Summer continues at Disneyland with changes around the parks, including progress at the Big Thunder Mountain Railroad and Market House projects. On Main Street, Disneyland has introduced a new art collectible program and over on Buena Vista Street, new merchandise has hit the shelves while new thematic enhancements are added at the Carthay Circle Restaurant. Meanwhile, Disneyland celebrated Christmas in July as part of the ongoing Limited Time Magic promotion with a selection of desserts and pastries but not much else.

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!

Summer crowds continue to hit the parks. A look at wait times Saturday afternoon.

Ink & Paint

In Town Square, the Disneyana shop is now home to the Disneyland Ink and Paint Department.

The new hand-painted cel art program is an import from Walt Disney World and employs the team of artists from Disneyland’s now-defunct artisan watch program.

This piece based on the Disneyland Railroad is available now from $125 to $230.

Refurbishment Round-Up

On Main Street, the construction walls at the Market House have shrunk a bit since we last saw them.

Looks like a new door may have been added here to help with crowd flow at what will likely be a very popular spot when it reopens as Disneyland’s new Starbucks location.

Nothing to see at the old Disneyana facade, except a missing awning.

Over in Frontierland, the Big Thunder Mountain Railroad refurbishment continues. The project expanded last week to include the repaving of Big Thunder Trail, which was closed throughout the week.

Looking to get through to Big Thunder Ranch? You’ll have to go through Fantasyland.

Big Thunder Trail is being repaved, hopefully the unthemed slurry in this area will finally be replaced with themed pavement that matches the rest of Frontierland.

I take a trip on the Mark Twain Riverboat every week to get photos of the Big Thunder Mountain progress and I can’t recommend the Rivers of America more for any park guests that is looking for a great, classic Disneyland experience.

Unfortunately, despite the overall Rivers of America experience being really enjoyable, some of the river show scenes could use some work. Some of the river animal figures could use a cleaning:

The bald eagle vignette is perhaps the scene that needs the most help.

The wing feathers are looking pretty rough

And this Osprey’s nest could get fixed up. The blue wire frame for the nest is showing through.

On Tom Sawyer Island, Tom and Huck’s Treehouse is still closed after being closed due to Cal/OSHA fall-safety concerns.

On the Island, ropes and temporary barriers block guest trails and stairs up to the treehouse.

Despite the closure of the Treehouse, Tom Sawyer Island is still a fun escape from crowds on the Rivers of America.

That’s not to say, however, that the Dead Man’s Grotto cave on the island could use some TLC. The animatronic pirate prisoner, in particular, could use some refreshing. He was once one of the park’s more compelling special effects, but aging projection effects have made this pirate come off as second-rate rather than Disney quality.

Limited Time Magic

[center]Christmas in July
at Disneyland Resort
July 22-28, 2013
Last week’s Christmas in July offering consisted of an ice cream sundae at the Gibson Girl Ice Cream Parlor and a few other sweet treats at Disneyland’s Candy Palace and Jolly Holiday Bakery. The limited time offerings were barely promoted inside the park, with no signage advertising the sundae at the Gibson Girl and just Christmas-themed confections in the display case at the Candy Palace. Only at the Jolly Holiday Bakery was there any special signage mentioning “Limited Time Magic” or “Christmas in July.” Overall, the offerings last week seemed on-par with much of the rest of the Limited Time Magic promotion: half-baked and underwhelming.

Waffle cones with red and green holiday sprinkles… with no explanation.

The only sign mentioning anything about Christmas in July

[center]The Monstrous Eye-Scream Sundae Returns
at Disneyland Resort
July 29-August 4, 2013
For this week’s Limited Time Magic, Disneyland is once again putting the spotlight on its Monstrous Summer Eye-Scream Sundae. The Limited Time Magic site will lead you to believe the sundae went away and it’s returning for this week only, but it never actually went away. The sundae has been available at Gibson Girl Ice Cream Parlor and Clarabelle’s Hand-Scooped Ice Cream since the Monstrous Summer All-Nighter at the end of May. Limited Time Magic? Not quite, but it does look like Disney is increasingly running out of ideas for this promotion.

Prepare yourself for the return of a monster-sized pleasure! Courtesy of a little Limited Time Magic, you can enjoy the reappearance of the Monstrous Eye-Scream Sundae at Disneyland Park. Stop by Gibson Girl Ice Cream and Clarabelle’s Ice Cream to discover this chilling treat, which comes complete with 2 scoops of mint chip ice cream, hot fudge, whipped cream, cookie horns, a chocolate eye and sprinkles, all inside a crunchy waffle cone. Don’t miss your opportunity to scare up some summer fun‚Äîdig into this delightful dessert before the offer melts away!

[center]Cars Screening, plus Planes Preview
A Limited Time Annual Passholder Magic Event
at Disney California Adventure Park
July 22 & 23, 2013
Annual Passholders can attend a special screening of “Cars” with a preview of Disney’s upcoming animated movie “Planes.”

    Cars Screening with preview of Planes

    Passholders can enjoy a short preview of the upcoming movie Disney’s Planes before it opens in 3D on August 9, 2013 and enjoy a full screening of the original Disney-Pixar film Cars during this Limited Time Annual Passholder Magic event.

    Dates and Times
    Wednesday, July 31, 2013 at 5:00 and 8:00 PM

    Film Screening Location
    Main Street Opera House in Disneyland Park

    Event Registration and Wristband Distribution

      • Registration and wristband distribution for the event will begin at 12:00 PM on the day of event at the Main Street, U.S.A. Opera House (home to Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln) in Disneyland Park.
      • 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 Main Street, U.S.A. Opera House 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.
      • For assistance, please call the Annual Passport Member Services team at (714) 781-PASS (7277).

      More information

Welcome to California Adventure

In California Adventure, summer continues with the park maintaining big crowds thanks to the new Cars Land, Buena Vista Street and Paradise Pier additions.

A look at wait times Saturday afternoon

The Carthay Circle Restaurant’s new terrace awnings have received some new wrought-iron details so they better match the rest of the building.

The awnings were added earlier this summer so guests could use the dining terrace without eating in discomfort due to the harsh summer sun.

New details like this have been added so the awnings blend in better with the rest of the building. It’s a nice touch.

Supports with new themed wrought-iron additions

Compare the new awnings with the railings and awnings over the faux balconies.

Winter Color

Last week Disney officially announced the long-rumored holiday-themed version of World of Color. The all-new version of the show — “World of Color: Winter Dreams” — will debut this holiday season. Despite the busy concept art below, hopefully this show will be a nice new addition to California Adventure’s growing line-up of quality holiday-themed offerings.

The new show will replace the regular World of Color show during the holiday season and will prominently feature Olaf and other characters from Disney’s upcoming animated feature “Frozen.”

Below, Disney Imagineer Steve Davison announces the new “Winter Dreams” show.

This and That

Back on Buena Vista Street, a ton of new merchandise for Disney’s upcoming “Planes” animated film has moved in at Big Top Toys.

There’s also a fun new Buena Vista Street hat available across the street from Big Top Toys at Julius Katz and Sons.

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
July 29 – August 4, 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]Mad Tea Party:[/B] Closed starting August 19 for refurbishment.
  • [B]Haunted Mansion:[/B] Closed August 26 for Haunted Mansion Holiday installation. Opens by September 13.
  • [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 29 – August 4, 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.
  • The United Spirit Association High School and College groups are meeting all week in Anaheim, but we predict that the parks will only be affected lightly, in the evenings.
  • The reimagining of California Adventure has significantly lessened the impact of crowd spikes between the parks, keeping the crowds spread out.

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]
  • Disney to release a limited edition Haunted Mansion shirt online for one week only starting August 8.
  • AT&T has become the official wireless provider of Disney’s domestic theme parks, will install new infrastructure for better theme park reception
  • Strollers can be a target for theft at Disneyland, reports the OC Register
  • The California appeals court has sided with Disney, deeming Segways “too unstable” for theme park guest use.
  • Disney has announced its new military discounts, including a $129 three-day Parkhopper deal.
  • Disney has launched a new online racing game, compatible with smartphones, based on Disney California Adventure’s new Cars Land area.
  • Our friends at Dland Live have started a crowdsourced list of D23 Expo meet-ups with Disney podcasts, bloggers and fan communities.
  • The D23 Expo’s Parks and Resorts Pavilion will offer sneak peeks at upcoming Disney theme park projects including MyMagic+, Disney Springs at Walt Disney World, playtests, meet-and-greets and more.
OK! That’s all for this week’s Dateline Disneyland. Thanks for reading! Be sure to 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]

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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.
  • BC_DisneyGeek

    Limited Time Magic is turning out to be one of the weakest promotions ever.

    Christmas in July could have been a great promotion. Imagine a summer visitor, who won’t be back at Christmas, getting to see the holiday fireworks and snowfall. That might be well received. Red and green sprinkles and some leftover merchandise? Not so much.

    • MrsMonroe

      Yes i agree 🙂

  • Mousecat

    So has Dusty Sage began collecting Dusty the Plane merchandise?

    • LOL. You know me so well. 😉

      But what I want to know is . . . has Dusty the plane started collecting Dusty Sage merchandise?

  • eicarr

    Although not excited about the “planes” toy infomercial, it’s charictors could really add life to and improve condor flats.

    To me, the parks are looking great! Main Street this past decade just seems like a money pit of unnoticed bypassed updates though. Money better spent elsewhere(ie Rivers of America) While Starbucks will justify construction, saving Disneyana will not solve the low crowd issues at the bank.

    Happy with everything I see in this great update though

  • Marko50

    Regarding the AP Ltd Time Magic, the subheader in this article not been changed from last week’s offering (Muppets Christmas Carol) though the info underneath it is correct.

    And the strawberry shortcake Mickey Demitasse Dessert was also available at Carnation complete with signage, though I’m not sure the sign mentioned Christmas in July.

  • bayouguy

    The Dateline Disneyland is always a highlight for the week. And great job for fast becoming the de facto Disneyland maintanence project management team. Seems like someone at Anaheim is snoozing at his/her desk.

  • JiminyCricketFan

    What is the purpose of this pathetic “limited time magic” campaign? It certainly cannot be driving attendance. Who would plan an expensive trip to Disneyland to get a red and green cookie? I nominated “limited time magic” as the worst promotion Disney has even done.

    • Big D

      Sorry. Blue Raspberry Churros for Light Magic (supposedly they look sparkly just like the parade!) has that crown, and I’m pretty sure nothing will ever top it.

  • garyman

    Good Update as always. Won’t be there again until October

  • KENfromOC

    Love the new hand-painted cel art program. I still have the cel I got at the Studios in WDW from years ago. I think I paid about $75 for it, so these prices are not unreasonable.
    As the the Christmas in July – yes lame, but I wonder if the real purpose is test-marketing new treats for the holidays – maybe?

  • Eric Davis

    Yeah not too sure about Planes for Adults… but I am sure it will be a hit with Kids. But I think that Limited Time Magic has just not been able to endure. If maybe they had been monthly or 3 monthly long major activities.

    Like bringing back a long lost parade. Having the parks flooded with characters etc.

    • Disneyland started off with a bang with the return of the Golden Horseshoe Review and Tiana’s Mardi Gras Bash. I also enjoyed the Greek Small World festival. That was promising. I’d like to see more stuff like that.

      • Jayce

        The Golden Horseshoe Review was awesome. The limited time magic events started off a bit promising but boy they sure are falling flat lately.

      • jcruise86

        I wanted a film fest of three or four restored, classic 360 Circlevision films.

      • jcruise86

        P.S. We also LOVED the Golden Horseshoe show in 2013.

        Caption for the photo of the 2 BV St. police officers: “Why you’re the best looking person I’ve seen here all week!”

      • CCS

        We thoroughly enjoyed the return of the Revue back in February. Now….. if we can just get Billy Hill & the Hillbillies back into that venue…….

  • Orlando71

    I wish they would bring world of color to Hollywood Studios

  • Wendygirl

    I went last Monday dressed in my Disney Christmas t-shirt – probably the only guest in both Parks who knew what was going on and that includes CM’s. I was the one explaining Christmas in July to them. I did see the Passholder presentation of Muppet Christmas Carol which was nice, got some Peppermint Ice Cream and also an Ice Peppermint Mocha with a Mickey head sugar cookie. I agree that they could have done so much more to make Christmas in July better! Now this week – an ice cream sundae, seriously? They did start out well and have had some good things but maybe it’s the middle of Summer doldrums or maybe they don’t think they need to do anything “big” in order to get people into the Parks during their busy season anyway. I hope things pick up for Limited Time Magic or it certainly will not go out with a bang.

  • TweedlDum9

    Hmmm, Winter Dreams! What a perfect fit with The Snow Q… er, Frozen.
    Is the Toy Story “Nutcracker” a short coming out separately, or something original for this holiday show?

  • victoriaskitten

    Talk about blind. Over the years I have been on Rivers of America and have NEVER seen the bald eagle. I will have to put that on my list of must finds in September. Shameful!

  • victoriaskitten

    By the way, I look forward to these MiceChat News Updates every week. They make me feel connected from so far away and keep the fire burning in me. I can’t thank everyone enough.

  • martinjbell1986

    Very excited for the World Of Color Christmas show! Better come early and grab a railing or your gonna get stuck behind a parent that puts their kid on their shoulders for the entire show.

  • Marko50

    From the above article:

    Cars Screening, plus Planes Preview
    A Limited Time Annual Passholder Magic Event
    at —–> Disney California Adventure Park 22 & 23 <—– , 2013

    Well, I tried. Otherwise, great column!

  • knechts

    We were in the park all last week and were sad to see so many of the animatronic characters not working at the end of Splash (riverboat scene.) What gives?

    • jcruise86

      See Norm’s update last update.

      Thank you for pointing it out as others have in recent weeks.

      We were there yesterday for the last trip with our APs. We didn’t go on Splash, and I didn’t notice anything our of order in either park, or if I did, I didn’t save it to my long-term memory.

      Good deal by 2013 Disneyland standards:
      We’ll attend a Halloween party for $51 per ticket purchased with our AP discount, parking included. Any chance Big Thunder will open in the next 8 weeks?

  • Zorro825

    Great update as always. That first “Winter Dreams” picture looks like someone went crazy with photoshop. Yikes! Hope the show itself is good!

  • Mouse Wizard

    Last Tuesday they did a screening for Annual Passholders of “A Muppets Christmas Carol”. I’d post a picture but I’m not sure how.

  • ssaamm

    Why is there 2 Officer Calvin Blues out? There would never be 2 Mickeys out on the same place at once.

  • Jeff Heimbuch

    I ate at Carnation Cafe on Saturday, and all of my friends questioned the Santa hat mug, until we realized Christmas in July must be the Limited Time Magic for the week.

    I agree with a previous commenter, their offerings are getting pretty bad and repetitive as time wears on. Hopefully they will have some more “bang” to upcoming ones

  • onelittlespark

    as i always say about these “holiday” offerings, what holidays are being presented? granted, Christmas is far and away the biggest winter holiday in the USA, but, if it truly is a holiday event, why is there very little regarding Hanukkah and basically nothing for Kwanza? a few years ago, i did see a Kwanza pin, and there are a few Hanukkah things out there– but, basically, you have to look for them. At least they have a menorah on main street. I am excited to see a new World of Color, but, i am guessing it will be a one-and-done situation.

  • 4Apples4Disney

    Great update as usual. A great part of the week to look forward to after work!

  • sixalex

    Officer Blue Deux? What the hey? Or is this one of Phiphi’s double exposure’s? At least Molly will be happy.