Games of the Boardwalk, Mickey Wheel, Pixie Wallow, Haunted Mansion 40th merch, +MORE
by, 04-13-2009 at 12:46 AM
Welcome to Dateline Disneyland. Hopefully you had a great holiday weekend. This week we'll check out California Adventure's (DCA) newly remodeled Games of the Boardwalk, some new Haunted Mansion 40th Anniversary goodies, and new construction walls that went up around Pixie Hollow's queue.
Of course, there's a lot of Disney's California Adventure Project Tracker photos in this week's update, so feel free to click on any Project Tracker photo where you'll all of the dates and info on DCA's major remodel and expansion.
Alright, let's get to the update!
WELCOME TO DISNEYLAND!
Downtown Disney is advertising the upcoming Food and Wine Festival.
Disneyland Resort ticket booths aren't advertising Annual Passports or a shiny new attraction on their poster advertisements - they're listing ticket prices.
Inside Disneyland, the Mad Hatter shop in Town Square has a new Create-Your-Own Ear Hat counter, as the program expands to other areas of the Resort after debuting last year in Mickey's Toon Town.
Pixie Hollow's queue and pond is behind walls, causing the queue to be redirected behind the photo-op's oversized grass blades.
The big news last week was the opening of the new Games of the Boardwalk over on DCA's Paradise Pier.
The new boardwalk games are essentailly the same as the old ones, just with new Disney character theming. Games like the New Haul Fishery are now Goofy About Fishin'.
The games are charming enough, and the theming is fun with clever touches, such as the themed lighting fixtures at each game booth.
The new games use game Play Cards that work on a point system. Each game costs 250 points to play, and Play Cards are swiped or scanned at each game. Minimum purchase for a game card is $5, giving you 500 points, allowing for at least two game plays.
Play Cards are dispensed at nearby machines that take cash and credit cards.
And in a nice touch, Play Cards feature game concept art
The games are certainly nicely themed, and look far better than their predecessors. The facades are gorgeous, and the games themselves are charming and colorful, harkening back to classic Disney films like Dumbo and recent favorites like Toy Story. Guests seem to enjoy the new games, providing them with seemingly brisk business throughout their debut week. Hopefully the new games can maintain their popularity, considering the old versions were more or less a ghost town upon their closing. Either way, the new facades and higher-quality theming in Paradise Pier have deeper implications for the long-term health and success of Disney's California Adventure. Even though the character-heavy direction the park is taking is debatable, it's fair to say that the park is taking steps in a better direction than it started off with when it opened in 2001. Are the new games a must-see the next time you visit DCA? Probably not, but they're worth at least a quick look the next time you visit, even if you don't shell out the $2.50 per game.
For more coverage and photos of the new Games of the Boardwalk, check out David "Darkbeer" Michael's 4/7 "In the Parks" column:
In the Parks: First look at the new version of Games at the Boardwalk, and some quick updates
As the Games of the Boardwalk project opens to guests, other DCA projects continue construction.
WORLD OF COLOR & VIEWING AREA
SAN FRANCISCO STREET RESTROOMS
The new San Francisco Street restrooms are set to open in May, and progress on the project can be seen by keen-eyed visitors.
A new arched entryway can be seen here:
And the new structure on the side of the San Francisco facades is coming along...
FUN WHEEL & SUNBURST
The sunburst icon on California Screamin' appears to be done getting painted, and Mickey's face on the Fun Wheel is progressing nicely.
Lights are being installed on Mickey's Fun Wheel
HAUNTED MANSION MERCH
Haunted Mansion's 40th Anniversary is still a few months away, but Disneyland already has some new anniversary offerings on the shelves.
40th Anniversary Poster Tee: $20 / $22 plus sizes
Child's 40th Anniversary Tee: $17.95
THIS & THAT
Big Thunder Ranch's petting zoo has some new "Celebration" signs:
AROUND THE PARKS
We'll take a look around the parks to finish up the photo portion of today's update...
DISNEYLAND WEEKLY HOURS AND INFOTHEME PARK HOURS 4/13 - 4/19
Disneyland Resort theme parks have increased operating hours for spring break crowds. Be sure to plan your trip to the parks accordingly. For a complete listing of theme park hours, please visit the Disneyland.com Theme Park CalendarDisneyland Park
Monday - Sunday: 8 am - 12 midnight
Disney's California Adventure Park
Monday - Friday and Sunday: 10 am - 9 pm
Saturday: 10 am - 10 pm
CURRENT ATTRACTION CLOSURES & REFURBISHMENTSDisneyland Park
- Remember... Dreams Come True Fireworks Spectacular: Performances nightly through spring break season. Show is expected to end permanently following the 2009 peak spring break season. A new show will replace Remember this summer.
- Bibbity Bobbity Boutique: Retail portion open. Salon opens April 17, 2009
- Pirates of the Caribbean: Closed April 27 - May 1.
- Peter Pan's Flight: Closed May 4 for unknown duration.
- Hungry Bear Restaurant: Closed May 4 - 15.
- Sailing Ship Columbia: Closed May 18 - 20.
- Disneyland: The First 50 Magical Years/Main Street Opera House: Closed. Reopens as The Disneyland Story: Featuring Great Moments With Mr. Lincoln September 26, 2009.
Disney's California Adventure Park
- Mickey's Fun Wheel: Closed for remodeling. Re-opens May 8, 2009.
- Redwood Creek Challenge Trail: Closes April 27 for unknown duration.
- King Triton's Carousel: Closed through May 20.
- The Little Mermaid: Ariel's Adventure: Golden Dreams theater scheduled for demolition and new attraction construction scheduled to begin in May 2009.
- Souvenir 66 and Corn Dog Castle: Store and dining location closed for remodeling June 1, 2009 through June 2011, reopen date likely to change.
- The Lucky Fortune Cookery: Unused food service location is being converted into larger Mexican-style food dining facility. Opens June 14.
- Paradise Bay: Drained for construction of upcoming Disney's World of Color show.
- Disney's World of Color Nighttime Spectacular: New show under construction. Debuts Spring 2010.
- Golden State Park and Amphitheater: Closed. New, larger amphitheater for Disney's World of Color viewing under construction in same location. The new amphitheater will open December 2009.
ANALYSTS EXPECT DISNEY PARK REVENUE TO DROP 35%
With the executive layoffs at Disney Parks and Resorts and the closure of restaurants like Yamabuki, the fledgling economy isn't going unnoticed at Disney theme parks. Early last week, the J.P. Morgan investment firm has downgraded Disney stock after predicting that operating revenue at Disney theme parks to drop 35% in 2009.
Another analyst downgrades Disney
Another investment firm has downgraded shares of the Walt Disney Co. – and a primary concern is that guests are spending far less money at Walt Disney World and Disneyland.
Analysts at J.P. Morgan predict that revenues at Disney’s Parks and Resorts division tumbled 14 percent during the company’s fiscal second quarter, which ended March 28. And they predict that parks division’s operating profit dove nearly 50 percent.
Disney is scheduled to report its second-quarter earnings May 5.
Both declines are significantly steeper than JP Morgan had earlier projected. “Our channel checks indicate that attendance at domestic parks is broadly in line with last year,” analyst Imran Khan wrote in a research note accompanying the downgrade. “However, we believe the attendance trends are partly driven by discounts and promotions and, as such, revenue could see a net negative impact.”
Khan also says that a stronger U.S. dollar and the global recession are weighing down on international travel, which helped buoy Disney’s parks – particularly Disney World – last year.
J.P. Morgan says it now expects operating profits at Disney Parks and Resorts will fall 35 percent for the full year.
ANAHEIM RESORT SHUTTLE BUS BURSTS INTO FLAMES
An early-morning bus fire sent flames 50 feet in the air near Disneyland on Wednesday. Luckily, nobody was hurt. The Orange County Register has details:
Flames from burning tourist bus shoot up 50 feet
Flames from a resort district shuttle bus shot some 50 feet into the air while a bus driver was beginning her shift.
Just before 7 a.m., the driver had pulled out of the Coach America parking lot at the 2000 block of Manchester Avenue when she noticed smoke coming out of the front of the empty 28-passenger bus, Anaheim fire spokeswoman Maria Sabol said.
The propane natural gas-powered vehicle adorned with Disney logos quickly burst into flames at Orangewood Avenue, about a block east of Harbor Boulevard.
Fire authorities allowed the propane to burn out before extinguishing the flames, Sabol said.
Besides the driver, no one was onboard the bus. No one was injured.
Officials from Anaheim Transportation Network – the nonprofit organization that owns the buses – and the driver's employer, Coach America, were on scene but refused to comment.
The bus transports passengers from resort destinations to area hotels.
ALL 39 HOURLY YAMABUKI EMPLOYEES RELOCATED
Yamabuki hosted its final guests on Saturday, but despite the sad news of the restaurant closure, all 39 hourly employees have been guaranteed new positions at other Resort hotel restaurants. Certainly a happy note amidst an overall unfortunate situation.
Time running out on Yamabuki restaurant
The closure of the Japanese-style-cuisine restaurant affects 39 hourly employees and a handful of salaried employees.
Those salaried employees who can not be relocated will receive a 60-day severance package and extended heath benefits.
Because of a misunderstanding in the original announcement, Around Disney erroneously reported earlier that the same severance package would be offered to those 39 hourly employees.
No such package is being offered, said Suzi Brown, a spokeswoman for Disneyland Resort. Instead, Disney netotiated with the union to place all of those hourly employees on shifts among the five other hotel restaurants or four other food-and-beverage locations.
Those employees will retain their same pay.
Brown said: “The company has shifts available for all Yamabuki cast members at other hotel restaurant locations at Disneyland Resort. We expect all hourly Yamabuki (employees) to be redeployed as of next week.”
Brown said she was unsure whether all employees would be offered an equivalent amount of hours. But she added, “We are committed to providing the most hours available.”
Victor Alvarez, 29, a server at Yamabuki, said workers at the restaurant had established strong bonds and are sad about the closing.
“We are more than co-workers, we’re like a family,” he said. “We’ve really kept a positive atmoshere at the restaurant and everybody’s been a part of that … It’s hard to see that go.”
WIN YOUR DREAM HOME AND VACATION!
Through June 1, 2009 you can enter-to-win your custom-built Taylor Morrison Dream Home and dream Disneyland vacation! Taylor Morrison is the official builder of the Innoventions Dream Home in Disneyland's Tomorrowland.
For details, contest rules, or to enter-to-win, visit the Taylor Morrison Dream Home Giveaway website:
Taylor Morrison's DreamHome Giveaway
WHAT DO YOU LOVE ABOUT THE ANAHEIM RESORT?
The Howard Johnson Anaheim is giving away a free vacation package to creative Anaheim Resort fans! All you have to do is get your creative juices flowing and tell HoJo Anaheim what you love about the Anaheim Resort area and you might win a pair of 2-Day Disneyland Resort ParkHopper tickets and 3-nights in a Premium Disney View Room!. The contest is open now through May 14th.
For contest rules, or to enter-to-win, check out the HoJo Anaheim's website:
HoJo's 'What I Love About the Anaheim Resort' Contest!
Alright, that should wrap up this week's update. Thanks for reading, and feel free to discuss the update in the comments section below!
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