Article and photos by Adrienne
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the construction crew began work on the upcoming Tower
of Terror attraction in the parking lot of Disney's California
Adventure, they discovered that the local bugs had created a
tiny amusement park of their own.
Disney was so enchanted by this
turn of events that they invited the bugs to become part of
the DCA theme park, creating an all-new area, Flik's Fun
...or so goes the official Disney
explanation for how a group of attractions based on cartoon
bugs fits into the California-themed amusement park. After nearly a
month of employee previews, media tours, and "soft openings,"
"It's a Bug's Land" is now open to the public.
Mickey and Minnie welcome visitors
to Flik's Fun Fair.
The weekend-long opening festivities began with an afternoon annual
passholder preview on Friday, October 4. Billed as a "special sneak
preview" offering annual passholders and their guests "the
first opportunity" to see the new land. Those who attended the $10
event received a snack, beverage, and collectible pin.
A Bugologist conducts a little
show and tell.
Once DCA closed Saturday night, guests at an after-hours merchandise
special event rubbed elbows with Pixar chief John Lasseter, and were
entertained by It's a Bug's Life voice talents Joe Ranft
(Heimlich) and Michael McShane (Tuck & Roll). Eight hundred tickets
were offered for the $125 event, (a $25 child's ticket was also
available), but a Disneyland merchandise manager put the actual
attendance at 150 to 200 people. One guest who attended said that it was
the nicest event she had experienced, and that she really enjoyed the
Actor Dean Cain greets the press
on the green carpet.
The green carpet was rolled out
again Sunday afternoon, as celebrities and their families
enjoyed a private VIP party. Stars included Patrick Warburton, Dean
Cain, Jenny Garth, Melanie Griffith, and David Hasselhoff. After running
the gauntlet of fans and media, the stars were greeted with glasses of
"bug juice," and were able to escape the crowds and enjoy the
New parks head Jay Rasulo (right)
watches the buggies crawl by.
Flik's Fun Fair takes on a whole
new look at night.
Later that evening, Disneyland Resort President Cynthia Harriss and
Jay Rasulo, the newly-named President of Disney Parks and Resorts,
greeted invited guests and the media at a preview party. For most, it
was their first time in the area after dark, with green clovers glowing
with internal and projected lighting, and the daytime insects sounds
replaced with chirping crickets.
Students from the Walt Disney Elementary School
wait for the grand opening.
Children from Anaheim's Walt Disney
Elementary School and the Orange Children and Parents
Together Head Start program were invited to attend the opening
ceremonies, and to be the first official guests to the new land. The
spectators were presented with their own bug antenna headbands, and
settled in to watch the ceremony.
Cynthia Harriss, Michael Eisner,
and Jay Rasulo welcome the guests.
John Lasseter and Cynthia Harriss
explain the "discovery" of the new It's a Bug's Land.
After opening comments by Cynthia Harriss, Disney CEO Michael Eisner,
and Jay Rasulo, Harriss related the story of how Flik's Fun Fair was
unearthed during the construction of the upcoming Tower of Terror
attraction. She then introduced Pixar head John Lasseter, who described
the land and its rides.
Actor Dave Foley reads the bug
Lasseter was joined on stage by Flik, and the pair asked for a
volunteer to help administer the "Bug Oath" to the guests
about to enter the new land. Shouting "Pick me, Pick me" was
Dave Foley (the voice of Flik), who stood up in the audience and made
his way to the stage.
It was a Disney event - of course
there was confetti.
Amid a shower of butterfly-shaped confetti and a burst of fireworks,
the new land was opened to the waiting crowd.
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