Refurbishments and minor construction projects continue to pop up and make progress around Disneyland as the park gets ready for the start of the Halloween Time season Friday. The park-wide work and changes include the addition of safety-minded handrails throughout the Golden Horseshoe, to the detriment of the saloon's show quality. Over in New Orleans Square, work continues on installing the Haunted Mansion Holiday seasonal overlay as Pirates of the Caribbean closes for a two-month refurbishment. Meanwhile, the park's historic Carnation Plaza Gardens stage gets ready to close down later this month before it is transformed into a performance area for princesses; a part of the new Fantasy Faire. Over at Disney California Adventure, another milestone in the park's remodel was made last week as Disney Imagineers crowned the Carthay Circle Theater with its new cupola. Nearby in the Hollywood Pictures Backlot, the after-dark ElecTRONica dance party has gone dark for September and the popular California Screamin' roller coaster along Paradise Pier is closed while its loop is replaced.

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!

It's another busy week before we jump into the Halloween season! Let's get started!

<center><table style="border: medium none;" border="0" width="670"><tbody><tr><td style="border: medium none;" bgcolor="#263778" height="" width="100%"><center>
Inside Dateline Disneyland</center></td></tr><tr><td style="border: medium none;" bgcolor="#f1f1f1" width="100%"><a href="" target="new"><img src="" width="165" align="right" border="0"></a>
  • <a href="#DD1">Welcome to Disneyland!</a>
    Touring Plans crowd forecast
  • <a href="#DD0">Scare up the Season with MiceChat</a>
    Join the Scariest Space in Cyberspace for some Halloween thrills at our Nights of Horror events
  • <a href="#DD2">Refurb Round-up</a>
    A look at the current refurbishments and construction projects underway at Disneyland...
    • <a href="#DD2-1">Carnation Gardens' last dance</a>
    • <a href="#DD2-2">Untangling Fantasyland</a>
    • <a href="#DD2-3">Golden Horseshoe handrails</a>
    • <a href="#DD2-4">New Orleans Square closures</a>
    • <a href="#DD2-5">Tomorrowland repaving</a>
  • <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">Hollywoodland</a>
    • <a href="#DD3-3">Paradise Pier</a>
    • <a href="#DD3-4">Cars Land</a>
  • <a href="#DD4">Dateline Disneyland Bookshelf</a>
    A book review:
  • <a href="#DD5">This & That</a>
    Promoting Aulani
  • <a href="#DDNEWS">Weekly News and Information Round-Up</a>
    Weekly theme park hours, closures and refurbishments.
</td></tr><tr><td style="border: medium none;" bgcolor="#263778" height="" width="100%"><center><center>Sponsored by | Do More. Wait Less.</center></td></tr></tbody></table></center>

Our friends at Touring Plans have their weekly crowd forecast for the Disneyland Resort.

<blockquote><blockquote><blockquote>Light crowd levels continue this week until Disneyland's popular Halloween Time offerings begin this weekend. can help you navigate the parks with our per-park <a href=" ource=dateline&utm_content=r1&property_id=2">Crowd Calendar</a>, <a href=" =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=" 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 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=" ource=dateline&utm_content=r1&property_id=2">Crowd Calendar.</a>


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</td><td colspan="1" width="25%" style="border: medium none;" bgcolor="#f1f1f1">
Crowd Calendar Prediction
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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., Sept. 12</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:
  • Partial blockouts this weekend.
  • Resort-wide crowd levels rise to 7 on Friday as Halloween Time officially kicks off.
  • Disneyland park's lowest days will be Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, when it's an 1.1.
</td></tr><tr><td style="border: medium none;" bgcolor="#f7f6f0" valign="top">Tue., Sept. 13</td><td style="border: medium none;" bgcolor="" valign="top">
</td></tr><tr><td style="border: medium none;" bgcolor="#f7f6f0" valign="top">Wed., Sept. 14</td><td style="border: medium none;" bgcolor="" valign="top">
</td></tr><tr><td style="border: medium none;" bgcolor="#f7f6f0" valign="top">Thu., Sept. 15</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=" ource=dateline&utm_content=r1&property_id=2">Disneyland crowds</a> for the next 365 days.
Get <a href="" ce=dateline&utm_content=r1&property_id=2">Disneyland wait times</a> on your<a href=""> iPhone</a>,<a href=" re=search_result"> Android</a>, or Smartphone.

Do more. Wait less.

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

Disneyland kicks off its annual Halloween Time festivities on Friday, but if Haunted Mansion Holiday and Disneyland's extra-cost nighttime family costume parties aren't scary enough for you, the team here at MiceChat have put together a line-up of truly terrifying events for your haunting pleasure. Our MiceChat Nights of Horror events take you behind-the-scenes and to the front-of-the-lines at Southern California's best Halloween haunts. Tickets are on sale now and are going fast, so take a look at our line-up and get your tickets before it's too late!

The time to haunt is upon us once again. Prepare to sink deep into the thick fog and roam the night looking for the most terrifyingly fun haunted attractions around the SoCal area. Welcome to MiceChat Nights of Horror.

Discusion and updated info on MiceChat HERE.
  • Admission & Early Entry
  • Backstage tour (Maze/costuming/make-up)
  • Pre-Scare Dinner
  • Meet and Greet with Haunt makers and legends
  • Raffle with your chance to be a monster in a haunt maze that night
  • Front of the line access to mazes
  • VIP seating to all shows

A $150 value for only $85!

Discusion and updated info on MiceChat HERE.
  • Admission & Early Entry
  • Pre-Scare Dinner
  • Meet and Greet with John Murdy
  • Front of the line access to mazes and Terror Tram (One time use per maze)
  • VIP seating to all shows

A $160 value for only $95!

Discusion and updated info on MiceChat HERE.
  • Admission
  • Dinner
  • Front of the line access
  • Meet Talent Director David Wally

An $80 value for only $55!

<a name="DD2"></a>REFURB ROUND-UP
A look at the current refurbishments and construction projects underway at Disneyland.

Last week the OC Register's Around Disney blog shared new information on the construction plans for Disneyland's iconic Carnation Plaza Gardens area, which is set to be removed and turned into an interactive Disney Princess meet-and-greet area. Disney told the Register that construction in the area will start later this month, but wouldn't disclose a specific date.

Here's what the OC Register had to say:

<blockquote><blockquote><blockquote>Carnation Plaza Gardens to bid Faire well[ FULL STORY ]</blockquote></blockquote></blockquote>

Back in Fantasyland, it looks like Rapunzel is already getting ready to move into her new home at the Fantasy Faire. Her meet-and-greet between Pinocchio's Daring Journey and the Village Haus Restaurant is still open for business, but the exterior tower overlay and Rapunzel's hair is now gone.

Don't let the photo fool you; you can still meet Rapunzel, we just took the photo after her meet-and-greet had closed for the day.

Walking down the nearby Big Thunder Trail into Frontierland, the Golden Horseshoe's boardwalk is still getting some refurbishment work done.

Inside, the saloon's balcony has reopened after being temporarily closed by Cal/OSHA in recent weeks. It was unclear why the area was closed, but now that it's open it's pretty hard to miss the changes made upstairs.

Additional handrails have been installed on top of all of the balcony banisters. The addition is obviously safety-related and while we're unable to confirm if Cal/OSHA mandated the new safety railing, it's likely their closure of the balcony is related to the installation of these new handrails. Keep in mind, Cal/OSHA are the same folks whose safety concerns forced Disney into putting up the ugly safety scaffolding around the outdoor portion of the Alice in Wonderland track last year.

The addition looks pretty silly.

Not only is the new safety railing kind of ugly, the addition also impacts the guest experience at the venue. If you're sitting at a table upstairs during a Billy Hill and the Hillbillies show, you'll have to deal with the new handrails in your way.

It's understandable that safety is a top priority at Disneyland, but we couldn't find any reported incidents of guests falling off the balcony here in the park's 56-year history. So, with such a long history of Disneyland guests not hurting themselves here, why add these handrails now? Why sacrifice show quality for seemingly unnecessary safety precautions?

The silliest part of this might be the addition of a handrail on top of the banister that runs down the stairs as well as a handrail that runs alongside the staircase banister. Three ways to hold on as you come down the stairs is just enough for the new Cal/OSHA-approved Golden Horseshoe!

Further down the Rivers of America in New Orleans Square, the land's two major attractions are currently closed. Pirates of the Caribbean and the connected Blue Bayou Restaurant are closed through late November for refurbishment.

Nearby, the Haunted Mansion remains closed until later this week when it reopens with its annual Haunted Mansion Holiday overlay.

Last week, Disney released a sketch of this year's animated gingerbread house that will be the centerpiece of the ballroom scene. From the Disney Parks Blog:

<blockquote><blockquote><blockquote>Sneak Peek at Haunted Mansion Gingerbread House at Disneyland Park[ FULL STORY ] </blockquote></blockquote></blockquote>

It's almost ready to open.

Along the river, walls are up for some plumbing work.

The work has put one of the area's drinking fountains out of commission for now.

Over in Tomorrowland, repaving work in front of Captain EO is underway.

Work continues on the remainder of California Adventure's $1 billion-dollar remodel and expansion...

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Contact <a href=""></a> or <a href=""></a>!

<a name="DD3-1"></a>BUENA VISTA STREET
Last week Disney crowned the new Carthay Circle Theater with its pre-fabricated cupola. The installation of the new piece gives a sneak peak at the great detail coming to Buena Vista Street and the Carthay Circle Theater at the park's main entrance.

You can spot the Carthay spire from the ground of the Main Entrance Plaza as well as aboard the Monorail.

Disney released a video of the cupola's installation, which took place overnight last Wednesday.

<blockquote><blockquote><blockquote>Carthay Circle Theatre Cupola Installed at Disney California Adventure Park[ FULL STORY ]</blockquote></blockquote></blockquote>

<iframe width="675" height="409" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

Great new tile work.

The Cathay Circle pump house:

<a name="DD3-2"></a>HOLLYWOOD LAND
In the Hollywood Pictures Backlot, ElecTRONica has gone dark for September while it gets some minor refurbishment work and enhancements.

From the OC Register:

<blockquote><blockquote><blockquote>Tron-themed show taking September off[ FULL STORY ]</blockquote></blockquote></blockquote>

No word yet on what kind of enhancements will be coming to the Tron: Legacy-themed nighttime dance party as it nears its one-year anniversary.

<a name="DD3-3"></a>PARADISE PIER
Over at Paradise Pier, California Screamin' is closed through mid-October for refurbishment and a complete replacement of the loop's track.

No loop!

The bridge to Paradise Pier has received some new decorative wrought-iron railing. With World of Color crowds lining this bridge nightly, it makes sense that the bridge get altered in a way that would deter parents from sitting their young ones on the handrail during the show.

It's not quite finished yet...

<a name="DD3-4"></a>CARS LAND
Meanwhile, work continues in Cars Land...

Views from the Pacific Wharf area show new wooden boxes installed in the rock work at the Cars Land entrance.

You can also get a better look at the "toothpicks" along the backside of the Cars Land mountain range that faces Paradise Pier. These toothpicks are the beginnings of the sea bluff that will hide the backside of the Radiator Springs mountains from guest view in Paradise Pier.

Mater's Junkyard Jamboree:

Looking down Route 66


<center><table style="border: medium none;" border="0" width="500"><tbody><tr><td style="border: medium none;" bgcolor="#e1e1e1" width="100%"><blockquote><blockquote>
Editor's Note: We added this review of the fantastic new "Fireworks Photography" e-book to last week's column after we initially published. We're running it again this week in case you missed it. Also, I just couldn't pass up the chance to run these ridiculously great Disney fireworks photos again!
Every now and then we like to feature products on Dateline Disneyland that I think are great additions to any Disney fan's collection. In the past, we have featured new theme park-related books and DVD sets Disney has released that we think our readers would enjoy. Today, we're taking a look at a new book that is brought to you buy some great Disney theme park photographers and that we think is a fantastic read for just about anybody who visits Disney parks. Do note that for the purposes of this review, Dateline Disneyland received a complimentary copy.

<blockquote><blockquote>I'm terrible at fireworks photography, which is why you really don't see too many fireworks photos here in Dateline Disneyland. Despite owning a DSLR and feeling pretty confident about my photography in other areas, I've never been able to get fireworks right. It's a shame considering how often I'm at Disneyland with my camera. So, I actually got pretty excited when friend, fellow Disney photographer and owner of Tom Bricker contacted me about a new eBook he co-authored with Cory Disbrow and Adam Hansen, the team behind the fantastic DisneyPhotographyBlog.comFireworks Photography: Helping You Capture Better Fireworks Photos

<blockquote><blockquote>I was worried when I first picked up my iPad to read this text that it would be another typical photography book: dry, more confusing than it should be, and dense like a text book or manual. Luckily, this book isn't written by the folks who write the Canon manuals, nor is it a college photography text book. It's written for just about anybody who can pick up a camera, and that's a very good thing. Photography can be pretty intimidating, and it can be tough to find tutorials or tips that really put the technical aspects of photography in terms that are easy to understand. Fireworks Photography does this, and it does this exceptionally well. The book is littered with witty, playful banter from our authors and it summarizes the tedious technical information into simple terms that everybody can understand. Most pages include quick tips that will help you along, and the book is filled with gorgeous photos that serve as inspiration for your future fireworks photography endeavors. </blockquote></blockquote>

<blockquote><blockquote>I think one of the book's major strengths is that it understands that all photographers have to start somewhere and creative, masterful photography won't happen overnight. I could see that this was kept under heavy consideration throughout the writing and the authors do a great job of encouraging repeat attempts and even offer some sample camera settings for beginners. And for those of us who lack DSLR cameras and other professional equipment, Tom, Cory and Adam include full sections and chapters on shooting with point-and-shoot cameras (as opposed to DSLR models) and without a professional tripod.</blockquote></blockquote>

<blockquote><blockquote>The book is just over 50 pages, which is very manageable, but could seem like a lot considering the book only focuses on one type of photography. However, the wonderfully approachable writing style and the number of photos in the book make it a breeze to read. The book zips by and after finishing it I felt empowered to try my hand again at fireworks photos. </blockquote></blockquote>

<blockquote><blockquote>The best part of this book, however, may just be the price. It's currently available at 50% off for only $7. It's an eBook, so you can instantly download it as a .PDF and start reading, which is great for those of us who enjoy instant gratification or who are preparing for a visit to Disneyland or Walt Disney World this weekend. It may be the team's first book, but it's a pretty remarkable first effort. And, after looking over their Flickr portfolios and browsing their blogs, picking up this book is a no-brainer. Why wouldn't you want to return from your Disney vacation with photos like theirs? </blockquote></blockquote>

To get a copy of Fireworks Photography, visit!

Progress continues to be made at the Disneyland Hotel remodel as the project nears its November completion date.

New walls are up in the main lobby as remodeling work continues here in phases.

You can once again exit the Fantasy Tower through its rear doors.

To the right, the Fantasia Shop is now closed for remodeling.

To the left, the walkway to Downtown Disney is once again open.

Reconfigured landscaping.

It's good to have this entry point open again.

Construction continues at the E-Ticket Pool

<a name="DD5"></a>THIS & THAT
With the Soundsational Summer banners gone, new banners are up for Aulani, Disney's new Hawaiian timeshare property.

<a name="DDNEWS"></a><center><table style="border: medium none;" border="0" width="670"><tbody><tr><td style="border: medium none;" bgcolor="#f1f1f1" width="100%">

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

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>

<table style="border: medium none;" border="0" cellpadding="5" width="670"><tbody><tr><td colspan="3" style="border: medium none;" bgcolor="">
</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: 10 am - 8 pm
Friday-Sunday: 8 am - 12 midnight
</td><td style="border: medium none;" bgcolor="" valign="top">
Monday-Thursday: 10 am - 8 pm
Friday-Sunday: 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 Theme Park Calendar

</td></tr><tr><td colspan="2" style="border: medium none;" bgcolor="#263778">
Expected Crowd Levels presented by
</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
</td></tr><tr><td style="border: medium none;" bgcolor="" valign="top">
LOW-MEDIUM 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="" width="175">
<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.
  • Haunted Mansion: Closed through September 15 to install Haunted Mansion Holiday overlay.
  • Space Mountain: Closed through September 15 to install Ghost Galaxy seasonal overlay.
  • Mark Twain Riverboat:"it's a small world":Pirates of the Caribbean and Blue Bayou Restaurant: Closed through November 23 for refurbishment.
</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:California Screamin': Closed through October 14 for refurbishment and loop replacement.
  • It's Tough to be a Bug!Sunshine Plaza: Main entrance plaza and related dining, retail and guest services are closed. Space will reopen as Buena Vista Street in 2012.
  • 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">
  • Fantasyland Tower lobby areas, Never Land Pool, Adventure Tower-area walkways: Areas closed for remodel and re-theming. Hotel remodel set to be completed in November 2011.

<table style="border: medium none;" border="0" cellpadding="5"><tbody><tr><td style="border: medium none;" valign="top" align="left"><a href=""><img src="" width="100" align="left"></a>Alrighty, that wraps up our column for this week. Go check out the How to Photograph Fireworks e-book and visit our sponsors 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 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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FTC-Mandated Disclosure:
Promotional consideration for the September 12, 2011 edition of Dateline Disneyland was provided by | Do More. Wait Less.