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Crowded at Disneyland, New Disney Jr. Live, Magic Mountain after dark, Knott's News

Rating: 8 votes, 2.50 average.
by , 03-24-2011 at 09:29 PM


Another week has flown by. We've spent the last 5 days gathering photos from some VERY crowded parks . . . it is Spring Break after all. If you are headed out for theme park fun this weekend, get to the park early, bring patience and a good attitude. We've got a lot to show you today including the cute new Disney Junior stage show for kids, tons of construction, and lots of crowded to packed conditions. Let's get to the news. . .

Over the next three weeks Disneyland will be very crowded as several different school districts throughout the region will be taking Spring Break. This means huge crowds on a par with Summer and the holiday seasons. At the same time, Star Tours works towards a June 3rd official opening and Splash towards a May 26th return.


A minor update, the planters in front of the Main Street Opera house are back out in the open after some minor work. At the same time the left hand side of the Main Street façades, from Emporium to the Penny Arcade, are all under wraps for some touch up work.

They are using the mural screens now that Disney World made famous. Nice touch.

In Tomorrowland some work is being done to the Innoventions entrances on the first floor of the building, which has required the turntable to be stationary. As a consequence, the actual flow of traffic through the building was reversed and the clock marquee for the attraction was removed. Guests now head up the ramp and enter on the 2nd floor. Despite the huge building, most guests just walk right on by as though the attraction doesn't exist.

No Innoventions clock.

New temporary entry.

Almost there.

The Dream home getting some attention.

The current exit.

We snapped this image while passing by the submarines. It's not often that you catch such a humorous comparison of art and reality. Not news, but we just had to share.


As stated at the outset, Spring Break is clogging the Disneyland Resort with massive crowds.

The last time I saw a line like this for the Matterhorn it was New Year.

Nearly an hour for Alice.

Try keeping a child occupied in a switchback for this long.

This shot was in front of Big Thunder where dense crowds had trouble navigating around the ride, narrow walkways and a construction area.

Pirates had an armada of strollers parked along the river which further blocked traffic.

Yes. 20 minutes for Pooh.

New Orleans Square.

40 minutes for Pirates.

Speaking of pirates, the Pirates experience in the Festival arena is almost ready to go. Big swaths of fabric are draped and a screen has been erected for the nightly 3D preview of the new film.

Splash Mountain inches closer to a projected opening date of May 26th. Outside, the planting on the tiers of the mountain is taking place and grass will soon be appearing.

The walls have been redone.

An awning along the queue.

Work on the first drop.

Not to be outdone by Disneyland, DCA also pulled in record crowds when it wasn't pouring rain. Wait times for some of the more popular attractions easily reach an hour, if not far more with Tower maxing out at 120 minutes. We also caught the first preview performance of Disney Junior live which we think the younger ones will go nuts for.

Midway Mania indeed!

HOLLYWOOD PICTURES BACKLOT: Animation Building update
The new video loop has arrived in the courtyard of the animation building at Disney California Adventure. The new play list features a mix of both the classic and the modern. Sleeping beauty, Pinocchio and Snow white are rubbing elbows with Toy Story 3, Up and The Incredibles. The cycle lasts about 20 minutes and packs far more into the same time frame than the old loop did.
Here is the play list
  • The Little mermaid
  • Beauty and the beast
  • Fantasia / Fantasia 2000
  • Bambi
  • Finding Nemo
  • Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs
  • The Incredibles
  • The Jungle Book
  • Toy Story 3
  • Cinderella
  • Mulan
  • Monsters Inc.
  • Ratatouille
  • Lilo and Stitch
  • Tarzan
  • Pinocchio
  • Alice in Wonderland
  • Up
  • Lady and the tramp
  • Tangled
  • Dumbo
  • The Lion King
  • Cars
  • Pocahontas
  • Sleeping Beauty
  • Aladdin
  • Peter Pan
  • Wish upon a star montage

Below is a video clip from a few moments of the montage.

There is a heavier use of lighting effects used to project patterns on the floor of the space. Some may be sad to see such fan favorites as Hunchback and Atlantis removed in favor of less heavy, dramatic clips but it doesn't detract from the experience.

It is a nice, much faster paced, loop and just as good, if not better, than the version that opened with the park. Here's to hoping that they will update if more often than once every decade.

The fins on the Pan Pacific style park entrance have appeared and are being welded into place.

Cars Land was hampered this past week with heavy rains that hit the area. Still, there is some progress to be noted. The finish on the rockwork has topped out and is well over 3/4 of the way done. To distract from all the hubbub behind the wall, a new Cars 2 meet and greet has sprung up. It looks great and people seem to love it.

The Little Mermaid project is racing toward an early finish. The interior is nearly done. Heavy landscaping has begun on the exterior and final details are being placed. We could see some previews and soft-openings soon.

The rotunda is still under wraps.

Trees have been placed.

We are oddly excited for this new garden area to open. It will feature two new restaurants, Boardwalk Pizza and Pasta, and Garden Grill. It appears that there will be lots of shade and places to sit and enjoy a meal. What a lovely change this little corner of the park is turning out to be!

A new permanent structure is being built between Silly Symphony
Swings and Jumpin' Jellyfish.

Boardwalk Pizza and Pasta.

The water tower in front of Goofy's Sky School is taking shape while the coaster in the background gets finishing touches.

Goofy's Sky School

A new canopy will be pulled over the red frame that covers the switchback queue.

To the right of the Sky School, some planters take shape. Big planters mean more big trees! From concrete wasteland to lush oasis - the transition will be astounding.

Duffy, is one of the cutest bears on the planet. He never misses an opportunity to put on season appropriate clothes. He now has his Easter outfit all picked out and ready to buy. If that isn't sweet enough, there are rice crispy treat pops for sale in DCA.

I'm a sucker for Duffy (or in this case, I'm a rice crispy treat).

Tuesday, the first performances of Disney Junior: Live On Stage were held to highly excited young audiences. The stage show is full of the characters from the cable channel with high energy and audience participation. The performance we were able to catch went off without a hitch and the children in the audience really seemed to enjoy the show. If you have a fan of Disney Junior in the house, get them to this show right now. Keep in mind that this show does not appeal to all demographics and is soundly aimed at the the very young.

Lucky us!

The nice new "radio tower" atop the building

The show works very much like it did in the past, with simple sets on a rotating stage.

Hey Mickey!

Hey hey, the gang’s all here . . . as tiny puppets


Yay treasure!

This week at Knott's, the Windseeker project has slowed a bit due to rain. However, in the interim, we take you on a look behind the scenes at the Timber Mountain Log ride and also get our first taste of what is coming for Haunt.

Also, don't forget to visit. Knott's Facebook Page

Designer Daniel Miller (Fallout Shelter) unveiled the first bits of art for one of three new mazes coming for the 2011 haunt season. Delerium is described by Knott's as, "a living nightmare".
In the deep recesses of the mind, on the clouded brink of sanity, lies the wasteland of Delirium. A place so gruesome that our imaginations fall short in comprehending its horrors. Reality slips away as the line between the waking world and nightmare dissolve. Welcome to complete madness.

You had us at "Clouded brink of sanity"

very Lovecraftian.

Join retro D/VJ Richard Blade for a flashback to the heyday of Studio K Come dance the night away and remember a part of Knott's cool history. Tickets are only $28.99 and available directly from their website.




Today we get to stroll through the best Log Ride on the planet and see what powers this masterpiece attraction. And by "Stroll" we literally mean walking the flume!

All drained. Let's walk.

The maintenance bay.

The pumps and motors

The dry flume.

The second show scene.

After the cavern room some nice kitty cats wait for us.

The final scene before the drop.


Windseeker, Knott's big attraction for Summer 2011, has seen a delay because of the recent rains. It was also disclosed last week that the Knott's Windseeker will be slightly different than the other versions being built by Cedar Fair parks. Our Windseeker will rise first and then fan out and spin due to the tight clearance space between Silver Bullet and Jaguar.

Boy do we have a deal for teachers.

SeaWorld San Diego Welcomes Southern California Teachers!!!
SeaWorld San Diego is offering Southern California credentialed teachers (within zip codes 90000-93599) a FREE 2011 Fun Card. Come play all year!

To obtain your FREE 2011 Fun Card
Complete the registration process. Print your Free 2011 Fun Card eVoucher. Bring your original printed eVoucher and all of the required credentials below:
• Current Teacher/School I.D.
• Valid California I.D.
• Current paycheck stub (within the last 30 days)
Present all documents to the SeaWorld San Diego Will Call/Travel Voucher Window to redeem for your FREE 2011 Fun Card!* Redemption must occur before May 31, 2011. *2011 Fun Card valid until December 31, 2011. Not valid for park admission on May 29, July 3&4 and September 4, 2011.

After Superman's illustrious opening last week, the relaunched Whistlestop park opened modestly this past weekend. It is still charming, despite the lack of licensed characters (it was Thomas the Tank Engine themed in the past). We are glad to see that Magic Mountain decided to keep this mellow, family experience.

The details are still here at the Whistlestop park. The train ride is up and running as is the small coaster.

Tatsu is a popular attraction. Turns out the wildlife in the area love it too. We spotted a nest in a precarious spot along the track and thought of the three rules of realty. Location, location and location.

Yeah the noise is a little much but it has a great view.

As with the other projects in the southland, The Green Lantern was delayed due to weather.

Nothin’ here . . . yet

It's rare that we are around Magic Mountain at night. There is quite a bit of dazzle to be spotted after dark.

The Midway.


Apocalypse the ride at night.


Many of the coasters are better at night.

Save $10 off admission - "like" Aquarium of the Pacific on Facebook

If you are a teacher you can get in free through the end of March

Happy 20th Anniversary of Cityhood,
Happy Birthday Malibu
Sunday, March 27, 12 noon - 4:00 pm
Legacy Park, Corner of Pacific Coast Hwy & Civic Center Way. The festivities will center around an old-fashioned, community “Picnic in the Park” which will feature: Food and refreshments donated by local restaurants & citizens will be offered or you can pack your own picnic lunch and enjoy the activities. Music to suit all ages will play from 12 to 4 pm, and will feature local professional musicians. All are welcome to join in the fun.

LA Film + Music Weekend Laemmle's Music Hall, 9036 Wilshire Blvd, Beverly Hills; Friday March 25, through Sunday, March 27

LA Film + Music Weekend, taking place over 3 days and featuring approximately 100 hours of film and music related programming, including shorts, features, documentaries, Q & A sessions and more. With three separate screens and a total capacity of 500 seats at any given time, event attendees will enjoy endless on-screen entertainment, from talented filmmakers from around the globe.

No Ho Food Truck Fest & Flea Market, Saturday March 26 11:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

11458 Burbank Blvd, North Hollywood Tickets $4 online/$5 at the event.
Enjoy a day of festive fun in NoHo! Come hungry and enjoy some of the best gourmet food trucks in LA, get ready to hear some great music and comedy, shop for some cool gifts and have a chance to win some fabulous raffle prizes.

Sail and Savor March 22-26 (through Saturday).
The 47th annual running of the Congressional Cup, one of the oldest and most prestigious match race sailing events in the world, The one-on-one match race format, as used in the America’s Cup, is raced over a short course with intense action as close as physically possible to spectators on the Belmont Veterans Memorial Pier. Admission to the pier is FREE and open to the public, with limited grandstand seating. Snacks, refreshments and comfort stations are available. For most of its history, the Congressional Cup has been the only Grade 1 match race regatta sailed in the United States. Each boat sails against every other boat at least twice in a round-robin format, starting at five-minute intervals, for 90 total races over five days to determine the four semifinalists. The final four will race for the event’s unique prize—the Crimson Blazer—on Saturday. Racing starts daily at 12 noon and usually runs until 5 p.m. Belmont Veterans Memorial Pier - 15 39th Place, Long Beach

15th Anniversary Bubblefest April 2-24, 2011

Discovery Science Center celebrates the 15th Anniversary of Bubblefest April 2 – 24, 2011. 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. The Yang Family will perform four Mega Bubble Shows daily (11:00am, 12:30pm, 2:00pm, and 3:30pm).

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! Bring your friends and 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. But HURRY, tickets won't 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.

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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 03-25-2011 at 03:55 PM by In the Parks



  1. bamato's Avatar
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    Awesome update! Lots going on everywhere!!!
  2. WheresMickey's Avatar
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    Nice Update!
  3. Barbossa's Avatar
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    Great update. Great to see more green being added to DCA. It was lacking some trees in its first ten years.
  4. DOMINGUESS's Avatar
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    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.

    TOTALLY AGREE! thanks for the great update...NOW i can start my day..
  5. Nick92's Avatar
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    Very good update I must say. I am definitely overdue and need to go to disneyland it's been too long!(two weeks) lol. Hey what can I say, I'm a sucker for Disneyland and California Adventure I could go every weekend since I have my annual pass.
  6. MainStreetJake's Avatar
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    Great pics of six flags from west coast bash. Batman was awesome with the fog and lights! Just for clarification: that was only for the WCB event. Still fun at night though. ;)
  7. jcruise86's Avatar
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    Thanks for the excellent update! Loved the photos and comments! Love the trees coming to DCA--trees and parks are a proven combination. Still, they should have elevated that DCA park/dining area and had second-floor dining spots with tiered levels on this second floor to take advantage of great views of the WoC Lagoon. It could have been better, even = to the Hungry Bear riparian dining, but they bleeeeeeeew it. Still it'll be an improvement.

    Halloween is only seven months away and you've already dropped the first mention of Knott's Halloween Haunt. Outstanding!
    --Tom Sinsky
    Updated 03-28-2011 at 01:37 PM by jcruise86
  8. aashee's Avatar
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    I normally stop by for the Disney updates but the Knott's log ride walk through was flat out amazing!!! Great stuff, you guys do a wonderful job!
  9. DisneyDude12's Avatar
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    The crowds were longer last week. 55 for Matterhorn, 65 for Alice.
  10. Not My Real Name's Avatar
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    I like KBF's log ride, but the best in the world is still Splash Mountain. I loved the backstage photos.
  11. Mr Doodle's Avatar
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    Great update. I'm probably one of the few to see Hunchback go from the Animation Academy. Atlantis, eh, but still was sort of fond of it. Still looks good though.
  12. TodAZ1's Avatar
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    THE best log ride??? Really??? I can understand most nostalgic, but come on.
  13. In the Parks's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TodAZ1
    THE best log ride??? Really??? I can understand most nostalgic, but come on.
    OF COURSE there's nostalgia in that opinion. It's just that though, An opinion. Splash Mountain is big, lavish, and full of whiz bang effects, and it's a great attraction. But if you are talking strictly log rides, the Timber Mountain Log Ride at Knott's is a perfectly paced flume ride. It is smooth, zippy and has just the right amount of indoor and outdoor scenery and ride elements. Take into consideration that it was built in 1969 and it cements its spot as a landmark attraction.
  14. Aladdin's Avatar
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    Glad that the Animation courtyard/lobby has not changed too drastically. And it's great to see the lighting enhancements But it makes me wonder, with converting everything to digital, why wouldn't they keep all the movies they had previously, and just add in a more. Now Kuzco is completely ignored at DL and DCA.


    Have to wonder why the new DCA

    Is still trying to look like the old Magic Mt . . .

    Updated 03-25-2011 at 08:32 PM by Aladdin
  15. DisWedWay's Avatar
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    Lots of water towers featured this weekend in all the parks. I have my eye on the DCA Sky School Tower and what the final finish will be?? Great one in Tokyo Disney Seas Cape Cod. Good to see the fireplace log irons and kettle in the Splash Mountain load building. Hope more can be added to it's themeing. PD
    PS Just read the comment above about old Magic Mountain. After Walt Disney World opened a lot of WED people moved on to design the original Magic Mountain. PD
  16. Timekeeper's Avatar
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    Nice update!