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News and Views

Let it Snow


Snow White and Prince Charming sing to the audience at the Fantasyland Theater during one of the first public dress rehearsal performances of Snow White – An Enchanting New Musical show last week. Photo by Adrienne Vincent-Phoenix.

Disneyland held the first dress rehearsal “soft-opening” performances of Snow White – An Enchanting New Musical last week. MousePlanet readers who attended one of the preview performances gave mixed reviews. One reader said, “It's very magical, almost entrancing,” while another said, “The sets and mirror are great, but the plot is not there.”


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By all accounts, several major effects were missing from these preview performances. By the time the show makes its formal debut in two weeks, the entire concept could be turned on its ear. For now, you can see photos from the first public performance (link), but check back for our coverage of the official opening weekend.

Lights, Tower, Action

The anti-triskaidekaphobics were out in full force at Disney's California Adventure on Friday, February 13 for the official lighting of the park's newest E-ticket, The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror, in the Hollywood Pictures Backlot.

But this was no ordinary lighting. Unlike other areas of the resort, the Tower of Terror lights aren't powered by imagination nor by Hewlett-Packard. In a nod to Monsters Inc., this runs on screams.

But even Disney can't control the when the sun will set, so prior to the lighting, a sextet of musicians in bell hop uniforms performed '30s-era tunes while waiting for night to approach. Then wacky comedian Gallagher revved up the crowd, sans his traditional watermelon and sledgehammer. The former gubernatorial candidate was told he could only bring things that wouldn't hurt anyone, so he used a tennis racket to toss streamers, candy bars and marshmallows into the crowd—the custodial department probably had a great time scraping up the sticky residue from the area outside the Hyperion Theater.


Gallagher tries to give the crowd a sugar high. Photo by David Michael.

As dusk approached, three amateur screamers tested their lung power before being joined by Jill Drake, the Guinness Book of World Records holder for the “loudest scream,” who was brought in from England for the occasion (Drake's scream reached 129 decibels, louder than a train whistle). If the screams were loud enough an old-fashioned elevator set up on the stage as a “scream-o-meter” would reach 13 (which also represents the number of floors guests will plummet down while on the attraction) and the lights would turn on.

Two blood-curdling screams later, the arrow reached 13 and sparks flew out of the sign on top of the tower.


Like a scene out of Monsters Inc., The Tower of Terror is powered by the screams of Jill Drake. Photo by David Michael.

For those guests who have been to the attraction in Florida, or even just seen the outside of it, there is an immediate difference in the outer look of the two attractions. The one at DCA is considered (Southwestern Native American) Pueblo deco, according to Barry Braverman, senior vice president of Walt Disney Imagineering (WDI), who added that Tower of Terror was high on the list for one of the first attractions to be added to DCA.

The story centers on a dark and stormy Halloween night in 1939 at the Hollywood Tower Hotel. Four guests and a bellhop entered the elevator, but never made it to their destination. The building was hit by lightning and the five were sent into the “Twilight Zone.”

Park guests have a chance to make the same journey via a dilapidated service elevator. But only the Imagineering department knows what happens once the doors close.

“[We have] a new special effect not in Florida,” Braverman told MousePlanet. “It involves the guest in a way that is quite unexpected, quite amazing, mysterious and equally dazzling to the 'disappearing' hallway—which is here, [too].”

“This ride represents the best of Imagineering's art form, blending storytelling, theming, technology, physical experiences—you are immersed in this storyline,” said Braverman, who added that he is a big fan of the original Twilight Zone TV series (his favorite episode is “Nightmare at 20,000 Feet” with William Shatner).

“It is exactly the same story [as in Florida],” noted Cory Sewelson, senior show producer at WDI and leader of creative development for The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror. “It has the same suspenseful aspects of the 'Twilight Zone.'”

So when guests come the park in early May, Braverman said they won't have a hard time finding the new attraction.

“Guests will be able to hear the screams as soon as they enter the park,” he said.

Gimme a D! Gimme a C! Gimme an A!

What's that spell? A potential headache for tourists planning to visit DCA this spring. The United Spirit Association is holding several Nationals events at the Disneyland Resort. The competitions are scheduled for the weekends of February 21 to 22, March 19 to 21, March 26 to 28 and April 9 to 10.

Because the Fantasyland Theater has been turned over to the Snow White production, the cheerleaders will instead compete inside DCA's Hyperion Theater. Performances of Aladdin – A Musical Spectacular will be cancelled during these events.

[Note: Although the cheerleaders will be out in force during this spring's MouseAdventure, MousePlanet's signature event takes places across the esplanade at Disneyland. We do not expect there to be any conflict.]

Ears to the Ground

…In what appears to be a permanent change for the remainder of the off-season, Friday and Sunday showtimes for Fantasmic have been changed to 8:30 and 9:30. [Note: This item originally reported that Saturday showtimes had changed as well, that was incorrect.]


Current Refurbishments and Attraction Closures

Disneyland

  • Indiana Jones Adventure closed through April 2.
  • Pinocchio's Daring Journey closed through February 19.
  • Mark Twain Riverboat rehab extended, originally through February 9, but still closed.
  • 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 unavailable through February 22.

Disney’s California Adventure

  • Orange Stinger closed through March 12.
  • Superstar Limo closed indefinitely (rumored to reopen 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

  • Snow White – An Enchanting Musical premieres February 23; dress rehearsal “soft opening” previews began February 9.
  • Snow White – An Enchanting Musical “Reserved” Annual Passholder showtimes February 23 to 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
 2/162/172/182/192/202/21
 

DL 8a–11p
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–12a
DCA 10a–9p
SoCal

2/222/23     

DL 8a–12a
DCA 10a–9p

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 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

 

Tuesday 2/17

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 2/18

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 2/19

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 2/20

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 11:30a 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 Blues Bash Featuring Ready Freddy 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 2/21

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 Basix 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 Doc Anello and the Swing Machine 7p, 8:30p, 9:30p, 10:30p

Disney's Electrical Parade 8:45p

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 Ready Freddy 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 2/22

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 11:30a 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

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 Ready Freddy 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 2/23

Disneyland Parade of the Stars 7p

Snow White - An Enchanting New Musical 3:15p, 4:45p

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! 10:30a, 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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