Anaheim, California (Abbreviation: DL)
Walt Disney Theme Parks
---- THE LATEST BUZZ ----
(5/30/21) Disneyland To Launch Revised Jungle Cruise Experience In July (MORE...)
(5/29/21) Matterhorn To Remain Closed For a Bit Longer (MORE...)
(5/26/21) Disney Confirms Revised Jungle Cruise Attraction To Open This Summer (MORE...)
(5/5/21) Is Anyone Actually Upset By New Snow White Scene? (MORE...)
(4/30/21) POV of new Snow White's Enchanted Wish Ride (MORE...)
Ride Rehabs - These dates are not guaranteed to be 100% accurate as refurbishments are subject to change.
Matterhorn Bobsleds - NOW CLOSED through TBD
General Park News - (5/29/21) While Disneyland has reopened, one major attraction has been sitting silent in the middle of the park. The massive Matterhorn Bobsleds roller coaster remains closed, and is rumored to be closed to allow work crews to maintain, repair and replace the aging fake-rockwork and mountain theming that surrounds the structure, inside and out. We’ve also heard some early rumors of track-work possibly being done as needed while rumors also swirl about planning for a possible replacement of all the coaster track in a future refurbishment, not unlike what we’ve seen DIsney already do with Big Thunder Mountain and Space Mountain in years past.
It’s worth noting that similar track-replacement rumors have been whispered about for years for Space Mountain in Florida, which uses a coaster train and track system very similar to the one used on the Matterhorn in Disneyland. The rumored rehab in Florida is expected to take place sometime after the new Tron coaster opens in Tomorrowland out there in 2022, and if a new track system were to be installed there, it would only make sense to put the same engineering crews to work on the Matterhorn as well.
(4/14/21) According to the Disney Park Blog, the guests who will soon visit the Haunted Mansion may discover some new improvements to the attraction, both inside and out. Check out the video below for more information.
(4/10/21) The operating hours for Disneyland and California Adventure have been officially posted by Disney for dates from April 30th through to June 28th, 2021. While you can check the website for the official hours on the date of your visit, the plan right now includes opening both parks at 9am daily, closing at approximately 7pm at first, with the closing to be extended to 9pm daily starting on May 14, 2021.
(4/8/21) Disneyland Resort fans… Disney has now officially posted the list of what rides and attractions will be OPEN when the parks open to guests once again on April 30th, and with that in mind here is the list of what should be CLOSED. While some may remain closed due to COVID related restrictions, others are currently closed because they are undergoing refurbishment and may not be ready to reopen.
The following DISNEYLAND attractions will remain closed at this time:
Buzz Lightyear’s Astro Blasters
Chip ’N Dale Treehouse
Davy Crockett’s Explorer Canoes
Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln
Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage
Frontierland Shootin’ Exposition
Main Street Cinema
Pirate’s Lair on Tom Sawyer Island
Sailing Ship Columbia
Sleeping Beauty Castle Walkthrough
Star Wars Launch Bay
Storybook Land Canal Boats
As we get closed to the opening, I’d expect the list of open and closed attractions may shift a little bit as well.
(4/2/21) Disneyland fans should take note that Oga’s Cantina in Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge will no longer be the only place to serve alcohol in Disneyland when the park reopens in late April. Select adult beverages will begin to flow inside the park’s famous Blue Bayou Restaurant that shares the same space as the Pirates of the Caribbean ride.
This won't be open bar service however, so you will only be able to order select items from the menu, including select wines, beers and a New Orleans’ style Hurricane.
(3/21/21) Disneyland fans… management has now confirmed that the Disneyland and Disney California Adventure theme parks will reopen to guests once again starting on April 30, 2021. Remember only California Residents are allowed to visit at this time and reservations are required.
Disney’s Grand Californian hotel is also planning to reopen to guests starting April 29, 2021, though note that the DIsneyland Hotel and Paradise Pier Hotels will remain closed at this time.
Also, if you got a ticket to the “A Touch of Disney” food event taking place from March 18 through April 19, then you are good, because the event is now completely sold out and no new dates are planned to be added as the park is moving towards a full reopening.
(10/11/20) According to various posts on social media by Disneyland performers, the resort is officially shutting down two of their most popular shows: Frozen Live at Disney California Adventure as well as MIckey and the Magical Map at Disneyland. These will only be the start of the reported 28,000 Disney Cast Members to be laid off this fall, with the majority of these expected to come from the Disneyland Resort where the state has not allowed theme parks to reopen where Gov. Newsom is officially in “No hurry” to issue guidelines as to how they can proceed.
2021 - Snow White’s Enchanted Wish and Indiana Jones Updates - (5/5/21) I try to keep an open mind about things, but this may be taking things too far. Disneyland has only just reopened and already a pair of writers are giving the park a hard time about the addition of Prince Charming’s “kiss” to break the eternal sleeping spell that has put Snow White in a magical coma. Apparently, they feel it’s wrong to include this in the ride because it isn’t “consensual”.
Let’s not forget that we’re talking about the same cartoon universe where magic is real and wanna-be princesses can go around grabbing and giving non-consensual kisses to frogs just to see if they turn into a Prince. Either way, I get what they are saying, but my gut says this is just taking things a bit too far. I mean, I kiss my wife goodbye early in the morning when I’m leaving for work, even if she is asleep and unable to give consent. I may be no Prince Charming, but she’s my Sleeping Beauty.
(4/30/21) MiceChat has posted a new POV video showing off the new Snow White’s Enchanted Wish dark ride at Disneyland, including a brief look at the queue. Keep in mind that this isn’t a brand new ride, but simply an update and reimagined version of th e former Show White’s Scary Adventure dark ride.
(4/16/21) Disneyland has posted a first look at the new attraction poster for the renovated Snow White ride, now called Snow White’s Enchanted Wish.
(12/23/20) Disneyland has confirmed that the new Snow White’s Enchanted Wish attraction (formerly known as Snow White’s Scary Adventures) will be ready for guests to experience as soon as Disneyland is allowed to open once again. They’ve even posted a video preview taking a look inside the attraction, showing off some of the new figures and revised scenes. The outside of the attraction building has also been repainted to be a bit more bright and cherry as well, as opposed to the former dark color scheme.
According to the Disney Parks Blog the Imagineers have updated the ride adding new audio systems, visual effects, new music, LED black lightning, laser projections and ‘a new animation system’ to bring the attraction to life. Don’t be surprised if you smell apple pie during the ride, as a new effect to show off Doc’s handiwork has also been added.
(11/27/19) According to an update posted to the Disney Parks Blog, the changes coming to Snow White’s Scary Adventure in 2020 will make the dark ride attraction a little less scary as well as add a new ending scene showing Snow White being woken from her magic induced slumber and living happily ever after. Other improvements include new LED black lighting, new projection mapping effects as well as some new music.
As they aren’t making the building any bigger, this likely means that the current ending to the ride, where the witch is dropping the boulder down on everyone in a rain storm from atop a hill maybe removed. The outside of the attraction will also receive an updated look as well. Look for Snow White to close down starting January 7th, 2020 for an unknown period of time, but hopefully they will have it reopen in time for the summer crowds.
(11/18/19) It’s worth mentioning that in addition to a major refurbishment to the Snow White attraction, Disneyland has also filed permits for a major overhaul to the Indiana Jones Adventure dark ride as well in 2020.
(11/13/19) A quick update on my thoughts regarding the Snow White upgrade coming in 2020. I mentioned adding projection mapping to the attraction like Alice in Wonderland, but it was pointed out that there have already been two projection mapping effects added to Snow White previously, so this may simply see more similar style effects enhancements added, along with any other planned updates.
(11/12/19) According to local news reports Disneyland has filed permits for a nearly half-million dollar renovation project slated to happen sometime in 2020 to the park’s Snow White Scary Adventures dark ride. In addition to general sprucing up, rumor has it we may see some projection effects added, much like how they upgraded the nearby Alice in Wonderland dark ride a few years ago.
2021 - Jungle Cruise Update - (5/30/21) According to the Disney Parks Blog the new Jungle Cruise Experience will launch first at Disneyland on July 16th. Work on the Walt Disney World version at The Magic Kingdom is ongoing and it should open sometime later this Summer.
(5/26/21) A new preview video from Disney about the re-inspired version of the Jungle Cruise attraction can be seen below. According to the video the new version of the attraction will be ready sometime “This Summer” at both Walt Disney World and Disneyland.
(4/28/21) The Disney Parks Blog has revealed a new scene that will be added to The Jungle Cruise attractions in Disneyland and Walt Disney World later this year, as a replacement for the final scene with the Trader Sam figure. While Disneyland has been closed for a little over a year now, there wa sa little hub-bub a few weeks ago when guests to The Magic Kingdom noticed that Trader Sam had gone missing from the Florida attraction.
While Trader Sam will remain missing from the new scene, he will be represented in name still as the owner of Trader Sam’s Gift Shop, which has conveniently taken over the former Lost & Found station just before the end of the ride to make some profit from the lost items. While Sam is away, the monkeys have arrived to wreak havoc here as well it seems. Out of control monkeys seems to be an ongoing theme for the new Jungle Cruise storyline.
(3/22/21) Disney has added new details about what we can expect from the new version of The Jungle Cruise to open later this year at Disneyland and The Magic Kingdom parks. According to the latest details in addition to the push towards adding more ‘humor, wildlife and skipper heart’ to the attraction, they will also add new characters from around the world to the story. This will include a series of new scenes that guests will experience along the river ride as well as a storyline that will add new details into the backstory of the attraction, “centered around Alberta Falls, granddaughter of world-renowned Dr. Albert Falls, as the proprietor of the Jungle Navigation Company Ltd.”
Make the jump over to the Disney Parks Blog where they have posted an old publication that features an in depth interview with Alberta Falls that also ties in with Disney’s fictional storylines about the “Society of Explorers and Adventures” (SEA) group that weaves in and out of several attractions at Disney parks throughout the world.
(1/29/21) According to an official statement from the Disney theme parks, the Jungle Cruise at Disneyland and Magic Kingdom will soon undergo a bit of a remodel. The plan is to actually redo some of the theming and enhance “the story of the Jungle Cruise” on the attraction, while staying true to the experience with all the bad skipper jokes, while taking a more respectful approach to other cultures. Or as Disney put it they want to “reflect and value the diversity of the world around us.”
Ahem… you can take that for what you will, but in much the same vein that Disney has sought to course-correct themselves by altering select scenes on Pirates of the Caribbean over the years, they are now ready to tap their wand of political correctness a few times on The Jungle Cruise. I’m not saying it’s a bad thing, as in 2020 they were also quick to announce that Splash Mountain would retire the South of the South theming and replace it with a new story themed around The Princess and the Frog. So clearly there is an ongoing initiative at Disney’s Imagineering to update their attractions where needed to remove any cultural stereotyping for today’s modern audience.
Of all the attractions at Disney theme parks, perhaps The Jungle Cruise could be the one most in need of an update in this regard. I’m a bit surprised they aren’t taking the initiative to tie it in more closely to the look and theme of The Jungle Cruise film starring Dwayne Johnson and Emily Blunt. Then again, what really has always made the Jungle Cruise experience so special over the years has been the Skippers, and it is nice to see that this new enhancement of the storyline is expected to rely heavily on a new storyline involving the Skippers. After all… without the Skippers the Jungle Cruise would be… dare I say it… well… kinda lame.
Obviously the new roll out of the attraction changes will take place in Florida first, as that park is the only one currently open, but with Disneyland closed, they also have the freedom to make all the changes right away far away from the prying eyes of guests, so I would expect it to also be ready to roll at Disneyland as soon as the California park is given the green light to open once again.
2021/2022 - The Princess and The Frog - Confirmed - (6/27/20) I’m not quite sure where to begin with this post, but Disney dropped a bombshell of an announcement this week that I was not really expecting. Disney announced that they are planning to retheme the Splash Mountain attractions at Disneyland and The Magic Kingdom parks to The Princess and The Frog animated film.
I’ll let that sink in for a moment… Brer Rabbit and the whole Zippey-Do-Da-Gang are being removed, and the ride will be rethemed around the world of Princess Tiana and friends. According to the Disney Parks Blog this new story will begin just after ‘the final kiss’ from the film where riders will “join Princess Tiana and Louis on a musical adventure - featuring some of the powerful music from the film - as they prepare for their first-ever Mardi Gras performance.”
As someone who grew up and was a huge Disney park fan throughout my early years, this kind of shocked me. I’m not the biggest fan of changing some of the Disney attractions, just for the sake of change. The older the attraction is, the more of an attachment I think I might have had to it from my childhood. Case in point, I wasn’t a fan of the idea of changing the classic auction scene in Pirates to the current version where “Redd” is now a pirate.
I do not hate the new scene, as it is well done, but like any major change, I think it just takes some getting used to the idea and seeing the new version in the end to appreciate it. After all, like many of you, I grew up for decades chanting ‘We wants the red head’, which is now only part of the Disney history books.
I was a teenager when Splash Mountain was first built… in fact I had no idea it was even going to be a thing at all until visiting Disneyland during my Grad Nite event in 1988. I could see the huge steel structure rising into the night sky, surrounded by construction walls promoting the new ride to open in 1989. While I was already a fan of Disney parks, it was this moment that made me interested in the process of how Disney designed and built massive new attractions like these. My curiosity was sparked that night, which obviously had an effect on me for years to come.
So understand me when I say that upon first seeing the announcement this week, I probably dropped an F-bomb in disbelief. It didn’t help that a few weeks ago some news outlets were reporting that there was an online petition of activists asking Disney to do this very thing, but according to Disney this is actually a project that the Imagineers “have been working on since last year”.
I’m still surprised… but not entirely. Splash Mountain always had a rather interesting choice of IP in using the characters and theme from the film, The Song of the South. This is the one film that Disney has chosen to lock away in their vaults forever, with no plans to ever release it again, not even on Disney+. The 1946 film is a mix of live action and animated segments set in the old South following the end of the American Cival War and the abolishment of slavery. The film became criticized over the years since then due to the depiction of the Southern African-American characters and their animated counterparts as being potentially racist or offensive.
Despite this, the IP was tapped as the theme to build not just one, but three Splash Mountain attractions at Disney parks across the world. The original Splash Mountain opened in Summer 1989 in California followed by another in Walt Disney World in 1992 and a third at Tokyo Disneyland, also in 1992. There is no reference to the film at all, and the ride seeks to tell its story through the various animated characters from the film mixed with some new friends, that were actually retired Animatronic figures from Disneyland’s America Sings attraction. It is safe to say that the attraction has been a smash hit for Disney parks ever since, and as the ride system itself is staying, it will continue to do so, even with a new theme. The attraction was designed to carry riders through the various scenes accompanied by a fantastic musical soundtrack, so I can easily see how it can be rethemed and ‘plussed’ by Imagineering in this endeavor. If you take a look at the concept art you can see the classic look of Splash Mountain will be altered to look more green and lush, especially at the top of the drop where the old tree stump will now become Mama Odie’s House, featuring a full tree holding the broken boat high in the branches above where the logs emerge and take their plunge.
As a concept, I can easily see how many aspects of the current Splash Mountain layout and scenes can be changed to The Princess and The Frog. The report that this all takes place after the “last kiss” does make me hope that they can somehow include the return of Dr. Facilier (aka: The Shadow Man) as I’d love to see the scenes in the belly of Splash Mountain’s from the mid-drop up to the approach to the big drop be given over to create a scene with the voodoo man and the forces from “the other side”. Of course we all know the ending scene of Splash Mountain with the River Boat will probably be kept and updated to be a Mardi Gras celebration with Tiana and Louis, which is only fitting.
So with all this in mind, I can see how the overall ride experience may actually be improved here by going forward with a new theme. I know how tempting it is to say you wont like it just because it isn’t the ride you grew up with, but look at just how many people seem to enjoy the Guardians of the Galaxy version of the former Twilight Zone attraction at Disney California Adventure now. Many say that the Guardians version was a dramatic improvement over California’s Twilight Zone version, so we really will just need to wait and see what happens.
My only final thoughts here have more to do with the overall theming of the lands and such involved. Clearly changing Splash Mountain to now have a New Orleans theme in Disneyland is a no brainer, as the modified look of the new attraction will fit right like a glove positioned next to The Haunted Mansion there, creating an extension of the existing New Orleans Square theming, and leaving Pooh at the solitary inhabitant of Critter Country. In Walt Disney World however, the change is going to be a bit more disturbing to the current theming of that park where Splash Mountain is set smack in the middle of Frontierland, positioned between Big Thunder Mountain Railroad and the Frontierland buildings that are home to The Country Bears attraction and the Pecos Bill Tall Tale Inn & Cafe. I don’t have a solution or answer to this particular issue, so I’m curious to see how WDI will address it.
It is also interesting to note that, for now at least, Splash Mountain will live on in Japan, as there has been no plans posted to update or change the version at Tokyo DIsneyland at this time. At this point in time, Disney has given no time-table as to when we may expect to see this transformation process begin at either park, but hopefully there will be time to have a few more final rides on Splash Mountain before the old version is gone for good. (Now if maybe Disneyland can work in a plan to modify their trough system to use the same double-wide boats that WDW uses, that would be great as well...)
2023 - Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway - (10/23/20) A great picture of the huge building that will be home to the new Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway attraction in Toontown was posted to Twitter this week. The original version built in Florida was design to fit into that park’s pre-existing Great Movie Ride building structure. So it should be interesting to see if this new version built from scratch will make any changes to the overall building design or layout of the attraction, as they have been given the opportunity to custom build it from the ground up.
(9/4/20) Construction on the new Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway attraction at Disneyland is now well under way. Disneyland President posted a picture and some timelapse footage of the construction site as the first big vertical steel piece has been put into place. They have also set a new timeline that will see the new attraction ready to open in 2023 after work was delayed by the pause in construction caused by the pandemic.
(11/18/19) For anyone curious, a great aerial photo over Disneyland shows off the large cleared space behind Toontown where Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway will go.
(8/27/19) The Disneyland version of Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway will take place inside the El CapiTOON Theater in Mickey’s Toontown, where you arrive for the premier of a brand new Mickey short called “Perfect Picnic”. Before you know it, you are whisked off on a “zany, out-of-control adventure filled with surprising twists and turns.”
(4/24/19) Disney has confirmed this past week the rumor that a copy of the “Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway” attraction under construction in Florida will also appear inside Toontown at Disneyland in the near future. Look for the attractiton to open in 2022 where guests will be taken into the cartoon world of Mickey, Minnie and friends.
“With an original story and lovable theme song, Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway uses state-of-the-art technologies and dazzling visual effects to transform the cartoon world into an incredible and immersive multi-dimensional experience.”
(10/31/18) While Disneyland has not yet confirmed anything, the latest rumor making the rounds this week claims that a clone of the Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway attraction under construction at Disney’s Hollywood Studios park in Florida will be coming to Disneyland’s Toontown as the next big attraction to open inside Disneyland probably about three or four years after Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge opens in 2019.
The attraction's large ride building is said to be built almost entirely backstage so that none of the existing attractions will have to be removed, with the exception of a retail space that is likely to be lost to make room for the attraction's entrance and exit pathways.