Disneyland Leaps, New Cars Land Exhibit, Knott's Updates, Sea World's Manta Rises
by, 03-02-2012 at 12:24 AM
Leapin' Lizards, Disneyland was CRAZY during the "One More Disney Day" Leap Year promotion. We were there to report on the fun and the dark side to this promotion. Blue Sky Cellar has been updated with a new Cars Land exhibit and Buena Vista Street is inching along. We also bounce over to Knott's Berry Farm for a gander at even more changes taking place and a lesson in Physics. We round things out at San Diego's SeaWorld where the new Manta family coaster is under construction!
Happy By Day - Horror By Night - One More Disney Day
The "One More Disney Day", Leap Year promotion was a smash success for Disneyland in terms of attendance. The park was busy in the early morning hours, but manageable, with many folks lining up a day early to be the first in the park (and for a shot at the Leap Day mouse ears and merchandise).
The park was open from 6am Feb 29th to 6am on March 1st and the park hit capacity in the evening hours of the event (blocking any new entries and any re-entries into the park). Meanwhile, the lines outside the park continued to grow as folks waited for hours to get into Disneyland. What was an easy and enjoyable day became an increasingly oppressive and difficult night for many guests.
While the MiceChat crew kept themselves entertained and happy for the full 24 hours with many planed meets and events, many of our readers are reporting less happy experiences in the overnight hours when there were few places to rest, a lack of quick food service, and difficulty with too many unruly guests. A thread on MiceChat's forums is filled with stories of a park too crowded to enjoy in the late night hours: I Don't Know How To Feel About One More Disney Day
As the party let up the next morning, Anaheim streets suffered total gridlock and it took well over an hour for many guests to exit the area.
Despite the craziness later on in the night, MiceChat's Monorail Man hosted a full 24 hours of zany fun at the park and managed to update the MiceChat Twitter all night long to keep everyone informed on what was going on during One More Disney Day (even though all of the carrier phone networks were jammed and often unavailable).
As the night wore on, things got even more crazy and packed.
By 5 am 2,000 people were waiting to get into the esplanade to wait to get into Disneyland at 6am
Banners flanked the entry to the park.
There was a photo-op in Town Square
Hats were given out to the first guests into the park.
The Special, Leap year MiceChat Noon meet was held at the hub
Sarah the MiceChatter from the MiceTube and Monorail Man chat
Ashee celebrated his 40th. Or was it his 10th.
With him, there is no difference - and having a birthday once every 4 years is a blessing and a curse.
6 hours into the event at the noon meet, everyone is awake and happy.
The food items got pretty positive reviews overall.
The 10pm Soundsational was awesome.
The wait for Coffee at the Market House maxed out at 45 minutes with Managers walking through the line to offer the popular free refills on coffee in an attempt to shorten the wait.
The line for the Jolly Holiday Bakery reached down to Coke Corner and was estimated by a cast member to be around 120 minutes.
Happy MiceChatters at the Midnight hub meet
-Small World's line was only about 10 min when the MiceChatters rode.
The MiceChat crew in the Golden Horseshoe
-Billy Hill at 3:00 AM?! Too much fun!
-Lots of people still at 4:00! 2 hours to go! Yawn.
Space Mountain now 140 min wait. Star Tours 70 min wait. Restaurants are crowded.
Dozens of people are asleep in the Main Street Cinema.
4:45am Wait times: Indiana Jones - 110 minutes, Mansion - 50 minutes, Pooh - 5 minutes
-Still busy in Fantasyland! Peter Pan - 40 min, Toad - 30 min, Tea Party - No Wait
-Mac n Cheese Bacon Dog as we Celebrate Today! Great special item!
-Well that's it! #Disney24 is over, and we spent 24 hrs inside Disneyland!
Dawn breaking on the Castle
Sunrise in Tomorrowland
The partygoers finally heading out.
Disneyland played the Mickey Mouse Club goodbye, had tons of execs out on the street to say goodbye, and characters!
AL LUTZ also wrote a special update today about One More Disney Day - Disneyland broke attendance records and was severely understaffed.
What was your experience with One More Disney Day? What went well and what do you wish Disney had done differently?
Truthfully, Disneyland is glorious in the Spring. We just can't help sharing some pics!
The Horticulture department deserves nothing but praise here. Every season shines, but Spring is off the charts in our book (surpassed only by the holidays). Thank you to all the unsung cast members who make the park bloom. We notice your efforts and continue to be stunned every time we enter the park!
MODERN FAMILY FILMING:
The popular ABC show Modern Family was in the park filming throughout the Leap Year event as well.
They have now installed a canvas with an image of the Carnation building, to hide construction. This is a nice touch borrowed from the Magic Kingdom in Florida, where this sort of printed tarp is now the standard during construction.
Coke Corner is the first to return among the buildings in Main Street's north-western quadrant.
Everything looks freshly painted.
The piano is back where it belongs as well.
The Matterhorn's new paint job is becoming more apparent as the scaffolds recede from the top of the mountain. It reflects the original, more natural look from when the ride first opened.
Blue Sky cellar is now featuring schematics of the new bobsleds
Looks like there will be different colored sleds
SPRING IN DCA:
We would be remiss if we did not share some of DCA's Spring beauty as well.
Wisteria near the Grand Cal
BUENA VISTA STREET:
Many of the buildings at the front of the park have begun their surface treatments and the fountain in the circle is being run on a regular basis. DCA will finally have a Disney worthy first act when this street finally opens.
BLUE SKY CELLAR:
The Blue Sky Cellar opened on February 29th as well and it features an all new Cars exhibit and video in the screening room along with a few hidden surprises. We will give you an overview of this exhibit, but will leave it to Andy Castro's Dateline Disneyland to detail everything for you on Monday.
The new costumes
There is a mid-sized model in the middle of the room.
Here's the track layout. Does it look like the interior dark ride segment is very short? Hard to tell.
A new video on the big screen.
GRIZZLY RIVER RAPIDS:
Grizzly continues it's refurbishment and should be finished by March 10th.
Rushin' River is getting an external work over too.
Cars Land will be open in just a few months. It is already March and by June 15th visitors should be able to wander up the main strip to the Radiator Springs Racers attraction!
Radiator Springs Racers
The third entrance into Cars Land from Bug's Land.
Large Popsicle Sticks act as a fence.
Up front, a marquee is being constructed for the main entrance into the land.
The parade route resurfacing is finally finished and we can't figure out why it was done to begin with. It left a big portion of beautiful sand-colored pavement that has no resemblance to the surrounding surface. To the best of our memory, there wasn't a significant amount of wear on this segment of the route. The unfortunate result of this refurbishment is a more patchwork look to the area.
RESURFACING OF PARADE ROUTE:
New light colored pavement
New next to the old dark pavement
Disney California Adventure's Project Sparkle is in effect at the Max Factor building near Animation. The facade is being touched up and lovingly plussed. By the time Cars Land opens, many of the buildings in the park will be repainted and enhanced to make the entire park look brand new (at least that's the goal).
Still no real noticeable progress over at Ghirardelli. But the chocolate will be flowing soon enough.
The Pacific Wharf Bridge is being repainted and access is closed off from this side, making Pacific Wharf accessible only from the side next to the bread factory.
CURBING IN BOARDWALK:
The bay around Pacific Wharf was drained with Grizzly Rapids
Even more upgrades and changes came to Knott's Berry Farm this week, in the form of re-curbing the further end of the Boardwalk area near the Wheeler Dealer bumper cars.
Thursday. Knott's works fast!
If you haven't tried the new fresh squeezed lemonade at Knott's DO IT! It's two tart juicy lemons, a little sugar, water and ice. Simple, natural, and very refreshing. So nice to see a theme park making something fresh like this!
For a theme park price, $4.25 isn't too bad
And the "Acssorted Candy" is only $2.00. But the "Assorted Chips" are $4.00. We aren't sure what "Acssorted" is, but we're sure it's delicious.
The candy shop in Ghost Town has been renovated too. It still looks a little sparse at the moment but clean and tidy.
The Log ride depends on buoyancy for the logs to float. Gravity is crucial for roller coasters. Inertia is imperative if you want to pull any respectable g's on a ride. What better place to study the laws of physics than in an amusement park? The popular Physics Day at Knott's is being held this year on March 1st (which we have photos of below) and March 8th (which teachers can still sign up for). Schools from Junior high to college level are invited to come, enjoy the park and learn to have fun. Or is it, 'have fun to learn'?
The Boardwalk Ballroom is command central for Physics Day where demonstrations are held and presentations given.
Students use tools to calculate movement and angles.
The Haunt folks even got into the game with a demonstration of some of the mechanics behind Halloween Haunt.
LOOK OUT! MONKEY GUN!
If you are an educator and would like to participate in Physics Day there is still time to register for Thursday, March 8th.
HERE IS THE APPLICATION FORM
THIS AND THAT:
There is still a lot going on that doesn't exactly fit into a particular category so, here we go...
MYSTERY LODGE LAGOON:
The parking planters in the market place have been
laid and are awaiting landscaping.
WoodStock's Air Mail is currently missing.
Trim lights have been strung along the buildings
in Fiesta Village. Nice touch
Across from the Log Ride the Food offerings are now being displayed.
Who needs Panda Express NOW?
The lagoon near Mystery lodge continues refurbishment. This affords a rare chance to glimpse the Bigfoot hidden in the waterfall.
Can you find him?
And we come to Ghost town. Things look mostly great. The little touches continue to be added and it simply tickles us to see so much renovation of Knott's heart and soul.
On the Gold Trails hotel balcony the rocking chair is working again.
The soft creaking is still audible (if you can hear it over the Ace of Base playing in the background)
The good news is that they removed the yard sale looking vendor from the side of this food location.
The bad news is that it looks like they bought the
new seating from a yard sale or an Ikea. These just don't belong in Ghost Town.
We would LOVE to see some attention given to the Calico Saloon.
Let's hope that the building gets a nice refurb as it is a real gem.
the catawompus is rocking' his little corner of Ghost Town still
If you are near the Bird Cage Theater, go look at the fun Pepper's ghost effect in the Boot Hill Undertaker window next door.
Ghost Town Playlist:
And now we present the Ghost Town Playlist for this week. The Play list contains the songs we heard while roaming Ghost town for this week's update. Do you think that this music belongs in an old, western setting?
- Step it up - Stereo MCs
- Seven Days in Sunny June - Jamiroqui
- Wild Life - Talking Heads
- Signed Sealed Delivered - Stevie Wonder
- Next Year - Foo Fighters
- Where are we Runnin' - Lenny Kravitz
- Got to be Startin' Somethin' - Michael Jackson
Now, we really don't expect A Fistfull of Dollars or Magnificent Seven either as they don't offer the more upbeat and peppy vibe that management is going for at the moment. Upbeat and peppy is fine and the reasoning behind it is understandable. But may we suggest a few happy country western songs for this western area? Here are a few that come to mind ...
- I Walk the Line - Johnny Cash
- Happy Trails - Roy and Dale Evens
- Hey Good Lookin - Hank Williams
- Elvira - Oak Ridge Boys
- Walkin' After Midnight - Patsy Cline
- King of the Road - Roger Miller
- Coal Miner's Daughter - Loretta Lynn
- Tumbling Tumbleweeds - Sons of the Pioneers
What songs would you suggest for Ghost Town? Remember they have to be happy or at least peppy to match the goal set by Knott's management.
Welcome back to a rather chilly SeaWorld San Diego! The off season is starting to wrap up as crowds pick back up and refurbishments are coming to a close.
ROCKY POINT PRESERVE:
On the day we visited, only two rows of the parking lot were filled, and they’re next to the entrance. It’s another reason to visit the park before it gets busy.
The SkyTower has reopened after a refurbishment. It’s gotten a shiny new coat of paint.
The lagoon is being refilled.
This isn’t a very good shot, but we can say that it doesn’t look like it’s a stage for Viva La Musica. What do you think this new metal stage on the bay could be for?
The main entry to Blue Horizons is getting a paint job. Normally, there’s a blank wall there, but maybe will see a new sign here.
The Shamu Story has ended its seasonal run. One Ocean will show once per day – for now – and if you’re in the park, look out for Shamu Rocks rehearsals during their down time.
Here is a look at the Rocky Point refurbishment. It seems like they have redone the flooring of the pool. A source has mentioned something about the refurbishment, saying that they were working on the walls so that all ages can reach over and play with the dolphins.
It also seems like they have added gates between the dolphin interaction area and the feeding area.
Construction on Manta is rolling along rather quickly now. But they'll really need to pick it up to get everything done and fully themed in time for summer.
The bamboo fencing doesn’t seem like it will go around the entire attraction, but only the back end. Also, if you look at the right side of the image (next to the bamboo trees) you can see the abandoned Flamingo area. They will return when the attraction opens (along with their stink).
A look at the beginning of the ride. It looks like it’s going to be amazing! Who’s excited?
Work on the outside of the show building is almost complete.
Work has begun on the rock construction/entry sign for the attraction.
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We'd like to extend a huge thanks to today's contributors: JP, F!AN, Sir Clinksalot, CaptPhoebus, Monorail Man, Fishbulb and Dustysage. (If you've got breaking news or photos to share, we'd love to hear from you too! Contact Dusty today
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