Disneyland will kick off its 2013 summer season with a 24-hour “all-nighter” this Memorial Day holiday weekend. The 24-hour party will launch the Disney Parks “Monstrous Summer” marketing campaign, based on Disney-Pixar‘s upcoming animated film Monsters University which will bring some Monsters University-themed offerings to the Disneyland Resort and Walt Disney World in Florida. Also launching this Memorial Day weekend is Disneyland’s new Mickey and the Magical Map musical stage show. The show marks the return of the a full stage production to the Fantasyland Theatre in years and promises to be a great addition to the park. Meanwhile, Starbucks continues to move in on Main Street and Big Thunder Mountain Railroad‘s major refurbishment project presses on.

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 continues through its brief spring off-season with gorgeous weather and manageable crowds.

Monstrous Slumber Party

The big news last week was Disney’s announcement of the much-rumored 24-hour party over the upcoming Memorial Day holiday weekend. The 24-hour party, drawing off the unprecedented popularity of last year’s “One More Disney Day” 24-hour Leap Day event, will mark the launch of Disney’s “Monstrous Summer” promotion.

The “Monstrous Summer All-Nighter” was announced at a Walt Disney World media event on Thursday night. Walt Disney World President George Kalogridis made the announcement with the help of “Monsters University” character Mike Wazowski, projected on Epcot’s iconic Spaceship Earth.

Below, a video of the announcement:

Below, a few details on what the All-Nighter will include:

Walt Disney World Resort and Disneyland Resort will kick off a Monstrous Summer by keeping three theme parks open for 24 hours nonstop on Memorial Day Weekend, the traditional start of the family travel season.

The Magic Kingdom Park in Florida and Disneyland Park and Disney California Adventure Park in California will stay open from 6 a.m., May 24 to 6 a.m., May 25, 2013, local time marking the beginning of a summer of fun inspired by the upcoming Disney•Pixar comedy adventure Monsters University.

[ . . . ]

Mike and Sulley will take a break from collegiate life and their Scare studies at Monsters University to host the All-Nighter, dropping in to scare up some school spirit. Guests will scream and giggle with delight at the lineup of thrills and entertainment that promises to make this a day and night to be remembered for a lifetime.

In Florida, the Magic Kingdom will feature a Monsters University theme where Mike and Sulley will be the Grand Marshals of the “Celebrate a Dream Come True” day parade – complete with pomp and circumstance – and make appearances in Tomorrowland. Guests also will find extra entertainment throughout the day and night, including characters in their pajamas in Town Square during the late night and early morning, and late-night dance parties in and around the courtyard of Cinderella Castle.

In California, guests can party the night away at both parks with special entertainment, including a Monsters University “TLT Monstrous” Dance Club and Star Wars characters in Tomorrowland, and late-night Character Pajama Party in Mickey’s Toontown at Disneyland. The new Fantasy Faire Royal Theatre at Disneyland will become a Royal Dance Hall late at night with a live band and dancing, and guests of Disney California Adventure will find Monstrous photo opportunities with new Monsters University “Dorms” in Hollywood Land and a new Monsters University float leading the Pixar Play Parade.

All three parks will feature limited-edition specialty merchandise and food and beverage offerings plus other surprises throughout the entire day.

The Monstrous Summer hasn’t started yet, but Monsters University merchandise is already available at Disney California Adventure.

The pop-up merchandise location is across from the location where the Monsters University “dorms” photo-op will be located this summer.

The photo op isn’t here yet, but will be located at this Hollywood Land facade.

Below, the concept rendering Disney released of the Monsters University “dorms” photo-op

The Pixar Play Parade will also have its lead float redressed to promote Monsters University:

Market House Makeover

Meanwhile, in Disneyland, Starbucks continues to move in at the Market House and the former Disneyana shop.

A sign directs guests to the Jolly Holiday Bakery Cafe for coffee and pastries but makes no mention of Starbucks moving in.

The facade is getting repainted and much of it is sanded down awaiting fresh paint.

Other portions of the facade have already been repainted and look nice

A new sign says Disneyana has relocated, next to Great Moments with Mr. Licoln, but it’s hard to tell since its merchandise has so far just been folded into the existing Disney Gallery offerings.

Speaking of Mr. Lincoln, the Main Street Opera House remains closed until later this week.

The exit lobby of the Opera House, which dumps into the Mad Hatter store is still curtained off

Refurbishment Round-Up

“Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln” isn’t the only refurbishment happening in Disneyland right now… The major 10-month Big Thunder Mountain Railroad refurbishment project continues in Frontierland.

In Tomorrowland, Space Mountain is still closed indefinitely following its recent DOSH citation-related closure.

Disney’s refurbishment schedule had it listed to reopen last week, but it was still closed on Sunday. Signs say the ride is down for refurbishment, but don’t let the sign fool you.

Empty queue

In Fantasyland, the Le Petit Chalet gift stand has reopened.

And the final lighting towers along Small World Mall are being repainted.

Setting the Stage

Disneyland’s new musical stage production, “Mickey and the Magical Map” will debut Memorial Day weekend, but last week Disney gave a sneak peek behind the construction walls at the new stage for the show.

The impressive, newly refurbished stage features a huge “living map” made from a multi-tiered LED screen covering over 35,000 square inches with nearly 1 million pixels.

Below, excerpts from the latest press release detailing the new show:

Mickey Mouse and a cast of beloved Disney characters will embark on a series of musical adventures through the magical powers of a sorcerer’s map in “Mickey and the Magical Map,” the all-new live show coming to the Fantasyland Theatre in Disneyland Park May 25.

Created by Disney Creative Entertainment, “Mickey and the Magical Map” was conceived for children of all ages and represents the return of Disney storytelling to the newly refurbished Fantasyland Theatre, a venue that merges the tradition of live outdoor performances with theatrical technology.

[ . . . ]

“Mickey and the Magical Map” presents Mickey in his timeless role as the sorcerer’s apprentice. Wise sorcerer Yen Sid directs his Mapmakers, a singing-dancing ensemble cast that paints a wondrous map – capable of taking dreamers to any place imaginable and so large it spans the entire stage of the outdoor Fantasyland Theatre.

Apprentice Mickey lets his curiosity get the better of him and he stumbles upon the map’s magical powers, which take him, along with the audience, on a fantastic journey of imagination in the company of the Mapmakers. The journey, presented through theatrical stage wizardry, unveils wonderful worlds of music, color, adventure and beloved characters with each new direction, all set to an original song, “Journey of the Imagination,” and music from classic Disney films.

The show, scheduled for five daily performances this summer, comes alive with appearances and songs by King Louie from “The Jungle Book,” (“I Wanna Be Like You”), Pocahontas (“Just Around the Riverbend”), Mulan (“Reflection”), Rapunzel and Flynn Rider from “Tangled,” (“I See The Light”) Princess Tiana from “The Princess and the Frog” (“Dig a Little Deeper”), and Sebastian from “The Little Mermaid” (“Under the Sea”). Also included is the song “Hawaiian Roller Coaster Ride” from “Lilo and Stitch.”

The show also sends Mickey Mouse on a theatrical adventure and takes the audience to India, China, Virginia, New Orleans, Hawaii, and “Under the Sea.”

Disney also gave a sneak peek at the making of the music for the new show last week. Looks like a great addition to the park.

New directional signage for handicapped guests has been installed at the Theatre

Welcome to California Adventure

A new women’s Oswald the Lucky Rabbit shirt has joined the red men’s shirt on the shelves at Oswald’s.

In Cars Land, some more new Cars Land-specific merchandise is available (why can’t more lands and attractions get specific merchandise like this?)

Recently some new signs were added at the Cozy Cones to help guests getting in line at the food location

Limited Time Magic

[center]May the 4th Be With You
at Disneyland Resort
May 4, 2013

Disney’s next “Limited Time Magic” offering is a half-hearted Star Wars-themed merchandise event on May the 4th. Limited magic, indeed. Here’s how Disney describes the Limited Time Magic:

The force is strong with Limited Time Magic! In honor of Star Wars day, Disneyland Resort is selling special edition Star Wars-themed pins and tees. With messages like “May the Fourth Be with You” and “Revenge of the Fifth”, you can wear all the hyperspace hilarity on your sleeve! So do, or do not‚Ķ but if you do, do so while supplies last at Disney Pin Traders in Downtown Disney District or Little Green Men Store Command in Tomorrowland at Disneyland Park. Only a Sith would miss this magic event!

This and That

Back in Disneyland, the Blue Bayou Restaurant recently got a menu refresh with some dishes updated and some new options added, focusing on adding lighter, fresher options.

Lunch menu (click for larger size)

Dinner menu (click for larger size)

The famous Monte Cristo Sandwich from the lunch menu:

The Herb Panko-crusted Rack of Lamb from the dinner menu:

And the Portobello Mushroom Couscous Macque Choux, available at both lunch and dinner:

Back in Fantasyland, the old Kodak film booth (a repurposed Fantasyland ticket booth) remains empty and unused, but don’t worry, Disneyland continues to park ice cream and drink carts in front of it as if it’ll hide the empty structure. The best part of this is the popcorn cart just steps (which also sells drinks) is usually open and serving guests, but I rarely see the carts parked in front of the ticket booth being used.

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Weekly News & Information Round-Up
Weekly Theme Park Hours
April 29 — May 5, 2013
[B]Disneyland Park[/B] [B]California Adventure[/B]
Mon.-Thurs.: 10am – 8pm
Friday: 9am – 12am
Saturday: 9am – 11pm
Sunday: 8am – 11pm
Mon.-Thurs.: 10am – 9pm
Friday: 9am – 11pm
Saturday: 9am – 10pm
Sunday: 8am – 10pm
[CENTER]For a complete listing of theme park hours,
visit the Disneyland.com Theme Park Calendar
[center]Closure and Refurbishment Schedule[/center]
[b][center]Disneyland Park[/center][/b]
  • [b]The Disneyland Story presenting Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln:[/b] Closed through May 2, 2013.
  • [b]Space Mountain:[/b] Closed indefinitely following recent DOSH citations.
  • [b]Main Street Opera House:[/b] Closed through May 2 for refurbishment.
  • [b]Jungle Cruise:[/b] Closed 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] Closed for conversion and expansion for new Starbucks location. Opens fall 2013.
  • [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]
[b][center]Downtown Disney and Disneyland Resort Hotels[/center][/b]
[center]Headline Roundup
A quick look at noteworthy Disney theme park headlines from around the web.[/center]
  • From Variety: L.A. County OKs NBCUniversal’s major “Evolution Plan;” Wizarding World of Harry Potter expansion at Universal Studios Hollywood to begin construction this summer
  • Our friends at Touring Plans are reporting that Disneyland will implement a $10-per-person no-show fee on dining and Bibbidy Bobbidy Boutique reservations starting May 9 for reservations in June.
  • Ten Orange County high school seniors were recently awarded with $7,500 college scholarships from the Disneyland Resort
  • Our friends at Dland Live reported last week that Disneyland is holding auditions for “singing cowboys” to be featured in a new show at Big Thunder Ranch Jamboree.
OK, that should wrap up this week’s edition of Dateline Disneyland. Are you ready to pull another all-nighter in Disneyland or will you be staying home this time? 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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  • Thank you Andy. I like what they’ll be doing with the Monsters photo op. It’s a simple but effective way to carve out a niche for the film.

    The stage for Mickey and the Magical Map looks interesting with that led backdrop.

  • Tiny Mermaid

    Aaargh. I know I’ll get flack for this, but it irks me to no end to see typos in Disneyland signage (Please visit Disneyana in “it’s” new location). It happens more frequently than it should, which is a bummer to see, especially considering the time and effort it must take to make such nice signs.

    Thanks for the update, Andy. Good stuff, as usual!

    • Mr Ness

      Yeah, I noticed that right away. Considering the number of people who must have seen the sign between design and printing, it’s always surprising to me that these kinds of things slip through.

    • TacAlert

      Good catch. Didn’t see that. No flack from me. “Your write”. They should have caught that.

  • StevenW

    Its odd to see Monsters University merchandise when school is almost over. The dorm room stuff is nice, but the kids are packing and heading home.

  • WheresMickey

    Nice update!

  • eicarr

    I guess they chose to theme it after Monsters Inc to keep crowds managible at the parks. Crowds would be too large if it was… say an IRON MAN themed event with local stars, more props or nightlong fastpass premier night screenings at the Hyperion theater,muppets 3D, bugs life, Lincoln, fantasyland theater, who wants to be a millionaire, and AMC theaters. The cash registers couldn’t hold all that comic con geek money from expensive premier night party Marvel merchandise.

    The Stanley’s Oasis shirt is cool! Wish there was a men’s style.

    • The Stanley’s Oasis t-shirt pictured here is a men’s cut. 🙂


  • Athlonacon

    I know it’s hard to judge scale in photos, but where’s all the food from the Blue Bayou!? I mean I know you’re paying for the atmosphere, but if I paid $40 for a few bites of food I would honestly be really, really angry since it doesn’t warn you about the portions (or lack thereof).

    • trebor13

      I don’t know about the photos, but any time I eat at the Blue Bayou, I’m rarely able to finish everything. And I’m not a light eater.

    • Westsider

      The last thing 21st century Americans have to worry about is food portion sizes. There’s enough food on the plates at the Blue Bayou.

  • faerla

    Ugh, I’m so disappointed that the awful portobello mushroom dish is the only vegetarian option at Blue Bayou. I love the ambiance of that restaurant, but the way they cook that mushroom is reminiscent of dunking a spare tire in vinegar. Chewy, soggy, and just gross. I mean, look at the photo! That doesn’t look tasty! I’m sure it’s a popular item, but I’ll bet it’s by default since vegetarians get that or nothing.

    Great update, Andy!

  • TodAZ1

    “Lube O Rama???” Wow. Really??

    • sixalex

      Right up there with Miss Piston. I also like the Butte Gas t-shirts that are available.

  • Rex Dopey24

    wow disney is trying to be hip and edgy and cool these days lol.sad they lost the old disney way.

  • Dizzey

    Dang – Space Mountain still closed and I have a trip planned in a couple of weeks! I suppose that the fixes needed are substantial, but it seems like it should go pretty quickly in an attraction that’s totally dark. They don’t have to make the modifications look good… just paint them black! Oh well, I guess I’m just getting crabby because it’s going to effect my visit…

  • SoCalFan

    Love all the Cars Land-specific merchandise they have continually been rolling out. Merchandise seems to be getting better and more diverse there, which is great, but I too am saddened to not seeing this throughout both parks. To there credit, there seems to be hints of them trying, like all the great and plentiul Cars Land stuff, the recently released Haunted Mansion stuff, and even places like Tower of Terror gift store where there is a lot of attraction specific, a lot of DCA Tower specific, merchandise. That kind of stuff needs to be everywhere! BVS could really benefit on some neat ’20s inspired merchandise, especially since Gatsby movie is coming out and will sure to be a hit this summer, most inconically that Jazz Age style.

    • It would be great to see more effort with other land and attraction-specific merchandise offerings. It’s a shame we are only really seeing it with Cars Land, but I can’t say I’m particularly surprised.

      Thanks for reading!


      • sixalex

        There is a line of Haunted Mansion themed merchandise that I am enjoying. Tomb, Sweet Tomb is a lot of fun and dark humor. It is still not the broader “land” of New Orleans, but it is attraction specific. Tower of Terror has always had nicely themed merchandise as well.

        Cars Land does seem to be excelling in the product line however.

  • Ing5

    Blue Bayou’s Portobello Mushroom concoction should be spelled “Maque Choux”.

  • SpectroMan

    Holy moly, one lunch entree under 30 bucks at BB? LOLOL! Won’t be eating there anytime soon, if ever. I used to split a Monte Cristo and order an extra salad with my partner and we’d be at $35 with tip. Oh well, everything good goes away.

    With the painting of the IASW light towers, you’d think they’d finally get to painting the Light Magic towers to match the ride’s facade. Does that bother anyone else?

  • QPerth

    Great update, thanks for bringing it to us! The Monsters Inc Dorm photo op looks great, a simple and clever use of the area.

  • Haven

    Looks like I have been priced out of the Blue Bayou now for lunch as well as dinner. Maybe I’ll put that 33 bucks towards the Lube O Rama shirt?

  • Awe_inspired

    Thank you Andy. The photos of the Canned Fruits and Vegetables storefront is awesome! I love how you can see the reflection of Main Street in the windows. Also, the photo taken from the back of the paddle-wheeler is beautiful. In all of the photos that I’ve seen from Disneyland, I don’t think I’ve ever seen that shot! Again, thanks for a great article and for the “clickable” photos. They really help to see detail.