Disneyland‘s Fantasy Faire continues to get its finishing touches applied as it approaches its grand opening in early March. The new princess meet-and-greet area will provide a much-needed home for several of Disneyland’s popular princess characters, but how will the expansion of Fantasyland alter the landscape of Disneyland’s turn of the 20th century-styled Central Plaza? Meanwhile, refurbishments in both parks continue to progress and wrap up as the parks prepare for the busy spring break season. And Disney’s Limited Time Magic promotion continued last week with a special week-long tribute to Presidents’ Day by the Voices of Liberty in the Main Street Opera House.

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 is still under wraps as its refurbishment project continues…

Crowds return to pleasant off-season levels this week. Our friends at Touring Plans have their crowd forecast below:

The parks are entering the last couple of weeks before the busy Spring Break Season. 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. 26 [center]3 /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 7 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. 27 2 /10
Thu., Feb. 28 2 /10
Fri., March 1 6/10
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.

Walls have gone up around the entrance to Refreshment Corner’s outdoor patio, likely to prepare for the reinstallation of the archway that was removed back at the end of last August.

The outdoor patio is still open while they work on the arch.

The Gumball Rally Strikes Back!
MAY 4, 2013

Can you conquer every attraction at Disneyland in a single day? MiceChat’s famous Gumball Rally returns this spring to put you to the test — Tickets on sale now!

  • When: May 4st, 2013.
  • Where: Disneyland Resort (both parks) in Anaheim, California.
  • Cost: Approx. $27.50 per person. 10% discount available through February 28 with promo code: early. MiceChat Gold Memebers can get a 15% discount.
  • How Do I Sign Up?: Eventzilla Gumball Rally Registration Page
  • How Does the Rally Work?: Details on the Rally Information Page.
Construction Kingdom

Work continues on the new Fantasy Faire area on the edge of the Central Plaza. The princess meet-and-greet area is set to officially open March 12, but begun Cast Member soft openings over the weekend and could go into public soft openings by this weekend.

Never mind that whole section of Fantasyland behind the turn of the century horse-drawn trolley…

Popcorn lighting is up along the new, and very loud, Royal Theatre

Nice details throughout the area

The new owl newel post is in place

The Figaro animatronic, which had been in place but covered with plastic last week, was missing again this weekend.

The new Clopin’s Music Box has also been installed

Refurbishment Round-Up

Frontierland’s Pioneer Mercantile is still in the process of getting some work done. The store is still open during its facade refurbishment

Nearby, Big Thunder Mountain continues its 10-month overhaul.

Big Thunder Ranch’s Brawny sponsorship signage was replaced with shiny new metal versions.

It definitely gets your attention…

Over on the Rivers of America, the Mark Twain’s refurbishment continues through the end of next month.

The gold leaf on the Riverboat’s smokestacks has been redone. The gold was originally added for Disneyland’s 50th Anniversary.

In Fantasyland, “it’s a small world’s” refurbishment should be winding down, with the attraction set to reopen by the weekend.

Meanwhile, lighting towers along Small World Mall continue to get repainted to a new greenish-blue color.

Looks nice

A tower still sports its old gold color scheme.

Limited Time Magic

[center]Voices of Liberty: Presidential Celebration
at Disneyland Park
February 18-19 and 22-24, 2013
[/center]
Last week, Disneyland’s Voices of Liberty performed a special Presidents’ Day version of their patriotic a cappella show at the Main Street Opera House.

Only a small addition to the Voices of Liberty poster outside of the Opera House indicated the special Limited Time Magic offering.

Below, a video clip from the Presidents’ Day-themed show that included quotes and special tributes to the U.S. Presidents.

[center]Dapper Dans – The “Original Boy Band”
at Disneyland Park
February 25 – March 3, 2013
[/center]
This week, Disney will continue with the musical Limited Time Magic with a cringe-worthy remake of the Dapper Dans. The classic Dapper Dans will perform a medley of popular songs from boy bands including One Direction, Backstreet Boys and *NSYNC. Disney released a promotional video of their “Original Boy Band” singing boy band songs:

[center]Peter Pan Screening & Fantasyland After Hours
Limited Time Annual Passholder Magic
at Disneyland Park
February 27, 2013
[/center]

Disneyland is hosting another Annual Passholder movie screening as part of its Limited Time Magic offerings. This time, however, the event will allow attendees to enjoy Fantasyland and its attractions for two hours after park closing.

Date
Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Screening Location
Main Street, U.S.A. Opera House in Disneyland Park

Screening Times
11:00 a.m., 1:00 p.m., 3:00 p.m., 5:00 p.m., 7:00 p.m.

Fantasyland After Hours Times
8:00 – 10:00 p.m.

Fantasyland After Hours Attractions:

  • Peter Pan’s Flight
  • Snow White’s Scary Adventures
  • Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride
  • Pinocchio’s Daring Journey
  • King Arthur Carousel
  • Dumbo the Flying Elephant
  • Sleeping Beauty Castle Walkthrough
  • Alice in Wonderland
  • Mad Tea Party
  • Casey Jr. Circus Train
  • Matterhorn Bobsleds

Event Registration and Wristband Distribution

  • At 10:00 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 (ages 3 and older) 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.
  • It is recommended that all members of your party check-in together.
  • 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.

Full event information

[center]Can’t make it to the screening? You can watch the film at home with the Peter Pan Diamond Edition Blu Ray:
[/center]

[center]Oz: The Great and Powerful Sneak Peek
at Disney California Adventure
Through March 31, 2013
[/center]
Continuing this week is the eight-minute sneak preview of Disney’s upcoming movie, “Oz: The Great and Powerful.” The 4D preview is open throughout the day and utilizes the Muppet*Vision 3D Theater, so don’t expect to see the Muppets until April.

“Oz: The Great and Powerful” hits theaters March 8. The sneak preview at California Adventure will run through March 31.

[center][/center]

Award Wieners is also offering a couple special menu items in conjunction with the Oz: The Great and Powerful sneak preview.

Touring a New Kingdom

On Friday, we spotted Disneyland Resort’s new president Michael Colglazier touring Fantasyland with Tom Fitzgerald, executive vice president of Walt Disney Imagineering.

We spotted the two taking a look at various Fantasyland landmarks including the Matterhorn Bobsleds and “it’s a small world”

The two ended their jaunt through Fantasyland with a ride on Alice in Wonderland, hopefully discussing a solution for the ride’s outdoor portion, which has been covered in temporary safety scaffolding since July 2010.

Here’s hoping a permanent fix comes soon for Alice. It’s been nearly three years since the temporary scaffolding went up. Hopefully we don’t continue to see temporary fixes like those Colglazier oversaw at his previous home park, Disney’s Animal Kingdom, with the Tree of Life nets and continued issues with Expedition Everest’s yeti.

Welcome to California Adventure

At California Adventure, the Glendale-Hyperion Bridge on Buena Vista Street is sporting what appears to be its final take on a series of recent repaints.

For the most part, the bridge looks about the same as it did when Buena Vista Street first opened just last summer. The bridge now features some white accents, contrasting with the beige that covers the rest of the structure.

Looks like the previous mottled reddish-brown color is functioning as an undercoat to give the bridge a bit more depth? It seems like a lot of trouble for not much of a difference.

The white accents are a little distracting

Meanwhile, California Adventure’s off-season continues with a couple of on-going refurbishments. On Paradise Pier, the Silly Symphony Swings are still dismantled.

Grizzly River Run should reopen by the end of next week as it wraps up its refurbishment

Water slowly coming back in…

This and That

New paper foodservice products are slowly being rolled out. Popcorn boxes and coffee cups are now sporting a new design.

We spotted these great location-specific plastic souvenir cups at the Gibson Girl Ice Cream Parlor on Main Street. A Cast Member said they’ve had them for a while now, so they aren’t new, but I thought they were worth pointing out.

It’s great to see a souvenir cup that’s location-specific and isn’t covered with character designs. Now, if only they had glass versions available — they’d be great for entertaining with at home!

In New Orleans Square, a fantastic new line of Haunted Mansion merchandise is slowly being rolled out at the Port Royal shop. I hear more of this great line is on its way and I’m excited. It’s fantastic to see new nicely-designed attraction-specific merchandise in the parks! A great four-piece coaster set:

A great new photo frame:

Work continues on the Fossil store’s remodel in Downtown Disney

And work continues on the Downtown Disney stage upgrades

The temporary stage is still in place

Finally, the grassy area where the Tinker Bell ice skating rink had been installed has been relandscaped and is open again at the end of Downtown Disney near the Disneyland Hotel.


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
February 25 — March 3, 2013
[B]Disneyland Park[/B] [B]Disney California Adventure[/B]
Monday-Thursday: 8 am – 10 pm
Friday: 9 am – 12 midnight
Saturday: 8 am – 12 midnight
Sunday: 8 am – 11 pm
Monday-Thursday: 8 am – 10 pm
Friday 9 am – 11 pm
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]
[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]LOW-MED[/B]
[B]2.3—7.6[/B] out of 10[/CENTER]
[CENTER][B]LOW[/B]
[B]1.1—2.9[/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]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]
  • OC Register: Cars Land success prompts Disneyland to discontinue annual 2-for-1 ticket deal for locals.
  • OC Register: Disneyland gave guests Fastpass tickets, dining vouchers after short circuit strands Monorail riders 45 minutes.
  • ABC 10 News: A video showing guests provoking Disney character to misbehave could be used as evidence in recent discrimination case.
  • CBS Los Angeles: A Long Island teen recently died of a mysterious illness during a school trip to Disneyland.
  • Disney Parks Blog: Disney is rolling out a new line of cosmetics and beauty products at its theme parks called “Beautifully Disney.”
  • Disneyland.com: Disneyland Resort Annual Passholders can enjoy 20% off at Earl of Sandwich on Mondays and Tuesdays through February and March.
OK — That wraps up this week’s edition of Dateline Disneyland! Be sure to join the discussion 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.