Posts Tagged ‘Disneyland’

Woody’s All-American Roundup Arriving at Disneyland This Summer

by on May 18, 2013

Photo copyright Disney

With heavy lifting recently completed on the reconstruction of Big Thunder Mountain Railroad‘s track, the construction crane near Disneyland’s Big Thunder Trail has been removed, reopening the pathway between Fantasyland and Frontierland full-time and returning the Big Thunder Ranch to daily operation. That’s good news, because that area can expect to see much higher attendance next month when the Toy Story team arrives.

Similar to the Big Thunder Ranch Jamboree held last summer at Big Thunder’s festival arena, Woody’s All-American Roundup will include character meet & greets, carnival games, kids crafts, and specialty snacks. New this year is “Talent Roundup” stage show, featuring Jessie the Cowgirl’s slingshot skills, Woody’s lasso tricks, and the musical stylings of Buckaroo Bob.

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Disneyland Reveals Details of Opa! A Celebration of Greek Culture

by on May 11, 2013

Photo copyright Disney

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.

 

 

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Space Mountain Reopens but Disneyland Still Faces OSHA Issues

by on May 7, 2013

As we reported late last month, the Disneyland Resort recent shuttered some major E-Ticket attractions following inspections from California’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (Cal/OSHA). Most of the rides, including Soarin’ Over California and California Screamin’, swiftly returned to service, but the iconic Space Mountain remained off-limits to guests for the past 3 weeks.

Happily, Space Mountian returned to service on Friday night (May 3) and resumed normal operating hours as of Saturday, May 4. To clarify earlier coverage, Disney was fined $234,850 after a contract employee was injured in a fall last November while cleaning the exterior of Space Mountain, but the current closure was a voluntary action (not mandated by Cal/OSHA) intended to ameliorate related safety issues that had previously been “grandfathered” approval. Disneyland has not yet announced whether it will appeal the fines, or if further safety modifications to Disneyland attractions (or similar rides at Walt Disney World) will be made.

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Top Five Ways to End Your Day at Disneyland Park

by on April 25, 2013

Fireworks Over Sleeping Beauty CastleIn recent weeks, I’ve shared some my favorite ways to begin my day at Disneyland Park and Disney California Adventure, as well as top picks for finishing a DCA visit, and even places to pause at mid-day around the Resort.

Today, I’m concluding this series with a look at the best options for ending your evening at Disneyland Park. While Disneyland is magical at any time of day, there is something particularly special about those final hours before closing at the original Magic Kingdom. Any one of the following activities (or combination thereof) should guarantee a fitting finale to your day at the Happiest Place on Earth.

Fireworks and Fantasmic!

No one does explosive spectaculars better than Disney, and there is no better one-two punch among theme park pageants than Disneyland’s fireworks and Fantasmic! Whether the show is Remeber…Dreams Come True, Magical, or one of the special seasonal displays, Disneyland’s pyrotechnics are not-to-be-missed. And Disneyland’s Fantasmic! is the ultimate assemblage of animated characters, action stunts, and enormous animatronics. On nights when both shows are performed,first watch the fireworks from the hub near Frontierland, the head immediately towards the river for a seat. Alternatively, stake out a spot early for Fantasmic and you’ll still have a fine view of the overhead sky bursts (though not effects on the castle or Tinker Bell’s flight).

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Disneyland Alert: Space Mountain Closed by Cal/OSHA

by on April 20, 2013

Photo by Seth Kubersky

As you may have heard, the Disneyland Resort has been having serious issues with some of its headlining E-Tickets lately. On April 12, inspectors from California’s Division of Occupational Safety and Health (following up on an incident from earlier this year in which a Space Mountain maintenance worker fell and was injured) issued a citation to Disneyland for safety violations in the Anaheim parks, with proposed penalties totaling nearly a quarter million dollars.

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.

 

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Rediscovered Transcript Reveals Original Spielberg/Disneyland Connection

by on April 16, 2013

Photos by Seth Kubersky

It's no secret that legendary film director Steven Spielberg is a life-long theme park afficiando. As a long-time consultant to Universal Studios, rides based on movies he has created or produced (including classics like ET, Back to the Future, Jaws, Men in Black, and Jurassic Park) have been hits in Orlando, California, and Japan. Spielberg is also known to be a fan of classic Disney films; he had composer John Williams include the melody “When You Wish Upon a Star” in his Close Encounters of the Third Kind score, and his film A.I. is essentially an explicit update of Pinnoccio.

But few fans realize how far back Spielberg's fascination with theme park rides — specifically Disneyland dark rides and E-tickets — goes. Thanks to a fascinating 35-year-old story conference transcript, we have a first-hand account of the lauded filmmaker's pro-Disney fanaticism.

The minutes of this momentous meeting, recorded over a week in late January 1978, document the moment when Spielberg, together with pal George Lucas and screenwriter Lawrence Kasdan, brainstormed the basic backstory of Indiana Jones, and solidified the script outline that would eventually become 1981's Raiders of the Lost Ark. Originally leaked on an Internet film site in 2009 as scan of a grainy photocopy, the document has recently resurfaced as a searchable PDF. These newly accessible transcripts reveal the creative energy that birthed this iconic screen hero, and give insight into these award-winning artists' working methods.

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Farewell to Main Street Favorites: Disneyland’s Market House and Voices of Liberty Say Goodbye

by on April 11, 2013

They say that April showers bring May flowers, but this month a different kind of precipitation may be misting up Disneyland’s Main Street, U.S.A. I’m certain that I’m not the only Disney devotee who is shedding a tear over the loss of two favorite front-of-park attractions. One, a legendary retail outlet that had remained largely untouched for decades; the other, a relatively recent entertainment import from Epcot.

First and foremost, Disneyland’s Market House will close on April 15 for its transformation into a franchised Starbucks Coffee outlet, similar to the Fiddler, Fifer & Practical Cafe that opened in DCA last summer. The rehabbed location, like the one across the Esplanade, is expected to be hugely popular with guests seeking their familiar Starbucks fix. But we would be remiss not to mark the passing of one of Main Street’s best-loved locations.

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Enchanted Tiki Room 50th Anniversary Event Tickets Now On Sale

by on April 8, 2013

Are you a devoted fan of Disneyland’s original Audio-Animatronics attraction, home to dozens of frolicking feathered friends (and the delectable Dole Whip)? Then you’re going to want to dig deep any pony up for passes to the Walt Disney’s Enchanted Tiki Room 50th Anniversary Event, scheduled for June 28-29 at the Disneyland Hotel exhibit hall.

Event admission starts at $85 per person for the “Jose package,” which includes admission to the event store, silent auctions and trading opportunities, and a presentation featuring Disney Legends Rolly Crump and Bob Gurr. For an additional $185, you can meet popular retro artist SHAG at an evening cocktail reception.

The real reason people pay big bucks to attend these merchandise events is the opportunity to spend even more on exclusive and limited-edition souvenirs. A “random selection process” is used to distribute purchase opportunities among registrants for rare items, while other “open edition” artwork may be available online and in resort stores after the event.

Tickets are limited and can be purchased now online. If similar past events for the Haunted Mansion are any indication, you’ll want to order your tickets now if you plan on attending. Here is the complete event itinerary:

June 28, 2013 (5pm – 9pm)

  • Early Registration (including pick-up of Random Selection Process Merchandise)
  • Event Store
  • Trading Area

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Where Do You Nap at the Disneyland Resort?

by on April 3, 2013

photos by Seth Kubersky

As every experienced theme park commando knows, the Unofficial Guide’s number one tip for visiting Disneyland on a busy day (like during 2013’s spring break season) is “arrive early, arrive early, arrive early.” But the flip side is our paradoxical suggestion to stay late during extended operating hours, in order to take advantage of evening entertainment and shorter attraction lines.

Following both recommendations can result in spending a solid 16+ hours inside the park, if you enter at 8am and depart at midnight (a standard peak-season operating schedule). If that sounds more like a death march than a vacation to you, you’re not alone. That leads us to our most frequently overlooked essential epigram of touring intelligence: take a nap! A few minutes (or hours) of shut-eye in the middle of the afternoon will not only re-energize you for the evening, but also offer an escape from the worst wait times of the day. By the way, this advice is just as crucial for adults as it is for children. Even if you never take a nap at home, take the time for a lie-down any day you spend over 8 hours touring. Trust me, you’ll thank us!

Unlike the sprawling Walt Disney World, Disneyland Resort is compact and easily accessible from numerous off-site hotels, making it easy for many guests to walk from the park gates to their rooms in less time than it take to retrieve a vehicle from the parking garage. If you are staying on property or within a short stroll of Disneyland, there’s absolutely no excuse not to take a mid-day rest in your room.

However, there are still plenty of visitors who can’t or won’t leave the Disneyland Resort and return again later that day. When you need to recharge, but don’t want to walk off property, where do you go? If you can’t retreat to your room, there are still some quiet corners amid the resort’s chaos where you can catnap. For starters, here are four of my favorite spots to sneak forty winks around the Disneyland Resort.

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Photo Gallery: Disneyland Resort In Spring Bloom

by on April 1, 2013

All photos by Seth Kubersky

Right now at Walt Disney World, the 20th annual Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival is in full swing, attracting tourists from far and wide to admire the park’s painstakingly pruned foliage. But while this Orlando attraction may get the lion’s share of agricultural attention, Disney’s left coast parks don’t need a special occasion to shine in the shrubbery department.

With the spring season officially started (as of the vernal equinox on March 20), it’s appropriate for us to take a moment to stop smell the roses… along with the irises, violets, sunflowers, and other assorted horticultural spectacles seeded around the Disneyland Resort. For today’s photo gallery, I’ve selected a variety of snaps that I took last month during an Anaheim research expedition, highlighting the vibrant colors and rich textures you can currently find in flowerbeds around the Happiest Place on Earth.

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