Anaheim, California (Abbreviation: DL)
Walt Disney Theme Parks
---- THE LATEST BUZZ ----
(3/17/17) Disneyland Confirms Star Wars AT-ATs, Now Inside Attraction Building (MORE...)
(3/14/17) AT-ATs Inbound at Star Wars Land (MORE...)
(3/13/17) New Star Wars Land Artwork Released (MORE...)
(3/3/17) Disneyland Is Saying No More to Parade Squatters (MORE...)
Ride Rehabs - These dates are not guaranteed to be 100% accurate.
Disneyland Railroad - NOW CLOSED through Summer 2017
Fantasmic! - NOW CLOSED through Summer 2017
Mark Twain & Columbia - NOW CLOSED through Summer 2017
Pirate’s Lair on Tom Sawyer’s Island - NOW CLOSED through Summer 2017
Davy Crockett’s Explorer Canoes - NOW CLOSED through Summer 2017
Pirates of the Caribbean - NOW CLOSED through Mar. 15
Matterhorn Bobsleds - NOW CLOSED through ????
Autopia - Mar. 20 through Mar. 22
General Park News - (1/25/17) Season of the Force has returned to Disneyland once again, and like last year, there is no official date posted as to when it all might end. Looks like all the special additions have returned once again including Hyperspace Mountain (the Star Wars themed version of Space Mountain) the Star Wars: The Path of the Jedi film, Jedi Training: Trials of the Temple and of course the ongoing flights from Star Tours. This time around there is actually some speculation that the Season of the Force attractions just might hang around until the park is ready to open the official Star Wars land, which was looking to be in 2019 according to current projections (subject to change).
Elsewhere, a new Disneyland construction update has been posted by our friends at Westcoaster this week, all posted with a crazy bit of tongue-in-cheek humor from a special guest writer with a heaping-helping of awesome new construction photos of Star Wars Land, Rivers of America and much more.
(9/27/16) Screamscape sources have confirmed our previous rumor that the Peter Pan segment of Fantasmic! will be replaced by a new Pirates of the Caribbean segment, complete with some incredible new projection mapping technology to not only alter the look of the Columbia, but hopefully allow the human pirate crew on-board to transform into their moon-lit skeletal versions as well.
In addition, we are now hearing that other segments of the show are likely to be replaced as well, though no one is entirely certain of what will come and what will go just yet. If I had to guess, I’m wondering if they might be ready to remove the Pinocchio / Monstro segment from the show. I think it was mostly intended as filler to keep the stage in the dark while other show segments are being prepared, but as I seem to recall hearing, if the giant Pinocchio figure that comes out of the stage with light-up strings fails to go back down right, it is one of a few things that can e-stop the entire show.
If anyone knows more about what other new things may be on the way, let me know.
(8/29/16) While Fantasmic! may be closed until Summer 2017, there is rumored to be a chance that the show may feature some revamped and new segments when it does return. One such rumor going around claims that the Peter Pan segment could possibly be replaced by a Pirates of the Caribbean segment instead, transforming the Columbia ship into a replica of the Black Pearl instead, complete with a skeletal pirate crew. This could be very cool... so we'll have to wait and see how this plays out.
2017 - Main Street Electrical Parade Returns - (3/3/17) In what may be a more controversial move for some, Disneyland is said to be putting the brakes on an age-old guest practice at the park by stopping guests from parking themselves along the parade route hours in advance of the big night parade. The change is coming just as the park has been ramping up the return of the Main Street Electrical Parade, and from what we've heard the new rule is that no one is allowed to sit and hold a spot for the parade until the entire parade route barriers have all been marked and put into place and all the crowd control / safety CMs are all in place for the show. And when you do go to sit and wait... don't think you are going to just drop off Mom and the baby in a stroller to hold your spot while you go ride Space Mountain one more time... because they are asking that your entire group be together when you arrive.
Personally I love this, as I've always disliked the fact that guests would just begin to stop and grab up viewing spaces all over the place, sometimes 3 to 4 hours in advance, as it really became a nuisance to traffic flow throughout the park whenever you needed to cross any location along the parade route, or even try to grab a bite to eat anywhere near one of the parade routes, only to find it impossible to still find a table to sit and eat at that was free from the squatters.
This move should prove to be even more interesting as the park prepares to restart nightly performances of "Fantasmic!" as we get closer to summer as well, as the entire river's edge has long been a favorite squatter spot. (Update - Disneyland has been using FastPass for Fantastmic viewing locations for the past couple of years, which seems to have solved that particular show's squatter problems.)
(1/4/17) Disneyland has created an incredible ad to promote the return of the Main Street Electrical Parade. Lots of easter eggs and member berries... Check it out below.
(12/7/16) Disneyland has confirmed that the Main Street Electrical Parade will return to the park on January 20, 2017 and run nightly through to June 18th, 2017. The park will also hold an exclusive ticket preview for the parade after ark hours on the night of January 19th. You can find out more information about how to attend at the Disney Parks Blog.
(8/11/16) In an interesting twist, it seems the rumors of a Disney night parade moving from one park to another were right… just not in a way that makes any kind of logical sense. Instead of the Disneyland’s well recieved Paint the Night parade going to Walt Disney World… well… we don’t know quite what the long term plan for it is, other than a rehab for now.
However the announcement from last night kind of throws all logic out the window for me. Disney confirmed that not only was the rumor of the Main Street Electrical Parade leaving Walt Disney World was true, with the last performance on to be held on October 9th, but that the parade will then be sent across the country to the Disneyland Resort for a limited time run in 2017. What happens beyond there is a big grey area… will the ancient parade be retired for good and sent to the scrap heap, or will they exile it to someplace like Shanghai Disneyland?
I do question the logic of bringing it back to the Disneyland Resort for another run, even if a brief one, simply because it just hasn’t been gone long enough to be worth it. The ancient parade was brought back already once, after it supposedly went away forever in 1996 when they even went to far as to sell off the light bulbs to Disney collectors, when it returned as “Disney’s Electrical Parade” for a long run at Disney California Adventure from about 2001 to 2010. So after only being gone for about 6 years, it seems a bit soon to bring it back… AGAIN. The parade seems to be confirmed as running in Disneyland, since it will return with the “Main Street” part of the name intact.
Disney did mention that Paint the Night will return to Disneyland on select nights during the winter holiday season later this year, so it looks like it will be staying in California for now at least. But what will happen to it in 2017 when the Main Street Electrical Parade is running again? I just don’t know…
There is also the big question about just what the Magic Kingdom is going to have to offer in 2017 as a replacement. No one is talking yet… but with Paint the Night sitting in a warehouse somewhere, you just never know.
(8/3/16) Some big changes are coming to the Disneyland Resorts evening entertainment lineups this fall. The Paint The Night parade will come to an end after Sept. 5th, 2016 along with the end of the Disneyland Forever fireworks show on the same night.
2017 - Star Wars Fireworks Show - Rumor - (8/3/16) Screamscape has heard an early rumor going around claims that Disneyland may put on their own Star Wars themed fireworks show starting in Summer 2017, similar to the one that opened this summer at Disney's Hollywood Studios park in Orlando. More on this as we find out.
2017 - Disneyland Railroad Renovation - (7/29/16) Disneyland has announced that the Disneyland Railroad and the rest of the Rivers of America attractions that are currently closed will reopen for Summer 2017. In addition to the railroad the list includes the return of Fantasmic!, the Mark Twain Riverboat, Sailing Ship Columbia, Pirate's Lair on Tom Sawyer Island and the Davy Crockett Explorer Canoes. Now guests along the waterway will also be able to enjoy the new riverbank terrain along the back section of the river, including the elevated railroad trestle that the DLRR will now travel on.
Our friends at DisneyGeek sent in a few photos showing off the construction taking place behind Tom Sawyers Island to may way for the new reconfigured railroad as well as for Star Wars Land going in behind it all. Follow this link to see the entire huge picture update over at DisneyGeek, or this link if you want to see even more pictures from the park's other projects.
(4/5/16) While it is simply too far out to know for sure when the Disneyland Railroad renovation will be finished and reopened, Screamscape sources tell us that the word amongst CMs is that they were shooting for it to be finished and reopened around April 2017. Meanwhile you can find a few shots of the construction taking place over at ThemeParkOverload, who also has pictures of the Autopia renovation as they are said to be changing over to a new sponsorship from Honda.
(2/23/16) DisneyGeek has posted some pictures showing off some early construction prep work starting at Disneyland for the Star Wars area and adjustments to the back end of the Rivers of America.
(2/2/16) It has been pointed out that on the construction walls at Disneyland, they have quietly updated the old Nature's Wonderland attraction posted. You can see the old version here, which mentions "Via The Mine Train Thru Rainbow Caverns" at the top. The new version of the poster has removed the four attraction labels, and now says "Via The Disneyland Railroad" at the top. Looks like a hint as to how they will present the new and improved railway along the back half of the river.
(1/12/16) Disneyland may have shut down the Railroad, Big Thunder Ranch and all the attractions that involve the Rivers of America area to help make room for the new “Star Wars Land” project, but as usually… some of the fans get worked up into a tizzy on the internet thinking that none of it will ever come back. To help put some of those fears to rest, Disneyland released an amazing new piece of concept artwork showing off what the Railroad and backside of the Rivers of America will look like when it reopens.
While they don’t address issue about how much of the river and island may be removed to make the extra room needed, they view of the back half of the river will now be amazing. The railroad will now run along the water itself over a series of rocky ledges and over a beautiful trestle past waterfalls and more. Of course the new rocky ridge background for the railroad will also be the perfect way to hide the train from the rest of Star Wars Land behind it as well, keeping the themed areas separate while being physically very close to each other.
Spring/Summer 2019 - Star Wars Land - Under Construction - (3/17/17) It seems Disney has now confirmed the presence of the AT-AT's inside the new Battle/Escape attraction and have even posted their own video teaser of them under construction which you can see below. Meanwhile a newer picture posted to Twitter this week here shows the AT-AT's now assembled and have been placed INSIDE the attraction building, so it seems these massive walking tanks will be part of the attraction experience itself.
(3/14/17) MouseInfo posted an interesting photo on Twitter from the Disneyland construction site for the new Star Wars land this week, spotting a pair of steel framework structures that sure look like a dead-on match for the main body of an Imperial AT-AT, along with two smaller units nearby that would work perfectly as AT-AT cockpits.
If I had to guess, these would most definitely be props for the outside (and queue?) of the Battle/Escape dark ride experience planned. After all, Walt Disney World's version has already had a nice AT-AT standing guard in front of their Star Tours attraction for years.
(3/13/17) Ready to see a bit more of the new Star Wars land? Our friends at BlooLoop have posted a couple of pieces of new artwork showing off a close up look at two new areas of the land we haven't seen before that will be built in both California and Florida. (NOTE: Unfortunately, I’m being told that the art seen isn’t new, it was previously seen in that Harrison Ford video about the new land last year... sorry... I just got excited I guess, it seemed new to me.)
(2/16/17) According to what I've been told that new building structure going up in Star Wars Land is for the "First Order" dark ride attraction. Elsewhere in the land the foundation work for the Millennium Falcon ride apparently also began last week. I'm wondering if that is what that large circular concrete foundation being poured last week was for.
More great pictures of the steel for the new attraction building going up have been posted to Westcoaster this week, so check them out.
(2/13/17) Who's ready for a look at some tall steel finanally rising into place on the future site of the Star Wars Land at Disneyland? DisneyGeek has you covered with video and photos of the site, looking over all the poured concrete sections as well as the steel rising for one of the large new building structures. Plus you get a peek at some of the rockwork being finished up along the new backside of the Rivers of America that will hold the new route for the Disneyland Railroad, all while hiding Star Wars Land from few from that side of the park.
Now when is Disney going to finally drop the final name for this thing anyway? It's starting to sound a bit silly to keep calling it Star Wars Land, even though that is exactly what it is, so can we get a final name reveal already?
(1/1/17) A huge collection of new construction photos from Disneyland, including a look at the current progress on Star Wars Land as well as the new Northern end of the Rivers of America can be found over at DisneyGeek this week. They've also sent us a few good shots just to whet your appetite.
(12/19/16) While things are still too far away to guarantee this for sure, Screamscape sources tell us that the first Star Wars land to open will be the Disneyland version, currently tracking to open in the first half of 2019, with the Walt Disney World version tracking to open about 6 months later in later half of 2019. Just don't buy your plane tickets yet, because a lot can happen between now and then, pushing the timetables months in either direction, but at least things are looking better than the previously rumored 2020 date for the moment.
Fun news for Star Tours fans. Bob Chapek announced at a presentation that they are working on adding one or more new scenes to the attraction that will be themed to the new "Episode 8" film hitting theaters in December 2017. I'm going to guess that the new material could be added to the ride sometime in the first half of 2018.
On a semi-related note, Disney also released a new piece of artwork showing off how the new Star Wars themed land may look at night.
(10/19/16) In an interesting bit of news mentioned to me, those leaks last week about the Star Wars Stormtrooper battle/escape themed dark ride were apparently fairly on target, including the bit about getting out of the vehicle in mid-ride to walk around a themed environment before jumping back on and taking off once again on your dark ride experience.
The trick here is that when you get out to explore the environment, you will apparently be going on a specific path, where I imagine you will be kept separate from other guests somehow either by timing your experience to run through specific rooms in a specific order, or perhaps you will enter into one specific room of a group of identical rooms. Either way, from what I'm told, the actual vehicle you return to will not be the exact same one.
Between this and a ride experience that takes place inside a very large multi-level building structure, and an experience being designed from the bottom up to be the most intense themed adventure story attraction that Disney can tell, we are looking at something coming down the pipe that will be like nothing any of us have experienced before.
I can't wait for it to open... whenever that will be... because apparently no one knows when it will open because there is no set date... only that Disney wants to finish it all as soon as possible. The goal is to be able to open both the California and Florida versions at the same time, but it also seems fairly clear that Florida is fairly behind schedule by comparison to where Disneyland is at right now. So we'll just have to wait and see... a lot can change over the next couple of years.
(10/14/16) DisneyGeek has sent over a few images showing off the construction taking place along the River and backstage area for the new railroad and Star Wars land. You can see even more if you follow the link.
(10/10/16) I'm not sure quite how this would work, but a small update about the new Star Wars Land posted to MiceAge mentions that the Stormtrooper Battle Escape dark ride may attempt something never done before on a Disney dark ride. They may ask guests to disembark the ride vehicle to explore a room or two before being rushed to jumped back on and escape from the bad guys once again.
It sounds cool... until you really start to think just how this concept could be pulled off with guests who are of different ages, attention spans, and physical ability (or those with disabilities... both physical or mental) and I just don't see how this could ever work. This isn't the first time Imagineers have come up with such an idea however... as I seem to recall hearing about a proposal LONG AGO that would have seen a revamp of the old submarine voyage ride that may have been attached to a new Atlantis or Journey to the Center of the Earth overlay theme. The idea was to put guests on the subs, as normal, and go for a ride through the lagoon and into the caves... but when the subs came back they would be empty because the guests would actually dock and disembark somewhere inside a new ride structure that would be built up and over the old Autopia area that would resemble a volcano. Guests would get out of the subs in what would look like an undersea cavern inside the ruins of a lost civilization and board a ground-based dark ride vehicle for another wild adventure ride similar to the Journey To the Center of the Earth dark ride at Tokyo DisneySea.
In that case the two-segment ride idea would have worked, as guests would not be rushed from one vehicle to the other, but rather moved into a short queue to begin the next ride experience for their journey back to 'the surface'. But as for a rushed return to the Star Wars ride to escape an attacking legion of Stormtroopers? I just don't see it.
(8/26/16) A great collection of photos showing off the huge Star Wars Land construction progress were sent in by one of our new contributors this week. So much work is going on in this area now, and we are still years away from being ready to open, so it should be very exciting to see how this area develops and changes as the months go by.
(8/9/16) A great Disneyland construction report has been posted to Westcoaster this week showing off a look into the Rivers of America and Star Wars construction zone. And pokemon... lots of pokemon...
(7/26/16) Westcoaster is back this week to gaze upon the vast sandy landscape that will soon become Star Wars Land. They also take a peek at the new Frozen musical show in DCA as well.
(7/20/16) A great construction update from Disneyland showing off the progress of things over in the Star Wars Land area has been posted to Westcoaster. They've also posted an informative graphic showing off just how the Rivers of America's pathway is being changed and shorted to make way for it all. Meanwhile a few things are starting to go vertical in the new land, and from here I think the progress is going to start to move very quickly, forever changing the look of this side of the park.
(7/12/16) Disney released a new piece of artwork showing off a refined and slightly different look at the future Star Wars themed land coming to Disneyland and Disney's Hollywood Studios. Unlike the previous piece of art that was more generic looking, this new piece is obviously showing off the Disneyland version of the land, as you can see the waterway, railroad track and even a keelboat in the water. We can also see what will likely be the entrance to the Millennium Falcon themed ride in the top center, the addition of an Imperial Shuttle on the right side, and Corellian Corvette on the left side in the shadows.
Meanwhile a new construction update on the land itself was posted by DisneyGeek with pictures taken just on Friday showing off the latest taking place on site with pipes going into the ground and the first walls going up.
(6/28/16) WestCoaster has posted a new photo update from Disneyland showing off the construction progress of the new Star Wars land site as well as a look at the latest changes within the parks.
(6/11/16) SlashFilm reports that Disney may be building and testing designs for actual interactive droids that will wander throughout the new Star Wars themed lands in California and Florida in the future. It isn’t known if they will be entirely human controlled or if they would be just semi-automatic droids they could let loose in the lands (with a handler nearby of course) and return to a base when they need a charge. (Kind of like a Roomba maybe? LOL) Either way, adding the droids to the lands would add another layer of realistic theming to bring the Star Wars environment to life, as droids are an important part of the Star Wars Universe, and I’m sure guests would love to take pictures with them as well. In addition to the Droids, add in ways for guests to try to learn to use The Force and interact with other aspects of the new land, and it sounds like there could be a lot of fun to be had in addition to the new attractions.
(5/19/16) Will select guests be chosen to be taught to "use the Force" in the new Star Wars lands coming to Disney in California and Florida? According to a report at Behind the Thrills they claim to have heard just such rumors that may at first sound like how Universal lets guests buy magic wands and interact with the Wizarding World. However the way they describe it, the objects guests may use the Force to move around may only happen a few times each day, which makes me believe we may see something more akin to The Sword in the Stone performance that takes place in front of the carousel at Disneyland and the Magic Kingdom.
(5/16/16) Some amazing pictures showing off the magnatude of size that the Star Wars Land construction project is causing at Disneyland can be found at DisneyGeek this week. This will soon include the demolition of the old Fantasyland side station of the long closed Skyway attraction, which can be seen in some of the photos as a quite brown building in the background of the large dirt clearing. I'm told that Disney has filed the necessary paperwork to demolish it entirely,
(4/17/16) Disney is having a little fun with what they are calling the official groundbreaking of thenew Star Wars themed lands coming to Disneyland in California and Disney's Hollywood Studios park in Florida. On the Disney Parks Blog they have posted a 360-view of the Disneyland construction site which is a swarm of activity... both real and enhanced with visitors from the Star Wars Universe. Check it out.
(4/14/16) A quick look at photos of the Star Wars Land construction taking place around the Rivers of America has been posted to DisneyGeek this week, which offers a good look at what's going on in the backstage areas.
(2/24/16) I've got some new updates regarding the Star Wars Land attractions this week. For starters, one of our sources confirmed that despite the media reports mentioning it, the E-Ticket "Battle Ride" concept is not a boat ride. Instead, the ride will feature a trackless ride vehicle that will move about and through very detailed sets and props from the Star Wars universe, including countless Stormtrooper animatronic figures, as well as large scale Tie Fighter, X-Wing starfighters and much more.
As for the Millennium Falcon attraction, there are two lines of thought on just what the Millennium Falcon ride system may be. Keep in mind this is mainly speculation right now, as facts are few and far between. Based on what is believed, one possible ride system may involve some kind ride cockpit pod that would also employ the use of a motion-base or KUKA power arm for some of the movement. Another concept I’ve heard of was essentially described as being a Disney Omnimover style ride system, loaded with an endless string of cockpit pods, featuring a steady stream of interactive projection screens for the riders to interact with.
One final note... while the new rides are cool sounding, there will be one major disappointment that Disneyland will be forced to live with that Walt Disney World wont. I’m told that once the new Star Wars land opens (which is still looking to be 2020 right now), we can pretty much count on seeing the Star Tours attraction in Tomorrowland closed for good soon after. In an earlier rumor I had heard there would be a Phase 2 build-out to Star Wars Land, and that rumored expansion was thought to include a brand new Star Tours attraction building. This would allow Disneyland to “move” Star Tours into the new land, while freeing up the old Star Tours space in Tomorrowland for something new.
Well, that last park will hold true, as a year or two after Star Wars Land opens, the old Star Tours ride is rumored to reopen as a copy of the Iron Man Experience ride opening in Hong Kong Disneyland this year. This will tie into a brand new Stark Expo / Marvel makeover for the current Star Wars Launch Pad attraction. But for Star Tours fans, there will be no joy in Disneyland, though Star Tours will continue as an active attraction in Walt Disney World, Disneyland Paris and Tokyo Disneyland.
(2/22/16) Eagerly anticipated Disney special that included a segment with Harrison Ford showing off new details of Star Wars Land has aired... and what did we learn? Apparently... not much.
A lot of new Star Wars themed concept artwork was shown, though for most of it, it is hard to tell if it was artwork made for the movies showing off possible new scenes and locations, or if it was made for the new theme park land. You can see many examples of the artwork, screen captures and posted to Disney & More already, and there are a few bits that seem clearly for the parks, especially when they contain the image of someone walking around with mouse-ears on. As for details on the new rides... not so much either. We know you'll ride in the Millennium Falcon and can apparently swivel left to ride and shoot at targets (which sounds a lot of Buzz Lightyear, doesn't it?) and there were a few brief images of the new big ride where guests will find themselves in the middle of a battle between the First Order and The Resistance. Check out the artwork and see what you think of it all.
(11/16/16) Star Wars Land isn't even built yet, but would you believe the new land at Disneyland could already have a Phase 2 under consideration? According to Screamscape sources the long-term plan for the Star Wars Land to be built to the North of the park's riverbank, would be to add a second phase that would connect Star Wars land to Critter Country, thus completing a loop all the way around the backside of the park.
I have to admit, I like this idea... as I remember how crowded Toontown was back when it first opened with only one way in and out, and I can see the Star Wars Land having the same problem. Creating a loop would not only be best for Star Wars traffic flow, but would finally come up with a solution to the problem of how to effectively move guests through the Fantasmic! show area in the evenings who just want to ride Splash Mountain, Pooh or Haunted Mansion and not watch the show. For years guests wanting to get to the rides have to fight through a crowded and confusing bottleneck of people when passing through the Pirates of the Caribbean plaza and New Orleans Square areas because there is no other option.
(12/14/15) I've been sent a fascinating new rumor regarding one of the new Star Wars Land attractions in development. So far, the only fact Disney has issued about the attraction concepts for the land is that guests will be placed in the actual cockpit of the Millennium Falcon in one of the main attractions. Today, one of our sources have sent in a little more information about the possible ride experience, though keep in mind that the attraction is still under design and a lot can change between now and when it opens.
That said, I'm told that guests will board a vehicle where it appears that they are sitting inside the cockpit of the Falcon. In reality, there will be several such vehicles (unseen) on a track layout, where the ship will take off and move into a large star field projection room at first. Eventually the cockpit ships will move into place behind an individual projection screen for the simulator/action portion of the ride. The way this will work was described to me as being similar to how Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey works during specific sections of that ride (see picture), where the individual rider pods are placed inside a projection dome that is mounted to a huge carousel structure. The projection domes and rider pods will move around the carousel in sync during these sections of the ride, where the guests may have some control over the action taking place and what the outcome will be.
If you watch the start of this video showing off the addition of a new Star Wars themed area on-board the Disney Dream cruise ship, you will see mockup of the Millennium Falcon cockpit that simulates space travel, that may give you a good visual as to what your ride on the Falcon could be like.