Halloween Time has started to creep in across the Disneyland Resort as the summer season comes to a close. Meanwhile, refurbishments continue as well, with work underway on Main Street, in Tomorrowland and at the Grand Californian Hotel. And out in Downtown Disney, Anna and Elsa from Frozen are taking over the Studio Disney 365 girls’ boutique and giving it an icy makeover.

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.

We’ve got a full update today, so let’s get started!

Welcome to Disneyland!

Floral Mickey was recently replanted and is in the process now of growing in in time for the launch of Halloween Time

Summer is winding down now as we head into the next big season of the year — Halloween! Disneyland’s popular Halloween Time will kick off September 12. With summer winding down, Annual Passholders are once again unblocked and the parks are feeling busier now than they did all summer. A look at wait times Friday afternoon.

Wait times at Disney California Adventure on Friday afternoon

Creeping in…

With Halloween Time starting in just three short weeks, the first signs of the season are now showing up along Main Street, USA and throughout the rest of the park. Below, Disney Showcase is behind tarps for a facade refurbishment, but inside the shop is all decked out for Halloween.

Lots of costumes, decorations and various Halloween merchandise available now.

Window displays along Main Street are being dressed up for Halloween as well…

Jewelry shop window

Nearby, the Fortuosity Shoppe has once again been invaded by a murder of crows for Halloween Time

The Book Rest (seating area for the Market House Starbucks) windows have gotten a spooky overlay this year…

The China Closet and Main Street Photo Supply have decorations up as well…

Over in Tomorrowland, the annual Ghost Galaxy overlay will be installed September 8-11, but the equipment for the exterior projections and sound effects can be spotted already.

Back in Frontierland, Big Thunder Ranch will close September 1 to remove its patriotic summertime overlay and install its Halloween Time decorations.

And in New Orleans Square, the Haunted Mansion is now closed starting today for the installation of its Nightmare Before Christmas-themed Holiday overlay.

In Disney California Adventure, the Tower of Terror’s gift shop’s Halloween overlay is now up.

And out in Downtown Disney, World of Disney and Marceline’s Confectionary are now both ready for Halloween Time as well…

Refurbishment Roundup

[center]Main Street Makeovers[/center]
Back in Disneyland, refurbishment projects on Main Street USA are underway, with more on their way. At the main entrance, the final section of turnstiles are still being refreshed.

Inside the park, construction on the new Guest Flow Corridors continues, mostly out of sight from park guests.

As we mentioned earlier, the Disney Showcase shop is behind construction walls for a facade refurbishment.

We showed you the refurbished Castle Bros facade last week – but the sign was still missing on Friday.

Crystal Arts isn’t getting refurbished, even though it probably needed it. Its marquee is back, however.

At the end of Main Street, the Photo Supply will close September 2 for nearly a month.

[center]Finishing Up the French Quarter[/center]
Not much to see in New Orleans Square this week – seems like the project is pretty much done, despite the insistence from some to “wait and see.”

Some silver accents were added to the existing portion of the Mlle. Antoinette’s Parfumerie facade so it would better match the newly re-worked portion.

[center]Finding Refurbishment[/center]
In Tomorrowland, the Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage will reopen in late September after a lengthy closure/refurbishment project. Get ready to see water start coming back to the lagoon soon!

[center]Grand Refurbishments[/center]
The Grand Californian Hotel’s exterior refurbishment continues on the side facing California Adventure’s Grizzly Peak area.

Napa Rose remains closed through late September.

Games Over

In Adventureland and Frontierland, the summer engagements of the Legends of Frontierland and Adventure Trading Co. will wrap up this week. There’s no official word yet on whether Disney will be rolling out more games anytime soon, but we have a feeling more are on their way.

Signs were up throughout Frontierland last week indicating which team owned what.

In Adventureland, some of the Jujus are now out of stock. On Friday, at least the Eye of Mara and Venomade snake jujus were unavailable. Now is your last chance to get some Juju, but be warned – supplies are rapidly diminishing and once they’re gone, they’re gone!

Sales Freeze

In Downtown Disney, the Studio Disney 365 shop closed today to begin its transformation into a new “Frozen”-themed store.

The shop will be renamed Elsa and Anna’s Boutique and will still offer special costumes, hair and makeup makeovers, just now with a “Frozen” twist.

The shop was already well-stocked with Frozen merchandise before closing.

Disney Channel costumes on display

Do you think the Frozen craze will hold long enough to justify this shop’s redesign or is it too little, too late?

Merch Madness

Back in California Adventure, Cars Land has a lot of new merchandise for fans of the land.

Piston Cup-themed items

New line of Cars Land horticulture-themed items

The new line of neon-themed items is also available now

Back in Disneyland, a few new Haunted Mansion items are now available in New Orleans Square.

ALS Ice Bucket Challenge

Last week Knott’s Berry Farm challenged MiceChat to the ALS Association Ice Bucket Challenge and my editor Dusty Sage took the plunge for the entire team.

As you can see in the video below, Dusty took the challenge and donated to ALSA and passed the baton to the Anabella Hotel, ESPN Zone in Downtown Disney, and me!

I responded to Dusty’s challenge via Twitter and, because of the California drought, opted to simply donate to the ALS Association and I challenge all of you to donate as well. It’s a very worthy cause and I encourage all of you to visit the ALS Association’s website, learn about Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, and donate whatever you can today to help find a cure.

This and That

And finally, the travel-themed window in DCA’s Hollywood Land recently got updated…

Little details in this window make it worth checking out. DCA cruise and airlines.

Travel pamphlets include great Disney references like the Jungle Cruise and Norway!

A postcard in the mail stack on the desk include one from the Mine Train thru Nature’s Wonderland!

Enjoy retro fun just steps away from Disneyland at
Howard Johnson Plaza Hotel & Water Playground

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 HoJoAnaheim.com/MiceChat

Save with MiceChat & Passholder Discounts 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 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 25-31, 2014
[B]Disneyland Park[/B] [B]California Adventure[/B]
Mon.-Thu.: 9 am – 10 pm
Fri.-Sat.: 9 am – 12 am
Sunday: 8 am – 11 pm
Mon.-Thu. 9 am – 9 pm
Friday: 9 am – 10 pm
Saturday: 9 am – 9 pm
Sunday: 9 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]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.
Tomorrowplan Crowd Estimates for Disneyland Resort from Mouseaddict

August 25-31


  • The Disneyland Half Marathon weekend begins Thursday, with the actual runs taking place before the parks open.
  • We expect this week to be slow — building up to normal Labor Day crowds on the weekend.
  • Halloween is creeping closer, with the Haunted Mansion closing this week so that Jack can wreck the halls.
  • For two weeks of crowd projections, check out Tomorrowplan 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]
  • MiceAge shared the latest rumors on what Imagineers are planning for the future of Disneyland — Is Toon Town going to be taken over by Star Wars? (MiceChat)
  • Find out about road closures and race routes for this weekend’s Disneyland 1/2 Marathon and related RunDisney events. (DlandLive.com)
  • Knott’s Berry Farm was recently named the most trustworthy entertainment brand in Orange County for 2014. (OC Register)
Alright, that wraps up this week’s blog. Are you excited for Halloween Time or is it just too early for jack-o-lanterns? Let us know 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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FTC-Mandated Disclosure: Promotional consideration for this edition of Dateline Disneyland was provided by the Howard Johnson Plaza Hotel & Water Playground.
  • FerretAfros

    It’s a shame that Halloween is already taking over everything. DLR doesn’t recognize summer until a couple weeks after Memorial Day and it’s all gone before Labor Day; it just feels weird that they would completely ignore the traditional summer bookends like that

    And wasn’t the Frontierland game originally supposed to be permanent? It seems like Disney began changing their online language to reflect its temporary status a couple weeks ago, which makes me think they were somewhat unhappy with how it turned out

    • Walt Fan

      I agree with you about Halloween overtaking summer. My family is going on the 8th and 9th and we’re bringing two kids who have never been before. Unfortunately they (and I) will miss out on Space Mnt as well as the Haunted Mansion because of two stupid overlays.

      • heffalump

        It does seem early for Halloween. I think the reason for it is that Disneyland hasn’t really added anything new since Cars land, so the seasonal overlays have the illusion of something “new” being done.

      • heffalump

        Sorry you’ll miss those rides. That’s rough.

      • TodAZ1

        If you want to blame anyone, blame the consumers. Retailers (Disneyland included) wouldn’t put Halloween (or Christmas, for that matter) out on display if consumers weren’t buying anything until October (or December). They’re only meeting consumer demand.

      • TodAZ1

        Also, I don’t think either overlays are stupid, by any means.

      • MarkW

        The funny thing is that Christmas decorations will be up before Halloween rolls around. It would be nice to not see Halloween until after Labor Day and Christmas until after Halloween.

    • Anonymouse

      I was actually pretty worried that they would do a “Frozen Halloween” to further exploit that franchise. So, as much as I agree with your point about Halloween taking over so early, I’m glad that we’re seeing August Pumpkins instead of Snowmen.

  • bamato

    Fingers crossed they cleaned the glass in the show-building dioramas…

  • Algernon

    Finding Nemo. What a waste of a formerly good ride.

    • Marko50

      Really? Again?

  • heffalump

    Spent Friday and Saturday at Disneyland, and I’ve seen Fantasmic a million times. But Fantasmic continues to amaze me each time I see it.

    • martinjbell1986

      Same here. Also feel the same way about World of Color.

    • Laughing Place

      Me too! I end up watching Fantasmic every night when we are there and it is always amazing.

  • Skimbob

    Thanks for the update. It looks like a lot is going on in the parks. Too bad NOS is not being addressed. Someone yesterday said that everyone would forget about it in time. I for one will not forget about it in time. A special part of the park is gone without any improvements being made for the vast majority of us. As long as there is imagination left in the world should be changed to as long as there are dollars to be made they will destroy whatever they want.

    • TodAZ1

      Gotta agree with you there, Skimbob.

      “A special part of the park is gone without any improvements being made for the vast majority of us.” And in my opinion, a big portion of NOS is worse than it was before.

      • Skimbob

        Way worse.

    • Larry Parker

      The stained glass at the Court of Angels entryways seem lacking in the rich detail of the rest of NOS. And several exterior portions of Club 33 are also similarly lacking. Looks like greed triumphs over park quality once again-past examples include loss of the Penny Arcade, and the lackluster Main Street Starbucks. Disneyland revenue/profit is at all time highs. How much money will ever satisfy Corporate Disney? Greed, greed, greed. I intend to write Disneyland Resort president Michael Colglazier at Disneyland’s address. Anyone know of a better address to reach him at?

      • TodAZ1

        Also ask Colglazier why the gate closing off the Court of Angels is plastic! It’s not even real glass!!

      • MonteJ

        My guess is that the plastic on the court of angels gate is just a placeholder while the permanent glass is being fabricated. At least I hope so, and it seems logical.

        Personally, I think that the holiday makeovers of classic rides like SM, HM & SW have mostly been a good thing. However, as someone who can only visit Disneyland every few years I feel the pain of those who miss a major attraction during its overlay set or take-down period.

        If I had my druthers – Halloween-time wouldn’t start until Oct 1st – and Christmas-time until after Thanksgiving. But, there is no way the parks could do as much decorating for such short lengths of time. The holidays have kind of been ruined by their own success (so to speak).

    • pattimarie

      i won’t forget either, skimbob. the pictures of friends and family at angel’s court alone will remind me for a long time to come.

    • Amen. I won’t forget over time either.

  • msdlpierce7530

    Great update. Thank you so much for all the time it takes to put these together. We are not sure when we will make it to the park next but your updates keep us going until then.

  • ChrisNJ

    Ah Monday and another virtual trip to Disneyland – Perfect. Thank you.

    Frozen merchandise is everywhere at this point. I Was looking in a few Disney stores and even they have a bunch of the stuff. Probably a bit late for DL to have a dedicated store – but I’m definitely not the audience as I thought the film wasn’t all that.

    I need to plan a trip to DL that isn’t Sept – Dec so I can see the HM and SM in their corruptible mortal states. Miss them a lot.

  • disneychrista

    Halloween should be no more than the last weekend in September – weekend of/after. And then Christmas should NOT be put up until they are taking down Halloween and be Thanksgiving – New Years. It is pretty sad that when you go in mid-October for Halloween you get Hallowenmas. The only place they should “collide” is the HMH.

  • Kenny B

    One sixth of the year is now dedicated to Halloween

    • unclemike

      I won’t be satisfied until it’s at least half.

  • Haven

    It feels to me like Disneyland’s summer season only runs from about mid-June to mid-August anymore. Regardless of what the numbers actually are, that’s what it “feels” like to me. Halloween before Labor Day Weekend, huh? I am still looking forward to our family trip next week, but I do long for the days when Disney was open early, stayed up late and Halloween was more of a secondary holiday event. It feels that ever since the creation of Downtown Disney (and Citywalk over at Uni) park hours seldomly linger into the evening hours during the week like when I was a boy. Of course, to get a room at Grand Californian for this trip we had to book in it back in May, at which time there was no calendar of park hours or closures available on their website with any accuracy, so as a guest, you do your best. Not everyone is in SoCal and can just pick up and go when the weather is nice on the spur of the moment.

    • Westsider

      What alternate universe do you live in that Disneyland was open any later than it is now?

      Disneyland used to close at 6PM on weekdays beyond Labor Day until 1997. Then in September, 1997 they stayed open until 8PM on weekdays in the off season for the first time ever. Go back any earlier and Disneyland was open until 6PM on Fridays in the off-season, or 7PM on Saturday or Sunday in the off-season, well into the 1980’s. Here’s a spring calendar from 1970, as but one example. 6PM Friday closings, and 7PM weekend closings in April/May 1970 would have been mirrored in September/October/November throughout the 1960’s and 70’s and 80’s. http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_3jV5FcVqpE8/TGTDVOcDBZI/AAAAAAAAPqY/0XaSBChK0zw/s1600/MKC+1970+cal.jpg

      Seriously dude, what alternate universe were you spending your vacations in where Disneyland was open any later than it is now? The Disneyland Resort has never had more operating hours seven days per week, peak or non-peak, than it does now.

      • pattimarie

        your are right about it closing much earlier in the past (70s and80s), but there was a time when it did stay open until 1 am during the summer. that was before the second park. i’m a night owl, so i remember vividly how nice it was to be able to stay until 2 am on main street shopping. they would have a first main street electrical parade, then fireworks, and then a little later a second parade. the ride lines would go down dramatically during the first parade and fireworks, so we’d ride the rides then. And you could still see the second parade without quite the hustle and bustle of the first one! my favorite times at the park.

    • CCS

      Been going to D-land for 50 years, and I’ll have to say that I recall the park being open until 1:00 a.m. on New Year’s Eve, and that’s about it. Shopping venues remained open until 2:00 a.m. and the trams ran late. It is magical to be in the park very late at night with fewer people in evidence. Currently, a midnight close at Disneyland means shopping available until 1:00 a.m.

      • fkurucz

        Like pattimarie I too recall DL being open as late as 1AM during the summer.

  • Susan Hughes

    I had never heard of the “ice bucket challenge” before. Apparently it’s supposed to have good intentions. But leave it to the jerks and jackholes to turn it into something pathetic and stupid.
    Seems there is a growing problem with people trying to pour cups of water over the character’s heads and video tape it. Not for charity but for some retarded sense of accomplishment.
    Cast members have been warned about this occurring and are on the lookout for those lowlifes in the parks.

    • Slightly

      Great job casually throwing around the “R” word, “jackhole.”

      • Susan Hughes

        very foolish or stupid.
        “in retrospect, it was a totally retarded idea”

    • Marko50

      “I had never heard of the “ice bucket challenge” before.”

      Yeah, that probably says all we need to know about Ms Hughes.

    • fkurucz

      I can’t wait for this inane fad to run its course.

  • Slightly

    The Book from “Hocus Pocus” in the window at The Book Rest!!!!!


    • Slightly

      (It’s not identical to the movie prop… but looks close e-stinkin’-nough to believe that the window dressers are referencing it.)

  • jawknee

    Guarantee you that Andy’s going to reference, “wait and see,” about NOS changes for the rest of his life, even though changes have been made little by little but still do not satisfy him.

    • Larry Parker

      And how long have you been in the employ of Corporate Disney jawknee? The changes in the NOS exteriors are obviously NOT up to the rich artistry of the rest of the area-UNLESS you’re a corporate hack justifying a greedy “bean-counter” mentality.

    • FixitKronk

      Agreed! We walked past it the weekend it went up and both said to ourselves god that looks worse in person! But we’ve been back 6 times since then and walking past it neither me or my wife have noticed. Things change life gos on and the parks are still great

      • Larry Parker

        BUT if the park continues to degrade as on-the-cheap changes continue, park quality degradation will become more and more evident/obvious. And the genius of Walt Disney will slowly be lost. And why? Out of sickening corporate greed..

  • alanplm

    The corporate greed sadly cheapens the park(s) experience. The Penny Arcade is a great example. I’m glad to have memories of Disneyland during the 60’s and 70’s. It would be nice to have Halloween AFTER labor day ! And Christmas decorations after Thanksgiving (lol)