In this edition of Theme Park Bits:

  • Details have emerged about Disneyland’s new parade.
  • Watch the grand opening of Walt Disney World’s new resort hotel.
  • Rise of the Resistance is working through crowds.
  • And more!

Magic Happens Parade at Disneyland

2020 is a year full of new and exciting changes at the Disneyland Resort. One of those new changes will be in the form of floats, live characters, dancing acrobats, and music. Of course, I’m talking about an afternoon parade. As was announced at the D23 Expo in Anaheim back in August, Disneyland’s new parade is entitled “Magic Happens”. The Disney Parks Blog has some new information, including its opening date of February 28, 2020. “Magic Happens” looks to be a colorful new addition to the parade lineup, highlighting recent films like Frozen II and Coco as well as vaunted classics such as Sleeping Beauty.

Another big change to the Disneyland Resort is one that you’ve no doubt already heard about: the arrival of the second attraction in Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, Rise of the Resistance. The attraction is already live in Walt Disney World, where it’s been unsurprisingly quite busy. It’s been so busy, in fact, that Disney’s Hollywood Studios is limiting potential riders to just one ride pass per day. It is, in fact, so busy that park hours have been extended through January 4, 2020, to account for no doubt large crowds over the holidays. Hopefully, the Operations team at Disneyland is keeping tabs on this — yes, their hours are typically longer on most days, but it’s going to be pretty popular come January 17.

The Haunted Mansion

And speaking of changes, Disneyland is heading into a time full of them. That’s because annually, January and February are the times of year when attractions typically go down for refurbishment, some brief and others extended. Usually, The Haunted Mansion goes down briefly to remove all of the Nightmare Before Christmas-themed props and design work from the holidays. This time around, the refurbishment will be a few months long, not a few weeks long, as the ride finishes celebrating its 50th anniversary from over this summer. The short version is this: if you’re headed to the parks in January or February, cross this ride off your list. It won’t be ready.

Changes are afoot, or a-hoof, even in the front of Disneyland Park. Specifically, you’ll have to experience a ride on a horse-drawn carriage in Main Street, U.S.A. thanks to some new horses, because two of its longest-running horses have retired. And although it may seem like this is just the way to hide some terrible pet-related tragedy, the horses haven’t just retired, but they’ll be living out the rest of their days in a bucolic farm run by a Disney cast member who adopted them. That’s right, they’re just going to be running and playing in the farm upstate! For real! Seriously!

Disney's Riviera Resort | Disney Vacation Club | You're Invited | #DisneyParksLIVE

We’ll close today’s column out by traveling from Disneyland to Walt Disney World. Leaving aside the slightly ragged arrival of Rise of the Resistance – a well-reviewed attraction, unquestionably, but one whose crowds aren’t yet fully manageable – there’s another big arrival at the resort this month. I’m referring to the new resort hotel, Disney’s Riviera Resort, which will have its grand opening on December 16. And you can be there…well, via webcast. You can watch it live starting at 9:55 a.m. ET that morning, with a grand opening ceremony full of excitement. And depending on your price point, you might want to watch this video more than once if its high prices are out of your range.

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