Disneyland‘s newly expanded Market House reopened on Main Street, U.S.A. last week, officially marking the controversial debut of Starbucks in Disneyland. The addition of the coffee giant brought significant changes to Main Street’s classic Market House shop, making its corner of Main Street a bit bigger and a lot less intimate. Meanwhile, Disneyland’s private Club 33 is getting ready for a major expansion that’s set to bring controversial changes to New Orleans Square. Disneyland fans turned out throughout the day Saturday to see the quiet Court of Angels for what had been expected to be the final time before Club 33 would move in to make the space its new main entrance and lobby. Elsewhere in the parks, refurbishments continue in Frontierland, safety changes are changing Fantasyland‘s rooftops and a fan-favorite show in Disney California Adventure is getting axed.

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.

There’s a lot to see in this week’s update, so let’s get started.

Note: An earlier version of this article incorrectly listed Disneyland’s one-day admission price as $86. It has been corrected to reflect the correct price, which is currently $92.


Welcome to Disneyland!

Halloween Time continues at Disneyland…

Today, Disney has announced their latest marketing campaign, “Disney Side,” where you’re encouraged to “show your Disney Side at Disney Parks.” Looks like Disney’s tired “Let the Memories Begin” campaign will soon be changing to “Show Your Disney Side.”

Below, the first commercial for the new campaign.

Coffee Street, U.S.A.

The big news last week was the opening of the newly remodeled Market House on Main Street, the new home of Starbucks Coffee in Disneyland.

Outside, the window displays make it very clear that this Main Street’s main spot for coffee.

Inside, the old Market House is brand new and bears little resemblance to its original incarnation.

The most shocking thing about the changes is just how big the new space is. It’s massive and open and surprisingly out-of-scale with the rest of Main Street, U.S.A.

A huge queue takes up most of the space making the Market House feel larger and emptier. While the huge queue will likely be a smart decision during peak crowds, it will probably often feel like overkill and the vastness of the space will stand out.

Looking back toward the entrance

The queue itself splits into two and Cast Members at a total of six registers help guests very efficiently.

Of course, a selection of Starbucks merchandise is available

A huge, contemporary cooler offers various grab-n-go bottled drinks and snacks as well as two pastry cases.

The pastry case has your typical Starbucks selection as well as a couple Disney offerings.

Lighting fixtures are elaborate, turning the Market House into a seemingly upscale coffee shop and deviating from its original theme as a turn-of-the-century general store.

While the old Swift Birthday Cake room was removed for this project, the wooden trim seen in the photos below have been carried over from the original Market House.

New artwork has been added

Speaking of artwork, the selection of art on the walls in the new Market House is strange. Apparently the general store/coffee shop was decorated by the wives of midwestern farmers or something.

The inexplicable country farm theme next to the Starbucks siren.

Much of the artwork looks like it was pulled from a “vintage” art catalog.

These two pieces cost Walt Disney Imagineering only $10 each online. Only the best at Disneyland, folks!

The menu is your standard Starbucks menu, similar in price to the menu at California Adventure’s Fiddler, Fifer & Practical Cafe

Fan favorite features of the old Market House have also been retained, just moved around a bit. The classic Party Lines are still here, but now feature new recordings including one about coffee.

The game of checkers is here, too, just pushed off into a corner, rather than next to an antique stove in the middle of the room.

What’s left of the former Disneyana shop has been transformed into a space called “The Book Rest”

Plenty of books fill the windows

You can only enter The Book Rest from inside the Market House. Its doors no longer open, even from the inside.

Apparently the space is (or was) a bookstore, run by Mr. Peavidy.

Bookshelves are sparsely lined with Mr. Peavidy’s inventory.

The Market House’s antique stove has been relocated to the Book Rest.

The new Market House will let Disneyland guests get a cup of coffee that far exceeds the terrible NesCafe that the old Market House served. But, better coffee has come at the expense of a Main Street interior that had largely gone unchanged for nearly 60 years (take a look at the old Market House). Of course, change must happen at Disneyland, but is this change for the better? A very prominent Main Street interior is now a massive cavern that is dramatically off-scale from the rest of Main Street. With Starbucks here, the Market House’s new ability to handle huge crowds is absolutely needed but comes at the sacrifice of Disneyland’s otherwise smaller and intimate scale. The problem isn’t that Starbucks moved in, the problem is that the execution of the project is so notably sub-par.

Refurbishment Round-Up

At the end of Main Street, work in the rooftops of Fantasyland continues to bring them into compliance with Cal/OSHA’s fall safety requirements.

Snow White Grotto is still closed for refurbishment.

The castle walls peeking over this Fantasyland facade are now a bit taller.

Atop Snow White’s Scary Adventures

A new turret.

King Arthur Carrousel’s refurbishment continues

In Mickey’s Toon Town, Mickey’s House is now open following a recent refurbishment.

In Frontierland, the Big Thunder Mountain Railroad refurbishment continues…

On Tom Sawyer Island, Tom and Huck’s Treehouse is still closed while Disney decides what to do about its fall safety requirements.

Members Only

Saturday night, about a dozen or so fans gathered in New Orleans Square’s quiet Court of Angels. The courtyard had seen a steady stream of guests throughout the day, many of which had come to see the space one last time before it was rumored to close forever, but a small group gathered later in the evening for a final send off. Most in the courtyard knew each other in some way; Disney photographers, bloggers, Twitter friends; and lively conversation, only dampened by the impending closure of the courtyard, kept everyone engaged until well after park closing. Disney security was gracious enough to let us all stay in the courtyard until 1 a.m., at which time we were asked to head out for the night.

In many ways, Saturday’s gathering is a testament to why areas like the Court of Angels are important to the Disneyland experience. That something as simple as a hidden courtyard with stairs leading to nowhere, can create such strong emotional connections with different people over the years is a really important part of understanding why Disneyland is far more than a simple collection of rides and characters. Disneyland is a place where things like small, quiet spaces can create inexplicable and unexpected emotional connections that become a point of common interest between strangers. Over the years, that blue staircase in that small little courtyard has been the site of countless family portraits, numerous marriage proposals and an untold number of “a-ha!” moments for those who have mistakenly stumbled upon it looking for Pirates of the Caribbean, only to discover why Disneyland is so special. It’s a space that exists solely to be discovered so that you can experience its beauty. The Court of Angels is a kind of Disneyland attraction that isn’t listed on park maps and isn’t featured in splashy promotional campaigns; it’s a part of the Disneyland experience that might not sell first-time vacations but helps ensure repeat visits.

In the days leading up to Saturday’s rumored closure, the Disney Twittersphere lit up with fan outcry for the Court of Angels and photos of final visits.


https://twitter.com/Coryllarson/status/382009910722314240


Some fans Tweeted about the courtyard’s history.


And, unfortunately, some Disney fans openly mocked other fans for having a connection to a part of Disneyland that they did not share or understand.


Meanwhile, Disney moved a PhotoPass photographer to the space while they took measurements for the upcoming remodel.


By Saturday, Disney fans on Twitter couldn’t escape the Court of Angels as fans Tweeted their final photos, stories about their experiences and live-Tweeted from the Court of Angels itself.

https://twitter.com/BudgetFairyTale/status/384182819615821824


Others took to Twitter to express how annoyed they were that fans were upset that the Court of Angels was closing. Pointing out that “it’s just stairs” became a popular line while others suggesting that if anybody actually cared about the Court of Angels, it would have always been filled will people.


The divide in the community over the issue reached a breaking point Saturday afternoon with fans arguing over why and why not the courtyard is important, with some belittling others simply for enjoying a small corner of the park.


Change is inevitable at Disneyland. In just the last six years this blog has documented a huge amount of change at the Disneyland Resort. From various remodeling projects on Main Street, U.S.A. to the complete rebirth of Disney California Adventure, we’ve covered it all. Dateline Disneyland would not exist if Disneyland didn’t change. Change can be good, and at Disneyland change often is good. For Disney, change encourages people to return to the parks, to renew Annual Passports, to book those special once-a-year vacations. Change keeps the park alive and thriving. And yet, so does the park’s history.

Part of Disneyland’s draw is the place it has earned in popular culture. The park survives simultaneously on its rich legacy and on its ability to constantly change, evolve and progress. But what is progress? Some fans argued last week that progress is change that betters the experience for a majority of guests, in which case closing the Court of Angels only to be enjoyed by a small percentage of guests would be regressive. Others argued that Disneyland is a business and as such it must do what needs to be done to ensure economic viability. Both of these arguments are true, but at what point is it appropriate for Disney to choose easy profit over the satisfaction of the average guest?

In August, the Orlando Sentinel reported the following numbers on Disney’s most recent fiscal earnings:

The company’s theme parks and resorts, closely watched as an economic bellwether, were its biggest profit driver. Operating income at Walt Disney Parks and Resorts jumped 9 percent to $689 million on sales that rose 7 percent to $3.7 billion.

And if those numbers seem impressive, the Orlando Sentinel reminds us that this jump in numbers was nothing compared to the previous quarter, which saw operating profit skyrocket 73 percent. Clearly, Disneyland is able to thrive even without an invasive Club 33 expansion. So, yes, Disney is a business that has to juggle difficult business decisions with challenging creative obstacles. But is it good business to close parts of Disneyland so that only an elite few can enjoy those portions of the park that were once open to all guests? This happened in 2007 with the original Disney Gallery above Pirates of the Caribbean. Since then, a sprawling multi-room gallery above New Orleans Square has been reduced to a small corner of the Main Street Opera House’s main lobby. The original Gallery space was converted into the lavish Disneyland Dream Suite, the grand prize in the park’s Year of a Million Dreams giveaway marketing campaign. The Disneyland Dream Suite now sits unused except when being used by corporate executives like John Lasseter or on the rare occassion Disney gives a stay in it away in a sweepstakes. So was the Disneyland Dream Suite progress if only a handful of Disneyland’s nearly 16 million annual guests have the opportunity to see it?

The Court of Angels didn’t close after all on Saturday night. The rumored date apparently changed between the time it hit the internet and Saturday rolled around. So, for now, Disneyland guests are now said to have another week to visit the Court of Angels before it really does close. In any case, much like the Disney Gallery, the Court of Angels will soon be closed to the general public, only to be seen by an elite few. In this case, Disney will profit handsomely from the closure, as the larger Club 33 expansion will allow the club to welcome quite a few new members.

So is this progress? Even if you don’t care about the Court of Angels, does closing a part of the park that was open to all guests for nearly 50 years mark a milestone of progress in Disneyland’s history? Is a day at Disneyland still worth $92 if there’s less park to enjoy? At what point should fans stop caring if Disney no longer cares about the fans?

Limited Time Magic

[center]Celebrate Pirates Week
at Disneyland Park
September 23-29, 2013
[/center]
Last week, Disney celebrated “Pirates Week” with entertainment offerings in New Orleans Square and on Pirate’s Lair on Tom Sawyer Island. The Bootstappers provided lively music

And Captain Jack Sparrow met with fans

And the animatronic Captain Squawk invited guests to join his pirate crew.

Below, a video of some of the offerings

[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.‚Äö√Ñ√Æboth 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]Check Out the Downtown Disney Chalk Art Festival
in Downtown Disney
October 5-6, 2013
[/center]
For this week’s Limited Time Magic, Disney is hosting a Chalk Art Festival in Downtown Disney this upcoming weekend. Disney’s details below:

Add a dash of color to your weekend when Limited Time Magic presents the Downtown Disney Chalk Art Festival! Watch in wonder as talented artists intricately transform concrete walkways into a series of canvases for their works. This is your chance to marvel at each eye-catching creation as they’re carefully crafted together from chalk, paint and other materials. Plus, you can even meet popular artist Miss Mindy‚Äîfrom 6:30 PM to 9:30 PM, October 4-5, 2013‚Äîas the Disneyland Resort celebrates the release of some new pieces in her collection at WonderGround Gallery, in addition to a special artist showcase by Haunted Memories‚Äîfrom 1:00 PM to 4:00 PM, October 5-6, 2013. It’s all happening for a limited time, only at Downtown Disney District!

[center]The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad Screening
A Limited Time Annual Passholder Magic Event
at Disneyland Park
October 3, 2013
[/center]
Passholders can attend a screening of The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad at the Main Street Opera House this week.

    The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad Screening for Annual Passholders

    To celebrate Halloween Time at the Disneyland Resort, Annual Passholders can attend a screening of the spooky and funny Disney classic: The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad at the Main Street, U.S.A. Opera House (home to Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln) in Disneyland Park.

    This film is a compilation of 2 unforgettable children’s classics, The Wind in the Willows and The Legend of Sleepy Hollow.

    Dates & Time
    Thursday, October 3, 2013 at 6:00 PM and 8:00 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

Only some minor news over at California Adventure…

New signage has gone up in Buena Vista Street stores to differentiate between shops and, in Elias and Co., store departments.

The entryway to Big Top Toys from Los Feliz Five and Dime now let’s you know what store you’re entering.

Same thing inside Elias and Co.

In Elias and Co. signage lets you know what department is in the next room and new CASHIER signs have been installed.

Do they think all this new signage will improve sales numbers?

Over in Pacific Wharf the Pacific Wharf Cafe’s facade refurbishment continues…

And in Condor Flats, the cast of Minnie’s Fly School has apparently been notified their final show is expected to be by October 20.

This and That

Pumpkin carvers in Big Thunder Ranch’s Halloween Carnival continue to carve up some interesting creations.

In Downtown Disney, construction on the shopping district’s new Starbucks continues..

And finally, if you’re interested in submitting a handmade holiday greeting card to be used in the upcoming “World of Color Winter Dreams” show, you still have a few days to drop it off before the October 4 deadline.


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 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 30 – October 6, 2013
[B]Disneyland Park[/B] [B]California Adventure[/B]
Monday:
10 am – 9 pm
Tuesday:
8 am – 6 pm
Wed.-Thur.:
10 am – 9 pm
Friday:
8 am – 7 pm
Sat.-Sun.:
8 am – 12 am
Mon.-Thurs.:
10 am – 8 pm
Tuesday:
8 am – 8 pm
Wed.-Thur.:
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]Big Thunder Mountain Railroad:[/b] Closed for extensive refurbishment through February 2014.
  • [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 30 – October 6, 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. At this time of year, we expect larger crowds in the evenings after work and school.

  • Mickey’s Halloween Party takes place Tuesday and Friday night. Both events are sold out and we expect decent crowds — however, we have not factored these into our projection for the day, as they are ticketed events and will only have a minimal impact on the day’s crowds, toward the afternoon.
  • Hotels are heavily booked Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday.
  • Gay Days at Disneyland Resort takes place Friday-Sunday. Look for bigger crowds Saturday at Disneyland, and Sunday at California Adventure. For a full schedule of events, visit http://www.gaydaysanaheim.com/GDA/index.php/schedule

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]
  • You can now book your Disneyland Resort dining reservations online starting October 3. (Disney Parks Blog)
  • Audition for the “World of Color Honor Choir” and your voice could be part of the new “Winter Dreams” show debuting this holiday season. (Disney Parks Blog)
  • Disneyland Cast Members recently donated over $820,000 in grants to Southern California non-profits. (Disney Parks Blog)
  • Steven Clark, head of Disney’s official fan club, D23, has resigned. (MiceChat)
Alright, that wraps up this week’s huge Dateline Disneyland. What do you think of the new Market House with Starbucks on Main Street? Do you think it’s just right for Main Street? What do you think about the upcoming closure of the Court of Angels? Be sure to 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.