This week, MiceChat gives us a look inside the parks from the air, Avengers Campus nearing completion, Vegan Ice Cream options coming to Downtown Disney, get ready to welcome in the Year of the Ox, new merchandise for the pet lover in your life, we talk to Will and Jessica about musical performers in the parks, and more!
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MiceChat was able to take to the air once again and get some nice shots of inside of the closed parks last week. Social distancing markers can be seen in place for when the park, or at least Main Street, can reopen. The Tomorrowland entry project appears to have stalled again. It appears that Snow White has finished construction, while King Arthur Carousel is still behind walls. Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway is progressing quickly. – https://www.micechat.com/278744-disneyland-update-high-in-the-sky-disney-holiday-spy/
The Orange County Register had an interview with Disneyland President Ken Potrock, where he went into the challenges the resort is facing and what the hopes are for the future. Ken has not been in charge of the resort since it closed back in March. He states that he spent an enormous amount of time and energy trying to get the parks reopened. Ken said that he has looked at the problems that the resort has faced and turned them into opportunities to be creative. “We will mount a legendary comeback” he said. – https://www.disneyfoodblog.com/2020/12/31/we-will-mount-a-legendary-comeback-disneyland-president-comments-on-the-challenges-of-the-closure/ and https://www.ocregister.com/2020/12/31/disneyland-president-ken-potrock-faces-challenges-steeper-than-matterhorn/
Vegan Ice Cream options are coming to Salt and Straw in Downtown Disney. The new flavors are under the name “Vegandulgence” and are 100% plant based. The new options include Peanut Butter Strawberry Crumble, Bourbon and Caramelized Honeycomb, Chocolate Hazelnut Cookies and Cream, Coconut Rice Pudding, and Banana Avocado Sorbet. – https://www.disneyfoodblog.com/2021/01/02/banana-and-avacado-sorbet-downtown-disneys-salt-straw-is-offering-new-vegan-ice-cream-flavors/
In a few weeks, the “Year of the Ox” will arrive. The Chinese New Year celebration is well represented this year at Disneyland with merchandise already available. Some of the options include a spirit jersey, Minnie Ears, t-shirts, and more. – https://dlnewstoday.com/2021/01/photos-new-year-of-the-ox-chinese-new-year-minnie-ears-spirit-jersey-and-apparel-arrive-at-disneyland-resort/
If there is a cat lady in your life, Disney has you covered with some new merchandise. There is a t-shirt with the saying “You say Cat Lady like it’s a bad thing”, a coffee mug with various Disney cats drawn on the side, and more. If you are more of a dog person, there is a “I’m a dog person” tote bag, as well as a cats and dogs rain hat, rain slicker, and umbrella. Socks, dresses, and much more are also available. – https://dlnewstoday.com/2021/01/photos-its-raining-cats-and-dogs-merchandise-at-disneyland-resort/
Another monthly collection is coming to shopDisney, this time focused on Stitch. Stitch Crashes Disney is a new monthly collection that will have Stitch mashed up with different Disney films. The first in the series is themed to Beauty and the Beast. This series is part of MerchPass starting on January 12 at 7am Pacific, and in stores on January 16th. – https://dlnewstoday.com/2021/01/first-look-at-stitch-crashes-disney-monthly-collection-series-coming-to-shopdisney/
One of the first inhabitants of the Disneyland property was Ron Dominguez. His family owned 10 acres of orange groves, which would house Disneyland starting in 1954. Some of you may recognize the name from the Dominguez tree that stands to this day as art of the entrance building for the Jungle Cruise. He worked at the park, climbing the Disney ladder until 1994, when he retired as Executive Vice President, Walt Disney Attractions, West Coast. He was made a Disney Legend in 2000. He sadly passed away on January 1st. – https://www.micechat.com/279106-farewell-to-mr-disneyland-ron-dominguez/
The former chief photographer who was responsible for some of the most iconic photos from Disneyland has passed away. Renie Bardeau was the chief photographer for close to 43 years, in that time capturing many celebrities, including Walt Disney, in the park. His most famous photos include Walt walking through Sleeping Beauty Castle, as well as the last photo taken of Walt in the park with Mickey Mouse on the fire engine. – https://twitter.com/DatelineDisney/status/1346377180368945152
To bring in the new year, Ratatouille: The TikTok Musical was streamed to raise funds for the Actors Fund. Over 1.8 million dollars was raised through the project. Cast in the show were big names, such as Adam Lambert, who played Emile, and Wayne Brady, who played Django. No word yet on if this will be available online in the future. – https://wdwnt.com/2020/12/wayne-brady-adam-lambert-headline-ratatouille-the-tiktok-musical-cast/ and https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E7nLBpmxjYA
D23 members will be receiving a neat gift centered around Walt Disney World’s 50th anniversary, which is October 1st of this year. Each year, D23 has a member gift that they send out. Last year was Fantastic Worlds. Included are a tin lunchbox featuring Mickey, Donald, Chip and Dale, icons from the 4 WDW parks, and more. A pin set featuring Florida’s Fab Five, a full sized D23 pennant, and a mini record featuring theme park music. – https://disneyparks.disney.go.com/blog/2021/01/d23s-new-collector-set-is-a-walt-disney-world-fans-dream/
The Orange County Register was able to get a great interview with Joe Rohde this week as well. Guests to Disneyland might recognize his work on Guardians of the Galaxy Mission Breakout. He is also known for being the creative lead of Animal Kingdom, Expedition Everest, Pandora, and Aulani in Hawaii. The interview covers a ton about the Imagineer and his life. – https://www.ocregister.com/2020/12/29/imagineer-joe-rohde-reflects-on-40-years-of-dreaming-up-disney-theme-park-attractions/
With Joe Rohde retiring, he donated a very special item to the Walt Disney Archives. His work boots, which he wore for all of his projects and just had them resoled when needed, are now a part of Disney Imagineering history. On the side of one of the boots is a list of the projects that he was working on while wearing them. – https://wdwnt.com/2021/01/photos-joe-rohde-marks-final-day-as-a-disney-imagineer-donates-work-boots-to-walt-disney-archives/
Fresno State’s Uptown Bulldog Beat – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cdxU_JFoeTc