Well, today is the first day of the new "Summer Nightastic!" promotion at Disneyland, and yes, we will talk about "Murphy" the Dragon in a bit... But first we need to talk about a Duathlon on Sunday and the "Son of Stinky".

Major Traffic Problems at the Disneyland Resort on Sunday Morning, June 14th.

The Disneyland Resort will be hosting the 2009 Trek Women Duathlon. This event starts at 6 AM with contestants running through Disneyland Park, followed by riding bikes in and around the Disneyland Resort area, followed by a second run, this time through Disney's California Adventure.


The event starts at 6 AM, and is planned to finish by 10 AM.

So what does this mean to Guests planning to visit the parks. First off, the Start (Loading) and Finish will be at the Pumbaa Parking Lot on Disney Way. But the Bike Route does use Disneyland Drive and Ball Road.

So what do I recommend. If you plan to show up at the park before 11 AM, I would try and just use the Mickey & Friends parking structure. Coming on Southbound I-5, just get off on Disneyland Drive and use the special flyover bridge that goes over Ball Road directly into the Parking Structure.

But those coming up I-5 going Northbound, your usual main exit is Disney Way, and I would avoid that area. Instead, keep going north to Lincoln Avenue exit, and then make a left onto Lincoln and then go a couple of blocks to the I-5 South on ramp and then use the Disneyland Drive exit and the Flyover.

Also note, parking will be a bit tight on Sunday, as all the Duathlon contestants will get a one day/one park ticket as part of their entry, and that Pumbaa will more than likely not be available to guests all day.

Work continues at the Simba Lot next to the Paradise Pier Hotel, to allow more Theme Park parking. Be prepared to park there this Sunday morning if you try to enter from Disney Way/Katella Avenue.

The "Corpse Flower" is in bloom

Want to avoid the Resort area on Sunday? Well, here is a rare opportunity to check out a very smelly flower. The "Corpse Flower" is in bloom at the Huntington Library. (First time since 2002).


Now, the flower (amorphophallus titanum) is very lovely, but it is also very smelly.... And if you want to know what it smells like... Well, I think the common name of the flower gives you a big hint.

Admission to the Huntington Library grounds is $20 per adult with free parking.


Of course, there is a lot more to do that smell a flower, as the Huntington is well known for its Art collections.

The Matterhorn turns 50th this Sunday

On June 14th, 1959, the Matterhorn Bobsleds opened at Disneyland. It was the first tubular steel roller coaster in the world, and was the first roller coaster at a Disney park.


While Disney has no plans for any type of official recognition, the folks attending the Noon Meet at the Hub will be headed off for a ride after the meet.

A new Disneyland Resort Sweepstakes.

Honda is sponsoring a sweepstakes that is designed to match up with the Summer Nightastic! events.

The main contest is for just one prize, but it is a nice one. The winner will get both a new 2009 Honda Insight EX plus a paid trip for 4 to the Disneyland Resort. And the package includes one night at the Dream Suite inside of Disneyland (plus 2 other nights at a Disney owned hotel), 4 Premium AP's and even some spending cash ($500). You can sign up once per day online at


You must be a licensed driver 18 or older and live in the United States to enter. So you can get a total of 50 entries if you enter daily.

Also, Honda will have a display set up at the Main Entrance Plaza featuring the car, plus offering a secondary contest. This one is for smaller daily prizes. all you need to do is stop by the booth and fill in a entry form prior to 3 PM. You will have to provide a cell phone number, as they will call the winners around 3:30 PM and arrange to have them pick up their prize.

I have not seen the official rules for this secondary contest yet, but they are suppose to hand out 50 prizes a day. So stop by on your way into the parks and sign up, as the contest starts today.

Honda will join the Disney/Pixar UP display in the Main Entrance Plaza... Maybe it should be renamed the Main Entrance and Advertising Plaza.

A look at some of the Summer Fantasmic! offerings.

First, Brady MacDonald at the Los Angeles Times talks about the news that broke here... and by "broke", we mean broke, as in "Murphy" the Dragon...


The show will go on, but without the highly advertised new Dragon.

Flotsam and Jetsam are part of the new show though...


The new Tinker Bell float will also make its public premiere tonight at DCA. Here is a look at the new float, also by Brady MacDonald.


And if you missed last week's "In the Parks" column, we looked at the new Magical Fireworks.


Selected Photos from Darkbeer.Smugmug.com

A look at the new Cocina Cucamonga menu, which has been expanded. The new location is scheduled to open later this week.

This is the current Cocina Cucamonga menu at the original location. As you can see, they are adding quite a few new items at the new location, which is just across the way.

Astro Orbitor is scheduled to reopen today

The bubbles are back at Pixie Hollow

Peter Pan has reopened with new wider boats

The lap bars now have an additional safety feature. Also, the attraction has one boat that is wheelchair friendly.

The Time Keeper from the Bootstrappers entertaining some of his fans

Work continues on the Grand Californian Expansion/DVC Time Share units

Some of the Downtown Disney banners now feature the new G-Force movie. Most feature the new Summer Nightastic! events

Is this the Orlando Magic T-Shirt

A few photos from the largest one-day Chili cook-off contest in the US, over 40,000 attended the Tustin event last Sunday.

By the way, a TV alert. Fred Roggin, the long time TV Sportscaster in the LA market is living out one of his dreams, to be a Game Show Host. He will be hosting "The Money List" on the GSN cable channel. It airs at 6:30 PM PDT, with a rerun at 9:30 PM as part of the new Big Saturday Night programming block. Be sure and check him out... and you can even watch and win from home!

Well, that should do it for this week. Here is hoping everyone has a Great summer!