2/11/08 - Monday in the Parks - News and Photos
by, 02-11-2008 at 01:45 AM
Well, Happy Monday, and for some of you, hope you are enjoying your holiday.
Today, February 11th is a holiday for some students in celebration of President Lincoln's Birthday. This weekend, the parks were busier than normal due to the holiday weekend, and Disney has extended hours in preparation to the large crowds expected today.
Tuesday the 12th is the actual date for President Lincoln's birthday, and many State and local government employees will have the day off, including the State Court system, and most County of Orange employees.
Some Community Colleges in California will take off Friday the 15th in honor of Lincoln's Birthday, giving them a 4 day holiday weekend.
Monday, February 18th is a Federal Holiday, President's Day. Many schools are now getting a full week off for President's Day, and Disney has extended hours the entire week. And for those Cove Bar fans, the bar will open daily for the week, instead of the normal weekend only hours.
Also, note that the large crowds are also being effected by the 2fer offer to Southern California Residents. This offer is making both parks busier, and is more noticeable in DCA, due to its smaller capacity and size.
A ad from Sunday's Orange County Register, Disney is still claiming "Pay for Disneyland, get DCA for FREE!"
Last week, King Arthur Carrousel closed unexpectedly, and currently is being repaired. The current return date is "To be Determined", which, unfortunately, caused an issue with the Disney computers. The way they get listed on the computer is that the attraction is listed close for any future date, and that is now through early 2009. The attraction should reopen long before that, as repairs are currently going on.
Some of the horses and the support poles have been removed. Photo from 2/10/08.
Today is the last day to watch Playhouse Disney at DCA, as it closes Tuesday to allow for the installation of all new sets and a new script to focus on the current new shows on the Disney Channel. WDW has just got the new show installed and is currently being performed. DCA's version is scheduled to premiere on Friday, March 14th.
The Matterhorn is going to shut down this Tuesday the 12th and Wednesday the 13th for basic maintenance and testing, and will reopen on Thursday. It is also scheduled to close for 3 days from February 25th through the 27th.
Monsters, Inc. reopen last Friday after a lengthy refurb. The main issue was safety, as they installed Air Gates at the loading platform, and added other safety devices throughout the attraction. They also cleaned up and did basic maintenance. The smells piped throughout the ride seemed to be working a lot better when I rode the attraction on Friday.
Also, Big Thunder Ranch reopened last Friday. The only main change was the replacement of the main Petting area fence.
Disney's California Adventure Park's 7th Anniversary
Last Friday, February 8th, was the 7th Birthday of DCA. Disney did not do anything to let the park guests know that it was the anniversary, but the park CM's that worked that day did get some treats backstage.
Friday at 11:30 AM, this is DCA's 7th Anniversary
Yesterday's New York Times had a great article dealing with the construction of the new Toy Story Mania! attraction scheduled to open later this year. MiceAge's Senior Editor and Publisher AL Lutz was quoted about the attraction. But what caught my eye was the general description of DCA on the weekend of the 7th BD.
Super Bowl XLII winner Eli Manning misses Disneyland Press Event
Visit Disney’s California Adventure — a 55-acre theme park next door to the fabled progenitor of the modern amusement Mecca, Disneyland — and you will find a noisy reminder of what happens when a company loses its focus and cuts corners.
The Walt Disney Company built the park on the cheap in 2001, and many rides are copies of familiar carnival workhorses like the Ferris wheel. A lack of landscaping can leave guests sweltering. Outdoor shows were borrowed from other Disney properties. And the theme, built around tributes to California, is modest except for an occasionally unintentional ghost-town atmosphere: The park draws about 6 million visitors a year, a trickle compared with the 15 million who swarm Disneyland.
Now, Disney is embarking on a $1.1 billion, five-year effort to get California Adventure on track. The blueprints call for ripping out ho-hum rides and adding elaborate new ones, rebuilding the park’s entrance — a hodgepodge of turnstiles, a miniature Golden Gate Bridge and pastel tile murals — to shift the focus to Disney iconography.
Due to traffic issues at the Phoenix Airport, Eli Manning couldn't make it to the Monday, February 4th event. Brady MacDonald over at the Los Angeles Times reported that Eli Manning has decided to take a vacation to the Bahamas, and there is no scheduled date for him to appear at a Disney Park. (He only has to attend either Disneyland or Walt Disney World).
Hint of the Week
If you are lucky enough to win a Dream Fastpass at the Disneyland Resort, there has a been a positive change in the rules. Official policy is now that the Dream Fastpass is good on any day of the year, and does not have to be used on the day won. (CM's are taught to check the Large Dream Fastpass and the small ride stub, and verify it has the same serial number when a winner enters the Fastpass queue). There were some complaints when folks won a Dream Fastpass on a slow weekday, as many Fastpass attractions do not offer the service on slow weekdays (usually only 2 out of the 5 FP's at DCA and 5 out of the 7 at Disneyland are offered on slow days). Also this helps out if an attraction is closed for refurb or the fact it broke down.
Free (well, almost) Hotel Rooms on February 26th at the Ramada Maingate
In celebration of the hotel's 35th Anniversary, the Ramada Maingate on Harbor (near Disney Way) will give you a free hotel stay for one night if you donate at least $35 to WorldVision to help feed the hungry and help the impoverished in Uganda.
You can find all the details at this link (and of course, supply is limited).
Orange County Visitor Spending Hits Record High In 2007
The Anaheim/Orange County Visitor & Convention Bureau recently issued this Press Release
Anaheim GardenWalk planning a Big Charity Grand Opening featuring the Band Chicago on May 15th
Orange County Visitor Spending Hits Record High In 2007
Economic Impact of Area Tourism Totals $8.3 Billion
Anaheim, Calif. (January 29, 2008) - The Anaheim/Orange County Visitor & Convention Bureau reports that 2007 visitor spending hit a record-breaking $8.3 billion. According to CIC Research preliminary end-of-the year figures indicate that visitor spending increased nearly 4% for the year. The volume of visitors to the Anaheim and Orange County area dropped slightly to 44.4 million people for 2007 (from a peak of 44.9 million in 2006), but a little bit of softness in visitor volume was expected following the Disney 50th year celebration and promotion.
Skip Hull, Vice President of CIC Research said, "although the U.S. economy has stumbled a little in recent months, the Orange County visitor spending numbers for 2007 reflected the industry's strong hotel revenue performance -- up more than 8% through November. We expect a more modest growth in visitor spending in 2008."
Orange County is located in the center of the populous Southern California region, and continues to attract more than 60% of its overnight leisure visitors from the western portion of the United States. Additionally, the local area is gaining international travelers. International visitors make up 10% of Orange County’s annual overnight tourism market. These visitors traditionally stay in a destination longer and spend more money during their stay.
During 2007, Anaheim was the host city of Travel Industry Association’s premier international tourism tradeshow “Pow Wow.” During Pow Wow more than 5,000 buyers, sellers and international media experienced this destination for the first time. According to TIA the host city’s return on investment is $3 million in future business in the 3-5 years following Pow Wow.
Business travel is also a large factor in the success for the area's visitor industry. Anaheim has the largest convention center in the West Coast and consistently draws more than one million convention delegates and meeting attendees annually. The area’s hotel base is also very strong and has an inventory of more than 55,000 guest rooms in Orange County with nearly 20,000 in the Anaheim area alone. The average hotel occupancy in Anaheim/Orange County is 70% annually.
Charles Ahlers, president of the Anaheim Orange County Visitor & Convention Bureau stated, "2007 was a milestone year for our destination in terms of achieving international attention. We are working toward keeping the spotlight shining on Anaheim and Orange County this year, as new entertainment, dining, meeting space and hotels are developed and enhanced.”
The major visitor spending categories and visitor demographics are as follows:
Spending Categories: ($74/day: including day and overnight visitors to OC)
30% Meals & Beverages
Area of Residence (All Visitors to OC - Prel. 2007)
56% Southern California
9% Northern California
15% Rest of Western U.S.
6% Southern U.S.
4% Midwestern U.S.
3% Northeastern U.S.
7% International Visitors
Source: CIC Research, Inc., "Preliminary 2007 O.C. Visitor Survey."
Home to renowned beaches, world-famous theme parks and attractions, exciting professional sports, unique shopping, arts and cultural events, and award-winning restaurants, Southern California’s Anaheim/Orange County is a blend of sights and experiences complemented by warm sunshine. For more information about Anaheim/Orange County, visit anaheimoc.org or call 714/765-8888.
Sarah Tully at the Orange County Register reported this week that a special Grand Opening event is being planned for May 15th, with the money raised going to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. The regular Grand Opening of the center would be at a later date in the month.
But the new Multi-plex Movie Theater, called The Movie Experience, might open prior to the official Grand Opening. This will be the third "Movie Experience" location in California.
This theater will feature an IMAX theater, and has applied for a beer and wine liquor license (to be served in segregated areas in the theater auditorium and lobby areas).
And of course, a few photos from the last week from my photo album site, http://darkbeer.smugmug.com
Facade work continues on Main Street, this time using a painted tarp
A photo from Sunday, 2/10/08 showing the progress around the new Toy Story Mania! attraction.
Wednesday, February 6th had the first pieces of steel placed for the new Pony Express attraction scheduled to open this Summer at Knott's Berry Farm.
Here is hoping everyone has a great holiday, whenever you get the day off.