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Dateline Disneyland

More celebrating, DCA construction progress, small world lighting, merch, +MORE

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by , 02-02-2009 at 01:16 AM
Welcome to the February 2 edition of Dateline Disneyland. Hopefully you didn't party too hard at your Superbowl party yesterday, or get too tipsy at MiceChat's big 4 year anniversary after-party at the Hearthstone Lounge. In any case, it's Monday and time to kick off another week full of Disneyland fun! This week we'll take a look at the on-going construction projects in the parks, some new merchandise, and the colorful new nighttime lighting at "it's a small world." We'll round out today's column with the return of the reader favorite "Around the Parks" section, and of course, our weekly theme park hours, info, and news round-up.

This week is once again full of photos of various Disneyland and Disney's California Adventure construction and refurbishment projects. You can click on any photos with the Project Tracker watermarks and you will be taken directly to the Project Tracker threads on MiceChat where you can get the latest dates, news, and info on the projects going on at the parks and join an on-going discussion about the current construction plans.

Alright, let's get to the photo update now, shall we?

The Mickey & Friends parking structure marquees are almost done, but are showing off new Mickey balloons.

Inside Disneyland, the short construction walls in front of City Hall have gone down to reveal some repaving work on the trolley track.

Another set of small walls have gone up on Main Street, and the bigger set of walls is still up in front of the Market House and Disneyana.

It looks like Disney is making some curbs in the hub more accessible.

Big Thunder Ranch in Frontierland is still being converted into the upcoming Celebration Roundup and Barbeque, opening in April.

Over in Fantasyland, the Bibbity Bobbity Boutique is taking over the former Once Upon A Time princess store. All signage from the old shop is now gone.

"it's a small world's" flume has been filled up again and boats are cycling through as the attraction prepares for its re-opening at the end of this week.

Last week Disney began to light the attraction's facade in dramatic new blue and golden lighting at night, a lighting pattern that was being tested back in November.

The new lighting is really spectacular and a great enhancement.

The best part of the new lighting is the subtle, but pretty cool sequence that can be seen whenever a Disneyland Railroad steam train passes through the facade.

As the train passes through, a rainbow of color follows the train, beginning with red and magenta and ending with blue.

You can watch a video of the train pass lighting sequence at YouTube:
YouTube - "it's a small world" facade lighting - Train pass

The construction walls at the Golden State Amphitheater have been decked out in Disney's World of Color ads. The small amphitheater that opened with DCA in 2001 is being converted into a big viewing area for the upcoming water show, large enough for 9,000 guests.

The construction walls now feature a photo of Walt Disney and the "Disney" script that was featured in the original titles of "Walt Disney's Wonderful World of Color" television show.

The walls are also showing the expansion of Paradise Pier's boundaries. Currently part of the park's "Golden State" area, the Golden State Amphitheater and Golden Dreams will officially become part of Paradise Pier when they reopen as the World of Color viewing area and Little Mermaid dark ride. World of Color catchphrases also reference the show's watery nature and the old Disney television series.

Behind the walls, more of the Amphitheater's light posts have been taken down.

Nearby, the San Francisco Street facades are behind walls as they begin their conversion into guest restrooms.

A look at World of Color work in Paradise Bay.

The Games of the Boardwalk continue their retheming project.

The Mickey Mouse icon on California Screamin' continue to be dismantled.

And the Sun Wheel's transformation into Mickey's Fun Wheel presses on as the wheel's new color scheme gets closer to being finished.

The concrete around the Orange Stinger has been removed.

The orange will be getting peeled soon and re-themed as the Silly Symphony Swings. A wooden boardwalk queue will be built underneath the loading platform.

New "Celebrate Today" options are being sold at Disneyland Resort dining locations. Individual princess or pirate celebration cakes are available as well as pop-up cards, and party packs.

And in Fantasyland, adjacent to the Village Haus Restaurant, the Stromboli's Wagon merchandise cart has been temporarily replaced with a smaller cart.

A few more offerings have been added to the 2009 "retro" line of merchandise.

Tidbit Bowl Set: $24

Serving dish: $16

Blanket: $35

A closeup of the blanket's design:

Laptop case

Mickey plush: $14.95

Make-up travel bag (includes mirror on inside): $24.95

There is also a huge selection of new Celebrate Today/Everyday! merchandise -- here's a quick look at some of it...

...And to finish up our photos today, some shots from around the park. You can click on any of these, which will take you to their Flickr photo page, where you can order prints (if you're a Flickr member) or download the full size image.

I had never noticed before that the South Sea Traders store in Adventureland has a birdcage with live birds!

THEME PARK HOURS 2/02 - 2/08
For a complete listing of theme park hours, please visit the Theme Park Calendar
Disneyland Park
Monday - Thursday: 10 am - 8 pm
Friday: 9 am - 11 pm
Saturday - Sunday: 8 am - 12 am

Disney's California Adventure Park
Monday - Thursday: 10 am - 6 pm
Friday: 10 am - 7 pm
Saturday: 10 am - 8 pm
Sunday: 10 am - 10 pm

Disneyland Park
  • "it's a small world": Closed to remove Holiday overlay and to install Disney characters. Reopens to public on February 6. AP Preview on February 5.
  • Haunted Mansion: Closed to remove Holiday overlay. Reopens February 14.
  • Remember... Dreams Come True Fireworks Spectacular: Show dark. Will return for Feb. 13-16 holiday weekend. The show will return to a regular schedule in March.
  • Matterhorn Bobsleds: Closed February 9-12.
  • Jungle Cruise: Closed February 10-12 for a brief refurbishment.

Disney's California Adventure Park
  • Bakery Tour: Closed for refurbishment February 9 - March 13.
  • 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.

Brady MacDonald at the LA Times Funland theme park blog, posted a story on the musical changes that will debut when "it's a small world" re-opens later this week

‘It’s a Small World’ song gets musical makeover at Disneyland
The beloved boat ride, which originally debuted at the 1964 World’s Fair before moving to the Anaheim theme park, will add approximately two dozen new Disney characters throughout the attraction, install a controversial new scene and update the now-classic song.

Walt Disney Imagineering music director John Dennis was charged with blending in new musical arrangements and counterpoint melodies to the maddeningly catchy multilingual song — “plussing” in Disney-speak.

“It was really about introducing some new elements to make it exciting and to give it a new twist, but not to take it over and change it,” Dennis said. “We found places and gaps to sort of fill in and create little new vignettes without taking anything away.”

The changes include three new musical arrangements based on the “Small World” melody, including folk instruments, wood flute and percussion in the African scene, traditional Chinese instruments in the Asian scene and solo vocals, guitars and bass in the new pre-finale scene.

Similar existing “musical arrangements” include the gurgling mermaids, yodeling yodelers and the oh-lah-lahing can-can girls.

The biggest musical change involves the addition of five new instrumental counterpoint melodies derived from classic Disney films, including one in the Asian scene, one in the South American scene and three in the European scene.

Among the newly introduced Disney counterpoint melodies in the European scene is “All in a Golden Afternoon” from “Alice in Wonderland.”

The sauntering lilt of “Golden Afternoon” was weaved into the holes and rests of “Small World” with only a few minor key and tempo adjustments, Dennis said.

“You might not catch it the first time,” Dennis said. “Even if you don’t catch any of these, the experience isn’t diminished at all.”

The complete article can be found at Brady's LA Times Funland theme park blog.
And an on-going discussion on these musical changes can be found on the MiceChat boards.

Disney announced a product release and signing event for new "it's a small world" art and collectibles. The signing event will have artist Dave Avanzino and Disney Legend Alice Davis on hand on February 28.

"it's a small world" Product Release & Signing
Special Guests: Artist, Dave Avanzino & Disney Legend, Alice Davis
Date: February 28, 2009
Time: 10 a.m. to 12 Noon
Location: Disneyana Shop, Main Street, U.S.A., Disneyland park

Product Information:
Join us Saturday, February 28, 2009 as we welcome Artist, Dave Avanzino and Disney Legend, Alice Davis who will be on hand for a special appearance and signing of our theme park exclusive it's a small world merchandise commemorating the re-opening of the beloved attraction. Alice and Dave will be on hand from 10 a.m. to 12 Noon in the Disneyana Shop on the day of release.

Available as part of this special signing will be original and limited edition it's a small world artwork by Former Walt Disney Imagineer, Jimmy Pickering, mixed media sculpture by Artist, Dave Avanzino and three it's a small world doll costumes replicated from the original designs that are represented in the attraction for Bolivia, Hungary and India. The costumes come complete in a framed shadowbox with a reproduction of the original sketch by Disney Legend, Alice Davis.

You can get more information and view all of the products that will be released at And there is an on-going discussion about this merchandise event on the MiceChat boards.

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 has rolled out the itinerary for the 2009 California Food and Wine Festival.

April 24 to June 7, 2009

This year's events include the standard complimentary wine and beer seminars, culinary demonstrations, and junior chef programs. Also the special-ticket Signature Events include the popular "Taste" Annual Passholder event, celebrity chef events with Food Network stars Guy Fieri and Keegan Gerhard. New this year is a special event that is likely to be wildly popular with Disney fans: Vineyard Conversation with John and Nancy Lasseter. John Lasseter is, of course, known for his role at Pixar Animation Studios and his newer role at Walt Disney Imagineering. He and his wife will be present to talk about winemaking at their Lasseter Famtily Winery.

Check out the Disney's California Food and Wine Festival event web site for more information on this year's festival.

Alright, that should finish up today's update. 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 02-02-2009 at 03:32 PM by Dateline Disneyland (Fixed park hours typo.)



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  1. Mercedes_37's Avatar
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    Excellent as always. I have never been inspired to login and comment before but these pictures and the overall feeling are making me even more excited for my Birthday in the park in March. Thank you for all your hard work over the years!
  2. peoplemover1's Avatar
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    Awesome Dateline this week Andy!! Great Around the Parks shots too. I love the first one of the fountain by HM! Great info on the DCA construction.

  3. Barbossa's Avatar
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    Thanks for keeping us updated!
  4. WheresMickey's Avatar
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    Thanks for the update Andy!
  5. sir clinksalot's Avatar
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    Great update as usual Andy.

    Question, and maybe you already know this, but if not, wondering if you could check for next weeks "Merchandise" section.

    While in PT Fleas on Saturday picking up some pins, I saw they had a framed display of all of the new IASW pins, yet it had no price. The CM was busy, so I didn't want to bug him. Just wondering if you knew what the price was. I forgot to go into Disneyana or any of the other stores to see how much it was yesterday.
  6. vfire's Avatar
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    Good stuff, thanks as always. The photos around the park are a great Monday pick-me-up.
  7. Dustysage's Avatar
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    Wonderful update Andy! Love the photos of the new color scheme on Small World.
  8. DonDuck's Avatar
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    Another delightful update!
  9. Bear-y Tales fan's Avatar
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    Disney Chracters and A Music change to small world. I say it will be great despite the controversal New scene And Disney Characters. I wish Knott's Bear-y Tales had thses updates if it was around Esspecially A Music Change.
  10. SouthHrbrBlvd's Avatar
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  11. disneyland255's Avatar
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    This was a wonderful update! Loved the pictures from around the resort!
  12. wdwnut4life's Avatar
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    fab pics!!!
  13. epcot1979's Avatar
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    I'm amazed at all the new mickey balloon designs with the new promotions... do they even sell those balloons at the park anymore? I haven't seen them around for a long time... maybe I'm just not looking in the right place? Also, I saw that bird in the cage this week at the Adventureland Outpost and wondered if it had always been there... I think it's new.
  14. giddygirlie's Avatar
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    Great update! But I did catch a typo - park hours for this weekend are listed as 8am - 12pm above... which means it closes at noon. ;-)
  15. princessofdisney's Avatar
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    cool pictures. thank u !

  16. Disneyphenom's Avatar
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    The birds in the South Sea Trader cage isn't new. Well, the birdies themselves may be, but they've been stocking that cage for years.
  17. xalesa's Avatar
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    GREAT update. I want the Disneyland blanket!!
  18. 3rd Echelon's Avatar
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    Nice! Thanx for the update.

    Am I reading this correctly... The Orange Stinger ride at DCA will be converted into the Silly Symphony Swings?

    I guess the next step would be to peel the Orange right?
  19. MickeyMousePal's Avatar
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    Great Update
  20. disneygirl's Avatar
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    beautiful pictures!
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