Posts Tagged ‘closing’

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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Goodbye Goats: Video of Big Thunder Ranch’s Closing Day at Disneyland

by on January 14, 2016

In my professional opinion, one of Disneyland’s greatest assets is its deep bench of minor attractions that can be enjoyed by all ages, to balance out the heavy-hitting E-Ticket rides. Accordingly, ever since I began working on the Unofficial Guide to Disneyland, I’ve been advocating for Big Thunder Ranch‘s goats as the park’s greatest under-the-radar treasure. This year, I’ll have the sad duty of deleting all references to the Ranch from the next edition of the Unofficial Guide, as the petting zoo (along with the adjacent barbecue restaurant) ended operations for good at 4 p.m. on Sunday, January 10, 2016. Of course, I had to be there for Big Thunder Ranch’s closing day — along with every annual passholder in California, apparently — to witness the end of an era.

I was wise enough to get my final scritchings in with Big Thunder Ranch’s whiskered stars on Saturday, since I knew the competition to get “last petting” bragging rights would be intense among goat groupies. Even on Saturday, the Ranch was busier than I’d ever seen before that weekend.

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Video: Beetlejuice Graveyard Revue Closing Day

by on January 8, 2016

Beetlejuice graveyard revue closing day

Say bye bye to BJ with our Beetlejuice Graveyard Revue closing day video. (Photos/video by Seth Kubersky)

The Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights may have been the most beloved attraction to close so far in 2016, but it wan’t the only Orlando fan favorite to fold this week. Over at Universal Studios Florida, audiences applauded the Beetlejuice Graveyard Revue closing day cast as the boorish bio-exorcist and his monstrous bandmates went back into their tombs for the last time.


The closing day for Beetlejuice’s Graveyard Revue — also known in its latest incarnation as Beetlejuice’s Graveyard Mash-Up — came on January 5, 2016, which was extended several weeks from the orginally announced ending date by “popular demand.”


For the final day, a special evening performance was added exclusively for annual passholders. Some super-fans lined up before dawn to secure wristbands for the final show, but there were still hundreds available from USF’s Studio Audience Center in mid-afternoon.

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Video: Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights Closing Night

by on January 8, 2016

Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights Closing night video

After twenty years of warming holiday memories at Walt Disney World’s Disney’s Hollywood Studios, the Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights has flickered out for the final time. Following a few days extension, the beloved annual tradition was extinguished for the last time ever on January 6, 2016, and we were there to capture the Dancing Lights closing seconds for you in ultra-sharp 4K video.


The last night of the Dancing Lights drew huge crowds to Disney’s Hollywood Studios during the evening. I attempted to park at the theme park around 6:30 p.m., and was redirected to Animal Kingdom instead. The busses arrived for us a a rapid pace, but the detour added at least a half-hour my trip.

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Video: Saying Farewell to DHS’s Studio Backlot Tour and Catastrophe Canyon

by on September 27, 2014

Studio Backlot Tour and Catastrophe Canyon

DHS’s Studio Backlot Tour and Catastrophe Canyon is now an ex-attraction. (Photos and video by Seth Kubersky)

The operating day has just ended at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, and with it the sun has set on the final day for the park’s Studio Backlot Tour and Catastrophe Canyon. The behind-the-scenes tram tour, which saw its closing day of operations today (Saturday, September 27, 2014), ended its career a pale shadow of its former self. But the tour originally served as the thesis attraction of the Disney/MGM Studios park, much as Spaceship Earth is for Epcot and Killimajaro Safaris for Animal Kingdom.

What was once a multi-part, multi-hour tour that delved into nearly every aspect of old-school movie making had long ago been whittled down to a brief special effects water tank demonstration, followed by a tram ride through the park’s mostly dormant backlot. Even so, there were still glimmers of the epic original attraction to be found along the Studio Backlot Tour, especially in its explosive Catastrophe Canyon centerpiece, which continued to wow guests right up until closing day.

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Disneyland’s Billy Hill and the Hillbillies Find New Home at Knott’s Berry Farm

by on January 16, 2014

Billy Hill

Kirk Wall (aka Billy Hill) and the Hillbillies are back at Knott’s Berry Farm

After over 20 years of entertaining faithful fans in Frontierland, Billy Hill and the Hillbillies recently played their last show at Disneyland. As big fans of the Billys, we here at Touring Plans were heartbroken to see our favorite Anaheim performers unceremoniously “retired” by the Mouse after the 2013 holiday season. Now, we are thrilled to report that Billy Hill and the Hillbillies – aka Krazy Kirk Wall and the Hillbillies – have found a new home at nearby Knott’s Berry Farm.

According to the schedule posted on Kirk Wall’s website, the Hillbillies will perform at Knott’s every Saturday and Sunday (plus an occasional Monday and Friday) afternoon, starting Sunday, January 18, and continuing at least through April. We don’t give much coverage to Knott’s Berry Farm, but the Billys may make it worthwhile to take a day detour from Disneyland on your next trip!


Universal CityWalk Update: Cigarz & Candy Co. Closed; Antojitos Almost Open

by on January 7, 2014

Universal CityWalk update construction closing

This construction on Starbucks is only the tip of the iceberg of Universal CityWalk updates on the way.

Last month, Universal Orlando announced eight new venues coming to CityWalk over the next year, and it wasted little time after the New Year’s Eve ball dropped to make way for the new arrivals. In this edition of Universal CityWalk Update, we’ll say final goodbyes to old friends like Cigarz and Katie’s Candy Co., and get a first glimpse inside the new Antojitos.

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Universal Studios Florida’s Beetlejuice’s Graveyard Revue Closed for Revamping

by on January 6, 2014

Universal Beetlejuice Graveyard Review last show

James Keaton as BJ in the final performance of the current version of Beetlejuice Graveyard Revue at Universal Studios Florida (photos by Seth Kubersky)

Not every theme park attraction can be a 5-star E-ticket, but every ride and show has someone who will mourn when it’s gone — especially the cast and crew who brought it to life. Beetlejuice’s Graveyard Revue at Universal Studios Florida might not have a top rating in the Unofficial Guide, but has earned a special place in some guests hearts, judging by the very vocal crowd that packed the final performance on January 4, 2014. Universal Studios Florida’s Beetlejuice’s Graveyard Revue closed after Saturday’s 5:30 p.m. for a complete reimagining, replacing the current version of the show that has been performed since 2006.

When the Beetlejuice show reemerges later in 2014 (date unknown), it will have an all-new script and song list, along with new performers. I’m told that only two members of the current cast had their contracts renewed to perform in the new production.

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Photo Gallery: Sid Cahuenga’s One-Of-A-Kind Shop Now MyMagic+ Service Center

by on November 18, 2013

Walt Disney World DHS Sid Cahuenga's MyMagic+ Photos

Welcome to Sid Cahuenga’s One-Of-a-Kind MyMagic+ service center.

As Rikki Niblett reported earlier today, Sid Cahuenga’s One-of-a-Kind Antiques and Curious shop at Walt Disney World‘s Disney Hollywood Studios is no longer a retail location, and as of today (Monday, November 18 2013) it has been converted into a MyMagic+ guest service center.

Instead of the screen-worn costumes and signed photographs that have filled the shop since the park opened (as the Disney/MGM Studios) you will find a dozen iPads running the MyDisneyExperience app, and a couple cast members happy to attempt to adjust your FastPass+ reservations or solve similar issues.

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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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