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Dateline Disneyland

Expanding the Caribbean, Cars Land progress, Disneyland Hotel lobby, Holidays, +MORE

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by , 11-27-2011 at 10:50 PM
The big Thanksgiving holiday crowds have passed and Disneyland enters a brief period of relatively light weekday crowds before winter break crowds hit the Resort later this month. This weekend will also see bigger crowds, especially in the evenings at Disneyland as the park hosts its extremely popular Candlelight Processional event. Back in New Orleans Square, the Pirates of the Caribbean has reopened after a lengthy refurbishment and brings some minor changes that will help with the guest experience for those visiting the attraction in a wheelchair. Over at Disney California Adventure, progress continues to be made at the 12-acre Cars Land project, including last week's installation of a new windmill prop. Meanwhile, the Disneyland Hotel's Fantasy Tower continues to move closer to completion with the main entrance area emerging from construction walls and the lobby area getting new art and carpet.

A big thank you to MiceChat's Fishbulb for help with photos this week as I spent the weekend a little under the weather.

Of course, 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 hope all of our American readers had a great Thanksgiving holiday. Let's see what's new at Disneyland!

Inside Dateline Disneyland

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Over a year later, the "World of Color" signs at the Main Entrance Plaza security checkpoints have been removed.

The next two weeks are historically the slowest of the holiday season, so plan your trip soon to avoid crowds. 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. 28
Here are some quick-hit notes that we hope you'll find helpful as you prepare your visits for the week:
  • Partial AP blockouts Saturday and Sunday.
  • Disney California Adventure's low day will be Monday, when it's a 1.6.
  • Disneyland park's lowest day will be Tuesday, when it's a 1.9.
Tue., Nov. 29
Wed., Nov. 30
Thu., Dec. 1
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.

Inside Disneyland, set-up for the upcoming Candlelight Processional is underway.

Keeping with tradition, Candlelight is set to take place the first weekend of December and this year Disney has announced a very special but very expensive one-of-a-kind Candlelight package. The Disney Parks Blog announced details for the event early last week.

Over-the-Top, Dream-Come-True Holiday Experience at the Disneyland Resort

Disneyland Candlelight Experience
December 4–5, 2011, $1,250* per person based on double occupancy, includes:
  • One-night stay at Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa on Sunday, Dec. 4, 2011; valet parking for one vehicle included.
  • An evening of holiday elegance beginning with a private reception and dinner at Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa.
  • Reserved seating for the 8 p.m. performance of Candlelight on December 4.
  • Exclusive 2011 Candlelight mementos.
  • A sunrise breakfast at The Plaza Inn, one of Walt Disney’s favorite dining locations, on his 110th birthday, December 5. Breakfast will be followed by a pre-opening walk through Disneyland park.
  • A visit to several locations in the park with Disney Legends and Creative Staff as they share their stories about Walt Disney, Disneyland park and the magic of the holiday season. Guest speakers currently scheduled include Dave Smith, Bob Gurr, Marty Sklar, Tony Baxter, and David Caranci. Speakers are subject to change.
  • A visit to Walt Disney’s private apartment above the firehouse on Main Street, U.S.A.
  • Reserved viewing of “A Christmas Fantasy” Parade.
  • Theme park entrance for both days.

To reserve this special opportunity, call 866-309-9683. Full payment is required at time of booking, and bookings must be made by November 25, 2011. You must be at least 18 years old to RSVP for this event, but your guests may be younger. Valid photo I.D. will be required at check-in. [ FULL STORY ]

Pirates of the Caribbean reopened over the weekend to big crowds.

Holiday crowds and pent-up demand resulted in long lines for the reopened attraction

The stairs leading up to the Disneyland Dream Suite have been re-tiled.

The entire attraction has been cleaned up and properly refurbished, but the most notable change is perhaps the attraction's unload area, which has been reconfigured and expanded to allow for a more streamlined wheelchair and ECV queue and load/unload process.

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

Work continues on California Adventure's new Buena Vista Street entrance complex...

The future home of Clarabelle's Hand-Scooped Ice Cream and the Fiddler, Fifer & Practical Cafe

Future home of Elias & Co. Department Store

A look at upcoming Buena Vista Street shops and public areas that guests will see on their right hand side immediately after entering the park.

On the other side of the street, the future home of Oswald's Gas & Oil.

The Carthay Circle Theater

Construction progress continues to be made every week at Cars Land...

The new windmill that will be part of the Fillmore's Taste-In area at the entrance to Cars Land recently arrived.

Mater's shack

The Cozy Cones are starting to get skinned...

The Disneyland Hotel main entrance area has reopened as it gets some finishing touches.

The new valet key room

The fountains are now turned on

Inside, classic Fantasyland concept art has begun replacing the temporary art work that was previously found throughout the lobby area

The former Donald's Sundries shop has been renamed to match the Fantasyland theme

Great new Mary Blair-inspired carpet has replaced the placeholder carpet in the Fantasy Tower's lobby areas

Mary Blair "it's a small world"-style carpet and the lobby Christmas tree

Another look at some of Disneyland's holiday trimmings

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

Rooms now available for as low as $59 per night!
The HoJo Anaheim is now offering deeper discounts for Disneyland Resort Annual Passholders! On select nights, Disneyland Resort Annual Passholders can get rooms for as low as $59 per night, plus tax. For more information visit the HoJo Anaheim Innsider Boards which features an up-to-date listing of available nights, or call (714) 776-6120 and ask for In-House Reservations to book. If your date isn't listed, the HoJo Anaheim still offers rooms for 20% off their best available rate if you call (714) 776-6120.

See Disneyland from the comfort of home with the HoJo Mattercam!
See Disneyland from home via a live rotating video feed of Disneyland Park and Disney California Adventure Park from the rooftop of Howard Johnson Plaza Hotel - Anaheim Resort! The HoJo Anaheim's newly upgraded Disneyland webcam now features new views including video feeds of Disneyland's nightly fireworks! Check it out now!

Weekly Theme Park Hours
November 28—December 4, 2011

Disneyland Park
Disney California Adventure
Monday-Wednesday: 9 am - 8 pm
Thursday: 9 am - 9 pm
Friday-Sunday: 8 am - 12 midnight
Monday-Thursday: 10 am - 8 pm
Friday-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
HIGH 1.9—7.0 out of 10
MEDIUM-HIGH 1.6—6.1 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.
  • 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

  • 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

  • Fantasy Tower lobby areas: Areas closed for remodel and re-theming. Hotel remodel set to be completed in November 2011.

Disney Parks offers Cyber Monday discounts online
From the Disney Parks Blog:
‘Tis the Season to Save at Disney Parks

When you visit on Cyber Monday (Nov. 28) you’ll be treated to even more savings on Disney Parks favorites!

Cyber Monday Specials include:
  • 10% off $50
  • 15% off $75
  • 20% off $100
  • 25% off $125 plus free shipping on your order
  • Plus, special surprise savings throughout the site

In keeping with the theme of giving that is synonymous with the holiday season, will be offering special discounts and promotions all season long. Want to stay up to date on all the holiday offers coming this year from the Disney Parks online store? Sign up for our mobile text messaging program which will send all of the holiday offers from directly to your mobile device! To sign up, all you need to do is text SHOP to 37275. Happy Shopping and Saving!

Full story: Disney Parks Blog: ‘Tis the Season to Save at Disney Parks

Alrighty, that wraps up this week's edition of Dateline Disneyland. Thank you for reading and please be sure to visit our friends at TouringPlans when you're planning your upcoming visit to the parks!

We're only here because of your continued support. If you've enjoy Dateline Disneyland over the last four years, 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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FTC-Mandated Disclosure:
Promotional consideration for the November 28, 2011 edition of Dateline Disneyland was provided by | Do More. Wait Less.

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Updated 11-28-2011 at 11:57 AM by Dateline Disneyland (Fixed incorrect news headline.)

Disneyland Resort , Disney's California Adventure Remodel/Expansion , Disneyland Hotel , Holidays at the Disneyland Resort


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  1. explodingboy's Avatar
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    Awesome update!
  2. Emmanuel_4's Avatar
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    Great Update!
  3. downbeat's Avatar
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    After Thanksgiving has been one of my favorite times to go to Disneyland. As always, thanks for the update~!
  4. Trumpet's Avatar
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    Once again, a great update Andy,

    I say this everyweek, but Cars Land and Buena Vista Street are turning into something special.

    Thanks Again

  5. Tink2008's Avatar
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    I love the update. My daughter and I will be at DL for a week and can't wait to see the Candlelight Procession. Also, My dad and I get to spend DL on our birthdays.
  6. Tink2008's Avatar
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    I love the update. My daughter and I will be at DL for a week and can't wait to see the Candlelight Procession. I haven.t seen it since I was a teenager. Also, my dad and I get to spend DL on our birthdays.
  7. bamato's Avatar
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    Great Update!
  8. Dustysage's Avatar
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    Sorry to hear you were under the weather Andy.

    Aside from the expanded unload dock on Pirates, the other noticeable change on the ride is that the Davey Jones and Blackbeard waterfall projections now alternate. The Davey Jones and Blackbeard audio also alternates on the exit lift hill. Other than that, the ride really looks the same.

    Great update! Hope you are feeling better soon.

  9. QuiGonJ's Avatar
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    Thanks for the update!
  10. Pezlort's Avatar
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    Look how beautiful the Cadillac Range looks at dusk! I want to see some shots at dawn now! Oh and....the Mattercam has never worked on my laptop...what's going on there?
  11. WheresMickey's Avatar
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    Great update!
  12. TodAZ1's Avatar
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    LOVE the Mary Blair carpeting and the new artwork at the DLH!
  13. disneydancer76's Avatar
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    The images in this update were stunning! Especially of the Christmas Tree on Main Street..awesome job!
  14. Spongeocto4's Avatar
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    Thanks for the update!
  15. DisWedWay's Avatar
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    It's been awhile since I saw the Disneyland Fronteirland Stage Coach, when it was in Glendale for a special event. It looked great and had been maintained well. Esmeralda thought it would look great inside the Disneyland Hotels Big Thunder tower lobby on display near the Big Thunder model. PG
  16. Koutesu's Avatar
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    Seeing a store named after small world at the Disneyland Hotel again must be a nod to the hotel's past. Anyone remember the store I'm talking about? I know it sold toys, audio cassettes, and CDs and was located on bottom level of the old Plaza Building.
  17. jpg391's Avatar
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    ​Great update!!!
  18. DizMiiLand's Avatar
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    Any news on the Jolly Holiday Bakery and Café?

    Great update as always. Thanks.
  19. DisneyResort's Avatar
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    It's amazing to see the Thanksgiving day crowds for Pirates of The Caribbean. I guess after being unavailable for three months, people just gotta get their Pirate fix. Either that or they were really curious about the rumors of mermaids, Will Turner, Elizabeth Swan or Angelica being added. But in the end, it was the same ride. I went on it this morning (11/28) and literally had a whole row to myself. What a difference a few days make.
  20. Barbossa's Avatar
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    Great update! We're heading into December and I just can't see Buena Vista street being finished on time for next summer. Who knows, maybe Disney will work its magic and get it done on time.
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