Some much-needed rain hit Southern California over the weekend, washing the recent crowds out of the parks. The rain storms resulted in some standard attraction closures in both parks, the cancellation of parades, and even brought down a tree on Tom Sawyer Island. In Tomorrowland, Disneyland’s new Captain America meet-and-greet opened for Annual Passholder previews and added another Avenger to the roster inside Innoventions. Meanwhile, Disney is continuing its new trend of 24-hour theme park parties with the announcement of another all-nighter event over Memorial Day weekend.

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.

We have a quick rainy update for you today. Let’s get started.


Welcome to Disneyland!

Storms brought some necessary rainfall to Southern California late last week. The wet conditions impacted the theme parks by closing down several theme park attractions and thinning crowds in what has otherwise been a very busy off-season.

Reasonable wait times on a rainy Saturday afternoon

Mickey’s Rainy Day Cavalcade ran instead of the usual Soundsational parade on Saturday

Awnings along Main Street were pulled back due to wind

In Fantasyland, attractions including Alice in Wonderland and the Mad Tea Party shut down in the rain


No Storybook Land launches during the rain

Merida wasn’t outside for meet-and-greet in the rain


In Frontierland, the Sailing Ship Columbia was in Fowler’s Harbor and stairwells to the lower decks were covered from the rain

The Mark Twain continued to operate, but its top deck was closed to prevent guests from slipping

On Tom Sawyer Island, a tree fell over during Friday’s storm and the news quickly found its way on Twitter…

Luckily no guests were on the island at the time of the incident and crews quickly got to work on clearing the mess. The scene on Saturday:

Unfortunately, Twitter users reported that the incident repeated itself on Sunday, prompting the cancellation of that evening’s Fantasmic! performance.

The rain also forced the closure of some outdoor vending locations in the parks as well,

Rain cleared out crowds in California Adventure as well…

With similar changes to live entertainment and attraction and vending closures…

Five and Dime just drive through Hollywood Land and Buena Vista Street with no show stop during wet weather

Weird rain safety precautions in A Bug’s Land…

#Disney24 (again)

On Friday, Disney officially announced its plans to host another bi-coastal 24-hour party at Disneyland and Walt Disney World. Like last year’s “Monstrous Summer” theme, the announcement came alongside the Parks and Resorts division’s latest marketing message. A photo of 140 Disney characters arranged in the shape of a hashtag announced the “Rock Your Disney Side Party,” which will take place over Memorial Day weekend, feature numerous Disney heroes and villains, and run from 6 a.m., May 23 to 6 a.m., May 24.

From the press release:

The Magic Kingdom Park in Florida and Disneyland Park and Disney California Adventure Park in California will be filled with great Disney heroes and villains from 6 a.m., May 23 to 6 a.m., May 24, 2014, local time** marking the beginning of a summer of fun at Disney Parks. The celebration on both coasts will feature a cavalcade of events showcasing the good-vs.-evil of classic Disney stories including character meet-and-greets throughout the parks, special entertainment, event merchandise, and food and beverage offerings. Along with the entertainment guests have grown to love every day, they’ll discover surprise additions and special events throughout the 24 hours.

Mickey and pals announced the 24-hour party in their own inimitable style – with a 140-character-strong “Mega Tweet,” sending a #DisneySide message to all their fans on social media to come see them on May 23.

You can also enter-to-win a coast-to-coast 7-day, 6-night Disney Parks vacation where you’ll enjoy the 24-hour Rock Your Disney Side Party. To enter, you have to Tweet how you show your “Disney Side” by using the hashtag #DisneySideSweepsEntry.

Refurbishmentland

Off-season refurbishments and construction projects continue throughout the parks…

[center]Main Street Time[/center]
The clock on the Fortuosity Shop facade has returned.

[center]Clubbed[/center]
The intrusive Club 33 expansion project continues without much to see from the average guest’s perspective…

Seems like Disneyland’s Mardi Gras celebration (New Orleans Bayou Bash) won’t be happening this year, despite all of the decorations. Victim of the Club 33 expansion project?

[center]Rain/Splash[/center]
Splash Mountain reopened this week, just in time for the rain storms that hit the region over the weekend. It was a good opportunity to enjoy a ride with a short wait time…

[center]Reopening the Wilderness[/center]
The Big Thunder Mountain Railroad refurbishment is quickly wrapping up, with Cast Member previews approaching and soft openings possible as early as next week.

Along with running trains, sound effects can now be heard coming from the mountain

[center]“it’s a Cal/OSHA world”[/center]
In Fantasyland, “it’s a small world” remains closed into April for the installation of new Cal/OSHA safety equipment and handrails for maintenance workers.


The control towers still aren’t completely put together after the “Tomorrowland” movie filming a couple weeks ago.

[center]Out to Dry[/center]
The Submarine Lagoon remains dry as its major refurbishment continues. Disney is now trying hard to quash any persistent rumors that the attraction is being quietly closed forever with new construction wall panels that promise a fall 2014 return.

Imagineering and Team Disney Anaheim are definitely interested in redeveloping the Sub Lagoon real estate but with construction walls now going overboard with promises to reopen in the fall, it looks like whatever Imagineering would like to build here didn’t get the green light, giving the Submarine Voyage yet another reprieve.


[center]Space Junk[/center]
Nearby, work continues on the new safety addition on top of Space Mountain. The voluntary addition will satisfy Cal/OSHA safety requirements but that comes at the expense of changing the original design of the iconic mountain.

The nicest thing I can say so far about this is that it could be worse, but that doesn’t mean it looks good so far or will look great when finished.

Nearby, the Tomorrowland Terrace is closed for refurbishment. It would be great to see this location get a refreshed menu but I won’t hold my breath.

The Living Legend
and Symbol of Budget Imagineering

Saturday kicked off Annual Passholders previews of the latest Marvel superhero meet-and-greet inside Disneyland’s massive and notoriously underutilized Innoventions building.

The new meet-and-greet officially opens to the public March 7 and replaces the embarrassingly outdated Nanooze Labs exhibit on the upper level of Innovetions. The new character location comes with a rather wordy official title, Captain America: The Living Legend and Symbol of Courage and mostly amounts to a lightly themed queue area that ends at a photo opportunity with a Captain America face character on what resembles an economy version of The Colbert Report‘s set.


Looks like the same unpaid WDI intern that did the graphic design work for the other two Marvel exhibits in Innoventions got to doodle in Adobe Illustrator for this one too.

WDI’s penchant for unparalleled storytelling really shines through here…

A life-sized lenticular and a Captain America timeline give guests something to look at while in line…


The Captain America on Saturday morning was knowledgable and into the role without being over-the-top. A really fun character to meet and interact with.


After meeting Cap, you exit down the ramp and that’s it.

Shields on display along the exit ramp.

Ultimately, the Captain America photo-op is probably just another harmless addition to Innoventions’ Marvel line-up. It’s just a simple character meet-and-greet. Unfortunately, it’s only that – a character meet-and-greet, and a pretty cheaply-designed one at that. There’s nothing wrong with bringing Marvel characters to the park, but with lots of folks beyond the average Disney fan watching what Disney is doing with Marvel inside its parks, these Marvel additions are more than just simple meet-and-greets. It’s too bad that Disney is introducing such lucrative and important franchise characters in its parks with budget-Imagineered photo-ops that with just a bit of scrutiny end up reflecting kind of poorly on the Marvel brand. With “The Avengers” and “Iron Man 3” ranking as Disney’s first and fourth highest-grossing films of all time, it’s worth noting that the Iron Man Tech exhibit originated as a temporary display for Comic Con until it became the quasi-permanent installment it is at Disneyland. The Marvel presence has certainly breathed some new life into Innoventions but like the rest of the attraction, it feels half-baked and mediocre. Is this really the best way for Disney to leverage the Marvel brand in its U.S. parks? Are these Marvel exhibits the kind of “brand deposits” that Disney CEO Bob Iger is looking for?

This and That

In Downtown Disney, the big poppy fountain remains behind walls during refurbishment

And work continues on the new Starbucks location…


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Weekly News & Information Round-Up
Weekly Theme Park Hours
March 3-9, 2014
[B]Disneyland Park[/B] [B]California Adventure[/B]
Mon.-Thur.: 10 am – 8 pm
Friday: 9 am – 11 pm
Saturday: 9 am – 12 am
Sunday: 8 am – 12 am
Mon.-Thur.: 10 am – 8 pm
Fri.-Sat.: 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 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]”it’s a small world”:[/B] Closed through April 24, 2014 for fall safety equipment installation.
  • [B]Disneyland Railroad:[/B] Closed February 24 through March 7 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]Indiana Jones Adventure:[/B] Closed March 17 through May 8, 2014 for refurbishment.
  • [B]King Arthur Carousel:[/B] Closed April 28 through May 8, 2014 for refurbishment.
  • [B]Pirates of the Caribbean:[/B] Closed April 28 through May 22, 2014 for refurbishment.
  • [B]Space Mountain:[/B] Closed May 12 through June 26 for refurbishment.
[b][center]Disney California Adventure[/center][/b]
  • [B]Heimlich’s Chew Chew Train:[/B] Closed March 3-6, 2014.
  • [B]Mickey’s Fun Wheel:[/B] Closed March 3-6, 2014 for refurbishment.
  • [B]The Little Mermaid ~ Ariel’s Undersea Adventure:[/B] Closed March 20-May 9, 2014 for refurbishment and rumored enhancements.
  • [B]Grizzly River Run:[/B] Closed April 21-June 19, 2014 for refurbishment.
  • [B]It’s Tough to be a Bug!:[/B] Closed April 21-May 8, 2014 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]

March 3-9, 2014

MON
TUE
WED
THU
FRI
SAT
SUN

It’s the last gasp of winter as spring break approaches…

  • We expect a relatively slow week through Thursday.
  • Disney’s resort hotels are solidly booked toward the end of the week.
  • Spring break begins at the end of the week and the rain is over, so expect crowds to return.
  • This Saturday is the last that Deluxe passes are valid until after Labor Day.

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]
  • Annual Passholders with passes expiring between March 17 and June 17 can attend a special after-hours St. Patrick’s Day party in California Adventure.
  • Mother’s Day dining reservations can be made for Disneyland Resort restaurants starting March 12. (Disney Parks Blog)
  • Walt Disney World has pulled funding for local Boy Scouts troops in response to ongoing LGBT ban. (Chicago Tribune)
  • D23 has rescheduled its highly-anticipated Destination D: Attraction Rewind event at Walt Disney World from July to November. (D23)
  • Shanghai Disney Resort has signed a deal with PepsiCo to be a primary beverage supplier, breaking from the long-standing Coca Cola tradition at other Disney parks worldwide. (Shanghai Disney)
Did you enjoy the light crowds at the parks over the rainy weekend? What’d you think of the Captain America meet-and-greet – Was I too hard on it? Let us know in the comments section below! Thanks for reading!

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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.
  • OprylandUSA

    You can say what you want about attraction design, but the Adobe Illustrator work in the Captain America exhibit is fairly good. It’s beyond certainly beyond ‘doodling’.

    • Mattimation

      Agreed. The work actually encapsulates the minimalist graphic design of the propaganda posters of the 1940’s quite well. I think this artist isn’t being given enough credit.

    • randlev

      Agreed. That style is intentionally retro-futuristic/World’s Fair inspired, just like the Stark Expo of the Iron Man universe. If innoventions as a whole adopted that style and tone it could be a much more enjoyable and balanced attraction. Condescending pointing out that it was probably done in illustrator as a means of trying to show design knowledge falls flat.

      • jawknee

        but this is Andy Castro we’re talking about, the king of snark.

    • airick75

      Yea – I thought that comment was unnecessarily snarky as well. Someone worked hard on that display and is very talented. If it’s not liked, fine, but there’s no need to tear a particular person down.

      • jawknee

        but this is Andy Castro we’re talking about.

    • heysi

      After being positive in the past few reports, this week DatelineDisney returned to a snarky, negative attitude. Once again, everything is “not up to standards” or Disney is “attempting to cheat us” with low quality exhibits or unfinished OSHA fixes. DD needs to try waiting until things are finished before passing judgment.

      And I agree about the art work, it was a stylistic choice not a lack of caring about the display. Always look on the bright side of life……

  • DisneyLover66

    Interesting update and fabulous pictures! Thank you.

  • peoplemover1

    Awesome!!

  • Internitty

    Did they fix any of the animatronic problems inside Spash Mountain while it was down?

    • Internitty

      Splash Mountain… sorry it’s late

    • villagecreator

      Great update as always, but was hoping for more info about attractions that just wrapped up refurbishments. Any visable changes in Splash? How about Soarin?

      • Ben Auer

        I was wondering the same thing about Splash Mountain until I found this video that Howard Johnson posted on their Facebook page:

        https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=668857996506906&set=vb.128628053863239&type=2&theater

        To me it looks like they finally fixed their animatronics after a year of them all being down.
        As far as Soarin goes, last I heard they couldn’t get the 4K projectors to work right so until then it’s just the same ride.

  • Lakerfan3224

    Did the rumored Star Wars attraction for the finding nemo submarines get canceled?

  • eicarr

    I’m impressed with the Captain America exhibit. That popular Disney character that fits in perfectly at DL.

  • stevek

    I wish the rain on Sunday would have kept the crowds away as well. Was pretty busy during the few hours we visited both parks.

  • Fantasmic4

    Captain America is cheap looking but I wouldn’t criticize the Imagineer’s Adobe skills. The real problem is the lack of good funding into an attraction. The subs are most likely coming back and it makes sense. If the rumors are true that money is tight for the company, they probably are not going to do any major work till after the 60th, so they can focus their resources on that event.

  • lionheartkc

    Is it just me or does Cap’s shield look far more painted and far less anodized than the current movie shields? Seems to me that they wouldn’t overlook a detail like that.

  • MSVRider

    Personally, while I still need to see it first hand, I think the Captain America meet-and-greet looks amazing. I, too, agree with others that the artist’s skills should not be insulted. It is a very stylized and minimalist look that fits for Marvel.

    As for more Marvel attractions, I would love for them to add something beyond meet-and-greets (and, I love meet-and-greets). But, where would they put it at Disneyland right now and with what budget? You know they have the Star Wars re-theming of Tomorrowland that WDI is trying to prepare for once they’re given they’re given the go ahead. Again, I would love for the Disneyland Resort to include a Marvel attraction (or more), but I would rather it be planned out in a location that would be properly themed to the brand. I wouldn’t want to just have a slapshod attraction shoved into Tomorrowland or into Hollywood Land or wherever they would put it just to put in a Marvel attraction.

    I know WDI has Marvel ideas and is currently working on the Iron Man Experience at Hong Kong Disneyland. More Marvel is coming, but I’d rather wait for something great and enjoy the meet-and-greets they have, fortunately, been bringing us.

  • airick75

    Has Space Mtn. ever looked so dirty? Wow.

    I don’t care if they built my favorite attraction ever, I don’t ever want to see the subs or the lagoon go away. It’s part of the essential fabric of Disneyland. I don’t care if only 12 people a day get to ride it in one person vehicles – it needs to stay. I’m a huge Star Wars fan, but I don’t want it to come at the expense of the lagoon and voyage.

    • airick75

      P.S. Can micechat add a “like” feature to comments as many comment boards have?

    • msjstricker

      I totally agree with you. The lagoon needs to stay a lagoon. I don’t really mind if the Subs go away, but that body of water is part of the Park’s history. Although, the way these little Disneyland pieces of yesteryear have been disappearing lately doesn’t give me a warm, fuzzy feeling about it.

      You think people freaked when the Court of Angels closed? Just think about the reaction if they cement over the lagoon… Let’s hope that doesn’t happen, but I’m prepared for that to be a possibility sometime in the future. We just don’t have the space to do some of these things.

  • DLFan1995

    The Captain America costume really looks cheap and tacky. I seem to recall that the one they had at the D23 Expo looked a lot better than the DL version. What gives?

    • Amanda949

      Thank you! Something about the meet-n-greet pics was bothering me, but I couldn’t put my finger on it. The design of the attraction doesn’t bother me much. Is it ornate and detailed? No. But it’s kinda stylish in it’s own way. But that costume…Yikes! I took a look back to my photos from WonderCon last March, and there was a guy dressed as the Cap who had an AMAZING costume. His shield, helmet, everything was top notch! The Disneyland version isn’t even half as good. What a bummer. If memory serves, the guy from Wondercon was like a truck driver, or something. Yeah…I’m pretty sure Disney could’ve shelled out a little more cash for their Cap than that guy did.

  • erndog

    I’m I the only person bothered by the increasing number of meet and greets at the expense of real attractions? At WDW the Fastpass+ limits guests to three fast passes per day and meet and greets are listed as Fastpass attractions. Fastpass+ will be coming to Disneyland. With the cost of a one day visit approaching one hundred dollars is having meet and greets viewed as equal to actual attractions truly Disney magic?

    • Internitty

      Exactly and it’s not like you’re meeting and greeting Chris Evans or Robert Downey Jr you’re only meeting a costume. No offense to the people playing the parts in the park they really do a good job but I could go to Comic Con and get heaps of pictures with a costume.

      • Internitty

        I really want to see things used in the actual film

    • Country Bear

      You are not. I agree completely.

    • airick75

      I agree, but the thing is, it seems people are lining in up in droves for these meet and greets and rate very highly in customer satisfaction. I’m sure they are relatively inexpensive to produce, so it’s a shame that it comes at the expense of major attractions.

  • ex-wdi

    As a correction, it’s highly unlikely that the Captain America exhibit came from Imagineering.

  • JL Skellington

    Let’s put artistic merit aside and point out what is objectively wrong about the Captain America exhibit: the grammar on one of the panels photographed.
    It should be
    “His abilities, unwavering courage, and “never say die” attitude HAVE made Captain America a living legend.”
    NOT
    “His abilities, unwavering courage, and “never say die” attitude HAS made Captain America a living legend.”
    as in “these multiple things have made him a legend”. Plural subjects get plural verbs!

    >>>END GRAMMAR LESSON>>>

    • Internitty

      hehehehe

    • ayalexander

      “Has” is the correct terminology for someone who is still living and breathing. You only use “have” when you refer to a dead person.

      • JL Skellington

        Is that right??? What’s the correct term for someone frozen in a block of ice? Or eternally trapped in a pocket universe?

      • CCS

        Uh uh, sorry. Wrongo. :\

  • Will G

    If I’m not mistaken, the first and second pictures of the DTD Starbucks work show a guy standing on the top rail of the scissors lift (OSHA violation) and I’m not certain his harness is anchored to anything (another OSHA violation) But it does look like one guy outside the lift on a ledge on the face of the building might have his lanyard attached to the lift (I can’t remember if that’s specifically a violation, but it’s not wise to attaché yourself to something you’re not in).
    But we have to wait forever (an exaggeration) for Space Mountain to get cleaned and Small World to re-open.

    It’s funny. But I wonder how often the new safety installations will be ignored by workers.

    And, yes, those could be outside contractors and not DLR employees standing on the scissors lift. But if they’re on Disney property, Disney gets a fine if an inspector sees it.

    Irony can be so… ironic.

    Will G

  • QuiGonJ

    Least Marty Sklar has been proven correct on the fact the subs will return. Hope they can finish the fixes on Magic Mountain soon so that can be washed off properly, since it looks like the rain didn’t do the trick.

    • Internitty

      Yeah the rain didn’t clean it because OHAS wouldn’t let God on the building without proper safety rails.

      • Country Bear

        Funny.

  • BradyNBradleysMom

    I wonder a few things about the Marvel meet and greets.

    Could they have done this on the cheap just to gauge reaction? This is the first time anything Marvel has been in Disneyland. Maybe they did this on minimal budget and declared it temporary in nature to see how people would respond to it.

    It could also be a way of breaking the ice and getting people used to Marvel being there. To me, it seemed so weird to be thinking about the Superheroes in Tomorrowland…but I like the Iron Man and Thor and Captain America things they are doing.

    The fact that people want the stuff to be more elaborate and permanent looking sure feels like this is a success with others as well.

    What I think is going on is that they wanted to start easing people into these ideas and that a bigger presence will come in the future.

    • Country Bear

      Good insights.

    • ayalexander

      I highly agree with you. I don’t think these Marvel meet and greets are the permanent “weenie”. I think they are a guinea pig run for whats to come. I’m not a big fan of Marvel but I have a deep understanding for the fans that enjoy it. So I thought: Wouldn’t it be cool if the innoventions building were given a Marvel themed show on the bottom just like Carousel of Progress or America Sings once was, and on the top floor could be a “hero headquarters” of such where you meet and greet with heroes and their technology? You could call the innoventions building “The Heroes of Marvel” or “The MARVELous Heroes” or “The Convention of Heroes”… I thought that’d be cool… I think I’d go see that… but I wouldn’t go see the stuff that is there now.