Disneyland Putting Limits on Annual Passholders for 2019…May Be Hinting at Possible Opening of Galaxy’s Edge

Today Disneyland announced what may be the first of sweeping changes coming to its annual passport program.  For the first time, Disney may limit which parks some passholders can visit on specific days.

These changes come at a time when officials for Disneyland Resort are debating what is the best way to manage enormous crowds that are expected when Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge opens next summer in Disneyland.

It’s being reported that Disneyland will be sending out, possibly as early as today, an email to passholders explaining the new program.  Sources say that they will be creating two new admission calendars.  This means that some passes will be good at certain parks on certain days, but not necessarily both parks on the same day.

According to Disneyland spokesperson Liz Jaeger, “As our business evolves, this is the first step in reshaping our Annual Pass program, which will better manage the guest experience and allow all Disneyland Resort visitors to have a great visit, particularly as we look forward to the opening of Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge in summer 2019.”

Reportedly, starting next June, passholders will see two calendars,  one for each park. Passholder will then need to check both calendars to see which park they can visit on which day. It’s being reported that the biggest changes will be coming to holders of the Deluxe passport, while higher levels experiencing no change at all.

As what happens currently, annual passholders will go online and use drop-down menus to see which park or both they can visit on a chosen date. A green date means yes. Gray means no.

With this announcement, Disneyland is extending its planning calendar to 13 months to allow passholders to look now and see which days they can visit in June 2019. Normally the calendar would only have been visible through May.

According to Disneyland the current two-park-per-day system on a single calendar will continue intact for the coming year and then through the end of May 2019.

The SoCal Annual Passport, which is geared to Southern California locals, admits these passholders only on weekdays and during the off-season. The highest level, which allows visits every day of the year, even the most crowded ones, which are typically around Christmas.

Ticket type June 2018 admission days (both parks) June 2019 admission days (both parks)
So Cal Annual Passport (on hiatus – only renewals) 19 0 (20 for DCA only)
Select Annual Passport 4 0 (3 for DCA only)
Deluxe Annual Passport 25 13 (Plus 17 for DCA only)
Signature Annual Passport 30 30
Signature Plus Annual Passport 30 30

Currently, if they are not blocked out, passholders can visit either Disneyland or Disney California Adventure or both. It’s common for people to hop between the parks in one day.

With the change announced this today, Disneyland is hoping to reduce crowding in Disneyland during the summer of 2019, by sending many visiting passholders to Disney California Adventure instead.

According to the new calendar for June 2019 Deluxe passholders (currently priced at $729/year) will be able to visit both parks on 13 days, while on 17 days they can visit only California Adventure, for a total 30 days of admission.

This compares to this June, when Deluxe passholders could visit either park on 25 of the month’s 30 days.

This is where speculation for the opening of Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge comes in.  Some astute Disney observers are speculating that the highly anticipated land will open on or shortly after June 21st.

With the announced changes, Disney experts are saying that the changes were much less draconian than was speculated, and that they expect to see another big price increase as well to control passholder levels.

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Disneyland Resort Announces Locations for New Mobile Ordering Service

About 6-7 weeks ago I reported that some of the Quick Service and Fast Casual restaurants at the Disneyland Resort were going to be getting the Mobile Ordering Service, which has been very popular at Walt Disney World.

Today Disneyland has announced the initial locations that will be getting the new service.

The Mobile Ordering Service will be available at six Disneyland locations.  The six locations that will be getting the service are Bengal Barbecue, Galactic Grill, Gibson Girl Ice Cream Parlor, Hungry Bear Restaurant, Jolly Holiday Bakery Café and Red Rose Taverne.

Nine Disney California Adventure locations will be getting Mobile Ordering and they are – Award Wieners, Clarabelle’s Hand-Scooped Ice Cream, Cocina Cucamonga Mexican Grill, Corn Dog Castle, Flo’s V8 Café, Lucky Fortune Cookery, Pacific Wharf Café, Paradise Garden Grill and Smokejumpers Grill.

Guests can customize their orders directly on the app, including allergy-friendly offerings.

According to Disneyland, “This new service is just one more way we’re enhancing the guest experience. Mobile ordering and the recent launch of Disney MaxPass provide convenient options that maximize each visit to the Disneyland Resort with family and friends.”

This service has been Immensely popular at Walt Disney World and I’m sure it will be a big hit at the Disneyland Resort once guests start using it.

At this time Disneyland has not indicated an implementation date for the new Mobile Ordering System.

Avengers and Other Super Heroes to Assemble in New Themed Area at Disney California Adventure in 2020

Yesterday Disney announced that new Marvel-themed areas will be coming to Disneyland Resort, Disneyland Paris and Hong Kong Disneyland in the near future.

The new Super Hero-themed land at the Disneyland Resort will begin recruiting guests in 2020.  Spider-Man and the Avengers will be joining Guardians of the Galaxy in a completely immersive Super Hero universe in Disney California Adventure. The new land will be anchored by the immensely popular Guardians of the Galaxy – Mission: BREAKOUT!, in the area that is currently occupied by “a bug’s land.”  “It’s Tough to Be a Bug” already closed on March 19 and the rest of the land is scheduled to close later this summer.

Disney also announced that as part of the transformative multi-year expansion announced for Disneyland Paris, the new Marvel-themed area at Walt Disney Studios Park will include a reimagined Rock ‘n Roller Coaster where riders will team up with Iron Man and their favorite Avengers on a hyper-kinetic adventure in 2020.

Also announced were multi-year expansion plans at Hong Kong Disneyland, including a new themed area that will include an exciting attraction where guests team up with Ant-Man and The Wasp.

It was great to finally get some details about the Marvel-themed land at Disney California Adventure.  This area has been hinted at by Disney for a while now, so it was nice to finally get some official “vague details” to hype-up the fanbase.

I for one am very excited about this new area.  While there is a portion of the Disney fan community that are upset that in getting this new land means the extermination of “a bugs land,” I am not one of those.  The movie “A Bug’s Life” that the area was based on has never been one of my favorite Pixar movies and I’ve not been all that fond of the attractions is this land either.  In other words, I’m not all that broken up to see the bugs go away.

If Walt Disney Imagineering can replicate the great work that they were able to do on Guardians of the Galaxy – Mission: BREAKOUT! the area could be amazing.  Personally, the year 2020 cannot come soon enough….I am really excited and am already planning on a possible trip for when it opens.

Disney Marvel fans….ASSEMBLE!!!

 

Disney Shows Off Working Model of Pixar Pier Showing Newly Themed Areas Coming Summer 2018 to Disney California Adventure

Coming summer 2018, Pixar Pier will transform the southern shore of Paradise Bay at Disney California Adventure with whimsical neighborhoods filled with characters from some of your favorite Pixar stories. Today, we are bringing you a first look at this transformation through photos of a working model now in use at Walt Disney Imagineering.

Featuring newly themed attractions, foods and merchandise, this area will introduce new neighborhoods representing beloved Pixar stories. The neighborhood inspired by “The Incredibles” will be anchored by the Incredicoaster, which will feature a new mid-century-modern-style loading area inspired by the Parr family home as seen in the upcoming “Incredibles 2.”

Another of the neighborhoods will be a celebration of many of your favorite Pixar stories. In this neighborhood, each of the 24 gondolas on what is now Mickey’s Fun Wheel will feature different pairs of Pixar pals, and at the Games of the Boardwalk, all of the midway games will be inspired by characters from films such as “a bug’s life,” “WALL·E” and the Pixar short “La Luna.”

Pixar Pier will open summer 2018, during the first-ever Pixar Fest celebration, which begins April 13. The celebration will include the new “Together Forever – A Pixar Nighttime Spectacular” fireworks spectacular as well as the return of Pixar Play Parade and “Paint the Night” parade, and much more throughout the entire Disneyland Resort.

From The Disney Parks Blog

Disney California Adventure Food & Wine Festival Expands to Six Weeks in 2018

Disney California Adventure Food & Wine Festival will return March 2 through April 12, 2018, bringing delicious cuisine, specialty beverages and exciting entertainment to Disneyland Resort guests for its third season. The culinary festival will expand to six weeks, with more days for guests to enjoy the flavors of the Golden State.

More than a dozen Festival Marketplaces will feature California-inspired tastes and sips. Guests will experience presentations and demonstrations with celebrity chefs such as Robert Irvine and Alex Guarnaschelli; food and beverage tastings; winemaker dinners; beer, wine and spirit seminars – all in addition to live music, entertainment and special activities throughout the festival.

The festival’s signature events will include new experiences such as the Disney Family of Wines Dinner, as well as returning favorites like Sweet Sundays and the Winemaker or Brewmaster Dinners. Another guest-favorite returning to the festival is the Junior Chef experience, with hands-on fun led by Chef Goofy, for children ages 3 to 11.

 

Additional fees required for the signature events and certain seminars. Separate admission to Disney California Adventure Park is required and is not included with the cost of such events. Space is limited for all ticketed events; advance reservations are recommended. Guests must be 21 years of age or over to consume alcohol and to participate in some events; valid photo ID required. Events and demonstrations are subject to restrictions and change or cancellation without notice.

From The Disney Parks Blog

Encounter Black Panther at Disney California Adventure in 2018

Early next year, Super Hero fans will explore the isolated and technologically advanced kingdom of Wakanda when “Black Panther” opens in theaters February 16, 2018. And for a limited time, Disney California Adventure guests will have the opportunity to encounter the king of Wakanda himself, Black Panther.

“Black Panther” follows T’Challa who, after the death of his father, the King of Wakanda, returns home to the isolated, technologically advanced African nation to succeed to the throne and take his rightful place as king. But when a powerful old enemy reappears, T’Challa’s mettle as king — and Black Panther — is tested when he is drawn into a formidable conflict that puts the fate of Wakanda and the entire world at risk. Faced with treachery and danger, the young king must rally his allies and release the full power of Black Panther to defeat his foes and secure the safety of his people and their way of life.

From the Disney Parks Blog

Lunar New Year Festival Returns to Disney California Adventure

Kick off the Year of the Dog with the return of the popular Lunar New Year festival at Disney California Adventure park!

From January 26 through February 18, this spectacular festival will feature live entertainment, delicious food and more. Take a look at the favorite experiences returning for this year’s celebration:

  • Hurry Home — Lunar New Year Celebration, a nighttime water show on Paradise Bay
  • Disney characters such as Mulan and her friend Mushu, along with Mickey Mouse and his pals, all dressed up for the occasion — including Goofy dressed as the God of Good Fortune
  • Specialty Chinese, Korean and Vietnamese foods at Paradise Garden Grill
  • Commemorative merchandise featuring designs inspired by the different cultures of East Asia
  • Lucky Wishing Wall, where you can add your own wish
  • The festive Mulan’s Lunar New Year Procession, traditional crafts and more!


From the Disney Parks Blog

Disneyland Discontinues Southern California Annual Pass…For Now

The popular Southern California annual pass that allows visitors entrance to Disneyland and Disney California Adventure on certain days year round will no longer be available for new customers, for the time being, a Disneyland spokesperson confirmed.

Starting Monday, Nov. 20, the $469 pass – one of Disneyland’s least expensive annual pass options – will go on hiatus. The Southern California annual pass option was removed from the Disneyland.com website this morning.

Current Southern California Passport annual pass holders will have the option to renew. Those who have passes that expired recently will receive a letter soon on how to renew the pass.

“Our annual passes are very popular with guests,” said Michele Himmelberg, a Disneyland spokeswoman. “We continuously seek the appropriate balance that helps manage demand for our product and allows us to deliver a world-class experience for all guests.”

The discontinuing of the popular Southern California Passport – even if it’s just for the time being – comes as no surprise.

With an estimated 1 million annual pass holders and Star Wars land, Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, opening in a couple of years and other attractions such as Pixar Pier coming in the near future, Disneyland officials appear to be taking another step to managing future crowds and spreading out the demand.

Last year, Disneyland introduced a tiered ticket pricing structure to spread out the crowds. Earlier this year, Disneyland increased the price for admission tickets and annual passes.

This is the second time the Southern California Passport was discontinued. In 2014, Disneyland officials removed the annual pass to better manage the crowds that come Sundays at the theme parks. Disney later reintroduced it in 2016.

Disneyland offered five types of annual passes, ranging in price from $339 to $1,049.

The Southern California Passport is one of two annual passes available for Southern Calfornia residents living in ZIP codes 90000 to 93599, from San Diego to north of San Luis Obispo.

The pass allows visitors to enjoy both Anaheim theme parks for about 215 days with block outs on Saturdays, holidays, and half of summer. Its affordability – about $31 monthly with no interest after a $97 deposit – has made it a popular choice for local residents.

The Southern California Select Passport, which allows visitors 170 days of access to both theme parks – mostly on weekdays – will still be available. It’s priced at $339.

From the Orange County Register

Holiday Celebrations Begin on November 10th at Disneyland Resort

Beginning November 10, some of your returning favorites will feature a bit more magic during Holidays at the Disneyland Resort.

At Disney California Adventure, Festival of Holidays will bring a new take on delicious holiday comfort food. All-new cultural favorites are coming to the Festive Foods Marketplaces, including Beef Corn Tamale a la Plancha with Spicy Rojo Sauce, Braised Lamb Cheeks with Mediterranean Cauliflower, Sweet Potato Pie and Fruit and Nut Rugelach.

In Cars Land, Luigi’s Rollickin’ Roadsters will transform into Luigi’s Joy to the Whirl, and Mater’s Junkyard Jamboree will become Mater’s Jingle Jamboree, both featuring new holiday tunes for the season.

All of this is, of course, is in addition to the return of Disney ¡Viva Navidad! and “World of Color – Season of Light” at Disney California Adventure. At Disneyland, Sleeping Beauty’s Winter Castle, “Believe…in Holiday Magic” fireworks, “A Christmas Fantasy” parade, “it’s a small world” Holiday and Haunted Mansion Holiday will delight guests throughout the season.

Disneyland Announces Opening Date of Pixar Fest and Return of Paint the Night Parade

If you recall that Disney Parks Chairman Bob Chapek announced at the D23 Expo in July, Disneyland Resort guests are invited to celebrate their favorite Disney·Pixar stories during Pixar Fest. Disneyland announced that beginning April 13, 2018, this limited-time celebration of friendship and beyond will feature the debut of an all-new fireworks spectacular and the return of two favorite parades as well as even more beloved Pixar characters, new décor, atmosphere entertainment, themed food and beverage and new merchandise items.

“Together Forever – A Pixar Nighttime Spectacular” will light up Disneyland beginning April 13. In addition to dazzling pyrotechnics and memorable music, the theme of friendship, ever-present in most Pixar films, is celebrated in this nighttime spectacular. Guests are invited to embark on an emotional journey that starts when unlikely Pixar characters first meet. As they set out on adventures and overcome obstacles together, “Together Forever” celebrates the everlasting friendships forged by beloved Pixar pals. The story comes to life through projections on iconic park locations: Sleeping Beauty Castle, the water screens of the Rivers of America, the façade of “it’s a small world” and the buildings of Main Street, U.S.A. This nighttime spectacular will even feature a special flyover by Buzz Lightyear at Sleeping Beauty Castle.

Also on April 13, the popular “Paint the Night” parade will return, this time to Disney California Adventure. The parade features many Pixar stories, including characters from “Toy Story,” “Monsters, Inc.” and “Cars,” and another Pixar story will join “Paint the Night” parade later in the year.

With the launch of Pixar Fest, “Pixar Play Parade” will make its way through Disneyland for the first time. The parade will begin as most Pixar films have, with an appearance by the iconic and adorable Pixar lamp. Other new parade elements will feature characters from “UP” and “Inside Out.”

The Pixar Shorts film festival will feature rotating favorites such as “For the Birds” and “Lava” at the Sunset Showcase Theater in Hollywood Land in Disney California Adventure throughout most of Pixar Fest. The Paradise Gardens area will feature a new Pixar-themed musical troupe along with Pixar character greeting opportunities as well as crafts and activities for our younger guests.

Guests can get into character and celebrate friendship with a host of new merchandise, including an exclusive Pixar Fest charm bracelet. With multiple bracelet options and a variety of charms with fun friendship messages and favorite Pixar characters, guests can mix and match for themselves, or friends and family!

All of these exciting new experiences come in addition to the many attractions and entertainment throughout the Disneyland Resort that include your favorite Pixar characters. Join the celebration when Pixar Fest begins April 13, 2018!