I saw the finished Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge at Disneyland and you’re going to be blown away

Seeing the mandible tips of the 100-foot-long Millennium Falcon poking into view in the open backstage elephant doors nearly made my heart skip a beat as I stepped into Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge for a preview tour of Disneyland’s highly anticipated newest themed land.

“Pretty cool, huh?” said Disneyland vice president Kris Theiler.

Pretty cool doesn’t begin to describe the feeling of seeing the fastest hunk of junk in the galaxy standing before me in all its battle-scarred glory. Try somewhere between hyper-ventilating and cardiac arrest. Thank goodness most people entering Galaxy’s Edge will have to make their way through a warren of winding walkways before coming face-to-face with Han Solo’s famed starship. Otherwise Disneyland might have to install defibrillators at the entrances of Galaxy’s Edge.

Earlier this week, Theiler took a small group of local media on an exclusive tour of Black Spire Outpost on the Star Wars planet of Batuu, the setting for the 14-acre Galaxy’s Edge themed land set to debut May 31 at the Anaheim theme park.

The Millennium Falcon sat in front of Ohnaka Transport Solutions, a shady interstellar shipping company that serves as a front operation for a clandestine smuggling operation. Towering 135-foot-tall spires formed a dramatic backdrop behind the ship, which serves as the marquee to the Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run flight simulator attraction. An E-ticket ride so advanced that it may require Disney to come up with a new F-ticket classification. F as in Falcon.

“Obviously this is the Falcon and this is the Smugglers Run attraction,” Theiler said. “The cast are doing ride testing right now.”

The Millennium Falcon plays the role of Sleeping Beauty Castle in Galaxy’s Edge. What Walt Disney would have called a “wienie” designed to draw you deeper into the land. Galaxy’s Edge visitors will have to hunt awhile before they come upon the famed Corellian YT-1300 light freighter at the back of the land. And hunt they will because they know it has to be somewhere in Galaxy’s Edge. But the Falcon doesn’t reveal herself right away.

The Smugglers Run ride will be the only operating attraction in Galaxy’s Edge on opening day. In order to manage crowds and expectations, Disneyland will require reservations to enter the Star Wars land between May 31 and June 23. FastPasses won’t be used for Smugglers Run during that period, but the park plans to employ a single rider line starting on opening day. Expect the reservation-period queue to stretch backstage as fans rush to be the first to add their names to list of pilots who have flown the Millennium Falcon. Han, Chewie, Lando, Rey and now you. Disney really ought to sell t-shirts that proclaim, “I flew the Millennium Falcon.” No need to send me royalty checks. I’ll take an extra large.

I was fortunate to visit Galaxy’s Edge in February during a construction tour for a small group of media. At that time, the place was a hive of hundreds of construction workers climbing scaffolding, operating cranes and pouring cement. On Monday, it looked like Galaxy’s Edge could open at a moment’s notice. There was merchandise on shop shelves. Cast members, Disney speak for employees, were busy training in the build-your-own droid and lightsaber shops. And Walt Disney Imagineering, the creative arm of the company, was putting the finishing touches on audio-animatronic characters and stage-setting props throughout the land.

“We’re really in the punch list mode, just finalizing all of the details,” Theiler said. “We have WDI crews in here still doing the final finishes.”

A full-size Sienar-Chall Utilipede-Transport ship sat atop the cylindrical-shaped Docking Bay 7 Food & Cargo quick-service restaurant. The food freighter serves as an intergalactic food truck that makes regular deliveries of alien delicacies to the food hall-style restaurant.

“I’m excited about the menu,” Theiler said. “Our chefs did a great job trying to think of traditional comfort foods in a Galaxy’s Edge way. You’ll see something unique and different with every single dish.”

Galaxy’s Edge is about exploration and discovery. It’s like an onion. You have to peel back the layers. The more you look, the more you find. And like peeling an onion, it’s not always easy. Many of the shops won’t have signs out front. At least not in English. It helps if you know a bit of Aurebesh and Huttese. The signs carved into the facades over the shop entrances will need to be translated using the Galaxy’s Edge Data Pad found within the Disneyland mobile app. Unless you happen to be fluent in the Star Wars languages.

Dok-Ondar’s Den of Antiquities is just such a place. From the outside, you’d never know what to expect when you walk through the arched doorway. Inside, visitors will find an animatronic hammerhead alien who deals in black market goods. You can even barter with the dangerous 245-year-old Ithorian if you feel brave enough. Just don’t expect a discount.

“He’s been creating a collection for years and years and years,” Theiler said. “You can come in and get lots of different and unique offerings from the galaxy.”

A group of costumed cast members poured out of a Batuu building on a tour of their own. The walkways were empty except for the occasional cast member dressed in Black Spire villager garb. The vast land is designed to envelop visitors in an immersive atmosphere from a galaxy far, far away.

A team of Imagineers was busy adjusting an animatronic droid who has the thankless and tireless job of turning a spit of “space meat” at Ronto Roasters. The food stand sells sausage wraps and turkey jerky prepared by a smelter droid named 8D-J8 who labors endlessly over a fire stoked by a massive podracing engine. A caged meat locker stood nearby filled with alien delicacies collected from throughout the Star Wars galaxy.

The open-air Ronto Roasters leads directly into the Black Spire Souk, which draws inspiration from the outdoor marketplaces of Istanbul, Turkey and Marrakesh, Morocco. Lanterns hung from the open-air rooftop shaded by what looked like air conditioning coils. A stall at the end of the marketplace displayed a collection of Star Wars blasters. Imagineers huddled under a black pop-up tent poring over plans for the land

“There’s villagers that are living up above,” Theiler said. “This is going to be a busy marketplace down below.”

A short queue weaved inside Kat Saka’s Kettle, a space popcorn stand that will serve a savory and spicy take on the theme park staple.

Plush dolls of Ahsoka Tano, Lando Calrissian and Jabba the Hutt lined the shelves of the Toydarian Toymaker. A silhouette of a winged alien named Zabaka will flit around the back of her workshop amid toys, dolls, games and musical instruments inspired by the Star Wars universe.

Oinking Puffer Pigs, tongue-flicking Worrts and vibrating Rathtars collected from across the Star Wars galaxy stuffed an alien pet store in the marketplace. The Creature Stall was crammed to the rafters with cute and cuddly animatronic beasts that filled hanging cages.

The marketplace souk spilled into a secret rebel base camp in a wooded area on the edge of the Black Spire village, where the heroic Resistance was hiding from the villainous First Order. Imagineering crews were testing the sounds of starship engines spooling up before takeoff during our tour of the land. Every once in awhile you could hear the distinct sound of a X-wing streaking overhead. The newly planted trees are so lush I couldn’t see the massive Rise of the Resistance that boasts four rides in one attraction. Disney calls the trackless dark ride its most ambitious to date.

At a clearing in the forest, a military outpost will sell merchandise to Resistance loyalists. The shelves were already filled with fighter pilot helmets and the distinctive orange and white flight gear of the rebel forces. Beverage stands selling the distinctive “thermal detonator” Coca-Cola bottles exclusive to Galaxy’s Edge had yet to installed.

Deeper into the forest, a rebel gun turret stood at the entrance to the Rise of the Resistance attraction. The dark ride, which won’t open until later in the year, will take riders on a journey to outer space where they will be imprisoned on a Star Destroyer and have to figure out how to escape.

A full-size X-Wing and A-Wing sat docked across from the Rise of the Resistance entrance.

“We’re going to activate this space with entertainment and characters,” Theiler said.

Down around the bend stood the Critter Country entrance to the land. I couldn’t see even a hint of Disneyland in any direction I looked. In fact, Galaxy’s Edge is a hermetically sealed space bubble that doesn’t let in any whisper of the real world, let alone the Happiest Place on Earth.

Heading back into the Black Spire village, a collection of astromechs stood sentinel in front of the droid-building shop near the Frontierland entrance to Galaxy’s Edge. A broad-shouldered yellow and red droid looked like a short but stout body builder. The sad EG-series power droid seen in the belly of the Jawa Sandcrawler in the original 1977 “Star Wars” film joined the lineup in front of the Droid Depot shop.

Across the way, a trio of landspeeders sat in a garage awaiting repairs. A Tatooine landspeeder similar to the one used by Luke Skywalker was parked next to a Jakuu Raider model seen in “The Force Awakens.”

“It’s a location for all the space vehicles that are coming in and need work on them,” Theiler said.

Sign up for our Park Life newsletter and find out what’s new and interesting every week at Southern California’s theme parks. Subscribe here.

Following a set of droid tracks in the cement took us into an intimate courtyard covered by a sail-like canopy. A red R5 and a yellow R2 were getting an oil bath behind the Droid Depot shop. Across from a well-labeled restroom, a worker tinkered with a drinking fountain with a glass cistern attached that will occasionally be populated by an animatronic dianoga beast. The one-eyed garbage squid that nearly drowned Luke Skywalker dwells in the pipes of Galaxy’s Edge, according to the backstory for the land.

A menacing full-sized TIE Echelon starfighter lurked near the Galaxy’s Edge entrance from Fantasyland. Talk about a dramatic transition. The Red Fury flags of the First Order’s 709 Legion hung from the Galaxy’s Edge buildings. First Order stormtroopers will patrol the sector of Black Spire village that lays just a few steps away from the genteel Dumbo the flying elephant ride and the regal Sleeping Beauty Castle.

“This is really a big First Order statement right here,” Theiler said. “We’ve got a First Order shop over there. They are really trying to sign up recruits and make sure they know they’re going to bring order to the land and help everybody live a more disciplined life.”

The last stop on the tour took us to Oga’s Cantina, the wretched hive of scum and villainy that will be the first public location in Disneyland to serve alcohol. The copper dome-topped cylindrical building was built into one of the many petrified tree spires dotting the village. A double take revealed “cantina” spelled out in a futuristic font above the arched doorway. The bar menu will include a Jedi Mind Trick cocktail, Bad Motivator IPA beer and Imperial Guard red wine.

“It’s highly themed and very immersive,” Theiler said. “There’s a lot of neat little touches by our Imagineering team.”

Off in the distance, the Millennium Falcon came into view again beyond a curved archway.

“The long shots in the land are really beautiful,” Theiler said.

The sight of the Falcon’s cockpit once again quickened my pulse. The heart palpitations returned. As I said farewell to the Falcon and Galaxy’s Edge.

READ MORE about Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge at Disneyland

Read more about I saw the finished Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge at Disneyland and you’re going to be blown away This post was shared via Orange County Register’s RSS Feed. Mission Viejo Shredding Service

Powered by WPeMatico

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.

Read more about Disneyland won’t loosen costume policy for Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge This post was shared via Orange County Register’s RSS Feed. OC Shredding Business

Powered by WPeMatico

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.

Sign up for our Park Life newsletter and find out what’s new and interesting every week at Southern California’s theme parks. Subscribe here.

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.

Read more about Want to visit Disneyland’s Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge? Brace yourself for big crowds and long lines This post was shared via Orange County Register’s RSS Feed. OC Shredding Business

Powered by WPeMatico

Bargain Hunter: Get discounted Disneyland tickets at South Coast Plaza

South Coast Plaza in Costa Mesa is offering two Disneyland Resort ticket deals through May 23. Visit any concierge location to purchase a 3-day, 1-park per day ticket for $60 or $70 per day depending on the package you choose. The mall is open 10 a.m.-9 p.m. Monday-Friday, 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m.-6:30 p.m. Sunday at 3333 Bristol St. For more information, including block-out dates and purchase limits, call 714-435-8571 or go to www.southcoastplaza.com.

Powered by WPeMatico

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)

  • Sound
    The gallery will resume inseconds
  • 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)

of

Expand

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

Read more about Here’s what Disneyland unveiled about Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge at its cast party This post was shared via Orange County Register’s RSS Feed

Powered by WPeMatico

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)

of

Expand

 

 

Powered by WPeMatico

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.

Powered by WPeMatico

‘Cal State Disney’: If you’re at Cal State Fullerton, the theme park is part of your world

  • Titans danced to a DJ in front of Sleeping Beauty Castle as part of the Disney After Dark event on Feb. 1. (Photo courtesy of Cal State Fullerton)

    Titans danced to a DJ in front of Sleeping Beauty Castle as part of the Disney After Dark event on Feb. 1. (Photo courtesy of Cal State Fullerton)

  • Cal State Fullerton President Fram Virjee and his wife, Julie, pose with Mickey Mouse at the event. (Photo courtesy of Cal State Fullerton)

    Cal State Fullerton President Fram Virjee and his wife, Julie, pose with Mickey Mouse at the event. (Photo courtesy of Cal State Fullerton)

  • Cal State Fullerton students, faculty, alums and family members pick up commemorative buttons at Disney After Dark on Feb. 1. (Photo courtesy of Cal State Fullerton)

    Cal State Fullerton students, faculty, alums and family members pick up commemorative buttons at Disney After Dark on Feb. 1. (Photo courtesy of Cal State Fullerton)

  • Jordan Poblete, a 2014 grad and publisher of the DisneyExaminer, an online magazine, shows a commemorative button at the event. (Photo courtesy of Cal State Fullerton)

    Jordan Poblete, a 2014 grad and publisher of the DisneyExaminer, an online magazine, shows a commemorative button at the event. (Photo courtesy of Cal State Fullerton)

  • Cal State Fullerton students, faculty, alums and family members enjoy Disney After Dark on Feb. 1. (Photo courtesy of Cal State Fullerton)

    Cal State Fullerton students, faculty, alums and family members enjoy Disney After Dark on Feb. 1. (Photo courtesy of Cal State Fullerton)

  • Cassandra Castellano and Diane Chemali give a thumbs-up before working an overnight shift during the 24-hour Disney Day in May 2013. (Photo courtesy of Diane Chemali)

    Cassandra Castellano and Diane Chemali give a thumbs-up before working an overnight shift during the 24-hour Disney Day in May 2013. (Photo courtesy of Diane Chemali)

  • Kimberly Rivas worked at the Haunted Mansion while she was a student at Cal State Fullerton. (Photo courtesy of Kimberly Rivas)

    Kimberly Rivas worked at the Haunted Mansion while she was a student at Cal State Fullerton. (Photo courtesy of Kimberly Rivas)

  • Mechanical engineering students discuss the Pirates of the Caribbean project with alum Darrell Jodoin, center, in 2014. (Photo courtesy of Cal State Fullerton)

    Mechanical engineering students discuss the Pirates of the Caribbean project with alum Darrell Jodoin, center, in 2014. (Photo courtesy of Cal State Fullerton)

of

Expand

When he left the CSU chancellor’s office to become Cal State Fullerton’s new president and was asked what he was going to do next, Fram Virjee answered, “I’m going to Disneyland!”

And he did.

Virjee told that joke as he welcomed members of the CSUF community to a sold-out Disney After Dark night Feb. 1, one month after taking the university’s top office.

He emphasized how closely connected the school is with its theme park neighbor, giving rise to the nickname Cal State Disney. Thousands of students and alums have worked at the Anaheim park. He told of skippers on the Jungle Cruise studying together on their breaks at the park.

The park and the university were founded in the 1950s and have grown up together, giving back to their communities, he said.

“Out of orange groves came Disneyland, and out of orange groves came CSF,” Virjee said. They are both welcoming places that breathe hope into the dreams everyone has.

Many of those who attended the event had worked at Disney, either while in school or afterward.

Event planner

Sophia Chang, who earned her bachelor’s degree in art history and anthropology in 2008, remembers students walking into Cal State Fullerton classes half-dressed in their Disneyland costumes.

After graduating from Villa Park High School, she had two goals: to go to Cal State Fullerton and to be a Disney cast member (Disney-speak for employees). She worked on Autopia and on guest control for Fantasmic, getting to see the operations from behind the scenes, including the park’s 50th anniversary.

“Working at Disney was one of the best things I could have done because they have such great models for work ethics and they have such great keys (four ways cast members create happiness — safety, courtesy, show and efficiency),” Chang said. “For someone just at the beginning of college, I learned so much.”

Chang later returned for a second round at Disney in special events management, working such events as movie premieres, including “The Lone Ranger,” and live shows at the park, such as “Mickey and the Magical Map.” She parlayed that experience into her current career planning weddings, birthdays and other special events.

On her LinkedIn page, she quotes Walt Disney: “If you can dream it, you can do it.”

She is still friends with fellow cast members from 2003, planning Autopia reunions.

Three friends

Friendship is a big part of what brought three Cal State Fullerton alums to Disneyland. Kimberly Rivas, Cassandra Castellano and Diane Chemali all worked at the park while students and became friends.

Rivas said her passion for Disney was ignited by a talk that John Nicoletti, vice president of parks and resorts, gave to one of her classes. After she started working at the Haunted Mansion her last year of school, she spotted him at Pizza Port, walked up to him and told him he was the reason she was working there.

Nicoletti became a mentor as she graduated in 2015 in communications with a public relations focus, left Disney and then returned on the corporate side with Disney Interactive in Glendale. She still sends him Christmas cards.

“He said make sure you help others along the way,” said Rivas. Recently she spoke on a panel for a Public Relations Student Society of America event at Cal State Fullerton. “Now I’m the one who’s doing the speaking at school and helping everyone along.”

Returning to Disney at some point also appeals to Castellano, a 2016 grad in entertainment and tourism who works as a flight attendant for United Airlines in San Francisco. Working the stores on Main Street, U.S.A., was her first job.

“It was the perfect job for a college student,” she said. She could work weekends, though staying until 3 a.m. got old fast, and most of her college friends worked at the park.

Chemali said she is constantly applying to Disney — “My Disney dashboard has like 28 pending jobs” — to get her foot back in the door.

She worked for Disney for three years while earning her degree in entertainment and tourism, first in the stores, then in special events such as visits by Rose Bowl teams, book and artist signings, and new pin releases. But she quit to do an internship with a PR agency.

“I miss it,” she said. “I miss the rush.”

The three women agreed they would keep working at Disney even if they won the lottery. The work teaches patience and how to talk with people, they said.

“Every position at Disney allows you to give back in some sort of way,” said Rivas. “You’re able to make magical moments.”

Global citizen

Darren Jones returned to Disney — twice — after starting as a Jungle Cruise skipper while studying English and business administration at Cal State Fullerton. Now the 1991 graduate is director of enterprise technology, supervising a worldwide staff that includes 17 CSUF alums.

That job came his way due to coworkers he stayed in touch with while pursuing a marketing MBA in Michigan and working for a health insurance organization.

“A decade ago, I got call from a recruiter who said people who you worked with in the 1980s saw we posted a requisition for a technology leader, and they thought you’d be a good fit,” said Jones, who had also put in a stint as a float driver for the Electrical and Christmas parades. Now he oversees computer systems for much of the company.

How could a guy with English and marketing experience be a good fit to manage technology in 47 countries?

Jones fell into technology after the tech manager of the Y2K project at his previous employer had a meltdown and didn’t return. His boss put him in charge, telling him the company needed a leader and that’s what he was. The technologists would follow his lead and he in turn would respect their opinions because he was considerate and respected diverse opinions, he was told.

“The characteristics he saw in me I gained at Cal State Fullerton,” Jones said. “The ability to bridge gaps between people’s thinking, the ability to look at a diverse room and know that most people are not going to precisely agree, but we can get them to generally agree and move forward — I learned that there.”

As a “desert rat” from Yucca Valley, Jones said CSUF was where he truly grew up as a global citizen. Just walking between McCarthy Hall to the student union, he said, he could see thousands of people and relate to them — including students from Vietnam, Korea and Africa.

“Cal State Fullerton woke me up to this big world and amazing diverse people,” said Jones, who serves on the alumni association board.

He now works out of Burbank and misses seeing the smiling faces of park guests and the magic of the attractions. But living in Fullerton, he stops in with his family.

“Disneyland is just part of our regular life and we can show up here … and get a refill of Disney magic.”

Thrill ride

Darrell Jodoin, a 1985 graduate in mechanical engineering, is one of the Cal State Fullerton alums who help make that magic. He helps build the ride systems for the Imagineering division, working on projects for all the parks except Tokyo.

“I like to solve problems,” he said. “There’s plenty here.”

He knows Disney is a lot of people’s dream job, but he applied because he just wanted a job. Compared with mechanical engineering in a chemical plant or other process industry, theme park work lets him interact with people and enjoy what he does. After all, he added, he didn’t bring his kids to work at other jobs. Now both his sons work for Disney.

“It’s been a pretty good ride,” he said, apparently with no pun intended.

He has mentored CSUF engineering students over the years and serves on the alumni association board.

“I don’t think I owe but a few places on this planet something, but this university is one of them,” Jodoin said. “It enables so many people.”

Behind the scenes

Marc Boyle found Disneyland to be a fun and more stable working environment than he might have encountered as a theater major elsewhere, where freelance work is the norm.

The 2013 graduate, who started in costuming, is now in entertainment technical services. He largely works on “Frozen — Live at the Hyperion,” handling overnight maintenance and scenery and safety checks such as checking harnesses. Nothing runs unless it has had at least five sets of eyes, he said.

What he learned in CSUF’s theater program applies at Disneyland, he said. “It was very immersive.”

Other CSUF-Disney connections

Cal State Fullerton’s ties to Disneyland go beyond the students and alums who work there.

Faculty and students work on research projects for Disney, alums return to share their Disney-gained expertise with s


Communications professor Andi Stein created Cal State Fullerton’s first Disney course, “Deconstructing Disney.” (Photo courtesy of Cal State Fullerton)

tudents, and the company donates to the university, among other connections.

In 2004, communications professor Andi Stein created Cal State Fullerton’s first Disney course, “Deconstructing Disney,” which examines the company’s influence through group discussions, guest lectures from Disney experts and research projects. Stein is the author of “Why We Love Disney: The Power of the Disney Brand.”

David Marley, who received his master’s in history in 1998, wrote the first oral history of a Disney attraction, “Skipper Stories: True Tales From Disneyland’s Jungle Cruise.”

“I never thought it was something you could do as academic work — study Disney — otherwise I would have started on it a lot earlier,” he said at the time.

David Marley, history and University Honors Program lecturer, specializes in the history of the Jungle Cruise. (Photo courtesy of Cal State Fullerton)
David Marley, history and University Honors Program lecturer, specializes in the history of the Jungle Cruise. (Photo courtesy of Cal State Fullerton)

Student research teams in recent years have developed a device to remotely inspect the track under the Indiana Jones Adventure ride, which had been done manually, and identified new components for the Pirates of the Caribbean boats so the wheel bearings last longer in the water. In return, Disney donated to the School of Engineering and Computer Science.

Alum Darrell Jodoin has mentored some of the students working on technology for Disney, where he is director of global development.

Other alums have passed along their experiences in the company’s creative divisions.

Wendy Grieb, who earned her MFA in art-illustration in 2012 and is now an assistant professor of art, shares with her students her experience as a Disney artist. Grieb worked on such shows as “Lilo and Stitch,” “The Emperor’s New School” and “Elena of Avalor.”

Alum Wendy Grieb, assistant professor of art, shares with her students her experience as a Disney artist. (Photo courtesy of Cal State Fullerton)
Alum Wendy Grieb, assistant professor of art, shares with her students her experience as a Disney artist. (Photo courtesy of Cal State Fullerton)

Linda Woolverton, who received her master’s in theater arts in 1979 and wrote the screenplay for “Beauty and the Beast” and “Maleficent,” spoke at the 2017 CSUF graduation ceremony.

Even non-alums visit classes to share Disney experience. Animator Adam Green gave students in the “Inside the Movies” class in the department of cinema and television arts a sneak peek at scenes from “Moana” in 2016.

The university’s art department has teamed with Disney and Warner Bros. to offer a highly regarded program in entertainment art/animation, which benefits from access to working professionals at nearby studios. Professor Chuck Grieb, who began his career doing storyboards for Disney, serves as program coordinator.

Artist directors and designers from Disney and subsidiary Pixar have visited to share their work on movies such as “Inside Out,” “The Good Dinosaur” and “Zootopia.” Alum Wayne Unten visited to talk about his role as lead animator for Elsa in “Frozen.”

Finally, Disney kicks in some funding for the university overall. The university’s 2016 annual report lists the Walt Disney Co. under gifts of $50,000-$99,999 and Disney VoluntEars Community Fund under gifts of $5,000-$9,999.

 

Powered by WPeMatico

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.”

 

 

Powered by WPeMatico

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)

of

Expand

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

Powered by WPeMatico