In part 1 of the Disneyland 2013 Year in Review we took a look back at the first Limited Time Magic events of the year, including, the Golden Horseshoe Revue tribute, Lunar New Year and the New Orleans Bayou Bash. We also said goodbye to Big Thunder Mountain Railroad for the entire year. The Fantasy Faire opened providing guests with a permanent princess meet-and-greet. In April, springtime returned, as did some Long Lost Friends. Iron Man invaded Innoventions, and we saw the closure of Disneyana and the Market House as Starbucks prepared to move into Main Street U.S.A.
In the Disneyland 2013 Year in Review – Part 2, the Fantasyland Theater made a comeback when Mickey and the Magical Map reopened, Buena Vista Street and Cars Land celebrated their first anniversary, Disneyland celebrated 58 years of magic, Monstrous Summer saw the parks open for a 24-hour period, swing dancing returned, the Matterhorn came alive with magic, the D23 Expo returned and much more.
Join us now as we continue our photographic look back at 2013 Disneyland Year in Review, May – August, 2013.
May the Fourth Be With You
For what has become known as the “unofficial Star Wars Day”, May the 4th (be with you), Disneyland held a very small event – which mostly consisted of merchandise. Walt Disney World held dace parties and placed characters on the Star Tours attraction with guests, while at Disneyland sold tee shirts and pins with the slogans, “May the Fourth Be With You” and “Revenge of the Fifth”.
The Jedi Training Academy is a regular installation at Disneyland, but provided some great photography opportunities for the occasion.
OPA! A Celebration of Greece
Although not actually part of the Limited Time Magic promotion, OPA! A Celebration of Greece was one of the larger hits of the year. The event was held at both Disneyland and Disney California Adventure park and celebrated Greek culture with dancing, food, crafts, beverages and Disney characters. Hercules could be found greeting guests, as could Mickey Mouse in festive attire. “Citizens” mingled with the crowd offering up philosophies and entertainment.
Below you’ll find a video of a Greek line dancing performance.
Mickey and the Magical Map
One of the most anticipated openings in 2013 was the new stage show Mickey and the Magical Map. The show marked the return of the Fantasyland Theatre at Disneyland. In 2012, the then Princess Fantasy Faire was moved from this location, preparing the way for the return of a Disneyland stage show. The princesses moved into their new Fantasy Faire a month prior to the opening of the Fantasyland Theatre.
“Mickey and the Magical Map” tells the story of sorcerer Yen Sid (Disney spelled backwards) and his young apprentice Mickey Mouse. The live, music-fill stage show runs 25-minutes and makes use of a large LED screen which comes alive as a ‘magical map’. When Mickey attempts to paint an unfinished spot on the map, he’s suddenly transported on a journey into familiar Disney stories featuring music from The Jungle Book, Pocahontas, and Tangled.
Mickey and the Magical Map was well received by guests. Despite being criticized for a poor story line, the stage show features great musical performances and use of technology.
Monstrous Summer 24-hour All-Nigher
The Disneyland Resort kicked off the summer of 2013 in a big way. Monstrous Summer, a marketing tie in to the theatrical release of Monsters University, featured special foods, merchandise, entertainment and a bi-coastal 24-hour “All-Nighter” event.
Borrowing on the success of the “One More Disney Day” 24 hour Leap Day operation of both Disneyland and the Magic Kingdom Park in Florida, Disney repeated the success of the event this past summer by keeping both Disneyland and Disney California Adventure open for a full 24 hour period. At the Disneyland Resort, the 2012 Leap Day promotion saw only Disneyland park open for the full 24 hours. The event effectively shut down the park, causing a closure of the gates due to high capacity and the essential grid lock of city streets and freeways.
In 2013, Disney was able to successfully pull off the wildly popular event without a repeat in the problems of 2012. In what seemed to be poor planning, Disneyland did however host a Grad Nite at Disney California Adventure on the same evening. Grad Nite forced a temporary closure of some areas and attractions, such as Cars Land and Paradise Pier from regular guests. But aside from the juggling of a Grad Nite and the Monstrous Summer 24-Hour All Nighter, the event proved to be popular.
I would not be surprised to see this event repeated in 2014.
Also in May of 2013
The Fullerton Railroad Days, an annual train enthusiast event, once again hosted a Disneyland steam engine. For 2013, the Earnest Marsh was brought to the exhibit. Guests were given the rare opportunity to get up close to a Disneyalnd steam engine, climb into the engineers cab and learn from the train engineers themselves.
The Carolwood Pacific Historical Society, a group dedicated to preserving the personal railroad legacy of Walt Disney, was also on hand.
Tiki Room Celebrates 50 Years of Enchantment
There are few areas inside Disneyland where a guest can really get a feel for the special touches that Walt Disney influenced, the Enchanted Tiki Room is one of them.
Walt Disney’s Enchanted Tiki Room celebrated it’s 50th anniversary in June 2013. The attraction, which also features a beautiful pre-show garden area, has remained virtually unchanged, save for some technology upgrades, since its opening and is a true Disneyland treasure.
Ticket Price Increase
But even before you could celebrate 50 years of Enchantment at the Tiki Room Disneyland executed their annual ticket price increase. The increases, although not as significant as the 2012 huge increase, was still painful for families and Disneyland fans.
The majority of the increases were minor, with the largest of the ticket price hike being $10. Annual Passports went up by as much as $30, and the big hit in 2013 was for the Premier pass at $130! The Premier pass allows for entry at both Disneyland and Walt Disney World Resorts.
Disneyland made the ticket price increase announcement on Saturday, June 1st. The increase went into effect the following day, forcing some to head scrambling for the parks to renew and make purchases before the increase went into effect.
You can view a complete breakdown of the 2013 Disneyland Resort ticket price increase, along with the previous three years here
Tiki, Tiki, Tiki Realms – Celebrating 50 Years of Enchantment
The Disney Gallery, which had been relegated to a corner of the Opera House lobby following the relocation of Disneyana, celebrated the 50th anniversary of Walt Disney’s Enchanted Tiki Room with an exhibit featuring artwork, props and the original Barker Bird animatronic.
Guests could purchase framed artwork and unique Tiki god statues created specifically for the event by Kevin Kidney and Jody Daily.
Disneyana Finds A New Home
The Disney collectables store, Disneyana, reopened in its new location in June. The shop, which was displaced due to the ongoing construction of the first in-park Disneyland location, was moved to the Bank of Main Street building.
The shop continues to carry most of the artwork and collectables that guests have come to know the location for. The sad part was the further displacement of the Disney Gallery.
The Disney Gallery once called 33 Royal Street home. The location above Pirates of the Caribbean was initially built to be a larger in-park residence for Walt Disney. The location was never completed following his death, but was eventually used as an exclusive and beautiful location to house some Walt Disney Imagineering and art exhibits. The Disney Gallery was moved to the Bank of Main Street building to make room for the Dream Suite. The installation of Starbucks and the movement of Disneyana relegated the Disney Gallery to a corner of the Opera House Lobby.
Swing Dancing Returns to Disneyland
Disneyland finally held true to their promise from over a year prior when the “Jump, Jive and Boogie” swing dance party was once again moved back into Disneyland park.
The popular Saturday night swing dancing was moved out from its historical location when the Carnation Plaza Gardens closed for the construction of the Fantasy Faire. Disney had stated publicly that swing dancing would return, however when the Fantasy Faire opened in the Spring of 2013 Disney directly ignored questions regarding the return of swing dancing. And when statements were made, they maintained a “wait and see” type attitude. This left a very bad taste in a lot of long time Disney fans, as well as those who had made this a decades long tradition which had been started in Walt Disney’s time.
Now called the “Royal Swing Big Band Ball”, swing dancing indeed returned to Saturday evenings beginning in June.
Buena Vista Street and Cars Land Celebrate One Year
The one year anniversary of the relaunch of Disney California Adventure and the opening of Buena Vista Street and Cars Land quietly passed by in June 2013.
Disney didn’t hold any major events, only acknowledging the milestone with a few pins and on their various social media accounts.
Also in June 2013
Disney held the premiere for the Lone Ranger at Disney California Adventure park. A massive red carpet stretched from the main entrance, around Carthay Circle, through Hollywood Land to the Hyperion Theater. Guests were allowed to line the carpet to catch a glimpse of the stars as they arrived.
One of the most treasured summer traditions at Disneyland is the annual return of the All-American College Band. The band is made up of 21 college students from across the country, hand picked and directed by Dr. Ron McCurdy, a professor at the USC Thornton School of Music. Returning to Disneyland each summer since 1971, the students take part in the three month internship which includes performances inside Disneyland park as well as instruction in music theory. The Disneyland All-American College Band plays music inspired by Disney movies and theme park attractions. But what makes their performances even more special and entertaining is their interpretation of the music, mixing several styles and even scores together so flawlessly that it creates a challenge to point out some of the tunes, even if they sound familiar. The Disneyland All-American College Band also keeps the crowd entertained with physical performances of scenes from their musical inspirations, all without missing a beat!
Happy Birthday Disneyland
Disneyland celebrated its 58th Anniversary on July 17th with a small dance party and daytime fireworks in Town Square.
Thousands lined the streets around Town Square and Main Street to listen to Walt Disney’s original opening day dedication speech, dance with rarely seen characters and sing “Happy Birthday” to Disneyland.
This type of celebration has become the norm for Disneyland’s anniversaries since the massive “Happiest Homecoming on Earth” 50th Celebration in 2005. Hopefully we will begin to hear about some of Disney’s plans for a 2015 60th anniversary celebration this year.
Happy Independence Day America
The Magic of the Matterhorn
In July 2013, Limited Time Magic celebrated the “Magic of the Matterhorn” when “Hans and his strapping son Erik” took to the icy peaks to yodel and sing songs for those passing below.
During most of their performances, guests were also entertained by the Matterhorn Mountain Climbers as well. It was awesome to see the Matterhorn so full of activity again, and I truly hope Disney sees the value of this type of entertainment and brings it back for 2014.
Also in July 2013
The Ink and Paint program returned to Disneyland
Scaffolding appeared on Big Thunder Mountain Railroad and progress could be seen on the Rainbow Ridge buildings
Earlier in the summer, the Pixar Play Parade received a small makeover for the new Pixar / Disney animated film, Monsters University.
In August 2013, Disney held the their third D23 Expo across the street from Disneyland at the Anaheim Convention Center. The Expo is truly the “Ultimate Disney Fan Event” which brings all things Disney together. Those in attendance had the opportunity to listen to Imagineer panels, listen to historical presentations, view exhibits, see presentations on upcoming movies, games, and more. The event was massive, and a huge success.
As it pertained to the Disney Parks, and specifically the Disneyland Resort, no too much came out of the 2013 D23 Expo that we didn’t already know. This past year, D23 choose not to hold a large Parks and Resorts event as they did in years past. Instead, Walt Disney Imagineering presented a wonderful exhibit which provided guests with a virtual inside look at Imagineering in Glendale.
“Journey into Imagineering” brought the creative team, and building, to Anaheim for guests to enjoy. Once guests passed through the facade, which was a wonderful recreation of the WDI building in Glendale, they were presented with rooms filled with exhibits which hinted at upcoming projects such as Star Wars, Marvel and Avatar. Guests had access to actual Imagineers which were available to answer questions. New and old technology was on display and one of the best gifts: the original Herb Ryman drawing of Disneyland and the Peter Ellenshaw black-light painting was on display for guests to see.
Legendary Imagineer Tony Baxter received quite a few honors at the 2013 D23 Expo. He was named a Disney Legend and a surprise announcement was made on stage following a presentation that he would be honored with a window on Main Street USA at Disneyland.
A lot happened at the 2013 D23 Expo; far too much to detail in the Year in Review. D23 decided not to hold a Parks and Resorts pavilion, instead, celebrated the 60th anniversary of Walt Disney Imagineering with an amazing exhibit. The Journey into Imagineering exhibit brought some of the mystic of the Disney creative unit to Anaheim and let those in attendance view some of the work going on inside Walt Disney Imagineering.
Below are photos and videos of two animatronics which were on display. One, a mock up of the fabled Hatbox Ghost and a second, an impressive interactive project called El Fortuno.
I invite you to to read, D23 Expo: Journey into Imagination for more on this great exhibit
The Many Voices of Mara
A few days after the conclusion of the 2013 D23 Expo, the Hall of Promise scene inside the Indiana Jones Adventure attraction received a few technology upgrades. Most guests will recognize the large idol Mara who dares riders to look into her eyes. The new projections bring her to life, creating the effect of eyes opening and the face of idol melting in discuss and anger.
The first update featured a more feminine voice which was not well received. Within a few weeks the voice was changed to a closer representation of the original, deeper voice.
Below you’ll find two videos, one of each upgrade.
Also in August 2013
Walt Disney Imagineering did a “play test” in the Golden Horseshoe Revue. Guests were asked to help complete a story for a small stage show, all the while interacting with characters.