Update for April 3-10, 2006
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Registration is now open for the spring MouseAdventure event on April 30. For more details and registration information, see our MouseAdventure page (link). With details having now been released making it clear that April 30 will also be the first weekend of the new Food and Wine Weekends (see next items), if you're considering visiting the park for that, we'd like to encourage you to consider making it a double bill and also trying out MouseAdventure.
For those who are registered, we'd also like to announce a hotel room deal for that weekend. If you call Howard Johnson Anaheim and mention MousePlanet, you will get a 20% discount on whatever room type you'd like to reserve. To take advantage call 1-800-422-4228 and select option 1 for in-house reservations.
Tickets to this fall's return of Mickey's Halloween Treat at Disney's California Adventure are now available for pre-purchase by people with Disneyland annual passes. Dates are October 13, 20, 22, 27, and 29 from 7:30 to 11:30 p.m. and October 26, 30, and 31 from 6:30 to 10:30 p.m. Advanced purchase price is $19 and will later go up to $29.
Food and Wine Weekends
We were starting to doubt the information we reported in February about a version of Epcot's Food and Wine Festival being held at Disney's California Adventure this May (link). With only a month to go until the dates we'd heard, it didn't seem that there would be enough time to promote a complex event and we almost ran something in last week's update to that effect. It's a good thing we decided to wait one more week since the Disney Gallery Web site (link) finally posted details and made it all official.
The official name of the event is Disney's California Food and Wine Weekends 2006. The event is not continuous but will be running only on weekends (Friday through Sunday) from April 28 through May 21. While people with the money for specialty cooking events (as much as $270 for a single event) will be pleased with the opportunities to interact with some fine chefs. Others, who only interact with the Epcot Food & Wine Festival by eating an item in each land of that park's World Showcase will likely be underwhelmed. There are only four locations in the park serving special foods, and a series of cooking or alcohol seminars through the day.
Our understanding is that for this inaugural event, the idea is to start small and hopefully expand as the extent of customer demand is known. Time will tell. It has also been noted that two California wineries with strong Disney connections (Diane Disney Miller and Fess Parker, both of whom own vineyards) appear to also be missing from the itinerary.
The details are a little scattered around the announcement Web site (link) but here is a rough recap of the various events.
Celebrity Chef Dinners
On the Thursday prior to each weekend, a different celebrity chef will be hosting a dinner at the Napa Rose restuarant in the Grand Californian Hotel. Each dinner is from 6:00 p.m to 9:00 p.m and there is only one seating each evening. The cost for the meal is $85 per person (plus tax and tip). Unlike other events, while you need to preregister (link), you will not be charged until the conclusion of the meal when your check is presented. The four meals are:
- Thursday, April 27 Michael Cimarrusti of Providence (Los Angeles)
- Thursday, May 4 Carl Schroeder of Arterra (San Diego)
- Thursday, May 11 James Boyce of Studio at the Montage Resort (Laguna Beach)
- Thursday, May 18 Michael White of Fiamma (Las Vegas)
On every Friday during the events, there will be a Winemaker Dinner featuring a multiple-course meal with pairings from a different winery. Each week will alternate the location of the dinner between Granville's Steakhouse at the Disneyland Hotel and The Vineyard Room inside Disney's California Adventure (note that separate admission is required to get to a meal at The Vineyard Room). The Winemaker Dinners are $122.75 per person (including tax) and the price is charged at registration (link). The four meals are:
- Friday, April 28 Charlie Granville of Silver Oak Cellars (Granville's Steakhouse)
- Friday, May 5 Brian Harlan of Dr. Loosen & L.J. Woolf and a representative of Sauza Tequila presenting selections of riesling and tequilas (The Vineyard Room)
- Friday, May 12 Dan Karlsen of Chalone Vineyard (Granville's Steakhouse)
- Friday, May 19 Scott McLeod and Rebecca Chapa of Coppola Vineyard.
Napa Rose Cooking School
Every Saturday during the event will see a Napa Rose Cooking School hosted by either Executive Chef Andrew Sutton or Executive Sous Chef Jeffrey Cummins at Napa Rose in the Grand Californian Hotel. Each class runs from 10:00 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. and the class will create a themed meal and enjoy it at the conclusion of the class with appropriate wine selections. Each class is limited to 20 participants and costs $269.38 per person (including tax), charged at registration (link). The four dates are:
- Saturday, April 29 hosted by Andrew Sutton
- Saturday, May 6 hosted by Andrew Sutton
- Saturday, May 13 hosted by Jeffrey Cummins
- Saturday, May 20 hosted by Andrew Sutton
Lunch & Learn
Held on Saturdays and Sundays through the event, these events will present a three-course meal from a Disney chef as well as a wine expert. During the meal they will present cooking and wine selection demonstrations. There will be one seating per day from 12:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. and will either be held in the Redondo Room at the Paradise Pier Hotel or the ballroom at the Disneyland Hotel. The cost is $96.56 per person (including tax), charged at registration (link). The schedule is as follows:
- Saturday, April 29 Paradise Pier Hotel, Redondo Room
- Sunday, April 30 Paradise Pier Hotel, Redondo Room
- Saturday, May 6 Disneyland Hotel, Ballroom
- Sunday, May 7 Disneyland Hotel, Ballroom
- Saturday, May 13 Paradise Pier Hotel, Redondo Room
- Sunday, May 14 Paradise Pier Hotel, Redondo Room
- Saturday, May 20 Paradise Pier Hotel, Redondo Room
- Sunday, May 21 Paradise Pier Hotel, Redondo Room
Guest Sommelier Education Series
This series of four seminars teaches the basic skills involved in being a sommelier. One seminar is held each Sunday of the event at the Seasons of the Vine attraction in Disney's California Adventure. The cost of each seminar is $60 per person and lasts 90 minutes, with two sessions for each seminar beginning at 12:00 p.m and 3:00 p.m. You can attend all four seminars for $200 and a certificate will be given for completion of the entire series. Costs are charged at registration (link). The seminar schedule is as follows:
- Week 1 The basics of USA Wines
- Sunday, April 30 12:00 p.m. and 3:00 p.m.
- Week 2 Napa Valley Wines
- Sunday, May 7 12:00 p.m. and 3:00 p.m.
- Week 3 Central Coast and Southern California Wines
- Sunday, May 13 12:00 p.m. and 3:00 p.m.
- Week 4 Russian River, Sonoma, and Mendocino Wines
- Sunday, May 21 12:00 p.m. and 3:00 p.m.
There will be four sessions per day (Friday through Sunday) at the outdoor terrace of The Vineyard Room restaurant in Disney's California Adventure. Each session will last about 45 minutes and be hosted by chefs from around the Disneyland Resort. These sessions are free with park admission (though seating is limited). The exact schedule and hosts for the sessions is not yet available.
Each demonstration will be on one of four topics:
- California Grown, using ingredients grown in California
- Flavor of California, highlighting the diverse cuisines of California
- Uniquely California, "exploring tastes that could only have started in California" (whatever that means)
- California Celebrates, specialties from food festivals around California
Wine, Beer, and Spirit Demonstration
There will be four sessions per day (Friday through Sunday) at the lower terrace of Golden Vine Winery restaurant in Disney's California Adventure. Each session will last about 45 minutes and be hosted by winemakers, brewmasters, and sommeliers from the Disneyland Resort or specific manufacturers. The exact schedule and hosts for the sessions is not yet available.
This is the part of the weekends that will be most similar to what most people experience at Epcot's Food and Wine Festival. There will be four "Festival Marketplace" menus available and served from counters in the Bountiful Valley Farm area or the Lucky Fortune Cookery area (conveniently, these two locations have never-used kitchens). Each item will cost $4-$5 and there are also selections of California wines and beers available at each location. The four menus are:
- Menu 1 Lobster quesadilla, chicken skewer, and seasonal mixed berries
- Menu 2 Santa Maria tri tip, fresh tomato salad, and bruschetta
- Menu 3 beer battered northern halibut, Solvang knockwurst, fresh California peach cobbler
- Menu 4 California white cheddar soup, premium Central Valley strawberries, and grilled artichoke
Two quick notes updating information on current or upcoming restaurant refurbishments at Disneyland. When Cafe Orleans closed for its transformation, we hadn't heard a date for reopening, and it seemed most logical that it would be closed for about the same amount of time as Blue Bayou, which will be reopening on June 26. That appears not to be the case, however, and all indications are that Cafe Orleans is targetting June 9 for its new debut.
Nearby there is still the open question of when or if River Belle Terrace will be closing for its refurbishment (and take Bengal BBQ out of commission). All indications are that this project is still moving forward but still hasn't been given an official greenlight while designers try to work out all the impacts to the surrounding area.
The Dapper Dans End and Continue
Word came out last week about the final outcome of the auditions for a new cast of Dapper Dans at Disneyland. Although all of the existing Dapper Dans had been invited to reaudition for the new group, only one of the current regulars was offered any kind of continuing position with the group, and that only as a substitute for the regular players. An entirely new crew of regulars has been cast and will make their first on-stage appearances around the beginning of May (following a few weeks of rehearsals). The current group will see their last performance on April 8 later this week (they were extended from their original last day of March 25).
We don't yet know what performance changes, if any, are in store for the Dapper Dans as they continue with these new members. We've also heard rumor that such reauditions will now be a regular part of being a Dapper Dan, one source suggested they might happen as frequently as annually. If true, then the 20+ year tenure of some performers have almost certainly become an artifact of the past.
An interesting promotion for Disneyland's 50th Anniversary was announced last week. A giant Mickey Mouse hot-air balloon, wearing 50th Anniversary golden ears will be touring the West Coast for the next couple months, starting in Tucson, Arizona, over the weekend. If you should happen to get any good photos of the balloon in action, we'd love to see them (send us an email). The schedule for appearances is:
- Tucson, AZ, on March 30-31
- Phoenix, AZ, on April 3-4
- San Diego, CA, on April 6-7
- Fresno, CA, on April 17
- San Francisco, CA, on April 19-20
- Sacramento, CA, on April 25-26
- Vancouver, BC, on May 2-3
- Seattle, WA, on May 9-10
- Portland, OR, on May 15-16
- Salt Lake City, UT, on May 22-23
- Albuquerque, NM, on May 25-26
This and that
A bit of history has returned to Disneyland. After a short appearance by a cartoonish stagecoach outside of Big Thunder Ranch, a wagon with a solid historical pedigree has now been put in its place. The "new" wagon is actually an old one, having formerly been used as a form of Main Street transportation back in the early years of the park. The horse-drawn surreys could be found on the Main Street circuit from the park's opening in 1955 until 1971 when motorized vehicles replaced all the horse-drawn vehicles (other than the streetcar).
This cartoony wagon had been in place outside Big Thunder Ranch for the last couple months. Photo by David Michael.
A more historically interesting piece is now in place. Photo by David Michael.
To help with demand, a second Annual Pass processing center will open later this week in Disneyland. The standard location at the Main Street Bank will continue it's normal operating hours of being open 30 minutes before rope drop and one hour after park closing. The second location at Plaza Pavilion will begin operation on April 7 and be open from 10:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. This second location will most likely close again when the Spring Break rush ends.
For those who may have missed it on one of its previous visits to the L.A. area, it may be good news that the stage production of The Lion King is returning. The Pantages Theater will again play host to the production for 8 weeks beginning November 16 and ending on January 7, 2007. The performances on November 16 and 17 will be lower priced previews before the official opening on Saturday, November 18. Ticket prices range from $17 to $87. For information on purchasing tickets call 323-463-4367.
There are two promotions going for the new DVD for The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. The first is the return of Jadis the White Witch to the character meet-and-greet in the rear courtyard of Sleeping Beauty Castle. This will likely only last a week or two before again becoming Villain's Lair and mostly playing host to other bad guys. Second, as with other DVD releases, you can purchase the DVD at select stores for a discount. Participating stores are Emporium, 20th Century Music Company, Off the Page, Greetings from California, and World of Disney. This promotion will run from April 4 to 22 and the DVD can be had for $29.99 (an additional Annual Pass discount also applies).
There are no details yet but it seems to have been confirmed internally that Mickey's Halloween Treat will be returning to Disney's California Adventure this fall.
In a move that seems guaranteed to generate yawns among tourists, the Anaheim City Council has approved the creation of a Walk of Fame for Orange County notable figures. If it goes forward, the stars will be added to the sidewalk on the Disneyland side of Harbor Boulevard between the pedestrian entrance to Disneyland and Katella.
Don't keep it to yourself! Send us your news tips, rumors, and comments. Email us here.
- Pirates of the Caribbean closed March 6 June 26, 2006, for major refurbishment and show updates. Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest will premiere at Disneyland on June 24. Ride may be available to public on June 25.
- Blue Bayou Restaurant closed March 6 June 26, 2006, for the duration of the Pirates of the Caribbean closure.
- Cafe Orleans Restaurant closed March 13 June 26, 2006, for redesign into full service restaurant.
- Fantasmic! dark June 17 - June 28, 2006, for activities surrounding premiere of Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest.
- Disneyland Park opens and closes early June 24, 2006, for premiere of Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest. Will open at 6:30 a.m. and close at 5:30 p.m. DCA will be open two hours later than usual until 11:00 p.m.
- Parade of Dreams dark June 24, 2006, for red carpet arrivals to premiere of Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest.
- Golden Horseshoe closed May 15 - June 15 for refurbishment and kitchen changes.
- River Belle Terrace rumored 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.
- Snow White, An Enchanted Musical closed. On hiatus during off season; expected to return for final season in summer 2006.
- Disneyland Monorail goes into shuttle mode (one way trips only) January 2006. Complete closure for station redesign will not happen until later in 2006.
Disney's California Adventure
- Department of Untapped Hilarity (D.U.H.) on hiatus. Might return for the 2006 summer season.
- 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) 7817290.
If you know of any events, official or unofficial, that should be listed here, let us know.
- 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.
- 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).
- The Wild at El Capitan Theater. April 14 - May 11. Side show unknown.
- Jim Shore artist signing. April 29, 9:00-11:30 at Disneyana (link).
- MouseAdventure. April 30, registration is now open (link).
- 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.
- 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.
- Disneyland Half Marathon Weekend. September 15-17. For more information and registration see the official Web site (link, warning: horribly annoying embedded music)
- Gay Days. October 6 - 8. Unofficial event (link).
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.