We continue our look back in the Disneyland Resort 2012 Year in Review Part 2!
In Part 1 we took a look back at the 24 hour One More Disney Day event, the major refurbishments on Main Street USA and the addition of the Jolly Holiday Bakery. We looked at the Matterhorn refurbishment, the Tinker Bell Half Marathon, ElecTRONica and the Mad T Party. The final farewell to the Carnation Plaza Gardens, and the final months of the Buena Vista Street and Cars Land construction. If you haven’t seen the Disneyland Resort 2012 Year in Review, Part 1 yet, go check it out!
In Part 2 we are going to look at the massive re-launch of Disney California Adventure with the opening of Cars Land and Buena Vista Street. We’ll take a look at the return of the Pixar Play Parade, the opening of Ghirardelli’s, the fly over of Space Shuttle Endeavour and the 2012 Holiday Season.
But first a word from Touring Plans on this week’s Disneyland crowd predictions:
Happy New Year! Expect heavy crowds during the first couple weeks of 2013. TouringPlans.com can help you navigate the parks with our per-park Crowd Calendar, Lines – Mobile Wait Times App that gives access to current and estimated wait times for attractions, and Touring Plans detailing the best plan of attack for hitting the attractions. Now more than ever, it’s a good time to subscribe to TouringPlans.com to plan your strategy to avoid the crowds!
Below are the predicted resort-wide crowd numbers for select days generated by the TouringPlans professional statisticians as measured for the upcoming week. For the access to the full year and per-park crowd level predictions, visit our Crowd Calendar.
Resort Crowd Prediction
|Tuesday, January 1, 2013||
9 out of 10
|Wednesday, January 2, 2013||
10 out of 10
|Thursday, January 3, 2013||
8 out of 10
|Friday, January 4, 2013||
8 out of 10
Here are some quick-hit notes that we hope you’ll find helpful as you prepare your visits for the week:
- DCA is the best park to visit on Thursday of Friday of this week.
- Annual Pass blackouts are in effect for SL and SC APs until Sunday.
- Disneyland Resort holiday decorations will be removed after January 6, 2013.
- Fastpass tickets for Radiator Springs Racers usually “sell out” within the first hour of DCA’s regular park hours.
The Cutest Little Town in Carburetor County
Both Buena Vista Street and Cars Land opened on June 15, 2012 to thousands of eager Disneyland fans who wondered if this was what was needed to save this struggling park.
Both Cars Land and Buena Vista Street opened for an annual passholder preview a week prior to the grand opening.
Below you can see annual passholders in Cars Land, behind the shrubs.
Radiator Springs Racers, the mega E-Ticket attraction for Cars Land, shows a 120 minute wait time a few days after the official grand opening. This is actually an average wait time, and quite a bit lower than the 240 which was seen over the 2012 Holiday season.
Luigi’s Flying Tires is an attraction based off of the former Tomorrowland Flying Saucers attraction.
The Tomorrowland version never worked quite well and was removed in the 1960′s. The 2012 Cars Land version uses the same principle of lifting guests on tires under a cushion of air.
From June through August 2012 the attraction featured the use of giant beach balls, giving guests an extra activity, other than just making their tire float into each others. They were removed in August amidst ’safety concerns’ and complaints from guests who didn’t enjoy getting hit with giant beach balls.
In August 2012 the beach balls were removed from Luigi’s Flying Tires.
Cars Land on opening day, June 15, 2012
At night, Cars Land is lit up with beautiful neon.
A Street with a View
Every guest entering the new Disney California Adventure park through the main entrance is now greeted by a 1920′s re-creation of the Los Angeles that greeted Walt Disney.
Complete with a Red Trolley street car system, Buena Vista Street contains a classic style department store, a candy shop and the first cafe to serve a full Starbucks menu inside of a Disney theme park.
The new park icon, the Carthay Circle Theatre is a recreation of the theater where Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs debuted in 1937. The building contains a high end restaurant, lounge and a private club.
The “Citizens of Buena Vista Street” add character to the atmosphere.
“Donna the Dog Lady”
“Molly the Messenger”
Buena Vista Street also contains two street shows
“Five and Dime”
And “The Red Car News Boys”
Buena Vista Street saw its first holiday overlay for Independence Day.
The park’s new Walt statue, “Storytellers” sits at ground level across from Carthay Circle and features a young Walt Disney and Mickey Mouse, just as they arrive in Los Angeles.
Pixar Play Parade
The Pixar Play Parade returned this past summer. The parade was placed on hiatus when the Buena Vista Street construction kicked into high gear in 2011.
The Pixar Play Parade now runs on the longest parade route in all of the Disney theme parks.
Ghirardelli Soda Fountain and Chocolate Shop
Just prior to the June re-launch of Disney California Adventure, the Ghirardelli Soda Fountain and Chocolate Shop open up in the former Mission Tortilla Factory.
The Art of Frankenweenie
Just prior to the theatrical release of Tim Burton’s Frankenweenie, the traveling “Art of Frankenweenie” exhibit was placed on display in the Animation Building in Disney California Adventure. Along with the exhibit, guests were also given the opportunity to view a 4D sneak peek of the film.
Flyover the the Space Shuttle Endeavour
The Space Shuttle Endeavour, on the back of the NASA 747 seen in the photos below, was flown over the Disneyland Resort in September. Endeavour, now retired, was on its way to LAX and the California Science Center to be put on permanent display.
With Buena Vista Street and Cars Land open for their frist Holiday Season, the Disneyland Resort went all out decorating both areas with theme specific holiday decor.
Buena Vista Street was decked out with 1930′s style garland and lights. Carthay Circle featured a Christmas Tree and Santa greeted guests in the neighboring department store, Elias and Company.
The Buena Vista Street Community Bell Ringers sang Christmas Carols to holiday shoppers and passers by.
Guests were greeted a “Season’s Speedings” in Cars Land as Radiator Springs welcomed holiday guests with Route 66 road side decor.
Disney Parks Christmas Day Parade Filming
The 2012 Disney Parks Christmas Day Parade was filmed at Disneyland in early November. Guests lined Main Street USA in their holiday best for a chance to be included in the parade taping.
This year Mario Lopez hosted the Disneyland segments which aired on Christmas morning.
Candlelight Ceremony and Processional
Disneyland held a record 20 nights of Candlelight Ceremonies in 2012 and, for the first time, opened up all of the seating to an Annual Passholder drawing.
We hope that you enjoyed this Disneyland 2012 Year in Review and we hope you too have a great New Year!