The Disneyland Resort is abuzz with activity as it gets closer to the June 3rd launch of its big Soundsational Summer promotion. The ad campaign neatly packages all of the new offerings the Resort is launching this summer including the new Little Mermaid ~ Ariel's Undersea Adventure attraction that quietly opened its doors to the public last week for soft openings. Over at Disneyland, the new thrill ride continued soft openings and Annual Passholder previews as the new Mickey's Soundsational Parade took to Main Street, U.S.A. offering a fantastic new entertainment offering to park guests. Outside the parks, the excellent new tiki-themed dining complex opened at the Disneyland Hotel along with the unveiling of the hotel's new Monorail water slides as well as the completion of the Frontier Tower's re-designed lobby.

Thanks to MiceChat's Fishbulb and Twitter's @DLtoday for extra help with photos today.

More information on the construction projects featured in today's column can be found in the MiceChat Project TrackerInside Dateline Disneyland</center></td></tr><tr><td style="border: medium none;" bgcolor="#f7f6f0" width="100%"><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/donatetoplong.png" width="165" align="right" border="0"></a>
  • <a href="#DD1">Welcome to Disneyland!</a>
    TouringPlans.com crowd level recap
  • <a href="#DD2">Spectacular Soundsational</a>
    Disneyland's fantastic new Mickey's Soundsational Parade debuts.
  • <a href="#DD3">Fastpasses, Pirates & Snacks</a>
    Star Tours FASTPASS machines, Frontierland's new snack stand, and Blackbeard joins Pirates of the Caribbean
  • <a href="#DD4">California Construction</a>
    A look at the on-going construction at Disney California Adventure...
    • <a href="#DD4-1">Buena Vista Street</a>
    • <a href="#DD4-2">The Little Mermaid ~ Ariel's Undersea Adventure</a>
    • <a href="#DD4-3">Goofy's Sky School & Paradise Garden dining area</a>
    • <a href="#DD4-4">Cars Land</a>
  • <a href="#DD5">Tiki Time Machine</a>
    Disneyland Hotel unveils excellent new dining offerings, new Monorail water slides, and opens the remodeled Frontier Tower lobby
  • <a href="#DD6">This & That</a>
    Downtown Disney shops open, Splash Mountain reopens, Cars 2 merchandise hits store shelves
  • <a href="#DDNEWS">Weekly News and Information Round-Up</a>
    Weekly theme park hours, closures and refurbishments, Disney forces new work conditions on hotel union

</td></tr><tr><td style="border: medium none;" bgcolor="#263778" height="" width="100%"><center>Sponsored by TouringPlans.com | Do More. Wait Less.</center></td></tr></tbody></table></center>
</center>


<a name="DD1"></a>WELCOME TO DISNEYLAND!


With two major attractions officially opening to the public on Friday, a new parade now performing daily, new dining at the Disneyland Hotel open for business and new attractions and dining coming to Disney California Adventure at the beginning of July, this summer will prove Disneyland to be a hugely popular Southern California destination. This week will be the calm before the storm and likely your final chance to sneak in a visit to the parks with lighter crowds until Labor Day. Our friends at Touring Plans have a recap of crowd levels over the last week, which will help you get an idea of what to expect this week before Disneyland's summer season gets started this weekend.

Wait times were slightly higher than predicted coming into the weekend, but otherwise predictions were extremely accurate. The forecast for the coming week looks similarly lower for the weekdays, so take a trip to the parks during the week to hit the Little Mermaid ~ Ariel's Undersea Adventure and
Statistician, TouringPlans.com

<center><table style="border: medium none;" border="0" cellpadding="5" width="575"><tbody><tr><td colspan="1" style="border: medium none;" bgcolor="#f7f6f0" rowspan="2" width="18%">
</td><td colspan="3" style="border: medium none;" bgcolor="#f1f1f1">
Crowd Calendar Prediction
</td><td colspan="3" style="border: medium none;" bgcolor="#e1e1e1">
Actual Crowd Levels
</td></tr><tr><td style="border: medium none;" bgcolor="#f1f1f1">
DISNEYLAND RESORT
</td> <td style="border: medium none;" bgcolor="#f1f1f1">
DISNEYLAND PARK
</td><td style="border: medium none;" bgcolor="#f1f1f1">
CALIFORNIA ADVENTURE
</td><td style="border: medium none;" bgcolor="#e1e1e1">
DISNEYLAND RESORT
</td><td style="border: medium none;" bgcolor="#e1e1e1">
DISNEYLAND PARK
</td><td style="border: medium none;" bgcolor="#e1e1e1">
CALIFORNIA ADVENTURE
</td></tr><tr><td style="border: medium none;" bgcolor="#f7f6f0" valign="top">Sun. May 22</td><td style="border: medium none;" bgcolor="" valign="top">
8/10
</td><td style="border: medium none;" bgcolor="" valign="top">
0.6/10
</td><td style="border: medium none;" bgcolor="" valign="top">
8.2/10
</td><td style="border: medium none;" bgcolor="" valign="top">
7/10
</td><td style="border: medium none;" bgcolor="" valign="top">
2.8/10
</td><td style="border: medium none;" bgcolor="" valign="top">
5.9/10
</td></tr><tr><td style="border: medium none;" bgcolor="#f7f6f0" valign="top">Mon. May 23</td><td style="border: medium none;" bgcolor="" valign="top">
8/10
</td><td style="border: medium none;" bgcolor="" valign="top">
1.8/10
</td><td style="border: medium none;" bgcolor="" valign="top">
8.3/10
</td><td style="border: medium none;" bgcolor="" valign="top">
7/10
</td><td style="border: medium none;" bgcolor="" valign="top">
2.8/10
</td><td style="border: medium none;" bgcolor="" valign="top">
6.2/10
</td></tr><tr><td style="border: medium none;" bgcolor="#f7f6f0" valign="top">Tue. May 24</td><td style="border: medium none;" bgcolor="" valign="top">
5/10
</td><td style="border: medium none;" bgcolor="" valign="top">
2.1/10
</td><td style="border: medium none;" bgcolor="" valign="top">
8.3/10
</td><td style="border: medium none;" bgcolor="" valign="top">
5/10
</td><td style="border: medium none;" bgcolor="" valign="top">
2.1/10
</td><td style="border: medium none;" bgcolor="" valign="top">
6.2/10
</td></tr><tr><td style="border: medium none;" bgcolor="#f7f6f0" valign="top">Wed. May 25</td><td style="border: medium none;" bgcolor="" 8valign="top">
5/10
</td><td style="border: medium none;" bgcolor="" valign="top">
4.5/10
</td><td style="border: medium none;" bgcolor="" valign="top">
7.5/10
</td><td style="border: medium none;" bgcolor="" valign="top">
5/10
</td><td style="border: medium none;" bgcolor="" valign="top">
4.6/10
</td><td style="border: medium none;" bgcolor="" valign="top">
6.4/10
</td></tr><tr><td style="border: medium none;" bgcolor="#f7f6f0" valign="top">Thu. May 26</td><td style="border: medium none;" bgcolor="" valign="top">
9/10
</td><td style="border: medium none;" bgcolor="" valign="top">
8.9/10
</td><td style="border: medium none;" bgcolor="" valign="top">
4.5/10
</td><td style="border: medium none;" bgcolor="" valign="top">
8/10
</td><td style="border: medium none;" bgcolor="" valign="top">
5.9/10
</td><td style="border: medium none;" bgcolor="" valign="top">
5.0/10
</td></tr><tr><td style="border: medium none;" bgcolor="#f7f6f0" valign="top">Fri. May 27</td><td style="border: medium none;" bgcolor="" valign="top">
10/10
</td><td style="border: medium none;" bgcolor="" valign="top">
9.1/10
</td><td style="border: medium none;" bgcolor="" valign="top">
9.6/10
</td><td style="border: medium none;" bgcolor="" valign="top">
10/10
</td><td style="border: medium none;" bgcolor="" valign="top">
9.1/10
</td><td style="border: medium none;" bgcolor="" valign="top">
6.4/10
</td></tr><tr><td colspan="7" style="border: medium none;" bgcolor="#f7f6f0">
Crowd levels are based on a scale from 1 to 10, with 1 being the least crowded conditions and 10 being most crowded.
</td></tr><tr><td colspan="7" style="border: medium none;" bgcolor="">
See <a href="http://touringplans.com/disneyland-resort/crowd-calendar?utm_campaign=ads&utm_medium=website&utm_s ource=dateline&utm_content=r1&property_id=2">Disneyland crowds</a> for the next 365 days.
Get <a href=""http://touringplans.com/disneyland-resort/lines?utm_campaign=ads&utm_medium=website&utm_sour ce=dateline&utm_content=r1&property_id=2">Disneyland wait times</a> on your<a href="http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/disneyland-lines-from-touringplans/id412482020?mt=8"> iPhone</a>,<a href="https://market.android.com/details?id=com.touringplans.dlrlines.android&featu re=search_result"> Android</a>, or Smartphone.

Do more. Wait less.

</td></tr> </tbody></table></center>


Disney recently teased all of its new summer offerings in a video sneak-peek
<iframe width="675" height="414" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/E6QT_73Z6zE" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>



<a name="DD2"></a>SPECTACULAR SOUNDSATIONAL
<center><table style="border: medium none;" border="0" width="590"><tbody><tr><td style="border: medium none;" bgcolor="#f7f6f0" width="100%">
SPOILER ALERT
Photos and video of the new parade in its entirety are featured below.
Please <a href="#DD3">click here</a> if you'd like to avoid the spoilers.
</td></tr></tbody></table></center>

On Friday, Disneyland officially launched its first real parade since the 50th anniversary's Walt Disney's Parade of Dreamsin-character (Mary Poppins does not dance to the Macarena here). The parade, designed by artists Kevin Kidney and Jody Daily, is delightfully whimsical in design and offers a timeless Disney appeal without feeling like the show is a tired rehash of previous processionals. This parade is a great fit for the park and fantastic addition to Disneyland entertainment line-up.








A crab from the Little Mermaid section zips around, reminiscent of an Electrical Parade lightning bug.


Brady MacDonald from the Los Angeles Times has a great review of the new parade:


The Three Caballeros make an appearance in the new show


Rapunzel's tower rises above the princess float




Rapunzel takes center stage














Chimney sweeps lead a rousing rendition of "Step in Time" as the finale Mary Poppins float follows


Mary and Bert ride carousel horses






The full parade can be seen below in our video below.
<iframe width="675" height="414" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/eYaCGf3k35s?hd=1" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>


<a name="DD3"></a>FASTPASSES, PIRATES & SNACKS
Over in Tomorrowland, Star Tours FASTPASS machines have been unveiled. We previously showed you a glimpse of these droid-themed machines from a crack in the construction walls, but now with the walls down and covers off of the machines, we can get a clearer look.







In Frontierland, walls are down around the new structure next to the Mark Twain dock revealing a large new outdoor vending location.


The new structure is a hybrid outdoor vending location, combining a hot food (turkey leg) cart with a drink-and-fruit stand along with a frozen lemonade stand. The three-in-one vending location is not only a strange (and ugly) thematic mix between Frontierland's Mark Twain dock and New Orleans Square's Pirates of the Caribbean, but it is also poorly placed across from the Big Thunder Mountain Railroad queue entrance and FASTPASS distribution area. Anyone familiar with this area is likely aware that this area can become frustratingly bottlenecked when the park is busy, so the placement of the bulky new outdoor vending location seems like a bad choice and already seemed to create additional congestion in the area during this last off-season weekend.





Nearby, the Golden Horseshoe is still behind tarps as its facade refurbishment continues, however the inside of the restaurant/theatre has reopened.


Around the corner, the Stage Door Cafe has also reopened.



A short walk along the Rivers of America at the Pirates of the Caribbean, the ride's Davy Jones waterfall has been changed to feature Blackbeard from the lastest Pirates film. This change went into effect last weekend, but we missed it in our last update. The update is nothing special, but its interesting to see Disneyland make this sort of small change to help promote current films. We have video of the Blackbeard waterfall below.


Davy Jones is expected to return later this year.
<iframe width="675" height="414" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/BX2JYiCXXhU?hd=1" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>



<a name="DD4"></a>CALIFORNIA CONSTRUCTION
Work continues on California Adventure's $1 billion-dollar remodel and expansion...

<a name="DD4-1"></a>BUENA VISTA STREET
Work continues on the new main entrance to Disney California Adventure








Construction at the new Carthay Circle fountain pump house



<a name="DD4-2"></a>THE LITTLE MERMAID ~ ARIEL'S UNDERSEA ADVENTURE
<center><table style="border: medium none;" border="0" width="590"><tbody><tr><td style="border: medium none;" bgcolor="#f7f6f0" width="100%">
SPOILER ALERT
Photos and video of the new attraction are featured below.
Please <a href="#DD4-3">click here</a> if you'd like to avoid the spoilers.
</td></tr></tbody></table></center>

Last week the new Little Mermaid attraction opened its doors for public soft openings. The new ride isn't officially set to open until June 3, but if you were at the park last week you may have lucked out and been able to hop aboard a clamshell with wait times at 15 minutes or less. If you're an Annual Passholder and have missed out on soft openings, Disney has scheduled two days of special Passholder previews Tuesday, May 31 and Wednesday, June 1. All you do is show your pass to get on the ride.






The load area


Scuttle introduces you to the story of Ariel at the beginning of the ride


Ariel in her grotto


Sebastian leads the band in the big "Under the Sea" scene






Ursula plots against Ariel


Kiss the Girl


A complete ride-through of the new attraction can be seen on video below:
<iframe width="675" height="414" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/Qhrdr3yU7QE?hd=1" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>


<a name="DD4-3"></a>GOOFY'S SKY SCHOOL
& PARADISE GARDEN DINING AREA

Progress on the new Paradise Garden dining area and re-themed Goofy's Sky School roller coaster is moving along nicely. Last week, Disney Imagineer Larry Nikolai gave a video sneak peek behind the construction walls at the construction in this area

<iframe width="675" height="414" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/gGvOiiVnVuA?hd=1" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>



What the area should look like when it's finished


New signage installed at Goofy's Sky School




A large gap in the construction wall offered a sneak peek behind the walls
























The new Bayside Brews beer stand





<a name="DD4-5"></a>CARS LAND
A look at Cars Land construction...















<a name="DD5"></a>TIKI TIME MACHINE
Over at the Disneyland Hotel, work has wrapped up on the new Tangaroa Terrace and Trader Sam's dining complex and Monorail water slide pool area. Overall, the new offerings are a great change for the hotel. While the loss of the hotel's waterfalls are unforgivable, the removal of the tired Lost Bar, crystal shop and arcade for the expanded pool area and outdoor fireplace was a smart move. Re-working the former Hook's Pointe and Wine Cellar complex into the new Tangaroa Terrace and Trader Sam's bar was an excellent decision. The new dining location feels like classic Adventureland with a Walt Disney World Polynesian Resort influence and the food here continues the recent trend of interesting, high-quality menus at quick service restaurants. The new Trader Sam's bar overflows with nostalgic nods to vintage Adventureland while offering a unique experience in and of itself. Overall, the new dining offerings are wonderfully retro with a clean, modern flare; serving up 1950s-style Disneyland charm without feeling kitschy or forced. As a standalone fixture, the new Monorail pool may seem cold or cheap, but it works well with the 50s-era vibe the Hotel is aiming for. Unfortunately, plans for the Never Land Pool call for a complete removal of thematic elements, which is a shame. Hopefully additional Tomorrowland-themed elements can be incorporated in the pool area to offer a more thoroughly themed experience.


A new outdoor fireplace


Trader Sam's Enchanted Tiki Bar






The new bar is small, but packed with details, jokes, and clever animated props borrowed from Disneyland's Enchanted Tiki Room and the former Adventurer's Club at Walt Disney World.






When a certain drink is ordered, this ship-in-a-bottle weathers a great storm and then sinks into the sea.





On the other side of the Trader Sam's building, the new Tangaroa Terrace quick-service restaurant opened with a delicious selection of burgers, chicken sandwiches, flatbread pizzas and salads




The open kitchen is visible from the touch-screen ordering kiosks




The indoor dining area is small; but has a lot of large windows and high ceilings, making the space feel larger and more welcoming.




Historical photos of Walt and the Enchanted Tiki Room are featured on the walls


Outside, a spacious patio has plenty of chairs and booths for diners and bar patrons


Tiki torches surround the dining terrace


Themed lighting





Nearby, the new pedestrian bridge over the pool area and the Monorail water slide pool area is now open. Currently the bridge leads to nowhere as work continues on the other side, but it offers great views of the surrounding areas, including the new Monorail pool






The entrance gate to the new pool area




Over at the Frontier Tower, work has wrapped up on the remodeled lobby area and is now open to guests


The wonderful Horseshoe Waterfalls that used to create a grand entrance to this tower are now history and all that's left is a wedding lawn. What a shame.


Inside the lobby a scale model of Big Thunder Mountain Railroad is now on display. It's really a treat to examine.








At night, the new hotel grounds light up with tiki torches and color-changing waterfalls at the new pool area












Below is a video clip of the color-changing water fall at the new Monorail pool
<iframe width="675" height="414" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/YDs2QwqvHYw?hd=1" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>


An overview of the Disneyland Hotel grounds from the top of the Adventure Tower




Can you spot the new Minnie Mouse-themed spa?


Walls have gone up around the Never Land Pool, but the pool remains open




Last week, the Disney Parks Blog posted an overview of the Hotel changes, including a video that talks about all of the new changes:

<iframe width="675" height="414" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/Pl0oFmsCrTM" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>



<a name="DD6"></a>THIS AND THAT
In Downtown Disney, the new Apricot Lane Boutique and Sanuk footwear store have opened




Inside Disneyland, Splash Mountain has reopened after its lengthy refurbishment


The load area has been reworked, allowing for speedier guest loading






The on-ride photo viewing area at the exit has gotten some new photography-related theming


New frames around the screens that preview the on-ride photos



New Cars 2 and theme-park related Cars merchandise has hit store shelves as the new movie gets ready to hit theaters









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


Dateline Disneyland is sponsored by our good friends at the
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A short walk from the park, HoJo Anaheim is conveniently located next to Disneyland with nearby dining and freeway access. For more information on HoJo Anaheim, room rates, or to book your stay today, visit HoJoAnaheim.com/MiceChat.

Rooms now available for as low as $59 per night!
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</td></tr></tbody></table></center>


<table style="border: medium none;" border="0" cellpadding="5" width="670"><tbody><tr><td colspan="3" style="border: medium none;" bgcolor="">
WEEKLY NEWS AND INFORMATION ROUND-UP
</td></tr><tr><td colspan="2" style="border: medium none;" bgcolor="#263778">
Weekly Theme Park Hours
</td><td rowspan="16" style="border: medium none;" bgcolor="#f7f6f0" valign="top" width="166"><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 style="border: medium none;" bgcolor="#f7f6f0">
Disneyland Park
</td> <td style="border: medium none;" bgcolor="#f7f6f0">
Disney California Adventure
</td></tr><tr><td style="border: medium none;" bgcolor="" valign="top">Monday: 8am - 12midnight
Tuesday-Wednesday: 9am - 12 midnight
Thursday: 8am-9pm
Friday: 9pm-12midnight
Saturday-Sunday: 8am - 12midnight</td><td style="border: medium none;" bgcolor="" valign="top">Monday-Wednesday: 10am - 10pm
Thursday: 10am - 8:30pm
Friday-Sunday: 10am - 10pm</td></tr> <tr><td colspan="2" style="border: medium none;" bgcolor="">
For a complete listing of theme park hours, visit the Disneyland.com Theme Park Calendar

</td></tr>
<tr><td colspan="2" style="border: medium none;" bgcolor="#263778">
Expected Crowd Levels presented by TouringPlans.com
</td></tr> </td></tr> <tr><td style="border: medium none;" bgcolor="#f7f6f0">
Disneyland Park
</td> <td style="border: medium none;" bgcolor="#f7f6f0">
Disney California Adventure
</td></tr><tr><td style="border: medium none;" bgcolor="" valign="top">
MEDIUM/HIGH out of 10
</td><td style="border: medium none;" bgcolor="" valign="top"
MEDIUM/HIGH out of 10
<tr><td colspan="2" style="border: medium none;" bgcolor="">
Crowd levels are based on a scale from 1 to 10,
with 1 being the least crowded conditions and 10 being most crowded.

For daily crowd predictions for the next 365 days, visit
<img src="http://i1177.photobucket.com/albums/x356/micechat/Dateline%20Disneyland/Sponsors/touringplans-small.png" width="175">
</td></tr> <tr><td colspan="2" style="border: medium none;" bgcolor="#263778">
Closures and Refurbishment Schedule
</td></tr> <tr><td colspan="2" style="border: medium none;" bgcolor="#f7f6f0">
Disneyland Park
</td></tr> <tr><td colspan="2" style="border: medium none;" bgcolor="" valign="top">
  • Officially opens June 3, 2011.
  • Big Thunder Mountain Railroad:Matterhorn Bobsleds:

</td></tr> <tr><td colspan="2" style="border: medium none;" bgcolor="#f7f6f0">
Disney California Adventure
</td></tr> <tr><td colspan="2" style="border: medium none;" bgcolor="" valign="top">
  • The Little Mermaid: Ariel's Undersea Adventure: Officially opens June 3, 2011.
  • Goofy's Sky School: Opens July 1
  • Boardwalk Pizza and Pasta: Opens July 1
  • Paradise Garden Grill: Opens July 1
  • Red Car Trolley: Attraction set to open spring 2012.

</td></tr><tr><td colspan="2" style="border: medium none;" bgcolor="#f7f6f0">
Downtown Disney & Hotels of the Disneyland Resort
</td></tr> <tr><td colspan="2" style="border: medium none;" bgcolor="" valign="top">
  • Never Land Pool: Area set for remodel. Dates to be announced.

</td></tr></tbody></table></center>

<center><table style="border: 0pt solid black;" bgcolor="#d6d4ac" cellpadding="5" width="670"><tbody><tr><td style="border: medium none;" bgcolor="#263778" height="" width="100%">Disney imposes new work conditions, pay raises on hotel union
From the OC Register's Around Disney blog:</td></tr><tr><td cellpadding="5" style="border: medium none;" bgcolor="#f7f6f0" width="75%"></td></tr><tr><td cellpadding="5" style="border: medium none;" bgcolor="#263778" height="" width="100%">Full story: Around Disney: Disney forces pay raises on hotel union</td></tr></tbody></table></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/defc2f58-fb71-4fe2-b5c3-4f6a4a094641"> </script> <noscript>Amazon.com Widgets</noscript>

<table style="border: medium none;" border="0" cellpadding="5"><tbody><tr><td style="border: medium none;" valign="top"><a href="https://www.paypal.com/cgi-bin/webscr?cmd=_s-xclick&hosted_button_id=3874837"><img src="http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v647/dustysage/FridayVisions/supportsmalltop.gif" width="100" align="left"></a>Whew! Alright, that finishes this week's edition of Dateline Disneyland! Please check out our sponsors at TouringPlans.com!

Big thanks again to Fishbulb and @DLtoday for their extra help with photos this week.

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Don't forget that MiceChat has lots of new content throughout the week! 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!

See you at the parks!
- Andy


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