The holidays are in full swing at Disneyland as the busy Thanksgiving holiday week gets underway. Big crowds will hit the parks this week, with levels hitting their peak over the weekend. As holiday crowds arrive this week, we’re filling you in on the various holiday treats available in the parks, updating you on upcoming events including the popular Candlelight Processional and hand-made Candy Cane dates, and letting you know what kind of wait times you might encounter at some Disneyland attractions that are new this season.

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 today’s blog to see a larger, high-resolution version.

Happy Thanksgiving to all of our readers in the United States! Let’s get started!

Welcome to Disneyland!

The holidays are in full swing now at both theme parks.

Below, take a holiday time trip down Main Street and back aboard the second level of the Omnibus!

An interesting new banner wishing a Merry Christmas “from Carnation” is up at the Carnation Cafe. The Carnation brand sponsorship of the Carnation Cafe has been a thing of the history books for some time now and the cafe is now sponsored by Smuckers, but this banner makes it seem like Carnation is still a brand represented here. Regardless, it’s a nice nod to Disneyland history.

With filming finally wrapped for both the Disney Parks Christmas Day Parade and The View, guests can now enjoy an unobstructed view of Sleeping Beauty Winter Castle and once again access Fantasyland from the drawbridge. MiceChat’s In the Parks blog has great coverage of The View taping in their 11/22 blog.

It’s too bad the icicles for the winter overlay are still so ugly during the day.

Nearby, Fantasy Faire is celebrating its first holiday season with its own custom Christmas decorations — a nice touch considering most of Fantasyland goes undecorated for the holidays.

Around Disneyland, a look at some of the new offerings for this holiday season… The Jingle Cruise is packing in the crowds with wait times just under an hour early Saturday afternoon.

Of course, Disney is giving away free Jingle Cruise posters at the ride’s exit as part of Limited Time Magic this week, so that could have helped boost the wait time for the ride over the weekend.

In Fantasyland, the new Frozen meet-and-greet was only posting a 20-minute wait time, but expect the waits here to grow noticeably as the film hits theaters this week.

In Tomorrowland, the new THOR meet-and-greet inside Innoventions is drawing big crowds but you’d never know it from outside where the attraction appears to be as dead as ever.

Inside is a different story, and guests lining up for the THOR meet-and-greet on Saturday were looking at wait times of anywhere between 60 to 90 minutes.

There’s no posted wait time signage for the Thor meet and greet outside or inside and Cast Members are giving rough estimates to those waiting in line. Still, despite it being unclear just how long it’ll take before anybody will see Thor, guests are still lining up and overflow queues have been set up.

Meanwhile, a look at wait times for the rest of Disneyland Saturday afternoon:

Over at California Adventure, the park continues to delight guests with its fantastic new Viva Navidad and World of Color – Winter Dreams offerings as well as the spectacular Buena Vista Street and Cars Land holiday offerings.

Molly the Messenger on Buena Vista Street will deliver your wish lists directly to Santa!

I can’t stress just how great the whole Viva Navidad celebration back in Paradise Garden is. The new holiday offering is definitely worth checking out, with a lot of fantastic entertainment, activities and great food. Hopefully it becomes a new holiday tradition. For our full review of Viva Navidad and World of Color – Winter Dreams, check out last week’s blog.

Refurbishment Round-Up

With the holidays in full swing, most refurbishments have wrapped up until the end of the holiday season in early 2014. There are still a couple major projects underway, including the major Big Thunder Mountain Railroad project. Originally expected to open by October, the Big Thunder refurbishment was extended until 2014.

On the Rivers of America, the eagle with its eaglets is no longer functioning. The animatronic figures have had problems from time to time since moving here from the old burning cabin scene during the major Rivers of America refurbishment and retheming project in 2010.

The mother eagle has looked in particularly bad shape for some time. Is Disney is unable to properly go in and refurbish the animatronic due to the new fall safety requirements the park is imposing on itself to satisfy Cal/OSHA?

Down the river, the Osprey nest is in similarly poor shape, with the blue framework for the nest being exposed for months now.

Nearby, the moose could also use a good cleaning

Not far away in New Orleans Square, the work continues on the facade at the exit of Pirates of the Caribbean

No exterior changes yet at the former L’Ornament Magique shop (its marquee is still painted above the entrance) as it becomes the new entrance for Club 33.

And work continues on the backside and along the roof of the French Market.

Over in Fantasyland, work has finished on the new awning that was added to the portion of Monorail track that crosses over the old Motorboat Cruise area.

In Tomorrowland, flags and railings are still up on the increasingly filthy Space Mountain (the recent rain couldn’t help the situation) and the surrounding Tomorrowland buildings while they wait on permanent fall-safety railings to be added.

Space Mountain continues to go without a cleaning following a November 2012 incident where a contractor fell and was seriously injured while cleaning the mountain. That incident is what led to multiple Disneyland rides suddenly closing in April after Disneyland was slammed with state fines related to the fall.

Safety ropes and flags up atop the Star Trader and Starcade buildings

Inside the nearby Innoventions, the Xbox 360 free play zone is now closed and behind walls.

No new addition has been announced for the space and it’s likely that the Xbox presence isn’t going away quite yet. With the recent release of the Xbox One, I’d expect this area to become a showcase for that nextgen gaming console very soon.

The lighting fixtures for the previous Xbox 360 area are still in place while everything else behind the walls has been removed.

Over in California Adventure, Flik’s Flyers in A Bug’s Land has reopened after a lengthy refurbishment. Looks good.

Candlelight and Candy Canes

Disneyland’s hugely popular hand-made candy canes will return again this year in both theme parks starting this Friday. The hand-made candy canes are always popular with guests, routinely drawing big lines on Main Street and selling out quickly. The Disney Food Blog has great information on the process to line up, get a wristband and secure your own candy cane, which I recommend checking out if you’re interested.

Below are the dates and park opening times for days hand-made candy canes will be available.

    Candy Palace at Disneyland

  • Friday, November 29 (8 am park opening)
  • Tuesday, December 3 (9 am park opening, 8-9 am Extra Magic Hour)
  • Friday, December 6 (9 am park opening)
  • Tuesday, December 10 (9 am park opening, 8-9 Extra Magic Hour)
  • Friday, December 13 (9 am park opening)
  • Tuesday, December 17 (9 am park opening)
  • Friday, December 20 (9 am park opening)
  • Sunday, December 22 (8 am park opening)
  • Tuesday, December 24 (8 am park opening)
    Trolley Treats at Disney California Adventure

  • Saturday, November 30 (8:00am park opening)
  • Monday, December 2 (9:00am park opening, 8-9 am Extra Magic Hour)
  • Saturday, December 7 (8:00am park opening)
  • Monday, December 9 (9:00am park opening, 8-9 am Extra Magic Hour)
  • Saturday, December 14 (8:00am park opening)
  • Monday, December 16 (9:00am park opening)
  • Saturday, December 21 (8 am park opening)
  • Monday, December 23 (8 am park opening)
  • Wednesday, December 25 (8 am park opening)

If you aren’t interested in waking up early enough to line up and get your own candy cane, taking a trip to the park on a candy cane day is still worthwhile if for no other reason to watch Disneyland’s confectioners undertake the labor-intensive process and carry on a great holiday tradition. Below is our video from last year showing the Candy Palace confectioners at work.

With November coming to an end this week, Disneyland’s holiday season will really get underway the first weekend of December with the annual Candlelight Processional, which will go back to only two nights this year after running 20 nights last year.

This year, the Candlelight Processional will run December 7 and 8, 2013. Below, the celebrity narrators for this year’s event.

    December 7: Blair Underwood
    December 8: Kurt Russell

Holiday Treats and Eats

Of course, Disneyland Resort theme parks have a variety of treats and special menu items available in both parks for the holidays. Candy Palace and Trolley Treats have everything you need for your sweet tooth.

In addition to the various fresh-made offerings, a variety of pre-packaged holiday-themed candies are available as well

Gibson Girl Ice Cream Parlor in Disneyland and Calarabelle’s Ice Cream in DCA aren’t serving peppermint ice cream this year but the peppermint waffle cones are available for the holidays.

Disneyland’s Market House and DCA’s Practical Cafe have the Starbucks holiday drinks, coffees and bakery items available

Peppermint brownie cake pops

Starbucks’ popular Cranberry Bliss Bars are here for the holidays as well

The Starbucks locations also have a variety of Disney-baked treats as well (these are also available at Disneyland’s Jolly Holiday Bakery and DCA’s Pacific Wharf Cafe.

Jolly Holiday Bakery has additional items on its menu as well

Holiday drinks

Popcorn carts around the parks have special Mickey Santa popcorn buckets available

Holiday cups at dining locations are now out as well

In Fantasyland, the Village Haus has a special chicken sandwich for the holidays

And the Mint Julep Bar has special drinks and gingerbread beignets available

Limited Time Magic

[center]Bite into a Magical Thanksgiving Celebration
at Disneyland Resort
November 24-December 1, 2013
This week Disney will have a selection of Thanksgiving-themed desserts and treats available around the parks for Limited Time Magic. Below is Disney’s blurb:

Celebrate the tastiest time of the year with Thanksgiving Treats across the Disneyland Resort‚Äîcourtesy of Limited Time Magic! Savor the flavors at Disneyland Park with pumpkin spice lattes at Jolly Holiday Bakery and Mint Julep Bar; caramel apple muffins at Schmoozies, The Coffee House and Surfside Lounge; sweet potato pie at Tomorrowland Terrace; pumpkin cheesecake at Harbour Gallery; the Fall Time Yule Log‚Äîa.k.a. spice cake with pumpkin mousse, lingonberry marmalade and more‚Äîat Plaza Inn; and pumpkin fritters at Royal Street Veranda. Meanwhile, a duo of delights awaits at Disney California Adventure Park, like pumpkin pie hot chocolate at Pacific Wharf Caf√©, Award Wieners and Flo’s V8 Cafe; and turkey-shaped bread at the DCA Bread Cart, Mortimer’s Market and Boardwalk Pizza and Pasta.

[center]Grab Hold of the Jingle Cruise Poster Giveaway
at Disneyland Park
Available now, while supplies last
On Friday, Disneyland started giving out free Jingle Cruise attraction posters to guests exiting the attraction for Limited Time Magic. Below is Disney’s info on the giveaway:

Prepare the port for a boatload of holiday cheer headed your way, courtesy of the Jungle Cruise… or should we say “Jingle Cruise”? Starting November 12, 2013, this classic Adventureland attraction will be decked out from boathouse to dock with a hodgepodge of holiday d√©cor. And as part of Limited Time Magic, you can celebrate the seasonal enhancement with a complimentary “Jingle Cruise” mini poster, available while supplies last by the Oasis Courtyard outside the exit of the Jungle Cruise at Disneyland Park. This is your chance to hear the skippers slip a holiday joke into their already hilarious spiels‚Äîand take home a ferociously fun piece of the festivities too!

[center]“Holidays in Disneyland Park” Presentation
A Limited Time Annual Passholder Magic Event
at Disney California Adventure

On select dates in November and December
Annual Passholders can attend exclusive showings of the new “World of Color: Winter Dreams” at California Adventure on select nights this November and December.

    Holidays in Disneyland Park Presentation with Stacia Martin

    Stacia Martin, Disney Artist and Historian, offers a nostalgic look back at past Disneyland Park holiday celebrations.

    Date & Times
    Tuesday, November 26, 2013
    6:00 and 8:00 p.m.

    Main Street Opera House in Disneyland Park

    Event Ticket Information

      • Event Registration and Wristband Distribution
      • Registration and wristband distribution for the event will begin at 12:00 noon at the Main Street, U.S.A. Opera House (home to Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln) in Disneyland Park.
      • Registration must be completed in person at the Main Street, U.S.A. Opera House on the day of the event only; no phone reservations or other registration will be accepted.
      • All participating Annual Passholders must present their active Annual Passports to the event Cast Member to check event availability. Photo ID may be required.
      • Registration and distribution of event wristbands will continue while event wristband supplies last.
      • Registration and distribution of event wristbands are based on availability and capacity. Space is limited.
      • 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 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

[center]World of Color: Winter Dreams for Annual Passholders
A Limited Time Annual Passholder Magic Event
at Disney California Adventure

On select dates in November and December
Annual Passholders can attend exclusive showings of the new “World of Color: Winter Dreams” at California Adventure on select nights this November and December.

    World of Color Winter Dreams Showings

    Celebrate the warmth and wonder of winter with the all-new nighttime spectacular in Disney California Adventure Park — World of Color – Winter Dreams!

    Annual Passholders are invited to attend a special viewing. Event participants may also receive a special holiday ornament, while supplies last.

    November 15 through November 22, 2013
    December 2 through December 6, 2013

    Show Times
    9:00 PM show time on November 15, 16, 17, 22 and December 6, 2013
    7:00 PM show time on November 18, 19, 20, 21 and December 2, 3, 4 and 5, 2013

    Event Ticket Information

      • Registration must be completed in person, by each participating Passholder, at the Grizzly River Run Disney FASTPASS Service machines on the day of the event only; no phone reservations, registration by someone else or other forms of registration will be accepted. Registration and distribution of Disney FASTPASS tickets for each Passholder show will be based on availability. Space at this event is limited and not guaranteed.
      • Cast Members will be available at the Grizzly River Run Disney FASTPASS location to assist Passholders with event registration and to hand out holiday ornaments, while supplies last.
      • Participating Annual Passholders must present their active Annual Passports to an event Cast Member to check event availability and to register and receive a Disney FASTPASS ticket. Photo ID may be required.
      • Registration and Disney FASTPASS ticket distribution for this special event is available on each event day when Disney California Adventure Park opens‚Äö√Ñ√∂‚àö√ë‚àö√Ücurrently scheduled at 9:00 AM on November 15, 16, 17, 22 and December 2, 3,4,5, 6; and 10:00 AM on November 18,19, 20, 21.
      • It is recommended that all members of your party register together at the Grizzly River Run Disney FASTPASS location to help ensure that everyone receives a Disney FASTPASS ticket to the event.
      • 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 are accompanied by an adult (age 18 or over) with a valid Disney FASTPASS ticket. Children under 3 will not receive an ornament.
      • A valid Annual Passport is required to receive a Disney FASTPASS ticket to a Passholder show and the accompanying holiday ornament.
      • One ornament and one event Disney FASTPASS ticket for each registered Passholder on each event day will be distributed at the Grizzly River Run Disney FASTPASS location, while supplies last.
      • Passholders will not receive a holiday ornament with a Disney FASTPASS ticket for any of the general audience shows.
      • More information

Below is the free ornament that Disney is giving to Annual Passholders attending the special AP showings of “Winter Dreams”

This and That

Outside the parks, the Guest Services building has emerged from its facade refurbishment.

Looks good.

The connected restrooms facility is now behind walls for its refurbishment. The restrooms are open during refurbishment.

In Downtown Disney, World of Disney got some great new window displays based on the great California Adventure attraction poster artwork that debuted last year for that park’s major overhaul

Love this Buena Vista Street window.

Cars Land has its own window as well

The street light blinks like it does in the park

Disneyland got its own window in the same style, with Main Street and Sleeping Beauty Castle.

Love this.

A fireworks show lights up above Sleeping Beauty Castle!

Nearby, the upcoming Starbucks location is progressing.

New steel going up at the entrance

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 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
November 25-December 1, 2013
[B]Disneyland Park[/B] [B]California Adventure[/B]
8 am – 12 am
8 am – 11 pm
8 am – 11 pm
8 am – 10 pm
[CENTER]For a complete listing of theme park hours,
visit the Theme Park Calendar
[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]Jungle Cruise:[/B] Delayed opening at 12:00 noon. December 2-5 and 9-12, 2013.
  • [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] Closed January 6 through May 22, 2014 for enhancements and redesign of outdoor portion of ride track.
[b][center]Disney California Adventure[/center][/b]
  • [B]Twilight Zone Tower of Terror:[/B] Reduced capacity through January 1, 2014.
[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.
A weekly look at projected crowd levels at the Disneyland Resort.[/center]

November 25-December 1, 2013


About This Week’s Estimates
Our Addictometer™ crowd estimates are an average for the entire day. Expect higher crowds than this in the late afternoon and evenings. For real-time crowd levels — and where the crowds are in the parks — download the free Mouseaddict app.

  • Happy Thanksgiving from the Mouseaddict Team!
  • Expect the holiday season to begin in earnest this week, with crowds reaching a peak every day.
  • Looks like rain on Thanksgiving Day through Saturday, which may thin out the crowds just a touch. The smart guest will stick around during the rain to take advantage of this. The down side is that bad weather will generally result in cancelation of fireworks and a handful of outdoor attractions.
  • Hotels are mostly empty this week, and most Annual Passports are blocked on Thursday through Saturday.

Download the all new, redesigned, reimagined, and remarkable Mouseaddict app for iPhone and iPad for the amazing Addictometer crowd map overlay that shows exactly where crowds are gathering, right on the map! The free Mouseaddict update features more than five dozen categories of searchable resort information, weather forecasts, park and show schedules up to two weeks in advance, and your favorite MiceChat blogs right in the app. Learn more about the new features at

[center]Headline Roundup
A quick look at noteworthy Disney theme park headlines from around the web.[/center]
  • Disney theme parks in California, Florida and Hong Kong honored with Thea Awards. (Disney Parks Blog)
  • Disney lays off three more theme park executives, including two 20-year veterans from its information-technology group as the company works on launching its massive MyMagic+ program in Florida. (Orlando Sentinel)
  • Disney says its new MyMagic+ program is “on the right track” despite recent delays for the program’s full launch. (Orlando Sentinel)
  • Last week Disney and Nikon announced the camera company would become the official camera sponsor for domestic Disney theme parks and resorts. (Orlando Sentinel).
OK, that wraps up this week’s edition of Dateline Disneyland! Will you be visiting the parks this holiday weekend? 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.