Disneyland Park Updateby Adrienne Vincent-Phoenix, staff writer
Update for September 11-17, 2006
Go directly to: News & Views | Current Refurbishment/Attraction Closures | Park Events | Discounts and Promotions | Park Schedule/Blockout Dates
The pleasure of El Capitan screenings
Hollywood's El Capitan theater continues to prove that Disney owning its own public theater can have great benefits for Disney fansbenefits beyond knowing that The Santa Clause 3 will have a guaranteed two-month run on at least one screen.
The true benefit shows up when there is a gap between the family-friendly, first-run Disney films that make up the meat of the El Capitan's schedule for its single screen. These wholes are frequently filled with reappearances by more classic films, particularly if there is an upcoming DVD release to promote. September and October this year have a couple such gaps. The first gap is being filled with a run of 1989's The Little Mermaid (screening through September 24), which has been digitially remastered for a new DVD edition. In late October (19 through November 1), the El Capitan will be one of the theaters showing a new 3-D version of 1993 The Nightmare Before Christmas.
The great thing about these rereleases is that rather than getting the typical song-and-dance stage show or an exhibit of movie props and costumes, the run generally starts with a panel discussion by people involved in the making of the movie. The Little Mermaid was no exception.
Last Thursday, Don Hahn (producer of five of Disney's animation features, including The Lion King and The Beauty and the Beast) hosted and moderated the panel. On the panel were:
- Ron Clements and John Musker, co-directors of The Little Mermaid (they also teamed up to direct Aladdin, Hercules, and Treasure Planet).
- Glen Keane, the lead animator of Ariel, the film's main character.
- Jodi Benson, the singing and talking voice (they're not always the same person in Disney musicals) of Ariel.
- Sherri Stoner, who had an interesting role in the movie as the live-action reference model for the character of Ariel.
- The final participant was an unannounced surprise in the person of Alan Menken, half of the celebrated team of Menken and Howard Ashman, who created the music and lyrics for the movie.
During the discussion, each participant talked about how they came to be involved with the movie and how they did their jobs. Probably the highlight of the discussion revolved around Sherri Stoner, the least prominent of the panel members. For the first time since Sleeping Beauty, the animators on The Little Mermaid decided to use a live action model as a reference for the films animators.
So in a decidedly low-tech environment the directors would film Stoner running through the motions of the character of Ariel so that animators wouldn't have to create every movement entirely from their own imaginations. Film (which is on the new DVD) of some of these scenes were shown, and it is safe to say that the image of Stone being spun by hand on a revolving chair for the scene where Ariel pushes herself up on the rock will forever come to mind when watching the movie.
Following the film itself, there was another suprise. Former Disney feature animation director Roger Allers (The Lion King) was also on hand, and it was to do more than just promote his upcoming new movie Open Season (link, Sony). It seems that back after the release of Fantasia 2000, there was an idea for creating another version that told stories of folklore from around the world with music.
One of these efforts was "Lorenzo" (review), which was released in 2004 with the movie Raising Helen. Roger Allers directed another effort and for the first time it was shown at the El Capitan. His story was "The Little Match Girl," appropriately another Hans Christian Anderson story. Fortunatelyor unfortunately, depending on your perspectivethis story did not have its ending changed to a happy one (in the original Hans Christian Anderson version, of The Little Mermaid, the mermaid dies at the end). It wasn't the best short in the world (while it is easy to imagine it working well as an interlude in a longer Fantasia-type film, it doesn't quite have enough pizzazz for a standalone item) but it is always great to see animated shorts get time in front of a live audience.
I had hoped that "The Little Match Girl" would be screened with The Little Mermaid throughout its engagement but have been told my theater management that this also was a one-time thing for the Thursday crowd. Regardless, it is always great to once again watch a favorite film with a full crowd that is just as appreciative as you.
It is too late for you to experience the added opening-night pleasures for The Little Mermaid but there are a couple more weeks for you to catch the show and tickets are still available for most dates and showtimes.
Tickets are also still available for most dates and showtimes for the October engagement of The Nightmare Before Christmas in 3-D (link).
We aren't quite ready to throw open the doors on registration yet, but we can promise you that they will open this Wednesday, so be sure to return in two days if you want to get signed up early for our fall event. Full details will be available when registration opens, but here are the basics.
There will be two different games you can sign up for. One is a game designed for those looking to have fun in a relaxing, laid-back format. The twist this time will be that it is entirely photographic. You'll need to bring a camera with you since every puzzle in the game will result in you taking a photo. This contest is not particularly competitive and is more of a fun day at the park with a little extra thrown in, making it a great event for those trying their hand at a MouseAdventure for the first time, or wanting to bring their children for the day.
The second is much harder, in the format of our Enchanted Race event from March 2005. This event is designed to be extremely challenging and highly competitive, and will be more fulfilling for our returning veteran players and those who are not coming with their children.
All details will be available Wednesday morning when registration opens so keep an eye on our MouseAdventure page (link).
Watch your stroller
Recent weeks have seen Disneyland hit by what appears to be a relatively well organized string of stroller thefts in the park. That is, they aren't stealing the strollers, but rather the contents of strollers left outside park attractions while guests ride.
The thiefs simply walk up to the stroller and wander off with it as if it is there own. They then go to another quieter location, take whatever they want out of the stroller and then leave it behind. The result is that most people end up reunited with their strollers but not with the stuff left inside the stroller.
It is, of course, common sense that you shouldn't leave anything of value inside a stroller while you're away from it but as people get tired throughout the day and begin to accumulate more and more stuff the temptation to use the stroller as a mobile storage device gets stronger. Look closely at strollers left in various "stroller parking lots" around Disneyland and you'll be amazed at what people leave behind.
So, even though it goes without saying, consider it said that especially right now you should be extremely cautious about leaving anything of value unattended with a stroller.
No CD regardless of demand
The end of the CD on Demand system at Main Street's 20th Century Music appears to be upon us. The future has been in doubt for quite a while, but we learned last week that it had finally reached its endno more raw supplies for printing the CDs will be be delivered to the store and once they run out, it is gone for good.
Store employees were expecting supplies to run out over this past weekend but we haven't been able to confirm that yet. So if you wander by and see that it is still running, you better strike quickly if there is anything you want.
Odds are good that all of the offerings will eventually end up on iTunes, but with that you don't get a printed CD and liner notes.
True Life Adventure theatrical run
We're hearing that in conjunction with a DVD release in early December, at least one of Disney's True-Life Adventures nature documentaries will get a screening at a theater in Hollywood. However, it won't be at the El Capitan since that theater is booked with The Santa Clause 3 all through November and December.
On December 5, four volumes collecting True-Life Adventures documentaries on DVD will hit store shelves (each sold separately).
Annual Pass newsletter
People have been getting a little anxious about the Fall Annual Pass newsletter since they'd heard that it would include a contest to win a new car. We've heard word that the print newsletters have been, or will be very soon put in the mail, but the newsletter is available at the AP Web site (link). You have to be registered to sign in to that page but the PDF isn't actually behind an authentication firewall and can be downloaded by anybody at this link (PDF). Highlights in the newsletter include:
- Official entry form to win a Honda Fit by answering trivia questions about the new version of the Pirates of the Caribbean ride.
- AP holders can get 10% off of breakfast at Granville's during the month of September.
- The return of Bring-a-Friend AP tickets in October.
- Details on Halloweentime, beginning September 29 (but not much that wasn't already known.
- Save 20% on performance of the Salzburg Marionnettes at the Orange County Performing Arts Center, October 26-29.
This and that...
...We've received some e-mail noting that Farley the Fiddler hasn't been seen lately in Frontierland and wondering if he fell victim to the recent cuts in live entertainment at Disneyland. We spoke to Farley a few days ago and he reassured that he is still around through at least December and has been assigned to perform at Woody's Halloween Roundup (a Halloween overlay at Big Thunder Ranch) once that gets going at the end of the month.
...Speaking of Big Thunder Ranch, we were finally able to confirm that Yam, the turkey pardoned by President George Bush last year at Thanksgiving, has passed on. The turkey has been absent from his enclosure for several weeks but we didn't say anything pending confirmation of why he was gone. His former penmate, Marshmallow, died suddenly early this year. While wild turkeys have a lifespan of up to 10 years, domestic turkeys have been bred for certain characteristics that don't cause much problem since the turkey is intended to die young, but tend to cause health problems early in adult life.
...Just a reminder that the Disneyland Resort area will be experiencing quite a few road closures and adjustments early next Sunday morning to accommodate the inaugural Disneyland Half Marathon. If you're expecting to make an early morning arrival on Sunday, September 17, be prepared for some delays and confusion.
...Now that the parks are back on off-season schedules, stroller and wheelchair rentals are once again back inside the individual parks rather than in a central location on the Esplanade between the parks.
...If you are visiting the park in early December you might want to make note of a scheduling oddity for December 4 and 5. On those dates, Disneyland will be closing early at 6:00 p.m. for the cast member Christmas parties. In an unusual occurance, Disney's California Adventure park will have a longer day than Disneyland, being open from 10:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.
Don't keep it to yourself! Send us your news tips, rumors, and comments. E-mail us here.
- Disneyland Monorail closed August 21 - December 14 for station remodel and queue construction for Submarine Voyage. Will likely close again in January.
- Snow White - An Enchanted Musical ended September 4. Show will not return.
- Matterhorn Bobsleds closed September 5 - December 14 for complete refurbishment.
- Golden Horseshoe closed September 5 - September 28 for refurbishment, kitchen update, and menu change.
- Billy Hill and the Hillbillies dark September 5 - September 28 while Golden Horseshoe is closed for refurbishment.
- Fantasyland Theater closed September 5 - September 30 for removal of Snow White - An Enchanted Musical stage and remodel to accommodate princess interactive experience.
- Haunted Mansion closed September 11 - 28 for installation of Haunted Mansion Overlay.
- The First 50 Magical Years closed September 18 - 21. Carpet replacement.
- Disneyland Railroad closed September 18 - 22. There appears to be no scheduled refurbishment work scheduled and the closure may be to allow for unimpeded work in the submarine lagoon.
- it's a small world closed October 23 - November 9 for installation of Christmas overlay.
- Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage is currently under construction and will open sometime in 2007.
Disney's California Adventure
- Francis' Lady Bug Boogie closed until at least January 2007. One-month refurbishment in June/July 2006 was unexpectedly extended indicating major repair work is needed.
- Disney's Aladdin - A Musical Spectacular dark September 11 - September 28. Rehearsal of new cast and general rehab of stage and sets.
- Golden Dreams Theater dark September 24 - September 28. Installation of Golden Screams Halloween overlay.
- Golden Dreams closed September 24 - October 31? For the Halloween season the film show is being replaced by a Halloween themed-production. Exact return date is not yet known.
- California Screamin' closed October 2 - 5. Everybody was expecting a long maintenance closure so this information is suspect at this time and will most likely eventually be changed to show a multi-month closure.
- Disney's Vault 28 under construction and expected to open October 3.
Paradise Pier Hotel
- Yamabuki closed July 31 - September 28 for complete 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) 781?7290.
If you know of any events, official or unofficial, that should be listed here, let us know.
- Disneyland Half Marathon Weekend. September 15-17. For more information and registration see the official Web site (link, warning: horribly annoying embedded music)
- Olszewski Main Street Pieces release. September 23 from 9:00 a.m. to noon (link).
- Little Mermaid at El Capitan Theater. September 7-17. Restored edition in conjunction with DVD re-release. First screening will be accompanied by panel discussion (link).
- Gay Days. October 6 - 8. Unofficial event (link).
- Precious Moments "A World of My Own event and product release. October 7. Hard ticketed merchandise event with open sale to follow (link).
- CHOC Walk. October 8. An annual charity walk at Disneyland to raise money for Children's Hospital Orange County (link).
- Mickey's Halloween Treat. October 13, 20, 22, 26, 27, 29, 30, and 31 at DCA. (See Disneyland AP page for details)
- Pirates of the Caribbean Sculpture Series. On sale October 14. Series by Walt Disney Classic Collection goes on sale at Disneyland Resort (link).
- Nightmare Before Christmas at El Capitan Theater. October 19-31 (link).
- MouseAdventure. November 5. The next edition of MousePlanet's popular in-park game. Registration to open shortly.
- Believe Holiday Fireworks show. Beginning November 9 for daily holiday fireworks show that will run through the end of the year.
- Lion King returns to Pantages Theater. Beginning November 16 for eight week run. Call 323-463-4367 for details and tickets. Perusal tickets are available to Annual Passholders and Disney Visa members through June 10.
- A Christmas Fantasy parade. Beginning November 17 for daily parade that will run through the end of the year.
- Candlelight Processional. December 2 and 3. Two performances each day. No other details are known at this time.
- SL ? Southern California Select Annual Pass
- SC ? Southern California Annual Pass
- DX ? Deluxe Annual Pass
Several current promotions offer discounted admission to the Disneyland Resort. For convenience sake, 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 which works best for you. And keep those tips coming ? let us know if you find a better / 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 still rarely see 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.
Unless otherwise states, all tickets currently available for purchase must be first used by January 2, 2007. All multi-day tickets expire 13 days after first use.
This information is pulled from many sources but much thanks must go to MousePlanet sponsor MouseSavers.com for providing the bulk of the information. If you know of any additional discounts, offers, promotions, or contests that should be listed in this section, drop us a line (link).
| One Day Park Hoper
Southern California 1?Day Park Hopper ($64/$74) ? Residents of Southern California (zip codes 90000?93599) and and northern Baja California, Mexico (Zip codes 21000?22999), can buy discounted one-day park hoppers. You can purchase up to eight tickets at a time, one order per day, and two orders in any seven-day period. Valid ID showing Zip code will be required with ticket for admission. Southern California AAA offices and Vons Supermarkets may also sell these tickets, but call ahead to confirm. Proof of residency will be required when redeeming them at Disneyland (Vons will happily sell you the ticket voucher regardless of where you are from but you still need to be an appropriate resident to use it.
| Two Day Park Hopper
AOCVCB 2-Day Bonus Ticket ($115/$95) ? The discount (from the Anaheim-Orange County Visitor & Convention Bureau) is only $1 and shipping on all orders is at least $10. Therefore you only come ahead on orders made more than 10 days in advance if you are buying more than 10 tickets (link).
| Three Day Park Hooper
Advance Purchase 3-day Park Hopper Bonus Ticket ($149/$119) ? A discounted price for advance purchase through the Internet or select dealers. Available at the Disneyland Web site (link) where shipping is included if you order more than 10 days prior to your travel date. Also available from AAA offices in Northern California, Nevada, and Utah (link). Disney Stores (California), Safeway grocery stores (California and Arizona), and certain travel agents may also sell these tickets. It is best to call and confirm before visiting a location, however. "Bonus Tickets" include one early admission day (Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, or Saturday).
Southern California CityPass($199/$159) ? This pass includes a 3-Day Disneyland Resort park ticket (including one early-entry day). It also includes one day admissions to SeaWorld San Diego, Universal Studios Hollywood, and either the San Diego Zoo or San Diego Wild Animal Park. The CityPass expires 14 days after first use at any location. Purchase CityPass through the Disneyland Web site (link) or onsite at the ticket booths of Disneyland Resort or the other theme parks included in the pass. You can also purchase directly from the CityPass Web site (link) though this has a minimum $7.50 shipping charge (no shipping charge from the Disney Web site if purchased more than 10 days in advance).
The Southern California City Pass can also be purchased online from Costco at a cost of $174.99/$139.99 (adults/child), 5% surcharge if not a Costco member and shipping fees apply. Booklets may be available for sale in some stores but varies widely. If you want to buy in person it would be best to call ahead and confirm availability. If you do buy at a Costco, you will initially purchase a large plastic container which you must trade for ticket books prior to leaving Costco!
AOCVCB 3-Day Bonus Ticket ($146/$117) ? The discount (from the Anaheim-Orange County Visitor & Convention Bureau) is only $3 (adult) and $2 (child) and shipping on all orders is at least $10. Therefore, compared to the Disneyland Web site price, you only come about ahead on orders made more than 10 days in advance if you are buying more than 3 tickets. "Bonus Tickets" include one early admission day (Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, or Saturday) (link).
Four Day Park Hopper
Advance Purchase 4?Day Park Hopper Bonus tickets ($169/$139) ? A discounted price for advance purchase through the Internet or select dealers. Available at the Disneyland Web site (link) where shipping is included if you order more than 10 days prior to your travel date. Also available from AAA offices in Northern California, Nevada, and Utah (link). Disney Stores (California), Safeway grocery stores (California and Arizona), and certain travel agents may also sell these tickets. It is best to call and confirm before visiting a location, however. "Bonus Tickets" include one early admission day (Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, or Saturday).
AOCVCB 4-Day Bonus Ticket ($165/$136) ? The discount (from the Anaheim-Orange County Visitor & Convention Bureau) is $4 (adult) and $3 (child) and shipping on all orders is at least $10. Therefore, compared to the Disneyland Web site price, you only come about ahead on orders made more than 10 days in advance if you are buying more than 2 or 3 tickets. "Bonus Tickets" include one early admission day (Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, or Saturday) (link).
Play 4 Days Southern California Ticket ($119 all ages 3 and up) ? This ticket is only for Southern California residents residing in Zip Codes 90000-93599 and is not available to Northern Mexico residents. It is important to note that while Costco will sell the voucher to anybody who wants to buy one, proof of Southern California residency will be required when exchanging it for the actual ticket at Disneyland. The ticket allows admission to either Disneyland or Disney's California Adventure on four separate days. The dates need not be consecutive and admission is allowed to only one park on any given day. Tickets must be first used by November 15, 2006, and expire on November 18, 2006. Call ahead to your Southern California Costco to confirm availability or order online (link), shipping fees apply as well as a 5% surcharge for non-members.
Five Day Park Hopper
Advance Purchase 5?Day Park Hopper Bonus tickets ($179/$149) ? A discounted price for advance purchase through the Internet or select dealers. Available at the Disneyland Web site (link) where shipping is included if you order more than 10 days prior to your travel date. Also available from AAA offices in Northern California, Nevada, and Utah (link). Disney Stores (California), Safeway grocery stores (California and Arizona), and certain travel agents may also sell these tickets. It is best to call and confirm before visiting a location, however. "Bonus Tickets" include one early admission day (Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, or Saturday).
AOCVCB 5-Day Bonus Ticket ($174/$145) ? The discount (from the Anaheim-Orange County Visitor & Convention Bureau) is $5 (adult) and $4 (child) and shipping on all orders is $10. Therefore, compared to the Disneyland Web site price, you only come about ahead on orders made more than 10 days in advance if you are buying more than 2 tickets. "Bonus Tickets" include one early admission day (Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, or Saturday) (link).
Disney Visa Application Credit $40 - &150; Currently, if you are not a Disney Visa credit card holder, you can receive an extra $40 discount when purchasing Disneyland tickets through the Disneyland Web site. When making your purchase an opportunity to apply for the credit card (and charge the purchase to the card) will be offered. If approved, the credit card will get a $40 credit when used for its first transaction.
DVC Discount &150; Members of the Disney Vacation Club can get a $20 discount on a Deluxe or Premium Disneyland Annual pass. Good for first purchase only.
Early Renewal Discount &150; If you renew your annual pass (either online or in person) before it expires, you will receive a 10% discount.
4th Night Free (link). For packages booked between now and December 14, 2006, for travel that begins by December 17, 2006 if you book three consecutive nights at a Disneyland on-property hotel or one of the Good Neighbor resort-area hotels you will get a fourth night free. Packages start at $307 per person for stays at the Red Roof Inn Anaheim Maingate. Packages include one 5-day Park Hopper Bonus Ticket per person, one day of early entry, three Virtual Magic Kingdom computer game virtual rewards, one entry into Mickey's Toontown Morning Madness, preferred show seating at DCA, and Walt Disney Travel Company collectible pin and lanyard, luggage tag, and California fun book.
2006 Resort Magic Package ? This official Disney travel package (link) is $452/per person for two adults per two-nights. The $452 price is for the Paradise Pier Hotel and goes up for Disneyland Hotel or Grand Californian Hotel. In addition to the hotel room, the package includes appropriate park hopper tickets, one early admission (early admission days are currently Mondays, Tuesday, Thursdays, and Saturdays), a virtual prize for the Virtual Magic Kingdom online game, admission to Mickey's Toontown Morning Madness (currently available Mondays, Wednesday, Fridays, and Saturdays), and Walt Disney Travel Company collectible pin and lanyard, luggage tag, and California Fun Book. Travel using this package must be booked by August 28, 2006, and completed by September 2, 2006.
2006 Good Neighbor Magic Package ? This official Disney travel package (link) starts at $277/per person for two adults per two-nights. The $227 price is for the Jolly Roger Hotel and goes up for other Good Neighbor hotels. In addition to the hotel room, the package includes appropriate park hopper tickets, one early admission (early admission days are currently Mondays, Tuesday, Thursdays, and Saturdays), a virtual prize for the Virtual Magic Kingdom online game, admission to Mickey's Toontown Morning Madness (currently available Mondays, Wednesday, Fridays, and Saturdays), and Walt Disney Travel Company collectible pin and lanyard, luggage tag, and California Fun Book. Travel using this package must be booked by August 28, 2006, and completed by September 2, 2006.
Costco Travel Packages ? Many different travel packages including visits to Disneyland and Disneyland hotels are available through Costco.com. When purchasing a Costco Disneyland travel package extras that will be included are: Mickey's Toontown Madness admission (currently available Mondays, Wednesday, Fridays, and Saturdays), a character breakfast per person, a $20 Disneyland Resort gift card, a collectible pin and lanyard, and a Costco luggage tag.
Disney Visa Free-Stroller Rental? If you have a Disney Visa card you can rent up to two strollers for free at either Disneyland or Disney's California Adventure.
Rainforest Cafe Safari Club ? Membership in the Rainforest Cafe gets you a 10% discount on entrees for up to four people. It also gets you priority seating if available. Additionally, after signing up, your membership card will be mailed to you and be accompanied by a $10 award good for your next visit to a Rainforest Cafe. So if you know you will be eating there while at Disneyland and have a Rainforest Cafe local to you, it may make sense to prejoin the Safari Club so that you can use the award during your trip. See the Rainforest Cafe Web site for details (link).
ESPNZone MVP Club ? Membership in the MVP Club does not offer any discounts on food. However, once a member you can make an online reservation for your party up to three days in advance and will get a 25% increase in points purchased when playing games in the Sports Arena (and 40 bonus points at activation). You must register online and your membership card will then be mailed to you within 2-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)
AAA Restaurant Discounts ? AAA (American Automobile Association) members can receive a 10% discount (excluding alcohol) at Plaza Inn, Wine Country Trattoria Ariel's Grotto, PCH Grill, and Goofy's Kitchen.
DCA: Disney's California Adventure
Annual Pass blockout dates:
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.