Disneyland Resort celebrates Lunar New Year and Valentine’s Day as rules get strict on Fastpass

Written by Andy Castro. Posted in Dateline Disneyland, Disneyland Resort

Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Published on February 11, 2013 at 5:05 am with 28 Comments

About Andy Castro

Andy is a Southern California native, raised with Disneyland and a life-long fan of Disney theme parks and animation. Andy wrote the long-running weekly Dateline Disneyland photo, news and opinion blog here on MiceChat from 2007-2016. Andy continues to make occasional special guest contributions on MiceChat.

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  • Trumpet

    Great Update Andy

    It is nice that the San Francisco is used for the Lunar New Year. Maybe, the area could have some links to the real life China Town all year round…

    It is nice to see the refurbishments continue ready for the Summer. The Fantasy Faire is looking good. Hopefully, it is squashing any comments that it is not a worthy successor to the Carnation Plaza Gardens.

    Thanks Again Andy


  • mratigan

    Thanks Andy
    I wasnt excited about the fantasy fair, but know I am. I like the Reds Apple Freeze at DCA so i hope i like the Boysen Apple Freeze.
    great update

  • Tapdawg

    Is it seriously a 10 out of 10 this weekend?!? I’ll be going in the morning on Saturday, anyone know how long in the am it will usually be not so crowded? I’m going to take some photos and areas without crowds would be a plus, any suggestions?

    • Westsider

      It’s Presidents Day Weekend; always a HUGE weekend for the Resort.

      You’ll want to get there 30 minutes before park opening to be amongst the first in for park pics without crowds. They often “cheat the gate” on very busy days and let people in to Main Street early. If your ticket package has an Early Entry day, take advantage of that too.

  • whamo

    Tapdawg, The crowd was 10 out of 10 on Sunday, for sure. This has been the most crowded year at Disneyland and California Adventure I can remember. I waited 1/2 hour to ride Carb springs in the single rider line. The last time I went I only waited 5 minutes. I like the AP thing on Thursday nights. That might we worth a special trip. The Bayou Bash and the Chinese New Year presentations were cool, although the alligator dancing and blowing a trumpet is a bit corny. That show works better on the Mark Twain by a mile-and-a-half. That was a great show, and they should bring it back. Big props to the Cathay Theater chef! I took my wife there to celebrate Valentine’s Day, early, and the food was fantastic.

  • WheresMickey

    NIce update!

  • Mickey777

    The Royal Theatre looks like something out of MK’s original Fantasyland doesn’t it?

  • eicarr

    I welcome any improvements to atmosphere, including changing the bridge color like they changed the dull mono color of The Palace of Fine Arts in the San Francisco area. Depressing prison like color schemes do not work in DCA at that scale.

    With new detailing, I’m now fine with the Fantasy Faire theater sign.

    I’m starting to feel like all the time effort and budget behind these limited events might be better spent elsewhere when they’ll be nothing to show for that effort at the end of the year(or to take crowds off the paths during peak season).

  • jcruise86

    The Golden Horseshoe Review is NOT “back to normal” now.

    For most of that theater’s history it has hosted the excellent Golden Horseshoe Review. LAST MONTH the Golden Horseshoe was “back to normal”–Walt Disney’s normal.

    Excellent update, Andy! THANK YOU!

    I particularly liked the Asian New Year coverage. I don’t think the Vietnamese or Chinese celebrations will spread to Americans of other national origins because of the part about cleaning the home, but the shorter Korean version might have a shot. From the update, Disney seems to have knocked this out of the park. I just hope it’s not a separate admission in ten years. 🙂

    Disney will need extra staff in City Hall once they start enforcing Fastpass times. Imagine the moronic adults whining about how they were just one second late. I wish Disney could secretly film them an post the “Top Ten complainers in February So Far” on Youtube. That could go viral on and be a fitting retribution.

    Despite (or because of) all the construction and despite Tomorrowland, the Disneyland resort is in a golden age.

    I just hope Staggs doesn’t say, “OK, Disneyland is good enough for now. Now we can pretty much ignore Anaheim for twelve years except for one Everest caliber E-ticket in Tomorrowland (Star Wars OR Marvel).” Yes, Walt Disney World could use three Harry Potter/Carsland (but not not a cloned Carsland) quality lands ASAP, but not at the expense of Anaheim.

    • jcruise86

      D’oh! REVUE, not Review.

    • DannyeF

      Top 10 complainers! I love it!!

  • OriginalMousekteer

    Good news about Splash reopening. I got the skinny from some friends in New Orleans attractions about the rumored delay that has been going around. It turns out it was a practical joke that took on a life of its own. One of the working leads posted news of a supposed delay in the back room at Pirates as a joke aimed at the Splash regulars who were populating Pirates during the rehab. It got repeated as fact and spread before the joke was revealed and proved harder to correct than it was to disseminate. Oooopsie!

  • 4Apples4Disney

    Great update! Two things: 1. The bridge in DCA should return to it’s original color..looked much better that way. 2. I had no idea they actually dismantle SSS the entire way..wow!

  • Chernabog

    Now with the new fastpass return times, APers meeting up at different times won’t be able to ride together using Fastpass anymore (unless someone got one earlier and doesn’t want to ride). Plus if you get one and decide to go to the other park, you’ll have to rush back across the esplanade if you want to use it.

    *sigh* Between that and the price jumps, I’m pretty happy with not renewing. Now I’ll spend $150 this year on a parkhopper and food, instead of my usual $1000+.

  • MarkILIS

    The Lunar New Year Celebration does not end today. It has been extended through Wednesday.


  • Imagineer2B

    After over a year of enjoying the Micechat posts I’ve decided to dive in and officially register and comment. Dateline Disneyland is always a great way to kick off a Monday. I’m really pleased to see some life brought into the San Francisco street part of the park. This area of DCA always feels quiet especially since the facades are not usable (except for the Little Mermaid shop addition). I think that a Chinatown type overlay could be a great addition, perhaps we move the restrooms and open up the storefronts in DCA 3.0? I will say that while I was very hesitant to embrace Fantasy Faire I think that the area looks great and it seems to be a nice transition next to the castle. I’m looking forward to seeing the Valentine’s offerings this week!

    • jcruise86

      Welcome, Imagineer2B!

  • sixalex

    I do love Mondays! Micechat and Dateline Disneyland make the weekend too long!

    We have been unable to attend the parks for nearly a month due to family health issues. These updates keep me in touch. Even though it is a bit like torture to see what I am missing, I still feel connected.

    The pictures are a great way to track “immediate history” and I love to take a few and save them to my computer. Well, more than a few. Between the Dateline updates over the last five years, other people’s blogs, including the amazing Tours Departing Daily group, Tom Bricker, and my own obsessive documenting of Disney Details, I have a continuing slide show that can run for days without repeating. Almost like being there all the time!

    Thanks to everyone.

    P.S. Please note that I DO NOT use anyone’s photos for profit. I do keep photo credit attached to the photos. These are for my own personal enjoyment only. I plan, someday, to add my own amateur efforts to a blog for others to download and enjoy. Sharing is good!

  • ayalexander

    great update, I love the pictures posted her on the chinese lunar new year celebration, -especially of Mickey dressed in his best! He’s so adorable!

  • heysi

    Having been away from the resort for about 5 years, it was nice to be back in the parks again this past saturday. I was amazed at the quality of the upkeep at Disneyland, the park hasn’t looked that good in my lifetime. And having been an AP before and just after the opening of DCA version 1.0, I can say that that park is finally something to brag to eastcoast relatives about. Carsland is more stunning in person than any of the fantastic pictures on here can capture, and let me tell you, those pictures are really amazing on their own. I felt like I was actually in a different place than what used to feel like the old parking lot. The amount of immersion is simply over the top. Buena Vista Street deserves high marks as well by being “another place, another time”, just like Main Street. I found myself wanting to explore more of the street rather than run past the tacky street mall that used to be there. Its because of these wonderful changes that we avoided going into Hollywoodland as we knew that area is the black eye of the park. Lets hope that phase 2 includes some love for that area of the park as well as some real high class rides.

    • jcruise86

      Good post, except that I like much of the Hollywood area, especially the whole animation building and the Muppets & Hyperion theaters. And we like Monsters, Inc. & my daughter likes the afternoon dance party & Alice’s party at night. When she was 2-4 she loved Playhouse Disney. Tomorrowland is where Disney needs to work. Move out the rocks and move back the Astro-Orbiter. Re-open or remove the Peoplemover track.

  • Timekeeper

    Love the new additions, glad that Disney didn’t choose to name the food cart in Fantasyland Faire, “Maurice’s Twisted Treats”, the new food looks good for not only “Maurice’s Treats”, but the temporary promotions too. Great Update!


  • CCS

    Thank you for the great photos, as usual. I agree that the Glendale-Hyperion Bridge should have been left alone and would be glad if they return it to the original plain concrete-looking structure that it is in reality. Can you imagine if they’d tried to paint the Golden Gate Bridge blue while it was in residence for 11 years? What should be repainted and/or rethought all together are the big arches at the entrance to Hollywoodland. They used to have giant elephants on top, but those have been removed. There has got to be a much better color scheme that that garish rust and gold. It clashes badly with the tasteful Carthay Theater and Elias & Disney Co.

    • Asterix

      What CCS said.

      They should have resisted the urge to add that color to the bridge, but you win some, you lose some.

    • Freddie Freelance

      If they’d painted the Golden Gate blue it would be the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge! Well, kinda:


  • MrOCT31

    I have no problem having to come back during the hour the fastpass is designated for, however I wish then, I was allowed to get more than the one fastpass I’m allowed to now in a particular time window. If I were able to have all the passes I want and then knowing what times I should be at whatever ride, I could plan out my day at the park knowing where I need to be and when I need to be there!

  • DisneyDrums

    New FASTPASS rules start…. on my mom’s birthday! This is insane.

  • Freddie Freelance

    I hope the Imagineers are planning to perform some kind of aging or muting on the roofs of the PFF; some of these are just a little too Kandy Kolored Twee in their color palates for the shingles:



    I know these are taken at different times of day, the first earlier in the day and the second in late afternoon, but I think the second looks a [i]little[/i] better with the Golden Hour light muting the colors.