Spring rain washed out the first wave of busy spring break season at Disneyland and temporarily brought construction in both parks to a halt over the weekend. Despite the weekend rain, plenty of progress can be seen at the projects underway in both parks and in Downtown Disney. More details have been revealed at Disney California Adventure's new Buena Vista Street entrance plaza as well as in the park's 12-acre Cars Land expansion. In Disneyland, the Carnation Cafe expansion continues with the restaurant's facade sporting a new color scheme as the nearby Matterhorn Mountain makes progress on its major refurbishment and repainting. In Downtown Disney, the LEGO Store is getting some fun new LEGO sculptures installed and construction continues at the La Brea Bakery expansion.

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.

Thank you to our photo contributors today, Fishbulb, Loren Javier and Ron W.

There's plenty to see in the parks this week, so let's get started.
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Inside Dateline Disneyland</center></td></tr><tr><td style="border: medium none;" bgcolor="#f1f1f1" width="100%"><a href="https://www.paypal.com/cgi-bin/webscr?cmd=_s-xclick&hosted_button_id=3874837" target="new"><img src="http://i1177.photobucket.com/albums/x356/micechat/Dateline%20Disneyland/donatetoplong.png" width="125" align="right" border="0"></a>
  • <a href="#DD1">Welcome to Disneyland!</a>
    Touring Plans crowd forecast, Rainy days at Disneyland
  • <a href="#DD2">Magic Kingdom Makeovers</a>
    Carnation Cafe expansion, Matterhorn repaint
  • <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="#DD5-6">Cars Land</a>
  • <a href="#DD6">Downtown Changes</a>
    Downtown Disney remodels and changes
  • <a href="#DD3">This & That</a>
    Minnie's fly outfit, Pirates celebrates 45 years
  • <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!
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Rainy weather washed out the big crowds that were expected over the first spring break weekend of the season. Our friends at Touring Plans have a look at this week's crowds forecast now that the rain has passed.
<blockquote><blockquote><blockquote>It will be another busy week of Spring Break crowds 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>
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RESORT-WIDE
Crowd Calendar Prediction
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Crowd Tips
</td></tr><tr><td style="border: medium none;" bgcolor="#f7f6f0" valign="top">Tues., Mar. 20</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 Monday, when it's an 8.3 on the Crowd Calendar.
  • Disneyland's lightest day is Tuesday, when it's an 8.8 on the Crowd Calendar.
</td></tr><tr><td style="border: medium none;" bgcolor="#f7f6f0" valign="top">Wed., Mar. 21</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. 22</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. 23</td><td style="border: medium none;" bgcolor="" valign="top">
10/10
</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.

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The rain cleared Disneyland of its Spring Break crowds



<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> Half of the former Blue Ribbon Bakery's facade came out from behind refurbishment tarps sporting a new red color scheme. Looks good.




The Blue Ribbon marquee is gone but some Blue Ribbon signage remains for now...



Repainting continues at the Matterhorn...








Work continues at the attraction's queue and loading areas








Over at Sleeping Beauty Castle, some of the drawbridge banners are gone while their posts get some work done...


Themed boxes cover the space where the banner posts usually are.



<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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The Buena Vista Street project is looking great with more thematic details emerging every day.




The new red and yellow color scheme at the upcoming Oswald's Filling Station


Inside the park, the new












Elias and Company Department Store:








New light posts in the area


Carthay Circle Theater marquee




Roof tiles are starting to be placed at the Carthay.




Views of South Buena Vista Street from the Monorail:








North Buena Vista Street:




Flagpole area


Oswald's Filling Station




<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> Work is wrapping up on the facade refurbishments in Hollywood Land.


The Max Factor Building was still behind walls over the weekend, but painting had finished up.











Nearby, the Cahuenga Building facade re-painting is done and the "Souvenir Itch" sign, one of the many puns that littered the land, has been removed.


Further back in Hollywood Land, the Monsters Inc. facade is now getting re-painted.





At night, guests are now experiencing the final evenings of the ElecTRONica dance party as Disney finally announced the official closing date for the long-standing evening offering.


ElecTRONica will conclude April 15 after a series of dance competitions that begin Monday and Tuesday, March 19 and 20. The Disney Parks Blog had more information last week:
<blockquote><blockquote><blockquote>[FULL STORY ]</blockquote></blockquote></blockquote>


<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 race toward its June 15 opening date... Lights are now up on the future "Welcome to Radiator Springs" billboard




Transformers have gone up on the light posts along Route 66.










Mater's Junkyard Jukebox:



















<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 remodel is coming along nicely.


You can spot Prince Philip ready to battle Maleficent under the black tarp




The La Brea Bakery's expansion is also coming along behind its construction walls





<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
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Back in California Adventure, Minnie now sports a new costume during her new "Minnie's Fly Girls" show and meet-and-greet in Condor Flats. Nice!




Over in Disneyland, Pirates of the Caribbean celebrated its 45th anniversary over the weekend. Disney released a video tour of the Pirates rides around the world to celebrate the occasion.
<iframe width="675" height="373" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/VjbSlY64Nsw" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>


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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="99%"><tbody><tr><td colspan="3" style="border: medium none;" bgcolor="">
WEEKLY NEWS AND INFORMATION ROUND-UP
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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
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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
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Disney California Adventure
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HIGH out of 10
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HIGH out of 10
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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>
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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
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  • 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
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<center><table style="border: 0pt solid black;" bgcolor="#d6d4ac" cellpadding="5" width="99%"><tbody><tr><td style="border: medium none;" bgcolor="#263778" width="100%">Disney launches program to hire returning U.S. veterans
Disney announced a new initiative to hire 1,000 returning U.S. veterans over the next three years at their shareholders meeting last week. Details:</td></tr><tr><td cellpadding="5" style="border: medium none;" bgcolor="#f1f1f1" width="75%">
<blockquote><blockquote><blockquote>
  • Provide at least 1,000 jobs, career opportunities for returning U.S. veterans over the next three years.
  • Support military families, veterans transitioning into civilian life.
  • Launch a national public awareness campaign to encourage job opportunities for veterans.
Full Story: </td></tr></tbody></table></center>

<center><table style="border: 0pt solid black;" bgcolor="#d6d4ac" cellpadding="5" width="99%"><tbody><tr><td style="border: medium none;" bgcolor="#263778" width="100%">Cast Member musicals raise $20,000 for charity
Disneyland's popular "Flashback" Cast Member musical series for charity raised $20,000 for charity this year. Congrats to all the Cast involved! </td></tr><tr><td cellpadding="5" style="border: medium none;" bgcolor="#f1f1f1" width="75%">
<blockquote><blockquote><blockquote>Cast Member Musicals at the Disneyland Resort Raise $20,000 for CharityFull Story: Disney Parks Blog: Cast Member Musicals at the Disneyland Resort Raise $20,000 for Charity</td></tr></tbody></table></center>

<center><table style="border: 0pt solid black;" bgcolor="#d6d4ac" cellpadding="5" width="99%"><tbody><tr><td style="border: medium none;" bgcolor="#263778" width="100%">Woman gives birth in Disneyland parking lot
From the OC Register's Around Disney blog:</td></tr><tr><td cellpadding="5" style="border: medium none;" bgcolor="#f1f1f1" width="75%">
<blockquote><blockquote><blockquote>Woman gives birth outside DisneylandFull Story: Around Disney: Woman gives birth outside Disneyland</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>Alright, that wraps up this edition of Dateline Disneyland. Thank you for reading and be sure to share your thoughts in the comments section below? Are you happy or sad to see ElecTRONica go?

Thanks again to our guest photographers this week: Fishbulb, Loren Javier and Ron W. You can see more of Fishbulb's great theme park photography every week here in MiceChat's In the Parks blog. For more of Loren and Ron's great Disneyland photography, check out their Flickr pages: ,

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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