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Dateline Disneyland

Parade taping, Carthay pumphouse unveiled, Lighting up the holidays, Toon Trees +MORE

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by , 11-07-2011 at 03:24 AM
It was another busy weekend at the Disneyland Resort as a little bit of Hollywood invaded Main Street for the taping of the annual Disney Parks Christmas Day Parade. While the parade recording brought comedian Nick Cannon and TV cameras to Disneyland, work continued over the weekend on installing holiday decorations throughout both parks. Over at California Adventure, construction projects continued as construction walls around the new Carthay Circle pump house came down, revealing a first look at the park's new Buena Vista Street entrance complex. Outside the parks, the Disneyland Hotel's remodeled E-Ticket Pool was filled with water as work crews put finishing touches on the area as it nears its completion. The holidays are almost here and now is the perfect time to check out our friends at, who can help you make the most of your holiday visit. So don't miss TouringPlans' special offer only for Dateline Disneyland readers featured in today's column!

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!

We've got a huge update for you today, so let's jump right in!

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This week should be relatively slow, as Christmas decorations continue to go up around Disneyland. 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., Nov. 7
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 Thursday, when it's a 3.4.
  • Disneyland park's lowest day will be Monday when it's an 1.1.
Tue., Nov. 8
Wed., Nov. 9
Thu., Nov. 10
Crowd levels are based on a scale from 1 to 10, with 1 being the least crowded conditions and 10 being most crowded.
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Banners are up in Downtown Disney for the holiday season.

A look at the holiday goings-on around Disneyland...

Saturday marked the taping of the Disneyland portion of the annual Disney Parks Christmas Day Parade.

Nick Cannon again hosted the Disneyland festivities from Town Square as portions of Disneyland's Christmas Fantasy parade, Mickey's Soundsational Parade and Phineas and Ferb's Rockin' Rollin' Dance Party made their way down Main Street.

Guests were invited to line the street to be a part of the taping, but were warned repeatedly that the taping would be an all-day event with multiple takes and crowd participation and patience.

The Central Plaza was also home to Hollywood for the day with a stage in front of Sleeping Beauty Castle for performances for the Christmas Day parade as well as a performance by One Republic for Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve.

Work continues on installing the snow overlay at Sleeping Beauty Castle.

Looks like some work on patching up the cracks was done.

Hopefully something can be done about this...

Work has wrapped on the facade refurbishment at Pirates of the Caribbean as the attraction enters the final stretch of its refurbishment.

More decorations have gone up in New Orleans Square

In the back of New Orleans Square great new "garland" made of wooden branches and colored bottles has gone up at the voodoo priestess' balcony

Really cool!

Le Ornament Magique is open again for the holidays

The New Orleans Square train station got some holiday wreaths as well

By night, the land lights up beautifully. Not everything is plugged in and working yet, but it looks great so far...

Christmas decorations are up in Critter Country

Over in Frontierland, Big Thunder Ranch is in the process of changing over to Santa's Reindeer Roundup.

Back in Fantasyland, the Santa hat is up on the "it's a small world" facade.

The re-flooring project has wrapped up at the "it's a small world" Toy Shoppe

Back in Mickey's Toontown, new holiday decorations have rolled out. Interestingly, Disney has promoted the new decorations as if the holidays are new for Toontown. In fact, at the Christmas Day Parade Taping on Saturday, the emcee announced to the crowd that Toontown would be decorated for the "first time ever."

The reality of the situation is that Toontown has been decked out for the holidays for years now, with clever decorations specific to the various storefronts and facades throughout the land. Disney made a point to specifically mention the new Christmas trees in Toontown in its annual press release this year:
Nearby, in Mickey’s Toontown, the centerpiece of the new holiday décor is an 18-foot cartoon-style Christmas tree in front of Toontown City Hall. Sculpted garlands and wreaths adorn the Toontown gazebo and add holiday cheer to the Gag Warehouse. The personal Christmas trees in the front yards of Mickey’s and Minnie’s houses also carry the “toon” theme.

The new trees are actually not new at all. Christmas trees have routinely been put up in front of Toontown's City Hall and Mickey and Minnie's houses, and while these trees are new for Disneyland, they aren't new for Disney theme park guests.

These new trees are from Walt Disney World's now-defunct Mickey's Toontown Fair, which has since closed to make way for the Magic Kingdom's Fantasyland expansion. It's interesting that Disney has done away with Toontown's old Christmas trees to bring in old decorations from Florida and is now marketing them as all-new offerings.

These new plasticky "toon" trees aren't really the greatest, but they aren't terrible. They're also not necessarily as good (or as big) as the themed Christmas trees used in Toontown in previous years.

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

The holidays have, somewhat surprisingly, made their way over to Disney California Adventure's new main gate and temporary entrance corridor.

The new garland on the Pan Pacific gate looks great.

Inside the park, work continues on the new Buena Vista Street facades

The new Christmas wreaths along the temporary main entrance path are a great touch.

The wreaths are lit with mini LED Christmas lights, but aren't turned on at night yet.

The new Carthay Circle Red Car Trolley stop (the pump house) was unveiled on Friday. It's great to get this sneak peek at this little corner of Buena Vista Street. It's a great taste of what Buena Vista Street will offer when it opens in 2012 and it's really pretty exciting.

New details

The Condor Flats transitional theming with the dinosaur fossils survived the area's remodel. They seem to blend in nicely and give the area some added visual interest.

At night the area lights up and looks fantastic.

Progress continues to be made at Cars Land...

Mater's junkyard shack

The new seaside bluffs

New holiday decorations are up along Paradise Pier. First, Duffy's outpost is all decked out for the holidays.

The globe constantly blows snow

The new Paradise Garden dining area also has a couple new decorations. Looks good!

The Disneyland Hotel remodel is entering its final stretch as well, with the E-Ticket Pool now filled.

Another new directional sign

New grassy area by the pool

Additional details going up here

This is the last week for the Disney Gallery's Mary Blair exhibit, which is set to close Thursday to make way for a new show themed to Disney theme park trains which opens Saturday.

Dateline Disneyland is sponsored by our good friends at the
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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

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Weekly Theme Park Hours
November 7—13, 2011

Disneyland Park
Disney California Adventure
Monday-Wednesday: 10 am - 8 pm
Thursday: 9 am - 10 pm
Friday-Saturday: 8 am - 12 midnight
Sunday: 8 am - 11 pm
Monday-Thursday: 10 am - 8 pm
Friday: 10 am - 10 pm
Saturday: 10 am - 9 pm
Saturday: 10 am - 10 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—7.3 out of 10
LOW-MEDIUM 2.8—7.0 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.
  • Jolly Holiday Bakery Café: Opens January 2012 in location of the former Plaza Pavilion.
  • Blue Ribbon Bakery, Gibson Girl Ice Cream Parlor and Candy Palace: Food service locations and shops close January 2012 for major restaurant and shopping expansion projects affecting current spaces.

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.
  • Cars Land: New 12-acre land in former Timon Parking Lot opens 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.

New details available for Disneyland hotels
From the Disney Parks Blog:
New Disneyland Resort Ticket and Hotel Deals Available Today
Now is the time to plan your Disneyland Resort getaway – we’ve got some great new offers available for purchase and booking today!

First, starting today you can get a 3-Day Park Hopper ticket for just $199! The ticket is valid for 13 days after the first day of use beginning January 4 through May 28, 2012, and must be purchased prior to arrival. Visit for more information, including restrictions and blockout dates. Plus – this special 3-Day Park Hopper ticket also allows you one Magic Morning admission, so be sure to check the daily park hours and restrictions prior to arriving.

And while you’re planning your stay here at the Disneyland Resort, take advantage of these two special hotel offers:
  • Save up to 35%* on stays for most Sunday through Thursday nights at a Disneyland Resort hotel for travel between January 2 through February 29, when booked before February 29. More information here.
  • Save up to $500 on a 4-day, 4-night Disneyland Resort vacation!** Package includes four-night stay at a Disneyland Resort hotel and 4-Day Park Hopper ticket. Offer available for arrivals between January 2 through February 26, when booked before February 26. Click here for offer details.

Also, stay at any Disneyland Resort hotel from January 4 to February 29 and receive 2 Disney’s FASTPASS tickets for each person in your party (ages 3 and older)!*** Valid theme park tickets are required, of course.

Full story: Disney Parks Blog: New Disneyland Resort Ticket and Hotel Deals Available Today

Disney Parks Chief Medical Officer wins award
From the Around Disney Blog:
Disney’s chief medical officer honored

Pamela Hymel, MD, the Chief Medical Officer for Walt Disney Parks & Resorts, has been honored with the 2011 Global Leadership in Corporate Health Award.

The award is sponsored by the American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine and the National Business Group on Health.

Hymel was honored for implementing health and wellness programs while at Hughes Electronics, Cisco Systems and at Disney Parks & Resorts.

Since joining Disney in September 2010, Hymel set up a company-wide health and wellness strategy for the Disney theme parks, cruise lines and vacation clubs, including an electronic medical records system.
She is also responsible for monitoring the health and safety of the employees and the visitors to the parks.

Full story: Around Disney: Disney’s chief medical officer honored

Alright, that wraps up this week's huge edition of Dateline Disneyland. Big thanks for reading and be sure to check out our friends at Touring Plans! With their special 25% offer for you, a Dateline Disneyland reader, why not subscribe?

Join the discussion! What do you think of the new Carthay Circle pump house? Doesn't it look fantastic?

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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 Disneyland!
- Andy

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Promotional consideration for the November 7, 2011 edition of Dateline Disneyland was provided by | Do More. Wait Less. and Howard Johnson Plaza Hotel — Anaheim Resort.

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  1. BestBeatingHeart's Avatar
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    I must've visited DCA upwards of 200 times or so and never once did I notice/recognize the dinosaur fossils. Crazy... new area looks great though, can't wait to get back there (late next year ).
  2. llama5492's Avatar
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    Thanks for the update! Great as usual!
  3. Trumpet's Avatar
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    Great Update Andy,
    I agree with BestBeatingHeart, I have never seen the fossil, but looks great against the pumphouse.

    I get more excited every week!
  4. bamato's Avatar
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    Everything is looking great! Thanks for another awesome update!
  5. DisneyResort's Avatar
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    The "new" Christmas tree in Toon Town is a little disappointing. It looks kinda cheap. The one they normally used was larger, brighter and more festive. And it's a little embarrassing to know that the decorations are the throw aways from WDW's Toon Town. Disneyland doesn't have to rely on anyone's throw aways. Could this be a small taste of Meg Crofton's management style hitting Disneyland?
  6. NetteNutt's Avatar
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    does anyone know when the switch the exhibit over are you still going to be able to get the Mary Blair prints? There was one I didn't get my last trip.
  7. NetteNutt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DisneyResort
    The "new" Christmas tree in Toon Town is a little disappointing. It looks kinda cheap. The one they normally used was larger, brighter and more festive. And it's a little embarrassing to know that the decorations are the throw aways from WDW's Toon Town. Disneyland doesn't have to rely on anyone's throw aways. Could this be a small taste of Meg Crofton's management style hitting Disneyland?
    I agree I find these ones to be lacking. Toon Town should be about the bigger, the brighter. I remember our first trip years ago and all the colors of Christmas just really stood out. These trees get lost.
  8. WheresMickey's Avatar
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    Great update!
  9. jaxbistro's Avatar
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    "Cars 2 made a lot of money. But it also disappointed a lot of people. I've been having a hard time trying to articulate and write about how awful this movie is, and finally someone at the Omaha World Herald echoed my own concerns about it. Cars Land has a lot of potential for the Disneyland Resort. Let's hope the poor choices made for the movie sequel don't diminish that."

    Can't agree with you more, Al. This was an awful movie, almost seemingly made just to get billions of revenue from licensed kids didn't even like it. The referenced article summed it all up for me as well. Just a bad storyline...spies? Most kids don't get spies and espionage. BUT...when my kids (8 and 5) and I saw the film, the projector light burned out during the climatic chase and shooting scenes towards the end, but the sound was still on. Imagine sitting in a very dark theater packed with very young kids with bombs and screaming and crashing going on in full force THX digital HD sound. Good stuff. Many tears were shed, mostly from the children. Luckily, we all received full-priced re-admission tickets for any future movie.

    Alas, Cars 2 blu-ray will be added to my collection. If I don't add it, it will be much like the Reggie Bush Heisman Trophy...we all know it happened, no reason to skirt around it.

    I have zero negative thoughts about the new Cars Land and any tie-ins to Cars 2. I think it was on the books long before the lapse in Pixar judgement.

    Here's to the Halos landing a decent free-agent.
  10. mickeyfan4ever's Avatar
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    verry good update i cant wait for dca to be donw
  11. Mac Daddy's Avatar
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    Thanks for another great update, Andy! I love the starbursts on your NOS shots! Nicely done!
  12. Cap'n Jack's Avatar
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    A tale of two parks?

    I just hope that that there wont be a loss of continuity in DCA with the new updated areas (Buena Vista and Paradise Garden) which are spectacular in execution and design versus the original parts of the park that frankly look cheap and well dated now. If only they original park had been designed with the thoughtfulness that is going into new areas. I for one am happy to see as much of the old sections replaced as possible.

  13. KingEric's Avatar
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    grrreat update
  14. a-mad's Avatar
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    Fantastic update!

    Does anyone know if the Mickey garlands will be strung across Main Street this year? I know a few years ago when they continued to run "Parade of Dreams" along with "Christmas Fantasy" parade, they did not put them up... and I noticed they weren't up for the taping (although I can't remember if they have been in the past...)

    I don't think they're running Mickey's Soundsational during the holidays... but if they are, that would be the deciding factor (with the size of the floats...)

    Anyone know more?
  15. sir clinksalot's Avatar
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    The Xmas stuff in Toontown doesn't bother me in the least.

    99.9% of people who see them won't know they came from WDW (I wouldn't have unless I read it here).

    I can't see anybody rushing out to Disneyland only to see the "new" decorations after reading the press release.

    It's a non-issue.
  16. SoarinMatt's Avatar
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    My only concern is that it looks a little odd to have the guest relations cast members just standing under the awning that says "Information" at the Carthay Circle pump house. Does anyone know if they're planning to add a desk any time soon?
  17. pineapplewhipaddict's Avatar
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    Great update as per usual! Fantastic images!
  18. Wreckless Abrandon's Avatar
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    Dinosaur Fossils??? I'm with BestBeatingHeart... I've never noticed them before!
  19. themama9906's Avatar
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    Thanks for the update!! Great, as always. I always get a little sad when I start to see the adverts for Howard Johnson because it means I'm at the end of the update. boohoo, anxiously awaiting next Monday!!Thanks for all you do on these updates, they're really amazing!
  20. LittleSquirt's Avatar
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    It's always a monday treat to read dateline disney! thank you!
    and again, it just bugs me so much that Carsland isn't called Radiator Springs...I mean. COME ON. really?
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