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Al Lutz
Archived D-I-G Update
D-I-G [Disneyland Info Guide] Special Update 10/10/98

"It was a mistake to not properly communicate to our Guests our intentions, and more importantly it was a horrible mistake to not properly communicate to you, our cast. That is something I take full responsibility for and will not happen again." - Cynthia Harriss.

With those words above Disneyland VP Cynthia Harriss announced to Cast Members that the recent [and widely publicized] policy of late opening / early close of park attractions has been rescinded.

In a "Cast Member Forum" quickly organized by TDA [Team Disney Anaheim] last Thursday night over a hundred hourly CMs [Cast Members] were assembled in one of the large TDA meeting rooms. Also in attendance at this meeting were Paul Pressler, Paul Yeargin and "T" Irby.

The following is an account of what happened, which was passed on by a few of the CM's who were there. Since several different people related the same series of events, it should be fairly accurate. I was waiting for one communication in particular that locked things down the best before I made this update, and it has been quoted the most extensively. [Again, thank you to all the kind souls who helped with this.]

The meeting at TDA began with Cynthia going on for about fifteen minutes about how she accepts full responsibility for the early closing mess. She also said that it was her idea solely. She said "I've only been here eighteen months, and I've still got a learning curve to work through." She then went on about "trying new things" and "giving change a chance" and assorted other items.

One CM mentioned it was all very "One-Minute Manager" all the type of terms she was using, "sort of like running the park in the same manner as if she were trying to use a product without having any first hand experience of it."

A few people also felt the following comment she made was disturbing, they had "always planned to change the attraction hours back as soon as someone complained." The impression given to the CMs in attendance with this series of comments seemed like she had "we'll do as much as we can get away with" attitude. She continued to talk so much about "balancing the triangle" (Guest vs. Cast vs. Investors) that it seemed as though her thoughts were "take from one group until they complain, then move on to the next one and take from them, and so on."

At one point during the meeting a CM actually spoke up and said, "But Guests don't see a triangle, they see a closed attraction." It came off to more than one observer as so bitter, and pointed, and yet right on the money that some tittered a bit. She was supposed to have handled it like a pro, however.

Overall the impression from most CMs seemed to be they’ve "heard enough about balancing triangles to last a lifetime." After Cynthia, then it was Paul Yeargin's turn to basically give a condensed version of her apology, and he used the "learning curve" excuse too.

Then Cynthia announced that as soon as the current schedules work their way through the pipeline, all attraction hours would be going back to the way they were a month ago. So with two exceptions (Tiki and Bears closing one hour early), everything will be back to normal by late October. [Al’s personal note, this seems fair, and makes sense. They probably also meant Storybook Land Boats would also operate this way. They still need to note these types of closings at the entrance gate listings and on the guidemaps / schedules handed out to visitors.]

Also during the meeting a question about lack of maintenance was jointly answered by T Irby and Paul Y. They responded with "We spend so much of our resources fixing vandalism and guest wear and tear that we don't have enough money to get to all the maintenance and show concerns." Many people attending then thought, "What IS maintenance besides fixing visitor wear and tear?" The presentation was ended with a little pep talk about the bright future Disneyland has with DCA just a few years away now, etc.

What is very important to note here is that throughout the whole thing, everyone reported that Pressler was completely silent with his arms crossed just watching. During the question and answer period, a question was directed at him and Pressler said, "I'm just an observer like you all this afternoon. I'll let Cynthia answer that." Pressler didn't say a word. The obvious impression to many seemed that "Cynthia was sort of being punished by Pressler and because of that she did all the talking and groveling at this meeting."

Also in the meeting, T. Irby mentioned that Pressler wanted him to have the Park "so pristine that Walt would walk down the street proud" by 2001, but that he convinced Pressler that "the 50th anniversary would be a more doable date." [Al's note: What's with not painting the worst areas just for now for goodness sakes?]

In addition to all this, a Disneyland Line Extra has been distributed that only quoted Cynthia Harriss. It came out the 6th and announced the reversal of the shortened hours policy. It was the standard stuff, but it only used Cynthia Harriss's name and quotes. Paul Pressler was not quoted. More than one person found that interesting.

Afterwards, many attending felt the impression that was given was that "the whole mess was primarily Cynthia's project and idea after all, and that Pressler was making her take full responsibility for it in front of the Cast Members." If that is the case, more than a few observers speculated that "he is absolutely livid with her, because it has made him look bad."

One person suggested that "perhaps he is trying to save morale by making sure she takes the blame for this disaster. This way if / when she resigns in a few months she will take all the bad memories with her and Pressler will still have a little credibility and respect among the CM's."

What was fascinating to another observer about all this was "that the entire strata of CM's, from nineteen year old CM's, to Leads and Trainers, to assistant managers, to Operations Directors appear to have all been bonded by this experience. Everyone has apparently been flabbergasted with what happened this week, and they all shared in the embarrassment, shock and disgust with TDA decision." It was suggested by more than one person that "maybe that's the silver lining in all this, we now all feel much more Team-like."

I also received the following note that adds some more background to people involved behind the original decision to close attractions early / open them late: "It's amazing how a real 'culprit' slips by the pressure and your site. Byron Pollit, Chief Financial Officer of Disneyland is the one putting the full court press on the purse strings, the new late opening / early closing scheme was labor savings no matter what spin Ray Gomez put on it."

"[Basically] everyone [wanted] to keep the park open for extended hours but [couldn’t] afford the multiple shifts it required. By keeping an attraction within an 8 to 9 hour operating day, only one full-time shift is needed. You wouldn't believe the internal opposition to this screwball idea, but deaf ears were turned by both Pollit and Harriss to it."

A few notes here from me on all of this, consider this an editorial if you will:

Personally I’m glad to see that Disneyland will honor again its over forty year commitment of maintaining the park attractions open until advertised park closing time for its customers.

There was NEVER a question in my mind, and I know now also that this was also felt by thousands of others online and off, that this was an important part of the relationship visitors have had with the park. After all customers pay premium prices to visit, they should expect premium service and ethical operation of the park in return.

But I continue to be deeply disappointed that we apparently have to continue to suffer a "learning curve" for both Ms. Harriss and Mr. Yeagin, and a very apparent lack of concern for the paying public by Mr. Pollit. All of this after almost four years of constant problems - and a continuing decline of the park - under Mr. Pressler.

Disneyland is not a new theme park working out operating kinks, it’s now been in business for over four decades. So I continue to be distressed to hear what seems to be a continued anti-quality / anti-tradition approach thinly disguised as "trying new things" and "giving change a chance" as espoused by Ms. Harriss in the meetings at TDA and by Mr. Yeargin within the park.

Change for the sake of change is almost always a poor choice. There are some very valid reasons Disneyland has kept many traditions in place for the four decades before Ms. Harriss came on board, and it would behoove her to understand them and what Disneyland customers expect as a result of them post haste. [Please note this isn't a rant about not wanting ANY change at all in the park, quality changes are more than welcome and needed to keep the park fresh and exciting.]

I also question Harriss' apparent total lack of suitability for this type of position due to the way she tried to implement these new procedures. Quite simply she should NOT have tried to lie to the public about what they were paying for and then really going to get once inside that gate. EVERY effort was made under her leadership on this issue NOT to publicize this new policy, nor to notify customers in advance about it. No one on any of the reservations lines for the Hotels warned callers about it. It was painfully apparent that Disneyland under her watch didn’t even want to provide signs out front of the attractions explaining what was happening.

This was simply unacceptable, period. And you know something else? For once this was a clear case where most of the customers disagreeing with this policy were not demanding the park spend itself into the ground to please them.

Almost every single person I talked to about this though this whole mess, who I read a posting of, or received an e-mail from, just wanted to be told the truth about the actual operating hours when they made their reservations or paid their admission fee. They didn’t want to have to ask around as to when the park may have something available to them, nor depend on visiting unofficial web sites to detail the schedules in advance to them.

There were few if any objections to the park having to return to a 6 PM general close on weekdays and keeping open selected attractions as a bonus, if budgets warranted it, AS LONG IT WAS ANNOUNCED to the public in that manner IN ADVANCE. Disneyland's customers were not in large part wanting to hold the park hostage on this issue when it came to budgeting.

Somehow even the whole issue of showmanship was abandoned though this entire headache, and the park suffered tremendously with the public for it. It also seems that after two very tough years, that the park will have to suffer even more financially for this mess on top of all that. We all know that reduced income means less for current and future visitors to enjoy due to cutbacks, not to mention the losses the longer-term Annual Passholders will experience on their more frequent visits too.

I’m sorry, but the type of "change" that Ms. Harriss, Mr.’s Yeargin and Pollit tried to pull on the public did NOT deserve a "chance." And as mad as Mr. Pressler apparently was with everyone in the meetings, I have to question, yet again, why these things seem to constantly happen on his watch - and yet, somehow - he continues to be almost totally oblivious or unaware of them. Disneyland is a huge resource for the company, one that some people from within compare to a small city. Why are there problems now a regular occurrence over the past four years for this "mayor" in particular, yet not in the forty before for past ones?

Sadly what this whole thing made clear is that it does appear that there is a real lack of interest in either quality or ethics in operating the park under Harriss, Yeargin and Pollit. It may very well be that only way to continue to remind them of their responsibilities to their customers - is to continue with what people had to resort to over the past few days. A very loud, and yes, embarrassing public outcry.

Here is where I thank everyone who spent the last few days hunched over your keyboards, making phone calls, and taking precious time our of your days for helping out. All of you across the country, around the world, did a stellar job in reminding the park that they needed to treat their customers better.

For me what is so sad about all of this, is that the management at the park itself continually cannot seem to understand the problems these kinds of bad policy decisions will bring. Even with their own employees telling them - even with long time customers trying to remind them - they refused to listen and walked right into this mess.

I really miss the days when we all spent most of our time discussing what we all loved so much about the park - instead of lamenting was constantly keeps going so wrong in what seems to be increasingly larger public forums.

End of editorial I guess.

On a final note here, I asked someone else what what might happen since, even though Disneyland backed down on this, they probably would still need to stay on budget somehow. To quote an experienced observer: "My bet would be on the long-term closing of attractions in the guise of rehabs. I think in their minds, if an attraction is listed out front as closed for the day, it won’t be seen by most as dishonest (like the early closings were) even though the attraction isn't closed for a rehab."

Later on in this document, and on the D-I-G site, you’ll see a new list of rehabs that had just been approved for this year going into next, before the current situation. It would be INTERESTING to see what is adhered to and what is not, now that this storm has blown over. I wonder how many more attractions will "go down for rehab" when the real need is to cut man-hours.

The one thing that will affect CM’s out of this will probably be a harder line by the park about the participating online in the newsgroups with park information. Apparently Disneyland has authored new language to be used in termination papers utilized when they get rid of CMs. I was told about this by several who’ve seen the already drafted documents.

During all this mess, I got one note that really bothered me. Here it is: "Harris and Yeargen have come in with the gung-ho attitude of running all of Disney like a giant Disney Store. It seems, thanks to them, that at this time ride operations CM's will no longer be receiving a break every hour so."

"Unfortunately this is also affecting safety on the attractions. Many CM's haven't been alert enough to stop accidents from occurring. When a CM brought up to the head manager for one attraction, [I overheard] his response, it was: "You worry about what you get paid to worry about." The person then responded: "Safety is my job." The manager came back with: "No your job is to push the button and smile, that is it."

"So as you can see the morale is still at the bottom of the bucket. And every time get a manager starts to make a difference, Yeargen makes sure that they don't work for the company anymore. As of Friday last week another favorite was given the boot. So I guess the point is, that if you get rid of Pressler you will then need to get rid of Harriss and then Yeargen too."

I want everyone to know I always take these types of notes very seriously – since more than once I’ve received something similar and found out it was an attack back at someone who may not have deserved it. I rarely publish them, and this one only appears here now due to the behavior I did notice on the Thursday mix-in night I went to this past week upon boarding the Matterhorn.

Imagine my [and my companion’s] surprise when there was NO one guiding people and assisting with loading into the bobsleds. Then imagine my continued surprise when the two CMs just kept gabbing away without paying attention as to who was loading and where, nor were they bothering to check seat belts were fastened. They didn’t even do this as they normally do just before you head into the tunnel up on the ride.

Something tells me that safety is apparently not a big priority right now for managers on attractions at the park, since this was a very noticeable change in operating procedure. I can only attribute to lax supervision by management on a focus from them on some other area, possibly involving costs, by the folks in charge. If I hear anything else about this situation, I will continue to update you all on it. Let’s hope safety is remains the park’s first concern under Ms. Harriss and Mr. Yeargin.

Now on to other news, involving those now "open till closing" attractions ;) :

Rods apparently are scheduled to open on Oct. 17th, a Saturday. I was told that "they have the new software running properly, and it has improved the capacity. The people working on them suggested they could even put some more vehicles on the track if they had them to do it. "T" Irby is bragging to everyone that the Rods will open on a Saturday and only experience 2% down time! Someone asked, "How can they predict downtimes?" The answer was, "with the new software they seem to feel they can predict the percentage of time the ride system will be able to run at full capacity. Irby feels so confident in the 98% figure, that he is telling everyone about it." That’s how I heard about it. :)

The person continued "Area managers wanted to try and wait to open on a weekday, when it would be less crowded. But Irby has insisted that they open on a weekend. There may be a compromise, which means the Rods will open on the 16th, a Friday. What is holding them up is that they have had to train a whole new batch of operators, since many of the originals have left or moved on to other things. Anyway, the weekend of the 17th is the date to watch."

A little history here on the Rocket Rods and their problems from some folks involved:

First source: "The quote I was given after Paul rode the test RR at the WDI lot was "I don't want another Test Track" but was assured by WDI that this was not new technology and was a slam dunk. [After the ride went down, a] DL facilities team was working to correct the problem because WDI couldn't. The motor shafts kept breaking but WDI didn't even keep accurate test records for the months they were testing. The new team didn't even know which car had the most running time on it to reverse engineer the problem!"

I asked a second source about the above and got the following: "I would imagine that those working on the Rods project would have kept records. Even I know which vehicles have been run the longest. But you don't need to know how long a ride has been running to reverse engineer the vehicle. The current problems appear to be control system related, NOT mechanical."

I this reply to the first source with the following comment: "Does this still make sense with what you know? I see a ball being pitched back and forth here... ;)"

And the response came back: "A number of areas; facilities, WDI, even the RR Hosts and Hostesses all feel they know which vehicles were on longest, but to deductively solve the problem you need solid records not "oh yeah, that one." The problems are both. It appears that the control system shuts down if more than 'x' number of vehicles are on the track at once. The other problem is mechanical. The motor shafts are weakening over time, which is why they need to trace vehicle time. Because of the overall quality of the motors, they can't just be replaced with a better one and no one wants to pony up for all new motors."

This source continued on with the following, which I found very interesting: "Way too much praise goes to WDI. They're a slippery bunch. Fact is nothing and I mean nothing gets built inside the Park without Tony Baxter and his group approving. In most cases, they design and build the stuff. The Small World Way light towers also were approved by Baxter, and the Fantasyland Theater tent was designed, approved, built by WDI, not Entertainment as has been purported. Yes, they built it to Entetainment’s theatrical specs, but the whole banana was theirs. The bottom line here is that it would be prudent to keep WDI on the appropriate level pedestal."

"Let's talk about Tomorrowland for a moment. Everyone talks about how cheap it is and how Paul wouldn't approve the right funding, etc.. Most of the project was originally sponsored by GM, to the tune of about 50 mil or so. But they pulled out after demolition and construction was well underway. That left DL holding the bag and the money simply wasn't there."

I again forwarded the above to the second source and they claimed that sponsorship money does NOT go back to the attractions: "Initially, there were no sponsors for Tomorrowland. No one was going to pony up $50 million. The entire budget was from Disneyland. Sponsorship would have allowed for better shows / design, except that any sponsorship money would have just been applied against the Disneyland budget. The sponsorship money would have come to Disneyland, not WDI. Pressler could have given any sponsorship money to WDI to enhance the design, but he preferred to keep it. Disneyland itself has the same problem. The merchandise people were in the same position as WDI. They couldn't come up with good merchandise because of the budgetary constraints placed on them."

"How do these two views stack up?" I asked the first source, they responded: "Not true on this one as far as I know. The thing to remember is that WDI is a service to the remainder of the Co. Each Corporate entity "buys" a concept or contracts with WDI to create one. Hence, wild ideas for a Discovery Bay in Frontierland. Blue Sky concepts are WDI's job. Their other job is to sell them to the parks."

"In essence, DL writes a check to WDI and buys an attraction, shop, or hotel. It's DL's job to pony up the sponsors, not WDI's. Any incoming sponsorship goes to the DL budget but at it's root level it's one big pot of gold. Just like you and I contribute to the Social Security fund but we all know that's used for a variety of purposes. If a sponsor backs out, DL either shifts the funds from another project or skimps. Tomorrowland was a little of both."

The same person continued: "The rip cord solution was to build it up over time. In hindsight, most internal folks agree that rushing to open was a pretty bad idea and somewhat of a repeat of the LM AP party preview disaster. This is the reason Innoventions has not 'officially' opened. I doubt you will see things opening before being ready for awhile. A lot of folks got burned on this one.

My comment in return was: This has been a problem for all the parks it seems - I know Animal Kingdom in WDW suffered from it too, as well as the Studios when they first came online. Marketing drives everything, and then we get unfinished premieres. Sigh.

Changing topics again, but still discussing Tomorrowland, here’s an overheard conversation between an Innoventions CM, and Cynthia Harris: "She came up and said something to the effect of "So, November 10th is going to be your Team's big day! Are you excited about the challenge?" And the CM said, "Oh yes, I'm just glad we have a firm date for the grand opening now. First we were told October, then we heard it had been postponed 'til February. And now we hear it's going to be November 10th. That's great!" Harriss said "Well, we had to make sure we picked a date when all of our participants (Disney-speak for 'sponsor') could be there in force. We really want to make a big impact when we do the grand opening." So I guess all this time the attraction was open it wasn’t? No wonder the L.A. Times went ahead and reviewed it, they got tired of waiting.

Moving on… All of you know by now the big Mark Twain rehab that was scheduled has been canceled. Here’s apparently what happened, and it seems to reinforce the problems we keep seeing over and over again under this management regime at the park:

"The reason it was canceled was that they have no contractor lined up to actually do the work. Apparently, according to a manager, TDA has been fighting over this for a couple weeks now. They had the same contractor tentatively lined up to do the work that they had last year."

"Last winter, this new contractor underbid the old contractor that had been caring for the Twain for years. However, the new contractor did a TERRIBLE job, especially with the paint and woodwork. Their poor craftsmanship is readily apparent by the peeling paint at the waterline on the boiler deck, and the sloppy paintjob on the upper decks' intricate wood trim. But, this new contractor was cheap, so TDA chose them again for this fall's big 10-week rehab."

"Meanwhile, a struggle went on within TDA with some of the "old guard" to try and secure the old contractor to do this MAJOR rehab. But, the old contractor had a contract in Japan, and wasn't available. While this went on, the new contractor got wind of the controversy and flew the coop, taking on another contract instead and backing out of their not yet legally binding Disneyland contract to do the Twain. (Are you following all this?)"

"Apparently there are only 3 or 4 companies in the world who are skilled enough to undertake the care and refurbishment of large wooden boats, and the fact that it's a steam paddlewheeler no less, doesn't make it easier. Disneyland had developed a solid productive relationship with the old contractor, but in the last 2 years TDA had thrown out all the good will for the bottom-line. Now, they are stuck with a boat that is becoming dangerous to operate (wood rot abounds), and no one to fix it. The plan is now to do the full 10-week rehab starting in March, when the old contractor is done in Japan and have the boat ready by next summer."

"But, now Entertainment is angry because that means the Twain will go into Fowlers dry-dock right when the Fantasmic rehab is done in early March and Fantasmic rehearsals begin. These rehearsals usually take a month or more and are done after Park closing in the weeks following the Fantasmic rehab."

"For '99 the rehearsals were doubly important because the show will have been down for over 3 months, instead of just 3 weeks, and even some of the returning Cast will be a little rusty. Trying to do the rehearsals without using the Twain for backstage timing and logistics will be nearly impossible. I probably don't need to mention that NONE of this would have happened if they had just stuck with the old, slightly more expensive, but better quality contractor."

A follow up to this came a few days later after the new rehab schedules came out from the same kind soul: "I'm not sure what the plan is with the staggered Twain rehab. It was originally scheduled for a 10-week rehab, and now it's five weeks total, spread out over two periods. I know it *has* to be available to Entertainment when they start Fantasmic rehearsals in late winter. But where are the other five weeks? And I've *heard* (nothing reliable) that Mansion will be getting a rolling rehab for it's 30th Anniversary, with some show improvements, particularly in the Doom Buggy boarding area." I’ve heard this also, and I look forward to it. :)

Now parading on, ;) a few weeks ago I’d made a posting lamenting the possible re-use of the Light Magic name for the replacement. What had been relayed to me, and that I talked about was that there was a faction within TDA that wanted to use the name again. More than a few people had commented to me that they were even probably going to welcome the controversy it would bring, and with the hoped for success of it, to try to and subtly [?] snub people who had criticized the old show.

Well, as it turns out with all things Disney lately, there seems to be a whole lot more to this than what first comes out, and it seems this validates some postings made quite awhile back by some folks. And yes, it again draws attention to what may have been an unfortunate decision made by Pressler. "In response to your post: It's not a faction who wants to use the name, it's an unfortunate legal problem. When making the very public announcement that Light Magic [LM for short] was only going on hiatus, Pressler put certain departments and people in a bind."

"So you know, I was told the show cost $30 million including infrastructure upgrades (i.e. new parade route, the super ugly light towers, etc..) These costs, as in any business, would get capitalized over time. But at one point someone told me the original plan was to go ahead, close the show, and write it off as a loss."

However, this person explained, "By Pressler going ahead and saying it's on hiatus and will be back, the government won't be happy too happy with that. That is why nothing can be removed without admitting the show is not coming back due some kind of a severe tax penalty. As much as you read on the newsgroups that this-and-that has been destroyed, the fact is that all the show’s assets are intact, and are being accounted for even if reused. Apparently this person told me there still is no plan that saves total face and dollars, so by looking at the name reuse, this could be a way around the problem. That’s what I was told. I would say by Feb. / March of next year the new EP info should begin oozing out."

By the way, someone was kind enough to tell me that "the new EP has been given to Jean Luc Chopin, the Creative Director of Mulan parade fame. [Formerly of the Paris Opera.] It looks to debut in December of next year. The team that Michael Maines used was originally on it, but then was booted as not good enough. Everything to date that was developed by the old group went in the trash and Jean Luc is starting from scratch."

Did I tell you all how MUCH I liked the Mulan parade? ;) This certainly sounds like exciting news.

By the way, I took a quick peek inside the new DCA [Disney’s California Adventure] preview center out front of the park on Thursday, the wind was blowing around the tent flaps so I got a solid look for a few minutes. It’s a very inexpensive looking exhibit, [think of lots of stuff just taped to walls made of pipe] and most of the renderings I saw were old, and as before not very thrilling. Compared to the preview center out back, it’s quite a let down. Come October 14th I guess we’ll be able to do a closer inspection, at least that’s what the sign outside said.

Earlier I mentioned I had the new Rehab Schedule, which Kevin [Mr. Liver] already posted. I’m including it again here to keep as a reference to section it was mentioned in, and with some comments added that may clear some of the odd choices listed. Here are the latest rehabs for the next twelve months as of 10/2:

1998:

Main Street Fire Truck: 10/26 - 11/13
Big Thunder Mountain: 11/2 - 11/24
Main Street Red Carriage: 11/30 - 12/18
Mark Twain: 12/7 - 12/11

1999:

Sailing Ship Columbia: 1/4 - 1/15
Main Street Yellow Carriage: 1/4 - 1/22
Matterhorn Bobsleds; 1/4 - 1/29
it's a small world: 1/11 - 1/29
Splash Mountain: 2/1 - 2/26
Casey Jr. Circus Train: 2/16 - 3/5
Storybook Land Canal Boats: 2/16 - 3/5
Pirates of the Caribbean: 3/1 - 3/26
Mad Hatter's Tea Party: 3/15 - 3/26
Swiss Family Treehouse: 4/12 - 6/18
Mark Twain: 4/12 - 5/7
Space Mountain: 4/26 - 5/21
Jungle Cruise: 5/10 - 5/21
Monorails: 9/1 - 9/30

Comments from someone include: "What stands out to me is the very short Matterhorn rehab. There was an extensive piece in the Disneyland Line last year about the fact that it still had three more years of lengthy three month rehabs before it's repair was completed. But the two-month Tree-house rehab is a good sign. Although this attraction requires no CM's to operate, it's probably something they want to keep around. Also, notice the absence of the Tiki Room from this list. Its 4-week rehab in September was canceled, so I'm crossing my fingers that they will be performing a rolling rehab overnights at some point in the upcoming months."

On another subject - sometimes you get the same message from a few different people. See what you think...

Source one: "I know that Eisner’s focus, as shown in some recent articles, has been on his own pet projects (ESPN, sports teams, etc.). Maybe these [recent] articles [about the problems at Disneyland] will wake him up a bit. Either that or else he really DOESN'T care about the parks. But the point I heard is that they would never attempt to actually close any attraction without at least some notice to Tony Baxter."

Source two: "The main stream press is the ONLY way that either Eisner or Judson will take notice. No boycotts or things like that, just letting the word out on how things are. "Yop" is the word in Horton Hears a Who. Keep yopping."

I never cease to be amazed at how much the goals of folks online and from within the company tend to be one and the same. Despite all the grousing, the Disney company still has many "good guys" working within that also disagree with some of the current misguided directions taken and work hard to try and steer the company back on track. We are not alone when we speak up folks.

Well gang, it’s time to close this update. It’s been a hell of a week to say the least, and this long update was the capper to it. Before I finish I do want to say one more thing.

Never, in all the years I’ve been on line have I had seen such an incredible response from all of you out there. I’ve received thousands of e-mails from all around the world from people who all felt the same about Disneyland’s recent management decisions and what was going on there and wanted to help get through to them the message that the customers felt they were being ignored.

I have to say that I really consider the heartwarming response received as an incredible tribute to all the participants on alt.disney.disneyland who took all the extra time out of their already busy lives to get involved. It’s also a tribute all the CMs at the park who tried to shed light on the problems from within to their managers.

But I think what it really shows is the enduring power of one very special place for us in this world that we all can agree brings a lot of enjoyment to us. That happy place called Disneyland.

I want to thank you all for your efforts and help, all the kind words, the supportive e-mails and continued interest in the D-I-G, and most importantly, for showing everyone you CAN speak up to City Hall and win.

Yop, my friends, Yop! We can be heard.  

Thanks!
 

 

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