Update for January 3-9, 2006
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Ticket price increase
Single and multiple day ticket prices have increased as of today (January 3). Here are the new prices with the adult price listed first and the child prices (3 years to 9 years old) listed second. In parentheses is the amount of increase.
Single park, single day: $59/$49 (+$3/+$3)
Single day, parkhopper: $79/$69 (+$3/+$3)
Two day parkhopper: $116/$86 (+$11/+$1)
Three day parkhopper: $169/$139 (+$10/+$10)
Four day parkhopper: $199/$169 (+$10/+$10)
Five day parkhopper: $219/$189 (+$10/+$10)
Annual pass pices are not affected at this time.
Early wake-up call
Christmas vacationers staying at the Grand Californian Hotel received an unexpected wake-up call around 3:00 a.m. on December 28. Somehow the lights on the hotel lobby's 35-foot-tall Christmas tree started a fire in that tree, forcing the evacuation of around 2,300 guests. The fire was contained by the sprinkler system and Anaheim firefighters used a hose on the tree to quickly extinguish the remnants. Overall, damage was light, and limited mostly to smoke and water damage to furniture and carpeting.
The scene in the lobby around 7:30 a.m. the morning of the fire. Given the all clear, hotel staff have begun evaluating the situation and preparing to get things fixed as quickly as possible. Photo by David Michael.
Depending on their room locations, guests were evacuated to one of three locations: the hotel convention center, the Paradise Pier Hotel, or the Hyperion Theater in Disney's California Adventure park. No guests were directly injured by the fire, though two guests were treated from issues related to the evacuation. Once evacuated, guests received blankets, pillows, food and beverages, as well as other necessities such as diapers and baby formula. By 7:00 a.m. all guests had been allowed to return to their rooms. Ron Doughty, Disneyland's Vice President of Communications also let it be known that guests would be credited for one free night to help make up for the hassle.
By that evening, all the affected furniture had been removed and the damaged carpet torn out. Photo by David Michael.
Maintenance crews immediately went into overtime removing damaged furniture and carpet and then getting the area back into shape for the public. By late afternoon on New Year's Eve, the entire lobby was once again open with new carpet and furniture (though word is that the carpet is just temporary).
By the next morning, the area was covered with blowers to completely dry the area and walls had been put up to keep guests from seeing the mess (from the ground floor anyway). Photo by David Michael.
By late afternoon on New Year's Eve (just three days later) the final touches are being put in place. Photo by David Michael.
Around 7:00 p.m. on New Year's Eve, the area is once again open for visitors to enjoy. Photo by David Michael.
New resident offers
Two new Southern California and Northern Mexico resident offers begin today (January 3).
The first is the return of the 2Fer ticket. The 2Fer ticket let's you visit one of the parks the first day and then the other park on a second day. Proof of residency in California ZIP codes 90000-93599 or Northern Baja California ZIP codes 21000-22999 required. The tickets are valid until April 27, 2006, or 30 days after first use. There is a limit of eight tickets per day and no more than two days in a seven-day period.
The second offer is a steep discount on two-day parkhopper tickets. With the same restrictions as on the 2Fer tickets, Southern California and Northern Mexico residents can buy two-day parkhopper tickets for $79 ($69 for children), which is $37 off the new price of a two-day parkhopper.
New Year's Eve not too bad
Depending on how you look at it, spending New Year's Eve at Disneyland was not nearly so bad as it could have been. Almost every day in the week preceding it, Disneyland park had experienced some level of admission restriction due to large crowds. Not only was the park jammed with people, but the rush in the morning to get into the park caused severe delays on area roads and freeways. Part of the problem with traffic was caused by parking lot cast members having to take time with each car to inform the drivers that the parks would be crowed, that they might close the gates, that if this happens they should go to Disney's California Adventure, and so on. What should have only be an interaction a few seconds long was in many instances taking a minute or two as people asked questions or changed their minds about visiting.
Several times last week, traffic for parking would overflow to block the surface streets and freeways around Disneyland. Photo by David Michael.
Friday provided what was expected to be a lull before the big storm hit. It turned out, though, that the big storm was literal and not figurative. Saturday morning, admission restrictions quickly went into effect but when a significant storm front rolled through, people started going home and the gates were reopened. While Disneyland was still very crowded, by New Year's Eve standards it wasn't all that bad; especially if you had a change of clothing following the big showers.
Though the weather cleared up somewhat by midnight, it was a long wet day for park guests. Photo by David Michael.
The crowds at Disney's California Adventure remained light, even with the addition of low-level fireworks for midnight, so everybody should definitely keep it in mind for a Disney New Year's Eve without fighting through the crowds.
In an attempt to draw part of the crowd from Disneyland to DCA, this year's celebration included the addition of fireworks to the Paradise Pier lagoon area. Photo by David Michael.
Off season returns
So once again Disneyland and Disney's California Adventure will slowly try to return to their off-season schedules, and everybody is waiting to see whether crowd levels will fall to traditional lows or if the experience of the autumn off season will repeat with very large weekend crowds and surprisingly large weekday crowds.
The Christmas decorations will quickly begin to disappear starting today and should mostly be gone by the end of the week. In an attempt to avoid multiple simultaneous attraction closures, "it's a small world" will go dark beginning tomorrow (January 4) for two weeks to remove the holiday overlay. This is a break from the practice of recent years when both Haunted Mansion Holiday and "it's a small world" Holiday would remain open for a week or so into the new year. When "it's a small world" reopens, Haunted Mansion will then go down for a lengthy refurbishment of seven to eight weeks (and when it gets back up, Pirates will go down).
The parks are staying on a somewhat elevated footing this week with slightly extended operating hours before returning to the standard off-season hours next week. Today and tomorrow Disneyland closes at 10:00 p.m. (except for Thursday when it will close at 8:00 p.m. for a private party), and then next week will be on the 9:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. short schedule. DCA will be open from 10:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. this week before returning to eight-hour 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. shifts next week. If the attendance numbers do fall into the standard seasonal lows, expect these schedules to continue until Spring Break season begins in April. If the crowds keep coming, Disneyland may return to longer hours, even if on an unannounced day-by-day basis.
Entertainment offerings will also be back in their off-season mode. The A Christmas Fantasy parade is done, and Parade of Dreams will return to one trip daily on weekdays and twice on weekend days. The Remember...Dreams Come True fireworks will continue with daily performances this week, but as of next Monday (January 9) will return to a weekends only schedule (Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays). Over at DCA, Disney's Electrical parade is now back on hiatus, leaving Block Party Bash to entertain guests.
A wet parade
It didn't just rain on people waiting at Disneyland for New Year's Eve, but it also rained (a lot) on people viewing the annual Rose Parade in Pasadena. The parade, which is traditionally held on New Year's Day, is not held on Sundays, so it ran on January 2 and thereby missing the relative dryness of January 1. The rain didn't keep MousePlanet reader Matthew Bassett away and he shared with us these photographs he took of Disneyland's entry into the parade. Disneyland's float was the tallest and longest in the parade and presented floral reproduction of all five castles from around the world, with Disneyland's Sleeping Beauty Castle most prominent.
The Disneyland float, over 100 feet long, featured the castles from all five Disney resorts around the world. Photo by Matthew Bassett.
A floral Mickey statue could be found hiding around the edge of Sleeping Beauty Castle. Photo by Matthew Bassett.
The theme for this year's parade was "magic." Photo by Matthew Bassett.
Hydraulic turrets allow the float to pass under low obstructions. Photo by Matthew Bassett.
The centerpiece is Disneyland's Sleeping Beauty Castle. Photo by Matthew Bassett.
This publicity photo from Disney provides a sense of scale for the entire float. Photo © Disney.
In a bit of a disappointing note, the float had to finish the parade in a slightly damaged form. To pass under a bridge to turn onto Sierra Madre required lowering the turrets of the castle and once by that one of the turrets would not return to its upright position. The float finished the parade with all its turrets town. The Disneyland float was hardly the only the float to experience mechanical or electrical problems due to the heavy rain that fell throughout the parade.
This and that...
...The soft opening of Monsters, Inc., is certainly now official with advertisements in the esplanade letting people know it is open. The soft openings are expected to continue at least through the weekend, at which time they may or may not continue until the official grand opening on January 22/23.
A detailed billboard announcing soft openings at Monsters, Inc., can now be found in the Esplanade between Disneyland and DCA. Photo by David Michael.
...Alamo now has a car rental office in Downtown Disney, on the Disneyland Hotel side of the AMC movie theater. This is part of a sponsorship deal between Alamo and Disney that already included sponsoring Mulholland Madness at DCA.
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- Snow White, An Enchanted Musical closed. On hiatus during off season; expected to return for final season in summer 2006.
- it's a small world closed January 4 18, 2006, to remove holiday overlay.
- Haunted Mansion closes January 18 March 9 for removal of the Nightmare Before Christmas overlay and more extensive refurbishments.
- Pirates of the Caribbean closed March 6 June 16, 2006 for major refurbishment and show updates.
- Blue Bayou Restaurant closed March 6 June 16, 2006 for the duration of the Pirates of the Caribbean closure.
- Disneyland Monorail goes into shuttle mode (one way trips only) January 2006. Complete closure for station redesign will not happen until later in 2006.
- Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage is currently under construction and will open sometime in 2007.
Disney's California Adventure
- Department of Untapped Hilarity (D.U.H.) on hiatus. Might return for the 2006 summer season.
- Disney's Electrical Parade on hiatus for the off season, except for a two-week run starting December 16.
- Monsters, Inc.: Mike and Sully to the Rescue is currently in soft opening and will officially open January 22.
- Redwood Creek Challenge Trail closed January 3 February 28, 2006, for major refurbishment.
Note: Refurbishment schedules are estimates only. All information is subject to change without notice. To get the most recent updates, call Disneyland at (714) 7817290.
If you know of any events, official or unofficial, that should be listed here, let us know.
- Monsters, Inc.: Mike and Sully to the Rescue.: Dedication and grand opening. No word yet on what ceremony may be happening, but it will happen on January 22 and/or 23.
- Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest premiere: Details unknown but the world premiere is again expected to be held in Disneyland's New Orleans Square. The movie opens July 7 and the premiere will be up to two weeks prior to that.
- Disneyland Half Marathon Weekend. September 15-17. For more information and registration see the official Web site (link, warning: horribly annoying embedded music)
DCA: Disney's California Adventure
Annual Pass blockout dates:
- SL Southern California Select Annual Pass
- SC Southern California Annual Pass
- DX Deluxe Annual Pass
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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.