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3/17/08 - Monday in the Parks - News, Photos and Tips

Rating: 6 votes, 4.33 average.
by , 03-17-2008 at 02:45 AM
Happy St. Patrick's Day to everyone! Let's get started.

Upcoming Events in the Anaheim Area

Well, the next few weeks will be busy at the local Theme Parks as Easter/Spring Break gets into full gear. So just be prepared for the large crowds, and have a good time. But here is a heads up of a couple of events that will impact the parks.

NCAA March Madness is coming to Anaheim.

The Honda Center is hosting some of the 1st and 2nd round games in the Men's Basketball tournament, which will be held Thursday, March 20th through Sunday, March 23rd, so be prepared to see many guests in their favorite college colors.

Mini Gay Day

Mini Gay Day will be held on Saturday, April 5th this year. It is a much less formal, and a smaller event than the big bash that is held in October (scheduled for October 3rd-5th in 2008). As with all Gay Day events, the folks who come for the festivities wear Red Shirts.

There are only 3 main events being held.

11:30 AM - Single Riders Meet on the Mark Twain Steamboat

2 PM - Group Photo in front of the Castle

9 PM - Meeting at the Hearthstone Lounge at the Grand Californian Hotel to mingle and enjoy beverages.

More info can be found at this link.

TEA and ERA Release Annual Theme Park Attendance Numbers for 2007

Let's start with the general trend for North American Parks. Total visits to the top 20 parks were 122.8 million, an increase of 2.6% as compared to 2006. (Note: North America for this report is just the United States and Canada, Mexico parks are listed in the Latin America geographic region).

Here is the list of the Top 20 Amusement/Theme Parks in North America for 2007.

1. Magic Kingdom (WDW) - 17,060,000 - Up 2.5% (Worldwide rank - 1)

2. Disneyland - 14,870,000 - Up 1% (Worldwide rank - 2)

3. EPCOT - 10,930,000 - Up 4.5% (Worldwide rank - 6)

4. Disney's Hollywood Studios - 9,510,000 - Up 4.5% (Worldwide rank - 7)

5. Disney's Animal Kingdom - 9,490,000 - Up 6.5% (Worldwide rank - 8)

6. Universal Studios Orlando - 6,200,000 - Up 3.3% (Worldwide rank - 11)

7. SeaWorld Florida - 5,800,000 - Up 1% (Worldwide Rank - 12)

8. Disney's California Adventure - 5,680,000 - Down 4.5% (Worldwide rank - 13)

9. Islands of Adventure - 5,430,000 - Up 2.5% (Worldwide rank - 15)

10. Universal Studios Hollywood - 4,700,000 - Flat (Worldwide rank - 18)

11. Busch Gardens Tampa Bay - 4,400,000 - Up 1%

12. SeaWorld California - 4,260,000 - Flat

13. Knott's Berry Farm - 3,630,000 - Down 1%

14. Canada's Wonderland - 3,250,000 - Up 0.5%

15. Busch Gardens Europe - 3,157,000 - Up 12.5%

16. Cedar Point - 3,120,000 - Up 1.5%

17. Kings Island - 3,050,000 - Flat

18. Hershey Park - 2,940,000 - Up 9.2%

19. Six Flags Great Adventure - 2,720,000 - Down 0.5%

20. Six Flags Great America - 2,630,000 - Up 0.5%

So if we focus on the Southern California market, we can see it didn't do as well as the Orlando area in increased attendance. But what stands out is the large decrease at DCA, the only US Disney park to have a decrease, and also had the largest decrease in the Top 20 list (only 3 parks had a decrease).

So the Disneyland Resort had a total attendance of 20,550,000 for its two parks in 2007, based on the TEA/ERA report, which makes it about 3 to 1 of folks attending Disneyland as compared to DCA (the percentage is actually 27.6%).

And of course, most of DCA's attendance comes from discounted Multi-Day ParkHoppers, the 2fer program (which now runs thru May 22nd, even though Disney has failed to update its TV and Print ads, which still shows an April end. has the correct ending date), Annual Passholders, Comps and sign-ins. Very few single day tickets are sold for DCA. So you can see why Disney is investing so much money over the next few years to improve the park.

You can find the full report, including all the Worldwide numbers at this link.

And by the way, a common question is how does ERA get its information, well ERA obtains the figures used to create this report through a variety of sources, including statistics furnished directly by the operators, historical numbers, financial reports, the investment banking community and local tourism organizations, among others.

World's Largest Embassy Suites to be built in Garden Grove

The Orange County Register reported this week that the Garden Grove City Council gave final approval to allow expansion of the current Embassy Suites on Harbor Boulevard, near Chapman. A new 17 story building will be built (which will be the tallest structure in the resort area when finished) to hold an additional 238 rooms.

Here are some selected photos from

The new Sheraton Garden Grove, located just south of the Embassy Suites is progressing nicely

Work is progressing on the Cold Stone Creamery, which will be part of the Park Vue Inn on Harbor

A new fleet of Cast Member Shuttles have been placed in service

A look at Disney Legend Bob Gurr's window

The recent Jungle Cruise refurb has brought a lot more color to the attraction

King Arthur Carrousel is behind tarps, and might not be ready to reopen in April, the last announced return date.

Thanks to some color editing, a look behind the tarp shows that all the horses have been taken backstage

A look at the Tomorrowland Monorail station platform, where they had to cut off the corners on both ends for the new Mark VII. Testing continues, and if all goes well, hopefully the new Mark VII will be ready for guests in about a month (mid-April).

The Grand Californian/Disney Vacation Club project is progressing nicely

The new Emergency Egress Bridge next to Whitewater Snacks is almost complete

This will allow the Miner 49'ers band to return to in front of GRR. They are scheduled to return this Thursday.

The pathway between the Sun Wheel and California Screamin' is now open

But there are plenty of refurb walls still up in the area.

Disney has decided to keep "High School Musical 2" to a 5 day a week operation (dark Wednesday and Thursday) even during the Peak Easter Break period

Seasons of the Vine will close Sunday, March 30th to allow for the building to be converted to a DCA Preview Center, scheduled to open in June, to match up with the opening of Toy Story Mania! So this is your last chance to see the movie, if you can find someone to open it up for you. One hint, try and check around the top of the hour to see if a CM is available to operate the attraction.

And to end the article, Happy Easter to everyone!

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Updated 03-17-2008 at 05:21 AM by In the Parks



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  1. VeganPrincess's Avatar
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    Wow...let's hope that this billion dollar DCA refurb shows in next year's (and the next year's) attendance figures.
  2. disneylanddad's Avatar
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    DCA is considered a failure and it still ranked 5 spots higher than Knott's Berry Farm in attendance! Wow, those twofers must be a lot of DCA's attendance numbers!
  3. Leofoenget's Avatar
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    Its nice to see Great America (same owners as Knotts) up 1/2 % #20!! I'm happy.
  4. ericmryan's Avatar
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    That's the wrong "Great America". "Six Flags Great America" in Gurnee, IL is ranked #20. Not "California's Great America" in Santa Clara, CA. That's the park owned by Knott's owners Cedar Fair. They also own "Cedar Point" and others.
  5. Skippy's Avatar
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    15. Busch Gardens Europe

    I'm guessing that one is not actually in North America?
  6. ericmryan's Avatar
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    "Busch Gardens Europe" is in Virginia. It's the newer name for "Busch Gardens, Williamsburg"
  7. Wanda Woman's Avatar
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    Whitewater Snacks' "Emergency Egress Bridge"? Is that so we can exit DCA and get to the nachos EVEN FASTER?

    I think one of my Million Dreams is about to come true.
  8. wdwnut4life's Avatar
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    MK, Disneyland & Epcot are in top 3!! hurray! Disneynut4life!
    Updated 03-17-2008 at 01:50 PM by Dustysage
  9. filmfreak11's Avatar
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    That new Sheraton Garden Grove paint job looks exactly like my college dorm's new paint job...

    Yeah, about every hour they'll show Seasons of the Vine. Just meet at the exit, they don't even bother with the real entrance
  10. basx's Avatar
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  11. mamabot's Avatar
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    Is it just me or are the picture caption fonts very small?
  12. Emiko's Avatar
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    The Orange County Register reported this week that the Garden Grove City Council gave final approval to allow expansion of the current Embassy Suites on Harbor Boulevard, near Chapman. A new 17 story building will be built (which will be the tallest structure in the resort area when finished) to hold an additional 238 rooms.
    DO NOT WANT! Whatever happened to the agreement with the City of Anaheim about no buildings being visible from inside the Parks?
  13. Darkbeer's Avatar
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    But the "Embassy Suites Anaheim - South" (The official name the hotel uses) is not in the City of Anaheim, but it is located in the City Limits of Garden Grove. It is a bit confusing in the area, as Harbor Boulevard is the boundary. The East side of the Street, such as the Toys R Us site across the street is in Anaheim, but the West side, which has the Embassy Suites, a Residence Inn and the Hyatt on Harbor is in Garden Grove.

    The same rule applies to Chapman, some of the South side of the street, such as the Target, is in Garden Grove, while the North side of the street is in Anaheim.

    So there is no deal with Disney and Garden Grove that would prevent the project, and since the Garden Grove City Council has approved the project, well, no turning back now....
  14. Emiko's Avatar
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    Oh. I didn't know where the city-limits line ran. Thanks for the clarification. :-)
  15. ahecht's Avatar
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    Can someone explain what the deal with the new bridge is, and what it has to do with the Miner 49ers?
  16. Darkbeer's Avatar
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    The typical "Miner 49'er" stage was placed behind the refurb walls to allow for the building of the new bridge (they used the platform for equipment storage). So the Miner's 49'ers returned to the performance area next to the entrance to "a bug's land", where they performed prior to moving to the GRR area a couple of years ago.

    With the expected removal of the refurb walls in the next day or two, it will open up the area that the Miner 49'ers have performed at in the recent past.

    The new bridge is basically to keep the Orange County Fire Marshall happy, as the DVC construction has eliminated certain escape routes in case of a fire. The bridge will allow hotel guests to leave the area and enter DCA, even in the middle of the night, if a situation happens in the hotel area, and folks need to evacuate. Basically, Safety first!
  17. SoCal's Avatar
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    Thanks for the update, but never understood why it is called 'Monday in the parks' when week-in-week-out only a small percentage is "in the park" stuff......
  18. DL_CRAZE's Avatar
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    Wow Darkbeer, how did u know that the preview center is set to open in june? i remember reading about a november/decermber opening.
  19. ttrocc7007's Avatar
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    And on a personal note, I finally conquered all four mountains in one day for the first time (Space, Big Thunder, Splash and the Matterhorn). I figured at 52, I better get it done!
    I had never been in the park as it rained before either. I had been there on clear days, and I had visited on rainy days, but never before on a day when it rained mid way. Watching the Disneyland Band scurrying for cover midway through the flag retreat ceremony was pretty funny. The color guard as always comported themselves with honor and decorum.
    Geez, i sure do love the place!
  20. Big D's Avatar
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    I am in shock that DCA took in more visitor's than Islands of Adventure. IOA is so much better it's not even close, it's like the difference between Knott's and Disneyland. I guess the Disney name is still a strong enough brand???

    By the way, ttrocc, if you really want to do something cool, do ALL the Disney mountains in the US in one day. You'd have to start in Orlando, do Space, Thunder, Splash, and Everest, then take the AA 1:00pm - 3:15pm (time difference works in your advantage here) and fly to John Wayne, then do the 4 mountains here. Someday I'm not only going to do it, I'm going to have a shirt made up with a checklist on the back and have a ride operator from each attraction sign the back of the shirt.
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