Big crowds continued through the final week of Disneyland‘s busy spring break season. As the final crowds of spring break hit the parks, work continued on Disneyland’s various on-going projects. In Fantasyland, work continues on the upcoming Mickey and the Magical Map stage show while Frontierland‘s Big Thunder Mountain Railroad continued its major 10-month refurbishment. Nearby, Disney will bring some rare characters out for meet-and-greets at the Big Thunder Ranch Jamboree during “Long Lost Friends Week,” the latest Limited Time Magic offering. At Disney California Adventure, a big selection of new Cars Land merchandise has hit the shelves.

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!

Disneyland hosted its final week of spring break crowds last week and the park will once again enter a slow period with reduced hours until Memorial Day weekend next month.

A look at wait times midday Friday.

New Dumbo-themed souvenir popcorn buckets have debuted at Disneyland.

They’re very cute and were already popular with guests Friday morning.

[center][/center]

Refurbishment Round-Up

On Main Street, the Market House and Disneyana shop enter their final week of operation before they close April 15 to make way for Disneyland’s new Starbucks location.

We took a detailed look at the Market House and Disneyana in our March 25 update. The current footprint of the Market House will expand into what is currently the Disneyana shop. The Disneyana shop, originally added to Main Street in the 1970s and moved to its current location in 1986, will be folded into the current Disney Gallery in Town Square.

At the end of Main Street, the “Corner Cafe” sign has been reinstalled at the Refreshment Corner archway.

In Fantasyland, scaffolding went up on part of the Alice in Wonderland show building last week.

Meanwhile, the Fantasyland Theater continues to move toward its reopening as a real theater with its new show “Mickey and the Magical Map.”

More stage dressing can be seen

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

The Mark Twain Riverboat’s extended refurbishment should be wrapping up by April 17.

Limited Time Magic

[center]Long Lost Friends Week
at Disneyland Park
April 8 — 14, 2013
[/center]
Disney announced some rare characters will make appearances during “Long Lost Friends Week,” the latest offering from the ongoing Limited Time Magic promotion.

Walt Disney World hosted its own version of Long Lost Friends Week back in January which proved to be popular among fans. Disneyland’s version will take place in Frontierland’s Big Thunder Ranch Jamboree and will include special food items and a variety of characters selected by fans in a recent online poll.

  • Esmeralda, Clopin and Frollo (From “The Hunchback of Notre Dame”)
  • Pocahontas, John Smith, Meeko and Governor Ratcliffe (From “Pocahontas”)
  • Robin Hood, Friar Tuck, Prince John and Sheriff of Nottingham (From “Robin Hood”)
  • Scrooge McDuck and Ludwig Von Drake
  • The Three Little Pigs

Food offerings will include “Monte Cristo Strips” and “Zany Cotton Candy.”

Annual Passholders can enjoy Long Lost Friends Week all week a half-hour before regular park guests. Details below:

[center]Long Lost Friends Photo Moments
Limited Time Annual Passholder Magic Event
at Disneyland Park
April 8-14, 2013
[/center]

    Long Lost Friends Photo Moments – Annual Passholder Character Greeting
    Strike a pose with some long lost friends — 30 minutes before regular park Guests get to enter the Character Greeting area in Big Thunder Ranch Jamboree each day — with this special Limited Time Annual Passholder Magic opportunity. Annual Passholders will be admitted to these special half-hour Character Greetings with some rarely seen Disney Characters for some fantastic photo moments.

      Date

    • April 8-14, 2013
      Event Location

    • Big Thunder Ranch Jamboree, Frontierland.
      Event Time

    • 10:00 – 10:30 a.m.

      Please note that Annual Passholders may be admitted to the Character Greeting area at Big Thunder Ranch Jamboree at 10:00 a.m. — 30 minutes prior to regular Guest admittance, which is at 10:30 a.m.

      Event Details

    • All participating Guests (ages 3 and older) must be valid
    • Annual Passholders on the day of event participation. Children under 3 years of age are permitted to attend the event as long as space is available.
    • All participating Annual Passholders must present their active Annual Passport to the event Cast Member at Big Thunder Ranch Jamboree in Frontierland at Disneyland Park. Photo ID may be required.
    • The event is scheduled to begin at 10:00 a.m. and lasts for 30 minutes each day.
    • Space is limited. Admission to the area will be granted subject to capacity, scheduled park events and other restrictions.

    • Participation does not include early Disneyland Park entry or parking.

[center][/center]

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

California Adventure continues through the spring without any major projects following five years of remodeling and expansion.

In Hollywood Land, Muppet*Vision 3D has returned following the run of the Oz: The Great and Powerful sneak preview

No more Oz signage

Cars Land is still drawing big crowds

New signage directing guests to Radiator Springs Racers has gone up on both sides of the Route 66 and Cross Street intersection in Cars Land.

A new drink cooler recently popped up on the Radiator Springs Curios front porch

Guests select their bottled Coca Cola beverages and pay for them inside the shop. A Cast Member stationed on the porch keeps an eye on the cooler at all times.

More Cars Land neon sign-themed shirts, hats, mugs and toothpick holders are now available at Radiator Springs Curios. It’s good to see a lot of land-specific merchandise available. Hopefully this sort of land and attraction-specific merchandise can trickle into other areas in both parks.

Magnets:

Over at Sarge’s Surplus Hut, two new hats are available for $24.95 each.

Below is the new Cozy Cone hat, which Disney is promoting as part of its Limited Time Magic offerings, but will likely stick around even after the promo.

And a new Red to the Rescue! firefighter hat

This and That

Back in Disneyland, a new Haunted Mansion-themed shirt has hit the shelves

And in Downtown Disney, the new permanent stage by ESPN Zone has opened up.

Iron Man 3 banners are up at the Downtown Disney AMC Theater, which recently installed an IMAX Theater.

Iron Man 3 will be offered in IMAX here, but be aware that it will only be the IMAX picture and sound quality on a slightly larger screen, not the full IMAX-size screen that you’d find at the Irvine Spectrum IMAX or at the Universal CityWalk IMAX theaters. You won’t be getting the full IMAX experience, but you will pay the full IMAX price!


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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
April 8 — 14, 2013
[B]Disneyland Park[/B] [B]California Adventure[/B]
Mon.-Thurs.: 9am – 9pm
Fri.-Sat.: 9am – 11pm
Sunday: 8am – 11pm
Mon.-Thurs.: 9am – 9pm
Fri.-Sat.: 9am – 10pm
Sunday: 8am – 10pm
[CENTER]For a complete listing of theme park hours,
visit the Disneyland.com Theme Park Calendar
[/CENTER]
[center]Closure and Refurbishment Schedule[/center]
[b][center]Disneyland Park[/center][/b]
  • [b]Mark Twain Riverboat:[/b] Closed through April 17.
  • [b]Main Street Opera House:[/b] Closed through May 2 for refurbishment.
  • [b]Matterhorn Bobsleds:[/b] Closed April 16—26 for “testing.”
  • [b]Jungle Cruise:[/b] Closed April 29 through May 1 for refurbishment.
  • [b]Goofy’s Playhouse:[/b] Closed May 6-8 for soft play material replacement.
  • [b]Davy Crockett Explorer Canoes:[/b] Closed May 8-9.
  • [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] New stage show to debut May 2013.
[b][center]Disney California Adventure[/center][/b]
    None.
[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]
  • Registration is now open to join in a $150 culinary experience with Greek Celebrity Chef Argiro Barbarigou and Greek Winemaker Christina Boutari on May 26 during “Opa! A Celebration of Greece.”
  • Tickets for the Walt Disney’s Enchanted Tiki Room 50th Anniversary Merchandise Event are now on sale.
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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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]

Support Dateline Disneyland

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FTC-Mandated Disclosure: Promotional consideration for this edition of Dateline Disneyland was provided by the Howard Johnson Plaza Hotel & Water Playground.
  • eicarr

    Great update!! I wanna see a photo of someone with the cone hat on. I’m buying that cool ov oil mug.

    However, if people can’t figure out where radiator springs racers is, it’s Darwinism in action and shorter lines for me. They wouldn’t put distracting signs in front of pirates pointing to splash mountain.

    • Internitty

      I want the oil mug too, especially if it’s a tin mug like it looks 🙂

  • Internitty

    As usual I love all the new merchandise, thank you for including pictures of it, that’s one of the things I particularly like about your reports Andy.

    I hope they are starting the rail replacement with the walls at Alice In Wonderland.

    I am so totally bummed about the AMC Imax theatre, I would have thought being in DLR they would have wanted to go the whole hog not a watered down version.

    Thank you always for your wonderful reports, I look forward to them each week 🙂

    • Illusion0fLife

      To be fair, I’m not sure how much say Disney had in it. IMAX has been systematicall watering down their brand over the last several years by replacing most of their 70mm film theaters with the lower-resolution digital LIEMAX theaters, and I don’t think they’ve installed a new 70mm theater in years. Even if Disney had wanted one it would have likely been a hard sell to get IMAX to pony up for the more expensive, higher quality set up that they’ve steadily stopped supporting.

      I love IMAX movies, but it’s really sad to see the way the company is unilaterally going for the cheaper, lower quality experience and still expecting customers to be okay with paying the premium price.

      • Wreckless Abrandon

        Agreed. I end up driving to Irvine for movies that were filmed in IMAX… and any documentaries, I end up my USC! I can’t support LieMAX… it’s just wrong.

      • RodeToad

        Lol! “LIEMax” = that’s the perfect name. I agree.

        I’ve been had now by LieMax on both coasts, and it was a very poor experience each time, compared to a “real” IMAX theatre. I hope awareness continues to grow, as it has been, so people aren’t duped into paying for one thing and getting something else. There needs to a “national LieMax map” !

      • theswillmerchant

        Thanks for mentioning the LieMAX screen. So many people don’t realize that hardly any of the “IMAX” screens at their local AMC are not true IMAX. 70mm, 15 perf film projection is IMAX. Seeing the Dark Knight Rises in that format vs the Digital IMAX was a huge difference. As for a national map:

        https://maps.google.com/maps/ms?ie=UTF8&oe=UTF8&msa=0&msid=202716790624888865459.000469b6c5915161c3667

      • theswillmerchant

        I meant to write hardly any of the IMAX screens at their local AMC are true IMAX.

      • RodeToad

        Thanks Swill Merchant for pointing out that map – that’s awesome

      • blondiemouse72

        Yes I was conned by paying for an IMAX movie that wasn’t IMAX in your country just 3 weeks ago.Where I here you ask ? Why at Universals Citywalk in Orlando

  • We saw a kid with that cone hat on yesterday. It’s huge and looks ridiculous. I’m sure that some folks will love it. But I can’t imagine wearing it.

    Great update Andy. Even though it was crowded yesterday, the parks were still enjoyable. I was able to experience 7 attractions (including Radiator Springs Racers) in the 7 hours I was at the resort.

    I’m going to miss Disneyana! I wonder if they will be removing one or both of the gallery rooms at the current Disney Gallery to make way for the Disneyana merchandise.

  • JCSkipr79

    Mansion shirts are great! This will enhance the current new Mansion product. Where in NoS are they selling these?

  • SFDave

    I see in the refurbishment section that the Matterhorn will be closed for “testing” Sure hope they are going to bring back the old sleds !

    • Wreckless Abrandon

      I wish they would find a way to make the sleds go faster. It seems very lackluster with the new sleds… I’ll be honest, I used to love the attraction, but now it’s not as fun and I don’t take my time to even go anymore.

  • judearmstrong

    Nice update! I got word from a source at the park that they are rebuilding all the trains for Thunder, including engine no. 2

  • QPerth

    Another terrific update, a highlight of my Monday’s that’s for sure.

    I’m quite impressed by the Carsland new merch, some nice caps and mugs there. Any progress in the desecration of the BVS merch windows?
    Thanks again, until next week!
    -Q

  • whamo

    I look forward to Mondays because that’s update day. Sunday morning was a joy. The traffic to Disneyland was light. Rode the 1901 motorcar to the Hub, visited the Princess Fair for the first time, where I learned Snow White had been looking for me (imagine), and was surprised how much I enjoyed the replacement for my beloved Carnation Plaza. After a very peaceful breakfast with the wife outside the Riverbelle Terrace, we walked on POC and HM. The herds didn’t fill up the park until about noon. Usually they stream in around ten AM. Thanks to Micechat we parked at Woody’s instead of the Mickey’s Parking monolith. It was a good tip.

  • LoveStallion

    While I like the idea of a cooler to grab drinks, the money wasted on paying a cast member just to watchdog the thing seems pretty silly to me. For a company obsessed with margins, this seems like an unnecessary expense.

  • Gregg Condon

    Nice update.

    Nice to see the “Curb Feeler” hats aren’t the Trucker hats that do absolutely no good for us bald guys. Too bad I don’t really like that particular design. It’d be nice if they’d offer some of the other Cars Land hat designs in something other than a trucker hat.

  • dolewhipdude

    Love the new Cars and Mansion merch. Hopefully they’ll keep it to specific locations and it won’t become ubiquitous. Keep it up TDA!

    Thanks for the great update Andy!

  • Tinkbelle

    10 days of Matterhorn “testing”? That couldn’t be to install padding, could it? *false hope*

  • scarymouse

    Nice update, Love the new Mansion shirts. Everything is nice and bright and colorful,even with the crowds, wait times aren’t that horrible.

  • Disneymike

    Love the Mansion shirts, need to get me a few.
    And is it wrong in saying Esmerelda looks pretty hot? 😉

  • Norman Gidney

    Sweet work Andy, great job.

  • MrOCT31

    Nice update on what has become a sad day with the passing of Annette Funicello.
    M I C (C ya real soon) K E Y(Y because we like you) M-O-U-S-E! RIP

    • captainaustrailia

      Sad to hear of the passing of Annette Funicello. Her appearances on the MMC and in the Beach Party movies were memorable for us children of the 50s and 60s. Heck, I even liked her peanut butter commercials.

      She will be missed.

      Prayers for her and her family.

  • buckaroo234

    there is actually one refurb going on at DCA its just hard to notice, Tower of Terror is only running 2 shafts, the third is under refurb

  • disneylandfan8

    I read this quickly and thought it said Spring breaks wind… Sorry

  • DobbysCloset

    I especially liked the Partners against the mass of flowering trees…thank you very much.

  • Sleepy505

    Great Job as always Andy, Speaking of those IMAX screens are they ever going to fix the screen in California Soarin, when we where there in October the screen had scuff marks every where and in one area it looked liked it even had a hole.

  • HeeHee

    Could the permanent stage in Downtown Disney be any uglier…nope.