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What You Need To Know About Disneyland’s Annual Passport Updates

RIP Disneyland Premium Annual Passport

Once again, Disneyland has shaken up their annual passport offerings. We’ll talk about what’s new, what’s out, and how this all affects you.

RIP Premium Annual Passport

The rumors are true –

Disney has officially cancelled the Premium Annual Passport.

The first and oldest AP, Premium will no longer be available for either purchase or renewal, replaced by several other AP options.

If you currently have a Premium AP, you’ll still be able to exercise the privileges of that pass until it expires. At that point, you’ll need to renew at a different passport level. Keep on reading!

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5 Steps of Disney’s (Not So) Secret Strategy To Axe Passholders

The Southern California annual passport is no longer sold at Disneyland, but if you're careful, you can still renew it.

Is the Disney Annual Passport under attack?

The days of deciding to throw up a theme park one day and start construction the next are over at the Walt Disney Company. Like me, they are logical and methodical, with their decisions reasoned out and planned weeks, months, and decades in advance.

So let me share with you their ‘secret’ formula to thin out the Disney AP population, including those Southern California Annual Passholders they no longer need or want. I’ve also included a bonus 6th step from October 2015 that will affect all park guests, but especially those with Premium passes. Keep on reading!

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5 Reasons Disneyland Doesn’t Want More Annual Passholders

Long lines clog the entrance to Disneyland.

Disney has a plan to pare down the number of Annual Passholders (AP’s) at the Disneyland Resort. We know this. One question that remains is why?

The answer has less to do with AP’s themselves and more to do with who the preferred target customer of the Walt Disney Company is. Keep on reading!

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5 Reasons Disneyland Should Serve Poutine

Happy Canada Day From Mouse Monthly

This July 1st, I would like to bring up the most important topic on everyone’s mind as we celebrate Canada Day… when will they start serving poutine at Disneyland?

I have lived in Southern California for almost five years now, but there are still a few things that lure me back up to my native country of Canada. One of which is that magical, mythical meal of melty goodness…poutine! Keep on reading!

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How Much Did Disneyland Cost When It Opened Compared With Today?

Disneyland 'A' Ticket

Ever wonder what it would be like to visit Disneyland back in 1955? To stroll the barely solidified pavement and see the park in its infancy?

Maybe you’d bump into Uncle Walt having lunch at the Chicken Plantation Restaurant before checking out the Indian Village? How about forking over a C-ticket to ride the Jungle Cruise?

Today, we’re used to the modern all-day, all-attraction type of Disneyland. As a die-hard Disney fan, I know all about the famous A-E ticket system that used to rule the park, but it was phased-out before I was even born.
Keep on reading!

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Disneyland Resort Refurbs and Main Street’s New Back Alley

The front facade of Chester Drawers is under refurbishment at Disneyland.
The Disneyland First Aid Center is completed covered in decorative scrims and walls.
The Disneyland First Aid Center is completely covered in decorative scrims and walls.

The construction work is never done at a Disney theme park. Rides and buildings are always in need of repair, refurbishing, and replacement. This is doubly true for the original Disneyland, which has it’s diamond 60th anniversary celebration just around the corner. Let’s take a look at what they’re doing to get ready.

Main Street, USA Gets A New Side Street?

As I wrote about several months ago, it looks like Disney is going full steam ahead on the construction of some sort of back alley to Main Street, USA. Hopefully, we’ll get something like the Side Street I described in my article, and not just a cheap, barely themed backstage like at the Magic Kingdom.

The Disneyland First Aid Center in its temporary home inside the Main St Lockers.
The Disneyland First Aid Center in its temporary home inside the Main St Lockers.

The First Aid Center and Make a Wish Lounge have both been moved to the area that used to house the Main Street Lockers.

The Main Street lockers are still unavailable at Disneyland.
The Main Street lockers are still unavailable at Disneyland.
A direction sign on Main Street, USA for the relocated First Aid Center in Disneyland.
A direction sign on Main Street, USA for the relocated First Aid Center in Disneyland.

You can see in the picture below that their original location behind the Corn Dog Truck is now covered up entirely. I can only assume that the building is being demolished to make room for foot traffic.

The original building for the Disneyland First Aid Center is probably being removed.
The original building for the Disneyland First Aid Center is probably being removed.

Also, at the front end of Main Street, across from the Mad Hatter in Town Square, we can see construction has begun on this end as well. It looks like the entire area of the former Egg House Restaurant might be removed for the new Side Street.

The Egg House area of Town Square is probably being removed for the new Side Street.
The Egg House area of Town Square is probably being removed for the new Side Street.

One large item on my Side Street wishlist was a connection to Tomorrowland, perhaps by the Space Mountain bathrooms at the back of the Starcade. And what do we find there?

Newly renovated bathroom area near the exit to Space Mountain, Disneyland.
Newly renovated bathroom area near the exit to Space Mountain, Disneyland.

A recently renovated and enlarged waiting area in this location, complete with doors to the backstage area. Will Disney simply pull these doors out and connect this room to the new Side Street? Only time will tell, but I have my fingers crossed.

Whistle While You Work – Minor Refurbishments at the DLR

The front facade of Chester Drawers is under refurbishment at Disneyland.
The front facade of Chester Drawers is under refurbishment at Disneyland.

There’s always a bunch of relatively minor maintenance going on at the Disneyland Resort. Above you can see the front facade of Chester Drawers covered by a decorative scrim.

Side view of Chester Drawers refurbishment in Disneyland.
Side view of Chester Drawers refurbishment in Disneyland.

Also, in true Disney style, the windows inside the shop are filled with themed pictures. In the images below, you can see Carnation Cafe on the other side of the street, just as it would look on a regular day.

A decorative window treatment inside Chester Drawers hiding construction on Main Street, USA.
A decorative window treatment inside Chester Drawers hiding construction on Main Street, USA.
A picture of the Carnation Cafe hides the construction on Main Street, USA.
A picture of the Carnation Cafe hides the construction on Main Street, USA.

Some maintenance that wasn’t so minor was being performed on the front entrance to Disneyland. About half of the turnstiles were hidden behind walls. I asked several Cast Members if they were being converted to the Magic Band type of turnstiles, but they all said the gates were just being painted.

Half of the front entry turnstiles at Disneyland are closed for painting.
Half of the front entry turnstiles at Disneyland are closed for painting.

To me, it’s poor planning to shut down half of the entrance to your park during it’s busiest season. The effect of this was long entry lines all day and an overall crowding of the Esplanade, which is one reason contributing to Disney not wanting any more AP’s right now. In other news, the new exterior to Alice in Wonderland look amazing. Gone are the cheap green tarps, replaced with decorative leaves, flowers, and other foliage.

Alice in Wonderland looks a lot bigger without the cheap green tarps out front.
Alice in Wonderland looks a lot bigger without the cheap green tarps out front.

The recent refurbishment makes the whole front of the building seem less crowded and closed-in.

New exterior on Alice in Wonderland ride at Disneyland.
New exterior on Alice in Wonderland ride at Disneyland.

While a lot of work is always going on, I found a few places that still needed touching up, like this bathroom sign in DCA or this rock-looking speaker in front of the Jolly Holiday Bakery.

Paradise Pier Men's Room sign needs repainted at DCA.
Paradise Pier Men’s Room sign needs repainted at DCA.
A broken rock-themed speaker in front of the Jolly Holiday Cafe.
A broken rock-themed speaker in front of the Jolly Holiday Cafe.
A rock-themed speaker at Disneyland needs repair.
A rock-themed speaker at Disneyland needs repair.

Over in DCA, a seating area in front of King Trident’s Carousel is all boarded up, and the decorative water fountains surrounding the ride weren’t working.

Paradise Pier seating area under refurbishment in DCA.
Paradise Pier seating area under refurbishment in DCA.
King Triton's Carousel water fountain isn't working.
King Triton’s Carousel water fountain isn’t working.

In the good news department, the new paint job on the outer buildings of Pacific Wharf looks great. The multi-colored sections and fake company logos make it look like an an actual block from downtown Monterey and deepen the overall theme of the area. You don’t really notice them right away, but subliminally they draw you further into the story of the area, like the shop names and apartments of Main or Buena Vista Streets.

Recently painted buildings from Pacific Wharf in Disney California Adventure.
Recently painted buildings from Pacific Wharf in Disney California Adventure.
Pacific Wharf Canning Company sign from Pacific Wharf in DCA.
Pacific Wharf Canning Company sign from Pacific Wharf in DCA.
Pacific Seafoods sign from Pacific Wharf in Disney California Adventure.
Pacific Seafoods sign from Pacific Wharf in Disney California Adventure.
Kruger's Net Repair sign from Pacific Wharf in Disney California Adventure.
Kruger’s Net Repair sign from Pacific Wharf in Disney California Adventure.
Charlie's Sardines sign from Pacific Wharf in Disney California Adventure
Charlie’s Sardines sign from Pacific Wharf in Disney California Adventure.
Bait and Tackle sign from Pacific Wharf in Disney California Adventure.
Bait and Tackle sign from Pacific Wharf in Disney California Adventure.

Conclusion

That’s it for this Disneyland construction update. A lot of great things happening over at the DLR. Check out my other recent post on the new look of New Orleans Square. Thanks for reading and we’ll see ya’ real soon!

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New Starbucks Open at Downtown Disney – DLR Construction 6/14

The new Downtown Disney Starbucks, Disneyland, California.
The new Downtown Disney Starbucks, Disneyland, California.

Just a quick post today. We were walking through Downtown Disney at the Disneyland Resort (DLR) the other day and noticed that Starbucks was open. Newly constructed, this shop debuted in March 2014 and is the third Starbucks location in the DLR, including the ones on Main Street, USA and Buena Vista Street.

It’s a particularly inviting Starbucks location with a very SoCal outdoor patio, complete with shade trees and a groovy decorative garden wall. The little courtyard seems like a nice place to sit and relax, which I would probably do if Disneyland wasn’t beckoning to me 100 yards away. Maybe next time.

Winter Starbucks construction at Downtown Disney DLR.
Winter Starbucks construction at Downtown Disney DLR.

I’ve thrown in a couple of construction pictures from this past winter for added flavor. In the image above, from December 2013, you can see that the large patio tree is already in place as well as most of the exterior stucco work. The glass walls and the interior of the store itself are still very under construction.

That’s all for this mini construction (or rather completion) post on the Downtown Disney Starbucks at the DLR. Have any construction reports or pictures of your own? Let me know in the comments below and make sure to sign up for our free weekly newsletter so you won’t miss future construction update posts (or any of our other great content). See ya’ real soon!

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Retro Merchandise Arrives At Disneyland Resort In Time For Summer

Enchanted Tiki Room vintage artwork themed plate at Disneyland.
Enchanted Tiki Room vintage artwork themed plate at Disneyland.
Enchanted Tiki Room vintage artwork themed plate at Disneyland.

Ready to blow some cash?

There’s a bunch of new merchandise available at Disney theme parks this summer. Characters from Star Wars and the Marvel Universe are certainly gaining traction, and even a few items from Maleficent have made their way onto the store shelves.

That being said, the most interesting product additions this year are the new sets of themed kitchenware- decorated in vintage Disney attraction posters and artwork.

Vintage Disneyland Attraction Poster Kitchenware

Beautiful Fantasyland Logo Stemware at Disneyland.
Beautiful Fantasyland Logo Stemware at Disneyland.

The folks at Disney Consumer Products have made the old new again, plastering classic artwork from beloved attractions onto cups, glasses, and plates. You could easily drop a ton of money on this stuff and buy yourself a brand new kitchen set.

Vintage attraction poster themed plates at Disneyland.
Vintage attraction poster themed plates at Disneyland.
Retro Splash Mountain Logo Plate at Disneyland.
Retro Splash Mountain Logo Plate at Disneyland.
Original Pirates of the Caribbean attraction artwork themed plate at Disneyland
Original Pirates of the Caribbean attraction artwork themed plate at Disneyland
Jungle Cruise attraction poster themed plate.
Jungle Cruise attraction poster themed plate.
Disneyland vintage attraction poster glassware.
Disneyland vintage attraction poster glassware.

I resisted the overspending temptation on my most recent trip to Disneyland, but I’m sure more than a few of those awesome retro and shag glasses will find their into our cupboards at some point. How awesome would a set of 20K coasters be on my coffee table!

20,000 Leagues Under the Sea Vintage Coasters at Disneyland.
20,000 Leagues Under the Sea Vintage Coasters at Disneyland.

Shag Disney Summer Merchandise

Vintage artwork on kitchenware in Adventureland, Disneyland.
Vintage artwork on kitchenware in Adventureland, Disneyland.

50’s vintage not your style? How about 50’s shag? Over in Adventureland, they’ve recreated merchandise from the ‘tiki-craze,’ so you can deck out your patio in ‘Aloha’ plates and Jose dip bowls.

Shag-retro Enchanted Tiki Room artwork bowl set.
Shag-retro Enchanted Tiki Room artwork bowl set.

Disney ‘Lands’ Plates

Shag-retro Adventureland art themed plate at Disneyland.
Shag-retro Adventureland art themed plate at Disneyland.

These plates, representing each Disney ‘land’ with classic attraction logos (in a Mary Blair style), are also on my shopping list. I can see them working out in multiple situations- whether you’re hosting a trendy adult dinner party or a kid’s birthday.

Tomorrowland attraction artwork mash-up theme plate.
Tomorrowland attraction artwork mash-up theme plate.

The Tomorrowland themed plate in particular is very nice. With the Moonliner in the middle, and little Rocket Jets and Autopia cars zipping all over, it really sums up a people on-the-move and the hope for a better future that is classic Tomorrowland.

Retro-inspired Frontierland attraction artwork themed plate.
Retro-inspired Frontierland attraction artwork themed plate.
Fantasyland retro stylized plate from Disneyland.
Fantasyland retro stylized plate from Disneyland.

Retro Disney Character Cups and Glasses

Retro-style classic Disney characters kitchenware.
Retro-style classic Disney characters kitchenware.

Classic Disney characters decorate a new line of cups and glasses this summer. Mostly just a spin-off of previous retro-character logo items, I think any one of these would look good in my house. Really the only reason I won’t end up buying one is because of all the other great retro merchandise available (I’m a sucker for attraction posters)!

Minnie's Bake Shop logo mug from Disneyland.
Minnie’s Bake Shop logo mug from Disneyland.
Vintage looking Mickey Mouse on a Mickey's Ice Cream Bar mug.
Vintage looking Mickey Mouse on a Mickey’s Ice Cream Bar mug.
Retro style mug for Goofy's Candy Co.
Retro style mug for Goofy’s Candy Co.
Candy Cauldron mug from Pooh's Corner, Disneyland.
Candy Cauldron mug from Pooh’s Corner, Disneyland.

That’s it for today- just a short post. I could on for quite a while about most of the vintage pieces Disney has for us this summer, and I just might, so make sure to follow up with me on Twitter.

And I’d love it if you’d add to the discussion. Which new item is your favorite? Have you bought one already? How do they work out at home?

Let me know in the comments below and make sure to sign up for our free weekly newsletter so you won’t miss any of our great content. See ya’ real soon!

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Whistle While You Work – Disneyland Resort Refurbs

The Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage is hidden behind construction walls at Disneyland, California.
The Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage is hidden behind construction walls at Disneyland, California.
The Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage is hidden behind construction walls at Disneyland, California.

Just a few maintenance updates for the Disneyland Resort to prepare you for your next visit. Let’s begin.

Disneyland

The lockers on Main Street, USA are no longer available - Disneyland, California.
The lockers on Main Street, USA are no longer available – Disneyland, California.

Several major attractions at Disneyland are still closed for maintenance, including the Alice in Wonderland ride in Fantasyland and the Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage in Tomorrowland. Other than the heavy construction on New Orleans Square, most of the other refurbishment around the park are pretty minor.

I was happy to see that the Main Street Lockers are closed. This gives me hope that my dreams of a new parallel Side Street might actually come true!  Other than that, the standard touch-ups on handrails and window trim is about all you’re likely to run into. Also, one of the treasure hand pumps on Tom Sawyer Island seems is broken, but don’t worry, they have a spare.

Disney California Adventure

Dry splash-down ramp at Grizzly River Rapids, DCA.
Dry splash-down ramp at Grizzly River Rapids, DCA.

Grizzly River Run has been down for maintenance, but it’s the only major attraction in Disney California Adventure that isn’t working. Some overhead construction is going on in Pacific Wharf  next the Ghiradelli Chocolate Shop, but is isn’t really visible from the main path and barely detracts from the beauty of the area.

Across the way, the Blue Sky Cellar is still closed, supposedly for the installation of a new show. I don’t have any numbers to prove it, but this venue seems to be closed at least half the year and I can’t understand why. Mainly consisting of a couple of easy-to-replace models and a short movie, it seems that the Blue Sky Cellar could switch gears almost overnight. In any case, why not leave it open until you’re ready for the new show? Leave me a comment if you agree or even if you disagree.

The only other maintenance item is a missing letter in the sign for the Elysian Arcade. It wasn’t receiving any TLC and it might be picky to mention it, but I just want to impress you on how thorough we are here at Mouse Monthly.

Do you have any construction videos, facts, or photos you’d like to share?  Let me know in the comments below.

Thanks for riding along with me on this construction update for Grizzly River Run. Stay tuned for more detailed reports on everything Disney and make sure to sign up for our free weekly newsletter so you won’t miss future construction update posts (or any of our other great content). See ya’ real soon!

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Disney Baby Bump

Collage of each 'Baby Bump' picture from each of our visits to Disneyland.
Collage of each 'Baby Bump' picture from each of our visits to Disneyland.
Collage of each ‘Baby Bump’ picture from each of our visits to Disneyland.

Now that our son Jack has arrived and life as we know it has changed, I thought it would be fitting to reflect for a moment on the past nine months. For the uninitiated, I have taken ‘Baby Bump’ shots of my wife on each of our visits to Disneyland. I took these pictures in the same spot each time so we could look back and watch her pregnant belly grow.

The site wasn’t picked randomly. We decided to have Jamie stand in front of a honey pot because the nursery was going to be decorated in a Winnie the Pooh theme. I put together a little video below, so watch that honey pot disappear!

 

See ya’ real soon!

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