Disneyland Announces Return Dates for ‘Fantasmic!,’ Rivers of America and Disneyland Railroad

This summer, iconic Disneyland park attractions make their return with the reopening of “Fantasmic!,” the Rivers of America attractions and the Disneyland Railroad. We know these classic attractions – many of which have delighted guests since the park’s opening day – are very special to Disneyland park fans, and we are excited to celebrate their return.

For 25 years, “Fantasmic!” has taken Disneyland park guests on a journey into Mickey Mouse’simagination, and its return on July 17 – in celebration of the park’s 62nd anniversary – will bring new magic to this beloved nighttime spectacular! The treasured Disneyland park experience guests have loved for years, complete with its original fanfare and theme song, will be taken to brilliant new heights. New mist screens will combine with innovative, state-of-the-art projection technology for brighter and more vibrant visuals than ever before, and the show will feature new scenes inspired by Disney animated classics such as “Aladdin” and “The Lion King.”

Also this summer, the classic Rivers of America attractions will reopen, starting with Pirate’s Lair on Tom Sawyer Island this Friday, June 16, followed by Mark Twain Riverboat, Sailing Ship Columbiaand Davy Crockett Explorer Canoes on July 29. For decades, guests have traveled the landscapes inspired by four of America’s majestic rivers: the Mississippi, the Columbia, the Missouri and the Rio Grande; each carefully recreated, complete with indigenous rock formations, natural forests and wildlife. The return of these watercraft will bring even more breathtaking views for guests to discover, including an enhanced adventure featuring the new Columbia Gorge section, highlighted by five picturesque waterfalls. Last year, we shared the artist’s rendering above, courtesy of Walt Disney Imagineering, showing the gorgeous new north bank of the Rivers of America, which will feature a beautiful new waterfront.

This new waterfront will also include several elevated trestles over which the Disneyland Railroad will travel when it reopens along with the Rivers of America attractions on July 29. An icon for more than 60 years, the Disneyland Railroad holds a special place in the hearts of our guests, and we are excited to take them on the grand circle tour of Walt Disney’s original Magic Kingdom once again. This classic experience will also feature new and enhanced adventures! For the very first time, the Disneyland Railroad will make a left-hand turn to continue around Disneyland park, and I’m excited to tell you that Walt Disney’s legendary dioramas of the Grand Canyon and Primeval World have been carefully restored to their original splendor, with a bit of new magic added to both!

Don’t miss this iconic summer as some of your favorite attractions return to Disneyland.

Disneyland is Renovating Adventureland to Ease Crowd Congestion

The adventure of walking through Adventureland at Disneyland should get easier in a few weeks.

Park officials confirmed plans to close two shops, move another, and create an indoor dining space for the Bengal Barbecue Restaurant to make walking in the area smoother for visitors.

Regular park visitors have long known that the area between the restaurant and the entrance to the Indiana Jones attraction is one of the most congested areas to walk through on almost any day.

Along with that choke point, strollers are parked in the middle of the walkway, creating an additional bottleneck.

To ease the congestion, the Indiana Jones Adventure Outpost and South Seas Traders shops, both next to the restaurant, will close Monday, June 12, to begin conversion into an indoor seating area. Park officials said the space will also be air conditioned.

Another part of the project calls for the Tropical Imports shop to close Thursday, June 29. That shop sells fresh fruits and a variety of drinks and is located next to the exit to the Jungle Cruise.

It will move into a space adjacent to the Bengal Barbecue, and the space it vacates will become the stroller parking for the area, moving it out of the middle of the walkway.

Additionally, the park plans to remove a planter near the barbecue to improve crowd flow.

Plans call for the barbecue, which opened in 1992, to remain open for the entire project, which is expected to be complete by the end of June.

The restaurant offers skewers of barbecued meat and vegetables, among other items.

It occupies a space that previously housed an orange juice bar run by Sunkist. When Sunkist left the park, Disney Imagineers at the park were tasked with coming up with ideas for a new food operation for the space.

“We came up with a back story that a tree in Adventureland was struck by lightning, hollowed out the tree and left a permanent fire,” said Steve Feicht, the Imagineering art director on the project.

Feicht helped design the facility, including the fake tree that serves as the barbecue. On one side of the tree, which sits behind the order counter, are three monkeys carved into it just like the ones depicted as “See No Evil, Hear No Evil and Speak No Evil.”

“The rest of our back story was that traders in the area found the smoldering tree and decided to turn it into a barbecue,” Feicht said.

The restaurant has long been popular with visitors and there is frequently a line to order the skewers. But its location across from the Indiana Jones attraction has long been a choke point for crowds that also has to make their way around the entrance to the Tarzan’s Treehouse attraction to get to New Orleans Square and points beyond.

Besides the regular menu, the restaurant is also serving some special menu items for a limited time that include an Ahi Poke Spring Roll, a hummus trio and a tropical drink called a “Jungle Julep,” a slush made with grape, orange, pineapple and lemon.

Original article by Mark Eades in the Orange County Register

Disneyland Railroad and Rivers of America Attractions Return to Disneyland Park this Summer with New Magic

When the iconic Disneyland Railroad and the Rivers of America attractions return to Disneyland this summer, guests will discover new magic aboard these classic experiences. As we first shared last year, and seen in the artist’s rendering below (courtesy of Walt Disney Imagineering), the gorgeous new north bank of the Rivers of America will feature a beautiful new waterfront and an elevated trestle over which the iconic Disneyland Railroad will travel.

The Rivers of America will continue to celebrate the Mississippi, Columbia, Missouri and Rio Grande rivers, enhanced now with a new Columbia Gorge section, highlighted by thundering waterfalls – signaling the return of large waterfalls to the rivers. Longtime Disneyland park fans will remember Big Thunder River Waterfall and Twin Sisters Waterfall; five spectacular new waterfalls along the Rivers of America harken back to these favorites – all on display for guests aboard the Mark Twain Riverboat, Sailing Ship Columbia and Davy Crockett Explorer Canoes.

Guests will also experience these features from aboard the Disneyland Railroad, which will travel across the rocks on a trestle that will even extend onto the river, providing a breathtaking view of the new waterfalls. And, for the first time ever, the Disneyland Railroad will be making a left-hand turn as it circles the park.

The Indian Village Found Along the Rivers of America

In addition to the new waterfalls, Disneyland park fans will spot some familiar faces along the Rivers of America as well as throwbacks to Frontierland’s past. The Indian Village, now in a new location, will include a more prominently featured Shaman, seen telling the story of how the hummingbird taught the Indian chief to make a flute.

Disneyland to Debut New Tomorrowland Skyline Lounge Experience

There’s a new way to take in the Tomorrowland skyline at Disneyland, from a unique point of view! To celebrate the 40th anniversary of Space Mountain at Disneyland Resort, a new lounge experience will debut in Tomorrowland on May 26.

New Tomorrowland Skyline Lounge Experience to Debut in Disneyland Park

The new Tomorrowland Skyline Lounge Experience features retro décor and desserts—both sweet and savory, as well as both hot and cold non-alcoholic beverages. The lounge area will be open to guests from 8-10 p.m. If a fireworks spectacular is scheduled, you’ll be able to catch a glimpse right from your seat.

New Tomorrowland Skyline Lounge Experience to Debut in Disneyland Park

Your interstellar snack box will include:

  • Mickey Cloud Cake: Cream-filled sponge cake
  • Chocolate Eclipse: Cream-filled chocolate cake drenched in chocolate
  • Coconut Comet: Coconut-strawberry iced sponge cake filled with cream
  • Planetary Pie: Mini cherry-filled pie
  • Moon Rocks: Boursin herbed cheese, cream cheese, shredded cheddar and jack cheese, chives, pimentos, bacon

Cost is $45 for ages 3 and older, tax included. Reservations are now open, and can be booked by visiting Disneyland.com/dining or by calling 714-781-DINE.

Classic Space Mountain to Return to Disneyland June 1st

Get ready to initiate power transfer in 3…2…1… when the classic Space Mountain returns to Disneyland June 1! Just days after we mark the 40th anniversary of this Tomorrowland favorite, space travelers will blast off once again for their intergalactic adventure.

A variation of a concept Walt Disney developed in the 1960s, Space Mountain first opened at the Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World Resort in 1975, and construction on Space Mountain at Disneyland began soon after. The attraction went on to become a guest favorite, seeing special themed versions such as Space Mountain Ghost Galaxy and Hyperspace Mountain.

You are clear for launch starting June 1 with the return of Space Mountain at Disneyland.

Disney Parks Imagineers and Lucasfilm Share Details of Their Collaboration on Star Wars-Themed Lands

At a panel discussion today at Star Wars Celebration in Orlando entitled Star Wars and Disney Parks: A Galaxy in the Making, creative minds from Lucasfilm and Walt Disney Imagineering discussed their unique partnership and shared additional details about the new galactic lands being created at Disneyland and Walt Disney World Resorts. Everyone in the room got to experience the excitement and commitment this team is bringing to this project.

Here’s a look at a video shared at today’s event which gives some insight into this incredible collaboration.

Star Wars Land Video

The team shared exciting new details about the story behind this mysterious destination somewhere on the Outer Rim — lying on the edge of the Unknown Regions. The remote village was once a busy crossroads along the old sub-lightspeed trade routes, but the prominence of the outpost has been bypassed with the rise of hyperspace travel. Now home to those who prefer less attention, it has become a thriving port for smugglers, rogue traders and adventurers traveling between the frontier and uncharted space. It’s also a convenient safe-haven for others intent on avoiding the expanding reach of the First Order.

Star Wars-Themed Lands at Disney Parks

Unusual characters from across the galaxy have landed here, preferring the “no questions asked” environment as well as easy access to exotic supplies and an abundant supply of ready rogues looking to join a crew for their next adventure.

As Disney Chairman and CEO Bob Iger announced last month, Star Wars-themed lands are scheduled to open in 2019. There will be more exciting updates to share as work progresses on each of these lands.

Main Street Electrical Parade Extended to August at Disneyland

Main Street Electrical Parade has returned to the place it began, and today Disneyland announced that due to popular demand, this iconic parade will continue lighting up the night at Disneyland through August 20. The parade has delighted guests since its return in January, and the limited-time engagement is being extended with encore performances so even more will be able to enjoy its nostalgic magic this summer.

A classic Disney Parks nighttime parade, the Main Street Electrical Parade began at Disneyland park in 1972 and ended its initial run in 1996. It returned to the Disneyland Resort as Disney’s Electrical Parade, bringing magical Disney stories to Disney California Adventure park from 2001 until 2010, when it crossed the country to begin its run at Walt Disney World Resort.

Don’t miss this limited-time engagement of Main Street Electrical Parade at Disneyland through August 20!

Disneyland Resort Announces Details of Egg-stravaganza as Fun Scavenger Hunt Returns in April

Springtime is just around the corner, which means the return of the beloved Egg-stravaganza to Disneyland Resort. This fun, egg-themed scavenger hunt will take place from April 1-16, 2017, at Disneyland park, Disney California Adventure park, and Downtown Disney District. I recently “hopped” over to special event merchandiser Linda Votaw to discover what makes this activity popular with guests.

Egg-stravaganza Details Hatched as Fun Scavenger Hunt Returns to Disneyland Resort in April

“This is the fifth year we’ve offered the Egg-stravaganza at the Disneyland Resort,” explained Linda. “I believe our guests love it as spring is a wonderful season to visit. This activity is easy to do, and it’s something the whole family can enjoy. Even if you have been to Disneyland Resort many times, this scavenger hunt gives guests an opportunity to explore the theme parks and Downtown Disney District in a new way.”

To participate, pick up a map and stickers for $5.99 (plus tax) at select merchandise locations throughout Disneyland Resort. Search for special hidden “eggs” themed to Disney and Pixar characters. Record your discoveries by placing the corresponding sticker on the themed Egg-stravaganza map to represent that location.

Egg-stravaganza Details Hatched as Fun Scavenger Hunt Returns to Disneyland Resort in April

Whether you choose to hunt for eggs or not, return your map to a redemption location for a surprise. Redemption locations include the following merchandise shops: Elias & Co. at Disney California Adventure park; Disney Showcase in Disneyland park; World of Disney Store in the Downtown Disney District.

For guests visiting Walt Disney World Resort in Florida, don’t forget the Egg-stravaganza is currently taking place at the Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival through May 29, 2017.

Purchasing limits will apply, while supplies last. Please note that no discounts apply and separate admission is required to enter Disney theme parks. The experience is subject to restrictions and may change without notice.

Celebrate 50 Years of Pirates of the Caribbean This Weekend at Disneyland

Yo ho, me hearties! This Saturday, March 18, marks 50 years of “rascals and scoundrels … villains and knaves” with the anniversary of Pirates of the Caribbean at Disneyland park, and we’re planning to celebrate with scoundrels and scallywags alike!

Beginning Thursday, March 16, guests can feast upon special pirate-themed grub at French Market Restaurant, Mint Julep Bar, Harbour Galley, Royal Street Verandah, Cafe Orleans and the one-of-a-kind Blue Bayou Restaurant.

Then the party really sets sail Friday, March 17, and on the attraction’s official anniversary, March 18. Guests will find pirate-themed entertainment throughout New Orleans Square by the likes of Bootstrappers and Lucky the Pirate. They can also plunder limited-edition anniversary merchandise, available in New Orleans Square while supplies last. And ye landlubbers who wish ter talk like a pirate – aye, ye’ll getcher chance … with pirate speak collectible cards. And stay sharp, because there will be even more to discover!

Since its March 18, 1967, debut, Pirates of the Caribbean has become a Disneyland park classic and fan favorite. This iconic attraction has gone on to pillage and plunder at Disney Parks around the world, with Pirates of the Caribbean attractions at Walt Disney World Resort in Florida, Tokyo Disneyland, Disneyland Paris and most recently, the award-winning Pirates of the Caribbean – Battle for the Sunken Treasure at Shanghai Disney Resort.

Disneyland to Get Limited-Time Beauty and the Beast Experiences

Disneyland guests will soon be able to step into the beloved “Beauty and the Beast” story in new ways! For a limited time, Fantasyland at Disneyland park will bring this tale to life with special experiences that celebrate the classic Disney animated feature.

Red Rose Taverne – This dining location at the northwest edge of Fantasyland will magically transform from Village Haus Restaurant into a lively French taverne, with delicious quick-service meals perfect for all ages! Adorned with beautiful murals depicting favorite scenes from Disney’s animated feature, “Beauty and the Beast,” and draped with inviting curtains, each room of Red Rose Taverne tells a different chapter of the tale as old as time. The menu will transform as well, featuring some of your favorite tastes with a French taverne-inspired twist, as well as new signature beverages. We’ll have details to share on these delicious additions soon – and yes, you will be able to try our own version of the Grey Stuff. (I hear it’s delicious!)

Royal Reception – This special merchandise location adjacent to Red Rose Taverne offers keepsakes, apparel and collectibles inspired by both the animated Disney feature as well as the new, live-action film, “Beauty and the Beast,” in theaters March 17.

That Gaston – We all know Gaston loves a taverne, so don’t be surprised if you find him preening around Fantasyland. Stop him and ask him to flex his biceps – he loves that.

Maurice’s Treats – The celebration continues in nearby Fantasy Faire, where each twist on the menu at Maurice’s Treats will be presented with … well … a twist! And those of you who have been clamoring for a dipping sauce to go along with your tasty twist will be pleased to know that marinara, strawberry and even Grey Stuff dipping sauces will soon be available.

The Royal Theatre Presents “Beauty and the Beast” – Be sure to drop by the Royal Theatre in Fantasy Faire as Mr. Smythe and Mr. Jones present their take on “Beauty and the Beast” in this daily favorite.

Opening dates and how long these experiences will last have not been mentioned yet by Disneyland.