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Update for May 22-29, 2006

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

News and Views

Sadly, your intrepid Disneyland Park Update writer spent the weekend in Las Vegas discovering he isn't 21 anymore. So, this week's park update is pretty light considering that he wants to do nothing more than sleep until the 4th of July and also that there really isn't much going on at the parks.


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The last couple of weeks seem to indicate that the rush of people visiting Disneyland isn't going to be letting up this summer. It is still officially an off-peak season (and will be until early June) but the resort was pretty busy this weekend and will certainly be even more crowded next weekend for the Memorial Day holiday.

Cash Registers

We have a bit more information on the cash register upgrade we talked about in last week's park update. To recap, snazzy new registers have been installed at all of the stores in Disneyland and while the future is bright the present is a little messy as cast members learn new systems. For most people this will not cause much more than possibly a delay at the cash register. For people performing more complex transactions (such as using an annual pass discount) it is a good idea to pay attention to your receipt that everything was done properly.

The new register system is called MATRA and is a major project to bring things more into alignment with how operations works at Walt Disney World (there is some disagreement in the management ranks that this is a good idea, but it is moving forward). The MATRA system has long been in place at Walt Disney World but cannot simply be put into place at Disneyland without significant modification. And while things have been difficult for front-line cast members working the registers, there have also been all kinds of issues with getting the system to operate smoothly behind the scenes as well.

The current plan is to tough it out to get all of the resort merchandise locations converted, and then pause to ponder all of the lessons learned. A few foods locations will be converted this summer as well, but the rest will probably wait until next spring so that the conversion can be completed with minimal disruption (during peak periods the wait times at many food locations are already excessive without adding cash register struggles).

Food & Wine returning

Nobody can claim that the Food & Wine Weekends at Disney's California Adventure (DCA) park packed the house, but as far as management is concerned the event performed well enough. Steady readers of the Disneyland Park Update may recall we reported that a version of the Walt Disney World event would be coming to DCA months before any formal announcement had been made. In fact, the formal announcement was so long in coming that we were preparing to retract the information in the next park update when the event was finally given official life.

It was pretty much the same situation for the people putting the event together. A team was put together to create the event but then it died and was revived several times. The final green light for the project wasn't given to the team much earlier than it was officially announced to the public.

Fortunately, upper management wasn't looking for a blockbuster success and just wanted to test the waters. Apparently everybody is pleased and approval has already been given to begin work on putting together a bigger event for next year with a lot more visibility attached. Of course, things always have a way of changing but if you enjoyed the event this time around, it looks like you'll get a second chance to experience it.

The difference in geography between Epcot and DCA guarantees that DCA can never host an event of the scale of Epcot's Food & Wine Festival, but there is surely quite a bit that could be done with more money and time.

Sam McKim's window


Walt Disney Imagineering Ambassador Marty Sklar and Disneyland Resort President Matt Ouimet watch as Mickey Mouse reveals the new window. Photo by David Michael.

Last Wednesday, Disneyland hosted a small ceremony to dedicate a new Main Street window to artist Sam McKim. McKim, who died in July 2004, was a former child actor who eventually found a talent and love for art. In 1954, after being laid off, a friend suggesed McKim take his portfolio over to Disney since they were working on concepts for a new theme park in Anaheim. McKim would go on to draw iconic conceptual drawings of such attractions as Tom Sawyer's Island, Indian Village, Golden Horseshoe Saloon, Haunted Mansion, and Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln. McKim was responsible for drawing souvenir maps of the park between 1957 and 1964, and it was in this capacity that most Disney fans came to know his work, and it is this that the new window commemmorates. In full it reads:

Cartography Masterworks
Sam McKim
Mapmaker to the Kingdom
There's Magic in the Details


The new window is located above Main Street Photo Supply Co. Photo by David Michael.

This and that...

...New Orleans' year-round Christmas store has officially completed its move to Fantasyland and the new store, Geppetto's Holiday Workshop, is open for business. La Boutique de Noel closed a few weeks ago to provide a temporary home to Pieces of Eight while that store undergoes a remodel to turn it into a Pirates of the Caribbean merchandise store. When Pieces of Eight returns to its regular location the then-vacant de Noel will likely become an additional location for generic pirates merchandise (the name of such a store is not yet known). Nothing specific is yet known, but there are loud whispers that Le Bat en Rouge is also in for some changes in the near future. One uncomfirmed source has suggested that management may be trying to boost Pirates of the Caribbean merchandise over Nightmare Before Christmas merchandise because of the royalty payments required for Nightmare sales.


Christmas can now be found all year long in Fantasyland instead of New Orleans Square. Photo by Adrienne Vincent-Phoenix.

...When Disney and McDonald's announced a couple weeks ago that their exclusive promotional agreement for Happy Meal toys was coming to an end, there was a lot of rejoicing from people who assumed that this would result in McDonald's getting the boot from the Disneyland theme parks (two french fry-only carts in Disneyland and Burger Invasion in DCA). At this time, however, there is no reason to expect this to happen, and both companies have issues statements explicitly denying it. They also deny that the issue of growing rates of childhood obesity had anything to do with it and that the decision to let the deal lapse was made almost two years ago.

...The Fastpass machines for Star Tours were indeed removed as we guessed last week. The area is now being used as stroller parking for Star Tours and Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters. The signage for Fastpass is still present but has been turned off and everybody is doing their best to ignore it.


Star Tours's Fastpass machines, which had not been used for quite a while, have now made way for extra stroller parking. Photo by David Michael.

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

Current Refurbishments and Attraction Closures

Disneyland

  • 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 9, 2006, for redesign into full service restaurant.
  • Pieces of Eight relocated to former Le Boutique de Noel Christmas store while usual location received Pirates of the Caribbean theming upgrade. Expected to reopen with the ride around June 26.
  • Main Street Mad Hatter closed most of June for refurbishment.
  • 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

  • It's Tough to Be a Bug closed April 24 - May 25 for 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) 781–7290.

Events

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

May

  • Patina Restaurant Group AP event. May 22 from 4 p.m. ot 9:00 p.m. Rotate the three patina group restaurants sampling dishes from each restaurant. $10 per person and each annual pass holder can bring three guests. RSVP to 866-972-8462 or email kenriquez@patinagroup.com.

June

  • Pin Trading Night. June 9, 7:00 p.m. ot 10:00 p.m in Pacific Ballroom at Paradise Pier Hotel. Featured pins not yet announced.
  • Olzewski Haunted Mansion release. June 10. Release of new sculpture of Haunted Mansion by Robert Olzewski. Full details not yet released.
  • Cars at El Capitan Theater. June 9 - July 4. The accompany show is a demonstration of a real pit stop.
  • Jungle Skippers Comedy Night. June 11 at Mavirick Theater in Fullerton, CA. A night of comedy featuring former Jungle Cruise skippers (link).
  • Pirates 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 merchandise event. July 6 (link, all package levels now sold out.
  • Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest at El Capitan Theater. July 7 - September 4. Accompany the run of the movie will be props and costumes from the movie.
  • 3 Christopher Radko ornaments released July 8, 1:30 p.m. - 3:30 p.m. (link).

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).
  • Mickey's Halloween Treat. October 13, 20, 22, 26, 27, 29, 30, and 31 at DCA. (See Disneyland AP page for details)

November

  • Lion King returns to Pantages Theater. Beginning November 16 for eight week run. Call 323-463-4367 for details and tickets.


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
5/22 5/23 5/24 5/25 5/26 5/27

DL: 9a–9p
DCA: 10a–7p

DL: 9a–9p
DCA: 10a–7p

DL: 9a–9p
DCA: 10a–7p

DL: 9a–9p
DCA: 10a–7p

DL: 9a–Mid
DCA: 10a–9p
SL

DL: 8a–Mid
DCA: 10a–9p
SL/SC/DX

5/28 5/29 5/30 5/17 5/31 6/1 6/3

DL: 8a–Mid
DCA: 10a–9p
SL/SC/DX

DL: 9a–10p
DCA: 10a–8p
SL/SC

DL: 9a-10p
DCA: 10a–7p

DL: 9a-10p
DCA: 10a–7p

DL: 9a-9p
DCA: 10a–7p

DL: 9a–Mid
DCA: 10a–9p
SL

DL: 8a–Mid
DCA: 10a–9p
SL/SC/DX

6/4 6/5 6/6 6/7 6/8 6/9 6/10

DL: 8a–11p
DCA: 10a–9p
SL

DL: 9a–11p
DCA: 10a–7p

DL: 9a–11p
DCA: 10a–7p

DL: 9a–11p
DCA: 10a–7p

DL: 9a–9p
DCA: 10a–7p
SL/SC

DL: 9a–Mid
DCA: 10a–9p
SL/SC

DL: 8a–Mid
DCA: 10a–9p
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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