A DAZZLING DECEMBER
Disneyland’s holiday décor joined forces with the existing Diamond Jubilee décor this month, making for an extra sparkly holiday season. The lands in both parks were inundated with wreaths, ornaments, and tons of diamond details, and the tree on Main Street USA was bigger and brighter than ever. I absolutely love this picture from MiceChat of Main Street USA:
Source: Dateline Disneyland
As the Diamond Jubilee celebration starts to wind down, Disneyland is now looking ahead to the future. Construction begins in mid-January on Star Wars Land, and California Adventure will soon have a global version of Soarin’, and two brand new attractions. 2016 will be a year of change at the Disneyland Resort, which will be a sharp turn from the nostalgia-filled Jubilee in 2015.
In the wake of global terror threats, many US theme parks have heightened security measures to ensure the safety of guests. Disneyland and Walt Disney World joined this effort in mid-December, adding the presence of bomb-sniffing dogs near security lines and at the park gates. In addition, security now randomly selects guests to pass through metal detectors, which are now located at the esplanade between the two parks. Once inside the gates, guests will notice one other change: you can no longer purchase any toy guns or replicas in the parks or in Downtown Disney, including blaster toys and bubble guns. This is a preventative measure to make it easier for security staff to spot real weapons in and around the parks.
Guests shouldn’t be concerned about these increased security efforts; Disneyland is and always have been a safe place. These changes will have virtually no effect on your Disney experience, and exist only to make the park that much safer for each and every visitor. For more information, check out Disneyland’s park rules and safety page here.
CALM BEFORE THE CLOSURE STORM
Though December is one of the busiest months of the year at the parks, it was effectively the “calm before the storm”, as Disney prepares to break ground on Star Wars Land. Much of Frontierland, especially the Rivers of America, will shut down for over a year as construction takes place to create the park’s first brand new land since 1993.
The following is the list of attractions that will close in January as part of the Star Wars Land construction:
- Big Thunder Ranch
- Davy Crockett Explorer Canoes
- Disneyland Railroad
- Mark Twain Riverboat & Sailing Ship Columbia
- Pirate’s Lair on Tom Sawyer Island
If you’re visiting between now and January 11th, take a ride around the waterfront while you can. The landscape will almost certainly change dramatically with the addition of a new land, with most guests speculating that the Indian village will be removed:
But that’s not all to be wary of this January. Here are the rides undergoing unrelated refurbishments next month:
- Aladdin – A Musical Spectacular
- Grizzly River Run
- Haunted Mansion
- It’s Tough To Be A Bug!
- Jungle Cruise
- Soarin’ Over California
- World of Color
This is the largest list of concurrent refurbishments at the resort that I have ever seen. In my opinion, anyone thinking of visiting the park during this month should reconsider. Given the huge number of closed attractions, you’re not getting the full bang for your buck, which really isn’t fair considering the price of a park ticket.
Aladdin – A Musical Spectacular will close in early January, so the show is packed throughout the day. In response to the major crowds, the show now has fast pass for the remaining performances. The fast pass kiosks can be found just outside the Hyperion Theater in Hollywood Land.
Cars Land’s newest attraction, Luigi’s Rollickin’ Roadsters, is almost finished and ready to launch. Disney has not provided a release date yet, but as the walls come down, there are many rumors that the ride will open in the next few weeks.
That’s all for December’s resort updates! As the sun sets on 2015, I’d like to take a moment to say thank you for your readership. This blog is so much fun for me to write, and I hope just as fun to read. Happy new year, and cheers to 2016!