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!

Your donations really do help keep Dateline Disneyland alive! We’re still here because of your help. If you enjoy getting your weekly Disneyland fix from Dateline Disneyland, please consider helping us with a safe and fast PayPal donation — click here!

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.
  • Susan Hughes

    It was cute seeing the little kiddies with their RunDisney kid’s medals. They were all so proud to show them off. They were adorable.
    And the Town Square East Guest Flow Corridor entry point so close, yet so far. It’s just behind the tarp, but there’s still a lot of major construction going on. The majority of the work is for relocating the existing structures. No signs of any theming to be seen for quite a while.

  • LoveStallion

    The digitization of photo distribution is long overdue and a really astute business move, whether to rake in an extra $1 from each guest or just have free marketing for the park. I do wonder, however, what the resolution will be on the images (i.e. printable if I were to send the jpeg to Costco?), or if they will be sorta low-res like on Buzz without much utility outside of scrappy Instagram posts.

    • jood34d

      I was lucky enough to be there the day they were free! The image is 1208×1608, so not too bad. I think it’s a great idea! I’ve only bought one or two ride pictures from special occasions, but I wouldn’t mind paying .99 for a digital of it. 🙂

  • sean317

    It does not surprise me that the shade structures are taking so long. This is what Disney is famous for.

  • eicarr

    What kind of rprofit would they be making if one out of 40 guests(who already paid $100 to get in) jump through a bunch of hoops to buy a 90’s era attraction photo for $1 or $5? My phone is iChat-only so I couldn’t even buy one. I would rather they remove the distracting flashes at the top and the video screens at the exit that make me feel like I’m at Six Flags.

    • LoveStallion

      No Apple phone is iChat-only.

      • daveyjones

        you can indeed use an iphone on a “go phone” plan that is only text / voice, and no data.

    • jood34d

      It just started and is being tested, they have to make some distractions to get people to actually see it so they can figure out how many people would use the service.

  • amyuilani

    I appreciate that they’re finally offering a digital option for the photos. I haven’t purchased a Splash photo in years, mostly because of that price point. Personally, I’d have some fun with my photo digitally, like photoshopping the strangers out and adding characters or celebrities in. 🙂

    The RunDisney events look like so much fun. They’re inspiring me to run!

    • wedfan

      I’ve run all 9 of the Disneyland Half Marathons to date, and it is such a rush from the time you cross the Starting Line to when you cross the Finish Line! There are bands, cheer squads, mariachi bands, Hawaiian dancers and classic cars all along the route, not to mention the Cast Members and Characters cheering as you run the 3 miles inside the parks. And then there’s the thrill of running through Angels Stadium with people in the bleachers cheering you on, and a camera catching you as you run by and putting your face up on the big screen overhead. When I started running, for the first marathon back in 2006, I hadn’t even run a mile. I joined one of the charity training programs, and it was amazing. I would recommend the experience to anyone and everyone. And, if you can’t run, then walk fast. As long as you can maintain a pace at or better than 16 minutes per mile, you’re good. When they put that medal around your neck after you’ve completed the 13.1 miles, you know you’ve accomplished something. 😉

  • Haven

    I think I own two attraction photos: The first: Me on Viper at SFMM when it opened around 1991 (also the time that these photo services began appearing) and one on Splash Mountain circa 1992. I think they were a good idea back in those days, but the world has moved forward and everyone has cameras in their phone at hand (and very good ones at that) and the photo feature may go the way of compact discs and those things that people used to read on paper…what’s that word again? Oh, book. Cause everybody’s living in a selfie world, I am am a selfie girl. Sorry Madonna, had to use it…

    • sixalex

      Nice Madonna reference and a savvy update of her lyrics!

    • sixalex

      Nice Madonna reference and savvy update of her lyrics!

    • daveyjones

      ditto for the viper photo! i also have a few from the non-US disney parks. DL paris had one for pirates, which i thought was odd. it’s me and a bunch of strangers in a boat.

  • JiminyCricketFan

    Great update, Andy. I loved the picture of the spoon full of sugar.

    I feel that on the splash pics you have to charge something when you are charging such high prices for the printed ones. For 99 cents it is a great deal.

    • sixalex

      About that spoon, is it a real thing? a collectible thing? or simple plastic?

      • dizneedoll

        And does anyone know the price for the Spoonful of Sugar? It looks cute but way too small which is why I’m wondering what they are charging for that. A collectible Mary Poppins spoon would’ve been smarter.

      • @sixalex – The spoon is just a plastic spoon and is not collectible in any way. It is not a merchandise item, it’s a small dessert.

        @dizneedoll – The price, as noted in the blog, is $3.29 each.

        Thanks for reading,
        Andy
        Dateline Disneyland

      • sixalex

        Thanks Andy. You are supercalifragi…well, you know.

        BTW ~ Very nice report this week. I can hardly wait to see if you got any good pix of Oswald’s homecoming.

  • sixalex

    …and…

    OSWALD!

    Oh yeah.

    Maybe Tuesday night’s AP Special Event for a debut?

    The reality is I like the Oswald cartoons (the originals) so much more than any of the other later Disney shorts and always have. Mickey and I have been friends for a really long time and we are close pals.

    But Oswald is someone I have been waiting to meet since his return to the family. At age close to 60 it seems a little weird to me to be so jazzed about this prospect, but…dude. It is Oswald the Lucky Rabbit. Surrealism rules!

    As to the LARP style games. meh. I am not the target market for these things. In my opinion they take away from the charm of the “land” they take place in. They are not well integrated into the vision and sight lines. We ate lunch last week at Zocalo and outside there was much screaming and bullhorn shouting and really stupid looking jail cells and none of what I have personally always enjoyed about sitting at the periphery of the hacienda.

    That said, man, were the players having a blast! So in the end, it is not about me, but the fun the other guests can have. I’m okay with that. I still had fun other places in the park.

    As to the fastpass for Haunted Mansion; I am really not sure why some folks are hatin’ on that fastpass, but not on others. What I predict for Haunted Mansion is that the corporate rulers will one day be looking at a map of the park (I’m pretty certain they would never see that area if, by mistake, they actually ENTERED the park!) and say to themselves, “Why look! There is no merchandise/food stand within ten feet of this underused, potentially profitable space! Let’s sell something here!”

    At that point we will lose another little bit of charm as the statue garden around fastpass Haunted Mansion gets festooned with Duffy and Frozen bric a brac, or nostalgic postcards of the Court of Angels.

    OR…it will become the new home to a LARP style Haunted Mansion game that you can play on your cell phone! “Find the ghosts” or some such thing that will make the wait in line more fun without having to actually add anything physically to the queue.

    What looks like progress to some, looks like loss to me, but I am not the future. I am a simple annual passholder who has enjoyed the last ten years immensely and watched many changes happen, some working out beautifully while others still seem to need time to work out.

    What I have also enjoyed immensely for the last years is MiceChat and the way cool information and pictures that you folk present. One day I hope to meet some of you kind fans in the park as well. Maybe while we wait in line for Oswald’s Meet and Greet!

  • Larry Parker

    The submarine lagoon looks gorgeous! It’s a great view looking from the monorail loading area across the lagoon with the Matterhorn in the background!

  • MickeyMario

    What’s the schedule for the rest of the Fantasyland dark rides to receive updates?

  • gimackenzie

    Love the digital-pic-directly-to-phone idea. They could still monetize it and have it be a great treat, too. $1 at a kiosk to register by scanning a QR code, then have QRs posted at each attraction exit next to each monitor. A guest just scans the QR on the monitor where their pic is and that image is automatically sent to the phone they used to scan the registration code. Fast, efficient, labor minimal and greatly appreciated by guests who now get their ride pics in a good quality image. No brainer if you ask me.