Earthquake strands thousands at Tokyo Disneyland & DisneySea

Thousands of guests were stranded in Tokyo Disneyland and DisneySea after the massive earthquake that rocked the island nation on Friday. Park employees have been giving out humanitarian aid including blankets, heaters, plastic raincoats, food, and water. While Disney has reported only a few minor injuries and minimal property damage, other reports state that the earthquake has liquefied the parking lot. Authorities suspect that shaking from the earthquake caused water from the coastline to mix with the soil. The Disney parks were built on a landfill making the parks susceptible to flooding.

According to Disney, Tokyo Disneyland and DisneySea will remained closed to allow for a thorough inspection of the attractions and facilities. Inside the Magic has pictures from social media sites of the stranded guests and damage to the park. Below is a video of park guests experiencing the earthquake while they were waiting for a parade.

Disneyland’s Splash Mountain to be closed this spring

If you plan to visit Southern Cailfornia this spring, a ride on Splash Mountain won’t be in the cards. Disneyland’s famous water ride is closed for refurbishment until just before Memorial Day.

The 4-month closure is part of a regular refurbishment program at Disneyland. Big rides get spruced up every 5 to 10 years, and it was Splash Mountain’s turn, reports the Orange County Register.

Splash Mountain opened at Disneyland in Anaheim, California, in 1989. It is a 9-minute long log flume ride that winds through scenes from Song of the South, the classic Disney film that tells the stories of Brer Rabbit. At the end, Splash Mountain riders find Brer Rabbit’s laughing place – at the bottom of a five-story drop.

The ride has become one of Disney’s iconic attractions, and versions of Splash Mountain have spread to two other Disney theme parks, Tokyo Disneyland and Walt Disney World.

No major changes to Disneyland’s Splash Mountain are expected during the refurbishment period.

[Image credit: Flickr user lrargerich]

Photo of the Day (10/31/07)

Happy Halloween!! When I looked through our Gadling Flickr Pool for an appropriate post to commemorate today, I came across Sun Toad’s shot taken at Tokyo Disneyland in 2005. If this isn’t an indication of how cultures travel, I don’t know what is. Today at Tokyo Disneyland, people come to the park decked out in costumes and there are Halloween activities all day. (The activities been going on since September.) Leave it to Disney.

If you have any shots where you’ve captured culture, or scenery, or whatever, load them up on the Gadling Flickr pool for consideration.