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Update for June 11 – 17, 2012

Go directly to: News & Views | Join our Networks | Current Refurbishment/Attraction Closures | Community Events | Resort Events | Discounts and Promotions | Park Schedule/Blockout Dates

News and Views

It's showtime for the new Disney California Adventure | Thousands get first look at Cars Land and Buena Vista Street during weekend previews | Passholders invited to test new "Glow with the Show" merchandise for World of Color | Buy Disneyland Resort tickets using your smart phone | Disney introduces new iPad app for Cast Members |This and That... | Crowd Forecast

It's showtime for the new Disney California Adventure

The redesigned and expanded Disney California Adventure opens to the public this Friday, June 15, marking the end of an overhaul that was five years and a billion dollars in the making. Once the celebrities leave and the reopening day confetti is swept away, Disney executives will wait to see whether their investment in rebranding Anaheim's often-criticized second gate have paid off.

After spending 12 hours in Cars Land and Buena Vista Street this weekend and photographing what seemed like every inch of the new lands, we're bursting at the seams to share every detail with you beginning this Wednesday, when our news embargo is lifted. Check out our photo previews for now, then join us on Wednesday night, when we provide live coverage of the DCA reopening events. Be sure to follow @MousePlanet on Twitter or check our front page at MousePlanet.com for the latest updates throughout the three-day event.


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The grand opening festivities and media event will definitely be noticeable to visitors starting Wednesday morning - here's what to expect if you're visiting the Disneyland Resort this week:

Wednesday

The Cars Land media event kicks off at Disney California Adventure, with a red carpet stretching from the Carthay Circle Theatre to the entrance of Cars Land. Event guests, likely a mix of Disney and Pixar executives, Disney Channel stars and invited celebrities, will walk the red carpet starting at 6:00 p.m. The theme park is open until 9:00 p.m., so park visitors will likely to be able to watch along some portion of the route, though Disney has not yet announced exact details.

The grand opening ceremony for Cars Land begins at 8:20 p.m. at the entrance to the new land, with an invitation-only premiere party inside starting at 8:45 p.m. Again, there may be limited viewing opportunities for the general public to watch the show, rumored to feature country band Rascal Flatts, but once again we have no firm details. Disney tends not to release information about events like this to avoid encouraging fans from turning up to see their favorite celebrities, but we'll share operational details as we obtain them.

Thursday

  • Disney California Adventure is closed all day for the contest winner preview and media event. The contest winner preview ends at 6:00 p.m.  Later that evening, Disney will host an invitation-only private party on Buena Vista Street.
  • Disneyland remains open until 11:00 p.m. – Because this is also a Grad Nite at Disneyland, expect the park to be increasingly crowded as the day progresses, especially since California Adventure won't be open to help absorb the crowds.
  • The shops and restaurants of Downtown Disney are on their normal schedule.

Disney is expecting eager fans to camp out overnight Thursday to be among the first to enter Cars Land Friday morning. We are again waiting for official details from Disney as to when guests may begin to camp out, where they should park, what facilities will be open to them and how entry Friday morning will be managed; we'll post updates once we receive them, as well as monitor the overnight wait at the Resort, and post updates about parking and crowds.

Friday

DCA officially opens at 10 a.m. Friday morning, with a rededication ceremony on Buena Vista Street at 8 a.m. Officially, the ceremony is closed the public. Unofficially, however, Disney will likely allow visitors to watch from the sidelines, but not enter the rest of DCA until park opening. All information is subject to change, but we'll share details as we learn them.

At 10 a.m., the new Disney California Adventure debuts. Nobody really knows what to expect, but MousePlanet will be on location all day to provide updates about traffic, parking and crowd levels.

Thousands get first look at Cars Land and Buena Vista Street during weekend previews

Disneyland Resort annual passholders, members of the official D23 official fan club, Disney Vacation Club owners and Club 33 members had the opportunity to visit Cars Land and Buena Vista Street during hard ticket preview events this weekend, with proceeds of the $50 to $500 tickets earmarked for local charities which received a $500,000 donation from the event. Thousands of devoted Disney fans got to see the new additions to Disney California Adventure before the official opening next Friday, but a few snags in event management pointed out various problems inherent in "pay for play" previews.


Thousands toured Cars Land during the first public previews this weekend. Photo by Adrienne Vincent-Phoenix.

Most guests had a wonderful time at the previews, judging from the wide smiles plastered on faces up and down Route 66, and the seemingly thousands of photos, Tweets, and status updates posted about the event. We asked readers via Twitter if they felt the event was worth the money, and the responses were overwhelmingly positive, and included messages like "Worth every penny!!! I would do it again if I could, and probably again after!!!," and "Didn’t think Id say it but the preview was worth EVERY PENNY of the $50."

One reader even had so much fun on Saturday that they went home and purchased tickets to come back Sunday night. Only one reader had a negative response, saying "No! Not worth the extra $25 for a missed [World of Color] show, multiple [Radiator Springs Racers] breaks and Luigis was nonexistant. Bad night overall."


Radiator Springs Racers was the first stop for most fans eager to experience Disney's latest thrill ride. Photo by Adrienne Vincent-Phoenix.

During the previews, the majority of visitors rushed straight to Radiator Springs Racers the moment they entered Cars Land, and then heading to the other two Cars Land rides afterwards.

If you're attending one of the previews on Monday, we suggest reversing this pattern, by starting with Luigi's Flying Tires and Mater's Junkyard Jamboree, then heading to Radiator Springs Racers once the initial crush has subsided. During the weekend previews, the wait time for Racers dropped quite a bit after the first hour or two.

While Mater's Junkyard Jamboree seemed to operate throughout the previews with no problems, Radiator Springs Racers broke down repeatedly, with the longest outage lasting around an hour during the Saturday evening session. Luigi's Flying Tires also had a major down time during the Saturday evening preview; at one point Mater's was the only one of the new rides operating in Cars Land.


Rides try out Luigi's Flying Tires during the Cars Land passholder preview. Photo by Adrienne Vincent-Phoenix.

While long lines for the new rides were expected, Flo's V8 Diner and the new Cozy Cone food stands also boasted impressive waits during the previews. Flo's really got busy only during the evening previews, when the dinner crowd created a line that stretched well outside the restaurant entrance.

The Cozy Cones, on the other hand, were busy all day and night. Each cone serves only one or two food items, with no duplication between the cones. Since all of the food is designed to be portable, the scene was reminiscent of a food truck gathering—visitors who wanted to sample all of the new offerings ordered from one cone, then got right back in line at the next cone while they ate. The lines far exceeded the capacity of the short rope queue outside each cone, prompting managers to use colored tape to "draw" lines on the concrete to help control traffic.

From the number of visitors we saw with one or both items, the new traffic cone-shaped souvenir drink cups and Lightning McQueen-shaped souvenir popcorn buckets were hot sellers.


Customers wait to sample the food from the new Cozy Cone Cafes. Photo by Adrienne Vincent-Phoenix.

The Cars Land shops were busy throughout the previews, with many visitors getting their first look at the extensive collection of merchandise designed for the 12-acre addition. A silly hat shaped like one of Luigi's Flying Tires was an unexpected hit during earlier Cast Member previews, and stores were already sold out by the time the weekend previews began and passholders raced in to purchase their own hat. Toy replicas of the new Cars Land rides and buildings were hot sellers for kids, as were the new clothing collections for adults.


Riders do-si-do during a ride on Mater's Junkyard Jamboree. Photo by Adrienne Vincent-Phoenix.

In a move that surprised many event attendees, Disney allowed anyone who had purchased the event ticket to visit Buena Vista Street anytime throughout the day, instead of limiting them to the four- or five-hour session they had purchased. This let those who found out about the offer to  visit Buena Vista Street before or after their assigned time, leaving the entire preview period for exploring Cars Land.

While Buena Vista Street was largely overlooked by event guests eager to see Cars Land for the first time, those who stopped to see DCA's new Main Street had the chance to tour all of the new shops, dine at the new restaurants, order their first Starbucks drink inside a Disney theme park, and even experience some of the new entertainment.

Mickey, Goofy, Chip and Dale made appearances in their new costumes, along with several of the atmosphere performers. There was even a surprise performance of The Red Car News Boys, a new street show using the Red Car Trolley, during the Saturday morning session.


Mickey greets visitors during a preview of Buena Vista Street. Photo by Adrienne Vincent-Phoenix.

For a day that began with so much surprise and delight, however, the later hours of Saturday's event brought disappointment and frustration for some guests, and the problems highlight the risks of paid previews.

The problems really began with the announcement of the events. Disney opened the charity previews to a number of groups, including annual passholders, D23 members, Disney Vacation Club owners, and Club 33 members. Some complained to guest relations that they believed the event was exclusive to their group, and were surprised to later learn how many other people had been eligible to purchase tickets.

With sales reportedly weak, Disney then opened the event to cast members, allowing them to reserve tickets for the preview-only sessions at no charge, or to purchase tickets to the Carthay Circle Restaurant dinner event for just $75—tickets which for non-cast members cost a much heftier $500.

By the time the AP/Club 33/D23/DVC/Cast previews began Saturday morning, the event was much less exclusive and more crowded than many expected. Disney even offered same-day tickets for the event, with a kiosk outside the entrance to Cars Land selling tickets to passholders who may have missed online registration.


While most preview guests were inside Cars Land, this group took a moment to tour the Red Car trolley. Photo by Adrienne Vincent-Phoenix.

With so many different Disney divisions involved in the preview, it was inevitable that there would be inconsistencies in the information sent to various groups. While cast members were repeatedly warned that photography was prohibited during the preview, no such restriction was stated in the information originally posted on the annual passholder or D23 website.

After a customer asked D23 via Twitter for clarification, that division replied that photography was not allowed during the event, and even edited the event description on its website to include a notice about the photography ban. When customers complained that the rules were changed after they had already purchased the non-refundable tickets, Disneyland made an updated announcement that photography would in fact be allowed—and D23 quietly removed the restriction information from its site.


The preview gave most visitors their first up-close look at the Cadillac Range surrounding Cars Land. Photo by Adrienne Vincent-Phoenix.

There was also a major miscommunication regarding an exclusive performance of World of Color that was an added feature of the more expensive Saturday evening session. Those who purchased the $500 dinner package were told that the show began at 10:15 p.m., while both the annual passholder website and printed information given to Club 33 members stated that the special show was starting an hour later, at 11:15.

It turned out that the show was scheduled for 10:15, and so those who showed up expecting to see the officially announced 11:15 performance were turned away. Worse, World of Color cast members seemed to have no idea what had happened, and told visitors that the 11:15 show had been "cancelled," directing them to Guest Relations for more information.

Unfortunately guest relations seemed unprepared for the deluge of complaints, at first falling back on the "everything is subject to change without notice" fine print, and then offering only reserved viewing for a future World of Color performance and a Fastpass for Radiator Springs Racers as their apology. Some customers (myself included) were able to negotiate for a partial credit of the ticket price, but cast members were at a loss to explain exactly what went wrong, blaming the problem on a vague "misunderstanding" between divisions.


Preview attendees gather on Route 66 to watch the neon signs light up for the first public showing. Photo by Adrienne Vincent-Phoenix.

If Disney adopts this model for future events—and there's every reason to believe they will do so, given the logistical problems with trying to offer free previews to over a million combined Passholders, D23 members, Club 33 members, and DVC owners—then event managers must understand that paying customers have higher expectations. It's one thing if a ride breaks down during a free preview (as happened with both Star Tours and the Little Mermaid ride last year), but an entirely different matter when money is involved. Interdepartmental "misunderstandings" may be mere annoyances during a free event, but involve far more liability when customers don't receive what they paid for.

Did you attend the preview this weekend as an annual passholder, Club 33 member, D23 member, DVC owner, or cast member? Did you feel the event was worth the added cost? Would you pay to attend future preview events? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

Passholders invited to test new "Glow with the Show" merchandise for World of Color

Disney is inviting annual passholders to help test a new interactive merchandise product later this month during special "Glow with the Show" performances of World of Color. The events will be held after park hours Thursday, June 28 through Saturday, June 30, with specific dates open to specific pass types:

  • Thursday, June 28 at 11:45 p.m. – open to Southern California, Deluxe, Premium, and Premier Annual Passholders
  • Friday, June 29 at 11:45 p.m. – open to Deluxe, Premium and Premier Annual Passholders
  • Saturday, June 30 at 11:45 p.m. – open to Premium and Premier Annual Passholders

Passholders with the Southern California Select pass are blocked out on all three dates, and are not eligible to participate.


Passholders can receive a free Glow with the Show ear hat at an upcoming World of Color event. Photo (c) Disney

All participants get a free pair of the Glow with the Show ear hats, which will be tested during the performance of World of Color. Disney California Adventure closes at 11:00 p.m. all three nights, so all rides, stores and restaurants will also be closed during the event.

As with the recent Fantasmic event, passholders must register in person at a Disneyland Resort ticket booth to attend. Registration closes at 11:00 p.m. on Thursday, June 21; earlier if the events fill up before then. Unlike the Fantasmic event, Disney is holding the line on the "in person" policy this time—passholders who live out of area or even out of state may not RSVP by phone. However, since each registered passholder may bring up to three passholder guests (everyone in the party must have a valid AP as of the event date), there's always the opportunity for local passholders to RSVP and bring out-of-area passholders as their guests.

If you're already registered for the event and will have room for one or more passholder guests to join you, please post on our MousePad discussion forum. Likewise, if you're too far away to drive in just to register for the event, but you're planning to be at the resort on one of the event dates, post a request. Our community has done this for several past events, and we're always impressed by how generous our readers are.

Buy Disneyland Resort tickets using your smart phone

The Disney Parks Blog last week announced a new service that allows visitors to purchase one-day tickets (one-park or park hopper) directly from a smart phone. The mobile ticket sales site (visit m.disneyland.com and look for the “Buy tickets from your mobile device” link on the home page) currently allows visitors to purchase only one-day, one-park or park hopper tickets; Disney says multi-day tickets will be added later. Customers can purchase up to 15 tickets, and must pay with a credit card. The system currently accepts Visa, Mastercard, American Express, Discover, and JCB.

Once you pay, Disney delivers a mobile ticket barcode to your mobile device (the system also works on tablets such as iPads, and other Web-enabled devices). This lets you skip the ticket booth lines and head right to the gate, where the cast member scans your barcode and print out the correct number of paper tickets. You will still need the paper tickets to use FastPass, reenter the park if you leave, or visit the other park if you bought park hopper tickets.

This is just the latest in a series of initiatives introduced in the past three years to help ease the huge lines at Disneyland Resort ticket booths. Previous tests have included selling certain tickets right at the turnstiles, adding ticket kiosks to the Toy Story parking lot, and placing additional ticket kiosks in the main esplanade to increase capacity. Disneyland also offers a same-day, print-at-home option for those purchasing tickets online.

It will be interesting to see how Disney communicates this new option, especially when the target market consists of people who probably didn't do any research in advance of their trip and don't know that they had a half-dozen options to buy their tickets before they parked.

It's also interesting to see how the two domestic Disney resorts are developing technology to address the most pressing issue at their respective resorts. Walt Disney World launched a mobile platform for dining reservations two years ago, but Disneyland's most recent development on that front was to allow you to make a reservation by email. On the flip side, Walt Disney World hasn't yet developed a mobile ticket option. Yet in an informal poll of our Twitter followers, everyone who responded said they'd rather be able to make a dinner reservation on their phone than buy a park ticket.

Maybe this is a situation where we need a little more One Disney.

Disney introduces new iPad app for Cast Members

Several readers alerted us to a new application in the iTunes store called Cast Member Publications sold by Starwave Media. This is a free iPad app that lets cast members download "digital editions of Walt Disney Parks and Resorts newsletters and publications." The only content currently available in the latest edition of the Disneyland Line, a cast member magazine.

At the moment, anyone can download the app and the content—there is no employee login required. Some Disney employees are really unhappy about this, and some have pointed out that while Disney can't prevent anyone from downloading the app itself, they certainly could restrict the actual content just to employees by requiring the user to log in with their employee ID and password from Disney's cast member-only website.

Disney may restrict access at a later date, but for now, if you have an iPad and you'd like to see the new Disneyland Line, it's there for the asking. The digital version of the Line is gorgeous, and has loads of audio, video and interactive features about Cars Land and Buena Vista Street. Is it too much to hope that Disney will make the Annual Passholder newsletter available in the same format in the near future?

This and That...

...The Blue Sky Cellar debuted a new exhibit last week featuring artifacts "donated" by the fictional Radiator Springs Historical Society, and the Ghirardelli Chocolate Company officially opened its first location inside a Disney theme park. In Downtown Disney, the new WonderGround Gallery debuted, and Catal's Uva Bar reopened with a new seating area and menu. With so much going on this weekend surrounding the opening of Cars Land and Buena Vista Street there wasn't time to cover these new openings for this Update, so check back with us for a review of the newest eateries at the Disneyland Resort, as well as for more information about the Blue Sky Cellar and WonderGround Gallery.

...In recent updates we have incorrectly listed the details of the 2012 City Pass. The basic Southern California CityPass includes a 3-Day Disneyland Resort Park Hopper Bonus Ticket, a one-day admission to Sea World San Diego and a one-day admission to Universal Studios Hollywood. Admission to either the San Diego Zoo or San Diego Safari Park is offered only with the City Pass PLUS ticket, which is available only from the CityPass Website. The City Pass PLUS ticket is $311 for adults, $263 for ages 3-9; the added cost of the upgraded ticket represents a savings of up to $10 over purchasing the tickets individually. We regret the error, and thank reader Heather for correcting us.

...As previously reported, World of Color dining package options are changing this week. Starting June 15, Ariel's Grotto hosts a character meal at breakfast, lunch and dinner, and World of Color package are not offered at that location after June 13. Starting June 15, the Carthay Circle Theatre will offer World of Color reserved "center-stage viewing" tickets to every guest (including any children in your party) who orders an appetizer and entrée or an entrée and dessert. Unlike the World of Color dinner package at the Wine Country Trattoria, or the World of Color picnic meal offering, no special reservation is required—every customer who meets the purchase requirement will receive the ticket.

This two-course-per-person requirement may be hard to enforce, especially since the appetizer menu for the new restaurant consists of larger plates that are described as "designed to share" right on the menu, and are priced accordingly. This seems like one of those not-uncommon Disney situations where one department sets a policy that conflicts with the operations realities of another department. It may take a few weeks to shake out, but a restaurant cast member told us that a party of two who share an appetizer, order individual entrees and then share dessert will likely qualify for the tickets.

...We're hearing that the Matterhorn will likely have a "soft-opening" preview on Thursday, June 14. This is the day Disney California Adventure is closed for the Cars Land media preview event, leaving only Disneyland open to the public. Though the Matterhorn does not officially reopen until June 15th, Disney probably wants to "surprise and delight" Disneyland visitors with a sneak peek. As always, soft opening previews are unconfirmed, and plans may change at any time.

...While it seems that all eyes will be on Disney California Adventure June 15, Disneyland has a few new things to check out while you're waiting for your Radiator Springs Racers Fastpass return time. The Voices of Liberty make their West Coast debut on June 15, performing five days a week this summer at the Main Street Opera House. June 15 also marks the return of the Matterhorn climbers, an entertainment offering that dates back to 1959 when the ride first opened at Disneyland. Look for the Voices of Liberty show schedule in the daily entertainment guide, but you'll just have to keep your ears open to hear the announcements on Main Street before the climbers start their ascent.

...Just when you thought the construction was over, Disney is planning an extensive refurbishment of the Baby Care Center in Disney California Adventure. As part of the Buena Vista Street renovation, the DCA first aid center is moving to its new permanent home near the park entrance on June 15. The baby care center will stay in its original location near the new entrance to Cars Land, but will expand to include the adjacent former first aid center space. The baby care center will remain open during the renovation, which is expected to be complete in August.

...The Disneyland Resort website has been updated with a new section describing the four early admission options for Disneyland and Disney California Adventure this summer, explaining the difference between Extra Magic Hour, Magic Morning at Disneyland, Disneyland Resort Annual Passholder Early Entry and Mickey's Toontown Morning Madness. The explanation is especially useful now that the Park Hours section lists "Early Admission" hours each day for both parks, rather than listing the specific option for each park each day. We've updated our Park Hours section below to detail which early admission option(s) are offered at each park on a given day so you can better plan your vacation.

…The MousePlanet Newsletter is here! The newsletter contains a recap of the week's articles (in case you miss a day), news that may have developed since the weekly Updates were published, and tips about what's happening at the Disney theme parks for the coming weekend. We'll also include a fun MouseAdventure bonus, such as an Eye Spy or a trivia question. To subscribe to our free newsletter, go to the MousePlanet main page and enter your email address in the top right box labeled "Join the MousePlanet Newsletter." Click Join, then fill out the fields in the registration page, including your first and last name. The Newsletter is free, but you must complete this registration to receive it, even if you may have signed up for one with us in the past.

…Visitors planning trips to the Disneyland Resort should make a point to check the Current Refurbishment/Attraction Closures section each week for the most recent updates. The Disneyland Resort Web site currently only publishes refurbishment information about six weeks in advance. Be sure to check the most recent Park Update (link) for the latest changes, as MousePlanet does not edit past Park Updates to reflect changes.

Crowd Forecast

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Crowd information and forecasts are provided by TouringPlans.com, the website of the Unofficial Guide to Disneyland, to help you better plan your trip to the Disneyland Resort. TouringPlans.com gathers wait time data from a team of in-park researchers and users of their Lines mobile phone application, and then predicts crowd levels for the next 365 days. Using a scale from 1 to 10, TouringPlans.com has a 90 percent accuracy of predicting the crowds to within 1 point, helping visitors prepare for their trips so they can "Do more. Wait less."

Between Disney California Adventure being closed on June 14th and Grad Night in Disneyland that night, expect it to be busy on the 14th. Then, Disney California Adventure's Grand Reopening on June 15th makes for an even more crowded day in that park! TouringPlans.com can help you navigate the crowds with our per-park Crowd Calendar, Lines - 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. With holiday crowds looming, 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.

Date Overall
Tuesday, June 12, 2012 5 / 10
Wednesday, June 13, 2012 5 / 10
Thursday, June 14, 2012 10 / 10
Friday, June 15, 2012 9 / 10

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

  • Full block outs on Saturday.
  • More Grad Nights this week.
  • Due to its incredibly low capacity, consider starting your day by grabbing a FastPass to Radiator Springs Racers, then doing Luigi's Standby.

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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Community Events

Come CHOC Walk with Team MousePlanet

Team MousePlanet is back for our fifth year at the CHOC Walk in the Park, benefiting Children's Hospital Orange County. Thanks to the efforts and generosity of our readers, Team MousePlanet has raised over $27,000 for CHOC since 2008. The 2012 race is Sunday, October 14 at the Disneyland Resort. Registration is now open—visit the CHOC website to join us! You can also visit our MousePad discussion forum for more information about the walk and our team.

Volunteer with Team MousePlanet at the Disneyland Half Marathon

Team MousePlanet is looking to form a group to volunteer during the Disneyland Half Marathon Weekend, August 30 to September 2, 2012. Non-runners are welcome. Visit our MousePad discussion forum for additional information.

Current Refurbishments and Attraction Closures

Note: Not all of these have been officially confirmed by Disney, and are all subject to change at any time. We recommend checking for updates as you plan your visit.

Disneyland

  • Carnation Cafe – closed for renovation. Expected to reopen June 13.
  • Blue Ribbon Bakery – closed. The space to be converted back to an indoor seating area for the Carnation Cafe, and is expected to reopen July 14.
  • Matterhorn Bobsleds – closed through June 14 for refurbishment, expected to reopen June 15.
  • Disney Gallery – closed June 28 & 29 to install a new exhibit.
  • Plaza Gardens – closed April 30 until winter 2013 for the construction of Fantasy Faire.

Disney California Adventure

Seasonal refurbishments:

  • None currently scheduled

Construction-related closures:

  • Buena Vista Street – opens to the public June 15.
  • Cars Land – opens to the public June 15.
  • Disney's California Adventure Park – closed June 14 to prepare for the grand opening of Cars Land and Buena Vista Street.

Note: Refurbishment schedules are estimates only. All information is subject to change without notice. To get the most recent updates, call Disneyland at (714) 781-7290.

Resort Events

Check here to see if a large convention, competition or park event might fall during your next trip to the Disneyland Resort. If you know of any in-park events, official or unofficial, that should be listed here, please send us an e-mail (link).

2012

Summer
  • Grad Nite events – the final party for high school seniors graduating in 2012 are scheduled June 14. The 2012 event includes admission to Disneyland and Disney California Adventure during regular operating hours, and a private party in Disneyland after the park closes to the public for the night.
  • Cars Land media event – Thursday, June 14. Disney California Adventure will be closed all day for the media preview of Cars Land, but Disneyland and Downtown Disney will remain open.
  • Cars Land grand opening – Friday, June 15.
  • Paint the Way to Miracles & Magic – Saturday, June 23. During this annual fundraiser for Children's Hospital Orange County, 192 participants will help paint one of two tile murals that will be displayed in Downtown Disney for the year. Registration is $50 per child.
  • Destination D: 75 Years of Disney Animation – August 11 and 12. This D23 event returns to the Disneyland Resort in 2012. Additional details and registration information at www.Disney.com/D23.
  • 5th Annual Taste of Downtown Disney – Thursday, August 16. This annual fundraiser for Children's Hospital Orange County includes appetizers and wine tasting at several participating Downtown Disney restaurants. Registration is not yet open, check back for additional details.
  • 2012 Disneyland Half Marathon Weekend – August 31 – September 2. Event is now sold out.

Fall

  • CHOC Walk in the Park – Sunday October 14. The annual fundraiser for Children's Hospital Orange County takes place before park hours in Disneyland and Disney California Adventure. The Magic Morning normally scheduled for Sunday at Disneyland will likely be rescheduled to Monday, October 15, and Disneyland will likely open at 9 a.m. to accommodate the event. Team MousePlanet is back for our 5th year, and we welcome new members - visit the CHOC website to join us! You can also visit our MousePad discussion forum
  • for more information about the walk and our team.

2013

  • 2013 Tinker Bell Half Marathon Weekend – January 18–20. No additional details are available.
  • Grad Nite events – this party for high school seniors graduating in 2013 will be held on 22 dates in 2013: May 9, 10, 11, 15, 16, 17, 18, 22, 23, 24, 29, 30, 31
    June 5, 6, 7, 12, 13, 14, 19, 20, 21. The 2013 event includes admission to Disneyland and Disney California Adventure during regular operating hours, and a private party in Disneyland after the park closes to the public for the night.
  • D23 Expo – August 9–11. Tickets for the three-day convention go on sale August 9, 2012.

We also recommend checking the convention calendar at the Anaheim/Orange County Visitor and Convention Bureau Web site (link). When looking at that site, remember to note both the number of people and the number of rooms resulting from each convention. A gathering of 25,000 people booking few room nights (indicating most will be driving in to the area for their meeting) can impact traffic around the Resort much more than a crowd of 25,000 staying in area hotels. Of course, that second group is going to make finding a hotel room more difficult (and possibly more expensive), so it's best to book your own room as early as possible if you see that a big convention is in town during your trip.

Current Discounts & Promotions

Disneyland prices as of May 20, 2012.

Note: MousePlanet does not edit past Updates to reflect price increases; for up-to-date prices check the most recent Disneyland Resort Update.

Several current promotions offer discounted admission to the Disneyland Resort. For your convenience, we have grouped the discount offers based on the number of days the tickets are valid. Check out the category that best matches the amount of time you plan to spend at the resort, and pick the offer that works best for you. And keep those tips coming—let us know if you find a better or different offer, so we can share it with other readers!

This first section is a list of discounts on ticket–only purchases. Though it has become more common in recent years, Disneyland tickets are rarely offered at deep discounts unless you are a resident of Southern California or Northern Mexico. For residents outside that area, the best discounts available tend to be simple advance purchase discounts.

If you know of any additional discounts, offers, promotions, or contests that should be listed in this section, drop us a line. Note, we are no longer listing offers from the Anaheim-Orange County Visitor & Convention Bureau, as their convenience fee negates any savings.

One Day, One Park Ticket – Regularly $87/$81

One Day Park Hopper – Regularly $125/$119

No discounts currently available to the general public.

Check with your employer, school or credit union to see if any discounts are available through them.

Two Day, One Park per Day Ticket – Regularly $170/$158

Two Day Park Hopper – Regularly $200/$188

No discounts currently available to the general public.

Check with your employer, school or credit union to see if any discounts are available through them.

Three Day, One Park per Day Ticket – Regularly $220/$205

Three Day Park Hopper – Regularly $250/$235

Disney Military Promotional 3–Day Park Hopper Ticket ($95) – A discounted price offered to active or retired U.S. military personnel or their spouses. Based on past offers, Disney defines "Eligible Service Members" as active or retired members of the US military, including active members of the National Guard or Reservists and active or retired members of the US Coast Guard. This discount is available at MWR/ITT offices at your military base, or at the Disneyland Resort ticket booths. Valid military ID is required. The price is the same for adults and children, and total of six tickets may be purchased per military member, regardless of who purchases the tickets (the member or their spouse). Tickets must be purchased by Sept 30, 2012. The ticket has the following blockout dates: December 24, 2011 to January 2, 2012; February 17 to 19, 2012; April 2 to 14, 2012; July 4, 2012.

As far as we can tell, there is no "fuse" on this ticket, so you may have more than the standard 13 days from first use to use the remaining two admissions, but we highly recommend you contact your base MWR/ITT office for more details before making travel plans. Please note that this ticket is not a "bonus" ticket, and so does not include an early admission day.

Check with your employer, school or credit union to see if other discounts are available through them.

Four Day, One Park per Day Ticket – Regularly $245/$225

Four Day Park Hopper – Regularly $275/$255

No discounts currently available to the general public.

Check with your employer, school or credit union to see if any discounts are available through them.

Five Day, One Park per Day Ticket – Regularly $260/$240

Five Day Park Hopper – Regularly $290/$270

No discounts currently available to the general public.

Check with your employer, school or credit union to see if any discounts are available through them.

Six Day, One Park per Day Ticket

Six Day Park Hopper

No longer offered by Disneyland. Some travel providers may offer 6-day or longer tickets to international customers as part of a package; residents of Canada, Australia or the UK should check with local travel agencies to see what options may be available to you.

Disneyland Resort Annual Passports

No discounts currently available for new purchases. California residents can take advantage of the monthly–payment plan when purchasing any but the Premier Annual Passport.

Premier Annual Passport: $849 [Valid at Disneyland Resort and Walt Disney World Resort; includes parking]
Premium Annual Passport: $649 [includes parking]
Deluxe Annual Passport: $469
Southern California Annual Passport: $329
SoCal Select Annual Passport: $269
Parking Add On: $129 [Add on to Deluxe, SoCal and SoCal Select passes. Has same blockout days as corresponding pass]
Blockout Day Ticket: $70 [Grants one–day park–hopper admission to an annual passholder on a blockout day]

Check with your employer, school or credit union to see if other discounts are available through them.

Southern California CityPass
$279/$239

Southern California CityPass PLUS
$311/$263

2012 Southern California CityPass ($279/$239) – This pass includes a 3–Day Disneyland Resort Park Hopper Bonus Ticket (including one early–entry day), a one–day admission to Sea World San Diego and a one-day admission to Universal Studios Hollywood. The CityPass expires 14 days after first use at any location, and the first use must occur by December 31, 2012. Purchase CityPass through the Disneyland Website or on–site at the ticket booths of Disneyland Resort or the other theme parks included in the pass. You can also purchase directly from the CityPass Website, though a shipping charge may apply depending on how quickly you need the ticket.

2012 Southern California CityPass PLUS ($311/$263) – This pass includes a 3–Day Disneyland Resort Park Hopper Bonus Ticket (including one early–entry day), a one–day admission to Sea World San Diego and a one-day admission to Universal Studios Hollywood, PLUS one–day admission to either San Diego Zoo or San Diego Safari Park. The CityPass expires 14 days after first use at any location, and the first use must occur by December 31, 2012. This upgraded pass is only available for purchase directly from the CityPass Website.

Check with your employer, school or credit union to see if other discounts are available through them.

    Hotel/Travel Packages

    Costco Travel Packages – Many different travel packages including visits to Disneyland and Disneyland hotels are available through Costco. When purchasing a Costco Disneyland travel package, extras that will be included are: Mickey's Toontown Madness admission (currently available Mondays, Wednesday, Fridays, and Saturdays), a character breakfast collectible pin and lanyard, and a Costco luggage tag per person, plus a $20 Disneyland Resort gift card per package.

    Disney's Resort Magic and Good Neighbor Magic Packages – Package includes accommodations one of the three resort hotels or at one of 40 Good Neighbor hotels; Souvenir Park Hopper ticket with voucher for admission to Mickey's Toontown Morning Madness, plus one Magic Morning (early entry) for three–day or longer Park Hoppers; preferred seating at three DCA attractions (Disney's Aladdin – A Musical Spectacular, Muppet*Vision 3D, It's Tough to be a Bug!); Preferred Showing of Turtle Talk with Crush (Priority Viewing at the first Turtle Talk with Crush show of the day, on any one day – one voucher per Guest); Disney Dream coin keepsake (one per package), luggage tag and lanyard with pin; a Downtown Disney Fun Card; and a "Character Call" from Mickey, Minnie, Goofy or Crush. Contact Disney Travel or your favorite travel agent.

    Contact a MousePlanet sponsor travel agency for assistance in booking your next trip

    Get Away Today
    800–523–6116
    www.getawaytoday.com

    Mouse Ears Vacations
    www.mouseearvacations.com

    Small World Vacations
    www.smallworldvacations.com

    Other Discounts

    Annual Passholder offers – Disneyland has once again extended the 20% merchandise discount offered to Premium annual passholders. The discount is now valid through December 31, 2012.

    Purchase with Purchase offers – Disneyland Resort shops frequently offer a reduced–price souvenir (often a tote bag, watch, or blanket) with a qualifying minimum purchase. The current offers are:

    Disneyland shops

    • Mickey tote bag for $15.95 with a minimum purchase of $25.
    • Pin Trading Starter Set for $18.95 with a $40 purchase.

    Disney California Adventure shops

    • Mickey tote bag for $13.95 with a minimum purchase of $25.
    • Mickey Mouse watch for $17.95 with a $40 purchase.

    Downtown Disney / Disneyland Resort Hotel shops

    • Expandable duffel bag for $17.95 with a minimum purchase of $25.
    • Coastal tote bag for $15.95 with a minimum purchase of $25.
    • Pin Trading Starter Set for $18.95 with a $40 purchase.

    Character Dining Vouchers – Discounted character dining vouchers are available for purchase online, in advance of your trip, through Get Away Travel.

    Disney Visa – Cardholders have access to a private Character Meet 'N' Greet photo opportunity at Disney California Adventure, and receive one free 5x7 photograph per visit. Cardholders also receive 10% off qualifying merchandise purchases of $50 or more from Disney–operated retail stores, 10% off at selected Disneyland Resort restaurants, (Big Thunder Ranch, River Belle Terrace, French Market, Cocina Cucamonga, Steakhouse 55, PCH Grill and Storyteller's Café), and 20% off the "Welcome to Disneyland," "A Walk in Walt’s Footsteps," and "Discover the Magic" guided tours. See the Disney Visa website for terms and conditions.

    Landry's Select Club – Members of the Landry's Select Club get priority seating at the Rainforest Cafe when available (which makes a huge difference on busy days), and a 10% discount on retail purchases. This club replaces the former Rainforest Cafe Safari Club as of March 31, 2012. If you are already a Safari Club member, you can migrate your membership to the new Landry's Select Club at no charge, and start to earn points in the new program. All Safari Club points and benefits expire on March 31, so if you have any gift certificates left to redeem, you have just a week to do so. The new Select Club eliminated the entree discount and free appetizer offer that was included with the Safari Club, replacing them with a point–based system that gives you a $25 gift certificate after you spend $250. If you are not yet a member of either the Safari Club or the Landry's Select Club, you can pre–purchase your membership before your trip. Membership now costs $25, but comes with a $25 reward.

    ESPNZone MVP Club – Membership in the MVP Club does not offer any discounts on food. However, once a member you can make an online reservation for your party up to three days in advance and will get a 25% increase in points purchased when playing games in the Sports Arena (and 40 bonus points at activation). You must register online and your membership card will then be mailed to you within two weeks. The card must then be activated at any ESPNZone by the person who signed up for the card and ID will be required (link).

    Park Schedule/Blockout Dates

    DL: Disneyland
    DCA: Disney California Adventure

    Annual Pass blockouts:

    • SL – Southern California Select Annual Pass
    • SC – Southern California Annual Pass
    • DX – Deluxe Annual Pass

    Early Admission: (full description available on the Disneyland website)

    • MM – Magic Morning for 3-plus day ticket holders
    • EMH – Extra Magic Hour for Disneyland Resort Hotel Guests
    • AP – Early Entry for Annual Passholders with advance reservations
    • TT – Toontown Morning Madness at Disneyland

    Disneyland Resort Special Events:

    6/10 6/11 6/12 6/13

    6/14

    6/15 6/16
    DL: 8a-12a
    MM

    DCA: 10a-10p

    AP Blockouts:
    SL

    Events:
    None
    DL: 8a-12a
    TT

    DCA: 10a-9p

    AP Blockouts:
    SL

    Events:
    None
    DL: 8a-11p
    MM

    DCA: 10a-10p

    AP Blockouts:
    SL

    Events:
    None

     
    DL: 8a-11p
    TT

    DCA: 10a-9p

    AP Blockouts:
    SL/SC

    Events:
    None

    DL: 8a-11p
    MM

    DCA: CLOSED

    AP Blockouts:
    SL/SC

    Events:
    Grad Nite;
    Cars Land
    Media Day

    DL: 8a-12a
    TT

    DCA: 10a-11p

    AP Blockouts:
    SL/SC

    Events:
    Cars Land
    Opening

     

    DL: 8a-12a
    MM / TT

    DCA: 8a-11p

    AP Blockouts:
    SL/SC/DX

    Events:
    None
    6/17 6/18 6/19 6/20

    6/21

    6/22 6/23

    DL: 8a-12a
    MM

    DCA: 8a-11p


    AP Blockouts:
    SL

    Events:
    None

    DL: 8a-12a
    TT / AP

    DCA: 8a-11p
    EMH

    AP Blockouts:
    SL

    Events:
    None
    DL: 8a-11p
    EMH / MM

    DCA: 8a-11p
    AP

    AP Blockouts:
    SL

    Events:
    None

     

    DL: 8a-11p
    TT / AP

    DCA: 8a-11p
    EMH

    AP Blockouts
    SL/SC

    Events:
    None
     

    DL: 8a-11p
    EMH / MM

    DCA: 8a-11p
    AP

    AP Blockouts:
    SL

    Events:
    None

    DL: 8a-11p
    TT / AP

    DCA: 8a-11p
    EMH

    AP Blockouts
    SL/SC

    Events:
    None

    DL: 8a-12a
    EMH / MM / TT

    DCA: 8a-11p
    AP

    AP Blockouts:
    SL/SC/DX

    Events:
    None
    6/24 6/25 6/26 6/27

    6/28

    6/29 6/30
    DL: 8a-12a
    EMH / MM

    DCA: 8a-11p
    AP

    AP Blockouts:
    SL

    Events:
    None
    DL: 8a-12a
    TT / AP

    DCA: 8a-11p
    EMH

    AP Blockouts:
    SL

    Events:
    None
    DL: 8a-12a
    EMH / MM

    DCA: 8a-11p
    AP

    AP Blockouts:
    SL

    Events:
    None

     

    DL: 8a-12a
    TT / AP

    DCA: 8a-11p
    EMH

    AP Blockouts
    SL

    Events:
    None
     

    DL: 8a-12a
    EMH / MM

    DCA: 8a-11p
    AP

    AP Blockouts:
    SL

    Events:
    None

    DL: 8a-12a
    TT / AP

    DCA: 8a-11p
    EMH

    AP Blockouts
    SL/SC

    Events:
    None

    DL: 8a-12a
    EMH / MM / TT

    DCA: 8a-11p
    AP

    AP Blockouts:
    SL/SC/DX

    Events:
    None
    7/1 7/2 7/3

    7/4

    7/5 7/6 7/7
    DL: 8a-12a
    EMH / MM

    DCA: 8a-11p
    AP

    AP Blockouts:
    SL/SC

    Events:
    None
    DL: 8a-12a
    TT / AP

    DCA: 8a-11p
    EMH

    AP Blockouts:
    SL/SC

    Events:
    None
    DL: 8a-12a
    EMH / MM

    DCA: 8a-11p
    AP

    AP Blockouts:
    SL/SC

    Events:
    None

     

    DL: 8a-12a
    TT / AP

    DCA: 8a-11p
    EMH

    AP Blockouts
    SL/SC/DX

    Events:
    None
     

    DL: 8a-12a
    EMH / MM

    DCA: 8a-11p
    AP

    AP Blockouts:
    SL/SC

    Events:
    None

    DL: 8a-12a
    TT / AP

    DCA: 8a-11p
    EMH

    AP Blockouts
    SL/SC

    Events:
    None

    DL: 8a-12a
    EMH / MM / TT

    DCA: 8a-11p
    AP

    AP Blockouts:
    SL/SC/DX

    Events:
    None
    7/8 7/9 7/10

    7/11

    7/12 7/13 7/14
    DL: 8a-12a
    EMH / MM

    DCA: 8a-11p
    AP

    AP Blockouts:
    SL/SC

    Events:
    None
    DL: 8a-12a
    TT / AP

    DCA: 8a-11p
    EMH

    AP Blockouts:
    SL/SC

    Events:
    None
    DL: 8a-12a
    EMH / MM

    DCA: 8a-11p
    AP

    AP Blockouts:
    SL/SC

    Events:
    None

     

    DL: 8a-12a
    TT / AP

    DCA: 8a-11p
    EMH

    AP Blockouts
    SL/SC

    Events:
    None
     

    DL: 8a-12a
    EMH / MM

    DCA: 8a-11p
    AP

    AP Blockouts:
    SL/SC

    Events:
    None

    DL: 8a-12a
    TT / AP

    DCA: 8a-11p
    EMH

    AP Blockouts
    SL/SC

    Events:
    None

    DL: 8a-12a
    EMH / MM / TT

    DCA: 8a-11p
    AP

    AP Blockouts:
    SL/SC/DX

    Events:
    None
    7/15 7/16 7/17

    7/18

    7/19 7/20 7/21
    DL: 8a-12a
    EMH / MM

    DCA: 8a-11p
    AP

    AP Blockouts:
    SL/SC

    Events:
    None
    DL: 8a-12a
    TT / AP

    DCA: 8a-11p
    EMH

    AP Blockouts:
    SL/SC

    Events:
    None
    DL: 8a-12a
    EMH / MM

    DCA: 8a-11p
    AP

    AP Blockouts:
    SL/SC

    Events:
    None

     

    DL: 8a-12a
    TT / AP

    DCA: 8a-11p
    EMH

    AP Blockouts
    SL/SC

    Events:
    None
     

    DL: 8a-12a
    EMH / MM

    DCA: 8a-11p
    AP

    AP Blockouts:
    SL/SC

    Events:
    None

    DL: 8a-12a
    TT / AP

    DCA: 8a-11p
    EMH

    AP Blockouts
    SL/SC

    Events:
    None

    DL: 8a-12a
    EMH / MM / TT

    DCA: 8a-11p
    AP

    AP Blockouts:
    SL/SC/DX

    Events:
    None

    Visit our Annual Passholders Blockout Dates page to see more dates. You can see future calendar schedules at Disneyland. As always, specifics are subject to change without notice (or occasionally, without us noticing) so when information conflicts between what is presented here and that presented by Disney, it is best to assume Disney's information is correct.

    Visit the Park Hours section of our Disneyland Park guide for additional details about Magic Morning and Toontown Morning Madness, including available attractions.

    Entertainment schedule: Go directly to the Disneyland Resort schedule for this week at Disneyland.com here.

     



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    Adrienne Vincent-Phoenix (@MousePlanetAVP) is an original MousePlanet staffer and manages to find time for all of this while running two retail stores, MouseShoppe and CharmingShoppe.