Welcome to In the Parks! Your weekly photo update of Southern California theme parks and destinations. We have a massive update for you today. Disney Legend Alice Davis was finally honored with a window on Main Street U.S.A. right next to her husband, Marc Davis. The Matterhorn is testing daily and the Shootin' Gallery is under refurbishment. Next up, we scope out Disney California Adventure as we hit the home stretch in the park's overhaul and gawk in amazement at the new details on Buena Vista Street. Finally, we get the latest from Knott's Berry Farm, take in some magic at Six Flags and trim things up with a look at Sea World's highly anticipated Manta family coaster. Better settle in, this is going to be a great update.

This year's event is completely sold out. But you can still Join the waiting list here. The MiceChat Gumball Rally is a race to find out who can ride the most attractions at Disneyland in a single day. It's a fantastic event for Disney fans of any age and a great way to spend a day in the park with friends and family. Whether you win or lose, you are always a winner when the race takes place on your favorite rides at your favorite place on earth.

Even if you aren't competing in the Rally, there are a couple of Rally related events that you are welcome to join:

May 18th Pasta Party - shoot the breeze and listen to the Rally teams as they attempt to psych each other out the night before the big race. It's a fun and inexpensive meal. You can sign up in the MiceChat Store HERE.

May 20th MiceChat Mega Meet, Noon at the Walt and Mickey statue in Disneyland - Find out who won the Rally, chit chat, and you might just be the winner of a prize just for showing up! After the meet, we'll head off for lunch and then ride a couple of attractions together. It's a lovely way to spend a few hours (stay for as much or little as you'd like). No cost and no need to sign up. Just show up at noon on the 20th.

When: May 19th, 2012
Where: Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, California
COST: $29.99 per person
How Do I sign up?: MiceChat Events Store Gumball Rally Sign Up
How Does the Rally Work?: Rally Information Page

If you've never heard of the Gumball Rally before, please visit the Rally Information Page HERE for more information and FAQ. A discussion thread has been created in the forums as well: MiceChat Gumball Rally Discussion.

Tickets for this year's event SOLD OUT out but you can join the waiting list by contacting Dustysage here. If there are any cancellations we will get you in!

It seems that even the Disneyland Resort trams aren't immune to the dangers of roadwork. Repaving has added a slight delay to the tram route due to this.

Thursday morning, just a little after the planned 8am start time, A ceremony was held on Main Street U.S.A to honor legendary costume designer Alice Davis. Alice was responsible for the costumes in such classic Disney attractions as it's a small world and Pirates of the Caribbean.

The area under the window was decorated with Alice Davis' beautiful work.

The window, next to her dearly departed husband Marc Davis (himself an amazing Imagineering legend), behind a purple velvet curtain.

The event began with a litany of Disney Legends swarming to the white fold-up seats in front of the Main Street Cinema and Disneyana. People like Bob Gurr, Jack Lindquist, and others streamed in to celebrate an illustrious career. As the area filled up the Dapper Dans sang to the crowd.

Ron Dominguez (Former Executive Vice President of Walt Disney Attractions)

Jack Lindquist (First President of Disneyland)

Bob Gurr (Imagineering Legend) greeting Alice Davis

Cast TV was there too

Tom Staggs and George Kalogridis await the start of the ceremony.

George Kalogridis (current Disneyland president) opened and introduced Tom Staggs (Head of Disney Parks and Resorts)

When all of the sudden, a band of pirates burst out of Disneyana

They serenaded Alice with their own versions of the Pirates song

Then Mickey arrived and...

unveiled the lovely new window that is right next to her husband, Marc Davis

The curtain dropped and got snagged on Mickey's ear, lol.

Alice said that none of this would be worth anything without the friends that surround her.

Oscar Martinez (Chef of the Carnation Cafe and first Parks and Resorts cast member to reach the 55-year milestone with the company) came by to say hello too!

Alice was also given a miniature version of the window to take home

Small World Costume Company - Alice Davis - Seamstress to the Stars

Congratulations Alice. Your achievements are many and it is fitting that a talented, friendly woman like you be honored this way, surrounded by friends, fans, peers and loved ones. You are indeed the seamstress to the stars and you deserve every bit of this honor.


The Frontierland shooting gallery is currently having its porch rebuilt. Don't worry folks, the petrified posts (or fiberglass replicas of the originals) remain and are still standing.

It's exciting to see the Matterhorn take such a beautiful path. We agree with the remarks we hear constantly that it has, once again, affirmed its place as a theme park icon. Vehicles can be seen testing on a regular basis, however the caverns still await the snowman's roar.

Waterfalls are running once again


Little progress can be detected thus far at the Princess Fantasy Faire site.

The preparations are now visible as Grad nights get underway.

Light towers have gone up on the sides of the castle.

We'd like to congratulations to all you graduating students! Enjoy the party!

Stunning Disneyland Photography
Sunrise to Sunset

Our good friend Tom Bricker of the DisneyTouristBlog.com has just published a new book inspired by Leap Day at Disneyland. Tom is well-known throughout the Disney community for his incredible Disney photography and this new e-book does not disappoint.

"Disneyland: Sunrise to Sunrise" chronicles Disneyland's 24-hour Leap Day event and is filled with over 200 gorgeous photos on 75 pages.

Every photo was taken during this year's One More Disney Day event. This book offers a unique look at the very rare opportunity of being able to spend a full 24 hours inside the Happiest Place on Earth. And, if the spectacular photos weren't enough, Tom includes fun facts and trivia with every photo in the book!

The book is available now in PDF format for only $8, but Tom is offering it to MiceChat readers for 25% off with the coupon code SUNRISE2012! Click here to buy!

What can be said that is not depicted in the pictures below? the detail that continues to be layered on this area of the park that will serve as an impressive apology to theme park fans for the hackneyed postcard look from 2001.

We'd also like to give you a heads up that lunch and dinner reservations are now being taken for the Carthay Circle restaurant. You can reach Disney Dining at: 714-781-3463. The restaurant opens to the public on June 15th.

The Pan-pacific entry with Buena Vista Street beyond.

Yes, a real neon sign for Oswald's. Eric, are you happy?

Looking from inside the park towards the front gate.

Zipping along on the Monorail, one can even see work progressing on top of the buildings. Impressive.

Buena Vista Street looking into the park towards Carthay Circle Theater.

A new Yellow Neon sign for the Candy shop. Or is it Shoppe?

Just look at that detail folks. Can you believe that this is DCA?!

The FFP artwork is finished on the side of the building. Just don't call the new Starbucks the "Pig Cafe." Disney doesn't want that name to slip out. So we won't be calling it the Pig Cafe. No sir, no Pig Cafe here.

More relief work that we adore. The shapes, textures, depth and detail here is stunning.

And then there is the Mad T Party. While it promises to look impressive at night, the daytime Coachella aesthetic isn't exactly up to the standard of what we just looked at in Buena Vista Street. But this IS all temporary, so we'll just hope that the Mad T Party runs its course and they remove all this in time to do a high quality Phase 2 in Hollywood Land soon.

The design on the Drink Me booth is interesting.

The table is a light fixture.

Get it?

The T Party is definitely an acid trip to look at.

As Al Lutz reported in an earlier update, the character meet and greet in front of It's Tough to be a Bug has gone behind the construction screens to become the Fast Pass location for Radiator Springs Racers.

Mater's can be heard going through its motions on a daily basis. It's one loud ride.

Don't step on the paint job!

Beach ball update. They are still there. Although we don't expect them to remain for long, we sure hope they make it to opening day. They look like they add to the fun.

Unfortunately, the testing news from the ride is not good. Lots of operational issues, from difficulty controlling the vehicles (they don't turn well) to excessive wait times.

Is that a car?

Not much to show you at Ghirardelli. And we have the pics to prove it.

They have begun touching up the facade for Taste Pilots Grill since the jet has been removed.


The restroom refurb campaign continues as the location at the entry to Ghost town has gone behind walls. It's OK, there is plenty of pop music to guide you to the next outlet.

Ghost Town Playlist:
Gotta love the music in Ghost Town (or not).

1. Who Knew - PINK
2. If You Love Somebody - Sting
3. Name - The Goo Goo Dolls

Some repaving is happening near the Medicine Man's cart.

Get new music or else!

Ok so we have the scoop on Windseeker. The manufacturer is creating a new piece of equipment for the attraction and both this version, and the one in Ohio are grounded until the part can be installed. This is a new type of ride system and as they build each one, they learn a bit more about how to make the ride function better. The Knott's website says that the ride is planned for re-opening on May 26th, in time for Memorial day. But that will depend on whether or not the manufacturer can produce the needed parts in time.

The shot that so many other sites have imitated.

See? There's a hard hat!

They were expecting the part to be delivered and the ride to be operating again already, so it's now just a waiting game. Should be back soon.


The shops in the Fiesta Village Mall are getting a refurbishment.


Areas in both Camp Snoopy and the Boardwalk area were repaved and coated with slurry.

You can see old and new here. Green is the new smooth pavement and the red will soon follow.

The boardwalk area is also getting some attention (though we wish we could report on something REALLY interesting like a new family dark ride). Keep wishing on a star folks and someday our dreams may just come true.


Save the Date! Saturday, September 22nd

Yes, it's a little bit early. But we would like to give all of our Halloween Haunt fans the first heads up. The MiceChat Knott;s Scary Farm Halloween Haunt event this year will be on

Saturday, September 22nd.

This is a very special year as it will be the 40th Anniversary of Halloween Haunt and Knott's has already promised a frightful evening of fun for our special group.

Get ready for spooky fun!

We want to wish the classic roller coaster, Revolution a happy 36th birthday. The ride has seen better days, but it's still a classic and will hopefully be brought back to it's original glory sometime soon.

Hopefully if the new trains for the SuperDooperLooper at Hersheypark are popular, Six Flags will consider them here as well. You can read more about the new trains here: New Trains for SuperDooperLooper at Hersheypark


Quite a few changes up at Magic Mountain since our last update. Lex Luthor is looking closer to being complete and a new spiel has been added to the Orient Express.

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Track has been placed on the side of Superman for the new drop tower.

A closer look reveals that the track goes almost to the top of the tower.

The white in this picture are the magnetic brakes.

A look at the full tower. The track blends in perfectly with the existing tower.

Work continues at the top of the tower, there is still a lot of work to be done.

The entry and exit area continues to take shape

The side of the old arcade building is getting some work done now as well.

The gift shop is also getting closer to completion

A look at the backside of the tower doesn't reveal too much more on the actual station

The park is getting ready for their upcoming Grad Nights.

What The Fried had it's signage removed since our last update. Could this be because it's never open?



They are still advertising the Dole Whips outside though

The tree near Bugs Bunny World still needs some attention. But if rumors about this area being re-themed to Full Throttle are true, it would explain why maintence on the props here have been spotty.

Another new Advertiser in the park. Oddly enough, IOA is the abbreviation for some other theme park.

As we reported on our last update, the Sky Tower museum is gone. The Sky Tower was open and this is how it looks now. The ride op working the attraction had no idea if it was ever coming back. The memorabilia was hard to maintain and clean as they were constantly afraid they would break something.

Hurricane Harbor is getting ready for it's opening over Memorial Weekend. Water is returning to the pools and slides.

This weekend was the first of three weekends for the Viva La Musica music festival.



Walls have also been moved forward on the construction in front of Shamu Stadium.

Not much room to move in-between these walls!


Imagineer, Steve Davison (of Haunted Mansion Holiday, World of Color, fabulous fireworks and parades) does a lot more than design night time extravaganzas. He also stages some pretty amazing choir performances in Long Beach. His latest creation is called The Sound of Muzak.

Poor Maria! All her life she's dreamed of being a lounge singer in Reno, but growing up in a failing convent-turned-mall run by the Sisters isn't as fabulous as she would like. She receives a new lease on life (and a reprieve from the hot-dog-on-a-stick cart) when she goes to assist the owner of the mall daycare manage unruly children. Will Maria find love or will she receive the calling? Will the Sisters save the mall or will they lose their home to a certain goose-stepping jeweler? These questions (and more) will be answered when SCC presents "The Sounds of Muzak.

We'll be there. How can we resist with a description like that?!

Tickets are already available here.

There's also a wonderful new video about Starbucks in the parks, Cars Land, Buena Vista Street, Final Carnation Plaza swing dancing night, Lego store redo and much more. Plus, Sara tells us about the amazing Road to Pixar project that she was a part of. Don't miss this week's MiceChatter

And don't forget to take in the latest from the Communicore weekly team as the guys discuss the Country Bear Jamboree, new Disneyland photo book, and even debate the status of a major Disney theme park.

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Then there is the new, hysterical yet insightful, Just Ask Alex.

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If you like what you see, please visit our Youtube page: MiceChat - YouTube and click the SUBSCRIBE button at the top of the page

AND MiceChat has a brand new monthly PodCast for you that's now in iTunes: MiceChat Podcast on iTunes or we have an RSS feed if you'd rather use that: MiceChat Podcast RSS

This week, Al Lutz, Doug Barnes, Dustysage and Fishbulb discuss Cars Land, Transformers and the epic fight for your tourist dollars this summer.

Today's In The Parks Update Has Been Brought To You By The WONDERFUL Folks At . . .

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Contact the Carousel today, and for the lowest rates, be sure to tell them MiceChat sent you.

Call: 1(800)854-6767 to book your stay today!

And check back next wee for an exciting Cars Land inspired contest!

We'd like to extend a huge thanks tocontributors JP, Sir Clinksalot, CaptPhoebus, Fishbulb and Dustysage. (If you've got breaking news or photos to share, we'd love to hear from you too! Contact Dusty today

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Wherever you go and whatever you do this weekend, we hope you have a wonderful time. We'll see you In The Parks . . .