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News and Views

Screamin' update

The last week has not seen much new information about the California Screamin' accident at Disney's California Adventure. The California Department of Occupational Safety and Health (Cal-DOSH) continues their investigation and neither they nor Disney will issue any further comments until it is complete.


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The one item that did come out may not technically be a sign of anything wrong done by Disney, but it certainly won't look good to the casual observer. The Orange County Register (link) reported last Friday that their investigation of state records showed that Disney made modifications to the brakes in zones six and seven, the area where it appears the purple train failed to make a complete stop during a cascade braking.

The changes passed a state safety inspection on June 2, 2005, but they report that Intamin AG, the manufacturer of California Screamin', had not been informed of any changes to the ride. Disney, however, takes the position that Intamin was simply a subcontractor and that while they may have provided the basis for the attraction, Walt Disney Imagineering made substantial changes and notification or consultation on such changes would not be necessary.

As the article notes California has no law requiring that Disney notify manufacturers of ride changes after installation. This compares to New Jersey's tough laws which would have required that Disney inform and consult with Intamin before making any changes. In a court case between Disney and Entertainment Technology Corporation (ETC), the manufacturer of Epcot's Mission: SPACE attraction, ETC claimed that Disney was not allowing them to perform the safety inspections required by contract. A federal judge dismissed that charge in mid-June.

Cal-DOSH has completed their physical examination of the ride units involved in the accident and all trains have been removed from the tracks (five were in use when the accident occurred) and back into the maintenance area. Those watching the official Disneyland calendar, noticed that California Screamin' is now listed as closed into November, the out limits of the calendar. This is not necessarily an accurate indicator of how long the attraction will be down. At this time they simply have no idea and aren't making any promises. The barricades around California Screamin' have been moved in very close to the attraction, though they are still staffed by a cast member to keep the overly curious away.


One of the barricades around California Screamin' is manned by a cast member to answer questions and generally keep people away. Photo by David Michael.

Mickey's Halloween Treat online purchases

It became available a bit later than expected, but Annual Passholders can now pre-purchase Mickey's Halloween Treat Ticket online (when registration opened last week, only the phone option was available). To access the order form, sign into the Disneyland AP Web site (link) and select the “Purchase your tickets online” link. All four dates (October 21, 22, 28, and 29) are still available. If you are at the park, event tickets are also available at the Guest services window outside the Disneyland Park entrance.

Prop 65

On July 27th, the Center for Environmental Health (CEH) filed suit against the Walt Disney Company in an effort to “force Disney to address the problem of high levels of lead found in the company’s children’s jewelry.”" The group claims that independent tests found extremely high levels of lead in children's jewelry purchased at Disneyland. Center for Environmental Health notified Disney of their intent to sue under California's Proposition 65 law in April, and says that Disney has spent the past three months rejecting proposals that CEH claims would “immediately protect children from potential lead exposures."

Prop 65 requires businesses to provide a “clear and reasonable”warning before knowingly exposing consumers to chemicals “known to the state to cause cancer or reproductive toxicity.”The law allows businesses to communicate these warnings through signs, labels or public notification. Just days after the lawsuit was filed, Disneyland programed store cash registers to print a slip containing the text of California's Prop 65 warning with every transaction. Items that contain lead or other covered chemicals are identified with an asterisk printed on the customer's receipt.

Fall Schedule

The fall entertainment schedule is coming together and David Michael (Darkbeer) was kind enough to pull all the information together (link). Essentially, here is how the entertainment offerings at Disneyland Resort will scale back by October.

Remember... Dreams Come True fireworks show – Cuts back to Fridays, Saturedays, and Sundays only. The show will also be scheduled for any days projected to meet a certain unkown attendance threshhold.
Parade of Dreams – Goes to one evening show on weekdays, two shows on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.
Fantasmic – Goes to one show on Fridays, two shows on Saturdays, and one show on Sunday.
Snow White – Closes for a 9-month hiatus, returning for 11 weeks in summer 2006, to be replaced by a new stage show summer of 2007.
Block Party Bash parade – 5 days per week, dark on Wednesdays and Thursdays, at 5:15 p.m.
Aladdin - A Musical Spectacular – Is dark Mondays and Tuesdays.
Disney's Electrical Parade – Closes for 9 month hiatus, returning summer 2006.

Merchandise Releases and Information

On Sunday August 28, 2005, Newberry Award-winning author Gail Carson Levine (Ella Enchanted) will do a reading and book signing for her newest book, Fairy Dust and the Quest for the Egg. This book marks the introduction of a new publishing and merchandise line, Disney Fairies. Inspired by J.M. Barrie's Peter Pan, Fairy Dust and the Quest for the Egg explores Fairy Haven, the home of Tinker Bell and introduces some of her friends.

The reading will be in the Brisa Courtyard at the Grand California Hotel from 1:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. From 2:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. Levine will sign merchandise. She'll be joined by illustrator David Christiana as well as Margaret Kerry, the inspiration for Tinker Bell in the Disney version of Peter Pan.

In addition to signing copies of the books ($16.99), other merchandise on hand will be a print of the book's cover ($15), an open edition Tinker Bell fairy sculpture ($75), and a Tinker Bell and friends dangle pin ($10.95), limited to 2,500. The pins are limited to two per guest, and attendees are asked to limit their items for signing to two. The rule that only items purchased on site will be signed aren't always strictly enforced, but don't be surprised if so (link).


Fairy Dust and the Quest for the Egg.

While details have not yet been posted, a date has finally been announced for the release of Thomas Kincade's painting of Sleeping Beauty Castle for the 50th Anniversary. On Saturday, September 10, 2005, there will be a product release and breakfast with Thomas Kincade. Registration and pricing details were not announced. A photo (below) of Kincade in front of the painting has been posted, giving a sense of the finished painting (link).

The release of Robert Olszewski's Jungle Cruise sculpture has been delayed one week, perhaps to accommodate the Thomas Kincade product release. Originally scheduled for September 10, 2005, the Jungle Cruise sculpture will now be released on Saturday, September 17.

Similarly, the release of the 50th Anniversary Disneyland Map by artist SHAG (Josh Agle) has been delayed from September 24 to mid-November.


The 50th Anniversary tribute map of Disneyland by SHAG. Promotional image courtesy Disney.

One of the lesser known events during the long 50th Anniversary weekend was a private party for the unveiling of a new line of “vintage” Disney t-shirts from designer Fred Segal. These items are now available at World of Disney in Downtown Disney and are reportedly selling very well despite price tags of $83 to $115.


Fred Segal “Vintage Disney” t-shirts are now available at World of Disney. Photo by Adrienne Vincent-Phoenix.

The crystal encrusted Mickey ears worn by Kelly Ripa on Live with Regis and Kelly were sold at auction, but now verybody can have their own pair, for just $1,500.


These Mickey ears are covered in Swarovski crystal. Photo by Adrienne Vincent-Phoenix.

Finally, the Magical Milestones Pin Quest, which was to be part of the Magical Milestones Pin Celebration, has been canceled. This event, in which participants would gather stamps around the park to receive a free pin, was originally scheduled for two weeks, was reduced to three days, finally dropped to just one day, and has now been canceled altogether, apparently due to a typo on of the pins associated with the quest. Most of the pins will still be available (except for the defective one), for normal purchase at Store Command. No word is currently available on whether the free “completer” pin will also be available for sale.


This pin, to be part of the Magical Milestones Pin Quest, has a typo. Promotional image courtesy Disney.

Disney Cruise Line contest

In addition to the Disney Online contest we mentioned last week (link), we can add this week a drawing from Disney Cruise Line. The Grand Prize is a 7-day cruise for four aboard the Disney Magic. One hundred others will win a Disney Cruise Line merchandise package.

A Disney Online or Disney Cruise Line account is required, and registration is free. To enter, you need to follow five clues to find tokens on the Disney Cruise Line Web site. Once you've clicked on all five tokens, you can enter the contest, which ends on August 31, 2005. Winners will be selected around September 23, 2005, and notified by e-mail.

If you receive the mailing sent out about this contest, you'll note that it says there is a free, downloadable prize for entering. The prize is an image of the scavenger hunt map used in the contest, suitable for use a computer desktop.


&copy Disney Cruise Line.

Ears to the ground

...Sunday was the final day for SaveDisney.com. While the conflict that spawned that site has come to an end, its 18-month existence saw the development of a lot of interesting content. Hopefully it'll continue to be available in some form other than search engine caches.

...We're getting periodic questions about an ABC Prime Time Weekend at DCA this year. Nothing has been said one way or the other, officially, but at this point it seems unlikely unless they do almost no promotion.

...Small World Mall is now a somewhat better place for watching the Remember... Dreams Come True fireworks. As detailed in our Remember... Viewing Guide (link), there are some good things about watching the fireworks from the area to the right of “it's a small world.” First, there are never significant crowds, the visual surrounding is different (which is a plus for photography) and they time the train so that it goes across "small world" just at the Disneyland Railroad portion of the show. [NOTE: Since this was published we have been informed that a train passing in front of "it's a small world" at this moment is not scheduled, that if it happens it is just coincidental.] Unfortunately, many of the smaller fireworks will be launched from behind you, and all of the castle lighting and laser effects will be missed. With the installation of projectors at “it's a small world” about two weeks ago this problem is helped a bit. The projections onto the “small world” facade are not the same as on Sleeping Beauty Castle and run continuously through the show. If you've already seen Remember... from the Central Plaza hub consider giving this alternate location a try.

...Select merchandise locations around the Disneyland Resort now sell admission media gift cards. You can purchase a gift card for just about every type of park admission you can get at the ticket booths, from a one-day single-park ticket up to premium annual passes.


Now you can easily give Disneyland tickets as gifts for other. Photo by Adrienne Vincent-Phoenix.


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

Current Refurbishments and Attraction Closures

Disneyland

  • 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.
  • Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage is currently under construction and will open sometime in 2007.
  • Disneyland Monorail closure beginning sometime in January 2006. Not yet announced, though expected involve almost a complete rebuilding of Tomorrowland Station to accommodate Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage, a complete refurbishment (though not reconstruction) of the track, and hopefully new monorails to replace the existing vehicles.

Disney's California Adventure

  • Monster, Inc.: Mike and Sully to the Rescue is under construction and will open in early 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

  • Magical Milestone – A Pin Celebration. June 24 – Aug. 15 at the Disneyland Resort (link).

August

  • Fairy Dust and the Quest for the Egg book release and signing – Aug. 28 at Grand California Hotel (link).

September

  • Thomas Kincade painting release and breakfast. September 10. Details not yet released(link).
  • Robert Olszewski merchandise release. Postponed to September 17 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.

October

  • Mickey's Halloween Treat. October 21, 22, 28, and 29 at Disney's California Adventure. A separately ticketed trick-or-treating event at DCA from 7:30-10:30 each night. Tickets are $20, and until September 15, Annual Pass holders may pre-purchase tickets for $15 at 714-781-4400. Online ticket purchases are available through the Disneyland Annual Pass Web site. Tickets can also be pre-purchased on site at the Disneyland Guest Services window (link).

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).


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 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” from 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.

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 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
8/8 8/9 8/10 8/11 8/12 8/13

 

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

8/14 8/15 8/16 8/17 8/18 8/19 8/20

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

8/21 8/22 8/23 8/24 8/25 8/26 8/27

DL: 8a–Mid
DCA: 10a–9p
SL

DL: 8a–Mid
DCA: 10a–9p

DL: 8a–Mid
DCA: 10a–9p

DL: 8a–Mid
DCA: 10a–9p

DL: 8a–Mid
DCA: 10a–9p

DL: 8a–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.

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



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