Disneyland’s 66th birthday on July 17, 2021 was Theme Park Tribune’s first visit to the resort since before the COVID-19 pandemic.
Back in January 2020, while snapping pictures of construction in Fantasyland and Avengers Campus, we couldn’t have known that we wouldn’t be seeing these parks again until 18 months later. Plenty has changed inside Disneyland and Disney California Adventure since then, including venues that remain unused after the resort’s yearlong COVID-19 shutdown.
The most obvious construction site in either park is Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway, a clone of the trackless dark ride which originally opened at Disney’s Hollywood Studios in March 2020. The new attraction is an addition to the Mickey’s Toontown area of Disneyland, and required tearing down some existing buildings as well as the Toontown backdrop of cartoonish hills.
Rather than try to hide the obvious construction, Disney adorned the new show building a self-deprecating sign.
Just outside Toontown, you’ll find one of several closed venues around the Disneyland Resort. The Fantasyland Theater has hosted a variety of shows since its debut as the Videopolis dance club in 1985. It last hosted “Mickey and the Magical Map” from 2013 until March 2020, but that show was announced to be permanently closed, and its performers laid off, back in October of last year.
There were signs of activity at the venue, but only because the theater will host the premiere for the new “Jungle Cruise” film on July 24.
Tomorrowland has a number of closed venues, all clustered in the same area. Star Wars Launch Bay remains closed, as does the nearby Disneyland Monorail.
At least the walls around the Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage tell guests that the attraction will be returning later this year.
Over in Disney California Adventure, the Hyperion theater that last housed “Frozen — Live at the Hyperion” remains empty. Like “Mickey and the Magical Map,” the cast for “Frozen” was laid off last year and the show announced as permanently closed. The theater’s queue space is currently being used as seating for dining, helping to handle crowds overflowing from the nearby Avengers Campus.
Nearby, the Disney Theater space used by the “Disney Junior Dance Party” is also unavailable at the moment — but at least this show is scheduled to return.