Monday, January 25, 2021

Jungle Cruise Next Attraction for Update and Changes



 

Disneyland sure is wasting no time while they're closed. It was just announced today that The Jungle Cruise, an original opening day attraction, will be the next to undergo a large refurb and update. There have been updates and changes before (let's not forget that the skippers didn't even tell jokes in the original version of the ride), but this is going to be a big one with new story elements and two new scenes.

The Jungle Cruise Skippers themselves will now be a part of the entire story, as your cruise finds evidence of another cruise that has gone awry. You'll find the Skipper and passengers as new animatronics along the way, as well as evidence of what happened to their boat (spoiler alert from the picture at the beginning of this post, it looks like chimps have taken over!). 

What I love most about this change is that one of the Imagineers leading this attraction enhancement is a former Jungle Cruise skipper himself. Watch his video below, his love for the classic ride really shows and makes me feel like we're in good hands! And I don't know about all of you, but I am VERY excited for the new, wonderful, terrible, slightly funny, slightly groan-worthy jokes that will come along with this change.

We don't have a great idea yet of what current scenes on the ride will be removed to make way for the updates. Obviously, the rhino scene is just being changed. I'm wondering if the Jeep scene will be changed to the new boat scene since its the same basic idea, or if they'll choose to replace some other, maybe outdated, spots that could use a little love. Either way, I can't wait to see what they'll do! Bring on the fresh ideas while keeping the classic ideas we love!

The refurb will be happening in Walt Disney World as well. No word yet how long the ride will have to be closed there while they install the update.


Thursday, December 31, 2020

Top 10 Things To Never Change at Disneyland



 

Since the announcement about the completed/nearly completed upgrades to Snow White's Scary Adventures last week (or should we say Snow White's Enchanted Wish?), we've been doing some thinking. We're usually pretty on board with changes and updates to Disneyland. I mean, the main man himself said it best. 

Disneyland Secrets | Disney epcot, Epcot, Disney world

So when it comes to retheming Splash Mountain (still have our fingers crossed for the new name to be Princess and the Log), updating Fantasyland attractions (they absolutely KILLED it with Alice in Wonderland), or even changing some well loved recipes (Did the Mint Juleps really need to be green? No! The fairly colorless ones they have now are just as delicious with a beignet), we try not to complain too much and go with the flow. 

But the new Snow White changes had us thinking: What would we *never* want to see changed at Disneyland? What hill are we willing to die on? So that's what we have for you today! Our top 10 things we never want to see changed at Disneyland. 

Let's do it!

1. The Snow White Queue Area

Starting with Snow White because that's obviously on our minds. Also, this is a three parter! It's REALLY on our minds. Please, Imagineers, don't take away the Witch's Cackling Apple in the front of the ride queue area! My family loves surprising unsuspecting guests by touching the apple and having the witch's ridiculously loud evil laugh startle everyone around us. Bonus points if they try to make the sound next but don't wait long enough and nothing happens, making my fam look magical. 

I can't imagine they would, but fingers crossed the Wicked Queen keeps peeking from her curtains high above the ride. Such a classic!

I'm not sure how much luck we'll have with this piece, but we really love the little area when you're in line for the ride where you can see the Queen's spell book and can toss pennies in for good luck. I've even seen a twenty in there!

2. The Red and White Lightbulb


I think the fact that they've never changed this one in 65 years is a good sign that they'll keep it around. The lightbulb at the Refreshment Corner on Main Street that's painted half white and half red to fix an error in the red and white pattern is one of my favorite details in the park. I'd be so sad to see this little bit of Walt's original ingenuity disappear.

3. Themed Trash Cans


Perhaps one of the most bizarre and wonderful details by the Imagineers are the specially themed trash cans all over the parks. I'm fine with an update, a change to the overall design and theming, but I can't imagine Disneyland without these beauties! Never make them generic, never get rid of them in an attempt to streamline appearances in the parks. These are perfect just the way they are. 

Also, is it just me that has a favorite? Because its 100% the Adventureland ones!

4. Main Street Cinema


They tried to change this one back in 2019 and it failed spectacularly. Does anyone else remember when they tried to turn the Main Street Cinema into a store??? Craziness! The beauty of this spot is that you can sit there quietly, in the air conditioning, and just enjoy some down time with classic cartoons. No one's in there to bug you, they're not selling you anything. It's pure Disney magic. Last year they started adding racks of merch and some cash registers
and let's just say that didn't last too long. Hopefully they don't try that again any time soon. 

5. The Little Statues

During the closures, the Walt and Mickey Partners statue has gotten a little refurb to make it look as wonderful as it did when it was new in the 90s. I'm all for it! But it got me thinking about all of the other cute little statues that encircle Partners at the Hub. While I could see swapping a character or two, it would be such a shame if those were ever completely replaced. Its nice to see Walt's other famous characters get some love, even if they're not Mickey.

6. Hidden Tributes to Old Attractions


We've blogged about this one before, because we love it. Sometimes when an attraction is changed or removed to make room for something new, they'll keep up a piece of the old attraction as a little tribute. Those spots are so special because it shows a true appreciation for the history of Disneyland. Like the Mind Thy Head sign at Tarzan's Treehouse (leftover from the Swiss Family Robinson Treehouse) or the stuffed heads in the Winnie the Pooh Rides (from the Country Bear Jamboree), these help us stay nostalgic while not stopping movement into the future. 

7. The Pirates Smell


Ok, we heard a rumor that a smell is being piped in to the Pirates at Disney World that is NOT the weird, musty smell we all know and love. And that is NOT cool. It's such a bizarre piece of the ride that it has its own unique smell. Nothing is piped in. It's just the water, the air conditioning, and whatever else makes it smell like that. I don't even need to know. It's Disney magic and I'm not questioning it. 

8. The Cheesy Tombstones

File:Disneyland Haunted Mansion 10.jpg
Pic From WikiMedia Commons

I hope they never decide these are too silly! I love waiting in line for the Haunted Mansion on a crowded day and reading the cheesy tombstones in the back section of the queue. M. T. Tomb and I. L. Beback are permanent residents of the Haunted Mansion, you hear me?

9. Main Street Store Names


When the old Plaza Pavillion was changed to the Mary Poppins themed Jolly Holiday Bakery, we weren't too bummed, because that space had been underutilized for years! But when we love when they keep the outsides of the buildings the same even if the insides change. The Market House is still the Market House, even if it's also Starbucks. Let's keep it that way. Let's keep as much of Walt's original magic at left in tact as possible.

10. Nice Work Pal

Nice work, pal - Album on Imgur

Patrick Warburton stays on Soarin'. No explanation needed. 

Monday, December 21, 2020

Snow White's Enchanted Wish: Updated Ride to be Ready When Disneyland Reopens




Snow White
All Images from D23

Well this was a surprise! We knew since before the park closure that Snow White's Scary Adventure would be getting an update, much like Alice and Wonderland and Peter Pan's Flight. What we didn't know was how much of a change it would be! It'll be ready for us all when the park is able to reopen, and we've got the scoop on what to expect.

First and most obviously is the name change. Snow White's Scary Adventure will now be Snow White's Enchanted wish. I only just learned that this is actually the SECOND time this ride has been renamed. It was just Snow White's Adventure until the Fantasyland remodel in the early 80s. The new name reflects the fact that the ride will now be much more focused on Snow White herself, and not the Evil Queen. Along with the new name on the front of the ride, the brickwork has been refurbished to have the richer colors that were added to the castle a year back. 

There'll be two new animatronics. There's an updated Snow White animatronic in the opening scene. Rather than just standing on the stairs and watching, she'll now be dancing along with Dopey and Sneezy while the other dwarves sing and play music. We'll also get a Dopey in the mine scene, bringing to life the classic moment from the movie when Dopey puts diamonds in his eyes. Adorbs!

Snow White

We'll also be getting new projected animation. This is honestly all I was expecting out of the update, since that's pretty much all we got on the other two rides that have been revamped. And I was excited for even just that! We'll get some action in the mine while the dwarves are working. 

Check out this super exciting and informative video that D23 shared today for more details. 

I do have to say, my wish for this updated attraction is that they'll keep the Queen peeking out of the window above the ride entrance and that they'll keep the golden apple and storybook at the front of the ride - surprising guests by making the apple cackle is honestly one of my greatest joys in life! But other than that, I'm all in! This will make Disneyland's reopening, whenever that can be, even more exciting and special. And I can't wait to see new life brought to an aging classic. 

Friday, October 23, 2020

Buena Vista Street Reopening Soon!



 


Downtown Disney District extends to Buena Vista Street
Photo Credit: Disney


    I miss Disneyland. You miss Disneyland. We all miss Disneyland. And unless you're hightailing it to Florida, you're probably trying to do your best to keep the Disneyland withdrawals away. 

    One of the nice things has been that Downtown Disney has been open as an outdoor mall for a while now with good results. They even recently expanded that experience by opening Stage 17 (former home of Who Wants to be a Millionaire Play It, among other limited time events) as a very large store with Halloween and special merchandise. 

Now-Open Shop in DCA Gives Hope for Gradual Disneyland Reopening | Inside  the Magic
Photo Credit: Inside the Magic    

And while we don't have the best news on the park reopening front (Orange Country needs to drop from the Red tier, down through Orange, and into Yellow before they can reopen at limited capacity), we DO have some good news on the outdoor shopping and dining front!

Buena Vista Street will reopen *sometime* in November for your shopping and dining pleasure! This includes Carthay Circle (yum, yum, and yum!) with expanded outdoor service and Smokejumpers Grill. The "primary" way to order at SmokeJumpers will be through the Disneyland app, so be sure you have that before you head down. Also available for food service will be Fiddler Fifer and Practical Cafe and Trolley Treats. The stores will reopen with plenty of holiday merch, I'm sure! 



No word on if there were be any characters poking their heads out to say hello, if the citizens of Buena Vista street will be out to write tickets for throwing out trash (like Officer Blue did for my son and completely made his day), or if 5 and Dime might drive by. Ok, I can't imagine they'll be doing much of that so that they don't want to draw a crowd, but I'd imagine they can figure out a way and we'd get some more of our amazing Cast Members back to work.

I think the best part of all of this is that because its not a park opening, there's no extra admission costs! The second best part, of course, is that if all goes well (wear your masks!) they could do this on Main Street as well. And really, I think that would be the most amazing thing for all of us going through Disneyland withdrawals. 





Sunday, September 13, 2020

Amazing Disneyland Visit in Minecraft!



 

I miss Disneyland. Like, a lot. Like, watch YouTube ride throughs, listen to park atmosphere music, make park snacks at home a lot. Last weekend I got to experience the closest thing to a real park visit...a Disneyland world in Minecraft!  

My kids play Minecraft and, personally, I'm not a big fan. The movements make me a little queasy and I don't know why everything is square. But this was unbelievable! Created by the amazing folks at Imagineering Fun, every detail is there. It's crazy to think how long this must have taken them to build. It has the correct sounds, stores to buy snacks and souvenirs, a playable Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters, and a nightly fireworks show complete with projections on the castle. 

We spent close to FOUR HOURS going land by land, ride by ride, and I'm super excited to share the highlights of this super fun experience with you!

Start out in the Esplanade with correct music loop, of course. You'll even hear the correct chimes as you go through the main entrance. We chose the right side tunnel, of course, because that's a family tradition. 



This next bit totally surprised me...they've seasonally decorated! Disneyland is ready for Fall and Halloween, as they should be. Anyone for a pic with the giant Mickey pumpkin?? We took a "selfie" in these super cool Toy Story Alien ears, which my son has in real life btw.




Of all the unusual choices and surprising additions to this world, my 9 year old wanted to go to Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln first and it was there! Fun fact though, once you've started the show you can't exit. So be sure you want to do the whole show. 



We took a nice walk down Main Street as the sun rose (because time goes quickly in Minecraft for some reason). I'm not sure why, but Perry the Platypus was hanging out on the fire truck. The kids were excited to find him! We're big Phineas and Ferb fans over here.




Our first official ride was Buzz. We did this on my brother's account over Zoom, and he's very competitive about Buzz in real life and here. So it was a blast (see what I did there?) to watch him actually play the game and get an awesome score. 

**Buzz Scoring Fact** My brother now holds the high score on the global leaderboard with 2.1 million. 

You can get a Fastpass and skip straight to the loading area but we thought it would be much more fun to go through the full queue and see all the details. And boy are there details! Whoever built this didn't miss a thing and they're my new heroes.





One of my very favorite things in Disneyland is the neon astronaut Mickey lights above the Star Trader, so of course I stopped for a pic.


We finished up Tomorrowland with Autopia, Space Mountain, and Finding Nemo Submarines before going over to the Matterhorn. All with perfect audio and some super fun visuals. 
Big bummer: no Star Tours...yet, at least. 
Big fun: My 7 year old isn't afraid of the Abominable Snowman in this version of the Matterhorn.






Off to Fantasyland! They're still building Small World and there isn't a Toontown yet, so we stayed in the classic area and went on every single ride. Some of my favorite details were the golden apple out in front of Snow White, the specially recorded version of Storybookland narration, and taking a pic in the teacup outside of the Mad Hatter. 










Adventureland was cute, but didn't have a ridable Tiki Room or Jungle cruise, so that was a bit of a downer for me. But you can buy a Dole Whip! Classic or raspberry swirl. Yum! We headed to Indiana Jones where I was thrilled to see that you can pull the "Do Not Pull" rope in the queue and you get to hear the guy falling. Hilarious every time!



Quick stop for popcorn and to see the Petrified Tree on our way to Frontierland! You can even play at the shooting gallery!




Pirates is amazing. It's the full ride. FULL 15 or whatever minute ride. You can sneak a peak at the Blue Bayou, check out fireflies, see the most updated version of the ride. It's the only ride we actually went on with other real people, which is pretty fun and different from the real thing. My favorite part of the Haunted Mansion had to be Madame Leota. She was done really well!





This may be the last place to ride the original Splash Mountain before it changes to what I really hope they call Princess and the Log! You might notice our cameo in the second pic. I've normally been cropping us out but I really liked the way we all had our hands up!


 

We did hit up Batuu before we were ready to head to California Adventure, but neither of the rides are ready yet, so we didn't stay long. To be honest, they haven't done as much with California Adventure as they have with Disneyland. I can't even imagine the kind of time and effort they've put into this, so I'll cut them some slack and hope that more DCA rides open soon. At least they've got some awesome themed trash cans!





Anyone miss the original Tower of Terror?? This is where you can ride it again, complete with Rod Serling preshow!


Grizzly River Run is ridable, and my favorite version because you don't get wet! Well, you're not supposed to, unless you're married to my hubby to came in and squirted us with a water gun.


What Disneyland trip would be complete without fireworks, am I right? Every day, live, at 7:00am, 7:00pm, and 9:30pm (pacific time) enjoy the Pixar Fest fireworks show!!! 





And that was our day! I mean, we also did a little shopping. They have Loungefly backpacks!!! It was around 3 and a half hours and worth every second. I was in such a good mood when we were done! 

Big News!!! Haunted Mansion Holiday opens next week! If I can figure out how to record Zoom, I'll record it for you all to share.