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In the Parks

1/14/08 - Monday in the Parks Update - News and Photos

Rating: 2 votes, 5.00 average.
by , 01-14-2008 at 01:00 AM
Hope everyone is having a great 2008 so far. But I also hope you are not planning to visit the Disneyland Resort next weekend.
Disneyland is going to be VERY busy (3 day weekend and major Anaheim convention)

Not only do we have a major three day holiday weekend coming up (as many folks will get Monday, January 21st off for Martin Luther King, Jr.'s day), but we also have Anaheim's largest annual convention the same weekend (officially January 17th through the 20th), the NAMM Show. Last year, they had over 85,000 participants.

Warning signs are already out in the Resort Area advising folks to try and avoid the area if at all possible due to expected heavy traffic.

So it sounds like a great time to check out something other than Disneyland this upcoming weekend.
Attraction Closures and Operational Updates:

The Tea Cups remain closed for painting and basic refurb, scheduled to reopen on January 18th.

The Mark Twain and Tom Sawyer Island will be closed Monday though Thursday for basic maintenance.

On the other hand, last night was the last night for Fantasmic! until Friday March 7th (the start of Spring Break Season), this is partially for refurb, but mainly for cost savings. The Remember Fireworks will be offered on weekends as the only major nightly entertainment at Disneyland. The Disney Electrical Parade over at DCA will be offered on nights DCA closes at 8 PM or later, since Block Party Bash has ended.

Also closed this week is the Gibson Girl Ice Cream Parlor (Monday through Friday).

The Haunted Mansion remains closed until Friday January 25th for the removal of the Holiday overlay.

"it's a small world" will close on Tuesday, January 22nd, and remain closed until mid-November for a major refurbishment, including a replacement of the flume.

The Jungle Cruise will close Monday, January 28th and is scheduled to reopen on Friday, March 7th.

For those looking at the upcoming Disneyland Operating schedule, you will note slightly different hours for Tuesday, February 5th (9 AM to 7 PM), this is due to a special after hours party for Google employees.

Also note that Disneyland and DCA have extended hours from Friday February 15th through Sunday the 24th, as more schools are getting a full week off from President's Day. Be prepared for large crowds during the entire period.

Over at DCA, Monsters, Inc. remains closed, and is scheduled to reopen Friday, February 15th.

Pizza Oom Mow Mow also remains closed (once again, mainly for cost savings) until Friday, March 15th.

Grizzly River Run will be closed Monday through Thursday for basic refurb.

Mission Tortilla Factory is closed for basic "deep cleaning" and should reopen this Friday, January 18th, though it might be delayed.

Playhouse Disney will close Tuesday, February 12th (Monday the 11th is a holiday Monday for some folks) for set changes and the changeover to the current major programming on the Disney Channel. It should reopen on Friday, March 15th.

Talking about changes, work has resumed on Fort Wilderness, with now both bathrooms built inside the fort closed, and just the new ADA compliant bathroom at the bottom of one of the turrets open. (There are other bathrooms on the island, across from the Mark Twain loading sock).

Also, Splash Mountain has placed a new restriction on the person riding in the front seat for safety reasons. Due to some injuries to small kids ducking under the front of the log, the person in the front seat must be at least 5 feet tall (60 inches), all other seats still have just a 40 inch requirement.
Anaheim Walk of Stars
This Tuesday, a fourth star will be added to the Anaheim/Orange County Walk of Stars.

City to Honor Yorba Family on Anaheim/OC Walk of Stars

ANAHEIM, CA - (January 10, 2008) - A new star will be added to the Anaheim/ OC Walk of Stars as the City of Anaheim honors the Yorba family on Jan.15.

The Yorba family, who were among the early settlers of Spanish California and once owned much of the land in present day Orange County, will be presented with a star on Tuesday, Jan. 15 at 10 a.m. in a public ceremony to recognize their many contributions to the rich history of the region. Anaheim Mayor Curt Pringle and Anaheim/OC Walk of Stars President Bob Alexander will jointly conduct the ceremony. Margaret Yorba, and approximately 20 family members, will be present to accept the Anaheim/OC Walk of Starís latest installment that will honor their family for generations to come.

The Walk of Stars is located on Harbor Blvd. in the Resort District. Past honorees include Walt Disney, Carl and Margaret Karcher, founder of the Carlís Jr. Restaurant chain and Henry and Susan Samueli, owners of the Anaheim Ducks.
Currently, the Walk of Stars is located next to the 15 minute parking lot on Harbor Blvd, next to the main Pedestrian Entrance to the Disneyland Resort. The public is welcome to attend.

Also, it was nice to see that Carl and Margaret Karcher's star was decorated with flowers and votive candles on Sunday, due to Carl Karcher passing away last Friday.

Cold Stone Creamery Opening Next To Disneyland!
Also, for those Ice Cream fans, Cold Stone Creamery is opening a new location in front of the Park Vue Inn on Harbor Blvd, right across the street from the Walk of Fame. Scheduled to open by the summer of 2008.

Dream Updates:
Also, don't forget this Tuesday, January 15th is also the first of the "extra hour" prizes (aka dreams) days. As reported by Al Lutz last week in his MiceAge article, if you are lucky enough to be picked by random by the Dream Patrol on Tuesday the 15th, you could be part of about 2,000 folks that get to spend an hour after park closing in DCA.
Photo Update:
Let's get caught up at the Disneyland Resort with photos from Sunday afternoon.

The new Mickey Floral is finished. It has LED lights hidden in it, which will provide a light show after dark.

Work continues to get the new Disneyland Dream Suite finished in time.

One of the Tom Sawyer Rafts broke down, causing a backup of all the other River Traffic this afternoon, as they tried to get the broken raft over to the main landing. Alas, it didn't work, and they had to make all the guests exit the broken raft, and move to other working ones.

Items in the news

The Walt Disney Company has released its 2007 Annual Report, you can view it online at this link.

You will notice that High School Musical is prominent in the annual report, and is why the Stockholder meeting will be held in Albuquerque, New Mexico (other than to try and keep the regular Disney employees away). East High was identified as being located in Albuquerque in the original High School Musical movie.

Bob Iger is very happy that High School Musical and the company in general is doing well, as the Annual Report reports his total income for the last fiscal year was $27.7 million dollars.

Also announced this week was the fact that Greg Emmer, the current Senior Vice President of the Disneyland Resort, and second in command at the DLR after Ed Grier, is retiring after about 40 years of service to the Walt Disney Company. He started as a ride operator at Disneyland in 1968, and was well liked by many Cast Members. On behalf of everyone at MiceAge and MiceChat, we wish him well in his future endeavors and continued work with the folks at CHOC and St. Joesph's Hospital. Thank you for all the hard work over the last 40 years.

Also in the news is Universal Studios. While work continues on the new Simpsons Ride, other changes are being made.

Brady MacDonald over at the LA Times is reporting that the current Nickelodeon Play areas at both Hollywood and Orlando are being rethemed to a Curious George theme by Spring of 2008.

Also, David Koenig reported this week that Universal has decided to not renew its in park Character licensing with the Marvel comics. The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man attraction in Orlando is not affected by this decision, but you will no longer see Marvel Characters in costume walking the parks.

Cedar Fair Entertainment Company reported increase attendance in 2007.

Cedar Fair Entertains More Than 22 Million Guests in 2007

Reports Solid Increases in In-Park Per Capita Spending Across All Parks

SANDUSKY, Ohio, Jan. 9 -- Cedar Fair , a leader in regional amusement parks, water parks and active entertainment, today announced that combined attendance in 2007 at its eighteen locations totaled 22.1 million guests compared with 19.3 million in 2006. During this same period, preliminary average in-park guest per capita spending increased 5% to $40.45 compared with $38.71 in 2006.

Dick Kinzel, chairman, president and chief executive officer, noted that the 2006 figures include results from the Paramount Parks since their acquisition from CBS Corporation on June 30, 2006, while results for 2007 include a full-year of operations. "We experienced solid increases in average in-park guest per capita spending at each of our parks," said Kinzel. "On a regional basis, our northern region parks entertained approximately 12.4 million guests compared with 10.7 million guests in 2006, while our southern region parks entertained 4.1 million guests compared with 3.3 million guests a year ago, and our western region parks hosted 5.6 million guests versus 5.3 million guests in 2006."

"Overall, we are pleased with our 2007 results as we end a transformational year for the company," said Kinzel. "This was our first full year of owning and operating the newly acquired parks and we have learned a great deal about our new customers during this time. With our record-high $88 million in planned capital expenditures for 2008 along with the introduction of exciting new marketing promotions to capture our guests' attention, we are confident 2008 will be another successful year for the company."

Kinzel concluded by noting that the Company plans to issue a news release and host a conference call with analysts on Thursday, February 7, 2008 to discuss 2007 fourth quarter and full year earnings results for Cedar Fair. The Company's 2007 year-end tax information will also be processed and mailed to unitholders at the beginning of March. The same tax information will be available to unitholders through the Investor Relations section of the Partnership's corporate web site ( beginning Monday, March 3, 2007.

Cedar Fair is a publicly traded partnership headquartered in Sandusky, Ohio, and one of the largest regional amusement-resort operators in the world. The partnership owns and operates 11 amusement parks, six outdoor water parks, one indoor water park and five hotels. Amusement parks in the company's northern region include two in Ohio: Cedar Point, consistently voted "Best Amusement Park in the World" in Amusement Today polls, and Kings Island; as well as Canada's Wonderland, near Toronto; Dorney Park, PA; Valleyfair, MN; and Michigan's Adventure, MI. In the southern region are Kings Dominion, VA; Carowinds, NC; and Worlds of Fun, MO. Western parks in California include: Knott's Berry Farm; Great America; and Gilroy Gardens, which is managed under contract. Also included in that region is Star Trek: The Experience, a Las Vegas-based interactive adventure.
Stopped by Knott's Berry Farm on Saturday, here are a couple of photos...

Work continues on Knott's new coaster, Pony Express, scheduled to open this Summer next to Big Foot Rapids.

The new Panda Express has opened across from the Log Ride
And don't forget, I have plenty more photos available at

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Updated 01-14-2008 at 05:57 PM by Dustysage



  1. shadylanestudio's Avatar
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    Thanks for the info. Great Job!
  2. Empico's Avatar
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    Ditto. I like the info on the other parks, too.
  3. cakvalasc's Avatar
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    Great update Darkbeer, one of these days I will buy you a Dark Beer!
  4. wdwnut4life's Avatar
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    fabulous photos!!
  5. snappy's Avatar
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    Thank you very much Dark Beer! Always enjoy your updates and fabulous pictures! I actually tried a Dark beer over the weekend and it wasn't 1/2 bad. Guiness. The beer itself was tasty, but I was talked into drinking a Car Bomb. That put me over the edge.
  6. hobbitfeet's Avatar
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    Thank you!

    Little picky comment..." The Haunted Mansion remains closed until Friday January 26th"...that Friday is the 25th.
  7. MeJane's Avatar
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    Whew, that last Knott's Berry Farm photo really makes me appreciate Disney's attention to theming. Nothing says "Old West" like cheap shopping-mall Chinese food, does it?
  8. Olympicnut's Avatar
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    Nothing says "the old west" like Panda Express.
  9. kcnole's Avatar
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    Also, David Koenig reported this week that Universal has decided to not renew its in park Character licensing with the Marvel comics. The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man attraction in Orlando is not affected by this decision, but you will no longer see Marvel Characters in costume walking the parks.
    One correction, this only effects Hollywood. You will no longer see Marvel characters walking around in Hollywood, they will still be in Orlando just as they have since IOA opened.
  10. NetteNutt's Avatar
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    Well CRAP!! My daughters are going to the Hannah Montana concert that Saturday so I was going to bring my son in from Vegas, but screw that we were just there at Christmas and I am not reliving that nightmare.
  11. HarboringKatella's Avatar
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    Thanks for the Monday update! Not to be too political, but your readers should know that Carl Karcher had been a lifelong supporter of Conservative causes and contributed to several anti-abortion and anti-gay initiatives. Karcher was an early supporter of John Schmitz, a right-wing Republican and member of the John Birch Society who represented Orange County in the state senate and later Congress. In 1978, he provided $1 million dollars to California's Proposition 6, also known as the Briggs Initiative. He was the initiative's biggest financial supporter. The proposition was a ballot measure requiring the termination of all gays and lesbians from employment in public schools. The initiative was defeated by over one million votes.
    I am sorry for his family that he has passed on, but he was a very controversial figure. Someone, I feel that the world may be better without.
  12. Darkbeer's Avatar
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    So Mr. Karcher was a strong Right Wing Conservative, if a strong Left Wing Liberal passed on, he or she should still be honored, no matter your political persuasion. Heck, he lived the American Dream, starting with basically nothing, and built a billion dollar corporation....

    >>"I see him as a true entrepreneur. He started the business with a hotdog cart, and built it into a huge vast empire ó an American dream," said Bob Sandelman, a San Clemente fast food consultant who worked with Karcher for many years.

    Orange County was ground zero for Karcher's restaurant innovations.

    He introduced tableside service, self-service beverage bars and salad bars in restaurants. He insisted tables have salt and pepper shakers and napkins and was a stickler for clean bathrooms, said Carolyn Knight, who penned two biographies about Karcher in the late 1980s.

    "He used to say, 'Treat customers like they were guests in your own home,'" said Knight.<<
  13. CandyPandora's Avatar
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    Love these updates!
    Thanks especially for updates on upcoming crowds- this is really useful.
  14. HarboringKatella's Avatar
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    True, point taken. I just thought people who enjoy MiceChat and MiceAge may want to be informed of what kind of man Carl was when he wasn't making billions. He seemed mean-spirited to someone who leans left (me.) I welcome talk about OC/Disney leaders who are liberal/progressive that also might have questionable records. Isn't that what makes for a good discussion?
    In any case I find your updates interesting and you're a great photographer!
  15. Darkbeer's Avatar
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    ^This is not the "political" part of MiceAge/MiceChat.

    Mr. Karcher was a Devout Catholic with some strong beliefs. I was reading in the paper about how he would get all 12 of his kids up to make early morning mass every day during Lent. He also did not allow his kids to get "free food" at the restaurants.

    But he donate a lot of money to charity, maybe not the charities some folks would support, but he did make a difference in his community in many ways, some political, many helping the less fortunate.

    Johnny Grant, known as the "Mayor of Hollywood" recently passed away, and was honored in a very similar way, as he was also the spokesperson for the Hollywood Walk of Fame for many decades. His main Charity was the USO, in which very active, and also in bringing the Hollywood Christmas Parade to life since the 1980's until just before his death, where it was cancelled, and then "PC'ed".

    Both these gentleman did a lot of good, did everyone agree with all their actions? The answer is no, but they did make a difference in a lot of lives, and cared.

    Just because you have a disagreement with one (or more) of their stances, such as their religious beliefs or support of the military shouldn't make you not honor the good the person did in his/her life.

    Walt Disney was religious and had a strong pro-USA belief, as you can tell in the old footage available and the types of attractions he actually approved and built, such as Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln.

    Anyway, we should honor the good in people, and things like the Hollywood and Anaheim/OC walk of stars are ways we do recognize the good in people.
  16. xalesa's Avatar
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    Nice update, Darkbeer. I enjoy your columns each week.
  17. fkurucz's Avatar
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    <<Anyway, we should honor the good in people, and things like the Hollywood and Anaheim/OC walk of stars are ways we do recognize the good in people.>>

    Well said.
  18. HarboringKatella's Avatar
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    It is good to honor good people. And isn’t it nice we live in a democracy where in chat rooms we can discuss polarizing public figures when they are presented sympathetically by the forum’s capable host? Then we are informed and able to make better decisions when we go to purchase that next hamburger after being enticed by one of those racy (un-family friendly) TV commercials.
  19. Tikimoose's Avatar
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    Loved the photos! Thanks for the update!