Changes continue in New Orleans Square as summer heats up at Disneyland

Written by Andy Castro. Posted in Dateline Disneyland, Disney, Disney Parks, Disneyland Resort

Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Published on June 09, 2014 at 4:08 am with 46 Comments

About Andy Castro

Andy is a Southern California native, raised with Disneyland and a life-long fan of Disney theme parks and animation. Andy wrote the long-running weekly Dateline Disneyland photo, news and opinion blog here on MiceChat from 2007-2016. Andy continues to make occasional special guest contributions on MiceChat.

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  • 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

      Thanks for reading!

  • 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.