Disneyland Park Updateby Adrienne Vincent-Phoenix, staff writer
Update for April 24-May 1, 2006
Go directly to: News & Views | Current Refurbishment/Attraction Closures | Park Events | Park Schedule/Blockout Dates
Registration is now open for the spring MouseAdventure event on April 30 but closes tomorrow at midnight. For more details and registration information, see our MouseAdventure page (link). Due to the involvement of almost the entire MousePlanet staff in next weekend's event, the Disneyland Park Update for next week will be delayed to Tuesday, May 2.
The Patina Group Restaurants at Downtown Disney have announced the third edition of their Annual Pass-exclusive dining events. Both of the previous events have proven very popular with attendees.
For $10 per person participants get five hours to roam the three restaurants: Tortilla Jo's, Catal, and Naples Ristorante e Pizzeria. At the upstairs areas will be dedicated to the event and a special samplers menu will present options from the regular menus hoping to entice everybody back for a full meal at the restaurants. Drinks are also included.
The event will be held on Monday, May 22, from 4:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. Payment is taken upon arrival but you do need to RSVP to 866-972-8462 (866-9-PATINA) or send email to email@example.com. Each Annual Passholder can register three additional guests.
AP screenings at El Cap
A new annual pass offer has been listed at the Disneyland Annual Pass Web page (link). During their opening weekends at the El Capitan theater in Hollywood, both Cars and Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest will each have two AP-only morning screenings. Tickets for these screenings are $17 each (including a $2 per ticket fee) and are essentially VIP tickets at a regular screening (though you may end up sitting in non-VIP areas). Admission comes with popcorn and a drink. Movie posters will also be available while supplies last. The schedule for these screenings is:
Saturday, June 10 at 10:00 a.m. Sunday, June 11 at 10:00 a.m.
Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest
Saturday, July 8 at 10:00 a.m. Sunday, July 9 at 10:00 a.m.
Obviously, tickets are very limited and may have already sold out. To inquire, call 1-800-DISNEY-6 (1-800-347-6396).
The sideshow entertainment for Cars will be a real pit-crew demonstration, and Pirates of the Caribbean will have a display of props and costumes from the movie.
Crowds over weekend
A variety of factors over recent weeks, including spring break, the Easter holiday, and great weather following a period of bad weather, have resulted in huge crowds at both Disneyland and Disney's California Adventure, resulting in the people turning out in droves. For Disney's California Adventure, this all came to a head over the weekend with the final days of the resident salute ticket offers. Plenty of people had the DCA day left on their "2fer" tickets and apparently weren't shy about using them.
On Saturday, April 22, the gate numbers for the two parks showed a ratio not often seen: DCA's admissions were about 60 percent that of Disneyland. By the end of the day more than 45,000 people had entered DCA (though a healthy number were still park-hopping), handily beating the pre-estimate of around 30,000. The park was definitely caught off guard as many of the minor food and ODV locations around the park remained closed throughout the day, with those dining locations that were open essentially being overwhelmed. Then on Sunday almost as many people showed up again, though staffing of ODV carts seemed to be more appropriate.
This photo should buy us some credibility from the people who complain we never show DCA looking busy. Photo by Alex Stroup.
It actually got so crowded at DCA on Sunday that at least for a period new ticket sales to DCA were halted. When pulling into the Mickey & Friends parking garage, we were warned that we "might want to go to Disneyland instead since DCA is very busy." While waiting in line to enter DCA, cast members were roaming the crowd asking if people using the second day of their 2fer ticket to enter DCA might wish to use it at Disneyland instead. The two people we specifically saw offered refused and headed into DCA anyway.
Attraction queues were also at almost unheard of levels. For the new Monsters, Inc. ride, the queue easily overflowed, with the line extending at one point almost all the way back to Award Wieners (the only food open in Hollywood Pictures Backlot) before they finally got the old Who Wants to Be a Millionaire queue organized and everybody diverted into there. Wait times were so long that handwritten numbers were posted on Post-It notes.
By Sunday they had replaced the Post-Its with quickly printed (from a computer printer) bits of paper. It was also necessary to block out "from this point" since the line actually extended several hundred feet beyond the usual entrance to the Monsters, Inc., queue entrance. Photo by Alex Stroup.
The wait time for the ride actually got up to at least 120 minutes on Sunday. The queue for Mulholland Madness made it to at least 85 minutes as well. Even in Flik's Fun Fair the generally ignored Heimlich's Chew Chew Train had a 45-minute queue (making for a ratio of about 30:1 for time in line versus time on ride) early Sunday afternoon.
Meanwhile, over at Disneyland estimates were also surpassed, with about 70,000 total visitors on Saturday causing a temporary halt in ticket sales. Sunday saw big crowds as well fell short of Saturday's numbers.
This weekend, however, marks the official end of the spring break period, with weekday park hours reduced (9:00 a.m. - 10:00 p.m. at Disneyland and 10:00 a.m. - 8:00 p.m. at DCA) for the short lull between spring break and the official start of the summer season in June. Of course, if park management is to be made happy, next week will see continued large crowds at DCA for the inaugural Food & Wine Weekend.
Actually waiting 45 minutes to ride Heimlich's Chew Chew Train seems like an exercise is masochism. Photo by Alex Stroup.
Haunted Mansion Holiday
Ever since it was first announced that Haunted Mansion Holiday would, for the first time, not be having an accompanying merchandise event, the Internet has seen the rumor circle the globe in waves that Haunted Mansion Holiday itself was canceled. Honestly, take the graphics on the recent news about how a global bird flu pandemic would spread around the planet and replace the little duck graphic with a small X'ed out Jack Skellington and you have the idea.
Anyway, the rumors were back this year and have reached the point that Walt Disney Event Services has gone to the extreme of announcing a non-event. Specifically they say that because of all the pirates hoopla this summer there will be no Haunted Mansion Holiday event but that the attraction will definitely be returning.
So, the next time you see someone post, "I heard HMH isn't coming back this year, anybody know why?" you will know what to post in response.
Pirate merchandise and Legend of the Golden Pin
Moonlit reminder and update
Just a reminder that registration opens this morning (Monday, April 24) at 11:00 a.m. Pacific Standard Time for the Pirates of the Caribbean: A Moonlit Voyage merchandise event. Each package has its own registration page (Flying Dutchman, Wicked Wench, Black Pearl) and you can find the links on the individual package pages at the official information Web site (link).
A couple more merchandise images have also appeared on the information site in the last week as well as a tentative itinerary that confirms that the "Pirate Encounter" dining experience will in fact be held in a hotel ballroom, specifically at the Disneyland Hotel. If you do sign up for the event and try to take it all in, make sure you sleep late because it is going to be a long day. Here is the itinerary as currently posted.
- 9:00 a.m. Registration and package pick-up begins at Disneyland Hotel
- 1:00-5:00 p.m. Artist signings and appearances at Disneyland Hotel
- 6:00 p.m. Package pick-up closes
- 7:00-8:30 p.m. Pirate Encounter with Taste of the Bayou at Disneyland Hotel
- 9:00-11:00 p.m. Special Pirates of the Caribbean queue at Disneyland
- 11:30 p.m. Begin entering AMC Theater for special screening
- 12:15 a.m. Begin screening of Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest
It is worth a reminder as well that every package page mentions that separate theme park admission is required. So if you register for the event and want to take advantage of the special Pirates queue from 9:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m. and are not an annual passholder you will probably need to buy park admission as well. If you only have one of the SoCal annual passes, July 6 is a blackout date and you'll need to buy a blackout ticket. Also, keep in mind that the Pirates of the Caribbean queue will be just that, a special queue. The ride will not be closed to the general public for that duration. If you just try to go on it over and over during the two-hour window you'll probably get not more than four or five trips in.
No news here, just an excuse for a picture
When something went wrong at Autopia last week, guests finally got an accurate representation of Los Angeles driving. The situation where traffic just so bad that you give up and walk home.
An important lesson for young drivers in how long you sit in gridlock before getting out of the car to stretch your legs. Photo by David Michael.
Don't keep it to yourself! Send us your news tips, rumors, and comments. Email us here.
- Pirates of the Caribbean closed March 6 June 26, 2006, for major refurbishment and show updates. Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest will premiere at Disneyland on June 24. Ride may be available to public on June 25.
- Blue Bayou Restaurant closed March 6 June 26, 2006, for the duration of the Pirates of the Caribbean closure.
- Cafe Orleans Restaurant closed March 13 June 9, 2006, for redesign into full service restaurant.
- Fantasmic! dark June 17 - June 28, 2006, for activities surrounding premiere of Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest.
- Disneyland Park opens and closes early June 24, 2006, for premiere of Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest. Will open at 6:30 a.m. and close at 5:30 p.m. DCA will be open two hours later than usual until 11:00 p.m.
- Parade of Dreams dark June 24, 2006, for red carpet arrivals to premiere of Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest.
- Golden Horseshoe closed May 15 - June 15 for refurbishment and kitchen changes.
- River Belle Terrace rumored 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.
- Snow White, An Enchanted Musical closed. On hiatus during off season; expected to return for final season in summer 2006.
- Disneyland Monorail goes into shuttle mode (one way trips only) January 2006. Complete closure for station redesign will not happen until later in 2006.
Disney's California Adventure
- It's Tough to Be a Bug closed April 24 - May 25 for refurbishment.
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.
- The Wild at El Capitan Theater. April 14 - May 11. Each screening will feature an animal show using exotic birds from the Los Angeles Zoo (link).
- Jim Shore artist signing. April 29, 9:00-11:30 at Disneyana (link).
- Food & Wine Weekend #1. April 29-30 (details).
- MouseAdventure. April 30, registration is open until midnight, April 25 (link).
Food and Wine Weekends #2, #3, and #4. May 5-7, May 12-14, May 19-21 (details).
- Cars at El Capitan Theater. June 9 - July 4. Side show unknown.
- Prirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest. June 24. Presumptive date of world premiere of this new movie, to be held in New Orleans Square. Park will close early (5 p.m.) with celebrity red carpet arrivals earlier in the day. Has not yet been officially announced.
- Pirates of the Caribbean merchandise event. July 6 (link, registration open April 24)
- 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).
- Mickey's Halloween Treat. October 13, 20, 22, 26, 27, 29, 30, and 31 at DCA. (See Disneyland AP page for details)
- Lion King returns to Pantages Theater. Beginning November 16 for eight week run. Call 323-463-4367 for details and tickets.
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.