Changes big and small: Disneyland Year in Review 2013

Written by Andy Castro. Posted in Dateline Disneyland, Disney Parks, Disneyland Resort, Features

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Published on December 30, 2013 at 6:42 am with 13 Comments

About Andy Castro

Andy is a Southern California native, raised with Disneyland and a life-long fan of Disney theme parks and animation. Andy wrote the long-running weekly Dateline Disneyland photo, news and opinion blog here on MiceChat from 2007-2016. Andy continues to make occasional special guest contributions on MiceChat.

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  • garyman

    Great Recap, have to be at work today.

  • Peoplemover Priit

    Great look. Crazy year. Haven’t quite decided if a good year for the resort. Such polarizing highs and lows…

  • SoCalFan

    I forgot how great that summer party was on the Pier! I wish they would always have those kind of amazing sideshow acts on the boardwalk! They add some much more energy and character to that land. Makes it feel more “lived in”, if that makes sense. The characters vintage beachwear is also really great!

  • Irving

    It’s a great recaputulation of what 2013 was at Disneyland. Living far enough I was very fortunate to visit the Resort twice this year. It is wonderful to see that, despite all the changes, Disneyland is still full of great offerings, first quality seasonal entertainment, and of course great Cast members.
    Thanks MiceChat crew for these Datelines!

  • Big D

    WOW, what an amazing update! That was a great look back, thank you so much Andy! It must have been a heck of a lot of work to put together. I didn’t attend the Greek festival, but from the pictures, that looks like the most interesting of the LTM events to me. I did go to the Friday the 13th party and that was a mistake. It was way too crowded to be fun. Nevertheless, Disneyland on a bad day is still better then anything else. Thanks again Andy!

  • Larry Parker

    Thanks Andy for the great photos and commentary. The two main negatives I see to this year’s changes were the closing of the Court of Angels(I recall your comment at the time regarding how Disneyland endlessly markets its magic, yet increasingly ignores that magic with for-profit changes like the closing of the Court of Angels); the other negative is the new Starbucks replacing the homey and beloved Market House.(I love your comment; “Lots of queue space, not much charm.”)A better and much less impactful location for the Starbucks would have been in the old restaurant space next to Disney Showcase near Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln. But ever since Eisner, it’s profit over quality and charm.(You recall the current CEO Iger was handpicked by Eisner.)It’s a pattern of disregard and non-appreciation of Walt’s genius which started then and which primarily remains today. It’s sickening…I just hope more Disney fans will make our displeasure known when such changes occur(which no doubt they will)in the future.

  • msjstricker

    Thanks for posting Tony’s retirement letter. I had missed that somewhere along the line this year. It was nicely written, but did make my ears perk up a bit at the specific mention of Imagineering politics. Just how bad is it over there?

    Among my many many Disneyland trips, I was lucky enough to spend 4 days in WDW this year. I got to see MyMagic+ in action, and while my opinions about it are still materializing, it was a great trip.

    It was a good year, but overall I think this was one of the most controversial years for Disney in awhile. They did some things that truly scared me and made me nervous about the future of the parks. Hoping things only get better in 2014!

  • MonteJ

    What a great pictoral report! Your really get a great perspective of the year at Disneyland.

    And while I’m commenting … it interesting how MiceChat itself has transitioned from covering every little development in the major transformation of RCA (what color did that beam finally end up being, anyway?) and than back to covering the ongoing activities and news surrounding the resort. It’s always a great way to get a Disney-fix and I want to express my gratitude and best wishes to all the MiceChat staff and members.

  • mightymicroscope33

    I hope they don’t ruin club 33. This was quite a big year for disneyland.

  • Tinkbelle

    There were 3 major negative happenings that cloud 2013 at DLR for me:
    1. Fastpass return time enforcement
    2. Court of Angels closing
    3. The announced forced retirement of Billy Hill and the Hillbillies

    We have no plans of visiting in the year to come, but I hope it brings better things than 2013 did.

  • pattimarie

    Losing Court of Angels is a blow to my heart. Like many families, we took pictures of all of us on the the stairs every few years. I went there by myself many times just to take it all in. They did such a good job on it–there was a certain magic there. It’s not a little thing to me. The fact that they couldn’t figure out another way to service the members of a club many of us cannot possibly aspire to join leaves me very disappointed and concerned. Being a passholder and regular visitor kind of makes you feel like you are a member of something special, but this makes me feel very helpless and like I’ve been put in my place. I wish I felt that someone in management even cared how heartbreaking this is. I don’t think they get it.

  • CasaFamilia

    Great job Andy! Your update brought some bittersweet memories but mostly great memories from 2013. This Casa family had some amazing times at the Parks this year and your updates helped us plan effectively for our weekly trips.

    I especially loved the picture from the “Getting In” section-Suburban Lawns! Janitor and Gidget goes to …………………

  • RodeToad

    Thanks for the great recap, and as always your photos are fantastic.

    Still hoping the Court of Angels isn’t closed off for good – personally, that would be the worst thing to happen to the park in a long time.