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Update for February 21 – 27, 2011

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

News and Views

Disney's Fastpass of the future | Survey says: possible changes to Disneyland Resort Hotel reservations policies | Disneyland construction | Disneyland Hotel construction | DCA construction | Registration opens Thursday for MouseAdventure Luau | This and That...

Disney's Fastpass of the future

During a presentation at last week's Disney Investor Conference, Walt Disney Parks & Resorts Chairman Tom Staggs shared a very high-level look at Disney's plans for future growth, including:

  • Expansion projects at both the Disneyland Resort and Walt Disney World Resort
  • The addition of two new ships to the Disney Cruise Line
  • The construction of a new destination resort in Hawaii
  • Plans for a new Disney theme park complex in Shanghai, China.

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What caught the attention of most people who heard or read the speech, however, was an announcement that Disney is developing what Staggs called "a version of Fastpass for ... entire Disney vacations" (a transcript is available on the Disney Web site).

Staggs said the new tools will help vacation planners "create a personalized itinerary that gives them the exact Disney vacation they want," and described a future where visitors would be able to reserve times for attractions and character interactions, secure seats at shows, make dining reservations, and pre-book many other guest experiences "all before even leaving their house." These plans are some of the first public comments Disney has released about the company's super-secret Next Generation Experience, or "NextGen." The remarks don't offer a lot of detail about what the future holds for theme park visitors, but have sparked fresh waves of speculation among the various Disney online communities.

Staggs' comments seem to fall in line with rumors about a "personal experience portal" first reported last April on the Progress City USA blog (link). According to that post, guests would use the personal experience portal—which sounds like the Web site Staggs described—to enter their personal data and travel plans before their trip. Progress City USA speculated that this data could be encoded in a radio-frequency identification (RFID) chip embedded in a wristband that guests would wear during their trip to the park.

The Orlando Sentinel's Jason Garcia has previously written about the NextGen project (link), and says that the RFID chips "would then interact with sensors deployed throughout Disney's resorts," and could be used for such mundane tasks as keyless hotel entry and cashless transactions, but that the technology could also be used to create personalized ride experiences where characters recognize (via the chip) and interact with guests. Staggs touched on this in comments about the new meet-and-greet locations being built in Florida's Magic Kingdom for the Disney princesses, saying, "the tools that we’re creating will allow them to greet and interact with our guests in an immersive and highly personalized way."

Anyone who has sailed on the new Disney Dream cruise ship has already seen an early integration of RFID technology in the ship's new Key to the Dream cards, which contain a hidden RFID chip that opens stateroom doors and identifies passengers during the safety drill when embarking and disembarking the ships. When Staggs says they plan to simplify the check-in process with guests arriving to the resort with room key in hand, it's not difficult to conclude that room key will do more than just unlock doors. RFID technology is also incorporated in the wristbands issued to children participating in youth programs on the ships, and helps track kids as they enter or leave spaces like the Oceaneer's Lab.

Considerable controversy surrounds the use of RFID technology due to the ease by which the information on these chips can be read from a distance without the owner's knowledge by anyone who has the ability to intercept and decode the RFID transmission.

Staggs' remarks also raise a question about who will be able to use these new systems, and how the theme park experience will change for those who don't or can't (due to cost, privacy, or other reasons). People planning a once-in-a-lifetime trip to the Disney theme parks may be interested in online tools to help plan every minute of their Disney vacation, but casual visitors, including annual passholders and drive-market customers who decide on the spur of the moment to take the kids to Disneyland for the day, will be less likely to need or use such tools. If a significant percentage of the Fastpass tickets for popular shows and attractions are allocated before the park gates even open in the morning, day guests could be left waiting in the standby lines or shut out altogether. Consider Walt Disney World's current dining reservations system, where visitors plan table service meals well in advance of arrival, making same-day reservations difficult or impossible to obtain—and then imagine that carrying over to Space Mountain or Fantasmic.

Now consider the program in light of recent surveys, that suggest Disney might be looking at creating a two-tier system in which customers who book full price vacation packages would have access to new benefits and services, where those who book discounted rates would be subject to a new set of restrictions. [For more information on these surveys, see the next topic in this Update.] Once Disney has this new technology in place, how much of a stretch is it to expect the company to use it to create incentives and rewards for those who are willing to shell out some extra cash? Earlier booking windows, more choices per day, exclusive character opportunities - these are all things that could be offered to customers who book full-price rooms, where those who opt for discounted room rates could have less access to advance reservations and fewer personalized interactions. In the extreme, characters could lavish attention on children of parents who could afford the pricier accommodations, leaving the kids whose parents could "only" afford the All Star Resorts wondering why Mickey never seems to know their name.

Concluding this portion of the presentation, Staggs said, "It will be some time before we roll out the bulk of these initiatives," so you shouldn't expect to see any major changes in the next several years. As one person pointed out, Disney is the company that can't seem to handle online registration for the Candlelight Processional without the server crashing, and has issued hundreds of Premier Annual Passports which, more than a year after the pass was introduced, still are not recognized by cash registers on either coast. When the Disney Cruise Line Web site is so notoriously unstable that the call center has a prompt for "if you're calling about a problem you've experienced with our Web site," it's hard to imagine that Disney is ready to launch a new vacation planning portal anytime soon. Even so, it seems clear that NextGen is going to bring the most dramatic change since the end of the ticket system, and it's equally clear that we've only seen the tip of the proverbial iceberg.

What do you think about the NextGen details Staggs announced? How do you feel this technology will change your Disney theme park experience? Share your thoughts on our MousePad discussion forum (link).

Survey says... Possible changes to Disneyland Resort Hotel reservations policies

A reader sent MousePlanet details of an online survey received after a recent trip to the Disneyland Resort. The survey questions reveal some possible changes to hotel reservations policies at the Resort, and give a glimpse at possible future benefits. Some of the changes look intriguing, and some look downright loathsome.

Before we get into the details, let me preface this by saying that just because something is included in a survey, does not mean the Resort is going to make any changes anytime soon, if at all, or even in the format presented. Surveys like this are used to gauge consumer reaction to possible alternatives, and the final product, promotion, or policy change will likely undergo several revisions before ever being presented to the public. That said, these surveys provide a fascinating glimpse into what Disney is currently evaluating, and it's fun to chew over the possibilities.

This survey was about possible radical new changes to the Disneyland Resort Hotel reservations policies, and seemed to be based on a two-tier system. Guests who book full-price packages would have access to new benefits and services (some at an additional cost), while guests who book discounted rates would be subject to a new set of restrictions.

On the positive side, Disney asked respondents to rate how appealing each of these possible perks would be for guests paying full price for their stay:

  • 1 free character breakfast
  • 1 free quick-service breakfast entrée and drink per person per night
  • Access to dining reservations 2 weeks before other guests
  • 1 guaranteed World of Color Fastpass for each member of party
  • Guaranteed early check-in after 8:00 a.m.
  • Complete reservation flexibility; no modification or cancellation fees
  • Complimentary round-trip shuttle between California airports and your Disneyland resort hotel
  • 1 free Fastpass for each member of party per night of stay
  • Access to free, supervised children's activities
  • 1 free refillable mug per person
  • 1 guaranteed dining reservation at most Disneyland Resort restaurants.

None of the items listed here that are low- or no-cost to Disney, like the free Fastpass tickets, the World of Color Fastpass, the guaranteed dining reservation or the refillable mug, would make me change my booking practices. They are value-added items— like the free pins, lanyards, and reserved seating coupons offered to those who book through select travel providers like AAA— that are nice but are not deal-makers for me. It is interesting to note that these are items not currently offered through any of those other travel providers, and I wonder if they are being considered as a new exclusive to the Disney Travel Company packages or for another travel provider.

The free character breakfast and quick-serve breakfast have some value, especially if they can be used at the hotels, where hot breakfast options are few and expensive. Guaranteed early check-in and access to children's activities (possibly a free pass to Pinocchio's Workshop) may be enticing to some depending on your travel plans. But are you going to be willing to pass up a 20-30% discount for any of them?

The most interesting benefit is the complimentary round-trip shuttle between California airports and a Disneyland resort hotel. This not only may be a much more compelling offer to some travelers, but is also the second indication I've had in recent weeks that Disney may be considering bringing Walt Disney World's Magical Express service to the Southern California resort.

For guests who book at a discounted rate, Disney also asked survey respondents to evaluate how "restrictive" these potential new conditions would be:

  • Reservation deposits are non refundable, but can be held for future use within two years
  • Reservation deposits are non refundable, and cannot be carried over for future use
  • Choice of price range, but specific Resort assigned by the Disney Reservation system
  • Full payment required at time of booking
  • Reservations are not eligible for upgrades
  • Magic Mornings are not available
  • Dining reservation booking window begins later than for other guests (30 days prior to arrival instead of 60 days)

With this, Disney is signaling another potential change to their cancellation policy, this time making some of all of your reservation deposit non-refundable, but leaving the possibility that you may be able to "bank" that deposit for a future trip. I could see imposing such a penalty for changes less than a certain time out from the stay, say 60- or 90-days, but not telling me my deposit is forfeit the second I pay it.

Likewise, I'm not happy about the requirement that reservations for discounted rooms be paid at the time of booking, which essentially requires guests to choose between paying up front or paying more. While such policies are common with deep-discount travel sites, I expect a bit more flexibility when booking directly from Disney. But the whole idea of Disney choosing my hotel for me is a deal-breaker. I do not want to have to pay full price for the Disneyland Hotel just to avoid being stuck at the Paradise Pier.

The Magic Morning restriction is odd because Magic Morning access is technically a function of your admission media, not your hotel. Most park-hopper tickets that are 3-days or longer include one Magic Morning admission, though Disneyland Resort hotel guests are also allowed access to that benefit on a "space available" basis. Unless Disney changes its ticketing policy, I would expect visitors with qualifying park hopper tickets to still have access to that benefit, though annual passholders staying at the hotels would lose the option.

Finally, the 30-day window for dining reservations would require a larger change in Disney's restaurant operations, because Disney Dining currently operates with a 60-day window for all guests, regardless of whether they are staying at a Disneyland Resort hotel or not.

Now that you've seen the survey proposals, what do you think about these possible changes? Is Disney just taking reasonable steps to keep pace with trends in the hotel industry, (a similar policy change on cancellations by local favorite and MousePlanet sponsor Howard Johnsons Anaheim Hotel was met with strong complaints when announced earlier this year), or is The Mouse going too far with these possible-yet-unconfirmed changes? Finally, is it fair for Disney to penalize people who take advantage of the discounts Disney so heavily promotes in their marketing?

Share your thoughts on our MousePad discussion forum (link). And if you happen to be sent an interesting survey from Disney, be sure to tell us about it.

Disneyland construction

The Main Street repaving project is still scheduled to continue through March 4th, but all of the construction walls were removed for the holiday weekend and most of the street looks to have already been repaved. If you want to see construction walls, head to Tomorrowland where the work around the Star Tours building means the already-narrow walkways are just a little more crowded. The Star Trader shop has reopened in its temporary new home inside the Starcade, and the new location is a curious mix of arcade games and Star Wars merchandise. Many of the arcade games were left around the walls of the space, and visitors intent on getting in a jam session of Guitar Hero Arcade didn't seem to mind rubbing elbows with shoppers searching for Captain EO plush. The temporary location still offers the Build Your Own Lightsaber and photo imaging kiosks.


The exterior of the Star Tours ride building is getting a fresh coat of paint. Photo by Adrienne Vincent-Phoenix.


Construction work in Tomorrowland has made the walkways even more narrow than usual. Photo by Adrienne Vincent-Phoenix.


The Tomorrowland repaving project continues outside Innoventions. Photo by Adrienne Vincent-Phoenix.


The Star Trader store has relocated to the Starcade during construction. Photo by Adrienne Vincent-Phoenix.


Video games and Star Wars merchandise share the floor in the temporary Star Trader shop. Photo by Adrienne Vincent-Phoenix.

Disneyland Hotel construction

With work wrapping up on the Wonder tower, the Disneyland Hotel construction project has moved onto the Magic Tower. Construction walls block a portion of the front drive, and there is now just one exit from the rear of the building. The construction of the new pool area has closed a portion of the usual walkway back to the Wonder tower, so guests trying to get from the hotel's front desk to their Wonder tower room must take a detour through the Dreams tower lobby. Fortunately the detour has a new scenic option, as small windows set into one of the construction walls allows a look at the work going on at the former site of the hotel's waterfalls.


The Disneyland Hotel construction project has moved into the Magic tower . Photo by Adrienne Vincent-Phoenix.


A small walkway provides the only exit from the rear of the Magic tower. Photo by Adrienne Vincent-Phoenix.


Access to the Wonder tower now requires a detour through the Dreams tower lobby. Photo by Adrienne Vincent-Phoenix.


One section of construction wall has windows that allow guests to peer into the construction site. Photo by Adrienne Vincent-Phoenix.


A peek through the construction wall windows shows the current state of the former waterfall area. Photo by Adrienne Vincent-Phoenix.


Work is almost completed on the exterior of the Wonder tower. Photo by Adrienne Vincent-Phoenix.


The front entrance of the Wonder tower is still closed due to construction. Photo by Adrienne Vincent-Phoenix.

DCA construction

Cars Land

Having been away from the Resort for almost a month, it was a surprise to see how much had changed in such a short period of time. Most striking was the progress in Cars Land, and especially the Cadillac Range that surrounds the new land. It's fascinating to look at the range and see the whole progression of the construction, from the bare steel rods on the east side of the ridge to the fully-painted section on the western end.


This image outside the Blue Sky Cellar makes it easier to understand what you're seeing in the Cars Land construction area. Photo by Adrienne Vincent-Phoenix.


The Cadillac Range behind Cars Land is in varying stages of completion. Photo by Adrienne Vincent-Phoenix.


Bare steel is covered with metal mesh to form the details of the Cadillac Range. Photo by Adrienne Vincent-Phoenix.

Textured coatings and then paint are applied to produce the finished effect. Photo by Adrienne Vincent-Phoenix.


A nearly complete section of the range is visible just behind the Pacific Wharf. Photo by Adrienne Vincent-Phoenix.

I am curious to see how they will finish the back side of the range, the currently-flat expanse that faces Paradise Pier. As more of the range is completed, the difference between the freshly-painted faux desert landscape and the Paradise Pier architecture is becoming more and more noticeable.


The new landscape abruptly terminates at the edge of Paradise Pier. Photo by Adrienne Vincent-Phoenix.


The back section of the Cadillac Range is currently flat and featureless. Photo by Adrienne Vincent-Phoenix.


The DCA parade building, currently decorated to match Paradise Pier, backs onto Cars Land's new desert landscape. Photo by Adrienne Vincent-Phoenix.

Little Mermaid

As the clock ticks down to the spring/summer debut of DCA's new Little Mermaid attraction, lights have been installed on the east portion of the building previously unveiled, and workers are installing decorative elements onto the main facade. Workers were installing a plaster frieze featuring Ariel's sisters above the building's central arch, and decorative seashells are visible behind the scaffolding.


Work continues on the new Little Mermaid attraction building. Photo by Adrienne Vincent-Phoenix.


Workers install a decorate frieze on the exterior of the Little Mermaid attraction building. Photo by Adrienne Vincent-Phoenix.


The frieze features several of Ariel's sisters holding musical instruments. Photo by Adrienne Vincent-Phoenix.


The frieze is trimmed with small seashells. Photo by Adrienne Vincent-Phoenix.


Shells are used as decorative accents all over the building. Photo by Adrienne Vincent-Phoenix.


Work continues on the new Little Mermaid attraction building. Photo by Adrienne Vincent-Phoenix.

Paradise Pier

While the grand opening date for the Little Mermaid attraction has yet to be announced, cast member calendars still list May 25th as the debut date for the new Paradise Pier restaurants and Goofy's Sky School. The new exhibit in the Blue Sky Cellar includes a back story for the restaurants (explaining how an immigrant Italian family built their restaurant empire along Paradise Pier, starting with a burger stand and eventually expanding to a pizza-and-pasta restaurant), and a new barnyard theme for Goofy's Sky School. Work has also begun on a new, unlabeled kiosk located between Jumpin' Jellyfish and the Silly Symphony Swings. Cast members tell us this will be a foods location, most likely a beer kiosk.


A new walkway is under construction in front of Seaside Souvenirs. Photo by Adrienne Vincent-Phoenix.


The former Muholland Madness track has been painted blue as part of the Goofy's Sky School retheme. Photo by Adrienne Vincent-Phoenix.


According to the back story posted in the Blue Sky Cellar, this burger stand was the first restaurant opened by an Italian immigrant family who came to Paradise Pier. Photo by Adrienne Vincent-Phoenix.


The back story goes on to explain that, fueled by the success of their initial venture, the family went on to open this pizza restaurant. Photo by Adrienne Vincent-Phoenix.


The temporary park has been plowed under, and workers are building the foundation for a new kiosk. Photo by Adrienne Vincent-Phoenix.


The new kiosk is unlabeled on the plans of the area, but cast members say it will be a beer counter. Photo by Adrienne Vincent-Phoenix.

Registration opens Thursday for MouseAdventure Luau

Aloha teams! Grab your grass skirts and get ready to hula, as MouseAdventure presents our Spring 2011 event: MouseAdventure Luau! Whether you've played every game since 2000 or are forming a team for your very first Adventure, there's a division just right for you:

Basic Division – Disneyland Park

MouseAdventure Luau will send you on a merry hunt through Disneyland to solve a series of mysteries created by the Tiki Gods. You'll need the time management skills of Maui and the balancing talent of Ngendi (but probably not the dancing skills of Koro) to solve these tasks before the luau ends!

Advanced Division – Disneyland and Disney California Adventure Parks

If you crave even more MouseAdventure, register for the Advanced division and try your hand at all of the Basic Division quests PLUS an extra set of challenges inside Disney California Adventure.

101 Division – Disney California Adventure Park

For brand-new teams who just want to get an idea of what this MouseAdventure thing is all about without the stress of competition, our MouseAdventure 101 event is for you. Try your hand at a series of classic MouseAdventure puzzles from past events in Disney California Adventure in a relaxed, non-competitive setting.

Registration for all three divisions will open at 9am on Thursday, February 24 at MouseAdventure.com. Visit the site for more information,  and sign up for the MouseAdventure Newsletter.

This and That...


Pluto, Donald and Goofy greet fans and create a bottleneck outside Cafe Orleans during the Mardi Gras celebration. Photo by Adrienne Vincent-Phoenix.

...Disneyland continues their Family Fun Weekends Mardi Gras celebration next Friday, Saturday and Sunday. The promotion takes place in New Orleans Square, and includes Mardi Gras-themed menu additions at Cafe Orleans, French Market and the Blue Bayou, as well as additional area decorations, entertainment and character appearances.


Disneyland continues the celebration of Mardi Gras next weekend. Photo by Adrienne Vincent-Phoenix.

...Disney announced last week that ElecTRONica has been extended through Labor Day weekend, which means we won't see a return of GlowFest for summer 2011. Unfortunately this also means that we're probably in for seven more months of ElecTRONica-related Tweets and Facebook posts from the Disneyland Resort's social media team.


The "it's a small world" facade is used as a screen for Disney's new nighttime memories show. Photo by Adrienne Vincent-Phoenix.

...While Disneyland's new "The Magic, the Memories and You" light show is getting mostly positive reviews from park guests and Disney fans, some are not happy about changes Disneyland made to the Mary Blair-designed "it's a small world" facade in order to accommodate the show. Panels of white mesh were used to cover cutouts in the facade to create a larger "screen" for the nighttime show. Critics say the additions ruin the design and dimensionality of the facade, and hide some elements that were intended to be viewed through the cutouts.


Cutouts in the "it's a small world" facade were covered with mesh to enlarge the usable space for Disneyland's "The Magic, the Memories and You!" show. Photo by Adrienne Vincent-Phoenix.

...About.com is hosting their first-ever Readers' Choice Awards for Theme Parks (link), and The voting is open through March 8, and winners will be announced March 15.

...Adventures by Disney has canceled the Vancouver Escape add-on for the Disney Cruise Line's upcoming sailings to Alaska. Guests who already booked the 3-night pre-cruise package are being offered alternative options, including a full refund. Adventures by Disney is still offering the "Alaskan Wonders Family Cruise Vacation" overlay for the 7-night Alaskan sailings beginning with the May 10 departure. The package includes shore excursions in each port, including a private helicopter ride and guided dog sledding experience in Juneau; private shipboard receptions; a private dinner in Palo; all shipboard gratuities and a CD of photos taken during the excursions. The cost, which is in addition to the base cruise fare, is $2,299 for adults and $2,069 for children ages 4-11. If you've already booked one of the Alaska cruises, call your travel agent or Disney Cruise Line to add this package.

...Cast members at the Disney Dine Line say that the Resort will likely not hold the annual Easter brunch buffet in 2011, but that the decision has not yet been finalized. The brunch was announced but later canceled in 2010. We should know by next week what other Easter dining options will be available at the Resort.


New movie theater-style candy features clever names and catchy character art. Photo by Adrienne Vincent-Phoenix.

...First spotted at Walt Disney World, a new line of boxed movie theater-style candy is now available at the Candy Palace in Disneyland. The packaged candies include "Just a mouth full of candy makes the wait time go down" gummy bears; "I'm not bad, I'm just drawn to chocolate" mint creams in a Jessica Rabbit box; and "Mine!, Mine!, Mine!" candy fish in a box decorated with the Finding Nemo seagulls. The candy is $3.95 per box.

...Cast members tell us that Fastpass service for Buzz Lightyears Astro Blasters has been discontinued, and that the machines will be used for Star Tours 2.0 when that ride reopens later this year. The Buzz Lightyear Fastpass machines are currently behind a construction wall, and it's unclear if the machines will be remain in place or be relocated closer to the Star Tours entrance. Star Tours previously offered Fastpass, but the service was discontinued and the machines removed due to lack of demand.

...Visitors planning trips to the Disneyland Resort should make a point to check the Current Refurbishment/Attraction Closures section each week for the most recent updates. The Disneyland Resort Web site currently only publishes refurbishment information about six weeks in advance. Be sure to check the most recent Park Update (link) for the latest changes, as MousePlanet does not edit past Park Updates to reflect changes.


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Current Refurbishments and Attraction Closures

Disneyland

  • Star Tours – closed for refurbishment and addition of elements for Star Tours 2.0.
  • Star Trader – closed through April 30 for refurbishment. The store has been relocated to the Starcade during construction.
  • Horse Drawn Streetcars – closed through March 4, 2011 due to Main Street paving project.
  • Main Street Vehicles – closed through March 4, 2011 due to Main Street paving project.
  • Splash Mountain – closed through May 26, 2011 for refurbishment.
  • The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh – closed through March 8, 2011 for refurbishment.
  • Davy Crockett Explorer Canoes – closed through March 8, 2011 for refurbishment.
  • Hungry Bear Restaurant – closed through March 8, 2011 for refurbishment.
  • Pooh's Corner – closed through March 8, 2011 for refurbishment.
  • Briar Patch – closed through March 8, 2011 for refurbishment.
  • Sailing Ship Columbia – closed March 7–9, 2011 for refurbishment.
  • Goofy's Playhouse – closed through March 7–10, 2011 to replace the flooring.


Workers are renovating the exterior of the Castle Heraldry Shoppe. Photo by Adrienne Vincent-Phoenix.

Disney California Adventure

Seasonal refurbishments:

  • Playhouse Disney closed through March 24, 2011
  • "it's tough to be a bug" closed February 28 to March 3, 2011


This sketch from the Blue Sky Cellar shows a concept for the new facade for Playhouse Disney. Photo by Adrienne Vincent-Phoenix.

Construction-related closures:

  • Burger Invasion – closed through May 24, 2011 for conversion into Paradise Garden Grill.
  • Corn Dog Castle – closed due to construction in the area. An employee publication lists May 25, 2011 as its return date.
  • Souvenir 66 – closed due to construction in the area. An employee publication lists May 25, 2011 as its return date, and "Seaside Souvenirs" as the new name of the store.
  • Pizza Oom Mow Mowclosed through May 24, 2011 for conversion to Boardwalk Pizza and Pasta.
  • Mulholland Madness – closed through May 24, 2011 for conversion to Goofy's Sky School.


Construction is also taking place at the Paradise Pier Hotel. Photo by Adrienne Vincent-Phoenix.

Downtown Disney & Disneyland Resort Hotels

  • Disneyland Hotel Guest Laundry – closed due to construction. Hotel guests can use the laundry facility at Disney's Paradise Pier hotel during the refurbishment.
  • Disneyland Hotel Fitness Center – closed due to construction. The fitness center equipment has been relocated to one of the hotel meeting rooms; ask the front desk for the most recent information as you check in.
  • Lost Bar, Croc's Bits 'n' Bites, Hook's Pointe and the Wine Cellar – closed. These four locations will be replaced by a new bar and fast casual restaurant during the ongoing Disneyland Hotel courtyard renovation project. During construction, the only remaining bar at the Disneyland Hotel is the Lounge at Steakhouse 55, which has extended its operating hours, and will be closing at 1:30 a.m. nightly.

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.


Resort Events

Check here to see if a large convention, competition or park event might fall during your next trip to the Disneyland Resort. If you know of any in-park events, official or unofficial, that should be listed here, please send us an e-mail (link).

2011

  • ElecTRONica – Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights through mid-to-late April 2011.
  • Spring 2011 MouseAdventure at the Disneyland Resort – Sunday, April 10, 2011. Registration opens Thursday, February 24 at 9am. Visit MouseAdventure.com for more information and to sign up for the MouseAdventure newsletter.
  • AIDS Walk Orange County – May 1, 2011.(link)
  • D23 Expo – August 19-21, 2011 at the Anaheim Convention Center. Tickets for the D23 Expo 2011 are now on sale (link).
  • Sixth annual Disneyland Half Marathon Weekend – September 2–4. Registration for the 2011 event is now open (link).
  • Fall 2011 MouseAdventure at the Disneyland Resort – no details yet. Visit MouseAdventure.com to sign up for our newsletter.
  • Fall 2011 MouseAdventure at Walt Disney World – Saturday, November 12, 2011. Visit MouseAdventure.com to sign up for our newsletter.

We also recommend checking the convention calendar at the Anaheim/Orange County Visitor and Convention Bureau Web site (link). When looking at that site, remember to note both the number of people and the number of rooms resulting from each convention. A gathering of 25,000 people booking few room nights (indicating most will be driving in to the area for their meeting) can impact traffic around the Resort much more than a crowd of 25,000 staying in area hotels. Of course, that second group is going to make finding a hotel room more difficult (and possibly more expensive), so it's best to book your own room as early as possible if you see that a big convention is in town during your trip.

Current Discounts & Promotions

Several current promotions offer discounted admission to the Disneyland Resort. For your convenience, 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 that works best for you. And keep those tips coming—let us know if you find a better or 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 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.

If you know of any additional discounts, offers, promotions, or contests that should be listed in this section, drop us a line (link). Note, we are no longer listing offers from the Anaheim-Orange County Visitor & Convention Bureau, as their convenience fee negates any savings.

One Day, One Park Ticket – Regularly $76/$68

One Day Park Hopper – Regularly $101/$91

No discounts currently available to the general public. Check with your employer, school or credit union to see if any discounts are available through them.

Two Day, One Park per Day Ticket – Regularly $151/$136

Two Day Park Hopper – Regularly $161/$146

Resident 2-Day 1-Park per Day ticket ($99) – The Resident 2-Day 1-Park per Day ticket offers Southern California residents (ZIP Codes 90000–93599) and Northern Baja California residents (ZIP Codes 21000–22999) two one-day admissions to either Disneyland or Disney California Adventure before May 14. The ticket is the same price for adults and children. This base ticket is NOT a park hopper, and allows admission to only one park per day. For an additional $10 per person, you can upgrade the ticket to a Park Hopper ticket that allows admission to both parks each day, a savings of up to $52 compared to the box office price of a two-day park-hopper ticket.

There is no "fuse" on this ticket, which means you can use the first admission today and wait until May to use the second admission, but the ticket must be purchased by April 15, 2011 and the ticket expires May 14, 2011. There are no blockout dates for this ticket. The ticket can be purchased online at Disneyland.com, and printed from home for immediate use, and is also available at the Disneyland Resort ticket booths. You can also purchase the ticket at participating Disney Stores and authorized third party ticket outlets, including many local grocery stores.

Keep in mind that Disney states "proof of residency required for purchase and admission," but MousePlanet readers who purchased these tickets from off-property retailers last year consistently reported that they were not required to provide proof of residency at the time of purchase. However, be aware that Disneyland Resort Main Gate cast members can—and may—require proof of residency when you first use the tickets. Whether this will happen to you is an oft-debated topic on our MousePad discussion boards, but we feel it would be irresponsible for us to not at least make our readers aware of the "official" policy, regardless of what the park's actual practice may be.

*Now for the fine print:

Tickets valid for Southern California residents within ZIP codes 90000-93599 and Northern Baja California residents within ZIP codes 21000-22999. Proof of residency required for purchase and admission. The Resident 2-Day 1-Park per Day Ticket entitles Guests to admittance to either Disneyland® Park or Disney California Adventure™ Park each day for two days. This ticket is not valid for visits to both theme parks on the same day. The first visit must occur on or before May 14, 2011. Tickets may only be purchased between January 2, 2011 and April 14, 2011.

Three Day Park Hopper – Regularly $206/$185

Disney Military Promotional 3-Day Park Hopper Ticket ($99) – A discounted price offered to active or retired U.S. military personnel or their spouses. Based on past offers, Disney defines "Eligible Service Members" as active or retired members of the U.S. military, including active members of the National Guard or Reservists and active or retired members of the U.S. Coast Guard. This discount is available at MWR/ITT offices at your military base, or at the Disneyland Resort ticket booths. Valid military ID is required. The price is the same for adults and children, and total of six tickets may be purchased per military member, regardless of who purchases the tickets (the member or their spouse). Tickets must be purchased by September 28 and used by October 1. The ticket has the following 2011 blockout dates: February 18–21; April 17–23; and July 1–4.

As far as we can tell, there is no "fuse" on this ticket, so you may have more than the standard 13 days from first use to use the remaining two admissions, but we highly recommend you contact your base MWR/ITT office for more details before making travel plans. Please note that this ticket is not a "bonus" ticket, and so does not include an early admission day.

Promotional 3-Day Park Hopper Bonus Ticket ($169/$152) – A discounted price offered with advance purchase through the Disneyland Web site (link). This discount is not available at the theme park ticket booths, you must purchase online before you arrive. Tickets are valid January 4 to April 14, 2011. Tickets must be purchased by, and first day of use must occur on or before, April 14, 2011. Tickets expire 13 days after the first day of use or April 27, 2011, whichever occurs first. "Promotional Tickets" include one early admission day (Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, or Saturday).

Advance Purchase 3-day Park Hopper Bonus Ticket ($186/$165) – 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 supermarkets (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 (a $15/day value).

Four Day Park Hopper – Regularly $231/$199

Costco 4-Day Park Hopper Ticket ($199) – A special offer for Costco members who are also residents of Southern California, this ticket is currently not sold online but must be purchased in Costco stores. Unlike most other park hopper tickets, this ticket has no "fuse" - you can use the first admission today, and have until May 31, 2011 to use the remaining admission days before the ticket expires. The ticket is blocked out August 22-23 and the entire period between Dec 15, 2010 Jan 1, 2011, and has an "upgrade value" of $151.

The ticket states that visitors "Must reside within ZIP codes 90000-93599" and that "Proof of residency required upon redemption." The ticket you purchase at Costco is a valid admission ticket, and you can take it directly to a main entrance gate to use it. We've been told that, to prevent the unauthorized "transfer" of tickets between visitors (i.e., you use the first two days of the ticket and give it to a friend to use the second two days), visitors will be required to write their name on the ticket when it is first used for admission, and to show ID with that same name upon subsequent admissions. Obviously minor children will be exempt from the ID requirement, but will also be required to write their name on the ticket when it is first used. Adults should plan to have ID with them to use the ticket.

Promotional 4-Day Park Hopper Bonus Ticket ($182/$163) – A discounted price offered with advance purchase through the Disneyland Web site (link). This discount is not available at the theme park ticket booths, you must purchase online before you arrive. Tickets are valid January 4 - April 14, 2011. Tickets must be purchased by, and first day of use must occur on or before, April 14, 2011. Tickets expire 13 days after the first day of use or April 27, 2011, whichever occurs first. "Promotional Tickets" include one early admission day (Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, or Saturday).

Advance Purchase 4-Day Park Hopper Bonus tickets ($201/$178) – 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 supermarkets (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 (Sunday, Tuesday, Thursday, or Saturday). If purchased from AAA, the tickets come with free parking at the Mickey & Friends parking garage (an $15/day value). These tickets are now valid through January 3, 2011.

Five Day Park Hopper – Regularly $251/$219

Promotional 5-Day Park Hopper Bonus Ticket ($192/$172) – A discounted price offered with advance purchase through the Disneyland Web site (link). This discount is not available at the theme park ticket booths, you must purchase online before you arrive. Tickets are valid January 4 - April 14, 2011. Tickets must be purchased by, and first day of use must occur on or before, April 14, 2011. Tickets expire 13 days after the first day of use or April 27, 2011, whichever occurs first. "Promotional Tickets" include one early admission day (Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, or Saturday).

Advance Purchase 5-Day Park Hopper Bonus tickets ($211/$186) – 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 supermarkets (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 (Sunday, Tuesday, Thursday, or Saturday). If purchased from AAA, the tickets come with free parking at the Mickey & Friends parking garage (a $15-per-day value).

Six Day Park Hopper – Regularly $256/$230

Promotional 3-Day Park Hopper Bonus Ticket ($196/$176) – A discounted price offered with advance purchase through the Disneyland Web site (link). This discount is not available at the theme park ticket booths, you must purchase online before you arrive. Tickets are valid January 4 - April 14, 2011. Tickets must be purchased by, and first day of use must occur on or before, April 14, 2011. Tickets expire 13 days after the first day of use or April 27, 2011, whichever occurs first. "Promotional Tickets" include one early admission day (Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, or Saturday).

Advance Purchase 6-Day Park Hopper Bonus tickets ($216/$190) – 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 supermarkets (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 (Sunday, Tuesday, Thursday, or Saturday). If purchased from AAA, the tickets come with free parking at the Mickey & Friends parking garage (a $15/day value).

Disneyland Resort Annual Passports

No discounts currently available for new purchases. Southern California residents can take advantage of the monthly-payment plan when purchasing any but the Premier Annual Passport.

Premier Annual Passport: $700 [Valid at Disneyland Resort and Walt Disney World Resort]
Premium Annual Passport: $459
Deluxe Annual Passport: $329
Southern California Annual Passport: $239
SoCal Select Annual Passport: $184
Parking Add On: $99

2011 Southern California CityPass
$269/$229

2011 Southern California CityPass ($276/$229) – This pass includes a 3-Day Disneyland Resort Park Hopper Bonus Ticket (including one early-entry day), a one-day admission to either San Diego Zoo or San Diego Wild Animal Park, as well as one-day admission to Sea World San Diego and Universal Studios Hollywood. The CityPass expires 14 days after first use at any location, and the first use must occur by January 3, 2011. Purchase CityPass through the Disneyland Web site (link) or on-site 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).

You can also purchase the Southern California City Pass online from Costco at a cost of $259.99/$209.99 (link), which includes free UPS shipping. A 5% surcharge for non-members, and shipping fees to members in Alaska and Hawaii may also apply to your purchase. 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 Costco, you will initially purchase a large plastic container or a cardboard placard that you must trade for ticket books prior to leaving Costco!

    Hotel/Travel Packages

    Spring discount offers –In addition to the Promotional Park Hopper bonus tickets listed above, the Disneyland Resort released two hotel discounts for Spring 2011. We definitely recommend comparing prices on these offers before you buy, as it may be less-expensive to book the hotel and ticket separately.

    Room-only hotel discounts

    The Resort is offering discounts of up to 35 percent on select Disneyland Resort Hotel stays for arrivals January 2, 2011 through April 13, 2011. Travel must be booked by February 19, 2011, and a two-night minimum stay is required. Offer is not valid January 14 & 15, or February 18 & 19. Discount applies only to standard and concierge level rooms. There is a limit of two rooms per reservation, and a maximum of five people per room.

    4th night free

    Book a three-night, four-day package at a Disneyland Resort Hotel and get a fourth night free. Package includes four nights at a Disneyland Resort Hotel and four-day park hopper bonus tickets for a family of four. This offer is valid for arrivals from January 4 through April 11, 2011; travel must be completed by April 15, 2011. This package also includes one collectible pin, lanyard and luggage tag per person; one $20 ESPN Zone game card per package, admission to Mickey's Toontown Morning Madness, preferred seating at select shows in DCA, and a "character call" from a Disney character.

    Book online at the Disneyland.com Web site (link), call Walt Disney Travel Company at (714) 520-6425, or contact your favorite travel agent and ask them to look for the "Spring Package Offer."

    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 collectible pin and lanyard, and a Costco luggage tag per person, plus a $20 Disneyland Resort gift card per package.

    Disney's Resort Magic and Good Neighbor Magic Packages – Package includes accommodations one of the three resort hotels or at one of 40 Good Neighbor hotels; Souvenir Park Hopper ticket with voucher for admission to Mickey's Toontown Morning Madness, plus one Magic Morning (early entry) for three-day or longer Park Hoppers; preferred seating at four DCA attractions (Disney's Aladdin – A Musical Spectacular, Muppet*Vision 3D, It's Tough to be a Bug!, Golden Dreams); Preferred Showing of Turtle Talk with Crush (Priority Viewing at the first Turtle Talk with Crush show of the day, on any one day - one voucher per Guest); Disney Dream coin keepsake (one per package), luggage tag and lanyard with pin; a Downtown Disney Fun Card; and a "Character Call" from Mickey, Minnie, Goofy or Crush. Contact Disney Travel or your favorite travel agent.

    Contact a MousePlanet sponsor travel agency for assistance in booking your next trip

    Mouse Ears Vacations
    www.mouseearvacations.com

    Small World Vacations
    www.smallworldvacations.com

    Other Discounts

    Character Dining Vouchers – Discounted character dining vouchers are available for purchase online, in advance of your trip, through Get Away Travel (link).

    Disney Visa Discounted Stroller Rental – If you have a Disney Visa card you can rent up to two strollers at a discount of 50%. This offer is valid only at the Main Gate rental location between Disneyland and Disney California Adventure.

    Rainforest Cafe Safari Club – Members of the Rainforest Cafe get priority seating when available (which makes a huge difference on busy days), and a 10% discount on entrees for up to four people. 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 two 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).

    Park Schedule/Blockout Dates

    DL: Disneyland

    DCA: Disney California Adventure

    Annual Pass blockout dates:

    • SL – Southern California Select Annual Pass
    • SC – Southern California Annual Pass
    • DX – Deluxe Annual Pass

    Disneyland Resort Special Events:

    • MM – Magic Morning at Disneyland
    • TT – Toontown Morning Madness at Disneyland
    • Grad Nite
    • MHP – Mickey's Halloween Party at Disneyland

    MousePlanet Special Events:

    2/20 2/21 2/22 2/23

    2/24

    2/25 2/26
    DL: 8a-12a

    DCA: 10a-10p

    SL/SC/DX

    MM
    DL: 8a-12a

    DCA: 10a-10p

    SL/SC

    TT
    DL: 9a-9p

    DCA: 10a-8p

    MM

    DL: 9a-9p

    DCA: 10a-8p

    TT

     

    DL: 9a-9p

    DCA: 10a-8p



    MM
    DL: 8a-12a

    DCA: 10a-10p



    TT


     
    DL: 8a-12a

    DCA: 10a-10p

    SL/SC

    MM / TT
    2/27 2/28 3/1 3/2

    3/3

    3/4 3/5
    DL: 8a-12a

    DCA: 10a-10p

    SL

    MM
    DL: 10a-8p

    DCA: 10a-8p



    TT
    DL: 10a-8p

    DCA: 10a-8p

     

    MM

    DL: 10a-8p

    DCA: 10a-8p



    TT
    DL: 10a-8p

    DCA: 10a-8p



    MM
    DL: 8a-12a

    DCA: 10a-10p



    TT


     
    DL: 8a-11p

    DCA: 10a-10p

    SL/SC

    MM / TT
    3/6 3/7 3/8 3/9

    3/10

    3/11 3/12
    DL: 8a-11p

    DCA: 10a-10p

    SL

    MM
    DL: 9a-8p

    DCA: 10a-8p



    TT
    DL: 9a-8p

    DCA: 10a-8p



    MM
    DL: 9a-8p

    DCA: 10a-8p



    TT
    DL: 9a-8p

    DCA: 10a-8p



    MM
    DL: 8a-12a

    DCA: 10a-10p



    TT


     
    DL: 8a-12a

    DCA: 10a-10p

    SL/SC

    MM / TT
    3/13 3/14 3/15 3/16

    3/17

    3/18 3/19
    DL: 8a-12a

    DCA: 10a-10p

    SL

    MM
    DL: 8a-11p

    DCA: 10a-10p



    TT
    DL: 8a-11p

    DCA: 10a-10p



    MM
    DL: 9a-11p

    DCA: 10a-10p

    TT

     

    DL: 9a-11p

    DCA: 10a-10p



    MM
    DL: 8a-12a

    DCA: 10a-10p

    SL

    TT
    DL: 8a-12a

    DCA: 10a-10p

    SL/SC/DX

    MM / TT
    3/20 3/21 3/22 3/23

    3/24

    3/25 3/26
    DL: 8a-12a

    DCA: 10a-10p

    SL

    MM
    DL: 9a-11p

    DCA: 10a-9p



    TT
    DL: 9a-11p

    DCA: 10a-9p



    MM
    DL: 9a-11p

    DCA: 10a-9p



    TT
    DL: 9a-12a

    DCA: 10a-9p



    MM
    DL: 8a-12a

    DCA: 10a-10p

    SL

    TT
    DL: 8a-12a

    DCA: 10a-10p

    SL/SC/DX

    MM / TT
    3/27 3/28 3/29 3/30

    3/31

    4/1 4/2
    DL: 8a-12a

    DCA: 10a-10p

    SL

    MM
    DL: 9a-12a

    DCA: 10a-9p



    TT
    DL: 9a-12a

    DCA: 10a-9p



    MM
    DL: 9a-12a

    DCA: 10a-9p

    TT

     

    DL: 9a-12a

    DCA: 10a-9p



    MM
    DL: 8a-12a

    DCA: 10a-10p

    SL

    TT
    DL: 8a-12a

    DCA: 10a-10p

    SL/SC/DX

    MM / TT
    4/3 4/4 4/5 4/6

    4/7

    4/8 4/9
    DL: 8a-12a

    DCA: 10a-10p

    SL

    MM
    DL: 8a-12a

    DCA: 10a-10p



    TT
    DL: 8a-12a

    DCA: 10a-10p



    MM
    DL: 8a-12a

    DCA: 10a-10p

    TT

     

    DL: 8a-12a

    DCA: 10a-10p



    MM
    DL: 8a-12a

    DCA: 10a-10p

    SL

    TT
    DL: 8a-12a

    DCA: 10a-10p

    SL/SC/DX

    MM / TT
    4/10 4/11 4/12 4/13

    4/14

    4/15 4/16
    DL: 8a-12a

    DCA: 10a-10p

    SL

    MM
    DL: 9a-11a

    DCA: 10a-10p



    TT
    DL: 9a-11a

    DCA: 10a-10p



    MM
    DL: 9a-11a

    DCA: 10a-10p

    TT

     

    DL: 9a-12a

    DCA: 10a-10p



    MM
    DL: 8a-12a

    DCA: 10a-10p

    SL

    TT
    DL: 8a-12a

    DCA: 10a-10p

    SL/SC/DX

    MM / TT

    Visit our Annual Passholders Blockout Dates 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.

    Visit the Park Hours section of our Disneyland Park guide for additional details about Magic Morning and Toontown Morning Madness, including available attractions.

    Entertainment schedule: Go directly to the Disneyland Resort schedule for this week at Disneyland.com here.

     

     



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    Adrienne Vincent-Phoenix (@MousePlanetAVP) is an original MousePlanet staffer and manages to find time for all of this while running two retail stores, MouseShoppe and CharmingShoppe.