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Dateline Disneyland

Christmas creeps in, Magic on Main Street, DCA work, Disneyland Hotel remodel, MORE

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by , 11-02-2009 at 01:25 AM
Last week was the final run for Disney's 2009 Halloween Time promotion, but for park guests, it was a collision of two holidays throughout the park, not unlike Haunted Mansion Holiday's premise. Sleeping Beauty Castle has its blanket of magical snow already, and New Orleans Square and A Bug's Land are all decked out for the holidays. Meanwhile, seasonal Halloween merchandise has been packed up and put away to make room on store shelves for Christmas merchandise. Sure, the holidays don't officially kick off at Disneyland until November 13, but all those lights and garlands have to get strung up some time, right?

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, many thanks go out to MiceChatters Fishbulb and MacDaddy for taking the time to take photos for this week's update while I was away from the Resort. Their excellent handiwork can be seen throughout today's column.

There's a lot to see this week, so let's get started!

Inside Dateline Disneyland

Halloween Time just ended on Sunday, but while Main Street was still celebrating with jack-o-lanterns, orange bunting, and fall floral, Sleeping Beauty Castle took a cue from major retailers and started stringing up lights and fake snow during the last week of October.

With the holidays starting a week earlier than last year, the now-annual Sleeping Beauty's Winter Castle overlay needed to start going up even before the giant Mickey Mouse jack-o-lantern in Town Square could be moved out for the season.

Even on the way into the parks, keen-eyed guests will spot the Town Square Christmas tree being prepped to be moved on-stage.

The seasonal Halloween merchandise has been cleared out from store shelves and displays like the Disney Showcase on Main Street and replaced with Christmas merchandise.

Back in Fantasyland, "it's a small world" is closed while it gets its seasonal overlay installed.

And always one of the first areas to get the holiday treatment, New Orleans Square is all dressed up for Christmas.

Over in California Adventure, the oversized Christmas decorations have gone up in Flick's Fun Fair

The Main Street Magic Shop has reopened after a month-long closure while the new vendor, Houdini, moved in.

Lots of Harry Houdini references throughout the store now.

Pixie Hollow welcomed its newest resident last week,Terence, a boy dust-keeper fairy.

Meanwhile New Orleans Square is getting ready to welcome Princess Tiana later this week when Tiana's Showboat Jubilee! begins daily performances on the Mark Twain Riverboat along the Rivers of America.

Mardi Gras-colored bunting has been strung up on the Mark Twain for the upcoming 15-minute show, which is scheduled to start on Friday, November 6.

Disney’s Newest Royalty, Princess Tiana Arrives in Disneyland Friday, Nov. 6

ANAHEIM, Calif. – Starting Friday, Nov. 6, Disneyland guests will be treated to appearances by Princess Tiana, star of the upcoming Walt Disney Pictures animated feature film “The Princess and the Frog.”

Princess Tiana, Prince Naveen and other characters from the motion picture will star in “Tiana’s Showboat Jubilee!,” a rousing, colorful procession with a jazz-filled Mardi Gras theme. The good times will roll as festively dressed, bead-tossing revelers lead Disneyland guests to the Mark Twain Riverboat dock. The party moves onboard as the Mark Twain paddlewheels its way along the river to singing, dancing and all that jazz.

Songs composed by Randy Newman for the film energize the show, which will be performed four times daily in New Orleans Square. Daytime pyrotechnics, colorful streamers and whimsical puppetry round out the 15-minute spirited production.

The experience will dazzle guests at Disneyland through Jan. 3, 2010. “Tiana’s Showboat Jubilee!” is also performing in Liberty Square at Magic Kingdom in Walt Disney World Resort, Florida, through Jan. 3, 2010.

Guests also will be able to greet Princess Tiana and Prince Naveen at designated times at the Court of Angels in New Orleans Square, Disneyland.

A hilarious movie adventure through the mystical bayous of Louisiana, “The Princess and the Frog” will open in limited release in New York and Los Angeles on Nov. 25, 2009, before expanding nationwide on Dec. 11, 2009.

The new 15-minute show is also running daily at Walt Disney World in Florida, and Disney released a video of the new daytime event:
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New Orleans Square's Court of Angels is finishing up its refurbishment as it gets ready to host the upcoming Princess Tiana meet-and-greet.

Paradise Bay is half-full, but work continues on the massive World of Color platform and progress is being made on the 9,000-guest Victorian park viewing area.



The Little Mermaid:

Cars Land:

The Disneyland Hotel continues its multi-year renovation project.

And back inside Disneyland, two Fantasyland classics get ready to reopen on November 19.

For a complete listing of theme park hours, please visit the Theme Park Calendar
Disneyland Park
Monday - Thursday: 10 am - 8 pm
Friday: 9 am - 12 midnight
Saturday - Sunday: 8 am - 12 midnight

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

Disneyland Park
  • Big Thunder Ranch: Closed through November 12 to install winter holiday overlay.
  • 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 closed through November 4.
  • "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
  • Jumpin' Jellyfish: Attraction remains open while towers rotate through refurbishment.
  • 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 unveiled details on its new Disney Dream cruise ship, which sets sail in January 2011. The new ship includes a first-of-its-kind water coaster among other luxuries for guests of all ages.

Creativity and Innovation Take the Helm Aboard Disney Dream
CELEBRATION, Fla. (Oct. 29, 2009) – A first-of-its kind water coaster that sends guests racing above the upper decks of the ship. An animated turtle that engages children in conversation about life in the ocean. A sophisticated lounge where the sun sets over the skyline of a different world-famous city each night. When the Disney Dream debuts in early 2011, the newest ship in the Disney Cruise Line fleet will bring to life these innovations and more.

The Disney Dream will take family cruising to all-new heights, embracing the spirit of innovation, magical family entertainment and immersive experiences that have made Disney Cruise Line the preeminent cruise of choice for families since 1998.

Disney Cruise Line revolutionized the cruise industry with purpose-built ships designed just for families. With the Disney Dream setting sail on Jan. 26, 2011, preparations are underway to expand the one-of-a-kind family experience, utilizing technology to enhance the world-class entertainment and legendary guest services onboard. From stem to stern, the Disney Dream will offer a cruise experience that caters to the preferences of the whole family.

“For more than a decade, passengers have filled their passports with memories sailing around the world with Disney Cruise Line,” said Disney Parks and Resorts Chairman Jay Rasulo. “With the Disney Dream joining our fleet, we’ll be able to take families to even more places they never imagined they could visit – in true Disney style.”

The Disney Dream features a remarkable interior design which provides guests with a warm and welcoming feel throughout. The ship’s design offers guests a perfect blend of elegant Art Deco style and fun-filled Disney whimsy to create one of the most spectacular ships afloat. Distinctly Disney guest features aboard the Disney Dream include:

AquaDuck Water Coaster. . .

Disney Cruise Line debuts a cruise-industry first: a shipboard water coaster … AquaDuck! Guests aboard the Disney Dream will get swept away on an exhilarating high-speed flume ride featuring twists, turns, drops, uphill acceleration and river rapids – all while traversing the upper decks of the ship.
  • AquaDuck stretches 765 feet in length – more than two and a half times the length of a football field – and spans four decks in height.
  • Guests slide 13 feet over the side of the ship in a translucent “swing out” loop allowing them to look down on the ocean 150 feet below.
  • Guests experience coaster-like thrills as high-powered water jets push them upwards and forwards at 20 feet per second.
  • AquaDuck continues through the forward funnel, encounters a 335 foot stretch of river rapids and splashes down to an end on Deck 12.

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A Virtual Porthole for Inside Staterooms. . .

Disney Cruise Line introduces another stateroom innovation with all inside staterooms on the Disney Dream featuring a Virtual Porthole that provides guests with a real-time view outside the ship. High-definition cameras placed on the exterior of the ship feed live video to each Virtual Porthole.

As guests observe the impressive outside views, they may glimpse a magical surprise: animated characters such as Peach the starfish from the Disney•Pixar hit film “Finding Nemo,” or Mickey Mouse may pop by the Virtual Porthole.

A Magical Oasis for Children. . .

Only on a Disney Cruise Line ship can children become immersed in their favorite Disney stories with the help of caring counselors, beloved Disney characters and a sprinkling of pixie dust. The celebration of children’s creativity rises to a new level on the Disney Dream with nearly an entire deck of youth spaces designed to inspire, entertain and unlock the imagination of children. There are two main spaces for children ages three to 10:

At Disney’s Oceaneer Club, children can:
  • Play among larger-than-life characters from Disney•Pixar’s “Toy Story” in Andy’s Room
  • Explore the Laugh Floor with lovable monsters Mike and Sully from “Monsters, Inc.”
  • Dive under the sea with Nemo and friends or visit Tinker Bell’s fairy forest

At Disney’s Oceaneer Lab, children feel as though they are embarking on a great seafaring adventure in a room filled with maps, maritime instruments and swashbuckling artifacts. Here, children can try their hand at animation, become a pop star or navigate ships through digital seas.

Both venues offer magical interactions with the animated characters such as Crush, the sea turtle from the Disney•Pixar motion picture “Finding Nemo” and Stitch, the mischievous alien from “Lilo and Stitch.” The characters chat, play and joke with children in live, unrehearsed conversations from their digital undersea and intergalactic environments via 103-inch plasma screens.
For the full press release, visit: Disneyland News: Creativity and Innovation Take the Helm Aboard Disney Dream

Disney has unveiled details on its new Verizon Wireless applications that track theme park wait times, hours, and other operating information.

Mobile Magic – First Disney Parks Mobile App Details, Screen Shots Unveiled
Earlier this year, we announced our first official Disney Parks mobile application – Mobile Magic. Now, we’re sharing details and screen shots.

You’ll recall that Mobile Magic is bringing attraction wait times, FASTPASS return times, extensive information on character locations and more for Walt Disney World and Disneyland theme parks to your Verizon Wireless phone. Development work has been ongoing but the team recently offered a walkthrough of the app and it’s looking great.

Attraction wait times on your Verizon Wireless device will be unique. There’s been an investment in the backend infrastructure to support Mobile Magic and offer actual wait times based directly on Disney Parks information.

As for FASTPASS, you’ll be able to check if it’s still available for specific attractions. And if FASTPASS is available, the app will deliver information about the next return time. So, if you can still get a FASTPASS, the application will show, for example: FP: 4:00-5:00 p.m.

Also, mobile maps are GPS-enabled. While wandering the parks, your location will be indicated by a white circle. Then it’s simple to scroll through content and find it on the map via a “getting there” option. The map zooms out and allows you to see your location and exactly where the character greeting or restaurant can be located.
For the full article, visit: DisneyParks Blog: Mobile Magic – First Disney Parks Mobile App Details, Screen Shots Unveiled

Free iPhone app available for Disneyland visits
From the Around Disney blog:
Free iPhone app available for Disneyland visits
Other iPhone app creators boast that you can find Disneyland wait times and navigate restaurants with their products. But a new app founder says his is the only major one that’s free. And it’s the only one hooked up to social-networking sites, including Twitter and Facebook.

MouseWait was made available last week for the first time on the iTunes store, said Kelly Johns, a software creator from Riverside. Other apps sell for $1.99 or $2.99. But Mousewait is free and makes money solely off of advertising.

The app is geared for three types of people: Annual passholders who visit regularly, Disney fans who want to keep an eye on the parks from afar and tourists planning a trip to Disneyland and Disney’s California Adventure.

Johns said he’s using a new way to figure out wait times. Some apps rely solely on users reporting the wait times that they find. But Johns created an algorithm that also incorporates historical data. MouseWait also uses about 10 beta testers that check out wait times when they are in the parks.

“We’re at the park all the time. We’re kind of crazy, kind of fanatics,” Johns said.
With the social-networking component, users can sign in to Facebook from MouseWait and find other friends that also have the app.

MouseWait also hooks up to a Web cam at the Howard Johnson’s “Mattercam” and includes other Disney blog feeds.
For the full article, visit: Around Disney: Free iPhone app available for Disneyland visits

Alright, that should do it for the November 2 edition of Dateline Disney. Many thanks to all of you for reading, and thanks once again to our excellent guest photographers this week, Fishbulb and MacDaddy. Be sure to discuss this week's update in the comments section below!

Your support keeps these updates coming! Without you they couldn't happen. We all know times are tough, so any amount of support helps. If you can donate to Dateline Disneyland please consider doing so via a safe and quick PayPal donation. To donate, click here.

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!

Dateline Disneyland is on Twitter! We now have over 5,100 followers! If you still haven't checked us out on Twitter, head over there now for updates throughout the week with links to breaking news, mini updates, photos, and links to newsworthy MiceChat discussions. Visit, or check out the widget to the right to follow us!

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  1. orbitalpunk's Avatar
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    Nice work guys!
  2. SpcMtn77's Avatar
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    Wow... I so wanna ride the AquaDuck! I love that it pays homage to one of the classic Disney coasters.

    Also, I never realized how UGLY that beehive theme was on the Orange Stinger's elevator. It's nice to see it being dismantled. Thanks for the update
  3. Emmanuel_4's Avatar
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    Great Update!
  4. Chernabog's Avatar
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    Awwwwww ain't Terence cute?
  5. WheresMickey's Avatar
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    Awsome update!
  6. xalesa's Avatar
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    Wonderful update!! Bring on Christmas!!
  7. MrToadie's Avatar
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    Andy, Maybe you could get Al to explain what the new pop up globes are and all the new Goodies on top of the platform are?? Thanks for the great pictures!!
  8. sassy*tink's Avatar
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    Great update! Thanks again!! I can't believe what they keep adding to the cruise ships. It looks amazing.
  9. whamo's Avatar
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    Aqua Duck looks like a tube ride! I'm stoked. I want to go on a Disney cruise! I'm frothing to go back to Disneyland. I haven't been there for over a month! I look forward to seeing the Princess perform on the Mark Twain and the Michael Jackson return from the dead ride, as I never rode it the first time around. New Orleans Square looks fabulous.
  10. JADP's Avatar
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    Great Report! Thanks, as always for the scoop!
    Okay, there is nothing like Disneyland at Christmas time, but last I checked it is still fall. That whole thing is a bit disturbing...The Castle does look pretty, though, and it's so nice to see water re-appearing in the park.
  11. cositaluvsmickey's Avatar
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    Great update...
  12. Colorized's Avatar
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    Great update!
    When I went to the park yesterday, I got a picture of me with the Partners statues, surrounded by pumpkins, with the snow covered castle behind me. XD It was definitely two holidays colliding!
  13. Bobd20011's Avatar
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    It starting to look a lot like Christmas!!! I love it!
  14. Sparky's Avatar
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    Over the weekend I rode the train and I noticed a smallish building being constructed at the back of one of the New Orleans Square buildings, visible just before you get to the Mardi Gras Float Factory scene. Maybe one of the intrepid MiceAge reporters can find out what it is for.
  15. wdwnut4life's Avatar
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    great pics. happy belated halloween disneyland! lookin forward 2 seeing it w/new stuff.
  16. Timekeeper's Avatar
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    Great Update! and Happy Holidays!

  17. b236en's Avatar
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  18. thebigandy's Avatar
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    What model camera do you use to get all these awesome shots?
  19. dead_Mau5's Avatar
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    AquaDuck looks Hella wicked!
  20. Scotty's Avatar
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    Well, the "snow" on the castle fooled me.
    I thought the effect looked like cobwebs for Halloween.
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