Posts Tagged ‘Disneyland’

Opa! A Celebration of Greece Coming this May to Disneyland Resort

by on March 20, 2013

Image copyright Disney

Between the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival and its newly expanded Flower & Garden Festival, it seems like Walt Disney World gets to have all the fun where cultural celebrations are concerned. But last week the Disneyland Resort announced that it would soon be getting some international excitement of its own.

For the weekend of May 25-27 (10am to 6pm daily), Opa! A Celebration of Greece will bring authentic Greek music, dance, art, food, history, and more to both parks at the Disneyland Resort. Activities will take place in both “it’s a small world” Mall in Disneyland park and Paradise Gardens in Disney California Adventure park.

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5 Ways to Start Your Day In Disneyland Park

by on March 14, 2013

Moments before rope drop at Disneyland Park (all photos by Seth Kubersky)

If you’ve been following us at Touring Plans for a while, you already know the first and most important step on any Disneyland itinerary: arrive at the front gate early (at least 40 minutes before opening during busy seasons) with your tickets in hand.

But what do you do first once you’re through the turnstiles? People have their own traditions for where to head first at the Happiest Place on Earth. Here are five of my favorite ways to kick off my day at Disneyland Park.

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“Making of Fantasy Faire” Presentation for Disneyland Passholders on March 14

by on March 11, 2013

Photo copyright Disney

The brand-new Fantasy Faire at Disneyland Park doesn’t open to the public until tomorrow (March 12), but annual Passholders like our own Guy Selga Jr. have already been inside the princess-centric expansion adjacent to Sleeping Beauty Castle.

If you’re a Passholder who can’t get enough of Fantasy Faire, a free presentation and panel discussion will be held on Thursday, March 14, in Disneyland’s Main Street Opera House. Show Director Christopher Utley and Walt Disney Imagineering Creative Director Michel den Dulk will share “fascinating” details on the new mini-land’s design and construction, and answer audience questions.

Registration for Thursday’s 6pm show begins that morning at 11:30am at the Opera House, and must be done in person by all participating Passholders. Space is limited, so arrive early to register if you’re intent on attending.

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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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