Theme park crowds should be ramping up for Spring Break or Easter Vacation or whatever they call it in your area. Did you know that there's another tried and true indicator that the hordes will be swarming into our Disney parks? Just as reliable as Punxsutawney Phil? It's true...

Denise Preskitt discovered these harbingers of Spring Break during a recent visit to the Magic Kingdom. We're not telling, though. You'll have to read further to find out for yourself.

Alain Littaye of the Disney and more blog is out of the country (which for him is France) but called on his friends in the blogosphere to help with a photo essay on the preparations that are under way for the 20th anniversary celebration at Disneyland Paris. Alain is pleased to note that the Nautilus is getting the tender loving care that he was hoping for.

Sir Clinksalot challenged himself by running the LA Marathon last weekend. I have been following Sir Clink's progress on Facebook as he returned to running and began training for this ultimate race. After some successes with shorter events, he has now mastered one of the original modern Olympic events. You'll love seeing the photos of the many familiar Los Angeles landmarks that he ran past during the event.

Have a great weekend! See you next week...

Denise has Fantasyland construction, Spring Break harbingers plus a visit to the really cool Theme Park Connection store:

We went to the top of the Contemporary Resort and took photos and video of Fantasyland. I wish we had a transparent wall so it was easier to see from inside Fantasyland!

Our video from the roof:

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Grand Floridian DVC Villa Construction area:

New T-Shirts in the Epcot German Pavilion:

Green Beer at the United Kingdom Pavilion on St. Patrick's Day:

The sand castle promoting the upcoming film Chimpanzee is finished:

Inside the Magic Kingdom, Mr. and Mrs. Easter Bunny:

Our Easter Bunny video:

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The original Citrus Swirl is back:

Work in New Fantasyland:


And here are a few more items that we found at the Theme Park Connection store in Winter Garden last week:

I love the old McDonald's glasses:

We had the opportunity to interview the owner at that time, and take video of the store:

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As always, you can read about all of these stories in more detail at Denise's website:

Disneyland Paris Update
Getting Ready for the 20th Anniversary

This week, our good friend, Alain Littaye, from the Disney and More blog, brings us up to date on preparations for the Disneyland Paris 20th Anniversary.

Hello Everyone! Today a long Disneyland Paris Update with plenty of pictures, thanks to good friends from the Disney Gazette and Disney Central Plaza forums, who have been very helpful as I am not in Paris right now, and couldn't take the pictures myself. As you will see, the park is getting ready for the 20th and the last refurbishments are now fast reaching completion for the future enjoyment of all Disneyland Paris guests.

However let's begin by something which is not totally finished yet, but will be soon. The World of Disney mega-store located at the entrance of the Disney Village. The giant bronze-colored dome is now in placed at the top, and the store, should be finished and ready to open its doors next September.

Near the World of Disney, Anette's Restaurant is closed for refurbishments until April 6.

Let's move to the Disneyland Park now, where everything is getting ready for the 20th anniversary. On your way to the entrance, you can see the new 20th anniversary banners!

In Adventureland, after months of work, the new Captain Hook ship is now finished! And it looks more beautiful than ever, with plenty of "gold" color which were not part of the previous version on opening day, including the figurehead. To help you to see the differences here are two pictures of the ship shot in the 1990's.

And now, a selection of pics of the brand-new ship, thanks to photographs of Disney Gazette. The ship looks pretty different with its new colors, doesn't it? The new look is a bit more "threatening".

Nearby, in Frontierland, the Riverboat pier refurbishment will soon be over, while the Mark Twain awaits its major refurbishment inside the recently built wooden shed near the Rivers of the Far West.

On Central Plaza the work to remove the big stage on the hub are finished and in the picture below posted by Steven Davison, you'll see that there will be plenty of space to welcome the thousands of guests who will watch the show every night, beginning on April 1st.

Around Sleeping Beauty Castle the final preparations for the Disney Dreams show are now over and flame thrower structures which will be used for the fire effects appeared recently.

In Fantasyland, the long refurbishment which took place on Alice's Curious Labyrinth, is now over and apparently all the hedges have been replaced, which is good news as they were in bad condition. The Labyrinth characters have also been repainted.

Now we arrive at the big event of the week, the Nautilus has been fully restored! In a previous article I showed you what terrible condition the Nautilus was in (the exterior part in Discoveryland lagoon.) Now, that is just a bad memory from the past, as they did what has to be done! They emptied the lagoon, cleaned the whole submarine, and repaired and repainted all the parts that were in need of care. Let's begin this series of pictures by showing the sub in its previous condition in the lagoon, before the work began. The first picture below is from Fourche of Disney Gazette.

The next pictures are from DLRP-Welcome from DCP Forum.

Now let's have a look at DLP maintenance and painters at work on the Nautilus restoration. These first pictures are from MaxIllusion from Disney Gazette.

The next two pictures show the Nautilus now restored, and are from MaxIllusion from Disney Gazette.

And these last ones are from Engineer of DCP forum.

Looks like they've done a pretty good job on the Nautilus. And the walls all around the lagoon as well as the bubble air system have been refurbished too. The lagoon will be refilled soon as the refurbishment is scheduled to be finished on March 25th. With this last ship and the Mark Twain currently under restoration, all DLP ships are now restored, and the park will look fresh and new for its 20th anniversary which begins April 1st!

Inside DLP shops the 20th merchandise is arriving little by little, and one of my favorite so far are these retro styled items! You can see different styles of 20th merchandise items on Disney Gazette at the bottom of the article.

The highly awaited Disney Dreams show will have its premiere in 8 days from now, so the next DLP update will be dedicated to it!

Remember you that that you still can order a collector copy of the DLP book. The list price now applies but we're offering FREE SHIPPING for each order placed before April 31st! Place your pre-order now for a collector's edition copy while you can get this special offer on this wonderful book!! Here's how to order:

Share your vacation photos with the Weekend Update

Sir Clinksalot ran the LA Marathon last weekend. Yes, we said the LA MARATHON!

Sir Clinksalot ran his first marathon last weekend, the 2012 LA Marathon.

The weekend started off with the Expo that was held at Dodger Stadium.

The Expo and Marathon was sponsored by Honda

The Expo was quite large

Need any Race or Expo info? This is the place.

Yes, the Marathon goes through ALL of that

A map of the race

Our friends from RunDisney were also at the Expo

One of the more touching booths. This was for support of the 3.11 orphans, those children who lost parents during the earthquake/tsunami in Japan last year.

I plan on it!!!

Sunday morning started WAY too early (waking up at 1:30am), drive to Santa Monica then a shuttle to Dodger Stadium.

If you've always wanted to see Dodger Stadium at 4am ... well, here you go.

They had the stands open for us to sit in, which was nice since there were about 3 hours between my arrival and the race start time.

The jumbotron had some stories from celebs who run the race as well as just letting us know why we were there.

The starting line

As the morning wore on, more runners started arriving

Sir Clinksalot before the race

Just before the race started, the sun made it's appearance which was a welcome sight.

And were off for 26.2 miles

Please run home safely?

Mile 2 led us into Chinatown

Even though the road seems congested, it really wasn't bad

The performers along the course were fantastic!

Mile 3 led us by City Hall

This has been seen in a LOT of movies

The biggest hill of the race was at mile 4 ... the training really paid off here

Heading past Walt Disney Concert Hall on the way to Queen of Angels

Follies is coming to LA, don't miss it!!!

Quite a few of these "Zombie" signs along the course, but they were great!!

My 10k split was about 1:10 (I started 10 minutes after the leaders)

Running down Hollywood Blvd

Pantages Theater

El Capitan

Kodak Theater

Superman was out cheering us on!!

Mann Chinese Theater

The 1/2 way point ... it was here where I wondered why I didn't run the relay.

The Laugh Factory


The Comedy Store

The Whiskey A Go-Go

After the Sunset Strip, we headed into Beverly Hills

And eventually down Rodeo Drive

Mile 18 ... only 8 more to go!!

Mile 22, this is where I hit "the wall"

Only 2 miles to go!!

Almost there!!!

Making the last turn onto Ocean Ave. and about 3/4 mile to the finish.

Ended up crossing the finish at 5:56 after sprinting the last 1/2 mile to the end. It was truly a memorable experience. Still not sure if I'll ever do another one though.

If you are ever looking for a great "tour of LA", this is really an awesome way to do it. Sometimes living here we forget how many awesome things there are to do in LA, I'm making it a priority to go and do some of the things I ran by this year.

Also, congratulations to the winners of the race Fatuma Sado and Simnon Njoroge.

Might we also suggest that you visit these fine MiceAge/MiceChat attractions for even more Disney and theme park fun:
  • MiceTube - Introducing MiceChat's new channel on YouTube. Kevin Yee and MiceChat Sarah have been uploading entertaining videos weekly, along with many other of your MiceAge and MiceChat favorites.
  • Dateline Disneyland which is packed with great news and photos from the Disneyland Resort.
  • Orlando Parkhopper featuring news and photos from Disney World and Orlando area theme parks.
  • In The Parks offers news, updates and tips from Disneyland and other Southern California offerings.
  • SAMLAND - Your weekly look at some interesting tales from Disney history.
  • MiceDeals - You won't want to miss out on these great deals for Orlando and Anaheim!
  • Vacationeering - Every Sunday, we feature articles designed to help you create magical family vacation memories!

And that brings us to the end of another week. Our photographers have just enough time to reload their cameras before we see you all again next weekend. Thank you to all of our wonderful readers, and as always, a huge thank you to our amazing team of global photographers, spies, and go

Denise Preskitt
Alain Littaye Disney and more blog
Sir Clinksalot

Your Editor - Rixter

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