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Happy New Year!

News and Views

New Year light

Wind and rain deterred the crowds of visitors expected to pack Disneyland on New Year's Eve. Though the weather cleared by mid-afternoon, the anticipated crowds never materialized. Cast members joked that it felt more like a weeknight than a major holiday, and prime viewing for the midnight fireworks was available all around the castle almost until the performance began.


2004 Disneyland Resort Ambassador Becky Murphy greets the small but enthusiastic crowd. Photo by Adrienne Vincent-Phoenix.


A visitor prepares a beach ball for the midnight moment. Photo by Adrienne Vincent-Phoenix.


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A group calling itself “the Hub Club” (named for the area around the Central Plaza at the Castle-end of Main Street) turned out for its eighth consecutive New Year's Eve celebration, with members arriving as early as 8:00 a.m. to claim spots in Central Plaza. Members brought card games, snacks and the all-important rain ponchos to pass the time. Beach balls have become something of a New Year's tradition, and several dozen were launched as the crowd prepared for the midnight fireworks.


Visitors are treated with a midnight performance of the Fantasy in the Sky fireworks. Photo by Adrienne Vincent-Phoenix.


Sleeping Beauty Castle sports a “Happy New Year” message. Photo by Adrienne Vincent-Phoenix.

2005 Tournament of Disney parade


Grand Marshall Mickey Mouse greets the crowd at the 2005 Tournament of Roses parade. Photo by Matthew Bassett.

The Walt Disney Company, led by the Disneyland Resort, rang in the new year with a huge presence in the 2005 Pasadena Tournament of Roses parade. The theme of the 116th annual parade was “Celebrate Family,” and the Disneyland float provided a stage for the character-filled, pre-parade kickoff ceremony.


Minnie Mouse waves from the Disneyland float. Photo by Matthew Bassett.

The 45-foot tall replica of Sleeping Beauty Castle then led the way down Colorado Blvd. A few minutes later, the new “Bands of America Honor Band” group performed an arrangement of music from Epcot's “Illuminations” show. Twenty-five minutes into the parade, Grand Marshall Mickey Mouse made his entrance.


Disneyland's entry was a not-so-subtle advertisement for the park's 50th Anniversary Celebration in 2005. Photo by Matthew Bassett.

Disney voluntarily withdrew its float from competition because Marty Sklar, Vice Chairman and Principal Creative Executive, Walt Disney Imagineering, was one of the three parade judges.


The Disneyland float prepares to pass under a bridge near the end of the parade route, with its turrets collapsing to fit the bridge's clearance. Photo by Matthew Bassett.

The Disneyland float was built and decorated in just two months, and included pyrotechnic effects. Ambassadors from the five Disney resorts, including Disneyland, Walt Disney World, Tokyo, Paris and Hong Kong, joined 35 Disney characters and performers. The turrets were designed to collapse to fit under the freeway overpass near the end of the route.

Special thanks to MousePlanet reader Matthew Bassett for these wonderful photos.

Genie gone wild? Accident not isolated incident

As MousePlanet reported last week (link), the Aladdin float from “A Christmas Fantasy” parade struck and injured three adults and a child toward the end of its parade route near Disneyland's “it's a small world” attraction at 8:20 on Tuesday, December 27.

The accident was attributed to wet weather and slick pavement. “The tires (of the float) didn't grab the traction on one of the turns,” said Anaheim police Sgt. Rick Martinez.


In an earlier performance of the Christmas Fantasy parade on the same day as the accident, the Aladdin float is involved in another incident. Photo by Stephen Frye.

MousePlanet has learned that the Aladdin float was involved in another incident near the end of the first parade performance that same day. MousePlanet reader Stephen Frye sent us this account and photograph from the afternoon parade.

“When I first heard of the injuries Monday evening I couldn't help but wonder if the Genie had gone wild yet again. During the first Christmas parade we were seated facing the train station at route's end when the Genie came around the corner. We all thought he was totally out of control. It was obvious to us that he bumped people on the other side of the street. Then he turned away from the other side of the street with a woman's purse and stroller (without baby) under the front wheel. He dragged them to the middle of the street before stopping, with the woman chasing him! When my son told one of the parade security/escorts later he just shrugged it off.”

“A Christmas Fantasy” parade ended its seasonal run this past weekend.

50th Anniversary Package, revised

The Happiest Homecomings on Earth package has been revised for the new year. The previous promotion was good only for three-night stays at the Disneyland Resort hotels; the new offer is valid on longer stays and includes Good Neighbor Hotels as well.

Instead of the 50th anniversary commemorative clock and Walk in Walt's Footsteps tour, the new packages include all the following:

  • “Enchanting” commemorative certificate (one per package)
  • Park Hopper bonus ticket, which includes one early entry into Fantasyland and a $10 ESPN Zone game card. (Park hopper tickets can be upgraded to an annual pass for an extra fee)
  • Preferred seating to select shows at Disney's California Adventure
  • Entry into Mickey's Toontown Madness
  • Walt Disney Travel Co. lanyard and pin (one per person)
  • Walt Disney Travel Co. luggage tag
  • Walt Disney Travel Co. fun book (one per package)

The “Happiest Homecoming on Earth” package is available for arrival dates through December 31, 2005. The package can be booked through the Disneyland Web site (link), or by calling (714) 520-5060.

The Pirates are back

Disney is re-releasing Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl at the El Capitan Theater in Hollywood. The engagement runs January 13 through 30, and begins with a panel discussion on opening night. Each performance featured a costume contest, with a commemorative button for everyone who comes dressed as a pirate. VIP tickets, which include a reserved seat, popcorn and a bottled drink, are $19; general admission tickets are $10.50. Tickets are available through the El Capitan Web site (link), or by calling 1-800-341-6936.

Ears to the ground

…Mickey's Shining Star Cavalcade begins Friday, January 7. This procession takes place instead of a parade until Disney's “Parade of Dreams” begins in May.

...Reader jiminycesq alerted us to a commercial that was filmed at Disneyland this weekend:

“Mickey was in what looked like a mini Humvee or jeep, and Minnie was giving him a basket of oranges. This didn't seem significant until a cast member explained that this was not a commercial, but an announcement for the Orange Bowl. The large gift package on the back of the vehicle, which Mickey drives away in after getting the oranges, is Disney's gift to everyone who attends the Bowl—a free ticket to either Disneyland or Disney World!”

The 2005 FedEx Orange Bowl will air on Tuesday January 4, 2005.

…Reader Chris tells us that he and his family each received $10 Disney dollars when they purchased their new Disneyland annual passports. The promotion expires Monday (January 3), and is valid only for current AAA members who purchase new passes, or renew passes which have already expired.

...Reader Arnold tells us that the old Airport Bus terminal off Harbor Boulevard has been closed and demolished. The new terminal is located across Harbor from Disneyland, in the parking lot of the Howard Johnson hotel. You can purchase tickets onboard, but advance reservations are recommended.

...Reader John tells us that the latest issue of Westways, the AAA magazine, mentions an extra incentive with early 2005 Disneyland packages. Book a package by January 31 for trips beginning January 4 to April 26 and completed by May 1, and each person in your party receives a “specially designed collectible soda mug.” Once they arrive, members can refill the mugs up to five times per day at selected locations at no charge.

...Reader Kyle tells us that he booked a Good Neighbor Hotel package through Walt Disney Travel Company, and that his package came with both Mickey's Toontown Madness and early entry privileges. (In last week's Update, we reported that early entry was only offered to those who booked stays at Disneyland Resort hotels). He also let us know that early entry is currently limited to Fantasyland only, but that other lands might be open during peak season.


Don't keep it to yourself! Send us your news tips, rumors, and comments. E-mail 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.
  • Aladdin's Oasis closed through March 11.
  • Plaza Pavilion closed through March 11.
  • Enchanted Tiki Room closed through March 11.
  • Space Mountain closed through November 2005.
  • Haunted Mansion closed January 4–23 to remove Haunted Mansion Holiday overlay.
  • “it's a small world” closed January 10–23 to remove the holiday overlay.
  • Mickey's House closed January 10 - February 4.
  • Disneyland Railroad closed January 11 – March 17.
  • Splash Mountain closed January 11 – March 17. (The Disneyland Web site lists this ride as open January 14–18, but this is most likely an error)
  • Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln closed February 22 – April 15 to install the 50th Anniversary exhibit in the Main Street Opera House.
  • Mad Tea Party closed January 24 – February 10.
  • Mark Twain Riverboat closed February 7 – March 3.
  • Minnie's House closed February 7 – March 4.
  • Mr. Toad closed February 28 – March 17.
  • Jungle Cruise closed February 28 – at least May 1
  • Casey Jr. Circus Trains closed April 4 – at least May 1
  • Storybook Land Canal Boats closed April 4 – at least May 1

Disney's California Adventure

  • Maliboomer reduces capacity (2 of 3 towers operating) January 3–22, 31 – March 12, 2005.
  • Jumpin' Jellyfish reduces 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

January

  • 75 InspEARations exhibit arrives at Disney's California Adventure. Jan. 10 – Feb. 22.

February

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

March

  • 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

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

July

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

Current Discounts & Promotions

Alaska Airlines “Kids Fly Free” promotion returns

Alaska Airlines is repeating the popular “Kids Fly Free” promotion for travel to the Disneyland Resort, and is offering park ticket and hotel discounts as well.

If you book an Alaska Airlines Southern California Vacations package for travel between January 4 and June 29, 2005, one child (age 2-11) can fly free with each paid adult ticket. The package also includes four nights at the Holiday Inn Buena Park and airport transfers via Karmel Shuttle (children 2-11 are free). The packages, including airfare and hotel, start at $429 per person.

Even better, if you travel between January 4 and April 28, you also receive a free child's 5-day Disneyland Resort park hopper for each paid adult. If you are traveling without children, you can instead purchase the adult 5-day park hopper ticket at the children's price. Be aware, however, that Disneyland considers 11-year-olds to be adults for the purpose of admission pricing.

If Buena Park is too far away from Disneyland for you, you can upgrade to a Disneyland Resort hotel and receive up to $200 Disney Dollars with a stay of four nights or more before April 24, 2005.

Finally, if you book the package through alaskaair.com, you get 1500 Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan Bonus Miles per passenger. For more information, visit the Alaska Airlines Web site (link). You must book packages by March 21, 2005.

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.

Costco is also offering a discounted 4-day Disneyland Resort ticket at $89 per person, ages 3 and up. This ticket is not a park hopper - each day is valid for admission at either Disneyland or Disney's California Adventure. This promotion is available toSouthern California residents only (zip codes 90000-93599). When you purchase the ticket through Costco, you will receive a voucher to exchange at a Disneyland ticket booth. Proof of local residency is required to exchange the tickets, and there is a limit of 5 tickets per day.

Disneyland Resort Annual Passholder offers and promotions

  • 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, revised

The Happiest Homecomings on Earth package has been revised for the new year. The previous promotion was good only for three-night stays at the Disneyland Resort hotels; the new offer is valid on longer stays and includes Good Neighbor Hotels as well.

Instead of the 50th anniversary commemorative clock and Walk in Walt's Footsteps tour, the new packages include all the following:

  • “Enchanting” commemorative certificate (one per package)
  • Park Hopper bonus ticket, which includes one early entry into Fantasyland and a $10 ESPN Zone game card. (Park hopper tickets can be upgraded to an annual pass for an extra fee)
  • Preferred seating to select shows at Disney's California Adventure
  • Entry into Mickey's Toontown Madness
  • Walt Disney Travel Co. lanyard and pin (one per person)
  • Walt Disney Travel Co. luggage tag
  • Walt Disney Travel Co. fun book (one per package)

The “Happiest Homecoming on Earth” package is available for arrival dates through December 31, 2005. The package can be booked through the Disneyland Web site (link), or by calling (714) 520-5060.

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
  • Collectible soda mug, with five free refills per day at select locations.

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
1/31/41/51/61/71/8

 

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: 9a–Mid
DCA: 10a–9p
SL/SC

1/91/101/111/121/131/141/15

DL: 9a–10p
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–10p
DCA: 10a–8p

DL: 9a–Mid
DCA: 10a–9p
SL/SC

Visit our Annual Passholders Blockout Dates 2004/2005 page to see more dates. You can see future calendar schedules at Disneyland.com here.

Entertainment schedule: Go directly to the Disneyland Resort schedule for this week at Disneyland.com here.



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