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…


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!

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
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!

Dateline Disneyland is only here because of you. We’ve been able to bring Dateline Disneyland to you each week because of your generous donations. Consider helping us out by donating 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]

Support Dateline Disneyland

Support Our Sponsors

[center]Follow Dateline Disneyland!
| | | | [/center]

FTC-Mandated Disclosure: Promotional consideration for this edition of Dateline Disneyland was provided by the Howard Johnson Plaza Hotel & Water Playground.