Spring is both a positive and a negative change at the Disneyland Resort. The rain subsides, flowers bloom, characters come out of hibernation…but so do the crowds. Spring break time is one of the busiest times of year to visit the parks, and this month was no exception. Just look at the crowds to get through security at 10 AM on a Tuesday (this is going to be a recurring theme at Disneyland…more on that later):
Of course, more visitors also means the park launches new attractions and activities within the park. So while March was a crowded month, it was also an exciting and busy one.
THE RETURN OF LUIGI
March started with the return of Cars Land’s beloved Italian resident…Luigi! And he didn’t come back alone. Luigi and his Italian cousins now spend their time dancing around Cars Land, inviting guests to join in the party.
Luigi’s Rollickin’ Roadsters is California Adventure’s newest attraction, and the first ride at the Disneyland resort to operate without a track. Though the ride is still too new to declare a success, it already seems on its way to becoming a crowd favorite.
In addition to new attractions, March also signaled the return of an annual tradition: Eggstravaganza. Guests could pick up egg maps in either park, and search for Disney-themed giant eggs hidden within the resort.
Eggstravaganza is a popular activity for guests of all ages. There was, however, a little “controversy” around the egg hunt this year though. Cast members moved one of the eggs without marking the new location on the map, leaving a lot of guests frustrated that they were missing an egg after finding the rest. The maps aren’t free (they cost about $6), so a number of guests understandably thought it was unfair to pay for a map that wasn’t even accurate. But overall, Eggstravaganza was a success for the Disneyland Resort, and remains one of its most popular seasonal activities.
A LAND AWAKENS
Star Wars Land is just starting to take shape in Disneyland. Though the walkway is completely blocked off in both Fantasyland and Frontierland, guests can still catch a glimpse of trucks, mounds of dirt, and makeshift roads forming behind the walls:
For the best possible view of construction, climb into Tarzan’s Treehouse. When you reach the top of the stairs, you’ll have a pretty clear look at construction and the size of the upcoming land:
Star Wars Land still has a year to go before its slated opening, so it will be very exciting to watch how it develops over time. Stay tuned for further progress reports and pictures.
Autopia is still closed for refurbishment, but observant guests might notice its turret is now painted a bold blue. This signals Autopia’s brand new partnership with Honda, which will officially begin when the attraction reopens this summer.
Downtown Disney is opening a second Starbucks location. The current coffee shop, adjacent to World of Disney, will now be Downtown Disney’s eastern location. The western Starbucks will be on the opposite end of the street, close to the LEGO store.
SuperHero HQ in Tomorrowland will be closing in April to make room for a Star Wars Land preview exhibit. While few details have been released about this new gallery, we do know that guests will be able to see concept art, promotional clips, and will have a sneak peek at the Cantina and the Millennium Falcon attraction. The Star Wars Land preview is expected to open at the start of the summer season.
The main square in Mickey’s Toontown is almost completely under scaffolding at the moment, for a fresh coat of paint before the summer crowds. All of the attractions and restaurants are still open, but Toontown will be a bit of an eyesore for the next month or so.
And finally, due to Shanghai Disneyland’’s opening going way over budget, most of Disney’s other parks will have some entertainment cuts headed their way. Yes, they are making cuts, despite recently hiking prices of tickets and switching to seasonal pricing. Now through June, Disneyland will be quietly making changes to reduce labor costs. That means smaller attractions, like the Redwood Creek Challenge Trail, will close a few hours before the park actually closes its gates. It also means stores will have fewer cashiers, parades will run less frequently, and the parks will close an hour earlier than they normally do this time of year. As a park visitor, that means you will wait in longer lines everywhere, not just attractions. Keep that in mind if you are planning a trip to the resort in the next few months.
That’s it for this month at the Disneyland Resort. Remember to stay hydrated and wear sunblock in the parks; it’s already getting hot! And as always, be kind to cast members, especially when they’re stretched thin.