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Dateline Disneyland

55th Anniversary Festivities, California Adventure construction, D23 events, +more

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by , 07-11-2010 at 08:03 PM
Disneyland's big 55th anniversary is now less than a week away and while there is no 50th anniversary-sized events planned, the park has a few small offerings and events lined up this week to mark the occasion. Meanwhile, construction continues on California Adventure's upcoming attractions as World of Color shakes off a brief scare after last week's 5.4 magnitude earthquake that may have played a role in shutting down the show on Wednesday night.

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 for all his help with photos this week!

Inside Dateline Disneyland

Disneyland's 55th Anniversary will be officially observed on Saturday, July 17, 2010. July 17 marks the anniversary of the televised opening of the park, attended by specially-invited guests, dignitaries and celebrities. Disneyland officially opened the the general public on July 18, 1955.

This year's anniversary is remarkably understated for a mid-decade milestone anniversary, but Disney announced the event lineup for the anniversary on the DisneyParks Blog last week.

A Look at the 55th Anniversary Festivities
Here’s what’s in store for the week leading up to our anniversary on July 17.

  • Special edition park maps will be available all week, and the image above is a sneek peek at what they’ll look like.
  • Now through July 17, select Disneyland dining locations offer commemorative 55th Anniversary cakes.
  • Select merchandise locations will offer 55th Anniversary candy packaging and cupcakes with the 55th Anniversary logo.

On July 17 …
  • At noon the dedication ceremony will take place in Town Square.
  • At 4:15 pm join the cast in singing Happy Birthday to our beloved Disneyland.
  • Check out the 55th Anniversary Art & Collectible merchandise event with artists Dave Avanzino, Jody Daily, Kevin Kidney and Noah will be held at The Disney Gallery from 9:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.
  • Have you heard the buzz? It’s all in the bag … or that’s what I hear. Look for a special event taking place at Disney Vault 28 from 2 – 4 pm.
  • Wear a smile from “ear to ear” with a special Mickey Mouse Ear Hat featuring premium embroidery that reads “D 55th,” July 17, 2010, available exclusively on July 17.

The commemorative park maps are available now in the parks (the cover is pictured above), and the anniversary cupcakes are available at select locations throughout the parks and in Downtown Disney.

Artists including Kevin Kidney and Jody Daily will be at the Disney Gallery on the morning of July 17 signing new Disneyland-inspired artwork and collectibles for the 55th anniversary. The stuff two-man team Kevin and Jody are turning out is especially impressive, such as this one-of-a-kind giant paper sculpture showcasing "early Disneyland treats." The framed piece measures five feet by two feet.

Other collectibles by Kevin and Jody include truly nostalgic ceramic recreations of early popcorn boxes ($24, Limited Edition 1955) and paper cups from Disneyland

Paper cup - $18, LE 1955

As well as a four-piece dinnerware set ($40, LE 1955) that features an early souvenir map from the park. Prices and more information on the 55th Anniversary art and collectibles release can be found at the Art of Disney Parks website.

The team is also working on more pieces commemorating Disneyland's 55th that will be available later this summer at Disneyland including a new series of figurines honoring early Disneyland Cast Members...

From Kevin Kidney's blog:

Guided Tours with a Smile!
This red-kilted little lady with the cheery smile is ready to take you on a tour through the fun-filled lands of Walt Disney's original theme park, circa 1965. The Tour Guides of Disneyland symbolize the Park's world-famous spirit of friendship and happiness, and ours is no exception.

Introducing the first in a new series of collectible figurines celebrating the Cast Members of early Disneyland. Designed and sculpted by us! [ FULL STORY ]

Also from Kevin and Jody later this summer is a new series of early ride vehicle replicas, starting with Walt's Car!

Walt's Car
Walt Disney loved to show visitors around Disneyland. Imagineer Bob Gurr designed four little electric "Runabouts" especially for Walt to use when touring the Park with family, friends and celebrities. Bob recalls, "Walt was always smiling happily when he was at the tiller of "his car."

This replica (one of five nostalgic attraction vehicles in honor of Disneyland's 55th Anniversary) will be released later this summer. [ FULL STORY ]

Disney rolled out the newly overhauled and updated last week. The old site was certainly showing its age and the new site, taking a lot of its design cues from the Walt Disney World site, is a big improvement. Also worth mentioning - the site utilizes Adobe Flash, but has an iPhone/iPod/iPad-friendly alternative that doesn't redirect you to a content-comprimised mobile site. Kudos to Disney for keeping mobile users in mind!

Interestingly, the website still calls DCA "Disney's California Adventure" instead of its new "Disney California Adventure" name.

The site includes interactive park maps, which are worth noting because the California Adventure map no longer includes the Maliboomer. This could be seen as a bit of confirmation for the rumors that the Maliboomer would be removed later this fall. Also missing: Burger Invasion, S.S. rustworthy, Corn Dog Castle, and Souvenir 66, which is not surprising. The dining locations and souvenir stand are behind construction walls and set to be rethemed, and the S.S. rustworthy play area is already half-removed, with its remaining half set to be demolished later this fall.

Construction continues at various Disney California Adventure projects...

Wednesday's 5.4 magnitude earthquake shut down attractions throughout both parks. The attractions reopened normally after standard post-earthquake inspections were completed, but California Adventure's new World of Color water show didn't fare so well. While Disney said they didn't know if the damage sustained by the show was directly a result of Wednesday's earthquake, the situation was serious enough for Disney to cancel all three showings of World of Color Wednesday night, sending thousands of angry guests to DCA's guest relations.

The show went off without a hitch on Thursday night, but not before making the waves in the fan community on Twitter Wednesday night and making news on the LA Times website Thursday morning.

World of Color at Disney's California Adventure Park goes dark after earthquake
World of Color, the newest attraction at Disney's California Adventure Park, temporarily shut down Wednesday night, only hours after a moderate earthquake struck the region.

Still, Disney officials said it was unclear if the earthquake played a role in the "technical difficulties" that forced the cancellation of the three nightly shows.

World of Color, a water, light and fire show that erupts from the Paradise Bay Lagoon, debuted June 11.

Al Lutz, author of the Disney fan site, said the show was canceled because platforms that raise out of the water were damaged. He said divers and engineers were brought in to assess the damage.

It was unclear Thursday morning if the repairs would be made in time for the show to reopen again Thursday night.

Wednesday's 5.4-magnitude quake struck at 4:53 p.m. about 28 miles south of Palm Springs.

The cancellation of World of Color marks the second time that the show was put on hold.

On June 27, problems with an underground water main caused an overflow of water, forcing Disney workers to cancel the night’s second show.

Lutz said Disney guest relations workers were inundated with visitor complaints, particularly from guests who bought meal packages that included a ticket to enter a reserve viewing area for the show. [ FULL STORY ]

Construction progresses at the new Little Mermaid attraction.

Progress at Burger Invasion is proving to be slow...

Cars Land construction continues as well...

Work continues on the Red Car Trolley track in front of the Tower of Terror

The Submarine Lagoon's buoy is still under refurbishment backstage...

Along with the new 55th Anniversary cupcakes, new Summer Nightastic! and Toy Story 3 cupcakes are available at food locations including the Blue Ribbon Bakery (Disneyland) and Baker's Field Bakery (California Adventure).

And construction at the Disneyland Hotel continues...

Dateline Disneyland is sponsored by our good friends at the
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Weekly Theme Park Hours
JULY 12 — 18, 2010

Disneyland Park
Disney 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

  • Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters: Closed July 19 - 23
  • Star Tours: Closes July 26 for Star Tours 2 upgrades. Reopens May 2011.
  • Haunted Mansion: Closed August 30 - September 16 to install Haunted Mansion Holiday overlay
  • Main Street Vehicles: Closed September 7 - 30 for refurbishment.
  • Space Mountain: Closed September 12 - 16 to install Space Mountain Ghost Galaxy overlay.
  • Roger Rabbit Car Toon Spin: Closed September 20 - December 16
  • Indiana Jones Adventure: Closed for one day September 22.
  • Mark Twain Riverboat: Closed September 27-30.

Disney California Adventure

  • Toy Story Midway Mania!: Closed August 30 - October 10
  • 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.
  • Pizza Oom Mow Mow: Closes September 7 to begin retheme to Boardwalk Pizza and Pasta. Reopens May 2011.
  • Burger Invasion: Closed for retheme to Paradise Garden Grill. Reopens May 2011.
  • 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.

Disney official fan club, D23, announced the pricing of its two-day Destination D event as well as unveiled their official Disneyland Resort scavenger hunt.

This year is the 55th anniversary of Disneyland Resort, and D23 is celebrating this milestone year with the premiere of Destination D: Disneyland '55, a brand-new, two-day event that illuminates the fascinating history behind Disney's flagship park.

Destination D: Disneyland '55 will take D23 Members on a mesmerizing journey through the design, creation, debut and magical history of the world's first Disney theme park. The event will offer two full days of special presentations, panels, screenings and guest speakers that give fans an inside view of this fascinating era in Disney history and let them meet and talk with key figures in Disneyland's history. Future Destination D events will explore other important aspects of Disney's amazing creative legacy. Following its premiere in September, Destination D will alternate annually with the enormously popular D23 Expo.

Event highlights include our Mickey Mouse Club 55th Anniversary presentation, reuniting original Mouseketeers Sharon Baird, Doreen Tracey, Bobby Burgess, Karen Pendleton, Sherry Van Meter (formerly Alberoni), Tommy Cole, Cubby O'Brien, and Mary Geoff (formerly Espinosa) for a delightful trip back in time to the dawning of the television era with the club that was, like D23, "made for you and me."

Destination D will also mark the debut of the Disney Legends Celebration, a heartfelt tribute to those who have made a lasting contribution to the Disney legacy. All Destination D attendees and Disney Legends will be invited to attend E-Ticket: Music from the Disney Parks, a concert of memorable tunes through the years at the Disneyland Resort with some very special guests, including Disney Legend Richard Sherman.

All guests will also receive a limited-edition set of colorful, vintage Disneyland postcards from the Walt Disney Archives Collection. It's a reproduction of actual postcards sold when Disneyland opened in 1955 — it's just a coincidence that the complete set features 23 images!

There will also be a selection of limited edition merchandise available for purchase at the event.

September 24-25, 2010

Grand Ballroom, Disneyland Hotel, Disneyland Resort
Anaheim, California

On Sale Monday, July 12, 2010 at 10 a.m. PST. Check back here for link to order tickets.

$125 per person.
$165 per person for Destination D and one D23's Great Scavenger Hunt team.

Panels, presentations and events to run from approximately 9 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. on both Friday and Saturday.

The Hunt is on!

Get ready for the most incredible scavenger hunt in Disney history as D23 hosts the Great Disney Scavenger Hunt at the Disneyland Resort! Teams will take off across the Resort in search of the answers to some challenging — but fun! — questions. Think you know your way around Disneyland? This will be the ultimate test as you and your team race against the clock to gather as many points as possible. The top 10 teams will win fantastic prizes, including goodies and collectibles from our friends at Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment, Walt Disney Records, the Walt Disney Collectors Society, Walt Disney Publishing and the Walt Disney Archives.

Get a good night's sleep because registration starts at 7 a.m. in the Exposition Hall of the Disneyland Hotel. And at 8:45 a.m., it's off you go… You and your team will scour the entire Disneyland Resort — from Downtown Disney and the Disneyland Resort Hotels to Disney California Adventure and, of course, Disneyland — for answers to our quizzical queries.

You'll have just over five hours to gather as many answers as possible before returning to the Exposition Hall for judging. And don't be late — points are taken off for every precious minute! Comfortable shoes and attire are recommended!

Once we're done tallying the totals, we'll announce the winners — and the top teams can collect their bounties! Think you're up to the challenge? We can't wait to find out!

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Exposition Hall, Disneyland Hotel
Anaheim, California

On Sale Monday, July 12, 2010 at 10 a.m. PST. Check back here for link to order tickets.

$50 per team for D23 Members (up to four people); $75 per team for non-members (up to four people).

Registration begins at 7 a.m.; Hunt kicks off at 8:45 a.m. and ends at 2 p.m.
For more information on the events, visit:

A technology columnist and blogger from the Seattle Times criticized Disneyland's Innoventions for being painfully out-of-date in a recent blog on the newspaper's web site.
Microsoft yesteryear at Disneyland's Innoventions
While I was out of the office last week visiting family in Orange County I went by Disneyland and saw the theme park's Innoventions attraction, which Microsoft sponsors.

Innoventions is in the rotating building in Tomorrowland that used to host America Sings, a musical of animatronic eagles singing national anthems.

We were met by a talking robot named Tom Morrow. After a shameless ABC promo — visitors answered questions about "Modern Family" and "The Middle" on a game show set — we were led into the Dream Home sponsored by Microsoft, HP and Taylor Morrison Homes.

Not much new here. All the products shown have been on the market for at least a year: the Xbox 360 video game system, the Zune HD music player, the Surface touchscreen coffee table, pre-iPad era touchscreen monitors.

Upstairs there was an Xbox arcade but no demo of Kinect, the motion sensor planned for the holidays.

Innoventions landed in the bottom five of Disneyland attractions for the day. It was neck and neck with the Chip 'n Dale Treehouse.
For more the full article, visit: Seattle Times: Microsoft yesteryear at Disneyland's Innoventions

Okay! That wraps up this week's edition of Dateline Disneyland! Happy 55th Anniversary, be sure to get out to Disneyland and help it celebrate its big birthday this weekend!

Thanks again to our great photographer this week—Fishbulb! And of course, many thanks to all of you for reading. Be sure to discuss this week's update in the comments section below!

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See you here next week!
- Andy

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Updated 07-12-2010 at 08:30 AM by Dateline Disneyland (Added column banner, link to 55th Anniversary prices)

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


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  1. Emmanuel_4's Avatar
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    Great Update!!!!
  2. Kritter's Avatar
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  3. Internitty's Avatar
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    Do you have any idea of prices of the Kevin Kidney and Jody Daily merchandise shown in the update yet?
  4. DragonFire FURY's Avatar
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    $4.99 for a cupcake! Sheesh.
    Great update.
  5. Scary Scott's Avatar
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    Wonderful update!
  6. Mac Daddy's Avatar
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    Great update, Andy and Fishbulb! Thanks for all of your hard work each week.
  7. WheresMickey's Avatar
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    Nice update!
  8. TDLFAN's Avatar
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    Very disappointing that DL's 55th won't be celebrated with a special year-long promotion like previous milestone years used to be (like the 25th, 30th, 35th.. etc) That is so WDW-lazy! Thumbs down. Thank God for the good folks at OLC in Tokyo who still continue this tradition..and the upcoming 10th anniversary event for DisneySea should make up for what the american management team in the USA considers trivial.
  9. Blackmouse's Avatar
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    awesome update!!!!!!. sad to see star tours gone but i am waiting for the reopening in 2011
  10. Wanda Woman's Avatar
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    Wow! Love this pic, Fishy! You have such an eye for composition. Beautiful!

    I must have those retro ceramic cups. I'm such a sucker for kitchenware.

    Wonderful update. Thanks, Andy and Fishy!
  11. Dateline Disneyland's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Internitty
    Do you have any idea of prices of the Kevin Kidney and Jody Daily merchandise shown in the update yet?
    Sorry about that! I went back and added price information for the available pieces and a link to the Art of Disney Parks website in the article.

    And here they are for your convenience.

    Popcorn Box - $24, limited edition 1955
    Paper Cup - $18, limited edition 1955
    Dinnerware set - $40, limited edition 1955

    More collectibles and art that will be released on the 17th can be viewed with prices and more information at The Art of Disney Parks website

    - Andy
  12. cablubber's Avatar
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    Great update, as always!
  13. Dustysage's Avatar
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    I just love waking up to Dateline Disneyland every Monday. It is one of the few things to look forward to on an early Monday morning . . . aside from a big cup of strong coffee.

    Well done Andy and Fishy!!!
  14. The Shelby Gallery's Avatar
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    Great Update, thanks!
  15. DisneylandPlanner's Avatar
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    Those cupckes look so good, my baby belly is wanting one!!!!
  16. Fairy Godmother Travel's Avatar
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    Love the updates--Your pics Fishy are FAB! My favorite is the subs. .

    I LOVE retro merchandise. .

    The D23 event sounds fun! So jealous I will miss it!
  17. Disneykin Kid's Avatar
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    55th Anniversary, what a missed opportunity. I could imagine the logo - Disneyland 55 1955, with the 55s somehow merging into another. Maybe they thought it's too close to the big 50th which they couldn't outdo but they should have had at least a new parade.
  18. monotonehell's Avatar
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    Thanks Andy-man and Fish-in. You are my favourite Monday morning dynamic duo (well Tuesday morning for me but when in Rome...)

    The Disneyland web site is still the old design if you come at it from the Australian pages. At least they've taken out the hotel price list from __2007__ that's been there up until recently.

    I love the dig at Innoventions.

    (I want those ceramic popcorn boxes and 'paper' cups!!!)
  19. Disneykin Kid's Avatar
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    Nice construction photos - it will make quite a difference in improving DCA. Now if only they can replace the Winery and Pacific Wharf areas with something worthy of the geographic center of the park. DL has Sleeping Beauty Castle, DCA has uninspired restaurants. Replace those restaurants with a great landmark or attraction, then you can wipe away the DCA stain.
  20. Timekeeper's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Disneykin Kid
    Nice construction photos - it will make quite a difference in improving DCA. Now if only they can replace the Winery and Pacific Wharf areas with something worthy of the geographic center of the park. DL has Sleeping Beauty Castle, DCA has uninspired restaurants. Replace those restaurants with a great landmark or attraction, then you can wipe away the DCA stain.
    No thank you, I like the restaurants. Interesting collectibles, who knew that 'Paper' cups and popcorn 'bags' from 1955 would cost $18 and $24 respectively.

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