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Update for June 5-11, 2006

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

News and Views

Blue Bayou goes upscale

Even if you weren't online last week, you may have heard the gasps of shock from many people when word began to spread about the new menu that Blue Bayou will be presenting when they reopen on June 26. Not gasps of delight at what will be offered, but gasps of shock at the prices.


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The familiar menu items have been updated with new fancier names, ingredient updates, and some pretty hefty price increases. For example, the famous Monte Cristo sandwich has jumped from $12.99 to $18.99. The sandwich was previously served with a side of pasta salad, and most people found it quite an effort to finish the entire meal. Now the already enormous portion will come with a choice of soup or salad and two side dishes. In fact, all the entrees come with soup or salad and two side dishes, providing some increase in food for the increase in price.

Other examples of similar items with much higher prices are the new Royal Street Seafood Jambalaya for $25.99 where the old Jambalaya Classique was $14.99 at lunch. The new vegetarian mushroom dish is $24.99 compared to $13.99.

For those hoping to economize the meal just to soak in the atmosphere of dining next to the waters of Pirates of the Caribbean, they're a couple steps ahead of you. Now that the entrees are all large enough to easily feed two people (particularly the very heavy Monte Cristo sandwich) a plate splitting charge of $4.99 has been implemented. Also, while the menus are different for lunch and dinner, the prices for items common to both menus are no longer lower for lunch and the lunchtime appetizers, identical to dinner, are actually a bit more expensive.

It seems obvious that with Cafe Orleans reopening later this week as a new table-service restaurant (we still haven't seen the menu for that location) Blue Bayou is positioning itself as a more upscale environment for dining. It remains to be seen if the restaurant has seen a similar reorganization in service and environment to reflect the new prices. While the restaurant is a crowd-favorite because of its location, many people also complain of the cramped table arrangement and a feeling that the staff is pushing you to get in and out as quickly as possible.

Obviously the goal of setting prices is to find that magic number where the number of people willing to pay is exactly the same as the number of seats available to fill. Based on the long lines it is obvious that the old prices were below that number. Time will tell if Disneyland has gone too high, but past experience indicates they likely haven't.

Speaking of Cafe Orleans, we reported way back when that the new menu there would include a vegetarian version of the Monte Cristo. While that sandwich remains the only one that has been referenced in public communications, we are hearing that both the classic and the vegetarian versions will be available. It wouldn't be surprising to find that the restaurant sells them as a standalone dish at something closer to the old Blue Bayou price. It also wouldn't be surprising if the availability from Cafe Orleans brings to an end the ability to order a Monte Cristo to go from Blue Bayou.

David Michael also had the information on the menus and posted them to our message board (link) over the weekend, conveniently saving us the trouble of having to type it up ourselves. So thanks to him for saving us the trouble of typing it all out ourselves.

Lunch

Appetizers:

  • Isla Cruces Crab Cakes - Pan seared, then topped with mango salad and zesty lime aioli 11.99
  • Gulf-Stream Jumbo Shrimp Remoulade - Creole boiled, chilled, and with a traditional Louisiana-style remoulade 9.99

Entrees – Each entree served with choice of Cajun-inspired wedge salad or a cup of our signature New Orleans gumbo. Accompany your meal with two of the following: Blue Bayou potatoes, seasonal vegetables, or sautéed spinach:

  • Buccaneer's Beef Short Ribs – slow-roasted, then finished in a Zinfandel demi glaze 26.99
  • Royal Street Seafood Jambalaya – a robust combination of king crab, jumbo gulf shrimp, mahi mahi, tasso ham, andouille sausage, and chicken, tossed with Cajun-style "dirty rice" 25.99
  • Five-Pepper Roasted Prime Rib of Beef – seasoned with the Chef's signature pepper rub blend, then slow roasted over rock salt 29.99
  • Cajun-Spiced Salmon – blackened, with citrus crawfish beurre blanc 26.99
  • Tesora Island Chicken – blackened, roasted and finished to perfection in pan au jus 24.99
  • Port Royal Mahi Mahi – broiled and accompanied with lightly sautéed pecan-crusted jumbo gulf shrimp, spinach and endive, tossed in a light lemon vinaigrette 27.99
  • Portobello Mushroom and Couscous Maque Choux – marinated in a balsamic vinaigrette, then broiled and served with roasted corn and bell-pepper couscous and sautéed spinach 24.99
  • Molasses-Brined Bayou Pork Chop – 10 oz. chop, pan-seared and topped with sautéed Granny Smith apple wedges 25.99
  • Le Special de Monte Cristo – Turkey, ham and Swiss cheese in a battered egg bread, lightly fried to a golden brown 18.99

Desserts – Each treasured treat comes with a "Pirates" booty keepsake!

  • Tortuga Trio of Creme Brule – chocolate, passion fruit and vanilla-bean custards, caramelized and served with Brittany cookies 7.99
  • The Key West, Key Lime – Flaky crust filled with tangy key-lime citrus creme 7.99
  • The Flying Dutchman Cookie Boat – Warm chocolate chip cookie boat, served with Dreyer's vanilla bean ice cream, caramel and chocolate sauce 8.99

Split Plate Charge $4.99

Dinner

Appetizers:

  • Isla Cruces Crab Cakes – Pan seared, then topped with mango salad and zesty lime aioli 8.99
  • Gulf-Stream Jumbo Shrimp Remoulade – Creole boiled, chilled, and with a traditional Louisiana-style remoulade 8.99

Entrees – Each entree served with choice of Cajun-inspired wedge salad or a cup of our signature New Orleans gumbo. Accompany your meal with two of the following: Blue Bayou potatoes, seasonal vegetables, or sautéed spinach.

  • Buccaneer's Beef Short Ribs – slow-roasted, then finished in a Zinfandel demi glaze 26.99
  • Royal Street Seafood Jambalaya – a robust combination of king crab, jumbo gulf shrimp, mahi mahi, tasso ham, andouille sausage, and chicken, tossed with Cajun-style "dirty rice" 25.99
  • Five-Pepper Roasted Prime Rib of Beef – seasoned with the Chef's signature pepper rub blend, then slow roasted over rock salt 29.99
  • Alaskan King Crab Legs – A succulent, sweet pound of crab from the icy cold waters of the Pacific Northwest. Delicately steamed and served with herb beurre blanc 34.99
  • Filet Mignon – Broiled to perfection and topped with sauce béarnaise 33.99
  • Port Royal Mahi Mahi – broiled and accompanied with lightly sautéed pecan-crusted jumbo gulf shrimp, spinach and endive, tossed in a light lemon vinaigrette 27.99
  • Tesora Island Chicken – blackened, roasted and finished to perfection in pan au jus 24.99
  • Portobello Mushroom and Couscous Maque Choux – marinated in a balsamic vinaigrette, then broiled and served with roasted corn and bell-pepper couscous and sautéed spinach 24.99
  • Molasses-Brined Bayou Pork Chop – 10 oz. chop, pan-seared and topped with sautéed Granny Smith apple wedges 25.99
  • Cajun-Spiced Salmon – blackened, with citrus crawfish beurre blanc 26.99

Desserts – Each treasured treat comes with a "Pirates" booty keepsake!

  • Tortuga Trio of Creme Brule – chocolate, passion fruit and vanilla-bean custards, caramelized and served with Brittany cookies7.99
  • The Key West, Key Lime – Flaky crust filled with tangy key-lime citruscrme 7.99
  • The Flying Dutchman Cookie Boat – Warm chocolate chip cookie boat, served with Dreyer's vanilla bean ice cream, caramel and chocolate sauce 8.99

Split Plate Charge $4.99

Mad Hatter

The Main Street Mad Hatter is closed through June 30th, and construction walls have gone up inside the exit lobby of the Main Street Opera House to accommodate the remodeling and expansion of the Mad Hatter.


Main Street Mad Hatter is closed for the month. Photo by Adrienne Vincent-Phoenix.

To cover for the absence of Main Street Mad Hatter, The Disney Showcase store has been turned into a temporary hat shop. At least four of the new computerized embroidery machines have been set up there. They new machines are much slower than the traditional hat writing, and cast members have been extremely concerned about bottlenecks caused by the new process. At 11:00 a.m. yesteday (June 4) the wait to get a pair of Mickey Mouse ears custom embroidered was as long as 90 minutes.

Cast members made the best of a bad situation and began using a modified "package check" system so that hats could be left behind and claimed later in the day. By Sunday afternoon a whole crew of cast members had been drafted to the shop and were being trained to use the embroidery machines. Traditional manual hat writing is still available inside Disneyland at the Fantasyland Mad Hatter, Hatmosphere in Tomorrowland, Gag Factory in ToonTown and Westward Ho Trading Company in Frontierland. Greetings from California and Souvenir 66 in Disney's California Adventure also have the "old" machines. According to cast members, every hat writing location at the Disneyland Resort is scheduled to switch to the computerized embroidery machines by this September.

Pieces of Eight

Word from some quarters is that Pieces of Eight in New Orleans Square will reopen this Friday (June 9). The store has been remodeled to resemble the "Captain's Chamber" cave from the attraction, with a wooden piano serving as the cash register counter, and gold and gems piled everywhere. The courtyard between Pieces of Eight and Le Bat en Rouge has also been remodeled, with the leaky fountain replaced. An area cast member says that long-term plans eventually call for Pieces of Eight and Le Bat en Rouge to be combined into one store, though others indicate this is still not official but simply being discussed.

As a reminder, once Pieces of Eight moves back to its regular home, the temporary store location will not return to being Le Boutique de Noel. The year-round Christmas store has permanently moved to the new Gepetto's Holiday Workshop in Fantasyland. Eventually the New Orleans Square location will reopen as another pirate-themed merchandise location but the schedule is not certain.

This and that...

...Finding Nemo-themed merchandise has appeared in Autopia's Winner's Circle store.


It's still a little early but Finding Nemo is now mixed in with the Autopia souvenirs. Photo by Adrienne Vincent-Phoenix.

...For most people, Tom Wilson is most famous as Biff Tannen from the Back to the Future movies, but he is also an artist of some skill and has been announced as the newest member of Disney's California Featured Artist Series. You can now see some of his original Disney-themed painting at the Disneyana Shop on Main Street in Disneyland or Off the Page in DCA. His five original paintings are either $1,750 or $3,250 but eventually reproductions and prints should be available.


"Elephants Do Fly!" by Tom Wilson. Image courtesy Disney.


"Don't Forget Your Lunch" by Tom Wilson. Image courtesy Disney.

...It is probably a small issue to everybody, but it could also be taken as another shafting of cast members because of the Pirates of the Caribbean premiere. The first premiere in 2003 was infamous for the way cast members working that night were shuttled off into dark corners of the park to sit in silence so that they would neither get a glimpse of the movie or interfere with the celebrities. We still wait to see how this will be handled this time around but last week it was announced that June 24 is now a blackout date for cast member admission passes and sign-ins. Cast members get a certain number of days when they can visit the park for free on their time off and bring in guests as well. So any cast members who were hoping to see some celebrities on their day off will have to skip it or pay for entry like everyone else. The blackout applies to both parks, a sign that Disney expects (or at least hopes) the crowds at Disney's California Adventure park will be pretty large after 5:00 p.m. when all the non-VIPs are booted out of Disneyland.

...Just a reminder that Snow White: An Enchanting Musical will make its summer-season return beginning this Friday, June 9. There will be five performance every day at 11:45 a.m., 1:00 p.m., 2:15 p.m., 4:14 p.m., and 5:30 p.m. The show will play at least through Labor Day Weekend and when the run ends the show will close down permanently. With the return of the show, Enchanted Cottage Sweetes and Treats, the theater's snack bar, will also be reopening.

...Various dates have been whispered around the Internet as candidates for unannounced soft-openings of Pirates of the Caribbean prior to the movie premiere on June 24. While anything can change, any public soft-openings are extremely unlikely since this unveiling is a joint effort between Disneyland and Walt Disney Studios and the latter is much more keen on keeping everything sealed. If there is any access prior to June 24th it will likely be limited to cast members to provide some training for the staff.

...A new "The 50th Last Chance Sweepstakes" has been announced where 50 random winners will win one of 50 50th-Anniversary merchandise prizes. To enter you must have be registered at the Disneyland Web site. Go to Disneyland.com and click on the 50th Last Chance Sweepstakes link. If you aren't already, you will then need to sign in before you can click to enter the contest. The prizes are:

  • One Grand Prize: Framed Disneyland 50th Commemorative Pressed Penny Collection
  • 10 2nd Place Prizes: Framed 50th Anniversary Souvenir Map with Commemorative Pins
  • 10 3rd Place Prizes: Framed 50th Anniversary Golden Mouse Ears with Commemorative Pins
  • 29 4th Place Prizes: 50th Anniversary Commemorative 2 CD Set: The Official Album of the Disneyland Resort

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. May reopen as early as June 9.
  • Main Street Mad Hatter closed until June 30 for refurbishment and expansion.
  • 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.
  • 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.


Work continues on the cover being built between the old cave and the new show building. Photo by Adrienne Vincent-Phoenix.

Disney's California Adventure

There are currently no closures.

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.

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.
  • Olszewski Haunted Mansion release. June 10. Release of new sculpture of Haunted Mansion by Robert Olszewski (link).
  • Cars at El Capitan Theater. June 9 - July 4. The accompanying show is a demonstration of a real pit stop.
  • Jungle Skippers Comedy Night. June 11 at Maverick 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. Accompanying 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. Presale tickets are available to Annual Passholders and Disney Visa members through June 10.


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

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

6/11 6/12 6/13 6/14 6/15 6/16 6/17

DL: 8a–Mid
DCA: 10a–9p
SL

DL: 9a–11p
DCA: 10a–7p

DL: 9a–11p
DCA: 10a–7p

DL: 9a–9p
DCA: 10a–7p
SL/SC

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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