Last week Disney officially announced the grand opening of California Adventure's all-new Cars Land and Buena Vista Street areas. The park will close June 14 for a media preview day and officially host its grand re-opening on June 15. Still, there's plenty of finishing touches and construction to be wrapped up throughout the park with major work still taking place along Buena Vista Street and in the 12-acre recreation of Radiator Springs from Pixar's Cars. Over at Disneyland, work continues on the iconic Matterhorn Bobsleds attraction which will officially reopen the same day California Adventure welcomes its first guests to Cars Land.

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.

Big thanks to MiceChat's Fishbulb for covering photos this week.

We've got a huge update for you today, so let's get right to it.
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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="145" align="right" border="0"></a>
  • <a href="#DD1">Welcome to Disneyland!</a>
    Touring Plans crowd forecast
  • <a href="#DD2">Magic Kingdom Makeovers</a>
    Carnation Cafe, Matterhorn repaint
  • <a href="#DD3">Adventurous New Beginnings</a>
    California Adventure opens Cars Land and Buena Vista Street June 15
  • <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">Hollywood Land</a>
    • <a href="#DD5-3">Grizzly Peak Recreation Area</a>
    • <a href="#DD5-6">Cars Land</a>
  • <a href="#DD6">Downtown Changes</a>
    Downtown Disney remodels and changes
  • <a href="#DD3">This & That</a>
    Transportation hub signage
  • <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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<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>It's our first week of spring break crowds! Are you ready? Our friends at Touring Plans are here with their crowd forecast and tips to help you brave the holiday crowds:
<blockquote><blockquote><blockquote>Expect Spring Break crowds this week at Disneyland. 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. With spring break crowds here, 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>
<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., Mar. 13</td><td style="border: medium none;" bgcolor="" valign="top">
9/10
</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:
  • Full block outs this Saturday.
  • Disney California Adventure's lightest day is Thursday, when it's an 8.3 on the Crowd Calendar.
  • Disneyland's lightest day is Sunday, when it's an 8.3 on the Crowd Calendar.
</td></tr><tr><td style="border: medium none;" bgcolor="#f7f6f0" valign="top">Wed., Mar. 14</td><td style="border: medium none;" bgcolor="" valign="top">
9/10
</td></tr><tr><td style="border: medium none;" bgcolor="#f7f6f0" valign="top">Thu., Mar. 15</td><td style="border: medium none;" bgcolor="" valign="top">
9/10
</td></tr><tr><td style="border: medium none;" bgcolor="#f7f6f0" valign="top">Fri., Mar. 16</td><td style="border: medium none;" bgcolor="" valign="top">
9/10
</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%"></td></tr></tbody></table></center> The check-in podium at the Carnation Cafe has been removed. Guests will likely enter the reconfigured Cafe by going through the indoor portion's front doors.





Meanwhile, the Matterhorn Bobsleds ride continues its six-month refurbishment.




The new paint job really does look great.




The Tomorrowland Train Station has reopened after its refurbishment.












<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%"></td></tr></tbody></table></center> On Wednesday, Disney officially announced the opening dates for Cars Land and Buena Vista Street, the two final pieces in the park's major five-year expansion and remodeling project.


Tom Staggs, Chairman of Disney's parks and resorts division made the announcement that the new offerings at the park would open June 15 on the Disney Parks Blog.


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








Disney soon issued an official press release and a video previewing the new lands and attractions with a current look at construction. The press release included the news that the park will be closed on June 14 to apply finishing touches and to host a media preview.
<iframe width="675" height="373" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/WfhvNwvP6ig" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

<blockquote><blockquote><blockquote>Disneyland Resort Announces June 15 Grand Opening of Cars Land, Buena Vista Street and Carthay Circle Theatre[ LINK ]</blockquote></blockquote></blockquote>


<center><a name="DD5"></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%">
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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June 15 rapidly approaches at construction crews continue to work on bringing together the Buena Vista Street project at the front of the park...












Scaffolding has come down at the Clarabelle's Ice Cream and Fiddler, Fifer and Practical Cafe area














Clarabelle's Ice Cream shop:




Elias and Co:










A look at Buena Vista Street from the Monorail






<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%"></td></tr></tbody></table></center>
In Hollywood Land, more facade refurbishments are getting underway...


The Cahuenga Building facade is now behind tarps






The Max Factor Building facade next to Disney Animation continues its refurbishment.







<center><a name="DD5-3"></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> Grizzly River Run didn't quite open on schedule this weekend, but the repainting in the area looks great. Much of the color schemes remain the same, the colors are just fresh and bright and not weathered and worn. This plays well with the shift in theme for this area, removing the contemporary extreme sports theme and dialing its temporal setting back to 1950s.


With the extreme sports theme gone, a stronger focus is now centered on the area's existing "Eureka Gold and Timber Company" backstory








The whole area looks great now.









The rafts for Grizzly River Run have been slightly re-themed, with new period-appropriate props in the raft cargo pouches.





<center><a name="DD5-6"></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>
Cars Land continues to get a lot of finishing touches added...




Last week, the Disney Parks Blog shared a sneak peek at the neon going in at Cars Land:
<iframe width="675" height="373" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/eDr5R0JZ6Z0" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>



Mater's Junkyard Jamboree














Disney recently shared the recipe for the new Veggie Tater Casserole - a new dish coming to Flo's V8 Cafe in Cars Land
<iframe width="675" height="373" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/V4ckLfRwmDQ" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

<blockquote><blockquote><blockquote>Veggie Tater Casserole
Serves 6
  • 3/4 cup bulgur wheat
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 2/3 cup diced onion
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic (about 2 small cloves)
  • 2/3 cup diced zucchini
  • 2/3 cup diced yellow squash
  • 1/2 cup diced red bell pepper
  • 2 1/2 cups vegetarian sausage crumbles, such as Morningstar Farms
  • Coarse salt, freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 4 cups prepared mashed potatoes
  • 6 deli-style slices cheddar or 3/4 cup shredded cheddar
[ LINK ]</blockquote></blockquote></blockquote>




<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%"></td></tr></tbody></table></center>
The LEGO Store in Downtown Disney continues its remodeling project







<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%">
THIS AND THAT
</td></tr></tbody></table></center> Back in Disneyland, Big Thunder Ranch is all decked out for the spring season.








Outside the parks, the Harbor Boulevard transportation hub that Toy Story busses and Anaheim Resort Transit shuttles drop off and pick up at has recently received a lot of very nice new directional and information signage. It looks great and is another nice change for this area that opened over a decade ago with very ugly aesthetics and signage.

















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<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">
Daily: 8 am - 12 midnight</td>
<td style="border: medium none;" bgcolor="" valign="top">
Daily: 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">
HIGH out of 10
</td><td style="border: medium none;" bgcolor="" valign="top"
HIGH out of 10
<tr><td colspan="2" style="border: medium none;" bgcolor="">
Crowd levels are based on a scale from 1 to 10,
with 1 being the least crowded conditions and 10 being most crowded.

For daily crowd predictions for the next 365 days, visit
<img src="http://i1177.photobucket.com/albums/x356/micechat/Dateline%20Disneyland/Sponsors/touringplans-small.png" width="175">
</td></tr>
<tr><td colspan="2" style="border: medium none;" bgcolor="#263778">
Closures and Refurbishment Schedule
</td></tr> <tr><td colspan="2" style="border: medium none;" bgcolor="#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.
  • 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">
  • 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%">Disney Legend Robert Sherman dies at 86
</td></tr><tr><td cellpadding="5" style="border: medium none;" bgcolor="#f1f1f1" width="75%">
<blockquote><blockquote><blockquote>'It's a Small World' Songwriter Robert Sherman Dies at 86
Full Story: Hollywood Reporter: 'It's a Small World' Songwriter Robert Sherman Dies at 86</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 announces dates for 2013 D23 Expo
Will you be attending the 2013 D23 Expo? </td></tr><tr><td cellpadding="5" style="border: medium none;" bgcolor="#f1f1f1" width="75%">
<blockquote><blockquote><blockquote>D23 EXPO-THE ULTIMATE DISNEY FAN EVENT-RETURNS TO ANAHEIM FROM AUGUST 9-11, 2013Full Story: D23: D23 EXPO-THE ULTIMATE DISNEY FAN EVENT-RETURNS TO ANAHEIM FROM AUGUST 9-11, 2013</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>That's all for this week's edition of Dateline Disneyland. Thanks for reading! Please share your thoughts on today's news in the comments section below!

Thanks again to Fishbulb for his help with photos this week.

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

You can help us by buying yourself something through one of our Amazon.com product links! All you need to do is click on any Amazon link you see in today's column. 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! To start shopping on Amazon using our referral code, click any Amazon item in today's update or click here.

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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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