The Space Shuttle Endeavour treated Disneyland guests to a special treat Friday, as the Resort was included on the list of California landmarks it flew over during its final flight. Endeavour’s historical final flight over California marked the end of an era for the United State’s space program and theme park guests packed the parks for a chance to catch a glimpse of the shuttle as it flew overhead. Meanwhile, construction continued on Disneyland’s new Fantasy Faire meet-and-greet village and refurbishments continued throughout the park as Halloween Time continued.
Special thanks to reader Shaina Eng for helping out with photos of the Endeavour fly-over.
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!|
Halloween time at Disneyland will bring in higher crowds over the weekend, but they’re still very manageable 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 Halloween and holiday crowds on the horizon, 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
|Tues., Sept. 25||[center]2 /10[/center]||Here are some quick-hit notes that we hope you’ll find helpful as you prepare your visits for the week:
|Wed., Sept. 26||2 /10|
|Thu., Sept. 27||2 /10|
|Fri., Sept. 28||4/10|
|Crowd levels are based on a scale from 1 to 10, with 1 being the least crowded conditions and 10 being most crowded.See Disneyland crowds for the next 365 days.
Get Disneyland wait times on your iPhone, Android, or Smartphone.
|Soarin’ Over California Adventure|
Friday marked the end of an era for the United State space program as Space Shuttle Endeavour completed the final leg of its journey to retirement with fly-overs over several California landmarks including San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge, Griffith Observatory and Disneyland. Signs at the park entrance notified guests of the special occasion.
The Los Angeles Times reported on the shuttle’s fly-over Disneyland, noting guests went to the parks specifically for the fly-over photo-op.
Disney released a video clip of the fly-over:
Our friends at MouseInfo had an alternate view in their video below:
At the end of Main Street, more walls have gone up at the upcoming Fantasy Faire princess meet-and-greet area. The new walls completely close off access to Sleeping Beauty Castle’s western walkway that wraps around the edge of the Fantasy Faire area.
A few steps away from Pizza Port, Disney announced that characters from the upcoming animated film “Wreck-It Ralph” will make appearances in Tomorrowland’s Starcade this November.
Concept art for the meet-and-greet.
Turning the arcade space into a character meet-and-greet will be a welcome change as the arcade has been overrun by overflow Star Trader retail displays since the Star Trader was closed for refurbishment two summers ago. Arcade games remain, but only in a small corner
Or, if we’re really lucky, Disney will get the last speed ramps in Tomorrowland running again and host the meet-and-greet in the long-abandoned upper level of the Starcade. Currently, the speed ramps are blocked by a temporary cash wrap for the overflow retail space.
|Scaring up the Season|
|Welcome to California Adventure|
Disney California Adventure was named Theme Park of the Year last week by Amusement Today, a publication covering theme park news and trends. Congrats!
Last week the Orange County Register reported that Mater’s Junkyard Jamboree will get some padding on its seats in early October after guest complaints and some reported injuries.
Back on Buena Vista Street, the window displays haven’t changed since we updated you on them last week. If last week’s changes were the extent of the compromise Disney’s merchandise department made to share the window space with Imagineering, then what we have is pretty disappointing.
Just a few doors down from the Los Feliz Five and Dime window that is filled with Red Car Trolley merchandise, more of the same merchandise clutters an Elias and Co. window display (and don’t forget that the main Julius Katz and Sons window is filled with more of the same Red Car Trolley merchandise!). Maybe if the guests see piles of the same merchandise over and over again they’ll finally be convinced to buy some of it?
In this Elias and Company window, both of the mannequins that merchandise added in front of the vintage mannequin that Imagineering’s designers originally included wear the same Buena Vista Street t-shirt, one of them also has a hoodie on that features the same art work that is featured on the hoodie.
If the cluttered window displays lure you inside, you’ll be greeted by a big display with all the stuff you saw in the windows. All of it has the same painting by Noah Fine Art. Oh, what’s that? You wanted variety?
|This and That|
Inside the parks, you might spot a familiar face on some new merchandise hitting store shelves, but it isn’t Mickey’s… Disney’s theme park merchandise team has apparently taken to putting Walt Disney’s face on more and more merchandise.
This is a trend that doesn’t feel right to me. On one hand you have the company getting rid of Walt’s name from “Walt Disney Pictures,” opting for simply “Disney.” And on the other you have the parks like Disney California Adventure trying to bring customers closer to Walt and his personal story. It’s one thing to have a theme park experience retell an idealized version of Walt Disney’s life story, but it’s another to turn Walt into a character that you’re merchandising like Mickey Mouse or an animated princess.
Disney should really re-evaluate if it’s appropriate to put an enlarged image of Walt Disney’s face on a $30 t-shirt. If the goal is re-introducing people to Walt Disney as the man responsible for this iconic American entertainment company, a couple of t-shirts with his face on them aren’t going to do the trick and it just comes off as being in poor taste.
|Weekly News & Information Round-Up|
|Weekly Theme Park Hours
September 24-30, 2012
|[B]Disneyland Park[/B]||[B]Disney California Adventure[/B]|
|Monday-Thursday: 10 am – 8 pm
Friday: 8 am – 7 pm
Saturday-Sunday: 8 am – 12 midnight
Monday-Thursday: 10 am – 8 pm
Friday: 8 am – 11 pm
Saturday-Sunday: 8 am – 10 pm
|[CENTER]For a complete listing of theme park hours,
visit the Disneyland.com Theme Park Calendar[/CENTER]
|[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]1.1—7.4[/B] out of 10[/CENTER]
[B]3.7—8.0[/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]Disney California Adventure[/center][/b]|
|[b][center]Downtown Disney and Disneyland Resort Hotels[/center][/b]|
A quick look at noteworthy Disney theme park headlines from around the web.[/center]
|Well, that wraps up this week’s column. Were you at Disneyland when Endeavour flew over? Let us know how it was in the comments section below!
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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.|