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News and Views

Wind, rain and Candlelight

The California version of a winter storm hit the Disneyland Resort this weekend, causing a cancellation of the Sunday evening performances of the Candlelight Processional. The wet weather also caused sporadic closures of Tom Sawyer Island and Tarzan's Treehouse due to flooding and slick surfaces. Honey I Shrunk the Audience was closed Sunday night due to a leak in the theater's ceiling.


Pedestrians carry umbrellas and don rain coats earlier in the day before the Candlelight Procession is cancelled because of poor weather. Photo by Frank Anzalone.


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Those who attended the performances on Saturday noted a few changes to the production. For the first time, the first verses of "Candlelight Chorale" were sung as a duet between a male and female singer, later joined by the massed choir. The male singer also performed a verse of “Silent Night” in Spanish, another change from previous Candlelight productions.


Even with the cancellation of the Candlelight Procession, park guests mingle around the Town Square area near the Main Street Disneyland Railroad station, enjoying the sparkle and glitter of Christmas lights. Photo by Frank Anzalone.

Those who took advantage of the Candlelight dining packages on Saturday reported few problems with the process, especially compared to the previous two years. Those who booked dining packages for Sunday's performances were allowed to cancel their reservations without penalty.

Come Out and Trade

The “Come Out and Trade” program, first launched at Disneyland in November, has been extended. “Come Out and Trade” is held Monday through Friday (excluding holidays and rainy days) from approximately 2:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. at Plaza Pavilion on Main Street, U.S.A. A team of Disneyland Resort cast members, including some of the merchandise events staff, trade pins with visitors and help new collectors learn about pins.

David Koenig reports:

Odds of ever reopening the walk-though in Sleeping Beauty Castle (closed on October 7, 2001 after the September 11 terror attacks) are slim following the recent removal of the dioramas. One cast member reported, “In an issue of the Disneyland Line, there was a story about the scenes being taken out of the castle to be put in storage for 'future use.' But the cast member newsletter does not tell about the damage that was done to take the scenes out. They made big holes to rip out where the window scenes once were. The interior of the castle is now one giant storage area for all sorts of stuff.” One scene—of Prince Philip kissing Sleeping Beauty—was restored and placed in one of the windows of the Emporium.


The exterior of Sleeping Beauty Castle, recently repainted to a festive sparkle, is all that park visitors can enjoy, now that a permanent closure of its interior walk-through seems certain. A “snow”-capped Matterhorn is visible on the right. Photo by Frank Anzalone.

A window for Fess

Fess Parker is being honored next Wednesday (December 15) with a personalized window in Frontierland, with a ceremony held at park opening. The window will be located above the newly renamed “Crockett & Russell Hat Co.” store next to the Pioneer Mercantille. Parker portrayed Davy Crockett in the Disney television series, starred in Disney's Old Yeller, and appeared in several more Disney productions before going on to co-produce and take the title role in the Daniel Boone television series.


Fess Parker talks about his role as Davy Crockett at the 2004 “A Celebraton of Walt Disney Art Classics” convention. Photo by Adrienne Vincent-Phoenix.

Parker is now the chief executive officer of Fess Parker's Winery & Vineyard, and operates Fess Parker's Wine Country Inn & Spa in Los Olivos, California, which is appears prominently in the current movie Sideways, starring Paul Giamatti.

Disney Gallery 2005

The Disney Gallery has some big plans for 2005. All of these details and dates are subject to change, but here is a preliminary exhibit schedule MousePlanet was able to obtain:

  • The Gallery closes on January 2 to remove the Haunted Mansion exhibit. This coincides with the date the Haunted Mansion Holiday closes.
  • The Gallery closes for the entire month of January, and reopens in early February with the first of a three-part exhibit series honoring Disneyland's 50th Anniversary.
  • The first exhibit features Fantasyland and the Disney princesses.
  • The second exhibit, scheduled to premiere in May, focuses on the remaining three original lands of Disneyland. This exhibit features a lot of Shag's retro artwork
  • A third exhibit featuring artwork by Thomas Kinkade debuts tt the end of summer 2005.
  • Most of the exhibit artwork, including concept art from four original lands, become available on the Print on Demand system.

Costco City Pass promotion

Costco is offering a Southern California CityPass for $149.99 for adults and $114.99 for children ages 3 to 9. The CityPass includes a three-day Disneyland Resort park hopper ticket, one-day admission to Knott's Berry Farm, one-day admission to SeaWorld in San Diego, and one-day admission to either the San Diego Zoo or the San Diego Wild Animal Park.

The discounted Costco CityPass is $10.99 more than the advance-purchase price of a Disneyland Resort three-day park hopper ticket, ($5.99 more for children), and $9.01 less than the regular price of the three-day park hopper (children save $14.01). Either way, the ticket represents a great value for families planning longer vacations in Southern California.

The first admission must be used by March 31, 2005, and the pass expires 13 days after the first admission is used. The tickets are available at Southern California Costco stores, or at the Costco Web site (link). You must be a Costco member to purchase the tickets, and a shipping fee applies to Internet orders.

Ears to the ground

…The Rose Bowl-bound football teams from University of Michigan and University of Texas make their first official Rose Bowl appearance at Disneyland on Monday, December 27. An afternoon ceremony in front of the legendary Sleeping Beauty Castle honors the teams and their coaches. Rose Queen Ashley Moreno, her Royal Court, and Rose Parade Grand Marshall Mickey Mouse are also expected to participate.

According to a Disneyland press release, “The players and coaches will play a little football with Mickey and his pals,” after the ceremony, and then spend the rest of the day at the Disneyland and Disney's California Adventure park. The Disney appearance is an annual tradition for Rose Bowl teams. The event was moved to Disney's California Adventure after that park opened in 2001, but has now returned to Disneyland.

…Entertainment department cast members learned this weekend that the Parade of the Stars is not returning in January. The parade was slated for replacement in May 2005 with “Walt Disney's Parade of Dreams,” and there is no word on what, if anything, is taking its place for the three months until the new parade debuts.

…The Sailing Ship Columbia returned to service late afternoon on Sunday, after a lengthy refurbishment.

...The small-format Print on Demand poster printers are coming to the World of Disney store. World of Disney cast members are training to operate the printers, and the system is expected to be functioning as of this Thursday, December 9.


Got any interesting news or rumors? Contact us here.

Current Refurbishments and Attraction Closures

Disneyland

Note: Disneyland is progressively refurbishing more and more attractions as the park readies for its 50th anniversary celebration in 2005.
  • Fantasmic expected to return on 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

  • Haunted Mansion closes January 3–23, 2005 to remove Haunted Mansion Holiday overlay.
  • “it's a small world” closes January 10–23, 2005 to remove the holiday overlay.
  • Mark Twain Riverboat closes January 17–28, 2005
  • Mad Tea Partycloses January 24–February 10, 2005
  • Splash Mountaincloses January 24–March 17, 2005
  • Disneyland Railroadcloses January 31–March 11, 2005
  • Great Moments with Mr. Lincolncloses February 22 to install the 50th Anniversary exhibit in the Main Street Opera House.

Disney's California Adventure

Upcoming DCA closures

  • Maliboomer reduced capacity (2 of 3 towers operating) 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.

Park Events

December

  • Fess Parker window dedication ceremony. Dec. 15 at 10:00 am in Frontierland.
  • “Merriest Place on Earth” Christmas decorations appear throughout the Disneyland resort. Through Jan. 2.

January 2005

  • Disneyland Resort float appears in Pasadena Tournament of Roses parade. Jan. 1.
  • 75 InspEARations exhibitarrives at Disneyland. Jan. 10 – Feb. 22.

February 2005

  • Chip & Dale's Wild Wild West Pin Adventure. Feb. 3 at Disneyland. Tickets on sale now (link).

March 2005

  • Indiana Jones Adventure 10th Anniversary event. March 3 at Disneyland. Tickets on sale now (link).
  • MousePlanet's MouseAdventure event – Tentatively Sunday, March 13 at Disneyland. Details to be announced. Want us to contact you when we open registration for this MouseAdventure event? Sign up for MouseAdventure Reminderer.

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.

June 2005

  • 2005 Summer Pin Festival. June 24 – Aug. 15, 2005 at the Disneyland Resort. No details have been announced (link).

July 2005

  • Disneyland 50th Anniversary special event. July 2005. No dates or details have been announced (link).

Current Discounts & Promotions

Costco City Pass promotion

Costco is offering a Southern California CityPass for $149.99 for adults, and $114.99 for children ages 3 to 9. The CityPass includes a three-day Disneyland Resort park hopper ticket, one-day admission to Knott's Berry Farm, one-day admission to SeaWorld in San Diego, and one-day admission to either the San Diego Zoo or the San Diego Wild Animal Park. The first admission must be used by March 31, 2005, and the pass expires 13 days after the first admission is used.

The tickets are available at Southern California Costco stores, or at the Costco Web site (link). You must be a Costco member to purchase the tickets, and a shipping fee applies to Internet orders.

Holiday Bring-a-Friend ticket

Disneyland Resort passholders can purchase one-day park hopper tickets for the same price as a one-day, one-park ticket. Limit five tickets per person, per day, with valid passport. Admission must be used on day of purchase. Effective through December 18.

Disneyland Resort Annual Passholder offers and promotions

  • Purchase a commemorative 50th anniversary brick through December 31 to be placed in the esplanade between Disneyland and DCA, and receive a $50 discount off the regular price of $150. The special brick features a brass-toned medallion with the 50th anniversary logo.
  • Get January AP rates at the Disneyland Resort, starting at $79 per night at Paradise Pier hotel. Promotion valid Sunday – Thursday for arrivals January 2 – 31, 2005. Additional restrictions apply. Call 714-956-MICKEY (714-956-6425) to book.
  • Receive a copy of The Disney Treasures book, worth $60, when applying for a Disney Visa card. The book is shipped after you uses the new account. Apply by phone at 1-800-640-5306, and mention card code 26FF.
  • 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).

50th Anniversary Package (Happiest Homecoming on Earth!)

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.

AAA-Disney's Resort Magic Packages

AAA member can take advantage of these packages that include hotel nights and theme park tickets, along with extra amenities:

  • 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 through 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
  12/6 12/7 12/8 12/9 12/10 12/11

 

DL: 10a–6p
DCA: 10a–6p

DL: 10a–6p
DCA: 10a–6p

DL: 10a–8p
DCA: 10a–6p

DL: 10a–8p
DCA: 10a–6p

DL: 9a–Mid
DCA: 10a–9p

DL: 8a–Mid
DCA: 10a–9p
SL/SC

12/12 12/13 12/14 12/15 12/16 12/17 12/18

DL: 8a–Mid
DCA: 10a–9p
SL

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–Mid
DCA: 10a–9p

DL: 8a–Mid
DCA: 10a–9p
SL/SC

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

Entertainment schedule: Go directly to the Disneyland Resort schedule for December 6at Disneyland.com here (printer-friendly version here).



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