First off, hope everyone had a great Fourth of July weekend, and that you are enjoying your summer. Let's take a trip around the Orange County, California area and see what's up... and heck, we might even get inside a Theme Park or Two and out of the parking lots, my newest hangout.....

Halloween is coming sooner that you think.

First off, in case you missed it, Al Lutz reported some very interesting news in his article this week in regards to Halloween Time, which starts September 25th this year...

http://miceage.micechat.com/allutz/al070709a.htm


This fall Disneyland is also slated to see another addition to its popular Halloween Time promotion with the debut of a long expected new Halloween themed fireworks show.
And Brady MacDonald over at the Los Angeles Times has a summary of what is coming to Knott's Halloween Haunt for 2009.

http://travel.latimes.com/daily-deal...unt-2009-4863/

Plus don't forget, you can follow all the latest info regarding Haunt and Knott's in general at its Twitter site....

http://twitter.com/knottsbrryfarm

Talking about Scary things, guess what is coming August 3rd

It has almost been a year since Disneyland has raised its price (early August, 2008), and based on what Mousesavers.com is reporting, looks like price increases at both Disneyland and WDW will happen on Monday, August 3rd. Nobody is expecting anything major, just a few dollars here and there, including Annual Passes.


The current prices as of 7/10/09.


But one good thing about Disney, if you have a ticket voucher that is bought prior to the price increase, they will honor the lower priced paid, so long as the ticket has not yet reached the expiration date printed on the voucher.

So you might want to think about buying those vouchers now, as Disney is also known of not restocking them prior to the price increases. The best selection and variety can be found at the Disney Stores, and the gift cards clearly have the expiration date printed on them. Also most Grocery Stores carry Disney vouchers in the Gift Card section of the store.

And don't forget about the great deal that the local Costco stores are offering on the Deluxe Annual Passes, for $269 (the normal price), you get the AP, plus a $50 Disney Gift Card. If your Deluxe or Premium AP expires soon, it looks like this is the better deal than "renewing". The voucher has an expiration date of October 31st, 2009. If you want a Premium, just get the Deluxe AP voucher, and then when you have it processed, just have them apply the $50 to the cost of upgrading to the Premium price. (Though if you do this, Disney will charge the difference between the $269 paid, and the CURRENT price of a Premium AP).

The Orange County "Super" Fair starts today

From today through August 9th, the OC Super Fair will be held in Costa Mesa (dark on Monday and Tuesdays).

http://www.ocfair.com/2009/index.html

One of the big highlights this year is a brand new 3-D film called Al's Brain, which Weird "Al" Yankovic hosts. And the best thing, it is free with your admission ticket to the fair.

Also, if you are into skateboarding, the Maloof Money Cup is being held at the Fair this weekend. (Separate Admission Fee is required).

Monorail Blue at Disneyland gets new Version 3.0 Mark VII windows



Disney has finally come up with a version of the windows for the new Monorail that will offer the needed breeze on normal and hot days, and can close in rainy weather. And surprise, it works very similar to the Mark V version. Pretty much the window is actually three panels, with the middle panel having the ability to rise if needed on those rainy days, basically shutting the window, keeping the guests dry.



Monorail Orange still has the Version 2.0 windows, in which the top half of the window was basically removed, and cannot close in poor weather.

Talking about Upgrading, ESPN Zone Anaheim is going HD

The Orange County Register is reporting that work has started at the ESPN Zone to replace most of the older TV's/Monitors, including the ones in the Restrooms to new HD Flat Screens.

http://ocresort.freedomblogging.com/...let-tvs/11459/

They hope to have the project done prior to the start of the NFL season.

Ann Taylor Loft is closing at Anaheim GardenWalk as part of the stores restructuring plans



http://retail.freedomblogging.com/20...c-store/11099/

Also, in AGW news, Fire + Ice is trying to meet its goal of a late July opening.



The latest on Disneyland Parking and Cars Land construction


The former Timon Lot as of 7/9/09.


In what has become a very regular feature here at "In the Parks" at MiceAge, lets look at the latest photos of what's going on, plus a recap of current parking procedures.



First off, The Orange County Register reported that Disney has leased the property that used to house the Boogie Nightclub near Interstate 5 (between Katella and Disney Way) as a Security Checkpoint for Construction vehicles. Not, this lot is not for any sort of storage, just a place for vehicles to check in and get preliminary approval to deliver their loads to the construction zone. Since space and entrances are tight, this will also be a dispatch zone, which will limit the vehicles trying to access the main construction entrance on Disneyland Drive to a safe and sane level.


Four lanes, they must be expecting a LOT of trucks for the DCA upgrades!


http://ocresort.freedomblogging.com/...roperty/11219/



And for those Del Taco fans, the restaurant on the south end of the lot will remain open.


Taco Tuesdays are one of my favorite things... YUM!


Also, while taking photos of the "Boogie" lot, noticed that the Anaheim Resort folks were fencing in the lot on Katella across from the new Worldmark Time Share Hotel (former preview center). Seems like the newest theme for the Resort area will be Green Tarp-ed fences.

In case you missed the update at the top of MiceAge yesterday/today....


Editor's Note 7/9: John Lasseter was in Anaheim yesterday for the WDI groundbreaking of Cars Land. After the ceremony and some DCA discussion, he and his wife spent the rest of their time just hanging out in Disneyland and charming the CM's who needed the morale boost. The mega-budget Cars Land project has begun! - Al Lutz
So it is once again time to talk about Theme Park parking options at the Disneyland Resort. (And yes, regular readers, you have seen some of this before).



IMHO, the best thing to do is just avoid the "Timon" parking lot entrance on Harbor Blvd and Disney Way, and instead go straight to the Mickey and Friends parking structure. (If going Northbound on Interstate 5, you can go past the Katella Ave/Disney Way off-ramp, and take the next off-ramp (Harbor Blvd) instead. Take Harbor to Ball Road, and follow the signs to the parking structure.



But if you do try and enter the original parking lot entrance, let's see what will happen.

1. They allow you in. The Timon Toll Booths are now closed for good (though they still remain) and cars are directed along the roadway on property that goes behind DCA to Disneyland Drive.


A look at Theme Park Guest Parking at the Simba entrance from the Fun Wheel.


When you get to Disneyland Drive, one of two things will happen, either you will be directed to make a right turn and head to the Parking Structure. (One good piece of news, the Magic Way entrance is now planned to be open most mornings to deal with the cars coming from the Timon Entrance.) Or you will be directed to go straight into the Simba Lot. They will collect the parking fees at the entrance to Simba and direct you to park. Alas, you will have to walk to the park through Downtown Disney, as it looks like work in the Timon Lot won't allow the completion of the Lion King Tramway for at least 6 months, if not longer. If you need a Handicapped parking space, do NOT go straight, instead make a right and head to the parking structure, as there are no plans for wheelchair transportation from Simba until they can get the Tramway completed. Disney has placed some signage, and CM's at the "exit" from the Timon Entrance at Disneyland Drive to try and make sure folks understand. (And of course, if you get to the toll booths, they will let you know and send you to the Parking Structure).





2. You will be allowed into the entrance way, but directed to make a U-turn before you get to the former Timon Toll Booths. The city wants to get cars off the "public" roadways, and then advise them with signage and Cm's that they need to make the U-turn, and head to an alternative lot. More than likely either Pumbaa or Anaheim GardenWalk, both entrances are on Disney Way. If you see the signage and Anaheim PD directing folks to these lots, don't bother going to Harbor Blvd, avoid the extra time and hassle of the U-turn, and just park in the lot directed. Also, Disney is currently offering Shuttle Buses from both lots when they are being used. (Large white Buses that are contracted from Coach America by Disney).



3. You will see that Anaheim PD has the Timon entrance blocked, and directing you south on Katella. When this happens, you are usually directed to the Anaheim Convention Center original Parking Structure, which has an entrance off Katella Avenue, or to the Buzz Lightyear/Pongo lots, which are next to the former Strawberry Field on Harbor, south of Katella. There will be signage directing you to the correct lot.

Also note, those who prefer walking and staying at the hotels on Katella near the Convention Center. Disney has closed the Pedestrian entrance on Katella Avenue, across the street from the Convention Center. So your options are now to walk up either Harbor Boulevard or Disneyland Drive using the Public sidewalks. (No more shortcut).



As you can see, the Timon entrance is not a good choice now, and that you should seriously think of using Public Transportation or carpooling. And if you are staying at a nearby hotel, leave the car at the hotel and use ART or the hotel shuttle to get to the parks.

Also note, there is construction work at the Mickey & Friends Tram Loading area, which will make this weekend not the best to park and take a tram....


Looks like they will replace the asphalt with Concrete. Makes sense, too bad they didn't do it back when they first built the expansion... Oh, wait, the folks in charge wouldn't approve the slightly additional costs that would save money in the long run!



Since they only have 2 Tram Loading stations, they are trying to make sure to have two way traffic for each car.


And there is a good overhead view of the area in a recent Orange County Register article...

http://ocresort.freedomblogging.com/...rs-land/11319/

Selected photos from Darkbeer.Smugmug.com


The restrooms next to the Opera House on Main Street have reopened, and they have had major improvements. For example, in the men's room, they moved around the location of the sinks and the urinals. But they are over 50 years old, so it was time to give them a major upgrade!



A sign near the main Pedestrian Entrance that needs to be removed



Well, this upcoming week, it won't be available, but for GOOD reason, as it is scheduled to reopen on July 16th with new exhibits! Looks like the AP lounge will be busier than normal during the Disneyland Anniversary celebrations.



Shouldn't the sign say "The Bulldozers are Here at Paradise Pier"








Last weekend for the Orange Stinger. It's structure will be removed, but the ride will be re-themed to the Silly Symphony. (Which will help the sight-lines for World of Color, as the ride will basically be on the platform with no external structure.)



A few photos from the Tustin 4th of July Fireworks













Well folks, busy weekend planned, including heading to the OC Super Fair this morning. Whatever you do this weekend, I hope you have a great weekend! And avoid the Green Tarp-ed fences

And if you are curious why the large crowds are at Angels Stadium this weekend. The New York Yankees are in town. Go Angels!