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Update for March 6-13, 2006

Go directly to: News & Views | Current Refurbishment/Attraction Closures | Park Events | Discounts/Promotions | Park Schedule/Blockout Dates

News and Views

Taking a week off


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There will be no Disneyland Park Update next Monday, March 13. The principal authors of the Park Update will be in Japan experiencing Tokyo Disneyland for the first time. The Park Update will return as normal on March 20.

Pirates premiere indirectly confirmed

The world premiere of Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest at Disneyland has not yet been officially confirmed or announced. But late last week there was a change to the Disneyland operating schedule that all but confirms that the movie premiere will be held at Disneyland on Saturday, June 24.

On a day when Disneyland would normally be open from 8:00 a.m. to midnight, the park is now scheduled to be open from 6:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Disney's California Adventure will be open 10:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m., or two hours later than its standard summer Saturday hours.

So what does this mean for your vacation? That depends on how excited you are by the opportunity to see big movie stars (and unlike the red carpet arrivals for recent attraction openings you can expect the movie to draw many very big names). If you don't care much, you may want to just avoid Disneyland not just on June 24 but for much of the week preceding it.

With nothing officially announced, we can only assume at this point that the whole event will go off in a similar fashion as when the premiere of Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl in summer 2003. If so, we can expect that almost a week in advance we'll begin to see construction of bleachers along Rivers of America in New Orleans Square and temporary closures and interruptions of various park operations.


Bleachers were constructed for the 2003 premiere of Curse of the Black Pearl. Photo by Adrienne Vincent-Phoenix.

On the day of the premiere, rides on the west side of the park will probably begin to close even earlier than the announced 5:00 p.m. closing (for the first premiere, attractions began to close as early as 3:00 p.m. even though the west side of the park didn't close until 6:00 p.m.). Main Street will likely once again be turned into a giant red carpet and park guests will be able to grabs spots along it to watch the stars arrive. The first time around the earliest people queued up at 5:45 a.m. to grab the best spots. You probably won't need to arrive that early to get a good spot, but it seems likely that there be even more interest this time around than the first. For details of 2003's premiere see our coverage (link).

We've been getting a lot of questions about how one could go about getting tickets to the movie premiere. The simple answer is that we don't know. We don't even know if it will even be possible. It is quite likely that the only way into the screening will be if you have solid Hollywood connections. Perhaps the Pirates of the Caribbean merchandise event (still no details of any type announced) will provide some entry, but if so it will likely come with a huge price tag. Contests may get some other people in, but reserved seating for the red carpet arrivals are more likely. Otherwise you might want to write Orlando or Kiera and see if they need a date.

Dapper Dans

While there isn't much in the way of new information about the Dapper Dans employment situation, the last week has seen confirmation of certain details. For those who missed last week's Park Update, the collection of performers known as the Main Street barbershop quarter The Dapper Dans have all received letters from Disneyland management letting them know that their services will no longer be required after March 25, 2006.

There will be an open audition in late March and all of the current Dapper Dan regulars and substitutes (around 12 people) are invited to reaudition. Once a new group is cast there will be about a month of rehearsals and organization and then the new group should be hitting Main Street around the beginning of May.

In what is essentially a form letter, Disneyland's Guest Communications has been responding to queries with a letter containing this paragraph:

We understand that the Dapper Dans are a revered part of our history and you will be pleased to know that they will continue to be part of our future. There may be a few changes to the creative content of their show; however, the Dapper Dans will remain part of the Disneyland experience.

So, if accurate, the Dapper Dans will continue their nearly 50-year history at Disneyland, though in some changed form. It remains for speculation exactly what "a few changes" means and what is motivating the reaudition.

Continuing lagoon progress

More photos from David Michael chronicling the progress in the submarine lagoon at Disneyland.


Photo by David Michael.


Photo by David Michael.


Photo by David Michael

This and that...

...Yesterday was the last day of Pirates of the Caribbean before closing to add new show elements drawn from the film franchise. Plenty of people stopped by the park to make one final visit causing unusually long lines for the attraction (apparently the wheelchair access line through the exit was itself more than 45 minutes long at times). One show change has been confirmed. The two pirates struggling to pull treasure up the final ascent were removed prior to the rides last day and according to the official Disneyland podcast they will not be returning. Speculation has it that this will become the final appearance of Jack Sparrow in the ride.

...Redwood Creek Challenge Trail in DCA has been reopening in pieces for the last few days. If the entire attraction isn't open today it should all be available in the next couple of days.

...Disneyland is once again offering the obvious public service of telling guests what is closed inside the parks before they pay to get in. Signs have been put in place just outside the security checkpoints announcing this information.

...It has officially been announced in a Disneyland press release that graduating students attending this year's Grad Night events (mostly Thursdays in May and June) will be the first to experience Rock-It Mountain, the nighttime transformation of Space Mountain using different music and lighting effects in the ride. It is still not known with certainty when Rock-It Mountain will become a regular experience available to everybody.

...For many, contemplating the chance that the Dapper Dans may be going away is reminiscent (though worse) of the sudden departure of a New Orleans Square performing landmark in September 2004. Back then it was the sudden release of Lagniappe, a mime well known for his antics in that land. Fans will be glad to hear that Mark Wenzel, the man behind the make-up, has found a new regular gig at Universal Studios Hollywood. He hasn't yet started performances, but should be out there soon.

...Something unusual happened in the Southern California theme park industry last week when Knott's Berry Farm announced price cuts for tickets to that amusement park. If you're going to include a visit it will now run you $39.95, down from $45.

 

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

Current Refurbishments and Attraction Closures

Disneyland

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Golden Horseshoe closed May 15 - June 15 for refurbishment and kitchen changes.
  • 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.
  • Mullholland Madness closed April 24 - May 27.
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

If you know of any events, official or unofficial, that should be listed here, let us know.

March

  • Flashback. March 5, 8:30 p.m. A cast member talent show and charity fundraiser. This year, for the first time, annual passholders can purchase tickets to the performance. For information and purchase call 714-781-4400.
  • Walt Disney Company annual shareholders' meeting. March 10. Begins at 10:00 a.m. (doors open at 9:00 a.m.) at Arrowhead Pond in Anaheim, California. Attendance is limited to shareholder (as of January 9, 2006) and one guest. Attendance is on a first-come, first-served basis and is limited by seating capacity of Arrowhead Pond. Registration begins at 8:00 a.m and registrants must show photo ID. If you own stock through a brokerage account you must provide a statement showing such. Cameras and other recording equipment are not allowed (link, PDF).
  • The Shaggy Dog at El Capitan Theater. March 10 - April 13. Reportedly the sideshow for this run will be a show by stunt dogs that worked in the movie (or are similar to the movie; details are unclear).
  • Walt Disney Classics Collection Spring Premiere Event. March 24-26. Unknown what else will be available but the leading item will be a limited edition (4,000) Stitch sculpture at World of Disney (link).

April

  • The Wild at El Capitan Theater. April 14 - May 11. Side show unknown.
  • MouseAdventure. April 30, no official details released yet.

June

  • Cars at El Capitan Theater. June 9 - July 4. Side show unknown.
  • Prirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest. June 24. Presumptive date of world premiere of this new movie, to be held in New Orleans Square. Park will close early (5 p.m.) with celebrity red carpet arrivals earlier in the day. Has not yet been officially announced.

July

  • 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.
  • Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest at El Capitan Theater. July 7 - September 4. Side show unknown.

September

  • Disneyland Half Marathon Weekend. September 15-17. For more information and registration see the official Web site (link, warning: horribly annoying embedded music)

October

  • Gay Days. October 6 - 8. Unofficial event (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
3/6 3/7 3/8 3/93/10 3/11

 

DL: 10a-8p
DCA: 10a–6p

DL: 10a-8p
DCA: 10a–6p

DL: 10a-8p
DCA: 10a–6p

DL: 10a-8p
DCA: 10a–6p

DL: 9a–Mid
DCA: 10a–10p

DL: 8a–Mid
DCA: 10a–10p
SL/SC/DX

3/12 3/13 3/14 3/15 3/163/17 3/18

DL: 8a–Mid
DCA: 10a–10p
SL

DL: 9a-11p
DCA: 10a–8p

DL: 9a-11p
DCA: 10a–8p

DL: 9a-11p
DCA: 10a–8p

DL: 9a-11p
DCA: 10a–8p

DL: 8a–Mid
DCA: 10a–10p

DL: 8a–Mid
DCA: 10a–10p
SL/SC/DX

3/19 3/20 3/21 3/22 3/233/24 3/25

DL: 8a–Mid
DCA: 10a–10p
SL

DL: 9a-11p
DCA: 10a–8p

DL: 9a-11p
DCA: 10a–8p

DL: 9a-11p
DCA: 10a–8p

DL: 9a-11p
DCA: 10a–8p

DL: 8a–Mid
DCA: 10a–10p

DL: 8a–Mid
DCA: 10a–10p
SL/SC/DX

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.




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