Disneyland is getting ready for the launch of its popular Halloween Time season with new merchandise hitting store shelves and decorations going up in shop windows. The park is also now readying two attractions in New Orleans Square for the annual Halloween festivities — the Nightmare Before Christmas-themed Haunted Mansion Holiday will welcome guests when Halloween Time kicks off on September 14, with pirate-themed makeovers available starting September 1 at the new Pirates League in the nearby Court of Angels. Meanwhile, work continues on Disneyland’s new Fantasy Faire area and locals return to Cars Land following the end of Annual Passport summer block-outs.

Get a closer look at today’s update! Click on any photo in today’s column for a large, high-resolution version of the image.

Welcome to Disneyland!

Annual Passholders previously blocked out for the summer will likely boost crowd levels at the parks weeknights after the work day ends, but overall crowd levels continue to drop this week. TouringPlans.com can help you navigate the parks with our per-park Crowd Calendar, Lines – Mobile Wait Times App that gives access to current and estimated wait times for attractions, and Touring Plans detailing the best plan of attack for hitting the attractions. With summer crowds here, it’s a good time to subscribe to TouringPlans.com to plan your strategy to avoid the crowds!

Below are the predicted resort-wide crowd numbers for select days generated by the TouringPlans professional statisticians as measured for the upcoming week. For the access to the full year and per-park crowd level predictions, visit our Crowd Calendar.

— Fred Hazelton, Statistician, TouringPlans.com

[center][/center] [center]Overall
Crowd Prediction
Crowd Tips
Tues., Aug. 28 [center]3 /10[/center] Here are some quick-hit notes that we hope you’ll find helpful as you prepare your visits for the week:

  • Southern California Annual Passports Summer blockouts are over, so expect more locals in the parks.
  • Full blockouts on Saturday and Sunday
  • Disneyland (park) is a 2.2 on Thursday.
  • Due to its incredibly low capacity, consider riding Luigi’s Flying Tires standby right after starting your day by grabbing a FASTPASS for Radiator Springs Racers.
Wed., Aug. 29 3 /10
Thu., Aug. 30 3 /10
Fri., Aug. 31 4/10

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Crowd levels are based on a scale from 1 to 10, with 1 being the least crowded conditions and 10 being most crowded.

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Halloween Time will soon hit Disneyland, with the return of the popular Mickey Jack-O-Lantern here at the edge of Town Square.

A look at very reasonable wait times from Saturday afternoon.

Movie Night on Main Street

On Thursday, Disneyland hosted its first Annual Passholder Movie Night. Al Lutz had mentioned the upcoming movie nights in a recent MiceAge.com Editor’s Note, but Disney made no formal announcement of the event.

The event took place with no formal announcement by Disney and no promotion beyond a sign posted outside the Main Street Opera House encouraging Passholders to cast their vote between The Lion King and Beauty and the Beast.

Even without promotion, the event officially hit capacity and Annual Passholders were let into the Main Street Opera House to watch a 7:00 p.m. screening of The Lion King. With the first Movie Night sold out, it’ll be interesting to see how future Annual Passholder Movie Nights are handled as the events appear to be a quick success.

Creeping In…

Last week we showed you a selection of new Halloween merchandise hitting the shelves at Disneyland stores. This week, we take a look at Halloween Time decorations now up in Main Street’s Disney Showcase.

Disneyland’s wildly popular Halloween Time season doesn’t officially start until September 14, but you can get your first taste now on Main Street.

Lots of Halloween Time fun in the store window displays as well:

Beyond Disney Showcase, there are still plenty of patriotic summer decorations along Main Street for now…

In New Orleans Square, the quiet Court des Anges has closed as the new Pirate’s League moves in.

The Pirates League is a pirate-themed makeover boutique popular at Walt Disney World that Disneyland will test this Halloween season in the New Orleans Square courtyard.

The Pirates League opens September 1, two weeks before the start of the Halloween season, but is set to only remain open through Halloween before closing before the holidays.

Nearby, the Haunted Mansion’s final day was Sunday and is now closed to install its annual Nightmare Before Christmas-themed holiday overlay.

Haunted Mansion Holiday opens September 14 with the start of Disney’s Halloween Time.

Last week, Disney gave a sneak peek at this year’s Haunted Mansion Holiday gingerbread house. The Orange County Register gave some additional behind-the-icing information on the 9-foot gingerbread house.

Construction Kingdom

Refreshment Corner’s patio archway is getting some refurbishment work…

At the end of Main Street, the new Fantasy Faire princess meet-and-greet area continues to take shape with steel construction growing behind construction walls.

New concept art has been added to construction walls…

Views from the Omnibus…

A peek through cracks in the wall…

Inside Fantasyland, work on the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique facade continues

Back at the Fantasyland Theater, a lot of the forest-themed stage dressing leftover from the old Snow White — An Enchanting New Musical has been removed as the space prepares for a new production.

The Fantasyland Theater’s snack stand, the Troubadour Tavern, is closed while the Theater is dark.

The snack stand serves up bratwurst along with popular stuffed baked potatoes.

The popular potatoes have now relocated to the Harbour Galley across from the Haunted Mansion at the edge of the Rivers of America.

The Harbour Galley’s regular menu is still available in addition to the potatoes.

Welcome to California Adventure

No visible progress at the remaining construction walls next to California Adventure’s main entrance

Disney Imagineer Brandon Kleyla discussed the window displays and shop backstories in a recent video from the Disney Parks Blog

Halloween merchandise can be found in the Julius Katz and Sons shop on Buena Vista Street.

A look at wait times Saturday afternoon.

In Cars Land, wait times are often more reasonable during weekdays, but Radiator Springs Racers wait times hover around two hours when locals hit the parks after work and on weekends.

Luigi’s Flying Tires wait times range between 40-60 minutes with quicker loading procedures

Building Sandwiches

In Downtown Disney, a look at Earl of Sandwich construction…

The old Compass Books Newsstand kiosk is now completely gone

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Weekly News & Information Round-Up
Weekly Theme Park Hours
August 27—September 2, 2012
[B]Disneyland Park[/B] [B]Disney California Adventure[/B]
Monday-Thursday: 9 am – 10 pm
Friday-Sunday: 9 am – 12 midnight
Monday-Thursday: 9 am – 10 pm
Friday-Sunday: 9 am – 11 pm
[CENTER]For a complete listing of theme park hours,
visit the Disneyland.com Theme Park Calendar
[center]Expected Crowd Levels[/center] [center]presented by TouringPlans.com[/center]
[CENTER][B]Disneyland Park[/B][/CENTER] [CENTER][B]Disney California Adventure[/B][/CENTER]
[B]2.2—4.4[/B] out of 10[/CENTER]
[B]4.6—6.1[/B] out of 10[/CENTER]
[CENTER]Crowd levels are based on a scale from 1 to 10,
with 1 being the least crowded conditions and 10 being most crowded.

[B]For crowd predictions for the next 365 days, visit
[center]Closure and Refurbishment Schedule[/center]
[b][center]Disneyland Park[/center][/b]
  • [B]Princess Fantasy Faire at the Fantasyland Theater:[/B] Fantasyland Theater closed August 12. Princesses have relocated to Small World Promenade allowing the Fantasyland Theater to close and prepare for a new show.
  • [B]The Haunted Mansion:[/B] Closed August 27—September 13 to install Haunted Mansion Holiday overlay.
  • [B]Storybook Land Canal Boats:[/B] Closed September 4-18, 2012 for refurbishment.
  • [B]Casey Jr. Circus Train:[/B] Closed September 4-18, 2012 for refurbishment.
  • [b]Indiana Jones Adventure:[/b] Closed September 4 – December 7, 2012 for refurbishment.
  • [B]Space Mountain:[/B] Closed September 10-13, 2012 for Halloween overlay installation.
  • [B]Big Thunder Ranch:[/B] Closed September 10-13, 2012 for Halloween overlay installation.
  • [B]Davy Crockett’s Explorer Canoes:[/B] Closed September 17-18, 2012.
  • [B]Alice in Wonderland:[/B] Closes early September to install permanent safety rails to outdoor portion of ride track.
  • [B]Fantasy Faire:[/B] New princess-themed meet-and-greet area in former Carnation Plaza Gardens is under construction and expected to open in early 2013.
[b][center]Disney California Adventure[/center][/b]
  • Muppet*Vision 3D: Closed September 10-13, 2012.
[b][center]Downtown Disney and Disneyland Resort Hotels[/center][/b]
  • [B]Earl of Sandwich:[/B] Former Compass Book store and cafe will reopen as the new Earl of Sandwich restaurant summer 2012.
[center]Headline Roundup
A quick look at noteworthy Disney theme park headlines from around the web.[/center]
  • The Orange County Regsiter reported on a recent Disneyland ticket scam in which a man pleaded guilty for selling counterfeit tickets.
  • Disneyland recently teamed up with the Anaheim Angels and Anaheim Ducks to donate $60,000 to the local Boys and Girls Club.
Are you ready for Halloween Time to return to Disneyland? What’s are you most excited to see return during the holiday season? Let us know in the comments section below and thanks for reading!

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Thanks for reading. See you at Disneyland!
[B]- Andy[/B]

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FTC-Mandated Disclosure: Promotional consideration for this edition of Dateline Disneyland was provided by TouringPlans.com | Do More. Wait Less. and the Howard Johnson Plaza Hotel & Water Playground.