As the Disneyland Resort enters the final stretch of its long summer season, new details are emerging on the plan to bring big changes to Disneyland‘s Fantasyland. Disney has confirmed the Fantasyland Theater will close at the end of the week to make way for a new “entertainment experience” which will temporarily displace the princesses while their permanent new home is under construction next to Sleeping Beauty Castle. In Adventureland, the Jungle Cruise has reopened after a brief closure that saw the addition of the some safety enhancements. Nearby in New Orleans Square, pirates are set to takeover the quiet Court of Angels this fall for a pirate-themed makeover boutique. Meanwhile, work continues on Downtown Disney‘s new Earl of Sandwich restaurant and we take a look at some more of the Disneyland Hotel‘s finishing touches.

Get a closer look at today’s update! Click on any photo in today’s column for a large, high-resolution version of the image.

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[center]WELCOME TO DISNEYLAND![/center]

Crowds remain high this week at a resort-level, but begin further decreasing in Disneyland (park). can help you navigate the parks with our per-park Crowd Calendar, Lines – Mobile Wait Times App that gives access to current and estimated wait times for attractions, and Touring Plans detailing the best plan of attack for hitting the attractions. With summer crowds here, it’s a good time to subscribe to to plan your strategy to avoid the crowds!

Below are the predicted resort-wide crowd numbers for select days generated by the TouringPlans professional statisticians as measured for the upcoming week. For the access to the full year and per-park crowd level predictions, visit our Crowd Calendar.

— Fred Hazelton, Statistician,

[center][/center] [center]Resort-Wide
Crowd Calendar Prediction
[center]Crowd Tips[/center]
Tues., Aug. 7 [center]10 /10[/center] Here are some quick-hit notes that we hope you’ll find helpful as you prepare your visits for the week:

  • Southern California Annual Passports are now blocked out through August 19.
  • Full blockouts on Saturday.
  • Disneyland (park) is a 7.9 on Thursday.
  • Due to its incredibly low capacity, consider riding Luigi’s Flying Tires standby right after starting your day by grabbing a FASTPASS for Radiator Springs Racers.
Wed., Aug. 8 [center]10 /10[/center]
Thu., Aug. 9 [center]10 /10[/center]
Fri., Aug. 10 [center]10/10[/center]
[center]Crowd levels are based on a scale from 1 to 10, with 1 being the least crowded conditions and 10 being most crowded.[/center][center]See Disneyland crowds for the next 365 days.
Get Disneyland wait times on youriPhone, Android, or Smartphone.
Do more. Wait less.

A look at wait times mid-day Sunday.

Today, Al Lutz shared news on a significant closure for Big Thunder Mountain Railroad in his Editor’s Note:

EDITOR’S NOTE 8/6: Disneyland’s Big Thunder Mt. will be closing for a major rehab this fall, and remain closed through most of 2013. The 33-year-old coaster will receive a similar treatment as the one Space Mt. got in ’03-’05, (without the extensive foundation work that Space Mt. needed). New track will be installed, the load/unload area will be widened for 21st century riders, and a new ride control system tops it all off. The queue will be prepped for NextGen additions, and unlike the recent WDW Thunder rehab Tony Baxter has returned to his first E Ticket to plus up the show and the aesthetics. Take your last ride on Big Thunder 1.0 in September. – Al Lutz


Next to Sleeping Beauty Castle, work continues on the new Fantasy Faire princess meet-and-greet area.

A peek behind the construction wall

Last week, Disney finally confirmed the August 12 closing date we shared with you last week of the current Princess Fantasy Faire in the Fantasyland Theater. With the announcement, Disney also released photos of the scale model of the upcoming Fantasy Faire area under construction next to Sleeping Beauty Castle. The photos show a gorgeous Fantasyland-themed area, rich with detail, on the edge of the Central Plaza.

New Entertainment Experiences Coming to Fantasyland at Disneyland Park in 2013
The Creative Entertainment team is hard at work on a spectacular live entertainment experience for the Fantasyland Theatre in Disneyland park. This amazing new show is set to debut in summer 2013. In order to get everything ready, Princess Fantasy Faire will be closing August 12.

Of course, you can still meet your favorite Disney Princesses whenever you visit Fantasyland. You’ll be able to find them along the path to “it’s a small world” from August 13 through the opening of the all-new Fantasy Faire near Sleeping Beauty Castle next spring. [ FULL STORY ]

Closing Sunday, August 12:


A couple weeks ago, we shared with you Disney’s plan to close the Alice in Wonderland dark ride in early September to install a permanent fix for the attraction’s outdoor portion, which received temporary safety scaffolding two years ago after Cal/OSHA expressed concern about safety concerns.

Today, we have a full video ride-through of Alice in Wonderland as the attraction gets ready to close to install a hopefully much more aesthetically pleasing safety fix for this Fantasyland classic.

We’re very happy this ride is getting a fix after two years of being covered by eyesore tarps and scaffolding.

[center]BUMPER BOATS[/center]

In Adventureland, the Jungle Cruise has reopened after a brief closure where bumpers were added to the jungle boats’ starboard side, which rubs up against the dock during load/unload.

The bumpers are intended to close the gap between the dock and the boat, enhancing guest safety.

Also added during the closure are new mooring lines that are tied to jungle boats at both load and unload.

Jungle skippers on the dock use a pole to hook/unhook the mooring line on a jungle boat

Signage near loading warn guests to mind the gap

Also recently added are new nets that prevent hands of guests (especially those of little ones) from being smashed when the boat arrives at the dock.

The nets make sense but they can’t be too much fun for the little ones to look through.


Nearby in New Orleans Square, now is your last chance to enjoy a quiet escape in the beautiful Court of Angels.

The quiet courtyard has been converted into a temporary retail space in recent years for Christmas ornaments during Disneyland’s busy holiday season, but this year the courtyard will also be temporarily used this fall for a copy of Walt Disney World’s Pirates League, a pirate-themed makeover boutique.

Swashbuckling Fun Comes Ashore in September at Disneyland Park with The Pirates League
A roll of the dice can change your face, your fate or even your name. A new wave of swashbuckling fun is set to hit land (Court of Angels in New Orleans Square at Disneyland park, to be exact) September 1, as The Pirates League plants its flag in the sands of the western shores.

Captain Jack and his trusted mates have searched across the land to find treasures and new recruits to join their crew. In The Pirates League, savvy pirates will transform guests, giving them their own pirate look and name, training them to swashbuckle and teaching them the official Pirate League Oath! The Pirates League is an interactive pirate experience you won’t want to miss.

The Pirates League is the ultimate pirate transformation available to guests ages three and up that lets you live your pirate dreams and learn the ways of the seven seas from veteran pirates straight from Captain Jack’s crew!

The Pirates League will offer three different packages for guests to choose from: Jake and the Never Land Pirates, First Mate, and Empress (created especially for all the pirate princesses!). Packages range from $29.95 – $34.95. Which will you choose to fulfill your pirate destiny?[ FULL STORY ]

Nearby, the Haunted Mansion is set to close August 27 to install the annual Nightmare Before Christmas-themed holiday overlay.

Haunted Mansion Holiday is scheduled to open September 14.

[center]WELCOME TO

In California Adventure, crowds for the park’s new offerings continue to hold up as we enter the final stretch of summer.

A look at wait times throughout the park Sunday afternoon.

Disney recently released a video giving a look at how the new “Glow with the Show” ear hats work.

In Cars Land, long wait times are the norm at the notoriously slow-loading Luigi’s Flying Tires and the popular Radiator Springs Racers E-Ticket.

The Single Rider sign hasn’t been in use in recent weeks. When asked, Cast Members at Radiator Springs Racers are telling guests that there just isn’t an accurate way to gauge just how long the single-rider wait will be, but the line is open.

New stanchion posts have been installed for extended meet-and-greet queue at the Cozy Cone Motel



Out in Downtown Disney, work continues at Earl of Sandwich.

Planters have been paved over, ready for outdoor dining space

The old Compass Books newsstand remains in place for now but is set to be removed soon.

It’s been a while since we’ve checked in at the Disneyland Hotel but a friendly reader recently let us know that the Hotel has gotten a couple new finishing touches.

Inside, the new animated 1968 Disneyland Fun Map has been working for a while now. The rear-projected map is perhaps not as vivid as the map of Disney California Adventure that was long on display in the Blue Sky Cellar, but with the lighting conditions in the Hotel’s main foyer, the map provides a great touch to the main entrance and sets the tone for the rest of the Hotel’s retro take on Disneyland.

Take a look at the animated Fun Map in our video below:

New signage is now in place for the Disneyland Hotel’s Convention Center

The Coffee House also has a new marquee

Nearby, Goofy’s Kitchen has moved its stroller parking outdoors, freeing up some more waiting area inside. A smart move for this popular restaurant.

Dateline Disneyland is sponsored by our good friends at the

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[center]Weekly Theme Park Hours
August 6—12, 2012
[CENTER][B]Disneyland Park[/B][/CENTER] [CENTER][B]California Adventure[/B][/CENTER]
8 am – 12 midnight[/CENTER]
8 am – 11 pm[/CENTER]
[CENTER]For a complete listing of theme park hours,
visit the Theme Park Calendar
[center]Expected Crowd Levels[/center] [center]presented by[/center]
[CENTER][B]Disneyland Park[/B][/CENTER] [CENTER][B]California Adventure[/B][/CENTER]
[B]7.4—8.3[/B] out of 10[/CENTER]
[B]9.8—10.0[/B] out of 10[/CENTER]
[CENTER]Crowd levels are based on a scale from 1 to 10,
with 1 being the least crowded conditions and 10 being most crowded.

[B]For crowd predictions for the next 365 days, visit
[center]Closure and Refurbishment Schedule[/center]
[b][center]Disneyland Park[/center][/b]
  • [B]Princess Fantasy Faire at the Fantasyland Theater:[/B] Fantasyland Theater closes August 12. Princesses will relocate to Small World Promenade allowing the Fantasyland Theater to close and prepare for a new show.
  • [B]The Haunted Mansion:[/B] Closed August 27—September 14 to install Haunted Mansion Holiday overlay.
  • [B]Alice in Wonderland:[/B] Closes early September to install permanent safety rails to outdoor portion of ride track.
  • [B]Fantasy Faire:[/B] New princess-themed meet-and-greet area in former Carnation Plaza Gardens is under construction and expected to open in early 2013.
[b][center]Disney California Adventure[/center][/b]
  • No closures at this time
[b][center]Downtown Disney and Disneyland Resort Hotels[/center][/b]
  • [B]Earl of Sandwich:[/B] Former Compass Book store and cafe will reopen as the new Earl of Sandwich restaurant summer 2012.
Police say most unruly protestors not from Anaheim
Some interesting news from the recent Anaheim police protests from the OC Register:
[b]Most unruly protesters from outside Anaheim, police say[/b]
As protesters took to the streets on Sunday, marching from Anaheim police headquarters along Harbor Boulevard toward Disneyland, many of those obscuring their faces with bandanas and carrying gas masks were not from Anaheim.

Numerous interviews confirmed they were from elsewhere. And police statistics revealed on Monday that seven of the nine people arrested in the unruly protest were from outside the city boundaries, five not even from Orange County.

Those arrested included two from San Diego County and one from San Bernardino. Another was from Indiana.

“This is an injustice here in this city, but it’s also a problem we see happening everywhere,” said Michael Gomez, 26, from Los Angeles. “We’re here to support our brothers and sisters experiencing the injustice here in Anaheim.”

But many Anaheim residents say they don’t want the help, fearing outside, unruly demonstrators will paint local protesters as unreasonable troublemakers.

[b]Full story: OC Register: Most unruly protesters from outside Anaheim, police say[/b]
Pixar helping with Jon Favreau’s alternate-reality Disneyland movie
New information on the upcoming “Magic Kingdom” movie from “Iron Man” director Jon Favreau:
[b]Pixar is Helping with Jon Favreau’s ‘Magic Kingdom’[/b]
After we got the scoop on his original John Carter plans, we spoke with director Jon Favreau again at the NBC Television Critics Association cocktail party. Favreau directed the pilot for their new series “Revolution,” but we steered the conversation towards his Magic Kingdom film for Disney. Favreau was happy to explain why we may have to wait a while for this one, and that will be a good thing.

“I went back to back to back with three movies in a row, Iron Man, Iron Man 2 and Cowboys & Aliens, all of them with release dates announced as I walked in,” Favreau said. “As I cracked the script for the first time we already knew the date and the poster, in some cases the cast. On this one, Magic Kingdom is a big film. It’s a very special piece of intellectual property with all the characters from the park and the legacy of Walt Disney.”

The film will be based on Disneyland’s Magic Kingdom theme park, but Favreau says the storytelling development of the film is inspired by Pixar. Pixar develops their stories for years before investing in animation production, because they can afford the time to craft the story, and sometimes go back to the drawing board midway through.

“What we’ve been doing is writing a script, going up to Pixar, meeting with the brain trust, coming back down, bringing on artists, story editors and putting it together as though it were an animated film so that by the time we actually film it, we’ll have a rock solid story,” Favreau continued. “I don’t want to rush anything. I want this thing to be perfect. I want it to be one shot one kill, like a sniper. I want to make sure this movie’s right in the crosshairs that we can really knock it out of the park so to speak.”

To be clear, Magic Kingdom is not a Pixar film. However, John Lasseter has introduced the Disney production to the Pixar staff and let the synergy flow.

“As far as I know it’s a Disney production but they’ve been very good about Pixar,” Favreau said. “[I’ve known] Lasseter for many years now. It’s our first time collaborating together but he’s opened up all the resources of Pixar. I’ve been up there a few times now and stayed up at the ranch. It’s just been a dream come true. Taking a tour of Pixar is special enough but to sit in a room and pitch to those people and hear their ideas, it’s very, very exciting. I want to learn as much as I can from them and hopefully have their success in storytelling that they do as well by learning from their process. I really want to hold this film to a very high standard so I’m not rushing it but it’s coming along very well.”

The story as it exists so far is this: “It’s going to be a family in the park. It’s an alternate reality version of the park that they get launched into. So much of it is just how it weaves together as a tapestry and what the visuals look like in creating this rich world. It’s informed by everything that I remember and know about the park from going there since I was a small child.”

[b]Full story: Crave Online: Pixar is Helping with Jon Favreau’s ‘Magic Kingdom’[/b]
Okay, that’s all for this week’s edition of Dateline Disneyland. Big thanks for reading and be sure to join the discussion below. What do you think of new photos of the Fantasy Faire concept model?

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[B]- Andy[/B]

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Promotional consideration for the August 6, 2012 edition of [I]Dateline Disneyland[/I] was provided by:
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