Current Events 9/1/2023

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Disneyland Resort Current Event

How Disneyland turned San Francisco into San Fransokyo Square
The San Fransokyo seen in 'Big Hero 6' and Disney California Adventure is an alternate universe where the city of San Francisco ended up with an extensive Tokyo overlay.
PUBLISHED: August 31, 2023

“‘What you’re seeing the day you visit San Fransokyo Square is Big Hero 6 Day. It’s a big show of appreciation,’ Walt Disney Imagineering Art Director Michael Dobrzycki said. ‘Of course, every day you visit is Big Hero 6 Day, so it doesn’t matter which day you go. If you come this time next year, it will still be Big Hero 6 Day.’

“San Fransokyo Square officially opened on Thursday, Aug. 31 with the full transformation of the former Pacific Wharf food court finally complete.

“San Fransokyo served as the central location in the 2014 Disney animated superhero movie drawing upon inspirations from both cities to create the fictional metropolis. Imagineering has spent the summer slowly but steadily turning the Monterey Bay-themed Pacific Wharf land into an architectural cross between the San Francisco Bay and Tokyo Bay areas.”

“The backstory of San Fransokyo Square finds the wharf fishing community revitalized after the fisheries, canneries and tanneries in an old waterfront village fell on hard times during a big tech boom in the fictional city.”

Orange County Register

Baymax is one of the biggest characters you’ll ever meet at Disneyland
Baymax will make meet-and-greet appearances in San Fransokyo Square when the full transformation of the former Pacific Wharf food court is finally complete at Disney California Adventure.
PUBLISHED: August 30, 2023

“The massive new Baymax character coming to San Fransokyo Square will put the “big” in Big Hero 6 when the inflatable healthcare robot joins his pal Hiro Hamada at the rethemed land at Disney California Adventure.”

“Disneyland fans will be able to give the inflatable robot squishy hugs, trade fist bumps and pose for photos — but don’t expect him to sign autographs with his stubby fingers.

“Baymax talks and can carry on limited conversations with visitors.”

“The new Baymax character is not part of Imagineering’s Project Exo.”

Orange County Register

By Dusty Sage -August 31, 2023


Tue, August 29, 2023
New Haunted Mansion Grounds Expansion, Retail Shop Coming to Disneyland Resort in 2024
by Kelsey Lynch, Public Relations Director, Disneyland Resort

“ In 2024, the additions will build on the story and lore of the Haunted Mansion and include an expanded outdoor queue to immerse guests in enhanced theming, as well as a new retail shop adjacent to the attraction’s exit.

“Local legend suggests the manor known today as the Haunted Mansion was first built by a prosperous sea captain. To this day, the mansion’s staff faithfully maintains the happy haunting grounds. The expanded queue will tie into these stories and more, including new gardens inspired by Master Gracey, Madame Leota and the one-eyed cat.

“Each of the gardens will feature unique elements ranging from a water fountain and gazebo to themed statuary and landscaping. In fact, guests will be able to see a new greenhouse where the groundskeepers for the Haunted Mansion grow their plants. The pet cemetery and horse-drawn funeral hearse will continue to reside on the attraction’s grounds.”

“We also will make enhancements to the plaza adjacent to Tiana’s Palace. This area is one that holds a lot of memories and history, and a new, elegant park-like setting will be a place to relax and enjoy the ambiance and live entertainment under the shade of new and historic trees.

“Construction on these additions will begin in January 2024. We will take the opportunity to help improve the accessibility of these areas which includes a new elevator exit from the Haunted Mansion for guests with disabilities.”

Disney Parks Blog

Disneyland closing Haunted Mansion in January for queue expansion
The work will expand the outdoor queue, install a new accessibility elevator for wheelchair users exiting the ride and add a new retail shop at the attraction’s exit.
PUBLISHED: August 29, 2023

“The new backstory for the expanded Haunted Mansion queue suggests a possible movie tie-in with the “Haunted Mansion” film that opened in theaters this summer and is expected to arrive on the Disney+ streaming service later this year.”

“The new “Haunted Mansion” film has earned $92 million worldwide, according to Box Office Mojo. The modest take by Hollywood standards might not warrant a sequel.”

Orange County Register

Disneyland Shocker! Haunted Mansion Expansions
By Samantha Davis-Friedman -August 29, 2023


ABC and ESPN taken off Charter’s Spectrum TV service as Disney battles cable provider
Charter pays about $2.2 billion in annual programming costs to Disney, not including the impact of advertising revenue.
PUBLISHED: September 1, 2023
By Lucas Shaw and Scott Moritz | Bloomberg

“Charter Communications, the No. 2 US cable TV provider, declared war on Walt Disney Co., saying it can no longer live with rising fees for ESPN and other programming.

“Disney, the world’s largest entertainment company, responded by yanking its channels, including ESPN and ABC, from Charter’s Spectrum TV service, depriving that company’s 32 million paying households of popular shows and sporting events, including possibly the coming NFL season.”

“This dispute could be a tipping point for the industry, New Street Research analyst Jonathan Chaplin wrote in a research note Friday. The “crux of the dispute” appears to be ESPN, which Disney has hinted it will ultimately offer direct to consumers online, Chaplin wrote.”

Orange County Register

Disneyland tries out a new family-centric festival during the back-to-school season
The Disney Junior & Friends Playdate three-day event kicked off at DCA on Friday, Aug. 18 with a parade, shows, food, music and games.
PUBLISHED: August 19, 2023

“At the moment, the Disney Junior festival is little more than repurposed retreads and salvaged parts from other seasonal events cobbled together for young kids who don’t know any better and parents just looking for a way to keep them entertained on a sweltering hot day in late summer.”

“The highlight of the this year’s festival was the “Disney Junior Live Playdate” show at the Hollywood Backlot Stage. Disney dancers got the kids jumping, spinning, clapping and playing along as Mickey, Minnie, Goofy, Pluto, Pooh and Tigger joined in the fun.

“The 15-minute show was perfect for the little ones teetering between naptime and a sugar high who just needed to get their wiggles out and their groove on. The dancers led the kids in participatory games like head, shoulders, knees and toes as well as call-and-response cheers tied to Disney Junior shows.”

“Disney California Adventure has become the seasonal festival headquarters at the Disneyland resort much like Epcot at Walt Disney World in Florida. DCA is already home to a series of events and festivals during the off-season celebrating Halloween, Christmas, Lunar New Year and California food and wine. A family fun festival could serve as a bridge between the summer season and the busy fall and winter holiday seasons.”

Orange County Register

Halloween and Christmas are the new summer at theme parks
Summer is no longer the peak season at Disneyland, Universal Studios Hollywood and Knott’s Berry Farm. Halloween and Christmas are king at Southern California theme parks.
PUBLISHED: August 30, 2023

“Summer is no longer the peak season at Disneyland, Universal Studios Hollywood and Knott’s Berry Farm. Halloween and Christmas are king at Southern California theme parks.

“Disneyland is nearly giving tickets away in parts of June, August and September when you can get into a single park for $104 — the lowest price of the year in a multi-tiered ticketing system.”

Orange County Register

Disneyland Halloween Time Guide 2023 – New Boo For You!
By Nathan Villamor -September 1, 2023

“Halloween Time at the Disneyland Resort has arrived! Below, you’ll find everything you need to know about the Halloween season, including information about ride overlays, entertainment, specialty foods, surprise additions and much more.”

“SURPRISE: Don’t miss the Rolly Crump Candle Man added to the Haunted Mansion.”


Theme parks blame ‘extreme weather’ for attendance drops and financial loses
U.S. theme parks have endured an onslaught of wild weather this year ranging from unprecedented rainfall and excessive heat warnings to Canadian wildfires and California hurricanes.
PUBLISHED: August 22, 2023

“Theme parks across the country have endured an onslaught of wild weather this year ranging from unprecedented rainfall and excessive heat warnings to Canadian wildfires and California hurricanes that have led to lower attendance and reduced revenue.”

Orange County Register

Disneyland Resort to Update Early Entry Benefits for Resort Hotel Guests in 2024
by Mike Mack | Aug 24, 2023
Disneyland Resort has announced an update to their early park entry benefit for guests staying at resort hotels.

“Starting January 20, 2024, the early entry benefit will be updated, and guests with valid park admission and reservations who are checked in and staying at one of the Disneyland Resort hotels may take advantage of this 30-minute early entry into a designated theme park for every day of their hotel stay.

“Each day, either Disneyland Park or Disney California Adventure Park will be open early. Guests can enter Disneyland Park or Disney California Adventure Park 30 minutes before regular park opening to enjoy select attractions, dining and shopping locations.

“Currently, both Disneyland Park and Disney California Adventure Park are open early to resort hotel guests.”

Laughing Place

Disneyland Update – Disneyland Takes a Bath & Halloween Screams!
By Dusty Sage -August 21, 2023


DISNEYLAND UPDATE: Pricing Paradox, Main Street Mysteries, & Miniature Magic!
By Dusty Sage -August 28, 2023

“If that subheading has you thinking that Disneyland has been packed… you are correct! Especially on weekdays. The dynamic we’ve been noting for months went into overdrive this week when all 4 Magic Key levels were unblocked during the week and $104/day tickets were also available Monday through Thursday. 

“On Thursday, the resort was uncomfortably crowded all day.”
“However, the price for day tickets jumped to $159/169 over the weekend and the lower tier passes had weekend block-outs… so, at least during the day, the parks were blissfully uncrowded. When we arrived mid day on Friday, we couldn’t believe how much less crowded it was than the day before. Guests are clearly prioritizing lower cost days, and a $50-$60 price jump from a Wednesday to a weekend is worth adjusting your schedule for.”


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