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Dateline Disneyland

Spring showers, Buena Vista Street progress, ElecTRONica glows away, Cars Land, +MORE

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by , 03-19-2012 at 12:36 AM
Spring rain washed out the first wave of busy spring break season at Disneyland and temporarily brought construction in both parks to a halt over the weekend. Despite the weekend rain, plenty of progress can be seen at the projects underway in both parks and in Downtown Disney. More details have been revealed at Disney California Adventure's new Buena Vista Street entrance plaza as well as in the park's 12-acre Cars Land expansion. In Disneyland, the Carnation Cafe expansion continues with the restaurant's facade sporting a new color scheme as the nearby Matterhorn Mountain makes progress on its major refurbishment and repainting. In Downtown Disney, the LEGO Store is getting some fun new LEGO sculptures installed and construction continues at the La Brea Bakery expansion.

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.

Thank you to our photo contributors today, Fishbulb, Loren Javier and Ron W.

There's plenty to see in the parks this week, so let's get started.

Inside Dateline Disneyland

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Rainy weather washed out the big crowds that were expected over the first spring break weekend of the season. Our friends at Touring Plans have a look at this week's crowds forecast now that the rain has passed.
It will be another busy week of Spring Break crowds at Disneyland. can help you navigate the parks with our per-park Crowd Calendar, Lines - Mobile Wait Times App that gives access to current and estimated wait times for attractions, and Touring Plans detailing the best plan of attack for hitting the attractions. With spring break crowds here, 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
Tues., Mar. 20
Here are some quick-hit notes that we hope you'll find helpful as you prepare your visits for the week:
  • Full block outs this Saturday.
  • Disney California Adventure's lightest day is Monday, when it's an 8.3 on the Crowd Calendar.
  • Disneyland's lightest day is Tuesday, when it's an 8.8 on the Crowd Calendar.
Wed., Mar. 21
Thu., Mar. 22
Fri., Mar. 23
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 rain cleared Disneyland of its Spring Break crowds

Half of the former Blue Ribbon Bakery's facade came out from behind refurbishment tarps sporting a new red color scheme. Looks good.

The Blue Ribbon marquee is gone but some Blue Ribbon signage remains for now...

Repainting continues at the Matterhorn...

Work continues at the attraction's queue and loading areas

Over at Sleeping Beauty Castle, some of the drawbridge banners are gone while their posts get some work done...

Themed boxes cover the space where the banner posts usually are.

A look at the on-going $1 billion remodel and expansion efforts at Disney California Adventure


The Buena Vista Street project is looking great with more thematic details emerging every day.

The new red and yellow color scheme at the upcoming Oswald's Filling Station

Inside the park, the new

Elias and Company Department Store:

New light posts in the area

Carthay Circle Theater marquee

Roof tiles are starting to be placed at the Carthay.

Views of South Buena Vista Street from the Monorail:

North Buena Vista Street:

Flagpole area

Oswald's Filling Station

Work is wrapping up on the facade refurbishments in Hollywood Land.

The Max Factor Building was still behind walls over the weekend, but painting had finished up.

Nearby, the Cahuenga Building facade re-painting is done and the "Souvenir Itch" sign, one of the many puns that littered the land, has been removed.

Further back in Hollywood Land, the Monsters Inc. facade is now getting re-painted.

At night, guests are now experiencing the final evenings of the ElecTRONica dance party as Disney finally announced the official closing date for the long-standing evening offering.

ElecTRONica will conclude April 15 after a series of dance competitions that begin Monday and Tuesday, March 19 and 20. The Disney Parks Blog had more information last week:
Attention Programs! ElecTRONica Approaching ‘End of Line’… TRON CITY’S DANCE CREW CHALLENGE Begins!

The computerized civilization known as ElecTRONica is about to be deactivated! For its own cyber-survival, the portal to ElecTRONica will close April 15. Don’t miss your final opportunity to step into the Grid and experience the exciting nighttime world of Tron City before the ultimate “End of Line.”

Before ElecTRONica “shuts down,” you still have the power to celebrate and immerse yourself in the cyber world. Dance along with Programs and Sirens to the hottest music played by live DJs, be captivated by the amazing Laserman, and step back into the 80s at Flynn’s Arcade. All the entertainment and excitement awaits you nightly through April 15.

And ElecTRONica is about to get even more electrifying!

If you’ve been to one of the programs to enjoy the amazing dance crews that have entertained Tron City since ElecTRONica opened, then you won’t want to miss what’s coming up …TRON CITY’S DANCE CREW CHALLENGE!

Yes, get ready for a “Tron-A-Thon” of killer dance crew competitions! It all starts this Monday and Tuesday, March 19 and 20, and continues every weekend until April 15! Over the next month, eight fantastic dance crews will be competing against each other for the ultimate prize—the DISC-OBALL TROPHY!

Catch some of your favorite dance crews from past ElecTRONica performances and thrills to new dance crews hungry to show off their own power-charged moves. You’ll be able to text in your vote for your favorite crew. Your votes will determine which four teams will be invited to return for the fifth and final weekend where one dance crew will become the winner of TRON CITY’S DANCE CREW CHALLENGE! [FULL STORY ]

Cars Land continues to race toward its June 15 opening date... Lights are now up on the future "Welcome to Radiator Springs" billboard

Transformers have gone up on the light posts along Route 66.

Mater's Junkyard Jukebox:


The LEGO Store remodel is coming along nicely.

You can spot Prince Philip ready to battle Maleficent under the black tarp

The La Brea Bakery's expansion is also coming along behind its construction walls


Back in California Adventure, Minnie now sports a new costume during her new "Minnie's Fly Girls" show and meet-and-greet in Condor Flats. Nice!

Over in Disneyland, Pirates of the Caribbean celebrated its 45th anniversary over the weekend. Disney released a video tour of the Pirates rides around the world to celebrate the occasion.

Dateline Disneyland is sponsored by our good friends at the
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A short walk from the park, HoJo Anaheim is conveniently located next to 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 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.

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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
March 19 — 25, 2012

Disneyland Park
Disney California Adventure
Daily: 8 am - 12 midnight
Daily: 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 8.8—9.5 out of 10
HIGH 8.3—9.2 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

  • Matterhorn Bobsleds: Closed for major refurbishment including the addition of new ride vehicles through June 14.
  • 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
  • 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

Disney launches program to hire returning U.S. veterans
Disney announced a new initiative to hire 1,000 returning U.S. veterans over the next three years at their shareholders meeting last week. Details:
Disney Announces ‘Heroes Work Here’
Did you hear? We’re looking for military heroes to join the team. Disney President and CEO Bob Iger just announced a new company-wide initiative to hire, train and support returning veterans called Heroes Work Here. It’s exciting news and we’ve got the details. Disney will:
  • Provide at least 1,000 jobs, career opportunities for returning U.S. veterans over the next three years.
  • Support military families, veterans transitioning into civilian life.
  • Launch a national public awareness campaign to encourage job opportunities for veterans.

So, what job opportunities are we talking about? They’ll run the gamut from internships to leadership roles and span all segments of The Walt Disney Company. To support this effort, the company will host career fairs and participate in events showcasing job opportunities for returning military personnel.

Disney will also invest in select non-profit organizations that provide training and other support services for veterans, while Disney VoluntEARS will lend their time and talents to the effort through service projects with veterans’ organizations across the country.

Also, be sure and keep an eye out for some of the talented veterans already employed at Disney in TV spots to encourage other companies to create opportunities for returning military personnel.

Full Story: Disney Parks Blog: Disney Announces ‘Heroes Work Here’

Cast Member musicals raise $20,000 for charity
Disneyland's popular "Flashback" Cast Member musical series for charity raised $20,000 for charity this year. Congrats to all the Cast involved!

Cast Member Musicals at the Disneyland Resort Raise $20,000 for Charity
What do Disneyland Resort cast members have in common with mini musicals? “Flashback,” of course – the annual, after-hours event in the Hyperion Theater at Disney California Adventure park, in which cast members from across the Resort have the unique opportunity to take the stage and perform original Broadway-style acts for charity.

This year, ticket sales for cast members’ friends and family benefited Orangewood Children’s Foundation and Anaheim Interfaith Shelter/Halcyon. Each nonprofit received a $10,000 check at last week’s event.

More than 300 cast members took advantage of the fun cast offering, and this year’s theme – games and comic books – lent itself to costumes inspired by playing cards and super heroes. Congratulations to all who participated after nearly two months of practice and production!

Full Story: Disney Parks Blog: Cast Member Musicals at the Disneyland Resort Raise $20,000 for Charity

Woman gives birth in Disneyland parking lot
From the OC Register's Around Disney blog:

Woman gives birth outside Disneyland
A baby girl was born Sunday on Disney property outside the theme park gates, officials said today.

A woman gave birth in the bus-shuttle area off of Harbor Boulevard, said Betsy Sanchez, a Disneyland Resort spokeswoman. Security and health-services employees responded to help with the birth at the loading area for buses to the Toy Story parking lot.

The Anaheim Fire Department responded to a 2:36 p.m. call that a woman was having contractions, two minutes apart. Paramedics then transported the woman to the University of California Irvine Medical Center in Orange, fire officials said.

The woman and baby’s names were unavailable.

On July 4, 1979, the first baby was born within Disneyland. Mickey Mouse ended up presenting baby Teresa Salcedo with “Disneyland Birth Certificate No. 1.”

Full Story: Around Disney: Woman gives birth outside Disneyland

Alright, that wraps up this edition of Dateline Disneyland. Thank you for reading and be sure to share your thoughts in the comments section below? Are you happy or sad to see ElecTRONica go?

Thanks again to our guest photographers this week: Fishbulb, Loren Javier and Ron W. You can see more of Fishbulb's great theme park photography every week here in MiceChat's In the Parks blog. For more of Loren and Ron's great Disneyland photography, check out their Flickr pages: — Loren Javier, — Ron W

Don't forget to visit our great sponsors over at Touring Plans when planning your next visit to Disneyland!

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Don't forget that MiceChat has lots of new content throughout the week! For even more Disneyland news, photos and information check out the In the Parks column on Fridays. And MiceChat's Weekend Update, tours the world of Disney theme parks and other worldly sights and landmarks!

See you at Disneyland!
- Andy

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  1. Trumpet's Avatar
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    Great Update Andy,

    Buena Vista Street and Cars Land looks great. Hollywood Land looks great as there are less puns. Do you think the out of place signs will go as well such as Off The Page and Smoochies.

    Thanks Again Andy,

  2. DisneyDrums's Avatar
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    Where are all the comments?

    Oh, yeah, sweet update, you guys! I'm getting excited to go to grad nite (& day) at Disney, which just so happens to be on re-opening day of DCA!
  3. bummerkit's Avatar
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    Nice update. I love the pictures of a wet, empty, Disneyland.
  4. Sparky's Avatar
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    If my memory serves me, I think the new red color on the former Blue Ribbon Bakery exterior harkens back to the color it used to be years ago when it was the Carnation Cafe and ice cream parlor.
  5. Emmanuel_4's Avatar
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    Great Update!!!!
  6. TodAZ1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sparky
    If my memory serves me, I think the new red color on the former Blue Ribbon Bakery exterior harkens back to the color it used to be years ago when it was the Carnation Cafe and ice cream parlor.
    If that's true, very very good idea to return it to that color. Love it!!

    Over at, they're reporting that Goofy's Flight School is going under refurbishment.

    MousePlanet reader Jeff M. sent us an updated official list of Disneyland Resort refurbishments that had not yet made it to the website. There are a few items of interest, including a 7-week refurbishment for Goofy's Sky School
    According to, the refurb dates are April 9th to June 1st.
  7. Not My Real Name's Avatar
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    You photographers sure ride the ferris wheel a lot. The CMs must know you by sight by now.
  8. MickeyO's Avatar
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    Empty adventurland is awsome!
  9. Dustysage's Avatar
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    I love the way the parks look in the rain. Even the construction looks prettier when it's all glossy.

    Great update Andy. Amazing how everything is coming together at the resort!
  10. DarthBrian's Avatar
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    Thanks for the update.

    I'm very sad that ElecTRONica is leaving. Mostly because of Flynn's Arcade. I love that place. I don't want it to go.
  11. FredSimmons's Avatar
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    Speaking of rain, what is Disneyland's policy regarding refunds on rainy days?

    Light rain can be fun at the park, but I remember being caught in one very ugly rainstorm once at DL, and it was miserable. I had an annual pass at the time, so it was no big deal. But for some poor tourist who just spent $100+ per ticket, only to find himself in the middle of a torrential downpour, it could be a nightmare. Does City Hall offer refunds on rainy days? Or at least rain checks?
  12. Barbossa's Avatar
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    Great update!
  13. Timekeeper's Avatar
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    I haven't gone yet to EleTRONica, I gotta to go see soon or still keep those Flynn's Arcade tokens from a friend who got them for me.

  14. sinatra12's Avatar
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    WHY DISNEY WHY??? ElecTRONica closes two days before my B-Day i hope at least the arcade can stay thts my favorite place to hang out when i go there
  15. SoarinMatt's Avatar
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    I think the new color on the Carnation Cafe/ Blue Ribbon Bakery looks a little garish, and bright...I think maybe a more neutral color would have been more appropriate, and would have gone better with the brick.

    Buena Vista Street is really coming together beautifully. I like all all of the art deco embellishments on the facades. In my opinion, Buena Vista Street will be as beautifully crafted as Main Street. I'm still concerned on if the interiors will be done in time...

    Cars Land looks like it's getting to the point where the details they add from here on out will be minimal, as the exteriors are looking much more finished now.
  16. DisWedWay's Avatar
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    Looking forward to the Carthay Circle Theater neon sign in that open skyline.
  17. ColonelWalrus's Avatar
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    California Advenutre looks great, but I'm really worried about the congestion on Buena Vista. The flagpole area at the front of the new "land". I'm sounding a little pessimistic, but that's cuz I really want to see the park take off from here.
  18. Jayce's Avatar
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    Very sad ElecTRONica is going, sure hope Flynn's stays around in some form.
  19. ghosty4's Avatar
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    You think the paint job on the expanded Carnation Cafe "looks good"? If you say so...

    LOVING the new Fly Girls Minnie! I squealed a little too loudly when I saw her the other day... heh heh
  20. ghosty4's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sparky
    If my memory serves me, I think the new red color on the former Blue Ribbon Bakery exterior harkens back to the color it used to be years ago when it was the Carnation Cafe and ice cream parlor.
    The intent for the color scheme should be pretty obvious by the covering that's... uh, right beside it... it just doesn't look as nice in person as it does on the tarp, I'm afraid. And a quick google image search shows that those colors don't actually match exact colors it's been in the past.
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