Disney California Adventure celebrated the Year of the Horse over the weekend with a special three-day Lunar New Year celebration. The Lunar New Year festivities included plenty of live entertainment, characters, arts and crafts and special food in the park’s shady Paradise Garden area. Meanwhile, Disneyland continued with various off-season refurbishment and construction projects including the repeatedly-delayed Big Thunder Mountain Railroad refurbishment. In Tomorrowland, work is now underway to bring Captain America to Innoventions and speaking of Tomorrowland, film crews prepared “it’s a small world” for this week’s filming that will take place at the attraction for Disney’s upcoming “Tomorrowland” film.

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.

Thanks to MiceChat’s Norman Gidney and reader Jenny Solo for some additional help with photos this week!

There’s a lot to get to this week, so let’s get started!

Welcome to Disneyland!

Guests arriving by electric car now have access to one of Southern California’s largest public collections of electric vehicle charging stations at the Mickey and Friends Parking Structure. Disney opened the new set of twenty ChargePoint electric vehicle charging stations on the Chip and Dale level of the structure over the weekend, with an additional 10 available elsewhere on property for Cast Members.

Charging costs $0.35/kWh and you must pay for parking in the structure to access the new charging stations.

Celebrate with MiceChat
MiceChat is celebrating its anniversary this weekend with a huge weekend of great events with special guests from the Walt Disney’s Birthplace project, Imagineer Tim Delaney, Disney blogger Jeff Heimbuch and more! A few tickets are still available for the headliner events and, of course, much of the weekend is full of free meet-ups, scavenger hunts, and other events that you won’t want to miss!

For full event information, click here!

Friday, February 7
    An Evening with Walt Disney
    Join the folks at the Save Walt Disney’s 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. Almost sold out! Get your tickets now!
Saturday, February 8
    Building The Dream – The Magic of Disneyland Paris
    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. Almost sold out! Get your tickets now!
    MiceQuest at Disney California Adventure
    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 (register for free now!). 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
    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 Magical Game Show
    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 9
    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, D23 Fanniversary Scavenger Hunt, 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.

For full weekend information and schedule, click here!

Despite the cooler weather and light showers over the weekend, Disneyland is in full spring mode already with gorgeous floral color throughout the park.

On Main Street, the Market House has introduced the warmed La Boulange pastries that Starbucks is slowly rolling out in its stores nation-wide. Stores throughout Los Angeles and Orange County have been serving La Boulange pastries for months now and the Disney locations have finally caught up.

The pastry cases have also been reorganized with signage to help you more quickly find the type of pastry you’re looking for.

Of course, a small selection of “Disney favorites” are still available

A new “Disney favorite” has been introduced at the Market House – the Berliner jelly-filled doughnut.


[center]Main Street, USA[/center]
On Main Street, the Disney Gallery area of the Main Street Opera House lobby will close soon to install a new show, set to open February 22.

The current Tiki Room anniversary exhibit will make way for a new show called “Mechanical Kingdoms: Steam-Driven Visions of a Victorian Future,” which will explore Disney’s steampunk-style, Jules Verne-inspired attractions around the world. Below is Disney’s description of the show:

Steampunk, a subgenre of science fiction loosely built around retro-futuristic visions of a steam-powered society, has been gaining (pardon the pun) steam over the past several years. The movement, which is expressed culturally and stylistically in everything from technology and design to music and fashion, was dubbed steampunk in the late 1980s. Though certainly not part of the steampunk “wave” (at least not consciously), Walt Disney Imagineers have been creating their own visions and versions of retro-futuristic technologies since well before that time, incorporating them into Disney parks and attractions around the world.

In Town Square, the Churro cart recently got a makeover.

Looks nice.

Halfway down Main Street, the Fortuosity Shoppe’s facade refurbishment continues…

[center]Whipping Up[/center]
In Adventureland, the Tiki Juice Bar expansion continues.

In New Orleans Square, the Club 33 expansion continues as well. There’s not much new to see from the ground on this project.

New directional signage has been put up to encourage guests to actually go inside the gift shops that are still open but obscured by scaffolding and construction walls.

Meanwhile, the rest of New Orleans Square is ready for Mardi Gras.

Over in Critter Country, Splash Mountain is now closed for refurbishment.

[center]Reopening the Wilderness[/center]
Along the Rivers of America, the Fantasmic pits are no longer drained and open as the show gets ready to reopen mid-February.

Work lights are still up on Tom Sawyer Island

Over at Fowler’s Harbor, scaffolding and scrims are down at the Sailing Ship Columbia. The Columbia should reopen alongside Fantasmic by February 14.

Meanwhile, Big Thunder Mountain Railroad refurbishment has been pushed back once again and is now expected to open by the end of March.

[center]Space Junk[/center]
In Tomorrowland, scaffolding is up along the top rim of Space Mountain as work gets underway to install Cal/OSHA safety additions that will allow Disney to once again access the exterior of the structure for cleaning and maintenance.

Nearby, construction is now underway inside Innoventions.

The terribly outdated and underutilized Nanooze Labs exhibit area in Innoventions is now closed and behind construction walls and will reopen this spring as a Captain America meet-and-greet area in time for the theatrical release of Captain America: The Winter Soldier in April.

The new Captain America meet-and-greet will be located on the upper level of Innoventions and immediately to the right to the current guest entrance of Innoventions, with Iron Man Tech and Thor: Treasures of Asgard to the left.

With the new Thor: Treasures of Asgard exhibit and meet-and-greet, the Iron Man Tech exhibit isn’t as busy as it had previously been but it certainly still sees plenty more visitors than Innoventions did pre-Marvel.

The Thor meet-and-greet is still pulling long lines even during the off-season.

[center]Refurbishment Creek[/center]
In California Adventure, the Redwood Creek Challenge Trail is still closed for refurbishment through the end of the month.

Happy Lunar New Year!

Disney celebrated the Lunar New Year over the weekend with three days of festivities that included character meet-and-greets, live entertainment and arts and crafts all in a very festive atmosphere back in Disney California Adventure’s Paradise Garden area.

This year, the Lunar New Year moved a bit down the parade route into Paradise Garden after being awkwardly set up in the area between The Little Mermaid and the San Francisco Street restrooms last year. It was a smart move and the Lunar New Year celebration essentially adapted the layout of the popular Viva Navidad holiday offerings.

Happy New Year!

Wishes for the new year

Meet-and-greets with characters in their Lunar New Year costumes drew big lines

Live entertainment took place along the parade route in in front of the Paradise Garden entrance

More live entertainment on the Paradise Garden Bandstand

Educational signage explains the holiday

What year are you?

Free face painting

A food cart had a few offerings for the holiday

T-shirts and special red envelopes were available to buy

Downtown Disney celebrated the Lunar New Year as well with select restaurants offering special menu items for the weekend.

“it’s a future world”

Over at “it’s a small world,” the film crew for Disney’s upcoming “Tomorrowland” movie set up shop over the weekend for filming that is expected to take place February 4 and 5 at the attraction. Shade structures reminiscent of those covering the load area at the 1964-1965 New York World’s Fair version of the attraction have gone up over the load dock at the Disneyland ride and large blue screens have gone up in front of portions of the attraction facade.

If you’re hoping to visit the park during filming to catch a glimpse at some movie stars, don’t get your hopes up. Certain walkways, attractions and areas will be closed during filming and views onto the set will be highly guarded and obscured.

Retro-style park benches


In both theme parks, signs for the new Nikon Pictures Spots have appeared and can also be seen designated on the printed park guide maps. Many of the old Kodak Picture Spot signs were standalone signs but from what we saw over the weekend, all of the new Nikon Picture Spot signs are flat signs attached to existing lampposts.

Former Kodak Picture Spots designated on Disneyland park maps included: Floral Mickey, Partners Statue, Matterhorn Way, Rivers of America, Big Thunder Mountain Railroad and Roger Rabbit Car Toon Spin. The new Nikon Picture Spots as designated on park maps are: Partners Statue, Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, Matterhorn Way and the Sword in the Stone.

In Disney California Adventure, the old Kodak Picture Spots included one in Flik’s Fun Fair as well as the “Record Catch” fish sack on Pacific Wharf. The new Nikon Picture Spots include the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror, Grizzly Peak waterfalls from the Parade Route, Radiator Springs Racers, Grizzly Peak water wheel and one in Paradise Park near the Golden Zephyr.

As part of the Nikon sponsorship deal, Disney’s PhotoPass photographers have been equipped with new Nikon DSLR cameras. It’s unclear if the PhotoPass and camera stores in the parks, which were previously sponsored by Kodak, will get Nikon sponsorship signage.

This and That

In Downtown Disney, the new Starbucks Coffee location continues to come along slowly…

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!

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Weekly News & Information Round-Up
Weekly Theme Park Hours
February 3-9, 2014
[B]Disneyland Park[/B] [B]California Adventure[/B]
Mon.-Thur.: 10 am – 8 pm
Friday: 9 am – 11 pm
Sat.-Sun.: 8 am – 12 am
Mon.-Thur.: 10 am – 8 pm
Friday.: 9 am – 10 pm
Sat.-Sun.: 8 am – 10 pm
[CENTER]For a complete listing of theme park hours,
visit the Disneyland.com 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 and delayed several times. The attraction is currently expected to reopen March 31, 2014.
  • [B]Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage:[/B] Closed through September 26, 2014 for major refurbishment.
  • [B]Fantasmic!:[/B] Dark through February 13, 2014 for major refurbishment.
  • [B]Sailing Ship Columbia:[/B] Closed through February 14, 2014 for refurbishment.
  • [B]”it’s a small world”:[/B] Closed January 21-February 7 for holiday overlay removal.
  • [B]Splash Mountain:[/B] Closed through February 28 for refurbishment.
  • [B]Alice in Wonderland:[/B] Closed March 10 through July 3, 2014 for enhancements and redesign of outdoor portion of ride track.
  • [B]Disneyland Railroad:[/B] Closed February 24 through March 7 for refurbishment.
  • [B]Space Mountain:[/B] Closed March 3 through May 22 for refurbishment.
[b][center]Disney California Adventure[/center][/b]
  • [B]Redwood Creek Challenge Trail:[/B] Closed through February 27, 2014.
  • [B]Aladdin – A Musical Spectacular:[/B] Dark through February 20, 2014.
  • [B]Mickey’s Fun Wheel:[/B] Closed February 3-6 for refurbishment.
  • [B]Soarin’ Over California:[/B] Closed February 18-June 5, 2014 for refurbishment.
  • [B]Heimlich’s Chew Chew Train:[/B] Closed March 3-6, 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]

February 3-9


If you’re looking for a replacement for the Mobile Magic app, take a look at Mouseaddict’s unique features, for free!

  • This coming weekend is the big MiceChat Anniversary Celebration! Keep track of the events on the Mouseaddict schedule page.
  • There are plenty of hotel rooms available all week, but the Grand Californian is booked solid on Friday.
  • Disneyland’s schedule of refurbishments is still very much in flux, so check the app before you go for the latest information on closures.
  • Small World Mall will be closed off in the middle of the week for filming of Brad Bird’s "Tomorrowland."

Looking for the best replacement for Mobile Magic on your iPhone? Download the remarkable Mouseaddict app for iPhone and iPad with the Addictometer crowd map overlay: see exactly where crowds are gathering, right on the map! The free Mouseaddict app features more than five dozen categories of searchable resort information, weather forecasts, park and show schedules, and more. Download on the App Store or at mouseaddict.com.

[center]Headline Roundup
A quick look at noteworthy Disney theme park headlines from around the web.[/center]
  • Disney hosts the “Discover Together” symposium, bringing together non-profit organizations to explore ways to help kids in their communities. (Disney Parks)
  • DisneyParks competitor Universal saw revenue grow 7.2% in 2013 and parent company Comcast plans to grow business even more in 2014 with new attractions (NY Post)
OK – that wraps up this week’s edition of Dateline Disneyland. Thanks for reading! Did you attend the Lunar New Year celebration this weekend? Let us know what you think in the comments section below!

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]

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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.