Disneyland is getting ready to kick off spring with a festive springtime roundup at the Big Thunder Ranch Jamboree with special character meet-and-greets with Disney bunnies as well as the Easter Bunny himself. Meanwhile, as Big Thunder Ranch celebrates spring, the rest of the park is in full spring break mode with big crowds, despite several attractions and small construction projects underway or on the horizon in both theme parks.

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’ve got a full update for you this week – let’s get started!


Welcome to Disneyland!

Spring break crowds are in full force. A look at wait times Friday afternoon

Long lines and extended queues set up at classic rides

Pirates of the Caribbean queue stretched through New Orleans Square, sharing space with foot traffic.

Extended rope queue ready for big crowds

Big Thunder Mountain is the hot ticket right now following its 14-month refurbishment.

Long lines at the Matterhorn

Spring has sprung across the way at Disney California Adventure as well

Wait times Friday afternoon

Carthay Circle Restaurant recently switched to its spring menu

(Click for larger)

(Click for larger)

Springtime Roundup

In Disneyland, Big Thunder Ranch Jamboree’s Springtime Roundup doesn’t officially start until Friday but signage and decorations were up a week early. The Springtime Roundup will include egg art demonstrations, arts and crafts and meet-and-greets with the Easter Bunny and other Disney bunnies (hopefully Roger Rabbit will make an appearance!).

No Hillbillies back here

The Frontierland Troupe stage has been pushed off to the side of the Jamboree

Lots of springtime and Easter decorations

Refurbishmentland

Meanwhile, various refurbishment projects continue or prepare to get underway in both parks.

[center]Temple of the Forbidden Refurbishment[/center]
Indiana Jones Adventure is now closed for refurbishment and show enhancements through early May.

[center]Members Only[/center]
In New Orleans Square, the Club 33 expansion continues although there isn’t much progress to see from ground level.

[center]Alice in Blunderland[/center]
In Fantasyland, work continues to get underway on the Alice in Wonderland ride. The “vine” portion of the ride track is already seeing changes…

A look at the work from the Monorail

[center]“it’s a Cal/OSHA world”[/center]
At the back of Fantasyland, “it’s a small world” is still closed to install safety railings for maintenance workers. The attraction will reopen briefly April 10 so Disney can officially celebrate the attraction’s 50th anniversary of debuting at the 1964 New York World’s Fair (April 22, 1964). Disney is hosting a global sing-along“global celebration” that will go to benefit UNICEF.

Happy (early) anniversary to a spectacular, enduring classic.

It’s too bad the facade couldn’t have gotten some fresh paint for its big 50th anniversary.

[center]Out to Dry[/center]
In Tomorrowland, the Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage is empty, the subs are on blocks and scaffolding is up around the cavern entrance, but there doesn’t seem to be much work underway in the lagoon or on the Sub exteriors.

Disney CEO Bob Iger promised the Subs would return during last week’s Disney shareholders meeting, dispelling rumors that the Subs would be closed forever to make way for new Star Wars attractions.

[center]Space Junk[/center]
Nearby, Space Mountain’s new addition is coming along as part of the park’s on-going Cal/OSHA safety railing-additions

A new silver railing has replaced the temporary barricades along the base of Space Mountain

Work continues on making the new ring at the top of the mountain blend in

[center]Glowing Away?[/center]
At the entrance of Tomorrowland, rumor has it that Disney was looking at permanently removing the Astro Orbiter and surrounding rock work as early as the end of March. As of now, that plan has seemingly been pushed back, but the plan is still in place to eventually remove the Astro Orbiter and free up the gridlocked entrance to Tomorrowland as part of the land’s rumored upcoming Star Wars-themed aesthetic overlay.

In case the Astro Orbiter is leaving soon, we’ve gone ahead and documented the simple spinner ride in photos and video for you here.

The rocks from the 1998 New Tomorrowland are expected to be removed as well.

[center]Refurbishment Wharf[/center]
Over at California Adventure, the Pacific Wharf facade refurbishment continues…

[center]The Little Refurbishment[/center]
Not far from the Wharf, the Little Mermaid dark ride is closed for refurbishment and enhancements

[center]Challenged Trail[/center]
The Redwood Creek Challenge Trail in Grizzly Peak was still closed over the weekend even though it had been scheduled to open last week.

[center]It’s Tough to be Maleficent[/center]
In A Bug’s Land, the “It’s Tough to be a Bug!” theater will close at the end of this month and reopen mid-April as the temporary home to an extended 3D preview of Disney’s upcoming “Maleficent” movie starring Angelina Jolie.

[center]Downtown Details[/center]
In Downtown Disney, the big California poppy fountain is still behind walls

There’s some work going on atop the Wetzel’s Pretzels building

and the Wetzel’s marquee is gone while the work is underway.

This and That

At World of Disney, you can pick up some of the recent popular Haunted Mansion merchandise at a discount if you buy certain items together. The Hourglass and Candlestick are available together for $60 (regularly ~$75).

Likewise, the coaster set and bottle stopper are available for $35, normally ~$45.

The frames and music boxes are also available but not at any discount.

Inside Disneyland, a couple Frozen-themed treats have popped up inside the Candy Palace.

Olaf caramel apple

In Cars Land, a few new merchandise items have hit the shelves recently…


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Weekly News & Information Round-Up
Weekly Theme Park Hours
March 24-30, 2014
[B]Disneyland Park[/B] [B]California Adventure[/B]
Mon.-Wed.: 9 am – 11 pm
Thurs.-Fri.: 9 am – 12 am
Saturday: 9 am – 11 pm
Sunday: 9 am – 12 am
Daily: 9 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]”it’s a small world”:[/B] Closed through April 9, 2014 and April 21-May 29 for fall safety equipment installation
  • [B]Indiana Jones Adventure:[/B] Closed through May 8, 2014 for refurbishment.
  • [B]Alice in Wonderland:[/B] Closed through July 3, 2014 for enhancements and redesign of outdoor portion of ride track.
  • [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 15, 2014 for refurbishment.
  • [B]Space Mountain:[/B] Closed May 12 through June 26 for refurbishment.
  • [B]Matterhorn Bobsleds:[/B] Closed May 27- August 14 for refurbishment.
  • [B]Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage:[/B] Closed through September 26, 2014 for major refurbishment.
[b][center]Disney California Adventure[/center][/b]
  • [B]The Little Mermaid ~ Ariel’s Undersea Adventure:[/B] Closed through May 9, 2014 for refurbishment and rumored enhancements.
  • [B]Redwood Creek Challenge Trail:[/B] Closed for refurbishment. Reopening TBA.
  • [B]Grizzly River Run:[/B] Closed April 21-June 19, 2014 for refurbishment.
  • [B]It’s Tough to be a Bug!:[/B] Closed Match 31-April 18, 2014 for refurbishment and to install “Maleficent” overlay/preview.
[b][center]Downtown Disney and Disneyland Resort Hotels[/center][/b]
    None.
[center]
A weekly look at projected crowd levels at the Disneyland Resort.[/center]

March 24-30, 2014

MON
TUE
WED
THU
FRI
SAT
SUN

Spring Break continues unabated, giving the Disneyland bean counters plenty to cheer about…

  • The annual United Spirit Association Nationals continue through the end of this week. Expect an influx of cheerful, spirited teens during their off hours.
  • Hotel rooms around the resort area are very scarce this week.
  • To escape high crowds at Disneyland, amble across the Esplanade to California Adventure, where the wide walkways are better at handling the influx of guests.
  • Your wait time submissions in the Mouseaddict app have already helped us with these crowd projections. To ensure accurate and timely wait times, report your time spent in the queue by tapping on the attraction’s wait bar.

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 will host Easter Egg hunts in Disneyland and Disney California Adventure April 10 – 20 for $4.95 per egg map. (Disney Parks Blog)
  • Disney announced dates for its next D23 Expo, returning to Anaheim August 14-16, 2015. Tickets go on sale August 14, 2013. (Disney Parks Blog)
  • All three Disneyland Resort Hotels earn environmentalist certification from the California Green Lodging program. (Disney Parks Blog)
  • Disney announced new Pirates of the Caribbean-themed land and attraction for Shanghai Disney, opening 2015. (Disney Parks Blog)
Alright, that’s it for this week’s edition of Dateline Disneyland. What do you think about the rumored removal of the Astro Orbitor? Will you be visiting the park to meet with some Disney bunnies? Let us know in the comments section below!

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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.
  • Ravjay12

    Great update Andy! Is Astro Orbiter getting moved somewhere else? I think the removal of it and the people mover track will really open up that area and ease the congestion a bit. Park looks great! Looks like another successful Spring Break is about to happen.

  • DisneyLover66

    Matterhorn Bobsleds aren’t scheduled to be down on the Disneyland website. Are you sure they’re going down? Excellent update and photos, as always!

  • jcruise86

    Thanks or yet another outstanding update, Andy!

  • BC_DisneyGeek

    Why is It’s Tough to be a Bug! becoming a movie preview location? I thought they used the Muppets theater for that.

    • Internitty

      Muppet Theatre is promoting the new Muppet movie, in a way

  • gtsouthard

    final flight on astro orbiter? Me thinks this website presumes FFFAAARRR too much lately.

  • garyman

    Great Update as always. Would be nice if you could a few photos of people enjoying the rides. This is what makes Disney so fun watching other people as well.

    • Marko50

      Seconded.

  • BrerBear

    Great update Andy,

    FYI… If you head over to the Disneyland Grand Californian Hotel you can get a glimpse of the available Club 33 merchandise. It is on display for purchase (for members only) as the club continues it’s refurbishment. It is located in the display window of the gift shop inside the hotel. Enjoy!

  • dizneydomenic

    Remove the rock work in front of tomorrowland? YAY couldnt be soon enough for me!.I hate that rock…poor location and created one bad bottleneck!

  • scarymouse

    I am wondering if the orbiter will relocate to the area above by the query to space mountain or the old helipad and that the new ring up on top will be the new helipad.I read this somewhere but can’t remember where. Anyone else heard this? Love the update, great photos!

  • Disneykin Kid

    We miss the Billies, when they moved to the Festival area, it seemed like it was because they could play to a bigger audience, but they were always at their best in the Golden Horseshoe. I understand that they’re getting older, but they still drew big crowds. We got our Knott’s passes so we could see them.

  • Skimbob

    There is a whole lot of refurbishing going on at once. Do they usally have this much down? They probably ca’t work on the subs because they are all tied up working on other projects. Thanks for the update. We will be there in a few weeks.

  • oo_nrb

    “Final flight” on the Astro Orbitor? That’s a little premature, don’t you think?

  • Tiny Mermaid

    I think Hopper’s face in the above photo says it all: replacing the fantastic It’s Tough to Be a Bug with a Maleficent preview, even temporarily, is laaaaaame.

    Great update, Andy!

  • mondo

    Thumbs up for putting this quote in. “Disney CEO Bob Iger promised the Subs would return during last week’s Disney shareholders meeting, dispelling rumors that the Subs would be closed forever to make way for new Star Wars attractions”

    Astro Orbitor or a new version should go on a rebuild/reinforced platform where Rocket Jets used to be. Don’t put it on the Space Mt’s patio.It will block it and ruin the view.

  • Nola ron

    I hope the Astro Orbitor goes away. And take the rocks as well, and the People Mover Tracks. More room. As for the subs, believe it when I see it.

  • Sleepy505

    Great 411 Andy, Wow spring crowds and all the closures it makes me feel good that our trip is in Fall. I have been there through all seasons and I find to be at best just because of weather and big crowds. Big Thunder Mountain looks exciting hopefully by our visit the crowds have settled and all these closures have reopened. It’s sad to see how It’s a small world facade couldn’t get some kind of make over during it’s 50th anniversary, our last year visit I did notice it could have used a lot of touching up and just by looking at the photos it hasn’t changed much. Astro Orbitor wow it’s hard to believe that going in to the park and making that right turn it won’t be there any more sad to see it go.

  • Baloo

    If they use projections inside the bugs theater for the preview, it might be quite interesting. The highly detailed theater could be made to look like vines growing around you

  • Timekeeper

    Andy,
    I see listed under the Headline Roundup, on the second item:
    “Disney announced dates for its next D23 Expo, returning to Anaheim August 14-16, 2015. Tickets go on sale August 14, 2013. (Disney Parks Blog)” Unless some model time machines are available for sale, Disney couldn’t have gotten back in time to 2013, as they were already preparing for their 2013 D23 Expo. (Side note: time travel and parallel dimensions seems to be featured a lot this time of year in the movies.) But I can’t blame you, as I presume you’re still busy with moving.

    On a related note back to your blog post, I’m glad that the new additions for Space Mountain are looking great and don’t seem to detract much of the exterior and surrounding complex (except for the dirt and grime.) Through, what’s up with the Redwood Creek Challenge Trail still being closed? Are they installing more safety bars or are they installing a loop? 😀

    -Timekeeper

  • gboiler1

    Oh no, say it ain’t so…hope the Matterhorn isn’t down this summer! I was hoping my daughter would/will be able to ride it for the first time and the refurb reference has it out for our trip time.
    Bummer if it is.

    • Country Bear

      It does seem odd that they are refurbishing a ride that was just massively refurbished in the last couple years. The only good thing to hopefully come from this suspect refurb would be to replace those awful bobsleds that some “bobsled scientist” created for the last refurb. They are the most painful seats for anyone who is more than 4 feet tall! I welcome the refurb if that’s what they are going to fix. If not, then I think they are simply closing a ride to save money on operations and maintenance (you know, like the subs). Please prove my cynicism wrong Disney.