Disney California Adventure‘s new Cars Land area is getting some major work done as its version of Route 66 gets repaved less than a year after opening. The repaving work was needed after the incredibly popular area saw heavy foot traffic over the last year of operation. Meanwhile, Disneyland continues with some off-season refurbishment projects as it prepares to launch another busy summer season with the debut of its new “Mickey and the Magical Map” musical stage show in Fantasyland. The new show will begin Cast Member previews in just two weeks before its public debut Memorial Day Weekend. Meanwhile, folks elsewhere in Orange County got a taste of Disneyland with the special opportunity to get an up-close look at the Disneyland Railroad’s Ernest S. Marsh Locomotive #4 and the Kalamazoo Handcar over the weekend. The locomotive and handcar were featured as part of the 2013 Railroad Days in Fullerton, a great annual event hosted by the Southern California Railway Plaza Association.

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!

The Main Street Opera House has reopened after a brief refurbishment.

Not much has changed inside, but the facility looks great.

Tony Baxter’s Disneyland Ticket Book collection has been removed from its display case.

The exit lobby has been cleaned up as well. Looks good.

Market House Makeover

Work continues at the Main Street Market House as Starbucks moves in.

Not too much to report as some minor facade refurbishing continues while major work gets underway inside.

Some fresh paint

More new paint coming here soon

Kodak Fades Away

Meanwhile, Disney has finally started removing Kodak logos from the park. The Kodak sponsorship logo signage at the Main Street Photo Supply and the Kingswell Camera Shop in California Adventure has been removed.

The Kodak logo that was underneath the shop logo on the window is now gone

Inside, thematic elements still refer to Kodak. Will these be removed?

Kodak Picture Spot signage is still in place in both parks.

In California Adventure, the Kodak signage at the Kingswell Camera Shop has been removed.

Vintage ads on the walls still reference Kodak products

Refurbishment Round-Up

In Frontierland, the Big Thunder Mountain Railroad refurbishment continues with the removal of the big yellow crane from the Disneyland skyline.

Nearby, New Orleans Square’s railroad station is closed while some repaving work in front of it gets taken care of.

DOSH Downtime

Speaking of New Orleans Square Station, word spread recently that DOSH has now put new restrictions on the Disneyland Railroad Conductors. As per DOSH’s regulations, Cast cannot stand on objects over 30 inches from the ground without adequate fall protection, so this means the Disneyland steam trains can no longer take water from the water tower at the New Orleans Square Station because in order to do so, Cast Members would have to stand on the tender deck, which exceeds the 30-inch limit. Never mind that Cast Members have been doing just this for over 55 years!

Disneyland’s steam trains are now refilling in Tomorrowland using a water hose at Tomorrowland Station. These 30-inch fall safety restrictions are affecting the Disneyland Railroad in additional ways, as reported by Disneyland Railroad historian Steve DeGaetano at the Burnsland message boards.

DOSH has also deemed Tom Sawyer Island to be a safety hazard, and the Fantasmic! stage on the Island is now closed to guests for the time being.

But in Tomorrowland, Space Mountain has reopened after being closed for three weeks and costing Disney $234,850 in DOSH fines related to an incident in which a contract worker cleaning the mountain was injured.

The attraction reopened Friday night.

Monstrous Mix-Ins

One aspect of Disney’s Monstrous Summer All-Nighter event that Disney has been shy of mentioning in its press materials is that the Disneyland event co-incides with one of the summer’s popular Grad Nite events.

This is going to mean even bigger crowds as thousands of graduating high school seniors share the parks with regular Disneyland guests visiting for the 24 hour party. In recent years, Disney has given Grad Nite attendees mix-in tickets, allowing them to mix-in with regular park guests during the day at Disneyland before Grads are required to head over to California Adventure for their private, grad-only party later in the evening. With both parks open for 24-hours for regular guests May 24, Grads and Guests will effectively be competing for space and popular attractions at DCA throughout the night. To ensure that the Grad Nite attendees don’t feel totally ripped off, Disney will be making big portions of Disney California Adventure Grad-only zones; a plan they’ve quietly announced on the official Grad Nite Facebook page:

Seniors we have exciting news to share about Grad Nite taking place on May 24th.

Disneyland Resort will kick off its “Monstrous Summer” season with a special event that will keep Disneyland Park and portions of Disney California Adventure open for 24-hours beginning at 6:00 a.m. Rest assured that our May 24th Grad Nite will be even more special and we wanted to be sure you knew about the important changes and enhancements being made to ensure that your special celebration is unforgettable.

While some “Monstrous Summer” activities will take place in parts of Disney California Adventure during Grad Nite, your party will still be private. Much of Disney California Adventure becomes Grad Central, including Cars Land and Paradise Pier, where you can enjoy exclusive use of select portions of the park and experience our world-famous attractions including Radiator Springs Racers and Tower of Terror. Be prepared to be wowed too, because we‚Äôre adding even more entertainment that will only be offered for the May 24th Grad Nite.

Another exclusive benefit: with Disneyland Park and Disney California Adventure both opening earlier on the 24th, your senior class can “park hop” as early as 6:00 a.m. and as late as 9:00 p.m. After that the party continues at Disney California Adventure until 3:00 a.m. at the Grad Nite Private Party.

It’ll be interesting to see how the already-busy Grad Nite event mixes with what is expected to be a huge two-park 24 hour party for the Monstrous Summer event. If you’re planning on attending, be sure to bring a lot of patience with you.

Setting the Stage

Over in Fantasyland, the new “Mickey and the Magical Map” musical stage show at the Fantasyland Theater is getting closer to opening, with Cast Member previews set for the days leading up to the public debut of the show Memorial Day weekend.

Sound, lighting and the stage’s new huge LED screen were being tested over the weekend. Gests in the area could, at times, hear bits of the show’s new theme song “Journey into Imagination” coming from behind construction walls (it sounds pretty good!)

Below, a behind-the-scenes video from Disney showing King Louie and crew rehearsing the “Jungle Book” portion of the show. Note King Louie’s articulated mouth.

The Troubador Tavern is expected to open with a new menu when the new show opens later this month. Cast Members attending previews will have the opportunity to try its new menu.

Signage is still up for the old menu. No word yet if the popular baked potatoes that were previously featured here will remain at the Harbour Galley in New Orleans Square or if they’ll quietly disappear in the coming weeks.

Welcome to California Adventure

In California Adventure, the Big Top Toys window on Buena Vista Street removed its terrible, poorly-Photoshopped carboard cutout of the plush circus “audience,” built up the bleachers another level and added more actual plush to the display. It’s a mess. This window is so tacky and cheap that Disney should really be embarrassed by it.

Yes, that’s really a Stitch plush with a bowling pin in Stitch’s mouth as the plush “juggles” more pins. It’s just… bad.

The “Storytellers” statue was temporarily behind shrubs last week for a quick refurbishment.

Repaving Radiator Springs

Over in Cars Land, the incredibly high volume of foot traffic that new area has received over the last year has necessitated an early repaving of Route 66.

Guests shouldn’t experience any impact while Cars Land gets repaved.

Limited Time Magic

[center]Glow with the “Magical” Show
at Disneyland Resort
Available Select Nights through May 19, 2013
[/center]

Disneyland’s current Limited Time Magic offering is special “Glow with the Show” performances of the park’s “Magical” fireworks show. Guests watching the show with their “Glow with the Show” ear hats can view the show from a special reserved viewing area.

Below is Disney’s information:

This May, come glow with a “Magical” new show at Disneyland Park‚Äîpurchase your very own light-up interactive ear hat and engage with shows and attractions across Disneyland Resort like never before, including “Magical,” Disneyland Park’s newest fireworks spectacular. But that’s not all‚Äîas part of Limited Time Magic, discover a “Magical” fireworks viewing area along Main Street, U.S.A., reserved just for you when you’re wearing your “Glow with the Show” ears. Space is limited and will be first come, first served on the following dates: May 5, 10, 11, 12, 17, 18 and 19, 2013.

Disneyland goes to Fullerton Railroad Days

Over the weekend the 2013 Railroad Days was held at the Fullerton Transportation Center, just a short 15-minute drive from Disneyland. The event, put together by the Southern California Railway Plaza Association and included Disneyland as one of its featured participants.

Disneyland fans attending the event were treated to the Ernest S. Marsh and Kalamazoo Handcar, both on display and open for inspection.

It was a rare opportunity for fans to get an up close look at these historic features of the Disneyland Railroad.

You could get in line to step into the locomotive’s cab and even pull the whistle! A really fun, unique opportunity.

Very cool!

The Kalamazoo Handcar was also on display and open as a photo-op.

It’s a rare treat to be able to get this close to the handcar, which is usually parked above the Floral Mickey at Main Street Station and inaccessible to guests.

The Carolwood Foundation had a booth with some great merchandise available and information on Walt Disney’s Barn that’s located at Griffith Park.

Some great historical Disney railroading items on display as well.

A model of Walt’s barn, which you can visit every third Sunday of the month in Los Angeles’ Griffith Park.

The rest of the Railroad Days event included countless model trains on display. Fun stuff!

Fun Disney stuff incorporated into the model train displays

This and That

In California Adventure, the Condor Flats restroom refurbishment continues…

And in Disneyland’s new Fantasy Faire area, Figaro the Cat is working again after some recent downtime.

Apparently, the animatronic was having issues, including his right eye not working properly. You can see where his eyelid is still damaged, but he’s at least working correctly once again.

New permanent ropes have been installed to block guest access to the stage tech’s spot for the Royal Theatre shows.


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Weekly News & Information Round-Up
Weekly Theme Park Hours
May 6-12, 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]
[center]Closure and Refurbishment Schedule[/center]
[b][center]Disneyland Park[/center][/b]
  • [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]
    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]
  • Grammy-winning group Lady Antebellum recently celebrated the release of their new album “Golden” with a special performance at Disneyland’s Golden Horseshoe.
  • Mariah Carey and Nick Cannon recently renewed their wedding vows in a private, after-hours ceremony in front of Sleeping Beauty Castle.
Alright, that wraps up this week’s edition of Dateline Disneyland. Are you still planning on attending the Monstrous Summer All-Nighter with Grad Nite mix-ins? Were you able to check out the Fullerton Railroad Days over the weekend? 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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FTC-Mandated Disclosure: Promotional consideration for this edition of Dateline Disneyland was provided by the Howard Johnson Plaza Hotel & Water Playground.