Disneyland celebrated its 58th anniversary last week with a small rededication ceremony in Town Square featuring Disney characters and daytime fireworks. The ceremony wasn’t a major celebration but fans still packed Town Square on Wednesday afternoon to celebrate the birthday of The Happiest Place on Earth. Meanwhile, the weekend brought big summer crowds along with some unseasonable rain showers on Saturday. Around the parks, new merchandise and some menu changes have gone into effect while the Big Thunder Mountain Railroad and Market House refurbishment projects continue.

Don’t miss your weekly Disneyland Resort crowd forecast — provided by our friends at MouseAddict — in the Weekly News and Information Roundup at the end of today’s update!

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

Welcome to Disneyland!

Saturday brought big crowds to Disneyland along with some unseasonable rain showers.

A look at wait times Saturday afternoon

Celebrating 58 Years

Disneyland celebrated its 58th anniversary on Wednesday afternoon with a special rededication ceremony in Town Square. The ceremony was hosted by the Mayor of Main Street, featured daytime pyrotechnics and included a “flash mob”-type portion with 58 Disney characters and park Cast Members.

Town Square was packed with countless fans for the occasion

The Mayor of Main Street said a few words to mark the occasion before inviting 58 characters and Cast Members out to join the crowd in listening to Walt Disney’s opening day speech.

Note the microphone on display where Walt Disney gave the original dedication back in 1955.

Following the replay of the opening day dedication speech, the Mayor of Main Street and Dapper Dans led the crowd in a sing-a-long of “Happy Birthday to You,” complete with daytime pyrotechnics.

Following the “Happy Birthday” singalong, the characters, Cast Members and audience began dancing to the tune of a somewhat grating and highly auto-tuned pop rendition of “A Dream is a Wish Your Heart Makes,” performing some choreography that a Cast Member had gone over with the crowd before the event started.

Daytime fireworks to mark the occasion.

Mayor of Main Street gettin’ down

All-in-all a simple ceremony to mark a non-major anniversary year. Unfortunately, this sort of small, flash mob-style anniversary ceremony is what we’ve been seeing for several years now, including on the 55th anniversary. Hopefully we’ll see Disneyland rise to the occasion and put together something truly special for the 60th anniversary in just a couple years.

Below, our friend Bryan at Dlandlive.com has video of the anniversary moment:

Refurbishment Round-Up

On Main Street, not much progress to be seen at the Market House as construction on the new Starbucks location continues…

In Frontierland, the Big Thunder Mountain Railroad refurbishment continues with scaffolding coming down along portions of the mountain after getting some new paint.

Rock work in the foreground has gotten some new paint and you can see some slight color differences compared to the mountain rock work in the background.

Around on the backside of the mountain…

…the goat is back in place, but isn’t quite ready for his close-up.

Limited Time Magic

[center]Christmas in July
at Disneyland Resort
July 22-28, 2013
For this week’s Limited Time Magic offering, Disney is pulling out all the stops by reminding guests that they have Christmas ornaments available year-round in theme park gift shops. They’re specifically highlighting the growing line of resin Mickey ear hat-style ornaments. Also featured this week are some special holiday-themed desserts and beverages in both parks, including a Peppermint Sundae at Gibson Girl Ice Cream or gingerbread cookies, cupcakes and iced peppermint mochas at Jolly Holiday Bakery and Cafe.

[center]Christmas in July – The Muppet Christmas Carol Screenings
A Limited Time Annual Passholder Magic Event
at Disney California Adventure Park
July 22 & 23, 2013
Annual Passholders are invited to celebrate “Christmas in July” with special screenings of “The Muppet Christmas Carol” at California Adventure’s Muppet*Vision Theatre. The free event will take place at 8 pm on Monday and Tuesday of this week.

Celebrate the festive holiday season during the summer at this special Annual Passholder screening of The Muppet Christmas Carol

    Christmas in July

    Dates and Times
    Monday, July 22 at 8:00 p.m.:
    Tuesday, July 23 at 8:00 p.m.:

    Film Screening Location
    Muppet*Vision 3D Theater in Disney California Adventure Park

    Event Registration and Wristband Distribution

      • Wristband distribution for the event will begin at 3:00 PM on the day of event at the Muppet*Vision 3D Theater.
      • This is an all-ages event. However, 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.
      • Registration must be completed in person at the Muppet*Vision 3D Theater 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.

      More information

Welcome to California Adventure

Afternoon rain didn’t do much to clear out crowds, but did encourage guests to pull on DisneyParks ponchos.

A look at Saturday afternoon wait times.

Radiator Springs Racers didn’t seem to be affected by the light rain on Saturday

The fountain at the Cozy Cone Motel is working once again after its recent refurbishment. The fountain had been dismantled and getting some work for several weeks, but still wasn’t properly operating recently after it had been put back together. It’s now once again running.

Menus and Merchandise

Over at Carthay Circle Restaurant, the display menu outside has been slightly changed, in an apparent effort to lure more guests into the restuarant which still struggles with filling tables.

The display just shows a menu “sampling” and doesn’t include prices anymore.

Also prominently featured is the added perk of getting reserved World of Color viewing if you do the restaurant’s prix fixe option.

Over at the Golden Vine Winery, the Sonoma Terrace recently reopened as a beer-and-wine outpost after being decommissioned as a food service location when Disney discontinued the World of Color picnic meal program.

The Sonoma Terrace is right off the main parade route but can be easy to miss, hidden behind trees.

The new menu back here is one for the beer and wine crowd, with a special emphasis on California craft beers.

The selection is pretty large. (Click for larger size)

Bavarian pretzels are available here along with a couple other accompaniments

The Sonoma Terrace is actually a nice, quiet place to beat the crowds – and if a good beer or a glass of wine are your thing, this is a great place to relax on a summer afternoon

Outside the parks, the White Water Snacks quick service dining location in the Grand Californian Hotel is featuring a few new menu additions.

Aside from being a bit greasy, the new carnitas burger is tasty, big and an overall good meal value at the Resort.

The pesto chicken and tuna sandwiches are cold options that you can grab-and-go from the cold case.

Back inside California Adventure, Cars Land continues to get new merchandise that’s often well-designed and unique to the land. Shame more of this type of merchandise can’t be seen over on Buena Vista Street.

One of the new “vintage” metal signs that the Disney Parks Blog posted about is available in the Radiator Springs Curios shop. The sign is rather big and sells for $150. Unfortunately, the graphic print on it look kind of pixelated and low-quality.

A nice selection of Cars Land keychains and magnets

A nice surprise: a small, but decent selection of Cars-free Route 66 books and souvenirs are available.

Back in Disneyland, the China Closet on Main Street has the full line of popular new Haunted Mansion merchandise in stock. It’s been difficult to find this new Haunted Mansion merchandise available since it was released in waves and many items quickly sold out and often took a while to get restocked.

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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
July 22 – 28, 2013
[B]Disneyland Park[/B] [B]California Adventure[/B]
8am – 12am
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]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 early 2014 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]
A weekly look at projected crowd levels at the Disneyland Resort.[/center]

July 22-28, 2013


About This Week’s Estimates
Our Addictometer™ crowd estimates are designed to give you an idea of how busy the resort feels – not just an attendance number. To create these predictions, we use historical data, crowd sourcing, and proprietary algorithms used in the Mouseaddict iOS app. Among the variables affecting crowd levels this week are:

  • Southern California and SoCal Select passports are blocked every day this week. Deluxe passports are blocked out this Saturday.
  • It’s summer break for area schools.
  • Disneyland Resort hotels are heavily booked Monday through Thursday, with the SIGGRAPH convention running through Thursday.
  • So far this month, 80% of available FastPasses have been distributed by noon.

Are you already a Mouseaddict? Be sure to submit your wait times to help us help you!

Download the free Mouseaddict app for iPhone and iPad for current crowd estimates, crowd maps, and wait times along with 60 categories of searchable resort information and your favorite MiceChat blogs.

[center]Headline Roundup
A quick look at noteworthy Disney theme park headlines from around the web.[/center]
OK! That’s all for this week’s Dateline Disneyland. Thanks for reading! Did you attend Disneyland’s 58th anniversary celebration on Wednesday? What did you think of the ceremony? 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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FTC-Mandated Disclosure: Promotional consideration for this edition of Dateline Disneyland was provided by the Howard Johnson Plaza Hotel & Water Playground.
  • tonyrr1

    Great update… LOVE the Haunted Mansion items (wish I lived closer). Hope they put more than 10 minutes of forethought into any commemorative events for the 60th. The flash mob concept seems to be a bit long in the tooth…

    (Yay me… first comment!!)

  • Prof. Emelius

    That sign on the Market House, stating that is is reopening in the fall, is worded very poorly. It looks like someone working in the sign department missed a few English classes in High School. I am very surprised. Disney’s sign department is normally meticulous when it comes to such things.

    • daveyjones

      really? there’s nothing grammatically wrong with it:

      Coming This Fall to the Market House
      Fancy Refreshments and Treats

      So Grab Your Practically Perfect
      Coffee and Treats
      at Jolly Holiday
      <—Bakery Cafe

      typographically, it's lovely and well themed to 'classic main street' graphics from walt's era (55–65). the only gripe i'd have is stylistic—the word 'treats' is repeated.

  • WheresMickey

    Nice article!

  • disneychrista

    About time that DCA have beer from Mendocino Brewing, they were the first brewpub in California, since Prohibition.

  • bayouguy

    Great update. Me and my family had a pleasant time at Disneyland on Saturday. The weather made the day. By evening, there was a nice chill in the air, almost felt like a nice late autumn evening.

  • SpinCycle85

    Enjoyed the article and I’m glad to see a crowd estimate feature again. 🙂

  • jcruise86

    Thanks for the update, Andy!

    We went yesterday and can report seeing Dusty and Norm in Critter Country! (Or whatever that land is called.) I wish they ran Disneyland.

    On a whole, the Disneyland Resort looked great! The Aladdin carpet above was thrilling when viewed from the lower balcony. Hope that’s safe!

    We liked RSR, Mater’s ride & Luigi’s Tires, and I learned that the front row of California Screamin’ is not only more scenic, but also much smoother than the back of the train, which is also smooth for a big coaster, btw. On Pirates I prefer to sit on the back row–the CM’s don’t seem to mind this request.

    In the part in DCA’s Animation building where you can sing and speak words that come out of the characters’ mouths, it’s also fun to put other words into their mouths than the suggested ones.

    At least four of the audio-animatronics at the top and center of Splash Mountain’s riverboat (in the Zip A Dee Doo Dah scene) have gone Yeti on us. When will they be fixed? At least the AAs at our local Chuck E. Cheese all work.

    And while I’m ranting, the Big Thunder BBQ was at its worst for us. The service was VERY slow (“May we please have some food?”–15-20 minutes after the waiter first came by. It’s not like they cook it for individual tables, except for the desserts.) I had to ask twice for one ice tea refill. ) And the chicken and ribs were both overcooked. The chicken was dry and hard on the outside, though there was some OK meat inside the larger pieces. Even the entertainers seemed listless, and it was in the 70s, so hot summer weather cannot be blamed. EVERY restaurant has off meals, so I hope this was just an exception, but we probably won’t be back there for a long time.

    One bread bowl line in DCA moved faster than the other three or four lines combined. The energetic, excellent, middle-aged woman who worked there should be cloned.

    Splash Mtn’s AAs and the BBQ were two flaws at a resort that was otherwise in outstanding shape. We had a GREAT day!

    Does the jumping fish across the path west of Big Thunder ever jump any more?

  • Big D

    Man the park always looks SO good right after it rains!

  • Meville

    X-mas in July? Really? As much as I like to see omre Muppets in the park, I feel like someone has run out of ideas.

    Also, there are many other Muppet offereings that could work just as well…

  • Wendygirl

    I love the idea of Christmas in July. I think it’s clever and glad they came up with it. I am going today wearing a Christmas shirt and hat to see my favorite Muppet movie. I’m also going to have a Peppermint Mocha or sundae and get a gingerbread man. Yes – I’m crazy 🙂

  • Tinkbelle

    That is the most crowded I’ve seen the park reported on a rainy day!

    I don’t think the Christmas in July offerings are that great. A mini Christmas parade, some Christmas music (maybe the Dapper Dans or Billy Hill and the HiIlbillies) and snow after the summer fireworks would have been awesome Christmas in July offerings.

    • Tinkbelle

      Few more thoughts:

      They could play the Christmas loop on Main St. and decorate just the lamp posts and have Mickey and Minnie out in their Christmas attire. All of those things would be easy and cheap ways to bring magic to Christmas in July.

      • Wendygirl

        After being there yesterday, I have to agree they could have plussed this up more. Music on Main St., main characters out in their Christmas outfits, that kind of thing. I’m sure a lot of their Christmas decorations and parade stuff is in storage so I can see them not doing that. Billies doing Christmas would have been nice but just wouldn’t fit with that stupid Woody thing they (management) are pushing this Summer. My other disappointment was only CM’s working a shop that was selling Christmas treats knew what I was talking about. The rest didn’t even know what the Limited Time thing was this week! But I did love Muppet Christmas Carol and my Iced Peppermint Mocha 🙂

  • martinjbell1986

    I agree, I think they’ve run out of ideas for Limited Time Magic. I’d rather them spend their budget on stay’s in the Dream Suite or free tours of Walt’s appartment than what they’ve had lately.

  • martinjbell1986

    Also if you’ve never been, the Carthay Circle Theater is a great place to eat and the atmosphere and decor is amazing. But if I’m going to spend that kind of money on dinner I think I’d still pick the Blue Bayou over it.

  • Gibson510

    Love love love the new beer offerings in CA Adventure! Cant wait to try them!

  • StrikeYerColors

    Hope this weather hold up longer; I am loving it!

  • 4Apples4Disney

    Great update, it’s always such a treat to come and read this column!

  • Larry Parker

    I snuck a peek inside the new Main Street Starbucks location. All I could see was the ceiling, which is totally stripped bare with exposed wires. So it looks like it has a ways to go yet. I’m worried the final product will lack the intimate character of Main Street, as happened in Disney World. Let’s keep our fingers crossed!

  • QPerth

    Thanks Andy for another wonderful update for a truly beautiful resort.

    I couldn’t get more than 15seconds into that video of awful song they played at the Birthday celebration, terrible mix of what should be a gorgeous song, and that grating yelling voice with ridiculous commands. No thanks.

    I think the Christmas in July Limited Time Magic was yet another cop-out in a badly thought out campaign. So many opportunities for wonderful character interactions. Christmas loops, snow on Main Street. And even the Disneyland Birthday celebration could have been much bigger for the LTMagic occasion. So many missed opportunities.

    Great to see the Crazy Cones fountain working again finally. I wonder what the issue was? Glad they could get it sorted in the end. And wow, some of that Cars merch is VERY well done! And the books are a beyond awesome touch! If I was there, I totally would have got one for my dad, he loves that kind of stuff! Well done Merch team with that stuff. Not so much with a lot of other areas, including Buena Vista Street.

    Looking forward to the next update, thanks again and have a great week! -Q.

    • Marko50

      Try the video again. That awful song is just the first part of it.

  • huskydawg

    The new burger at White Water Snacks has been there for almost a year now. I remember having one last August. When I went there earlier this month I noticed that the burger had been added to the permanent menu.

    I have to agree with the review. It is very greasy… but very tasty. The carnitas is very juicy and the guacamole gives it an extra kick of flavor.

    White Water Snacks is my favorite place to eat in the whole resort.

  • DobbysCloset

    The human loved the pix of souvenirs but neither of us were impressed by the menus except for the photo of the burger. Bring on the beef. Bring on the pork. Bring on the grease — ay, chihuahua!