Disneyland‘s new pay-per-play Adventure Trading Company interactive game opened over the weekend, sending players on expeditions to find coveted Juju. The new game is fun and doesn’t require a huge time investment unlike the nearby Legends of Frontierland game… but is it worth the price to pay? We take a look at Adventure Trading Company today as well as take a look at various refurbishments around the parks and hotels as summer continues at Disneyland.

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.

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Let’s get started!

Welcome to Disneyland!

A look at wait times Friday afternoon

Over at Disney California Adventure, summer continues without much news…

A look at wait times Friday afternoon

The park looks great, though and crowds have been really nice all summer

Gnu fun in Adventureland

On Friday, the new Adventure Trading Company interactive experience debuted in Adventureland. The new pay-per-play game brings the game that was play tested at the D23 Expo into the park, integrating it with the Adventureland environment in a pretty seamless manner. From gameplay, to props, to implementation – the Adventure Trading Company is dramatically different than the Legends of Frontierland game that recently debuted in the next land over.

The Adventure Trading Company has taken over the Indiana Jones Adventure Outpost and offers guests the opportunity to pay so they can go on one of nine quests which with the end goal of obtaining a special piece of “Juju.” The quests are all fairly simple, ranging from buying the Juju outright from the shop, to others requiring you to buy a publication that includes instructions on how to earn your Juju.

A bulletin board inside the shop gives clues and gives some backstory on the new game

Signage tells you how much you’ll be spending to play

Guests interested in playing can go to the cash register to pay for the expeditions they want to participate in…

Juju on display

Juju cost $5 each, or $7.50 if food is involved. There are nine total, three of which involve purchasing a food item. You can buy two Juju directly from the Indiana Jones Adventure Outpost, the Swiss Family Treehouse and the crocodile tooth.

To obtain others, such as the Piranhahaha juju, you have to buy a Jungle Handbook for River Navigation, and train to be a jungle skipper by completing the activities in the handbook.

Upon completion, you’ll have to pass the test to become a skipper by telling a joke at the exit of the Jungle Cruise, but don’t worry, the handbook has hints to help you out with your joke.

Other tasks, such as the one to earn an Eye of Mara Juju, send you throughout Adventureland to decode messages and find the knowledge to earn you Juju…

Two of the three quests that involve food require simply purchasing a food item. The “This Side Up” Pineapple Parfait is available at Tropical Imports and reportedly tastes something like the popular Dole Whip. Supplies of this were very limited over the weekend and went quickly.

The pineapple Juju comes with the parfait.

The Venomade at Bengal Barbecue is a sour apple-flavored drink with boba and comes with the snake juju.

The Juju that perhaps requires the most effort to obtain is the Tiki Mask juju, which requires guests to hunt for the ingredients to Trader Sam’s new drink in Adventureland and then report those ingredients back at the Trader Sam’s bar at the Disneyland Hotel.

The upside is after finding the clues and making the trek all the way to Trader Sam’s, a pretty tasty drink comes along with the juju. $7.50.

Overall, the Adventure Trading Company is a really nicely-designed but somewhat inconsequential addition to the Disneyland experience. The game is rewarding in that you walk away with pretty nicely-designed, unique souvenirs, but it’s truly a once-and-done type experience. That’s a big difference from the Legends of Frontierland game that is also currently being offered in the park, but it’s clear that the two games are going after very different demographics. While Legends of Frontierland is free, it’s complex and rewards players that revisit the game multiple times; it’s a game designed for Annual Passholders. Conversely, as it exists now, Adventure Trading Company is very simple and requires a pretty minor time investment, but gives a tangible reward to walk away with; it’s pretty clearly a game designed for tourists. Currently, the Adventure Trading Company hits a pretty reasonable price point for Disney and the game’s printed materials, props and Juju are high-quality and very nicely executed. It’s top-to-bottom a much more polished experience than Legends of Frontierland, which is, at times, a complete eyesore in Frontierland.

If Disney is planning on eventually adding permanent games to Disneyland, I think both games have their place. While I haven’t played Legends of Frontierland, I have spent a fair amount of time observing the game and talking with guests who have played it, including my friend David Daut at the Illusion of Life blog. For Legends of Frontierland players, it’s clear the Frontierland game is a far richer experience, and I can understand that — the nature of the game encourages guests and Cast Members to interact pretty closely in a way that builds strong, in-game relationships — and that’s pretty unique for a theme park experience. Still, the time commitment and performative aspects of Legends of Frontierland aren’t for everyone and I was pretty content with collecting a few Juju and moving on to Disneyland’s other rich and varied experiences. Overall, I had a lot of fun with the Adventure Trading Company and wouldn’t mind seeing it return on a more permanent basis at a later point after its limited engagement. Additional quests that rotate out with more variation in complexity and engagement would be great to see.

The Adventure Trading Company is now open and is set to run through the end of this month.

Meanwhile, in Frontierland, the Legends game continues to evolve daily as gameplay quirks and kinks in this complex experience continue to be ironed out.

Over the weekend, a bit shortage (the in-game currency) led Disney to begin issuing bonds to players to recoup some bits and allow the game to continue functioning.

And players leveling up receive shiny coins to show their status. Below, the “hero” coin.

Refurbishment Roundup

[center]Main Street Makeovers[/center]
The rolling Main Entrance turnstile refurbishment continues with the eastern bank of center turnstiles behind walls.

On Main Street, the Castle Brothers shop is behind construction walls for a facade refurbishment.

Temporary accessibility ramps are up on each side of the refurbishment walls for wheelchairs, ECVs and strollers.

Don’t worry, the shops are still open

Inside the shop…

Windows are covered up with views of the outside, a nice touch.

Despite the ramps, guests using wheelchairs, EVCs or strollers are being directed to use the shops to bypass the refurbishment area. Sounds like a bad traffic jam waiting to happen.

[center]Finishing Up the French Quarter[/center]
Back in New Orleans Square, there isn’t much new to report on the big Club 33 expansion project now that the club is open and operating. There are a couple loose ends still being wrapped up, however, with some work continuing on the new off-centered window above Cafe Orleans.

New white boxes have gone up under the new big window and the resized faux shutters above the window.

Hopefully more continues to be added here, it still looks far from finished.

The walls up under the side of the new bridge over Orleans Street are still up

The new bridge seems like it’s pretty much finished but still feels awkward

Wrought iron work is finished up

The Club 33 expansion continues to be a point of discussion in the fan community. Some fan blogs argue that the changes aren’t that big of a deal since most guests won’t notice the changes anyway. That line of thinking is a far cry from Walt Disney’s own philosophy behind Disneyland; a stark contrast to Walt’s belief that “quality will out” and to “give the people everything you can give them.”

Meanwhile, other bloggers aren’t thrilled with the changes and have published well-written blogs about the issue that take issue with the changes. Bloggers have discussed the importance of the fan community’s response in situations like this, taken a detailed look back at the Club as it once was, and one artist even designed a t-shirt to commemorate the now-closed Court of Angels.

A few readers have asked for a before-and-after look at the New Orleans Square changes. A big thank you to our friend Dave DeCaro at the spectacular Daveland history blog and photo archive for lending some photos to facilitate this.

Before: Front of Cafe Orleans and Club 33 main dining room:

After: Front of Cafe Orleans and Club 33 main dining room with new window

Before: Upstairs Club 33 hallway facade

After: Upstairs Club 33 hallways facade with larger windows and new bridge

Before: Looking down Orleans Street toward the Court of Angels

After: Looking down Orleans Street toward the Court of Angels with expanded Club 33 hallway above and closed off Court of Angels.

Before: Looking down Orleans Street at night

After: Looking down Orleans Street at night with new bridge overhead

Before: The side entrance to the Court of Angels

After: The side entrance to the Court of Angels, now closed with “stained glass” gate

Before: The French lift inside of Club 33 that Walt Disney had built based on one he saw while traveling abroad.

After: The French lift, decommissioned and repurposed as a booth-for-one in the new jazz lounge area of Club 33.

Before: Interior of hallway leading to Club 33’s main dining room

After: Interior of remodeled and expanded hallway leading to Club 33’s main dining room

Before: Club 33 china

After: New Club 33 china with new club logo

For more photos of New Orleans Square and Club 33, including rare historical images, visit Daveland.

[center]Finding Refurbishment[/center]
In Tomorrowland, the Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage’s refurbishment continues with lots of new color appearing in the lagoon as new underwater plant life goes in…

Nearby in Tomorrowland, walls are still up in the back of the Starcade and even further back in the waiting area near the Space Mountain restrooms…


Space Mountain restrooms waiting area

Over in California Adventure, the structure on Paradise Pier that went behind walls to address some wood rot issues earlier this spring is still behind walls, with new tarps along the water-facing side of the structure.

[center]Grand Refurbishment[/center]
Over at the Grand Californian Hotel, a good portion of the hotel that faces the Grizzly Peak area of Disney California Adventure is behind tarps and scaffolding for refurbishment.

And inside the hotel, the Hearthstone Lounge is closed for a remodeling project and a temporary bar has been setup nearby, with outdoor seating.

Merch Madness

Over at Port Royal, more of the huge new Haunted Mansion merchandise collection continues to trickle out… Note, the weird Nightmare Before Christmas/Maleficent-themed Mardi Gras float thing that was parked in front of the store has been removed once again.

Expect to see a lot more Haunted Mansion merchandise over the next few weeks as Disney prepares to celebrate the Haunted Mansion’s 45th anniversary with around 100 new Haunted Mansion-themed merchandise items.

This and That

Over at Disneyland’s Candy Palace, more Frozen treats have been added…

The rice krispy “snowball” on the right is new

Frozen cake pops

New Olaf and Sven cookies

Candy Palace is now serving up the Goofy’s Glaciers slushy drinks that were recently added to California Adventure’s Trolley Treats.

The Lemonade and Passion Mango flavors debut at the Disneyland location alongside the Cherry and Blue Raspberry flavors.

Special Frozen souvenir cup

In Downtown Disney, the facade for the Earl of Sandwich expansion is all painted and ready to go…

Scaring up Halloween in Los Angeles

This upcoming weekend, Dateline Disneyland will be covering the ScareLA Halloween Convention in Los Angeles. This will be a new event for this blog since we stick mostly to Disneyland news and goings-on, but the folks at ScareLA will be celebrating the Haunted Mansion’s 45th Anniversary with special panel discussions, live entertainment, and appearances by Disney Legends Alice Davis and Bob Gurr.

I’m really excited to attend ScareLA this year and check out what promises to be some great Haunted Mansion-related offerings, including:

  • When Hinges Creak: Celebrating 45 Years of The Haunted Mansion, hosted by Jeff Baham from Doombuggies.com and featuring Disney Legend Bob Gurr
  • Garner Holt: I Was A Teenage Haunter, with animatronics wizard Garner Holt who has worked on Disney attractions including the Haunted Mansion
  • Chilling Tales of the Haunted Mansion LIVE!, a live show inspired by the Haunted Mansion’s storied history.
  • and more!

For more information on ScareLA and to purchase tickets to the convention, visit ScareLA.com.

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MiceChat.com and Annual Passholder Discounts
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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 30% off, 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.

Weekly News & Information Round-Up
Weekly Theme Park Hours
August 4—10, 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]Magic Eye Theater:[/B] Closed August 16-17 to remove Guardians of the Galaxy preview.
  • [B]Haunted Mansion:[/B] Closed August 25-September 11 to install Haunted Mansion Holiday overlay.
  • [B]Big Thunder Ranch:[/B] Closed September 1-11 to install Halloween overlay.
  • [B]Jungle Cruise:[/B] Closed September 2-4 for refurbishment.
  • [B]Main Street Photo Supply Co.:[/B] Closed September 2-23 for refurbishment.
  • [B]Pirate’s Lair on Tom Sawyer Island:[/B] Closed September 3- and 4 for refurbishment.
  • [B]Hose-Drawn Streetcar:[/B] Closed starting September 3, re-opening not yet known.
  • [B]Mark Twain Riverboat:[/B] Closed starting September 5, re-opening not yet known.
  • [b]Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage:[/B] Reopens September 27, 2014.
[b][center]Disney California Adventure[/center][/b]
  • [B]Blue Sky Cellar:[/B] Closed indefinitely.
  • [B]California Screamin’:[/B] Closed September 10 and 11 for refurbishment.
[b][center]Downtown Disney and Disneyland Resort Hotels[/center][/b]
  • Hearthstone Lounge: Closed for refurbishment.
  • Napa Rose Restaurant: Closed for kitchen renovation starting in August 2.
  • Disney Studio 365: Closed August 25-September 12.
Tomorrowplan Crowd Estimates for Disneyland Resort from Mouseaddict

August 4—10


  • As this unexpectedly “slow” summer comes to a close, hotels are currently cutting prices to entice guests to their surplus of rooms.
  • These projections show the average crowd levels for the day. Levels will fluctuate throughout the day, with peak crowds generally occurring after lunch and then again after dinner.
  • Enable the Tomorrowplan feature in the Mouseaddict app to see the latest projections for the next two full weeks, updated every day.

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]
  • You can get a Guardians of the Galaxy art print with a $30 food purchase at Redd Rockett’s Pizza Port at Disneyland, while supplies last. (Disney Parks Blog)
  • Walt Disney World Resortand Transportation Operations head Tom Wolber was named President of Disneyland Paris after current EuroDisney head Phillipe Gas was named general manager of Shanghai Disney Resort. (Corporate Press Release .PDF)
  • Daveland takes a look at a Disneyland survey that gauges guest interest in additional Marvel presence in the park. (Daveland)
OK — That wraps up this week’s blog… What do you think of Disneyland’s new Adventure Tradiing Company? Will you play next time you’re in the park? Let us know in the comments section below!

Your donations help keep Dateline Disneyland alive! We’ve only been able to bring Dateline Disneyland to you each week because of your help. Please 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]

Support Our Sponsors

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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.
  • LoveStallion

    The before-and-afters of NOS sum it up perfectly. The whole thing is way too imposing now.

    • heffalump

      Good point LoveStallion. New Orleans Square went from being New Orleans Square-centric to a monument of wretched excess for pompous Club 33 members. Case in point: the window used to be centered to preserve the look of New Orleans Square, but now it’s centered on the inside for Club 33 members and goofy looking on the outside, diminishing the unique style of New Orleans Square.

    • Westsider

      Considering the project isn’t even done, these “after” photos are a bit unfair. I wonder if Mr. Castro will consider doing the “Before and After” thing again in a couple weeks when the construction walls are down, the facades are finished, and all the accessories are put in place? You know, when the “After” shot is actually “After” instead of “In Progress”?

      Whaddya say Mr. Castro? A fair fight for a “Before and After” thing? Love your work and your updates, but this isn’t really a fair comparison yet.

      • Westsider,

        How about you notify me in a few weeks when you decide the project is done because the (majority of) construction walls have been down for a couple weeks already. If there are significant changes in a couple more weeks (what, a full month after the Club reopened?) then I’ll revisit the before and after feature, but I’m going to bet that won’t be necessary.

        Dateline Disneyland

      • stevek

        Regardless of whatever the final outcome is, I’m pretty confident nothing is going to change Andy’s mind. I can’t see them changing it substantially to alter his opinion.

      • mathdance

        A picture is a picture, not an opinion.

      • stevek

        But you can form an opinion based on a picture. Ugh.

      • @stevek –

        It isn’t even about changing my opinion. Westsider is suggesting that New Orleans Square will look significantly better than it does now when the “walls are down” and the project is “finished” but the walls ARE down and the Club has been open for two weeks now. The major work is done, so what are we waiting for? WDI can throw a bunch of small details at the new facades all they want, but none of that is going to change the very notable design flaws (off-center window, windows that disrupt the scale, closed Court of Angels, expanded Club hallway covering portions of neighboring facades, etc.).

        Small details might help but they aren’t going to fix any of the major problems here, no matter how much Westsider wants them to.

        Dateline Disneyland

    • Fyreflyerush

      IDK. Aside from the oddly off center window annoying me, I think the whole thing looks good. I love the new interior of Club 33. It’s so bright and open. It looks to have been given a modern, yet classic look. It was dark and dreary and showing its age before. The exterior doesn’t look bad….aside from that dreadfully off center window. The Court of Angels is a tragedy for those who know it, but the majority of people coming to DL won’t even know it existed.

  • steve76

    Wow, the before and after pictures of New Orleans Square really highlight how ill-conceived and badly executed the changes were. So sad.

    Maybe I’m not in the target demographic for the two new games, but I just don’t get them. The Frontierland seems far too convoluted and complicated, and the Adventureland one seems far too simple (I have to pay to play, and one of the games consists of me just having to buy something?). I’m sure I’m missing something. However I hope that they don’t detract at all from the regular guest experience. That jail cell sure looks ugly.

    Many thanks for the update.

    • dizneedoll

      Agree with you about NOS. At first I was thinking it was no biggie, except Court of Angels-I am very sad about that- but seeing the side by side comparison is quite striking and certainly does show the how big a difference it is. And not a good difference either.

      The games don’t appeal to me either. But I do think the Adventureland stuff looks cool. I like collecting ephemera and the booklets and maps look more interesting to me to have then the actual juju’s.

      • heffalump

        Universal Studios gets tons of new rides, and Disneyland counters with $5 Juju, a cheap piece of panted wood.

        Can’t wait to find out what the MBAs at Disneyland come up with next.

  • Susan Hughes

    I’m looking at the calendar and getting sad. The really peaceful, civilized atmosphere at the parks has only two weeks left. On August 18th all HELL breaks loose when the blocked out Annual Passholes are allowed to return and infest the resort with their numbers and, sadly…their bad behavior. It’s been a joy interacting with the out of town visitors, many from Europe. They DO NOT take for granted their visit to the parks and are excited to be there.

    • stevek

      So, do you have an AP Susan? Maybe a higher tier which apparently makes you better than those of us that are about to “infest” the resort? Your comments make you the worst possible AP…one that feels you are better than everyone else because of what you pay. Don’t lump everybody in with your overly dramatic generalizations. There are many of us lowly So Cal AP’s that love the parks just as much as you, don’t take them for granted and won’t bring any bad behavior as we infest them.

      • Fyreflyerush

        No, (s)he’s just a bitter CM who doesn’t like dealing with the people who pay her check.

      • SoCalStacy

        I agree with you stevek. AP holders are the reason the park is able to stay open after summer. Maybe Susan needs seasonal employment only. Also, the only way she would be able to distinguish a passholder is if she worked in parking main turnstiles, or food. Maybe she is bitter that she doesn’t have a better job within the park.

    • Kennyland

      Susan, I’m an out-of-towner and I don’t have an annual pass at any level. Never have. When I visit Disneyland, I pay for a 3-4 day parkhopper and usually visit in the summer because it does seem the crowd conditions are more manageable with the blackout days. As for calling a group of people Annual Passholes and painting them with such a broad stroke, I think that’s a bit much. If you don’t like visiting the Park when the APers return, then don’t go. We all enjoy Disneyland in our own way on whatever level we can. Try to show some tolerance.

    • jcruise86

      Buy a book of manners, Susan.

    • Westsider

      Susan, you aren’t alone. In a few Backstage areas there are even countdown calendars posted ticking off the days until the APs return. Let’s just say that for CM’s this isn’t like counting down the days until Christmas and Santa Claus returns. It’s a countdown of another sort, and I don’t know any CM who is looking forward to August 18th.

      • stevek

        There is a big difference between not looking forward to crowds which nobody likes, including a lowly So Cal AP parasite, but to paint with such a broad brush was a bit uncalled for. The AP’s should not be blamed for the crowding…that falls squarely on Disney’s shoulders for allowing the AP population to expand to a level far larger than they ever should have.

      • Susan Hughes

        The term “Annual Passholes” is not one used by the public. It’s what Cast Members use to describe the APs who are arrogant, abusive and obnoxious. The ones who treat the park as if it belongs to only them, and the Cast Members are indentured servants who can never do anything right and deserve to be treated badly.
        I should also point out there is a difference. There are Annual Passholders…and there are “Passholes”. Based on the civilized atmosphere the in the parks during the blockouts, one can come to the “broad paint stroke” that “Passholes” make up the majority of APs.

      • stevek

        Keep digging the hole Susan. At least you’ve clearly outlined you fall into the “passholes” bucket.

      • SoCalStacy

        You know what we passholders call rude cast members? Fired. LOL!!!

      • KimbaZ

        August 5, 2014 at 11:39 pm

        You know what we passholders call rude cast members? Fired. LOL!!!

        Thank you for the laugh SoCalStacy. I was thinking the same thing. I suppose all of us “rude and obnoxious” AP’s could call and complain about her. She really is bringing a bad name to Cast Members. I don’t think Disney would approve of her online image.

    • Ravjay12

      Wow! that was uncalled for! Some of the best guests I had the pleasure of knowing while I worked there were Annual Passholders. Never had problems with them. Really not good form, Susan!

    • KimbaZ

      Real classy Susan Hughes! Not sure if you’re a cast member or a Premium AP, but your lowball comment about Southern California AP’s was uncalled for. Seems like you’re the one with the bad behavior.

    • Marko50

      And once again Susan Hughes comes into a conversation with nothing but her hatred of people who can’t afford as much as she. I think she misunderstands who the CM’s are talking about when they mention Passholes. But, more to the point…well, that IS the point. Her diatribe has nothing whatsoever to do with the column above or any of the following comments.

      • stevek

        Though I don’t know Susan, I’ve seen similar reactions from people who quite honestly, live every moment for Disney and or the Disney parks. A level of obsession & elitism that is the epitome of the worst in Disney fandom and makes me want to wash my hands of it at times.

        We all love the parks or else we wouldn’t be here. But to suggest you are better than us “passholes” is tiresome and makes you worse than any of us could ever be.

    • Fyreflyerush

      If you can’t handle being in the service field, get out of it. Quit your job and go work in a morgue. At least there you won’t have to worry about getting attitude.

    • Disneyobsession

      Susan did take it a little over the top, but it does seem to me that days when the SoCal AP’s are valid, the behavior at the park is a bit worse.

      • Marko50

        It’s not so much that Susan took it a little over the top. It’s that, aside from being off-subject, she continually takes it over the top over the same subject 97% of the time.

      • Susan Hughes

        Scroll to 2:51 of this video for a short but direct explanation of what Cast Members think of Annual Passholders:


        Then ask yourself this question…are Cast Members “over the top” in how they feel, or is there some truth to the abuse they have to endure?

    • SoCalStacy

      Susan, where in the park do you work? The only place you would even know that I was a passholder would be either at parking, the main entrance, or at a restaurant cashier. So which one of these do you work at??? LOL.

  • Larry Parker

    The before/after shots clearly reveal the “on the cheap” Club 33 exterior work. To be sure Disney corporate is made aware of our displeasure, I suggest leaving comments to that effect at: https://disneyland.disney.go.com/help/email/

  • Those before and after pictures are heartbreaking. What was once perfection now looks like an add-on to a community hospital.

  • WDWorldly

    Andy, nice manicure, I love that color on you http://www.miceshots.com/usr/67/08-04-14-DSC_4936.jpg

    • HA! I was waiting for a comment like this. Our lovely hand model in today’s Dateline Disneyland is my good friend Becca from the wonderful MouseInfo.com who joined me on Friday to hunt for Juju! She has more great coverage of Adventure Trading Company over at her blog!

      Thanks for reading!

  • amyuilani

    Beautiful pictures as always!

    I think the best news of the summer has been the light crowds on Saturdays. Have non-premium passholders complained about this measure at all? I have not been a passholder in years (was a CM before I left CA), but I also remember thinking that Sunday mornings into early afternoon were a nice time to be there, and if I wanted evening entertainment, Friday after work was really nice. I didn’t want to go on a Saturday unless friends and family wanted to go. If Saturday really mattered that much, I would buy the premium pass, but if it doesn’t, it’s probably worth saving the difference in the rate.

    It would be nice if they started loosening the CM sign-ins over the summer, since they’re showing that the crowds are light enough to not be drastically affected by sign-ins.

    • Westsider

      There are no CM blockouts on our main gate passes this summer. The only blockout dates were July 4th. I’ve signed in family and friends multiple times this summer, always on a Saturday.

      There are upcoming CMs blockouts later in August when the APs return, and then again this fall CM’s are blockout out on Fridays and Sundays through Halloween.

      • stevek

        I heard from a CM friend that sign in’s are a bit more challenging nowdays. When he previously signed us in, he just walked in with us and then walked back out. Now, he apparently has to physically be with us the entire time. This may have always been a rule but maybe now they are just enforcing it much more closely. Or he was just B.S.’ing me. ; )

      • Westsider

        That’s always been the rule, but it was never really enforced. Now with the MagicBands in Florida, CM’s have to give plastic RFID cards to their guests so they can use the Fastpass+ system and then at the end of the visit return the RFID cards to their CM host. The CM’s main gate pass also has an RFID chip in it. No paper passes are given for CM sign-ins in Florida anymore. A CM can’t lose those cards more than once or twice, or be hauled in for questioning on who they are signing in and why they keep losing their RFID cards. This all serves to force the CM and their guests to follow the long standing rule of “remaining with your party for their entire visit”.

        Those changes in Florida triggered the crack down on also following the rules here in California. Your CM friend isn’t BS’ing you.

  • WDWorldly

    Miceage should seek out Club 33 members and publish their (probably negative) reactions –it might have an impact, as these before and after pictures do.

    • stevek

      I’d be careful to generalize that Club 33 members opinions are “probably negative.” My guess is that there is a mix of good and bad and generally the bad are the most vocal.

  • Nola ron

    1. In the lagoon why are the tikis seeming faceing backward to the forward motion of the subs.
    2. Is Captain EO coming back in tomorrowland?
    Great photos as always.

  • BC_DisneyGeek

    Those before and after photos tell a very clear story, and it’s not a good one.

    I’m not one to complain above every change Disney makes, but the change in quality here is pretty stunning.

    • jcruise86

      ^ ^ I agree. How sad to see one of the most beautiful theme park places ever
      made significantly less attractive. (It’s even worse than the decline I’ve seen in photos of the area around Spaceship Earth that was so beautiful in the 80s, but now looks cluttered.) When Iger’s successes and failures are listed, this will be in the failure list, if before and after photos are circulated.

      Is Disney involved in the developments in and around the Grand Canyon that Teddy Roosevelt warned against 100 years ago?

  • Amanda949

    The before and after shots say it all. How could anyone defend what they’ve done to the most beautiful area of the park?! The proof of their laziness is in the details. The fact that the new club and refurbished parts of NOS have no detail shows they weren’t just lazy but really don’t care at all.

    • danielz6

      Not only was it the most beautiful but also the most unique. Only magic kingdom with a new orleans square. Shameful.

      • Cory Gross

        Part of Tokyo Disneyland’s Adventureland copies New Orleans Square. It’s not the full thing, but it’s still a bit bizzaroworld to walk through.

      • danielz6

        Yes I know I’ve been there. Personally, I’ve always thought it’d be better if Adventurand had a unified thematic setting, instead of the mishmash that it is along with all the other copy cat adventurelands. I think one should be polynesian, another indian, or african, SE Asian, central american or Amazon etc. I think a unified setting is much more satisfying than a mixture of themes, plus they would be more differentiated from park to park.

  • MyFriendtheAtom

    those before and after pics tho :-/

  • Stevenatharlan

    I agree, the before and after pictures really show how poorly the NOS exteriors were done. Too bad Tony Baxter is gone, he wouldn’t have let that happen (or would have given it a good fight). The beauty of the area and connections to Walt are disappearing. First we lose The Disney Gallery (above Pirates), then The Court of Angels. One thing I noticed on a past post, looking at the interiors of the new Club 33, I did not see one picture of Walt Disney in the club. The original Club 33 had several pictures of Walt in the Throphy Room, etc. Did I miss something? Is this another step in a generic ‘Disney’ brand . . .

  • eicarr

    The before and after photos are shocking. I feel sad for the downgraded experience and embarrassed for Disney employees.

    • Westsider

      Just this morning as I put on my costume and affixed my nametag I thought “Geez, I used to feel proud of this before that off-center window was installed”.

      How about we wait for the thing to actually be finished before we declare it the end of Disneyland?

      • stevek

        You should have just quit your job on the spot in protest. How in the world can you work for these “vandals” that have completely ruined anyone’s possibility of enjoying Disneyland now ; )

      • Marko50

        Lol! I myself have considered getting a job with the DLR just so I could quit in protest!

        Sorry, Westsider. No offense meant. And I appreciate the service I’m sure I’ve gotten from you. But stevek, I loved that comment!

        And just wait till those unwashed hooligans come back in two weeks!

      • CaptainAction

        Westsider, you seem a little sensitive to the poor design and execution of the new mess at New Orleans Square. Is this your project?
        You seem to be asking everyone to ignore what they are seeing.

      • stevek

        I just think he’s being rational and saying “let’s wait and see the final product before judging it.” At the end of the day, people that hate it now aren’t likely to change their opinion nor will people that don’t have a problem with it. The middle ground will likely be those that will sway one way or the other upon completion.

      • Fyreflyerush

        I think that was sarcasm from Westsider.

      • stevek

        Of course it was, as was my response. I don’t see how anyone could have taken it as anything different. But, this is the internet and sarcasm can be a bit hard to convey.

  • Tinkbelle

    Oh, wow… thanks for the before and after shots but they make me want to cry. The before shots look like they should be after shots! The rich theming and detail look so much more classy, well thought out, and appropriate. I highly doubt that Disney is going to pay the money it would take to fix their mistake here. It’s a real shame.

    They are getting some interesting Haunted Mansion merchandise. I like the ghost plush! They should make a music box of the ballroom scene… or if that is too elaborate then even just one couple from the ballroom scene waltzing around.

  • lnsemsf

    I couldn’t care less about the changes to Club 33, but get rid of that Yankees hat in the new Adventureland game. They get enough money and attention and don’t need to be featured in Disneyland! Go Rays.

    • daveyjones

      pretty sure that’s a reference to the cap short round wears in temple of doom.

  • BlahBlahson

    I’ve never been to DL, and I think people Bitch and Moan way too much on Micechat…

    But HOLY SHIT do those before and after shots give a new perspective. Everything on the exterior looks like a travesty in comparison to the former. I didn’t know it was that awful until these pictures were shown.

    Disneyland literally just dropped multiple multiple spots on my Amusement park “Want to visit” list. I’d rather visit Knoebel’s five times than spend money supporting this crap. I’m sorry Disney, but if you play up your history so much, you can’t have it both ways and destroy one of your best theming job like this. They got this one completely wrong.

    • jcruise86

      Funny post! This IS good news for those who argue that “Tokyo Disney Sea is the world’s most beautiful theme park.”

    • danielz6

      Exactly, and consider the fact that this was the very last project in Disneyland that Walt Disney was apart of before his death, and it becomes way more relevant than just a few bad design decisions. This was his magnus opus so to speak concerning theme park, and these morons completely destroyed it’s perfection.

    • CaptainAction

      But wait, Westsider hasn’t finished his New Orleans refurb yet.
      Nothing to see here. You aren’t seeing what you think you are seeing.

  • Tinkd

    Thank you for the update, this was a good one, with the before and after pictures. I am so saddened to see the loss of N.O.S. I believe they did a hack job this remodel. This once was a dream to be able to visit, see the things that Walt enjoyed, ie. the lift, the trophy room. While I never had a real chance to visit, I now don’t care whether I ever see it or not. I can only hope that members see it for what it is and pass on the comments. The off center window is pathetic, and the generic windows over the walkway don’t even match, nor fit..This is a bad joke.

    • daveyjones

      “This once was a dream to be able to visit, see the things that Walt enjoyed, ie. the lift, the trophy room.”

      walt never stepped foot inside club 33. he died in december 1966, and the club opened june 15, 1967. so don’t feel too bad! 😉

      • Larry Parker

        It’s the EXTERIORS that we are primarily disgusted with, and Walt had an intimate connection with those.

    • Westsider

      No kidding. Club 33 was an empty loft the last time Walt visited Disneyland in October, 1966 about two weeks before he began to get very sick and six weeks before he died.

      Club 33 is cool, but it has no physical connection to Walt Disney and he never saw the facility anywhere close to being completed.

      • Cory Gross

        True, he never set foot in Club 33 just like he never saw the public opening of Pirates of the Caribbean. However, both are intimately connected to him as his final projects. There was still an historical cachet to Club 33, like the lift Walt commissioned, the trophy room he wanted, etc. that simply no longer exists.

      • I agree with Cory. Walt Disney may have never seen Pirates of the Caribbean or Club 33 finished, but he was very closely involved in the design of these two things. It was his guidance that helped determine what the final products would be — all of the work he put into the projects wasn’t undone simply because he died before they were completed.

        Dateline Disneyland

  • Dizzey

    The super-bright props in “subland” certainly will make it look less realistic, but I suppose that’s OK, since Finding Nemo is a cartoon, after all. Should appeal more to little kids, maybe less to those of us who liked the realism of the old subs. I’ll still ride it and love it, I expect.

    Like the rest – sad to see the loss of design and detail in NOS. Where’s Lassiter these days? I guess Cars Land is finished and he’s looking to get Pixar back on top.

    • stevek

      Weren’t they that way before? I think they’re just being repainted but I could be wrong.

    • daveyjones

      “The super-bright props in “subland” certainly will make it look less realistic.”

      everything in the subs lagoon has to be painted extremely bright to look right underwater. it’s always been that way, even back in 1959. it just looks overly-bright when the lagoon is drained.

      see this shot from a 1961 rehab. even though the photo itself is drab, you can see how garish the colors are:


  • braggfamily

    Thanks for posting the before and after pics of NOS. It really is a travesty. They ruined one the best areas of the park :'(

  • garyman

    Great Update as always.

  • Ravjay12

    Thanks for the great before and after pictures because they really do show how screwed up New Orleans Square is now. Another game? Seriously? Still no second meet and greet for Frozen.

    • Marko50

      A second meet and greet – for anybody – is really unlikely. They can’t be in two places at the same time. I know Mickey used to be unavailable in his house in Toontown anytime he was in a parade.

  • mathdance

    Did anything change at Peter Pan’s Flight after it’s closure last week? I knew it was really short. Did they change a light bulb or dust off Captain Hook or anything?

  • jmuboy

    NOS changes are a mess. They have wrecked the area. So sad to see a money grab for a few destroy the best are inside DL that many enjoy.

  • Dan Bee

    Hey Andy just wanted to say thanks for the ‘before-and-after’ shots of NOS. I was one of your readers who had asked if it were possible and you’ve come through with it. Its the first time I’ve seen what NOS looked like before the renovation works and there are some obvious, negative changes. What appears to have been a part of the park that offered a number of different streets/avenues with secluded destinations to explore now looks like a series of dead-ends. What a shame. Cheers for the amazing pics as always. I can genuinely say that I envy what you do.

    • Thanks for the request and thanks for reading, Dan!

      Dateline Disneyland

  • Circlevision91

    Both inside and out New Orleans Square has changed markedly. The exteriors are a step down, but the before-and-after of interior club photos only validates what struck me during my initial visits – its emptiness.

    Compare Lounge Alley before the renovation to the new “skybridge” windows. Club 33 in its pre-renovation incarnation was richly appointed, with ample furnishings. The new lobby is a vast empty room clear into Le Grand Salon, with the old antique table awkwardly placed in an alcove so that it doesn’t block a window and the old phone booth from The Happiest Millionaire moved onto the veranda above the Cours de Anges in a shadowed alcove. For all the chatter about the re-purposed lift it is actually the sidelining of the phone booth that broke my heart.

    We have been told they are not finished, and that things will change, but as exquisite as the new changes inside are, they are a far cry from the “clubby” residential style the Club used to have. It feel more like a restaurant and less like an extension of the Disney Family suites it was meant to be.

    Members are enthusiastic about the new lounge and the renovation, but aren’t nearly 100% satisfied (the emptiness bothers those I’ve spoken with, as does the art choices in the main dining room and halls). But most all aren’t happy about the exterior either… just saying before the Club bashing begins again

  • Cory Gross

    Those before and after photos are a doozy.

    Disneyland doesn’t care about my opinion one whiff, but what strikes me as a particularly bizarre outcome of this project is how they seem to have accomplished the exact opposite of what they were trying to do. By making Club 33 more conspicuous, they were clearly trying to leverage it as a positional good. That is, they were clearly trying to make the general public really aware of its existence in order to make it more appealing to potential members, on the grounds of its exclusivity. The biggest example is taking Court of Angels away from the public: “See, here’s this thing that everyone used to enjoy, but now it’s available for YOUR exclusive use! Look at those cameras peeking up over the gates… They want in so bad!”

    However, you get inside it and it just looks like any other halfways decent restaurant. The historical cachet of any lingering connection to Walt has been ripped out. No, Walt never set foot in it, but it bears his touches and those connections to the very last days of his life. They’re gone now, and with it, any real desirability the club had for me (again, because *I* matter so much). In trying to make it a positional good, they only succeeded in making that unwashed public either disinterested or outright angry at it. Maybe the club members still like the perks and stuff, and that’s great for them. While I wouldn’t turn down a(n all-expenses paid) visit, there are other restaurants on property that look just as good that I don’t need to be well-heeled or well-connected to get into. My mind keeps comparing this to Walt’s in Paris, and Walt’s keeps coming out on top.

    Anyways, the Adventureland game looks fun and more accessible than the Frontierland one (because I’m a tourist). I hope they bring it back in time for me to play the next time I can get to Disneyland. I’m really interested in stuff like this… I know there’s the “E-tickets are the answer to everything! E-tickets are my LIFE!!1!” crowd that are already mad at me, but the world doesn’t revolve around coaster-simulators. A variety of attractions deepen the theme park experience and make it richer and more satisfying than just a collection of big, loud rides. Disneyland also needs things like this, since unlike the “competition” (lol) they’re dealing with the crowd-management issues of already being incredibly popular rather than the need to actually build crowds. Fun, interesting experiences that can keep people occupied for a bit, let them come away with a sense of accomplishment, and that can make some money on the side, is not too bad in the bigger scheme of things. I know I would totally go in for buying up Juju (because I suck and I’m part of the problem!).

    • grizzlybear55

      So well said, Cory. I have had the privilege in the past to visit Club 33 on several occasions, and it always stood as one of the most wonderful places in the world to me, not only because of its warm and lovely old-school décor, but also because of the spirit of Walt that was so prevalent throughout it hallowed halls. I thus always counted a possible someday embership as a dream my heart made. But now, no. Where before the club was a gem, unique to all the world in location, atmosphere and history, it has now been transformed in to just another restaurant, not worth the price of admission, and certainly not something I choose to dream about anymore. Count me, then, as one who is not angry, but certainly as one who is sad. Sad and extraordinarily perplexed by the decision to gut what was once so wonderful and replace it with something so generic.

  • Skimbob

    Thanks Andy for the photos. I wish that Westsider is right about it not being finished yet but I don’t hold much hope. As for NOS that was the loss that will never be fixed. Change is good but this partucular changed missed its mark for show.

  • CADisney

    Thank you for this update, as always.

    As many others have said, the before and after photos are revealing (and shocking). Personally, I do not care what they do inside the club (I’ll never afford to go inside, but I do think it looks nice inside), and I can even look past the off-centered window.

    What bothers me the most is the “Upstairs Club 33 hallway facade” – that looks awful. The large windows, the widened walkways, and the additional black poles, the new walk way. It completely destroys the look. And to make it worse, it is the apparent quality of the workmanship. I could look past all of this if it at least looked nice and maintained the look of the area. This area is what set Disneyland apart. I will be visiting in February, so I am eager (or anxious, worried?) to see it in person.

  • dgpollard

    Thank you for the “before Walt Disney era” and “after Walt Disney era” pictures, Andy.

    If its one thing that’s consistent in life, it’s mankind’s ability to “re-interpret” history. It’s sad that there aren’t older generation “WED” Imagineers around anymore who have any power in the company to bridge the gap between talent and mediocrity.

    The bridge between the generations is truly important in not only continuing excellent thematic flow in Disneyland, but for continuing the story.

    What sort of story do the “dreamers” and “makers” of this new confounded display of hooliganism and clearly adolescent New Orleans Square nightmare have to tell?

  • Tigertail777

    Well, scratch Club 33 off my bucket list. The only reason I wanted to ever go in there was for the deep and significant history. That history has now been relegated to eating booths in the name of modernity. Don’t ever need to go in there now…ever. Ditto for much of New Orleans Square now too, so I really won’t feel like even shopping in that area. I am not against change for the better, but this is not it.

  • Immersineer

    Great article! If anyone wants to see a couple of versions I made of what could be fixes for Cafe Orleans: