Disneyland, Disney California Adventure, Knott's Berry Farm, The Country Fair and changes at Disneyland Hotel are the highlights of our blog this week as we head into the very busy Easter weekend. We'll also help you hop to some of the best ways to spend the holiday. Let's take a 'peep' at what's new at our favorite Southern California theme parks and attractions.

Inside the park the flowers are bursting as spring has clearly sprung.

You really can't take a bad picture here.


With the construction scaffolds down, the blue and silver hues of the revamped Star Tours II / Star Tours: The Adventures Continue / Star Tours 3D, are in full view.


The Disney Parks Blog announced last week that the renovated Star Trader will open on Saturday, May 4th. A few of the windows have received their dressing and everything looks pretty familiar.

Blue and gray.

A redressed window looking very much like it did before.

The good, the bad and the fuzzy.

A taste of the darkside

Imperial Vinylmation
? What could be more futuristic?


Workers take a walk down the drop.



Last week the Legoland Aquarium next to Legoland California celebrated the opening of Octopus Garden by giving away one set of four tickets to a lucky MiceChatter. Those who entered had to answer the following question to qualify, and the winner was chosen randomly from the correct entries.

The question was...
What are the three listed abilities that cephalopods have (according to the LEGOLAND Aquarium site)

A: camouflage, ink clouds and jet propulsion

And the Winner of the tickets to the Legoland Sea Life Aquarium is...

Congratulations to LittleSquirt and a big thank you to all who entered. Keep your eyes open for more fun prizes and opportunities from MiceChat and In The Parks. Now let's see what's new at another California attraction.


The Pan Pacific entrance at the front of the park is really starting to take on a recognizable shape. The clean, sweeping curves of the 1920's inspired entrance are exposed further as the scaffolds came down around the four spires.

Work on the Redcar Trolley has now begun at the entrance of the future Hollywood Land. The middle of the road is walled off but visitors can still access Hollywood Pictures Backlot through this route.

The Carthay Circle Theater has topped out and the smaller bits of framework will now be installed.

THE LITTLE MERMAID: Ariel's Undersea Adventure

Al Lutz reported earlier this week that the ride passed a major inspection, in which the ride operated for 72 hours straight in order to see how it held up under long periods of operation. The landscaping on the outside queue is being readied and the marquee for the attraction should be up in a mater of days.

The left side of the building. Notice the detailed wavy railing.

The trees in front of the building will provide lots of much needed shade

Another view of the left side of the building.


Paradise Pier's new eating area is coming along at a more rapid pace as work crews attempt to make up for lost time due to heavy spring rains. It was announced that the area will be ready on June 3rd after all, along with Goofy's Sky school and The Little Mermaid. Although the projects were running behind, Disney is sparing no expense in making sure they meet the opening date. We wish them well, they have their work cut out for them.

Seaside Souvenirs is finally being rethemed.

Boardwalk Pizza and Pasta.

Notice the layers of detail going in.

The carpenters get their turn.

Yep, much better than a space burger.

The awning along the parade route now has a roof.

The refreshment stand near the swings and Jellyfish. Beer and spinning rides are an old amusement park standard. Read this week's SAMLAND to see what Walt would have thought about both.
Very interesting stuff.


Initially behind schedule due to bigger priorities, Goofy's Sky School mad mouse coaster seems to be catching up and Disney has announced that it will open with the restaurants and The Little Mermaid. Testing of the ride vehicles took place last night.

Anyone else wish that they had fully or partially enclosed this ride. So much more they could have done with it as a dark-ride coaster.


Here is our weekly look at Cars Land progress. Mater's Junkyard Jamboree is moving along, while the tires on Luigi's are now noticeable. Again folks, this isn't supposed to open for another year. Seems like they are making great progress.

Notice the tires on Luigi's in the background?

The Butte and workers on the wall.

The Range.

The Pacific Wharf entrance to Carsland.

You can see installation happening in the pit for the Junkyard Jamboree.

Disneyland Hotel's makeover is coming along quickly as well. Love it or hate it, the waterfalls are gone, leveled, and being transformed into open space. On the upside, the Tiki themed restaurant is looking promising and we are really looking forward to trying it out. And then there are the Monorail slides (we are too confounded to speak, we'll let you decide for yourselves). Here is a look at the . . . umm .. . progress . . .

The Magic Tower being renovated.

The metal tower of the Monoslides and a stacked stone bridge.

Tangaroa Terrace

Flatness where the waterfalls and Fantasy Waters were.

The roof has been under renovation above Goofy's Kitchen for months.

Knott's all Country Faired out. Hurry, it ends this weekend!

For $40 you too can skip the lines.


The Country Fair will be over after this weekend. We were desperate to see the little piggies, so we stopped by this week. We did it for you (sure, that's the reason, we did it for our dear readers).

The Windseeker billboard at the front of the park (which was only up for a week or two) has already been changed out for a new Country Fair sign.

Spring Craft Fair is in the air at Ghost Town all this month!

Flowers adorn nearly everything, including the entrance to the Log Ride.

Prepare for crowds!

Fun and games.

Fair food

Actual operating antique farm equipment.


In the Wilderness Dance Hall there are HO Scale Model railroads set up with a large display, while on the main stage seminars are given by chef Debbi Dubbs on how to grow, store and eat foods grown in your own garden.

I miss Mott's Miniatures.

Pig Races:

Of course, one of the most adorable things at the fair is the Pig Races. Pick your favorite porker and cheer them on to victory in this fun little show.

And they're off

Snookie takes an early lead. Go baby go!

Paris wipes out

And it's Lindsey by a snout
(All pig names were for entertainment purposes only. Any similarity to persons either living or dead was purely coincidental)

For a full listing of what is offered, along with dates and show times for this weekend, visit Knott's website here.


Lastly we check up on Windseeker. With just about two months to the projected opening date, the foundation is pretty much finished and ready to go. Now the actual structure will be installed and reach over 300 feet in height.

It's no real shock that we are fans of waterfalls and great theme. So when we heard that one of Knott's signature water rides lost a few key features, we decided to do a little research. Attractions change. Things evolve. We get that. But Knott's has gone too far this time.

The name of the ride is Bigfoot rapids. There should be
a Bigfoot, there should be rapids. And there were . . .

The ride even opened with this warning posted as guests enter.

The ride still delivers on the rapids.

We even get a few random geysers.

But the waterfall features have both been shut off.
. . and not just for winter.

No ending wall of water to douse the riders.

WOW! I think I see the remains of a single foot print.

This is a sad turn of events for a ride that is widely accepted as one of the better rapid attractions. We can understand waterfalls being off in the cooler months of the year, but what they has succeeded in doing is neutering a otherwise great attraction.

What would it take to convince Knott's to return these waterfalls? And might we suggest that they simply install free 90 minute lockers outside of the attraction and require that anything of value be locked up the way Universal Studios Orlando handles this situation!!! If someone is stupid enough to take their camera on a raft ride, they deserve for it to be destroyed. BRING BACK BIGFOOT AND THE WATERFALLS!!!

Ok, we are done with our rant. Now some more good stuff . . .

Knott's Easter Champagne Brunch & Easter Banquet-In -A-Box
This tradition is just too delicious to pass up. The brunch features an expanded menu and unlimited champagne. Adults are $27.95 and seniors $22.95 and juniors (3-11) $18.95. Children 2 years old and under are always FREE! Pre-order your Easter Banquet in a box now! For only $79.95 you can take home and enjoy your very own savory Easter meal!

26th Annual Fabulous Fords Forever Car Show

Offers Sizzling Hot Savings
Click here for tickets.

Upper Lot:
Production Central, replacing Comic Heroes, is now open. The outside is lacking but the inside is great. Along with exclusive Stage 28 merchandise, Production Central offers collectors one-of-a-kind movie props from Universal Studios movies. Display cases around the store hold items such as a rock punch card from The Flintstones, a Dwerger mask from Van Helsing, and Captain Hook's back up sword hand guard from Hook as well as individual film cells from various films.

Studio Tour:
Beautiful view of the San Fernando Valley and the neighbor studios from the tram loading area.

Metro Sets:

This building had a car thrown through it in Spiderman 2

Progress of work being done near tram unload.


Hoppy Easter. Here's some fun things to do with the family this weekend.

FYI, as of the writing, The Glory of Easter WILL NOT be performed at the Crystal Cathedral this year.

Bunny's Spring Fling at the LA Zoo & Botanical Gardens
Easter Weekend, Fri-Sun 10 am - 4 pm
The LA Zoo, 5333 Zoo Drive, Los Angeles, CA, in Griffith Park, off the I-5 and 134 Freeways
Kids can make bunny ears, pet bunnies and have their photo taken (for a fee) with Big Bunny and other cartoon characters at this three-day event at the LA Zoo. There will be crafts, face painting, music and more.

Easter Festival at the Orange County Marketplace
Saturday before Easter, 10 am-2:30 pm
Orange County Market Place, 88 Fair Dr., Costa Mesa, CA
A treasure hunt, a puppet show, free face painting and free photos at this annual event. www.ocmarketplace.com, (949) 723-6616

Beatrix Potter In The Garden: An Easter Celebration at The LA County Arboretum & Botanic Garden
LA County Arboretum, 310 N. Baldwin Ave., Arcadia, CA 91007
Saturday of the weekend before Easter, 10 am - 2 pm, Arboretum hours 9 am - 5 pm
Beatrix Potter themed activities for children of all ages include crafts, games, stories and photo opportunities. Easter baskets are provided for every paid child; no outside baskets will be allowed. www.arboretum.org, (626) 821-5897

Easter Sunday Brunch
Sunday, April 24, 10:30 am - 1 pm

Aquarium of the Pacific - 100 Aquarium Way, Long Beach Admission: $38
Join the Aquarium of the Pacific for a buffet-style Easter Brunch on the front lawn of the Aquarium. The kids can enjoy decorating their own Easter cookies. High chairs are based on availability. Pricing includes Aquarium admission.

Long Beach Comic Con
Saturday, April 23, 10:00 am - 6:00 pm
Long Beach Convention Center - 300 E Ocean Blvd, Long Beach
Only $15 admission and kids 10 and under are FREE

Sound of Music Sing-A-Long
Sunday, April 24, 1:15 pm
Art Theatre of Long Beach - 2025 E 4th Street, Long Beach
You can't go wrong with a Sound of Music Sing-A-Long folks. Dress up as your favorite Von Trapp or Nazi and sing, sing, sing.

Earth Day Celebrations
Saturday April 23, 10:00 am - 3:30 pm
Ocean Institute, 24200 Dana Point Harbor Dr, Dana Point
Price: $6.50 adults, $4.50 children
There will also be fun eco-friendly crafts and many more exciting hands on activities for you to explore throughout the day. If you really want to get involved, volunteer for the beach clean-up and get free admission that day!

Wilshire Center Earth Day Event

Newport Beach Film Festival
Thursday, April 28 - Thursday, May 5
Theaters throughout Newport Beach
Single tickets start at $12
Set in beautiful Newport Beach, a few blocks away from spectacular coastline and less than an hour from Hollywood, the Festival annually host several premieres and galas for a singular festival experience.

Easter Sunday, 5:30 to 7 am, gates open at 3:30 am
The Hollywood Bowl, 2301 N. Highland Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90068
Non-denominational Easter service with multi-denominational clergy and a 240 voice choir, 250 children in the Living Cross and Children's Choirs in nature's cathedral, decorated with thousands of Easter Lilies and ending with the mass release of the White Birds of Peace.

Earth Day is almost here so head out to National Park Week for free April 16-24, 2011!
The fine print: *Fee waiver includes: entrance fees, commercial tour fees and transportation entrance fees. Other fees such as reservation, camping, tours, concession and fees collected by third parties are not included unless stated otherwise.Some parks in California that you can get into for free:

Cabrillo National Monument
Death Valley National Park
John Muir National Historic Site
Joshua Tree National Park
Lassen Volcanic National Park
Lava Beds National Monument
Muir Woods National Monument
Pinnacles National Monument
San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park
Sequoia National Park
Whiskeytown Unit National Recreation Area
Yosemite National Park

Ticket sales will end this weekend!

The Gumball Rally is a contest designed to find out who can ride the most attractions at the Disneyland Resort in a single day! Sound fun? You bet it is! Bring your friends and join us:
When: May 14st, 2011
: Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, California

COST: $25 per person
How Do I sign up?:MiceChat Events Store (Powered by CubeCart)
How Does the Rally Work?: Rally Information Page
Our event is just about full and we will discontinue ticket sales this weekend! Don't delay. If you've been wanting to play, sign up now!

Why stop here? There's a whole world of Disney and theme park fun left to discover on MiceChat. Might we suggest:
  • NEW! - Orlando Parkhopper - Visit our newest weekly column, which covers Walt Disney World and other top Orlando attractions!
  • SAMLAND - Your weekly look at some interesting tales from Disney history.
  • Weekend Update Offers a world of Disney theme parks as well as other sights and landmarks!
  • Dateline Disneyland which is packed with great news and photos from the Disneyland Resort.
  • And you'll always find something interesting on the forums and on MiceAge.
Today's update was brought to you by our fantastic and talented crew of photographers and news contributors: Donald Fan, F!an, Captphoebus, Pratt55, Ericbramey, Sir Clinksalot, Fishbulb, and Dustysage.

Show us you appreciate this column by sharing this page with your friends!

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![SIZE=3] please contact dustysage@micechat.com.

Don't miss any important news, sign up for MiceChat's monthly newsletter and events email:

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