While Star Wars land won't open until 2019, the work on the "new" river is close to complete, so today Disneyland announced the return dates for its Frontierland attractions, including Fantasmic!
The popular nighttime spectacular will return on Disneyland's 62nd birthday — July 17. But fans won't have long to wait to get on another of the Rivers of America favorites. Tom Sawyer Island (okay, Pirates Lair on Tom Sawyer Island) will reopen tomorrow, June 16.
The Mark Twain Riverboat, Sailing Ship Columbia, and Davy Crockett Explorer Canoes will follow on July 29, which also will be the first day that the Disneyland Railroad will recommence its Grand Circle Tour around the park.
Disneyland said that it has preserved the "four rivers" theme design for the Rivers of America that it introduced in 2010. However, back then, Disney said that the river around Tom Sawyer Island is designed to represent the Mississippi, the Columbia, the Potomac, and the Rio Grande. In today's press release, Disney replaced the Potomac with the Missouri. That actually makes more sense, given the western theme of Frontierland.
The Potomac section of the old river was the area around the Indian Village, which is the section of the river that's seen the most work in its redesign. Now, one presumes it will feature native Americans from the Missouri River valley. The Columbia section also got a substantial overhaul and now will feature five waterfalls in a gorge that more accurately reflects that particular river. We will get our first look at what Disney's done to the north side of the river when the three boat rides around the river reopen on July 29.
As for Fantasmic!, that show has gotten a major overhaul, too, and now will feature new scenes from Aladdin and The Lion King, as well as upgraded projection and water-mist screens.
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