Anaheim, California (Abbreviation: DL)
Walt Disney Theme Parks
---- THE LATEST BUZZ ----
(7/30/14) Disneyland - Pirates Back Row Ban (MORE...)
(7/24/14) Huge Photo Update From Inside Club 33 (MORE...)
(7/18/14) A Report from inside Club 33 (MORE...)
(7/10/14) Legends of Frontierland: Gold Rush! (MORE...)
Ride Rehabs - These dates are not guaranteed to be 100% accurate.
Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage - NOW CLOSED through Sept. 26, 2014
Peter Pan’s Flight - July 21 through July 24, 2014
Matterhorn - August 25 through Nov. 13, 2014
Haunted Mansion - August 25 through Sept. 11, 2014 (Haunted Mansion Holiday Install)
General Park News - (7/31/14) According to a reader in California, the last row of every boat on Pirates of the Caribbean at Disneyland has been roped off and inaccessible to guests lately. Anyone know why? Is this some kind of fallout over the accident where a tourist lost a finger-tip on the Florida version of the attraction a few weeks ago? Meanwhile I’ve heard reports of how the back row had been taking on water throughout the day’s use as well as being a possible cause. Anyone know for sure?
(7/10/14) Disneyland has announced the first details about a new interactive game that you can play in Frontierland called “Legends of Frontierland: Gold Rush!” You pick the role you will play along with which side of the conflict you will play for… the peaceful Frontierland citizens or the Rainbow Ridge townsfolk. Make the jump over to the Disney Parks Blog to read all the rest of the details as this project comes to light. I can’t wait to hear more.
(7/3/14) Halloween Time, the Disneyland version of Mickey’s Not So Spooky Halloween Party, will return this year for 14 nights between September 12 and October 31st. This special separate ticket event will feature the return of Haunted Mansion Holiday, Space Mountian: Ghost Galaxy, an assortment of Disney Villains wandering through the park and a Dia de los Muertos celebration. Click here for details about which exact nights it will be and how you can buy tickets.
(6/30/14) A huge new photo update from DisneyGeek explores the latest changes at the Disneyland Resort, including a look at Alice In Wonderland as the ride prepares to reopen, at a look at the empty Submarine lagoon which will reopen in late September.
(6/12/14) The Disney Parks Blog has reconfirmed that the Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage attraction would indeed be reopening and setting sail on September 27th. So consider those rumors that it was never coming back officially squashed.
(6/11/14) In an interesting move, Disney has decided to promote their new Guardians of the Galaxy movie from Marvel Studios with an exclusive 3D preview that will play not only at Disneyland (in the old Captain EO theater), but also inside Walt Disney World’s Hollywood Studios theme park inside the ABC Sound Studio, starting on July 4th.
This actually marks the first time we will see Marvel characters presented in any form (other than merchandise) within Walt Disney World, though following the terms of the contract they will not apparently refer to them as a Marvel product in the WDW promotional area. Theme wise, as the Guardians inhabit their own little corner of the Marvel Universe far away from the rest of the regular Marvel characters, they are not part of the related ‘family’ of heros/villains that have been put to use at Islands of Adventure which seems to allows them to slip through a legal loophole in the Marvel/Universal deal according to a report at ThemeParkInsider.
(6/4/14) Since Disney has yet to grace the Disneyland Resort with an official Star Wars Weekends style special event, the 10th Annual UNOFFICIAL Star Wars Fan Day at Disneyland will take place on June 22nd, 2014. Details about where you can meet up with like-minded fans in the park can be found here.
(4/30/14) The latest update from MiceAge talks about a major Executive VP shuffle taking place that will see the current head of the Disneyland park heading up the three DL Resort Hotels, the head of DCA who helped that park through it’s $1.2 billion transformation moved over as head of Disneyland, and the VP of industrial engineering group tapped to take over DCA. In addition to what this could mean for the parks, they also talk about a proposed new 8-story tall parking structure intended for the Pumba parking lot, and possibly involve the purchase of some nearby property currently occupied by an IHOP and the Park Vue Inn, that may also be used in connection with Anaheim’s proposed Street Car project. Give it a read over and scroll down to see what other new projects may be in the works for Disneyland over the next couple of years... it should be an exciting time for the Fantasyland Dark Rides.
(4/15/14) Disneyland fans may want to take a quick look at a new video Disney has released showing off some the new animatronic characters going into the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train ride in Florida, which feature detailed physical animation abilities, but also internal video projection systems used for the facial animations.
According to an additional report at Disney & More, there are plans in the works to update the animatronics in Disneyland’s Peter Pan’s Flight, Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride and Alice in Wonderland dark rides with this same new technology as part of the park’s 60th Anniversary celebration in 2015.
(3/20/14) Bob Iger confirmed at the Disney Shareholder meeting that there are no plans to remove the Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage ride at Disneyland, and that it will reopen in the fall, as planned, after an extensive rehab. Iger also confirmed that they are working on plans to add more Marvel and Star Wars to Disneyland… but just not in that spot.
(3/5/14) Behind the Thrills has posted some new pictures from Disneyland this week, showing off the start of a facelift of sorts for the top of Space Mountain, as well as some footage of one of the new Big Thunder trains making test runs around the track.
(12/15/13) Disneyland confirmed on Twitter than the Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage would “close for refurbishment January 6th, to reopen in late 2014”. So yes… you read that right… nearly a full year of closure for this major refurbishment. The lagoon will be drained to order to give the workers complete access to the attraction. They say when it reopens the underwater scenes will be more colorful and vibrant.
2014 - Big Thunder Mountain Rehab - NOW OPEN - (3/14/14) Another high quality video of the new Big Thunder Mountain, this one showing off the entire ride experience, including a look at the new Bat effect in the first cave, can be see below.
(3/10/14) SPOILER ALERT!
A video showing off an all new special effects sequence added to the final lift hill on Big Thunder Mountain was posted online and simply put… it is amazing. Ok… beyond amazing… I had to pick my jaw up off the floor after watching the video clip A-MAZ-ING! If this new finale sequence looks even half as good in person as it looks in this video, Disneyland has just set a new bar for adding new seriously awesome effects to an existing attraction.
(3/8/14) Great news for Disneyland guests, Disney has confirmed that Big Thunder Mountain Railroad will reopen to park guests on March 17th featuring all new coaster track, the restored Rainbow Ridge Mining Town, restored and repainted mountain sections and updated trains… plus they promise a few NEW surprises to be discovered along the way.
(1/16/14) For anyone who had been thinking that the new Big Thunder Mountain track was from Vekoma, it seems that is not the case. Dynamic Attractions, the same group who rebuilt Space Mountain back in 2005, are the ones behind the re-engineering and fabrication of the new Big Thunder Mountain experience opening in the next few weeks. If the new Big Thunder rides as smooth as Space Mountain did, this should be a real treat.
Spring 2014 - Captain America: The Living Legend and Symbol of Courage - (2/12/14) Starting on March 7th guests to Disneyland can visit Captain America: The Living Legend and Symbol of Courage as the third addition to Innovention’s growing Marvel character wing alongside Iron Man Tech: Presented by Stark Industries and Thor: Treasures of Asgard. (Note: This has to be one of the longest, if not THEE LONGEST, attraction names Disney has ever come up with...)
(1/13/14) Disneyland has confirmed that Captain America will be arriving at Disneyland and meeting with guests this Spring. While there are no more details, this will arrive just in time to help promote the new Captain America: The Winter Soldier film opening on April 4th. This will also be the third such Marvel character Meet & Greet themed attraction to open in the Innoventions building, alongside the existing Iron Man Tech and Thor: Treasures of Asgard attractions. I can only imagine that we will see a similar set-up put in place ahead of the Guardians of the Galaxy film opening this Summer.
2014 - Club 33 Expansion - Now Open - (7/24/14) DisneyDose is back with more information and photos taken inside of the new Club 33, a look at the Menu as well as several of the dishes served. I’m told that the piano inside is a special one, able to “livestream” concerts from locations around the world and play them back.
(7/18/14) Isn’t the first rule of Club 33 that you don’t talk about Club 33? Oh wait... that’s Fight Club, nevermind. Back to the point... Disney Dose has posted an anonymous report describing the new changes within the revamped and expanded Club 33 at Disneyland.
(1/14/14) DisneyDose reports in with a photo update and last look at the Club 33 Trophy Room before it vanishes into the history books.
(12/2/13) Disney Dose has posted an interview with Disneyland’s Head Chef this week who chats about her time as the Head Chef of the Disney Cruise Line, how new menu items are added to Disneyland and shares some secrets about the new Club 33 menu on the way.
(10/3/13) A great overlook look of Disneyland’s New Orleans Square has been posted to ImagineeringDisney.com, showing the current space taken up by Club 33 as well as the the size and location of the Club 33 Jazz Club expansion, and how the Court of Angels area will become the Club’s new entrance area. They also go over on what Walt’s original intention was for the new Jazz Club space, which was… big surprise… to be used as a Jazz Club to enjoy after a fine meal inside Club 33.
Unfortunately, there is the matter of the loss of the Court of Angels, which is expected to be closed off from public use as it becomes the new entrance for the expanded Club 33. Given that the stairway in the Court of Angels is the access point into the future Jazz Club area, I can only conclude that this too was possibly part of Walt’s plan for the space when it was built in the first place.
I believe the loss of the Court of Angels will go unnoticed by the majority of Disneyland guests who likely never knew it existed in the first place. For those who were more intimate with the layout of Disneyland, knowing all the little secret nook and crannys, the Court was always a unique point of interest, though one that served no real functional purpose other than being a odd quiet out of the way spot. The good news is that the Court of Angels isn’t going away… it will still be there as a unique hidden spot, much like the current lobby and what lies behind the current closed door of Club 33.
In the end, for me Club 33 is pretty much just like Area 51. Everyone has heard about it, everyone knows it exists, and where it is… but very few who frequent the inside ever share any details, which has kept the cloud of mystery about it intact for decades.
(9/16/13) New details regarding the expansion of Club 33 have been posted to DisneyDose this week. Added into the mix this week are more details about the new Jazz Club themed area, which is said to be named Salon Nouveau and themed to Tiana’s Palace, the jazz club seen at the end of the Princess and the Frog. It also seems a new restroom facility will be built, but the unique toilets in the current Club 33 restroom will be relocated to the new facility. (You’ve got to see the picture of the current Club 33 throne room...)
(9/12/13) More details about what we can expect to happen with the Club 33 expansion have been posted to DisneyDose. They report that the Court of Angels area will be blocked off from the public, to be used as a lobby for Club 33 guests, with the current gates to be replaced by new stained glass doors. Also as rumored, the Trophy Room will be removed to help create a bigger dedicated kitchen area.
(9/11/13) According to DisneyDose, the President of Disneyland sent out a letter to all Club 33 members to inform them that Club 33 would be under going a massive renovation and expansion, just as rumored. The work will begin on January 6th, 2014 and they opened an exclusive ‘members only’ preview center to show off some of the changes on the way on Monday.
(5/31/13) Screamscape sources tell us that the plans to expand Club 33 are indeed the real deal. Nothing has been finalized of course, but the plans have been drawn up and I’ve been told they have been sent out to bid as well. The project could see the famous members-only dining facility closed for 4-5 months while they not only expand it, but also renovate several existing features that are said to be in dire need. According to one insider, if approved, we could see Club 33 shut down somewhere between mid-summer and this fall and reopen in late 2013 / early 2014.
According to one reader who dined in Club 33 in April, their food server told them to get a “last look” at Walt’s Trophy Room because it would be closed and renovated to become part of an expanded kitchen area during the renovation. A new dining room is also rumored to be added above the “French Market” There is also talk of adding a “Jazz Club” themed area with a private bar / lounge. The success of 1901 over at California Adventure was apparently the spark to kick this long-overdue project into motion. Other improvements rumored to be on the way include new flooring, a renovated lobby and elevator, bigger bathrooms, new or bigger dining rooms and more.
(5/28/13) This is the first I’ve heard of this rumor, so I’m not backing any of it yet, but Disney Dose is reporting on a possible plan to ‘expand’ the exclusive Club 33 members only dining area hidden in the New Orleans Square buildings. The expansion could see a possible new “Jazz Club” area built as well as a possible second entrance. Can anyone else confirm or deny this rumor?
2014 - Alice In Wonderland Upgrade - (7/8/14) Westcoaster has posted their own update after checking out all the improvements to the Alice in Wonderland dark ride as well as a peek around the Club 33 area. As for Alice, I’ve embedded another POV video that shows off the changes inside in the low-light levels much better than the previous video clip, and includes a look at the updated finale scene which wasn’t included in the other one either.
(7/4/14) If you followed @Screamscape on Twitter, you would have gotten the early word that the always great Alice In Wonderland ride at Disneyland reopened yesterday ahead of the busy holiday weekend crowds. I’m also happy to report that the ride has been packed with new specific effects and a few new figures, while keeping the charm of the original ride and figures completely intact. If this is what we can expect to see from the rumored overhaul of the other classic Fantasyland dark rides (Mr. Toad, Peter Pan and possibly Snow White) for the 60th Anniversary, then things are looking good. Just watch the view below for a quick POV look at what’s new!
(4/30/14) In addition to rebuilding the outdoor finale portion of the ride’s track to comply with new safety standards, this year’s lengthy closure of the attraction is said to also feature show scene improvements and new animatronic figures with animated projection faces, similar to what is going into the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train in Walt Disney World.
Late 2014 - Peter Pan Upgrade - (4/30/14) As rumored, Peter Pan’s Flight is expected to also get some dramatic new animatronic figure and effects updates, including new figures where the facial animations are projected onto the faces from the inside, similar to what is going into the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train in Walt Disney World.
Early to Mid 2015 - (4/30/14) Upgrades to Mt. Toad, Show White and Pinocchio - (4/30/14) Look for all these of these dark rides to close for refurbishments projects, once at a time, that is also expected to see show scene improvements and possibly new figures, similar to the rumored upgrades to Alice and Peter Pan slated for 2014.
2015 - Animazement / New Night Parade - Rumor - (5/22/14) Screamscape sources tell us that Disneyland will receive an identical night parade to the “Disney Paint The Night” parade opening in Hong Kong Disneyland this October. The Disneyland version will open under a different name however, “Animazement”.
I’m told that work crews are currently building two identical sets of floats for the two parks right now, which will feature units themed to Toy Story, Cars, Tinkerbell and more. Look for this new parade to open as part of the Disenyland 60th Anniversary celebration in 2015.
(2/26/14) According to a rumor posted at Disney & More, the new interactive Paint the Night Parade being added to Hong Kong Disneyland in late Summer or Fall 2014 could make a quick journey over the Pacific ocean to Disneyland in 2015, just in time to be a last second addition for the park’s 60th Anniversary.
???? - Tomorrowland / Star Wars Land - ON HOLD -
(2/24/14) A fascinating look at just what the Disneyland of the future might look like if the proposed Star Wars land gets built has been posted to Disney & More this week, as designed by S.W. Wilson. It shows off an interesting revision where the Monorail route takes a new path through Tomorrowland, the Subs and Autopia are removed to make way for the forest moon of Endor and a dueling Speeder Biker roller coaster experience, the Millennium Falcon sits proudly docked as a central icon in the middle of Tomorrowland and a look at other possible future attraction sites. It’s just a Blue Sky Dream right now, but it does paint an interesting possible future for Disneyland.
(1/9/14) The latest update posted to MiceAge claims that the first phase of a Star Wars themed overlay for Tomorrowland was approved and will begin this year. This is just new themeing, and not a new attraction in the budget just yet while they still try to hammer things out on the budget end of things. In the meantime, it looks like the Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage will sit silent and closed this year, while they determine if it will be removed to make way for a future attraction proposal, or of they will scrap those plans and keep it. For now the work will begin on the exterior of the Star Tours and Buzz Lightyear buildings flanking the entrance corridor to Tomorrowland.
(11/10/13) In something about as close to an official confirmation as you can get before the big official press release, Bob Iger seems to have just confirmed that Star Wars themed lands are in the way to both of Disney’s domestic theme park resorts in the near future. Check out the details over at Disney & More.
(10/14/13) Honestly, I’m not sure how legit this report is, but MiceAge claims that the next big makeover for Tomorrowland will bring in a heavy Star Wars themed overlay to much of the landscape. Star Tours 2 will fit right in of course and popular Disney rides like Space Mountain and Buzz Light Year will remain untouched, but the rest of Tomorrowland may be up for grabs by the Rebels or Empire.
The Astro Orbiter is said to be removed from its current location near the hub, opening up the entrance to Tomorrowland once again, but a replacement version of the ride will likely be placed in the current location of the Magic Eye theater, or on top of it (they will have to rebuild the theater structure to withstand the extra weight). The loading of this ride will likely be through the second floor area of the Starcade. Space Mountain will also have a new entrance path created for it, which will be a good thing since it’s never quite felt “right” to me after they removed the old speedramp entrance.
The Innoventions building will likely be repurposed or demolished to make way for a long rumored Speeder Bikes high speed thrill ride coaster, with indoor and outdoor sections. If this sounds familiar, it should... this matches up with the description of a rumored proposal for an indoor/outdoor Tron Lightcycle coaster that leaked out many months ago. It could be the same kind of ride (Vekoma Boosterbike coaster) just with a different theme. The problem here is that the MiceAge rumor claims that the Speeder Bikes will head outside and also replace the current Autopia attraction to make room for the coaster track. While this sounds good on the surface, a good portion of the Autopia is built out on top of the Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage indoor caverns, making it difficult, if not impossible in some cases, to put down those massive roller coaster support beams and giant concrete footers that would be required. There is also the issue of the monorail track that also moves through this area as well… so I guess we’ll have to wait and see how this rumor shapes up before we know more.
Other new additions may see a lifesized recreation of the Millennium Falcon docked on top of the old Rocket Rods podium building in the heart of Tomorrowland, and the chance to eat inside a copy of the Tatooine Cantina restaurant where the current Tomorrowland Terrace is now.
As for my take… this sounds quite exciting to me as the Star Wars Universe will play a heavy roll in the future of Disney’s film and themed entertainment and adding a Star Wars theme to Tomorrowland will also “fix” the long running problem of Tomorrowland always looking outdated a decade or so after they revamp it. This will be much like what Disney has managed to do with the more fantasy oriented Tomorrowland in Walt Disney World. In short, a Star Wars themed Tomorrowland will serve the park as a Sci-Fi version of Fantasyland. While I’m glad to see the Astro Orbiter removed from the entrance to the park, I don’t think dropping a new one on the roof of the Magic Eye theater in front of Space Mountain is a good idea. I’d much rather see them rebuild it on the site of the old Rocket Jet tower… even if that means demolishing the current tower and building a new one just for the new attraction. This would open up the roof of the Magic Eye theater location as a better location to put the Millennium Falcon, where guests walking the Space Mountain queue can get up close and enjoy the view of one of Sci-Fi’s most well known spaceships while they wait in line.
(4/15/13) MiceChat reports that the former plan to create a Tron themed LightCycle coaster may be back on track for Tomorrowland. Unlike the Shanghai version of the LightCycle coaster which will be enclosed inside a building, there is a chance that the Disneyland version could be a mix of indoor and outdoor locations, possibly reusing some of the old PeopleMover / Rocket Rods track locations. While I’d love to see a Tron coaster… I really do think that it needs to be all indoors to allow for the Tron themeing and special effects to really work and be impressive. Putting it outdoors for more than perhaps a moment would only serve to bring you out of that digital environment and ruin the theme. If this project gets approved, the proposed new expansion project behind Frontierland (rumored to be themed to OZ) may be put on indefinite hold.
(3/23/13) According to a report on SlashFilm, the Disneyland Resort has been sending a few quiet surveys out to passholders to ask, “How interested would you be in visiting a Star Wars themed land at the Disneyland Resort?” Additional questions follow this to get a basis on which films in the series are your favorite, what kind of interesting Star Wars themed merchandise you might want to buy (housewares?!) and so on.
With the rumors of a Star Wars Land now on for Paris as well as starting up in Florida, it only makes sense Disneyland would get in on the action as well. The obvious location within Disneyland would be to locate it in the the backstage area that fits between Space Mountain and Main Street. This site is hardly off limits for development as Disney Imagineering has pitched and almost built new mini-lands back there several times over the years, the most famous of which was the Hollywoodland area announced by Michael Eisner as part of the “Disney Decade” plan for the 1990’s. (NOTE: The infamous Hollywoodland would have had a copy of The Great Movie Ride, the Toontown Trolley simulator, Baby Herman’s Runaway Baby Buggy ride, the Superstar TV show and a Dick Tracy’s Crimestoppers ride.)
That said... there is one other possibility to consider. I’ve heard rumors for a long time claiming that a large Star Wars themed land was under consideration as a major land for Disneyland’s 3rd Park project. To read more about that, click here and make the jump.
(12/19/12) While Disneyland has admitted nothing just yet, another reader popped in with a rumor about the pending destruction of the Innoventions building. According to this story, there were told that the attraction would close down sometime in February 2014 from a CM on site. If true, I’d expect Disney to confirm this sometime after the start of the new year.
(11/1/12) I’m not sure quite how right on the ball this rumor it, but according to our source we could see Innoventions at Disneyland closed down in February 2013 to demolish the structure and prepare the site for a rumored Iron Man themed E-Ticket attraction. Timewise this sounds about right if Disney wants to have their first big Marvel E-Ticket ready in time for Summer 2015 when Avengers 2 hits the theaters. Rumor has it that while the Iron Man ride concept may not have been given the final green light, they have been told to get it ready to go and closing Innoventions would be the first step needed to begin work.
(9/12/12) While there is very little information leaking at the moment from Disneyland, the few whispers coming out do make it seem like almost a sure thing that a major revamp of Tomorrowland may very well be the next big project for WDI to tackle at the Disneyland Resort. Of course they are also said to be juggling a few other new attraction projects for other sections of the park as well as ideas for a major new land / expansion out behind Big Thunder at some point in the future. But face it… Tomorrowland really needs help now, and if the rumors are true, we may see Innoventions finally closed and demolition work get under way in about a year
(6/29/12) An anonymous tip sent in to Screamscape confirms that the word going around Disneyland is that Innoventions and Autopia are very likely to be walled off by this time next summer as they work to remove them, along with the old Peoplemover track around this area as well.
???? - Haunted Mansion Update - Rumor - (8/14/13) I’ve been told that the Hatbox Ghost animatronic seen at the D23 Expo will indeed be installed into the Haunted Mansion sometime in 2014. The earliest opportunity to do so would be during the closure to remove the Nightmare Before Christmas edition in January, but with all that other work to do I’m not sure if that would be the right time.
(1/31/13) Haunted Mansion Holiday 2012 may be packed up and gone, but you can find an incredible video showing off the Halloween/Christmas themed revamp of the Haunted Mansion posted below to tide you through to next October. Just for giggles, you can compare how it looked in 2012 to how it looked back in 2002 to see what improvements and changes have been made over the years to the various scenes. (For example, the finale scene with the mirrors is totally different.)
(1/8/13) A reader sent in an interesting question this afternoon that I thougt I’d share. “Do you know if/when Disneyland will add the CG Hitchiking Ghost FX to its Haunted Mansion a la WDW's new version?”
A very valid question… as the new finale added to the Haunted Mansion in the Magic Kingdom has been very popular with guests as well as gaining acceptance from most Disney purists. But would a change like that “fly” with the protective California crowds, especially when it involved Walt’s original Haunted Mansion?
I asked around and was told that essentially it comes down to being just a matter of “when” and not “if’ it will happen. With the massive overhaul of California Adventure now over, WDI has been focused on taking care of a number of important projects at Disneyland… like the new trains on Matterhorn, a much needed rehab on Indiana Jones, and now there are a lot of people involved with the 10 month restoration of Big Thunder Mountain.
From the sound of things there is a bigger plan in the queue for Disneyland’s Haunted Mansion that will see the addition of a new and improved 3D audio system, the long anticipated addition of the Hatbox Ghost… and yes… the new digital Hitchhiking Ghosts finale. So be patient… good things come to those who wait.