A wild, wet, whacky week at the Disneyland resort brings concerts, Christmas, and rain.  Rain hit the parks Wednesday and Thursday this week putting a damper on activities at Disneyland. But the show went on as did the construction and refurbishments.  As Disney legend Dick Van Dyke took to the Candlelight stage, a “Surprise” concert was held in Cars Land featuring Brad Paisley.  We cover all of this plus the progress on Fantasy Faire village and a look at the New Years 2013 merchandise.

Rain breezed through the southland this week, occasionally showering Disneyland with enough precipitation to scare off the more timid park goers.  It wasn’t enough, however, to flush all of the crowds from the park.  Most simply soldiered through the spats of drizzle and were rewarded with the rare rainy day magic (We don’t get much real weather in SoCal, so this is special to some).

Shhhhh. Stroller tracks. This is just a baby one, but somewhere around here is the mother!


Disneyland is 7 days away from concluding its unprecedented 20 nights of Candlelight and seems to be holding up surprisingly well. Day guests still seem to be taking the minor inconveniences in stride.  Sure the trains stop running at 4pm, and Jungle Cruise is silenced about the same time, but rolling closures have become the norm when there is a special event or show.

The real test came Wednesday and Thursday night when popular Disney Legend Dick Van Dyke took to the stage for two nights. While VERY crowded at the front of the park at times, the rain helped keep crowds within acceptable levels even forcing the cancellation of the 5:30 performance on Wednesday.

In between the 5:30 and 7:30 performances on Thursday Cast Members prep the viewing area.
Guests wanting to enjoy the park were bustled along the perimeter of Town Square, up Main Street.
This is just about as tight as it ever got the whole night.
Walk-up guests wanting to enjoy the show were asked to line up on Main Street.

Regular, day guests that wanted to enjoy the performance had plenty of space to stand.

During the performance the traffic was minimal and easy.
While the performances were taking place, the front of the park was eerily calm.
Guests entering the park were directed into the tunnel on the right.
A shot taken during the performance.
Halfway through the presentation there was still plenty of space for anyone to stand and watch – even on this, the night of the most anticipated Candlelight presenter.
Main Street during the performance.
Things went so smoothly that backstage was not used once as a traffic overflow on Thursday night
Disney Legend Dick Van Dyke was ebullient and charming.

What was truly surprising to us was how efficiently the exit after the performance went.  While  there were traffic stops at times, they were minimal.  As the performers and guests exited Town Square to leave the park, things moved fast and orderly.

The only real inconvenience was that if guests were at the Main Gate and wanted to circle back into the park, they would have to exit and then reenter the front gates on the far end.  This arrangement only held for the duration of the exit.

Reentering the park.
Minutes after the performance, guests venturing back into the park.

Let’s hope the final week goes just as smoothly.


The Disney parks Blog confirmed the news that Al Lutz has been giving you for the past two years; Starbucks is coming to Main Street. The new location will be moving in to the Market house as we expected.  While no word has been given on how extensively the location will be altered, we are hoping that the main features that keep the place charming will remain.

Will the party lines survive?


The Fantasy Faire Village is picking up steam as new details emerge. We begin to see angular awnings and stone covered chimney stacks come into view. The project will open this Spring.


The rock work and retaining wall was revealed this week (located adjacent to the exit of Big Thunder Mountain Railroad).  Fine work indeed.


Quite some time ago, Al Lutz informed us that Big Thunder had been slated for major refurbishment work including some updated effects, lighting changes, new trains and installation of wiring for Disney’s NextGen initiative. January 7th, the ride will close and is not scheduled to reopen until Fall of 2013.

Of course, we have heard some rumors that this refurb may include the removal of some of the Rainbow Ridge buildings as well. We hope that’s not the case. They are a reminder of the ride Big Thunder replaced, the Mine Train Through Nature’s Wonderland.

The charming Rainbow Ridge.


There isn’t too much to report from the Fantasyland Theatre at the moment.  The old Fantasy Faire archway remains behind scaffolding but the control room inside the theatre is visible and coming along quickly.


Last night, an “impromptu” concert was staged at the crossroads in Cars Land.  Country Music artist Brad Paisley entertained the crowds for segments which will appear on the Disney Christmas Day Parade.

All approximately 400 guests that waited to watch the short performance were granted entry into the viewing area.
Special lighting rigs sprung up from backstage

The short but sweet performance featured a live band, really performing, and of course Brad himself.


As Christmas and 2012 come to a close, the New Years merchandise begins to roll in.  Here is a look at the new 2013 offerings.  These designs are actually pretty good.  But, as usual, the prices are on the high side.

$59.95, for a hoodie – Insane!!!

I went blind looking at this one.


One great thing about new merchandise is that it pushes the shelf fillers out.  The 2013 items have taken over the kiosk on Paradise pier and the Walt Disney World throws are now gone…  at least for the moment.


There are also some wonderful new Roger Rabbit T-shirts that have just been released. We are happy to see them and sure do hope that all this continued interest eventually encourage a sequel. What do you say folks? Would you like to see a new Roger Rabbit film (or at the very least a new short)?

That’s a command soldier.


Don’t forget to stop by and give Duffy a little Holiday love.  He gets lonely.

Mickey and Santa may be pulling in lines of eager kiddlets, but poor Duffy is still alone much of the time. And he’s so cute too. Why haven’t folks taken to this bear as Disney would like them to?


That should do it for this week.  Get ready for the coming tranquility of Christmas at the parks and the inevitable insanity of New Years Eve.  We will see you at the parks!

  • Trumpet

    Great Update Norman

    Brad Paisley is a great singer and perfect for Cars Land. Maybe there should be more concerts there.

    Thanks Again Norman

  • eicarr

    Awesome update!!

    All the unlucky 13 merch looks cool! It’s a good time to buy a hoodie while they’re still under $100.

    Sad ignored Duffy should move back to Japan for the love he deserves.

  • QuiGonJ

    Great update! Where’s the Roger Rabbit stuff sold?

  • WheresMickey

    Nice update!

  • faerla

    Oh man! Heartbroken to miss the Brad Paisley concert! Don’t you wish they would send out last-minute AP notifications of these things? I would have darted down to DCA in a minute!

    • Read MiceChat daily. We posted an Editors Note at the top of our front page about Brad Paisley yesterday. 😉

  • Internitty

    Thank you for all the great information and pictures! How much do I want some of the Roger Rabbit merchandise, I wish I lived in the USA or knew someone heading there to get those shirts, I TOTALLY support a new Roger Rabbit film of any type (short or feature). We pay 59.95 for a hoodie with a surf brand on here so that price for a cool Disney one doesn’t phase me at all. It’s a shame no one put any video of Dick Van Dyke up, I hope Disney release some I would love to see him narrating the Candlelight Parade.

  • Sparky

    I’ve stopped by to see Duffy every time I’ve been in the parks the last three weeks, and I went quite a bit while I was off work and on vacation, and not one time was he there!

    I completed a Resort survey this week and in the merchandise part of it I mentioned that while they actually have some appealing items out now, the merchandise prices have skyrocketed too high and are not a value for what they are charging.

  • garyman

    Nice Update, was just there last weekend. Had a great time

  • Algernon

    The Main Street sidewalk paving stones look even worse at night. No Main Street USA at the turn of the last century ever had paving stones. They should bring back the cement sidewalks, or change it to Main Street Europe.

    Not only should they keep the Rainbow Ridge buildings, they should bring back the Mine Train ride.

  • airick75

    So, a $60 sweatshirt is unreasonable (which, is true), but an invented character named Duffy, created solely to make more money with no investment whatsoever by the company in an actual story, short film, movie, tv show, etc…deserves love just because he’s so cute? My take on Duffy is that people are not as dumb as a company hopes. Sure, we’ll turn a blind eye to this and that, pay $60 for a sweatshirt, but we are all drawing the line at Duffy.

    • Michella Tetrault

      Airick75: Just so you know, Duffy has been around for years at Disneyland Tokyo and Disney Sea. This isn’t anything new. In fact in Tokyo he is huge! People there pay 40 dollars and up for elaborate outfits for him. they carry him around like he is something special, even going as far as making him outfits. I wish they would bring some of that to the states instead of the cheaply made ones that sell at Disneyland. In fact, it seems, that Duffy is almost as big as Mickey. It is nice to see him on this side of the pacific and I hope he catches on. I think they need to advertise him more and bring the quality like that have in Japan to the states with regards to Duffy

  • Tiny Mermaid

    Out of curiosity: what would be the reason behind getting rid of some of the Rainbow Ridge buildings on Big Thunder? What would the space be used for?

  • Amy VandenBoogert

    I saw those same Roger Rabbit shirts at WDW earlier this week. They were a pleasant surprise.

    On the flip side, I saw a Disneyland shirt at WDW (one of the new “retro” designs with the furry head characters)…. so it works both ways.

  • kat3010


  • Melonballer

    There is a good reason for the Roger Rabbit merchandise. 2013 is the 25th anniversary of Who Framed Roger Rabbit, so expect lots of merchandise.

    • Disneylandfan85

      This is mostly a rumor right now, but rumor has it that, as part of the 25th anniversary, the original movie is going to be rereleased to theaters in 3D in November.

  • dlpostcardguy

    I don’t get the Duffy haters. Almost everything Disney does, no matter how or why it was created is a marketing tool in some way and used to sell merchandise or tickets or both. Vinylmation is another good example. I do agree the merchandise prices are insanely high. Our AP discounts are bringing the prices back down to the formerly insanely high merchandise price levels. We don’t get wonderful new additions like Cars Land and BVS for nothing. Thanks for another good update!

  • Disneylandfan85

    I wonder if Fall of 2013 means that October 31 is the reopening date for Big Thunder. Also, I wouldn’t mind seeing a sequel for Roger Rabbit.

  • kat3010

    Would’ve loved to see Brad Paisley!

  • cheshiregirl

    I remember seeing Roger Rabbit as a kid and it was pure magic. Love the new merchandise! Thanks for brightening an otherwise depressing Friday!

  • diskid

    Just returned from Disneyland. As far as the Disney World merchandise, I would like to point out that they still have the Disney World holiday banner hanging up in the World of Disney at the very first entrance you see from leaving the parks. Also, in the Grand Californian Hotel, they are also trying to sell Mickey Mouse silhouette luggage with a small Disney World emblem on it… Both instances are very tacky.

  • danyoung

    “…..but poor Duffy is still alone much of the time. And he’s so cute too. Why haven’t folks taken to this bear as Disney would like them to?”

    I’m not sure why he caught on in the Orient, but here in America he’s a totally fabricated marketing tool that didn’t grow organically out of a beloved cartoon appearance but was just foisted upon us. It reminds me of the original DCA, whose creators thought people would flock to the new park no matter how poorly it was put together just because it had the name DISNEY on it. Didn’t work then, and it doesn’t work with Duffy either.