Disney’s latest movie, Oz: The Great and Powerful hits theatres next month but the movie soared into the Disneyland Resort this weekend. Disneyland welcomed a special hot air balloon promoting the film on Sunday and opened a special eight-minute sneak peek of the film in Disney California Adventure over the weekend. Meanwhile, Disneyland celebrated Valentine’s Day last week with various offerings as part of True Love Week offerings as construction continued on the park’s new Fantasy Faire princess meet-and-greet area.

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 continues its refurbishment.

Presidents’ Day will bring big crowds to the parks this week. Our friends at Touring Plans have their crowd forecast below:

Heavy crowds are expected this week. 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. 19 [center]8 /10[/center] Here are some quick-hit notes that we hope you’ll find helpful as you prepare your visits for the week:

  • Saturday is 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. 20 8 /10
Thu., Feb. 21 9 /10
Fri., Feb. 22 9/10
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.
Oz floats into Disneyland

Disney’s marketing machine is kicking into high gear for its new movie, “Oz: The Great and Powerful,” set to hit theaters March 8. On Sunday, the Journey to Oz Balloon Tour brought a hot air balloon promoting the film to the Disneyland Resort’s main entrance plaza. Guests lined up around the roped off area in the esplanade early Sunday morning to watch the balloon get ready to fly above the Resort that morning.

Cast Members walking the perimeter of the balloon area gave out free buttons to guests.

By 7:30, the balloon was inflated and starting to float above the esplanade.

Below, a video of the balloon floating in front of Disney California Adventure’s main gate.

Before its appearance at Disneyland, the Oz balloon made its first appearance at the World Premiere of the film in Hollywood. It will appear at two more locations in the coming weeks as part of the tour:

  • February 20: Daytona International Speedway, Daytona Beach, FL
  • March 5-6: Central Park, New York, NY

The balloon provided some fun views from inside California Adventure

Limited Time Magic

[center]Oz: The Great and Powerful Sneak Peek
at Disney California Adventure
Now through March 31, 2013
[/center]
On Thursday, Disney California Adventure premiered a new eight-minute sneak peek of a 4D preview of “Oz: The Great and Powerful” for Annual Passholders. The new sneak peek is another in a series of promotional previews and screenings in California Adventure’s Muppet*Vision Theater, including a preview for “Tron: Legacy” and “Prep and Landing: Naughty vs. Nice.” The new Oz sneak peek, marketed as a “Limited Time Magic” will run throughout the day through March 31.

A big new lighted photo op marks the entrance to the 4D sneak peek.

Like other previews, the Oz sneak peek has guests enter and exit via the Muppet Theater exit doors.

Character posters for the film line the exit ramp for the theater.

The theater doesn’t make any effort to hide the Muppet theming, but that’s not a major issue. The preview shows an extended scene from the film and wraps up with a montage similar to a movie trailer. Like the “Tron: Legacy” preview and “Prep and Landing” screenings before it, “Oz” utilizes the “4D” features of the theater including wind, water and lighting effects. Is it a must-do? No, but it’s worth checking out if you’re in the park and have a few minutes to spare.

In addition to the sneak preview of the film, Hollywood Land is offering a special Oz-themed hot dog and drink at Award Wieners.

The Yellow Brick Roll

Sweet, but not bad – The Wizard Blizzard, a bit pricey at $6.29

[center]True Love Week
at Disneyland Park
February 11-17, 2013
[/center]
Over at Disneyland, the park hosted “True Love Week” last week. The week-long celebration was the first time Disneyland made any sort of real effort to capitalize on the growing popularity of Valentine’s Day as a commercial holiday. Still, the efforts were minimal, with some special menu options at restauarants on Valentine’s Day, some Castle decorations and character meet-and-greets.

Mickey and Minnie met with guests in special costumes in Town Square at a special backdrop next to Disney Showcase

Minnie’s polka dots were hearts during True Love Week

The Mickey and Minnie and Donald and Daisy meet-and-greets in Town Square drew big lines and Disney anticipated this by having pre-printed autograph cards (“Valentines”) Cast Members gave out to guests.

A big heart-shaped photo-op was available in Town Square throughout the week

Sleeping Beauty Castle had special banners during the week. Thankfully the castle decorations were only temporary.

Yep, the banner on the castle is very wrinkled and has …pink unicorns.

Disney difference?

Sleeping Beauty Castle was lit up with more pink and purple lights than usual and special projections at night during “True Love Week”

Nearby, Snow White Wishing Well was turned into a special photo op for True Love Week.

The “Wandering Wallflowers” that Disney had announced for True Love Week were nowhere to be found.

Fantasyland’s Royal Walk celebrated True Love week by having the princes join their princesses at the meet-and-greet.

[center]Voices of Liberty: Presidential Celebration
at Disneyland Park
February 18-19 and 22-24, 2013
[/center]
Starting today, Disneyland’s Voices of Liberty will perform a special show several days this week in celebration of the Presidents Day holiday. From Disney’s Limited Time Magic website:

Voices of Liberty, the a cappella group, is honoring Presidents Day for a limited time with musical performances at the Main Street Opera House at Disneyland Park. In this special presidential show—a Limited Time Magic experience—the Voices of Liberty will bring to life some inspirational moments from our nation’s history with impeccable 8-part harmonies accompanied by memorable quotes from American Presidents like Theodore Roosevelt, Dwight D. Eisenhower, Ronald Reagan and Barack Obama. It’s an a cappella hail to the chiefs of our country!

Today, on February 18, Annual Passholders can get wristbands to see one of two Annual Passholder-exclusive performances of the Presidents Day show.

A Limited Time Annual Passholder Magic Event
Come hear the Voices of Liberty honor Presidents’ Day through impeccable 8-part harmonies. This musical celebration brings to life some of the inspirational moments from our nation’s history and includes memorable quotes from American Presidents, like Theodore Roosevelt, Dwight D. Eisenhower, Ronald Reagan and Barack Obama.

Welcoming Guests to the performance is Michael Colglazier, President Disneyland Resort.

This a cappella hail to the chiefs of our country is part of the Liberty Week Show, and the last 2 performances on Presidents Day will be for Passholders only.

Dates
February 18, 2013

Location
Main Street, U.S.A. Opera House (home to Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln) in Disneyland Park

Show Times
4:30, 5:30 p.m.

Event Registration and Wristband Distribution

  • At 11:30 a.m. on the day of the event, Annual Passholders may begin registering at the Main Street, U.S.A. Opera House in Disneyland Park.
  • All participating Guests must be valid Annual Passholders on the day of the event.
  • 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 other registration will be accepted.
  • All participating Annual Passholders must present their active Annual Passport to the event Cast Member, who will check event availability. Photo ID may be required.
Construction Kingdom

Meanwhile, finishing touches and final construction continued at Disneyland’s new Fantasy Faire area, set to open early next month.

The new turret on the former Carnation Plaza Stage was installed last week and it draws a somewhat surprising amount of attention to itself from the Central Plaza.

You can spot this thing as far away as Coke Corner, and that’s not even if you’re trying to look for it. It’s very bright and very pink, unlike anything else in the Central Plaza. It begs for your attention and it doesn’t have a hard time getting it. Simply put, in a new area that looks like it’s aesthetically well-designed, Fantasy Faire’s stage is a mistake.

New flags installed around the stage

Great new lighting fixtures

…as well as decorative trim

New Fantasy Faire banners are up in the area

Some good progress on the facades in the area – lots of finishing touches.

The new Tangled Tower maypole is now in place.

Looks nice

New spire up on this facade. Looks nice

The new Figaro animatronic is in place on this facade as well but wrapped in plastic for now.

Back in Fantasyland, not much progress can be seen at the Fantasyland Theater.

Refurbishment Round-Up

“it’s a small world” is still down for refurbishment following the removal of its holiday overlay.

The clock tower facade seems to be getting some work but a lot of the facade could use some fresh paint.

The flume is getting a repaint.

Not too far away, the Mad Tea Party has reopened after its recent refurbishment.

Not yet much progress to see over at Big Thunder Mountain Railroad…

Fantasmic! is now running again following its recent refurbishment.

Tom Sawyer Island is open again, too, after it was closed due to Fantasmic work.

Fantasmic will run without the Mark Twain Riverboat while it continues its refurbishment

Nearby, Splash Mountain has reopened following a refurbishment.

Welcome to California Adventure

Disney continues to make changes to the Glendale-Hyperion Bridge on Disney California Adventure’s Buena Vista Street.

Most of the bridge has been repainted its original color scheme, which more accurately resembles the real Los Angeles-area bridge its modeled on. Still, parts of the upper portion of the bridge retain the recent new reddish-brown color.

Hopefully they aren’t done here, cause the repaint remains pretty sloppy in places.

The white paint test we showed you last week can still be seen

We’ll see what happens with the bridge in the coming weeks. It’s a strange series of repaints that amount to what appears to be an unneccessary waste of time and money. Who is making the decision to repaint the bridge here and why? Why try to fix what wasn’t broken?

On Saturday, California Adventure hosted its annual Celebrate Gospel event in Stage 17 in Hollywood Land.

It’s nice to see this community-driven event return again this year and hopefully its a tradition that’s carried on.

Elsewhere in Hollywood Land, Playhouse Disney remains closed while they install a new show, set to open next month.

Over at Grizzly Peak, refurbishment continues…

And Silly Symphony Swings is still dismantled as part of its refurbishment project.

Farewell

We have some sad news to end with this week. We recently received word from the family of former Disneyland Cast Member Beverly Butrum of her passing. Beverly was a Cast Member for 37 years and started working at Disneyland in 1967 at shops in the park’s then-new New Orleans Square area. Beverly went on to be a well-known hostess at the Disney Gallery, sharing her extensive knowledge of Walt Disney and Disneyland with park guests. She retired after 37 years at Disneyland and was honored with a farewell event at the Riverbelle Terrace and a personalized Main Street window. Beverly passed away at her home in Austin, Texas on Valentine’s Day at the age of 88.

Below, Beverly’s full obituary:

Beverly Butrum
1924 – 2013

Beverly Butrum, a legendary Disneyland hostess for nearly four decades, has passed away peacefully with her family at her bedside, in Austin, Texas.

Beverly was born in California in 1924 and was a third generation Californian. Her parents were the 13th family to move to the Village of Lakewood, to be close to her father’s role as Southern California manager for Golden State Dairies. After graduation, Beverly served as a USO hostess during World War II at Long Beach Community College’s army canteen. It was there that she met her husband of 57 years, the late Clarence Arthur Butrum.

After raising three children, Beverly returned to work in 1967. Just weeks after the death of Walt Disney, Beverly was selected to serve as a hostess at the newly opened New Orleans Square in Disneyland in Anaheim, California. Considered “old” by Disney standards at the time, Beverly at 42 years old was cast as a matronly Southern Belle selling antiques in Disney’s One-of- a-Kind Shop, located next to the new state-of-the-art attraction, the Pirates of the Caribbean. So new was this phenomenon of American women returning to the workforce in mid-life that Beverly was highlighted in the Orange County Register.

During her years at the One-of-a-Kind Shop and later at the Disneyland Art Gallery, Beverly became friends with the artists and “Imagineers” of Walt Disney Productions, including Walt Disney’s brother, Roy. In fact, Roy Disney told Beverly in confidence, that they were secretly buying orange groves in Florida to build what would eventually become Walt Disney World.

Beverly became the expert in residence for all things Disneyana. Park visitors would grow up and bring their children to meet her and hear her stories about the history of Walt Disney’s original park and its creative team. After 37 years with Disneyland, Beverly retired in 2003. Hundreds attended her retirement celebration at the Riverbelle Terrace and she was given a Main Street USA window in her honor.

Beverly always said that Disneyland and her children were her life. She always inspired not only her children but others that “their dreams really could come true.”
In 2004, Beverly moved with her daughter, Kimberly Butrum, son-in-law, the Reverend Dr. Terrence Sherry and grandson, Trevor to Austin.

In addition, she is survived by her son, Kraig Butrum and spouse David Stewart, daughter and son-in- law Michele and Gary Clausen, and grandchildren, Jason Hofman, Ryan Hofman and Jodi Hofman Levin.

A lifelong dog lover, memorial gifts may be made to local animal rescue societies. A private family service will be held at a later date.

Our thoughts are with Beverly’s family at this time.


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Weekly News & Information Round-Up
Weekly Theme Park Hours
February 18 — 24, 2013
[B]Disneyland Park[/B] [B]Disney California Adventure[/B]
Monday: 8 am – 11 pm
Tuesday-Thursday: 9 am – 10 pm
Friday-Saturday: 8 am – 12 midnight
Sunday: 8 am – 11 pm
Monday: 8 am – 10 pm
Tuesday-Thursday: 9 am – 9 pm
Friday-Saturday: 8 am – 11 pm
Saturday: 8 am – 10 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]HIGH[/B]
[B]6.9—9.6[/B] out of 10[/CENTER]
[CENTER][B]HIGH[/B]
[B]6.9—9.4[/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]Mark Twain Riverboat:[/b] Closed through March 28.
  • [b]Disneyland Railroad — Main Street Station:[/b] Closed through March 28.
  • [b]Autopia:[/b] Closed for refurbishment February 26-28.
  • [b]Disneyland Monorail:[/b] Closed for refurbishment February 26-28.
  • [b]Big Thunder Mountain Railroad:[/b] Closed for extensive refurbishment through October 30.
  • [b]”it’s a small world”:[/b] Closed January 22, 2013 through February 28 to remove holiday overlay.
  • [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] Show on haitus while “Oz: The Great and Powerful” sneak peek plays in theatre through March 31.
  • [B]Silly Symphony Swings:[/B] Closed through March 14 for refurbishment.
[b][center]Downtown Disney and Disneyland Resort Hotels[/center][/b]
  • [B]Fossil:[/B] Store closed for remodel. Reopens spring 2013.
  • [B]Downtown Disney Stage:[/B] Closed for enhancements. Temporary stage available for performances and events during main stage construction.
[center]Headline Roundup
A quick look at noteworthy Disney theme park headlines from around the web.[/center]
OK — That wraps up this week’s edition of Dateline Disneyland! What did you think of last week’s True Love Limited Time Magic? Was is a hit or a miss? Will you be seeing Oz the Great and Powerful? Let us know what you think 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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