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?
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.
YESTERDAY, TODAY, & TOMORROW
"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.
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
CURRENT ATTRACTION CLOSURES & REFURBISHMENTS
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 SWITCHES UP EXECUTIVES
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:
THE WALT DISNEY COMPANY ANNOUNCES EXECUTIVE CHANGES
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.”
DISNEYLAND ATTENDANCE UP, GUEST SPENDING DOWN
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.
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.
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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