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!

The Labor Day holiday weekend marks the traditional end of summer. The patriotic bunting along Main Street, U.S.A. will soon be replaced with orange bunting for Halloween Time.

A look at wait times Saturday afternoon


In Disney California Adventure, you should soon be able to meet Oswald the Lucky Rabbit on Buena Vista Street.

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!

A look at wait times Saturday afternoon

Refurbishment Roundup


[center]Main Street Makeovers[/center]

Work continues on the last section of main entrance turnstiles to get the refurbishment treatment.

At the foot of Main Street, the Disney Showcase facade refurbishment continues as well…

And nearby, work continues on Town Square’s East Guest Flow Corridor entry point.

At the end of Main Street, more walls and scaffolding have taken over the Baby Care Center and part of the Main Street Photo Supply facade.

Work continues on the First Aid expansion project as well as the entry point for the Central Plaza-side of the East Guest Flow Corridor.

[center]Creeping In…[/center]
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.

We’ll see if FASTPASS is used for Haunted Mansion Holiday after Disney has used FASTPASS off and on over the last couple years here.

[center]RapidFill[/center]
In Tomorrowland, the Submarine Lagoon has been refilled with water as the Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage refurbishment enters its final stretch.

The lagoon looks great. It’ll be nice to see the subs gliding through the water again.

[center]Grand Refurbishment[/center]
Over at the Grand Californian Hotel, the refreshment on the park-facing facade has wrapped up.

Games Over…?

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.

Guest story tags were strung up around Aladdin’s Oasis

The special skull juju

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.

Legends of Frontierland will continue until the end of September.

RunDisneyland

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.

At the Disneyland Hotel, the RunDisney Health and Fitness Expo was open throughout the weekend’s events, featuring event merchandise, guest speakers, entertainment and vendors.

The RunDisney booth had various Disney race medals on display

Medals for the upcoming Avengers races.

RunDisney booth also had a variety of books by RunDisney training consultant Jeff Galloway available.

New Balance was present again, with their special line of RunDisney shoes available.

RunDisney 2014 shoes

Of course, Disney had plenty of event merchandise available as well.

There are even special RunDisney Dooney and Bourke purses available…

Test Shots

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.

Merch Madness

A look at some new and recent merchandise on the shelves around the Resort…

Haunted Mansion merchandise, available at Port Royal in New Orleans Square.

Various character and Disneyland shirts, available at multiple locations including World of Disney.

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.

It’s small but very tasty!

In California Adventure, both of the shade structures on Paradise Pier are now behind walls as work continues (forever) to address a major wood rot issue.

In Downtown Disney, Studio Disney 365 is now closed as of this posting for a “Frozen”-themed makeover. It should reopen by mid-September as Anna and Elsa’s Boutique.

At the end of Downtown Disney, the Earl of Sandwich expansion isn’t quite ready yet…

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.

The Ahi poke is a little pricey ($11.49) for the portion but is so fresh and delicious that it’s worth the cost. It is easily one of the best quick service options on property.


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Weekly News & Information Round-Up
Weekly Theme Park Hours
September 1-7, 2014
[B]Disneyland Park[/B] [B]California Adventure[/B]
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
[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]Haunted Mansion:[/B] Closed through September 11 to install Haunted Mansion Holiday overlay.
  • [B]Big Thunder Ranch:[/B] Closed through September 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.
  • Studio Disney 365: Reopens mid-September as Anna & Elsa’s Boutique.
Tomorrowplan Crowd Estimates for Disneyland Resort from Mouseaddict

September 1-7

Mon
Tue
Wed
Thu
Fri
Sat
Sun

  • As the creepy creeps creep closer, you can learn all about the special events and attractions in Mouseaddict. Tap “Search” and then tap “Halloween.”
  • Hotel rooms are plentiful this week. Book online and have a quick off-season vacation.
  • Expect a slow week after the holiday. For a look at the next two weeks – including Halloween crowds – use the Tomorrowplan feature in Mouseaddict.

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]
  • Disneyland’s new mobile website offers a variety of new features including the ability to purchase tickets on your phone, make reservations and book hotel rooms. (Disney Parks Blog)
  • Disneyland recently donated the model plane from the facade of Disney California Adventure’s Taste Pilot’s Grill to a local air museum. (Disneyland Public Affairs)
  • Disney’s recent drone technology patent could lead to flying projection screens, giant puppets in future theme park entertainment. (OC Register)
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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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.