Theme park news: Closings, openings, and makeovers

October 28, 2012, 8:55 PM · Let's close out the weekend with a few notes of theme park news.


  • First, the big news over the next few days will be Hurricane Sandy, which has finished dumping rain on and blowing around Florida and is on its way to hammering the mid-Atlantic and northeast. Best wishes to all our Theme Park Insider readers in the affected areas. Take care and stay safe. Update: Here's our Hurricane Sandy thread on the TPI discussion board.

  • Thinking about visiting Disneyland in a couple weeks? You could be just steps from the filming of a new movie starring Tom Hanks as Walt Disney. It's "Saving Mr. Banks," and it's the story of the making of the Mary Poppins movie. The film will be shooting in Disneyland on November 6-7. Don't try to go looking for stars, though. Disneyland's planning to block off sections of the park for the filming, which they'll redecorate to make look like it did in 1967.

  • Maybe you could spend some of your Disneyland visit time at the new Earl of Sandwich, however. Disneyland's announced that the long-awaited first California outpost of the sandwich chain will open in Anaheim's Downtown Disney on November 2. Disney's got Earl of Sandwich locations at Walt Disney World in Florida and at Disneyland Paris in France. Update, 10/29: We're hearing that Earl of Sandwich soft-opened today (Monday). Anyone try it yet?

  • Finally, your favorite Walt Disney World princesses are due for a makeover. Disney's planning new, more "contemporary" hairstyles and costumes for the Disney princesses. I'm having trouble imagining Cinderella with an ironed-flat lid. Or, worse, a Justin Bieber 'do. Hey, if the classic look is good enough for the Real Housewives of Disney, shouldn't it be good enough for all of us?

    Replies (8)

    October 29, 2012 at 9:28 AM · i'm a bit shocked by the princesses to say the least. I think a lot of people will be upset by this, surely the kids are going to question why Cinderella doesn't look like she does in the film?
    October 29, 2012 at 9:33 AM · Will Disco Yeti be getting a makeover?
    October 29, 2012 at 9:43 AM · I wonder if the new 'dos will be an option for the princesses, rather than a full-time new look. (Let's not forget how many different outfits Mickey has!)
    October 29, 2012 at 11:43 AM · I would give a handshake to Tom Hanks and I would tell him that he is my favorite actor. That is if security don't catch me first :^p

    Princesses looking like Britney Spears? :^0

    October 29, 2012 at 11:22 AM · Obviously Disney didn't talk to educators or child psychologists. Children from second grade to younger do not handle change well. As one who has been in the education field for over ten years, I can assure you that this will not go over well. I have seen kindgergarten aged children burst into tears if one little change has happened. My own son who is in kindergarten refused a toy of a superhero because the costume did not look like the one in the movie. He claimed that this was not the real hero. The older girls will like this, but the younger ones will not believe that these are the real princesses.

    Why not actually put forth this change towards attractions? Why not update the last scene in Carousel of Progress? Why not fix the Yeti? I could go on and on. There are so many other ways to spend this energy, money and time.

    October 30, 2012 at 1:24 AM · I kind of feel the same way about the effects of character change on the young. But do you actually believe that the cost of these hairdos would be enough to "fix" either COP or the Yeti? That is just unrealistic to say the least.
    October 30, 2012 at 8:47 PM · Mark, I know that the cost is not equal. My point is, there are more important changes that need to be made instead of focusing in on a new hairstyle for a fictional character. I just see this as a waste of time.
    October 31, 2012 at 7:06 AM · Why does WDW strike me as not getting "it" when it comes to show? Star Wars dance off for example. Most of the characters are... bad when it comes to dancing. Reeks of trying too hard.

    Why would you give modern hairstyles and clothes to the Disney Princesses since that's not what they wear in the movies? Why don't we just give Genie a backwards facing cap, an Ed Hardy Shirt, and his name tattooed across his knuckles while we're at it? Or maybe I can get a pic with Jersey Shore Belle?

    Ok so that's an exaggeration. But that would be like giving Aladdin a suit and tie, or have Prince Charming ride in on a Harley.

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