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What a weekend! Disney hosted its second D23 Expo at the Anaheim Convention Center, bringing together the various divisions of the Walt Disney Company for three days of exhibitions, panel discussions, presentations and sneak peeks. We'll give you a full review and look inside the 2011 D23 Expo in a special D23 bonus edition of Dateline Disneyland tomorrow because today we have a full Disneyland update for you covering the latest goings-on at the Anaheim property. Over the course of the last week, Disney announced two significant projects for Walt Disney's original Magic Kingdom, including upgrades and improvements to the dining offerings along Main Street, U.S.A and a highly-themed new princess meet-and-greet area at the edge of Disneyland's Central Plaza. These projects are already starting to get underway as work continues on the major construction in Cars Land and demolition in Sunshine Plaza across the way at Disney California Adventure.

<img src="http://i1177.photobucket.com/albums/x356/micechat/Dateline%20Disneyland/2011/08-22-11/trackers.png" width="250" align="right" border="0"></a> As you read today's column you may notice a new look for our Project Tracker photos. We've relaunched our ever-popular Disneyland Resort and Disney California Adventure Project Tracker threads on the MiceChat boards. With the re-launch, we've given the Trackers and updated look, which is now reflected in their special Project Tracker watermarks seen on related photos in today's column. Of course, you can always click on any photo featuring a Project Tracker watermark to learn more information on the project or join on-going discussion on the MiceChat forums!

We've got a full update today, so let's get started!

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Inside Dateline Disneyland</center></td></tr><tr><td style="border: medium none;" bgcolor="#f1f1f1" 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="135" align="right" border="0"></a>
  • <a href="#DD1">Welcome to Disneyland!</a>
    TouringPlans.com crowd level forecast
  • <a href="#DD2">Main Street's Jolly Holiday</a>
    Disney starts work on a new Mary Poppins-themed bakery on Main Street with additional plans to change other Main Street shops and dining.
  • <a href="#DD3">Princesses on Main Street</a>
    Fantasyland's borders expand onto Main Street as Disney announces new Fantasy Faire
  • <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">Cars Land</a></a>
    • <a href="#DD4-3">Pacific Wharf</a></a>
  • <a href="#DD5">This & That</a>
    Wally Boag and Betty Taylor tribute, Frontierland cart
  • <a href="#DDNEWS">Weekly News and Information Round-Up</a>
    Weekly theme park hours, closures and refurbishments, D23 Expo coverage

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

Peak summer crowds have subsided following the busy D23 Expo weekend as most students head back to school this week. Our friends at Touring Plans have their weekly crowd forecast and some tips to help you plan your visit and if you still haven't signed up for Touring Plans now is the perfect time! Get 50% off a Disenyland Resort Touring Plans subscription with our MiceDeals Deal of the Day! That's only $3 for a year of Touring Plans!

<blockquote><blockquote><blockquote>With Summer break ending for most schools, the D23 Expo in the rearview mirror, and AP blockouts being lifted, Disneyland crowd levels should begin to subside this week. TouringPlans.com can help you navigate the parks 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-app?utm_campaign=ads&utm_medium=website&utm_source =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="24%" style="border: medium none;" bgcolor="#f1f1f1">
Crowd Calendar Prediction
</td><td colspan="1" width="59%" style="border: medium none;" bgcolor="#e1e1e1">
Crowd Tips
</td></tr><tr><td style="border: medium none;" bgcolor="#f1f1f1">
</td> <td style="border: medium none;" bgcolor="#e1e1e1"></tr><tr><td style="border: medium none;" bgcolor="#f7f6f0" valign="top">Mon., August 22</td><td style="border: medium none;" bgcolor="" valign="top">
</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:
  • No full blockouts this weekend, but the two lowest levels are blocked out on Saturday.
  • Resort-wide crowd levels rise to 6 over the weekend, but still should be fairly manageable.
  • Disneyland park's lowest day will be Tuesday, when it's a 3.8.
</td></tr><tr><td style="border: medium none;" bgcolor="#f7f6f0" valign="top">Tue., August 23</td><td style="border: medium none;" bgcolor="" valign="top">
</td></tr><tr><td style="border: medium none;" bgcolor="#f7f6f0" valign="top">Wed., August 24</td><td style="border: medium none;" bgcolor="" valign="top">
</td></tr><tr><td style="border: medium none;" bgcolor="#f7f6f0" valign="top">Thu., August 25</td><td style="border: medium none;" bgcolor="" valign="top">
</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.

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On Main Street, the walls have come down in front of the Disney Gallery as work removing the add-on Disney Visa kiosk has wrapped up. It's nice to see that ugly and recently-unused room removed from the building facade. It's like it was never there at all!

The only thing that indicates something was here is the discoloration in the brick pavers.


The new bakery is set to open in January 2012. It will be fantastic to once again have an operating dining location in the space after years of being closed or used as a simple Annual Passport Center. With the Plaza Pavilion being used for foodservice again, maybe it's also time for Disney to dust off the unused Aladdin's Oasis and bring back the Tahitian Terrace?

Signage on the construction walls announce the new dining location

Bye-bye Blue Ribbon!

Here's what the Disney Parks Blog had to say about the restaurant shuffle:


The current Blue Ribbon Bakery interior:

As the Disney Parks Blog noted, the Gibson Girl Ice Cream Parlor and Candy Palace will also get some work done.

The ice cream parlor interior will be redesigned, hopefully fixing its frustrating crowd-flow problems. At peak times, the current parlor configuration often sees overflow ice cream queue stretching into the Blue Ribbon Bakery. With the Bakery becoming sit-down dining space, the current parlor's queue issues will need a fix.

Also on the list of upgrades is the display candy kitchen at the popular Candy Palace shop.

The on-stage kitchen is set to be expanded, and it'll be interesting to see how Disney manages to do this. The Candy Palace entryway is cramped as it is. Expanding the display kitchen suggests it will take over space currently used as a cash wrap, which can see significant lines when the park is busy.

The Disney Parks Blog didn't mention any changes at the Penny Arcade which is located between the Gibson Girl and Candy Palace. The Penny Arcade has already suffered from reduced floor space over the years as a large fudge and candy apple counter moved in, and a self-serve jelly bean display was installed. The Penny Arcade has significantly fewer vintage arcade machines than it did in its earlier years, and we hope that the Gibson Girl and Candy Palace reconfigurations don't compromise the space even more.

While it's important to address the operational needs of the incredibly popular ice cream parlor and candy shops, it's also important to maintain the Main Street show, which is supported by the individual identities of the shops, including the Penny Arcade with its vintage arcade offerings.

As work got underway at the new Jolly Holiday Bakery, Disney waited for the weekend's big D23 Expo to announce the new Fantasy Faire coming soon to the edge of Main Street. The project will re-theme the current Carnation Plaza Gardens area into a princess meet-and-greet area including a stage, photo ops and activities for kids.

This view...

...will soon look like this:

Friday's announcement from Disneyland Resort President George Kalogridis was part of the larger Disney Parks and Resorts presentation at the D23 Expo, lead by Parks and Resorts Chairman Tom Stagg's. The announcement was quickly reiterated on the Disney Parks Blog Friday afternoon:


The concept art promises a nicely-themed and detailed area. We hope the concept art delivers on that promise, but hopefully the princesses aren't too noticeable from Disneyland's Central Plaza at the end of Main Street, USA.

Disney has also promised that the popular evening entertainment including live music and swing dancing will still be offered even after the princesses move in.

Will these Frontierland transition facades around the tunnel to Rancho del Zocalo be lost?

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>!

<a name="DD4-1"></a>BUENA VISTA STREET
Work continues on the new temporary backstage route guests will pass through when entering Disney California Adventure as Buena Vista Street construction gets underway.

Pan-Pacific themed path markers line the way through backstage.

Inside the park, work continues on Sunshine Plaza's west-side buildings, stripping them down before they begin receiving their new Buena Vista Street look.

The facade for the former Engine Ears Toys is completely gone now.

Slowly removing the train station facade.

Work continues on the Carthay Circle Theater:

Over the weekend, Disney Imagineers unveiled a new statue, named "Storytellers," that will be installed at the new Buena Vista Street area. The statue, like "Partners" at Disneyland, features Walt and Mickey, but this time they're fresh off the train having just arrived to Los Angeles with their suitcases.

New Walt Disney and Mickey Mouse Statue for Disney California Adventure Park Unveiled at D23 Expo
In a presentation at the D23 Expo today detailing the upcoming Buena Vista Street at Disney California Adventure park, Imagineers Ray Spencer, Lisa Girolami and Coulter Winn unveiled a very special piece of this new area.

A new statue of Walt Disney and Mickey Mouse will be featured on Buena Vista Street when it opens in 2012. Walt Disney Imagineering unveiled a maquette similar to the one pictured above, showing what the statue will look like. In this Q&A with the Disney Parks Blog, Ray Spencer, creative director for Buena Vista Street, explains the story behind the remarkable statue.

How does this statue help tell the story of Buena Vista Street?Tell us what is going on in the scene depicted in the statue.How does this statue compliment the iconic Partners statue at Disneyland park?How did you decide on the placement of the statue?
We wanted it in the new Hub, facing the center and on the street corner, so that he is one of our guests. We also wanted him near the Carthay Circle Theatre so that he could be part of that scene as well. [ LINK ]

New lighting fixtures have been installed at the Carthay pump house:


Also shown at D23 Expo was a virtual fly-through of Buena Vista Street, giving a sneak peek at what the area will look like when it opens in 2012. More from the Disney Parks Blog:


<iframe width="675" height="409" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/0mBTTzjziZM?hd=1" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

<a name="DD4-2"></a>CARS LAND
Over in Cars Land, work continues on the major 12-acre expansion.

The backside of Flo's:

Mater's Junkyard Jamboree received several new trees since last weekend. Lookin' good!

A couple new structures down at Mater's Junkyard

The Junkyard from the Blue Sky Cellar patio

Look for the new doors at the Radiator Springs Curios

Flo's V8 Cafe:

Scaffolding continues to come down and the places where the "toothpicks" were cut off are patched over.

While at the D23 Expo this weekend at the Anaheim Convention Center our friend Fishbulb snapped some photos of the backside of Cars Land from the top of the convention center's parking structure. It's an interesting view that we don't normally offer here.

The backside of this rock work will be covered eventually, but won't be nearly as detailed as it is from inside the park.

<a name="DD4-3"></a>PACIFIC WHARF
Nearby the Cars Land construction at Pacific Wharf, the grain silos that were next to the Mission Tortilla Factory have been removed.

Are they getting ready to start work on re-theming work for the rumored Ghirardelli Chocolate factory and soda fountain?

<a name="DD5"></a>THIS & THAT
Disneyland Golden Horseshoe legends Wally Boag and Betty Taylor were honored over the weekend with a special tribute performance over the weekend. Both were long-time performers at Frontierland's Golden Horseshoe and have the distinction of being named Disney Legends. They both passed away earlier this year. The Disney Parks Blog has more on the tribute event:

<blockquote><blockquote>A Tribute to Betty Taylor & Wally Boag at Disneyland Park[ LINK ]</blockquote></blockquote>

In Frontierland, a new cart has popped up adjacent to the Big Thunder Mountain Railroad exit. It was reported online last week that it was being used for promoting Disney Vacation Club, but on Sunday there was no DVC signage, brochures or Cast Members present at the new cart.

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Dateline Disneyland is sponsored by our good friends at the
Howard Johnson Plaza Hotel - Anaheim Resort.
<blockquote>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!</blockquote></td></tr></tbody></table></center>

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</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="#e1e1e1">
Disneyland Park
</td> <td style="border: medium none;" bgcolor="#e1e1e1">
Disney California Adventure
</td></tr><tr><td style="border: medium none;" bgcolor="" valign="top">
Monday-Thursday: 8 am - 12 midnight
Friday-Sunday:[/B] 8 am - 12 midnight
</td><td style="border: medium none;" bgcolor="" valign="top">
Daily: 10 am - 10 pm
</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

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Expected Crowd Levels presented by TouringPlans.com
</td></tr> </td></tr> <tr><td style="border: medium none;" bgcolor="#e1e1e1">
Disneyland Park
</td> <td style="border: medium none;" bgcolor="#e1e1e1">
Disney California Adventure
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MEDUM out of 10
</td><td style="border: medium none;" bgcolor="" valign="top"
MEDIUM 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="#e1e1e1">
Disneyland Park
</td></tr> <tr><td colspan="2" style="border: medium none;" bgcolor="" valign="top" align="left">
  • Disneyland Monorail: Running on a shortened schedule due to Buena Vista Street construction. Monorail opens late at 10 a.m. Monday through Friday. Monorail operates normally Saturday and Sunday.
  • Matterhorn Bobsleds: Closed through September 1 for refurbishment.
  • Haunted Mansion:Indiana Jones Adventure:Pirates of the Caribbean and Blue Bayou Restaurant:Space Mountain:Mark Twain Riverboat:"it's a small world":

</td></tr> <tr><td colspan="2" style="border: medium none;" bgcolor="#e1e1e1">
Disney California Adventure
</td></tr> <tr><td colspan="2" style="border: medium none;" bgcolor="" valign="top" align="left">
  • Redwood Challenge Creek Trail:It's Tough to be a Bug!Engine Ears Toys, Baker's Field Bakery and Bur-r-r Bank Ice Cream: Retail and dining locations are permanently closed. Space will reopen as new offerings in 2012 as part of Buena Vista Street.
  • Greetings! from California and Candy Shoppe: Retail locations close permanently August 28. 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="#e1e1e1">
Downtown Disney & Hotels of the Disneyland Resort
</td></tr> <tr><td colspan="2" style="border: medium none;" bgcolor="" valign="top" align="left">
  • Never Land Pool: Area closed for remodel and re-theming.


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</td></tr><tr><td cellpadding="5" style="border: medium none;" bgcolor="#f1f1f1" width="75%"><blockquote><blockquote><blockquote>Da teline Disneyland spent the weekend at the 2011 D23 Expo and will be bringing you a full report from the event including a look at several panels and presentations, a look at the Walt Disney Archives exhibit, commentary and a review of the three-day convention right here on MiceChat tomorrow; Tuesday, August 23!

Don't miss it!

<img src="http://i1177.photobucket.com/albums/x356/micechat/Dateline%20Disneyland/2011/08-22-11/D23expo-plug.jpg" width="550" border="0">
Click here!

</td></tr><tr><td cellpadding="5" style="border: medium none;" bgcolor="#263778" height="" width="100%"></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%">Disneyland Hotel receives AAA Four Diamond rating
Revenue is up at Disney theme parks despite attendance barely increasing. More from Around Disney:</td></tr><tr><td cellpadding="5" style="border: medium none;" bgcolor="#f1f1f1" width="75%"><blockquote><blockquote><blockquote>Disney hotel gets Four Diamond rating from AAAFor the full story, visit Around Disney: Disney hotel gets Four Diamond rating from AAA</td></tr></tbody></table></center>

<table style="border: medium none;" border="0" cellpadding="5"><tbody><tr><td style="border: medium none;" valign="top" align="left"><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>Okay! That's it for this week's edition of Dateline Disneyland! Be sure to return tomorrow for our recap and review of the 2011 D23 Expo! Thanks for reading and don't forget to say hello to our friends at Touring Plans!

Join in on the discussion below and don't forget to share Dateline Disneyland with your friends and family!

We're only here because of your support.click here!

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 Disneyland!
- Andy

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