Welcome back to the Disneyland Resort

Both Disneyland and Disney California Adventure are headed into a brief period where we’ll see reduced crowd sizes. This time of year is often referred to as the “off season” and typically Disney scales back the park hours and frequency of shows and parades. Traditionally it is also the time of year where refurbishments are performed on those hard working attractions. There’s not much time off for the rides between the busy summer season, Halloween Time and the Holidays, so it’s very common to see many of Disneyland’s major attractions closed between January and spring break.

Guests also said goodbye to Billy Hill and the Hillbillies this past week and Disney added a rare character meet and greet to the Big Thunder Ranch Jamboree. New Orleans Square has become a maze as the Club 33 expansion goes into full swing, Captain America is coming to Innoventions and we take a look Around the Resort!


Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage Closure 

Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage Refurbishment

Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage Refurbishment

Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage Refurbishment

Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage Refurbishment

Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage Refurbishment

This month we are seeing a high number of refurbishments at Disneyland, and at the top of the list is the Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage. The attraction was scheduled to close on January 6th, but in reality it closed a day prior with intermittent operation in the days leading up to it being shuttered. 

Officially, the Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage is closing for an extensive refurbishment and Disney has said they plan to reopen the attraction in “late 2014”. However online rumors are circulating that the attraction may very well close for good. There are various versions of this rumor, that seem to change weekly. Personally, I don’t take much stock in the Disney rumor mill, even if accurate, Team Disney Anaheim and Corporate could easily have multiple plans in play, and with the type of time frame we’re talking about, they could take many different routes if they see fit.

For now, we’ll watch the attraction for signs of work. If Disney management truly seeks to close the Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage then it makes little sense to pour money into it. As of this week some of the water seems to be receding. It is not yet clear if Disney has begun the process of redirecting the 5 million gallons of water to the Orange County Sanitation District or if we are simply seeing evaporation or leaks.

Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage Refurbishment

Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage Refurbishment

Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage Refurbishment

Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage Refurbishment

Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage Refurbishment

Monorail / Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage


 

Big Thunder Ranch Jamboree – Frontierland Troupe

Big Thunder Ranch Jamboree - Frontierland Troupe

It’s official, Billy Hill and the Hillbillies are no more – at least at Disneyland.

The popular musical group held their final performance last Monday to what can only be assumed to be a record number of guests. Big Thunder Ranch was jammed packed with hundreds of fans saying goodbye to the Hillbillies.

In an attempt to keep The Big Thunder Ranch Jamboree alive, Disney began a new character meet and greet called the Frontierland Troupe. Guests who remember last year’s Limited Time Magic event “Long Lost Friends Week” will experience a bit of deja vu with this event. The backdrops are the same, with a bit of rebranding, a performer plays the piano and sings songs and occasionally each group of characters are lead out by a cowboy and horse.

Behind a new smaller stage set up for character introductions and small piano performances is the larger stage now being used for Disney Performing Arts, most of the time it just sits empty.

Disney silently launched the Frontierland Troupe early last week, and perhaps that may be to blame for the poor turn out this weekend.

Despite larger park crowds on Saturday and Sunday, the Big Thunder Ranch Jamboree and the Frontierland Troupe drew very, very small numbers. Two of the three meet and greets were walk ups! When Limited Time Magic hosted “Long Lost Friends Week” each of the five character stations had a minimum wait of 20 minutes on most days.

When the performing arts demonstration pictured below finished, the Big Thunder Ranch Jamboree nearly cleared out.

I’m not sure what the Disneyland Entertainment Department is up to, but it seems very strange as of late.

Big Thunder Ranch Jamboree - Frontierland Troupe

No waiting for Pinocchio and Geppetto

Big Thunder Ranch Jamboree - Frontierland Troupe

No waiting for Horace Horsecollar and Clarabelle Cow either

Big Thunder Ranch Jamboree - Frontierland Troupe

Not much of a crowd for the new Big Thunder Ranch Jamboree entertainment

Big Thunder Ranch Jamboree - Frontierland Troupe

Big Thunder Ranch Jamboree - Frontierland Troupe


 

New Orleans Square and the Club 33 Expansion

New Orleans Square / Club 33 Expansion

Back in August when we brought you the news that the Court of Angels, the beautiful and masterfully detailed corner of New Orleans Square, was set for closure to day guests. The area is slated to become part of the expanded and redesigned members-only Club 33.

The closure of the Court of Angels is now only a part of the story. Apparently the Club 33 expansion is going to be very disruptive to New Orleans Square. Most of the interior spaces are now covered in building-high walls and tarps. Some of the tarps are “photo tarps”, but the internal streets have very ugly generic coverings.

The intersection of Orleans and Royal Street is a literal maze. I stood there for a while watching guests come around the corner and become annoyed when they were greeted with more walls, tunnels and dead ends.

The stores are open, but it’s very difficult to know that unless you begin to hunt around each corner. All of the shop’s windows are covered as well, only the doors are left uncovered, creating a very dark space.

The New Orleans Square guest restrooms are open, but they can only be accessed from the side closest to the train station. 

 

Also, the new rumored bridge appears to be under construction. This new bridge will extend from Mille. Antoninette’s Parfumerie and Café Orleans and will connect the new Club 33 night club to a dining room.

Disney should probably just consider closing this entire space, of course that would mean closing three to four shops as well and I just don’t see the disruption to the overall theme and guest experience being more important than the revenue these shops may still generate.

New Orleans Square / Club 33 Expansion

New Orleans Square / Club 33 Expansion

The new bridge is under construction

New Orleans Square / Club 33 Expansion

New Orleans Square / Club 33 Expansion

Royal and Orleans Street

New Orleans Square / Club 33 Expansion

New Orleans Square / Club 33 Expansion

New Orleans Square / Club 33 Expansion

The former entrance to the Court of Angels

New Orleans Square / Club 33 Expansion

New Orleans Square / Club 33 Expansion

New Orleans Square / Club 33 Expansion

New Orleans Square / Club 33 Expansion

The New Orleans Square restrooms can only be accessed on the side near the train station. This area now leads to a dead end

New Orleans Square / Club 33 Expansion

New Orleans Square / Club 33 Expansion  


 

Refurbishment Season

This is definitely “refurbishment season” at the Disneyland Resort. Many attractions and shows are closed for repairs, touchups and maintenance. 

We told you about the Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage at the beginning of this Photo Report, but there are quite a bit more throughout the Resort. Here is how they currently appear. 

 

Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage 

January 6 – “late 2014”

Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage Refurbishment

Fantasmic!

January 6 – February 13

Fantasmic! Refurbishment

Fantasmic! Refurbishment

Sailing Ship Columbia

January 6 – February 13

Sailing Ship Columbia Refurbishment

Sailing Ship Columbia Refurbishment

Haunted Mansion Holiday

January 7 – 17

Haunted Mansion Holiday removal

Haunted Mansion Holiday removal

World of Color

January 7 – 16

World of Color Refurbishment

World of Color Refurbishment

Redwood Creek Challenge Trail

January 6 – February 27

Redwood Creek Challenge Trail Refurbishment

Coming Up: Soarin’ Over California …

February 18 – June 5

Soarin' Over California

… Alice in Wonderland

February 3 – May

Alice in Wonderland

Alice in Wonderland

… “it’s a small world” Holiday

January 21 – February 7

"it's a small world" Holiday

You can view a complete list of closures and special events on our Attractions Information Page.


Captain America coming to Innoventions

Disney announced this past week that Captain America will be joining Iron Man and Thor at Innoventions this spring.

Read More

Innoventions

What remains to be seen is which exhibit Captain America will be replacing…

Project Tomorrow

Innoventions - Project Tomorrow

ASIMO

ASIMO

Nanooze Labs … probably Nanooze Labs

Innoventions - Nanooze Labs

Innoventions - Nanooze Labs

Innoventions - Nanooze Labs

Around the Resort

Here’s a quick trip around the Disneyland Resort

Frozen Meet and Greet

Golden Horseshoe

Bird in Frontierland

¡Viva Navidad! has been removed from Paradise Garden and the Paradise Garden Grill’s menu has returned

Paradise Garden

Paradise Garden Grill

Paradise Garden Grill

Buena Vista Street / Red Car Trolley

Red Car Trolley

Buena Vista Street

Carthay Circle / Buena Vsita Street

Buena Vista Street Sunset

Buena Vista Street Sunset

Main Street Train Station Sunset

With Fantasmic! dark for a brief refurbishment, guests can take night-time excursions on the Mark Twain!

Mark Twain Sunset

Mark Twain Night Ride

Mark Twain Night Ride

Mark Twain Night Ride

Paradise Pier Sunset

DON’T FORGET TO FOLLOW US ON YOUR FAVORITE SOCIAL NETWORK FOR BREAKING NEWS THROUGHOUT THE WEEK.

VISIT OUR ATTRACTIONS PAGE FOR INFORMATION ON CLOSURES AND SPECIAL EVENTS AT THE DISNEYLAND RESORT