The first signs of Disneyland’s version of the MyMagic+ and Fastpass+ programs from Walt Disney World have started to appear in the park. Testing and an eventual rollout of the new features are rumored to happen soon. Meanwhile, the classic Autopia attraction has emerged from an extended refurbishment with Honda as a new sponsor. Elsewhere in the park, Star Wars continues to awaken in the northwest corner of the frontier…
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|Welcome to Disneyland!|
|Fastpass+ moves in|
Disneyland is quietly preparing to roll out its own version of Walt Disney World’s MyMagic+ and Fastpass+ programs. Disneyland’s version is likely to be far less invasive than its Floridian counterpart and will rely heavily on the Disneyland mobile app for smartphones.
Keen-eyed fans may spot the conduits for the upcoming Fastpass+ stanchions appearing near the existing Fastpass entrances at select attractions including Big Thunder Mountain and Indiana Jones Adventure
|Honk for Honda|
In Tomorrowland, the classic Autopia attraction reopened Friday after an extended refurbishment. The attraction comes with a new Honda sponsorship and now sports a new logo and a new blue-and-white color scheme, bringing it up to date with the rest of Tomorrowland.
Aside from the new logo, color scheme, and paint job for the cars, there’s not much that’s different about the attraction. The ride track remains the same, scenery is cleaned up but otherwise untouched, and the cars are still the clunky gas-powered version.
The refreshed Autopia is a nice improvement, even if it’s in paint color only. The massive queue structure never looked good in its Tomorrowland ’98 color scheme and only looked worse as Tomorrowland switched over to its new blue-and-white scheme over the last decade. It looks nicer now, even if the attraction itself remains woefully in need of a real technological upgrade. Disney promises more Honda-sponsored changes in the coming months — while a new fleet of cars is unlikely, hopefully we’ll see more positive changes here in terms of theming and substance.
|The Frontier Awakens|
Disneyland’s new Star Wars project will be unprecedented in terms of scale for the park, dedicating 14 acres to a single property with massive new facades, rock work, and massive E-Ticket attractions that dwarf even Pirates of the Caribbean and Indiana Jones Adventure. Below, a map showing how the new land is expected to impact Disneyland’s landscape once completed in late 2018.
The top of the Mickey and Friends Parking Structure has become a popular spot for curious fans and day guests interested in the Star Wars expansion progress. With most of the demolition completed, Disney has officially broken ground and is now working on getting the land ready for the early phases of the 14-acre land’s construction.
Not much to see from the guest’s perspective along the Rivers of America from within the park.
In Fantasyland, with the wilderness gone, the backside of the long-abandoned Fantasyland Skyway Chalet is now exposed. Hopefully Disney finds a way to salvage this structure — With the back of the structure exposed due to Star Wars construction, it would be nice if an ADA-compliant ramp could be be installed on the Frontierland-facing side so the gorgeous structure can be converted into some guest-accessible space, whether its outdoor vending seating, retail space, or a meet-and-greet area.
|MiceChat Gumball Rally
There is only one event in the world of Disney fandom which holds the status of the legendary… MiceChat Gumball Rally. It is a full day adventure through Disneyland to see how many attractions you can ride in a single day. Sound easy? It isn’t. However, we are told over and over again that this is the most fun our attendees have ever had in the parks.
- Compete in teams of 2, 3, or 4 people.
- You don’t have to be a trivia buff, ride warrior, or theme park nerd to play. The game is designed to put everyone on a level playing field.
- You can play at the speed that you like. Take it easy or tear through the park. It’s up to you.
- For one low price you get the game and Awards Party, complete with entertainment and prizes. (admission into the parks is NOT included)
- Prizes will be awarded for 1st – 10th place, Best Team Logo, Best Team Name, and Spirit of MiceChat Award. There are plenty of chances to win!
- Plus, while you are waiting for the results, we’ll present you with great entertainment and prizes!
- An all day race through Disneyland to see who can ride the most attractions in a single day . . . There is simply no better way to challenge yourself, what you think you know about Disneyland, and have a fantastic time with your family and friends (whether you win or not).
- Two types of tickets available – General ticket includes coffee, juice, and breakfast pastries in the AM and access to the Award Party in the PM. Please note that the Awards Party will take about two hours. You’ll have an hour and a half between the end of the Gumball Rally and the Awards Party to relax and find something to eat for dinner before the party.
- VIP TICKETS – In addition to the above, VIP ticket holders will receive early registration, full breakfast at the ESPN Zone, full post-Rally dinner at the Anaheim Plaza Hotel, VIP Reserved spots up front for both the kick-off and the Awards Party, Rally T-Shirt, and special commemorative Tenth Anniversary Gumball Rally pin. Make your Gumball Rally experience extra special with our VIP package! (the VIP package is a value of over $90 plus guaranteed seating and express game-day registration for just $75 extra per person). This is your best Rally deal!
|This & That|
In California Adventure, the old Muppet*Vision Theater is being converted into the “Sunset Showcase Theater,” which will house Disney’s in-park movie previews. Sorry Muppets fans but don’t expect Kermit and Co. to return here anytime soon.
Enjoy retro fun just steps away from Disneyland at
Howard Johnson Hotel & Water Playground
A short walk from the park, HoJo Anaheim is conveniently located next to Matterhorn Mountain at Disneyland with nearby dining, freeway access, FREE parking and FREE Wi-Fi. For more information on HoJo Anaheim, room rates, or to book your stay today, visit HoJoAnaheim.com/MiceChat
Save with MiceChat & Passholder Discounts Every Day!
The HoJo Anaheim is now offering daily discounts for MiceChat members and even DEEPER discounts for Disneyland Resort Annual Passholders! For more information visit the HoJo Anaheim Innsider Boards which features an up-to-date listing of available nights, or call (714) 776-6120 and ask for In-House Reservations to book. If your date isn’t listed, the HoJo Anaheim still offers rooms for 20% off their best available rate if you call (714) 776-6120.
|Weekly News & Information Round-Up|
|Weekly Theme Park Hours
May 2-8, 2016
|Disneyland Park||California Adventure|
|Monday: 9 am – 9 pm
Tue.-Thu.: 9 am – 10 pm
Friday: 9 am – 11 pm
Saturday: 9 am – 12 am
Sunday: 9 am – 11 pm
|Mon.-Thu.: 9 am – 8 pm
Fri.-Sat.: 9 am – 9 pm
Sunday: 9 am – 11 pm
visit the Disneyland.com Theme Park Calendar
The free Mouseaddict app for iPhone and iPad features more than five dozen categories of searchable resort information, weather forecasts, park and show schedules, the latest news and articles from MiceChat, and more. Download free on the App Store or at mouseaddict.com.
A quick look at noteworthy Disney theme park headlines from around the web.
|OK, that wraps up this week’s Dateline Disneyland! Are you ready for Fastpass+ at Disneyland? What do you think of Autopia’s refurbishment? Let us know in the comments section below!
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Mark D., Bruno, Casey, Hastin Z.!
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Thanks for reading. See you at Disneyland!
|FTC-Mandated Disclosure: Promotional consideration for this edition of Dateline Disneyland was provided by the Howard Johnson Plaza Hotel & Water Playground.|