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Dateline Disneyland

Candlelight 2010, Rocking the Pier, Little Mermaid progress, Painting rocks, +MORE!

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by , 12-06-2010 at 04:32 AM
Rain washed out Disneyland's annual Candlelight Processional event Sunday night, but luckily Saturday's giant crowds didn't miss out on Disneyland's long-running holiday tradition. While crowds poured into Disneyland this weekend to try to get a view of Candlelight, work continued in California Adventure on the park's major remodel and expansion. Some exterior portions of the upcoming Little Mermaid attraction were revealed while work got serious on other parts. In Cars Land, more steel framework for buildings and attractions along the land's main street are getting underway and the color palate of the Radiator Springs mountains is slowly being revealed. Meanwhile, as construction presses on, the World of Color fountains see their first daytime use in the terribly misplaced Disney Channel Rocks! show in Paradise Park.

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.

Did you remember to celebrate Walt Disney's birthday on Sunday? If not, join us today in wishing Walt a happy 109th birthday as we get jump into this week's update.

Inside Dateline Disneyland

Disney hosted its annual Candlelight Processional this weekend in Town Square. By day, the event looks like a somewhat tacky mess in Town Square, but by night it is a treat to behold. While the show performed twice on Saturday night, both of Sunday evening's performances were cancelled due to rain.

Narrated this year by actor Tom Skerrit, the event tells the story of Christmas with the help of a huge choir.

The "living Christmas tree"

While the show may not be everyone's cup of tea, the production value and top-notch quality of the show are worth appreciating. Despite the crowd chaos, there's also something magical about seeing Town Square transformed for an event like this.

In California Adventure a different show played to much smaller crowds over the weekend in Paradise Park. The new Disney Channel Rocks! show debuted last weekend, but we were unable to get photos of it for you until this week.

The show replaces the tired High School Musical 3 moving stage show and is performed several times daily on the stationary Paradise Park stage in the mornings and early afternoon. It features a group of dancers and singers performing songs from popular Disney Channel shows.

Dancers utilize platforms in Paradise Park and transportable platforms for the show to sing dance while being "in" the crowd.

Interestingly, this show was chosen for the first daytime usage of the new World of Color fountains. The fountains can be seen at the start and end of each show, rising behind the stage.

The show isn't as bad as the recent Disney Dance Crew show in the Hollywood Pictures Backlot (there is no rapping Mickey Mouse in this show, which is certainly a plus), but it certainly has a specific audience with virtually no appeal for anyone older than the Disney Channel's tween demographic. The show is also awkward in its location and draws far smaller crowds that it was likely expected to. It would probably do better a bit scaled down in the Hollywood Pictures Backlot, replacing Disney Dance Crew altogether and performing on the Backlot Stage several times a day. As it is, it simply does not fit in at Paradise Park.

The Disney Parks Blog released a promotional clip of the new show last week:
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A look at California Adventure's ongoing $1 billion remodel and expansion...

Work continues on the removal of the Sunshine Plaza entrance murals and the main entrance fountain area.

Not much can be seen behind the construction walls in Sunshine Plaza...

...except that they're moving a lot of dirt around.

Work continues near the Hyperion Theatre's outdoor queuing area after work wrapped on the nearby Red Car Trolley track installation.

The street curbs were removed in this area prior to installing the trolley tracks so crowds would have a flat walking path to the Tower of Terror. The work in the area is likely to make the pavement in the area look thematically appropriate again.

Walking down California Adventure's parade route, the Cars Land mountain range rises impressively in the distance...

Construction for the Cozy Cone Motel, Luigi's Flying Tires, etc.

The rock work visible from Pacific Wharf continues to get paint

You can see some new facade construction starting for Luigi's Flying Tires

Steel framework for new rock work in the helix of the Radiator Springs Racers curve is taking shape as well.

A look at Cars Land from the Golden Zephyr platform


Tarps came down from the San Francisco Street-side of the new Little Mermaid attraction building over the weekend.

It's the first time that we can see a clear view of some facade details and color scheme.

As some of the facade began to be revealed, scaffolding went up elsewhere on the Mermaid building. The front arch is now completely covered by scaffolding as work starts on it.

The new arched walkway covering has been received the first stage of its roofing.

A look at Goofy's Sky School and Paradise Garden progress...

Not much has changed at the site of the former Maliboomer...

Back in Disneyland, the Astro Orbiter is still closed. No word yet on when it will reopen.

Over at Captain EO, Kodak logos have been removed after the film company announced they were droping the Captain EO sponsorships at both Disneyland and Walt Disney World in September. A "PRESENTED IN 3-D" box replaces the Kodak logo on the Captain EO marquee.

In Mickey's Toon Town, the land's marquee is still missing.

...and Roger Rabbit's Car Toon Spin is still closed until the middle of next week.

D Street in Downtown Disney has a full wall dedicated to TRON merchandise

...and this interesting shirt is now available

Finally, a temporary holiday sleigh photo op is now open in Downtown Disney between World of Disney and the Anne Geddes store. The photo sale location appeared to be staffed by non-Disney employees.

Give some magic this year!
It's that time of year again! The holidays are here, so why not give your friends and family some Disney magic this year?

We've put together a list of some of the best books, CDs, and DVD releases for the Disney fans on your list for your holiday shopping convenience! For your favorite Walt Disney fan why not pick up a copy of the new Walt and El Grupo DVD, chronicling Walt Disney's goodwill tour of South America? If music is more their thing, a copy of The Boys documentary on the legendary Sherman Brothers would be great under the tree. For the bookworms on your list, the Vault of Walt is sure to be a hit (Werner Weiss of highly recommends it!). Or, a copy of this year's new Walt Disney Imagineering "behind the scenes" coffee table book would be an exceptional addition to someone special's collection. For the Disney gamers and tech geeks on your list, Epic Mickey or something Tron is sure to bring a smile to their face!

So jump in and check off some names from your list with the Amazon links below! By giving some of the great Disney items below you'll also be helping support Dateline Disneyland so we can continue bringing Disneyland to you through 2011!

Happy Holidays!
- Andy
Dateline Disneyland

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!
The HoJo Anaheim is now 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.


Weekly Theme Park Hours
DECEMBER 6 12, 2010
Disneyland Park
Disney California Adventure
Monday - Thursday: 9am - 9pm
Friday - Sunday: 8am - 12midnight
Monday - Thursday: 10am - 8pm
Friday - Sunday: 10am - 10pm
For a complete listing of theme park hours, visit the Theme Park Calendar

Closures and Refurbishment Schedule
Disneyland Park

  • Astro Orbiter: Closed through December 16 for refurbishment.
  • Roger Rabbit Car Toon Spin: Closed through December 16 for refurbishment.
  • Village Haus Restaurant: Closed until December 19 for refurbishment.
  • 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

  • Redwood Creek Challenge Trail: Closed November 29 - December 16 for refurbishment
  • Muppet*Vision 3D: Closed December 9
  • 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.

From Yahoo Movies:


Win a trip for 4 to California for an exclusive event at AMC Theatres in the Downtown Disney District to see the trailer debut of Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides and be the first Pirates fans into Disneyland Park.
For the contest, visit: Facebook: PIRATES FANS FIRST! CAPTAIN JACK IS BACK

From D23:
D23: The Official Disney Fan Club is pleased to announce the coming year's slate of special events, designed especially for its diverse and growing membership base.

Among the exciting offerings for 2011 are exclusive D23 Studio Tours throughout the year, four free 50 and Fabulous film screenings on the Walt Disney Studio Lot in Burbank, D23's Great Disney Scavenger Hunt: Walt Disney World, the highly anticipated Destination D: Walt Disney World 40th, the perennial favorite Sip & Stroll event during the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival, a D23/Disney Junior Jake and the Never Land Pirates event on the Burbank Studio Lot for the budding Disney fan, the festive Magic and Merriment event at the Walt Disney World Resort to kick off the holiday season and, of course, D23 Expo 2011.

D23 Members receive advance notification of all special events through D23's biweekly FanFare email, and all events are offered on a space-available basis. More details on events, and on becoming a D23 Member, can be found at

D23's 2011 special event lineup includes:

January 29: Special preview screening of Jake and the Never Land Pirates featuring David Arquette
D23 is partnering with Disney Junior Disney Channel's new broadcast initiative designed for kids ages 2 through 7 inviting D23 Members to bring their young swashbucklers for an advance screening of two episodes of Jake and the Never Land Pirates, a new animated series coming to television this February.

David Arquette is the voice of Skully, the parrot who keeps an eye out for Jake and his crew of kid pirates as they navigate the familiar waters of Never Land while dodging the devious Captain Hook and Mr. Smee.

Following the screening of the two 11-minute episodes, Arquette will sit down for a Q&A with D23's Disney Geek, Jeffrey Epstein, and will also take questions from the audience. Afterwards, the villainous Captain Hook will be available for photos and autographs in front of the Studio Theatre.

May 12-13: D23's Great Disney Scavenger Hunt: Walt Disney World
In spring 2011, for the first time in the 40-year history of Walt Disney World, guests will have the chance to scour all four Florida theme parks to win incredible prizes in this official Disney scavenger hunt. Each team will consist of 2-4 participants, and additional rules and registration information will be available soon at the D23 Web site.

May 14-15: Destination D: Walt Disney World 40th
Following the rave reviews of Destination D: Disneyland '55, this event will celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Orlando resort, commemorating its history and heritage. Panels will include all-new presentations that build upon the successful panels at the Anaheim event, including:
- "Walt Disney World: The Way We Were," hosted by Disney Legend Dave Smith
- "Weird Disney World" with Walt Disney Archives Director Becky Cline
- "Walt Disney World Through the Eye of Television"
- A special evening event featuring musical memories from throughout the history of Walt Disney World
- Other panels, featured speakers and details will be announced soon on the D23 Web site.

August 19-21: D23 Expo 2011 in Anaheim, California
Affectionately dubbed "The Ultimate Fan Event" by Disney enthusiasts, the D23 Expo brings the entire world of Disney under one roof, providing attendees with unprecedented access to Disney films, television and theme parks as never before. An event that only occurs every other year, this is the first D23 Expo since the premiere event in 2009.

For the full event line-up, visit: D23: D23 ANNOUNCES 2011 SPECIAL EVENTS SCHEDULE

From D23:
Most Disney rides re-opened after smoke
ANAHEIM Disneyland has re-opened seven Fantasyland rides shut down this afternoon because of smoke behind the scenes.

More than 20 firefighters were sent to the park about 12:07 p.m. regarding smoke coming from a large electrical conduit inside the wall behind Pinocchio's Daring Journey ride, said Maria Sabol, an Anaheim Fire Department spokeswoman.

That ride, as of 3:30 p.m., was the lone ride still closed because of the smoke.

Firefighters opened up both sides of the wall and found electrical conduits and the wood frame around them charred, Sabol said. It took 30 minutes for firefighters to get to the source of the smoke and control it.

Firefighters shut down electricity for fire safety, which forced the closure of the Pinocchio ride, Peter Pan's Flight, the Storybook Land Canal Boats, Dumbo the Flying Elephant, Snow White's Scary Adventures, Alice in Wonderland, the Casey Jr. Circus Train and the Mad Tea Party.

Mr. Toad's Wild Ride was already down for routine maintenance.

Suzi Brown, a Disneyland Resort spokeswoman, said an unknown "small incident" caused the smoke. Crews decided to shut off the power while they investigated. Most Fantasyland rides, all on the same power supply, were closed about 12:30 p.m.

During the closures, employees roped off rides and told guests they were down because of a power failure.

For the full story, visit: Around Disney: Most Disney rides re-opened after smoke

Alrighty, that wraps up another edition of Dateline Disneyland. Thank YOU for reading and please be sure to discuss in the comments section below!

We're only here because of your support. If you enjoy Dateline Disneyland every week please consider helping us out by donating a buck or two so we can pay the bills and keep the updates coming! You can donate with a click of a button via PayPal click here!

Also, remember that MiceChat has tons of new content all week long! For even more Disneyland news, photos and information check out the In the Parks column on Fridays. And MiceChat's Weekend Update, tours the world of Disney theme parks and other worldly sights and landmarks!

Join us on Twitter and Facebook for great Disneyland news and information throughout the week!

See you at the parks!
- Andy

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  1. SiRocket's Avatar
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    i <3 that new mouse shirt!
  2. bamato's Avatar
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    Thanks for the update

    I'd be nervouse standing on top of the train station roof like that playing instruments.... there doesn't appear to be much of a ledge...
  3. michael darling's Avatar
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    Thanks for getting us pics of the Candlelight! Glad you went Saturday and not Sunday. The trumpeters look magical. I cannot even imagine what this event must feel like. Although you're right: the daytime shots look a mess.

    ^^agree totally about the roof of the train station. Somehow, the rules for the Alice ride dont seem to apply when standing on a small ledge with a trumpet to the sky, in the dark, with spotlights on you.
  4. Mac Daddy's Avatar
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    Great shots, Andy! Were these taken with your new camera? I went last night as it was rained out after standing there for over two hours. Huge bummer, but it's only happened a handful of times in all the years they have been running it.

    Thanks for another great update! The work in DCA is amazing!
  5. FerretAfros's Avatar
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    Any word on why Kodak dropped the EO sponsorship? They've been one of the staple sponsors of the parks through the years, so it's interesting that they're going away so soon after the film switched over. Is is possibly related to EO not drawing the crowds that were expected, since the majority of the public doesn't have nostalgia for the aging film? It looks like they're still sponsoring the park maps (for now at least), so I wonder why they're leaving EO.
  6. WheresMickey's Avatar
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    Nice update!
  7. Internitty's Avatar
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    In reference to Disney Channel Rocks!
    The show is also awkward in its location and draws far smaller crowds that it was likely expected to. It would probably do better a bit scaled down in the Hollywood Pictures Backlot, replacing Disney Dance Crew altogether and performing on the Backlot Stage several times a day. As it is, it simply does not fit in at Paradise Park.
    I couldn't agree more.

    SiRocket i <3 that new mouse shirt!
    I love that new mouse shirt too and the one of angry Mickey in the background of the picture. Does anyone know where you can buy them outside of the parks? I don't live in the USA and would love to get one.

    Now there's an opportunity for an entrepreneurial micechatter, park shirts and memorabilia

    Thank you for the cool list of Christmas ideas one I think needs to be added is Walt Disney Animation Studios The Archive Series: Design [Hardcover] - I got this last week and it's amazing, even better than the first two in the series.

    How wonderful does the progress in DCA look this week, the Cars Land rock works look awesome and the form and style of The Little Mermaid show building is starting to look great too, this weeks seems to be particulary good for progression.
  8. Rongo's Avatar
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    Thanks for the Amazon links -- I'm doing some Christmas shopping now and it's a great way to support MiceChat!
  9. mre200200's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by michael darling
    Thanks for getting us pics of the Candlelight! Glad you went Saturday and not Sunday. The trumpeters look magical. I cannot even imagine what this event must feel like. Although you're right: the daytime shots look a mess.

    ^^agree totally about the roof of the train station. Somehow, the rules for the Alice ride dont seem to apply when standing on a small ledge with a trumpet to the sky, in the dark, with spotlights on you.
    I was thinking the same thing, but I saw they have safety belts on.

    And nice photos. I posted mine here.
  10. niklj's Avatar
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    So are they alternating years on which park they're going to do the D23 scavenger hunts? Next year, should I expect it to be back at Disneyland?
  11. Timekeeper's Avatar
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    Nice pictures, sad that Sunday night's candlelight procession was canceled. I already have the collector's edition of Epic Mickey, I so want the soundtrack to Tron Lagacy and a few other things, but I have to think about what get and what not to get.

  12. Timekeeper's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by niklj
    So are they alternating years on which park they're going to do the D23 scavenger hunts? Next year, should I expect it to be back at Disneyland?
    Think 2012.

  13. Barbossa's Avatar
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    Great update!
  14. RedHandedJill's Avatar
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    I was there this weekend and everything is coming along nicely. We are going to stay for Candlelight but it was just too crowded and we were shoved together waiting for it to start for 40 minutes and couldn't take it any longer.
  15. J Thaddeus Toad Esq's Avatar
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    I was kind of sad this year as I wasn't able to see the processional on Saturday. I went to Disneyland on Sunday only to have it rained out. Fortunately Disneyland is always fun in the rain, and the processional will back again next year.
  16. cablubber's Avatar
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    Nice update! Not really digging the Disney Channel Rocks show. It's great to see that Disneyland still has the Candlelight procession after all these years.
  17. bayouguy's Avatar
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    Very nice to see the pics from Saturday's Candlelight Processional. It looked cold.
    Also, glad to read how the DCR show is mainly youth oriented and not much for the older crowd. I'm not that old but am really scratching my head about who thinks up these shows.
  18. odagoon's Avatar
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    Great update. The Candlelight Processional was fabulous as always. The CM's on the Opera House side were a bit overzealous in their zeal to free up the benches. We were hassled by 4 different CMs trying to get us to give our seat despite the fact that we have a Guest Access Card showing that we cannot stand for extended periods of time. They were also separating families!!! They even tried to get the 90 year old gentleman behind us to give up his seat!!!! Dreadful behavior on their part. We had talked to 5 CMs before getting into line to make sure we were on the "handicapped" side. NEVER AGAIN! We'll go back to our regular seats on the City Hall side and take our chances for the benches over there.
  19. Athlonacon's Avatar
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    I would just like to point out that Kevin Yee had the same fire-like incident at his location years ago and evacuated the area, much to the chagrin of his superiors. It turned out to be nothing, but it's always better safe than sorry. (It's all there in black and white in "Mouse Trap", 2007)

    See, those books that Steve and Kevin write are locked permanently in my head... they really are filled with great knowledge/experience! I don't know if they truly realize how influential those books are... the writing style might be a little rough (for a book), but the content is golden!
    Updated 12-07-2010 at 04:22 PM by Athlonacon