Disneyland Prepares for its 60th Birthday with Refurbishments All Over the Place

January 20, 2015, 2:37 PM · The Disneyland Resort is preparing for its 60th birthday this summer with an aggressive schedule of refurbishments this winter and spring.

Sleeping Beauty's Castle closed this weekend, with a construction wall blocking access to the passageway into Fantasyland. Disney's draining the moat in front of the castle, and we should expect the tarps to go up soon as Disney begins work to transform the castle facade for its bejeweled 60th anniversary look. In the meantime, Disney is refurbishing the walk-through inside the castle, which is scheduled to reopen March 3, well before the wraps come off the castle exterior.

Elsewhere in Fantasyland, the Matterhorn Bobsleds are down until May 16, and Peter Pan's Flight closes on Feb. 2, with no reopening date announced. Removing the Small World holiday overlay will close that ride next Monday through, Feb. 5, as well.

Over on the west side of the park, the Haunted Mansion's holiday overlay is coming down now, and that ride will reopen on Friday. The big closure is Critter Country, which won't return until April 3. That means Splash Mountain, Pooh, the canoes, and the Hungry Bear are all closed until then.

In Tomorrowland, Disney's taking out the Big Hero 6 "preview" in the Magic Eye Theater, but there's no reopening date for that theater, either. No one seems to be in any hurry to bring Captain EO back again, so the theater might just sit empty until Disney has another movie to promote. (Hello, Tomorrowland!)

Over in California Adventure, we've told you about the conversion of the former Condor Flats land to Grizzly Peak Airfield. That will keep the Taste Pilots Grill closed until at least March, and Soarin' Over California shuttered until May 15. Much of neighboring Grizzly Peak will be closed for much of that time, too, as the Grizzly River Run and Redwood Creek Challenge Trail have closed for refurbishment. The play area is set to reopen March 3 with no official word yet on the river run's return date.

In Paradise Pier, World of Color is dark through March 13, and the Paradise Garden Grill is serving burgers, to replace the Taste Pilots Grill's menu until that restaurant reopens. Ariel's Grotto closes for a refurb in two weeks, and Disney will be refurbishing and retheming several of the Boardwalk shops starting this weekend through mid-February. Also, the Pacific Wharf Cafe is closed through Feb. 6.

And, yes, the Blue Sky Cellar remains closed, though one holds out hope that Disney will kick out the VIP meet-and-greets it's been using this room for over the past months to give us a new exhibit previewing 60th anniversary events and upgrades.

We will find out what those are (officially) when Disney announces them next Wednesday, Jan. 28. We will be at the resort for the announcement and will post the details then. We know that Disneyland will be getting a new version of Hong Kong's Paint the Night parade in addition to the changes and refurbishments we've listed above. Stay tuned.

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Replies (14)

January 20, 2015 at 3:10 PM · So... What is open?
January 20, 2015 at 3:44 PM · Pirates. So long as Pirates is open, it's all good at Disneyland. ;^)
January 20, 2015 at 3:56 PM · They announced last week (1/14) that they will be using the Magic Eye Theater for the Wednesdays with Walt starting on the 1/28, so they will be using it at least once a week...
January 20, 2015 at 4:59 PM · Do you predict this will have an affect on attendance?
January 20, 2015 at 5:44 PM · Do you think most thinks will be back to normal by Mother's Day weekend? Or will the castle still be under construction?
January 20, 2015 at 9:35 PM · That's a lot of closures at one time. Can't believe Disney didn't spread them out over the past few years.
January 20, 2015 at 10:35 PM · Going next weekend for a trip we'very been planning for a few months. If I had known so much would be closed, we probably would've changed the dates. Several big attractions, and the entire railroad, AND now the castle won't even look good. :/
January 21, 2015 at 4:49 AM · Yikes... Sounds pretty sparse for the time being.
January 21, 2015 at 8:19 AM · I think attendance will be fine. Any slack will be resolved from the SouthernCal Residents deal. I will buy one soon. Anyways, still sucks that many attractions will be closed and Frozen Fun has even longer lines. Via MouseWait, waits are 120 minutes standby to see Olaf and the Sing-along.
January 21, 2015 at 12:43 PM · I'm another one that wishes they knew some of this before booking a trip. Will be there the first week of March. First time too.

Well, thanks for keeping us posted so it's not a total shock upon arrival.

Wish we could get some kind of discount since we aren't even getting the full experience.

January 21, 2015 at 1:03 PM · wow did I choose a bad time to go ! this will be my first and only trip ever I think to the California resort as I usually only go to the Tokyo or Florida resorts where I reside .

Seems a bit overkill to close that much all at once.

January 22, 2015 at 7:44 AM · Wow even world of color is down... Are they just repairing pumps and doing upkeep to it? I won't lie, this makes me want to go this summer so I can see the festivities for the 60th anniversary. I guess I might have to make a desicion after January 28th
January 26, 2015 at 7:53 AM · We are having a family reunion at Disneyland with many in attendance, no one informed us of the many closers. It is strange to me that both grizzly rapids and slash mountain are closed at the same time as both are lots of energy, pirates is great but not the same as the two mentioned rides. And yes I think they should have offered a hey come visit us while we refurbish the place discount....
January 26, 2015 at 1:25 PM · I know it's a typo, but I couldn't bring myself to correct "Slash Mountain," as that is so obviously the name for whatever eventual Halloween overlay we get on that ride. ;^)

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