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Dateline Disneyland

The Holidays are here!, California Adventure construction, Fighting the flu, +MORE

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by , 11-15-2009 at 07:31 PM
Welcome to the November 16 edition of Dateline Disneyland. The Holidays at the Disneyland Resort are officially in full swing and all of the seasonal favorites are back at Disneyland - from Sleeping Beauty's Winter Castle to Santa's Reindeer Roundup at Big Thunder Ranch. The nightly "Believe... In Holiday Magic" fireworks spectacular is back as well, along with its signature snowfall finale. Meanwhile, construction continues at California Adventure, the Resort fights the flu, and more is added to "The Disneyland Story" exhibit in the Main Street Opera House.

More information and ongoing discussion on many of the various construction projects featured in today's update can be found in the Project Tracker threads on MiceChat. Simply click on a photo with a Project Tracker watermark and you'll be linked up to the latest news and discussion on the various projects underway at the Resort.

Before we get started, thanks to MiceChatter Fishbulb for filling in for me last week. He did a bang-up job, huh?

There's a lot to get to - so let's jump right in!

Inside Dateline Disneyland

The Holidays have arrived at the Disneyland Resort.

The snow/ice sculptures are back atop the Disneyland entrance

Mickey Mouse is donning a Santa hat for the holidays

And his balloons are made from poinsettias

Cookie decorating is available at the Plaza Pavillion

Over in Frontierland, Santa's Reindeer Roundup is back

Big Thunder Barbeque is decorated for the season, too

"it's a small world" holiday is back as well, the first time the overlay includes the new Disney characters.

The tacky North America room is dressed up for the holidays, too. The holiday decorations are as tacky as the rest of the room -- corn cob wreaths on the farm!

Dreamcatchers oddly dangle over the heads of the Native American children for the holidays

Over at California Adventure, the park isn't nearly as decked out as Disneyland, but with the park going through such noticeable growing pains, you can't really fault it for seeming to skimp on the holiday decorations for now.

With DCA's former Christmas Tree Point behind construction walls (and with a new lighthouse sculpture in its place) the park's tree has been moved onto the Paradise Pier boardwalk.

"The Disneyland Story" displays in the Main Street Opera House lobby continue to get little additions here and there. The entryway has gotten two new props, including an actual Merry-Go-Round horse on loan from Griffith Park, where Walt Disney dreamed up Disneyland.

...a peanut cart, like the one Walt might have bought peanuts from when at Griffith Park with his daughters.

A display case at the back of the Disneyland Story portion of the Opera House lobby was uncovered, after being obscured by black-out curtains when the new Opera House exhibit opened last month.

The display case showcases photos and concept art from past, present, and future Disneyland attractions, including the upcoming Star Tours overhaul.

Yes, they actually include the ill-fated Rocket Rods.

The redesigned Star Speeder.

A look at the on-going California Adventure remodel and expansion


New palm trees have gone in around the Paradise Park hub area


There's some new foundation progress going on in the Little Mermaid pit

And Cars Land is starting to come along...

Hand sanitizer dispensers have gone up around the parks to help prevent the spread of the flu

The Carnation Plaza Gardens bridge is down for refurbishment

And the French Market's new health code-friendly entryway is out from behind construction walls

The rear entry is now behind walls

And the Enchanted Cottage at the Fantasyland Theatre was still behind walls over the weekend as it prepares to reopen as Troubador Tavern selling bratwurst and baked potatoes


For a complete listing of theme park hours, please visit the Theme Park Calendar
Disneyland Park
Monday - Thursday: 10 am - 8 pm
Friday: 8 am - 12 midnight
Saturday - Sunday: 8 am - 12 midnight

Disney's California Adventure Park
Monday - Wednesday: 10 am - 6 pm
Friday - Saturday: 10 am - 9 pm
Sunday: 10 am - 10 pm

Disneyland Park
  • Jungle Cruise: Closed November 16 - 19
  • Storybook Land Canal Boats: Closed through November 19.
  • Casey Jr. Circus Train: Closed through November 19.
  • The Enchanted Cottage: Snack stand reopens as Troubador Tavern November 16.
  • "it's a small world": Closed through November 12 to install holiday overlay.
  • King Arthur Carrousel: Closed December 8 - 10.
  • Disneyland: The First 50 Magical Years/Main Street Opera House: Closed. Reopens as The Disneyland Story: Featuring Great Moments With Mr. Lincoln December 17, 2009.

Disney's California Adventure Park
  • Orange Stinger: Closed for retheming. Reopens Spring 2010
  • The Little Mermaid: Ariel's Undersea Adventure: Under construction.
  • Souvenir 66 and Corn Dog Castle: Store and dining location closed for remodeling through May 2011.
  • Paradise Bay: Drained for construction of upcoming Disney's World of Color show. Expected to be refilled mid-October 2009.
  • Disney's World of Color Nighttime Spectacular: New show under construction. Debuts Spring 2010.
  • Golden State Park and Amphitheater: Closed. New, larger viewing area for Disney's World of Color viewing under construction in same location. The new viewing area is scheduled to open February 2010 as Paradise Park.

Disney announced the flip-flop of two company executives last week -- Parks and Resorts Chairman Jay Rasulo and CFO Tom Staggs will switch jobs at the end of the year:
BURBANK , Calif., November 12—In line with The Walt Disney Company’s goals of advancing its global businesses and brands while providing new opportunities and challenges to executives, Disney President and Chief Executive Officer Robert A. Iger announced today that two of the company’s most senior leaders would assume new roles at the end of the year.

Thomas O. Tom Staggs, Senior Executive Vice President and Disney’s Chief Financial Officer and 20 year Disney veteran, will become Chairman, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts. In his new position, Staggs will preside over the company’s vacation businesses, which span three continents and include five-world class destinations, a top rated cruise line and the most popular resort locations in North America, Europe and Asia.

James A. Jay Rasulo, Chairman of Disney Parks and Resorts and a 23-year Disney veteran, will become Senior Executive Vice President and Disney’s Chief Financial Officer. In his new role, Rasulo will oversee the company’s worldwide finance organization, corporate strategy and development, brand management, corporate alliances, investor relations, treasury and risk management activities, controller functions, information systems, corporate responsibility, real estate and taxes.

Both will remain members of the senior management group reporting to Iger.

“Jay and Tom are both dynamic and versatile executives, who have done a great job over the last several years and have helped me to shape Disney’s strategic direction,” Iger said. “By giving them exciting new challenges that build on both their strengths at a time when each of their respective areas are on the right strategic track, the change is good for them and good for the company.”
For the full press release, and commentary from Deadline Hollywood, visit: Deadline Hollywood: EXCLUSIVE: DISNEY'S BIG JOB SWITCH

The Disneyland Resort saw a big spike in guest attendance in the last fiscal quarter, whereas Walt Disney World in Florida saw a small dip. The attendance spike at Disneyland wasn't all good news, though - guest spending is down at all domestic parks and resorts.
Disney park attendance increases
Attendance at Disney’s local theme parks spiked 15 percent in recent months as the company offered deals to lure more guests.

Walt Disney Co.’s latest financial report showed that the two Disneyland Resort parks increased visitation even with the economic downturn. On Thursday afternoon, the company released its figures for the end of the fiscal year, which concluded Oct. 3.

From July through September, Disneyland and Disney’s California Adventure brought in 15 percent more visitors than they did during the same period last year, said Thomas Staggs, Disney’s chief financial officer, during a conference call. At the same time, visitation in Disney’s Florida parks dropped 3 percent.

Overall, however, Disney tourists bought fewer Mickey ears and princess dresses: Visitors spent about 10 percent less on merchandise at the domestic parks, Staggs said.
Both locations saw hotel bookings dip during that three-month period.

Disneyland Resort’s three hotels had 4 percent fewer hotel stays compared to the previous year, Staggs said. That meant an 84-percent overall occupancy - the same as Disney’s Florida properties.
For the full article, visit: Around Disney: Disney park attendance increases

Okay, that should wrap up this week's edition of Dateline Disneyland. Many thanks to all of you for reading, be sure to discuss this week's update in the comments section below!

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Don't forget that MiceAge and MiceChat has loads of new content weekly! If Dateline Disneyland isn't enough to satisfy your Disneyland itch, then don't miss David "Darkbeer" Michael's In the Parks column which runs here every Friday and is packed full of Southern California theme park news, photos, and gossip. And if you want even more Disney theme park goodness, don't miss MiceChat's Weekend Update, which takes a look at Disney theme parks and other international landmarks, curiosities, and oddities every Saturday!

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  1. StormTheCastle's Avatar
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    Thanks for the update! Can't wait to experience Disney Christmas magic next month!!!! or sooner?????
  2. Pipeek's Avatar
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    The park maps also feature some new information on the inside. Mostly them offering Mobile Magic.

    The daily schedules for the parks (on the Disneyland Side) also have sanitation information at the bottom now.
  3. cositaluvsmickey's Avatar
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    Awesome..I love how they showed the displayed showed some old and beloved rides such as ATIS and Mine train thru nature's wonderlan..Thanks Andy for another awesome report
  4. RedHandedJill's Avatar
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    I absolutely love your updates! They're seriously the best part of my day! Awesome job this week!
  5. wdwnut4life's Avatar
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    happy holidays disneyland! festive as always starting in october.
  6. Disneykin Kid's Avatar
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    The Troubadour Tavern looks like a throw back to the original Fantasyland tournament tent facades, and unfortunately, I don't think that's a good thing. I was hoping for recreation of the Dwarfs cottage, which fits in with the Princesses. Maybe they're looking beyond the meet & greet, and return it back to a continually changing stage show(?)
  7. Seawolf's Avatar
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    Anyone else notice the missing castle pyro when she sings "for all time" at the end of the show? Kinda disappointed, really liked that part.
  8. tonyrr1's Avatar
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    Andy... Wonderful update, and gorgeous photography. I know the last four photos link to your Flickr account, but what about all those other lovely photos in your update? There were some great holiday desktops in there for sure. Is there any way those can be accessed? Thanks!
  9. whamo's Avatar
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    I liked the photos of the stage coach ride. Did Disney mention why they changed the Toad ride to anyone?
  10. Timekeeper's Avatar
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    ^No, they haven't it yet I don't think.

    As to what previous the poster said on IASW's flowing colors, I think they will be coming back after the holiday season is over. (I wonder how "Jingle Bells" and "Deck The Halls" will flow with no sound barrer?)

    Anyway, great Holiday update! and I love the new look for the Starspeeders! I hope at least one of the starspeeders will still have the orignal look(with just the new destinations!)

  11. DLFreak71's Avatar
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    I actually like where the Christmas tree is in DCA.
    I also like that they built a little photo area (gazebo) for it too.
    Not big on the "America" scene in small world, not sure Chrsitmas helps it. For being new, I noticed the "Ho Ho Holidays" already has burnt out bulbs.
    thanks for the update!
  12. DSNE1995's Avatar
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    Why is it that when something changes at the park people get bent out of shape about it... Andy, embrace and enjoy the changes that happens in certain attractions no matter how "tacky" or "oddly" they may seem to you... Could it have been done better? Who knows but lets remember this:

    "Today - Walt's hope for Disneyland was that it keep growing and adding new things - finding 'new ways of having fun.' Today, Imagineers are always working on new stories, and new technology to bring those stories to life in surprising ways."

    Things will change regardless of what we think so we should be positive about it! HAPPY HOLIDAYS MICEAGE PEEPS!!!!
  13. DonDuck's Avatar
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    Awesome update!
  14. LittleTink's Avatar
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    I'm officially jealous. My pictures inside it's a small world always come out like crap. Yours are beautiful. What kind of camera do you have?
  15. Athlonacon's Avatar
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    The large metallic topper on such a beautiful stone structure just doesn't do it for me. I'm sure Disney probably has something else planned for it (at least I hope they do) but right now it's just an eye sore...

    but perhaps this is Disney's plan all along. They know how vocal the online community is and maybe they did that just to tease us until they get the full thing built. That would be really funny!
  16. TDLFAN's Avatar
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    Fabulous holiday lineup at DLR. Why can't the holidays be this magical at WDW as well?
  17. Epcot2000's Avatar
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    i think that maybe that topper will fit in better when the mermaid ride is finished? Maybe they are planning on coordinating colors? Who knows... it's not finished and things can be changed... not likely that they will... but they can be!
  18. jim ferguson's Avatar
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  19. jim ferguson's Avatar
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  20. jim ferguson's Avatar
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