Disneyland‘s summer season is starting to wind down as the park begins to gear up for the popular Halloween Time season. As summer wraps up, refurbishments continue from Main Street, U.S.A. to Tomorrowland and the Grand Californian Hotel. Meanwhile, the Disneyana shop unveiled a new exhibit of Haunted Mansion art and collectibles to celebrate the attraction’s 45th anniversary. Today, we fill you in on the latest goings-on with Disneyland’s various refurbishments and take a look at the new Haunted Mansion art.
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.
Before we get started, I’d like to wish a very happy birthday to our very own Al Lutz, who celebrated his special day over the weekend at Disneyland! Here’s to many more, Al! Let’s get started!
Welcome to Disneyland!
Disneyland’s pretty quiet 2014 summer season is beginning to wrap up as Annual Passholders begin to return as the park is gearing up for the start of the popular Halloween Time season.
At the end of Main Street, the Jolly Holiday Bakery recently got nearly an entirely new selection of pastries.
New oversized Mickey macarons
Lemon-honey cupcake and red velvet whoopie pies
Blueberry cheesecake and mini pineapple upside down bundt cakes.
Chocolate mousse cake and Meyer lemon and strawberry torte
New banana eclairs and “signature” chocolate eclairs
Orange creme brûlée
The current seasonal cupcake is Olaf-inspired.
The current food menu, including the pastrami reuben that was added earlier this spring.
A look at wait times Sunday afternoon
Over at California Adventure, Buena Vista Street is as beautiful as ever as summer winds down…
Wait times Sunday afternoon
[center]Main Street Makeovers[/center]
Back at Disneyland, the main entrance turnstiles continue their rolling refurbishment with the section that was behind tarps last week now uncovered and looking fresh and shiny.
The final section is now behind walls…
On Main Street, work continues on the new Guest Flow Corridors behind Main Street, USA, which should open sometime this fall.
The scaffolding and tarps at the permanent First Aid facility at the end of Main Street has been pushed further out. An entry point for the Guest Flow Corridors will be located in this area along with an expanded First Aid facility.
The facade refurbishment at the Chester Drawer’s and Castle Bros. has wrapped up and it all looks shiny and new again.
Too bad this groan-worthy shop name wasn’t changed.
This silly 90s-era sign is still here.
The Castle Bros. sign isn’t back up yet…
Next door, the Crystal Arts shop looks like it’ll be next to get some work done… the window has been replaced with a faux window print-out for now…
Signage has been removed and it looks like work is underway already
[center]Finishing Up the French Quarter[/center]
Back in New Orleans Square, we keep being told to wait and see as Disney is reportedly still working on finishing up work on the major changes to the facades following the Club 33 expansion project. Unfortunately, it doesn’t seem like much else is being done to help the poorly reworked facades better blend in with what was Disneyland’s most exquisitely-themed land.
Nothing has changed here and at this point, what could really be done to help this off-center and oversized window look appropriate on the forced-perspective building?
No changes at the new bridge, which still seems severely lacking in the rich, authentic detail that characterized the original New Orleans Square.
Walls have come down at the side entrance to Mlle. Antoinette’s Parfumerie.
The doorway received a new facade, which is pushed out from the rest of the facade, likely due to structural changes from Club 33’s new overhead bridge. While this particular facade is probably the best in terms of the facades that were reworked as part of the Club 33 project, it’s definitely not perfect. It mimics the rest of the perfume shop’s facade in an effort to blend in, but lacks the details found on the existing facade. It’s a nice effort, but not good enough – the new facade just doesn’t match. While it might look fine at first glance, it falls apart upon closer inspection.
From the Daveland archives, a look at the facade as it appeared in the early 1970s, just a few short years after New Orleans Square opened.
And the facade in 2011:
The shop’s sign was moved due to the facade changes
No further changes on the rest of the altered New Orleans Square facades. Wait and see…?
Over on Royal Street, the pathway from Club 33 emergency exit stairs behind the portrait artists area continues to be kept clear with some barricades. If this a permanent change, hopefully some night wrought-iron fencing or something can be installed to replace the temporary railing.
Elsewhere in New Orleans Square, this is the final week to enjoy Haunted Mansion in its traditional format until next year. The attraction, fresh off its 45th anniversary, will close to install its holiday overlay starting next Monday.
Over in Tomorrowland, the Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage’s refurbishment continues as it gets closer to its late-September reopening.
Nearby, the Guardians of the Galaxy preview was originally schedule to close for a quick 2-day removal over the weekend but it remained open through the weekend. The venue for the preview, the Magic Eye Theater, is now on the calendar to close for two weeks starting September 12 for refurbishment.
Over at the Grand Californian Hotel, work on a large portion of the park-facing facade is still behind tarps for refurbishment.
Inside the hotel, the Hearthstone Lounge is open again after its recent refurbishment.
The bar menu is largely unchanged.
Meanwhile the excellent Napa Rose is now closed for refurbishment.
One-of-a-kind stained glass pieces sold right away on Saturday.
A one-of-a-kind 36″ bust of Ezra the Hitchhiking Ghost was also already sold by Saturday, along with a small run of mini bronzed versions.
New collectibles also available, including a full-size replica of the Haunted Mansion plaque
A couple special posters ($30 each) available…
Mini versions of the busts that were added a few years ago in the Walt Disney World Haunted Mansion queue.
The really special collectible available is a full-size replica of gargoyle from the Haunted Mansion’s stretching portrait gallery. The piece is a special-order item and comes in at a whopping $2,900.
A seriously amazing piece at an outrageous price.
If expensive art pieces are out of your budget, more of the huge new collection of Haunted Mansion merchandise continues to slowly roll out…
The special 45th Anniversary t-shirt is still available as well.
This and That
If you haven’t listened to the latest episode of the Season Pass Podcast, be sure to check it out as they visit Tony Baxter’s home and talk candidly with him about some of his most recognizable projects including Disneyland’s 1983 Fantasyland makeover and Indiana Jones Adventure!
And finally, back in Big Thunder Ranch, we’re hearing the Music of Nashville show won’t run past its summer engagement and a new show will debut alongside the Halloween overlay, meet-and-greets and pumpkin carving in Big Thunder Ranch this fall.
The Nashville show continues to play to small crowds, despite solid performances from the Kelly Rae Band.
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Weekly News & Information Round-Up
Weekly Theme Park Hours August 18-24, 2014
Mon.-Fri.: 9 am – 12 am Saturday: 9 am – 11 pm Sunday: 8 am – 12 am
[center]Closure and Refurbishment Schedule[/center]
[B]Haunted Mansion:[/B] Closed August 25-September 11 to install Haunted Mansion Holiday overlay.
[B]Sailing Ship Columbia:[/B] Closed August 26-28 for refurbishment.
[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]Space Mountain:[/B] Closed September 8-11 for Ghost Galaxy installation.
[B]Magic Eye Theater:[/B] Closed September 12-25 for refurbishment.
[B]Mickey’s House:[/B] Closed September 15, 2014 for refurbishment.
[B]Indiana Jones Adventure:[/B] Closed September 16-18 for refurbishment.
[B]Matterhorn Bobsleds:[/B] Closed starting September 22-24 for refurbishment.
[B]Silhouette Studio and China Closet:[/B] Closed September 24-26 for refurbishment.
Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage: 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]
Napa Rose Restaurant: Closed for kitchen renovation, reopening date not yet announced.
Disney Studio 365: Closed August 25-September 12.
The summer blockouts are over, but thanks to school schedules we don’t expect heavy passholder crowds to materialize this week – at least, during the days. There may be slight upticks in the late afternoons and evenings.
For a look at Labor Day, check out the premium Tomorrowplan feature in Mouseaddict, which provides two weeks of projections.
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]
Academy-Award winner, comedy icon, and Disney Legend Robin Williams has died at age 63. (Entertainment Weekly)
Disneyland Annual Passholders with passes expiring between October 1, 2014 and December 5, 2014 can register for an after-hours party at Disney California Adventure on September 2. (Disneyland)
Special Matterhorn Bobsleds and WDW Monorail t-shirts available online for a limited time starting today. (Disney Parks Blog)
Okay, that wraps up this week’s edition of Dateline Disneyland. Did you check out the new Haunted Mansion art over the weekend? Let us know what you think of it in the comments section below!
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Thanks for reading. See you at Disneyland!
Andy is a Southern California native, raised with Disneyland and a life-long fan of Disney theme parks and animation. Andy writes the weekly Dateline Disneyland column, which can be found every Monday on MiceChat.