AttractionsDisneyland (CA)

2016 and 2017 at Disneyland: Prepare for Construction

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Disneyland-Leap-Day-212Going to Disneyland next year is going to be a totally different experience, since the park will be going through one of its biggest expansions in history to add Star Wars Land (for which there is still no opening date). Even though Disneyland will be getting an amazing new addition, a ton of construction will be taking place and that results into a lot of construction around the park — including some major attractions being closed until mid-2017. So, if you are planning a trip to The Resort sometime next year, you may have to reconfigure the list of attractions you want to experience. No need to worry, because below I have created a list of attractions that you can replace with the ones that will be closed.

CLOSED — Disneyland Railroad

REPLACE WITH –– Main Street Vehicles

The Disneyland Railroad is one of the best ways to experience the park in a relaxing and different way. Even though the railroad will be closed, that does not mean you cannot travel in style throughout the park…well, at least through Main Street that is. Taking a ride on any, if not all, of the Main Street vehicles is a great way to experience Main Street. However, if you only have time to ride one of the three Main Street vehicles, I recommend jumping on the double-decker bus. Just make sure to get a seat on the second deck.                                                               

                                                                   CLOSED — Mark Twain Riverboat

REPLACE WITH –– it’s a small world

IT'S A SMALL WORLD AT THE 1964 WORLD'S FAIR 50TH ANNIVERSARYI have highlighted the Mark Twain Riverboat in a few of my other articles (because it is my favorite attraction in Disneyland), which is why it is truly disappointing that it will be closed during the Star Wars Land construction. However, it’s a small world is a great substitution for the fabulous Mark Twain . It’s a small world is a classic attraction and has so much detailing that can be absorbed. I have ridden it’s a small world countless times, but every time I ride it, I always notice something different. I bet you will too.

 CLOSED — Sailing Ship Columbia

REPLACE WITH –– Jungle Cruise

IMG_0791Sailing Ship Columbia is another one of those attractions that is amazing to experience but one that many guests tend to miss out on. There is much to take in while on the Sailing Ship Columbia which is why the Jungle Cruise is a great stand-in. The Jungle Cruise, just like it’s a small world, has a ton of detailing to take in and since you have a Cast Member as your skipper, that means that every trip is always a different experience.

CLOSED — Tom Sawyer Island

REPLACE WITH –– Mickey’s ToonTown

Cartoon SpinPirate’s Lair on Tom Sawyer Island is a great place for adults and children and so is Mickey’s Toontown. Even though I do not have too much love for Toontown, it is a fun place to visit and hangout for a time. Also, it is home to Roger Rabbit’s Car Toon Spin, which is one of the most underrated attractions throughout Disneyland. Not only that, Toontown is the perfect place to take pictures with your favorite Disney characters. I have never waited long to take a picture with Mickey Mouse or any of his other friends in Toontown.

CLOSED — Davy Crockett’s Explorer Canoes

REPLACE WITH –– Storybook Land Canals Boats & Casey Jr. Curcus Train

storybook-land-canal-boatsDavy Crockett’s Explorer Canoes is in the same boat as Sailing  Ship Columbia (pun intended) because not many guests even notice that this attraction even exists. However, Storybook Land Canal Boats and Casey Jr. Circus Train are a superb fill-in. The reason that I placed these two attractions together is because they complement each other. Both explore the same area but in different ways. Even though these two attractions are slow to load, they are worth the wait. Also, I suggest going on both attractions at night. The lighting and detailing at night is amazing.

CLOSED — Big Thunder Ranch

REPLACE WITH — Side Streets of New Orleans Square

New OrleansThe main difference between Big Thunder Ranch closing and the other attractions on this list is that  Big Thunder Ranch will be closed forever. That is because Star Wars Land is taking over this entire area. There is nothing that will ever replace the peace and charm that Big Thunder Ranch had, but there is another place in the park that does contain a lot of heart. The side streets of New Orleans Square are stunning and many guests tend to just rush by it to get to Haunted Mansion and Splash Mountain. Next time you are there, take the time to explore the ins and outs of New Orleans. I think it is the best themed land in any Disney theme park.

CLOSED — Fantasmic!

REPLACE WITH –– Mickey and the Magical Map

Mickey and the Magical MapI bet many of you thought I was going to put Paint the Night in for Fantasmic!, but I know all of you are going to see it anyway (which you should). So, I thought I would highlight a stage show that also contains Mickey and his magical powers: Mickey and the Magical Map. Even though this show is tucked away in the Fantasyland Theater (across from It’s a Small World), it should not be missed. I will not give too much away (no spoilers!), but the stage effects and story are great. It does not matter what age you are because everyone will walk away with a smile on their face.

It is disappointing to know that many classic Disneyland attractions will be closed for more than a year (starting in January 2016) but that should not deter you from visiting Disneyland. That just means that you will have to make some adjustments to your next visit. Also, it means that you will  definitely have to make your way back to The Resort once Star Wars Land is completed and experience all the attractions you missed on your last trip.

What attractions would you replace with one that is closing during Star Wars Land construction? What is some advice you would give to Disneyland goers that are planning on taking a vacation to the parks next year?

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Growing up Southern California, it was hard for Ray not want to go to Disneyland everyday. He was a passholder for over 10 years until he left to teach English in Korea and now lives in Seattle. Even though he lives in the Pacific Northwest, he always has Disney on the mind. Ray is channeling his Disney passion to write for TouringPlans.

9 thoughts on “2016 and 2017 at Disneyland: Prepare for Construction

  • Certainly makes me glad to be going for a nice long trip next weekend. I know people like StarWars a lot, but it doesn’t seem to fit in to Disneyland outside of Tomorrowland.

  • I wonder if any consideration has been given to running the train in a shuttle mode, since the track would, in principle, be usable between Toontown and Main St. This may be less practical for a “traditional” train, which doesn’t really look right going backwards. (Unlike a commuter or Amtrak train, which have engines that can easily go backwards.)

    • I would love it if the train would run in any mode. It’s disappointing to see it not running for a couple of years.

  • Great suggestions. It is a real bummer that these things will be closed, especially since those are some of our favorite attractions. I agree about New Orleans Square. I really wish we had spent more time there exploring. I was amazed at how beautiful and authentic it was. We really love New Orleans and visit often. I didn’t even know about the map show. I will not miss it on our next visit. I can’t wait until the construction is done to go back and see old things again and the new things.

    • So happy to hear that you found this post useful. I also can’t wait until all the construction is completed and see how everything turns out.

  • One problem. The jungle cruise which was a suggested substitute for the Columbia will also be closed for dock repair.

    • Thanks for the heads-up. What attraction would you suggest to guests to experience instead?

    • What are the dates for this dock repair?


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