We’re back! It’s been a few weeks, but we finally have a photo update ready for you.

Spring is beginning to show at the Disneyland Resort. The beautiful trees around the hub are in bloom and the tulips are not far behind. The weather is warm, and the spring break crowds are beginning to arrive! This past weekend saw increased crowds from early spring break and a large cheerleader competition at the Anaheim Convention Center. The crowds will only increase over the next few weeks – consider yourself warned. Visit these weekly updates to see the Touring Plans predictions, and I highly suggest purchasing a subscription from them as well. Their tools are excellent, and will help you do more with your time.

Also this week, the Tomorrowland Starcade quietly opened up with over a dozen vintage arcade games. The games are transplants from ElecTRONica’s Flynn’s Arcade, and are a welcome addition to the space which was once used as an arcade.

Spring time at Disneyland

But first a word from Touring Plans on this week’s Disneyland crowd predictions:


The busy spring break season continues at Disneyland. TouringPlans.com can help you navigate the parks with our per-park Crowd CalendarLines – Mobile Wait Times App that gives access to current and estimated wait times for attractions, and Touring Plans detailing the best plan of attack for hitting the attractions. Now more than ever, 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 Crowd Calendar.

Day
Resort Crowd Prediction
Tuesday, March 19, 2013
9 out of 10
Wednesday, March 20, 2013
9 out of 10
Thursday, March 21, 2013
8 out of 10
Friday, March 22, 2013
9 out of 10

Here are some quick-hit notes that we hope you’ll find helpful as you prepare your visits for the week:

  • Saturday is a 9 out of 10.
  • There are no Annual Pass blackouts in effect this Monday through Thursday.
  • Thursday is the best day to visit Disneyland
  • Fastpass tickets for Radiator Springs Racers usually “sell out” within the first hour of DCA’s regular park hours.

See Disneyland crowds for the next 365 days.

Get Disneyland wait times on your iPhone, Android, or Smartphone.

Do more. Wait less.

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Partners in Bloom

Spring time on Main Street

Disneyland Main Street USA

The scrims are down from around the Main Street USA train station, although the station remains closed through March 28th – the Disneyland Railroad remains open.

Disneyland Main Entrance

Main Street Train Station Refurbishment

Main Street Train Station Refurbishment

Disneyland, Main Street Train Station

A New Limited Time Magic, Annual Passholder Event:

Disney Legend and Chief Archivist Emeritus, Walt Disney Archives, Dave Smith will take Annual Passholders on a photographic journey back in time to examine this history of Disneyland. The special event will take place on March 22, 2013 at the Main Street U.S.A. Opera House at 5:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m.

Bob Iger - Dave Smith 40th Anniversary

Dave Smith joined the Walt Disney Company as the director, and original founder, of the Walt Disney Archives when the division was established on June 22, 1970 working there until his retirement in 2010.

READ ON —>

Fantasy Faire

The Fantasy Faire opened this past week to large crowds. Of course that was expected. Wait times for the Royal Hall princess meet-and-greet seemed to maintain reasonable times however. Guests are being asked to park their strollers outside of the area to help save space, and the stage shows are routinely filling to capacity.

Fantasy Faire

Fantasy Faire

Guests are allowed to line the rail outside of the Royal Theatre, however once those areas are full the Cast Members are asking guests to return to a later show. If you want to view one of the performances I would advise you to get there early.

Fantasy Faire

Fantasy Faire

Fantasy Faire

One of the major concerns with the opening of the Fantasy Faire was if Disney would continue with the traditional practice of having princesses meet guests randomly on Main Street and Fantasyland. This past week proved that Disney has no immediate plans to change this great aspect of visiting Disneyland.

Cinderella

Fantasy Faire

Holy stroller parking!

"it's a small world" stroller parking

Limited Time Magic Easter Egg Hunt at Disney California Adventure

Limited Time Magic continues with an Easter egg hunt at both EPCOT and Disney California Adventure.

March 18 – 24, 2013, guests will have the opportunity to search for special hidden “eggs” which will be themed to Disney characters. Special park maps will accompany the “egg” hunt allowing guests to chart their finds

DCA Limited Time Magic Egg Hunt Map

Unlike previous events, there is a purchase cost associated with this Limited Time Magic event. The map and set of stickers, which are used to chart your progress as you find the hidden “eggs”, will cost $4.95 (plus tax – Annual Pass discount does not apply). Guests can purchase the maps at Elias & Co., Oswald’s, Radiator Springs Curios, Tower Hotel Gifts and Treasures in Paradise. The maps, whether complete or not, can be turned in at Elias & Co. where guests can receive a “surprise”.

READ ON –>

STARCADE

The Tomorrowland Starcade quietly reopened this past weekend featuring 26 vintage arcade games, two pinball machines and a air hockey table. The games share space with the Startrader, and are mostly located to the rear of the building – although some have been sporadically placed among the merchandise displays.

The Starcade features the following arcade games:

  • Off Road
  • PacMan
  • Qix
  • Stargate
  • Space Invaders
  • Galaxian
  • Battlezone
  • Asteroids
  • Missile Command
  • Galaga
  • Road Blasters
  • Super Cobra
  • Scramble
  • TRON
  • R-Type
  • Donkey Kong Jr.
  • Joust
  • Dig Dug
  • Centipede
  • Track & Field
  • Kung-Fu
  • Arkanoid

The Starcade also features four Fix-It-Felix games, an air hockey table and two pin ball machines (TRON: Legacy and Cyclone).

The machines were basically wheeled into place, with no real attempt at theming. It’s a bit out of place to have vintage, 1980’s arcade games in Tomorrowland, however it is nice to see any arcade games back in use at the Starcade following years of absence. Fans of the popular Flynn’s Arcade in ElecTRONica should immediately recognize these machines.

Starcade, Vintage Games

Starcade, Vintage Games

Starcade, Vintage Games

Starcade, Vintage Games

Starcade, Vintage Games

Starcade, Vintage Games

Starcade, Vintage Games

Starcade, Vintage Games

Disney doesn’t miss an opportunity to place merchandise or, in this case, candy in front of you.

Starcade, Vintage Games

Very generic  lighting trusses have been set up throughout the area to aid in lighting.

Starcade, Vintage Games

One dollar gives you four tokens. All games were one token (.25 cents per play), except for the pinball machines which were four tokens ($1).

Starcade, Vintage Games

Starcade, Vintage Games

The upstairs area of the Starcade remains closed off.

Starcade, Vintage Games

Celebrate Greek Food, Music and Meet Celebrity Chefs at the Disneyland Resort in May

'Opa! A celebration of Greece' at Disneyland

The Disneyland Resort is celebrating Greek culture with “Opa! A celebration of Greece”, featuring special music, dance, art, food and history at Disneyland and Disney California Adventure in May.

Each day, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. at each park, Disney will host special events, and on May 26th, celebrity chef Argiro Barbarigou and winemaker Christina Boutari will appear at the Golden Vine Winery inside Disney California Adventure.

At Disneyland in the “it’s a small world” mall:

  • Olympics training with Hercules – Learn techniques for events such as the discus, javelin and leaping from Hercules himself.
  • Atmosphere entertainment by “The Citizens of Greece” as they educate, philosophize and guide guests through the festivities.
  • Live performances from Greek musicians and dancers
  • Special Greek food offerings available at the Carnation Cafe, Redd Rockett’s Pizza Port and special food carts.

At Disney California Adventure in the Paradise Garden:

  • Greek wine tastings
  • Live performances from Greek musicians
  • Kalamatianó line dances
  • Special Greek food offerings available at Boardwalk Pizza & Pasta, Paradise Garden Grill and special food carts.
  • Atmosphere entertainment by “The Citizens of Greece” as they educate, philosophize and guide guests through the festivities.

READ ON –>

 

Around the Resort

The My Disneyland Birthday parties at the Plaza Inn are no more. Disney held the last of these parties this past week.

Plaza Inn My Disneyland Birthday

Plaza Inn My Disneyland Birthday

Plaza Inn My Disneyland Birthday

Work continues on the Fantasyland Theater.

Fantasyland Theater Refurbishment

Fantasyland Theater Refurbishment

The Fantasyland Theater and “Mickey and the Magical Map” will open on May 25, 2013.

Mickey and the Magical Map

Opening Date Set for “Mickey and the Magical Map” Stage Show at Disneyland

With the princesses moved into their permanent location in the new Fantasy Faire, the all-new stage show,“Mickey and the Magical Map” is set to open in the Fantasyland Theater on May 25, 2013.

“Mickey and the Magical Map” tells the story of sorcerer Yen Sid (Disney spelled backwards) and his young apprentice Mickey Mouse. The live, music-fill stage show will run 25-minutes and makes use of a large LED screen which comes alive as a ‘magical map’. When Mickey attempts to paint an unfinished spot on the map, he’s suddenly transported on a journey into familiar Disney stories featuring music from The Jungle Book, Pocahontas, and Tangled.

Read ON —->

Fantasyland Theater Refurbishment

Also this past week Annual Passholders who attended the “Making Of” Fantasy Faire pannel discussion got a real treat…Tony Baxter was in attendance.

Fantasy Faire Imagineer Pannel: Tony Baxter, Michel Den Dulk, Christopher Utley

Fantasy Faire Imagineer Pannel: Tony Baxter, Michel Den Dulk, Christopher Utley

The old Light Magic towers along the “it’s a small world” mall are receiving some attention.

small world mall, tower refurbishment

small world mall, tower refurbishment

Over in Frontierland, the Pioneer Mercantile facade refurbishment is complete.

Pioneer Mercantile

Inside, some very interesting shirts have sprung up.

I’m not a big fan of the title Disneyland with resort constantly attached to it, but theses are completely inaccurate.

It’s a bit confusing how the title “resort” can be attached to the “est. 1955” date.

Disneyland Tee Shirts

Disneyland Tee Shirts

Disneyland Tee Shirts

Now these are nice!

Disneyland Tee Shirts

The Refreshment Corner arch is being re-installed.

Coke Corner Arch Refurbishment

Coke Corner Arch Refurbishment

Over on Buena Vista Street some changes have taken place…again.

Buena Vista Street has been a bit of a puzzle since the beautiful 1920’s rendition of Los Angeles opened in June of last year. Since then the shop windows have been changed (several times) and the Glendale-Hyperion Bridge, which services the Monorail, was repainted three times. Well, once again the shop windows have been changed. This time instead of merchandise being placed over the period specific themed items, they were removed entirely.

The Big Top Toys window, which use to display a great collection of tin toys and board games, has been reduced to a tacky display of plush merchandise.

Red Car Trolley

Big Top Toys Window Changes

Stuffed animals have been lined up, in a strange attempt to make the window look like a circus. I’m sure the inspiration is coming from the store’s name, Big Top Toys, but the reflection of 1920’s & 30’s is no longer present.

And if that’s not bad enough, the quality of the back drop is staggeringly horrible.

Big Top Toys Window Changes

Big Top Toys Window Changes

For years, Disney’s California Adventure was plagued with poor atmosphere and cheep theming, and now with the massive makeover and relaunch, the park still struggles in some areas to over come it.

What’s so strange about this is why there have been so many changes to Buena Vista Street in the mere 9 months since the area opened. Meanwhile back in Cars Land, these types of tinker projects have not occurred.

This almost leads me to believe that someone in DCA’s management is not happy with the beauty and simplicity of Buena Vista Street.

Big Top Toys Window Changes

Red Car Trolley

The refurbishment and re-installation of the Silly Symphony Swings is almost complete.

The attraction was scheduled to re-open this past weekend. (these photos were taken on Friday)

Silly Symphony Swings Refurbishment

Silly Symphony Swings Refurbishment

Silly Symphony Swings Refurbishment

Silly Symphony Swings Refurbishment

Over in Downtown Disney, the Fossil store has reopened with a new look and a complete remodel of the store’s interior.

Downtown Disney Fossil

Downtown Disney Fossil

That’s going to do it for this week’s update. You can see the past updates here.

All Current Resort Closures & Special Event Information

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See You At Disneyland!

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