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Dateline Disneyland

Rising prices, Goofy's Sky School details, Cars Land progess, Summer crowds +MORE!

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by , 06-12-2011 at 09:09 PM
Summer is officially underway at the Disneyland Resort as guests flock to the Resort to experience a variety of new offerings both inside and outside the theme parks. At Disney California Adventure, wait times for the new Little Mermaid ~ Ariel's Undersea Adventure ride are very manageable for a brand new attraction as the attraction's Omnimover ride system efficiently eats up the crowds. Nearby, work continues on the re-themed Goofy's Sky School roller coaster and Paradise Pier's enhanced dining courtyard as these projects near their July 1st opening date. Meanwhile, at Disneyland's new Star Tours thrill ride is drawing huge crowds as the park enters its typical summer routine of minimal refurbishments and a lack of new projects due to the heavy seasonal traffic. Yet, guests wanting to see all of Disneyland's new attractions this year won't be getting them for cheap with significant new admission price increases across the board went into effect Sunday.

More information on the construction projects featured in today's column can be found in the MiceChat Project Tracker threads — just look for a Project Tracker watermark and click that photo for more information and to join the on-going discussion.

Let's get started!


Inside Dateline Disneyland


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WELCOME TO DISNEYLAND!
Our partners at Touring Plans have their weekly re-cap of crowd levels:

The heaviest summer crowds haven't hit Disneyland yet, but waits for Star Tours continued to push or exceed three hours at times. The TouringPlans.com Crowd Calendar rankings are based on wait times for all days on record. Because choosing the least crowded days to visit, but not having a good plan of attack for avoiding crowd concentrations is like ordering Diet Coke with three Big Macs, especially with the high Summer crowd levels anticipated, we highly recommend that you follow a Touring Plan. You can now access these Touring Plans on the go with our Lines Mobile Wait Times app!

Here’s how the observed wait time submissions of our Lines Mobile Wait Times app users and our data team compared to what our professional statisticians predicted on the Crowd Calendar.

— Fred Hazelton Statistician, TouringPlans.com

Crowd Calendar Prediction
Actual Crowd Levels
DISNEYLAND RESORT
DISNEYLAND PARK
CALIFORNIA ADVENTURE
DISNEYLAND RESORT
DISNEYLAND PARK
CALIFORNIA ADVENTURE
Sun. June 5
5/10
3.8/10
6.1/10
5/10
4.3/10
6.4/10
Mon. June 6
6/10
5.5/10
5.4/10
6/10
5.6/10
5.3/10
Tue. June 7
6/10
4.5/10
5.6/10
7/10
7.1/10
6.8/10
Wed. June 8
4/10
3.3/10
3.5/10
5/10
4.3/10
4.9/10
Thu. June 9
4/10
3.1/10
3.8/10
3/10
3.0/10
2.6/10
Fri. June 10
6/10
5.5/10
5.6/10
7/10
6.7/10
4.2/10
Sat. June 11
7/10
6.9/10
6.1/10
5/10
6.0/10
4.5/10
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.




SUMMER STICKER SHOCK
On Sunday Disney raised prices at its U.S. theme parks. Disneyland saw significant increases for its Annual Passports with the Premium Pass jumping $50 in price. One-day, one-park tickets for adults hit the $80 mark, rising $4 in price.






Disneyland Resort Theme Park Admission Prices
Effective June 2011
New Price
Adult / Child
Previous Price
Adult / Child
Increase
Adult / Child
One Day
One Park
$80 / $74
$76 / $68
Up $4 / $6
One Day
Park Hopper
$105 / $99
$101 / $91
Up $4 / $8
Two-Day
One Park Per Day
$158 / $146
$151 / $136
Up $7 / $10
Two-Day,
Park Hopper
$173 / $161
$161 / $146
Up $12 / $15
Three-Day,
One Park Per Day
NEW OPTION
$209 / $193
N/A
N/A
Three-Day
Park Hopper
$224 / $208
$206 / $185
Up $18 / $23
So. Cal Select
Annual Passport
$199
$184
Up $15
So. Cal
Annual Passport
$269
$239
Up $30
Deluxe
Annual Passport
$379
$329
Up $50
Premium
Annual Passport
$499
$459
Up $40
Premier
Annual Passport
$749
$700
Up $49
For a complete list of new Disneyland ticket prices, click here.


The OC Register had more on the price hike:
Disneyland raises ticket prices
Disneyland Resort is raising prices for park tickets and annual passes beginning Sunday.
Visitors will pay $80 for an adult one-day ticket to either Disneyland or Disney California Adventure. That is an increase of $4 from the current price.

Disneyland raised single-day ticket prices, annual pass and parking fees in August 2010.
Starting Sunday, visitors will pay $14 more than they did four years ago and $39 more than a decade ago, when there was only the Disneyland park. California Adventure opened in 2001.

This year’s $4 hike is on par with annual changes over the past decade: Disney has boosted prices between $2 and $7 annually over that time.

“We regularly evaluate and adjust our pricing and continue to focus on providing one-of-a-kind entertainment experiences at a great value,” said Suzi Brown, a Disneyland Resort spokeswoman, in a prepared statement. “Our research tells us that nearly all our guests agree that a Disney theme park experience is a strong value.”

Disney has four types of annual passes. The prices of the passes have increased by as much as $50 to $379 for the Deluxe pass, which allows visitors access to both parks for 315 pre-selected days or by as little as $15 to $199 for the Southern California Select pass, which is a pass specifically for Southern California residents that allows access to both parks for 160 pre-selected days.

The price of the premium pass, which allows visitors access to the park for 365 days and covers parking, will increase by $40 to $499.

Some Disney fan sites have speculated that the company is hiking prices to decrease the number of passholders, who may cause crowding in the parks. However, Disney also has made it easier for visitors to pay for passes with monthly payment plans.

A visitor can go to either park for a varying number of days, depending on the level of the pass.

News of the ticket increases did not come as a surprise to Disney fans and annual pass-holders.
“I think once you are past paying $350, another $150 isn’t really much to wince at,” said Dennis Pope, a premium annual pass-holder. “I don’t really have sticker shock when it comes to Disneyland. I’ve come to expect it.” [ FULL STORY ]


Despite the higher prices, Disney continues to strongly advertise Annual Passports.



CALIFORNIA CONSTRUCTION
Work continues on the remainder of California Adventure's $1 billion-dollar remodel and expansion...

BUENA VISTA STREET
The new Buena Vista Street main entrance turnstiles continue to edge closer to completion. The structure is just about finished and then the installation of the actual turnstiles will get underway.
























Inside the park, the new Carthay Circle Theater and plaza area continue to take shape










The new Carthay Circle pump house is starting to take shape behind walls.






Over at the entrance to Hollywood Land, the new Red Car Trolley tracks and newly paved extension of Hollywood Boulevard are out from behind construction walls.


The trolley tracks and asphalt on the Disney Junior-side of the road is not yet complete. This is likely to avoid walls going up too close to the show's queue and stroller parking area, which would result in some crowd control nightmares while work continued into the busy summer season. So, for now, the area has gotten a quick fix until it can be properly finished.








GOOFY'S SKY SCHOOL
& PARADISE GARDEN DINING AREA

Over on Paradise Pier, work continues readying Goofy's Sky School and the newly re-themed Paradise Garden dining area for their July 1st opening. More walls were pushed back around the Sky School entrance last week, revealing a bit more of the signage and queue.












New posters and "themed" elements are up on the walls of the queue































The new Bayside Brews beer stand is looking like it's just about complete. It looks good and is sure to be a popular stop for adult park guests.


String lights on the underside of the awning. A simple, but nice touch.












CARS LAND
A look at Cars Land construction































DISNEYLAND HOTEL REMODEL
Over at the Disneyland Hotel, demolition on the Never Land Pool area is progressing quickly. The pool stairs are being removed and the pool will be re-plastered as it becomes the new "E-Ticket"-themed pool.










Work progresses on the Fantasy Tower





THIS & THAT
Back in California Adventure, Disney has announced that the ElecTRONica after-dark dance party will remain open through spring 2012. If the dance party must say in the park, it's too bad it couldn't adopt a new look instead of clinging on to the tired TRON: Legacy theme.


From the Disney Parks Blog:
The Grid Remains Open at ElecTRONica Through Spring 2012
Grab your identity discs, Programs, because ElecTRONica will continue to power up at Disney California Adventure park through Spring 2012! Also, guests still have the chance to test their light cycle skills as the TRON: Evolution tournament continues as well. And don’t forget – now through June 14, tournament Grand Champions can take home “TRON: Legacy” on Blu-ray.

ElecTRONica features many unique experiences – guests can experience the stunning performance of Laserman, dance to electronic mixes spun by live DJs, enjoy unique food and beverages, play classic 80s arcade games at Flynn’s Arcade and immerse themselves in the world of “TRON: Legacy.”

So come step into the Grid at ElecTRONica now through Spring 2012! [ LINK ]


Over on Paradise Pier, new ads have replaced the old and outdated Sun Wheel and Avalon Cove Restaurant ads on the side of the Ariel's Grotto restaurant. New pieces for Mickey's Fun Wheel and the Little Mermaid are now up. They look fine, but noticing these ads on the side of the Ariel's Grotto only calls to attention the need to re-theme this building which is currently hidden behind a series of caricature stations.







Back in Disneyland, work continues on the Golden Horseshoe facade refurbishment


Back in Big Thunder Ranch's Festival Arena, the Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides preview has left and the area is once again closed to normal park guests.


Closed.



In Tomorrowland, the Moonliner rocket is wrapped in tarps while it gets some TLC





In the Main Street Opera House, it looks like it's time to update one of the displays in the lobby. The case labeled "Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow" includes the section with a preview of what's next at Disneyland. It currently still gives a little sneak peek at Star Tours—The Adventures Continue, but with the attraction now open, this preview is now outdated.







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

Rooms now available for as low as $59 per night!
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.
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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
June 13 — 19, 2011

Disneyland Park
Disney California Adventure
Monday-Wednesday: 8am - 12midnight
Thursday: 8am - 9pm
Friday: 9am-12midnight
Saturday-Sunday: 8am - 12midnight
Monday-Wednesday: 10am - 10pm
Thursday: 10am - 8:30pm
Friday-Sunday: 10am - 10pm
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—5.8 out of 10
LOW/MEDIUM 1.7—6.7 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 the following periods for refurbishment: June 13—17, June 20—24, and July 11—September 1.

Disney California Adventure

  • Goofy's Sky School: Opens July 1
  • Boardwalk Pizza and Pasta: Opens July 1
  • Paradise Garden Grill: Opens July 1
  • Red Car Trolley: Attraction set to open spring 2012.

Downtown Disney & Hotels of the Disneyland Resort

  • Never Land Pool: Area closed for remodel and re-theming.



DISNEY SAYS MISSION TORTILLA FACTORY CLOSURE WAS A "MUTUAL DECISION"
From the Around Disney blog:
Around Disney: No more free tortillas at Disney park
Fans of the Mission Tortilla Factory at Disney California Adventure will no longer get free tortillas or the tour of the working tortilla factory.

The 10-year-old attraction, in the Pacific Wharf, featured videos of the history of corn and how tortillas were made, as well as a view of machines that made real tortillas. At the end of the demonstration, park-goers were given free, freshly made tortillas.

Disney spokeswoman Betsy Sanchez said the establishment closed on May 31.

“It was a mutual decision not to renew the agreement,” Sanchez said in a prepared statement. “We look forward to providing our guests with a new experience in this location.”

On Tuesday afternoon. a sign reading “Mission Tortilla Factory is Closed,” stood in front of the entrance, much to the disappointment of Andrew and Jillian Powers of Merced.

“We had never been before, but we were going to check it out,” said Andrew Power, 25.

Jillian Powers, 23, said the couple had just come from The Bakery Tour hosted by Boudin Bakery, located directly across the walkway – where it was recommended to visit the Mission Tortilla Factory.

“The bread tour was pretty cool,” she said. “They said they made tortillas here, so we’re a little bummed.”
Rumors on the Internet report a chocolate store will replace the tortilla factory, but Sanchez said no decision has been made.

“We have many businesses interested in joining the Disneyland Resort,” Sanchez said. “However, what will replace the Mission Tortilla Factory is to be determined.”
Link: Around Disney: No more free tortillas at Disney park


SAVE UP TO 25% ON DISNEYLAND RESORT HOTELS THIS SUMMER
Some hotel savings from the Disney Parks Blog:
Even More Reasons to Stay at Disneyland Resort Hotels this Summer
If you’re traveling to the Disneyland Resort this summer, we’ve got some exciting offers and benefits at Resort hotels.

Save Up to 25 Percent: If you stay at a Disneyland Resort hotel from June 19-August 13, when booked by June 18, you could save up to 25 percent!

Two Disney’s FASTPASS Tickets: From now until September 5, your stay at a Disneyland Resort hotel will include two FASTPASS tickets for each person in your party, giving you even more time to enjoy the magic of the Disneyland theme parks. Separate theme park admission is required.

The Little Mermaid ~ Ariel’s Undersea Adventure Early Access: When you stay at a Disneyland Resort from now until September 5, you will have the chance for early access to The Little Mermaid ~ Ariel’s Undersea Adventure 30 minutes before Disney California Adventure park opens for guests! Separate theme park admission is required.

These great offers, along with the summer ticket deal for Southern California residents and all the new attractions and experiences, make this summer a great time to visit the Disneyland Resort!
Link: Even More Reasons to Stay at Disneyland Resort Hotels this Summer


TOUR DISNEYLAND VIRTUALLY WITH THE XBOX 360
A cool new XBox 360 Kinect game out this Christmas will let you tour Disneyland virtually and play fun mini games at your favorite attractions!
Kinect Disneyland Adventures gets its first trailer
We first brought you news of Kinect Disneyland Adventures just before gaming's largest expo, E3, properly kicked off. Revealed by a French TV show, the game lets players stroll around an accurately modelled, virtual Disneyland California. Rather than actually going on the rides, Disneyland Adventures instead turns each ride into a minigame based on the attraction. As you'll see below, you'll be able to sail through Pirates of the Caribbean dodging attacks from the dastardly pirates, snowball Yetis on the Matterhorn, and swordfight with Hook on Peter Pan's flight.

Put quite simply, the possibilites for Disneyland Adventures seem immense. Letting you explore the park at your own free will, there'll be collectibles to find, characters to greet, and even parades and firework displays to watch.

What's more, certain characters you meet will give you "quests" and challenges to complete, which in turn will unlock new minigames around the park. More than just a single player experience, at any time, another player will be able to drop-in in order to help out, whether you're exploring the park, or getting stumped on a particularly difficult minigame, and, somewhat brilliantly, the game will adjust its difficulty to suit. If you're a gamplaying wizard, you won't just blaze a path through this, as the game will adjust its difficulty accordingly to always provide a challenge, while newcomers to Kinect, or games as a whole will be able to enjoy a much calmer experience.
Full story: Kinect Disneyland Adventures gets its first trailer



Okay, that's all for this week's Dateline Disneyland. Be sure to visit our sponsors at TouringPlans.com!

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See you at the parks!
- Andy


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Comments

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  1. Princess Victoria's Avatar
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    I think Huey, Duey, and Louie are high-fiving each other in that picture because of how much cash they're raking in with the higher ticket prices.
  2. LittleSquirt's Avatar
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    NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO price hikes!
    i remember the 3 day 99$ deal...good times...good times.
  3. Wesley815's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tragic
    I had saved for 8 months to take my kids to disneyland and buy a passport for all of them, and now I will not have enough money in august to take them, this is going to break their hearts when I tell them
    So why can't you still take them without buying AP's for everyone? Why do you choose to "break their hearts" with the AP news, instead of just having an amazing 1 day in the park?

    A single day ticket (or park hopper) is not the same price as an AP.

    Maybe I'm missing the point but I know my parents couldn't afford AP's, so we would go once a year or less but still have a great time. Heck as a child I didn't even know what AP's were or that theme parks offered them.
  4. adoborocks's Avatar
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    If the original purpose of elecTRONica (and before it Glow Fest) is to provide an area for guests to spend their time in before World of Color instead of clogging the walkways around Paradise Bay then I wouldn't say it has outstayed its usefulness especially this coming Summer. Sure you could say that they could freshen it up with a new theme but what could fit the dance party theme better than TRON? We don't want to give them any ideas about a "Mickey's Electronic Dance Party" or a "Disney Channel Disco"... Just my opinion but it maybe tired for some but I'd say it still serves its purpose and hasn't been experienced by many.

    BTW Andy I love the updates and read them every week so thank you for that!
  5. HighLeveller's Avatar
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    Yes indeed...the price hikes since I started going regularly in 2006 ($59 one-day then) are getting out of hand. I expect prices to go up, but it's been too much. Since late 2007 I've had an annual pass because it's been the most economical way. But I don't think I'll renew when it's time to in October, and instead take a break from APs for at least the following year and just make a couple two-day visits instead. This would still be less than even a Deluxe. Being in northern CA, a SoCal isn't an option and I don't think I'll even be going that often anyway. Plus some of the other advantages of APs aren't worthwhile anymore, such as discounts: I don't spend much on dining in the parks anymore and have gotten stiffed on AP discounts too many times lately.
  6. Internitty's Avatar
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    It's amazing the amount of work done in Cars Land since the last update!

    I love the look of Kinect Disneyland Adventures - a whole new reason to buy an Xbox I'm thinking!
  7. HUH?'s Avatar
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    Everyone realizes that as long as people keep buying tickets, no matter what the cost, then the prices will continue to rise right? If we want the ticket prices to go down then everyone needs to stay away from the parks for a year or two. If attendance drops for a sustained period of time then there will special deals and/or ticket and AP price drops.

    But if we all want new rides, updated theme-ing, etc etc, and we all keep buying tickets no matter what the cost (first born child is probably what they will want next) then be prepared for the price increases to continue
  8. WorldLover71's Avatar
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    I don't have a problem with elecTronica per say. What I do have a problem with it putting semi-permanent light towers, stages and other items in a theamed area. I know Hollywoodland hasn't had most of its redevelopment yet but the poles and all don't belong there and i find them ugly-at least during the day. If they were there for a few weeks for a special event (like the Pirates premier in DL) it would be one thing but leaving them there indefinitely doesn't work for me. I certainly hope there's nothing like this around after Hollywoodland received its full re-theaming.
  9. Timekeeper's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by WorldLover71
    I don't have a problem with elecTronica per say. What I do have a problem with it putting semi-permanent light towers, stages and other items in a theamed area. I know Hollywoodland hasn't had most of its redevelopment yet but the poles and all don't belong there and i find them ugly-at least during the day. If they were there for a few weeks for a special event (like the Pirates premier in DL) it would be one thing but leaving them there indefinitely doesn't work for me. I certainly hope there's nothing like this around after Hollywoodland received its full re-theaming.
    Well, they could put those temp-light poles underground and have the area look like it's time period during the day and at night have the light poles up, (along with some embedded lighting in the buildings too.) So that there would be no theme clashes!

    Also, wouldn't it be soooo redundant if Kinect Disneyland Adventures was in Innoventions, hahaha....oh wait.

    Anyways, great update.


    Timekeeper
  10. cahousewife's Avatar
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    so I just got off the phone with disneyland and to upgrade my deluxe passport for the 4th of july weekend I am going to have to pay the new adjusted price.....510.00
    stupid disneyland!!!!...their price increase totally screwed up my vacation plans. I already paid for the hotel... I have 3 kids...I wasn't expecting this hike...this is totally messed up!!!
  11. cahousewife's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HUH?
    Everyone realizes that as long as people keep buying tickets, no matter what the cost, then the prices will continue to rise right? If we want the ticket prices to go down then everyone needs to stay away from the parks for a year or two. If attendance drops for a sustained period of time then there will special deals and/or ticket and AP price drops.

    But if we all want new rides, updated theme-ing, etc etc, and we all keep buying tickets no matter what the cost (first born child is probably what they will want next) then be prepared for the price increases to continue
    LOL!
  12. Not My Real Name's Avatar
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    I knew prices were going up, I knew it, I knew it!! That's why i bought my So Cal Select pass in May under the payment plan. Now i'm paying only $9 a month. i can't visit in the summer, but I don't really go in the summer anyway; it's too hot and too crowded, even on a weekday.
  13. jasonk5's Avatar
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    Tired TRON: Legacy theme??

    You always have great reports Andy, and I truly look forward to them. And I understand this statement knowing that you go to the parks all the time.
    But I live way up in Washington State, and we visit the parks quite frequently for being so far away from both DL and DW. We were at DL in Oct 2010, and ElecTronica was a few weeks away from opening. I was pretty bummed. We just recently came down again for the Pirates premiere in May, and was so glad ElecTronica was going the Sunday after the premiere. My 6 yo son and I really enjoyed it, even though we were trying to do all of the weekend evening entertainment in that night (ElecTronica, fireworks, Pirates 4 sneak preview, Small World nighttime show.) We would look forward to ElecTronica again if it would still be going next time we are down. It was cool with all of the projections and sound clips from the movie, Laserman, Wii setups, and the best part of all--a retro 80's video game arcade. Where am I ever going to see that again with working 80's arcade games? It was like I stepped back in time.
    Regardless, we thought it was great and appreciate the effort Disney put into this obvious commercial push--but yet what isn't commercially oriented to some degree at Disneyland?
  14. Tragic's Avatar
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    [QUOTE=Wesley815;bt18113]So why can't you still take them without buying AP's for everyone? Why do you choose to "break their hearts" with the AP news, instead of just having an amazing 1 day in the park?

    A single day ticket (or park hopper) is not the same price as an AP.

    Maybe I'm missing the point but I know my parents couldn't afford AP's, so we would go once a year or less but still have a great time. Heck as a child I didn't even know what AP's were or that theme parks offered them.[/QUOTE]

    It is because with my disability we cannot do the parks like a normal family. When you ride 10-15 rides in a day, we ride 3 rides. And we have to spend more time for the trip because I cannot travel at close intervals. So we take a 10 day trip down there, which gives me enough time to feel okay for the return trip home. It costs alot to do, but it is the only way to have a vacation with my family because of my tumors.

    This price hike was a big hit to people who do not have throw away money. The guy in the article that said it was no big deal was an idiot, the average family cannot afford this. Luckily I found a website that was still selling the tickets at the old price, if not then I would have had a hard time making up the difference.
  15. Shipperson's Avatar
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    For any fans of the daily flag retreat at Disneyland, I hear that there will be cutbacks to the flag retreat! They are trying to change it so that Ernie, can not honor veterans in attendance and calling them out by name. He also will not be able to train other security officers on how to preform the flag retreat! If you enjoy the flag retreat, you need to write a letter to the "entertainment director" at Disneyland and tell him not to change the way the flag retreat is done, especially the way Ernie does it! Does Dusty or anyone know the name of Disneyland's Entertainment director! We need to move on this right away! They have plans on altering the flag retreat soon!
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