Halloween Time is in the air at the Disneyland Resort. This week we’ll look at the renovation of the Candy Palace on Main Street and the continued reaction to the new Starbucks.  We’ll also observe the progress on the additional safety railings on the rooftops along Fantasyland and check on the shrouded King Arthur Carousel.  We finally have the admission from Disney that Big Thunder will be opening early next year, and we look at the newly spiffed up sailing ship Columbia.  But that isn’t all.  We also see what is behind Door Number two on the gingerbread advent calendar inside Haunted Mansion Holiday.

But first, we’d like to invite you to join us for some fun this weekend as MiceChat offers meets on both Saturday and Sunday this weekend as well as a FREE Eye Spy adventure on the 6th:


Join us for a meet at Disneyland at noon on Saturday and another noon meet at Disney California Adventure on Sunday. Plus, Sunday at 2pm we offer the “Gumshoe Gallop,” our free in-park Eye Spy event! Don’t miss out, view the full weekend schedule HERE.

Main Street Candy Palace Refurbishment

The Candy Palace on Main Street is receiving some touch-ups to the facade before the busy holiday season kicks into high gear.






Starbucks is on Main Street, end of story.

There is much debate about regarding the controversial move bringing Starbucks to Main Street USA.  Some folks see it as an overly commercial space, others feel that Main Street has always had sponsored shops and are glad to see better coffee in the Market House. Some love the new decor and others are disappointed.



Sam Gennawey touched on the core of the matter recently with his article on the Market House here.  He writes…

 It is function over form, which was the priority. It is not really themed but it is an attractive retail space using an overlay of historic items designed to maximize revenues. Just like your local Cracker Barrel.

That is, we think, the biggest problem that many folks have with the main room of the new space. We do hope that once the newness of this Starbucks dies down and the new Starbucks in Downtown Disney siphons off some of the traffic from this location, some of the extended queue can be removed and additional thematic details can be added. Yes, Disneyland is a business, but it is also a show which tells a story. Thanks to Sam for reminding us that there is more to this space than just a good cup of coffee.

Big Thunder Mountain Refurb

Finally signs have appeared which confirm the news MiceAge broke long ago regarding the Big Thunder Mountain extended refurbishment. Unfortunately, it also means more safety railings.













But you know what?  It’s better to have the job done as it should and give them the time they need to fully theme the additional work. It’s a bummer, but February will be here soon enough folks.

Sailing Ship Columbia

The Columbia has returned from dry dock and is on the river again.  If you ever get the chance to, take this boat around the island for a spin and explore the decks below.  It’s actually quite fascinating and a lot of fun.










In Fantasyland new castle turrets are becoming visible as part of the rooftop safety railing initiative.  They are actually looking very nice and they seem to blend nicely.





















Snow White Grotto

Speaking of Fantasyland, the Snow White Grotto to the East of the castle is still under refurbishment.



Haunted Mansion Holiday Advent Calendar

The stunning gingerbread advent calendar featured inside the ballroom of the Haunted Mansion has revealed yet another surprise.  But, it’s weird because it’s not exactly surprising.







We see that the second door, (bottom right) is another Jack face.
Because the park needed more Jack apparently.

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Thor Meet and Greet

The Thor meet and greet inside the hodge-podge that is Innoventions in Tomorrowland is still under construction.  The meet and greet should be opening on November 1st.





Court of Angels

At the moment of this publication, the Court of Angels is still open.  However, eventually it must close so work can begin on the new entrance to Club 33.






New Meet and Greet

It appears that a new meet and greet is coming together near the Paradise Park area of the Pier.  Who will go there?


Animation Courtyard

The animation courtyard is once again receiving a new carpet.  Doesn’t it feel like they just did this?  At any rate, the Sorcerer’s Work Shop is off limits right now.  However, Turtle Talk with Crush and Drawn to Animation are both up and running, with alternate entrances from the exterior of the building.





As A Reminder The Guest Assistance Program Is About To Change:

The big battle royal between those trying to cheat the system and those who need the system to enjoy a day at Disneyland will commence on October 9th, with things heating up on October 11th.  Of course,  those poor guest relations cast members are the ones who will have to explain to thousands of people that the Guest Assistance Cards that they could easily obtain in past are no longer available.  Read about it here to get more info.  But essentially, the new cards will be available to those who require special assistance and will more or less follow the model set forth by Radiator Springs Racers and act as a sort of FastPass.


What is sure to happen is a lot of screaming, yelling and demands at both City Hall in Disneyland and Chamber of Commerce in Disney California Adventure.  Be cognizant of the change folks.  But most of all, please be kind to those front line CM’s that are having to deliver the bad news.  They don’t get paid enough for the work that they will have to do in the next few days, so please be courteous and forgiving. They are there to help you, but yelling at them for things they can not change won’t result in a positive outcome for anyone.

Disney is keeping a very close eye on the new system and will be making rapid adjustments as necessary.


Don’t forget that MIceChat is holding events all weekend long in celebration of Gay Days at Disneyland Park and Disney California Adventure.


A full weekend schedule is available here. We are also offering a free, in-park game on Sunday at 2pm. The Fabulous Gumshoe Gallop is a free Disney California Adventure eye spy game brought to you by MiceChat.com and the Hidden Mickey’s Adventures books. Fun Hidden Mickey inspired prizes will be awarded to the top teams.

  • Where: Meet on the Mendocino Terrace of the Golden Vine Winery (between the wine bar and the Blue Sky Cellar)
  • When: Sunday, October 6th at 2pm
  • Team Size: You may compete alone or in teams of 2, 3 or 4. Please note that prizes are awarded to the team regardless of size
  • Sign Up For FREE HERE (while you can just show up, it helps us tremendously if you’ll sign up in advance so we know how many packets to prepare).

Well, that about wraps everything up for today.  If you are planning on visiting the parks this weekend it is sure to be beautiful. We hope to see you there.

  • FerretAfros

    Is Paradise Park still a smoking area? Maybe the meet & greet will be for Pinocchio, Goofy (dressed as a gaucho), Pecos Bill, or Cruella de Ville

    • poohmeg

      LOL – that’s a good one! Then the photopass pictures can all have the cigarettes digitally removed. 🙂

  • Algernon

    The Haunted Mansion Holiday is truly a masterpiece. I hope they don’t one day expand Club 33 out that way, so that Calvin Hockley and the other first class passengers aboard the Titanic can better sip their Champaign while looking down at the rest of us.

    • BradyNBradleysMom

      I wish they had a permanent Nightmare Before Christmas ride in DCA instead of taking away Haunted Mansion for so many months a year to do this overlay.

  • imaginashton

    I remember seeing that set up in paradise park when I went last Sunday, took pictures but never got to upload them. Great update!

  • tcsnwhite

    Still think the Market House looks great. Much ado about nothing.

    • BradyNBradleysMom

      I agree with you. And it’s nice to be able to treat myself to a Starbucks now in the parks.

  • Mr. Disney

    I don’t complain about the Market House, I think it looks ok from what I see in pictures. However, it matters little to me because I rarely get coffee there. Why?

    Because of the main problem. The coffee still sucks. Say all you want about Starbucks being a better coffee than Nescafe, I agree… But Starbucks still sucks. Why, may I ask, is there not a place where I can get great gourmet coffee, like a REALLY good one, inside the parks?

    Now THAT would get me to buy more coffee at Disney. And not pay for an overpriced Starbucks (as if it weren’t already) that I can get on Lincoln Ave. before I park.

  • amyuilani

    I think that if people are walking around in the parks and overhear a Cast Member getting berated by someone who doesn’t like the GAC program, a nice gesture would be to go to City Hall/COC and enter a compliment for the Cast Member who had to take the yelling. The CM’s on the front line take so much crap that people should be applauding them for handling the massive change with grace. If anything, it’ll show that the CM’s did their jobs well and deserve to be commended for it. Compliments don’t go around enough anymore.

    • DobbysCloset

      I feel the same way. I won’t be walking around in the parks, but I want to share emotional support with any CM who catches grief. I know how much BS Dobby attracts from people who want to challenge me rather than observe the Service Dog Law.

      If Dobby were walking around in the park he would be sharing love with everyone equally, CM and guest.

  • TodAZ1

    ENOUGH with the meet and greets!!!


    • second blue teacup

      Well, Disneyland has to play catch up if it wants to hit that magical 5:1 ratio of Meet and Greets to actual attractions. They don’t want to be left in the dust by Walt Disney World, do they?

  • AndyBartotto

    I was just there last night, the Animation Courtyard is also getting digital tv’s/screens,and getting rid of the projectors/screens.

  • The Lost Boy

    Recently there have been many touching anecdotes about the Court of the Angels, so many, in fact, that I’m sure at least a few actually occurred.

  • WDWorldly

    To those who say the new Market House isn’t “intimate” enough: Disneyland is an intimate park that doesn’t attract intimate crowds; it’s the world’s second-most visited theme park. There needs to be a balance between authentic theming and catering to the massive crowds that descend upon this small park. I’m not endorsing this project as the best example of that, but it’s not terrible, and at least the coffee is better.

  • whamo

    I loved the Haunted Mansion, and I got a photo at the Court of Angels today as went there for the last time. My wife liked the outside of Starbucks. They made us park in the Pimba parking lot, which is long walk for handicapped folks. I think the new handicapped policy was necessary, but the handicapped parking in the Pimba parking lot is too far away from the park. I had a great day until I got caught on the Riverside Freeway parking lot on the way home. That was an ordeal.

    • dland_lover

      I thought Disney offered busses and shuttles to/from the Pumbaa lot?

  • AvidTurtleTalker

    As of today (10/4) the scrims were taken down from the Candy Palace refurb due to the VERY strong Santa Ana winds. The scaffolding is pretty ugly but it’s only temporary for what will be a fresh facade.

  • AvalonLove

    Was just there on Thursday. Loved the new Market House decor, no line during the parade, and my Salted Caramel Mocha tasted especially Disney great! Much improved coffee from our choices in the past, JMHO.

  • Brer Mole

    Snow White’s Grotto is open again as of Friday. :3

  • Disneylandguest

    “Yes, Disneyland is a business, but it is also a show which tells a story. Thanks to Sam for reminding us that there is more to this space than just a good cup of coffee.”

    So, in other words you’re saying, “Sam and I are correct, everyone who disagrees with us is wrong.” ?

    You seem to be forgetting that while Main Street is supposed to be a tribute to small town America, this is the year 2013. The crowds are massive today, and NOT small town-sized. Traffic-flow is important with the kinds of crowds that the park gets today. Disneyland shops have to be functional (in order to handle the crowd demands of a popular park in 2013.) as well as appropriately themed. And the new Market House is appropriately themed.

    The Market House STILL tells a story. I’ve been to the new Market House, I think it looks great. I think it’s fantastic that they found a place for the stove, checkerboard, and party line phones. It looks very classy inside.

    The old market house had a problem, it had NO SPACE FOR LINES.
    Again, this the is year 2013, traffic flow is important to handle today’s crowds.