Things are starting to revert to normal here in SoCal. Both Star Tours and The Little Mermaid have opened with positive word of mouth, and average 90 minute wait times. Meanwhile, massive transformation presses on in DCA and a few summer attractions still await opening. Over at Knott's Berry Farm, we check on Windseeker and hear about a contest to be among the first to ride. We also swing by Magic Mountain for a look-see at the progress of DC Universe. AND, we have a DELICIOUS contest for you today as well (you'll need to read most of the way through the update to find it). All this plus a first look at SeaWorld's new summer attraction and a Universal Studios update!!! Lots of fun stuff, let's get to it . . .



Disneyland has entered its first full week of operation with both the new Star Tours and Soundsational parade. Meanwhile, refurbishment has touched other parts of the park as well.

Still the charm of this park shines through.


The Town Square flowerbed has been planted with Celosia and Sweet Alyssum.

The bright red plumage and leaves are stunning


Wait times were reasonable this week as Star Tours takes a bit of pressure off of the other attractions.



The ducks are visiting the park with their adolescent kids.


THE GOLDEN HORSESHOE:


BIG THUNDER:
Now that Star Tours is open, Big Thunder Railroad has gone down for a planned two-week refurbishment. All the trains appear to be in the maintenance bay or the station and the sound of workers can be heard echoing from inside the ride.






The Rancho Del Zocalo patio has been partially screened off to block views during the refurb of Thunder.




Goat trick is on hold for now kid!


TOMORROWLAND:
The shiny new version of Star Tours is open and welcoming guests to travel all over the galaxy. Waits have been averaging 90 minutes during the week days. If you want a Fast Pass for Star Tours we advise getting there at opening as all of the Fast Passes have been running out by 11 am.



ROCKET REFURB:
The Coca-Cola rocket in front of Redd Rockett's Pizza has gone under the tarps for touch up.







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Now that the Little Mermaid is open we shift focus to track the other projects still in the works. We feel like proud parents who are watching their baby walk for the first time. Over the years, we've taken over ten thousand photos of Little Mermaid construction (more than that if you count all the ones that weren't quite right and had to be deleted). Life under the sea is better than anything we've had up here.

BUENA VISTA STREET:
The Pan-Pacific entry gates are now awaiting light fixtures and signage and is otherwise nearly ready for prime time.







The Carthay Circle Theater and restaurant has seemed to slow down a bit, although progress can still be noticed. Looking at the bottom right of this first picture, behind the yellow earth mover, you can see an area where they will be building a fountain at the center of the new Buena Vista Street.






The Red Car trolley forced some changes to the entry of Hollywood Land a while back, now there are some customized work walls at the base of the entrance pillars.






The red car tracks now stretch toward the center of
Buena Vista Street behind the blue work walls.


The structure being built at the side of the parade route and just behind Grizzly Peak marks the end of the new Buena Vista Street.



Passage to Bug's Land and Cars Land.


CARS LAND:
Speaking of Cars Land, we have new detail shots of Luigi's and the progressing rock work along the berm.











Luigi's is rolling along.



Nice touch having tire tread patterned accents.





The rock-workers look like tiny little ants.



Mater's Junkyard Jamboree.




Just outside construction, this new version of Operation is available. Complete with pit timer.


THE LITTLE MERMAID:
Well, the Little Mermaid has opened its doors and the reception has gone swimmingly. Yes, it has some issues, but overall this is a wonderful addition to the park. Lines have been averaging 90 minutes and it is a normal sight to see the queue stretching out into Paradise Park across the way.





The extended queue area across from the San Francisco street restrooms are now being used for stroller parking.


GOOFY'S SKY SCHOOL:
We have been able to see more of Goofy's Sky School as the walls around the queue and entrance have been removed. In contrast to the riotous color combinations of Mullholland Madness, the new Sky School look has bright, primary colors that evoke the Disney cartoons of the 40's and 50's. The loose story is that Goofy has chickens he is trying to teach to fly. The extended queue stretches out into a shady chicken yard and then up to the control tower for take off. It's still a wild mouse coaster, but it blends with the more refined themes that are now being applied to the park.








Fast Pass Chicken


The extended queue.





The station


Fun artwork at boarding.




The ride is scheduled to open July 1st, but we wouldn't be surprised to see it open sooner.

PARADISE PIER RESTAURANTS:
Let's take our weekly look at the new dining area, also set to open July 1st.


Beer Hut is coming along.








The Paradise Garden Grill.



Boardwalk Pizza and Pasta.


Just look at those lovely windows. Hard to believe this was once Pizza Oom Mow Mow!


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Here we are just weeks away from the opening of Knott's newest thrill ride, Windseeker. Along with that, we have Snoopy's Starlight Spectacular, the upcoming Ice Show, and All Wheels Extreme Show, opening on the 18th.

WINDSEEKER:

Knott's has announced a contest on Youtube. If you would like to be featured on their YouTube channel and possibly chosen to be one of the first Windseeker riders . . . watch the video below! Pretty cool!


And here is the progress of the ride from the ground.




The ride is nearly at full height now.







Jaguar is unphased by Mr. Crane
.




The canopy for the queue is being built now



MAN that's tall. I get weak in the knees just looking up, imagine how I'll feel when I'm looking down from that height? What about you? Do you think you can brave this high flying thrill ride?



ALL WHEELS EXTREME SHOW:
All Wheels Extreme will be here on June 18th. Those look like stunt bike and skateboard ramps to us. Looking forward to every bone breaking minute of it.





GHOSTRIDER:
Ghostrider is down for the usual refurbishment. It is planned to be back up shortly.






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Simply answer the question below by following the link to the Muzeo website. Post your answer in your comment to this blog. All correct answers will be entered into a drawing and the winner will be selected from that group at random.

Q: What ancient civilization FIRST used cacao seeds in royal and religious ceremonies?




GapToothed takes us on a first look at SeaWorld's new summer attraction.

TURTLE REEF:
Turtle Reef is now in "Preview" mode. Do you remember that this used to be the original Shark Encounter?!




Hope these little guys survive the year!






This is a big guy! More turtles and fish will be added by the 18th. The interactive exhibits will be open by then as well!


It's a shame that this magnificent view is spoiled by the stroller parking and ride queue. A couple of benches above the rip-rap would have been a relaxing place to get away from it all!




The ride is open daily.



REFURB:
The California Sea Otter exhibit is closed for a brief rehab. It should return next week.




MANTA:
Here is the progress from the Manta site.


Themed signage has appeared for Manta.




Looks like they did tear-up all the concrete after all.




The view from the Living Quarters of Shipwreck Reef Cafe:




F!an reports in from Universal Studios Hollywood.

INFUSION LOUNGE:
Construction has shifted into high gear to finish the Infusion Lounge. The CityWalk website now lists the Infusion Lounge as opening "Summer 2011" although the Infusion Lounge's online event schedule list four preview days as June 17, 18, 24 and 25. For more information about the club, the preview events, and the to be added to the guest list, visit http://la.infusionlounge.com/.


The entrance to the club


The marque will be embedded in the ivy and a dragon will sit on the balcony.

CityWalk entrance portals:
The new portals onto CityWalk from the Curious George and Jurassic Parking structures are almost complete. The Curious George portal is further along than the Jurassic Parking portal.

The portals feature a metal roof and walls with thousands of tiny holes in them. When illuminated by the built-in lighting, the holes transform into pictures depicting scenes related to the structure the portal is connected to.









Cinema Plaza:
The Cinema building has received a new coat of burgundy paint in conjunction with the Plaza face lift. Brackets have been installed on both sides of the building. Concept art shows lights strung across the entrance.







The CityWalk Stage is nearing completion. Recently the foundation was poured.


A brief update from Six Flags Magic Mountain today from our very own superhero, Sir Clinksalot.



DC UNIVERSE:
DC Universe is inching closer and closer to completion but the opening date for Green Lantern recently got pushed back to July 1st.




Wonder Woman is now on the facade of her "Golden Lasso" attraction



The Flash is also looking bright and colorful, there will be a Flash character for the facade of this ride as well





The Roasted Corn stand is getting some work, due to it's prime location now, not sure if this stand will remain Roasted Corn when the area reopens



Green Lantern awaits!


AROUND THE PARK:
"Scream if you know the Answer", a popular game show in the UK is coming to Magic Mountain. It's basically a trivia game done while riding roller coasters.

Bert the Conqueror will be hosting the show, and they will be doing some filming at Magic Mountain over the next few weeks. The Whistlestop Depot shop has become the temporary production offices for the show
.



While waiting for X2 we noticed one of the old Superman cars sitting out. Wonder if there are any plans for it, it would be a great theme element for the park.



Did you spot our sweet contest? Check out the new MiceTube? Signed up for MiceDeals? We hope you enjoyed today's update and would love to hear your comments.

Today's update was brought to you by the following members of our fantastic and talented crew of photographers and news contributors: Sir Clinksalot, F!an, GapToothed, Captphoebus, Ericbramey, Fishbulb and Dustysage.




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Would you like to be part of this crew? Do you have a park, zoo or botanical garden that you'd like to share with our readers? We are looking for Southern California theme park reporters. We'd love to hear from you! please contact dustysage@micechat.com.

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