Happy Labor Day! The holiday brought Disneyland‘s busy summer season to an end over the weekend with high temperatures and events and changes across the resort. Despite the heat, over 25,000 runners turned out for the annual Disneyland Half-Marathon events which made their way through both theme parks, Downtown Disney and the streets of Anaheim. In Disneyland, construction continues on the new Starbucks location on Main Street, USA as it nears its September opening and Big Thunder Mountain Railroad‘s refurbishment continues in Frontierland. Meanwhile, two Disneyland classics are soon closing, potentially forever. In Disney California Adventure, Paradise Pier celebrated the end of summer with a party at the pier that featured Disney characters in costume and various sideshow acts.

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!

The Labor Day holiday weekend marked the official end of summer for the Disneyland Resort.

Fall color can already be seen in Town Square flower beds

A look at wait times just before noon on Saturday.

Refurbishment Round-Up

On Main Street, window signage went up at the new Starbucks location.

The newly-expanded and remodeled Market House with Starbucks is set to open later this month.

Original Starbucks logo on the window

“Since Seventy-One” references Starbucks’ opening year of 1971 but is left open enough to suggest “Since 1871,” which would fit with Main Street’s theme.

What you may not have noticed was the signage along the Market House facade has also changed.

Over in Frontierland, the Big Thunder Mountain Railroad refurbishment continues…

More signage has gone up on the rebuilt Rainbow Ridge facades

Panhandle Hotel

On the ground, the repaved Big Thunder Trail has reopened with new themed pavement replacing some of the last remaining painted slurry in the park.

The repaving project also included replacing much of the safety railing along Big Thunder Trail. The new handrails brought safety netting to portions where there is inadequate fall safety.

Sort of seems a bit excessive, no?

Speaking of fall safety, more tarps and scaffolding along the Fantasyland rooftops went up while work is to install themed safety railing continues…

Creeping in…

Halloween Time continues to creep in as the popular holiday season gets closer to its September 13 start date. Main Street window displays continue to get seasonal decorations added.

In the Penny Arcade, candy displays are now changed for the fall.

Seasonal treats are now available

Main Street’s Fortuosity Shoppe has been invaded by a murder of crows once again for Halloween.

Back in Frontierland, Big Thunder Ranch and Jamboree closes tomorrow to install its Halloween overlay

Over in New Orleans Square, the Haunted Mansion is now closed to install its popular Haunted Mansion Holiday overlay.

In Tomrorowland, Space Mountain closes next Monday to install its Ghost Galaxy overlay

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

Glowing Away

A couple of classic Disneyland experiences are closing soon and neither of them are expected to return in quite the same way that you can currently experience them. In Tomorrowland, the Captain EO Tribute is on Disneyland’s refurbishment calendar to close for three months, starting next week. The closure is set to stretch into late November but fans of Captain EO aren’t expecting the classic 3D show to return.

Disney hasn’t made any announcements as far as replacements go, but there’s little chance a permanent replacement could be installed in three months time. It wouldn’t be surprising if the Michael Jackson movie closed permanently on Septmeber 11 and the Magic Eye Theater remained dark indefinitely following the closure. We’ll see what happens in the coming months but if you’re a Captain EO fan, you should make a point to see the show one last time just in case it does close permanently.

In New Orleans Square, we told you last week about rumors surrounding the quiet Court of Angels. Current rumors suggest the courtyard will be closed to become Club 33’s new main lobby as part of a larger expansion for the private club.

In recent years Disney has tried to turn the courtyard, which is tucked away off New Orleans Square’s main path, into a revenue-generating space. During the holidays, the courtyard has been converted into a holiday ornament shop, and last year the Pirate’s League kid makeover experience set up shop in the space during Halloween Time.

Now, the space is expected to become part of Club 33’s expanded footprint, which will effectively (at least on paper) make the space a permanent revenue-generator. There’s nothing wrong with making Club 33 bigger to make more money, but it’s a different issue when the club – which has traditionally been out-of-sight and out-of-mind to the average guest – begins to take over space once open to all park guests and makes it space that only a privileged few can enjoy.

It’s true that right now information is largely unclear and unofficial. Disney has yet to make any official announcements on the issue and rumors have been conflicting and unclear. If Club 33’s entrance does relocate to Court of Angels, it would make sense for the space to be closed to the public so that the club can maintain the same sense of exclusivity for its members. It’s also worth mentioning that Disneyland’s hugely popular “A Walk in Walt’s Footsteps Tour” takes guests into the Club 33 lobby and Disney uses that as a major selling point for the tour – if the new Club entrance was open to the public, Disney would lose a big selling point of one of its most popular tours.

While Disney’s financial interests in the Court of Angels is a major point in this discussion, the importance of the Court of Angels to the guest experience is equally important, if not more so. Disney photographer and blogger Tom Bricker over at Disney Tourist Blog summed up the issue quite well and I encourage you all to read his piece on the subject.

At the end of the day, it’s true that many guests probably won’t notice if Club 33 expansion closes the Court of Angels to the public. But even if that argument is true, that doesn’t mean it makes anything right. There’s a reason that Disney theme parks are built with these sorts of hidden corners, pathways and courtyards. As Tom discusses, these spaces are the “Disney details” that set Disney apart from the competition.

It’s spaces like the Court of Angels that allow guests to explore and discover; it’s these little corners of quiet discovery that make the entire Disneyland experience believable. Being able to take an unexpected turn around the corner from the main path into a hidden courtyard makes places like New Orleans Square feel real and lived in. Places like the Royal Courtyard (which was turned into an overflow Pirates of the Caribbean shop in 2006) and the Court of Angels are part of the reason why New Orleans Square feels so authentic and hits such a strong nerve with so many guests. So, while Disney may see the empty space in the parks as opportunities for increased profits, they’d do well to take a moment to consider why the original park designers included these spaces. There’s immense value in these spaces that Christmas ornaments, Pirates of the Caribbean t-shirts, or Club 33 membership dues can never recoup. These spaces are a large part of the magic that Disney endlessly touts in its marketing but so often fails to understand and respect.

The Court of Angels is the last of New Orleans Square’s wonderful hideaways and even if fan outcry does nothing, I think it’s important that Disney hear what its paying customers think about decisions like this. In 2006 The small Royal Courtyard between the Port Royal and Pieces of Eight gift shops slipped away and became overflow retail space. In 2008 the invaluable original Disney Gallery became the lavish, but now-often unoccupied, Disneyland Dream Suite and nobody but Disney benefited. Hopefully the Court of Angels rumors end up being false or plans are changed – but if it does go away, then if nothing else, hopefully Disney will notice the fan outcry and perhaps start to notice that we aren’t always just complaining to complain and that some things are worth saving.

Welcome to California Adventure

Summer wrapped up in California Adventure with a party on Paradise Pier for Limited Time Magic.

A look at wait times Sunday afternoon.

Limited Time Magic

[center]Attend an End of Summer Party at the Pier
at Disney California Adventure
August 26 to September 2, 2013
Disney celebrated the end-of-summer last week with a “party at the pier” for Limited Time Magic. The offering ends ofter today’s Labor Day holiday. 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!

Disney characters were out in vintage beachwear

Sideshow acts roamed the boardwalk, adding a lively atmosphere to Paradise Pier.

Card tricks and magic

A clown-type character joked with guests and had fun activities for kids

A contortionist performed on a small stage near Mickey’s Fun Wheel

A video clip of some of the live entertainment

[center]Celebrate Oswald the Lucky Rabbit
at Disney California Adventure
August 26 to September 2, 2013
For this week’s Limited Time Magic, Disney is repackaging a bunch of things it normally offers at Disney California Adventure and calling it an celebration for Oswald. Below is Disney’s blurb on the offering:

Come along for a moment 86 years in the making‚Äîon September 5, 1927, Oswald the Lucky Rabbit debuted in a short film titled “Trolley Troubles.” And to celebrate the anniversary, you’re invited to attend a Limited Time Magic party for all things Oswald at the Disneyland Resort! Hop on over to Clarabelle’s in Disney California Adventure Park for a delicious Oswald Ice Cream Sundae in a souvenir Red Car Trolley cup. Also, be sure to stop by Oswald’s or Elias & Co. on Buena Vista Street at Disney California Adventure Park where you can find Oswald-inspired merchandise that will have you smiling from ear to ear, including artwork, vintage signs, Oswald Ear hats and more!

All of the merch that Disney is promoting this week is always available at Oswald’s and the special sundae is always available at Clarabelle’s…

Actually not limited time:

[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‚Äö√Ñ√Æa.k.a. the 13th hour‚Äö√Ñ√Æthe 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‚Äö√Ѭ∂ 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]Disney California Adventure Park After-Hours Event
A Limited Time Annual Passholder Magic Event
at Disneyland Park
September 5 & 19, 2013
Passholders can enjoy an after-hours party at California Adventure on September 5 and 19th with select attractions, dining locations and more available.

    Disney California Adventure Park After-Hours Event for Annual Passholders

    At this Limited Time Annual Passholder Magic event, Passholders can experience select Disney California Adventure Park attractions, merchandise and dining locations for an additional 3 hours after regular Disney California Adventure Park closing.

    Thursday, September 5, 2013
    Thursday, September 19, 2013

    After regular park closing on these days (currently scheduled at 8:00 PM) until 11:00 PM.

    Special Gift
    In celebration of The Little Mermaid Diamond Edition—releasing for the first time on Blu-ray™ Combo Pack and HD Digital on October 1, 2013—registered attendees can also get a special gift upon exiting the event (while supplies last).

    Event Details

      • Registration and wristband distribution for the event will begin at noon on the day of the event near Ticket Booth #4 in the Main Entrance Esplanade at the Disneyland Resort.
      • 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 near Ticket Booth #4 in the Main Entrance Esplanade on the day of the event only; no phone reservations or other registration will be accepted.
      • Registration and distribution of event wristbands will continue while event wristband supplies last.
      • 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 event 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.
      • More information

Marathon Madness

Disneyland hosted its Half-Marathon Weekend over the Labor Day weekend. The event drew 25,500 runners from all 50 states and 15 countries. Runner Jimmy Grabow from Runner Springs, CA won the title in the Disneyland Half-Marathon again this year.

Stephanie Dinius, from Palo Alto claimed the women’s title.

The Disneyland Hotel convention center hosted the half-marathon’s Health and Fitness Expo over the weekend.

Lots of official event merchandise

The expo floor was filled with booths from major sponsors and other organizations, companies and retailers.

The New Balance booth had the popular RunDisney shoes again this year

The RunDisney booth had event medals on display

The new medal for this year’s inaugural Dumbo Double Dare event

This and That

Back in Disneyland, Indiana Jones Adventure got another small update, with another new voice for the idol Mara. This time the voice is now closer to the original – a nice improvement from the previous voice.

Our friends at Dlandlive.com have a video of the updated effect.

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

Next to the Downtown Disney Monorail station, the Disney Pin Traders shop has reopened after a quick refurbishment.

New signage

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 HoJoAnaheim.com/MiceChat

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
September 2 – 8, 2013
[B]Disneyland Park[/B] [B]California Adventure[/B]
8am – 11pm
10am – 7pm
9am – 10pm
9am – 11pm
8am – 10pm
9am – 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]Market House:[/b] Closed for conversion and expansion for new Starbucks location. Opens September 2013.
  • [b]Big Thunder Mountain Railroad:[/b] Closed for extensive refurbishment through February 2014.
  • [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 and November 1-7 for holiday 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 September 9-12.
  • [B]Space Mountain:[/B] Closed September 9-12 for Ghost Galaxy overlay installation.
  • [B]Captain EO Tribute:[/B] Closed September 11-November 20.
  • [B]Sailing Ship Columbia:[/B] Closed September 17-19 for refurbishment.
  • [B]Mad Tea Party:[/B] Closed October 14-24 for refurbishment.
  • [B]Storybook Land Canal Boats:[/B] Closed October 14-24 for refurbishment.
  • [B]Casey Jr. Circus Train:[/B] Closed October 14-24 for refurbishment.
  • [B]”it’s a small world”:[/B] Closed October 27-November 7 to install holiday overlay.
  • [B]Dumbo the Flying Elephant:[/B] Closed October 28-November 11 for refurbishment.
  • [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]Flik’s Flyers:[/B] Closed October 27-November 14 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]

September 2 – 8, 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.

  • Summer is over, school is in session, and we’re entering what is now a very short off-season at Disneyland.
  • Area hotels are all booked for Monday, but empty for the rest of the week.
  • Over the next two weeks, a slate of refurbishments are scheduled, as well as preparations for Halloweentime… which, like Holiday Time, comes earlier and earlier!

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 wraps up this week’s edition of Dateline Disneyland. Did you visit the parks this hot holiday weekend? What’d you think of the Party at the Pier? How do you feel about the Court of Angels rumors? Join the discussion and let us know in the comments section below!

Happy Labor Day to all of our readers here in the USA!

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]

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