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News and Views

Disney responds

In response to “Annual Passholders second-rate citizens?” in last week's Park Update: Disneyland regarding an incident at the Disneyland park entrance (link), Bob Tucker, Director of Media Relations for the Disneyland Resort, provided MousePlanet with the following comments:


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“We believe the actions taken last week were handled in the appropriate manner. We highly value our relationships with Annual Passholders. They are very loyal and important Guests.”

Projections for the 50th

Forget inflatable cakes, giant top hats or gold paint—Disney has landed on a new way to enhance Sleeping Beauty Castle for the upcoming 50th anniversary celebration.

The company is working with the Austrian special effects firm Pani to decorate the castle with projected images. Using projected images lets Disney present a unique nighttime show, while leaving the Castle intact during the day.

These effects are far more advanced than the simple single-image “gobos” used at Walt Disney World. Pani's projectors are capable of “painting” an entire building with still or moving images. The portfolio of images on the Pani Web site (link) are stunning, and the roster of clients impressive.

While the display planned for Disneyland is still top secret, people who have seen a computer rendering are enthusiastic about the design, which is said to tell a story about the castle itself.


Construction continues in Tomorrowland. Photo by Adrienne Vincent-Phoenix.

No photos, please?

A MousePlanet reader, who posts as “Darkbeer” on our MousePad message boards, related a strange encounter at Disneyland this past week. He writes that he was taking photos of the construction in Tomorrowland when “a very nice (cast member) came up to me and asked me to stop taking photos… Then later, while in the Innoventions queue, I was asked to erase the photo I just took of some of the repaving by another CM…”


The Hatmosphere shop and adjacent restrooms are closed during construction. Photo by Adrienne Vincent-Phoenix.

Darkbeer, who contributes photos to Web sites including MousePlanet, says that he was not in an off-limits area, and was taking the photos from publically accessible, on-stage locations.


Autopia has a combined entrance and exit during the construction. Photo by Adrienne Vincent-Phoenix.

A MousePlanet photographer took photos in the same area this past weekend, and was not asked to stop or to delete those photos. A Disneyland security cast member said that security was not aware of any policy against photos taken from public areas of the park.

Strike one

The Disneyland Resort avoided a walkout from the Hotel Employees and Restaurant Employees union this weekend when H.E.R.E. agreed to extend talks for 14 days past the January 31 contract expiration date.

Cast members say union representatives are preparing them for a strike if Disney and the union cannot agree on a new contract to cover workers at the Disneyland Hotel and the Paradise Pier Hotel. [Workers at the Grand Californian hotel are covered by a separate contract which expires in 2005.]

At issue are wage increases, health care benefits, and work conditions for the 1,300 workers covered under the contract. While talks continue, managers from other business units are being trained at the hotels and restaurants to take the places of workers should the union call for a strike.

The new “critter” country


Guests can get up close and personal with a variety of crawly critters. Photo by Adrienne Vincent-Phoenix.

Disneyland installed a has a new meet-and-greet location located in front of the Indy ride, which is currently closed for rehab. Cast members are on hand to introduce guests to some of the Adventureland wildlife, including a white cockatoo, a scorpion and a millipede.

Welcome to the Gift Shop

Disney has added a new offering to the Tower of Terror event, scheduled for April 22 and 23. In addition to the $1,595 “Tip Top Club” package, the $465 “Sunset Room Package” and the $125 “Stardust Room” package, a new $59 ticket is available, appropriately called the “Gift Shop” package.

The difference between the two low-end packages seems to be minimal. Customers who buy the Stardust Room package will gain admission to Disney's California Adventure park at the beginning of the event, and will enjoy “hors d'oeuvres & refreshments.” Those who opt for the less expensive package will be admitted to DCA at 9:00 p.m., and will enjoy “refreshments.”

All four packages include a ride on the new attraction and a “lovely parting gift.” All four packages will also include a chance to purchase event-exclusive merchandise, which some speculate fueled the decision to add the Gift Shop package. “They just want us to pay $60 for the chance to buy merchandise, and they aren't even being subtle about it,” wrote one collector. “They are going to be in for a shock—nobody really collects Tower merchandise!”

A reader pointed out a strange feature of the two most expensive packages: Each includes one night's accommodations at Disney's Grand Californian Hotel. Since many people attend these events as a couple, Disney has usually offered them a second night at the hotel, instead of two rooms at the hotel for the same night.

This year, Disney is again offering a second night's accommodations—but at the Disneyland Hotel. Couples who purchase the top packages will get just one night at the Grand Californian Hotel, and will then have to switch hotels for their second night stay. Said one prospective customer, “I cannot believe they are going to be so pettty as to make me change rooms when I'm paying $1,600 per person for the event.”

Tickets for the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror Event will be sold through DisneyGallery.com (link) beginning February 9, 2004 at 9:00 a.m.


Current Refurbishments and Attraction Closures

Disneyland

  • Indiana Jones Adventure closed through April 2.
  • Pinocchio's Daring Journey closed through Feb. 19.
  • Mark Twain Riverboat rehab extended through February 6. (May be extended even further)
  • Sleeping Beauty Castle walk-through closed indefinitely.
  • Space Mountain closed through 2005.
  • Big Thunder Mountain Railroad closed through March 4.
  • Tomorrowland Railroad Station closed through February 22.
  • Autopia - Fastpass unavailable January 26 through February 22.

Disney’s California Adventure

  • Orange Stinger closed through March 12.
  • Superstar Limo closed indefinitely.

Future Attraction Closures

  • Dumbo closed March 8 to April 1
  • Peter Pan's Flight closed April 19 to May 22.
  • 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

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.
  • Snow White – An Enchanting Musical “Reserved” Annual Passholder showtimes February 23 – 27 & 29 at 6:00 p.m.

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

The Disneyland Resort is offering a new version of the Southern Californian resident salute through Friday, April 30. Residents may spend a day at Disneyland and a day at Disney's California Adventure for the price of a one-day ticket.

Eligible residents can 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 the Disneyland Web site (link).

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, 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.

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.

Annual Passholders nights at the Disneyland Resort hotels

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

Annual Passholders can also book rooms at the Paradise Pier hotel for $79 a night, Sunday through Thursday.

Weekend rates and discounts for the Disneyland Hotel and Disney's Grand Californian are higher. Make reservations at 714-956-MICKEY, and ask for rate plan APN. Note: these offers run concurrently. If your trip includes a Sunday night stay, be sure to ask for the lower rate for that night.

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-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

Sun
Mon
Tues
Wed
Thurs
Fri
Sat
  2/2 2/3 2/4 2/5 2/6 2/7
 

DL 10a–8p
DCA 10a–6p

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

2/8 2/9          

DL 9a–10p
DCA 10a–9p

DL 10a–8p
DCA 10a–6p

         

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


Entertainment Schedule

Disneyland Park
Disney’s California Adventure
Downtown Disney
Monday 2/2

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 11:30p, 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

The Magic of Brother Bear 11:30a, 12:30p, 1:30p, 3p, 4p, 5p

 

Tuesday 2/3

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

The Magic of Brother Bear 11:30a, 12:30p, 1:30p, 3p, 4p, 5p

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

Wednesday 2/4

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

The Magic of Brother Bear 11:30a, 12:30p, 1:30p, 3p, 4p, 5p

 

Thursday 2/5

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

The Magic of Brother Bear 11:30a, 12:30p, 1:30p, 3p, 4p, 5p

 

Friday 2/6

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 8:30p, 9:30p

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

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

The Magic of Brother Bear 11:30a, 12:30p, 1:30p, 3p, 4p, 5p

Pacific Wharf Stage Presents The Shane Dwight Blues Band 3:45p, 4:45p, 6:15p, 7:15p

D.U.H. - Department of Untapped Hilarity 11:30a, 12:30p, 1:30p, 3p, 4p. 5p

 

Saturday 2/7

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 Polyester Express 7p, 8:30p, 10:00p

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 Pete Jacobs and his Wartime Radio Revue 7p, 8:30p, 9:30p, 10:30p

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

The Magic of Brother Bear 11:30a, 12:30p, 1:30p, 3p, 4p, 5p

Pacific Wharf Blues Bash Featuring Section 8 with Lucinda Chatfield 3:45p, 4:45p, 5:45p, 7:15p, 8:15p

Chance to Shine - 11a, noon, 1p, 2:30p, 3:30p. 4:30p

D.U.H. - Department of Untapped Hilarity 11:30a, 12:30p, 1:30p, 3p, 4p. 5p

 

Sunday 2/8

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 8:30p, 9:30p

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

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

The Magic of Brother Bear 11:30a, 12:30p, 1:30p, 3p, 4p, 5p

Pacific Wharf Blues Bash Featuring The Shane Dwight Blues Band 4:45p, 5:45p, 7:15p, 8:15p

Chance to Shine - 11a, noon, 1p, 2:30p, 3:30p. 4:30p

 

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

Monday 2/9

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 11:30p, 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

The Magic of Brother Bear 11:30a, 12:30p, 1:30p, 3p, 4p, 5p

 



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