New Orleans Square is decked out in its celebratory finest as it kicks off its multi-weekend Mardi Gras celebration. The New Orleans Bayou Bash! events bring an array of live entertainment and special food items to New Orleans Square. Meanwhile, work continues on the Main Street U.S.A. dining expansion projects as well as the major Matterhorn Bobsleds refurbishment. Over at Disney California Adventure, the new neon Cozy Cone Motel marquee has arrived in Cars Land and construction on the park's new Buena Vista Street area continues as it moves closer to its June opening. In Downtown Disney, the popular Earl of Sandwich restaurant will open its first California location this summer after the Compass Books and Cafe closes at the end of March. Meanwhile, Downtown Disney has a variety of special events scheduled for a fun Valentine's Day outing.

Get a closer look at today's update! You can now click on any photo in today's column for a large, high-resolution version of the image.

It's been another busy week at Disneyland, so 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><img src="http://i1177.photobucket.com/albums/x356/micechat/Dateline%20Disneyland/2012/02-13-12/ac021312opena.jpg" width="660">
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="165" align="right" border="0"></a>
  • <a href="#DD1">Welcome to Disneyland!</a>
    Touring Plans crowd forecast, New details at Jolly Holiday Bakery
  • <a href="#DD2">Magic Kingdom Makeovers</a>
    Carnation Cafe work, Main Street facade refurbishments, Matterhorn work
  • <a href="#DD3">Lock(er) and (Re)load</a>
    New charging lockers allow guests to charge a variety of devices
  • <a href="#DD4">Mardi Gras Land</a>
    New Orleans Bayou Bash! celebrates Mardi Gras with characters, entertainment and food
  • <a href="#DD5">California Construction</a>
    A look at the on-going construction at Disney California Adventure...
    • <a href="#DD5-1">Buena Vista Street</a>
    • <a href="#DD5-2">Golden State</a>
    • <a href="#DD5-3">Cars Land</a>
    • <a href="#DD5-5">Paradise Pier</a>
  • <a href="#DD6">Downtown Disney changes</a>
    Earl of Sandwich announced, LEGO Store remodel
  • <a href="#DD7">Disneyland Hotel remodel</a>
    More finishing touches appear at the Disneyland Hotel
  • <a href="#DD8">This & That</a>
    Downtown Disney cosmetic work and Valentine's Day offerings
  • <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>
</center>


<center><a name="DD1"></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%">
WELCOME TO DISNEYLAND!
</td></tr></tbody></table></center>
Statistician, TouringPlans.com
</blockquote></blockquote></blockquote>
<center><table style="border: medium none;" border="0" cellpadding="5" width="575"><tbody><tr><td colspan="1" style="border: medium none;" bgcolor="#e1e1e1" rowspan="1" width="22%">
</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">Tues., Feb. 14</td><td style="border: medium none;" bgcolor="" valign="top">
3/10
</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:
  • Partial block outs this weekend.
  • Disney California Adventure is a 1.9 on Thursday.
  • Disneyland is only a 2.5 on Valentine's Day!
</td></tr><tr><td style="border: medium none;" bgcolor="#f7f6f0" valign="top">Wed., Feb. 15</td><td style="border: medium none;" bgcolor="" valign="top">
1/10
</td></tr><tr><td style="border: medium none;" bgcolor="#f7f6f0" valign="top">Thu., Feb. 16</td><td style="border: medium none;" bgcolor="" valign="top">
1/10
</td></tr><tr><td style="border: medium none;" bgcolor="#f7f6f0" valign="top">Fri., Feb. 17</td><td style="border: medium none;" bgcolor="" valign="top">
6/10
</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 new Jolly Holiday Bakery Cafe at the end of Main Street continues to get some minor changes and additions...


Additional figurines have been added to the display cases in the bakery's indoor queue






This change happened a few weeks ago, but the "Please Come Again" sign on the back of the Jolly Holiday's marquee has been changed to Bert's last line from the film, "Don't stay away too long!"


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Over at the Carnation Cafe, work continues on that restaurant's expansion project.




A couple awnings are starting to come down now on the restaurant's outdoor dining patio.



Next to the Carnation Cafe, the facades that were being refurbished are now out from behind painter's tarps and look fresh and new again









Over at the Matterhorn, work continues on that attraction's major overhaul that's set to run through mid-June.


Details on the Matterhorn's major renovation project from the Orange County Register:

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
















<center><a name="DD3"></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%">
LOCK(ER) AND (RE)LOAD
</td></tr></tbody></table></center>Back on Main Street, the locker rental area on East Center Street now offers Charging Lockers.


There are two options when selecting your Charging Locker, the first option offers cables that allow you to charge Apple, Andriod, and mini-USB devices and cameras. The other option allows you to charge devices via AC power.




We tried one of the multi-device lockers on Saturday. The lockers run $2 per hour and you are required to pay for the first hour up front. If you exceed your pre-paid first hour, you'll have to pay $2 for each additional hour before you can re-open your locker to retrieve your device.


We're big fans of enjoying a show at the Golden Horseshoe while our phone charges at one of the many free outlets along the upper balcony, but these new charging lockers are a good option if you don't have a spare hour to spend waiting for your phone to recharge. Also, if you need to recharge your camera battery, keep in mind that the Main Street Photo Supply at the end of Main Street has long-offered complimentary camera battery charging services.



<center><a name="DD4"></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%">
MARDI GRAS LAND
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In New Orleans Square, Disneyland is celebrating Mardi Gras with several weekends of its "New Orleans Bayou Bash!" event.


Disney's press release gives details on the event that will run weekends through mid-March.

<blockquote><blockquote><blockquote>[ LINK ]</blockquote></blockquote></blockquote>

Princess Tiana, Prince Naveen and Louis from "The Princess and the Frog" perform regularly along the Rivers of America and appear for meet-and-greets








The New Orleans Traditional Jazz Band performs throughout the day as well


<iframe width="675" height="373" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/S9CeQeVAMPo" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>



A couple third-party vendors have carts in Magnolia Park between the French Market Restaurant and The Haunted Mansion. Ralph Brennan's Jazz Kitchen's cart sells a selection of New Orleans cook books and mardi gras beads and the Kaman's Art Shoppe cart offers themed face painting for kids.









New Orleans Square restaurants offer a selection of special-menu items during the Bayou Bash weekends.


French Market offerings


Harbour Galley item:


New Orleans Square's popcorn cart bacon-cheddar flavored popcorn:



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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="DD5-1"></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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Buena Vista Street continues to take shape at the entrance to Disney California Adventure...


The major expansion projects underway at Disney California Adventure as well as new attractions, parks and cruise ships Disney is building across the world will add thousands of new jobs over the course of 2012. The Orange County Register had details on their Around Disney blog:

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
















Disney has auditions scheduled on March 10 and 11 for a variety of musicians that will be part of a new musical group called "Five and Dime" set to debut as part of Buena Vista Street in "early June." It's worth mentioning that the Disney Audition's "early June" timeframe for the debut of this show could point to a target date for the opening of Buena Vista Street. The DisneyAuditions.com



Elias and Co. Department Store













<center><a name="DD5-2"></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%">
GOLDEN STATE
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Over in Condor Flats, the entrance continues to undergo subtle changes to make it look less worn and contemporary and more idealized and period-appropriate.




Further into Condor Flats, the new stage is set for the new Minnie's Fly Girls Charter Airline show.


The new show is set to debut this Friday and will bring the sounds of the 30s, 40s and 50s together with Minnie Mouse.





Nearby in the Grizzly Peak Recreation Area, the Grizzly River Run water rapid ride is still drained for its refurbishment that runs through early March.







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Work continue in Cars Land...


Disney CEO Bob Iger confirmed last week the new land will open in June. More from the OC Register:
<blockquote><blockquote><blockquote>Disney announces Cars Land opening time[ FULL STORY ] </blockquote></blockquote></blockquote>


The new neon marquee for the Cozy Cone Motel food service location has been installed and a new brick facade is up on a building in Cars Land as that land continues to move toward its summer opening.










Disney will host a special merchandise showcase in March featuring new items designed for Disney California Adventure, including Cars Land. The showcase will be exclusive to Disneyland Resort Annual Passholders and will be open on select dates in the Hollywood Pictures Backlot. Details from the Disney Parks Blog below:

<blockquote><blockquote><blockquote>Save the Date! Annual Passholder Preview at the Disneyland Resort[ FULL STORY ]</blockquote></blockquote></blockquote>

Below, a couple previews at logos that will appear on some new Cars Land merchandise.





The beginning of the Cars Land entry sign


New lampposts around the Cars Land perimeter





The old Bountiful Valley Farms barn facade, which is being repurposed as queue space for the upcoming Mater's Junkyard Jamboree attraction continues to get its new yellow paint and aging treatment for the structure's new tin roof.




Flag banners over Luigi's Flying Tires


Cozy Cone Motel




The scaffolding has come down on the Paradise Bluffs-side of the Cars Land mountain range











<center><a name="DD5-5"></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>
Paradise Pier's new Midway Shops facades got new colors over the last week that seem to better match the existing signage.



























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Disney announced last week that the first California location for the popular Earl of Sandwich restaurant chain will open in Downtown Disney this summer, replacing the Compass Books store.


The OC Register had further details on an opening timeline on their Around Disney blog:
<blockquote><blockquote><blockquote>[ FULL STORY ]</blockquote></blockquote></blockquote>

A rendering of the new shop shows a covered outdoor dining patio for the new sandwich shop.


A look at the Compass Bookstore as it exists today



Nearby in Downtown Disney, the LEGO Store continues its major remodel.



<center><a name="DD7"></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>
The new Disneyland map mural has been uncovered at the main entrance of the Disneyland Hotel.






Lots of fun to look at this vintage art!



<center><a name="DD8"></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%">
THIS AND THAT
</td></tr></tbody></table></center>
Back in Downtown Disney, the work continues around the various storefronts, with new walls up in front of Ridemakerz and Wetzel's Pretzels...




Walls are down around Catal




Also, Downtown Disney is celebrating Valentine's Day today and tomorrow with some special offerings.


A look at the offerings from the official Disneyland website:
<blockquote><blockquote><blockquote>Dazzle Your Valentine at Downtown Disney District
If you're looking for a creative way to get your sweetheart to swoon, there's no better place than Downtown Disney District. Choose from an array of romantic options:

Live Music
The sound of swing lindy-hops its way to the Downtown Disney District main stage for 4 consecutive nights. Take in velvet vocals, rowdy horn sections and vintage grooves from 6:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. the entire weekend.
  • Monday February 13 The Wise Guys
  • Tuesday, February 14 Tim Gill & The All-Stars
Performers subject to change without notice.

Gone With the Wind at the AMC
Through February 16

Take advantage of this rare opportunity to the see this timeless, epic love story on the big screen! Considered one of the most beloved and popular films of all time, Gone with the Wind continues to amaze audiences over 70 years after its release.

Check AMC Theatres to purchase tickets and view showtimes online.

Dining
Select dining establishments including Ralph Brennan's Jazz Kitchen, Catal and House of Blues will be featuring special menus for a decadent night out. On Valentine's Day, House of Blues will be featuring Will Denny White and Zappa Plays Zappa in the music hall. [ LINK ]</blockquote></blockquote></blockquote>


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MiceChat.com and Annual Passholder Discounts Available Every Day!
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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-Tuesday: 9 am - 9 pm
Wednesday-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 - 9 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">
LOW-HIGH out of 10
</td><td style="border: medium none;" bgcolor="" valign="top"
LOW-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">
  • Matterhorn Bobsleds: Closed for major refurbishment including the addition of new ride vehicles through June 14.
  • Sailing Ship Columbia: Closed for refurbishment January 23 - February 17.
  • Fantasmic!: Dark while under refurbishment January 23 - February 17.
  • Carnation Cafe, Blue Ribbon Bakery, Gibson Girl Ice Cream Parlor, Candy Palace, Penny Arcade and Refreshment Corner: 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">
  • Grizzly River Run: Closed for refurbishment through March 9.
  • 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 temporary LEGO Store has opened in this location, with a permanent replacement yet to be announced.
  • La Brea Bakery & Cafe: Quick-service cafe portion closed. Reopens spring 2012 with significant modifi
</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%">Take a look inside Walt Disney's firehouse apartment with the Lady and the Tramp Blu-ray
The new Lady and the Tramp Blu-ray combo packs has a great new bonus feature where Dianne Disney Miller takes you inside her dad, Walt Disney's firehouse apartment at Disneyland. The Disney Parks Blog ran a story on the Blu-ray feature. We've included a link to the Amazon product page so you can get your copy today!</td></tr><tr><td cellpadding="5" style="border: medium none;" bgcolor="#f1f1f1" width="75%">
<blockquote><blockquote><blockquote>
<iframe src="http://rcm.amazon.com/e/cm?lt1=_blank&bc1=F1F1F1&IS2=1&bg1=F1F1F1&fc1=0000 00&lc1=0000FF&t=disneylandres-20&o=1&p=8&l=as4&m=amazon&f=ifr&ref=ss_til&asins=B 0061QD82E" style="width:120px;height:240px;" scrolling="no" marginwidth="0" marginheight="0" frameborder="0"></iframe>
</blockquote></blockquote></blockquote>
</td></tr><tr><td cellpadding="5" style="border: medium none;" bgcolor="#263778" height="" width="100%">Full Story: </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%">Visits to Disney theme parks increased late last year
Disney spoke with investors last week about their quarterly reports and noted the increase in guests and spending at Disney theme parks. Around Disney has more info: </td></tr><tr><td cellpadding="5" style="border: medium none;" bgcolor="#f1f1f1" width="75%">
<blockquote><blockquote><blockquote>Visits increased to U.S. Disney parks late last yearFull Story: Around Disney: Visits increased to U.S. Disney parks late last year</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%">Modern Family may be visiting Disneyland
ABC's hit sitcom Modern Family may be eyeing Disneyland as filming location for a future episode. TV Guide has more: </td></tr><tr><td cellpadding="5" style="border: medium none;" bgcolor="#f1f1f1" width="75%">
<blockquote><blockquote><blockquote>Will Modern Family Meet Mickey?
Following their trips to Hawaii and a dude ranch, Modern Family's next family outing will take the whole Pritchett/Dunphy/Delgado/Tucker gang to the happiest place on Earth.

Disneyland, part of the ABC/Disney family, is being eyed as a shooting location for an episode to air during May sweeps. My spies also tell me the Dunphys may run in to a familiar face at the park... someone not seen in several months. Hint: Think dim-witted and musically inclined.
</blockquote></blockquote></blockquote>
</td></tr><tr><td cellpadding="5" style="border: medium none;" bgcolor="#263778" height="" width="100%">Full Story: TV Guide: Will Modern Family Meet Mickey?</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 all for this week's edition of Dateline Disneyland. Many thanks, as always, for reading. Please join in our discussion and share your thoughts in the comments section below!

Don't forget to visit our great sponsors over at Touring Plans when planning your next visit to Disneyland!

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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 Disneyland!
- Andy


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