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Saturday, August 24, 2013

Moving Into Disneyland's "Silly" Season

Disneyland's Refurbishment Season Kicks Off With The
Haunted Mansion

I used to watch a lot of NASCAR racing on TV - not so much anymore as the sport has seemed to lost some of its grit. Every year, as the NASCAR season winded down, it would begin a period of time known as their "silly season". This is the time of year when drivers with expiring contracts would begin jockeying for where they would be racing next year. Drivers would get signed for next season's car while still driving the car that they have a contract to drive. Drivers would be dropped from cars so a better driver (or maybe more sponsor friendly driver) could get signed for next year but told they can finish out the year without a chance of coming back - the so called "lame duck" driver. So every year there are perhaps 6 - 10 drivers racing at the end of year knowing that when next racing season begins, they will be racing in another car and often, they know exactly what car its going to be.

I just thought about the term "silly season" and that's a term that kind of fits Disneyland as we come to late August and into September and the peak tourist season has come to an end. The correct term is more like "refurbishment season" but that seems kind of dry and that Disneyland actually has a plan when it comes to taking rides down. Yes, I'm joking to an extent because there has be be a master plan for refurbishments since it is a very, very, expensive necessary operation but sometimes it is difficult to see that plan.

The Columbia and Mark Twain Will Always Spend A Few Days In
Refurbishment In The Fall. They're Wood and Wood Needs To Be
I should mention that its not just rides that go down for refurbishment, its also attractions, restaurants and even stores but its rides that that everyone interested and pouring over potential refurbishments when planning a trip. But how much can you trust official refurbishment lists? Disney has the right to take any ride or attraction down any time if they feel the need and they are not shy about executing this right. So now you have official refurbishments and unannounced refurbishments. Let's go on. Now some guy in L.A. says his next store neighbor is a Disneyland park manager and his neighbor says "Noboday knows this yet but Disneyland will be taking down ride X for X many weeks pretty soon." So what does a guy do with that kind of inside information? He posts it on the internet of course in some Disney forum where it catches fire and explodes the message boards. So now you have official refurbishments, unannounced refurbishments, and rumored refurbishments. And now you know why I call it silly season. Here's another element. Captain EO closes next month. Most Disneyland regular visitors think this is for good and begin posting that on the internet. Disneyland hasn't said anything but now we have "speculation" to add to the rumors.

Would You Have A "Bad" Time If RSR Happened To Be Closed During
Your Trip?

Refurbishments have an inherent risk. There is a rumored refurbishment of Radiator Springs Racers the third week of September. That's all well and good but what if you, almost a year ago, planned a Disneyland vacation for your family for the third week of September specifically to see Cars Land and ride Radiator Springs Racers. Talk about disappointment. That's why Disneyland keeps a lot of refurbishments under wraps until the last possible moment because they don't want to let a particular ride (or rides) going down for refurbishment to be a deal breaker in someone planning a trip - keep planning, keep coming, there's plenty more to do.

No Buzz? No Deal

I tend to take Disney's side on this. There is plenty more to do even in a schedule that is filled with refurbishments. For Mrs. DisneylandTraveler and I, there are probably only about 4 rides that if they happened to be down on one of our trips, we would really miss them - and most of them aren't the rides that people think. Well, Pirates of the Caribbean would always be missed if it were down but the other rides that would be missed, by me anyway, are the Disneyland Railroad, Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters, and Toy Story Mania. Mrs. DLT may throw Indiana Jones in there because that is her favorite ride. Why the train? For tired old people like us, the train is often just used for welcomed transportation. Buzz and Toy Story? Those are the two rides where Mrs. DLT and I get our competitive juices flowing and have a great time on them.

So even with a refurbishment list as long as your arm in September, don't hold back. In the end Disnelyland itself is the starring attraction. There is always plenty to do.

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