Planning on visiting Disneyland this weekend? If you're traveling by car, you may want to reschedule your visit to the Happiest Place on Earth or you may find yourself in some of the most intense Los Angeles traffic the region has ever expected. If your route avoids the Los Angeles area, then you'll be in for a treat. Disneyland celebrates its 56th anniversary on Sunday as both parks tout their new Soundsational Summer offerings including the new Star Tours and Little Mermaid attractions. Also new at Disney California Adventure, Phineas and Ferb take to the streets with a new dance party and the Paradise Garden dining area lights up the night on Paradise Pier. Meanwhile, construction continues throughout the park, including putting the finishing touches on the new Pan-Pacific Auditorium-inspired main entrance gates.

Thanks to MiceChat's Fishbulb for some additional help with photos this week.

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="150" align="right" border="0"></a>
  • <a href="#DD1">Welcome to Disneyland!</a>
    TouringPlans.com crowd level recap, Emporium refurbishment
  • <a href="#DD2">Carmageddon</a>
    Visiting Disneyland this weekend? Beware 'Carmageddon'
  • <a href="#DD3">California Construction</a>
    A look at the on-going construction at Disney California Adventure...
    • <a href="#DD3-1">Buena Vista Street</a>
    • <a href="#DD3-2">Paradise Garden dining area</a>
    • <a href="#DD3-3">Cars Land</a></a>
  • <a href="#DD4">Rockin & Rollin'</a>
    Phineas and Ferb join the California Adventure cast.
  • <a href="#DD5">Disneyland Hotel Remodel</a>
    Disneyland Hotel remodel continues
  • <a href="#DD6">This & That</a>
    Self-serve Best Buy kiosk opens in Downtown Disney, DCA merch carts, more
  • <a href="#DDNEWS">Weekly News and Information Round-Up</a>
    Weekly theme park hours, closures and refurbishments, Meg Crofton promoted, Disneyland rolls out aid for visually impaired
</td></tr><tr><td style="border: medium none;" bgcolor="#263778" height="" width="100%"><center>Sponsored by TouringPlans.com | Do More. Wait Less.[/color]</center></td></tr></tbody></table></center>
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<a name="DD1"></a>WELCOME TO DISNEYLAND!


Our partners at Touring Plans have something a bit different this week: overall crowd predictions at Disneyland Resort for this week.
Expect moderately high crowd levels all week long as we continue during the summer season. Note that the two lowest levels of Annual Passholders will be blocked out everyday, so these numbers are greatest impacted by vacationers descending upon Disneyland. TouringPlans.com can help you avoid falling into the typical tourist pitfalls with our per-park <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">Crowd Calendar</a>, <a href="http://touringplans.com/disneyland-resort/lines?utm_campaign=ads&utm_medium=website&utm_sour ce=dateline&utm_content=r1&property_id=2">Lines - Mobile Wait Times App</a> that gives access to current and estimated wait times for attractions, and <a href="http://touringplans.com/disneyland-resort/touring-plans?utm_campaign=ads&utm_medium=website&utm_sour ce=dateline&utm_content=r1&property_id=2">Touring Plans</a> detailing the best plan of attack for hitting the attractions. Now more than ever, it's a good time to subscribe to TouringPlans.com to plan your strategy to avoid the crowds!

Below are the predicted resort-wide crowd numbers for select days generated by the TouringPlans professional statisticians as measured for the upcoming week. For the access to the full year and per-park crowd level predictions, visit our <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">Crowd Calendar.</a>

Statistician, TouringPlans.com
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</td><td colspan="1" width="25%" style="border: medium none;" bgcolor="#f1f1f1">
Crowd Calendar Prediction
</td><td colspan="1" width="60%" style="border: medium none;" bgcolor="#e1e1e1">
Crowd Tips
</td></tr><tr><td style="border: medium none;" bgcolor="#f1f1f1">
DISNEYLAND RESORT
</td> <td style="border: medium none;" bgcolor="#e1e1e1"></tr><tr><td style="border: medium none;" bgcolor="#f7f6f0" valign="top">Mon., July 11</td><td style="border: medium none;" bgcolor="" valign="top">
8/10
</td><td style="border: medium none;" bgcolor="" valign="top" rowspan="4">Here are some quick-hit notes that we hope you'll find helpful as you prepare your visits for the week:
  • Disneyland park's least busy days will be Tuesday and Thursday, when it's a 7.9 on the Crowd Calendar.
  • Expect 8s and 9s on the Crowd Calendar.
  • There will be full AP blockouts on Saturday.
</td></tr><tr><td style="border: medium none;" bgcolor="#f7f6f0" valign="top">Tue., July 12</td><td style="border: medium none;" bgcolor="" valign="top">
8/10
</td></tr><tr><td style="border: medium none;" bgcolor="#f7f6f0" valign="top">Wed., July 13</td><td style="border: medium none;" bgcolor="" valign="top">
9/10
</td></tr><tr><td style="border: medium none;" bgcolor="#f7f6f0" valign="top">Thu., July 14</td><td style="border: medium none;" bgcolor="" valign="top">
8/10
</td></tr></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>


The Matterhorn Bobsleds are closed, starting today (Monday, July 11), for an extended refurbishment. The attraction is set to reopen at the beginning of September with new lap bar-equipped bobsleds on the tracks.
CORRECTION 7/11, 12 PM PT: We're now hearing that the current Matterhorn refurbishment will consist of track replacement. New bobsleds will come at a later date.




<a name="DD2"></a>CARMAGEDDON
Southern California residents have been receiving non-stop reminders of the impending 405 highway closure, but for those traveling from other areas to Disneyland for its 56th Anniversary or the annual Disneyana fan convention, you may be in for a bit of a surprise when you reach Los Angeles-area highways this weekend. Local media has dubbed the event "Carmageddon" and are expecting the Los Angeles highways and nearby city streets to become completely gridlocked. The highway closure affecting a 10-mile stretch of the 405 freeway between the 10 and the 101 is expected to last 53 hours, starting Friday night and ending early Monday morning. The closure is due to demolition on the Mullholland Drive Bridge.


If your plans to visit this weekend aren't set in stone, it might be a good idea to reschedule. However, if you must visit Disneyland this weekend and your route passes through area affected by the highway closure, then plan ahead. If possible, arrive before the highway closure and leave after it reopens. Below is more information on the closure from the Los Angeles Times.
Motorists warned about 'nightmare' of 405 closure[ FULL STORY ]


<a name="DD3"></a>CALIFORNIA CONSTRUCTION
Work continues on the remainder of California Adventure's $1 billion-dollar remodel and expansion...

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Contact <a href="mailto:datelinedisneyland@micechat.com">datelinedisneyland@micechat.com</a> or <a href="mailto:dustysage@micechat.com">dustysage@micechat.com</a>!
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<a name="DD3-1"></a>BUENA VISTA STREET
Half of Ticket Booth #8 in the Main Entrance Plaza, between La Brea Bakery and California Adventure's main entrance, has now become dedicated Guest Relations windows. With the old Guest Relations windows next to the park's main entrance closed and the in-park Guest Relations lobby closing soon for Buena Vista Street construction, the new service at Ticket Booth #8 will help over the next year as construction continues.






Meanwhile, the new Pan-Pacific Auditorium-inspired main entrance gates are nearing completion. Last week flags were added and the new park marquee installed.






















Gates and turnstiles have been installed.





Inside, work continues on the new Carthay Circle Theater




The new pump house:




<a name="DD3-2"></a>PARADISE GARDEN DINING AREA
The excellent new Paradise Garden dining area is open for business, but the project is still adding finishing touches that it was unable to complete before barely making its July 1st opening deadline.


Plenty of additional popcorn lights were installed throughout the Garden last week, bringing even more nighttime appeal to the area.


Still, not all of the additional decorative lighting was functional over the weekend and work crews will continue to finish the work this week.


The former P.T. Flea Market pin store, which has been converted into dining space is still not open to guests.





The work done over the last week included getting the Boardwalk Pizza and Pasta marquee lit, as it was throughout the day on Saturday.


Yet, technical difficulties Saturday night resulted in nearly the entire restaurant going dark.


The majority of the interior lighting went dark as well. The restaurant appeared closed, but it was open and Cast Members remained friendly and helpful to guests despite the situation.


Outside, not all of the installed lighting was functional yet.






But what was working really looked fantastic.







During the day, a table near the Paradise Garden Bandstand is a great place to enjoy your lunch at. Disney has booked fantastic live musicians throughout the summer to perform here.


Bands like Turkflamenco make up the summer music line-up at the bandstand.


Take a listen with the video below:
<iframe width="675" height="414" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/5amMP6PXF9k" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>




<a name="DD3-3"></a>CARS LAND
Cars Land construction continues in the former Timon parking lot.


The ride system for Mater's Junkyard Jamboree is going in...
















Brick facade going up at the Luigi's Flying Tires building























<a name="DD4"></a>ROCKIN' & ROLLIN'
On Saturday, Disney debuted a new street show featuring Disney Channel animated stars, Phineas and Ferb.


The new show follows the same formula as the recent "Pixar Pop-Up" shows that run through the park's Hollywood Pictures Backlot. However, instead of Pixar characters, Phineas and Ferb take center stage on a colorful truck that parks at the entrance to Paradise Pier, adjacent to the Little Mermaid attraction.


Interactive dance-alongs, sing-alongs and activities including the limbo are incorporated into the show.






The entire show plays rather nonsensically to those who aren't familiar with the characters which means the show will be most enjoyed by young kids and their parents. There isn't much here of any value to anyone over the age of 10 unless you're a parent of a child who wants to play along with Phineas and Ferb.


Below is a short clip from the new show.
<iframe width="675" height="414" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/nA6BKQr4rRI?hd=1" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>



<a name="DD5"></a>DISNEYLAND HOTEL REMODEL
Remodel work continues at the Disneyland Hotel


Work is just about done on the exterior of the Fantasy Tower




Inside, guests looking to access the other Towers must exit from the lobby's main entrance and walk completely around the Fantasy Tower as the remodel work around the former Never Land Pool has expanded.




Work walls now push up against Mickey's sorcerer hat







Work progresses at the pool area




A look at Hotel entrance from the Downtown Disney district, now behind walls as it gets re-Imagineered.


The Adventure Tower entrance
















<a name="DD6"></a>THIS & THAT
In Downtown Disney, another vendor cart has opened. This time it's a self-service Best Buy electronics kiosk, where you can buy a new iPod, earphones, or a selection of other gadgets.





Back inside California Adventure, merchandise carts between Corn Dog Castle and Goofy's Sky School now sell a selection of Phineas and Ferb merchandise to tie into the new street show as well as toy airplanes and aviator goggles for the nearby Goofy roller coaster.












This is a new-to-me item, but something that caught my eye. Several outdoor vending carts are now being parked around the Paradise Pier lighthouse sculpture, across from the Little Mermaid ride every evening at dusk. These carts selling light-up cotton candy, drinks, popcorn and light-up novelty items are here for guests queueing for World of Color. While I'm sure there is a certain level of convenience having carts like this available for guests waiting for the show, the Cast Members tasked with walking around to sell items like popcorn and cotton candy seems a bit over-the-top. The extra and cluttery outdoor vending comes off as an obvious money-grab and makes the event feel like a common carnival presentation and not a classy Disney production.


If this sort of thing must go on, does it really need to be set up three full hours before the first World of Color show even starts? There has got to be a better solution here.




<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
Howard Johnson Plaza Hotel - Anaheim Resort.
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!
The HoJo Anaheim is now offering deeper discounts for Disneyland Resort Annual Passholders! On select nights, Disneyland Resort Annual Passholders can get rooms for as low as $59 per night, plus tax. For more information visit the HoJo Anaheim Innsider Boards which features an up-to-date listing of available nights, or call (714) 776-6120 and ask for In-House Reservations to book. If your date isn't listed, the HoJo Anaheim still offers rooms for 20% off their best available rate if you call (714) 776-6120.
Experience Disneyland at home with the HoJo Mattercam!
See Disneyland from home via a live rotating video feed of Disneyland Park and Disney California Adventure Park from the rooftop of Howard Johnson Plaza Hotel - Anaheim Resort! The HoJo Anaheim's newly upgraded Disneyland webcam now features new views including video feeds of Disneyland's nightly fireworks! Check it out now!
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<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></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-Sunday: 8am - 12midnight</td><td style="border: medium none;" bgcolor="" valign="top">Monday-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">
HIGH out of 10
</td><td style="border: medium none;" bgcolor="" valign="top"
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">
  • Matterhorn Bobsleds:Space Mountain:Haunted Mansion:Indiana Jones Adventure:Pirates of the Caribbean and Blue Bayou Restaurant:Space Mountain:Mark Twain Riverboat:
</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">
  • Engine Ears Toys, Baker's Field Bakery and Bur-r-r Bank Ice Cream: Retail and dining locations close permanently August 1. Space will reopen as new offerings in 2012 as part of Buena Vista Street.
  • California Screamin':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 closed for remodel and re-theming.
</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 promotes Walt Disney World President Meg Crofton
Some potentially worrisome news: Walt Disney World President Meg Crofton has been promoted to a position that oversees all Disney Parks and Resorts in the United States and France. Crofton has widely been criticized for the long and constant decline in quality and upkeep at Walt Disney World. Let's hope her policies don't affect more Disney parks with her new position.</td></tr><tr><td cellpadding="5" style="border: medium none;" bgcolor="#f7f6f0" width="75%">
Disney World President Meg Crofton promoted
</td></tr><tr><td cellpadding="5" style="border: medium none;" bgcolor="#263778" height="" width="100%">Full story: Orlando Sentinel: Disney World President Meg Crofton promoted</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 unveils audio description device for guests with visual disabilities
From the Disney Parks Blog:</td></tr><tr><td cellpadding="5" style="border: medium none;" bgcolor="#f7f6f0" width="75%">
New Audio Description Technology Describes Outdoor Locations for Disneyland Park Guests with Visual Disabilities
</td></tr><tr><td cellpadding="5" style="border: medium none;" bgcolor="#263778" height="" width="100%">Full story: Disney Parks Blog: New Audio Description Technology Describes Outdoor Locations for Disneyland Park Guests with Visual Disabilities</td></tr></tbody></table></center>

<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>Alright, that concludes another edition of Dateline Disneyland. Be sure to check out our sponsors over at TouringPlans.com!

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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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