Summer crowds continue to hit the parks at the Disneyland Resort following the busy Fourth of July holiday. Still, Disney California Adventure continues to get finishing touches throughout the park as the masses queue up at Radiator Springs Racers and visit the new shops along Buena Vista Street. Meanwhile, California Adventure now plays host to its own flag retreat ceremony — a new addition for the park with the debut of its new Buena Vista Street area. In Grizzly Peak, a “Happy Camper” plays popular campfire songs for guests on a hammered dulcimer, lending a unique sound to the National Park-themed area. In Disneyland, construction continues on the upcoming Fantasy Faire princess meet-and-greet area.

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[center]Inside Dateline Disneyland[/center]

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[center]WELCOME TO DISNEYLAND![/center]

It’s another busy summer week here at Disneyland. Our friends at Touring Plans have their weekly crowd forecast for you below.

It’s another week of heavy summer crowds at Disneyland Resort. can help you navigate the parks with our per-park Crowd Calendar, Lines – Mobile Wait Times App that gives access to current and estimated wait times for attractions, and Touring Plans detailing the best plan of attack for hitting the attractions. With summer crowds arriving, it’s a good time to subscribe to to plan your strategy to avoid the crowds!

Below are the predicted resort-wide crowd numbers for select days generated by the TouringPlans professional statisticians as measured for the upcoming week. For the access to the full year and per-park crowd level predictions, visit our Crowd Calendar.

— Fred Hazelton, Statistician,

[center][/center] [center]Resort-Wide
Crowd Calendar Prediction
[center]Crowd Tips[/center]
Tues., July 10 [center]10 /10[/center] Here are some quick-hit notes that we hope you’ll find helpful as you prepare your visits for the week:

  • Southern California Annual Passports are now blocked out through August 19.
  • Full blockouts on Saturday.
  • Waits at the FASTPASS machines for Radiator Springs Racers (located near It’s Tough to Be a Bug) have been as long as 45 minutes at official park opening.
  • Due to its incredibly low capacity, consider riding Luigi’s Flying Tires standby right after starting your day by grabbing a FASTPASS for Radiator Springs Racers.
Wed., July 11 [center]10 /10[/center]
Thu., July 12 [center]10 /10[/center]
Fri., July 13 [center]10/10[/center]
[center]Crowd levels are based on a scale from 1 to 10, with 1 being the least crowded conditions and 10 being most crowded.[/center][center]See Disneyland crowds for the next 365 days.
Get Disneyland wait times on youriPhone, Android, or Smartphone.
Do more. Wait less.

A look at wait times from Saturday afternoon.


At the Penny Arcade, a new stained-glass sign for “CANDY” has been added to the entrance of the arcade.

The sign makes no secret of the fact that the Penny Arcade is less arcade and more overflow Candy Palace retail space. It’s unfortunate, but not surprising.

Looks like this sign is salvaged from the stained glass “Candy Palace” windows that used to be above the windows of the candy store’s old on-stage kitchen before it was remodeled and expanded.

Further inside the Penny Arcade, prop candy lets you know that this is Candy Palace territory.

The five-month remodeling of the Carnation Cafe, Gibson Girl Ice Cream Parlor, Penny Arcade and Candy Palace cost Disney at least $8.4 million, according to the Orange County Register. Details below:

Disneyland remodels classic restaurant, shops
Disneyland visitors can now dine indoors at a classic café, watch candy makers from more windows and find more space to buy ice cream or candy on Main Street, U.S.A.

The final business on a block of Main Street, U.S.A. recently re-opened after a five-month renovation project. Disneyland revamped the northwest quadrant of the entrance corridor, which stretches from Carnation Café to Refreshment Corner.

Disneyland remodeled shops and restaurants mostly to create more walking and elbow room; patrons often spilled out the door to line up for ice cream or crowd up to buy peanut brittle and candy apples. The project cost at least $8.4 million, according to city documents.

Carnation Café was the last venue to re-open, on June 13, with new indoor seating where Blue Ribbon Bakery used to operate. There are 86 outdoor seats and 48 indoor spaces.

Disney moved Blue Ribbon items to the new, bigger Jolly Holiday Bakery when it opened in January in the former Plaza Pavilion. [ FULL STORY ]

Just desserts, indeed.

Next to Sleeping Beauty Castle, work is progressing slowly on the Fantasy Faire project.

Seems like work here has slowed down a bit… not much new progress to see.

Views from the Omnibus:

[center]WELCOME TO

Work continues on the new flower planter on the western side of the California Adventure main entrance.

The new edition of the Buena Vista Bugle has hit newsstands along Buena Vista Street. It’s great that they’re coming out with new editions; hopefully this can continue for some time…

A look at wait times Saturday afternoon:

Wait times in Cars Land seem to have stabilized after the initial rush. Radiator Springs Racers routinely posts between 100-120 minute wait times.

Luigi’s Flying Tires is often found with a wait time ranging between 60 and 90-minutes.

Mater’s Junkyard Jamboree typically has the shortest wait between 10-30 minutes.

Meanwhile, Disney continues to push the new “Glow with the Show” ear hats in California Adventure. After several Annual Passholder events where attendees were given the $25 hats for free, Disney is now promoting the hats on the Disney Parks Blog with video clips and in-store displays that show video of the hats in action.

The light-up hats are actually a lot of fun during World of Color when the entire audience is wearing them, but they lose their impact otherwise. Hopefully the hats catch on and more guests buy them, but so far it seems like the $25 price point is just a bit too high for the hats to gain real traction.

The Disney Parks Blog promo video


In the Grizzly Peak area, another of California Adventure’s new entertainment offerings for summer 2012 is bringing some relaxing tunes to the Grizzly River Run area.

Happy Camper plays popular “campfire songs” on a hammered dulcimer across from Rushin’ River Outfitters

It’s a nice, relaxing addition to this area, more in line with the early National Parks theme that Disney is trying to create here. Take a listen with our video below:

Back on Buena Vista Street, with the park now featuring its own flagpole, a daily flag retreat ceremony is required.

Just like at Disneyland, California Adventure’s United States and California State flags are lowered and folded by uniformed officers.

The retreat ceremony is currently done in silence, with Cast Members guiding Guests around and away from the flagpole area. Disneyland’s daily ceremony, on the other hand, is much more of an event and features audio and is much more of a show.

Regardless, it’s great to see California Adventure with a flag retreat ceremony of its own. It’s a great tradition at Disneyland and it’s nice to see it across the esplanade as well

[center]FINISHING TOUCHES[/center]

California Adventure continues to get minor finishing touches applied though out the park. Small details that many guests may not notice, but that do help keep the experience in line with that Disney’s Imagineers are aiming to create. At the edge of Carthay Circle, the dinosaur fossils that were in the rock work at the entrance to Condor Flats have been removed.

The Bug’s Land mural is done, with the subtle green background added.

On Paradise Pier, the frozen lemonade outdoor vending cart got a remodel. Looks nice.

In Hollywood Land, the neon sign of a smoothie cup with star-shaped sunglasses was removed from the facade of Schmoozies.

The smoothie shop’s bad name remains, but at least some more of Hollywood Blvd’s kitchy signage is gone.

Nearby Schmoozies, the window display that once advertised “Ben Hair – An Epic Salon” has been redressed with a Hollywoodland-themed backdrop, various luggage and some Hollywood-themed props. The barber pole that sat outside the window has been removed as well.


In Downtown Disney, construction continues on the new Earl of Sandwich restaurant.

Dateline Disneyland is sponsored by our good friends at the

Howard Johnson Plaza Hotel & Water Playground.[/CENTER]
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

[CENTER] 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.


[center]Weekly Theme Park Hours
July 9 – 15, 2012
[CENTER][B]Disneyland Park[/B][/CENTER] [CENTER][B]California Adventure[/B][/CENTER]
8 am – 12 midnight[/CENTER]
8 am – 11 pm[/CENTER]
[CENTER]For a complete listing of theme park hours,
visit the Theme Park Calendar
[center]Expected Crowd Levels[/center] [center]presented by[/center]
[CENTER][B]Disneyland Park[/B][/CENTER] [CENTER][B]California Adventure[/B][/CENTER]
[B]7.4—8.3[/B] out of 10[/CENTER]
[B]9.9—10[/B] out of 10[/CENTER]
[CENTER]Crowd levels are based on a scale from 1 to 10,
with 1 being the least crowded conditions and 10 being most crowded.

[B]For crowd predictions for the next 365 days, visit
[center]Closure and Refurbishment Schedule[/center]
[b][center]Disneyland Park[/center][/b]
  • No closures at this time.
[b][center]Disney California Adventure[/center][/b]
  • No closures at this time
[b][center]Downtown Disney and Disneyland Resort Hotels[/center][/b]
  • [B]Earl of Sandwich:[/B] Former Compass Book store and cafe will reopen as the new Earl of Sandwich restaurant summer 2012.
Disney tests mechanical flying dragon near Bakersfield, California

Some interesting news about a mechanical flying dragon Disney has been testing for use in its theme parks:

[b]Dragon spotted over Minter Field[/b]
Flying a mechanical dragon hundreds of feet in the air above Shafter’s Minter Field is no way to keep the thing a secret.

That was apparently Disney’s intention, however, when it swore airport officials to secrecy by having them sign a nondisclosure agreement as part of its rental of a hangar, a golf cart and rights to test the modified ultralight before shipping it off to Florida later this summer.

But what about everyone else who has business at the airport and happened to look up at the sky at various times over the past year?

Maybe they wouldn’t notice.

They did.

“It looks real,” flight trainer Justin Dyck said. “I thought it was going to be in a movie or something and they throw a little dragon in there.”

Restaurant manager Tammy Zaninovich snapped photos and posted them on Facebook. So much for the surprise.

“It breathes fire and the mouth opens and closes,” she said. “It’s pretty cool.”

The independent Disney fan website Neverland Gazette says the dragon is part of a show Disney World is putting together based on the movie “Avatar.”

The site links to a March 2010 patent application for a “flying entertainment vehicle” complete with technical drawings and explanations of how the dragon’s tail wags and the wings fill up with air without upsetting the aircraft’s aerodynamics.

Despite all of this, mum remains the official word at Disney.

“I can’t really tell you much. So sorry,” Disney spokeswoman Angela Bliss said Thursday, confirming only that what people around the airport saw (she never used the word “dragon”) was a project of Glendale-based Walt Disney Imagineering.

“We’re really always looking for new ways to expand the magic at Disney Parks,” Bliss said. “But we really don’t have any specific comments about what you’re asking me about.”

[b]Full story: The Bakersfield Californian: Dragon spotted over Minter Field[/b]
OK — that’s all for this week’s edition of Dateline Disneyland. Thanks for reading and be sure to join the discussion in the comments section below!

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[B]- Andy[/B]

[CENTER]Please support our sponsors

[/CENTER][B]FTC-Mandated Disclosure:[/B]
Promotional consideration for the July 9, 2012 edition of [I]Dateline Disneyland[/I] was provided by:
Do More. Wait Less.