The opening of Disney’s California Adventure in February of 2001 brought the Disneyland Resort’s first coaster with an inversion, California Screamin’. The rides top speed is 55 mph, making it the fastest coaster at the Disneyland Resort. The ride was designed by Walt Disney Imagineers and built by Intamin. It is the 8th longest coaster in the world, and 4th longest in the USA. It is also the longest coaster with an inversion since Son of Beast closed in 2012.
Although the ride is steel, it is built to resemble a wooden boardwalk coaster. In 2010, the ride recorded safety spiels and a launch count down with Neil Patrick Harris. In 2007, the ride added a new onboard soundtrack to both Screamin’ and Space Mountain by the Red Hot Chili Peppers. A train departs every 36 seconds, and there are up to 5 trains operating at a time. The ride is 108 ft tall, has 1 inversion (verticle loop), and reaches a top speed of 55 mph through 6,072 ft of track.
In the early 1960’s, Walt Disney decided he needed a larger area in the park to host guests and VIP’s. He originally hosted all of his guests in his apartment built on the second floor of the Main Street Fire Station, but that was to small, so during the construction of New Orleans Square, it was placed on the second story of the Pirates of the Caribbean ride building, to resemble a building on New Orleans’s Royal Street.
The suite was to be designed by Dorothea Redmond, the designer of the sets of the classic movie, Gone with the Wind. Unfortunately, Walt died in 1966, before its completion, and his brother Roy changed it into the Disney art gallery from 1987-2007.
In September of 2007, Walt Disney company announced the the Disney Gallery would be closed and replaced with the Disneyland Dream Suite. Disney Imagineers worked very hard to build this from Mrs. Redmond’s original design. The suite is stayed in by either Disney contest winners, or the grand marshal for the Disneyland parades for the week. The suite is 2200 square feet and has a living room, 2 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, and an open air balcony which gives an unobstructed view of the parks night time spectacular Fantasmic.
There are now dream suites in Disneyland and Disney world at Pirates of the Caribbean, the Main Street Firehouse, and at Cinderella’s Castle, as well as on Disney Cruise Ships.
On January 7, 2013, Disneyland Resort’s Big Thunder Mountain Railroad closed for what is expected to be a 9 month refurbishment process. This will be the Disneyland resorts third refurbishment of a ride in the past year and a half. Both the Matterhorn Bobsleds and Indiana Jones and the Temple of the Forbidden Eye, closed for refurbishments in 2012 and have reopened to mixed reviews.
Although people have completely loved the refurbishment on “Indy”, which has added new fire effects, as well as upgrades to the already existing scenery, Matterhorn, hasn’t had the same success. Although many people have enjoyed smoothness of the new trains, people have claimed that the ride has lost speed, and has lost much of the thrill factor with the minimizing of the bumpiness.
Disney has released that some of the new elements of Thunder Mountain will be new trains, new, smoother track, and a refurbishment of the scenery itself to make it look similar to Bryce Canyon National Park in Utah. The ride is also rumored to have new 2 person rows with individual lap bars instead of its original design, of shared lap bars with rows that could fit as many as 3 riders. This update of Big Thunder was somewhat expected after the ride’s brother in Orlando’s Disney World closed for a 5 month refurbishment earlier this year.