Posts Tagged ‘closures’

Seth Kubersky’s Best Week Ever February 11, 2016: Kylo Ren & Construction Walls at Disney’s Hollywood Studios

by on February 11, 2016

Kylo Ren Disney's Hollywood Studios

Visit Kylo Ren and check out DHS construction with Best Week Ever! (Photos/video by Seth Kubersky)

Ed – Sorry to break in right at the start, but I would like to announce that this will be Seth’s last Best Week Ever for the time being. While Seth is focusing his considerable talent on other things, we will have some new Best Week Ever authors. Look for the first new Best Week Ever later today…that’s right, double Best Week Ever week! Now, on to Seth’s wonderful week.

It’s been a little while since Best Week Ever took a look at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, so I stopped by the park several times in recent days for an update on this in-transition attraction. Construction walls may be rising on a daily basis, but that doesn’t seem to be stopping the crowds from coming! We’ll look at some of the changes around DHS, culminating in an encounter with the newest patricidal Star Wars star, Kylo Ren.


First, let’s take a look around Disney’s Hollywood Studios during the first week of February. This is a typically moderate time of year according to our Crowd Calendar, but I encountered some long lines around DHS, especially on February 8th:


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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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Video: Farewell Tribute to Twister at Universal Studios Florida

by on November 2, 2015

Twister has been blown out of Universal Orlando, but you can relive Paxton memories with our tribute. (Videos by Seth Kubersky)

Put your hand on your hip and hold on, because this bit of news may just blow you away: as of November 2nd, Universal Studios Florida’s Twister…Ride It Out attraction is gone with the wind.

Just weeks after Universal shuttered Disaster! to make way for Fast & Furious, the long-expected closure of Twister was executed within days of Tonight Show host Jimmy Fallon’s unveiling of his “Race Through New York” simulator, which will be the next occupant of the New York soundstage originally built for the Ghostbusters Spooktacular show.

As a closing cast crew-member of Ghostbusters (it was my first gig at USF back in 1996) I never entirely warmed up to the show that replaced it, as the effectiveness of Twister’s effects varied widely throughout the attraction’s 17 year lifespan. But if you’re a fan of “so bad it’s good” entertainment, the aggressive ennui emanating from stars Bill Paxton and Helen Hunt was absolutely priceless, making Twister a strong candidate for Orlando’s best worst attraction.

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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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Disneyland Resort Half-Marathon Weekend Traffic Alert

by on August 30, 2013

Image copyright Disney

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).

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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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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.


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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This Month at Disneyland Resort: May 2012

by on April 30, 2012

Welcome to the first monthly installment of This Month at Disneyland,‘s regular round-up of upcoming events and operations in and around the Anaheim resort. If you are planning a visit to Disneyland in the next 30 days, this is your one-stop-shop for imminent information that may impact your vacation.

In addition to and the Official Disney Parks Blog, much of the following news and photography comes courtesy of our friends at MousePlanet and MiceAge. Visit those sites for more images and up-to-the-minute updates.

Crowd Calendar

May may be your last best chance for crowd-free touring at Disneyland in 2012, since we expect the resort to be packed following California Adventure’s relaunch in mid-June. Weekdays this May should be especially low-key, with growing wait times on the weekends building towards Memorial Day.

  • Quietest Days: Resort attendance should be lowest (1 out of 10) on May 3 and 7-9.
  • Busiest Days: Resort attendance should be highest (8 out of 10) on May 25-28.

Subscribe to the Touring Pans Disneyland Crowd Calendar for full details on predicted attendance for the next 30 days.

Special Events

  • Disneyland celebrates Cinco de Mayo on May 5. Look for decorations around Rancho del Zocalo, and a special menu at Tortilla Joe’s in Downtown Disney.
  • AIDS Services Foundation of Orange County holds a charity walk at Disneyland early on the morning of May 6.
  • On May 10, Disney Legend Alice Davis will receive a long-deserved tribute window on Main Street USA. The Imagineer was responsible for the costume designs of classic attractions including Pirates of the Caribbean and it’s a small world. Her window will be next to the one honoring her husband, late Imagineer Marc Davis.
  • To celebrate the 20th anniversary of Fantasmic! on May 13, Disneyland is holding after-hours parties for Annual Passholders on May 14, 15, 21, & 22.
  • Grad Nights return on May 10 & 11, 16-18, 23-25, 30 & 31. Expect large platoons of busses delivering hordes of teenagers to the resort for all-night parties on those evenings.

Opening, Closures, and Refurbishments


Disney California Adventure

Downtown Disney

Other Area Attractions