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The Most Rehabbed Place on Earth?

April 2002 Update
(posted 5/2/2002)

I visited the Disneyland Resort for a few hours on Sunday, April 28th.

Disneyland continues into rehab...

Some scattered ramblings...

I've made a few trips to the park since my last January update, but not much has changed. Some attractions have gone down and returned (most of Fantasyland is now open, other than the carousel) while other items remain off-line (Splash Mountain, Critter Country, it's a small world, among others). The parks continues to operate at reduced capacity even though the summer crowds will start arriving in just a few weeks.

The new pavement in Fantasyland looks nice. Main Street was redone a year or so ago, and Frontierland this past year, and Tomorrowland got a redo during the 1998 project. There are only a few areas of the park left with "boring" concrete walkways. It's hard to accuse Disney of cutbacks when they are spending so much money just to change the walkway -- something most people wouldn't notice. After all, Disneyland has had nothing more than painted concrete since 1955...

The Haunted Mansion is back in full operation -- all the scaffolding is finally gone. There are few noticeable changes after the holiday edition. It sounds like they might be using the new subwoofers in the expanding room (you can really hear the thunder outside of the E.R. these days) but other than that it's just a nicely cleaned up Mansion. In the graveyard the raven on the tree was missing, and the drummer in the graveyard band was a.w.o.l.

The most interesting change is the new safety spiel that plays just after you sit down in the doombuggy. A Ghost Host imitator (the original Paul Frees passed away years ago) gives an updated "remain seated" speech with the addition of telling you to keep even more parts of your body in the car at all times and to "watch your children, please". After this is a Spanish bit done by a different voice and then the original dialog continues. It's different, that's for sure, but other than the Spanish I didn't think it sounded too out of place.

Pirates was down and is now back up. The fiber optic sign in the queue seems to have been updated -- it is much more colorful now. The parrot went away for awhile and returned, too. The ride itself remains mostly unchanged. For a list of items that have been altered, visit http://refurb.disneyfans.com and tell him I sent ya by.

Cosmic Waves in Tomorrowland is now dry, and on the 29th they walled the area up. Internet rumor says trees will be planted around it. We shall see...

I was very unhappy to find that the wonderful gumbo and clam chowder in New Orleans Square can no longer be ordered without the bread bowl. In the past, the $6.99 bowl of goodness was almost $2 cheaper if you ordered it withou the bread bowl. I've never been too fond of the bread bowl (it turns into a soggy mush) and I'm even less fond of the sourdough they use (made across the way at DCA). I should write a letter, but maybe it won't matter -- they got full price out of me and they got to keep their bread. Ah well. There is more to life than spending money on gumbo at Disneyland.

Since I was only in the park a few hours, I don't have much else to report. There were construction walls near the Frontierland Train Station and also all of Critter Country is walled off -- you can't even get to the canoes right now. Big work is being done back there to get ready for the California edition of Winnie the Pooh. Space Mountain was down off and on due to technical difficulties, and Big Thunder Mountain Railroad is under refurbishment right now. The trail between Frontierland and Fantasyland was also walled off -- more pavement work, perhaps?

Everything else was alive as usual -- even for a Sunday, there was tons of entertainment. In the hours I was there I saw three musical groups in New Orleans Square, the saxaphone four near the fire house on Main Street, and I stumled passed the Trashcan Trio and some other street acts.

Oh, there is a new painting up on the second story in NOS. It's of a man with a saxaphone. Is this a tribute to the sax player that recently passed away (who had played at Disneyland for ages), or has it been there and I just didn't notice?

Mickey's Detective Agency is playing in the Fantasyland Theater and it includes at least one new Hidden Mickey. I've already reported it to the Hidden Mickeys site so you can go there and find out where it is...

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