Thor is joining Tony Stark in Tomorrowland as a new meet-and-greet and movie prop exhibit moves into an underutilized portion of the huge Innoventions builing. The meet-and-greet will open in November to promote the upcoming Thor: The Dark World movie, which hits theaters November 8. Meanwhile, the finishing touches are going in on Main Street, U.S.A.‘s newly-expanded and remodeled Market House as the new Starbucks Coffee location gets ready to open this week. Cast Members have been getting the first look at the new space during previews over the weekend. Meanwhile, Disneyland‘s popular Halloween Time season continues with a variety of special menu items, desserts and treats available to enjoy throughout both theme parks.

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.

We’ve got another big update for you today, so get ready to throw some pumpkin on it and let’s get started.


Welcome to Disneyland!

Halloween Time is well underway at Disneyland.

Refurbishment Round-Up

The Market House is set to officially reopen on Wednesday after being expanded and remodeled for the arrival of Starbucks.

The big coffee cup sign that was on the facade of the Carnation Cafe (previously a part of the former Blue Ribbon Bakery facade) has now been relocated to the front of the Market House.

Moving this sign makes sense – while the Carnation Cafe serves coffee and espresso drinks, the sit-down restaurant isn’t as accessible to guests as the Blue Ribbon Bakery was and the new Starbucks location will be.

Starbucks will be a big draw on Main Street and will hopefully help alleviate the demand seen at the end of Main Street at the Jolly Holiday Bakery Cafe.

No more coffee cup at the Carnation Cafe.

You can still spot the holes where the sign was attached.

At the end of Main Street, work continues on repaving the walkway between Fantasy Faire’s Royal Theater and Frontierland.

At Sleeping Beauty Castle, the rooftop that had been missing for some months from a small castle turret has finally been replaced.

Snow White Grotto is still closed for refurbishment.

Meanwhile, work continues on the new fall safety additions along Fantasyland rooftops.

Atop Snow White’s Scary Adventures

Note the new wall up around the fireworks pyro launch box.

Correction, 09/23/13 1:50 p.m.: This new beige wall/box on top of Snow White Scary Adventures is not related to the fall safety additions currently being added in Fantasyland. This wall is part of the set-up for the “Halloween Screams” fireworks show. – Andy

King Arthur Carrousel’s refurbishment continues

The historical signage on the construction walls got additions over the last week.

In Frontierland, Big Thunder Mountain’s refurbishment continues

In Adventureland, work walls are still up around the moat that surrounds the backside of the Enchanted Tiki Room.

Meet Marvel

In Tomorrowland, Disney continues to build the presence of Marvel superheroes in Disneyland by using the fledgling Innoventions attraction as the home for another movie photo-op.

Innoventions became home to “Iron Man Tech” earlier this spring, in support of the theatrical release of “Iron Man 3.” The Iron Man exhibit, which took over an empty corner of Innoventions’ upstairs area, was slated to close in this month but has now been extended indefinitely.

The Iron Man exhibit has helped breathe a bit of new life into the massive Innoventions building, with actual queues forming for Innoventions for the first time in years when the exhibit first opened in April. The hype has since died down, but Iron Man Tech remains a popular feature of Innoventions as there isn’t much else in the building that holds guest interest for very long.

With the success of the Iron Man Tech exhibit, it was little surprise in August when Disney announced the park would receive a new Thor meet-and-greet, in support of the upcoming “Thor: The Dark World” movie. Most fans assumed the Thor meet-and-greet would also call Innoventions home, and Disney confirmed last week that Thor will meet guests in Innoventions starting November 1, a week before the new movie hits theaters. The meet-and-greet will include “Thor: Treasures of Asgard,” an exhibit of movie props.

Walls are now up next to Iron Man Tech, around the old St. Joseph Hospital exhibit, which had been a part of Innoventions since 2000. For years now, half-functional late 90s-era medical technology displays, video clips and set design have been horribly out-of-date.

Below, Disney’s description of the new Thor meet-and-greet:

Astrophysicist Jane Foster, who established a special relationship with Thor, has been studying the “Bifrost,” a cosmic bridge that allows Thor to travel between the Nine Realms, including Earth. She has determined that the Bifrost is set to open again in Southern California and pinpointed the precise location as Innoventions at Disneyland park. Inside Innoventions, Foster and her team are preparing for the opening of the Bifrost with the installation of Thor: Treasures of Asgard, a collection of objects brought to Earth straight from Asgard. After viewing the exhibit, you’ll be invited to enter a chamber where the Bifrost will transport you to Asgard for an audience with Thor himself!

While it’ll be nice to see something move in here, it’s kind of disappointing to see Disney’s big Marvel acquisition so-far translate to cheap photo-ops in Disneyland and Monorail wraps at Walt Disney World.

Scary Snacks

Meanwhile, Halloween Time is well underway and Disneyland is offering a nice variety of special Halloween Time-exclusive special menu items, snacks and desserts. The candy shops on Main Street, Buena Vista Street and in Critter County and Downtown Disney are well stocked with a variety of Halloween Time confections. Below, Cake Pops

Rice crispy treats

Caramel Apples

The very popular pumpkin fudge is back

Cupcakes

Cones

Pumpkin brittle

Mashmallow wands

At Plaza Inn, the Pumpkin Minnie Demitasse, in a souvenir mug with flourless chocolate cake, pumpkin and chocolate mousse, candy corn and chocolate shavings. This is also available at the Jolly Holiday Bakery.

Not a Halloween-specific offering, but the Plaza Inn is testing a new fish option. The Glazed Salmon meal is served with a citrus fruit relish, mushroom-quinoa and seasonal vegetables and is $16.99.

The Jolly Holiday Bakery is serving up a variety of seasonal pastries

Jolly Holiday also has seasonal drinks available.

In New Orleans Square, the French Market has a seasonal muffuletta, a sandwich stuffed with layered meats, cheese and olive salad on a round loaf.

…along with a couple great holiday desserts including the Oreo Mousse Coffin (white chocolate mousse, Oreo crumbs and Skellington white chocolate decoration) and pumpkin pie.

Around the corner, the Mint Julep Bar has the pumpkin spice lattes and delicious pumpkin beignets that sold out early on Friday the 13th.

Over in Critter Country, the Hungry Bear Restaurant has a special crispy fish sandwich on the menu.

Over in Frontierland, Rancho del Zocalo has chicken tamales on the menu for Dia de los Muertos as well as pumpkin flan with orange cake.

Pumpkin flan with orange cake

If you head back to Big Thunder Ranch Jamboree, you can try the fried apple burrito while you watch the pumpkin carvers do their thing.

Big Thunder Barbecue is serving snickerdoodles with vanilla ice cream, pumpkin sauce, caramel sauce and orange sugar sprinkles for dessert at the all-you-can-eat restaurant.

If Halloween treats aren’t your thing, then at least check out the goats and sheep at Big Thunder Ranch – even they’re dressed up for Halloween Time!

Nearby, the Village Haus in Fantasyland has a special chicken sandwich available.

Halloween Wicked Grilled Chicken with roasted mushrooms, Swiss cheese, arugula and spicy roasted red pepper aioli. The sandwich sounds great but I was a little disappointed with it when we tried it on Saturday – it was pretty bland, overall.

Over at California Adventure, the Fiddler, Fifer and Practical Cafe has all of Starbucks’ seasonal favorites available.

Boardwalk Pizza and Pasta is serving an “Anti-Vampire” flatbread pizza

Both parks have new Halloween Time cups…

…souvenir mugs

…and popcorn boxes and souvenir popcorn buckets

Other offerings in the parks include:

  • Pepper Jack Skellington Burger at Carnation Cafe, on grilled sourdough with white cheddar, pepper jack, red onions and spicy burger sauce
  • Coq au vin (chicken braised with wine, bacon, mushrooms and garlic) and pumpkin beignets at Cafe Orleans
  • Roasted pork tenderloin Wellington (with scotch bonnet pepper harissa sauce!) at Blue Bayou Restaurant

…as well as other offerings available only during the special-ticket Mickey’s Halloween Party.

Limited Time Magic

[center]Celebrate Pirates Week
at Disneyland Park
September 23-29, 2013
[/center]
Disneyland is celebrating “Pirates Week” this week with the return of pirate-themed entertainment in New Orleans Square and on Tom Sawyer Island including The Bootstappers and Captain Jack Sparrow. Below is Disney’s official blurb on the offering.

Avast! Make way to Disneyland Park for a full week of Limited Time Magic inspired by “Talk Like a Pirate Day.” Be ye regaled in New Orleans Square by The Bootstrappers pirate band while a scurvy bunch of bilge rats looking for new recruits takes over the Sailing Ship Columbia. Set sail, or follow destiny to the Pirates Lair on Tom Sawyer’s Island, where ye may encounter a scallywag with a comical parrot sidekick or perhaps make the acquaintance of Captain Jack Sparrow himself! And don’t forget The Pirates League‚Äîavailable for both kids and adults from September 20 to October 31, 2013‚Äîlocated at Halloween Carnival at Big Thunder Ranch Jamboree. Sign up now to collect a set of complimentary pirate teeth, available while supplies last!

[center]Collect an “Iron Man 3”
and “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” Poster

at Disneyland Park
Now, while supplies last
[/center]
You can get a free double-sided poster promoting Iron Man 3 on Blu-ray and the new Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. TV show for free at Innoventions, while supplies last. Below is Disney’s official information on it.

Experience the latest Iron Man technology firsthand at Iron Man Tech Presented by Stark Industries, an interactive exhibit at Innoventions in Disneyland Park. This is your chance to virtually “suit up” and test out Iron Man’s Mark 42! Plus, as part of Limited Time Magic, you can take home a special poster celebrating the release of Iron Man 3 on Blu-ray as well as ABC’s new TV series Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.‚Äîboth debuting September 24th! Enjoy all the action as you go behind the mask with Tony Stark on his latest adventure, and don’t miss the premiere of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Tuesday, September 24, 2013 at 8:00 PM / 7:00 PM Central on ABC.

[center]Pirates of the Caribbean:
The Curse of the Black Pearl
Screening

A Limited Time Annual Passholder Magic Event
at Disneyland Park
September 19, 2013
[/center]
Passholders can attend a screening of the first “Pirates of the Caribbean” film at the Main Street Opera House this week.

    Disney California Adventure Park After-Hours Event for Annual Passholders

    In celebration of Pirates Week at the Disneyland Resort, Annual Passholders can attend a screening of Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl at the Main Street Opera House in Disneyland Park.

    Dates & Time
    Monday, September 23, 2013 at 5:00 PM
    Tuesday, September 24, 2013 at 5:00 PM

    Event Details

      • Registration and wristband distribution for the event will begin at 12:00 PM (noon) on the day of the event at the Main Street, U.S.A. Opera House in Disneyland Park.
      • All participating Annual Passholders must present their active Annual Passports 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 in Disneyland Park 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 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.
      • For assistance, you may contact the Annual Passport Member Services team at (714) 781-PASS (7277).
      • More information

Welcome to California Adventure

As for California Adventure, there isn’t much news to report coming from the park.

Over on Pacific Wharf the Pacific Wharf Cafe facade is getting some refurbishment work but the restaurant remains open.

On Paradise Pier, walls are up in the former Maliboomer area.

Over in Hollywood Land, Mad T Party band added a couple songs to its sets for Halloween Time in addition to some decorations in the area that we showed you last week.

Our friends at DisneyGeek.com have these videos of the “This Is Halloween” cover the band has been performing at the end of their 8 p.m. set.

And at the end of their 9 p.m. set, the band has been performing “The Time Warp” from the Rocky Horror Picture Show and Michael Jackson’s “Thriller”

This and That

In Downtown Disney, the new Starbucks location is still in its early stages of construction.


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 23 – 29, 2013
[B]Disneyland Park[/B] [B]California Adventure[/B]
Mon.-Thurs.:
10 am – 8 pm
Friday:
8 am – 7 pm
Sat.-Sun.:
8 am – 12 am
Mon.-Thurs.:
10 am – 8 pm
Friday:
8 am – 12 am
Sat.-Sun.:
8 am – 10 pm
[CENTER]For a complete listing of theme park hours,
visit the Disneyland.com Theme Park Calendar
[/CENTER]
[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]Mickey’s House:[/B] Closed through September 26 for refurbishment.
  • [B]King Arthur Carrousel:[/B] Closed through October 10 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]Disney Animation:[/B] Partially closed September 30-November 12 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.
[center]
A weekly look at projected crowd levels at the Disneyland Resort.[/center]

September 23 – 29, 2013

MON
TUE
WED
THU
FRI
SAT
SUN

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.

  • We expect the weekdays to be relatively light, but crowds will tend to materialize in late afternoons as locals stop by for an evening of Halloween fun.
  • Despite the lack of special Halloween attractions, California Adventure continues to draw bigger crowds, on average.
  • Hotels this week are booked tightly on Thursday, Friday and Saturday.

Are you already a Mouseaddict? Your wait time submissions have already helped us with these projections. Thank you! Keep those submissions coming!

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 has confirmed to NBC 4 that it will implement a new ride reservation system for disabled guests, eliminating its current “Guest Assistant Card” system starting October 9. This news comes after a recent MiceAge report that detailed the new system.
  • Disney’s strategy of ignoring the provocative “Escape From Tomorrow” film could result in reduced public interest as the movie heads to theaters. (The Hollywood Reporter)
  • Europeans are petitioning Disney CEO Bob Iger to “save Disneyland Paris” following years of neglect, decline. (Boing Boing)
OK – that wraps up this week’s edition of Dateline Disneyland. Are you excited to meet Thor in Innoventions or do you think it’s an underwhelming use of the Marvel property? Are you ready for Starbucks on Main Street? Join the discussion and let us know in the comments section 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

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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.
  • notlemc

    Great update! I like how you gave great insights on what is happening in the park, but also took the time to focus on the seasonal food offerings. It’s great to see DLR providing a variety of fall foods and treats for customers to go along with their Halloweentime promotion.

  • eicarr

    I hope they keep the Muffuletta(as a grab-n-go for under $10 though). More tastes of New Orleans would be welcomed.

    Great to see ANY MARVEL. Shocking how little their biggest box office hits are used to improve attendance. They’re instead concentrating on less popular Disney 3D cartoons/toy infomercials.

    • poohmeg

      I want to see a picture of the muffuletta – for that price, I’m picturing one the size of the kind they do at Jason’s Deli (don’t know if they have those near Disneyland, but their muffuletta is about the size of a hubcap) 🙂

      • Tiny Mermaid

        I too want to see a picture of the muffaletta. Now that the Salami Royale is gone from the Practical Cafe at DCA, I need a new sandwich.

      • DobbysCloset

        Dobby also would like to see a muffuletta…he’s not sure from the name whether it really is something to eat or whether it’s something that eats little dogs! But I think he’s got Muffuletta confused with Heffalump.

    • LoveStallion

      I agree that they have been slow to introduce Marvel into the parks, but I imagine Disney is treading lightly here. Pixar is a much more natural fit for Disney properties, and Disney’s association with Lucasfilm goes back decades, so we don’t think much of Star Wars characters and attractions being in the parks. I imagine there’s somewhat of an internal struggle on how to smoothly introduce Marvel characters and have the public regard them as as much a part of the Disney family as any other unit.

      Having a Thor attraction, for example, would potentially seem as jarring as the random ads for ABC series that adorn the backside of some of the DCA buildings. It’ll all seem natural in time, but it’s not something that naturally lends itself to quick action.

      Besides, until there is some sort of Incredible attraction (long, long overdue), I shall scoff at Burbank. Scoff!

    • Big D

      They used to have a muffuletta at the Cafe Orleans that I would get all the time. I really liked it, but I guess it wasn’t too popular because when they redid Cafe Orleans and turned it into a sit-down restaurant they got rid of it.

  • Irving

    Great update as every Monday! It is good to see the roof of that little turret replaced. Also, isn’t there a tree missing at the Tiki Room Exit?. If I am not mistaken, it is incredible the life that this sole tree injects to the area.

    • Westsider

      The original tree had to be removed, it was becoming too large and the Safety Department tagged it for removal, which is why the walls are up.

      • Irving

        Wow!, Pretty interesting. I hope they replace it with a very decent one, and still get that same feel. I don’t know why, but it is really a different feel in the area without that tree.

        Thanks Westsider!

  • renderman7

    I read this with less than 6 hours until i board a plane in australia to fly to disneyland.. how exciting getting one last dateline in 😀

  • daveyjones

    “…it’s kind of disappointing to see Disney’s big Marvel acquisition so-far translate to cheap photo-ops in Disneyland and Monorail wraps at Walt Disney World.”

    i disagree. i think they are taking it slow intentionally, and easing people into the idea of marvel being in the parks. i for one, however, will never quite accept it, no matter at what pace.

    • LoveStallion

      You just said in two lines what took me many paragraphs. Kudos to you.

    • Big D

      I agree that they are taking it slow and I like that approach, but I can accept it the same as I can accept Star Wars or Indiana Jones. A good ride is a good ride whether it’s totally original or based off of a movie franchise. I’m just happy that they’re not shoving it down our throats, especially considering the price that Disney paid to acquire those properties.

  • Algernon

    Main Street would be better with cement sidewalks (like it used to have) instead of paving stones. It looks and feels like you’re in a mall. What American Main Street, turn of the last century, ever had paving stone sidewalks? It would be brighter and cheerier, too. I also think they should bring back the slurry seal pavement in the rest of the park. Paving stones and etched concrete give the ground detail, drawing a persons view downward, when it should be outward. It gives the ground graphic weight. I feel the ground should be featureless, like Walt Disney had it, making the world of Disneyland appear more dreamlike.

    • TodAZ1

      Theming doesn’t just apply to what you can see. It also involves what you can smell, taste, hear and, yes, feel. Even without seeing the pathway under your feet, you can feel a different texture, signifying the transition from one land to another. That’s Imagineering 101, dude.

      • Algernon

        Too bad Walt Disney never took Imagineering 101. I’ll take his version of Disneyland over the current one, any day. But that’s just me…

  • zeitzeuge

    Great update! We were just there for 4 days last weekend and the report made me miss DL even more. Luckily we’ll be back in 70 days. Not that I’m keeping a daily count or anything. 🙂

  • LoveStallion

    I had an epiphany over the weekend. It’s too late now, but how great would it have been if the Big Thunder rehab was to extend the track undearneath the walkway and over for a little action along the Rivers of America? I enjoy the quiet peace of the area, as well as the old tunnels and track from the Rainbow Caverns train, as they add terrific atmosphere to the area, but it would have been gnarly.

    Disney overlords, put me in place of this Animal Kingdom transplant. I will lead you into the black and wow the public with my amazingness.

  • DobbysCloset

    I am going back to read and enjoy this entire column, but I scanned to the bottom for more mention of Thor. Or better yet, a picture. Keep your delightful confectionary; my idea of eye candy is a heavily-muscled Nordic Warrior. Sounds like a Meet-&-Greet to rival Mickey and the first good reason I have had in fifty years to visit the building.

    • Thor isn’t out for photos yet, but don’t worry – we will have photos for you as soon as he arrives from Asgard!

      -Andy

  • BradyNBradleysMom

    I don’t know how I feel about Marvel characters being in Disneyland; it feels strange.

    I have no problem at all with Indiana Jones being in Adventureland…because to me he is just one of many explorers and adventurers that could be in that land.

    Star Wars to me is “space”…and Tomorrowland has become the “space” land, so I guess that fits there. Tomorrowland is such a hod-podge of random things though.

    Marvel doesn’t feel “space” to me as much as “superhero”. I can twist the meaning of Tomorrowland to include anything related to “space”…but I just can’t make the leap to “superhero”.

    I’d love to see them save Marvel for a third park…make it all thrilling rides and coasters and things not offered in the two California parks. Have it be all Marvel and Star Wars and even Avatar. Make it designed for 20-somethings and teenagers.

  • Tinkbelle

    Hey Andy,

    We kept an eye out for you on our trip this weekend – problem is, we have no idea what you look like! We saw a guy on Friday night with a tripod on Main St. that had grayish hair and a mustache. Was that you? 🙂 Would love to be able to stop and say ‘Hi’.

    By the way, the canoes are not on the refurb/closed schedule, but I didn’t see them running at all this weekend. Any idea what is going on there?

  • TodAZ1

    The skeleton head candy apples are the coolest!!! 🙂

  • bayouguy

    Good update. Picked up my spirits. Too much GAC news over the weekend.

  • 4Apples4Disney

    Under the refurbishment schedule, Micechat is saying February of 2014. However, the Disneyland website lists it as open on November 1st. I know this has been on the boards, but we really could use some clarification! Great update and pictures too.