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News and Views

Herbie Gets A Sundae

by Lisa Perkis, staff writer

Disney's Soda Fountain and Studio Store opened officially June 22 to coincide with the opening of Herbie: Fully Loaded at the Disney-owned El Capitan Theatre in Hollywood.


Brand new neon for Hollywood Boulevard. Photo by Lisa Perkis.


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The soda fountain serves custom-prepared ice cream by Dewar's, a family-owned business based in California. The homemade ice cream is created in small batches of 10 gallons each with all-natural ingredients.


The soda fountain quickly fills up after movie lets out of the “El Cap.” Photo by Lisa Perkis.


This month's special, the Herbie Fully Loaded Sundae, is served in a special keepsake bowl. Photo by Lisa Perkis.

You can order cones, sundaes, shakes and malts, floats, and phosphates (flavored syrups combined with sparkling soda water) at the counter and at full service tables, as well as to go. The menu also offers a few casual meal choices, such as grilled cheese sandwiches and hot dogs. Ice cream cones and beverages are available at a take-out cone window on Hollywood Boulevard.


Two scoops to go. Photo by Lisa Perkis.

The store offers a good selection of Disney DVDs and videos, as well as “exclusive merchandise related to Walt Disney Studios' films.” The main focus of the selection seems to be whatever movie happens to be playing at the El Capitan, so Herbie merchandise will likely rule the summer. The store also offers a selection of unique Soda Fountain pins and Dewar's taffy chews.


Number 53 makes yet another comeback. Photo by Lisa Perkis.

The soda fountain occupies the former Disney Store space with a seating capacity of 64 guests sitting at the counter and tables. The wait for tables might be a long one after showing of popular movies at the El Capitan, but it's worth it. Peruse the selection of old Herbie movies while you wait.


Table service is limited, but the wait staff is quick and efficient. Photo by Lisa Perkis.

Disney's Soda Fountain and Studio Store is open daily 9:30am-10pm. The official Website is DisneySodaFoundation.com (link).

The virtual made real

If you think the fervency of pin traders at Disneyland is a bit odd, wait until you see what online gamers can be like.


Tomorrowland's new Virtual Magic Kingdom kiosk. Photo by David Michael.

The beta (pre-release) testing of Virtual Magic Kingdom continues in the online realm and the game now has a real-world presence at Disneyland. A new kiosk in Tomorrowland, near Innoventions, At the kiosk people can learn about the game, and even sign up there (earning a special in-game designation that your character was born at Disneyland).

The main purpose of the kiosk is to serve as the real world point for game-players to pick up and drop off in-part "quests" that will earn them real and virtual prizes. Currently there are two quests available out of what will eventually be ten. Completing one of these quests will get you a glow-in-the-dark plastic VMK bracelet similar to those "cause-supporting" bracelets that are the current fad. More important to the gamers will be the online prizes you get, including special furniture for their character's room and badges their character can wear.


A photo of one of the quests, for Advetureland. Photo by David Michael. Brochure © Disney.

Buzz bonus points

The online world is making its presence known at Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters as well. The next component of the online Buzz Lightyear game has gone into effect. Now, in addition to online players getting bonus points from park guests riding at the same time the online player an affect the experience of the people riding at the park.


When the targets light up, an online player has given you a chance at extra points. Photo by David Michael.

In the online game, players try to grab Zurg batteries, and when they successfully do so, it can light up a target inside the ride at Disneyland. If the rider with whom they are connected shoots that target while it is lit, they'll receive bonus points and a higher score at the end of the ride.

Turtle Talk

All outward appearances are that "Turtle Talk with Crush" at the Animation Building in Disney's California Adventure park is just about ready for its debut. The official premiere will be over the July 17 weekend, but soft openings before then are likely.


The entrance to the soon-opening Turtle Talk in the Animation Building. Photo by David Michael.


A closeup of the sign at the entrance. Photo by David Michael.

Ears to the ground

…Nothing official is known but there is strong buzz that Space Mountain will start taking on park guests as early as July 1, this Friday. Final testing with cast members will be held June 29 and 30, and it does not look like there will be a cast member preview which would allow them to bring friends and family onto the ride.


Don't keep it to yourself! Send us your news tips, rumors, and comments. E–mail us here.

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). New rumors say that this refurbishment may be pushed out to early 2006 and be as long as four months. As soon as anything is confirmed, we'll say so.
  • Submarine Lagoon is currently beginning work on a new Finding Nemo attraction; still unofficial at this time with an opening date unannounced.


    Not all the lagoon decorations have been removed, but most have been. Photo by David Michael.

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.
  • Turtle Talk with Crush is being installed in Animation Building; opens mid-July.
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

  • 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
6/27 6/28 6/29 6/30 7/1 7/2

 

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

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

7/10 7/11 7/12 7/13 7/14 7/15 7/16

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

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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