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Dateline Disneyland

Ending the Celebration, Little Mermaid & Cars Land work, Disneyland Hotel, + more

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by , 06-27-2010 at 10:53 PM
Summer trudges along as World of Color continues to take over the Resort. With Disney's Give A Day, Get A Disney Day portion of the Celebrate Today! promotion over, all of the Mickey balloon-themed decorations are finally leaving the Resort. At the Main Entrance Plaza security checkpoints, the Celebrate Today! decorations have been replaced with more World of Color decor, as the show continues to pack in the crowds at California Adventure. Meanwhile, construction continues on major projects in the park as well as over at the Disneyland Hotel.

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.

Thanks to Fishbulb, Macro & Hot Sauce 1 for their fantastic photos this week.

Inside Dateline Disneyland

Disney's "Celebrate Today!" promotion started at the beginning of 2009 with the launch of the free-on-your-birthday promotion. The decorations at the Main Entrance Plaza security checkpoints are now gone and replaced with more World of Color promotion.

Floral Mickey is still wearing his Celebrate Today! party hat

Lamppost decorations down Main Street were added mid-January 2009 with the tacky "Celebration Point" giant envelope being added in March. Other than being removed for HalloweenTime and during the Holidays, the Celebrate Today! decorations lasted until last week when they were removed. Whether their removal is to honor the upcoming 55th anniversary of Disneyland, or if its simply because the Celebrate Today! campaign has run its course with the conclusion of the Give A Day, Get A Disney Day promotion, their removal is a welcome change.

Lampposts no longer have party hats and colorful metal party streamers

First aid at the end of Main Street continues its refurbishment.

Grad Nite season has ended and the temporary lighting set-up is gone from Disneyland's Central Plaza.

Construction continues at various Disney's California Adventure projects as World of Color brings in big crowds.

Crowds continue to pour in for World of Color. If you want to see an early viewing of the show, plan on getting to the park early to get in line for FASTPASS—the line gets long!

The Little Mermaid building is continuing to progress quickly. The attraction is still on track for a Spring 2011 opening.

We showed you walls up around Burger Invasion last week. So far, not much has changed, but work on re-theming this tacky eatery should start soon.

Work continues on Cars Land as more wire mesh goes up on the massive steel rock framework.

Disney released a video discussing the testing of the new Radiator Springs Racers ride vehicle last week on the DisneyParks Blog:

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Brickwork is now being laid at the Red Car Trolley tracks in front of the Tower of Terror as work continues on the permanent path between Hollywood Pictures Backlot and Flick's Fun Fair.

Back in Disneyland, the Tomorrowland Terrace has reopened early after completing its lengthy refurbishment.

And the seagull buoy from the Submarine Lagoon is still backstage as it gets refurbished.

Backstage view from the Monorail:

And over at the Disneyland Hotel, work continues on the hotel's multi-year remodeling project.

Disney has removed the koi from the hotel ponds and donated them to the Huntington Library and Botanical Gardens.

The koi are already in in the waters at their new home. The Library posted some photos and information on the koi on their Flickr photo library:

New Koi are Making a Splash
Some new arrivals are making a splash at The Huntington this summer: More than 250 koi, a gift from Disneyland Resort in Anaheim. The donation came about when renovations at the Disneyland Hotel made it necessary to find a new permanent home for the colorful fish that lived in the Hotel’s koi pond. The Huntington, with a series of five lily ponds below the Jungle Garden, another pond in the Japanese Garden, and a lake in the Chinese Garden, had plenty of space to accommodate the whole outstanding collection. The transfer from Anaheim to San Marino was successful, and the new residents took to the water like—well—like fish to water. They were soon happily exploring their new environment and making the acquaintance of resident fish, ducks, and turtles, and lots of admiring visitors. Be sure to stop by and see them on your next visit to The Huntington. Meanwhile, enjoy these photos of our new arrivals. [ FULL ARTICLE AND PHOTOS ]

We'll finish today's photo update with some excellent photos from Hot Sauce 1...

You can find more photos from Hot Sauce 1 at his outstanding Flickr Photostream.

Dateline Disneyland is sponsored by our good friends at the
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Weekly Theme Park Hours
JUNE 28 - JULY 4, 2010

Disneyland Park
Disney's California Adventure
Monday - Sunday: 8 am - 12 midnight
Monday - Sunday: 10 am - 10 pm
For a complete listing of theme park hours, visit the Theme Park Calendar

Closures and Refurbishment Schedule
Disneyland Park

  • Star Tours: Closes July 26 for Star Tours 2 upgrades. Reopens May 2011.

Disney's California Adventure

  • The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror — Disney's FASTPASS Distribution: Distribution area closed and Fastpass service not offered through August 15 for nearby construction related to upcoming Red Car Trolley attraction.
  • The Little Mermaid: Ariel's Undersea Adventure: Under construction. Opens Spring 2011.
  • Souvenir 66 and Corn Dog Castle: Store and dining location closed for remodeling through May 2011.
  • Red Car Trolley: Track under construction in Hollywood Pictures Backlot. Attraction set to open spring 2012.

From the OC Register's Around Disney blog:
Theme park business expected to grow
A new report shows that the theme park business, including Disney, is expected to grow over the next five years after slow attendance in recent years.

IBISWorld, a Santa Monica-based market research firm, predicts that theme parks should see 3.1 percent growth annually, or $12.1 billion, over the next five years, according to a report released last week. This year alone, revenue is expected to increase by 1.7 percent, or $10.4 billion.

“I think a lot of it is generally tied to the recovery of the economy and people having more disposable income to spend,” said Nima Samadi, an analyst for IBISWorld.

Last year, U.S. theme parks overall had dismal attendance, with revenues plummeting by 8.6 percent. Disney venues, however, were the only major U.S. parks to bring in more visitors.
For more the full article, visit: Around Disney: Theme park business expected to grow

More from the Around Disney blog:
Disneyland Hotel employee wins national award
Wade Heath regularly makes personal contact with visitors from around the world in his job at the Disneyland Hotel, even keeping in touch with tourists after they leave.

Now, he’s getting national attention for his work.

Heath, 23, this month won the Outstanding Lodging Employee of the Year at a large property from the American Hotel and Lodging Association. He was nominated for the top award after winning the state competition last year. Read a previous story about the state award for the Disney employee. Heath got a trophy for the award.

Heath, a parking lead at the Disneyland Hotel, works in the front of the hotel, greeting guests and taking parking payments. Originally from Lodi, Heath left behind his newspaper column, radio show and cable public access show to move to Anaheim about three years ago specifically to work for Disney.

“I knew at that time that it’s something I wanted to be a part of,” Heath said. “You get to be part of someone’s life on a very personal level.”

Heath said he makes a point of creating “magical moments” for visitors, such as giving children autographed pictures of characters.

“They range from small acts of kindness to really elaborate magical moments,” Heath said. “They kind of happen when the adrenaline starts pumping and you know this is going to be a magical moment.”

Last month, Heath helped a woman find a purse that was left in an airport bus. But he went a step beyond: He sent the woman and her daughters to a gift shop, where they each picked out hats. He got autographed pictures of their favorite characters. And he arranged to upgrade their room to a suite.

Heath also keeps in touch with some tourists, including a Japanese woman who sends him e-mail messages about twice a month and made him a scrapbook. Three Japanese families have offered to let him stay at their houses, if he ever visits.

“I don’t speak Japanese, yet I’ve connected with these people on such an enormous level,” Heath said.
For more the full article, visit: Around Disney: Disneyland Hotel employee wins national award

Congrats to Dave Smith for 40 amazing years at the Archives and best of luck in his retirement!

Pack rat in the Mouse House
After Walt Disney died in 1966, his grieving staff sealed his office suite in Burbank, and even as work proceeded on "The Jungle Book" there was anxiety that the company's past might be brighter than its future.

Four years later, those worries deepened as key executives approached retirement, including Walt's older brother, Roy O. Disney. That's why, in 1970, the company handed the key to Walt's still-sealed office to a former UCLA research librarian named Dave Smith, who was sent into the chamber to learn its history.

"I didn't expect this to become my life's work, but it did," Smith, 69, said on a recent afternoon as he gave a tour of the Disney Archives, a massive collection spread across several in-house libraries and high-security warehouse space filled with Disney movie props, costumes, toys, art, animation, vintage theme-park gear and company publications.

It all began with the items that Smith found in Walt's desk all those years ago.

"It was an eerie thing to sit … in his chair and count the paper clips in the drawer," Smith recalled with a nervous chuckle. On the bookshelves, he discovered books and letters given to Walt by Upton Sinclair, Winston Churchill and C. S. Lewis, who inscribed one of his books of poetry with the words: "From one visionary to another."

Friday, 40 years and a day after he was hired, Smith will announce his imminent retirement from a corporation that, as he put it, "reuses and returns to its past more often than any company in the world."
For more the full article, visit: Los Angeles Times: Pack rat in the Mouse House

Okay! That finishes another edition of of Dateline Disneyland. Thanks again to our excellent photographers this week: Fisbulb, Macro and Hot Sauce 1.

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- Andy

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  1. eureka73's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SleepingCorgi
    Great Update, as always!

    Does anybody know what the embedded design is for those rocks for the red trolley? I'm trying to figure out what the shapes are but I just don't know! I don't think it's the 'natural' look because TDA has the whole natural-looking-fake-rocks look perfected...

    For what it's worth, here is my opinion .... If you are referring to the gray walls, I think what you're looking at is the beginnings of "rocks" and "roots", once they are painted it should be more clear and detailed .... also, I think they relate to A Bugsland and not to the Red Car Trolley since this is a transition corridor.
  2. holdup1's Avatar
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    so glad that overtly commercial junk in Dland is gone! Great Photography and comments, thank you.
  3. SleepingCorgi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by eureka73
    For what it's worth, here is my opinion .... If you are referring to the gray walls, I think what you're looking at is the beginnings of "rocks" and "roots", once they are painted it should be more clear and detailed .... also, I think they relate to A Bugsland and not to the Red Car Trolley since this is a transition corridor.
    AH! now i see the rocks and roots design....thanks! I get it now! The scene would def fit in with the Bugs Land theme
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