By Charly SHELTON
Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls: This week, the Happiest Place on Earth gets a little bit happier with the addition of two new rides and a new parade.
The classic film, “The Little Mermaid” will come to life like never before in an all new attraction at Disney’s California Adventure Park. The Omnimover ride (like Haunted Mansion’s Doom Buggies) will transport guests “Under the Sea” to live the story of the much loved 1989 film. Guests will board Clam-mobiles and dive below the waves to see Sebastian, Flounder, Ariel, Ursula, Prince Eric and King Triton come to life in amazing ways with state of the art audio- animatronics characters. This newest attraction is coming this weekend to Disney’s California Adventure Park.
And over at Disneyland, Mickey Mouse has drummed up a new parade for all the excited guests lining Main Street, U.S.A. daily. Mickey’s Soundsational Parade features many characters that aren’t often seen, including new characters such as Rapunzel from “Tangled” and Tiana from “The Princess and the Frog” along side classic characters that some may have forgotten such as Donald Duck and the Three
The parade is “all started with a mouse” – Mickey Mouse. He plays the drums all the way down the parade route. In addition to drumming, for the first time he speaks. A new technology allows the Mickey character costume to blink and talk to guests with an articulated mouth and Mickey’s voice. This is not just recorded remarks, this is actually listen and respond to guests, using their names and calling out features of their day. This is going to be a great parade! Some might even say … Soundsational!
Finally, after months of waiting and years of rumors on the internet, Star Tours II is upon us. “Star Tours: The Adventures Continue” opens in Tomorrowland officially on Friday.
The original Star Tours opened in 1987 after a proposed “Black Hole” motion simulator ride was scrapped due to high cost and lack of popularity. Star Tours opened to a throng of adoring nerds … uh, I mean fans … and to accommodate the high demand on opening day, Disneyland stayed open for 60 straight hours from Jan. 9, 1987 at 10 a.m. to Jan. 11, 1987 at 10 p.m. The one feature that remained from the original planned “Black Hole” attraction was the motion simulator. But now with the sequel, Star Tours adopts another cool attribute that was originally planned for “Black Hole” – multiple ride variations. With “Black Hole,” it was proposed that riders would be able to choose the ride car’s route. With Star Tours II, there are 54 rumored possible scenes that are randomly combined to give riders a new experience every time they ride. Sometimes you will be in a pod race, other times you can see Stormtroopers and Darth Vader in the Death Star, or even, unfortunately, see Jar Jar Binks’ home in the underwater Gungan city on Naboo. Ick. But many more scenes are available as well. Cool ones. Without Gungans. This promises to be a great attraction with lots of re-rideability.
This summer takes us under the sea, then rocks us to the beat, and even blasts us into a galaxy far, far away. These attractions and more open this weekend at Disneyland Resort in Anaheim.
Next week, the CV Weekly will have a full review with more info on what to expect and when to go. Keep an eye out for the little birdie!