Spring break is here as Disneyland is busy gearing up for its huge 60th Anniversary summer. At Disneyland, Sleeping Beauty Castle is starting to get its sparkly diamond overlay installed, bringing a new shimmering blue roof to the iconic building. Elsewhere in the park, refurbishments continue from Critter Country to “it’s a small world,” as Disney works hard on getting the park in tip-top shape for its big Diamond Celebration. Over in Disney California Adventure, the first section of the new Grizzly Peak Airfield has been unveiled with Smokejumpers Grill, formerly home to Taste Pilots Grill. Meanwhile, Disneyland is celebrating Easter with the Springtime Roundup in Big Thunder Ranch, featuring your favorite Disney bunnies, egg decorating, live entertainment and more.

A great, big beautiful thank you.
Before we start, I want to once again thank all of you who have contributed to our Patreon campaign! I can’t believe how supportive you’ve all been and am deeply humbled. We’ll be starting to ship out pledge rewards packages for our first-month supporters starting this week and I’m thrilled for everybody to get their swag! If you haven’t yet supported Dateline Disneyland on Patreon, you can get your pledge in now before the cutoff for the next round of rewards comes around! Visit our Patreon page today! Thanks!

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! Don’t forget that you can always click on any photo in Dateline Disneyland for a closer look with a larger, higher resolution version of the image!

We’re back after a week off. Big thanks to Norm Gidney for filling in with a special edition of In the Parks last week. We’ve got a lot to get to today, so let’s get started!

Welcome to Disneyland!

Spring (and spring break) is in bloom at Disneyland!

Buena Vista Street is as gorgeous as ever.

Getting Ready to Dazzle

The parks continue to get ready for the big 60th Anniversary before it kicks off in late-May.

Shine Bright Like A Diamond

At the end of Main Street, Sleeping Beauty Castle has started getting its first layer of diamonds as part of its big overlay for the 60th anniversary.

Similar to the Castle’s holiday snow overlay, the entire building is getting a faux roof installed on top of its existing roof. The faux roof is made up of mirrored tiles with a layer of decorative “gems” applied on top. From Main Street and the hub, the new roof look good — shiny, bright and perfectly festive for a 60th anniversary celebration.

The silver straps are a different story, though. So far, they don’t look good in pictures or in person. Of course, the overlay is far from finished and hopefully it all comes together in the end.


Lots of holes where additional decorations will likely be attached.

New bunting is up for the anniversary.

A closer look at some of the new overlay decorations

Looks like this overlay has a built-in lighting package, which will be a treat in the evenings.

Compare the overlay so far with concept art and promotional images:

We recently showed you that the lighting boxes used for fireworks shows were recently removed. Over the weekend the replacement for these missing lighting boxes appeared, just a few steps away from where the old boxes sat…

Two new Castle-themed towers, to house equipment for the new “Disneyland Forever” fireworks show, have sprung up in nearby planters. They blend in nicely and are adorably charming.

Nice details

Note the hedges in front of the castle have been dramatically cut back

Walls up in the Castle tunnel

Fixing Up Fantasyland

In Fantasyland, Peter Pan’s Flight is still closed for refurbishment and show enhancements.

The exterior of the old Geppetto’s Toy Shop is no longer decorated as a Frozen meet-and-greet and is now just sitting unused. Will Rapunzel return here or will the space become a gift shop once again?

The Matterhorn is still closed through mid-May for refurbishment and show upgrades.

And in the back of Fantasyland, “it’s a small world’s” facade continues to emerge following a big refurbishment and it looks absolutely spectacular.


Critter Country is still closed but its refurbishment wraps up early April. Water is back in Splash Mountain as that attraction gets ready to reopen after a big refurbishment that addressed some serious termite damage.

Hungry Bear Restaurant is no longer behind scaffolding, as it prepares to reopen soon after a big refurbishment.


In Tomorrowland, Innoventions is set to close March 31 and a rumored exhibit for Disneyland’s 60th Anniversary is rumored to go in.

No big changes in the space formerly occupied by the Innoventions Dream Home


Over in Disney California Adventure, the old Condor Flats area continues its transformation into the new Grizzly Peak Airfield. The first phase of that remodel opened over the weekend with the opening of Smokejumpers Grill, formerly known as Taste Pilot’s Grill.

You can get the flavor of what the rest of the land will feel like with the new landscaping and lighting fixtures at the entrance of the land.


The new trees and landscaping in the area will be great when it all grows in.

Inside, the restaurant is painted in warmer, earthy tones, offsetting the coldness of the industrial structure. Props throughout have been replaced with period appropriate 1950s-era National Parks-style decor, with a backstory that pays tribute to the fictional forest firefighters: the Bearpaw Basin Smokejumpers.

Unfortunately, the menu remains one of the worst on property — uninspired, bland burgers and fries.

Luckily, the fixins bar remains to help to make the most out of that sub-par burger.

The props and theming throughout is a huge improvement over the hip and modern Taste Pilot’s Grill that opened with the park in 2001. You could spend a good amount of time checking it all out — and it’s all great.

Don’t miss the amazing vintage True Life Adventure posters

Bravo to the team at Imagineering behind this transformation. It’s a wonder what can be done by stripping away the tackiness from 2001 and layering in a lot of new, wonderful period-appropriate props. The place looks great and I hope a new menu moves in sometime soon — this restaurant is finally deserving of a great menu.

Outdoor seating area

Meanwhile, work continues on transforming the rest of the former Condor Flats into the new Grizzly Peak Airfield.

Looks like Grizzly Peak-themed rock work will be built right over the existing Condor Flats rock work.

Lots of new trees going in.

Views from the Monorail

If Smokejumpers Grill is a sneak peek at what’s to come, then I’m really excited to see the finished Grizzly Peak Airfield this summer.

River Runnin’

Over in the main Grizzly Peak area, Grizzly River Run is open again following its winter refurbishment.

Nearby, the San Francisco Street restrooms is getting a facade refurbishment

Work of Color

In Paradise Bay, World of Color has returned but the platform is still up during the daytime while work continues on the new “World of Color: Celebrate!” show, debuting as part of Disneyland’s 60th Anniversary celebration in May.

Meanwhile, the Paradise Pier sign is getting some TLC.


In Cars Land, Luigi’s Flying Tires remains closed as work on its replacement attraction gets underway

No ride but here, toss a bean bag.

In Bloom

In Big Thunder Ranch, the Springtime Roundup has returned with meet-and-greets with Disney Bunnies and live Easter Egg painters.

Live music and line dancing.

Don’t miss the egg decorators — they’re really good

The snack cart has Easter cookie decorating kits for $6.

Make your own bunny ear hat at the crafts section

And in the Big Thunder Ranch petting zoo, don’t miss baby goats Bernard and Bianca!

Enjoy retro fun just steps away from Disneyland at
Howard Johnson Hotel & Water Playground

A short walk from the park, HoJo Anaheim is conveniently located next to Matterhorn Mountain at Disneyland with nearby dining, freeway access, FREE parking and FREE Wi-Fi. For more information on HoJo Anaheim, room rates, or to book your stay today, visit HoJoAnaheim.com/MiceChat

Save with MiceChat & Passholder Discounts Every Day!
The HoJo Anaheim is now offering daily discounts for MiceChat members and even DEEPER discounts for Disneyland Resort Annual Passholders! For more information visit the HoJo Anaheim Innsider Boards which features an up-to-date listing of available nights, or call (714) 776-6120 and ask for In-House Reservations to book. If your date isn’t listed, the HoJo Anaheim still offers rooms for 20% off their best available rate if you call (714) 776-6120.

This & That

In Downtown Disney, work continues on the former Apricot Lane Boutique…

Weekly News & Information Round-Up
Weekly Theme Park Hours
March 23-29, 2015
[B]Disneyland Park[/B] [B]California Adventure[/B]
Daily: 8 am – 12 am Daily: 8 am – 10 pm
[CENTER]For a complete listing of theme park hours,
visit the Disneyland.com Theme Park Calendar
[center]Closure and Refurbishment Schedule[/center]
[b][center]Disneyland Park[/center][/b]
  • Matterhorn Bobsleds: Closed for refurbishment, reopens May 16.
  • Critter Country, including Splash Mountain: All Critter Country attractions, stores and restaurants are closed for refurbishment and will reopen April 3, 2015.
  • Peter Pan’s Flight: Closed for refurbishment and enhancements. Reopens May 8.
  • Magic Eye Theatre: Expected to reopen April 10 with preview for Disney’s “Tomorrowland.”
  • Innoventions: Closes March 31. Rumored to reopen in May with new exhibit for Disneyland’s 60th Anniversary.
[b][center]Disney California Adventure[/center][/b]
  • Soarin’ Over California: Closed for refurbishment and enhancements. Reopens May 15.
  • Grizzly River Run: Closed for refurbishment. Reopens March 20.
  • Luigi’s Flying Tires: Closed starting February 17 for re-Imagineering into new attraction. Reopening not yet announced.
  • It’s Tough to be a Bug!: Dark through March 26 while theater is used for “Cinderella” sneak peek.
  • Muppet*Vision 3D: Dark indefinitely while theater is used for Frozen-themed show.
  • [B]Blue Sky Cellar:[/B] Closed indefinitely.
[b][center]Downtown Disney and Disneyland Resort Hotels[/center][/b]
Tomorrowplan Crowd Estimates for Disneyland Resort from Mouseaddict

March 23 – 29


  • Spring Break is well underway! Expect some decent crowds, especially in the late afternoons. Activate the Tomorrowplan feature in the Mouseaddict app to see crowd projections through the end of Spring Break and plan your visit!
  • The annual Egg-Stravaganza begins Friday, with eggs hidden in both parks.
  • This is the last weekend to visit Innoventions and the Marvel meet-and-greets. The old Carousel Theater will shut down on Tuesday, March 31 for an unspecified time and for unspecified reasons. Will there be a 60th Anniversary exhibit? Stay tuned to Dateline Disneyland for the latest.

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 Resort “Flashback” musicals raise $25,000 for local charity. (Disney Parks Blog)
Alright, that wraps up this week’s edition of Dateline Disneyland! What do you think of the Castle’s overlay so far? What about the new Smokejumpers Grill? Join the discussion but letting us know your thoughts in the comments below!

Special thanks to our Dateline Disneylanders!
A very special thank you to all of our Patreon supporters for their monthly support keeping Dateline Disneyland alive, especially our special top-tier supporters:

    Kendra H., Brian, Dusty Sage, Jillian M., Benjamin, and Jackie A!

To help support Dateline Disneyland and get some fun swag in return, visit our Patreon page now!

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]

Support Our Sponsors

Follow Us!
FTC-Mandated Disclosure: Promotional consideration for this edition of Dateline Disneyland was provided by the Howard Johnson Plaza Hotel & Water Playground.