Red Car wires, California details, Matterhorn progress, LEGO dragons +MORE
by, 04-09-2012 at 01:45 AM
Spring break crowds will begin to wind down this week as Disney enters the final stretch before its big 2012 summer season that will mark the grand re-opening of Disney California Adventure park. California Adventure's big 2012 re-launch will include the debut of the new Buena Vista Street entrance plaza as well as the grand opening of the massive new 12-acre Cars Land area. This summer will also launch new, expanded and refreshed offerings throughout Disneyland and Downtown Disney, making this summer one of the busiest summers in Disneyland history. There's still plenty of work to be done, however, and Imagineers are hard at work testing new attractions in Cars Land and installing new Red Car Trolley wires throughout Buena Vista Street. Meanwhile, in Disneyland, the Matterhorn's fantastic new paint job is nearing completion as work inside the mountain continues.
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.
Thanks to our friends Fishbulb, Ron W and David Yenoki for their help with photos this week.
Let's get started!
Inside Dateline Disneyland
- Welcome to Disneyland!
Touring Plans crowd forecast
- Magic Kingdom Makeovers
Carnation Cafe expansion, Matterhorn refurbishment
- Rat Race
MiceChat's world-famous Gumball Rally is back!
- California Construction
A look at the on-going construction at Disney California Adventure...
- Downtown Changes
Downtown Disney remodels and changes
- Weekly News and Information Round-Up
Weekly theme park hours, closures and refurbishments
Sponsored by TouringPlans.com | Do More. Wait Less.
Spring break crowds will start to ease up mid-week. Our friends at Touring Plans their crowd forecast to help you plan you visit.
WELCOME TO DISNEYLAND!
After Tuesday, crowds should begin to subside to their normal off-season moderate numbers. 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 here, 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 Tues., Apr. 10 10/10 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.
- Thursday will be the lightest day for crowds this week in both parks.
- Disneyland's is a 4.9 on the Crowd Calendar on Sunday.
Wed., Apr. 11 10/10 Thu., Apr. 12 6/10 Fri., Apr. 13 7/10 Crowd levels are based on a scale from 1 to 10, with 1 being the least crowded conditions and 10 being most crowded.
The Carnation Cafe expansion project continues...
Work at the Matterhorn also continues as its June 15 reopening date inches closer...
MiceChat's annual Gumball Rally is quickly approaching. The event is an intense day-long ride-a-thon that takes participants on the quest to complete every attraction in Disneyland in one day. It's a great event for just about any Disney fan. The event sells out every year, though, so you'll definitely want to get your tickets soon! Grab a couple teammates and head to the parks to start training today!
MiceChat Gumball Rally — May 19, 2012 — Sign Up Today!
What's a Gumball Rally? Well, it's the biggest, best and most fun Disney fan event in the known universe. The Rally is a race to find out who can ride the most attractions at Disneyland in a single day. Sounds fun, right? Well, it is even more fun than you can imagine. Yes, it is harder than it sounds. Yes, it will challenge you physically. But, it's one event that folks of any age can compete in and have a great time in the process. Whether you win or lose, you are always a winner when the race takes place on your favorite rides at your favorite place on earth.
But that's just a little piece of the puzzle. If you've never heard of the Gumball Rally before, please visit the Rally Information Page for more information and FAQ.
- When: May 19, 2012
- Where: Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, California
- Cost: $29.99 per person.
- How do I sign up?: MiceChat Events Store Gumball Rally Sign Up
- How does the Rally work?: Rally Information Page
- Note: About a week or two before the event, you'll receive both an email and a phone call from our Rally staff to answer any questions you may have and make sure you know when/where/how the event works.
This year, we are making event t-shirts available, including a lite breakfast at the ESPN Zone in Downtown Disney and have all sorts of prizes and giveaways at our Award Party (sponsored by the Howard Johnson Anaheim Resort). There's even a special game show to help keep you entertained while we wait for the results! [ FULL EVENT INFORMATION ]
More detail work and tile rooftops can be seen along the new Buena Vista Street area...
Last week, Disney gave a sneak peek at some of the characters and live entertainment coming to Buena Vista Street this summer:
An Entertaining Cast of Characters for Buena Vista Street at Disney California Adventure Park
When you enter Disney California Adventure park this summer, you’ll step back in time to Los Angeles of the 1920s and ‘30s on Buena Vista Street. One of the keys to creating a truly immersive environment like this is populating it with interesting and believable characters, so Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Creative Entertainment has been hard at work developing the unique personalities and show experiences that will bring the new entrance avenue to life.
Buena Vista Street is alive with optimism and opportunity. It’s a boulevard of dreams and dreamers… like the Citizens of Buena Vista Street. This cast of characters will interact with guests in this area of the park, creating impromptu laughs, smiles and memories wherever they go.
The Red Car News Boys roll into town on one of the shiny Red Car Trolleys, belting out “California, Here I Come!” Inspired by the spirit and style of Disney’s “Newsies,” the Red Car News Boys bring the latest headlines and engage their audience with fun songs of the ‘20s and ‘30s.
Over “On the Sunny Side of the Street,” the musical group Five & Dime arrives in Carthay Circle to jazz things up. This ensemble of friends and relations, headed up by a vivacious singer named Dime, has travelled down Route 66 all the way from Chicago in the hopes of making it big. Like everyone who comes to Buena Vista Street, great things await them just around the corner! [ LINK ]
Lots of Red Car wires are now up throughout the Buena Vista Street area...
A new striped awning over the Fiddler, Fifer and Practical Cafe.
The Carthay Circle Theater's marquee is coming together nicely...
More great new lighting fixtures are appearing all over the Theater building.
The former Candy Shoppe
A look at Buena Vista Street construction from the Monorail. North Buena Vista Street:
Oswald's Filling Station and Los Feliz Five and Dime:
South Buena Vista Street / Carthay Circle:
The Monsters Inc. facade refurbishment continues...
Red Car wires in Hollywood Land.
The awnings have been removed at the California Screamin' queue while the frame structures are repainted blue.
Meanwhile, the Cove Bar on the upper level of Ariel's Grotto continues its refurbishment.
A look at Cars Land progress...
Mater's Junkyard Jamboree stroller parking area...
Mater's Junkyard Jamboree:
Pacific Wharf-area entrance to Cars Land:
Over in Downtown Disney, construction at the La Brea Bakery continues...
New Maleficent and Prince Philip LEGO sculptures at the LEGO Store are covered under black tarps while the retail space continues its refurbishment...
The Compass Books location is now closed, ready to begin its conversion into the new Earl of Sandwich restaurant.
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 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.
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WEEKLY NEWS AND INFORMATION ROUND-UP Weekly Theme Park HoursApril 9 — 15, 2012
Disneyland Park Disney California Adventure Daily: 8 am - 12 midnight Daily: 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 MEDIUM—HIGH 4.9—9.7 out of 10 MEDIUM—HIGH 5.3—9.7 out of 10
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, and Penny Arcade: Food service locations and shops are closed for major restaurant and shopping expansion projects affecting current spaces.
Disney California Adventure
- ElecTRONica: Tron-themed nighttime dance parties will end April 16. The new Mad T Party evening dance party will begin June 15.
- 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.
- Disney California Adventure: Entire park will be closed to the public to apply finishing touches and for a media event on June 14, 2012.
Downtown Disney & Hotels of the Disneyland Resort
- La Brea Bakery & Cafe: Quick-service cafe portion closed. Reopens spring 2012 with significant modifications.
- Island Charters and LEGO Imagination Center: Downtown Disney retail location closed permanently. A temporary LEGO Store has opened in this location, with a permanent replacement yet to be announced.
- Compass Books and Cafe: Book store and cafe to close permanently March 31. Earl of Sandwich dining location to open in space late-spring 2012.
D23's Destination D returns to Disneyland Hotel
D23's popular Destination D event returns to the Disneyland Hotel this fall for an amazing celebration of 75 years of Disney animation.
D23′s Destination D: 75 Years of Disney Animated Features
From Walt Disney’s groundbreaking Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs to the upcoming Wreck-It Ralph, guests will go on a two-day journey filled with unforgettable moments of heart-tugging emotion, laughter, and classic music and song that have captivated generations the world over.
Highlights of the event include exclusive previews of upcoming films from Walt Disney Animation Studios, salutes to the great Disney animators and artists of the past, hands-on activities, an extraordinary reunion of Disney animated voice talent, a glimpse at how the Disney animated features have influenced the Disney parks, rare and never-before-seen artwork and film footage, plus a special salute to Snow White (the film that started it all), and numerous surprises. Saturday ends on a “Jolly Holiday” note with a concert by Dick Van Dyke and The Vantastix performing timeless Disney songs and pop standards. We cap Sunday with a rare concert appearance by eight-time Oscar®-winning composer/songwriter Alan Menken, who will perform some of his most memorable songs from many modern-day Disney film classics, and more.
D23′s Destination D series has become one of the fan club’s most popular member events. Past “destinations” have celebrated 55 years of Disneyland and 40 years of Walt Disney World Resort. Now it’s time to celebrate the diamond anniversary of one of the most universally beloved and unique film genres—the world of Disney animated features.
If you love the Disney animated features, this event will be a dream come true—an unprecedented celebration of the art, storytelling, music, voices, imagination, and innovation of Disney’s benchmark films. Presented at the newly re-Imagineered Disneyland Hotel, this is one D23 event that will leave you truly animated!
DATES: August 11 and 12, 2012
LOCATION: Grand Ballroom, Disneyland Hotel
TIME: Panels, presentations, and events to run from approximately 9 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. on both Saturday and Sunday.
TICKETS: On sale April 18, 2012, at 10 a.m. PST. Check back here for link to order tickets.
COST: $225 per person and $1,000 per person for Diamond-level
More Information: D23: Destination D: 75 Years of Disney Animated Features
New bus route takes Disneyland guests to Knott's, other attractionsNews from the OC Register's Around Disney blog: New buses take tourists from Disneyland to Knott’s
Visitors and employees starting today (Wednesday) can take new special buses between the Disneyland area and other tourist destinations, including Knott’s Berry Farm and the Discovery Science Center.
The Anaheim Resort Transit, or ART, is adding two routes — one to Buena Park and another to Santa Ana — that are meant to help tourists easily get between popular Orange County venues. Employees also are urged to use the new routes, easing traffic congestion and parking around theme parks.
ART has 62 buses that are centered in Anaheim around Disneyland. ART is using existing buses for the two routes.
The fare for the large shuttle buses is $4 a day.
The Buena Park route includes Knott’s Soak City, Medieval Times Dinner and Tournament and Pirates Dinner Adventure. In Santa Ana, buses will drop off and pick up passengers at the Discovery Science Center and the next-door MainPlace mall.
Each route needs at least 160 passengers a day to break even financially, said Diana Kotler, executive director of Anaheim Transportation Network, which runs ART. If the routes fall short, those businesses are required to fund the rest.
“Individuals come to Orange County, and they don’t see geographic boundaries. They just see Orange County,” Kotler said. “It just enhances the guest experience and ability to connect our major destinations.”
About 1,000 Disney employees live in areas served by the new routes, said Suzi Brown, a Disneyland Resort spokeswoman. Disney plans to pay for employee passes and market the option to them.
ART will offer the services to employees for free for the first 30 days. After that, they can buy passes that are comparable in price to regular Orange County Transportation Authority buses. A 15-day employee pass, for example, costs $27.
“It’s kind of built with that in mind,” Kotler said. “In the long term, we need to look at better transportation options for the employees.”
Full Story: Around Disney: New buses take tourists from Disneyland to Knott’s
Man dies after falling from Disneyland parking structureFinally, some sad news from the OC Register: Man ID'd in deadly Disneyland fall
A 23-year-old man fell to his death from one of the floors at the main parking structure at Disneyland, an Anaheim police spokesman said Tuesday.
The man, identified as Christopher Tran of Santa Ana, was found by an Anaheim police traffic controller at around 9:30 a.m. Monday near the northwest corner of the Mickey & Friends parking structure at 1313 S. Disneyland Drive, Anaheim police Sgt. Bob Dunn said.
"The traffic controller radioed that there was a person down on the north side of the parking structure," Dunn said.
Police and paramedics responded and found a man, later identified as Tran, lying near a gate on Walnut Street.
He was pronounced dead at the scene.
"We are investigating it as an apparent suicide," Dunn said, adding that it appears no one saw him jump from the six-story parking structure.
An autopsy is tentatively scheduled to be performed Tuesday, Orange County Deputy Coroner Mitchell Sigal said.
Full Story: OC Register: Man ID'd in deadly Disneyland fall
Alright, that wraps up this week's update. Thank you for reading and be sure to join the discussion in the comments section below!
Thanks again to our guest contributors: Fishbulb and Ron W and David Yenoki.
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