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Al Lutz
Archived D-I-G Update

D-I-G [Disneyland Info Guide] Update 10/5/99 - Club Disney to be shuttered / The park tests out a new fireworks show / New Year's Eve changes / Attraction operating hours restored / Fab's QUICKIE update

A short, but chock-full update for you this time around, pull up a chair and get that cream in that coffee won't ya?  ;) 

The delightful Fabulous Disney Babe herself also joins me for a brief addition of her own to this update [it seems she got some of the same news I did at the same time] - it's placed here instead of her own page this time around due to its brevity.

It's starting...

As you may be hearing as you read this - Disney has decided to get out of the play center market and close down all the Club Disney locations in less than a month.

As I understood it, [see past updates for details] this is only the first in a wide series of moves coming down from on high. The Walt Disney company is seriously working on pairing itself back down to bare bones entertainment / theme park basics.  

Rumors continue to swirl the Disney Stores and ESPN bars are also being shopped around, as are the Disney Quest properties. The cruise line could end up on that list IF the price they want can be obtained also.

Funny, how when Disneyland was cut back a few years ago, it was Paul Pressler and Byron Pollitt at the helm, and now it seems they are at the vanguard yet again of all the current cost consolidations. I guess if you work at Disney and find out that Pressler and Pollitt are being promoted to oversee your division, you should start looking for new employment?

New fireworks show?

On the evening of 10/4/99 [into the morning of the 5th it appears], test balloons were in the sky over Disneyland in several places, and spotlights were being tested in preparation for a new fireworks show for next year.  

I'd wondered why the guide wire for Tinkerbell's flight was still up this late in the year after its normal summer use.

New Year's Eve changes...

Here's the latest: The park is not going to cycle out the rides now at 11 PM on New Years Eve. They are going to keep everything up and running - and hope for the best!

The concept of shutting all the rides down and hoping 20,000 people stay in the queues for ninety minutes finally registered as "stupid" back at TDA. They have all quietly filed that idea away with the other idiotic TDA ideas and everyone is just going to pretend that no one ever mentioned it. 

Disneyland also won't be limiting attendance, they'll let it run up until it reaches maximum density and then close the gates. They are expecting a July 4, 1976 or MSEP Last Day type experience, perhaps even outpacing those record days. Keep in mind the Park will close at 3 AM this year instead of 2 AM.

It should be, um, interesting. I wonder if the Anaheim Fire Marshall is aware of these plans?

The Guest Control mavens have devised a strategy for clearing the Park if the power goes out. Basically, they form a human wall from Big Thunder to Pirates and exit all visitors in the west of the Park thru the gates behind Splash Mt. Those visitors will basically walk out onto West St. and cross over to Pinocchio to drive away or tram to another parking lot to get their car. 

The rest of the Park will be exited out the main gate and use the normal tram routes. Most doubt that it will be necessary, but those plans have been drawn up if needed. 

The latest on FastPass...

Fastpass is scheduled to be up for weekend use at Small World Holiday the second weekend in November. The temporary Fastpass machines will then be used next summer for Autopia until the hype dies down. 

Inside Pirates...

The other night inside the attraction Imagineering was programming a new figure to be used as the ship's Captain. The figure was really impressive with arm and head movements, very fluid and incredibly lifelike. The new control system they've installed is supposed to enable the figures to make these more sophisticated movements. Neat huh? Something to look forward to when the ride comes back up.

Putting the customers first!

As you may, or may not, know, the new fiscal year started last Sunday [10/3] at the park. The Attractions OPerating Policy (AOP) was FINALLY released this past week, and it's all good news for customers as far as the Attractions go. 

Basically, the Mark Twain, Bears, Tiki, Casey Jr., etc. will all have two to four hours added to their current operating schedule. 

Toontown, Jungle Cruise, and Storybookland Boats will both open and close with the Park every day. Canoes will run daily (you already knew that reading this site, but now it's finally official). Six Canoes will operate daily during the Christmas and Spring Break holiday weeks.

The rumor was that merchandise and ODV have taken a few cuts to make up for these big gains. And due to how late the new AOP was late this year, the schedules reflecting these new operating hours for Attractions won't go into effect until late October. The business units will tinker with the wealth of new hours into November.

Roy Disney's comments...

...as overheard in the park a few days ago when it was mentioned to him that attempts had been made in the recent past to close the Walt Disney Story / Mr. Lincoln exhibit [paraphrased]:

They'd better not try that while I'm still around. I always get a good feeling when I walk into the park and see both Roy and Walt's photographs in through the doors there.

He was also disturbed to hear that they are closing the attraction for three hours a day to save on labor.

I wonder how much longer that schedule will stay in place now?

Lot's more rehab going on...

Painting is going on in Frontierland, New Orleans Square and a new paint color [that matches the rust stains and will hide them when finally used] is being tried out on the Rocket Rods track behind the Autopia rehab walls. A new trellis was also added to shade the Mr. Toad outside line [VERY nice] in Fantasyland and finally next door the White Rabbit's door and lamp were painted and fixed these past few weeks.

Disneyland is starting to look more and more like it used to.  :)  Thanks guys. I know how tough it is when attendance is a bit slower than usual - and the money and effort continues to be put in to get back to the gold standard.

That should do it for today's brief update - see you at the [steadily improving] park! Now I hand it over to the always lovely and utterly delightful Fabulous Disney Babe:

Hello Darlings!

Well, things have certainly been giddy here, what with wedding plans gearing up for me and Dante and all, but not all the news is good, unfortunately.

Here, have something warm and comforting and brace yourselves. This is depressing in places.

A friend of mine who works at Club Disney tells me that they got a whopping 28 days' notice to get themselves new jobs. Seems the Disney version of Discovery Zone is closing all of their branches this Hallowe'en

That leaves the workers 30 days to find something new in the company or lose their status.

Here's something that needs more confirming

I heard from two, but not yet three, pretty reliable sources that eight of DCA's twelve construction managers have walked off the job. Seems they don't want to be blamed for the mess that will ensue upon opening. (Their phrase, not mine).

Sigh. Now I have to go explain to Monkey Boy why he CAN'T be our flower girl.... a bride's work is never done!

Thanks Fab

Keep in mind dear readers this blushing bride to be is registered with the Disneyana Store on Main St. OK? Ceremony attendees should keep in mind that Fab loves many of the beautiful Disneyland specific items Cynthia Harris has been so astute to fill the shop with. Do note any of the delightful gifts there will qualify IF they have over THREE digits BEFORE the decimal point.

She deserves no less, right?  :)


D-I-G [Disneyland Info Guide] Update 9/27/99 - E-Ticket Nights come to Disneyland / Finally, some new parade info / FastPass headaches for Indy / Costuming building problems / Other tidbits, including Tiki Room and the return of the AMS discount Disneyland merchandise store (with a quick rundown of what they have there now added)

Main St. Fall Colors
The fall decor on the Main St. lamposts is nice!

Fall hits the park [for only a few weeks now it seems] and of course that means all sorts of new stuff is happening at Disneyland. Let's get started, shall we?

E-Ticket nights...

Here's something interesting - the park will be "testing" E-Ticket Nights next month. 

As regular readers of the newsgroups, you may already know about the basic concept that is so successful out in Florida. The Park stays open for a few extra hours for visitors [at an extra fee for them] so they can go on many of the E Ticket rides with a limited crowd - usually five thousand or less, insuring little or no lines and a crowd free atmosphere.

Here's the rundown on the tests that will be taking place out here:

  • The first E-Ticket Night will be Oct. 22nd, and the second night
    will be Nov. 5th. Both Fridays.
  • Hours of operation are from 10 PM till 1 AM. [Note the park's current operating schedule does not list this yet.]
  • There will be approximately ten attractions open the first night: Indy, the Mountain range, Star Tours, Tarzan's Treehouse, Roger Rabbit, and Haunted Mansion and the Rocket Rods until midnight (as I understand it, that ride needs so much maintenance that it HAS to have at least 8 hours of downtime a night, that's why it's never open for Magic Mornings). They will have just a few merchandise and food locations open, and it'll be the bare bones version.
  • The second night will add Pirates and small world Holiday to the above mix, with some extra vending carts, and six to eight characters walking around. [You can see where the second night will be the more deluxe version.]
  • After the test, they'll run the numbers and see which one worked the best.
  • The cost will be twelve dollars a person.
  • The events will be open to DL and Pacific Hotel customers and AP's
  • It will be limited to five thousand, five hundred ducats of which will be reserved for Hotel visitors. 
  • After 10 PM, purchasers will need to show their E-Ticket wristband to enter the available Attractions.
  • Wristbands will be distributed at the Main St. Opera House.

The park would really like this to work out because it can be so profitable. The tentative plan right now is to offer thirty one E-Ticket Nights for year 2000. It may just go ahead and replace Magic Mornings, if it is as profitable as the Florida version is.

Finally, some parade info...

Someone was kind enough to pass on the following info to me, you know who you are, and thank you. :)

First - we are getting a new parade somewhere in mid-Feb. to early March it seems, called Celestial Celebrations. [This is what was rumored as the Millennium parade.] Contrary to what I'd heard before, the Light Magic stage itself isn’t being used in it, only the drive unit. [Turns out the front part of the stage was demolished and the red tugger underneath was sent out to Las Vegas to be used as an undercarriage for the Hercules Parade.] The rest of the seven floats planned for Celestial Celebrations are new from top to bottom but use the same type of drive unit as the the Mulan Parade. 

The designer (who also did Mulan) does not want to have any scrims for the drivers to be able to see out of as in past parades, so the parade maintenance people are currently putting a camera on the "Shin YU" float to test if the driver can navigate the parade route with it alone, and no other view out. 

By the way, the floats won't have any sound piped out of them, which is a mystery to many people because they can be pretty noisy going over the train tracks on Main Street. 

The word on Electrical Parade right now is that it will remain in Orlando for the time being. Originally it was supposed to return at midnight on December 31st of this year to help bring in the crowds right after the holidays and through the next year as the new California Adventure park [DCA] was being finished.

But the designer who took it over (the same one listed above) started making so many changes just before construction to what was already done, that the company missed the deadline to start and decided to scrap the plans and go with the new parade for now. This is why there will be about a month and a half gap between the Christmas Parade and the start of the fill-in Celestial Celebrations parade.  And why the Electrical Parade got pushed back to re-debut sometime next year instead.

Fastpass changes...

There have been some changes to Fastpass which they are trying to get in place for this Christmas. 

Splash, Space and small world Holiday are all definite. But since Indy has been put on indefinite hold now, they are now working hard on offering Fastpass on Matterhorn and Roger Rabbit instead. There is even talk of not even attempting Fastpass on Indy because of the complexity of the queue. The folks at the park are working on it, but it will be Spring 2000 at the earliest, if at all before they have a solution.

As someone related to me: 

...on a ride like Splash or Matterhorn, the Fastpass will add eleven extra CM's to operate and assist with the system. That's basically doubling the CM's currently at Splash who operate the ride. That means more people available to assist, answer questions, and help visitors enjoy their day at Disneyland. I really think that's the hidden beauty of Fastpass, and getting more CM's Onstage can only improve the Disneyland experience.

The AP's will be notified of the two items above in a couple of weeks via mail. It's interesting isn't it?

BTW the Fastpass "Kings and Queens" (as some CM's sarcastically call them because they keep talking about how they are "readying the Kingdom for the new Millennium") have been telling the CM's in the park the Splash rehab will be finished by November 23rd instead of the 29th, just in time for Thanksgiving. 

Who are these people?

? ? ?
Who are these people? Could they be shooting an interview [with the new coaster as a backdrop] on Sunday [9/26/99] in the new California Adventure park?

Costuming problems?

Sometimes it seems the higher ups make decisions for the folks lower on down the ladder without quite taking into account what they put them through. Here's some thoughts from someone about just such a decision involving the new costuming building, built between the two parks now.

Just thought I'd update you about the Costume situation at Disneyland.

As you know, cast members lost their parking lot as part of the DCA project, and are now parked east from the Resort on Katella, where shuttles take them to and from their backstage entrance. This added to the time that cast members, most of them hourly employees, must devote to their job.

Now more time is being added now with the new Costuming / Locker building situation. This is the new building that went up between the old Administration building and Monorail beam

While cast members used to clock in before changing in to their costumes and clock out after changing back into their street clothes, this facility is on the outside of the checkpoint, making it more inconvenient in an attempt to be centrally located to both theme parks. Granted, it does not reduce the amount of time a cast member is paid for, unless they run late as a result.

The new locker facility features one large, co-ed locker room, with smaller lockers. A small amount of the square footage is set aside for gender-separated changing rooms, restrooms, and showers

The lockers are assigned to cast members for their current shift only, like a parking space, and they must remember which locker they used that day and vacate it after their shift. 

This is yet another move to accommodate high turnover, and perpetuate the "disposable labor" feeling many cast members have. For various reasons, some cast members need a locker to "own."

The real idea is to encourage "Fast Track," a program in which cast members wear their costumes to and from work (and can go anywhere; the supermarket, the bar, the porno shop, etc.) Perhaps Disneyland management is going to take care of the potential problem caused by off-duty, costumed cast members roaming society at large by making the costumes less distinct. Many of the areas of the park will switch to a single costume for most of the area, one that will be more friendly to Fast Track.

No "permanent" lockers have been issued to any cast members since April to encourage the use of the new facility. Cast members with those lockers can hold on to them (for now), and not use the "shift" lockers. However, it is a long walk to exchange their costumes now. 

This has added just a little more to the reduction in cast member morale. It is getting more difficult for them to simply get to work.

I myself have to wonder if things would be different if some of those execs in the Team Disney Anaheim building would have to go through this themselves?

But on the other hand...

There are lots of other good things going on at the park, along with a slightly differing view about the costuming changes in the following notes I put together from a few conversations I had around the park:

The new costumes for small world, Fantasyland, Blue Bayou, and Main Street will appear in the Park in early November. They all look very nice; much fresher and crisper than the old ones. The Blue Bayou's new costumes will be some of the Park's nicest

They have gone with a "Jazz Age" style, with very snazzy vests and jackets in lush shades of blue. It should be a dramatic improvement over the frumpy and tired gray polyester sacks the Blue Bayou CM's now wear.

A direct comment: 

If you want to see how ugly the Blue Bayou costumes really are, have Pirates break down, turn on the work lights in the Bayou and then recruit busboys to help evacuate people out of the boats. Those dingy costumes were best kept in the dark!

Moving on... For many CM's the Holidays sound like they will be fun this year. They have scrapped the little show they did last year under the Town Square Christmas Tree, in favor of the roving band of English carolers they had in past years. Reportedly, there were several visitor requests to bring back the traditional carolers instead of the "Up With People Christmas" troop. [See they DO listen! ;) Nowadays at least...]

Monorail workers at night
There were crews working late Sunday night 9/26/99 on the Monorail track near the Indy building - are they getting ready to move it around a bit?

Over in Adventureland the managers have been attempting to get the Tiki Room numbers up lately. They are playing with staffing and rotations so that the Tiki CM's can wear the actual Tiki Room costume again

One Adventureland manager has been wearing the Tiki Hostess muumuu and a lei and just hanging out in front of the turnstile saying "Aloha" to guests. The numbers have improved dramatically! They are up 200 to 400 a day from a week ago. 

Basically the CM's have heard those visitor complaints and are trying to get the numbers up so that Paul Yeargin will allow Facilities to give the poor, old Tiki Room a much needed rehab. 

Wish them luck!

Main Street Cinema a home theater demo showcase?

Here's an unusual rumor - only because I personally know people who may be involved in it. Seems there are some ideas being thrown around for the Main St. Cinema besides just turning it into another plush shop.

Main Street Cinema
A state-of-the-art home theater showcase?

An acclaimed home theater designer [whose work has been showcased in high-brow design magazines such as Architectural Digest, Audio / Video Interiors and even had a book done about his work] apparently has been asked if he would like to redo the Cinema here at Disneyland into a home theater showcase. If you've been to EPCOT's home theater showcase in Innoventions there, you've already seen this designer's work.

The theater would then end up screening trailers / plugs for all the latest Disney movies / home video releases on a continuous basis. 

It may not quite fit into Main Street's theming - but if this avoids turning the space into just another counter area for plush sales... I'm for it I guess. We'll see what happens, stay tuned.

The AMS Disneyland Discount Store returns to Orange County! 

Got the following e-mail about it and want to share it with you folks:

Subj: Disney's Character Warehouse Outlet Store - Fullerton, CA

Thanks for signing our e-mail list last year, we are BACK! The store is located in the Orangefair Marketplace at the corner of Harbor Blvd and Orangethorpe

The address is 233 Orangefair Mall, Fullerton, CA 92832. Phone (714) 870-9342 (this is the corrected number). The major cross streets are the 91 Fwy and Lemon Street. (For those of you that visited us last year, it's the same location)

Store Hours: Mon. - Sat. 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. / Sun. 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Thank you for your continued support. We truly appreciate your business. - AMS Management Team [Who is AMS? - Disney's Character Warehouse Outlet Store is solely operated by Asset Management & Sales LLC (AMS) a Limited Liability Company. AMS is not affiliated with Disneyland Park®, The Walt Disney Company, or any of their affiliated companies. The merchandise offered for sale in our stores is the same merchandise that was formerly available at Disneyland Park® in Anaheim, CA. The great values are available because this merchandise has been discontinued. We hope you truly enjoy the shopping experience, and the values available on the merchandise in our stores.]

E-MAIL SUBSCRIPTION SERVICES:

To ADD your name to our mailing list send us an E-mail at ams-email-list@home.com with ADD in the subject line.

To REMOVE your name from our mailing list send us an E-mail at ams-email-list@home.com with REMOVE in the subject line.

To CHANGE your E-mail address send an ADD from your NEW Email account, then send a REMOVE from the same account and add your OLD E-mail address in the Subject line. Example: "Remove OldEmailAddress@Old.com" add you old E-mail address to the subject line.

Right after the update went up D-I-G reader Coleen was kind enough to e-mail me the following about stock available there:

I stopped by this weekend (and shopped, of course). Most of the merchandise was clothing, and it didn't seem like the prices were as good as in past years. For example, T-shirts originally priced at $18 were on sale for $12. It also wasn't as packed with merchandise as I've seen it in past years, but maybe that's because it's still early for Christmas shoppers.

Thanks for the observations Coleen, you've helped the other readers out!

Eisner in need of some good PR?

More than a few eyebrows were raised in Burbank [and at studios other than Disney too] when the radio spots for Eisner's book started running the last few weeks on KNX news radio here locally.

Now why would anyone try to promote a book that - to put it kindly here - was a non-seller?  And ages after it first came out?

One executive at another entertainment company had an interesting observation about that when I mentioned it to him:

Maybe Eisner feels he needs to defend his position? He was courting press a few weeks ago, and now this. Don't people in hot water ever realize that by the time they get around to doing this kind of stuff, it's too late?

I wondered myself about that.  After all, it's not like the book even really sold at all - most Disney Store managers I've spoken to across the country mentioned to me that they didn't even sell a single copy of it in all the time they've had it.

Oh, before I forget...

Be sure to visit the new DESKTOP PHOTOS section by the way - there are now ELEVEN shots [and I will rotate in new photos in the future] for your computer desktop of the park.

That's it for now, see you at the park


D-I-G [Disneyland Info Guide] Update 9/13/99 - ToonTown future plans / Finally, what is really going on with Star Tours / Pirates rehab and evacuation / Mattel moves out? / End of season for the CMs

Wow, another update in less than a week! Well, there's just a lot happening I guess. So here we go again! 

Here's some more info about some of the things mentioned in the past update, and a few new items thanks to a few kind souls who took the time to fill me in on the same day this update first went up.

The future at the park...

Toontown Park is going to be the site of a new small merry-go round. The artwork shows that the horses are to be replaced with Pluto and kids will ride him! The park will purchase an pre-made [off the shelf] merry-go-round that will then be altered and customized before installation. 

There is also a landscaping plan for trees that are now being planted in Toontown. They were not put in originally because Imagineers felt "real" trees would not fit in a cartoon world. That is why it is so unbearably hot! This is good news for everyone. 

There is talk of extending Toontown towards the Hunchback area, there may be too many obstacles backstage including a the Circle D Ranch. They might even put the Pooh flume ride there if this happens, but I still keep hearing the former motorboat lagoon area is what they are now really serious about. 

By the way, presentations of the Pooh ride have been given at the Team Disney building. People attending them have told that they had to decide between building Pooh or building Tarzan. "Guess which one they chose," the person mentioned to me, "they decided it would be more profitable and last longer. Probably cheaper to construct also." 

There has been a proposal, and there are two models now at DL and WDI, to redo the facades of the Disneyland and Pacific hotels. The Pacific would get a look of California style architecture. Think New York, New York Hotel style in Las Vegas where a few different building facades and their different roofs will be put right next to each other on one large building giving a skyline effect. [Thankfully this seems to differ from a Circus tent motif that was thrown around to save a few bucks not too long ago.]

The Disneyland Hotel tower which faces the two Parks will get a metallic tint on the windows with a large profile of Mickey's head starting on the building and then continuing off of it making an arch facing north. The description may not make not make much sense, but according to the person who described it "it looks really cool!" 

"Very hush hush is the New Star Tours!" another person was kind enough to relate to me. "All four star speeders will have a new destination. No more Endor Express. The new show will take you to the planet Tatooin. You will somehow get caught in a pod race and other pod racers will try to knock you off, and this time you finally do get to your destination unlike today's ride. They will also slightly modify the queue area." My guess here is that the logjam between Disney and Lucas may finally be easing.

As we've all sort of known since it left, it now seems assured that the Main Street Electrical Parade will be coming back, they just haven't decided when. [They keep on changing their minds.] It may come in time for the New Year or they might wait so it can pull crowds back into the park after DCA opens, because DCA will have a admission cap around 45,000, so there needs to be something to bring people into DL if DCA is full. 

Forty-one floats were designed for the return of MSEP and a certain number of those were chosen to be constructed, and a few of the old floats will be re-built and return. [Probably the ones now being used in WDW.] They are all being built in Orlando and will be shipped here. As we all guessed, one of the Light Magic floats might also show up in the parade. 

Speaking of DCA, if you look at California Screaming (the new coaster), you may notice a blue tunnel on the far left of the track. That is there because the ride is supposed to launch you out of the water up to the top at a high speed to start the ride.

Here's an interesting DCA tidbit - expect the park to close at 6 to 8 PM in the off-season, and be open no later than 10 PM during the summer / holiday seasons. Why might you ask? Noise problems is what I've been told.

It's been rumored, but now it seems to be further confirmed that it's a small world is going to receive a major rehab that will be replacing many if not most of the animatronics. The canal is to be widened and the loading platform is going to be redesigned. 

There is also a plan to put in a fountain that will have the boat full of children that you see at the beginning of the ride riding on top of a spout of water at the top of the fountain. This rehab will be done in parts starting with the preparation of this year's SW holiday and continuing after SW holiday concludes the season. 

What our small world fountain may look like.
Jeff Moxley was kind enough to send this photo of Disneyland Paris' small world fountain, and suggests ours may look just like it - I have to agree.

Speaking of small world...

Mattel moves out of Disneyland?

From the very observant [and kind] Jeffrey Graebner I got the following note:

We noticed something this evening - we went on it's a small world Sunday night and I found my usual sarcastic comments about the Mattel logo in the end scene blocked by - the absence of the logo!

We then looked at the exterior of both the attraction and the toy shop and noted that the logo was nowhere to be found.

Here at home, I still had a copy of the Disneyland Today guide map from two Sundays ago and I noted that "Presented by Mattel Toys" line appeared under both the listings for the attraction and the shop. But today's edition did not mention Mattel at all!

It looks like they lost a sponsor...

Looks like it to me too Jeffery!

Stripped Pirates!

Someone was kind enough to relay to me about their poke around the Pirates show building during the current rehab. 

They found lots of Imagineers puttering around with their WDI nametags, and other construction guys yanking stuff out. All of the animatronics have been stripped of clothes, skin and extremities down to their spinal columns. Many of the principal characters are gone completely. The Auctioneer, the Ship Captain, the Hat Balancing guy, etc., etc. - all have been removed from the ride for now.

All the water has been drained, and most of the sets are already torn apart and "stuff" is everywhere. They have been painting up in the Bayou, and replacing the station belts and rollers.

The recent Pirates evacuation...

Speaking of Pirates, that evacuation on a previous Sunday that everyone has been talking about was pretty major. The CMs could not for the life of them get the first drop's brakes to reset, and they had six boats full of visitors stuck in the Bayou that they could could not reach. 

After about 25 minutes, they made the extremely rare decision to turn on the work lights for the Bayou on so they could assist the riders in having them climb over all the boats until they could get onto shore. They even had to deputize three of the busboys to help assist everyone who had to climb over a train of eight backed-up boats. 

Someone on a site mentioned that "Deferred maintenance allows a backstage tour of Pirates." According to folks at the park it couldn't be more correct, since the first drop had been giving everyone a hard time for weeks but Facilities couldn't or wouldn't fix it properly. Thankfully they are rebuilding it now during the rehab.

Looks like those Texas teens [mentioned in a past update] had it easy when their boat sank!

End of the season...

I heard on Labor Day they let CM's ride the Monorail and Autopia one last time before they closed down for their redos from 10:00pm till Midnight and it was a blast! 

First they got to ride the monorail out to the hotel, where they had cake and sparkling cider on platform for everyone and after a few minutes of mingling and snacking, they all rode back. It must have been quite a sight from Harbor Blvd. to see a Monorail streak by with a bunch of CM's hanging out every one of the windows and screaming for no particular reason. :)

Down at the Autopia they had music, more food, and people taking pictures with the old cars - with all the managers operating the ride for everybody. Cynthia Harriss was there too working the crowd and smiling. 

Many of the CM's mentioned that it was the most fun they ever had on Autopia, and the bumping that was going on was pretty amazing! Those poor Mark VII cars will never be the same. For many CM's it was a really fun night overall, my guess was that they were just happy summer was over. 

I've also heard about an upcoming party cruise for all New Orleans Sq. and Critter Country attractions CM's on the Mark Twain after the Park closes. Complete with a BBQ on the dock, then the Mark Twain will set sail with dancing, casino games and cake onboard. It should be a lot of fun, and all the CM's are really excited up about it.

Over and over again, the people relating this to me mentioned that they've never really done anything like this before. But then they never had a budget to do anything like this in years. Pre-Pressler there was always a Christmas banquet type thing, but even those had disappeared too.

And where did this years celebration budget come from you ask? Well, it seems Cynthia Harriss lined up a summer's end event for each business unit. Some units are doing beach barbeques, Adventureland is just awarding prizes and trips to Vegas or Catalina (which many CMs think is a copout), and some are doing a dinner dance thing. 

It seems she knows how to reach folks. What a refreshing change for the park, and of course happier CM's means that they will be working even harder to make everyone's next visit to the park a great one.

Kudos to her for that.

Battle of the Bands...

I heard they tested out the other day the little band idea Entertainment has for this Christmas, that was first mentioned in last update. 

It consisted of the Gloryland Brass Band coming onboard and playing on the bow like the Disneyland Band does. But when the Twain reached the Pirates bridge the boat stopped and the Side Street Strutters came down from New Orleans Sq. 

The two band leaders challenged each other to a battle of the bands, and they proceeded to play Dixieland back and forth at each other for a couple of minutes. Lots of Entertainment folks were there observing, and it really was neat. 

I also heard back via e-mail from visitors who really loved it too. Even though this was just thrown together that day to get some timing and boat placement down, the little show immediately gathered a huge crowd on a light attendance day. 

There were lots of cameras and vid-cams out, with lots of clapping and dancing. The visitors on the boat were even dancing along the railings, something not seen for a long time. It was such a hit, they did it again in an hour, and the happy spectacle was repeated. 

For the holidays, this type of thing will all be themed to Christmas and such, but if the tryout is any indication it should be pretty clever and very entertaining. Just exactly the kind of thing we'd come to expect of Disneyland in the past.

A quick drag...

It's already been noted elsewhere that the park has stopped selling cigarettes within the berm [you can only purchase them at the hotel now], but what isn't common knowledge is that the park plans to ban all smoking, probably within the next year. I wonder how the Japanese / Asian tourists are going to feel about this? They generally as a group tend to be heavy smokers since their region as a whole isn't as heavily into tobacco regulation as we are here in the states.

I want to again thank a few very kind souls for a lot of the new info. listed above. It's good to continue to see all the progress the park is making this past year.

Now if we can just talk them out of making the Main St. Cinema into just another shop...  :(

A sad note...

One of the major park executives is going through some health problems, and the management has been doing a stellar job of keeping the person involved as best they can. Expect a major announcement soon about someone who may come in from Orlando to help out during this period. 

Our best wishes go out for a speedy and strong recovery and a return to work, since this is a person who truly "gets it" - they really do understand just what makes Disneyland so unique.

Thanks!
 

D-I-G [Disneyland Info Guide] Update 9/27/99 - E-Ticket Nights come to Disneyland / Finally, some new parade info / FastPass headaches for Indy / Costuming building problems / Other tidbits, including Tiki Room and the return of the AMS discount Disneyland merchandise store (with a quick rundown of what they have there now added) 

D-I-G [Disneyland Info Guide] Update 9/13/99 - ToonTown future plans / Finally, what is really going on with Star Tours / Pirates rehab and evacuation / Mattel moves out? / End of season for the CMs

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