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P. 391: Mickey's Toontown reimagining announced for 2023!

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We also have a replacement for Fastpass.  I would love to summarize it for you but I don't understand it myself :-)

 

Disneyland FastPass replacement: Lightning Lane, Genie+ are the new way to skip lines for some rides

https://ktla.com/news/local-news/disneyland-fastpass-replacement-lightning-lane-genie-are-the-new-way-to-skip-lines-at-parks/

by: Nexstar Media Wire

Posted: Aug 18, 2021 / 01:41 PM PDT / Updated: Aug 18, 2021 / 03:21 PM PDT

Disney revealed on Wednesday the replacement for its iconic FastPass program at its U.S. theme parks and disclosed details about Disney Genie, a free personalized itinerary tool that will help guests spend less time waiting in line.

Disney said the iconic FastPass and MaxPass programs at the Disneyland Resort and Walt Disney World will be retired and replaced with “Lightning Lane” later this year.

Guests will be able to purchase the newly announced Disney Genie+ for a flat fee to gain access to shortened wait times using a new Lightning Lane on most attractions, including Haunted Mansion and Big Thunder Mountain Railroad.

The new service will cost $15 per ticket per day at Walt Disney World and $20 per ticket per day at Disneyland Resort. Guests will be able to choose one attraction at a time and select the next available arrival window for the Lightning Lane entrance. An example arrival window would be 10:00-11:00 a.m. at a specific attraction.

Genie+ also includes exclusive “AR filters” at Walt Disney World and Photopass downloads at Disneyland Resort.

While Genie+ will give guests access to the expedited Lightning Lane and a reduced wait for most attractions, it won’t include every attraction. Other “highly demanded” attractions, including Seven Dwarfs Mine Train at Walt Disney World and Radiator Springs Racers at Disneyland, will be available exclusively as “individual attraction selections.” Those attractions will be separate Lightning Lane purchases per person per ride, Disney said Wednesday.

A full list of Genie+ attractions and Lightning Lane attractions will be released later this year. Individual attraction selection pricing will be released later this year, Disney said.

Genie+ is similar to MaxPass, a service previously offered at Disneyland Resort where guests could book FastPass times on mobile devices. Using the previous system at Disneyland, guests could obtain paper FastPass at each attraction. MaxPass, which launched in 2017, introduced the ability for guests to reserve FastPass times without going to the ride and obtaining a paper ticket, offering instead the convenience of scheduling attractions in the Disneyland app.

According to Disney, all attractions will continue to offer a traditional standby queue or, in some instances, a virtual queue.

Lightning Lane purchases in the Disney app will be made per person per attraction and are not included in the Genie+ flat-fee purchase. Selecting attractions will happen on the day of your visit instead of weeks in advance as with the previous FastPass+ system at Walt Disney World.

Both Lightning Lane and Genie+ will launch in the fall.

Disney Genie, also revealed on Wednesday, is a free tool available to guests at Walt Disney World and Disneyland Resort that will help guests build a plan by optimizing their day based on projected wait times and available attractions.

“Disney Genie listens to the preferences that guests share with us to help design their best day and deliver an experience that’s made just for them,” Josh D’Amaro, Chairman, Disney Parks, Experiences and Product, said in a statement “Pairing incredible technology with more than 60 years of expertise about how our guests visit the parks, Disney Genie will personalize their Disney day, allowing guests to spend less time planning and waiting and more time doing the things they love.”

Guests can select their favorite attractions or characters, and Genie will “map out an entire day” while updating “your plan, so you can go with the flow as the day changes,” Disney said in a news release. The tool will launch in the fall.

“It’s going to allow Disney to move people to other attractions in the park,” said Dennis Speigel, president of Ohio-based International Theme Park Services. “It will alert people if there is a low wait at Splash Mountain… and Genie helps Disney understand the flow of guests.”

Speaking about the business impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, Speigel said Disney and other theme park operators used the time to evaluate business practices for the future.

“It gave Disney, Sea World, Universal…. it gave them the opportunity to eliminate programs and add programs,” Speigel said. “It accelerated the touchless and contactless part of the business, which increased per-capita spending in all of the theme parks.”

At Walt Disney World and Disneyland, all previous versions of FastPass have included a free option. With the exception of private VIP tours, this marks the first time Disney has offered a paid alternative to the traditional standby queues at its domestic parks.

First introduced in 1999 at Walt Disney World, FastPass began as paper tickets that had a return window for attractions. Disney World added FastPass+ and the ability to select attractions and return windows through My Disney Experience in 2013. Paper FASTPASS at Walt Disney World ended in 2014. In 2017, MaxPass was launched at Disneyland.

When the parks closed in March 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, both FastPass+ and MaxPass were suspended.

Earlier this month, a paid FastPass program was officially launched at Disneyland Paris on Aug. 5 under the Disney Premier Access brand. For $9-$17 per attraction, guests skip the traditional standby line by using this service.

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I think this is just putting Disney more in line with its competitors like Six Flags, Universal, and Cedar Fair. There will just be a general multi-use, skip-the-line upsell for most of the rides that use to have a general Fastpass option (with no free option). Then on top of that there will be an additional per-ride upsell for skip the line for the most popular of attractions (like Rise of the Resistance).

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Well, this is a downgrade. After two decades of having access to free fastpasses, I can’t imagine the majority of returning guests will like this.

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21 hours ago, JGuy said:

Well, this is a downgrade. After two decades of having access to free fastpasses, I can’t imagine the majority of returning guests will like this.

Considering that's mostly locals who do nothing but add to the congestion in the parks, screw 'em!

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  • 2 weeks later...

Disney has announced this year's holiday offerings for the Disneyland Resort!

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Holiday Magic is Coming! Beloved Seasonal Traditions Return to Disneyland Resort as Holidays Begin Nov. 12

https://disneyparks.disney.go.com/blog/2021/09/holiday-magic-is-coming-beloved-seasonal-traditions-return-to-disneyland-resort-as-holidays-begin-nov-12/

The Disneyland Resort will once again transform into a merry and magical place as guests return to enjoy their holiday season here, Nov. 12, 2021. You’ll have three more days to celebrate the Holidays, too, because we’re extending it through Jan. 9, 2022.

As you visit to make new memories this year, many beloved traditions are back that will provide you with cheerful entertainment, yuletide treats, specialty merchandise, sparkling décor and seasonal transformations of select attractions! 

At Disneyland park, nostalgic holiday magic shines brightly with the glistening Sleeping Beauty’s Winter Castle and a 60-foot Christmas tree on Main Street, U.S.A. Both make wonderful photo locations for that cherished memory of your Holiday visit.

Entertainment making a comeback this year at the park includes “A Christmas Fantasy” parade where beloved Disney characters join Santa Claus for a merry musical celebration down Main Street, U.S.A. You may also see Santa making other stops within the parks throughout your visit. For the perfect kiss goodnight, you will be treated to “Believe … in Holiday Magic” fireworks spectacular and magical snowfall over portions of Main Street, U.S.A. Additionally, seasonal transformations will happen once again at “it’s a small world” Holiday and the 20th installation of Haunted Mansion Holiday.

At Disney California Adventure park, create new memories during Festival of Holidays and discover the sights, sounds and tastes of a diverse season of celebrations during this festive time of year, including Christmas/Navidad, Diwali, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, and Three Kings Day. Friends and families are invited to celebrate with “Disney ¡Viva Navidad!” as Disney characters host a fun street party featuring Mexican folklórico dancers and Mariachis, Brazilian samba dancers and percussionists, giant mojiganga puppets and Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse in their fiesta best! At Paradise Gardens, you’ll enjoy festively themed food and beverages, live music and dance, and later in the holiday season, Mirabel from Walt Disney Animation Studios’ upcoming film “Encanto” will make her park debut. Stay tuned to the Disney Parks Blog for information on Mirabel’s arrival!

Over in Cars Land, the four-wheeled residents will be pulling out all the stops with their holiday décor. From the snow-covered billboard at the entrance all the way to the hubcap-studded tree at the courthouse, you will see automotive ornamentation at its finest along Route 66. And for a little more festive magic two popular attractions will transform into Luigi’s Joy to the Whirl and Mater’s Jingle Jamboree.

Also around the resort, traditional holiday décor and carolers bring the holiday spirit to Downtown Disney District and the Hotels of the Disneyland Resort. Over at the lobby inside Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa, you’ll want to discover all the fun, new details on the giant gingerbread house this year. 

With so much to do at the Disneyland Resort, where will your merry making begin? For more details, continue to check back on the Disney Parks Blog where additional information about Holidays at the Disneyland Resort will be shared.

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On 8/19/2021 at 6:21 PM, JGuy said:

Well, this is a downgrade. After two decades of having access to free fastpasses, I can’t imagine the majority of returning guests will like this.

I actually believe this and changing all the passes to reservations will create much needed balance in the parks. Not all will purchase lightning lane and AP’s can’t flood the parks (since Disney can cut off reservations at any time), so the ratio of fastpass to standby line should be much better for both.

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Disney has announced all the details about Disney Merriest Nites, Disneyland's Christmas ticketed event for 2021!

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Disneyland Resort Introduces Disney Merriest Nites, an All-New, After-Hours Separate Ticketed Event at Disneyland Park on Five Nights from Nov. 11-Dec. 9, 2021

  • Mickey Mouse and his friends will host the first after-hours holiday party at Disneyland Park. Princess Tiana, Lilo & Stitch, Queen Elsa, Buzz Lightyear and Miguel from the Disney•Pixar film “Coco” join Mickey Mouse to host six themed parties within one giant celebration
  • Event includes ‘A Christmas Fantasy’ Parade viewing, unique character sightings and themed photo opportunities
  • Tickets for Disney Merriest Nites go on sale Sept. 14, 2021, for limited-capacity holiday fun

Magic is here with Holidays at the Disneyland Resort, and this year Mickey Mouse and his friends are hosting Disney Merriest Nites, the first after-hours holiday party at Disneyland Park.


For family fun with limited capacity, the all-new Disney Merriest Nites holiday party will be offered as a separate-ticket event at Disneyland on five select nights in November and December. Disney Merriest Nites tickets will be sold for events on Nov. 11, Nov. 16, Nov. 30, Dec. 7 and Dec. 9. Tickets will be available for purchase beginning Sept. 14, 2021, no earlier than 9 a.m., on Disneyland.com and the Disneyland app. At Disney Merriest Nites, Mickey Mouse has invited his friends to help host six themed parties within one giant celebration throughout Disneyland park. Families and guests of all ages who are attending this event can enjoy enhanced holiday décor, seasonal entertainment, and specialty food and beverage offerings themed to each party during the event.


As the host of the party, Mickey Mouse will welcome guests on Main Street, U.S.A. in Victorian flair, and Kermit the Frog, Miss Piggy and their friends join in the fun, traveling in a special coach with Christmas carol sing-alongs, Muppet antics, and a few chickens! Over in New Orleans Square, Princess Tiana will welcome guests to celebrate Noel with a bayou-inspired celebration. Guests visiting Frontierland will see Miguel from the Disney•Pixar film “Coco” wishing everyone Feliz Navidad for a jolly fiesta. Three more character-hosted holiday parties await guests with a tropical party hosted by Lilo & Stitch in Adventureland, a wintertime celebration with Elsa in Fantasyland, and Buzz Lightyear taking the holidays to new heights over in Tomorrowland.


Special event merchandise will be available in Disneyland Park. Additional seasonal merchandise will be available throughout the Resort. Guests may add to their holiday wardrobes with seasonal attire and accessories, and find novelty items such as pins, plush and decorative items to continue the festivities at home. For guests looking to taste the treats of the holiday season, multiple food and beverage locations will offer specialty items for purchase as well as party-themed offerings.

 

At Disneyland Park
In addition to the parties being hosted by Mickey Mouse and friends, guests also will enjoy the classic sights, sounds and flavors of Holidays at the Disneyland Resort. Upon entering Disneyland guests will be greeted by a magnificent 60-foot-tall Christmas tree on Main Street, U.S.A., decorated with nearly 1,800 ornaments. The classic tree is an iconic symbol of Holidays at Disneyland Resort, as well as an ideal location for holiday photos. At the entrance to Fantasyland, the holiday magic will shine brightly each evening when Sleeping Beauty’s Winter Castle begins to sparkle with light and music fills the air illuminating the night in an enchanted wintertime spectacle. Returning for the season, guests will again see “A Christmas Fantasy” Parade * and some favorite Disney characters and princesses throughout the park, dressed in their seasonal finest – with a few surprises this year.


Additionally, seasonal transformations will once again resonate holiday cheer at “it’s a small world” Holiday and Haunted Mansion Holiday.


Highlights of Disney Merriest Nites

  • Entry to Disneyland Park before the party. The parties start at 8 p.m. PT and guests will have the opportunity to play in Disneyland three hours before each party begins
  • Experience six parties in one. Six parties in lands throughout the park are uniquely themed and hosted by Mickey Mouse and his friends
  • Unprecedented access to Holidays at the Disneyland Resort. Guests at these themed parties can experience many attractions with lower wait times due to a limited number of guests. This includes the seasonal transformations of “it’s a small world” Holiday and Haunted Mansion Holiday
  • Seasonal entertainment. Guests will be immersed in the spirit of the season with seasonal entertainment, such as “A Christmas Fantasy” Parade and seasonal musical performances
  • Spectacular holiday décor and lighting. From a glistening castle and enchanted lands that sparkle to festive wreaths and garlands galore, the holiday season is visible throughout the park.
  • Access to attractions within these lands: Tomorrowland, Fantasyland, Adventureland, New Orleans Square and Frontierland during the party
  • Themed photo backdrops and unlimited Disney PhotoPass digital photo downloads from the night are included with admission to Disney Merriest Nites. With the help of Disney PhotoPass photographers located throughout the party, it’s easier than ever to capture holiday photos – with the whole family in the photo.
  • Holiday treats and eats specially curated for the event.
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  • 2 months later...

Today Disney announced that Mickey's Toontown at Disneyland Park will be reimagined in time for the debut of Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway in 2023! The land will close in March of 2022 but will reopen with new experiences and spaces designed for families and young children to enjoy!

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https://disneyparks.disney.go.com/blog/2021/11/mickeys-toontown-at-disneyland-park-to-be-reimagined-with-new-experiences-and-more-play-and-interactivity-for-young-families-in-2023/?CMP=SOC-DPFY22Q1wo1111210062A

Just in time for Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse’s birthday this week, we have some exciting news to share about the Disneyland Resort!

An ambitious reimagining of Mickey’s Toontown in Disneyland park will debut in early 2023, alongside the new attraction, Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway. This news was shared today at the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions (IAAPA) Expo by Chairman of Disney Parks, Experiences and Products, Josh D’Amaro.

Building on the legacy of Mickey’s Toontown, Imagineers are working to create some all-new experiences so families and young children can have more opportunities to play together inside Disneyland park. The beloved Mickey’s Toontown will transform into a vibrant symphony of sights, sounds, and sensations. Focusing on today’s families with young children, Mickey’s Toontown will feature new play experiences, as well as open, grassy play spaces for everyone to unplug. The land will have landscaping for both spontaneous family play and parental relaxation.

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“We are so excited to leverage Disney’s powerful brand, develop new stories and share even more magical experiences with our guests,” said D’Amaro. “The newly reimagined Mickey’s Toontown will be a welcoming place where families and younger guests can connect and play together in fun new ways.”  

Even with a greener and more spacious Mickey’s Toontown, the land will offer more play activities and attractions than ever before. From active play to tactile play, new experiences will let children play, slide, spin, splash, touch and listen!

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One of the new areas coming to Mickey’s Toontown will be CenTOONial Park, the first space guests will see when they enter. This natural space will be anchored by two interactive play experiences.

At the center of CenTOONial Park will be a fountain, designed for play, which will also become a center icon for Mickey’s Toontown. As its base, water tables will invite guests to play with the water and have a sensory experience. At night, the fountain will be brought to life in a unique spectacle.

A nearby dreaming tree will be inspired by the tree a young Walt Disney would daydream under in his hometown. Sculpted tree roots will provide an opportunity for children to play, crawl and explore, and undulating topography will offer rolling hills and a place to sit and dream.

In addition to reopening in 2023 with the new, family-friendly and adventurous Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway, Mickey’s Toontown will still be home to many beloved characters including Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, Goofy, Donald Duck and more!

Mickey’s Toontown will close in March of 2022 to begin creating these all-new experiences. We will have lots more detail to share with you in the future, so stay TOONED to the Disney Parks Blog for updates!

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Looks to me like they are removing most (if not all of) the Roger Rabbit references, and trying to bring the land more in line with the new Mickey Mouse cartoons to better match Runaway Railway. Bummer for Roger fans, but I think the right call in the long run for the land. I have always been a fan of Toontown, so I'm glad it's getting some much needed attention.

They also notably did NOT mention Cartoon Spin or Gadget's Go Coaster in the release and they are only vaguely depicted in the concept art. Have to wonder if a retheme is coming for Gadget, and the end is near for Cartoon Spin?

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Thanks for the article and concept art.  Shade would be welcome change for that area. I have a feeling Gadget for sure will getting a new theme, plenty of other characters more in line with the Mickey mouse shorts that would fit better.   Rodger I think is definitely on chopping block and will be redone with new theme.  My dream would be larger ride vehicles for capacity sake.  That q line is so well done, hope they don't lose that.  Maybe retheme it as Chip and Dale, tie in with new Disney + project.   I

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^ Didn't they already mention that Roger Rabbit was going to be getting an update pushing Jessica Rabbit as less of the damsel-in-distress, and instead becoming the lead protagonist? I swear I saw this somewhere a few months back...

Of course they announce this land closure after I've already booked my family's trip for next April, but honestly, gives us even more of a reason to come back in '23!

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In the top left corner of the first art concept above, you can see coaster track, sort of.

So, that makes me think that Gadget's Go-Coaster will survive the renovation of ToonTown. 🎢

Only it may be re-themed to a different Disney character, like one of the Mickey Mouse gang.

Hmm. Maybe this will become a "Chip & Dale" themed coaster! How about that, Elissa? 🥜

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