At sunrise on October 17, more than 12,000 walkers gathered on Main Street, U.S.A. at Disneyland park to make a lasting impact on the lives of local families by taking part in CHOC Walk in the Park presented by Disneyland Resort. In honor of the event’s 20th anniversary, Disneyland Resort President George A. Kalogridis surprised CHOC Children’s Hospital with a special $200,000 donation, bringing total funds to a record $2 million raised in a single year. The Disney VoluntEARS team – composed of Disney cast members, friends and family – was the largest in terms of funds raised. The walk is the organization’s largest fund-raising event and has raised more than $16 million since its inception.
Photo courtesy of Disneyland Resort
Disneyland Resort and Workers United Local 50, the Resort’s second largest labor union that represents food and beverage cast members who work in Disneyland and Disney California Adventure parks, are pleased to announce that they have reached a five-year collective bargaining agreement. The agreement was negotiated in just six days and was ratified by an overwhelming margin. This is the first time in this local’s history that a five-year contract has been agreed upon.
The Disneyland Resort and Workers United Local 50 delivered this joint statement today: “We are pleased that an agreement was reached and ratified before the current contract expired. Our mutual dedication to the bargaining process allowed us to quickly and efficiently reach a deal for our nearly 4,000 food and beverage cast members who work in the two parks. The contract will provide these cast members annual wage increases of 3 to 3.5 percent over the next five years.”
Over the past two years, Disneyland Resort has successfully negotiated nine agreements with 27 local unions representing nearly 13,000 of the approximately 15,500 cast members who belong to unions. All of these agreements include wage increases, sick pay and access to seven affordable and reliable health care plans offered through Disney’s Signature benefits package for full-time cast members.
The negotiated contracts include Master Services for both Disneyland and Disney California Adventure (which includes Teamsters, UFCW and SEIU), Independent Employees Service Association (IESA) International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE), Hotel Stores, Teamsters, the Craft Maintenance Council and Workers United Local 50.
Disneyland Resort this week began offering regularly-scheduled sign language interpretation at numerous shows and attractions at Disneyland and Disney California Adventure parks. As part of the Resort’s ongoing commitment to guests with disabilities, individuals have access to a schedule of offerings where interpretation is provided without having to make prior arrangements.
“The Disneyland Resort is dedicated to making the Disney tradition of rich storytelling available to all of our guests,” said Betty Appleton, who oversees the Resort’s guests with disabilities program. “Our new sign language service enables guests with hearing disabilities to engage with our shows and attractions in a whole new way.”
The new sign language interpretation service is offered at the following locations: Jungle Cruise, Jedi Training Academy, Storybook Land Canal Boats, “Celebrate! A Street Party,” “Billy Hill & The Hillbillies,” “Turtle Talk with Crush” “High School Musical 3: Senior Year” and coming soon, “Aladdin – A Musical Spectacular.”
The new service is available every Monday and Saturday at Disneyland park and every Sunday and Friday at Disney California Adventure park. While no advance arrangements are necessary, it is recommended that guests request schedule confirmation at least one week in advance by calling Disneyland Resort Guest Relations at (714) 781-6176 [voice] or (714) 781-7292 [TTY]. Guests who request confirmation are contacted prior to their visit and are provided a current schedule complete with a list of attractions, dates and times of interpreted offerings.
“I am deaf, and experiencing the sign language service on Storybook Land made the attraction much more engaging for me,” said Everett Rowlett, Disneyland Resort electro-mechanical technician. “This is the first time in the 28 years I have worked at the Resort that I have been able to fully understand the stories being told.”
The new offering enhances existing, complimentary services for guests with disabilities. Various sign language programs have been available at the Resort for more than 20 years.
Additionally, more than 45 Resort cast members have basic sign language skills and can assist in answering guest questions throughout the week. The Resort also has assistive listening and several types of captioning systems available for guests with hearing disabilities.
Following the bleeding edge World Of Color Creator, with which we were the first to share the news (although perhaps a bit early), the Disneyland Resort now goes slightly more event generic with the Summer Nightastic personalized video creator at MySummerNightastic.com.
Operation of the site is excrutiating simple (unless you’re sporting a tin foil hat). The site uses Facebook Connect to attach itself to your Facebook account where it wants to access a whole bunch of info and pics that it embeds in a really fun video blending Summer Nightastic footage with your own personal affects all to the accompaniment of the Summer Nightastic theme. After you’re finishing watching your video, watch it again or (optionally) share it with your friends through Facebook.
From June 11 through 17 (or while supplies last), Annual Passholders will receive a pair of paper optic-like Summer Nightastic! glasses with any single merchandise transaction at select merchandise locations (see list of participating locations below). It’s certain to take viewing Summer Nightastic shows like Fantasmic!, Magical and more to a whole new level and will definitely give you something to “look” forward to. Passholders are limited to two pairs, one per item purchased. Locations, restrictions and limits apply.
Participating retail locations include: Emporium, Little Green Men Store Command and Pioneer Mercantile in Disneyland® park; Greetings from California and Tees, Hats and Tattoos in Disney California Adventure; World of Disney® Store, Downtown Disney® District
With anticipation and excitement building for the June 11 premiere of the nighttime spectacular “World of Color” in Disney’s California Adventure park, several options are in place for guests who want to maximize their day of fun at the park and make plans to enjoy the show that night.
“World of Color” will be presented twice nightly throughout the Disneyland Resort “Summer Nightastic!” season, June 11 through Aug. 29 (except June 16-17 when Disney’s California Adventure will be closed for Grad Nights). Guests will stand during the shows – at 9 and 10:15 p.m. – and they may bring strollers into the viewing area.
To see the show, guests will obtain a special FASTPASS for “World of Color” or they can select from several Dining and Picnic packages that include reserved viewing.
The FASTPASS for “World of Color” will be available each morning at the Grizzly River Run FASTPASS terminals. Guests can insert their park tickets into the terminal to obtain a FASTPASS ticket for the show, and they will be assigned a specific show time. As with other FASTPASS attractions, a limited number of passes are available for “World of Color.” When all of the day’s “World of Color” FASTPASS allotment has been distributed, Grizzly River Run terminals will convert back to distributing the Grizzly River Run FASTPASS tickets.
Guests arriving before park opening to line up for the “World of Color” FASTPASS may park in the Pumba parking lot on Disney Way and, beginning at 7 a.m., gather at the Main Entrance to Disney’s California Adventure. When Disney’s California Adventure opens to the public, guests lined up for FASTPASS will be walked into the park and over to the FASTPASS terminals.
In addition to the FASTPASS for “World of Color,” a selection of specially themed dining package options, which include reserved viewing, are available.
Lisa J. Haines has been promoted to lead public affairs for the Disneyland Resort. As vice president, public affairs, Haines will oversee external communications, internal communications, government relations and community relations for the Resort. She also will work closely with Disneyland Resort President George A. Kalogridis, serving as a member of his senior leadership team. Haines will report to Kristin Nolt Wingard, senior vice president of public affairs for Walt Disney Parks and Resorts, filling the role that Wingard most recently held.
“Lisa’s knowledge of the Disneyland Resort and our global business, extensive experience in developing public affairs strategies and proven ability to build relationships make her a perfect fit for the position — particularly during this time of Resort expansion,” said Wingard.
For the last two years, Haines served as vice president, communications for Disneyland Resort, overseeing all aspects of internal and external communications. Prior to that, she served as vice president, external communications for Walt Disney Parks and Resorts from 2004 to 2008, where she was responsible for media relations and key stakeholder communications. In this role, Haines worked closely with the Disneyland Resort and the other resorts around the world, as well as with Disney Cruise Line, Disney Vacation Club, Walt Disney Imagineering and Adventures by Disney to develop global communications strategies.
Before joining The Walt Disney Company in 2004, Haines served as vice president, corporate communications for Health Net, Inc., one of the country’s largest managed health care corporations. Prior to her Health Net experience, Haines served for six years with McNally Temple Associates, Inc., a Sacramento-based political consulting, public relations and public affairs agency where she managed both local and statewide political campaigns and directed advocacy programs for corporations and trade associations. Haines got her start in politics in 1987 with former Congressman Norman Shumway of Stockton, Calif., serving in both his district and Washington, DC office, as well as on his campaign team.
Haines, who grew up in Northern California, received her degree in political science with a concentration in public administration from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo.
When we the first to let you know that Disneyland had launched its fabulous website for World of Color, we also noted that Disney Parks had registered another domain related to its World of Color show.
Although it still appears as though it may not be ready for public consumption, we’d like to be the first to introduce you to the WorldOfColorCreator.com, a site that can win you a trip to the Disneyland Resort. Using Adobe Premiere Express, the site basically allows you to create your own World of Color show using a ridiculous number of options that let you choose everything from the projected animated scene to Disney characters (which you can re-size and position wherever you like), all sorts of colored water jets and water effects, filters and transitions between scenes, not to mention the actual music from the show. You can even upload your own photos to use in the virtual water show. Videos created can be viewed online in the gallery or shared through various social media networks.
Eligible entries must be between 30 seconds and 1:40 minutes and received by July 12. Starting July 26, the top ten videos as picked by the contest judges will be posted to Facebook for open voting. The video with the most votes will win a 3 day/2 night vacation to the Disneyland Resort which includes a Disneyland Resort hotel stay, 3 day park tickets, VIP seating for both World of Color! and Fantasmic!, a Grand Mickey welcome package, a $1000 Disney Gift Card and a World of Color gift basket. One runner up will receive a $500 Disney Gift Card and a World of Color gift basket while the remaining eight finalists will each receive a World of Color gift basket. You must be at least 18 years of age to enter.
Although the site does appear to be fully functional (and fun!), we stress again that it may not be ready to accept your winning entries, most notably because the detailed rules are missing, but we just felt we had to let our loyal readers in on the deal to get in some extra practice time.
Disneyland Resort today announced substantial upgrades to the pool and courtyard areas of the Disneyland Hotel, continuing the landmark property’s current renovation project. Changes will include building a new pool and water play area, renovating an existing pool, opening a new restaurant and bar, and re-theming of the hotel’s three guest room towers.
“These exciting enhancements, along with our current Disneyland Hotel renovation and the expansion of Disney’s California Adventure, underscore our ongoing investment in the Disneyland Resort and the Anaheim Resort District,” said George A. Kalogridis, president of Disneyland Resort. “We are proud to collaborate with city and businesses leaders as we continue to evolve the area into a world-class, multiday tourist destination.”
Changes will restore and highlight the original midcentury style of the classic hotel. The hotel’s original two-story bungalows were built in 1955, just months after Walt Disney’s first theme park opened its gates; the first tower was erected in 1962. The work will considerably open up the courtyard and pool area, allowing guests a clear line of vision and easy access across the property.
“Disney is all about storytelling, and these changes will weave a cohesive thread throughout the property and infuse the historic hotel with Disneyland nostalgia,” said Tom Fitzgerald, executive vice president and senior creative executive, Walt Disney Imagineering.
New Immersive Pool Experience
The most noticeable changes will be to the pool area, where guests of all ages will enjoy a new, immersive water play area. With a nod to the iconic original park signage, “Disneyland” will be spelled out in familiar blocks atop a platform supporting two thrilling water slides. Reminiscent of the original Monorail station at the Disneyland Hotel, at each slide’s entrance will sit a replica Monorail Car that guests will glide through as they twist and turn their way to the water below. The larger of the two main slides sits 26 feet high and stretches 187 feet until it plunges into a splash pool. The second slide is 13 feet high and 112 feet long. For younger guests, the area will include a third two-lane mini slide that sits just 3 1/2 feet high and is 19 feet long, as well as a series of small bubble jets in which to play.
The existing 4,800-sq.-ft. Never Land pool will receive a complete cosmetic makeover but retain its unique footprint. A new 4-foot-deep pool will be built between the existing Never Land pool and the new water play area. A footbridge will stretch over the new pool, connecting both sides of the courtyard area and allowing guests easy access across the property without having to enter the sprawling gated pool area. The space also will include two spas at opposite ends of the pool area. The site of the current Cove pool will become a beautifully manicured lawn area, perfect for outdoor events. In addition, six new cabanas will be added; each features a flat screen TV, refrigerator, safe, phone, and ceiling fan.
New Iconic Dining Locations
New dining and lounge experiences will be introduced in the current location of Hook’s Pointe, Croc’s Bits ‘n’ Bites, the Wine Cellar and Lost Bar. A new “smart casual” dining area will take its architectural cue from the original Tahitian Terrace restaurant in Disneyland Park and the Polynesian architecture that was popularized during the early era of the hotel. A new, fully enclosed bar will feature specialty drinks and surprises for guests.
Construction for the new water play area, pool, and food and beverage locations is scheduled to begin in August 2010 and be completed by summer 2011. The remodeled existing pool is slated for completion by summer 2012.
Re-theming of Guest Towers
Changes also include renaming of the hotel’s three guest room towers for Disneyland’s distinctive lands. The Dreams Tower, currently under renovation and scheduled to be completed in June 2010, will become the Adventure Tower. The Wonder Tower, next to undergo transformation and slated for completion in 2011, will be the Frontier Tower. Finally, the Magic Tower, which will be finished in 2012, will transform to the Fantasy Tower. Large marquees featuring classic artwork for Adventureland, Frontierland and Fantasyland will identify each tower.
Guest Tower Renovation Completed in 2012
The Disneyland Hotel renovation began in August 2009. The beautifully remodeled guest rooms feature exquisite Disney touches woven into the decor. A stunning new headboard with an artistically carved representation of Disneyland Park’s famous Sleeping Beauty Castle serves as the focal point in each guest room. The background on the headboard uses fiber optics to create a magical skyline with fireworks – bringing the immersive park experience into the room.
The work at the Disneyland Hotel is a part of a larger expansion project underway throughout the Resort. Disney’s California Adventure Park is undergoing a multiyear expansion project that includes new experiences, attractions and nighttime spectaculars, culminating in 2012 with the opening of Cars Land. The four-diamond Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa also underwent an expansion last year that added 203 hotel rooms and 50 two-bedroom villas that are part of the Disney Vacation Club, marking the club’s West Coast debut.
In one of the more impressive demonstrations of the web so far by Disney Parks, Disneyland has launched a flash-based site to promote its new World of Color spectactular which opens at Disney’s California Adventure on June 11.
Found at DisneyWorldOfColor.com (and a few other variations), the site quite realistically presents what could very well be the show in its entirety on your desktop, complete with music. Another option includes an interactive kaleidoscope mode which lets you play with an animated image of Sorcerer Mickey, allowing you to control size, color and even the intensity of the ripples in the water as you turn the virtual kaleidoscope.
Disney Parks has also registered the domain name WorldOfColorCreator.com but that site has yet to go live at this time.