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Yes, Disneyland really was a lot more crowded this summer

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Published: September 30, 2009 at 11:00 AM

How about a virtual lunch from the Wine Country Trattoria at Disney's California Adventure? Enjoy your Chicken Panini:

Lunch at DCA

On to the late-morning (early-afternoon for the east coast) news:

  • Disney Parks chief Jay Rasulo let spill yesterday that more than 3 million people have registered online for Disney's free birthday tickets, but that only about 1 million have actually shown up for the deal. That percentage fits with my family. We all registered, but of the three birthdays in the family so far, we used the free ticket only for Natalie's.

    The free tickets are helping drive attendance up at Disneyland, 10 percent in the third quarter over last year. The lousy economy also helps Disneyland attendance, as it keeps an audience of 15 million Southern Californians closer to home. Can't afford Hawaii or Cabo this year? You're going to Disneyland!

  • Walt Disney World's hotel monorail went down this morning due to an apparent electrical fire. One monorail needed a tow back to the TTC. No one hurt, but expect longer lines and hassle until the system's back up. Post more info if you've got it.

  • Also from Walt Disney World, TPI reader David Graham notes an Orlando Sentinel bulletin about a teen boy who died in his sleep at Port Orleans last night. The boy had a long history of medical issues, though no cause is yet determined.

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