Monday, December 31, 2012

Best Disney of 2012

Best Disney of 2012

Here is the good of Disney during the past year. Cars Land and Buena Vista Street opened at Disney California. Before Cars Land and BVS many other things changed at DCA over the past five years. Arial’s Undersea Adventure was added before Cars Land and the three new rides there. Other rides were rethemed with more of a Disney feel/experience. One ride, The Maliboomer was removed and nothing was put in its place except for some trees in pots.

The Matterhorn underwent a long and major refurbishment at Disneyland. This was the first time since the Matterhorn opened in 1959 that the full mountain was covered with scaffolding. New tracks and bobsleds were installed as well as the entire mountain getting painted outside and in.

Main Street underwent a major refurbishment as well. Added to the enjoyment of Main Street is the Jolly Holiday Bakery. Good food and reasonably priced. While the Carnation Plaza was close it was uncertain for a time if the head chief, Oscar would stay working at the park or retire after 55 years working at Carnation Plaza.

Oscar decided to stay! For a time, at the beginning of the year he would be found at the newly opened Jolly Holiday Bakery. When Carnation Plaza reopened he returned to his ‘home’ and can still be found there talking to guests. You can always stop by and say Hi. Just walk up and ask for Oscar!
Talking Mickey and Minnie came to the parks! They are at DCA in shows more than DL. New shows popped up at DCA using Talking Mickey, Minnie and even Goofy. The shows are Minnie’s Fly Girls, Red Car Trolley News Boys, Five and Dime and Instant Concert Just Add Water.

Other entertainment was added at DCA. A new bandstand was put in Paradise Gardens and bands play there most days, every day during the summer. Each day brings a different ethnic/era style of music. There is the Ellis Island Boys and their 1920-30s jazz, Sligo Rags plays Celtic/Irish music and there is Rumba as well. These bands are not on the schedule and you will need to go back to the area to find out who is playing or friend Ellis Island Boys and Sligo Rags on Facebook to find out when they are playing.

Pin Sharks got caged, at least it was made harder for them to get more than the allowed limit of pins! The frustration of getting one of the prized pins is not as bad.
Candlelight was extended from the original two days/four shows total to 20 nights for a total of 40 performances! Added to this joyful situation the fact that DLR Annual Passholders were given the opportunity to put their names into a drawing for tickets to see the show and it was true MAGIC! Yes I was happy to win 4 tickets to one show!

Changes have been made to tours! The new Walk in Walt’s Footsteps Tour now takes you into Walt’s Main Street Apartment! There is also a tour that explores the plants around the parks. I've yet to do either but they are on my list for 2013 & 14.
The Magic Kingdom at WDW has added a ‘New Fantasyland’ with 2 more castles and many more rides. Old rides were revamped and even Dumbo got a makeover with a double Dumbo and Circus Tent waiting area with pagers that tell you when it is your turn to ride.

Disney Cruise Line had many exciting changes this year! First was the addition of the 4th ship in the fleet, The Disney Fantasy! Fantasy joined her sister ship, the Dream in Port Canaveral, Florida. The Disney Wonder had been doing Mexican Riviera in 2011 but limited the trips to Mexico in 2012 and instead did a Pacific Coast Cruise. This was a good and bad move. Good because the areas in Mexico where the cruise went were getting progressively more violent and it was not same to take your family there, IMHO. Bad because the choices of ports for the Pacific Coast Cruise could have been better. Also the Magic, the original Disney Ship started going out of New York and Galveston, Tx. At the end of 2012 the Wonder went back to Florida and plans are for it to sale out of Miami, Florida and also to go to Alaska for part of the year. One of the ships will be returning to Europe during 2013.
I’m sure I’ve not covered even half of the changes made. Many more changes are coming, some I feel are very good and some I question the wisdom of.
Tomorrow I’ll tell you of some of negative things of 2012.

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