You all responded so favorably to the small Ask Al! section I'd added
to the update, that I thought it would warrant a page of its own.
First, a little background: As you all can imagine, I get so much
e-mail about the site, that it's gotten to the point where I can't
really respond to it all personally. But questions keep coming in,
and so many of them keep proving interesting, that I thought I'd try
this column so I could respond at least to the ones I feel will have the
broadest appeal for the D-I-G readership.
I'll try and update this page about once a week or so - but be
patient if I fall behind a bit.
The following ten questions were posted on 10/30/01
and again thank you all for your terrific feedback and the many queries
Andrew writes: Hello, Al, this isn't
going to be a question for you, so much as just letting you know
about what the last two shows of "Animazement!" were like.
Please post this wherever you think it would fit the most.
I've been a big fan of "Animazement!" for a year now,
since I first moved to L.A. and got to see the show. I know some
people weren't that fond of it, but the dancing, the wonderful cast,
and those wonderful songs always left me feeling better after seeing
the show than I did before.
When I heard on MousePlanet that "Animazement!"'s final
day of performances was to be Oct. 28, I knew I wanted to be there
to "say goodbye."
My friends and I arrived in plenty of time to see the second- to-
last show, and even got to sit in our "regular" seats
(second row, on the floor, all the way to the right of the theater).
I was very happy to see most of my favorite performers in their
roles, including Belle, Quasimodo, Pocahontas, Clopin, Hercules, and
that beautiful woman who plays a napkin, the eel, a gypsy, and a
The energy level of this performance was through the roof, for the
performers, and for the audience. And speaking of the audience,
there were a large group of former cast members in attendance.
Some of the highlights of the second- to- last show were:
* The Aladdin guard who slipped on the banana peel managed to flip
the peel up so that another of the guards could catch it. The
catching guard held it up to the audience with a "can you
believe I just did that!?" look on his face.
* The woman who gets accosted by Aladdin in the audience and spills
her popcorn actually yelled at him this time! Very funny!
* When Ariel said "Sebastian? What do you think they use this
for?" and swung Herc's sword around, she smacked the sea turtle
right in the shell and dropped the sword!
For the final performance, things were even
more special. My friends and I still managed to get CLOSE TO our
regular seats, just a few rows farther back than usual. (There were
a lot more former "Animazement!" cast members at this
show, and they were all given priority seating, which is as it
should have been, I thought.)
The energy level was even higher at this performance, and although
the entire performance was magical, some of the highlights of the
final show were:
* When the spotlight operators came out to take their positions
before the show started, they received a loud ovation from the
* There was tremendous applause and cheering after every vocal solo
in the show.
* The Aladdin guards were able to pull off the same banana peel
trick from the show before.
* When Jafar came rushing through the door to confront Aladdin, HE
TRIPPED ON HIS ROBES and hit the floor! Luckily, he was able to
recover in time to make his "Congratulations..." cue, and
still managed to flash the audience a look that said, "That
wasn't funny, and I'd better not hear any of you laughing!" (Of
course, I'm still laughing about it...)
* When Ariel got to the end of "Part of Your World," the
poor dear almost started to cry. You could hear her voice begin to
waver, and it was so sweet and touching.
* The Pocahontas, Hercules and Quasimodo trio got a much-deserved
standing ovation at the end of their number.
* When Clopin shouted out, "You all remember last year's
king!?" half the people in the audience yelled out
"No!" in time with the cast on stage! (The other half of
the audience thought this was hysterical!)
* The crew must have wanted to use all the confetti they had left in
that finale to "Topsy-Turvey Day," because when the
colored creppe paper fell, it fell well into the first part of the
"Circle of Life."
* There was another standing ovation for the entire cast at the end
of the show.
* Moments after the show ended, the spotlight operators dumped
another small amount of confetti, and as the houselights came up,
the techs in the booth played the ending to the old Mickey Mouse
Club, which was quite touching. And the audience sang along:
"Now it's time to say goodbye to all our company... M-I-C...
See you real soon... K-E-Y... Why? Because we like you...
Those last two performances really felt magical. They were so
wonderful, in fact, it was impossible to feel sad that the show was
closing. (On Monday morning, however, the loss is starting to sink
I was very glad I was able to be there for this show's final
performances. Now, finally, I feel I have some truly magical
memories of Disneyland.
I ran your note here Andrew, because I thought the readers would
enjoy it. Although I wasn't a big fan of the show, I did appreciate
all the hard work the performers put into it - many times at
Disneyland it's the actors that pull it off when they get left
hanging by the creative folks.
Keep your eyes on the site, we have an upcoming article coming
soon about the show's ending.
BTW - they are going ahead with the holiday replacement,
"Minnie's Christmas Party" which is (as I understand) a
spiffed up and slightly enlarged version of the character show
Disney puts on for Children's hospitals. Its set for a November 2nd
Dave writes: Thanx Al for your
great column! I thought for a long time that I was the only one who
noticed the trashing of Walt's genius legacy.
I note your criticisms of Paul Pressler. I think you're barking up
the wrong tree-or at least are focusing only on a branch of the tree
and not the trunk. And the trunk is Eisner- Pressler is nothing more
than his mindless pawn. So don't blame Pressler. If he goes (as
you've suggested) it would make no difference. The next guy would
also be under Eisner's thumb as well, and the agenda would be the
same. It will only be Eisner's departure that will spell hope for
the Disney we all love so much, and for which Eisner has little or
no appreciation. What has become of Disney under him is a sad
|We'll see what the future holds Dave. I think a lot of
people - not just us - are disappointed with where the company has
been going lately. It certainly is time for a change at the top I
Chris writes: Hey Al, I have been
reading your updates (as always) and wonder, what is really up with
TOT? Another site (Nameless) says that TOT is not on hold and is
fully on the go schedule. Also, I wrote many months back requesting
an article or feature [on a favorite subject]. Thanks! Keep up the
|Chris, at this time, with the problems the company is
facing, it would be very hard to say anything is concrete right now.
Especially when it comes to California Adventure. Both Tower of
Terror and Bugs Town are penciled in, but until ground is broken and
the checks are issued to the contractors I wouldn't hold my breath.
They may go ahead with some smaller prep work in the meantime.
I've been hounding our staff about the article you mentioned -
hopefully soon we'll have something for you. The big problem is lack
of pictures - which is a driving force for anything we do online.
"F" writes: Hey Al, I have
a question about the Paradise Pier Hotel. I am a cast member with
WDW and am traveling to Anaheim on the first week in December and
got a great rate on that hotel, but I'm not too sure about staying
there due to misleading transportation info. Other than the private
entrance into DCA via Paradise Pier do they have any other
transportation to the main entrances of both parks?
I have little ones and I'm afraid it will be too far of a walk, I
originally was staying on the other side of Disneyland in a budget
hotel for around the same price, but it seemed to be a better
location due to it being across from main walkway between the two
Any thoughts on this hotel? Can we get in early into DCA? We will
probably still stay there just because it's Disney quality (I hope).
|There is no transportation between the Disney Hotels
and the parks due to the design which funnels you through the
Downtown Disney mall - so its a bit of a walk.
If you have a parkhopper, you can enter California Adventure from
the Paradise Pier hotel which is just across the street, using it as
a short cut to Disneyland if need be. But since that park has no
early entry, and usually opens later / closes earlier than
Disneyland it doesn't always come in handy. Considering you may have
no early entry at all for either park come December - you may want
to reconsider staying on the property.
I would call around the Harbor Blvd. hotels, they are just as
close to the two park's gates. The Candy Cane Inn in particular
rates very high with readers. Depending on your visit though, the
Disney Hotels may be hurting enough to give cast members a big
enough discount to overcome the distance problems. Keep checking
rates, either off or on property you will probably save a few bucks
by doing so.
Claire writes: Thank you for all you
do on MousePlanet. I visit everyday and enjoy all the updates
(although most just frustrate me!). I will be at Disneyland Nov. 29
- Dec.3, which is exciting for me as I live in OR and only make it
down every 1-2 years, but this year we're going twice. I'm really
looking forward to the Believe holiday show and read a review from
last year (?), and am wondering if you'll re-review the show, (with
a hopefully improved score) before my trip. I would really
I'm also really excited because we usually visit Mon-Fri and miss
some great things. We were there two weeks ago, and had to get up at
3 am on a Sunday to fly down, but darn it, we stuck it out all day
so that I could see the Electrical Parade. It was the longest day of
my life, but watching my three little girls (6, 3 and 10 months) bop
to the music, take pictures, and squeal every few minutes was worth
every second! And, oh, the overwhelming and powerful wave of
nostalgia. Made me feel like crying!
Also, will you explain the snow thing a little too? If you watch the
show from the ultimate spot near the hub, do you get the snow
effects? I know that will be the most important to my little girl.
She's officially the only six year in her school who has been to DL
four times! An honor I am so proud of!!!
Thank you for all you do. You make me more excited to visit again
and again. Disney owes you a lot. Since I discovered MousePlanet,
etc, I've visited DL three times in two years. Being a DL fan my
entire life, I always feel it's the mother ship calling me home...
|Thanks for the kind words Claire - I know the
MousePlanet staff appreciates your letting them know how much you
enjoy the site. I was especially pleased to read about your
daughters enjoying the Electrical Parade, that was neat.
The Believe Holiday show remains the same as last year - I had
thought they had changed the music a week into the run, but what
they had done over the opening week was to tighten up the fireworks
themselves to make for a better show.
If you want to position yourself for the snow - we recommend you
aim for somewhere on Main Street - it just works better there each
time we saw it last year. If you'd like to read an article
about how the snow is made, you may want to visit this
Ask Doc Krock article - Kevin does a wonderful job
|Allen writes: I am sure
by now you have heard about
Steve Jobs' announcement yesterday (or was it the day
before?) that the "Star Wars 2" trailer will be linked to
the front of Monsters, Inc. Any comments? Does this indicate some
work between Disney and Lucas?
|I was going to discuss this in my update, but I'll
break the info now. From my friends in the "know" - if
they were helming Disney, they would get the Mouse's act together -
Eisner seems to have totally forgotten that there is one other
person out there who knows how to merchandise and sell just as well
as he can, if not better. If Lucas can turn the Episode One sow's
ear into a silk merchandising purse, could you imagine what he could
do with the good movies Pixar makes?
Also the Hollywood Reporter article saying Disney was offended by
THX working with Dreamworks on a Shrek THX trailer may have it
wrong. It could well have been Pixar who needed to be pacified as a
future alliance could be worked out, not Disney.
Pixar and Lucasfilm working together (yet again) could be the
next big story it seems. Neither consulting with either Fox (Lucas)
or Disney (Pixar) (today's Variety confirms this) seems to indicate
something is up. Using Monsters, Inc. as a promotional vehicle gives
some interesting irony to the situation too doesn't it.
Kelvin writes: G'day Al, my son and
his mate are visiting Disneyland Anaheim in late Nov. / early Dec.
this year and I wondered if you could help with a few queries. Is
the park operating normally giving these trying times we live in?
What are the crowds like at this time of year? What is the normal
weather at this time of year? Many thanks and keep up the good work.
|Everything should be operating normally at Disneyland,
but continue to expect further cutbacks in hours and events at
California Adventure unless the holiday lagoon show turns things
Crowds will be busiest on Saturdays, a bit lighter on Sundays,
with the lightest numbers mid week. Weather should be pleasant -
we've had a cooler than normal season so expect pleasant days and
chilly evenings. Hope this helps.
Tod writes: Saw this on the
Disneyland site on the Multi-Day Park Hopper page:
Tickets expire 13 days after first use
or January 6, 2002, whichever comes first.
I think I know when the next price jump
|Smart guy that Tod. :)
Steve writes: Hi Al, I am a recent
reader of your column. It is good that someone tries to keep Disney
on their toes. Disneyland is very important to me, I'm 50 and have
been going there since the year it opened. It was my first amusement
My question is, I hope, an easy one. On Space Mountain, the addition
of music did so much to improve the ride. I had been told by a
friend that you could tell if you would have that enhancement by the
red light on the back of the first car in each train. On = music,
off = none. This has always seemed to be the case when I'd ride,
usually multiple times per visit.
But as I was being loaded last week I
commented on this to a Cast Member as I hadn't had music all day. I
was told that the light meant nothing and had nothing to do with the
soundtrack. Was I lied to by a Cast Member?.
|Thanks for the kind words. I don't know if you were
lied to - but you didn't get the correct answer. ;) The light
on indicates the onboard music is working.
The music on the cars continues to be problematic - reason being
they tried to cut the budget on its installation and are now paying
the price for the constant upkeep it needs.
Someone wrote me not too long ago that FedEx actually got
involved - since they were sick of the ride looking so shabby (they
don't keep up the hallways anymore) and the music was always down. I
couldn't confirm this though. I think its a shame you and I and
FedEx consider the park more important than the Disney company does
Michael writes: Hiya Al - This is
the first time I've written, though I've enjoyed your various sites
daily for a few years now. Been to Disneyland well over a hundred
times in my 38 years, was also at the opening of EuroDisney (+4
visits since), DCA previews (+2 days since) and WDW in it's first
year(+6 trips more recently), so I know my Disney parks. Gotta add
my voice to those first hand accounts who can swear that Tokyo
DisneySea is AWESOME!
I returned from the trip a couple weeks ago, and am still filled
with fabulous images from this amazing place. The quality and
imagination of each structure is absolutely first rate. Every 'Port'
is a completely immersive experience. Several Disney characters are
perfectly housed and embedded into this park. This is where Disney
should be in terms of park design (well, lacking Walt). Yes, there
are a couple of 'flow' issues, but nothing compared to the permanent
problems inherent to EPCOT's design; and 'Sea's are few and easily
fixable (should they still need it down the road when crowds
Besides the drop-jaw quality of everything in sight, the most
exciting thing is that this (and in JAPAN after all) is totally
original new DISNEY theme park! Not a copy, not a cop-out, not
another concept done by everyone else and finally disney-fied, but a
completely new idea, done SPECTACULARLY well, and in Disney style!
The only thing which was a repeat from anywhere is the Indiana Jones
ride, here called Temple of the Crystal Skull and themed to Meso-America,
rather than SouthEast-Asia. This attraction also then serves as good
example of how to explain the quality level at Tokyo DisneySea park.
While the ride's track layout and basic excursion is the same as the
impressive original in Anaheim - from the queue forward, this Indy'
is actually far MORE elaborate in it's look and detailing; take for
instance that first area the cars drive into, after making a sharp
right turn out of the loading station - the approach to a door with
treasures behind it, which then opens up and allows us to quickly
proceed up a ramped hallway showing these treasures, while the
forbidden deity looms over the end of the long hall.
In Disneyland these "treasures" along this hallway are
Painted onto a Scrim which is then lit to reveal various treasure
possibilities....in DisneySea these "treasures" are seen
as several large groups of fully formed statues, holding real urns
and boxes of gleaming "treasure" effects. The dimensional
reality of the scene adds quite a lot to say the least. But also
consider the new Blue flame Vortex in the main cave space, or
compare the creepily clear image of bugs crawling everywhere in a
tight corridor with the vaguely buggy smugges on California's walls;
then there is the addition of the Flaming Face, who roars at you,
leaving a perfect and gigantic smoke-ring, for the car to steer
through! It's just a far richer ride experience, inside and out.
Everything else if off the charts to even try and compare!
Mysterious Island! Wow, to think this was land fill, not a real
volcano, plus the two amazing rides inside. Perfect Disney
creations; thrilling without trying to kill anyone, totally
imaginative spaces to discover and explore, definitely
next-generation dark attractions, not roller coasters though.
Mermaid Lagoon is simply awesome in it's overwhelmingly imaginative
ability to take you under-the-sea, to a perfect recreation from many
scenes from Ariel's movie. Arabian Coast, also stunning in detail
and design, all new things to see here too. It goes on and on like
this, but the live entertainment can not be overlooked either,
because it is everywhere and of such high quality (yes, that word
again), that even a person like me, who isn't into show too much,
had to stop and see them all, as they were all GREAT productions...
from the various 'ports' costumed characters, to street performers
and the several live staged shows, but most especially the two water
pageants (one for Day and another for Night)!!! Huge casts, good
songs (for a change), and over the top production values, amazing.
Oh, here is another good comparison: the venue at California
Adventure for live shows is a painted warehouse with painted scrims
again serving as art work, while concealing light towers. At
DisneySea the live stage show theater is exactly that, a full scale
Broadway theater: marble lobby, carved furnishings, heavy draperies,
etc. Nothing in New
York is nicer. Sound and lighting are integrated into the design,
not added to it. The show was also of Broadway caliber.
Don't get me started on the fantastic shopping experiences: the many
lovely stores, the great stuff to get, the sweet staff people who
wrap everything up just so, no matter how crowded it gets, and man,
does is it ever! Who would guess there is a recession in Japan, not
the thousands packed into these shops! The hotels were just as
wonderful and full. I LOVED everything about The Ambassador Hotel at
Tokyo Disney Resort. Art Deco is a personal favorite of styles, but
it's then done so very well and with Disney woven into it
everywhere. It was grand, glam, and easy. Close enough to walk to
DisneySea, but I waited for the worlds cutest bus every time and
saved the paces.
Oh yeah, there is also a Disneyland next door! What great fun to
explore a different version of my old favorite place! Pooh's ride
was great, a white Tomorrowland was wonderful to see again, and I
certainly did not realize Tokyo had a little New Orleans Square!
They have a double hub area with extra Castle sections in it, very
wide walkways throughout, and the enclosed Main Street area. A new
monorail called the "Resort Line" connects the two theme
parks and hotels, to the train stations and parking areas. A true
resort then, and whole new world unto itself.
This "world" is most beautifully represented at the entry
to DisneySea, which can be seen from the passing Resort Line, by the
"Aquasphere"; the huge globe slowly revolves, and is
cascading with water; it's set atop a column of water, in the center
of a pond, which randomly splashes all around it. Surrounded by the
artistry and technological accomplishments of mankind, it's simple
shape and gentle motion helps recall our unique place on a special
planet. It is accompanied with a 'magical' music...neither sappy, or
silly, it is an emotional music, and makes for an emotional space. I
enjoy my memories of the place more every day.
To put it succinctly, DCA is hardly worthy of the two hour drive to
use my paid-for-pass; while I'll gladly again fly the 16 hours to
Tokyo Disney Resort, where they don't even take Disney Club card. It
was well worth it, and will be again.
Happy to share more insights about DisneySea and Tokyo Disney
If you only knew Michael just how much email I now get DAILY
about this park. I enjoy reading all the notes, and if you want to
write more about the park - please send it on. (For those that want
to see the park in detail, we suggest you visit our acclaimed Tokyo
DisneySea photo tour.) It's a park that even Eisner admits
is exceeding expectations for both the Oriental Land and Disney
You know, I'm kind of surprised at how the media seems to have
not noticed what a total and complete failure California Adventure
is - not only with the visitors - but in the numbers (both
attendance / fiscally) it was supposed to pull in for the Disneyland
Pressler and Eisner basically spent billions to split the
attendance between the two parks - and double their overhead while
they were at it. That's a big mistake if ever there was one.
And the attacks didn't make the problems worse either - the trends
were in place from opening day.
The following ten questions were posted on 10/24/01
and again thank you all for your terrific feedback and the many queries
Anv writes: Hi Al, I sure wasn't
surprised to hear that the Disney stores are in trouble. Considering
that there is absolutely nothing to buy there anymore!
We used to delight in spending so much
money there, and it was always the first place I would head for in
the Mall. I own Eight watches all purchased at our local Disney
Store, not to mention all the great clothes I used to be able to get
for myself and every family member. Since our youngest is eight
years old now, there is no reason to even go in.
Who is making these Marketing decisions
anyway? I now spend my money on Ebay, getting things from the past,
Because I can't let go of my love for The real Disney Product. I am
presently taking travel Marketing classes, and the first thing I
plan on doing with my new status as a travel consultant, is book a
trip to Tokyo Disneyland!
Meanwhile, I will go on with my trip to DL
Anaheim in August, But without early entry, it won't be the same.
Bob also writes: Hello, Al!! Just
read your last column and there was a brief mention of the Disney
Stores not doing well. I'm wondering what they are planning to do?
And I'm also not surprised, since they have
been largely turned into children's stores (which is nice for those
with kids, but we don't have any). The adult line is practically
gone, except for sleepwear, and what they do come out with isn't
very good. I used to buy a lot of clothing there, before they
changed the stores.
I wrote them about this a while back and
got a lame response (as in "we're sorry, we're taking a new
direction," etc.) Do you have any more information on what is
going on at the Disney stores? I'm really hoping for a change for
the better. Thanks!
Thanks to both of you for the kind words. To hear it from the
guys at the top, the Disney Stores are suffering from a lot lately -
mostly it seems it is the lack of hit movies from the parent
company, slow retail due to the attacks, and a general economic
But they seem to be missing what used to drive people in all the
time, quality merchandise with a broad appeal and a unique shopping
experience. The new stores look like Targets, and the selection of
stuff is aimed squarely at the kiddies. They seem to have forgotten
the one thing that keeps the parks afloat - that usually the
customer mix is four adults to one child.
Disney's broad based success in the past has been their appeal
not only to children, but the child in the adult. The key to it all
is that the kids are dependent on the parents to open their wallets.
Impress the parents, as well as the kids, and the money flows
in. Heck, many parents are just happy to be a kid again.
There are always rumors they want to sell the chain off (it is a
huge drag on earnings) and they have already taken a big step in
this direction and handed off the Japanese stores to Oriental Land.
In my humble opinion they need to dump the current management and
focus back on what the stores used to do so well before the current
suits took over. Paul Pressler left that division at its peak to
wreak havoc at the parks, and it has never quite recovered from his
departure. Perhaps he should return to what he does best.
Eric writes: Hi Al , I have
been a long time reader of your web site from the DIG days.
My wife and I are AP holders and we enjoy
dinning at the many fine establishments at the Disneyland resort at
least once a month. This weekend we took a couple of friends of ours
to dine with us at Y Arriba, for the first time.
Let me just say the customer service was
awful, at 7 pm we were seated, shortly after we were served our
first round of cocktails and placed our food order. An hour and a
half later my wife had to find a manager and inquire about our food
The funny thing is that every table that
was being seated around us had been experiencing the exact same kind
of service. There was one table next to us that had several
different couples seated and then leave after no one came over to
serve them. Since this seemed to be happening with every table that
was in sight of us, I was wondering if this is a common problem at Y
We finally got our food two hours after
being seated, and I don't think that I could drag our friends back
to Downtown Disney.
|Eric, I get many complaints about the service at Y
Arriba - unlike some of the Downtown Disney restaurants which ebb
and flow (only the Ralph Brennan's Jazz Kitchen seems to be almost
totally immune to any problems) Y Arriba continues to be
The best thing you can do is to only patronize the establishments
that take proper care of you. Judging from the feedback I have so
far, and from what I hear from some of the other managers in the
complex, you should have a new dining option in that location in the
not too distant future.
Brian writes: Dear Al, I was sad to
see the Rocket Rods go, but I have not given up hope that they will
I have E-Mailed the Disney corp. countless
times, asking questions about the Rocket Rods and if they would be
returning. I got replies like, "They will not be returning in
their current form." Which I took as a subtle hint that they
would return, repaired to the point where they wouldn't break down
so much. I also took the fact that they plopped a Rod in the
Hollywood Pictures Backlot area of Disney's California Adventure
instead of dismantling it the way that the others were rumored to
This rumor I strongly disbelieve, mainly
due to the fact that I have seen the Rocket Rods, from the train,
sitting in their bay, being welded by Disneyland mechanics. Usually
when one is dismantling a ride, they are not welding parts on the
ride vehicles. Perhaps some one could explain to me how this would
help dismantle a ride.
|Brian, trust me on this one, they are history. What
you may be seeing up there in the shed is the cannibalization of the
remaining units for parts.
Sadly, the makeover of Tomorrowland that Pressler presided is
pretty much considered a total failure by most people in the
company. The Rods, as well as Innoventions and the Honey I Shrunk
film were supposed to keep bringing in new folks for many years. As
you well know, the Rods are now gone, and both Innoventions and
Honey I Shrunk are suffering from declining attendance. The only
attraction to hold its ground has been the rehabbed Autopia - which
continues to be popular with visitors of all ages.
The "Tomorrowland Problem" (Cynthia Harriss's words) is
being looked at. The solutions all cost money, lots of it by most
accounts, and we all know how the company feels about spending it
under current management.
I sure hope Marty Sklar gets what he wants for Disneyland's 50th,
it would go a long way to undoing the damage the park has suffered
under Mr. Pressler.
Coy writes: Al, Great site!! You and
all the other MousePlanet people are great. Wonderful, "on the
mark" reviews, and great inside information.
I was at Disneyland on 10/21 and took some
pics. I'm not sure how interested you might be in these from inside
the Haunted Mansion.
The Mansion rehab is great. I hope the
locals come in droves to see it. The "bean counters" need
to see that when you open the wallet and make an attraction worth
seeing, the money spent is worth it.
|Your photos were neat Coy, and I'm sharing them with
the readers here so everyone can see them.
The Mansion makeover has been a huge hit - people have been so
happy with it they have been going to file compliments for it at
City Hall in record numbers from what I was told. An attraction that
used to rarely have a line, now is packed all day long.
There has been a lot of good that has come from this redo, and
hopefully it is illustrating to the suits up above that if they
present something with quality, customers will respond.
Elaine writes: By the stroke of
luck, I will be able to visit Disneyland in January, 2002. I am
coming from Virginia to visit my folks in Tucson, AZ, and my dad
suggested we take their motor home and come for a few days.
We plan on visiting January 2nd & 3rd.
How are the crowds usually on those days, and what attractions will
be closed? My dad is currently undergoing Chemo treatments, so is it
easy to get around, if I rent a wheelchair? I am only interested in
visiting Disneyland, not the new park, so what ticket deals would be
best? I am a member of the Magic Kingdom Club. Thank- you for your
|Elaine, you picked a great time to visit, crowds
should be winding down those two days, and most of the holiday stuff
will still be up for that week. As far as rehabs - keep checking
this page or my updates - they keep changing their minds constantly.
Rumor at this time has that ToonTown may be shutting down for a
month for a complete paint job. (Keeping my fingers crossed on that
As far as disabled access - please
stop by our TAG section (Theme Park Access Guide) written by
Tony and Adrienne Phoenix. You will find all sorts of illustrated
info on how best to board and deal with all the Disneyland
As far as ticket deals - your visiting right after the first may
mean that some discounts may be put into effect by then, again come
back to the update page
on the DIG to see what is on the way. These "after peak
season" discounts are usually much better than the Magic
Kingdom / Disney Club offerings we've come to find.
|Calvin writes: Al and
Brian, I read, with interest, Brian's [recent] "Notes for the
World" column and was curious to find some mention of WDW's
Early Entry (Surprise Mornings) policy. You both are probably well
aware of this, though I have not seen mention on your site as yet,
that EE was discontinued as of October 20th. This announcement was
not relayed to CRO or any of the CM's until 5 PM on the night of the
19th. Nice, eh?
Also, it seem that theme park hours have
been trimmed back rather dramatically as well. AK will now open at 9
AM, Epcot: Future World will open at 10 AM (and close as 7 PM, with
Test Track and the Coral Reef remaining open). Epcot: World Showcase
will now open at noon. I'm unsure if there have been changes at MK
or Disney Studios, but would be unsurprised if there were.
Also, many show schedules (and this you
HAVE mentioned) have been trimmed, and some attractions (such as The
Carousel of Progress and the Living Seas Ride portion) have
shuttered as well. I think this MASSIVE cost cutting, and complete
changing of the WDW resort area merits some coverage on your site...
I look forward to reading what you folks have to say on the
Kenncr writes: Al, I just really
feel the need to shout and you seem the best person to start with...
I am going to spend twelve days at WDW starting on the Monday after
Thanksgiving... There is an upside and a downside to all of this
based on the fact that my next door neighbors are coming down for
seven days during the time I am going to be there...
The upside is the fact that they have never been there but the
downside to me seems to be they aren't going to get the full Disney
experience due to current news there.... I made the decision to say
nothing to them about the current news we are learning about the
efforts to save a nickel wherever one can be found and I hope they
What is it going to take to make this entire problem with the parks
right? I know that the events of the last several weeks have played
into what is going on in relation to the cuts in park hours, etc...
But prior to the current problems there were already signs of no one
caring about anything these days in regards to the two resorts here
in the states... What is it really going to take to turn all of this
around or are we at a point and time where Walt's concept and vision
might truly die? I have often wondered how big could Disney World
get and was there such a thing as being too big for its own good...
I am beginning to think that what was built in Florida might become
a ghost town...
I have so many questions right now as to what I might expect from
our planned trip... We are paying top dollar for rooms (discounted
but still high end rooms) and I am wondering now what other things
will be cancelled prior to our holiday visit... The current cuts are
one thing but how are they going to handle the entire holiday period
if the crowds are still low? I really don't know what to make of all
this in regards to I was expecting this trip to great and being able
to share with another family even more wonderful... Now I am
beginning to think I have made a major mistake, not only for myself,
but in trying to get the neighbors to go down also...
I guess what I want to say with this note is this, Al, where is this
going to end? I can't imagine things can keep going as is for too
long without someone stepping forward and admitting there is
something going on that is very wrong with the two resorts here in
the US... Am I just playing dumb or will this issue get seriously
addressed in the near future?
Mr. Pressler hasn't shown the public very much that is positive in
regards to the parks here in the US since he has been in control...
What else is it going to take for Mr. Eisner to understand he has
fully lost touch with the public that loves the Disney brand name?.
Christopher writes: I'm sure you've
heard the news about the Carousel of Progress. FYI: I've put up a
and have registered www.savecop.com
and am putting a page up now. I have been a longtime daily reader of
MousePlanet and think its the best Disney site on the net.
|Let's answer each writer one at a time here...
Calvin: Thanks to your kind note, and so many others,
Brian was able to assemble
a page here on MousePlanet detailing all the cutbacks (many
of which Disney quite glibly glossed over in their own literature).
It took us a bit to do it, so we could properly gather all the info,
which still seems to be changing from day to day.
How do I feel about some of the cutbacks they are making? Well,
it's pretty obvious none of the people involved have a clue as to
why their customers book their trips. To cut out almost all the
perks that are the reason to pay premium prices for Disney's on site
accommodations (even with some of the discounts they are offering) -
that seems awfully dumb to me. With the added inconvenience of
reduced resort transportation schedules - there really seems to be
no reason to stay on property now is there? Especially when rates
are so low just on the other side of the road. A truly competitive
company would have increased or sweetened perks to try and make sure
they kept rooms filled with people staying on site.
Take a look instead at Disneyland's / America West recent
press announcement, where people booking trips are offered
incentives such as free kid's park hoppers, extra days on adult park
hoppers, and a bonus free day with a booked minimum at the Disney
hotels. This is one program where the customer feels like he is
being wooed, and not slapped in the face like in Orlando right now.
(Although we too out here are losing the Magic Mornings.) In
my humble opinion the company needs more of these kind of value
added promotions, and not just another round of customer angering
Kenncr: Thanks for writing us here - I think one of the
best things you can do is express your concerns publicly, so others
can also see what the problems are with the Disney company at this
My advice? I think you can save yourself a lot of concern and
money if you switched your accommodations to off property. If enough
people do this, it would send a very clear message to the suits in
charge that current changes are simply not acceptable to their
customers. Be sure when you call in your cancellation (after you
have already booked your rooms somewhere else) to let the
reservations people know the specific reason why you did this - and
request that they put that into your booking file and write a note
to their supervisors detailing this.
I think, what with the money you will save, (even with a
cancellation fee) you should be able to book a rental car (so you
won't need resort transportation and have free run of the resort)
and also get some very good quality rooms with an off site hotel
that is actively seeking your business. You may even be surprised at
what they may throw in to get your business, don't be shy in letting
the reservation clerks know you are unhappy with Disney, and are
shopping for a good value and are interested in any bonuses,
promotions or packages they may have, such as free nights for a
certain minimum booked stay, free tickets to local attractions, etc.
With Mr. Pressler's focus solely on his numbers, as opposed to
his customers, I couldn't think of a better way to send a message to
him and his superiors, make your neighbors happy you've saved them
some money, and enjoy a vacation with a larger spending budget (due
to the money you didn't sink into an on property room).
You're the customer. You can send them the message. :)
Chris: Thank you for the kind words. I think your site is
a great idea - I suggest readers that are interested in making sure
this attraction doesn't get shuttered permanently stop by and give
you their John Hancock. :)
Christine writes: Hi. Hope I'm
sending this to the correct person. I have a trip planned to
Disneyland / California Adventure for August 2002.
I was wondering if you have any information
regarding weight restrictions on any of the attractions. There is a
WDW site that has a section listing what the seating type is, if
there is a weight restriction and how a "larger" person
would fare on each attraction. Being a "larger" person
myself, it would be very helpful to have this information about the
California attractions before my arrival.
|There is only one attraction at California Adventure
you can't ride if you weigh more than 200 lbs - the chain bucket
"Orange Stinger." But this is typical for this type of
ride at other parks too.
Everything else at both parks in the resort should be no problem
- about the only really tight loading situation I've experienced
(I'm big too) is the AstroOrbitor at the entry to Tomorrowland - the
opening is a bit narrow if you are a bit wide.
By the way, Matterhorn and Splash Mountain have inline seating -
of which the Matterhorn's is smaller - but you can request you sit
alone to give yourself more room, the cast members are very
Disney usually is very good about building attractions that can
fit large folks. After a recent visit to Magic Mountain I can
attest to that - although I pretty much got onto what I wanted, it
was a pretty tight squeeze for the most part on the vast majority of
Paul writes: I just got back from
Walt Disney World and thought you might be amused to hear about the
little California Adventure promotion on the resort TV channel. You
know those ad campaigns for movies that feature favorable quotes
from people you never heard of and publications you never knew
existed. Well, that's the ad for DCA that plays on the Resort TV
channel about other Disney vacation destinations. Also Paradise Pier
is barely shown at all.
When they promote the Japanese Disney
destination there is no mention or any picture of DisneySea, only of
Tokyo Disneyland and it's website...
Just thought it was interesting in light of your recent
|It's very interesting Paul, my guess here is that they
used the recent testimonial ad they ran here locally (quoting a
Boston paper primarily). It didn't do much for attendance by the way
- numbers continue to decline.
The lack of Tokyo on the channel may be related to actual
business matters - like many companies each arm (or in this case the
Oriental Land Co.) may have to actually "pay" for their
air time on the resort TV system. My guess is that Tokyo didn't feel
the need to have to sell their parks to Orlando visitors. As I
understand it they can barely accommodate their own current crowds.
See what happens when you open parks people really want to go
Andre writes: Hello this is the
first time I'm writing you, but I read your site daily, I would like
to ask you one question, is their going to be another Disneyland in
Budapest, Hungary? My cousin who lives out their is telling me that
on a radio station in Budapest called Roxy radio is reporting that
Disney will be opening a new park there.
I told her it's not true but she is
insisting that what they are saying, she tells me that Disney will
open a Disneyland park in Budapest. Would you be able to help me in
any way, I believe her when she tells me she heard it but I just
can't see it. Maybe you guys can post it up and ask if any one else
have heard of this.
|Andre, all I know about right now is that Disney most
likely will open a second park in China - after Hong Kong is
completed. With the current situation after the attacks, and the
apparent targeting of the entertainment industry here, at this time
I don't really see Disney (or any other entertainment companies for
that matter) expanding into other parts of the world, in particular
Europe or Asia.
Current management at Disney does seem very interested in
building more parks - they can be cash cows IF they don't cheap out
on them - but I would think there would be other areas, such as
South America, that they would look into first.
SciFiFan writes: I Found your lack
of faith in the film (Star
Wars: Episode One - DVD review) disturbing. (Just joking.)
Your point of view is common among people I
know whom are not into sci-fi or just have a casual knowledge. I
always have an interest in what people have to say from outside my
personal star wars bubble.
I would like to read more of how you feel
about the rest of this genre for example: games, books, and
collecting. I would also like to know if you feel if Star Wars
should continue to be a part of the Disney parks?
Currently as a die hard fan of Star Wars
most people don't realize that any star wars film on DVD is just to
hold over fans until the release of all six star wars films in a
boxed set in 2006. Whatever content or quality contained in this DVD
will not impede any future purchases.
As currently rumored on theforce.net even
the special edition trilogy will be tweaked and doctored and have
extra scenes added in 2006, possibly even delayed until 2007 for the
first films' 30th anniversary. I would like there to be a 25th
anniversary DVD this may 2002 of 'A New Hope'.
Most critics see this film (Phantom Menace)
as just a special effects movie and it is. but one point of view I
have is that this film shows the film industry what LucasFilm can
offer if the studios can afford his price.
Lucas: Excellent director? No. Excellent
Businessman? Maybe. King of this franchise? Yes! Yes! Yes!
I think some folks forget just how old I am SciFiFan - let's just
say I was in line for the original many weekends when I was fresh
out of high school in San Diego. ;)
I have a fond memory of the original films - only the very
obvious insertion of what seemed to be toys (in Jabba's hangout at
the beginning of the third film) dismayed me - overall I really got
a kick of how imaginative the original trilogy was. I felt
exhilarated, especially after that first film, each time I left the
theater. Lucas really did something new and yet old at the same time
- movies for me at least became exciting again.
Unfortunately, for me the latest movie was like visiting a very
fondly remembered friend, and finding him in deep trouble. It
discourages one to plan a return visit to say the least. I suspect
many people who really enjoyed the original trilogy felt as I did -
the feedback I got from the review seems to indicate this.
In a nutshell here, I think Lucas owed all the fans a bit more
than what he delivered as far as the epic myth of the story. There
was a reason I've purchased so many versions of the original trilogy
as it came out on video - continually upgrading to have the best
possible copies. It wasn't like that for me with the new one, I just
waited for it to come out on DVD.
Do I believe that Star Wars should continue to be a part of the
Disney parks? Yes, I do. But someone better talk to Michael Eisner
about this - as with Pixar recently, he seems to be taking a very
hard line against some of Lucas's requests - damn the ramifications.
Until that impasse is resolved, you won't see a new ride film in
And frankly, why does it even have to be a ride film come to
think of it? Look at what they did for Indy. It boggles the mind
what could be done if Star Wars was revisited from the ground on up
by Imagineering with the current state of the art in technology.
The following ten questions were posted on 10/16/01
and again thank you all for your terrific feedback and the many queries
Stew writes: Al, Sounds like the DCA
Death Spiral has started, full force! In an interesting side note --
our local Credit Union has just issued a new discount sheet. I took
especially interesting note of the first few lines:
Regular Price / Credit Union Price
California Adventure (1 day pass --
child) $43* / $21
California Adventure (1 day pass -- adult) $43 / $27
Disneyland (1 day pass -- child) $43* /
Disneyland (1 day pass -- adult) $43 / $31
3 day hoppers (Child) $87 / $81
3 day hoppers (Adult) $111 / $103
4 day hoppers (Child) $107 / $100
4 day hoppers (Adult) $137 / $127
*These are the listed prices -- although I
know they are not correct
I find it very interesting that:
a. There are separate 1 - day prices /
discounts for DL / DCA
b. These are being extended outside of So
It can ACTUALLY be cheaper to buy 3 (or 4)
ONE Day Passes, than it is to buy Hoppers (even though you cannot
HOP with the one day passes, and you are "stuck" in the
park it was purchased for (depending on the Combination and the age
of the guest).
As a side note -- I was talking to my
little boy the other day about returning to DL after Christmas. I
reminded him that our AP's were for DL only, and he looked at me,
obviously getting upset over that. I asked him what was wrong, and
he said he wanted to back into "California Adventure". I
asked him why, and he said he wanted to ride "Superstars"
again (we actually liked the ride -- I know -- flame material -- but
it was the ONE thing we could all do and enjoy together as a family.
So -- we might need to augment our DL Only AP's with a few of these
one day DCA Passes...
Thanks for the update Stew - I'm sure Disney has always known,
since day one of DCA as it came to be, that it was a half park at
full price. Your credit union discount ticket package now seems to
confirm that. I still think if they offered a $20 add on to the
Disneyland one day admission they would solve many of their
problems, but that would be too obvious, would it. ;)
As far as Superstar Limo, everything has its fans I guess. Even
Light Magic devotees still write me about how great that show was.
What I find somewhat interesting is that if I do question them about
it many then admit they never did actually see the show, they were
saying how good it was because of the music from the Disneyland
I had that almost identical thing happen with Peter Allen's
Broadway show - "Legs Diamond" when I worked at RCA
Victor. It was a truly awful show, with a really melodic cast album.
Allen's music was delightful, but they hung a show around it that
could scare people off musicals forever. Poor guy, he was acting
like he was DeNiro in a serious gangster role, when all the audience
wanted him to do is ride in on a camel and throw Bruce Vilanche one
liners out at them.
Dan writes: Especially good
update today, Al. (Even motivated me to send a few bucks in via
Amazon... keep up the good work.)
Something that especially intrigued me
involved the elimination of the Magic Mornings. As our family has
traveled to both the Florida and California parks over the years,
that feature has been our very favorite perk. It has been a real
plus and based on the comments of the many people who go in with us
on those mornings, a real crowd pleaser. At a time when they have
finally started to realize that they are in a "real mess,"
it seems peculiar to start cutting back on the very things that have
drawn people to the parks - and the hotels!
Just seems that they are being extremely
short sighted. Clearly, it is financially responsible to make cuts
where needed in these hard times, but not to the point where people
will begin to wonder - as we have - if it makes any sense to spend
the money to go to either of the resorts next year.
|Thank you for sending in that contribution Dan - every
little bit helps. So far readers have been pretty good - all we ask
is that you contribute as you would to buy a magazine every once in
a while or a newspaper. Keeping smaller contributions coming in on a
regular basis can help us avoid having to charge for access to the
site, which I think is what most readers want.
I agree with you on the Magic Morning issue (which another writer
also has concerns about below).
The problem with the parks nowadays basically lies with the guy
in charge and works its way down. Paul Pressler is an executive with
no real interest in the resorts or how they are run. He tends to
throw shallow ideas out when even the most cursory research would
give him a better answer. He's not an awful man, just one that
doesn't really care about his gig, isn't much inclined to learn
(since he feels he is on his way on up the ladder) nor is he
particularly imaginative enough. In other words, the perfect
executive in today's business culture.
If you or I ran Disneyland, I'd bet we'd be crawling around
inside the rides, sitting around back corners listening to
customers, and spending time out and about the park watching people
interact with it. We'd both probably be trying very hard to
try and make it an even better experience and value for our
customers. You know, like Walt Disney himself used to do.
Pressler simply can't be bothered with that kind of stuff.
Someday I'll be able to tell you a story about him that would be
funny, if it weren't just so pitiful. He truly is out of his
element with what is essentially the world's greatest building block
set. The guy just has no vision.
The sad thing is he got DCA the way he wanted it, and now
everyone has to pay the price for its failure.
Jeffery writes: Thanks for all your
columns - they are truly the most informative of ANY Disney website.
A couple of questions for the person who is "always in the
1. Even though you mentioned it briefly
before, is "America the Beautiful" coming back? How about
putting on the "Lady America" show from the 70's in the
Hyperion Theatre. It was Disney's best show (non character) that
they ever did and it would get a great response in these times.
2. You also briefly mentioned the
redesigning of the parking structure. (I am the one who wrote you
previously about the car counts I used to do in the 70's). I still
don't understand why they are making you do a complete circle now...
What is the reason?
3. I tried to eat at the Golden Vine winery
last night; it was booked. I see the menu is still the same . . . do
they plan to keep it?
4. Haunted Mansion was great! Wouldn't it
be nice if they actually got around to making "E" ticket
|Thank you for your kind e-mails Jeffery - it's always
a pleasure answering them here in the column. Let's see what I can
do here today:
1] There is NO reason they cannot bring back the America the
Beautiful movie - the theater itself is intact and currently either
being used for security meetings or storage. The rumors are it is
coming back, but so far there has been no movement at any level to
get it back up and running.
I never saw the "Lady America" show - but yours is one
of several recent notes mentioning it. Everyone like you pretty much
feels now is the time for an encore performance. I wonder just how
much of it is still in storage somewhere?
2] We are guessing they make you go around now in the structure
to avoid two things:
a] The optimal loading the old way would be to make you drive
all the way down to the end of the row at the back of the building
- which people just do not want to do once they know how far a
walk it is to the escalator. Reversing this solves that problem.
b] This also solves the problem of people trying to park in
closer spaces when people from the farther spaces are still
walking towards the escalator.
3. The Winery dining room up above is probably history, the deli
will remain for now. (This is Disneyland, so that is ALWAYS subject
to change.) The latest scuttlebutt is that Mondavi is only staying
until they find another partner, or for six months to a year,
whichever comes first.
4] Everyone would love more E-tickets. But Paul Pressler and
Barry Braverman think movie based attractions are an equal
experience. The days of something like Indy ever happening again are
pretty much over here in the United States. At least until those two
(and the head guy) move on.
"PB" writes: I was reading
your recent update and was confused by a certain part.
You mentioned that hiring for salary and
hourly cast members was frozen immediately.... was that just at DCA?
I currently work at Disneyland but I was going to [try] for [another
position later] this month and I have been so excited.
Do you have any insight into this? Do you
think that [my opportunity] will get canceled?
|I had to to a little editing on your note so as to not
give you away. :) I got some further information a bit too
late for yesterday's update, but it may be of help to you now, so
I'll include it here:
- Most salary raises have been canceled for fiscal year
2002. Traditionally, managers and salaried Cast Members were
given cost of living and merit raises every January. Those have
been canceled, and all salaries for lower and middle management
will now remain at the same January, 2001 level until January,
- Disneyland Resort has no current plans to lay off any
salaried Cast Members. Some Foods and Merchandise managers at
DCA may be moved to other departments and new Resort businesses,
since demand for those services at DCA is now planned to be far
less than originally thought a year ago. But layoffs are not part
of the current cutback plans.
As I understand it, Cynthia Harriss is hosting a manager meeting
and information session in the Hyperion Theater on Wednesday for all
Resort managers and salaried CM's. At that time your superiors may
obtain information that they can pass on to you. Not knowing
Disneyland hiring policies, I would hate to venture any guesses as
to what may happen with your particular situation.
It's interesting to me by the way that now that the Steps In
Time show is gone, the Hyperion is a perfect place for big
resort- wide meetings and gatherings. Somehow I don't think that's
quite what the designers had in mind for it however.
"J" writes: I don't know
what you were expecting on your drive-by, but Disney Studio Lot
security has been much tighter there in the past month. MUCH
tighter. Previously to get onto the lot all you needed was a parking
sticker on your car. Sometimes you could talk your way out of that,
even. After the terrorist attacks everyone needs to show IDs, front
and back. Everyone in the car. Now, at the end of last week they
started physically taking IDs and confirming the identity.
"Hello, J. How are you today?" And the like.
No, trunks haven't been searched like Warner's, or have the
undercarriage mirrors like Universal been done. But security is
heightened. Please don't lead your readers to believe that you could
wander onto the Disney lot like you could have two months ago
"M" writes: Al, Noticed
your comments on studio security, just wanted to pass things along:
At Universal, they have erected a black iron gate (with spikes on
top) with concrete barriers (were being painted black today) around
the whole front area. [If you visit someone they have to] call in a
pass, go to the main gate, show ID, tell where you parked, etc.,
before you go in.
At Disney, they have some half ton trucks
parked around certain gates. One on Alameda is parked in front of a
gate that goes behind the Frank Wells Bldg. They had two stakebed
trucks parked behind the lot where there is a gate. All this is
being done to look "Normal" but remain safe.
At Paramount, they even check your trunk as
you drive into the Lemon Grove parking structure. This is where most
of the crew members park, as well as extras. If you cross the street
and go in the gate, they shake you down and [make you] open things
From what I hear, it is a lot better now
than in the first two weeks. For example, many makeup people were
literally treated like terrorists because of all the stuff they
carry. They were questioning the powder they had, why did they have
a Swiss army knife, etc. A few of the guards at Paramount have
warned visitors "Get use to it. This is gonna be the M.O. for
the next few months... at least!"
|Thanks for the updates folks - I was amazed at
Universal's precautions, but they have the double whammy of being a
theme park sitting inside a working studio.
I know Disneyland has bomb dogs - the Pluto unit is what they are
supposed to be called - but I never have seen them out in public
like I did at Uni.
|John writes: After Disney
Seas opening I haven't heard much about the park. How is attendance
|Rain or shine it's been packed. Oriental Land has been
smiling all the way to the bank.
And I am wondering (what with all the terrific reviews I get via
e-mail from recent visitors) if the scuttlebutt that "the park
is poorly designed traffic-wise and people are complaining left and
right about the layout" may just be a bunch of disgruntled DCA
designers trying to talk it down.
I guess, come to think of it, that they don't have any traffic
problems at DCA do they? ;)
Blu writes: Yesterday I was told by
a CM in the music store on Main Street that there will not be a
Nightmare Haunted Mansion soundtrack made available due to
litigation. Do you have any juicy news on that?
|We covered that in last
week's update Blu - but here's the short version. Composer
Danny Elfman apparently was disappointed that none of his movie
music was used in the attraction. (The tune in the graveyard
everyone is thinking is his is just a soundalike.) The word is that
this had Disneyland scrapping the CD they had already manufactured.
Next year we'll know the rest of the story. My guess here is they
may go ahead and work in "Making Christmas" (a tune from
the movie) into the soundtrack they already have in the Mansion.
That would most likely make Elfman very happy. And would mean a CD
could be sold next year.
The Downing Family writes: Hi Al, I
was just wondering what your opinion is on all of the cutbacks.
Won't cutting back on hours, entertainment, Fantasmic and early
entry just cause more people to postpone or cancel vacation plans?
It is a thirteen hour trip for me to get my
family to the park. We usually go once a year and stay at the
Disneyland hotel. We save all of our vacation money to spend at the
park. With no early entry privileges the Disneyland hotel expense is
less appealing. Shortened hours means a long drive for less
entertainment. I imagine I am not alone in rethinking my winter
Then there is the ap group who cannot get
to the park before it closes. Don't a lot of those people come to do
Maybe I am way off here, but I think that
cutting back is just going to discourage people from coming. Then
what will they do? Thanks for letting me vent, :).
|I agree with you - many of these moves seem to cut off
the nose despite the face it seems. IF (and that is one big IF)
attendance continues to do well at Disneyland (which is doing great)
that could allow them to restore some of those cutbacks.
But the problem here is what is across the esplanade - DCA is
simply the problem that will not go away. If numbers there continue
to suffer (and the trends are looking truly awful) you may see even
more cutbacks, rather than less.
Ryan writes: Hey Al, when you said:
(I also received several other reports
that the Walt Disney Travel Company is alerting staff / partners
that Fantasmic will most likely not return at all - so a 10th
anniversary celebration upgrade that was being looked at is now
shelved it appears.)
Does that mean that Fantasmic is done
forever? Or does it mean that we won't get the update of the show?
Please let me know.
|Right now Ryan, it truly is up in the air - but I
would suggest you make any vacation plans independent of what
Disneyland may or may not do.
Officially the show is penciled in to return for next Summer.
Unofficially the company is warning people internally and who they
work with that it will probably not return.
The 10th Anniversary "refresh" of the show would be
great, but that would cost money, and with all the problems they are
having with DCA as a long time observer I just cannot see them
spending on improving something that a] may not come back, and b] in
most of their eyes seems just fine as it is.
Keith writes: I am the owner and
webmaster for www.mousevr.com.
MouseVR allows readers to have a virtual visit to the Disney parks
by providing 360 degree views of the park. It also features several
fun Flash Animations that have quickly become classics to test
audiences. I hope that you take the chance to explore the page and
recommend it to your viewers.
Great site Keith - I know folks will enjoy it, as you did a
terrific job on it. :)
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