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News and Views

Holiday time at Disneyland

Disneyland is officially in the holiday spirit. A gorgeous Christmas tree towers above over Main Street, U.S.A., and swags of pine garland decorate the buildings. The Disneyland Fire Department again hosts a cookie decorating station, and all of the shops feature displays of “Gifts made with Disney Magic!” Disneyland's popular holiday fireworks have returned, and cast members accurately predicted a nightly snowfall around the park all weekend.


Disneyland's Christmas tree is decorated with oversize gingerbread cookies and holiday toys. Photo by Adrienne Vincent-Phoenix.


The Main Street shops are decorated for your holiday shopping pleasure. Photo by Adrienne Vincent-Phoenix.


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“it's a small world” Holiday has reopened, and performances of A Christmas Fantasy parade begin November 19. And for those who plan their holiday visits around fresh candy canes, the Main Street candy shop will offer them every Friday starting the day after Thanksgiving.


Cheerful cast members pose in front of the Main Street cookie decorating station. Photo by Adrienne Vincent-Phoenix.


“it's a small world” reopens with a holiday overlay. Photo by Adrienne Vincent-Phoenix.

A Disney Family Thanksgiving Feast

Disneyland's annual Thankgiving buffet is scheduled at the Disneyland Hotel for Thursday, November 25, 2004. The Disney characters host the all-you-can-eat buffet from 2:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. in the Grand Ballroom.


The Thanksgiving Buffet at Disneyland is an annual tradition for Southland families and tourists alike. Photo by Adrienne Vincent-Phoenix.

The Disneyland Web site says that the buffet features: Roasted turkey, glazed ham, carved mesquite smoked prime rib of beef, stuffing, mashed potatoes, gravy, cranberry sauce, salads, fresh vegetables, jumbo shrimp, fresh breads, pastries and a large selection of desserts to include traditional pumpkin and pecan pies, tarts, cookies and chocolate mousse. The popular Chocolate Fountains return to let you coat a variety of tidbits in melted chocolate, along with a crepe station with ice cream and fresh fruit.

The Children's Buffet features Goofyroni & Cheese, Pizza, Mini Hamburgers and lots of other kid favorites.


Bananas, marshmallows, fruit and more await a dip in the chocolate fountain. Photo by Adrienne Vincent-Phoenix.

Prices:

  • $55.00 for adults
  • $13.50 for children (3-11 years old)
  • Children 3 and under are free
  • Senior Citizens (over 62) receive a 10 percent discount on their meal only
  • Premium Annual Passholders receive a 10 percent discount for each passholder

15 percent service charge (gratuity) and 7.75 percent tax are added to each meal. Complimentary parking (up to four hours) is offered at the Disneyland Hotel parking lot. Call 714-781-DINE (714-781-3463), 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily. Reservations are now being accepted.

AP discounts on Holiday Magic Tour

Annual Passholders can take the Holiday Magic tour for a discounted price of $39 per person (up to five guests), from November 19 through January 2. Call (714) 781-4400 for reservations, or visit guest services in person. Tours may be booked 30 days in advance. Note: Discounted tours cannot be taken on a block-out day, and valid theme park admission is required for all participants.

Sleeping Beauty awakens

The construction walls around most of Sleeping Beauty Castle have been removed to reveal the amazing new color scheme and dazzling finish. Photos really cannot do justice to the transformation, but there are some details worth pointing out.


Sleeping Beauty Castle emerges from behind the construction walls. Photo by Adrienne Vincent-Phoenix.


The gilded spires reflect the late afternoon sun. Photo by Adrienne Vincent-Phoenix.


The sun hits the paint just so, revealing a sparkling finish. Photo by Adrienne Vincent-Phoenix.


Even the squirrels have turned a lovely shade of gold. Photo by Adrienne Vincent-Phoenix.


The matte-finish “bricks” conceal newly installed speakers. Photo by Adrienne Vincent-Phoenix.


Snow White poses in the shade of her freshly painted wishing well. Photo by Adrienne Vincent-Phoenix.

Though it's only been a few months, it's already difficult to remember what the castle used to look like before the refurbishment. These photos of the areas still under construction are a startling contrast to the beautifully restored sections.


This turret on the east side of the castle is a remnant of the old paint job. Photo by Adrienne Vincent-Phoenix.


Work continues on the back of the castle. Photo by Adrienne Vincent-Phoenix.

Golden dreams

MousePlanet reader “MegaDisney” attended a presentation by the Walt Disney Travel Company to a group of travel professionals at a gathering in Phoenix, Arizona. While much of the presentation discussed the birthday plans announced last May, there was one tidbit of new information: Disney will take one ride vehicle from each attraction that was open on July 17, 1955, and paint it gold to celebrate the park's golden anniversary. Disneyland's Golden Vehicles will include a Tea Cup from the Mad Tea Party, Dumbo elephant, Disneyland Railroad car, Jungle Cruise boat, Storybook Canal boat, Casey Jr. Circus Train car, and an Autopia car. Those who attended the presentation got to see, and have their pictures taken with, the golden Autopia car. You can read MegaDisney's excellent recap of the presentation on our MousePad discussion boards (link).

Magic Mornings returns

Reported by David Koenig

Magic Mornings, in which the Disney hotel guests can enter the parks open earlier than the posted hours, will return in January. “They'll do them about four days a week year-round, and Fantasyland will always be offered,” said one source. “As attendance increases, they'll add on Tomorrowland and possibly Adventureland. But the off-season weekdays will have just Fantasyland as the Magic Morning offerings.” Large-scale early entry was eliminated more than two years ago and replaced with sporadic, less ambitious perks, such as letting hotel guests visit Soarin' over California a half-hour before the rest of Disney's California Adventure opened or allowing them in Mickey's Toontown an hour before regular patrons could.

Disneyland Gift Cards

Keep your eyes peeled. Merchandising was supposed to begin selling gift cards over the weekend. You can purchase them in various denominations and redeem them at stores throughout the Resort. In time, they may also be accepted at other Disney parks and stores.

Construction continues

Work continues around Disneyland to prepare for the 50th anniversary. The Matterhorn Bobsleds and Sailing Ship Columbia are expected to return in late November; other attractions, including the Enchanted Tiki Room, remain shuttered through next spring.


Construction continues on the Matterhorn Bobsleds, scheduled to reopen later this month. Photo by Adrienne Vincent-Phoenix.


The Enchanted Tiki Room gets a new thatched roof. Photo by Adrienne Vincent-Phoenix.


A peek behind the Enchanted construction walls. Photo by Adrienne Vincent-Phoenix.


The mysterious blue box keeps Tomorrowland visitors intriqued. Photo by Adrienne Vincent-Phoenix.

Musical stores

Tomorrowland's Premiere Shop has reopened after a major renovation. The store, which will become the exit for the Buzz Lightyear ride, is now slightly larger. The Print on Demand kiosks have been removed, as has the photography corner. Although sparsely fixtured and stocked now, the store will eventually house the image capture station for the Buzz ride, and a small selection of Toy Story II merchandise. It looks like the location will remain the largest pin location in the park—the ride will have a second exit that can be used to direct riders around the store during merchandise events.


The Premiere Shop remains a pin location. Photo by Adrienne Vincent-Phoenix.

Tropical Imports has temporarily reopened, pending its planned transformation into a food service and seating area.


Tropical Imports reopens temporarily. Photo by Adrienne Vincent-Phoenix.


Got any interesting news or rumors? Contact us here.

Current Refurbishments and Attraction Closures

Disneyland

Note: Disneyland is progressively closing more and more attractions as the park readies for its 50th anniversary celebration in 2005.
  • Matterhorn Bobsleds closed through November 23.
  • Sailing Ship Columbia closed through November 30.
  • Fantasmic on hiatus during the Sailing Ship Columbia refurbishment, returns Friday December 17.
  • Aladdin's Oasis closed through March 11, 2005.
  • Plaza Pavilion closed through March 11, 2005.
  • Enchanted Tiki Room closed through March 11, 2005.
  • Space Mountain closed through November 2005.
  • Sleeping Beauty Castle walk-through closed indefinitely; not listed on park maps or the Disneyland Web site.

Upcoming Disneyland closures

  • Honey I Shrunk the Audience closes November 29 - December 3.
  • Haunted Mansion closes January 3–25, 2005 to remove Haunted Mansion Holiday overlay.

Disney's California Adventure

Upcoming DCA closures

  • Maliboomer reduced capacity (2 of 3 towers operating) through November 25, 2004, and January 3–22, 31 – March 12, 2005.
  • Jumpin' Jellyfish reduced capacity January 21 – March 5, 2005.
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.


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