Posts Tagged ‘Disneyland’

Annual Passholder Previews for Disneyland’s Fantasy Faire This Week

by on March 4, 2013

All photos copyright Disney

Construction is nearing completion on Disneyland Park’s new Fantasy Faire, the princess meet & greet complex that is replacing the classic Carnation Plaza Gardens. The new area, which controversially extends Fantasyland’s theming into the central hub for the first time, officially opens to the public on March 12.

If you are an annual Passholder, you can get a sneak peek of this expansion on March 7, 8, 9. The preview events will be held between noon and 6pm on those three days, with Passholders limited to designated two-hour entry windows.

Passholders wishing to attend must register in person on the day of the event, beginning at 10:30am in Fronteirland. For more details, see Disney’s official instructions here.

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Disneyland Debate: Where Do Billy Hill and the Hillbillies Belong?

by on March 4, 2013

It’s no secret that many of us here at Touring Plans are big fans of Billy Hill and the Hillbillies; in the 2013 Unofficial Guide to Disneyland we give their musical comedy show 4 1/2 stars and call it “not to be missed.” Originally a street show created for the opening of Critter Country in 1989, the Hillbillies have been the most frequently featured act in the Golden Horseshoe Saloon since the Golden Horseshoe Jamboree ended its run in December of 1994.

While the Hillbillies have had the Horseshoe stage to themselves for most of the last 17 years (with the exception of Woody’s Round-Up’s run from 1999 to 2000), lately they’ve been on the move. Over the summer, they were shuffled out to the arena stage behind Big Thunder Ranch as part of a seasonal promotion, while the Laughing Stock Co. improv players took their place. More recently, Billy and the boys returned to Big Thunder for the Limited Time Magic resurrection of the beloved Golden Horseshoe Revue, albeit in the form of a “Salute” tribute show.

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Peter Pan Passholder Event at Disneyland this Wednesday

by on February 25, 2013

All images copyright Disney

Are you a Disneyland Resort Annual Passholder?

Do you love the Disney animated classic Peter Pan?

Would you like to spend a couple extra hours in Fantasyland this week?

If your answer to the following questions is “all of the above,” head over to Disneyland on Wednesday night (February 27, 2013) for the latest Limited Time Magic event. For one night only, Passholders can see a special screening of Peter Pan at the Main Street Opera House, in honor of the film’s recent Blu-ray release.

As an added bonus, select Fantasyland attractions will be open to participating Passholders for 2 additional hours past the park’s public 8pm closing time. Be warned, however, that my recent experience with extended Passholder hours at Disney California Adventure did not result in light crowds and short queues; in fact, it was exactly the opposite.

Film screening start at 11am on Wednesday. Passholders may register for the event in person at the Opera House beginning at 10am on the day of the event; online and advance registration is not offered. See here for details on the event direct from Disney.

 

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Disneyland Debate: How To Enter The Resort — Hike, Bus, or Cab?

by on February 25, 2013

All photos by Seth Kubersky

Owing to its expansiveness and isolation, most visitors to Walt Disney World in Florida basically have their options for arriving at the attraction dictated by where they are sleeping: on-site guests get to use WDW’s Byzantine system of busses, boats, and monorails, while those staying off-site drive their rental cars into the theme park parking lots.

Anaheim’s Disneyland Resort, on the other hand, offers more entry options by virtue of its more accessible design. While there are advantages to staying in one of Disneyland’s three Mouse-owned hotels (early entry to DCA’s Cars Land being chief among them), many off-site properties are nearly as close (or closer) to the Happiest Place On Earth than the official accommodations.

On my recent trip to California I tested three methods for getting into the Disneyland Resort, and I hope my experience will help you in planning your next trip. So, with deepest apologies to The Muppets, let’s look at whether to “[hitch]hike, bus, or yellow cab it.”

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Disneyland Resort Now Enforcing FASTPASS Return Windows

by on February 18, 2013

Until this past weekend, one of our top insider tips for Disneyland Resort visitors was that the return time windows printed on FASTPASS tickets were rarely if ever enforced. Even though FASTPASS tickets clearly display a one-hour window during which the ticket is valid for expedited admission into an attraction, the end of the time period could previously be safely ignored. This was a great boon to savvy guests, who could get FASTPASS tickets for popular rides in the early hours of the day and stockpile them for use at any time before park closing.

Walt Disney World used to have a similar unwritten policy, until it began enforcing FASTPASS return times last year in preparation for the new MyMagic+ program. Now, Disneyland Resort has joined its Florida counterpart in requiring guests adhere to the designated return times.

As of this morning, Cast Members at Disneyland and Disney California Adventure attractions offering FASTPASS will refuse entry to guests arriving after their printed pass time has expired. Cast Members have been warning guests of the policy change for the past couple weeks, and signs reminding guests to observe their return times have been posted at all FASTPASS dispensing kiosks.

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Four Romantic Spots at Disneyland Resort to Spend Valentines’s Day

by on February 11, 2013

Photos by Seth Kubersky

If Disneyland is the Happiest Place on Earth, and February 14 is the Most Romantic Day of the Year, then Anaheim must be the best place imaginable to spend Valentine’s Day with your sweetheart — right? Well, I’m about to find out, as my wife and I are spending Valentine’s week in Anaheim.

On the plus side, weekdays in mid-February (like the 14th) are on the moderate side of our Crowd Calendar; Valentine’s Day, itself, is expected to be a 6 out of 10 at the Disneyland Resort. And from February 11 through 17, as part of the Limited Time Magic marketing campaign, Disney is rolling out some additional meet & greet opportunities and menu offerings.

Unfortunately, thanks to seasonal refurbishments many of our favorite attractions to experience together — including it’s a small world, Mad Tea Party, Big Thunder Ranch, Muppet*Vision, and Fantasmic! — will be unavailable on Valentine’s Day. Even so, there are plenty of romantic spots remaining around the Resort.

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Disneyland Fantasy Faire to Open March 12

by on February 4, 2013

All images copyright Disney

Disneyland recently released new details about its Fantasy Faire project, confirming that the former Carnation Plaza Gardens will reopen to guests on March 12, 2013.

The stage once used for swing dancing has been radically refurbished, with new surrounding facades giving the entire area to the side of Sleeping Beauty Castle a Fantasyland feel. Now known as “The Royal Theater,” the performance space will host a rotating pair of interactive shows.

Both productions feature Renaissance Faire-style actors (Mr. Smythe and Mr. Jones) helping the audience act out the story of Beauty and the Beast or Tangled. These participatory shows sound suspiciously similar to the interactive Enchanted Tales With Belle attraction found at Magic Kingdom’s New Fantasyland in Florida.

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Hidden Treasures of DCA’s Cars Land

by on February 4, 2013

All photos by Seth Kubersky

Last summer’s debut of Cars Land at Disney California Adventure was probably the most extensively publicized expansion in theme park history (or at least since Harry Potter arrived in Orlando). So it seems strange that anything about this exquisite addition to Disneyland’s little sibling could still be considered “hidden.”

Even so, in their rush to ride Radiator Springs Racers, most of the tens of thousands of guests running daily down this ersatz Route 66 probably never notice some of the subtler touches Disney’s Imagineers infused the land with. Next time you visit DCA, why not slow down and savor five of my favorite but easily overlooked elements of Anaheim’s hottest attraction.

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Extended February DCA Park Hours for Disneyland Annual Passholders

by on January 28, 2013

Image copyright Disney

In a surprise move, Disneyland Resort has quietly released details of a new limited-time perk for all Disneyland Annual Passholders. On Thursday nights in February 2013, Passholders can stay in Disney California Adventure for an extra 2 hours past the usual closing time. That’s 120 more minutes to enjoy the rides in Cars Land and elsewhere around Anaheim’s hottest attraction.

The program will only be offered on Thursdays, February 7, 14, 21, & 28. Passholders will be allowed to stay until 10pm on the 7th, 14th, and 28th, and until 11pm on the 21st.

In order to participate, you must arrive at DCA between noon and 90 minutes after the regular park closing time, in order to obtain a special wristband near the front turnstiles. A valid annual pass and photo ID are required; regular parking fees still apply.

Note that this temporary “stay late” program is in addition to the ongoing early entry perk, which allows annual Passholders into the parks an hour early on the weekends. That program runs through April 14, but is not available on February 3.

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Escape From Tomorrow: The Disney Parks Film You’ll Never See

by on January 23, 2013

In the annals of Walt Disney’s cinematic legacy, there are a handful of infamous films that have been banished from public sight for various social and legal reasons. Song of the South, which has been unavailable to American audiences for a generation due to perceived racial insensitivity, is perhaps the best known. The Sweatbox, a fascinatingly unflattering warts-and-all documentary about the troubled creation of The Emperor’s New Groove, is a more modern example that Mickey buried out of embarrassment.

To that ignoble club, the latest member you can likely add is Escape From Tomorrow, the darling of this week’s Sundance Film Festival. Writer/director Randy Moore‘s debut independent feature is a David Lynch-inspired black & white surreal horror flick featuring Roy Abramsohn as a father trapped in a nightmarish theme park vacation.

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