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News and Views

News from the Frontier

David Koenig reports some changes underway and under consideration in Frontierland.


Tom Sawyer heads toward his island. Photo by Adrienne Vincent-Phoenix.


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On Tom Sawyer Island, Chip and Dale have replaced the face characters playing Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn. The displaced characters can now be found around the raft dock, encouraging guests to visit the island. But as one guest was overheard to say, “If the island is so much fun, why are they here on the mainland?”


The rafts to Tom Sawyer Island may soon be missing an operator. Photo by Adrienne Vincent-Phoenix.

Attractions is also considering running the rafts to the island with a single operator, as reportedly is done at Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom. Disneyland typically uses two operators per raft—one driving and the other on the bow acting as a lookout for river traffic and assisting with docking. Cast members are resistant.


The Haunted Mansion is once again open, without the Nightmare overlay. Photo by Adrienne Vincent-Phoenix.

In addition, plans are to resurrect a smaller version of the Big Thunder Ranch petting zoo where the Festival Arena currently stands. “It will be placed somewhere near the entrance for Festival Arena,” said a source. “Esmerelda's Cottage, which is now just a storeroom, will be restored back to the replica cabin it once was. The Festival Arena itself will remain for company functions, and the remains of the Big Thunder Barbecue will be either removed or altered.”

New menu at PCH Grill

The PCH Grill in Disney's Paradise Pier Hotel unveiled a new lunch/dinner menu last week. The new menu is said to be reminiscent of Boardwalk-style eateries, and more consistent with the hotel's evolving theme.

The new menu is very big on sandwiches. In fact, two sections of the menu are devoted to hamburgers and sandwiches. The restaurant's signature pizzas are still available, along with a handful of appetizers, three salads and a new selection of desserts. The signature sweet from this offering is "The Kitchen Sink," a sundae that includes 10 scoops of ice cream, and all the toppings you would wish for.

What is noticeably missing from the menu is any kind of entree. Burgers, pizza and salad are your only choices—the menu has no pastas, no steaks, no fish. Children are sure to like the selection, but parents may wish there was a little more variety in the dinner options.


The first coat is finished—Space Mountain is now completely white. Photo by Adrienne Vincent-Phoenix.

Rumblings of Thunder

Attractions cast members have been told that Big Thunder Mountain Railroad is going to reopen in March. Some say they have even been told the date—March 5, just six months after Marcello Torres was killed on the ride. While the official investigations into the accident found no problems with the attraction itself, some visitors fear that six months is not enough time to resolve the maintenance and training issues that led to the fatality.

Tiki Terror

In a recent letter to cast members, Disneyland Resort President Matt Ouimet wrote, "Audio-animatronics have come a long way since the Enchanted Tiki Room opened, and a rehab is coming this fall to refresh the show. But if you want to find a little piece of the magic today, I encourage you to see it right away."

These comments have Enchanted Tiki Room fans concerned. Some interpret the letter to mean that the Disneyland attraction would receive the same type of "rehab" that resulted in the horrid "Under New Management" show at Walt Disney World. The attraction is scheduled to close in September and reopen in November. Only time will tell if we get our original show back, or some "modern" Britney- and Jessica-inspired version.

The traffic jam starts before you even reach your car

The latest crop of construction walls in Tomorrowland have created a crowded and confusing traffic flow pattern in the area. Walls around Autopia have blocked that attraction's exit. The net effect is that the standby entrance, Fastpass return entrance and ride exit are all in one location, with people coming and going through one very narrow passage.


The combined Autopia entrance/exit results in a real bottleneck. Photo by Adrienne Vincent-Phoenix.

The Tommorrowland train station and the Hatmosphere gift shop are both closed during this repaving project, and Tomorrowland effectively dead-ends at the Autopia entrance/exit.


The Winner's Circle is hidden from view by construction walls. Photo by Adrienne Vincent-Phoenix.

The Autopia construction wall has also blocked the Monorail exit. Where riders were once "encouraged" to exit the Monorail platform through the Winner's Circle shop, they now have no choice. One narrow aisle leads from the Winner's Circle into Tomorrowland. Even worse, the store now has no sign, and no entrance. Autopia riders trying to redeem their prize cards have to hunt around Tomorrowland to find the entrance to the hidden store to claim their toy Chevron car.


These days, Tomorrowland has more construction walls than rides. Photo by Adrienne Vincent-Phoenix.

New Orleans Square loses another one


Le Boutique de Noel will remain shuttered until spring break. Photo by Adrienne Vincent-Phoenix.

Le Boutique de Noel, the holiday store located in New Orleans Square, was closed for the recent inventory. Now the store windows have been blacked out, and cast members tell us that the store will remain closed until spring break. This is the second New Orleans Square store to suffer this fate—Le Masquerade has been closed for two years.

Home on Main Street


Signage in the window provides some background information about the new Disney animated feature release, Home on the Range. Photo by Adrienne Vincent-Phoenix.

The Brother Bear windows outside Disneyland's Emporium shop have been replaced with two new displays promoting the upcoming Home on the Range film.


There are no moving (moo-ving?) parts in the new Home on the Range window, but plenty of pictures taken from various scenes in the movie. Photo by Adrienne Vincent-Phoenix.


Current Refurbishments and Attraction Closures

Disneyland

  • “it's a small world” closed January 12 – 25
  • Indiana Jones Adventure closed January 20 – April 2
  • Mark Twain Riverboat rehab extended into February
  • Sleeping Beauty Castle walk-through closed indefinitely
  • Space Mountain closed through 2005
  • Big Thunder Mountain Railroad closed indefinitely

Disney’s California Adventure

  • Superstar Limo closed indefinitely

Future Attraction Closures

  • Pinocchio's Daring Journey closed January 26 – February 19
  • Orange Stinger closed February 2 – March 12
  • Dumbo closed March 8 – April 1
  • Enchanted Tiki Room closes in September for a two-month rehab
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

January

  • 75 Years with Mickey auction, January 31.

February

  • Sleeping Beauty's Royal Ball, details available at the Disney Gallery Web site (link). February 14.
  • Snow White – An Enchanting Musical premieres February 22, "soft opening" previews begin February 9.

April

  • Tower of Terror event, details available at the Disney Gallery Web site (link). April 22 & 23

May

  • Twilight Zone Tower of Terror Opening at DCA. May 4
  • A Celebration of Walt Disney Art Classics – “A Disney Blast to the Past” May 14 to 16.

Current Discounts & Promotions

New SoCal Salute announced; two parks, two days at one-day price

Beginning January 6 through April 30, the Disneyland Resort will be offering a new version of the SoCal salute. Residents may enjoy a day at Disneyland and a day at Disney's California Adventure for the price of a one-day ticket. Eligible residents may purchase up to five "2fer" tickets per day with proof of Southern California residency (zip codes 90000 through 93599, or Northern Baja California residents within zip codes 21000 through 22999; valid ID required). "2fer" tickets are priced at the regular one-day ticket prices for the Disneyland Resort theme parks—$47 for ages 10 and up, $37 for ages 3 through 9—and are available at Resort ticket booths as well as at www.disneyland.com. The first day of use must occur on the date of purchase; the second day of use must occur within 30 days of purchase or before April 30, 2004, whichever occurs first.

New AAA tickets

AAA announced new ticket plans for the Disneyland Resort:

  • 2-day adult Flex Passport $98 (children: $78)
  • 5-day adult Flex Passport $129 (children: $99)

The new prices took effect December 24, 2003, and all tickets include free parking.

Live an Artful Life with an OC Arts Card

The Disneyland Resort partnering with Arts Orange County sponsor the OC Arts Card, which provides cardholders with benefits such as savings on tickets, classes, merchandise and memberships at more than 40 nonprofit arts venues in the local Orange County community.

Annual passholders can purchase the 2004 card for $37.50, 25 percent off the regular price. In addition, the first 500 passholders to purchase a card receive a second card for free.

For more information or to order a card, visit the OCArts card Web site (link) or call (888) 556-5160. To receive the annual passholder discount, use offer code C04DIAP. The first card is mailed immediately; those who are among the first 500 will have the second card mailed at a later time.

Disney's Wildfire Heroes Salute

“Disney's Wildfire Heroes Salute” entitles active California firefighters, law enforcement and rescue personnel, with proper organization and photo ID, to one free three-day park hopper ticket. They can also make a one-time purchase of up to five three-day park hopper companion tickets for $39 each. Discounted hotel rates are also available at the three Disneyland Resort hotels.

The promotion is valid through March 31, except for blackout dates of February 14 to 16. For more details, visit Disneyland's Disney's Wildfire Heroes Salute Web page (link) or call (714) 520-5069.

Have a Coke and a pass

Specially marked 12-packs and two-liter bottles of Coca-Cola in Southern California are currently offering a $20-off coupon towards the purchase of a new Deluxe or Premium Disneyland Resort Annual Pass. The coupon is valid through January 31.

Annual Passholders nights at the Disneyland Resort hotels

Annual passholders can also book a room at the Paradise Pier hotel for $59. This offer is valid only on Sunday nights, through March.

Get 5 days and 4 nights for the price of 3

Book a package at the Disneyland Resort for a minimum four-nights through the Walt Disney Travel Company, and the package price includes one night's free accommodations at participating hotels. Your package will also include a five-day Disneyland Resort park hopper ticket for the price of a three-day Disneyland Resort park hopper ticket. Click here for a list of participating hotels and dates.

City Pass available with AAA packages

You can purchase the Southern California City Pass with Walt Disney Travel Company packages.

A Southern California City Pass booklet includes admission to five separate entertainment options:

  • 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 city's for an additional charge of $47 per pass ($32 per pass for children 3 through 9).

Note: The Southern California City's 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.

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 collectible pin 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

0.
Sun
Mon
Tues
Wed
Thurs
Fri
Sat
  1/19 1/20 1/21 1/22 1/23 1/24
  DL 9a–10p
DCA 10a–8p
SoCal

DL 10a–8p
DCA 10a–6p

DL 10a–8p
DCA 10a–6p

DL 10a–8p
DCA 10a–6p

DL 9a–10p
DCA 10a–8p

DL 8a–11p
DCA 10a–9p
SoCal

1/25            

DL 9a–10p
DCA 10a–9p

           

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


Entertainment Schedule

Disneyland Park
Disney’s California Adventure
Downtown Disney
Monday 1/19

Disneyland Parade of the Stars 4:15p, 8p

Billy Hill & the Hillbillies – 11:45a 1:15p 3p 4:15p 5:30p

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

Fantasmic 9p, 10p

Calling All Space Scouts… A Buzz Lightyear Adventure 11:30p, 12:30p, 1:30p, 3:15p, 4:15p. 5:15p

Once Upon a Time Storytelling 11a Noon 1p

Disney's Electrical Parade 8p

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

Playhouse Disney – Live on Stage! 11:30a 12:30p 1:30p 3:15p 4:15p 5:15p

Who Wants To Be A Millionaire – Play It! Noon 1p 2p 4p 5p

The Ugly Bug Ball 11a 12p 1p 2:30p 3:30p 4:30p

 

Tuesday 1/20

Disneyland Parade of the Stars 7p

Billy Hill & the Hillbillies – 11:45a 1:15p 3p 4:15p 5:30p

Calling All Space Scouts… A Buzz Lightyear Adventure 11:30a 12:30p 1:30p 3:15p 4:15p 5:15p

Once Upon a Time Storytelling 11a Noon 1p

Disney's Aladdin – A Musical Spectacular 12:30p 2:15p 5:00p

Playhouse Disney – Live on Stage! 10:30p 11:30a 12:30p 2:15p 3:15p 4:15p

Who Wants To Be A Millionaire – Play It! Noon 1p 2p 4p 5p

The Ugly Bug Ball 11a 12p 1p 2:30p 3:30p 4:30p

Ralph Brennan's Jazz Kitchen Doug Lacy 6:30p

Wednesday 1/21

Disneyland Parade of the Stars 7p

Billy Hill & the Hillbillies – 11:45a 1:15p 3p 4:15p 5:30p

Calling All Space Scouts… A Buzz Lightyear Adventure 11:30a 12:30p 1:30p 3:15p 4:15p 5:15p

Once Upon a Time Storytelling 11a Noon 1p

Disney's Aladdin – A Musical Spectacular 12:30p 2:15p 5:00p

Playhouse Disney – Live on Stage! 10:30p 11:30a 12:30p 2:15p 3:15p 4:15p

Who Wants To Be A Millionaire – Play It! Noon 1p 2p 4p 5p

The Ugly Bug Ball 11a 12p 1p 2:30p 3:30p 4:30p

 

Thursday 1/22

Disneyland Parade of the Stars 7p

Billy Hill & the Hillbillies – 11:45a 1:15p 3p 4:15p 5:30p

Calling All Space Scouts… A Buzz Lightyear Adventure 11:30a 12:30p 1:30p 3:15p 4:15p 5:15p

Once Upon a Time Storytelling 11a Noon 1p

Disney's Aladdin – A Musical Spectacular 12:30p 2:15p 5:00p

Playhouse Disney – Live on Stage! 10:30p 11:30a 12:30p 2:15p 3:15p 4:15p

Who Wants To Be A Millionaire – Play It! Noon 1p 2p 4p 5p

The Ugly Bug Ball 11a 12p 1p 2:30p 3:30p 4:30p

 

Friday 1/23

Disneyland Parade of the Stars 4:15p, 8p

Billy Hill & the Hillbillies – 11:45a 1:15p 3p 4:15p 5:30p

Calling All Space Scouts… A Buzz Lightyear Adventure 11:30p, 12:30p, 1:30p, 3:15p, 4:15p. 5:15p

Fantasmic 9p, 10p

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

Aladdin and Jasmine's StoryTale Adventures 11a 11:55a 12:55p 1:55p 3:34p 4:40p 5:35p 6:30p

Once Upon a Time Storytelling 11a Noon 1p

Disney's Electrical Parade 8p

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

Playhouse Disney – Live on Stage! 11:30a 12:30p 1:30p 3:15p 4:15p 5:15p

Who Wants To Be A Millionaire – Play It! Noon 1p 2p 4p 5p

The Ugly Bug Ball 11a 12p 1p 2:30p 3:30p 4:30p

Pacific Wharf Stage Presents Scot Bruce - A Tribute to Elvis: The Early Years with Russell Scott & his Red Hots 3:45p, 4:45p, 6:15p, 7:15p

 

Saturday 1/24

Disneyland Parade of the Stars 4:15p, 8p

Billy Hill & the Hillbillies – 11:45a 1:15p 3p 4:15p 5:30p

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

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

Fantasmic 9p, 10:30p

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

Aladdin and Jasmine's StoryTale Adventures 11a 11:55a 12:55p 1:55p 3:34p 4:40p 5:35p 6:30p

Once Upon a Time Storytelling 11a Noon 1p

Jump, Jive Boogie Swing Party Featuring The Eric Ekstrand Ensemble 7p, 8:30p, 9:30p, 10:30p

Disney's Electrical Parade 8p

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

Playhouse Disney – Live on Stage! 11:30a 12:30p 1:30p 3:15p 4:15p 5:15p

Who Wants To Be A Millionaire – Play It! Noon 1p 2p 4p 5p

The Ugly Bug Ball 11a 12p 1p 2:30p 3:30p 4:30p

Pacific Wharf Stage Presents Scot Bruce - A Tribute to Elvis: The Early Years with Russell Scott & his Red Hots 4:45p, 5:45p, 7:15p, 8:15p

 

Sunday 1/25

Disneyland Parade of the Stars 4:15p, 8p

Billy Hill & the Hillbillies – 11:45a 1:15p 3p 4:15p 5:30p

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

Fantasmic 9p, 10p

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

Aladdin and Jasmine's StoryTale Adventures 11a 11:55a 12:55p 1:55p 3:34p 4:40p 5:35p 6:30p

Once Upon a Time Storytelling 11a Noon 1p

Disney's Electrical Parade 8:45p

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

Playhouse Disney – Live on Stage! 11:30a 12:30p 1:30p 3:15p 4:15p 5:15p

Who Wants To Be A Millionaire – Play It! Noon 1p 2p 4p 5p

The Ugly Bug Ball 11a 12p 1p 2:30p 3:30p 4:30p

Pacific Wharf Stage Presents Scot Bruce - A Tribute to Elvis: The Early Years with Russell Scott & his Red Hots 4:45p, 5:45p, 7:15p, 8:15p

House of Blues Gospel Brunch 10a, 1p ($16.50 – $33)

Monday 1/26

Disneyland Parade of the Stars 7p

Billy Hill & the Hillbillies – 11:45a 1:15p 3p 4:15p 5:30p

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

Calling All Space Scouts… A Buzz Lightyear Adventure 11:30p, 12:30p, 1:30p, 3:15p, 4:15p. 5:15p

Once Upon a Time Storytelling 11a Noon 1p

Disney's Aladdin – A Musical Spectacular 12:30p 2:15p 5:00p

Playhouse Disney – Live on Stage! 10:30p 11:30a 12:30p 2:15p 3:15p 4:15p

Who Wants To Be A Millionaire – Play It! Noon 1p 2p 4p 5p

The Ugly Bug Ball 11a 12p 1p 2:30p 3:30p 4:30p

 



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