Heavy fog blocked out the view of Disneyland's New Year's Eve fireworks, but that didn't stop big crowds from celebrating in both parks until the early hours of the New Year morning. As crowds packed the park to count down to 2012, Disney announced plans for a 24-hour Leap Day party this February 29 at Disneyland and Walt Disney World. Nearby, the finishing touches are going up at the new Jolly Holiday Bakery Cafe at the end of Main Street, U.S.A. as it gets ready to open this Thursday. Meanwhile, significant construction progress is being made throughout Disney California Adventure, with new facades going up along the park's new Buena Vista Street main entrance plaza and more trees and neon signage being installed throughout the heavily-themed Cars Land area. Outside the parks, the Island Charters shop has closed in Downtown Disney and more details continue to emerge at the Disneyland Hotel.

We're happy to announce that you can now click on photos in Dateline Disneyland to view a higher-resoultion version of the image. Because of this new feature, you will no longer be able to click on photos featuring Project Tracker watermarks to be redirected to those threads on our MiceChat discussion boards. For your convenience, we've added handy Project Tracker banners at each relevant section of the update, so if you'd like to learn more about any project in today's update or join the on-going discussion on the MiceChat forums, all you need to do is click on through!

We hope you and yours had a very happy New Year celebration. Let's jump right into 2012 with our first Disneyland update of the year!
<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="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="145" align="right" border="0"></a>
  • <a href="#DD1">Welcome 2012!</a>
    Disneyland Resort rings in the new year, Touring Plans crowd forecast
  • <a href="#DD2">One More Disney Day</a>
    Disney announces 24-hour Leap Day events for Disneyland and Walt Disney World
  • <a href="#DD4">Practically Perfected</a>
    Jolly Holiday Bakery gets ready to open at the end Main Street
  • <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">Cars Land</a>
  • <a href="#DD5">Virtually Disneyland</a>
    Innoventions remodels, adding Kinect play stations
  • <a href="#DD6">Disneyland Hotel Remodel</a>
    Disneyland Hotel water slides reopen, new tower details emerge
  • <a href="#DD7">This and That</a>
    Island Charters in Downtown Disney closes
  • <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>Sponsored by TouringPlans.com | Do More. Wait Less.</center></td></tr></tbody></table></center>
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WELCOME 2012!
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The Disneyland Resort theme parks rang in the new year with a big selection of live entertainment, music and midnight fireworks shows.


Electronic signs at parking lots and by main entrance plaza security checkpoints encouraged guests to celebrate at California Adventure instead of Disneyland, promising midnight fireworks.



Despite the ticket offer, Disneyland was extremely busy, with guests claiming space along the Central Plaza early in the afternoon for the midnight show.




New Year's Eve stage up in Small World Promenade


Univision broadcasted live from the park in front of Sleeping Beauty Castle and in Small World Promenade.



Over at Disney California Adventure, ElecTRONica was set to ring in the new year:





Live entertainment and a champagne bar was scheduled for Paradise Garden's first New Year's Eve.


New Year's Eve balloons flying over Paradise Garden


A very festive bandstand



Sideshow acts and other live entertainment was set for Paradise Pier



The warm daytime temperatures helped bring in heavy evening fog that rolled in mid-evening, several hours before the midnight celebration.



With the fog, the best bet to see any New Year's Eve entertainment was California Adventure. Low-level fireworks and the World of Color fountains would be easier to see in the fog than Disneyland's fireworks display.


Below, our video of DCA's "Fountains and Fireworks" midnight show. As you can see, by the middle of the five-minute show, the fireworks smoke, mist from the fountains and the fog had completely obscured the show. Note: A technical difficulty cut a portion of the 10-second countdown-to-midnight from our video. The rest of the show is intact.
<iframe width="675" height="373" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/yhnHMd7l2LA" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>


Over at Disneyland, the fog completely washed out the show, as you can see in MiceChatter asianbma's video below:
<iframe width="675" height="373" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/hVLJ_GViBrk" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>



The post-midnight lighting at Sleeping Beauty Castle was pretty spectacular.




Happy New Year!



With 2012 officially underway, our friends at Touring Plans have the first look at crowd levels as we enter the new year.
<blockquote><blockquote><blockquote>Crowds begin to ease up following the New Year holiday, but remain moderately high throughout the week as Disneyland continues its popular holiday offerings through January 8 this year. TouringPlans.com can help you navigate the parks with our per-park <a href="http://touringplans.com/disneyland-resort/crowd-calendar?utm_campaign=ads&amp;utm_medium=website&a mp;utm_source=dateline&amp;utm_content=r1&amp;prop erty_id=2">Crowd Calendar</a>, <a href="http://touringplans.com/disneyland-app?utm_campaign=ads&amp;utm_medium=website&amp;ut m_source=dateline&amp;utm_content=r1&amp;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&amp;utm_medium=website&amp; utm_source=dateline&amp;utm_content=r1&amp;propert y_id=2">Touring Plans</a> detailing the best plan of attack for hitting the attractions. With holiday crowds on the horizon, 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&amp;utm_medium=website&a mp;utm_source=dateline&amp;utm_content=r1&amp;prop erty_id=2">Crowd Calendar.</a>

Statistician, TouringPlans.com
</blockquote></blockquote></blockquote>

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</td><td colspan="1" width="25%" style="border: medium none;" bgcolor="#f1f1f1">
RESORT-WIDE
Crowd Calendar Prediction
</td><td colspan="1" width="53%" style="border: medium none;" bgcolor="#e1e1e1">
Crowd Tips
</td></tr><tr><td style="border: medium none;" bgcolor="#f7f6f0" valign="top">Mon., Jan. 2</td><td style="border: medium none;" bgcolor="" valign="top">
10/10
</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:
  • Blockouts return to the weekends for SoCal/SoCal Select Annual Passes.
  • Disney California Adventure's low day will be Tuesday, when it's a 7.4.
  • Disneyland park's lowest day will be Tuesday, when it's a 7.8.
</td></tr><tr><td style="border: medium none;" bgcolor="#f7f6f0" valign="top">Tue., Jan. 3</td><td style="border: medium none;" bgcolor="" valign="top">
8/10
</td></tr><tr><td style="border: medium none;" bgcolor="#f7f6f0" valign="top">Wed., Jan. 4</td><td style="border: medium none;" bgcolor="" valign="top">
8/10
</td></tr><tr><td style="border: medium none;" bgcolor="#f7f6f0" valign="top">Thu., Jan. 5</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>


<center><a name="DD2"></a><table style="border: medium none;" border="0" width="100%" style="border: 1 solid black"><tbody><tr><td style="border: medium none;" bgcolor="#e1e1e1" width="100%">
ONE MORE DISNEY DAY
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As promised, Disney revealed its not-so-secret "One More Disney Day" promotion at midnight Eastern time on Dick Clark's Rockin' New Year's Eve telecast. The secret reveal wasn't anything Disney fans were surprised by, but the announcement confirmed rumors of a 24-hour party at Disneyland in Anaheim and Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom park on Leap Day, February 29. In addition to the 24-hour Leap Day party, Disney will also choose a daily winner for 60 days straight who will receive a Disney theme park vacation for four. More information in the press release below:

<blockquote><blockquote><blockquote>[ FULL STORY ]</blockquote></blockquote></blockquote></blockquote></blockquote>

Despite the announcement, details remain vague on the 24-hour event. Will it be a special-ticket event? Will the 24-hour event offer special entertainment or attractions? Or will it just simply be business as usual for 24 hours? Below, Disney's promotional video for the 24-hour Leap Day event:
<iframe width="675" height="373" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/VsCR2QiuA4s" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>


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At the end of Main Street, the new Marry Poppins-themed Jolly Holiday Bakery Cafe is nearly ready to go with an opening date set for Thursday, January 5.




The new LED-lit marquee is now turned on and looks nice.




Below, a video of the new lit marquee at night. It's not as noticeable in the video, but the light pattern does have a hard change at one point. A minor issue, but it would be a nice detail to get fixed.
<iframe width="675" height="373" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/pzAhq3TKcl0" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

A new light fixture at the entrance to the cafe.




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CALIFORNIA CONSTRUCTION
A look at the on-going $1 billion remodel and expansion efforts at Disney California Adventure
<hr width="100%" color="white"><a name="DD3-1"></a>BUENA VISTA STREET
<img src="http://i1177.photobucket.com/albums/x356/micechat/Dateline%20Disneyland/dcatracker-minibanner-formoreinfo-long2.png" width="375">
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Construction is progressing quickly now on the new Buena Vista Street facades. It's pretty exciting to see the progress here!































Heading back toward the main entrance, the backside of the west shop facades





Further in the park, the new Carthay Circle Theatre continues to emerge. It looks pretty fantastic so far; a great new icon for the park.










The time-lapse camera atop the theatre looks down Buena Vista Street.


Tower tile work








The new wrought-iron marquee is going up behind the green tarps


Wow!





The future Elias and Co. store




New work on the former Candy Shoppe facade


Eastern Buena Vista facades




The upcoming Clarabelle's Hand-Scooped Ice Cream parlor and the Fiddler, Fifer and Practical Cafe






Lots of progress!



<center><a name="DD3-2"></a><table style="border: medium none;" border="0" width="100%" style="border: 1 solid black"><tbody><tr><td style="border: medium none;" bgcolor="#e1e1e1" width="100%"></td></tr></tbody></table></center>
New trees have blocked much of the view down Radiator Springs' Route 66 from the Blue Sky Cellar patio.


Through the trees you can spot new neon signage up on the buildings.





Mater's Junkyard Jamboree




New string lights up over Mater's Junkyard





Looking toward Fillmore's Taste-In



Views from Mickey's Fun Wheel:


Cozy Cone Motel


More new trees in front of Radiator Springs Curios



















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VIRTUALLY DISNEYLAND
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Back in Disneyland, we noticed some new-to-us changes at Innoventions.


A couple sections of the upper level have been remodeled, most notably the XBox 360 area, which is now almost exclusively a free play area for the XBox Kinect.


The area looks nice, but it still is a little disappointing to see an over glorified video game department from your local Best Buy open as part of an attraction at Disneyland.


Even more odd is that you can now play the new Kinect Disneyland Adventures game here while you're at Disneyland. Seems weird - why wouldn't you just go explore the park in-person? You're already there!







Honda is back with a display for their new 2012 Civic Hybrids.








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Outside the parks at the Disneyland Hotel, the Monorail water slides have reopened after some unscheduled maintenance.






Over at the Adventure Tower, a new mural is up and Jungle Cruise animatronic animal moquettes are on display









The Davy Crockett floral Mickey near the Frontier Tower is now all planted and growing in.



Over in the Fantasy Tower, shiny new chrome accents at the Fantasy Shop have been installed





The new Mary Blair-inspired carpet looks great throughout the Fantasy Tower lobby areas





Outside, the main entrance is slowly starting to get some texture and color work done on its cement.





And some repaving work is taking place along the outside of the hotel's convention center





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THIS AND THAT
</td></tr></tbody></table></center>
The old Island Charters shop next to D Street has finally closed after its recent going-out-of-business sale.


The empty shop will soon reopen as a temporary location for the LEGO store down the way while LEGO's permanent location closes for a major remodel project.





Over at the AMC Theatres, banners are already up for Disney's next live action flick - John Carter.



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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 Matterhorn Mountain at Disneyland with nearby dining, freeway access, FREE parking and FREE Wi-Fi. For more information on HoJo Anaheim, room rates, or to book your stay today, visit HoJoAnaheim.com/MiceChat.

MiceChat.com and Annual Passholder Discounts Available Every Day!
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.



See Disneyland from the comfort of 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>

<a name="DDNEWS"></a>
<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><A HREF="http://ws.amazon.com/widgets/q?ServiceVersion=20070822&MarketPlace=US&ID=V20070 822%2FUS%2Fdisneylandres-20%2F8001%2F4fbf2cff-aca2-4b01-a4a2-0f4400889107&Operation=NoScript">Amazon.com Widgets</A></NOSCRIPT></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-Saturday: 8 am - 12 midnight
Sunday: 8 am - 11 pm</td>
<td style="border: medium none;" bgcolor="" valign="top">
Monday: 10 am - 10 pm
Tuesday-Thursday : 10 am - 9 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 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="#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">
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="#e1e1e1">
Disneyland Park
</td></tr> <tr><td colspan="2" style="border: medium none;" bgcolor="" valign="top" align="left">
  • Opens January 5.
  • Big Thunder Ranch: Closed to remove holiday overlay January 9 - 18.
  • Haunted Mansion: Closed to remove holiday overlay January 9 - 23.
  • Matterhorn Bobsleds: Closed for major refurbishment including the addition of new ride vehicles January 9 - June 14.
  • "it's a small world": Closed to remove holiday overlay January 23 - February 2.
  • Sailing Ship Columbia: Closed for refurbishment January 23 - February 17.
  • Davy Crockett Explorer Canoes: Closed for one day, January 24.
  • Blue Ribbon Bakery, Gibson Girl Ice Cream Parlor and Candy Palace: Food service locations and shops close January 2012 for major restaurant and shopping expansion projects affecting current spaces.
</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 Creek Challenge Trail: Closed for refurbishment January 9 - 27.
  • Grizzly River Run: Closed for refurbishment January 23 - March 2.
  • Soarin' Over California: Closed for refurbishment January 30 - February 3.
  • Ghirardelli Chocolate Company and Soda Fountain: New Ghirardelli chocolate shop and soda fountain will open in the space formerly occupied by the Mission Tortilla Factory. New dining location opens late-spring 2012.
  • Buena Vista Street: Re-themed main entrance including new Red Car Trolley attraction are under construction through summer 2012.
  • Cars Land: New 12-acre land opens summer 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">
  • Island Charters: Downtown Disney retail location closed permanently. A replacement has yet 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" width="100%">Disneyland fireworks return following injury-related hiatus
Disneyland stopped their fireworks for several days over the last two weeks following some firework-related injuries that Disney employees suffered. The fireworks were back by the New Year's Eve holiday.</td></tr><tr><td cellpadding="5" style="border: medium none;" bgcolor="#f1f1f1" width="75%">
<blockquote><blockquote><blockquote>Disneyland fireworks returnFull Story: Around Disney: Disneyland fireworks return</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" width="100%">Disney recognizes 55 years of service from longest-tenured Cast Member
Carnation Cafe's Oscar Martinez celebrated his 55th year with Disney last week. Congrats!</td></tr><tr><td cellpadding="5" style="border: medium none;" bgcolor="#f1f1f1" width="75%">
<blockquote><blockquote><blockquote>Happiest Worker marks 55 years at DisneyFull story: Happiest Worker marks 55 years at DisneyTouringPlans!

Did you celebrate at Disneyland on New Year's Eve? Are you planning on attending the 24-hour Leap Day party? Let us know in the comments section below!

As you may have noticed, we've recently reinstated our Amazon Associates links. If you still need to complete some holiday shopping for folks on your list, consider making your purchase using our Amazon referral code. It doesn't cost you anything, but your purchases will help support Dateline Disneyland so we can keep the updates coming to you every week through the next year! To start shopping on Amazon using our referral code, click any Amazon item in today's update or click here.

We're only here because of your continued 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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