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Dateline Disneyland

Getting ready for Christmas, Mickey dances, Sunset, California construction, +MORE!

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by , 10-25-2010 at 02:25 AM
Disneyland's Christmas Tree can now be seen backstage from the Mickey and Friends Tram Route as it gets ready for the upcoming holiday season, but its not just backstage where Christmas is popping up. Holiday merchandise is hitting store shelves throughout the Resort and the first Christmas decorations are now up in a far corner of New Orleans Square. Still, Halloween Time chugs along, despite the first signs of Christmas and on-going construction in both parks. In California Adventure, the sun is setting on the one of the park's opening-day icons and the Maliboomer thrill ride is now completely gone from the Paradise Pier skyline. And over in the Hollywood Pictures Backlot, Mickey is now dancing to slightly questionable beats in a new stage show.

As always, more information on the construction projects featured in today's update can be found in the MiceChat Project Tracker threads — just look for a Project Tracker watermark and click that photo for more information and to join the on-going discussion.

Thanks to Mac Daddy for some additional help with photos this week.

There's always lots to see at Disneyland, so let's get started!

Inside Dateline Disneyland

Disneyland has added Captain EO Tribute posters to the east entry tunnel.

East Center Street is getting some facade refurbishment work.

While Disney quietly sneaks in Christmas lights in trees and bushes around the Castle and in the Central Plaza, the first set of Christmas decorations has gone up back in New Orleans Square's Court des Anges.

It looks like the area will once again be a merchandise location during the holiday season.

Over in Fantasyland, Christmas lights are now appearing on "it's a small world's" facade. The ride is now closed to install the holiday overlay and will reopen November 12 as part of Disneyland's holiday offerings.

The new Disney Dance Crew show debuted last week in California Adventure's Hollywood Pictures Backlot, replacing the long-running, fan-favorite Drawn to the Magic show.

The show is as far from Drawn to the Magic as you can imagine.

The show features two groups of kids in hip costumes talking "street" and dancing to remixes of popular Disney songs from films like Mulan and The Lion King

It's insulting (and questionable) enough to hear "Yo Ho (A Pirates Life From Me)" from Pirates of the Caribbean remixed into a pseudo rap song and the lyrics changed to "Drink up my gangstas, yo ho!" — but, it's just wrong and bizarre to see Mickey stripped on stage to reveal hip dancer clothes and Mickey dancing to to these songs.

The show finishes with the signage changing from "Disney Dance Crew" to "Mickey's Dance Crew" and Mickey being regarded as a cool new dance star. Confetti is shot into the crowd and then Mickey comes out for a meet-and-greet.

Disney released a video preview of the show on the DisneyParks Blog — take a look.

A look at California Adventure's ongoing $1 billion remodel and expansion...

The west side of California Adventure's tile mural is completely gone. All that's currently left is a section of the steel framework.

The buildings that were once covered by the tile murals will soon become richly-themed shops on a 1920s Los Angeles street.

Across the way, the east mural and facades are still intact for now. The signage at the Greetings! from California is showing some bad wear and tear, but why bother refurbishing it when it's going to be removed soon anyway?


Further into Sunshine Plaza, the former sun icon continues to be dismantled.

The Carthay Circle Theatre will soon be built here.

Work continues at the former location of Bountiful Valley Farm as Cars Land's Cadillac Range rises in the background.

A look at the rock work from Pacific Wharf

From above, the Bountiful Valley Farm land is all cleared and ready for the construction of the entrance to Cars Land and Tow Mater's Junkyard Jamboree.

Construction workers form the ridges of the Radiator Springs mountain range


They've really made progress in the Pizza Oom Mow Mow and Burger Invasion area. The entire area in front of the dining areas has been completely cleared and work is underway getting the restaurants ready to be re-themed.

The Maliboomer is completely gone now, nicely freeing up the Paradise Pier skyline and drastically helping the view look cleaner and more appropriately themed.

It's definitely a nicer view now.

The Maliboomer marquee is gone

All that's left are a few shade structures and lighting fixtures

From the OC Register's Around Disney blog:

Tall ride disappears from Disney park
The tall structure that was Maliboomer is gone from the skyline of Disney California Adventure’s Paradise Pier area.

The attraction was removed as part of the Disneyland Resort’s makeover of the theme park. The area is currently planned to have a park-like setting when all the work is complete.

A construction crane was on site but could only be used in the early morning hours to dismantle the attraction, as it operated above and over the California Screamin roller coaster.

The ride was similar to Knott’s Berry Farm’s Supreme Scream, with some differences including a rapid rise to the top. [ FULL STORY ]

Work continues behind Red Car Trolley construction walls in the Hollywood Pictures Backlot

Scaffolding still surrounds the Hyperion Theatre marquee

Construction continues at the Disneyland Hotel.

The former Compass Books newsstand is once again home to the Cupcake Store.

Holiday merchandise is now hitting resort store shelves

Inside DCA, Duffy treats are now being sold in dining locations in the park.

Back in Disneyland, Toon Town continues to get some TLC. Its entry sign is gone for refurbishment.

...and the Mickey Mouse fountain is behind construction walls

We'll finish today's photo update with a couple photos from New Orleans Square...

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Weekly Theme Park Hours
OCTOBER 25 — 31, 2010
Disneyland Park
Disney California Adventure
Monday - Tuesday: 8 am - 6 pm
Wednesday - Thursday: 9 am - 8 pm
Friday: 8 pm - 7 pm
Saturday: 8 am - 12 midnight
Sunday: 8 am - 7 pm
Monday - Thursday: 10 am - 8 pm
Friday: 10 am - 11 pm
Saturday: 10 am - 10 pm
Sunday: 10 am - 11 pm
For a complete listing of theme park hours, visit the Theme Park Calendar

Closures and Refurbishment Schedule
Disneyland Park

  • Village Haus Restaurant: Closed until December 19 for refurbishment.
  • Roger Rabbit Car Toon Spin: Closed through December 16 for refurbishment.
  • "it's a small world": Closed through November 11 to install holiday overlay.
  • Pirates of the Caribbean: Closed November 2 -3 for refurbishment.
  • The Blue Bayou Restaurant: Closed November 2 -3 due to Pirates of the Caribbean refurbishment.
  • The Jungle Cruise: Closed November 15-18
  • Mr. Toad's Wild Ride: Closed November 29 through December 2 for refurbishment.
  • Star Tours: Closed for Star Tours 2 overhaul. Reopens May 2011.

Disney California Adventure

  • It's Tough to Be a Bug!: Closed through October 25 - 29 for refurbishment.
  • Redwood Creek Challenge Trail: Closed November 1-18
  • Maliboomer: Removed. Space will become new park-like area.
  • Mullholland Madness: Closed to be rethemed. Reopens May 2011 as Goofy's Sky School.
  • Pizza Oom Mow Mow: Closed for retheme to Boardwalk Pasta and Pizza
  • 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.

Downtown Disney & Hotels of the Disneyland Resort

  • Arcade, Jungle Cruise Remote Control Boats, Hook's Pointe, The Wine Cellar, The Lost Bar, and Croc's Bits & Bites (Disneyland Hotel): Closed permanently for removal as part of Disneyland Hotel remodel.

Sad news — from the OC Register Around Disney blog:

Man who jumped from Disney structure ID’d

Authorities identified Thursday a 61-year-old man who fell to his death from the top floor of the parking structure at Disneyland.

Ghassan Trabulsi of Monrovia was found about 8:45 p.m. Sunday near the southwest corner of the Mickey & Friends parking structure on Walnut Street and Magic Way, said Anaheim police Sgt. Rick Martinez.

Trabulsi was taken to a hospital where he died at 1:30 a.m. Monday, Martinez said.
An autopsy performed Tuesday revealed Trabulsi died of multiple traumatic injuries consistent with a fall, said Orange County Supervising Deputy Coroner Daniel Aikin.

Trabulsi had a suicide note, Martinez said, adding that he may have been undergoing “personal issues.”

Surveillance cameras around the six-story parking structure did not capture the fall, but evidence found indicated he jumped from the top floor, Martinez said.
For the full story, visit: Around Disney: Man who jumped from Disney structure ID’d

More from Around Disney:
Police: Disney union’s pedophile warning unjust
Hotel union members are handing out fliers warning visitors of the potential of “pedophiles” at Disneyland – a missive that a police official says “misrepresents” facts.

The fliers cite Anaheim police calls and sex offender statistics under the headline of: “Keep Your Children Close! Places Like Disneyland Are Magnets For ‘Pedophiles.’ ”

The union, Unite Here Local 11, has been embroiled in a contract dispute with Disney for almost three years.

“Local 11’s leadership has reached a new low with this reprehensible tactic, and they should be ashamed of themselves,” said Suzi Brown, a Disneyland Resort spokeswoman, in a prepared statement.

Leigh Shelton, a Unite Here spokeswoman, denies that the fliers are related to the contract dispute. The fliers state, “A Service From UNITE HERE!” and include tips for keeping children safe.

“We think this is an important issue,” Shelton said. “This is a serious problem that affects anybody whose children go to Disneyland and that includes our members.”
Sgt. Rick Martinez, spokesman for the Anaheim Police Department, said he knows of no pedophile problems currently at Disneyland.

Union representatives requested police reports from the addresses of the Disneyland Resort’s two theme parks, three hotels, Downtown Disney and parking lots.

“The Anaheim Police were called to Disneyland 64 times from 2005-2010 to investigate ‘sex offenses’ – 9 of them in the first half of 2010,” the flier states.

Martinez said he knows of no pedophilia-related reports, although he has yet to review all of them.
For the full story, visit: Around Disney: Police — Disney union’s pedophile warning unjust

Just a year after opening, the new Grand Californian Hotel timeshares are now sold out.
Disneyland Resort’s first timeshares sell out
The first timeshares at the Disneyland Resort sold out about a year after they opened, Disney announced Wednesday (today).

Memberships to Villas at the Grand Californian Hotel in Anaheim are now at capacity.
The 50 Grand Californian units opened in September 2009 as the company’s first Disney timeshares on the West Coast. The units are part of Disney Vacation Club, the company’s timeshare program. See a story about the Disney timeshare opening.

Diane Hancock, a spokeswoman for Disney Vacation Club, declined to release how many members are at the Grand Californian. The club has 450,000 members total.

The timeshares mean big bucks for Anaheim: The city projected that the units would make about $465,000 in hotel taxes in the the first year alone. The amount was expected to go up each year. See a previous story about the Disney hotel expansion taxes.

“We are very pleased with the success of our first West Coast resort,” said Disney Vacation Club President Jim Lewis in a prepared statement. “Families have enjoyed visiting the Disneyland Resort for decades and Disney Vacation Club members who own at The Villas at Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel will enjoy the savings for decades to come.”
For the full story, visit: Around Disney: Disneyland Resort’s first timeshares sell out

Alrighty, that's it for this week's edition of Dateline Disneyland. Thank you for reading and be sure join the discussion in the comments section below!

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  1. C. Andrew Nelson's Avatar
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    Thank you so much for yet another fascinating update!
  2. RatherBeAtDLand's Avatar
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    United HERE has reached an all-time low. I agree with Ms. Brown. Great update!
  3. Dustysage's Avatar
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    Shame on Disney for the gangsta Mickey show. We hated the preview they showed at Destination D and are horrified that no one in the company seems to be protective of the brand and cultural icons these days. Someone at Disney needs to take the fall for this inappropriate show. I understand that Disney wants to be hip and edgy. But that is NOT what the Disney brand is about. Let Universal be hip, Disney has always been square, safe, and high quality. This show does not belong in a Disney park and is bad for Mickey's image.

    Fantastic update as always Andy!

  4. Mac Daddy's Avatar
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    I agree with Dusty on the gangsta Mickey. All we need now is a new soundtrack with rapping Mickey flashing gang signs. Nice image there, Disney.

    Also wondering about the balconies on the hotel remodel. I thought one of the main reasons they pulled the railing off and sealed up the windows was to prevent any more suicide attempts from the hotel. I guess this wasn't the case if the corner rooms still have balconies. Not that I'm complaining. I'd LOVE to have a balcony, but I just don't understand why they sealed up the other rooms if they were going to continue to allow certain rooms to have open air.
  5. xalesa's Avatar
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    Another wonderful update; my Monday morning is now complete!
  6. Barbossa's Avatar
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    Great update! That Dance Crew show is bizarre.
  7. TacAlert's Avatar
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    It's only a matter of time before Mickey has a costume malfunction. I don't have to worry about seeing gangsta Mickey since I don't have a pass right now, but yes, it is inappropriate.
  8. WheresMickey's Avatar
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    Nice update, i agree with Dusty. The show don't seem to belong there.
  9. Wendygirl's Avatar
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    I am dismayed at the rap show in DCA. I think Dusty said it all. So totally inappropriate!
  10. dlandjimmy's Avatar
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    Not only is the show inappropriate, but it's just downright lame. That wouldn't even be cool in the early 90's if the Fresh Prince had a location shoot at DCA. MC Hammer is embarrassed for Mickey.
  11. Disney Romantic's Avatar
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    I agree that the dance show is laughably awful, but I'm really not shocked by it. Disney tries to be hip every few years, fails miserably, and it's soon forgotten and only occasionally brought up as a "Can you believe they once tried this?" sorta thing. It's best to ignore these kind of things and act like they're not there to preserve sanity and self-respect.
  12. TCadillac's Avatar
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    Drink up me gangstas, yo ho? Ugh.....
  13. a-net-fan's Avatar
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    Yea unreal nobody in the company thought that portraying Mickey in this way was just.....just wrong. Lets hope this show is short lived.
  14. NetteNutt's Avatar
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    I don't see the Dance Crew show lasting too terribly long like everyone's being saying it doesn't seem to fit. They are going to have a lot of young kids probably wanting to watch it because it will remind them of a different show, I can't remember off the top of my head what channel it is one, but that one is called Hip Hop Harry.
  15. Zoe Necrosis's Avatar
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    Man oh man. Those outfits the Dance Crew is sporting almost suggest Disney is being ironic. But I know they aren't. So thank you for this cautionary warning - I know that if I witnessed Dance Crew it would be one of those things that just could not be unseen.
  16. Chernabog's Avatar
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    Oh sweet jesus! Mickey is wearing breakaway clothes and they strip him??? *Strip* him?!?!?!?! Into ghetto-fabulous (and I use that term derisively) 90s hip-hop gear?

    Didn't anyone remember how completely embarrassing it was in Steps in Time when the dancers would grab their crotches and rap Hakuna Matata?

    Whoever thought of this idea should be walled up alive in the Carsland mountain range.
  17. indianajack's Avatar
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    I wish gangsta Mickey was meant to be cleverly ironic, but I know it isn't. What the heck are they thinking? Whoever came up with this idea and approved it should be fired. I don't know if Drawn to the Magic was ever much of a "fan-favorite" but I'll remember it wistfully after this gangsta show.
  18. Disneykin Kid's Avatar
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    Disney Dance Crew - I think someone in Disney is thinking, "We're not attracting enough teenagers to the parks, so let's put on a hip and edgy show." Well, the only way you can attract more teenagers is to build thrilling iron rides like Magic Mtn, which is not an option in a Disney theme park.

    You have to be satisfied with getting the demographic that already loves Disney and cater to that demographic even more. Disney parks will always be weak in attracting teens, and I'm sure even they would think the DDC show is lame. Disney songs remixed to a rap beat? Come on, teens can see through that in an instant. So you have a show that teens think is lame, and the adults and families think is offensive. A lose/lose proposition.
    Updated 10-25-2010 at 08:53 AM by Disneykin Kid
  19. safarijaclyn's Avatar
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    Oh boy...I'm in agreement with Dusty and everyone else.

    I understand where they're coming from *I think* -- trying to get in on the So You Think You Can Dance/America's Best Dance Crew craze, but I really don't need to see Mickey popping, locking and booty bumping (I can't believe I even just WROTE that). It seems like an 80s Disney reject with all the "hip" clothes and talk.

    Plus, I really don't want little kids running around thinking it's cool to be all "gansta" because it's now in Disney lyrics and Mickey thinks it is cool! It is not cool, kids!!

    It's nice that they're getting the new Mickey head into the parks (it's such a cool piece of tech, and enhances the magic in my opinion) but it's sad that they took away Drawn to the Magic to make that happen. I was there for the last show and it was SO sad watching it go.

    Great update though! Always brightens my Mondays
  20. BiggestDisneyFan's Avatar
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    Great update!

    However, I'm not even going to watch the video or peruse the images of the rap show. I don't go in for such things, normally, and from what everybody else has said, this one is worse than normal, and really puts Mickey in a bad light.

    On a different topic, the picture below makes me think that whoever put up those railings must have 1) been sobriety challenged, at the time, and 2) Forgot their level at home that day.

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