Disneyland‘s lavish new Fantasy Faire princess meet-and-greet area opens in a week but Disney Cast Members began previewing the new area as Imagineers applied finishing touches. Annual Passholders will get to take an early look at the new Fantasyland addition later this week before the general public gets to see it. Meanwhile, Disney’s Limited Time Magic promotion continued last week with a special boy band medley from the Dapper Dans. Also as part of Limited Time Magic, a selection of Oz: The Great and Powerful props and costumes are now on display in Downtown Disney.

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 covered as its refurbishment continues…

Enjoy one last week of moderate crowd levels 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., Mar. 5 [center]5 /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 8 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., Mar. 6 2 /10
Thu., Mar. 7 2 /10
Fri., Mar. 8 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.

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 4th, 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.
Finishing Fantasy

The final finishing touches continued to go up at Disneyland’s new Fantasy Faire princess meet-and-greet area last week.

Meanwhile, Cast Members and their families began previewing the new area last week, getting the first glimpse at the new Fantasyland expansion and its new entertainment offerings.

Annual Passholders will have the opportunity to preview the new area three days later this week. Details below:
[center]Fantasy Faire Annual Passholder Preview
March 7, 8 and 9, 2013[/center]

    Dates

    • March 7, 8 and 9, 2013
    Event Time

    • 12:00 noon to 6:00 p.m.
    • Registration is limited to a 2-hour entry time period within the event time.
    Event Registration and Wristband Distribution

    • At 10:30 a.m. on the day of the event, Annual Passholders may begin registering inside the entrance to Frontierland, next to Westward Ho, in the Disneyland Park.
    • All participating Guests (ages 3 and older) must be valid Annual Passholders on the day of the event.
    • Registration must be completed in person at the entrance to Frontierland 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 register 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.
    Wristbands

    • Once an Annual Passholder has presented a valid Annual Passport and event availability has been confirmed, the Annual Passholder will be registered for the event and will receive a color-coded event wristband for the assigned entry time period.
    • Event wristbands are required for admission to the event and are only valid for a specified time during that day’s event.
    • Space is limited. Registration and distribution of event wristbands are based on availability.
    • Wristbands may not be sold or transferred for commercial purposes and have no cash value.
    Additional Information

    • Guests may only enter and re-enter Fantasy Faire during their assigned and specified time period.
    • Admission to Fantasy Faire will not be accommodated before or after the assigned and specified time period.
    • Special Events Cast will be available to assist and answer questions during the event.
    • Valid theme park admission is required.
    • The event does not guarantee access to any attraction or location, and may involve long wait periods.
    • Information, attractions and elements of the event are subject to restrictions, change and cancellation without notice.
    • Subject to capacity, scheduled park events and other restrictions.

Rapunzel was out for a photo shoot on Friday

Disney publicity photos show Rapunzel next to the new Tangled Tower. The photos give a nice look at some of the area’s new detail. Nice stuff.

Disney released a behind-the-walls video last week showing the recent installation of Tangled Tower and Clopin’s Music Box

The new Figaro animatronic is installed and working now.

The signage for the Royal Hall meet-and-greet area is now up.

Looks like the area will have space for a good amount of queue.

Inside, Disney publicity photos preview what the princess meet-and-greet stations look like.

Maurice’s Treats signage

Meanwhile, the Fantasyland Theater’s new backdrop for the upcoming “Mickey and the Magical Map” show is starting to go in.

Concept art shows the new backdrop

Refurbishment Round-Up

Refreshment Corner’s arch area is still behind walls…

Tarps came down at the Pioneer Merchantile in Frontierland.

Big Thunder Mountain’s major refurbishment continues…

In Fantasyland, “it’s a small world” has reopened after the removal of its holiday overlay and refurbishment.

In Tomorrowland, the back of the Starcade is still behind construction walls.

The Wreck It Ralph meet-and-greet areas remain in place behind walls.

It would be nice if Disney did something permanent with the Starcade space – whether they turn it back into an arcade or if they just remodel it as a real store. The temporary cash wrap blocking the defunct speedramps to the upper level looks cheap and the temporary lighting rigs are just ugly.

Looks like the arcade games are all upstairs for now…

Limited Time Magic

[center]Dapper Dans – The “Original Boy Band”
at Disneyland Park
February 25 – March 3, 2013
[/center]
Last week Disney continued its Limited Time Magic promotion by having the Dapper Dans sing a medley of boy band songs.

Interjected with a lot of humor from the Dans, the boy band medley wasn’t as terrible as the Disney Parks Blog preview made it seem. Luckily, the boy band medley was just and addition at the end of the Dans’ regular show.

Below, a video of the boy band medley:

The show drew big laughs from teen girls in the audience

[center]Oz exhibit at WonderGround Gallery
in Downtown Disney
Through March 9, 2013
[/center]
Disney has also labeled a new and very small “Oz” exhibit as part of its Limited Time Magic promotion. The small display of replica props and costumes from the film are on display in Downtown Disney’s WonderGround Gallery.

A display case has a few replica props:

The WonderGround Gallery will also feature Oz-themed works by local artist Joey Chou starting March 9.

[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.” “Oz” 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.

You can now find a small selection of Oz merchandise in the Elias and Co. jewelry room.

Welcome to California Adventure

On Buena Vista Street, the Glendale-Hyperion Bridge’s white accents that we showed you last week are now back to beige. So, the bridge basically looks the same as it did before Disney began the recent series of re-paints. Maybe someone was bored?

Over at Oswald’s, the Packard has returned after being pulled off-stage for a couple months.

In Cars Land, the second half of Mater’s Junkyard Jamboree is under a tent as it gets resurfaced.

On Paradise Pier, Silly Symphony Swings is still in pieces as it continues its refurbishment.

Grizzly River Run reopened after its refurbishment but experienced technical difficulties on Friday, being closed for hours in the morning and early afternoon.

This and That

Disney has entered the cosmetics business by releasing a new line of makeup exclusively at its theme parks. The line is currently available at Disney Vault 28 in Downtown Disney following its big launch event on Saturday.

Nearby, the Fossil store is still behind walls during its remodel.


Dateline Disneyland is sponsored by our good friends at the

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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
March 4 — 10, 2013
[B]Disneyland Park[/B] [B]Disney California Adventure[/B]
Monday-Wednesday: 10 am – 8 pm
Thursday: 10 am – 7 pm
Friday-Saturday: 9 am – 11 pm
Sunday: 8 am – 11 pm
Monday-Thursday: 10 am – 8 pm
Friday 9 am – 11 pm
Saturday: 9 am – 10 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-HIGH[/B]
[B]2.0—9.2[/B] out of 10[/CENTER]
[CENTER][B]LOW-MED[/B]
[B]1.5—7.8[/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! Did you enjoy the Dapper Dans singing boy bands? Be sure to let us know 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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  • Trumpet

    Great Update Andy

    I am glad that the Dapper Dans’ show has not been meddled with too much. It is a classic, but the modern sings are making a younger audience stop and listen, which is good. This is Disney’s first hip project that has actually worked!

    Thanks Again Andy

    Trumpet

  • bamato

    Great update!

    I find it interesting that the arcade games from the Starcade are not only upstairs, but apparently appear to be powered on as well….

    • Internitty

      It’s not good for the electronics of these machines to be powered down for long periods of time, they may be just trying to keep them working so they don’t have to do extensive maintenance if they decide to start using them again.

    • ayalexander

      you can see maintenance tags posted on each one, they are being refreshed while they sit up there.

  • eicarr

    A passholder preview seems overkill for the meet and greet… But the amazing work done there deserves a celebration .

    To me, the entire tomorrowland is a cheap/embarrassing temporary fix, not just the Starcade. That was not just a place where many generations would go to play fun retro games, but was a needed place to shift gears and take a break from the theme park routine for a while. Somebody in charge there just doesn’t like/get video games(and the missed Penney arcade).

    The DCA bridge looks WAY better than it originally did.

  • Lobot

    The bridge looks good, but really, all those iterations could have easily been ruled out by some Photoshop work… and a LOT cheaper!

    • Internitty

      So true and it would have only taken an hour or so to go through all the options.

  • hgkelley

    We are so lucky to have such talented performers in Anaheim. Their talents make the shows better than the material, no matter what.

  • ayalexander

    I think the Fantasy Fair Village looks nice, it retains its Fantasyland/village charm while maintaining the princess appearance. Finally, a true location to meet princesses at. The new area will serve its purpose as long as people want to meet princesses, which as Disney knows has been for at least the past 15years (more popularly). Even if the day comes (years from now) that princess meet and greets become unpopular, they can easily rework the village to be suitable as a simple extension of Fantasyland. Great work. Great update!

  • jcruise86

    Thank you, Andy!

    I only want my daughter exposed to princesses who can fight, like Mulan & Mirada.

  • Thank you Andy. BEAUTIFUL photos. You even make that Main Street Train Station scrim look good!

  • 4Apples4Disney

    Fantastic update as usual!

  • Pinrar

    No way does the bridge look the same!! It used to be one clean beige color with no contrast and no depth. The thing used to look like all the detail was painted on. Now it looks much more lived in and 3 dimensional.

    • Bfscott77

      Couldn’t agree more! The bridge looks great. The red was an under coat, part of the painting process. It was supposed to be there (people think that someone at Disney “changed there mind” on the color – and should have used photoshop to see what it would look like with a different color. Not true)
      I would love to see a side-by-side of the old color and the new. The difference will be noticeable! As I’ve said before, the fact that this kind of detail is going into DCA is AMAZING!! Beautifully done!!! It’s the kind of detail that goes into New Orleans Square! Bravo Disney!

      • RodeToad

        Nicely put! I agree.

        And great photos Andy !

  • MarkTwain

    An insider on one of the MiceChat threads said that the bridge was being painted with the red texture as an undercoat to prevent fading, so that if the beige ever starts to desaturate, the bridge will retain its vividness and texture. Makes sense to me.

  • QPerth

    Thanks for another terrific update Andy!
    DCA is really looking gorgeous.

    Disney has two great properties that involve game arcades, FLYNN’S and the newest arcade from Wreck It Ralph, and it still doesn’t use Starcade properly, it just boggles my mind!

    • Timekeeper

      What they need to build is an arcade outside the parks in the Downtown Disney District, probably not a two-story complex like Disney-Quest in WDW’s DTD, but a good sized arcade like Flynn’s or the arcade in Wreck It Ralph, placed where currently the Transportation Hub is located, (with the Transportation Hub moved to/near the former Timon Parking lot entrance, so that the hub is a new section of DTD, with an Arcade, some shops, a one or two restaurants and a Ghirardelli Chocolate Shop & Soda Fountain.)

      Timekeeper