Disneyland‘s classic Haunted Mansion celebrated its 45th Anniversary over the weekend as the theme parks entered the final stretch of the long summer season. Around the park, refurbishments continue from Main Street to Tomorrowland as the first signs of Disney’s popular Halloween Time season quietly emerge. Today, we take a look at the latest progress on those refurbishments and take a look at new Haunted Mansion and Halloween merchandise. We also head up to Los Angeles for a look at the ScareLA convention, — a special expo and trade show for all things Halloween — where a couple of special presentations celebrated the Haunted Mansion’s 45th birthday.

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.

Thanks for bearing with us this morning as some technical issues delayed the publication of today’s blog. Without any further delay, let’s get started!

Welcome to Disneyland!

The summer season is starting to wind down at Disneyland, with Disneyland cutting back its operating day by a couple hours now as we move closer to the fall.

The final couple of weeks to enjoy Main Street in its traditional summertime patriotic bunting is now here. Soon, the red, white and blue will be swapped out for orange bunting and Main Street will be lined with jack-o-lanterns.

A look at Sunday wait times. Looks like both tourists and locals are staying away as Anaheim continues to get hit with high temperatures and humidity.


Over at Disney California Adventure, the park continues its quiet summer.

Over at the Red Car Trolley, conductors have quietly been giving away great little souvenir Red Car Trolley fare tickets to lucky guests.

Their supply is often pretty limited but if you’re lucky and ask nicely, you might just be able to get one as well. They’re small, but like the Buena Vista Bugle, they’re a great, unique, and free souvenir!

A look at Disney California Adventure wait times Sunday afternoon:

Refurbishment Roundup


[center]Main Street Makeovers[/center]
Back at Disneyland, the Main Entrance Turnstile rolling refurbishment continues…

On Main Street, the new Guest Flow Corridors project continues along, aiming for completion sometime this fall.

And the Castle Brothers facade refurbishment is still underway. The walls were pushed back, closer to the facade, allowing the sidewalk to be accessible again.

The temporary accessible ramps from the sidewalk down onto the street have been removed.

The sidewalk is still not quite wide enough for ECVs or wheelchairs due to a tree, so handicapped guests are still be directed to pass through gift shops.

[center]Stairs to Adventure[/center]
Walls have come down at the stairs-to-nowhere in Adventureland after they were rebuilt.

[center]Finishing Up the French Quarter[/center]
Over in New Orleans Square, a few more props have gone up on balconies while a little bit of extra “detail” has been added at the new off-centered window.

Not really much to see – it still looks pretty bad but hopefully more will eventually be done to help.

[center]Finding Refurbishment[/center]
In Tomorrowland, the Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage continues its refurbishment. There’s a lot of work underway in the lagoon, as it gets ready to reopen late next month.

Over at Space Mountain…

…construction walls have come down in the waiting area at the ride’s exit revealing a set of new emergency exit doors and a Cast Member gate.

The space-themed murals are all gone and that’s probably for the best.

Only the wall behind the pay phones still has the outer space mural.

Next door, walls have also come down at the back of the Starcade.

And nearby, the Guardians of the Galaxy 3D preview will close over the weekend for removal. Disney said Captain EO will return “at a later date” but we’ll wait and see if that actually happens.

Haunting the Kingdom

With summer winding down, Disneyland is now gearing up for the launch of its increasingly popular Halloween Time season, which will debut earlier than ever this year on September 12. The first themed jack-o-lantern has popped up in the China Closet window on Main Street, with seasonal merchandise starting to take over the Disney Showcase shop in Town Square.

Inside Disney Showcase, the summer vignettes are still up but will soon make way for Halloween Time displays, as seasonal merchandise has already taken over a good portion of the shop.

45 Years of Happy Haunting

On Saturday, Disneyland’s Haunted Mansion officially turned 45. To mark the occasion, Disneyland released a special t-shirt and is offering special prints on canvas with meal purchases at select restaurants.

The special t-shirts were released on Saturday. Despite the insistence by Disneyland’s social media team that the shirts would only be offered for one day, the shirts are still in stock at the Haunted Mansion souvenir cart and in the Port Royal gift shop. They are limited edition, though, and won’t be restocked as they sell out.

Special commemorative prints of Mickey and Friends in the Haunted Mansion’s stretching portraits are available for a limited time at select Disneyland restaurants. Only one print is available at each location and it costs $5 with a $30 food purchase. For more information, see the Disney Parks Blog post.

A family also stayed overnight in the Haunted Mansion as part of a local KTLA sweepstakes. Below is the morning report on it.

Happy 45th Anniversary!

Scaring up Halloween in Los Angeles

Over the weekend the folks at ScareLA hosted a fantastically horrific two-day Halloween expo and trade show in Los Angeles. With Disneyland’s Halloween festivities far more cute and friendly than what the Halloween Haunt-loving ScareLA serve up, this blog would have normally skipped this event. This year, however, Disneyland’s classic Haunted Mansion celebrated 45 years and we were invited to attend to check out all that ScareLA had to offer, along with a couple great Haunted Mansion-related offerings.

The highlight for Disney fans at ScareLA was the filled-to-capacity When Hinges Creak: Celebrating 45 Years of The Haunted Mansion, a panel discussion led by Doombuggies.com‘s Jeff Baham with Disney Legends Bob Gurr and Alice Davis.

Baham’s discussion with the Disney Legends talked about the attraction’s history, Bob Gurr’s role in developing the ride system, Marc Davis’ (Alice Davis’ husband and fellow Imagineer) role in designing much of the attraction, and more. We live-Tweeted the discussion, which you can read through on Twitter.

Great early Marc Davis concept art for the Haunted Mansion.

We also checked out the Chilling Tales of the Haunted Mansion LIVE!, a charming live performance of Disney’s classic 1969 “Story and Song from the Haunted Mansion” LP by Captured Aural Phantasy.

Madame Leota casts her spell

Knott’s Scary Farm’s Director of Entertainment Production, Lara Hanneman and her Haunt designers also held a very special panel previewing their 2014 Haunt season

Among the highlights for 2014 are Elvira’s new stage show

The return of fan favorite mazes with new twists like Trick or Treat and Pinocchio Unstrung

New mazes for 2014 include Voodoo, a haunted maze through the New Orleans bayou, complete with a choose-your-own-path feature.

The new maze that drew the biggest crowd reaction was Special Ops: Infected, a new interactive haunt experience that will take over all six acres of Camp Snoopy.

The new maze will feature two distinct paths that groups of twelve will take through Camp Snoopy, both on missions to kill as many zombies as possible with laser guns that will keep track of players’ scores.

And returning this year after a long absence is the Headless Horseman and Haunt guests will be invited to submit photos (if they’re able to snap them fast enough!) of the Horseman to Knott’s via social media for a chance to win prizes.

In addition to panel discussions, lectures, classes and more, ScareLA also featured a huge show floor with countless booths, product demos, mini haunt walk-throughs, roaming monsters, and more. Below, some photos from the show floor.

One of several themed mini walk-throughs

Classes to make your own haunted props

Haunted Mansion-themed items for sale by vendors on the show floor

The full-contact, psychological Alone haunt was giving a mini-preview of its upcoming full haunt experience

Monsters!

Terror Trucks gave guests the opportunity to experience some Halloween walk-throughs on wheels.

And a display case inside previewed an upcoming group art show inspired by Disneyland’s never-realized Museum of the Weird. The opening reception will be attended by Disney Legend and Museum of the Weird designer Rolly Crump.

Overall, ScareLA was a ton of fun. If you’re a Halloween or Haunt fan, be sure to check out ScareLA next year! For more information, visit ScareLA.com.

This and That

Back at Disneyland, a couple new Mary Poppins-themed Mickey and Minnie plush are now available

In Frontierland, the new Legends of Frontierland game continues to evolve and change as it progresses through its limited engagement.

Lots of new signage was added, seemingly in an effort to help explain the basic premise of the game to potential players.

The game also continues to tinker with features and roll out others, including higher levels for players to achieve.


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Weekly News & Information Round-Up
Weekly Theme Park Hours
August 11-17, 2014
[B]Disneyland Park[/B] [B]California Adventure[/B]
Daily: 9 am – 11 pm Daily: 9 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]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 11—18

Mon
Tue
Wed
Thu
Fri
Sat
Sun

  • California Adventure experiences more daily swings in crowd levels, while Disneyland is more consistent through the week.
  • This is the last week of blockouts for SoCal passes, but we don’t project a mass return of passholders next week. For a look two weeks ahead, check out the 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]
  • Disney reported another record fiscal quarter last week, with Parks and Resorts revenue up 8% and operating income up a whopping 23%. (Market Watch)
  • Disney CEO Bob Iger said Disney has “significant” plans for a “far greater Star Wars presence” in its theme parks, noting that these plans will be announced in 2015. (Hypable)
  • Tickets for the 2015 D23 Expo will go on sale this Thursday, August 14. (D23)
  • The heroes from Disney’s “Big Hero 6” will debut in Disney theme parks this fall. (Disney Parks Blog)
  • Joffrey’s Coffee and Disney have unveiled a new line of coffees inspired by Disney theme park and hotel restaurants. (Disney Parks Blog)
Alright, that’s all for this week’s Dateline Disneyland. Did you celebrate Haunted Mansion’s 45th? Let us know how in the comments section 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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  • Ravjay12

    Congratulations Mansion for 45 years of happy haunts! Maybe it’s time for Mansion to have another upgrade, or reimagining of some sort. Mansion would be cool if it was like “Monsters Inc Ride and Go Seek” in Tokyo where the flash-light triggers effects for a more interactive experience.

  • randlev

    I visited the park yesterday and was very disappointed to see how difficult it is to spot the masts above New Orleans Square when looking from the bridge above Pirates (that’s the location they tell you to look from in the Imagineering Field Guide) following the Club 33 expansion and safety construction. I’d love to see some coverage of the loss of detail here and am hopeful that Disney will raise the masts above the rooftops that are now obscuring them!

    • Algernon

      They’ll probably ask themselves, “Will we make just as much money without them?” and not replace them, just like they got rid of Twin Falls, Peoplemover, Skyway…

  • The Rocketeer

    Another amazing update! Just wanted to let you know that Hearthstone Lounge is open again. Or at least it was on Thursday when I went by.

  • amyuilani

    Is that a penis coming out of the teddy bear’s stomach?

    • amyuilani

      Haha nevermind. Mega-zoom shows the toes on the foot.

  • jcruise86

    The Red Car tickets were a nice touch.

    I’d’ve loved to have spent a night in the Haunted Mansion, though I’d settle for the Dream Suite or Walt’s apartment.

    Thanks for the update, Andy. The Disneyland has (in my opinion) been in great shape for 9 years since the 50th Anniversary.
    Of course, I’m looking forward to a much better Tomorrowland. 🙂

    Off topic prediction: like (but better than) Disneyland’s Tiki Room preshow, I predict for WDW’s 50th, there will a new, lighter, but scary and highly animated Yeti. I’d rather they didn’t wait till then.

    • Lakerfan3224

      Sine they are not adding more Star Wars in Tomorrowland anymore, that should be atleast a glimmer of hope that they are going to be adding futuristic attractions in Tomorrowland instead of re theming the whole land.

      • Algernon

        I would love to see Tomorrowland once again as the world of the future.

  • Larry Parker

    Thanks Andy for continuing to highlite the substandard new Club 33 exterior work. It looks like improvements are gradually being made, no doubt in part to your and others’ vocal complaints.(“squeaky wheel gets the grease”)Thanks for your commitment to Disneyland, and your watchful eye when profiteering trumps park quality! KEEP IT UP!

    • Westsider

      I can’t tell if you are joking. On my early morning rounds the last two weeks there is a small facilities team (like two or three guys) working on finishing the New Orleans Square façade work. This was all part of the plan.

      And WDI routinely re-evaluates work once it’s complete and can make changes 30 to 120 days after something is “done”. So if they don’t like the way it turned out, they can tweak it or try a different shade or a different light fixture.

      Nothing said on the Internet thus far has had any impact on the New Orleans Square/Club 33 refurbishment project.

      • Larry Parker

        Westsider-You sound like a Disney corporate hack parroting the company line. I wonder what your association with Corporate Disney is?

      • CaptainAction

        Westsider, no he is not joking. You are always popping up to defend the unfortunate changes to New Orleans Square.
        You are way too defensive of the changes. Then you point out how the internet doesn’t affect anything here.
        Hmmm…
        Do you think there are folks who like the changes?
        Who would that be?

  • peoplemover1

    LOVE the HM shots!! Great DD Andy!

    • MyFriendtheAtom

      yah more nighttime haunted mansion photos please

  • Susan Hughes

    I think the Guest Flow Corridors project on the east side of Main Street is going to be quite nice. Based on the amount of construction (and destruction) going on, it’s not just a simple little fix for overcrowding. I have a feeling they’re going to make it special.
    I’m totally enjoying this final week of peace and quiet at the parks. The tourists are mostly back home, local APs are still blocked out, and all is right with the world (of Disney).

  • bayouguy

    Fall is definitely in the air. Kind of getting me into the mood. Summer heat is still on the way though. That’s scarey enough for me.

  • Skimbob

    The offset window is still a glaring mess no matter what they cover it with. The need to reimagine that whole mess. The bridge should have a balcony as well which would flow better than sticking out like a sore thumb. The Court of Angels gates are a disaster and need to replaced with something less Tacky. A first grader could have done a better job.

    • Justonedream

      Agreed!

  • gimackenzie

    I thought there was something when they did the initial Nemo overlay to the lagoon about how they used crushed colorful glass because it wouldn’t lose it’s color, instead of paint? Or am I wrong on that? I swear I remember there being a story along those lines.

    Why is losing the space murals for the best? I love those murals! Now the area just looks like the empty hallway at a convention hotel. Space Mountain, presented by Marriott? No thanks!

    Cheers again on the phenomenal photos. I check in weekly as much to see the glorious pics of my happy place as much as I do for the actual park news and rumors. You really do have a great eye and skill with the lens. Thank you so much for sharing the fruits of your talent with us. It is really a lot of fun. 🙂

    • Algernon

      I read that they indeed used glass pigment in the paint so it would not fade.

  • Joker1969

    One of the best updates ever! I just rode the haunted mansion a few weeks ago, and I must tell it looks darker than the pictures. I loved the Haunted Mansion pictures! It’s a difficult ride to photograph. The HM merchandise looks great. I know it might not ever happen, but as any other Haunted Mansion ride, I really hopwe the Hatbox ghost returns soon.

  • Jayce

    45th eh, 50th would be the stuff I’d get though I did buy a couple of the new shirts (without the 45th annv logo) that are pretty neat.