Are you ready to spend 24 hours in Disneyland? Wednesday is your rare chance to ride Indiana Jones Adventure at 3 a.m. or take a sunrise spin on the teacups as the park keeps its gates open for a full 24 hours to celebrate Leap Day. We've compiled all the information and schedules currently available for the park to help you prepare for your One More Disney Day. If pulling an all-nighter at Disneyland isn't your cup of tea, we'll also fill you in on the latest construction and news in both parks. Disney California Adventure is ramping up its refurbishments as Disney gets ready to host the park's grand re-opening this summer after five years of extreme makeover and expansion projects. Meanwhile, Disneyland's Matterhorn mountain continues to get new paint as part of its six-month refurbishment and work continues on Main Street's dining expansion project.
Get a closer look at today's update! You can now click on any photo in today's column for a large, high-resolution version of the image.
Big thanks to MiceChat's Fishbulb and our friend Loren Javier for their help with photos this week!
Our friends at Touring Plans are reporting higher crowds throughout this week following the busy holiday weekend.
With the exception of "One More Disney Day," this week should be relatively slow 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. With spring break 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 HazeltonStatistician, TouringPlans.com
RESORT-WIDE Crowd Calendar Prediction
Tues., Feb. 28
Here are some quick-hit notes that we hope you'll find helpful as you prepare your visits for the week:
Partial block outs this weekend.
The crowd level for "One More Disney Day" has proven difficult to predict, but we're anticipating a very busy day during at Disneyland; expect lighter crowds overnight.
Disneyland is only a 1.8 on Thursday!
Wed., Feb. 29
Thu., Mar. 1
Fri., Mar. 2
Crowd levels are based on a scale from 1 to 10, with 1 being the least crowded conditions and 10 being most crowded.
Windows along Main Street are celebrating spring now as well.
ONE MORE DISNEY DAY
Disney's 24-hour Leap Day party kicks off at 6 a.m. this Wednesday. While it is still unclear if Disneyland will offer any special late-night entertainment during the event, the park is giving away limited-edition Ear Hats to the first 2,000 guests Wednesday morning and hosting a very small meet-up in Big Thunder Ranch at midnight. In addition to those limited offerings, dining locations throughout the park will offer a variety of very special menu items throughout the night and our friends at Touring Plans are hosting a free "unlimited caffeine" at the Market House. We've compiled all the details on Disneyland's One More Disney Day offerings right here for your convenience.
One More Disney Day Park Hours
February 29, 2012
Disney California Adventure
6 a.m. to 6 a.m.
10 a.m. to 8 p.m.
If spending a full 24-hours in Disneyland isn't enough for you, Disney will allow guests to get in line for One More Disney Day up to eight hours early. In addition to having bragging rights that you camped out for eight hours before spending another 24 hours inside Disneyland, the first 2,000 guests that enter Disneyland on Wednesday morning will receive a free limited edition Ear Hat. Details from the Orange County Register:
Disneyland lets fans line up early for 24-hour party
Disneyland's special 24-hour party actually will last 32 hours for some fans.
Visitors can line up starting at 10 p.m. — eight hours before a 24-hour party begins at Disneyland on Leap Day, Feb. 29 called One More Disney Day. Disneyland will open gates at 6 a.m. Feb. 29 and close the park at 6 a.m. March 1.
Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World in Florida also will be open for 24 hours — the first time both parks are open simultaneously for a full day.
Disneyland occasionally permits visitors to line up early for special events, such as the opening of the return of “Captain EO” in 2010 and Star Tours last year, said Suzi Brown, a Disneyland Resort spokeswoman.
For Leap Day, the first 2,000 fans in line will get limited-edition ear hats, the Disney Parks blog announced last week.
For early arrivals, visitors can park between 10 p.m. next Tuesday (Feb. 28) and 6 a.m. Feb. 29 in the Pumbaa Parking lot on Disney Way across from the Anaheim GardenWalk. See a guide and map of Disney parking. Visitors can walk to the esplanade outside the park entrance until 6 a.m.
Restrooms will be available for visitors in line.
Fans in the esplanade will get wrist bands, which will be different colors based on their arrival times, said John McClintock, a Disneyland Resort spokeswoman.
Around 4:30 a.m., visitors will have to leave the esplanade for a while during a daily security check and then return to get in line, McClintock said.
The Pumbaa parking lot shuttle starts at 6 a.m., according to the Disney Parks blog. [ FULL STORY ]
Lump crab quiche, available at Cafe Orleans from 11 p.m. to 5 a.m.
One More Disney Day Dining
Special Menu Items Day & Night Various Times
Late-Night Snacks 11 p.m. — 5 a.m.
French Market 11 a.m. to midnight: Shrimp pasta and red beans and rice. Midnight — 3:30 a.m.: Chicken gumbo, corn chowder, French dip sandwich with N’Orleans chips, shrimp salad sandwich with carrot-citrus slaw, bananas Foster cheesecake
Blue Bayou 4 p.m. — 3:30 a.m.: Fancy roasted bourbon shrimp stuffed with Dungeness crab mousse, Prime eye of round with quail eggs.
Cafe Orleans 11 p.m. — 5 a.m.: Creole eggs benedict, three-cheese Monte Cristo French toast, lump crab quiche, bananas Foster French toast
Refreshment Corner: All-beef mac ‘n cheese hot dog with bacon bits
Jolly Holiday Bakery Cafe: Creamy lobster bisque
Plaza Inn: Pot roast and chicken sampler
Bengal Barbecue: Brownie and krispy skewers
The Golden Horseshoe: Cherry pie
Stage Door Café: Chili cheese corn dog, fries and cherry pie
Rancho del Zocalo Restaurante: Green chili cheese blue corn tamales
Village Haus Restaurant: Chili cheeseburger with fries
Redd Rockett’s Pizza Port: Chorizo and egg breakfast pizza
Tomorrowland Terrace: Spicy chipotle chile turkey burger and onion rings
For more information on One More Disney Day dining, click here.
Fancy roasted bourbon shrimp stuffed with Dungeness crab mousse, available at the Blue Bayou from 4 p.m. to 3:30 a.m.
You'll need to take a break between trying all of the great food during One More Disney Day, so why not take a breather between bites with some other fans? MiceChat is hosting a variety off meet-ups throughout the day at various locations. Disney is hosting a very limited "midnight snack" meet-up at Big Thunder Ranch. Our friends at Touring Plans are buying everyone who stops by unlimited coffee at the Market House at their special meet-up.
One More Disney Day Meet-Ups
Official Disney Meet-Up
Disney Parks Blog
Midnight Snack Meet-Up
Leap Year Lunacy Meet-Up
Big Thunder Ranch Barbecue
11:45 p.m. – 12:45 a.m.
Celebrate Leap Day with the Disney Parks Blog at their "Midnight Snack" meet-up.
Delicious treats and hot beverages
Meet & greets with Disney characters
Live music by Denny Moynahan
No RSVP needed. Entry granted to the first 200 guests on a first-come, first-served basis. Guests can start lining up at 10:00 p.m.
Get your coffee fix to help you last through the full 24 hours, courtesy of our friends at TouringPlans.com at their "Free Unlimited Caffeine" meet.
This is a free meet-up but registration is requested. To register and for more information, click here.
As for entertainment, Disneyland will play host to its standard daytime entertainment schedule, but it is still unclear what, if any, special entertainment will take place throughout the wee hours of the morning. MiceAge's Al Lutz reported that there are plans for a special 1 a.m. performance of Fantasmic! and possibly a late-evening mini-fireworks show at Sleeping Beauty Castle.
UPDATED FEB. 27, 1:30 P.M. : Disney has officially announced the special entertainment for One More Disney Day. We've updated the information below. — Andy
Tomorrowland Terrace Dance Party featuring KIIS DJs — 8:30 p.m. to 4:00 a.m.
Billy Hill and the Hillbillies performances — 11:15 p.m. to 4:45 a.m.
Fantasmic! — 1:00 a.m.
Character meet-and-greets — Throughout the night
Mickey Mouse and friends in pajamas at Carnation Plaza Gardens
Darth Vader and Stormtroopers in Tomorrowland
Country Bears in Frontierland
For more information on One More Disney Day entertainment, click here.
MAGIC KINGDOM MAKEOVERS
Some work walls are up in Town Square.
Work on the Main Street restaurant expansion project continues...
The Matterhorn's extensive repainting project is starting to show sneak peeks at the new paint. A darker color for the mountain contrasts nicely with the snowy peak.
The attraction's queue and loading area have been gutted and are being rebuilt.
A look at the on-going $1 billion remodel and expansion efforts at Disney California Adventure BUENA VISTA STREET
A look at the on-going Buena Vista Street construction...
The old "Candy" signage and neon has finally been completely removed.
The side of Elias and Co
A peek through Buena Vista Street construction walls
A look at construction from the Monorail
The new "Storytellers" statue with Walt Disney and Mickey will be in this area
As Disney prepares to relaunch Disney California Adventure this summer with various upgrades and additions throughout the park, including the brand new Buena Vista Street and Cars Land areas, TLC projects are now starting to pop up throughout the park. The refresh project has been dubbed "Project Sparkle" and the goal is to make the entire park look fresh and new for its grand re-opening in June. Expect to see a lot of refurbishments and vanity projects take place between now and June.
The most notable, so far, of the Project Sparkle initiative is the overhaul of the Midway Shops facades along Paradise Pier. The stucco storefronts have been given plenty of wood paneling and gingerbread to help fit in with the nearby Midway Mania and Games of the Boardwalk complex.
The former Man Hat 'n' Beach store is now the Boardwalk Bazaar.
Still, if you look close enough, the project is obviously a quick fix. California Screamin' supports weren't hidden and contrast sharply with the Victorian midway feel of the new facades. Likewise, the shop interiors remain untouched and reek of the pun-riddled tackiness that plagued much of opening-day California Adventure.
Elsewhere, stores and attractions continue to get refurbishments before the busy summer.
Rushin' River Outfitters is behind tarps
The store is open during refurbishment
And Grizzly River Run continues to get some work
Over in Hollywood Land, the Max Factor facade next to the Disney Animation facade is behind tarps for its refresh.
Back on Paradise Pier, the repaving project in front of the Little Mermaid attraction has finally wrapped up.
Nearby, the Pacific Wharf bridge is closed for its Project Sparkle project
On the other side of Paradise Bay, the Silly Symphony Swings boardwalk is also getting some work done.
The Walt Disney Imagineering Blue Sky Cellar patio area that affords views down the main road of Radiator Springs is closed while the Blue Sky Cellar installs its next exhibit.
The new show, set to open Wednesday, will focus heavily on Cars Land and give a closer look at the stores, attractions and entertainment coming to the new land.
Luigi's Flying Tires concept art
Expect sneak peeks at the three new stores opening in Cars Land. Below, Ramone's House of Body Art:
Last week, the Disney Parks Blog shared details on what the new Cars Land shops will offer when they open this June:
The Inside Track to Cars Land Stores at Disney California Adventure Park
Our first destination will definitely have you putting on the brakes, because Radiator Springs Curios is sure to ‘drive’ you crazy for trading. Fill up on kitsch roadside must-haves like pins and Vinylmation themed to all things “Cars,” or grab some quick pick-me-up items like antenna toppers, window clings, license plate frames and magnets that are sure to make you the envy of others on the open road.
I’m going to need you to keep your cool for our next stop… because we are cruising into Ramone’s House of Body Art. This high-octane, garage-like environment has all the tools needed for you to hit the road in style. While some will race in to become a member of the Low & Slow Car Club Radiator Springs, the Champion Custom Speed Shop collection is sure to meet your need for speed with signature pin-stripe style and laid-back look which appears on a variety of shirts for work and play, hats and accessory items.
Next week, I’ll be able to give you a glimpse at some of the actual products from these collections. Until then, check out the renderings of the store fronts. Sweet, right?
So finally it’s time to earn your stripes as you “march in” to the barracks of Sarge’s Surplus Hut, but don’t let its military-style characteristics fool you – it’s sure to get your engine racing. Don’t be fearful that you’ll have to “drop and give Sarge twenty,” because you’ll find that every inch of merchandise in this facility will pass “inspection” by the troops, with its broad selection of offerings featuring Lightning McQueen, Tow Mater and other classic “Cars” characters. From kids clothing, costumes and hats to novelty items, toys and plush, you will find all the necessary rations before you race on to your next adventure. [ FULL STORY ]
Sarge's Surplus Hut
Radiator Springs Curios
Will this be a big, new Cars Land marquee?
Fillmore's geodesic dome is now up
A look at the great new neon signage down Cars Land's version of Route 66:
A short walk from the park, HoJo Anaheim is conveniently located next to Matterhorn Mountain at Disneyland with nearby dining, freeway access, FREE parking and FREE Wi-Fi. For more information on HoJo Anaheim, room rates, or to book your stay today, visit HoJoAnaheim.com/MiceChat.
MiceChat.com and Annual Passholder Discounts Available Every Day!
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 NEWS AND INFORMATION ROUND-UP
Weekly Theme Park Hours
February 27 — March 4, 2012
Disney California Adventure
Monday-Tuesday: 10 am - 8 pm Wednesday: 6 am - 6 am Thursday: 10 am - 8 pm Friday: 9 a.m. - 12 midnight Saturday-Sunday: 8 a.m. - 12 midnight
Monday-Thursday: 10 am - 8 pm Friday-Sunday: 10 am - 9 pm
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
Matterhorn Bobsleds: Closed for major refurbishment including the addition of new ride vehicles through June 14.
Fantasmic!: Dark while under refurbishment January 23 - February 17.
Carnation Cafe, Blue Ribbon Bakery, Gibson Girl Ice Cream Parlor, Candy Palace, Penny Arcade and Refreshment Corner: Food service locations and shops close January 2012 for major restaurant and shopping expansion projects affecting current spaces.
Disney California Adventure
Grizzly River Run: Closed for refurbishment through March 9.
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 temporary LEGO Store has opened in this location, with a permanent replacement yet to be announced.
La Brea Bakery & Cafe: Quick-service cafe portion closed. Reopens spring 2012 with significant modifi
Man arrested at California Adventure after assaulting Disney security From the OC Register:
The incident was captured in a profanity-laced YouTube video, which had more than 10,000 views as of Monday morning.
Glenn Horlacher, 53, was arrested Saturday for assault and battery and taken to the Anaheim Jail, where he was cited and released Saturday, said Sgt. Bob Dunn, a spokesman for the Anaheim Police Department. Horlacher’s city of residence was unavailable.
The incident happened about 3:30 p.m. Saturday when a man attacked security guards near the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror ride. Guards repeatedly tried to restrain the man and pepper spayed him, but the man kept going after the guards, as seen on the YouTube video.
A few park visitors helped hold down Horlacher, until police arrived. Police detained Horlacher without further problems, Dunn said.
A security guard was taken to a hospital for minor injuries and was released, said Suzi Brown, a Disneyland Resort spokeswoman.
“We appreciate the actions of the guests who came to his aid during this uncharacteristic incident,” Brown said in a prepared statement.
All slots filled up for the Disneyland Half Marathon on Feb. 19, just one month and one day after registration opened. The Sept. 2 event will be the seventh such race, a 13.1-mile race through Anaheim
It’s the earliest that the race has ever sold out. And for 2012, the race added about 2,000 more spaces, up to 17,000, said Bob Hitchcock, a Disney sports spokesman.
The Family Fun Run 5K also is sold out.
Last year, the half marathon filled up in seven weeks. Before, it had taken a few months.
“The popularity of that race … it’s amazing,” Hitchcock said. “We’re really excited about it.”
The Disneyland Half Marathon brings in between $20 million and $30 million to the area, according to Disney estimates.
New Orleans Square guitarist passes away Finally, some sad news from Disney on the passing of a popular New Orleans Square entertainer
Remembering Legendary Disneyland Performer Ernie McLean
Yesterday we were sad to learn of the loss of Ernie McLean, the legendary guitar player who performed at Disneyland park for more than 30 years. Known for his warm smile and amazing jazz guitar, Ernie was an original member of the Royal Street Bachelors – now a guest favorite in New Orleans Square.
“Ernie was the last of his breed here at Disneyland,” remembered Stan Freese, Disneyland Resort talent booking director and friend of Ernie’s. “He was a blues and rock legend. He was a kind, classy gentleman who never spoke badly about anyone or anything. He loved his job, and we all loved him. His presence will be sorely missed.”
The best person to tell Ernie’s story is Ernie himself. Below is a recent interview with the man Disneyland guests would often see sitting on a wooden stool just outside Pirates of the Caribbean, playing jazz tunes on his guitar.
Did you have a musical family?
My father taught me how to play the guitar. I started playing at the age of 11, but don’t ask me what I was playing back then because I couldn’t tell you. My father had a job playing in a government concert band in New Orleans. They told him the banjo player needed to double on guitar. When he started to learn the guitar he taught me too.
Did you continue your musical training after high school?
After high school, my father said, “Look you’re not gonna be running around like you’re crazy, this is World War II.” So I joined the Navy. When I auditioned for their band, they put music in front of me to audition and I messed it up something terrible. Then they told me I did okay. They taught me everything I needed to know about music. I played for four-and-a-half years in the Navy.
What did you do after your military service?
After I got out of the service, I decided I wanted to continue playing music for a living. When I played with Dave Bartholomew things really took off. We recorded with Fats Domino, Nancy Wilson, Little Richard, Sonny and Cher, and even did Chrysler commercials.
How did you end up working at the Disneyland Resort?
I auditioned as a guitar player for a tour. I didn’t think I was going to get the job. Then they started to talk about rehearsals and going to the studio, so I stopped them and said, “You haven’t offered me the job,” and they replied, “Why do you think we are telling you this if you didn’t get the job?” Once the tour ended, [Walt] Disney eventually called me to sub for the banjo player at Disneyland. That is when I became permanent at Disneyland.
We will miss Ernie and the joy that his talent brought to millions of guests in one of the most unique locations in any Disney park.
Okay, that's all for this week's edition of Dateline Disneyland. Thank you for reading! Let us know what your One More Disney Day plans are in the comments section below!
Thanks again to Fishbulb and Loren Javier for their help with photos this week. You can check out more of Loren's Disney photography at his Flickr Photostream!
Don't forget to visit our great sponsors over at Touring Plans when planning your next visit to Disneyland!
You can help us by buying yourself something through one of our Amazon.com product links! All you need to do is click on any Amazon link you see in today's column. It doesn't cost you anything, but your purchases will help support Dateline Disneyland so we can keep the updates coming to you every week! To start shopping on Amazon using our referral code, click any Amazon item in today's update or click here.
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
Interested in sponsorship or advertising opportunities
with Dateline Disneyland?Contact us!