Rain washed away just about all of the first two nights of Disneyland’s newly-expanded 20-night run of Candlelight over the weekend. Still, the extended run of the popular event will continue as planned, with seating reserved for Annual Passholders. Meanwhile, the holidays season continues throughout the Resort with a new gingerbread house inspired by “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs” finding a home at Carthay Circle Restaurant.

We continue our 5th Anniversary Celebration this week! To celebrate, Dateline Disneyland has teamed up with our friends at the Howard Johnson Anaheim and TouringPlans.com to give back to you, our readers! It’s our way of saying thanks for reading for the last five years. Details on our 5th Anniversary Giveaway Celebration can be found in today’s column.

A special thanks to Jacob Genzuk for contributing a couple photos this week.

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.

We’re Celebrating 5 Years!

Dateline Disneyland is turning 5 years old!
To celebrate, we’re giving back to you, our readers, with 5 weeks of prizes from our friends at the Howard Johnson Plaza Hotel & Water Playground and TouringPlans.com!

We’re giving out prizes for five weeks through December 10!
Find out what you can win and how to enter below!

Congratulations to our second and third week winners: Laurie from Prospect Park, PA; Martin from Redding, CA; Justine from Orange, CA; Nathan from Heber City, UT; Charles from Mesa, AZ; Rose from Chatsworth, CA; Jana from Sacramento, CA; and Taylor from Milwaukee, WI! We hope you enjoy your prizes and thanks for reading!

Enjoy a 2-night getaway at Howard Johnson Plaza Hotel!
One (1) Grand Prize winner each week will enjoy a two-night stay at the Howard Johnson Plaza Hotel & Water Playground, Anaheim’s premier family hotel! Named 2012 TripAdvisor Travelers’ Choice “Best for Families” in Anaheim, the Howard Johnson Plaza Hotel & Water Playground is located across the street from the Disneyland Resort. A short eight-minute walk to Disneyland and Disney California Adventure, the seven-acre Howard Johnson Plaza Hotel & Water Playground features free Wi-Fi, free parking and is home to the pirate-themed Castaway Cove – A Watery Pirate Playground featuring a 30-foot pirate ship with drench bucket, slides, water canons and much more!

Win a year subscription to TouringPlans.com!
Two (2) winners each week 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.

Celebrate and save 25% off at TouringPlans.com!
Even if you don’t win our 5th anniversary giveaway, TouringPlans is offering all Dateline Disneyland readers (that’s you!) new TouringPlans.com Disneyland Resort subscriptions for 25% off!
Click here and use promo code HAPPY5THDATELINE when subscribing!

Win a TouringPlans.com Disney eBook!
Two (2) winners each week will win their choice of a TouringPlans.com eBook, including two new holiday eGuides for the Disneyland Resort and Walt Disney World. The Holiday TouringPlans eGuides are spectacular volumes packed with hundreds of gorgeous photos, plus:

  • 92 pages (Disneyland) and 111 pages (Walt Disney World)
  • Information & tips for enjoying all holiday entertainment
  • Tips to avoid the holiday crowds
  • Full November & December 2012 TouringPlans.com Crowd Calendars
  • Holiday snack recommendations
  • Historical tidbits, facts, and more

Also available from TouringPlans eBooks is the beautiful Disneyland: Sunrise to Sunrise — a photographic journey through Disneyland’s 2012 24-hour Leap Day party.

Leave a comment and win! All you need to do is leave a comment about today’s blog in the comments section at the end of the column and you’ll be automatically entered-to-win!

You can enter-to-win until 11:59 p.m. this Friday, December 7 for this week’s giveaway!

Rules and Restrictions:

  • No purchase necessary. To enter for free, you must be a registered MiceChat.com user. Click here to sign up for a free MiceChat.com account.
  • Entrants must be 13 years or older to win.
  • Grand Prizes can only be mailed where allowable by law and in the United States of America.
  • Winners will be selected at random using Random.org at the end of each week during the giveaway period.
  • By entering-to-win you give MiceChat.com including Dateline Disneyland, its staff and its sponsors permission to publish your name, city of residence and/or your birthday online and in print.
  • Winners will be notified via the e-mail address used to register at MiceChat.com. Please check your e-mail inbox to see if you won.
  • All prizes must be claimed within 30 days. Unclaimed prizes will be awarded to another entrant.
  • Contest may be altered or canceled at any time and for any reason without notice.

Happy anniversary and good luck!

Welcome to Disneyland!

Candlelight Processional performances will boost evening crowd levels at Disneyland higher than usual over the next eighteen days. 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 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., Dec. 4 [center]5 /10[/center] Here are some quick-hit notes that we hope you’ll find helpful as you prepare your visits for the week:

  • Candlelight performances will boost evening crowds throughout the week
  • Partial AP Blockouts Saturday and Sunday.
  • The best day to visit Disneyland is Tuesday when it’s a 4.6.
  • A good plan of attack for Cars Land would be riding Luigi’s Flying Tires standby right after starting your day by grabbing a FASTPASS for Radiator Springs Racers.
Wed., Dec. 5 5 /10
Thu., Dec. 6 6 /10
Fri., Dec. 7 9 /10
Celebrate 5 Years of Dateline Disneyland
with 25% off a TouringPlans.com Subscription!

TouringPlans.com is celebrating Dateline Disneyland’s five year anniversary by giving Dateline Disneyland readers (that’s you!) a 25% discount on new one-year TouringPlans.com Disneyland Resort subscriptions! Subscribe to TouringPlans.com and get 365 days of access to premium Disneyland Resort trip planning tools including crowd predictions, accurate wait times, Computer Optimized Touring Plans and much more!

Use promo code HAPPY5THDATELINE when subscribing!

Click here to join TouringPlans.com today!

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.
Candlelight Arrives

Disneyland’s traditional and wildly popular Candlelight Processional and Ceremony returned over the weekend. The event typically takes place the first weekend of December, but has been expanded to a 20-night run this year, starting with Saturday’s performances. The expanded schedule means the stage on Main Street Station and additional set-up throughout Town Square will remain up for the better part of the month, only being taken down in time for the extremely busy last two weekends of the year.

Some of the Candlelight set-up seen from the main entrance has been dressed up a bit for its extended run.

In Town Square, this is what guests will be greeted with through December 20.

By day the whole thing is rather an eyesore and it’ll be interesting to see how the nightly Candlelight performances and set-up will affect crowd flow in the area as the holiday season gets busier.

Candlelight began as Disneyland’s annual gift back to the local community, with special community VIPs being given VIP seating during the event. Seating for this weekend’s performances was reserved for Disney’s VIP guests as per tradition, but three out of four performances over the weekend were canceled due to rain.

The remaining nights of Candlelight have reserved seating for Annual Passholders, which were chosen by an online lottery. Below, the schedule of performances and celebrity narrators for nights open to Annual Passholders.
Celebrity Narrators and Dates

  • December 3, 4, 5: Kurt Russell
  • December 6, 7, 8: Edward James Olmos
  • December 9, 10, 11: Lou Diamond Phillips
  • December 12, 13: Dick Van Dyke
  • December 14: Marcia Gay Harden
  • December 15, 16: Patricia Heaton
  • December 17, 18, 19: Molly Ringwald
  • December 20: Dennis Haysbert

Main Street Station will have limited operation and alternate entrance/exit routes due to Candlelight

Nearby, the Main Street Opera House and Disney Gallery close will early due to Candlelight.

The Omnibus’ stop in Town Square has moved a bit, now closer to the front of the Opera House, due to Candlelight.

In Tomorrowland, Captain EO closes early for Candlelight staging.

Special Candlelight merchandise is available at select shops including Disney Showcase on Main Street and World of Disney in Downtown Disney.

Women’s top:

Sweatshirt and scarf


Construction Kingdom

At the end of Main Street, construction progresses at the upcoming Fantasy Faire princess meet-and-greet area.

The Fantasyland Theater continues to come along as well…

In Frontierland, some refurbishment work took place on the bridge in Big Thunder Trail over the week. Dateline Disneyland reader Jacob Genzuk snapped these shots of the work being done at night earlier in the week.

By the weekend, the bridge work was completed and the path was open to guests again.

Some nearby rock work is getting some TLC as well

Welcome to California Adventure

Over in Disney California Adventure, the holidays continue with no big news to report.

The Buena Vista Street Community Bell Ringers are really great

Awnings have been replaced at Elias and Co.

No more text on the awnings advertising the store having the “Widest Selection” or “Highest Quality”

A larger sign to draw people into the Santa meet-and-greet at Elias and Co. has been added

At Carthay Circle Restaurant, a Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs-themed gingerbread house has been added to the lobby.

It’s worth checking out.

In addition to the Carthay Circle Restaurant’s gingerbread house, Disney announced two other gingerbread creations last week including a gingerbread Mater at Flo’s V8 Cafe and a gingerbread house inspired by Walt Disney’s home at the Fiddler, Fifer and Practical Cafe, but neither of those were on display at their announced locations over the weekend.

The rain forced the Red Car News Boys and Five and Dime performances to be canceled over the weekend

The News Boys still made appearances, however, singing from a Red Car as it went down the trolley route

In A Bug’s Land, the lemonade stand in Flik’s Fun Fair has been removed.

Give some Disney fun this year!
The holidays are here again and what better gift to give this holiday season than Disney?

Below is a list of some of the best books, movies and video game releases for the Disney fans on your shopping list. Everything from this year’s spectacular books including Poster Art of the Disney Parks and It’s Kind of a Cute Story, to the year’s biggest Disney blockbusters including Marvel’s The Avengers, Brave and Wreck-It Ralph; we’ve got you covered.

So jump in and check off some names from your list with the Amazon links below! By buying through the Amazon links below you’ll also be helping support Dateline Disneyland so we can continue bringing Disneyland to you through 2013!

Happy Holidays!
– Andy
Dateline Disneyland

In celebration of Dateline Disneyland’s 5th Anniversary, we’re taking a look back at photos from the Dateline Disneyland archives. Join us as we look back at some photos from past updates and talk about the changes seen at the Disneyland Resort over the last five years. It’s a fun look back at some big changes over the last half-decade.

This week we look back to October 18, 2010. Disneyland had just opened its new Tangled meet-and-greet in Fantasyland and huge changes were underway at Disney California Adventure.

Tangled wasn’t in theaters yet, but Rapunzel made a big first impression on Fantasyland with her hair wrapping around buildings. The hair is no longer there, but Rapunzel still meets guests in this location.

Rapunzel proved to be popular with long wait times that continue today.

Meanwhile, Duffy the Disney Bear sailed into Disney California Adventure, making less of an impact than Rapunzel.

At DCA, the main entrance murals were being removed.

Sunshine Plaza’s sun fountain was in the process of being removed…

Construction continued on the then-upcoming Little Mermaid dark ride

And nearby, Mullholland Madness had started its conversion into Goofy’s Sky School and the old Burger Invasion and Pizza Oom Mow Mow restaurants were being transformed into the fantastic new Paradise Garden area.

Not far from the Paradise Garden area, the Maliboomer was still in the process of being removed.

Meanwhile, the Cadillac Range in Cars Land was still just steel framework.

Dateline Disneyland is sponsored by our good friends at the

Howard Johnson Plaza 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

MiceChat.com and Annual Passholder Discounts
Available Every Day!

The HoJo Anaheim is now offering deeper discounts for Disneyland Resort Annual Passholders! On select nights, Disneyland Resort Annual Passholders can get rooms for as low as $59 per night, plus tax. 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.

Weekly News & Information Round-Up
Weekly Theme Park Hours
December 3 — 9, 2012
[B]Disneyland Park[/B] [B]Disney California Adventure[/B]
Monday-Wednesday: 9 am – 9 pm
Thursday: 9 am – 10 pm
Friday-Sunday: 8 am – 12 midnight
Monday-Thursday: 9 am – 8 pm
Friday-Saturday: 8 am – 11 pm
Sunday: 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]4.6—9.4[/B] out of 10[/CENTER]
[B]5.3—8.1[/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]Indiana Jones Adventure:[/b] Closed through December 7, 2012 for refurbishment.
  • [b]Mark Twain Riverboat:[/b] Closed January 7, 2013 through March 28.
  • [b]Big Thunder Mountain Railroad:[/b] Closed for extensive refurbishment January 7, 2013 through October 30.
  • [b]Haunted Mansion:[/b] Closed January 7-17, 2013 to remove Holiday overlay.
  • [b]Big Thunder Ranch:[/b] Closed January 7-17, 2013 to remove holiday overlay.
  • [b]Fantasmic!:[/b] Dark January 7, 2013 through February 14 for refurbishment.
  • [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]Mickey’s Fun Wheel:[/B] Closed through December 6 for refurbishment.
  • [B]Silly Symphony Swings:[/B] Closed January 7, 2013 through February 17 for refurbishment.
  • [B]Grizzly River Run:[/B] Closed January 7, 2013 through February 28 for refurbishment.
[b][center]Downtown Disney and Disneyland Resort Hotels[/center][/b]
[center]Headline Roundup
A quick look at noteworthy Disney theme park headlines from around the web.[/center]
Alright, that wraps up this week’s edition of Dateline Disneyland! Thank you for reading and don’t forget to comment on today’s column for your chance to win some great prizes!

Don’t forget to discuss this week’s column in the comments section below! Your comment could win you a prize in our 5th Anniversary Giveaway Celebration!

We’re only here because of your continued support. If you’ve enjoy Dateline Disneyland over the last five years, please consider helping us out by donating a buck or two so we can pay the bills and keep the updates coming! You can donate with a click of a button via PayPal — click here!

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.