Disney California Adventure celebrated the opening of Shanghai Disney Resort last week with a one-day celebration featuring cultural performances, food, and more. On the other side of the park, the new Soarin’ Around the World opened, taking guests on a flight over some of the world’s most notable landmarks. In Disneyland, the massive new Star Wars expansion continues to take shape as the historic Skyway Chalet building comes down.

We continue our huge glowing away celebration today with another week of giveaways! 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! We had nearly 1,200 giveaway entries last week! We’re thrilled that all of you are celebrating our 8 year run with us before we glow away — Winners will be notified soon! And even if you entered last week, you can still enter again in this week’s giveaway, so don’t miss out! 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!

It’s our penultimate edition of Dateline Disneyland! Let’s get started!

Welcome to Disney California Adventure!

A summer heatwave hit Southern California over the weekend, bringing high temperatures to the parks.

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 TouringPlans.com!

We’re giving out new prizes every week during June 2016!
Even if you entered in last week’s giveaway, you can enter this week for another chance to win!
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 TouringPlans.com!
Four (4) winners will receive a one-year Disneyland Resort subscription to TouringPlans.com, where they can enjoy access to 365 days of Disneyland crowd predictions, accurate attraction wait times, Computer-Optimized Touring Plans and much more! TouringPlans.com 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 26!
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 TouringPlans.com Disneyland Resort subscription.

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

Disney Shanghai Adventure

On Thursday, Disney California Adventure celebrated the grand opening of Shanghai Disney Resort with a small festival in Hollywood Land.

Live entertainment was presented on the Backlot Stage.

Coloring pages were available for the kids

Informative displays with information about the park and concept art were out, never mind the typos.

Mulan, in her new costume, along with Mushu were out to meet guests, drawing long lines

Potstickers, almond cookies and tea were also available

Soarin’ takes flight

On Friday, Disney California Adventure and Epcot in Florida debuted the new Soarin’ Around the World film at the popular Soarin’ attraction. The new film that takes guests around the world to landmarks including the Matterhorn, the Eiffel Tower, the Great Wall of China, Sydney harbor, and the buttes of Monument Valley and, unlike its California-based predecessor, features new CG scene transitions.

Fastpass is recommended here, as Disney has now eliminated the Single Rider option for this attraction

The queue remains untouched

Disney is also enforcing a long-standing but unenforced no photography/video recording policy with the new attraction film, which we followed. Video ride throughs can be found online, however.

Overall the new Soarin’ is a nice update. The California film had become a classic but simulator-type, film-based rides like this are made to be updated. The highlight of the new Soarin’ film is the flyover of Disneyland — it’s very well done and it’s nice to see the park in its traditional state instead of perpetually dressed for Christmas like the original Soarin’ film. The new CG scene transitions are perhaps the worst aspect of this — most of the transitions come from CG animals, for example, a whale splashing water across the screen, or elephants kicking up dust in the African savannah. After a couple of the CG transitions, the whole thing becomes gimmicky and with each scene I was trying to guess what the next transition would be instead of focusing on the otherwise gorgeous visuals. And the visuals are gorgeous. This film is a lot more polished than the original California film, and it’s nice to see the improvement. In some ways it makes the ride feel more like a Disney experience, while at other times making it feel less like real footage. As for the theme, it’s definitely a shame that one of the last remaining California-themed offerings in Disney California Adventure is now gone but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t check out the new global Soarin’ next time you’re in the park.

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

Over in Disneyland, construction continues on the new Star Wars expansion. Looks like cement footers are getting ready to be poured in some areas…

Rivers of America

With Disney blocking views from the back of the Hungry Bear Restaurant, there’s not much to see in terms of Rivers of America construction from within the park…

Big Thunder Trail

Skyway to Yesterland

You may have noticed in the photos from the Mickey and Friends Parking Structure, but the old Fantasyland Skyway Chalet has been removed. Perhaps long overdue, but it still stings to see yet another historic structure removed from the park.

This & That

In Downtown Disney, work continues on the new Starbucks location next to the DVC Sales Center

Nothing new to see at the former House of Blues…

Splash into fun at Courtyard Marriott Anaheim
Presented by the Courtyard Marriott Anaheim Hotel & Waterpark

The Howard Johnson Anaheim Hotel and Water Playground changed the game for Anaheim hotels when it added the family favorite Castaway Cove Water Playground, so it’s no surprise that the HoJo’s new sister property followed suit and opened with its own fanciful waterpark.

The Courtyard Anaheim Theme Park Entrance‘s spectacular 20,000 square foot Surfside Waterpark features a charming California surf theme that complements the ocean mural accent walls in the guest rooms, transporting your family to a watery oasis where the parents can relax and the kids can burn off some afternoon energy.

The kids will find no shortage of fun in the Courtyard’s huge waterpark, which features six water slides — two of which take you on an exhilarating 30-foot ride. Kids can also enjoy the expansive wet deck, which features a 400-gallon drench bucket (listen for the bell!), water cannons and shooting fountains. Playful interactive features including Willie the Whale can be found surrounding the wet deck. Younger kids can enjoy the 1-foot-deep kids wading pool, which features beach-style entry. Parents looking to relax on a lounge chair next to the all-ages pool or soak in the huge 15-person hot tub.

And if you’ve turned in early for the night but don’t want to miss Disneyland’s famous fireworks, don’t worry! The Courtyard’s Surfside Waterpark is a great spot to watch the show, providing a stunning panoramic view of Disneyland.

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
June 13-19, 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 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!
Disney California Adventure
  • None.
Downtown Disney and Disneyland Resort Hotels
Tomorrowplan Crowd Estimates for Disneyland Resort from Mouseaddict

June 20-26


  • Southern California is boiling this week! Be sure to spend plenty of time in the shade, drink lots of water, and tap “Cool Zones” in Mouseaddict search to find air-conditioned spots to cool off.

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.
  • Authorities say there are no credible threats to Disneyland and other So. Cal attractions (OC Register)
  • Disney donates $1 million to OneOrlando fund following mass shooting at Orlando-area gay nightclub. (Disney Parks Blog)
  • A two-year-old boy was found dead after being dragged into water by an alligator at Disney World (Orlando Sentinel)
  • Disney will post warning signs at Walt Disney World following alligator attack. (Orlando Sentinel)
  • Shanghai Disney Resort news:
Alright! that wraps up our penultimate edition of Dateline Disneyland! We’ve got another round of giveaways this week, so even if you entered last week, be sure to enter-to-win in this week’s Farewell Season Giveaway!

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

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

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.