Readers had several bold
predictions for 2002 for the Disneyland Resortas well as for Walt
|Monorail Man forecasts:
Photo by Adrienne Vincent-Phoenix
1. Haunted Mansion Holiday will return. It was good, I
have no doubt in my mind Disney will return it.
2. DCA's attendance will rise. Since a lot of annual
passholders will renew next year, now that all annual passes
are two parks, DCA's attendance will rise.
3. 1-day admission will go up at least $1. Come on, it's
gone up ever year, it should come up this year, too.
4. Flik's Fantasy Faire will be a huge flop. In the
amount of time it's supposed to take them, and with "off
the shelf" rides, this will become a big flop.
5. The soundtrack on Space Mountain will finally work!
I've been to Disneyland six times since they "put in the
soundtrack," and I haven't heard it once.
|A former cast member
California Adventure will continue to be a
disappointment. Cast members will continue to be requested to
change out of costumes into street clothes when needed to make
the crowds look larger when the suits and VIP's close up.
With the new park structure park configuration the
amount of time spent parking your car in the structure will be
The Paradise Cove Restaurant will be a smashing success
at California Adventure. Its all-inclusive price will bring in
a lot of business.
As Labor contracts across the Resort come up for
renewal, Mr. Pressler will use September 11th as a excuse to
not offer the employees a fair contract. This could led to
pickets going up across the Resort.
Y Arriba Y Arriba in Downtown Disney will face the
possibility of suspension of its liquor license by the end of
the summer as the number of fights and accidents in the
parking lot increase during the night when clubs night crowds
clash with the House of Blues crowds exiting out at the same
time. (I have worked some nights where the Anaheim Police have
had to form walls to get factions out to the parking lot away
from rivals at closing time.) To Disney's credit, along with
the Anaheim PD they have improved this situation a lot.
However, Anaheim PD cannot always maintain the level of
presence I have see all the time.
Due to continued security concerns, the Double Decker
busses will continue to not run in Downtown Disney for the
rest of the year.
Due to Disney's hard line in labor talks, they will have
a difficult time getting enough quality people to staff for
I will continue to cherish the short time of nine months
I worked as a cast member for Disney Resort. (I would have
continued to work if I had not had problems with unmovable
I keep reading about and hearing anecdotal stories
regarding the dire straits the WDW parks are in because of
staff cuts. By all accounts, cast members are dour, sour, and
surly, trash cans are overflowing, and litter remains where it
was dropped. Combine this with shortened hours, elimination of
Early Entry, and the short-notice closing of hotels such that
arriving guests sometimes don't even know where they are
staying, and you have a P. R. nightmare, not to mention one
seriously overwhelmed Guest Services department.
My prediction: something's gotta give, bad economy or
no. Either the brass is going to wake up and smell the burned
coffee and do something about it, or somebody's head is going
to roll somewhere. Or maybe both. I doubt it'll be Eisner's,
and I'm not naive enough to think it'll be Pressler's. Because
if they don't fix it, the once Sterling reputation, which is
already showing tarnish, will become downright rusty.
|Calling it a "sure
bet," Doug Higley predicts:
I won't be spending a nickel at the place.
I predict in 2002, after spending all year long rolling
in his grave, Walt Disney will rise from the dead and give
Paul Presser and Michael Eisner the punishment they deserve.
Photo by Adrienne Vincent-Phoenix
exiling them to an eternity on
That sounds good, but on the TV screens on the ride,
they should eternally play Pocahontas II, Lady and the Tramp
II, Little Mermaid II, and all the other lame direct-to-
video sequels Eisner greenlighted.
"Theme park triage."
Full-on, Kronk-like, "Niiiiiiice."
I'm afraid that you're rightDisneyland park will
slip with all of the attention on California Adventure. But
then, in, say, two years, Disneyland park will get a big huge
campaign, along the lines of "Where the Magic Began"
and junk. They might even spring to celebrate a 50th birthday.
Wouldn't count on any new attractions, though. Until then, I'm
not holding my breath.
In April I'm meeting my parents and brother from back
East at WDW for my parents' anniversary. We haven't all been
since I graduated high school in 1994. At Christmas, we were
discussing what's new at the parks. We couldn't think of much.
(Kali River Rapids, new Animation Building, friggin' Winnie
the Pooh, that cheesy Aladdin ride, Buzz, Test Track, lack of
Imagination, and that's about it.) Sad.
My prediction for 2002? Disney will only build attractions
at one park
one tiny little abused park
tiny little abused park
one stinky tiny little abused
park in California.
And lastly I like that you can admit that you were wrong
in your 2001 predictions. It shows guts and fortitude that
many other journalists don't have. Congrats.
|Speaking of Florida, Stuart Newsom
My mouse ear crystal balls are telling me these five
predictions for Walt Disney World in Florida:
1. Haunted Mansion Holiday will come to Liberty Square.
With such a big success in Disneyland, and WDW
management so interested in the concept, the idea will most
likely come to WDW Magic Kingdom.
2. EPCOT will get tons of money, and, in turn, tons of
construction walls, pumped into it.
Epcot's attendance level and revenues dropped like a stone
in the past couple of months. They're already trying to bring
Journey into Imagination back from the dead again, Mission:
Space is still being constructed very slowly, most
of the Living Seas is closed now (the Sea Cab ride with its
lines and the movie are both walled off), and people are saying
that Wonders of Life is next. Trying to pull Future World
out of the '80s before it becomes Past World.
Photo by Sheila Hagen
3. The Great Movie Ride will close permanently in 2002.
MGM's license is running out and it doesn't look like
it's going to be renewed. The Sorcerer's Hat, I think, is
a clue. Why would they build that huge hat in front of the
Chinese Theater if it's going to be the same? It was the logo
for Disney-MGM Studios. Sadly, now the hat is the logo
4. Animal Kingdom will lose attendance numbers even
Even with all the stuff they're doing in Dinoland, it's
not going to be enough. A Dumbo clone and a spinning Wild
Mouse coaster is not enough to bring people back. From what
I've come to understand, the Beastly Kingdom idea is coming
back, complete with a coaster themed to the upcoming 2002 film
Rain of Fire. Enough, but just too late.
5. That stupid guests will indeed still exist in all WDW
Not just all WDW parks, but all parks in general. No
matter how dumbed-down a warning sign, no matter how many you
put up, some people still won't get that these rides are
complex machinery that can do extensive physical harm or kill
you when these signs are not followed. "Leaving your
brains at the gate" is a common thing at all parks and I
think people will do stupid things on rides, or say stupid
stuff, for all eternity. Cynical, I know, but true.
Just thought you would want to hear the predictions for
the East Coast. Thanks for your time and wonderful stories
about the Disneyland and DCA.
my prediction that Disney might acquire more land in Anaheim, a cast
member said he has heard that the company
actually is trying to dispose of some of its current holdings.
There is a rumor going around that the parcel of land
once used for cast members called Orangewood Lot (on Harbor
and Orangewood) will be sold off. The lot was once used as an
overflow lot for cast members, but the gang activity around
the area made it less than desirable for cast members parking
there after dark. It did not even have permanent or proper
lighting for night parking. It was eventually closed when
concerns were raised.
Stay tuned to this column for
even more astounding reader predictions.
David Koenig is the senior editor of the 80-year-old business journal, The Merchant Magazine.
After receiving his degree in journalism from California State University, Fullerton (aka Cal State Disneyland), he began years of research for his first book, Mouse Tales: A Behind-the-Ears Look at Disneyland (1994), which he followed with Mouse Under Glass: Secrets of Disney Animation & Theme Parks (1997, revised 2001) and More Mouse Tales: A Closer Peek Backstage at Disneyland (1999); all titles published by Bonaventure Press.
He lives in Aliso Viejo, California, with his lovely wife, Laura, their wonderful son, Zachary, and their adorable daughter, Rebecca.
You can contact David here.
Click here to go to David's main page for a list of archived articles.
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