PICTORIAL: Up-charge parking, Fuel Rods, Star Wars Land, more #DisneyHolidays plus more!vx

A long holiday weekend brings plenty and plenty of crowds to the Happiest Place on Earth for that perfect holiday feeling and although the #DisneyHolidays continue on through the first week of January, there’s a lot of other activity going on around the Resort.

Disney has introduced a new up-charge option with Premium Parking at the Mickey and Friends Parking Structure. The notion of charging more for parking seems to have worked well in Florida but it seems to have not quite caught on here if our experience on Friday was any indication. More on that later.

We also found that Disney has introduced the popular third party Fuel Rod service which brings re-chargable solutions for a typical tech-dependent theme park-goer.

We noticed a few late stragglers going up for holiday decorations and we stopped for a spell to enjoy some of the Festival of Holidays entertainment including RAISE, Mariachi Divas, Mostly Kosher and more.

There’s still a lot of work going on around the Resort too with the new western gateway project that will bring security screening to the Mickey and Friends parking structure. Then, of course, there’s on-going work at Tower of Terror for its conversion to Guardians of the Galaxy – Mission: BREAKOUT and the new Star Wars themed land.

All of this and more in our latest pictorial update! ENJOY!

Up-Charged

For nearly double the cost, you can upgrade your parking at Mickey and Friends Parking Structure to a Preferred Parking space which allows you to park in a sectioned off area on each level of the Mickey and Friends Parking Structure that is closest to the escalators and elevators.

While certainly not an uncommon practice at malls, other theme parks (like Universal Studios Hollywood), or even at Walt Disney World theme parks, the notion comes off as exceedingly money-grubby, especially since it was introduced during what is essentially busiest time of the entire year at the Happiest Place on Earth. Still, if there’s a market, then surely Disney would be remiss in not trying to take advantage.

With that said, it does appear that the test does not seem to be off to a running start. At least not yet.

We checked three different levels of the Mickey and Friends Parking Structure at around 1:30pm on Friday and two of them had no cars in the Preferred Parking area. This could simply be that they were not yet allowing preferred parking for those levels (despite the sections being separated by cones) or it could point to a less than favorable response to the new up-charge. Surely, almost double the cost does seem a bit excessive. However, it was also Black Friday so perhaps everyone was already dedicating their disposable bucks to all those shopping deals?

We did find one level where the perk was being utilized by guests but it was literally just a single vehicle in the entire gigantic section. Perhaps the So-Cal audience is less receptive to up-charge premium theme park parking than tourist-heavy Florida? We are used to not finding parking around these parts!

Could be another one of those distinctions between the East and West coast resorts where the demographics do NOT align.

The FREEFORM 25 Days of Christmas flyer is being handed out once again this year.

Unfortunately, the car freshener has been downgraded to just a regular cardboard ornament. Looks like they missed the point of why people were opting to give “free” publicity for the television event by hanging the bauble on their rear-view mirrors. Looks like they might have opted to save costs by eliminating the scent.

…and that stinks!

Charged-Up

Third party service FUEL ROD has taken up a small presence around the Disneyland Resort giving guests a convenient way to keep their technology juiced.

You may have seen the FUEL ROD service at various other public areas like airports, malls, and convention centers. In essence, they are reusable, portable charging rods that allow you to fuel (charge) your mobile devices on the go. Once the power is gone, simply recharge the rod OR find a FUEL ROD station and simply swap your drained rod swap for a freshly-charged one.

If you already have a FUEL ROD, then you can now use the kiosks around the Resort to swap your rods. If you need to buy a new one, you can do so in the park (it will set you back $30) or you can buy one ahead of time on their official site for $20.

Each of the kiosks are themed to match their surrounding areas. For now, you can find them at the Main Street Lockers, Hungry Bear Restaurant (near the restrooms), Small World Toys (pictured above), and in Tomorrowland near the Space Mountain restrooms.

Depending on popularity, there may be more popping up around the Resort! Two more kiosks are expected in Downtown Disney within the next week weeks.

Fuel Rod Menu Screens

Buy a new Fuel Rod Kit:

Swap Existing:

Western Gateway Project

Work continues to transform the loading operations at Mickey and Friends parking structure and bring a new security screening area.

The former wheelchair accessible loading ramp has been removed.

Resurfacing of the former parking lot area in progress. The new tram route will circle this new sectioned off area.

The tram will continue on inside the structure for it a bit until it circles out of its new exit further west inside the structure.

Star Wars Land

MISSION BREAKOUT

Scaffolding and tarps continue to rise over the Tower of Terror.

More #DisneyHolidays

Looks like the Carthay Circle wreath finally made it.

Understated.

The star and Santa lamppost decorations made a late return this year too. The DOCTOR STRANGE banners have disappeared now that the preview has been removed.

Wendell and Liverlips from the Country Bear Jamboree are greeting guests at the Festival of Holidays. Super random but super welcomed! I wish Humphrey the Bear and Ranger Woodlore were also available!!

Shaker has already had enough of the holidays.

Snowcar!

Love all the decorations in the Pacific Wharf area.

Bread used in the decorations at the Boudin Bakery.

Fortune cookies and takeout boxes at the Lucky Fortune Cookery.

Colorful and rustic decorations at Cocina Cucamonga.

Ghirardelli has a lovely garland with chocolate decorations.

Closer look.

Speaking of Ghirardelli, it’s time once again for Peppermint Park!

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas!

Ding ding!

Adorable antenna topper.

A four-set of antenna toppers for the holidays.

New holiday balloons.

Olaf sipper.

Festival of Holidays Entertainment

Have you celebrated the Festival of Holidays yet? There’s a ton of entertainment to enjoy…

Viva Navidad!

Required viewing during the #DisneyHolidays.

Smooch!

Snowfetti.

Saludos, amigos!

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RAISE

Alternating entertainment at the Festival of Holidays Pacific Wharf stage

Enjoy uplifting a cappella vocal group bringing a powerful, harmonious R&B spin to new and popular holiday songs.

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Mariachi Divas

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Adelaide – Living Latin Loud

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Mostly Kosher

Even More #DisneyHolidays

As the sun began to set over Disney California Adventure, we hopped over to Disneyland for some dusky holiday magic.

 

Pre-lighting.

Tree lighting.

“it’s a small world” Holiday

Celebrating 20 years of holiday cheer on the merriest cruise that ever sailed.

A little snow man right at the exit.

THE END!

BUT WAIT, THERE’S MORE!

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Author: Joey Inigo

I have been a part of MouseInfo.com since 2003. I enjoy visiting the Happiest Place on Earth and am happy to talk about Disney Parks all day long.

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