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News and Views

Prices up

For the second time this year, Disneyland is raising the one-day ticket price for admission to Disneyland or Disney's California Adventure. On top of a $2 increase earlier this year, today sees the price going up another $3 to $56 for adults and $46 for children 3-9. For now annual passes remain unchanged.


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This will likely have a cascading effect through the various discounted ticket options mentioned in the Discounts and Promotions section of this page, we'll keep them current as price changes are announced. In the meantime, if you're planning to purchase tickets in the near future and you find them available at the current prices you may want to buy in sooner rather than waiting.

Food rage

In conversations with various cast members inside the Disneyland Foods department, it seems clear that visitors to Disneyland are in for a summer of long lines and slow service at park restaurants.

As we mentioned in an earlier Park Update (link), there has been a steady stream of complaints about slow food service at Disneyland and even odd closures on busy days. The rumors were that Foods was experiencing a serious staffing shortage and that hundreds of cast members had unexpectedly quit.

According to cast members, the department is in a vicious cycle that keeps making the problem worse. Management put in place new work policies that disenchanted many employees, leading them to quit, which required extra work from the remaining cast members, which caused more to quit, and so on.

Several cast members have indicated that while they understand the need to work extra shifts until new people can be hired, the two big problems are that extra shifts are just stacking up on each other, driving even the most dedicated to exhaustion. They also complain that it has become almost impossible to get a request for time off approved. Stories are circulating of people required to work on the day of their high school graduation. One person shared their personal experience of trying for more than a month to get a day off so that a doctor could be seen at a free clinic (being part-time he is uninsured). Eventually he had to call in sick and the doctor says that several more visits will be required because of the delay.

Disney does seem to be hiring people as quickly as possible, but with starting wages below other food industry jobs in the area, the response to recruitment efforts isn't overwhelming and the quality of candidates tends to be lower. It only worsens the situation that new hires have to be promoted through the training process with some people getting trained in just one or two sessions whereas one cast member noted that when he started, he spent six hours just training on pouring sodas. In an attempt to avoid ruining the "show" with understaffed locations, the show is sometimes being ruined with undertrained staff.

Front-line foods cast members don't see the situation improving quickly, saying that Disney needs to improve wages (unlikely to happen quickly, if at all) and find a way get people back onto reasonable schedules. Some overtime is almost always welcome, but people just can't take too many 12- or 14-hour shifts. Though none of our contacts think it will actually happen, rumors have been swirling about a walkout, which even if it doesn't happen is a sign of just how frustrated people on the inside have become.

So, if you're at the park and end up waiting 45 minutes to order lunch, keep in mind that the person on the other side of the counter probably isn't much happier than you, and complaints are more effectively directed to City Hall than the person doing their best to help you. On the other hand, if you notice that a Foods cast member is being particularly attentive, friendly, or helpful, given the circumstances we highly recommend you consider going to City Hall to file a compliment.

A Nervous Event

Nerves continue to get rattled by information coming out about the Celebrating 50 Years of Magical Memories merchandise event in July. The original controversy erupted when Walt Disney Event Services changed the number of people allowed into each of the four packages available. The two most expensive categories saw their numbers swell significantly (as a percentage of the original 50 people) while the overall attendance was capped lower (because 500 possible sales were chopped off the cheapest package).

Less of a fuss resulted when the "additional experiences" packages were changed. Some disgruntled attendee has even created a Web site, called SaveOurEvent.com, requesting that other attendees sign an open letter to Matt Ouimet and Robert Iger (link).

The latest mini-furor has been sparked by the release of details about the Random Selection Process (RSP) for the 20 seminars and workshops sessions that will be held over two days (there are eight unique sessions, each is held at least twice and some are offered four times).

In addition to the details on the sessions, Walt Disney Event Services (WDES) also released the number of people allowed into each session. The math worked out such that every time slot had at least 480 available to the 311 people who had purchased packages that included access to the seminars.

To many of the attendees this at first implied that while their package had only guaranteed them one session (the Lillian's Inspiration package didn't even have that) that everybody eligible for the RSP would actually end up in four sessions, since there weren't enough people to fill out the time slot.

Upon closer reading of the RSP procedures, though, it became apparent this would not be the case. The RSP form only requested the first preference for a time slot, so that if that choice was already taken, WDES had no idea what your second, third, or fourth choices were. Making matters even worse in their eyes was the fact that if the first choice wasn't available, the attendee might be placed into a later session of that seminar, bumping whatever had been selected for that later time slot.

Theoretically, this could result in only 40 of the 311 premium-package purchasers getting into a session in a particular time slot—if all 311 chose the lowest-capacity "Art by Design" session, which allows only 40 people per session). It seems obvious that WDES would not let things get so skewed, but if they have so many more seats than people to put in them, why not, some people asked, take enough information to assign everybody a session in each time slot.

Making all of this worse, in some eyes, was the information that purchasers of the Imagineers Quest package would be allowed to participate in the RSP, filling any seats remaining after the premium-package RSP forms had been processed.

To understand why this would bother some people it is necessary to understand that there were only two differences between the $750 Lillian's Inspiration package and $495 Imagineer's Quest package. Purchasers of the more expensive package were granted access to the seminars RSP (not a guarantee of getting any sessions, just entry into it) and a July 17 breakfast at River Belle Terrace. If Imagineer's Quest package-holders are now allowed into the seminar RSP, then Lillian's Inspiration people are essentially paying $255 per person for breakfast and early admission to Disneyland on July 17.

Pile that on top of the idea that a premium-package purchaser could end up with no seminar in a time slot while Imagineer's Quest people are allowed in, and frustrations are understandable.

Several attendees have spoken with event managers (and recounted the conversations on our message board) and received varying levels of assurances that they will be well taken care of. Some remain doubtful.

In brighter news for the attendees, Disney has moved two merchandise events away from July 17 and added them to the merchandise event. Disney artist Charles Boyer and ornament designer Christopher Radko were originally scheduled to make appearances and sign merchandise on July 17. In response to the anticipated crowds, these appearances have been moved to July 16. It is unclear whether general park guests will still have access or if it will be limited to event attendees.

Flag Day Tribute

In honor of Flag Day (last Tuesday, June 14), Disneyland and Alaska Airlines teamed up to reunite 50 servicemen and women returning from Iraq with their Southern California based families. All fifty were flown in one one of Alaska Airlines Disney-themed 737s, named "The Magic of Disneyland."

After the troops were reunited with their families at the tarmac of Ontario International Airport, they were transported to Disneyland for a ticker tape parade down Main Street, along with various Disney characters.


&copy Disney.


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Current Refurbishments and Attraction Closures

Disneyland

  • 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 through December 13 (this closure does not have an official announcement supporting it; it should be taken as strong rumor and not certain fact).
  • Submarine Lagoon is currently beginning work on a new Finding Nemo attraction; still unofficial at this time with an opening date unannounced.

Disney's California Adventure

  • The former SuperStar Limo building is now the future Monster, Inc.: Mike and Sully to the Rescue which will open January 2006.
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.

Events

June

  • 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 are open (link).
  • Magical Milestone – A Pin Celebration. June 24 – Aug. 15 at the Disneyland Resort (link).
  • USPS Disney Stamps. June 30 at Disneyana Shop in Disneyland Park. Artist Peter Emmerich and other officials will be on hand. Guests can purchase first day of issue cachets in various forms (link).

July

  • Happiest Music on Earth. July 2–4. A concert at Hollywood Bowl presenting music from 50 years of Disneyland (link).
  • Disneyland star on Hollywood Walk of Fame. July 14. Disneyland will get a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, no details have yet been released.
  • 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. Also Main Street Train.

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

Southern California 1–Day Park Hopper ($68/$58) – Residents of Southern California (zip codes 90000–93599) and and northern Baja California, Mexico (zip codes 21000–22999), can buy discounted one–day park hoppers. You can purchase up to eight tickets at a time, one order per day, and two orders in any seven–day period. Valid ID showing zip code will be required with ticket for admission.


Two Days

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.


Advance Purchase 2–Day Park Hopper ($105/$85)– Available for online purchase directly from Disney (link) or Northern California, Nevada, and Utah AAA offices (link).


Annual Passholder 2–Day Park Hopper ($86/$66)– Annual passholders can purchase 2–Day Parkhopper tickets for their friends and family at a $20 discount. Each passholder can purchase eight tickets per day. Offer expires June 17, 2005, and tickets expire the earlier of 13 days after first use or June 30, 2005..


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.


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).

The Southern California City Pass can also be purchased online from Costco at a cost of $164.99/$112.99 (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.

You can take advantage of the Advance Purchased discount as detailed above. These tickets expire 13 days after first use or January 15, 2006, whichever comes first. The first visit must occur before January 2, 2006.

Both offers are available at the Disneyland Web site (link) and from AAA. You must buy these tickets in advance; they 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

4–Day Park Hopper Bonus tickets($159/$129) – The park hopper bonus tickets currently include one early entry admission to Fantasyland, and a $10 ESPN Zone game card.

You can take advantage of the Advance Purchased discount as detailed above. These tickets expire 13 days after first use or January 15, 2006, whichever comes first. The first visit must occur before January 2, 2006.

These tickets are available through the Disneyland Web site (link) and from AAA. 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.

You can take advantage of the Advance Purchased discount as detailed above. These tickets expire 13 days after first use or January 15, 2006, whichever comes first. The first visit must occur before January 2, 2006.

Both of these ticket offers are available through the Disneyland Web site (link), and from AAA. You must buy these tickets in advance; they 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.

Fourth Night Free

Get a fourth night free if you stay at any of the three Disneyland Resort hotels for three or more consecutive nights. Visits must happen August 28 through December 18, 2005 (link).

2005 Resort Magic Package

This package (link) for couples includes two nights' lodging and a park hopper tickets. Travel must occur "value seasons" now through July 2, 2005; August 28–November 21, 2005; and November 27–December 23, 2005.

  • 50th Anniversary 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)

Two versions of the package are available. For $349 per person (double occupancy) you can stay at one of the on–property Disney hotels. For $229 per person (double occupancy) you can get the same package while staying at the Jolly Roger Hotel or Red Roof Inn Maingate.

50th Anniversary Package

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 must be booked online through the Disneyland Web site (link) by December 28, 2005.

Kids Fly Free

Alaska Airlines “Kids Fly Free” promotion through June 29, 2005 – 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.

Free Stroller Rental

Holders of a Disney Visa card can get up to two free stroller rentals per day at the Disneyland Resort. This offer is valid through September 30, 2006 and you must present a valid Disney Visa card at time of rental.

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
6/20 6/21 6/22 6/23 6/24 6/25

 

DL: 8a–11p
DCA: 10a–8p

DL: 8a–11p
DCA: 10a–8p

DL: 8a–9p
DCA: 10a–8p
SL/SC

DL: 8a–9p
DCA: 10a–8p
SL/SC

DL: 8a–Mid
DCA: 10a–9p
SL/SC

DL: 8a–Mid
DCA: 10a–9p
SL/SC/DX

6/26 6/27 6/28 6/29 6/30 7/1 7/2

DL: 8a–12p
DCA: 10a–9p
SL

DL: 8a–11p
DCA: 10a–9p

DL: 8a–11p
DCA: 10a–9p

DL: 8a–11p
DCA: 10a–9p
SL

DL: 8a–11p
DCA: 10a–9p
SL

DL: 8a–Mid
DCA: 10a–9p
SL/SC

DL: 8a–Mid
DCA: 10a–9p
SL/SC/DX

7/3 7/4 7/5 7/6 7/7 7/8 7/9

DL: 8a–Mid
DCA: 10a–10p
SL/SC/DX

DL: 8a–Mid
DCA: 10a–10p
SL/SC/DX

DL: 8a–Mid
DCA: 10a–10p
SL/SC

DL: 8a–Mid
DCA: 10a–10p
SL/SC

DL: 8a–Mid
DCA: 10a–10p
SL/SC

DL: 8a–Mid
DCA: 10a–10p
SL/SC

DL: 8a–Mid
DCA: 10a–10p
SL/SC/DX

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

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



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