Disneyland (CA)

SATURDAY SIX: Looking at ways Disney can introduce MARVEL characters into the theme parks

by on April 2, 2016

This week’s SATURDAY SIX looks at Ways Disney Can Introduce MARVEL Characters into the Theme Parks. Yes, April Fool’s Day was yesterday, but believe it or not the this-can’t-possibly-be-real news stories started earlier last week when word started getting out that Disney was considering a Guardians of the Galaxy overlay to the Hollywood Tower of Terror attractions in Disneyland and Walt Disney World. You may be thinking, “No way! That’s insane!” but on the latest episode of the Disney Dish podcast, Jim Hill and Len Testa lay out exactly why Bob Chapek (chairman of Walt Disney Parks and Resorts) at least wanted to explore this very idea.

SATSIX_GOTG

Guardians of the Galaxy Hotel. (photo by Mike Sperduto)

SATSIX_GOTG2

Bellhop Groot. (photo by Matt Cleary and Mike Sperduto)

Public reaction to the Guardians of the Galaxy overlay was – to put it politely – overwhelmingly negative. In fact, because of the virulent reaction there is almost no chance this overlay makes it to Florida, but never say never when it comes to the Tower of Terror in Disney’s California Adventure. We here at the SATURDAY SIX headquarters were at first taken aback by this idea, in part because the Tower of Terror took first place in our poll on The Greatest Attractions at Walt Disney World. But then we got to thinking. What if Disney did try to think “outside the box” when it came to introducing Marvel characters in the theme parks? More importantly, how could they do it in the cheapest way possible? We think we have some ideas. As luck would have it, six ideas. So sit back, put down your copy of the Spider-Man Clone Saga, and let’s begin our countdown starting with…

# 6 – Howard the Duck takes over Stitch’s Great Escape

Remember how we mentioned that Tower of Terror came in first in our expert’s list of Best WDW Attractions? Well, guess which attraction took first place in our poll on Worst WDW Attractions? You guessed it: Stitch’s Great Escape. What do you get to overlay one of the all time worst reviewed theme park attractions? Why one of the all time worst reviewed comic book movies. Please welcome Howard the Duck. To put into scale how poorly received Howard the Duck’s movie was, consider that the recent Batman V Superman film took a beating by the critics, scoring a miserable 29% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Howard the Duck sits at 14% fresh.

We have to hurry on this one though. Howard the Duck had a cameo in the recent Guardians of the Galaxy movie. When the Guardians team up with the Avengers in the Infinity War (which is expected in either part 1 in May 2018 or part 2 in May 2019), he may be considered part of the Avengers extended family. If that happens, he could become off limits to the Orlando parks thanks to Universal’s contract with Marvel.

SATSIX_howardtheduck

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Disneyland Crowd Calendar Report – March 13 to 19, 2016

by on March 30, 2016

How Crowded Was Disneyland Resort Last Week?

How Crowded Was Disneyland Resort Last Week?

Last week, wait times at Disneyland closely followed what the Disneyland Crowd Calendar predicted. We saw crowd levels hit the highest points on our scale, consistent with the Spring Break-level crowds we see in late March and early April each year. As crowded as it was we only saw a park hit the top level on our scale once – a ’10’ for Disneyland Park on Saturday.

Let’s look at how the crowd levels stacked up each day last week on the TouringPlans.com Disneyland Resort Crowd Report:

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5 Disneyland Quick Service Items For Under $10

by on March 28, 2016

Disneyland Resort just finished another round of quick service dining price increases. This happens a few times a year so that’s not exactly big news. But if you don’t follow Disney dining prices as closely as we do then some of the prices may surprise you. A basic “Classic Cheeseburger” (found at Hungry Bear Restaurant and other quick service restaurants) is now $11.49, up from $9.99. The Burrito Sonora with Marinated Beef from Rancho Del Zocalo was raised to $12.99 from $11.49. This one hurts: the fantastic Fried Chicken from Plaza Inn is now priced at $17.49, up from an already expensive $15.99. I can go on and on but I figured it would be better if I shared some good Disneyland quick service dining entrees for under $10. Yes, some bargains do still exist.
Corn Dog (Little Red Wagon Corn Dogs – Disneyland, Corn Dog Castle – DCA) – $7.99 

corndog

Judging by the length of the lines at Little Red Wagon and Corn Dog Castle, everyone has heard about Disneyland’s legendary corn dogs. Their fame is well deserved and thankfully the price hasn’t  gotten too high yet. A giant hot dog covered in a deep fried batter shell probably isn’t the healthiest option in the world, but there’s something about devouring one of these while touring a busy theme park that feels so right.

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Disneyland AtMousePhere

by on March 24, 2016

disneylandtrainWelcome back to the AtMousePhere series, where we take a look at some of the great background music of the Disney Parks! After thoroughly exhausting the background music of Walt Disney World, we’re hopping across the country to the Disneyland Resort.

It is well known that Disneyland and Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom are very similar in nature. In the background music, there are similarities and differences. We’re going to do a land-by-land roundup of the background music today. I’ll include a handy-dandy link to our Magic Kingdom AtMousePhere posts, just in case you missed it a few years back. So put on your favorite piece of Disneyland music, and let’s take a tour around Walt’s park!

Disneyland Entrance

The Esplanade that divides Disneyland and Disney California Adventure offers a nice variety of movie and park tunes that put guests squarely in the Disneyland mood. They are really great arrangements and orchestrations, too! Some are repeats of the entrance to the Magic Kindgom, but not all of them.

Music includes:

  • “You Got a Friend in Me” (from Toy Story)
  • “Hi-Diddle-Dee-Dee” (from Pinocchio)
  • “Under the Sea” (from The Little Mermaid)
  • “California Girls” (the Beach Boys version, instrumental)
  • “Hooray for Hollywood”
  • “Yo Ho (A Pirate’s Life For Me)”
  • “Smile, Darn Ya, Smile” (A Merrie Melodies tune from 1931 that was used in Who Framed Roger Rabbit)
  • “it’s a small world”
  • “March of the Cards” (from Alice in Wonderland)
  • The theme from Star Wars (…all of them)
  • The theme from “The Muppet Show”

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Adjustments to Disneyland Crowd Calendar April 4-10, 2016

by on March 22, 2016

Yesterday we decided to increase our Disneyland Crowd Calendar predictions for the dates between April 4 and April 10, 2016. We did this for several reasons.

  1. We hear that Disney California Adventure Food & Wine Festival is expecting to draw many more guests this year and that may impact wait times in the parks more than we expected.
  2. Disneyland attendance is up and has been up for quite some time. Crowds at Disneyland Parks are one to two points higher on average than what we have seen in years past.
  3. Disney’s Single Day ticket pricing labels these dates as “Peak”. That is an indication that they may be expecting larger crowds than usual for this time of year.
  4. Some of the Disneyland Crowd Calendar predictions we had for these dates were between ‘2’ and ‘6,’ and we have not seen any days that quiet at Disneyland parks in recent memory (except on days of poor weather).

We do not make changes to the Crowd Calendar lightly, but in this case – for the reasons stated above – we decided that it would be better for guests to arrive prepared for large crowds, just in case. If you have a touring plan scheduled for one of these dates, make sure to optimize it again. Also, when you are in the park make sure to reoptimize from your mobile device.

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Disneyland Crowd Calendar Report – March 6 to 12, 2016

by on March 20, 2016

How Crowded Was Disneyland Resort Last Week?

How Crowded Was Disneyland Resort Last Week?

Compared to the same week in previous years, Disneyland was much less crowded last week. We saw the resort-wide crowd level dip one to four points lower than the Disneyland Crowd Calendar predicted. Weather does not seem to be a factor with daily highs ranging between high 60s and mid-70s and no rain. The historical average for the resort-wide crowd level in the first two weeks of March is ‘7’ but we only saw crowds that busy three of the seven days last week.

Let’s look at how the crowd levels stacked up each day last week on the TouringPlans.com Disneyland Resort Crowd Report:

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Disneyland Crowd Calendar Report – February 21 to 27, 2016

by on March 10, 2016

How Crowded Was Disneyland Last Week?

How Crowded Was Disneyland Last Week?

Crowds were down on average at Disneyland during the last week of February although Sunday and Saturday had crowd levels that were slightly higher than what the Disneyland Crowd Calendar Predicted. During the week (Monday through Thursday) neither park saw a crowd level above a ‘5’ on our scale.

Let’s look at how the crowd levels stacked up each day last week on the TouringPlans.com Disneyland Resort Crowd Report:

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Disneyland Crowd Calendar Report – February 28 to March 5, 2016

by on March 9, 2016

How Crowded Was Disneyland Resort Last Week?

How Crowded Was Disneyland Resort Last Week?

History tells us that the first week of March is a great week to visit Disneyland Resort with low crowds. Last year during the same period we saw some of the lowest crowds all Spring so perhaps this year’s predictions were unduly influenced by what we saw last year. Although, we saw ‘2’s, ‘3’s and ‘4’s during the same week in 2014 as well. For some reason this year’s crowds were the largest we have seen in awhile. Even Disney’s new tiered pricing structure labels last week as Value season during the week so it may be that Disney was surprised at the crowds as well.

Let’s look at how the crowd levels stacked up each day last week on the TouringPlans.com Disneyland Resort Crowd Report:

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Luigi’s Rollickin’ Roadsters Review

by on March 4, 2016

DSC00019This is our review of Luigi’s Rollickin’ Roadsters, which is a new ride at Disney California Adventure in Disneyland Resort. Luigi’s Rollickin’ Roadsters replaces the short-lived Luigi’s Flying Tires, which was open for only 976 days. That gives it the 8th shortest attraction lifespan in Disney theme park history. Opinions among Disney fans for the Tires were mixed, even though there was a good amount of hype after the ride was originally announced. Some found fun in bumping other tires, or racing around the tire yard. Others did not like it or found the controls too confusing to give it a second chance. In February 2015, Luigi’s Flying Tires closed, which brings us to today.

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The Jungle Book Sneak Peek to Occur at Disney Parks

by on March 3, 2016

The Jungle Book

©Disney

The Jungle Book is one of my favorite movies as a child. It really spoke to me. (And also kind of scared me…but I was afraid of EVERYTHING as a kid.) So, I’m anxiously awaiting the live-action version of The Jungle Book that’s headed to theaters on April 15.

Well, beginning March 18 and for a limited time, I (and you too) will be able to catch a preview of the upcoming film at the theater at the end of One Man’s Dream at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. For those Guests who will be visiting the west coast, they will be able to catch the preview at Disney California Adventure in the Bug’s Life Theater with special in-theater effects.

This sneak peek will allow Guests to get an advance look at some of the scenes from the film, as well as catch a special introduction by the film’s director, Jon Favreau.

The film is based on Rudyard Kipling’s timeless stories and inspired by Disney’s classic animated film, The Jungle Book is an epic adventure about Mowgli, a man-cub who’s been raised by a family of wolves.

Are you anxious to catch The Jungle Book when it swings into theaters too?

 

 

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