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News and Views


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They came, they saw - and it wasn't that bad. Despite the worst fears of critics - including those from this Web site - the world premiere event for "Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl" appears to have been a hit with visitors, fans and celebrities alike. (Shoshana Lewin has complete red carpet coverage in this column.)


Visitors paddle past the bleachers Sunday afternoon after the "Pirates" premiere. Photo by Adrienne Vincent-Phoenix.

Signs posted at the ticket booths and park entrances all last week warned visitors of the special event and the reduced park hours. Disneyland park execs scheduled additional guest control and Guest Relations cast members to help keep the crowds moving, and resolve visitor complaints.

Disneyland began warning visitors of the event weeks in advance, posting notices on the Disneyland.com Web site, and even calling those who had booked vacations through Disney Travel to personally inform them of the schedule change.


Workers disassemble the giant movie screen Sunday afternoon. Photo by Adrienne Vincent-Phoenix.

Disney discussion boards, like our own MousePad, were all abuzz about the event, as readers made plans to visit - or avoid - the park for the weekend.

Fans started arriving at Disneyland even before the scheduled 6:30 a.m. opening to make sure they got the best seats along the red carpet. Others came to take advantage of the unusual operating hours, boasting that they were able to ride everything they wanted to before most people even woke up.


The skeleton of one bleacher section serves as temporary stroller parking. Photo by Adrienne Vincent-Phoenix.

Those who spent the day at Disneyland said that the crowds were lighter than they expected for a summer Saturday. Even after Frontierland and Adventureland closed, Tomorrowland and Fantasyland had small crowds and short lines.

Despite the publicity, many visitors were caught unaware, learning only of the event when they reached the ticket booths. In many cases, Guest Relations issued refunds to those visitors who took one look at the crowds on Main Street and decied to go home.


Visitors must navigate a tunnel under the bleachers to reach New Orleans Square and Critter Country. Photo by Adrienne Vincent-Phoenix.

Other visitors reported that they were given the option of going to DCA for the day instead of receiving a refund, and were also given complimentary passes to return to Disneyland on a later date. Anyone with a one-day Disneyland-only pass could get it validated by Guest Relations, and use it to visit DCA once Disneyland had closed for the evening.

MousePlanet interviewed dozens of park visitors, and most were thrilled with the event. One family, who travelled to Disneyland from Seattle, said that they made the trip just for the opportunity to attend a red carpet premiere. Far from being upset that Disneyland's much-maligned daytime parade had been cancelled for the day, the family was looking forward to seeing a real Parade of the Stars.


The exterior of The Golden Horseshoe sports a beautiful new paint job. Photo by Adrienne Vincent-Phoenix.

Even those who had been unaware of the event - and thus most affected by the reduced operating hours and entertainment schedule - expressed satisfaction with the way Disneyland handled their concerns. "We're happy now," said one mom who brought her family to DCA for the evening after Disneyland closed.

Workers began to dismantle the bleachers immediately after the premiere party ended, and one section was partially removed by the time the park opened on Sunday. Crews continued to remove the screen on Sunday, as visitors rode the Mark Twain and Columbia around the Rivers of America.


The Sailing Ship Columbia returned to passenger service Sunday morning. Photo by Adrienne Vincent-Phoenix.

Tom Sawyer Island is expected to reopen on Tuesday, giving visitors the first chance to see the new play area. The X Game Xperience debutes at DCA Tuesday morning, and Fantasmic returns that evening, as the Disneyland Resort returns to business as usual.

DCA benefits from Disneyland's event - Disney's California Adventure was the busiest it has been in recent memory, as many visitors opted to visit DCA on Saturday, rather than deal with the crowds and closures at Disneyland. Still more crossed the esplanade as portions of Disneyland began to close at 4:00 p.m.


Crowds enjoy the late night on Paradise Pier. Photo by Adrienne Vincent-Phoenix.

In an effort to absorb the crowds, DCA scheduled extra performances of Disney's Electrical Parade and Disney's Aladdin - A Musical Spectacular, and additional showtimes for Who Wants To Be A Millionaire - Play It! and Playhouse Disney - Live on Stage! DCA visitors were also able to catch "soft opening" previews of the Halfpipe Bay Show from X Games Xperience, scheduled to open Tuesday.


Cocina Cucamonga was one of the last restaurants open Saturday night. Photo by Adrienne Vincent-Phoenix.

Food locations operated for extended hours, including the rarely-open Lucky Fortune Cookery. At 10:00 p.m., both the Cocina Cucamonga Mexican Grill and Strips, Dips, n' Chips fast-food outlet were doing brisk business.


At 10:00 p.m., California Screamin' has a 35-minute wait. Photo by Adrienne Vincent-Phoenix.

Visitors seemed determined to enjoy the rare late-night park hours. At 10:0 p.m., California Screamin' had a 35-minute wait. By 11:00 p.m., the stand-by line for Soarin' Over California was still 40-minutes long.


Passengers won't need to buy tickets in advance to ride ART. Photo by Adrienne Vincent-Phoenix.

Making ART more accessible - When the Anaheim Resort Transportation system, the resort-wide bus service that replaced most local hotel-to-theme park shuttles, went into effect last year, visitors were excited by the concept, but they had a lot of questions. One of the most common - where do we buy tickets?

When the system was launched, passengers could buy ART tickets from their hotel, and many hotels included the tickets in their room packages. Unfortunately, potential riders could not buy shuttle tickets anywhere on Disneyland property, so the system was not very useful to those wishing to take the bus to off-property restaurants.

Starting today, riders can now purchase one-way tickets directly from the drivers, for $3.00 per adult. (Children 9 and under ride free with adults) This coincides with a $1 price increase in 1-day unlimited use ART passes. Passengers can also purchase 5-day passes at a discount. As always, unlimited-use ART passes must be purchased directly from participating hotels, or at the Anaheim Tourist Information Center, located in the parking lot of the McDonalds across Harbor from the Disneyland Resort entrance.


Current Refurbishments and Attraction Closures


Construction continues on the Tower of Terror. Photo by Adrienne Vincent-Phoenix.

Disneyland

  • Sleeping Beauty Castle walk-through – indefinite
  • Space Mountain – through 2005

Disney’s California Adventure

  • Superstar Limo – indefinite

Future Attraction Closures

  • Haunted Mansion – September 2 - October 4
  • Indiana Jones Adventure – September 2 - October 24 (David Koenig reports that this rehab has been postponed until January, 2004)
  • Splash Mountain - September 2 - “Fall 2003” (Disneyland says that the ride should reopen in early November 2003)
  • “it's a small world” – October 6 - November 7 (For the installation of the “it's a small world” Holiday overlay)
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.

Park Events


The Halfpipe Bay Show features 'boards, 'blades and bikes. Photo by Adrienne Vincent-Phoenix.

May 25 - July 26, 2003 – Mickey's All American Pin Festival. A series of new product releases and mini-events are scheduled during the nine-week promotion. More details and a complete schedule of release dates are available on our MousePad message boards.

Thursday, June 26 – “A Taste of New England” culinary event at the PCH Grill, featuring Chef Marcel St. Pierre (Club 33), with Wild Horse Winery. Call (714) 781-DINE (3463) for more information and reservations.

July 1 - August 10 – X Games Xperience at Disney's California Adventure.

Wednesday, July 9 – Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl – Merchandise Special Event.

Thursday, July 31 - “Grilling Under the Stars” culinary event at the PCH Grill, featuring Chef Jason Martin (Hook's Pointe), with Niebaum-Coppola Winery.

Wednesday, October 1 – Haunted Mansion Holiday Exclusive Dinner

Thursday October 2 – Haunted Mansion Holiday Event


Current Discounts & Promotions

New Play 4 Days pass Southern California residents, (zip codes 90000-93599), can purchase a new four-day ticket for just $79. The ticket is valid for four admissions to either Disneyland or Disney's California Adventure park, between June 1 and September 30, 2003. Residents can purchase just one ticket per person, per day, so your out-of-town relatives will need to buy their own, regular-priced admission.

The tickets can only be used at one park each day — no park hopping. We understand that you can use two admissions — one to each park — on the same day, effectively making this a $79 two-day park-hopper ticket, a $20 discount from the regular adult price.

The tickets can not be used at Disneyland on June 28, and July 4, 5, 26, and August 2, 9, 16, 23, 29, 30, and 31. There are no block-out days for DCA. Tickets are non-transferable, and you must show a valid ID each time. These tickets can be applied towards the cost of a Deluxe or Premium Annual Passport, (but not a Southern California Annual Passport), so long as you upgrade when or before you use the fourth admission.

Disney's Armed Forces Salute – Through Friday, December 19, all active members of the United States military (including Coast Guard and activated National Guard and Reservists) qualify for Disney's Armed Forces Salute and can claim one free 3-day park-hopper tickets. Since the tickets expire on December 19, you must claim them by December 17 to use all three day's worth. The passes can only be claimed at a park gate ticket booth. To claim the passes, valid military ID must be shown; activated National Guard and Reservists must also show their active duty orders.

In addition to the one free pass, each qualifying person can also purchase up to five 3-day companion passes for $39 each. If the qualifying person cannot visit a park to purchase these companion tickets, a spouse may do so instead.

Summer Annual Passholder special – The first ticket promotion this summer is an Annual Passholder special. From May 21 to September 3, APs can purchase a 2-Day Disneyland Resort Park Hopper for $69 (10+) and $49 (3-9). Just present your AP at any ticket booth. Limit five tickets per Passholder, per day. Tickets are valid for 14 days from date of first usage. First usage must be on date of purchase. Last usage must be on or before Tuesday, September 16, 2003.

Park hopping in Northern California – AAA members in Northern California can now purchase 2-day Park Hopper tickets at their local CSAA office. The tickets are available through Thursday, June 19. The adult price is $99; children ages 3 to 9 pay $79.

This ticket is also available at Disneyland ticket booths, or at Disneyland.com. The second day of the ticket must be used within 13 days of the first use.

Annual passholder discounts at Alamo – California residents get discounts of up to 20% off Alamo's retail rates in the United States. Disneyland annual passholders can get a free Disneyland Resort Character Breakfast voucher when the rent their car for 3 days or more from March 24th through August 31, 2003 at the Los Angeles Airport location. For more details and the discount code you'll need for this offer, visit the annual passholder section of the Disneyland Web site.

ESPN Zone discounts for annual passholders – Disneyland annual passholders can get an Season Ticket Frequent Dining Card at the Downtown Disney ESPN Zone. The Season Ticket entitles you to a free soda with your mealpurchase of $6.99 or more. Once you have made four mealpurchases, you receive the fifth meal and soda free, and get a chance to win apair of tickets to the ESPY Awards in 2004. See location for more information and details.

City Pass now available with AAA packages – You can now purchase the Southern California City Pass with Walt Disney Travel Company packages.

With a Southern California City Pass booklet, you will receive admission to five separate entertainment options. Admission includes:

  • 3-day Disneyland Resort Park Hopper Ticket
  • 1-day ticket to Sea World Adventure park
  • 1-day ticket to the World-famous San Diego Zoo
  • 1-day ticket to Knott's Theme Park.

Instead of the Disneyland Resort Park Hopper Ticket currently included in California packages from the Walt Disney Travel Company, guests can select a Southern California CityPass for an additional charge of $47 per pass ($32 per pass for guests ages 3 through 9).

Note: The Southern California Citypass does not include the $10 ESPN Zone Arena Game Card, or the California package's feature that allows guests to collect multiple Fastpass tickets at once for free in advance.

Anaheim Marriott Disney Package available for Marriott Rewards members – Make your Disneyland vacation as easy as saying "Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah" with a Disneyland package at the Anaheim Marriott. For a low rate of $419, through Saturday, May 31, you'll find dreams really do come true with this fabulously priced package.

Anaheim Disney Package includes:

  • 2-nights in a luxury guest room
  • 3-day Disneyland Resort Park Hopper tickets for two adults
  • Free breakfast for two adults
  • Children aged 3 through 9 eat for $1

Some restrictions apply. Membership in the Marriott Rewards program is required. Click to learn more about this offer and for complete terms and conditions.

Alaska Airlines airfare and hotel specials – Alaska Airlines is offering two specials for travel to the Disneyland Resort. A MousePad member alerted us that the airline is again offering the popular Kids Fly Free special, which includes airfare, hotel, park-hopper tickets, and more. This special offer can only be booked by calling Alaska Airlines at 1-800-468-2248. Adults traveling without kids can take advantage of other special hotel and air packages by booking at the Alaska Airlines Web site (link).

The "Get a 5-Day Park Hopper ticket for the price of a 3-Day ticket" promotion has been extended through January 5, 2004 – These tickets are available when you order online from Disneyland.com. Restrictions apply see site for details.

AAA Passport Plus Package – For $122.75, you can get a 5-day park hopper and the following extras:

  • Multiple attraction FastPass (The "Unlimited" option)
  • Breakfast in the park (one per person)
  • Free ESPN Zone arena game card ($10 value)
  • AAA Free parking at the Disneyland Resort Theme Parks

A $13.75 FedEx fee applies to each reservation, (not per person). This package is available without an air or hotel purchase, and must be purchased at your local AAA affiliate office at least 5 days before you plan to use the tickets.

Many readers have experienced difficulties when trying to purchase this package from their local AAA affiliate. Be sure to read this thread on our MousePad discussion boards, for more information about the package and tips on how to help your AAA travel agent book your package.

AAA / Disney's Resort Magic Package – This package requires a minimum 2-night hotel stay, and includes:

  • Accommodations at Disney's Paradise Pier Hotel, the Disneyland Hotel, or Disney's Grand Californian Hotel
  • Disneyland Resort Hotel self-parking and Fitness Center access
  • Disneyland Resort Park Hopper Ticket – valid for entry into Disneyland park and Disney's California Adventure park with full park-hopping privileges
  • Free ESPN Zone Arena Game Card – $10 value (one per person)
  • New. Collect FASTPASS tickets for multiple attractions at one time. Preferred Seating at a choice of select shows in Disney's California Adventure
  • Exclusive – Walt Disney Travel Company collectiblepin and lanyard (one per person)
  • Exclusive – Walt Disney Travel Company California Fun Book (one per package)
  • Exclusive – Disneyland Resort Magical Pocket Guide (one per package)

You can book this package through your local AAA affiliate travel agent.


Park Hours/Blockout Dates

DL: Disneyland
DCA: Disney’s California Adventure
Annual Pass blockout dates: SoCal - Southern California Annual Pass. DX - Deluxe Annual Pass

Sun
Mon
Tues
Wed
Thurs
Fri
Sat
 
6/30
7/1
7/2
7/3
7/4
7/5
  DL 8a - 11p
DCA 10a–9p
SoCal
DL 8a - 11p
DCA 10a–9p
SoCal
DL 8a - 11p
DCA 10a–9p
SoCal
DL 8a - 11p
DCA 10a–9p
SoCal
DL 8a–midnite
DCA 10a–10p
SoCal/DX

DL 8a–midnite
DCA 10a–10p
SoCal/DX

7/6
           
DL 8a–11p
DCA 10a–10p
SoCal
           

Visit our Annual Passholders Blockout Dates 2003-2004 page to see more dates.


Entertainment Schedule

Disneyland Park
Disney’s California Adventure
Downtown Disney
Monday 6/30
   

Disneyland Parade of the Stars - 4:45p, 8p

Sword in the Stone Ceremony - 10:45a, 11:45a, 12:45p, 2:30p, 3:30p, 4:30p

Billy Hill and the Hillbillies - 11:45a, 1:15p, 3p, 4:15p, 5:30p

"Believe...There's Magic in the Stars" Fireworks - 9:35p

Calling All Space Scouts...A Buzz Lightyear Adventure - 10:45a, 11:45a, 12:45p, 2:30p, 3:30p, 4:30p

Disney Princess Storytelling - 11a, noon, 1p

Mickey's Detective School - 1p, 2:15p, 3:30p, 5:30p, 6:45p

Club Buzz Stage Presents Platinum Groove - 7p, 8p, 9:45p, 10:30p

 

Disney's Electrical Parade - 9p

Disney's Aladdin - A Musical Spectacular - 12:45p, 2:30p, 4:45p, 6:15p

Goofy's Beach Party Bash - 1:30p, 2:30p, 3:30p, 5:15p, 6;15p, 7:15p

Awahanee Camp Circle Story Theater - 11a, noon, 12:30p, 1p, 1:30p, 2:30p, 3p, 4p, 4:30p, 5;15p, 5;45p, 6:30p

Who Wants to Be a Millionaire - Play It! - noon, 1p, 2p, 4p, 5p

Playhouse Disney - 10:30a, 11:30a, 12:30p, 1:30p, 2:30p, 3:30p, 4:30p, 5:30p, 6:30p, 7:30p

Ugly Bug Ball - 11:30a, 12:30p, 1:30p, 3p, 4p, 5p

Pacific Wharf Stage Presents: Caravana - 3:45p, 4:45p, 6:15p, 7:15p, 8:15p

House of Blues- Ziggy Marley with Colin James ($35 - $37) - 7p

House of Blues - Third Annual HOB Talent Show ($5) - 6p

 

Tuesday 7/1
   

Disneyland Parade of the Stars - 4:45p, 8p

FANTASMIC! - 9p, 10:30p

Sword in the Stone Ceremony - 10:45a, 11:45a, 12:45p, 2:30p, 3:30p, 4:30p

The Golden Horseshoe Variety Show - 11:45a, 1:15p, 3p, 4:15p, 5:30p

"Believe...There's Magic in the Stars" Fireworks - 9:35p

Calling All Space Scouts...A Buzz Lightyear Adventure - 10:45a, 11:45a, 12:45p, 2:30p, 3:30p, 4:30p

Disney Princess Storytelling - 11a, noon, 1p

Mickey's Detective School - 1p, 2:15p, 3:30p, 5:30p, 6:45p

Club Buzz Stage Presents The Antix 7p, 8p, 9:50p, 10:30p,

 

Disney's Electrical Parade - 9p

Disney's Aladdin - A Musical Spectacular - 12:45p, 2:30p, 4:45p, 6:15p

Goofy's Beach Party Bash - 1:30p, 2:30p, 3:30p, 5:15p, 6;15p, 7:15p

Awahanee Camp Circle Story Theater - 11a, noon, 12:30p, 1p, 1:30p, 2:30p, 3p, 4p, 4:30p, 5;15p, 5;45p, 6:30p

Who Wants to Be a Millionaire - Play It! - noon, 1p, 2p, 4p, 5p

Playhouse Disney - 10:30a, 11:30a, 12:30p, 1:30p, 2:30p, 3:30p, 4:30p, 5:30p, 6:30p, 7:30p

Ugly Bug Ball - 11:30a, 12:30p, 1:30p, 3p, 4p, 5p

Pacific Wharf Stage Presents: Caravana - 4:45p, 5:45p, 7:15p, 8:15p

X Games Xperience
•Interactive Skate Park for Guests 10:15a
Halfpipe Bay (Boards, Blades, Bikes) 10:45a
X Arena/MotoX (Motorcycles) 11:45a
Halfpipe Bay 12:30p
X Band/Bikers 1:15p
Vert Star of the Day 2p
X Arena/MotoX 2:30p
X Band / Bikers 2:50p
Halfpipe Bay 4p
X Arena/MotoX 4:30p
Halfpipe Bay 5:30p
X Arena/MotoX 6p
MotoX Star of the Day 7p

Ralph Brennan's Jazz Kitchen - Jazz Pianist: Ray Johnson - 6p

 



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