Disneyland Photo Report for March 10, 2014
Welcome Back to the Disneyland Resort
The long awaited return of Big Thunder Mountain Railroad is just around the corner. For the first time in nearly 14 months the sounds of trains and riders screaming could be heard across the mountain range as Cast Members had the first crack at the newly refurbished ride. Next week Annual Passholders will get a chance before the attraction reopens in just over a week.
The weather warmed up quite a bit this past week, well into the 80’s. With that came large crowds and longer wait times. No doubt most of the crowds were Cast Members and Disney employees drawn in to ride Big Thunder. Imagineers were spotted throughout the day including the Imagineer credited with the creation of Big Thunder, Tony Baxter.
Big Thunder Mountain Railroad
Disneyland finally made the announcement we’ve all be waiting to hear, Big Thunder Mountain Railroad will open to all guests on March 17, 2014! This past weekend Cast Members and Disney employees took part in exclusive rides. I was very fortunate to have been invited to ride by some of Disneyland’s best and I must say that the refurbishment was well worth the wait.
As I’m sure you’ve heard, there are new special effects on the attraction itself. Within hours of the first rides, spoiler videos and photos sprung up all over social media and various blogs. We are remaining spoiler free. I was able to avoid the temptation of watching videos and I am VERY happy I did. If you are planing a trip to Disneyland, then take my advise and just wait. This is definitely the type of effect that can not be captured well on video.
The new track is very smooth, and quiet. The familiar sound of the train approaching is virtually nonexistent, except for the train sound effects and joyous screams of the riders. The various elements in the queue look great, polished and operational!
Cast Member Previews
Cast Members were the first to take a spin on the attraction this past weekend. Thousands of them lined up to ride Big Thunder Mountain Railroad for the first time in 14 months. Although never posted, the Cast Member at the front of the line was estimating the wait time at 90 minutes when I took the photos below. At that time the line came out of the queue, into Zocalo Park and down the walkway towards the Frontierland Shooting Gallery!
Annual Passholder Previews Next Week!
Beginning on Thursday, March 13th, Annual Passholders will have the opportunity to ride Big Thunder Mountain Railroad. There is no need to pre-register, just show your valid Annual Pass to the Cast Member at the line entrance to be admitted.
The Big Thunder Mountain Railroad Annual Passholder preview occurs during regular Disneyland park hours for 4 days:
Thursday, March 13 – 9:00 AM to 10:00 PM
Friday, March 14 – 8:00 AM to 12:00 Midnight
Saturday, March 15 – 8:00 AM to 11:00 PM
Sunday, March 16 – 8:00 AM to 12:00 Midnight
Construction on the strange addition to Space Mountain continued this past week. The addition is most likely to aid in the safety concerns while maintenance workers clean the surface. It is being constructed to blend in with the unique architecture of the attraction, however it is clearly out of place and tilted in the opposite direction. It’s a sad compromise in the face of California’s over regulating government agencies.
A few new Marvel posters and signs have been installed on Innoventions.
Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage
A bit of scaffolding has been installed around the submarines, but not much else is visible as this extensive refurbishment gets underway. The Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage is set for reopening in the fall of 2014.
Around the Disneyland Resort
The facade around the Pacific Wharf, Cannery Row and the Pacific Wharf Café is covered for work. The restaurant remains open during the refurbishment.