It’s time for a Disneyland weekend update! In this roundup of recent news from California parks, we’ll cover the latest on ‘sold out’ Magic Key reserves for the remainder of 2021, Halloween and Christmas character costumes, transportation hits and failures, and more.
Let’s start with the Magic Key reservation availability. As you can see above, the options are incredibly limited, even for the top tier pass. For practical purposes, those higher passes could also be lower tier, as they all offer the same availability. Until then, there is literally nothing available on Fridays, Saturdays or Sundays, the days that most locals have free.
Weekday availability isn’t great either, with almost nothing left in October before options open in early November. Then there’s nothing for Thanksgiving week, mostly followed by Disney California Adventure as the starter park for all of December. Probably no what the locals had in mind when buying Magic Key passes, many of whom now express quite a bit on social media how they feel cheated …
One of the big criticisms when Magic Key was launched was that it required a huge leap of faith, as pass holders indulged in large sums of money without any guarantee of access. Unlike all previous annual passes, the new system did not offer open access dates; all dates are blocked or require reservations. Those concerns have been validated, and Disney dropped the ball less than two months into the new system’s existence.
That said, this was not our review. We often quote ourselves when we do things right, so it is only fair to do the same when we do things. very bad: “The first months that these passes are on sale will have the greatest facility to make reservations at short notice and with the least amount of local people.”
“It is impossible to say how long these phenomena will last, but if we were undecided about purchasing a Magic Key, our approach would not be ‘wait and see.’ It would be ‘buy now, don’t renew later’ (if you don’t like it). Because what you see while you wait, and what you are missing, could be the optimal version of the magic key. “
If this is the optimal version of Magic Keys, then …Oh! We were afraid this could happen in the future, but has it only been a couple of months? No way.
The good news is that there is a chance that things will improve. First, as Walt Disney World’s APs learned the hard way last year, there is still availability for regular ticket holders, and some of that capacity could be reallocated to the Magic Keys.
Second, it is unclear at what capacity Disneyland is operating. The parks are not limited by state or county, and the company has stopped posting updates on the percentages. Judging from the amount of entertainment still lacking and other operational issues, we can safely say that the Disneyland Resort is not 100%.
However, unlike the situation in Florida last fall, the solution here is not as simple as redistributing the availability of reserves. Disneyland is fairly busy most days and demand is likely to increase in November and December. Therefore, it is unlikely that the company will change the regular ticket reservations; even if they did, it would only be a temporary fix before the reserves were quickly refilled.
A better solution would be to improve operational capacity by bringing back shows, parades and other entertainment. Opening more places to eat and extending hours would also help parks better absorb crowds and therefore accommodate more reservations. However, it is unclear to what extent that is feasible in the short term given the shortage of staff and response time to bring the entertainment back.
Another possible long-term solution is to ease the pressure of weekends by making weekday visits more attractive. One of the things we commended about the Magic Key system was that it would create a greater sense of urgency and appreciation when visiting Disneyland. That’s true, but it’s also a double-edged sword.
Loading up most of the Magic Key tiers for parking pushes locals even further into the weekends, cutting down on weekday visits that could otherwise be an escape valve for the crowds. With no end in sight to the strong demand on the weekends, perhaps incentivizing midweek visits would be a good move. (One way to do this would be by creating a parking add-on.)
In the immediate future, this problem is likely to get worse as more magic keys are sold in the coming weeks and months before solutions can be realistically implemented. (Hopefully pent-up demand will even out and operations will ramp up in early 2022, but that is still months away.)
One way or another, Disneyland needs to find a solution. From a business perspective, this may seem like a good problem, but that’s only true in the short term. In the long term, Disneyland needs locals to fill the parks during the slower times of the year, and the current situation isn’t exactly good for goodwill or renovations.
Here’s a sneak peek at Minnie and Mickey Mouse’s new Christmas costumes. This year, they will be swapping the look from a red and green casual sweater to matching padded jackets and scarves. When the holiday season kicks off on November 12, Mickey and Minnie will be decked out in these new sporty Christmas looks around Town Square at Disneyland.
Before the holiday season begins, Magic Key pass holders will be able to find Minnie and Mickey Mouse in the Starcade Lounge in Tomorrowland. That location is for magic key holders only and runs through October 30, 2021.
I know you are all sitting with pins and needles waiting for my appraisal of these new outfits. After all, my fashion eye knows no bounds, assuming UNIQLO is the height of style and haute couture. My opinion is that the old outfits were like the “A Christmas Fantasy” parade itself, tired and a bit too 90s.
That being said, this isn’t much better and it’s pretty generic. Minnie and Mickey could just as easily wear these looks to Trader Joe’s on a crisp January morning. Personally, I prefer fancy or Dickensian Christmas costumes at Disneyland Paris, Hong Kong Disneyland, or Tokyo DisneySea. Save the casual looks for other seasons: Christmas should be elaborate and elegant, especially after so many years of laid-back looks.
Keeping up with Christmas, a brand new Christmas store called Plaza Point will come to the corner of Main Street and East Plaza Street, replacing the old Photo Supply Co. This Victorian-era space will highlight the holidays with a warm wood-paneled space. decorated with garlands, nutcracker and festive decoration.
In addition to Christmas, Plaza Point will feature merchandise and decorations for Hanukkah, Lunar New Years, Spring, Easter, Fall, and Halloween. Of course, there will be Christmas-themed products throughout the year, including decorations, household items, clothing, bedding, and accessories.
Returning to Halloween, Disney Parks announced that Marvel’s Zombie Captain America What if…? will be added to the character lineup in Oogie Boogie Bash – A Disney Halloween Party. This continues the trend of using recent Disney + characters on Avengers Campus. Different versions of Loki appeared during that series, and Agatha Harkness from WandaVision has appeared in Marvel land.
While synergy is often ridiculed, we believe this is the best feature of Avengers Campus and we hope it continues to be a lived, living land that evolves alongside the Marvel Cinematic Universe. An all-zombie takeover of the land could only improve the Avengers Campus. Now that That would be a good use of the ‘reused’ presumption!
We hope Captain America Zombie will also make daytime appearances on Avengers Campus closer to Halloween. All remaining Oogie Boogie Bash dates are sold out, but you can read about the event and start planning for 2022 at our Oogie Boogie Bash Guide: A Disney Halloween Party.)
Some good news: The Disneyland Monorail is back, with Downtown Disney and Tomorrowland stations already in operation.
Some bad news: the streetcars in the parking lot are still down. This is really unfortunate. Although we personally prefer to walk from Mickey & Friends, it is not all of us. It’s quite a long walk, especially at the end of a long day, and there’s no good excuse for not operating the trams. It’s a cost saving, plain and simple.
Finally, a quick cleanup update and a half-hearted apology (the best guy!). I haven’t been doing the best job with Disneyland content in recent months, and I am aware of that. I’ve barely touched the photos from our Halloween trip to California, haven’t updated many resources, and got a half-dozen hotel reviews from behind. Heck, I haven’t even reviewed Avengers Campus or Spider-Man Mania, but for the sake of “positivity” maybe I shouldn’t. (On a real positive note, the pumpkin spiced monkey bread at River Belle Terrace is glorious.)
Unfortunately, the 50th anniversary of Walt Disney World and other updates have consumed an inordinate amount of my time. It is not just Disneyland that has been neglected, I also have a large backlog of Universal Orlando posts from our visits and hotel stays there over the past few months. Hopefully once Genie + launches at Walt Disney World things will slow down there and I’ll be able to focus on other updates. For what it’s worth, we had a exceptional Time at Disneyland over Halloween and we can’t wait for Christmas!
Planning a vacation to Southern California? For park admission deals, read Tips for Saving Money on Disneyland Tickets. Learn more about on-site and off-site hotels in our Anaheim Hotel Reviews and Ratings. To find out where to eat, check out our Disneyland Restaurant Reviews. For unique ideas of things that will enhance your trip, check out What to Pack for Disney. For comprehensive advice, see our Disneyland Vacation Planning Guide. Finally, for guides beyond disneyCheck out our Southern California itineraries for day trips to Los Angeles, Laguna Beach, and many other locations.
What do you think of the Magic Key reservations ‘sold out’ between the beginning of January 2022? Any other potential way that Disneyland can solve this problem? Do you agree or disagree with our assessment? Thoughts on other DLR news covered here? Any questions? Hearing your comments, even when you disagree with us, is interesting to us and useful to other readers, so share your thoughts below in the comments.