Runners take over Disneyland, Labor Day events, Free Chicken and much more!
by, 09-04-2009 at 05:06 AM
Well, it is September, Murphy has finally shown her face, and kids are going back to school... Perfect time to head to Disneyland, right? Well, sure, so long as you know there will be some strange things happening and you are prepared for them.
Marathon weekend... News, tips and hints on how to make the best of it if you are just planning to attend the parks.
Disneyland will be hosting a Half-Marathon and many events on Saturday and Sunday will have some impact on park guests.
Plenty of details, along with maps of the running courses can be found in this PDF file of the Official Race Guide.
Let's start with the Park Hours...
First off, Magic Mornings (a special perk for those who buy advance purchase Multi-Day ParkHoppers (3 day and longer) and a few other selected folks) will have a different schedule. There will be no Magic Morning on Saturday due to the events.
Also, the park turnstiles will not open early (aka no rope drop) as Disney will need the time to prepare the park for normal operation.
Regular Park Hours -
Disneyland - 9 AM to Midnight
California Adventure - 10 AM to 9 PM
Disneyland - 9:30 AM to Midnight
California Adventure - 10 Am to 8 PM
Disneyland - 9 AM to 11 PM
California Adventure - 10:30 AM to 8 PM
The Main event on Saturday is a 5K Family Fun Run that start at 6:45 AM and uses both parks as the course, first inside of DCA, and finishing in Disneyland.
The finish line, and some short kids races will be held on Main Street until about 9 AM, and this will create some interesting traffic, as Disney will ask all participants to exit the park prior to the scheduled 9:30 AM opening.
Many "regular" park guests will be waiting to enter the parks, as many of them will expect the park to open earlier than normal, and then you add to this all the other folks exiting into the Main Entrance Plaza, and you will have large crowds and some confusion.
There is no big parking/traffic issues, but there will be some folks exiting the parking structure in the morning and be placed onto Disneyland Drive Northbound.
Sunday is the Main Event, with about 18,000 runners both in the parks, and on the roads in Anaheim, with the course going past the Honda Center and Angel Stadium. The event kicks off at 6 AM (Wheelchair Races start at 5:55 AM). The course starts next to the Parking Structure and heads through both DCA and Disneyland before heading to Ball Road and the Sports Venues before coming back using Disney Way to DCA.
One major change this year (and a good one), runners will not go through Downtown Disney, instead going straight through DCA to Disneyland Drive and the Simba Parking Lot before heading north to the Finish Line.
Last year, there was a lot of problems, first off, Hotel Guests were "landlocked" and could not walk to the parks, instead having to use shuttles which were overwhelmed with guests. Also the restaurants that open early for Breakfast could not have its customers access their restaurants.
So what to do, for those who go to Disneyland using I-5 South (coming from the LA area), no major change, exit at Disneyland Drive, and the police will have you use the Ball Road Flyover to go directly to the Parking Structure and avoid all the Marathon road issues.
Now for those who come to Disneyland from the South Orange County/San Diego area, you will want to make some changes to your normal plans if you arrive prior to 10:30 AM. The best bet, take I-5 Northbound PAST Disneyland to Lincoln Avenue. At then end of the off-ramp, make a left onto Lincoln, and then in a few blocks, take the I-5 South exit to get back onto the Freeway and then use the Disneyland Drive exit to enter the Parking Structure. This will have you avoid all the road closures (which will include the Katella Ave/Disney Way offramp).
After 10:30 AM, I would take the Disney Way exit and park at Pumbaa or Anaheim GardenWalk, wherever they are directing traffic.
For those using surface streets, one big change, the runners will be using Disneyland Drive near the Paradise Pier Hotel at the end of the course, so I would avoid the street until 10:30 AM.
The Orange County Register has a very good graphic showing all the Road Closures at this link.
Also, for those who use Public Transportation, there will be many route changes Sunday Morning, here are the route changes.
Also note, that many of the runners and their families and friends will stay and visit the parks, but others will be headed home, which will have a large amount of vehicles exiting the parking structure in the late morning, causing some heavy traffic on and near Ball Road and Disneyland Drive.
While I normally recommend that folks get to the parks early, this weekend I suggest taking your time and wait at least a half hour after park opening before trying to enter the park, this way you should avoid a very packed Main Entrance Plaza.
Orange International Street Fair
So you are thinking about avoiding Disneyland this weekend, and looking for something else to do, there is a fun event just a few miles away. Alas, it will also cause some roads to be closed.
The main road closure will be Chapman Avenue in the Orange Circle area. My best suggestion, avoid the parking hassles and take the bus. Here is the routes that serve the area, and their temporary routes due to the road closures.
Union Protesters allowed to hand out flyers on Disneyland Resort Property
I went to the park Thursday to gather photos for today's update, and saw more "Shame on You" signs around the resort, including one right in front of the Main Pedestrian Entrance.
That is expected, and they are on a public sidewalk.
Then I found another one on Disneyland Hotel Property, right in front of the Valet Parking entrance, which was surprising, as they had another one right near the Disneyland Hotel parking entrance, which is on a public street (Magic Way).
But the most surprising thing, once I got through the West Security Check at the Main Entrance Plaza, Disney was allowing protesters to hand out flyers to guests entering the park. To me this was surprising, as they were clearly on property and interacting with guests, which in the past has been a big no-no. Security advised me that Disney's Legal Department said to allow the flyers to be handed out.
Hopefully this will not "open the door" to allow more similar types of protests to do the same, such as the Unite HERE Union, which has always held their protests in the past on Public Property.
Murphy makes the Front Page of the Orange County Register
In case you missed it, here is the link to the MiceAge coverage of the Dragon Premiere....
And of course, the Orange County Register Link...
Jewel of Orleans to offer Premium Annual Passholders a discount
Dianne's Estate Jewellery, also known as Jewel of Orleans has started to offer Premium Annual Passholders a 10% discount off any item in their Disneyland store.
Jewel of Orleans, located next door to the main entrance of the French Market specializes in Estate Jewellery, also known and "previously owned", or antique. And folks, while the prices they offer are quite reasonable, they are not on the lower end of the scale, expect to spend Hundreds of Dollars, if not Thousands for an item. But as the saying goes, you get what you paid for.
Dianne's also offers a very nice layaway program. Just 10% down, and then you have 12 months to make monthly payments to pay off the balance. And there is no interest or layaway charge to set up the program.
Note, the Premium AP discount cannot be combined with any other discount, and is only valid at the Disneyland location. Please see the store for complete details and restrictions.
And Dianne's just started a Facebook page, so make sure and check it out. (There are a couple of photos of items other guests have bought in the past).
Captain EO update
I know not everyone checks out the editor's note at the top of the Main Page of MiceAge.com, so here is today's info from Al Lutz.
And you really should be checking the top of the page every day
Honey I Shrunk The Audience will now be closed next week, Tues thru Thurs. WDI will be installing the Captain EO special effects to prepare the theater for Thur's private performance of the old show for Jay Rasulo and other bigwigs in Anaheim for the D23 Expo. Assuming Rasulo can find Tomorrowland (turn right in front of the castle) and no one in the audience has any objections to the show, Rasulo should then announce EO's January return during his Expo presentation on the 12th.
Free Chicken Sandwiches Monday
On Monday, September 7th, from 10:30 Am to close, Chick-fil-A stores will give anyone wearing T-Shirt or Jersey with a Sports Team Logo a free Original Chicken Sandwich.
Here is a fun little website that promotes the offer.
Mitchell Musso from Hannah Montana signs Autographs in Downtown Disney
Yesterday afternoon, a large crowd of fans stood in line in front of Studio Disney 365 to meet Michael Musso.
Here is a link to the Orange County Register coverage of the event.
Tony Baxter attends the History of Knott's Berry Farm Book signing
We mentioned the event last week article, and the event was a success, with all the books that was ordered by the park selling out. (200 copies)
And while a lot of old Knott's employees were in attendance, one well known person to MiceAge/MiceChat showed up.
Tony Baxter is a big Knott's fan, and has been going to the park for decades, and is a regular guest at Haunt.
Left to right, Jay Jennings, the author, Tony Baxter, Steve Knott (Grandson of Walter Knott) and Jo Burdick, one of the first Can-Can dancers.
Selected Photos from Darkbeer.Smugmug.com
A new Stand is being built in front of the Fantasia Gardens area (East side Smoking area)
New Awnings have been added to the Former Bank of Main Street
The Facilities Building next to Monsters Inc. is progressing
As you can tell from this shot from Thursday, the Paradise Pier Lake is not yet ready to be filled up.
The ads at the Main Tram Loading area have been updated, currently mentioning Toy Story Mania!. More than likely they will be replaced on September 25th with Halloween Themed signage.
Say goodbye to the old Disneyland Hotel Furniture
The South half of the Dreams Tower s currently closed for the major makeover.
Thank you for all the nice comments in regards to my KABC TV News appearance.
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Best wishes and prayers to all those who have been affected by the Southern California Wildfires, may you remain safe! Wishing all of you a fantastic Labor Day weekend - we'll see you in the parks!