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In the Parks

Spring Break Crowds at Disneyland, Superman to the Rescue at Six Flags and More!

Rating: 4 votes, 5.00 average.
by , 03-17-2011 at 09:09 PM

It's the beginning of another busy Spring Break season for Southern California theme park goers. Disneyland was packed to the gills all week and this weekend is expected to be even worse. This week, we take you on a tour of recent construction and news in the parks, Star Tours, new menu in Critter Country, Little Mermaid exposed, Cars Land mountain range and lots of little details. But the BIG news this week is the premier of Six Flags Magic Mountain's re-worked Superman ride. It's a doozie and not to be missed! As always we have all sorts of news and events from the SoCal parks and attractions, let's see what's new . . .

Superman: Escape From Krypton
Superman: Escape from Krypton reverses the vehicles and sends riders through the same journey, but backwards! Does it make any difference? Let's see…

MiceChat's Sir Clinksalot and Fishbulb were on hand for the official return of one of Six Flags Magic Mountain's greatest thrill rides. Superman: Escape from Krypton. The attraction re-launched with a new twist (literally). The ride keeps the original track and heart-pounding speed of the previous one, but with a significant change . . . the cars now face backwards!

The attraction will officially open this Saturday, March 19th. But today, we share the press event with you along, with our photos, video and thoughts.

Here is a brief description of the ride...
Themed to the legend of one of DC Comic's greatest super heroes, SUPERMAN:Escape from Krypton is an unrivaled experience. The adventure begins moments before the destruction of Superman's home world, Krypton, located high atop the park's mountain ridge. Riders begin their journey in 14-passenger vehicles aerodynamically designed for intense speed. State-of-the-art, electro-magnetic Linear Synchronous Motors (LSM) blast the five-ton vehicles out of Krypton backwards, accelerating from 0 to 100 mph in seven seconds. Riders will experience several seconds of weightlessness at the peak of the 41-story-tall tower and then slowly begin the descent back to Krypton.
Spanning more than 900-feet across the theme park and looming 415-feet above the ground, the dual track coaster forms a gigantic "L" shaped superstructure that has been repainted a vibrant blue and red with a yellow track, and branded with a giant Superman "S" shield at the top that can be seen miles away.

Park Manager: Bonnie Rabjohn

Park Manager, Bonnie Rabjohn, addressed the crowd and welcomed them to the event. After talking about the track record that Magic Mountain has had with creating amazing thrill rides, she announced that Superman: Escape from Krypton was going to be the new highlight of the park. She welcomed a gentleman named Jim and two children from the Boys and Girls club to officially launch the Superman ride.

5, 4, 3, 2, 1!

The ride was launched with confetti and pyrotechnics.

We were all then invited up the hill to experience the new ride for ourselves.

The lucky guests.

Let's go!

What was it like? Honestly, it’s like a totally new attraction. The inside of the queue is essentially the same, aside from green lighting that gives everything an “otherworldly” glow. But this isn’t about theme, this is about thrill, and the ride delivers in spades. In fact, we would call it a “park changing” improvement.

The new vehicles are wrapped with Superman graphics.

Up, up and away!

Fishbulb's second ride, this time in the last row.

The vehicles literally shoot out of the station as if riders are Superman himself.

What they have done is take an existing attraction and, with a simple change, created a vastly superior ride experience. Despite what one would think, the launch is a lot less jarring and seems more gradual, more smooth and finessed. But the view, now looking down 415ft in the air from the very top of the tower, is something that was never quite possible before and the panorama is breathtaking. Then there is the face down descent back to earth, which is exhilarating!

You can tell from the following videos that we really enjoyed ourselves.

Ride Features:
Speed - Over 100 mph
Height - 415 feet (taller than the landmark Sky Tower)
Acceleration - 0 up to 100 mph in 7 seconds
Weightlessness - 6.5 seconds
Total Track Length - 1315 feet

High-Tech Vehicles:
Two specially-designed aerodynamic 14-passenger vehicles - one five-ton train per track. Built to withstand intense speeds.

Safety Systems:
State-of-the-art computer controlled vehicles with padded, over-the-shoulder restraints, ensure proper ride speed and comfort at all times

Exclusively designed for Six Flags by Intamin, Zurich, Switzerland
We feel the park has done an amazing job revitalizing an attraction which will keep riders thrilled for years to come. Great Job by Six Flags, this is an attraction we can highly recommend and consider a "Must Do” for Summer 2011!


So, Roadruner express is officially behind schedule by missing the March 19th target date. Not to worry. The ride will be open in time for the summer season.

The base is just now going in.

Green Lantern will start vertical construction any day now as the foundations for the supports have been poured and are ready to go.

What may soon be the entrance plaza for the new ride.

The planter in front of the site.

Foundations and markers.

The ride will be taller than the Batman coaster next to it.

The foundations.

During the week more work was taking place on the revamped Thomas area. Signage was being placed and the small attraction got its sign. The Magic Flyer will be thrilling youngsters soon when the area re-opens.

Magic Flyer.

The replacement for Papa John's, Primo's Pizza, has been installed on the directional posts throughout the park and maintenance continues on a variety of projects. While most of the park does look great, there is still a bit of work to be done.

Primo's Pizzaria thataway--->

The Atom Smasher is still down for an inexplicably long refurb.

If you want to be a super hero, the price is a reasonable $5 per person. Not bad…

This redwood has seen better days.

The "bark" in some places has begun to chip and fall off.

Like we said before, despite these minor things, the park really does look great.

Nobody does springtime better that Disneyland Park. No one. This week we focus on the flowers, the construction and the small projects throughout the Happiest Place on Earth.


The flowers and foliage paint awash the park with color and beauty. The next time you are at Disneyland, slow down and admire the amount of work put into the surroundings by the unparalleled Disney horticulture department.

Poppy in Fantasyland

Snap dragons in the hub

Azaleas in New Orleans Square.

Anemone flowers in Town Square


A bit of work has begun on refurbishing the Main Street Emporium. The store is still open during this refurb.


Disneyland resort, with the success and popularity of the Tron: Legacy preview that ran prior to the release of that film, announced a similar offering for the upcoming Pirates film. Starting soon, guests will be able to take in a 3D preview of Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides inside the old festival arena (behind the petting zoo). Work is now being done to construct the screen and seating.


The tarps remain up in front of the Star Tours building with little noticeable change.

New work lights, that's about it.

The disabled exit ramp is being refurbished. Keep this in mind when disembarking here.


The Hungry Bear Restaurant is back with an updated menu. We visited the location to check out the changes for you. The new menu has a delicious chicken salad, chili cheese burger, and even sweet potato fries. The menu is a bit of an evolution for the location but the standard burger, turkey sandwich, and fried chicken sandwich are still available.

The new menu is certainly a step in the right direction for food inside the Disneyland resort parks. With the redo of the The Riverbelle Terrace, Lucky fortune cookery, the Tomorrowland Terrace and Village Haus Restaurants, the food quality and flavor have gradually improved. Now, with the earthier Hungry Bear setting, it seems they are getting even more adventurous in using such interesting choices as watermelon in a traditional chicken breast salad, and whole grain buns for the fried green tomato sandwich with jicama-mango slaw.

The Big Al Chicken Salad,

We gave it a try yesterday and have to say that we were impressed. The Big Al Chicken Salad was a surprisingly refreshing salad with unique flavors of tart cherry and delicate watermelon accented by the citrus, lime tinged dressing. Who knew that these flavors would play so well together.

The Big Al Chicken Salad

The Lemon "Bumblebee" Cupcake

For dessert the Lemon "Bumblebee" cupcake was pretty tasty as well. The cupcake we sampled was lemony with a hint of chocolate from the decorative bee atop the frosting. Light, but not overpowering, this dessert was a delightful treat.

Overall the new offerings at the Hungry Bear Restaurant are an improvement over the old menu and quality. The recipes combine some interesting elements and are impressive with their creativity and mindful theme. Our only obvious complaint is the price. The meal pictured would run the average visitor a little over $18. Most of you would likely agree that this is a bit pricey for fast food


Splash Mountain is currently closed until late May (this has been a lengthy but needed refurb).

Planting of small trees has begun in the bare outcroppings and the lift hill belts will be replaced.


One of the exits for the dock to the Rivers of America, along with the surface in front of it, is being worked on. This, in turn, is causing some pretty gnarly traffic jams, as the construction walls stretch across nearly the entire walkway in front of Big Thunder Mountain. Avoid using Big Thunder Trail if possible.

We've been tracking the continually changing Disney California Adventure for you. The project evolves further this week as we spot progress in the entry, Mermaid, Goofy's Sky School and more.


Here is the current state of the entrance to Disney California Adventure.

Frame work for the Pan Pacific entrance is nearly complete.

The foundation for the Carthay Circle theater is being prepared.

Behind the walls.


The Disney theater marque sprang up yesterday and it is quite nice.

The neon has not been installed.


The landscape is constantly changing in Carsland. We also see a new Cars 2 “meet and greet” taking shape just on the border of this new land.

It makes sense that this would happen, and this is certainly the right spot for it.

The “meet and greet” to the bottom left and Cars Land to the right.

Those yellow specks above are people. That's one big mountain!


A lot is going on around the Paradise Pier restaurants. The area is really taking shape and revealing lots of much needed detail.

Boardwalk Pizza and Pasta.

The parade route.

Another angle of the parade route.


Goofy finally has a flight tower. As the opening of Goofy's Sky School inches ever closer, the tower out front begins to take shape.


Last week the exterior of the Little Mermaid show building was unveiled. Pretty amazing work! The entrance at the rotunda is now being redone to look more like the rest of the show building and ithe marquee for the ride is being installed.

A lovely piece of work.

Another look at Triton.

with his daughters below

The Rotunda.

More of the exterior.

Work to the left of the building.


Paradise Park is also coming together rapidly. The planters of large pepper trees are now being outfitted with shells similar to the one’s used to encase the tree planters at the new Mickey and Duffy meet and greet on the pier.


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.

Getting ready for the fun.

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.

Unlimited admission through the end of the year, for $59.99 (Valid only at Knott’s Berry Farm Theme Park through Dec. 31st, 2011) (Excludes special ticket events, e.g.Halloween Haunt).

Knott’s Gold Pass for $84.99. Gold Pass offers all access to Knott's Berry Farm, Soak City Orange County, Palm Springs and San Diego. (Excludes special ticket events, e.g. Halloween Haunt)

2011 Cedar Fair Platinum Pass for $165. The Platinum Pass gets you admission to Knott’s Berry Farm, Soak City Orange County, Palm Springs, San Diego and all Cedar Fair Parks plus free parking. (Excludes parking at Gilroy Gardens.) (Excludes special ticketed events, e.g. Halloween Haunt)


The concrete has been poured around the conduit for electrical so the foundation can begin to be poured.

Almost ready to go vertical.

Some new merchandise has popped up at Knott’s. Most of it great…

Green is in!

This is exactly what
Knott's needs to be doing.

But . . . Angry Birds?

The white primer has made it up the lift hill and now the finish coat of bright green and blue is being applied.

The drop has begun the clean up process.

Riptide is currently down for some TLC. The seating fixtures and padding are being replaced and the fountain below has been drained.

Wet works gone wonky.

Things are hoppin' at Universal Studios Hollywood this week. CityWalk is getting a new stage, Transformers is morphing into an actual show building, and Universal is promoting the heck out of their upcoming Easter release, HOP. Let's see the action.

The CityWalk stage is behind walls while the entire structure is being rebuilt. The entrance to the CityWalk Cinemas has been skinned to promote Universal's newest film, HOP. Characters from the film are available for M&Gs outside the theater.

The signage for the recently closed Martin Lawrence Gallery has come down.

To promote HOP, E.B. is out and about for photos in front of Cartooniversal. E.B.'s Dad (The Easter Bunny), Easter chicks Carlos and Phil and The Pink Berets (the royal guard of the Easter Bunny) also join E.B. on an alternating schedule.

The Despicable Me photo op adjacent to Universal Animal Actors has been replaced by a HOP display featuring real instruments.

Now that the massive green screen erected on the newly constructed Metro sets have come down, you can see what kind of damage production had caused. Not to be left out, the ST tram route features several HOP related items to further promote the film. There are 7 E.B. cutouts and 4 billboards along the route.

a little touch up please?

Don't HOP out of the tram.

The NBC Universal Experience, adjacent to the Transformers construction site, recently had its exhibits rotated out.

New additions include costume pieces from Scott Pilgrim, Something's Got to Give, and The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor... well as the Mini Cooper from The Bourne Identity ...

...the creepy dog AA from How the Grinch Stole Christmas...

...production pieces from Jurassic Park: The Ride...

...and of course, HOP...

Not to be outdone, a crafty Jurassic Park: The Ride Cast Member put HOP rabbit ears on the dilophosaurus after the final drop.

The Trasformers show building continues to morph into a more recognizable shape as the steel frame work is encased and the different floors become apparent. We think we may have spotted the first signs of a track as things on level two re taking shape as well.

Notice the what is being poured? This may eventually become the ride track.

The Safari Park is all a flutter with Butterfly Jungle, “Metamorphosis,” from April 9 to May 8. Thousands of butterflies of every shape, size, and color will flit and float around you in our tropical greenhouse exhibit, Hidden Jungle, and a flurry of contests, activities, and special experiences await you throughout Nairobi Village. If you've never experienced the butterfly festival, this is a great time to visit the ever changing Safari Park (formerly Wild Animal Park).

15th Anniversary Bubblefest April 2-24, 2011

Discovery Science Center celebrates the 15th Anniversary of Bubblefest April 2 – 24, 2011. Bubblefest is the ultimate Spring Break family event, featuring the exclusive Mega Bubble Show. This high-tech combination of art and science is a stunning show of bubbles, lights and special effects brought to Southern California by bubble artists and World Record-holders, Fan Yang and his son Deni Yang, who will perform throughout the event.

World-renowned for their unique and stunning artistry, the Yang Family will perform four Mega Bubble Shows daily (11:00am, 12:30pm, 2:00pm, and 3:30pm). The Mega Bubble Show highlights bubble carousels, bubbles within bubbles, smoking bubbles, spinning bubbles, bouncing bubbles and bubbles in all shapes and sizes. Mega Bubble Show tickets are an additional charge of $5 for DSC members and $7 for the general public. Check the website for performance schedules and package details.

Bubblefest is included with general admission to Discovery Science Center from April 2 – 24. The annual event offers science learning stations in the Bubble Lab, simple clean bubble-blowing fun at the Bubble Courtyard, and new bubble-busting exhibits! Bubble science activities demonstrate surface tension, elasticity, air pressure, geometry and more. Plus, don’t forget to revisit the center’s more than 100 permanent hands-on exhibits and the Discovery Theater!

Also offered during Bubblefest is a unique experience, "Me in a Bubble", where guests can have their photo taken inside a giant soap bubble as proof that it can be done!.

As the Science Center's most popular annual event, Bubblefest is designed for guests to appreciate and understand the scientific principles and mathematics of bubbles, and to let them explore the world of bubbles in a fun, hands-on environment.

New for 2011
Can you walk on water? Can a bubble really last forever? Come find out, and test or bust your hypothesis at the Science Center’s original stage show, “BubbleBusters: Discover the Science!” This special show is included with general admission as part of the Bubblefest event.

And if all this wasn’t enough to make 2011 the biggest Spring Break ever, on Monday April 4, witness the multi-record holding Yang clan, Fan Yang, Deni Yang and Jano Yang attempt to set another Guinness World Record and encapsulate 150 people in the BIGGEST bubble you have ever seen!


Click HERE for Rally Information Page
Click HERE to Sign Up

What is the Gumball Rally? It's a contest to find out who can ride the most attractions at the Disneyland Resort in a single day! Sound fun? You bet it is! And you can join us:
When: May 14st, 2011
Where: Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, California
COST: $19.99 per person (through March 31st, prices will go up to $25 per person beginning April 1st).
How Do I sign up?:MiceChat Events Store (Powered by CubeCart)
How Does the Rally Work?: Rally Information Page
More Information: A full event description and newsletter/info sign up form is available CLICK HERE: MiceChat Gumball Rally Info Page
or here for the MiceChat discussion: Gumball Rally 2011 Discussion

Registration is now open while tickets last!

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? Do you have a park, zoo or botanical garden that you'd like to share with our readers? We are looking for Southern California theme park reporters. We'd love to hear from you! please contact [email protected].

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

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Updated 03-18-2011 at 08:26 AM by In the Parks



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  1. Emmanuel_4's Avatar
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    Great Update!!!
  2. GoBotDotCom's Avatar
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    Thanks for the update!
  3. RollingBoulder's Avatar
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    Nice update!

    But isn't Paradise Park already the name of the World of Color viewing area?
    Updated 03-18-2011 at 01:10 AM by RollingBoulder
  4. jcruise86's Avatar
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    Good update. Thanks!

    Only $10.18 for a counter-service, chili hamburger and sweet potato fries! It may seem overpriced, but it's essential that Tom Staggs earns many times more than what Robert Rizzo tried to earn, and that Bob Iger be compensated several times more than that, i.e. at Eisnerean levels.
    I mean, could you imagine any MBAs willing to run Disney for less than a million dollars a year?

    Frankly, no, blah, blah, blah. Disney's board is stupid. You, reader, don't have to be. OK, they aren't stupid if their primary objective is to compensate the CEO as much as possible for as long as possible, and if company profits are only a close second priority to that. Although Eisner's board may have been stupid, he wasn't when he packed it.

    End rant.
  5. bamato's Avatar
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    Thanks for the nice update! Guess I'll be squeezing in a day at six flags on my next visit to SoCal.
  6. Mac Daddy's Avatar
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    Great update! Looking forward to going back to Six Flags soon. And the exterior of Little Mermaid is incredible! Kudos to Disney for spending the extra cash to make sure this attraction is anything but generic.
  7. sir clinksalot's Avatar
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    Great update!!!!

    jcruise86, while I do see your point about the cost of the food, it's "Theme Park" food, and unfortunately you should expect to pay more for it.

    For me, I'm more concerned about the quality of the food. Paying $9 for a gross Hamburger (old Hungry Bear) vs. $10 for a good hamburger (hopefully new Hungry Bear) is a trade-off I'm willing to make.
  8. WheresMickey's Avatar
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    Nice update!
  9. jaxbistro's Avatar
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    Gotta say, I'm happy Magic Mountain seemingly went the extra mile to fix Superman. I only rode it once in it's previous life due to the fact it was only operating once while I was there. Unfortunately, the ride was below average in my opinion...if we actually were going 100 mph, it sure didn't seem like it, the ride cars were like driving in an '83 Buick sedan and it was virtually impossible to know we were 400' high. Great job guys.

    Great update again, can't wait to sample the new food, although I won't hold my hopes high on the is theme park food after all.

    15 days until opening day...finally.
  10. Dadoo's Avatar
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    Is it just me, or does King Triton look somewhat diminutive on that large building. I think they could have made him somewhat larger than he is.
  11. dizneedoll's Avatar
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    Well, if that $10 hamburger is basically the same slop they are currently serving up at Village Haus then you can expect it to be gross. This new one was like dry rubber cement and the bun tasted like it was made of saw dust. And are there no more funnel cakes here? That's hugely disappointing. I loved the chocolate brownie funnel cake.
  12. Barbossa's Avatar
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    Thanks for the update!
  13. WesternMouse's Avatar
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    $10 for a cheeseburger? WTH? Man, and I thought the Euro prices I'm spending at DLRP were expensive. Not much to look forward to when I get back to the States with prices like those.
  14. Tinkbelle's Avatar
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    Disney food prices are outrageous. We oftentimes leave the park to eat at Quizno's or other restaurants across the street.
  15. DisWedWay's Avatar
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    Great idea having the movie costumes and props at Universal Studios on display as a walkthrough. Reminds me of Disneyland's former "One of a Kind Shop" and what it could be today. PD
  16. weeble's Avatar
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    Thanks guys! Wow, a coaster that can make you drool and spring photos with bees! Love it! The Hungry Bear is one of our favorite places to sit and relax, but we didn't care for their food. Now I can't wait to try the new menu.
  17. Not My Real Name's Avatar
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    Best thing to do at Hungry Bear is to buy some french fries, go to the lower level and feed some of them to the ducks in the water. The fries are okay, but I am not paying $10 bucks for a burger. The salad looked nice, though.

    Nice to see girls on Charlie Brown's baseball team, though I hope they play better than Lucy and Frieda.
  18. Agreach2's Avatar
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    Great update as always!! Can't wait 'til the new DCA is fully done !!

    I noticed a fellow NAU student in one of the shots as well lol !! At least one of us is enjoying the magic of Disney this break
  19. Sleepy505's Avatar
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    Can someone please tell me what date in May will Splash Mountain open, Great Update as always.
  20. Disney Liz's Avatar
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    Great update as always :0)

    However, wowzers regarding the prices at Hungry Bear. This used to be one of the more affordable places to go grab something quick. There's no doubt that the new menu is clever and looks pretty tasty too, but sheeshola. For that price, I'd much rather go to the Uva Bar in Downtown Disney. I LOVE that place.
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