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Dateline Disneyland

Getting ready for the holidays, Main Street menus, Building a Buena Vista, +MORE

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by , 10-24-2011 at 02:52 AM
It was a busy week for Disneyland's public relations folks as they scrambled to address new allegations of unsafe lead levels in the parks and reports of "electronic whips" changing the work dynamic at the Disneyland Hotel. Still, the guest experience went unaffected by the headlines and work continued in both parks on new additions opening next year. At Disneyland, holiday decorations are starting to go up in New Orleans Square as Disney released some details on new menus coming to restaurants along Main Street, USA, including the new Jolly Holiday Bakery Café and the expanded Carnation Café. At Disney California Adventure, construction is getting underway on new facades along Buena Vista Street as the 12-acre Cars Land project continues to see progress with ride vehicle testing at the new Mater's Junkyard Jamboree and Luigi's Flying Tires attractions.

As always, you can always click on any photo featuring a Project Tracker watermark to learn more information on the project or join on-going discussion on the MiceChat forums!

It was another busy week at Disneyland, so let's jump right in!

Inside Dateline Disneyland

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Expect low crowd levels throughout the week before a slight spike for the weekend, despite the Halloween holiday the following Monday. can help you navigate the parks 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. With holiday crowds on the horizon, it's a good time to subscribe to 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,

Crowd Calendar Prediction
Crowd Tips
Mon., Oct. 24
Here are some quick-hit notes that we hope you'll find helpful as you prepare your visits for the week:
  • Partial AP blockouts this weekend.
  • Disney California Adventure's low day will be Wednesday and Thursday, when it's a 2.9.
  • Disneyland park's lowest days will be Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday, when it's an 1.1.
Tue., Oct. 25
Wed., Oct. 26
Thu., Oct. 27
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.

A look at the current refurbishments and construction projects underway at Disneyland.

Main Street's restaurant project continues as construction moves forward inside the former Plaza Pavilion as the space becomes the new Jolly Holiday Bakery Café. Because of the venue's name change, the old Plaza Pavilion sign is now gone.

The Disney Parks Blog recently shared some hints at what the menus of the new and revamped Main Street restaurants would include when they open next year. Take a look:

Restaurant Changes on Main Street, U.S.A., at Disneyland Park
The Blue Ribbon Bakery is moving and getting a new name: Jolly Holiday Bakery Café, from the “Mary Poppins” song, “Oh, it’s a jolly holiday with Mary …” The bakery moves to the Plaza Pavilion (at the top of Main Street, U.S.A.) with plans to open in early January. In addition to the bakery and espresso offerings, the new menu has some delicious new tastes, such as an Angus roast beef salad with blue cheese; a Caprese sandwich with tomatoes, Buffalo mozzarella, basil, butter lettuce and garlic aioli on toasted focaccia bread; and a classic pastrami reuben on rye.

Carnation Café is expanding with more indoor seating – the Blue Ribbon Bakery move is part of that expansion plan, as Carnation Café spreads out to take over the space and offer more air-conditioned seating. Work starts in January, and they’ll have a new menu that will showcase longtime favorites (and we’ve heard it includes milkshakes).

Gibson Girl Ice Cream Parlor is getting a little makeover, too, and adding root beer, Coca-Cola and orange cream floats to the menu. And the block makeover wraps up at Refreshment Corner – construction starts early next year. [ LINK ]

The menu changes sound promising and will hopefully be on-par with the recent menu overhauls seen at places like The Hungry Bear Reastaurant, the Village Haus and the Disneyland Hotel's Tangaroa Terrace.

Back in New Orleans Square, Pirates of the Caribbean continues its refurbishment, set to wrap up next month.

Down on Royal Street, the facade repainting at the ride's exit and at the Blue Bayou Restaurant is all finished.

Meanwhile, in New Orleans Square the holidays have started to appear with new holiday bunting and other festive decorations popping up in New Orleans Square.

This great new bunting looks to be replacing some of the more gaudy garland that is usually strung up around New Orleans Square during the holidays. It's a nice and welcome change.

The Court des Anges has been converted into the annual holiday retail location.

It's too bad this place becomes a store during the holidays, but the silver lining is that it goes away once the holiday season is over.

More new holiday bunting and new ornaments in the tree.

Out in the Central Plaza, the trees around the Partners statue have their net lighting, which plays a role in the nightly "snow shows."

The shrubs and trees around Sleeping Beauty Castle have their lights now as well.

Back in Fantasyland, "it's a small world" is now closed. Over the weekend you could spot the Christmas lights going up along the facade.

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

Guests entering Disney California Adventure are seeing more new construction at the major Buena Vista Street project with new facades going up.

The steel framework for the new Buena Vista Street facades are going up at the old Sunshine Plaza restroom and locker complex.

The new facade construction has pushed the walls out a bit more at the start of the park's temporary entrance corridor.

Looking back towards the new facade work from the entrance corridor.

The old Greetings from California store

The new Carthay Circle fountain can be seen peeking over construction walls. It looks really nice, another good sign for the project.

Carthay Circle Theater

A look at Cars Land progress...

The Los Angeles Times ran a story last week on the Cars Land project, including a look at how Imagineers took the idea of Carland and transformed it into he 12-acre recreation of Radiator Springs that's being built today. This evolution of the car-themed land for California Adventure was talked about in-depth at the Cars Land panel discussion at the 2011 D23 Expo, but this article sums up the story nicely for those who weren't in attendance.

How Disney's imagineers transformed Carland into Cars Land

The idea for a themed land at Disney California Adventure celebrating California's car culture had been kicking around at Walt Disney Imagineering for years.

The working premise focused on the classic cars, tourist attractions, auto-centric restaurants, roadside architecture and cross-country road trips popular during the 1950s and '60s when vehicles became less about transportation and more about personal expression.

The Carland concept, like many other lands and attractions at Disney California Adventure, lacked one key ingredient: Disney characters.

Then in the summer of 2006, "Cars" became a big box office hit for Pixar and the light bulb went off: Why not turn Carland into Cars Land?

"Let's build Radiator Springs," said John Lasseter, Pixar chief and Imagineering advisor.

A year later, Cars Land was unveiled as part of a $1 billion expansion of Disney California Adventure.

Set to debut in summer 2012, the 12-acre Cars Land under construction at DCA will feature three new rides set amid a faithful re-creation of the isolated red rock desert town populated by Lightning McQueen and other animated vehicles in the "Cars" film franchise.

Let's take a closer look at the evolution of Carland into Cars Land, which offers a window into Imagineering's Blue Sky creative process.

Cruise Street
The origin of Carland began with Cruise Street, a neon-lit streetscape set between 1955 to 1965, when American popular culture was dominated by rock 'n' roll, car hops and hot rods.

Concept art of Cruise Street shows a number of vintage vehicles from the period set up in a car show-like atmosphere. Key elements of what would become Cars Land could already be seen in the drawing, particularly the butte that recalls the grill, headlights and hood ornament of an iconic 1950s Chevy.

Over time, the main drag of Carland would eventually evolve into downtown Radiator Springs, the centerpiece of Cars Land.

Marty's Drive-In
Down at the end of Cruise Street, Marty's Drive-In typified the Googie architectural style popular with coffee shops and car hops of the era. Marty's featured a space age design with a diagonal zigzag roofline, cantilevered supports and a futuristic neon sign with an atomic burst.

Eventually, Marty's Drive-In was repurposed in Cars Land as Flo's V8 Café, which featured a similar design aesthetic.

Road Trip USA
Combining an Autopia-style attraction with dark ride elements, Road Trip USA probably went through the most iterations during the evolution from Carland to Cars Land.

The original ride concept featured a cross-country road trip in a 1962 station wagon past Mt. Rushmore, under waterfalls and across covered bridges. Along the way, riders would encounter oversized chickens and life-sized dinosaurs designed to entice motorists to stop at roadside attractions.

The ride journeyed through a Nature's Wonderland-like cavern filled with stalactites and stalagmites and a car wash filled with spinning bristle brushes, blowing air dryers and squirting water jets.

Visitors entered Road Trip USA through a Route 66-style souvenir shop advertising strange, amazing and thrilling attractions not to be missed.

Concept art of Road Trip USA hinted at elements that would end up in the massive Ornament Valley rockwork that will dominate Cars Land, including the distinctive Cadillac Ridge and the jutting Gas Cap butte.

A second version of Road Trip USA added a Disney character overlay called Goofy About Road Trips, based on the 1995 "A Goofy Movie" about a cross-country road trip by the anthropomorphic dog. The attraction took riders on a journey with the absentminded Goofy where things went awry and mayhem ensued.

A third version of Road Trip USA dubbed Sally's Road Rally took visitors through familiar locations in Radiator Springs and into the world of the "Cars" characters. Those plans ultimately inspired the development of downtown Radiator Springs as the centerpiece of Cars Land.

Ultimately, many of the ideas developed for Road Trip USA and its descendants showed up in Radiator Springs Racers, an indoor-outdoor attraction combining a leisurely dark ride prelude with a dueling side-by-side race-car finale. Similarly, the Route 66 souvenir shop morphed into the Radiator Springs Curio Shop. [ FULL STORY ]

The filter elements are being added to Flo's V8 Cafe

Mater's Junkyard Jamboree progress — the shack has a new metal roof. Also at Mater's, the OC Register reported that ride vehicle testing started in August at all three new Cars Land attractions and continues nightly in the new land.

Ride testing begins in Cars Land at California Adventure
Testing has begun on three rides in Cars Land, the largest portion of Disney’s $1-billion expansion of Disney California Adventure.

The 12-acre addition to the theme park, set to open in summer 2012, is a re-creation of the fictional town of Radiator Springs from the 2006 Pixar animated film “Cars” and its 2011 sequel. The land is scheduled to feature three rides, as well eateries and shops based on the movie’s theme of a town along iconic Route 66.

In an interview Thursday, Kathy Mangum, vice president of Walt Disney Imagineering, said testing has begun on the three rides: Radiator Springs Racers, Luigi’s Flying Tires and Mater’s Junkyard Jamboree.

Mangum said testing began in late August, with it taking place between 4 p.m. and midnight.

“We’re building and doing construction by day,” she said. “We’re on a double-shift. It’s still very early stages.”

The highlight of the the land will be the Radiator Springs Racers ride, which will take up roughly half of the new land.

“It’s what we affectionately call an E-ticket ride,” Mangum said, referring to the long-ago ticket for the premium rides at Disneyland.

Riders will travel in six-passenger vehicles through scenes from the movies before taking part in a race against another vehicle.

“You’re right next to another car,” Mangum said. “It’s a very close race. One of you crosses the finish first, and you never know who’s going to win the race.”

Engineers began by testing the ride-control system, which Mangum said knows where every vehicle is on the track.

“That’s important to us, to maintain the show and make sure that the race goes off exactly as we want it to go off,” she said. “They’re testing all that software and and everything it takes to deliver that.”

The testing process includes engineers putting a ride vehicle on the track and manually pushing it around to test the clearances and tolerances on the ride, Mangum said.

Then, the ride goes through what Mangum callled “jogging.”

“The ride vehicle is hooked up by an umbilical cord to a power-control system,” she said. “They send it around around, and they walk it around to make sure everything is working properly.”

Two months into testing, Mangum said the vehicles are currently being sent around the track under their own power.

“It’s sort of like learning to walk,” she said. “You take baby steps.” [ FULL STORY ]

Work at the Pacific Wharf entrance to Cars Land.

Nearby, the Cars Land construction walls have been pushed out a bit closer toward the old Mission Tortilla Factory building. The recent repaving in the area, after the cement platform for the Mission grain silos was removed, allowed for a clear walkway so the walls could be extended.

Over at the Disneyland Hotel, the walkways around the Adventure Tower have opened up and a large portion of construction walls around the E-Ticket pool have come down, despite the pool still being closed as work on it continues.

The changes at the Disneyland Hotel grounds are nice and give the public areas a great retro feel while feeling fresh and open. Still, not all of the changes happening at the Hotel are great for those involved. The LA Times ran a story last week about a new system Hotel laundry workers are new dealing with behind-the-scenes.

Disneyland workers answer to 'electronic whip'
In the basements of the Disneyland and Paradise Pier hotels in Anaheim, big flat-screen monitors hang from the walls in rooms where uniformed crews do laundry. The monitors are like scoreboards, with employees' work speeds compared to one another. Workers are listed by name, so their colleagues can see who is quickest at loading pillow cases, sheets and other items into a laundry machine.

It should come as no surprise that at the happiest place on Earth, not all the employees are smiling.

Isabel Barrera, a Disneyland Hotel laundry worker for eight years, began calling the new system the "electronic whip" when it was installed last year. The name has stuck.

"I was nervous," said Barerra, who makes $11.94 an hour, "and felt that I was being controlled even more."

Measuring productivity is commonplace in the hotel industry, and manual tallies were kept in Disney hotels until last year. Disney says the electronic system, which it also uses at its Florida resort, is becoming more common at hotels, though I haven't found much evidence of that.

Employees in the Anaheim hotels are required to key in their ID when they arrive, and from then on, their production speed is displayed for all to see. For instance, the monitor might show that S. Lopez is working at an efficiency rate of 37% of expected production. The screen displays the names of several coworkers at once, with "efficiency" numbers in green for those near or above 100% of the expected pace, and red numbers for those who aren't as fast.

At Paradise Pier, hanging under the monitor is a framed picture ofMickey Mouse on a lunch break at a factory. Judging by his smile, I'd bet his factory doesn't have an electronic whip.

According to Barrera, the whip has led to a sort of competition among workers, some of whom have tried to race to the head of the pack. But that has led to dissension and made other employees worry that a reasonable pace won't be enough to keep the boss happy. Barrera and Beatriz Topete, an official with Unite Here Local 11, said employees have been known to skip bathroom breaks out of fear that their production will fall and managers will demand an explanation. They say they felt bad for a pregnant employee who had trouble keeping up.

I learned about the electronic whip by chance, while visiting the homes of hotel workers to talk about the fact that they have been working without a contract for three years. Since that time, the union and the hotel haven't been able to reach a new agreement. Many of them fear that they'll soon be required to pay higher healthcare premiums or be reduced to part-time status, with no health insurance available.

Roughly 2,100 employees at Disneyland's three resort hotels in Anaheim — the Grand Californian is the third — were covered by the contract that expired in early 2008. Disney officials say that Unite Here Local 11 rejected a very good final offer that included raises, a reduced workload for housekeepers and more healthcare options, and Local 11 is the only one of 31 unions representing Disney workers that hasn't come to terms.

Employees see it differently. They appreciate steady work with a thriving company like Disney, and many of them have 10, 20, even 30 years on the job. They say they don't expect to get rich or even make it solidly into the middle class working at the hotel. Workers have been content with hourly pay in the $8-to-$14 neighborhood in return for mostly free healthcare from a union plan Disney contributes to. Union leaders say workers are prepared to begin paying a portion of their healthcare costs, but not so much that their total compensation takes a big hit.

The Disney contribution to the healthcare plan has not changed since 2007, even as healthcare costs rise. As a result, the union healthcare trust fund is shrinking, union officials said. Disney offered to increase its contribution by 10% over five years, but that didn't cut it, says the union, nor does it put Disney at anywhere near what other hotels pay into healthcare for Local 11 members.

Disney spokeswoman Suzi Brown said the company was offering $5,000 over two years to employees who switch to the company's plan. But clock punchers say the numbers don't add up, that it will still cost them more in the end for equivalent healthcare. So they see Disney's offer as a pay cut at a time when the company is flourishing, with profits in the last fiscal year of roughly $4 billion. [ FULL STORY ]

That 'electronic whip' story caught Disney's attention and caused a bit of a PR mess that included Disneyland spokeswoman Suzi Brown slamming the LA Times columnist who wrote the story.

You can walk all the way through to Tangaroa Terrace and Trader Sam's now without having to go around the backside of the Adventure Tower. Nice!

Cement work along the back of the Adventure Tower

Over in the Fantasy Tower, the main check-in desk is now behind walls. A temporary check-in desk is available in the meantime.

Downtown Disney trees are getting their holiday lights.

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Weekly Theme Park Hours
October 24 — 30, 2011

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

Expected Crowd Levels presented by
Disneyland Park
Disney California Adventure
LOW-MEDIUM 1.1—5.1 out of 10
LOW-MEDIUM 2.9—5.5 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

  • Disneyland Monorail: Running on a shortened schedule due to Buena Vista Street construction. Monorail opens late at 10 a.m. Monday through Friday. Monorail operates normally Saturday and Sunday.
  • "it's a small world": Closed through November 10 to install holiday overlay.
  • Pirates of the Caribbean and Blue Bayou Restaurant: Closed through November 23 for refurbishment.

Disney California Adventure

  • It's Tough to be a Bug! Closed through November 11 for refurbishment.
  • Toy Story Midway Mania! Closed November 15 — 17 for refurbishment.
  • Buena Vista Street: Re-themed main entrance including new Red Car Trolley attraction are under construction through summer 2012.

Downtown Disney & Hotels of the Disneyland Resort

  • Fantasyland Tower lobby areas, E-Ticket Pool: Areas closed for remodel and re-theming. Hotel remodel set to be completed in November 2011.

Disney says accusation of unsafe lead levels in parks are 'baseless'
An environmental group is taking Disney to court for what they say are unsafe levels of lead found throughout the Anaheim theme parks, but Disney says the claims are unfounded. From the OC Register's Around Disney blog:
Disneyland accused of unsafe levels of lead

Three environmental and health advocacy groups say children are being exposed to harmful amounts of lead in brass objects at Disneyland.

Representatives from Mateel Environmental Justice Foundation, Ecological Rights Foundation and the Center for Environmental Health said Tuesday that high amounts of lead in brass exist in more than 65 brass fixtures throughout the theme park.

Caroline Cox, a spokeswoman for the Oakland-based Center for Environmental Health, said examples are brass railings, chains and stanchions at Haunted Mansion, Peter Pan’s Flight, Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride and brass hilt of the replica of the Excalibur sword in the Sword in the Stone Ceremony.

Cox said tests were conducted over the past year by taking swabs of the objects in question and having the swabs tested for lead content.

While not lethal, Cox said, the amount of lead in those brass objects could be harmful to children.

“The health effects of lead of our concern have to do with a child’s developing brain,” she said. “What we are hoping Disney would do is to take steps to make sure kids won’t be exposed to lead.”

In a statement, Disney spokeswoman Suzi Brown refuted the claims.

“The claims this plaintiff has made have been baseless,” Brown said. ”The Disneyland Resort fully complies with Proposition 65 and has always been committed to providing a safe environment for all its guests.”
Fred Evenson, a spokesman for Ecological Rights Foundation, said a minimal exposure could be harmful to children.

“Lead is an extremely toxic metal, particularly to children. It’s very toxic to the developing brain and the nervous system,” he said. “Very minor doses of lead exposure cause attention deficit disorder and learning disorders.”

Evenson said children have multiple exposures while standing in line for a ride.

Full story: Around Disney: Disneyland accused of unsafe levels of lead

Woman sues Disneyland for fallen tree branch
Disneyland is facing another lawsuit as a Riverside County woman claims a tree branch fell on her head at the park. From OC Weekly:
New Disneyland Attraction Involves Falling Tree Limbs?

Margarita Pina hoped May 1 would be an enjoyable day at Disneyland with her two toddlers.

But the Riverside County mother got more than she paid for when a six-foot tree branch loaded with fruit and weighing "30 or 40 pounds" fell on her head while she was seated in a shady picnic area at the world famous Anaheim amusement park.

Now, Pina wants Disney, which collect more than $38 billion in annually revenue, to pay.

According to the Oct. 13 lawsuit filed in Orange County Superior Court, Pina says she suffered "lacerations, abrasions and contusions," incurred more than $4,300 in related expenses and seeks additional damages for pain and suffering from a future jury.

Other park patrons had to remove the branch.

Pina's lawyers claim that Disneyland officials failed to properly maintain the trees "so as to make the picnic area safe" for customers.

The lawsuit also asserts that Pina has suffered pain throughout her upper body, is frequently dizzy, has difficulty sleeping, constant pain in the neck and mild nervousness. A chiropractor diagnosed a spinal sprain.

Disneyland lawyers, who handle dozens of these types of cases annually, have not yet filed a response in court.

Full story: OC Weekly: New Disneyland Attraction Involves Falling Tree Limbs?

CHOC Walk raises $1.6 million for hospital programs
In happier news, the annual CHOC Walk raised a nice sum for the Orange County children's hospital:
CHOC Walk draws 14,000 to Disneyland
ANAHEIM – Fireworks over Sleeping Beauty Castle and confetti canons along Main Street greeted more than 14,000 walkers arriving at dawn to Disneyland on Sunday for the 21st annual CHOC Walk at the Park.

About 750 teams completed the 5K course, raising $1.6 million for programs at Children's Hospital of Orange County.

"There is nothing like seeing Main Street full with so many people coming together for such a good cause," said Allen Fazio, a Disney vice president who sits on the CHOC Foundation's board of directors.

Most teams walked in honor of patients treated by the hospital. Some carried banners with pictures of children who have died after illnesses. The route wove through Disneyland, Disney California Adventure and Downtown Disney. Mickey, Minnie and other Disney characters cheered on walkers.

One of the largest groups with nearly 300 walkers was Team Timmaree Rocks, named after Timmaree Hicks, who died from cancer three years ago at age 9. Team members wore turquoise shirts with a large butterfly logo that Timmaree had drawn while a patient at CHOC.

"We are all very grateful to CHOC for all the doctors, nurses and everyone did to help Timmaree," said Debbie Hicks, the girl's mother. "We will continue to come back each year because the money we raise will help save lives."

The team has participated for four years and has helped raise more than $100,000 for the hospital.

Full story: OC Register: CHOC Walk draws 14,000 to Disneyland

Google celebrates Mary Blair's 100th birthday
Disney Legend and Imagineer Mary Blair got a nice tribute from Google for her 100th birthday:
MARY BLAIR DOODLE: Google celebrates Disney artist with tribute art
It’s an image that could be titled: “Lady and the Stamp.” Because MARY BLAIR left her influential stamp of artistry on whatever she set her mind and hand to.

Today, Google celebrates the 100th birthday of the late Disney artist, who lent her “explosion of color” style to such immortal ‘50s animated films as “Alice in Wonderland,” “Cinderella” and “Peter Pan.” She also contributed to “Dumbo” and “Lady and the Tramp.”

Although Blair left Disney animation by the mid-’50s, Walt Disney — appreciating her eye for hues and movement — later hired her to work on such theme-park attractions as It’s a Small World and the Tomorrowland Promenade.

Today’s Doodle honors that very eye for color — it’s rendered with a bright, expressive palette and playful, almost kinetic design.

Born Mary Robinson in Oklahoma in 1911, she attended L.A.’s esteemed Chouinard Art Institute, soon making her way in an industry then dominated by men. Both her husband, Lee Everett Blair, and her brother-in-law, animator Preston Blair, were also artists.

Blair joined the Disney studio in 1940, where she and her husband created concept art for such films as “The Three Caballeros.” After she left Disney more than a decade later, her graphic work included major advertising campaigns and illustrations for Simon and Schuster’s Golden Books for children.

Full story: Washington Post Comic Riffs: Google celebrates Disney artist with tribute art

Okay, that wraps up this week's edition of Dateline Disneyland! Thanks for reading and don't forget to check out our sponsors at Touring Plans and the HoJo Anaheim when planning your next visit to Disneyland!

Join the discussion! Are you glad Disney went with Cars Land instead of Carland? Are you worried about lead levels in the parks? Share your thoughts in the comments section below!

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See you at Disneyland!
- Andy

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  1. Trumpet's Avatar
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    Great update Andy

    The fountain in Buena Vista Street is turning into something special...

    Personally, I think it was the right decision of go with Cars Land, not Carland, as DCA could potentially have had another tacky land and TOO many puns. (Think back to the Route 66 section of Paradise Pier with Dinosaur Jack's Sunglass Shack)
  2. Disneymike's Avatar
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    Great update Andy!
  3. peoplemover1's Avatar
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    Awesome update Andy!!

  4. bamato's Avatar
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    Excellent update! So excited to see the holidays slowly creeping in, as it will be the first time I'll have been to the resort during the holidays this year!
  5. WheresMickey's Avatar
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    Great update!
  6. jpg391's Avatar
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    Great update.
  7. Jlomo23's Avatar
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    Love the usual! It's extremely exciting to see the Holiday decor going up! In just 5 short weeks my daughter and I will take our first trip to DLR for the holidays! I can't wait for next week's update! Thanks for adding to the anticipation, Andy!
  8. TodAZ1's Avatar
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    Well, it's nice to see Unite Here Local 11 is still up to their publicity grabbing schenanigans. I weep for the employees they represent.

    On another topic, does anyone know if the Jolly Holiday Bakery will be making exterior structural changes to the old Plaza Pavilion? Or will it just be, maybe, a paint job and interior work? I'd really hate to see that beautiful architecture messed up.
  9. DisWedWay's Avatar
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    I'm glad that Mainstreet stayed with light bulbs in it's signage instead of fiber optics as was once talked about. Hopefully some of the new signs will incoporate the bulbs into the actual names of the establishment as in Walt's day. I really miss the "One Of A Kind Shop" as it's treasures used to spill out into the Court des Anges in New Orleans Square with all sorts period artifacts instead of plush. The 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea Specimen Case from the Nautilus was inside the shop and was always filled with items no other shops carried. It was always like Christmas when you went in there.
  10. Timekeeper's Avatar
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    Nice update! I wonder what will be on the new menu for Carnation Cafe? (I hope it's the return of their legendary sundaes!)

  11. Barbossa's Avatar
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    Excellent update!
  12. DisneyResort's Avatar
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    As of today (10/24) snow has begun to top off Sleeping Beauty Castle. This is that weird/special time of year when [B]Two Holidays Collide[/B]...literally, at Disneyland. A very unique photo op is to take a picture of the Partners Statue at the Central Hub, surrounded by it's Halloween pumpkins, while in the background stands Sleeping Beauty Castle with it's snow covered turrets.
  13. LittleSquirt's Avatar
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    Can we please re name Cars land to Radiator Springs?
  14. Mac Daddy's Avatar
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    This ^^^. I was just about to post the same thing. I'd love to see a story called "How Imagineers and John Lasseter finally got a clue and just called the thing 'Radiator Springs' as 'Carsland' was easily the goofiest name that any Disney employee had ever come up with."

    Or something along those lines.

    Nice update Andy! Thanks again for your time and energy!
  15. gumby's Avatar
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    LOL, electronic whip!

    Disney, you preach and pride yourself on guest service. But you never say we only care about the external (paying) guests, and not internal guest service (CMs). *shakes head*

    I'd go on and on, but that's beating a dead horse, which I've personally done too much.

    But who in the world do they hire for PR? I would have loved to seen the full rant by the PR person, but whatever the case, you shouldn't come off as if you didn't read the column.

    Last time I checked, PR people should be calm, calculated, and *always* represent the best foot forward for a company.

    *shakes head again*

  16. TomGreen51's Avatar
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    The whip system sounds stressfull.

    I had to sign in every hour in each restroom at downtown disney when I use to clean them. Imagine walking from the world of disney restroom all the way the the lego store restroom eight to nine times a night. Add to that walking from the east esplanade restroom to the lego store restroom two to three times after DCA closed. I'm not complaining, I enjoyed the more fast paced shifts over the slow sweeping jobs. At least with this shift though, my sign in sheets were on the hour.

    I did'nt have to worry about speeding up my productivity, I just had to pace myself and stay on schedule. It's hard to have your every action tracked. They need to give the hotel workers a break. Your work speed varies over time. Sometimes I would move fast and some times I would slow down to get back my energy.

    Well anyway, don't give up hope if you work at the hotels. They may bother you at first but eventually the numbers will level out and the management won't pay much attention to those rediculouse efficiency trackers.
  17. dsnyguy's Avatar
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    Thanks for reporting on the Disneyland Hotel workers. I am glad you choose not to white wash your disney coverage. Though a long time fan and stockholder, they cannot be allowed to get away with abusing employees. thanks
  18. Not My Real Name's Avatar
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    I'm not bothered with the Mary Poppins' bakery. She'd hardly be the first English person to come to America to make her fortune. I know Mary never did this in any of the books, but she's Disney's girl now, and they can do whatever they want with the character as long as it's tasteful.
  19. LittleImagineer's Avatar
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    I CAN NOT WAIT FOR CHRISTMAS TIME AT DISNEYLAND! That's what I look forward to every year!

    Anyways, very interesting stories on here. I found the electronic whip story extremely interesting. Very sad that the people are treated like this

    On another note, Carnation Cafe better keep their turkey sandwiches on pretzel bread and the potato soup!!