Disneyland Resort Update

by Adrienne Vincent-Phoenix, staff writer
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Update for May 26 – 31, 2015 (Diamond Celebration Edition)

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


News and Views

Capacity crowds close Disneyland during Diamond anniversary debut | Tips for making the most of your theme park nights | Matterhorn reopens with new Abominable Snowman, same abominable ride vehicles | Diamond Days sweepstakes details | Diamond Celebration Photo Spots | This and that... | Crowd Forecast

[Note: This week's update won't be what you may have expected, but I wanted to look at the 24-hour kick-off party in depth and give you some tools to plan your visit to see the new Diamond Anniversary attractions at the Disneyland Resort. I won't give away too much detail or spoilers about the shows themselves here. Keep reading all this week as we explore the 60th Anniversary in greater detail Be sure to also check out our YouTube channel and follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram—there's lots of great 60th Anniversary content already there.]

Capacity crowds close Disneyland during Diamond anniversary debut

Disneyland Resort President Michael Colglazier and Disneyland Park Vice President Mary Niven may regret the assurances they made to local media about the resort's ability to handle the crowds expected for its 60th anniversary. "We've been doing things over the past couple of years to prepare for this," Niven told the Los Angeles Times a few days before the anniversary celebration began on May 22.

“We have planned for days like today,” said Colglazier during an interview with the Orange County Register in the early hours of the 24-hour kickoff, as he watched crowds stream into the park. “We are prepared and have new ways to flow crowds back and forth on Main Street.”

Later that same day, it was clear that whatever plans they had in place to handle the anticipated crowds were not up to the challenge of managing the tens of thousands of people who actually arrived, and who were hoping to get a first look at the reopened Matterhorn Bobsleds, the new "Paint the Night" parade, new "Disneyland Forever" fireworks, and the new version of the World of Color show. Disneyland imposed entry restrictions, then closed its gates entirely. Disney security closed the bag check tents, restricting access even to Disney California Adventure for a time. DCA even cut off alcohol sales Friday night "to maintain the integrity of the Guest experience," according to a tweet from the official Disneyland account.

Whatever Disney planned for, the reality was much different, although the experience of the individual visitor depended greatly on what they had personally prepared for, and where they were when the gates closed. The handling of this 24-hour party invites comparisons to the resort's first such event in 2012, and raises questions about just what visitors should expect this summer.

If you were off-property and/or offline from May 21 through 23, here's what you missed:

Thursday, May 21
6:00 p.m. Around 100 people are already in line outside the Harbor Boulevard bag-check tent. Disney has said that guests will be allowed into the Esplanade starting at 2:00 a.m., where they will receive a souvenir 60th anniversary collectible while supplies last.
9:00 p.m. Disney security estimates 1,000 people are in line.
Midnight Disney security estimates 3,000 people are now in line. The crowd fills the now-closed drop-off lot off Harbor Boulevard.
Friday, May 22
1:10 a.m. Cast members tell the waiting crowd to stand up and prepare to move into the Esplanade in 20 minutes, at 1:30 a.m. (rather than the 2:00 time announced earlier). This causes hundreds to scramble as they rush to return items like tents, chairs, and sleeping bags to their cars or hotel rooms.
3:00 a.m. Guests are finally allowed to pass through bag check and into the Esplanade, an hour later than the previously announced schedule. An estimated 4,000 people receive a souvenir Mickey Mouse hat.
4:00 a.m. Mickey and Friends parking structure opens for the morning. Some arriving guests receive a flyer warning that Disneyland will be busy that day.
4:00 a.m.

Disneyland gates open, and visitors are allowed on Main Street, U.S.A. to wait for the official 6:00 a.m. event start. Dozens of media and camera crews are on hand. The Disneyland Emporium shop quickly fills to capacity, and a long line of shoppers wait outside for their chance to purchase anniversary souvenirs.

[5:35 a.m.] News crews film segments on Main Street, U.S.A. before Disneyland opens for its 24-hour party. Photo by Adrienne Vincent-Phoenix.

6:00 a.m.

Following a brief countdown and opening moment, Disneyland opens for its 60th anniversary celebration. It takes nearly 20 minutes for Main Street to clear. While Disney will not discuss attendance numbers, our best estimate puts the crowd at around 10,000 people. Across the way, Disney California Adventure also begins its operating day.

[6:41 a.m.] Shoppers pack the Main Street Emporium to snap up Diamond Anniversary souvenirs. Photo by Adrienne Vincent-Phoenix.

7:30 a.m. Cast members at the Disneyland exit tell passholders that they do not need handstamps to reenter the park that day, and downplay the concern when asked what will happen if the park reaches capacity that day. Readers throughout the day report having received no warning about potential closures before leaving Disneyland.
1:50 p.m.

Less than eight hours after opening, Disneyland posts messages via Twitter than the park is closed to new entries. Only those who have already been inside the park that day can reenter. In Disney-speak, this is a "Level 3" closure, and occurs only a few days each year, usually during the peak holiday season.

[2:20 p.m.] Visitors arriving at the Mickey and Friends parking structure are greeted with a sign warning that the theme parks are busy, and told by the parking cast member that access to Disneyland is limited to those who have already been in the park that day. Photo by Adrienne Vincent-Phoenix.

3:30 p.m.

Thousands of people wait outside Disneyland for the park to reopen, and Disney security closes the bag check tents to clear the crowd from the Esplanade. Readers ask why there is no official communication from Disney as to the nature and length of the closure, and complain that there is not enough guest control to keep people from the still-arriving trams and buses from cutting in line.

[3:49 p.m.] Guests arriving by tram from the Mickey and Friends parking structure discover that the bag check tents are closed. Photo by Adrienne Vincent-Phoenix.

The closure of the tents also impacts those who simply need to cross the Esplanade to get to and from Downtown Disney. A path is eventually roped off across the Esplanade, and guests are escorted in groups across the Esplanade to the other side.

Current view of the Esplanade from Disneyland. It's getting ugly... @DisneylandLive pic.twitter.com/iNEVqNNkKL

— Imaginat1on (@imaginat1on) May 22, 2015

6:00 p.m.

Disneyland posts via Twitter that the park is now closed to all entries, regardless of re-entry status. In Disney-speak, this is a "Level 4" closure, and is an extremely rare occurrence.

Those who make it through bag check are told that their only option is to visit Disney California Adventure, and that Disneyland is unlikely to reopen for the rest of the evening. Cast members warn people leaving Disneyland that they will not be allowed to re-enter the park that night.

[6:18 p.m.] The street around Disneyland's hub is rendered impassable by the crowds waiting for the parade to begin at 8:50 p.m. Photo by Adrienne Vincent-Phoenix.

6:30 p.m.

Cast members continue to try to discourage people from waiting in the Esplanade for Disneyland to reopen, telling them that the park will likely remain closed for the rest of the day.

[6:30 p.m.] Disneyland's gates are closed to all entries, as the park reaches "level 4" crowding. Photo by Adrienne Vincent-Phoenix.

[6:31 p.m.] Hundreds of hopeful Disneyland visitors disregard requests from park managers, and form an unofficial queue along the rope perimeter set up in the esplanade. Photo by Adrienne Vincent-Phoenix.

7:30 p.m. Readers report the line for the west bag check tents winds through Downtown Disney and goes as far back as the Disneyland Hotel. The line on the east side reaches Harbor Boulevard. The wait is estimated at over three hours depending on side.
8:20 p.m. Disneyland makes its first official comment on the growing bag check lines, saying, "As of 8:20 p.m., many guests entering through bag check area causing delays." This same post (with different time stamps) is repeated throughout the night, with no indication of just how long the lines really are.
~8:30 p.m.

Some time before 8:30 p.m., Disney California Adventure closes its main park exit, directing people who are leaving the park to exit through Gate 14 into Downtown Disney, beyond the bag check tents.

[8:38 p.m.] Long lines of visitors wait to get into Disney California Adventure. Photo by Adrienne Vincent-Phoenix.

9:20 p.m. When asked via Twitter, the official @DisneylandToday account says that the Toy Story parking lot is closed, and suggests an inbound visitor park in the newly constructed cast parking lot at the corner of Harbor and Ball, which is being used as overflow parking for the event. The resort, however, does not make a public announcement with the same information.
10:00 p.m. When asked via Twitter, the official @DisneylandToday account answers that all resort parking lots are full. The resort, however, does not make a public announcement with the same information.
10:45 p.m. Disney announces via Twitter that Disneyland remains closed.
11:00 p.m. Disney California Adventure suspends alcohol sales throughout the park. Again, there is no public announcement, but in a reply via Twitter, the official @DisneylandToday account confirms: "In order to maintain the integrity of the Guest experience, food & beverage locations will end alcohol sales after 11p."
Midnight

Disney announces via Twitter that Disneyland remains closed, dashing the hopes of those who anticipated the park would reopen in time for the 1:00 a.m. "Paint the Night" parade.

Readers question the continued closure of Disneyland, despite social media posts and even video from Disneyland's official live stream that show many areas of Disneyland nearly empty. Wait times for many "E-ticket" attractions, including Star Tours and Space Mountain, are under 10 minutes.

May 23
12:30 a.m.

The Tomorrowland dance party is nearly deserted, and the just-reopened Matterhorn Bobsleds, which boasted waits of up to 90 minutes during the day, is a walk-on.

[12: 35 a.m.] A small group of dancers take to the floor at the Tomorrowland dance club during the 24 hour party. Photo by Adrienne Vincent-Phoenix.

[12;49 a.m.] Crowds line Main Street, U.S.A. as they wait for the 1:00 a.m. performance of Paint the Night on May 23. Photo by Adrienne Vincent-Phoenix.

1:45 a.m. Disney repeats via Twitter the announcements that Disneyland is closed for new admission, that Disney California Adventure remains open, and that there are delays at bag check.
1:52 a.m. Disney reports via Twitter that guests already inside Disney California Adventure can park hop to Disneyland. This announcement seems to come as a surprise to the cast members who are staffing the DCA exit, who continue to tell exiting guests that Disneyland will remain closed for the rest of the evening.
2:00 a.m. A large group of guest control cast members, just released from parade duty, gathers inside the Disneyland gates for instructions before heading to Disney California Adventure to help move guests between parks. A lead tells them, "We have no idea what we're about to get ourselves into. Stick together."
2:13 a.m. Disneyland reports via Twitter: "We are in the process of allowing guests inside Disney California Adventure park to cross over to Disneyland park."
2:20 a.m. Thirty minutes after announcing Disneyland had reopened, Disney security leads the first group of park hoppers from Disney California Adventure to Disneyland. It takes about 10 minutes for the crowd to enter Disneyland.
2:45 a.m. Disney security fully reopens the bag check lines, allowing open access to the Disneyland main entrance for the first time in over 12 hours.
2:55 a.m. Disneyland reports via Twitter that Disneyland and Disney California Adventure have resumed normal operation.

I had the unique experience of covering the majority of the 24-hour party in person from inside the theme parks, and thanks to a media credential that allowed me to park hop even when Club 33 members with confirmed dining reservations were being turned away at the gates. This means I saw the good, bad, and downright scary from both theme parks, and was able to share my experiences with MousePlanet readers throughout the night via social media. Some—usually those inside Disneyland who had no idea what was going on beyond the berm—complained that I was being too negative in my coverage. Others—including those stuck in the three-hour lines outside bag check—said I didn't go far enough to call out Disney management for its handling of the event.

Regardless of Disney's expectations or plan for the event, it is clear that something went terribly wrong earlier in the day, and that park managers did not put into effect soon enough the attendance-throttling measures that could have prevented Disneyland from reaching level 4.

A primary concern, at least in my mind, was the lack of an effective communication plan in the event things went sideways, as they did in 2012. Disney needed to use some basic tools they already have for busy days, but for some reason did not deploy during this event—including the "theme parks are very busy" signs at the park exits—and have already created new tools for communicating in this unusual circumstance.

There has to be a way to place signs outside the Disneyland entrances in a level 3 situation, explaining that the park is open for re-entry only and directing new arrivals to DCA. There was no need for the mass confusion outside the park gates as cast members individually explained the situation to each arriving guest.

The floral Mickey at the Main Street train station is decorated for the 60th Anniversary celebration. Photo by Mark Hahn.

There was also no need for the massive delay at the bag check tents, especially when it prevented guests from reaching the still-open Disney California Adventure park. If Disney can add "Word of the Day" signs to the bag check tents, it can certainly have sign holders to designate the individual tents as "Disneyland only," Disney California Adventure only," or "Esplanade crossing only."

Disney also missed the opportunity to use social media to clearly and honestly communicate the situation to people who were trying to decide whether to come down for the evening or not. While I applaud the efforts of the folks behind the official @DisneylandToday Twitter account, who personally responded to hundreds of questions, there is a major difference between the information provided in those personalized responses, and the information publicly posted via the same channel.

It is the nature of Twitter to only show public posts—not personal replies—via most applications, so people who relied only on what Disneyland said to everyone missed out on some very crucial information provided only to some. Disney never posted that parking was full—something that would have done quite a lot to help people make an informed decision as to whether or not to drive to Anaheim.

Worse, much of the official information posted by Disney was so vague as to be useless. "Many guests entering through bag check area causing delays," is quite a stretch from the reality of three-hour lines. Telling people that "Disney California Adventure park is still available for your enjoyment" is pointless at best and intentionally misleading at worst when people cannot get through the bag check area due to intermittent unannounced closures.

Park visitors stand five-deep to watch the 1:00 a.m. performance of Paint the Night on May 23. Photo by Adrienne Vincent-Phoenix.

I recognize that Disney's social media managers are tasked with the delicate balancing act of providing information without scaring people away—they can't just say "stay home!" like we here at MousePlanet did repeatedly throughout the night, and as early as 5:00 p.m. But they absolutely could and should have provided accurate information about park conditions without waiting to be asked, and provided that information online in one place that didn't require visitors to follow just the right social media account.

One decision by Disney I don't disagree with—and I know I'm going to catch some flack for this—was the call to keep Disneyland closed to re-entry until after the 1:00 a.m. Paint the Night parade. While it is completely true that most of Disneyland was empty once the crowds from the first parade and fireworks cleared out, those visitors still in the park packed every available nook and cranny of the parade route.

At that point, I believe the decision was more about the capacity of the parade viewing areas than of the park itself. It wasn't a question of whether the new backstage passages would ease traffic flow during the parade, or whether there was room for more people in Tomorrowland or on Pirates of the Caribbean. I believe it would have been the wrong—even potentially dangerous—move to reopen Disneyland knowing that not one of those newly admitted people would be able to see the new parade. Despite all of the other failures of that event, that was the most important call of the night, and that's one they got absolutely right.

Early morning light shines on Sleeping Beauty Castle at the end of the 24-hour event. Photo by Mark Hahn.

Tips for making the most of your theme park nights

Now that the 24-hour party is behind us, what should you expect when you come to see the three new nighttime spectaculars? While Disneyland is unlikely to again reach level 4 conditions during the summer, there is tremendously strong interest in these three new entertainment offerings; you'll be dealing with nighttime crowds well into 2016.

With just a few days of crowd reports—all from the premiere holiday weekend—it's tough to know what the traffic patterns will look like as we head into summer. Based on what we've seen so far as well as our knowledge of the shows themselves and our experience navigating Disneyland, here are our suggestions for making the most of your nights when you come to see the new shows. [As you visit over the next few weeks, please send us your feedback so we can refine these suggestions and help more readers, or share your experiences on our MousePad discussion forum.]

Disneyland Forever fireworks

Hundreds of invited media and winners of a Disney Parks Blog contest fill Main Street U.S.A. for the premiere of the Disneyland Forever fireworks. Photo by Mark Hahn.

Since this show is presented just once a night, you will likely plan your Disneyland night around it. If you are only going to see this show one time in your entire life, we recommend that you see it from the south end of Main Street, U.S.A, anywhere in the block between Town Square and Carnation Cafe. You will only see a bit of the Castle effects, but the view of the other effects and the actual fireworks should more than make up for it.

The good news is that getting a prime viewing spot should not require a long wait, since the fireworks follow the parade. Grab a coffee at Starbucks or browse the shops until the parade passes, then find a spot in the street and you're set. You'll need to be quick, as everyone watching the parade will have the same idea, but Main Street itself has enough room to absorb the parade crowd.

If you have more than one night, make a point of finding a new vantage point each time you see the fireworks, as there are different effects from different viewing areas. The area in front of "it's a small world" is a favorite spot, and you can sit down as soon as the parade passes.

If you are willing to devote the time, the view from directly in front of Sleeping Beauty Castle is also wonderful, but tends to fill early in the day. You will be near the parade route, but not necessarily close enough to enjoy that show.

If you get a Fastpass ticket for the 9:00 p.m. Fantasmic, be sure to stay in that viewing area through the fireworks, especially if you have a good view of Tom Sawyer Island.

Finally, if you really just don't want to deal with the crowds, grab a bench outside Pixie Hollow as soon as the parade passes, and watch the Disneyland Forever projections on the Matterhorn. It's a completely different show than you see from any other vantage point, but it's surprisingly enchanting.

Paint the Night

The drum unit of the new Paint the Night parade pays tribute to the original Main Street Electrical Parade. Photo by Mark Hahn.

Most normal parade strategy applies for Paint the Night, which means you are better off waiting for the second parade of the night to spend less time sitting on a curb; the viewing area on the north side of the parade route (between Sleeping Beauty Castle and "it's a small world" ) tends to fill up much later than the Main Street stretch.

That said, if you want the "classic" Main Street view and are willing to devote the time, plan to grab a seat as soon as the daily Soundsational Parade passes. Enough people leave after that parade and create space for those wanting to camp out for the nighttime show. The good news is that you are also be perfectly placed for the Disneyland Forever fireworks.

There is one word of warning: the "Matterhorn Way" section of the parade route adjacent to the Matterhorn is closed during the fireworks which immediately follow the parade. Visitors sitting in this area to watch the parade (the small area outside the Alice in Wonderland bathrooms is a popular viewing area for those in the know) must leave as soon as the parade clears the area. This also means that you may not follow the parade down the route - cast members rope off the route as soon as the last float passes.

Depending on wind conditions, the popular fireworks viewing area immediately in front of "it's a small world" may also close during the fireworks. If you choose to watch the parade from that area and plan to stay for fireworks, it's not a bad idea to chat up the nearest guest control cast member to ask if there are any wind concerns. If there are, be prepared so you can grab a spot along whatever rope is set up at the front of the permitted viewing area.

World of Color: Celebrate

World of Color: Celebrate features several new special effects to compliment the new show. Photo by Doug Williams.

Be sure to get into Disney California Adventure to get a Fastpass for this show the first time you plan to see it; don't be one of the people looking for a last-minute spot in the standby section. There are great alternate views for subsequent shows, but you want a good spot the first time.

Check with the cast member at the Fastpass distribution machines to find out if the tickets currently being issued are for the center viewing area, or one of the side views. It may be worth waiting to get a ticket for the second show to get a better seating area, so chat up the cast members for their advice.

If you are willing to splurge, consider a World of Color dining package, which gives you access to both a better viewing area, and a little more elbow room as you watch the show.

Fantasmic

Disneyland's entertainment schedule has been carefully crafted to force visitors to choose between shows. With Fastpass now available for Fantasmic, be sure to pick up a ticket to avoid the dreaded standby area.

Fantasmic dining packages are also available, but know that the Aladdin's Oasis package comes with the same Fastpass you can get for free at park opening. This package is best for those who cannot make it into Disneyland in the morning to get a Fastpass ticket, plan to start their day at Disney California Adventure, or just don't want to deal with the hassle.

Matterhorn reopens with new Abominable Snowman, same abominable ride vehicles

Disneyland's Matterhorn Bobsleds reopened last week, bringing brand-new effects to the classic ride. For those who are not adverse to spoilers, we've posted a full ride-through showing both tracks.


Take a ride through both sides of the Matterhorn Bobsleds to see the new Abominable Snowman at Disneyland. MousePlanet video.

Without giving anything away, we can say that the new effects look amazing, and it's obvious that a great deal of work went into upgrading the audio experience. Unfortunately, it seems that no work was done on the bobsleds themselves, and the ride is every bit as bone-jarring and back-cracking as before. As before, the front seat offers a bit more leg room and at least the illusion of separation between the seat and the floor, while riders in the back two sections may feel like they are sitting directly on the track.

The Matterhorn also now sports a "no selfie sticks" sign at the entrance.

Diamond Days details

Disneyland's Diamond Days sweepstakes kicked off Friday morning, and we now have all the details you need to enter. For ease of explanation, consider this to be two completely separate contests.

The Word of the Day is posted outside each of the bag check areas at the Disneyland Resort. Photo by Mark Hahn.

Daily contest – open to visitors on Disneyland Resort property; text entry

To enter the daily contest, look for the Word of the Day posted on signs outside each of the four bag check areas (both sides of the Esplanade; Disneyland Monorail entrance; Grand Californian Hotel entrance). Use your phone to correctly text the Word of the Day to 347639 between 7:00 a.m. and 10:59 a.m.

Disney will notify the winners via reply text or phone call around 11:00 a.m. that same day. Winners have 60 minutes to claim the prize at the Disneyland Resort, or forfeit the prize.

Those who do not have or choose not to use a phone to enter the contest can enter using tablets available at the Guest Relations window outside Disney California Adventure. The winner will also be posted at this location, for those who do not have the ability to receive a text or call in the event they are the winner.

While the official rules state that "Entrant must be physically present at the Resort premises (which includes ungated areas) at the time of entry into daily sweepstakes," many local readers have noted that they could easily reach the Disneyland Resort within 60 minutes if they win, and so plan to enter every day. The Word of the Day is available each morning from the contest website.

If you submit your text entry between 7:00 a.m. and 10:59 a.m., you are automatically entered into both the daily AND weekly drawings. If you submit your text entry after 10:59 a.m., you are not eligible to win the daily prize, but will be entered into the weekly prize drawing.

The prize in the daily contest is a VIP tour experience for the winner and up to three guests. The experience includes the services of a VIP guide for up to seven hours, a meal at a Disneyland Resort restaurant (up to $60 per person), and reserved viewing at selected shows and/or parades. Park admission is included for you and/or your guests if needed.

The daily contest runs May 22, 2015 through September 11, 2015, with a total of 112 prizes to be awarded.


Disneyland Resort Ambassador Jessica Bernard talks with MousePlanet's Adrienne Vincent-Phoenix about the Diamond Days contest, and shows off one of the dazzling prizes you can win. MousePlanet video.

Weekly contest – open to everyone; daily text or online entry

If you aren't visiting Disneyland, or lucky enough to live within quick driving distance, you can still enter each day to be eligible for the weekly contest.

To enter the weekly contest, visit the Word of the Day website to get that day's magic word, then fill out the entry form on the contest website. You can enter once per day.

Disney will notify the weekly winner via e-mail and/or phone call. The winner must contact Disney within 2 business days or forfeit the prize.

The 16 prizes are really quite stunning, and all include a three-day, two-night trip to Disneyland for the winner and up to three guests.

  • One Cinderella Glass Slipper package – including a crystal Cinderella slipper topped with a heart-shaped diamond and topaz pendant.
  • One Blue Diamond package – featuring a two-carat aqua blue diamond.
  • One Red Diamond package - featuring a two-carat garnet red diamond.
  • Four White Diamond packages – each featuring a one-carat white diamond, and a one-night stay in the Disneyland Dream Suite
  • One Fantasyland package – including a one-night stay in the Disneyland Dream Suite
  • Seven Disney Character Party packages – featuring a "Disney Character VIP Party Experience"
  • One Private Early Entry VIP package – featuring a private early entry VIP tour of Disneyland California Adventure.

One additional Final Prize, including a Disneyland vacation, a one-night stay in the Disneyland Dream Suite and a limited-edition Disney lithograph, will be awarded at the end of the contest. The winner will be selected from all valid daily and weekly contest entries submitted between May 22 and September 11, 2015.

Diamond Celebration banners decorate the Disneyland Resort. Photo by Mark Hahn.

Diamond Celebration Photo Spots

Media checking into last week's 60th Anniversary kickoff events received a postcard explaining the photo backdrops mentioned in a recent Disneyland Resort Update:

Imagine posing for a photo as if you were scaling up the Matterhorn, standing in the mouth of Grizzly Peak, or holding on to your hats and glasses on the wildest ride in the wilderness.

Now imagine that this photo looks like a vintage Disneyland postcard...with a magical twist.

Each Diamond Celebration Photo Spot features a new take on forced perspective, and when you capture the moment with Disney PhotoPass service you will soon be able to download amazing bonus content - including animated elements that appear alongside you, adding to your story.

Four Diamond Celebration Photo Spots are in place for you to discover within both parks, inspired by the Matterhorn Bobsleds, Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, California Screaming' and Grizzly Peak. Two more will arrive in time for Disneyland's anniversary date. Capture dazzling moments in the Happiest Place on Earth that will be treasured for years to come.

Visitors pose at one of six Diamond Celebration photo spots that will be placed around the Disneyland Resort during the anniversary celebration. Photo by Adrienne Vincent-Phoenix.

The Matterhorn and California Screamin' photo spots opened this weekend, but the Big Thunder Mountain Railroad and Grizzly Peak spots were delayed. The Matterhorn photo spot uses tilted perspective to make it appear that subjects are scaling the Matterhorn. Cast members stationed at the spot have some great tricks for creating really unique photos, and we invite you to share yours with us.

Two additional spots will open this summer, for a total of 6.

60 pressed coins

Disneyland debuted the first of 60 new elongated coin designs last week at the start of the 60th anniversary celebration. The 60 new pressed penny (or nickel or quarter) designs will be offered throughout the Resort, with some 30 designs available as of last week, and the rest being released over the course of the celebration.

Merchandise managers say that a number of the designs will only be available for a limited time, but which designs are limited and the length of time they will be available will be announced at a future date.

A scan of the collector's brochure in PDF format is available on our MousePad discussion forum. You can pick up a printed copy of the brochure at City Hall in Disneyland, the Chamber of Commerce at Disney California Adventure, or at most shops which house a pressed coin machine.

This and that...

...Now that Minnie Mouse has a cameo in the new Red Car Trolley News Boys show at Disney California Adventure, she joins the rotation of characters who make appearances on Buena Vista Street during the day. Minnie Mouse wears a flapper-inspired dress that she wore to the Buena Vista Street opening ceremonies, but hasn't been spotted in since.

Minnie Mouse greets visitors at Disney California Adventure. Photo by Adrienne Vincent-Phoenix.

...Disneyland has published park hours through July 4, and they show Disney California Adventure scheduled to close at 10 p.m. on Independence Day. We expect there to be an adjustment to the schedule when the entertainment details are finalized, so stay posted.

The Sorcerer Mickey hat at the Disneyland Hotel has a new paint job and icon for the 60th Anniversary. Photo by Mark Hahn.

...Disneyland president Michael Colglazier unveiled the final piece of the 60th Anniversary decorations for Sleeping Beauty Castle during a "finishing touches" ceremony Thursday afternoon.

A large 60th Anniversary icon graces Sleeping Beauty Castle at Disneyland. Photo by Mark Hahn.

A matching icon is installed on the Carthay Circle Theatre in Disney California Adventure. Photo by Doug Williams.


Disneyland Resort President Michael Colglazier and 2015 Ambassador Allie Kawamoto host a ceremony to unveil the final decor element on Sleeping Beauty Castle for the 60th Anniversary celebration. MousePlanet video.

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Crowd Forecast

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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
Tuesday, May 26, 2015 8 / 10
Wednesday, May 27, 2015 7 / 10
Thursday, May 28, 2015 7 / 10
Friday, May 29, 2015 7 / 10

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Current Refurbishments and Attraction Closures

Note: Not all of attraction closures have been officially confirmed by Disney, and are all subject to change at any time. Refurbishment schedules are estimates only. We recommend checking for updates as you plan your visit. All information is subject to change without notice. To get the most recent updates, call Disneyland at (714) 781–7290, then select option 1 > option 1 > option 4.

Disneyland

  • Captain EO – closed; reopening date unknown.
  • Innoventions – closed; reopening date unknown.
  • Starcade – closed for renovation; reopening date now TBD.
  • Peter Pan's Flight –closed through July 1 for refurbishment.

Disney California Adventure

  • Blue Sky Cellar –reopening date now TBD.
  • Luigi's Flying Tires – closed. Ride to be removed and replaced. Reopening date unknown.
  • Muppet*Vision 3D – closed indefinitely due to the Frozen Fun overlay.

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).

2015

  • Grad Nite events – This party for high school seniors graduating in 2015 will be held on these dates: May 13, 15, 16, 18, 26, 27, 29, 30; June 2, 3, 5, 6, 10, 12, 13, 17, 19. The 2015 event includes admission to Disneyland Park and Disney California Adventure Park during regular operating hours, and a private party in Disney California Adventure park from 10:00 p.m. to 2:00 a.m.
  • Bats Day weekend (unofficial event) – May 29-31. Details at the event website.
  • 2015 Paint Your Way To Miracles and Magic – Saturday, June 27. Registration now open at the event website.
  • 2015 Taste of Downtown Disney District – Thursday, August 13 from 5:30 - 10:00. Tickets information to be announced at the event website.
  • D23 Expo – August 14-16 at the Anaheim Convention Center. Tickets available on the event website.
  • 2015 Disneyland Half Marathon Weekend – September 3–6. All events are sold out. Details at the runDisney website.
  • Dapper Day Fall Soiree (unofficial event) – September 18. Details at the Dapper Day website.
  • Gay Days at Disneyland – October 2–4. (Unofficial event) More information on the event website.
  • 2015 CHOC Walk in the Park – Sunday, October 11 at the Disneyland Resort. Registration is now open via the event website. MousePlanet readers, friends and family are invited to register with Team MousePlanet and walk with our group.
  • Utah Education Association convention (UEA, a.k.a. "Utah Escapes to Anaheim") – October 15-16. Expect unusually large attendance levels October 16–20 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.
  • 2015 Avengers Half Marathon Weekend – November 12–15. Most events are sold out, but space remains in the half marathon race. Details on the runDisney website.

2016

  • 2016 Star Wars Half Marathon Weekend – January 14–17. Registration opens June 16.
  • 2016 Tinker Bell Half Marathon Weekend – May 5–8. Registration opens August 11.
  • Utah Education Association convention (UEA, a.k.a. "Utah Escapes to Anaheim") – October 20–21.

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.

Merchandise Events

Date Event
Fri., May 29

WonderGround Gallery – Artist in Residence, Featuring Gregg Visintainer, 6–10 p.m.

Sat., May 30

WonderGround Gallery – Artist in Residence, Featuring Gregg Visintainer, 6–10 p.m.

Sun., May 31

WonderGround Gallery – Artist Showcase with Hero Handmade Goods, 1–4 p.m.

Sat., June 6

Little Green Men Store Command – Before Tomorrowland book signing with Jonathan Case and Jeff Jensen, 9–11 a.m.

WonderGround Gallery – Artist Showcase with Leilani Joy, 2–5 p.m.

Sun., June 7

WonderGround Gallery – Artist Showcase with Leilani Joy, 1–4 p.m.

Fri., June 12

WonderGround Gallery – Artist Showcase with Leilani Joy, 1–4 p.m.

WonderGround Gallery – Artist Showcase with Max Grundy, 6–10 p.m.

Sat., June 13

Disneyana – Artist Showcase with Dave Avanzino, 11 a.m. – 7 p.m.

WonderGround Gallery – Artist Showcase with Jerrod Maruyama, 1–4 p.m.

WonderGround Gallery – Artist Showcase with Max Grundy, 6–10 p.m.

Sun., June 14

Disneyana – Artist Showcase with Dave Avanzino, 11 a.m. – 7 p.m.

Fri., June 19

WonderGround Gallery – Artist Showcase with Max Grundy, 6–10 p.m.

Sun., June 20

WonderGround Gallery – Artist Showcase with Sean Chao, Max Grundy, Danny Handke and Leilani Joy 11 a.m. – 1 p.m.

WonderGround Gallery – Artist Showcase with Leilani Joy, 2–5 p.m.

Sat., June 21

WonderGround Gallery – Artist Showcase with Leilani Joy, 2–5 p.m.

Sun., June 26

WonderGround Gallery – Artist Showcase with Max Grundy, 6–10 p.m.

Sat., June 27

WonderGround Gallery – Artist Showcase with Max Grundy, 6–10 p.m.


Current Discounts & Promotions

Disneyland prices as of February 2015.

Note: MousePlanet does not edit past Updates to reflect price increases; for up-to-date prices, check the most recent Disneyland Resort Update. 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.

Don't get scammed! Never buy tickets from an unofficial or secondary outlet, such as through eBay or Craigslist. Never rent or purchase tickets from people approaching you outside the gates stating they have remaining days or leftover tickets. This practice is against the terms of use for Disneyland admission, and may result in denial of entry. It is also common for criminals to shoplift inactivated Disney theme park tickets from supermarkets to resell them. There is no way to determine if these tickets are valid until you try to use them to enter the parks. Only purchase Disney theme park tickets directly from Disney, an authorized seller, or travel agency.

One Day, One Park Ticket – Regularly $99/$93

One Day Park Hopper – Regularly $155/$149

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 $185/$172

Two Day Park Hopper – Regularly $225/$212

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 $235/$224

Three Day Park Hopper – Regularly $275/$264

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.

2014–2015 Disney Military Promotional 3–Day Park Hopper Ticket ($132)

A discounted price offered to Eligible Service Members or their spouses.

The 2014–2015 U.S. Armed Forces discount is valid through October 3, 2015. Under this program, active and retired U.S. military personnel can purchase Disney Military Promotional 3-Day Park Hopper Tickets for $132 each.

For the purpose of this offer, Disney defines "Eligible Service Members" as active or retired members of the U.S. military, including the National Guard, Reservists, and the U.S. Coast Guard. Valid military identification will be required for purchase. This discount is available at MWR/ITT offices at your military base or other at participating U.S. military sales outlets. The tickets are not available for sale at the Disneyland Resort ticket booths. 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). Disney has also clarified that the "Military member (or spouse) must accompany the persons using these tickets for Theme Park admission," which means you can not purchase these tickets and give them to someone who will be visiting without you present.

Tickets are blocked out March 30 through April 4, 2015 . Unlike past years, this ticket is not blocked out on the 4th of July. 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.

For complete information regarding Disney Military Promotional 3-Day Park Hopper Tickets and discounted resort rates, military personnel may visit the Disneyland Resort website, or participating U.S. military base ticket offices.

Four Day, One Park per Day Ticket – Regularly $260/$245

Four Day Park Hopper – Regularly $300/$285

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.

Five Day, One Park per Day Ticket – Regularly $275/$259

Five Day Park Hopper – Regularly $315/$299

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.

Six Day or longer tickets No longer offered by Disneyland – some travel providers may offer tickets for 6 days or longer as part of a package to international customers; residents of Canada, Australia, or the U.K. should check with local travel agencies to see what options may be available.
Disneyland Resort Annual Passports

California residents can take advantage of the monthly payment plan when purchasing any but the Premier Annual Passport.

  • Premier Annual Passport ($1,099) – valid at both Disneyland Resort and Florida's Walt Disney World Resort; includes parking.
  • Premium Annual Passport ($779) – includes parking.
  • Deluxe Annual Passport ($549)
  • Southern California Annual Passport ($389) – renewal only, not currently available for new purchase
  • Southern California Select Annual Passport ($299)
  • Parking Add On ($169) – add-on to Deluxe, SoCal and SoCal Select passes; blocked out July 4 and December 31. Renewal only, not currently available for new purchase
  • Blockout Day Ticket – no longer available.

Check with your employer, school or credit union to see if any other discounts are available through them.

2015 Southern California CityPASS $334/$291

 

2015 Southern California CityPASS ($334/$291) – includes a 3-Day Disneyland Resort Park Hopper Bonus Ticket (including one early-entry day), a one-day admission to Sea World San Diego and a one-day admission to Universal Studios Hollywood. The CityPASS expires 14 days after first use at any location, and the first use must occur by June 2, 2015. 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 a shipping charge may apply depending on how quickly you need the ticket.

When you purchase the CityPASS, you have the option of adding a one-day admission to either San Diego Zoo or San Diego Safari Park for an extra $36/$28; and/or a one-day admission to LEGOLAND California for $59/$55. This upgraded pass is only available for purchase directly from the CityPASS website

Prices listed above are valid until June 2, 2015

Check with your employer, school or credit union to see if any other discounts are available through them.

Other Discounts

Did we miss an offer? If you know of an authorized discount on Disneyland Resort tickets, standing offers for Annual Passholders from non-Disney vendors, or other promotions which might interest our readers, please drop us a note!

Discounts for everyone

Purchase with Purchase offers – Disneyland Resort shops frequently offer a reduced–price souvenir (often a tote bag, watch, or blanket) with a qualifying minimum purchase. These are offered at Disney-operated stores only, and selection may vary by location.

Recently, Disney has begun allowing customers to purchase more than one of the offers in a qualifying transaction, so if you spend $40 or more you can buy both items currently available if you wish. If you're a passholder, the minimum purchase is calculated after your discount, and your discount does not apply to the promotional item. Current offers:

  • Disneyland Mickey Mouse Backpack for $19.95 with a purchase of $40 or more.
  • Disneyland Pin Trading Starter Set for $19.95 with a purchase of $25 or more.

Landry's Select Club – members of the Landry's Select Club get priority seating at the Rainforest Cafe when available (which makes a huge difference on busy days), and a 10 percent discount on retail purchases. This club replaces the former Rainforest Cafe Safari Club, and now runs on a point-based system that gives you a $25 gift certificate after you spend $250. Membership now costs $25, but comes with a $25 reward. We recommend that you prepurchase your membership before your visit so you can take advantage of the priority seating benefit.


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 percent 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).


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

Discounts for Annual Passholders

Disneyland Resort merchandise – Disneyland extended the 20 percent merchandise discount offered to Premium annual passholders through December 31, 2015. All other passholders receive a 10% merchandise discount. Visit the Annual Passholder discount page for specific details and exclusions.

Guided Tours – 15% off the regular price of 6 guided tours – Walt in Walt's Footsteps; Cultivating the Magic; Discover the Magic; Happiest Haunts; Welcome to Disneyland; and Holiday Time at Disneyland. Visit the Annual Passholder discount page for specific details and exclusions.

Dining – 10-15% off at a variety of Disneyland Resort locations, including Disney-owned and independent restaurants. Visit the Annual Passholder discount page for specific details and exclusions.


Discounts for Disney Visa cardholders

Character Meet-and-Greet – cardholders have access to a private character meet-and-greet photo opportunity at Disney California Adventure, and receive one free 5"x7" photograph per visit.


Disneyland Resort merchandise – Cardholders also receive 10 percent off qualifying merchandise purchases of $50 or more from Disney-operated retail stores.


Disneyland Resort dining – 10 percent off at selected Disneyland Resort restaurants, (Big Thunder Ranch, River Belle Terrace, French Market, Cocina Cucamonga, Steakhouse 55, PCH Grill and Storyteller's Café).


Disneyland Resort Guided Tours – 20 percent off the "Welcome to Disneyland," "A Walk in Walt's Footsteps," and "Discover the Magic" guided tours.


See the Disney Visa website for terms and conditions for all of these promotions.

Hotel and travel package offers

If you plan to visit Disneyland before the 60th anniversary celebration begins, check out two new discount offers for the Disneyland Resort Hotels.

  • Save up to 25 percent on Disneyland Resort Hotels stays through February 12
  • Save up to 20 percent on Disneyland Resort Hotels stays February 13 through March 26

You must book by February 12 and complete your travel by March 26. Contact your travel agent or Disney Travel Company for details and to make a reservation.

Thanks to Sue at Small World Vacations for the information.


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


Disney's Resort Magic and Good Neighbor Magic Packages – package includes accommodations in 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 three DCA attractions (Disney's Aladdin – A Musical Spectacular, Muppet*Vision 3D, It's Tough to be a Bug!); 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.

Discounts for U.S. military

See "2014–2015 Disney Military Promotional 3–Day Park Hopper Ticket ($132)" above.

Discounts for Southern California residents 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.

 

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

Small World Vacations

www.smallworldvacations.com

Park Schedule/Blockout Dates

  • DL – Disneyland
  • DCA – Disney California Adventure

Annual Pass blockouts:

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

Early Admission – full description available on the Disneyland website):

  • MM – Magic Mornings for 3-plus day ticket holders, promotional "bonus" tickets, and Southern California CityPASS
  • EMH – Extra Magic Hour for Disneyland Resort Hotel Guests
  • EA – Early Admission for Annual Passholders (not currently offered)

Disneyland Resort Special Events:

  • GN – Grad Nite. 2015 dates: May 13, 15, 16, 18, 26, 27, 29, 30; June 2, 3, 5, 6, 10, 12, 13, 17, 19.
  • MA – MouseAdventure (www.mouseadventure.com)
  • MHP – Mickey's Halloween Party at Disneyland
5/24 5/25 5/26 5/27 5/28 5/29 5/30

DL: 8a-12a
None

DCA: 8a-10p
EMH

AP Blockouts:
SL/SC/DX

Events: None

DL: 8a-12a
None

DCA: 8a-10p
EMH

AP Blockouts:
SL

Events: None

DL: 8a-12a
EMH/MM

DCA: 8a-10p
None

AP Blockouts:
None

Events: GN

DL: 8a-12a
None

DCA: 8a-10p
EMH

AP Blockouts:
None

Events: GN

DL: 8a-12a
EMH/MM

DCA: 8a-10p
None

AP Blockouts:
None

Events: None

DL: 9a-12a
None

DCA: 9a-10p
EMH

AP Blockouts:
SL

Events: GN

DL: 9a-12a
EMH/MM

DCA: 9a-10p
None

AP Blockouts:
SL/SC/DX

Events: GN

5/31 6/1 6/2 6/3 6/4 6/5 6/6

DL: 8a-12a
None

DCA: 8a-10p
EMH

AP Blockouts:
SL

Events: None

DL: 8a-12a
None

DCA: 8a-10p
EMH

AP Blockouts:
None

Events: GN

DL: 8a-12a
EMH/MM

DCA: 8a-10p
None

AP Blockouts:
None

Events: None

DL: 8a-12a
None

DCA: 8a-10p
EMH

AP Blockouts:
None

Events: GN

DL: 8a-12a
EMH/MM

DCA: 8a-10p
None

AP Blockouts:
None

Events: None

DL: 9a-12a
None

DCA: 9a-10p
EMH

AP Blockouts:
SL/SC

Events: GN

DL: 9a-12a
EMH/MM

DCA: 9a-10p
None

AP Blockouts:
SL/SC/DX

Events: GN

6/7 6/8 6/9 6/10 6/11 6/12 6/13

DL: 8a-12a
None

DCA: 8a-10p
EMH

AP Blockouts:
SL

Events: None

DL: 8a-12a
None

DCA: 8a-10p
EMH

AP Blockouts:
SL

Events: None

DL: 8a-12a
EMH/MM

DCA: 8a-10p
None

AP Blockouts:
SL

Events: None

DL: 8a-12a
None

DCA: 8a-10p
EMH

AP Blockouts:
SL

Events: GN

DL: 8a-12a
EMH/MM

DCA: 8a-10p
None

AP Blockouts:
SL

Events: None

DL: 8a-12a
None

DCA: 8a-10p
EMH

AP Blockouts:
SL/SC

Events: GN

DL: 8a-12a
EMH/MM

DCA: 8a-10p
None

AP Blockouts:
SL/SC/DX

Events: GN

6/14 6/15 6/16 6/17 6/18 6/19 6/20

DL: 8a-12a
None

DCA: 8a-10p
EMH

AP Blockouts:
SL

Events: None

DL: 8a-12a
None

DCA: 8a-10p
EMH

AP Blockouts:
SL

Events: None

DL: 8a-12a
EMH/MM

DCA: 8a-10p
None

AP Blockouts:
SL

Events: None

DL: 8a-12a
None

DCA: 8a-10p
EMH

AP Blockouts:
SL/SC

Events: GN

DL: 8a-12a
EMH/MM

DCA: 8a-10p
None

AP Blockouts:
SL/SC

Events: None

DL: 8a-12a
None

DCA: 8a-10p
EMH

AP Blockouts:
SL/SC

Events: GN

DL: 8a-12a
EMH/MM

DCA: 8a-10p
None

AP Blockouts:
SL/SC/DX

Events: None

6/21 6/22 6/23 6/24 6/25 6/26 6/27

DL: 8a-12a
None

DCA: 8a-10p
EMH

AP Blockouts:
SL

Events: None

DL: 8a-12a
None

DCA: 8a-10p
EMH

AP Blockouts:
SL

Events: None

DL: 8a-12a
EMH/MM

DCA: 8a-10p
None

AP Blockouts:
SL

Events: None

DL: 8a-12a
None

DCA: 8a-10p
EMH

AP Blockouts:
SL

Events: None

DL: 8a-12a
EMH/MM

DCA: 8a-10p
None

AP Blockouts:
SL

Events: None

DL: 8a-12a
None

DCA: 8a-10p
EMH

AP Blockouts:
SL/SC

Events: None

DL: 8a-12a
EMH/MM

DCA: 8a-10p
None

AP Blockouts:
SL/SC/DX

Events: None

6/28 6/29 6/30 7/1 7/2 7/3 7/4

DL: 8a-12a
None

DCA: 8a-10p
EMH

AP Blockouts:
SL/SC

Events: None

DL: 8a-12a
None

DCA: 8a-10p
EMH

AP Blockouts:
SL/SC

Events: None

DL: 8a-12a
EMH/MM

DCA: 8a-10p
None

AP Blockouts:
SL/SC

Events: None

DL: 8a-12a
None

DCA: 8a-10p
EMH

AP Blockouts:
SL/SC

Events: None

DL: 8a-12a
EMH/MM

DCA: 8a-10p
None

AP Blockouts:
SL/SC

Events: None

DL: 8a-12a
None

DCA: 8a-10p
EMH

AP Blockouts:
SL/SC

Events: None

DL: 8a-12a
EMH/MM

DCA: 8a-10p
None

AP Blockouts:
SL/SC/DX

Events: None

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.

 

Comments

  1. By carolinakid

    Can't wait to ride the Matterhorn-both sides! Thanks for the 24 hour party coverage. However, an event like that has absolutely no appeal to me. I can't take the crowds or the chaos.

  2. By olegc

    Nice reporting. I left at 11am and felt the crowd growing then. I was wondering if something else was true. many pics show empty park areas or walk on rides. However I read that food lines throughout the night were still very long. Was that accurate.

  3. By bumblebeeonarose

    I agree with you that keeping the park closed until after the 1am parade was a good move on Disney's part. We left before 4pm because we had known for several hours that we were not going to be able to see the parade. I imagine the reason the rides were walkons was because most people were waiting for the parade or in line for food/merchandise. The lines were pretty short in the morning too since so many people were in lines for food and merchandise. The people hoping to reenter Disneyland were not looking to ride Pirates, they were looking to see the parade. If Disney had let them into the park there would have been even more anger and confusion from guests. Besides, they were likely still very crowded, although I'm sure it was no longer at capacity based on reports of guests leaving after the initial fireworks.

    When we stepped into the esplanade and saw thousands of people waiting to get into the park it was shocking. We did not know that the park was closed, though it explains why the lines were so bad. We were NOT told the park was closed and that we would not be able to reenter, good thing we didn't plan to. They definitely should have done more to help guests entering and exiting the area. It was not easy to find a way out. They told us security had a place we could exit in the middle of the esplanade, but the area was not marked or roped and was so crowded it still didn't look like a way out. I'm glad we left when we did. I would have been very frustrated if I wasn't able to exit the esplanade in the direction of Harbor to get back to the hotel. I feel sorry for those guests who were directed to leave DCA into DTD on the other side of a 3 hour wait for security check. This kind of guest control is unacceptable.

    Thanks for posting your parade and fireworks videos. We watched them on Saturday night from the comfort of the couch.

  4. By DisneyGator

    The short and sweet: if you went to DL on the 24 hour event, you're nuts! Now I'm questioning if I should go in just a few weeks. It may be crazy.

  5. By Niwel

    Great roundup - we followed along on twitter and I kept saying how glad I was that I wasn't there.
    We didn't go but watched the live stream at home (or at least tried to, it kept buffering for both the parade and the fireworks). Having a toddler makes evening shows difficult to see.
    It will be interesting to see what the crowds for a non-holiday weekend.

  6. By Pammer

    Thanks for all of the info, AVP!

    Question: have they changed the blue/yellow/premium viewing sections for World of Color with the new show, or is it still pretty much the same it has been since they did away with the red section? The bridge used to be blue and from where I preferred to watch.

  7. By AnotherJenny

    At one point I was at one of the kiosks in DCA, it was after the first WOC but before my 10:20 RSR FP and the plaids were telling people that there was no re-entry priority for DL and that they would be forced to exit to DTD and wait in the back check line again for any chance to get into DL that night, which they had no idea if it would re-open. One plaid said she didn't think so at all and the other said he thought after 2am. (They did qualify that these were personal opinions, they had no info.) And then of course they escorted people from DCA to DL when they reopened. So anyone who listened and took the chance of waiting in the bag check line would have been better off just staying in DCA.

    I also couldn't get an answer to the question of whether or not we had to go through DTD or if people parked in Toy Story could exist on the west side. When we did leave I went to the gates first to make sure it was possible. I was parked in the Lot K, and handed a piece of paper saying to take the Toy Story shuttle. Two of the rows in K are Donald and Chip. They were turning people away from the shuttles, after waiting 30 minutes or more in line saying that the shuttles were for Toy Story, Pongo and Bambi only. In the morning they had told us there would be a drop for Donald and Chip, but instead they dropped us on the other side of Pongo. The shuttle driver told me I took the wrong shuttle. I walked through Pongo to Woody and had to find 2 CMs with my paper before I found someone who knew how to get to Donald. There was a fence up on the path we had walked through in the morning. There was another guest who couldn't find Chip so I gave her a ride around the lot until she found her car. I suggested to the CMs that they radio over to the shuttles and tell them that there IS a Donald are in Lot K and to stop trying to send people to Mickey & Friends. I also tweeted it to DisneylandToday but they didn't respond. All in all it took me 90 minutes to get out of that lot.

  8. By AnotherJenny

    About handstamps. I renewed my blocked AP that morning, and had the current version of a blockout pass. When previously using the old block out pass I had been denied entry to DCA right after being told at DL that I didn't need one. So when I hopped from DL to DCA I specifically asked about a handstamp and they told me that when they scan a ticket they can tell if you're a re-entry so don't worry about it. We then left DCA to have lunch in DTD at one point and I again asked about a handstamp for both me and my PAP friends and we were again told that they're only for 1 day tickets.

    When I left for the night I was shocked that there were a few hundred people waiting in line at the ticket booths on the Harbor side. I said to my friend that I hope they're all upgrading to APs. I definitely hope they were still selling 1 day hoppers at that point.

  9. By katiesue

    Quote Originally Posted by AnotherJenny View Post
    When I left for the night I was shocked that there were a few hundred people waiting in line at the ticket booths on the Harbor side. I said to my friend that I hope they're all upgrading to APs. I definitely hope they were still selling 1 day hoppers at that point.

    I left around 1ish and saw the same lines at the ticket booths. I couldn't imagine wanting to buy a ticket at that point. I saw a huge line around the buses and assumed it was for Toy Story buses so I was prepared to walk but when I got around it I could see it was for bag check and there were only about 20 people waiting for Toy Story buses. I was also parked in K lot but shuttles only stopped in Pongo, I got off there and walked but others on the bus seemed very confused as to where they should get off.

    Another of our group left around 12:30 and got stuck in the esplanade mess. He wasn't able to go toward the Harbor side only to DTD and had to walk all the way around to Toy Story.

    I agree that although the back parts of the park were fairly empty, Main street was still very crowded and I don't think it would have been a good idea to let the masses in until after the parade. One of our party was remarking that they didn't open the bypasses behind Main street but Town Square and the Hub were so crowded I don't think it would have helped any, possibly only creating a larger bottleneck at either end.

    We seemed to have timed our day fairly well and didn't have a lot of issues. Some of our group arrived later and ended up in the chaos.

  10. By olegc

    Quote Originally Posted by bumblebeeonarose View Post
    When we stepped into the esplanade and saw thousands of people waiting to get into the park it was shocking. We did not know that the park was closed, though it explains why the lines were so bad.

    The reports COMPLETELY reminded me of Leap Day in 2012. I came in the AM, left and came back at 9pm. Parking lots abandoned and massive lines to get in to DL. I got tweets from MP and others standing no new entry so I had to fight my way through the crowd for re-entry. I got in - but man it was 10pm before I crossed the threshhold. When I left at 330am it was the same as you described - but no middle parting of the crowd sea. it was solid lines form gate to past the midway point. the crazier thing then was people in line to buy tickets - at 330am! I wonder if this was the case this year as well.

  11. By sjhanksaz

    Glad I am waiting till after the summer for the next trip.

  12. By Malcon10t

    I think one of the biggest issues they had was selling 1 day tickets. I was purchasing my niece a PAP, and while in line I was surprised at the number of people buying 1 day tickets, single park tickets.

  13. By AnotherJenny

    Quote Originally Posted by Malcon10t View Post
    I think one of the biggest issues they had was selling 1 day tickets. I was purchasing my niece a PAP, and while in line I was surprised at the number of people buying 1 day tickets, single park tickets.

    I guess they could have been APs. I'm planning to do that on the 17th. Keeping my lower level pass and paying $99 for 1 day is cheaper than upgrading.

  14. By olegc

    Quote Originally Posted by Malcon10t View Post
    I think one of the biggest issues they had was selling 1 day tickets. I was purchasing my niece a PAP, and while in line I was surprised at the number of people buying 1 day tickets, single park tickets.

    i think this goes back to the way this event was promoted. Many times local media did not emphasize Kickoff enough - nor did they push the fact that many of these things would be available for the next 2 years. Exclusivity was assumed and folks "had to be first". If they had done it over a weekend - WoC one night, Fireworks the next night, 2 shows of the parade the final night, that may have helped a little.

    To me - Parks management won't necessarily make changes to procedures because, on paper, the costs and concerns will be a blip compared to the revenue and word of mouth generated by those who got to see the shows and be inside. Look at what AVP said - people were telling her she was too harsh on Disney since they were inside and it was great. That's only one side of it. I just wonder whether the 2 year revolving door that is the Resort President position can at times create the problems we saw - where there is not enough experience at the top (who probably own more decision making power than in previous decades where on-the-ground folks called the shots). And - you'd think with all of the radios around and their technical prowess they would push more out there. If you recall in 2012 and other years WDW had a better time with the 24hour parties. No massive problems. Surprise - Current president came from there and probable said "i got this" based on his experience. Oops - not the same guest demographic, is it.

    With his background in Ops (according to his bio) you'd think Colglazier would know - but again I think Disneyland is such a different animal when it comes to "gotta be there" events than say WDW or other properties around the globe.

  15. By ralfrick

    The photos I've seen of the parade route at 1AM do not show every nook and cranny packed, but show a lot of empty space in Town Square.

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