Good day, and welcome to March Madness, which isn't just the NCAA/NIT Basketball Tournaments, it is also Spring Break crowds at the parks, plus this weekend is when the major Coaster Enthusiasts show up from out of town to visit Knott's and Six Flags Magic Mountain. (Heck, the weather out here is really nice!).

A quick reminder regarding Disneyland and parking, the crowds are the heaviest on Fridays and Sundays in regards to parking (aka Locals/AP holders), so be prepared to be sent to a secondary lot.

Also, looks like the strawberry Field is no more, as the Produce stand has been removed, and the field has been bulldozed "flat", unlike the traditional "rows" that a strawberry field has. Could we have additional parking by summer?

So lets get to the news, and the photos.... (And yes, a new brood of ducks showed up at Disneyland this week

"What will you Celebrate?" promo issues

Yes, Disneyland has been impacted a lot more by the new promotion campaign than Orlando, because Disneyland has a much larger amount of folks who live within a day's drive to the parks.

Alas, the promos has had its good points and less than good issues.

The number one issue has been the "Pre-Registration" of our Birthday at their website.

Free On Your Birthday | What Will You Celebrate?

Many folks have pre-registered and not gotten their e-mail as promised at the registration link. (And I happen to be one of the folks that didn't get it).

Note, the online Registration is OPTIONAL, and not required, but recommended. The online registration is in and by itself restrictive in that not everyone has Internet access. Plus, Disney is only allowing a few countries to pre-register online.

The offer is valid for ANYONE 3 years of age and older, regardless of where you live in the world. All you need to do is bring valid government issued ID to the Main Ticket Booths on the exact day of your birth. The main ID's accepted are Driver's Licenses and Passports, and for those under 18, the original/certified copy of a Birth certificate that is issued by the proper government agency.

Heck, I took advantage of this offer in the last few weeks, and ended up getting my current Premium AP for just $250 (regular price is $389). How did I do that... First, I used my prior AP and showed up on Birthday in February and claimed my "alternative" gift, which like most folks, was the Birthday Fun Card. The Fun Card is worth the current price of a one day/one park ticket, $69 for adults, and for kids who turns 3 through 9 in 2009, $59. The Fun Card, while originally supposed to only be valid on the date of issue, was changed to have NO expiration date. So I just hanged onto it, as I had already decided to use it as part of my AP renewal.

The second part of the plan was buying a Deluxe AP voucher at a Southern California Costco.. It is the same price as the park, $269, but comes with a $50 Disney Gift Card. The few local Costco's still have plenty of vouchers available for purchase, but note that the voucher must be turned in at Disneyland by May 30th, 2009.

So since my Birthday was prior to May 30th, I knew I could make the "Power Play" and let Disney pay for a good percentage of my AP this year.

So lets look at the details...

$269 - Price paid for the Costco Deluxe AP voucher

$50 Gift Card that came with the Costco Voucher

$69 Birthday Fun Card.

$20 Renewal discount for renewing on or before the expiration date. (And you can only renew 30 days or less prior to the expiration date on the AP).

So we take a $389 Premium AP, and take advantage of the Gift/Fun cards and renewal discount, and ended up with a $19 balance, which I asked for on the Gift Card, as I can use that for either Food or Merchandise, unlike the Fun Card.

As mentioned, you have to have your BD prior to May 30th, and either have a Costco Membership, or know someone who has one, and do some advance planning. But it is a big savings.

Now, on the other hand, the communication of the offers are not that clear, as noted by Brady MacDonald over at the Los Angeles Times.

Disneyland passholders: Watch out for birthday blackout dates - Travel -

Note, once you get to the parks, there is no signage of the Birthday offer, it is one of those "only if you know" things. NO posted rules or fliers available explaining the program. And that has caused some problems, both for guests, and for the CM's that deal with the issue on a regular basis. Yes, the vast majority of Cast Members do their best, but it still has to get to them to keep explaining the Birthday offer over and over again, and then have to be firm in accepting ONLY official Government issued ID.... Some folks think the AP is enough, or a school issued ID, etc. and/or they can get the promotion "around" their Birthday, instead of the EXACT day of their birth. The rules are clear, but alas, there is nothing in writing available at the Main Entrance Plaza explaining the rules, which can cause some Guest Relation issues.

I have seen way too many questions about the promotion and how it works on the Discussion Boards, and also a lot of wrong answers in response to those questions for other posters. Disney has done a great job in marketing the main theme of the promotion, but has not done as good of a job in getting the "fine print" details being known.

Great Hotel Deals in the Anaheim Area.

OK, I should mention our friends at the Howard Johnson Plaza Hotel in Anaheim, and their great Entertainment Rate deal, where you can get a room for as little as $59 a night on selected dates.

HojoAnaheim Innsider Boards • View topic - When is the Entertainment Rate available?

And if you can't find your dates listed, there is always the HoJo discount that is offered to MiceAge/MiceChat readers...

Welcome MiceChat Members

But here is another great deal, good for any day in 2009. The Anaheim Hilton, next to the convention center is celebrating the recent renovation by offering 89 rooms per night (out of their 1,572 rooms) for just $89. Of course, first come, first served, plus the fact that you have to book at least 21 days in advance. Thanks to the LA Times travel blog for the following link, which has the special code you need for the offer.

89 Rooms a Day at 89 Dollars a Night at Hilton Anaheim || HotelChatter

Six Flags Magic Mountain "Highly Profitable"

The LA Times also had Mark Shapiro, the CEO of the Six Flags chain making this statement...

Travel Deals, Vacations, Reviews, News & Tips -

So while the Six Flags chain is trying to deal with its large amount of debt, it looks like Magic Mountain will be a main Southern California Theme Park for the foreseeable future.

A big thanks to ALL Front Line Theme/Amusement Park employees

I have a nice Disneyland Resort Press Release this week, and while working the "Third" or overnight shift is tough no matter what business you are in, I think it is important to point out all the hard working employees in the Hospitality business (which includes the Amusement/Theme Park business). Heck, you can't ride a roller coaster without someone to dispatch it!

Disneyland Resort Celebrates Third Shift Cast at Annual Breakfast

On March 18, about 1,400 third shift Cast Members from around the Disneyland Resort were celebrated during a sports-themed breakfast in the early hours of the morning. These Cast Members are instrumental in gearing up the Resort for its guests - doing everything from pruning trees to cleaning streets and keeping the hotels moving throughout the night. This group normally works behind the scenes while most people are sleeping, however their efforts are clearly visible and highly important to the Resort's daily operation. During the breakfast, the Cast Members were acknowledged and thanked by their leaders and Disneyland Resort President Ed Grier. Grier and other executives were on-hand to assist with the event to show their appreciation for the work that is done by these dedicated Cast Members in the early hours of the day. They enjoyed a hearty breakfast, fun games, an opportunity prize drawing and a thank you gift.

Disneyland Resort President Ed Grier and Cast Member Genie Levert, of the Disney's California Adventure night custodial team, play a game of Nintendo Wii Bowling during a sports-themed breakfast in honor of third shift Cast Members. - Photo Copyright - Disney

San Diego County Fair Concert Tickets go on sale this Saturday

Heads up to those interested in seeing a concert during the San Diego County Fair (I still call it the Del Mar Fair!), tickets go on sale this Saturday at 10 AM PDT.

Del Mar Fairgrounds Del Mar, CA tickets. Directions, seating chart, events. Official Ticketmaster site.

The line-up so far...

Friday, June 12 (Opening Day): Heroes of Woodstock: starring Jefferson Starship, Canned Heat, Melanie, Big Brother & The Holding Company, Tom Constanten of the Grateful Dead, hosted by Country Joe McDonald (dinner package available)

Sunday, June 14: Los Tucanes de Tijuana

Tuesday, June 16: Phil Vassar

Wednesday, June 17: Bret Michaels

Thursday, June 18: David Cook (concert ticket required; dinner package available)

Tuesday, June 23: The Guess Who with Mitch Ryder and the Detroit Wheels (dinner package available)

Wednesday, June 24: Comedian Bill Engvall (dinner package available)

Thursday, June 25: The B-52s (dinner package available)

Friday, June 26: Switchfoot

Saturday, June 27: Gospel Festival: Israel & New Breed with Tonex and more

Sunday, June 28: Intocable with Patrulla 81

Monday, June 29: Clint Black (dinner package available)

Tuesday, June 30: Creedence Clearwater Revisited (dinner package available)

Wednesday, July 1: KC and the Sunshine Band (dinner package available)

Thursday, July 2: The Music of ABBA (dinner package available)

Friday, July 3: Joan Jett and the Blackhearts with the Musicpalooza contest finals

Sunday, July 5 (Closing Day): Kelly Clarkson (concert ticket required; dinner package available)

S.O.A.R. Anaheim hosts an Appreciation event at Anaheim GardenWalk.

SOAR (Save Our Anaheim Resort) hosted a well attended event last night at the Anaheim GardenWalk.

SOAR – Save Our Anaheim Resort District

SOAR is a group formed in 2007, originally to protest the City Council actions to amend the Anaheim Resort District area to allow a Condo project to be built. And while they were successful in keeping the zoning intact, it remains an active group to help promote the Resort Area and its businesses.

14th Taste of Anaheim to be held May 14th, 2009 at Anaheim GardenWalk

This great Food and Entertainment event, hosted by the Anaheim Chamber of Commerce will be held for the first time at the Anaheim GardenWalk on Thursday, May 14th.

Tickets are $35 in advance, or $40 at the door, and includes a lot of food, drink, and entertainment. Every year it gets better, and I highly recommend you attend if you are in the area.

Selected photos from, including MORE Baby Duck photos

New signage is up at the Opera House

A look at the final design of the "Barn"

The Big Thunder Trail has switched sides, and continues its repavement project.

There are PLENTY of Paradise Pier Lagoon Construction shots at

PUSH is flirting with TWO ladies

A look at the Monorail Red Cockpit. Monorail Orange has started testing, and might be available in a couple of weeks.

And finally, today, March 20th is LEGOLAND's California 10th Anniversary, so here is wishing the park a very happy Birthday... don't forget to bring your Birth Certificate to Disneyland today

Also, today is the first day of Spring!

As always, thanks for checking out MiceAge, and enjoy your weekend!