Last week Disneyland announced some notable enhancements coming to three classic attractions this May as part of the park’s 60th Anniversary Diamond Celebration. In Fantasyland, the classic Peter Pan’s Flight will get a re-imainged nursery scene along with special effects upgrades throughout the rest of the ride. Nearby, the Matterhorn‘s Abominable Snowman will be getting a makeover, making your encounter with him even scarier than before. And in New Orleans Square, a long-lost ghost and his hat box will soon be reappearing in the Haunted Mansion. Meanwhile, work continues on Sleeping Beauty Castle and in the former Condor Flats as those areas continue to get ready for the 60th.

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’ve got another full update for you this week, so let’s get started!

Welcome to Disneyland!

The recent beautiful spring weather has made a visit to the parks even more appealing this time of year…

Setup for the taping of America’s Funniest Videos is taking place in the hub and in front of Sleeping Beauty Castle. Taping is planned to take place this weekend.

Spring break crowds continue to hit the parks. A look at wait times Friday afternoon.

It was the last weekend for the Springtime Roundup egg decorators in Big Thunder Ranch Jamboree. Other Springtime Roundup features will continue on weekends through early June.

Love this egg!


Over in California Adventure, spring break is winding down as well…

A look at some spring break wait times Friday afternoon

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

Sleeping Beauty Castle’s 60th Anniversary overlay looks like it’s pretty close to being finished, which will allow time for programming and testing of the nighttime lighting package the overlay will feature.

Love it or hate it, the overlay is here to stay for about a year and luckily finishing touches including the diamond spires have really seemed to help bring the whole thing together.

These plastic domes look less cheap and tacky with the pointy diamond spires.

Looks like there will be some small sections of roof that won’t be getting covered, but they probably won’t be noticeable to too many guests.

Unfortunately, the silver straps still look unfinished and poorly-planned. I’ve seen some fans refer to it as silver or bedazzled duct tape.

It’ll be exciting to see just how the castle looks lit up at night. There’s a lot of power built into this overlay

Last week, the Disney Parks Blog released a video showing some behind-the-scenes footage of the making-of Sleeping Beauty Castle’s overlay:

The backside of the Castle is much simpler, with new bunting up.

Fixing Up Fantasyland

Last week Disney confirmed long-standing rumors of major show upgrades coming to two Fantasyland classics.

Peter Pan’s Flight will reopen in May with a reimagined nursery scene as well as numerous special effects throughout the attraction.

Not far away, the Matterhorn Bobsleds will also reopen in May with Disney promising we’ll see the Abominable Snowman “in ways you’ve never seen him before.”

From the look of the concept art, the Abominable Snowman looks like he might be a lot scarier than before!

Meanwhile, work continues on the Pinoccho’s Daring Journey facade…

And work has mostly wrapped up at “it’s a small world.” The clock tower is now out from behind tarps and looks beautiful but as of Friday, wasn’t yet functional.

Tarps still up around the area of facade that was slightly damaged in the recent fire.


In New Orleans Square, Disneyland confirmed another long-time rumor last week. The Hat Box Ghost is officially coming back, and will return to the Haunted Mansion in May, just in time for the park’s 60th Anniversary kick-off.

Disney released some concept art along with the announcement…

The announcement comes after years of rumors and Disney teasing the possible return of the character, including an animatronic mock-up of the ghost at the 2013 D23 Expo.


In Tomorrowland, the Magic Eye Theater has been repainted as it prepares to host the new sneak preview for Disney’s upcoming sci-fi film, “Tomorrowland.”

The “Tomorrowland” sneak peek opens on Friday along with a special exhibit in the Starcade next door, featuring props and production artwork from the film.

Lots of the Magic Eye Theater got repainted in light blues and silvers…

…but there’s still plenty left in the old unfortunate brown color scheme from before.

Meanwhile, Innoventions remains behind walls, rumored to be getting a new 60th Anniversary exhibit installed.

Coming in for a Landing

Over in California Adventure, the Grizzly Peak Airfield continues to take shape behind construction walls.

A new park ranger lookout tower has been installed in front of Soarin’ Over California. Looks great.

New steel support in place for signage.

Views from the Monorail… lots of trees in place now!

A better look at the new park ranger lookout tower in place in front of Soarin’

California Changes

This change isn’t totally new, but something we missed when it happened. The arches in Paradise Park have been removed and it doesn’t look like they’ll be coming back.

They were just cut off at the base…

In Cars Land, no visible changes from the guest view at Luigi’s Flying Tires

Dive into Fun at the HoJo!
Presented by the Howard Johnson Hotel & Water Playground

As you know from our last visit to the HoJo, the iconic Anaheim hotel is a top-ranked family destination recognized throughout the industry. One of the reasons the HoJo is so popular with families is not only because it’s just an 8-minute walk to Disneyland, but because of its many water features that help its guests beat the heat during Anaheim’s warm summers. After all, what’s better than taking a break from the parks and relaxing poolside? Today we’ll take a closer look at HoJo Anaheim’s many water features that keep guests from around the world coming back over and over again.

Castaway Cove
Family Water Playground
The HoJo Anaheim’s Castaway Cove is the only themed water play area you’ll find in Anaheim outside the gates of Disney’s theme parks. The swashbuckling 30-ft high Castaway Cove pirate ship water play area packs plenty of adventure for the whole family including two water slides — one for toddlers and another S-curvy slide for the brave pirates in your family. In addition to the water slides, Castaway Cove’s pirate ship also features four water cannons, two water umbrellas and a water curtain… and if that wasn’t enough to cool off every pirate in the family, the giant crow’s nest drench bucket that dumps 200 gallons of water every 3-4 minutes will surely do the trick! And don’t worry if it’s too cold out — the waters are heated so your crew can play all year long! Castaway Cove is eco-friendly, too! All of that water is recycled in large underground holding tanks. And if you’re out late in Castaway Cove’s large 15-seat jacuzzi, keep an eye out for Disneyland fireworks — Castaway Cove offers great views of the show!

The Garden Pool
Secluded Poolside Oasis
If you’re looking for something a little more relaxing then head to the Howard Johnson’s Garden Pool. Recently renovated, this secluded pool isn’t in the middle of a parking lot or on top of a hotel tower like many other pools in the Anaheim Resort area. The HoJo’s Garden Pool is nestled among guest room buildings and surrounded by large old-growth trees rising from lush, landscaped gardens. A true oasis, especially in Anaheim’s warm summer months, the Garden Pool is the perfect spot for some sun and relaxation after touring the parks.

Speedy’s Sprayground
and Kid’s Wading Pool
Located within Castaway Cove, your crew’s littlest swashbucklers can find their own fun themed play zone and beach-entry wading pool. Toddlers can join the cute and friendly Speedy the Turtle in his safe water play area with fun splash fountains for kids. Next to Speedy, little ones can splash around even more in the beach-style entry kids wading pool.

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

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, the new Disney Vacation Club sales center still isn’t open yet but should be soon…

Still no official word yet on what’s brewing for the rest of the building…

Weekly News & Information Round-Up
Weekly Theme Park Hours
April 13-19, 2015
[B]Disneyland Park[/B] [B]California Adventure[/B]
Mon.-Thur.: 9 am – 10 pm
Friday: 9 am – 12 am
Saturday: 8 am – 11 pm
Sunday: 8 am – 12 am
Mon.-Thur.: 9 am – 9 pm
Friday: 9 am – 10 pm
Saturday: 8 am – 9 pm
Sunday: 8 am – 10 pm
[CENTER]For a complete listing of theme park hours,
visit the Theme Park Calendar
[center]Closure and Refurbishment Schedule[/center]
[b][center]Disneyland Park[/center][/b]
  • Haunted Mansion: Closed May 4-8 for refurbishment.
  • Space Mountain: Closed May 6 for refurbishment.
  • Indiana Jones Adventure: Closed April 20-May 1 for refurbishment.
  • Matterhorn Bobsleds: Closed for refurbishment, reopens May 16.
  • Peter Pan’s Flight: Closed through May 20 for refurbishment and enhancements.
  • Magic Eye Theatre and Starcade: Reopens April 17 with preview and exhibit for Disney’s “Tomorrowland.”
  • Innoventions: Closed. 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.
  • Luigi’s Flying Tires: Closed for re-Imagineering into new attraction. Reopening not yet announced.
  • 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

April 13-19


  • It’ll be a nice week, weather-wise. Spring Break continues unabated, so watch for periodic heavy crowds at times – but we don’t expect them all day.
  • Watch out for an influx of Jedi this weekend as the Star Wars Celebration takes over Anaheim.
  • Want to see into the future? Activate the Tomorrowplan feature in Mouseaddict for more crowd projections.

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

[center]Headline Roundup
A quick look at noteworthy Disney theme park headlines from around the web.[/center]
  • Ryan Gosling is in talks to star in Guillermo del Toro’s Haunted Mansion film. (Slashfilm)
Alright, that wraps up this week’s edition of Dateline Disneyland. Are you excited for the return of the Hat Box Ghost? 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.