8/25/08 - Monday in the Parks - News, Photos and Tips
by, 08-25-2008 at 04:46 AM
Lots to get to, including an Universal Studios Hollywood Fire Update, so time to start.
"What Will You Celebrate?" on October 5th
News broke Friday Morning that Disneyland will be hosting a Major Press Event on Sunday October 5th. While the "Spin" on the event is that it is Miley Cyrus's 16th Birthday Celebration, in reality, it is the Disney Parks and Resorts first major event to unveil the new 2009 Marketing Campaign.
And while Disneyland has kept the date fairly free of conflicts, Walt Disney World cleared the weekend a couple of weeks ago, even cancelling the Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party for October 4th and refunding paid tickets.
So there has been a lot of behind the scenes stuff to figure out where to hold the event, but when the dust settled, Disneyland was chosen for the event, which will be very similar to how the Pirates Premieres were handled.
Earlier this week, the special after hour Halloween Party in Orlando was placed back on the schedule, and work behind the scenes started to prepare for the Anaheim event, which is 6 weeks away.
The Parks operating hours have changed, with Disneyland Park now open at 6:30 AM, and the park turnstiles closing at 5 PM. Disney's California Adventure will be open from 10 AM to 11 PM, to allow guests a place to go when Disneyland shuts down.
First off, how to pay for the event, and get "extras" for the photo and video that will be taken during the event. About 5,000 tickets will go on sale Saturday, August 30th at 9 AM PDT at http://www.disneyparks.com/miley. Tickets are $250 per person, and Disney will very likely require an Adult to attend with each group, to make sure the kids attending will be chaperoned. Disney has stated that some of the revenue from the event will be donated to the Youth Service America charity. Here is hoping they do not use the same company that handles the Candlelight Dinner reservations for Disneyland, as there have been major issues in past years with the large volume of traffic that the event brings when reservations are opened up for sale.
And where to place 5,000 guests to watch Miley Cyrus sing a couple of songs and get Birthday Wishes? Looks like bleachers will once again be installed in the Rivers of America area to handle the size of the crowd. (And why the Disneyland Refurbishment schedule was switched around a few weeks ago.)
Of course, the details are still being worked on, and everything at Disney is subject to change, but expect a special Red Carpet to be placed down Main Street which will allow the Press to get photos of Miley and some of her celebrity friends attending the event. Note that I said "turnstiles closing at 5 PM", looks like there is a good possibility that "regular" park guests already in the park will be allowed to watch the entrance "parade" down Main Street (which is good for the Media folks), but will be asked to leave right after the event starts.
For those who are thinking about buying a couple of tickets to scalp, don't bother. Disneyland had a very good set-up when they sold tickets to the third Pirates of the Caribbean Movie Premiere. When you register on Saturday, you will be required to list the names of all the guests attending. Then at the end of the transaction, you will be able to print out a receipt, but there will no tickets issued. On the day of the event, you will show up and be checked in and processed, with ID's required to get your credential, and then will be immediately sent into the event, preventing someone for handing off their credential to someone else.
Due to the Disney Parks and Resorts wanting the event in early October to try and help sell Vacation Packages for the upcoming Magical Celebrations campaign in 2009, plus Miley Cyrus's schedule, the event ended up at Disneyland on a weekend that was already looking to be very busy, between the second weekend of HalloweenTime at the Disneyland Resort, which is heavily marketed locally, plus the unofficial "Gay Days" weekend. At least the event is being held on Sunday (note that in Florida, they were looking at Saturday night, October 4th), which is the day that most of the Gay Days events are held at Disney's California Adventure. So Disney is at least trying to accommodate all the folks who are planning to visit the Resort in early October.
But it will be an interesting September and early October, as Disneyland will have a lot of refurb walls up, especially in the New Orleans Square area, to be followed by the setting up of the bleachers for the Birthday Party.
Of course, MiceAge will follow the event, and I will have updates on the impact to the parks as more information is released in the next few weeks. (And how the computers behaved for the sale of tickets this Saturday).
What Will You Celebrate? impact - August 2008
There was plenty of cameras in Disneyland this week, as Disney is currently making its Television commercials for the new Marketing Campaign. Many celebrities, including Johnny Depp were at the park being filmed with actors "pretending" to be regular park guests for the ad campaign
Traffic Update for Labor Day Weekend
This upcoming weekend will also have some major impacts for the resort, as Disney hosts a Half-Marathon. The main event is Sunday Morning, August 30th, and there will be plenty of road closures in the area due to the event.
If coming from north of Disneyland, your best bet is to take 5 South to Disneyland Drive and then head straight to the Parking Structure. This path will be open and not impacted by the race, if you take the special Ball Road overpass.
If coming from the south, I would just avoid the normal Disneyland exits, such as Disney Way and go all the way to Lincoln Blvd and then make a U-turn and get onto 5 South to Disneyland Drive. Of course, if you get off at Disney Way/Katella, Traffic Officers will help direct you into the parks, but you might be delayed.
For those who take public transit, I would check with www.octa.net or www.metro.net for detours and temporary stops.
The roads around the resort area should be back to normal by 11 AM on Sunday.
And don't forget, Disneyland and DCA do open later than normal due to the Half-Marathon.
2009 Advance Purchase Disneyland Resort tickets now on sale
Disneyland.com has started to sell ParkHoppers for 2009. The prices on Multi-Day ParkHoppers went up $10, which matches up with the Main Ticket Booth prices that went up a couple of weeks ago.
For 2009, the "Early Bird" special is "Everyone at Kids Prices" for 3 day or longer ParkHoppers planned to be used for the January through April, 2009 period. This special has been around for many years, and while changes slightly each year (In 2008, it was 2 extra days free) is designed for out-of-town guests and to help promote Vacation Packages.
A Southern California Ticket Special is expected for the same time period, but usually isn't announced until after New Years. (The last few years has been the "Pay for Disneyland, get DCA for FREE!" ticket campaign).
Ariel finds her legs and moves to Princess Fantasy Faire
Last Sunday was Ariel's last day at Triton's Gardens (aka Ariels Grotto) in Disneyland.
Ariel has replaced Pocahontas in the Rotation at Princess Fantasy Faire, but in her Married Body (aka with legs).
Ariel's Throne (aka turntable) has been removed to make room for Tinker Bell
For fans of Ariel with Clam Shells and a tail, you can still find her in the Parade of Dreams.
And the OTHER Ariel's Grotto, the Character meal restaurant at Disney's California Adventure remains open and is not affected by the closure of the Disneyland area. (FYI, Ariel is also in her Married Body at DCA).
Good News for Wild Rivers Waterpark and Camp James in Irvine
Wild Rivers took out a full page color ad in Friday's Orange County Register thanking the Irvine Company and the City of Irvine for making it possible to extend their lease for the 2009 season.
So Wild Rivers will have its 23rd season next summer. It is expected that it will be the last year of operation at the current site, but with the current Housing Market, they might even be around a bit longer.
Universal Studios Hollywood Update
The bulldozers have cleared the New York Backlot area that was the location of a major fire on June 1st.
The park itself reopened the next day, and we covered it here at MiceAge with many photos. http://micechat.com/forums/blogs/in-the-parks/412-6-3-08-universal-studios-hollywood-backlot-fire-update-news-photos.html
The park itself is fully open, and NBC/Universal has even added a few things, including a short Stunt Men segment as part of the tour to help replace the missing King Kong attraction.
Fear Factor Live has shut down for good, and is no longer offering shows. It has already been announced that it will be replaced with a new musical, Creature of the Black Lagoon (and that is NOT a typo).
Also, USH has started preparations for its Halloween Horror Nights, which start October 3rd. http://www.halloweenhorrornights.com...wood/index.php
A Halloween Maze is being built at the Revenge of the Mummy extended Queue area
One quick note about USH, stopped by Guest Relations to give a big Thumbs Up to a employee who did a great job. The policy at USH is now to hand out a business card with an e-mail address to send your comments, instead of filling out a form at the counter.
Palm Springs Tramway to close down most of September for Maintenance
The Los Angeles Times reports that the popular Palm Springs Tramway will be closed from September 8th through the 26th (schedule might change).
SeaWorld looking at a Paid Front of the Line Pass upgrade
The Orlando Sentinel discusses a new test at SeaWorld Orlando that will offer FastPass like passes (called Quick Queue) for a fee.
This is nothing new, as for the last few years, SeaWorld has sold a Platinum version of its Annual Pass that includes Premium Parking and reserved seating for all its shows.
Disneyland Hotel Historical Tour planned this Weekend
Donald Ballard, the author of the book that looks at the Early Years of the Disneyland Hotel posted this week at MiceChat offering a free tour of the Disneyland Hotel and a chance to see some historical items.
The Tour will be held on Friday, August 29th, starting at 6 PM. The tour will start underneath the Sorcerer Hat near the ESPN Zone. And of course, more information can be found at Mr. Ballard's website that promotes his book.
Disneyland Railroad shuts down Sunday Afternoon
As Disneyland is now over 50 years old, sometimes the park shows its age, and yesterday was no exception. Based on a report from a Ham Operator listening to the parks operations, and personal experience (was at the Train Station when they kicked everyone off the trains), the Tunnel just before the Toontown Station had problems, and that a request for a Structural Engineer to come out and inspect the tunnel before they would allow any more trains to go through the station.
Just a reminder that even though attractions are not listed at Disneyland.com as being closed, most attraction have major mechanical devices, and they can always break down, closing the attraction until repairs can be performed.
And another friendly reminder, the Disneyland Monorails are still operating at Limited Capacity. Sunday afternoon had the Monorail (only Mark V Purple was available due to the heat) only offering one way Trips, to help deal with the length of the queues.
Tip of the week - Eat at Philippe!
Took the Metrolink Train to Universal Studios on Saturday, and since we were so close to Philippe's in Downtown LA, had to go grab lunch before going to the park.
Phillipe is just a couple of blocks north of Union Station at 1001 South Alameda Street, and is the restaurant that invented the French Dipped Sandwich. Celebrating its 100th year of operation. (The French Dipped Sandwich was invented in 1918, well, a mistake was made, as the original owner, Philippe Mathieu dropped a French Roll into the Beef Juice by accident, but the customer loved the sandwich and came back the next day asking for more dipped sandwiches. And why French Dipped? Nobody really knows why they added the word French... You can find out a lot more about the restaurant at this link.
By the way, I highly recommend the Pork French Dipped Sandwich!
Selected Photos from Darkbeer.Smugmug.com
A Water Pump has been added to the "it's a small world" outdoor flume
Say hello to "P King"
Too perfect to be "natural"
Note that the Volkswagon Logos have been removed from the Fast and the Furious cars at USH
WOW!, It started at $5, now $10 JUST to get your photo from the Simpsons Ride at USH sent to you in an e-mail. You can get a printed version at the park for either $15 or $20
The Simpson Ride is still my favorite new attraction in Southern California for the 2008 Theme Park Season!
Well, that should do it for this week. And yes, we will have a NEW Monday in the Parks up on Labor Day, so you can relax and catch up on the current news as usual. Hope everyone has a great holiday weekend!!!
And here is a fun link