Disneyland's Summer Nightastic! is officially history now, as the Resort gears up for it's annual Disney's HalloweenTime promotion that kicks off at the end of September. Meanwhile, the three weeks between summer and HalloweenTime is enough time to get two classic Fantasyland attractions in for refurbishment, build a new permanent vending structure near the Matterhorn, and put the finishing touches on the new Disney Vacation Club units at the Grand Californian Hotel. Meanwhile, work has begun on the multi-year Disneyland Hotel remodel, and construction continues to chug along at Disney's California Adventure.
More information 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, BIG thanks goes out to MiceChat's Fishbulb for being our photographer this week, while I was away from the Resort. Fishbulb's great eye is responsible for all the photographic handiwork this week, unless otherwise noted.
Late breaking news: The pre-dawn press event for the Fantasmic dragon has been canceled. No official word on why or what this means for tonight's performances. You can follow the MiceChat dragon tracker thread for more information.
Over in Disney's California Adventure, construction continues on a various projects in the park's big $1 billion makeover.
WORLD OF COLOR & PARADISE PARK VIEWING AREA
Work seems to be moving slow at the new 9,000-guest Paradise Park viewing area, but in reality, things are changing in the area constantly, as construction teams turn the space into a multi-leveled Victorian-styled seaside park.
Work continues on the massive World of Color show platform
The new wooden railing alongside the California Screamin' launch has been painted and weathered.
Mirrors continue to be removed around Mickey's Fun Wheel.
REMODELING AN ICON
The multi-year remodel of the classic Disneyland Hotel has begun, and rooms are now being gutted in the Dreams tower.
The Dreams tower is set to be fully remodeled by June 2010, with the whole Hotel remodel to be finished by 2012.
As the Disneyland Hotel begins its big remodel project, the Grand Californian Hotel's expansion is winding down as the new wing featuring the first West Coast Disney's Vacation Club rooms prepares to open on September 23.
The pool and spa areas look ready for guests.
A look inside the Disney's Vacation Club Grand Californian model units gives a sneak peek at what DVC members staying in the new wing can expect later next month in the 1-bedroom suite.
...And a look at the Studio unit:
THIS AND THAT
The new Toy Story Midway! iPhone game ($4.99) was recently reviewed by MiceAge's Kevin Yee who had great things to say about the new pocket version of the popular California Adventure ride. The game is advertised in the iTunes App Store as including a special bonus feature that is unlocked when iPhone users launch the game while visiting the attraction at California Adventure in California or Disney's Hollywood Studios in Florida.
The bonus feature is simply a set of iPhone wallpapers that you can only get if you unlock them at the theme parks.
It's not worth making a special trip to the park for, but I guess it's a nice touch.
Over in DCA's Hollywood Pictures Backlot, the Gone Hollywood shop has been converted into a Halloween costume shop for the fall season.
Work continues on the new storefront in Downtown Disney.
And back in Disneyland, the bridge near Sleeping Beauty Castle, across from the Carnation Plaza Gardens stage has reopened after some much needed TLC.
AROUND THE PARKS
And we'll finish up the photos this week with some shots from around the parks...
Monday - Thursday: 9 am - 9 pm
Friday: 9 am - 12 midnight
Saturday: 9:30 am - 12 midnight
Sunday: 9 am - 12 midnight
Disney's California Adventure Park
Monday - Thursday: 10 am - 6 pm
Friday: 10 am - 10 pm
Saturday: 10 am - 8 pm
Sunday: 10:30 am - 8 pm
CURRENT ATTRACTION CLOSURES & REFURBISHMENTS
The Enchanted Cottage: Closed through November 17.
Casey Jr. Circus Train: Closed August 24 through November 19.
Storybook Land Canal Boats: Closed August 24 through November 19.
Mark Twain Riverboat: Closed September 8 - 10.
Space Mountain: Closed September 8 - 24 to install "Ghost Galaxy" Halloween overlay.
Minnie's House: Closed September 9
The Haunted Mansion: Closed September 10 - 24 to install Haunted Mansion Holiday overlay
Big Thunder Ranch: Closed September 14 - 24 to install Halloween overlay
Gadget's Go Coaster: Closed September 14 through October 26
The Disney Gallery: Opens October 3, 2009 in the Bank of Main Street
Pirates of the Caribbean & Blue Bayou Restaurant: Closed September 28 through October 2.
Sailing Ship Columbia: Closed October 5 - 7.
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
Lucky Fortune Cookery: Food service location opens in original Cocina Cucamonga location with new Asian-style menu September 3.
Jumpin' Jellyfish: Attraction remains open while towers rotate through refurbishment. West tower currently closed.
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.
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.
D23 EXPO UNCOVERED! PART 3
The folks at D23 have released the third, and final, installment in their "D23 Expo Uncovered" series as the big D23 Expo rapidly approaches.
FANTASMIC! DRAGON DEBUTS MONDAY, AUGUST 31!
UPDATED 8/31 - 3:40 am: The 5 am media preview of the new Fantasmic! dragon was cancelled around 3 am PST. As of this posting, details are still emerging. Please check the MiceAge.com homepage for the latest information.
Finally, after a summer-long promotion featuring its flame-spewing face, the brand new Fantasmic! dragon will finally debut today, Monday, August 31 at the 8:15pm showing of Fantasmic!, following an early-morning press preview at 5 am. MiceAge's Al Lutz broke the news late last week in an MiceAge.com Editor's Note:
Editor's Note 8/28-29:Murphy the Dragon UPDATED - With my last note, I was trying to defer to traditional media invited to the top secret 5 AM performance of Fantasmic on Mon, but the boards started buzzing with leaks from the Entertainment Dept.. Murphy will debut at the early morning media event for invited guests, then generate buzz all day on SoCal TV, radio and newspapers, and finally make his first public debut 15 hours later at the 8:15 PM show. Expect extended park hours and a second show each night through Thur, with a 3rd show added over Labor Day weekend. - Al Lutz
CAPTAIN EO, HAT BOX GHOST, AND TINK
In case you missed it, Al Lutz shared a lot of new info and behind-the-scenes plans for Disneyland in his August 25th column on MiceAge, including updates on Captain EO, the return of the Haunted Mansion's Hat Box Ghost, and a possible new Tinker Bell dark ride.
Hat Box Ghost - as seen in big figure form,
designed by Kevin Kidney and Jody Daily for Disneyland's 50th Anniversary.
The Reluctant Dragon: Expo Expectations
[ . . . ] There's already a short list of things in final design and approval stages for Disneyland that would put fans in a frenzy at D23, such as Captain EO being shoehorned back into the old Magic Eye Theater for a limited run. There's also the imminent return of the Hat Box Ghost to the attic in Haunted Mansion (after this year's Holiday overlay is removed in January), with slick digital technology improving the clunky mechanical effects of 1969 that evicted that ghost and his hat box from the house in the first place.
Assuming that Consumer Products and the Studios can keep the momentum going on the young Fairies franchise, a Tinker Bell and Fairies themed dark ride is now slated for the old Motor Boat Cruise lagoon early in the next decade. And this winter when the Rivers of America is drained for several months, Tony Baxter is looking forward to adding back a lot of the animatronic wildlife and storytelling drama that has slowly been removed from Frontierland over the last two decades. [ . . . ]
DISNEY CHANNEL STAR MITCHELL MUSSO TO SIGN AUTOGRAPHS IN DOWNTOWN DISNEY
From Around Disney: Disney Channel star Mitchell Musso of Hannah Montana fame will be signing autographs in Downtown Disney on Thursday, September 3. Julie Andrews also visited the Resort on Saturday for a book release event.
‘Hannah Montana’ star, Julie Andrews heading to Disney
[ . . . ] Mitchel Musso, an actor and singer, will sign autographs of his album in Downtown Disney. Musso plays Oliver Oken in the “Hannah Montana” show on the Disney Channel and movie. Musso also is set to perform that night at the House of Blues Anaheim.
Musso’s appearance is set for 1 to 2 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 3 at Studio Disney 365.
DISNEYLAND HALF-MARATHON SELLS OUT
The popular Disneyland Half Marathon returns this weekend for its fourth annual run through the resort, and continues to grow in popularity. The event is sold out for the fourth year in a row.
Disneyland Half Marathon Weekend Reaches Capacity Fourth Consecutive Year
ANAHEIM, Calif. (Aug. 24, 2009) - A full field of more than 18,000 participants is gearing up for the fourth annual Disneyland Half Marathon Weekend Sept. 4-6. The weekend features activities for the whole family, including a Health & Fitness Expo, Mickey's Main Street, U.S.A. 5K, Kids' Races and the main event -- a 13.1-mile half marathon affectionately dubbed "The Happiest Race on Earth."
Participants from all 50 U.S. states and 13 countries are set to compete in weekend races. More than 13,500 are registered to participate in the Half Marathon Sept. 6, and 5,000 are registered in the Family 5K and Kids' Races Sept. 5.
The Disneyland Half Marathon features a course unlike any other in the world. Passing through the two Disneyland Resort theme parks - Disneyland and Disney's California Adventure - and the streets of Anaheim, participants will experience a race full of inspiration only Disney can provide. There are flaming cannons at the start, live entertainers along the route and Disney characters as cheerleaders. Many participants come dressed in costume, and some might even stop mid-race to pose with their favorite Disney characters.
"We've had tremendous success with the Disneyland Half Marathon, reaching capacity months before the race for the fourth year in a row, said Ed Grier, president of the Disneyland Resort. "In partnership with the City of Anaheim, we provide a unique and entertaining Half Marathon course, giving participants another reason to celebrate during this year's 'What Will You Celebrate?' initiative."
In 3 1/2 hours or less, runners will pass Disneyland icons such as Sleeping Beauty Castle and the Matterhorn, and Anaheim landmarks such as the Anaheim Convention Center, Honda Center and the Angel Stadium of Anaheim, before finally crossing the finish line in the Downtown Disney District.
Alright, that wraps it up for this week's Dateline Disneyland. I'd like to thank MiceChat's Fishbulb for his generous assistance with this week's column. And of course, thanks to all of you for reading. Be sure to discuss this week's update in the comments section below!
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