Current Events 5/26/2023

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Ken’s Tweets About Riding Splash Mountain with Tony

Last chance to ride Splash Mountain at Disneyland as closure countdown begins
Splash Mountain wait times at Disneyland could stretch to nearly four hours if Disney World is any guide.
UPDATED: May 26, 2023

The countdown clock has begun ticking toward the final day of Splash Mountain when Disneyland visitors are expected to wait in hours-long lines to bid farewell to the classic attraction and scoop up souvenir water from their last rides.

“The last chance to ride Splash Mountain at Disneyland will be Tuesday, May 30 — the day after the busy Memorial Day weekend comes to an end.

“At press time, Disneyland reservations for Tuesday were unavailable for daily tickets and Magic Key annual passholders.

“Disneyland will close at 11 p.m. on Tuesday — the last day of operations for Splash Mountain. Disneyland tradition holds that if you are in the queue at closing time you get to ride — even if the wait time extends after the park is officially closed.”

“The Splash Mountain faithful at the Magic Kingdom treated the water scooped from the log ride flume like it was holy water blessed by the Pope at the Vatican.

“Die-hard fans sold Splash Mountain water from the last day of operations at Disney World for hundreds of dollars on eBay.

“Dozens of listings popped up on eBay for ‘Splash Mountain Water’ after the Magic Kingdom log ride closed on Jan. 22 for a yearlong transformation of the attraction into Tiana’s Bayou Adventure.

“Buyers bid more than $200 on eBay for four ounces of Splash Mountain water from the last day of the ride. Sellers offered similar amounts of Splash Mountain water for the buy-it-now price of $149.”

Orange County Register

MiceShots: A Photo Farewell to Splash Mountain
By Mike Kindrich -May 26, 2023

“Splash Mountain, a long-standing icon of Disneyland’s Critter Country, is nearing its final drop. In today’s MiceShots article, we’re bidding a heartfelt farewell to this beloved water ride. With the last opportunity to take a refreshing dive into the famous briar patch set for May 30th, we felt it was appropriate to devote this week’s photo essay to Splash Mountain, as it prepares to transition into Tiana’s Bayou Adventure starting May 31st. So, join us in celebrating the legacy of Disneyland’s wettest mountain one last time.”


Disneyland puts ‘Fantasmic’ on hiatus throughout the summer after dragon inferno
The 45-foot-tall animatronic dragon caught fire during a performance of the nighttime spectacular in April at the Anaheim theme park.
PUBLISHED: May 22, 2023

“Disneyland has put “Fantasmic” on hiatus through at least Labor Day, according to Disneyland officials.”

“Impacted “Fantasmic” performers and support employees have been notified. Disneyland plans to redeploy the workers and offer cross-training opportunities.

“The Disneyland entertainment team is actively looking for new ways to entertain visitors this summer during the “Fantasmic” hiatus. Additional information is “coming soon” on Disneyland’s plans for alternate entertainment experiences this summer.”

Orange County Register

Fantasmic! to Remain on Hiatus at the Disneyland Resort Until at Least Labor Day
by Ben Breitbart | May 19, 2023

Laughing Place

Disneyland lays out theme park expansion plans for next 30 years
The DisneylandForward proposal is expected to go before the Anaheim Planning Commission before the end of the year and the City Council in early 2024.
UPDATED: May 18, 2023

“Disneyland Resort President Ken Potrock spoke before the OC Forum at Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel about the DisneylandForward proposal that envisions extensive theme park, retail and parking expansion within the resort district boundaries.”

“Since 2021, Disneyland has been working closely with the city of Anaheim to extensively update the planning approval process governing the resort district. A draft environmental impact study is expected to be completed by the summer with the DisneylandForward proposal going before the Anaheim Planning Commission before the end of the year and the City Council in early 2024.

“An economic study presented by Cal State Fullerton’s Anil Puri toward the end of the OC Forum spelled out the economic impact of every billion dollars invested by Disneyland. During an average four-year construction period, Disneyland would generate 4,500 jobs, $11 million in tax revenue and $1.1 billion in economic output in Anaheim for every billion dollars spent, according to Puri’s study.”

“Disney is asking the city for more flexibility in land use plans approved in the 1990s in order to be able to add a mix of theme park, hotel, retail, dining and entertainment on the eastern and western edges of the Disneyland resort.”

Orange County Register

DisneylandForward Explained – Charting The Course For Future Adventures!
By Dusty Sage -May 17, 2023


Disney scraps $1 billion plan to relocate Imagineering from California to Florida
Disney theme park chief Josh D’Amaro announced in an email to employees that ‘leadership changes’ and ‘changing business conditions’ prompted the company to scrap plans to build a corporate campus near Disney World.
UPDATED: May 19, 2023

“Disney theme park chief Josh D’Amaro announced in an email to employees that “leadership changes” and “changing business conditions” prompted Disney to scrap a plan to build a nearly $1 billion campus in Lake Nona about 20 miles from Walt Disney World.”

“Under former CEO Bob Chapek, Disney announced an unpopular plan in 2021 to relocate 2,000 employees to the Lake Nona campus, including most of Glendale-based Walt Disney Imagineering that designs theme park attractions.

“Hundreds of Imagineers have already relocated to Florida and will be given the option to return to Southern California, according to the Wall Street Journal.”

“The cancellation of the Lake Nona project comes amid Disney’s plans to slash 7,000 jobs and cut costs by $5.5 billion.”

Orange County Register

Disneyland and Imagineering working with James Cameron on ‘bold’ Avatar experience
Disneyland fans are still waiting to see how the Avatar experience will fit into the 500-acre theme park resort.
PUBLISHED: May 19, 2023

“Walt Disney Imagineering is teaming up with boundary-pushing filmmaker James Cameron on a “bold” new Avatar experience for the Disneyland resort that came as a surprise to fans and the top brass at the Anaheim theme park when it was first revealed by Disney CEO Bob Iger.”

“Iger mentioned the Disneyland Avatar experience as an aside during a quarterly earnings call just as the 2022 “Avatar: The Way of Water” became the fourth highest-grossing film of all time with $2.2 billion at the global box office.”

Orange County Register

Thu, May 25, 2023
New Details, Concept Art Revealed for Pixar Place Hotel at Disneyland Resort
by Valerie Lee, Public Relations Manager, Disneyland Resort

“New adventures lie ahead as Disney’s Paradise Pier Hotel is set to be reimagined and transformed into Pixar Place Hotel at Disneyland Resort! We want to bring you along on the journey, and today share some new artist concept renderings and details, as you begin to see touches of Pixar popping up here and there at Disney’s Paradise Pier Hotel, with much more to come!

“Later this summer, overnight guests can splish and splash at an all-new water play area inspired by “Finding Nemo” where the fan-favorite fish and his friends frolic alongside families. See Crush the sea turtle atop a 186-foot-long waterslide, Hank hanging out at the pop-jet splash pad and more!

“Later this year, a family play court will be added to the deck with activities inspired by Pixar’s famous short films. Interactive games and imaginative free play celebrate favorite friends from “La Luna,” “Bao,” “For the Birds,” and “Burrow.” And when it’s time to relax, guests may enjoy food and drinks under the love-struck umbrellas from “The Blue Umbrella.””

“This fall, the hotel will unveil a new restaurant at the resort, Great Maple. This Southern California-based modern American eatery specializes in playful takes on upscale comfort food. Serving breakfast, lunch and dinner all day, the ground-floor restaurant will be easily accessible to hotel guests, local diners and theme park goers!”

Disney Parks Blog

New Concept Art Reveals Remodeled Pixar Place Hotel Lobby, Pool Deck, and Great Maple Restaurant
by Luke Manning | May 25, 2023
Disney’s Paradise Pier Hotel at the Disneyland Resort is currently undergoing a transformation into the Pixar Place Hotel, and Disney has just revealed some new details and concept art of the reimagining.

Laughing Place

The Villas at the Disneyland Hotel – Rooms, Photos, Reservations
By Dusty Sage -May 19, 2023

“Disneyland’s 2nd Vacation Club property is nearly ready for guests and will open on September 28th, 2023. Officially dubbed “The Villas at the Disneyland Hotel,” the new tower is now booking for cash so anyone can check the rooms out for themselves. Sales of Disney Vacation Club ownership in the new tower are now available (for existing members – more details below).”


Disneyland Resort Shares Another Look at “Steamboat Willie” Splash Pad Coming to The Villas at Disneyland Hotel
by Kyle Burbank | May 19, 2023

Laughing Place

Disneyland Resort To Celebrate Black Music Month In June Across Parks and Hotels
by Tony Betti | May 20, 2023

“Disneyland Resort has announced that the destination will celebrate Black Music Month in June with live music and limited-time Celebrate Soulfully experiences. This celebration adds to the fun of year-round Celebrate Soulfully offerings, such as the “Tale of the Lion King” stage show at Disneyland Park.  

“During Black Music Month in June, Guests can groove to nightly live band performances at the Downtown Disney LIVE! Stage, featuring different genres throughout the week, including Jazz Fusion, Caribbean and Mid-Century Jazz. More than 17 different musical groups are lined up to perform, with four performance sets each night.”

Laughing Place

Foo Fighters reveal Josh Freese as their new drummer. Who is he?
The Los Angeles rock band shared the news during a special global livestream concert on Sunday, May 21.
PUBLISHED: May 21, 2023

“He’s probably best known for anchoring the Orange County punk rock band the Vandals. He’s also long been the drummer in new wave band Devo and he’s toured extensively with A Perfect Circle, Nine Inch Nails, The Replacements, Weezer, Guns N’ Roses, Sublime with Rome and Sting.

“Aside from touring, he’s a beast in the studio and one of the most in-demand session drummers of his generation. He’s played on hundreds of albums including releases by Social Distortion, The Offspring, Michael Bublé, Glen Campbell and Rob Zombie. He’s released a few solo albums too, including his COVID-19 lockdown project, “Just A Minute, Vol. 1,” in 2021.”

“Freese comes from a musical family. He grew up in Placentia and his mother, Trisha, is a classical pianist and his dad, Stan Freese, plays the tuba and was the musical director for bands at both Walt Disney World Resort and Disneyland Resort for more than four decades. His brother, Jason Freese, is also a studio musician, multi-instrumentalist and touring member of the rock band Green Day.

“He started playing drums at the age of 12 and kicked off his career playing several shows a day at Disneyland’s Tomorrowland Terrace in the ’80s. By the time he was 15, he was in the studio making music with Dweezil Zappa and he joined the Vandals a year later.”

Orange County Register

Starting Today Guests Can Modify Disneyland Resort Park Pass Reservations Without Canceling
by Tricia Kennedy | May 17, 2023

“Beginning today May 17, Disneyland Resort will roll out a new feature that will let Guests modify the date and/or park of their theme park reservations on without having to cancel the reservation first, subject to park reservation availability and applicable block out dates.”

Laughing Place

Disneyland Update: Fantasmic Surprise & Reservations About Reservations
By Nathan Villamor -May 15, 2023

“It’s been an interesting week for Disneyland fans. Fantasmic gets a little closer to returning. We show you the remarkable progress from the site of the massive fire. There’s also been a lot of comparison between Walt Disney World and Disneyland in regard to reservations, especially after some new announcements from WDW this week about guest experience enhancements. We’ll take a look, but we aren’t so sure reservations should be dropped here as quickly as they will be at WDW. It’s been a week of crowd booms, construction views, and lots of blooms. Here’s your weekly Disneyland news roundup!”


Disneyland Update: Exciting Changes, Frustrating Delays & the Final Splash
By Dusty Sage -May 22, 2023

“Fasten your seatbelts and secure those Mickey ears – today’s Disneyland Update is set to be a rollercoaster of a ride! It’s astonishing how much news can transpire in the wonderful world of Disney in just seven days, both joyous and less so. This week, Disneyland is setting the dial to 11 even as Walt Disney World suffers some setbacks. We’ll delve into the recent shake-ups and explore the implications for Disneyland. But that’s certainly not all; we’ll update you on the leaps and bounds being made in construction projects, stretching from San Fransokyo to Downtown Disney and beyond. Plus, ToonTown’s touchups, the ticking countdown to the final splash, a multiverse mermaid, a Fantasmic setback, and so much more…”


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