Disneyland is currently in the middle of a surprising number of minor construction and refurbishment projects that include the Storybookland Canal Boats, Casey Jr. Circus Train, Indiana Jones and the Temple of the Forbidden Eye, with Big Thunder and Alice in Wonderland soon to follow. That’s not to say that there are not enough attractions left open to enjoy your day at the Disneyland Resort. With Halloween Time in full swing, Ghost Galaxy and Haunted Mansion Holiday overlays add a bit of extra fun to the park. More reasonable crowd levels than we’ve seen in months, make now the logical time for Disney to get their refurbishment projects completed. Here is what you can expect to find if you’ll soon be visiting the parks.

The Fantasy Faire Village rolls along towards a 2013 opening. The construction walls have pushed out further towards the hub at the center of the park. This will soon be the new home of Disneyland’s princess meet and greets.

Green construction screens obscure the steel framing of the structure.

There are a number of projects happening at the park right now. One of which is the Indy refurb that caught many off guard, including Disney. After a short planned refurbishment, park planners realized that there was a lot more work left to do. So the ride will be down for at least 14 weeks.

Indy is scheduled to return at the end of the year.

In Frontierland, fences have gone up to work on a cart along Big Thunder Trail. At the same time, a large portion of the back route towards Fantasyland has been re-surfaced.


Both the Casey Jr. Circus train and Storybookland Canal Boats are being spruced up.

Mickey’s Toon Town
Finally, Mickey’s Toon Town is looking a little rough around the edges. Benny the Cab, who normally graces the entrance to Roger Rabbit’s Car Toon Spin, has been missing in action for weeks now.

It also seems that the hills are alive with the sound of peeling.

Pizza Port has reopened while the maintenance department continues to touch up the facade.

This is great. But it might be a good idea to turn off the mist spraying rocket adjacent to the entrance for now.

The entrance is soaking wet.

A wet floor just before walking into the slick-floored Pizza Port isn’t exactly the best idea.

But what would make us happier is for Pizza Port to be granted a full refurbishment on the inside as well – hopefully including an updated menu – as this spot is getting a little long in the tooth.

Main Street U.S.A.
The City Hall building is still behind the scaffolds and trompe l’oeil murals.

The Mad Hatter has returned from a quick refurbishment.

Despite the construction, Halloween Time in the parks is still in full swing.

The Dapper Dans ride down Main Street on the horse drawn carriage singing Grim Grinning Ghosts.

The Halloween Tree is a lovely sight to behold at night. With its glowing orbs of red and orange laced with spooky and mischievous jack-o-lanterns, it just begs you to get into the Halloween spirit.

If you haven’t visited yet, we highly recommend the new Halloween Carnival Jamboree in the back of the park. It is a charming little holiday festival that is too easily overlooked in its remote location. Stop by for a look and share this tip with your friends and family. We’d love to see more of these little festivals in the park throughout the year.

Even the goats are in the spirit.

In the festival itself there is some amazing pumpkin carving going on.

A pumpkin it is

An insidious little change has slowly been occurring in the the shops around the Disneyland Resort. The larger ticket items that one normally sees in the stores have maintained a fairly steady price this season. However, if you head towards the cash wraps, where the impulse items are, you will find that prices are going up (in some cases dramatically).

impulse buys such as the standard bunch of mickey lollipops, have jumped in price from $3.95 to $6.95. Yikes! Better stick with the other suckers where the prices have remained relatively unscathed so far.

We’ve been told that prices on lots of little affordable items have recently gone up. If you’ve noticed this trend, please comment below with examples. We are not big shoppers and are hoping our readers can help fill in the blanks.


A look at the wait time boards show that this is off season. Radiator Springs Racers still pulls in a long wait, but the rest of the park has returned to reasonable levels.

You have heard the stories. Fast Passes selling out by noon for the latest E-ticket addition to Disney California Adventure. We visited mid-week, in the morning and by 10:30am this was the status…

The end of the line reached out to the front of the Carthay Circle Theater Restaurant.

The return time at 10:30. YIKES.

Don’t forget, Mickey’s lovable travel companion, Duffy, has his Halloween photo-op/meet and greet ready to go. With merchandise just inside the store to go along with his seasonal theme.

There is an upcoming Frankenweenie product release and signing happening next Saturday from 3:30-5:30. Mark your calendars now for October 6th – 3:30 to 5:30 at Off the Page.

We round things out with the odd decision by park management to simply run the new Frankenweenie preview and trailer in the Muppet-Vision theater continuously, all day. In the meantime, Muppets is currently listed as down for “improvements.” Since the theater is being used as a screening room, we doubt that any real improvements are being made.

And that’s our update from the Disneyland Resort. Yes, there’s a lot of work going on right now. But please don’t let that stop you from dropping by. Crowd levels are enjoyable and Disneyland looks fantastic in its Halloween best.

We’ll see ya real soon . . . In The Parks

  • Emmanuel_4

    Great Update!!!!

  • jasmineray

    I’ve been saying the entirety of Toontown could use a refurb for months now. The peeling paint just sickens me, and Benny has been gone forever now. Come on Disney, you can and should do better than this!

    • I’m just about ready for them to replace the whole land. In all these years since ToonTown opened, they’ve done nothing to plus it up and still haven’t added a new attraction. The back of the park needs some help. Our long term readers will note that Disney has a lot of trouble keeping ToonTown in tip top shape. The colors fade fast, the interactive props and gags break, and things get shabby quickly. It wasn’t long ago that the hills were repainted and the Benny The Cab refreshed, but they are already in need of repair. The whole land must be a maintenance nightmare.

      • Ravjay12

        I don’t think a replacing of the whole land is necessary. There are a lot of things that need a purpose, such as Goofy’s house, Chip and Dales treehouse, Donald’s boat, basically that whole section. Maybe a re-theming of Gadget’s coaster, since she isn’t one of the classic characters. The other areas still work well, and my kids love it! As for the peeling paint, the whole area is a concrete jungle with no shade and all those bright custom colors are fading fast under the hot summer sun. You’re right about adding a new attraction back there, and maybe a purpose for all the other character’s houses would liven things up

  • mratigan

    Thanks for the info on the signing

  • brem

    I can’t believe the line for RSR! When were you there during “mid-week”?

  • Reen007

    I was there for 3 days earlier in the week, and since my last visit in March I noticed a lot of price increases that left me without buying a lot of stuff. The candy was way too high. Most items I was looking at buying I did not, but would have if they were $5.00 cheaper. The hat ornaments were $20 ( I wanted to by several for Christmas gifts for co-workers but did not feel they were worth the price). Trolley Mickey Ear Hat $25 (for me, but again for something I would use only in park, not worth the price). If both were just $5 cheaper, I most likely would have bought them all.

    The one thing I felt was the most lacking was the service. This was the first time I gone where I had received crappy service from most restaurants we ate. Cafe Orleans staff was all rush but failed to bring drink refills or water when asked several times and no one checked back with us ever. Plaza Inn, Village Haus, Cocina Cucamonga all had 2 registers open, and the tables we sat at we cleaned off ourselves. We did receive great service at Carnation Cafe and in the lounge at Carthy Circle.

    On the last day, my wife and I sat in Frontierland people watching and we both noticed and counted the number of people with souvenir bags. In a span of 20-25 minutes we counting 7 people with bags. I even mentioned that even walking thought the shops, I had no problem getting to a register, especially on Buena Vista Street. A lot of Cast Members standing around waiting to ring up someone at the registers.

    Now, both my wife and I have been passholders for the past 10 years minimum, and have gone on trips to the Disneyland Resort 4-5 times a year (each trip was 3-4 days), we now feel we are getting priced out of going. Our passes expired on our last day there, and we choose not to renew since we have don’t know when we will return.


    I was there earlier in the week, and got on RSR in 5 minutes by getting there right when the park opened (on Magic Morning Tuesday) and using the Single Rider entrance. You really have to do it that way to avoid the 120 minute waits. They weren’t even giving out Fastpasses at that early time, so couldn’t get one as I had planned to do. Then of course they were quickly sold out later.

    Note that the parks were fairly crowded also, with long lines on Sunday, and 30 – 40 minute waits for many attractions on Monday and Tuesday. We thought that crowds would be low with school just having started again, but boy were we wrong! The Halloweentime overlay is really bringing folks in.

  • TodAZ1

    How come no mention of the refurd of the Toon Town hills behind Mickey’s house? Andy Castro’s column on Monday had a couple pictures of it.

  • ayalexander

    Having toontown as the beginning of my generation, it is sad to see it in such disrepair. I remember toontown in its heyday, jolly-trolley, bounce house, characters and bright new colors galore… but that was all so… 90’s. I think toontown could still work in a modern time 2010+, if only they gave it smaller refurbs more often. And if they somehow added another dark ride and a new character meet&greet there would still be a way to salvage the land, but as someone else pointed out: they have never plussed the area, its almost like they have given up. -Aside from all that, I feel bad for Reen007’s trip to the park and having such bad service. I have noticed lately -especialy in the food service- that service has gone far downhill. The cast that clean the restaurants don’t do it, the cashiers and food boxers openly appear tired and glum, and then the food itself is either cold, salty, or tastes odd. The management throughout the resort is now lacking in quality, and if they don’t step back and see it from an outside angle soon, the parks will get a bad wrap! -all in all the attractions are still fun tho.

  • ABW

    Thank you, as always, for a great update!

  • victoriaskitten

    I will finally be doing my birthday trip for 5 days starting Oct. 4th. I am looking forward to the first 2 days being alone to explore all the new attractions in CA and refurbs done on Main Street at DL. Also hope to finally meet some Mice Chatters on Sunday at the hub. It will be interesting to see the new price increases on merchandise.
    I hope that the bad service was just a passing thing experienced by Reen007, so sorry you had those bad experiences. I know we are taking in alot more snacks and returning to the hotel for more of the same to save money.
    My big wish is that the souveniers we buy for the children each visit weren’t such poor quality. I would like them to last for several months of play and not just fall apart right away. The stuffed animals are an exception to this. I wouldn’t mind buying merchandise if that was the case.
    As for Toon Town we rarely go back there since every time we do it has been depressing to see how run down it always is.
    I will to The Radiator Springs Racers as a single rider and pray they don’t break down. I am very excited to finally see Cars Land.
    It’s official my trip will be Super Wonderful and Full of Wonderful Memories.
    Thanks for the great update.

  • PirateLover

    Could the rise in candy prices be due to the corn crops all drying up this year? Any food item that uses corn as an ingredient is going to go up and the lolipops probably are made with lots of corn syrup. Just a guess though…

    • Quentin

      That’s exactly what I was thinking.

  • mickeypancakehead

    Sadly, I have to admit Reen007’s customer service experiences are what my husband and I have seen the last few times we’ve been. We live a couple of states away, but have annual passes since we go about 3 times a year. Not only have we seen bad service in the restaurants, but on the attractions. Our last trip I was actually convinced by two flat-out rude cast member (one at Haunted Mansion, one at Thunder Mountain) to complain at City Hall. It takes a lot for me to do that, but I was so fed up at the end of that trip and bad service everyday. So sad to me. I’m hoping the management starts getting things under control. We want to take two friends that have never been and it’s making me nervous! I want to show them the magic, not surly employees… Sigh.

  • Fortune Red

    I’m afraid the service will only be getting worse in the foreseeable future. Disney is dredging the bottom of the employment barrel with their sadly out-of-touch pay scale. I blame it on corporate greed, being unionized, or perhaps both.
    My wife and I recently left Disney after working full-time for over 11 years. We moved to Orange County in 2001 when we got hired in to fulfill our “dream”. While our love for Disney initially got us through for years, we started to realize that the company had no interest in improving the lives of it’s dedicated employees. Even after a decade of service with two-full time Disney incomes, we were still barely making ends meet. We had to live simple, luxury-free lives in near-ghetto apartments that were high in crime. We tried moving around but any nearby area where we could afford to live was plagued with similar problems.
    I prided myself on my Disney knowledge and approaching my job with the old-skool Disney attitude. Yet, there was never any incentive for me to do so being unionized. No matter how good I was, the Cast Member next to me could be ignoring guests, chewing gum, and just convey pure misery and he or she would be making the same as me if they had similar seniority. But they can take comfort in knowing that know their job is secure as long as the union gets it’s $9 out of every sad, little, weekly paycheck.
    Locals consider Disney a laughable job, and they are right. I feel foolish for spending as much time as I did there. They always justify their price increases by touting how they are a “premium product” with “world-class service”, yet they never put their money where their mouth is, so they will never attract long-term quality personnel.
    P.S. If you ever want to see the future of Disneyland attend one of their job fairs (usually at TDA). I’ve worked a few, and you should see what comes though the door. Yikes!

    • mickeypancakehead

      Wow, that’s so sad. Especially when you and your wife were fulfilling a dream and loved Disney. I’m sure you were both one of the few employees that really brought the Walt Disney spirit to life.

  • JMazz

    I was just there last week for a week-long vaykay. I can vouch for the poor service in some areas (more on that when I post my TR in a day or so).

    There was still some above-average service that we expect, but it is in decline. We feel that it’s just a sign of the times and that Disney should be doing a better job to avoid such piss-poor attitudes. I’m sure the heat didn’t help, but that’s not an excuse in our opinions.

    We aren’t big on shopping, esp. for candy and/or impulse items. But we dropped our jaws on some items as we studied the menus while waiting for 20min+ to places orders for walk-up food.

    In our TR, we will explain the utter fiasco at the resort-wide offerings on Sept 26th (Wednesday). Wow. It affected nearly everyone (esp @ DCA) and Disney should have seen it coming. Their compensation was not good enough IMO.

  • PatMcDuck

    Just back from a week at DL, stayed on property. We rode RSR 9X in the week there…… 3 times got a FP, the other 6 using single rider line. During EE, they cannot even get enough single riders to fill the cars…… so you usually just walk up and get right into a car. At this time, the standby line can get up to an hour in length, just during EE. During EE at California Adventure, we had time to ride RSR twice, and Mater and Luigi once, and still have time to get on the FP line for later in the day. One day, Wednesday, right at park opening (a seemingly late to us 10 am) the line for RSR went back to Sarges and was listed at 120 minutes(!!) and the FP line almost to the Hyperion theatre. (the end was across the st from the theatre). And we STILL got a FP on that crazy line, for about 7 pm. Meanwhile, no matter how long the standby line at RSR, the single rider ranged from 20-35 minutes. It moves REALLY fast.

    Another plus of EE, it allowed us to ride our own tires at Luigis, without feeling guilty about tying up the line behind us….. seemed easier to get moving when alone. I liked the tires, it was challenging to get going as fast as possible, and fun to go flying across when there was an opening.

    Wednesday was a little nuts because it was a holiday, and they kept the park open an extra hour, and ran a 2nd showing of World of Color, this was not scheduled in advance.

    I got mad at one of the tour guides, as I climbed into a tire at Luigis, he took it from us for his “client”. I yelled at him after the ride, told him he was rude to do that. They usually are so well trained, it surprised me the way he behaved.

    Great trip though!! We did conclude that the EE for resort hotel guests was an AMAZING perk, especially because it was available at both parks the week we were there.

  • darkamor

    <3 ' ly update!

    Unfortunately, the higher admission prices; along with the des·per·ate·ly needed rehabs (please tell me that Tomorrowland will have needed "oomph" added to it within 2 years); means I won't be going to Disneyland until their 60th (2015) ….

    I WISH more was done for Out of State (out of Country) Disneyland Resort visitors (ie discounts, deals, etc), but that's something the Walt Disney Co isn't doing (yet their competitors are). Free parking for those who buy a 2 Day Parkhopper would be a nice start (& I'm still staying @ Courtyard Marriott Buena Park – why? Free parking! Its also quiet, free wifi & they have the best beds ever with a coffee shop in the lobby so that you can get your latte on (no foam please as it makes me gassy (lol!) ….

    I truly <3 Disneyland, but I remain concerned that your average working class family will not be able to afford <3 'ing it more often (& that, I think, this situation must make Walt Disney spin in his grave!). I hope the future does not involve up charging Park Guests for more various experiences; which we should not have to pay extra for (we pay enough to park, enter, eat, sleep in a hotel); along with better merchandise (lower prices are nice, but I would prefer buying a tshirt that doesn't fall apart within a year) ….

    Disneyland has made so many improvements towards being an impressive Resort (with 3 Great Hotels, along with a better 2nd Amusement Park), lets hope that Parking can be improved next

    Happy Halloween Everyone (be safe, have fun) –

    C J