Halloween hasn’t even passed yet, but Disney has announced its 2013 promotion dubbed “Limited Time Magic” as Christmas preparation gets underway across the Resort. Holiday merchandise is hitting the shelves as Christmas lights and decorations go up around Sleeping Beauty Castle, on “it’s a small world” and in New Orleans Square. Meanwhile, at Disney California Adventure, the park’s new Buena Vista Street and Cars Land areas prepare to decorate for their first holiday seasons. In Downtown Disney, the new Tinker Bell-themed ice skating rink is open for business as the nearby Earl of Sandwich restaurant gets close to being finished.

Get a closer look at today’s update! Click on any photo in today’s column for a large, high-resolution version of the image.

Welcome to Disneyland!

The parks will see moderate Halloween Time crowds again this week and will see a jump over the weekend. TouringPlans.com can help you navigate the parks with our per-park Crowd Calendar, Lines – Mobile Wait Times App that gives access to current and estimated wait times for attractions, and Touring Plans detailing the best plan of attack for hitting the attractions. With Halloween crowds here and holiday crowds on the horizon, it’s a good time to subscribe to TouringPlans.com to plan your strategy to avoid the crowds!

Below are the predicted resort-wide crowd numbers for select days generated by the TouringPlans professional statisticians as measured for the upcoming week. For the access to the full year and per-park crowd level predictions, visit our Crowd Calendar.

— Fred Hazelton, Statistician, TouringPlans.com

[center][/center] [center]Overall
Crowd Prediction
Crowd Tips
Tues., Oct. 23 [center]2 /10[/center] Here are some quick-hit notes that we hope you’ll find helpful as you prepare your visits for the week:

  • Mickey’s Halloween Party at Disneyland will boost California Adventure crowds in the evening on Tuesday and Friday.
  • Partial blockouts on Saturday and Sunday.
  • Disney California Adventure’s lightest crowds will be today, Monday, when it’s a 4.5.
  • Due to its incredibly low capacity, consider riding Luigi’s Flying Tires standby right after starting your day by grabbing a FASTPASS for Radiator Springs Racers.
Wed., Oct. 24 3 /10
Thu., Oct. 25 2 /10
Fri., Oct. 26 5 /10
Crowd levels are based on a scale from 1 to 10, with 1 being the least crowded conditions and 10 being most crowded.See Disneyland crowds for the next 365 days.
Get Disneyland wait times on your iPhone, Android, or Smartphone.Do more. Wait less.

Dateline Disneyland is sponsored by TouringPlans.com.

Disney announces ‘Limited Time Magic’

On Wednesday, Disney announced its new U.S. theme park promotion for 2013. The announcement for the new promotion called “Limited Time Magic” came in the form of a giant ice castle unveiled in New York City’s Times Square.

Disney’s Press Release describes the promotion as “52 weeks of magical experiences big and small that appear, then disappear as the next special surprise debuts.” In short, the year-long celebration will will change every week, bringing a new special temporary experience to the parks. According to the Huffington Post, Disney is planning on relying heavily on online social media including blogs and Twitter to tell guests what the new offering each week is.

Only a few of the special experiences were mentioned in the official announcement, with the “Dapper Dans Sing Boy Bands” week drawing some harsh criticism from the online fan community:

  • True Love: Celebrate romance and enchantment throughout Valentine’s Week with special moments and entertainment geared to lovebirds. Guests can celebrate their Valentine as Magic Kingdom and Disneyland turn up the romance, complete with their iconic castles bathed in hues of red and pink. Disney Princes join their Princesses to meet park guests in special settings, prix fixe menus turn up at select restaurants and Valentine collectibles will be offered for the week.
  • Independence Week: It’s red, white and blue as Disney Parks salutes America with a 4th of July Fireworks Party — for an entire week, with patriotic lighting bathing the Disney castles on both coasts. Mickey Mouse appears in his patriotic finest and guests will find special USA shirts, Ear Hats and other limited-edition souvenirs.
  • During “Long Lost Friends Week,” lesser-known Disney characters will move from the shadows to the spotlight with meet-and-greets on both coasts. Photo opps with characters that could include Flik, Clarabelle Cow, Remy, Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum will surprise and delight guests. And Disney guests will even have the chance to vote online for which characters they want to see.
  • Pirate Week: Why talk like a pirate one day when you could celebrate these scalawags all week long? The adventures of Jack Sparrow come to life like never before during a bicoastal buccaneer bash in which Disneyland and Walt Disney World become pirate-palooza: pirate bands, pirate meet-and-greets and more.
  • Dapper Dans Sing Boy Bands: Dapper Dans, the iconic quartet from Main Street, U.S.A., will add a special finale to their show, claiming the title of the “Original Boy Band” and delivering a medley of hits from One Direction, *NSYNC and the Backstreet Boys.
  • Unleash the Villains: A Friday the 13th in 2013 is a special day, so Disneyland and Disney Hollywood Studios are staying open until the 13th Hour (1 a.m.). Maleficent, Capt. Hook, Jafar and other Disney villains host a dance party, complete with limited-edition collectibles and nighttime mischief on Sept. 13.
  • Golden Horseshoe Revue: The fabled Frontierland show returns to Disneyland for one month only, bringing back the corny jokes and enduring songs that were often enjoyed by Walt Disney himself.

Disney released a video showing the creation of the Limited Time Magic ice castle.

Cinderella made an appearance at the Times Square announcement wearing her newly re-designed ball gown that the face character will now wear in the parks during meet-and-greets.

Construction Kingdom

The City Hall facade refurbishment continues, but scaffolding has come down on the Guided Tour building and Fire Department.

The Guided Tours signage hasn’t gone back up on the building yet.

The front of the firehouse looks great.

Signage is temporary for now…

City Hall restrooms remain closed for now.

There’s still work to be finished on the side of the firehouse…

At the end of Main Street, construction continues at the new Fantasy Faire princess meet-and-greet area

In Fantasyland, the Casey Jr. Circus Train and Stroybook Land Canal Boats refurbishments are less than a month away from wrapping up, and Storybook Land’s Monstro is already losing some of his scaffolding as his repaint finishes.

At Casey Jr., work continues on the attraction’s bridges which are expected to get some new safety railings added.

In Mickey’s Toon Town, the Goofy’s gas station-themed restroom facility is now behind walls for refurbishment. Restrooms are still open during refurbishment.

Nearby, the side of Minnie’s House continues to get work done…

Over in Tomorrowland, the Starcade is still partially closed as the new Wreck-It Ralph meet-and-greet is built.

If you can’t wait, Wreck-It Ralph merchandise is already available here (and in other stores)

Plush of characters from the “Sugar Rush” game in the film smell like candy

And finally, part of the Bonanza Outfitters facade in Frontierland is now covered during refurbishment.

Christmas Countdown

Disneyland may still be decked out for Halloween, but the first signs of the holidays are emerging across the park. Preparations get underway early to meet the November 12 launch of Disneyland’s incredibly popular holiday season. In the Central Plaza and at Sleeping Beauty Castle, Christmas lights are already strung up in the tress and shrubbery.

The snow hasn’t hit the Castle yet, but it will starting this week.

Back in Fantasyland, Christmas lights are now being screwed into the light strings we showed you on the facade last week.

Looks like the scrims that were added to the facade for the now-defunct “The Magic, The Memories and You!” show will remain in-place. It’s a small thing, but the facade looks better without them.

Topiaries are now covered in lights

New Orleans Square is usually the first land to be fully decorated for the holiday season and it looks to be on-schedule again this year. Mardi Gras-style holiday bunting and oversized ornaments are going up now

The wires for the garland and wreath over Royal Street are now in place

Outdoor vending in New Orleans Square is already selling holiday plush

Oversized ornaments near the French Market

Welcome to California Adventure

Construction on the new floral planter on the west side of California Adventure’s main gate continues…

Inside the park, new souvenir penny machines were added to Los Feliz Five and Dime and Trolley Treats on Buena Vista Street. The machine in the Five and Dime offers some great Buena Vista Street designs.

At Trolley Treats, you can find a selection of Cars Land designs (but for some reason, they still come with the Buena Vista Street imprint on the back)

Carthay Circle Restaurant’s terrazzo replacement project continues…

California Christmas

Like at Disneyland, Disney California Adventure is now getting ready for the busy holiday season and the park will be taking no shortcuts in decking out its new Buena Vista Street and Cars Land for their first holiday season.

A lot of eye bolts have been screwed into the facades along Buena Vista Street, ready for garland and 1930s-style decorations.

Last week, Disney blog Stitch Kingdom released details on what guests can expect at Buena Vista Street and Cars Land’s first holiday season. Santa will be relocated from Paradise Pier to Buena Vista Street this year, taking up residence in the Elias and Co. Department Store.

The small park area in front of Elias and Co. will be home to Buena Vista Street’s period-appropriate Christmas tree, covered in oversized ornaments and circled by a 1/16th-size train.

In Cars Land, the new light posts we told you about over the last couple weeks will support new garland strung up across Route 66 and each of the attractions and shops will feature decorations reflecting the personality of the Cars that live at each location.

The temporary poles have new metal bases.

Sandwiches and Skating

Out in Downtown Disney, the new holiday ice skating rink promoting the new direct-to-video Tinker Bell film has opened for business.

It’s a nice seasonal addition to Downtown Disney. I hope it’s successful; it’d be great to see this become an annual feature.

Pay for admission and rent your skating equipment here. $15 for an hour-long skate session isn’t too bad by Disney standards.

Lockers are available to store your belongings while skating.

Just steps away from the ice rink, the new Earl of Sandwich restaurant is now painted and looks like it’s getting very close to opening. I can’t wait!

A peek through the construction wall….

Elsewhere in Downtown Disney, the World of Disney store now has its big holiday merchandise displays set up.

The store also recently started offering these new princess shirts for girls, featuring wildly off-model takes of the princesses. They seem to be getting the attention of shoppers, but I really don’t think Disney princesses really need to be aiming for hip-and-edgy.

They all look very skinny, don’t they?

What have they done to you, Snow?

New social networking-inspired tees are also available. Seems strange to depict Disney characters with these particular pop culture phrases.

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Weekly News & Information Round-Up
Weekly Theme Park Hours
October 22-28, 2012
[B]Disneyland Park[/B] [B]Disney California Adventure[/B]
Monday: 10 am – 8 pm
Tuesday-Wednesday: 8 am – 6 pm
Thursday: 9 am – 8 pm
Friday: 8 am – 7 pm
Saturday-Sunday: 8 am – 12 midnight
Monday: 10 am – 8 pm
Tuesday-Wednesday: 8 am – 8 pm
Thursday: 9 am – 8 pm
Friday: 8 am – 12 midnight
Saturday: 8 am – 11 pm
Saturday: 8 am – 10 pm
[CENTER]For a complete listing of theme park hours,
visit the Disneyland.com Theme Park Calendar
[center]Expected Crowd Levels[/center] [center]presented by TouringPlans.com[/center]
[CENTER][B]Disneyland Park[/B][/CENTER] [CENTER][B]Disney California Adventure[/B][/CENTER]
[B]1.1—7.5[/B] out of 10[/CENTER]
[B]4.5—8.0[/B] out of 10[/CENTER]
[CENTER]Crowd levels are based on a scale from 1 to 10,
with 1 being the least crowded conditions and 10 being most crowded.

[B]For crowd predictions for the next 365 days, visit
[center]Closure and Refurbishment Schedule[/center]
[b][center]Disneyland Park[/center][/b]
  • [B]Storybook Land Canal Boats:[/B] Closed through November 15, 2012 for refurbishment.
  • [B]Casey Jr. Circus Train:[/B] Closed through November 15, 2012 for refurbishment.
  • [b]Indiana Jones Adventure:[/b] Closed through December 7, 2012 for refurbishment.
  • [B]Starcade:[/B] Partially closed to install Wreck-It Ralph meet-and-greet.
  • [B]”it’s a small world”:[/B] Closed October 22-November 8, 2012 to install holiday overlay
  • [B]Big Thunder Ranch:[/B] Closed November 1-8, 2012 to remove Halloween overlay and install holiday overlay
  • [B]Space Mountain:[/B] Closed November 5, 2012 to remove Halloween overlay
  • [B]Alice in Wonderland:[/B] Expected to close early 2013 to install permanent safety railing on outdoor ride portion.
  • [B]Fantasy Faire:[/B] New princess-themed meet-and-greet area in former Carnation Plaza Gardens is under construction and expected to open in early 2013.
  • [B]Princess Fantasy Faire at the Fantasyland Theater:[/B] Fantasyland Theater closed August 12. Princesses have relocated to Small World Promenade allowing the Fantasyland Theater to close and prepare for a new show.
[b][center]Disney California Adventure[/center][/b]
[b][center]Downtown Disney and Disneyland Resort Hotels[/center][/b]
  • [B]Earl of Sandwich:[/B] Former Compass Book store and cafe will reopen as the new Earl of Sandwich restaurant fall 2012.
[center]Headline Roundup
A quick look at noteworthy Disney theme park headlines from around the web.[/center]
  • According to the OC Register, participants raised $1.8 million at the annual CHOC Walk in the Park, supporting CHOC Children’s Hospital.
Well, that wraps up this week’s edition of Dateline Disneyland. Thanks for reading! What are you most excited for this holiday season — the return of your favorites at Disneyland or the new offerings in Cars Land and Buena Vista Street? Let us know in the comments section below and be sure to share your thoughts on Disney’s new “Limited Time Magic” promotion as well!

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For more Disneyland news, be sure to read MiceChat’s weekly In the Parks blog. And be sure to check out 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!
[B]- Andy[/B]

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  • masterman626

    I had to read this twice-
    Golden Horseshoe Revue: The fabled Frontierland show returns to Disneyland for one month only, bringing back the corny jokes and enduring songs that were often enjoyed by Walt Disney himself.
    I can’t believe this! I’m extremely excited I have never had the pleasure of seeing the Revue… here’s hoping they’ll keep it if there’s a good turnout. Thanks for the update Andy!

    • jcruise86

      I’d like at least a few Micechat meeting times for this show. When the month is named and showtimes are listed, we could decide on a few on a Disneyland thread. I too would like this to be so packed that is comes back . . . FOREVER! So if they’re selling food inside, I’m buying it.

      Eisner thought Walt’s Golden (& Diamond at WDW) Horseshoe Revue show was too expensive, but I hope that this little show backs up the lesson of WWoHP & Carsland, if you spend it they will come. (I know, if you spend $150 million something that’s merely good or very good like Mission Space, all bets are off.)

  • The Limited Time Magic marketing promotion sounds like it will be interesting, even if it is a terrible name. Looking forward to Golden Horseshoe Review. But if they can bring it back for a month, they should be able to bring it back for good. I’d be thrilled with an updated dinner show. Disney makes money and we get a beloved show back. 😉

    • jcruise86

      Proving that great minds think alike. 🙂

  • Mac Daddy

    Thanks for the update Andy. Very exciting to see the park already getting ready for the holidays. The only negative reaction I had was after reading that the Dapper Dans will be doing tunes from One Direction, NSYNC and the Backstreet Boys. Some of those marketing people must have better things to do than come up with horrible ideas like this one.

    • masterman626

      I agree if your going to have them do modern songs at least have them do some with some sort of musicality to them. I know the pickings are slim but I for one would not mind hear them do “Too Close” by Alex Clare or some Beatles songs, ANYTHING besides terrible boy bands the Dapper Dans are MEN not boys and we should never mix the two.

  • Fantastic pictures, thank you! I wish there was a rule to keep everyone from putting up anything Holiday Like until November First.

  • Gregg Condon

    You have to wear a helmet to do the ice skating? It’s bad enough to wear re-used shoes, but re-used helmets as well? That kind of takes away all of the “romance” of Ice Skating with someone if you ask me.

    • Puck2DaHead

      Yeah, it appears to be the work of the lawyers on this one. I’ve seen a ton of public, outdoor ice rinks without the requirement for a helmet. I’m curious about that one, and I think the outdoor rink and set-up is a bit gimmicky. There wasn’t a comment about the size at all, but in the pictures, it appears extremely small….talk about short laps.

      …and yes, the helmet does take away from the romance of ice skating.

  • jcruise86

    It sounds like the name “Limited Time Magic” is a done deal, so just like the pink birthday park castles of years past, we should learn to live with it! Golden Horseshoe Review!

    Here’s a thread to discuss the (dead?) issue of the name: Limited Time Magic:

  • eicarr

    I’ve not been interested in a pressed pennies in a decade or two but i NEED TO GET an oswald pressed penny. That looks so cool!!!

    I miss the gurgling/glowing waterfountain at the toontown gas station and wish they put it back. It spread out the land’s interactivity down the street a little.

    That photo of the wire in New Orleans square was the best new image I’ve seen of the area in a long time…. great shot.

    Man I don’t get any of this “one disney” stuff. “Limited magic” might sound great over there in Florida, Kentucky and Tennessee but in California the cold marketing line is more of a turnoff. All they need is to show guest reaction from cars land to pack the parks… and announce early entry to pack hotels.

    I guess it was a space issue but I’m not sure why they put the skating rink all they way at the far end of that Disney Strip mall. Like the doomed sandwich chain store, who would walk all the way down there to discover it? I guess its just for hotel guests.

  • tcsnwhite

    I don’t see anything wrong with the Disney Princess shirts. It’s just a different artistic representation, more based on fashion illustration (which is an incredible art form, by the way…and is probably why they seem “skinny” to you. Fashion illustration is based on the 9 heads model. It’s not meant to be a representation of reality, but simply a stylized fashion aesthetic).
    There seems to be a trend that anytime Disney goes a little ‘outside the box’ (which some of us have actually said we wish they would do more of, particularly with merchandise…rather than put the same cartoon stock form character images on all the same clothing – especially the men’s clothing), some group always finds something to complain about with that…always with the “hip and edgy” thing. (And for the record, those shirts are not “hip and edgy”.)
    I don’t see anything wrong with different visual/artistic interpretations of the Disney characters, as long as they stay fairly close to recognizable, and are still in line with the personality that character has/represents. I mean, the D-street store, and the Wonderground (?) gallery/shop have all kinds of various artistic representations of Disney/muppet/comic book/Star Wars characters…and they certainly look “hip and edgy”…and people love those.
    The shits look nice, especially the Belle and Snow White ones.

    • tcsnwhite

      ^ *shirts
      LOL!!! Whoops….. I meant to say “The shirts look nice, …”
      Nevermind, carry on…

    • I don’t mind Disney doing off model stuff when it’s clear that it’s for artistic purposes. In fact i love it and collect a lot of stylized Disney art. But these don’t look artistic to me, they just look like the characters are starving themselves or perhaps have a heroin addiction. Don’t little girls have enough poor body image references without Disney making it worse?

      These shirts are really tacky and set a bad example. Hopefully they’ll make their way to the outlet store sooner rather than later.

      • TodAZ1

        I gotta tell you, dusty. ‘Heroin addiction’ is the last thing I thought of when I saw these shirts.

      • Nocturne

        Here we go again with more sensationalisic comments. The shirts tastefully done and clearly not tacky. Wow they are a far cry from heroin addiction chic. I may just go buy one of each for my nieces just to spite the editors of this board.

    • TifaOnACloud

      I agree. I don’t think anything looks wrong with them since they’re an obvious take on a different artstyle and a oneshot, like the Art Nouveau stuff the Disney stuff did or the Designer Princess Dolls. There’s plenty of regular clip art shirts being made if one doesn’t like them.

      Frankly, I’m more disgusted by the current Disney Store standard art since those aren’t supposed to be outright stylized and tries and fails to update the designs. Unlike these, those are starting to cover everything they sell, and they’re awful. The previous ones weren’t perfect (Aurora always seemed to have almond eyes and the wrong hair color”, but the current ones don’t even try with the dark blue Cinderella dress, long and loose haired Belle and mess of hair with none of the 50s styling for Aurora and so on.

      I’ll take that Aurora over whoever the heck this is supposed to be, though the Cinderella goes with the new DS style again.. .

  • Oathkeeper

    I personally love the new princess shirts (and I’m not even that into the princesses to begin with!). I love the artistic style they were drawn in, I wish I knew who the artist/designer behind the shirts was.

  • Tinkbelle

    I like the princess shirts, too. They are something different. The Sleeping Beauty one is gorgeous.

    I would take my girls ice skating if they were playing music from Disney films or holiday music during the holidays. It sounds so far like they are just playing Disney radio – blech. They have great soundtracks from Brave, Tangled, Princess and the Frog, Up etc. not to mention the Tinkerbell movies themselves and the old classics like Cinderella and Snow White. If I took my girls ice skating at Disney I would want a Disney experience. What they are offering is too generic.

    I love your first picture of the ornaments hanging from the tree by the French Market – beautiful shot.

  • Ravjay12

    Can’t wait until they start decorating DCA. Should be nice! Christmas time is always my favorite time at the parks! Looking forward to a really good season this year.

  • Nocturne

    The princess shirts are very clever and beautiful. “Disney Purists” don’t get to dominate the debate on how Disney should use their own characters in merchandise. I would hardly call the designs “hip and edgy”. They are simply less cartoonish and more realistic. The criticism of this clothing baffles me. This is an example of a tasteful and creative demonstration of classic Disney in a more contemporary presentation and I think it is brilliant! We should be encouraging Disney to express this type of creativity more often!

  • Rex Dopey24

    oh man the shirt of the princesses has made me laugh. i dont like the look of it but that style made me laugh out loud lol.

  • Rex Dopey24

    i had no idea that disney is trying too hip and edgy these days

  • jasmineray

    Great update! Looks like small world could use some new paint to make it really shine. It’s still beautiful, but it is clear it’s dirty in some areas.

    As for the Princess shirts, I see nothing wrong with them. They’re very cute, and Snow White looks fine. Now the pop culture shirts on the other hand… I’m not a fan. I find them annoying, actually. Definitely something I could see my young, female cousins buying, though.

  • SoCalFan

    I can’t wait for the BVS and Cars Land Christmas celebrations! Hopefully new decorations are added throughout the park. I loved the smaller ones they added to Grizzly Peak and Paradise Pier but some more to those and Hollywood Land would be great. BVS is going to be fantastic! I heard from a friend a few years back about a special Christmas light show one of their close friends was working on for BVS so let’s see what happens!

    I really love the look of the Princess shirts. It’s stylized, yes, but not something I would call “hip it edgy” or as something that pushed wrong message… As previously mentioned, the shirts are done in a fashion illustration style…it’s not meant to be a realistic representation…fashion illustration is an art in and of itself (my art education professor used to be a fashion illustrator so I’ve garnered a new appreciation for the art) and definitely has a mid-century Vogue look to them. Not much different the 50’s/60’s fashion inspired line of dolls and merchandise that was shown at last years D23 Expo. I personally love it. And honestly one could argue the original princesses (especially Aurora and Cinderella from the mid-century) were in and of themselves inspired by fashion models and illustration (just look at their thin frames, high cheek bones, etc…) but I don’t hear any comments on “message” they have been sending…

  • RatherBeAtDLand

    Personally, I think the social networking shirts are clever and tasteful. I love the Belle one. Good job on this one, Disney!

  • Tinkbelle
  • jmuboy

    I-Bolts on BVS. Hope they are painted/covered/removed come January