In The Parks - DCA, Disneyland, Knotts, Magic Mountain
by, 04-14-2011 at 11:04 PM
WOWIE ZOWIE…what a week! DCA takes the spotlight with noticeable changes in the construction process and Disneyland edges closer to opening Star Tours and Splash Mountain. Knott's finally has the foundation for Windseeker nearly ready and there have been a swarm of butterflies at the San Diego Safari Park. Let's not forget that we also have a brief update from Six Flags Magic Mountain, and then a stroll through Universal Studios! It's another blockbuster update from In The Parks, we'd better get this show on the road . . .
WIN TICKETS TO LEGOLAND AQUARIUM AND THE NEW OCTOPUS GARDEN
Breaking news! The LEGOLAND Aquarium next to Legoland California is a full month ahead of schedule on the brand new Octopus Garden. The exhibit will be opening TODAY, and to celebrate, they are giving away one set of four tickets to readers of In The Parks! How do you enter? Simply answer the question below in the comments section of this blog (below). Follow the link to the Legoland Aquarium website for a clue to the answer.Q: What are the three listed abilities that cephalopods have (according to the LEGOLAND Aquarium site? http://www.visitsealife.com/Californ...ctopus-garden/)
A winner will be randomly selected from eligible entries on Thursday April 21st and announced in next week's column. Winner will receive one set of four tickets to the Sea Life Aquarium at Legoland California.(Note, does not include admission into Legoland Park)
GOOD LUCK EVERYONE!
NOW, back to our regularly scheduled update.
Disney California Adventure took some very noticeable strides in its transformation from Pressler era Universal-Berry-Farm, to world class Disney Theme park this week. Since our last update, the framework for the centerpiece of the park went up, a "land" lost its identity and finishing touches are being put on the newest mega dark ride in the resort.
The Hollywood Pictures Backlot became part of Yesterland this week. In the early morning hours this past Tuesday, the sign bearing the name of the area and the pillars supporting it magically disappeared. Pretty impressive, very efficient work here.
Barriers were left around the foundations left over from the pillars.
BUENA VISTA STREET:
Front gate work continued this week and details are emerging. Flag poles were installed on the front gates while the Carthay Circle Theater's steel frame reached a third story.
Now we're getting somewhere!
The Carthay Circle Theater frame work.
A real sense of scale is discernible now.
THE LITTLE MERMAID:
The final details are now being applied to the Little Mermaid show building. Spires of seahorses and seashells were affixed to the peaks of the building and the exit route along the left hand side is coming together. Still no marquee as of this writing.
A rotunda waiting for a name.
Take a second to look at this structure next time you are there. It's quite detailed.
Seashells by the seashore.
PARADISE GARDEN RESTAURANTS:
Walls expanded into the already tight paths in front of Silly Symphony Swings and Jumpin' Jellyfish with the ongoing progress at the Paradise Garden Restaurants. The area continues to impress with the lush greenery and intricate structures added.
The refreshment shack in front of the Swings.
A wooden roof was added to this structure in front of Goofy's Sky School.
Paradise Garden Grill is coming together.
GOOFY'S SKY SCHOOL:
Goofy's Sky School seems to really be picking up the pace. The metal walls have been painted a sky blue and the tower in front of the ride was painted the usual beige.
They are at least trying to make it look a LITTLE better.
Here is our weekly look at Cars Land. We continue to notice detail and progress emerging in the rock berm with the sweeping scope of the strata becoming more visible. It's wild to think this will be done in just about one year.
The butte that the track circles
STAR TOURS: The Adventure Continues
We are getting close to Star Tours time everyone! The blue color scheme continues to spread and we get a quick look at the entrance to the building. We hear that castmembers are already being trained on the attraction.
A closer look reveals more blue walls at the entrance
Paint like the wind!
The Star Trader came out from behind construction screens to reveal a very sleek, blue gray color scheme. We are also happy to report that the neon Mickey sign is still there!
Splash is planned to re-open in just a little over a month. With the loading area rebuilt to better accommodate the existing log configuration and fresh new conveyor belts installed on the lift hills. It seems like an eternity until May 26th.
Get to the park and check out this new exhibit before it flutters away. For further info visit the park website here.
We get a real treat today with photos of San Diego Safari park's grand opening of the annual Butterfly exhibit. We also take time to look around the rest of the park and see how things are coming along for this “zoo with the new identity”.
The Safari Park is all a flutter with Butterfly Jungle “Metamorphosis,” from April 9 to May 8. Thousands of butterflies float around you in a tropical greenhouse exhibit and Hidden Jungle. There are also contests, activities and special experiences throughout the Nairobi Village area of the park. It's better to get there in the first half of the run (as fewer and fewer butterflies remain by the end of the festival). This year, they are requiring guests to get a timed ticket to enter the exhibit and this is a welcome improvement.
Inside the exhibit.
There are tons of the beautiful little (some not so little) winged creatures.
The temporary exhibit basically takes over the Hidden Jungle area. Thousands of butterflies are brought in while in their chrysalis stage (they are replenished on an almost daily basis) and emerge in the exhibit. When your entrance time arrives, you get in line and wait a few minutes as they let you in groups and then need to wait for other guests to exit the exhibit. Once inside, you'll start to see all sorts of butterflies flitting about. It's recommended to wear colorful colors to attract them. Some are very colorful while others are designed to blend in with their surroundings. Some are about 2 inches wide, others have a wing-span of 6 inches (maybe more).
The best way to have them land on you is to stand very still. Kids have a blast and adults who have a child-like spirit also seem to enjoy themselves. Personally, the feeling of community that happens within those glass walls is really fun. Everyone is watching each other and when one lands, everyone around stops to gaze until it flutters away.
Bright colors like red, orange and yellow attract the beautiful creatures.
Sights like this are a normal occurrence.
The only advice to give is: take your time. Be patient and careful...they butterflies land everywhere including the ground. Overall, it's a great exhibit. Peaceful, quiet and interactive.
Windseeker gets a billboard and the Country Fair returns to Knott's this weekend. We take a look at the preparations being made for this fun event.
COUNTY FAIR: April 16th-Sunday April 24th
Remember the Knott's Country Fair? Well it's back!
Starting April 16th and running through Easter Sunday, April 24, Knott’s Country Fair will include competitive games, unique exhibits, pig races and contests that the whole family will enjoy.
Ghost Town is in the Country Fair spirit.
Similar to the Crafts village during the holidays, the Country Fair will feature fun shopping.
Catawampus is hungry for some flowers.
Miniature trains will be housed in the wilderness dance hall.
Windseeker is the subject of a big new billboard at the front of the park. While the ride has yet to go vertical, Knott's still plans on a mid-June opening date. The foundation has been poured and the base is nearly ready.
The steel reinforcement in the center is where the main post of the ride will be installed.
Karl Strauss received a face lift. Its entrance and water tower were redone. Work is still ongoing.
FAST AND FURIOUS:
Cars from the new Fast Five movie has appeared at the Fast and the Furious photo op. Joining Dom's (Vin Diesel) 1970 Charger is...
Mia's (Jordana Brewster) 1966 FordGT40...
as well as her 2003 Acura NSX...
and Brian's (Paul Walker) 2009 Nissan 370Z...
The new "Production Central" retail store (replacing Comic Heroes) is just about to open. The comic themed merch is gone. Walls are down so you can see the new merchandise through the glass. The building has been repainted to resemble a sound stage.
Walls are starting to go up and the big crane is gone. Pretty soon all we'll see is nothing.
The ST marquee has received some new signage promoting King Kong 360:3D. We are coming up on the one year anniversary of this attraction.
Time for another update at Six Flags Magic Mountain. While there is not much going on with either of the new coasters since our last update, there are plenty of new things to see around the park.
The park has some new walk-around tree things
(similar to the ones seen at Animal Kingdom and DCA over the years)
The New Apocalypse sign is looking great, however the ride is still operating only one train.
Before (shot taken in January, 2011)
Inside the pre-show, the ride is now advertising the Smurfs movie. Couldn't this have worked better on another ride or are the Smurfs part of the Apocalypse?
ROAD RUNNER EXPRESS:
While there wasn't much in the way of progress at the Green Lantern site, over at Road Runner Express, all of the footers are now in place.
Something tells me the big box in the middle will be the center of the helix and possibly have a Road Runner on it?
Colossus is also back open from it's rehab, and we are VERY happy to report that the re-tracking done on the 1st and 2nd drops are amazing. Some other parts of the ride are still in need of re-tracking, but this is a great start!!!
Tidal wave has reopened from refurbishment. The boats look like they have received a complete makeover and water cannons have been added (It looks like some of them point towards the bridge as well)
Deja Vu is back open from its lengthy rehab and is running great!!! Considering Six Flags originally had three of these rides, and now only has one, you have to respect the time (and $$) Magic Mountain puts into maintaining this older attraction.
This and That:
Unfortunately, with the good comes some bad. The tree in Bugs Bunny World is in DESPERATE need of some work. This is just “bad show” all the way around. Even though something like "come see our new painted tree" won't bring in any guests, it's something that needs to be done so existing guests don't go home and tell their family and friends that the park looks poorly maintained.
Despite a few minor details, the park really is looking pretty good. The park is now open daily until Labor Day which makes for some very lightly attended weekdays in May and June (before school is out). Make sure you go check out the new Superman: Escape from Krypton as well as Green Lantern and Road Runner Express opening in May.
Easter's coming and with it we will run an ongoing list of things to do on bunny day!
FYI, as of the writing, The Glory of Easter WILL NOT be performed at the Crystal Cathedral this year.
Bunny's Spring Fling at the LA Zoo & Botanical Gardens
Easter Weekend, Fri-Sun 10 am - 4 pm
The LA Zoo, 5333 Zoo Drive, Los Angeles, CA, in Griffith Park, off the I-5 and 134 Freeways
Kids can make bunny ears, pet bunnies and have their photo taken (for a fee) with Big Bunny and other cartoon characters at this three-day event at the LA Zoo. There will be crafts, face painting, music and more.
Easter Festival at the Orange County Marketplace
Saturday before Easter, 10 am-2:30 pm
Orange County Market Place, 88 Fair Dr., Costa Mesa, CA
A treasure hunt, a puppet show, free face painting and free photos at this annual event. www.ocmarketplace.com, (949) 723-6616
Beatrix Potter In The Garden: An Easter Celebration at The LA County Arboretum & Botanic Garden
LA County Arboretum, 310 N. Baldwin Ave., Arcadia, CA 91007
Saturday of the weekend before Easter, 10 am - 2 pm, Arboretum hours 9 am - 5 pm
Beatrix Potter themed activities for children of all ages include crafts, games, stories and photo opportunities. Easter baskets are provided for every paid child; no outside baskets will be allowed. www.arboretum.org, (626) 821-5897
Easter Sunrise Service at the Hollywood Bowl • FREE
Easter Sunday, 5:30 to 7 am, gates open at 3:30 am
The Hollywood Bowl, 2301 N. Highland Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90068
Non-denominational Easter service with multi-denominational clergy and a 240 voice choir, 250 children in the Living Cross and Children's Choirs in nature's cathedral, decorated with thousands of Easter Lilies and ending with the mass release of the White Birds of Peace.
Earth Day is almost here so head out to National Park Week for free April 16-24, 2011!
The fine print: *Fee waiver includes: entrance fees, commercial tour fees and transportation entrance fees. Other fees such as reservation, camping, tours, concession and fees collected by third parties are not included unless stated otherwise.Some parks in California that you can get into for free:ARE YOU READY TO ROLL!!!
Cabrillo National Monument
Death Valley National Park
John Muir National Historic Site
Joshua Tree National Park
Lassen Volcanic National Park
Lava Beds National Monument
Muir Woods National Monument
Pinnacles National Monument
San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park
Sequoia National Park
Whiskeytown Unit National Recreation Area
Yosemite National Park
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, 2011More Information: A full event description and newsletter/info sign up form is available CLICK HERE: MiceChat Gumball Rally Info Page
Where: Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, California
or here for the MiceChat discussion: Gumball Rally 2011 Discussion
Registration is now open. But HURRY, we have just 24 tickets left! We are almost sold out for our 5th Gumball Rally!
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: Donald Fan, F!an, Captphoebus, Pratt55, Ericbramey, Sir Clinksalot, Fishbulb, and Dustysage.
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