This weekend’s Labor Day holiday weekend will bring Disneyland’s traditional summer season to an end. The theme parks have already begun transitioning into the short fall off-season while preparing for the the popular Halloween Time while will kick off in mid-September. Disney is taking the brief slow period to take care of some refurbishment projects around the park, continue on major projects at Big Thunder Mountain Railroad and at the new Main Street Starbucks location as well as play test a new interactive experience in Frontierland‘s Golden Horseshoe. Disney also brought out some rare, but popular, characters for meet-and-greets last week during the return of Limited Time Magic‘s “Long Lost Friends Week.”

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 enters its final week of the traditional summer season, which will be capped off with this weekend’s busy Labor Day holiday weekend.

A look at wait times Friday afternoon

Refurbishment Round-Up

On Main Street, work continues on Disneyland’s new Starbucks location in the newly-expanded Market House. Signage has gone up with painting apparently going up inside the new cafe.

The new “Starbucks” signage is up. The vertical signs blend in nicely, similar and even less intrusive than the signs at the Starbucks location in Disney California Adventure.

Last week Disney released a piece of concept art for the new Market House and updated a small display in Disney California Adventure’s Blue Sky Cellar with a few more small sneak peeks at the upcoming Starbucks location.

The space formerly occupied by the front room of the Disneyana art shop will become “The Book Rest” which will be a seating area for the Starbucks shop, themed as a quiet turn-of-the-century bookshop.

Signage for “The Book Rest” has also gone up

Repainting going on inside the building

At the end of Main Street, refurbishment work continues atop portions of the Sleeping Beauty Castle and has expanded along various Fantasyland rooftops.

In Frontierland, the Big Thunder Mountain Railroad refurbishment continues…

The attraction marquee is back in place

Big Thunder Trail’s refurbishment/repaving appears to be just about finished

Back in New Orleans Square, MiceChat recently reported on big changes coming to Disneyland’s private Club 33 later this year which are expected to bring some notable changes to the fan-favorite Court of Angels.

On Friday, Disney blogger Dave Koenig expanded more on the news, explaining how the main entrance for the radically re-worked Club 33 will be relocated to the Court of Angels. The relocating of the Club entrance could mean that the Court of Angels becomes off-limits to the public, functioning instead as the new lobby for Club 33.

While a majority of average Disneyland guests probably won’t notice if the Court of Angels is accessible or not, closing the courtyard off from the public so that Disney can milk more profit from Club 33 members is a point that shouldn’t go unnoticed. The Court of Angels is one of the last remaining quiet corners of the park that you can escape to, soak up the atmosphere and regroup in after racing from ride to ride. These quiet corners are important to the fabric and texture of Disneyland and especially important to making themed areas like New Orleans Square feel believable and lived-in. These hidden corners of Disneyland really are more important to the guest experience than you might realize.

The Christmas shop would also close as part of the Club 33 expansion.

Now Playing

Back in Frontierland, Walt Disney Imagineering has set up shop in the Golden Horseshoe to play test a new interactive entertainment experience.

When I visited on Friday, the experience presented itself as a sort of on-going improv theater experience with various citizens of Frontierland interacting with guests. Cast Members were telling guests that the Golden Horseshoe was throwing a retirement party for the Frontierland Sheriff.

The Frontierland sheriff was in the Golden Horseshoe and was helping with the search for his replacement.

Various Frontierland characters interacted with each other and the whole thing felt very organic and improvisational. Guests were able to interact as they pleased but guests just there to eat lunch weren’t forced to participate.

A table featured free activities for kids

Wanted posters from other guests were taped up around the Golden Horseshoe

A new counter was added at the back of the venue where mustaches, hats and beards were for sale.

What I experienced on Friday was only a portion of what Imagineering is currently testing in the Golden Horseshoe. Fellow MiceChat blogger Jeff Heimbuch filled me in on his experience from Sunday afternoon, which was an entire interactive game that took place in the saloon. Jeff will have a full recap of his experience here on MiceChat later this week.

It’s interesting to see this sort of experience being tested here. What I experienced on Friday was fun and added an nice energy to the Golden Horseshoe without being grating or disruptive to those just trying to enjoy their lunch. It’ll be interesting to see what comes from this play test, whether it be more like the improv-type experience that I encountered on Friday or the interactive game that Jeff experienced on Sunday.

The Golden Horseshoe has nice new location-specific paper coasters now on tables throughout the dining room

And tea lights on select theaters add to the atmosphere

Creeping in…

Around the Resort, Halloween continues to slowly creep in before Disney’s Halloween Time kicks off on September 13.

Halloween decorations already up in Frontierland.

Big Thunder Ranch and Big Thunder Ranch Jamboree will close September 3 to install its Halloween overlay.

It’s your last week to check out the Big Thunder Ranch Jamboree’s All-American Roundup.

Haunted Mansion is now closed to install its annual Haunted Mansion Holiday overlay.

The Disney Visa newsletter recently revealed (.PDF download) that Haunted Mansion Holiday will receive some additions this year to celebrate its 13th anniversary, including an update to the Stretching Room and a fly-by appearance by Jack Skellington’s ghost dog Zero. Haunted Mansion Holiday officially opens on Friday, September 13.

Space Mountain will close September 9-12 to install its Ghost Galaxy overlay.

In Downtown Disney, World of Disney has its Halloween displays set up.

Are you excited about Halloween? MiceChat is as well and we’re happy to announce our 2013 MiceChat Nights of Horror event at Knott’s Scary Farm, just down the road from Disneyland. For just $99.99 you can join us for an amazing night at Knott’s Haunt with behind-the-scenes tours, an all-you-can-eat buffet, early entry, front-of-line passes and more! If you’re a Halloween fan, you don’t want to miss out on this! Tickets are now on sale!

    Join MiceChat at Knott’s Scary Farm!
    Saturday, September 28, 2013

    Come, if you dare, into the fog-shrouded streets of Ghost Town for the 7th annual MiceChat Knott’s Scary Farm Halloween Haunt 2013. Leave the real world and enter a spooky dream-land of frightening fun with hundreds of your MiceChat friends. For the latest news on Knott’s Haunt, check out today’s In The Parks blog right here on MiceChat!

    Scare up all of this fun for only $99.99*!

    • Admission into Knott’s Scary Farm
    • Backstage tour of the new Gunslinger’s Grave maze before the event
    • All you can eat Private Pre-scare Boofet dinner
    • Early entry into Haunt
    • Front of the line access to all mazes (excluding Trapped)
    • Special limited quantity Skeleton Key pass that unlocks hidden rooms in 5 different mazes. Extra Haunt!
    • Priority Seating for The Hanging and Elvira’s Sinema Séance
    • Special guests, prizes and more!

    * PLEASE NOTE – Trapped Maze tickets tickets are available at an additional cost and on an extremely limited basis.

Limited Time Magic

[center]Reunite with Long Lost Friends Week
at Disneyland Park
August 19 – 25, 2013
For last week’s Limited Time Magic, Disney reprised its popular “Long Lost Friends Week,” bringing out a bunch of rare characters for fans to meet with back in Big Thunder Ranch Jamboree.

Merlin from The Sword in the Stone

Honest John and Jiminy Cricket from Pinocchio

Pocahontas, Meeko and John Smith

Song of the South characters

Long Lost Friends from Robin Hood

Some of the most popular characters out during this Limited Time Magic were from Hercules and Tarzan

[center]Attend an End of Summer Party at the Pier
at Disney California Adventure
August 26 to September 2, 2013
Disney is celebrating the end-of-summer for this week’s Limited Time Magic with special summer “parties” on Paradise Pier. Below is Disney’s information on the summer parties:

The sun might be setting on summer, but before it does, Limited Time Magic wants you in attendance for a celebration at the shore! Just as August comes to a close, take a jovial stroll down to Paradise Pier at Disney California Adventure Park where you can find a most vibrant atmosphere, one bustling with fantastic boardwalk-style variety acts. Then, discover some of your favorite Disney Characters, each one perfectly appointed for a day at the beach. It’s only going down for a limited time, so grab your friends and family, and join all the fun under the sun at the End of Summer Party at the Pier!

[center]Unleash the Villains on Friday the 13th
at Disneyland Park
Friday, September 13, 2013
Disneyland will stay open until 1 a.m. on Friday the 13th with 13 Disney villains meeting with fans around the park in the evening to celebrate. Below is the information Disney has released so far on the event.

Coming Friday, September 13, get ready to experience the most spine-tingling bit of Limited Time Magic yet at the Disneyland Resort! From 8:00 PM until 1:00 AM‚Äîa.k.a. the 13th hour‚Äîthe Disney Villains will be waiting for your arrival as they make their way to various areas of Disneyland Park. Come along for this devilishly delicious affair, on a night jam-packed with 13 dastardly Disney baddies and a host of fiendish festivities. It’s a one-time event you won’t soon forget‚Ķ even if you try! And be on the lookout for further announcements and more details as the date of the event draws closer, only at Disney Parks!

[center]The Sword in the Stone Screening
for Annual Passholders

A Limited Time Annual Passholder Magic Event
at Disneyland Park
August 30, 2013
Passholders can attend a special screening of Disney’s “The Sword in the Stone” in celebration of its 50th anniversary.

    Screening for Annual Passholders

    Passholders can rediscover the humor and magic in The Sword in the Stone at a Limited Time Annual Passholder Magic event that celebrates the 50th anniversary of this classic animated film——now available for the first time on Blu-ray Combo Pack.

    Date & Times
    Friday, August 30, 2013
    5:30 PM and 7:30 PM

    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.

    Main Street Opera House in Disneyland.

    Event Details

      • Registration and wristband distribution for the event will begin at 12:00 PM on the day of the event at the Main Street, U.S.A. Opera House (home to Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln) in Disneyland Park
      • All participating Annual Passholders must present their active Annual Passport to the event Cast Member to check event availability and to register and receive an event wristband. Photo ID may be required.
      • 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.
      • 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. Children under 3 may attend the movie screening as long as there is space available and they receive an event wristband during the registration process.
      • It is recommended that all members of your party register together to help ensure that everyone receives an event wristband.
      • For assistance, you may contact the Annual Passport Member Services team at (714) 781-PASS (7277).
      • More information

Welcome to California Adventure

Meanwhile, California Adventure’s second summer since its relaunch is now wrapping up.

A look at wait times Friday afternoon

The Fiddler, Fifer and Practical Cafe is still missing its hot sandwiches and soups menu as it continues testing how well a menu of cold sandwiches and salads does with park guests.

The cafe has received a small addition to help with crowd flow. New entrance and exit signage has gone up at the foodservice queues.

In Buena Vista Street shops, a few pieces of new merchandise have hit store shelves, including this Oswald t-shirt

A great new Oswald’s coffee mug

A fun new Buena Vista Street t-shirt…

…the shirt matches this hat that hit store shelves a couple of weeks ago

And the new Official Album of the Disneyland Resort has been flying off the shelves. On Thursday night the two-disc set was sold out in both parks but by Friday more had arrived and could be found in Off the Page in Hollywood Land.

If you’re looking for the new CD set ($24.99), you may have to hunt it down by looking in several stores across both parks. If you don’t mind not having the physical copy and would rather save a few bucks by buying digital, you can buy it on Amazon and iTunes now. The new official album for Walt Disney World is also available.

This and That

In Downtown Disney, work continues to get underway at the new Starbucks location

On the other end of Downtown Disney, the Disney Pin Traders shop is closed for remodeling

A temporary shop has been set up outside during construction

Back in California Adventure, the Blue Sky Cellar also has a small display wall with some concept art for the Aulani Resort expansion in Hawaii

Dateline Disneyland is sponsored by our good friends at the

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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 and Annual Passholder Discounts
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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 26 – September 1, 2013
[B]Disneyland Park[/B] [B]California Adventure[/B]
9am – 10pm
9am – 12midnight
9am – 11pm
9am – 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]Matterhorn Bobsleds:[/B] Closed 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 26 – September 1, 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 — levels will fluctuate from open to close.

  • The Labor Day holiday begins Friday, and Disneyland’s “Monstrous Summer” ends this weekend.
  • Area hotels are somewhat scarce thanks to a number of events at the Convention Center during the week. During the holiday weekend, hotels are swamped.
  • Haunted Mansion is closed through September 12 for its annual holiday overlay; Mad Tea Party and Matterhorn Bobsleds are closed through Thursday.

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]
  • Thor from Marvel’s “Thor: The Dark World” will meet with guests this fall in Disneyland.
  • The title for the next Pirates of the Caribbean movie will reportedly be titled “Dead Men Tell No Tales.”
  • The “Escape from Tomorrow” film secretly filmed at Disneyland and Walt Disney World will be getting a theatrical release this fall.
Alright, that’s all for this week’s update. Did you get a chance to experience the new interactive experience in Frontierland? What do you think about the potential loss of the Court of Angels? Join the discussion and 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.