Update for February 6-13, 2006
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Last week, Disney finallly made it official that the long closures of both the Disneyland and Magic Kingdom editions of Pirates of the Caribbean in March would be used to add elements from the Pirates of the Caribbean movies. Jack Sparrow, Barbossa, and Davy Jones (from this summer's sequel) will all make their debut with the rides when they reopen in June.
This means our standard response to the many emails each week can shift from "yes, according to everything we've heard they will be adding Jack Sparrow to the ride but nothing is ever official until Disney says so and things can always change" to "no, so far as we know, they are not adding a loop or launched start to Pirates of the Caribbean." The following is the official press release.
CAPTAIN JACK SPARROW TO JOIN THE AUDIO-ANIMATRONICS CREW OF DISNEYS PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN ATTRACTION
Classic Attraction in California and Florida Adding New Characters Inspired by Hit Film Franchise Disneys Pirates of the Caribbean
ANAHEIM, Calif. / ORLANDO, Fla. (Feb. 2, 2006) -- First the theme park attraction inspired the movie now the movie is inspiring the attraction.
Pirates of the Caribbean, the classic Disney theme park adventure brought to the big screen in Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl, is adding new characters and features from the blockbuster entertainment franchise and debuting when the next adventure begins in Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Mans Chest.
Both the Disneyland Resort in California and Walt Disney World Resort in Florida will close the attraction in March to complete the updates in time for the opening of Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Mans Chest on July 7. The attraction will re-open at Disneyland on June 24 and in Floridas Magic Kingdom on July 7.
The attraction will feature the addition of two of Hollywoods most infamous buccaneers, Captain Jack Sparrow and his nemesis Barbossa. Joining the wildest crew that ever sacked the Spanish Main, Captain Jack and Barbossa add an exciting new twist to the attractions original storyline as they race to be the first to claim a cache of plundered treasure.
Successfully adding the popular characters from the Pirates of the Caribbean films with the mythology of our classic attraction is an example of Disney synergy and Walt Disney Imagineering at its finest, said Jay Rasulo, chairman of Walt Disney Parks and Resorts. These additions will result in an exciting new chapter for the attraction and an unforgettable experience for our guests, giving them another reason to come and be a part of our continuing 50th anniversary celebration.
Woven into some of the attractions most memorable scenes, the rival swashbucklers will be seen interacting with some of the more familiar Audio-Animatronics buccaneers found inside the ride-thru adventure. Also making a guest appearance is the ghostly Davy Jones from the second movie in the series, Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Mans Chest. But new characters are only the beginning. New special effects will also be added to enhance the Pirates of the Caribbean theme park experience.
"The creative legacy of Pirates of the Caribbean has come full circle with the attraction initially inspiring our highly successful film franchise and now the films inspiring exciting additions to the attraction itself, said Dick Cook, chairman of The Walt Disney Studios. The attraction enhancements capture the same spirit, swashbuckling humor and action that moviegoers loved in the first `Pirates of the Caribbean' which will continue with the highly anticipated new tales this summer and beyond.
Created under the direct creative supervision of Walt Disney himself, Pirates of the Caribbean is the quintessential Disney theme park adventure, a swashbuckling voyage that transports guests back to the days when pirates and privateers roamed the Spanish Main. Starring a comical cast of rascals, scoundrels, villains and knaves, the world-famous attraction sends guests of all ages on a boat ride through mysterious caverns where Dead men tell no tales and then into a colonial era Caribbean seaport under siege by a band of fun-loving pirates. The attractions jaunty theme song, Yo Ho (A Pirates Life for Me), sets the shows light tone with its tongue-in-cheek depiction of high-seas lawlessness.
The original incarnation of Pirates of the Caribbean premiered on March 18, 1967, in New Orleans Square at Disneyland in California. Featuring more than 120 Audio-Animatronics performers, lavishly decorated sets and special effects, its considered to be one of the most spectacular and enduring attractions ever created for a theme park. With its setting revised slightly to fit a Caribbean Plaza location in Adventureland, the attraction opened to guests at Walt Disney Worlds Magic Kingdom on December 15, 1973. More than 500 million people have experienced the rollicking fun of Pirates of the Caribbean in California and Florida over the past 39 years.
Enhancing the classic Pirates attractions with new characters and new technology will ensure their relevance and place in Disney theme parks as timeless adventures, said Tom Fitzgerald, senior creative executive for Walt Disney Imagineering. Were adding a layer of storytelling from the films to the attraction while retaining all the familiar elements that make it vibrant and exciting for every age group.
The Pirates of the Caribbean additions are one part of the Happiest Celebration on Earth, an 18-month salute (continuing through 2006) to 50 years of Disney park magic around the globe that started with the opening of Walt Disneys original park, Disneyland, in 1955.
The first thing to note is that this adds a week to the closure we've been listing in the Refurbishments and Closures section below. Instead of reopening on June 16, the official date is now June 24. Of course, things may change and there may be a period of soft openings to break in new animatronics and fine tune new effects. Of course, who knows how the normal sequence of events may be impacted by the rumored in-park premiere of Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest in late June.
While it is understandable that many fans of the ride are anxious about the first significant change in storyline for the nearly 40-year-old attraction, others are taking a wait and see approach. Disneyland's Pirates of the Caribbean has the distinct honor of the being the last attraction on which Walt Disney himself worked directly. One Disney insider we spoke with recently said that while fans always react to such news as if Disney would be turning a ride upside down he expected most people would be very happy with the coming changes. Only time will tell and either way you can probably count on the weekend of March 4 and 5 to be extra busy at Disneyland as fans gather for one last ride on the attraction as they've known it.
At about the same time as the official announcement, MousePlanet staffers began to receive "leaks" of internal communications at Disneyland and Walt Disney World. The first is from Senior Vice President of Disneyland Resort Greg Emmer and was sent out by email to park cast members.
The email doesn't shed any new light beyond the official press release, but does raise the question of whether removing the final "g" really makes incorporating appropriate for pirate speak.
Note: After publication this morning, we received information about the Sirens' Cove poster that we had originally published here indicating it might be fraudulent. After a half-day of investigation we're uncomfortable enough with it that we're pulling it completely while we continue to look into it.
According to a quote by Eric Jacobsen, senior vice president creative development at Walt Disney Imagineering, in the Orlando Sentinal, Sparrow will make his first appearance in the revised attraction at the well scene. There will now be a specific purpose behind dunking Carlos into that well: to learn the location of Captain Jack Sparrow, who will be hiding in a nearby corner (potential term paper topic: "Have pop culture depictions of torture as an interrogation technique impacted official government policy on the issue?" Don't tell your teacher you got it off a Disney Web site).
So for the next few months there will be lots of rumor and speculation as to exactly what will change in the rides. Making it more difficult will be uncertainty as to information about Disneyland will necessarily apply to Walt Disney World and vice versa (the two versions are not identical and presumably updates will vary in at least minor details). We'll do our best to keep you updated, but as always until someone has seen it with their own eyes, things are subject to change. We're pretty sure about no loop, though.
Other Pirate news
While the in-park premiere of Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest is still officially a rumor and there has been no news, we have received some new, reasonably reliable, information about a tie-in between Disney property and the opening of the movie. The rumbles we're hearing are of some type of Pirates-themed or tie-in cruise on Disney Cruise Line sometime around the opening of the movie. No solid details have been shared but the tie-in opportunities between Pirates of the Caribbean and Disney's real life cruises in the Caribbean seem obvious and potentially endless.
The Lady and the Tramp panel
As we alerted you a couple times over the last month, the current run of a restored Lady and the Tramp at Disney's El Capitan Theater in Hollywood kicked off last week with a special screening preceded by a panel discussion with panelists involved in the making of the movie. MousePlanet's Sheila Hagen was able to attend and had this to share.
On February 2, 2006, the theatrical release of the restored version of Walt Disney's 1955 animated classic, Lady And The Tramp, was premiered at the El Capitan Theatre in Hollywood, California.
Theo Gluck presents a slide show covering the restoration process. Photo by Sheila Hagen.
The premiere featured a panel discussion on topics covering both the restoration process and the original animation for the film. Moderated by animation historian John Canemaker, the panel included Stan Freberg (satirist and voiceover actor who was the voice of "Beaver" in the film), Disney songwriter Richard Sherman, Walt Disney Studios' Director of Film Restoration Theo Gluck and veteran Disney animator Andreas Dejas.
Discussion panelists (left to right): John Canemaker, Stan Freberg, Richard Sherman, Theo Gluck, Andreas Dejas. Photo by Sheila Hagen.
Theo Gluck presented a short slide show detailing the restoration process, including the conversion of the film from the originally planned flat/mono version to CinemaScope. Gluck detailed how many of the film theatre operators did not want to purchase additional equipment to show the full CinemaScope version but instead demanded a cheaper version. Because of this, the soundtrack for the film was directly added to the film stock, thus truncating the film, as shown in the photo below:
A sample frame from the movie showing the truncated released theatrical version. Photo by Sheila Hagen.
The same frame of film with the restored film aspect (as can be seen in the upcoming DVD release). Photo by Sheila Hagen.
Stan Freberg recounted how Walt Disney personally directed Freberg in his portrayal of Beaver for the film. Freberg originally added the whistling sound to whenever the consonant "S" was used in the dialogue but found he couldn't consistently do it. Disney had the sound department send over a small whistle for Freberg to use. Freberg then gave a demonstration of blowing into the whistle as he recorded the dialogue whenever an "S" was encountered.
An informative part of the program featured Dejas using an overhead projector to display some of the original artwork for the film. The artwork illustrated how the Disney animators would collaborate together in order to come up with final versions of each the characters.
Dejas displays some of the original concept drawings for "Lady." Photo by Sheila Hagen.
After the panel discussion, the vintage 1933 Disney cartoon, Puppy Love, was shown, followed by a brief stage show featuring Mickey and Minnie dancing, and finally the showing of Lady And The Tramp in pristine restored condition.
The special theatrical release of Lady And The Tramp will run until February 14, 2006 at the El Capitan Theatre. Also available during the two-week period is a special "Sweetheart Sundae" dessert at the Disney Soda Fountain located next door to the theatre. A two-disc special edition DVD of the restored version will be available for sale on February 28, 2006.
MousePlanet reader Cindy Stephens shared her experience (link) at the screening on our message board, and for those interested had this additional detail on the offerings at the Disney Soda Fountain.
By the time everything was done, it was about 9:30, so we headed next door (passing Tony Baxter on our way in). We were seated at a table and then I had a chance to better peruse the special insert menu. In addition to a fresh fruit bowl, a chili cheese dog and a tuna salad sandwich, the themed additions to the menu were spaghetti with meatballs (Celebrate "Lady and the Tramp" with a plate of our home-style whole wheat spaghetti, served with a rich tomato sauce and tasty meatballs. adult plate - $7.25; child plate - $5.25) and the Sweetheart Sundae (Inspired by the greatest love story ever animated, Walt Disney's "Lady and the Tramp", we present "The Sweetheart Sundae". This special sundae features generous scoops of Dewar's vanilla and strawberry ice creams smothered in our homemade strawberry sauce and a dollop of marshmallow. Topped with dreamy whipped cream, Valentine's Day sprinkles, and two luscious red cherries. Enjoy the Sundae and keep the bowl! $8.75) We didn't get a good look at the keepsake bowl, but it's not like the other ones that have been featured which are themed specifically to a film. It looked like a red bowl with hearts on it.
All three of us of course ordered the spaghetti. While we were waiting for our food, our friend and I decided to do some shopping in the store. They have a number of new merchandise themed to "Lady and the Tramp", including a set of plush connected by a string of spaghetti. The plush are in the "mangy" style that I'm not particularly fond of. They also have a salt and pepper set and a heart-shaped picture frame and a jersey shirt with a picture of Lady and Tramp and the words "first romance". That was a very popular shirt as I saw many people in line to purchase one. We got in line to make our various purchases and then went back to the table.
Our food didn't arrive for some time after that. Our server was very nice, but service in my experience at the Soda Fountain is often slow because the kitchen area is so small. When we eventually got our food, the spaghetti was ok (the wheat version was different than I'm used to), and we enjoyed our meal. They were no longer allowing people into the Soda Fountain/store, but the retail section remained open as long as there were people inside. In talking to our server and another CM at the end of our meal, we learned that this was the first night they'd started serving the special menu, and with some staffing and logistical issues that hadn't been worked out beforehand, there were some challenges. We noted that on this evening, there was only one screening of the film, whereas on subsequent nights, there would be multiple screenings and a lot more people, so they were preparing themselves for an onslaught since the spaghetti addition proved to be a popular item. For anyone who decides to visit either before or after a film, make sure you allow plenty of extra time, and be armed with patience. The CM also said that they normally close at 9pm but that they were expecting to stay open later for the run of this film.
Disneyland has had a problem for a while with lackluster copyediting on signs (some errors still in place after years) and other official merchandise (some may remember an entire pin event cancelled last July mostly due to a typographical error on one of the key pins). The typo bug struck again with this new sign for Ariel's Grotto in Disneyland.
One side of the sign got it right while the other forgot a letter (yes, we know that by pointing this out it guarantees 1,000 typos in this article). Photo by David Michael.
This and that...
...The futuristic mural that adorns the wall of Stage 12 in the Hollywood Pictures Backlot has been painted over. Originally designed to give some visual flair to the exterior seating area of Hollywood and Dine it has long been something that most visitors to the park likely missed. Now that the area is further blocked off from park guests, it was even harder to get a good view of it.
What the mural looked like when DCA opened in 2001. Photo by Karl Buiter.
The entire wall has now been painted over in a dull brown. Photo by David Michael.
...MousePad member mriggins posted an interesting story (and probably harrowing is a better term for some of those in the vicinity) from the 4:15 showing of Disney's Aladdin: A Musical Spectacular. Apparently a wire broke while the flying carpet was over the audience, bringing the show to a halt for 15 minutes while the situation was resolved.
...As of last Wednesday three new editions of Disney dollars were released at Disneyland. A new $1 bill features Cinderella, the $5 features Goofy, and the $10 has Minnie Mouse. All also carry the 50th Anniversary logo.
...The Disneyland Monorail is now operating in shuttle mode. What this means is that due to construction (or future construction) in the submarine lagoon, the monorails are not able to make their full loop along the monorail track. Trains leaving from Disneyland to the Downtown Disney station will leave as they normally do. However, when leaving the Downtown Disney station, rather than continuing forward, the monorail will reverse direction and return to Disneyland the way it came. This reduces the number of monorails that can run simultaneously to two, and to compenstate for increased wait times all passengers will generally have to exit at both ends of the trips (normally passengers boarding in Tomorrowland can make the round trip without exiting).
The monorail entering the Tomorrowland station. Under normal operations it should be moving in the other direction. Photo by David Michael.
Don't keep it to yourself! Send us your news tips, rumors, and comments. Email us here.
- Snow White, An Enchanted Musical closed. On hiatus during off season; expected to return for final season in summer 2006.
- Goofy's Bounce House. Closed permanently as of January 8, 2005. Will be replaced with outdoor toddler playground.
- Haunted Mansion closes January 18 March 9 for removal of the Nightmare Before Christmas overlay and more extensive refurbishments.
- Parade of Dreams dark March 1 - March 2. Reason unknown but likely there will be construction along the parade route that makes it impossible to perform.
- Pirates of the Caribbean closed March 6 June 24, 2006, for major refurbishment and show updates. Must reopen in time for Pirates of the Caribben: Dead Man's Chest in late June (movies opens nationally July 7).
- Blue Bayou Restaurant closed March 6 June 16, 2006 for the duration of the Pirates of the Caribbean closure.
- Cafe Orleans Restaurant rumored to close March 6 June 16, 2006, for redesign into full service restaurant.
- Disneyland Monorail goes into shuttle mode (one way trips only) January 2006. Complete closure for station redesign will not happen until later in 2006.
- River Belle Terrace unofficially to close in September or October 2006 for complete redesign into larger two-story restaurant.
- Bengal BBQ rumored to close permanently in September or October 2006 to provide room for expansion of River Belle Terrace.
- 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.
- Redwood Creek Challenge Trail closed January 3 February 28, 2006, for major refurbishment.
At Disneyland you have to paint the rocks to keep them gray. Photo by Lisa Perkis.
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.
- Free Crispitos at Rancho del Zocalowith annual pass. Entire month of February. Free Crispitos dessert (tortilla chips flavored with cinnamon sugar) with the purchase of an adult entree and beverage.
- Lady and the Tramp at the El Capitan. From February 2 - 14. On opening night (February 2) the 7:00 p.m. show will include a panel discussion about the movie though no list has been released of panel members. Tickets can be ordered here.
- Robert Olzewski release of Astro Orbitor and Mark Twain Riverboat figures. February 18 at Disneyana (link).
- Discounted Lady and the Tramp DVD. February 28 - March 16. Purchase DVD at Emporium, 20th Century Music, Off the Page, Greetings from California, or World of Disney for $5 off regular price of $24.99.
- 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 2006 page to see more dates. You can see future calendar schedules at Disneyland. As always, specifics are subject to change without notice (or occasionally, without us noticing) so when information conflicts between what is presented here and that presented by Disney, it is best to assume Disney's information is correct.
Entertainment schedule: Go directly to the Disneyland Resort schedule for this week at Disneyland.com here.