What a difference a week makes.  The holiday crowds have vanished, making this a wonderful period to visit the Disneyland Resort. Attractions like Space Mountain and Indy rarely crest over a 30 minute wait during the day and there is plenty of room on the paths to simply wander.  Today we catch you up on the current wave of refurbishment happening at the resort, along with our photos and thoughts.  But keep in mind that this is the weekend of the Tinker Bell Half Marathon.  So as uncrowded as things are during the week, things will change over the weekend.  But before we start, we have to tell you about the BIG weekend coming up in February

Amazing MiceChat Anniversary Weekend – February 7-9th, 2014 – Disneyland Resort

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Don’t miss out on the big, MiceChat anniversary weekend.  Every day has amazing fun and excitement in store .  Meet Disney Legends, take a trip into Walt Disney’s home and history, and have the best time at the park you will ever have.  Click here to learn more about all of the activities we have in store!

 

Friday, February 7th

An Evening with Walt Disney – Friday Evening, February 7th

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Join the folks at the Save Walt Disneys Birthplace project as we explore what it was like in 1901 when Walt was born and what Walt’s early years in Chicago would have been like. The event will be filled with very special guests, presentations, dinner, drinks, meet and greets and even an opportunity to bid on some unique items with all proceeds going to support the wonderful project to save the home Walt Disney was born in. Space is strictly limited to 70 guests. This is a SPECIAL TICKETED EVENT (Tickets Available Soon)

 

Saturday, February 8th

Building The Dream – The Magic of Disneyland Paris SPECIAL EVENT

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Celebrated Imagineer Tim Delaney will lead us on a journey through the building of the most beautiful Magic Kingdom of them all, Disneyland Paris. Learn about the challenges, creative opportunities, and wonderful stories that make this park so unique in the universe of Disney theme parks. This will be a breakfast event at the ESPN Zone (bacon, bacon, bacon) with a 90 minute audio/visual presentation and an opportunity to meet a true creative genius. Event is limited to 125 guests and will sell out quickly. SPECIAL TICKETED EVENT (Tickets Available Soon)

DCA MiceQuest – 3pm

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Put your Disney skills to the test as Fishbulb presents one of his famous eye spy/scavenger hunt events. This is a two hour event which will be free to enter (you’ll just need park admission). There will be fun prizes sponsored by Fairy Godmother Travel and this is always a great way to meet fellow MicePals and have a great time in the park.

 

Communicore Weekly Musical Meet-up – 6:30pm

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Meet Jeff Heimbuch and learn more about the epic Communicore Weekly Musical project. This event will be presented in the same location as the Game Show. Two great events, one great location.

Monorail Man’s EXTRA Limited Time Magic Game Show – 7pm

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The game show has become a MiceChat anniversary tradition. Why? Because Monorail Man isn’t just a Disney nerd but a game show nerd as well. And what excuse do we need to have a good time and win prizes? The show lasts for about an hour and prizes will be given throughout.

SUNDAY FEBRUARY 9th
MiceChat/MiceAge Classic Sunday in Disneyland

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Breakfast at the Riverbelle Terrace, a grand circle tour of Disneyland aboard the Disneyland Railroad, Mark Twain trip around the Rivers of America, MiceChat noon meet with prize giveaway, group photo, lunch with friends, “Practically Perfect Tour,” farewell meet with grand prize giveaway. It’s a MiceChat tradition that’s not to be missed. All are welcome to join us for as much or as little of this day of magic as they’d like. All events, except for the Evening with Walt Disney and the Breakfast with Tim Delaney are free (you just need theme park admission). Add your email address below to be notified the moment tickets become available for the special ticketed events and to receive the final event schedule with dates/times/locations of all of the above listed activities and more! 

Send me info about the MiceAge/MiceChat anniversary events:

Off-Season Disneyland

It’s the glorious beginning of the off-season at Disneyland.  What does that mean?  It means that there is a far greater chance of the park being manageable on any given day, as opposed to the record attendance experienced last month.

Every last sign of Christmas has been removed from Main Street and Town Square  the new year is starting off, bright and cheery.

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The Disneyland Band is back in their traditional garb.

Flower beds are filled with colorful blossoms.  The square is preparing for what is sure to be a beautiful spring season coming up.

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We see that a portion of Main Street is now under an exterior refurbishment.  The façade for Fortuosity is all under wraps right now, with its corner door facing the Carnation Cafe closed to traffic.

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The TInker Bell Half Marathon

This weekend the Disneyland resort will be holding the popular TInker Bell 1/2 Marathon.  Races are held Friday, Saturday, and Sunday and run throughout the resort and surrounding areas.  Here is a full schedule of the main races.  Click here for the entire schedule.

Neverland Family Run 5k
Friday, January 17, 2014
Start Time: 5:45 a.m.
Start/Finish: Disneyland Resort

Tinker Bell 10k
Saturday, January 18, 2014
Start Time: 6:00 a.m.
Start/Finish: Disneyland® Resort

Tinker Bell Half Marathon
Sunday, January 19, 2014
5:00 a.m.
Start/Finish: Disneyland® Resort

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If you are arriving at the Disneyland Resort before noon, on Saturday or Sunday, we would suggest aiming for the Toy Story Parking Lot.  Avoid the MIckey and Friends parking structure  until later on in the day.

Sub Lagoon

Walls now wrap around nearly every inch of the lagoon perimeter and the water level has remained about 2 feet below normal since closure.

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The covered portion of queue for the attraction is now behind walls as well.

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This blue screen was added to the queue for the Monorail which would normally offer a view of the lagoon.

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Divers were out in the lagoon on Tuesday morning.  We can only guess at what they were doing with the buoy.  The seagulls are gone.  It’s likely that that they want to remove the buoy before the water in the lagoon is drained.

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Since last weeks update we received quite a few comments that proved helpful and begged further investigation. According to two sources, pieces of concrete began to fall from the ceiling of the cave where the subs exit the show building, under the waterfall, and return to the dock.  The cast member piloting the submarine apparently saw the pieces fall and immediately halted the vehicle, triggering an e-stop of the entire ride.

After the ride was evacuated, it was found that the rebar holding the rocky ceiling in place had indeed rusted through and was falling into the water below.  With the possibility of more debris plummeting into the water and with one final day of operation left, the subs were suddenly shuttered.

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Big Thunder Ranch

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The cabin and petting zoo at Big Thunder Ranch have returned after being stripped of their holiday dressings.

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Big Thunder Mountain Railroad

Big Thunder Mountain Railroad is inching closer and closer to its supposed return date of February 1st, 2014.  Eagle-eyed visitors should look for the walls around the attraction to come down any day now.  We can also expect to see Cast Members in the familiar costume being trained on operations soon.

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Sailing Ship Columbia

The iconic sailing ship is now shrouded in scaffolds, enjoying a top-to-bottom refurbishment.  Extensive work is being done on the masts as there was said to be considerable wood rot in spots.  Considering they have stunt people swinging on the ship nightly for Fantasmic, it is understandable that they would do everything they can to ensure that it’s all in perfect working order.

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Fantasmic Down

The nightly spectacular, Fantasmic is planned to be down until Friday, February 14th.  Get those nighttime ride on the Mark Twain in now! It’s a rare and wonderful opportunity.

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Club 33

The Club 33 expansion project is now going full steam ahead.  More walls have popped up in New Orleans Square.

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The scaffolding near Blue Bayou towards Court of Angels has become more fortified.

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But if you go forward from this point, past the crystal shop that is on the right, you can only go as far as the pin trading store.  Access to the train station and restrooms from this spot has been blocked.

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To get to the restrooms and train station, you must make a right, past Café Orleans, then a left around the back side of French Market (on the train station side).

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The space above French Market is fully cloaked now.

The second story of French Market is being turned into a private jazz era themed lounge for the private club.  The project is moving along on target for a June opening. Framing is said to be nearly done in the new space and ready for drywall.

MiceChat Podcast: Looking Into The Disney Crystal Ball

January is a great time to reflect on the year past and the year ahead. On this episode, we share our favorite and biggest theme park moments of 2013 and our predictions for 2014 and beyond. What will be our biggest story of 2013? Listen on to find out. Then we turn our attention to 2014 and what is already shaping up to be a magical year for the theme park industry. Plus, Disneyland Subs, Tomorrowland Star Wars projects, construction delays and more. We even have a cameo by Robert Coker about the project to save Walt Disney’s birthplace in Chicago. Today’s special podcast guest is Joseph Kleiman of InPark Magazine.

Direct Link  |  Find Us On iTunes

Haunted Mansion:

We eagerly await the return of the classic version of the Haunted Mansion on Saturday, January 18th.  There is always a chance of a soft opening before then, but one never knows.  Ghosts are sometimes fickle and tend not to perform on command.

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Disney California Adventure is also enjoying spacious conditions during this off season. It’s a wonderful time to take advantage of the light crowds and walk on to your favorite attractions.  But don’t worry.  It’ll still take an hour or more to get on to Radiator Springs Racers.

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One of the most frequent email questions we receive is, “when’s the best time to go to Disneyland?”  This update proves that the answer is NOW. Spring Break crowds will be here soon enough. Get out there and play! Are you planning to take advantage of Disneyland Resort off season?

We’ll see you again soon . . .  In The Parks!