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Notes on the 50th
Disneyland Resort Ambassador Becky Murphy has been busy this month, making the rounds of community groups and Disney enthusiasts to spread the word about the park's 50th anniversary celebration. Last week, Murphy met with Downtown Anaheim Association members to share the official external presentation about the event. She also shared details of events planned for 2006. Some highlights:
- The Wonderful World of Disney television show celebrates its 50th anniversary this October. The show introduced Disneyland to millions of viewers in 1954, generating excitement for Walt's new venture.
- The official media event launches the celebration May 3 to 5, 2005.
- Colorful banners hung inside LAX and John Wayne International airports will greet travelers as soon as the enter the terminals.
- Disney is working to re-engineer Tinker Bell's flight
for the new Remember fireworks show planned for the 50th anniversary.
An entertainment source tells us that show designers are desperately trying to perfect a technique which would allow a human Tinker Bell to fly over and around Sleeping Beauty Castle before the fireworks begin, just as the animated character does at the begining of The Wonderful World of Disney television shows. The concept art for the fireworks also shows multiple launch sites all around Disneyland, similar to the 360-degree effect in use at Walt Disney World.
- A gala charity event benefitting the Boys & Girls Club will be held on board the Disney Wonder on July 17, 2005, while it is docked in the port of Long Beach.
- Murphy showed some possible uses for the photos being collected in the The Happiest Faces on Earth a Disney Family Album program launched at Disneyland's 49th birthday celebration last weekend. A series of photo montage images will be placed around the resort, coordinating with the décor of the surrounding land. Examples shown included a Sorcerer Mickey image near the Rivers of America, (the stage for Fantasmic!), an Alice in Wonderland scene placed in Fantasyland, and a black-and-white Mickey Mouse image painted on a Main Street gate. Disney expects to recieve over 1 million photo submissions during this promotion.
- A 50th anniversary party for The Mickey Mouse Club is scheduled for 2005.
- Space Mountain is still scheduled to reopen in November 2005.
- 2006 will begin with a What's Next promotion at Disneyland during Super Bowl weekend. The event will be a homecoming of sorts for the dozens of athletes who have yelled, I'm going to Disneyland after a championship game.
- In Spring 2006, the Tower of Terror at Disney's California Adventure park will be reprogrammed to incorporating the random drop sequences currently in use at Walt Disney World.
Sleeping Beauty Castle Refurb
Sleeping Beauty Castle closed last Monday for its long-awaited refurbishment. The Castle will be closed through November 23 while workers repair and repaint the Castle. The scaffolding will come down for the holiday season, and work will resume in the spring to complete the transformation for the 50th anniversary.
Scaffolding now obscures the turrets on Sleeping Beauty Castle. Photo by David Michael.
The following three items are reported by David Koenig.
Beginning Friday, July 30, the Enchanted Tiki Room, the Plaza Pavilion and Aladdin's Oasis will be shuttered for a major, seven-month rehab. One source claims all three structures will be gutted and the interiors rebuilt.
Most in need of attention is the oft-neglected, termite-infested Tiki Room. "The Tiki Room interior will be completely rebuilt with the audio-animatronics sporting new technology," a cast member reported. "The show will NOT change to the one like Walt Disney World. Our Tiki Room will retain the original music and show."
The last few years Plaza Pavilion has served as an Annual Pass processing center, currently handling overflow with primary operations transferred two months ago to the Bank at Town Square. It will eventually be replaced by a permanent AP processing center in the San Francisco District at DCA. One rumor is that the Plaza Pavilion will get new kitchens and return from the rehab as a restaurant once again. Others claim the facility will be converted into a giant pin store/trading center.
The possibility of new kitchens will also determine the fate of Aladdin's Oasis, which had common food prep areas. Some speculate the area, now used as a storytelling venue, may again become the Tahitian Terrace.
Scheduled completion date is March 12, 2005.
The queue of the Matterhorn has been changed from the traditional chains and poles to white striping on the ground.
The striping follows the same path around the mountain.
As for why, ride operators all seem to have their own theories. Among them:
- The striping is temporary, until permanent metal railings can be installed.
- The vehicles on the graveyard shift often strike the poles, destroying the poles and the bases.
- Guests often trip over the chains when trying to jump over them.
- Cast members spend too much putting the guest control lines up and taking them down.
Big Thunder Trail has earned a new nickname, "Mosquito Alley." Around dusk, swarms of the insects invade the path between Frontierland and Fantasyland. Some cast members claim the pond along the trail is the culprit.
Park visitors may serious consider wearing insect repellant (such as those containing DEET); West Nile virus has not only made its appearance through numerous counties in California, but the first fatality was reported in Orange County last month.
Got any interesting news or rumors? Contact us here.
Note: Disneyland is progressively closing more and more attractions as the park readies for its 50th anniversary celebration in 2005.
- Sleeping Beauty Castle closed through November 23.
- Sleeping Beauty Castle walk-through closed indefinitely. (No longer listed on park maps or the Disneyland Web site)
- Space Mountain closed through 2005.
- Big Thunder Mountain Railroad closed indefinitely, pending results of the DOSH inspection.
Disney's California Adventure
- Superstar Limo closed indefinitely. (No longer listed on park maps or the Disneyland Web site)
- Aladdin's Oasis closes July 30 March 12, 2005.
- Plaza Pavilion closes July 30 March 12, 2005.
- Enchanted Tiki Room closes July 30 March 12, 2005.
- Snow White's Scary Adventures closes August 23 September 11.
- Star Tours reduces capacity, as each of the four cabins rotate through refurbishment September 722.
- Haunted Mansion closes September 7 October 1 for installation of Haunted Mansion Holiday overlay. Closed January 1025, 2005 for removal of Haunted Mansion Holiday overlay.
- Maliboomer reduced capacity (2 of 3 towers operating) November 125, January 322, 31, 2005 March 12, 2005.
- Matterhorn Bobsleds closes September 13 November 24.
- Jumpin' Jellyfish reduces capacity January 21, 2005 March 5, 2005.
Disneyland Resort Hotels
- Disneyland Hotel Convention Center lobby, upper level & lower level closed through September 1.