Anaheim, California (Abbreviation: DL)
Walt Disney Theme Parks
---- THE LATEST BUZZ ----
(7/29/16) Disneyland Reveals Reopening Date for Rivers of America Attractions and Railroad (MORE...)
(7/26/16) Star Wars Land Construction and More (MORE...)
(7/20/16) Star Wars Land Construction Update (MORE...)
(7/12/16) New Disneyland Star Wars Land Concept Art Released (MORE...)
Ride Rehabs - These dates are not guaranteed to be 100% accurate.
Disneyland Railroad - NOW CLOSED through to TBD
Fantasmic! - NOW CLOSED through to TBD
Mark Twain & Columbia - NOW CLOSED through to TBD
Pirate’s Lair on Tom Sawyer’s Island - NOW CLOSED through to TBD
Davy Crockett’s Explorer Canoes - NOW CLOSED through TBD
General Park News - (7/7/16) According to the internet rumor mill the Disneyland Forever fireworks show is expected to come to an end sometime this September, likely shortly after the Labor Day Weekend after the new school year has started. While some are surprised that Disney would end this new and popular show, it is worth remembering that the show was created for the park's 60th Anniversary / Diamond Celebration, which is also coming to an end on September 5th, 2016.
Follow this, the park is expected to put on their typical seasonal Fireworks shows for the Halloween private ticket event and Christmas public shows, which should give the park time to come up with a new fireworks show for Summer 2017.
(4/30/16) A quick look at more of the Honda themed Autopia cars at Disneyland has been posted by ParkJourney this week. From what I've heard however, internally the cars are pretty much the same, using gas powered engines and not the electric engines used in the Honda sponsored version in Hong Kong.
(4/29/16) Today Disneyland will open the newest version of the Autopia, this time sponsored and powered by Honda. The cars have been refurbished and even completely repainted in all new colors, and now each have a tiny little Honda logo on the hood. You can get a sneak peek in the video below.
(3/8/16) The Disney Parks Blog confirms that the last day for guests to experience the Marvel themed Super Hero HQ in Tomorrowland will be Saturday, April 2nd. Spider-Man and Captain America will then move over to Disney California Adventure for Meet & Greets in a new location starting April 3rd. Unfortunately, the Iron Man Tech Presented by Stark Industries will be retired at this time, and Thor will be returning as Asgard.
Late 2015 - Star Wars Additions - (1/19/16) Disney has confirmed that the Kylo Ren character from "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" will soon begin appearing as a character to "meet & greet" at the Star Wars Launch Bay attractions at both Disneyland and Disney's Hollywood Studios.
(1/14/16) The Disney Insider has posted an interesting update this week, where they talk about the addition of the Jakku sequence into Star Tours randomizer, but it seems that isn't all that was added. According to the article there are now alternate versions of the various scenes now in the mix as well. They give the example of a scene when Darth Vader stops the Starspeeder... except there is now an alternate version of this scene where Vader is joined by Boba Fett. They also confirm that the Hoth, Coruscant and Naboo sequences have also been "plus-ed" as well. Sounds like a great reason to ride Star Tours over and over and over again.
(11/18/15) The new adventure has been added to Star Tours along with the launch of the Season of the Force event. You can see a video of the new adventure embedded below and see how it mixes in with the other older random sequences. Don't watch if you want to be surprised.
(11/16/15) Attractions Magazine has posted an awesome video showing off the new Star Wars themed Hyperspace Mountain POV experience now running at Disneyland inside Space Mountain. So far Disney has yet to set an ending date for the experience, so if the public really takes a shine to Hyperspace Mountain, this special edition of the ride could be left running for awhile. Plus with the Star Tours ride next door, it all really fits together so well anyway.
(8/21/15) As rumored, a new Star Wars Launch Bay preview attraction will be added to Tomorrowland later this year inside the Innoventions building, alongside a revamped Super Hero HQ area which will continue to provide all the Marvel character meet & greets for Captain American, Thor as well as the return of Iron Man Tech Presented by Stark Industries exhibit. Also to be added before the end of the year will be "a new adventure will be added to Star Tours, "featuring locations and characters from the upcoming film, Star Wars: The Force Awakens". The park's Jedi Academy will also close to undergo a transformation that will see it brought back as a new experience featuring new characters, and a new villain to battle, from the Star Wars Rebels animated series on Disney XD.
Disneyland also announced that the park will put on a new annual event starting in early 2016 called Star Wars: Season of the Force. At Disneyland, inspired by the long running Star Wars Weekends events in Florida, Tomorrowland guests will get to explore the Star Wars galaxy of characters, see special entertainment, sample themed food and more. During the event Space Mountain will also be transformed into Hyperspace Mountain where they will find themselves in the middle of an X-Wing Starfighter battle.
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.
2020 - Star Wars Land - Under Construction - (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.
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.
(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.
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.
(6/3/16) A fun video shows off the huge clearing made for Star Wars land construction at Disneyland, as seen from the parking structure. Later on (5:55) they go over to DCA and inside the Cove Bar to try out something I've never seen before... Cotton Candy Lemonade. I don't know what it is... but it looks good to me, complete with a wad of cotton candy covering the top of the straw.
(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 which does almost look like that rumored "boat ride" concept, doesn't it? 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.
(1/14/16) According to a little bird Disney may decide to announce, sometime over the next week or two, the actual final name of the new “Star Wars Land” they are preparing to build.
(1/9/16) An odd bit of news came forward today as Jon Snoddy (Disney’s EVP of Imagineering) mentioned in a panel at CES 2016 some new details about one of the Star Wars attractions in the works for the theme parks. We’ve already heard rumors about a Millennium Falcon themed dark ride / simulator concept, but what Jon mentioned was a new “boat ride”, that would take riders through the middle of a battle between the First Order and Resistance. He also mentioned they are working with ILM to allow for Disney to mix high-resolution projection scenes in with real-life physical sets and animatronic characters.
While a boat ride may seem to be an odd choice at first for a Star Wars attraction, keep in mind that Disney is putting the finishing touches on a next-gen version of Pirates of the Caribbean over in Shanghai, which is rumored to feature boats on a track that can offer complete control of the movement of the boat, including being able to spin them around a bit and point the riders in a specific direction to view the scenes as they pass. It is also worth mentioning that any Star Wars ride will need to be an extremely high capacity attraction, and few rides can pull through more guests per hour than Disney’s Pirates of the Caribbean ride systems which also offer quick reloading due to the simple seating, no restraints to worry about and offer family friendly experience while still being able to offer the physical thrill of dropping rides down a chute or two along the way.
Another item possibly worth noting can be seen in the lower corner of the previously per-released concept art from Disney where the Millennium Falcon is flying down to land. If you zoom in (see image) you can see a small pool of water down there, with what looks possibly like a winding underwater rail-path that could run a boat ride into a cave under the waterfall, with some traces of blue that could be more river-pathway in the background of the rocky spire-filled landscape. Of course, this is just concept artwork to convey the overall feeling and look of the land and isn't meant to be a blueprint... but it does seem to indicate that the world being created for the land will have water design features.
Mix in the concept of digital projection technology, real sets and modern animatronics all around this new high-end boat ride concept and we have the makings of an attraction that can convey an all new tale from the Star Wars universe.
(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.
(10/5/15) Remember how I mentioned how all the Rivers of America attraction were going to close at the start of 2016 for at least a year or more, including the Disneyland Railroad and Big Thunder Ranch area, all to allow construction on the new Star Wars themed land to begin? According to an interesting image posted to SlashFilm, the reason for all this is that the back-half of Tom Sawyer's island is going to be chopped off in order to shorten the length of the river and reclaim the land back there to be used for the Star Wars land. The railroad layout would also be torn out and rebuild to conform to this new plan, so that the railroad would stay outside of the Star Wars area.
(8/21/15) Star Wars themed lands have been confirmed for two Walt Disney theme parks so far... Disneyland in California and for Disney's Hollywood Studios in Florida. Both of these similar lands will be approximately 14-acres in size, making them the largest single-themed land expansion ever added to a Disney park.
Instead of picking one or two of the various Star Wars world's to theme the land to, they will instead theme the land to a new, never-before seen world. The Star Wars land will feature two major "signature attractions", one of which will put guests into the cockpit of the Millennium Falcon. I'm not sure if the location of the land at Disney's Hollywood Studios was confirmed, but I would assume it may fit in somewhere nearby to the existing Star Tours attraction. Meanwhile at Disneyland the new land was apparently confirmed to be taking over the Big Thunder Ranch area, plus backstage property behind there. How the Disneyland Railroad will manage to pass unseen through this area remains to be seen... but I imagine it may involve a large dark tunnel.
Unfortunately, no timeline was given as to when we can expect to see this Star Wars land open, but if we use the Avatar project as a guideline, I wouldn't expect to see the Star Wars land open until around 2020.
2021/2022 - Iron Man Experience - Rumor - (2/24/16) Look for Star Tours to be rethemed as a copy of the Iron Man Experience attraction opening at Hong Kong Disneyland this year, along with the current Star Wars Launch Pad area to be updated into more of a new Stark Expo / Marvel experience.