Construction continues on the major Club 33 expansion in Disneyland but most guests facing the project’s significant impact on the streets of New Orleans Square won’t event be able to enjoy the final product when the club reopens later this year. Still, New Orleans Square’s La Masquerade d’Orleans shop will mercifully lose its designation as a pin tradition location and be stocked with themed merchandise starting later this summer. Meanwhile, refurbishments in Tomorrowland continue and Fantasyland‘s Alice in Wonderland project continues, with enhancements being added inside while fall safety changes take place outside. We also take a look at a new attraction in Downtown Anaheim, just two miles away from the park, that could be a good lunch or dinner option for Disneyland visitors.

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 another big update this week, so let’s get started right away!


Welcome to Disneyland!

The summer season is now in full swing with big crowds expected this week (see MouseAddict’s Tomorrowplan at the bottom of today’s update for crowd forecasts)

Despite the heat and crowds, the parks look gorgeous, save for a few things which we’ll get to later in today’s update.

Everybody’s favorite fortune teller, Esmerelda

Balloon vendors have been selling new Captain America: The Winter Soldier for a couple weeks now.

A look at some wait times Saturday afternoon. Get ready for crowds for the parade to get even bigger starting later this week as the new Frozen-themed pre-parade starts running on Friday, June 13.

Jungle Cruise’s regular wait time sign is missing but in the mean time a temporary one is out with a mini elephant-shaped chalkboard for wait times. A nice touch for just a temporary thing.

Over at Disney California Adventure…

A look at DCA wait times Saturday afternoon

Unfortunately, the Carthay Circle terrazzo still looks bad and is getting worse…

Kingdom Construction

[center]Fenced In[/center]
Still no visible progress on the new Victorian-themed corridors behind Main Street that will open this fall to help ease crowd flow.

First Aid is still located at the end of Main Street, but will soon move to the Main Street lockers space to allow for a remodel of the First Aid facility and Wish Lounge.

[center]Members Only[/center]
In Disneyland, New Orleans Square remains a construction zone until later this summer as work continues on the expanded Club 33.

Orleans Street is still closed for now, but the streets of New Orleans Square will at least partially reopen later this month and the La Mascarade d’Orleans will reopen with a new selection of French-themed curios and jazz CDs. It makes sense to remove the pin trading from this store and update it with nicer, more upscale merchandise as it will directly face Club 33’s new main entrance. (Club 33’s new main entrance will be taking over the former Christmas ornament store, L’Ornament Magique.)

The new bridge across Orleans Street between the original Club 33 and the new Jazz Club built in the space over the French Market is still under construction, with bare wood still available.

A balcony door at the new Club 33 Jazz Lounge was open but nothing was really visible from ground level.

On the backside of the French Market…

Some walls came down, revealing a refreshed facade

The balcony that was previously belonged a voodoo priestess has been stripped and the background audio is off. It could still come back, but may be gone because of the new Jazz Lounge.

Just a wicker chair is left.

New Orleans Square rooftop construction…

Nearby in New Orleans Square, the unfortunate Jack, Sally and Maleficent photo-op thing has been rolled out again in front of Port Orleans after mercifully being gone for the past few years.

The thing was removed when this shop changed from the Le Bat en Rouge villains and Nightmare Before Christmas shop to an overflow Pirates of the Caribbean shop in 2006 when Jack Sparrow was added to the Pirates ride. The Le Bat en Rouge shop moved down the street and was a dedicated Nightmare Before Christmas shop until recently.

The Port Orleans shop has gone through several changes since, including a trendy girls’ Disney clothing shop. With the recent surge of Haunted Mansion merchandise (and more on the way), the shop is now a half-Nightmare and half-Haunted Mansion shop, but the its name is still Port Orleans. Le Bat en Rouge down the street now stocks the trendy girls’ clothing.

Inside, the shop has some minor decorations to make it “spooky” to go along with the Haunted Mansion/Nightmare Before Christmas merchandise.

[center]Alice in Blunderland[/center]
In Fantasyland, work continues on the new, expanded outdoor portion of the ride track at the Alice in Wonderland dark ride.

Looks like a new addition to the rock work will be added just to make sure no falling happens.

[center]Out to Dry[/center]
In Tomorrowland, the Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage is still dry as its refurbishment continues…

[center]Space Junk[/center]
Space Mountain is closed for refurbishment, set to reopen July 4.

Hopefully an exterior refurbishment will also happen while the attraction is closed because it desperately needs it.

[center]See Ya Later, Trashcans![/center]
Another round of Captain EO closure rumors recently sprung up, this time with a June 17th closure date. If you’re an EO fan, you may want to save the world one last time…

The 3D theater won’t be closed for good — rumor has it that we’ll be Marveling at a different part of the Galaxy by the Fourth of July.

Update 6/9/14 1:30 p.m.: Disney confirmed the rumors and announced Captain EO would temporarily close to make way for a 3D preview for Marvel’s upcoming Guardians of the Galaxy film. Although Disney says Captain EO will return, no return date was released. The Guardians of the Galaxy sneak preview is officially set to open July 4.

[center]Pierfecting…[/center]
Over in Disney California Adventure, still no real progress at the structure on Paradise Pier.

[center]Dry Run[/center]
Meanwhile, Grizzly River Run will reopen late next week following its refurbishment.

Merch Madness

In Downtown Disney, World of Disney’s collectibles room has reopened after a quick remodel.

The space is a lot more open now, with only one bank of cash wraps.

The villains theme for the room has been removed and new Disney fairies lights have been added and various characters on the cash registers.

Around the store, a couple more new Florida Orange Bird items have shown up to join the selection of recent Orange Bird items that’s part of the larger Adventureland line. A glass juice pitcher.

A set of four juice cups

A new Mickey Mouse pillow

Further back in Downtown Disney, the WonderGround Gallery debuted a really great new SHAG painting over the weekend. In addition to the pricey canvas prints, smaller prints, magnets, postcards and mugs are available.

If you missed out on SHAG’s great 50th anniversary and Tiki Room 40th pieces, you have a second chance now at the WonderGround Gallery.

In Disney California Adventure, a couple new items…

A new Oswald plush is available at the Filling Station

New Oswald pin lanyard

Fun new Buena Vista Street charm keychain

In Condor Flats, a new line of Soarin’ merchandise is available. Of course, it was designed to sell at both Disneyland and Walt Disney World, so it’s all just branded as “Soarin'” and not “Soarin’ Over California.”

Over in Cars Land, some additional new land-specific items have hit the shelves… It’s great to see them keeping up with adding new land-specific merchandise here.

Fresh Packed

Outside of berm and not far from Disneyland, Downtown Anaheim recently reopened its old Sunkist packing facility as part of its major multi-year downtown revitalization. The Anaheim Packing House has been transformed into a big “food hall,” with multiple dining locations open and more on the way.

The Anaheim Packing House amounts to what is basically a trendy food mall but it’s a delightful, bright space with great food options, a great sense of community, and free WiFi — and it’s all only just ~2 miles from Disneyland. If you’re a local, this is a great spot to stop for a meal before or after a park visit. If you’re visiting Anaheim for a multi-day Disneyland vacation, I highly recommend taking a break from the parks for lunch here one afternoon — the Anaheim Packing House opens at 10:30 a.m. daily.

Not everything inside is completely open yet, but quite a few spots are and everything we’ve tried here is fantastic and there’s even more on the way.


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Weekly News & Information Round-Up
Weekly Theme Park Hours
Junse 9 — 15, 2014
[B]Disneyland Park[/B] [B]California Adventure[/B]
Mon.-Thur.: 8 am – 12 am
Fri.-Sat.: 9 am – 12 am
Sunday: 8 am – 12 pm
Mon.-Thur.: 8 am – 10 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]Captain EO/Magic Eye Theater:[/B] Closed June 18 through July 3.
  • [B]Space Mountain:[/B] Closed through July 3 for refurbishment.
  • [B]Alice in Wonderland:[/B] Closed through July 3, 2014 for enhancements and safety redesign of outdoor portion of ride track.
  • [B]Matterhorn Bobsleds:[/B] Closed August 25-November 13 for refurbishment.
  • [B]Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage:[/B] Closed through September 26, 2014 for major refurbishment.
[b][center]Disney California Adventure[/center][/b]
  • [B]Grizzly River Run:[/B] Closed through June 19, 2014 for refurbishment.
  • [B]Blue Sky Cellar:[/B] Listed as reopening July 1, 2014 on Cast Member document.
[b][center]Downtown Disney and Disneyland Resort Hotels[/center][/b]
  • Napa Rose Restaurant: Closed for kitchen renovation starting in early August.
Tomorrowplan Crowd Estimates for Disneyland Resort from Mouseaddict

June 9 — 15, 2014

MON
TUE
WED
THU
FRI
SAT
SUN

  • Summer is here, and we’re seeing lots of red in our Addictometers. We’re seeing peak crowding in the late afternoon and early evening hours.
  • And as those summer crowds arrive, we’re seeing Fastpasses distributed very early in the day. If you want to use Fastpass, plan to get them in the morning.
  • Grad Nites are nearing the end, and this week there is an extra celebration. Grad Nites are Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday.
  • Hotels are sold out at the beginning of the week and very busy at the weekend.
  • For next week’s crowd projections, check out the new Tomorrowplan feature in the Mouseaddict app.

The free Mouseaddict app for iPhone and iPad features more than five dozen categories of searchable resort information, weather forecasts, park and show schedules, the latest news and articles from MiceChat, and more. Download free 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]
  • How Harry Potter helped franchise fever catch on at theme parks. (Variety)
  • Theme park attendance grew worldwide in 2013, with Disneyland up 1.5%, Magic Kingdom up 6%, & Tokyo Disneyland up 15.9% (LA Times)
  • Disney set to release aroun 100 new Haunted Mansion-themed items to celebrate attraction’s 45th anniversary. (Disney Parks Blog)
Alright, that wraps up this week’s update. What do you think of this summer’s ongoing refurbishment and construction projects? Will you take a break from the parks and check out the Anaheim Packing District? Let us know in the comments section below!

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]

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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.
  • jcruise86

    Thanks for the update with all the excellent photos, Andy!

    I’ll check out the Anaheim Packing House soon.

    • jcruise86

      I stopped by the Packing House on my way home from work. It looked like an interesting place to have a beer, but I’d instead drive south on Harbor to one of Yelp
      s Top 100 eateries in America:

      Sabroso! Mexican Grill in a strip mall near a Chuck E Cheese
      at 13129 Harbor Blvd in Garden Grove.

      Then for desert go to the even higher ranked Cream Pan in Tustin for strawberry croissants.

      They’re both worth the drive.

      • Mattatit

        Cream Pan in Tustin ,so good !

  • OprylandUSA

    Well, most of those “land-specific items” aren’t really “land-specific”. They just say “Radiator Springs”. They could easily be used at WDW’s Art of Animation resort or DLP’s Studio park – and I see nothing wrong with it.

  • eicarr

    They should theme the store selling villain/Haunted Mansion stuff as a voodoo shop.

    The Captain America balloon is a good sign they’re not ignoring popular Disney megahits like THOR and Frozen for tired/overused Eisner era characters. I wish they were playing a Guardians of the Galaxy previews in EO now to get an entire summer’s worth of visitors excited about guardians. The old Starcade should be packed with Marval merchandise and comic books.

    Everything is looking great at Disneyland(aside from no new attractions being built).

  • Cory Gross

    I’m a little softer on the Jack, Sally and Maleficent masks now that I know they are supposed to be Mardi Gras float pieces. After we decided to stay at Port Orleans French Quarter for our honeymoon, I started doing research on New Orleans and, sure enough, that’s what Mardi Gras floats and masks and things look like. I figure I can let that slide 😉 They ought to rename the store though, at least.

    • stevek

      I think so, kinda. A better representation would be the pieces you see in from the train just before you arrive in New Orleans Square here at DL.

  • DisneyLover66

    My family and I were just at Disneyland/DCA from June 2 through the 6. We had a spectacular time as always, but the crowds were unbearable at times, especially in Disneyland. We’ve been doing a yearly vacation to Disneyland since 2007, and this year the crowds were very noticeably larger.

    Excellent pictures and update, as always! Next time I’m there I will definitely check out the Anaheim Packing District. It looks like a great place to grab a bite.

    • stevek

      Agreed on the crowds. Gotten to the point that even with AP’s, the thought of going is not all that enticing like it once was. This will likely be the last year of AP’s for us…which quite honestly is kinda what Disney wants, a thinning of the herd at the So Cal AP level.

    • FixitKronk

      Afternoon crowds have become so Intence I cringe at the thought of being there. Tried a wed afternoon and it felt like Saturday.
      Got up at 630 Sunday morning and took my son till around 2 pm and it was great lines only 5-15 min even for big thunder. Looks like well have to enjoy it this way till fall and that’s a shame cause I really do love adventure land and frontier land at dusk.

  • PirateLover

    So to me it looks like on Alice they might be extending the rock wall all the way around the outside track as the fall protection? I guess it might give the feeling of coming out of the rabit hole if it’s themed right or has some special effects of some sort. Hopfully the veiw will still be good for taller guests.

    • ayalexander

      No I don’t think the wall will extend the length of the vine, if it did, they would have already installed permanent metal stilts along the sides of the path to act as the skeleton of the wall. The current “railing” you see isn’t permanently welded, its temporarily welded.

      • PirateLover

        Oh, Fall protection while they build fall protection I guess. I’ve always thought that a “wall” of leaves and vines that match the existing leaves wouldn’t be too difficult to build and still have it blend in nicely.

      • ayalexander

        PirateLover, someone on micechat had a great idea which was have the railing be the leaves and vines with some connections being “spiderwebs” like in the movie.

      • Susan Hughes

        Last year Disneyland lost it’s #2 spot in the world as most visited theme park. Tokyo Disneyland dropped them to #3. I wonder how much farther they’ll drop as they thin out the crowds, specifically the APs.

  • ssaamm

    I hate that Nightmare before Christmas/Maleficent thing. May as well just put up a plastic Woody and Jessie in Frontierland and a plastic Snow White in Fantasyland.

    • stevek

      Nobody should be surprised it’s out there. I’m guessing 99% of the reason they put it back out is because of the Maleficent movie. it is ugly, works at Halloween for the overlay timing though.

  • stevek

    Nice to finally see alot of work going on in the sub lagoon. We took the monorail in last Thursday and it was filled with workers.

    Really interested to see how Alice will turn out and how they will handle the fall protection railing. I’m guessing what’s up there now is temporary and they’ll somehow work “themed railing” into the mix at some point.

    Gotta believe that the exterior cleaning of Space Mountain will be the last thing they do with the refurb. Why do it now when it will just get dirty again before it opens?

  • Algernon

    Main Street looks too overgrown with trees. They should go back to the way it looked a long time ago.

    • ayalexander

      Well the last time Main Street had overgrown trees was in the early to mid 90’s Those trees were almost two stories tall and they still looked beautiful. Walt did say: “Trees have no scale”

    • CCS

      Algernon: you crack me up.

    • FixitKronk

      That is a bit of a nitpick, but then I went back to the top and looked at the picture and your right it does make the castle look small.

  • downtownBLUE

    I have to say, I really like the chalkboard wait sign. I think it fits the theme really well, and gives a bit more personality than numbers on a wheel or an electronic board. I wish they actually had more of these around–chalk is very in theme in Adventureland, Frontierland and Main Street!

    • Kennyland

      I like it too. It definitely fits more thematically in the area.

  • Peoplemover Priit

    Yes the Packing House was a delight. Been waiting on that one for a lllooonnnggg time.

    The parks look real enticing as well. So vibrant and inviting. Cannot wait to visit soon now that school is winding to a close this week.

  • diskid

    Anyone know if they sold out of the deluxe prints for “Morning in the Magic Kingdom” or the five deluxe prints re-released from the 50th?

  • MyFriendtheAtom

    no more capt EO?

    • stevek

      It’s so dated. I have zero issues with it being closed though I wish they’d put something new in there.

      • Susan Hughes

        Not only is Captain EO decades out of place, it doesn’t even include an up-to-date facial version of Michael Jackson. That 3D show is a joke and should have never come back.

  • ayalexander

    Okay okay… let me get this straight… they built a THIRD overhead bridge in New Orleans Square?? Between the perfumery and the crystal shop? That is a MAJOR alteration to New Orleans Square that wasn’t mentioned in the previous Dateline Disneyland articles. I don’t know how I feel about a third overhead bridge…maybe it will make NOS more intimate… or maybe more visually congested (which could be good, could be bad) I don’t know.

  • KENfromOC

    Great update Andy – Did you happen to see how much those Soarin luggage tags were? Very cool! Thanks

    • diskid

      @kenfromoc, they are $12.95

  • swrdfghtr

    I was surprised to see them use that terazzo in front of Carthay Circle, given how badly the stuff wore in the esplanade between the parks. Just doesn’t seem like a high-traffic material. It’s got to be just as disappointing to the folks who designed the building, to have it looking so ghetto so quickly.

    • CCS

      And the current, rapidly-wearing tile was itself replacement tile that went down not long after the launch of DCA 2.0 in June of 2012. Odd, isn’t it?

  • EC82

    I’m supposed to go to Disneyland this week with an out-of-town guest and keep trying to get her to change her mind about going. For the first time in my entire life, I am not looking forward to a visit to Disneyland.

  • Imagineer45

    So happy GRR is finally back, it is going to be packed this summer. They could still potentially make the Alice railings blend in with the theme, and they probably will. Club 33 better be amazing, because it is taking forever and creating a lot of disturbance to the facade during construction.

  • MickeyMario

    Are all the Disney Centerpiece products available at Disneyland/Downtown?
    Or do I have to go to WDW?

    • All of the Retro, Adventureland, Be Our Guest, Orange Bird, etc merchandise available at Walt Disney World’s Marketplace Co-Op has been slowly rolled out over the last several weeks at stores around Disneyland (Main Street China Closet, Adventureland Bazaar, Atwater Ink and Paint, World of Disney, etc.) and we’ve been sharing photos of all of it here in Dateline Disneyland as it was released. You can also find it all online at DisneyStore.com.

      Thanks for reading!
      -Andy

  • Disneyobsession

    Is DLR really getting more crowded or is it just that for the past few weeks it has been grad night and all of the grads are filling the parks?

  • 4Apples4Disney

    Great update, part of the week I always look forward to. Thanks for all your hard work Andy!

  • StrikeYerColors

    I am loving the beautiful photography in this update! So great. Ps, did I miss any discussion of Matterhorn’s fall downtime? I cannot believe it is going to have such a long one so soon after it’s full revamp. I would have expected a couple weeks here or there like they did last summer.

  • SoarinMatt

    Anaheim Packing House looks EXACTLY like The Camp in Costa Mesa (as it it should; it’s managed by the same company): very much trying to be super trendy and succeeding in being extremely overpriced. It looks nice though.

    Chalkboard sign at Jungle Cruise is exactly the right thing for Adventureland, though they should stick with white chalk to keep that rugged look. My only fear is that guests can just walk by and wipe it off.

    Andy, fantastic photos of the Carthay with the plants in the foreground. Have you tried selling your images to Disney for postcards?

  • MrsMonroe

    the complaints on the Jack and Sally and Maleficent thingy in NOS needs to stop, you will find hundreds of similar statues and other cheesy stuff like that in the real french quarter so it fits and on sunday theyre only only for 4 hours? lol typo

  • Zorro825

    Was there on Saturday and the parks were looking great!! I was also surprised how manageable the crowds were!! The longest line at both parks was 75 minutes for Indiana Jones. We hit every major E-Ticket at both parks and we didnt even arrive until 1130am. . I’m sure its going to pick up once the summer season really gets going, but it was nice to enjoy the park on a beautiful Saturday.

  • Skimbob

    I went Tuesday afternoon for dinner and then tried to het on POTC. I was standing in line for the next boat when the ride was closed. A CM said they had been having problems all day and I said well it probably is a few bugs after the refurb and she said are you a CM and I said no i am a Premier Passholder and she said the only thing they did during refurb had to do with Cal Osha changes. They made all of us vacate the building and the ride was shut for the remainder of the day. It was a good 1/2 hour wait or more just to get in there and it took another 10 minutes to remove everyone. Unfortunately there was no good way to pass a message to all the rest of the people in line to leave. I personally do not believe any of the current Cal Osha changes have been voluntary. I have seen fire marshals pull this stunt when someone ticks them off at trade shows. All of a sudden aisle ways have to be wider etc. etc. Someone at Disney had to have ruffled someone’s feathers in Cal Osha and now all these changes are having to be made. Safety changes can be a good thing but something is just not right about the whole thing. What it looked like is the ride went into automatic shut down.I have never seen so many CMs and lead staff in the control booth. The last person was a technician and after he arrived the ride was shut down in minutes. The CMs seemed even more upset than the guests. I am sure it is frustrating for them but fortunately everyone stayed calm.