The curse of the idol Mara was transformed with new magic at Disneyland‘s Indiana Jones Adventure ride last week. The ride’s enhancements brought new state-of-the-art projection technology along with a controversial new voice for the double-dealing deity to the popular thrill ride. Not far from the Temple of the Forbidden Eye, Frontierland‘s Big Thunder Mountain Railroad continues its major refurbishment project with new delays rumored to have set back the ride’s reopening an extra four months. Elsewhere in the Resort, construction continued on the new Starbucks Coffee location on Main Street, U.S.A. as Disney announced two new locations for Downtown Disney.

Dateline Disneyland ran on Tuesday last week, so we could bring you the best coverage of the 2013 D23 Expo. If you missed last week’s re-cap of The Ultimate Disney Fan Event, be sure to check it out today! Click here!

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!

Disneyland’s busy summer season is quickly coming to an end as we approach the traditional end of the season on Labor Day. The Labor Day holiday might still be two weeks out but Disneyland has begun to slowly reduce operating hours and new refurbishments are quietly starting to spring up as summer vacation ends and kids head back to school.

In Town Square, Halloween has begun to move in at the Disney Showcase shop. Showcase is one of several shops aroudn the Resort (including The Emporium, Julius Katz and Sons and World of Disney) where Halloween merchandise and decorations has already hit the shelves.

So far, there aren’t really any new offerings this year as far as Halloween merchandise goes.

Below, enjoy a trip down Main Street, U.S.A. aboard the Omnibus from Friday afternoon.

A look at wait times Friday afternoon

Refurbishment Round-Up

On Main Street, construction continues inside the Market House as Disney works toward getting the new Starbucks location open by its scheduled September opening.

Peeking inside, it looks like there’s still quite a ways to go before the new coffee shop will be ready for guests.

I could be wrong, but it looks like the old Swift Birthday Cake Room (which had been used as gallery space for Disneyana) is now gone. This isn’t a loss that will affect any guests, but it is a loss for early park history fans.

At Sleeping Beauty Castle, tarps have gone up along portions of the Fantasyland roofline. Looks like it could either be regular refurbishment work or in relation to the recent Cal/OSHA fall safety requirement changes that we’ve seen elsewhere around the park.

Over in the new Fantasy Faire, the hillside behind the queue for the Royal Hall has received some new black fall safety railings. They aren’t the nicest looking things, but I guess extra railings like this are the new normal around the parks.

Over in Frontierland, the Big Thunder Mountain Railroad refurbishment continues and has reportedly hit delays that have forced Disney to push back its opening from this October to February 2014. Hopefully such a lengthy delay won’t be the reality, but it currently looks like it certainly could be the reality.

Most of the scaffolding has come down from the rock work and queue structure.

Meanwhile, Big Thunder Trail was still closed Friday but it does look like the repaving project is just about finished. From what can be seen from the upper deck of the Mark Twain Riverboat, the new themed pavement looks great.

Projections of the Forbidden Eye

The big news last week was, of course, the debut of new special effects at Indiana Jones Adventure. The new special effects in the ride’s “Hall of Promise” scene were announced on the Disney Parks Blog after MiceChat’s In The Parks blog broke news about the new additions in their August 9 edition.

The new effects affect the “Hall of Promise” scene and bring new projections as well as a new voice to the idol Mara. The projections are a nice new addition that comes in three flavors, based on which of the three “rooms” you enter ‚Äî Chamber Earthy Riches, Observatory of the Future or Fountain of Eternal Youth. The new voice, however, has certainly not gone unnoticed by fans. I will say that while the voice is not good, a lot of the more subtle treatment gets lost in online videos and it does sound a little better in person. Still, I’d agree with the general consensus that the original voice was far superior.

Below, video of the new scene from us and MiceChat’s In The Parks blog:

To Infinity… and Innoventions

Over in Tomorrowland, the Xbox Kinect free play area in Innoventions (futuristic, right?) has been completely converted into a Disney Infinity zone, allowing guests to give the new game a test run.

Will you be playing Disney Infinity?

Limited Time Magic

[center]Reunite with Long Lost Friends Week
at Disneyland Park
August 19 – 25, 2013
Disney is bringing back Long Lost Friends Week for Limited Time Magic. Based on the votes Disney got from fans on the Disney Parks Blog, some of the characters that will be appearing are: Hercules and Megara (“Hercules”), Merlin (“The Sword in the Stone”) and Tarzan, Jane and Terk (“Tarzan”).

[center]Long Lost Friends Return – Annual Passholder Character Greetings
A Limited Time Annual Passholder Magic Event
at Disneyland Park
August 19 – 25, 2013
Passholders can get early access to Long Lost Friends character meet-and-greets during this week’s return of Long Lost Friends Week.

    Annual Passholder Character Greetings

    Get reacquainted with some long lost friends as rarely seen Disney Characters visit Disneyland Park. Annual Passholders can enjoy special Character Greetings—30 minutes before regular park Guests are admitted to the Character Greeting area in Big Thunder Ranch Jamboree—thanks to this Limited Time Annual Passholder Magic opportunity.

    Dates & Times
    August 19 – 25, 2013
    10:30 – 11:00 a.m.

    Please note that Annual Passholders may be admitted to the Character Greeting area at Big Thunder Ranch Jamboree at 10:30 a.m. — 30 minutes prior to regular Guest admittance, which is at 11:00 a.m.

    Big Thunder Ranch Jamboree in Frontierland at Disneyland

    Event Details

      • All participating Guests (ages 3 and older) must be valid Annual Passholders on the day of event participation. Children under 3 years of age are permitted to attend the event as long as space is available.
      • All participating Annual Passholders must present their active Annual Passport to the event Cast Member at Big Thunder Ranch Jamboree in Frontierland at Disneyland Park. Photo ID may be required.
      • The event is scheduled to begin at 10:30 a.m. and lasts for 30 minutes each day.
      • Space is limited. Admission to the area will be granted subject to capacity, scheduled park events and other restrictions.
      • Participation does not include early Disneyland Park entry or parking.
      • More information

Welcome to California Adventure

Meanwhile, there isn’t much news to report at Disney California Adventure…

A look at wait times Friday afternoon

Over at the edge of Condor Flats, the billboard for Grizzly Peak is now (unfortunately) promoting Disney’s Planes movie

Somehow the airplane has avoided getting cartoon eyes added to it.

Coffee and Cartoons

Last week, Disney announced that Downtown Disney will be getting two new Starbucks locations this winter. The main location will be a full coffee shop, which will go in where the recently-closed BLINK by Wet Seal store was.

The new Starbucks location will be in a prime location for guests staying at Disneyland’s hotels as well as guests arriving to the resort via Mickey and Friends tram.

Over the weekend, the Phineas and Ferb Waffle-inator made a post-D23 Expo appearance in the Downtown Disney taxi zone.

This and That

Back in Disneyland, the Disneyana shop is now selling the new theme park signs Disney recently promoted on the Disney Parks Blog.

The signs cost a pricey $150, unfortunately they aren’t really deserving of the high cost due to low print quality.

Up close, you can see the grainy, pixelated nature of the print.

It’s too bad these signs aren’t high quality as this sort of merchandise offering has a lot of potential.

If you do want to spend money on a good Disneyland collectible, the great tiki mugs and figurines from Kevin Kidney and Jody Daily are all back in stock.

And there’s also a new Jose tiki bird figure available (not by Kevin and Jody).

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
August 5 – 11, 2013
[B]Disneyland Park[/B] [B]California Adventure[/B]
8am – 11pm
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 August 19-22 for refurbishment.
  • [B]Matterhorn Bobsleds:[/B] Closed August 19-22 and September 3-5 for refurbishment.
  • [B]Haunted Mansion:[/B] Closed August 26-September 12 for Haunted Mansion Holiday installation.
  • [B]Big Thunder Ranch:[/B] Closed September 3-12 for Halloween overlay installation.
  • [B]Pirate’s Lair on Tom Sawyer Island:[/B] Closed September 3-4.
  • [B]Mickey’s House:[/B] Closed September 3-26 for refurbishment.
  • [B]King Arthur Carrousel:[/B] Closed September 3 – October 10 for refurbishment.
  • [B]Mark Twain Riverboat:[/B] Closed for one day, September 9.
  • [B]Space Mountain:[/B] Closed September 9-12 for Ghost Galaxy overlay installation.
  • [B]Sailing Ship Columbia:[/B] Closed September 17-19 for refurbishment.
  • [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]Muppet*Vision 3D:[/b] Closed September 9-12.
  • [b]Toy Story Midway Mania!:[/b] Closed September 16-19 for refurbishment.
[b][center]Downtown Disney and Disneyland Resort Hotels[/center][/b]
  • Starbucks Coffee: New Starbucks store under construction in former BLINK by Wet Seal location. Opens this winter.
A weekly look at projected crowd levels at the Disneyland Resort.[/center]

August 19 – 25, 2013


About This Week’s Estimates
Our Addictometer™ crowd estimates are designed to give you an idea of how busy the resort feels. These estimates are an average for the day ‚Äî levels will fluctuate from open to close. This is the beginning of the shortened Fall off-season, before Halloween Time starts on September 13.

  • School is back in session.
  • Weekday Passport blackouts have ended.
  • Hotel rooms are plentiful.
  • The Anaheim Home and Garden Show takes place Friday-Sunday but shouldn’t affect resort crowd levels noticeably.

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]
  • Variety is reporting that the upcoming documentary on Walt Disney Imagineering will have a 2016 release date, following the opening of Shanghai Disneyland.
OK – That wraps up this week’s edition of Dateline Disneyland. Thanks, as always, for reading. What do you think of the new projection effects and voice for Mara in Indiana Jones Adventure? Do you think Disneyland is getting too much Starbucks? Let us know in the comments below!

We’re only here because of generous readers like you. Do you enjoy reading Dateline Disneyland every week? Consider helping us out by donating so we can pay the bills and keep the weekly updates coming! You can donate with a click of a button via PayPal, click here!

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

Support Our Sponsors

[center]Follow 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.
  • Bongo

    Thanks for the update. I am going to spend my birthday over at the park this Saturday, so knowing what to expect to see is much appreciated.

    As a gift to myself I originally wanted to get some Disneyland Railroad tin plate signs, but the exhibit got shelved before I could get them. Luckily the Enchanted Tiki Room is one of my favorite attractions in the park, so I can gift myself that instead. At first it looked like I wanted to get the José figure you posted, but then I saw the price tag. It would be fine with me but the figure almost looks nothing like him. Are there any other bird merchandise available though? I absolutely love the birds of the tiki room and always try to jump on the opportunity of getting something related to the bird cast of the show.

  • lightofdarkness

    Looking over the refurb schedule, September 3, 4, and 9th seem to be awful days to be in the park: 7 closures with 3 major rides each day…

  • Badger

    Dateline Disneyland is one of the few things that makes Monday bearable! Thanks for the photos, videos and updates. As someone for whom a trip to Disneyland is a rare thing, I only get to experience the park regularly through DD and the trip reports posted to the forums, and the more photos and videos the better (even if there isn’t much news to report). Please post photos from each land of each park every week, even if nothing has changed.

  • jcruise86

    THANK YOU for the excellent update, Andy!

  • airick75

    Great update. I can’t stand the One Disney initiative Halloween stuff – most of it looks like the usual generic Disney items you can buy at Target. At leas there’s one Disneyland specific t-shirt.

    I mean no disrespect to anyone who works a dangerous job or to anyone who’s been injured or died in an accident on the job, but these railings seem to be getting ridiculous. If I have someone replace the roof on my house in California, do I need to first have railings installed along said roof? It seems proper precautions and common sense should protect everyone from the sort of accidents these changes are supposed going to prevent (that haven’t happened in over 58 years of operation).

    I am open to being wrong on this. I may be and there may be facts and circumstances I don’t understand and if so, I apologize and accept the need for these changes. But based on what I do know, it seems overbearing.

    • Amanda949

      I agree with you on the railings and Halloween merch.

    • StevenW

      You don’t have people constantly on your roof. The railings are designed to protect workers who are there EVERY SINGLE NIGHT there is a show. From the looks of it, they were supposed to retract after each show, but since there are there all the time, I would assume the constrant traffic makes that impossible.

      The obvious solution is themed railing or concealed railing (by bringing the roofline higher).

      • And yet, somehow, for the previous 58 years, folks were quite successful working in these conditions. While I’m all for safety, I somehow think this is overkill.

        Proper training and prudent safety measures should be sufficient. This seems more like idiot-proofing to me. Disneyland shouldn’t be hiring idiots and therefore shouldn’t need such drastic safety measures. 😉

        Just because you CAN add a railing to something doesn’t mean it really belongs there. Especially in a highly themed theatrical environment like Disneyland.

        Safety is job one. Every person should be well trained on how to do their job and what the potential safety issues are. And if Disney hires folks who are skilled and well trained, safety-wheels shouldn’t be necessary.

        I was supportive of these changes at first, but it’s really getting out of hand now.

      • JulieMouse

        Regulations are different in every state. You can ALWAYS figure out ways that would make it even less likely that anyone could get hurt (and it’s hard to argue against more safety). However, there is such a thing as reasonable standards. Considering the accident rates of places that have had less rigid rules and seeing what the actual safety records are and considering things like cost and aesthetics (as a secondary concern, after considering the history of accidents at differing levels of regulation), makes sense to me. I think they’ve gone just a bit overboard from what I know of the injury rates through the years.

      • StevenW

        You do know what is sufficient??? Just a safety harness. In lieu of a safety harness, they need the railings.

        It’s funny how you say they don’t need it for the only reason is aesthetic. This doesn’t make sense to me. Safety should always come before aesthetics. The railing belongs there for the reason that Disneyland puts on the show. If you dislike it, ask Disney to not put on the show or maintain their park infrastructure (Space Mountain accident).

        Disney needs to better train their workers AND that of the numerous contractors that they hire, BUT this doesn’t eliminate permanent safety measures as well as finally puting in decorative or concealed railings.

        Why not try not looking up? Especially of fireworks and such.

      • danielz6

        Adding railings or barriers to what is supposed to be open sight lines destroys the illusion and forced perspective that the park is designed with and delusion on . That illusion makes buildings look bigger then they really are and the park more open then it really is. For someone who’s visited Disneyland fo thirty years now, the railings are a blatant distraction on an otherwise immaculately themed park. OSHA can go to hell imo.

      • danielz6

        *depends on

  • Baloo

    I have not seen the disneyland park signs myself but the pixelization does not necessaryly mean its of low quality. If those signs are being screen printed on certain substrates many printers use a low screen ruling. This is done because of the method of printing and substrate that it is being printed on. I higher screen ruling makes for a finer piece but depending on the substrate and printing method the final piece could end up looking worse.

    Most printers and artist will go with the low screen ruling if the piece is meant to be hung and seen from a distance. If that is the case the human eye will adjust and not see the pixels.

    as an example newspapers use very low screen ruling because of the uncoated paper and poor ink quality.

    I will have to check them out next time I’m at the park and see why they made the decision to go that route on a collectable. Seems like an odd choice for a piece that costs that much

    • They look cheap. I was excited to visit the Disney Gallery yesterday and check out the new signs. However, they look almost like someone pasted the sunday comics onto plywood. Disappointing. However, the sign on corrugated steel looks good. It’s just the ones on press-board that look tacky.

      • SpectroMan

        Yeah, I’ve only seen Aloha Isle and it looked quite nice. The others are on cardboard? That’s a shame.

  • Sparky

    I had the chance to experience the new Indy effects over the weekend, waiting a mere 5 minutes in the queue Saturday evening rather than the lengthy line for the “AP opportunity”. It looks and sounds better in person, so shouldn’t be judged solely on the online videos. I’m undecided on the new voice. It’s great to see Indy get some enhancements.

    There actually is a new Halloween/Haunted Mansion item, which was shown to me by a friend over the weekend. It is a set of Haunted Mansion Bust ornaments. He said they had been selling out, so park visitors may not see them when they visit and will probably have to keep checking. I know one item that I wanted last year sold out early on. Thankfully, it looks like they have it again this year. The ornament set is also available on Disney Store online.

  • Amanda949

    I knew they would knock out the Birthday Cake Room but I was really, really hoping they wouldn’t. Knowing now that it’s gone breaks my heart. I loved that room. My family and I spent many happy moments in there enjoying the art and the quiet. My son won’t even remember it existed and that just sucks. I’m all for change throughout the park but the beauty of Disneyland lies in the details, even the smallest details. When you start plastering over them it starts to take from the dream that Disneyland is. I wish they could find a nice balance between upgrades and preservation.

  • StevenW

    I would agree that you should not purchase any items that look cheap, but I wonder what justifies $150 at high quality. Sometimes, it is best to buy a cheap quality print and just frame it. You can also rip out a page from a book and frame it. Perhaps, we should just keep our memories at Disneyland and stop buying such things that end up in a corner of the room or attic.

    • Gwendolyn Dreyer

      I have a couple of framed Disneyland prints that I ADORE. They’re on my walls and give me great happiness whenever I look at them.

      These items are physical representations of our most cherished memories. To each their own!

  • JulieMouse

    Thanks for the update! As someone who doesn’t even drink coffee, I’m the least likely person to be excited about the coming Starbucks locations, especially Main Street USA…Seeing the Market House gutted actually hurts a little bit, but I will remain hopeful that they will try to retain some of it’s charm and charming traditions.

    I definitely liked the new Mara effects; the voice on one of them (riches?) was definitely different, but I’m not feeling negatively about it at all! Our group only waited about 10 minutes at the AP preview Saturday night, but we didn’t get in line until the first group was mostly through it. The next two waits were less than 5 minutes each, and we got really lucky, we rode three times and went through a different “door” each time!

    Innovations and Infinity…all I see is space that could be much better used. I know they won’t just bring back a great rotating show like America Sings (or the Carousel or Progress, which looks great on youtube), but I can dream. 🙂

  • davidrusk

    I’ve been buying the Halloween shirt for the last 7 years and this is the first time I’ve seen them repeat the previous year’s design. They only changed the year. Bummer.

  • Michael Greening

    Awesome update! Love the inclusion of video into it.

  • bearytrek

    If they have to use the new voice, they should at least have kept the James Earl Jones voice for the angry Mara, to show how displeased he is…

  • Captain Pitchfork

    We just rode Indy this weekend and noticed the changes. I also noticed that riding in the backseat was not nearly as “jerky” as it used to be. Seems as if they slowed the ride down to a comfortable speed and you can see a lot more of the attraction as you go through!

    On a not so good note: California Adventure really needs to work on food service. The Paradise Garden Grill ran out of steak before the first showing of WOC Saturday and the Turkey/Chimichunga carts around were severely under stocked. Had a real pain finding food I liked before the second WOC show.

    I liked the WOC upgrades and changes as I haven’t seen the show since last year.

    What gives with the animatronics and lighting in Splash Mountain? I can count on one hand the number of times I rode this with all the features actually working. Did they cut back on maintenance? Don’t get me wrong, I love the parks but I keep seeing problems pop up where there never used to be and I am curious what happened to the quality I am used to.

  • WRDup

    My friends and I stumbled upon the new indy effects last night. We were all quite surprised by the change and really enjoyed it. I didn’t think the new was all that bad and now I can;t even remember what the old voice sounded like. I give the additions two big thumbs up.

  • DisWedWay

    Still see the ugly gas station down lights over the Big Thunder entrance sign are still there. Hope the originals are rebuilt and replaced before it’s opening. They could use these over at Grizzly Rapids with the ones they already have there as its theme doesn’t go back as far as Big Thunder. Change isn’t always better.

  • lighttragic

    California Screamin and the cue is in awful shape the music barely works.

    • SpectroMan

      Barely? I didn’t hear it on ANY cars recently.

  • Tinkbelle

    I hate the changes to Indiana Jones. I really do.

  • The Lost Boy

    In this over regulated State, what happened over 58 years doesn’t matter. The Park had a major OSHA fall protection violation at Space Mountain. Fines and penalties for future violations are both cumulative and progressive. Aesthetics aren’t going to mean much if Disneyland can’t operate. OSHA’s hammer is the fact that they could investigate the whole Park with a fine tooth comb which would probably shut large portions of the Park down. The Park has at least one employment opportunity right now for a safety expert.

    Disneyland doesn’t have the luxury of second guessing OSHA. The Park has to operate in compliance with regulations, provide a good show in a safe working environment using cast members who to often than not don’t show much employer loyalty, AND still make enough money to keep the lights on and give investors like me a return. If Walt Disney knew then about the regulatory atmosphere in California today, Disneyland would have been built in Las Vegas.

    These days anyone hiring a roofer for work at home better use a licensed one who uses fall protection and has workers compensation insurance because homeowners are liable for the injuries of unlawful contractors’ employees.

    The wife and I enjoyed the improvements to Indiana Jones. We worked in three turns once before and twice during the Annual Pass event and managed to see all three options.

  • pineapplewhipaddict

    I am very upset about BTMRR. But they gotta do what they gotta do I guess.

    Still haven’t seen the new effects on Indy in-person, but yeah – I like everything but the voice. But I’ll still wait to fully pass judgement until I see it for myself.

    Disney Infinity is awesome and if you’re a Disney fan you’re crazy not to get the game.

  • poohmeg

    Loved the video from the Omnibus – so do all of the vehicles on Main Street run all day in Disneyland? At WDW they usually only run earlier in the morning, because it is too crowded later in the day. We love getting there first thing in the morning so we can ride them!

  • sixalex

    “The only constant is change.” ~ Heraclitus 5th Century BCE

    As an ex-construction worker who worked in a very safe environment and still suffered a nasty fall, I am all for the safety railings. History is not destiny and Disneyland’s admirable track record is no guarantee of future fortune.

    As a Disneyland fan, I am all for integrating the railings in the most subtle way possible. This takes thought, design and time. With OSHA involved, you do not have the luxury of time. Their responsibility is to enforce the letter of the law, not ensure a good show.

    Integration with sightlines and forced perspective mean an increased safety construction budget, which takes away from things like new t-shirt and merchandise designs. Also, this will affect ticket and AP prices. We get to pay for this, but then we are paying for ALL of it anyway, right?

    Please note: I am not saying I LIKE any of this. There is a perspective that we, as fans, sometimes do not consider. Our love for the parks can often overwhelms our logic.

    The out of town guests we bring to the parks likely will not even notice the safety railings. They are just not here enough. I venture to say that many, a majority perhaps, of the folks on MiceChat are AP’s at some level and “live” in the parks. We see these details and wince. Others are so happy to actually be at Disneyland they focus only on the magic. Sometimes I am jealous of them.

    As to Starbucks, I’m all for it to a degree. The same way I am all for Coca~Cola being in the park. The same way I wish I could get a Dole Whip on Paradise Pier. The same way that I am glad they have a quality beer available at DCA and not just some watery lite.

    Starbucks has its detractors, but I am not one of them. They offer a quality product for a specific price point, the same as Disney. I would much rather spend $3 plus on a Chai or Refresher in the afternoon than on a Coke. (Sorry Coca~Cola, we have had many good times together, but we must go our separate ways. I will always remember you with fondness.)

    I tasted the coffee at Market House. Once. I held on to the cup until it cooled. When it no longer warmed my hands on that cool night, I pitched it, still nearly full, into an appropriate container. Welcome Starbucks!

    The best news about Indiana Jones is that they calmed the ride down a bit. The aforementioned accident left me with a need to be cautious about roller coasters and such. The shrinking of the bobsleds on Matterhorn now keep my 6’5″ frame away as does the miniature cars of Space Mountain. Indy is one of the few “thrill” rides I can easily fit on and enjoy. The voice is new? I’m not sure I remember the old voice. I will be seeing the effects next week and, from the various videos online, likely will enjoy them even more in person.

    Sad about the delays on Big Thunder, but I fear they are shrinking the cars there as well. I may never again be a regular on that worthy ride if this is true.

    Thanks to the MiceChat staff and Andy for the weekly updates. I agree with the comments about the inclusion of the videos. Great stuff and, yes please, keep ’em comin’!

  • Larry Parker

    Am I the only one to notice the plain and modern display cases being installed in the Main Street Starbucks? Unless these are missing their facades, which they don’t appear to be, it looks like the Main Street Starbucks’ interior is going to a Main Street eyesore.(as was the the case in the Magic Kingdom at Disney World)How depressing..

  • mrsjack

    Thanks for the great photos and videos. It’s been a while since I’ve been able to get to Disneyland and I really appreciate being able to visit via these posts.

  • Kiba

    There’s almost a customer service tone to Mara’s new voice that threw me but the effects looked pretty cool…

    Almost picked up the Halloween shirt with the hitchhikers and hatbox but I really need it in extra small. Anyone know if it’s made in that size?

  • sixalex

    Update on Indy: Overall I was unimpressed. It is NOT noticeably smoother to this rider. The new effects are cool, but you whip through the room so fast that you hardly get a chance to see them. When I went on Tuesday the 27th there was a LOT of the interior effects that were either not working or malfunctioning. The lights that display the bugs on the wall were sporadic and the bugs did not move. The same was true in the tunnel with the rats. The tunnel with the darts was a strong breeze rather than puffs of air which was true of the bugs as well. The soundtrack dropped out and Indy’s voice didn’t consistently match.

    It has been a long time since I went on the ride and perhaps I am not remembering the attraction very well, but other riders were pretty critical of the state of affairs as we were leaving.

    Otherwise it was a beautiful hot day with light attendance. Big Thunder Mountain, Matterhorn, Haunted Mansion and Space Mountain were all closed (though I’m not certain if Space Mountain was closed all day) so Fantasyland was the place to be if you didn’t want to ride POTC, Winnie the Pooh or Splash Mountain.

    A LOT of guests grumbling about paying full price for a half open park.

    As an AP, I still had a lot of fun, but if this was my once a year trip or even once a decade, I would’ve been severely disappointed.