As Disneyland opened its doors to its new Rapunzel meet-and-green to promote the upcoming Tangled animated film, California Adventure introduced Duffy the Disney Bear to park guests, a shameless (albeit undeniably cute) merchandise character. But while both parks saw lines for new character photo ops, Disneyland started to get more holiday lights strung up in trees and bushes around the Castle and DCA closed an opening-day attraction to get re-themed while the rest of the park continues to be remodeled and expanded.

Of course, more information on any of the construction projects featured in today's update can be found in the MiceChat Project TrackerFishbulb and ROBONICS95's help with photos.

It's another busy week at Disneyland, so let's get started!

<center><table style="border: 0pt solid black;" width="675"><tbody><tr><td bgcolor="#263778" width="100%" height=""><center>
Inside Dateline Disneyland</center></td></tr><tr><td bgcolor="#d6d4ac" width="100%"><a href="" target="new"><img src="" width="150" align="right" border="0"></a>
  • <a href="#DD1">Welcome to Disneyland!</a>
    Rapunzel moves in, Disneyland gets ready for Christmas
  • <a href="#DD2">Duffy Sails In</a>
    Duffy the Disney Bear lands at California Adventure
  • <a href="#DD3">California Construction</a>
    A look at the park's on-going $1 billion expansion and remodel.
    • <a href="#DD3-1">Sunshine Plaza</a>
    • <a href="#DD3-2">Cars Land</a>
    • <a href="#DD3-3">The Little Mermaid: Ariel's Undersea Adventure</a>
    • <a href="#DD3-4">Goofy's Sky School</a>
    • <a href="#DD3-5">Paradise Garden dining area</a>
    • <a href="#DD3-7">Maliboomer</a>
    • <a href="#DD3-6">Midway Gates</a>
  • <a href="#DD4">This & That</a>
    Toon Town continues its refurbishments
  • <a href="#DDNEWS">Weekly News and Information Round-Up</a>
    Weekly theme park hours, closures and refurbishments,


With the holidays at Disneyland starting on November 12, crews are already lining the trees and bushes surrounding Sleeping Beauty Castle with LED Christmas lights.

Meanwhile strands of Christmas lights continue being strung up on the "it's a small world" facade.

Elsewhere in Fantasyland, the former home of Gepetto's Sweet Shoppe is now home to a fancy meet-and-greet featuring Rapunzel and Flynn Rider from the upcoming animated film "Tangled."

Concept art for the character location:

The real deal:

The movie isn't even out yet and lines are long to meet Disney's newest princess.

Rapunzel's tower

Compare/constrast with concept art:

<a name="DD2">DUFFY SAILS IN</a>
Duffy the Disney Bear has debuted at California Adventure and made port in Paradise Pier last week.

Signage at "Duffy Landing" tells the story of Duffy

Have your photo taken with Duffy...

...And then go buy your own!

He may be just a marketing ploy, but he is pretty darn cute and I would argue Duffy is of far more value to young children than pin trading or Vinylmation is. He's a character kids can use their imagination with; his story encourages kids to take him places and have adventures. That's something pin trading simply doesn't offer.

Dress up your Duffy in costumes from different countries

Is Duffy overhyped? Of course he is. But perhaps Duffy is better than yet another Vinylmation display.

A look at California Adventure's ongoing $1 billion remodel and expansion...

<a name="DD3-1">SUNSHINE PLAZA</a>
More of DCA's giant tile mural continues to come down as the area gets ready to be transformed into Buena Vista Street.

Bye-bye giant postcard theme, hello 1920s Los Angeles!

Further in, the sun icon is being dismantled for permanent removal. This area will eventually house a replica of the Carthay Circle Theatre where Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs premiered.

<a name="DD3-2">CARS LAND</a>
Steel framework for Cars Land's Cadillac Range is up behind the former Bountiful Valley Farm area

Al Lutz detailed the shopping and dining offerings opening in Cars Land in 2010 in the October 13 MiceChat Roundup:
While Cars Land may have a name that still feels temporary and clunky to many Disney fans online, the basics of this big expansion area have all been locked in for the grand opening planned for early June, 2012. As this 12 acre expansion is taking up nearly half the 1.2 Billion dollar budget for DCA's extreme makeover, there will be quite a bit more than just the big E Ticket Radiator Springs Racers and the two rather lavishly themed C Ticket spinner and flying saucer rides nearby. When Cars Land opens it will have three dining locations, two shops, and a few empty facades and expansion areas prepped for future growth.

Barring any last minute or sudden changes, the roster of Cars Land shops and restaurants in June, 2012 is currently planned to be as follows -- listed in the same order below as you would find them while walking in to Cars Land along the Radiator Springs main street;

1. Fillmore's Taste-In: A psychedelic geodesic dome structure themed perfectly to the hippy VW Minibus from the movie. This will be a basic snack bar serving up themed fruit smoothies and healthy snacks.

2. Sarge's Surplus Hut: This is planned to be a gift shop owned by Sarge and set up in an old quonset hut. While it will be fully themed and dressed up on its exterior, the interior will remain vacant on opening day, for reasons explained below. Both Fillmore's and Sarge's sit across the street from Tow Mater's Junkyard Jamboree spinner ride.

3. Cozy Cone Motel: Set up caddy-corner from Sarge's Surplus Hut, this will be a faithful recreation of Sally's kitschy motel from the movie. Inside each cone will be a different snack bar of sorts, setting up a food court style facility offering quick snacks, light meals, and drinks. Nearly every food item for sale will be a play on words using "cone" in the title; Chili Cone Carne, Cone On The Cob, Popcone, etc.

4. Flo's V8 Cafe: With the decision to hold off on building the drive-in movie restaurant back in '08, Flo's has moved to the forefront as the largest food facility in Cars Land for opening day. Consider this the Tomorrowland Terrace of DCA, with a sprawling outdoor dining area and a large kitchen with heavy-duty capacity to pump out thousands of hamburgers and standard fast food offerings. The menu will also offer traditional American drive-in desserts like milkshakes, root beer floats and malteds. The heavy duty use of neon on this icon restaurant taking up a prime corner in Cars Land should be quite impressive at night. A corner bandstand is on the wish list from TDA's Entertainment department, to offer a spot for bands and nightly dancing under the neon.

5. Radiator Springs Curios: On the opposite corner from Flo's, Lizzy's store will be the main gift shop for Cars Land, and Disneyland's merchandising department has been tasked by John Lasseter to come up with some truly eclectic and funky offerings for sale in this funky roadside store. You must remember that John Lasseter, is a huge Disneyland fan and he remembers well the genteel and unique collections for sale in the old One-Of-A-Kind shop in New Orleans Square. The Curios shop should have a similar vibe, but themed to roadside Americana. The wild success of the elaborately themed and unique merchandise in the new Harry Potter area of Universal's Islands of Adventure has not been lost on the Disneyland merchandise planners, and John Lasseter wants this shop to be an attraction in itself.

6. Ramone's House of Body Art: This is the second merchandise location for Cars Land, but this one will actually act as the exit gift shop for the Radiator Springs Racers ride. You can expect generic Cars merchandise here, as well as Cars Land and Radiator Springs Racers attraction-specific souvenirs on sale here. The obligatory on-ride photo stand will take up residence here as well.

7. The Courthouse: This is the structure that sits at the very end of the street, and while it won't have a shop or restaurant inside, it will act as the marquee and entrance of sorts for Radiator Springs Racers. [ FULL ARTICLE ]

Work continues on the upcoming Little Mermaid dark ride

<a name="DD3-4">GOOFY'S SKY SCHOOL</a>
Mullholland Madness is now closed and the mad-mouse roller coaster will now be re-themed as Goofy's Sky School. Construction walls advertise the attraction's renovation.

The OC Register's Around Disney blog had a video ride-through of the attraction before it closed Monday for construction.

Disney roller coaster closes
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The giant Burger Invastion spaceship-themed hamburger is now history (good riddance!) and now work is underway to get the building ready to re-themed as a Victorian-style burger grill.

Work continues on changing the P.T. Flea Market structure from a store to an airy outdoor dining area.

The former Pizza Oom Mow Mow is losing its hip, contemporary surfer hut theme for a more elegant Victorian-style seaside restaurant.

<a name="DD3-7">MALIBOOMER</a>
At the time these photos were taken, the Maliboomer no longer touched the Paradise Pier skyline, and was almost gone altogether.

The views of Paradise Pier may seem like they're missing something since we're so used to the Maliboomer being there, but the view is also much improved without that tacky thing dominating the skyline.

<a name="DD3-6">MIDWAY GATES</a>
Toy Story Midway Mania is open again after installing new safety gates at the unload station.

The gates are to prevent guests from going the wrong way when unloading and causing inadvertent safety issues when unloading.

<a name="DD4">THIS & THAT</a>
The facade work at Mickey's House in Disneyland's Toon Town has finished and looks good.

Roger Rabbit's Car Toon Spin is still closed through mid-December for refurbishment.

<a name="DDNEWS"></a><center><table style="border: 0pt solid black;" width="675"><tbody><tr><td bgcolor="#d6d4ac" width="100%">

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<center><table style="" border="0" cellpadding="5" width="710"><tbody><tr><td colspan="2" bgcolor="#263778">
Weekly Theme Park Hours
</td><td rowspan="12" bgcolor="#d6d4ac" valign="top" width="166"><center><script charset="utf-8" type="text/javascript" src=" 822/US/disneylandres-20/8001/4fbf2cff-aca2-4b01-a4a2-0f4400889107"> </script> <noscript> Widgets</noscript> <noscript> Widgets</noscript></center>

</td></tr> <tr><td bgcolor="#d6d4ac">
Disneyland Park
</td> <td bgcolor="#d6d4ac">
Disney California Adventure
</td></tr><tr><td bgcolor="" valign="top">Monday: 9 am - 8 pm
Tuesday: 8 am - 6 pm
Wednesday - Thursday: 9 am - 8 pm
Friday: 8 pm - 7 pm
Saturday - Sunday: 8 am - 12 midnight
</td><td bgcolor="" valign="top">Monday - Thursday: 10 am - 8 pm
Friday: 10 am - 11 pm
Saturday - Sunday: 10 am - 10 pm</td></tr> <tr><td colspan="2" bgcolor="">
For a complete listing of theme park hours, visit the Theme Park Calendar

</td></tr> <tr><td colspan="2" bgcolor="#263778">
Closures and Refurbishment Schedule
</td></tr> <tr><td colspan="2" bgcolor="#d6d4ac">
Disneyland Park
</td></tr> <tr><td colspan="2" bgcolor="" valign="top">
  • Village Haus Restaurant: Closed until December 19 for refurbishment.
  • Roger Rabbit Car Toon Spin: Closed through December 16 for refurbishment.
  • Donald's Boat: Closed October 12-21.
  • "it's a small world": Closed October 25 - November 11 to install holiday overlay.
  • Pirates of the Caribbean: Closed November 2 -3 for refurbishment.
  • The Blue Bayou Restaurant: Closed November 2 -3 due to Pirates of the Caribbean refurbishment.
  • The Jungle Cruise: Closed November 15-17
  • Mr. Toad's Wild Ride: Closed November 29 through December 2 for refurbishment.
  • Star Tours: Closed for Star Tours 2 overhaul. Reopens May 2011.

</td></tr> <tr><td colspan="2" bgcolor="#d6d4ac">
Disney California Adventure
</td></tr> <tr><td colspan="2" bgcolor="" valign="top">
  • It's Tough to Be a Bug!: Closed through October 25 - 29 for refurbishment.
  • Redwood Creek Challenge Trail: Closed November 1-18
  • Maliboomer: Closed permanently for removal.
  • Mullholland Madness: Closed to be rethemed. Reopens May 2011 as Goofy's Sky School.
  • Pizza Oom Mow Mow: Closed for retheme to Boardwalk Pasta and Pizza
  • Burger Invasion: Closed for retheme to Paradise Garden Grill. Reopens May 2011.
  • The Little Mermaid: Ariel's Undersea Adventure: Under construction. Opens Spring 2011.
  • Souvenir 66 and Corn Dog Castle: Store and dining location closed for remodeling through May 2011.
  • Red Car Trolley: Track under construction in Hollywood Pictures Backlot. Attraction set to open spring 2012.

</td></tr><tr><td colspan="2" bgcolor="#d6d4ac">
Downtown Disney & Hotels of the Disneyland Resort
</td></tr> <tr><td colspan="2" bgcolor="" valign="top">
  • Arcade, Jungle Cruise Remote Control Boats, Hook's Pointe, The Wine Cellar, The Lost Bar, and Croc's Bits & Bites (Disneyland Hotel): Closed permanently for removal as part of Disneyland Hotel remodel.

<center><table style="border: 0pt solid black;" width="710" bgcolor="#d6d4ac" cellpadding="5"><tbody><tr><td height="" width="100%" bgcolor="#d6d4ac">DISNEYLAND NAMES 2011 AMBASSADORS
From the OC Register Around Disney blog:</td></tr><tr><td cellpadding="5" width="75%" bgcolor="LemonChiffon">
</td></tr><tr><td cellpadding="5" height="" width="100%" bgcolor="#d6d4ac">For the full story, visit: Around Disney: Disney names new ambassadors</td></tr></tbody></table></center>

<center><table style="border: 0pt solid black;" width="710" bgcolor="#d6d4ac" cellpadding="5"><tbody><tr><td height="" width="100%" bgcolor="#d6d4ac">REVIEW: ELECTRONICA MIXES DANCING & BOOZE INTO 80s FUN
From the Los Angeles Times:</td></tr><tr><td cellpadding="5" width="75%" bgcolor="LemonChiffon">
<Img src="" wdith="600" border="0">
Review: ElecTRONica dance party enlivens sleepy Disney California Adventure
The new ElecTRONica nighttime party has activated a dead zone at Disney California Adventure, turning a long-dormant corner of the Anaheim theme park into a teeming, pulsating, alcohol-infused, all-ages nightclub.

ElecTRONica, which serves as a movie tie-in for the upcoming "Tron: Legacy" sequel, runs on Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights through April and will be nightly during Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's weeks in the park's Hollywood Pictures Backlot.

ElecTRONica replicates and improves upon this summer's Glow Fest, a nightly party intended as a diversion for the hordes waiting for the "World of Color" water show that proved hugely popular with visitors in its own right.

But unlike GlowFest, which turned Hollywood Boulevard into a massive dance floor, ElecTRONica moves its throbbing epicenter to the once-moribund plaza in front of the Monsters Inc. dark ride.

The centerpiece of the event is a futuristic DJ platform painted in grid-like lighting patterns evocative of the computer world of "Tron" and surrounded by teen-age throngs dancing to electronica and house music blended with Top 40 songs. (View ElecTRONica photo galleries from MousePlanet, MiceChat and Inside the Magic.)

The highlight of ElecTRONica, at least during my visit on opening weekend, was the Laserman show on the Backlot Stage, which blended light manipulation and illusion into a jaw-dropping spectacle. (Watch video at Screamscape.)

ElecTRONica caters to two distinct audiences: Dance-happy club kids and Sci-Fi fanboys.

During my visit, the jam-packed ElecTRONica dance floor undulated like an all-ages rave -- only with parents pushing strollers across the gridlock and Disney employees waving flashlights in a hopeless effort at crowd control.

Alcohol represents a key component of ElecTRONica, with long lines stretching from the End of the Line club for glowing Glowjito mojitos ($10.50) and blinking Digitini martinis ($11.50). The emphasis on booze represents a departure for family-friendly Disney, with the bustling cocktail lounge wedged between Wii video game stations dominated by 'tweens and a dance floor overflowing with high schoolers and college kids.

"Tron" fanatics represent the other half of the ElecTRONica equation, with the faithful electrified by the opportunity to step into the movie -- with Recognizer vehicles hovering over the event and sexy Sirens dancing on mini stages. Fans lined up to watch an extended clip from the 3-D movie and snapped up $15 "Tron" flying discs (which sold out in 15 minutes on opening night).
</td></tr><tr><td cellpadding="5" height="" width="100%" bgcolor="#d6d4ac">For the full story, visit: </td></tr></tbody></table></center>

<script charset="utf-8" type="text/javascript" src=" 822/US/disneylandres-20/8001/defc2f58-fb71-4fe2-b5c3-4f6a4a094641"> </script> <noscript> Widgets</noscript>

<table border="0" cellpadding="5"><tbody><tr><td valign="top"><a href="" target="new"><img src="" width="100" align="left" border="0"></a>Okay, that wraps up this week's edition of Dateline Disneyland. Thanks for reading and please join in and discuss the column in the comments section below!

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Thanks to Fishbulb and ROBONICS95 for their help with photos this week.

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See you at the parks!
- Andy</td><td bgcolor="#cccc9a" valign="top" width="235">

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