Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Do you know the three most spoken words at Disneyland?

Photo courtesy of Disney.
I bet you don't--the results are surprising! Instead of something along the lines of "no flash photography" or "where is the bathroom?," the actual answer is "here we go," according to a radio show segment yesterday.

Statistics aside, what do you believe are the three most spoken words in your family while at Disneyland? Be creative!

Friday, February 16, 2007

Great Moments With Mr. Lincoln to Reopen!

Mr. Lincoln, as depicted in the attraction. (Personal photo.)
Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln, the beloved attraction in Main Street U.S.A., will be reopening after nearly two years of hiatus. Disneyland: the First 50 Years, dedicated to celebrating the 50th Anniversary, replaced Lincoln's show in May 2005. A user on Mouse Planet announced the news yesterday, stating her source as the "Mousesavers newsletter":
"Disneyland: the First 50 Years (Disneyland) expected to close sometime this spring for changeover back to Great Moments With Mr. Lincoln."

Disneyland Then and Now: The Disneyland Monorail

Surely you've seen the Disneyland Monorail before--after all, it's one of the main sights in Disneyland! While it's often overlooked as merely another means of transportation in the park, the Monorail is actually a surprisingly interesting piece of Disneyland history.

Attraction poster for the Monorail | Disney

Opening on June 14, 1959, the Disneyland-ALWEG Monorail System (renamed to the "Disneyland Monorail System" in 1987) was the first daily operating monorail in the western hemisphere. Moreover, it was the first monorail in America, a fact the park enjoyed sharing with guests. (In fact, every time you ride the monorail, the recorded speaker tells you that very bit of information!)

Originally, the attraction was a non-stop ride, although in 1961 was expanded to include a stop at the Disneyland Hotel. The current monorail, however, has two stations: One in Tomorrowland, the other in Downtown Disney.

The monorail in the 1950's/60's compared to the modern monorail. Note the Skyway and sign above the actual monorail cars advertising the attraction. (Pictures courtesy of The Imaginary World and Mouse Planet.)

On August 21, 2006, the monorail was closed after six months of "shuttle mode" (one-way service) due to the construction of the Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage attraction. The monorail reopened in December 2006, albeit still in shuttle mode.

As you can see, the monorail has gone through many changes in its lifetime, with more to come -- the new Mark VII trains are to be completed by 2007, along with a new name change (Disneyland Resort Line), a completely new system, and changes to cast member uniforms -- yet it remains one of Disneyland's most treasured landmarks.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Disneyland Then and Now: Disneyland Resort

The second feature in the "Disneyland Then and Now" series, this post centers around the history of the Disneyland Resort.

Disneyland Resort Logo | Disney

The Disneyland Resort consists of three hotels, two theme parks, and one shopping/entertainment district. (Disneyland Hotel, Disney's Grand Californian Hotel & Spa, Disney's Paradise Pier Hotel, Disneyland Park, Disney's California Adventure, and Downtown Disney, respectively.)

However, the Disneyland Resort wasn't always home to these beloved properties. In fact, in the first few years of Disneyland, there wasn't even a Disneyland Resort -- the land was instead owned by various companies, and was later bought by Disney.

Many changes and additions have occurred at the resort since 1955. Going from left to right: Disneyland Hotel circa 50's/60's and now; Grand Californian Hotel and Paradise Pier Hotel; Disneyland Sign throughout the years. The sign (in first and second picture) was taken down for good in 1999, and the sign seen in the last picture is merely the entrance to the resort.

The current president of the Disneyland Resort is Ed Grier, who was appointed in July 2006.

The Disneyland Hotel is the original hotel of the resort, although Disney didn't own it until 1989--Jack Wrather had financed and owned the hotel and refused to sell it until then. Disney's Grand Californian Hotel & Spa opened in 2001 as part of the major expansion of the resort, while Disney's Paradise Pier Hotel originally began life as the Emerald Hotel in 1984, although later known as the Pan Pacific Hotel. (Disney finally purchased the hotel in 1995, thus changing the name to Disneyland Pacific Hotel. The current name came during the previously mentioned expansion, after a land in Disney's California Adventure.)

Disney's California Adventure is the second theme park in the Disneyland Resort, opening in February of 2001. Downtown Disney also opened in 2001, and is an outdoor shopping and entertainment district.

If you have any questions/comments/etc., feel free to leave a comment here.
Photo Credits (in order): Disneyland Postcards, Trip Advisor, Mouse Planet, Team Benns, Go California, personal picture.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Happy Valentine's Day!

Happy Valentine's Day to all of the Disneyland Expert's readers! Whether you're celebrating in Disneyland or at home, you all deserve the best. Thanks for reading my blog!

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Disneyland Then and Now: Characters Edition

This post is the first of a vast amount of related posts to come--all suitably titled Disneyland Then and Now. The posts, as expected, will follow a "vintage Disneyland vs. modern Disneyland" theme, comparing vintage (1950's-1980's) to modern (1990's-2000's) Disneyland.

The first edition in this series will center around Disneyland characters. As anyone who has visited Disneyland can tell you, characters play a major role in the park. Seeing how nearly everything in Disneyland has gone through ~1 refurbishment in its lifetime, it's only expected that the characters have had their share of makeovers, too.

From top to bottom: Mickey/Minnie; White Rabbit, Alice, and Mad Hatter; Goofy.

As you can tell, vintage characters had a much different appearance than characters these days. Some changes are more prominent, others not--while the size of Mickey's head in the early days of the park is obviously gigantic compared to now, some might not notice that Goofy's hat color changed, or that Minnie's shoes are no longer green.

What are your thoughts/opinions? Do you prefer the old look of the characters, or do you enjoy the new, modern take on Disney characters?
Photo credits: Disneyland Postcards.

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Tom Sawyer Island No More

Tom Sawyer Island | Mouse Planet

To all you Tom Sawyer Island devotees, I'm sorry. A major revamp for the beloved attraction has been announced--a pirate theme will be added, and the name will change to Pirates Lair at Tom Sawyer Island. This announcement comes in lieu of the third Pirates of the Caribbean movie premiere at Disneyland--in fact, the refurbishment is expected to be nearly complete by the premiere in mid-2007.

Tom Sawyer Island is one of the few attractions designed solely by Walter Disney left in Disneyland. Since its 1956 opening, the island has garnered a vast amount of loyal fans, many who are upset over the recent refurbishment news.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Disney's California Adventure's 6th Anniversary

Disney's California Adventure | Photograph by Sam Antonio

Happy Anniversary, California Adventure! Six years ago today, the sister park of Disneyland opened to the public. Throughout the years, the park has experienced its share of ups and downs, and whether or not you're for or against it, we should all recognize this piece of Disneyland history.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Disneyland Railroad Refurbishment Announced

The Disneyland Railroad |

According to Mouse Planet, the Disneyland Railroad will be closed for a large period of time. From now until March 29, the railroad will not be open to guests. However, the railroad is expected to open from March 30-May 16, and once again close on May 17 for an uncertain amount of time--one Mouse Planet user assumes the attraction will be closed "for however long it takes to get [Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage] up and running."

Saturday, February 03, 2007

Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage

Someone has requested more pictures/information on the Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage (mentioned in my last update), so I have decided to dedicate an entry to the future attraction.

Name: Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage
Land: Tomorrowland
Opening Date: June 11, 2007
Based on: The 2003 PIXAR animated movie Finding Nemo
Story: Guests will get up close and personal with some of Nemo's most beloved characters, including (of course) Nemo, as the friends observe an underwater volcano.
Submarines: The attraction will use the same submarine vehicles as the now-defunct Submarine Voyage, although they have been given new names, numbers, and paint job. The new names are as followed: Nautilus, Scout, Voyager, Mariner, Seafarer, Explorer, Neptune, and Argonaut.

Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage fills the spot of another underwater themed Tomorrowland attraction, the well loved Submarine Voyage. Closed on September 9, 1998, the attraction was promised (by then-Disneyland president Paul Pressler, nonetheless) to open in 2003 as a new, updated version. Not surprisingly, though, 2003 came and went with no new submarine attraction.

Finally, much to the joy of Disneyland fans alike, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts president Jay Rasulo announced on July 15, 2005 that a new attraction, named Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage, would be built in the original attractions place.

Picture credits, in order:, DAPs Magic, and for the last two construction pictures.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Opening Date of "Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage" Announced

After months of anticipation, the opening date of the Finding Nemo submarine attraction has been announced: June 11. The attraction, located in Tomorrowland, is a modern twist on 1959's famed Submarine Voyage, which closed in 1998.

The Submarine Lagoon. Photo from Disney.