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News and Views

Castle gets makeover tests…


A turret on the castle gets a coating of gold paint along half of its awning. Photo by Karl Buiter.

Various preparations have begun at Disneyland towards its 50th Anniversary celebration next year, including a makeover test of the new paint job for Sleeping Beauty Castle.

…While Rocket Rods track lays fallow


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Some parts of the park are being completely neglected, such as parts of the track for the scrapped Rocket Rods attraction in Tomorrowland. This does not pose a safety hazard, since the ride has not been operational in a while. Regardless, the portion of the track in this photo is visible to park guests.


The foliage is getting pretty overgrown on this portion of the Rocket Rods track. Photo by Karl Buiter.

Close Call At Disney's California Adventure

by David Koenig

Reader Joseph Titizian reported that on Friday, June 11, Disney's California Adventure nearly suffered its first guest fatality, by someone who wasn't even a theme park guest. About 3:00 in the afternoon, he said, “We were turning the bend past Soarin' towards Grizzly when I noticed something odd. On the sloped roof of the sixth floor of the Grand Californian, just outside of her balcony, was a small child no more than five or six years old. She had just hopped over her balcony onto the sloped area around it wandering around, looking out at Disney's California Adventure. We couldn't believe our eyes!”

Each balcony has a table and two chairs that small children commonly stand on to get a better view over the railing. As well, the balconies are “inset” into the roofline, so the gravel-covered roofs are just a few feet below the railing—making it easy and tempting for someone to climb over. The roofs are about five feet deep, slope downward, and at the top concierge level, are about 50 feet above the ground below.


As these photos show, the upper-floor balconies at the Grand Californian Hotel provide ready access to the roof for anybody willing and able to climb over the railing. Photo by Alex Stroup.

“As we walked closer,” Titizian continued, “The girl climbed back over, but by the time we had reached the Grizzly ride entrance she was back over on the roof, walking around, doing a little dance, at one point turning around, facing back into her room and waving. By now a group of concerned guests had gathered frozen in fear feeling helpless not knowing what to do! The ticket takers at the DCA/Grand Californian gate wandered out to see what was going on, and helplessly walked back to hopefully call Security. The child who was barefoot and looked quite disheveled continued to wander and prance as the crowd got more anxious.”

The crowd stood by helplessly, saying things like “Where's the mother?” “Someone do something!”, and “Oh, my God, she is going to fall!” Finally, a female guest in a loud, forceful voice, yelled to the girl, “You get back over there right now, Baby! Go, or you are going to get a spanking! Where is your mother? Get inside right now! Get inside the house! Go to your Mommy!”

“This obviously caught the attention of the girl,” he related, “who sheepishly climbed over the balcony and hid behind the balcony railings. Not once did her parents come outside during this entire incident. And Disney Security was nowhere to be found! Here's hoping that they visited the room and kicked those horrible people out of the Grand Californian. It makes you wonder what kind of people are staying in some of the most desirable and expensive rooms at the Grand Cal!”

A security officer expressed little surprise at the alleged incident and lack of response. “That's what is happening when you have cutbacks,” he said. “DCA has only about four officers patrolling that park. But it all boils down to that old saying of 'guests are idiots.' Fortunately, the kid did not get hurt.”

Adrienne Krock, MousePlanet's Parenting in the Park editor, said, “I think it's unfortunate that security didn't get there because they could have at least figured out what room the child was in to let the 'responsible' adults know what happened. The lack of supervision for that child is shocking and sad. We often don't think ahead, and many of us do not have balconies at home or have balconies that can access rooftops. This is an important reminder to be aware of our surroundings and be on alert for dangers when we are traveling away from home.”

All Aboard the Disneyland Railroad Guide

The editor of The Carolwood Chronicle, the newsletter of the Carolwood Pacific Historical Society (link), has written an encyclopedic reference guide to the Disneyland Railroad.

Written by Steve DeGaetano and illustrated by Preston Nirattisai, Welcome to the Disneyland Railroad: The Completely Disneyland Railroad Guide is expected to become available to the public in October. The book documents, in elaborate detail, the history and operation of the Disneyland steam trains. Steve has designed this book to appeal to Disney fans as well as rail buffs.


Welcome Aboard the Disneyland Railroad is expected to makes its debut this October, in plenty of time for Disneyland's 50th Anniversary celebration next year. © Steve DeGaetano and Steam Passages Publications, reprinted with permission.

DeGaetano spent over 10 years researching his subject, interviewing Disneyland Railroad engineers, firemen, conductors and roundhouse personnel, as well as subject experts such as Michael Broggie and Bob Gurr. According to DeGaetano, he wanted to cover every aspect of the Disneyland Railroad. “And I mean everything, down to the story of the wheels,” he said.

“I knew there was interest in the Disneyland Railroad from a Disney fan perspective,” DeGaetano said. “I also knew that a lot of Disney fans appreciate 'inside knowledge' about how certain attractions in their favorite theme park operate.” DeGaetano also wanted to tell the story of the cast members who work on this attraction. “These people are charged with keeping the trains running, and as they do so, they provide us with a very strong link to Walt Disney himself,” he said.

The Carolwood Pacific Historical Society is the only society in the world dedicated to preserving Walt Disney's live-steam railroading legacy.

The initial hardcover book release will available numbered and in limited edition. It is expected to be priced at $64.95. Those who pre-order before September 1 will also receive a signed and numbered limited edition print of the E.P. Ripley train, which is the same one that hangs in the home of Diane Disney Miller ($40 value). For more information about the book, visit the DLRcad Enterprises Web site (link).

Mr. Lincoln Return Uncertain

Reader Mike wrote to us with a concern about the Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln attraction, which is scheduled to be shuttered during Disneyland's 50th Anniversary celebration that begins next year.

“I asked a cast member if, after the 18-month, 50th-year-anniversary celebration, Great Moments would return. The cast member replied that it was uncertain that it would,” Mike said. “I was told that if the numbers do not pick up soon, and if guests don't make their sentiments known soon, it probably would not return. I was also told that letting them know in City Hall about keeping Great Moments is absolutely critical.”

Mike asked, “Is there a mass campaign we could stage to deluge City Hall with? The historical significance of this attraction is a major part of Mr. Disney's legacy.”

Although MousePlanet has not organized an official campaign, we suggest all persons visiting the park who wish to see the attraction return take Mike's idea to heart by attending the attraction and keeping its attendance rate up, and by asking City Hall for its return after the 50th Anniversary celebration is over.

Nightmare Before Christmas screening cancelled

For many fans of Tim Burton's Nightmare Before Christmas movie, being able to get together with fellow fans and watching a special screening at Disneyland's Fantasyland Theater has been a great way to kick off the holiday season.

Unfortunately due to the staging of the new Snow White – An Enchanting New Musical show (read our review here, and our photo essay here) there, Disneyland has cancelled this year's film screening of the movie.


Got any interesting news or rumors? Contact us here.

Current Refurbishments and Attraction Closures

Disneyland

Note: Disneyland will progressively begin closing more and more attractions as the park readies for its 50th anniversary celebration in 2005.


The Adventureland Bazaar continues to be open during its rehab. Photo by Karl Buiter.

  • Alice in Wonderland closed through July 2.
  • Sleeping Beauty Castle walk-through closed indefinitely.
  • Space Mountain closed through 2005.

Disney’s California Adventure

  • Superstar Limo closed indefinitely.
  • Francis' Lady Bug Boogie closed indefinitely.

Future Closures


More makeover testing of the a castle turret. Photo by Karl Buiter.

  • Sleeping Beauty Castle closed June 21 – September 18.
  • Aladdin's Oasis closed July 30 – March 12, 2005.
  • Plaza Pavilion closed July 30 – March 12, 2005.
  • Enchanted Tiki Room closed July 30 – March 12, 2005.
  • Snow White's Scary Adventures closed August 23 – September 11.
  • Star Tours reduced capacity, as each of the four cabins rotate through refurbishment September 7–22.
  • Haunted Mansion closed September 7 – October 1 for installation of Haunted Mansion Holiday overlay. Closed January 10–25, 2005 for removal of Haunted Mansion Holiday overlay.
  • Maliboomer reduced capacity (2 of 3 towers operating) November 1–25, January 3–22, 31, 2005 – March 12, 2005.
  • Matterhorn Bobsleds closed September 13 – November 24.
  • Jumpin' Jellyfish reduced capacity January 21, 2005 – March 5, 2005.

Disneyland Resort Hotels

  • Disneyland Hotel Grand Ballroom closed July 2–16.
  • Disneyland Hotel Convention Center lobby, upper level & lower level closed July 16 – September 1.
  • Disney's Paradise Pier Hotel pool slide & kiddies pool closed through June 5.
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

June

  • Grad Nights June 16 and 17
  • U.S. Postal Service first-day-of-issue dedication ceremony for the release a series of Disney postage stamps (link). More details about the event, and how to obtain a first-day-of-issue postmark, can be found in the announcement on our MousePad message boards (link). Wednesday, June 23
  • The next piece in Robert Olzewski's “Disneyland in Miniature” series—the City Hall and Fire Station complex—is being released at Disneyland. Saturday, June 26

September

  • 2004 Haunted Mansion Holiday Event Thursday, September 30.

October

  • CHOC Walk – this fun-walk through Disneyland park is a fundraiser for the Children's Hospital of Orange County (link). Sunday, October 3. [Note: MousePlanet staff will be organizing a group of readers to join “Team MousePlanet” for this event. Keep your eye here for details.]
  • MousePlanet's MouseAdventure quest-and-adventure event – a Sunday in October. [Read more about MouseAdventure here, and be reminded of it by sending e-mail here.]

May 2005

  • Disneyland closed on May 4, 2005 to “put the finishing touches” on the 50th Anniversary celebration. DCA open on May 4.
  • Disneyland's 50th Anniversary celebration begins May 5.

Current Discounts & Promotions

Discounted park hopper tickets for Annual Passholders

Disneyland Resort Annual Passholders can purchase 2-Day Disneyland Resort Park Hopper tickets for a reduced rate of $79 ($59 for ages 3 to 9). The offer runs through Thursday, September 30, 2004.

Thanks to MousePlanet reader Tinker Bell for alerting us to this promotion.

McDonald's Tower of Terror early admission voucher

On Friday, June 18, the Disneyland Resort and McDonald's launch a cross-promotion based on the new Tower of Terror ride. McDonald's customers who order a Big Mac Extra Value Meal receive a voucher for early admission to Disney's California Adventure (DCA) to ride the Tower of Terror one hour before the park opens.

Each voucher is good for one person, and valid DCA admission is required: you can't just pop in for the extra hour without buying a DCA ticket.

Vouchers are designated for June, July, or August, and distributed chronologically at participating McDonald's while supplies last. Each voucher may be redeemed only during the month appearing on the voucher.

Call (714) 781-7290 or Disneyland's promotion Web page (link) for more information. [Note: As of June 13, the Web site was not yet active, and redirected to the Disneyland Web site.]

Thanks to MousePlanet reader Opus1guy for obtaining the information on this promotion from McDonalds.

Costco offers “Play 4 Days” tickets

MousePlanet reader DJ_MENTOS let us know that Costco is again offering “Play 4 Days” tickets to the Disneyland Resort. The $79 ticket (for ages 3 through adult) is good for four one-day admissions to Disneyland or Disney's California Adventure. The tickets are non-transferable—the same person must use all four admissions.

The ticket expires once the four admissions are used, or on June 30, 2004, whichever comes first. This is not a park-hopper pass, although you could probably use one admission per day at each park, in effect using the four admissions as a two-day park-hopper.

The tickets are available only to Costco members who are residents of Southern California. Costco membership and proof of residency is zip codes 90000 through 93599 is required. Tickets must be purchased at Costco, with a limit of five tickets per member per day.

50th Anniversary Package

If you book a three-night resort stay at any of the Disneyland Resort hotels during the 50th anniversary promotion, your package includes a four-day Park Hopper ticket, a special 50th anniversary commemorative clock and a Walk in Walt's Footsteps tour.

The “50th Celebration Package” is available only for three-night stays, with arrival dates through December 31, 2005. The package can be booked through the Disneyland Web site (link), or by calling (714) 520-5060.

The Disney Treasures offer for APs

Annual Passholders can receive a copy of The Disney Treasures book, worth $60, when they apply for a Disney Visa card. The book will be mailed after the cardholder uses the new account. Apply by phone at 1-800-640-5306, and mention card code 26FF.

Car rental discounts

Disneyland Resort Annual Passholders save up to 20 percent on car rentals from Alamo Rent A Car and National Car Rental. Restrictions apply—get full details and the necessary discount codes on the Annual Passholder Web site (link).

Anaheim Angels tickets

Disneyland Resort Annual Passholders can save 50 percent off the regular price of tickets for the following home games of the Anaheim Angels baseball team, which plays at nearby Angel Stadium of Anaheim (formerly Edison Field):

  • Oakland Athletics: Monday, June 21, 7:05 p.m.
  • Boston Red Sox: Thursday, July 15, 7:05 p.m.
  • Seattle Mariners: Sunday, August 1, 1:05 p.m.

Prices are: Terrace Box, $12.50 (reg. $25); Lower View Box, $7.50 (reg. $15); and Upper View, $6 (reg. $12).

Although there is no limit to how many tickets a passholder can purchase, you must use mail or fax in the order form provided at the Annual Passholder Web site, and you cannot purchase these tickets online or obtain them at the ticket window on the day of the game. See the passholder Web site for details (link).

AAA-Disney's Resort Magic Packages

If you are a AAA member, you can take advantage of these packages that include hotel nights and theme park tickets, along with extra ammenities:

  • 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)
  • Collect Fastpass tickets for multiple attractions at one time.
  • Preferred seating at a choice of select shows in DCA
  • An exclusive Walt Disney Travel Company collectible pin and lanyard (one per person)
  • An exclusive Walt Disney Travel Company California Fun Book (one per package)
  • An exclusive Disneyland Resort Magical Pocket Guide (one per package)

Sample prices include:

AAA Disney's Resort Magic: Disney's Paradise Pier Hotel for two nights from $269/adult, $127/ages 10-17, $97/ages 3-9

AAA Disneyland Resort Good Neighbor Magic: Jolly Roger Hotel for two nights from $193/adult, $127/ages 10-17, $97/ages 3-9

These packages require a minimum two-night hotel stay, and are good for travel now through July 1, August 29 to November 21 and November 28 to December 23, 2004. You can book this package through your local AAA affiliate travel agent.

Disney's AAA Passport Plus Package 2004

If you don't need a hotel room, the Passport Plus Package offers AAA members a discount on Park Hopper tickets, and comes with extra benefits:

  • 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:

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

An additional handling fee of $10 is charged per mailing address. These tickets are available to AAA members only when purchased through AAA offices.

AAA ticket offers

For shorter stays, AAA offers 2- and 5-day tickets for the Disneyland Resort:

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

These tickets include free parking (the back of the passports note the free parking, so you will need the passport with you when you park your car).

CityPass

The Southern California CityPass 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 either the world-famous San Diego Zoo or San Diego Wild Animal Park
  • 1-day ticket to Knott's Theme Park (includes a free Knott's Berry Farm T-shirt with each child's City Pass)

The CityPass is $172 ($129 for children).

You can purchase the Southern California CityPass with Walt Disney Travel Company packages. 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 for an additional charge of $47 per pass ($32 per pass for children 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.


Park Schedule/Blockout Dates

DL: Disneyland
DCA: Disney’s California Adventure
Annual Pass blockout dates:

  • SL – Southern California Select Annual Pass.
  • SC – Southern California Annual Pass.
  • DX – Deluxe Annual Pass.
Sun
Mon
Tues
Wed
Thurs
Fri
Sat
 6/216/226/236/246/256/26
 

DL 8a–11p
DCA 10a–9p

DL 8a–11p
DCA 10a–9p

DL 8a–11p
DCA 10a–9p

DL 8a–11p
DCA 10a–9p
SL/SC

DL 8a–11p
DCA 10a–9p
SL/SC

DL 8a–Mid
DCA 10a–9p
SL/SC/DX

6/276/286/296/307/17/27/3

DL 8a–11p
DCA 10a–10p
SL/SC

DL 8a–11p
DCA 10a–9p
SL/SC

DL 8a–11p
DCA 10a–9p
SL/SC

DL 8a–11p
DCA 10a–9p
SL/SC

DL 8a–11p
DCA 10a–9p
SL/SC

DL 8a–Mid
DCA 10a–9p
SL/SC

DL 8a–Mid
DCA 10a–9p
SL/SC/DX

7/47/57/67/77/87/97/10

DL 8a–11p
DCA 10a–9p
SL/SC/DX

DL 8a–11p
DCA 10a–9p
SL/SC

DL 8a–11p
DCA 10a–9p
SL/SC

DL 8a–11p
DCA 10a–9p
SL/SC

DL 8a–11p
DCA 10a–9p
SL/SC

DL 8a–Mid
DCA 10a–9p
SL/SC

DL 8a–Mid
DCA 10a–9p
SL/SC/DX

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

Entertainment schedule: Go directly to the Disneyland Resort schedule for June 7 to 16 at Disneyland.com here.



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