Disneyland celebrated the Easter holiday last week with several Easter-themed offerings including meet-and-greets with the Easter Bunny at Disneyland and an egg hunt in Disney California Adventure. The “Spring Fling” Easter-themed offerings were around for only a week as part of Disney’s Limited Time Magic promotion and included appearances by rarer characters including Roger Rabbit and Carl Fredricksen from Pixar’s “UP.” Meanwhile, refurbishments continued in Disneyland as Iron Man gets ready to move into Tomorrowland‘s Innoventions later this spring. It might be April Fool’s Day but we’ve got a no foolin’ update for you today to kick off your 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!

Easter sunrise at Disneyland

Our friends at Touring Plans can help you beat the remaining Spring Break crowds with their tips and crowd forecast below:

Spring Break crowds get a little thinner this week at Disneyland. 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., Apr. 2 [center]10 /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 an 8 out of 10.
  • Full Annual Pass blackouts on Saturday.
  • Thursday 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., Apr. 3 8 /10
Thu., Apr. 4 7 /10
Fri., Apr. 5 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.

A look at Disneyland wait times midday on Easter Sunday:

Limited Time Magic

[center]Spring Fling
at Disneyland Resort
March 25 — 31, 2013
[/center]
Disneyland Resort theme parks had a few Easter-themed offerings last week as part of it “Spring Fling” Limited Time Magic offering. In Town Square, Disneyland offered meet-and-greets with the Easter Bunny as well as a very short “Bunny Hop” interactive show.

The Easter Bunny met with guests at a special photo op next to the Disney Showcase store

Disneyland also offered the special “Bunny Hop” interactive street show in Town Square before each showing of the Mickey’s Soundsational Parade.

The entire “Bunny Hop” was a rather short affair. It featured no musical soundtrack beyond the a cappella harmonies of the Dapper Dans. Mickey, Minnie and the Easter Bunny rolled through Town Square aboard a minimally-decorated float followed by several Disney bunnies including the rarely-seen Roger Rabbit.

The float parked at Christmas Tree point and the bunnies and Dans headed out onto Main Street to teach guests how to do the bunny hop dance.

Participating groups fell into two groups – some participated in learning the bunny hop while others took the opportunity to get quick photos with their favorite bunnies such as Brer Rabbit, Rabbit from Winnie the Pooh, the White Rabbit and Roger Rabbit.

[center][/center]

And in just a few short minutes the whole affair headed backstage and disappeared. It was very short and came off as being a very hastily-put together show with shoddy planning. A lot of guests lined up early for the Bunny Hop Sunday afternoon only to get mixed information from Cast Members about where the show would happen and only to find out that it was an interactive street show so lining up early for a good section of Main Street curb to sit and watch from wasn’t really necessary. Still, it was good to see characters like Roger Rabbit and the Easter Bunny out.

Over at Disney California Adventure, the Redwood Creek Challenge Trail offered an Easter Egg Hunt as part of the area’s Wilderness Explorer Merit Badge scavenger hunt.

Guests hunted eggs and matched their designs with letters on the map to spell out a secret message to earn their Egg Hunter Merit Badge

The secret message: “SPRING HAS SPRUNG”

The Wilderness Explorer show featuring Russell featured a special guest at the end

[center][/center]

Carl Fredricksen made an appearance as “Easter Bunny Carl”

Guests could line up to take a picture with Russell and Carl after the show

Overall, the Wilderness Explorer egg hunt was a simple idea but could be challenging at times for those participating. The Egg Hunt was a lot more fun and lasted longer than Disneyland’s chaotic Bunny Hop offering. It was also free, which is an improvement over the previous week’s Vinylmation Egg Hunt at California Adventure, which cost $4.95 to participate. Still, the Vinylmation egg hunt came with a set of Vinylmation keychains but those were only worth the cost if you’re a Vinylmation fan.

[center]Film Screening: Walt Disney’s Dumbo
Limited Time Annual Passholder Magic Event
at Disneyland Park
April 4, 2013
[/center]
Disneyland Annual Passholders can screen “Dumbo” at the Main Street Opera House on April 4.

    Film Screening: Walt Disney’s Dumbo
    Let your imagination soar at this special Annual Passholder screening of the classic animated film, Walt Disney’s Dumbo. Relive the enchanting tale of the circus elephant with enormous ears who learns to achieve his full potential. Attendees will also receive a souvenir Dumbo-themed bucket – perfect for snacks, while supplies last.

      Date

    • Thursday, April 4, 2013
      Event Location

    • Opera House, Main Street U.S.A. – Disneyland Park
      Screening Time

    • 5:00 p.m. (Film run time: approximately 64 minutes)
      Event Registration and Wristband Distribution

    • Wristband distribution for the event will begin at 11:30 a.m. on the day of event.
    • 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, as space is very limited for this screening.
    • 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.

[center][/center]

A Marvelous Future

Back in Disneyland, Tomorrowland’s Innoventions building will soon be home to a temporary exhibit showcasing costumes from Marvel’s upcoming “Iron Man 3” movie.

Innoventions has been a broken concept since it opened at Disneyland. Even if it’s temporary, hopefully the Iron Man exhibit can breathe some new life into this huge and terribly misused bit of Disneyland real estate.

Inside, you can currently find such cutting-edge technologies as the Kinect for Xbox 360.

Other displays like the Healthy U, originally sponsored by St. Joseph Hospital, are still in place but have been stripped down and don’t even appear on the official Innoventions exhibit listing on the Disneyland.com website.

The fountain still has logos for St. Joseph Hospital’s 75th Anniversary. The hospital celebrated its 75th Anniversary in 2004.

It’s unclear if St. Joseph even actively sponsors the exhibit anymore. It seemingly hasn’t been updated since opening in 2000.

In some places monitors remain in place, but their keyboards have been removed. The screens just display Innoventions screen savers and are no longer functional for guest use.

But where will Iron Man go? It appears the new Iron Man Tech Presented by Stark Industries exhibit looks like it’ll go in next to Healthy U. Blue construction walls are up around the space now.

Below is Disney’s description of the upcoming Iron Man exhibit:

Iron Man Tech Presented by Stark Industries will give Disneyland park guests the chance to see Tony Stark’s Hall of Armor, featuring Iron Man suits Mark I-VII – the same suits featured in “Iron Man 3.” And you will even be able to virtually “suit up,” yourself! Through simulation technology, guests will be able to see what it’s like to operate the latest pieces of the Mark 42 Iron Man armor, even getting the chance to test out its infamous repulsor blasts.

Iron Man Tech Presented by Stark Industries opens inside Innoventions on April 13 and will run through September.

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Refurbishment Round-Up

Meanwhile, work continues on some refurbishment and construction projects around Disneyland. Over in Fantasyland, the Fantasyland Theater continues to get ready for its upcoming stage show, “Mickey and the Magical Map” opening in May.

More stage dressing going up

A big paint bucket

In Frontierland, Big Thunder Mountain’s extensive refurbishment project continues…

And the Mark Twain Riverboat’s refurbishment was extended through April 17.

And back on Main Street, the Refreshment Corner archway got its lighting fixtures back but not all of the archway itself has returned. It might not…

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!

Welcome to California Adventure

Over at California Adventure, not much to see as the park continues to welcome its first big spring break crowds since reopening last summer.

A new Oswald the Lucky Rabbit shirt at Oswald’s

As well as a fun new iPhone 5 case

A new Buena Vista Bugle has hit newsstands

Some nice spring color in Carthay Circle

The Buena Vista Street popcorn cart is selling fun new Buena Vista Street popcorn buckets

Over on Paradise Pier, the Silly Symphony Swings have reopened

Just for fun… a quick on-ride video of the swings:

A couple photos in Cars Land…


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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
April 1 — 7, 2013
[B]Disneyland Park[/B] [B]Disney California Adventure[/B]
Daily: 8 am – 12 midnight Daily: 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]7.3—9.8[/B] out of 10[/CENTER]
[CENTER][B]MED-HIGH[/B]
[B]4.1—9.1[/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 April 17.
  • [b]Big Thunder Mountain Railroad:[/b] Closed for extensive refurbishment through October 30.
  • [b]Market House:[/b] Closes April 15 to begin conversion and expansion for new Starbucks location.
  • [B]Alice in Wonderland:[/B] Expected to close in 2013 to install permanent safety railing on outdoor ride portion.
  • [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]Muppet*Vision 3D:[/B] Show on haitus while “Oz: The Great and Powerful” sneak peek plays in theatre through March 31.
[b][center]Downtown Disney and Disneyland Resort Hotels[/center][/b]
  • [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]
  • Disneyland will end a nearly 60-year tradition and stop offering free refills when Starbucks moves into Market House, says the OC Register.
  • From the OC Regsiter: Disney is banking on interactive technology to draw iPod generation to Disney theme parks
  • MiceAge’s Al Lutz is reporting that Disneyland and Walt Disney World will host another 24-hour event in May.
  • AP reports that a disabled man won $8,000 in a court cast against Disney after being stuck on “it’s a small world” for a half-hour.
  • Cook up Carthay Circle Restaurant’s spicy firecracker duck wings at home with the recipe from Disney chef Gloria Tae.
Alright, that’s it for this week’s Dateline Disneyland. Thank you for reading. Did you celebrate the holiday at Disneyland’s Spring Fling? What did you think of the Bunny Hop? Let us know in the comments section below!

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Thanks for reading. See you at Disneyland!
[B]- Andy[/B]

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  • Trumpet

    Great Update Andy

    The Easter events for Limited Time Magic does not look like they are that special, but the Wilderness Explorers Capm activity looks fun. Nice to see Carl out and about in the area.

    All of the work in the park is looking fab. Can’t wait to see the new show and how fresh BTMRR looks at the end of the year.

    Thanks Again Andy

    Trumpet

  • Fantastic update Andy! Stunning photos. The park is extra photogenic right now with all those blooming trees everywhere.

    Innoventions is such a wasteland. It’s so far past its prime that it probably should just be closed until Disney finally redevelops it. Plugging a Marvel exhibit in the middle of all that mess isn’t going to magically fix the place. If anything, it is just associating Marvel with the overall dysfunction of Innoventions, which isn’t good for Marvel.

    • sixalex

      I agree Dusty! As much as I am looking forward to the continuation of the excellent Marvel film films, A primarily static costume museum style display is hardly worthy of either Disney or Marvel, but typical of the boring Innoventions time suck.

      It is my belief that Imagineers are feverishly working on a fantastic Rennovention of Tomorrowland. I have no facts to support such a belief, just an irrational faith that someone, somewhere may be touched by the remnants of Walt’s creative energy.

  • Norman Gidney

    Awesome update Andy! It is so weird to see a big hunk out of Big Thunder Mountain. But it is also very encouraging to see. The ride will look amazing when it is finished.

  • jcruise86

    My daughter loves Innoventions, especially Asimo, the Peter Pan storytelling and some of the games & programs she plays with. I’m still annoyed that “America Sings” replaced the “Carousel of Progress.”

  • QPerth

    Andy, another wonderful update, I hope you never get sick of my thanks, whenever I see the new post up, or tweet with link I get so happy!

    The Spring colours just burst off my screen, and I would be lying if I didn’t admit after your last update I didn’t head straight down to the local garden centre and buy some Ranunculus to plant in our courtyard pots. And my young Disneyland Rose, (known officially here in Australia as the Lil’ Romeo) is blooming a few buds at a time and the colours are just stunning.

    Thanks again for the wonderful update! -Q

  • Eeee-va

    The popcorn buckets for Buena Vista Street are adorable! My mom bought one in November 2012 (and another in mid-March). We love our popcorn. 🙂

  • NFillion

    Hoping someone can help. We’ll be spending a couple days at Disneyland in May and I heard recently they’ve started to enforce the FP return times. Any truth to this? We’ve always grabbed one from each park on the way back to the hotel pool, then used in the evening when the parks get packed with locals.

    • sixalex

      I’ve had one experience with a CM holding fast to the time stamp (at Soarin’ Over California), but mostly the “new”rule hasn’t appeared to be a hard and fast policy. It may be that I am there during more off-season/off times. Even the one time the CM was insistent, a nearby CM over-ruled him. I would not count on similar results if the park is in season or crowded, however.

      I hope you enjoy your time in the parks! Make sure you get on Radiator Springs Racers. Anytime is great, but night time is fantastic.

  • Sparky

    It was nice to see the parks do something for Easter this year. Most of it was fun, but the Bunny Hop was a rotten Easter egg of a mess. My friends and I were very disappointed in our experience with it. I grabbed a good spot more than an hour ahead of time so we could get good photos and video, but right before the performers came, Cast Members let people gather in the street right in front of us, so we, and everyone else who had been waiting for a long time, were blocked from seeing much. Really not fair to all of the guests who had been waiting on the curb. They should have kept the street clear until the characters and performers had come all the way out and positioned themselves so that everybody had a chance to see them. Then, the Hop itself was just chaos. We got very little entertainment enjoyment for the time we spent waiting. I hope that next year they’ll do an Easter Cavalcade through the park so that everyone has a fair chance to see the characters. Other than that and the Voices of Liberty shows being cancelled marring our day, my friends and I had a lovely Easter Sunday day in the parks.

  • Fukai

    All FastPass return times are now strictly enforced … unless you find a CM who doesn’t look at your passes, which happens.

  • Tinkbelle

    Your first 3 pictures are especially beautiful! Great job.

    For the park being as packed as the 5th picture looks, the wait times aren’t too bad.

  • Disneykin Kid

    It’s funny, that Easter Bunny head used to be used for the White Rabbit, before they realized it wasn’t ‘on model’. It actually looks like Thumper’s head, although maybe an adult Thumper.

  • AB Born

    I wonder what caused the Mark Twain to have a longer than expected refurb.

  • eicarr

    They should rip everything out of innovations for Marvel exhibits. BVS needs Oswald himself!!! I wish they even had a movie screen in one of the BVS stores playing Oswald shorts.

  • ayalexander

    I would love to see innoventions shut down and turned into a 2-floor Mission Space attraction updated with modern graphics and with part of the queue exhibit in use as the rotating outer ring of the building.

  • alanplm

    thank you for posting the sunrise piucture !

  • scarymouse

    Nice job ! I really hate any type of spruce up for innovations- Marvel or otherwise, I am a fan of a stark attraction in the space once known as innovations……great pictures,looks crowded but not bad times…

  • sixalex

    Thanks always for the cool pix and great updates!