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Update for October 24 – 30, 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

A night at Mickey's Halloween Party | Disneyland in the news | Booking opens for some 2012-2013 Disney Cruises | Disney Parks offers $1,000 Shopping Card | Quick Resort construction update | This and That... | Crowd Forecast

A night at Mickey's Halloween Party

I finally had the opportunity to attend Mickey's Halloween Party this year, and take in all of the changes to this after-hours event. The major improvement was the relocation of the "treat trails," taking them out of highly congested walkways and moving them into less-crowded areas. Last year the treat trail on the walkway to the south of the Matterhorn caused traffic to back up onto Main Street; this year, that trail was moved into Pixie Hollow, making great use of the existing queue for the meet-and-greet. A Frontierland trail was relocated into the Golden Horseshoe, beautifully decorated with pumpkins for the night, and a Fantasyland trail was moved to the Village Haus, decked out with loads of neat lighting effects.


Event guests have a special entrance for Mickey's Halloween Party. Photo by Adrienne Vincent-Phoenix.

With Pirates of the Caribbean closed for refurbishment, that ride's queue was used to house yet another treat trail, and the nearby Rancho del Zocalo restaurant was turned into a Pirate-theme character dance party. With most of the walkways cleared of treat stations, the park felt less crowded than last year, though cast members say more tickets are being sold for each event. Even with increased capacity, most nights have sold out, with only the most-expensive Halloween night tickets still available as of this writing.


New locations for treat trails means less crowding at Mickey's Halloween Party. Photo by Adrienne Vincent-Phoenix.

I wrote last year about my experience "crashing" Mickey's Halloween Party at Disneyland, relating how I had been able to attend the first party of the year without ever using the event ticket I had purchased or getting an event wristband. As I explained then, my point in writing the piece was not to provide an instruction manual for event crashers, but to challenge Disney to provide valid ticket-holding event guests with the experience they paid for: exclusive access to the party and related activities.


The Golden Horseshoe was decorated for Halloween, and served as a treat trail. Photo by Adrienne Vincent-Phoenix.

I did not see a point in repeating my experiment this year, since feedback from cast members and readers alike indicated that Disney had substantially beefed up its efforts to "sweep" people without event tickets and wristbands out of the park during subsequent parties. However, after several readers informed us that they witnessed flagrant gate-crashing at the October 11th and 18th events, we decided to test things firsthand, to see if these reports were exaggerations, or whether this was again a problem—so alhough I had already a ticket to last Friday's party, I decided to see how long I could get by without a wristband.


Chip, Dale, Donald and Goofy danced the night away at Piratepalooza at Rancho del Zocalo. Photo by Adrienne Vincent-Phoenix.

Wearing my "party-crasher costume" of a short-sleeve shirt—which purposefully left my wrists completely bare to anyone who cared to look—I used my annual pass instead of my event ticket to enter Disneyland last Friday night, bypassing the special event entrance and wristband distribution set-up. Disneyland kept the main entrance gates open right up until the park closed to the public at 7:00 p.m., but I doubt the dozens of passholders entering the park in those last few minutes were there to take advantage of "shopping convenience hour." I waited for a friend to arrive and get a wristband, and we set off to have dinner in Tomorrowland.


Projections decorate Sleeping Beauty Castle during Mickey's Halloween Party. Photo by Adrienne Vincent-Phoenix.


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In contrast to last year, I could definitely see there was more of an effort to sweep people without wristbands from the park. In fact, I may not have made it beyond the Central Plaza hub had the cast members watching the entrance to Tomorrowland been paying attention to the people streaming past them. Instead, they were busy chatting with each other—distracted and inattentive. We ate dinner at the Tomorrowland Terrace, and then made our way into Fantasyland, through a treat trail, back through Frontierland back onto Main Street. While we saw sweep teams, we were never approached. We did hear some complaints from (un-wristbanded) guests who had been turned away from rides, so clearly the attraction cast members were doing their job of monitoring those in the queue for wristbands.

By 8:00 p.m., I'd learned what I needed: it is possible to stay for the party, so long as you successfully avoid the sweepers and don't try to go on any rides. Since many of the folks deliberately crashing the party claim to be doing so only to see the event-exclusive Halloween Screams fireworks show, perhaps they feel hanging out on Main Street for three hours to be worth the effort.

For myself, I actually wanted to enjoy the party, so we headed to the Main Entrance to meet my husband and another friend who had just arrived. I planned to get my wristband then so we could go on rides—and that's when I discovered the biggest flaw in Disney's system: wristband distribution itself.


You'll need a ticket and a wristband to ride during Mickey's Halloween Party. Photo by Adrienne Vincent-Phoenix.

While I was waiting for my friend to arrive earlier that day, I had noticed disorder around the wristband distribution area. Event guests showed their ticket at the turnstile to get in, but instead of being given a wristband at the turnstile, they were directed to a cast member waiting just inside the gates to get their wristband. It seemed that the wristband-dispensing cast members were not assigned to specific gates, which led a sort of a jumble as ticketed party guests had to find one of them to get their wristband. It was not made clear to all ticketed guests that they needed a wristband—some of those guests headed straight for the more visible treat bag distribution stations and found themselves being directed back to get their wristbands.

I also noticed that the cast members weren't even asking for event tickets (although I have been told they had on previous nights). Maybe they were just trying to keep up with the crush of people flooding through the gates, but that was an obvious point of failure, and led to what I witnessed next: I watched one family of four, who really did not seem understand what all the activity was about, approach the treat bag distribution bins to try to get a bag. I'm pretty sure they just thought they were souvenirs being handed to everyone (instead of what they actually were: official treat bags reserved for individuals with event tickets). The cast member asked the family for their wristbands—and when the family looked confused, the cast member pointed them in the direction of the wristband distributors at the gates. At that point, the family walked up and were given wristbands—and they were then able to return to the treat bag distribution bins; this time successfully able to get their official treat bags (since they were now sporting official event wristbands).

I'm fairly certain that that family of four was completely oblivious to the fact that they were in the park during a hard-ticketed event, and likely did not realize that they were, at $60 per ticket, the beneficiaries of $240 worth of Disneyland Halloweening. Though that area was roped off from the general entrance, there was nobody watching the exit to prevent someone from doing deliberately what that family did by accident


Projections decorate Sleeping Beauty Castle during Mickey's Halloween Party. Photo by Adrienne Vincent-Phoenix.

But as unsecured as it was earlier in the day, it was even worse when we returned after dark. By then, the ropes were down, and cast members were simply giving wristbands to anyone who approached them. As part of my experiment, never having left the park (which I entered using my annual pass) or used my event ticket, I simply walked up and got a wristband from a cast member. That cast member never asked to see my event ticket, nor even seemed aware that I had not come through the turnstile.

While I can happily report that Disney is doing a far better job in sweeping folks without wristbands from the park, the entire effort is moot if anyone can obtain a wristband for the asking.

We've been discussing this issue on our MousePad forums, with some readers having a similar experience to mine, and others saying they were repeatedly stopped by sweep teams. Admittedly Disney can do little to stop a lone, determined crasher, but there is definitely room to improve the wristband distribution process. Disney has made some fantastic enhancements to this year's Halloween Party, and paying guests deserve to enjoy every moment without jostling elbows with party crashers.

Let's hear from you. Did party crashers negatively impact your Halloween Party, or do you think Disney's efforts were enough this year? Was the Halloween Party worth the price of admission? Do you think it was unfair that some people got to enjoy the party without having to pay for the event? Join the discussion on our MousePad forum.

Disneyland in the news

The Disneyland Resort made headlines several times last week, but probably not for reasons park management appreciate.

On Tuesday, three environmental groups announced that they are seeking an injunction to require Disneyland to remove, cover, or post warning signs on items the groups claim expose children to high levels of lead, including brass railings, stained-glass windows, and accessories in Toontown.

In a report titled "Danger at Disneyland," the California-based Mateel Environmental Justice Foundation presents the results of wipe tests the group conducted at both Disneyland and Disney California Adventure. The group tested brass, metal, and glass items from around the Resort, ranging from the Sword in the Stone in Fantasyland to brass railings in the Toy Story Midway Mania queue, and claims the results indicate lead exposure as high as 1300 micrograms. California's strict Proposition 65 law requires businesses to notify consumers about the presence of materials "known to the State of California to cause cancer, birth defects or other reproductive harm," including lead exposure in excess of 0.5 micrograms per day. Prop 65 warning signs are a common sight in California, appearing at the entrances of most buildings, on product packaging, and recently even at local coffee shops.

Disneyland spokeswoman Suzi Brown told MousePlanet, "The claims this Plaintiff has made have been baseless. The Disneyland Resort fully complies with Proposition 65 and has always been committed to providing a safe environment for all its guests." Mateel filed suit against Disney in April, and claims this injunction is necessary because the Resort has not acted on their earlier demands. The group has filed hundreds of Prop 65 suits against other California businesses, including J.C. Penny, Kmart; Eddie Bauer; Toys "R" Us; Rite Aid and Amazon.com.

The same day, OC Weekly reported that a woman has sued Disneyland following an incident where a fruit-laden tree branch fell onto her head while she was inside the Resort's picnic area. The woman claims the branch weighed 30 or 40 pounds, and blames Disney for not properly maintaining the trees.

On Wednesday, Steve Lopez at the Los Angeles Times wrote about a new productivity tracking system at the Disneyland Hotel laundry facilities, likening the monitor to an "electronic whip." The article was based on interviews Lopez conducted with laundry workers while researching a story about the ongoing dispute between Disney and Unite HERE Local 11, the union that represents the hotel employees. Disney's Suzi Brown wrote in the article's comment section,

"Mr. Lopez's use of a sensational headline for his lopsided column about Unite Here Local 11 and Disneyland Resort is disappointing. During the union's three and a half year labor dispute with Disney, its leaders repeatedly and deliberately have misstated the company’s offer and engaged in publicity stunts to distract from the real issue — they still don’t have a contract.

Unfortunately, Lopez omitted critical information we provided. Many laundries track production with automated systems because it saves employees from having to manually record the pieces they process and it provides timely feedback. But, union leadership continues to mischaracterize issues to divert attention."

Lopez defended his original reporting in a follow-up column later that day.

Booking opens for some 2012-2013 Disney Cruises

Mark Goldhaber writes in this week's Walt Disney World Update:

You can now book most cruises for 2012 and 2013 aboard the Disney Dream and Disney Fantasy cruise ships online. The Dream sails 3-, 4- and 5-night Bahamian cruises from Port Canaveral, Florida, with stops at Nassau and Castaway Cay.

The Fantasy sails Eastern and Western Caribbean cruises from Port Canaveral, starting with its maiden voyage on March 31, 2012. Western Caribbean itineraries include two sea days and stops at Grand Cayman, Mexico (Costa Maya and Cozumel), and Castaway Cay. Some Eastern Caribbean voyages feature stops at St. Maarten and St. Thomas, with excursions to St. John and Castaway Cay, in addition to three days at sea. Other Eastern Caribbean itineraries feature a stop at San Juan, Puerto Rico, instead of St. Maarten.

For more information or to book, go to the Disney Cruise Line website or contact your favorite travel agent. MousePlanet’s preferred Disney travel providers are MouseEarVacations.com (link), Small World Vacations (link) and Get Away Today (link).

Thanks to Sue Pisaturo of Small World Vacations for the information.

Disney has yet to announce the itineraries for the Disney Magic and Disney Wonder for 2013. In 2012 the two ships will sail regional itineraries—the Magic on the East Coast and the Wonder on the West—but cruise watchers are waiting to see if Disney Cruise Line will return to Europe for the 2013 summer season. MousePlanet reader John Garcia recently received a survey from DCL about possible future cruises, including 7-night Eastern and Western Mediterranean itineraries.

Disney Parks offers $1,000 Shopping Card

Mark also writes about a new Disney Gift Card and Pin Set offer. While this may be a value for pin collectors who are planning trips to Walt Disney World, where merchandise discounts are less prevalent, Disneyland regulars should do the math to see if the "free" pin set is really worth the price. The important thing to note is that you can not use any discounts to buy this deal or when you redeem the gift card. For Premium passholders, that means a loss of up to $200 in discounts.

Disney Parks is now offering a special $1,000 Disney Parks Shopping Card (normal gift cards have a maximum value of $500). Purchasers of this special card will also receive a deluxe (24" high x 20" wide) framed castle pin set that features "as many as 60 authentic Disney Pins that have been framed and double matted to create a whimsical image of Cinderella Castle." The pin set is only available as part of this package.


The Disney Parks Shopping Card is only available in a $1,000 denomination. Image © Disney.

The Disney Parks Shopping Card and Deluxe Framed Castle Pin Set Product can be purchased online at DisneyWorld.com, Disneyland.com, ArtofDisneyParks.com, Vinylmation.com, and PinTrading.com. The Disney Parks Shopping Card and Framed Castle Pin Set Product can also be purchased through Disney Reservation Center at 407-WDW-DISNEY (407-939-3476) and select Disney-approved Travel Agents.

You can only use the Disney Parks Shopping Card at Disney Parks & Resorts and Disney Vacation Club properties, and not for online purchases.


The Deluxe Framed Castle Pin Set is only available with the purchase of the $1,000 Disney Parks Shopping Card. Image © Disney.

Before you say, "Ooh, I'm going to spend that much during my trip—let's get it!", here's something to consider: you can use the card only for merchandise, not food, services, hotel rooms, Disney Dollars, gift cards, or tickets, nor can you use it at third-party owned locations such as the Mitsukoshi store at Epcot's Japan pavilion. Not only that, but you cannot use the Disney Parks Shopping Card in conjunction with any discounts you might normally qualify for when purchasing Disney theme park merchandise, including but not limited to Passholder Merchandise discount, Cast Member discount, and AAA discount. Also, any remaining value may not be redeemed for cash at the end of your stay. [In California, you can "cash out" the card once the remaining balance drops below $10]

In addition, shipping and handling charges apply beyond the $1,000 cost for the set.

On the other hand, if you're planning to spend $1,000 or more on merchandise and you aren't eligible for any discounts, it's a great deal to get the pin set for free. You can get more information and buy the card online.

Quick Resort construction update

Buena Vista Street construction is more visible over the work walls surrounding the site, with structures visible both outside and inside the park. Unfortunately the view from the Monorail is substantially reduced due to construction walls installed last week on both sides of the Monorail beam where it passes over Buena Vista Street, but the photos below still give an idea of the scope of the project.


Visible from outside the park, this structure is being constructed on the west side of the DCA entrance. Photo by Adrienne Vincent-Phoenix.


This new structure expands the former Engine-Ears Toys complex into the new Buena Vista Street circle. Photo by Adrienne Vincent-Phoenix.

Back in Cars Land, most of the scaffolding on the top of the Cadillac Range has been removed. Work still continues on the lower levels, but with the walkways removed the range looks even taller than before. Possibly more exciting is the work on the back side of the wall, facing Paradise Pier. Though some had speculated that this side would only be finished with a vinyl covering like the one used to wrap the Indiana Jones show building, the back side appears to be just as fully formed as the front.


Much of the scaffolding on the Cadillac Range is gone, revealing the new look for Cars Land. Photo by Adrienne Vincent-Phoenix.


Work still continues on the lower levels of the Cadillac Range. Photo by Adrienne Vincent-Phoenix.


The side of the Cadillac Range facing Paradise Pier is finally being finished. Photo by Adrienne Vincent-Phoenix.


No vinyl covering here, the back side of the Cadillac Range will be feature a dimensional covering like the front. Photo by Adrienne Vincent-Phoenix.

This and That...

...Disneyland's second Annual Passholder party took place last Monday, and it was again a pleasure to meet the MousePlanet readers who came out for our impromptu gathering. The party was organized much like the first week, (read our coverage of the October 12 event), with a few slight changes in the PhotoPass offering. At the first event, passholders were offered five Photopass image downloads for $1.99 each; passholders at the second event were offered five downloads at no charge. However, where PhotoPass photographers were stationed at every float for the post-parade photo opportunity the first week, for the second party the official photographers were only stationed at two floats. Instead, the remaining photographers were positioned throughout the open areas of the park, offering to take photos in front of Sleeping Beauty Castle or Space Mountain.


The Annual Passholder party also provided a perfect opportunity to get some lovely photos of Tomorrowland without crowds. Photo by Adrienne Vincent-Phoenix.

...The other main difference between the two AP parties was the addition of Steven Davison, Vice President Parades and Spectaculars, to the Soundsational Parade panel discussion. During the talk, Davison dropped a broad hint about a holiday version of DCA's World of Color show. It's unknown if this will be an entirely new show or a new section added during or to the end of the existing show, but the "Mattercam" mounted atop the Howard Johnson's Hotel on Harbor has captured what appear to be after-hours tests of some show elements, including a Christmas wreath projected on the California Screamin' loop.

...We reported in February that a quadriplegic man filed suit against Disney in federal court after waiting for 40 minutes to be evacuated from Disneyland's "it's a small world" attraction when the ride broke down during a 2009 visit. "it's a small world" is one of a handful of Disneyland Resort rides where visitors who use manual or power wheelchairs may remain in their chairs during the ride, but Jose Martinez claims the park is in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act for failing to have in place procedures to evacuate disabled guests from theme park rides. The case is still pending, but last week MousePlanet reader Jill noted that the wheelchair accessible boats are no longer in use at "it's a small world," and said a cast member told her it was because of the lawsuit. Most cast members we asked would say only that the boats were "not available" at this time, but one CM said "there's nothing at all wrong with the boats," ruling out a scheduled refurbishment. "it's a small world" is still listed as a wheelchair-accessible attraction on the Disneyland website, and a Disneyland spokesperson was not immediately able to provide a comment on the situation. We'll provide an update once we receive a response from Disney. "it's a small world" closed Monday for installation of the holiday overlay, and is scheduled to reopen November 10.

...For the last several years, former Disney Magazine photographer Frank Anzalone has been covering major events for MousePlanet, and most of the beautiful desktop images offered on the site are Frank's work. Now Frank has released his second photo book, this one a collection of his favorite pictures of Disneyland. "A View of the Magic Kingdom" is available in soft-cover or hard-cover editions, or as an e-book download for your iPad (link).

...There's still time to support Team MousePlanet in the 2011 CHOC Walk. The team has raised $4,823.00 this year, and donations for the 2011 event are accepted through October 28. Visit our CHOC Walk team page to sponsor an individual Team MousePlanet walker and help them earn prizes, or make a general donation to our team.

...The new MousePlanet Newsletter is here! The newsletter contains a recap of the week's articles (in case you miss a day), news that may have developed since the weekly Updates were published, and tips about what's happening at the Disney theme parks for the coming weekend. We'll also include a fun MouseAdventure bonus, such as an Eye Spy or a trivia question. To subscribe to our free newsletter, go to the MousePlanet main page and enter your email address in the top right box labeled "Join the MousePlanet Newsletter." Click Join, then fill out the fields in the registration page, including your first and last name. The Newsletter is free, but you must complete this registration to receive it, even if you may have signed up for one with us in the past.

...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."

Crowds will be moderate this weekend, but the majority of the week should see relatively light crowd levels. TouringPlans.com can help you navigate the crowds with our per-park Crowd Calendar, Lines - Mobile Wait Times App that gives access to current and estimated wait times for attractions, and Touring Plans detailing the best plan of attack for hitting the attractions. With holiday crowds looming, it's a good time to subscribe to TouringPlans.com to plan your strategy to avoid the crowds!

Below are the predicted resort-wide crowd numbers for select days generated by the TouringPlans professional statisticians as measured for the upcoming week. For the access to the full year and per-park crowd level predictions, visit our Crowd Calendar.

Date Overall
Monday, October 24, 2011 2 / 10
Tuesday, October 25, 2011 2 / 10
Wednesday, October 26, 2011 3 / 10
Thursday, October 27, 2011 2 / 10

Here are some quick-hit notes that we hope you'll find helpful as you prepare your visits for the week:

  • Partial AP blockouts this weekend.
  • Disney California Adventure's low day will be Wednesday and Thursday, when it's a 2.9.
  • Disneyland park's lowest days will be Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday, when it's an 1.1.

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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Community Events

  • None currently scheduled - check back for updates

Current Refurbishments and Attraction Closures

Disneyland

  • Disneyland Monorail – opening at 10 a.m. Monday through Friday until further notice. This shortened schedule is due to the Buena Vista Street construction in DCA. The monorail operates on a normal schedule on weekends.
  • Pirates of the Caribbean – closed through November 23 for refurbishment.
  • Blue Bayou – closed through November 23 for refurbishment.
  • "it's a small world" – closed October 24 to November 10 for installation of the holiday overlay.
  • Plaza Pavilion – closed through January 2012 for conversion to Jolly Holiday Bakery Café.
  • Blue Ribbon Bakery – closes January 2012. The space to be converted back to an indoor seating area for the Carnation Cafe.
  • Gibson Girl Ice Cream Parlor – closes January 2012 for renovation. Expected to reopen in Spring 2012.
  • Candy Palace – closes January 2012 for renovation. Expected to reopen in Spring 2012.

Disney California Adventure

Seasonal refurbishments:

  • It's Tough to be a Bug! – closed October 24 to November 11 for refurbishment.

Construction-related closures:

  • Engine-Ears Toys – closed until summer 2012 for renovation.
  • Baker's Field Bakery - closed until summer 2012 for conversion to Clarabelle's Hand-Scooped Ice Cream
    Bur-r-r Bank Ice Cream - closed until summer 2012 for conversion to Fiddler, Fifer, and Practical Cafe.
  • Greetings from California – closed until summer 2012 for renovation.

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).

Fall

  • HalloweenTime at the Disneyland Resort – Through October 31
  • ElecTRONica – The normal schedule is Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights through Spring 2012, though ElecTRONica may be offered nightly the week of Thanksgiving, and the period between Christmas and New Year.
  • Mickey's Halloween Party at Disneyland – October 25, 28, and 31. Tickets are on sale now via Disneyland.com or by calling (714) 781–4000.
  • Fall 2011 MouseAdventure at Walt Disney World – Saturday, November 12. Registration is now closed. Visit MouseAdventure.com for more information about future events, and to sign up for our newsletter.

Winter

  • Holiday parade taping at Disneyland – November 4–6 (unconfirmed). Disney never officially confirms the dates that the West Coast segments of the annual holiday parade will be filmed at Disneyland, but DanceTheMagic.com, a Web site that offers travel packages to dance groups hoping to participate in the filming, lists the dates as November 4–6 (link). Keep in mind that the filming is subject to change with no notice, and we don't encourage readers to make a special trip just to see the filming.
  • Holiday Time at the Disneyland Resort – November 14, 2011 to January 8, 2012.
  • Candlelight Processional – December 3 & 4. Performances times, narrator and availability (if any) of dining packages have not yet been announced.
  • ElecTRONica – Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights now through Spring 2012; the event may be offered nightly during the Thanksgiving week, and the period between Christmas and New Years.

2012

  • ElecTRONica – Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights now through Spring 2012.
  • Tinker Bell Half Marathon Weekend – January 27–29. Registration for the half marathon is now sold out; registration for the family races is still 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 admission 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 website. 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. 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

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 website, 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 ($95) – 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 Sept 30, 2012. The ticket has the following blockout dates: December 24, 2011 to January 2, 2012; February 17 to 19, 2012; April 2 to 14, 2012; July 4, 2012.

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 ($239.99) – A special offer for Costco members who are also residents of Southern California. Note: this ticket is no longer listed on the Costco website, but you may find it at Southern California Costco stores.

Unlike most other park hopper tickets, this ticket has no "fuse" - you can use the first admission today, and have until October 19, 2011 to use the remaining admission days before the ticket expires. The ticket is blocked out August 21-22, 2011.

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.

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 website, 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

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 website, 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 to $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

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 website, 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 website 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 website though this has a minimum $7.50 shipping charge.

Hotel/Travel Packages

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

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 website for details.

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:

10/23 10/24 10/25 10/26 10/27 10/28 10/29
DL: 8a-12a

DCA: 10a-9p

SL

MM
DL: 8a-6p

DCA: 10a-8p



TT

DL: 8a-6p

DCA: 10a-8p



MM

MHP

DL: 9a-8p

DCA: 10a-8p


TT

DL: 9a-8p

DCA: 10a-8p



MM

DL: 8a-7p

DCA: 10a-11p



TT

MHP

DL: 8a-12a

DCA: 10a-9p

SL/SC

MM / TT
10/30 10/31 11/1 11/2 11/3 11/4 11/5
DL: 8a-11p

DCA: 10a-9p

SL

MM

DL: 8a-6p

DCA: 10a-8p



TT

MHP

DL: 10a-8p

DCA: 10a-8p



MM

 

DL: 10a-8p

DCA: 10a-8p


TT

DL: 10a-8p

DCA: 10a-8p



MM

DL: 9a-11p

DCA: 10a-9p



TT

 

DL: 8a-11p

DCA: 10a-9p

SL/SC

MM / TT
11/6 11/7 11/8 11/9 11/10 11/11 11/12
DL: 8a-11p

DCA: 10a-9p

SL

MM

DL: 10a-8p

DCA: 10a-8p



TT

DL: 10a-8p

DCA: 10a-8p



MM

 

DL: 10a-8p

DCA: 10a-8p


TT

DL: 9a-10p

DCA: 10a-8p



MM

DL: 8a-12a

DCA: 10a-10p

SL/SC

TT

 

DL: 8a-12a

DCA: 10a-10p

SL/SC

MM / TT
11/13 11/14 11/15 11/16 11/17 11/18 11/19
DL: 8a-11p

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: 9a-12a

DCA: 10a-9p



TT

 

DL: 8a-12a

DCA: 10a-9p

SL/SC

MM / TT
11/20 11/21 11/22 11/23 11/24 11/25 11/26
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


SL/SC/DX

MM

DL: 8a-12a

DCA: 10a-10p

SL/SC/DX

TT

 

DL: 8a-12a

DCA: 10a-9p

SL/SC/DX

MM / TT
11/27 11/28 11/29 11/30 12/1 12/2 12/3
DL: 8a-12a

DCA: 10a-9p

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-9p

DCA: 10a-8p



MM

DL: 8a-12a

DCA: 10a-9p



TT

 

DL: 8a-12a

DCA: 10a-9p

SL/SC

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.