Disneyland gets ready to launch new Disability Access Service as Gay Days comes to Anaheim

Written by Andy Castro. Posted in Dateline Disneyland, Disney Parks, Disneyland Resort, Features

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Published on October 07, 2013 at 5:17 am with 31 Comments

About Andy Castro

Andy is a Southern California native, raised with Disneyland and a life-long fan of Disney theme parks and animation. Andy writes the weekly Dateline Disneyland column, which can be found every Monday on MiceChat.

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  • Badger

    Thanks for the updates, and the abundance of delightful photos.

  • LoveStallion

    Lovely weekend. But it takes Gay Days for me to get a chicken and waffle sandwich? Come on!

  • peoplemover1

    Awesome update Andy!! Loved all the pumpkin pictures! 😀

  • Larry Parker

    I was just at Tokyo Disneyland, and noted there’s a Snow White display similar to Disneyland’s just to the left of the castle there. It is done with less landscaping, and also the area is smaller, and generally less attractive than our Disneyland’s-like so much of what has been done following Walt’s death. It was fascinating though to hear Snow White sing solely in Japanese!

    • daveyjones

      yup. interestingly, it was at this time, when replica statues were prepared for tokyo (the japanese insisted on perfect 1:1 copies), that the original italian statues at disneyland were placed in storage at WDI and also replaced with duplicates. so in a sense, the statues at both parks are identical, as they’re both the same copies!

  • BradyNBradleysMom

    Those pumpkins are too cute! I wish I could do that but I can only make the basic pumpkin face with the triangle eyes and mouth. It’s simple but it’s the best I can do.

    • mousegirl72

      HaHa I am the same way!

  • bayouguy

    The update was great. I’m as prepared for the new DAS system as I can. I am still not too pleased of the way it was handled. Crofton’s letter was as sterile and useless as anything I’ve read from a Disney exec. I’m sure no high placed exec will be within a 1000 miles from Anaheim or Orlando currently and for the next two weeks. Hoping for the best, preparing for the worst.

  • Prof. Emelius

    I think it is wonderful that Disney has finally learned to embrace their LGBT fan community. They are a huge supporter of Disney, and I am so happy they are returning the love, while still retaining their image as a place for families. There are many different kinds of families in this world, and we need to embrace and accept all of them. I remember when they used to throw same sex couple out of the park, just for dancing together, and this was less than two decades ago. Times have certainly changed. Thank goodness.

    • TodAZ1

      Not really a “finally” situation. 2013 marks the 15th anniversary of Gay Days at Disneyland. And even before that, the event actually rented out the whole park after regular park hours. In addition, Disney was one of the first companies to offer domestic partner benefits.

      I LOVE the name of the sandwish at the Hungry Bear! “Bear Meal” indeed!! 🙂

      • danyoung

        >Disney was one of the first companies to offer domestic partner benefits. <

        I don't mean to start any fights over this, but that just isn't true. Disney was one of the last companies to come on board, and they were basically forced into to by the fact that every other Hollywood studio was offering these benefits.

      • CCS

        Thankfully, times they are a-changin’, and have changed in a big way with respect to the gay community. I, too, recall when Disneyland was sued by two men who were escorted from the Tomorrowland Terrace and out of the park because they dared to dance together. (This was only a few years after guys were not allowed admittance to the park because of hair that touched their collar or for wearing pocket T-shirts). Now, there are people walking around sporting more illustrations than Disney has animated characters! 🙂

      • TodAZ1

        @danyoung – Disney was one of the last Hollywood studios to do it, but, compared to overall corporate domestic partner benefits, Disney was pretty progressive at the time they added them (announcing it October, 1995, went into effect January 1, 1996).

  • TodAZ1

    Just shown on Twitter – “Dateline [email protected]
    Disneyland has now closed New Orleans Square’s Court of Angels to prepare for Club 33 expansion. MT”

  • ScottOlsen

    I wish the Penny Arcade was still the Penny Arcade.

    And I sure hope the cheaters don’t ruin the new system by riding in a wheelchair now.

  • sixalex

    Nice update again!

    Just pondering…will they really re-number the Ornament shop from 29 to 33? It will throw off the rest of the addresses, unless the re-number every building.

    And yes! Why limit the Waffle Chicken sandwich to one weekend? Or is it being test marketed on special occasions?

    The pix of Snow White’s Grotto are really beautiful. Thanks for those!

    I really like the way the new OSHA safety rails are being incorporated and themed. It may take some of the charm away from the park in the interim, but Walt’s principle of “Plussing” the attractions seems to live in in the approach to this issue.

    See ya real soon!

  • martinjbell1986

    My parents first took me and my older brother to Disneyland when I was 4, and then also again when I was 6. We loved it. I remeber riding Casey Jr. about 6 times and never getting tired of it. It is also the the first family vacation I remember being on. Then things changed. Our family was extremely conservative and during the mid 90’s my parents got word of the Southern Baptists boycotting Disney due to their stance on gay marrige and “Gay Days” in Anaheim. My parents jumped on board the boycotting bandwagon and unfortunately never got off. I was still young, and of course took on my parents views of the world as most kids would. I grew up a very judgemental, fearful person and anti everything Disney. I was told there were obscene graphic things happening on main street on a daily basis.
    It wasn’t till I got married when my wife wanted to take a trip down to Southern California that I started changing my opinion on a lot of things. As we walked down Main Street I felt nostalgia from when I was a child. Everything looked the same from when I was 6, and my wife and I eventually ended up becoming annual passholders because we loved it so much. We take our daughter every year now too.
    Someday I’ll be able to take my younger brother and sister and start making memories with them, but they still live with my parents but Disneyland trips are not even mentioned for fear of a long crazy biased conversation.
    Unfortunaltley I grew up with a lot of fear and mis-information about the LGBT community and I’m glad you guys are doing a good job of showing everyone love and respect by having these Gay Days. Keep up the good work!

    • TodAZ1

      Great post, martin!! 🙂

  • wedfan

    Friends and I had lunch at Plaza Inn on Saturday. One of my friends included a piece of the rainbow cake on his tray. A cast member came up to him and very politely presented him with a comment card and pen, and asked if he would complete the card and turn it in after he had eaten the cake. The way he talked, we got the impression that, while the cake was being introduced during the Gay Days weekend, it wasn’t exclusive to that event, and would be available at other times as well, if it was positively received. I didn’t have any of the cake, but my friends said it tasted good. It was, essentially, a white cake colored with food coloring.

    • The cake was pretty good. But with all that color, I expected it to have a fruit flavor.

      They ran out of cake by 2:30 pm on Saturday. They handed out comment cards so guests could lodge their complaint that there wasn’t enough cake to meet demand! I’ve got to say that the cast members at Plaza Inn were EXCELLENT and VERY proud of that cake!

    • The Lost Boy

      So the cake wasn’t as fruity as it looked.

  • Zorro825

    LOL @ “Bear Meal”..Thank you for another wonderful update!! I must have that new popcorn bucket!!!

    • charles1625

      About the “Bear Meal” – It was a very good sandwich. I would go back and order it again if I could. Sweet waffle – sriracha aioli – lightly breaded chicken and arugula. Sweet, spicy, and bitter all at the same time. Very nicely done.
      It was much better than last year’s “Bear Lunch” offering. It would be nice if they could try to incorporate it into the regular menu, but I have to warn you that it was a fairly large portion. I split it with a friend and was still very satisfied with that.

  • SpectroMan

    China Palace? lol

  • Chernabog

    So sad about the Court of Angels, one of my favorite places in the Park. And the nondescript Club 33 entrance being turned into a big entrance on the main path (one that you can’t go into, nyah nyah) just rubs it in the faces of park guests. But I understand that they simply HAVE to, otherwise Disneyland would never make any money! Oh, maybe they should sell more Club 33 memberships by turning the Magic Eye Theatre into a Club 33 cocktail lounge, and make Space Mountain a Club 33 exclusive ride! Then they could up the annual dues to $50,000 per year! It’s genius!

  • QPerth

    What a mostly wonderful catchup Andy, full of terrific pictures! Sadly, the news of Court of Angels closure and that sad photo of the archway closed off puts a sad tinge to all the other good news of refurbishments.

    So far the ‘fall safety’ wall refurbs have fitted in quite well. Better than expected!

    Glad to see the recent Gay Day was a wonderful success again. Celebrating family diversity in such a beautiful thing.

    Thanks for the wonderful update, always a highlight of my blog week catchup!

  • 13MinuteWait


  • The Lost Boy

    The Court of Angels went out the same way it existed – empty.

  • billyjobobb

    We were there for Gay days 2011. We were getting to the front of the Jungle Cruise and the person loading the boats offered to have our party on it’s own boat. They loaded the entire boat with people wearing red, and then we got the gay version of the Jungle Cruise.

  • Tinkbelle

    Thanks for the chalk pictures, Andy, they were the best part of the article.

  • victoriaskitten

    I feel so cheated. Why couln’t the chalk pictures been this coming weekend. They look amazing. Wonderful artists.