October began a new fiscal year for Disney, and the Team Disney Anaheim (TDA) suits are rushing quickly to kick off projects big and small over the next twelve months to help capitalize on the stunning popularity of Cars Land and the successfully re-launched Disney California Adventure (DCA). The new fiscal year ahead will be the launching point for several big changes to come to the Disneyland Resort and its changing demographics.

In this update we’ll fill you in on some of those new projects about to be launched, just how strong the numbers are for the Resort, and why it’s not too early to be making your Christmas plans now so you can say goodbye to some of what may be your favorite Disneyland traditions this year. We even have some info on what the next E-Ticket in Tomorrowland might be. (And that should help you understand why they are keeping such a tight lid on it.)

Since the Christmas coffee isn’t available yet at the local java joint, we’ll have to settle for the pumpkin spice variety instead this morning. (But we’ll still avoid the fruitcake okay?) As always special thanks to Andy Castro and Fishbulb for all their help in putting this all together. On Dasher, on Dancer… um, sorry, I forgot they are gone now… not a creature was stirring… well there was one Mouse… – Al

(Cash register) bells are ringing, can you hear them?

Since June we’ve been detailing the huge jumps in attendance for DCA and the monumental changes to the ways both tourists and locals alike are now using the Resort property. Those trends have continued into the busy HalloweenTime season this fall, and the numbers have strengthened nicely from last year’s already healthy autumn attendance.

DCA continues to pull in 40,000 per day on weekends, and Saturday’s are now seeing a surge in one-day tickets being purchased for DCA by locals or day-tripping tourists who don’t have Annual Passes, which is a ticket demographic that DCA has never been able to capture. As the word spreads on Cars Land, the Disney and local area hotels are seeing occupancy rates at 95% or higher most days now, and the rush is on every morning as the hotel guests scurry to Cars Land as soon as Disney will crack the gates open.

As usual, the numbers tell this story the best. As a reminder, Disney counts attendance based on a “first click” turnstile policy, which counts daily visitors only once at whichever park they enter first. A visitor bouncing between both parks will only be counted once per day and at only the first park they entered. Below are the attendance figures for this past Saturday, compared against the year-ago figures;

Saturday, October 13, 2012                                        Saturday, October 15, 2011

Disneyland – 55,000                                                       Disneyland – 57,000

DCA – 40,000                                                                      DCA – 18,000

2012 Daily Total – 95,000                                              2011 Daily Total – 75,000

As you can see, that’s 20,000 additional visitors to the Resort, which pushes the numbers from an already healthy Saturday in 2011 into figures in 2012 that were once only seen in Anaheim during the hyper-busy week between Christmas and New Year’s. And that extra 20,000 is weighted heavily towards domestic and international tourists staying in hotels. Disney California Adventure is driving all of that attendance gain, obviously, and yet the results are crowds that seem evenly balanced across both parks and that can be accommodated inside the revitalized DCA with amazing smoothness.

Cars Strand

That’s not to say those swelling attendance numbers aren’t causing cracks in the foundation beyond the parks. Parking is a problem that we’ve been telling you about since the first warning flags went up on the issue back in 2008. With those types of daily attendance figures, and with the Resort’s Cast Member population now swelling past 23,000, the parking situation is at a breaking point. Cast Members working on recent weekends have again been forced to park at the Honda Center and be bussed in, while Disney’s parking team commandeers Cast Member parking lots for visitor use. Even then, some satellite employee parking lots like the Pumbaa lot across from GardenWalk are filling up by mid-morning and unceremoniously being shut down to CM’s without warning, sending CM’s to circle the Resort area looking for an open Cast Member parking facility and then run to their shifts to avoid being marked late.

Those CM’s being forced to park at the Honda Center on certain days are at least given a few days’ notice, but the free lunch vouchers are no longer handed out like they were back in June. The new expectation is that on any busy day when the Honda Center trigger is pulled, CM’s will simply park there without any extra perks being doled out. And this November and December, with the extremely popular Christmas season arriving, the parking problems will only increase.

Scrooge you!

It’s the Christmas season that TDA is now most intently focused on, as they try to ignore the fallout from cancelling the employee Christmas party and tinker with a new plan to offer the Candlelight ceremony for 20 consecutive nights in December. Regular readers will remember that a year ago we told you of the plans being considered by TDA to begin offering extra-cost private parties in December that would bundle a few of the popular holiday entertainment offerings into one event, and leave regular day visitors without the Christmas parade and fireworks and festivities that TDA has been offering to everyone since the late 1990’s.

That plan for extra-cost Christmas parties is no longer a matter of if, but now just a matter of when. This year will likely be the last that a regular visitor will be able to experience the full menu of holiday offerings at Disneyland by simply buying a ticket and walking through the gates anytime in November and December. The 2012 Holiday Season will be the end of an era, as Disneyland takes yet another step to becoming more like Disney World.

While the exact offerings and dates for 2013 have yet to be worked out, the most popular concept now kicking around TDA’s executive offices is a calendar where two or three parties per week would be offered from late November through the third week in December, and they would feature the exclusive performance of the Christmas Fantasy parade, the Believe In Holiday Magic fireworks, and the snowfall shows on Main Street and the digital projection snow shows at the Small World Mall. The upcharge to the private party cost would be the dinner packages, and it’s those folks who purchase both a party ticket and a dinner package who would get seats for the nightly Candlelight performance also performed during the party.

The logistics on all of these major entertainment offerings that are focused on and around the Main Street USA and Hub area will be tricky, but TDA is working under the assumption that they will need to bundle all of that entertainment together to make the party marketable. TDA would love to have the new back alley behind the east side of Main Street we told you about in the last update already built, but that’s still a few years away. So for the holiday season of 2013 when these private parties will likely kick off, expect that the crowd control for the party on Main Street will be rough.

The parkwide decorations and two holiday attraction overlays at It’s A Small World and Haunted Mansion will still be on offer to non-party guests, obviously, so it’s the entertainment and little extras that will be heavily leveraged to set the extra-cost parties apart. During non-party days in December the Soundsational parade will perform instead of the Christmas Fantasy parade, and on non-party weekend nights the regular fireworks and Fantasmic! will be shown instead of Believe fireworks and the snow shows.

Knowing that private Christmas parties are coming in 2013, TDA has apparently let lapse a few of the smaller offerings this year to try and condense the menu of things that anyone can do without extra charge. One of those casualties is the live reindeer they’d been shipping down from the Pacific Northwest for display at Santa’s Reindeer Roundup in Frontierland. Those reindeer won’t be coming to Disneyland this year, and the two remaining Presidential pardoned turkeys will be yanked backstage permanently as well. TDA will instead be focusing on beefing up the entertainment offerings in the Festival Arena beyond the petting zoo.

If they can create a package of holiday offerings back there that people enjoy, it would be an easy thing to add it to the extra-cost parties. Those big wooden gates at the Arena make it easy to shut off that area from the park during normal hours, so then they can swing them back open for the evening to offer yet another special activity and reason to buy a ticket to the Christmas party. (And for those of you grumbling out there about those greedy TDA suits, remember where the blame should really go – all those Halloween party ticket sales.)

While the extra-cost parties have TDA salivating over the numbers they could pull in for November through mid-December, Disneyland would revert to its usual offerings during the two weeks in late December and early January that frame Christmas and New Year’s. During those two extremely busy weeks, when all but Premium Annual Passholders are blocked out, they would perform the Christmas parade and fireworks daily for regular paying visitors.

But there could be a ticketing catch there, as well…

Crowd control in your pocket

Don’t forget, TDA is still toying with the idea of expanding its peak-season price increases from restaurants to the ticket booths. They’ve been cooking up those plans for seasonal pricing levels for about two years already, an idea already used at Hong Kong Disneyland. It is not inconceivable that 2013 launches that ticketing concept, where visitors arriving during the two weeks around Christmas and New Year’s would pay higher prices to enter the parks.

This temporary ticket increase would help limit attendance a bit while raking in more money, and could be explained by the predictable PR release from Disney that those visiting during the busy upcharge weeks would also get the Christmas entertainment people had to pay extra for at the private parties earlier in the month. There would be lots of marketing and logistical work to do around that still, especially with park tickets being sold off property at Costco or the Disney Store.

All chips, no Dale

To help with all these new party plans that depend heavily on special ticketing and processing, the main entrance turnstiles of both Disneyland and DCA are in the final stages of planning for a major refurbishment. Gone would be the same basic turnstile setup the park has had since 1955, and that has been repeated at most Disney parks around the world. In its place, the new technology that ties in directly with the coming NextGen concepts would be installed. The churning, clicking turnstiles all manned by an army of CM’s would be ripped out entirely, and instead there would be wide open lanes interspersed with digital RFID readers on short podiums, all staffed with a much smaller CM presence.

The slim RFID readers and the elimination of swinging gates and turnstiles will turn the appearance of the Disneyland entrance into a much more open facility, where strollers and wheelchairs can enter and exit unimpeded and some unscrupulous visitors might be tempted to sneak in amongst the crowds without a proper scan. The ultimate goal of the new entrance concept is not just to implement the use of RFID technology as part of the massive NextGen initiative, but also to speed the entry and exit of crowds through the area.

This would be put to the test most strenuously at the Disneyland Resort, which is the only Disney property that has two successful theme parks sitting directly across from each other bordering a small plaza. With DCA now proving it can pull in huge crowds and keep them entertained for a day or more, the ebb and flow of those crowds between the two parks will put the new RFID NextGen technology to a unique test.

Use it or lose it…

Another required piece of the coming NextGen program will roll out next month at both Disneyland and DCA. That’s when Cast Members at attractions will insist that anyone using Fastpass must return during their assigned one hour window, and they will stop letting people show up hours late for their Fastpass time. This change has already occurred at Disney World, and after a decade of ignoring the rules it was a tough message to deliver even though most of their visitors are tourists.

Extra signage and as much communication as possible will be used to try and get the word out at Disneyland and DCA, but the goal is to roll this out by Thanksgiving and then end the grace period of bending the rules by this Christmas. Wish those CM’s luck! As if they didn’t have enough problems with parking and cancelled Christmas parties and trying to carve out a little respect from TDA suits, they’ll be forced to play the role of Grinch this year and not let anyone show up late for their Fastpass appointment.

Yule honk

Meanwhile, there are smaller changes coming to both parks through this fall and winter. Although Disney has yet to formally admit it and we’ve been talking about it for months, they’ll be going big with Christmas decorations in Cars Land this year. A dozen extra telephone poles were added down the side of Route 66 solely for the purpose of helping string up garland and lights along the most popular street in Anaheim. Cars Land will also be featured this holiday season as Disneyland returns to the iconic Rose Parade after a six year absence with a massive float dedicated to the new DCA and Cars Land. Stephanie Edwards should love it.

The Pixar team has weighed in heavily on all of these Cars Land Christmas decorations as Disneyland’s talented decorating team cooked them up, down to the smallest detail. For example, the statue of Stanley near the Courthouse will soon be transformed into a new version of the statue called Santa Stanley, with a Santa hat and beard and bag full of toys slung over his rear axle. The original concept had a small Woody doll sticking out of the bag, as a sly nod to other Pixar successes. But John Lasseter and Pixar nixed that idea, not wanting to let other stories and characters creep into the Cars Land environment.

DCA’s Christmas tree will be going up just outside Elias & Co. in the plaza currently filled with ficus trees, and Buena Vista Street’s tasteful 1930’s holiday décor will offer TDA a chance to redeem itself after the clueless merchandising group in TDA trashed its charm this fall with tacky window displays. The Mad T Party will also get its first holiday overlay in November, with decorations and new holiday music added to the nighttime dance party.

Iron will…

Tomorrowland won’t get any Christmas decorations, as the last holdout of a land that ignores the holidays. But the plans to shutter Innoventions and begin work on an Iron Man themed E Ticket thrill ride in that space continue to move through the approval process in both Burbank and Glendale. If you are one of those few fans of Innoventions, or simply want to get a look at what’s left of the revolving theater ride system there since 1967, stop by and pay your respects before February.

Bob Iger can’t wait to get the Marvel characters added to the theme park environment, and WDI is running with this one since the budget is healthy and Cars Land has emboldened them to push for higher quality in these big headliner projects. The question remains whether they can keep this quickly approaching project under wraps until the 2013 D23 Expo in Anaheim next August, or if they at least announce the E Ticket this winter but hold back on the details publicly until the D23 Expo.

So what are your thoughts? Are you thinking about changing your Disneyland Christmas plans after this year? And what about Tomorrowland, should its future be Marvel or should they put that franchise in its own separate Park down the street? Our new format allows you to comment on this article directly below. By the way thank you again for your patience as we continue to improve the site and how it functions for you.

Oh-kay – that should do it for today. Remember your support is vital, your donations to PayPal help keep the bills paid. We’ve also added this link to an Amazon wish list if you would prefer using it instead. As always we wouldn’t be here without your kind contributions that help us pay all the bills each month.

Keep in mind updates only get posted when there is something to report on, and not before. It takes time to confirm things, and even then we can only offer a snapshot of a continually evolving story. (People do change their minds you know.) Just like the happiest place on earth, patience is a virtue; the queue may take a while before you can enjoy the attraction. 😉

See you at Disneyland!

  • tigga please

    Well, I guess its a good thing my Annual Pass expires before next Christmas…

  • Barbaraann

    My Disneyland Christmas vacation of 2008 is fresh in my mind. I can still see all the magic, and beauty of it, and I didn’t break the bank to do it.

  • SanDiegoAl

    …Waves goodbye to Disneyland Resort in May. Nice knowin’ ya.

  • fnord

    Disneyland’s christmas decor has gotten totally out of hand, from the ugly snow job on an otherwise charming castle to the over the top decorations in main street and new orleans square. After a thanksgiving visit 4 years ago, I had already decided to stick to non holiday periods in the future, so any changes won’t affect me. Main street circa 1900 would not have modern decorations, it’s just wrong!

  • Mania1516

    I’m not opposed to it at other Disney parks, but something about Marvel in either Disneyland or Magic Kingdom just doesn’t sit well with me.

    • Internitty

      I couldn’t agree more. Put Marvel characters in DCA by the bucketload but not Disneyland. Their logic of course is everyone likes Star Tours and Indiana Jones. Seems like the beginning of the end to me.

      • mbyrd

        That’s a good point I somehow overlooks Star Tours and Indy…maybe Iron Man COULD work (although I have some issues with it).

      • stevek

        But Star Tours fits in TL as does Indy in Adventureland. If I remember correctly, the building of these two amazing rides was really just the beginning of outside of Disney tie-ins and opened the door for more tie ins in the future.

    • BassBone

      At least Iron Man could potentially fit into the Tomorrowland theme, especially if they use a “Stark Expo” concept.

  • KingEric

    If Holiday Party ticket inventory is tightly controlled and lighters crowds are guranteed, then the up charge will be worth it. But if they try to sell out the park, then I have no interest in the up charge.

  • DisneyIPresume

    Disneyland keeps slipping more and more. I’m out once my pass expires.

  • jcruise86

    I’ll miss the Reindeer and having the Christmas Parade be part of the regular Disneyland Christmas experience. There’s something sleazy about charging for exclusive Christmas parties. Christmas should be free! (Just kidding, unfortunately.) I don’t have a problem with seasonal pricing to help reduce those miserably large holiday crowds (while maintaining profits) as they do in Hong Kong.

    This is as minor as minor can be, but Al, you wrote:
    “the statue of Stanley near the Courthouse will soon be transformed into a new version of the statue called Santa Stanley, with a Santa hat and beard and bag full of toys slung over his rear axle. The original concept had a small Woody doll sticking out of the bag, as a sly nod to other Pixar successes. But John Lasseter and Pixar nixed that idea, not wanting to let other stories and characters creep into the Cars Land environment.”
    What about Buzz peeking out from under a cone?

    • jcruise86

      P.S. Thanks for another interesting update!

  • Truecoat

    I’m making a Disneyland visit during Christmas for the first time this year. I’m glad I didn’t wait a year.

  • ahecht

    If John Lasseter and Pixar don’t want to let other stories and characters creep into the Cars Land environment they better remove the Buzz Lightyear figure in the Cozy Cone office.

  • Iron Man is 100% wrong for Tomorrowlan. It doesn’t fit! They would destroy everything that Walt stood for to make Iger’s Marvel investment pay off. Well, I’m here to make sure that no one forgets what the Disney company is SUPPOSED TO BE.

    If they want to build the Iron Man ride, build a super hero land at DCA and put it there. DCA is essentially a hodge podge anyway. But to further ruin Disneyland . . . what’s next, getting rid of Christmas? Oh wait, they are!

    Something is rotten in TDA folk. We’ve got a problem on our hands. Be vocal about what’s important to you. (This is where a team of Disney marketers jump in to say how excited they are about Iron Man and how they never really liked Christmas at Disneyland).

    • Wren

      A man who invented a hi tech suit of futuristic armor and clean renewable energy “doesnt fit’ in Tomorrow land?

      I get that there is the “Dont get Marvel in my Disney crowd”, but how is this any different than Star Wars in Tomorrow Land? At least he’s a character from Earth that embraces technological progress.

      • Internitty

        The suit may be Tomorrowland worthy but the crude, crass attitude is not. I enjoy Tony Stark as a character very much but not as a Disney character which he is not anyway, no matter how much they paid for him he will always be a Stan Lee character and with that comes a decidedly non-Disney attitude. Marvel up DCA and make George Lucas happy by putting in a Howard The Dick ride 😉

      • Internitty

        I am so sorry about the typo that WAS meant to read Howard the Duck sorry it was an accident

      • Internitty

        Sorry that WAS meant to say Howard the Duck, it was a typo, I apologise.

      • stevek

        What is your defintion of Tomorrowland? For me, it’s not things like the Stark Expo or Super Hero’s set in today’s world. It’s about a futuristic vision or some fantasy of it. That’s why Star Tours and Space Mountain fit so well. Even the PM worked as it was “transportation of the future.” Buzz Lightyear…eh, not so much. TL will always be the most challenging land, especially if the theme continues to get muddied up.

        This will be a very divisive topic for years to come (as it has been for awhile). There are Disney traditionalists who want more original, non tie in attractions and there are those that are Marvel fanboys (not pointing any fingers here) that will fall on a sword to get Iron Man, Avengers, Thor…into Disneyland or the less MK in Florida.

      • danielz6

        Tomorrowland’s theme has always been future technology, and space exploration. Star Wars technecally does not fit the theme of future tech because it is by definition “a long time ago (past, not future), in a galaxy far far away”. But it does fit the theme of space exploration, albeit on a fantastic level, rather than a realistic one, which tomorrowland was originally about as it was conceived during the space race.
        Iron man has nothing to do with the future, or space exploration and I feel it doesn’t fit tommorowland at all. Why not put it in the underused hollywood backlot section in DCA? With that said, autopia and the subs also no longer fit the theme of tomorrowland aswell.

    • jchamb268

      Dusty how does placing Iron Man into Tomorrowland wrong? Lets not forget this

      “To all who come to this happy place; welcome. Disneyland is your land. Here age relives fond memories of the past…and here youth may savor the challenge and promise of the future. Disneyland is dedicated to the ideals, the dreams and the hard facts that have created America…with the hope that it will be a source of joy and inspiration to all the world.”

      Lets look at the “youth may savor the challenge and promise of the future” Iron Man is very much a promise of the future. He always has been.

      Oh and lets not forget about what Walt wrote about Tomorroland

      “A vista into a world of wondrous ideas, signifying man’s achievements…a step into the future, with predictions of constructive things to come.

      Tomorrow offers new frontiers in science, adventure and ideals: the Atomic Age…the challenges of outer space…and the hope for a peaceful and unified world.”

      Walt Disney
      July 17, 1955

      Sound like he would be fine with an Iron Man attraction in Tomorrowland. Disney owns Marvel so why not use it. He used Zorro in Frontierland and they used Tarzan in Adventureland.

      As far as Christmas goes, I live in Northern Ca. My family and I are annual passholders and we get to the park about three times a year. We always make a trip the week of Thanksgiving to enjoy the Christmas theme in the park. Will what they have planned ruin our trip? make us not go? No, it will just be different. I have been going to Disneyland since I was three and I am 44 now. I average about three trips a year. I have seen Christmas in the parks for decades and never once thought it was over the top or that it was bad show.

      Things change, life changes and brings new challenges and opprotunities, it only “ruins” what some people are trying to hold on to as what is perfect in their mind. But it does not “ruin” it for everyone.

      • addiction41999

        Very well said. 100% agree. Nice post.

      • kayleigh83

        I see so much fear and panic about non-Disney rides coming to DLR, and also a lot of complaints that WDI doesn’t come up with enough original ride ideas, based neither on Disney movies nor any other movies (Pixar, Star Wars, etc.). I feel like I’m in the minority here when I say that I like going to the parks to experience a great THEME PARK. Regardless of whether the themes of the rides come from Disney movies, other movies, or the imaginations of the designers. It’s not about where the ideas come from, it’s about whether we end up with a great ride. At the end of the day, that’s why I go. That’s why I enjoy it. If they can make an awesome Iron Man ride that people will enjoy for years to come, GREAT! I will welcome it!

    • stevek

      100% agree. I say save Iron Man and any other super heros for a third gate. I think even putting it in DCA doesn’t work.

    • sfcrzer

      I can’t agree with you more. What does a comic book character have anything to do with new idea’s of tomorrow, which is what the original theme of tomorrow land was supposed to be. What’s next the planet Krypton and Superman!! If they want to fit Ironman into a Disney theme it would be better suited in the Hollywood back lot section of DCA. On the subject of DCA and it’s theme which is supposed to be a California theme. Carsland is themed more to the Ariz desert portion of Route 66 not the CA Route 66 portion.

      To me Star Wars is old and dated, What can you do with Star Wars and Indiana Jones that they haven’t already done? It seems to me the best part of the Lucas purchase is the technical side of the business,,( ie THX).

  • brem

    We just got back from the parks and the crowds were unbelievable all week. While we enjoyed ourselves, the wait times and price increases have taken their toll on us and we will not be returning for a few years. A prime example was the wait time for Tower of Terror on Friday the 12th. After DL closed for the MHP, the wait time soared to an hour and a half by 8:30 and fast passes were sold out by 4:30.

    If the Halloween parties are the template for the upcoming Christmas parties, I can see no benefit for anyone to attend. We were at the Halloween Party on the 9th and the crowds were beyond anything we expected with wait times for character greets too long for us to consider wasting our time. If they do not limit the crowds to manageable levels in the future, I expect a significant drop off in attendance. We would never attend a party (Christmas or Halloween) in the future based on our experience.

    I agree that the Marvel concept should be kept out of Disneyland. Can’t WDI come up with an original Disney based ride?

    One event that has had little coverage has been the AP Movie Nights. We were fortunate enough to attend on the 11th and saw Toy Story. It was a nice added touch and did not cost extra. I hope that they can continue to offer this and would recommend it to any AP holder.

    Anyhow our AP expires in December and we won’t be heading down there before then, so thanks for the memories.

    • Tiny Mermaid

      I too was at the park last week/this weekend and had the same reaction. In the last few years, I’ve visited the resort once every year for fours days at a time, but after this weekend’s unmanageable crowds and extremely high prices, I’m out for the foreseeable future.

      While this decision makes me sad, reading Al’s report makes me see that it is, indeed, the right decision.

  • Gregg Condon

    Honestly, reading all of that makes our decision to NOT renew our AP’s next year that much easier. Getting our Xmas visit in at one of the parties instead of having to deal with the crush of AP’s showing up at Fireworks time will be enough for us.

  • RosevilleDisfan

    I have never been to DL during HolidayTime but have always wanted to go, but the planned upcharges for things that used to be included with regular admission really irks me. We are already paying a premium price for entry, well above what the competition charges. I am planning a trip to Universal in Florida next year. Who knows, maybe after my visit, my lifelong love of DL will fade. It’s like having a high maintenance girlfriend, no matter how gorgeous she may be, eventually, you realize you cannot afford to keep her and must let her go. So sad.

  • jasmineray

    This is just sickening. Personally, I’m not effected by these Christmas changes, as I visit Universal Studios Hollywood during the Christmas season, but that’s not the point. The greediness of TDA is disgusting. We’ve gone YEARS without having to pay for these extras at the parks during Christmas, and now they want to start charging. GIVE ME A BREAK. They’ve already increased prices (apparently they’re going to increase again). Why do this to us?

    The Fastpass reinforcement sucks, although I’ll admit to always returning during the specific time. Again, not the point. What about others who don’t do this? This is not good, TDA! GIVE US A BREAK!

  • StevenW

    The free flowing entrance is inviting abuse. Many teens enter the parks in a mob-like mass. It will be hard for the small number of CMs to monitor each person entering the park. They will quickly lose control. Remember the 24 hour event when there are tons of people lining up? There will be no crowd control with the new system. Perhaps they should rethink the concept for slower days and busy days. Unfortunately, Disneyland and DCA have fewer slow days.

    I feel bad for the pardoned Presidential turkeys. They deserve to be viewed by the public. Disney should not be hidding them.

    Restricting the Christmas festivities to only private parties is a disappointment. It should be enjoyed by everyone. The extras should be the real extras that people pay to see and do like a photo shoot with Santa, complementary spice apple cider, gingerbread, and the Main Street Show that hardly anyone actually gets to see. It’s weird that they want to turn the Christmas Parade into a private showing.

    I’m sure they will quickly work out the logistics for the higher seasonal passes during Christmas. Obviously, it would mean that all tickets will have the Christmas season as blockout dates. Then they can sell appointment tickets during that period. It will be a mess for people to figure out. No more spontaneous trips to Disneyland anymore, not that I recommend such trips, which have ridiculous crowds.

    I have no problem with an Ironman attraction. Is it just Innoventions? It is such a small footprint. I’m waiting for a larger renovation that includes autopia, the people mover tracks, the former rocket jets platform, and the Magic Eye Theater.

    • dlandjimmy

      The way I imagine it like one gigantic entrance where thousands of people walk through at the same time and CM’s are running around trying to scan tickets… I think it will be more like most sporting events where ticket takers are standing next to the entrance and they still scan each person that passes by them after waiting in a line, there’s just no turnstile.

      Think of it like they’re just going to pull the turnstiles out and just leave one side of each gate closed (Disneyland turnstiles are currently grouped by 2 with a gate/door on either side that can be opened or closed depending on the current crowds waiting to enter).

      I’m sure they’ll do a little more than just pulling the turnstiles out, but something to that effect. I really doubt they’ll come up with a system that will allow hundreds or thousands of people to sneak through the gates everyday.

  • KENfromOC

    While I understand that the Marvel characters are very popular, I think overall it has a very limited and short-sighted appeal. There are just not enough fans of Iron Man, etc. out there to sustain for years to come. Much like the wacky idea of bringing “Avatar” to DAK, they are grabbing at what is “in” at the moment.

    • Wren

      Iron Man has been popular since the 60’s, maybe with not the mainstream or even ‘your crowd’ but there is a large group of people that are being accepted more mainstream that have always liked him.

    • ChillyDown

      Ken: Saying that adding Iron Man “has a very limited and short-sided appeal” and won’t have “fans for years to come” . . . I respectfully disagree. Iron Man has had an ongoing comic book for nearly five decades and has been in three major blockbuster movies so far, with a fourth on the way. One of those films, “The Avengers,” is one of the highest grossing films of all time. People won’t be forgetting that anytime soon.

      By contrast, look at the attraction based on “20,000 Leagues Under the Sea.” That was a ride based on *one* movie (and book), and it still ran for four decades. If “20,000 Leagues” can last that long, then Iron Man should certainly have some legs. In fact, technically speaking, “20,000 Leagues” was much more of a gamble than Iron Man is!

      I don’t get the mentality that says that the addition of any licensed properties to the parks is somehow “selling out.” Walt Disney didn’t personally create 20,000 Leagues, Swiss Family Robinson, Zorro, Snow White, Pinocchio, Winnie the Pooh, Wind in the Willows, etc., etc. He made films based on existing licensed properties, and people are just fine with park attractions based on those properties. How is this any different? The Disney company may not have personally created Iron Man, but he’s part of the family now, just as Buzz Lightyear is.

      I hope I’m not coming off too harsh. I just think people need to get some perspective by looking at the park’s history a little deeper. You certainly have a right to your opinion, though.

      Ironically, I completely agree with you about Avatar Land. That’s a terrible idea, because it’s only based on one movie (an extremely popular one, certainly, but not a very good one, IMHO). No one has seen the sequels yet to see if this franchise has any staying power. Imagine if Universal Studios had built a “Matrix Land” — how silly would they look now?

      If Disney is so anxious to compete with Harry Potter Land over at Universal, I can’t understand why they don’t snatch up the rights to Lord of the Rings. I think there are a lot more people who would like to go to Middle-Earth than Avatar Land.

      On a side note, I have a friend named Ken in CA; I’m wondering if you’re the same one. Do you visit Tough Pigs at all?

  • Mac Daddy

    I’m still trying to figure out exactly what non-party guests can expect when they come to the Disneyland Resort during Christmas vacation next year. From what I gather, they will get no parade, no fireworks and can plan on being kicked out of the park at 7 pm every night?

    And if they don’t have parties on every night, what do they get on non party nights? RDCT fireworks? No fireworks at all?

    All I know is that the Halloween Party on October 5 was INSANELY crowded just before kick off as thousands of non paying guests were trying to leave while THOUSANDS of party guests were showing up. I suppose they have this figured out at the Magic Kingdom, but Disneyland was a freaking mess during that transition this year.

    If you take the typical holiday crowds and mash them together with thousands of arriving party guests during the middle of Christmas vacation….I really think they are looking at Disney Armageddon. If they end up with unhappy daily guests demanding a refund and unhappy party guests demanding a refund, this whole money grabbing scheme could blow up in their greedy little faces pretty quick.

  • innerspacenut

    Any new attraction to replace Innoventions is great news! Innoventions reeks of Pressler era stupidity (Put in a bunch of lame Best Buy style displays and call it an attraction!). Iron Man makes sense- a futuristic high rise housing a new thrilling attraction sounds like fun to me! While I certainly enjoy new ideas from the Imagineers, some of the best attractions (Indy, Star Tours, etc.) have come from movie franchises. Tommorowland will always be the hardest land to keep current, so I’ll take a high tech Tony Stark over a fading pseudo-Jules Verne overlay.

  • Algernon

    An Iron Man attraction in Tomorrowland? I must have clicked the Magic Mountain update by mistake. Tomorrowland was supposed to be the world of the future, not Pixar Land and Marvel Land. And the prices?

    I’m glad to see that I’m not the only one who is never going back!!!

    • jcruise86

      Really? Never?

    • ahecht

      Are you opposed to Star Tours? You do realize it takes place in the world of the past, not the world of the future. It’s not like they’re putting in a Spider Man ride, Iron Man is very futuristic.

      • stevek

        Yes, old argument. But it’s vision is futuristic in every way. Space travel, distant worlds…everything about it. It’s a fantasy environment that works regardless of being “a long time ago in a galaxy far far away.”

  • Circarama

    It’s disappointing to see what is becoming of my beloved Disneyland. Reinvesting in AP’s is out of the question since the price hikes and now TDA wants to bastardize Tomorrowland with Marvel characters? A seismic recorder should be placed on Walt’s grave to measure the movement! .

    I truly love my MiceChat peeps, but I guess I won’t be seeing them nearly as much as I used to. Hey Disney! Say goodbye to me AND my wallet!!

  • daveinfontana

    Dusty says it all. A Tron concept ride would be better. As for the Christmas parade ,in my opinion is not that good . I usualy leave around 6 anyway. I’m also down gradeing my pass to the cheapest one . Disney has become a money hungry machine. This is Disneyland The first park of its’ kind. Not Disney World West.

  • WesternMouse

    What a depressing update. Good info, just bad content. I took my family to DL in Dec 2006. We still talk about it to this day. What a trip. I opted not to go to France to buy APs this week for my last year in Europe. Now, it looks like any hope of another holiday trip to DL in the future is down the drain. With the upgrades to Uni on both coasts, I’m going to send my money there. I was looking forward to visiting DL again, but no way I’m paying for separate parties and get upcharged for admission, too. This is a theme park, not a movie theater.

    Bye, bye Disneyland. I hardly knew ye.

  • pameleux

    I’ve always wanted to visit Disneyland during Christmastime, and although it is unfortunate they are charging extra, from what I understood that is only from November until mid-December. During the actual Christmas and New Year’s seasons the festivities will be available to everyone, and I see nothing wrong with that.

    I am a huge Marvel fan, so I am a bit biased on the Iron Man attraction and the further expansion of Marvel. Marvel is too huge for Disney to do nothing with it! They can appeal to a whole new crowd.
    I can’t understand how everyone seems excited that Universal Studios is expanding and constantly changing, but when Disney tries to do the same thing they are criticized on how they are drifting from Walt’s vision!

  • Michael808702

    Disneyland is going down hill so fast our passes expired last August was going to renew in December but forget it, I’m starting to hate this place with a passion and sometimes wish wdw would burn to the ground, I’m sorry I’m just very angry with these stupid updates the parka are fine leave it the way it is and kick TDO or WDW to the curve and take you’re dumb next gen junk and stupid parties with you. Ugh sigh makes me so mad sorry if I offended anyone it’s just Im so done, and from reading most are too, :/

  • SpectroMan

    Ugh – such a sad update, but thank you as ever for providing it to us.

    Iron Man? Really? At least it’s a ride, not a walkthru advertisement. Or is it? Probably yet another simulator to make us all nauseous.

    I can’t wait until they start running Soundsational and RDCT on December non-party days. The line for City Hall will wrap a loop all the way around Town Square! Should be hysterical.

    Then again: Seriously, SS and RDCT will still be running in Winter 2013?

    • It will be interesting to see what happens when the huge new Wizarding World opens at Universal Hollywood. I think a lot of upset Disney fans will find a new home – at least until Disney gets back on track.

      Butter Beer anyone?

      • jcruise86

        Sure, Dusty. But if you want this at Universal Studios you may have to wait five years.

      • jcruise86

        I meant in Universal Studios HOLLYWOOD. When will the WWoHP open there?

      • Ryan120420

        @ jcruise86

        WWOHP is scheduled to start construction in May of 2013 with a target opening date of May or June of 2015.

        So its less than 3 years away. And next year you will have Despicable Me: Minion Mayhem.

      • jcruise86

        Thanks, Ryan!
        I look forward to getting Universal APs in late 2015.

  • ogso

    I have to agree with everyone else about possibly being my last year for the AP. The only reason I re-upped this year was a company function which paid for a quarter of the pass. The family has enjoyed the holidays in the park for 20 plus years. But if they start charging for every little thing even more reason to bail.

    And for Marvel in the park, leaning towards not but will understand if they bring them in. I’m an old timer and still miss the inner space ride. Tron is a better option and a true disney option. Heck I’m still pulling for the peoplemover to be rebuilt (I know beating a dead horse).

    • jcruise86

      Just get APs every other year or every third or fourth year. You might appreciate Disneyland more.

      Judging from this board, I guess I’m in the small minority of folks who prefer Iron Man to Tron.

      Ogso, I also think an Innerspace could be cool if it were updated with the latest technology. We’ll have to go to WDW for the Peoplemover and the Carousel of Progress. I’d like 360 Circlevision back in Tomorrowland instead of Captain EO. Forgive me, regular Micechat readers, for repeating myself, but I want a new Circlevision Tour of the World in 3D rotated in with some of 360 oldies like “America the Beautiful.”

      • stevek

        I prefer the Iron Man movies to Tron. I prefer the Tron environments over Iron Man as it pertains to fitting in Tomorrowland.

  • Ravjay12

    Iron Man has been around much longer than Indiana Jones or Star Wars. In fact, most Marvel characters have been around for a decades! I think a Marvel Land should replace Tomorrowland! Tomorrowland is an idea whose time is done! It’s one of those areas that needs to have a major overhaul every few years to be worth anything! Even Walt Disney didn’t really know what to do with it until the Worlds Fair brought all those attractions that were paid for by other companies. Marvel theme land could be designed to be timeless, with characters that have stood the test of time. With today’s technology, Disney can make it work.

    SHAME ON YOU TDA!! I really feel sorry for the Cast Members! Parking is bad, record guest attendance, and the bad pay! And what kind of thanks do they get? No Family Christmas parties! I used to love those Cast Family parties! It was special because it was a thank-you for all the hard work. It was also cool to get served food by Paul Pressler and Cynthia Hariss. It also was also a good opportunity to talk to Michael Eisner, Frank Wells, and other Disney executives who hung out during those parties. Shame on you TDA!!! TAKE CARE OF YOUR CAST MEMBERS!!

    I’m not shocked that Disney is trying to make a buck by charging extra for the best parts of its Christmas experiences. For 400 bucks for a family of four for half a day in record crowds wasn’t enough, another 300 bucks, you’ll be privileged enough to get the full experience. SHAME ON YOU TDA!!

    • stevek

      Marvel Land, seriously? Would be an incredible mis-step. No way Disney devotes an entire land in a Magic Kingdom park around one franchise, especially at Disneyland. Maybe at Hollywood Studios in Florida but I’d think a Star Wars land would happen there first.

      • Ravjay12

        Worked just fine at Islands of Adventure. Maybe Disney should claim those rides and stick them in Tomorrowland!

  • churrocharlie

    I was there in Septmeber, 13-16. Carsland was too crowded to enjoy and 70% of the cast members I had any contact with in both parks were rude. I see now that they are overworked and undervalued but it really is time for some decent training for Castmembers and TDA alike. They need to know what Disneyland means to the people shelling out a small fortune to come through those gates; nostalgia, charm, detail! From the Turkeys to Ironman this looks bad for Disneyland. It’s Detail and charm out, money grubbing in. Why not Tron?!??! It’s a theme that would look futuristic and work well throughout all of Tomorrowland.

  • jasmineray

    In regards to Iron Man, IMO, it fits Tomorrowland very well. If you’ve seen Iron Man 2, you’ll know what I’m talking about.

  • Wren

    Dont understand all this hate for Iron Man of all people in Tomorrow land, the one character that embraces a futurist view and technological progress out of the Avengers

    Hes not from “A long time ago in a galaxy far away” nor is he a “Toy”, hes much more thematically appropriate that those two properties.

  • hollywood1939

    I know a lot of you have already seen my posts over on Facebook, but I’m going to keep on saying it. I’m really really troubled that TDA claims they can’t find time for Cast Member parties, but they can sure find time for Guest Private Events during the same time frame. Nevermind the ticket increases, this is all the proof you need that it’s all about profit now and nothing else. Next time I’m there (which will be a while), I’m going out of my way to compliment Cast Members because it sure doesn’t seem like TDA will do the same.

    • You bring up a great point which is going to be very difficult for TDA to explain away!

    • jcruise86

      I went to Universal’s IOA park soon after it opened, and I spoke with an enthusiastic employee there who was proud that at that time Universal had better starting wages than Disney World. Near their parks, Universal could advertise, “Universal: a better place to work, a better place to play!” if this is true.

      Part of the appeal for me of Starbucks, Costco & Trader Joe’s is that their employees are generally compensated better than most of their competitors both with wages and insurance.

  • MrToadOfToadHall

    It appears TDAs goal of eliminating Annual Pass holders is working. It is obvious that there is little interest in maintaining tradition or loyalty amongst the local long term fans. This is all about the almighty dollar and from a purely business point of view, there can be no concern for upsetting anyone where a profit is concerned. Let us not forget that Disney is nothing these days but a huge money making corporation. You are welcome to live in a delusional world where Disney cares about you and all of those little things that used to make the parks warm and fuzzy, but the truth is much colder. There are some wonderful people who work at the parks and for Disney in general. I guarantee you that many of them are as angry about these changes as you are, but employment is a valuable commodity these days and there is little to be done at the lower or even mid management level when it comes to stemming these trends. Will I renew my premium passes next year? I’m still not sure but probably not or at least not at the Premium level. I managed to squeak in under the old rates this year just in time, but that 200 dollar jump per pass is a hard one to swallow and I suspect there will be another hike before my renewal comes up again in June. The sad truth is that the parks will still likely see increases in crowds even with the upcharges and changes in the wind. That is all that really matters to TDA.

    • Giant Panda

      I don’t think TDA wants to eliminate APs at this time as they still heavily advertise them. But I am sure they are willing to sell them at higher and higher prices, even past the tipping point of actually affecting total park attendance. Cramming the parks full everyday does bear costs that TDA may wish to reduce, especially if the lost income from diminished attendance is made up for by increased AP prices. Isn’t that sort of the model behind the parties?

  • cellarhound

    So let’s see you want to put a 50 year old comic book in Tomorrowland? The first edition of Iron Man was published in 63. The Peoplemover is 5 years younger, and they aren’t going to bring it back?

    • ahecht

      And Star Tours takes place “A long time ago”. What’s your point?

  • JiminyCricketFan

    From your article, there is a whole lot less magic at Disneyland than the old days. Instead of adding magic and improved guest experiences, Disneyland management seems obsessed with squeezing more dollars from every wallet.

    Candlelight at WDW is much less magical than Disneyland’s version, mainly because there is no nostalgic vibe and it is performed so many times during the season.

    Disneyland is just becoming more of a playground for the wealthy than the average person. Walt wanted his park to be open for all, but with these constant up charges, parking, parties, food, and souvenirs, the average family cannot afford to go more than once in a lifetime.

  • iamrumpleteazer

    This seriously breaks my heart! We already reluctantly decided not to renew our annual passes with the increase in prices and opted to just go at Christmas time…..now this? I have grown up with Disneyland, literally attending EVERY year (if not more as I became older and had an annual pass) since1977. I now have two kids- one who has just started creating his Disney memories and a daughter who will have her first trip there this Christmas. We will stop our Disneyland trips. Honestly. It’s ridiculous. My kids already ask to go to Legoland more than Disneyland anyway, so I’m going to give in and we will get our passes at Legoland and Disney will become a place that makes movies and sells shit. They’re killing the magic in the kingdom. So sad. 🙁

    • WesternMouse

      …and it’s filled with sparkly bits, too.

    • Kritter

      language. both of you.

  • bayouguy

    Just sadden that corporate greed is put above the spirit of Christmas. It’s a tad childish view that I have about this but it fits nicely into what Disney corp has become due to greed.

  • TL59

    I have a couple of problems with an Iron Man ride. I think my biggest concern is that it’s just focused on one character; that’s it. It’s all about Iron Man, Iron Man, Iron Man, he’s gonna be everywhere. For me personally, Disneyland is about the experiences, and I’m sure people have heard this before. You can fly through space, you can explore the Swiss alps on a bobsleb, you can pillage and plunder with pirates, you get a personal tour of a haunted mansion, you get to ride through a runaway mine train! All of these wonderful experiences that people remember, without these Disney characters (I ignore Jack Sparrow on Pirates). That’s what made Disney special, you could have these remarkable experiences and just have them be the wonderful experiences they are. That’s another reason Space Mountain is one of my favorite rides, an idea so simple, a track barely thrilling, but what they can do with it, WOW. You feel like you’re traveling in space, you believe you’re traveling in space. It’s simply wonderful. You can’t get that out of a movie tie-in. Sure, you could have “experiences” in the attraction, but it’s just going to be filled with one-liners from Iron Man himself. I just think that the less movie tie-in, the better (at least at Disneyland), and the more “experience” they can create, the better the attraction.

    • DisneyPhreak

      Totally agree. If any Disney “suits” are reading this, please consider this point of view. Almost everyone I’ve discussed this with feels this way.

  • Mike Wazowski

    I’ll take a Tomorrowland with Iron Man over Michael Jackson any day.

    • jchamb268

      I here ya.

    • jcruise86

      Me too, but–again–I’d take updated Circlevision, Innerspace & the Peopelmovers any day. How about Ironman’s Circlevision Tour of Earth in 3D? I’m serious. How about something original: for the first time ever a superhero doesn’t save the planet, but just has a great time visiting it. He could deliver the Small World message in the coolest most dramatic way imaginable.

  • mbyrd

    “The original concept had a small Woody doll sticking out of the bag, as a sly nod to other Pixar successes. But John Lasseter and Pixar nixed that idea, not wanting to let other stories and characters creep into the Cars Land environment.”

    Lasseter doesn’t want overlap? What about the Buzz Lightyear that is hiding under a cone in the Cozy Cone Motel Office (recreating a scene from Toy Story 2).

    Honestly couldn’t be more disappointed with all this Christmas up charge nonsense. I’ve never purchased a Halloween party ticket. I considered it once, but now I definitely won’t; I won’t purchase an xmas one either out of sheer protest. I’m indifferent on the Iron Man attraction. On one hand I’m pumped that Innovations is getting axed, on the other hand “Iron Man” doesn’t scream Disney to me thus I don’t think it belongs in the Park.

  • stevek

    The pay for Christmas model was inevitable at DL. Will be interesting to see what DL charges compared to WDW. I absolutely loved the party and was willing to pay the extra, fairly reasonable ticket fee but we were also on vacation which influenced our enjoyment and willingness to spend extra. We made the decision to not renew back in September and thanks to free tix won in a contest, this will likely be our last Disneyland trip for several years. If fact, it’s not likely we go to any Disney parks until early 2015 for a planned trip to WDW. At this point, I’m willing to pay less, get less but still have fun and get Knott’s AP’s. Despite loving DL far more, It’s just a better value for our family of 4.

    While I’ve enjoyed the Avenger movies, I’m not really a fan of Iron Man going in to Tomorrowland. And I know all the arguments about Star Tours not being an original attaction but it still fits, it’s set in a timeframe that doesn’t exist. The Avengers essentially exist in today’s world based on the movies. How does that fit in a “Tomorrow” theme? Tron is a natural fit but there is no way it will resonate with people like Iron Man will…but does it really have to? A great attraction will resonate (hello big brother space mountain) no matter what the theme. I’d prefer original attractions but quite honestly, I think those will be few and far between here in the US.

  • DisneylandTraveler

    What if you pay big money for your family to enjoy a Chrismas package and it rains like a son of gun????

    Iron Man? – complete with Black Sabbath and AC/DC soundtracks, perhaps? My, oh, my…..

  • peoplemover

    No Marvel in Disneyland. It just doesn’t fit. Period.

  • ex-wdi

    So if Lasseter is opposed to other Pixar characters in Cars Land, then why is there the little Buzz Lightyear in the motel check-in at the Cozy Cone?

    This update sucks, every single thing in it makes me hate Disney.

    • jcruise86

      Good catch on Buzz, ex-wdi! And to the three other posters who
      already made this point.
      (Including ahecht, & mbryd).

      Al, we may not always read each others posts, but we read your words pretty carefully.

  • Sdlipton

    Maybe I am missing something here but I really don’t see the big deal here. The Halloween parties are a ton of fun, limited lines for some great attractions and some other nice entertainment throughout the park including the Halloween Fireworks and trick or treating. Yes, do we enjoy seeing the Parade and fireworks at holiday time; would we NOT visit the resort because we might have to pay extra, NOT a chance. Beyond the special parade and fireworks, its the ambiance of being at Disneyland for the Holidays that make it special; the decorations, the special merchandise, the character costumes; this is why my family and I go to Disneyland during the holiday season. And YES, we absolutely would pay extra to see the holiday fireworks and parade and snow show on an evening we are in the park; then again, if you are on a budget, Disneyland is probably not the right vacation for you, the Los Angeles Zoo at 20 bucks a head is about an hour north.

    • stevek

      I personally think the Halloween party is a mixed bag. The first events held in DCA we far less expensive, had arguablly far less to offer, but the crowds were very manageable. Disney has jacked up the price and though they’ve provided more “stuff” to enjoy i.e. fireworks, they’ve also packed DL. We went once after it moved to DL and vowed never to go again. DCA events were far more enjoyable.

    • DisneyPhreak

      I know people who have grown up in the area who have never been able to afford to go to Disneyland. Now I know where to direct them to make them feel better about it. Thanks!

  • luvlucy121

    I was checking my calendar, to make sure this wasn’t the April Fools Day update! Dang.

  • Tinkbelle

    Disney keeps asking people to pay more to get less. I’m glad that we have a couple memories of Christmas visits to look back on because there is no way we will pay for evening offerings that should be included in the price of the already incredibly expensive ticket we bought for the day (or the week/or year). Those offerings are part of why we are willing to buy a ticket in the first place. They keep making choices that solidify our decision to not return once our passes expire.

    It will be very interesting to see what happens once the newness of Carsland dies off, ticket/food/merchandise prices continue to rise, and the park implements more of these exclusive parties, shortening the regular visitor’s day and offering them less bang for more bucks. Where will the breaking point be?

    • stevek

      I don’t think Disney has a breaking point and they’ve got a couple of years to let the newness of Cars Land die off. By then, you may have the next big thing i.e. New Tomorrowland which will keep the resort hype going. They continued to raise prices, even when they had less to offer, and people kept paying. They’ve made it very easy to “buy in” via monthly payments but have also thinned the herd a bit by losing families like ours. For us, it just became a value proposition. Instead of 10+ trips a year, we made maybe 5 trips. The payout is no longer there nor does my family have the desire to go as much…one of the dangers of getting too much of a good thing (yes, you can have too much Disneyland in your life).

  • Seawolf

    Sorry Disney, you lost another long time annual passholder. Greed will be your undoing.

  • I would perfer a Tron themed E-Ticket over Iron Man, just love the look of the new tron!

    • stevek

      And thematically it would fit very easily. But, it wasn’t a blockbuster and it won’t drive merch sales the way Iron Man or the Avengers will, even though the latter doesn’t truly belong in TL. The game changed a long time ago and some people are just getting it. The parks aren’t just about creating immersive environments or else they could have very easily built Car Land without a tie in to Cars. Would they have sold as much merch…no way. I wouldn’t expect them to build any new attractions that don’t tie in to an existing franchise. That doesn’t mean the attractions will be bad (Cars Land is amazing), it’s just the new normal.

  • lightofdarkness


    Star Wars may be in a galaxy far far away and a long time ago, but Star TOURS is from a spaceport on earth on a star ship equipped with a flux capacitor to take you to that place.

    No excuses for Buzz Lightyear. Fun ride, but it shouldn’t be there.

    As for Marvel, specifically Iron Man, no Disney property could fit better in the vision of tomorrow than a man who portrays the son of Disney-esque Howard Stark. To those complaining in regards to his demeanor please see Captain Jack Sparrow. For those of you who despise the Captain, please see the original Pirates of the Caribbean and their demeanor towards women and booze which WERE sanctioned by Walt.

    To those complaining about the inclusion of JUST Iron man, please read the whole article, specifically this: “Bob Iger can’t wait to get the Marvel characters added..” and “..since the budget is healthy and Cars Land has emboldened them to push for higher quality in these big headliner projects..” This is not just Innoventions, this sounds to me like (my personal name for this project, maybe I’m right, who knows) — Tony Stark and Marvel present Walt Disney’s New Tomorrow — also known as the New Tomorrow. They’ve been looking at the whole east end, this is not just the one building.

    Who knows, maybe you’ll even get Dr Henry Pym’s Journey through Innerspace.

    • lightofdarkness

      Apparently my html tags suck, only characters was supposed to be bold.

  • Princess Victoria

    I am appreciative of the update, as it has interesting information. However, there is not a single thing to become excited about. Special ticketing to enjoy the Christmas events that have always been included with the price of admission? The reindeer being removed? Higher regular day ticket costs? A redo of the ticketing system? Fastpasses being enforced (this is actually quite understandable)? Iron Man in Tomorrowland? Wow. Sounds like nothing short of good old fashioned greed at TDA and Burbank. I’m truly scared for the future of the Disneyland Resort. I feel like it is becoming a shadow of it’s former, true and glorious self.

  • StacyJofus

    I have no problem with any of this. Am I the only one?

    First, Christmas. They’re not getting rid of Christmas. And only for a few weeks BEFORE Christmas are they starting the private parties. If you want to see all the Christmas perks, go during the last part of December and the beginning of January and you can see everything.

    Second, Iron Man. I think this is great! I’ve been hoping they would do a Marvel or Tron ride and getting rid of Innoventions is the best idea. Now, don’t get me wrong. I walk through Innoventions every time I go to DL (which is 3-5 times a year). It’s nice when it’s really hot, and the CMs showing the displays in each room are great. I just think it’s about time to do something new. If only they’d bring back the people movers…..

    Third, rising prices. I have no problem with this either. My husband and I already renewed our APs 2 weeks ago, and we’re out of state. A few trips ago we were talking to some CMs about the increase. Apparently there are a lot of people in SoCal that have APs. Not an issue at all. But when those people are going everyday, and spending NO MONEY in the park, Disney has to do something to control the insane crowds while still making a profit. I know all of us would like there to never be a price increase, but let’s face it. They have to increase the prices. They are constantly updating the park, adding new attractions, and making the experience awesome and memorable for everyone. If they didn’t increase the prices every now and again, there would be no Disneyland to go to. So you know what? If you all want to complain about the changes and never go to DL again, that’s fine with me! That just leaves less people in the park when I’m there. 🙂

    • jchamb268

      I completely agree with you. Great points.

    • DisneyPhreak

      Yes, you can experience the whole thing under the most crowded conditions. It’s already expensive enough for a ticket. And I think the rising ticket prices are more often than “every now and again”. Also, are you not totally embarrassed for the poor CM who has to demo some outdated futuristic display?

  • DisDreamin

    After reading all the comments on here from people I see quite a trend in people’s responses and attitudes which in my opinion is selfishness. Most people who are angry about some of these changes are AP holders and are saying they won’t be renewing their pass to Disneyland because they are upset and don’t want to visit anymore. I’ve been going to Disneyland since I was 3 years old. One week long vacation every year and there is a great nostalgia to it but there is also an excitement to see the upgrades or the new attractions or the maybe just the new treat on the menu. For me there is always something new at Disneyland and I embrace it. However those with passes that are now saying you will not renew and will go get a pass at Knotts or Legoland or Universal, I have to ask you, why did you get a pass to Disneyland in the first place. Was it simply because Disneyland is there and a place to go “hang out” or does it hold a more personal and special place in your heart? Because if it is simply a place to just hang out or go see the holiday fireworks after work then these above mentioned changes will probably make you mad. I on the other hand look at it from all angles. Perhaps Disney is trying to get a little more control and order in a park that has become a little overrun by selfish (and I don’t mean all) but a large group of AP holders that want, demand, the park to be how they want it, when they want it and if they don’t get that “then fine I’ll go to this place every week instead.” Sounds a little childish to me.

    We don’t know any details about the Ironman concept. It could actually be really well done and I am really excited to hear what the plans may entail. Perhaps it could be a Stark Industries theme and not just IronMan. After what looks like a phenomenal job they did in Carsland (my trip isn’t until April) I have no doubt they will do wonders in Tomorrowland once they break ground on any projects.

    • Tinkbelle

      We are not local AP holders. We are from out of state and usually only visit once every 1-5 yrs. and usually get multi-day (3-4 day) passes when we visit. We hadn’t been to Disneyland for 2 years when we heard last spring about the large price hike that was coming. We decided then to purchase AP’s at the current price to avoid the price hike and be able to afford a couple of trips while our kids are still kids. It was an investment. We will not be renewing. It is not because Disney is common to us or that we will be buying annual passes to some other park. A trip to Disney is a big deal to us and a special treat. We just can’t justify spending the increased asking prices, and especially not when they keep taking away the special entertainment and closing earlier.

    • stevek

      I’ve been going to Disneyland regularly for 41 years so Disneyland obviously holds a very special place in my heart. It’s not about selfishness that’s driving our decision to not renew, it’s about not getting the same value we used to since we can’t visit as much as we used to. I’m not losing any sleep over it though as life outside of the berm is far more important to me than it was 10-15 years ago.

      There are a large number of APers that have a sense of entitlement, who live and breathe Disneyland (sometimes in a rather unhealthy way) and those people can give the AP community a bad name. I don’t think Disney owes me anything other than continuing to provide a clean, safe, well run environment. As for ticket increases, they’ve invested heavily in DCA and that comes with a price for the consumer. I don’t like that Disney has increased their prices significantly every year, especially during an economic downturn, but Disney knows what it’s doing and there is no way they are going to make decisions that will significantly hurt their business.

      Again, for us it’s just about value. I will always prefer Disneyland over Knott’s but the latter has just become a better value for us. We enjoy our time there and it costs us significantly less to do so.

    • I don’t think the anger is coming from change. Change is good and necessary in a theme park. EVERYONE wants Innoventions to go. The anger comes from an apparent lack of concern for the creative environments of Disneyland by the current CEO and crop of Imagineers – Iron Man isn’t coming because the Imagineers think it is the best concept, it is coming because Bob Iger wants his Marvel investment to pay off.

      The threats of not renewing come from a lack of value. Disney has increased prices to an insane level over the past few years and more insults and increases (in the way of up-charge holiday parties) are in the works. That’s just pure greed. And Disney is getting away with it for now. But when all these locals have seen the new party once, how is Disney going to sustain this? They couldn’t even sell out their special up-charge Cars Land parties before the land opened to the general public. They are reaching (or have already passed) the tipping point. If other parks are offering a higher value (and I think most now are), Disney will eventually be in a difficult position. Paul Pressler sought to raise prices and lower operations costs and it eventually wrung the life out of the parks. The current management is attempting to keep quality high but make up for it with insane pricing, one Disney, and cutbacks on perks to cast and annual passholders. This too will eventually fail. Once you’ve alienated your customer base, it is very hard to recover. It’s marketing 101 and Disneyland is failing at this basic task at the moment.

      All the warning signs are there. Surely someone smart at Disney will yell STOP and put an end to this madness. Let’s hope that sanity returns quickly, before real damage is done to the company and the parks.

      • Mr Wiggins

        Dusty Sage wrote:
        >”I don’t think the anger is coming from change. Change is good and necessary in a theme park. EVERYONE wants Innoventions to go. The anger comes from an apparent lack of concern for the creative environments of Disneyland by the current CEO and crop of Imagineers – Iron Man isn’t coming because the Imagineers think it is the best concept, it is coming because Bob Iger wants his Marvel investment to pay off.

        The threats of not renewing come from a lack of value. Disney has increased prices to an insane level over the past few years and more insults and increases (in the way of up-charge holiday parties) are in the works. That’s just pure greed. And Disney is getting away with it for now. But when all these locals have seen the new party once, how is Disney going to sustain this? They couldn’t even sell out their special up-charge Cars Land parties before the land opened to the general public. They are reaching (or have already passed) the tipping point. If other parks are offering a higher value (and I think most now are), Disney will eventually be in a difficult position. Paul Pressler sought to raise prices and lower operations costs and it eventually wrung the life out of the parks. The current management is attempting to keep quality high but make up for it with insane pricing, one Disney, and cutbacks on perks to cast and annual passholders. This too will eventually fail. Once you’ve alienated your customer base, it is very hard to recover. It’s marketing 101 and Disneyland is failing at this basic task at the moment. “<

        Exactly right. The big unknown, though, continues to be the number of cash customers who are hooked on the Disney branded lifestyle. The people who will continue to pay and pay and pay no matter how blatantly greedy Disney gets.

        Disney acts as if there are an unlimited number of those customers. They act as if they believe that every time a legacy customer quits in disgust, two will take his place, eagerly waving their wallets.

        It remains to be seen if they're right. Of course, the outcome is irrelevant to current Disney management. If they're right, they win. If they're wrong and it backfires, they leave with their bonuses and resumes, and they still win. In either case, the only losers are the customers — packed into the park like a mosh pit of sardines, receiving ever-declining customer service from an ever-shrinking staff, and paying ever more for it.

    • jchamb268

      Very well put. My family and I agree with you.

  • Tanthus

    I can’t fault them for any of this. People still keep paying. I see tons of ticketed people going through the turn style every day. After going to the Halloween party last night and seeing everyone having a fantastic time… yea this is the next logical step.

    As for people who say this they won’t be renewing, remember that Disney probably doesn’t want you to renew. If they want there annual pass roles to increase they will lower prices, offer more or do what they need to do. If they want less they will do the opposite. Pretty simple.

    Do I like it… no I don’t. But them’s the breaks.

    If you don’t like it try to get everyone to stop buying tickets for the Halloween parties. After you stop your annual pass. Don’t buy day tickets. Refuse to go. Only buy reducing the attendance levels will you get your wish. But good luck to you I think people now are willing to pay that premium for entertainment right now.

  • grumpy42499

    It has been 5 years since the last time I visited Disneyland at Christmas. I been trying to scrape together money to go this year and it has been a tough road. Now I need to scrape harder so I dont missout a final Christmas experience. If they do an upcharge for what was already part of your admission, I will never be going at Christmas time. It is just getting to freaking expensive.

  • MaryAnn in Wndrlnd

    The lack of respect for the front line cast members is gross. Not unexpected from a large, for- profit company, but gross nonetheless.

    I, actually, don’t mind a Tony Stark themed futuristic expo type attraction. Do I want a simulator ride through New York with Iron Man and the Avengers? No. There is lots of potential here to be a perfect fit for Tomorrowland. Do I have faith Disney will do it right? No. They’ll play up Iron Man himself, and abandon the Stark-Expo themes.

    Fastpass return times being enforced is a good thing. It will be super inconvenient for us MiceChatters who meet up with big groups later in the day. Trying to coordinate fast pass pickups will be inconvenient as will using them all at the same time. But then, shouldn’t we really be waiting in the “stand by” with a group that large anyway? I think no fastpass on Haunted Mansion Holiday was a great start to overhaul the whole fastpass option.

    And Christmas. SIGH. I am incredibly disappointed by this. Every year, my husband and I have our “Winter Wonderland Day” at Disneyland. We put on our overcoats, scarves, hats, and go “do” Christmas. We ride Small World and Mansion, stake out a good spot for the parade, eat and drink our bellies full of holiday yummies, watch the tree light on main street and end our day with a kiss under the snowfall after the fireworks. Being that we both live away from our families, this is our holiday tradition.

    As we already own AP’s (husband has deluxe, I have a premium due to our work schedules), I honestly feel like I pay for this experience in the cost of our AP’s. It would be one thing if our annual passes were a lower cost, either older pricing tiers or a lower status AP. But when you are paying premium costs, you expect to have the full experience.

    Once the Halloween parties moved to Disneyland and the prices were raised dramatically, I didn’t buy tickets anymore. The minimal offerings during the Halloween party are not worth the price of admission in my opinion. I always tell my friends, “When they have a headless horseman running down Main Street, I’ll buy a ticket.” What I mean is that Disney needs to beef up the “party only” experiences, like a FULL parade, in order for me to justify the expense.

    However, now that they are going to offer ALL of the Christmas entertainment as a “party only” exclusive, I find that my reaction is much more negative. There is a large difference between adding something new and upcharging then taking away something you’ve had all along. And it’s Christmas. It’s bloody Christmas. Being greedy and corporate at Christmas just has a larger emotional impact on me. It leaves me with a rotten taste in my mouth.

    Will I buy a ticket? I have no idea. I need to sit on it for awhile. Will I ever buy one for Halloween now? Less likely now that, if I WAS going to buy one for Christmas, that would make it harder for me to buy the Halloween tickets two months earlier. Asking people who are already paying $600+ dollars a year to pay an additional $100+ just for the seasonal offerings seems outrageous.

    If I decide that attending the Christmas party is important, I think that I am far more likely to simply stop buying my AP and buy a few single day tickets throughout the year and tickets to the parties. I’ll buy a ticket for one day of Gay Days, Micechat Anniversary, Gumball Rally, one visit during the summer and the Halloween and Christmas Parties. When the monthly AP cost for my husband and I is more expensive than a car payment, I better be getting that premium experience. And when I stop feeling like I’m getting my monies worth, I’ll stop paying that price.

    They’ll lose money on me in the long run as I eat almost all of my meals in park and spend money on expensive merchandise like jewelry, clothing and art. The less opportunity I have to shop and dine, the less I’ll spend. And as I won’t be going as often, I’ll be spending more of my time in line for attractions and less in the eateries, bars and shops.

    It is sad to see Disneyland turn into a place for the financially elite, the ones who don’t have to think about dollar value versus experience value and just think about the convenience. Annual passholders will now only be for the wealthy and it will turn into a status club more then a appropriately priced ticket media.

    • BasilofBakerStreet

      MaryAnn I feel the same about Christmas. My family lives in the MidWest and when I attended Disneyland one Christmas season it felt like my Christmas. My girlfriend and I have made it a tradition to spend one day there and do all the Christmas stuff before I head home for the holidays. Sad Disney will take this road and take what so many have enjoyed during Christmas at Disneyland.

    • DisDreamin

      We don’t travel to Disneyland during the holidays, we go in the offseason when we plan our annual trip, but if I did I’d be highly offended by your comment: “asking people who already paying 600+ dollars a year to pay an additional $100+ just for the seasonal offerings seems outrageous.”
      For my family $600 pays for just our plane tickets to get to Disneyland. And im sure people who live on the East Coast pay even more then that for plane tickets. That should help put it into perspective for you, when you whine and complain that Disney is increasing pricing in the park. Disney needs to do something to control attendance and this is how they are doing it. I feel the park has been abused by a lot of AP holders. APs should be for people who appreciate the priveledge of going more often and if that means you go 2 to 3 times a year instead of weekly or monthly when you feel like it, then good! Not for people who feel that since they bought a premium pass they should be entitled to some additional premium priveledges. Your priveledge is going as often as you do.

      There are people that shell out thousands of dollars for on or two trips a year and they see the value of paying that for the fun family vacation they know they’ll have. Appreciative and grateful for the time they spend there. No one is entitled to Disneyland, it’s not becoming a status club, it’s trying to get back to its roots: a family destination vacation.

      • tonyrr1

        Dis… It would be interesting to see how the economics work out if these changes precipitate a down-tick in the number of AP holders who decide the AP cost is no longer worth the expense. I hear you about DLR being a family destination vacation, but I’d wager that DLR gets a larger share of its revenue from regular / local guests than from occasional out-of-towners, kinda the opposite of WDW, and so DL’s economics may be more dependent on visits from local folk (AP holders or not). I wonder sometimes if they should just go back to ticket books and do away with AP’s and fastpasses and park hopper tickets.

      • MaryAnn in Wndrlnd

        Highly offended, eh? You seem awfully angry. Sorry if I offended you, but I’m not sure how I could have been responsible for that.

        I didn’t complain about the parks being packed. Honestly, it doesn’t bother me. So your argument that I want it both ways is not true.

        Whining? Really? I thought that I was eloquent and decently unemotional in choosing my words.

        Privilege? Um, I have the right to decide if the price I pay for a product is worth the money. I’m stating that without the holiday offerings, I’m not sure it’s worth the money anymore. What is wrong with that logic?

        I DO appreciate the ability to go as often as I do. Don’t assume that because I am analyzing the cost vs. benefits that means I don’t appreciate that I have the opportunity to make that comparison. I count my blessings everyday in ALL aspects of my life.

        I didn’t say DISNEYLAND was becoming a status club; I said that the ANNUAL PASSHOLDER PROGRAM will turn into the status club.

        I am happy to explain my view and consider others’ viewpoints. But when people make assumptions and clearly don’t read posts accurately before attacking viewpoints, it makes me wonder why we even try to have a dialogue.

        If you want the AP program eliminated, that’s your opinion. But I wasn’t arguing about eliminating the AP program. I was sharing my thoughts on asking the AP holders to pay extra for seasonal offerings.

        And, for the record, I think it’s ludicrous that the tourists have to pay extra too. As you say, you spend $600+ just on plane tickets. I’m on your side too.

      • Disneylandfan85

        “No one is entitled to Disneyland, it’s not becoming a status club, it’s trying to get back to its roots: a family destination vacation.”

        By making prices so obscene that families can’t actually afford to go there? I’m confused.

    • brianpinsky

      Good for you. I agree completly. Ever since the roll out of pay events (excluding priviet parties) They parks have been taking away the experince of being AP’s. The days of me bing an AP are becoming numbered and as well is my purchases have almost stop completly. I think once the crowdes calm down over Carsland like they have for WoC and Toy Story Maina (mostly I still don’t understand lines for a 5 year old ride) than TDA will get thier heads on strait.

  • Timekeeper

    Geez, why most all you fan boys and girls must get so worked up with Innoventions closing and getting replaced by Iron Man? It makes perfect sense, as it was stated by others who posted earlier; and Dusty, a Tron ride is still a few years would still be ahead, because TDA wants to cash on the upcoming Iron Man 3 (which also makes sense for them to build a copy of MILF from WDW, as Monsters Uni. will be opening next year), and audiences will have more a relational tie with the new attraction with the recent Avengers film and the upcoming third film than say a Sci-Fi film from nearly two years ago, (though if the Tron: Uprising succeeds with viewers, that will be helpful for Disney to make a Third Tron film.) Heck, remember what Al said that the new thrill ride would go over Harbor Blvd? It could either be an Tron or an Iron Man attraction, I guess it will just depend what type of new attraction will open in Shanghai Disneyland’s Tomorrowland.

    But, I do feel your pain on the rumored Dining Packages for the Christmas Parties at Disneyland.

    Boy, my voice might as well get lost in this flurry of angry fans.


  • DisWedWay

    I think it’s about time WDI brings Carousel Of Progress back to Disneyland from Walt Disney World. They can go through it and update the final scene to show us what Tomorrow holds for us rather than Iron Man. DCA or another 3rd park is the place for Marvel characters such as Iron Man and my favorite Thor and his mighty hammer. Carousel of Progress was the last show that truly fit Tomorrowland and what Walt wanted the lands theme to be about. Make it so Mr Iger.

    • Switch602

      I agree, the Carousel of Progress is pretty amazing, though as a CM for Innoventions, i do believe it is within Walt’s vision. The heart of the CoP is still there, though instead of watching a show about how technology has changed, you go into an immersive experience of how technology will help shape your future. There is so much magic to be made there and I think the guests really do appreciate what we have to offer.

  • Spongeocto4

    Thanks for the update.

  • disneyFREAK242

    (I’ve never commented on posts like this, but read hundreds, which should show how strongly I feel about this.) I am deeply disappointed in the direction Disneyland is headed. Just as A said, it’s becoming more like WDW. Though great, I feel that WDW lacks that certain charm that Disneyland has (or had). With the decrease in holiday offerings for regular guests, seasonal pricing, Fastpass enforcement (though small), Marvel coming into the parks, and the INSANE prices of tickets/food (and everything else going wrong at the DLR), it’ll probably turn into a “visit every five years” park for thousands, if it millions of people. Even then, most might not ever come back. I fear they’ll lose a lot of visitors through the next decade, possibly including myself……

  • tonyrr1

    Al… Great update as always even if the news wasn’t indicative of a place known as “the happiest place on earth.” I’ll just add my voice to the others… I am very disappointed that they would take the holiday offerings at DL and make those into upcharge items. It just REALLY sends the wrong message, but I think it’s high time to admit that this is no longer the house that Walt built. WDCO is a public company and has shareholders to answer to; revenue streams and profits tend to take priority to “creative” concerns, even when the creative is critical to the revenue stream. I will say I’m glad I brought my family to DL in Xmas of 2011 so we could enjoy it then without having to fork out more cash to see the special events.

    Also, I don’t think Iron Man as a character is a good fit for the Magic Kingdom even though I do think what he stands for in terms of technology and forward-thinking is a good fit for a Tomorrowland (someone mentioned the Stark Expo above, and I was thinking the same thing). I guess overall I would just like to see Imagineering come out with attractions that don’t all derive from film properties; it just smacks of unoriginal thinking to me. I suppose the precedent is there given that there are rides based on the classic Disney animation films (basically ALL of Fantasyland), but then I think about Pirates… Haunted Mansion… Matterhorn… Space Mountain… BTMRR… I find myself wondering if WDI can make attractions any more that pull from their own wellspring of creativity instead of building on others’ ideas all the time.

    At any rate, I hope they rethink things at some point. I’m not a local, and while I could afford a DL vacation, I don’t know that I’d necessarily care to spend the kind of cash that a DL trip demands given what the product contains and how it’s presented and priced. My daughter is a Harry Potter fan, after all… Bob, are ya listenin’..?? 😉

  • Disneylandfan85

    I’m neutral on Iron Man replacing Innoventions. As for the Christmas party upcharge, I’m neutral on that, too. We’re going in November, but it will be early in November, just before the Christmas season kicks in. We’ll be going on November 8 and returning on the 12th.

    But I am pretty disappointed in the price hikes. I figured, if I want to keep going, sooner or later, I’m going to have to augment my trip habits, like, say, going with fewer people. Of course, I’ve never been particularly fond of going at Christmastime myself, mostly because it’s around school time. I’ve been partial to summer. Granted, it does get hot and crowded, and I’m not fond of either, but when I’m at Disneyland, I don’t let it bother me.

  • GoneAway562

    Iron Man? Really? Great… Ive never cared for Iron Man and a ride just sounds ehh. And as for the fastpass deal. :[ Ive been using that “secret” for years in collecting as many as I can in the morning only to use them all in the evening when everyone gets there.

  • Trevelbond

    Disney’s most loved and truly timeless rides are those born without movie tie-ins. Original concepts make for the most fascinating and enduring attractions. I’ve long since grown tired of the constant Pixar based rides, and I’m frankly disturbed at the idea of Iron Man taking up residence in Tomorrowland. I’d like to see some fresh, new sci-fi or futuristic ideas… you know… something appropriate for the theme of Tomorrowland.

    • DisneyPhreak


  • G24T

    While I’m hopeful that the plan for price increases helps to mitigate crowding while keeping the financial status-quo I can’t help but believe that it could discourage holiday vacationers from visiting the parks while at the same time the annual pass holders will continue to contribute to overcrowding and minimal spending. Am I wrong in believing this??

  • Broadway Guru

    I’m going to say something I’ve been thinking about for a long time now.

    Universal Studios is the future of theme parks. Disney is the past.

    For years now, Disney’s been cultivating a branded lifestyle audience which identifies w/ Disney on an emotional level. They’re less interested in gaining new customers than in getting more visits and more money out of the ones they have. This has resulted in an inbred fandom whose loyalty grows even as its size shrinks.

    I think one day everyone’s going to wake up and find that Universal Studios has replaced DL/WDW in the hearts and minds of vacationers. I doubt they’ll ever do it in raw numbers, but the perception will be that you go to Disney for quantity, but you go to US for quality.

  • holierthanthoutx

    May I just say a big “Thank You” to everyone who says they’re not renewing their APs. Disneyland will not miss you, and those of us who don’t live in the area, and who only visit every other year or so, will be SO much happier not to have passholders in the park.

    I don’t know why people think they’re making some sort of statement by not renewing their passes. NO ONE WILL MISS YOU. You just make yourselves sound like you’re uneducated.

    • danielz6

      Oh yes they will! Annual passholders are what keeps Disneyland full and making money in the off season when vacationers like yourself are less likely to visit. Jan-March, May, Sept and Nov! Thats why they are blocked out in the other months and weekends so they come to the park when disney is not popular with vacationers spending 100s of dollars on parking, food, and merchandise when they visit in these down times! APs are a crucial group of people who ensure consistant cash flow for disneyland when they need it the most. Make no mistake of it, disneyland will feel the crunch if passholders don’t renew in large numbers.
      Personally, I’ve decided to renew only once every 2 or 3 years, rather than every year. There’s plenty of other great theme park experiences in SoCal anyways for a much more affordable price. Not only that but when I do visit it will be sweeter as things always taste better when you’ve had time to miss it!

  • Natenob

    TDA needs some help! My pass is good for just three more weeks, i was just going to renew it in a cupple of days but i dont know anymore. =/ Im thinking i will renew one more time and give Disneyland a little break unless they keep the plans up in Blue Sky

  • Screwy Squirrel

    I’m at the Mandalay Bay Hotel in Las Vegas and yesterday I saw they have a tattoo parlor – right next to the House of Blues. “Show your room key and get 15% off your next tattoo.” Get back to my room and read Al’s new column. A natural for Disneyland eventually. Fits well with Marvel, and “bad dude” makeovers to Mickey, Goofy and the gang. First princess makeovers for little girls, pirate makeovers for little boys, tats for the 18 to 35 demographic. And think of the lifetime brand loyalty created, extending to the tatooee’s extended family! Can see a TDA concept meeting on it in a couple of years.

  • Gullywhumper

    I have mixed feelings about an Iron Man attraction in Tomorrowland, yet it seems to be the way the park’s been going for a while. More non traditional Disney in the parks, more movie based attractions, more contemporary and/or cartoon themed attractions shoe horned into Tomorrowland. Universal is doing tremendously well with it’s contemporary based attractions, from Harry Potter to Transformers, so it makes some sense Disney will have to jump in. At least Tomorrowland is the most likely land for Iron Man. I have more objections to Pooh in Critter Country, Pooh belongs in Fantasyland.

    The Christmas holiday upcharge … I really hate it! I hope other parks take advantage of this and create really great holiday offerings without the extra charge, Knott’s? Universal? Do you hear the call? Lot’s of Disneyland fans looking for evening Christmas Holiday offerings without the extra evening upcharge … up your game around the holidays and you’ll snag a whole lot of Disney loyal fans who cannot afford the Disney upcharge.

    The annual pass increases made sense to me, I’m a BIG Disneyland fan and always thought the passes were undervalued. I just wish that Disney would lower the price in the off season for day tickets, NOT increase the Child pricing (in fact lower it a bit), plus bring back Senior and Student tickets.

  • Dillamond

    Hi —

    This probably has been the saddest report I’ve ever read here):. It seems like all the real old-fashioned magic of Disney is being crumpled up and disposed of. Does anybody know whether or not the Christmas Fantasy Parade will still be offered outside of the holiday parties?

  • StrikeYerColors

    As I read this article and the comments, I felt…nothing. I didn’t feel surprise, or horror, or disgust. I did and do feel a little sadness, very, very deep inside me somewhere, but I think that was already there.

    Usually I get mad, REAL MAD, even when these things are expected. That’s because I still had some brand loyalty, I still felt enough of Walt Disney’s hand in the parks to be upset when it was betrayed, I still believed there might be a couple people back there in those offices who were there for the right reasons.

    Well, we must have crossed some kind of threshold at this point because suddenly I feel nothing. I lost the hope. It’s time for me to give up for a while.

    I guess the only hope now is that in a matter of years things won’t be working out for the parks and they will have to change their tack again, like before the 50th. Until then I think I just am not going to care much.

  • BrianE365

    I’m really getting tired of Disney raping my wallet. Maybe I’ll visit once more before I die…if I can afford it.

  • DisneyPhreak

    Innoventions has to go but does every new attraction have to be based on a movie? Futuristic is fine (it is Tomorrowland) but Iron Man? It seems like the most enduring (and endearing) attractions are those without a movie tie-in. And Pirates of the Caribbean doesn’t count. The lines for Small World, Tiki Room, Matterhorn, Thunder Mountain Railroad,Haunted Mansion, Space Mountain, Peter Pan,etc.; doesn’t that mean anything? .

    I think (hope) that they are shooting themselves in the foot with the upcharging. It’s not like they are adding anything, just taking something away unless you pay even more. Disgusting!

    • Switch602

      Why exactly does Innoventions have to go? It makes magic for upwards of 700 guests an hour and is an outlet to display hands on technology. Also, money from sponsorships like Microsoft, HP, Siemens, Honda, and Taylor Morrison foot the bill for the rest of Tomorrowland’s operating expenses. Also, Microsoft just signed on for another 2 year contract for their display space so its not going anywhere any time soon.

  • Disney Collector 4

    When I heard disney was taking over marvel I thought they were joking. Then I saw marvel merchandise in the park and hoped they would stop there. Know they want to add a marvel ride at Disneyland. They have gone to far on this marvel stuff. I just hope Disney World won’t get the same treatment!

  • Pingback: Save Christmas for Disneyland From turning into a private christmas party next year!()

  • bam1748

    Looks like a rainy winter day might be my pick for future visits.

  • darkamor

    I personally will not be returning to Disneyland (I live in Nevada) until 2015 for its 60th Anniversary …. I do not support up charging for Holiday Experiences (so it looks like I’ll be spending more time @ Knotts in October & December – where there are plenty of quality experiences @ affordable prices, along with a yearly toy drive that’s a great benefit for charity (vs. Team Disney Anaheim wanted you to schill more money out of your pocket before you get through the Main Gate) … If you don’t like being up charged? Boycott it ! (send a clear message that this will not be tolerated anymore) …


  • darkamor


    Iron Man in Tomorrowland? No Thank You !! (just what we don’t need – another Ride that exits into another Gift Shop to schill out merchandise (rolls eyes!). If you see something being promoted @ D23 and you don’t like it? Please “Boo” loud and proud!

  • Disneylandfan85

    As per the request of the trackback, I left Disneyland an email in which I asked them not to make the Christmas entertainment only available at private parties. I’m not sure how much good it will do, though.

  • Quentin

    “Iron man thrill ride” I’m more excited that an E-ticket thrill ride is replacing innoventions then an Iron Man ride. I hope they create something truly unique. Not another Star Tours. I would be excited with another indoor coaster, if themed well.

  • brianpinsky

    Thanks TDA…I have never understood what the purpose was of that big building that sat at the back of DL untill last year and now I can’t stand it. Why is TDA trying to nickel and dime every little drop of money out of the parks. Don’t they understand that the best way to keep the guests and AP’s happy is not to change every little thing in the parks to satifiy their need for cash. Instead of trying to increase the pocketbooks why don’t they turn Pumba in to Parking Structure that would solve the over flow over at K Lot and make Toy Story smaller to expand K Lot. I know Disney does not own the land that Toy Story Sits on so that why expand Pumba and make the levels the old names that use to sit behind DCA before the expandtion. The next Gen idea will not work for Disneyland. The parks are to small to try to control everything the guest does. I can see it working for WDW because they have the room and numbers to roll the idea out to every park over there but not disneyland. Also Forcing the times on Fastpass is going to get the AP comunity pissed. AP is lossing all the benifits of paying for a big ticket once a year. The point of an AP is keep coming back over and over to keep the parks alive in the Late Winter and early Spring months when all is coming in is a few long distance travlers from out of country like Aisa, Austraila (love when its there hoilday, all the axcents in the parks), and Europe who are not going to spend money on big sovineers to ship back home. TDA is really getting under my skin. We need to stop being like WDW and be like the Original.

  • brianpinsky

    Is there any way for maybe we can do a call in to TDA and over welm every phone in the office to help get the message across that guests are not going to stand it any more. I feel like I don’t have voice here and it is getting tense between me and Disney and I think everyone else is getting steamed over it.

    • Mr Wiggins

      ^ The only message Disney will hear is when significant numbers of customers stop coming to the DLR. Disney’s experience is that people will complain but won’t give up the Disney habit no matter how much the prices are increased. Disney will continue raising prices, lowering services and upcharging for things that used to be included in the ticket price, until they see a significant drop in attendance.

  • zeitzeuge

    Disney wants to make money? People are just now getting that and complaining? I just don’t get it. It’s a corporation that’s not in business for ONLY making people have magical memories before they head home. They’re a corporation that needs to make money to survive and unfortunately that includes changes, raising prices, balancing attendance at the parks for best experience, etc. WDW has been having Halloween Parties and Christmas Parties that were an upcharge. People were surprised and shocked it came to DL? Really? Did anyone not think that the upcharged Christmas Party wasn’t coming? I love hearing all these people saying bye bye to Disneyland now because of it all and how they’ll get no more of your money. That’s fine, makes more room for me and my money. I’m a huge Disney fan and that will never stop. I might not like price hikes, but if I want to experience Disneyland enough, I’ll pay it. Price hikes are going up everywhere with everything. Expecting it not to affect DL is just not being realistic.

    • esmetutu

      Exactly. (see my comment below)

  • tt92618

    I wonder if anyone at TDA really realizes how absolutely absurd their changes really are from a purely cost / benefit value comparison. Annual passports have increased in price by about 30% in one year. ONE YEAR, people, which is in itself outrageous. Parking seems to move up in price almost monthly, as well, so in reality the increases are greater still. Now we find that they want to charge for seasonal events that have always been included in the price of an annual pass.

    It might be useful to understand what these changes do to the real cost increase, in terms of percent.

    Let’s assume they charge the typical ‘party’ cost of around $60 for the previously free Christmas celebrations, and that you attend just twice during the Christmas season. You just added $120 onto the cost of your annual passport, which would bring the one year percentage increase to 57% for a deluxe pass. Suppose you scale back, though, and only go once to the Christmas celebrations – it is still an effective price increase of 40% year over year, for what is in reality a dramatically reduced value. And that is assuming that they won’t further raise the prices for annual passports, which is itself an almost absurd assumption to make. The reality is that the cost year over year will wind up being north of 50% for most pass holders.

    I calculated the price differential for me, assuming my typical visitor-ship during the holiday season, and the effective price differential is about a 90% increase year over year in order to realize the same value. That is, again, assuming no further price increases in annual passes. That is OUTRAGEOUS – there is just no other way to put it. In fact, outrageous is probably an overly charitable term to use. Pushed out over the year, the cost of purchasing annual passports for a family of four is approaching the cost to lease (or outright purchase) a _car_. The reality is this: the suits in Anaheim have simply gone nuts; they are crazy to think that price increases of this magnitude are reasonable on any level.

    What is going on at the Anaheim resort, right now, is really just brazen and unbridled greed on a level uncharacteristic even for Disney, which has never been shy about shaking down visitors for as much change as possible.

    I think that this behavior is unsustainable in anything but the near term. In most discussions I see about this, I would say that about 60% of the people responding have announced their intention to simply stop buying passes. Disney may be able to coast for 4 – 12 quarters this way, but ultimately this behavior is going to create a backlash that is going to challenge their operating margins. Looking out 4 to 6 years, this is going to be a disastrous policy for them, because they are so dramatically altering the value proposition of their offering that they are going to alienate their consumer base, and they are going to create the necessity of many quarters of low or zero margin growth. This behavior represents a serious miscalculation in terms of sustainable margin growth, and honestly some people ought to get fired over it. Chances are, they will… after the damage has already been done.

  • ralzap

    No, Marvel Chacters are not Tomorrowland. Please Noooo!!!

  • dgpollard

    Thank you, as always for your very informative and helpful articles. My wife and I just returned from a one week visit to the Disneyland Resort. We did our homework on micechat.com before getting there and it was very helpful. We learned about the crowds to be expected and learned about the Holloween Party extras, etc. So with this in mind we spanned our visit over the course of 6 days. On the nights that Disneyland closed at 6 P.M. for the Holloween Parties, we went over to enjoy the remainder of the eveing in California Adventure. And we wnt back and forth on purchasing the Holloween Party tickets and getting our son into costume, etc. We decided not to do so, and have no regrets. I am sure many familes enjoyed themselves.

    What my wife and I did not enjoy was the whole wall of people swarming over to California Adventure at the same time, after the Disneyland Holloween festivities were done. It just felt and looked like “mad-mob madness”. There isn’t any other way I can describe it.

    Perhaps this is what the Walt Disney Company will want to describe to us as this being the “new norm” for Walt Disney’s old Anaheim property?


    In terms of what will happen come Christmas 2013 at the Disneyland Resort? We’ll find out. I’ll continue to read the articles and be upated. Then I will make my informed descision on weather or not it’s worth my hard earned dollars to visit during that time of the year!

    Tomorrowland always should be updated. I can’t wait to see the new Iron Man ride. Marvels or not, as someone else pointed out, Disney has a long history of pulling in many different entities to contribute to its storytelling! 🙂

  • Pingback: Iron Man Thrill Ride Headed to Disneyland « furiousfanboys.com()

  • Quitterdan

    The greed is starting to get out of control at DL. And actually holding Fast pass times? Ugh. I anticipate my next visit will be frustrating…

  • Switch602

    You’re still reporting that Innoventions is being replaced with an E-ticket attraction? Cute. Might want to talk to the people who actually work there. Here is what myself and my fellow Innoventions CM’s have to say on the subject. *ahem*

    “Absurd and utterly clueless. For those Inno CM’s who attended the meeting with Christian [manager for Inno] a couple months back, you might remember that Christian mentioned that X-Box/Microsoft has signed as a sponsor for at least the next couple years. If this so-called “Iron Man” attraction is indeed even in the planning phase, don’t expect the idea to even hit our ears until at least 2014. I highly doubt Disney would opt out of a major contract with Microsoft simply to “shutter” Innoventions to make room for a new attraction. As for those “few fans of Innoventions”, we’ll be sure to let the few fans — oh, let’s say, 600-700+ per hour on average/good days, 900/1000+ on busy days — that their time is surely running out to pay their respects.

    We all know there are people out there like Al Lutz; there’s definitely at least more than one. A gentleman came through the exit door downstairs the other day and practically yelled loud enough for every guest to hear him, “When are they [Disney] going to shut down Innoventions? This place is terrible and it sucks. I never have any fun when I come here.” The ironic twist: his statement inclined he has been in the building several times. Typically, when you DON’T enjoy something, you don’t come back after a first, possibly second time. Well said, smart guy.

    Then again, we as Inno CM’s know that our building is bursting with magic that is often overlooked. How many people daily come into our building, JUST to watch Peter Pan? Even more so, how many of those people have come to see Peter Pan AGAIN? Or come to the kitchen asking to see Lilian? Want to see ASIMO? People like Al Lutz and his minions think they’re Disney genius’, claiming Inno doesn’t have any fans; however, as CM’s who actually witness what genuinely goes on inside our building, I think we have a better perspective on what our fans are like versus an Internet blogger.

    That is all, and have a magical day! 🙂

    • Switch602

      Also, from a financial standpoint, the money garnered from our contracts with Microsoft, Siemens, HP, Cornell University, Taylor Morrison, Honda, St. Joseph’s, and all of our smaller sponsors with few displays covers the operating expenses for all of Tomorrowland and then some. So the suits over at TDA aren’t going to give up that much income just to put in some Iron Man ride. The much more plausible theory thats been making it’s rounds around us is that Innoventions will simply be re-themed into Stark Expo. It will have the same feel of showing off technology and we get to keep all of our sponsors, it would just have a different environment.

  • Tigger Fan

    I for one will not support Disney Parks in the future if they do private parties at Christmas time.
    First it was Pay extra to get a dessert bar and a chair to see fantasmic. You want to see holloween fireworks, pay us extra for the privlage. Now it’s pay extra to see theChristmas stuff?
    I am willing to bet the castle and main street Christmas lights will remain dark execpt for the parties.
    Whats next, You have to pay extra so you can stay in the parks after 6:00pm during the summer months? It will happen someday.
    I can see the day when Disney will get rid of the AP’s alltogether and force everyone to pay the future price of $125.00 or greater per person for a one park ticket. Do what I am going to do, write a physical letter (not an E-mail) to George Kalogridis & Bob Igor and tell them you will take your money and business else where.

  • esmetutu

    If I had a dollar for every time I read on this forum “I’m not renewing my AP” I’d be a rich rich woman! The sense of entitlement from some is just appalling.

    I feel so incredibly fortunate to have experienced Disneyland, for the past 35 years, in the capacity that I have. I feel so lucky to live barely 2 hours away and only pay $25 a month for a guaranteed safe and magical experience. Each. Time. I. Visit. Which may be weekly, or may be bi-monthly. But it’s there. I can do it, and words can’t tell you how happy I am to have that opportunity. Christmas fireworks, set Fastpass times, or not. I’m grateful. Very grateful.

    Christmastime was wonderful while it lasted (for free!), but we all must remember that Disney is a corporation. Corporations by very definition are greedy jerks. Some people have humanized a company and it’s only turned around to bite them in the ass. Those who are complain about the “upcharge” or the greed need to screw their heads on straight. ESPECIALLY if they are AP holders. You get the magic for so little. You have been so lucky. I really feel like how dare you complain. I guess you just don’t realize how ungrateful and spoiled it really sounds.

  • CoreneD

    Wow! I’m fairly new to Micechat – been reading mostly the Disneyland stuff for a few weeks now – and this one made me sign up to comment. Firstly, thanks for the heads up about Christmas! I’ve been humming and hawing over whether we could afford to go down for the holiday season this year, but this update made my decision – flights are booked and we’re going! I have always wanted to see DLR at Christmas time and while it’s disappointing about the reindeer, at least all the other elements will be there. I have a really hard time getting my head around the extra cost parties – particularly going down during all the Christmas decorations but getting the Soundsational parade? It just doesn’t jive. But I’ll enjoy it this year and one Christmas at DLR will have to be enough for me. (We’re going early Dec, btw, as you couldn’t pay me to go & deal with the crowds during the school holidays/peak time).
    I bought a premium annual passport just before the prices went up and while I live in Canada, I took the chance that I’ll go down at least twice if not 3 times over the next year. Given that the last time we were there we did most of our eating in the parks, I wanted our family to have one premium pass to get the 15% discount on food & 20% on merchandise. And since they’ve reduced the ticket validity to a maximum of 5 days (we had an eight day ticket in Sept/2011), we should be able to get better value out of the annual pass than buying park hoppers (which now cost more for the 5 day than we paid for our 8 days last time). So from a tourist’s perspective the high cost of the AP is worth it – as long as we make at least 2 trips, and stay more than 5 days on one of those trips (which is highly likely). If we make that 3rd trip I’m hoping for, that’s a bonus. But honestly, this will likely be a one time thing & then we’ll return to occasional (every couple of years) trips. We’re also using points for flights, and got park hopper tickets for my hubby & son using Air Miles, so we’re keeping costs down that way. I’m really looking forward to seeing the Holidays at DLR, but I do feel sad that it could be changing drastically next year. Once again, thanks for the update, and it’s sure been interesting reading everyone’s comments!