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Dateline Disneyland

Spring sneaks in, Fixing the Frontier, Construction in Paradise, Cars Land, MUCH MORE

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by , 03-08-2010 at 02:59 AM
Never mind this weekend's rainy weather — it's spring in Southern California and the flowers are in bloom at the Disneyland Resort! As spring color brightens up the parks, walkways are still littered with construction walls at both Disneyland and Disney's California Adventure. Tarps are back up at the waterways surrounding the Bridge to Frontierland as they get some thematic TLC after a recent remodel left them looking like a backyard swimming pool. Further in the Frontier, work continues on the Rivers of America refurbishment as the new Mark Twain Riverboat and Sailing Ship Columbia track starts to go in. Over at California Adventure, it's business as usual as bulldozers, construction crews, and Imagineers work to bring a slew of new and reworked attractions to park guests over the next couple years, including the hugely elaborate World of Color water show and the Silly Symphony Swings remodel, both set to open late this spring.

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.

There's a lot to get to this week — (we've even got some scratch-and-sniff Ear Hats) so shake off your Monday morning blues and let's get started!

Inside Dateline Disneyland

Despite this weekend's winter storm, spring has snuck into Disneyland as seasonal color fills the flower beds and brightens walkways.

Two weeks ago we showed you the recently refurbished waterways around the entrance to Frontierland and Adventureland. The waterway was drained while Frontierland's new bridge was built and in in the process the old waterway was given new cement.

Last week green construction tarps went up around the area again and the new cement lip, that largely resembled the cement ponds you'd find at a miniature golf course, has been torn out.

Seems like someone noticed that the area no longer looked like a muddy bank in the old west and is getting the mistake fixed.

The Bridge to Frontierland remains open while the waterway is worked on.

Meanwhile, work continues on a larger Frontierland waterway, as the major Rivers of America refurbishment continues through May.

Fantasmic! equipment sits at the bottom a dry Rivers of America.

The old track that the Sailing Ship Columbia and Mark Twain Riverboat used has been completely removed now for a couple weeks and finally work crews have begun installing a new track so the river transportation can continue this summer.

There's still a lot of track that needs to be installed.

The settler's cabin area is set to get some additional set pieces as part of the river refurbishment.

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

Construction walls around the upcoming Little Mermaid ride and the new Paradise Park area keep getting shuffled around as pavement is replaced to match its new surroundings.

The construction wall corridor between the Paradise Park and Little Mermaid construction sites is still open, it's just a little harder to find for the time being.

Paradise Park construction continues, as construction crews bring all the pieces of the Victorian-styled early 20th century public park setting together.

The boardwalk is being installed on the lower level of the new seaside park.

The new trellises are being painted the trademark Paradise Pier teal. Too bad they didn't completely ditch the teal when they started the Paradise Pier remodel with Toy Story Midway Mania.

Park fences are being painted green.

Work continues on the World of Color platform.

Disney released a video showing how Pixar animation will be incorporated into the new show, which included a couple sneak peeks at late-night World of Color testing.
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Views of construction from Mickey's Fun Wheel

The new interactive play fountain should be a great centerpiece for Paradise Park

Rumor has it that the flowerbeds in Paradise Park have water fountains built-in, which could potentially play a role in the upcoming World of Color show.

The new Paradise Park stage:

It seems like a good majority of the Little Mermaid ride's foundation work is done and ready to go.

It'll be exciting to see vertical construction get underway in the next few months.

The pavement work near the Palace of Fine Arts rotunda is surrounded by construction walls.

On the other side of the property in the former Timon Parking Lot, work continues Cars Land's upcoming Radiator Springs Racers E-Ticket.

Back on Paradise Pier, the Silly Symphony Swings project continues...

Views of Swings construction from the S.S. rustworthy water play area are now obscured by a new tree in the area.

Some of the support accents have been painted...

...while others have not.

Sanuk, the popular sandal store in Downtown Disney is closing as early as Sunday, March 14 after its temporary lease runs out and the build-your-own remote control car store, Ridemakerz remodels and expands into Sanuk's space.

Both stores occupy what was formerly Department 56. The space was split into two stores as Department 56 downsized in 2008 before finally closing its doors in early 2009.

The Around Disney blog has more information on the store shuffle:
Shoe store set to close in Downtown Disney
A casual shoe store quickly became one of the top sellers in Downtown Disney after it opened in November. But Sanuk is set to shut down as early as March 14 when its temporary agreement ends.

Sanuk and Disney are in talks to find a new location within Downtown Disney, but nothing has been found yet, said James Crush, marketing manager for Sanuk Footwear.

“We are working with Sanuk to develop future opportunities in Downtown Disney,” said Betsy Sanchez, a Disneyland Resort spokeswoman, in a prepared statement.

The Irvine-based footwear company opened up its first-ever stand-alone store in November as a temporary location for the holiday season in partnership with the Haagen-Dazs owner. Sanuk originally was supposed to close in January so that the store next door, Ridemakerz, could begin its expansion.

Because of delays in the renovations, Sanuk was able to stay longer. Ridemakerz also is set to close March 14 so it can start construction, Sanchez said.

“The store has been very, very successful. We’ve had huge days in the last few months. Disney is happy and we’re happy,” Crush said. (FULL ARTICLE)

Down at the end of Downtown Disney, work continues on the Disneyland Hotel remodeling project.

Refurbishment work on some Downtown Disney facades has finished up.

It's kind of funny how Ear Hats have become a collectibles series in their own right, with clever new styles debuting all the time. Still, one has to wonder — are scratch-and-sniff ears taking the product line a step too far? In any case, the Mickey ice cream is pretty dang clever.

Dateline Disneyland is sponsored by our good friends at the
Howard Johnson Plaza Hotel - Anaheim Resort.
A short walk from the park, HoJo Anaheim 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

Rooms now available for as low as $59 per night!
Now through June, the HoJo Anaheim is offering deeper discounts for Disneyland Resort Annual Passholders! On select nights, Disneyland Resort Annual Passholders can get rooms for as low as $59 per night, plus tax. For more information visit the HoJo Anaheim Innsider Boards which features an up-to-date listing of available nights, or call (714) 776-6120 and ask for In-House Reservations to book. If your date isn't listed, the HoJo Anaheim still offers rooms for 20% off their best available rate if you call (714) 776-6120.

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

Click these photos for high-resolution downloads on Flickr...

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

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

Disneyland Park
  • Matterhorn Bobsleds: Closed through March 11 for refurbishment. Closed again April 12 - 16, April 19 - 23
  • 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 through April 2 for refurbishment.
  • 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 May 29.
  • 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

When: May 1st, 2010
Where: Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, California
This year, relive the classic magic of Disneyland in a special way with MiceChat's "Classic" Gumball Rally! Team up with your favorite Disneylanders and embark on a journey through Walt Disney's original Magic Kingdom to find out which team can ride the most attractions at Disneyland Park in a single day! We're also offering a shorter and less competitive "Family" version of the event which is open to teams of all ages, whether or not they have kids.

Register your team today!

The MiceChat 2010 Gumball Rally is proudly sponsored by the Howard Johnson Plaza Hotel — Anaheim Resort which is offering deeply discounted rooms during Rally weekend, as well as free event parking! For more information about the Gumball Rally and how it works, visit

The big D23 1st Anniversary party at Disneyland is this Wednesday, March 10! Members can still purchase tickets for the event which will include an incredible line-up of Disney Legends, Imagineers, and celebrities — as well as private D23 screenings of the newly reopened Captain EO all night! Get your tickets now!

In addition to D23 Members — major stars in their own right! — the D23 First Anniversary Party at Disneyland will play host to a number of VIPs who have contributed significantly to Disney's legacy, including:

  • Bob Gurr. Named a Disney Legend in 2004 for his decades of innovative work at Walt Disney Imagineering, Bob specialized in vehicle design and worked on the designs of the Autopia automobiles and the antique cars and double-decker buses used on Main Street, U.S.A. He also played a lead role in the design of the Monorail, Matterhorn Bobsleds and Flying Saucers attractions and more.
  • Tony Baxter. A legendary Imagineer, Tony has played a key role in the design and creation of many Disney attractions and theme parks of the last 40 years, including Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, Splash Mountain, the Indiana Jones Adventure and the overall creative role for Disneyland Paris.
  • Kevin Corcoran. Named a Disney Legend in 2006, Kevin has enjoyed a long and distinguished acting career with Disney, starring in such classic films as Old Yeller, The Shaggy Dog, Swiss Family Robinson and more.
  • Bill Farmer. Named a Disney Legend at the inaugural D23 Expo in 2009, Bill's voice is familiar to cartoon fans around the world as the voice of Goofy and Pluto. He has also lent his talents to a long list of Disney favorites, including Who Framed Roger Rabbit and Beauty and the Beast and such Disney·Pixar films as a bug's life, Toy Story and Toy Story 2.
  • Margaret Kerry. Margaret was the original live-action model for Tinker Bell.
  • Dave Smith. Named a Disney Legend in 2007, Dave Smith, chief archivist, the Walt Disney Archives, founded the Disney Archives in 1970.
  • Dan Roebuck. For more than two decades Dan has enjoyed a successful acting career. He currently shines in the role of Dr. Leslie Arzt on the hit ABC series LOST.
  • David Stollery. Named a Disney Legend in 2006, David Stollery enjoyed a solid acting career before he came to the Walt Disney Studios but it was there that he made his biggest mark. He played Marty Markham, the spoiled rich boy in The Adventures of Spin and Marty, and Dan Thompson in Westward Ho The Wagons!
  • Denny Newell. A senior show director at Disneyland, Denny is a 24-year Disneyland Cast Member who has played a directorial role for Celebrate! A Street Party, Disney's Electrical Parade, A Christmas Fantasy Parade, Drawn to the Magic and Pixie Hollow.

D23 Members and their guests will savor specialty coffee and an array of tantalizing Disney-inspired desserts including pastries, cookies, cupcakes, and of course, Mickey-shaped krispies! A "no host" beverage bar will also be available to toast this memorable affair.

And, naturally, there will be a few D23 surprises, including a special, limited-edition commemorative pin in honor of D23's first anniversary, the perfect gift to remember this enchanting event.
For more information and to buy tickets to this event, visit: D23: FIRST ANNIVERSARY PARTY AT DISNEYLAND: WEDNESDAY, MARCH 10, 2010

Disney's 2010 "Give a Day, Get a Disney Day" promotion seems to be winding down, as the program gets closer to reaching its goal of giving away 1 million theme park tickets to volunteers across the country. The promotion, which is set to run through 2010 is running out of steam due to obviously bigger-than-expected response, and participating charities are taking notice and getting ready for the program to end.

From the OC Register's Around Disney blog:
Disney’s massive volunteer promotion winding down
A program in which volunteers work a shift at accepted charities and get a free pass to a Disney theme park could end soon.

The goal of one million shifts has nearly been reached, just two months into the promotion.
“We are close to our goal of inspiring one-million people to make a difference by volunteering,” Suzi Brown, a Disneyland Resort spokeswoman, said today. “This spirit of volunteerism is making a significant impact in communities across the country.”

The nationwide program was set by Disney to encourage people to volunteer to help out locally qualified charities across the country. After spending the day working, volunteers received a one-day ticket to a Disney theme park in California at the Disneyland Resort, home of Disneyland and Disney’s California Adventure, or in Florida at Walt Disney World.
When the program was announced, its stated intention was to get one-million volunteers, with the program ending when that goal was reached.

As of Feb. 18, 600,000 people had signed up.

According to an e-mail from the HandsOn Network, which is helping with the program, steps were being taken in preparation for the program’s conclusion.
For the full story, visit: Around Disney: Disney’s massive volunteer promotion winding down

I kind of feel bad for Knott's if they truly think a Peanuts Christmas light display will help them compete with Disney's World of Color show, which promises to be beyond epic. Oh well, at least Knott's is trying, right?

From the LA Times' Funland Blog:
Night light fight: Knott’s Berry Farm vs. Disney’s California Adventure
This summer, Southern California’s theme-park titans will wage a nightly megawatt battle of the lights — all in hopes of winning your hearts and wallets.

On May 29, Knott’s Berry Farm will unveil “Snoopy’s Starlight Spectacular” in an effort to fend off this summer’s most-anticipated theme park attraction: the “World of Color” water show coming to Disney’s California Adventure.

The Peanuts-themed lighted walkway will take over Knott’s Camp Snoopy area during the summer and fall, with all the trees and buildings trimmed with animated LED lights synchronized to music. Inflatable Peanuts characters will dot the lighted trail, which will operate every night that the Buena Park theme park is open after 8 p.m.

Knott’s officials promise “Snoopy’s Starlight Spectacular” will be “more elaborate” than Cedar Point’s “Starlight Experience,” which made its debut last year at the Ohio amusement park. Worlds of Fun in Missouri will open a similar 2-million-light “Snoopy’s Hot Summer Lights” on June 4.
For more information on this event, visit: LA Times Funland: Night light fight: Knott’s Berry Farm vs. Disney’s California Adventure

The Anaheim GardenWalk is set to go up for sale on Tuesday after going into foreclosure, but plans to build two new hotels connected to the troubled mall is still in the works and set to get started in 2011, according to Around Disney.
GardenWalk hotels to proceed despite mall woes
Construction is set to begin next year on two luxury hotels next to The Shops at Anaheim GardenWalk outdoor mall in Anaheim despite foreclosure proceedings on the mall property.

GardenWalk hotel developers were granted an amendment to their development agreement with the city this week, allowing them to begin hotel construction next year and to delay construction of 500 time-share units until 2019.

Anaheim GW II, LLC, the equity partners who financed GardenWalk mall, adjacent to Disneyland, have defaulted on a $210-million loan, as the mall has struggled to attract and keep tenants. That property is set to go to auction Tuesday.

But developers of the hotels said they don’t anticipate those current financial difficulties affecting the long-term success of the property, and they plan to proceed.

The two hotel buildings, to go up on the 300 block of West Katella Avenue, would add 866 rooms and generate an estimated 3,000 construction jobs and 1,300 steady jobs.
For more the full article, visit: Around Disney: GardenWalk hotels to proceed despite mall woes

Alrighty, that finishes up the May 8th edition of Dateline Disneyland. Thanks, as always, for reading. We're here every week thanks to your readership and donations. If you read and enjoy Dateline Disneyland every week please consider helping us out and donating a buck or two so we can pay the bills and keep the updates coming your way. Without your support, these updates could not happen! You can donate safely and privately with PayPal by clicking here. Thanks so much!

Be sure to discuss this week's column in the comments section below!

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See you here next week!
- Andy

Don't forget everything else MiceChat has to offer, including:
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Updated 03-08-2010 at 10:22 AM by Dateline Disneyland (Added column banner)

Disneyland Resort , Disney's California Adventure Remodel/Expansion , Disneyland Hotel , Downtown Disney , D23


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  1. Melonballer's Avatar
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    Once again, thanks for the merch pictures. I love to see what is available.

    I wonder how strongly those hats smell? I hope it is a good scent as I bet you would smell it all day.
    Updated 03-08-2010 at 03:46 AM by Melonballer
  2. whamo's Avatar
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    Cal Adv Park looks like it's going to awesome.
  3. Emmanuel_4's Avatar
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    Great Update Andy!
  4. Mac Daddy's Avatar
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    Great job on all of your shots this week, Andy! I love it when those trees in the hub finally blossom. There are some beautiful colors in your Springtime shots. And DCA is really beginning to take shape. Well done!
  5. WheresMickey's Avatar
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    Great update Andy!

    Is there a video missing?
  6. BigThunder's Avatar
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    Another great update Andy, thanks!

    Poor Knott's. Inflatable Peanuts characters? Really? Sounds like they're pulling out all the stops.
  7. xalesa's Avatar
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    Love the update. And I actually like the new Mickey ears hats. Very cute!
  8. dmomof4's Avatar
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    Awesome update!
  9. sir clinksalot's Avatar
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    Great stuff Andy!!!

    Please tell me they are doing something with the speakerboxes in Paradise Park?
  10. RedHandedJill's Avatar
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    Those new hats are pretty darn awesome!

    Wonderful update!
  11. cositaluvsmickey's Avatar
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    :thumup: for a great update
  12. scottc's Avatar
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    Great update as usual. Thanks for your hard work each week.

    I love following the progress each week on the updates. It is the best part about Mondays.

    Is Disneyland schedule for a major upgrade when California Adventure is finished? Or did I misread a previous article?
  13. DonDuck's Avatar
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    Fantastic update and pics!
  14. tanyad72's Avatar
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    Thanks for another great update - they are the highlights of my Monday mornings!
  15. JADP's Avatar
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    First of all, Hidden Mickey on the Little Mermaid construction wall...Second, I am glad to see the tree next to the Silly Symphony Swings. In the Band Concert when the twister comes several charectars are tossed into a near by tree.
  16. tonyrr1's Avatar
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    Andy... You are da man...!!! Thanks soooo much for the wallpapers again... Gorgeous photography as always, and it's amazing how much is really going on at the resort in terms of refurbishment and new rides. Makes me wish I was back in SoCal to enjoy it all in person... Thanks to you and others here, at least I get to see a lot of it. Bravo, sir!!! :-)
  17. 1TINKFAN's Avatar
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    Great update as always! Thanks for always keeping us in the loop when we cant get to the park weekly! And I love the gorgeous photos!!
  18. saphron37's Avatar
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    Thanks for the update! I like the new hats, they look like a ton of fun!
  19. peoplemover1's Avatar
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    Great Dateline Andy!!!
    I'm glad to see the addition of more trees at DCA... that place is a sweatbox!!!!

  20. Bob Cutlass's Avatar
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    Glad to see someone cared enough to fix the Frontierland riverbank, but it is frustrating that money was wasted doing it wrong in the first place. It looked even worse in person than it did in pictures.
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