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Dateline Disneyland

Disneyland turns 56, California Adventure's new entrance, Bye-bye Golden Gate, +MORE

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by , 07-17-2011 at 10:25 PM
Disneyland celebrated its 56th Anniversary this weekend, marking the occasion with a small ceremony on Sunday featuring numerous classic Disney characters and a broadcast of Walt Disney's historic dedication speech. Meanwhile, Disney California Adventure pushed onward, firmly looking into the future as it unveiled its new main entrance gates, which mark a major milestone in the park's re-theming project. The new streamline-moderne turnstiles, modeled after the famed Pan-Pacific Auditorium; will help create a Disney-quality and theme-appropriate entrance to Buena Vista Street, the 1930s-era Los Angeles streetscape that will welcome guests in 2012. Nearby the new Pan-Pacific gates, the Golden Gate Bridge replica that decorates the Monorail beam in the park's entrance will soon be coming down to make way for a recreation of Los Angeles' famous Glendale-Hyperion Bridge. Yet, these changes at the park's entrance are only a taste of what is soon to come. As Paradise Pier enjoys the completion of its major construction projects, work on the park's hyper-themed Buena Vista Street area is only beginning.

Big thanks to MiceChat's Fishbulb today for help with photos of Disneyland's anniversary celebration.

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.

Ready? Let's get started!


Inside Dateline Disneyland


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and Howard Johnson Plaza Hotel — Anaheim Resort.




WELCOME TO DISNEYLAND!


Our partners at Touring Plans have a forecast for this week's Resort-wide crowd levels:
Expect moderately high crowd levels all week long as we continue during the summer season. Note that the two lowest levels of Annual Passholders will be blocked out everyday, so these numbers are greatest impacted by vacationers descending upon Disneyland. TouringPlans.com can help you avoid falling into the typical tourist pitfalls with our per-park Crowd Calendar, Lines - Mobile Wait Times App that gives access to current and estimated wait times for attractions, and Touring Plans detailing the best plan of attack for hitting the attractions. Now more than ever, it's a good time to subscribe to TouringPlans.com to plan your strategy to avoid the crowds!

Below are the predicted resort-wide crowd numbers for select days generated by the TouringPlans professional statisticians as measured for the upcoming week. For the access to the full year and per-park crowd level predictions, visit our Crowd Calendar.

— Fred Hazelton Statistician, TouringPlans.com

Crowd Calendar Prediction
Crowd Tips
DISNEYLAND RESORT
Mon., July 18
9/10
Here are some quick-hit notes that we hope you'll find helpful as you prepare your visits for the week:
  • Disneyland park's least busy day will be on Tuesday with an 8.4 out of 10.
  • There will be 9s across the resort until Friday, where it'll be 10s through the weekend.
  • There will be full AP blockouts on Saturday.
Tue., July 19
9/10
Wed., July 20
9/10
Thu., July 21
9/10
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.
Get Disneyland wait times on your iPhone, Android, or Smartphone.

Do more. Wait less.








HAPPY BIRTHDAY, DISNEYLAND!
Disneyland celebrated its 56th anniversary on Sunday. The park hosted a small re-dedication ceremony in Town Square at 2:30 Sunday afternoon. The short and sweet event included a broadcasting of Walt Disney's original opening-day speech over the park speaker system and a cavalcade of numerous Disney characters that positioned themselves around Town Square, led the crowd in a round of "Happy Birthday" and then handed balloons to children in the crowd before disappearing again backstage. A nice little tribute to the park on its special day.


Sleeping Beauty and Prince Phillip emerge from backstage


Characters line up around Town Square


Happy Birthday, Disneyland!


Handing out balloons to park guests


This year's Cast Member birthday button.




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


Contact [email protected] or [email protected]!


BUENA VISTA STREET
On Friday, Disney unveiled the new main entrance turnstiles at Disney California Adventure. The new entrance is modeled after the streamline-moderne facade at Los Angeles' historic Pan-Pacific Auditorium and marks a major milestone in the park's remodel.


The Disney Parks Blog shared some history on the Pan-Pacific venue and its Disney connection as the park's new entrance opened on Friday.

New Turnstiles Open at Disney California Adventure Park
Inspired by the iconic Pan Pacific Auditorium, the turnstiles will set the stage for the new Disney California Adventure park entrance. Buena Vista Street will transport guests to Los Angeles as Walt Disney found it when he first arrived in California, with buildings inspired by structures that existed during the 1920s and ‘30s – including the Pan Pacific Auditorium. A landmark structure in the Fairfax District of Los Angeles, the auditorium was the premiere location for indoor public events until it closed after almost 40 years in 1972.

Designed by the Los Angeles architectural firm Wurdeman and Becket, the auditorium itself was a modest wooden structure with seating for only 6,000 people; however, the building’s façade was hailed as one of the finest examples of Streamline Moderne architecture in the United States. The four stylized towers and flagpoles were meant to evoke upswept aircraft fins.

One of the principal architects on the Pan Pacific Auditorium, Welton Becket, was a neighbor of Walt Disney’s and went on to become very influential in future Disney projects. It was Becket who suggested to Walt that he use his own artists – not an architectural firm – to design, plan and build Disneyland, and it was this advice that led to the creation of WED Enterprises (now Walt Disney Imagineering). Later, Welton Becket Associates (formed in 1949 after Walter Wurdeman’s death) designed Disney’s Contemporary Hotel at the Walt Disney World Resort, though Becket himself did not live to see it completed.

On May 1, 1989, a nearly full-size replica of the Pan Pacific Auditorium façade opened as the main entrance to Disney’s Hollywood Studios at the Walt Disney World Resort in Florida. Sadly, little more than three weeks later on May 24, the original building was destroyed in a fire.

As Buena Vista Street continues to take shape at Disney California Adventure park, there are more exciting transformations that will be taking place. On Sunday, the Golden Gate Bridge, which guests now pass underneath when entering the park, will begin to make way for a re-creation of the historic Glendale-Hyperion Bridge. [ FULL STORY ]



The new entrance is a breath of fresh air after years of entering through the park's original stripmall-and-tile-mural entryway. The structure is fresh and new and feels like a proper entrance to a Disney theme park. While the Pan-Pacific theme has been criticized by fans as being a simple copy of the Disney's Hollywood Studios entrance in Florida, the architecture well in the Main Entrance Plaza and will fit the theme of Buena Vista Street. It might have been nice (or even better) to have an original idea for the park's entrance as California Adventure works to create a unique identity of its own; but the Pan-Pacific gates are still a very big step above their predecessor and a job well done.


New gates






Signage continues the Pan-Pacific theme.








On the eastern side of the gates, the old Guest Relations area is back out from behind construction walls (for now).


We showed you the re-located Guest Relations services at Ticket Booth 8 in last week's column. A sign directs guests to the new location at the Resort.





When entering the park, guests will emerge into what's left of Sunshine Plaza. The previous turnstiles are now gone, but their shade structures remain for now.







Walls surround the area where the western side of the old turnstiles were previously located. Soon, upon entering the park, guests will make a hard right turn and pass behind the Soarin' Over California attraction and emerge between Condor Flats and the Grizzly Peak Recreation Area. The re-routing of traffic through these backstage areas is to accommodate the heavy Buena Vista Street construction as the project races toward its summer 2012 completion.





Also leaving is the Golden Gate Bridge; which will be replaced by a recreation of the Glendale-Hyperion Bridge, which will properly suit the Los Angeles theme of Buena Vista Street. The Disney Parks Blog noted that the Golden Gate would start coming down Sunday, July 17. It's likely we'll see progress here happen quickly over this week.


Bye-bye!


At the end of the future Buena Vista Street, the new Carthay Circle Theatre continues to take shape.




Nearby the on-going Carthay Circle construction, the shops and dining on Sunshine Plaza's west side are set to close August 1st. Now is your last chance to build a custom Mr. Potato Head in Engine Ears Toys, grab a delicious Malibu Mocha Frappe in Baker's Field Bakery or cool off with an ice cream cone at Bur-r-r Bank Ice Cream.




Bye-bye!




A last look at the toy train depot theme of the store

















A look at Baker's Field Bakery, located in the train car next to Engine Ears Toys




The train these shops are located in is a replica of the historic California Zephyr. Zephyr photos and memorabilia line the walls.








At the head of the train is the Bur-r-r Bank Ice Cream shop.


Sunshine Plaza's ice cream queue — a DCA opening-day attraction!






The ice cream counter.



The train leaves the station August 1st!



On the east side of Sunshine Plaza, the huge Greetings! from California gift shop and the Candy Shoppe are also set to close in August.


We'll take a closer look at these shops next week.





Heading out of Sunshine Plaza, the Condor Flats marquee is now behind scaffolding and tarps. Hopefully this is more than a re-paint and this sign will come down or at least be re-themed.





A look at Carthay Circle-area construction from the Bug's Land area:




The new Carthay Circle fountain pumphouse looks great





CARS LAND
Cars Land construction continues...


Work on Mater's Junkyard Jamboree presses on with a new structure rising up above the construction walls.




The Cozy Cone Motel:












The view from the Golden Vine Winery terrace:




Radiator Springs Curios


Luigi's Flying Tires


At the end of the street, the Courthouse has started taking shape


This building will mark the entrance to the Radiator Springs Racers queue







DISNEYLAND HOTEL REMODEL
Work at the Disneyland Hotel continues. The Fantasy Tower remodel seems to be getting closer and closer to completion every day.




E-Ticket pool and surrounding area construction















THIS & THAT
Back inside Disneyland, the Matterhorn Bobsleds are now closed for a refurbishment that will keep the bobsleds out of commission until the beginning of September.









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 HoJoAnaheim.com/MiceChat.

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WEEKLY NEWS AND INFORMATION ROUND-UP
Weekly Theme Park Hours
July 18 — July 24, 2011

Disneyland Park
Disney California Adventure
Daily: 8 am - 12 midnight
Daily: 10 am - 10 pm
For a complete listing of theme park hours, visit the Disneyland.com Theme Park Calendar

Expected Crowd Levels presented by TouringPlans.com
Disneyland Park
Disney California Adventure
HIGH 8.4—9.8 out of 10
HIGH 8.7—9.7 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 for refurbishment July 11—September 1.
  • Space Mountain: Varied operating hours July 11—26: Opens late at 10am Mondays and Wednesdays, Closes early at 10pm Sundays and Tuesdays.
  • Haunted Mansion: – Closed to install Haunted Mansion Holiday overlay August 29 — September 15.
  • Indiana Jones Adventure: Closed September 6 — 7 for refurbishment.
  • Pirates of the Caribbean and Blue Bayou Restaurant: Closed September 7 — November 23 for refurbishment.
    Space Mountain: Closed to install Ghost Galaxy seasonal overlay September 9 – 15.
    Mark Twain Riverboat: Closed September 26 — 28 for refurbishment.

Disney California Adventure

  • Engine Ears Toys, Baker's Field Bakery and Bur-r-r Bank Ice Cream: Retail and dining locations close permanently August 1. Space will reopen as new offerings in 2012 as part of Buena Vista Street.
  • California Screamin': Closed September 6 — October 14 for refurbishment.
  • 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.



Ok! That wraps up today's Dateline Disneyland. Be sure to check out our sponsors over at TouringPlans.com and the HoJo Anaheim!

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Don't forget that MiceChat has lots of new content throughout the week! 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!

See you at the parks!
- Andy


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FTC-Mandated Disclosure:
Promotional consideration for the July 11, 2011 edition of Dateline Disneyland was provided by
TouringPlans.com | Do More. Wait Less. and Howard Johnson Plaza Hotel — Anaheim Resort.

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Updated 07-18-2011 at 11:04 AM by Dateline Disneyland (Corrected Prince Phillip's name)

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

Comments

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  1. wonderpeep's Avatar
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    I love the new DCA entrance. It does not bother me at all that Disney's Hollywood Studios has the same design.... this is just too perfect for DCA's new theme. Love it. Classy! : ) The ONLY thing I am not crazy about are the flags on top... they look a tad cheesy. Would rather have limp real red flags than ugly fake ones.
  2. nunz's Avatar
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    I HATE that the train is leaving. Really enjoyed all the Zepher memoribiliia
  3. Elaine Henar's Avatar
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    Funny how I'm listening to 99 Luftballons and I see all the characters handing out balloons. Wish I were there but my limit going there is at least a year otherwise I would get sick and tired.
  4. Donald Fan's Avatar
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    I agree about the new DCA entrance. Someone had mentioned a Union Station theme would have been better...imagine going inside the building, passing through the turnstiles and THEN entering the park onto Buena Vista Street (much like visitors might have done in early 1900's LA). Could have been immersive and have the effect that the tunnels do for Main Street...give a stepping off point to leaving today and entering the world of fantasy.
  5. TodAZ1's Avatar
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    I love the new DCA entrance. It does not bother me at all that Disney's Hollywood Studios has the same design.... this is just too perfect for DCA's new theme. Love it. Classy! : ) The ONLY thing I am not crazy about are the flags on top... they look a tad cheesy. Would rather have limp real red flags than ugly fake ones.
    THANK YOU!!! I've been saying that since the first time I saw pics of it!!
  6. Tinkbelle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Donald Fan
    I agree about the new DCA entrance. Someone had mentioned a Union Station theme would have been better...imagine going inside the building, passing through the turnstiles and THEN entering the park onto Buena Vista Street (much like visitors might have done in early 1900's LA). Could have been immersive and have the effect that the tunnels do for Main Street...give a stepping off point to leaving today and entering the world of fantasy.
    Yes! That would have made SO much more sense and could have been something to behold. Maybe someday...
  7. Ortizmo2000's Avatar
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    Matterhorn. Closed. Summer.


    Really bad planning.
  8. Mac Daddy's Avatar
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    Thanks for the great update, Andy. SO cool to see the new entrance area completed when I was there on Sunday. Thanks for all of the area shots as it will be fun to look back and see what they looked like a few years from now.
  9. tikibob24's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nunz
    I HATE that the train is leaving. Really enjoyed all the Zepher memoribiliia
    I agree. I thought that was one of the better themed elements of the old DCA. It's too bad they couldn't have kept it around and fit it in with the new Buena Vista theme.
  10. niklj's Avatar
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    Ooh did Fishbulb get a new camera?
  11. StrikeYerColors's Avatar
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    I am sad to report that for those of us using iPhones, due to the memory limits we cannot enjoy all of Dateline Disneyland. The last 20 or so photos do not show up because of an inability of Safari to load past a certain amount of high res images. If there was a way to make page 1 and page 2 within the blog posts, that would be most helpful! I would like to stay updated by reading the blog WHILE I'm waiting in line in the park so I know what not to miss!
  12. D23Divinity's Avatar
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    Yay for Summer closures!! I hope they are starting to realize that it isn't the smartest idea to close things over Holiday Season, it's starting to get very busy and the weather is so nice.. I don't understand one bit why people want to visit the park when it feels like 105 degrees outside, nor why that's when all the fun extra's happen.

    The birthday celebrations look WAY fun, wish we could have been there for it. On a side note, I REALLY can't wait to find out when Cars Land will be ready!!
  13. wec's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KENfromOC
    Like to know what will be happening to the Calif. Zephyr train. Some lucky collector or train museum would love to have it. I hope they don't chop it up!

    I was never sure if the engine and cars were actually from the Zephyr (kind of doubt it), but when I was a kid we took that train twice from Oakland out to Chicago - Wonderful.

    FYI: The Western Pacific museum up in Portola, CA is fantastic. My in-laws live there (a small mountain town) and you can arrange to actually drive one of the engines along a mile track - fun!
    Ken, you'll be happy to know that the CZ Zephyr locomotive and car facades have been promised to a certain train museum. They are supposedly going to Portola. ( All the more reason to visit your inlaws) I'm not sure of there's been an official announcement or not. You are correct in that the locomotive and cars are not original CZ equipment. The original W.P. locomotive 804A was destroyed in a de-railment in the mid 1970's. The mock up locomotive, I believe came from the Canadian National Railway.
    The car facades and windows are just the right size for the Portola museum folks to make repairs on their existing original cars. As for the original cars that the facades are based on, all exist today and are privately owned and can be rented out for special tours.
    Updated 07-23-2011 at 01:26 PM by wec
  14. Disneymike's Avatar
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    This 7/25 update is a week old.......
  15. villagecreator's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Disneymike
    This 7/25 update is a week old.......
    That's what I was thinking….I think the miceage link goes to last weeks update….
  16. nat's Avatar
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    anyone have info about the red trolley ?
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