We cover the grand re-opening of Disneyland and catch up on what’s new at the Disneyland Resort, as always. We also welcome three Keel Boat drivers to reminisce about the former Disneyland Rivers of America attraction. 

                                                                         ***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:


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.

                                                          • Face masks must be worn at all times. You may temporarily remove your face covering while actively eating, drinking or taking an outdoor photo, but you must be stationary and maintain appropriate physical distancing during this time.

                                  • 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        • Disneyland is now OPEN!!!!!!! Sadly only to California Residents for now.

                          • Ticket Sales have begin. Only California Residents will be allowed to enter the Parks  and groups may not be larger than 3 households until further notice.

                          • Like Walt Disney World, you must have a valid ticket AND make a Park reservation for the day you are interested in attending. Park reservations can only be made 60 days out at the present time. Be sure to check availability of the dates you are interested in before purchasing tickets.

                          • Disneyland Park President Ken Potrock announces there will be a new form of annual passes. Detail will be announced later this year. "Legacy" Pass holders are still getting dining and merchandise discounts.

                          • The Grand Californian is open.

                          • The State of California has updated it rules for Theme Parks and Stadiums to reopen. The new rule took affect April 1, 2021 and Disneyland opened at 25% capacity as long as the county stays in the Orange Tier.

                         • The Downtown Disney District including Buena Vista Street only of DCA are open. Some table service is available following state and local rules. 

                         •  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 June 2021 and European cruises through October 9, 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 is open. They continue to provide virtual content. San Francisco County was recently moved into the Orange 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 May 2, 2021. Please check individual Resorts web pages for restrictions, requirements, and changes.

Disneyland Resort Current Event

Disneyland reopens to the public after 13-month coronavirus closure
Disneyland and Disney California Adventure reopened with rides and attractions on Friday, April 30 after a 412-day closure due to the COVID-19 pandemic that began in March 2020.
PUBLISHED: April 30, 2021

“Fans anxious to ride the wildly popular Rise of the Resistance attraction and the soon-to-change Splash Mountain log flume had their wish granted when Disneyland finally swung open the gates just after 8 a.m. Friday, ending a 412-day closure forced by the COVID-19 pandemic that began in March 2020.

“Tears were flowing as visitors walked down Main Street U.S.A. at 8 a.m. to the familiar announcement of “Hello and welcome to Disneyland.”

“Disneyland cast members lined Main Street USA to wave, applaud and cheer as visitors returned to the park for the first time in more than a year.

“The Mickey and Friends and Pixar Pals parking structures opened at 6 a.m. and visitors walked to the theme parks along the tram route instead of hopping aboard the parking lot trams due to COVID-19 health and safety measures. Disneyland visitors were greeted by a new arrival procedure. Temperature screenings took place inside the Pixar Pals parking structure prior to the security checkpoint. Inside the park, COVID-19 health and safety reminders were visible everywhere.”
“Without any annual passholders — who tend to visit in shorter spurts — there were fewer people who were leaving throughout the day.

“Most rides and attractions have some type of new COVID-19 health and safety protocols that will make the experience slightly different.”
“Aurora, Ariel and other maskless princesses posed for photos in the Fantasy Faire Royal Theatre while maintaining 12 feet of distance from visitors. Visitors can’t hand their smartphones to cast members now for a photo of the whole family. You’ll just have to take that selfie yourself.”

“Disneyland is essentially offering half the pre-pandemic theme park experience for the same pre-pandemic price. There are no parades, fireworks, nighttime spectaculars or shows. Just over half the attractions and eateries are open. More than 15,000 of the 32,000 cast members who worked at the parks before the pandemic have returned to work.

“But Disneyland doesn’t feel like half a park in the pandemic era. That’s because almost nobody could do all of Disneyland in a day prior to the ‘new normal.’ More than likely, you will do two or three times as much as you typically did at Disneyland before the pandemic because there are so few people in the park and lines are relatively short by Disneyland standards. At least for the next couple months.”

Orange County Register

Fri, April 30, 2021
Welcome Back to Disneyland Resort Theme Parks
by Michael Ramirez, Public Relations Director, Disneyland Resort

Disney Parks Blog

Disneyland is Back! — FIRST LOOK at New Magic and Big Changes
By Andy Castro -April 28, 2021

“Welcome back to the magic!  While the Anaheim theme parks don’t open officially to the general public until Friday April 30th, Cast Members and their invited guests are getting exclusive previews from April 27th through 29th.  We are very happy to be able to bring you an early first look at Disneyland.  After more than a year since guests were last able to step through those train tunnels into Walt Disney’s original Magic Kingdom, there will be lots to cover.  Join us as we take a look at what’s new and what’s different and everything you’ll need to know before your visit — from operational changes to brand new magic in two classic attractions.”


Your Essential Guide to Disneyland Tickets, Tips, and Planning!
By Dusty Sage -April 29, 2021

“Disneyland reopens on April 30th, 2021 and there’s a lot you need to know to get a ticket, book park reservations, and navigate the new park experience. Gone are the days of showing up to buy a ticket and entering the park. All theme park access must now be booked in advance, in addition to your ticket. 

“Here’s everything you need to know to have a great visit and avoid some pitfalls.”


Disneyland employee previews offer first look inside soon-to-reopen park
Disneyland and Disney California Adventure soft opening previews for employees will run for three days leading up to the April 30 reopening following a yearlong pandemic closure.
PUBLISHED: April 28, 2021

“Disneyland and Disney California Adventure began soft opening previews for employees on Tuesday, April 27 following the 13-month pandemic closures. Cast members will be joined by invited community members for previews that continue on Wednesday, April 28 and Thursday, April 29.”

Orange County Register

How Disneyland made Snow White ride less scary and more ‘happily ever after’
The renamed and reimagined Snow White’s Enchanted Wish dark ride returns when Disneyland reopens on April 30.
PUBLISHED: April 27, 2021

“Caranci has spent the past year working with a team of Imagineers to make the renamed Snow White’s Enchanted Wish attraction decidedly less scary as the creative arm of Disney reimagined the backstory for the classic Fantasyland dark ride and added new scenes.

“The $445,000 transformation of Snow White’s Scary Adventure was announced in late 2019 and largely took place while Disneyland was closed for more than a year by the COVID-19 pandemic. Snow White’s Enchanted Wish returns when the Anaheim theme park reopens Friday,  April 30.”
“The changes to the Snow White dark ride were designed to be moderate rather than drastic, according to Caranci. The revamped ride shouldn’t feel unfamiliar to older generations of riders, but rather the same with a few new additions.”
“Snow White 3.0 adds 12 laser projection scenes with the goal of harmoniously mixing in the new special effects with the dark ride’s traditional theatrical storytelling elements.”
“The updated 2021 version of the Snow White dark ride adds 50 new sculpted figures. Snow White dances with Dopey in one new scene that features the smell of baking apple pie wafting through the air. New shadow projections show the dwarfs marching off to work in the mine while singing ‘Heigh Ho.’ Grumpy hoists a pick and Dopey looks through giant jewels in the updated mine scene. A cauldron glows and flasks of colorful poisons bubble in the den of the Evil Queen. Love’s first kiss from the prince awakens Snow White from a deep sleep before they head off to a golden castle for her new ‘happily ever after’ finale.”
“The latest makeover focuses more on the title character — increasing the number of Snow White figures from one to four.”

Orange County Register

Snow White’s Enchanted Wish Debuts Alongside Disneyland Park Reopening
Apr 30, 2021

“Boarding a mine cart, guests travel through some new scenes of this classic fairytale, beginning with the dwarfs’ cozy cottage. Snow White twirls and dances with Dopey and the scent of Doc’s handiwork – a baking apple pie ­– wafts through the air. Vibrant new shadow projections bring to life the dwarfs as they march happily off to work in the mine singing ‘Heigh Ho’” The dazzling mine scene sparkles with shimmering lighting effects and glittering jewels. Guests can be on the lookout for Doc examining a jewel, Grumpy hoisting a pick, and Dopey grinning from a jewel-filled mine cart.

“The den of the Evil Queen is surrounded by a library of spell books, a glowing cauldron and flasks bubbling with colorful potions, hints of how she concocted the poison apple. Fans of the original attraction who may have previously feared a heavily scaled back presence of the Evil Queen/Witch need not worry, as she is still prominently featured throughout, though not the arguable star of the show this time around.

“Snow White’s enchanted wish comes true at last as she is awakened from her deep sleep by love’s first kiss, from her Prince. She reunites with her animal friends and joyfully rides off with her Prince toward a golden castle for her ‘happily ever after.’

“The attraction’s brick façade is now painted in warmer pinks, lighter blues and gold colors to complement Sleeping Beauty Castle. In keeping with the architectural style of a European village, the exterior is bright and welcoming, with ornamental birds, butterflies and blooming flowers.”

Laughing Place

FIRST LOOK: A Ride on Disneyland’s Reimagined Snow White Attraction
By Mike Kindrich -April 27, 2021


We’re Baaaaack! First Look at Disneyland’s Haunted Mansion Updates
By Natalie Kipper -April 27, 2021

“Our own Dusty Sage and Andy Castro were able to visit a Disneyland preview on April 27th and bring us these images and thoughts about enhancements to one of Disneyland’s most iconic attractions…”


Disneyland’s Haunted Mansion Reopens with New “Home Improvements”
Apr 30, 2021

“Inside the queue, guests will notice Sleeping Beauty Castle markers on the floor, some numbered to mark zones for each party to stand at before going further into the attraction.

“New drapes, wallpaper, and carpet has been installed throughout the lobby, but the most exciting embellishment might just be the return of the beloved ‘April to December’ portrait.”

Laughing Place

Disneyland to reopen Jungle Cruise this summer after removing outdated cultural depictions
Disneyland resort president Ken Potrock says on the D23 Inside Disney podcast that the Jungle Cruise ride would reopen this summer at the Anaheim theme park.
PUBLISHED: April 29, 2021

“Disneyland resort president Ken Potrock said on the D23 Inside Disney podcast that the Jungle Cruise ride will reopen this summer at the Anaheim theme park.”

Orange County Register

Updated Jungle Cruise to Reopen “This Summer” According to Ken Potrock
Apr 29, 2021

Laughing Place

Everything You Need to Know About Getting a Boarding Pass for Rise of the Resistance at Disneyland
By Logan Collins -April 22, 2021


Disneyland to launch new annual pass program this year
Disneyland resort president Ken Potrock says on the D23 Inside Disney podcast that the new membership program for the Anaheim theme parks will be launched this year.
PUBLISHED: April 29, 2021

“Disneyland resort president Ken Potrock said on the D23 Inside Disney podcast that the new membership program for the Anaheim theme parks will be launched this year.”
“Disneyland officials won’t say how many people have annual passes, but theme park industry observers have estimated the number to be 1 million.

“Annual passholders comprised an estimated 50% of Disneyland attendance, according to UBS financial analysts.”

Orange County Register

Disneyland resort faces $4 billion revenue loss due to coronavirus closure, analyst warns
The Disneyland resort has lost an estimated $4.3 billion in revenue during the 412-day closure of Disney’s Anaheim theme parks, according to MoffettNathanson founding partner Michael Nathanson.
PUBLISHED: April 29, 2021

“The Disneyland resort has lost an estimated $4.3 billion in revenue during the 412-day closure of Disney’s Anaheim theme parks, according to MoffettNathanson founding partner Michael Nathanson.”
“The Disneyland resort generated an estimated $3.8 billion in revenue in 2019, according to Nathanson. That works out to approximately $10.4 million in daily revenue generated by the Disneyland resort.

“A 2019 study by Cal State Fullerton’s Woods Center for Economic Analysis and Forecasting found that the Disneyland resort added $8.5 billion annually to the Southern California economy. That means the closure of Disneyland could have cost the Southern California economy as much as $23 million a day — or nearly $10 billion during the 412-day closure, based on estimates from the study.”

Orange County Register

Disneyland Resort Celebrates Cast Members Marking 50 and 55 Years of Service
Apr 28, 2021

“The Disneyland Resort recently celebrated seven Cast Members who marked 50 years of service in 2020 and one who marked 55 years with an award ceremony in front of Sleeping Beauty Castle.”
“Those celebrating 50 years of service include: Bob Rambaud (Safety Services), David Gifford (Night Custodial – retired), Diane Alvarez (Vacation Planner), Jan Fleener (Vacation Planner), Jim Vash (Entertainment – retired), Kristy Stephenson (Parking), Leanna Shibata (Vacation Planner), Malou Park (Parking), Mike Barry (Hungry Bear busser – retired), and Richard Ruiz (Main Street busser). Celebrating 55 years is Larry Snow (Custodial). Laughing Place congratulates all of them for their incredible service at the Disneyland Resort.

“Larry Snow, who’ll be marking 56 years at Disneyland Custodial in May, was given a specially designed statuette featuring Disney characters around his photo.”

Laughing Place

Disneyland relaxes employee beard restrictions to Sneezy, Sleepy and Grumpy lengths
Disneyland has relaxed restrictions on mustaches and beards for employees as part of major changes to the park’s dress code designed to make the guidelines gender inclusive.
PUBLISHED: April 21, 2021

“The updated gender-inclusive Disney Look guidelines state that hair length is now at the discretion of Disneyland cast members. Hair below shoulder length should be secured if it falls forward over the face or covers the employee name tag. Blue, green, pink, purple and other unnatural hair colors are prohibited.

“Disneyland cast members are permitted to shave lines or shapes in their hair or beard provided the designs do not depict offensive words or symbols.

“All Disneyland cast members can don headwear for religious purposes.”
“All references to gender have been eliminated from the Disney Look guidelines. Under the changes to the guidelines, all cast members can show up to work in the gender-inclusive costume of their choosing.”

Orange County Register

You can listen to show 308 on iTunes or go to Libsyn service here.

Keel Boat Driver Tales

Listen to our Show

Show Notes for Episode 308