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AT A GLANCE...
- --Animation Academy
- --Courtyard Gallery
- --Sorcerer's Workshop
- --Art of Animation Gallery
- --Turtle Talk with Crush
- Hyperion Theater -
- Monsters, Inc.
- MuppetVision 3D
- Playhouse Disney Live!
- Tower of Terror
Buena Vista Street
- Red Car Trolley
- Flik's Fun Fair
- --Heimlich's Chew Chew
- --Flik's Flyers
- --Francis' Ladybug Boogie
- --Tuck'n'Roll's Drive 'em
- --Princess Dot Puddle Park
- It's Tough to be a Bug
- Luigi's Flying Tires
- Mater's Junkyard Jamboree
- Radiator Springs Racers
- >Boardwalk Games
- California Screamin'
- Golden Zephyr
- Goofy's Sky School
- Jumpin' Jellyfish
- The Little Mermaid ~
- King Triton's Carousel
- Mickey's Fun Wheel
- Silly Symphony Swings
- Toy Story Midway Mania!
OTHER THEME PARKS
Twilight Zone Tower of Terror
Disney's California Adventure
Visit the new Tower of Terror Photo Gallery HERE!
GREETINGS FROM CALIFORNIA!
Barry Wallis, AllEarsNet® West Coast Correspondent
I love the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror. When my wife and I last visited Walt Disney World we got to Disney-MGM Studios at rope drop and rode it five times in a row (and that's after packing up and checking out on our last day). So when we were at the official announcement of the attraction at Disney's California Adventure in February 2002, we decided that if there was a special event for it, we would be there. It was a long wait, but on April 23, 2004 we attended a special preview event.
Tonight's story on The Twilight Zone is somewhat unique and calls for a different kind of introduction
There were four packages to choose from:
1) The Tip Top Club package event was held on April 22 and included hors d'oeuvres, refreshments and dinner in the attraction, a breakfast voucher for the next morning, lunch at the Golden Vine Winery, a room at the Grand Californian hotel, entertainment, a commemorative gift, the opportunity to purchase exclusive merchandise and of course, a ride on the attraction. This event was limited to 50 people. Price: $1,595 per person.
2) The Sunset Room package event was held on April 23 and included everything mentioned above with the exception of the dinner and lunch meals (hors d'oeuvres and refreshments were included with this package) and a much higher (though unpublished) limitation on the number of people. It also included a dessert treat. Price: $465 per person.
3) The Stardust Room package was the same as the Sunset Room except it didn't include breakfast or a room at the Grand Californian. Price: $125.
4) The Gift Shop package allowed you to get into the April 23 event at a later time and only included an 'entertainment moment,' soft drinks, the dessert treat and a ride on the Tower of Terror. Price: $59
having dinner in the attraction with a very limited number of people
was a great idea, we realized that for the same price we could go
on a cruise. We decided on the Stardust Room package and booked the
hotel room at the Grand Californian ourselves. We were able to get
a standard view room (i.e., overlooking the parking lot) with an Annual
Passport rate for $249.55 (including all fees and taxes) making the
total cost $499.55 for two.
TIP: We have found that booking your own room for special events at the Disneyland Resort is generally less expensive and allows you more flexibility than taking an event package with a room.
You unlock this door with the key of imagination
Although the preferred hotel for this event was the Grand Californian, the registration was at the Disneyland Hotel. Except for that and registration was closed during lunch, the registration process was fast and efficient. The registration package included many event exclusive items: a lanyard with a large plastic Hollywood Tower Hotel logo hanging from it (the logo had the event schedule on the back), a pin in the shape of a bell used at the bell desk, an event themed Minnie Mouse pin and a silver cigarette case engraved with the hotel logo and event date. We also picked up our preordered merchandise.
TIP: When picking up any merchandise, always check it very carefully before leaving the pick up area. We had to go through three different Stitch Bellhop pins before we found one where the magnet holding the suitcase closed didn't fall out.
Hollywood, 1939. Amid the glitz and the glitter of a bustling, young movie town...
Our evening started at 7:30. There was some confusion over where to meet to enter the event. Everyone was told to meet by the letter 'C' of the California sign in the esplanade, but they let people in who were waiting on Hollywood Boulevard as well. Fortunately, this was the only problem we experienced the entire evening.
Once we were in, we were immersed in Hollywood of 1939. An orchestra was playing big band tunes, tuxedo clad Cast Members circulated with hors d'oeuvres and drinks (virgin Cosmopolitans with light-up plastic ice cubes). There were also buffet stations with hot hors d'oeuvres, cheese and vegetables as well as drink stations with soft drinks, beer, wine and non-virgin Cosmopolitans with the same light-up ice cubes. Later they circulated with trays of desserts including milk and white chocolate cups with mousse inside and a circle of white chocolate with the Hollywood Tower Hotel logo on it.
The dress for the evening (optional, of course) was casual, 1930s or black and white. Many of the guests chose to dress up which added to the ambiance. There was a small dance area in front of the orchestra and throughout the night several swing dancers were entertaining to watch. Throughout the evening Streetmosphere characters interacted with the guests. At one point we were interviewed by a reporter from the 'Twilight News' and his photographer. There was also a bellhop who spent the evening looking to deliver a rose bush to Mrs. Bell. Every time we saw him the rose bush got bigger. He never did find her and by the end of the evening the bush was nearly as big as he was.
A Dimension of Sound. A Dimension of Sight. A Dimension of Mind.
the band stopped playing and the Twilight Zone theme started. They
made an announcement that the hotel had been closed since 1939 and
was reopening tonight. When we finished eating and drinking we wandered
over to the hotel and were delighted to see that there were no lines
for the attraction. We walked up to the podium and were immediately
directed to the library. (I'll let Deb Wills tell you about the ride
itself in her upcoming reports from the Grand Opening.)
TIP: The ride loads on two levels. If you need to avoid using stairs, let the Cast Member at the check-in podium know, so that you can be directed to the appropriate library (there are two).
After we rode it a second time, we noticed there was a long line for the attraction. This was because it was after 9:30 and the Gift Shop package guests had been let in. We received a sugar cookie with an edible photo of the hotel on it. Then we went over to play the games they had set up. There were five carnival games themed to the attraction. After each game you received a different pin. By the end of the evening you ended up with a set of six limited edition event themed pins of the Fab Five and Pluto.
A warm welcome back to those of you who made it
It was getting late, so we decided our stomachs could take one more drop and then we would leave. On our way out we received our parting commemorative gift. We each got a pocket watch (the kind where you press the stem and the lid opens) with the event artwork on the front and the hotel logo and date on the back. It came with a wooden base and glass dome for displaying it. The presentation box was custom made with a form fitting foam insert wrapped in dark blue material. We also received a small lithograph with the event artwork (a little bigger than a postcard). As my wife and I walked back to our hotel we concluded that the evening was worth the money and if they had another event we were interested in that was similarly priced, we would probably attend.