The Disneyland Resort celebrated Lunar New Year in Disney California Adventure and Downtown Disney over the weekend, as part of the on-going Limited Time Magic promotion. The Lunar New Year festivities brought a vibrant street festival atmosphere to California Adventure with fantastic live entertainment, arts and crafts, character meet-and-greets and a variety of special food offerings. Meanwhile, Disneyland will kick off its latest Limited Time Magic offering with this week’s True Love Week, celebrating Valentine’s Day. Elsewhere in the park, various refurbishments continue as construction continues on the new Fantasy Faire princess meet-and-greet area. And in both parks, preparations are underway to begin enforcing FASTPASS return times, bringing a big change to how the park handles its popular ride reservation system.

Thanks to MiceChat’s Fishbulb for some additional help with some 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.

Welcome to Disneyland!

Main Street Station’s refurbishment continues at Disneyland.

Our friends from Touring Plans have their weekly crowd forecast below:

One last week of nice crowds before the busy President’s Day holiday. 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. Now more than ever, 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., Feb. 12 [center]4 /10[/center] Here are some quick-hit notes that we hope you’ll find helpful as you prepare your visits for the week:

  • Saturday and Sunday are a 10 out of 10.
  • There are no Annual Pass blackouts in effect this Monday through Friday.
  • Wednesday is the best day to visit Disneyland.
  • Fastpass tickets for Radiator Springs Racers usually “sell out” within the first hour of DCA’s regular park hours.
Wed., Feb. 13 2 /10
Thu., Feb. 14 6 /10
Fri., Feb. 15 8/10
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.

Valentine’s Day decorations and more spring color continue to pop up throughout Main Street and the Central Plaza.

Construction Kingdom

Work continues on the upcoming Fantasy Faire princess meet-and-greet village next to Sleeping Beauty Castle as it approaches its March 12 grand opening.

Lots of detail continues to emerge throughout the area…

New lighting fixtures going in…

New window

The new Maurice’s Treats outdoor vending cart will open with Fantasy Faire this March. Last week, Disney previewed what the new cart will serve:

The cart will serve up “sweet twists” for $3.49, as well as a savory cheddar garlic bagel twist for $4.19.

The cart will feature a new “signature beverage” from Disney, this time a frozen boysenberry-apple concoction. The Boysen Apple Freeze is made with frozen apple juice, a hint of wild berry and topped with passion fruit foam. A 16-ounce cup will sell for $4.69 or you can get it in a souvenir cup (pictured below) for $9.99.

The new CPG medallion, referencing the former Carnation Plaza Gardens, has been installed on this facade.

Lookin’ good

Back in Fantasyland, work continues on installing the new “Mickey and the Magical Map” show, opening this summer.

Refurbishment Round-Up

Meanwhile, various refurbishment projects continue throughout Disneyland. Lighting towers along Small World Mall are getting some work done.

“it’s a small world” is still closed through the end of the month to remove the holiday overlay and refurbishment.

The Mad T Party is closed through Valentine’s Day for refurbishment.

Big Thunder Mountain Railroad’s 10-month refurbishment continues…

A time-lapse camera tracks the project…

Beyond the load station, one of the old Rainbow Ridge facades has been stripped down. The mining town of Rainbow Ridge will be rebuilt with new materials during Big Thunder’s closure.

Fantasmic’s refurbishment continues

The Fantasmic pit near the Tom Sawyer Island rafts dock has been filled back in, but Tom Sawyer Island remains closed until later this week.

Mark Twain’s refurbishment project continues as well:

Nearby, Splash Mountain should reopen by Friday.

Limited Time Magic

[center]Happy Lunar New Year Celebration!
at Disney California Adventure
10 am — 5 pm, February 11
[/center]
Disneyland’s Lunar New Year celebration returned and move to Pacific Wharf at Disney California Adventure over the weekend and will continue for one final day today, Monday, February 11.

Disney’s Lunar New Year celebration was notably larger this year, bringing together several local Asian-American performing arts groups, schools and artists, while offering a variety of special menu items at restaurants and outdoor vending carts.

San Francisco Street at California Adventure hosted a bulk of the Lunar New Year Celebration festivities, with character meet-and-greets, face painting, arts and crafts booths hosted by local schools as well as a booth by local artist Agnes Eng.

With the various arts and crafts offerings, character greetings, and various live entertainment, the celebration gave off a really fun street festival atmosphere, breathing some life into the typically lifeless San Francisco Street area.

Mickey and Minnie met with guests in their Lunar New Year attire

Informational signage gave some background on how Lunar New Year is celebrated by various Asian cultures:

What year are you?

Mulan, Mushu and various local performing arts groups entertained guests throughout the day at the Paradise Pier hub area, in front of the Little Mermaid attraction.

A video clip sampling some of the entertainment offerings

Outdoor vending carts in the area served up ginger milk tea, almond cookies and pork bao.

Pacific Wharf restaurants offered a variety of special menu items as well

Pacific Wharf:

Lucky Fortune Cookery:

Rita’s Margaritas:

[center]New Orleans Bayou Bash!
at Disneyland Park
10 am — 5 pm through February 12
[/center]

Disneyland’s New Orleans Bayou Bash located in New Orleans Square will end tomorrow, February 12, on the day of Mardi Gras.

[center]True Love Week
at Disneyland Park
February 11-17, 2013
[/center]

This week, Disney’s Limited Time Magic promotion continues with True Love week, celebrating Valentine’s Day. Disneyland released information on the week and also announced special fixed-price dinners as part of the celebration.

This is the first year that Disney’s offered significant in-park Valentine’s Day entertainment and dining options.

True Love Week

  • Romantic Setting:
    Guests will feel the romance at every turn, as heart-shaped signage and sweetheart-themed décor adorn Disneyland Park, making it an ideal place to celebrate Valentine’s week.
  • Blushing Castle:
    At dusk, hues of red and pink will bathe Sleeping Beauty Castle, with projections of flowers and hearts.
  • Floral Heart:
    A giant floral heart makes a sweet setting for a Valentine photo, in Town Square, Main Street, U.S.A. in Disneyland.
  • Valentine Wishes:
    Flowers, garlands and decorative doves will create a second ideal location around Snow White Wishing Well near Sleeping Beauty Castle. At night, magical lighting adds a romantic touch to the wishing well and Snow White Grotto.
  • Disneyland Sweethearts:
    Also near Town Square, guests will find a photo location with resident Disneyland sweethearts – Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse, Donald Duck and Daisy Duck.
  • Dinners for Two:
    Romantic dinners for two with prix fixe menus will be offered at select restaurants during the most romantic week of the year. Specially-created menus at Blue Bayou and Café Orleans in Disneyland, Carthay Circle Restaurant in Disney California Adventure Park, Steakhouse 55 at the Disneyland Hotel or Napa Rose in Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel make them ideal choices for a romantic evening. To book call 714-781-DINE (714-781-3463).
  • Cupcake Lovers:
    Chefs have prepared a specially themed Valentine’s dessert: a chocolate cupcake with raspberry mousse filling and dark chocolate mousse frosting. It will be available at Jolly Holiday Bakery Café in Disneyland, Fiddler, Fifer & Practical Café and Pacific Wharf Café in Disney California Adventure, and Disneyland Hotel Coffee House.
  • Valentine’s-themed Takeaways:
    Limited-edition pins, plush, newly-designed apparel and Vinylmations will be available at select merchandise locations.
  • Ears for your Sweetheart:
    The classic Disneyland ear hat gets a total glitz makeover just in time for the most romantic time of the year. It will dazzle your Valentine and become the most sophisticated pair of ears in your collection.
  • Royal Romance:
    Guests will enjoy a rare opportunity to get photos of Disney Princes as they escort their Princesses along The Royal Walk in Fantasyland. In New Orleans Square, guests will find another pair of sweethearts, Princess Tiana and Prince Naveen.
  • In Search of True Love:
    Guests may also encounter the Wandering Wallflowers, in search of “true love.”

[center]Limited Time Annual Passholder Magic
at Disneyland Park
February 11-17, 2013
[/center]

Disney is tying in two Annual Passholder-exclusive movie screenings at the Main Street Opera House into this week’s Limited Time Magic offerings.

Today and tomorrow, Disneyland will screen “Mulan” at the Main Street Opera House to celebrate Lunar New Year as well as the film’s release on Blu-ray.

Mulan
Limited Time Annual Passholder Magic Event
February 11 and 12, 2013
5:00 pm, 7:00 pm

Event Registration Information:

  • Annual Passholders may register for an event starting at 11:30 a.m. on the day of the event at the Main Street, U.S.A. Opera House in Disneyland Park.
  • All participating Annual Passholders and their Guests (ages 3 and older) must be valid Annual Passholders on the day of the event. Photo ID may be required.
  • Registration and check-in must be completed in person at the Main Street, U.S.A. Opera House on the day of the event only; no phone reservations or registration will be accepted.
  • All participating Annual Passholders must present their active Annual Passport to the event Cast Member, who will check event availability.

More information

If you can’t make it to the Annual Passholder screening, but still want to see Mulan in spectacular high definition, check out the all-new three-disc Blu-ray set, available starting tomorrow.
[center][/center]

Starting Wednesday and running through Sunday, Passholders can catch “Lady and the Tramp,” which was also recently released for the first time on Blu-ray. The “Lady and the Tramp” screenings will tie in the with Limited Time Magic’s True Love Week offerings.

Lady and the Tramp
Limited Time Annual Passholder Magic Event
February 13 through 17, 2013
5:00 pm, 7:00 pm

Event Registration Information:

  • Annual Passholders may register for an event starting at 11:30 a.m. on the day of the event at the Main Street, U.S.A. Opera House in Disneyland Park.
  • All participating Annual Passholders and their Guests (ages 3 and older) must be valid Annual Passholders on the day of the event. Photo ID may be required.
  • Registration and check-in must be completed in person at the Main Street, U.S.A. Opera House on the day of the event only; no phone reservations or registration will be accepted.
  • All participating Annual Passholders must present their active Annual Passport to the event Cast Member, who will check event availability.

More information

If you can’t make it to the Annual Passholder screening, but still want to see Mulan in spectacular high definition, check out the all-new three-disc Blu-ray set, available now.
[center][/center]

Welcome to California Adventure

The antique Packard next to Oswald’s is still missing. The car had been having issues with its lights and was pulled offstage a couple weeks ago but has yet to return. Hopefully it’ll return soon.

A friendly reminder that Annual Passholders can enjoy California Adventure for up to two hours after regular park closing on Thursday nights in February. MiceAge’s Al Lutz recently discussed these after-hour events and how Disney is hoping it’ll keep Passholders from returning on the weekend. Did you attend the first AP Extended Hours event last week?

Below, some information on the special extended hours for Passholders. For complete information, click here.

Annual Passholder Extended Hours
Dates:
February 14, February 21 and February 28, 2013

Time
For 2 hours after regular park closing

Check-In and Wristbands
Check-in begins at 12:00 noon on the day of the event only, and must be completed in person.
Wristbands are required for access to attractions during Annual Passholder Extended Hours.
Wristbands are valid only for that day’s event and are subject to availability.
Passholders with wristbands may enter the event until thirty (30) minutes prior to the end of the event.

Buena Vista Street’s Glendale-Hyperion Monorail bridge was recently repainted for no apparent reason. The new paint job wasn’t particularly nice, but it wasn’t exactly bad, either. What was strange about the change was that the bridge was designed to be a representation of the real Los Angeles-area landmark but the new paint made it decidedly unlike its real-world counterpart.

It appears that Disney may be having second-thoughts now and a part of the bridge is now sporting a paint test similar to its original appearance. It would be nice if Disney just returned the bridge back to its original paint scheme. Imagineering did its job just fine – why are the folks running the park making pointless changes to something that worked fine to begin with?

Meanwhile, Grizzly River Run’s refurbishment continues.

Over on Paradise Pier, the Silly Symphony Swings has been completely dismantled during its refurbishment closure.

Time’s Up

Signs have sprung up on FASTPASS machines at attractions in both theme parks encouraging guests to return during their FASTPASS’ designated return time.

Since the system’s introduction in 1999, Disneyland has allowed guests to return anytime after the printed return time on FASTPASS tickets. This is about to change and return times are expected to be enforced starting February 18. This change comes after Walt Disney World began enforcing return times in March of last year as the four Florida theme parks prepared for the installation and implementation of Fastpass+, a part of Disney’s $1 billion NextGen project.

The FASTPASS enforcement is expected to include a grace period for late arrivals and will accommodate guests if a ride breaks down during their return time.

This and That

Downtown Disney celebrated Lunar New Year this weekend with special menu items at select restaurants, some live entertainment and a pop-up dining location by a local Vietnamese restaurant near ESPN Zone.

Something Silver had a booth outside for Lunar New Year

Local Vietnamese restaurant Phans55 had a booth near ESPN Zone serving up a selection of menu items including crispy Imperial Rolls, pho and other items

Nearby, the Downtown Disney stage is behind walls for upgrades…

A temporary stage is set up nearby

The Fossil watch shop is still closed while it gets remodeled

Back in Disneyland, the Golden Horseshoe is now back to normal after its Limited Time Magic offering ended its run last week.

The menu has returned to normal

Next door, the Stage Door Cafe’s menu has also returned to normal.


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MiceChat.com and Annual Passholder Discounts
Available Every Day!

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Weekly News & Information Round-Up
Weekly Theme Park Hours
February 11 — 17, 2013
[B]Disneyland Park[/B] [B]Disney California Adventure[/B]
Monday: 9 am – 8 pm
Tuesday-Wednesday: 10 am – 8 pm
Thursday: 9 am – 8 pm
Friday: 9 am – 12 midnight
Saturday-Sunday: 8 am – 11 pm
Monday: 9 am – 8 pm
Tuesday-Wednesday: 10 am – 8 pm
Thursday: 9 am – 8 pm
Friday: 8 am – 11 pm
Saturday: 8 am – 10 pm
Sunday: 8 am – 11 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]MEDIUM—HIGH[/B]
[B]1.7—9.7[/B] out of 10[/CENTER]
[CENTER][B]MEDIUM—HIGH[/B]
[B]3.3—8.9[/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]Pirate’s Lair on Tom Sawyer Island:[/b] Closed through February 14 due to Fantasmic! refurbishment.
  • [b]Fantasmic!:[/b] Dark through February 14 for refurbishment.
  • [b]Mark Twain Riverboat:[/b] Closed through March 28.
  • [b]Disneyland Railroad — Main Street Station:[/b] Closed through March 28.
  • [b]Big Thunder Mountain Railroad:[/b] Closed for extensive refurbishment through October 30.
  • [b]Splash Mountain:[/b] Closed January 22 through February 14 for refurbishment.
  • [b]”it’s a small world”:[/b] Closed January 22, 2013 through February 28 to remove holiday overlay.
  • [b]Mad Tea Party:[/b] Closed January 28 through February 14 for refurbishment.
  • [b]Goofy’s Playhouse:[/b] Closed February 25 – March 7 for refurbishment.
  • [B]Alice in Wonderland:[/B] Expected to close in 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 March 12, 2013.
  • [B]Fantasyland Theater presenting Mickey and the Magical Map:[/B] Fantasyland Theater closed August 12, 2012. Princesses have relocated to Small World Promenade allowing the Fantasyland Theater to close and prepare for the new “Mickey and the Magical Map” show scheduled to open Summer 2013.
[b][center]Disney California Adventure[/center][/b]
  • [B]Grizzly River Run:[/B] Closed through February 28 for refurbishment.
  • [B]Disney Junior — Live on Stage!:[/B] Closed through March 21 to install new show.
  • [B]Muppet*Vision 3D:[/B] Closed through February 15.
  • [B]Silly Symphony Swings:[/B] Closed February 4 through March 31 for refurbishment.
[b][center]Downtown Disney and Disneyland Resort Hotels[/center][/b]
    None.
[center]Headline Roundup
A quick look at noteworthy Disney theme park headlines from around the web.[/center]
  • From the OC Register, Cars Land helped boost domestic Disney theme park attendance by 4% over the holidays.
  • Disneyland’s Circle D Ranch recently welcomed two new Brabant Belgian draft horses.
  • Joffrey’s Coffee will completely replace Nescafe as the standard coffee at Disneyland and Walt Disney World over the next few months, according to TouringPlans.
Alright, that wraps up today’s blog. Thank you for reading and be sure to share your thoughts in the comments section below. Did you attend the Lunar New Year Celebration? Will you be visiting during True Love Week? Let us know what you think of the FASTPASS changes in the comments section below!

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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.