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Dateline Disneyland

1/11: Inside Monorail Red, Off-season, New DreamDecor, Toy Story Mania!, GCH, +MORE

Rating: 2 votes, 5.00 average.
by , 01-10-2008 at 11:58 PM
Welcome to this week's edition of Dateline Disneyland! This week we'll take a look inside the new Mark VII Disneyland Monorail, off-season Disneyland, Toy Story Mania as it nears completion, and the latest in the Year of a Million Dreams decorations.

I'd like to thank David "Darkbeer" Michael for his fantastic shots from around the Resort this week while I'm out of the state on vacation. David is truly a pro at what he does, and has many more photos from the parks at his Smugmug photo gallery - http://darkbeer.smugmug.com. All shots this week are by David, unless otherwise noted.


Alright, let's get to it!


WELCOME TO DISNEYLAND!
With the holidays at the Resort now behind us, floral Mickey is being re-planted with a new Year of a Million Dreams theme.


Gone are the holiday poinsettias, and here now is Tinkerbell scattering floral DreamSparkle pixie dust around Mickey.


A close-up of Tinkerbell:



Inside the park, Town Square's Christmas tree and the Main Street garlands are gone until next holiday season.


These lamppost adornments are the same ones that said "Where Dreams Come True" earlier last year. They've just been changed to feature the Year of a Million Dreams logo. I think the dark blue is a bad color choice, the lighter blue was much better - but I'm glad that Disney has realized that selling both the "Year of a Million Dreams" and "Where Dreams Come True" campaign at the same time is confusing. Unfortunately, I still don't think its any more clear what the Year of a Million Dreams really is, and why it has been extended for another year.


Here is a photo I took last January when the signs said "Where Dreams Come True."



Disney Clothiers is getting some paint during the off-season. It's main entrance is closed during refurbishment, but you can still enter through its side doors.




Like the rest of the holiday decor around the park, the icicles and snow are being removed from the Castle.


The off-season brings low wait times for park attractions.


And even though the Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage has a posted 45-minute wait time, it isn't totally uncommon to find the actual queue down to very little.



The Plaza Pavillion, which is usually closed to park guests is down for a 10-month refurbishment. The Plaza Pavillion, when used, is used for alternate Annual Passport processing when the Bank of Main Street is closed. Rumor has it that the Disney Gallery may be finding a permanent home here.


The former restaurant was also home to the Junior Chef program, which allows young park guests to bake Nestle-Tollhouse chocolate chip cookies. Due to the Pavillion's closure, the Junior Chef program has been discontinued. No word on if it will resume after the refurbishment, or if it will be moved elsewhere.



A LOOK INSIDE THE NEW MONORAIL RED
The new Mark VII Monorail can sometimes be seen out on the track in front of the Roundhouse





The following images were graciously sent to me by an anonymous source. They are screen captures of a recent edition of Disneyland's CastTV program which offered a sneak peek inside the new Monorail. The shots show the new central bench seating, which is replacing the staggered seats in the current Monorails. The following three images are copyright Disney.





MISSING TEACUPS
The Mad Tea Party has been closed for an unannounced refurbishment.


Earlier in the week the tea cups disappeared from the turntable.


And now the attraction has been completely covered by a plastic tarp canopy.





SCRAMBLING TO FINISH
The Disneyland Dream Suite is pushing along. The Suite is supposed to begin being awarded to guests starting January 31, but considering the need for the obligatory media preview of the Suite and any finishing touches, it looks like the construction team may be cutting it close.


The handrails for the Dream Suite's stairs are being replaced. New ones are now showing up. Looks like they're similar to the old railings.






From our 11/22 Dateline Disneyland column, a look at the old hand rails before they were removed.



UNCOVERED MANIA
The new Toy Story Mania building, is, for the most part uncovered. Construction walls still block guests from getting too close as construction continues. However, from across Paradise Bay, you can now get a pretty good view of the new Paradise Pier attraction - and it looks excellent.




It was thought there would be a fountain in front of the attraction, but turns out it is just a planter. Either way, it brings something sorely missing from much of DCA - trees!






Construction walls now block off the large section of boardwalk in the center of Paradise Pier where Toy Story Mania! is located. Because of this, accessing some attractions when coming from certain areas will be a little annoying while construction presses on.

The only way to access California Screamin' and King Triton's Carousel of the Sea is via Paradise Pier's main boardwalk entrance which takes you past the Ariel's Grotto restaurant and Treasures in Paradise souvenir shop.



To access the Sun Wheel, Games of the Boardwalk, and Maliboomer, you must use the Route 66 walkway which passes the Golden Zephyr, Mullholland Madness, and the Orange Stinger.








GRAND CALIFORNIAN PROGRESS
Construction on the new wing of Grand Californian Hotel is moving on...









COMING SOON...
And finally, the new Pixar Play Parade is being advertised at the billboards near the security check tents.



Alright, that's it for this week. Thanks again to Darkbeer for the use of his excellent photos. Be sure to check out even more of his shots at his Smugmug gallery.

Until next time - see you at the parks!

- Andy

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Updated 01-11-2008 at 12:59 AM by Dateline Disneyland

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Comments

  1. creamcityleo79's Avatar
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    Thanks for the report! 15 days 'til we're back!
  2. kcnole's Avatar
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    Great article. The new Toy Story Mania looks great. The only complaint I have is in this picture.



    I really wish that they would theme the top of the buildings as well in cases where you have attractions that overlook them such as we see here. It would be so much nicer to not see a plain roof on top of such a nice building.
  3. 2DieFR's Avatar
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    Now this is interesting. Looks like some work is being done behind where the top panels will go.

    The design at the far end of the cabin reminds me of something...



  4. themur's Avatar
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    I am really happy and excited about the way the Midway Mania building is finishing up. The great photo that shows the new building next to the old game facade is an excellent example of what was so wrong with the original design of the park.
  5. BC Cable Guy's Avatar
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    Hello

    Does anyone know how long the boardwalk at Paradise Pier is going to be closed off?

    Thanks in advance....
  6. MasterGracey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2DieFR
    Now this is interesting. Looks like some work is being done behind where the top panels will go.

    The design at the far end of the cabin reminds me of something...
    Good call on the resemblance to Space Mountain's launch deck!

    I wonder if in the captures, the top panels are removed to install the LED mood lighting that Al mentioned in his last update?

    Monorail Swank (http://www.miceage.com/allutz/al010808d.htm)
    A central seating island replaces the staggered rows of seating, and when the doors close the recessed LED lighting in the cabin begins its show and changes to a dark shade that matches the color of the train. The red train's cabin will morph into a dark shade of red as the train departs the station, looking less like a city bus and more like a trendy nightclub, or at the very least like the cabin of a hip Virgin America jetliner. The blue train will have a dark blue shade for the cabin lighting, and so on throughout the fleet.


    Sounds cool!
    Updated 01-11-2008 at 11:35 AM by MasterGracey
  7. 2DieFR's Avatar
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    ^That's what I was thinking too, MG. I imagine the mood lighting will be similar to that found in the renovated submarines.
  8. MagicKingdomBoy's Avatar
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    Boy, that close-up pic of Tink....to me it looks like she's just had just a little too much coffee!
  9. xalesa's Avatar
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    Thanks for the update!!! That's interesting that the teacups are closed...
  10. AliKzam's Avatar
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    That was a good update. For some reason, the picture of the Mad Tea Party without the teacups is kind of scary to me. I wonder what needs fixing?
  11. jmuboy's Avatar
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    What's up with the "older half" of the Midway games in Paradise Pier? Are they going to get a makover to match the TSM building? They look untouched so far.
  12. MasterGracey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jmuboy
    What's up with the "older half" of the Midway games in Paradise Pier? Are they going to get a makover to match the TSM building? They look untouched so far.

    Eventually the rest of the Pier will be re-themed in the style of Toy Story Mania's building, including the rest of the Games of the Boardwalk.

    Here is some concept art of a couple of the Games' future themes -


    For more info on the DCA expansion and remodel, including more concept art check out the Disney's California Adventure Project Tracker

  13. Todd R's Avatar
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    Andy, Thanks once again for all of the pictures. I look forward to seeing them everytime. It is one of the great reasons to check out this site. Now that Lutz only seems to post every three weeks or so, Its even more of a reason to check out this site. Thanks again
  14. StrikeYerColors's Avatar
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    great update. keeps me up with what i'm missing while i'm home in nor cal for january! i can't wait to get back and ride the new monorail, enjoy the freshly painted teacups, and scope out all of the construction sites!
  15. disney57's Avatar
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    Hi, does anyone remember 2008 convention calendar posted and how some drive the attendance up at Disneyland. It has been in the past few weeks?