Heavy winter rains soaked the Disneyland Resort over the weekend, washing out both crowds and construction crews in both parks. Still, Roger Rabbit's Car Toon Spin and Tomorrowland's Astro Orbiter reopened after refurbishments. Over at California Adventure, guests could still see construction-in-progress throughout the park even as rain temporarily stopped the Imagineers. Meanwhile, as the fledgling California theme park finds itself in the middle of a multi-year remodel and expansion, the Los Angeles Times gives a speculative sneak peek at what could come to DCA after Cars Land opens in 2012.

More information and on-going discussion on the construction projects featured in today's update can be found in the MiceChat Project TrackerFishbulb for his help with photos today.

Join us as we take a quick and damp tour of the Disneyland Resort in today's update!

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Inside Dateline Disneyland</center></td></tr><tr><td bgcolor="#f7f6f0" width="100%" style="border:none;"><a href="https://www.paypal.com/cgi-bin/webscr?cmd=_s-xclick&hosted_button_id=3874837" target="new"><img src="http://i1177.photobucket.com/albums/x356/micechat/Dateline%20Disneyland/donatenew2011-3.png" width="185" align="right" border="0"></a>
  • <a href="#DD1">Welcome to Disneyland!</a>
    Rainy days, Astro Orbiter takes flight again, Roger Rabbit reopens
  • <a href="#DD2">California Construction</a>
    A look at the park's on-going $1 billion expansion and remodel.
    • <a href="#DD4-1">Sunshine Plaza</a>
    • <a href="#DD4-2">Cars Land</a>
    • <a href="#DD4-3">The Little Mermaid: Ariel's Undersea Adventure</a>
    • <a href="#DD4-4">Goofy's Sky School & Paradise Garden dining area</a>
  • <a href="#DD6">Disneyland Hotel Remodel</a>
    Work progresses at the Disneyland Hotel...
  • <a href="#DDNEWS">Weekly News and Information Round-Up</a>
    Weekly theme park hours, closures and refurbishments, Disneyland to offer 30% off dining deal, Epic Mickey creator defends game design choices


The parks were hit hard with rain this weekend that just wouldn't let up. The rain resulted in smaller crowds, but surely a wet time for those who braved the rain.

At the entrance to Tomorrowland, the Astro Orbiter is running once again after the ride abruptly went down for some unscheduled maintenance work earlier this month.

Back in Mickey's Toon Town, Roger Rabbit Car Toon Spin is once again open after a lengthy refurbishment.

The ride's previously cramped load area has been reconfigured. It's now roomier and allows for better crowd flow in the area.

LA Times theme park reporter Brady MacDonald wrote an interesting piece looking beyond the completion of Cars Land in 2012 and what could be in store at California Adventure after this first phase of expansion.

Buena Vista Street
(An idealized vision of a 1920s Southern California streetscape when Walt Disney first arrived in Los Angeles.)
  • Original plans for the Carthay Theater called for the screening of a "Walt Disney Story" biographical film. The latest plans have the Blue Sky Cellar preview center moving into the space.
  • An exclusive Carthay Circle Club on the upper floor of the Carthay Theater. Disney has quietly put out feelers to Club 33 members and those on the long waiting list for the private Disneyland club. The Interior of the DCA club would replicate an idealized version of an early Disney animation studio on Hyperion Avenue in Hollywood.

Paradise Pier
(A 1920s and 30s seaside amusement park-themed land with Victorian architecture.)

(The existing Hollywood Studios Backlot becomes Hollywoodland, representing the 1930s Golden Age of Hollywood.)

(The former Condor Flats and Golden State lands combine to form a single land themed to a 1950s-era Yosemite-like national park.)
  • Grizzly River Rapids receives animatronic bears, condors and other creatures once envisioned for the raft ride. Animatronic characters under construction for the Grizzly Trail area at Hong Kong Disneyland would fit perfectly.
  • An E-Ticket ride in place of the Redwood Creek Challenge Trail. Proposals for the location include an outdoor adventure attraction or a mine-train ride.
  • A circuitous train ride around Grizzly Peak as envisioned in concept art featured in the "Disney Mountains: Imagineering at its Peak" book.
  • The Soarin' Over California hang-gliding tour makes way for the long-awaited Soarin' Over the World replacement.
  • Convert the Cannery Row-themed Pacific Wharf food court to a San Francisco motif and combine the eatery area with the already-existing but unrealized San Francisco block. [ FULL STORY ]

<a name="DD4-1"></a>SUNSHINE PLAZA
We've still got a ways to go before Disney will officially announce any additional plans after the 2012 opening of Cars Land and work continues in the park to finish its current remodel and expansion projects, including the complete transformation of Sunshine Plaza into Buena Vista Street. Part of this includes the removal of California Adventure's tile murals, which are now completely history as the final sections were removed last week.

Dirt continues to be pushed around where the former sun fountain once stood.

Back in the Hollywood Pictures Backlot, the walls are down between the Tower of Terror and the Hyperion Theatre.

<a name="DD4-2"></a>CARS LAND
The rain slowed down construction this weekend on major projects, but work continued earlier in the week on Cars Land before the storm clouds moved in...

Tarps went back up on the San Francisco Street-side of the Little Mermaid building, covering up the facade that had been revealed just a couple weeks ago.


Work continues at the Disneyland Hotel's major remodel

<a name="DDNEWS"></a><center><table style="border:none;" width="670" border="0"><tbody><tr><td bgcolor="#f7f6f0" width="100%" style="border:none;">

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<center><table style="border:none;" border="0" cellpadding="5" width="670"><tbody><tr><td colspan="2" bgcolor="#263778" style="border:none;">
Weekly Theme Park Hours
</td><td rowspan="12" bgcolor="#f7f6f0" valign="top" width="166" style="border:none;"><center><script charset="utf-8" type="text/javascript" src="http://ws.amazon.com/widgets/q?ServiceVersion=20070822&MarketPlace=US&ID=V20070 822/US/disneylandres-20/8001/4fbf2cff-aca2-4b01-a4a2-0f4400889107"> </script> <noscript>Amazon.com Widgets</noscript> <noscript>Amazon.com Widgets</noscript></center></td></tr> <tr><td bgcolor="#f7f6f0" style="border:none;">
Disneyland Park
</td> <td bgcolor="#f7f6f0" style="border:none;">
Disney California Adventure
</td></tr><tr><td bgcolor="" valign="top" style="border:none;">Monday - Thursday: 8am - 12midnight
Friday: 8am - 9pm
Saturday-Sunday: 8am - 12midnight
</td><td bgcolor="" valign="top" style="border:none;">Monday - Thursday: 10am - 10pm
Friday: 10am - 8pm
Saturday - Sunday: 10am - 10pm</td></tr> <tr><td colspan="2" bgcolor="" style="border:none;">
For a complete listing of theme park hours, visit the Disneyland.com Theme Park Calendar

</td></tr> <tr><td colspan="2" bgcolor="#263778" style="border:none;">
Closures and Refurbishment Schedule
</td></tr> <tr><td colspan="2" bgcolor="#f7f6f0" style="border:none;">
Disneyland Park
</td></tr> <tr><td colspan="2" bgcolor="" valign="top" style="border:none;">
  • Haunted Mansion: Closed to remove holiday overlay January 3 - 13.
  • "it's a small world": Closed to remove holiday overlay January 18 - 27.
  • Horse Drawn Streetcars: Closed January 18 - February 15 during Main Street repaving.
  • Main Street Vehicles: Closed January 18 - March 4, 2011 during Main Street repaving.
  • Splash Mountain: Closed January 18 - May 26 for refurbishment.
  • King Arthur Carrousel: Closed January 31 - February 2 for refurbishment.
  • Mark Twain Riverboat: Closed February 3 - 17 for refurbishment.
  • Star Tours: Closed for Star Tours 2 overhaul. Reopens May 2011.

</td></tr> <tr><td colspan="2" bgcolor="#f7f6f0" style="border:none;">
Disney California Adventure
</td></tr> <tr><td colspan="2" bgcolor="" valign="top" style="border:none;">
  • Grizzly River Run: Closed January 4 - 21.
  • Animation Building: Closed January 18 - 21.
  • Closed January 24 - March 24 for retheme.
  • It's Tough to be a Bug!: Closed January 28 - March 3
  • Maliboomer: Removed. Space will become new park-like area.
  • 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="#f7f6f0" style="border:none;">
Downtown Disney & Hotels of the Disneyland Resort
</td></tr> <tr><td colspan="2" bgcolor="" valign="top" style="border:none;">
  • 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="670" bgcolor="#d6d4ac" cellpadding="5" ><tbody><tr><td height="" width="100%" bgcolor="#263778" style="border:none;">DISNEYLAND HOTEL UNIION TAKES FIGHT TO HOLLYWOOD
While I can sympathize with the needs of the Disneyland Hotel workers, this union battle making their case look more and more desperate. </td></tr><tr><td cellpadding="5" width="75%" bgcolor="#f7f6f0" style="border:none;">
Disneyland Hotel Workers Urge Academy Award Members to Not Vote for Toy Story 3 as Best Picture
​I don't really go to movies anymore, but I don't think Toy Story 3 is on anyone's short list of nominees for the Academy Award for Best Picture, even with its expanded roster--it's a cartoon*! [Editor's note: Actually, it is on several people's short list for the award, and Disney is actively campaigning for it.] [Editor's note note: See the asterisk below.] But that isn't stopping UNITE HERE Local 11, the union representing the Disneyland Resort's hotel workers in a bitter labor dispute, from protesting a screening of the film tonight at the Disney studios in Burbank and bringing their brilliant guerrilla protests (where people dress up as Disney characters) to the House of Mouse.

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</td></tr><tr><td cellpadding="5" height="" width="100%" bgcolor="#263778" style="border:none;">For the full story, visit: OC Weekly: Disneyland Hotel Workers Urge Academy Award Members to Not Vote for Toy Story 3 as Best Picture</td></tr></tbody></table></center>

<center><table style="border: 0pt solid black;" width="670" bgcolor="#d6d4ac" cellpadding="5" ><tbody><tr><td height="" width="100%" bgcolor="#263778" style="border:none;">DISNEY CONSIDERING ABANDONED DISNEYLAND CONCEPT FOR BIG SCREEN
An interesting bit of Disney theme park movie news from the LA Times:</td></tr><tr><td cellpadding="5" width="75%" bgcolor="#f7f6f0" style="border:none;">
</td></tr><tr><td cellpadding="5" height="" width="100%" bgcolor="#263778" style="border:none;">For the full article, visit: LA Times: Disney Gets Weird</td></tr></tbody></table></center>

<center><table style="border: 0pt solid black;" width="670" bgcolor="#d6d4ac" cellpadding="5" ><tbody><tr><td height="" width="100%" bgcolor="#263778" style="border:none;">DISNEY PREMIERES TRAILER FOR 'PIRATES 4'
Speaking of themepark-inspired movies, the new trailer for Pirates 4 has been released:</td></tr><tr><td cellpadding="5" width="75%" bgcolor="#f7f6f0" style="border:none;">
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</td></tr><tr><td cellpadding="5" height="" width="100%" bgcolor="#263778" style="border:none;">For the full article, visit: LA Times: 'Pirates of the Caribbean' runs out of treasure [trailer]</td></tr></tbody></table></center>

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Also, remember that MiceChat has tons of new content all week long! 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!

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See you at the parks!
- Andy</td><td bgcolor="#f7f6f0" valign="top" width="235" style="border:none;">
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