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Dateline Disneyland

Admission goes up, Orange Peel, DCA construction, Grand Californian, +more

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by , 08-02-2009 at 10:37 PM
Welcome to the August 3, 2009 edition of Dateline Disneyland. As always this week we'll give you all the latest news and photos from the Disneyland Resort, but don't worry. It's all delivered here fresh for you without Disneyland's new $72 admission fee. Yep, in the middle of the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression, Disney is raising admission prices for theme parks across the board. But hey - that money for that great big new World of Color show and Little Mermaid dark ride at California Adventure has gotta come from somewhere, right?

Of course, we'll fill you in on all of that construction work taking place in Disney's California Adventure. All photos dealing with on-going Resort construction projects will be marked with Project Tracker watermarks, which, when clicked, will redirect you to MiceChat's Project Trackers where you'll find the latest news and discussion on any of the Resort's many on-going projects.

Alright, lets get right to it, shall we?

Inside Dateline Disneyland

The first thing guests are now greeted with upon entering the Disneyland Resort Main Entrance Plaza are the newly raised admission fees at ticket booths

In its newly-released Q3 2009 financial reports, Disney reported a 9% revenue drop for theme parks and resorts, and a 19% drop in operating income for the division. The main culprit was Walt Disney World, where heavy ticket discounts are still bringing in guests, but they aren't spending as much on-property.

The biggest price increase was the extra $40 added to the Premium Annual Passport, which routinely only sees a $20 hike.

David "Darkbeer" Michael posted a full list of the price increases on MiceChat:
MiceChat: The full list of Disneyland Ticket Price Increases as of Sunday, August 2nd

Park Tickets
  • One Day, One Park Ticket - $72/$62 ($3 increase)
  • One Day ParkHopper - $97/$87 ($3 increase)
  • Two Day ParkHopper - $151/$131 ($8 increase)
  • Three Day ParkHopper - $204/$174 ($5 increase)
  • Four Day ParkHopper - $229/$199 ($5 increase)
  • Five Day ParkHopper - $249/$219 ($5 increase)
  • Six Day ParkHopper - $254/$224 ($5 increase)

Annual Passports
  • Southern California Select - $144 ($10 increase)
  • Southern California - $194 ($20 increase)
  • Deluxe - $289 ($20 increase)
  • Premium - $429 ($40 increase)
  • Parking Add-on - $59 (no change)
  • Blockout Pass - $45 ($5 increase)

Inside the parks, little perks that were once free are again beginning to get price tags.

Disney rolled out "custom" embroidery for Ear Hats within the last year or so, charging $7 for the choice between two "custom" fonts, and a different thread color. The basic embroidery, which was previously done by hand, but phased out to computerized machines in recent years, remained free. Not anymore. Disney is now charging $3 for basic embroidery on hats. Not only is the service stripped of the personal human touch that helped make it so special before, but now it costs you $3 to have a cold machine spell your name out on the back of your Mickey ears. Ah, Disney magic.

Speaking of Disney magic, no matter how much it costs, it takes time and lots of work to make it happen. Disney's California Adventure can tell you this first hand, as it continues to go under the knife to try to get its fair share of Mouse's special touch. Will it work? Only time will tell, but until then, we're here to fill you in on all the construction.

World of Color & Paradise Park Viewing Area
The progress on the massive World of Color and new viewing area continues

New wooden posts have gone up along the back of Paradise Bay, near the California Screamin' launch.

The World of Color utility boxes in Paradise Bay continue to get themed

The utility box between the Orange Stinger and Golden Zephyr looks to be nearly complete.

Mickey's Fun Wheel provides great views of the construction

The Little Mermaid: Ariel's Undersea Adventure
The Golden Dreams mural has finally been removed. The Palace of Fine Arts rotunda will remain, however, integrated into the upcoming Little Mermaid facade.

The support bases for the mural are still there

Orange, peeled
The Orange Stinger is finally starting to get peeled as it begins its transformation into the Silly Symphony Swings.

Lucky Fortune Cookery
The new home of the Lucky Fortune Cookery is set to open mid-September.

The wall above the ordering windows has had its Mission Tortilla Factory signage painted over with a Pescadero Brand Sardines logo

Cars Land
Preliminary groundwork on the future home of Cars Land continues as the old parking lot asphalt is removed.

The new structure on the far end of the former Timon Lot is coming along...

The Disney Vacation Club expansion of the Grand Californian Hotel is progressing nicely for a September 23 opening.

A new 40th Anniversary Haunted Mansion Mickey Mouse plush has been released, individually numbered limited edition of 1500.

Disneyana has a window display of all of the great new 40th Anniversary Haunted Mansion merchandise designed by artist Shag.

A complete list (with photos) of the Shag Haunted Mansion merchandise can be found at

Over in Fantasyland, the Mad Tea Party teacup photo-op that was first added for Disneyland's 50th Anniversary celebration, has finally been removed.

You can still see the curbing for the teacup photo-op

And construction walls have reappeared in front of the Fantasia Gardens smoking area for underground work in the area.

And we'll finish up the photo portion of today's column with a look around the park. You can click on these images for full-resolution downloads at the images' Flickr photo pages.


For a complete listing of theme park hours, please visit the Theme Park Calendar
Disneyland Park
Monday - Sunday: 8 am - 12 midnight

Disney's California Adventure Park
Monday - Sunday 10 am - 9 pm

Disneyland Park
  • Pinocchio's Daring Journey: Closed July 20 through August 14.
  • The Enchanted Cottage: Closed July 29 through November 17.
  • Casey Jr. Circus Train: Closed August 31 through November 20.
  • Storybook Land Canal Boats: Closed August 31 through November 19.
  • Mark Twain Riverboat: Closed September 8 - 10.
  • Space Mountain: Closed September 8 - 24 to install "Ghost Galaxy" Halloween overlay.
  • Minnie's House: Closed September 9
  • The Haunted Mansion: Closed September 10 - 24 to install Haunted Mansion Holiday overlay
  • Big Thunder Ranch: Closed September 14 - 24 to install Halloween overlay
  • Gadget's Go Coaster: Closed September 19 through October 26
  • The Disney Gallery: Opens September 26, 2009 in the Bank of Main Street
  • Pirates of the Caribbean & Blue Bayou Restaurant: Closed September 28 through October 2.
  • Disneyland: The First 50 Magical Years/Main Street Opera House: Closed. Reopens as The Disneyland Story: Featuring Great Moments With Mr. Lincoln December 17, 2009.

Disney's California Adventure Park
  • Orange Stinger: Closed for retheming. Reopens Spring 2010
  • Cocina Cucomonga: Food service location closed June 18, when new location opened. Original location reopens with new Asian-style menu September 14.
  • The Little Mermaid: Ariel's Undersea Adventure: Under construction.
  • Souvenir 66 and Corn Dog Castle: Store and dining location closed for remodeling through May 2011.
  • 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.

A Los Angeles radio station has teamed up with Disney to allow four guests to stay the night in the Haunted Mansion's stretching portrait chambers in a special promotional giveaway in honor of the attraction's upcoming 40th anniversary.
Disneyland allows guests to sleep in Haunted Mansion
Four brave souls are scheduled to spend the night in Disneyland’s chamber with no windows and no doors.

Disneyland is permitting guests to sleep in the Haunted Mansion for what is believed to be the first time as part of the ride’s 40th anniversary. Classic rock radio station, KLOS 95.5, is running a promotion to win an overnight stay inside the ride.

Beds will be set up in an elevator at the entrance of the ride, said Roxane Requio, KLOS’ manager of marketing and promotions. That’s the chamber that visitors first enter in the attraction. The room stretches as guests descend to the bottom where they walk to the “doom” buggies. The narrator announces: “This chamber has no windows, and no doors. Which offers you this chilling challenge: to find a way out!”
The contest offers a rare opportunity for guests to sleep in the theme park. Last year, a Dream Suite over Pirates of the Caribbean hosted contest winners, but the suite now is used for private events.

Disneyland also held a few sleepovers, including one for the Boy Scouts, said Disneyland spokeswoman Michele Himmelberg. But Disney officials couldn’t immediately recall a recent time when guests were permitted to sleep inside a ride.
The Haunted Mansion contest is selective.

During the 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. Mark and Brian show since July 20, contestants have called in when the deejays announce “Kids Break,” Requio said. Children under 12 years old get on the air by performing a talent, like singing or telling jokes.

Everyone who gets on the air wins a four-person pass to Disneyland.

Radio staff members will pick the top five or 10 performers and put them on the station’s Web site, where viewers can vote for their favorites. The overnight-stay winner will be picked Tuesday.

UPDATE: Requio of KLOS confirmed that the contest has ended. Voting for the Kids Break finalists runs until Tuesday. The finalists are on the station’s Web site.
“We’re getting tons of calls,” Requio said. “Some people stay on hold for as long as they can because you never know when they are going to do it.”

The Haunted Mansion will stay open as usual Aug. 9 — the ride’s 40th birthday. After the park closes, winners can snuggle up in their spooky suite, although the night may not be so restful or private. A live feed will be broadcast from inside the mansion that night on from midnight to 6 a.m.

“The Haunted Mansion is 40 years old and, like any building its age, it may be full of creaks and other eerie noises throughout the night,” according to Himmelberg. “The guests may also be visited by the ‘occupants’ of the Haunted Mansion.”

Mark and Brian will broadcast from the park the following morning. The Haunted Mansion’s 40th-anniversary promotion coincides with the radio station’s 40th anniversary.
For the full article, visit Around Disney: Disneyland allows guests to sleep in Haunted Mansion
From the OC Register's Around Disney blog:
Disney workers shed pounds of weight for pounds of food
Disney employees are trading pounds for pounds.

As part of a weight-loss challenge, the Disneyland Resort has pledged to donate a pound of food for every pound that employees lose. The company signed up about 1,000 employees, said David Gill, a resort spokesman.

Just by signing up for the 10-week program, the company agreed to donate one pound of food to the Orange County Food Bank.

Employee Karen Marshall said the Disneyland Resort Weight Loss Challenge comes at a key time.

She had already planned on trying to lose weight before her 40th high school reunion and a niece’s wedding, both in September.

“This is the motivation I needed to get rid of those 10 extra pounds you have and have some accountability,” said Marshall, 58, a Disneyland Resort guest communications assistant.

Disney also is offering nutrition guides, yoga classes and athletic teams to help employees.
For the full article, visit Around Disney: Disney workers shed pounds of weight for pounds of food
MiceChat has posted Walt Disney Parks and Resorts plans for this years D23 Expo. This is just one of the divisions of the company which will be represented at the event. From the sounds of it, there will be a lot for fans to look forward to.
Here’s a sampling of the Disney Parks experiences that D23 EXPO attendees will discover:

  • Never-before-seen models of classic Disney attractions and glimpses of coming projects that will surprise and delight even the most knowledgeable Disney fans.
  • An exclusive sneak peek at the expansion of Disney’s California Adventure that’s so big, it won’t fit inside the Blue Sky Cellar.
  • The chance to meet, up close and personal, Lucky the Dinosaur and Wall-E.
  • A preview of the most advanced Audio-Animatronics figures ever created.
  • Displays showcasing cutting-edge effects technologies that are being developed for Disney attractions, shows and venues.
  • New Disney Cruise Line itineraries for 2011.

Also, in the 500-seat Storytellers Theater, Imagineers and Cast Members who create and operate Disney’s parks, resorts, cruise ships and other vacation experiences will take fans behind-the-magic with a variety of presentations including:

  • World of Color – Imagineer Steven Davison brings to life World of Color, the water-and-fire spectacular that will debut next year at Disney’s California Adventure.
  • The Making of Toy Story Mania! – From its interactive elements and innovative ride system to its cutting-edge Audio-Animatronics figure of Mr. Potato Head, Toy Story Mania! represents a new kind of Disney theme park attraction. Meet the team who helped bring it to life.
  • “So You Want to Become an Imagineer” – A panel of Imagineers will answer one of the most frequently asked questions of Walt Disney Imagineering – “How does one become an Imagineer?” – and will share what it’s like to be one.
  • The Making of the U.S. Presidents – Imagineers will talk about updating both Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln at Disneyland and Hall of Presidents at the Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World.
  • An Afternoon With Imagineering Legends – Disney Legend Marty Sklar will lead a celebration of the careers and accomplishments of Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Cast Members who have been named Disney Legends.
For the full article, visit the Disney Parks and Resorts Discussion in the D23 section of MiceChat
Okay - that should wrap up this week's Dateline Disneyland. Many thanks to MiceChat's wonderful Fishbulb for helping out with photos in this week's column. And of course, thanks to you for reading - be sure to discuss the update in the comment section below!

Don't forget that MiceAge and MiceChat has loads of new content weekly! If Dateline Disneyland isn't enough to satisfy your Disneyland itch, then don't miss David "Darkbeer" Michael's In the Parks column which runs here every Friday and is packed full of Southern California theme park news, photos, and gossip. And if you want even more Disney theme park goodness, don't miss MiceChat's Weekend Update, which takes a look at Disney theme parks and other international landmarks, curiosities, and oddities every Saturday!

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Updated 08-04-2009 at 01:43 PM by Dateline Disneyland (Fixed navigation box)

Disneyland Resort , Disney's California Adventure Remodel/Expansion


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  1. Goover's Avatar
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    OH MY GOD!!

    How much longer till my birthday fun card???? !!
  2. hrlaser's Avatar
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    $12.00 to park, $72.00 to get in.. well I'm registered to get in free on my Birthday, in November, which is, of course, just my luck.. a Saturday.. although I'll still have to fork over $12.00 for parking.. doubt I can be there most of the day without buying anything to eat or drink.. so it's gonna cost me some amount of cash..

    I haven't been to Disneyland since 2002.. back then they had three smoking areas.. one near The Matterhorn, one at the former Mike Fink Keel Boats landing, and one in some hideous place I can't even remember.. anyone know if they still have smoking areas, and if so, where they are now?..

    I can't believe they'd jack up admission prices in the midst of an economy in the toilet.. over 10% unemployment in Calif. (and I'm in that 10%).. well.. I take that back.. I CAN believe they'd jack up the prices.. this is, afterall, Disney..

    Maybe I should bring along a needle and rubber tube so I can drink my own blood.. not gonna pay $200.00 for a can of Coke..

    And to rwsmith.. let's see.. parking + admission + a couple of meals + some snacks + some chatzkies to bring home.. yer lookin' at somewhere in the neighborhood of five hundred bucks for that day of "fun" for you and your family..
  3. disneymademoiselle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rosyrotten47
    I know who Wall-E is. But who is Lucky the Dinosaur?
    Lucky the Dinosaur is an AA at Animal Kingdom that actually walks on its own! Unlike the "regular" ones in Pirates, etc. that are controlled from a computer, this one has pre-set functions, but is controlled by a "trainer" that walks beside Lucky. If you can catch the Travel Channel show on Animal Kingdom, you can find out all about Lucky.

    I hope they still have the Haunted Mansion decanter when I go in September. That would be so perfect for Halloween!!!
  4. DonaldDisney's Avatar
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    Does anyone know where the mickey haunted mansion plush is being sold? I definitely want to get one of those.
  5. hrlaser's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by msett1
    Does anyone know where the mickey haunted mansion plush is being sold? I definitely want to get one of those.
    Why not just call DelivEARS and order one over the phone?.. Unless DelivEARS no longer exists.. although I think they re-named it to something else.. but it did exist a few months ago, when I called and bought the "Disneyland Then, Now, and Forever" book over the phone.. (and it's a VERY cool book..).. allegedly, you can call and they'll sell you *anything* that's sold in any store in Disneyland, except food and drink..
  6. Ferris's Avatar
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    Wait a minute...Does this mean that my $69 Birthday Fun Card will no longer be enough to get me into Disneyland!? On top of that, does that mean that people who have birthdays at the end of the year get $3 more fun than I do? How is all of this fair?

    (Please note that at the end of the day I don't really care, but this is kind of bunk)
  7. MonstersGoBoo!'s Avatar
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    Aww, I'm actually kind of sad that teacup by the Mad Hatter is gone.

    AWESOME photos of the construction, though.
  8. MickeyMousePal's Avatar
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    Great Update Andy!
  9. Barbossa's Avatar
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    Thanks for the update!
  10. Eagleman's Avatar
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    Admission Increases!
    Disneyland was so nice let you come in for FREE on your Bithday ?, they did have a great deal...for this Summer?
    For the people who could not paid for AP can paid for it monthy?
    All you corndog people who did not want paid for a big meal,....
    and do not forget it going be bright and beautyful tomorrow?........
    Now we being Punish?

    " "Admission Increases" "!

    "O" How we need "Disney", I mean how can we live with out them?......Wouderful World of Disney?

    Well here a word no body use......
    "BOYCOTT" DISNEY ! ! ! !
    Movies,Vacation, Parks, Hotels,ECT......
    (Even Mickey Mouse)
    That the only thing they understand is MONEY!
    In the Mouse we trust!
    I for one do not need Disney to live....or even have fun!

    Thanks Andy good report!
    Updated 08-03-2009 at 06:41 PM by Eagleman (add on)
  11. LittleImagineer's Avatar
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    I'm really excited for the HM overlay (I've always loved HMH!) but I think I'm even moe excited for the Space Mountain overlay! It will be sooo awesome!
    I'm really excited that the Disney Gallery is opening up once again. My parents and I loved that place. It won't be the same though since it won't be above POTC =/ Part of the reason I loved the Disney Gallery is because it was above POTC...
    My mom is very excited for the show with Mr. Lincoln to open up. I only saw that show once as a child and it scared the heck outta me!
    The Disney pound for pound thing is really cool! Where does Disney donate the pounds of food at? It's awesome that Disney would do something like that!
    Ooooh, and I think I might just join D23. My mom said if I really wanted to join D23 then she said she would pay for it but I politey declined because it was too expensive and I really don't want my parents spending money on me for things like that. Maybe I'll buy a membership myself...
    Oh, and shame on Disney for raising ticket prices and charging for embroidery. Sad sad
  12. Koutesu's Avatar
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    I noticed that the tea cup was gone and they left the curbing intact.

    I don't think anyone has mentioned this yet, but the squarish planter in Mr Toad's queue finally has a permanently planted tree. For those who don't know, this planter originally was the home of a Skyway pylon. Last year, they still had a potted tree sitting in the middle of the planer surrounded by bushes or low hedges. It's possible the concrete foundation for the pylon was still under there after all those years. When I was at Disneyland a week ago, the planter had grass and a tree, all of which is planted in the actual ground.
  13. Moonwalker's Avatar
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    Excellent update Andy, it's unfortune to see price increase in tickets and APs especially for those who make their first time visits or don't often come to the park. Gotta get me that HM Mickey plush.
  14. Sleepy505's Avatar
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    WOW! $72 admission fee and $97 for a park hopper pass with the economic crisis were in not only that with all the construction going on at DCA, I'm sure Walt Disney is looking down with a sad frown saying to himself The Happiest Place on Earth has become the most expensive amusment park on Earth, now don't get me wrong my micechat buddies but for some like me who travels out from out of state with a family of four and to rent hotels and so on, it just becoming unaffordable.
  15. Mater's Avatar
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    Disney really knows how to work the system. Just like a live frog placed in a pot. If you place the frog in a pot with the water boiling, the frog will immediately jump out. But if you put the frog in when the water is lukewarm, and slowly raise the temperature, the frog will be dead within minutes. Smart tactic to kill a frog and to kill your wallet. Disney is slowly raising their prices to squeeze the money out of everyone. Sure everyone will be up at arms at first but within a month, everyone will become, once again, comfortable with the price. Very smart if you ask me, but don’t ask me what my wallet thinks.

    -Thanks for the update- It’s awesome!
  16. FI183's Avatar
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    It should be noted that the reason they had to get rid of hatwriting by hand was because of Carpal Tunnel that Cast Members got over time. Disney is still paying medical expenses for the former Hat writers.
  17. disney-fan-reborn's Avatar
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    [quote=JBodine;bt8933]Hmmm, I have a problem with this. When I pay to see Disneyland I am really paying for the attractions in some other park? Or if I really wanted to see some other park I should have to pay for attractions that do not exist yet?

    That's like charging someone full price to NOT see a heavily advertised 40 foot dragon! Oh, wait a minute...

    Suddenly Mini Golf looks like a bargain.


    What? [B]Really?[/B] You can't be serious? [B]Really?[/B] Do you [U]not[/U] understand that things DO cost money and that attractions, etc. need to be paid for [U]before[/U] AND [U]during[/U] construction? How else are they going to get the money to build them? [B]REALLY! [/B]You [B]REALLY[/B] need to think about what you are saying....[B]REALLY![/B]

    This has been
    with disney-fan-reborn
  18. disney-fan-reborn's Avatar
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    COMPLAIN, COMPLAIN, COMPLAIN! Disney needs to make money in this poor economy too! Sure they are a big corporation, but a lot of big corporations are losing money! Let's all do the American thing and spend a little extra money and help the economy any way we can! GEEZ folks! It would be a shame if Disneyland had to close its doors because low ticket prices couldn't keep them open. Think about it, and quit your BIT**IN'!!!
  19. whamo's Avatar
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    Disneyland has always been expensive. But it's always been worth it. I'm thinking about going on Thursday, as the weather is supposed to cool off. With the higher entrance prices, perhaps attendance will too.
  20. Kritter's Avatar
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    If you are going to make me pay three bucks for a basic embroidery... I'm going to get whatever the hell I want on the back of that hat!
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