Some people saw the recent Disney Pictures’ release PLANES as a cynical cash grab that merely made margins modifications to Pixar’s charming CARS franchise…and some other people enjoy Dane Cook. Whichever camp you fall in, you must admit it was inevitable that the anthropomorphized aircraft would eventually arrive in at least one of Mickey’s theme parks.
Recently, Disneyland’sIndiana Jones Adventure was unexpectedly upgraded with digital projection mapping effects that bring the opening scene’s Mara statue to life in a dynamic new way. The “plussing” of the attraction was somewhat controversial online due to the replacement of the original accompanying audio track (which was never voiced by James Earl Jones, contrary to urban legend), but the Internet buzz shouldn’t overshadow how welcome it is that Imagineering is still improving an eighteen year old E-Ticket.
That brings up the importance of the special effect, or “illusion,” in the art of the dark ride. (For the purposes of this post, “dark ride” refers to attractions where guests travel in a vehicle through a series of largely indoor environments that feature scenery and visual effects.) Dark rides predate Disneyland but were perfected by the Mouse; while a few competitors can now go toe-to-toe with Disney’s attractions in the awe-inspiring technology department, the Anaheim resort still houses the world’s greatest collection of ride-through theatrical illusions, featuring some “wow” moments that still draw gasps generations after their invention.
If you are into the wonderful world of collecting runDisney medals, you undoubtedly already know that this weekend is not only Labor Day, but also the sold-out Half-Marathon Weekend at Disneyland Resort. But even if the only Disney running you do is to Peter Pan at rope drop, you should be aware of the athletic activities in case you were planning on an early morning visit to the Anaheim parks in the next few days.
Race-related activities kicks off this morning with the Disneyland Health & Fitness Expo, which continues until 5pm Saturday at the Disneyland Hotel. On Saturday (8/31) the 5k Family Fun Run and 10k race start at 5:15am and 6:15am, respectively, with Kids Races held in Downtown Disney at 10am. Finally, the Pasta in the Park party takes over a corner of Disneyland at 6pm (separate ticket required, sold-out).
We all have our favorite stores in the Walt Disney World parks and resorts to get our fill of merchandise. Whether it’s Once Upon a Toy in Downtown Disney, Mouse Gear in Epcot, or the Ink & Paint Shop at the Art of Animation Resort, it’s not that hard finding a gift shop filled to the brim with the latest Disney vinylmation, t-shirts, and plushes. But did you know that there is a place where all the merchandise Disney has a hard time selling ends up? A magical store filled with discount prices and Disney-related items that even Guy Selga wouldn’t touch with a ten foot pole? Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you Orlando’s Disney Outlet Stores: Disney’s Character Warehouse.
In keeping with Disney’s current “Christmas in July” Limited Time Magic promotion, Disneyland Resort made a surprise announcement today and revealed an all-new “Winter Dreams” version of the uber-popular World of Color nighttime show, coming exclusively to Disney California Adventure this holiday season.
The revamped show will debut on November 15, 2013, and is expected to run nightly through New Year’s 2014. The new show will be hosted by Olaf, a snowman character from the upcoming CGI animated film Frozen, and also feature winter-inspired elements from classic films like Bambi and Toy Story.
All attendees age 3 and older must have a valid Disneyland annual pass, and entry wristbands will be distributed on a first come-first served basis starting at 3pm outside the theater. The screening begins at 8pm, and lasts about 90 minutes. Space is limited, and late arrivals will be denied entry. Season's greeting!
The Lone Ranger, Disney’s latest big-screen collaboration between Jerry Bruckheimer and Johnny Depp, rides into American cinemas on July 3, 2013, but the masked hero will be making an early appearance at Disney California Adventure for an exclusive audience. On June 22 the film will have its red carpet premiere inside the second Anaheim theme park in a charity event benefiting the American Indian College Fund.
In past years, premieres for the Pirates of the Caribbean films have been held along Disneyland’s Rivers of America, necessitating the closure of parts of Frontierland and New Orleans Square to regular guests. The Lone Ranger premier will be held inside DCA’s Hyperion Theater and should have minimal impact on guests outside of the Hollywood Land area. A limited number of tickets to the premiere are available online for $1000 each. Regular guests will not be able to attend the private screening, but will be able to see celebrities (including the Lone Ranger’s horse, Silver) parade down Hollywood Boulevard, and a life-sized train engine from the film will be on display.
We’ll bring more details of the event, and any anticipated effect on visitors, as they become available. In the meantime, here is the complete press release about the premiere:
As we shared back in March, Disneyland Resort is planning to celebrate Greek culture with an Opa! festival later this month. The event be held at both Disneyland Resort parks over the weekend of May 25 to 27.
This week Disneyland released details on the food and entertainment that will feature at this event. Activities will take place daily from 10am to 6pm in the small world mall area of Disneyland Park and Paradise Gardens at Disney California Adventure. You’ll find line dancing, wine seminars, and food tastings at Disney California Adventure; Hercules will conduct “Olympic training” games at Disneyland Park.
The above events (excluding food and drinks) are included in regular park admission. In addition, Executive Chef Christine Weissman, Greek celebrity Chef Argiro Barbarigou, and Greek winemaker Christina Boutari will present “Celebrate Greece: A Culinary Experience,” a 4-course dinner at DCA’s Golden Valley Winery on May 26 at 8pm. Tickets are $150, including tax, gratuity, and reserved World of Color viewing (park admission separate); click here for reservations and tickets.
Recently, I shared some of my favorite ways to start a morning at Disney California Adventure. Today, let’s look at the flip side of the operating day. While crowds are arriving early every day at DCA’s front gate since Cars Land‘s arrival, some of the park’s highlights can only be experienced after dark. Here are my top five ways to finish off an evening at DCA:
Drinks With a View
One distinct advantage DCA has over its older brother across the Esplanade is the ability to imbibe alcoholic beverages as you tour. You’ll find spots to whet your whistle all around the park, from Carthay Circle’s swanky downstairs lounge to the imported beer kiosk near the Paradise Garden Grill. Nothing beats having a finely crafted cocktail in the night air, enjoying the park’s cleverly Imagineered aesthetics, and DCA has a couple of ideal evening watering holes.
I’ve already extolled the romantic virtues of the Alfresco Lounge at Golden Valley Winery, which has a second-story view down Route 66 to the stunning Cadillac Mountain range. Another great spot for a beverage is the Cove Bar behind Ariel’s Grotto; simply cut through the restaurant lobby to reach this often-overlooked gem. In addition to the standard extensive drink list, the Cove offers a small menu of large appetizers; the lobster nachos are big enough for four or more to share. Best of all, the bar recently rescinded its policy of levying a $10 cover charge during World of Color performances, making it a great place to watch the show, provided you don’t mind an obtuse perspective of the water screens.
At one point earlier this week, Space Mountain, Matterhorn Bobsleds, and Soarin’ Over California were all simultaneously shuttered, in addition to Big Thunder Mountain which is closed for an extensive refurb. Then, on Friday (April 19) California Screamin’ was added to the list of forbidden rides, following a review of emergency evacuation procedures. Note that these closures are not related to guest safety, but to fall protection and other safety measures for employees cleaning and servicing the attractions after hours.
At press time, the Matterhorn and Soarin’ Over California have both been reinspected and returned to service. California Screamin’ was also reopened late on Friday, and is expected to operate on Saturday. However, according to reports on MiceAge, Space Mountain may be out of service for the rest of April.
If you are visiting Disneyland in the immediate future and using our Lines app to optimize, your touring plan should automatically adjust to accommodate any closed attractions. Check back on our Refurbishment page for updates on what is operating at the resort on any given day.