Gosh, I haven’t blogged since the New Year!? That’s crazy! Well, for good reason. Like mentioned before, Patrick and I caught colds in December, and have been battling them since, including New Years. And after recovering, my dad came down from Oregon to visit for a week, hence all of this non-blogging! But onwards!
Sunday was a rather emotional day at the Disneyland Resort as several attractions closed permanently, and Patrick and I spent the day visiting such locations. As mentioned in past posts, the Big Thunder Ranch area of Frontierland is meeting the wrecking ball, or perhaps should I say the beam of the Deathstar? As the location (and some backstage areas) is the future location for the upcoming Star Wars themed land. Just to clarify, when I say Big Thunder Ranch, I mean three specific areas, none of which include Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, which is safe. The areas I mean are the Big Thunder Ranch Jamboree, Big Thunder Ranch petting zoo, and the Big Thunder Ranch Barbecue. Other areas being affected include the Rivers of America (including Tom Sawyer’s Island, the Sailing Ship Columbia, the Mark Twain riverboat, and the Davy Crockett Canoes) and the Disneyland Railroad, as these converge with areas that will be under construction. So, Sunday we visited the Ranch one last time, as well as rode the Mark Twain and Railroad.
The area was also the location of my favorite hidden Mickey in the Resort, which was made up of horseshoes. When we arrived in the morning we were shocked to see the Mickey was gone! Apparently someone stole it! But we watched as a Cast Member selected horseshoes to create another one. You can spy it in the background in the above photo.
We were lucky enough to witness the last running of the goats, which is when the goats are herded from their pen to Circle D (the backstage ranch), as well as watch the final performance of Miss Chris and Tex Tumbleweed (in which other Cast Members joined in) and eat barbecue, before riding the last Grand Circle Tour aboard the Disneyland Railroad.
Sadly, the Jamboree area closed after spring (you can see pictures from our visit then here), and Miss Chris’ cabin, located within the petting zoo area, which housed a table with coloring pages and also was home to character meet and greets, shuttered after Halloween. I was upset to not be properly informed of these early closures to give them a proper goodbye and I am crushed to see this area go (and I say that as a huge Star Wars fan). It was one of the few quiet locations in the Resort to escape the craziness, maybe pet a a few farm animals, and in years past was home to the presidentially pardoned turkeys! I’m glad to have been able to have experienced this area so much within the little over a year we’ve been here, and I just hope the new Star Wars area is beyond amazing to help take the sting out of losing such a gem. The Rivers of America and the Disneyland Railroad will be out of commission for one to two years, but the Disney Parks Blog will be keeping people up to date with the expansion, and already has by releasing the new Rivers of America concept art, which you can check out here.