It’s not quite Halloween yet but Disneyland has already quietly started its preparations for the holiday season. Christmas lights are going up around Sleeping Beauty Castle and at “it’s a small world,” as part of those iconic attractions big holiday overlays. Meanwhile, safety railing is now up along the bridge to Sleeping Beauty Castle as Disneyland continues to retrofit existing structures and attractions throughout the Resort with new safety additions. Elsewhere in the park, work progresses on refurbishments as Halloween Time continues.

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 quick Disneyland update for you today, so let’s get started!

Welcome to Disneyland!

A look at wait times Saturday afternoon

Back in Big Thunder Ranch, the Halloween Carnival continues to serve up some seasonal fun including some from the popular pumpkin carvers.

Oswald!

Mickey at the Tower of Terror

It’s beginning to look a lot like…

Halloween isn’t even here yet but whether you like it or not, the holidays are rapidly approaching. The first sign of the season can already be spotted if you know where to look — the hedges and trees around Sleeping Beauty Castle are now getting their Christmas lights as part of the annual Sleeping Beauty Winter Castle overlay.

And back in Fantasyland, the first sections of the “it’s a small world” facade are getting their first light strings installed.

No lights in the sockets quite yet but they’ll be coming soon…

Refurbishment Roundup

[center]Main Street Makeovers[/center]
On Main Street, work has wrapped up in front of the Mad Hatter. The curb has been removed, to allow for easier crowd flow once the new Guest Flow Corridor starts regularly dumping guests into the area.

Meanwhile, work continues on the new Guest Flow Corridors, which are nearing completion. The Corridors are new lightly-themed passages behind both sides of Main Street USA, to be used to ease crowd congestion during peak attendance periods.

While there’s no date for when we should expect to see the new Guest Flow Corridors in use, expect the newly remodeled and expanded First Aid and Wish Lounge locations at the end of Main Street, U.S.A. to reopen on October 7. The reopening of the permanent First Aid location will allow the temporary location on Center Street (pictured below) to close and the Main Street Lockers facility will the reopen October 31.

(July 2014 file photo)

Meanwhile Main Street facade refurbishments continue… Disney Showcase still doesn’t have its marquee back, but signage is slowly returning at the Magic Shop.

Over at the Market House, the Book Rest portion of the facade has finished its refurbishment.

Now, the Gibson Girl Ice Cream Parlor is getting some fresh paint…

Period-appropriate light bulbs?

Refreshment Corner is also behind tarps for refurbishment…

[center]Safety Beauty Castle[/center]
Over at Sleeping Beauty Castle, the final part of the new safety changes along the Castle bridge has been installed. New safety railing has been added along the bridge’s parapet, apparently ensuring that the first guest to fall off the bridge in nearly 60 years never does.

The new safety railing follows the addition of a new permanent fence on the Castle drawbridge (replacing a simple chain fence that had been in place for the last six decades) and the removal of the bench seats in the bridge alcoves (which had been a fixture since Disneyland opened in 1955).

Folks online commented late last week when the railings were installed that they “didn’t look too bad” and “they could be worse.”

If the best we can say about these additions is that “they could be worse,” then why bother?

[center]Royal Remodel[/center]
In New Orleans Square, the Royal Courtyard is still closed as work appears to continue very slowly…

[center]Riverboat Refurbishment[/center]
Nearby, the Mark Twain Riverboat is still closed for renovations.

[center]it’s a refurbishment world[/center]
In Fantasyland, sections of “it’s a small world” are still behind tarps for refurbishment.

Over near the Village Haus Restaurant, the outdoor vending carts are still gone for refurbishment until the end of next week.

Love is an open store

Out in Downtown Disney, the former Studio Disney 365 tween makeover boutique reopens today as Anna and Elsa’s Boutique. The store will retain its fashion makeover concept for kids ages 3-12, dedicating its makeover and merchandise options exclusively to Disney’s Frozen.

I wouldn’t expect much from this shop, considering its remodel only took two short weeks. Even from the outside, the hip Studio Disney 365 concert lighting rigging was left in place and outfitted with some very minor Frozen flourishes. Hopefully a proper marquee will be added in the future instead of just a flat sign.

It’s really unfortunate that Frozen, Disney’s most successful animated film of all time continues to get these last-minute, rushed additions at the theme parks. From Walt Disney World’s cheap Frozen Summer Fun event, to this new store in Downtown Disney and Epcot’s retrofitting of its Norway Pavilion for Frozen… this insanely popular franchise continues to get shoehorned in places on meager budgets. I guess Disney knows it’ll sell a ton of merchandise regardless of quality or thematic appropriateness.

Merch Madness

More new Haunted Mansion merchandise continues to trickle out at the Port Royal store in New Orleans Square…

Luggage tag

New treats

This and That

Gay Days Anaheim returned to the parks over the weekend. While the event is unofficial, Disney did offer a few special items at dining locations this year but not nearly as much as last year.

At Plaza Inn, the popular rainbow cake from last year returned…

New special souvenir mugs were available.

Cookies!

Pizza Port had a special meatball sub available.


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Weekly News & Information Round-Up
Weekly Theme Park Hours
October 6—12, 2014
[B]Disneyland Park[/B] [B]California Adventure[/B]
Monday: 10 am – 6 pm
Tuesday: 9 am – 9 pm
Wednesday: 8 am – 6 pm
Thursday: 9 am – 11 pm
Friday: 8 am – 7 pm
Saturday: 8 am – 12 am< Sunday: 10 am – 12 am
Monday: 8 am – 8 pm
Tuesday: 9 am – 8 pm
Wednesday: 8 am – 8 pm
Thursday: 9 am – 8 pm
Friday: 8 am – 12 am
Saturday: 8 am – 10 pm
Sunday: 10 am – 10 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]
  • Hose-Drawn Streetcar: Reopens October 16, 2014.
  • Fantasyland Fruit Cart: Reopens October 17, 2014
  • [B]Mark Twain Riverboat:[/B] Reopens November 29, 2014.
  • [b][center]Disney California Adventure[/center][/b]
    • [B]Blue Sky Cellar:[/B] Closed indefinitely.
    [b][center]Downtown Disney and Disneyland Resort Hotels[/center][/b]
      None.
    Tomorrowplan Crowd Estimates for Disneyland Resort from Mouseaddict

    October 6—12

    Mon
    Tue
    Wed
    Thu
    Fri
    Sat
    Sun

    • The heat continues this week – be sure to stay cool and hydrated in the parks.
    • Halloween parties on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday mean a slight uptick for Disneyland crowds in the afternoon and evening.
    • These projections are geared toward the maximum crowd expected for the day. Guest levels will go up and down as the day progresses.
    • You don’t need Madame Leota to look into the future. Just activate Tomorrowplan in the Mouseaddict app and you’ll get two weeks of crowd projections for your Halloween visit.

    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]
    • The Walt Disney Birthplace is kicking off the first phase of restoration efforts with a special dinner event at Walt Disney’s favorite restaurant, the Tam O’ Shanter, on October 20.
    • Disney has extended CEO Bob Iger’s contract an extra two years until June 2018. (NY Times)
    • Luigi’s Flying Tires fly away as Disneyland gets ready for its 60th anniversary. (MiceAge)
    • Riders were trapped on Mickey’s Fun Wheel for nearly two hours last week due to an unexplained technical difficulty. (KTLA)
    • The iconic Mrs. Knott’s Chicken Dinner Restaurant was temporary closed last week due to a cockroach infestation but has since reopened. (ABC7)
    • EuroDisney will hold an emergency meeting today to address its current financial crisis caused by major drops in attendance and revenue. (TheLocal.fr)
    Alright, that wraps up this week’s edition of Dateline Disneyland! What do you think of the Sleeping Beauty Castle safety changes? A necessary evil or safety-proofing overkill? Let us know in the comments section below!

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    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.