A couple great long-time Disneyland traditions returned over the weekend for the busy summer season. For music fans, the big news was the triumphant return of the evening swing parties at what is now the new Fantasy Faire princess meet-and-greet village. The swing party tradition is one dating back to Walt Disney and crowds packed the Royal Theatre’s dance floor to celebrate swing’s return to Disneyland. Meanwhile, Disney California Adventure‘s new Buena Vista Street and Cars Land areas marked their first anniversaries on Saturday and we take a look at a few changes these new areas underwent during their first successful year of operation.

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

We have a big update today, so let’s get started!


Welcome to Disneyland!

Returning Traditions

A couple great traditions returned over the weekend. In Fantasyland, climbers are once again scaling the icy peak of the iconic Matterhorn.

This little entertainment offering returned last summer after being gone for a few years and it’s great to see it back again this year. It’s nothing major and not a full show or anything, but it’s one of those small atmosphere things that add to the fabric of the park and enriches the overall experience.

Yodeling mountain climbers!

Below, a short clip of the mountain climbers in action.

Saturday night marked the official return of regular swing parties at Disneyland. The popular entertainment offering was discontinued last April when construction got underway at the former Carnation Plaza Gardens area to make way for the new Fantasy Faire princess meet-and-greet village. At the time, Disney promised swing dancing would return once Fantasy Faire was finished and temporarily moved the popular “Jump, Jive and Boogie” swing dancing parties to Downtown Disney.

More than a year after the dance parties were suspended, swing triumphantly returned to the former Carnation Plaza Gardens stage this weekend. Long-time fans turned out, many dressed in their most dapper, to enjoy an evening of dancing. To reflect the new Fantasyland location, the event is now named the “Royal Swing Big Band Ball” and will run every Saturday through the summer season, starting at 7 p.m.

The event was kicked off with long-time Disneyland talent director Stan Freese who thanked Disneyland Resort President Michael Colglazier for his help in bringing swing back into Disneyland. Mr. Freese re-introduced swing to Disneyland by happily noting “I’m thrilled this is back here where it belongs!”

Below, a video clip of Saturday night’s swing dancing

It’s great to have these swing parties back – hopefully they continue to draw big crowds throughout the summer.

With swing dancing on Saturdays, Maurice’s Treats will be able to stay open past 7 p.m.. On Saturday, the snack stand had a selection of special menu items for the swing party.

The All-American Cheeseburger Pie

Caramel Apple Freeze

Refurbishment Round-Up

Back on Main Street, construction continues on the new Starbucks location in the Market House.

Not much change to see from the outside yet…

Disneyana signage still up for now…

In Frontierland, the Big Thunder Mountain Railroad refurbishment continues with progress on the Rainbow Ridge town facades and new scaffolding going up for repainting on the mountain itself.

Scaffolding is now going up along portions of the mountain as they get ready to start repainting.

Welcome to California Adventure

Saturday marked the one-year mark since Disney California Adventure’s major relaunch and the grand opening of its new Buena Vista Street and Cars Land areas.

Unboxing the First Year

It’s hard to believe it’s been a full year since Disney unveiled the new Buena Vista Street and Cars Land areas of California Adventure. Major parts of a major $1+ billion remodel and expansion project, the two new lands were significant achievements for Disney Imagineering and brought new high-quality environments and attractions to the park that had struggled to find success since opening in 2001.

Buena Vista Street was a complete redevelopment of the stripmall-like Sunshine Plaza entrance corridor that the park originally opened with. Buena Vista Street created an exquisitely charming and richly-detailed new entrance for the park, taking guests back to the 1920s when Walt Disney first arrived in Los Angeles.

Unfortunately, the first year of operation hasn’t been kind to Buena Vista Street and numerous changes have taken place, primarily with the props and thematic set pieces in storefront windows and inside shops. All of the props and displays were carefully designed by Imagineering to help set the scene and tell the story of Buena Vista Street, but over the last twelve months California Adventure’s management has gone in and made significant changes, all in a misguided effort to sell more merchandise.

The windows here still look terrible after their recent remodels.

Tons of visual clutter with angry-looking child mannequins are expected to translate to higher sales. The efforts have seemingly been unsuccessful and rather than addressing the problem by creating new product that actually appeals to guests, changes continue to be made resulting in a watered down thematic environment and a weaker guest experience.

Last week, just days before the one-year anniversary of Buena Vista Street, nearly all of the gorgeous prop work inside the Los Feliz Five and Dime store was removed and replaced with all-new props. Oddly, none of the new displays feature any actual merchandise, so it was simply change for change’s sake and none of it is an improvement on what was originally there. Gone are almost all of the vintage items that Imagineering artfully arranged, and in their place are piles of visual clutter largely consisting of stacks of small “vintage”-style boxes.

Why is someone being paid to go in and spend more money to replace excellent work with mediocre new displays?

The gorgeous antique globes that were previous atop the cash wrap are now gone and piles of “first aid supplies” are now on display

Someone working at Disney might not know how to make a good display, but they sure do excel at stacking boxes.

Lots of boxes and a few picture frames

More boxes and some office supplies.

One display features a few vintage Mickey Mouse toys, ignoring the story of Buena Vista Street (hint: there probably shouldn’t by Mickey Mouse toys yet, since Walt and Mickey just hopped off the train)

The fan-favorite custom-designed books that were previously on display in one of the main window displays for the store are now stacked up high up on a shelf. Unfortunately, none of the covers are visible and that’s a shame — all of those books were custom-designed by Disney artists, many of which worked for Walt Disney Feature Animation.

Likewise, a lot of the beautiful custom-made Buena Vista All-Stars baseball props that were also in display in a Five and Dime window are now on display in the store. I don’t understand the logic of replacing great props with other great props that you previously removed — but at least some of this stuff can be seen again. Still, the logic here is baffling.

These great baseball props that belong in the front window have replaced a display of gorgeous antique wind instruments and period sheet music.

Luckily the hats on display above the hat embroidery station, all of which were custom-made or vintage from the time period, are still here… hopefully they survive.

In any case, if you can manage to avoid looking into the windows or wandering into the stores, Buena Vista Street still manages to create a great environment and leaves a wonderful first impression for guests entering the park.

At the end of Buena Vista Street, Carthay Circle Restaurant has switched to its summer menus. Take a look:

    [center]Carthay Circle Restaurant
    Summer Lunch Menu[/center]
    Carthay Signature Fried Biscuits Stuffed with White Cheddar, Bacon and Jalapeños with Apricot Honey Butter 12

    Starters
    Fire Cracker Duck Wings Soy, Lime and Sriracha Chili Sauce 14
    Warm California Asparagus Prosciutto, Asiago and Truffled Egg Vinaigrette 16
    Pacific Ono Ceviche Avocado, Tomatillo-Cilantro Essence and Crisp Plantain Chips 16
    Ginger Pork Pot Stickers accented with Lemon Grass and Mango Voodoo Sauce 14
    Seasonal Soup Sun Gold Tomato Broth, Asparagus, Leeks, Lemon Roasted Chicken and Basil 11
    Carthay Green Salad Jicama, Cucumber, Cilantro and Orange White Balsamic Vinaigrette 12
    Heirloom Tomato Salad Parmesan Aioli, Petite Basil and California Virgin Olive Oil 13

    Entrees
    Carthay Strawberry Chicken Salad Lacquered Bacon, Avocado, Haricot Verts, Local Cherry Tomatoes and Fresh Strawberries 22
    Angus Beef Arugula Salad Grilled Radicchio, Gorgonzola Croustini and Cabernet Vinaigrette 23
    Rigatoni with Roasted Chicken Pancetta, Summer Peas, Spinach and Pinot Jus 25
    Sautéed Short Rib Raviolis Portobello Mushrooms, Red Pepper and Cabernet Jus 27
    Skuna Bay Salmon on Fresh Golden Tomato Salsa, Avocado and Cucumber Relish 30
    Mediterranean Grilled Eggplant Sandwich with Sautéed Artichoke Bottoms, Marinated Tomatoes, Roasted Garlic, Melted Reserve Cheese and Toasted on Rustic Country Bread 20
    Carthay Angus Burger 8oz with Aged Cheddar Cheese, Black Pepper Bacon, and Grilled Onions, French Fries and House-made Pickles 22

    Carthay Circle Tasting Menu
    First Course
    Spanish Roasted Red Peppers Stuffed with Imported Chorizo, Mahon Cheese and Pine Nuts

    Entree Choice of One
    Potato Crusted West Coast Sole English Pea Coulis and Lemon Vinaigrette
    -or-
    Spiced Lamb Burger Sliders Yogurt Cucumber Relish, Pickled Vegetables and French Fries

    Dessert
    Seasonal Rustic Country Pie

    Three Course Prix Fixe Menu 35
    add Flight of Wines 15

    [center]Carthay Circle Restaurant
    Summer Dinner Menu[/center]

    Carthay Signature Fried Biscuits Stuffed with White Cheddar, Bacon and Jalapeños with Apricot Honey Butter 12

    Starters
    Fire Cracker Duck Wings Soy, Lime and Sriracha Chili Sauce 14
    Pacific Ono Ceviche Avocado, Tomatillo-Cilantro Essence and Crisp Plantain Chips 16
    Ginger Pork Pot Stickers accented with Lemon Grass and Mango Voodoo Sauce 14
    Warm California Asparagus Prosciutto, Asiago and Truffled Egg Vinaigrette 16
    Sautéed Crab Cake English Pea Coulis and Lemon Vinaigrette 17
    Seasonal Soup Sun Gold Tomato Broth, Asparagus, Leeks, Lemon Roasted Chicken and Basil 11
    Carthay Green Salad Jicama, Cucumber, Cilantro and Orange White Balsamic Vinaigrette 12
    Heirloom Tomato Salad Parmesan Aioli, Petite Basil and California Virgin Olive Oil 13

    Entrees
    Sautéed Short Rib Raviolis Portobello Mushrooms, Red Pepper and Cabernet Jus 27
    Rigatoni with Roasted Chicken Pancetta, Summer Peas, Spinach and Pinot Jus 25
    Summer Garden Vegetable Risotto Costal Mushrooms, Truffle Butter and English Pea Coulis 34
    Skuna Bay Salmon on Fresh Golden Tomato Salsa, Avocado and Cucumber Relish 30
    Sautéed Shrimp Summer Corn, Zucchini, Applewood Bacon and Basil Pesto 30
    Grilled Angus Rib-eye Sautéed Mushrooms Ragu, Red Flame Grapes and Blue Cheese 44
    Western Cut Pork Chop Fingerling Potoates, String Beans and Summer Peaches 37

    Sides
    Country Whipped Potoates 8
    Roasted Broccoli with Brown Butter 8
    Steamed Jasmine Rice 7

    Carthay Circle Tasting Menu
    First Course
    Summer Watermelon in all its Glory Watermelon Radish Salad, Lemongrass Watermelon Agua Fresca, Red Chile Pickled Watermelon Rinds

    Entree Choice of One
    Sautéed Filet Mignon of Angus Beef Tenderloin Shaved Asparagus, Sun Gold Tomatoes, Fingerling Potato with Local Bing Cherries
    -or-
    Alaskan Halibut Braised Veracruz Style Rustic Tomato Broth accented with Jalapeños, Toasted Garlic, Lime, Capers and Pine Nuts

    Choice of Dessert

    Three Course Prix Fixe Menu 65
    add Flight of Wines 25

Earlier this month Disney released a companion album to it’s Carthay Circle Sessions release, featuring all piano versions of some popular Disney songs you might hear in the Carthay Cirle Lounge. Digital download of it is available now for only $7.99 on Amazon MP3.

The previous release is the instrumental versions heard in the upstairs dining areas.

Meanwhile, Cars Land also turned a year old on Saturday. It’s hard to imagine it’s been a year since the first official guests poured into Cars Land on the morning of June 15, 2012 after camping out overnight.

Cars Land remains a gorgeous addition to California Adventure and continues to draw big crowds.

Cars Land saw a few operational changes, including adding chain queues at the Cozy Cone and converting the unused FASTPASS Distribution area for Radiator Springs Racers into expanded retail space. Overall, however, the changes enhanced the guest experience rather than lessen it.

The Cozy Cone fountain is still getting some TLC work done

Luigi’s Flying Tires saw a few changes over the last year, most notably being the removal of the oversize beach balls from the tire floor to improve load times and guest safety.

Our videos from June and August show the ride with and without the beach balls.

Meanwhile, Radiator Springs Racers continues to be the big draw for California Adventure guests.

California Entertainment

Meanwhile, the Dancin’ with Disney dance party in Hollywood Land’s Stage 17 returned over the weekend. The dance party features a DJ in the large, empty Stage 17 soundstage with a bunch of Disney characters for a kid-friendly dance party. With characters like the Big Bad Wolf and Stitch dancing to a soundtrack that includes “It’s Raining Men” and “Call Me Maybe,” the whole affair seems really strange to me. Nevertheless, kids seem to enjoy it and I imagine tired parents appreciate the outlet for their young ones to burn off some extra energy. I’m just grateful that the whole thing is easily avoidable for those of us who aren’t interested.

Outside, the Monsters Inc. lead float in the Pixar Play Parade has gotten a Monsters University overlay to promote the new film.

The Monsters University overlay has been running now since Memorial Day weekend, but we’ve missed it until now.

Below, video of the float

Limited Time Magic

[center]Who Framed Roger Rabbit 25th Anniversary Screening & Panel
A Limited Time Annual Passholder Magic Event
in Downtown Disney
June 18, 2013
[/center]
In honor of Who Framed Roger Rabbit‘s 25th Anniversary, Disney will offer a free screening of the film along with a panel discussion at Downtown Disney’s AMC theater. Below are details for this great opportunity.

Celebrate the 25th anniversary of Disney’s classic film, Who Framed Roger Rabbit with a hare-raising screening for Annual Passholders. Following the screening will be a very special panel discussion featuring some of the members of the creative team that brought the movie to life, seamlessly combining live-action and animation. The panel will be hosted by Don Hahn, Associate Producer of Who Framed Roger Rabbit, and is also scheduled to include Director of Special Projects at Walt Disney Feature Animation, Dave Bossert, Visual Effects Animator on Who Framed Roger Rabbit and Charles Fleischer, the voice of Roger Rabbit.

    Who Framed Roger Rabbit 25th Anniversary Screening & Panel

    Dates & Time
    Tuesday, June 18, 2013 at 7:00 p.m.

    Location
    AMC 12 Theaters in Downtown Disney District

    Giveaway Time
    During regular Disneyland park operating hours.

    Event Registration Information

      • Registration and wristband distribution for the event will begin at 12:00 noon on the day of the event at the AMC 12 Theaters in Downtown Disney District at Disneyland Resort.
      • All participating Guests (ages 3 and older) must be valid Annual Passholders on the day of the event. Guests under the age of 3 do not need an Annual Pass, but will need a wristband to attend the event.
      • Registration must be completed in person at the AMC 12 Theaters 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 register together to help ensure that everyone receives a wristband.
      • 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.
      • Annual Passholders whose Annual Passes are blocked out for the day of event may attend the event as long as they are a valid Disneyland Resort Annual Passholder.

      Full Information

[center]Give Dad an Incredible Father’s Day
at Disney California Adventure
June 10 – 16, 2013
[/center]
Last week’s Limited Time Magic was a special photo op with Mr. Incredible and Frozone on Paradise Pier. Not much of a special offering, considering these characters are often out for photos in Hollywood Land, but I guess it’s something. Here’s a photo of the backdrop that was used, which was located in front of the former Maliboomer entrance.

[center]Enchanted Tiki Room – 50th Anniversary Souvenir
A Limited Time Annual Passholder Magic Event
at Disneyland Park
June 23 – 27, 2013
[/center]
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

    Dates
    June 23 – 27, 2013

    Location
    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.


[center]Independence Day Celebration
at Disneyland Resort
July 1 – 7, 2013
[/center]
Disneyland has been offering its Independence Day fireworks and special “World of Color” pre-show for a the first four days of July each year for a few years now, but this year it’ll be offered for a full week and marketed as part of the Limited Time Magic promotion. In any case, expect to catch Disneyland’s special Fourth of July fireworks show in place of the regular “Magical” show nightly July 1-7. The fireworks show will be a shortened version of the full holiday show, except for on July 4 when the full show will be presented. At World of Color, a special patriotic pre-show with fireworks will be presented July 1-7. Below is Disney’s information on the Fourth of July offerings:

At Disneyland, we‚Äôre saluting our nation‚Äôs birth in a big way with “Disney’s Celebrate America! A Fourth of July Concert in the Sky.” The Disneyland Resort fireworks spectacular will be held each night at 9:30 p.m. during Independence Week.

Every evening, you can also wear a pair of illuminated Mouse Ears and Glow with the Show” during performances of “Celebrate America!” at Disneyland park and the patriotic pre-show to World of Color at Disney California Adventure park.

And at the Disneyland Resort, you can enjoy Red, White and Blue Mason Jar Desserts at Carnation Cafe, and Patriotic Cotton Candy, Apple Pie Pockets or 4th of July Cupcakes, in shops all along Main Street, U.S.A., at Disneyland park.

This and That

Back in Disneyland, the Candy Palace confectioners introduced a new treat on Saturday that will be featured throughout the summer.

New Candy Sticks, which were available in three flavors on Saturday: lemon-lime, orange and cinnamon, are hand-made similar to the popular candy canes made during the holidays. The new treats cost $4.99 each and Annual Passholder discounts are not applicable.

A Candy Palace Cast Member recommended the lemon-lime flavor and I enjoyed it quite a bit. It’s great to see new offerings like this added.

Over on the Rivers of America, the Sailing Ship Columbia celebrated its 55th Anniversary on Friday.

Over at the Disneyland Hotel, the new entrance sign at the parking lot entrance has been installed and the retro design looks great.


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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

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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 17 – 23, 2013
[B]Disneyland Park[/B] [B]California Adventure[/B]
Daily:
8am – 12am
Daily:
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]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]
    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]
  • Disneyland Cast Member connected to the recent dry ice explosions in Disneyland’s Toon Town was released last week on his own recognizance.
Alright, that wraps up this week’s Dateline Disneyland. Happy first anniversary to Buena Vista Street and Cars Land – here’s to many more years and even more great new additions to California Adventure. What do you think about the changing props on Buena Vista Street and the return of swing dancing at Disneyland? Share your thoughts 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.
  • LoveStallion

    Wonderful update, and it’s great to see some beloved traditions coming back to the park.

  • jcruise86

    Thanks, Andy! OUTSTANDING UPDATE!

  • Amy VandenBoogert

    Great update as always!

    I am totally digging that retro Disneyland Hotel sign!

  • fnord

    Wow, this month is the 50th anniversary of my first visit to Disneyland, back when Tiki Room and swiss family treehouse were brand new.
    I’m glad swing dancing is back in the park.

  • Mostly great news. Good to see Swing Dancing and the mountain climbers return to Disneyland. And I love the new Disneyland Hotel sign! But I’m baffled by what’s going on at Buena Vista Street.

    Wonderful update Andy!

  • rstar

    Yes, great update, Andy! It’s a wonderful way to start the week!

  • JCSkipr79

    The rampage Merch. has engaged in on BVS needs to be ended

  • blondiethesounds

    $5 for a piece of candy? They really have lost their minds….

    • digriz

      If you’re looking for bargains at a theme park, you’re gonna have a bad time.

  • Disneykin Kid

    The return of swing dancing was originally promised by Disney, but many fans thought it would not come back. It may have come back due to fan pressure, but in Disney’s defense, at least you can say that it was truly an option all along. I know it’s a long tradition, but if you think about theming, swing dancing belongs more in 1920s Buena Vista St rather than in between turn of the century Main St and a fairy tale castle.

    • TodAZ1

      You’re right. But since it’s been there since Walt, it’s kind of made its own tradition just where it is.

    • DisWedWay

      Disneyland Mainstreet is very 1920’s with the bulb illuminated street signage. Hope the bulbs stay as they are a part of its 20’s era charm.

  • BC_DisneyGeek

    Thanks for the update. Love the hotel sign.

  • MickeyMaxx

    Thanks, Andy! Good to see the town of Rainbow Ridge being reinstalled! The new hotel sign rocks and I’m looking forward to watching the swing dancers again in their newly refurbished digs!

    • DisWedWay

      Hope they rename and correct the towns name back to Rainbow Ridge. The Big Thunder Mountain always made its rainbow of colors. Bring back the magenta that has faded from 34 years of California sunshine.

  • Rocknrachel

    Love the update! Thanks for the posts, I look forward to them every Monday!

  • eicarr

    Great update!! Everything is looking great. If I can tell what they sell inside BVS stores I might stop in them frome time to time. Until then ill walk by fast enjoying the antique exhibits

  • Internitty

    I wonder how long until DOSH says the Matterhorn climbers need hand rails…
    Love the retro signage for the Disneyland Hotel, it’s so nice to see that style of signage again.
    Does anyone know if the new The Circle Sessions release is on CD like the first one was?

  • JCSkipr79

    Check out what WDI did to the Starbucks at MKs MS and fear for the Market House people. Of course, WDI-Anaheim has more talent n class than OTown so I’m hoping it dosent end up that bad

    • DisWedWay

      Cant understand why the Market House Coffee and now Starbucks shop does not have at least one commercial floor standing or counter top Enterprise Coffee Mill, as you would have seen from after the Civil War around 1870 to the 1950’s. They have Walt’s favorite antique espresso machine over in the New Orleans restaurant, and the big coffee mills add such definition of the coffee making process.

  • TodAZ1

    Great update!

    Totally agree with you about Buena Vista store displays. But I do have to take issue with this one comment. “One display features a few vintage Mickey Mouse toys, ignoring the story of Buena Vista Street (hint: there probably shouldn’t by Mickey Mouse toys yet, since Walt and Mickey just hopped off the train).” Not altogether true. The Emporium in Disneyland used to be famous for their animated window displays, showcasing the latest animated feature from the Disney Studios. And, certainly, none of those were around at the turn of the century.

  • TodAZ1

    OH, and I love the new Disneyland Hotel sign too! 🙂

  • DisWedWay

    I’m really happy to see the crowd of Swing Dancers return to Mainstreet’s newest rethemed Royal Swing BBB Club. New Orleans Square has it’s Royal Street with Club 33, and Mainstreet now has it’s Royal Swing Club. I’m sure Walt is happy about it.

    • DisWedWay

      Will the Royal Bachelors play here sometimes?

  • WorldFair

    Someone should go over to Stage 17 and tell Stitch that he’s needed over at the Fantasyland Theater.

  • sean317

    My “prediction” for what will happen at Disneyland / Disney California Adventure for rehab (in the coming few years):

    Disneyland:
    1) Close down Toontown. Open new area based on the new Oz movie that just came out (possibly using some of Frontierland).
    2) A new ride in the Innoventions building based on the Iron Man movie (since they just had an exhibit there.. just a thought).
    3) I also think Captain EO is going away. Hopefully to be replaced with a new Star Wars based attraction (this is just a “wish” on my part, but I do not think Tomorrowland will be re-named “Star Wars Land”, like so many think).
    4) A possible revamped Fantasyland (since I hear Alice In Wonderland was suppose to be at least closed by now for refurbishment) & just in time for the anniversary special.

    DCA:
    1) Close down the Muppets 3D & replace with Monsters Inc. 3D.
    2) Close down that entire area where the existing Monsters Inc. ride is at. Open area new area called Monsters University with a new e-ticket ride (possibly the new flying door ride everyone is talking about).
    3) Possibly replacing Roger Rabbit near Bugs Land or Hollywood Land (I think it would fit nicely there).

    That’s all I got for now. Any thoughts?

  • SpectroMan

    The new Hotel sign is great, but it does look cheaply made compared to it’s predecessor. Oh well. Now, all we need is some orangey-red neon atop at least one of the towers again – though I know that’s never going to happen.

    While I agree 100% that touching the Buena Vista St. shopfronts was entirely unnecessary and a HUGE waste of money, I don’t think it’s entirely “misguided” as the author repeats often. I think there’s a genuine strategy at play to increase sales (hate to tell them, but DCA 1.0’s entrance never had strong retail sales either; that’s better left for Main St) by placing more actual items that can be bought in the front windows as opposed to just nice retro props.
    The placement of the baseball collection farther back in the store tells me that they’re trying to honor WDI’s original vision, but once the customer is in the door it doesn’t matter what’s displayed up high, so it would then be okay to show non-sellable merchandise; just not in the front windows.

    At least that’s my theory.

  • Park Hopper

    I rode Splash Mountain on Saturday and was dismayed to see no fewer than 4 figures broken on the showboat finale. They were just frozen in place. I haven’t seen anything this bad since the Pressler/Harris era. Used to be show this bad would have shut down the attraction, until it could be fixed.

    I also rode the Matterhorn and almost laughed when I saw that one of the yetis on the right track was broken. I wonder if broken yetis are Michael Colglazer’s trade mark.

    If they’re skimping on AA figure maintenance, makes me wonder what else they’re skimping on. Last time show quality got this bad, it wasn’t long before people started dying from poor maintenance on the ride systems. Let’s hope they get their act together before that happens.

  • mickeyandme67

    You really do a crazy-good job at this.

  • Tiny Mermaid

    Haven’t researched this, but I wonder if there were disappointed guests who’d asked to buy the vintage-looking items originally featured in the BVS shop windows. Perhaps replacing the cool, not-for-sale stuff (vintage books) with cheaper-looking merchandise (t-shirts) was a quick-fix way to stem guest disappointment and save cast members the hassle of having to explain that the items were props and not a sample of what’s for sale.

    Of course, a much more satisfying solution (to those of us bummed out by the current windows) would have been for the park to actually offer the better-looking merch instead of hiding it in plain sight above people’s heads inside the stores.

  • almandot

    When will they be installing safety rails for the Matterhorn climbers?

  • Swellpixiegirl

    I’m wondering if perhaps the custom props that were in the windows were moved to save them from damage from sunlight?

  • Rongo

    I hope I’m not standing next to one of those high shelves piled with neatly stacked stuff when the next earthquake hits.