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Dateline Disneyland

Captain EO suits up, Frontierland's new bridge, World of Color testing, +MUCH MORE!

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by , 02-14-2010 at 05:19 PM
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.

Inside Dateline Disneyland

Work continues on the old Stroller Rental location inside Disneyland's main gate.

The newly rebuilt (and redesigned) Bridge to Frontierland has opened for guest traffic in the Central Plaza.

The new bridge is definitely designed with child safety in mind, even though incidents of children falling off the old bridge never made the news.

Inside Frontierland, the major Rivers of America refurbishment continues, despite having mostly canceled the big new enhancements that were expected to debut when the River reopened later this spring.

Disney opened the doors to Captain EO late last week for a quick one-hour Cast Member preview. As of this writing, the show is still not open to park Guests and work continues on sprucing up the outside of the building.

Construction continues throughout California Adventure as the park undergoes a multi-year $1 billion remodel and expansion.

Work on Disney's huge new "World of Color" show continues around the clock as the team behind the show try to meet their spring debut date.

It isn't uncommon to see late-night testing for the show. MiceChatter Hot Sauce 1 got this fantastic shot of testing from the Paradise Pier Hotel. This show will truly be something special.

Meanwhile, work continues on the new 9,000-person Paradise Park viewing area. Stonework is now being added to the multi-leveled seaside park.

New trellises have been installed throughout Paradise Park.

The new wooden boardwalk is being installed

Area speakers and lighting fixtures are being reinstalled and have been given simple but nice thematic touches.

Construction at the new Little Mermaid ride is progressing...

And the first stretch of track for the new Radiator Springs Racers E-Ticket ride in Cars Land is installed (you can see it coming over the bunny hill).

Silly Symphony Swings continues its transformation.

And over in the Hollywood Pictures Backlot, more progress can be seen on the beginnings of the track work for the upcoming Red Car Trolleys.

Back in Disneyland, work continues on the Matterhorn Bobsleds refurbishment.

New women's shirts feature classic Disneyland lands and artwork

Work continues on the Disneyland Hotel remodel

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 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.

And we'll wrap up the photo section of today's update with some shots from around the Resort...

For a complete listing of theme park hours, please visit the Theme Park Calendar
Disneyland Park
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

Disneyland Park
  • 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.
Disney’s Electrical Parade set to move out
Disney’s Electrical Parade is set to leave its Anaheim home this summer when the popular spectacle moves to Florida.

The Electrical Parade will appear for the last time at Disney’s California Adventure during spring break, said John McClintock, a Disneyland Resort spokesman.

After that, the lit-up parade floats and costumes will be shipped out to Florida to go in Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom starting this summer.

McClintock said there are no immediate plans to bring the parade back to California..

[ . . . ] The final spring dates for the night-time Electrical Parade at California Adventure are: March 19 to April 11 and April 16 to 18.
For the full article, visit: Around Disney: Disney’s Electrical Parade set to move out


From the OC Register's Around Disney blog:
Disneyland parks attendance jumps 20 percent
Attendance at Disneyland Resort parks jumped 20 percent in winter months compared to the same period the previous year.

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.
For the full article, visit: Around Disney: Disneyland parks attendance jumps 20 percent


Also from the Around Disney blog — the troubled Anaheim GardenWalk mall is going on the auction blog next month after mall owners failed to meet their loan payments.
Disney-area GardenWalk to go on sale March 9
Interested in buying a mall?

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.”
For the full article, visit: Around Disney: Disney-area GardenWalk to go on sale March 9

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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See you here next week!
- Andy

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  1. llama5492's Avatar
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    Great update!
  2. Barbossa's Avatar
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    Excellent update! Thanks!
  3. renderman7's Avatar
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    any chance you can post a large version of that pic of the mickey flower mural.. i want it for my back ground..
  4. a-net-fan's Avatar
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    When did the they cancel plans for the upgrades to Rivers of America? This is the first I remember hearing about that.
  5. Emmanuel_4's Avatar
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  6. Dustysage's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by a-net-fan
    When did the they cancel plans for the upgrades to Rivers of America? This is the first I remember hearing about that.
    The extensive plans for the river have been delayed for now. Perhaps we'll see them revived in the future. The river refurb will now focus on replanting, infrastructure, and Fantasmic.

    I have hope that we'll see some form of the more ambitious plans for the river pop up again in the future. The idea is just too good to die away completely.
  7. WheresMickey's Avatar
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    Awsome update!
  8. tonyrr1's Avatar
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    Wow Andy... Fantabulous update sir..! Question... Will you be making your last few pics available as desktops again sometime? I really miss being able to get a gorgeous new background of Disney Anaheim every week. Keep up the great work..!!
  9. The T's Avatar
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    the magic lamp picture looks fantastic.
  10. Sillysox's Avatar
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    I love the "California" Shot And..King Arthur Carrousel is listed as being closed May my planning for being at the park March 7-10 I have discovered on the Disney site it will be closed March 8-10. So I don't know if that is in addition to May 8-10 or if May could be a typo?
    Great update, Thanks..
  11. cositaluvsmickey's Avatar
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    Thanks Andy!!
  12. KuyaHarrison's Avatar
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    hey that water is starting to look really green
  13. saphron37's Avatar
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    Great update! Thanks!
  14. Awesome's Avatar
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    Awesome update!
    Just one thing - the women's t-shirts aren't very new. They've been around for months, I keep trying to convince my girlfriend to buy one because I think they're really cool and they don't have male counterparts
  15. Ex-SmallWorld CM's Avatar
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    Excellent update. Keep up the great work!
  16. FredSimmons's Avatar
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    Great photos.

    I'm not surprised that GardenWalk went under. If Disney has any sense, they'll buy up that property for future expansion.

    Reading about Captain Eo's progress, I'm reminded of how slow things move. Back when Michael Jackson died, there was enormous public interest, and if they had managed to open Captain Eo back then, they would have seen big crowds as a result, during the slow winter months. By now, that public interest had waned a lot. They will still attract people to the show, but not in the kind of numbers they would have gotten if they had been able to take advantage of that initial buzz.

    ( Is it just me, or does the area for the new "Little Mermaid" ride look rather small? )
  17. mondo's Avatar
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    What was the plan for the new enhancements for River of America?

    Would it be wise for Disney to buy the GardenWalk?
  18. LuckyJack65's Avatar
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    This Hoosier Disney fan is saving his pennies so that he can experience Disneyland and DCA in a couple years when all the remodeling is complete! First time on the West Coast!

    Thanks for the updates!!!
  19. wulfblat's Avatar
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    Another great update --thanks!

    It's hard living so far away from Disneyland that regular trips are an impossibility. Our last visit was in September 2007, and I don't know when we'll make it back. These updates help us feel connected to the Disneyland community.
  20. serviceelevator's Avatar
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    Awesome update! Finally some big changes with the New trellises!! And the boards for the boardwalk.
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