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Disneyland Clogged With Pirates, Knotts Slow Progress, SeaWorld Stroll, Mother's Day

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by , 05-05-2011 at 11:34 PM

Happy Mother's Day from MiceChat and In The Parks! This weekend brings a unique mix of fun from the parks in Southern California. Disneyland will be a mad house this Saturday, as Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, has its world premiere on the Rivers of America. While Disneyland's hours will be trimmed, DCA's will expand to soak up the crowds. We also take a look at what's coming to Knott's this summer and have a wonderful swim through Sea World San Diego.

In case you have forgotten, Sunday is Mother's Day. If you haven't made any plans, we have a great list of things that don't require a ton of planning or long reservations. If you aren't near your mom, at least call her and let her know you love her.

Flower Fields Carlsbad.
Mothers Day is the last day of the season for the flower fields in Northern San Diego County. There will be live traditional music from the Andes while you take mom for a walk through the colorful fields.

Keys Creek Lavender Farm
Mother's Day Brunch. With “made to order” omelet bar, bacon, sausage, potatoes o'brien, “build your own” parfait bar, granola, fresh fruit salad, bagels, orange and apple juices. Reservations required

Irvine Regional Park
Take mom and the family for a picnic in the park. You can ride the paddle boats, visit the zoo and take a trip around the park on the Irvine Park Railway. A great place to take mother on her special day.

Cornell Winery
Enjoy lunch at the Old Place Diner, taste wine from local vineyards and explore the sites along the "The Three Magical Miles" of Mulholland Highway. Reservations may be required. Seating is limited.

Birch Aquarium La Jolla
This is a fun place to visit for the whole family. The admission price is small for those on a budget, plus parking is free. Enjoy some excellent exhibits and one of the best views along the coast.

Temecula Wine Country
Over 30 wineries and tasting rooms. The Old Town district offers antique dealers, shops, and restaurants. Many of the wineries are having Mother's Day events. Nice trip for Saturday or Sunday.

Mother's Day Brunch Cruises
Celebrate with a Mother’s Day brunch. Enjoy fresh sea air and year-round sunshine aboard your two-hour cruise. Dive into a lavish brunch buffet with free-flowing champagne.

Mission San Juan Capistrano
The mission is a great Mother's Day Destination. There are plenty of nearby restaurants, admission is low cost and the gardens are in full bloom. The Amtrak station is only a few blocks away.

Mother's Day Brunch at Descanso Gardens
The Reservations required by May 3. Even if you don't get reservation for brunch, Descanso Gardens is a great place to spend with mom for the day.

Balboa Park San Diego
park has so many things to offer. You are sure to please mother. A remarkable collection of interesting attractions, 15 museums and the San Diego Zoo.

Calico Ghost Town's Bluegrass Festival in the Spring

Mother's Day weekend things to do. Enjoy music, food, games and Art of the West show. Sunday: Mother's Day Champagne Brunch at the Calico House Restaurant 8:00 AM…5/8

Medieval Times Mothers Free on Mother’s Day weekend
Free admission for mom with the purchase of one adult admission. Treat your mother like a queen. Mothers day package with gifts available.

We also recommend Knott's Berry Farm for Mother's day, though we'd advise that Mrs. Knott's Chicken Dinner Restaurant is likely to be packed to the gills. Arrive for a very early lunch or eat elsewhere in the area and then make your way into the park for some shopping in Ghost Town and a stroll down memory lane.

Prepare for a plethora of plundering pirates this weekend as Disneyland hosts a the movie premiere of Johnny Depp's newest swashbuckler. Park hours will be switched up, parts of the park will close early and traffic on the west side will get hairy at times. If you plan to go to Disneyland, bring patience, water, and a good attitude. Meanwhile, on the other side of the park, Star Tours is just a few weeks away from opening. Let's look around.

As stated at the outset, park hours this coming Saturday will be very unique. Disneyland will be opening at 7am and closing at 5pm, with areas near pirates and Haunted Mansion closing even sooner than that. Signs warn visitors of this upcoming hours change, but they don't give you a heads up on the crowd flow and masses of people set to line Main Street all day Saturday in the hopes of catching a glimpse of their favorite stars.

Placing this sign next to the mailbox almost screams "Post your complaint letters here."

Light towers have been installed.

The dock

The seating area is fully built now and ready for the gala event.

The massive movie screen.

The island has been decked out with rocks in the river and the look of a decaying fort. All of this detail for ONE night. Amazing.

Even the stairways have theme.

Crowd Flow & Tips:
Most of us will not be part of Saturday night’s event and are just regular park goers trying to get from ride to ride. If you decide to head over to the park ANYTIME this weekend, you would benefit from knowing what to expect.

The large walkway all along the Rivers of America is closed off, and occupied by the seating for the movie premiere.

All traffic from Frontierland into New Orleans Square is being funneled
through this small, 7ft-wide passage.

The small area in front of Pirates. The ride IS still open, so don't worry.

All traffic over to Mansion, Blue Bayou, Cafe Orleans, Hungry Bear, Winnie the Pooh and the rest on the west side of the park has to be worked through this small area.

When in Adventureland STAY TO YOUR RIGHT. SERIOUSLY.

In fact, they have done something rather clever here. Royal Street Veranda (which the Pirates of the Caribbean queue passes) is closed to allow the area to become stroller parking for the ride. Smart!

Parents with strollers stay to the right of the queue and make their way to the entrance. Just before entering the building, a happy cast member takes the stroller and parks it in this small area.

When the families are done, they make a right out of the exit and pick up the stroller.

This is actually a GREAT idea and really seems to keep the rotation of strollers going. It's too bad that Royal Street Veranda is such a profitable food location for Disney. This would be the perfect solution to strollers and Pirates during regular park operation.

What's that we see . . .

Wait for it . . .


Yes, Splash is now refilled with water and testing.

We can only hope for an early return of this attraction. Looking good.

STAR TOURS: The Adventures Continue

Something new (or should we say old?) is racing through the universe.

The Star Tours mural has been updated to show the new ride vehicle colors. These are the Starspeeder 1000s which actually predate the previous version of the vehicle (in Star Wars lore) the Starspeeder 3000.

Star Tours: The Adventures Continue is a prequel to the previous ride. So it really isn't a "Continue" as much as it is a "Return". But we digress.

Coming soon! Cast member previews are about to start, followed by some special events and possible soft openings. Keep your eyes and ears open and report back to MiceChat as soon as you see those doors open. OK!?!?!


The Innoventions sign has returned and looks beautiful. Sadly, it adorns the worst attraction in the park. We are sorry to see that they wasted money on this attraction, when they should be saving every penny to replace it. But that's just us being picky customers.

This year Bats Day in the fun park falls on Sunday May 8th. Bats day is an event for all those who are fans of spooky and scary to come out and enjoy the park. An estimated 5,000+ people are scheduled to attend the coming year's 13th annual Bats Day in the Fun Park™ weekend. People in the Dark Subculture from ages 6 to 60 will attend the 2011 Bats Day in the Fun Park™ weekend. Expect to see some amazing outfits and truly friendly goth folks.
Don't be afraid, they don't bite. This is not an official Disney event.

12:30pm - in front of Sleeping Beauty's Castle (For everyone)

2:00pm - Carnation Plaza Gardens - For all Mother's and their kids

3:30pm - The Baby Bats Photo, for kids only (under the age of 13). At the Sword in the Stone next to the Carrousel in Fantasyland.

8:00pm @ The Haunted Mansion in New Orleans Square
For more info visit the Bats Day website

Disney California Adventure continues to go even further behind walls, even as parts of the park progress toward completion.


The Pan-Pacific style entrance into DCA is being surfaced.

The Carthay Circle Theater

The former guest relations booth has been
walled in for the further progress on Buena Vista Street. The poor plaids have been relegated to this kiosk nearby.

From the old guest relations booth, all the way down toward Condor Flats, the rest of the awning covered seating area is now behind walls.

No more outdoor seating for a little while.

Get used to this view for a while.

Let's take a look at the progress along Route 66 in Radiator Springs.

The "natural" arch entrance near Pacific Wharf, the backside of Flo's.

Mater's Junkyard Jamboree.

From a distance, doesn't it all look real?

It is quite the complex construction project and quite fun to follow on a weekly basis.

As things roll towards completion in Paradise Pier, we see notable progress over at Seaside Souvenirs and a few more details on the outdoor seating areas and Boardwalk Pizza and Pasta. Sadly, the restaurants and Goofy's Sky School have been pushed way back and will now officially open on July 1st. Better late than never.

New, aqua wave pattern along the side of the Seaside Souvenirs building.

They have upped the amount of trees. We could not be more pleased.

Full shade for outdoor dining.
. . in DCA! Can you believe it?

The arch entry into the dining area.

The new refreshment stand by the Silly Symphony Swings.

Boardwalk Pizza and Pasta.

Corndog Castle marquee is in the process of a change.

A quick update from the outside of the mermaid building.

Some have complained that the trees lining the queue will block the view of the beautiful facade. We think it adds character and complexity. If you just want to view the building, you'll be able to see it just fine if you step back a bit. We'll all be glad for the shade when we are waiting in a 3 hour line when this attraction opens early next month.

The sky school is coming along slowly and has been officially pushed back to a July 1st opening. The artwork for the outside walls should be applied soon and vehicles have already begun testing.

Here is a brief update from Knott's Berry Farm. The crowds have gone, and the park is once again navigable. It has been a busy year for Knott's and the park seems to be gaining back much of the crowd that it had lost in the last decade.

Knott’s will be sizzling with the sounds of some of today’s most popular Latin artists on Saturday, May 14th and 15th.

Starting off the weekend will be a performance hosted by Univision Radio and featuring singer, actress and songwriter Dulce Maria whose album “Ya No” was released in February.

Sunday’s line-up, hosted by KIIS FM, will feature Latin recording artist Baby Bash who will be performing hits from his 2011 release “Bashtown.” Additional performers include the unique Latin-infused Urban/Pop sound of LaLa, and rap artist Sabi, who was featured on Britney Spears’ album “Femme Fatale.” All performances are included with Knott’s Berry Farm Park admission.

You can get cheaper tickets online at Knott's has an all day regular Knotts admission for $33.99 or a junior or senior admission (ages 3-11 and 62+) for $22.99. Not bad.


Snoopy's Starlight Spectacular will be returning this year. If you didn't get a chance to see this delightful experience last year, don't miss it this summer. It's a simple and uplifting place to stroll with the family on a summer evening.

The little aliens, our favorite. You'll have to wait and see it for yourself to figure out the surprise.

The lasers and lights are being installed now.


Flower Power!

We caught a look at the crew preparing the next big show for the Charles Schultz Theatre. Can't wait!

The Pony Express is currently down for routine maintenance.

Little progress has been made at Windseeker. They are REALLY cutting things close here as they still plan on a late June opening.

It's Kids Free Days; May 7 and May 21, 2011

From 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. Children will be shown how to pan gold like real prospectors, as well as enjoy various gold inspired arts, crafts and activities throughout the day. The Gold Rush exhibit tells the story of the California gold rush through the people that experienced it. Gold Rush is part of the MUZEO’s GOLD! Exhibit which features exquisitely crafted Pre-Columbian gold objects from the ancient cemetery site of Sitio Conte in what is now Central Panama. Nose ornaments, ear rods, necklaces, polychrome ceramics and objects made of precious stones, ivory and bone create a visually stunning exhibit. The exhibit which is appraised at over $4.8 Million dollars is open from 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. daily.
*Up to Four Kids per Adult. Muzeo 241 South Anaheim Boulevard Anaheim, CA 92805
*Kids receive free entrance all day at MUZEO in Anaheim Saturday May 7th & 21st as part of the county-wide Imagination Celebration!

Continuing this weekend is SeaWorld's Latin Music Festival: Viva La Musica. Concerts are held in Cirque Stadium at 4 and 6:30 pm. The concerts are free with park admission. You pick up your concert wristband at the former Plaza Del Sol tent.

The fence that surrounded the Clydesdale lawn was recently removed opening up the space. This area is now a part of the event's festival and merchandise tents and Culinary booths surround the area.

Dine with Shamu has returned! All of the rock-work surrounding the pool and inside the pool itself has been removed and acrylic walls now line the pool.


Here's a sneak peek inside the construction area!

Here's the current state of the bat ray pool. The bat rays are currently at Journey to Atlantis. The Commerson's dolphins are off-display for the time being.

Future restrooms and station area. No more pagoda building.

Because of Manta and Turtle Reef's construction, the park has lost 3 eateries: Mango Joe's Beach Cafe, Coconut Bay Cafe and Rocky Point Cafe Healthy Alternatives (although that facility will return). To make up for this loss, the park has opened quick service restaurants. The Boathouse offers sausage sandwiches, hot dogs, nachos and sundaes. Quite the diverse menu!

Next to the Nautilus Pavilion special events tent is the Sandwich Shack.

We'll have more from SeaWorld soon!

Saturday Movie on the Lawn - Despicable Me May 7, 2011 8:00 p.m.
Sand Canyon and Marine Way, Irvine, CA 92618
Bring your blankets & lawnchairs for a free, family friendly Saturday night at the Orange County Great Park!

21st Annual Cinco de Mayo Cultural Celebration! May 7, 2011
1100 Calle Puente San Clemente, CA
The 21st Annual Cinco de Mayo Celebration will showcase live entertainment featuring Mariachis, Aztec Dancers, Ballet Folkloric and live bands along with a colorful student art contest and exhibit, children’s activities, authentic food and drinks.

Rocket Launch May 7, 2011 9:00 a.m. to 2:00
Join the challenge to design, build, and launch a rocket made from a 2-liter plastic soda bottle that uses a combination of pressurized air and water for propulsion. Build Rockets! Make Noise! Have Fun! Get Wet! The competition will consist of creating and launching a rocket that will have the greatest time aloft. The person with the longest “hang time” in the air will be invited to attend a real rocket launch at Vandenberg Air Force Base! Boeing Company, 5301 Bolsa Avenue, Huntington Beach, CA 92647

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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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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Updated 05-06-2011 at 09:23 AM by In the Parks



  1. Sue Kruse's Avatar
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    I'm glad to see Snoopy's Starlight Spectacular is coming back this year — it was my absolute favorite thing last summer at Knott's.
  2. filmfreak11's Avatar
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    It's "Star Tours: The Adventures Continue". Not "Star Tours: The Adventure Continues".

    BTW, the new poster for the attraction is hanging in the Main Street train tunnels as guests enter/exit Disneyland park. It's also online on Disney Parks Blog.
  3. Petchaurus's Avatar
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    Is it sad to say that I don't ever remember what Seaside Souveniers sold when it was the other place??? I mean, I can't even recall its original name right now.

    Everything is looking tip top shape.
  4. Emmanuel_4's Avatar
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    Great Update!
  5. FerretAfros's Avatar
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    I'm glad that they put the effort in to maintain the Innoventions sign. No, it's not the best attraction in the park, but it's there and they need to take care of it. Otherwise, we'd end up with bits of the park sticking out, like the stores on Paradise Pier which will apparently never be rethemed. If they plan on keeping it around, they're doing the right thing by taking care of it, whether or not it's popular or successful.
  6. Fantasmic_Freak's Avatar
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    I think the lights on the towers is for grad nites. I also worked at knotts installing snoopy's starlight spect., not much is going to change, just a remount, better things on the hardware end of things. Thats all!
    Updated 05-06-2011 at 06:57 AM by Fantasmic_Freak
  7. DOMINGUESS's Avatar
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    Just reading Al's comment today regarding Star Tours made my heart race! I CANNOT wait!
    Star Tours: The AdventureS Continue is a prequel to the previous ride. So it really isn't a "Continue" as much as it is a "Return". But we digress., I catch myself over analyzing these details too, LOVE that I'm not alone [SNORT!]

    Some have complained that the trees lining the queue will block the view of the beautiful facade. We think it adds character and complexity. If you just want to view the building, you'll be able to see it just fine if you step back a bit. We'll all be glad for the shade when we are waiting in a 3 hour line when this attraction opens early next month.
    TOTALLY AGREE!!!! When I would read about some complaints on this, I thought the same thing. I have kids & I KNOW that the long lines would be bad, but imagine them in the bloody hot sun?? Very grateful that they are looking out for their visitors and considerate of our needs!

    Great pics guys! i LOVE LOVE LOVE them, super appreciate you capturing the details that I often fail to appreciate because I'm busy giving my kids all my attention Also, I havnt been to Knotts & Sea World in a while, so I love the updates, makes me feel like I'm there and allows me to mentally escape my bland cubicle for a brief but happy moment.

  8. Slscjk's Avatar
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    Thank you for the update and as a FYI the Flower Fields in Carlsbad have extended the season untill 5/15
  9. Barbossa's Avatar
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    Great update!
  10. Dustysage's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by filmfreak11
    It's "Star Tours: The Adventures Continue". Not "Star Tours: The Adventure Continues".
    LOL. It is just such a big long name that it is hard for me to remember when I'm typing out the captions. But I fixed it and put a big ol' "S" on it just for you.
    Updated 05-06-2011 at 09:20 AM by Dustysage
  11. Wreckless Abrandon's Avatar
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    I had no idea so much was going on at Sea World! I seriously only heard about the Sea Turtle exhibit. Awesome!
  12. filmfreak11's Avatar
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    I used to be confused as well. I just keep reminding myself Star Tours will have 54 combinations... hence 54 different adventures... hence The Adventures Continue...

  13. sir clinksalot's Avatar
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    Sorry we didn't have a Magic Mountain update ... but to hold you over until next Friday the park just posted a new Green Lantern construction picture on Facebook.

    Six Flags Magic Mountain's Photos - 2011 Construction Photos - GREEN LANTERN: First Flight | Facebook

  14. Timekeeper's Avatar
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    Nice update!

  15. DisWedWay's Avatar
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    On Splash Mountain Disneyland, I hope B'r Bear clears the ivy off the chimney pipe before making another batch of molasses in the big iron kettle below. PD
  16. Not My Real Name's Avatar
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    At is an article on the POTC event and the construction of the temporary screen and seating. Did you know that part of the construction crew included 8 scuba divers?
  17. Athlonacon's Avatar
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    I love complaining about Disney (after all, they have a standard to keep to), but I also love the shade trees by the Little Mermaid ride building. Not only does it offer tons of shade in the hot summer sun, it looks *really* nice. Trees always provide nice aesthetics, and I really think these trees fit VERY well with their surroundings.

    It is SO amazing looking at that area now! It's so shaded and lush. And the strange thing is, it looks like it was *always* like that!! It looks so natural and beautiful, everything just blends together to create this gorgeous parklike setting. I can't wait to see what Paradise Gardens looks like!
  18. HighLeveller's Avatar
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    That POTC-premiere setup must be a real logistics migraine. But there's something undeniably COOL about the idea of converting one of your favorite areas into a movie theater, concert venue, etc. After seeing Candlelight Processional once or twice in Town Square I've fantasized a bit about how that could be made into a temporary stadium-like venue with grandstands surrounding the area just in front of the buildings, beginning at about the second-story level. In reality this probably wouldn't work but it can be fun to imagine. (And pretend the trees aren't in the way and such.)
    Quote Originally Posted by Not My Real Name
    At is an article on the POTC event and the construction of the temporary screen and seating. Did you know that part of the construction crew included 8 scuba divers?
    In either this week's Dateline Disneyland or last week's In The Parks update (I forget which) you can see one of them.
  19. D.E.1955's Avatar
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    Glad Splash Mountian is almost ready!!!