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.
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 HazeltonStatistician, TouringPlans.com
Crowd Calendar Prediction
Actual Crowd Levels
Sun. June 5
Mon. June 6
Tue. June 7
Wed. June 8
Thu. June 9
Fri. June 10
Sat. June 11
Crowd levels are based on a scale from 1 to 10, with 1 being the least crowded conditions and 10 being most crowded.
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
Three-Day Park Hopper
$224 / $208
$206 / $185
Up $18 / $23
So. Cal Select Annual Passport
So. Cal Annual Passport
Deluxe Annual Passport
Premium Annual Passport
Premier Annual Passport
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Experience Disneyland at 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!
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.”
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!
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.
Okay, that's all for this week's Dateline Disneyland. Be sure to visit our sponsors at TouringPlans.com!
Thanks to MiceChat's Fishbulb for some extra help this week.
Thank you for reading! Share Dateline Disneyland with your friends and family and be sure to join the discussion below!
For even more photos, check out the Dateline Disneyland Smugmug photo albums. All of our unedited photos taken for our weekly updates are available here to view in high resolution: datelinedisneyland.smugmug.com.
We're only here because of your support. If you enjoy Dateline Disneyland every week please consider helping us out by donating a buck or two so we can pay the bills and keep the updates coming! You can donate with a click of a button via PayPal — click here!
Don't forget that MiceChat has lots of new content throughout the week! For even more Disneyland news, photos and information check out the In the Parks column on Fridays. And MiceChat's Weekend Update, tours the world of Disney theme parks and other worldly sights and landmarks!
See you at the parks! - Andy
Interested in sponsorship or advertising opportunities
with Dateline Disneyland?Contact us!