A new president, a fast-approaching 50th birthday, and a decade of neglect have all conspired to put Disneyland through one of the most extensive park-wide refurbishment efforts ever.

The latest photo tour at MiceAge tells the story. You can’t go two steps without seeing painters and carpenters hard at work somewhere in the park; tarps are everywhere. It’s sad to say, but TLC like that hasn’t been poured on the park in a long, long time. And that doesn’t even take into account the three new attractions that Tomorrowland’s getting – a gutted and completely rebuilt Space Mountain, Buzz Lightyear’s SpaceRanger Spin (imported from WDW,) and a return of the submarines. Anaheim’s jewel will shine very brightly when its 50th birthday rolls around on July 17th.

With all that investment being made in the park, it makes sense that admission prices – and annual passes in particular – will soon shoot through the roof. A Premium annual pass sells for $279 right now, and the rumors I’m hearing have that jumping to $500 during or after this year’s Christmas season. This is also an effort to ‘thin the herd’, as right now something like 600,000 people have passes and don’t pay a dime to visit the park.

Fun times!

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