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
[/center]
[center]TouringPlans.com
Crowd Tips
[/center]
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]
[center]Expected Crowd Levels[/center] [center]presented by TouringPlans.com[/center]
[CENTER][B]Disneyland Park[/B][/CENTER] [CENTER][B]Disney California Adventure[/B][/CENTER]
[CENTER][B]LOW-MEDIUM[/B]
[B]1.1—7.5[/B] out of 10[/CENTER]
[CENTER][B]MEDIUM-HIGH[/B]
[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
[/B]
[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]
    None.
[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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FTC-Mandated Disclosure: Promotional consideration for this edition of Dateline Disneyland was provided by TouringPlans.com | Do More. Wait Less. and the Howard Johnson Plaza Hotel & Water Playground.