Summer at Disneyland is now in full swing, with most attractions open and the parks open late every night. Summer typically means a ramp up in crowd levels and a slow-down on major construction and refurbishment projects. At Disneyland, the only two projects underway at the on-going Starbucks Coffee construction in Main Street’s Market House general store and the major 10-month Big Thunder Mountain Railroad refurbishment. At Disney California Adventure, no major news to speak of, save for some additional changes to the window displays along Buena Vista Street. Meanwhile, some small offerings from the fledgling Limited Time Magic promotion continue in both parks…

Get a closer look at today’s update!
Click on any photo in the blog for a large, high-resolution version of the image.

Let’s get started!

Welcome to Disneyland!

Summer is in full swing at Disneyland. With the park looking great and temperatures not too high yet, it’s a great time to visit the parks.

You can still spot some railings up along Main Street USA after recent safety changes.

A look at wait times mid-day on Saturday — With all Annual Passports blocked out (except for Premium), crowds were very pleasant.

Disney’s PhotoPass photographers have now taken to carrying around big, cheap frames and have guests hold up when posing for photos.

It’s weird and is kind of tacky, but it seems like guests tend to enjoy it.

Personally, if I were posing for a photo in front of the Matterhorn, I wouldn’t think a big blue frame would be needed to make the picture more interesting…

Refurbishment Round-Up

Work continues inside the Market House as the space is expanded and remodeled for the addition of Disneyland’s new Starbucks location. Not much progress can be seen from outside, though…

Over in Frontierland, the Big Thunder Mountain Railroad refurbishment continues toward its late-October reopening.

Welcome to California Adventure

Not much to report on at California Adventure as summer crowds continue to pour in to see the new Cars Land and Buena Vista Street, both of which will celebrate their first anniversary on Saturday!

Buena Vista Street is still as gorgeous as ever, except, of course, for the various window displays along the street.

The windows at the Los Feliz Five and Dime and Julius Katz shops saw more changes last week, with new mannequins added.

Child mannequins were added at the Five and Dime but with the mannequins looking absolutely miserable, it’ll be a small miracle if they boost t-shirt sales for Disney.

Does this look like a kid happy to be at Disneyland?

The other window, which was originally filled with great custom-made Buena Vista All-Stars jerseys and other props, now features a boy mannequin that looks just as upset as his female counterpart.

You’d probably look like this if you were trapped in these clutter-filled windows, too.

Over at Julius Katz and Sons, some of the remaining original props have been removed, others rearranged and a new mannequin has been added.

Does he make you want to buy one of those Red Car Trolley shirts? Note the adhesive left on the wall behind the mannequin where a tin sign featuring the Red Car Trolley attraction poster was hastily stuck up overnight but fell before park opening.

I’d like to know if the mannequins are really helping boost t-shirt sales, cause all they’re doing to the windows is adding clutter and making them look worse than before.

Over at the Carthay Circle Theater, the new awnings on the outdoor dining terraces look finished and ready for guest use

Limited Time Magic

[center]Embark on Mickey’s Compass Quest
at Disneyland Park
June 3 – 9, 2013
Last week Disneyland offered “Mickey’s Compass Quest,” an interactive in-park scavenger hunt that guests could participate in after watching the new “Mickey and the Magical Map” stage show at the Fantasyland Theatre.

The Quest was a simple multiple-choice scavenger hunt around the park where guests had to find hidden compasses near or inside specific attractions. You scratched off the correct answer on your Compass Quest map for each compass location question. Upon completion, guests got a sticker at the information booth in the Central Plaza.

Hidden compasses blended in with their surroundings and were themed to each of their locations. Below, the Enchanted Tiki Room compass

At the French Market in New Orleans Square:

At the Davy Crockett Explorer Canoes

At the Fantasyland Rapunzel meet-and-greet

The sticker given out for completing the quest:

[center]Give Dad an Incredible Father’s Day
at Disney California Adventure
June 10 – 16, 2013
Limited Time Magic will honor Father’s Day this weekend by repackaging the regular meet-and-greet with characters from The Incredibles. Mr. Incredible and Frozone will move to Paradise Pier for the week and appear at a special meet-and-greet location there, rather than roaming around in Hollywood Land as they usually do. Below is Disney’s official blurb:

This Father’s Day, show dad he’s incredible with a gift he won’t soon forget‚Äîas part of Limited Time Magic at Disney California Adventure Park, head to Paradise Pier, where a duo of “supers” from Disney‚Ä¢Pixar’s The Incredibles will be posing for pictures. Stop by for a chance to meet Mr. Incredible or Frozone, and see how these larger-than-life Disney Characters stack up against the fatherly hero in your family!

[center]Mickey and the Magical Map: Show and Presentation
A Limited Time Annual Passholder Magic Event
at Disneyland Park
June 11, 2013
Annual Passholders can attend a special showing of the new “Mickey and the Magical Map” show and a behind-the-scenes presentation on the creation of the show. Event details below:

Celebrate the opening of the new magical, musical show, Mickey and the Magical Map. Annual Passholders are invited to attend special, Passholder performances of this thrilling production. After the performance there will be a special behind-the-magic presentation by some of the creative team responsible for the production.

    Mickey and the Magical Map: Show & Presentation

    May 28, June 4 & 11, 2013

    Show & Presentation Location
    Fantasyland Theatre in Disneyland Park

    Show Time
    5:40 p.m.

    Event Information

      • All participating Annual Passholders (ages 3 and older) must present their active Annual Passport for event admission to the event Cast Member at the Fantasyland Theatre in Disneyland Park, who will validate and scan the Passport and check event availability. Photo ID may be required.
      • Each participating Annual Passholder may bring up to three (3) guests, and such guests need not be Passholders themselves. Children under 3 years of age may attend the event as a guest of an active Passholder.
      • All members of your party must enter the theater together.

[center]Enchanted Tiki Room – 50th Anniversary Souvenir
A Limited Time Annual Passholder Magic Event
at Disneyland Park
June 23 – 27, 2013
To celebrate the Enchanted Tiki Room’s 50th Anniversary, Annual Passholders can receive a special reproduction of a vintage brochure for the Tiki Room. Details below:

Celebrate 50 years of the iconic Audio-Animatronic attraction the Enchanted Tiki Room at Disneyland Park! In honor of this milestone, Annual Passholders can receive a special recreation of the 1963 Enchanted Tiki Room brochure, available while supplies last, which includes the original graphics, copy and even a special message from Walt Disney. This Limited Time Annual Passholder Magic giveaway is truly for the birds.

    Enchanted Tiki Room – 50th Anniversary Souvenir

    June 23 – 27, 2013

    Enchanted Tiki Room in Adventureland

    Giveaway Time
    During regular Disneyland park operating hours.

    Brochure Distribution Information

      • All Guests (ages 3 and older) must be valid Annual Passholders on the days of the giveaway.
      • All participating Annual Passholders must present their active Annual Passport to the event Cast Member at the Enchanted Tiki Room.
      • Annual Passholders are limited to one souvenir brochure per day.
      • Subject to availability, and offer valid while supplies last. A limited amount of souvenir brochures will be printed.

This and That

In Downtown Disney, banners have gone up to promote Disney’s upcoming “The Lone Ranger,” which will have its premiere in California Adventure later this month.

Dateline Disneyland is sponsored by our good friends at the

Howard Johnson Plaza Hotel & Water Playground.

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 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
June 10 – 16, 2013
[B]Disneyland Park[/B] [B]California Adventure[/B]
8am – 12am
8am – 10pm
[CENTER]For a complete listing of theme park hours,
visit the Theme Park Calendar
[center]Closure and Refurbishment Schedule[/center]
[b][center]Disneyland Park[/center][/b]
  • [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][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]
  • The Themed Entertainment Association released their 2012 Global Attractions Attendance Report (.pdf link) last week, showing Disneyland slighly slipping in annual attendace as California Adventure jumped a whopping 22.6%
  • Southern California’s NBC4 had a special report, revealing disabled tour guides for hire at Disneyland
  • The 2013 D23 Expo’s silent auction will include various theme park and company artifacts such as a pair of retired Matterhorn Bobsleds ride vehicles
  • Disney CEO Bob Iger recently spoke on a panel and on the topic of Shanghai Disneyland noted that Disney has done extensive research to make sure the new park will resonate with Chinese guests but that “…We‚Äôll keep our fingers crossed that we‚Äôve done it right.”
OK, that’s it for this week’s Dateline Disneyland. Thanks for reading and be sure to join in the discussion 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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FTC-Mandated Disclosure: Promotional consideration for this edition of Dateline Disneyland was provided by the Howard Johnson Plaza Hotel & Water Playground.
  • DCAfanatic

    The disneyland resort Is looking beautifully as it reaching its almost 60th anniversary in a couple of years great job disney!

  • What on earth are they doing to the Buena Vista Street windows and why does there appear to be no show control?

    When Buena Vista Street opened one year ago, these were the best themed windows in the resort. Now they are a jumbled mess. Memo to Imagineering, the Merchandise team is destroying your windows.

    Would be nice to see things reverted back to the Imagineering approved look in time for the one year anniversary.

    • disneylandfan8

      I totally agree with Dusty. The mannequins are u-g-l-y.

    • DLFreak71

      If they were aiming for cheap 5 & Dime looking mannequins, they’ve achieved it. Come on Disney, we’ve seen what great quality you can do.

  • eicarr

    I’m not normally a germ phobe but holding that frame that everyone touches all day seems a bit risky.

    Great update! If the show more of what they actually sell in Buena St. Shop windows, I might try out some of those mystery stores again.

    • Soulquarian

      Can’t be any more risky than touching any handrail, turnstile, ride vehicle, or anything else in Disneyland… Actually sounds LESS risky the more I think about it lol

      • JulieMouse

        How long do you think it has been since the seat belts fasteners were sanitized? They get touched every few minutes all day long!! BTW, not much to really worry about, I touch everything, go to DL at least 3 times a month, and very rarely get sick (maybe once a year). 🙂

    • Susan Hughes

      Photopass wouldn’t have to resort to cheesy gimmicks to sell their photos if they did one simple thing…hire “real” photographers.
      The average park guest can take a photo with their iPhone that looks good enough to keep. And all for FREE. So if Photopass wants to convince a guest to buy their photo, they need to show that they can take a pic much better. And that comes with an experienced photographer who understands lighting, composition, etc.
      Photopass photographers are merely “point and shoot” photographers with a nicer camera.

      • DLFreak71

        And now Disney has that Magic Memories app that allows you to put Disney Characters in your photos that you take from your phone (haven’t tried the app).

  • ttintagel

    I like the mannequins. They add authentic midcenctury atmosphere to the shop windows.

    • Stinkerella

      Yes, they are authentic looking “mid-century” mannequins. However, isn’t Buena Vista Street supposed to be centered in the 1920’s. Perhaps marketing could find a more authentic representation and tone down the clutter. Whatever happened to “less is more”?

  • CandyPandora

    Those mannequins are hilarious! Thanks for bringing this very funny matter to our attention.

    • Westsider

      I agree. The clinically depressed manequins are hilarious, and yet so sad.

      Who on earth thinks this is a good idea? Someone needs to check the air conditioning filters in TDA, I think there’s something funny going on in the yellow building.

  • Disneylandfan85

    Is there a chance that they will fix up the Big Thunder sign on the mining building where you board your trains? It looks all faded out. Or is it meant to be like that?

    • dfan07

      It looks as if someone ran a sander over it, to prep it for painting.

      • DisWedWay

        I hope WDI Lighting reverts back to the old original Deitz Hooded Inspector Lanterns on the Big Thunder entrance sign and not those 1940 gas station goose neck lights that they also used On Grizzly Rapids and look so out of period. The vendor replacing a lot of the worn out lights knows the difference. I also hope they get the color strata variations like the magenta in the rockwork which it originally had in 1979. They should hire it’s creator Tony Baxter to watch over that. Theyshould put the signage back on the plaster face of the Mineral Hall.

  • 13MinuteWait

    I agree with ttintagel. The mannequins do appear time specific. People being photographed didn’t smile because being photographed was a rare event and they took it seriously. The mannequins of that era were a 3-D form of how people appeared in photographs. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it!

    • Dreamagineer

      I agree. Those are definitely antique mannequins. True, the windows look like crap, but the wonderful mannequins are not the problem.

    • CCS

      You’re talking about people being photographed in the late 1800’s. The mannequins are pathetic, and what young girl had painted-on eyebrows.

      • DisWedWay

        The mannequins resemble the 1950’s N2S2 Nevada A Bomb site mannequins a bit as in Mullholand Falls the movie. I will have to go back and watch the 1960’s Time Machine movie and see how they looked in the 1900 to1920’s from his work shop window, while sitting in his time traveler. Maybe they should be more Gibson like as at Paris Disneyland’s Mainstreet. Harrison Ford’s girlfriend in Blade Runner would be a great mannequin model with the perfect facial makeup and hair for the 20’s. A lot of attention was given to facial and eye makeup on men and women then in looking in my research file.

  • gtsouthard

    can anyone tell me where i can go in the parks to get the vantage points depicted in the shots of big thunder. visiting on thurs and fri and thats my gf favorite ride. She would like to see the progress in person.

  • Big D

    I was going to say the same thing, I imagine the mannequins are accurate for the 1920’s. This might be a case where it would have been better to go with a more stylized fantasy version of a 1920’s mannequin rather than an authentic version. I remember the old Twilight Zone episode where the mannequin’s came to life (I think those were 1950’s) and none of them were smiling either as far as I can remember.

  • Carmatts

    The displays are much more noticeable than before, but not in a good way.

  • red014

    How long before that Native American gets his Tonto overlay?

  • airick75

    A. Mannequins are generally creepy. Especially in this context. And I don’t care if mannequins smiled in the 1930s or not, those kids do look sad and miserable.

    B. The Compass Quest is AWFUL!!! I can’t believe it wasn’t discussed more. Many of the compasses are not actually in any of the three described options. My group and many others around us found themselves not knowing which option to scratch off because none of them applied. This also made finding the compasses doubly difficult. “Is that a lampost or a sign…because there is a lamp on it…and it’s not really designated as “Rapunzel’s Room” It was a MESS! THEN, you go to get your reward which is just a silly, generic compass sticker that goes right on the map!! We thought it would at least be a cheap button or something. A sticker!!?? It doesn’t even say Disney on it or anything!! I can’t believe we wasted any time with that. I wouldn’t recommend it to anyone.

    • Westsider

      To be honest, I can’t believe anyone over the age of 7 would actually consider doing it.

  • airick75

    P.S. The link to the Tiki Room event is wrong and takes you to the Magical Map post instead.

    Otherwise, Happy Monday, sorry to be so crabby this morning! Last week we also had lunch with Oscar at the Carnation Cafe – that was awesome! And we’re going on the Walk in Walt’s Footsteps tour later this month. Can’t wait! And the magical map show itself was pretty good – we enjoyed that they used slightly less popular, but still great, songs and movies!

  • dlpostcardguy

    I’m not sure I dislike those mannequins. They kind of harken back to by-gone era. (However the upset child comment is hilarious.) To me the windows actually look better than they did a few months ago though not as nice as when BVS first opened. Maybe it’s the way they did it on BVS but if you look at the windows on Main Street they are full of current merchandise mixed with authentic items from the past. Why aren’t we complaining about those??

    • SoCalFan

      The BVS windows don’t look nearly as well put together as the Main Street windows. The Main Street ones seamlessly blend period specific props with current merchandise and actually make sense with the store they are outside of; for example, why is there a mannequin in a window for a repair shop…that just doesn’t make sense. I will say the Five and Dime windows now look better than some of the previous changes from the original. This is very poor showmanship in comparison to Disneyland, and I am a huge DCA fan, so it hurts to say it. I think all us fans understand the need for actual merchandise in the windows, but what they have done is not tasteful or even thought out at all. It’s haphazard and thrown together.

      I think it would be an extremely interesting if perhaps the writer of this column (or another MiceAge columnist) put together an article that showed side-by-side comparisons of the windows on Main Street, and how they display a well-planned out balance of merchandise and propping, and the ones on BVS, and how thrown together they look in comparison. Heck, if I get down to the parks soon, I volunteer to put together the article. It’ll definitely help show why so many of us are upset about the window changes and are confused as to why we can’t see similar set-ups to what is on Main Street.

      Oh, and if merchandise sales is a problem, here’s an idea, sell better merchandise people want to buy. There’s a reason that Cars Land, with its plethora of unique, land-specific, found nowhere else merchandise (especially in Lizzie’s), has had huge success in sales.

  • peanutj

    I agree with a few of the others here that the mannequins are actually a good idea. However, those kids have got to go. They look miserable. It’s as if their parents have just told them that their trip to Disneyland has been cancelled and that they have to go to summer school.

    About the ugly frames: I wonder if they serve the same purpose as blue screens in the movies where an image of another frame is superimposed over the blue one?

    • LoonAZ

      Chroma-Key (blue screen, green screen) would only really be beneficial if it replaced the background (think of your local weather person and their weather maps/graphics behind them). Something in the foreground (i.e. the custom frame or graphic) can easily be overlaid on top of the original photograph. In fact, you can already do things like adding frames and graphic overlays to PhotoPass pictures on the website.

    • DisWedWay

      They should be repainted and some life put in their eyes. The Indian Chief on his horse on Tom Sawyer Island has more expression in his face do to paint finishes.

  • Spongeocto4

    Thanks for the update

  • Dizzey

    Here’s may favorite quote of the article:

    “You’d probably look like this if you were trapped in these clutter-filled windows, too.”


    The little girl mannequin has an expression that’s somewhere between plaintive and concerned – like she’s witnessing Godzilla starting to stomp around on BVS. Maybe that is the period-specific look they were hoping for! Come on, people, these look bad.

    Seems to me that they have had a long time to fix this. Get a couple of imagineers and a couple of marketing guys in the same room for a while and do something tasteful that doesn’t detract from the ambiance. OR reinstall the original windows and start to produce and sell “real” versions of the props – like the cool retro-cover books that they had there. That would be specific to the area and downright cool.

  • 4Apples4Disney

    Fantastic update!

  • Freddie Freelance

    Maybe they just need happier mannequins…


  • disneylandanddcafa

    You say Disney’s PhotoPass photographers have now taken to carrying around big, cheap frames and have guests hold up when posing for photos.
    Every opportunity to be negative is not missed… why not just say Disney’s PhotoPass photographers have now taken to carrying around big, blue frames and have guests hold up when posing for photos.
    Why throw in cheap??? Followed by you think the guests like them, even more reason not be negative, then toss in you wouldn’t want you picture with the frame… then don’t take it with the frame. JEESH
    And mannequins with unhappy faces… my kids have never once commented on a mannequin and I must admit I rarely look at their expressions. This is probably a good thing because many times they don’t even have heads.
    Keep up the 99% excellent work you do however. Really enjoy Dateline and use it for much information.