Archive for April, 2013

Disneyland Resort Implements Cancellation Fees for Dining and Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique

by on April 23, 2013

carthayStarting May 9 for reservations on or after June 24, 2013, Disneyland Resort will charge a $10 per person fee to no-shows for dining reservations. We confirmed with Disney that this rule will apply to all Table Service restaurants in Disneyland, Disney California Adventure, Downtown Disney, and the three resort hotels. The fee will also apply to cancellations at Bibbidi Bobbidi  Boutique in Fantasyland.

A valid credit card will be required when making reservations. Guests must cancel at least 24 hours in advance of their reservations to avoid the new fee. Disneyland Dining may be reached at 714-781-3463 or


Top Five Ways to End Your Day at Disney California Adventure

by on April 22, 2013

Photos by Seth Kubersky

Recently, I shared some of my favorite ways to start a morning at Disney California Adventure. Today, let’s look at the flip side of the operating day. While crowds are arriving early every day at DCA’s front gate since Cars Land‘s arrival, some of the park’s highlights can only be experienced after dark. Here are my top five ways to finish off an evening at DCA:

Drinks With a View

One distinct advantage DCA has over its older brother across the Esplanade is the ability to imbibe alcoholic beverages as you tour. You’ll find spots to whet your whistle all around the park, from Carthay Circle’s swanky downstairs lounge to the imported beer kiosk near the Paradise Garden Grill. Nothing beats having a finely crafted cocktail in the night air, enjoying the park’s cleverly Imagineered aesthetics, and DCA has a couple of ideal evening watering holes.

I’ve already extolled the romantic virtues of the Alfresco Lounge at Golden Valley Winery, which has a second-story view down Route 66 to the stunning Cadillac Mountain range. Another great spot for a beverage is the Cove Bar behind Ariel’s Grotto; simply cut through the restaurant lobby to reach this often-overlooked gem. In addition to the standard extensive drink list, the Cove offers a small menu of large appetizers; the lobster nachos are big enough for four or more to share. Best of all, the bar recently rescinded its policy of levying a $10 cover charge during World of Color performances, making it a great place to watch the show, provided you don’t mind an obtuse perspective of the water screens.

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Fantasmic! to Have FASTPASS Test This Week

by on April 21, 2013



Starting tomorrow, April 22, through April 27, Disney’s Hollywood Studios will hold a test of FASTPASS for Fantasmic!.

During the test, Cast Members will be found at the Hollywood Studios Tip Board (at the intersection of Sunset and Hollywood Boulevards) distributing tickets beginning at noon until they run out each day.

These FASTPASS tickets will not be tied to the regular FASTPASS system, so if a guest obtains a ticket for Fantasmic!, he will still be able to obtain another ticket for a different attraction.

Fantasmic! is expected to be a part of the new FastPass+ system when it officially rolls out.

Disneyland Alert: Space Mountain Closed by Cal/OSHA

by on April 20, 2013

Photo by Seth Kubersky

As you may have heard, the Disneyland Resort has been having serious issues with some of its headlining E-Tickets lately. On April 12, inspectors from California’s Division of Occupational Safety and Health (following up on an incident from earlier this year in which a Space Mountain maintenance worker fell and was injured) issued a citation to Disneyland for safety violations in the Anaheim parks, with proposed penalties totaling nearly a quarter million dollars.

At one point earlier this week, Space Mountain, Matterhorn Bobsleds, and Soarin’ Over California were all simultaneously shuttered, in addition to Big Thunder Mountain which is closed for an extensive refurb. Then, on Friday (April 19) California Screamin’ was added to the list of forbidden rides, following a review of emergency evacuation procedures. Note that these closures are not related to guest safety, but to fall protection and other safety measures for employees cleaning and servicing the attractions after hours.

At press time, the Matterhorn and Soarin’ Over California have both been reinspected and returned to service. California Screamin’ was also reopened late on Friday, and is expected to operate on Saturday. However, according to reports on MiceAge, Space Mountain may be out of service for the rest of April.

If you are visiting Disneyland in the immediate future and using our Lines app to optimize, your touring plan should automatically adjust to accommodate any closed attractions. Check back on our Refurbishment page for updates on what is operating at the resort on any given day.


10 Ways to Get Ready for Your Disneyland Vacation

by on April 19, 2013

You’re going to Disneyland!! And unlike the latest Super Bowl MVP, you probably have more than one evening to plan. So what should you do to get ready? Disneyland isn’t really a show-up-with-no-plan kind of a place. You certainly can do that, and I know people who have, but trust me, it’s better to have some idea of what you’re getting into. Let’s adopt the Boy Scout motto! Be prepared! Prepared is good!

1. Get Your Unofficial GuideThe absolute first thing you need to do is to get a copy of the Unofficial Guide! There’s a reason the series has sold millions of books. It is the perfect planning guide for Disneyland. It’s not a sugar coated view of Disney. It will help you appreciate the highs, and avoid the lows. Do you want to know which rides are going to scare the pants off your kids? The Unofficial Guide will tell you. Do you want to know the best restaurants? The best hotels? Or, more importantly maybe, the worst hotels? Again – the Unofficial Guide. And get it quick! Have you seen them recently? They’re behemoths! Not a quick read! A great read, maybe even an essential one for planning, but not a quick one.

2. Exercise – My husband may or may not have just busted his gut laughing when he saw that I was recommending exercise, but it’s (sadly) true. The amount of walking you do at a Disney park is not for the faint of heart. You can easily walk more than 10 miles in one day. Yep. 10 miles. If exercise is a dirty word to you, that number may scare you a little. It does me! But it doesn’t have to. We’re not talking about running a half marathon here. We’re talking about walking. Walking a lot! But walking. You don’t have to go into serious training. A few weeks of some evening walks with the family will help immensely! Oh yeah, and wear comfortable, worn-in shoes! There’s nothing worse at Disney than realizing your shoes are burning blisters into your feet.

3. Order the Vacation Planning DVD – This one is mostly for fun if you’re a frequent visitor, but if you’re a newbie, the DVD can give you a good overview of Disneyland and what it has to offer. Your kids will probably love it by the way!

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Limited Time Magic For Disneyland Resort – “Dig Up” a Delicious Earth Week

by on April 19, 2013

Guests of both California parks will be the chance to tantalize their taste buds during this week’s Limited Time Magic.

The “Worm and Dirt” tart dessert can be found at the Plaza Inn and French Market at Disneyland and at Wine Country Trattoria at Disney California Adventure.

It sounds like a delicious treat that guests will enjoy digging into!

Limited Time Magic For Walt Disney World – Party for the Planet

by on April 19, 2013

Guests are invited to celebrate Earth Week over at Disney’s Animal Kingdom in the Party for the Planet. (This is the first Limited Lime Magic event to take place at Animal Kingdom.)

During this special event, party goers can take part in a Character Dance Party, and rarely seen characters will take part in Mickey’s Jammin’ Jungle Parade. Then join the characters for the dance party in DinoLand USA, with music played by DJ Dino-Mite. Characters coming out for the festivities include Thumper, Miss Bunny, Koda, Kenai, Lilo, Stitch, Flik, and Princess Atta.

In the market for special merchandise? Over at Creature Comforts, they will be offering celebratory clothing, commemorative pins, limited edition Vinylmation, plus much more.

The rest of the resort will be getting in on the fun, too, with some fun treats! At the Magic Kingdom and Epcot, guests can partake in a Worms and Dirt Tart. It will be able to be found at Tony’s Town Square and Liberty Tree Tavern in the MK, Kringla Bakeri Og Café and Sunshine Seasons at Epcot.  Plus at Capt. Cook’s at Disney’s Polynesian Resort. At Disney’s Hollywood Studios and Kona Cafe, found at the Polynesian Resort, a Worm and Dirt cupcake will be available. It will be found at ABC Commissary, Pizza Planet, Backlot Express, Studio Catering Co. and Starring Rolls Cafe at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, and Kusafari Coffee Shop and Bakery and the espresso and coffee cart at Disney’s Animal Kingdom.

More Details About Animal Kingdom’s 15 Anniversary

by on April 17, 2013



Last week, we talked about how Disney will be celebrating Animal Kingdom’s 15th Anniversary! We now know some more details about what guests who visit on April 22 will experience.

  • While the opening ceremony will be taking place at 8:40 am, the gates will open at 8:30 am in front of the Tree of Life.  One note: Joe Rohde, Senior VP of Walt Disney Imagineering Creative, was originally supposed to make an appearance, but now he is not expected to attend.
  • A special commemorative park map will be handed out to celebrate the occasion. There will also be a special postcard that serves as as a Party for the Planet guide.
  • Speaking of Party for the Planet, activities will take place in Africa, Asia, and Rafiki’s Planet Watch. Kids will get the chance to learn how to identify animals by observing tracks and other clues in Africa. In Asia, families will find out how choosing green products can make a big difference for wildlife and nature. Over at Rafiki’s Planet Watch families will discover ways to spend time in nature and participate in activities inspired by the films African Cats, Chimpanzee, and Wings of Life.
  • Starting April 22 and lasting until quantities run out, a limited edition commemorative button will be given out to those who contribute to the Disney Worldwide Conservation Fund.
  • Speak with specialists from Elemental Nursery and Just Plumerias, who will be there featuring their beautiful plants and topiaries.
  • Face Painting will be available
  • Special merchandise will be sold
  • Guests can pick up a special Earth Day Cupcake

It is sure to be a great event!

Passholders To Get Free Fun At Blizzard Beach This May

by on April 17, 2013



Are you an Walt Disney World Annual Passholder? If so, Disney is offering you complimentary admission to Blizzard Beach on May 9 and 16.  Guests may enter the park any time after 2:00 pm.

Those who visit the park during this special event should be sure to stop by Lottawatta Lodge for complimentary refreshments and prizes!

There is no need to RSVP; however, you must present identification to enter, and free entry is for the Passholder only.

Car Masters Weekend To Take Place in June

by on April 17, 2013



The Third Annual Car Masters Weekend will be taking place at Walt Disney World’s Downtown Disney from June 14 – 16. This free, two day event will allow guests to take part in all kinds of activities that are fun for the whole family.

The highlight of the show is the car show, which will feature more than 150 classic, muscle, and exotic cars.

In addition, guests will have the opportunity to meet stars from the movie Cars 2, including Lightning McQueen, Finn McMissile, and Mater. Special appearances will also be made by Cars filmmaker Jay Ward and automotive designer Chip Foose. (He contributed to the design of Ramone in the movie Cars.)

Quite a few additional events will help to round out the weekend. There will be a Cars and Cars 2 movie marathon that will take place at the AMC Downtown Disney 24, the ability to test drive Ridemakerz Cars models, live entertainment, themed food and drink, caricatures, and more.

We’ll keep you posted as more information gets released for this fun-filled weekend.