Walt Disney Theme Parks
---- THE LATEST BUZZ ----
(8/7/14) Big Hero 6 Characters Coming to Disneyland / Walt Disney World Parks (MORE...)
(7/18/14) Disneyland Turns 59 and Releases First Details About 2015 (MORE...)
(6/24/14) Photo Trip Report & 60th Announcement Day
(5/20/14) Disneyland - Price Increase and SoCal Passport Option Removed (MORE...)
General Resort News - (8/7/14) Disney has announced that the characters from the new “Big Hero 6” film, Hiro and his robot buddy Baymax, will arrive at the Disneyland Resort and Walt Disney World theme parks to meet and greet with guests this fall. There is one problem I see coming from this however… that Big Hero 6 was actually a Marvel comic and features characters who have interacted with other Marvel Universe characters. That said… technically wouldn’t any of the Big Hero 6 characters be banned from appearing at the Walt Disney World theme parks just as Spiderman, Wolverine and Iron Man are banned, due to Universal’s exclusive rights East of the Mississippi to Marvel characters at Islands of Adventure?
(7/18/14) Disneyland turned 59 on Thursday and the park announced the first official details about their plans for 2015. They are calling it the Disneyland Resort Diamond Celebration and released our first look at the special Diamond logo. While they didn’t go into details just yet about what new changes may come to the park(s), they did start a new contest where you can share your favorite Disneyland memory taken throughout the decades since Disneyland opened for a chance to win a grand prize trip to the Disneyland Resort to kick off the Diamond Celebration next year.
Each week, now through August 27th, the Disney Parks Blog will ask you to submit a photo memory from a specific decade by posting them to Twitter or Instagram using the hashtag #Disneyland60Contest. Just be sure to include in the description which decade the photo was taken. This week is starting off with the 50’s.
It is also worth mentioning that our friends at Theme Park Adventure asked many special people in the industry to submit a paragraph that would express your favorite memories or what makes Disneyland so special to you. I was honored to be asked as well and you’ll find mine right at the top of the pile. Give it a read and enjoy what this incredible collection of guest writers had to share about what Disneyland means to them.
(6/24/14) Westcoaster has posted a new photo update from all around the Disneyland Resort this week, along with mentioning that the big announcements for the Disneyland Resort’s 60th Anniversary will take place on July 17th.
(5/20/14) We’ve got a little bad news for Disneyland fans this week which was inevitable… and some even worse news that will affect Southern California passholders.
For starters, Disneyland quietly increase their prices pretty much across the board over the weekend. Parking went up a dollar to $17, and one day / and park tickets to either Disneyland or California Adventure crawled up $4 for everyone, settling in at $96 for adults and $90 for children. The one day park hopper pass that will get you into both parks on the same day leaped up $13 a person and now costs $150 a day for adults and $144 for children.
Now onto what may be the worse news for many of you Southern California residents. In addition to raising the price of the annual passes, which you knew to expect, the bombshell dropped this year was that they have eliminated entirely the popular Southern California Resident Annual Pass option, leaving only the cheaper Southern California “Select” Passport ($289) which has more blackout dates than days you can actually use it throughout the year, or upgrade to the far more expensive Deluxe ($519) Passport (still with 50 blackout dates and no free parking) or Premium Passports ($699!) that gets you in all year long and comes with free parking.
For those wondering why this has happened… I can only say that I think this has been a long time coming, as the park’s popularity with local passholders has been building up to critical mass for years. Now the solution for Disney is simple… the parks are getting too crowded for their own good, so the only solution is to thin the herd by whatever means necessary.
(3/12/14) An all new Starbucks location has now opened at Downtown Disney, at the Disneyland Resort. Click here to find pictures of the new shop located near the World of Disney Store.
(3/8/14) I thought I had mentioned this before, but seems I forgot, so forgive me… but the US Disney Parks will be hosting another 24 hour day event in 2014 where you can “Rock Your Disney Side” all night long. The event will kick off at 6:00am on May 23rd at the Magic Kingdom in Florida and inside both of the Disneyland Resort theme parks (Disneyland & Disney California Adventure), where they will stay open non-stop through to 6:00am on May 24th, 2014.
(11/28/13) The latest update at MiceChat paints a rather sour picture for the US Disney parks, especially as it seems the very successful California parks are about to be punished for the short-sighted moves of their Florida cousins. The article claims that Bob Iger has essentially shut down Imagineering’s development of all new attractions for the Disney parks in the US and Paris.
Why for? It seems the cause of Iger’s displeasure is Walt Disney World’s still incomplete and very overbudget NextGen / MyMagic+ project. Just last week it was reported that the final rollout of the MyMagic+ system had been delayed for several more months while they work out and test new solutions based on “guest feedback”. In other words, the test guinea pigs (aka: Resort Guests) who are currently about the only ones using the system have been complaining enough about aspects of the system that Disney feels it isn’t ready for the full scale launch. This bad news follows the corporate ends promise earlier this year that the MyMagic+ system would not only be up and running by this time, but that Disney was expecting to begin rolling in the benfits of increased guest spending and satisfaction marks.
With the system not only not ready, but demanding even more capital investment in order to “fix it”, it’s no wonder Iger is in a foul mood. Unfortunately he has chosen to take out his ire on the rest of the parks… with the well performing Disneyland Resort parks seeming to take most of the first devastating blows. According to MiceChat has resulted in the possible permanent closure of the Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage, the Star Wars themed Tomorrowland project being put on hold, the Monstropolis project for California Adventure being cancelled, plans to upgrade five Fantasyland dark rides for the park’s 60th Anniversary are on hold, all other 60th Anniversary plans (fireworks & parades) are on hold, and a planned update for the Little Mermaid ride at DCA is on hold. The only project listed as still moving forward right now is planned HD upgrade to Soarin’ that goes hand in hand with the new Shanghai version of the attraction.
All WDI staff involved with these projects and others also put into limbo for WDW and Paris are focusing on helping the Tokyo and Shanghai teams get caught up with their workload for now. Lets hope Iger will refocus efforts onto some or all of these projects sooner than later.
(9/20/13) MiceAge has posted a new update this week about the end of the abused Guest Assistance Card program and the first early details about the new replacement program (DAS – Disabled Assistance System) which is said to go into effect on October 9th. Without going into too much detail, several kiosks for this program will be set up in each California park, and guests who want to use it will tell the CM which ride they want to board and be given a FastPass style ticket with a specific time they can arrive and gain access to ride based on the length of line currently at the attraction. Sounds fair to me so far, though in the end you can’t please everyone.
(9/6/13) Disneyland has purchased the Anaheim RV Village park at the corner of Harbor and Ball (see here) and reports that they will level the RV park to create a new 1,400 space Cast Member parking lot, something I think they have been in need of for quite some time.
(8/16/13) Good news for Disneyland fans who crave caffeine today, as the Disneyland Resort has announced that TWO new Starbucks locations will be added to the Downtown Disney area this winter. The first will be added to the West entrance of the World of Disney store while the second will be a smaller kiosk location.
These will join the two locations already inside the theme parks serving Starbucks products: Fiddler, Fifer & Practical Café in Disney California Adventure and the soon to open (September) location inside the Market House inside Disneyland.
(1/7/13) I’m hoping I’m wrong about this rumor, but according to a few sources 2012 may go down as the last year that Disneyland park guests will have access to all the special winter Christmas fireworks shows and parades for free. Instead, the resort is rumored to be switching to a series of upcharge hard-ticket events for Christmas 2013, following the business model of Walt Disney World’s “Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party” nights where all guests (even passholders) pay prices up to $40 for an aproximate 4-hour private Christmas themed night in the park. This will be handled in similar fashion to Disneyland’s Halloween-Time hard ticket event.
???? - Third Theme Park - Rumor - (3/23/13) A new report from SlashFilm reports that the Disneyland Resort has been sending out surveys to passholders to ask, “How interested would you be in visiting a Star Wars themed land at the Disneyland Resort?” (For more on that, make the jump to the Disneyland page.)
With the rumors of mini Star Wars Lands being designed for Disneland Paris and now Walt Disney World it only makes sense Disneyland would get in on the action as well. While they could find a way to fit it into Disneyland, I have to admit that I had heard long ago that a Star Wars themed land was being considered as a major land for Disneyland’s 3rd Park.
A lot has probably changed since then since Disney didn’t even own Star Wars when I first heard that rumor, as they had bought Marvel at the time and I believe had just inked the Avatar project for Walt Disney World. Back then the one idea being expressed about Disneyland’s 3rd Park concept was that they wanted the overall concept of the park to be about Heroes and Adventure, full of heavily themed new worlds to explore.
With Marvel freshly purchased at the time, it seemed like a no brainer to add some of the various themed from the Marvel Universe to the park. Whatever they came up with for the Avatar project in WDW, a copy of Pandora could also fit right into California’s 3rd Park too. Now with Star Wars now fully owned by Disney and plans for new films in the works, it would also seem very possible that we could not only see a Star Wars Land built here, but one themed to whatever new and iconic locations are being developed for the next series of films as well. Of course while a park with lands themed to Marvel, Star Wars and Avatar may seem a bit like a teenage boy fantasy come true, it does make me wonder what they could add as well to soften it up for the girls and smaller children. Keep in mind that the plans for the 3rd Park are being worked on and likely in a constant state of change, but with that it also seems clear that the project is getting closer to being funded and moving forward. WDI has their hands full right now with Shanghai and other projects around the world, but sooner than you think they will focus their efforts at last on that old Strawberry field location down the road.
(6/27/12) Could Disneyland be making it’s first serious steps towards designing a third California park? According to MiceAge, WDI has been drawing up plans for a full scale Marvel comics themed park that would feature more thrill rides and fit perfectly into the available acreage, as well as serve as a template for future parks in Paris, Hong Kong and Shanghai. There are lots of other infrastructure issues to be dealt with before this can happen, such as making room for new resorts, and adding the extra parking spaces that will be needed with a way to transport guests and employees to all three parks.