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News and Views

Monorail Orange derails to WDI in North Hollywood, not Glendale

Reports started circulating online last week that Monorail Orange was moved to WDI (Walt Disney Imagineering) facilities in Glendale for dissection and further study, speculating various theories. With this news, however, we began receiving comments and queries from monorail fans, who wondered whether the facility in Glendale could handle the monorail.


The front of Monorail Orange as it sits in the WDI shop in Tujunga Avenue in North Hollywood, California. Photo by Jeff Moxley.


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MousePlanet has learned that Orange did not go to Glendale, but instead has been sent to the WDI facilities on Tujunga Avenue in North Hollywood. According to our sources in Disneyland management, the issue of monorail refurbishments was addressed by new Disneyland Resort president Matt Ouimet in a presentation late last year, when he said that the monorails were in very poor condition and should have been replaced 5 years ago. The problem was in the difficulty of proving the inherent value of the monorails to the accountants, who had to approve the $50-plus million price tag necessary for the project.


The disassembled Monorail Orange it sits in the WDI shop in North Hollywood. Photo by Jeff Moxley.

With enough arm-twisting, however, it appears that Ouimet has been given the go-ahead, with Monorail Orange being sacrificed for dissection and analysis so that new trains can make their debut sometime after 2005.

[The preceding item was revised 4:30 p.m. June 28, 2004 to clarify the location. We originally reported the WDI as being in Tujunga. The location is in North Hollywood, and should not be mistaken with Tujunga, California, located 10 miles north of Burbank about Freeway 210.]

Eisner unveils new Disney postage stamps at Disneyland


Disney postage stamps. Image courtesy of the U.S. Postal Service.

Actor George Wendt (Norm of Cheers) joined Disney CEO Michael Eisner and U.S. Postmaster General John E. (Jack) Potter as they dedicated four Disney 37-cent U.S. postage stamps at a ceremony in front of Sleeping Beauty Castle last Wednesday. [Oddly enough, John Ratzenberger, who voices characters in Pixar movies and is best recognized as U.S. postal carrier Cliff Clavin in Cheers, was not in attendance.]


Actor George Wendt and the Groove 66 singers describe the four new stamps. Photo by Adrienne Vincent-Phoenix.

The new stamps celebrate the theme “Art of Disney: Friendship” and feature four groups of Disney friends: Mickey Mouse and Friends (Donald and Goofy); Bambi and Thumper; Mufasa and Simba; and Pinocchio and Jiminy Cricket.


Disney CEO Michael Eisner and U.S. Postmaster General John E. (Jack) Potter hand-cancel stamps for a group of young collectors. Photo by Adrienne Vincent-Phoenix.

The U.S. Postal Service set up two temporary sites for the day at Disneyland for visitors and stamp collectors to purchase the stamps and receive special first-day-of-issue Disney-themed cancellations. Eisner and Potter personally hand-cancelled stamps for a group of young collectors. Stamp collectors from around the country attended the dedication ceremony, and one remarked that this was the fanciest such ceremony he had ever attended.


Rafiki and Timon celebrate the new Lion King stamp at the dedication ceremony. Photo by Adrienne Vincent-Phoenix.

The Disney stamps are now available at post offices around the country. A collection of U.S. Postal Service merchandise bearing the images of the new stamps, including tote bags and coffee mugs, is also available at larger post offices, and was sold at Disneyland on release day. Disneyland created three pieces of merchandise for the event, including a frame caché and a framed stamp sheet with matching pin.

These stamps represent the first of three Disney-themed stamp releases over the next three years. This is only the third time ever for Disney characters to be featured on U.S. stamps. In 1968, Walt Disney was featured with “it's a small world” characters and, in 1998, Snow White was honored with a stamp of her own.

Fourth of July at the Disneyland Resort

The Disneyland Resort has announced the entertaiment schedule for Sunday, July 4th.

Disneyland

  • Park hours: 8:00 a.m. to midnight.
  • Parade of the Stars: 4:15 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.
  • Imagine... fireworks: 8:45 p.m.
  • Special Fourth of July fireworks show: 10:15 p.m.
  • Fantasmic!: 9:50 p.m. and 11:15 p.m.

Disney's California Adventure

  • Park hours: 10:00 a.m. - 10:00 p.m.
  • Disney's Electrical Parade: 9 p.m.

Bring a Friend

In our June 14 Update (link), we shared details of a new Annual Passholder discount on 2-day park hopper tickets. According to information on the Disneyland Web site, this discounted ticket is available for purchase through Thursday, September 30.

A confused MousePlanet reader contacted us after they bought these discounted tickets, and noticed an expiration date of Monday, July 5. Reading the fine print on the offer, we see that the tickets expire on October 13, 2004, or 13 days after first use, whichever comes first. If you are planning to take advantage of this offer, make sure that you don't buy the tickets too far in advance.

Some Annual Passholders have received a postcard about this special offer in the mail. Passholders can give their postcard to friends and family, who can then use them to purchase up to five discounted tickets without the passholder even being there.

Next Olszewski releases announced

Artist Robert Olszewski released the latest piece in his “Disneyland in Miniature” series this past weekend, and gave collectors a sneak peek at the next pieces in the series. In September, Olszewski will offer the Town Square figure, which includes a Christmas tree accessory. The first accessory set includes a horse-drawn streetcar and the horseless carriage.


The Disneyana shop has a display of current and upcoming sculptures in the Disneyland in Miniature series by artist Robert Olzsewski. Photo by Adrienne Vincent-Phoenix.

If completed in time, the Emporium building will also be offered in September. An Olzsewski representative said that the release schedule is being sped up so that the entire Main Street collection will be available by Disneyland's 50th Anniversary in July 2005.

Yesterland gets two new tenants

Reader Colin Haugh noticed that DCA's Superstar Limo ride had been removed from the Disneyland Resort refurbishment schedule, and asked if this meant the ride had been reopened. Rather than reopening, it seems that Superstar Limo has gone the way of the Rocket Rods—Disney has now removed all reference of the ride from the Disneyland Resort Web site and park maps.

Reader Brian Lane also noticed that Sleeping Beauty Castle walkthrough has received the same treatment, and all mention of the attraction has been removed from the Disneyland Resort Web site.

Ears to the ground

…This is the last week that Disneyland Annual Passholders can get $10 off the new Discover the Magic tour. This discount ends on July 2. Reservations can be made at any Guest Services location or in advance by calling (714) 781-4400.


The Disneyland Resort is now offering the 1-day park hopper ticket to all visitors. Photo by Adrienne Vincent-Phoenix.

…The one-day Park Hopper ticket is now a permanent offering at the Disneyland Resort. New price signs hang above the the resort ticket booths, offering 1-, 2-, and 3-day park hopper tickets. The 1-day, 1-park ticket is still available, listed at the bottom of the sign.

…Reader JMB tells us that California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger will be visiting Disneyland on its 49th birthday, and that the planned refurbishment of Sleeping Beauty Castle will not begin until after the Governor's visit.

…Reader Darkbeer alerted us to a story in Amusement Business, reporting that the ABC Primetime Preview weekend return to Disney's California Adventure the weekend of September 10 to 12, 2004.

… Anaheim fire department responded to a small but visible fire at Award Weiners just before DCA opened Saturday morning. Some visitors were already in the Hollywood Backlot area as part of the McDonalds early entry promotion. Disneyland personnel quickly handled the fire, and the restaurant opened as normal.



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