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Update for January 2-7, 2006

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

News and Views

Happy, though busy, New Year!

As we feared might happen, Sunday's New Year's Eve partying at Disneyland turned out to be the busiest in several years—the combination of being over a weekend and very pleasant weather encouraged a major turnout.


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Restrictions on ticket sales began by 11:00 a.m. and Disney imposed various levels of entry restrictions throughout the day though for the most part re-entry was always available. Even Disney's California Adventure park (DCA) experienced some signifcant crowds in the afternoon. Once single-day ticket sales for Disneyland were suspended, arriving guests were offered the option to buy a ticket that would only allow them into DCA until 6:00 p.m., at which time they would be allowed into Disneyland if there was room. Quite a few people took them up on the offer swelling DCA attendance, although it did relax somewhat as people moved over to Disneyland in the evening.


In this photo taken around noon on New Year's Eve, the waterfront area of New Orleans Square is pretty crowded. Photo by David Michael.

For the most part, everybody on our MousePad message boards who were at the park on Sunday report having a fairly good time, but they also knew what they were getting into and had an easygoing attitude about it all. Those who showed up unaware, though, were likely put off by the long lines for everything (though everything continued to run smoothly).


You might recognize this as the area near the entrance to Haunted Mansion. What you see here, however, is the line for Pirates of the Caribbean. Photo by David Michael.

Consider this next paragraphs to be pure opinion. This is being written by Alex Stroup and does not necessarily reflect the opinion of MousePlanet as a whole. Take a look at this next photograph.


A bench in the Hub on New Year's Eve. Photo by David Michael.

That photograph was taken between noon and 1:00 p.m. on New Year's Eve. Now, I could be completely wrong about the intent of that blanket and bag. I have no idea who it belonged to. But I suspect it they were put there to hold the bench for the afternoon parade and evneing fireworks. At noon (and there were other benches similarly saved).

The issue of "camping" and saving spaces is one that comes up frequently on our message board and opinions vary. My view is that if on a very crowded day you want to have a sit down and find that all the benches are being enjoyed by blankets, backpacks, coats, etc., that if after a sufficient period it is obvious that they weren't just left there while the owner walked to a trash can, that it is perfectly appropriate to very politely fold up said items and neatly set them aside so you can rest your weary feet.

For events this kind of space saving seems to be increasingly prevelant. One person holding half an acre for 25 people on the waterfront five hours before Fantasmic!. A spread out blanket two hours before showtime in front of the castle for the fireworks. Strollers left as space claimers along the curbs of Main Street before the parade. I'm pretty easy going and when faced with such I'm more likely to just roll my eyes and move on, but it is becoming quite tacky. On busy days the prime Fantasmic viewing areas begin to look like a homeless camp unter a freeway overpass.

So, what are your thoughts on this issue? Let me know where you stand and what you think is appropriate techniques for getting the perfect spot and when some arbitrary line has been crossed.

New Year, new prices

As we reminded you last week, multiple-day park ticket prices have gone up (by $6 to $10 depending on the number of days) as of today.

When we wrote that last week, we'd also been hearing rumbles that the new year would also see an increase in price for one-day tickets, even though prices were raised just a few months ago in September. It isn't official yet (and we'll try to update the information as soon as we know for sure), but it appears that a one-day, one-park ticket will go up again either tomorrow (most likely) or as of next Monday. This is also likely why 2007 versions of the one-day, one-park and one-day parkhopper tickets are not listed on the Disneyland.com Web site.

As of this writing, we are still not certain what the new prices for one-day tickets will be, but the single park ticket will likely increase to at least $66 ($56 for children), $3 more than the current price. If so, this would represent a 25 percent increase in just two years. Back in early January 2005 the price was raised $2 to what then seemed outrageous $53.

If you live in Southern California, however, which is the primary market for the single-day tickets, the blow will be softened by the simultaneous return of the 2fer promotion. These tickets are sold at the single-day single-park price and allow the bearer to return within a month of first use to visit the other park. These tickets should be on sale beginning tomorrow (and will also be available in some Southern California Von's grocery stores and Disney Stores) and will expire on April 26th.

If you're not a Southern California resident and will be visiting the resort in late April, be aware that the weekend of April 21 will likely be a busy one for DCA (and to some extent Disneyland as well), as that is the last weekend before those tickets expire). Recent years have shown that nothing brings a crowd to DCA like an expiring unused day on a 2fer ticket.

Rockin' Chili Peppers

The musical selections for the Rockin' Both Parks promotion were announced last week. One band will see their music added to Space Mountain and California Screamin' for about three months beginning beginning tomorrow (and continuing through April 26).


Promotional artwork for the Rockin' Both Parks "event." Disney.

The band in question is the Red Hot Chili Peppers. Their 1989 cover of Stevie Wonder's "Higher Ground" will be playing inside Space Mountain and new lighting effects and projections will turn the interior of the mountain into something of a discotheque. Unfortunatley, it does not appear that any upgrades on the new effects have been made since Rockin' Space Mountain made its deput for Grad Niters last May. Since that generally played to so-so reviews, it seems unlikely that the response will improve with exposure to demanding annual passholders, many of whom are not happy at having it changed (even if just temporarily) just 18 months after getting it back in completely restored condition in summer 2005.

Over at DCA, the soundtrack for California Screamin' will get a customized version of the Red Hot Chili Pepper's 1999 hit "Around the World." It is an interesting choice since the park is themed to California, the ride is named after California, and the song is about everywhere in the world, though California (or, more specifically California women) does get a mention.

Well, it'll probably require less "customization" than "Californication."

There has been no announcement of any appearance by the Red Hot Chili Peppers at either park to kick off the promotion. It does look like they're available if one is in the works. After a quick search it appears that their next concert isn't until January 12 in Oklahoma City. If they do appear, Disney will likely ask that they wear more than one sock each.

Disney Gallery changes

Another change coming with the return of the off season tomorrow is a reduction in hours at the Disney Gallery. The showcase for Disney art and specialty merchandise will, beginning January 3, only be open on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays and closed completely the rest of the week. On days it is open at all it will open at noon and close two hours before the park does.

For now this change is only scheduled for the off season with the Gallery returning to a daily schedule in April. We'll all have to keep an eye on this, however, as a slow cycle of disuse wouldn't be out of the norm for Disneyland.

The Walk in Walt's Footsteps tour should still be able to enter the gallery even on days it is closed and this shouldn't have an impact on the balcony seating for Fantasmic since that show will be dark from next week through much of May.

New handstamp policy

It won't much matter when the park isn't busy but annual passholders should be aware of a new crowd control policy. For a few years now, AP holders have grown accustomed to no longer needing to get a handstamp when they leave the park if they will later be reentering.

Unfortunately this created a loophole on the busiest days that Disney management wanted to close. As the park grows more crowded it goes through several levels of admission restrictions. One of these levels is to no longer allow any people to enter Disneyland for the first time, but to still allow reentry by people who entered the park before this restriction. Since AP holders did not need to get handstamps when they left Disneyland, people who thought it through realized that they could show up for the first time after this restriction goes into effect, enter DCA, immediately leave and then come over to Disneyland where they will be treated as a "reentry."

So, to help keep this in check, on the busiest days Disneyland will require even AP holders to have their hand stamped if they want to reenter the park. Over the recent holidays Disneyland went to great lengths to let everybody know but some people still slipped through the cracks and more than one had trouble getting back in after visiting DCA or having dinner at Downtown Disney.

For the most ease of mind, it may be best to just get in the habit again of having your hand stamped as you leave the park.

Subs update

On the surface things seem to be moving forward quickly at Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage as it enters the home stretch for a summer opening. Inside the lagoon, painting has moved forward quite a bit since we last saw into the lagoon (the reopening of the monorail allows views, though they are obstructed. Animatronic sea creatures are being installed, and some of the submarine names are visible to peering eyes).


Animatronic crabs set for battle. Photo by David Michael.

The subs are numbered in an x07 sequence and the following names are known:

  • 107 – Nautilus


    The Nautilus. Photo by David Michael.

  • 207 – Scout
  • 307 – Voyager


    The Voyager. Photo by David Michael.

  • 607 – Explorer
  • 707 – Neptune


    The Neptune. Photo by David Michael.

  • Unknown – Marin


Much of the lagoon has been painted, and very colorfully too. Photo by David Michael.

This and that...

...The new designs for 2007 low denomination Disney Dollars has been released. Disney princesses will be featured with Ariel on the $1 bill, Aurora on the $5 bill, and Cinderella on the $10. The new bills will go into circulation at Disneyland beginning January 12.

...Mary Poppins has been on the El Capitan Theater calendar for a while now but until last week fans could only hope that it would be a return of the sing-along event that was so popular that last time it filled a gap in the theater's schedule. The show will run from January 11 through January 31 and guests should bring their singing voices. During the screening, song lyrics will appear on the screen to aid in joining in with the musical. The opening night performance (6:30 p.m.) will also be preceded by a panel of people involved with the movie (participants have not yet been announced) and tickets are still available. Mary Poppins will be followed by Peter Pan, though we haven't heard yet what special offering will be put up for that.

...If you were pleased when Disney announced several months ago that 2007 would see the eradication of trans-fats from foods sold in its American theme parks and branded foods, then you'll also be happy to know that Universal Studios has now followed suit. Effective immediately, the Universal Studios parks are frying foods only in oils that contain no trans fats and they hope to have them removed from other foods by the end of the year.

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

Current Refurbishments and Attraction Closures

Disneyland

  • 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.
  • Mark Twain Riverboat closed January 15 - January 19 for general maintenance and painting.
  • 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! dark February 20 - late May due to work on Tom Sawyer Island.
  • Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage is currently under construction and will open sometime around June 11, 2007.

Disney's California Adventure

  • Golden Zephyr closed January 8 - January 11 for maintenance.
  • Orange Stinger closed January 16 - March 23 for full refurbishment.
  • Grizzly River Run closed January 22 - January 25 for maintenance.
  • Midway Mania under construction. Opens 2008.
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.

January

  • 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.
  • Mary Poppins at El Capitan Theater. January 11-January 31. (link).

February

  • Peter Pan at El Capitan Theater. February 1-February 15. (link).
  • Bridge to Terabithia at El Capitan Theater. February 16-March 22. (link).

March

  • Meet the Robinsons at El Capitan Theater. March 30-May 20. (link).

Current Discounts & Promotions

Several current promotions offer discounted admission to the Disneyland Resort. For convenience sake, we have grouped the discount offers based on the number of days the tickets are valid. Check out the category that best matches the amount of time you plan to spend at the resort, and pick the offer which works best for you. And keep those tips coming – let us know if you find a better / different offer, so we can share it with other readers!

This first section is a list of discounts on ticket only purchases. Though it has become more common in recent years, Disneyland tickets are still rarely see deep discounts unless you are a resident of Southern California or Northern Mexico. For residents outside that area, the best discounts available tend to be simple advance purchase discounts.

As we are approaching the end of the year, the information below is for 2007 tickets. These tickets and prices are effective for first use after January 2, 2007. If you are still planning travel for the end of December, make sure you purchase 2006 tickets, which must have a first use of January 2, 2007. As of January 3, 2007, prices for multi-day parkhopper tickets will increase.

This information is pulled from many sources but much thanks must go to MousePlanet sponsor MouseSavers.com for providing the bulk of the information. If you know of any additional discounts, offers, promotions, or contests that should be listed in this section, drop us a line (link).

One Day Park Hoper
Regularly $83/$73

Southern California 1–Day Park Hopper – Disney is not currently offering a Southern California 1-Day Park Hopper at the Web site. Southern California AAA offices and Vons Supermarkets may be selling these tickets, but call ahead to confirm. Proof of residency will be required when redeeming them at Disneyland (Vons will happily sell you the ticket voucher regardless of where you are from but you still need to be an appropriate resident to use it. If you do see these available anywhere, email us to let us know.

Two Day Park Hopper
Regularly $122/$102

AOCVCB 2-Day Bonus Ticket ($119/$100) – The discount (from the Anaheim-Orange County Visitor & Convention Bureau) is $3 (adult) and $2 (child) and shipping on all orders is at least $10 (link). So if you are ordering more than 10 days in advance and your discount would be less than $10, you'll still come out ahead by ordering at the Disneyland Web site.

Three Day Park Hooper
Regularly $179/$149

Advance Purchase 3-day Park Hopper Bonus Ticket ($159/$129) – A discounted price for advance purchase through the Internet or select dealers. Available at the Disneyland Web site (link) where shipping is included if you order more than 10 days prior to your travel date. Also available from AAA offices in Northern California, Nevada, and Utah (not currently listed at the AAA Web site, you may need to call your local office). Disney Stores (California), Safeway grocery stores (California and Arizona), and certain travel agents may also sell these tickets. It is best to call and confirm before visiting a location, however. "Bonus Tickets" include one early admission day (Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, or Saturday). If purchased from AAA, the tickets come with free parking at the Mickey ∧ Friends parking garage (an $11/day value)

Southern California CityPass($235/$189) – This pass includes a 3-Day Disneyland Resort park ticket (including one early-entry day). It also includes one day admissions to SeaWorld San Diego, Universal Studios Hollywood, and either the San Diego Zoo or San Diego Wild Animal Park. The CityPass expires 14 days after first use at any location. Purchase CityPass through the Disneyland Web site (link) or onsite at the ticket booths of Disneyland Resort or the other theme parks included in the pass. You can also purchase directly from the CityPass Web site (link) though this has a minimum $7.50 shipping charge (no shipping charge from the Disney Web site if purchased more than 10 days in advance).

The Southern California City Pass can also be purchased online from Costco at a cost of $209.99/$169.99 (adults/child), 5% surcharge if not a Costco member and shipping fees apply. Booklets may be available for sale in some stores but varies widely. If you want to buy in person it would be best to call ahead and confirm availability. If you do buy at a Costco, you will initially purchase a large plastic container which you must trade for ticket books prior to leaving Costco!

AOCVCB 3-Day Bonus Ticket ($155/$126) – The discount (from the Anaheim-Orange County Visitor & Convention Bureau) is $4 (adult) and $3 (child) and shipping on all orders is at least $10. So if you are ordering more than 10 days in advance and your discount would be less than $10, you'll still come out ahead by ordering at the Disneyland Web site. Tickets include one early admission day (Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, or Saturday) (link).

Everybody Plays for the Kid's Price ($129/$129) – A special off season promotional ticket direct from Disney. First day of use must be on or before April 26, 2007. If you have the tickets shipped to you (as opposed to Will Call), you'll also receive a coupon for discounts on Disneyland merchandise. "Bonus Tickets" include one early admission day (Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, or Saturday) (link).

Four Day Park Hopper
Regularly $209/$179

Advance Purchase 4–Day Park Hopper Bonus tickets ($179/$149) – A discounted price for advance purchase through the Internet or select dealers. Available at the Disneyland Web site (link) where shipping is included if you order more than 10 days prior to your travel date. Also available from AAA offices in Northern California, Nevada, and Utah (not currently listed at the AAA Web site, you may need to call your local office). Disney Stores (California), Safeway grocery stores (California and Arizona), and certain travel agents may also sell these tickets. It is best to call and confirm before visiting a location, however. "Bonus Tickets" include one early admission day (Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, or Saturday). If purchased from AAA, the tickets come with free parking at the Mickey ∧ Friends parking garage (an $11/day value).

AOCVCB 4-Day Bonus Ticket ($174/$145) – The discount (from the Anaheim-Orange County Visitor & Convention Bureau) is $5 (adult) and $4 (child) and shipping on all orders is at least $10 Tickets include one early admission day (Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, or Saturday) (link).

Everybody Plays for the Kid's Price ($149/$149) – A special off season promotional ticket direct from Disney. First day of use must be on or before April 26, 2007. If you have the tickets shipped to you (as opposed to Will Call), you'll also receive a coupon for discounts on Disneyland merchandise. "Bonus Tickets" include one early admission day (Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, or Saturday) (link).

Five Day Park Hopper
Regularly $229/$199

Advance Purchase 5–Day Park Hopper Bonus tickets ($189/$159) – A discounted price for advance purchase through the Internet or select dealers. Available at the Disneyland Web site (link) where shipping is included if you order more than 10 days prior to your travel date. Also available from AAA offices in Northern California, Nevada, and Utah (not currently listed at the AAA Web site, you may need to call your local office). Disney Stores (California), Safeway grocery stores (California and Arizona), and certain travel agents may also sell these tickets. It is best to call and confirm before visiting a location, however. "Bonus Tickets" include one early admission day (Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, or Saturday). If purchased from AAA, the tickets come with free parking at the Mickey ∧ Friends parking garage (an $11/day value).

AOCVCB 5-Day Bonus Ticket ($183/$154) – The discount (from the Anaheim-Orange County Visitor & Convention Bureau) is $6 (adult) and $5 (child) and shipping on all orders is $10.

Everybody Plays for the Kid's Price ($159/$159) – A special off season promotional ticket direct from Disney. First day of use must be on or before April 26, 2007. If you have the tickets shipped to you (as opposed to Will Call), you'll also receive a coupon for discounts on Disneyland merchandise. "Bonus Tickets" include one early admission day (Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, or Saturday) (link).

Travel Packages

2007 Resort Dream Vacation Package – This official Disney travel package (link) start at $389/per person for two adults per two-nights. The $389 price is for the Paradise Pier Hotel and goes up for Disneyland Hotel or Grand Californian Hotel. In addition to the hotel room, the package includes appropriate park hopper tickets, one early admission (early admission days are currently Mondays, Tuesday, Thursdays, and Saturdays), a virtual prize for the Virtual Magic Kingdom online game, admission to Mickey's Toontown Morning Madness (currently available Mondays, Wednesday, Fridays, and Saturdays), a collectible Dream Coin, and Walt Disney Travel Company collectible pin and lanyard, luggage tag, and California Fun Book. Travel using this package must be booked by March 10, 2007, and completed by March 15, 2007.

2007 Good Neighbor Dream Vacation Package – This official Disney travel package (link).

ESPNZone MVP Club – Membership in the MVP Club does not offer any discounts on food. However, once a member you can make an online reservation for your party up to three days in advance and will get a 25% increase in points purchased when playing games in the Sports Arena (and 40 bonus points at activation). You must register online and your membership card will then be mailed to you within 2-weeks. The card must then be activated at any ESPNZone by the person who signed up for the card and ID will be required (link)

AAA Restaurant Discounts – AAA (American Automobile Association) members can receive a 10% discount (excluding alcohol) at Plaza Inn, Wine Country Trattoria Ariel's Grotto, PCH Grill, and Goofy's Kitchen.


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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