There may be another week of Halloween Time left but Disneyland is wasting no time stringing up the Christmas lights and garland. Sleeping Beauty Castle is already covered in snow while New Orleans Square is covered in garland, lights, and beads for the holidays. Meanwhile, refurbishments continue on Main Street while work on the new Guest Flow Corridors wrap up in time for big end-of-year crowds. Inside park gift shops, there’s lot of new Haunted Mansion, Big Hero 6, and holiday merchandise to break the bank.

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’re back after a week off. Thanks to Norm and the In the Parks team for filling in with a Disneyland update while I was away! Let’s get started!

Welcome to Disneyland!

Halloween Time continues at Disneyland, even as the holidays have started to seriously move in at the Anaheim theme parks.

A look at Disneyland wait times Friday afternoon.

Pumpkin carvers at the Big Thunder Ranch Halloween Carnival are here for just one more week!

Over at Disney California Adventure, the park will soon be decked out for the holidays as well

A look at wait times Friday afternoon.

It’s beginning to look a lot like…

Halloween Time may still be here for about another week, but Disneyland is wasting no time getting ready for the holidays. Sleeping Beauty Castle is now getting its annual snow cover while the trees in the central plaza have been covered in Christmas lights…

Is it time to refresh the Winter Castle overlay? It’s always looked great at night, but the daytime appearance hasn’t aged well.

Meanwhile, as work continues on Sleeping Beauty Castle’s holiday overlay, New Orleans Square is just about ready for the holidays.

The angel has returned for the holidays above the Court of Angels entrance, but regular guests won’t be able to get their annual family photos in the courtyard this holiday season.

New banners this year appropriate vintage French ads.

Below, an 1890s-era art nouveau-style ad for biscuits by artist Alphonse Mucha was re-worked to fit for the holidays.

The New Orleans Square railroad station is ready for the holidays

Over in Fantasyland, “it’s a small world” is closed while the holiday overlay is installed. Outside, thousands of Christmas lights continue to go up on the iconic facade.

Meanwhile at Disney California Adventure, Buena Vista Street is preparing for its annual holiday decorations, with eyebolts going in for garland and other trimmings.

These trees will soon be removed to make way for Buena Vista Street’s Christmas tree

Construction Kingdom


[center]Compass Cleanup[/center]
In the Main Entrance Plaza, the compass rose refurbishment has finished up. Unfortunately, the refurbishment didn’t involve a restoration of the terrazzo compass rose, but a removal of the compass points, which were then replaced with plain cement.

The center circle of the compass rose remains but in the same, damaged condition it’s been in for years. What a shame.

You can still see the cracks and damage here

The plain cement doesn’t look great. Hopefully this is just a short-term, cost-effective solution until Disney can put in something else. Perhaps Disney is finally getting serious about Imagineering’s long-planned fountain and landscaping project for the esplanade?

[center]Main Street Makeovers[/center]
Inside Disneyland, work on the new Guest Flow Corridors is finishing up while refurbishments along Main Street continue…

Is this new blue-and-white wall a glimpse at some of the new “themed fencing” that will line the Guest Flow Corridors?

The blue walls don’t really look bad but if that’s it, then it’s a far cry from the lavishly-themed indoor arcades that run behind Disneyland Paris’ Main Street.

Down Main Street, the Gibson Girl Ice Cream Parlor facade refurbishment continues…

Across the street, the Main Street Locker facility is almost ready to reopen.

At the end of Main Street, the Refreshment Corner is still behind tarps for refurbishment. The dining location remains open during refurbishment.

[center]Royal Remodel[/center]
In New Orleans Square, the Royal Courtyard scaffolding continues to take over the space but not much progress can be seen here…

[center]Riverboat Refurbishment[/center]
The Mark Twain’s refurbishment continues through late November…

[center]On the Horizon[/center]
Disney recently released their updated refurbishment calendar, which you can see in full at the end of today’s blog. Needless to say, both parks will see quite a lot of work underway as the Resort gears up for its big 60th anniversary celebration, set to kick off in mid-May 2015. While many closures will be routine refurbishments, there are some notable extended refurbishments scheduled that could bring significant upgrades and changes to the parks. In Disneyland, Peter Pan’s Flight will close for a five-month overhaul, starting January 12 and reopening May 7. Expect some new upgrades and show enhancements here in line with what Disney recently did at the nearby Alice in Wonderland attraction.

Meanwhile, the Matterhorn Bobsleds will close a couple days before Peter Pan does for a five-month refurbishment. If only they’d do something to fix the unbearably uncomfortable “new” ride vehicles. Additionally, Splash Mountain and Snow White Grotto will both close in January for refurbishments that run into April.

At night, Disneyland’s now 10-year-old “Remember… Dreams Come True” fireworks show will have what are expected to be its final performances this weekend.

The show, originally presented as part of Disneyland’s 50th Anniversary celebration in 2005, are expected to glow away forever after next weekend’s performances. Disneyland’s traditional holiday fireworks show will be offered throughout the holiday season but “Remember…” won’t make its usual return in January.

Instead, Disneyland is expected to run its classic “Fantasy in the Sky” fireworks show work gets underway on upgrading the larger fireworks system and infrastructure. The upgrades are to prepare for the new show for the 60th Anniversary, debuting in May.

“Remember… Dreams Come True” was groundbreaking when it debuted in 2005, introducing numerous new shells, a new launch system, and an impressive new flight system and path for Tinker Bell. The infrastructure installed in 2005 for “Remember” has made shows like “Magical” and the popular “Halloween Screams” shows possible.

With its still-amazing “E-Tickets in the Sky” portion, narration by Julie Andrews, and lots of nostalgia, it’s sad to see such a great show that still holds up go. Here’s hoping the new 60th Anniversary show will be just as good or better.

Your final chances to see “Remember… Dreams Come True” are this Saturday and Sunday at 9:25 p.m.

In Disney California Adventure, the Bakery Tour is now closed for an overhaul and rumored update until mid-January. In January, World of Color will go dark for a refurbishment and rumored programming of a new show until March. Meanwhile, Soarin’ Over California will close January 6 and won’t reopen until mid-May for a major refurbishment that includes rumors of a place-making project that will improve the theming at the attraction and throughout Condor Flats. The ride may also receive the long-rumored “Soarin’ Over the World” film, replacing the original California fly-over.

The biggest closure, however, is in Cars Land. The newest area of the park is now expected to see one of its original attractions glow away forever to make way for a new attraction that will hopefully rate higher on guest satisfaction surveys and actually be fun.

The troubled Luigi’s Flying Tires ride, a revival of Disneyland’s defunct Flying Saucers concept, never really managed to really work. The result has been dwindling rider counts, making the ride a walk-on on many days.

While Disney hasn’t actually confirmed plans to replace the Flying Tires, the attraction is now scheduled to close January 7 through December 1, 2015, which lends credibility to the rumors of a new flat ride of dancing and spinning cars using a trackless ride system replacing the tires.

If you’re a fan of the tires, you might want to get a last ride in this holiday season!

Merch Madness

In New Orleans Square, the huge new line of Haunted Mansion merchandise continues to slowly trickle out with new items materializing every week. Below, a lenticular post card.

New Haunted Mansion “blueprint” plates

New ornaments

Hitchhiking ghost action figures

Pen

Staring busts bookends

A new hat

And Haunted Mansion wallpaper flats for the ladies

In Tomorrowland, Big Hero 6 merchandise has hit the shelves in the Starcade.

Meanwhile, on Main Street, the China Closet is now fully stocked with tons of new holiday merchandise, including a new line of retro-style items which are really, really great.

Ceramic trivet

Fun new holiday plates

Cheese spreaders

New milk-and-cookies set, with some great packaging

Apron

Table runner

Hand towels

New throw pillows and a great throw blanket

Candy in a collectible tin

Great Christmas cards

Of course, there’s quite a selection of other holiday items, including the traditional Victorian-style Mickey and Minnie line, the Nutcracker-themed items, and lots of other styles of ornaments and decorations.

Select shops, including the China Closet on Main Street, are offering ornament personalization this holiday season.


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Weekly News & Information Round-Up
Weekly Theme Park Hours
October 25—November 2, 2014
[B]Disneyland Park[/B] [B]California Adventure[/B]
Monday: 8 am – 6 pm
Tuesday: 10 am – 8 pm
Wednesday: 8 am – 6 pm
Thursday: 10 am – 8 pm
Friday: 8 am – 7 pm
Saturday: 9 am – 12 am
Sunday: 8 am – 11 pm
Monday: 8 am – 8 pm
Tuesday: 10 am – 8 pm
Wednesday: 8 am – 8 pm
Thursday: 10 am – 8 pm
Friday: 8 am – 12 am
Saturday: 9 am – 10 pm
Sunday: 8 am – 9 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]
  • “it’s a small world”: Closed through November 6 to install holiday overlay.
  • Plaza Inn Restaurant: Closed through November 6 for refurbishment.
  • Big Thunder Ranch: Closed November 1—6 to remove Halloween overlay and install holiday overlay.
  • Space Mountain: Closed November 3 to remove Halloween overlay.
  • Jungle Cruise: Closed November 3-13 to for refurbishment and to install Jingle Cruise overlay.
  • Pinocchio’s Daring Journey: Closed November 12-13 for refurbishment.
  • Snow White’s Scary Adventures: Closed November 12-13 for refurbishment.
  • [B]Mark Twain Riverboat:[/B] Reopens November 29, 2014.
  • Storybook Land Canal Boats and Casey Jr. Circus Train: Closed December 1-18 for refurbishment.
  • Fantasyland Fruit Cart: Reopening unknown.
  • Matterhorn Bobsleds: Closed January 5-May 13 for refurbishment.
  • Haunted Mansion: Closed January 12-22 to remove holiday overlay.
  • The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh: Closed January 12-February 5 for refurbishment.
  • Splash Mountain: Closed January 12-April 2 for refurbishment.
  • Snow White Grotto and Wishing Well: Closed January 12-April 30 for refurbishment.
  • Peter Pan’s Flight: Closed January 12-May 7.
[b][center]Disney California Adventure[/center][/b]
  • Bakery Tour: Closed October 21-January 16 for refurbishment.
  • Turtle Talk with Crush: Closed October 28-29 for refurbishment.
  • Goofy’s Sky School: Closed December 1 for refurbishment.
  • Toy Story Midway Mania!: Closed December 8-11 for refurbishment.
  • The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror: Closed January 5-8 for refurbishment.
  • Soarin’ Over California: Closed January 6-May 14 for refurbishment.
  • World of Color: Dark January 7-March 12 for refurbishment.
  • Luigi’s Flying Tires: Closed January 12-December 1, 2015 for conversion to new attraction.
  • [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 25—November 2

Mon
Tue
Wed
Thu
Fri
Sat
Sun

  • Halloween is shrieking toward us fast – expect sold-out Halloween party crowds on Monday, Wednesday, and the night itself, Friday.
  • The holidays are coming! The holidays are coming! Holiday Time officially starts November 14, but you can sneak a peek starting November 7 when “it’s a small world holiday” returns.
  • We’re keeping a list and checking it twice. Get up-to-the-minute crowd mapping in the free Mouseaddict app, and two weeks of future crowd projections with the Tomorrowplan feature.

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 Annual Passholders can enjoy “Wednesdays with Walt” events starting November 5 and running through January 22, featuring highlights from the “Disneyland” TV show. (Disneyland.com)
  • Disney will remove the giant Sorcerer’s Hat icon from Disney’s Hollywood Studios at Walt Disney World (Orlando Sentinel)
  • Glow with the Show light-up ear hats evolve into line of new light-up merchandise at Disney theme parks. (Disney Parks Blog)
  • A new five-part Big Thunder Mountain Railroad comic book series will be released spring 2015. (Disney Parks Blog)
  • Learn how to make pumpkin twists from Maurice’s Treats at Disneyland. (Disney Parks Blog)
  • Hat Box Ghost once again rumored to return to Disneyland’s Haunted Mansion in time for the park’s 60th Anniversary (MiceAge)
OK — that wraps up this week’s edition of Dateline Disneyland. What do yo think of Disneyland’s new First Aid facility? Good or bad? Will you be shopping at Anna and Elsa’s Boutique for your little ones this holiday season? 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.