Disneyland debuted its new Frozen-themed pre-parade Friday afternoon. The one-float offering features Princess Anna, Olaf and Queen Elsa on an icy, snow-covered parade float but Frozen fans might want to lower their expectations before heading to Disneyland to see the new offering. Meanwhile, work continues in Disneyland’s New Orleans Square as the major Club 33 expansion continues to bring notable changes to the area. Over in Tomorrowland, the Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage is seeing some major work get underway in its lagoon as Space Mountain finally gets cleaned up.

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.

Let’s get started!

Welcome to Disneyland!

The refurbishment list keeps getting smaller the further we get into summer

The bank of entry turnstiles closest to Downtown Disney are behind walls now for refurbishment.

Nearby, the Newsstand remains open

Inside Disneyland, the park looks great as the park kicks into full summer mode this week with daily 8am-midnight operating hours (8am-10pm for California Adventure).

Lots of patriotic floral throughout Town Square

A look at Disneyland wait times early Sunday afternoon

Meanwhile, at Disney California Adventure, the gorgeous Buena Vista Street and guest-favorite Cars Land turned two years old on Sunday. Buena Vista Street is a personal favorite — I fall in love with Buena Vista Street all over again every time I enter the park. Congrats on two years, Disney — now what’s next?

The Red Car Trolley is perfect.

On display in the Trolley Treats candy kitchen window…

A look at Disney California Adventure wait times Sunday afternoon

Let it… No.

Back in Disneyland, the park debuted its new Frozen-themed pre-parade on Friday. The new pre-parade is Disney’s effort to ease demand for the popular characters by giving guests the opportunity to see them without having to wait over two hours for their meet-and-greet.

If the float looks familiar it’s because it is. The float is the Mickey and Minnie ice skating float from Disneyland’s popular (and aging) A Christmas Fantasy Parade. It has a new paint job now, some new icy trees, and a new platform for Queen Elsa.

The new pre-parade looks fine, but considering this float is a direct response to the huge, unexpected demand for “Frozen” in the parks (the meet-and-greet in Fantasyland consistently has a 2+ hour wait time, open to close), it’s too bad that Disney passed on the opportunity to create something really nice for its biggest animated film ever. Instead, Disney opted to simply redress an existing float from the park’s 20-year-old Christmas parade and send it down the parade route seven months after the film’s release.

Wouldn’t a new Frozen float added to Mickey’s Soundsational (designed by Soundational designers Kevin Kidney and Jody Daily) be great?

Expect this float to appear as-is in the A Chrismtas Fantasy parade this holiday season.

If you’re hoping to see the new pre-parade on your visit, be aware that as of now, Disney is only running it once per day before the 4:00 pm parade (first parade). It does not run before the second parade.

Below, video of the pre-parade’s debut performance.

Kingdom Construction

[center]Fenced In[/center]
Meanwhile, on Main Street, no visible progress yet on the new Main Street guest flow corridors. The First Aid and Wish Lounge facilities will be temporarily relocating soon due to the construction, with First Aid moving to the Main Street Lockers location. This change is already illustrated on park maps but, as of this writing, has yet to actually go into effect.

This space will soon be reopening as temporary home of First Aid. No locker rentals are available in Disneyland during guest flow corridor construction.

The existing First Aid and Wish Lounge locations will be slightly relocated and expanded as part of this project.

Hopefully they’ll get nicer facades in the process.

[center]Members Only[/center]
In New Orleans Square, construction continues on the major Club 33 expansion which is absorbing the Court of Angels area, which was previously open to all park guests, as well as the second level space above the French Market Restaurant.

In addition to extensive Club 33 work, there’s quite a bit of construction on the rooftops of New Orleans Square, which appears to be new permanent Cal/OSHA fall safety additions. Much like other fall safety additions, they seem a bit excessive, but at least these look like some of the park’s better-integrated fall safety additions.

Views of rooftop construction from Tarzan’s Treehouse

Work continued inside Club 33 even on Sunday as Disney races toward Club 33’s July 18 reopening date.

The new bridge between the main Club 33 dining room and the new “La Salon Nouveau” lounge above French Market continues to take shape behind the tarps.

Some scaffolding and taps have come down from other areas of the French Market, though

No more artist props on the balcony here, but the facade appears to have received fresh paint.

Scaffolding and tarps are down on the patio-side of the French Market as well.

You can spot new stained glass in the upper parts of the windows

Looks like extra safety railing has been added behind the balcony’s wrought iron.

Correction: The extra railing behind the wrought iron is not new. Thanks to reader ayalexander for the correction. — Andy

A closer look at the new stained glass

[center]Alice in Blunderland[/center]
Over at Alice in Wonerland, progress on the new fall safety additions on the outdoor track appears to have slowed down a bit this week as the ride moves closer to its official July 4 reopening date.

The new rock work extension has been filled in

Looks awkward

The wall extension looks more permanent now

[center]Out to Dry[/center]
Work in the Submarine Lagoon has picked up, with scaffolding and a wood structure going up around the sub track. Disney announced last week this attraction will reopen September 27.

[center]Space Junk[/center]
Space Mountain remains closed for refurbishment until July 4 but the mountain which has gone without exterior maintenance since an incident in November 2012 in which a hired contractor fell from the mountain and suffered some broken bones. The incident, along with Alice in Wonderland‘s temporary Cal/OSHA safety additions in 2010, are what prompted the systematic addition of fall safety equipment in every corner of the theme parks.

The new top ring on Space Mountain was added for fall safety earlier this year and now, with the attraction closed for refurbishment, the exterior is finally getting cleaned up.

Yes, it’s really supposed to be white.

[center]See ya later, trash cans![/center]
Beneath Space Mountain, Captain EO’s final day will be tomorrow, Tuesday, June 17. The show will go dark to make way for a 3D preview of Marvel’s upcoming Guardians of the Galaxy movie. Disney says Captain EO will return, but has yet to announce a return date. We wouldn’t be surprised if this leads to a permanent closure of Captain EO, which Disney has been looking to close/replace for some time now. The 3D Guardians of the Galaxy preview is set to open July 4.

Over in DCA, the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror went down Friday due to technical difficulties with the elevator ride vehicles. As of Sunday afternoon the attraction was still not operational. Instead of simply closing the doors, Cast Members offered guests the opportunity to go inside to tour the lobby and library areas at their leisure — a nice gesture.

On Paradise Pier, the wood rot repairs seem to have just stopped with no visible progress.

[center]Dry Run[/center]
Meanwhile, water is now returning to Grizzly River Run as the ride prepares to reopen later this week following its refurbishment.

Merch Madness

A few noteworthy books available at Disneyana, including the recent reprint of John Canemaker’s great Mary Blair art book.

And a new Space Mountain graphic novel available in Tomorrowland.

Farm (Re)fresh

Last Thursday, I had the opportunity to attend Knott’s Berry Farm’s grand reopening festivities for its classic Calico Mine Ride and family-friendly Camp Snoopy area. I covered the reopening festivities in detail for MiceChat’s In The Parks blogs, but I wanted to mention it again here in this column. Knott’s is a much smaller operation than Disneyland but the park is doing really great things right now thanks to great leadership by General Manager Raffi Kaprelyan and Cedar Fair CEO Matt Ouimet, who may be familiar to Disneyland fans as the President of Disneyland Resort during its 50th Anniversary. The Calico Mine Ride is fresh out from a major six-month restoration and enhancement project that has completely transformed the attraction from a dated relic from a bygone era of theme park design to a spectacular, state-of-the-art wonder that features dozens of new animatronic figures, beautiful new show lighting and great new special effects throughout. The newly reimagined Calico Mine Ride, in a addition to the recent reimagined Log Ride and completely restored Ghost Town, really makes Knott’s a must-visit for theme park fans.

Below, video of the newly re-imagined Calico Mine Ride:

In addition to restoring and revitalizing its Mine Ride, Knott’s also re-invested in its Camp Snoopy area, revitalizing the area with a fresh, cohesive High Sierras theme throughout. The cohesive theming brought along some great placemaking for the area as well as three new kid-friendly rides. The result is very charming and breathes new life in this area of the park just in time for its 30th anniversary.

If you’re a local who hasn’t visited Knott’s in a while or planning a Disneyland vacation, now is a great time to consider visiting. With adult tickets as low as $40, Knott’s is an affordable side-trip from Disneyland and you might just be surprised at how much the little park has to offer. For full coverage of the Calico Mine Ride reopening, click here. For full coverage of the refreshed Camp Snoopy, click here.

This and That

In Downtown Disney, you can still catch one of this summer’s “Hawaiian Nights” presented by DOLE and Disney’s Aulani Resort in Hawaii on Friday nights through mid-July. The special event is small, with a flat Aulani photo-op, some special menu items at select Downtown Disney restaurants and some live entertainment which is actually quite good.

Remaining Hawaiian Nights this summer are: June 20, 27, and July 11. The event is located in the plaza area between House of Blues and the WonderGround Gallery.

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Weekly News & Information Round-Up
Weekly Theme Park Hours
Junse 16 — 22, 2014
[B]Disneyland Park[/B] [B]California Adventure[/B]
Daily: 8 am – 12 am Daily: 8 am – 10 pm
[CENTER]For a complete listing of theme park hours,
visit the Disneyland.com Theme Park Calendar
[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 16 — 22, 2014


  • These projections represent the average of the crowds all day rather than the peak. You can expect higher crowd levels in the early evening hours. Mornings and early afternoon are a good time to visit.
  • If you’re a fan of that 1980s nostalgia, Tuesday is your last day to see Captain EO. The All American College Band begins its annual appearances on Thursday, and Grizzly River Run returns on Friday.
  • This year’s final Grad Nites are Wednesday and Thursday.
  • The SCVA Volleyball Tournament begins Friday, and will run through the end of the month. Expect a small bump in crowds when the boys are off the sand.
  • 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]
  • (None)
OK — that does it for this week’s Dateline Disneyalnd. What do you think of the new Frozen pre-parade? Is it just fine or underwhelming for such a successful film? Let us know what you think in the discussion 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.