January 2002 Update
I visited the Disneyland Resort during two weekends in January: 12-13,
Disneyland goes into rehab...
The decorations were down. The snow machines were stored away. The park
was quiet. In the first month of 2002 the Disneyland Park was recovering
nicely from the crowds of Christmas. Since this was the beginning of an
off-peak time (before Spring break and the summertime rush), many rides
and attractions were closed:
- Haunted Mansion - down to convert back to "normal"
after the wildly successful Haunted Mansion Holiday / Nightmare Before
Christmas makeover from October through early January. The attraction
was closed and the entire mansion was hidden by dark green tarps and
scaffolding. Peeking through the covered gates one can see drop clothes
everywhere, indicating a massive paint job is underway. Since new
sound equipment and lighting effects were added for the Christmas
edition, it is speculated that when the original Mansion reopens in
early February there will be some new surprises in store for us! I
can't wait, and, in fact, am already planning a February quicktrip
to check it out.
- It's a Small World - again, down after its run as It's a
Small World Holiday. The canals were drained and the clock was silent.
Walls were up around the attraction and lights had already been taken
down from the facade.
- Fantasyland - most of Fantasyland is walled up as they redo
the pavement (probably like they did for Main Street and Frontierland
in recent years). Specific attractions that are unavailable right
now include Mr. Toad's Wild Ride, King Arthur's Carousel
and Peter Pan's Flight. The carousel is getting a major reworking
with stationary positions being added for wheelchair accessibility.
- Tom Sawyer's Island - Though open, it did not feel like it.
The suspension bridge has been closed for a few years, and now most
of the fort is shut down. The top level is off limits, and the left
side "displays" are covered up so you can no longer look
in the windows. It's sad. This place is legendary.
- Critter Country - with the exception of the Davy Crockett
Canoes (which they were promoting heavily in that area), all of
Critter Country is walled up. Splash Mountain is dry and being
worked on, while Country Bear Jamboree closed a few months
earlier. Construction has already begun on the new Winnie the Pooh
attraction. Several cast members report seeing alot of equipment going
in and out regularly. When this section reopens, it is expected to
be themed more as the Hundred Acres Woods from the Pooh series. I
wonder how the new lawsuit will effect this?
- Corn Dog Wagon - where is it? It was there in December, just
in front of the First Aid location on Main Street. I miss it already.
Please tell me they are just cleaning it.
The park was clean and in good shape in other areas. The crowds were
reasonable on the weekends, but MLK day brought out enough visitors
to start filling up the parking garage much earlier than the weekends
had. I saw the crowds that day and decided to spend my last few hours
in Orange County eating a breakfast at Knott's Berry Farms rather than
fighting tramstation lines.
...more updates if I think of anything to add.