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Update for December 4-10, 2006

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

News and Views


The choir at Sunday's performance of the Candlelight Processoinal. Photo by David Michael.

Mickey Penthouse

Last Saturday saw the official introduction of the biggest Disneyland prize being given as part of the Year of a Million Dreams promotion. Though the promotion has been running for a couple months now, getting the deluxe penthouse put together for the beginning of the promotion wasn't possible.


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While Magic Kingdom in Florida will be giving people overnight stays in Cinderella Castle, it simply isn't remotely practical to do the same at Sleeping Beauty Castle (it's barely practical to do it in the march larger castle over there) so everyday, a random park guest will be picked by early afternoon most days to spend the night at the new suite. This prize will be awarded 367 times, though that doesn't necessarily mean the room will be occupied every night for the next year; if a mail-in player is selected for the prize they will receive something of equal value ($572). Included in the prize (the winner gets to include up to four others) is the room for a night, access to the Disneyland Hotel concierge lounge, a gift basket, dinner at Blue Bayou, reserved seating for parades, fireworks, and Fantasmic, and grand marshalling a parade.


Mickey Mouse greets guesting entering the room in this "magic" mirror. Photo Disney.

As for the room itself, it is over 1,600 square feet and painted in classic Mickey Mouse colors. The suite has two bedrooms, two-and-a-half bathrooms, a living room and a dining/kitchen area. When you enter the room, Mickey personally greets you via a magic mirror in the foyer and the living room houses a top-of-the-line home entertainment center with three flat screen TVs.

An interesting touch can be found in the master bathroom. The tiles in the shower hide a hidden Mickey that only becomes visible when hit by warm water. The other bedroom is designed for children and includes an animator's desk with everything they'll need to practice their drawing skills.


The styling living room includes themed decorations from the Disney archives and three flat panel televisions. Photo Disney.


The master bedroom. Photo Disney.

Steakhouse 55

The name change at Granville's is quickly becoming complete. The Granville's sign at the entrance came down last week (and the new Steakhouse 55 sign may already be in place) and new menus are being used.

It is still open speculation but the reason behind the name change could have nothing to do with Disneyland. It looks like a new restaurant chain by the name of Granville Cafe is trying to kick off a national expansion with as many as 30 locations around Southern California. So, it may be the Disney decided to change the name to avoid any confusion. If this speculation is correct then the change probably makes sense, but it is still somewhat sad to see the loss of a hidden nod at the hotel. As we've mentioned in the past when talking about this name change, the restaurant is named after Bonita Granville. Granville was a child actor and at the age of 13 she was nominated for a best supporting actress Academy Award for her role in 1936's These Three. Her movie career most came to an end in 1947 (though she continued to make many TV appearances through the 1950s) when she married oil millionaire and TV producer Jack Wrather. Wrather, of course, would see an opportunity in Anaheim and developed the Disneyland Hotel in time for the park's opening. Fortunately, Bonita Tower remains as another callout to the hotel's history.


The new Steakhouse 55 logo as seen on the menus. Photo by David Michael.

As for practical implications, there seem to be none other than that the new name is kind of silly (though in 20 years it will probably feel like it has been there since time immemorial). The menu is the same (though "Granville's signature" dishes are now "Steakhouse 55 signature" dishes and it seems that the opportunity was taken to raise prices.

Most of the appetizer, side, and salad prizes have increased by $1 and the entrees are generally up $2. To be fair, this may have happened at any time since mid-September when we last looked closely at the menu.

Competition for Disneyland?

It is still a long shot at this point and way down the road if it actually does happen, but last week the Garden Grove City Council took a step towards opening a new theme park just a couple miles down the road from Disneyland.

No details on what the theme for a park would be have yet been developed but with a unanimous vote the council entered into an agreement with Los Angeles-based TL Properties to explore the idea. If it does happen any eventual development would certainly include retail and housing improvements in the surrounding area as well. The numbers thrown about at the city council meeting were that development could inject up to $4 billion into the local economy and the developers have expressed interest in other area projects as well.

Garden Grove, the next town to the south from Anaheim actually begins just on the other side of the Convention Center area from Disneyland but has long missed out on much benefit from being so close to one of the world's top tourist destinations and over the decades many grand plans have bloomed only to die on the vine. The specific piece of land in question is a 150-acre plot in the corner formed by Harbor Boulevard and the 22. Currently the area appears to be given over entirely to commercial properties (click here to see the Google Maps satellite image of the area).

True Life at the Egyptian

We've been completely lax in getting the word out about a special screening at the Egyptian Theater in Hollywood.

To promote tomorrow's release of the first wave of True-Life Adventure DVDs this Thursday the Egyptian will host a celebration honoring the series of Disney nature documentaries. No individual True-Life Adventure will be screened in its entirety but instead a "best of" reel will be shown and then followed by a panel discussion that will include Roy Disney. Keep in mind that not only is Roy Disney there as a connection to the Disney family and heritage but his first job with the Walt Disney Company, back in 1954, was an assistance editor on the first True-Life Adventure documentaries, including The Living Desert. Later he was a writer and producer for Mysteries of the Deep.

The Egyptian is located at 6712 Hollywood Blvd. in Hollywood. Tickets are available at the theater box office or online at Fandango. Tickets are $10 each for adults and $8 for students, seniors, and members. As of writing, tickets were still available for the event.

Just to be clear, the DVDs hit the street tomorrow (Tuesday) but this event is Thursday evening.

Two parks for $25

Two Southern California theme parks are teaming up with the Toys for Tots program to collect toys in exchange for free park admission.

Six Flags Magic Mountain, in Valencia, is holding their remaining toy drive days on December 9 and 10. Their requirement is that each person bring an unwrapped toy worth $15 to the park on the appropriate day. On the two days in question the park hours are 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.

Knott's Berry Farm is holding similar toy drives on December 9, 10, 16, and 17. The toys you bring should also be unwrapped and Knott's is asking that they have a value of at least $10. The park will be open from 10:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. on the Saturdays (the 9th and 16th) and 10:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. on the Sundays.

In both cases, the toy should still have its price tag attached.

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

Current Refurbishments and Attraction Closures

Disneyland

  • Disneyland Monorail closed August 21 - December 14 for station remodel and queue construction for Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage. Will likely close again in January.
  • Matterhorn Bobsleds closed September 5 - December 15 for complete refurbishment of track and ride systems.
  • Dumbo the Flying Elephant closed January 8 - January 17 for refurbishment.
  • Haunted Mansion closed January 8 - January 18 for removal of Christmas Haunted Mansion Holiday overlay.
  • it's a small world closed January 22 - February 1 for removal of Christmas overlay.
  • Gadget's Go Coaster closed January 22 - February 2 for refurbishment.
  • Splash Mountain closed January 23 - early May for major refurbishment. No major changes are expected but lift mechanics are being replaced.
  • Professor Barnaby Owl's Photographic Art Studio closed January 23 - early May due to closure of Splash Mountain (store is primarily for sale of Splash Mountain ride photos).
  • Disneyland Railroad closed February 5 - March 29 for track work and to allow heavy equipment access to Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage.
  • Mr. Toad's Wild Ride closed February 19 - March 29 for an extensive refurbishment.
  • Fantasmic! closed February 20 - March 16 likely due to other construction on the Tom Sawyer Island.
  • Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage is currently under construction and will open sometime around summer 2007.


The coral reefs that will adorn the entrance to Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage continue to progress. Photo by David Michael.

Disney's California Adventure

  • Orange Stinger closed January 16 - March 23 for full refurbishment.
  • Midway Mania under construction. Opens 2008.

  • Another update on how work progresses for Toy Story Midway Mania. Photo by David Michael.

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.

December

  • Lion King returns to Pantages Theater. Beginning November 16 for eight week run. Call 323-463-4367 for details and tickets. Perusal tickets are available to Annual Passholders and Disney Visa members through June 10.
  • Nightmare Before Christmas at El Capitan Theater. October 19-January 4. (link). After November 3, it is only two late shows per day.
  • The Santa Clause 3: The Escape Clause at El Capitan Theater. November 3-January 4 (link). Screening includes a stage musical show before each show.
  • Believe Holiday Fireworks show. Beginning November 9 for daily holiday fireworks show that will run through the end of the year.
  • A Christmas Fantasy parade. Beginning November 17 for daily parade that will run through the end of the year.

Current Discounts & Promotions

This section is taking a week off (just one this time, we promise!) while we get it current again.


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
12/3 12/4 12/5 12/6 12/7 12/8 12/9

DL: 8a–Mid
DCA: 10a–9p
SL

DL: 9a–6p
DCA: 10a–9p

DL: 9a-6p
DCA: 10a–9p

DL: 9a-8p
DCA: 10a–6p

DL: 9a-8p
DCA: 10a–6p

DL: 8a–Mid
DCA: 10a–9p

DL: 8a–Mid
DCA: 10a–10p
SL/SC

12/10 12/11 12/12 12/13 12/14 12/15 12/16

DL: 8a–Mid
DCA: 10a–9p
SL

DL: 9a–9p
DCA: 10a–6p

DL: 9a–9p
DCA: 10a–6p

DL: 9a–9p
DCA: 10a–6p

DL: 8a–11p
DCA: 10a–8p

DL: 8a–Mid
DCA: 10a–9p
SL

DL: 8a–Mid
DCA: 10a–10p
SL/SC

12/17 12/18 12/19 12/20 12/21 12/22 12/23

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

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

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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