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Dateline Disneyland

Pan-Pacific gates, Sky School readies for takeoff, Wilderness Explorers move in, MORE

Rating: 3 votes, 3.67 average.
by , 06-20-2011 at 12:11 AM
Disney California Adventure's new Pan-Pacific Auditorium-inspired entrance gates were revealed on Saturday as tarps came down on the new streamline moderne structure. The new entry gate isn't quite finished yet on ground level, but the removal of scaffolding and tarps marks the completion of major work on the main construction. Inside the park, finishing touches are being applied to the new Paradise Garden dining complex and the Goofy's Sky School roller coaster. The new dining area and rollercoaster open July 1st, a week after the Wilderness Explorers from Disney-Pixar's Up make their debut in the Redwood Creek Challenge Trail on June 25. Over at Disneyland, summer crowds continue to line up for Star Tours as minor refurbishment work continues in Frontierland and Tomorrowland.

More information on the construction projects featured in today's column 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 Fishbulb for some additional help with photos today.

There's plenty to see! Let's jump right in—

Inside Dateline Disneyland

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Billboards at the Mickey and Friends tram stop advertise the Summer Soundsational offerings:

Our friends at Touring Plans have their weekly re-cap of the summer crowd levels below:

Last week saw higher crowd levels than anticipated, a possible harbinger of the busy summer to come at Disneyland Resort. Because of this, now more than ever it's a good time to subscribe to to let us help you plan your strategy to avoid the crowds! The Crowd Calendar rankings are based on wait times for all days on record. Because choosing the least crowded days to visit, but not having a good plan of attack for avoiding crowd concentrations is like ordering Diet Coke with three Big Macs, especially with the high Summer crowd levels anticipated, we highly recommend that you follow a Touring Plan. You can now access these Touring Plans on the go with our Lines Mobile Wait Times app!

Here’s how the observed wait time submissions of our Lines Mobile Wait Times app users and our data team compared to what our professional statisticians predicted on the Crowd Calendar.

— Fred Hazelton Statistician,

Crowd Calendar Prediction
Actual Crowd Levels
Sun. June 12
Mon. June 13
Tue. June 14
Wed. June 15
Thu. June 16
Fri. June 17
Crowd levels are based on a scale from 1 to 10, with 1 being the least crowded conditions and 10 being most crowded.
See Disneyland crowds for the next 365 days.
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Inside Disneyland, the gift shop next to the Guided Tour Gardens in Town Square is once again open. We missed it last week, but the shop has received a complete refurbishment with a re-design of its retail space. Similar to Seaside Souvenirs at Disney California Adventure, Disney took out much of the merchandise counter that wrapped around the gift stand, allowing guests the ability to walk in and pick their own merchandise. This change seems like a good idea for sales—seeming to make the shop more inviting with the new ability to walk in and choose your own items, rather than wait in line at a counter for a Cast Member to get your T-shirt or hat on the wall display behind them.

Work continues on the remainder of California Adventure's $1 billion-dollar remodel and expansion...

Over at Disney California Adventure, the new Pan-Pacific Auditorium-inspired main gate was revealed over the weekend when work crews removed the scaffolding and tarps covering the new structure.

The new streamline moderne turnstiles will mark the gateway to the park; including Buena Vista Street, the park's new 1920s Los Angeles-themed entrance plaza.

Inside the park, work continues slowly, but surely on the new Carthay Circle Theater and its surrounding area. Behind walls (but not pictured here) Red Car Trolley track installation has begun through the Carthay Circle area

With construction ramping up in the area, walls now block the main thoroughfare between Sunshine Plaza and A Bug's Land.

Walls continue around the rock work at the entrance to Condor Flats. Hopefully the walls here mean that we'll be seeing some re-theming around this area so it thematically blends in with the Carthay Circle/Buena Vista Street area in 2012.

The view of the blocked path from the Bug's Land-side.


Over on Paradise Pier, Goofy's Sky School was open for Cast Member previews during the weekend, which means the ride is more or less ready to open. Still, be advised that the attraction isn't set to officially open to park guests until July 1st.

The new animated billboard that features the lesson on how to turn was turned on for Cast previews.

The new animated billboard is nothing terribly special, but its a minor upgrade from the tacky pun-filled billboards that lined the Mullholland Madness track. Still, the attraction looks and feels very temporary, and we hope that it is. Even with Goofy, this ride does not belong in a Disney theme park. Video of the new animated billboard in action:

The new Paradise Garden dining courtyard is nearing completion as well, as it is also set to open July 1st.

Overall, the area looks nice. It's definitely a huge improvement over the tacky Route 66-theme previously seen here.

The marquee is now up at the Paradise Garden Grill

Looks a lot better than a giant hamburger spaceship, doesn't it?

The new Bayside Brews beer stand

Almost ready!

The Upcoming Pixar Blog recently interviewed Pixar artist Jay Ward, who is in charge of overseeing the entire "Cars" franchise. In the interview Jay discussed a couple details on Cars Land, which we've excerpted below. If you're a fan of Cars and Pixar, be sure to check out the entire interview by clocking the link.

Upcoming Pixar Interviews Cars Franchise Guardian Jay Ward!

UPCOMING PIXAR: The Cars franchise is much more than just the films. What can you tell us about Cars Land, for example?

JAY WARD: Cars Land is going in at Disney California Adventure, it opens in the summer of 2012. Cars Land is sort of a snap shot in time, it’s after Cars but before Cars 2. It’s going to have the classic Lightning McQueen in it, not the Cars 2 McQueen, and the reason we have that is that Doc is in Cars Land. Doc Hudson is passed away in Cars 2 because Paul Newman passed away. So we wanted to have this classic, iconic thing; Doc Hudson has the headset on telling you to get ready to race in the ride. If we have Doc Hudson, we have to have classic McQueen. [Cars Land is] going to feel like being in Radiator Springs two years after the original film. [ FULL INTERVIEW ]

Meanwhile, work continues on building Radiator Springs at California Adventure:

Nearby the main entrance to Cars Land, all signage for the Mission Tortilla Factory is now gone following the attraction's closure. Disney has yet to officially announce the new Ghirardelli Chocolate Factory tour, which is rumored to open next year.

No more "Maseca!"

Over in the Golden State's Grizzly Peak Recreation Area, changes are coming to the Redwood Creek Challenge Trail as Brother Bear moves out and characters from Disney-Pixar's "Up" move in.

Disney officially announced the addition of "Up" characters here last week on the Disney Parks Blog. Also included in the announcement was a new Phineas and Ferb show coming to the park next month.

New Characters Coming to Disney California Adventure Park
There are new friends coming to Disney California Adventure park this summer! On June 25, the Wilderness Explorers’ Camp will open at Redwood Creek Challenge Trail, featuring Russell and Dug from the Disney•Pixar film, “Up.” The Ahwahnee Camp Circle will be the place where guests can participate in a special ceremony with Russell and graduate to Senior Wilderness Explorers. Also, as guests enter the trail, they will be met by Dug, the friendly dog. The trail will feature Wilderness Explorer activities through which young guests can earn merit badges.

On July 9, Phineas and Ferb will debut their new show, “Phineas and Ferb’s Rockin’ Rollin’ Dance Party,” also at Disney California Adventure park. The show will be an interactive dance party featuring the Disney Channel favorites. Guests will have the chance to join in on dances and activities while a DJ spins songs from the series. [ LINK ]

Russel and Dug from "Up" debut at the Challenge Trail this Saturday, June 25. Phineas and Ferb arrive July 9.

At the Disneyland Hotel, the names of the towers officially changed last week.

The themed marquees for the towers are not yet installed, but temporary signage points the way to the Fantasy, Adventure and Frontier Towers while construction continues.

Work continues at the former Never Land Pool which is currently being overhauled and will re-open as the E-Ticket Pool.

Captain Hook's pirate ship has been removed and on Friday all that remained was Tic Toc, the alligator.

Back inside Disneyland, tarps around the Golden Horseshoe have come down, but work walls remain for now...

New walls around outdoor vending space near Zocalo Park

In New Orleans Square, Mlle Antionette's Parfumerie was offering custom engraving on perfume bottles over the weekend, a special offering for the Father's Day holiday.

A table selling the service was set up outside of the shop. With a nicer set-up, this sort of thing could add to the atmosphere in New Orleans Square with the nearby caricature and watercolor painting carts scattered around nearby, but the overall effect this weekend felt a little tacky. We wish the third-party vendors at Mlle Antionette's Parfumerie the best of luck and hope they can establish themselves as a unique offering in New Orleans Square like the former Jewel of Orleans antique estate jewelers did.

In Tomorrowland, the Moonliner rocket is still behind tarps while it gets some new paint.

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Weekly Theme Park Hours
June 20 — 26, 2011

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

Expected Crowd Levels presented by
Disneyland Park
Disney California Adventure
MEDIUM/HIGH 4.2—8.0 out of 10
MEDIUM/HIGH 4.1—8.3 out of 10
Crowd levels are based on a scale from 1 to 10,
with 1 being the least crowded conditions and 10 being most crowded.

For daily crowd predictions for the next 365 days, visit
Closures and Refurbishment Schedule
Disneyland Park

  • Matterhorn Bobsleds: Closed the following periods for refurbishment: June 20—24, and July 11—September 1.

Disney California Adventure

  • Goofy's Sky School: Opens July 1
  • Boardwalk Pizza and Pasta: Opens July 1
  • Paradise Garden Grill: Opens July 1
  • Red Car Trolley: Attraction set to open spring 2012.

Downtown Disney & Hotels of the Disneyland Resort

  • Never Land Pool: Area closed for remodel and re-theming.

The temporary return of Captain EO continues, and Disney has yet to announce a replacement for the attraction or if it will eventually become a permanent fixture in Tomorrowland:

No end date yet for ‘Captain EO’ at Disneyland
Nearly two years after Michael Jackson’s death, “Captain EO,” is still playing at Disneyland.

The “Captain EO Tribute,” the 3-D film and music video featuring Jackson, originally ran from 1986 to 1997 and was revived on a temporary basis in 2010.

Recently, the Oriental Land Company, which operates the Tokyo Disney Resort, indicated the scheduled end date for “Captain EO” has been eliminated.

Disney has not said whether “Captain EO” will become a permanent addition to Tomorrowland or when its run will end.

Disney spokeswoman Michele Himmelberg said there is no update on a decision either way.

When the attraction was revived at Disneyland in February 2010, lines ranged from 40 to 90 minutes in length. On a recent day, the line was only long enough for the 17-minute movie to end.

The movie is the story of how Captain EO, played by Jackson, and his crew of various space creatures travel to a planet of dark, twisted metal to give a gift to the planet’s Supreme Leader.

Jackson stars, sings and dances to transform the world from evil to good. The film features the songs “We Are Here to Change the World” and “Another Part of Me,” both written and performed by Jackson. The latter song is 0n Jackson’s “Bad” album in 1987.
Link: Around Disney: No end date yet for ‘Captain EO’ at Disneyland

From the Orange County Register:
State probes 284 O.C. theme-park medical problems
Amusement-park-goers reported 284 issues that required medical attention over two years at Orange County venues and were investigated by a state agency, an analysis by The Orange County Register has found.

Theme parks and venues with permanent rides, including Disney’s and Knott’s, are required under a 2000 law to submit state reports every time a patron seeks care beyond first aid for medical issues on rides. The state investigates the most serious reports, roughly two-thirds of them.

In seven Orange County locations in 2009 and 2010, about half of the 284 incidents involved medical problems to the head area – such as chipped teeth or chin lacerations – or to the torso and the spine, including neck and back pain.

No deaths were noted in the reports. A few dozen of the riders had pre-existing conditions, such as seizures and back problems.

In reviewing the 284 reports, the Register found:
[list][*]Ten rides, out of 76 rides that were investigated countywide, had 10 or more medical issues that prompted state investigations. The Ghost-Rider roller coaster at Knott's Berry Farm had the most – 28.
[*]The state ordered venues to make changes in 33 cases, such as ride adjustments or employee training.
[*]The number of medical problems was small compared with the number of rides taken by visitors. For example, the state investigated five medical issues out of every 10 million rides taken at Disney's two parks – Disneyland and Disney California Adventure. Knott's Berry Farm, home to a lot of roller coasters, had 17 medical-issue investigations out of every 10 million rides taken.

The seven locations where the investigations were conducted: Disneyland, Disney California Adventure, Knott's Berry Farm, Knott's Soak City, Adventure City, Wild Rivers Waterpark and Westfield MainPlace mall.

The most investigations were at the two Disney parks, which together had 168; Knott's Berry Farm had 89.

"The permanent-ride parks, especially theme parks, have overall records of safety, given the number of people who ride in the state of California," said John Robinson, chief executive officer of the California Attractions and Parks Association. "It's one of the safest things you can do, statistically."
Full story: Orange County Register: State probes 284 O.C. theme-park medical problems

Woman arrested for selling fake Disneyland tickets
From the San Francisco Chronicle:
Disneyland ticket scammer arrested in Pleasant Hill
51-year-old Pleasant Hill resident Lisa Marie Cassinelli has been arrested by the Walnut Creek Police after selling fake tickets to Disneyland to at least seven different families in Northern California, acccording to WCPD.

The following information is from the Walnut Creek Police....

The Walnut Creek Police Department recently investigated several cases of fraudulent Disneyland Park passes being sold on Craigslist. The suspect arranged to meet victims in person and sell them the passes at a discounted rate. A young female the suspect identified as her daughter always accompanied her when meeting victims.

The suspect often included a fraudulent receipt to show she had purchased the park passes. Victims usually paid several hundred dollars for the passes and only discovered they were fraudulent when they tried to use them at Disneyland. Walnut Creek PD has three confirmed cases involving the same suspect. The investigation uncovered two more victims in San Ramon and an additional two victims in Pleasanton. Officers from these three agencies identified Lisa Cassinelli of Pleasant Hill as the suspect in this case.

On 6/11/11 Walnut Creek officers served a search and arrest warrant at Cassinelli's Pleasant Hill residence. Officers recovered additional Disneyland Park passes and information indicating there may be other unidentified victims of this scam. Most of the evidence indicates the victims are likely from Contra Costa County and the greater Sacramento area.

Cassinelli was arrested and is currently in the Contra Costa County Jail with a bail of $60,000.

If you or someone you know purchased fraudulent Disneyland passes from Cassinelli please contact your local police department or Walnut Creek PD Officer Gabe Mauro at 925-943-5844.
Full story: SF Gate: Disneyland ticket scammer arrested in Pleasant Hill

Alrighty, that wraps up today's edition of Dateline Disneyland. Be sure to say hello to our sponsors over at!

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  1. Emmanuel_4's Avatar
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    Great Update!!
  2. BugsBunny's Avatar
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    Another great update. DCA is actually starting to look pretty!
  3. WheresMickey's Avatar
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    Nice update!
  4. jcruise86's Avatar
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    Thanks for the update!

    I agree with what you wrote about DCA's re-themed Goofy coaster,
    "Still, the attraction looks and feels very temporary, and we hope that it is.
    Even with Goofy, this ride does not belong in a Disney theme park
    Although they are themed differently, many tiny amusement parks have this exact same ride and they are probably equally uncomfortable and unimpressive at each park.

    For example, for the price of parking at Disneyland, you can park (for free) and enter Adventure City in Buena Park (rides, puppet & magic show included with admission), down the road from Knott's. There you can find this exact same track as Goofy's coaster on Tree Top Racers. Not my favorite ride at Adventure City, where, btw, my 5-year-old and I had a nice day a couple of months ago. The Adventure City climbing wall staff was terrific. This cost less than the one at the Renaissance Faire, and they inspired my daughter to climb to the top. Our favorite ride was Drop Zone. The one middle-aged employee on this ride worked as hard as he could to safely maximize capacity.

    How about a ride-through fun house with state of the art special effects? It could fit with the "park along the beach" theme.
    Updated 06-20-2011 at 06:21 AM by jcruise86
  5. jaxbistro's Avatar
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    I think the new CA Ad. entrance looks way too much like Hollywood Studios in WDW. Normally I wouldn't be turned off by this, but I think Hollywood Studios is the worst theme park Disney has, with the exception of Rock'n Roll'r Coaster.

    Looking forward to seeing what the E-Ticket pool will look like for I have only seen the Monorail slide pictures.

    Thanks for all of the wonderful pics and info!

    Enjoy every sandwich.
  6. JesterMn's Avatar
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    ^^Just for the record, the Tree Top Racers is far from an exact copy of DCA's Goofy Coaster. The former is a Wild Chipmunk, the latter a Wild Mouse. The Wild Chipmunk has much more historical significance, and is much more rare to find. The only other one like it I am aware of is at Lakeside in Colorado.
  7. Tragic's Avatar
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    awesome update, love it as always. I cannot imagine someone ripping off people with fake tickets, talk about ruining the magic for some poor child. This person needs the book thrown at them.
  8. pinkertonfloyd's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jaxbistro
    I think the new CA Ad. entrance looks way too much like Hollywood Studios in WDW. Normally I wouldn't be turned off by this, but I think Hollywood Studios is the worst theme park Disney has, with the exception of Rock'n Roll'r Coaster.

    Looking forward to seeing what the E-Ticket pool will look like for I have only seen the Monorail slide pictures.

    Thanks for all of the wonderful pics and info!

    Enjoy every sandwich.
    Both are based on the Pan Pacific... so yeah, they are the same.

    I agree Studios isn't the best, but it's not horrible... it reminds me of DCA. Tower of Terror there is a whole 10 times better than the one at DCA. But for the most part there's about 4-5 rides in that park that are Disney worthy. Even the "Studio tour" is well, not.
  9. Barbossa's Avatar
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    Great update. Not too sure what to think about Up characters going into the Redwood Creek Challenge Trail. Humphrey Bear and Ranger Woodlore would be a much better fit if they are going with an earlier time frame setting (50s or earlier - Humphrey shorts came out in the 50s). As for EO, I think it's time to retire the captain.
  10. dlandjimmy's Avatar
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    Might want to take the part about Doc dying out of the interview, or post a SPOILER ALERT. Something like that.

    Thanks for the update.
  11. DubiousEndeavors's Avatar
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    Great Update!
  12. disneylanddreamerr's Avatar
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    Every Monday I wake up and start my day by checking out Dateline Disneyland, and see what's new in DL and DCA and the Hotels and DD and .... I'm just so happy.

    My first trip to the parks was in 2008, and I got to be there for opening day of Toy Story Mania -- one of the best days of my life. I can't even describe the emotions I felt, but I was excited to go back and made my way there 3 times in 2 years after that. (I should mention I lived in Edmonton, Alberta at the time, and I was only 19 haha)

    Every time I visited the park there were new things to explore -- and new construction walls to dodge, but I loved watching the park transform before my eyes. Unfortunately it has now been a year and a half since the last time I set foot in sunny So-Cal because of school - and it's been hard -- but your updates kept me going! Now after a few months of working here in Vancouver, I'm finally ready to make the big leap to working in LA, and being only a mere drive away from Disneyland and I could not be happier. Can't wait to participate in GumBall Rally 2012 and to be there for the opening day of Cars Land in the summer. Thanks so much for all of your updates! You Rock!!!
  13. Athlonacon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dlandjimmy
    Might want to take the part about Doc dying out of the interview, or post a SPOILER ALERT. Something like that.

    Thanks for the update.
    Totally! I read that not realizing I'd ruin what is probably a very powerful moment in the film.
  14. Streamliner's Avatar
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    I really enjoy looking at the Pan Pacific gates, but it means that the big red Golden Gate Bridge behind it is very distracting. Hopefully it'll disappear sooner than later They need to let it go, it distracts from the now.
  15. Timekeeper's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Streamliner
    I really enjoy looking at the Pan Pacific gates, but it means that the big red Golden Gate Bridge behind it is very distracting. Hopefully it'll disappear sooner than later They need to let it go, it distracts from the now.
    Sadly, it will. If Disney wants to make any mention of the old DCA, please put a Golden Gate Bridge in the America room on IASW. As for EO, it's ok, but I would rather have EO stay until TDA and TWDC decides what they are going to replace EO with, (hopefully, not MILF from Florida...)

  16. FredSimmons's Avatar
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    I don't like the new paint job on the Golden Horseshoe (or at least not what I can see of it in the photo). It's too gaudy for the Old West. This isn't supposed to be the Barbary Coast (we're not in DCA), it's supposed to be Frontierland.
  17. DISNEYJUNKIE's Avatar
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    If there a way to keep the Ticket Scam story on the front page a few more days I think it would be helpful. My daughter was one of the persons scammed by this woman, she called to make a police report in placer county this morning and evidentley others are coming forward also as well as another person she had previously spoke to that had been scammed to . Micechat reaches a large audience if we can help bring a few more persons into the know it can change the severity of the charges due the the amount of the theft.
  18. FREQDUDE's Avatar
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    I'm sure I'm in the vast minority here, but I will miss the surf hut style of Pizza-oom-mao-mao.
    Having been raised here in the southland and been surfing since the age of 8, too many years to count, i really liked the whole beach hut scene and it's atmosphere. But alas, the whole idea was deemed as lacking to most, lame to some, and others just didn't get it. Kooks, Barneys, Gremmies, all of them.
    Don't get me wrong, I'm going on vacation for 3 weeks to do some fishing in Oregon, and when I get back, there'll be an essentially new park for me to explore. I do like the looks of the new styles, just really will miss the shark with the wetsuit in his mouth.

    P.S.- Do you guys at Disney really know just how valuable and somewhat rare some of those surfboards you had as decorations really were? I'll be glad to take 'em off your hands if they take up too much room in storage, call me. lol.
  19. DisWedWay's Avatar
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    What happened to the Victorian Golden Horseshoe in it's trademark white facade? I always liked the white as it fit with the MarkTwain and not the Columbia as it does now. Is that a primer coat? PD
  20. bellerose75's Avatar
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    I agree about the new entrance, I don't like how it's so similar to Hollywood Studios.

    The biggest thing to me in this update is how he mentions " Tic Toc the alligator"...he's a crocodile! LOL
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