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Dateline Disneyland

Higher Prices at the Happiest Place, Brave, Cars Monorails, DCA previews +MORE!

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by , 05-21-2012 at 03:21 AM
The Happiest Place on Earth just got more expensive as Disneyland made considerable increases in their admission prices over the weekend. The biggest price hike is a $150 jump for Premium Annual Passholders, a pricing change that will help deter some Passholders from renewing this summer as Disney re-launches a newly renovated and expanded Disney California Adventure park. The new additions at California Adventure will be joined with numerous other new and overhauled attractions, shops and restaurants at Disneyland and in the Downtown Disney area. With a record-breaking summer on the horizon for Disney, the higher prices will be a small price to pay for tourists arriving to see California Adventure's new Cars Land and Buena Vista Street areas as well as the newly overhauled Matterhorn Bobsleds at Disneyland.

Big thanks to Fishbulb for taking and processing the photos in today's update while I'm enjoying a vacation break this week.

Get a closer look at today's update! You can now click on any photo in today's column for a large, high-resolution version of the image.

Let's get started!

Inside Dateline Disneyland
Sponsored by TouringPlans.com | Do More. Wait Less.




WELCOME TO DISNEYLAND!
Our friends at Touring Plans their crowd forecast to help you plan you visit.


There's less than one month until Disney California Adventure emerges from the maze of construction walls as more or less a brand new theme park. Now is the time to visit if you want to avoid the crowds certain to flock to Disneyland once Disney California Adventure reboots. TouringPlans.com can help you navigate the parks with our per-park Crowd Calendar, Lines - Mobile Wait Times App that gives access to current and estimated wait times for attractions, and Touring Plans detailing the best plan of attack for hitting the attractions. With holiday crowds on the horizon, it's a good time to subscribe to TouringPlans.com to plan your strategy to avoid the crowds!

Below are the predicted resort-wide crowd numbers for select days generated by the TouringPlans professional statisticians as measured for the upcoming week. For the access to the full year and per-park crowd level predictions, visit our Crowd Calendar.

— Fred Hazelton Statistician, TouringPlans.com

RESORT-WIDE
Crowd Calendar Prediction
Crowd Tips
Tues., May 22
3/10
Here are some quick-hit notes that we hope you'll find helpful as you prepare your visits for the week:
  • Full block outs on Saturday.
  • More Grad Nites this week.
  • Disney California Adventure is a 3.1 on the Crowd Calendar on Monday.
Wed., May 23
3/10
Thu., May 24
3/10
Fri., May 25
8/10
Crowd levels are based on a scale from 1 to 10, with 1 being the least crowded conditions and 10 being most crowded.
See Disneyland crowds for the next 365 days.
Get Disneyland wait times on your iPhone, Android, or Smartphone.

Do more. Wait less.




HAPPIEST PLACE, HIGHER PRICES

Sunday marked the start of new price hikes that affected all levels of Disneyland Resort theme park admission. The new price increases ranged from an $8 increase on a one-day, one-park ticket, all the way to a $150 increase for Premium Annual Passports. The announcement was made on the Disney Parks Blog late Friday afternoon as the workweek ended and Disney tried their hardest to spin the big price hikes by citing the various new offerings opening this summer in both theme parks:



Disneyland Resort Ticket Price Update
As we have done in the past, we wanted to give our loyal Disney Parks Blog readers a heads-up that ticket prices at the Disneyland Resort will be increasing, starting on May 20. This summer is one of the most anticipated times in the resort’s history, and a visit to the Disneyland Resort has never been a better value. In the past few years alone, we’ve added new world-class attractions, such as The Little Mermaid ~ Ariel’s Undersea Adventure, “World of Color” and Star Tours: The Adventures Continue. Now, with the expansion of Disney California Adventure park, including the 12-acre Cars Land, Buena Vista Street and the Carthay Circle Restaurant, almost complete, there are even more reasons to visit.

And this summer, both parks will open each day at 8 a.m. and offer increased entertainment, giving you and your family more time to stay and play. At Disney California Adventure park, we’re adding an additional showing of “Aladdin – a Musical Spectacular” and Pixar Play Parade will be presented up to twice daily. At Disneyland park, you’ll find more shows and characters at Big Thunder Ranch Jamboree and increased performances at the Tomorrowland Terrace every day of the week, and the singing sensation “Voices of Liberty” performing at the Main Street Opera House.

We’re sharing the details here on the ticket prices, which also include increases to Disneyland Resort Annual Passports. Annual Passholders recognize that their investment pays for itself after just a few visits. Our California-based Annual Passholders have the added benefit and flexibility of a monthly payment program. This year, we’ll continue to offer unique passholder-exclusive entertainment and experiences, along with 10-20% discounts on select food and merchandise. As an example, you already know that Annual Passholders were invited to special viewings to celebrate the 20th anniversary of “Fantasmic!” And later this summer, Passholders also will have early access to the parks through a new Annual Passholder Early Entry program – just for them. [ FULL STORY ]


Here's a look at some of the new price increases:

Disneyland Resort Theme Park Admission Prices
Effective May 20, 2012
New Price
Adult / Child
Previous Price
Adult / Child
Increase
Adult / Child
One Day
One Park
$87 / $81
$80 / $74
Up $6 / $7
One Day
Park Hopper
$125 / $119
$105 / $99
Up $20 / $10
Two-Day
One Park Per Day
$170 / $158
$158 / $146
Up $12 / $12
Two-Day,
Park Hopper
$200 / $188
$173 / $161
Up $27 / $27
Three-Day,
One Park Per Day
$220 / $205
$209 / $193
Up $11 / $12
Three-Day
Park Hopper
$250 / $235
$224 / $208
Up $26 / $27
So. Cal Select
Annual Passport
$269
$199
Up $70
So. Cal
Annual Passport
$329
$269
Up $60
Deluxe
Annual Passport
$469
$379
Up $90
Premium
Annual Passport
$649
$499
Up $150
Premier
Annual Passport
$849
$749
Up $100
Annual Passport
Blockout Ticket
$70
$59
Up $11
Annual Passport
Parking Pass
$129
$99
Up $30
For a complete list of new Disneyland ticket prices, click here.



MAGIC KINGDOM MAKEOVERS
Last week Disney announced the Carnation Cafe will reopen June 13. When it reopens, the dining location will feature a new menu featuring new takes on classic comfort food and some of Walt Disney's favorite dishes.


Carnation Café Reopens June 13 at Disneyland Park
At last! An expanded and spruced-up Carnation Café is getting ready for its debut June 13 on Main Street, U.S.A., in Disneyland park. There’s more seating, including indoor tables – and yes, cast member Oscar Martinez is back.

Open daily for breakfast, lunch and dinner, the new menu includes updated versions of classic comfort food, and a few of Walt’s favorites. For breakfast, the legendary Oscar’s Choice is back, with two eggs, breakfast potatoes and biscuit with bacon or (new) chicken-apple sausage links. They’ve added yummy apple-granola pancakes and a hearty huevos rancheros with corn tortillas, poached eggs, salsa and an avocado-black bean pico de gallo. And if you’re behaving, a healthful spinach-and-egg white frittata.

Lunch and dinner bring back the classic baked potato soup, and add a couple of “Walt’s favorites:” beef-and-pork meatloaf, served with trendy edamame succotash, and fresh fish, a sustainable catch of the day. Be completely decadent and have the Walt’s favorite chicken fried chicken breast with mashed potatoes, or enjoy a vegan burger. We can’t wait to try the green chile cheeseburger with a fried egg on toasted brioche. (Do we dare add a classic chocolate malt?)

Kids’ meals include chicken fried chicken with mashed potatoes and veggies, a burger and fresh fruit or mac & cheese with fresh fruit. [ LINK ]







Meanwhile, demolition progresses at the Carnation Plaza Gardens as work gets underway at the new Fantasy Faire princess meet-and-greet.







The Matterhorn's major refurbishment project continues to near its completion, officially reopening June 15.


Disney recently released a time-lapse video of the Matterhorn's recently completed repainting project.

















Nearby, the seagulls are temporarily missing from the Submarine Lagoon.



The Frontierland Shootin' Exposition continues its refurbishment...



BRAVE

The new meet-and-greet for Princess Merida from Pixar's upcoming "Brave"


The new interactive meet-and-greet is set up along the Small World Mall area.


Archery lessons for kids are available




Three bear cubs from the movies interact with Merida throughout the meet-and-greet.






Activities for everyone.














CALIFORNIA CONSTRUCTION
A look at the on-going $1 billion remodel and expansion efforts at Disney California Adventure

BUENA VISTA STREET







Last week, Disney announced special preview events for D23 and Club 33 members and Disneyland Resort Annual Passholders. You must belong to one of the three groups to participate in the preview events and they cost between $50, $75 and $500, depending on whether or not you want to enjoy a viewing of World of Color or dinner at the Carthay Circle Theater along with your four-hour tour of Buena Vista Street and Cars Land.
Preview the Newly Expanded and Re-imagined Disney California Adventure Park
Experience the all-new Cars Land and Buena Vista Street days before the Disney California Adventure Park grand re-opening to the public on June 15, 2012. Annual Passholders can explore the town of Radiator Springs and experience the California Walt Disney met in the 1920s!

Annual Passholders may purchase up to 8 tickets. All members of your party must be present and show a Disneyland Resort Annual Passport valid as of the date of the event for which the ticket was purchased — either June 9 or June 10, 2012. Event admission includes a 1-Day 1-Park Ticket to Disney California Adventure Park for the entire day.

To celebrate, Disneyland® Resort is donating a total of $500,000 to Children's Hospital Orange County (CHOC) and the Anaheim Community Foundation.

Cars Land and Buena Vista Street Preview
Ticket Cost: $50
Preview Times:
  • 8:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
  • 1:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.


Cars Land and Buena Vista Street Preview Followed by a Private World of Color Show
Ticket Cost: $75
Preview Time:
  • 6:00 p.m. – 11:00 p.m.


Dinner at Carthay Circle Restaurant, Cars Land and Buena Vista Street Preview Followed by World of Color Show
Dinner at Carthay Circle Restaurant includes a 3-course meal, featuring modern cuisine that pays tribute to the bold and diverse flavors of Southern California, and a special wine presentation. The restaurant is located in the iconic Carthay Circle Theatre, a re-creation of the famous Hollywood movie palace where Walt Disney first premiered Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs almost 75 years ago.
Ticket Cost: $500 per person (includes tax and gratuity)
Dinner Reservation Times:
  • 6:00 p.m.
  • 6:30 p.m.
  • 7:00 p.m.
  • 7:30 p.m.

Includes:
  • Entry into Cars Land and Buena Vista Street for preview from 6:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m.
  • Preferred boarding on Radiator Springs Racers
  • Private World of Color Show
  • Valet Parking is complimentary at Downtown Disney District. (Full validation will be provided.)
[ LINK ]


The gorgeous new marquee has been installed at the Fiddler, Fifer and Practical Cafe & Bakery. FF&P Cafe will also be home to Disney's first in-park Starbucks Coffee location, a highly anticipated offering for park guests.








Last week, Disney shared some new details on Buena Vista Street with the OC Register
Details revealed about Disney’s Buena Vista Street
The new entrance corridor in Disney California Adventure is supposed to give a feel of 1920s Los Angeles, more precisely like a neighborhood similar to Los Feliz.

Buena Vista Street will open June 15 as part of the completion of California Adventure’s makeover. Disney has revealed some details:
  • Some of the venues, including Mortimer’s Market, are designed after shops that used to sit along Sixth Avenue in Los Angeles. Originally, Walt Disney was going to give the name Mortimer to the character who became Mickey Mouse.
  • The tiles and murals, including stained-glass windows, along the street were all designed by Disney workers. The tiles were custom crafted in Los Angeles.
  • Disney creators researched the fountains of Los Angeles Department of Water and Power of that time period to design the fountain in Carthay Circle, the hub of Buena Vista Street.
  • The Red Car Trolley Cars, based on the former Pacific Electric Railway, are actually battery powered. The wires are just props.
  • [One of the trolleys has the number 623 — an actual number on one of the Pacific Electric Railway cars.
  • Carthay Circle Theatre is designed after the former venue where “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs” premiered. The address is 937 — an homage to 1937, the year the movie debuted.
  • Disney recreated the carpet design from the original theater for the California Adventure building.
  • New food locations along Buena Vista Street: Fiddler, Fifer & Practical Cafe; Mortimer’s Market; Clarabelle’s Hand-Scooped Ice Cream; and Carthay Circle Restaurant and Lounge. The restaurant and lounge will run in the same cornerstone building, Carthay Circle Theatre.
  • A full-scale Starbucks will run in the 178-seat Fiddler, Fifer & Practical Cafe, which will also carry standard Disney fare, including cinnamon rolls.
[ FULL STORY ]






Buena Vista Bugle






New palm trees at the entrance of the park






Disney also gave a sneak peek at some new Red Car Trolley merchandise that will hit store shelves when Buena Vista Street opens June 15.
Get on Board with the Red Car Trolley Collection at Disney California Adventure Park
Can you believe how quickly the time has gone? We are just less than one month away from the opening of Buena Vista Street and Cars Land at Disney California Adventure park, and I’ll tell you I’m not sure what I’m more excited for. It seems like it was only yesterday that we made a trek out to see some of the old railway cars and trolleys at a local Southern California museum. But it was Disney Design Group Principal Character Artist Brian Blackmore and Graphic Designer Tyler Dumas that led these designs down the right track, alongside Product Developer Lisa Bergman. So of course, when I had the chance to spend a few minutes talking to them, I had to get all the details, so I could share them with all of you.

“Our goal was simple,” Lisa explained. “Provide authenticity to the trolleys and railways systems of yesteryear.”

“There is a passion and romanticism around the Red Car Line as it harkens back to a time in SoCal when we had a great public transportation system with beautifully designed trains – alternative travel at its best, kids,” Tyler jumped in, going on to explain that “It was the inspiration from the trolley engineering blueprints being used to create the Disney California Adventure park vehicles, along with color palettes, old time tickets and collateral from the 1920s and 1930s that really drove home the concept for the Red Car Trolley collection. We wanted this program to excite young train fans, appeal to adult retro character fans and really become an homage collection for vintage transportation enthusiasts.”

But it was Brian who broke it down for us even further. “For the kids we tried to give the trolley a personality, something that would encourage them to play, dream and use their imagination. Sitting beside that is a more hyper-stylized version that we knew would appeal to an older audience. But the big key for us in creating this program was to make it feel very nostalgic, complete with vintage era-appropriate graphic styles, features and characters, especially when it came to the technical trolley version, where we were able to use mechanical and rail aspects to produce the look.”

This new collection, which will make its debut in Los Feliz Five & Dime on Buena Vista Street, will include ladies’ and men’s tees, fleece sweatshirts, hats, figurines, souvenirs, tin signs and more. [ FULL STORY ]







HOLLYWOOD LAND

A look at the Mad T Party set-up:




Misters hidden in the arches




































PACIFIC WHARF

Tarps have come down at the new Ghirardelli Soda Fountain location.




New blue awnings.




PARADISE PIER

One of the Paradise Pier billboards has been replaced with a new design advertising the Paradise Garden dining area.


Looks great!


This summer, a new "Brave"-themed segment will be added to World of Color.
Disney•Pixar’s ‘Brave’ to Join ‘World of Color’ at Disney California Adventure Park
Since “World of Color” made its debut back in 2010, the show has featured occasional updates and surprises, delighting audiences with forays into new worlds ranging from “TRON: Legacy” to “Prep & Landing.” Just in time for one of the biggest summers in Disney California Adventure park history, “World of Color” is set to introduce another new sequence, inspired by the Disney•Pixar film “Brave.”

Set to “Brave” composer Patrick Doyle’s stirring Scottish score, the sequence introduces us to the film’s adventurous heroine Merida, as she races across the Scottish Highlands, bow and arrow in hand, on her faithful horse Angus, and follows the mysterious will o’ the wisps on an epic journey to change her fate.

“Brave” opens in theaters June 22, but you’ll be able to catch the “Brave”-inspired sequence in “World of Color” starting June 15. [ FULL STORY ]


Cove Bar is still closed for refurbishment.



CARS LAND
The biggest draw this summer will most certainly be the new 12-acre Cars Land. Disney is worried about Annual Passholders creating significant impact on the Resort as they flock to California Adventure to see the new land. The expected demand has lead Disney to set up an Annual Passholder Early Entry program that will allow Passholders to register for an early entry time slot on select dates from June 18 through September 13, 2012. Details on the Annual Passholder Early Entry program can be found here.


Telephone wires are up along Route 66.


Disney recently revealed some new details about Cars Land to the OC Register's Around Disney blog:
Disney unveils new facts about Cars Land
Disney’s Cars Land is meant to give visitors a feel of walking right into Radiator Springs, the town in the “Cars” movies.

And Disney is adding a lot of touches to bring the new 12-acre land to life when it officially opens June 15 at Disney California Adventure. Preview days for annual passholders, Disney fan club members and other guests will be held the weekend before.

“When you walk into Route 66, you feel like you’ve stepped into this movie, but it’s real,” said Mary Niven, vice president of Disney California Adventure.

Here are some features of Cars Land:
  • During the summer, Disney California Adventure will begin opening early at the same time as Disneyland, usually at 8 a.m. Early entrance into Cars Land will be allowed for some visitors.
  • The Mater and Lightning McQueen characters will move and talk, unlike the static cars that now are staged in Disney California Adventure. Mater and Lightning McQueen mostly will be based at the Cozy Cone Motel, but also will travel down Route 66.
  • Fastpasses for Radiator Springs Racers, the largest ride, will be available outside Cars Land by It’s Tough to Be a Bug theater.
  • Radiator Springs Racers will have 23 full-size, animatronic figures from the first “Cars” movie. The height requirement is 42 inches.
  • A neon lighting, including the illumination of the mountain range, will be held each night.
  • A popcorn bucket shaped like Lightning McQueen and a drink cup shaped like a Cozy Cone Motel will be sold at the motel food stands.
  • Flo’s V8 Cafe is based on MidPoint Cafe in Texas, famous for its “ugly crust” pies.
  • Flo’s has retro light fixtures, 1950s music and juke boxes by the cash registers. Checkered flags line the windows. Artwork includes mechanic licenses and a diagram of a healthy combustion chamber.
  • Flo’s has retro decor, including a starburst-like light fixture surrounded by fading pink and blue lights at the entrance. Jukeboxes sit by cash registers. Artwork includes mechanic licenses and a diagram of a healthy combustion chamber.
[ FULL STORY ]


The single streetlight of Radiator Springs has been strung up


















A new Cars Land-themed outdoor vending cart





Over at Disneyland, the Disneyland Monorails have received a bit of a makeover as part of the Cars Land marketing machine.


Three New Faces Come to the Disneyland Resort: Manny, Mandy and Mona Monorails
If you’ve been to the Disneyland Resort in the past couple of days, you may have noticed a few new faces along the Disneyland Monorail line. Here to welcome their “Cars” friends to Cars Land at Disney California Adventure park, Mandy and Mona Monorails began making trips around the resort yesterday – and they will soon be joined by a third friend, Manny Monorail. You can tell each by their colors: Mandy Monorail is blue, Mona Monorail is orange and Manny Monorail will be red.

Each Monorail has its own personality, which Disneyland Resort guests will certainly hear when riding. Manny, Mandy and Mona Monorails are taking charge of the overhead announcements themselves – providing a new experience along the “Highway in the Sky.” [ FULL STORY ]





DOWNTOWN CHANGES
La Brea Bakery's expansion project is close to wrapping up. Tarps have come down, revealing the new facade.






THIS AND THAT

And finally, Bat's Day invaded Disneyland over the weekend.


Noah, Founder of Bat's Day






Dateline Disneyland is sponsored by our good friends at the
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A short walk from the park, HoJo Anaheim is conveniently located next to Matterhorn Mountain at Disneyland with nearby dining, freeway access, FREE parking and FREE Wi-Fi. For more information on HoJo Anaheim, room rates, or to book your stay today, visit HoJoAnaheim.com/MiceChat.

MiceChat.com and Annual Passholder Discounts Available Every Day!
The HoJo Anaheim is now offering deeper discounts for Disneyland Resort Annual Passholders! On select nights, Disneyland Resort Annual Passholders can get rooms for as low as $59 per night, plus tax. For more information visit the HoJo Anaheim Innsider Boards which features an up-to-date listing of available nights, or call (714) 776-6120 and ask for In-House Reservations to book. If your date isn't listed, the HoJo Anaheim still offers rooms for 20% off their best available rate if you call (714) 776-6120.



See Disneyland from the comfort of home with the HoJo Mattercam!
See Disneyland from home via a live rotating video feed of Disneyland Park and Disney California Adventure Park from the rooftop of Howard Johnson Plaza Hotel - Anaheim Resort! The HoJo Anaheim's newly upgraded Disneyland webcam now features new views including video feeds of Disneyland's nightly fireworks! Check it out now!



WEEKLY NEWS AND INFORMATION ROUND-UP
Weekly Theme Park Hours
May 21 — 27, 2012

Disneyland Park
Disney California Adventure
Monday-Thursday: 9 am - 10 pm
Friday: 8 am - 11 pm
Saturday-Sunday:
8 am - 12 midnight
Monday-Thursday:
10 am - 8 pm
Friday-Sunday: 10 am - 10 pm
For a complete listing of theme park hours, visit the Disneyland.com Theme Park Calendar

Expected Crowd Levels presented by TouringPlans.com
Disneyland Park
Disney California Adventure
MEDIUM 2.2—7.4 out of 10
MEDIUM 2.4—7.8 out of 10
Crowd levels are based on a scale from 1 to 10,
with 1 being the least crowded conditions and 10 being most crowded.

For daily crowd predictions for the next 365 days, visit
Closures and Refurbishment Schedule
Disneyland Park

  • Matterhorn Bobsleds: Closed for major refurbishment including the addition of new ride vehicles through June 14.
  • Carnation Cafe, Blue Ribbon Bakery: Food service locations are closed for major remodel.

Disney California Adventure
  • Mad T Party: New nighttime dance party will begin June 15.
  • Ghirardelli Chocolate Company and Soda Fountain: New Ghirardelli chocolate shop and soda fountain will open in the space formerly occupied by the Mission Tortilla Factory. New dining location opens late-spring 2012.
  • Buena Vista Street: Re-themed main entrance including new Red Car Trolley attraction are under construction through summer 2012.
  • Cars Land: New 12-acre land opens summer 2012.
  • Disney California Adventure: Entire park will be closed to the public to apply finishing touches and for a media event on June 14, 2012.

Downtown Disney & Hotels of the Disneyland Resort

  • La Brea Bakery & Cafe: Quick-service cafe portion closed. Reopens spring 2012 with significant modifications.
  • Island Charters: Downtown Disney retail location closed permanently. It will reopen as WonderGround Gallery on June 9, 2012.
  • Compass Books and Cafe: Book store and cafe closed permanently March 31. Earl of Sandwich dining location to open in space late-spring 2012.



Disney theme park poster art book to hit shelves
The highly-anticipated "Poster Art of Disney Parks" will hit store shelves at Disney's theme parks later this month. You can also pre-order the book at a 35% discount on Amazon, which will ship the book on September 4.


‘Poster Art of the Disney Parks’ Arriving Soon at Disney Parks
I recently visited California, where I had one of the most amazing experiences of my Disney career. Imagineer Vanessa Hunt gave me a tour of the Walt Disney Imagineering Art Library vault in Glendale. This place houses the original art of the most iconic images from Disney Parks’ history. Incredible! Vanessa shared that fellow Imagineer Danny Handke and she have written a book for Disney Editions called “Poster Art of the Disney Parks.” This hardcover book, with cover designed by Imagineer Glendon Lee, is coming to Disney Parks at the end of May. I asked Danny about the role that attraction posters have played.

“Attraction posters entice, excite and educate guests with a preview of the adventures and experiences inside the Disney Parks,” explained Danny.

“When Disneyland park opened in 1955, it was difficult for guests to understand what a ‘theme park’ was. The Disney Imagineers needed a solution to portray their attractions to a diverse audience. The idea to use posters at Disneyland’s Main Entrance was the perfect solution.”

The book was in development for four years! They conducted extensive research by interviewing close to 20 people, including current and former artists. Vanessa said that they put extra effort into making a beautiful book that all Disney fans could enjoy.

“We made an extra effort to ensure the posters in the book were printed as color accurate as possible,” continued Vanessa. “We even found a box containing several poster concepts that had never been published until now. The most challenge part was identifying artists. While many unidentified posters artists were later identified during our interviews, there are some that remain credited to ‘Unknown Artist.’”


Full Story: Disney Parks Blog: ‘Poster Art of the Disney Parks’ Arriving Soon at Disney Parks



Tokyo Disney allows gay marriage
Tokyo Disney Resort is now offering same-sex marriage ceremonies at their wedding facilities throughout their theme parks and hotels.
Tokyo Disney Resort to allow same-sex wedding ceremonies
URAYASU, Chiba -- Same-sex couples will be allowed to hold wedding ceremonies at several Tokyo Disney Resort hotels and facilities, including in front of the enormously popular Cinderella Castle inside Tokyo Disney Land.

The move was pushed forward after same-sex activist and lesbian Koyuki Higashi, 27, recently contacted the resort, asking whether same-sex couples will also be able to take part in the park's new plan that promotes weddings in front of the famous castle, starting this September.

Resort officials, however, told Higashi that although same-sex couples will not be exempt from the plan, one of the partners would have to wear a groom outfit, because "other visitors will also be watching."

Higashi posted a summary of the exchange on Twitter, triggering an immediate backlash, including opinions stating that the fantasyland's response was "disappointing."

A week later, Higashi was once again contacted by resort officials, telling her that after confirming the circumstances with the Walt Disney Company in the United States, they have reached a decision that same-sex couples could hold wedding ceremonies at the park wearing the same outfits.

The second exchange was once again put on display on Twitter, this time triggering a wave of positive responses, including some that wrote, "applause for a new step forward."

"Even though same-sex marriages are not legally permitted, we reached the decision that wedding ceremonies can take place," said an official with the resort's public relations department, adding that female couples will be free to have their ceremonies wearing wedding dresses, while male partners can both wear tuxedoes.

"Japan still lacks favorable projects when it comes to sexual minorities, but the fact that Disney took this stance publicly means a lot," Higashi said.

Higashi's girlfriend, Hiroko, 34, echoed the activist in her thoughts, saying, "I guess that they anticipated claims, but chose to go with the decision nevertheless, which makes me very happy."

The two visited Tokyo Disney Resort on May 5 to deliver a thank you message to Mickey Mouse. "We are a couple. We came to express our gratitude," the pair said to Mickey, who apparently made a banzai pose in response.
Full Story: Tokyo Disney Resort to allow same-sex wedding ceremonies


Alright, that wraps up this week's update. Thank you for reading and be sure to join the discussion in the comments section below!

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See you at Disneyland!
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Comments

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  1. jcruise86's Avatar
    • |
    • permalink
    Thanks for the update!

    Cool of Disney to donate 500K to the Children's Hospital!

    I LOVE the video about making music for the Carthay Circle Restaurant!
    If I had to answer, "Why is Disneyland superior to Knott's Berry Farm?" in one word,
    I'd go with "music."
  2. jcruise86's Avatar
    • |
    • permalink
    Quote Originally Posted by C. Andrew Nelson
    . . . . what are those gaping holes for in the tops of the rocks...



    ...and are they going to fill that in / cover it over before June 15th?. . .

    Good question, C. Andrew! I wonder how likely guests are to see these? Would it be worth $50,000 just to improve the view from the Fun Wheel? Not to me, but from where else can the "gaping holes" be spotted?
    Updated 05-21-2012 at 01:13 PM by jcruise86
  3. Susan Hughes's Avatar
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    As long as the public continues to overcrowd (overwhelm) The Disneyland Resort, I'm not surprised they made such a HUGE price hike in their tickets and passes. And if attendance goes up, not down because of this, I fully expect bigger increases less than a year from now.
    Personally, i never liked the monthly payment option. I saw a dramatic difference in crowd size once it began and it's gotten out of hand. I'm sure they will never get rid of the monthly payment plan, so I'm hoping (but not very confident) these huge price hikes will curb the overcrowding.
    I don't blame Disney at all for doing this. Reality TV is pure fiction and garbage, but people keep watching it. So they churn out more and more. Prices hikes don't stop the tsunami of the crowds size, so they'll keep raising the rates.
  4. MAH4546's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by disneyland255
    WOW! These price increases are NUTS! Disney has now alienated us from ever getting an Annual Pass again and it is now more economical to buy passes for WDW. A 3 Day Park Hopper at Walt Disney World is $287 for an adult. $30 more than Disneyland. OR, if you do a 1 park per day, it's only $13 more than Disneyland. How does Disneyland think they can charge THIS MUCH for so little when compared to Walt Disney World? I always thought Walt Disney World was a rip-off, now I'm starting to see it as a deal compared to Disneyland.

    Everything else looks so great! I love the Meridia meet and greet with the bears and the new Trolly merchandise looks fantastic!
    There is a lot more to see and do at Disneyland. WDW is kept in poor shape and the theme parks are still half-complete 40 years later. The two LA parks have barely fewer attractions between them than the four Florida parks.
  5. Timekeeper's Avatar
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    I hope the new music from the Cathay(?) Circle Theater Restaurant get released on CD like the rest of the new park music.


    Timekeeper
  6. Barbossa's Avatar
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    Great update!
  7. BestBeatingHeart's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by C. Andrew Nelson
    Excellent update as always. I am quite disheartened by the price increases. I think it's excessive.

    Regarding Radiator Springs Racers and the Mountain Range With No Name Due To Legal Dealings(tm), what are those gaping holes for in the tops of the rocks...



    ...and are they going to fill that in / cover it over before June 15th? I'm wondering the same about the big open backside of the mountain range. Looks bad.
    They're for the lighting, stop foaming.
  8. Cuddles McHenry's Avatar
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    The price increases for tickets and APs are disheartening, but charging for the previews is downright greedy. MAYBE if Disney was going to donate all the proceedings from the evening (s) to CHOC I might see it as " ok" ...
    I already give them enough money. Do I really need to pay 50 bucks for a preview?
  9. ralzap's Avatar
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    Yes, what is this hole?
  10. ralzap's Avatar
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    Sorry, did not see the post. Lighting....
  11. sinatra12's Avatar
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    Im suprised that noone noticed that the wood covering the windows at the Mad Arcade were taken down allowing a small view into the arcade
  12. Sleepy505's Avatar
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    Price Increase: Well I can see why they do it to keep the over crowding down, but for people like my family and me who live out of state and travel to Disneyland and CA it can be very expensive with the cost of Hotel fees as well, I thank God that we have been able to afford it, as we make our plans to Disneyland/California and visit I just feel bad for the people that can't afford it. My family and I have been going to the resort now for 20 years when my daughter was born and still to this year and each year we have always taken a friend that has never been there so they can get the whole Disney experience. My family and I will be there in October and we are taking a whole family down to Anaheim it will be their first time, bit if these price increases keep going up it will just not be affordable to go.
  13. ghosty4's Avatar
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    Here are some features of Cars Land: A neon lighting, including the illumination of the mountain range, will be held each night.
    I just squealed! I hope I didn't wake the neighbors...
  14. angeltheone's Avatar
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    Why doesn't Disney just bend you over and save you the trouble of the Price increase.
  15. dgpollard's Avatar
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    Thank you, as always, for another wonderful update!

    I wonder with the price hikes (along with the refined, new and additional attractions ), if Disney California Adventure park will have the same hours of operation as that of Disneyland throughout this year and years to come?

  16. Not My Real Name's Avatar
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    That sound you hear in the background is Walt spinning in his cryogenic capsule. Walt wanted his park to be affordable to a wide range of visitors. He said himself that he wanted to turn a profit, but that he didn't want to fleece every guest of every dime in their pockets. I'm on Social Security and SSI, and I'm paid only $953 a month. Subtract room and board (I live in a boarding house that provides one meal a day) and I'm left with only $245 to spend on everything else. I'm not even sure I can affor a SoCal Select Pass even on the monthly plan. How the hell am I supposed to visit my favorite place in all of SoCal?
  17. DisWedWay's Avatar
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    Since Mammoth Mouintain interest, in the 60's by Walt, Disneyland Ticket prices have always been closely related to Mammoth 1 day Ski Pass prices. This year Mammoth will charge $75.00 for Adults and $30.00 for 7 to 12 year old Children, which in the past was a only a few dollars over Disneyland's 1 day tickets. Mammoth also has an age limit of 80 I believe, where they allow those Seniors free tickets. Maybe Disneyland could have a Senior discount over 65 years of age to help the fellow above and many other Babyboomers approaching that delima.
    Updated 05-23-2012 at 03:06 PM by DisWedWay
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