By Erik Johnson
The time has come!
Few imagined when Disneyland closed that its gates would not reopen for more than a full year. We were given some hope with the return of shops and restaurants in Downtown Disney, but it still took half a year for guests to set foot inside Disney California Adventure. Tomorrow morning, we get the real deal.
As we endure the final few hours before guests can return to Disneyland, take a look at some of the recent news about the parks and what to expect when you can get back inside!
Cast Member Previews
Brady Macdonald with the Orange County Register published an article on employee previews at Disneyland. Check it out here! The Disneyland Resort's president, Ken Potrock, was on hand with Mickey Mouse to greet the excited cast members as they returned to get a taste of the magic. Many of the cast members who worked at the resort last year were rehired and they seem to be as excited as anybody to visit the park.
The cast members have a lot to say about the return. From their new name tags that declare they are bringing back the magic to shots of rides and characters, there sure is a lot to see. It's a great sampling of what we can expect when it's our time!
You probably read about the makeover at the Partners statue in the Hub, but there are a lot more changes to see. King Arthur's Carrousel is an opening-day favorite. During the downtime, it got more than just a paint job. New accents with 14k gold leaf add even more elegance and tie it in even better with the bright colors of Sleeping Beauty Castle. Of course, there was plenty of regular paint to go around, as all thirty horses were repainted by hand.
Disney made some waves a few weeks ago when it announced changes to the beloved Haunted Mansion. The feedback is pretty good, as all of these changes improve the queue and the ride's load area. More rich details improve the immersion into the world of the mansion and its 999 haunts. Some changes are fresh landscaping, but others are takes on original Mansion designs. We can't wait to see these in person!
Don't forget the massive changes in Fantasyland! Snow White's Enchanted Wish is a reimagining of the classic attraction. More story elements and scenes immerse riders in the world of Snow White. Some of the effects come straight out of the excellent Seven Dwarfs Mine Train in Orlando's Magic Kingdom. Classic dark rides like those in Fantasyland do not often get makeovers like this, so make sure you stop by!
It is a bit surprising to see so much attention around Disneyland's reopening when Walt Disney World started greeting guests last summer. It just goes to show the love that employees and guests have for Walt's original theme park.
Watch along with us! Stay tuned to the ConciEARS social media accounts. You can also keep an eye on ConciEAR Kailyn's accounts as she explores Disneyland on opening day with the rest of her family. Even if you can't be there yourself yet, you can experience the next best thing! You can follow us on Instagram and Facebook @conciears. Follow Kailyn on Instagram @kailynparis.
And if you find yourself compelled to join in the magic, your expert travel planners at ConciEARS can help! We are hard at work designing travel packages for both Walt Disney World and Disneyland. Give us a call or send us a message and let's get planning today!