View RSS Feed

In the Parks

In The Parks - Construction Mania at Disneyland, DCA, Magic Mountain and Knott's

Rating: 2 votes, 3.00 average.
by , 02-24-2011 at 10:07 PM

In the Parks is your weekly dose of Disneyland and Southern California Theme Park news and Information. Today, we’re going to take a stroll through Disneyland, where Critter Country is closed, Star Tours is under construction and the Star Trader has been relocated. We then check up on the progress of Little Mermaid, Cars Land and more at Disney California Adventure. And if all that wasn't enough, we have some updates from Six Flags Magic Mountain on the new coasters coming their way.

Before we get started, we'd like to break the news that Disneyland's Star Tours and DCA's Little Mermaid will grand open on June 3rd and the new Soundsational parade will make its big debut on May 27th. That's a whole lot of excitement just a few months away. Let's see if the construction is keeping pace.

It was a busy week at Disneyland with the Presidents Day Holiday on Monday. Rain chased off all but the most diligent of park goers on Saturday resulting in a super packed park on Sunday and Monday for the “dry weather guests”. What can you expect to see this week? Let's take a look…


At the moment, resurfacing of Main Street has paused. Walls are down and paving should continue down the road.

All is done here and it looks great.

Some minor work is going on in front of the Opera House.

The inside of the trolley tracks are redone here. . . but you can see that the right of the street still needs to be repaved in this spot.


The facade of the Star Tours show building is now covered in scaffolding and a themed tarp that promises new adventures ahead.

The walls have pushed out into the middle of Tomorrowland’s main entryway.

A narrow passage leading to Space Mountain and Captain EO.

The Star Trader shop has now been relocated to the Starcade arcade area.

Star Trader:
Go into the Starcade and you will find a new concept emerging. The Star Trader has been moved into the same space as the downstairs arcade with merchandise and arcade games literally side by side.

Just around the Astro-bend.

Temporary registers are parked at the unused escalators.

Pac-Man and Lightsabers

Jedi hats and the old cashier booth in the background.

Guitar Hero and T-shirts

This is all just a temporary set up . . .

But it works.


We had a chance to check out the last event on the Family Fun Weekends roster. Mardi Gras in New Orleans Square brings this section of the park to life and sets the weekend events off on a “decidedly charming” high note. The Mardi Gras event runs every Friday, Saturday and Sunday until March 6th. We highly recommend seeing the Princess and the Frog inspired show. Great music and energy.


Critter Country has just over a week to go before being reopened to park guests. On Thursday March 10th, everything in Critter Country is planned to be open except Splash Mountain, whose refurb will extend into May.

We hear that Disney is planning on leaving those bars on the drop in lieu of
installing Lap-bars inside the logs JUST KIDDING! Neither is happening…

On Tuesday of this past week, a suspicious package was left unattended in Downtown Disney. The item was in the portion of Downtown Disney that sits on the bridge over West St./Disneyland Drive. The road below and the area from Build-A-Bear to the Monorail station were closed until it was found that all was fine. The area reopened shortly after noon.

Security held crowds from entering the area.

The road leading under Downtown Disney was also closed during the incident.

The Downtown Disney bridge.

News helicopters hovered overhead throughout the situation. Strangely enough, all of this occurred just as the Disney hotel union was holding a press conference in front of the Grand Californian. Which would explain why the media paid so much extra attention to this fairly routine security precaution.

Disney California Adventure carries on with the renovation to end all renovations but visitors continue to visit in droves. This is a good thing and we are glad to see that people are, for the most part, understanding of all the construction walls.


Mounds of dirt are migrating around the future central hub of DCA. The basement facilities for the Carthay Circle theater building are being dug and the entrance to the park is now ready for an extreme makeover.


Here’s what's happening over in Carsland…the lovely stone work is slowly spreading across the wire mountain berm.

The pit is ready for Mater's Junkyard Jamboree

The shops are taking shape

Disney absolutely does the best rock-work in the business.

The men on the platforms help give you an idea of the massive scale of this project.

The Little Mermaid show building is fast becoming a thing of beauty. This week, the sculpted facade was attached to the front of the building. It features Ariel's sisters in an arch above the entrance. When finished, this building will be a work of art.

The entryway where the marque will go.

The detail and aging on the exterior towers.

King Triton atop the sculpted facade.

There are a few bits of work here and there around Paradise Pier worth noting.

Over at the former site of the Maliboomer...

The trees are nestled snugly in their planters

Likewise, the character meet and greet location next to Cove Bar has received a backdrop of trees.

Lastly, a portion of the railing in Paradise Park is being touched up.

Knott’s Berry Farm - Twogether is Better
Only $28.50 each when you buy two Regular Admission tickets through February 28, 2011

Our good friend, Robb Alvey, over at holds a fantastic coaster enthusiast event called "West Coast Bash" at Knott's every year. We highly recommend it.
Sunday - March 20th - Knott's Berry Farm

Event Includes:

Knott's Berry Farm:
- 2 Hours Morning ERT on select coasters
- Backstage tour of Timber Mountain Log Ride
- Backstage tour of Xcelerator
- Construction Tour of Windseeker
- Group Lunch
- TPR Quest Game at Lunch
- Presentation at Good Times Theater
- Q&A Session with park management
- 1 Hour Evening ERT on select coasters
- Free parking until 8:00am
- Many more surprises and extras that will be announced soon!
- ERT is planned for Xcelerator!

This is a great way to see Knott’s and enjoy extra ride time with minimal waiting. It is a full day event that comes with lunch and free parking.
Get your tickets HERE before they sell out.

We recently received word from the World Famous San Diego Zoo that there will be some new surprises this summer.

When guests meander through the turnstiles, they'll be greeted by a new directional path that will guide them to the destination of their choice…perhaps a guided tour on a freshly painted double-decked bus, or an adventure on foot to Panda Canyon where takins, red pandas and pit vipers find newly built homes in the bamboo forest of a giant panda reserve.

As travelers journey through Panda Canyon (currently home to San Diego’s three rare giant pandas) they will encounter an animal that looks half goat and half antelope. Among six species of bamboo (as well as other Chinese plants including camellias and azaleas) there lurks an animal called a sichuan takin. It may not be as highly recognizable as the famed black and white bear, but it has a couple of similarities. This species depends on the same mountainous habitat as the giant panda, and is also considered a national treasure by the People's Republic of China. The Takin Habitat will include hillsides that mimic their natural environment, giving them many places to climb and jump.

In the wild, the takin and giant panda share their habitat with the red panda, an animal that is actually not a panda at all, but related to the raccoon. They too will move to Panda Canyon along with the mangshan pit viper.

There will also be a new aviary and cat exhibit. The Zoo's northern chinese leopard will have a multi-level exhibit with rocks for climbing and places for it to take in the morning sun. The aviary will be home to trumpeter hornbills, a unique looking bird easily recognized by the casque atop its bill.

Lastly, guests can visit Discovery Outpost. Here they will find themselves at a summer camp, where animals “rule the roost”. In this case, the “roost” is the newly renovated Wegeforth Bowl. A fresh look and new programs will invite the traveler to sit in on, and perhaps join in, a show that helps trainees overcome obstacles to becoming a camp counselor. Talk about interactive! This seems like something worth checking out when it opens! We will keep you posted.

We found some interesting changes this week at Magic Mountain.

If you still aren't sure about visiting the park, we have the perfect solution for you. In the Knott's Berry Farm section, we told you about an event our friend Robb Alvey of holds. Well, he also holds a giant coaster 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.

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. There will also be a large group of MiceChatters in attendance, so come spend the day with us at Six Flags!

Get your tickets HERE before they sell out.

Most of the memorabilia in the Sky Tower Museum has been removed as there are some renovations going on in the Observation Deck.

Earth-movers are on-site leveling the ground.

The holes for the footers had to be covered up due to the recent rains.

The track and supports are still waiting to be moved from the staging area behind Terminator.

They made some real progress on the ground clearing for Road Runner Express this week as well.

They cleared land all the way back behind the former Thomas Train.

Like Green Lantern, the track and supports are waiting behind Terminator to be moved to the site. This coaster should start coming together very quickly.

Roaring Rapids is still closed for refurbishment.

From the Sky Tower you can see that this is a very extensive rehab. Much of the queue is being replaced.

SUPERMAN: Escape from Krypton:
Superman: Escape from Krypton was opened for "Technical Rehearsal" on Saturday but didn’t reopen on Sunday when these pictures were being taken. The entire new "show” won’t be up and running until March 19th. I'm told we can expect some real surprises when the ride opens. If you go to the park before March 19th for one of the "Technical Rehearsals", make sure you check the park's Facebook Page for alerts and updates. Six Flags Magic Mountain | Facebook

Remember, currently, Technical Rehearsals are by "invitation only" to Season Passholders.

You can see both trains waiting in the station from the Sky Tower. This area is reportedly going to be enclosed before the ride reopens.

Tidal Wave remains closed for refurbishment until the spring.

The boats for Roaring Rapids and Tidal Wave are backstage in the workshop behind Déjà Vu.

Some new landscaping is happening in Whistlestop Depot.

We are happy to report that both Riddlers Revenge and Ninja are back to 2-train operation. Currently the only ride in the park with 1-train operation is Apocalypse. However, the sign in front still alerts guests of the 1-train operation.

The signage for Longhorns BBQ has been removed but the former Eduardo’s signage is still on the building. This is going to be "JB's BBQ" very soon. JB's was rolled out in Six Flags Over Texas in 2010 and received very positive reviews. According to the Six Flags Over Texas website, JB's offers BBQ sandwiches, burgers, turkey legs, chicken strips, fries, salads, and drinks.

Finally, in preparation for the park getting its alcohol license, some eating areas have been receiving gated seating. This is near Katy's Kettle in Rapids Camp.

Now through May, free live music returns to the CityWalk Stage.

February 25 C.G. Ryche 6pm - 10pm
February 26 Sajama 6pm - 10pm
February 27 Sajama 6pm - 10pm
April 1 Wango Tango Breakout Star 7:00pm
April 2 Jacqueline Grace/My Hero TBD
April 9 Wango Tango Breakout Star/iSquare 7:00pm
April 10 UCLA: Awaken A Cappella/UCLA: The Scattertones TBD
April 15 Wango Tango Breakout Star/Hyper Crush 7:00pm
April 16 Avenue 52/A Living Daylight TBD
April 22 Wango Tango Breakout Star/Andy Grammer 7:00pm
April 23 Me and Heath/Darius Lux TBD
April 29 Wango Tango Breakout Star/Gustavo Galindo 7:00pm
April 30 USC Sirens/USC Trojan Men TBD
May 6 Wango Tango Breakout Star - Finals 7:00pm
May 7 Method Echo TBD


Hollywood Grill reopened this past weekend with two self service Coke Remix machines.

The massive green screens erected in front of the metro sets have come down.

Six Points Texas is getting a much needed and well deserved face lift. The sets were originally built in the silent film era.

New props outside of the Prop Department just after driving through the Skull Island Bigatures
Work continues on the Earthquake refurb.

Roof is going up. Soon the crane will be coming out and walls will be going up.


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 faster and faster every year, so don't get left behind!

* Email
First Name
Last Name

View my publisher profile.

* = Required Field

Email Marketing You Can Trust

Queen Mary

The Queen Mary is offering a discount on their First Class Package which includes: General Admission Ticket, plus:
  • Choice of Behind-the-Scenes or World War II Guided Tour
  • Ghosts & Legends Show
  • Self-Guided Shipwalk Tour
  • Self-Guided Tour Aboard the Russian Submarine Scorpion
  • A Short Submarine Film

Adult: $32.95, Senior (55+) & Military: $28.95, Child (5-11): $19.95 Buy Queen Mary Tickets | The Queen Mary

They Came from Outer Space
A NASA Space Exploration Exhibition
Through March 27, 2011

Casa Romantica Cultural Center - 415 Avenida Granada, San Clemente

Presented in conjunction with NASA – the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.
This fun and educational exhibition is presented through the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). The exhibition explores how many of the everyday products we all use were developed for the space program. It includes the story of manned space flight, a look at the food that was designed for use in outer space, an authentic Apollo space suit, equipment used by astronauts that can be handled, plus photographs of space walks, the international space station and stunning photographs from the Hubble Space Telescope. This exhibit provides fun for the whole family! Tickets: Adults $5, children 12 and under FREE

L.A. Golf Show
Friday - Sunday, February 25 - 27
Anaheim Convention Center, 800 West Katella Avenue, Anaheim
Want to learn how to fix your slice? Perfect you’re putting? Better your swing? Everyone who plays golf wants to improve their game and we have local professionals on hand to provide free five-minute mini lessons to attendees. Demos, putting expos, free seminars on golf instruction, fitness and more. See the latest in golf equipment. Admission $10 (Check website for discount coupon) LA Golf Show

Scrapbook EXPO
Thursday - Sunday, February 24 - 27
Anaheim Convention Center, 800 West Katella Avenue, Anaheim

Learn all the newest and hottest scrapbooking techniques. Whether you’re fresh out of the box or a seasoned scrapper, there is something for every skill level and area of interest. Admission $9 at door. Scrapbook EXPO

Lewis and Clark Revisited: A Trail in Modern Day
organized by Greg MacGregor and the California Exhibition Resources Alliance. Limited time only.

Mission San Juan Capistrano, 26801 Ortega Highway, San Juan Capistrano Through March, Daily 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
Adults: $9 (includes free audio tour)
Seniors (60+): $8 (includes free audio tour)
Children (4 to 11 years): $5
Children under 3 years: Free
Online Coupons:

Why stop here? There's a whole world of Disney and theme park fun left 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.

Show us you appreciate this column by sharing this page with your friends!

Would you like to be part of this crew? We are looking for SeaWorld, LEGOLAND and San Diego Zoo reporters. 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].

And that's our update for today. Have a wonderful weekend and we hope to see you soon . . .

Submit "In The Parks - Construction Mania at Disneyland, DCA, Magic Mountain and Knott's" to Digg Submit "In The Parks - Construction Mania at Disneyland, DCA, Magic Mountain and Knott's" to Submit "In The Parks - Construction Mania at Disneyland, DCA, Magic Mountain and Knott's" to StumbleUpon Submit "In The Parks - Construction Mania at Disneyland, DCA, Magic Mountain and Knott's" to Google

Updated 02-25-2011 at 05:10 PM by Dustysage



  1. Sulley86's Avatar
    • |
    • permalink
    Great update, its amazing how fast the Carsland construction is starting to go!
  2. Fairy Godmother Travel's Avatar
    • |
    • permalink
    Carsland looks GREAT!! Love the details on the Little Mermaid--can't wait to see the inside!
  3. EpTxGuy's Avatar
    • |
    • permalink
    Great column as always. I always look forward to this column and "Dateline Disneyland" on Mondays. I only wish you would post them on 2 or 3 pages (like Al's columns used to do) instead of 1 long page. My IPad will load about 1/2 of the photos on the single page, and then all I get are boxes for the rest of the column. Otherwise, you guys are doing a wonderful job. Thanks again.
  4. WheresMickey's Avatar
    • |
    • permalink
    Nice update!
  5. SanDiegoAl's Avatar
    • |
    • permalink
    Liquor + Magic Mountain = Disaster(s) waiting to happen.
    Stupid idea.
  6. villagecreator's Avatar
    • |
    • permalink
    Quote Originally Posted by SanDiegoAl
    Liquor + Magic Mountain = Disaster(s) waiting to happen.
    Stupid idea.
    That was my thought exactly! Like they don't already have enough problems with occasional riots and local dirtbags. And that's a quote from someone who worked there for years...
  7. sir clinksalot's Avatar
    • |
    • permalink
    SFMM hasn't had any problems with "riots" since the mid-late 1990's.

    While I don't think it's the greatest idea ever, most parks have alcohol for sale in the park these days (Universal, Knott's, etc) so I think it was inevitable.

    Honestly, due to the metal detectors you have to go through, I feel pretty safe at SFMM.
  8. TCadillac's Avatar
    • |
    • permalink
    Quote Originally Posted by SanDiegoAl
    Liquor + Magic Mountain = Disaster(s) waiting to happen.
    Stupid idea.
    I don't think it will be. It will probably be sooo overpriced that most people are not going to be willing to purchase enough booze to get too out of hand.
  9. Benvolio7's Avatar
    • |
    • permalink
    Is that sculpture of King Triton the repurposed fountain from the Ariel's Grotto area?
  10. Asylim's Avatar
    • |
    • permalink
    Great update as always. Thanks.
  11. Brian_WDW74's Avatar
    • |
    • permalink
    Quote Originally Posted by Benvolio7
    Is that sculpture of King Triton the repurposed fountain from the Ariel's Grotto area?
    According to the Disney Parks Blog, it is.
    King Triton Joins Cast of Characters at The Little Mermaid ~ Ariel
  12. LoonAZ's Avatar
    • |
    • permalink
    Did they move DTD further north? I thought the bridge was located over West Street / Disneyland Drive, not Ball Road.
    On Tuesday of this past week, a suspicious package was left unattended in Downtown Disney. The item was in the portion of Downtown Disney that sits on the bridge over Ball Road. The road below and the area from Build-A-Bear to the Monorail station were closed until it was found that all was fine. The area reopened shortly after noon.
    Updated 02-25-2011 at 12:04 PM by LoonAZ
  13. In the Parks's Avatar
    • |
    • permalink
    Quote Originally Posted by LoonAZ
    Did they move DTD further north? I thought the bridge was located over West Street / Disneyland Drive, not Ball Road.
    Yes thanks for that, You are right. DownTown Disney stretches over West St./Disneyland Drive
  14. DisneyDude12's Avatar
    • |
    • permalink
    Can't get enough of these updates!!!
  15. mondo's Avatar
    • |
    • permalink
    Why didn't they use the second floor of the Starcade? I was right when I thought King Triton looked similar to the one that was in Ariel's Grotto.
  16. Dustysage's Avatar
    • |
    • permalink
    Quote Originally Posted by mondo
    Why didn't they use the second floor of the Starcade?
    I'd love to see them build a retro inspired table service restaurant up there.
  17. Tinkbelle's Avatar
    • |
    • permalink
    Yay for trees around Paradise Pier!
  18. Barbossa's Avatar
    • |
    • permalink
    Thanks for the update!
  19. Timekeeper's Avatar
    • |
    • permalink
    Nice update!

  20. DisWedWay's Avatar
    • |
    • permalink
    I'm glad they are leaving the John Hench/ George McGinnis Alcoa like Enterance to Tomorrowland in tack next to Star Tours. Some things should be left and unchanged. PD