Disneyland news update

3 Mar

It seems like there’s so much going on in the world of Disney lately. Bear with me while I geek out a little.

First off, there’s word that Tom Hanks and Tim Allen are set to star in a live-action film based on the Jungle Cruise (which I also blogged about on the Beehive).

Photo via Slashfilm

My first thought when I heard the news was: Woody and Buzz — I love them! But of course, it’s not going to be Toy Story 4. I love Tom Hanks in just about anything, but, I’m sorry to say, couldn’t care less about a Buzz-free Tim Allen (I saw him on an episode of “Top Gear” and he seemed kinda … douchey).

I honestly don’t know what to feel about the project, so I’ll save all judgment until I see some footage, whenever that will be. IMDb suggests the movie will come out in 2012, but no details are available yet about what the plot might entail. Here’s hoping the movie at least pays homage to the wonderfully corny script of the Jungle Cruise attraction.

Also going on with the Mouse House: real, visible construction has begun on the entrance to Disney California Adventure. In January, the iconic (in my opinion) CALIFORNIA letters were removed to make way for a 1920s-inspired entrance. The following photo, taken by Twitter user MintCrocodile, shows that progress is finally happening:


Photo via @MintCrocodile

Not a great photo, but I’m happy to see that things are finally moving.

Elsewhere in the park, structural details are being added to the exterior of The Little Mermaid ride (set to open June 3), including the placement of King Triton on the roof. Triton used to reside in the fountain located in the former Ariel’s Grotto (now Pixie Hollow) at Disneyland.


Photo via MiceChat's Dateline Disneyland

After endless months of watching the building slowly come together, it’s awesome to see the final touches being made.

And, over in the original park, the exterior of Star Tours (also set to re-open June 3) has been painted purple, of all colors. Like The Little Mermaid building, I’m so glad to finally see signs that things are moving along. Makes my excitement for the attraction’s re-opening grow. (Photos of the paint scheme, and other park construction, can be found on MiceChat’s Dateline Disneyland blog.)

Today, Disney released promotional photos from its Disney Dream Portraits series. My favorite is this one of Queen Latifah as Ursula from The Little Mermaid:

And here are the others — Olivia Wilde as the Evil Queen and Alec Baldwin as the Magic Mirror from Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, and Jeff Bridges as the transformed Beast and Penelope Cruz as Belle from Beauty and the Beast:

I really like this photo series. Past portraits have included David Beckham as Prince Phillip from Sleeping Beauty, Scarlett Johansson as Cinderella, Beyoncé as Alice in Wonderland, Rachel Weisz as Snow White, Jessica Biel as Pocahontas, Whoopi Goldberg as the genie from Aladdin, and Julie Andrews as the Blue Fairy from Pinocchio, among others.

And finally, today marks the 16th birthday of one of my favorite attractions, Indiana Jones Adventure: Temple of the Forbidden Eye. In celebration, the Disney Parks blog posted a video of opening ceremonies for the attraction here.

My last ride on Indiana Jones involved a near-mob experience; the ride had shut down, but people remained gathered at the entrance waiting for a sign from the cast members that things were back on track. There was a lot of pushing and shoving as everyone wanted to be the first to queue up once it re-opened. It was kind of scary, but that’s how amazing the Indiana Jones Adventure is: people are willing to stampede for a ride.

So, lots going on in the Magic Kingdom. 2011-12 is going to be an amazing time for Disneyland and DCA. I can’t wait to see all of these changes and new additions in person.


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