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Update for June 27 – July 5, 2011

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News and Views

Goofy's Sky School opens at DCA | Welcome to Wilderness Explorer Camp | A new day for Grad Nite | Celebrating the 4th of July at the Disneyland Resort | This and That... | Crowd Forecast

Goofy's Sky School opens at DCA

Goofy's Sky School won't officially open until Friday, but the ride is now in "soft open" previews to the public for previews. Goofy's Sky School is an updated theme for 2011 from the original Muholland Madness "mad mouse" coaster that opened at the start of Disney California Adventure park. In the new version, Goofy has turned his chicken farm into a flight school, with predictable Goofy results. Remnants of the chicken farm are visible throughout the ride's queue, from the wooden crates that form the Fastpass machines, to the chicken feed bags that have been re-purposed to hold parachutes.


Take the time to read the notices in the Goofy's Sky School queue as you prepare to fly. Photo by Adrienne Vincent-Phoenix.


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Posters, notes, framed certificates and especially a bulletin board along one wall as you near the loading area provide quite a lot of detail and back-story to those who take the time to read them, and it's unfortunate that you pass through this area too quickly to really see everything. Several of them exhibit creative "editing" by Goofy.


Lesson one is how to take off. Photo by Adrienne Vincent-Phoenix.


Lesson two teaches riders how to fly. Photo by Adrienne Vincent-Phoenix.

There is really nothing new about the ride itself—the track is unchanged, just painted blue. There are a series of billboards detailing each lesson along the way, and a final sign congratulating you for learning to fly "the Goofy way" as you return to the station. The brief, under-two-minute ride does, however, offer a fantastic view of the new Paradise Pier, and is worth at least one trip if only to see how much DCA has changed in 10 years.


Lesson three demonstrates how to turn. Photo by Adrienne Vincent-Phoenix.


Goofy's Sky School offers a great view of the renovated Paradise Pier. Photo by Adrienne Vincent-Phoenix.

Disney marked the reopening of the Silly Symphony Swings, which updates the theme of DCA's original Orange Stinger, with a simple "opening moment" rather than a big media event when the ride debuted last year, and they are likely to mark Friday's public opening of Goofy's Sky School in much the same way.


The last two lessons are how to nosedive, and how to land. Photo by Adrienne Vincent-Phoenix.


The last two lessons are how to nosedive, and how to land. Photo by Adrienne Vincent-Phoenix.

Also scheduled to open Friday are Paradise Garden Grill and Boardwalk Pizza and Pasta, though we're hearing the grill may be delayed a few more days. You can view the seating area for the two restaurants from the exit of Goofy's Sky School, and appears to be nearly complete. We'll post the updated menus for the two locations as soon as we have them.


Congratulations - you've survived Goofy's Sky School. Photo by Adrienne Vincent-Phoenix.

Welcome to Wilderness Explorer Camp

DCA's Redwood Creek Challenge Trail is now the home of the Wilderness Explorer Camp, a themed overlay based on the Disney•Pixar film, UP. Russell, the boy hero of the movie, and Dug the dog both appear separately in the area; Russell in a short new skit at the Ahwahnee Camp Circle, and Dug as a walk-around character inside the Challenge Trail entrance. [In response to a question posed by several readers after we wrote about this last week, Dug appears to be wearing his "talking" collar, but does not actually speak during his meet-and-greet sessions. Yes, we were disappointed, too.]


The Wilderness Explorers have moved into the Redwood Creek Challenge Trail. Photo by Adrienne Vincent-Phoenix.

Visitors entering the Challenge Trail receive an activity map that contains a self-directed series of six tasks to complete throughout the area. As explorers complete each task, they scratch off the corresponding circle on their map to reveal a "badge."


The Camp Notices sign has been updated with photos of Dug and Russell. Photo by Adrienne Vincent-Phoenix.

The first task is to find Kevin's tracks in the ground around the Millennium Tree to earn the Tracking badge (no hints; you'll have to find it yourself). You can earn the Bravery badge at the Sequoia Smokejumpers tire slide, and earn the Rock Climbing badge at the Cliff Hanger. Younger kids may prefer to earn the Wolf Howl badge on the Hoot-n-Holler logs, or collect the Animal Spirit badge at the spirit cave. The final Puzzle Solving badge is earned by completing a matching game using the totem animals along the Quail Trail.


Visitors can earn six "badges" by completing activities in the Redwood Creek Challenge Trail. Photo by Adrienne Vincent-Phoenix.


This new map details the activities in the Redwood Creek Challenge Trail. Photo by Adrienne Vincent-Phoenix.

The tasks are self-directed and do not require validation from a cast member, so some choose to actually complete all six tasks, and others just scratch off all of the circles as soon as they get the map. Once they've completed all six, explorers can become a "Senior Wilderness Explorer" if they attend the Ahwahnee Camp Circle show.


To earn the first badge, visitors must find Kevin's tracks somewhere around this sign. Photo by Adrienne Vincent-Phoenix.

This new show replaces the "Magic of Brother Bear" show, and really just serves to set up the meet-and-greet with Russell. Having lost his GPS, compass, and back-up compass to a variety of mishaps, Russell is lost in the woods, and Wilderness Explorer Sage recruits the audience to help Russell find his way back to the group. Once Russell arrives, he leads the group through the Senior Wilderness Explorer pledge (which nicely ties in all of the tasks they've just completed in the area), and awards the Senior Wilderness Explorer badge (a sticker which goes on the back of the map). Kevin the bird makes one very brief appearance during the show, which is easy to miss if you aren't looking in the right place at the right moment.


Kevin joins the animals in the Spirit Cave. Photo by Adrienne Vincent-Phoenix.

After the show, Russell poses for photos and signs autographs as his helpers distribute the stickers, and of course a helpful Photopass photographer is on hand to help capture the moment. The meet-and-greet is a bit jumbled, and cast members this weekend were trying to work out a better way of organizing the audience into a manageable line. With shows scheduled as close as one hour apart, they need to work quickly to move the entire audience through the meet-and-greet in a timely manner.


Wilderness Explorer Sage talks to Russell via radio. Photo by Adrienne Vincent-Phoenix.

The overlay is really well done, with new signage added throughout the area, and a fun activity to engage younger visitors. Some have complained about having yet another Pixar property represented in DCA, but this works exceptionally well in the Redwood Creek Challenge Trail, and is a natural home for two characters who really should have had a meet-and-greet long before this.


The Wilderness Explorer Camp is the site of the meet and greet with Russell. Photo by Adrienne Vincent-Phoenix.

If you have a chance to experience this new offering with your children, let us know what you think in the comments section below.


Russell poses for photos and signs autographs after awarding the Senior Wilderness Explorer badge to those who completed the challenge. Photo by Adrienne Vincent-Phoenix.

A new day for Grad Nite

After Walt Disney World pulled the plug on its Grad Nite events this year, there was some concern that the "one Disney" philosophy would put Disneyland's much more popular offering in jeopardy. In an announcement last week, Disney confirmed that Grad Nite will continue—at least through 2013—but the program will change significantly next year.

Disneyland's Grad Nite tradition began in 1961, and in 2011 took place over seven nights in May and June. The Disneyland portion of the event began at 10:30 p.m., after the park closed to guests for the night, and lasted until 5:00 a.m. the next morning. A pre-party "Blast Off" event was offered in Disney California Adventure for schools that wanted to arrive as early as 9:00 p.m. The ESPN Zone also offered a pre-grad nite dinner option.

The entire event was tightly controlled and coordinated by Disney, with specific transportation requirements of the participating schools, a strict dress code, required chaperones, and enhanced security screening of students.

The event required both Disneyland and DCA to cut short their regular operating schedule for each Grad Nite, and meant Disneyland opened an hour later the following morning, which made Grad Nite season a less-attractive period for vacationers to plan trips to the Resort.

While Grad Nite remains in Disneyland in 2012, its entire event structure will change. Rather than being an after-hours party, Grad Nite will become an all-day affair. Students will receive one-day park hopper tickets to Disneyland and Disney California Adventure, and basically have the whole day to spend in the parks as they please. The students will each also receive two Fastpass tickets to use during the day.

As Disneyland closes for the night, the graduates will gather in New Orleans Square for a private performance of Fantasmic while the rest of the park is swept clear of "day guests." The grads then have the park all to themselves until dawn the next morning.

In 2013, the party moves to Disney California Adventure. Students will still receive the one-day park-hopper ticket and Fastpass tickets, but instead of a private showing of Fantasmic, their event will begin with a performance of World of Color, and the after-hours party will be held entirely inside DCA.

In making this announcement, Disney left out a number of details that Grad Nite committees will likely need before they decide if their schools will participate; the most important being cost. With the package now including a park hopper ticket, the price will likely go up $80 to $100 per person to cover the addition. With seniors already paying $85 to $200 or more for the Grad Nite ticket and bus transportation from their school (a cost which will also likely increase due to the schedule change), this may price a huge number of students out of the party.

Of course, Disney may be counting on decreased demand to keep the new event smaller. Recall that the event begins with a private showing of Fantasmic, which sounds like all of the students have to fit into that show's seating area. Capacity estimates for the show range from 9,000 to 15,000 people, but even at the higher end is still significantly smaller than the current Grad Nites. The event could get even smaller in 2013 if everyone has to fit into the World of Color viewing area, which reportedly holds around 4,000 people.

Another concern is security for the grads. Under the current Grad Nite structure, students are not allowed to leave Disneyland until the party is over, and those students attending Blast Off or the ESPN Zone dinner are even escorted to Disneyland to ensure nobody slips off for a private party. Part of the appeal of Grad Nite for the parents who fund the expensive party is that the event is very well secured and their children are well-chaperoned—a benefit that is greatly lost in this change.

With students being issued park-hopper tickets, the rules against leaving Disneyland—at least during the day—are clearly out the window, and there's no possible way the students can be prevented from leaving property if they choose. Students will also likely find it much easier to carry in items normally prohibited during Grad Nite. The list of banned items includes seemingly innocuous things like pens, pencils, chewing gum, lotion and purses larger than 8.5” x 11", but the policy is also designed to keep drugs, alcohol and weapons out of the party. Even assuming grads go through a more thorough screening just prior to their private party, there still seems to be a greater opportunity to slip something into the park. Disney also needs to find a way to completely segregate grads from day guests as the park closes, a task the Resort did not master during Mickey's Halloween Party last year.

There's also the issue of timing. Many local schools attend Grad Nite on the night of their actual high school graduation, most often a Thursday—seniors graduate, go out to dinner with their friends and family, and then return to school to board the busses to Disneyland. In 2012 the Grad Nite events are offered on both Thursdays and Fridays, which seems to indicate Disney is expecting schools to attend the day after graduation. This may also cause some parents to rethink the event. Many schools promote Grad Nite as a safe, fun alternative to teen-organized celebrations, and moving the party to the day after graduation negates that selling point.

Finally, how will the change in Grad Nite hours impact day guests? On the plus side, the theme parks likely won't close early for the event, giving visitors more time to enjoy the parks. Of course, the extended hours will be offset by 9,000 more people in the parks, (each holding two Fastpass tickets), joining the crowds of elementary and middle school students who take their end of year trips to Disneyland at the same time. It's very hard to know what the next impact to vacationers will be.

Disney has already announced the dates for the 2012 events: May 11, 17, 18, 24, 25 and 31; June 1, 7, 8 and 14. Additional details about the event itself, including cost, security policies and dress code, should be available later this year, and we'll have a better idea of how this change will impact or improve the experience for grads and tourists alike.

Celebrating the 4th of July at the Disneyland Resort

With the Independence Day holiday falling on a weekend in 2010, Disneyland decided to try to spread out the crowds over several days by scheduling the holiday fireworks show (with the tongue-straining name of "Disney's Celebrate America! A Fourth of July Concert in the Sky") on four nights leading up to July 4. The plan worked so well that Disney will do it again this year, presenting the show Friday, July 1 through Monday, July 4 at 9:30 p.m. each night. Magical, Disney’s nighttime fireworks show, resumes on Monday July 5.

If fireworks are in your plans, be sure to check out the MousePlanet Fireworks viewing guide for suggested viewing areas and alternatives for crowded days.

Disneyland's Fantasmic is on the summer schedule, with performances at 9:00 p.m. and 10:30 p.m. nightly, and a third performance at 11:30 p.m. scheduled for Monday, July 4.

The Flag Retreat Ceremony is often especially well-attended on July 4. The ceremony takes place at 5:10 p.m. in Town Square.

Over at Disney California Adventure, World of Color begins with an Independence Day "pre-show" at 9:00 p.m. and 10:15 p.m. As the holiday falls on a Monday, the theme parks are not staying open beyond their usual midnight (for Disneyland) and 10:00 .p.m (for DCA) closures; the second World of Color show at DCA actually begins after the park has officially closed for the night.

Parking is often a problem on the holiday weekend, and it is not uncommon for the Mickey and Friends parking structure to reach capacity early in the day. We suggest you try the Toy Story lot south of Katella Avenue on Harbor Boulevard, which offers bus service to the Resort and is generally easier to get into, especially for people arriving from south of the Resort.

In past years, the Downtown Disney parking lot suspended the standard 3-hour grace period and imposed a flat $15 up-front fee for vehicles entering after 6:00 p.m., in an effort to discourage those who would park in Downtown Disney to watch the Disneyland fireworks for free from the esplanade between Disneyland and DCA. We have not yet heard if the Resort plans to do this again this year, but we expect they will. If you have to pay the fee, you should be able to get a refund with a table-service restaurant or AMC movie theater validation.

This and That...

...It's California Avocado Week in Downtown Disney, and participating shops and restaurants will offer avocado-themed activities from June 27 to July 2:

  • Sephora will offer avocado mini-facials and product consultations at their store from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m. each day.
  • Downtown Disney restaurant chefs will offer interactive cooking demonstrations at 5:30 p.m. each night, at the West Side stage in front of the ESPN Zone.
  • Following the cooking demos, stop back by the West Side stage at 6:45 p.m. for a nightly guacamole contest.

Participating Downtown Disney restaurants will also offer up special menu items featuring California avocados throughout the week.


Disney has released a photo of the medal for the Inaugural Tinker Bell Half Marathon, to be held at the Disneyland Resort on Sunday, January 29, 2012. Photo (c) Disney.

...For those who are motivated by sparkly things to get up before dawn and run around Anaheim, Disney has released a photo of the medal for the Inaugural Tinker Bell Half Marathon, to be held at the Disneyland Resort on Sunday, January 29, 2012. Registration is now 55 percent full. If you have your sights set on this prize, join the conversation with the members of Team MousePlanet who have already registered for the race.

...Disneyland Half Marathon Weekend Participants and their friends and family can purchase discounted tickets to a Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim home game September 2–7, including the game on Sunday, September 4 (after the race). Ticket vouchers are $8 per ticket if you order by calling 407-WDW-IRUN before September, or $10 per ticket voucher if purchased at the Health and Fitness Expo September 2-4. Each voucher is good for View MVP, View All-Star, Upper View, Lower View Box or Terrace Box Wheelchair Ticket, and must be exchanged at the box office.


Two new Best Buy Gadget Magic kiosks were placed in Downtown Disney last week. Photo by Adrienne Vincent-Phoenix.

..Two Best Buy Gadget Magic kiosks were installed in DCA last week, and one is now open for business. The automated kiosks offer a variety of electronic gadgets including iPod music players, Nintendo DS video game systems, Garmin GPS devices, Bose noise-canceling headphones, Flip video cameras, and Canon Power Shot digital cameras. You can also buy chargers and accessories for various devices.

As reported in USA Today, Best Buy kiosks first appeared in airports in 2008, and are operated by ZoomSystems, which licenses the Best Buy name. The Downtown Disney kiosk advertises "Best Buy store prices" with "kiosk convenience," but a second sign disclaims that the prices are "generally" the same as Best Buy stores and may vary. Before you buy, be sure to read the return policy, since you cannot return products purchased through the kiosks to Best Buy stores, and must instead send returns to ZoomSystems. You can only returns products if they are unopened or defective, so you're probably out of luck if you find the new charger you purchased and opened doesn't work with your cell phone, or the new headphones you purchased and opened are not as comfortable as you hoped.

..Al Weiss started his Disney career when he was just a teenager, working as an hourly cast member at Walt Disney World. Nearly 40 years later, Weiss announced last week that he is stepping down as President, Worldwide Operations Walt Disney Parks and Resorts effective November 1. In a message to Disney cast members, Weiss wrote in part, "While I will miss the great people, exciting projects and stellar vision of Disney, I am very excited to begin the next chapter of my life. I will not miss my weekly Monday morning commute to California, but I will look forward to spending time with family, grandchildren and friends and traveling this great big world in which we live."

We are hearing that, rather than filling Weiss' position, the division will reorganize itself. Weiss will reportedly leave his current role and work directly with Staggs through his retirement date to help in the upcoming transition.

As Mark Goldhaber noted in today's Walt Disney World Update, "Weiss did a great job over the years, and was one of the first Walt Disney World executives to speak with MousePlanet when Walt Disney World began credentialing websites in early 2007. We wish him well in his future endeavors."

...Disney fans may recall "Cast Member Matt," the nickname given to the Matt Ouimet during his three-year tenure as president of the Disneyland Resort. Ouimet was exceptionally popular with fans and cast members alike for his approachable personality and down-to-earth manner, and was widely praised for overseeing the restoration of Disneyland for the big 50th Anniversary celebration in 2005. Before that, his 17-year career with Disney included a stint as the president of the Disney Cruise Line, and executive general manager of Disney Vacation Club and Disney's Wide World of Sports. Ouimet left Disney in 2006, and after brief stints at Starwood Hotels and Corinthian Colleges Inc., has been named president of Cedar Fair Entertainment Company. Cedar Fair operates 18 theme and water parks, including Knott's Berry Farm near Disneyland, as well as five hotels. In January 2012, Ouimet will replace Dick Kinzel as CEO of Cedar Fair.

...This is the last chance for annual passholders to purchase advanced tickets for Mickey's Halloween Party before tickets go on sale to the general public on Friday. The after-hours parties are scheduled for September 30; October 3, 7, 11, 14, 18, 21, 25, 28 and 31. Disneyland Resort Annual Passholders via the AP section of Disneyland.com or by calling 714-781-4000; all others can purchase tickets starting July 1 via Disneyland.com.

...Disney will hold another "Sizzling Summer Sale" at the World of Disney Store on July 23, 2011 from 6:30 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. This customer appreciation sale is offered to Disneyland Resort annual passholders, and often Disney Vacation Club members, though details of this next event have not yet been released. The sale usually includes discounts of up to 50% on selected overstock and retired merchandise.

...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 for the latest changes, as MousePlanet does not edit past Park Updates to reflect changes.

Crowd Forecast

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Crowd information and forecasts are provided by TouringPlans.com, the website of the Unofficial Guide to Disneyland, to help you better plan your trip to the Disneyland Resort. TouringPlans.com gathers wait time data from a team of in-park researchers and users of their Lines mobile phone application, and then predicts crowd levels for the next 365 days. Using a scale from 1 to 10, TouringPlans.com has a 90 percent accuracy of predicting the crowds to within 1 point, helping visitors prepare for their trips so they can "Do more. Wait less."

Expect high crowd levels all week long as we head into the July 4th weekend. Because of this, now more than ever it's a good time to subscribe to TouringPlans.com to plan your strategy to avoid the crowds!

Below are the predicted crowd numbers generated by the TouringPlans professional statisticians as measured for the upcoming week. Because choosing the least crowded days to visit, but not having a good plan of attack for avoiding crowd concentrations is like ordering Diet Coke with three Big Macs, we highly recommend that you follow a Touring Plan.

You can now access these Touring Plans on the go with our Lines Mobile Wait Times app!

Date Overall Disneyland DCA
Monday, June 27, 2011 8 / 10 8.3 / 10 8.4 / 10
Tuesday, June 28, 2011 9 / 10 8.3 / 10 8.6 / 10
Wednesday, June 29, 2011 9 / 10 8.4 / 10 8.6 / 10
Thursday, June 30, 2011 9 / 10 8.3 / 10 8.6 / 10

As indicated at the outset, crowds will be very high this week as vacationers descend upon Disneyland Resort for the Independence Day holiday:

  • Surprisingly, Friday should have lower crowds than the rest of the week, with Disneyland Park only at a 7.3.
  • Crowds next week will also be high; these high crowds will not let up anytime soon.
  • There will be full AP blockouts on Saturday through Monday.

See Disneyland crowds for the next 365 days.
Get Disneyland wait times on your iPhone, Android, or smartphone.
Do more. Wait less.

 


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Current Refurbishments and Attraction Closures

Disneyland

  • Matterhorn Bobsleds – closed July 11 to September 1 for refurbishment.
  • Haunted Mansion – closed August 29 to September 15 for installation of the Haunted Mansion Holiday overlay.

Disney California Adventure

Seasonal refurbishments:

  • None at this time.

Construction-related closures:

  • Paradise Garden Grill – scheduled to open July 1, 2011.
  • Boardwalk Pizza and Pastascheduled to open July 1, 2011.
  • Goofy's Sky School– now in soft-opening; scheduled to officially open July 1.
  • Engine-Ears Toys closed August 1, 2011 through May 30, 2012 for renovation.

Downtown Disney & Disneyland Resort Hotels

  • Disneyland Hotel Neverland Pool – closed due to construction. The hotel's new pool area and new Monorail water slide are now open for hotel guests.
  • 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.

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

Summer

  • Mickey's Soundsational Summer – Now through September 5, 2011.
  • ElecTRONica – Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights now through Spring 2012.
  • NFFC–Disneyana Fan Club 2011 Disneyana Convention – July 12–16 (link).
  • NFFC–Disneyana Fan Club All Disneyana Show and Sale – Saturday, July 16 (link). [Note, this event is taking place on a Saturday this year, instead of the traditional Sunday, due to Disneyland's anniversary.]
  • Disneyland 56th Anniversary July 17. The only in-park event so far announced is a Robert Olszewski merchandise release on Sunday, July 17 from 9:00 to 11:00 a.m. in the Disney Gallery on Main Street. See the Art of Disney Parks website for details.
  • Sizzling Summer Sale at the World of Disney Store – July 23, 2011, from 6:30 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. A special shopping opportunity for Disneyland Resort annual passholders. No additional details are available,
  • D23 Expo – August 19-21, 2011 at the Anaheim Convention Center. Tickets for the D23 Expo 2011 are now on sale event website.
  • Sixth annual Disneyland Half Marathon Weekend – September 2–4. Registration for the 2011 event is sold out, but you can join the wait list at the Run Disney website.

Fall

  • HalloweenTime at the Disneyland Resort – September 16 to October 31
  • ElecTRONica – Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights now through Spring 2012.
  • Fall 2011 MouseAdventure at the Disneyland Resort – Saturday, September 24 (Advanced division) and Sunday, September 25 (Advanced, Basic and 101 divisions) at the Disneyland Resort. Visit MouseAdventure.com to sign up for our newsletter.
  • 13th annual Gays Days at the Disneyland Resort (unofficial event) – September 30 – October 2. Event attendance will be higher at Disneyland on Saturday, DCA on Sunday (link).
  • Mickey's Halloween Party at Disneyland – September 30; October 3, 7, 11, 14, 18, 21, 25, 28 and 31. Advance-purchase tickets are on sale now for Disneyland Resort Annual Passholders via the AP section of Disneyland.com or by calling 714-781-4000. Tickets are to the general public starting July 1 via Disneyland.com.
  • CHOC Walk in the Park – Sunday October 16, 2011. Registration is now open via the event website.
  • Utah Education Association convention (UEA, a.k.a. "Utah Escapes to Anaheim") – October 20–21. (Link). Expect unusually large attendance levels October 20-23 as Utah students and families take advantage of a 4-day weekend created by their school's participation in a state education convention. Not all Utah schools or teachers close for or attend UEA, but the impact on the Resort is usually noticeable enough to mention.
  • Fall 2011 MouseAdventure at Walt Disney World – Saturday, November 12, 2011. Registration is now open, visit MouseAdventure.com for more information and to sign up for our newsletter.

Winter

  • Holiday Time at the Disneyland Resort – November 14, 2010 to January 8, 2011.
  • ElecTRONica – Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights now through Spring 2012.

2012

  • ElecTRONica – Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights now through Spring 2012.
  • Tinker Bell Half Marathon Weekend – January 27-29. Registration for the half marathon and family races is now open at the Run Disney website.
  • Grad Nite events – This party for high school seniors graduating in 2012 will be held May 11, 17, 18, 24, 25, 31 and June 1, 7, 8, 14. The 2012 event includes admisison to Disneyland and Disney California Adventure during regular operating hours, and a private party in Disneyland after the park closes to the public for the night.

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 $80/$74

One Day Park Hopper – Regularly $105/$99

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 $158/$146

Two Day Park Hopper – Regularly $173/$161

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.

Three Day, One Park per Day Ticket – Regularly $209/$193

Three Day Park Hopper – Regularly $224/$208

3-Day So Cal Resident Ticket ($139) and 3-Day So Cal Resident Park Hopper ($154) – The 2011 3-Day So Cal resident discount ticket is $139, $31 more expensive than the 2010 version, and offers Southern California residents three one-day admissions to either Disneyland or Disney's California Adventure. 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 $15 per person, you can upgrade to a 3-day Park Hopper ticket that allows admission to both parks each day. The ticket is valid June 3 through September 5, 2011, but is blocked out July 2-4 and August 21-22. The ticket has a 45-day "fuse," which means you must use all three admissions within 45 days of the first use, or forfeit the unused days.

Promotional 3-Day Park Hopper Bonus Ticket ($199/$183) – A discounted price for advance purchase through the Disneyland Web site (link). Ticket must be purchased between June 12 and October 1, 2011, and is not available for purchase at the Disneyland Resort ticket booths. Ticket is valid beginning June 19, and first use must be on or before October 1, 2011. The ticket has a 13-day "fuse," which means you must use all three admissions within 13 days of the first use, or forfeit the unused days. "Bonus Tickets" include one early admission day (Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, or Saturday). This ticket can be purchased and printed at home the same day you plan to use it (eTicket service). You can also ask to pick up the ticket at Will Call ($5 fee) or have it mailed to your home ( $5-$25 delivery fee, depending on service.)

Advance Purchase 3-day, One Park Per Day Bonus Ticket ($199/$183) or 3-day Park Hopper Bonus Ticket ($214/$198) – A discounted price for advance purchase through the Internet or select dealers. First use must be on or before December 31, 2012. These tickets have a 13-day "fuse," which means you must use all three admissions within 13 days of the first use, or forfeit the unused days. "Bonus Tickets" include one early admission day (Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, or Saturday).

If purchased from the Disneyland Web site (link), this ticket can be purchased and printed at home the same day you plan to use it (eTicket service). You can also ask to pick up the ticket at Will Call ($5 fee) or have it mailed to your home ( $5-$25 delivery fee, depending on service.)

Ticket may also be 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 participating travel agents. It is best to call and confirm before visiting a location, however. If purchased from AAA, the tickets come with free parking at the Mickey & Friends parking garage (a $15/day value).

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 US military, including active members of the National Guard or Reservists and active or retired members of the US 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.

Four Day, One Park per Day Ticket – Regularly $234/$216

Four Day Park Hopper – Regularly $249/$231

Costco 4-Day Park Hopper Ticket plus $50 Disney gift card ($199) – A special offer for Costco members who are also residents of Southern California, this ticket is available online and in select Costco stores. Unlike most other park hopper tickets, this ticket has no "fuse" - you can use the first admission today, and have until August 31, 2011 to use the remaining admission days before the ticket expires. The ticket is blocked out July 1-4, 2011 and August 21-22, 2011.

This ticket comes with a $50 Disney gift card, and has an "upgrade value" of $151 if you want to update the 4-day ticket to a higher value ticket or annual pass.

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 ($219/$201) – A discounted price for advance purchase through the Disneyland Web site (link). Ticket must be purchased between June 12 and October 1, 2011, and is not available for purchase at the Disneyland Resort ticket booths. Ticket is valid beginning June 19, and first use must be on or before October 1, 2011. The ticket has a 13-day "fuse," which means you must use all four admissions within 13 days of the first use, or forfeit the unused days. "Bonus Tickets" include one early admission day (Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, or Saturday). This ticket can be purchased and printed at home the same day you plan to use it (eTicket service). You can also ask to pick up the ticket at Will Call ($5 fee) or have it mailed to your home ( $5-$25 delivery fee, depending on service.)

Advance Purchase 4-day, One Park Per Day Bonus Ticket ($219/$201) or 4-day Park Hopper Bonus Ticket ($234/$216) – A discounted price for advance purchase through the Internet or select dealers. First use must be on or before December 31, 2012. These tickets have a 13-day "fuse," which means you must use all four admissions within 13 days of the first use, or forfeit the unused days. "Bonus Tickets" include one early admission day (Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, or Saturday).

If purchased from the Disneyland Web site (link), this ticket can be purchased and printed at home the same day you plan to use it (eTicket service). You can also ask to pick up the ticket at Will Call ($5 fee) or have it mailed to your home ( $5-$25 delivery fee, depending on service.)

Ticket may also be 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 participating travel agents. It is best to call and confirm before visiting a location, however. If purchased from AAA, the tickets come with free parking at the Mickey & Friends parking garage (a $15/day value).

Five Day, One Park per Day Ticket – Regularly $251/$231

Five Day Park Hopper – Regularly $266/$246

Promotional 5-Day Park Hopper Bonus Ticket ($231/$211) – A discounted price for advance purchase through the Disneyland Web site (link). Ticket must be purchased between June 12 and October 1, 2011, and is not available for purchase at the Disneyland Resort ticket booths. Ticket is valid beginning June 19, and first use must be on or before October 1, 2011. The ticket has a 13-day "fuse," which means you must use all five admissions within 13 days of the first use, or forfeit the unused days. "Bonus Tickets" include one early admission day (Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, or Saturday). This ticket can be purchased and printed at home the same day you plan to use it (eTicket service). You can also ask to pick up the ticket at Will Call ($5 fee) or have it mailed to your home ( $5-$25 delivery fee, depending on service.)

Advance Purchase 5-day, One Park Per Day Bonus Ticket ($231/$211) or 5-day Park Hopper Bonus Ticket ($246/$226) – A discounted price for advance purchase through the Internet or select dealers. First use must be on or before December 31, 2012. These tickets have a 13-day "fuse," which means you must use all five admissions within 13 days of the first use, or forfeit the unused days. "Bonus Tickets" include one early admission day (Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, or Saturday).

If purchased from the Disneyland Web site (link), this ticket can be purchased and printed at home the same day you plan to use it (eTicket service). You can also ask to pick up the ticket at Will Call ($5 fee) or have it mailed to your home ( $5-$25 delivery fee, depending on service.)

Ticket may also be 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 participating travel agents. It is best to call and confirm before visiting a location, however. If purchased from AAA, the tickets come with free parking at the Mickey & Friends parking garage (a $15/day value).

Six Day, One Park per Day Ticket – Regularly $256/$239

Six Day Park Hopper – Regularly $271/$251

Promotional 6-Day Park Hopper Bonus Ticket ($236/$216) – A discounted price for advance purchase through the Disneyland Web site (link). Ticket must be purchased between June 12 and October 1, 2011, and is not available for purchase at the Disneyland Resort ticket booths. Ticket is valid beginning June 19, and first use must be on or before October 1, 2011. The ticket has a 13-day "fuse," which means you must use all three admissions within 13 days of the first use, or forfeit the unused days. "Bonus Tickets" include one early admission day (Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, or Saturday). This ticket can be purchased and printed at home the same day you plan to use it (eTicket service). You can also ask to pick up the ticket at Will Call ($5 fee) or have it mailed to your home ( $5-$25 delivery fee, depending on service.)

Advance Purchase 6-day, One Park Per Day Bonus Ticket ($236/$216) or 6-day Park Hopper Bonus Ticket ($251/$231) – A discounted price for advance purchase through the Internet or select dealers. First use must be on or before December 31, 2012. These tickets have a 13-day "fuse," which means you must use all six admissions within 13 days of the first use, or forfeit the unused days. "Bonus Tickets" include one early admission day (Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, or Saturday).

If purchased from the Disneyland Web site (link), this ticket can be purchased and printed at home the same day you plan to use it (eTicket service). You can also ask to pick up the ticket at Will Call ($5 fee) or have it mailed to your home ( $5-$25 delivery fee, depending on service.)

Ticket may also be 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 participating travel agents. It is best to call and confirm before visiting a location, however. 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: $749 [Valid at Disneyland Resort and Walt Disney World Resort; includes parking]
Premium Annual Passport: $499 [Includes parking]
Deluxe Annual Passport: $379
Southern California Annual Passport: $269
SoCal Select Annual Passport: $199
Parking Add On: $99 [Add on to Deluxe, SoCal and SoCal Select passes. Has same blockout days as corresponding pass]
Blockout Day Ticket: $59 [Grants one-day park-hopper admission to an annual passholder on a blockout day]

2011 Southern California CityPass
$276/$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 is valid through December 31, 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.

    Hotel/Travel Packages

    Summer discount offers – The Disneyland Resort released a new hotel discount for Summer 2011.

    Room-only hotel discounts

    The Resort is offering discounts of up to 25 percent on select Disneyland Resort Hotel stays for arrivals through August 13, 2011. Travel must be booked by July 23, 2011, and a two-night minimum stay is required. 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. Travel must be completed by Aug. 14, 2011.

    The offer also includes 2 Fastpass tickets per person, per stay, and the fine-print reveals that Disney will be operating a "specially created, limited time Disney's Fastpass return line for The Little Mermaid – Ariel's Undersea Adventure attraction" that will be available through September 11, 2011.

    Book online at the Disneyland.com Web site (link), call Walt Disney Travel Company at (714) 520-6425, or contact your favorite travel agent.

    Costco Travel Packages – Many different travel packages including visits to Disneyland and Disneyland hotels are available through Costco.com (link). 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

    Get Away Today
    800-523-6116
    www.getawaytoday.com

    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:

    6/26 6/27 6/28 6/29

    6/30

    7/1 7/2
    DL: 8a-12a

    DCA: 10a-10p

    SL

    MM
    DL: 8a-12a

    DCA: 10a-10p

    SL

    TT
    DL: 8a-12a

    DCA: 10a-10p

    SL

    MM
    DL: 8a-12a

    DCA: 10a-10p

    SL

    TT

     

    DL: 8a-12a

    DCA: 10a-10p

    SL

    MM
    DL: 8a-12a

    DCA: 10a-10p

    SL/SC

    TT
    DL: 8a-12a

    DCA: 10a-10p

    SL/SC/DX

    MM / TT
    7/3 7/4 7/5 7/6

    7/7

    7/8 7/9
    DL: 8a-12a

    DCA: 10a-10p

    SL/SC/DX

    MM
    DL: 8a-12a

    DCA: 10a-10p

    SL/SC/DX

    TT
    DL: 8a-12a

    DCA: 10a-10p

    SL/SC

    MM
    DL: 8a-12a

    DCA: 10a-10p

    SL/SC

    TT

     

    DL: 8a-12a

    DCA: 10a-10p

    SL/SC

    MM
    DL: 8a-12a

    DCA: 10a-10p

    SL/SC

    TT
    DL: 8a-12a

    DCA: 10a-10p

    SL/SC/DX

    MM / TT
    7/10 7/11 7/12 7/13

    7/14

    7/15 7/16
    DL: 8a-12a

    DCA: 10a-10p

    SL/SC

    MM
    DL: 8a-12a

    DCA: 10a-10p

    SL/SC

    TT
    DL: 8a-12a

    DCA: 10a-10p

    SL/SC

    MM
    DL: 8a-12a

    DCA: 10a-10p

    SL/SC

    TT

     

    DL: 8a-12a

    DCA: 10a-10p

    SL/SC

    MM
    DL: 8a-12a

    DCA: 10a-10p

    SL/SC

    TT
    DL: 8a-12a

    DCA: 10a-10p

    SL/SC/DX

    MM / TT
    7/17 7/18 7/19 7/20

    7/21

    7/22 7/23
    DL: 8a-12a

    DCA: 10a-10p

    SL/SC

    MM
    DL: 8a-12a

    DCA: 10a-10p

    SL/SC

    TT
    DL: 8a-12a

    DCA: 10a-10p

    SL/SC

    MM
    DL: 8a-12a

    DCA: 10a-10p

    SL/SC

    TT

     

    DL: 8a-12a

    DCA: 10a-10p

    SL/SC

    MM
    DL: 8a-12a

    DCA: 10a-10p

    SL/SC

    TT
    DL: 8a-12a

    DCA: 10a-10p

    SL/SC/DX

    MM / TT
    7/24 7/25 7/26 7/27

    7/28

    7/29 7/30
    DL: 8a-12a

    DCA: 10a-10p

    SL/SC

    MM
    DL: 8a-12a

    DCA: 10a-10p

    SL/SC

    TT
    DL: 8a-12a

    DCA: 10a-10p

    SL/SC

    MM
    DL: 8a-12a

    DCA: 10a-10p

    SL/SC

    TT

     

    DL: 8a-12a

    DCA: 10a-10p

    SL/SC

    MM
    DL: 8a-12a

    DCA: 10a-10p

    SL/SC

    TT
    DL: 8a-12a

    DCA: 10a-10p

    SL/SC/DX

    MM / TT
    7/31 8/1 8/2 8/3

    8/4

    8/5 8/6
    DL: 8a-12a

    DCA: 10a-10p

    SL/SC

    MM
    DL: 8a-12a

    DCA: 10a-10p

    SL/SC

    TT
    DL: 8a-12a

    DCA: 10a-10p

    SL/SC

    MM
    DL: 8a-12a

    DCA: 10a-10p

    SL/SC

    TT

     

    DL: 8a-12a

    DCA: 10a-10p

    SL/SC

    MM
    DL: 8a-12a

    DCA: 10a-10p

    SL/SC

    TT
    DL: 8a-12a

    DCA: 10a-10p

    SL/SC/DX

    MM / TT
    8/7 8/8 8/9 8/10

    8/11

    8/12 8/13
    DL: 8a-12a

    DCA: 10a-10p

    SL/SC

    MM
    DL: 8a-12a

    DCA: 10a-10p

    SL/SC

    TT
    DL: 8a-12a

    DCA: 10a-10p

    SL/SC

    MM
    DL: 8a-12a

    DCA: 10a-10p

    SL/SC

    TT

     

    DL: 8a-12a

    DCA: 10a-10p

    SL/SC

    MM
    DL: 8a-12a

    DCA: 10a-10p

    SL/SC

    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.