Posts Tagged ‘Frontierland’

Disneyland’s Rivers of America Closing Day Videos

by on January 15, 2016

Rivers of America closing

Take your last cruise around Disneyland’s Rivers of America until 2017 with closing day 4K videos. (Photos/video by Seth Kubersky)

January 10, 2016 will be remembered as a momentous day in Disneyland history, not only because it saw the permanent closure of Big Thunder Ranch, but because it marked the end of Frontierland’s Rivers of America in its current form. This scenic area of the original Magic Kingdom all all its attractions, whose designs date back to Walt’s day, will be out of service until April 2, 2017, at the earliest. When the Rivers of America reopen, it will have been downsized to accommodate the arrival of Star Wars Land, with the water rerouted along a shorter circuit. The next few years will be an exciting time of expansion at the Disneyland Resort, but before we blast into the future it’s appropriate to pay tribute to the past. If you you couldn’t make it out in person before the long reconstruction begins, relieve the Rivers of America closing day with these exclusive videos.

 

S.S. Columbia and Mark Twain Riverboat Closing Sailings

On the final day before the Rivers of America closing and lengthy refurbishment, I tried three times to board one of the big boats that ply the waters, and was turned away each time because of capacity crowds. That should give you an idea how popular these normally sleepy attractions were with fans saying farewell. I never did get aboard the Columbia that day, though I did capture photos of its final crew coming into port.

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A Disney World Historian’s Exploration of Disneyland Park

by on December 28, 2015

The light in Walt's apartment window above the Disneyland Fire Dept.

The light in Walt’s apartment window above the Disneyland Fire Dept.

One of the many things I love and appreciate about the Disney Parks is that, while they are constantly evolving and improving, they stay true to their history and even celebrate it; and when I’m at Walt Disney World, I’m always looking for it. Much to my family’s chagrin, I have this inner need to educate them about the history of each attraction we find ourselves waiting in line for or about the individual windows on Main Street, U.S.A., or about the original name of Cinderella’s Royal Table or…well…you get the idea. As you can imagine, this self-pronounced Disney World Historian was beyond thrilled to experience her first trip to the Disneyland Park to finally walk in Walt’s footsteps, a literal treasure trove of Disney History and the original. So stay tuned for A Disney World Historian’s Guide to the Disneyland Park.

Walt's Bench

Walt’s Bench

Main Street, U.S.A.

There is so much history for the Walt Disney World fan to appreciate on the original Main Street, U.S.A., more than I could ever mention in one article! However, a personal favorite of mine has to be Walt Disney’s Griffith Park Bench found just inside the Opera House. According to Walt, he was sitting on a bench in Griffith Park watching his daughters ride the merry-go-round when he first dreamed up a Disney-themed park where families could have fun together.

The Opera House is also where guests can take in Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln, the predecessor to the Hall of Presidents at the Magic Kingdom in Walt Disney World. Walt originally wanted audio-animatronic American Presidents in a show, but the technology just wasn’t available at the time for such a large-scale show. It was possible, however, when Walt Disney World opened and The Hall of Presidents was somewhat of a fulfillment of Walt’s original vision. Therefore, Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln is something every Disney World Historian should check out and is sure to create an even greater appreciation for The Hall of Presidents.

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Pecos Bill Tall Tale Inn and Cafe To See Menu Change

by on September 25, 2015

©Rikki Niblett

©Rikki Niblett

If you are a fan of Pecos Bill’s you will notice a change on your next visit. Beginning September 28 and lasting through September 30, Pecos Bill’s Tall Tale Inn and Cafe will be closed for refurbishment, however, the refurbishment work isn’t going to be changing the restaurant’s decor. Instead, when the Frontierland quick service restaurant reopens on October 1, it will feature a brand new menu; no more burgers!

The new menu that will soon be featured at the popular dining establishment will include delicious dishes like fajitas, burritos, and rice bowls. (Hmmmm….sound like the Magic Kingdom’s version of Chipotle? Also, could they maybe bring back the taco salad? That would be my wish anyway.)

No word on what will happen with the toppings bar with the refurb, though with the ingredients available currently, one would suspect that the toppings bar will remain with delicious offerings to use on your burrito or fajita.

Tortuga Tavern, which can be found next door, used to offer similar Mexican-inspired dishes, however, the restaurant is listed as seasonal, and is infrequently open.

Pecos Bill’s new menu sounds like a nice new addition to the Magic Kingdom’s quick service dining offerings.

 

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Seth Kubersky’s Best Week Ever September 24, 2015: Disneyland Paris Walkthrough Attractions

by on September 24, 2015

best week ever disneyland paris walkthroughs

Take a walk through the best attractions at Disneyland Paris with the Best Week Ever. (photos by Seth Kubersky)

Greetings and salutations from the high seas! I’m currently in the middle of a transatlantic cruise from Barcelona back to Florida, but even in the midst of my marvelous voyage on the newly refurbished Disney Magic (more on the boat’s upgrades in an upcoming column) I still can’t get my recent visit to Disneyland Paris out of my mind. If you read the last edition of Best Week Ever, you already know I didn’t find much positive to say about the Walt Disney Studios park at the resort formerly known as EuroDisney, but the Disneyland Parc — as the French call it — was a different story altogether. When I’m back on dry land, I’ll go into greater depth on the strengths and weaknesses of that potential-packed park, but for right now I want to share some visual highlights from my favorite unique attractions. Disneyland Paris is well know for its unusual variations on classic Disney rides like Big Thunder Mountain, Space Mountain, and Haunted Mansion (a.k.a. Phantom Manor). Far less publicized — but just as exciting to me — are the one-of-a-kind Disneyland Paris walkthrough attractions that can be found in each of its lands. While most guests attend a theme park to climb aboard moving ride vehicles, I invite you now to take a stroll through some of Disneyland Park’s most exciting pedestrian experiences.

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Conquering the Magic Kingdom Mountains in an Hour

by on June 22, 2015

Photo courtesy of WDWnews.com

Photo courtesy of WDWnews.com

While it’s true that the Magic Kingdom is home to a number of classic family attractions, such as “it’s a small world” and the Jungle Cruise, the park is also home to a number of thrill rides promising speed, drops, and screams!

It seems, however, that at the Magic Kingdom there is a rule that the park’s thrill rides must be delivered in the form of mountains. Attractions such as Splash Mountain and Space Mountain are some of the park’s most popular and both are known to flood their queues with guests and evaporate those FastPass+ reservations. This causes guests like myself to plan and strategize on how to get that adrenaline fix without wasting valuable park time in line.

Usually I trust FastPass+ or a Magic Kingdom Touring Plan to get me on these mountain-shaped attractions without suffering long waits, but during my last trip I had a crazy thought — Can you conquer the Magic Kingdom Mountains in an hour? Feeling confident, as well as caffeinated, I decided to find out.

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Best Places to Find Pins at Disney World

by on September 21, 2014

Disney Pin Trading has become somewhat of a Disney vacation pastime and is one of my personal favorite things to do when I visit Disney World. What is Disney Pin Trading? Well, all throughout Disney World you will find metal pins for sale representing everything from characters to resorts to attractions to special events. The more pins you purchase, the greater your collection, plus you have great mementos to remember your vacation by; but this souvenir experience is also interactive in that you can trade with Cast Members, or with other guests, if they so choose. It’s a fun activity that everyone can enjoy while exploring the parks and resorts!

Disney Pin Trading - A Glass Slipper Vacation

Disney Pin Trading

Now you will find Disney Pins for sale almost everywhere throughout the parks and resorts, but there are some corners of Disney World where you may find a better selection of pins or those rare, special edition pins or just maybe that one you’ve been hunting for the whole trip. So read on to check out my best places to find pins at Disney World!

Epcot’s Morocco Pavilion – This particular Epcot pavilion is one of my favorites because there’s a lot more to see than just the fountain and restaurants found at the front. The Morocco Pavilion actually extends back farther than what you may realize in a network of exotic, winding streets which contain lots of things to see and a few shops. It’s impressive and trust me, you will have a hard time reminding yourself that you’re actually in Central Florida and not Morocco! Anyway, back to Disney Pins. So because most guests don’t realize that the Morocco pavilion offers more than just what’s at the front door, the Cast Members who work at the rear of the pavilion, and their lanyards, aren’t visited by guests nearly as much as at others. While nothing is guaranteed, Morocco, in my opinion, is a good bet for those rare Cast Member pins!

Stores & Service Locations – Most shops and stores at the parks have their own individual pin boards from which you can trade from. Some stores have their own “themed” boards that match the theme of the land or attraction they belong to, which only makes trading even more fun! Some of the pin boards at the Disney World Resorts are only brought out at certain times and may have a trading limit. If you’re not sure, feel free to ask! In addition, many service locations at Disney World, such as stroller rentals, also have their own pin boards. I’ve even heard of a pin covered stroller with a stuffed Mickey Mouse in the seat from which you can trade at the Magic Kingdom! Pin boards are where I go to in order to trade because you never know what you might find, and very few guests realize that service locations have their own pin boards.

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Magic Kingdom AtMousePhere: The Music of Frontierland

by on September 14, 2014

Copyright - Disney

Copyright – Disney

Howdy!

If you’ve been to a Wild West town before – whether it was an old authentic ghost town or right out of a theme park (like, say, Walt Disney World?) – you probably know the keys to a good western locale. First, there should be lots of wooden buildings. Second, there should be a saloon, or two, or four. Third, there should be some rollickin’ good music to put you in a square-dancin’ mood.

The Frontierland area of Magic Kindgom park has all three of these keys. The music in the area really transports you back in time to the good ol’ days and gets everyone excited to be in that area of the park. Whether you are eating at the Pecos Bill Cafe or heading to the queue for Big Thunder Mountain, you are successfully inundated through the atmosphere and AtMousePhere.

Let’s take a closer look!

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Disneyland’s Big Thunder Mountain Railroad Refurb Officially Extended Until 2014

by on October 7, 2013

Image copyright Disney

File this piece under “the least surprising news in the wilderness”:

After months of officially insisting that Disneyland’s iconic Big Thunder Mountain Railroad ride in California would return from its multi-month refurbishment in time for fall 2013 holiday season — despite rampant rumors that there was still extensive work to be done — Mickey has finally admitted that you won’t be taking any rides past the newly-rebuilt town of Rainbow Ridge until early next year.

The announcement only provides a vague reopening time period of “Winter [early] 2014,” but we’ve updated our attraction closures webpage with a tentative return date of February 15, 2014.

Stay tuned for more information as it becomes available.

 

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Photo Gallery: Feathered Friends of Disneyland’s Tom Sawyer Island

by on June 8, 2013

Photos by Seth Kubersky

Ask the average tourist which top attractions they are planning their Disneyland Resort visit around, and she’ll probably name-check modern marvels like Radiator Springs Racers or vintage E-tickets like Space Mountain. Tom Sawyer Island, on the other hand, isn’t the kind of headliner anyone heads towards at rope drop. Yet Frontierland’s immersive playground environment is essential enough to the Disney theme park formula that a version appears in each of the first three Magic Kingdom parks (Anaheim, Orlando, and Tokyo), with Adventureland-based close cousins constructed in Paris and Hong Kong.

Lately, two of the Islands have been the subject of intense Internet scrutiny. The “escape tunnel” leading from the fort on Walt Disney World’s TSI was recently unceremoniously sealed off, leading to speculation that this popular feature might be permanently off-limits. And rumors are circulating that Tokyo Disneyland’s entire Rivers of America region, including Tom Sawyer Island, could be replaced with a copy of DCA’s Cars Land.

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Hipstamatic Disneyland: Frontierland

by on May 31, 2012

A few weeks ago, I introduced you to the wondrous photographic time machine that is the Hipstamatic iPhone app.

In this installment of my ongoing visual gallery, I want to go on a virtual voyage back to the 1970s, when Disneyland’s Frontierland looked…pretty much the same as it does today. As long as you ignore the late-model mountains at either end, modern Hipstaprints from the middle of Frontierland look like might as well have been taken forty years ago.

 

The clothes are the giveaway that these aren’t Polaroids out of my attic.

The Shooting Exposistion recently had its marquee refurbished, so this really is a historical photo now…

Does anyone remember if Disneyland did Day of the Dead decor back in the 70s?

This petrified tree was an anniversary gift from Walt to his wife. Legend says she was less then thrilled, and made him put it in his park instead of their home.

The rigging of the Sailing Ship Columbia is truly timeless.

One last look at the Mark Twain riverboat pulling into its dock.

Do you have favorite Hipstamatic pics, or genuine instamatic photos from past? Please pass them along to seth@touringplans.com and we may feature them on our blog!

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