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Dateline Disneyland

Driving out Timon, California Adventure construction, Bank of Main Street, +MORE

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by , 07-05-2009 at 09:57 PM
Welcome to the July 6 edition of Dateline Disneyland! How was your Independence Day holiday? If you were at Disneyland, chances are you had a great day. Crowds were unusually light at the Disneyland Resort theme parks this 4th of July holiday, with Disney's California Adventure being more or less a ghost town. Wait times at DCA's popular rides like California Screamin' and Toy Story Midway Mania! hovering around 10-15 minutes all day. Over at Disneyland, crowds weren't much bigger. Pirates of the Caribbean had a mid-afternoon 5-minute wait and the biggest line, Splash Mountain, pushed a reasonable 60 minutes throughout the day - not bad at all on a hot and sunny July holiday weekend! Cast Members insisted that everybody get their hands stamped, including Annual Passholders, but it wasn't until the evening when crowds descended on the Resort, as Orange County filled the Main Entry Plaza, and just about every corner of Disneyland where fireworks could be seen. Luckily this year the show was not cancelled or stopped mid-show due to winds, and the huge evening fireworks crowds got to see the whole show in all its patriotic glory.

Meanwhile, construction at Disney's California Adventure continues at full speed, and the park takes the first step towards its major Cars Land expansion as the Timon parking lot closes today to make room for construction crews.

As always feel free to click on any of the Project Tracker images. These photos will take you to the Tracker threads on MiceChat where you can get the latest timeframes, information, news, and discussion on all of the current and upcoming projects in the parks.

So with that said, let's jump in and see what's going on, shall we?

Quick Navigation

The Bank of Main Street has closed to become the new home of The Disney Gallery.

Because of the closure, Annual Passport processing has moved down Main Street to the Plaza Pavilion.

Over in Fantasyland, Snow White's Scary Adventures has reopened after a brief refurbishment.

The big news this week is the closure of the Timon parking lot - the final remnant of the original Disneyland parking lot. As of today, July 6, Timon is closed and soon construction for the big new Cars Land area of Disney's California Adventure will begin.

The Timon lot has been the victim of repeated downsizings since the World of Color show began construction last October, and recently more of the old lot went behind construction fences to make room for the new Red Car Trolley barn.

Markings can be found across the lot now for upcoming projects.

Inside DCA, construction continues in Paradise Bay on the upcoming World of Color night time water show, as well as along the tacky Route 66 area and the Golden Dreams theater.


Work at the World of Color viewing area is coming along nicely.

There's still a lot of work to be done to get this area ready to hold 9,000 guests for the nightly World of Color show, but every week more and more progress is made.

Themed rock work is now being applied

Mickey's Fun Wheel provides great views of the construction down below.

The old Golden Dreams theater sits with open doors as it prepares to get bulldozed to make space for the new Little Mermaid dark ride.

Dinosaur Jack is gone, gone, gone.

These new black structures are going up in the Bay.

The Orange Stinger finally closes July 14 to begin its conversion into the Victorian-styled, classic cartoon-themed Silly Symphony Swings. The re-themed attraction is set to open next spring.

Gone will be the tacky orange peel that guests frequently mistake for a peach or a pumpkin, and soon will be newly re-themed swings in Victorian splendor.

Good riddance!

The old signs from Cocina Cucamonga have made their way to the new location. It may be splitting hairs, but really, the signs from the old location don't feel right at the new location with its big, flashy new neon sign. It's no big deal, but still a minor disappointment.

These new plush have hit the shelves. They're bizarre and creepy. Not sure what the appeal is here, but boy are they ugly.

Here's the latest addition to the great attraction poster line of tees and is now available at the Adventureland Bazaar and Fortuosity Shoppe in Disneyland. Price: $30.

And finally, some photos from around the resort will wrap up our photo update this week. As always, you can click on these photos for full-resolution downloads at their Flickr photo page for personal use as desktop wallpaper, etc.

Suburban Legends are, without a doubt, the best band to regularly play at Tomorrowland Terrace.

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

Disney's California Adventure Park
Monday - Sunday 10 am - 9 pm
Disneyland Park
  • Pinocchio's Daring Journey: Closed July 20 through August 14.
  • The Enchanted Cottage: Closed July 29 through November 17.
  • Casey Jr. Circus Train: Closed August 31 through November 20.
  • Storybook Land Canal Boats: Closed August 31 through November 20.
  • Remember... Dreams Come True - A Fireworks Spectacular: On hiatus. Returns fall 2009.
  • 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
  • Walt Disney Imagineering Blue Sky Cellar: Closed to change exhibits July 10 - 15.
  • Orange Stinger: Closes July 14 to be rethemed as Silly Symphony Swings. Reopens Spring 2010.
  • Cocina Cucomonga: Food service location closed June 18, when new location opened. Original location reopens with new Asian-style menu September 14.
  • The Little Mermaid: Ariel's Undersea Adventure: Under construction. Golden Dreams theater is scheduled for demolition to make way for new attraction.
  • 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.
  • Disney's World of Color Nighttime Spectacular: New show under construction. Debuts Spring 2010.
  • Golden State Park and Amphitheater: Closed. New, larger amphitheater for Disney's World of Color viewing under construction in same location. The new amphitheater will open December 2009.
Our condolences go out to the family and friends of Walt Disney World Monorail pilot Austin Wuennenberg who tragically died in an early-morning Monorail accident at Walt Disney World in Florida on July 5. The accident is still under investigation, despite rumors and speculation circling on the internet as to how the accident could have happened. We encourage respect for the deceased and those involved, and hope that our readers can help keep speculation on the accident to a minimum until official reports are filed.

Disney World monorail crash victim was working in his dream job
Piloting monorail trains at Walt Disney World had been Austin Wuennenberg's dream job. He talked about it all the time after joining Disney three years ago and worked doggedly to earn the opportunity to do it, co-worker Shannon Feldman recalled.

Word that Wuennenberg, 21, died Sunday in a crash of two trains at the world-famous resort left her and other friends stunned. A college student from Kissimmee, Wuennenberg had always been so smart, so good at his job and so diligent about not making mistakes, she said.

"It's shocking it happened," Feldman said, "but it's even more shocking it happened to him. He was keen on safety."

Disney shut down its iconic monorail system Sunday after the 2 a.m. crash that killed Wuennenberg and injured another monorail driver at Disney's Transportation and Ticket Center -- the main station for visitors boarding trains for the Magic Kingdom.

Disney World spokesman Mike Griffin said it was unclear what happened in the crash, which occurred on one of the monorail's last runs at the close of the busy July Fourth holiday. The Orange County Sheriff's Office and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration are investigating the case.

It was the first fatal accident involving a monorail in the Florida resort's 38-year history. However, Disneyland in California has had at least one death on its monorail system, according to park historians.

"Our heart goes out to the cast member and the family," Griffin said.
For the full story, click here: Orlando Sentinel: Disney World monorail crash victim was working in his dream job

And MiceAge Columnist, Kevin Yee, discusses the tragic Monorail news with a look at what is known as well as some speculation on what may have caused it: Monorail Crash Kills Driver
According to MiceChat member DisneyMommy, a survey has gone out to Club 33 wait listers to see if they'd be interested in a new upscale club restaurant to be housed in the upcoming Carthay Circle Theatre icon at Disney's California Adventure park. The survey details the concept, potential member benefits, and of course, the high membership fees. But the question is - should the big new icon of California Adventure be a private club that only the privileged can enjoy?

Carthay Circle Club Concept
As Members enter through the private entry to the Carthay Circle Club they will find themselves in The Animators Lounge, where Walt and the Disney animators would have come to relax and swap stories. You can practically hear the animators delivering their latest story pitch. In the lounge you enjoy music as you sip a cocktail created from a unique menu of specialty cocktails created just for Club Members while your table is being prepared upstairs.

Upstairs in the Carthay Circle Club members enjoy a contemporary open floor plan where architectural details blend wrought iron, thick stucco walls, and Spanish tile with clean lines, translucent panels and atmospheric lighting to create a warm and comfortable ambiance paying homage to the rich history of California. Take a seat in a comfortable booth where on one side you can see into the open show kitchen where talented chefs prepare your meal, while on the other vista you can gaze out through tall windows towards the terraces and sky. In the center of the dining room sits the Tower Room featuring a crafted arched ceiling encircled by photos and historical artifacts from Walt's earliest accomplishments as a young animator.

As you gaze out at the new Buena Vista Street and watch Guests entering Disney's California Adventure you contemplate what Club Member benefit you'll enjoy next. Maybe you'll take advantage of preferred viewing for Disney California Adventure's new World of Color show or the parade. Maybe you and your Guests will enjoy visiting one or both Disney theme parks and experiencing a favorite attraction as part of your meal. As you head downstairs, you stop in the lounge to enjoy a dessert while you make a decision.

How do you join? Only Carthay Circle Club members can enjoy these great benefits but as a member of the Club 33 wait list you'll enjoy a special invitation to be among the founding members of Carthay Circle Club at a starting rate of $10,450 initiation and $3,275 annual dues.

See you at the club.
For the full article, check out MiceChat: Carthay Circle Club Concept
A new iPhone application, available for 99 cents, tracks theme park wait times.

Avoid Disneyland Lines? New iPhone App for that!
If you have an iPhone and plan to visit Disneyland on your vacation, then you need this brand new application to use when you get to the Maingates. Released today, June 26, 2009, be the first to get this new app for your Iphone and budget your time.

Great for visitors or locals, this iPhone application is for those folks who don't like to wait in line!

Created by Brent Pope, a father of four, he had the same issues that we all do about the rides we go on: waiting too long in lines. Deciding to use technology to better the vacation experience at Disney, Mr. Pope developed an iPhone application for DisneyWorld and calls his company Wait Watchers (how creative.) This simple idea caught on with folks visiting the Resort in Florida and his dream got bigger to help track the wait times at all the Disney Parks. Today, his simple idea of an app to keep track of the wait time has spread to the west coast to help parents who visit Disneyland and Disney's California Adventure too.

Divided into two apps for individual park use, the programs give approximate times of waiting for each attraction. Using reports filed by individuals who are currently waiting in line or have reported the line wait, you can quickly find out the time of the expecting wait period if you don't have a fastpass. Additionally, you can use the application to interact with other users to let folks know your line time experience. Connecting everyone together, application users get real time line waiting to make decisions on what ride to play on next.

Now just to make sure that you don't get mislead on the real time wait on the lines, the application has some build in safety features. Including a GPS validation for the reports that have been reported. So if you have the application on your iPhone, you will need to be in the Resort to actually report a wait time.
For the full article, check out Examiner: Avoid Disneyland Lines? New iPhone App for that!

Okay, that wraps up this week's Dateline Disneyland. Thanks, as always for reading and feel free to discuss the update in the comments section below.

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Updated 07-06-2009 at 11:15 AM by Dateline Disneyland (Added column banner, fixed navigation box, typo.)

Disneyland Resort , Disney's California Adventure Remodel/Expansion


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  1. orbitalpunk's Avatar
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    Awesome as always!
  2. Melonballer's Avatar
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    Yeah the Mickey Monsters are just silly. They have tons of characters that never get any use and they have movies and stuff behind them that they could be promoting and selling. It would be very easy for Disney to make a Disney Monsters line of plush with characters like Gurgi, Paine, Panic, and such. Sigh
  3. Dustysage's Avatar
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    Thank you for the great update Andy!
  4. ErinGoBragh's Avatar
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    "How do you join? Only Carthay Circle Club members can enjoy these great benefits but as a member of the Club 33 wait list you'll enjoy a special invitation to be among the founding members of Carthay Circle Club at a starting rate of $10,450 initiation and $3,275 annual dues. "
    OMG!!! are you serious???? what are the prices for Club 33??
  5. MickeyMousePal's Avatar
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    Wonderful Update, Andy.
  6. Emmanuel_4's Avatar
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    Great Update!
  7. WheresMickey's Avatar
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    Great update!
  8. DisneyKid1994's Avatar
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    I'm sorry, what is the Enchanted Cottage?
  9. StrikeYerColors's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DisneyKid1994
    I'm sorry, what is the Enchanted Cottage?
    It's the snack cottage at the Fantasyland Theatre, current home of the Princess Fantasy Fair.

    I love how someone has asked this every Dateline Disneyland since it has been on the closed list! Perhaps you should start listing it as "Enchanted Cottage Snacks"?
  10. sir clinksalot's Avatar
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    Great stuff Andy.

    I agree, not quite sure about a private club for Carthay Circle. Why not just make it a regular restaurant then?
  11. Baloo's Avatar
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    great update.

    I am not sure about that club 33 idea though. I would not mind it only if it was contained on a second floor. Something similar to the original club 33. The bottom floor should be turned into some kind of attraction maybe they could use some of those outrages annual fees for a nice AA filled attraction.
  12. Baloo's Avatar
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    anyone notice how much bigger the northern area of Paradise Bay looks without the tacky Dino. That thing took up so much room and did nothing to add to the parks experience
  13. TravisMT81's Avatar
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    Great update as always. I love the singer's Ducktales tshirt!!!
  14. hurricanefreak's Avatar
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  15. JamesDusenberry's Avatar
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    Man... I don't go to Disneyland for a year... and the place just falls apart!

    Making the bank the Disney Gallery? C'mon! The Disney Galley is great! And Main Street is supposed to be just that, an old fashioned main street like from Walt's childhood. So will there no longer be a bank? Or will it be called the bank, but be redone to be just an art gallery? I mean.. I don't know many small towns that have an art galley on main street.

    And beyond that... I don't know about anyone else.. but I still don't like the idea of making an entire land in one of the parks after just a single movie. They already have A Bug's Land which is basically just an elaborate playground for really small kids. The attractions there have little or no real story to them, it's incredibly small, and in 20 or 30 years when most kids have never seen A Bug's Life... no one will really get the reference. Same thing with the new Cars Land. I think this is going too far and is the perfect example of what happens when instead of putting former animators or imagineers in charge, Disney puts businessmen from other companies in charge and they make decisions for the movies and the parks not based on what is best or what would stay true to the company's spirit... but decisions that will bring in the most money for the least money spent. 20-30 years from now, the majority of young kids and even adults will not really get the Cars reference or Bug's Life reference. Sure they did pretty well at the box office and sold a lot of toys and clothes and whatnot... but I don't think either movie has really strong lasting power. People won't be watching Bug's Life or Cars 30 years from now the way people still watch Snow White or Peter Pan or Pinocchio.
    These are just modern movies that made the company a good amount of money, and they have a sequel coming out around the time the new land will be opening, so they are just trying to get as many people to see the movie and as many people to visit DCA so they can make as much money off of us as possible.

    If they wanted to do anything with the Cars franchise... they should have just upgraded Autopia to be themed with the Cars characters. They could have had some funny skits on the big screen in the line and you could've ridden in one of the different characters and they could have actually brought a real story to the Autopia ride. It would have been good for the time being while the movie is still relatively well known, and then maybe 10 years from now when they are redoing Tomorrowland again, they could change Autopia to be updated again. That would have been a lot easier than when 10 or 20 years from now they have to completely close down Cars Land and change it to something completely different because it's just not popular anymore.

    All that said... not to mention the fact that they will be losing a huge amount of desperately needed parking spots for the park.
  16. Captain_Jenny1987's Avatar
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    Am I the only hoping that the Carthay Circle Club happens? That'd be a nice thing to take advantage of.
  17. b236en's Avatar
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    Cool Beans...
  18. DLFreak71's Avatar
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    I agree and did post it somewhere else.
    I think the bank should have stayed and the Gallery should have moved into Plaza Pavillion.
    I love both the bank and the Gallery.

    Thanks for the update.
    It was great. Enjoy it very much
  19. ZomBats's Avatar
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    suburban legends were there on monday?!?!?!?! I was there and they just had the DJ playing. awww man!!!

    and they're my favorite ones to play there. they are just freaking fantastic!
  20. MasterGracey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ZomBats
    suburban legends were there on monday?!?!?!?! I was there and they just had the DJ playing. awww man!!!

    and they're my favorite ones to play there. they are just freaking fantastic!
    The photos of Suburban Legends were taken on Saturday, July 4.

    - Andy
    Dateline Disneyland
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