Main Street's Jolly Holiday, Three Kings Day, Bye-bye Bobsleds, Pier changes +MORE!
by, 01-08-2012 at 11:29 PM
Big changes are underway at the Disneyland Resort as the holiday season comes to a close. A large section of Main Street dining and retail locations have closed for major remodeling projects as the new Jolly Holiday Bakery Cafe opens at the end of the street. Meanwhile, the new bakery-cafe is serving up a selection of new and old favorites in a gorgeous new foodservice location. Across the Central Plaza, the Matterhorn Bobsleds have closed for a major refurbishment that will include the addition of a brand new fleet of bobsleds. In Fronteirland, Disney closed out the holiday season with its first-ever Three Kings Day celebration, blending festive decor with Latino culture and entertainment. Over at Disney California Adventure, construction pressed on at the major Buena Vista Street and Cars Land projects while new work got underway on remodeling the garish Midway Shops facades on Paradise Pier. Outside the parks, work has begun on some Downtown Disney projects and completing the Disneyland Hotel renovation.
We're happy to announce that you can now click on photos in Dateline Disneyland to view a higher-resoultion version of the image. Because of this new feature, you will no longer be able to click on photos featuring Project Tracker watermarks to be redirected to those threads on our MiceChat discussion boards. For your convenience, we've added handy Project Tracker banners at each relevant section of the update, so if you'd like to learn more about any project in today's update or join the on-going discussion on the MiceChat forums, all you need to do is click on through!
We've got a lot to cover this week, so let's get started!
Inside Dateline Disneyland
- Welcome to Disneyland!
Bye-bye holidays, Touring Plans crowd forecast
- Main Street goes on Holiday
Several Main Street shops close for changes as the new Jolly Holiday Bakery Cafe opens its doors
- Kings of Frontierland
Disneyland celebrates Three Kings Day with food, music and fun
- Bye-bye Bobsleds
Matterhorn Bobsleds close for an extended refurbishment
- California Construction
A look at the on-going construction at Disney California Adventure...
- Downtown Disney changes
La Brea Bakery expands, Cupcake Store gets a new location, Compass Books gets ready to close
- Disneyland Hotel Remodel
Disneyland Hotel's main entrance gets some finishing touches
- This and That
Bus zone repaving, Memories no more
- Weekly News and Information Round-Up
Weekly theme park hours, closures and refurbishments
Sponsored by TouringPlans.com | Do More. Wait Less.
and Howard Johnson Plaza Hotel — Anaheim Resort.
The weekend marked the final days of Disneyland's long holiday season.
WELCOME TO DISNEYLAND!
As we enter the winter off-season, our friends at Touring Plans give us a look at this week's expected crowd levels.
Although crowds will spike over the weekend, the next few weeks should be relatively quiet at Disneyland. 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. It's always 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 Mon., Jan. 9 3/10 Here are some quick-hit notes that we hope you'll find helpful as you prepare your visits for the week:
- Partial block outs all weekend.
- Tuesday through Thursday Disneyland will be a 1.1.
- The MLK Day Holiday should make this weekend slightly busier than normal for a January weekend.
Tue., Jan. 10 2/10 Wed., Jan. 11 2/10 Thu., Jan. 12 1/10 Crowd levels are based on a scale from 1 to 10, with 1 being the least crowded conditions and 10 being most crowded.
A last look at Town Square's Christmas tree.
Construction walls went up Thursday around the north-western quarter of Main Street as the last of the peak-level holiday crowds left Disneyland.
The OC Register's Around Disney blog had more information on the closures:
Disneyland restaurants close; new one opens
Disneyland restaurants along Main Street, U.S.A. will begin a transformation starting Thursday.
Some food venues on the west side of Main Street, U.S.A. are set to close temporarily for renovations.
Also Thursday, the new Jolly Holiday Bakery is set to have a “soft opening,” said John McClintock, a Disneyland Resort spokesman. The official opening is set for Saturday. The Mary Poppins-themed bakery is going in the former Plaza Pavilion, which was recently used as a center for annual pass holders.
Thursday’s closures include the Carnation Cafe, Blue Ribbon Bakery and Refreshment Corner.
Crews plan to expand the now-outdoor cafe and add seating inside the building where the Blue Ribbon Bakery ran. The cafe last had indoor seating in the 1990s, according to the Disney Parks blog. The renovated cafe with an updated menu is expected to open this summer.
Other venues slated for makeovers are Gibson Girl Ice Cream Parlor and the Candy Palace. Read a story in the Disney Parks blog about the planned Main Street U.S.A. changes.
Oscar Martinez, the longest-tenured Disneyland employee who serves as a Carnation Cafe ambassador, is planning to temporarily work in the Jolly Holiday Bakery until the cafe reopens. [ LINK ]
From Carnation Cafe on Center Street to Refreshment Corner at the top of Main Street, the entire north-western quadrant of the street is closed as major changes come to the area's dining and shopping locations.
Walls wrap around the Carnation Cafe's outdoor dining patio.
The Blue Ribbon Bakery is permanently closed now. The existing Carnation Cafe was the only remaining portion of Main Street's former Carnation Ice Cream Parlor after the Blue Ribbon Bakery moved into the interior portion of the Carnation location in 1997. With the new Jolly Holiday Bakery Cafe open, the Blue Ribbon Bakery will once again become indoor dining space for the Carnation Cafe.
The current Gibson Girl Ice Cream Parlor is now closed for a remodel that is expected to address problematic crowd-flow issues in space.
The Penny Arcade is also closed...
...as well as its neighbor, the Candy Palace, which will receive a remodel and a new, expanded on-stage candy kitchen.
Next door, the Coca Cola Refreshment Corner is closed as well.
Steps away from the Refreshment Corner, on the edge of the Central Plaza, the Jolly Holiday Bakery Cafe in the former Plaza Pavilion is now open.
The location is a long-overdue return of foodservice to the building, which sat unused at times and was most recently used for Annual Passport processing. The new Mary Poppins theme may come at the cost of more out-of-place characters encroaching on turn-of-the-century Main Street, U.S.A. but the reward of having an operating dining location open for guests outweighs the thematic misstep.
Windows on the front of the building continue the penguin motif established on the restaurant signage. The stained glass is very nicely done, but the penguins (four in total) may call more attention than necessary.
Inside, queue space is tight so extended queue extends onto the building's front porch.
New lighting fixtures
Once inside, the queue splits in two. Each side passes by a nice tribute to the cooking-themed mural that once graced the back wall of the restaurant when it was a open as a Stouffer's-sponsored location.
The original mural was saved behind a faux wall when the restaurant was converted into the Annual Passport processing center, intended to be removed and preserved at a later date. Unfortunately, it was destroyed during recent construction. Disney artist Kevin Kidney discussed the issue at length on his personal blog, which you can read here (highly recommended). The new mural tributes feature numerous Mary Poppins references in addition to song lyrics from the film. A nice tribute, despite the needless Poppins references..
Display cases in the queue, which cleverly double as condiment bars, feature Mary Poppins-related figurines.
Gorgeous new lighting fixtures
The queue switchbacks are divided with wrought-iron railing. A nice touch.
Silhouettes on the wall of Mary and the Banks children.
The queue ends at a tile mosaic of Bert's chalk drawing from the film
The bakery's move down Main Street included the addition of a new cafe menu in addition to the coffee and espresso beverages and baked goods.
All of the food items — from the sandwiches to the pastries — are pre-made and are on display in large display cases found at the end of the queue and next to the ordering stations.
In addition to the selection of pastries and other baked goods from the Blue Ribbon, the new Jolly Holiday Bakery offers a surprisingly large selection of new offerings including Mickey-shaped chocolate tarts, cheesecakes, lemon-strawberry cupcakes, mini seasonal pies, fruit tarts, chocolate cream cheese bars and much more. While we'll only feature a selection of the new offerings here today, the fantastic Disney Food Blog has a very thorough listing and review (including photos) of just about all of the new pastries and food offerings.
We were a bit disappointed to see all of the hot food items sitting in the display case. It'd be nice to have items like the toasted cheese sandwich from the Jolly Holiday Combo or the angus beef sandwich prepared fresh, especially at the prices they're charging for the items. Still, hot sandwiches and quiches are warmed up when you order them.
We sampled the hot angus roast beef sandwich and the tomato basil soup Saturday night. The sandwich was a winner, with great melty cheese and a tasty horseradish sauce. Still, the sandwich was a touch cold in the center, but that's an issue that can be fixed by ordering it extra hot or by Disney adjusting the heating times. The sandwich is served with potato chips on the side, which are nothing more than a serving of the Disney-branded chips you can find sold in bags at outdoor vending carts throughout the park.
The soup was serviceable, but not particularly interesting in flavor. It felt a touch above Campbell's canned tomato soup, but not as good as a flavorful, quality home-made variation you'd find in a good restaurant. It's served with room-temperature breadstick. The soup is a decent option if you want a quick snack but don't want a sugary churro or a greasy turkey leg from a cart.
Other options include a chicken waldorf salad sandwich and tossed salads.
The menu also features a very tempting "Practically Perfect Punch" for $3.29 a cup. While a better option than soda, it's nothing more than Odwalla brand Pomegranate Limeade that you can pick up at your local grocery store. It's too bad something original couldn't have found its way onto the menu (the excellent non-alcoholic Schweitzer Falls found at Disneyland Hotel's Trader Sam's bar comes to mind).
Overall, it's great to have an operating foodservice location back at the old Plaza Pavilion. While the theme may err closer to Fantasyland than it does Main Street, the location looks gorgeous and the expanded food selection is much welcome.
Back in Frontierland, Disneyland capped off its extended holiday season with its first-ever Three Kings Day Celebration in Zocalo Park in Frontierland.
KINGS OF FRONTIERLAND
The Latino-targeted offering drew the attention of numerous domestic and international Spanish-speaking television and radio outlets and healthy crowds to the area over the weekend.
From the OC Register's Around Disney Blog:
New Disneyland holiday event targets Latino market
For the extended season, Disneyland officials decided to try out something new — a three-day celebration aimed at a Latino-focused holiday.
On the first day Friday (today), officials were surprised at the amount of media interest in the Dia de Reyes Magos event: Fourteen Spanish-language television outlets, both international and national, either broadcast on site or aired live segments from Disneyland. One English language station, KTTV, also came out, as well as a few print journalists for a morning media demonstration.
“We were pleasantly surprised,” said Claudia Cespedes, associate marketing manager for the Disneyland Resort. “It was so welcome. Everybody was really excited.”
Plus, the event drew crowds when it opened to guests Friday morning.
Dia de Reyes, or Three Kings Day, is traditionally celebrated in Latin American countries 12 days after Christmas to commemorate the day when the three kings brought gifts to Jesus in Christianity. Disneyland’s version of the holiday includes traditional foods, entertainment by Mariachi Divas and folklorico dancers and kids’ activities in Frontierland’s Zocalo Park.
“It’s kind of a fine line,” Cespedes said. “We want to be mindful and show the cultural tradition, more so than the religious part.”
Dia de Reyes is part of Disneyland’s effort to market holidays to the Latino community. For the past two years, Disney also has reached out at Latino events to promote the Halloween season, bringing characters to perform and running a vote-for-your-favorite-villain campaign.
“It is a part of our regular campaign. Whatever we do for the general market, we do for the Hispanic market,” Cespedes said.
For Dia de Reyes, Disneyland is selling traditional foods: A mini Rosca de Reyes, a ring shaped sweet bread, is for sale on a cart for $5.50 each, as well as strawberry churros for $3.75. Two types of tamales are available at the Rancho del Zocalo Restaurante.
Visitors can pose for pictures with Mickey and Minnie Mouse dressed in festive attire, as well as the Three Caballeros, who are rarely seen in the park. [ FULL STORY ]
Tables with holiday-related displays explain the significance of the holiday.
Some decorations are held over from the Dia de los Muertos display that's found here in the fall.
The event really packs in a good amount into a rather small package. It's well-done, informative and the live entertainment and displays add some life to this corner of Frontierland.
It's great to see Disneyland add more of these small seasonal offerings in the parks. Frontierland's Three Kings Day and Dia de los Muertos offerings are nice additions that add a welcome cultural element to traditional holiday offerings. Hopefully Disney will continue to add seasonal offerings like this — annual Mardi Gras and Lunar New Year celebrations would be a good start.
Below, video of the Grammy-award winning Mariachi Divas perform with Mexican folklorico dancers.
Face painting and coloring activities
Nearby, the Rancho del Zocalo Restaurante had themed foods for the Three Kings Day festivities.
Over in Fantasyland, the Matterhorn Bobsleds are now closed for an extended refurbishment. The closure will also include the installation of an all-new fleet of bobsleds.
The six-month closure is also expected to include a complete re-painting of the mountain.
The new lawyer-approved bobsleds will forgo the tandem-rider seating configuration and plentiful legroom for two three-seat bobsleds linked together.
These signs are now a thing of the past...
Below, a complete ride-through of the attraction from Saturday.
Construction continues on Buena Vista Street...
The tile roof is starting to go up at the Carthay Circle Theater.
New trees installed in front of the Carthay Circle
Another look at the roof tiles
Back on Paradise Pier, the awfully tacky Midway Shops unexpectedly started disappearing behind construction walls last week. The Man Hat 'n' Beach shop facade and the side of the Sideshow Shirts facing the former Maliboomer area were the first sections to go, with their garish neon and pun-riddled signage quickly removed.
The obnoxious clown-faced jack-in-the-box facade is finally history!
All that remains is the yellow starburst.
The side of the Sideshow Shirts building is behind walls, too. It'll be interesting to see what is changed here. Pretty much anything should be an improvement over the plain stucco walls and simple neon "waves" that were here before.
The ATM has been moved to the front of the shop for now. All of the shops remain open during construction.
At Cars Land, the Cars 2 meet-and-greet has finally been removed, allowing for a clearer view down the main street of Radiator Springs.
Sarge's Surplus Hut
The rest of Mater's Junkyard Jamboree's string lighting looks to be in place now
In Downtown Disney, the La Brea Bakery is partially closed for remodel. The Bakery's "Express" side is completely closed, with construction walls surrounding it and its outdoor dining area. The dining location's full-service sit-down portion remains open.
DOWNTOWN DISNEY CHANGES
During construction, you enter through a gate on the side of the outdoor patio on the side closes to World of Disney
Further into Downtown Disney, the Cupcake Store, previously located in the old Compass Books newsstand is moving into a new kiosk of its own near the LEGO store, in front of the Apricot Lane Boutique
Speaking of Compass Books, the bookstore and cafe is set to close later this spring. A pity - another great bookstore closing shop.
What'll be missed is Compass Books' nice selection of Disney-related books, including a selection of harder-to-find titles and unofficial titles that Disney doesn't offer in the parks.
Steps away from Compass Books, the Disneyland Hotel continues to get its finishing touches added now that the busy holiday season is over.
The cement in the hotel's main lobby entryway is getting textured and colorized.
You can already see some sections have their new color
Repaving is underway at the Harbor Boulevard bus drop off area.
THIS AND THAT
And finally, the horrid and bulky Let the Memories Begin! marquee that was brought into the Main Entrance Plaza when that campaign started last year will finally leave Monday night. Good riddance.
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WEEKLY NEWS AND INFORMATION ROUND-UP Weekly Theme Park HoursJanuary 9—15, 2012
Disneyland Park Disney California Adventure Monday-Thursday: 10 am - 8 pm
Friday: 9 am - 12 midnight
Saturday-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 Disneyland.com Theme Park Calendar
Expected Crowd Levels presented by TouringPlans.com Disneyland Park Disney California Adventure LOW-MEDIUM 1.1—6.7 out of 10 LOW-MEDIUM 2.1—6.8 out of 10
Closures and Refurbishment Schedule Disneyland Park
- Big Thunder Ranch: Closed to remove holiday overlay through January 18.
- Haunted Mansion: Closed to remove holiday overlay through January 23.
- Matterhorn Bobsleds: Closed for major refurbishment including the addition of new ride vehicles through June 14.
- "it's a small world": Closed to remove holiday overlay January 23 - February 2.
- Sailing Ship Columbia: Closed for refurbishment January 23 - February 17.
- Davy Crockett Explorer Canoes: Closed for one day, January 24.
- 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
- Redwood Creek Challenge Trail: Closed for refurbishment through January 27.
- Grizzly River Run: Closed for refurbishment January 23 - March 2.
- Soarin' Over California: Closed for refurbishment January 30 - February 3.
- Ghirardelli Chocolate Company and Soda Fountain: New Ghirardelli chocolate shop and soda fountain will open in the space formerly occupied by the Mission Tortilla Factory. New dining location opens late-spring 2012.
- 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 opens summer 2012.
Downtown Disney & Hotels of the Disneyland Resort
- Island Charters: Downtown Disney retail location closed permanently. A replacement has yet to be announced.
Join MiceChat's 7th Anniversary Celebration!
MiceChat is celebrating its 7th anniversary with an array of great events and meet-ups! Don't miss it!
MiceChat Celebrates 7 Years!
It all begins on Friday January 27, 2012. Join us on a very special one day Adventures By Disney "Hollywood Magic" trip that starts at the Walt Disney Studios and then takes you to other famous Hollywood locations with your MiceChat pals. We'll tour the Walt Disney Studios, see the famous Disney Archives, dine in the commissary and shop in the studio store. Then it's off to Hollywood where you'll tour the El Capitan and the Kodak Theaters (the latter the home of the Academy Awards) as well as other famous tinseltown and Sunset Strip sights and landmarks. The day wraps up with a cocktail reception on Malibu Beach at sunset. What better way to kick off the MiceChat anniversary weekend! The event is currently listed as SOLD OUT, BUT it is likely that we'll be able to add an additional 10 folks, so get your name in to Teresa Cory from Fairy Godmother Travel today: [email protected]
The fun continues on Saturday, January 28th, with the MiceChat Celebrity Breakfast at ESPN Zone. A wonderful buffet breakfast/meet and greet with Disney celebrities including Susan Egan (Broadway's Belle and the voice of Meg from Hercules), Disney author Sam Gennawey, Margaret Kerry (the original reference model and actress for Tinker bell), and other invited guests. The event will take place from 9am-11am, Saturday, January 28th at the fabulous ESPN Zone in Downtown Disney. And YES, the world famous, ESPN Zone Maple Bacon will be served! Following the breakfast we will spend the day in Disney California Adventure. CLICK HERE TO BUY YOUR TICKETS
The grand finale is on Sunday, January 29th which is our traditional Disneyland day with breakfast along the Rivers of America, a grand circle tour of the happiest place on earth and the classic noon meet at the right hand of Walt Disney himself. We hope you'll be able to join us. More details about the meets, events and special opportunities will be posted soon. CLICK HERE FOR UPDATED INFO ON THE FUN-FILLED WEEKEND
More Info: MiceChat 7th Anniversary Celebration
Regular tickets and Annual Passports valid for Leap Day event
Good news - Disney's 24-hour Leap Day Party will not require a special ticket; regular tickets and Annual Passports will be accepted.
Disneyland plans to hold 24-hour party
Disneyland will hold a 24-hour party on Leap Day next year as part of a promotion, Disney announced Saturday.
Disneyland will be open for 24 hours starting 6 a.m. Feb. 29 and ending 6 a.m. March 1, according to a Disney website. Disney made the announcement on “Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve with Ryan Seacrest” show on Saturday. Magic Kingdom in Florida also will have a 24-hour party.
As part of the One More Disney Day campaign, Disney also plans to give away a vacation package daily starting Sunday through Feb. 29.
This isn’t the first time that Disneyland has been open overnight. In 1987, the park hosted a 60-hour party for the opening of Star Tours.
But Disney officials claim this will be the first time that both Disneyland and Magic Kingdom will be open 24 hours on the same day.
“To celebrate, for the first time ever, the Magic Kingdom and Disneyland Parks will remain open for 24 hours on Leap Day, so that our guests can take advantage of every minute of their extra day to make memories with friends and family,” said Tom Staggs, chairman of Walt Disney Parks and Resorts, in a statement.
Both regularly-priced tickets and annual passes can be used to enter the overnight party, said Erin Glover, a Disneyland Resort spokeswoman. The current cost for a one-day ticket is $80 for ages 10 and up.
No special activities or features have been planned so far.
Full Story: Around Disney: Disneyland plans to hold 24-hour party
$99 So Cal ticket deal returns
Details on the return of the 2-day $99 ticket deal.
SoCal residents can get deal on Disney parks
Disneyland Resort has started its annual promotion of discounting park tickets to Southern California residents: $99 for two days.
The price is the same as last year’s promotion.
Residents can pay $99 for two days’ of tickets, which can be used at one park per day, the company announced Wednesday morning.
Buyers can choose to visit both parks — Disney California Adventure and Disneyland – or go to the same park twice. For an extra $30, visitors can add a ticket for an extra day.
The regular cost of a single-day, single-park ticket is $80 for visitors ages 10 and up.
Local residents can use the SoCal ticket to attend the special 24-hour party on Leap Day, Feb. 29, at Disneyland, said John McClintock, a Disneyland Resort spokesman.
The tickets are valid today through June 9 and must be purchased by June 1. Tickets are blacked out during the busy spring-break days.
Full Story: Around Disney: SoCal residents can get deal on Disney parks
Alright, that wraps up this week's update. Thanks for reading and be sure to visit our fantastic sponsors over at TouringPlans and the Howard Johnson Anaheim when planning your next visit to Disneyland!
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