Summer has arrived as temperatures rise and crowds hit Disneyland. Behind the scenes, heavy work continues on prepping the site for the upcoming 14-acre Star Wars expansion and rerouting the Rivers of America to accommodate that expansion’s massive footprint. We get you up to speed today on the latest construction changes and more.

This week also kicks off our huge glowing away celebration! June marks the end of Dateline Disneyland and to celebrate, we’re giving back to all of you with our Dateline Disneyland Farewell Season Giveaway! Find out what you can win and how to enter in today’s blog!

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!

Let’s get started!

Welcome to Disneyland!

Summer has started to heat up at Disneyland with one of our first hot weeks of the season.

Dateline Disneyland Farewell Season

Dateline Disneyland is glowing away!
After more than eight years of Dateline Disneyland, we simply can’t glow on like this! But to thank all of you for your readership and support over the years, we’re celebrating the end of the blog by giving back to you! As we wrap up Dateline Disneyland in June, we’re giving out spectacular prizes from our friends at the Howard Johnson Anaheim Hotel & Water Playground, Courtyard Marriot Anaheim Hotel & Waterpark, Progress City Press, POP! Comics & Culture Emporium, and!

We’re giving out prizes every week during June 2016!
Find out what you can win and how to enter below!

Enjoy a 2-night getaway at Howard Johnson Anaheim Hotel or the Courtyard Marriot Anaheim Hotel!
Three (3) Grand Prize Winners will enjoy a two-night stay at the Howard Johnson Plaza Hotel & Water Playground! Ranked in TripAdvisor’s 2016 Travelers’ Choice — Top 25 Hotels for Families in the United States, the HoJo is conveniently located across the street from the Disneyland Resort and is a short, eight-minute walk to Disneyland and Disney California Adventure. The delightfully retro HoJo is packed full of fabulous family-friendly amenities including the swashbuckling, pirate-themed Castaway Cove Water Playground!

One (1) Grand Prize Winner will enjoy a two-night stay at the Courtyard Marriott Anaheim Hotel & Waterpark — the HoJo Anaheim’s beautiful new sister property. Located next to the HoJo Anaheim, the Courtyard Marriot Anaheim Hotel is only a short five minute walk to Disneyland’s front gate. The new Courtyard Marriott features an array of amazing amenities including rooms that sleep six and boast over 530 square feet of space with WiFi and Netflix streaming! Guests can enjoy Starbucks Coffee in the lobby, great dining, and the elevated Surfside Waterpark — a watery oasis that features six water slides, a 400-gallon drench bucket, swimming pool, kid’s pool, and dazzling views of Disneyland’s nightly fireworks!

Explore Disney history with the Progress City Primer!
Four (4) winners will win a hardcover copy and four (4) winners will win a audiobook download of The Progress City Primer: Stories, Secrets, and Silliness from the Many Worlds of Walt Disney by Disney historian Michael Crawford. From Progress City Press, The Progress City Primer features 340 pages of Disney lore, with 33 stories touching on topics ranging from Walt himself to “the Disney that never was.” You’ll learn about legendary Disneyland projects such as Liberty Street, and hear weird and wacky episodes of Walt Disney World history. There’s even a selection of recipes from the Parks’ past, so you can have a Progress City supper party as you read!

Win Disney comics from POP! Comics & Culture Emporium!
Four (4) winners will win copies of select Disney comic books, courtesy of the new POP! Comics and Culture Emporium! Located just minutes away from Disneyland in historic Downtown Anaheim’s Center Street Promenade, POP is Anaheim’s newest and best little comic shop featuring the greatest comics from big publishers and innovative indies! POP is also home to the best comics events and signings in Orange County! Four (4) winners will each win one (1) of the following prizes from POP:

  • Haunted Mansion #1 — POP! Exclusive Variant signed by artist Jody Daily and Disney Imagineers Tom Morris, Josh Shipley and Brian Crosby
  • Darkwing Duck #1 — Signed by writer Aaron Sparrow
  • Seekers of the Weird #1 — Variant signed by artist Brian Crosby and Disney Imagineers Tom Morris and Josh Shipley
  • Seekers of the Weird #1 — Full set of all four covers (unsigned)

Win a year subscription to!
Four (4) winners will receive a one-year Disneyland Resort subscription to, where they can enjoy access to 365 days of Disneyland crowd predictions, accurate attraction wait times, Computer-Optimized Touring Plans and much more! will help you get the most out of your Disneyland Resort vacation, allowing you to do more and wait less.

The Dateline Disneyland Farewell Season Giveaway runs each week in June 2016! Enter to win up to three (3) times per week by completing the entry options using the Rafflecopter widget below, or by clicking here! This week’s giveaway is open until 10:00 PM PST Sunday, June 12!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Prize Breakdown
Prizes will be awarded in the following breakdown each week during the month of June 2016:

  • One (1) Grand Prize Winner will receive 2-Night Hotel Stay: Three (3) of Four (4) prizes will be for the Howard Johnson Anaheim Hotel, One (1) of Four (4) prizes will be for the Courtyard Marriott Anaheim Hotel.
  • One (1) Winner will receive a hardcover copy of The Progress City Primer
  • One (1) Winner will receive a digital download of The Progress City Primer audiobook
  • One (1) Winner will receive a Disney comic book prize; One (1) Winner will receive a Disneyland Resort subscription.

Thank you for your support over the last eight years!
Good luck!

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.

View Map Large ]

Building a Galaxy Far, Far Away

Site work continues for the massive Star Wars project. A look at the construction site from the air thanks to Jeff Barnes, author of Wisdom of Walt

Views from the Mickey and Friends Parking Structure:

Looks like the Mine Train thru Nature’s Wonderland rock arch that had been saved is now gone. Has it been moved for safekeeping or demolished?

Rivers of America

Work continues on rerouting the Rivers of America to accommodate the massive footprint of Star Wars Land.

A look at construction from the back of the Hungry Bear Restaurant

Big Thunder Trail

A look at progress from Big Thunder Trail

Embarrassment on the Backlot

Over in Disney California Adventure, the old Mad T Party dance party setup has been changed over to the rather embarrassing new “Jammin’ on the Backlot” dance party.

It utilizes the existing Mad T Party decorations and stage but just comes off as a very cheap, minimal-effort offering — which it is. With the major budget cuts across the resort and California Adventure’s dependence on the alcohol sales from the dance parties, it makes sense to scale down the entertainment while keeping the alcohol flowing.

Jammin’ on the Backlot, presented by Microsoft WordArt

It’s pretty sad back here

Big Thunder Ranch BBQ tables have made their way back here

Face painting

Disney has also been desperately trying to pull folks back to the Alice Through the Looking Glass 3D preview and over the last couple weeks added banners and temporary signage directing guests to the old Muppet theater. This film hasn’t been the hit Disney was looking for.

This & That

It’s your last full week to enjoy Soarin’ Over California before Disney retires the original California film on June 15. Soarin’ Around the World opens on June 17.

Refurbishment work continues at the Grand Californian Hotel

Starbucks construction progresses in Downtown Disney…

Everything under the sun at HoJo Anaheim
Presented by the Howard Johnson Hotel & Water Playground

The iconic Anaheim HoJo, with its beautifully landscaped grounds and retro flare, is a top-ranked family destination that not only has great rooms and comfortable beds to relax on after a long day at the parks, but it packs plenty of other amenities that are sure to make your Disneyland vacation one to remember. Today we take a look at some of the HoJo’s features and amenities beyond the rooms, including its on-site convenience store, family game room, and another look at the HoJo’s fantastic pool and water playground.

Business calling while you’re on vacation? What a drag! But don’t worry — the HoJo Anaheim has Apple iMacs available for your traveling business needs in the main lobby building.

Main Street Market

The HoJo’s Main Street Market is located just steps away from the main lobby, inside the William L. Pereira-designed main guest room tower. From snacks to souvenirs and everything in between, Main Street Market is your family’s one-stop shop for anything you might need during your Disneyland vacation. Main Street Market is open daily, 7 a.m. to 11 p.m., and features a full assortment of snacks, toiletries, drinks, over-the-counter medications, Disney souvenirs, toys, and much more.

HoJo Game Room

Across the hall from the Main Street Market, the HoJo’s Game Room features over a dozen arcade games, providing a fun indoor escape for the entire family. Battle for victory over a game of air hockey, play pinball with the Pirates of the Caribbean, or try your luck at a claw game — there’s fun here for everybody in the family!

Castaway Cove Water Playground & Garden Pool

If video games aren’t your style, then some poolside R&R should do the trick! The HoJo Anaheim’s Castaway Cove is a spectacular themed water playground packed with plenty of adventure for the whole family! Castaway Cove features a swashbuckling 30-ft high pirate ship play area, two water slides (one for toddlers and another S-curvy slide for the brave pirates in your family), four water cannons, two water umbrellas and a water curtain… and if that wasn’t enough to cool off every pirate in the family, the giant crow’s nest drench bucket that dumps 200 gallons of water every 3-4 minutes will surely do the trick! Castaway Cove is also home to Speedy’s Sprayground, a toddler-friendly water play area and kids’ wading pool. If you’re out late, Castaway Cove’s large 15-seat jacuzzi is a great spot to catch Disneyland’s evening fireworks! Looking for some slower-paced poolside fun? The HoJo’s recently-renovated Garden Pool is nestled among guest room buildings and surrounded by large old-growth trees rising from lush, landscaped gardens. It’s a true oasis, especially in Anaheim’s warm summer months!

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

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
June 6-12, 2016
Disneyland Park California Adventure
Mon.-Fri.: 8 am – 11 pm
Saturday: 8 am – 12 am
Sunday: 8 am – 11 pm
Daily: 8 am – 9 pm
For a complete listing of theme park hours,
visit the Theme Park Calendar
Closure and Refurbishment Schedule
Disneyland Park
  • Tarzan’s Treehouse: Closed through June 9 for refurbishment.
  • 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!
Disney California Adventure
  • Silly Symphony Swings: Closed through June 9 for refurbishment.
  • Soarin’ Over California: Closed one day on June 16 to change to new Soarin’ Around the World.
Downtown Disney and Disneyland Resort Hotels
Tomorrowplan Crowd Estimates for Disneyland Resort from Mouseaddict

June 6-12


  • How many pins have you earned? Tell us on Twitter at @mouseaddict!
  • 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 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

Headline Roundup
A quick look at noteworthy Disney theme park headlines from around the web.
  • Downtown Disney to offer live entertainment throughout summer. (Disney Parks Blog)
  • Shanghai Disney Resort news:
    • Shanghai residents not keen on crowds expected to descent upon city when Shanghai Disneyland opens this month. (Yibada)
Well, that wraps up this quick summer edition of Dateline Disneyland! Be sure to enter-to-win in our Farewell Season Giveaway!

Special thanks to our Dateline Disneylanders!
A very special thank you to all of our Patreon supporters for their monthly support keeping Dateline Disneyland alive, especially our special top-tier supporters:

    Kendra H., Brian A., Dusty Sage,
    Mark D., Bruno, Casey, Hastin Z.!

To help support Dateline Disneyland and get some fun swag in return, visit our Patreon page now!

Don’t miss our sister blog, Dateline Disney World – a fantastic weekly photo blog covering Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida!

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.