Disneyland won’t loosen costume policy for Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge

Visitors to Disneyland’s new Galaxy’s Edge themed land will be able to browse through clothing inspired by movie wardrobe pieces, but Disneyland’s strict costume policy means they won’t be able to wear some of the clothing they buy within the Anaheim theme park.

The new 14-acre land opening May 31 at Disneyland will be set in the on the Star Wars planet of Batuu in the remote outer rim village of Black Spire Outpost.

An apparel shop in the Black Spire marketplace will sell a line of handmade robes, tunics, hooded scarves and belts based on wardrobe pieces from the “Star Wars” cinematic universe. Disney’s merchandise team worked closely with Lucasfilm’s archives division to turn movie wardrobe pieces into authentic-looking clothing.

Visitors over the age of 13 will not be able to wear the Star Wars robes and some other Galaxy’s Edge merchandise in the theme park, Disneyland officials said. Disneyland currently sells stormtrooper helmets and other items that violate the costume policy and can’t be worn in the park.

Disneyland visitors 14 and over are not permitted to wear costumes into the parks although “Disney bounding” is permitted. Disney bounders dress in color schemes and design patterns that mimic the look and style of their favorite characters. Visitors of all ages can wear costumes during some separate-admission after-hours events at Disneyland and Disney California Adventure.

“We believe that our current costume policy allows a lot of Disney bounding and opportunity to come and live your story,” Disneyland Vice President Kris Theiler said.

Disneyland employees will wear costumes that place them into three distinct camps in Galaxy’s Edge: First Order soldiers, Resistance rebels or Black Spire Outpost villagers.

Employees dressed as villagers will get to choose from a mix-and-match collection of costumes that can be assembled into 80 combinations. Cast members will get to pick their own pieces from a selection of tunics, wraps and vests as well as accessories like necklaces, scarves, hats and belts.

The First Order and Resistance looks will be more pre-determined for employees. The bad guy First Order soldiers will wear sleek military-style uniforms. The good guy Resistance rebels will wear flight crew gear with a jacket, vest and goggles on their hat.

Walt Disney Imagineering, the creative arm of the company, has created an immersive and interactive environment in Galaxy’s Edge designed to let every visitor live their own Star Wars hero story.

Visitors will play a role in a continually developing storyline that evolves and progresses throughout the day. Fail in your mission aboard the Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run attraction and a bounty hunter might tap you on the shoulder looking for a vengeful space pirate’s lost loot.

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Want to visit Disneyland’s Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge? Brace yourself for big crowds and long lines

Disneyland visitors with reservations to Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge during the initial “soft opening” period can expect to wait in hours-long lines to get into the new land, ride the Millennium Falcon attraction, visit the cantina and experience the build-your-own lightsaber and droid shops.

Hardcore Star Wars fans heading to Disneyland for the May 31 grand opening of Galaxy’s Edge or on June 24 — the first date that reservations won’t be required — will also have to brave an overnight lineup just to get into the Anaheim theme park.

The reservation-only soft opening gives Disneyland an opportunity for a controlled introduction of Galaxy’s Edge and a chance to understand how visitors react and respond to Black Spire Outpost on the Star Wars planet of Batuu, the setting for the new 14-acre themed land.

Disneyland will restrict access to Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge between May 31 and June 23 to visitors with reservations. Each registered guest staying at the Disneyland Hotel, Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel or Disney’s Paradise Pier Hotel during the initial 24-day window will receive one reservation to Galaxy’s Edge. A limited number of theme park visitors not staying in one of the three hotels will be able to make reservations for Galaxy’s Edge. Disneyland has not yet released details on how the free reservation system will work.

Once inside the land, visitors who want to experience the Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run ride, Oga’s Cantina cocktail bar, Savi’s Workshop — Handbuilt Lightsabers shop or Droid Depot store during the soft opening period will have to get into first come, first served queues at each location. None of the attractions, restaurants or experiential shops in the new land will take reservations during the soft opening period.

It will be difficult to do everything in one visit to Galaxy’s Edge during the initial 24-day reservation period. Visitors should expect hours-long waits for the lone attraction operating on opening day, the intimate must-see cantina and the boutique build-your-own experiences.

Disneyland will reassess the need for reservations at Oga’s, Savi’s and Droid Depot after June 24, when reservations will no longer be needed to access Galaxy’s Edge. A virtual queue system in development for Galaxy’s Edge will allow visitors to wander around other areas of Disneyland while waiting to enter the new Star Wars land. The digital system won’t be instituted until after the soft opening period.

Disney’s rival Universal Studios had one of the largest grand openings in theme park history with the 2010 debut of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Islands of Adventure in Florida, which generated 10-hour lines just to get into the themed land on opening day.

The Avatar: Flight of Passage flight simulator at Disney’s Animal Kingdom in Florida generated 6-hour queues when it debuted in May 2017 before settling down to 2- to 3-hour average wait times.

Touring Plans, which uses big data and statistical analysis to calculate daily crowd sizes and ride wait times at theme parks, anticipates visitors could encounter 6-hour waits for Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run on opening day of Galaxy’s Edge at Disneyland.

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Wait times for the marquee Millennium Falcon attraction will be affected by two key factors. First, Disneyland will not offer FastPasses for the ride during the soft opening period. Second, Rise of the Resistance, the other major attraction in Galaxy’s Edge, won’t open until later this year, reducing the overall ride capacity for the new land.

Fortunately, Disneyland has vast expertise in attraction queue management.

Disneyland plans to offer atmosphere talent, mobile app games and snack vending options for those waiting in line for Smugglers Run. Riders waiting in the Falcon queue will be able to get a bathroom pass and rejoin their party at the FastPass merge location in the attraction. Disney plans to eventually offer the same bathroom relief in the Rise of the Resistance queue when the attraction opens.

A Disneyland initiative dubbed Project Stardust — a mash-up of Star Wars and pixie dust — has been preparing for the massive crowds expected to descend on Galaxy’s Edge by taking a comprehensive park-wide look at operations, infrastructure and crowd management with an eye toward improving efficiency, traffic flow and access.

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Here’s what Disneyland unveiled about Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge at its cast party

Disneyland held an after-hours party just for cast members Tuesday night — and they got to be the first people to see some of the uniforms that will be appearing soon in Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge.

Most people know that Disney’s building a new Star Wars land near Frontierland that’s expected to open in June, but this was the first time anyone had seen uniforms that will be worn by people working the attractions. In Disneyland, most attractions and areas have their own specially designed uniforms that enhance the fantasy world inside the park. For example, the Jungle Cruise skippers look like they’re ready to take off down the Nile.

But now there will be good guys and bad guys in the new land — and you can tell them apart by how they’re dressed. There will also be villagers roaming around the Black Spire Outpost, which is the smuggler’s village on the Planet Batuu where the new Star Wars land is supposedly set. (Spoiler alert: It’s not a real planet.) And, of course, there will be storm troopers and droids, not to mention alien species. Note that the First Order bad guy uniforms are modeled after those that appeared in the “Star Wars” film series. And note the “code cylinders” on the chest that carry encrypted information.

Cast members were eagerly looking forward to arriving in Tomorrowland for their private party from 10 p.m. to midnight, especially the costume reveal scheduled for 10:30 p.m. at the Tomorrowland Terrace. Popcorn, fountain drinks and the chance to ride a few attractions were also in store.

The costumes revealed showed mix-and-match styles including four tops, five bottoms and, for the first time, accessories, according to a tweet by @shyhoof

Disneyland President Josh D’Amaro showed off his new name tag, revealing that Star Wars name tags will have names in English and Star Wars language Aurebesh.

Instagram Photo

Take a look at the costumes from Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge pic.twitter.com/eD5gFOtjXM

— Sasaki Time (@SasakiTime) February 27, 2019

Instagram Photo

Here’s a look at an official name tag that #StarWars: #GalaxysEdge cast members at #Disneyland and #WDW will wear, too. The name will be printed in English and Aurebesh. pic.twitter.com/jbbGEdZ5le

— DisneyExaminer (@DisneyExaminer) February 27, 2019

MiceChat.com provided several photos of what was described as “rogues and spies” in the new land:

  • Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge costumes were revealed at a Disneyland cast party Feb. 26, 2019. These are “rogues and spies.” (Courtesy of MiceChat.com)

  • Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge costumes were revealed at a Disneyland cast party Feb. 26, 2019. These are cantina workers. (Courtesy of MiceChat.com)

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  • Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge costumes were revealed at a Disneyland cast party Feb. 26, 2019. These are villagers in Black Spire Outpost. (Courtesy of MiceChat.com)

  • Star Wars:Galaxy’s Edge costumes revealed at a Disneyland cast party Feb. 26, 2019. (Courtesy of MiceChat.com)

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Tweets by DisneylandDrive

Disney will be revealing Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge costumes to cast members later this evening, but we’ve just been tipped off that this is the Rise of the Resistance uniform 👀 Keep following us for more from the edge of the galaxy and beyond 🛰#StarWars #Disneyland pic.twitter.com/nSLfEE4lzj

— MiceChat (@MiceChat) February 27, 2019

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See photos and video of the Pixar Fest food and merchandise at Disneyland and Disney California Adventure

The world of Pixar will invade the Disneyland Resort months before Paradise Pier’s transition to Pixar Pier is ready to open at Disney California Adventure.

Pixar Fest starts April 13 at both Anaheim parks and will include characters from movies like “Toy Story,” “Monsters, Inc.” and “Up” roaming the park along with new food options and merchandise.

Among the new food options are color-changing noodles inspired by “Monsters, Inc.” and bakery treats shaped like characters such as Nemo. Watch the video to see the noodles in action and click through the photo gallery below to see all of the new Pixar-themed food items as well as what will be on the menu at the Lamplight Lounge, the new establishment replacing the former site of Ariel’s Grotto and the Cove Bar in California Adventure.

Related: Here are 10 things you want to know about the new Pixar Pier

Pixar Fest Food: Monsters, Inc.-inspired color-changing noodles available at Lucky Fortune Cookery in Disney California Adventure in Anaheim. (Photo by Jeff Gritchen, Orange County Register/SCNG)
  • Pixar Fest Food: Three-flavored corn dog inspired by “The Incredibles” character Jack-Jack’s shapeshifting ability. This corn dog has three parts: a spicy hot link, pepper jack cheese and a cajun chicken sausage and a sweet and spicy blackberry sauce. It will be available at Corn Dog castle in Disney California Adventure in Anaheim. (Photo by Jeff Gritchen, Orange County Register/SCNG)

    Pixar Fest Food: Three-flavored corn dog inspired by “The Incredibles” character Jack-Jack’s shapeshifting ability. This corn dog has three parts: a spicy hot link, pepper jack cheese and a cajun chicken sausage and a sweet and spicy blackberry sauce. It will be available at Corn Dog castle in Disney California Adventure in Anaheim. (Photo by Jeff Gritchen, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Pixar Fest Food: “Monsters, Inc”.-inspired color-changing noodles will be available at Lucky Fortune Cookery in Disney California Adventure in Anaheim. (Photo by Jeff Gritchen, Orange County Register/SCNG)

    Pixar Fest Food: “Monsters, Inc”.-inspired color-changing noodles will be available at Lucky Fortune Cookery in Disney California Adventure in Anaheim. (Photo by Jeff Gritchen, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Pixar Fest Food: The “Finding Nemo”-inspired clownfish cake pop will be available at Disneyland Resort in Anaheim. (Photo by Jeff Gritchen, Orange County Register/SCNG)

    Pixar Fest Food: The “Finding Nemo”-inspired clownfish cake pop will be available at Disneyland Resort in Anaheim. (Photo by Jeff Gritchen, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Pixar Fest Food: The “Toy Story” three-flavored cake at Disneyland Resort in Anaheim. (Photo by Jeff Gritchen, Orange County Register/SCNG)

    Pixar Fest Food: The “Toy Story” three-flavored cake at Disneyland Resort in Anaheim. (Photo by Jeff Gritchen, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Pixar Fest Food: “Toy Story”-inspired alien macaron at Disneyland Resort in Anaheim. (Photo by Jeff Gritchen, Orange County Register/SCNG)

    Pixar Fest Food: “Toy Story”-inspired alien macaron at Disneyland Resort in Anaheim. (Photo by Jeff Gritchen, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Pixar Fest Food: “Toy Story”-inspired cake pop available at Disneyland Resort in Anaheim. (Photo by Jeff Gritchen, Orange County Register/SCNG)

    Pixar Fest Food: “Toy Story”-inspired cake pop available at Disneyland Resort in Anaheim. (Photo by Jeff Gritchen, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Pixar Fest Food: Tuna tartare with edamame, avocado and mango sauce with a cracker dome will be available at Lamplight Lounge in Disney California Adventure in Anaheim. The Lamplight Lounge replaces Ariel’s Grotto and the Cove Bar. (Photo by Jeff Gritchen, Orange County Register/SCNG)

    Pixar Fest Food: Tuna tartare with edamame, avocado and mango sauce with a cracker dome will be available at Lamplight Lounge in Disney California Adventure in Anaheim. The Lamplight Lounge replaces Ariel’s Grotto and the Cove Bar. (Photo by Jeff Gritchen, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Pixar Fest Food: Deviled eggs with toast points and romesco sauce available at Lamplight Lounge in Disney California Adventure in Anaheim. The Lamplight Lounge replaces Ariel’s Grotto and the Cove Bar. (Photo by Jeff Gritchen, Orange County Register/SCNG)

    Pixar Fest Food: Deviled eggs with toast points and romesco sauce available at Lamplight Lounge in Disney California Adventure in Anaheim. The Lamplight Lounge replaces Ariel’s Grotto and the Cove Bar. (Photo by Jeff Gritchen, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Pixar Fest Food: Charcuterie plate starter specialty cheese plate is the first course in a three-course meal at Cafe Orleans in Disneyland in Anaheim. (Photo by Jeff Gritchen, Orange County Register/SCNG)

    Pixar Fest Food: Charcuterie plate starter specialty cheese plate is the first course in a three-course meal at Cafe Orleans in Disneyland in Anaheim. (Photo by Jeff Gritchen, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Pixar Fest Food: Shrimp ratatouille byaldi is the main course in a three-course meal at Cafe Orleans in Disneyland in Anaheim. (Photo by Jeff Gritchen, Orange County Register/SCNG)

    Pixar Fest Food: Shrimp ratatouille byaldi is the main course in a three-course meal at Cafe Orleans in Disneyland in Anaheim. (Photo by Jeff Gritchen, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Pixar Fest Food: Berry-stuffed beignets with mascarpone cheese is the final item in a three-course meal at Cafe Orleans in Disneyland in Anaheim. (Photo by Jeff Gritchen, Orange County Register/SCNG)

    Pixar Fest Food: Berry-stuffed beignets with mascarpone cheese is the final item in a three-course meal at Cafe Orleans in Disneyland in Anaheim. (Photo by Jeff Gritchen, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Pixar Fest Food: Coco-inspired chocolate churro with chocolate powder, vanilla beans, salted cinnamon sugar served with a spiced Mexican chocolate dipping sauce available in Frontierland in Disneyland in Anaheim. (Photo by Jeff Gritchen, Orange County Register/SCNG)

    Pixar Fest Food: Coco-inspired chocolate churro with chocolate powder, vanilla beans, salted cinnamon sugar served with a spiced Mexican chocolate dipping sauce available in Frontierland in Disneyland in Anaheim. (Photo by Jeff Gritchen, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Pixar Fest Food: “Toy Story”-inspired Lots-o’-Straw-“bear”-y funnel cake with cherries, strawberries and cola and cherry syrup available at Hungry Bear Restaurant in Disneyland in Anaheim. (Photo by Jeff Gritchen, Orange County Register/SCNG)

    Pixar Fest Food: “Toy Story”-inspired Lots-o’-Straw-“bear”-y funnel cake with cherries, strawberries and cola and cherry syrup available at Hungry Bear Restaurant in Disneyland in Anaheim. (Photo by Jeff Gritchen, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Pixar Fest Food: “Toy Story”-inspired Green star pesto pasta at Disneyland Resort in Anaheim. (Photo by Jeff Gritchen, Orange County Register/SCNG)

    Pixar Fest Food: “Toy Story”-inspired Green star pesto pasta at Disneyland Resort in Anaheim. (Photo by Jeff Gritchen, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Pixar Fest Food: “Toy Story”-inspired Super Nova Cheesseburger pizza at Disneyland Resort in Anaheim. (Photo by Jeff Gritchen, Orange County Register/SCNG)

    Pixar Fest Food: “Toy Story”-inspired Super Nova Cheesseburger pizza at Disneyland Resort in Anaheim. (Photo by Jeff Gritchen, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Pixar Fest Food: “Toy Story”-inspired Lots-o’-Straw-“bear”-y churro available Hungry Bear Restaurant at Disneyland in Anaheim. (Photo by Jeff Gritchen, Orange County Register/SCNG)

    Pixar Fest Food: “Toy Story”-inspired Lots-o’-Straw-“bear”-y churro available Hungry Bear Restaurant at Disneyland in Anaheim. (Photo by Jeff Gritchen, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Pixar Fest Food: “Monsters, Inc.”-inspired Mike Wazowski sourdough bread will be available at Pacific Wharf Cafe in Disney California Adventure in Anaheim. (Photo by Jeff Gritchen, Orange County Register/SCNG)

    Pixar Fest Food: “Monsters, Inc.”-inspired Mike Wazowski sourdough bread will be available at Pacific Wharf Cafe in Disney California Adventure in Anaheim. (Photo by Jeff Gritchen, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Pixar Fest Food: Fried bologna available at Carnation Cafe at Disneyland in Anaheim. (Photo by Jeff Gritchen, Orange County Register/SCNG)

    Pixar Fest Food: Fried bologna available at Carnation Cafe at Disneyland in Anaheim. (Photo by Jeff Gritchen, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Pixar Fest Food: “Up”-inspired T.V. dinner available at Carnation Cafe at Disneyland in Anaheim. (Photo by Jeff Gritchen, Orange County Register/SCNG)

    Pixar Fest Food: “Up”-inspired T.V. dinner available at Carnation Cafe at Disneyland in Anaheim. (Photo by Jeff Gritchen, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Pixar Fest Food: “Toy Story”-inspired Jessie’s berry jubilee funnel cake available at Stage Door Cafe at Disneyland in Anaheim. (Photo by Jeff Gritchen, Orange County Register/SCNG)

    Pixar Fest Food: “Toy Story”-inspired Jessie’s berry jubilee funnel cake available at Stage Door Cafe at Disneyland in Anaheim. (Photo by Jeff Gritchen, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Pixar Fest: “Toy Story”-inspired Mickey Mouse ears at Disneyland Resort in Anaheim. (Photo by Jeff Gritchen, Orange County Register/SCNG)

    Pixar Fest: “Toy Story”-inspired Mickey Mouse ears at Disneyland Resort in Anaheim. (Photo by Jeff Gritchen, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Pixar Fest: “Toy Story”-inspired Mickey Mouse ears at Disneyland Resort in Anaheim. (Photo by Jeff Gritchen, Orange County Register/SCNG)

    Pixar Fest: “Toy Story”-inspired Mickey Mouse ears at Disneyland Resort in Anaheim. (Photo by Jeff Gritchen, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Pixar Fest: “Toy Story”-inspired Mickey Mouse ears at Disneyland Resort in Anaheim. (Photo by Jeff Gritchen, Orange County Register/SCNG)

    Pixar Fest: “Toy Story”-inspired Mickey Mouse ears at Disneyland Resort in Anaheim. (Photo by Jeff Gritchen, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Merchandise available during Pixar Fest at Disneyland Resort in Anaheim. (Photo by Jeff Gritchen, Orange County Register/SCNG)

    Merchandise available during Pixar Fest at Disneyland Resort in Anaheim. (Photo by Jeff Gritchen, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Christmas Tree ornaments available during Pixar Fest at Disneyland Resort in Anaheim. (Photo by Jeff Gritchen, Orange County Register/SCNG)

    Christmas Tree ornaments available during Pixar Fest at Disneyland Resort in Anaheim. (Photo by Jeff Gritchen, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Christmas Tree ornaments available during Pixar Fest at Disneyland Resort in Anaheim. (Photo by Jeff Gritchen, Orange County Register/SCNG)

    Christmas Tree ornaments available during Pixar Fest at Disneyland Resort in Anaheim. (Photo by Jeff Gritchen, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Baseball hat available during Pixar Fest at Disneyland Resort in Anaheim. (Photo by Jeff Gritchen, Orange County Register/SCNG)

    Baseball hat available during Pixar Fest at Disneyland Resort in Anaheim. (Photo by Jeff Gritchen, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Limited edition pin available during Pixar Fest at Disneyland Resort in Anaheim. (Photo by Jeff Gritchen, Orange County Register/SCNG)

    Limited edition pin available during Pixar Fest at Disneyland Resort in Anaheim. (Photo by Jeff Gritchen, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Pixar Fest t-shirt Limited availablity during Pixar Fest at Disneyland Resort in Anaheim. (Photo by Jeff Gritchen, Orange County Register/SCNG)

    Pixar Fest t-shirt Limited availablity during Pixar Fest at Disneyland Resort in Anaheim. (Photo by Jeff Gritchen, Orange County Register/SCNG)

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Here are 10 things you want to know about the new Pixar Pier at Disneyland Resort

Disney California Adventure is getting a major makeover, with wooden walls obscuring large chunks of the former Paradise Pier. That entire area has been renamed “Pixar Pier,” after the movie studio that launched some of Disney’s most recent animated successes, such as “Coco,” “The Incredibles” and more. The park already has existing attractions based on Pixar movies, including Cars Land, Toy Story Mania! and the Monsters Inc. ride.

While the area was originally designed to remind visitors of a 1910 California pleasure pier, Disney is now adding new themes to match popular Pixar movies. The new pier is slated to open June 23, with a preview festival starting on April 13 and running all summer. We got a special preview recently at Walt Disney Imagineering in Glendale, and later a walk-through at the park.

Related: See photos and video of the food and merchandise at Pixar Fest

Here are 10 things you want to know:

Artist rendering provided by Walt Disney Imagineering of the new Adorable Snowman Frosted Treats store, part of the Pixar Pier development at Disney California Adventure in Anaheim, as of March 8, 2018. The pier is still under construction. Photo by Marla Jo Fisher, the Orange County Register, at Walt Disney Imagineering in Glendale, CA.
Artist rendering provided by Walt Disney Imagineering of the new Adorable Snowman Frosted Treats store, part of the Pixar Pier development at Disney California Adventure in Anaheim, as of March 8, 2018. The pier is still under construction. Photo by Marla Jo Fisher, the Orange County Register, at Walt Disney Imagineering in Glendale, CA.

1. Adorable Snowman: The former Paradise Pier Ice Cream Company, which sold frozen treats when you walked into the pier area, is being turned into Adorable Snowman Frosted Treats, that will still sell frozen items, particularly lemon frozen non-dairy treats.

Artist rendering of the Incredicoaster provided by Walt Disney Imagineering, part of the upcoming changes to the new Pixar Pier development at Disney California Adventure in Anaheim, as of March 8, 2018. The pier is still under construction.
Artist rendering of the Incredicoaster provided by Walt Disney Imagineering, part of the upcoming changes to the new Pixar Pier development at Disney California Adventure in Anaheim, as of March 8, 2018. The pier is still under construction.

2. Incredibles Neighborhood: Instead of the now-closed California Screamin’ roller coaster, visitors will soon walk through a steel arch into a new Incredibles neighborhood, with the main attraction being the Incredicoaster. It will have new launch and loop mechanisms in place, but the coaster structurally will be the same, except for the new theming and enclosure of the tunnels. The new ride is themed after “The Incredibles” movie, which is scheduled to have a sequel released in June. The coaster’s “scream tunnels,” built to keep down the noise of rider screams, are being expanded and riders will experience new thrills inside. The coaster’s new story will be that the Incredibles’ baby, named Jack-Jack, has escaped and is using his superpowers to roam around the coaster, while the family tries to catch him during the course of the ride. It will have a new entrance queue with a 1950s mid-century modern look, and its own story.

Artist rendering of the new Poultry Palace quick service restaurant, provided by Walt Disney Imagineering, part of the upcoming changes to the new Pixar Pier development at Disney California Adventure in Anaheim, as of March 8, 2018. The pier is still under construction. (Disney•Pixar)
Artist rendering of the new Poultry Palace quick service restaurant, provided by Walt Disney Imagineering, part of the upcoming changes to the new Pixar Pier development at Disney California Adventure in Anaheim, as of March 8, 2018. The pier is still under construction. (Disney•Pixar)

3. Toy Story Neighborhood: A huge icon of Jessie the yodeling cowgirl from the popular “Toy Story” film franchise will dominate the plaza of this new neighborhood. The former King Triton’s Carousel shut down March 4, and is under construction behind wooden walls. It will reopen as Jessie’s Critter Carousel, with cute animals available to ride. People can buy snacks at the Poultry Palace, designed as a huge carton of take-out chicken (replacing Don Tomas Turkey Legs), and Señor Buzz Churros, a revamped churro stand themed to the Buzz Lightyear character. Note that the popular Toy Story Mania! ride will remain in place.

Artist rendering provided by Walt Disney Imagineering of the upcoming changes to the new Pixar Pier development at Disney California Adventure in Anaheim, as of March 8, 2018. The pier is still under construction. Photo by Marla Jo Fisher, the Orange County Register, at Walt Disney Imagineering in Glendale, CA.
Artist rendering provided by Walt Disney Imagineering of the upcoming changes to the new Pixar Pier development at Disney California Adventure in Anaheim, as of March 8, 2018. The pier is still under construction. Photo by Marla Jo Fisher, the Orange County Register, at Walt Disney Imagineering in Glendale, CA.

4. Pixar Promenade: Visitors will pass through a new archway into the Pixar Promenade, where three of the four existing boardwalk arcade games have been reconfigured. The existing Bullseye Stallion Stampede will remain the same. Changed out will be WALL-E Space Spin, replacing Dumbo’s Bucket Brigade, La Luna Star Catcher replacing Goofy About Fishin and Heimlich Candy Corn Toss replacing Casey at the Bat. There will be new plush prizes available for winners.

Model of the revamped Lamplight Lounge by Walt Disney Imagineering, part of the upcoming changes to the new Pixar Pier development at Disney California Adventure in Anaheim, as of March 8, 2018. The pier is still under construction. This two-story family lounge will replace the shuttered Cove Bar and Ariel's Grotto. Photo by Marla Jo Fisher, the Orange County Register, at Walt Disney Imagineering in Glendale, CA.
Model of the revamped Lamplight Lounge by Walt Disney Imagineering, part of the upcoming changes to the new Pixar Pier development at Disney California Adventure in Anaheim, as of March 8, 2018. The pier is still under construction. This two-story family lounge will replace the shuttered Cove Bar and Ariel’s Grotto. Photo by Marla Jo Fisher, the Orange County Register, at Walt Disney Imagineering in Glendale, CA.

5. Lamplight Lounge. This two-story family lounge will replace the former Cove Bar and Ariel’s Grotto. The top floor, where the Cove Bar was located, will offer cocktails and light meals. Downstairs will have a more substantial menu. Part of the lounge will be available for reservations. It will be themed as if it were a “place where Pixar animators come after work,” with sketches on the walls, Jeffrey Shaver-Moskowitz, who’s overseeing the project for Walt Disney Imagineering, said. (Note that the Cove Bar will reopen from March 16 to May 29.)

Artist rendering of the new arcade games designed for the new Pixar Pier in Disney California Adventure, as shown March 8, 2018 at Walt Disney Imagineering, Glendale. Drawing courtesy of Disney, photo by Marla Jo Fisher
Artist rendering of the new arcade games designed for the new Pixar Pier in Disney California Adventure, as shown March 8, 2018 at Walt Disney Imagineering, Glendale. Drawing courtesy of Disney, photo by Marla Jo Fisher

6. Pixar Pals will provide a place for visitors to meet their favorite Pixar characters. A bandstand will feature a new musical troupe including a 7-piece band in retro-cool costumes with a Spike Jones flair.

Artist rendering of the new Bing Bong Confectionary shop provided by Walt Disney Imagineering of the upcoming changes to the new Pixar Pier development at Disney California Adventure in Anaheim, as of March 8, 2018. The pier is still under construction. Photo by Marla Jo Fisher, the Orange County Register, at Walt Disney Imagineering in Glendale, CA.
Artist rendering of the new Bing Bong Confectionary shop provided by Walt Disney Imagineering of the upcoming changes to the new Pixar Pier development at Disney California Adventure in Anaheim, as of March 8, 2018. The pier is still under construction. Photo by Marla Jo Fisher, the Orange County Register, at Walt Disney Imagineering in Glendale, CA.

7. More stuff to buy: Bing Bong’s Sweet Stuff is a confectionary that will sell candy, slushies and the like, named after the popular pink creature in the movie “Inside Out.” The former Treasures in Paradise is being converted into Nick’s Nacks. The Angry Dogs stand will sell fast food on the Promenade.

Artist rendering provided by Walt Disney Imagineering of the upcoming changes to the new Pixar Pier development at Disney California Adventure in Anaheim, as of March 8, 2018. The pier is still under construction.
Artist rendering provided by Walt Disney Imagineering of the upcoming changes to the new Pixar Pier development at Disney California Adventure in Anaheim, as of March 8, 2018. The pier is still under construction.

8. The 160-foot-tall Mickey’s Fun Wheel Ferris wheel remains. It’s currently being repainted bright blue. It will have new Pixar characters painted onto the 24 gondola cars representing Pixar movies such as “Toy Story,” “Coco,” “Nemo,” “The Incredibles,” “Up,” “Cars” and “Monsters, Inc.”

9. “Inside Out”: A new neighborhood is planned around “Inside Out,” the Pixar movie where emotions come to life. Not many details have been released, but this could involve a new as-yet-unannounced attraction that may replace the Maliboomer, which closed in 2010.

Angry Dogs quick service restaurant, to be located on the Pixar Promenade. Artist rendering provided by Walt Disney Imagineering of the upcoming changes to the new Pixar Pier development at Disney California Adventure in Anaheim, as of March 8, 2018. The pier is still under construction. Photo by Marla Jo Fisher, the Orange County Register, at Walt Disney Imagineering in Glendale, CA.
Angry Dogs quick service restaurant, to be located on the Pixar Promenade. Artist rendering provided by Walt Disney Imagineering of the upcoming changes to the new Pixar Pier development at Disney California Adventure in Anaheim, as of March 8, 2018. The pier is still under construction. Photo by Marla Jo Fisher, the Orange County Register, at Walt Disney Imagineering in Glendale, CA.

10. Paradise Park: The rest of the existing Paradise Pier will become newly renamed Paradise Park, encompassing Paradise Gardens, Goofy’s Sky School, the Little Mermaid ride, Jumping Jellyfish, Silly Symphony Swings and the Golden Zephyr.

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Disneyland raises prices on most tickets and all annual passes

Disneyland is raising prices for most admissions today, a move that was widely expected as the park prepares for the 2019 opening of its much-anticipated “Star Wars” land.

Anaheim resort officials have been struggling for years to balance their desire to keep the parks full against the reality that they’re crowded on a daily basis, even during the winter renovation season when attendance used to be light.

The easiest way to reduce overcrowding while still keeping revenue high is to hike ticket prices, although Disney officials don’t want to alienate their bread-and-butter customers – the estimated 1 million annual passholders who remain loyal regardless of circumstances.

“Disney doesn’t even have an off-season anymore,” said Martin Lewison, a Disney price expert and assistant business professor at Farmingdale State College in New York. “Disney is in that special rare position where they can raise prices and their attendance won’t dip, or, if it does dip, it won’t be that much.”

Starting today, all tickets and annual passes are now pricier, except for the cheapest “value” single-day off-season ticket, which will remain the same at $97, and the “value” one-day park hopper, which will actually decrease in price, from $157 to $147.

In 2016, Disneyland changed the way it sells tickets from a single standard ticket price. This system of surge pricing has become standard across entertainment and travel industries. In Disneyland’s case, ticket prices are divided among “value,” “regular” and “peak” days. On days projected to be the most crowded, a one-day, one-park ticket will now cost $135, up from $124.

Annual passholders will now pay at least $100 more per year, except for the Southern California Select pass, which is blocked out on weekends and in the and will go up only $30 per year.

“Wow, that’s a big increase from what I’m paying now,” said Michael Marquez of Moreno Valley, who plans to upgrade his current Southern California Passport to the pricier Signature Plus pass, which has fewer blackout dates. His new pass will cost $999, up $150 from the price for the same pass before today. “But this is our escape from politics and the drama of life. No matter how much it costs, people are going to pay it because it’s their escape from the world.”

Purchasing a Disneyland Resort annual pass will cost more starting on Feb. 11, 2018.
Purchasing a Disneyland Resort annual pass will cost more starting on Feb. 11, 2018.

This move is clearly intended to increase revenues while also decreasing crowds on the busiest days by making it significantly cheaper to go during the week and winter.

However, resort spokeswoman Suzi Brown warned that changes are coming to the annual pass programs sometime this year.

“We will be reshaping our Annual Pass program to better manage the guest experience throughout the year, which will help all Disneyland Resort guests have a great visit, particularly as we look forward to the opening of Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge in 2019,” Brown said Friday in a prepared statement.

For this latest change, though, they did not eliminate the park’s monthly payment plan, which Brown said a majority of annual passholders use to pay for their passes.

The Disneyland Resort last raised annual pass prices in October 2015, and changed categories around to provide fewer benefits overall, except for the highest levels, which for the first time topped $1,000.

Despite this change, Brown said that the number of annual passholders has quadrupled over the last 20 years, though she declined to provide the numbers. The average passholder visits the park 10 times per year, she said, though there are fans who visit much more often. Generally, the accepted number of passholders has been thought to be around 1 million for Disneyland, though Disney has never confirmed that number.

“They’ve been trying to trim the number of annual passholders for some time,” Lewison said. “The number of annual passholders is more than they have capacity for at the parks.”

Gavin Doyle, who runs the MickeyVisit.com blog, said he thought the moves “make total sense.”

“I would still buy my annual pass right now, to get grandfathered in,” he said. “They could have raised the price of the highest level pass even more, but they only raised it $100.”

Ticket type 2017 price 2018 price
Value: 1-day, 1-park $97 $97
Value: 1-day parkhopper $157 $147
Regular: 1-day, 1-park $110 $117
Regular: 1-day parkhopper $165 $167
Peak: 1-day, 1 park $124 $135
Peak 1-day parkhopper $174 $185
Signature Plus Annual Passport $1049 $1149
Signature Annual Passport $849 $999
Deluxe Annual Passport $619 $729
So Cal Annual Passport (on hiatus – only renewals) $469 $549
Select Annual Passport $339 $369

Typically, value days are weekdays that don’t include holidays or school holidays. Those prices did not rise in the latest restructuring, and the so-called “parkhopper” tickets that include the right to visit both Disneyland and Disney California Adventure on the same day, went down $10.

Lewison, who is not only a business professor but also a theme park fan who visited 125 parks last year, said Disney can raise prices and get away with it because the company has a unique product, and people today have disposable money to spend.

“There was a time when Disney competed in the regional California market against companies like Knott’s and Sea World, but now they are the 800-pound gorilla with new attractions and shows that make it the most attractive option,” Lewison said.

It is none other than Mickey Mouse inside the backside of one of the Red Car Trolleys at Disney California Adventure. (Photo by Mark Eades, Orange County Register/SCNG) Taken in Anaheim at Disneyland Resort on Tuesday, August 8, 2017.
It is none other than Mickey Mouse inside the backside of one of the Red Car Trolleys at Disney California Adventure. (Photo by Mark Eades, Orange County Register/SCNG)

“Demand for Disney parks is less price sensitive than for other luxury goods and services,” he added. “Disney is the kind of modern day luxury that its fans don’t see as a luxury anymore. They see it as a necessity. People see going to Disney almost as a right, so they get upset when prices go up, but they keep on coming.”

Even after Disney raised ticket prices last year, attendance at Disney parks in Anaheim and Florida still increased by 6 percent, according to company officials.

Passholder Marquez, who stages unofficial events at the parks several times each year, said Disney has become a fad, even more than before.

“If we have construction all over the place and (temporary construction) walls up, people are still coming,” Marquez said. “They are going to complain, but they are still going to spend the money.”

Marquez said he hopes that Disney officials won’t adopt a policy under review that would eliminate the option of paying for annual passes in monthly installments.

Passholders are sharply divided on the monthly payment option, with some believing it should be eliminated to reduce overcrowding, and others in favor of keeping the passes affordable.

“Sixty-five percent of Americans live paycheck to paycheck,” Marquez said. “Disney is a corporation, they have to do what they have to do, but that would really hurt passholders if they take that away.”

 

 

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There’s Santa, snow and more at Six Flags Magic Mountain as Holiday in the Park opens

Six Flags Magic Mountain was spectacularly decked out on a chilly Saturday night for the opening of Holiday in the Park.

Now in its fourth year, Holiday in the Park – which runs for 28 nights beginning Saturday, Nov. 18 and going through Sunday, Dec. 31 – features six uniquely themed “wow zones,” live shows and entertainment, seasonal eats and drinks, and rides and attractions.

As darkness fell, more than a million lights illuminated the night to resounding “oohs and aahs” of parkgoers, and “snow” flurries wafted gently toward the ground.

Holiday music filled the air, mixing with the whoosh of the roller coasters.

And people were cheerful.

  • A performer entertains an audience during the Kwerkmas show during opening night of Holiday in the Park at Six Flags Magic Mountain in Valencia on Saturday, Nov. 18, 2017. (Photo by Ed Crisostomo, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

    A performer entertains an audience during the Kwerkmas show during opening night of Holiday in the Park at Six Flags Magic Mountain in Valencia on Saturday, Nov. 18, 2017. (Photo by Ed Crisostomo, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

  • People roam through Gleampunk District during opening night of Holiday in the Park at Six Flags Magic Mountain in Valencia on Saturday, Nov. 18, 2017. (Photo by Ed Crisostomo, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

    People roam through Gleampunk District during opening night of Holiday in the Park at Six Flags Magic Mountain in Valencia on Saturday, Nov. 18, 2017. (Photo by Ed Crisostomo, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

  • People roam through Rockin’ Universe during opening night of Holiday in the Park at Six Flags Magic Mountain in Valencia on Saturday, Nov. 18, 2017. (Photo by Ed Crisostomo, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

    People roam through Rockin’ Universe during opening night of Holiday in the Park at Six Flags Magic Mountain in Valencia on Saturday, Nov. 18, 2017. (Photo by Ed Crisostomo, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

  • People gather to roast marshmallows at Fire & Ice at Metro Park Pub during opening night of Holiday in the Park at Six Flags Magic Mountain in Valencia on Saturday, Nov. 18, 2017. (Photo by Ed Crisostomo, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

    People gather to roast marshmallows at Fire & Ice at Metro Park Pub during opening night of Holiday in the Park at Six Flags Magic Mountain in Valencia on Saturday, Nov. 18, 2017. (Photo by Ed Crisostomo, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

  • Performers entertain an audience during the Kwerkmas show during opening night of Holiday in the Park at Six Flags Magic Mountain in Valencia on Saturday, Nov. 18, 2017. (Photo by Ed Crisostomo, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

    Performers entertain an audience during the Kwerkmas show during opening night of Holiday in the Park at Six Flags Magic Mountain in Valencia on Saturday, Nov. 18, 2017. (Photo by Ed Crisostomo, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

  • Alissa Deraprahamian, 6, of Manhattan Beach, visits Santa Claus at Winter Wonderland during opening night of Holiday in the Park at Six Flags Magic Mountain in Valencia on Saturday, Nov. 18, 2017. (Photo by Ed Crisostomo, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

    Alissa Deraprahamian, 6, of Manhattan Beach, visits Santa Claus at Winter Wonderland during opening night of Holiday in the Park at Six Flags Magic Mountain in Valencia on Saturday, Nov. 18, 2017. (Photo by Ed Crisostomo, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

  • People roam through Gleampunk District during opening night of Holiday in the Park at Six Flags Magic Mountain in Valencia on Saturday, Nov. 18, 2017. (Photo by Ed Crisostomo, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

    People roam through Gleampunk District during opening night of Holiday in the Park at Six Flags Magic Mountain in Valencia on Saturday, Nov. 18, 2017. (Photo by Ed Crisostomo, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

  • Performers entertain an audience during the Kwerkmas show during opening night of Holiday in the Park at Six Flags Magic Mountain in Valencia on Saturday, Nov. 18, 2017. (Photo by Ed Crisostomo, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

    Performers entertain an audience during the Kwerkmas show during opening night of Holiday in the Park at Six Flags Magic Mountain in Valencia on Saturday, Nov. 18, 2017. (Photo by Ed Crisostomo, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

  • Sunsets as people roam during opening night of Holiday in the Park at Six Flags Magic Mountain in Valencia on Saturday, Nov. 18, 2017. (Photo by Ed Crisostomo, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

    Sunsets as people roam during opening night of Holiday in the Park at Six Flags Magic Mountain in Valencia on Saturday, Nov. 18, 2017. (Photo by Ed Crisostomo, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

  • Performers entertain an audience during the Kwerkmas show during opening night of Holiday in the Park at Six Flags Magic Mountain in Valencia on Saturday, Nov. 18, 2017. (Photo by Ed Crisostomo, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

    Performers entertain an audience during the Kwerkmas show during opening night of Holiday in the Park at Six Flags Magic Mountain in Valencia on Saturday, Nov. 18, 2017. (Photo by Ed Crisostomo, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

  • People roam through Winter Wonderland during opening night of Holiday in the Park at Six Flags Magic Mountain in Valencia on Saturday, Nov. 18, 2017. (Photo by Ed Crisostomo, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

    People roam through Winter Wonderland during opening night of Holiday in the Park at Six Flags Magic Mountain in Valencia on Saturday, Nov. 18, 2017. (Photo by Ed Crisostomo, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

  • Kristopher Vargas, 3, of East Los Angeles, roams through Gleampunk District with his parents during opening night of Holiday in the Park at Six Flags Magic Mountain in Valencia on Saturday, Nov. 18, 2017. (Photo by Ed Crisostomo, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

    Kristopher Vargas, 3, of East Los Angeles, roams through Gleampunk District with his parents during opening night of Holiday in the Park at Six Flags Magic Mountain in Valencia on Saturday, Nov. 18, 2017. (Photo by Ed Crisostomo, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

  • People roam through Gleampunk District during opening night of Holiday in the Park at Six Flags Magic Mountain in Valencia on Saturday, Nov. 18, 2017. (Photo by Ed Crisostomo, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

    People roam through Gleampunk District during opening night of Holiday in the Park at Six Flags Magic Mountain in Valencia on Saturday, Nov. 18, 2017. (Photo by Ed Crisostomo, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

  • People roam through Winter Wonderland during opening night of Holiday in the Park at Six Flags Magic Mountain in Valencia on Saturday, Nov. 18, 2017. (Photo by Ed Crisostomo, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

    People roam through Winter Wonderland during opening night of Holiday in the Park at Six Flags Magic Mountain in Valencia on Saturday, Nov. 18, 2017. (Photo by Ed Crisostomo, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

  • People roam through Gleampunk District during opening night of Holiday in the Park at Six Flags Magic Mountain in Valencia on Saturday, Nov. 18, 2017. (Photo by Ed Crisostomo, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

    People roam through Gleampunk District during opening night of Holiday in the Park at Six Flags Magic Mountain in Valencia on Saturday, Nov. 18, 2017. (Photo by Ed Crisostomo, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

  • Katelyn Figueroa, 10, plays with her brother Luis, 3, at Winter Wonderland during opening night of Holiday in the Park at Six Flags Magic Mountain in Valencia on Saturday, Nov. 18, 2017. (Photo by Ed Crisostomo, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

    Katelyn Figueroa, 10, plays with her brother Luis, 3, at Winter Wonderland during opening night of Holiday in the Park at Six Flags Magic Mountain in Valencia on Saturday, Nov. 18, 2017. (Photo by Ed Crisostomo, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

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“It makes you feel like the holidays are already here,” said Amber Hunter of Baldwin Park. She was visiting the park with her husband and 6-year-old son, Alex, who had just come from visiting with Santa in his quaint little house in Winter Wonderland.

“All the lights really put you in the mood,” said Anahid Deraprahamian of Manhattan Beach who was visiting the park with her 6-year-old cousin, Alissa.

The Winter Wonderland is the most traditional of the “wow zones,” decorated with candycane-striped lights, “snow” on the ground, “ice” sculptures, and a lane where visitors can take in the scene as they stroll under a lighted canopy of trees.

Each zone is unique, from the main gate’s candy colored Holiday Square to the contemporary Snowy Nights.

Betsy Gilliland was roasting a marshmallow for her S’more over an open fire pit at the new Fire & Ice at the Metro Park Pub, where visitors can order up seasonal dishes like lobster mac and cheese, chicken or pork tamales, and enchilada soup, and wrap their hands around a warm cup of champurrado, a Mexican chocolate drink thickened with maize.

Christmas is a big deal in her family so she was enjoying the night.

“I only wish they turned the lights on sooner,” Gilliland said. “Other than that, it’s been a very nice day so far. I love the music.”

The Gleampunk District, a steampunk-inspired area that plunges parkgoers into the sci-fi world of Jules Verne, is the largest of the “wow zones.” It’s where to catch the “Cirque”-style show “Kwerkmas” inside the Gearworks Theater.

Included in the price of admission, this variety show features a procession of dancers, aerialists, and acrobats entertaining the audience with a chair-balancing act to high-flying trampoline twists, flips, and all-around zaniness.

That last act stole the show.

But there’s entertainment to be found throughout the park, including in DC Universe where Danny Rowe of Tehachapi stopped to admire “Rockin’ Universe,” a programmed light show synchronized to holiday music.Three different shows are choreographed to three different musical arrangements.

Rowe, who caught a swinging set, said “it’s definitely a highlight” of the event which he has never missed.

For all of its warm and fuzziness, it was hard to ignore the thing that draws most guests to the “Thrill Capital of the World,” and that’s roller coasters.

Back by popular demand, Six Flags Magic Mountain has transformed The New Revolution into “Santa’s Wild Sleigh Ride,” a virtual reality experience that puts riders in the passenger seat of Santa’s sleigh.

Their job is to hurl snowballs at a mischievous elf bent on stopping Santa Claus from delivering toys on Christmas Eve.

Rowe said his favorite is Tazu, which isn’t dressed up for the holidays, but still.

“It’s the best,” he said, “period.”

Holiday in the Park

When: 10:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. through Sunday, Nov. 26, Saturday, Dec. 2, Sunday, Dec. 3, Saturday, Dec. 9, Sunday, Dec. 10, Saturday, Dec. 16 through Sunday, Dec. 24, Tuesday, Dec. 26 through Sunday, Dec. 31

Where: Six Flags Magic Mountain, 26101 Magic Mountain Parkway, Valencia

Tickets: $59.99-$84.99. Season passes are $84.99.

Information: www.sixflags.com/magicmountain

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What to expect from Six Flags Magic Mountain’s Fright Fest

“Let them out!” came chants from people lining the streets on the opening night of Six Flags Magic Mountain’s Fright Fest.

When the large wooden gate swung open at 7 p.m. sharp, zombies, demons, and ghouls ran out and vanished into the night for the start of the biggest, most terrifying Halloween celebration yet at the Valencia amusement park.

Now in its 25th year, Fright Fest returns weekends through Oct. 31 with seven haunted mazes, six scare zones and more than 500 monsters on the prowl. And this year there’s no place to hide.

  • Kiana Gold, right, gets the finishing touches on her makeup as of the 500 Six Flags Fright Fest characters to scare the visitors to the Six Flags Fright Fest Opening Night at Six Flags Magic Mountain in Santa Clarita on Saturday, Sept. 16, 2017. (By Dan Watson. Contributing Photographer, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

    Kiana Gold, right, gets the finishing touches on her makeup as of the 500 Six Flags Fright Fest characters to scare the visitors to the Six Flags Fright Fest Opening Night at Six Flags Magic Mountain in Santa Clarita on Saturday, Sept. 16, 2017. (By Dan Watson. Contributing Photographer, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

  • Jo Jo Zhu, left, joins 42 other makeup artist as she puts the finishing touches to Jacob Lucero, one of 500 “scareacters” on hand at the Six Flags Fright Fest Opening Night at Six Flags Magic Mountain in Santa Clarita on Saturday evening. Saturday, Sept. 16, 2017. (By Dan Watson. Contributing Photographer, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

    Jo Jo Zhu, left, joins 42 other makeup artist as she puts the finishing touches to Jacob Lucero, one of 500 “scareacters” on hand at the Six Flags Fright Fest Opening Night at Six Flags Magic Mountain in Santa Clarita on Saturday evening. Saturday, Sept. 16, 2017. (By Dan Watson. Contributing Photographer, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

  • Suicide Squad character Harley Quinn, left, grabs Jorge Garcia of Los Angeles to pose for a photo during the Six Flags Fright Fest Opening Night at Six Flags Magic Mountain in Santa Clarita on Saturday, Sept. 16, 2017. (By Dan Watson. Contributing Photographer, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

    Suicide Squad character Harley Quinn, left, grabs Jorge Garcia of Los Angeles to pose for a photo during the Six Flags Fright Fest Opening Night at Six Flags Magic Mountain in Santa Clarita on Saturday, Sept. 16, 2017. (By Dan Watson. Contributing Photographer, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

  • Veteran Six Flags Fright Fest characters from left, Glen Livingston, Andrew Monk, Ricky Moore and Bryan Reznick prepare to scare the visitors at Six Flags Fright Fest Opening Night at Six Flags Magic Mountain in Santa Clarita on Saturday, Sept. 16, 2017. (By Dan Watson. Contributing Photographer, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

    Veteran Six Flags Fright Fest characters from left, Glen Livingston, Andrew Monk, Ricky Moore and Bryan Reznick prepare to scare the visitors at Six Flags Fright Fest Opening Night at Six Flags Magic Mountain in Santa Clarita on Saturday, Sept. 16, 2017. (By Dan Watson. Contributing Photographer, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

  • Some of the 500 Six Flags Fright Fest “scareacters” run through the crowd in the nightly event called “the surge” to begin the Six Flags Fright Fest Opening Night at Six Flags Magic Mountain in Santa Clarita on Saturday, Sept. 16, 2017. (By Dan Watson. Contributing Photographer, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

    Some of the 500 Six Flags Fright Fest “scareacters” run through the crowd in the nightly event called “the surge” to begin the Six Flags Fright Fest Opening Night at Six Flags Magic Mountain in Santa Clarita on Saturday, Sept. 16, 2017. (By Dan Watson. Contributing Photographer, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

  • Alicia Watson, center, and Destiny Ingram from Montana are attacked by a mutant in the Aftermath 2: Chaos Rising maze during the Six Flags Fright Fest Opening Night at Six Flags Magic Mountain in Santa Clarita on Saturday, Sept. 16, 2017. (By Dan Watson. Contributing Photographer, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

    Alicia Watson, center, and Destiny Ingram from Montana are attacked by a mutant in the Aftermath 2: Chaos Rising maze during the Six Flags Fright Fest Opening Night at Six Flags Magic Mountain in Santa Clarita on Saturday, Sept. 16, 2017. (By Dan Watson. Contributing Photographer, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

  • Maria Lemus, left, and Ariel Solis of Van Nuys run from a ghoul in the Aftermath 2: Chaos Rising maze during the Fright Fest Opening Night at Six Flags Magic Mountain in Santa Clarita on Saturday, Sept. 16, 2017. (By Dan Watson. Contributing Photographer, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

    Maria Lemus, left, and Ariel Solis of Van Nuys run from a ghoul in the Aftermath 2: Chaos Rising maze during the Fright Fest Opening Night at Six Flags Magic Mountain in Santa Clarita on Saturday, Sept. 16, 2017. (By Dan Watson. Contributing Photographer, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

  • Park visitors are accosted by one of the 500 “scareacters”on hand at the Six Flags Fright Fest Opening Night at Six Flags Magic Mountain in Santa Clarita on Saturday, Sept. 16, 2017. (By Dan Watson. Contributing Photographer, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

    Park visitors are accosted by one of the 500 “scareacters”on hand at the Six Flags Fright Fest Opening Night at Six Flags Magic Mountain in Santa Clarita on Saturday, Sept. 16, 2017. (By Dan Watson. Contributing Photographer, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

  • Lilian Terron, left, takes a photo of one of the “scareacters” at the Masquerade Party during the Six Flags Fright Fest Opening Night at Six Flags Magic Mountain in Santa Clarita on Saturday, Sept. 16, 2017. (By Dan Watson. Contributing Photographer, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

    Lilian Terron, left, takes a photo of one of the “scareacters” at the Masquerade Party during the Six Flags Fright Fest Opening Night at Six Flags Magic Mountain in Santa Clarita on Saturday, Sept. 16, 2017. (By Dan Watson. Contributing Photographer, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

  • Park visitors are accosted by one of the 500 characters on hand at the Six Flags Fright Fest Opening Night at Six Flags Magic Mountain in Santa Clarita on Saturday evening. Saturday, Sept. 16, 2017. (By Dan Watson. Contributing Photographer, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

    Park visitors are accosted by one of the 500 characters on hand at the Six Flags Fright Fest Opening Night at Six Flags Magic Mountain in Santa Clarita on Saturday evening. Saturday, Sept. 16, 2017. (By Dan Watson. Contributing Photographer, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

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“When we flip the switch to Fright Fest it is a scary, scary environment,” said Bonnie Sherman Weber, president of Six Flags Magic Mountain who encourages guests “embrace the scare.”

New this year is the blackout maze “Dead End,” an offshoot of the “Willoughby’s Resurrected” story about the decaying mansion on the hill that has been taken over by evil spirits. In the new maze, which is located near Ninja, guests are lured into pitch black corridors armed only with faulty flashlights that seem to fail just as ghouls jump out.

“This one was kind of different because I didn’t expect them to control the torch,” said Sabhbh O’Dwyer, a 13-year-old girl from Santa Clarita who had just exited the maze with Teia Salvino, 11. “In other mazes, you can see the scenery but with this one not really knowing where to go was probably the scariest part.”

Entering the mazes requires a wristband for an additional cost. But guests can ride Six Flags Magic Mountain’s biggest roller coasters in the dark or walk through a fog-thick scare zone.

The City of Metropolis sets the stage for the “Damned ‘N Disguise” masquerade ball, a scare zone where the one thing you don’t want to be is the life of the party. When the music changes, the masks come off to reveal monsters whose one goal is to scare off the guests.

Fortunately, the Metro Park Pub’s new Club 6-Feet Under is welcoming to all.

Stop into this pop-up party central anytime for food and drinks. It features a DJ spinning into the wee hours of Fright Fest. You can shake your booty while getting scared out of your socks at the same time. You may even invent a new dance.

For an extra thrill, Six Flags Magic Mountain has also added the behind-the-scenes experience “Hidden Haunts VIP Tour” of remote areas of the park for real-life ghost stories. Of course, there are no such things as ghosts, right? Or are there?

Six Flags Magic Mountain’s Fright Fest

When:  Weekends through Oct. 31, as well as Oct. 30 and 31.

Where: Six Flags Magic Mountain, 26101 Magic Mountain Pkwy., Valencia

Tickets: $84.99 for admission and $99.99 for admission plus the mazes if purchased on-site. $55.99 for admission and $76.99 for admission plus the mazes if purchased online. Hidden Haunts VIP Tour pricing starts at $399.99.

Information: 661-255-4100. www.sixflags.com/magicmountain

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Six Flags Magic Mountain unveils new ride for 2018 with discounted season passes

Six Flags Magic Mountain unveiled a new ride for 2018 Thursday, Aug. 31.

But, as its name suggests, the ride Crazanity is not for the faint of heart.

Six Flags Magic Mountain’s new pendulum ride, Crazanity, will open in spring 2018. (Courtesy rendering)
Six Flags Magic Mountain’s new pendulum ride, Crazanity, will open in spring 2018.

Theme park president Bonnie Sherman Weber described it in a statement as “a mash-up of craziness and insane fun, an experience different from anything else we have in our unparalleled thrill ride arsenal.”

Crazanity, which was announced in a special online event, will be the world’s tallest pendulum ride when it opens in late spring in the newly themed Boardwalk area of the park. It will stand 17 stories high and travel at speeds of up to 75 miles an hour, whipping back and forth, higher and higher, as 40 riders sit strapped to the outside of a large disk rotating counterclockwise.

According to a park spokesperson, the ride will be located across the midway from Tidal Wave, next to where the current bumper cars attraction stands. The Metro station currently there will be removed.

Enhanced bumper cars, renovated attractions, dining, games and shopping are also planned for the new Boardwalk.

Six Flags Magic Mountain will open the world’s tallest pendulum ride in spring, and it’s name sums up the experience. It’s Crazanity. (Courtesy rendering)
Six Flags Magic Mountain will open the world’s tallest pendulum ride in spring, and it’s name sums up the experience. It’s Crazanity.

The announcement follows other big news for the park.

In July, Six Flags Magic Mountain unveiled “Justice League: Battle for Metropolis,” a shoot ’em up attraction with a DC Comics theme. It immerses riders into a fight between good and evil. As they enter the attraction, they get the back story: Lex Luthor, The Joker, and Harley Quinn have taken over Metropolis and captured the Justice League’s Supergirl, The Flash, and Green Lantern. Riders don 3-D glasses and then step into motion base vehicles armed with laser guns to help Superman, Wonder Woman, Batman and Cyborg save the day.

Last week, the park announced it is staying open every day of the year come January. And that makes the second part of Thursday’s announcement all the more thrilling.

Six Flags Magic Mountain kicks off its special Flash Sale, featuring savings of up to 70 percent on 2018 season passes. Pass holders can put them to use now on visits for the rest of the year, including park admission to Fright Fest and Holiday in the Park.

The sale continues through Sept. 4.

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After a year away, Disneyland debuts updated ‘Fantasmic!’ river show

  • Flames fill the Rivers of America after a dragon spit fire during Fantasmic! at Disneyland in Anaheim, on Monday, July 17, 2017. Fantasmic! is Disney’s longest-running nighttime show. (Photo by Jeff Gritchen, Orange County Register/SCNG)

    Flames fill the Rivers of America after a dragon spit fire during Fantasmic! at Disneyland in Anaheim, on Monday, July 17, 2017. Fantasmic! is Disney’s longest-running nighttime show. (Photo by Jeff Gritchen, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Visitors to Disneyland react to the return of Fantasmic! in Anaheim, on Monday, July 17, 2017. Fantasmic! is DisneyÕs longest-running nighttime show. (Photo by Jeff Gritchen, Orange County Register/SCNG)

    Visitors to Disneyland react to the return of Fantasmic! in Anaheim, on Monday, July 17, 2017. Fantasmic! is DisneyÕs longest-running nighttime show. (Photo by Jeff Gritchen, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • A silhouette of Mickey Mouse is projected on water at the theme from The Lion King plays during Fantasmic! at Disneyland in Anaheim, on Monday, July 17, 2017. Fantasmic! is Disney’s longest-running nighttime show. (Photo by Jeff Gritchen, Orange County Register/SCNG)

    A silhouette of Mickey Mouse is projected on water at the theme from The Lion King plays during Fantasmic! at Disneyland in Anaheim, on Monday, July 17, 2017. Fantasmic! is Disney’s longest-running nighttime show. (Photo by Jeff Gritchen, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Mickey Mouse welcomes visitors to Fantasmic! at Disneyland in Anaheim, on Monday, July 17, 2017. Fantasmic! is DisneyÕs longest-running nighttime show. (Photo by Jeff Gritchen, Orange County Register/SCNG)

    Mickey Mouse welcomes visitors to Fantasmic! at Disneyland in Anaheim, on Monday, July 17, 2017. Fantasmic! is DisneyÕs longest-running nighttime show. (Photo by Jeff Gritchen, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • The Black Pearl makes its way around the Rivers of America during Fantasmic! at Disneyland in Anaheim, on Monday, July 17, 2017. Fantasmic! is DisneyÕs longest-running nighttime show. (Photo by Jeff Gritchen, Orange County Register/SCNG)

    The Black Pearl makes its way around the Rivers of America during Fantasmic! at Disneyland in Anaheim, on Monday, July 17, 2017. Fantasmic! is DisneyÕs longest-running nighttime show. (Photo by Jeff Gritchen, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • The Black Pearl makes its way around the Rivers of America during Fantasmic! at Disneyland in Anaheim, on Monday, July 17, 2017. Fantasmic! is DisneyÕs longest-running nighttime show. (Photo by Jeff Gritchen, Orange County Register/SCNG)

    The Black Pearl makes its way around the Rivers of America during Fantasmic! at Disneyland in Anaheim, on Monday, July 17, 2017. Fantasmic! is DisneyÕs longest-running nighttime show. (Photo by Jeff Gritchen, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Aladdin and Jasmin float on a magic carpet during Fantasmic! at Disneyland in Anaheim, on Monday, July 17, 2017. Fantasmic! is DisneyÕs longest-running nighttime show. (Photo by Jeff Gritchen, Orange County Register/SCNG)

    Aladdin and Jasmin float on a magic carpet during Fantasmic! at Disneyland in Anaheim, on Monday, July 17, 2017. Fantasmic! is DisneyÕs longest-running nighttime show. (Photo by Jeff Gritchen, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • A giant snake makes its way down Tom Sawyer Island during Fantasmic! at Disneyland in Anaheim, on Monday, July 17, 2017. Fantasmic! is DisneyÕs longest-running nighttime show. (Photo by Jeff Gritchen, Orange County Register/SCNG)

    A giant snake makes its way down Tom Sawyer Island during Fantasmic! at Disneyland in Anaheim, on Monday, July 17, 2017. Fantasmic! is DisneyÕs longest-running nighttime show. (Photo by Jeff Gritchen, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Characters float past Tom Sawyer Island during Fantasmic! at Disneyland in Anaheim, on Monday, July 17, 2017. Fantasmic! is DisneyÕs longest-running nighttime show. (Photo by Jeff Gritchen, Orange County Register/SCNG)

    Characters float past Tom Sawyer Island during Fantasmic! at Disneyland in Anaheim, on Monday, July 17, 2017. Fantasmic! is DisneyÕs longest-running nighttime show. (Photo by Jeff Gritchen, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Captain Jack Sparrow appears to battle a dead man as The Black Pearl makes its way around the Rivers of America during Fantasmic! at Disneyland in Anaheim, on Monday, July 17, 2017. Fantasmic! is DisneyÕs longest-running nighttime show. (Photo by Jeff Gritchen, Orange County Register/SCNG)

    Captain Jack Sparrow appears to battle a dead man as The Black Pearl makes its way around the Rivers of America during Fantasmic! at Disneyland in Anaheim, on Monday, July 17, 2017. Fantasmic! is DisneyÕs longest-running nighttime show. (Photo by Jeff Gritchen, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Captain Jack Sparrow aboard The Black Pearl as it makes its way around the Rivers of America during Fantasmic! at Disneyland in Anaheim, on Monday, July 17, 2017. Fantasmic! is DisneyÕs longest-running nighttime show. (Photo by Jeff Gritchen, Orange County Register/SCNG)

    Captain Jack Sparrow aboard The Black Pearl as it makes its way around the Rivers of America during Fantasmic! at Disneyland in Anaheim, on Monday, July 17, 2017. Fantasmic! is DisneyÕs longest-running nighttime show. (Photo by Jeff Gritchen, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Beauty and The Beast dance on a boat as it floats on the Rivers of America during Fantasmic! at Disneyland in Anaheim, on Monday, July 17, 2017. Fantasmic! is DisneyÕs longest-running nighttime show. (Photo by Jeff Gritchen, Orange County Register/SCNG)

    Beauty and The Beast dance on a boat as it floats on the Rivers of America during Fantasmic! at Disneyland in Anaheim, on Monday, July 17, 2017. Fantasmic! is DisneyÕs longest-running nighttime show. (Photo by Jeff Gritchen, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Tom Sawyer Island is lit up during Fantasmic! at Disneyland in Anaheim, on Monday, July 17, 2017. Fantasmic! is DisneyÕs longest-running nighttime show. (Photo by Jeff Gritchen, Orange County Register/SCNG)

    Tom Sawyer Island is lit up during Fantasmic! at Disneyland in Anaheim, on Monday, July 17, 2017. Fantasmic! is DisneyÕs longest-running nighttime show. (Photo by Jeff Gritchen, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Mickey Mouse is surrounded by lights and fireworks as he says farewell during Fantasmic! at Disneyland in Anaheim, on Monday, July 17, 2017. Fantasmic! is Disney’s longest-running nighttime show. (Photo by Jeff Gritchen, Orange County Register/SCNG)

    Mickey Mouse is surrounded by lights and fireworks as he says farewell during Fantasmic! at Disneyland in Anaheim, on Monday, July 17, 2017. Fantasmic! is Disney’s longest-running nighttime show. (Photo by Jeff Gritchen, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • A fire-breathing dragon greets Mickey Mouse during Fantasmic! at Disneyland in Anaheim, on Monday, July 17, 2017. Fantasmic! is DisneyÕs longest-running nighttime show. (Photo by Jeff Gritchen, Orange County Register/SCNG)

    A fire-breathing dragon greets Mickey Mouse during Fantasmic! at Disneyland in Anaheim, on Monday, July 17, 2017. Fantasmic! is DisneyÕs longest-running nighttime show. (Photo by Jeff Gritchen, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • A black-and-white Mickey Mouse pilots the Mark Twain Riverboat down The Rivers of America during Fantasmic! at Disneyland in Anaheim, on Monday, July 17, 2017. Fantasmic! is DisneyÕs longest-running nighttime show. (Photo by Jeff Gritchen, Orange County Register/SCNG)

    A black-and-white Mickey Mouse pilots the Mark Twain Riverboat down The Rivers of America during Fantasmic! at Disneyland in Anaheim, on Monday, July 17, 2017. Fantasmic! is DisneyÕs longest-running nighttime show. (Photo by Jeff Gritchen, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • A fire-breathing dragon greets Mickey Mouse during Fantasmic! at Disneyland in Anaheim, on Monday, July 17, 2017. Fantasmic! is Disney’s longest-running nighttime show. (Photo by Jeff Gritchen, Orange County Register/SCNG)

    A fire-breathing dragon greets Mickey Mouse during Fantasmic! at Disneyland in Anaheim, on Monday, July 17, 2017. Fantasmic! is Disney’s longest-running nighttime show. (Photo by Jeff Gritchen, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Ursula, from The Little Mermaid, is projected on water during Fantasmic! at Disneyland in Anaheim, on Monday, July 17, 2017. Fantasmic! is DisneyÕs longest-running nighttime show. (Photo by Jeff Gritchen, Orange County Register/SCNG)

    Ursula, from The Little Mermaid, is projected on water during Fantasmic! at Disneyland in Anaheim, on Monday, July 17, 2017. Fantasmic! is DisneyÕs longest-running nighttime show. (Photo by Jeff Gritchen, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • A fire-breathing dragon greets Mickey Mouse during Fantasmic! at Disneyland in Anaheim, on Monday, July 17, 2017. Fantasmic! is Disney’s longest-running nighttime show. (Photo by Jeff Gritchen, Orange County Register/SCNG)

    A fire-breathing dragon greets Mickey Mouse during Fantasmic! at Disneyland in Anaheim, on Monday, July 17, 2017. Fantasmic! is Disney’s longest-running nighttime show. (Photo by Jeff Gritchen, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Rapunzel and Flynn Rider dance on a boat as it floats on the Rivers of America during Fantasmic! at Disneyland in Anaheim, on Monday, July 17, 2017. Fantasmic! is Disney’s longest-running nighttime show. (Photo by Jeff Gritchen, Orange County Register/SCNG)

    Rapunzel and Flynn Rider dance on a boat as it floats on the Rivers of America during Fantasmic! at Disneyland in Anaheim, on Monday, July 17, 2017. Fantasmic! is Disney’s longest-running nighttime show. (Photo by Jeff Gritchen, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Rapunzel and Flynn Rider dance on a boat as it floats on the Rivers of America during Fantasmic! at Disneyland in Anaheim, on Monday, July 17, 2017. Fantasmic! is DisneyÕs longest-running nighttime show. (Photo by Jeff Gritchen, Orange County Register/SCNG)

    Rapunzel and Flynn Rider dance on a boat as it floats on the Rivers of America during Fantasmic! at Disneyland in Anaheim, on Monday, July 17, 2017. Fantasmic! is DisneyÕs longest-running nighttime show. (Photo by Jeff Gritchen, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Mickey Mouse welcomes visitors to Fantasmic! at Disneyland in Anaheim, on Monday, July 17, 2017. Fantasmic! is DisneyÕs longest-running nighttime show. (Photo by Jeff Gritchen, Orange County Register/SCNG)

    Mickey Mouse welcomes visitors to Fantasmic! at Disneyland in Anaheim, on Monday, July 17, 2017. Fantasmic! is DisneyÕs longest-running nighttime show. (Photo by Jeff Gritchen, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • The Mark Twain Riverboat carries Disney characters down The Rivers of America during Fantasmic! at Disneyland in Anaheim, on Monday, July 17, 2017. Fantasmic! is DisneyÕs longest-running nighttime show. (Photo by Jeff Gritchen, Orange County Register/SCNG)

    The Mark Twain Riverboat carries Disney characters down The Rivers of America during Fantasmic! at Disneyland in Anaheim, on Monday, July 17, 2017. Fantasmic! is DisneyÕs longest-running nighttime show. (Photo by Jeff Gritchen, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • The Mark Twain Riverboat carries Disney characters down The Rivers of America during Fantasmic! at Disneyland in Anaheim, on Monday, July 17, 2017. Fantasmic! is Disney’s longest-running nighttime show. (Photo by Jeff Gritchen, Orange County Register/SCNG)

    The Mark Twain Riverboat carries Disney characters down The Rivers of America during Fantasmic! at Disneyland in Anaheim, on Monday, July 17, 2017. Fantasmic! is Disney’s longest-running nighttime show. (Photo by Jeff Gritchen, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Mickey Mouse is surrounded by lights and fireworks as he says farewell during Fantasmic! at Disneyland in Anaheim, on Monday, July 17, 2017. Fantasmic! is DisneyÕs longest-running nighttime show. (Photo by Jeff Gritchen, Orange County Register/SCNG)

    Mickey Mouse is surrounded by lights and fireworks as he says farewell during Fantasmic! at Disneyland in Anaheim, on Monday, July 17, 2017. Fantasmic! is DisneyÕs longest-running nighttime show. (Photo by Jeff Gritchen, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • The end of Tom Sawyer Island is lit up as Mickey Mouse welcomes visitors to Fantasmic! at Disneyland in Anaheim, on Monday, July 17, 2017. Fantasmic! is DisneyÕs longest-running nighttime show. (Photo by Jeff Gritchen, Orange County Register/SCNG)

    The end of Tom Sawyer Island is lit up as Mickey Mouse welcomes visitors to Fantasmic! at Disneyland in Anaheim, on Monday, July 17, 2017. Fantasmic! is DisneyÕs longest-running nighttime show. (Photo by Jeff Gritchen, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • A fire-breathing dragon greets Mickey Mouse during Fantasmic! at Disneyland in Anaheim, on Monday, July 17, 2017. Fantasmic! is DisneyÕs longest-running nighttime show. (Photo by Jeff Gritchen, Orange County Register/SCNG)

    A fire-breathing dragon greets Mickey Mouse during Fantasmic! at Disneyland in Anaheim, on Monday, July 17, 2017. Fantasmic! is DisneyÕs longest-running nighttime show. (Photo by Jeff Gritchen, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Mickey Mouse is surrounded by lights and fireworks as he says farewell during Fantasmic! at Disneyland in Anaheim, on Monday, July 17, 2017. Fantasmic! is DisneyÕs longest-running nighttime show. (Photo by Jeff Gritchen, Orange County Register/SCNG)

    Mickey Mouse is surrounded by lights and fireworks as he says farewell during Fantasmic! at Disneyland in Anaheim, on Monday, July 17, 2017. Fantasmic! is DisneyÕs longest-running nighttime show. (Photo by Jeff Gritchen, Orange County Register/SCNG)

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Mickey Mouse made a triumphant return to the Rivers of America as “Fantasmic!” came back to Disneyland after a more than a one-year absence.

The show, which originally debuted in 1992, went dark in early 2016 as the waterway it is staged on was closed to boat traffic for construction of Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge. The new 14-acre land, which will open in 2019, gobbled up a chunk of Frontierland, including part of the Rivers of America.

During that time, Disney Imagineers created two new scenes for the show: One with the characters of Aladdin and Jasmine floating on a “magic carpet,” and another with a new, ghostly Sailing Ship Columbia featuring Captain Jack Sparrow from Disney’s Pirates of the Caribbean movies.

“We had this opportunity to look at ‘Fantasmic!’ with some new eyes,” said David Duffy, the director of live entertainment for Disney Parks.

Duffy added that they wanted some new characters, but “we wanted to make sure that we stayed true to that journey into Mickey’s imagination.”

During the show, Mickey Mouse takes an audience of nearly 7,000 spectators along on his journey into dreams of beauty, adventure, romance and danger.

Disneyland also took the long down time to replace the projectors used in the show with new digital projectors, including some that are projection mapped to the stage sets and provide images for each sequence. In addition, the mist screens were enhanced, and all the lighting and fountains have been upgraded too.

“What that really allows us to do is to take that original story of Fantasmic! and make it even more immersive and even more magical than it was at opening. The island becomes transformed, the stories become immersive and that technology is what allows us to do that,” Duffy said.

Returning fan favorites include the moment when the wicked Maleficent from “Sleeping Beauty” rises 45 feet into the air and is transformed into a 45-foot tall dragon that breathes fire onto the Rivers of America. There is also a more than 100-foot-long snake, Kaa, from the movie “The Jungle Book” slithering across the stage.

Other characters have been added to the show. Rapunzel and Flynn Rider from “Tangled” are part of the romance sequence and characters from “The Lion King” join the adventure sequence.

With the return of “Fantasmic!” the park is nearing completion of the reopening of the Rivers of America. The Mark Twain Riverboat, along with the Sailing Ship Columbia and the Davy Crockett Explorer Canoes are slated to open to the public on July 29. The Disneyland Railroad will also return to daily service on the tracks the same day – with a revised route around the Rivers of America.

Earlier this year, the Big Thunder Trail reopened, providing an alternate pedestrian route between Frontierland and Fantasyland.

The writer worked at Walt Disney Imagineering from 1982 to 1993, and contributed to the initial development efforts for Fantasmic!

Read more about After a year away, Disneyland debuts updated ‘Fantasmic!’ river show This post was shared via Orange County Register’s RSS Feed. Santa Ana Shredding Service

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