street Train Station. The re-paving has been conducted at fast pace, all while trying to keep the experience “guest friendly”.
What once was cracked and broken, now looks brand new.
The hub area now looks fresh as well.
The area in front of the castle is reopened.
More work has begun over in Tomorrowland. A vending location is getting a redo and the area directly in front of Space Mountain and Captain EO is getting re-surfaced as well.
You can still get to all of the attractions and restaurants,
you just have to be patient!
The walls in front of the Star Tours entrance have expanded, now encompassing the planter on the right side of the Tomorrowland entrance.
The sailing ship Columbia is the only vessel on the water at the moment. The Mark Twain is currently in dry dock. Repairs are being made to a few of the riverboat’s stairwells as well as some trim work and basic maintenance.
HAPPY 10th ANNIVERSARY DCA!!! What do you want for your birthday? Did you say nothing? Good, because that's all you got this year. Your birthday may have been all but forgotten, but this promises to be a record attendance year for you, with even more attention slated for you in 2012.
HAPPY 10th BIRTHDAY DCA:
Cm's were given buttons in order to commemorate the 10th birthday of Disney California Adventure. Now, let's be honest, this isn't much at all…But we have to hand it to them, they are, very earnestly, addressing the problems this park has suffered since its opening. So, while there wasn't much happening on that special day, one can look around to see plenty TO celebrate…
The electrical outlet that was trenched into the esplanade a few weeks ago is finally getting a workout. A new rolling marquee has been placed on the compass between the two parks. It advertises the “Let the Memories Begin” campaign.
BUENA VISTA STREET:
Not too bad.
Buena Vista Street is coming along nicely. Here is what things look like this week.
Seems like they have been pushing that dirt around forever
The walls dividing Carsland and the Pacific Wharf area have come down, allowing a little more of this new land to be revealed. We also got a better look at the impressive detailing on the first sections of rockwork to come out from behind the scaffolding.
The Cadillac butte archway.
nearly complete on this end.
A pit has been dug where they'll install Mater's Junkyard Jamboree.
As the far end of the rocks are finished, the mesh mid-way across the rock mountain is now being coated.
Sculpting and detail work being conducted.
The backside of the show building.
THE LITTLE MERMAID: AREIL'S UNDERSEA ADVENTURE:
The Little Mermaid show building swims along. The east-end of the building had a nice stained glass window installed. At the same time, construction walls were pushed out, allowing work to proceed along the base of the show building.
PARADISE GARDEN RESTAURANTS:
The east side.
The front of the building.
GOOFY'S SKY SCHOOL:
The paint job on the track work is nearly complete and Goofy's Sky School is on its way to a May opening.
Almost topped out on the paint job.
The relocated gazebo and new foliage will really work to enhance the aesthetics of this area.
Planters are being built in front of Seaside Souvenirs.
The land in the Paradise Garden area has been smoothed over and the pipes have been buried. Surface landscaping and seating work will begin soon…
Framing for the facade of the Boardwalk Pizza and Pasta is almost done.
Opened in 1952 with land donated by Joseph Prentice, the Santa Ana Zoo is modern as well as a bit of a throwback to a simpler time. Situated on a small parcel of land that is butted right up against the 5 freeway, this urban oasis is home to an extensive primate collection along with sizable bird and mammal enclosures.
Entering the zoo, the vibe is more relaxed than others you may have visited. Immediately to your left is a large playground area, while straight ahead lies a dirt walkways and fenced gardens. There are no set paths, just meandering walk-ways and small signs to guide your adventure.
Exploring, one will find a rain forest, endangered species, an aviary, an electrical train and children's zoo right in the middle of Orange County’s urban jungle. The Zoo also offers exciting educational programs for teachers, parents, grandparents and students of all ages. It is a fun place for the whole family to enjoy and rediscover the wonders of the natural world. Let's take a look at some of the highlights.
THE CREAN FAMILY FARM:
The family farm area is a highlight to any Santa Ana Zoo visit. This area is home to the Zoo Carousel and Zoofari Express Train ride. Here’s an interesting point, this train originally operated at the long closed Santa’s Village in the San Bernardino mountains. When Santa's Village closed, the Bud Hurlbut (who built Knott's Mine train and log rides) designed train was moved to the Santa Ana Zoo where it has continued to enthrall kids of all ages!
The Crean Family Farm
Hey there Goat!
The open area encourages exploration, and a leisurely pace!
A remnant from another Hurlbut enterprise, Castle Park.
Joseph Prentice donated the land with the request that the zoo hold a minimum of 50 monkeys at all times. The zoo has kept good on the agreement, with dozens of species of monkey from around the world.
COLORS OF THE AMAZON AVIARY:
At the heart of this small zoo is a bird lover’s treat. The Colors of the Amazon aviary is a charming walk-through with waterfalls, streams and lush jungle foliage.
The entrance to the exhibit.
A light rain fall occurs in the aviary at the top of every hour..
Apricot headed Caciques
One of our favorite little spots in the zoo was the Exploration Outpost. This is a fun little interactive area, themed as an “outpost in the wild”, where youngsters can play and get up-close looks at some “creepy crawlies”.
Another place for kids to burn off some energy.
Fake, but fun to play on.
Poison Dart frogs.
Creepy Crawly Roaches!!!
TIERRA DE LAS PAMPAS:
Santa Ana Zoo opened Tierra de las Pampas or, "Land of the Grasses" late last year. It is the first in a series of new exhibitions representing the Earth's four biomes: Grasslands, Forest, Wetlands and the Deserts. The exhibit features many new animals, including giant anteaters, greater rheas and guanacos.
The newer enclosures reflect a modern, more naturalistic, take on zoos.
The ant eater enclosure.
OTHER THINGS TO SEE:
We were surprised to discover that Santa Ana Zoo is home to a very beautiful Bald Eagle. Up close encounters are possible, as the path goes right next to the eagle’s home.
These little kiosks, scattered around the zoo, offer an enhanced experience.
Let's stroll through Universal with In The Parks columnist, F!an, and see what has been going on lately. We have another closure in Citywalk, as well as the dismantling of sets on Falls Lake along the Studio Tour route. But it's not all bad news, we still get to view progress on the highly anticipated Transformers ride and we spot some filming action on the upper lot.
Now through March 31, Universal Studios Hollywood once again salutes California School Employees. California state teachers and school employees with proper identification will receive 50% off of the regular general admission price for themselves and up to three guests. Some restrictions apply. For more information visit: www.universalstudioshollywood.com/Salute or call (800) 329-4196
Universal Studios Hollywood is now offering an AP payment plan option for Southern California Residents who purchase the "12-Month No Black-Out Pass" or the "12-Month Premium Star Pass". FlexPay gives you the convenience of purchasing an Annual Pass with one low down payment of $30 while spreading the remainder of your total over the next 11 months with no interest or finance changes. Monthly payments are $5.82 for the "12-Month No Black-Out Pass" and $9.45 for the "12-Month Premium Star Pass". Some restrictions apply. For more information visit www.universalstudios.com
The Martin Lawrence Gallery has closed its doors. The Universal City location has been removed from the CityWalk website as well as the Martin Lawrence website.
CityWalk has rolled out "The Awesome Date" for those who want to have a night out on the town without breaking the bank. This package includes valet parking, a movie, and dinner at one of CityWalk's great restaurants for just $25 per person. The offer is only valid Monday-Thursday, and advanced reservations are required. Some restrictions apply. For more information visit: www.citywalkhollywood.com or call (818) 508-0711 ext 305.
Some filming was being conducted earlier in the week in the New York Street section of the Upper Lot. No word on what the shoot was for.
Who is that? Could it be Brian May from Queen?
Construction goes ever higher on Transformers. The steel goes up to what appears to be the fourth floor of a normal building. There is still more than a year left until opening day.
The Access Hollywood video segments played in the queue have been re-tooled with Nancy O'Dell being removed since she has left the show to host Entertainment Tonight.
Production at the Metro Sets has reached a fever pitch. An army of movie people have come in to get the area ready for an upcoming project.
Filming at Falls Lake has ended and it appears the set is being dismantled.
Similar to the Studio Tour, Nancy O'Dell has been removed from the Access Hollywood segments played as you take the five minute trip down the Starway. The entire loop has been replaced by a solo Billy Bush with brand new updates. THANK GOD!
Our friends at the LA Times got a sneak peek of the new trains for the soon to open Green Lantern coaster.
Green Lantern roller coaster arrives at Six Flags Magic Mountain - latimes.com
Magic Mountain took delivery this week of the rocking and spinning Green Lantern coaster trains, which join portions of the emerald green track already on site at the Valencia amusement park.
The Green Lantern's vertical zigzag track will sit on a compact footprint near the Batman and Riddler’s Revenge coasters. The new-concept, fourth-dimension coaster (similar in style to X2 but much “tamer”), will reach a top speed of 37 mph, over 825 feet of serpentine track with a duration of two minutes.
Sea World San Diego has announced a new coaster for 2012. Let's take a look.
Blending the exhilarating thrill of G forces with the graceful beauty of marine life, Manta is scheduled to open in 2012
SAN DIEGO (Feb. 9, 2011) -- SeaWorld San Diego is excited to announce that the park will unveil its new launch coaster, Manta in 2012 — a new mega-attraction that will seamlessly transition guests from the awe of watching rays in underwater flight … into the sensation of actually being one. SeaWorld is scheduled to break ground for Manta within a month, and the ride is slated to open to the public next year.
Swooping over sea and sky, Manta will not only inspire riders with amazing underwater animal habitats, but will take them on an exhilarating coaster ride shaped like a giant manta ray.
“We are delighted to bring energizing new attractions to our guests year after year,” said SeaWorld park president, John Reilly, “and Manta does just that, combining the thrill and excitement of a coaster, with the educational and entertaining value of an incredible marine-life exhibit.”
Gliding, flying and diving through more than a dozen twists and turns, riders will feel as if they are a ray, taking flight from sky to sea — so close, at times, that the Manta’s wings skim the waves.
Manta also will feature a unique “launch station” where passengers will start the ride enclosed in a launch tunnel with larger-than-life images of rays projected on a 270-degree enveloping screen. This stunning introduction to the world of the rays will visually enhance the physical acceleration as the ride launches down the track. This state-of-the-art projection system will be the first of its kind in the United States.
Riders and non-riders alike will enjoy the graceful beauty of bat rays and fishes. Forbidden Reef, an existing SeaWorld attraction, where guests can feed and touch bat rays, will be incorporated and enhanced as a part of Manta.
“With Manta, our guests will be able to see and interact with 65 bat rays, 10 guitar fish, and hundreds of fishes,” said SeaWorld San Diego Curator of Fishes, Thad Dirksen. “The below-water viewing area will include eight acrylic windows and a reef design. The above-water interaction area will allow our guests more opportunities to touch and feed the rays.”
Manta will be located just north of Rocky Point Preserve. SeaWorld is working with German ride design company MACK, which also engineered the marine-life park’s popular ride, Journey to Atlantis. Guests at SeaWorld’s sister park in Orlando have been enjoying a similar version of Manta since 2009.
Manta Fact Sheet
TYPE OF RIDE:
Linear Synchronous Motor (LSM) Launch Coaster
MAXIMUM LAUNCH ACCELERATION: .
7 to .8 G
MAXIMUM VERTICAL G FORCE:
3 to 4 G
One minute, 56 seconds
20 seats per train/four trains
1,400 passengers per hour
Just north of Rocky Point Preserve,
SeaWorld San Diego
German ride engineer, MACK
RIDER HEIGHT RESTRICTION:
Exhibit water volume:
Marine life exhibit:
65 California bat rays, 10 guitar fish and more than 400 fish.
El Dorado Nature Center
Valentine's Night Hike
Sat, Feb 12, 7 - 9 pm - El Dorado Nature Center, 7550 E. Spring St, Long Beach
Bring your sweetie for an evening of fun exploring the darkened trails of the Nature Center on a guided hike. Tickets: $5
Valentine’s Late Night & Dinner
Mon, Feb 14, 5 - 10 pm - Aquarium of the Pacific, 100 Aquarium Way, Long Beach
Celebrate Valentine’s Day with someone special or the whole family at the Aquarium of the Pacific. Whether it is a romantic dinner listening to jazz in Café Scuba, indulging in a sweets and candy bar, or an evening stroll with your family to see adorable sea otters, there is a unique Valentine’s Day celebration awaiting everyone at the Aquarium. Admission: $12.95
Valentine Wine & Dine
Mon, Feb 14 - Various Locations, Downtown Long Beach
Downtown’s Wine & Dine offers you and your special someone tantalizingly delicious and decadently romantic options for celebrating Cupid's big day. For a full list of locations: http://www.downtownlongbeach.org/wineanddine
THE BEATLES’ COMPLETE FIRST AMERICAN CONCERT Friday, February 11 – 7:30 PM Egyptian Theatre, Hollywood, CA. From 1964, 90 min. The phenomenon known as “Beatlemania” arrived on American shores from Great Britain when The Beatles landed at New York’s Kennedy airport for their first appearance on the Ed Sullivan Show, February 9, 1964. On February 11, the group performed their first U.S. concert at the Coliseum in Washington, D.C. This is the original broadcast, unseen in its entirety since March 1964, will be shown in stunning, first-generation picture quality.http://www.americancinematheque.com/.../2011/Egyptian/
CA History Education Program Family Day
Sat, Feb 12, 9:30 am - 5 pm - Irvine Park Railroad - Irvine Regional Park, 1 Irvine Park Road, Orange
The program features six stations: The Irvine Park Railroad train which takes passengers on a 12-minute ride through beautiful and historic Irvine Regional Park. During the narrated train ride, passengers will learn about the history of the Continental Railroad and the State of California. Other stations include an authentic mine shaft, miner’s camp, water wheel that runs a replica sawmill and a historic old west building, complete with jail cell and saloon. Visitors can also pan for gold just like the 49’ers did during the Gold Rush. Price: $12.50 per person (children and adults). California History Education Program Public Day
Despicable MeSat, Feb 12, 2 - 4 pm - Los Altos Library, 5614 E. Britton Dr., Long BeachWait! There's More!!!
In honor of Valentine's Day the Los Altos Library is hosting a screening of "Despicable Me" featuring the voice of Steve Carell. Rated PG, 95 minutes in length. Feel free to bring your own refreshments.
SAVE THE DATE - MiceChat's world famous Gumball Rally will be rolling your way on May 14th. Sign up for the MiceChat Newsletter today, to be notified as soon as tickets become available. This event sells out every year, so don't get left behind!
There's a whole world of Disney and theme park fun to discover on MiceChat, might we suggest:
- NEW! - Orlando Parkhopper - Visit our newest weekly column, which covers Walt Disney World and other top Orlando attractions!
- SAMLAND - Your weekly look at some interesting tales from Disney history.
- Weekend Update Offers a world of Disney theme parks as well as 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, F!an, Captphoebus, Pratt55,Fishbulb, and Dustysage.
Would you like to be part of this crew? If you take great photos and have regular access to a Southern California theme park or attraction, or you have news to share, we'd love to hear from you! please contact [email protected].
Happy Valentine's everyone!