Disney’s new Disability Access Service (DAS) at its domestic theme parks debuted last week and brought big changes to how disabled guests will experience Disney’s theme parks. The debut of the new system brought long lines to Disneyland‘s City Hall and included the addition of new information kiosks around the parks for guest assistance and so DAS users could schedule ride reservations using the new system. Meanwhile, Halloween Time continues as nets of Christmas lights are now up on trees in Disneyland’s Central Plaza while Disney prepares for the upcoming holiday season. The first signs of holiday merchandise are slowly starting to pop up in shops around the parks as new merchandise for Disney’s upcoming animated film “Frozen” also hit store shelves.

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 get to, so let’s get started.


Welcome to Disneyland!

Halloween Time continues at Disneyland as the Columbus Day Holiday helped boost crowds just a bit over the weekend in addition to guests visiting for Sunday’s CHOC Walk in the Park.

Disability Access Service brings change to Disneyland

Disney’s new Disability Access Service (DAS), the replacement for the troubled Guest Assistance Card (GAC), is now in place at Disneyland and was put through its paces for the first time last week. Long lines have been forming early in the day at City Hall in Disneyland and the Chamber of Commerce in California Adventure with guests looking to obtain a new DAS Card.

Disney has prepared for the initial roll-out by scheduling extra Guest Relations Cast Members and security in the park and so far the transition appears to have largely gone without incident. Of course, there are plenty of folks that are unhappy with the new changes, including parents and families of special needs children who say the system is simply incompatible with their children’s needs.

A Facebook event has now been created for a public demonstration outside of Disneyland to protest the new DAS system. The demonstration is currently scheduled for this Saturday, October 19 at 10:00 a.m. As of this writing only 22 people have RSVPed to attend.

Guests using the DAS System must visit kiosks located in both theme parks to request return times for attractions they wish to ride. In Disneyland, the kiosks are located in the Central Plaza, New Orleans Square, Fantasyland and Tomorrowland. Below, the Central Plaza Information Board is now even busier with guests getting DAS attraction return times.

The New Orleans Square DAS kiosk is located to the right of the Haunted Mansion’s entrance gate.

In Fantasyland, the DAS kiosk is located between Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride and the Mad Hatter hat shop

The Tomorrowland location is located in an area that has previously been home to pin trading tables next to the Little Green Man Store Command (the exit gift shop for Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters)

Over at Disney California Adventure, similarly long lines are found at the Chamber of Commerce for guests looking to register for the new DAS system.

The Carthay Circle Information Board is the first DAS location in California Adventure.

Another is located on San Francisco Street, near the restrooms across from The Little Mermaid ~ Ariel’s Undersea Adventure.

Cars Land utilizes the podium that Radiator Springs Racers Cast Members have been using since the attraction opened to issue return times for guests with disabilities.

We’ve included the Disney-released Fact Sheet for the new Disability Access Service below for reference in case you are expecting to use the new service during an upcoming visit. If you’ve already used the new Disability Access Service please share your experience in the comments section at the end of today’s column – do you think it’s a good change? Is the system fair? How was your overall experience with it? We’d love to hear from you. If you haven’t yet used DAS but will be using it during an upcoming visit please be patient with Cast Members. This is a difficult change for everybody involved and patience and kindness can help make the overall experience a lot easier!

      Disney Parks Disability Access Service Card Fact Sheet
      Disney Parks have an unwavering commitment to providing a welcoming and inclusive environment and accessible experiences for guests.
      Disney Parks is modifying the current Guest Assistance Card program, which provides access to attractions for guests with disabilities, so it can continue to serve the guests who truly need it. The new program is designed to provide the special experience guests have come to expect from Disney. It will also help control abuse that was, unfortunately, widespread and growing at an alarming rate.
      The new Disability Access Service (DAS) Card will replace the Guest Assistance Card on Oct. 9. Guests at Walt Disney World Resort and Disneyland Resort can request a Disability Access Service Card at Guest Relations. DAS Cardholders will receive a return time for attractions based on the current wait time.
      Disney Parks has long recognized and accommodated guests with varying needs. Guests can visit Guest Relations to discuss their individual situation, and Disney Parks will continue to provide assistance that is responsive to their unique circumstances.

      Frequently Asked Questions

      • What is a Disability Access Service Card and how does it work?
        The DAS Card is designed to accommodate guests who aren’t able to wait in a conventional queue environment due to a disability (including non-apparent disabilities). A Disability Access Service Card will be issued at Guest Relations main entrance locations and will offer guests a return time for attractions based on the current wait time. As soon as the Guest finishes one attraction, they can receive a return time for another. This service can be used in addition to Disney’s FASTPASS Service and Disney FastPass+ service.
      • What will Disney Parks do if a Guest is concerned the DAS Card doesn’t meet their needs?
        Disney Parks have long recognized and accommodated guests with varying needs and will continue to work individually with guests with disabilities to provide assistance that is responsive to their unique circumstances. Guests should visit Guest Relations to discuss their individual needs.
      • Who will be eligible for a Disability Access Service Card?
        Disney Parks’ goal is to accommodate guests who aren’t able to wait in a conventional queue environment due to a disability (including non-apparent disabilities). Guests should visit Guest Relations to discuss their assistance needs.
      • How will guests get a Disability Access Service Card?
        A Disability Access Service Card will be issued at Guest Relations main entrance locations. Guests will participate in a registration process, which also includes having their photo taken.
      • Why is Disney Parks doing this?
        Disney Parks is modifying the current Guest Assistance Card program so it can continue to serve the guests who truly need it. The new program is designed to provide the special experience guests have come to expect from Disney. Disney Parks also hopes it will help control abuse that was, unfortunately, widespread and growing at an alarming rate.
      • Does the DAS Cardholder have to be present to obtain a return time at an attraction?
        No. Another member of the DAS Cardholder’s travel party may obtain a return time but the DAS Cardholder must board the attraction with his or her party.
      • Where do DAS Cardholders go to receive return times?
        At Disneyland Resort, guests will go to Guest Relations kiosks located throughout the parks to receive a return time. At Walt Disney World Resort, guests will go to the attraction to receive a return time.
      • Does a DAS Cardholder have to ride the attraction at the exact return time listed?
        No. Return times are valid until redeemed by the DAS Cardholder.
      • How long is a DAS Card valid?
        A DAS card is valid for up to 14 days depending on a guest’s ticket entitlement.
      • Is a DAS Card issued at one Disney theme park valid at other Disney theme parks?
        Yes, the card will be valid throughout the resort at which it was issued.
      • Why doesn’t Disney Parks ask for proof of disability, such as a doctor’s note?
        Disney Parks takes Guests at their word and there are legal restrictions around asking for proof.
      • Is this the only service available to Guests with disabilities?
        Disney Parks offer a variety of services to guests with disabilities, such as Disney‚Äö√Ñ√¥s Handheld Device that offers assistive listening, captioning and audio description. Additionally, Disney Parks has developed a “Guide for Guests with Cognitive Disabilities.” This serves as a tool on how best to experience its theme parks and is expected to be available online by mid-October.

        Disney Parks will continue to provide excellent guest service and accessible experiences. Guests should visit Guest Relations at any park should they feel they need assistance due to a disability.

      • Does a Guest whose disability is based on the necessity to use a wheelchair or scooter need a DAS Card?
        No, a Guest whose disability is based on the necessity to use a wheelchair or scooter does not need a DAS Card. Depending on the attraction, the Guest will either wait in the standard queue or receive a return time at the attraction based on the current wait time. For some attractions at Disneyland Resort, these guests will go directly to an alternate entrance. Guests with additional needs should discuss them with Guest Relations.
      • Will Disney Parks continue to provide a service to wish-granting organizations?
        The change will not affect those who are visiting on trips organized by wish granting organizations. There is a separate program for children with life-threatening illnesses.
Refurbishment Round-Up

On Main Street, the Penny Arcade and Candy Palace facade refurbishments continue

The clock from the front of the Fortuosity Shoppe has been removed, presumably for some TLC.

The temporary hedges are still up along the side of Fantasy Faire

A more permanent railing to comply with fall-safety requirements is expected to go in here

In Fantasyland, more of the new fall safety additions have been finished

You can spot the new secondary Castle wall that was added for fall safety if you’re looking for it. It looks a little goofy, but if you don’t go looking for it, it tends to just blend in.

You can see the secondary wall, the fall safety addition, peeking over the existing castle wall

Some of the new fall safety additions are complete along the top of Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride as well

This new turret above Mr. Toad is still being worked on, however.

Likewise, work at Snow White’s Scary Adventures is ongoing

At Peter Pan’s Flight, too.

The some of the new fall safety changes have been unveiled over at Alice in Wonderland as well.

The new turret atop Alice in Wonderland is still being finished.

Meanwhile, King Arthur Carrousel’s refurbishment continues…

In Adventureland, Tarzan’s Treehouse’s short refurbishment is finished.

And over in Frontierland, the Big Thunder Mountain Railroad refurbishment continues…

Members Only

Last Monday Disney finally closed the Court of Angels in New Orleans Square. The quiet courtyard has been a source of notable controversy within the fan community for weeks now which we’ve discussed here on this blog. Twitter user @ElizabethNDP broke the news of the court’s closure late Monday morning with a cell phone photo taken in the park.


The space will now be walled off by opaque glass and become a private open-air lobby for Club 33 members. Whether you like the idea, are apathetic about the loss, or upset at the change – Disney is now moving forward with the plans and a space previously open to all guests will now only be accessible by an extremely small perecentage of Disneyland’s nearly 16 million annual guests.

Progress?

The windows in the Le Bat en Rougue shop that look into the Court of Angels have been blacked out for construction.

These doors were previously open to the courtyard.

The L’Ornament Magique shop is now behind construction walls. This small shop will become the new front door to Club 33, replacing the existing front door between the Blue Bayou Restaurant and Le Bat en Rouge.

The side gate to the Court of Angels, newly improved with a green construction wall!

Stringing up the Season

In the Central Plaza, the trees around the Partners Statue are now covered in Christmas lights for the annual Sleeping Beauty Winter Castle overlay.

More lights have also gone up in the shrubs and trees in front of Sleeping Beauty Castle.

A couple of holiday antenna toppers are now available in shops

Last week Disney announced a significant new holiday offering which will be available in Disney California Adventure’s Paradise Garden area.

The new ¬°Viva Navidad! offering will celebrate Christmas “inspired by the warmth and joyous spirit of the Latino culture.” The festival will take over the Paradise Garden area with live music, arts and crafts, The Three Caballeros and special food offerings.

Below, a list of the offerings from Disney’s official press release:

  • Disney characters participating in “Disney ¬°Viva Navidad!” include Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse and Goofy in their festive costumes along with the Three Caballeros: Donald Duck, Panchito Pistoles from Mexico and Jose Carioca from Brazil.
  • Paradise Garden will be decorated with holly, banners and Latino cultural icons, including traditional “papel picado” hand-cut paper art decorations.
  • The exciting “Disney ¬°Viva Navidad! Street Party” takes over Paradise Garden several times daily, featuring the Three Caballeros on a festive holiday float, Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse transported on colorfully decorated street tricycles, flag-bearers carrying papel picado banners, Mexican folklorico dancers, samba dancers and drummers, plus giant “Mojiganga” puppets, including representations of Santa Claus and Mrs. Claus.
  • At the Paradise Garden bandstand, guests will enjoy performances by traditional mariachi, Norte√±o, and other regional music groups. Also at Paradise Garden, community music and folklorico troupes will perform throughout the day.
  • “Disney ¬°Viva Navidad!” guests will find opportunities to enjoy fun arts and crafts, storytelling and face-painting, and they may also discover a selection of unique merchandise in the area.
  • Dining locations in Paradise Garden will add an array of popular Mexican food options for “Disney ¬°Viva Navidad!” Menus will feature Mexican dishes that are often served for the holidays, such as pozole (hearty stew), chicken mole drumettes, pescado (fish) Veracruzano, champurrado (Mexican-style hot chocolate), sweet tamales, torta al pastor (pork sandwich), bunuelos (deep-fried sweet treat), choco flan and, for the Three Kings Day celebration, Rosca deReyes bread.
  • The grand finale of ‚ÄúDisney ¬°Viva Navidad!‚Äù will be the special celebration of Three Kings Day (Dia de los Reyes) Jan. 3 through 6, 2014 in Paradise Garden.
Gods and Queens

Meanwhile, as the icy Sleeping Beauty Winter Castle lights go up in the trees in the hub, Disney will soon bring more snow to Fantasyland with a new meet-and-greet for Elsa, the Snow Queen, and Anna, her sister, from Disney’s upcoming animated film “Frozen.” Last week Disney released the first image of the in-park characters, which are set to debut in the parks in early November.

Fans expect the new meet-and-greet to replace the still-popular Rapunzel meet-and-greet in the space next to Pinocchio’s Daring Journey but Disney has yet to confirm where the “Frozen” characters will go.

Meanwhile, “Frozen” merchandise is now available in toy shops in both parks.

Over in Tomorrowland, the new THOR meet-and-greet in Innoventions is coming along quickly. This new meet-and-greet and film prop display is set to open early November.

Limited Time Magic

[center]Enjoy a Jack Skellington cookie
in Disneyland Park
October 14-20, 2013
[/center]
This week’s Limited Time Magic offering is a cookie. Yes, a cookie. Only available in New Orleans Square, the Limited Time Magic Jack Skellington cookie is only available this week.

Enjoy the Pumpkin King of Halloween Town in an entirely new way with your very own limited edition cookie at the Disneyland Resort! Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas is celebrating its 20th anniversary, and as a special Limited Time Magic offering, you’re invited to ring in the occasion at Disneyland Park with a frighteningly tasty treat inspired by Jack Skellington himself! So go ahead and give into your sweet tooth this Halloween season‚Äîscare up this cookie while supplies last, only in New Orleans Square!

[center]Celebrate Oktoberfest at Bayside Brews
in Disney California Adventure
October 14-31, 2013
[/center]
For the next two weeks you can celebrate Oktoberfest in California Adventure with Karl Strauss Oktoberfest Beer or Hofbrau Munchen Beer and special food offerings.

Celebrate Oktoberfest in style at the Disneyland Resort, courtesy of a little Limited Time Magic! For 2 weeks, you’re invited to don your finest lederhosen and join the fun at Disney California Adventure Park where Bayside Brews is kicking off the festivities with a special menu. From best to ‘wurst, savor the flavors from a host of special offerings, including bratwurst sausage, served in a Boursin-garlic brioche with hickory-smoked bacon and sauerkraut, and accompanied by potato chips or apple slices; a Bavarian Pretzel with your choice of mustard; and gingerbread bundt cake. Plus, be sure to top off your stein with a tasty Karl Strauss Oktoberfest Beer or Hofbrau Munchen Beer.

[center]Discover New Surprises at Haunted Mansion Holiday
in Disneyland Park
Starting October 4, 2013
[/center]
On Friday, Disney announced that as part of Limited Time Magic, new surprises had been added to Haunted Mansion Holiday to celebrate its 13th anniversary. Details below:

Celebrate the 13th season of Haunted Mansion Holiday at Disneyland Park as the denizens of Halloween town add a sprinkling of Limited Time Magic to their fiendish festivities! For a limited time, the Haunted Mansion has been gifted with a ghoulish bounty of frightfully fun delights. The Pumpkin King himself‚Äö√Ñ√Æa.k.a. Jack Skellington from Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas‚Äö√Ñ√Æhas placed 13 surprise objects inside each area, from the foyer and the attic to the ghostly graveyard below. Climb aboard your Doom Buggy and keep your eyes peeled as each turn reveals yet another treat. Can you spy them all? Visit Haunted Mansion Holiday to find out for yourself. And don’t forget to scream with glee when you do!

[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 both 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]After-Hours Tower of Terror Event for Annual Passholders Screening
A Limited Time Annual Passholder Magic Event
at Disney California Adventure
October 16, 2013
[/center]
Passholders can attend a screening of Tower of Terror and then enjoy the attraction after-hours at California Adventure.

    After-Hours Tower of Terror Event for Annual Passholders

    To celebrate Halloween Time at Disneyland Resort, Annual Passholders can attend a spooky film screening of Disney’s Tower of Terror.

    After the film, Passholders can experience the haunted elevator attraction that inspired the film: The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror‚Ñ¢. Annual Passholders can enjoy access to this attraction for an additional 90 minutes after regular closing at Disney California Adventure Park.

    Dates & Time
    Wednesday, October 16, 2013 at 5:00 PM and 7:00 PM
    Extended Attraction Hours: After regular park closing (currently scheduled at 8:00 PM) until 9:30 PM

    Event Details

      • Registration and wristband distribution for the event will begin at 12:00 PM (noon) on the day of the event in front of the Muppet*Vision 3D Theater in Disney California Adventure Park. Registration and distribution of event wristbands will continue while event wristband supplies last.
      • 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 in front of the Muppet*Vision 3D Theater in Disney California Adventure 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 movie screening and event as long as there is space available and they receive an event wristband during the registration process.
      • The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror attraction has a height requirement of 40″ for any Guest, and is subject to other physical considerations.
      • 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

Over at Disney California Adventure, a couple small refurbishments are underway as the park heads toward its second holiday season since being relaunched.

In case you haven’t already – be sure to pick up the latest Buena Vista Bugle!

In Hollywood Land, the Disney Animation building’s lobby is closed for refurbishment.

The Sorcerer’s Workshop and the Toy Story Zoetrope are unavailable during the closure, but you can still enjoy Turtle Talk with Crush and Animation Academy via alternate entrances.

Turtle Talk with Crush is accessible by going through the backstage entrance next to the restrooms facility between Off the Page and Disney Junior.

Temporary walls and tape on the floor direct guests through the temporary entrance.

To get to Animation Academy, head around the side of the Animation building, as if you were walking toward the Tower of Terror and enter through the side entrance.

Not too far away in A Bug’s Land, Flik’s Flyers are closed for refurbishment.

The new Toy Story meet-and-greet on Paradise Pier seems to be nearing completion.

The new photo-op got the full popcorn light treatment – a nice touch!

This and That

In Downtown Disney, the new Starbucks location is still under construction.

Some new merchandise offerings are now available in the parks and in World of Disney. Below, a new 2014 wall calendar is available and is worth picking up if you’re a fan of Disneyland attraction posters (who isn’t?)

A new line of sticky notepad sets has hit the shelves, including a really cool set with great Buena Vista Street designs.

A new retro-style toy that allows you to “animate” small character figures that are included with the TV.

And a new line of “Mouse-taches” peel-and-stick mustaches are available as well.

…including this one, which is in rather poor taste, modeled after Walt Disney’s own mustache (word is that Walt’s daughter Diane Disney Miller is not very happy with this specific item)

And we’ll wrap up today’s update with a look at last week’s new creations from the pumpkin carvers back in Disneyland’s Big Thunder Ranch Halloween Carnival.

King Candy from Wreck-It Ralph

Love this one

Terrifying

Oh.


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
October 14 – 20, 2013
[B]Disneyland Park[/B] [B]California Adventure[/B]
Monday:
9 am – 10 pm
Tuesday:
8 am – 6 pm
Wed.-Thurs.:
9 am – 9 pm
Friday:
8 am – 7 pm
Saturday:
9 am – 12 am
Sunday:
8 am – 12 am
Monday:
9 am – 9 pm
Tuesday:
8 am – 8 pm
Wed.-Thurs.:
9 am – 8 pm
Friday:
8 am – 12 am
Saturday:
9 am – 10 pm
Sunday:
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 for refurbishment.
  • [B]Mad Tea Party:[/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 14 for refurbishment.
  • [B]Big Thunder Ranch:[/B] Closed November 1-7 for refurbishment.
  • [B]Space Mountain:[/B] Closed November 4 to remove Halloween overlay.
  • [B]Storybook Land Canal Boats:[/B] Closed December 2-12 for refurbishment.
  • [B]Casey Jr. Circus Train:[/B] Closed December 2-12 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]Flik’s Flyers:[/B] Closed October 21-November 14 for refurbishment.
  • [B]Radiator Springs Racers:[/B] Closed November 4-7 for refurbishment.
  • [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]

October 14 – 20, 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. This will only have a minimal impact on the day’s crowds, toward the late afternoon.
  • Disney’s hotels are heavily booked at the beginning of the week, and other area hotels are also filling up.

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 announced early last week that Hong Kong Disneyland will be home to its first major Marvel attraction, The Iron Man Experience, set to open in late 2016 (Disney Parks Blog). The New York Times expanded on the announcement, noting that Disney hopes the new Iron Man attraction will help complete a turnaround for the park that long struggled to be profitable for Disney
  • On Friday, Disney revealed the first concept art for the upcoming AVATAR-themed expansion coming to Walt Disney World’s Animal Kingdom park by early 2017. (D23, Disney Parks Blog)
  • Disney researchers in Pittsburgh have developed a new touch screen technology that allows users to feel textures depicted on the screen. (The Washington Post)
OK – That wraps up this week’s edition of Dateline Disneyland. Thanks for reading and be sure to join the discussion below on this week’s big headlines including the new DAS Card system and Gay Days!

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

Support Our Sponsors

[center]Follow Dateline Disneyland!
| | | | [/center]

FTC-Mandated Disclosure: Promotional consideration for this edition of Dateline Disneyland was provided by the Howard Johnson Plaza Hotel & Water Playground.
  • JCSkipr79

    hmmm Walt’s own daughter is unhappy with them selling a “piece” of her father. Yet there are some Disney fans who think it’s “cute”………Guess who’s opinion we should respect and take more seriously…………

    • BradyNBradleysMom

      Do you have an article or source on this? I’d like to see a quote from Diane where she says this. Those mustaches are not really a “part” of him…they are novelty items made of plastic and artificial fibers, not his cremated remains from Forest Lawn.

      Walt Disney had a sense of humor in life and enjoyed jokes. I think he was also a really simple man, who didn’t put on airs and used to eat canned chili for lunch every day because he loved it. He did absolutely everything he could to promote and sell the park and was tireless in his efforts to build the Disney brand.

      I don’t think he’d have a problem with the mustache thing. In 2013, it’s reintroducing the man to a generation of hipsters who’d buy this product….people who never think of Walt Disney and were born long after his death. I don’t think he’d see this as making fun of him or as being disrespectful at all.

      • The Lost Boy

        Well, you have just opened up Pandora’s Box to find that it’s full of cans of worms. Time to reap the whirlwind.

      • Disneylandguest

        I have to agree.

        Now, it’s definitely not the kind of merchandise that interests me, but Disneyland has had goofy (no pun intended) merchandise for years. It’s not necessarily a bad thing.

        I have to doubt the claim that Diane dislikes it. That came out of nowhere.

    • Westsider

      I would have been more impressed with the Walt moustaches had they come out in 2011. These were hipster gift items in 2009-2010, and if Disney had jumped in fast and gotten them on the shelves by early 2011 it would have been fun and impressive.

      But being several years late to the party on a fad item just shows how fuddy-duddy and bureacratic the merchandise team in TDA is. It’s like introducing a Rubik’s Cube for sale in Tomorrowland in 1986 instead of 1983. Or selling Pogs in 1997 instead of 1994. Or Beanie Babies in 2001 instead of 1997.

      The hipster moustache fad is over, TDA. And did you know there’s a thing called the iPhone now?

    • DisneylandTraveler

      When it comes down to it, what Walt Disney’s daughter thinks of selling fake Walt mustaches is pretty irrelevant. As the decades go by, and corporate Disney marches to a very different tune than the one started by a couple of brothers with their interest in animation and story telling, Walt Disney has pretty much been relegated to being more of a marketing character than a real visionary. To find Walt Disney in California, you need to go to the Disney Family Museum in San Francisco, not Disneyland.

      • Disneygayguy

        Sad but true.

      • Haven

        I am afraid you may be right. There is about as much real Disney family left in the Walt Disney Company as there are Knott’s at Knott’s Berry Farm anymore. After Roy’s departure from the company and then passing, is anyone aware of any genuine Disney relatives still involved in any branch of the company? Would be interesting to know. Disney is now an international corporate giant, just like Coca-Cola and McDonalds.

      • Disneylandguest

        DisneylandTraveler–

        I think you are being overly-dramatic. Disneyland still honors Walt Disney as a person in many ways.

      • Marko50

        Haven, Disney’s been an international corporate giant long before the last Disney left the Disney Company.

    • airick75

      The mustache would be the lightening rod in this update, wouldn’t it? It’s the very thing that caught my attention and made me want to comment! With all due respect to the DAS system, I understand that and I am hopeful it is all ironed out soon. But after that – the mustache!! haha – I thought it was funny! Even though I think the whole mustache craze is goofy and there’s nothing more unattractive than a female with a mustache for her profile pic (why do girls like to do this!!???). But still, a trend is a trend, and a Walt Disney mustache? Awesome!! Now – do we really know that Diane Disney-Miller had something to say? That’s a rather bold comment in the update. I sympathize if she doesn’t like it. But in general, I think it’s a funny, novelty item. What on earth could be in poor taste about it? A Walt Disney popsicle mold might be in poor taste…but not a mustache. Actually the popsicle mold would be funny too even though we all know here at micechat that Walt is NOT frozen. HA – speaking of “Frozen” – what a tie-in! What synergy!

    • Disneylandguest

      I find it odd that you automatically assume that what Andy said is true.

    • Disneylandguest

      JCSkipr79–
      Oh? So anyone who happens to like this merchandising is automatically wrong just because Diane may not agree with it?

      Let’s say FOR EXAMPLE;
      WHAT IF, Diane Disney Miller just happened to agree with the decision to close the Court of Angles? Huh? What then? Would you disagree with her? Or would you blindly agree just because she’s the daughter of Walt?

      Not every decision that the Disney Company makes is going to be liked by the Disney family, and that is not necessarily a bad thing.

      Food for thought.

      And like BradyNBradleysMom said, it is NOT selling a “piece” of him. It’s a novelty mustache that is supposed to be a representation of Walt’s.

  • StevenW

    The DAS system is off on the wrong foot. It seems like there is a line for those who can’t handle lines. What’s up with that? They should give out appointment times. Come back later and then we’ll figure it out for you. It would seem like the only way for the “disabled” to get their way is to overwhelm the system, thus forcing Disney to go back to the old ways.

    My solution is frankly to get people to use the Fastpass system for fastpass rides with a separate entrance for wheelchair access. For those who can’t wait no matter what, have a DAS kiosk in each land that allows an user to dispense Standby return passes at the rate of one at a time. When the park is especially busy, the Standby return times will be lengthened.

    • Westsider

      Yeah, the long line of people (who look healthy, young and fit in those pics) waiting to get their DAS card so they don’t have to wait in line makes one chuckle. I know, cue the outraged comments, but just the pictures of those folks waiting in line for their DAS card is chuckle-worthy.

      DAS isn’t done. Management will be clamping down harder before Thanksgiving. People writing in multiple return times on their cards this weekend is hastening the stamp system being put in place. Next up, those QR codes will be activated with all tickets in a party attached to one DAS card to prevent the other fraud that kicked up this past Friday night and Sunday.

      The DAS roll out went “soft” on purpose, with further restrictions and fraud prevention measures on the way. So far, executives and management are standing strong behind the front line CM’s making Guests stick to the rules. And it’s working great so far.

    • JFS in IL

      Yes, I am not looking forward to the next time I bring my adult son with autism to the resort, and have to steer him into a long line when he is all excited about entering one of the parks. There has to be a way for the folks who truly need the DAS card to get it in advance – or get it outside the main gate? I dunno – obviously the system still needs tweaking.

      • stitch1085

        I just went to Disney yesterday with some friends to celebrate my birthday, I have Tourette’s and just avoided getting the new DAS card and avoided rides completely. We just had lunch and walked around posing for photos. The lines were long for city hall AND for the attractions and rather than risk hurting someone due to an involuntary muscle spasm I decided I would just enjoy the day with friends and keep clear of being in close proximity with others as much as possible. I was worried that I would not qualify for the DAS card since I don’t have autism and I’m not a child after reading some of the postings about the system. All in all I had a good day yesterday but I felt really badly for those waiting in line to acquire times to revisit attractions. Those kiosks had severe lines and I was glad I decided to just avoid the new system. All I can say is good luck to everyone involved in the change over.

  • bayouguy

    I just realized how deaf Disney execs are to its costumers and it’s not mean as a pun. The DAS system and the Court of Angels highlight this. It’s still on Eisner management model.
    And wasn’t it hilarious to read how the management is firmly behind the frontline CMs demanding that they stay the course on the DAS? I’m hoping that the system does play out and/or get tweeks to better help the folks.

  • Big D

    I’m not sure the people who want to organize a protest of the new DAS system really thought that idea through. If someone is disabled to the point where they can’t stand in line, then how can they stand outside the park protesting?

    I’m very confident that Disney wants this to work and is going to do everything they can to make it succeed. Disney may be shortsighted, greedy to the point of being stupid at times, not care anything about Walt’s legacy, etc. but one thing they have always been is extremely disabled-friendly, more so then almost any other business I know. They have gone to great lengths (and great expense) to make the park as accessable to everyone as possible. Now, maybe the new DAS systems is awesome and maybe not, but they are trying to make it work and make it as befinical as possible for everyone. What they need in order to do this is feedback from actual disabled guests (not people who are offended on behalf of disabled guests, as seems to be so prevelent in this discussion) who have used the system and can let them know the pros and cons that they encounter. There’s no way this systems will start out perfectly because there are too many different types of disabilities to take into account. It’s going to take probably five years or so to fine tune everything and make it as accessable as possible to those who actually need it while still trying to eliminate the abuse as much as possible.

    • Marko50

      Of course, the issue with this is that many actual disabled guests are not able to give feedback – I’m sure there’s many different types, but I’m thinking of autistic guests for instance.

  • churrocharlie

    I love Walt and I love the stache!

  • Klutch

    Anna is my new, favorite face character!

  • BrianFuchs

    In light of a recent MiceAge column where a person with herniated discs was give line passes for his favorite ride – Space Mountain – it seems to me that the new program is still being VERY accommodating to all who ask for it.

    Protesting and demanding even more accommodation is wildly selfish.

    • martinjbell1986

      Agreed, I’ve been on trips with 2 separate people who got the old GAC. Both were using it just because it was available and they didn’t want to stand in lines for that long. No medical reasons other then their legs getting tired.

  • zuliek

    I am not sure what to think about the DAS system. It will not work for everyone. My 24 yr old daughter is mentally disabled and has to use a wheelchair and has all her life for any distance longer than 25 or so feet due to orthopedic problems.. . The thought that we would have to push her around to get return times gives me a back ache just thinking about it. We would rather go thru lines if they are wide enough for wheelchairs. She could get frustrated in the line and act up, but that is something that we are used to, I wonder if anything is going to be resolved with the new system. I remember waiting longer than the general public to get on space mountain as they only allowed one handicapped person on at a time due to evacuation issues. Will this make the wait to ride Space Mountain longer?
    It seems the truly handicapped are going to be punished with having to wait in lines for return times and having to run back and forth between rides.

    • Marko50

      People in a wheelchair/ECV are not affected by DAS.

  • StrikeYerColors

    What I don’t think some posters understand is that people using wheelchairs don’t use the DAS. The DAS is for non visible handicaps. A wheelchair is very visible. If you are using a wheelchair (or say “I can’t stand for long periods”, at which point the accommodation is, please rent a wheelchair or ECV to keep with you during the day), you won’t have to wait in line to get your DAS or return times. You simply go to the regular or designated wheelchair entrance of the ride you want. I noticed this weekend that some rides that usually have long standbys but short wheelchair waits are now asking wheelchair groups to wait the same amount of time as the standby line. But that was only a few rides in Disneyland, it seemed.

    • zuliek

      Thanks for clarifying!

    • Marko50

      Sorry. I commented before I read your comment. Whoops.

  • CasaFamilia

    Our first experience with DAS was Saturday. Our first day experience was great. We have twin six year old daughters both with Autism. We were very cautious when the change away from GAC was announced but hoping that the amount of fraud would be diminished. Of course there is still opportunity for fraud but we saw less of it, at least on that day. I won’t get into the specifics on how people could misuse the system, I’m sure they’ve already figured out how and if not it won’t be long. The way the system worked it was perfect for our girls. We could get a pass for some rides, use the stand-by cue for some rides and we visited the Island, Big Thunder Ranch and did lots of “shopping”. There have always been some lines they have been able to stand in so we have always tried to use that line rather than the assistance entrance. All of the CM we interacted with were very friendly and helpful-hopefully they can maintain that level of staffing and accommodation.
    We arrived to City Hall about 9:30AM and waited about 15 min. We were able to immediately get a boarding time for two attractions(Mansion and Star Tours) because we had one card for each girl. One of my girls will not go on every ride her sister is willing to ride. We did the following Tiki Room, Adv. land shopping, Jungle Cruise(stand-by), HM(DAS), got pass for Nemo, visited the Island, Columbia, Star Tours(das), got a pass for Alice, Nemo(das), Alice(das), Mad Hatter Shop-I got a pass for Matterhorn and Dumbo while family was in the shop, Small World(stand-by), Small world shop, Matterhorn(das), Dumbo(das), Big Thunder Ranch, Main St. cinema and shopping before leaving. We definitely had to plan more out than before and lost the chance for the spontaneous “do you want to ride…….let’s go” but the girls handled it great and had their usual tremendous day. If the system can be this rewarding in the future then we say thank you Disney for all of your efforts! You have gone above and beyond again. I sincerely hope that it can be equally beneficial to countless more special needs families. We could never fully put into words what a joy it is to spend such a great day with the twins away from some of the day to day issues. Whenever we go to “The Park” we always feel that “Welcome” that Walt extended on Opening Day.

    • JFS in IL

      Glad you had a good day! Mixing the DAS with FPs and actual lines (when not too long) is what I plan to do, too.

    • DobbysCloset

      Hooray for parents doing great parenting!

  • SpectroMan

    “The grand finale of ‚ÄúDisney ¬°Viva Navidad!‚Äù will be the special celebration of Three Kings Day (Dia de los Reyes) Jan. 3 through 6, 2014 in Paradise Garden.”

    I believe you meant NOV 3 thru 6.

    • SpectroMan

      No you didn’t; I was thinking of Dia de los Muertos. My bad!!! LOL Sorry.

    • SpectroMan

      Woops! No, you didn’t. My bad, I was thinking of Dia de los Muertos!

      • OprylandUSA

        You *do* know what Three Kings day is, right?

  • QuiGonJ

    If they can do Chinese New Year and Faliz Navidad, they can do Merry Christmas.. at least I think they can. Seems if it isn’t “ethnic” in some way but simple mainstream American Christianity, they tend to act as if that’s offensive. Namely, I still remember the Easter Egg hunt that they called a Spring Egg hunt this year and was told the Resurrection of the Lord might offend people. And the word was they are scaling back the Candlelight Procession this year to it’s old pattern of one weekend.

  • oo_nrb

    I posted this on the In the Parks update on Friday, but apparently it needs repeating here as well. That is NOT the Guest Relations kiosk for the westside of the park by the Haunted Mansion. That is a separate kiosk for Haunted Mansion CM’s to give out return times for guests using wheelchairs. The actual Guest Relations kiosk is staffed by Guest Relations cast members, and is on the other side of the Haunted Mansion near the exit to the attraction. Please, MiceChat, do your research before posting inaccurate information (twice!).

    • brdwydisneyboi

      Thank you for this comment!!! I am a cast member at the Mansion and we’ve been approached numerous times thinking this is the guest relations kiosk. We all know guest’s don’t read signs and maps, so we depend on social media to help us clarify what is needed to be said. We’re happy to direct our guest’s, but please Micechat post a correction so our guest’s will know where to go! 🙂

  • waltopia

    Tom Hanks has been sporting that Walt ‘stache all year. Think of it as (cheesy) merch. for “Saving Mr. Banks”.

  • Disneylandguest

    Hey Andy,
    You might want to see this. The Disney Parks Blog has a Q&A with Imagineer Kim Irvine about the refurbished Market House;

    http://disneyparks.disney.go.com/blog/2013/10/imagineer-qa-kim-irvine-on-the-new-market-house-at-disneyland-park/

  • Disneylandguest

    “(word is that Walt’s daughter Diane Disney Miller is not very happy with this specific item)”

    How do you even know that? Who told you? Where is your source?

    • If I could reveal the source, I would. Unfortunately, I was asked not to with this piece of information, just like any number of other fan sites are asked not to reveal sources of certain bits of information…

      Thanks for reading
      -Andy

      • Disneylandguest

        As we have seen numerous times in the past, fan sites are not always accurate. Without sources, people will always find things to be suspect. That’s just how it is.

        If enough people give their negative feedback about it, then they might discontinue the item.

        At any rate, These “mouse-staches” have been labeled a “novelty” item. I’m sure that when they were created, they did not intend to be disrespectful.

      • tcsnwhite

        So basically it’s just gossip.

      • @Disneylandguest — That’s perfectly fine that you “find things to be suspect.” I was simply explaining that information sources on blogs like this can’t always be revealed.

        @tcsnwhite — Gossip, rumors, anonymous sources – That is where a significant portion of discussion that drives the Disney fan community comes from on many different sites and across various social media.

        Thanks for reading,
        Andy

  • Rushin

    You said you wanted feedback on the new DAS, well maybe you should check out the tumblr that has been created to allow folks to post their personal experiences

    http://www.atragickingdom.com/

    Probably your first hint that the new program isn’t working is the 1-2 hour wait at city hall to even get the new pass.

    To those above who are so sure that all these people are faking, why would they wait on a 1-2 hour line to get a DAS if they didn’t really need the assistance?

    And as for all those black hearted folks who proclaim that Autistic children shouldn’t go to Disneyland in the first place, I truly hope karma deals you the hand you so richly deserve. Really. Is it really such a problem for you that a child with autism doesn’t have to wait on as long of a line as you? Is that really your definition of “unfair”? Get a grip.

    I would think the folks at Disney would be embarrassed to be on the same side as such soulless individuals.

  • The Lost Boy

    CasaFamilia got a DAS card in 15 minutes.

    Too many with the same verbatim complaint talking points. I wonder how many of the “1-2 hour wait…” people actually showed up at the Park?

    • The Lost Boy

      Check that, CasaFamilia waited 15 minutes for TWO DAS cards.

    • Rushin

      there are plenty of people listing their experiences, naming the folks they spoke with and even posting pictures and video at http://www.atragickingdom.com. Since you know one family that had no issues that means all of these other people are lying, is that it?

  • Disneylandguest

    “including this one, which is in rather poor taste, modeled after Walt Disney’s own mustache”

    It is bad form to state your opinions as fact.

    • Disneylandguest

      …You could have at least said, “I think this in bad taste.”

      Anyway, if you think something is in bad taste, do something constructive! Voice your opinion at guest relations.

      • Disneylandguest

        Sorry, I meant ” think this is in bad taste”

    • This is a blog. Blogs, by definition contain personal thoughts and commentary of the writer. Therefore, it is generally assumed that commentary included in blogs isn’t the author stating their opinion as fact; it’s simply the author stating their opinion. Feel free to agree or disagree with my opinions – that’s why a comments section is provided here, but I’d also encourage you to not read too much into my opinions — I’m not intending to state them as fact or force them on you.

      Thanks for reading,
      Andy

  • Tiki AA

    Thanks for another lovely update, Andy.

    Your patience is seemingly limitless. This is our opinion . . . and perhaps a fact, as well.

    🙂

    Cheers!