Welcome to the new year!
As of this morning, January 6th, the Holiday Season is entering its last day. With the end of the busiest time of year for the Disneyland Resort we enter into a brief window of “off season”. In the next few weeks guests can expect to see reduced crowd levels and wait times. But with the off season comes closures and refurbishments.
Beginning this morning, the Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage has closed for the majority of the year. Disney made the announcement in November stating that the attraction would undergo a major refurbishment for most of the year. This would overlap, at least for the remainder of January, with the ongoing refurbishment of the Big Thunder Mountain Railroad.
Also, Billy Hill and the Hillbillies performed their last performances on January 6, 2014. The long-time Disneyland musical and comedy act was “retired” by Disneyland. We will also visit ¡Viva Navidad! and Three Kings Days (Dia de Reyes) and take a quick look at the Holiday decor as it moves out until next November.
Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage
The Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage was scheduled to close today, January 6, 2014 for the majority of the year. The attraction is going down for a massive refurbishment which will see the entire lagoon drained and the rock work repainted.
According to Disney, the refurbishment will include draining the massive 5-million-gallon lagoon in order to facilitate work on the underwater rocks, props and animatronics. The lagoon will take nearly two days to drain. Disney will divert the water to the Orange County Sanitation District for redistribution to the local groundwater aquifer.
The “Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage” opened in 2007 after the submarine lagoon sat dormant for nearly 9 years following the closure of the original 1959 attraction, “The Submarine Voyage”.
Over the past few months, rumors have been circulating that Disneyland’s plans were to permanently close the “Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage”. However, Disneyland spokesperson Betsy Sanchez, was quoted by the OC Register as saying there were no immediate plans to permanently close the “Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage” and that the upcoming closure was simply for a refurbishment.
It is highly unlikely that Disney would incur the cost of a lengthy refurbishment for an attraction they intend to close. It will be a strong indicator that the permanent closure rumor is false if we start to see work being performed on the attraction. Keep an eye on our Disneyland Photo & News Reports for updates and photography of the refurbishment in the coming weeks.
The waterfalls and bubble effect were both shut down over the weekend prior to the closure.
The subs themselves are in desperate need of attention
¡Viva Navidad! & Three Kings Day (Dia de Reyes)
Disney California Adventure closed out the popular ¡Viva Navidad! celebration with the addition of Dia de Reyes, or Three Kings Day. The now annual celebration includes free face painting, culinary demonstrations, meet and greets, special foods and music. Disney has added to this celebration each year, and for the first time, has moved it to Disney California Adventure. In years past Three Kings Day has been held at Disneyland, however it was a much better fit for it to be added to the new ¡Viva Navidad! event this year.
Bye Bye Billies
After nearly 21 years, Billy Hill and the Hillbillies officially “retired” from Disneyland after entertaining guests during their final performances on January 6, 2014.
In November, Disneyland made the announcement that Billy Hill and the Hillbillies would be retired from their long-time Disneyland act. The Billy Hill and the Hillbillies was an extremely popular bluegrass and comedy show which began its nearly 21 year run in 1992 outside of the Golden Horseshoe Saloon in Frontierland.
In recent years the act had been moved from the Golden Horseshoe to the Big Thunder Ranch Jamboree. The musicians, turning to their fans on their website, asked for guests to write to Disneyland management and to sign an online petition. But despite fan outcry, Disneyland stuck to their decision and the Billy Hill and the Hillbillies held their final Disneyland performance on January 6, 2014.
Around the Resort
Here’s a quick look at other happenings and Holiday decorations around Disneyland and Disney California Adventure
If you haven’t yet seen our 2013 Disneyland Year in Photography Review here’s your chance!