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Dateline Disneyland

Holiday preview, Disney Gallery train exhibit, Candy canes, E-Ticket Pool +MORE

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by , 11-14-2011 at 02:00 AM
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Disneyland officially kicks off its extremely popular holiday season today with the return of popular attractions, shows and decorations in both parks. An invite-only list of select Annual Passholders will get an early fill of the holiday season with a special party tonight in Disneyland, but regular day guests will get treated to the first performances of "A Christmas Fantasy" Parade and the "Believe... In Holiday Magic" fireworks show. Also open now is an excellent new exhibit at the Disney Gallery celebrating history of Walt Disney's love of trains and the art of Disney's theme park trains. At Disney California Adventure, the park has introduced new holiday decorations along Paradise Pier and a holiday version of the Phineas and Ferb street show as construction on the major Buena Vista Street and Cars Land projects. Outside the parks, the Disneyland Hotel nears completion as the E-Ticket Pool area gets finishing touches and the main lobby emerges from construction walls.

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 another big update for you today! Let's see what's new at Disneyland...


Inside Dateline Disneyland


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WELCOME TO DISNEYLAND!
Our friends at Touring Plans are here with their weekly crowd forecast as Disneyland enters its first week of the holiday season...

Christmastime at Disneyland officially kicks off today. Expect crowds to increase over the weekend for the first official weekend of the Christmas offerings. TouringPlans.com 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 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., Nov. 14
2/10
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 Monday, when it's a 2.1.
  • Disneyland park's lowest days will be Monday and Thursday, when it's a 1.8.
Tue., Nov. 15
2/10
Wed., Nov. 16
2/10
Thu., Nov. 17
2/10
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.




The old Harbor Boulevard entry archway has been completely removed. The entry marquee is no longer needed now with Cars Land construction taking over the former Timon parking lot and closing the guest car access behind California Screamin' that routed guests to the Mickey and Friends Parking Structure.


The removal of the archway started mid-week and there was hardly any sign of it remaining by Saturday.




HOLIDAY ROUND-UP
A look at the holiday goings-on around Disneyland...

CHRISTMAS ON MAIN STREET
The holidays begin today at the Disneyland Resort and the final touches were going up over the weekend.






The Christmas tree was up in Town Square over the weekend, but the garlands over Main Street were not yet up to accommodate the final weekend of Mickey's Soundsational Parade.




Garlands and lights are up along Main Street buildings


The folks over at the great Disney Food Blog have obtained the schedule for the Candy Palace's popular candy canes. The candy canes are always a wildly-popular offering, only available on a few select days of the season and sell out very quickly. If you want to try to get a candy cane this year, you should plan accordingly.

2011 Disneyland Candy Cane Dates
Candy Cane making dates are currently scheduled for:
  • Wednesday, November 30th (9:00 park opening)
  • Friday, December 2nd (8:00am park opening)
  • Tuesday, December 6th (9:00am park opening, BUT Magic Morning hours at 8:00am)
  • Friday, December 9th (8:00am park opening)
  • Monday, December 12th (8:00am park opening)
  • Friday, December 16th (8:00am park opening) &
  • Wednesday, December 21st (8:00am park opening)


PLEASE NOTE that these dates are subject to change, additional dates may be added as well. I heard a rumor from a Marceline’s cast member that candy canes were also being made on Friday, November 25th (8:00am park opening), the day after Thanksgiving… [ FULL STORY ]


For more information on the Candy Palace candy canes including tips on how to get yours, check out the Disney Food Blog.




At night, the tree lights up wonderfully





SEASONAL SNOW
The Castle's icicle were up by the weekend following the previous weekend's Christmas Day Parade taping.


Unfortunately, the icicles remain the same as previous years. They look horrible during the day, but at night they look great. It's too bad they can't find a more attractive solution for these...



"IT'S A SMALL WORLD" HOLIDAY
"it's a small world" holiday is back. The attraction remains a great part of the park's holiday offerings.




The attraction has a new centerpiece for the finale room this year — a giant LED snow man has replaced the former giant snowflake tree.


It doesn't look that great in photos, but it works well in the attraction, even if it does play like a giant holiday lawn ornament. Removing the snowman's "Happy Holidays" sign might be a good idea.


At night, the "it's a small world" facade, shrubbery and topiaries sparkle with thousands of Christmas lights.





HOLIDAYS IN PARADISE (PIER)
Over at California Adventure, Paradise Pier got a couple more minor holiday decorations at the Little Mermaid attraction and Paradise Gardens dining area








The Phineas and Ferb Dance Party that plays near the Little Mermaid attraction has been given a makeover for the holiday.


Some new holiday songs and decorations have been added to the show and parade float, but the show remain loud and obnoxious.





Santa has returned to Paradise Pier for the holidays, taking over Mickey's gazebo near Ariel's Grotto









On Friday, Disney California Adventure celebrated the 1,000th performance of the popular "World of Color" show. The milestone performance also introduced a new pre-show segment for the holidays featuring characters from ABC's holiday hit, "Prep and Landing." We'll have full coverage of the new holiday pre-show in next week's column. The Disney Parks Blog announced the milestone:

‘World of Color’ at Disney California Adventure Park Celebrates 1,000th Performance Tonight
Tonight marks an exciting milestone for “World of Color” – its 1,000th performance. Since the nighttime spectacular debuted in June 2010, the show – conceived as a kind of “living ‘Fantasia’” has used music, animation, color, light and water to amaze millions of guests at Disney California Adventure park.

“World of Color” employs brand-new technologies developed especially for the show by Walt Disney Imagineering – fountains with multiple moving heads, a “movie screen” on water – but one of the most amazing aspects of the show is its ability to continuously change.

“I am so proud that ‘World of Color’ has reached its 1,000th performance,” Steve Davison, Vice President, Parades & Spectaculars for Walt Disney Imagineering Creative Entertainment and Creative Director for “World of Color,” told the Disney Parks Blog. ”For me, one of the most exciting aspects of the show is that the technology that we developed has the flexibility to adapt and change without taking the show down for refurbishment. We’ve already had a lot of fun with the TRON tag, and we’re really excited to be introducing another new segment in time for the holidays!” [ FULL STORY ]







ALL ABOARD!
Back on Main Street, the Disney Gallery's latest must-see exhibition has opened — "All Aboard... A Grand Circle Tour of the Trains of Disney."


The clever exhibit banner features a train that has a working "headlight" as well as a smokestack that periodically erupts with steam. It's a great little touch.


The gallery's first exhibit space after the gift shop features new train-related art work by Disney artists.








A model of Walt's Barn, which currently resides in Los Angeles' Griffith Park, is on display here. The real barn is open to the public and maintained by the Carolwood Foundation. More information can be found at Carolwood.org



The exhibit's main room features a great selection of historical Disney concept art and artifacts as well as trains that run continuously on tracks in the center of the room and along the perimeter of the room.










The short video clip below shows the exhibit's animated marquee and the trains in the gallery.














Disney train artifacts are on display, many of the items on loan from the Carolwood Foundation.









The bank vault in the Gallery's gift shop area contains some incredible artifacts from Disney train history.


The train car and section of track are really special pieces







Some of the exhibit merchandise available for purchase:








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




BUENA VISTA STREET
Buena Vista Street continues to make progress...




The Guest Relations trailer got a couple potted Christmas trees for the holidays












The Carthay Circle pump house now has a podium and computer for the Guest Relations Cast Members.






CARS LAND
Work continues at Cars Land...








Spark plugs are up at Flo's V8 Cafe




Wires are up at Tow Mater's Junkyard Jamboree







AVATAR director James Cameron toured the Cars Land construction site Friday on an "inspiration tour" of the Disneyland Resort as he works with Imagineers to plan the major AVATAR-themed expansion at Disney's Animal Kingdom park at Walt Disney World.

James Cameron Gets Further Inspiration at Disneyland Resort

On Friday, legendary film director James Cameron and fellow Lightstorm Entertainment production partner Jon Landau toured the Cars Land expansion site at Disney California Adventure park, accompanied by Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Chairman Tom Staggs and a team from Walt Disney Imagineering.

While there are no immediate plans for an AVATAR-themed land at the “Happiest Place on Earth,” Cameron and Landau used the visit as inspiration and to further familiarize themselves with the immersive Disney Parks experience as their team begins design work on the first AVATAR-themed land set to open at Disney’s Animal Kingdom at Walt Disney World Resort.

The team studied the details and storytelling elements in the 12-acre world of Radiator Springs that will open at Disney California Adventure park in summer 2012, before touring other parts of the Disneyland Resort. [ LINK ]






























DISNEYLAND HOTEL REMODEL
The Disneyland Hotel's remodel continues to race toward completion and the results look great. It might not translate well in photos, but the property has a great fresh, open and retro vibe that plays heavily on nostalgia but offers modern amenities and features.


The large fountains that were hidden behind shrubs for some time have been uncovered and restored for use once again at the Hotel's main entrance.




It'll be great to see these working again.


The main entrance remodel continues...




The main lobby's registration counter has reopened after a complete overhaul.








Clean and fresh.


The main lobby elevator area's remodel is done.





The E-Ticket Pool and surrounding area is just about ready to open. Finishing touches are being applied over the weekend.








The walls are down from around the Coffee House and Goofy's Kitchen area. It looks great over here.










With the walls down around the area, the pedestrian bridge over the D-Ticket Pool has completely opened up now.




Looking back









The Mickey Mouse spa








Captain Hook's pirate ship used to be here



The new tower marquees have been installed at the Frontier and Adventure Towers


The new marquees look good, but it's a bit of a shame Disney didn't take the opportunity to let these give the Towers a splash of color instead of more blue.











The old Fantasy Waters area is out from behind walls and is was getting some final landscaping done over the weekend.


It's just a lawn now. No more water-and-light shows.





THIS & THAT
Back in Disneyland, the information board's refurbishment has wrapped up.


The Pirates of the Caribbean refurbishment is set to finish later this month...


The stairs at the Disneyland Dream Suite are being refurbished.








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WEEKLY NEWS AND INFORMATION ROUND-UP
Weekly Theme Park Hours
November 14—20, 2011

Disneyland Park
Disney California Adventure
Monday-Thursday: 10 am - 8 pm
Friday-Sunday: 8 am - 12 midnight
Monday-Thursday: 10 am - 8 pm
Friday-Saturday: 10 am - 9 pm
Sunday: 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
LOW-MEDIUM 1.6—6.4 out of 10
LOW-MEDIUM 2.1—5.7 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

  • 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.
  • 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

  • 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.




Okay, that's our update for this week. Thanks for reading and be sure to visit Touring Plans when planning your holiday visit!

Join the discussion! Will you be lining up at Disneyland for one of those famous candy canes this holiday season?

We're only here because of your support. If you enjoy Dateline Disneyland every week please consider helping us out by donating a buck or two so we can pay the bills and keep the updates coming! You can donate with a click of a button via PayPal — click here!

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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Comments

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  1. Trumpet's Avatar
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    Great Update, as always, Andy

    Thank goodness they are not thinking of putting an AVATAR themed land at the DLR. I don't think that AVATAR will stand the test of time as other franchises that Disney have incorprated into their parks (Indiana Jones, Star Wars)
    The resort construction is finally starting to wrap up, but the hotel entrance shouuld have colour not blue (reminds me of AVATAR)

    Thanks again Andy
    Trumpet
  2. Emmanuel_4's Avatar
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    Great Update!
  3. DisneyResort's Avatar
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    [QUOTE=Trumpet;bt20321]Great Update, as always, Andy

    Thank goodness they are not thinking of putting an AVATAR themed land at the DLR. I don't think that AVATAR will stand the test of time as other franchises that Disney have incorprated into their parks (Indiana Jones, Star Wars)
    The resort construction is finally starting to wrap up, but the hotel entrance shouuld have colour not blue (reminds me of AVATAR)

    Thanks again Andy
    Trumpet[/QUOTE]

    I totally agree. By the time Avatarland is done at Animal Kingdom in 2015, there will be little interest from the public in Avatar. Heck, there's little interest now. It seems universally agreed that, despite being the biggest money making movie of all time, it simply wasn't that great of a movie. James Cameron, keep your sights on WDW. The Disneyland Resort is John Lassiter country.
  4. mark's Avatar
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    Wow- what a differece from when I was there just a few weeks ago! Thanks!
  5. Tinkbelle's Avatar
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    I love the rainy night pictures of Main Street decked out for Christmas! Nice shots.

    I also completely agree about Avatar not standing the test of time. Risky investment.
  6. Mac Daddy's Avatar
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    GREAT update, Andy. Those night shots of the tree with the wet streets are absolutely epic. Nicely done!
  7. jaxbistro's Avatar
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    Crap. I was hoping that I was having a nightmare while I read the Avatar press-release and it wasn't a reality. I had forgotten about it already. Here's to not looking forward to something.

    The hotel looks good...and not so good. I haven't seen it in person but the E-Ticket pool looks like a Vegas hotel pool with the cabanas and massive lounging areas, not so sure where the 'E-Ticket' theme comes into play.

    Thanks for the beautiful holiday pics of D-land. I love how festive things get for the holidays...but not in freakin' early November, or October like the stores roll stuff out in.

    Thanks for great stuff once again!
  8. Wendygirl's Avatar
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    The train exhibit looks great! I want one of those shirts. I could hear music in the background while the trains went around that sounded like Farley perhaps?
  9. Wreckless Abrandon's Avatar
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    I love DLR during the Holidays! Heck, I love it starting Halloween all the way through the New Year!

    But about Avatar, I would agree that the movies won't stand the test of time. Mediocre movie with pretty graphics. However, I will say that even though the movie was a one time view for me, I'm hoping that DAK's Avatar area will drop you into another planet to the point where people who have never seen or cared for Avatar will enjoy the lit up flauna at night. I would argue that the world needs to be alive, and not about the robots or guns or even characters... make it about the wild life and fauna.
  10. DZNY LVR's Avatar
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    There are a few times when I HATE what Disney does- but what were they thinking by removing one of the greatest things in the Christmas Small World with a Cheesy Snowman. That snowflake tree was amazing and that snowman is horrible. There are some things that should just be left alone. Which leads me to the "E-ticket" swimming pool. Etickets in Disney history were things that people wanted to ride the most I dont know about the rest of you but that new swimming pool is horrible. It has nothing Eticket about it except the edging which are tiles of tickets. This is a Motel 6 swimming pool not a "Disney" one. As being a guest at both WDW and DL there is no comparision WDW pools to the "new" DL Hotel pool. Even if you look at one of the lower end hotels in WDW they blow this Eticket pool at Disney Hotel out of the water. Even though the Peter Pan pool was aged it was amazing compared to what there is now. Then another thing that is that same area is the cemetary grass area where the waterfalls used to be. How is this any better than what it was prior. I know they need more wedding space but there is no way I would chose to get married there or have my pictures taken there. I dont know what they are thinking sometimes.
  11. Steve DeGaetano's Avatar
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    Thanks Andy! Love the coverage of the train exhibit!
  12. 4Apples4Disney's Avatar
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    Great update! I always look forward to it!!
  13. Timekeeper's Avatar
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    I think Silvana could have just installed some blue LEDs into the snowflake Christmas tree, but I am glad that the finale scene got something new with the snowman, I just wish it didn't come across as garish and more sweet as IASW is. I hope DLr reconsiders the color scheme on the tower signs.


    Timekeeper
  14. popcorn's Avatar
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    My second post as a new member! Hello all!

    Andy, GREAT photos! Like someone else said, I particularly love the ones of the wet Main Street with the Christmas lights. Just beautiful (photography is a favorite past time of mine .

    I do agree with what many have said about Avatar and the Disneyland Hotel remodel....as for Avatar, yeah the movie was a bit of "meh" but visually spectacular...here's how I look at it..."Cars" was not Pixar's most popular film by a long shot (popular, but def not holding a candle to the others, esp, er..Cars 2), yet it is getting a themed land its own as well...so if they take the basic concept design for theme in and of itself, like someone here wrote about the fauna or whatever, then I do see how it can work in its own way "despite" the film. Cars is my least favorite Pixar film (havent seen Cars 2 as the ONLY Pixar film Ive never seen, after reading reviews) yet Im still very exciting for the immersive new land at DCA (I also am of the "I wish it was going to be called Radiator Springs" party!!).

    As for the Disneyland Hotel I guess it's kind of a trade off...I do still really miss the unique touches of the waterfalls, the remote control Jungle Cruise boats, heck even the RC cars and stuff...but at least the place has a uniform look (and, as the article says, a retro/modern one). I agree about the building signs...I would think actually a different color than Avatar blue would have been nice . Although its true Im not blown away from any of the remodel I do like the middle/monorail themed pool area and slides and the new look on the face of the old Goofy's Kitchen/Coffee House building probably the most.
  15. DisWedWay's Avatar
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    Mainstreet Disneyland looks fantastic in it's Christmas dress! Esmeralda is Happy and passing out good fortune. There is always something Special about riding a steam train at Christmas, so the new train exhibit is a must see. Watching the costume rentals at Halloween, I didn't see much interest in Avitar by the public. I did see some great Titanic costumes however. It's fan base will live on. PD
  16. bespinally's Avatar
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    I think that the lobby is a downgrade. Before it had a great vintage mural of Sleeping Beauty's castle, and I loved the vintage style Disneyland paintings behind the counter. There was a Jungle cruise one, and several others. I'd like to see these paintings on Yesterland if that is documented there. And it was so cool to come into the reception area with vintage Disney cartoons playing on a themed TV. ALL of that is GONE from what is many people's first entrance to the Disney experience.

    Also I totally agree about the Tower marquees. A tasteful colored Poster style painting would look great. I hope the front entrance will be done by November 30th, as this entrance is one of my first memories of arriving at Disneyland with my kids for the first time.

    The pool is also a downgrade! Why would anyone prefer a flat one dimensional pool to a classically themed pool experience? Could it be another insurance issue?

    I can't wait to try and get a candy cane on December 2nd and 6th. I've never had a Disneyland one. Hope to try a couple this time around!
    aloha
    Cedar
    Updated 11-14-2011 at 11:50 AM by bespinally
  17. Jlomo23's Avatar
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    Another great update! I'm sure the pictures, as great as they are, don't do the Christmas decor justice. I'll get to see for myself in only 19 short days!
  18. Jayce's Avatar
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    People have odd tastes. As was mentioned Avatar is the biggest money maker of all time at the box office and there are two sequels planned.

    I thought it was ok, then again I didn't really care of Titanic either and up until Avatar that was the biggest at the box office.

    I think Avatar's problem is it just feels too generic hopefully the next two movies will turn that around.

    Any ways Yay Christmastime at Disneyland
  19. TodAZ1's Avatar
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    I hope DLr reconsiders the color scheme on the tower signs.
    They're the same color as the new towers. What color should they be? I love the new signs. Very cool.

    When I saw Cameron's name mentioned as touring Carsland, I held my breath and only exhaled as he was just looking around. Thank goodness!! Just keep movin' along, Jim!
  20. pineapplewhipaddict's Avatar
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    Great update!

    I wanted to just quickly mention that there are a few other small additions to it's a small world holiday this year (check out the signs in different languages saying happy holidays and I'm pretty sure the Polynesian section got new trees!). The snowman is kinda cool but also kinda scary in person. Maybe moving the sign he's holding to a different spot in that room would be better. I do think the snowflake tree looked a little more classy...OH! And the scents are quite impressive following one after another. Was peppermint always there?

    The hotel has a more streamlined look...I kinda wish it was a little more retro or fantastical. I love the tiki-looking things but the look doesn't continue through enough of the place. That lawn could be made to look much more romantic...and you know, if they built a water feature there somewhere (but still left enough space for a wedding) I think that more couples would want to get married there.

    The train exhibit is wonderful (and seeing that sing in person is a delight!).

    I'm not some big fan of Phineas and Ferb, but the show plays really well to guests; and you have to give the entertainment department credit because the kids join the performers and dance and sing along because they actually want to. It's loud, sure, but it is greatly entertaining guests and that's what ultimately matters.

    And I'm relieved that Avatar will not be forced into the DLR. I agree with you guys: the film made a ridiculous amount of money but I think the fad has mostly passed already. At least Cameron is familiarizing himself with the big things Imagineers are doing today (not that I'm a fan of the Cars franchise either, but we will definitely be getting a highly themed and detailed land with some amazing attractions).
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