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News and Views

Star Tours

It is looking like the end of the 50th Anniversary celebrations at the end of 2006 won't mark a return to inaction at the Disneyland Resort. With Monsters, Inc. replacing SuperStar Limo at Disney's California Adventure and Finding Nemo resurrecting submarines at Disneyland, park watchers already had a couple of things to look forward to. Now, George Lucas has added to the fire.


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Lucas has long wanted to update the movie in the Star Tours attraction, particularly after the release of The Phantom Menace in 1999. Although Imagineering has been on his side, things never quite worked out, and plans remain speculative. Lucas dropped a hint or two at March's ShoWest exhibitors' conference in Las Vegas. He didn't commit to it actually getting done, but simply that if it were done, it would be digital.

He took a big step forward over the weekend at the Celebration III Star Wars convention in Indianapolis, saying that the version at Walt Disney World's Disney–MGM Studios would soon be overhauled. If correct, it seems likely that once done it could quickly be replicated at Disneyland, and with the 20th anniversary of the ride coming in 2007 that seems an auspicious time to do it.

Of course, nothing official has come from Disney yet, so it could just fade away.

Parade of Dreams (spoilers)

Below are a couple of photos from the new Parade of Dreams parade coming to Disneyland. If you do not wish to see them, click this link to skip to the next section.

The new 50th Anniversary parade for Disneyland, Parade of Dreams, has been going through dress rehearsals and has even been seen on Main Street during regular hours for the filming of a commercial.

At least one nighttime dress rehearsal was done shortly after park closing, and a small group of interested passersby watched from outside the park's exit gate. You can find additional photos and some debate on whether we should even show these (guess which side we're on) on our MousePad message board (link).


Ursula from The Little Mermaid has a float. Photo by Adrienne Vincent–Phoenix.


The well–received Lion King float. Photo by Adrienne Vincent–Phoenix.

Particularly well received among those who saw the commercial filming was the Lion King float, with very smooth and lifelike movements by Simba.

Over at Disney's California Adventure park, though, a tighter veil of secrecy is being maintained for the new Block Party parade. Though a later rehearsal was done without them, for one dress rehearsal tents were put up to block the view from the Esplanade.


These tents prevent rubberneckers from getting an early view of the Block Party parade. Photo by Adrienne Vincent–Phoenix.

Contest Winners

Late in the day on April 19, people began to get e–mail informing them they had won tickets to visit Disneyland on May 4, when the park is officially closed to the public. 2,500 winners get to bring a guest with them to join the media and an unknown number of radio station contest winners. Some were disappointed to learn that they would only be at the park until 5 p.m., at which time the park will really close for an hour and then reopen for a VIP–only celebrity party that will include the premiere of the new fireworks show.

Congratulations to all the MousePlanet readers who won these tickets.

50th bricks

The 50th Anniversary paving stones are being added to the Esplanade, so be sure to check it out if you purchased one.


One section of the new 50th Anniversary bricks. Photo by David Michael.

Merchandise event sold out

Registration for the 50th Anniversary merchandise event opened last Thursday and promptly sold out in all but the cheapest of plans. The Walt's Dream plan reportedly sold out in 11 minutes (50 tickets were available) with Roy's Plan and Lillian's Inspiration not far behind. As of this writing, tickets are still available for the Imagineer's Quest package, the auction, and the Fess Parker side event. Event information can be found at the Disney Gallery Web site (link).

The smaller touches

The last week has seen two more updates to the look of Sleeping Beauty castle (yes, I know the difference, thanks for all the e–mail pointing out my brain cramp last week). Large jewels now decorate the castle in many places and the new lighting has been installed around the castle.

The lighting stations stick out pretty sorely, so hopefully that is temporary. The large towers to the sides of the castle are for the tarp that will be put up in front of it the night of May 4 and should come down shortly after that.


New “jewels” adorn the castle exterior. Photo by Adrienne Vincent–Phoenix.


One of several new lighting projectors around the castle. Photo by Adrienne Vincent–Phoenix.


This tower near the wishing well is temporary and has a twin on the other side of the castle. Photo by David Michael.

Additional 50th Anniversary logos and photomosaics also continue to appear around the park.


A more subtle logo on Tom Sawyer Island. Photo by David Michael.


An appropriate photomosaic for the Fantasmic viewing area in New Orleans Square. Photo by David Michael.

Finally, the walls are down around the Opera House, and it is looking good.


The new sign for the new exhibit and show. Photo by Adrienne Vincent–Phoenix.

Shag reception and merchandise

Walt Disney Event Services also announced another merchandise event for Disneyland, to be held in June marking the sale of five original prints for the 50th Anniversary by the artist Shag—one for each of Disneyland's five original lands. A reception, scheduled for Friday, June 24 at the Paradise Pier Hotel, also includes the opportunity to pre–purchase the prints and related merchandise through a random selection process.

Two packages are available. 50 tickets are available for the “Tomorrowland Package.” This package includes one night at the Disneyland Hotel (couples can get two consecutive nights), free valet parking at the hotel, entrance to the reception and a meet–and–greet with Shag (Josh Agle), a commemorative photo and keepsake, and access to the random selection process for merchandise. This package costs $400.

For $150, you can get the “Adventureland Package,” which is essentially the same thing, but without the hotel room. The number of tickets available for this package is not announced.

Reservations are open for the event at 9 a.m. Pacific time on Monday, May 9th. Official information is available here.

You can view photos of the merchandise here. For those who prefer their art cheaper (and slightly dinged by the U.S. Postal Service), Event Services did send postcards announcing the event to their mailing list. Each card had one of the five new paintings on its back.

MousePlanet received four of the five postcards, scans shown below. You can see the fifth, for Frontierland, at the merchandise link above.


Scanned image of postcard of new Shag painting of Adventureland for Disneyland's 50th Anniversary.


Scanned image of postcard of new Shag painting of Fantasyland for Disneyland's 50th Anniversary.


Scanned image of postcard of new Shag painting of Main Street, U.S.A. for Disneyland's 50th Anniversary.


Scanned image of postcard of new Shag painting of Tomorrowland for Disneyland's 50th Anniversary.

More firework effects

Presented here a couple new pictures from the April 21 test run of the new “Remember...” fireworks show. Click this link, to skip to the next section if you wish not to see them.


A Mickey head. Photo by Adrienne Vincent–Phoenix.


A very well–formed star. Photo by Adrienne Vincent–Phoenix.


Just turn that frown upside down. Photo by Adrienne Vincent–Phoenix.

Ears to the ground...

[Updated] Tickets for Disneyland's new 50th Anniversary guided tour went on sale Wednesday, April 27, though the new tour may be one of the best-kept secrets of the celebration. The 3 1/2 hour tour is $55, and will run four times each day. Each tour can accomodate up to 16 guests. Depending on the time of day, the tour includes the following elements:

  • "Priority Boarding" for 3 (2nd, 3rd and 4th tour) or 5 (1st tour only) attractions
  • Tour pin
  • An illustrated replica of an A-E ticket book
  • Commemorative photo
  • Snack
  • Priority seating to the Parade of Dreams (2nd & 3rd tours) or Remember... Dreams Come True fireworks (4th tour only)

Call 714-781-4400 to make your reservation.

Please note: Holding tickets or reservations for any tour or special event does NOT guarantee park admission. If the park is full to capacity, you may be offered the option of rescheduling your tour to another date or time, or a refund in rare cases, but visitors should plan to be inside the park as soon as possible on the day of their event to make sure they are not shut out.

MousePlanet has reserved the 12:15 tour on Thursday, May 5. If you would like to join MousePlanet staff and fellow readers, please contact Adrienne Vincent-Phoenix to reserve a spot.

…Sunday saw the final showings of Mickey's Magic Kingdom Celebration and Sleeping Beauty's Royal Celebration. These two mini–parades were developed quickly to bridge the gap until the new Parade of Dreams premieres in May and proved surprisingly effective and popular.

…An unofficial “Star Wars” day at Disneyland has been announced for June 25. Organized by the Orange County Star Wars Society, the event will gather for a group photo in front of the castle at three o'clock (link).

…The introduction of Honda's ASIMO robot to Innoventions is official as signs in the attraction indicate.


Coming soon sign in Innoventions. Photo by David Michael.

…The submarine lagoon is now drained, and David Michael got several good photos (taken last Tuesday while draining was still in progress.


The Matterhorn end of the lagoon. Photo by David Michael.


By the Monorail station. Photo by David Michael.


The loading platform and waterfall. Photo by David Michael.


A fish out of water. Photo by David Michael.


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.
  • Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln opens May 4 with installation the 50th Anniversary exhibit in the Main Street Opera House
  • Disney Gallery opens May 4
  • Disneyland Railroad Tomorrowland station opens May 3
  • Jungle Cruise opens May
  • Casey Jr. Circus Trains opens May 4
  • Goofy's Bounce House opens May 4
  • Storybook Land Canal Boats opens May 4
  • Space Mountain opens July 15
  • Haunted Mansion closed September 6–29 to install Haunted Mansion Holiday overlay; closed Jan. 9–25, 2006 to remove overlay
  • Pirates of the Caribbean closed October 3–December 13
  • Submarine Lagoon is now behind a construction wall.

Disney's California Adventure

  • SuperStar Limo building has ongoing construction for an unannounced (Monsters, Inc.) new attraction.
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

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.
  • Mother's Day Brunch at Disneyland Hotel on May 8. Sold out, but information available at 714–781–DINE.

June

  • Robert Olszewski merchandise release. June 18 at Disneyland Park. Two new Main Street pieces in his “Disneyland in Miniature” collection: Main Street Train Station and Main Street Train. Also released will be Dapper Dan and Fab Five character packs.
  • Shag merchandise release and reception. June 24 at the Paradise Pier Hotel. Five new Shag paintings and associated merchandise will be sold and a reception and meet–and–greet with the artist will be held. Reservations open May 9 (link).
  • 2005 Summer Pin Festival. June 24 – Aug. 15 at the Disneyland Resort. No details have been announced (link).

July

  • Disneyland 50th Anniversary special event. July 15–17. Three days of merchandising events with multiple purchase plans (link).
  • July 2005 NFFC convention. July 9–13. The Show and Sale is scheduled for July 10.
  • Robert Olszewski merchandise release. July 16 at Grand Californian Hotel. The first non–Main Street piece in his “Disneyland in Miniature” collection: Mad Tea Party.

September

  • Robert Olszewski merchandise release. September 10 at Disneyland Park. Several new pieces in his “Disneyland in Miniature” collection: Disney Showcase/Magic Shop/20th Century Music and Jungle Cruise as well as a pin trading cart and a marching band character pack.

Current Discounts & Promotions

Several current promotions offer discounted admission to the Disneyland Resort. For convenience sake, we have grouped the discount offers based on the number of days the tickets are valid. Check out the category that best matches the amount of time you plan to spend at the resort, and pick the offer which works best for you. And keep those tips coming – let us know if you find a better / different offer, so we can share it with other readers!

One Day

No discounts offered to the general public for single–day admission. You might find discounted tickets, starting at around $41 for ages 10 and up, through your employer, student organization or professional association. Check with your group activity office or human resources department.


Two Days

Southern California 2Fer Ticket ($53/$43) through April 28, 2005 – The spring “resident salute” discount is a 2Fer ticket, with one admission to Disneyland and one admission to Disney's California Adventure on two different days. Purchase the “ticket card” in advance at Southern California–area Vons and Pavillions grocery stores or at the Disneyland Web site (link), scanned and activated at the time of purchase. Walk up to the main entrance, present the ticket card and proof of Southern California residency to gain admission.

Tickets: $53 for ages 10 and older, $43 for ages 3 to 9. You must use the second admission within 30 days of the first admission, or by April 28, 2005, whichever comes first.

According to the official promotion details, Southern California residents can buy up to eight 2Fer tickets per day, but each member of your party must be able to provide proof of Southern California (zip codes 90000 through 93599) or Baja California (ZIP codes 21000 through 22999) residency to use the tickets.

Reader James tells us that he purchased these tickets at the Disneyland Resort ticket booths, and was allowed to purchase the tickets for his out–of–state relatives. He says his relatives were never asked for proof of residency.


Southern California 2–Day Park Hopper at 1–Day Park Hopper Price through April 28, 2005 – Residents of Southern California and Baja California, Mexico, can purchase a standard 2–Day Park Hopper pass for the price of a 1–Day Park Hopper. It appears this offer is available only online at Disney's Web site (link); you need to enter an eligible ZIP code.

Tickets: $73 for ages 10 and older, $63 for ages 3 to 9. You must use the second day of admission within 30 days of the first admission, or by April 28, 2005, whichever comes first.

According to the official promotion details, Southern California residents can buy up to eight passes per day, but on only two days in any seven day period. Expect each member of your party must be able to provide proof of Southern California (zip codes 90000 through 93599) or Baja California (zip codes 21000 through 22999) residency when presenting the tickets at the main entrance.


Good Neighbor Hotel Park Hopper Plus tickets ($105/$85) through April 28, 2005 – Disneyland resort Good Neighbor hotels can offer a 2–Day Park Hopper Plus ticket at $105 for ages 10 and up, or $85 for ages 3 to 9. No advance purchase is required, and some hotels may even sell them to visitors who are not staying at that property. These tickets are valid through April 28. 2005.


AAA Flex Passport ($98/$78) – Some AAA offices offer a 2–day Flex Passport at $98 for ages 10 and up, or $78 for ages 3–9. This ticket does not require a hotel or package purchase—check with your local office to see if the ticket is available in your area.

A reader let us know that AAA offices in Oregon and Idaho do not offer the 2–day version of this ticket, but instead offer a 3–day pass.


Three Days

AAA Flex Passport ($129/$99) – Some AAA offices offer a 3–day Flex Passport at $129 for ages 10 and up, or $99 for ages 3–9. This ticket does not require a hotel or package purchase – check with your local office to see if the ticket is available in your area.


Good Neighbor Hotel Park Hopper Plus tickets ($114/$114) through April 28, 2005 – Disneyland resort Good Neighbor hotels can offer a 3–Day Park Hopper Plus ticket for $114, ages 3 and up. (Adults and children pay the same price) No advance purchase is required, and some hotels may even sell them to visitors who are not staying at that property. These tickets are valid through April 28, 2005.


City Pass ($185/$127) – The cost of a CityPass increases to $185 for ages 10 and up, but decrease to $127 for ages 3–9. The pass includes a 3–Day Disneyland Resort park hopper bonus ticket (includes a $10 ESPN Zone game card and one early admission), one day admission to Knott's Berry Farm, Sea World San Diego, and either the San Diego Zoo or San Diego Wild Animal Park. The CityPass still expires 14 days after first use. Purchase CityPass through the Disneyland Web site, at the Disneyland Resort, at the other theme parks included in the pass, or directly from the CityPass Web site (link).


3–Day Park Hopper Bonus tickets ($109/$109) ($139/$109) – The park hopper bonus tickets currently include one early entry admission to Fantasyland and a $10 ESPN Zone game card. If the Disneyland resort portion of your trip concludes by May 11, 2005, you can take advantage of the “Adults Play for the Kids' Price” special. Through this advance purchase offer, 3–day park hopper tickets for ages 3 and up are $109, a savings of $20–50 off the main gate price. Expires 13 days after first use or May 11, 2005, whichever comes first.

If you plan to visit the Disneyland resort after April 28, take advantage of the Advance Purchase discount to save $20 per ticket, as detailed above. Expires 13 days after first use or January 15, 2006, whichever comes first.

Both offers are available at the Disneyland Web site (link), some Southern California AAA offices, some Disney Stores, or your travel agent. Must be purchased in advance, and are not available at the Disneyland resort ticket booths.

Several readers wrote to tell us that the Safeway stores in Central and Northern California, and Vons stores in Las Vegas, are also offering the 3–Day Park Hopper Bonus tickets. Check with your local Safeway store for details, as the dates and benefits may differ.


Four Days

Good Neighbor Hotel Park Hopper Plus tickets ($134/$134) through April 28, 2005 – Disneyland Resort Good Neighbor hotels can offer a 4–Day Park Hopper Plus ticket for $134, ages 3 and up (Adults and children pay the same price). No advance purchase is required, and some hotels may even sell them to visitors who are not staying at that property. Valid through April 28, 2005.


4–Day Park Hopper Bonus tickets ($129/$129) ($159/$129) – The park hopper bonus tickets currently include one early entry admission to Fantasyland, and a $10 ESPN Zone game card. If the Disneyland resort portion of your trip concludes by May 11, 2005, take advantage of the “Adults Play for the Kids' Price” special. Through this advance purchase offer, 4–day park hopper tickets for ages 3 and up are $129, a savings of $30–60 off the main gate price. These tickets expire 13 days after first use or May 11, 2005, whichever comes first.

If you plan to visit the Disneyland Resort after April 28, you can still take advantage of the Advance Purchase discount and save $30 per ticket, as detailed above. These tickets expire 13 days after first use or January 15, 2006, whichever comes first.

Both of these ticket offers are available through the Disneyland Web site (link), through some Southern California AAA offices, through some Disney Stores, or through your travel agent. You must buy these tickets in advance; they are not available at the Disneyland Resort ticket booths.


Five Days

Disney's AAA Passport Plus Package 2005 ($169/$139) – The 5–day Passport Plus park hopper ticket is $169 for ages 10 and up, and $139 for ages 3–9. This package 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 – may not be available when you order)
  • Free parking at Disneyland Resort theme parks
  • Early entry into Fantasyland on select days

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

Several readers report that their local AAA offices do not offer this ticket, or that the benefits differ. You may remember that this also happened with the 2004 version of this package.

MousePlanet has contacted AAA offices around the country and encountered the same problem. If your local AAA office does not offer the ticket, check with another AAA office in your area. The decision to offer this ticket seems to depend on which regional AAA “club” you belong to, and in some cases rest with the office manager at each location.

The Auto Club of Southern California (ACSC) is not participating in this offer, and AAA Oregon/Idaho offers the 5–day tickets. Some readers have also been told that the California Diamond Fun Book is no longer available.


5–Day Park Hopper Bonus tickets ($139/$139) ($169/$139) – The park hopper bonus tickets currently include one early entry admission to Fantasyland, and a $10 ESPN Zone game card. If the Disneyland Resort portion of your trip concludes by May 11, 2005, take advantage of the “Adults Play for the Kids' Price” special. Through this advance purchase offer, 5–day park hopper tickets for ages 3 and up are $139, a savings of $40–70 off the main gate price. These tickets expire 13 days after first use or May 11, 2005, whichever comes first.

If you plan to visit the Disneyland Resort after April 28, take advantage of the Advance Purchase discount and save $40 per ticket, as detailed in above. These tickets expire 13 days after first use or January 15, 2006, whichever comes first.

Both of these ticket offers are available through the Disneyland Web site (link), through some Southern California AAA offices, through some Disney Stores, or through your travel agent. These tickets must be purchased in advance, and are not available at the Disneyland resort ticket booths.


Alaska Airlines “Kids Fly Free” promotion through June 29, 2005 – If you have to fly to Southern California, Alaska Airlines has a package that includes either a free 5–day park hopper with each paid adult ticket, or an adult 5–day park hopper for the children's price. You must book packages by June 1, and travel must be completed by June 29. Visit the Alaska Airlines Web site (link) for more details.


Six or Seven Days

Disney's AAA Passport Plus Package 2005 – The Parkhopper Plus package may be available in 6– or 7– day increments at participating AAA offices. Check with your local AAA office for availability and pricing:

  • 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 – may not be available when you order)
  • Free parking at Disneyland Resort theme parks

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

Several readers report that their local AAA offices do not offer this ticket, or that the benefits differ. You may remember that this also happened with the 2004 version of this package. MousePlanet has contacted AAA offices around the country, and encountered the same problem. If your local AAA office does not offer the ticket, check with another AAA office in your area. The decision to offer this ticket seems to depend on which regional AAA “club” you belong to, and in some cases rests with the office manager at each location.

The Auto Club of Southern California (ACSC) is not participating in this offer, and AAA Oregon/Idaho offers the 5–day tickets. Some readers have also been told that the California Diamond Fun Book is no longer available.


Special thanks to MousePlanet reader David Michael for some of this information.

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.

ESPN Zone MVP Club

If you sign up online for ESPN Zone's MVP Club (link) you can receive a $20 voucher (for food, merchandise, or game cards), a 40–point game card (about $10 worth), and an ESPN Zone mini–cooler. ESPN Club in Orlando is excluded from this offer. You must pick up these items in person, although they do not have to be used as the same store from which you get them. There are some fairly strict requirements for registering and getting your rewards, so make sure you read the details carefully (link).


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
4/25 4/26 4/27 4/28 4/29 4/30

 

DL: 9a–7p
DCA: 10a–6p

DL: 9a–7p
DCA: 10a–6p

DL: 9a–7p
DCA: 10a–6p

DL: 9a–7p
DCA: 10a–6p

DL: 9a–Mid
DCA: 10a–9p
SL

DL: 8a–Mid
DCA: 10a–9p
SL/SC/DX

5/1 5/2 5/3 5/4 5/5 5/6 5/7

DL: 8a–11p
DCA: 10a–9p
SL

DL: 10a–8p
DCA: 10a–6p

DL: 10a–8p
DCA: 10a–6p

DL: Closed
DCA: 9a–9p

DL: 9a–11p
DCA: 9a–9p

DL: 9a–Mid
DCA: 10a–9p
SL

DL: 8a–Mid
DCA: 10a–9p
SL/SC/DX

5/8 5/9 5/10 5/11 5/12 5/13 5/14

DL: 8a–11p
DCA: 10a–9p
SL

DL: 10a–9p
DCA: 10a–6p

DL: 10a–9p
DCA: 10a–6p

DL: 10a–9p
DCA: 10a–6p

DL: 10a–9p
DCA: 10a–6p

DL: 9a–Mid
DCA: 10a–9p
SL

DL: 8a–Mid
DCA: 10a–9p
SL/SC/DX

Visit our Annual Passholders Blockout Dates 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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