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Al Lutz
Archived D-I-G Update
3/12 Quick Update - California Adventure employee pass change / Some interesting information / Looking forward to...

California Adventure employee pass change

From a kind soul...

Hey there.

Today Disneyland announced that the ban on Cast Members using their Main Gate or Silver Passes to sign friends and family into California Adventure (DCA) has been lifted. From March 12th through June 14th, Cast Members can now sign Guests into DCA. Previously, the ban on DCA sign in privileges was supposed to extend until September 3, 2001. Cast Members could sign themselves in, but could not use their Main Gate or Silver Passes to sign anyone in. The Main Gate and Silver Passes that were distributed to all Disney Parks and Resorts Cast Members in North America has "January 1 - September 3" listed as the blockout days for DCA sign ins. It was assumed that DCA would be swamped all the way through summer, and Cast Members were not going to be given the courtesy of complimentary DCA admission for their friends and family until Labor Day. The week of Easter, and the Saturday of Memorial Day Weekend, is still a blockout period for DCA sign-ins due to historically big Disneyland crowds for those times.

But not only can Cast Members now sign their Guests into DCA, but they will have Park Hopper privileges as well! A Cast Member and his / her Guests can enter DCA in the morning, and then get their hand stamped and head over to Disneyland for the evening without having to have their Main Gate Complimentary Pass stamped again. Conversely, a Cast Member can sign in Guests at Disneyland in the morning, take them to have lunch at DCA and ride California Soarin', and then return to Disneyland for the rest of the day for fireworks and Fantasmic. This is great news for Cast Members, but it points to the continuing problems of actually getting the paying public to visit DCA. Still, Cast Members and their Guests who entered DCA free of charge are going to spend more money than no one at all.

Most interestingly, this sudden policy change proves that the most recent projections for DCA attendance that were revised strongly downward for the rest of March will hold true through early summer. Even when the weather warms up through the Spring, Team Disney Anaheim management (TDA) must believe that attendance at DCA will be significantly lower than had been originally planned. The sold- out 38K days of April, May and early June that DCA had been forecasted for just a few short months ago will apparently not be panning out. The now fading rain showers and cool weather of February and early March are not the only factors playing into the very soft DCA attendance numbers it seems.

This was a quick and easy thing to pull off, and an easy way to get at least a few hundred more Guests in DCA per day. All it took was a surprise memo to Anaheim, Burbank and Orlando employees on Friday morning. Can additional changes to the regular admission media the public buys at the Main Entrance ticket booths be far behind? Changes to the current Disneyland/DCA ticketing structure will be more involved, and could take longer to roll out, if TDA can find a way to do it and save face at the same time.

Rumor has it we will see some changes to admission for the new park very soon - expect park hoppers to be offered - also the resumption of Annual Pass sales. A resident salute discount ticket may also be in the picture, from after Easter until Summer begins.

Attendance was revised yet again for DCA through next week. Disneyland stands pat, and DCA loses another 1,000 to 4,000 per day. Attendances that were pegged at 35,000 a month ago are now at 12,000. Bad stuff. They are now introducing to managers the idea that labor cuts may be needed ahead. Reduced operating hours, reduced capacity, fewer Guest Service positions, etc. It may happen before summer if DCA stays like this.

Best Cast Member gag about California Adventure's sparse attendance: "You can fire a cannon off in the park, and all you'll hit is a tortilla."

Notwithstanding, they did finally pull in some higher numbers for California Adventure this past weekend, one of the first that Spring Break across the country has affected. We'll have some real numbers soon, but judging from the more crowded walkways (yet still empty parade route, and as usual the evening emptied out) my guess is about 15,000 showed up on both Saturday and Sunday. Disneyland during this time appeared to be quieter on Saturday, but busy on Sunday.

 

Some interesting information...

It appears that today, Monday, Paul Yeargin (Disneyland attractions head) is having all Attractions management meet in an empty Bears theater for a "Communication Download". That's Disneyspeak for "major announcement". It could be Cynthia's changes (mentioned before here), or it could be Attractions-specific changes. The buzz now is that Yeargin is headed over to the Hotels. Not a day too soon for many of the Attractions managers.

Meanwhile, back in Burbank, they had some good-sized layoffs in Consumer Products. These are the first of many I understand - with the Internet Group in particular due for some more cuts too.

 

Looking forward to:

July, 2001 - New Mr. Lincoln

October, 2001 - Nightmare Before Christmas Haunted Mansion

Fall 2001 / Early 2002 - Country Bear Playhouse closes to begin Winnie the Pooh (date not exact yet, we may get one more Christmas show season out of the deal)

January, 2002 - Main Street Electrical Parade return

2002 - "100 Years of Magic" promotion for Walt's Birthday. Along the lines of 45th Anniversary scale, mostly decorations and merchandise. A new parade may play into it, since no other day parade is currently planned. The Parade Of The Stars continues in the afternoons indefinitely believe it or not.

April / May, 2002 - "Spring Fling" promotion at Disneyland. Sort of a return to the "Date Night" entertainment concept from the 60's.

Summer, 2002 - New Ursula spinner ride at DCA

There's apparently more - but it needs to be confirmed... we'll update shortly.

 

That's it for now - bundle up when you visit the parks now, it gets really cold! Especially in California Adventure.


3/8 Update - Rocket Rods Summer Swan Song / Pooh happens / Plans keep changing at California Adventure / Big news from Cynthia Harriss this month? / Follow-ups: Pressler & Sports - Walt's Offices / A final thought about attractions vs. promotions - "Value & the Perception of Value"

 

Rocket Rods Summer Swan Song

Watch a Rod zoom by!
Download an MPEG [240kb] of a Rocket Rod zipping noisily along the track.

It looks like Disneyland will be pouring three million into getting Rocket Rods back up and running for the summer. Since they have pulled the "hiatus" / "closed for rehab" / "glowing away forever" / "no, itís not closing" gambit for so long, it now appears that they are going to reopen it just to save face.

Basically, if it werenít for all the bad press they have been getting about lack of confidence in any announcements that the park (Ray Gomez) makes, they would have just let the attraction lay dormant until the replacement moves in. Of course, this reopening will be for just a year or so until that Circlevision replacement IS ready to be installed.

That's the "Buzz" right now it seems...  look for the replacement to debut in 2004 if the rumor I now hear holds. ;)

 

Pooh happens

The new Winnie the Pooh ride, replacing the Country Bears show is going full steam ahead. The pace of on-property meetings is picking up quickly, and every Disneyland line of business is getting in on the act. Timelines are in a bit of flux right now, but the Bears could close as early as this Labor Day to enable a Christmas, 2002 opening. (Despite the feature film they have planned. There's no word yet if the Country Bears will be moved over to Grizzly Peak in California Adventure either.) At the latest, it now looks like Pooh will be open for the Summer, 2003 season.

Since Paul Pressler is calling the shots, the Winnie attraction won't be the technologically impressive Tokyo version with the spinning honey pots and GPS tracking though. Instead, it will be a more mundane dark ride system. It looks to be an updated and slightly expanded version of the Walt Disney World attraction that opened in 1999.

As you can imagine, there will be an Image Capturing system installed in the ride that will take pictures of riders. The pictures will of course be available to purchase near the exit. Currently, an exact name for the attraction hasn't been decided upon, but it will assuredly include the words "Disney's" and "Winnie the Pooh."

As a result of who is moving into the neighborhood, Critter Country will get a very comprehensive makeover, aside from the actual attraction. The Brer Bar and Teddi Barra's Swingin' Arcade will disappear completely. In their place, a much larger merchandise location will take up the entire back end of Critter Country. The current Pooh store will expand from 1100 square feet to over 3000 square feet.

The extravagant design of the new Pooh store will ensure that this will be the real showpiece of the development. Much like the shops at DCA, this new Pooh retail location will be lushly themed and swallow a big chunk of the project's total budget. Keep in mind that it's the stores and eateries that get all the cash now - with attractions paired back to the bare bones.

Splash Mt.'s current Fastpass location
Splash Mt.'s current Fastpass location

The Pooh ride will offer Fastpass, of course. Current plans are to move the Splash Mountain Fastpass machines over to the smoking area near the Haunted Mansion, regardless of where the Winnie Fastpass goes in Critter Country. The Briar Patch store hasn't had it's future decided yet, but Merchandise is fighting to hold on to that space to keep generating revenue, instead of giving it up for Fastpass expansion.

The Pooh Fastpass has two current options. It could be installed in a rethemed version of the current Splash Mountain setup, or it could get an all new Fastpass setup down the hill a bit closer to the attraction entrance. However, Entertainment wants to keep it's Pooh Meet N' Greet area down in Critter Country, in a newly enlarged and comprehensively themed location, instead of making way for Fastpass machines. Merchandise is backing the Entertainment Meet N' Greet plan, because they make so much money off of the pictures that are sold at the end of the night at the Main Street photo shop.

Nearer the river, the Hungry Bear Restaurant will also be receiving a fairly extensive makeover and retheme. Currently, the Foods folks are ambitiously pushing to offer Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner from the remodeled facility. They would also like to offer Character dining, at higher price points than the Hungry Bear currently offers, at all three meals. But, it is uncertain if a Character dining experience can co-exist right next to the major Meet N' Greet setup Entertainment and Merchandise are simultaneously planning.

Regardless of whether Characters will be visiting with diners, the Hungry Bear Restaurant will be heavily remodeled in the Scramble Style service now in style at Disneyland. The large upper balcony will be mostly enclosed, to make the pricier restaurant more comfortable for customers. The lower patio will be turned into a more private facility available for extra-cost birthday party packages and catered events. I haven't heard if the new Hungry Bear will be Pooh themed, or still just rustic and non-commital to a particular character.

All of Critter Country will receive new landscaping, new signage, and an overall new look. The intent is to turn this area into a "hollow", that is more generically woodsy, instead of the more blatantly rural American atmosphere it has now. The fact that Pooh is British presents a design challenge to an area that is currently inhabited by classically American folk tales like "Song of the South", Davy Crockett, and Midwestern and Southern bears. The new Critter Country will be a forested area that doesn't seem so American. Keep in mind too that they are pushing what traditionally should have been a Fantasyland movie tie-in attraction into another area of the park - somewhat playing havoc with Disneyland's master plan.

Tony Baxter at the opening of Tarzan's Treehouse
Tony Baxter at the opening of Tarzan's Treehouse

As I understand it, Tony Baxter is the Imagineering exec heading up the entire project, and the end result should be very nice. Although Pressler refused to let the big bucks come through for the attraction, the entire design statement of the newly enhanced Critter Country should impress. The big emphasis now with this project is the tie-ins, expanded food and merchandise offerings, and the overall opportunity to ratchet up the profit potential of the Critter Country area.

They want to have the full Capital Request report for the entire Critter Country project finished and presentable by March 30th. Later this year, Disneyland will be shopping the concepts for the attraction and remodeled Hungry Bear Restaurant to American industry. There is a newly invigorated Disneyland "Participant Relations" department that will be very actively pursuing the chance to have the Winnie the Pooh attraction "presented by" a sponsor, and the new Hungry Bear Restaurant "hosted by" a sponsor as well. Again, right now the emphasis isn't so much on the attraction itself, but on all the accompanying developments and accessories that can generate higher profits than what is in Critter Country now.

 

Plans keep changing at California Adventure

Now it looks like Armageddon will not be going into DCA any time soon. Probable reasons include development costs of a new attraction. It now appears that instead we will get a theater designed for a kid friendly show.

They obviously have both a] understood they built a park that disdains little ones and they have b] thought cheap folks. (By the way, the Ursula spinner ride for Paradise Pier is on track for next year also.)

Mulholland Madness, back when we had some sun around here
Mulholland Madness, back when we had some sun around here

Here's a note on Mulholland Madness from a kind soul who knows:

Has anyone wondered about how Animal Kingdom may be responding to the Mulholland Madness Mad Mouse closure? The two new identical coasters going into AKís Dinorama kiddy land are based on the Mad Mouse ride, but with spinning cars.

If they have been having injuries (Gomezís "closed NOT because of injuries" press comments notwithstanding) with just a regular car, what will they be facing with spinning cars?

If the Mad Mouse was not up to Disney standards, (per Ray) why did they use it in the first place? Oh yeah, it was CHEAP, I forgot.

Also, current food concepts at the new park (spearheaded by the recently departed Mike Berry) may see some drastic changes soon. Expect a reduction in the variety of items offered, and the possible closing of more than a few locations. The one hope many folks have had for this park - a more diverse menu offering - may now be history.

You may also want to stop by Kevin Yee's Chef Kevin column today, and take a look at the article "Mondavi's Hangover." He has some fascinating information on just what is going on at the Winery in California Adventure. Amazing, simply amazing.

 

Big news from Cynthia Harriss this month?

Rumors are FLYING around the Resort about big news coming later in March. The extremely soft DCA attendance so far, plus the underwhelmed opinions from many visitors that Guest Research has been collecting, has gotten everyone buzzing obviously.

Resort head Harriss is supposed to announce something major shortly, and then the word is that individual lines of business are going to roll out their cutback plans at the end of March. DCA is the story to watch. "Will they, or won't they, show up at the new park for Easter?" is the question everyone is quietly asking around every watercooler at the Resort. Spring Break (so far) appears to be a bust.

From another kind soul, something that may tie into this:

One other thing, and it's something I'd completely forgotten about. Someone mentioned "Well, you know what's missing from this time of year don't you? We're not doing the SoCal Resident Salute." Of course! We've normally been running that popular 10 dollar off program from January through May, but we're not doing that this year.

They must have thought that DCA would be enough of a draw, and that discounts would not have been necessary. I wonder if it will return anytime this Spring? I haven't heard a thing about it.

 

Follow-ups: Pressler & Sports - Walt's Offices

* Yes, Pressler now has the sports franchises under his wing as part of the "attractions" banner. I've heard people involved with both teams are now wondering when the facility stores and restaurants will be upgraded, and those very expensive players will be let go per his past management style.

* Imagineering honcho Marty Sklar wants Walt's offices moved to Orlando. Disney Company Historian / Archivist Dave Smith does not want them touched. Guess who will win that tug of war?

 

A final thought about attractions vs. promotions - "Value & the Perception of Value"

I get the most thoughtful e-mail - the following is assembled from a few recent notes that some folks in the know have submitted:

Given the recent decision to cancel the construction of the Armageddon attraction at California Adventure in favor of a theater designed for a kid friendly show (ala "Playhouse Disney"), it appears that Disney theme park guests have entered a phase where unique quality attractions are replaced by iconic representations of attractions.

For example, it used to be that Disneyland spent capital to design and build unique attractions, such as Indiana Jones. Upon opening Indy, the Disney marketing department presented to the news media, travel agents and the general guests a reason to visit the park. Even years after the opening of Indy, the attraction remains a capital improvement that Disneyland can continue to advertise and market - and remains a must see for most visitors, both new and old.

Today, the mandated focus on marketing events, such as the recent Epcot Millennium celebration, and the forthcoming 100 Years of Magic (to celebrate the birthday of Walt Disney) have replaced this. The same capital is invested, however the purpose is nothing more than what amounts to a very expensive billboard. When the marketing event has finished and the money has been spent, nothing lasting will be left for visitors to return to.

Miles before visitors drive into Las Vegas; they see large flashy billboards toting the attractions ahead. Once they arrive, they can be disappointed to discover that the promise doesnít match the reality. The iconic representations donít match what is delivered.

Once years ago, Disneyland entertainment ran a series of promotions where they advertised turning Main Street into a version of 1950s America, or building a Ferris wheel in front of the Main Street train station as part of a country fair. The first event drew curious visitors, however each similar event, which followed, drew fewer people until the events were at last stopped. People returned to Disneyland when attractions were built.

Hopefully, when the current raft of pointless marketing events end due to lack of interest, the Disney Company will return to building attractions, which is after all, the reason we all go to their theme parks.

I couldn't agree more. It's sad that right now, under Pressler's mandate, there will be NO major attractions added to the parks unless they can be tied into an anniversary promotion. Seeing how many other of his mandates (many of which are embodied in California Adventure in particular) seem to fall flat with consumers - one has to wonder how long the company will continue to listen to his reasoning.

I still don't think the man "gets" what the parks are truly about. With the probable addition of Consumer Products to his workload, I can see a future where that end of the business will be finally be fixed, and the parks will continue to decline.

 

See you at Disneyland...


2/28 Quick Update - Walt Disney's replica offices moving from Anaheim to Orlando / Pressler running the Disney sports teams? / It's NOT Brigham Young's Hearse?

Sign that recently went up at the Main St. Opera House
Sign that recently went up at the Main St. Opera House

Walt Disney's replica offices moving from Anaheim to Orlando

We'd kept hearing rumors - but it's now confirmed. The replicas of Walt Disney's Burbank studio offices will be packed up and moved to Orlando to serve as a key element in the 100th Birthday promotion at Walt Disney World. From what I can find out, they've been in the lobby of "Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln" since 1973 - and are exact reproductions. Dave Smith in Disney A to Z discusses them: "The offices were reconstructed from photographs and accurate blueprints, and furnished with the same pieces that had graced the offices originally. The scene outside the window is a photographic backdrop that had been used at the studio when a replica of Disney's office was built on a soundstage for him to use on some of his television lead ins."

The formal ("show") office where Walt would meet special visitors
The formal ("show") office where Walt would meet special visitors

Both will be moving (the formal office - used for visitors, and containing the piano the Sherman Brothers demo-ed their many songs on for him, including Walt's favorite "Feed the Birds." - and the working office, where he usually spent a good deal of his day) and hopefully they will be handled carefully. One CM once told me they'd had a water leak into the offices, and some of the fabric in the chairs and couches had been stained, but an expert cleaner who was brought in suggested they be left alone, since the fabrics were in such fragile condition.

Adjacent to the formal office was the working one, recently the park had placed the little motor powered surrey Walt used for parade appearances in a corner
Adjacent to the formal office was the working one, recently the park had placed the little motor powered surrey Walt used for parade appearances in a corner

Of course now with the offices gone - that leaves a lot of space - and a big concern of a lot of folks is that we may see a good portion of the lobby become a shop. Let's hope they put something in that lobby that compliments the new Lincoln show - and not just another t-shirt shop.

The "Animation Pioneer" display case - including an early Tiki Bird
The "Animation Pioneer" display case - including an early Tiki Bird

 

Pressler running the Disney sports teams?

The e-mail started arriving last night - and it looks like something may very well be up with Paul Pressler. Here was one of the first ones I got:

Hey Al, My husband saw on Canadian TV that Paul Pressler is supposed to be moving into a position with the Mighty Ducks hockey team. Thought you might wan to dig into this. Hmmm... is this the promotion he needs?

One thing I have learned from watching Sports reporting is that they tend to get these kinds of tidbits early, and they can be very accurate. (And you thought I was a gossip!) Now that I've had several of you writing in asking similar questions, it makes me wonder what may be going on.

I suspect that Pressler may be involved with the Ducks (and possibly the Angels) but only in addition to his remaining head of resorts. I don't think he would be moved over into just running that arm of the company (even with the recent interest Anaheim is expressing in getting the NBA Grizzlies team) as it would be considered a demotion.

It is about time though, come to think of it, for Eisner to play his game of "executive shuffle" - which is how Pressler got his current job in the first place. Every few years Michael shifts all the key Disney execs around to run different parts of the company, usually in areas they have had little or no experience in.

It's said he does this shuffle to "season" and "experience" the key suits, so they can be more adept at running the whole company if he should leave. The reality may actually be though that he likes to keep all these ambitious folks off balance - this is an easy way to keep any rising stars in their places so they can't threaten his position or control of the company. (Keep in mind before you write that second theory off, that we're dealing with a notorious micro-manager here, who's only gotten worse after Frank Wells passed away a few years ago.) Heck, he may also just enjoy watching them squirm too.

I'll keep my eyes peeled on the Canadian press online for any other tidbits - and I know the readers will also be kind enough to let us know if they find anything out.

If I were a Mighty Duck I'd be rolling my eyes though...  ;)

 

It's NOT Brigham Young's Hearse?

Kind reader Bryan Walton (who I humbly bow to and thank for all his kind e-mails) sent me the following link to a Deseret News story on the Disneyland Haunted Mansion Hearse. Here's an excerpt:

QuikQuoteô: "There's always room for one more" is the unofficial slogan for Disneyland's popular Haunted Mansion attraction. That phrase could also apply to the growing population of urban legends, including the incorrect belief that the white, horse- drawn hearse in front of the Haunted Mansion is the same one that carried Brigham Young's body from his funeral to his burial place in 1877. Glen M. Leonard, director of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints' Museum of Church History and Art, said historical records are conclusive that the hearse couldn't possibly have been used for Young. "Historical evidence shows no hearse was used," he said. However, Leonard agrees that it's possible the hearse may have gone to California from Utah, where it could have been used in Salt Lake City, though probably after President Young's time.

Ok, so it may not be really be his. But I sure liked the original story better. ;)

 

Wondering if Paul got puck-ed... see you at Disneyland.


2/27 Update - More California Adventure attendance problems / Mulholland Madness shuttered / Tom Sawyer Island gun towers - accident location photos / One Electrical Parade Return Date

More California Adventure attendance problems

Even taking into account the erratic weather L.A. has been getting lately (basically days and days of non-stop rain) a clear pattern is emerging as to the attendance numbers for the new California Adventure park.

As a result, these patterns have been reflected in the new attendance estimates that have been released for the next 5 weeks. To quote one long time observer "they are almost shocking. And yet also fascinating, at the very least."

Basically, the estimates for DCA have been slashed by 30% to 50% for March, while Disneyland numbers stay pat or increase slightly. Here are a few choice examples of the attendance estimates, planned / revised...


Friday, March 2
DCA 8 am - 12 am
Planned: 30,000
Revised: 13,000

Disneyland 10 am - 10 pm
Planned: 25,000
Revised: 26,000


Saturday, March 3
DCA 8 am-12 am
Planned: 33,000
Revised: 20,000

Disneyland 9 am - 12 am
Planned: 42,000
Revised: 43,000


Sunday, March 4
DCA 8 am - 10 pm
Planned: 24,000
Revised: 17,000

Disneyland 9 am - 9 pm
Planned: 33,000
Revised: 35,000


The month continues like that, with weekends seeing the biggest shift downward in attendance estimates. Weekdays in March have DCA numbers revised down from the 17,000 to 19,000 range into the 10,000 to 14,000 range.

Disneyland meanwhile maintains it's weekday March estimates in the 19,000 to 24,000 range, with several weekdays towards the end of March revised upwards to the 29,000 to 32,000 range.

The last weekend in March is really the start of the formal Spring Break period, and those revisions hold the trend for both Parks. DCA has it's attendance estimates revised downward from the 32,000 to 34,000 range to the 21,000 to 25,000 range. Disneyland's last weekend in March will be much more successful by comparison, with attendance estimates staying at their previous estimates around 50,00

The attendance didn't hold up for DCA this past weekend either, even before the heavy rain set in on Saturday. Friday was overcast with threatening showers around, and yet the crowds still favored Disneyland. Disneyland even surpassed it's Planned Estimate numbers, made weeks in advance without factoring in the day to day weather conditions.


Friday, February 23
DCA 8 am - 12 am
Planned: 31,000
Revised: 15,000
Actual Park Attendance : 11,000

Disneyland 10 am - 10 pm
Planned: 29,000
Revised: 29,000 (no revision ahead of time)
Actual Park Attendance: 33,000


If you look at those numbers again, they are very telling. DCA struggled to pull in one third of it's planned attendance on Friday. Meanwhile, Disneyland surpassed it's planned attendance by over 10%, while being open to the public for 4 hours fewer than DCA. DCA just does not have people flocking to it's Golden Gates.

And remember, some of those folks adding to the numbers inside DCA are heading to Guest Relations after a few hours to complain about lack of activities, overpriced food, child restrictive attractions, and nonexistent evening entertainment. Some of those upset Guests are still being escorted north across the Esplanade by Guest Relations CM's and comp'ed into Disneyland for the rest of the day. You can be sure that there are no upset Guests storming Disneyland's City Hall wanting to be escorted south and comp'ed into DCA. The flow of upset Guests across the Esplanade is northbound only.

As mentioned before here, many imagine the return of annual pass sales for both Parks will happen sooner than TDA had planned, when they suspended the program in early February for fear of overcrowding at DCA. Amazingly Disneyland's attendance numbers are holding up, even in the rain. But DCA's numbers have almost fallen through the floor.

Needless to say, the drastically lowered expectations for March should be watched closely. Will DCA manage to pull in it's newly slashed numbers? Or is this a repeat of the frustrating situation Universal in Orlando went through when they opened Islands of Adventure? Stay tuned.

By the way - if the park doesn't perform up to what was planned - expect some more layoffs all throughout the company, not just at the parks themselves. It was rumored some of the most recent Walt Disney Internet Group layoffs were done with just that in mind - the folks in that division have really only begun to peruse their options from what I had heard.

 

Mulholland Madness at DCA shuttered

"It's injuring too many guests." is what I keep hearing. "Central First Aid practically has to set up shop there when it operates" said another.

As a result, the ride is down for an undetermined amount of time. It's one less attraction, in a park so very short of them at this time.

 

Tom Sawyer Island gun towers - accident location photos

Bruce Bergman was kind enough to contribute the following shots (and text) about Ft. Wilderness on Tom Sawyer Island. They show where the little girl "lost finger" accident happened.

First up, the interior of the fort (taken facing north to the back of the park), with the 'offending' tower in the upper left...

Locked door (below) leading from the guntower of the 'regiment HQ" to the catwalk to the closed tower...

The 'back door' to the tower - this is the catwalk in the upper middle of the first wide shot, that is blocked off from both ends by a locked door inside the gun tower over the "HQ" building.

Locked door again...

Below is a photo into the tower - note the gun to the left that is still there...

And below is another shot, where you'll see that they've removed the other guns in the accident tower. You can see the blank lighter spots on the wall where they used to be, and the light shining through the bolt holes in the corner of the old wall backbox (which had the sound- effects speaker for the 'gunshots').

Thanks again to Bruce, who helped us visualize above just where the accident took place. (And no fellow readers, I don't think the red stains are what you may think they are - the photos had to be lightened considerably to allow us to see more detail. This may have provided some color that may not be there.) As always on the site, no rules were broken to get the shots - all were obtained by just walking up to the location and looking for a place to aim a camera into.

 

One Electrical Parade Return Date

...that is floating around is June 6th of next year. Let's hope for a newly re-recorded soundtrack OK? It's time to update that antique moog sound a bit.

 

Who IS the Wrist? WHAT is the Wrist? You'll find out soon enough.

In the meantime, if it hasn't floated away yet, I'll see you at Disneyland. You know, the park with the crowds?  ;)

ON THIS PAGE

3/12 Quick Update - California Adventure employee pass change / Some interesting information / Looking forward to...

3/8 Update - Rocket Rods Summer Swan Song / Pooh happens / Plans keep changing at California Adventure / Big news from Cynthia Harriss this month? / Follow-ups: Pressler & Sports - Walt's Offices / A final thought about attractions vs. promotions - "Value & the Perception of Value"

2/28 Quick Update - Walt Disney's replica offices moving from Anaheim to Orlando / Pressler running the Disney sports teams? / It's NOT Brigham Young's Hearse?

2/27 Update - More California Adventure attendance problems / Mulholland Madness shuttered / Tom Sawyer Island gun towers - accident location photos / One Electrical Parade Return Date

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