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Tag Archives: Renovation

April 14

April 14, 1984 – The Alice in Wonderland Attraction in Disneyland Reopens

“Don’t be late, your adventure awaits.”

On April 14, 1984, the Disneyland dark ride attraction reopened after being closed for renovations for almost two years. The attraction, originally opening on June 14, 1958, featured cut-out figures of the classic characters, which were beginning to show serious wear by the 1980s. It was decided that the ride was due for a major overhaul, and when it reopened in 1984, the cut-outs were replaced by three-dimensional figures, along with new, state-of-the-art (at the time) lighting and special effects. Kathryn Beaumont, the voice of Alice from the animated feature, was brought back to record new lines for the ride’s narration.

April 10

April 10, 2003 – Disneyland’s Space Mountain Attraction Closes for Refurbishment

“Journey throughout the cosmos to the furthest reaches of the galaxy and back!”

On April 10, 2003, the Disneyland version of the popular thrill ride attraction Space Mountain closed for refurbishments. The attraction, along with most of Tomorrowland, had been repainted in 1998 to a new color scheme that included metal tones; the 2003 refurbishment was necessary to return Space Mountain’s exterior to its original white color, as well as to update some of the ride mechanics inside. The attraction was closed for a little over two years during this rebuild, opening once again on July 16, 2005.

April 9

April 9, 2005 – The Thrill Attraction Space Mountain: Mission 2 Opens in Disneyland Paris

On April 9, 2005, the thrill ride attraction Space Mountain: Mission Open officially opened in Disneyland Paris. The attraction originally opened as Space Mountain: De la Terre a la Lune on June 1, 1995, but was closed for a carefully timed refurbishment to coincide with the attraction’s tenth anniversary. It is the fourth version of the popular Space Mountain attraction, which had opened in Walt Disney World in 1975. The Disneyland Paris attraction has since been closed for another refurbishment giving it a new Star Wars theme, which is planned to open in May, 2017.

October 29

October 29, 1998 – Disney and Chevron Announce Partnership for Autopia Attraction


“Autopia is a simple and magical experience that allows both children and adults to get behind the wheel of a car, some of them for the very first time, and go for a cruise along the highways of Tomorrowland.” – Disneyland President Paul Pressler

On October 29, 1998, the Disneyland Resort and Chevron announced a 13-year partnership, with Chevron sponsoring the park’s Autopia attraction. As part of the agreement, Chevron was to update and improve the original attraction; they announced tentative plans at the announcement of pre-show entertainment area, combination of the Tomorrowland and Fantasyland Autopia roadways, and new designs for the cars. Chevron would work with Disneyland Imagineers to give the ride a 21st century loo to it, taking cues from Tomorrowland for its sleek new design. Autopia originally opened on July 17, 1955, with Richfield sponsoring it from opening to 1970. Chevron’s sponsorship lasted until 2012; Honda would take over sponsorship in 2016.

October 22

October 22, 1997 – The Orlando Sentinel Publishes Updates for Walt Disney World


“It may be goodbye to Mr. Toad and hello to Winnie the Pooh and Buzz Lightyear at the Magic Kingdom.”

On October 22, 1997, the Orlando Sentinel published an article that announced several changes that would be coming to the Magic Kingdom Park in Walt Disney World at the end of the 25th anniversary celebrations. Among those listed was the breaking announcement of the likely plan to close the attraction Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride, potentially replacing it with a Winnie the Pooh-themed attraction. This would prove true, and Mr. Toad was closed on September 7, 1998, replaced with The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh. Other plans announced were the closing of Take Flight, which was to be replaced with Buzz Lightyears Space Ranger Spin, and the return of The Enchanted Tiki Room – Under New Management.

October 17

October 17, 2007 – Disney Announces Overhaul of Disney’s California Adventure Park


“They’re trying to give it some heart…right now, you go through California Adventure once, and that’s about it.”

On October 17, 2007, The Walt Disney Company announced plans to overhaul its California Adventure Park in Anaheim, California. The park, barely six years old at the time of the announcement, was considered a disappointment from financial and anticipation standpoints, with crowd numbers well below expected. Attempts had already been added to make the park more of a draw, including the addition of the popular Twilight Zone Tower of Terror, but the park still faced a host of criticisms. The overhaul, which would include elements of classic Hollywood, as well as a section dedicated to popular Pixar characters, was estimated to cost 1.1 billion, almost the same amount as it cost to build the park in the first place.

May 21

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May 21, 1998 – The New Tomorrowland Opens in Disneyland for the Media


“It turns out the new Disney vision has been framed less by NASA and Caltech than by famous visionaries of the past.”

On May 21, 1998, the media day for the newly resigned Tomorrowland was held, with the new area open to the public the following day. The park underwent an extensive redesign that took almost two years and over $100 million, complete with a new symbol for the area itself: the flagship attraction Rocket Rods. Changes were also made to the landscaping, with the addition of crops grown within the park, including artichokes, coffee plants, and orange trees. Several attractions were moved to other parts of the park or discontinued altogether. The most startling change, however, was the new color scheme for the area, which was a new metallic blend.

April 9

April 9, 2002 – The El Capitan Entertainment Centre is Declared a Historical Monument


“We are so proud to be a part of Hollywood history and to be playing a continuing role in the revitalization of this historic area of Los Angeles.” – Lylle Breier, Senior VP Worldwide Special Events for Buena Vista Pictures Distribution

On April 9, 2002, the newly resorted El Capitan Entertainment Centre was opened and was named a Historic Hollywood Landmark by the city of Los Angeles. Originally built in 1921 as the Hollywood Masonic Temple, the temple was sold by the Masons in 1982 after years of dwindling membership. In 1998, the Walt Disney Company became the owner of the property, solely for the purposes of Buena Vista Pictures Distribution. Disney gave the building an extensive overhaul, restoring some of the buildings’ original features that had been taken out since the sale of the building in the 1980s. Disney has since used the El Capitan Theater for its studios’ film premieres, particularly for Pixar and Disney Animation releases.

March 21

March 21, 1997 – The Disneyland Restaurant Carnation Café Opens


“Dine on classic American comfort food, including some of Walt’s favorite dishes, at this Main Street, U.S.A. institution.”

On March 21, 1997, the Disneyland patio restaurant Carnation Café opened on Main Street. Along with the rest of the street, Carnation Café is designed to have a feel of the turn-of-the-century, and provides standard American dishes for consumption. Carnation Café offers breakfast, lunch, and dinner, with highlights of the menu including Walt’s homemade meatloaf, parmesan and panko coated fried pickles, and Chef Oscar’s choice breakfast: two eggs, potatoes, a biscuit, and a choice of bacon or sausage. On June 13, 2012, the café was expanded into the area previously occupied by the Blue Ribbon Bakery, giving the café a new dining room; the menu was revamped to match the changes of the restaurant.