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Update for July 10-16, 2006

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

News and Views

The End of the 50th

Now that the Pirates stuff is mostly behind us, the most frequent question we're seeing has shifted from "how do I get into the premiere" to "when will all the 50th stuff go away?"


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The official word at this point is that the 18-month celebration will officially end this September. If it has lasted a full 18 months from its May 5, 2005, start it would be expected to end on November 5. As Disney is always careful to say though, all dates are subject to change.

That doesn't mean it all just shuts off come October 1. Sometime in late September all of the decorative elements of the 50th Anniversary celebration will disappear to make room for Halloween, at which time the Christmas decorations will go up. It is probably safe to assume that the 50th logos and photomosaic murals will disappear quickly. Word is mixed on whether all of the turret decorations on Sleeping Beauty Castle will be left in place or not.

The Remember… Dreams Come True fireworks show and Disney's Parade of Dreams will continue beyond the end of September as well, probably until at least the kick-off of the official Christmas season after Halloween. We've heard nothing reliable on the timeline for the return of Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln to the Opera House (we're going to assume it will return as everybody assured it would).

As always, nothing is really official until it really happens. At this point it looks like people with trips planned for late September and early October will be able to see the parade and fireworks contrary to earlier rumors of Halloween-themed replacements.

We've also received an occasional query as to whether various other attractions that debuted during the 50th Anniversary would also be going away. Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters, the new Space Mountain, the redesigned Pirates of the Caribbean and similar are all permanent additions to the park. The only temporary attractions are the 50th Magical Years film at the Opera House, Disney's Parade of Dreams, and Remember… Dreams Come True.

Join us on the 51st

If you're going to be at Disneyland on Monday, July 17, for the 51st birthday of Disneyland, we encourage you to join several members of the MousePlanet staff to note that occasion as well as MousePlanet's sixth anniversary.

Everybody will be gathering in the Hub in front of Sleeping Beauty Castle at noon, and we'll have MousePlanet and MousePad buttons for everybody (while supplies last, of course).

Pirate shows

We mentioned last week that in addition to the new additions inside Pirates of the Caribbean there are several new entertainment offerings making it a summer of pirates in New Orleans Square and on the Sailing Ship Columbia. From Adrienne Vincent-Phoenix, here is a description of the new stage show in New Orleans Square. The rest of the photos shown are for the Jack Sparrow meet-and-greet opportunity next to that new stage as well as a couple shots from the bit of show wherein a pirate takes over the Sailing Ship Columbia on every voyage.

The Cursed Pirate Band performs on a temporary stage errected near Cafe Orleans, and features three musicians led by a flamboyant singing pirate. Having run afoul of a tavern owner, these particular pirates are cursed by a compulsion to play "Yo Ho (A Pirates Life for Me)" whenever a particular brass bell is rung (which happens several times during the performance), but the pirates have additional musical talents.


In the new pirates musical stage show they just can't help themselves when a bell is rung. Photo by Adrienne Vincent-Phoenix.

Each 25-minute set is a mix of music, storytelling and satire, with several opportunities for audience participation. Several new pirate anthems are introduced to the audience, along with "pirate" versions of classic Disney songs. A treasure chest provides comical props during the pirate rendition of "Part of Your World," and audience suggestions are incorporated into an improvised song. The pirates describe their experiences with Captain Jack Sparrow, and tell of the strange and frightening things they've discovered during their time in the "Land of Disney." (Chipmunks as tall as a man, with giant teeth!)


Quite a few pirates are roaming New Orleans Square these days. Photo by Adrienne Vincent-Phoenix.

The act is audible from the general Rivers of America area, including the Cafe Orleans patio and the extended queue (if in use) for the Pirates of the Caribbean ride, though the best viewing is directly in front of the stage.


Jack Sparrow is a popular meet-and-greet character as well. Photo by David Michael.


The response has generally approved of the cast member's ability to replicate the speech and movements of Johnny Depp's character from the movies. Photo by David Michael.


With every voyage of the Sailing Ship Columbia a pirate takes over the vessel and teaches passengers about the pirate life. Photo by David Michael.

El Cap schedule

Disney's show palace, the El Capitan Theater in Hollywood has finally released its schedule following Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest which will run at the theater until September 4. The next two engagements will be revivals tied to new DVD releases. First up is a 10-day run for The Little Mermaid from September 7 to September 17th. This will be followed by two weeks of The Nightmare Before Christmas from October 19 to October 31. Both of these runs will kick off with special panel discussions. Tickets are now available for all these screenings.

The Little Mermaid engagement will include a meet-and-greet opportunity with Ariel at every screening, but it isn't clear if there is a whole show or just a standard character greet set-up. It is unknown at this time what add-on, if any, there will be for the Nightmare Before Christmas screenings.

It hasn't been officially announced yet but it is reasonable to assume that beginning November 3 they'll be showing The Santa Clause 3: The Escape Clause, which will then likely run through Thanksgiving or so. Currently, Disney does not have a family movie releasing in December, so it is difficult to guess what they'll be showing.

Mad Hatter settling in

The transition at Main Street Mad Hatter isn't going entirely well and it is still causing significant delays in delivering custom-embroidered hats. The way the new store works is that customers purchase their hats in one line and then take them over to a separate line for embroidery. While the store has four of the new computerized embroidery machines, at most times there are only one or two people available to run them. Maintenance also is proving to be a problem as several of them have broken down already and there have been times when only two are working even if there are more people available to operate them.

To deal with the delays, they are still running an ad hoc system for having customers drop off their hats and then return at a later time. During busy periods this return time has been as high as 45 minutes. The other hat-selling stores in Disneyland are still using the hand-operated machines and are not having similar delays.


New automated embroidery machines are still causing delays at Main Street Mad Hatter. Photo by Adrienne Vincent-Phoenix.

New refurbishments

A couple new refurbishments have shown up on the calendar recently. This September the Golden Horseshoe will be closing for a quick overhaul. This had originally been scheduled for last spring but was delayed until after summer. We have heard nothing to indicate otherwise so for now we're assuming that the plans are still the same and the menu will be changed to make the saloon into something of an ice cream parlor. It is expected that Stage Door Cafe, which shares the kitchen will continue offering a selection of fried foods. The Golden Horseshoe will be closed from September 5 to October 6 and it is unknown at this point whether Billy Hill and the Hillbillies will go on hiatus for the duration or be moved to another venue. During the last lengthy closure of the Golden Horseshoe the show was moved to the stage at the old Big Thundre Ranch BBQ but that doesn't seem as feasible this time around.

It also appears that Gadget Go Coaster in Toontown will shut down beginning on October 2 and for about six weeks. For this period, at least, there will be very little reason for most guests to turn left once they're in Toontown. The only of interest on in that area will be Goofy's Playhouse and Donald Duck's boat, neither of which are of interest to anybody over six.

The autumn closure of California Screamin' is also finally officially on the schedule. We had been expecting a lengthy closure is to allow for long-scheduled maintenance and to also begin to make way for the new Midway Madness dark ride expected to be announced for 2008. It is unclear, however, just how much of that work will be visible during this early stage though eventually it will significantly alter the landscape in that part of Paradise Pier. That is what we expected but currently the official Disneyland calendar is only show a three-day closure from October 2 to October 5. This calendar is frequently inaccurate so there is reason to find this information suspect.

This and that…

…The "Munch, Inc." kid's meals at various dining locations at the resort have recently undergone a change. Previously the meals came in a plastic lunchbox and featured a short comic strip on the front. These boxes have been replaced by a new cardboard box more similar to what you would find from fast food chains. While parents who don't visit very often may be bummed by this change (the lunchboxes made a nice, free souvenir) the response from parents who visit frequently has been positive, since they will no longer have to bring home yet another "pencil box" after every visit.


New cardboard boxes are used for kids' meals now. Photo by David Michael.

…Marie Osmond will be appearing to promote the release of her new Disney doll next Saturday. She'll be available to "meet-and-greet" for three hours from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. at the Carnation Plaza Garden stage on Main Street. Though the information on the Disney Gallery page is confusing, it appears that is not a signing event even though it labels her location as "Signing location." The doll is a limited edition of 1,500, goes for $135, and will be sold at the Disneyana Shop on Main Street. Standard wristband procedures will be in place for the release with wristbands being distributed at the Downtown Disney tram area near the guest information booth beginning at 7:30 a.m.


© Disney.

…You may have noticed the Lenox limited edition release of a Cruella de Vil scultpure being advertised on the Disney Gallery Web site (link). The scultpure is $145, plus $24 shipping and handling per sculptured ordered. While pre-ordering has been open for a while now, it doesn't actually ship until July 19. One thing to notice about this offer is it is not Disneyland exclusive like many merchandise releases mention on the Disney Gallery site. The sculpture will be available through other Lenox-selling dealers, most of which will offer much better deals on shipping and handling if not an actual discount on the sculpture.

…We mentioned a couple of weeks ago that Disney Auctions would be having some Pirates of the Caribbean-related sales as a fundraiser for Make-a-Wish Foundation. There are currently five auctions available. Two offer pre-opening rides on Pirates of the Caribbean with a Disney Imagineer (currently $2,200 and $1,660). Another offers an opportunity to play a pirate in a performance of Fantasmic ($2,110), and then the other two will put your name in the ride, either on the shrimp boat before the first drop ($2,560) or on a barrel in the one of the scenes inside the ride ($2,516). All of these auctions end on Thurdsay, July 13 (link).

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

Current Refurbishments and Attraction Closures

Disneyland

  • Matterhorn Bobsleds closed August 28 - November 22 for complete refurbishment.
  • Haunted Mansion closed September 5 - September 28 for installation of Haunted Mansion Overlay.
  • Golden Horseshoe closed September 5 - October 6 for refurbishment, kitchen update, and menu change. No word yet on what will be done with Billy Hill and the Hillbillies show during closure.
  • Disneyland Railroad closed September 18 - September 22 for unknown reasons, probably general maintenance.
  • Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage is currently under construction and will open sometime in 2007.
  • Gadget's Go Coaster closed beginning October 2 for apporiximately six weeks. General maintenance with no ride changes expected.

Disney's California Adventure

  • Francis' Lady Bug Boogie closed June 17 - July 13 for general maintenance.
  • California Screamin' closed October 2 - October 5. Everybody was expecting a long maintenance closure so this information is suspect at this time.
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.

July

  • Lady and the Tramp II: Scamp's Adventure DVD rerelease. June 20 - July 15. DVD available for $5 off at Disneyland Resort stores.
  • 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.
  • Disneyland's 51st Birthday and MousePlanet's 6th. July 17. MousePlanet/MousePad meet at Hub at noon.

August

  • Fantasia at Hollywood Bowl. August 18 and 19. Live orchestral performances of songs from Fantasia with video clips from movie. Conducted by John Mauceri. August 18 (link); August 19 (link)
  • 64th World Science Fiction Convention (Worldcon). August 23-27 at the Anaheim Convention Center (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)
  • Little Mermaid at El Capitan Theater. September 7-17. Restored edition in conjunction with DVD rerelease. First screening will be accompanied by panel discussion (link).

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

  • Nightmare Before Christmas at El Capitan Theater. October 19-31 (link).
  • 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
6/26 6/27 6/28 6/29 6/30 7/1

DL: 8a–Mid
DCA: 10a–9p

DL: 8a–Mid
DCA: 10a–9p
SL

DL: 8a–Mid
DCA: 10a–9p
SL

DL: 8a–Mid
DCA: 10a–9p
SL

DL: 8a–Mid
DCA: 10a–10p
SL/SC/DX

DL: 8a–Mid
DCA: 10a–10p
SL/SC/DX

7/2 7/3 7/4 7/5 7/6 7/7 7/8

DL: 8a–Mid
DCA: 10a–10p
SL/SC/DX

DL: 8a–Mid
DCA: 10a–10p
SL/SC/DX

DL: 8a–Mid
DCA: 10a–10p
SL/SC/DX

DL: 8a–Mid
DCA: 10a–10p
SL/SC

DL: 8a–Mid
DCA: 10a–10p
SL/SC

DL: 8a–Mid
DCA: 10a–10p
SL/SC

DL: 8a–Mid
DCA: 10a–10p
SL/SC/DX

7/9 7/10 7/11 7/12 7/13 7/14 7/15

DL: 8a–11p
DCA: 10a–9p
SL/SC

DL: 8a–11p
DCA: 10a–9p
SL/SC

DL: 8a-11p
DCA: 10a–9p
SL/SC

DL: 8a-11p
DCA: 10a–9p
SL/SC

DL: 8a-11p
DCA: 10a–9p
SL/SC

DL: 8a–Mid
DCA: 10a–10p
SL/SC

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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