As of last Sunday, all of the continental Disney Parks have raised their prices.  But, as of this week, there is very little to show for it. Minor refurbishments are going on throughout the parks, but aside from the Big Thunder refurb, there is nothing major being done at the moment. There are certainly no new e-tickets under construction for all that extra money Disney will be raking in. But we hope to hear news to perk us up at the D23 Expo this August. We also have news of a possible change to Soarin’ Over California, coming just in time for the 60th anniversary of Disneyland (even though it’s in the wrong park for the celebration). And finally, there is a new tactic being used to lure people into the Carthay Circle Theater Restaurant and Lounge.


Just like the inevitable march of time, predictable price hikes have hit the Disneyland Resort. Both tickets and parking rates have gone up. With a Disneyland one day/one park ticket now priced at $92, we wonder where all that money is going to go.


Andy Castro did a brilliant job in covering the subject in his recent Dateline Disneyland article here. This increase of course begs the question, “Is a visit into either of these parks worth $92?” Additionally, “Is a visit to both parks in one day worth $137?”


With the increase for Annual Passes jumping up yet again, it seems like they are trying to force folks into a monthly payment plan. Now the Premium Pass has a monthly payment average to what one might pay for a gym membership.


It seems that is the direction that Disney is going with their parks these days. But if you visit the resort, you’ll notice that, for now, people are still paying this price to enjoy their Disney experience. And as they say, as long as demand remains strong, ticket prices will continue to rise.

Since Disney can expect to pull in up to an additional $100 million from these price hikes alone, what would you like to see them do with all that extra money? Upkeep? Raises for the castmembers? New attractions?  This is a bit of extra magic pricing that calls for some extra magic enhancements to the parks. Let us know your wish list in the comments below. Let’s help Disney spend all that money!


This is a little non-sequitor, but looking at the recent D23 convention poster posted to the side of the ticket booths, does this Mickey look off-model to you?


Weird.  Looking at the other posters we see that this is not a stylistic choice, but a peculiar distortion.



Though, we’ve got to say that we are getting more excited about the Expo every day. MiceChat will have a large booth at the Expo this year and we look forward to seeing you there!  Here’s a link to find more information and buy your tickets (You have until June 15th to get a discount): D23 Expo Tickets and Information HERE 


In the MiceAge update this week, we uncovered the real story behind the “dry ice bomb.” As of right now, things are all back to normal in the land that ‘toons built…or as normal as they can be!





This week, Dumbo experienced a minor refurbishment. Taking advantage of some down time during the week, things were spruced up and cleaned.  Dumbo returns to his normal flight pattern today.








The Big Thunder refurbishment continues.  Decorative railroad ties are being installed into the coaster track, and Rainbow Ridge is receiving some nice surface treatments.










Here we can see that the stacks of railroad ties, once staged on the load platform, now on the track itself.


We were able to visit Big Thunder Mountain in Walt Disney World this past week and were absolutely thrilled with the neat interactive queue enhancements. Guests can power explosions on the mountain which  erupt with fog, water and loud noises. See the miners hard at work through special scopes. See if dangerous gases have built up in the mine by checking on the canaries. And all sorts of other little gags and effects. I does help pass the time in this otherwise simple switchback line. We hope that similar effects are planned for Disneyland’s Big Thunder. Perhaps using the newly rebuilt Rainbow Ridge as the focal point.

Earlier this week, we saw news that Soarin’ Over California may finally receive an update and high definition   film treatment.

“On the evening of March 12th, 2014, Imagineering will fly an HD Omnimax camera in a helicopter over and around the Resort area for several hours capturing the best nighttime shots for the attraction’s new finale.”



Keep your fingers crossed that this update will breath new life into this popular but rapidly aging attraction. There hasn’t been word yet on whether or not the attraction will be in 3D, or if we will smell something besides pine and oranges.


In a small experiment, management has been opening the side doors to the Carthay Circle Theater Lounge.  When we asked, we were told that it was an attempt to invite more people in for a drink or two.

The main doors are somewhat hidden in the dark at the back of the large entry canopy. But you can’t really see into the lounge from outside.
Approaching the main entrance, the door to the public lounge is not readily apparent.
Along the side, under the left side awning, the emergency exit doors were wide open this week.
It certainly makes the Lounge more visible, but lets in a lot of light into the lounge.

We have a suggestion. Have a castmember stand just in front of the Marquee of the building holding a tray with mock cocktails and appetizers, and pipe in the smell of toasting cheese puffs or something savory. They’ll have folks streaming in. This is truly one of our favorite spots in any Disney park. Stop in for drinks and appetizers even if you don’t have reservations for the restaurant upstairs!


That should just about wrap things up for us this week. Don’t forget to put on your headphones and take a listen to the latest MiceChat podcast! We’ve rounded up the top attractions of Summer 2013 for you. You’ll be surprised by just how much is going on.

Direct Download  |   Subscribe on iTunes

See you In The Parks!

  • Ever since DCA opened, Disneyland has been mostly neglected by the company. Yes it looks great and has been very well maintained, but there hasn’t been a major all new attraction since Indy in 1995 (and the failed Tomorrowland ’98 redo essentially give us nothing of substance). Think about that for a moment. That’s an enormous gap in major investment in Walt’s original Magic Kingdom. DCA has essentially sucked all of the money and creativity out of WDI and Disneyland Management.

    With the recent price increases at the resort, I’d really like to see them funnel some of that profit back into Disneyland. One E-Ticket is NOT going to be enough. Disneyland needs its own Cars Land moment. Something with enough critical mass to get national attention. When Walt reinvented Tomorrowland in 1959, he did so by opening 3 new attractions, the Monorail, the Submarine Voyage, and the Matterhorn. I’d like to see Disney do something similar today. Tomorrowland needs a complete update. Pull out the rocks, move the Rocket Jets back to the top of the People Mover platform. Put some movement back on the People Mover tracks (the Tron ride would be AWESOME!), replace Captain EO, and redevelop the Innoventions space at the very least. However, there is room to do much more.

    There are two other spaces in Disneyland which also require attention. It’s time for ToonTown to either get an upgrade with a new attraction, or for the entire land to be replaced with something new. It’s a dead end with very little to do other than suffer in the heat and lack of shade. It needs to be fixed or replaced. And Frontierland hasn’t had a new attraction since Big Thunder Mountain opened in 1979. There’s plenty of space in the old Festival of Fools arena and backstage areas to do something major.

    I don’t mind Disneyland increasing prices IF they give us something big in return. But for the longest time, Disneyland has not been keeping up. Time for that to change.

    I sincerely hope that they fasttrack the Disneyland projects in development and put off the additional DCA attractions for another year or two. I’m FINE with there being construction walls up in Tomorrowland during the 60th anniversary. In fact, I’d consider it a birthday present to the park.

    • Internitty

      I wholeheartedly agree but I think we’ll see Monstropolis before we see anything major in Disneyland. They don’t even seem interested in adding anything new for their 60th except a parade that I wouldn’t be surprised if they evacuate the park so only people shelling out extra can see it before running.

      Perhaps they tear down ToonTown and put in Pandora 😉

      • fnord

        Please, anything but Avatar!

      • Kritter

        No new parade for the 60th. Not at Disneyland at least.

    • bigwavedave

      Dusty Sage well put buddy. I to love Disneyland and am glad they returned the subs, but agree since DCA has sucked any cash out of putting something new in the park. I am concerned about word theat the subs maybe moved out. I for one hope that is not the case I find the logon amzingly beutiful and love the movement it brings to the area. Not a big Nemo fan but the ride is aways busy and with out it that area would only be filled with floating props. My hope is they put in new sub experience in there maybe something to with future underwater cities.
      Anyways keep up the good work love the POD casts, and man we got find you work that doesn’t require a two hour commute.
      Keep up the good work

    • scarymouse

      Well said….I completely agree, and it needs to be done now not later. Put up the walls!

    • BrerBear

      Well said Dusty… Well said!

      I completely agree with you on Tomorrowland needing a full refurb. It would be great to see the Disney execs breathe some life into the land with new attractions and refurbishments. Sadly, with Lasseter in the driver’s seat as Principal Creative Advisor for Walt Disney Imagineering, I’m afraid we will see more Pixar related themes in DCA before we see big improvements anywhere in DL.

      I’m curious what other attraction ideas are on the design table for Frontierland, if any. What are your thoughts? I agree with you, Besides Big Thunder, the land does lack in E-ticket rides. (Sounds like a great new article for Sam or Fishbulb!) With the hype of this summer’s Lone Ranger movie, maybe we will see another Johnny Depp attraction for Frontirland! (Kidding of course)

      As far as Toon Town, love it or leave it. It needs tons of TLC and something other than gadgets Go-Coaster and Roger’s spin to effectively draw visitors into the land. My family and I don’t visit that part of the park anymore and my wife refers to it as “the place where they stage the fireworks land”! I hope it gets something new other than a fresh coat of paint and a marketing scheme. For now, it is just more of Disneyland lackluster.

      Thanks Fishbulb for another fun and informative article. I’ll see you guys in the parks.

    • Darth Goofy

      Nailed it on the head! Mr. Sage!!!
      Although I have not been to Disneyland since before the 98 Tomorrowland debacle, I have seen the photos/vidoes of the unused People Mover tracks and that out of place fixture that resides where the rockets used to be a centerpiece for Tomorrowland. Walt would have never allowed this kind of neglect under his watch. Unfortunatelly he is long gone though. Disneyland should be the park that sets the standard for all other Magic Kingdoms to follow.

  • eicarr

    I don’t get why they still give such a massive discount on annual passes if crowds are such an issue. $15 a month? A day’s parking costs more. They should hike it up and make it for the entire state like in Florida. I’m sure Silicon Valley an San Francico guests have hearty daily spending rates. I’d love to make lots of trips throughout the year but an a full pass is not justifiable for the frequency I can visit. I’ll stick with the 5 day passes and one trip per year.

    Letting in children under 3 for absolutely free doesn’t help the park’s stroller issues.

    For $16 parking I would expect a less hodge podge random mix of lots and an airport like peoplemover, not a ghetto 50’s tractor.

    I’m down with even steeper increases as long as they keep up the Cars Land quality premium park additions. And that takes big $$$ to build.

    • Internitty

      On my last trip to Disneyland I bought 5 day Parkhoppers for my friend and I, the time before that I’d been there were 6 day Parkhoppers available so I asked the Walt Disney Travel Company rep about that, they told me I could add days to it or if I really wanted I could purchase a season pass as it would be more economical. I go to Disneyland for a couple of weeks over the new year period so I didn’t want the blackout days, then I thought I don’t even live in the USA but apparently that wasn’t a problem. Fascinating…

  • Internitty

    The Mickey in the D23 poster looks more like it’s modelled on the costume character from Mickey and The Magical Map than the actual animated character. It does look weird, I agree.

    I certainly hope the new Soarin’ is not in 3D, I think the great thing about IMAX / OMNIMAX screens are you get the 3D feeling without the glasses. Besides I am blind in one eye and can’t see 3D and it would be yet another ride I really like that I can’t go on.

    • peanutj

      I totally agree with you about 3D. I’m also blind in one eye and can’t see 3D. Apparently, there are a lot of folks like us out there. Besides, 3D just seems like a cheat to me. There’s nothing really innovative about it. We need to be “Wowed” with something truly spectacular.

  • daveinfontana

    Dusty says’ it all.

  • StevenW

    The Carthay Circle Theater Lounge always looks closed to me. I never went inside. I heard about the restaurant, but never had an opportunity to go inside. They need additional signage to let people know there’s a restaurant. Perhaps a RESTAURANT & BAR LOUNGE sign with a MENU will be helpful. Otherwise, it looks like a theater, which it is with the signs in front.

    • Big D

      It always looks closed to me too, and if I don’t know that I would have realized it was even a restaurant if it wasn’t for MiceAge.

  • Big D

    Well, I would say that they need to use their extra money to improve the quality of their cast members. Of course they all need a big raise so that at least make as much money as In N Out, but they also need better training as well. Training hours are notoriously hard to come by in any business, so I’d say give every CM who works in the park at least a $1/hr raise, and then increase everyone’s training hours by at least 8hrs.

    Secondly, they need to invest more in the quality of the food they serve. Some of the restaurants have gotten significantly better over the years, but there are still restaurants that are just terrible. Rancho Del Zocalo is probably the worst in the park, but Pizza Port and French Market are also hit or miss.

    Finally, they need to fix the parking situation. They probably need a new parking structure on the corner of Disneyland Dr and Katella (what is that lot even used for anyway? Last time I parked there it was overflow for the little parking lot that they still had on property at Disneyland where Cars Land currently is), and maybe another one on Harbor where they have the overflow lot.

  • Timekeeper

    I hope they upgrade Soaring over California in HD and keep it at least in one theater (or in rotation with the new film ala Circlevision), because it was the only attraction that was worth seeing in Disney’s California Adventure before Iger decided to drop the apostrophe S. It’s completely dumb to remove the only attraction about California where it’s actually appropriate in a park whose name has “California” in it, with Soaring Over the World making much more sense in WDW (where there has been a history of flight in WDW’s Parks) and elsewhere. If they annouce a date of when SOC is closing at DL and WDW, I (and I’m sure most LOCALS) will be greatly sadden.

    Signed from a local-


  • Captain Pitchfork

    Is anyone aware of the effect of the last giant price hike on passes? I know the Premium went up $150 last year upon opening of CL and I think AP’s were around 1 million according to a thread I think I read here. I was just wondering if anyone knew the updated numbers since then. We bought new passes in April due to a small windfall we got in February.

  • dizneydomenic

    Sadly after having annual passes for about 10 years i gave mine up this past April. Even some friends have too. The price hikes are getting to be a little bit too much. I usually drive 400 miles down there about 3 times a year..this year i went once…and let the passes expire. Thats it for this year. As much as i love Disneyland.. i can’t blow so much on entertainment…id be broke.

  • Tinkbelle

    I agree with Dusty. I would love to see a new Tomorrowland or Toontown. Those areas need improvement. I would far rather see that than a Monstropolis (please don’t build Monstropolis, Disney!)

    Whenever I pass the Carthay and see the doors closed and the CM standing out front, I feel like they are guarding the door and I’m not welcome without a reservation. So I have yet to see the inside of the Carthay. They need to find a way of making the Carthay more welcoming and less intimidating. I do like the idea of wafting yummy smells out to the people passing by.

  • bigwavedave

    It looks like the 3 day hoppers haven’t changed in price.