One week it’s Christmas, the next it’s not. Most of Disneyland Resort’s holiday decorations have been removed, some refurbishments are popping up and there’s a beloved old friend returning to Main Street USA. The Star Wars Half-Marathon was Friday, Saturday and Sunday and brought some increased attendance with it. And later this week, the Electrical Parade returns to Main Street USA, its rightful home. We even have an awesome rumor for you about Trader Sam’s tiki bar at the Disneyland Hotel.

Disneyland

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The holiday garlands, wreaths and decorations have mostly been packed until later this year. New plantings reflect spring colors.

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The park was busy on Saturday, but not insane like it was for much of the holiday period.
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“Christmas Tree Point” in Town Square is now without its tree. You can see all the way to the Castle once again.
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Main Street is in its rare non-holiday/non-celebration mode. This is how Main Street is intended to look. It’s just a quaint small town street. It’s refreshing to see the street more or less the way it looked when Walt built it. Magic.

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One look back down Main Street. It’s hard for you folks in the rest of the country to believe, but it’s really lovely in Southern California at this time of year. Yes, it can rain (as it has been quite a bit lately), but the daytime temperatures are generally in the upper 60s, which is just perfect for a theme park visit. No other Disney park has the luxury of this kind of amazing weather.

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Season of the Force Returns . . . Or does it?

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The sign is back up
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And new banners from Rogue One have replaced the generic “Tomorrowland” banners.
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There’s a dark side and a light side.

But that’s it. There doesn’t seem to be any depth to the “Season of the Force” and nothing has been announced about it yet.  Still, there is quite a bit of Star Wars in Tomorrowland right now. Though, most of it was already there, the only thing that was removed when the 2016 Season of the Force ended was the signage:

  • StarTours
  • Path of the Jedi film
  • Hyperspace Mountain
  • Star Wars Launch Bay (the old Innoventions)
  • Galactic Grill (the old Tomorrowland Terrace)
  • Jedi Training Academy
  • And, of course, you can find Stormtroopers walking through the land
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It was pretty busy on Saturday. At noon Buzz Lightyear (a high capacity omni-mover attraction) had a 50 minute wait.

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Matterhorn was running a 60 minute wait.
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As you approach Small World Mall, you’ll hear holiday tunes.
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With Haunted Mansion and Jungle Cruise both down to remove their holiday overlay, Small World Holiday is remaining open through next week.

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ToonTown is looking good post-holiday.

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I had wanted to ride Storybook Land for you to see if the miniature holiday decorations had been removed, but the line was super long. All that extra rope switchback you see is not a normal occurrence.

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The queue for Snow White was completely filled with a line out the door. This is also highly unusual situation on a normal day.

As you can see, Fantasyland remains busy.

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The queue for Peter Pan is always long, but on busy days it takes up a huge chunk of the Fantasyland path.

With rumors of FastPass coming to Peter Pan later this year, we wonder where the extended queue will go. But there are some important clues.

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Next to Peter Pan is the Heraldry Shop. Disney closed it down this past week. The shop space and the area in front of it could easily be used for extra queue room. It could also serve as a FastPass distribution center.

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The inside of the shop is already being cleared out.

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Snow White’s Wishing Well is completely behind refurbishment walls. With the close of the Heraldry Shop at the end of that path and through the castle, we can’t help but wonder if these two projects are connected.
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The bathrooms in Adventureland is closed for refurbishment.

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Every time you get in the FastPass line for Indy, you are passing by a delightful little tribute to Disneyland’s most elusive resident . . . The Little Man of Disneyland. I grew up reading the little Golden Book about this odd little fellow. The book tells the story of the creation of Disneyland in 1955.
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Little Patrick Begorra lives in this very tree. It warms my heart every time I look to check on him.

If you don’t have this book in your collection, it’s a real charmer.

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Work continues on the river. On each of my visits lately, I’ve noticed workmen on the Fantasmic stage. That’s a lot of construction for a show so well established. It’s pretty clear at this point that changes are coming to everyone’s favorite show. Let’s hope they are all good changes. 😉
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A related project is taking place near the stage. The Sailing Ship Columbia has been undergoing a lengthy refurbishment in which the masts have been missing for months. When they come back, many folks expect this ship to look a little more Pirate like for a rumored Pirates of the Caribbean scene in Fantasmic.

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Speaking of Pirates of the Caribbean, it continues to prove that it is one of the most popular attractions at Disneyland. Just imagine these queues once the rumored FastPass addition comes to this ride.
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Mansion is busy giving the Pumpkin King the boot. The classic version of the attraction should be back next weekend.

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With the Mansion closed, it’s nice to see Magnolia Gardens without a big queue wrapping its way through this beautiful little resting spot.
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Looks like these decorations will remain up in New Orleans Square through Mardi Gras at the end of February.

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A certain bear is happy to have his meet and greet back. Santa has gone back to the North Pole. He’s only got 9 months to get ready for Christmas at Disneyland. 😉

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The train will begin its turn just behind the Hungry Bear.
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Back by Hungry Bear restaurant you can see some of the amazing progress on the River realignment. It’s quite impressive how quickly the waterfalls at the back of the river are coming together

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And by Big Thunder you can see some of the rock work going on opposite the Hungry Bear spot.

Our good buddy Darth Daver shares these awesome Star Wars Land construction shots:

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Are those holes to replant the trees removed last year?
Are those holes to replant the trees removed last year?

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Look! The backside of rocks.
Look! The backside of rocks.

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The footers are in folks. Star Wars land is about to go vertical.

Don’t miss the rest of Dave’s Star Wars news HERE.

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Electrical Parade Returning

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An old friend returns to Disneyland on the 20th. And if you’ve got $95 to burn you can see it one day early on the 19th. We hear that ticket sales have not been going well, and there’s a good chance of rain that night, and that means you still have a chance to buy tickets. You can buy in advance at any Disneyland Resort Ticket Booth or by calling (714) 781-4636.  The event will last from 7:30 pm until midnight.

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The commercial for the parade has been sparking a lot of talk among fans. The video contains all sorts of Disneyland ephemera and items which have gone to yesterland. Take a look and let us know what you find hiding in the video.

My favorite shot is at 4 seconds into the video:

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Time to head over to DCA.

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Just press play and enjoy the juicy Disneyland rumors from Dusty and Doug in the latest MiceChat Podcast.

DCA

Disney’s California Adventure has also reverted from its Christmas celebration. The Festival of Holidays booths have been removed from the parade route, decorations have departed, all the holiday shows have ended, and construction continues on the Tower of Terror.

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The Christmas tree is gone.

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There was a cast member on Buena Vista Street showing off a tray of treats in the candy store.
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The Festival of Holidays booths are gone.
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Holiday decor no more
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Christmas decorations have zoomed away

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But the holiday garland was still on the Little Mermaid building on Friday.
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But what did disappear are the crowds. DCA was very manageable on Friday. Little Mermaid was a walk-on. The previous Friday it had a line wrapped around the side of the building.
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There were also a few holiday packages in the World of Color stadium.

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Farewell Viva Navidad, we’ll miss you.
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While the Garden Grill sign features the Mediterranean Skewers . . .
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They are still serving the Mexican food at least through this week.
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Elena is still doing her meet and greet here.

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There’s a Vegetarian Pizza being featured at the Pizza and Pasta place.

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Pacific Wharf also had some Christmas remnants.

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Let’s check up on the Tower of Terror . . .

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Yes . . . it wasn’t all a bad dream. . . the Tower is still being converted to Guardians of the Galaxy.
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Even with the Tower closed, they still haven’t brought back the Muppets or anything else to this theater.
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But perhaps we’ll see a Beauty and the Beast preview here soon.

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Gone Hollywood sells mostly Marvel . . .
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and Star Wars

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The Women’s merchandise at Elias and Company is really cute.

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 Downtown Disney and Disneyland Hotel

There are a few things of note in Downtown Disney. The security fences now promote the upcoming return of the Electrical Parade.

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The Star Wars Half Marathon was this past weekend. Did any of you run the race? How was it this year?
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Race services were set up in the Downtown Disney lot closest to the Disneyland Hotel. This is the area where the new Disneyland Resort Hotel will be built. It will be interesting to see where the place the starting line for the future races once construction begins.

 

We just caught word of a possible Trader Sam’s Expansion. It sounds like the popular bar will soon close to expand the indoor seating area. This would come at the expense of the Tangaroa Terrace. The Kitchen would remain, but the Tangaroa Terrace would be folded into Trader Sam’s to allow for more seating inside.most of the food would still be available, and the old Tangaroa space would receive the same enhanced decor that Trader Sam’s currently has.  We hope this rumor is true. Trader Sam’s is a smash hit and never has enough seating. Tangaroa Terrace on the other hand, while wonderful, was rarely busy. This sounds like a slam dunk. Same food, better theme, more indoor seating.

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Downtown Disney has removed the holiday banners but has yet to hang the new signs.
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The House of blues continues to be deconstructed. On Friday the building looked like this.
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And just one day later, it looked like this.

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MiceChat Events

MiceChat Anniversary Weekend Jan 27-29

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MiceChat Anniversary weekly is January 27th through 29th. We have all sorts of amazing things lined up for you, including a cocktail party with Bob Gurr and a blockbuster panel featuring David Koenig and the original Disneylanders! TICKETS ARE ON SALE NOW FOR THE TWO TICKETED EVENTS! There are also a series of free events on Saturday the 28th and Sunday the 29th.

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January 27th – 8 pm – Disney Legend Bob Gurr takes us on a journey of a lifetime. Bob shares a preview of this new documentary, joins us for a special panel discussion, and then screens his hilarious celebrity roast! This is an event not to be missed! Reserve your ticket for the Bob Gurr Event HERE

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January 28th – 8:30 am – Beloved Disney author David Koenig brings us a breakfast panel of original Disneylanders as they share never before heard stories of their days working with Walt Disney at a brand new Disneyland. We all love the ESPN Zone, David Koenig AND Disneyland, this event is a MUST and you’ll be able to pick up some awesome SIGNED books at 20% off from David. Reserve your ticket for the Breakfast with Original Disneylanders HERE

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We are also offering a series of events on Saturday the 28th and Sunday the 29th. Add your name to our event info list for more information about the event schedule as soon as it is released. Enter your email HERE for more information.

Get Disneyland Wait Times with Mouseaddict

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Get Mouseaddict Here You can keep track of the wait times and even where in the park people are congregating by downloading the app (iPhone only at this time).

Thank you !
All of us on the Disneyland Photo Update crew would like to thank you for joining us today. Today’s MiceChat Disneyland Update was shot and assembled by Dusty Sage.

Are you a member of the MiceChat Sunday Meet-up Facebook group? If you are interested in meeting up with fellow theme park lovers in the parks, please be sure to follow this group: MiceChat Sundays in the Park. And please follow the MiceChat Facebook Page for news and updates from the Disneyland Resort and beyond:

 

That’s it for this week’s Update.Are you a photographer? Do you love the parks? Would you like to contribute to the Disneyland Update or other MiceChat columns? Contact Dusty Sage: [email protected]

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