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Dateline Disneyland

More Celebrating, Big Thunder Ranch construction, Digging up DCA, +MORE!

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by , 01-19-2009 at 02:14 AM
Hello again, and welcome to the January 19th Dateline Disneyland. Today we'll take a look at the various construction and refurbishment projects going on at the parks as well as more of the Celebrate Today! decorations going up at the parks.

Of course, feel free to click on any photos with Disneyland or Disney's California Adventure Project Tracker watermarks. These photos will link you to the Project Tracker threads on MiceChat where you can get the latest news on the projects going on at the parks and join an on-going discussion about the current construction plans.

So, lets get to the update!

The Harbor Boulevard entrance marquee is out from behind tarps.

I hope they aren't finished with the re-painting project, because the new purple is blotchy and looks half-finished.

The "pulled-back curtain" still has spots of blue from the Year of a Million Dreams color scheme.

The whole thing looks unfinished and messy.

The Disneyland marquee at the Convention Center pedestrian entrance is much more complete, and looks a lot more colorful than the former cloudy and blue Year of a Million Dreams paint job.

Inside Disneyland, Main Street is Celebrating Today with new lamp post decorations.

The new lamppost decorations are upside-down party hats, each one patterned after a different member of the Fab 5 (Mickey, Minnie, Donald, Goofy, Pluto). The decorations are a little overkill, and would have been better without the streamers wrapping around the lampposts, but they're decent enough to get us through 2009.

The upside-down party hats are filled with colorful fake flowers.

Decorations of 1909 or 2009?

The construction walls have come down from Christmas Tree Point in Town Square to reveal some new handicapped-friendly curbs.

Tarps are still up at the Emporium Annex.

Walls have gone up on part of Main Street in front of City Hall.

Disney Clothiers is back open after its brief refurbishment.

Back in Frontierland, Big Thunder Ranch is in the process of being converted into the future Celebration Roundup and Barbeque. The project appears to be pretty significant as the cement has been pulled up and the area has been reduced to piles of dirt for now.

"it's some small progress"
"it's a small world" is still sporting holiday decorations on the outside as it transitions into its traditional version, scheduled to open February 5.

A look inside the attraction shows that the "Hello" room is no longer in holiday mode.

The Wishing Star Magic Crystals shop between Pinocchio's Daring Journey and the Village Haus Restaurant is now closed after the Crystal Magic vendor has decided to leave the Resort. David "Darkbeer" Michael shared details of the vendor's departure in his 1/16 "In the Parks" update. The shop just recently opened after its former location in Sleeping Beauty Castle closed to make room for the Castle Walkthrough Accessible Experience.

The departure of Crystal Magic also means the end of crystal sales at World of Disney in Downtown Disney and Off the Page in Disney's California Adventure. Hopefully the shop in Fantasyland is turned into another store instead of closing up and becoming storage space like it had been before Wishing Star Magic Crystals moved in.

Over in Disney's California Adventure (DCA), construction for the World of Color show has kicked into high gear.

Paradise Bay is now sporting a bunch of holes (covered by the black tarps) as construction for the upcoming World of Color water show gets serious.

The Golden State Amphitheater is still not show much progress after going behind construction walls last week.

The Mickey's Fun Wheel project is pressing onward; the sunbursts continue getting layers of yellow paint.

Mickey's red and black color scheme continues to take over the Sun Wheel's golden yellow and teal.

The budget for for the Mickey's Fun Wheel queue has reportedly been cut back and funds redirected towards bigger projects, so the elaborate, covered wooden queue building is no longer happening. It remains unclear if the queue will still be the uninspiring cement grave that was built in 2001, or if it will get a nicer, friendlier makeover to match the rest of Paradise Pier, but right now it looks like the handrails in the queue are getting some green paint.

The Games of the Boardwalk re-theme project continues to move along.

The shops next door will go under the knife after the Games of the Boardwalk open on April 24.

Over on Pacific Wharf, the Lucky Fortune Cookery is behind construction walls. The location will be converted into a larger version of the nearby Cocina Cucamonga Mexican restaurant with a wider selection of Mexican dishes. Cocina Cucamonga's current location will reportedly serve up Asian cuisine in the future.

Lucky Fortune Cookery's big paper dragons are still in place for now.

A large portion of the Timon parking lot is the big staging area for the upcoming World of Color show that's currently being built in DCA's Paradise Bay.

A look behind the construction wall gives a glimpse of what goes into constructing such a major project like World of Color.

Trailers house Walt Disney Imagineering's on-site offices for the big DCA makeover project.

World of Color logo art work can be seen on the side of a trailer.

New Celebrate Today! banners have gone up along most of DCA's Performance Corridor (parade route)...

...But some leftover Year of a Million Dreams banners continue to linger.

The new 32oz large soft drink cups are being promoted at various dining locations.

And back in Disneyland, the giant Sleeping Beauty Castle snowglobe in the Emporium has been gotten some new bunting, lots of mini Mickey balloons, and birthday presents for the new Celebrate Today! campaign.

Is this a sneak peak at a Celebrate Today! overlay coming to Sleeping Beauty Castle?

THEME PARK HOURS 1/19 - 1/25
For a complete listing of theme park hours, please visit the Theme Park Calendar
Disneyland Park
Monday (Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday): 8 am - 11 pm
Tuesday - Thursday: 10 am - 8 pm
Friday: 9 am - 10 pm
Saturday: 9 am - 11 pm
Sunday: 9 am - 10 pm

Disney's California Adventure Park
Monday (Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday): 10 am - 8 pm
Tuesday - Friday: 10 am - 6 pm
Saturday: 10 am - 8 pm
Sunday: 10 am - 7 pm

Disneyland Park
  • "it's a small world": Closed to remove Holiday overlay and to install Disney characters. Reopens February 5.
  • Haunted Mansion: Closed to remove Holiday overlay. Reopens February 14.
  • Remember... Dreams Come True Fireworks Spectacular: Show dark. Will return for Jan. 17-19 and Feb. 13-16 holiday weekends. The show will return to a regular schedule in March.

Disney's California Adventure Park
  • Grizzly River Run: Closed for refurbishment January 20 - 27.
  • Sun Wheel: Closed. Will re-open as Mickey's Fun Wheel in April 2009.
  • Games of the Boardwalk: Closed. Will re-open with new themes in April 2009.
  • Paradise Bay: Drained for construction of upcoming Disney's World of Color show.
  • Disney's World of Color Nighttime Spectacular: New show under construction. Debuts Spring 2010.
  • Golden State Amphitheater: Closed. New, larger amphitheater for Disney's World of Color viewing under construction in same location. The new amphitheater will open December 2009.

Disneyland Resort Annual Passholders are invited to preview the newly enhanced "it's a small world" on February 5. Disneyland's Annual Passholder website shared details on the preview earlier last week:
Preview the Enhanced "it's a small world"!
Join us for a special preview of the newly enhanced "it's a small world" before the official reopening! Dubbed "the happiest cruise that ever sailed the world" at the New York World's Fair 45 years ago, "it's a small world" takes you on a joyful boat ride as memorable as the delightful song that serenades you on your journey.

This classic attraction has been renovated, adding new places as well as familiar faces. Be sure to look for some of the "it's a small world" dolls dressed up as some of your favorite Disney characters in the countries where those stories take place!

Annual Passholder special preview:
Thursday, February 5, 2009
10:00am - 8:00pm
Just show your Annual Pass to the Cast Member at the attraction entrance to be permitted entry during this special time.

The attraction opens to the public on Friday, February 6, 2009.

Previews are on a first-come, first-serve basis and may involve long wait times. Each Guest must show a valid Annual Passport to be permitted entry during this specific preview time. Valid Theme Park admission is required. Event subject to change without notice.

You can join the on-going discussion about the "it's a small world" Annual Passholder preview on MiceChat: Annual Passholders can preview enhanced "it's a small world" February 5


Disney just unveiled the line of Haunted Mansion 40th Anniversary collectibles that will be released at the attraction's big anniversary merchandise event in August.

The collectibles range from affordable event t-shirts ($29) and Robert Olszewski Pokit Pals ($20) to pricey, limited edition fare like the $999 limited edition chess set designed by Imagineer Scott Goddard. Mid-range collectibles include some pieces by popular Disney collectible design duo Kevin Kidney and Jody Daly ($75-85) and special online-order-only Haunted Mansion high top sneakers ($75) featuring the famed purple wallpaper from the ride. Of course, no Disney merchandise event would be complete without Disney trading pins, and the Haunted Mansion event will feature several one-of-a-kind pins for $199.99 each. These pricey pins will come framed with their original sketches.

You can view the complete list of Haunted Mansion event merchandise, complete with product images at

Also, if you're interested in attending the Haunted Mansion 40th Anniversary event, be aware that tickets for the two most expensive event packages go on sale tomorrow; Tuesday, January 20 at 11 am. The two lower-level event packages go on sale the following day, January 21, at 11 am.

Price points for the event packages are as follows. You can click on the name of each event package for more information on what is offered:

For more information on the Haunted Mansion 40th Anniversary Event and Merchandise Release, please visit its page.

If you didn't know already, MiceChat is celebrating its 4 year anniversary in the parks on January 31 and February 1, and with a special ticket event on the night of January 30.

With lots of meet-ups, scavenger hunts (complete with prizes), rides, and lots of MiceChat friends, the big anniversary weekend will be jam-packed full of Disneyland magic!

For a complete listing of anniversary events, to RSVP, and to register for special-ticket events, check out the 4th Anniversary Event thread on MiceChat.

Alright, that should finish up today's update. But first, a quick apology -- Sorry for the lack of "Around the Parks" shots in today's and last week's updates. I've run into some technical difficulties with my normal camera, and am currently using a camera on loan from a good friend. So we might be without those artsy "Around the Parks" shots for a few weeks until my camera comes home from the doctor.

Anyway, thanks for reading and be sure to share your thoughts and discuss today's update in the comments section below.

Also, if you still haven't already, be sure to head over and follow us on Twitter today: Twitter offers mobile updates sent directly to your cell phone so follow us and sign up for mobile updates to get mini updates throughout the week! Or, if you've got an iPhone or G1, download a free Twitter app (like Twinkle or Twitterific) and stay connected with a simple tap of your finger!

See you here again next week!
- Andy

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Updated 01-19-2009 at 03:27 AM by Dateline Disneyland



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  1. SouthHrbrBlvd's Avatar
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    Thanks for another great update!
  2. hadesthecat's Avatar
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    great update, any idea whats included in those astonomical prices for the 40th of the mansion?
  3. WheresMickey's Avatar
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    Great update Andy!
  4. saphron37's Avatar
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    Thanks for another great update!
  5. Rixter's Avatar
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    Another absolutely amazing and detailed report. It is such a treat to wake up every Monday morning to a new Dateline Disneyland column. Thanks for all of your work, Andy.
  6. Dustysage's Avatar
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    Andy, fancy camera or not, you do AMAZING work. Great job today!!!
  7. HMF's Avatar
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    If they took the time to put the Celebrate Today! decorations on the lampposts' How come they did'nt re-paint them? Look at the photo the paint is cracking.
  8. 3rd Echelon's Avatar
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    Thanx for the update. My wife and I didn't bother going this weekend because of the forecast for big crowds. My brother did go yesterday with his kids and said it was pretty crowded.

    OT: I found some pics of the Disneyana show that took place yesterday at the Crowne Plaza hotel. I wanted to go check it out, but never got the chance. I'm sure my wife was happy about that!

    NFFC Disneyana Show and Sale (1/18)
  9. sir clinksalot's Avatar
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    Great update as usual Andy!!!
  10. llama5492's Avatar
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    Another great update.

  11. Skippy's Avatar
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    This part concerns be a bit:
    The budget for for the Mickey's Fun Wheel queue has reportedly been cut back and funds redirected towards bigger projects, so the elaborate, covered wooden queue building is no longer happening. It remains unclear if the queue will still be the uninspiring cement grave that was built in 2001, or if it will get a nicer, friendlier makeover to match the rest of Paradise Pier
    I hope this isn't a sign that other plans could get trimmed back...
  12. dreamchaser's Avatar
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    Mondays wouldn't be the same these updates, great work Andy!
  13. Mac Daddy's Avatar
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    Andy - Thanks for another very informative update, and for that behind the scenes report. Already looking forward to your next one.
  14. wdwnut4life's Avatar
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    great pics!!
  15. StrikeYerColors's Avatar
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    wow this is a good update. so much changes are kicking off now!

    i didn't realize they needed to do so much to big thunder ranch. is it really necessary? i'd rather have had less changes and had it open sooner. i want some BBQ!

    i must say i like the direction the marquees are heading. i don't mind the flowers and streamers on the lamp posts that much. it'd be way cooler if all the celebration deco was themed to the time period of each land, the way they theme the christmas deco, but i can deal with this for now. i will NOT be overjoyed if they start messing with the castle though! they can stick to that WoD snowglobe.
  16. hidnmickey's Avatar
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    I must have the HM hightops!!!!! Buahahahaha.

    By the way, thanks for the great update.
  17. MonstersGoBoo!'s Avatar
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    I really hope they don't touch the castle, even though those purple drapes(?) are pretty subtle. And also, those Haunted Mansion wallpaper high tops are awesome!

    Thanks Andy!
  18. HelloKimmie's Avatar
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    Great update - thanks! (Agreed- the HM high tops are fab)
  19. lovedisney33's Avatar
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    does anyone else see what i see?
  20. SilverMouse's Avatar
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    Hey Andy...I'm Back! Amazing update as always my friend!! So what the heck happened to your camera?
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