Fans Canceling Disneyland Trips Due To Recent Changes, Claim Theme Park Is “Dead”

in Disney Parks, Disneyland Resort

Crowds at Disneyland Park in front of Sleeping Beauty Castle

Credit: Inside the Magic

Guests are calling out Disneyland for its disappointing state.

The Disneyland Resort esplanade, looking at Disneyland Park with banners of different Disney movies and attractions
Credit: Ed Aguila, Inside the Magic

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Few theme parks are as popular or iconic as the original Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, California. First opening in 1955, the Disneyland Resort has slowly evolved into one of the world’s best theme parks, featuring dozens of rides and attractions, world-class dining, and, of course, its famous family-friendly atmosphere. The Disney theme parks are also highly commended for their employees, who are called cast members.

Cast members provide excellent service to guests visiting and can be seen working inside attractions, restaurants, live shows, and gift shops, among dozens of other positions. However, the “bread and butter” of the Disney theme parks are attractions, and Disneyland has plenty of them.

The Disneyland Resort is divided into two separate theme parks: Disneyland Park and Disney California Adventure. Each destination features a plethora of magical and unforgettable experiences, ranging from daring thrill rides to relaxing fun for the whole family. The original Disneyland Park is the most popular theme park for guests to visit, with dozens of world-famous attractions being found here.

However, Disneyland has never felt so divided and fractured as it does right now, with several popular offerings now closed.

An eerie, moonlit night at a grand, haunted mansion, complete with an abandoned carriage out front.
Credit: Disney

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Disneyland is home to dozens of iconic rides, attractions, and experiences, some of which have entertained guests for nearly 70 years. From classic dark rides like Haunted Mansion and Alice in Wonderland to thrilling roller coasters like Space Mountain, Matterhorn Bobsleds, and The Incredicoaster, there’s something at Disneyland for guests of all ages and interests to enjoy.

The beloved California theme park resort is undergoing one of its most transformative periods, with a new ride set to open later this year called Tiana’s Bayou Adventure. This new log flume experience replaces Disney’s notorious Splash Mountain and sees guests embark on a brand new story inspired by The Princess and the Frog (2009).

Tiana’s Bayou Adventure was first announced in 2020, with both Disneyland and Walt Disney World’s versions of Splash Mountain closing permanently in 2023. Magic Kingdom’s version will open first, with a summertime opening being hinted at by Disney. Disneyland’s version still does not have an opening timeframe, but progress is being made quickly on this new experience.

Tiana's Bayou Adventure, which replaced Splash Mountain, at Disney World.
Credit: Disney

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The decision to finally close Splash Mountain came after decades of backlash and controversy surrounding the ride, all stemming from its original source material. Splash Mountain took heavy inspiration from Disney’s long-forgotten Song of the South film, a live-action/animation hybrid released in 1946. Upon release, the film was immediately met with large amounts of controversy, so much so that protests regarding the release of the film started breaking out.

Song of the South has been heavily criticized for its portrayal of African Americans. The film sparked outrage across the country and across multiple organizations, with the NAACP making official statements regarding Disney’s Song of the South. This controversy continued for years, with Disney attempting to ignore it all. However, as time went on, it became clear Disney was hoping to escape the negative perception of the film, with the company halting sales of the film in stores. Song of the South is also unavailable to stream on Disney’s Disney+ streaming service, meaning the film was effectively wiped from society.

However, this put Splash Mountain in a very tricky spot, with the ride taking characters, music, and scenery straight from the film. For decades, Splash Mountain operated untouched and, despite its source material, became one of the most popular and beloved rides in all of Disney’s history. This all came to an end in 2023, with Tiana’s Bayou Adventure set to open later this year.

While exciting, the decision to close Splash Mountain was not popular with everybody, with some of the more vocal and passionate fans going to great lengths to stop Disney from closing the ride. A petition started up at one point in the hopes of “saving” Splash Mountain, and despite it having no effect on Disney’s decision, it managed to receive close to 100,000 signatures, indicating a large number of fans were not happy with the decision.

Disneyland Critter Country Sign
Credit: Disney Fandom

As a result of the construction of this new ride, Disneyland also lost Critter Country, a popular western-themed land found at the original Disneyland Park. This iconic land closed temporarily on May 1, with a reopening date not being given. Rides like The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh and Davy Crockett’s Explorer Canoes are located in Critter Country, as will Tiana’s Bayou Adventure when it opens later this year.

These experiences are closed temporarily until work on Tiana’s Bayou Adventure finishes later this year, meaning Disneyland’s iconic Winnie the Pooh dark ride is now unavailable to guests. The troubles continue, with Disneyland also currently missing the iconic Haunted Mansion, which closed earlier this year. Over time, this spooky dark ride became the unofficial face of Disney theme parks, with several versions of the attraction being located worldwide. Disney’s Haunted Mansion transcends theme parks, quite literally, with not one but two feature-length live-action films based on this dark ride.

Unfortunately, Disneyland’s Haunted Mansion closed in January, meaning guests have not been able to ride for several months. The ride typically closes at the start of the year to return the ride to normal following its annual “Haunted Mansion Holiday” overlay. However, this closure is unlike anything ever seen at Disneyland before, with the Haunted Mansion closing for an extended amount of time as Disney constructs a brand-new outdoor queue area,

This project was announced last year, with Disneyland revealing some very exciting details about the new “Haunted Mansion grounds” expansion. Much like what happened several years ago with Magic Kingdom’s version, Disneyland’s Haunted Mansion is set to receive dozens of new interactive queue elements and brand-new scenery for guests to enjoy while waiting in line.

While exciting, this means that Disneyland is missing one of its most cherished rides. This has prompted guests to comment on the current state of Disneyland, with some deeming the theme park “dead.”

The Haunted Mansion Holiday exterior, shown at night. The historic white mansion is decked out in Christmas decorations and pumpkins, inspired by 'The Nightmare Before Christmas.'
Credit: Disney Parks Blog

Current Attraction Closures at Disneyland

A post on the Disneyland subreddit gained significant traction over the weekend. Guests discussed the state of Disneyland Park now that Critter Country and Haunted Mansion are closed. “With all of Critter Country now closed, the west side of Disneyland is the most dead I’ve ever seen it,” states the guest.

As a result of recent closures, a total of three rides are now closed.

  • The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh
  • Haunted Mansion
  • Tiana’s Bayou Adventure

Pooh Corner and the Pooh and Tigger meet and greets are also closed during this time, effectively leaving a significant portion of Disneyland Park empty.

The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh in the Magic Kingdom
Credit: Jeff Christiansen, Flickr

“This is why I’m not going this summer. All my favorite rides are closed,” another guest responded. This sentiment is common, with multiple guests claiming they have put their Disneyland vacations on hold due to the recent closures at the resort. “I have no plans to visit the park until this is all reopened,” responded a different guest.

“It was pretty shocking to see it all torn up from the train yesterday. I kind of wish they’d screened it off. :(” said another guest.

Despite Tiana’s Bayou Adventure opening this summer at the Magic Kingdom, there is currently no timeframe for the new ride at Disneyland. This means guests don’t know when to expect to ride this new attraction, and it also means there’s no opening timeframe given for Critter Country, leaving experiences like The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh in limbo.

Things don’t get any better at Haunted Mansion, which is also officially closed. Rumors claim the ride will return for this year’s Halloween season, but only time will tell.

“Pretty bummed since I’m going in a few weeks,” said another guest.” They really should have planned the Haunted Mansion project after Tiana’s has opened.”

Concept art featuring what appears to be a stable next to Haunted Mansion
Credit: Disney Parks Blog

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The new Haunted Mansion upgrade is very exciting, breathing new life into an absolutely iconic attraction. Work is being done both on the outside and inside, with recent permits indicating a few changes will also be visible throughout certain parts of the attraction.

In other news, the Disneyland Resort recently confirmed that some major upgrades are on the way for Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln. The Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, California, features a wide range of experiences that could be considered historical, with Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln being a prime example.

This attraction closed to guests on April 16, earlier in the year, and is set to receive some very exciting upgrades. According to a new permit, Disneyland will soon be upgrading Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln. The new permit includes work to replace a platform, the construction of a new turntable, and upgrading various audio and visual systems. The permit’s budget is $5 million, a considerable chunk of change for such an iconic experience. The new license also lists new mechanical, electrical, and plumbing work.

Concept art for the potential Pandora (Avatar) land at Disneyland
Credit: Disney

While the Disneyland Resort is undergoing a rough path, these closures are necessary to make way for new and exciting additions, upgrades, and expansions. A new land based on the Avatar franchise is also in the works, providing West Coast guests with an exciting new take on the Avatar franchise.

Disney dipped its toes into the world of Pandora at Disney’s Animal Kingdom back in 2017, creating a jaw-dropping plan filled with stunning theming and impeccable attention to detail. This land, Pandora—The World of Avatar, has proven to be so popular and successful that Disney announced it was building a second version at Disneyland.

While no concrete information has been revealed, this has been one of the most exciting developments in the Disney community in recent memory, with CEO Bob Iger personally announcing the plans earlier this year.

Will you be visiting Disneyland soon? Do you prefer Disneyland or Walt Disney World?

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