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!

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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.