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In the Parks

Disneyland, DCA, San Diego Safari Park and Knott's - In The Parks

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by , 03-03-2011 at 10:32 PM

Are you ready for another exciting installment of info and pictures from a multitude of Southern California Theme Parks? The construction continues at Disney California Adventure which is nearly half way done with its billion dollar (plus) makeover. Knott's Berry Farm's high flying Windseeker attraction is under construction. Disneyland has announced the opening date for Star Tours and Soundsational. And we have a quick update from the San Diego Zoo Safari Park as well as other local attractions and points of interest!

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Let's see what's going on in the parks . . .

As spring takes center stage around the resort, there are a few projects that have popped up and another that is barreling towards completion. As always, the park looks beautiful and is gearing up for one heck of a busy summer.

Disney's new Soundsational parade will make its big debut
on May 27th. This is a parade that we are really looking forward to. Backstage images of Soundsational floats have been leaked online and show that the new parade will follow in the grand tradition of great Disneyland entertainment. But that is not all. Both Star Tours and DCA's Little Mermaid will have their grand openings on June 3rd. That's a whole lot of excitement, just a few months away.

Disneyland's Hub at Sunset.


The stoop in front of the Palm Parlor is currently being touched up and the porch refinished.


At the same time, the facades above the Crystal Shop are being worked on. This work suddenly popped up and it is even stranger that they would chose to do this during the Mardi Gras celebrations. No matter…if it needs doing, then do it.

The Crystal shop remains opened.

The exterior of the Star Tours show building has been masked for a few weeks now as work is being done to reflect the new storyline. That does beg a question…Will they be redoing the mural to feature the Starspeeder 2000?

If you peek around the temporary murals, you can see the new purple paint job.

Purple and silver.

Here's a fun event with a Disneyland twist. MiceChat supporter and co-author of Knott's Preserved is holding a FREE lecture next weekend which we think you'll love. Photographer Howard Kelly shot Southern California from the air from 1955 to 1960. Many of these photos have been donated to the Los Angeles Public Library and the lecture will celebrate this recently digitized collection of local aerial history. The event is free and open to all, so come on by and meet the photographer himself, as well as historian and fellow MiceChatter Eric Lynxwiler.

Saturday, March 12 at 2:30pm.
Mark Taper Auditorium, Los Angeles Central Library
630 West 5th Street, downtown Los Angeles

For more information, here's the link:
Los Angeles Public Library | Events Calendar

Let's take a quick look at the progress of the overhaul on the Disneyland Hotel. Yes, the waterfalls are no more (sigh). But wait! There is some good stuff cooking here…

The back side to the new Tiki themed restaurant.

The framework for the new Monorail slides is going up.

The front tower containing the check in lobby is now being

Unlike the other towers, they are remodeling the entire tower at once.

This one will go very quickly folks…

The back side has become a small courtyard of walls with only outside access to the coffee shop, and no outside access to the Fantasia shop.

The back side of the tower.

A closer look.

It's time for the weekly tour of the “little park that could”. Disney California Adventure is over halfway done with the renovation and is getting ready to open its completed Paradise Pier redo. Join us on a photo tour of the progress!


King Triton finally took his place atop the front archway of the Little Mermaid show building last Friday morning. At the same time, the exterior is rapidly finishing up as the attraction is set to officially open on June 3rd, 2011 (though we have heard that there are several weeks of soft openings planned before that). That is just a mere two and a half months from now.

June 3rd will be coming soon.

The awning framework is complete.

A grand building, indeed!

Fit for a king and his daughters


There are a variety of projects going on around Paradise Pier.

World of Color viewing:
The railing in the park viewing area, after less than one year of use, is being repainted. It’s nice to see things being kept in tip-top shape. It appears that the project is beginning at the river's edge, and making its way back towards the parade route.

The middle section is prepped and ready for repainting.



Paradise Pier Boardwalk:
A brand new character “meet and greet” gazebo has taken its place on Paradise Pier. Planters behind it make an attractive backdrop. Mickey and his pal Duffy will make this their DCA home, in the hopes that it spurs more Duffy sales.

New and sparkly!

The trees and gazebo are quite lovely.

From the opposite side.

A closer look.

Wheelchair ramps should be installed.

A look at the planters.

A cute Mickey anchor tops the structure.

Paradise Park:
The park area at the former location of the Maliboomer is showing some progress. Large chunks of cement have been removed and planters created to give the area a more garden-like setting.

Notice that trees have been planted on the outer perimeter of the walkway along the coaster.
The greening of this area will be a welcome thing indeed.


Carsland progresses inch by inch. The rock-work continues to make its way around the berm, and details emerge on a daily basis.


Hard to believe, but in a little more than a month and a half, the Paradise Pier Restaurant area will be complete and ready to serve hungry diners. Here’s what happened this week at the construction site…

The Boardwalk Pizza and Pasta building

A new metal awning has been placed near Goofy's Sky School.
You'll also note the forest of trees that will help green this area and obscure the tangle of metal that make up this carnival attraction.

The area near Jumpin' Jellyfish and Silly Symphony Swings that was once occupied by a temporary mishmash of plants, has become the site of construction.

The main pathway and parade route being worked on.

An overview.

Round planters have been created in front of the Corn Dog Castle.

Seaside Souvenirs is coming along too!

Knott's Berry Farm is also preparing for some new Summer Fun. Here we take a quick stroll through the park to check out the different projects currently underway.


The Sticks and Stones store has completed a major refurbishment; however,the doorway is not open yet as a final paint job and aging needs to be applied.


Perilous Plunge is in the middle of a complete refurbishment. White primer has been making its was up the lift hill, and the ride is being scraped clean and made new.


Progress on the Windseeker attraction finally became visible and the foundation is now being dug.

Join Snoopy and all the gang as they get out in the fresh air and get in shape with all their favorite sports activities. Kids ages 3-11 will be given a score card upon entering Camp Snoopy and will have the opportunity to try their skill at some of our country’s most popular pastimes.

There will be the new live stage show “Team Charlie Brown,” at the Camp Snoopy Theatre. Peanuts’ pal J.T. will take everyone out to the ball game with this antic-filled show which includes audience participation and some catchy tunes.
Snoopy’s Spring Training runs weekends March 19-April 24. Though Knott’s Theme Park closing times vary, Snoopy’s Spring Training ends at 5:00 pm each day. Training session is included with regular park admission of $56.99 and junior rate (ages 3-11) and seniors (62 and older) are only $24.99. Take advantage of the discounted online regular ticket price of only $33.99 and $22.99 for juniors and seniors.
There will also be Knott's Spring Crafts Fair located throughout Ghost Town which runs daily April 1-May 1. Artisans from throughout Southern California will be on hand selling a unique mix of crafts, jewelry, clothing and other gift items.

Make your Easter celebration extra special by booking your reservation for the all-you-can-eat Easter Sunday Champagne Brunch featuring glazed ham, roast turkey, smoked salmon, and carved beef at Knott’s Berry Farm’s Chicken Dinner Restaurant. Brunch includes special appearances throughout the day by Snoopy and the Easter Bunny himself! Guests can make reservations by calling, (714) 220-5055.

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.

The fabulous F!an takes us on a brief but very exciting update at Universal Studios Hollywood. Operating hours are changing in preparation for upcoming Spring Break crowds. Starting 3/10, USH will be open weekdays 10-6pm and 9-7pm on weekends for the remainder of March. Hours will extend even more starting in April.

On weekends you can meet the characters of Universal's newest animated film, HOP, near the CityWalk Cinemas.

Studio Tour:
New signage outside the entrance to the ST points out the last chance for bathrooms before the hour long back lot tour.

Smart move.

The Metro sets are once again open to tram traffic now that production has finished.

Falls Lake is almost back to its normal look. The New York bridge built in front of the world's largest free standing backdrop is gone and the area is ready for the next project.

Work is being done on Colonial Street aka Wisteria Lane while Desperate Housewives is not filming on the historic street.

Did you know all of the wisteria is plastic?

Earlier this week, supports for the ride vehicle elevators/lifts were installed in the show building allowing the vehicles to travel through multiple levels of the building.

The San Diego Zoo Safari Park is going through a name change and taking on a new identity. Let's look around this lush, expansive animal habitat and see if we can find some new stuff!

The sign greeting visitors into the parking lot still sports the old signage…

…but it seems that progress is being made inside the park with multiple projects.

A cockatoo greets visitors…

…while this hyacinth macaw enjoys time out on the perch.

With a maximum amount of land to roam, all of the animals seem very happy and taken care of here.

The Lions usually sleep 20 hours a day so this is a pretty common sight.

The lion fell asleep in the shade of a jeep (prop).

The rhinos roam around the pasture.

No worries Simba, no danger of a stampede here.

Several animals cohabit in this paddock, almost as they would in the wild (with the predators removed for their safety).



MiceChat's world famous Gumball Rally will be rolling your way on May 14th.

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Sign up for the MiceChat Newsletter today and be notified as soon as tickets become available. This event sells out faster and faster every year, so don't get left behind! Get your teams together because we will be opening the Rally store VERY soon!

POP THE CORK: Anaheim Gardenwalk
Come in to Pop the Cork Wine Bar at the Anaheim GardenWalk this week and receive a voucher to buy an adult ticket at UltraStar Cinemas for only $6. UltraStar is located only steps away from Pop the Cork. Each customer in your party can receive one voucher per visit.
Open at 5:00 PM Wednesday through Saturday

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 Program 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

Art Walk Saturday, March 4, 4:00 pm Downtown Long Beach, Long Beach
“Marching in March” First Fridays brings a little sample of Mardi Gras to Bixby Knolls. Enjoy music, food, mask making, and plenty of beads to keep things festive. You are encouraged to stroll, dance, strut, walk, or skip along Atlantic Avenue. Go from shop to shop to collect your different colored beads. Stop into each business and see all the great things they have to offer. Other ingredients of the night include: Live art, fabulous music, improv comedy, classic cars, Timstrument, interactive art projects, community organization displays, free books, gift items, Poetry Box book, antiques, piano man, Bayou Brass, beads, Big Red Bus, the Knolls Ranger, and plenty of unexpected voodoo and hoodoo…all mixed together like gumbo!

Long Beach Mardi Gras Saturday, March 5 Rainbow Harbor - E Shoreline Dr & S Pine Ave, Long Beach
Mardi Gras celebrations return to downtown Long Beach with the Long Beach Mardi Gras at Rainbow Harbor. The 2nd Annual Long Beach Mardi Gras Parade. Enjoy a full concert lineup, artist village, kid zone, dining, drinking, and beads.

All Space Considered Friday, March 4, 7:30-9:15 pm Griffith Observatory, 2800 East Observatory Road, Los Angeles.
Griffith Observatory holds this exciting, FREE public program on the first Friday of every month in the Leonard Nimoy Event Horizon theater. Join the Observatory’s curatorial staff as they examine and explain the most-talked-about subjects in astronomy, space science, and space exploration. Seating is first come, first served.
Dana Point Festival of Whales! March 5th and 6th; 12th and 13th.
Diego Sepulveda Adobe Re-opening Saturday, March 5 - 10:00 am - 1:00 pm

Diego Sepulveda Adobe at Estancia Park - 1900 Adams Ave, Costa Mesa. Free Event in Costa Mesa.
Diego Sepulveda Adobe Re-Opening Ceremony. Program at 10am with entertainment and tours of the Adobe to follow. Sponsored by the City of Costa Mesa Historical Preservation Committee and the Costa Mesa Historical Society

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, Ericbramey, 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 . . .

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Updated 03-04-2011 at 08:58 AM by In the Parks



  1. bamato's Avatar
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    Awesome set of park updates!! Made my Friday morning!
  2. WheresMickey's Avatar
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    Nice update!
  3. Barbossa's Avatar
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    Great update! Thanks.
  4. DOMINGUESS's Avatar
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    THANK YOU FOR THE GREAT UPDATE & FANTASTIC PICS! I'm going on my 3rd week of no Disney, so this helps with the withdrawals
  5. TCadillac's Avatar
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    Awesome Update... Transformers looks like it is going to be the most epic of rides. That 3 story building looks like there is a lot room and potential for insane AA's, props, effects, etc.
  6. Pipeek's Avatar
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    The DLH Refurb - The Magic Tower is still only being half done like the other towers were. Rather than split in half horizontally it's split vertically so the top few floors are occupied still.
  7. ErinGoBragh's Avatar
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    Glad to see planter/seating going in near the CornDog Castle. we needed more seating.
  8. Timekeeper's Avatar
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    Awesome Update! To answer your question, I think they would look more like 1000's than the 2000's.