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News and Views

A quiet farewell for Monorail Orange

Cast members were notified Sunday afternoon that Monorail Orange will be offically retired from service today. Monorail cast members say that the trouble-prone train is worn out after nearly a year of constant use while the other trains were refurbished, and was finally deemed to be beyond repair.


Monorail Red was the lone working train for much of the weekend. Photo by Adrienne Vincent-Phoenix.


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The retirement comes as Monorail Blue returns to service after a lengthy overhaul. Blue was put into service over the weekend, but was pulled again due to mechanical difficulties. For much of Sunday, the Disneyland Monorail system ran with just one train—Monorail Red—or was closed entirely.

There is no word if there will be formal retirement ceremony for Orange. Cast members have heard that a new Monorail fleet may soon be under construction for Disneyland, but express concerns that the remaining trains won't last until the new ones are ready.

DCA: no longer for hire?

Two interesting developments have leaked about future non-events at Disney's California Adventure park. First, Michelle Smith reported this past weekend on FabulousDisneyBabe.com that the ABC Super Soaps Weekends, held in 2002 and 2003 at DCA, have been cancelled for 2004. According to her source, nobody wanted to pay to sponsor the event, which drew thousands of soap opera fans to the park for celebrity meet-and-greets, autograph sessions and discussion panels.

Then a poster on the LaughingPlace discussion boards shared a letter she received from ESPN, confirming that the X Games Xperience would not return to DCA this summer. The Xperience, hosted last summer to publicize the ESPN-sponsored X Games in Los Angeles, failed to draw the expected crowds of extreme sports fans.

While we never expected to see another Xperience at DCA, rumors circulated last year that a Cirque du Soleil-type show was being pitched as the special promotional event for this summer. Nothing further came from these rumors, and an entertainment cast member says that former Disneyland Resort President Cynthia Harriss scrapped the idea before she left the company last fall.

Instead, it looks like the Disneyland Resort has decided to rely less on movie premieres and transitory special events, and focus more on a permanent new addition to the park to draw crowds year-round. In the letter, the ESPN representative said, “The number one marketing message for DCA over the next year will be launching the new Tower of Terror.”

Cast members tell us that Superstar Limo, shuttered for over a year, is scheduled to reopen at the same time that Tower makes its debut. While some cast members speculate that Hollywood and Dine, a food court that is now used for nothing more than private events, may also reopen, one source tells us that Imagineers have been considering the building for use as a dark ride location. Perhaps the fabled Monsters, Inc. attraction could find a home here.


Triton's Garden is closed for refurbishment. Photo by Adrienne Vincent-Phoenix.

Snow is Coming

The Disneyland Resort kicked off the pre-opening media campaign for the upcoming Snow White – An Enchanting Musical, with a handprint ceremony at Grauman's Chinese Theatre in Hollywood last week. [Read for our coverage of this event.]

By contrast to the glitzy Hollywood press event, other parts of the marketing plan for this show are downright esoteric. Billboards have sprouted all around Southern California, sporting a solid white background and a few simple words printed in blue. Many read simply, “Snow is on the way,” with the date of February 23 listed below.

Observant locals, used to seeing Disneyland ads on those same billboards, assumed that the banners referred to something at the resort. Most people probably had no idea what the ads were about. A few days after they first appeared, small “Disneyland Resort” logos were pasted onto the billboards.

Some posters to our MousePad message boards expressed confusion about what they perceived to be a delayed campaign for the holiday season, since Disneyland heavily promoted the “snow on Main Street” effect during the holidays.

Several other readers hail this as a “brilliant marketing” technique, expecting additional details to be added to the signs as opening day draws near, all in an effort to arouse curiousity in the commuters who will pass the sign several times a week.

Let's go cruising

Staff Writer Shoshana Lewin recently returned from a seven-night cruise on the Disney Magic cruise ship, where rumors and gossip of a possible West Coast move were swimming. At several crew Q-&-A sessions, staff members said they were looking at new itineraries, and were vague about European and Alaskan voyages. But when it came to California, the phrase of choice was “no comment” and an occasional smile.

Shoshana then asked a future cruise consultant, if there were going to be cruises on the West Coast in 2005 (to coincide with Disneyland's 50th) how early would bookings start, and she was told there would be more information in two to three months. It is uncertain if this would be a new ship or if one of Disney's two ships, the Magic and Wonder, would reposition, since both ships have the ability to pass through the Panama Canal.

No refreshment delivery?

Considering the large number of outdoor vending carts and units staggered throughout Disneyland, it's a bit of a surprise when some of their more permament fixtures disappear without warning.


Wooden fences stand in place of the Fantasyland Fantasia Freeze cart. Photo by Alex Stroup.

If you have a craving for slushies while in Fantasyland, you might have to wait a while before you can have a Fantasia Freeze. All signs of the Fantasia Freeze stand are gone from under the monorail track near the “it's a small world” end of Fantasyland, and have been replaced by wooden fences. One cast member was under the impression that the stand was being refurbished, but was not sure when it was returning.

A reasonable facsimile is still available at the Goofy Freeze “trailer” next to Goofy's Bounce House in Toontown, and those who are willing to substitute the various flavors (Coca-Cola, cherry, blue raspberry, raspberry lemon, orange) with plain lemon, can opt for a lemonade slushie from one of the permanent and land-themed frozen lemonade stands.


The galaxy must have heen extremely thirsty; it drank the entire refreshment stand. Photo by Adrienne Vincent-Phoenix.

Tomorrowland is also a victim of disappearing refreshment stands; the Coca-Cola stand is nowhere to be found next to Redd Rocket's. An inquiry with a Tomorrowland cast member revealed that the stand is not used everyday, implying that it is used only on days with bigger park attendance. While February is not a busy month, the stand was not used on either days this past weekend, leaving us to wonder just how busy the park has to be for the stand to reappear. Without the stand, the “Delivering Refreshment to a Thirsty Galaxy” sign doesn't quite make sense.

Tower of Terror Update

As the grand opening looms, work continues on the Tower of Terror attraction at DCA. The Tower underwent operational tests this weekend.


The Tower of Terror, which underwent operational tests this weekend, looks from the exterior to be almost done. Photo by Adrienne Vincent-Phoenix.


The Tower dominates the skyline of Flik's Fun Fair. Photo by Adrienne Vincent-Phoenix.

Ears to the Ground

…The reopening date for Big Thunder Mountain Railroad has been pushed back to March 10, 2004.

…Coach John Wooden will sign his new children’s book, Inch and Miles: The Journey to Success, at 3:00 p.m., Sunday, February 22, at Compass Books & Café in Downtown Disney. More details are available on our MousePad discussion boards (link).


A Main Street window promotes Miracle, Disney's latest film. [Read editor Alex Stroup's review of the movie here.] Photo by Adrienne Vincent-Phoenix.


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 9 (May be extended even further).
  • Sleeping Beauty Castle walk-through closed indefinitely.
  • Space Mountain closed through 2005.
  • Big Thunder Mountain Railroad closed through March 9.
  • Tomorrowland Railroad Station closed through February 22.
  • Autopia – Fastpass unavailablethrough February 22.

Disney’s California Adventure

  • Orange Stinger closed through March 12.
  • Superstar Limo closed indefinitely (rumored to reopen on May 4).

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 23, “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

Disney's Passport Plus Package for 2004 includes:

  • Disneyland Resort Park Hopper Ticket
  • $10 ESPN Zone Arena Game Card
  • Preferred Seating at select shows in Disney's California Adventure Park
  • California Diamond Fun Book (one per package)
  • Free parking at Disneyland Resort Theme Parks

Prices are as follows:

  • 5-day: $129 (children: $99)
  • 6-day: $159 (children: $129)
  • 7-day: $184 (children: $149)

An additional handling fee of $10 will be charged per mailing address.

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
 2/92/102/112/122/132/14
 

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 8a–11p
DCA 10a–8p

DL 8a–12a
DCA 10a–9p
SoCal
DX

2/152/16     

DL 8a–12a
DCA 10a–9p
SoCal
DX

DL 8a–11p
DCA 10a–8p
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 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

 

Tuesday 2/10

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 2/11

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 2/12

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 2/13

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 10:45a, 11:45a, 12:45p, 2:30p, 3:30p, 4:30p

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

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 Blues Bash Featuring Kid Ramos 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 2/14

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 Sandbox 7p, 8p, 8:45p, 10p, 11p

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 Swingtown 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 Kid Ramos 3:45p, 4:45p, 6:15p, 7:15p

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 2/15

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

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

Club Buzz Stage Presents The Antix 7p, 8p, 8:45p, 10p, 11p

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 Venson & Co. 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 2/16

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

Fantasmic 9p, 10:30p

Once Upon a Time Storytelling 11a Noon 1p

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

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

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 Venson & Co. 4:45p, 5:45p, 7:15p, 8:15p

 



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