For our TENTH ANNIVERSARY episode, we chat with designer Tim Delaney about working at Imagineering for decades, starting with the original Imagineers, and his work for the Disneyland Resort and for Disney parks around the world. Plus, we discuss current Disneyland Resort events, as always!
***Disney Resort Updates***
Check back daily as information is changing rapidly.
Due to the outbreak of the COVID-19 (Corona) Virus, Many Disney Parks, Cruise Lines, and Disney Vacation Club Resorts will be closed until further notice:
Disney is over whelmed with people attempting to rebook / cancel so please be patient with them. They are modifying their cancelation policy to accommodate guests. Many booking services can be handled online (links above). They are reportedly going to extend AP's by one month.
Please be sure to follow CDC and your State's guidelines during this crisis. We will get through this.
Shanghai Disneyland • Shanghai Disneyland is now open. Be sure to check their reservation system which requires everyone, including infants, to have a reservation. The resort capacity is 50%. You must go to Shanghai's web page for advance reservations. Please visit their site for details.
Walt Disney World • All 4 Walt Disney World theme parks are open.
• Additionally, Disney Vacation Club properties at Walt Disney World and Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground have begun to reopen to Members and Guests. Disney Springs has already begun to reopen. Upon reopening, theme parks, Disney Resort Hotels, restaurants and other offerings may be modified, limited in capacity and subject to availability or closure. You must have an advance reservation and valid ticket.
• Park Hopping is allowed within strict rules:
1. You must make a reservation at one of the Parks.
2. You must go to that Park first.
3. Park Hopping does not start until 2PM.
4. Access to Parks is still limited to their maximum occupancy. Check the Park you want to go to before traveling to it to make sure it is accepting Hopping guests.
5. Check the Walt Disney World Park Hopper web page for updates to Park Hopping rules.
Disneyland • D23 announces Disneyland to reopen 4/30/2021!!!
• The State of California has updated it rules for Theme Parks and Stadiums to reopen. The new rule takes affect April 1, 2021 and will Theme Parks to open at 15% capacity as long as the county is in the Red Tier. Orange County is on track to be in the Red Tier by April (barring new out breaks). Disneyland has already done a lot to prepare for opening and is in a good position to quickly open once they get the green light.
• The Downtown Disney District including Buena Vista Street only of DCA are open. Some table service is available following state and local rules. Buena Vista Street will be closed March 15, 2021 to prepare for the Touch of Disney experience. The experience will debut March 18, 2021.
• The Disneyland Annual Pass (AP) system is being cancel and refunds issued. Special discounts will continue (see Disneyland web page). A new system is in the planning for after the Parks reopen, but no details available at this time.
• Disney's Grand Californian Disney Vacation Club (DVC) is scheduled to open May 2, 2021. The The Grand Californian and other Hotels of the Disneyland Resort remain closed and will reopen at a later date. (This update came out 2/23/2021)
• Disneyland Park and Disney California Adventure Park remain closed and will reopen at a later date, pending state and local government approvals.
• The State of California has announced guidelines for the opening of amusement parks.
Hong Kong Disneyland • The Park is officially reopened. Advanced reservations with names and contact numbers are required. The Park will be closed on Tuesdays and Thursdays except major holidays. Please visit their web site for current requirements.
Disneyland Paris • UPDATED 3/12/2021: Due to conditions, Disneyland Paris will not be opening on April 2nd as previously announced. No new date planned. Please visit their web site for up to date information on if the Park will reopened and requirements.
Disney Cruise Lines • UPDATE 3/9/2021 SHARE HOLDERS' MEETING - CEO Bob Chapek Just said he has no date for the Cruise lines, but hopefully if trends continue to be positive, maybe next Fall or later.
• Disney Cruise line has suspended US cruises at least through May 2021 and European cruises through August 10, 2021.
Aulani Resort • Phased reopening began November 1, 2020. The state of Hawaii has strict travel requirements which include a 10 quarantine or negative test within 72 hours of your arrival. Please visit HERE for the latest details.
Walt Disney Family Museum • The Walt Disney Family Museum closed but anticipates opening sometime in April. They continue to provide virtual content. San Francisco County was recently moved into the Red Tier, so please check their web page for current status. The World War II Special Exhibit opened March 19th in the Diane Disney Miller Exhibition Hall. See web page for availability and restrictions.
INFORMATION CORRECT AS OF March 26, 2021. Please check individual Resorts web pages for restrictions, requirements, and changes.
Disneyland Resort Current Event
Disneyland sets April 30 reopening date
Disney CEO Bob Chapek says Disneyland and Disney California Adventure will operate at around 15% capacity to start.
By BRADY MACDONALD
PUBLISHED: March 17, 2021
“California theme parks can reopen on April 1 provided the counties they reside in reach the red/substantial tier 2 risk status of Gov. Gavin Newsom’s updated Blueprint for a Safer Economy. Orange County — home to Disneyland and DCA — has reached the red tier and could enter the less-restrictive orange tier by late April.
“Starting on April 1, California theme parks can reopen at 15% capacity in the red/substantial tier 2, 25% capacity in the orange/moderate tier 3 and 35% capacity in the least-restrictive yellow/minimal tier 4.
“Disney CEO Bob Chapek said on CNBC that Disneyland and Disney California Adventure will operate at around 15% capacity to start.”
“Disneyland and DCA will hold ‘soft opening’ dates before April 30 for cast members and members of the local community.
“Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa will open a day earlier on April 29 with limited capacity. Disney’s Paradise Pier Hotel and the Disneyland Hotel will reopen at a later date. The Disney Vacation Club villas at the Grand Californian will return May 2.
“Disneyland will unveil a new theme park reservation system in the next few weeks. A hotel stay will not guarantee a theme park reservation. Visitors planning to stay at the Grand Californian will also need to book theme park reservations in advance. Grand Californian reservations will be available soon.”
“Certain rides and attractions and could be unavailable.
“Disney characters will greet visitors from a safe distance along Main Street U.S.A. and at the Pixar Pier bandshell and Royal Theatre stage. Parades and nighttime spectaculars will return at a later date.
“Advance dining reservations for Disneyland and DCA restaurants and mobile ordering at eateries will be strongly encouraged. Mobile wait lists and mobile check-in will be available for select table-service restaurants.
“The sold out A Touch of Disney food festival will go on as planned at Disney California Adventure from March 18 through April 19.”
Orange County Register
Wed, March 17, 2021
Magic is Back at Disneyland Resort! Theme Parks Plan to Reopen on April 30
by Michael Ramirez, Public Relations Director, Disneyland Resort
“Because theme park capacity will be significantly limited to comply with governmental requirements and promote physical distancing, the Disneyland Resort will manage attendance through a new theme park reservation system that requires all guests to obtain a reservation for park entry in advance. To enter a park, both a park reservation and valid admission for the same park on the same date are required for guests ages 3 and up. Theme park reservations will be limited and subject to availability and, until further notice, only California residents may visit the parks in line with current state guidelines. More details about this new reservation system will be available soon.”
Disney Parks Blog
Disneyland, Disney California Adventure Parks to Reopen on April 30
Mar 17, 2021
“As with other reopened Disney parks, the Disneyland Resort will utilize a theme park reservation system, requiring that all guests ages 3 and up obtain a reservation for park entry in advance.
“Given the capacity limits, theme park reservations will also be limited and subject to availability.
“Additionally, per California guidelines, only California residents may visit the parks until further notice.”
Disneyland suspends FastPasses and Extra Magic Hours when theme parks reopen
Disneyland and Disney California Adventure will suspend FastPass, MaxPass, Magic Morning and Extra Magic Hour services 'for the time being' as a result of the impact of COVID-19 on theme park and hotel operations.
By BRADY MACDONALD
PUBLISHED: March 12, 2021
“Disneyland and Disney California Adventure will suspend FastPass, MaxPass, Magic Morning and Extra Magic Hour services “for the time being” as a result of the impact of COVID-19 on theme park and hotel operations, according to the Disneyland website.”
“Extra Magic Hours provide Disneyland hotel guests early admission to Disneyland and DCA for an hour before the parks open to the public on select days. Magic Mornings is a similar perk for theme park visitors who purchase 3-day tickets.
“Disneyland is following the blueprint laid out by other Disney theme parks around the world that reopened during the pandemic.”
Orange County Register
Disneyland Confirms No FastPass, MaxPass, or Early Entry When Parks Reopen
Mar 12, 2021
Disneyland puts woman of color at center of revamped Jungle Cruise backstory
Alberta Falls is the free spirited adventuress and descendant of world explorers from India and England who will serve as the fictional heroine of the renovated Jungle Cruise.
By BRADY MACDONALD
PUBLISHED: March 19, 2021
“Walt Disney Imagineering has made a woman of color the central character of the revamped Jungle Cruise rides at Disneyland…”
“Alberta Falls is the free spirited adventuress and descendant of world explorers from India and England who will serve as the fictional heroine of the renovated Jungle Cruise attractions at the Anaheim and Florida theme parks.
“The updated Jungle Cruise backstory was revealed through an interview with Alberta Falls in the Daily Gnus, a fictional newspaper created by Imagineering.”
“Alberta Falls is the owner, manager, bookkeeper and head mechanic of the Jungle Navigation Company, according to the fictional backstory developed by Imagineering for the Jungle Cruise makeover.”
“The expanding backstory also reinforces the link between the Jungle Cruise and the Society of Explorers and Adventurers — and by extension the new Magic Kingdom Universe coming to Disney+.
“Imagineers created the Society of Explorers and Adventurers as a backstory for several attractions at Tokyo DisneySea. Since then, SEA storylines have been incorporated into the Mystic Manor attraction at Hong Kong Disneyland, the Skipper Canteen at Florida’s Magic Kingdom, the Tropical Hideaway eatery at Disneyland and Jungle Cruise and Big Thunder Mountain rides at Disney parks around the world.
“The new Magic Kingdom Universe will stitch together characters from Disney theme parks and classic animated films with an expanding series of shows on the Disney+ streaming service.”
“Alberta learned to navigate the rivers of the world from the Jungle Cruise skippers. She inherited the Jungle Navigation Company when her grandfather mysteriously disappeared, according to the backstory. The search for her grandfather continues to this day.
“Her traveling companion is Kamaka the kakapo from New Zealand. Expect to see plush toys of the adorable owl parrot bird species pop up in Adventureland shops as soon as the Jungle Cruise renovations are complete.
“The Daily Gnus article also offers insight into the culturally diverse group of boat passengers stuck up a tree by an angry rhino in concept art released by Imagineering for a renovated Jungle Cruise scene.
The four stranded boat passengers will include:
Rosa Soto Dominguez, a painter from Mexico
Leonardo Moss, a botanist from Canada
Ken Chunosuke, an entomologist from Japan
Siobhan “Puffin” Murphy, a birdwatcher from Ireland and Alberta’s cousin
Imagineering has not yet determined when work will begin on the Jungle Cruise attractions at Disneyland and the Magic Kingdom. The reimagined rides are expected to open later this year.”
Orange County Register
Alberta Falls Takes Center Stage In New Storyline For Jungle Cruise at Disneyland and Walt Disney World
Mar 19, 2021
Haunted Mansion to Return with “New Magic,” Other Major Attractions Slated to Reopen
Mar 17, 2021
“While no further information has been given at this time, it seems as though guests can expect to see some kind of enhancements made to the Haunted Mansion when the classic attraction reopens on April 30th.”
“Guests will also get to see the newly reimagined attraction, Snow White’s Enchanted Wish, in Fantasyland.”
“Notably, Avengers Campus will not open with the parks on April 30th and is instead still slated to reopen at a later date.”
Disneyland fans feed their craving as food festival kicks off after yearlong closure
A Touch of Disney food festival kicked off at noon on Thursday, March 18 at Disney California Adventure.
By BRADY MACDONALD
PUBLISHED: March 18, 2021
“A Touch of Disney will essentially serve as dress rehearsal for the full reopening of Disneyland and DCA next month. Disney is expected to hold a “soft reopening” of both parks for employees and local community members after A Touch of Disney comes to an end on April 19.”
“Disneyland was pushing everyone to use the $25 dining card every visitor received to place mobile orders for food — but the work-in-progress system was clunky.
“Using the dining card was more difficult than it should have been, with visitors required to type a tiny 16-digit account number on the back of the card into the Disneyland app every time they placed an order — even after their dining card was already entered in the app.”
Orange County Register
First Day of A Touch of Disney Event at Disney California Adventure
Mar 18, 2021
“The Touch of Disney event, which is sold out for the remainder of event dates, was $75.00 but that included a $25.00 gift card for use on dining at the event, as well as parking in the Mickey and Friends parking structure. Parking here is similar to what we’ve seen at the Florida parks, where parking is spaced out filling every other space to allow for social distancing.
“One new thing we noticed was the addition of sensors in the garage that indicate how many spaces are available on the level/in the row. We’ve also noticed the trash cans, also similar to lessons learned in Florida have been propped open to lessen the amount of touching on the surface.”
A Touch of Disney at Disney California Adventure Provides New Views of Avengers Campus Ahead of Its Debut
Mar 19, 2021
“Since a portion of Disney California Adventure reopened as an extension of the Downtown Disney District, the closest we can get to the highly anticipated Avengers Campus has been this little alcove that often features food carts and merchandise stands.
“The alcove, in an area that used to be part of It’s Tough to Be a Bug, is behind the building of the new WEB SLINGERS: A Spider-Man Adventure attraction, affording guests a view of the themed exterior of that building.
“However, now that the park is ‘open’ for the A Touch of Disney event, offering guests the chance to see more of the park to shop and eat, without the attractions (those are still closed per state guidelines), we can get another view of the new Avengers Campus, this time from a connected walkway from Cars Land.”
New Backdrop Hiding Backstage Environments Appears at Luigi’s Rollickin Roadsters
Mar 19, 2021
“One HUGE difference we saw lay on the outskirts of Cars Land at Luigi’s Rollickin Roadsters. Guests familiar with the location may remember a backdrop that was trees and a large fence that said ‘Rollickin’ Roadster’ on it. While all that is still there, there is now a substantially larger backdrop towering over those quaint trees and fence line.
“The aesthetic seems to channel Carsoli (where Luigi is from) more than Cars Land, and the new themed wall seems to be covering a new backstage building.
“The new themed backdrop has structural elements, so it’s not just themed painting on a wall, this is some kind of building, if even just a facade. We know that some backstage facilities were removed to make way for Avengers Campus as well as Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway behind Mickey’s Toontown, perhaps this is a new facility for those relocated departments.”
You can listen to show 305 on iTunes or go to Libsyn service here.
Show Notes for Episode 305
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Former Imagineer Tim Delaney - Part 1