Disneyland‘s classic Jungle Cruise reopened with new safety enhancements that make the experience safety for guests and Cast Members alike. The changes improve the loading and unloading procedures at the attraction but most guests won’t notice much difference. Meanwhile, budgets are being cut at Disneyland and are now affecting the guest experience negatively, despite Disney enjoying record attendance and profits.

Don’t miss your weekly Disneyland Resort crowd forecast — provided by our friends at Mouseaddict — in the Weekly News and Information Roundup at the end of today’s update!

Get a closer look! Don’t forget that you can always click on any photo in Dateline Disneyland for a closer look with a larger, higher resolution version of the image!

We’ve got a full update, so let’s get started!

Welcome to Disneyland!

Disneyland looks gorgeous this spring, even during the seasonal rain showers that hit the parks this weekend.

It’s duckling season at Disneyland!




Budgetland

MiceAge recently reported on Disneyland’s massive budget slashing efforts being mandated by Disney Parks and Resorts Chairman Bob Chapek. According to MiceAge, the U.S. Disney parks are being required to slash $500 million from their annual operating budget and those cuts are increasingly being felt by guests in the parks. Restaurant hours have been cut, with Hungry Bear Restaurant now only operating on the busiest days of the week. In Disney California Adventure, Paradise Garden Grill was shuttered altogether and is now expected to only be open for seasonal offerings.

In Hollywood Land, Schmoozies! regularly operates with reduced hours but is now closed altogether on most weekdays. Likewise, outdoor vending carts in less-trafficked areas of the park, such as Disneyland’s Critter Country, are opening later and closing earlier or simply not opening at all on weekdays.

The budget cuts are affecting park attractions as well. In Fantasyland, the Casey Jr. Circus Train has been running only one train, making its regular 15-20 minute wait a long 30-40 minute wait in an outdoor queue with practically no shade. At Disney California Adventure, the Redwood Creek Challenge Trail now posts a sign noting its reduced hours.

Park hours are also suffering. Despite record attendance, regular park hours are being trimmed by an hour or two almost every day when compared to park hours over the last couple years. These hour cuts will even affect the upcoming Memorial Day Holiday Weekend. The recent tradition of kicking off the summer season with a 24 hour party on the Memorial Weekend Friday ends this year with no 24 hour event planned. The Monday Memorial Day holiday usually sees peak-season hours but they’ve been trimmed by an hour in both parks.

2016 Disneyland Resort Park Hour Cuts
Memorial Day Weekend
Day 2016 Park Hours
May 27-30, 2016
2015 Park Hours
May 22-25, 2015
2014 Park Hours
May 23-26, 2014
Friday DL: 8 am – 11 pm
DCA: 8 am – 9 pm
DL: 24 Hours
6 am – 6 am
DCA: 24 Hours
6 am – 6 am
DL: 24 Hours
6 am – 6 am
DCA: 24 Hours
6 am – 6 am
Saturday DL: 8 am – 12 am
DCA: 8 am – 9 pm
DL: 9 am – 12 am
DCA: 9 am – 10 pm
DL: 9 am – 12 am
DCA: 9 am – 10 pm
Sunday DL: 8 am – 11 pm
DCA: 8 am – 9 pm
DL: 8 am – 12 am
DCA: 8 am – 10 pm
DL: 9 am – 11 am
DCA: 9 am – 10 pm
Monday
Memorial Day
DL: 8 am – 11 pm
DCA: 8 am – 9 pm
DL: 8 am – 12 am
DCA: 8 am – 10 pm
DL: 8 am – 12 am
DCA: 8 am – 10 pm

The park operating hours will continue be cut into the summer months, with hours trimmed an hour for both parks on most days. Below, a snapshot of the second week of June:

2016 Disneyland Resort Park Hour Cuts
Second Week of June
Day 2016 Park Hours
June 5-11, 2016
2015 Park Hours
June 7-15, 2015
2014 Park Hours
June 8-14, 2014
Sunday DL: 8 am – 11 pm
DCA: 8 am – 9 pm
DL: 8 am – 12 am
DCA: 8 am – 10 pm
DL: 8 am – 12 am
DCA: 8 am – 10 pm
Monday DL: 8 am – 11 pm
DCA: 8 am – 9 pm
DL: 8 am – 12 am
DCA: 8 am – 10 pm
DL: 8 am – 12 am
DCA: 8 am – 10 pm
Tuesday DL: 8 am – 11 pm
DCA: 8 am – 9 pm
DL: 8 am – 12 am
DCA: 8 am – 10 pm
DL: 8 am – 12 am
DCA: 8 am – 10 pm
Wednesday DL: 8 am – 11 pm
DCA: 8 am – 9 pm
DL: 8 am – 12 am
DCA: 8 am – 10 pm
DL: 8 am – 12 am
DCA: 8 am – 10 pm
Thursday DL: 8 am – 11 pm
DCA: 8 am – 9 pm
DL: 8 am – 12 am
DCA: 8 am – 10 pm
DL: 8 am – 12 am
DCA: 8 am – 10 pm
Friday DL: 8 am – 11 pm
DCA: 8 am – 9 pm
DL: 8 am – 12 am
DCA: 8 am – 10 pm
DL: 9 am – 12 am
DCA: 9 am – 10 pm
Saturday DL: 8 am – 12 am
DCA: 8 am – 9 pm
DL: 8 am – 12 am
DCA: 8 am – 10 pm
DL: 9 am – 12 am
DCA: 9 am – 10 pm

Park hours sources: Disneyland.com, wdwinfo.com, Mouseplanet.com

Safety Cruise

In Adventureland, the Jungle Cruise has reopened after an extensive refurbishment. While the jungle itself has been cleaned up, it remains relatively unchanged.

The big change came to the jungle dock and loading area which now features a hidden safety system that allows the boats to pull into the load area without having to be tied down.

You can spot new additions related to these safety additions to the sides of boats

All-in-all, the new safety changes are well-implemented and will go unnoticed by most guests — improving the safety here for guests and Cast while being pretty much invisible to most guests is great.

Despite no major changes in the jungle, the show scenes and landscaping all look great.

Alice in Blunderland

In Disney California Adventure, the Sunset Showcase Theater has opened in Hollywood Land. The theater, formerly the Crown Jewel Theatre for the Frozen sing-along show (and Muppet*Vision for years before that), is now being used exclusively as a flex space for limited-engagement movie previews.

The theater is currently home to a new 3D preview of the upcoming “Alice Through the Looking Glass” film and features an extended scene from the film with in-theater special effects. Disney reused props from its now defunct Mad T Party dance party to decorate the entrance of the theater. It certainly doesn’t look great but it is what it is.

The marquee reuses the film strip design from Muppet*Vision 3D.

Reused Mad T Party props

The Alice in Wonderland decorations stop at the entrance and the rest of the queue is still totally covered in its temporary Frozen theming. It’s a sign if particular cheapness from Disney but for a theater that’s only being kept open to show movie previews during a time of significant budget cuts, it’s not surprising. Disappointing, certainly, but not surprising.

No effort to remove or retheme the Frozen overlay. Keep in mind that Disney continues to post record attendance and profits every quarter.

The lobby features two interactive Alice in Wonderland photo booths that were previously on display at the D23 Expo.

The theater itself did lose its Frozen overlay and is back to how it looked during its time as Muppet*Vision.

Nearby, the Studio Store has Alice Through the Looking Glass merchandise available.

Meanwhile, the rest of the Mad T Party infrastructure remains in place and sits unused now that Food and Wine Festival is over.

The Frontier Awakens

Disneyland’s new Star Wars project will be unprecedented in terms of scale for the park, dedicating 14 acres to a single property with massive new facades, rock work, and massive E-Ticket attractions that dwarf even Pirates of the Caribbean and Indiana Jones Adventure. Below, a map showing how the new land is expected to impact Disneyland’s landscape once completed in late 2018.

StarWarsExpansion-BeforeStarWarsExpansion-After

[ View Map Large ]

Building a Galaxy Far, Far Away

Work continues in the space formerly home to multiple backstage facilities as Disney preps the land for its massive new Star Wars expansion.

Rivers of America

Meanwhile, in the park the Rivers of America and Tom Sawyer Island are quickly being reduced and rerouted to accommodate the new Star Wars expansion.

Views from the back of the Hungry Bear Restaurant show that the Island has been cut off just about where the Settler’s Cabin once sat.

The River itself is now being rerouted along the edge of the shortened island.

Big Thunder Trail

Views from Big Thunder Trail continue to show major changes in the northwest corner of Disneyland

Views from the top of Tarzan’s Treehouse

MiceChat Gumball Rally
10th Anniversary!

There is only one event in the world of Disney fandom which holds the status of the legendary… MiceChat Gumball Rally. It is a full day adventure through Disneyland to see how many attractions you can ride in a single day. Sound easy? It isn’t. However, we are told over and over again that this is the most fun our attendees have ever had in the parks.

  • Compete in teams of 2, 3, or 4 people.
  • You don’t have to be a trivia buff, ride warrior, or theme park nerd to play. The game is designed to put everyone on a level playing field.
  • You can play at the speed that you like. Take it easy or tear through the park. It’s up to you.
  • For one low price you get the game and Awards Party, complete with entertainment and prizes. (admission into the parks is NOT included)
  • Prizes will be awarded for 1st – 10th place, Best Team Logo, Best Team Name, and Spirit of MiceChat Award. There are plenty of chances to win!
  • Plus, while you are waiting for the results, we’ll present you with great entertainment and prizes!
  • An all day race through Disneyland to see who can ride the most attractions in a single day . . . There is simply no better way to challenge yourself, what you think you know about Disneyland, and have a fantastic time with your family and friends (whether you win or not).
  • Two types of tickets available – General ticket includes coffee, juice, and breakfast pastries in the AM and access to the Award Party in the PM. Please note that the Awards Party will take about two hours. You’ll have an hour and a half between the end of the Gumball Rally and the Awards Party to relax and find something to eat for dinner before the party.
  • VIP TICKETS – In addition to the above, VIP ticket holders will receive early registration, full breakfast at the ESPN Zone, full post-Rally dinner at the Anaheim Plaza Hotel, VIP Reserved spots up front for both the kick-off and the Awards Party, Rally T-Shirt, and special commemorative Tenth Anniversary Gumball Rally pin. Make your Gumball Rally experience extra special with our VIP package! (the VIP package is a value of over $90 plus guaranteed seating and express game-day registration for just $75 extra per person). This is your best Rally deal!

For more information or to register for the event, CLICK HERE!

This & That

Downtown Disney’s new Starbucks location continues to take shape…

Inside the parks, the recycling trash cans have been retrofitted with new liquid disposal features.


Enjoy retro fun just steps away from Disneyland at
Howard Johnson Hotel & Water Playground

A short walk from the park, HoJo Anaheim is conveniently located next to Matterhorn Mountain at Disneyland with nearby dining, freeway access, FREE parking and FREE Wi-Fi. For more information on HoJo Anaheim, room rates, or to book your stay today, visit HoJoAnaheim.com/MiceChat

Save with MiceChat & Passholder Discounts Every Day!
The HoJo Anaheim is now offering daily discounts for MiceChat members and even DEEPER discounts for Disneyland Resort Annual Passholders! For more information visit the HoJo Anaheim Innsider Boards which features an up-to-date listing of available nights, or call (714) 776-6120 and ask for In-House Reservations to book. If your date isn’t listed, the HoJo Anaheim still offers rooms for 20% off their best available rate if you call (714) 776-6120.
Weekly News & Information Round-Up
Weekly Theme Park Hours
May 9-15, 2016
Disneyland Park California Adventure
Mon.-Thu.: 9 am – 10 pm
Friday: 8 am – 11 pm
Saturday: 8 am – 12 am
Sunday: 8 am – 11 pm
Mon.-Thu.: 9 am – 9 pm
Fri.-Sun.: 8 am – 9 pm
For a complete listing of theme park hours,
visit the Disneyland.com Theme Park Calendar
Closure and Refurbishment Schedule
Disneyland Park
  • Disneyland Railroad: Closed for over a year starting January 11 while the Railroad path is rerouted for Star Wars Land.
  • Rivers of America: All River traffic and attractions are closed for over a year starting on January 11 while Star Wars Land construction reduces and reroutes the northern portion of the River. The extended closure includes:
    • Mark Twain Riverboat
    • Sailing Ship Columbia
    • Rafts to Tom Sawyer Island
    • Pirate’s Lair on Tom Sawyer Island
    • Davy Crockett’s Explorer Canoes
    • Fantasmic!
  • Disneyland Monorail: Closed through May 19 for refurbishment.
  • Matterhorn Bobsleds: Closed May 2-6 for refurbishment.
  • Jungle Cruise: Closed through May 5 for extended refurbishment.
Disney California Adventure
  • Silly Symphony Swings: Closed through June 9 for refurbishment.
  • Grizzly River Run: Closed through May 17 for refurbishment.
  • Frozen — Live in the Hyperion: New stage musical show opens May 27.
Downtown Disney and Disneyland Resort Hotels
    None.
Tomorrowplan Crowd Estimates for Disneyland Resort from Mouseaddict

May 9-15

Mon
Tue
Wed
Thu
Fri
Sat
Sun

  • Believe it or not, it’s that time again: Grad Nites start this Friday and continue through mid June.
  • Pirates of the Caribbean, Blue Bayou, and Carthay Circle Restaurant and Lounge are closed this week, along with continuing refurbs of Grizzly River Run, Silly Symphony Swings, and the Monorail.
  • The summer crowds are coming! Plan ahead with Tomorrowplan crowd projections before you visit. And when you’re in the parks, use our unique Wait Watcher feature to create your own Fastpass for any attraction. Learn more at http://mouseaddict.com and download today.

The free Mouseaddict app for iPhone and iPad features more than five dozen categories of searchable resort information, weather forecasts, park and show schedules, the latest news and articles from MiceChat, and more. Download free on the App Store or at mouseaddict.com.

Headline Roundup
A quick look at noteworthy Disney theme park headlines from around the web.
Alright, that wraps up this week’s Dateline Disneyland! What do you think of the budget cuts? Are they small enough to not be a big deal or is it a bad move at Disney during a time of record attendance and profit? Let us know what you think in the comments section below!

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Thanks for reading. See you at Disneyland!
– Andy




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FTC-Mandated Disclosure: Promotional consideration for this edition of Dateline Disneyland was provided by the Howard Johnson Plaza Hotel & Water Playground.