Disneyland Park Updateby Adrienne Vincent-Phoenix, staff writer
Update for February 20-27, 2006
Go directly to: News & Views | Current Refurbishment/Attraction Closures | Park Events | Discounts/Promotions | Park Schedule/Blockout Dates
MouseAdventure: Hold the Date
There are some logistical issues to take into consideration before everything is finalized (see next item, for example) but it can be announced that the next MouseAdventure will be held on Sunday, April 30, 2006. Registration and full details should open by the end of the month but you can go ahead and mark this down on your calendar. For more general information about MouseAdventure, see our MouseAdventure page (link).
DCA Food & Wine Festival
It has long been known that Disneyland Resort President Matt Ouimet is keen on the idea of translating the success of Walt Disney World events like the Food and Wine Festival, and Flower and Garden Festival into similar events at Disneylandbut so far that has all remained pie-in-the-sky thinking.
Then last week we heard word from a reliable cast member who'd seen information that Disney's California Adventure will indeed be hosting its own Food and Wine Festival for four weekends in April and May. If the information is accurate, it appears these would be weekend-only affairs (though that may depend on attendance) and would mostly make use of existing food outlets in the park, even reviving (if only temporarily) such long out-of-service counters as Farmer's Market and Lucky Fortune Cookery.
It will be interesting to see how such an events works out in an environment so different from Epcot's World Showcase. Out there, the Festival is essentially spread out single file over the nearly mile-long World Showcase walkway. Each pavilion provides an obvious built-in theme for the food and wine options and the distance over which you walk slows you down enough that it can't all be done in 20 minutes.
Anyway, it should be emphasized that this is a single-sourced rumor and so take it with the appropriate grains of thought. If nothing else, take the opportunity to envision how you'd like to see such an event handled at the Disneyland Resort.
The Disneyland Railroad officially updated
In an event last week, that at first seems strangely tardy, the Disneyland Railroad officially welcomed Steam Engine No. 5, the Ward Kimball, and the completely rehabilitated Lilly Belle private car to the Disneyland tracks.
Disneyland Resort President Matt Ouimet officiated the private ceremony at the Frontierland (New Orleans Square) Station in the early morning hours last Wednesday. The date was selected because it is the birthday of Walt Disney's wife, Lillian, for whom the Lilly Belle is named. Members of Ward Kimball's family (including his widow, Betty) were joined by hundreds of cast members and Imagineers who had worked on the restoration of the Ward Kimball and Lilly Belle.
Matt Ouimet (in suit) and Mickey Mouse join the crew of the Disneyland Railroad to officially dedicate the Ward Kimball and Lilly Belle. Photo © Disney.
Though the Kimball has been riding the rails for about seven months now, this ceremony officially welcomed it to the fleet.
As for getting a chance to ride the Lilly Belle, the rules still seem to be changing daily depending on who you talk to. Several people report that they have still been able to talk themselves into a ride inside the private car. Since it can't hurt to ask, you should be aware that you'll need to ask at the Main Street Station (speak to one of the cast members working inside the station), you'll be required to take a full-circle tour all the way back to Main Street, and you'll only be able to ride if a conductor or other acceptable representative is available to accompany you. And of course, politeness is mandatory and accept it graciously if told you can't ride.
Proposition 65 warnings cause cancer
This is a really minor issue that has cropped up recently at Disneyland and generally wouldn't be at all worth mentioning. But it also raises a larger question that pops up every once in a while from people visiting from outside of California.
The instigating event for this piece is that sometime in the last 10 days all the store receipts at Disneyland have begun printing a warning at the bottom that the items you purchased may contain chemicals known to cause cancer.
The reason for this warning is a 1986 California law (The Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act, or more commonly Prop. 65) that requires businesses to notify customers of the presence of cancer-causing chemicals with which the customer may come into contact "in the normal course of business." The problem (if you want to call it that) is that the list of chemicals requiring this warning is long and the exposure levels is low. So over the last 15 years or so the situation has arisen that pretty much every commercial building in California has come to have a warning posted somewhere since the listed chemicals, as a whole, are relatively common and determining exposure level is expensive.
Though it isn't so plain to see, Disneyland does have one of these notices if you know where to look, and has for quite a while included a notice on store receipts when one of the purchased items specifically has this warning. Originally the store receipts printed the warning on all receipts and put asterisks by the affected items. The computer system was later updated so that the warning was only printed when an affected item was purchased. Sometime in the last two weeks the system has returned to printing the warning on every receipt, raising some eyebrows. Reportedly, this is a temporary glitch and it will eventually return to the more limited printing of the warnings.
The only reason we mention this is that while Californians have become so inured to Proposition 65 warnings (any Californian paying attention probably sees dozens of them a day), they may be something of a shock to visitors from out of state or country. If you do see one of these warnings on your receipt and want to know what exactly the chemical is that is causing it, Disney will likely not be able to tell you, instead directing you to contact the manufacturer. If you're curious, you can find more information at the Prop. 65 page at the California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assesment Web site (link).
But don't worry, Disneyland isn't any more likely to cause cancer than most other places in California. They've just taken a more liberal policy on their warnings (read: the lawyers told them to) than many other businesses that rely simply on posted signs do.
Over the last week some visible progress is finally starting to show in the old submarine lagoon. We present here a few photographs to bring you up to date.
The view into the submarine tunnel has now been blocked off. Photo by David Michael.
Sections of the lagoon surface have been torn out. Behind the bulldozer you can see a section of the submarine track that has been removed completely. Photo by David Michael.
Another view slightly to the right of the previous photo. Photo by David Michael.
Torn up concrete has been piled up and equipment generators have been put in place. Photo by David Michael.
A temporary stairwell has been constructed connecting the lagoon to the monorail station. Photo by David Michael.
We apologize to anybody who got excited by our information about the $5 tote bag offer at Disneyland in last week's Park Update (link) only to find that by Tuesday it had been abruptly ended. The response to the offer was overwhelming and Disneyland reportedly burned through their supply of thousands of these tote bags in less than a week.
As we mentioned, this was an unusual promotional offer, and some on the inside have told us that it was prompted by a system glitch that caused 10,000 extra bags to be ordered. Store managers were overwhelmed by the response and the hunt for the last few discounted bags was exhausting (after they were thought to be sold out an odd bag would pop up here and there). If the reported reason for the promotion was correct it is unlikely to be repeated, but the massive response may be having some in charge rethinking it.
This and that...
... While there is still no word on what will be replacing Hoypoloi in Downtown Disney, the rumor that it will be another Disney-owned store is growing stronger and the current plan calls for it to be open in late fall in time for the holiday shopping season. Exactly what this store will be remains unknown but word continues to swirl that it will be a boutique store for Disney-branded clothing. World of Disney and Marceline's are currently the only businesses in Downtown Disney owned and operated by Disney.
...Word also continues to fluctuate on what exactly will happen to Autopia's Winner's Circle store in Disneyland Tomorrowland. The store is located on what used to be the queue area for Submarine Voyage and will need to return to that role when the Finding Nemo submarine ride opens in 2007. Original plans suggested that Winner's Circle would simply close up and fade to Yesterland, but a current rumors indicates at least some thought is being given to the idea of resurrecting it in another Tomorrowland location. Whether this would involve construction of a new structure or taking over an existing one (Hatmosphere?) remains completely unknown.
...Last Friday saw the final appearance of the White Witch from The Chronicles of Narnia in the courtyard behind Sleeping Beauty Castle. The area is being maintained as a meet-and-greet location, however, and is now the Villain's Lair and wil host various Disney villains. It is possible that the White Witch might still make appearances, but the exact lineup of appearing villains is uknown.
...It looks like Disney's Electrical Parade will be returning to regular service at Disney's California Adventure earlier than expected. It was originally announced that it would be on hiatus until the summer season but as of April 7 the classic nighttime parade will be back in daily performances. Odds are that the finding of a new corporate sponsor (Sylvania, also now sponsoring the Parade of Dreams at Disneyland) helped get the parade back earlier than planned
...If you hold a Disneyland Annual Pass and are a Hollywood star watcher, you might want to take note of an AP contest coming up where the grand prize is a pair of bleacher seats for the red carpet arrivals at the 2007 Academy Awards. To enter you'll need to mail in an entry form between March 5 and April 5 with the answer to a trivia question. The trivia question is, "What film won the prize for Best Visual Effects." You can get the PDF entry form here and the full rules here. Both are also available at the AP Web page (link).
...Just a reminder that tickets are still available (as of Sunday, February 19) for Flashback. Described in detail in the January 30 Disneyland Park Update (link), Flashback is a cast member talent show that raises money for Make-a-Wish Orange County. Balcony tickets are $12, mezzanine are $14, and the back of the lower level are $17. Up to four tickets can be purchased per annual pass. The event is 8:30 p.m., March 5, at DCA's Hyperion Theater and can be purchased by phone at 714-781-4400.
Don't keep it to yourself! Send us your news tips, rumors, and comments. Email us here.
- Snow White, An Enchanted Musical closed. On hiatus during off season; expected to return for final season in summer 2006.
- Goofy's Bounce House. Closed permanently as of January 8, 2005. Will be replaced with outdoor toddler playground.
It appears the new soft walking surface has been installed around Goofy's House. Photo by David Michael.
- Haunted Mansion closes January 18 March 9 for removal of the Nightmare Before Christmas overlay and more extensive refurbishments.
- Parade of Dreams dark March 1 - March 2. Reason unknown but likely there will be construction along the parade route that makes it impossible to perform.
- Pirates of the Caribbean closed March 6 June 24, 2006, for major refurbishment and show updates. Must reopen in time for Pirates of the Caribben: Dead Man's Chest in late June (movies opens nationally July 7).
- Blue Bayou Restaurant closed March 6 June 16, 2006 for the duration of the Pirates of the Caribbean closure.
- Cafe Orleans Restaurant rumored to close March 6 June 16, 2006, for redesign into full service restaurant.
- Disneyland Monorail goes into shuttle mode (one way trips only) January 2006. Complete closure for station redesign will not happen until later in 2006.
- River Belle Terrace unofficially to close in September or October 2006 for complete redesign into larger two-story restaurant.
- Bengal BBQ rumored to close permanently in September or October 2006 to provide room for expansion of River Belle Terrace.
- Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage is currently under construction and will open sometime in 2007.
Disney's California Adventure
- Department of Untapped Hilarity (D.U.H.) on hiatus. Might return for the 2006 summer season.
- Redwood Creek Challenge Trail closed January 3 February 28, 2006, for major refurbishment.
- Mullholland Madness closed April 24 - May 27.
Note: Refurbishment schedules are estimates only. All information is subject to change without notice. To get the most recent updates, call Disneyland at (714) 7817290.
If you know of any events, official or unofficial, that should be listed here, let us know.
- Free Crispitos at Rancho del Zocalo with annual pass. Entire month of February. Free Crispitos dessert (tortilla chips flavored with cinnamon sugar) with the purchase of an adult entree and beverage.
- Eight Below at El Capitan Theater. February 17-March 2.
- Discounted Lady and the Tramp DVD. February 28 - March 16. Purchase DVD at Emporium, 20th Century Music, Off the Page, Greetings from California, or World of Disney for $5 off regular price of $24.99.
- Flashback. March 5, 8:30 p.m. A cast member talent show and charity fundraiser. This year, for the first time, annual passholders can purchase tickets to the performance. For information and purchase call 714-781-4400.
- Walt Disney Company annual shareholders' meeting. March 10. Begins at 10:00 a.m. (doors open at 9:00 a.m.) at Arrowhead Pond in Anaheim, California. Attendance is limited to shareholder (as of January 9, 2006) and one guest. Attendance is on a first-come, first-served basis and is limited by seating capacity of Arrowhead Pond. Registration begins at 8:00 a.m and registrants must show photo ID. If you own stock through a brokerage account you must provide a statement showing such. Cameras and other recording equipment are not allowed (link, PDF).
- The Shaggy Dog at El Capitan Theater. March 10 - April 13. Reportedly the sideshow for this run will be a show by stunt dogs that worked in the movie (or are similar to the movie; details are unclear).
- Walt Disney Classics Collection Spring Premiere Event. March 24-26. Unknown what else will be available but the leading item will be a limited edition (4,000) Stitch sculpture at World of Disney (link).
- The Wild at El Capitan Theater. April 14 - May 11. Side show unknown.
- MouseAdventure. April 30, no official details released yet.
- Cars at El Capitan Theater. June 9 - July 4. Side show unknown.
- Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest premiere: Details unknown but the world premiere is again expected to be held in Disneyland's New Orleans Square. The movie opens July 7 and the premiere will be up to two weeks prior to that.
- Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest at El Capitan Theater. July 7 - September 4. Side show unknown.
- Disneyland Half Marathon Weekend. September 15-17. For more information and registration see the official Web site (link, warning: horribly annoying embedded music)
- Gay Days. October 6 - 8. Unofficial event (link).
DCA: Disney's California Adventure
Annual Pass blockout dates:
- SL Southern California Select Annual Pass
- SC Southern California Annual Pass
- DX Deluxe Annual Pass
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Visit our Annual Passholders Blockout Dates 2006 page to see more dates. You can see future calendar schedules at Disneyland. As always, specifics are subject to change without notice (or occasionally, without us noticing) so when information conflicts between what is presented here and that presented by Disney, it is best to assume Disney's information is correct.
Entertainment schedule: Go directly to the Disneyland Resort schedule for this week at Disneyland.com here.