Hello and welcome to the February 15th edition of Dateline Disneyland on this long holiday weekend. Hopefully you all had a happy Valentine's Day with your loved ones and, if you're in the States, spending today relaxing on the today's President's Day holiday. It was a busy week at the Disneyland Resort last week as the new Bridge to Frontierland opened in the Central Plaza and work on the Rivers of America, the Mark Twain Riverboat, and the Sailing Ship Columbia all pressed on. Meanwhile, work continues on Captain EO in Tomorrowland as the show welcomed a few hundred Cast Members for a special test preview on Friday as Walt Disney Imagineering works overtime to get the show up and running for the paying public. Over in Disney's California Adventure, work around the clock on the new World of Color show is the norm as Imagineer Steve Davison and his team work overtime to get the show ready for its tentative spring debut. Still, progress is being made on other big new projects in the park as the first stretch of track is being installed for Cars Land's big Radiator Springs Racers ride.
Our photos this week come from our talented photographers Mac Daddy, Matt "2DieFR" Gottula, and Hot Sauce 1.
For more information on any of the construction projects featured in today's update, just look for a Project Tracker water mark and click that photo for more information on the project and to join the on-going discussion.
Dateline Disneyland is sponsored by our good friends at the Howard Johnson Plaza Hotel - Anaheim Resort. A short walk from the park, the hotel is conveniently located next to Disneyland with nearby dining and freeway access. For more information on HoJo Anaheim, room rates, or to book your stay today, visit www.HoJoAnaheim.com/MiceChat. Readers of Dateline Disneyland and MiceChat receive special discounted rates, so please book from the links above or call and ask for the MiceChat rate! With great rooms, family suites, a fantastic water playground Castaway Cove and pool, the HoJo Anaheim is the perfect location for family fun and relaxation - all just steps away from the magic kingdom of Disneyland.
Monday: 8 am - 12 midnight
Tuesday - Thursday: 9 am - 11 pm
Friday - Saturday: 8 am - 12 midnight
Sunday: 8 am - 11 pm
Disney's California Adventure Park
Monday: 9 am - 8 pm
Tuesday - Thursday: 9 am - 7 pm
Friday - Sunday: 9 am - 9 pm
CURRENT ATTRACTION CLOSURES & REFURBISHMENTS
Matterhorn Bobsleds: Closed through March 11 for refurbishment. Closed again April 12 - 16, April 19 - 23
"Honey, I Shrunk the Audience:" Closed. Captain EO is returning for a "special limited engagement" in February. It is unknown if "Honey, I Shrunk the Audience" will return following Captain EO's run.
Tomorrowland Terrace: Restaurant closed through July 2 for refurbishment. Stage will remain open for shows and performances during restaurant closure.
Little Red Wagon: Popular Main Street corn dog cart will be closed through May 4 for refurbishment.
Disneyland Monorail: Closed April 19 and 20.
Big Thunder Mountain Railroad: Closed April 26 through May 16.
Rivers of America: Closed 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 through May 6
Mark Twain Riverboat: Closed through May 6
Davy Crockett Explorer Canoes: Closed through May 6
Pirate's Lair on Tom Sawyer Island: Closed through May 14
King Arthur Carrousel: Closed May 8-10.
Disney's California Adventure Park
Golden Zephyr: Closed February 16 through April 2 for refurbishment.
S.S. rustworthy: Closed February 23-24.
It's Tough to be a Bug! Closed for one day, March 8.
Princess Dot's Puddle Park: Closed April 12-16, April 19-23 for refurbishment.
Redwood Creek Challenge Trail: Closed April 12 - May 20 for refurbishment.
Award Wieners: Closed through April 18.
Wine Country Trattoria: Closed through April 26.
Silly Symphony Swings: Orange Stinger is now closed for retheming. Reopens as the Silly Symphony Swings late April.
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.
Disney's World of Color Nighttime Spectacular: New show under construction. Debuts Spring 2010.
Paradise Park: Former Golden State Amphitheater area is closed and a 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.
MiceChat 2010 Gumball Rally!
Embark on a journey through the happiest theme park on earth to find out which team can ride the most attractions at Disneyland in a single day with MiceChat's 2010 Gumball Rally!
When: May 1st, 2010 Where: Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, California
As part of Walt Disney World's new Summer Nightastic! promotion, Disney's Electrical Parade will leave California Adventure following its Spring Break run and move to Florida where it will play for Florida crowds in the Magic Kingdom beginning in June.
The Walt Disney Co. today released its earnings for the first quarter of 2010, which runs from Oct. 4 to Jan. 2. (UPDATE: We just got additional figures from Disney about Disneyland Resort’s attendance.)
Top Disney officials credited a 20-percent attendance hike partly to the big-drawing New Year’s holiday, which fell in the second quarter of the previous year. The week between Christmas and New Years Day is traditionally among the busiest of the year at the Disneyland Resort.
But July to October also had a big jump in attendance with a 15-percent hike.
Overall, U.S. park attendance went up 9 percent in the first quarter.
Without the shift of the New Years dates, Disneyland and Disney’s California Adventure’s attendance in the first quarter would have jumped about 15 percent and Florida parks would have seen a 1-percent drop in attendance, said Jay Rasulo, chief financial officer for the Walt Disney Co., during a conference call with investors.
Fewer visitors, however, stayed at Disneyland Resort’s three hotels: Grand Californian, Paradise Pier and Disneyland hotels. There, occupancy was about 78 percent — 7 percent lower than the prior year, Rasulo said. Disneyland Resort hotel guests also spent less money.
A date has been set for the sale of The Shops at Anaheim GardenWalk after developers of the outdoor retail mall next to Disneyland defaulted on a $210-million loan and failed to catch up on payments.
The sale is set to take place a 10 a.m. March 9 in front the Placentia Civic Center; foreclosure auctions are typically held at court houses or civic centers.
The notice of trustee sale, filed with the county clerk-recorder, indicates that the property at 321 W. Katella Ave. will be sold “as is” at “reasonable estimated fees” projected at $194.2 million – the unpaid balance of the initial loan plus other costs.
Bill Stone, senior vice president of Excel Realty, which developed and manages GardenWalk, said several things led to the foreclosure process, including lawsuits with tenants, repeated attempts to modify the loan and a severely struggling economy.
Plans for GardenWalk were approved on 19 acres just east of Disneyland in 2006, during a relatively strong economy. But by the time it opened in summer 2008, the economy had taken a dive. Retails shops have struggled mightily to attract customers.
“It has been a series of events that have led to this point,” Stone said. “It’s rolled out in not the best way, but in ways we couldn’t avoid. … We opened during the worst economy in 80 years.”
Alright, that should do it for this edition of Dateline Disneyland Many thanks to our photographers this week: Mac Daddy, Matt "2DieFR" Gottula, and special guest Hot Sauce 1. You can view more of Hot Sauce 1's spectacular photos in his recent MiceChat photo thread by clicking here.
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