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Update for February 19-25, 2007

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

News and Views

For the bulk of this week's Park Update, we turn it over to Lani Teshima for her thoughts on some twists in how the 2007 Disneyland Half-Marathon is being managed.

Are you a California runner? Have you considered the WDW Half-Marathon?


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Editorial by Marathon Guide columnist Lani Teshima

In past Marathon Guide articles, I've questioned the logic behind Disney's decision to hold the 2007 Disneyland Half-Marathon on Labor Day weekend, one of the most crowded holidays of the year for the parks, and one of the most frustration-inducing, stressful, and expensive weekends of the year for those who choose to hit the freeways and airports.

By choosing to hold the event over Labor Day weekend, I surmised that Disney wanted to focus this event primarily on local Southern Californians as an alternative to the many other outdoor activities people could do for the holiday weekend. In fact, I came to the belief that instead of turning the Disneyland Half-Marathon into its own "vacation destination event" like the Florida counterpart in Walt Disney World, Disney was perhaps interested in turning the Disneyland event into a local crowd favorite.

However, Disney has taken a new step in a direction completely counter to this belief. For the 2007 event, Disneyland has limited its half-marathon registration for Southern Californians to 4,000 entrants. With a capacity of 14,000 runners altogether, this does not even make up a third of the registrations. Registration by residents of the five area counties (Orange, Los Angeles, San Diego, San Bernardino, and Riverside) has already reached the limit, so Southern Californians are now instructed to sign up for a waiting list.

I have a theory as to why Disney is doing this.

I suspect that it was actually never Disney's intent to turn the Disneyland Half-Marathon into a locally focused event. In fact, I'm inclined to believe that the race organizers wanted a popular "destination event" with the Disneyland Half in the same way that the Walt Disney World half and full marathons have become the very reason runners and their families would fly to Orlando. The family might do the 5K family fun run together on Friday (thus ensuring that the family check into their on-property Disney resort by at least Thursday), and dad could run the marathon while mom and the kids waved their "We

But as we all know, Disneyland is not the same as Walt Disney World when it comes to who the primary park visitors are. While the bulk of WDW visitors are from out of state, traveling in groups or families and staying for several days at a time, it's generally understood that a very large portion of visitors to Disneyland are local to (Southern) California, many have annual passes, and many of them visit on the weekends. So it would have been a natural extension of this pattern to see the registration for the Disneyland Half-Marathon be pretty heavily filled with Southern California residents.

Beyond this natural extension, however, the race organizers chose to hold the 2007 Disneyland Half-Marathon over Labor Day weekend. At the moment they did this, they basically sent a message that said, "Only local residents need apply" on their door. Why would someone from another region want to pay extra for inflated airfare, pay premium hotel rates, and jostle elbows to experience a Disney endurance event in Anaheim—in which the Disney parks are only a portion of the course--when they could enjoy the WDW version at a less crowded time of year?

Let's do some math. According to the Disneyland Half-Marathon Web site, overall registration is now up to 60% of capacity. The site also states that the event capacity is 14,000, so that means there are currently 8,400 registered. Of these, 4,000 are Southern California residents. These numbers do not include California residents outside of the five counties, and I suspect there is a fair number from Northern California as well.

We don't know how many Southern Californians are on the waitlist. It would also seem logical that those from out of state who planned several months in advance that they wished to travel to California for the event, and who needed to make hotel and air travel arrangements, wanted to do so quickly, and thus have already registered (since, as I mentioned, the event is over a peak travel period).

Southern Californians who still wish to participate in the event are currently being put on an official waitlist. I have a suspision many of these people will be allowed to register, although I would be curious to know when race organizers decide to start lifting the quota (if anyone has any dates for when batches of spots are made available, please contact us).

Now, here is where I think Disney took an interesting turn. The way the official announcement is worded, Disney wanted to make sure to reserve space for Southern Californians, because the event sold out so quickly last year, and those locals who put it off because they didn't have to make special travel arrangements, discovered they couldn't enter at all (of course, last year's event was the inaugural year—which as a special occasion would expect to have a high turnout—and it was not over a holiday weekend). Disney would have been fine to just announce 4,000 of 14,000 spots were being reserved exclusively for Southern California residents; however I do not believe Disney should have then immediately made them go on a wait list when the 4,000 spots were filled. Why stop them from registering? So you hold some spots aside; the rest of the spots should be available to whoever registers early.

I suspect a few crickets will be chirping while they wait for out-of-state registrations. Here's to hoping that Disney starts opening up the wait list sooner rather than later. The wait list form provides no way for people to say who they will be running with, so families aren't guaranteed to have all of their applicants accepted. But then, you're a local resident; you can always sign up for 2008. Right?


OFFICIAL ANNOUNCEMENT

Overall race registration has reached 60% of capacity.

We have filled the 4,000 registration spots reserved for local residents from the five-county Southern California area including Orange, Los Angeles, San Diego, San Bernardino, and Riverside. If you are a resident of the five-county area, at this time you are invited to sign up to join our waiting list. If additional registrations become available at a later date, members of the waiting list will be offered a chance to register, on a first come first served basis.

If you are a California resident from outside the five-county area, at this time you will need to sign up for the waiting list as well, however you will receive confirmation of acceptance into the race and instructions for completing your registration within one week's time of your application until our total race registration capacity of 14,000 has been met.


Original notice of race registration capacity for local Southern California and visiting runners.

The Disneyland Half Marathon presented by Kaiser Permanente will be able to accommodate an expanded field of 14,000 runners in 2007. In 2006 the Inaugural Disneyland Half Marathon reached its capacity of 12,000 participants quickly, and as a result, many runners who were not able to participate have asked for an opportunity to register in 2007.

In an effort to accommodate the Southern California running community and to allow additional visiting runners to be able to experience Disneyland Resort and the Southern California environment, 4,000 registrations are being reserved for local residents from the five-county Southern California area including Orange, Los Angeles, San Diego, San Bernardino, and Riverside. The remainder of the registrations will be reserved for visiting runners who plan to travel to Southern California over the Labor Day holiday weekend. The 4,000 registrations reserved for local Southern California runners will be accepted on a first come first served basis. When the 4,000 limit is reached, a waiting list will be created for residents of the five local counties. If additional registrations become available later, members of the waiting list will be offered a chance to register, on a first come first served basis. Once the entire 14,000 race spots have been filled, all additional runners may join the waiting list. At the Inaugural Disneyland Half Marathon in 2006, runners attended from 14 countries, 49 States, Washington DC, and Puerto Rico.

This and that...

...For those who care to know, the 2007 edition of Gay Days at Disneyland will be Friday, October 5 through Sunday, October 7. On Saturday the focus will be on Disneyland and then moving over to DCA on Sunday.

...Many of you will already have heard that Disney Legend matte artist Peter Ellenshaw passed away last week. While Ellenshaw was most active in matte painting for Disney movies, he also had an indelible impact on the early history of Disneyland when he painted the first maps of the park. For years his painting appeared in various souvenirs. Look for a remembrance of his career from Wade Sampson this Wednesday.

...Last Friday there was some excitement when a judge ruled against Disney in a case related to the long running Winnie the Pooh royalties dispute between Disney and the Slesinger family. A common question has been if this might spell the end of unpopular The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh attraction in Critter Country. The details are complex, but briefly: no. If Disney does eventually lose rights to Winnie the Pooh that resolution is likely still years away (remember this is a legal fight that began in 1991) and is by no means certain.

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

Current Refurbishments and Attraction Closures

Disneyland

  • Splash Mountain closed January 22 - May 18for major refurbishment. No major changes are expected but lift mechanics are being replaced.
  • Professor Barnaby Owl's Photographic Art Studio closed January 23 - May 18 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.
  • Tom Sawyer Island dark February 5 - May 24 due to add new pirate themed elements to the island.
  • Fantasmic! dark February 12 - May 31 due to work on Tom Sawyer Island.
  • Mr. Toad's Wild Ride closed April 16 - May 3 for an extensive refurbishment.
  • Disneyland Railroad closed May 7, likely to allow heavy equipment access to Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage. Unknown duration.
  • Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage is currently under construction and will open sometime around June 11, 2007.

Disney's California Adventure

  • Orange Stinger closed January 21 - March 8 for full refurbishment.
  • Grizzly River Run closed February 26 - March 1 for maintenance.
  • Toy Story 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.

February

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

March

  • Walt Disney Company Annual Shareholders Meeting. March 8 in New Orleans, Louisiana.
  • Pirates of the Caribbean 40th Anniversary Product Release & Signing. Sunday, March 18 (link)
  • Meet the Robinsons at El Capitan Theater. March 30-May 20. (link).
  • "Disneyland in Miniature" Product Release & Signing. Saturday, March 31 at Disneyland. See the Disney Gallery Web site for the release schedule.

April

  • Disneyland closes early at 4:00 p.m.. April 22 for a private party. The park will open early at 6:30 and DCA will have extended hours.

May

  • Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End. Not yet officially announced but park is scheduled to close at 5:00 p.m. No details available but likely similar to last two events.

June

  • Camp Pin-E-Ha-Ha. June 16-17. A pin collecting event. Registration opens March 21, 2007 (link).

September

  • Disneyland Half Marathon Weekend. September 2 and 3. Family Fun Run 5K on Saturday, September 2, Half Marathon on Sunday, September 3 (link).

Summer 2008

  • Disney Magic returns to Pacific Ocean itineraries. May 25-August 17, 2008.

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. This first section is a list of discounts on ticket only purchases. Though it has become more common in recent years, Disneyland tickets are rarely offered at 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.

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 Hopper
Regularly $63/$53

Southern California 2Fer Ticket – This ticket offers residents of zip codes 90000-93599 (and 21000-22999 in Baja California, Mexico) the opportunity to buy entry to one park on one day and to return within 30 days to visit the other park. Tickets expire after 5/26/07 and first use must be made by 4/26/07.

One Day One Park
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

Southern California 2-Day Park Hopper ($83/$73) – This ticket offers residents of zip codes 90000-93599 (and 21000-22999 in Baja California, Mexico) the two days of visits to the Disneyland Resort and on both days the ticket-holder can visit both parks. Tickets expire after 5/26/07 and first use must be made by 4/26/07.

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) starts 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) starts at $259/per person for two adults per two-nights. The $227 price is for the Red Roof Inn Anaheim Maingate and goes up for other Good Neighbor hotels. 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), 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.

Costco Travel Packages – Many different travel packages including visits to Disneyland and Disneyland hotels are available through Costco.com. When purchasing a Costco Disneyland travel package extras that will be included are: Mickey's Toontown Madness admission (currently available Mondays, Wednesday, Fridays, and Saturdays), a character breakfast per person, a $20 Disneyland Resort gift card, a collectible pin and lanyard, and a Costco luggage tag.

Annual Passholder Discounts at the Disneyland Resort Hotels – The Annual Passholder section of the Disneyland.com Web site (click here, registration required) has details about the current AP rates for the three Disneyland Resort hotels. The offer advertises rates as low as $129 per night (plus resort fees and taxes) at the Paradise Pier hotel, and MousePlanet readers have reported rates as low as $189 per night at the Grand Californian Hotel.

The discounts are available for stays between January 28th and February 14th, and there is a limit of two rooms per Passholder. For reservations, call (714) 956-MICKEY and ask for rate plan "APD." It may pay to have a flexible schedule and a little patience - readers have reported that it may take a little time for the phone agent to locate the best discount for your stay.

Other Discounts

Disney Visa Free-Stroller Rental – If you have a Disney Visa card you can rent up to two strollers for free at either Disneyland or Disney's California Adventure.

Rainforest Cafe Safari Club – Membership in the Rainforest Cafe gets you a 10% discount on entrees for up to four people. It also gets you priority seating if available. Additionally, after signing up, your membership card will be mailed to you and be accompanied by a $10 award good for your next visit to a Rainforest Cafe. So if you know you will be eating there while at Disneyland and have a Rainforest Cafe local to you, it may make sense to prejoin the Safari Club so that you can use the award during your trip. See the Rainforest Cafe Web site for details (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
2/18 2/19 2/20 2/21 2/22 2/23 2/24

DL: 8a–Mid
DCA: 10a–10p
SL/SC/DX

DL: 8a–Mid
DCA: 10a–10p
SL/SC

DL: 9a–9p
DCA: 10a–6p

DL: 9a–9p
DCA: 10a–6p

DL: 9a–9p
DCA: 10a–6p

DL: 8a–Mid
DCA: 10a–10p

DL: 8a–Mid
DCA: 10a–10p
SL/SC

2/25 2/26 2/27 2/28 3/1 3/2 3/3

DL: 8a–Mid
DCA: 10a–10p
SL

DL: 10a–8p
DCA: 10a–6p

DL: 10a–8p
DCA: 10a–6p

DL: 10a–8p
DCA: 10a–6p

DL: 10a–8p
DCA: 10a–6p

DL: 9a–Mid
DCA: 10a–9p

DL: 8a–Mid
DCA: 10a–10p
SL/SC

3/4 3/5 3/6 3/7 3/8 3/9 3/10

DL: 8a–Mid
DCA: 10a–10p
SL

DL: 10a–8p
DCA: 10a–6p

DL: 10a–8p
DCA: 10a–6p

DL: 10a–8p
DCA: 10a–6p

DL: 10a–8p
DCA: 10a–6p

DL: 9a–Mid
DCA: 10a–9p

DL: 8a–Mid
DCA: 10a–10p
SL/SC

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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