Happy Labor Day! Officially marking the end of the summer season, the busy holiday weekend also brought along a weekend of RunDisney events to the Resort, including the annual Disneyland Half-Marathon and Health and Fitness Expo. Inside the parks, Halloween Time continues to move in as the last bit of summer fades away. In Adventureland, the summer engagement of the Adventure Trading Co. has wrapped up, concluding with a special storytelling event and one final Juju. Nearby in Frontierland, that land’s interactive game experience has garnered such a strong following that Disney has extended its limited run by nearly a full extra month. Meanwhile, refurbishments and construction projects continue in both parks, with more set to get underway very soon.
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 holiday update for you today, so let’s get to it!
|Welcome to Disneyland!|
MiceAge broke the news last week and we’ve heard of some recent backstage Oswald sightings as well. Oswald made his theme park debut at Tokyo DisneySea earlier this spring and rumor has it he’ll debut here in California as soon as September 14!
Jack Skellington and the crew from Nightmare Before Christmas are now in the process of moving into the Haunted Mansion for rest of the year. Haunted Mansion Holiday is set to open with the start of Halloween Time on September 12.
Last week Disney offered a sneak peek at this year’s special gingerbread house that will be featured in the Haunted Mansion’s ballroom during the holiday overlay. Based on the iron maiden torture device from the Middle Ages, this year’s gingerbread house will stand nearly seven feet tall and feature 200 pounds of gingerbread, 200 pounds of royal icing, and 150 pounds of fondant.
In Tomorrowland, the Submarine Lagoon has been refilled with water as the Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage refurbishment enters its final stretch.
Over at the Grand Californian Hotel, the refreshment on the park-facing facade has wrapped up.
Both of Disneyland’s interactive game experiences were scheduled to come to an end over the weekend following their limited engagements. In Adventureland, the Adventure Trading Company ended on Friday with a special end-of-game storytelling event.
Juju hunters could buy a story packet at the Indiana Jones Adventure Outpost, write their best Juju story on their story tag, and then share the story in a group or in front of everybody at Aladdin’s Oasis and receive a special skull juju in return.
In Frontierland, the Legends of Frontierland game was also set to wrap up over the weekend but Disney announced late in the week that the game had been extended for “a bit longer.”
Legends of Frontierland may not be for everyone, but it has developed a very dedicated following of fans, many of whom had planned to enjoy the game’s final weekend together in the park. On Saturday, one Rainbow Ridge player, “Giggles,” revealed she had saved up enough bits to buy every plot of land in Frontierland. The move caused a bit of pandemonium in Frontierland Saturday morning but the enthusiasm from everyone in the game really showed how close all the players and Cast have become over the last several weeks.
The annual Disneyland Half-Marathon invaded the Resort over the long holiday weekend, bringing along various races and the Health and Fitness Expo.
From Disneyland’s press release on the Half-Marathon results:
Nick Arciniaga, originally from Fountain Valley, Calif., won the Disneyland Half Marathon in record fashion Sunday, finishing in 1:07:48. Arciniaga, 31, led the field of 16,056 registered runners virtually from wire to wire to win easily after placing 7th in the Boston Marathon earlier this year finishing as the second American in 2:11.47.
“I don’t get very many hometown wins since I don’t race around here very much but running at Disneyland is something that is pretty close to my heart,” said Arciniaga, who currently resides in Flagstaff, Ariz. “My aunt works here. I came here pretty much a couple times a year growing up so Disneyland is a huge place for me.”
Jennifer Berry, 33, of Denver, Colo., captured the women’s title at Disneyland, finishing with a time of 1:23:33, after winning the Disneyland 10K on Saturday.
“I was a little tired from yesterday,” said Berry. “I came in this morning just to do the best I can and today was good enough. I had some awesome competition out there and I’m really happy.”
Nick Arciniaga, originally from Fountain Valley, CA, won the Disneyland Half-Maraton, finishing in 1:07:48.
Jennifer Berry, 33, of Denver, CO, won the women’s title, finishing in 1:23:33.
Over the last week Disney quietly tested a new service that allows guests to receive their on-ride photos on their mobile devices. The text-to-photo service test has been underway at Splash Mountain and California Screamin’ at a number of price points, ranging from $4.99 to completely free.
MiceChat’s In the Parks reported the photos were first tested at the $4.99 price point last week, dropping to $2.99 later in the week. On Saturday, signage advertised the service at only 99¢.
The service is a smart attempt to monetize the guests who aren’t looking for pricey photo prints, but just want a quick image to post on social media. Plenty of guests already snap quick pictures of their on-ride photos with their smart phones, but the new service is a low-cost alternative for guests that eliminates the glare that comes along with taking a picture of a screen.
While $5 is a bit pricey for a digital photo, $1.99 or 99¢ is probably right around the right price for many guests. Ideally, this would just be a free service alongside the email-your-photo offered at the exit of Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters — indeed, Disney tested the service out on Sunday as a free offering and our reader @ryn027 let us know via Twitter. If this service becomes permanent, we hope that it’ll end up being free of charge. Since all of these digital photos are likely to go up on social networks anyway, they’re basically just low cost/free advertising for Disney. Additionally, giving away something as simple as a digital photo to guests will help to build goodwill in an increasingly expensive theme park environment.
— Ryanc (@Ryanthemepark) August 31, 2014
|This and That|
In Disneyland, the Jolly Holiday Bakery Cafe is celebrating Mary Poppins’ 50th Anniversary with a special Spoonful of Sugar ($3.29) treat that features a spoonful of chocolate and caramel with a mini chocolate creme puff and mini marshmallows.
Over at the Disneyland Hotel, the Tangaroa Terrace quick service restaurant recently got a menu update that included the addition of a couple new items including shrimp tacos and the delicious ahi poke that was previously only available at Trader Sam’s next door.
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|Weekly News & Information Round-Up|
|Weekly Theme Park Hours
September 1-7, 2014
|Disneyland Park||California Adventure|
|Monday: 8 am – 12 am
Tue.-Thu.: 10 am – 8 pm
Fri.-Sun.: 9 am – 11 pm
|Monday: 8 am – 10 pm
Tue.-Thu.: 10 am – 8 pm
Friday: 9 am – 10 pm
Saturday: 9 am – 9 pm
Sunday: 9 am – 11 pm
visit the Disneyland.com Theme Park Calendar
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.
A quick look at noteworthy Disney theme park headlines from around the web.
|OK! That wraps up this Labor Day edition of Dateline Disneyland! Congratulations to everybody who ran in the Disneyland Half-Marathon and the other races over the weekend! Are you ready for Halloween Time to get started now that summer is officially over? Let us know what you think in the comments section below!
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Thanks for reading. See you at Disneyland!
|FTC-Mandated Disclosure: Promotional consideration for this edition of Dateline Disneyland was provided by the Howard Johnson Plaza Hotel & Water Playground.|