The temporary closure of Disneyland Park’s historic Rivers of America, which began near the beginning of 2016, signified a few major things at the famous destination.
Principally, construction was beginning in earnest on the cosmic land known as Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, which meant that a few attractions in the water’s immediate area, which sits adjacent to the Star Wars land, would shutter over an 18-month period.
The Disneyland Railroad also stopped choo-choo-ing during that time frame, but it did open to in-depth tours for those guests who wanted to enter the engine.
And the famous Canoe Races, a long-running cast member tradition? Those, too, had to take some time off, due to the river being distinctly H2O-free.
But the races are back, and during quite the celebratory week, too. Make that celebratory multiplied by two: July 17 was the 63rd birthday of Disneyland, and the week that the anniversary occurs in also happens to be Cast Member Appreciation Week at the Happiest Place on Earth.
That means that the early morning showdown, a good-natured lark that has become legendary among cast members, is back on the water. And how: Almost 70 teams comprised of Disneyland employees are competing in 2018.
That isn’t the only annual event created just for those people who work for the resort; Sunrise Yoga at Sleeping Beauty Castle was a popular draw for employees just a few weeks ahead Cast Member Appreciation Week, as is the Cast Member, Friends and Family 5K, which happens during the week itself.
The Canoe Races and 5K are some of the before-the-park-opens events, but there are also certain attractions that stay open later, for cast members to enjoy when park guests depart for the night.