It’s the final edition of Dateline Disneyland! We’ve got a short and sweet final photo update for you today as Disneyland continues through the warm summer season without much breaking news. Star Wars construction continues behind-the-scenes and Disney is covering up sight lines and holes in construction walls that guests have been using to sneak peeks at the massive project. Meanwhile, a couple of projects continue in Downtown Disney. We wrap up this week’s update with a thank you and farewell note.

We wrap up Dateline Disneyland and our huge glowing away celebration today with our final week of giveaways! We’re giving back to all of you for eight years of readership with our Dateline Disneyland Farewell Season Giveaway! Even if you entered in the last three weeks of giveaways, 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 final Dateline Disneyland! Let’s get started one last time!

Welcome to Disneyland!

The warm summer season continues….


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!
It’s our final edition of Dateline Disneyland and our last week of giveaways!
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.

Enter-To-Win!
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, July 3!
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!

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


Rivers of America

There’s one last place to sneak a peek from within the park that gives a view of Rivers of America construction near the Davy Crockett Explorer Canoes dock


Big Thunder Trail

Disney has covered the open knotholes in the construction walls here with mesh.

This & That

No changes yet at the House of Blues aside from a new sign directing folks to other Downtown Disney restaurants

Everything you need at Courtyard Anaheim!
Presented by the Courtyard Marriott Anaheim Hotel & Waterpark

So you’re staying at the Courtyard Anaheim Theme Park Entrance during your Disneyland vacation and just spent all afternoon at the hotel’s splashtacular Surfside Waterpark but you aren’t quite ready to turn in and head back to your room quite yet… So what do you do? Well, you can head down to the lobby to relax, grab a bite to eat, or enjoy some retail therapy!


Guests checking in at the Courtyard Anaheim Theme Park Entrance are welcomed into the spacious and contemporary but warm and inviting main lobby where the front desk staff is ready to get you to your room and get your vacation started!


The spacious lobby has plenty of space to rest and relax after your long trip into Anaheim while you wait for your room to get ready. While you’re relaxing, feel free to enjoy some TV or read one of the many great books that reflect the local So Cal culture and attractions. Or, if you need to catch up some business while you’re on vacation, the lobby features brand new iMacs to meet your tech needs.



No need to check your e-mails? Well, head over to The Bistro where you can grab your favorite Starbucks beverages and breakfast favorites in the morning or a tasty dinner and a cocktail in the evening. Enjoy your food on-the-go or in the spacious dining room. Recharge while you dine at one of several Media Pod booths where you can charge your mobile devices or watch the game on your table’s own TV while you enjoy your meal. Looking to relax in the evening? Head to The Terrace and enjoy a drink next to the fire pit at this lovely sidewalk patio.



Heading to the parks in a hurry and don’t have time for a meal or a drink in the Courtyard’s restaurants? Grab a bite to eat as you head out, or a quick drink to take up to your room for later at The Market, conveniently located just off the main lobby and open 24/7!


If retail therapy is more your style or you couldn’t find that perfect souvenir in the park, the lobby’s gift shop features a wide variety of souvenirs, convenience items, and much more!


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.
Thank you and farewell

Today’s edition of Dateline Disneyland is incredibly bittersweet for me. Effective today, I hang up my hat as a Disneyland blogger and close the book on Dateline Disneyland.

Over the last eight and a half years I’ve had the immense pleasure of visiting, photographing and writing about Disneyland, a place that holds an unparalleled place of love and passion in my life. Disneyland has, since I was very young, captured my heart, inspired me, and given me a place to explore the far reaches of my imagination in ways that no other place ever could. I discovered the Disney corners of the Internet in my high school years and began posting photos from my visits to the park on sites including Visions Fantastic, MouseInfo and here, on MiceChat. As MiceAge/MiceChat grew to incorporate a growing roster of new content, I was asked to turn my forum posts into a weekly blog, and thus Dateine Disneyland was born. I’ve spent most of my 20s documenting Disneyland in photos here on MiceChat and over that time I’ve taken thousands of photos, shot hours of video, and written hundreds of blog posts. MiceAge creator Al Lutz gave my blog its excellent title, a brand that I went on to build and grow from the ground up, managing successful social media accounts even before Disney had joined Twitter or Facebook. I’ve attended media events and covered conventions. And I’ve met amazing people and made incredible friends along the way. I am extremely grateful for the opportunity and experiences this blog has provided for me.

It is for those reasons that the decision to end Dateline Disneyland has not been easy for me to make. However, as the saying goes, all good things must come to an end and it has become increasingly clear that it is time for me to move on and pursue new opportunities and explore my other interests. There are a number of reasons that I’m choosing to end my time as a weekly Disney blogger, including the fact that Dateline Disneyland has very much become work for me and I don’t want that dull reality to be reflected in the blog and diminish the quality of the content. I never set out to write a weekly blog as a job – it was always a hobby. While I have sought ways to monetize the blog over the years, it’s always been in an effort to offset the costs of running a blog that requires costly theme park admission and camera gear. It was never an effort to make the blog a stable revenue source but simply a means to keep the blog from becoming a financial burden. I will always appreciate the support I received from all of you – whether it was simply sharing the blog with friends, clicking on an Amazon link, donating to the blog’s Paypal, or becoming a Patreon supporter – you kept Dateline Disneyland alive for over eight years. That’s amazing and I cannot thank you enough for that. I am also hugely indebted to my sponsors over the years, namely TouringPlans.com and the spectacular Howard Johnson Anaheim – both which worked closely with me to create unique ad content that we hoped the readers would be interested in and engaged with.

As I move on from regularly blogging about theme parks, I hope that Disneyland will continue to inspire new and existing fans to produce work and make content about it that champions the truly energizing qualities that lie beneath the shiny exterior of corporate branding and marketed “magic.” I’ve discussed Disneyland’s cultural and historical legacy on this blog before and I’m taking this final opportunity to implore you—and the greater Disney fan community—to always push Disney to be the best it can be. Disneyland is not 60 years old and still wildly successful because of hollow “brand promises” and corporate buzzwords. It is here because it, by whatever alchemy or luck, was imparted with the cultural importance that has been able to endure and transcend six decades in an ever-changing world. Disneyland may not be a museum in the traditional sense, but it is very much a living embodiment of 60 years of American culture and attitudes. That is something worth celebrating, nurturing, and preserving, even as the park continues to evolve and grow.

As consumers, we have a responsibility to ourselves to demand the most out of the product we’re paying for. As fans, we have a responsibility to our fandom to demand the most out the company that carries the key to so much of our happiness and so many of our memories. It is not meaningless whining or complaining if you are dissatisfied with decisions Disney is making. For a company whose business model is making memories for its customers, those memories need to be consistently great, otherwise Disney is failing. There’s nothing great about turning parts of Disneyland once accessible to all guests into private retreats for an elite few. There’s nothing respectable about marketing your history while simultaneously bulldozing it for the latest intellectual property you’ve acquired. There’s nothing to celebrate when the company ignores its history and legacy so it can capitalize on the latest trend. Disney should be pushing itself to achieve greatness at every opportunity, if for no other reason than that is the sound long-term business strategy that has allowed it to endure for so long.

There are plenty online that will insist anything critical of Disney is wrong. From former Imagineers to fellow fans, I’ve been told be quiet, harassed, and threatened at times when I was critical of something. I’ve been told to stop going, accused of hating Disneyland, and told that Disneyland wasn’t for me. These are not solutions – this is simply silencing dissent, a practice that benefits none of us, or Disney itself. Whether you’re paying Disney for an Annual Pass, a once-a-year trip, or an once-in-a-lifetime vacation – you’re paying for the best Disney can deliver and if they don’t deliver, you have paid for your right to voice your concerns and express your dissatisfaction. Don’t be afraid to exercise that right.

And don’t be afraid to celebrate what’s great, either. We all love Disneyland for different reasons and your unique love of the park is just as valid as anybody else’s. Disneyland has a ton to offer and it’s all different – that’s part of what makes it great. It’s okay to love some parts of the park more than others. Not everything is great and not everything will speak to you but a lot of it is excellent. Find what makes you happy and love and enjoy it today – you never know if it’ll be gone tomorrow.

While my departure from Dateline Disneyland means I will no longer be posting content on a regular schedule, don’t be surprised if you will still see my name pop up around here from time-to-time. Dustysage, MiceChat’s editor-in-chief, has always given me a wonderful amount of editorial freedom here — a freedom I am very grateful for — and has left the door open for me to share my thoughts and photos in the future. I hope to do just that when it feels relevant to the community discourse.

But for now, I bid you all a fond farewell. From here on, I’ll be reading MiceChat’s new Disneyland updates with the rest of you. Here’s to a bright future for Disneyland and the next generation of Disney bloggers here on MiceChat to cover it all for us!

Thank you so much for reading for over eight years! See you all at Disneyland!
-Andy Castro

Weekly News & Information Round-Up
Weekly Theme Park Hours
June 27-July 3, 2016
Disneyland Park California Adventure
Mon.-Fri.: 8 am – 11 pm
Sat.-Sun.: 8 am – 12 am
Mon.-Sat.: 8 am – 9 pm
Sunday: 8 am – 10 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
    None.
Tomorrowplan Crowd Estimates for Disneyland Resort from Mouseaddict

June 27- July 3

Mon
Tue
Wed
Thu
Fri
Sat
Sun

  • As Dateline Disneyland glows away, the Mouseaddict team sends pixie dust and heartfelt thanks to Andy Castro, whose spectacular photographs and critical eye have kept us informed for years. It’s been an E Ticket ride, Andy!

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.
  • Preview scenes from Disney’s “Pete’s Dragon” in Disney California Adventure starting July 1. (Disney Parks Blog)
Alright! That’s it for Dateline Disneyland. Thank you so much for the last 8+ years. All of the support and your readership means the world to me. Thank you!

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.