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Update for April 9-15, 2007

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

News and Views

More "Happily Ever Afters" at Disney

After watching an episode of The View in which event planner David Tutera promoted the four new wedding packages he created for Walt Disney World, blogger Michael Jensen from AfterElton.com contacted Walt Disney World to ask if same-sex couples could hold commitment ceremonies at Walt Disney World. Jensen was told that WDW requires couples to have a valid marriage license from Florida in order to hold a ceremony at the resort. As Florida does not recognize same sex marriages, the Disney spokesperson told Jensen that the company could not offer wedding services to gay couples.


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Jensen detailed his experience in a March 5 post on his Web site, (link) and questioned not only the legitimacy of Disney's argument against offering the services in Florida, but also the legality of the company's policy in California. Jensen reported that gay couples could rent a ballroom at the Disneyland Resort to hold a commitment ceremony, but the Rose Garden and other wedding venues were reserved for couples with marriage licenses. Jensen questioned whether denying domestic partners the ability to hold their ceremony in the Rose Garden was a violation of the state's Unruh Civil Rights Act, which prohibits California businesses from discriminating on the basis of a number of factors, including sexual orientation.

On Friday, the Los Angeles Times reported that Disney has changed its policy, and will now allow gay couples to hold commitment ceremonies at Disneyland, Walt Disney World and aboard the Disney Cruise Line. According to the Times article, Disney says the change came about after the company was contacted by a gay couple who wanted to plan a ceremony through the Fairy Tale Weddings office. The Times quoted Disney Parks and Resorts spokesman Donn Walker as saying, "We want everyone who comes to celebrate a special occasion at Disney to feel welcome and respected."

That claim rings a little false for those who feel that Disney seems to be spinning the story to imply that this was the first time the issue had ever been raised. Cynics wonder if Disney took this step in an effort to widen the potential market for their wedding packages, which start at $8,000 and top out at over $45,000. Perhaps someone realized the hypocrisy of hiring an openly gay wedding coordinator to create event packages that the company refused to sell to gay couples. In an unrelated interview last year, Tutera was quoted by The Advocate (link) as saying he would support a one-day "strike" by gay event planners like the strike depicted in the 2006 film Wedding Wars.

Neither the Disneyland or Walt Disney World Fairy Tale Wedding Web sites have been updated to reflect the new policy, so interested couples should contact Disney directly.

A Disneyland Scheduling Reminder

We've mentioned this in every Park Update since it was announced, but it bears repeating as the date draws near. Disneyland will close 4:00 p.m. on Sunday, April 22 for a private travel industry party. The park will open early at 6:30 a.m. The two performances of Walt Disney's Parade of Dreams will be at 12:45pm 3:45pm. Disney's California Adventure park will be open from 10:00 a.m. until 11:00 p.m, with a performance of Disney's Electrical Parade at 8:45.

As that is also the last weekend that Southern California residents can purchase the discounted 2-Day Park Hopper, you can expect the resort to be extremely busy both days. We don't often encourage people to stay away from the resort, but this is one of those times. High traffic days often have some redeeming feature about them to justify braving the crowds—extended hours, additional entertainment—but this weekend looks to offer nothing more than a lot of people trying to do as much as possible in less time. If you have the luxury of visiting the resort another time, save yourself the headache and hit the beach instead.

Lilly Belle Train Set product release and signing.

Disneyland will release the HO Scale Walt Disney's Carolwood Pacific Railroad Bachmann Train Set on Saturday April 21 at the Disneyana shop on Main Street. The set will be offered for $150, plus tax. Artist Dave Avanzino will also release a Limited Edition shadow box, offered at $825. Avanzino, Senior Vice President, Creative Development, Walt Disney Imagineering, Tony Baxter; and Disney Railroad Historian, Michael Broggie will be available to sign purchases of these two items from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. Photos and more information are available at the Disney Gallery Web site (link)

New virtual rides in the Virtual Magic Kingdom

Disney's Virtual Magic Kingdom received two new additions this week, in the form of virtual Alice and Wonderland and Peter Pan's Flight attractions. Each "ride" takes players through show rooms that re-create the in-park attractions, and include lots of new interactive elements—tea pots that steam and rainbows that appear when the ride vehicles pass certain areas in the "track."

This-and-That

... The Digital Bits Web site reported last week (link ) that wave 7 of The Disney Treasures will be released on December 11, 2007. The three DVDs will be Oswald the Lucky Rabbit, The Chronological Donald: Volume 3 and the long-awaited Disneyland: Stories, Secrets and Magic.


A helicopter lifts a mast towards Tom Sawyer's Island. Photo by David Michael.

... David Michael, a frequent contributor of photos to MousePlanet, arrived at the Disneyland Resort in the wee hours of April 4th to take photos of a mast being installed on Tom Sawyer's Island. Engineers used a helicopter to lift and transport the mast from backstage to the island. The mast was installed next to the mill on the front of the island.


The mast is now in place next to the mill on Tom Sawyer's Island. Photo by David Michael.

Tip of the Week – evening cruises on the Sailing Ship Columbia

The renovation of Tom Sawyer Island and the resulting hiatus of Fantasmic has created a rare opportunity to enjoy a evening cruise around the Rivers of America on the Sailing Ship Columbia. The ship is docked during the day and is open to guests who want to explore the ship and its below-deck "sailing museum." The ship leaves for its first trip around the Rivers shortly after dusk – check with cast members for the exact time. That first trip is bound to be crowded, so wait for one of the later sailings to enjoy an uncrowded deck.

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 18 for major refurbishment. No major changes are expected but lift mechanics are being replaced.

  • Work continues on Splash Mountain. Photo by David Michael.

  • 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).
  • Mark Twain Riverboat closed through May 25.
  • Tom Sawyer Island dark February 5 - May 24 due to add new pirate themed elements to the island.

  • Construction walls surround the dock for the rafts to Tom Sawyer Island. Perhaps they are creating a larger waiting area. Photo by David Michael.

  • Fantasmic! dark February 12 - June 14 due to work on Tom Sawyer Island.
  • Tarzan's Treehouse closed indefinitely. The attraction closed unexpectedly the week of March 19 and the reopening date is not known. Rumors suggest it may not be until 2008.

  • Tarzan's Treehouse is still closed. Photo by David Michael.

  • Aladdin's Oasis dark April 30 - May 4.
  • Disneyland Railroad closed May 7 - June 8, likely to allow heavy equipment access to Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage.
  • Mr. Toad's Wild Ride closed May 14 - May 18 and then again June 4 - June 7.
  • Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage is currently under construction and will open sometime in June or July, 2007.

  • The weekly photo of the Submarine Lagoon shows little change. Photo by David Michael.

Disney's California Adventure

  • Playhouse Disney - Live on Stage! closed May 29 - June 7.
  • Midway Games closed close June 20 for an unknown duration. The future of the games has been somewhat questionable due to the Toy Story Mania project.
  • Toy Story Mania under construction. Opens 2008.


Those aren't crop circles, it's just the latest development in the construction of the Midway Mania attraction. Photo by David Michael.


Another look at the Midway Mania construction site. 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.

April

  • Meet the Robinsons at El Capitan Theater. March 30-May 20. (link).
  • Lilly Belle Train Set product release and signing. Saturday, April 21 at Disneyland. Artist Dave Avanzino; Senior Vice President, Creative Development, Walt Disney Imagineering, Tony Baxter; and Disney Railroad Historian, Michael Broggie will be available to sign purchases from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. Photos and more information are available at the Disney Gallery Web site link.
  • 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.
  • 2nd Annual Food and Wine Weekends April 27 - May 20. Special dining and food events on each Friday, Saturday, and Sunday (link)
  • MouseAdventure April 29 at the Disneyland Resort. Registration full.

May

  • Pirate Disney Dollars, May 15. The third series of Pirates of the Caribbean Disney Dollars will be released on May 15, 2007 at the Disneyland Resort. More information about current and future Disney Dollar releases is available at this link.
  • Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End premiere, May 19. 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.
  • Grad Night events: Thursday, May 17; Thursday, May 24; Thursday, May 31

June

  • Grad Night events: Thursday, June 7; Wednesday, June 13; Thursday, June 14 and Thursday, June 21
  • Camp Pin-E-Ha-Ha. June 16-17. A pin collecting event. Registration opens March 21, 2007 (link).

July

  • "Disneyland in Miniature" Product Release & Signing. Sunday, July 8 at Disneyland. The Disneyland marquee accessory will be available for purchase as part of a larger Disney Gallery anniversary event.
  • "Disneyland in Miniature" Product Release & Signing. Saturday, July 28 at Disneyland. New releases include the Plaza Pavilion / Enchanted Tiki Room / Aladdin's Oasis sculpture and additional Main Entrance accessories. (This date is tentative and subject to change)

September

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

October

  • Gay Days at Disneyland (unofficial event) Friday, October 5 through Sunday, October 7. Event attendance will be higher at Disneyland on Saturday, DCA on Sunday (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.

Receive a $150 Disney Gift Card when you stay four nights or longer at one of the Hotels of the Disneyland Resort between January 3 and April 22, 2007. Book your reservations by April 19, 2007 to take advantage of this magical offer. Travel must be completed by April 26, 2007. Click here for more details and restrictions.

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.

Free Metrolink and ART weekends – Disneyland Resort annual passholders can participate in a joint promotion with Anaheim Transportation Network (ATN) and Metrolink. As part of Metrolink Weekends, Passholders can use Metrolink to travel for free to the Anaheim Metrolink station, then use a free ART pass to get to the Disneyland Resort. The offer is great for those who live in the Inland Empire or southern Orange County, but those who live north of Disneyland will have to get there the old fashioned way. The list of eligible origin stations is limited, and none of the southbound trains coming from LA are included in the promotion.

To take advantage of this promotion, you’ll first need to visit the promotional Web site at this link. (link = http://www.rideart.org/weekend/) Use the username "train" and password "ap" to login. Once you register, you will receive by mail:

  • One 4-trip ticket from Metrolink to be used on the Weekend Train
  • One round-trip ticket for the ART system from Metrolink station to the Disneyland Resort (a $5 value)
  • A free 7-day pass on Metrolink (one 7-day pass per household).
  • The Metrolink Weekends schedule is available at this link, and the ART operating schedule is available at this link. (link = )

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
3/18 3/19 3/20 3/21 3/22 3/23 3/24

DL: 8a–Mid
DCA: 10a–10p
SL

DL: 9a–11p
DCA: 10a–8p

DL: 9a–11p
DCA: 10a–8p

DL: 9a–11p
DCA: 10a–8p

DL: 9a–11p
DCA: 10a–8p

DL: 8a–Mid
DCA: 10a–10p

DL: 8a–Mid
DCA: 10a–10p
SL/SC/DX

3/25 3/26 3/27 3/28 3/29 3/30 3/31

DL: 8a–Mid
DCA: 10a–10p
SL

DL: 9a–11p
DCA: 10a–8p

DL: 9a–11p
DCA: 10a–8p

DL: 9a–11p
DCA: 10a–8p

DL: 9a–11p
DCA: 10a–8p

DL: 8a–Mid
DCA: 10a–10p

DL: 8a–Mid
DCA: 10a–10p
SL/SC/DX

4/1 4/2 4/3 4/4 4/5 4/6 4/7

DL: 8a–Mid
DCA: 10a–10p
SL/SC

DL: 8a–Mid
DCA: 10a–10p
SL/SC

DL: 98a–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

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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