Happy Thanksgiving to our American readers and welcome again to Dateline Disneyland! With the holidays underway, the Resort is a overflowing with park guests and seasonal cheer -- but that doesn't put projects on hold. California Adventure continued with its on-going remodel and expansion with the addition of even more construction walls this week, the remodeled and re-named Troubador Tavern snack stand at the Fantasyland Theatre reopened along with a couple classic Fantasyland rides, and a new temporary sandal store opened in Downtown Disney. Meanwhile, Annual Passholders are being rewarded with special member discounts throughout the holiday season, and Toy Story Midway Mania! won a coveted theme park award.
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 to MiceChat's Fishbulb for helping with photos this week. He's been helping out a lot lately while my schedule has been kind of crazy.
Alright, there's a lot to get to - so let's jump right in!
WORLD OF COLOR & PARADISE PARK VIEWING AREA
Guests heading over to Paradise Pier will temporarily be rerouted through the Pacific Wharf dining area while some repaving work goes on along the park's Performance Corridor as part of the World of Color/Paradise Park project.
Paradise Pier is still accessible if you're coming in from Grizzly Peak Recreation Area.
SILLY SYMPHONY SWINGS
Work continues on the former Orange Stinger to transform it into the Silly Symphony Swings.
Sanuk, an Irvine-based footwear company, is scheduled to open a temporary location on Friday, said Suzi Brown, a Disneyland Resort spokeswoman. The casual store is scheduled to close in mid January.
Sanuk makes mostly flip-flops, canvas slip-on shoes and boots. It also makes something called “Tube Flops” — a combination of a flip-flop and an open-toed, knee-high socks.
The store will sit between LittleMissMatched and Ridemakerz. After it closes, Ridemakerz plans to close temporarily, expand and take over the space.
Down at the end of Downtown Disney, the Disneyland Hotel renovation continues:
The new reflective blue windows are taking over the Dreams Tower:
And back in Disneyland, the French Market in New Orleans Square has finished up its entryway upgrades to meet new health codes. The rear entrance to the restaurant now features automatic doors.
AROUND THE PARKS
We'll finish up the update this week with some shots from around the parks from Fishbulb and yours truly.
DISNEYLAND WEEKLY HOURS AND INFO
THEME PARK HOURS NOVEMBER 23 - 29
Expect heavy theme park attendance and possible parking shortages during Thanksgiving week. For a complete listing of theme park hours, please visit the Disneyland.com Theme Park Calendar
Monday - Sunday: 8 am - 12 midnight
Disney's California Adventure Park
Monday - Wednesday: 10 am - 10 pm
Thursday - Sunday: 10 am - 9 pm
CURRENT ATTRACTION CLOSURES & REFURBISHMENTS
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.
Haunted Mansion: Closed January 4 - 14 to remove holiday overlay.
Big Thunder Ranch: Closed January 4 - 12 to remove holiday overlay.
Main Street Cinema: Closed January 4 through February 1 for refurbishment.
Starcade: Closed January 4 through February 1 for refurbishment.
Le Petit Chalet Gifts: Closed January 4 through February 10 for refurbishment.
Corn Dog Wagon: Closed January 4 through May 4 for refurbishment.
Tomorrowland Terrace: Closed January 4 through May 4 for refurbishment.
Rivers of America: Closed January 4 through May 6 for a major refurbishment. The closure of the river will result in the necessary closure of the following attractions:
Sailing Ship Columbia: Closed January 4 - May 6
Mark Twain Riverboat: Closed January 4 - May 6
Davy Crockett Explorer Canoes: Closed January 4 - May 6
Pirate's Lair on Tom Sawyer Island: Closed January 4 - May 14
Disney's California Adventure Park
Grizzly River Run: Closed January 4 - 8 for refurbishment.
Redwood Creek Challenge Trail: Closed January 11 through February 19 for refurbishment.
It's Tough To Be A Bug!: Closed January 20 - 21.
Francis' Lady Bug Boogie: Closed January 25 through February 4.
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 GIVES SNEAK PEEK AT NEW MR. LINCOLN ANIMATRONIC
The new DisneyParks Blog gave a quick sneak peek at the new Abraham Lincoln Audio-Animatronics figure coming to Disneyland next month:
Today’s video gives a first glimpse of the new Abraham Lincoln figure that will be the main attraction in the returning “The Disneyland Story presenting Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln” show. The new, advanced figure features Disney’s most sophisticated Audio-Animatronics technology, with incredibly lifelike facial features and expressions.
The new, fully-electric head allowed Imagineers to add new technology and functionality to a figure that has entertained Disneyland guests since 1965. The previous Lincoln head and face had seven functions, and the new and improved head and face has a total of 20 functions. Lincoln can now purse his lips, smile, grimace and form an “O” with his lips. Don’t take my word for it. Check it out for yourself.
HOTEL WORKERS WITHOUT BENEFITS GO INTO WORK SICK
Disneyland Resort Hotel workers stuck in the middle of a labor contract dispute have reportedly been going in sick because they can't afford to go without the pay. The OC Register's Around Disney blog has details:
Some sick Disney hotel employees worked
Some Disney hotel employees say they have been going to work with flu-like symptoms since losing their paid sick time off — a benefit that got dropped amid a drawn-out contract dispute between their union and Disney.
Hotel workers have been working without a contract for nearly two years since Disney and their union hit a stalemate in negotiations over health care.
In June, the union axed sick pay from the health plan that it runs, saying Disney is failing to contribute enough money to cover that benefit.
Disney officials counter that hotel employees can get sick pay if they agree to join Disney’s health program, which 30 of 31 unions companywide have joined. At the Disneyland Resort, 10,000 full-time employees qualify for paid sick time under the company plan, said Suzi Brown, a Disney spokeswoman.
Caught in the middle are between 900 and 1,500 hotel workers, including Glynndana Shevlin and Kristi Richards, who have no paid sick time during the swine-flu pandemic. Both are union negotiators and full-time employees.
And both decided to go to work when they were sick recently, saying they couldn’t afford to lose wages.
Shevlin, a 21-year Disney employee, said she woke up with a runny nose, aches and chills, but went to work anyway as a Disneyland Hotel food and beverage concierge host. She said she used gloves and washed her hands as she set up cheese-and-vegetable buffets and opened wine bottles for VIP guests. But Shevlin left work early after vomiting in the bathroom, losing about $57 in pay.
“I just felt like I was being punished for doing the right thing,” Shevlin said.
SECTIONS OF ORIGINAL DISENYLAND MONORAIL ON DISPLAY AT NIXON LIBRARY
Also from the Around Disney blog, a look at the Nixon Library's annual holiday train exhibit, which features a few connections to Disneyland this year:
TOY STORY MIDWAY MANIA! WINS TOP AWARD
The popular Toy Story Midway Mania! attractions at Disney's California Adventure and Disney's Hollywood Studios were recognized by the Themed Entertainment Association and awarded the organization's top award in the theme park industry: Award for Outstanding Achievement for an Attraction. The DisneyParks Blog has more on the news:
You may have enjoyed different attractions and restaurants at the Disneyland Resort, but did you know that they’re also award winning?
Just today, Walt Disney Imagineering was honored with the top award within the themed entertainment industry. TEA (Themed Entertainment Association) announced that Toy Story Mania! at Disney’s California Adventure Park and Disney’s Hollywood Studios received the Award for Outstanding Achievement for an Attraction. In case you haven’t had a chance to experience the attraction, it’s a high-energy, immersive, ride-through adventure that lets you test your skills at a variety of carnival midway games hosted by the characters from the Disney·Pixar “Toy Story” films. TEA praised the attraction as “a suite of many technical and creative innovations.”
Including this latest award, Walt Disney Imagineering has received a total of 34 awards throughout the Thea Awards’ 16-year history, including nine previous wins in the attraction category. Some of Disney’s past recipients of Awards for Outstanding Achievement for an Attraction include Expedition Everest at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park, Soarin’ Over California at Disney’s California Adventure Park, Indiana Jones® Adventure at Disneyland Park, Space Mountain, From the Earth to the Moon at Disneyland Paris and CineMagique at Walt Disney Studios Park in Paris.
DISNEYLAND RESORT ANNUAL PASSHOLDERS GET SPECIAL DISCOUNTS FOR HOLIDAYS
Finally, Disneyland Resort Annual Passholders get beefed up shopping discounts this holiday season as part of the Resort's Annual Passholder Appreciation Days.
Now through January 3, 2010 all So Cal Select, Southern California and Deluxe Passport holders receive 10% off all purchases at select Disneyland Resort stores. For the same time period Premium Passholders receive a 20% discount (usually 10%).
And why is December 5 such a good day to start - or finish - your holiday shopping? Because that's the day that APs enjoy early shopping opportunities at the World of Disney® store. From 6:30 a.m. to 9:30 a.m., you'll enjoy incredible discounts of up to 50% off select items, plus door busters and "Donald's Deals." The first 1,000 shoppers at the World of Disney® store at the Disneyland® Resort will receive a complimentary VinylmationTM gift.
Okay, that should wrap up this week's edition of Dateline Disneyland. Thanks again to MiceChat's Fishbulb for filling in as photographer this week, who will also be your host next week as I take a quick vacation break. And thanks to all of you for reading, be sure to discuss this week's update in the comments section below!
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