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News and Views

Fall MouseAdventure announced!

For regular players or for anyone who wants to try it for the first time, let it be known that this fall's MouseAdventure will be held on October 15 and 16.


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Yes, that's right: the 15th and the 16th. This time around the two competition categories will not be based on whether teams do trivia or not, but rather whether they do both Saturday and Sunday or just Sunday. It's up to you to decide.

For those who decide to do the whole thing, the Saturday portion of event will be a nighttime set of puzzles focused on Disneyland Park, though you may stray into other areas of the resort. If you're only able (or willing) to play on Sunday, you'll get the classic MouseAdventure experience wholly within Disneyland Park.

As with the event this past spring, you can purchase access to a BBQ dinner in the old Big Thunder Ranch area behind Frontierland following Sunday's game. Purchasing these meals allows us to procure that area for use as the results-and-awards ceremony once everybody has eaten.

Full registration and pricing details will be provided next Monday, when registration also opens.

Thomas Kinkade details

Details on the release of Thomas Kinkade's 50th Anniversary painting of Sleeping Beauty Castle have now been released.

The painting will be officially released with a breakfast and meet-and-greet opportunity with Thomas Kinkade at the Grand Californian Hotel on Saturday, September 10 [Note: this originally said September 20 and was erroneous]. Registration for this breakfast begins at 11:00 a.m. (Pacific) on Friday, August 26. The breakfast-only package is $95 per person and includes:

  • Breakfast in the Grand Californian Hotel's Brisa Courtyard
  • Unveiling of the painting
  • The first chance to purchase from among the 12 different editions of the painting
  • A meet-and-greet with Thomas Kincade (note that the event information does not say he will be at the breakfast or whether the meet-and-greet will be separate from the breakfast)
  • A commemorative gift

For $425, you can add one night's accommodation at the Grand Californian Hotel and valet parking.


© Thomas Kinkade.

The painting will be available in the following editions, edition sizes, and prices. Each different edition is numbered and unframed.

  • Gicleé on canvas, 18"x27" – 1,955 – $795
  • Gicleé on canvas, 24"x36" – 1,955 – $1,360
  • Gicleé on canvas, 28"x42" – 1,955 – $1,800
  • Lithograph on paper, 18"x27" – 1,955 – $230
  • Lithograph on paper, 24"x36" – 1,955 – $295
  • Lithograph on paper, 28"x42" – 1,955 – $375
  • Artist Proof, gicleé on canvas, 18"x27" – 390 – $960
  • Artist Proof, gicleé on canvas, 24"x36" – 390 – $1,520
  • Artist Proof, gicleé on canvas, 28"x42" – 390 – $1,960
  • Artist Proof, lithograph on paper, 18"x27" – 390 – $280
  • Artist Proof, lithograph on paper, 24"x36" – 390 – $345
  • Artist Proof, lithograph on paper, 28"x42" – 390 – $425

The painting will go on public sale at The Disney Gallery with the official release from 3:30-6:00 p.m. The breakfast package does not include park entry.

River Belle makeover

It was over two years ago, back in our July 7, 2003, Disneyland Park Update (link), that we ran the following tidbit of gossip about the River Belle Terrace restaurant:

“From the far-left-field department comes this completely unsubstantiated rumor about the River Belle Terrace. We hear that the restaurant will be closed in 2005, and rebuilt with a two-level seating area, similar to the one at the Hungry Bear.

“Both levels will be used for breakfast and lunch, with the upper terrace reserved at night to provide a larger premium viewing area for Fantasmic. The restaurant would reopen in 2006. If true, this rumor should offer some small token of hope to those who fear that the days of Fantasmic are numbered.”

At the time, we received several responses from readers who expressed some doubt, and some even wondered if we were making things up. Well, we've heard from an insider familiar with elements of this project and it appears plans are starting to solidify, pretty much along the lines of what we originally reported. Nothing official has been announced, particularly a start date for the project, but it looks like it will still be a bit before the 44-year-old River Belle Terrace closes, most likely after the 2006 summer season and the end of the 50th Anniversary celebration. No word on whether the new look will involve a new name (the area has previously been home to Aunt Jemima Pancake House (1955-1962), Aunt Jemima Kitchen (1962-1970), and Magnolia Tree Terrace (1970-71).

Ready for PrimeTime (Weekend) after all?

In last week's Park Update it was mentioned that it seemed unlikely that an ABC PrimeTime Weekend event would be held at DCA this year. With the fall season starting in less than a month and absolutely no word from within Disney, it just didn't seem probable.

That said, the update prompted two emails from Australia. Both reported that as part of a Desperate Housewives promotion, contests were being held at radio and television stations where the winners would get a trip to DCA in September to attend the ABC PrimeTime Weekend and meet the stars of that show.

We have not been able to confirm this at all, so any additional information would be greatly appreciated.

Update

Following initial publication of this update, reader Eric Ryan was good enough to point us to the contest results to determine the Queensland Desperate Housewife 2005. This was a contest held by Triple M 104.5 FM in Australia (link). The rules document for the contest (link, Microsoft Word file) list the grand prize as a trip for two to the "PrimeTime TV Preview Weekend" at Disney's California Adventure September 10 and 11. So, while nothing has been announced locally, if you want to see the cast of Desperate Housewives and other ABC television shows, apparently that is the weekend for it.

And congratulations to Cheryl Cambridge (if congratulations is the right word) for beeing Queensland's desperate housewife.

California Screamin'

No new official information has been released regarding the July 29 accident on Disney California Adventure park's California Screamin' roller coaster where two trains collided and a number of people were sent to the hospital for minor injuries and observation. The California Department of Occupational Safety and Health is still conducting its investigations. Based on observations posted to our message board by a reader using the name phoenixfire2k5, it appears they're even working on weekends.

On Saturday morning, he observed the red train (which was involved in the accident) making several runs fully loaded with dummy weights. On each run, as the train went through brake zone 7 (where the one that should have stopped apparently failed), the train would brake hard (link).

Oprah visit

Oprah Winfrey was in Disneyland on Friday filming an episode of her syndicated talk show, The Oprah Winfrey Show. One type of episode she occasionally does is making "dreams come true." For this episode, a Houston teacher wrote Oprah that she was concerned her students were missing out on childhood due to poverty and family problems.

In response, Oprah and her show adopted the first grade class at Crockett Elementary in Houston, Texas. They were flown out to Disneyland, stayed at the Disneyland Hotel, and spent Friday at the park. Fantasyland was closed 11:00 a.m. to noon to accommodate the group and filming.

Oprah Winfrey herself stayed out of the spotlight. Though an announcement went out over the Main Street loudspeakers that some very special kids were making their way down Main Street to Fantasyland, Oprah Winfrey's name was never mentioned and cast members were instructed not to tell park guests that she was there. Though blurry, David Zacher was kind enough to send along the following photo, in which you can see that she was not putting herself on display and many people likely did not recognize her.


Oprah Winfrey, in pink, walks down Main Street with students from Crockett Elementary School. Photo by David Zacher.

The first graders marched down Main Street and were welcomed at the castle by Mickey Mouse and other characters before heading into Disneyland for an hour of rides and whatever else went into making the episode. It is unknown when the episode will air.

Lilly Belle progress

Disneyland Railroad guru Steve DeGaetano let us know that it appears that the Lilly Belle will finally be getting the refurbishment it desparately needs and deserves. Apparently the restoration will be done by a third party and the Lilly Belle may have already been shipped out.

The Lilly Belle parlor car was built for the Bicentennial Celebration in 1976 and used for VIP and other scheduled tours. The enclosed car is decorated to Victorian luxury and was only pulled occasionally. Since the late '90s it has been awaiting both the funding and management desire to see the car refurbished (among other things it is suffering from extensive dry rot). Reportedly, in the process of finalizing the new Ward Kimball engine, Disneyland President Matt Ouimet took an interest in the Lilly Belle and has seen to it that the money was found.

Free Child's Member pass

While supplies last if you make a $75 purchase at Downtown Disney's LEGO Imagination Center you will get one free child's Membership Pass to Legoland in San Diego, California. The pass is good for children ages 3 to 12 and comes with unlimited park admission, special discounts, and a subscription to the Legoland Newsletter.

Ears to the ground

...We're hearing some extremely vague rumors about a new E-ticket attraction being considered for Disney's California Adventure. Continuing the park's transformation into Pixarland, the ride would be based on last year's movie The Incredibles. Now you've heard everything we have, though this may just be an alternate of the rumor of a new attraction based on next year's Pixar feature, Cars. We'll provide more details if they ever materialize.

...For train buffs, it should be noted that the Disneyland Railroad is once again allowing guests to ride in the engine with the engineers. Only two of the park's five trains are set up to accommodate extra passengers, so you will need to wait for either engine #1, C.K. Holiday, or engine #2, E.P. Ripley. To ride in the engine, you must board at Main Street Station and make a full round trip. Inquire with a cast member at Main Street Station to confirm that one of the trains is running and when it will next come around.

...It has been there for several weeks, but it should be noted that there is now a model of Space Mountain in the exhibit area of the Main Street Opera House.


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 Kinkade 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 Child's Member pass

While supplies last if you make a $75 purchase at Downtown Disney's LEGO Imagination Center you will get one free child's Membership Pass to Legoland in San Diego, CA. The pass is good for children ages 3-12 and comes with unlimited park admission, special discounts, and a subscription to the Legoland Newsletter.

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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