Summer comes to an end as Halloween continues to creep in at Disneyland

Written by Andy Castro. Posted in Dateline Disneyland, Disneyland Resort

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Published on September 02, 2013 at 4:11 am with 38 Comments

About Andy Castro

Andy is a Southern California native, raised with Disneyland and a life-long fan of Disney theme parks and animation. Andy writes the weekly Dateline Disneyland column, which can be found every Monday on MiceChat.

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  • Internitty

    Thanks Andy I always look forward to your updates. I think we can kiss the Court of Angels goodbye, if we look at the greed infecting the resort there is not a chance that if they see a chance for a buck they’re not going to seize it. I dread what is going to happen this Christmas, so rapidly approaching. The last couple of years have taken the Disney out of Disneyland.

  • DisneyDesi

    All of these safety railings are ridiculous. The railings on the castle look terrible. Hopefully they are just temporary fixes until they can create something that looks like it belongs.

  • Haven

    Whew, I have been so concerned about Disneyland not having enough financial generating space that I have been wondering how they have remained open for the last 58 years. I am so happy they are able to find some extra space in the Court of Angels.

  • whamo

    I love the Court of Angels almost as much as I loved the old Disney Art Gallery. It’s a crying shame we’re going to lose it. It’s the most beautiful spot in the park. On the other hand, those marathon t-shirts looked fantastic. I want one of those disappearing cat and Mad Hatter masterpieces. Those are so cool. A few of the other ones caught my eye as well. It’s hard to believe 25,000 ran in that heat. I bet they were sweating bullets.
    I can’t wait until the weather cools off little bit so I can enjoy the park again.

  • Peoplemover Priit

    Sad to say but I believe Disneyland’s “improvements” are trending downhill…

    • tonyrr1

      Agree completely.

    • Algernon

      Welcome to Coney Island. Hurry, hurry, step right up–everybody is a winnuhhhhh!!!!

  • tonyrr1

    First off, one of your better updates Andy; well done. Fabulous photos, and thanks so much for posting so many of the Court des Anges. Having been to New Orleans, there are indeed some small, quiet nooks in the French Quarter and surrounding areas that are calms in the midst of the typical busy-ness of that area, and I think Court des Anges pulls off that quiet vibe nicely. I never visit Disneyland and not take a moment to breathe and observe in Court des Anges, and it seems there are always little details there that I don’t remember seeing the last time.

    If Disneyland management does what’s being suggested, that will be a serious loss for the park and to we non-privileged guests. I suppose they could fall back on the Walt-ism about Disneyland never being finished and always changing, but there are just some pieces of the park that, for aesthetic or character or quality-of-guest-experience reasons, should really be inviolate. It feels akin to removing Snow White’s wishing well and turning it into a Fantasyland character meet & greet or something. Of course, as long as they refuse to put the Rocket Jets… er, Astro Orbiter… back on top of the PeopleMover station where it belongs, nothing will surprise me.

  • bayouguy

    The update was great. That one sunset picture (sunset over Rivers of America) was beautiful. Hope everyone had a good Labor Day weekend doing whatever.

  • jcruise86

    Andy, I wish I had written this about New Orleans Square:

    “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 . . . 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.”

    • jcruise86

      Andy, I shouldn’t have deleted “believable,” at the end of your first sentence after “experience.” Without it, the sentence seems a bit hyperbolic. My bad. Thanks for writing so well!

      –Tom Sinsky

    • Larry Parker

      Regarding closing of the Court of Angels in New Orleans Square, here’s the email link to Disney where guests can voice their concerns(as I just did, and I encourage others to do likewise): https://disneyland.disney.go.com/help/email/

      • I’ve voiced my concern, and I also encourage everyone to do the same.

      • caseyj

        I just sent an email as well. Thank you for posting the link.

      • The Lost Boy

        Thanks for the link. I let the Park know that I’m looking forward to the changes at Club 33. I think they will be great improvements.

    • MarkW

      Agreed! Loss of Court of Angels, if true, would be sad, indeed. As a kid, it truly was magical when I discovered this little, out-of-the-way courtyard. Touches like Court of Angels do help make New Orleans Square “believable.” Taking away the little things that contribute to the fantasy of being transported to a different place and time hurt more than they may appear to do on the surface.

  • fnord

    Since they’re opening Starbucks in downtown Disney, it’s too bad they’re screwing up
    the market house on main street with a starbucks. Tomorrowland would have been
    perfect for one.

  • braggfamily

    I was one of those crazy people running the half yesterday. I couldn’t believe how hot and humid it was and I’m from Phoenix and was used to training in the heat. It effected my time but I’m glad I finished. Only just over 15,000 ended up finishing. We saw lots of people at first aid stations along the way. I really hope the court of angels doesn’t close as its one of my favorite places. It would be a shame to have it disappear forever. Bummed that Mansion was closed. Wished they could have kept in open through the holiday weekend. Do we really need it to be Halloween/Christmas so early in the season? We rode Indy several times. Liked the new Mara effects but it was always stuck on the future room and didn’t get to see the other two. I had thought they fixed the moving wall. Had a great time but think I’ll skip this race in the future and do Tinkerbell as the weather is much better. Thanks so much for your updates!

    • FerretAfros

      I think the 25,000+ number of runners was the total for the 5K, 10K, Half, and Kids Races. 15,000 finishers for the Half is similar to years past

      I’m also disappointed that HM was closed for race weekend again this year. And to make it worse, it will be closed again in January for the holiday removal during the Tink race weekend. Poor timing.

  • Tinkbelle

    Andy, you are a talent! Crystal clear, beautiful pictures and the information is comprehensive and well written. Your articles are so professional that I often feel like I’m reading something put out officially by Disney. Wonderful job.

  • eicarr

    It’s amazing how the tiny New Orleans Square keeps getting smaller and smaller each decade. This was simply the cheapest way to expand Club 33. Taking over the Tarzan Tree neighboring alley elevator and dream suite would be another cheap fix.

    I wish they could expand new orleans on the other side of the tracks with a private club 33 enclosed courtyard and a luxury mini new orleans hotel. Only members/guests could go to that side. It could really add depth and atmosphere instead of taking it away.

    • LoveStallion

      Would be nice, but they’d have to do some massive renovating to get it beyond the tracks, as the only accessible area is behind the berm by the train station. The Pirates show building gets in the way elsewhere.

  • waltopia

    I always enjoyed the court of angles to sit a while and listen to the a Royal St. Bachelors jazz echo around NewOrleansSquare. Good music went away a while ago, along with many other details that once made Disneyland great. I don’t however, see that making that staircase the new Club33 entrance requires closing the rest of the courtyard to guests. No one but employees could ever climb to the top of the stairs, so now Club33 suckers, I mean members, could use a door at the top, like the original ‘secret’ door. That does not mean other guests who have paid to see the park would need to be kept away from the courtyard downstairs. It could remain basically unchanged and still serve a new purpose.

    I also agree with the post above…..I think Starbucks in Disneyland is fantastic, except putting several more locations in and outside the gates at the same time, sure make the ultra expensive experience inside the berm a lot less special.

  • davidrusk

    Always enjoy your articles. That sunset over the Rivers of America was beautiful!

    Like most I think the small out of the way spaces make a huge difference in the atmosphere at Disneyland. Imagine lining up all the major attractions side by side. Zero magic.

  • shoewee

    I really hope those people that have been whining about Starbucks now shut their mouths. Disney does some crazy stuff, but they would never wreck Main Street with a regular Starbucks Cafe. I am amazed at how nice they have the outside of the Starbucks on Main Street in Disneyland. It looks beautiful. And even more important, it looks like it fits where it belongs. I never doubted Disney with the whole Starbucks thing. Hopefully this will stifle the naysayers.

  • LoveStallion

    Incredible sunset at the RoA pics. What sort of gear do you use?

    Great update, and I’ll be bummed if we lose the Court of Angels. I’m getting pretty burned out on Disney’s unending quest to raise stock value at all costs. I thought Iger would be a good thing for the company, but I think all he’s really done of positive note is mend fences with (and purchase) Pixar. The Marvel and Lucasfilm acquisitions could prove fruitful, but until I see the results, I will leave them out of the discussion.

  • Larry Parker

    Regarding closing of the Court of Angels in New Orleans Square, here’s the email link to Disney where guests can voice their concerns(as I just did, and I encourage others to do likewise): https://disneyland.disney.go.com/help/email/

  • ralzap

    Court of Angels is what sets a theme park from an amusement park. Disney Co. you decide! $$$$$$$$. I have already have to cut my travel to your park. Soon I will not be able to go at all.

  • animatronic

    What are the Oswald sundae ears made of? If they’re bananas – this guy is on board!

    • Tinkbelle

      Yes, they are bananas. It is a yummy treat. But it has been there since at least last April when I had it.

  • GhostHostJeff

    I hope Disney doesn’t do anything with the Court of Angels. This is one of the last little spots in Disneyland that, like you said, you can truly discover and enjoy. Disneyland is already full of retail shops, why do we need that space for any sort of retail during the Christmas season? Club 33 has done just fine with its small entrance tucked away next to the Blue Bayou. I’m all for Disney adding to the experience for all who come, but to take something away for pure profit and for an “elite” few is ridiculous and not the Disney I know.

    On the other hand, the Starbucks is a plus in my book. I think it blends in very well from the outside, and I will be getting a coffee there on my next visit!

    Thanks for another great update.

  • Soulquarian

    Ugh, safety nets along Big Thunder Trail are an eyesore in the pictures! I really hope it’s not as bad in person! This safety kick is getting so out of hand so fast!

  • BrerDan

    Sorry, this Starbucks naysayer isn’t going to stop 🙂 I never doubted that Disney would do a pretty nice job with theming to fit the Starbucks location into Main Street. My concern–which does appear to be justified–was with the transformation of a lovely series of intimate experiences into one large, cavernous hall. This is what happened across the way, and I still mourn the loss of the Gibson Girl glass elephant, prominent penny arcade machines, and more. I used to enjoy wandering through that section of Main Street and adored the connected series of small rooms. Yes, Starbucks is popular and necessitates a bigger space, but that’s part of why I wish it weren’t coming. I also really, really will miss the free refills. I would use those as a good reason to sit and take a little break throughout the day. Finally, I personally prefer the previously offered flavor coffee to Starbucks.

    Can I recognize that Disney has probably done the best they could once they made the decision to put it there? Maybe…but that doesn’t mean I agree with the decision in the first place. I think the creation of more cavernous cue line spaces and the loss of the inner rooms results in a loss of the “quiet discovery” that was so eloquently described relative to the Court of Angels. I think the same argument applies here. In both cases there is some logic behind the changes, in both cases there is likely going to be a pleasant enough final product, and in both cases there is something lost for the average park goer that she or he may not even realized they’ve lost.

  • Susie63

    When can we expect “official” word on the extended refurb of BTMRR?

  • Crazee4mm

    Did they have to install temporary hand railings for the workers who were installing the permenant ones? This is getting crazy. Why aren’t the other theme parks being forced to “baby” and “Idiot proof” their parks? The day is coming when Disney installs a giant Erecter Set type of elevator in front of the castle so that their workers don’t run the risk of tripping on the stairs inside while climbing. Nice to know that my AP price jumped so dramatically so that they could afford to install tons of unnecessary railings, netting, and “protective” measures so that the dumb-as-dirt guests and cast members can’t possibly come to any harm…regardless of how much they try.

  • mybelleprncess

    Thanks for the update,hoping the Court of Angels stays like everyone else here. The ROA picture is really nice.

  • LazyJG

    I agree that the Court of Angels is a major loss to Disneyland lovers but where were you all when the unique Carnations Plaza Gardens and the Swing Dance area that Walt himself danced on was ruined forever to help sell more princesses

  • QPerth

    Oh Andy, those pictures of the dusk sky over the castle and Rivers of America are just breathtaking. Literally. Wow.

    A wonderful update, thanks so much, the Parks are really looking gorgeous from where I am sitting!

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