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Questions, Comments, and Corrections

MousePlanet Mailbag for September 4, 2003

We receive considerable feedback regarding our site. Although we cannot publish all of them, the following may be of interest to other readers.

General comments and questions

Ray writes:

I have some old ticket books and E-coupons from the late 1970s. Will Walt Disney World still allow these to be used for admission to the Magic Kingdom? I was just curious to see if I showed up with an E-ticket to ride Space Mountain, wouldn't they let me in?

I forwarded your inquiry to Werner Weiss, webmaster for our partner site, He writes:

A complete, unused Disneyland ticket book can still be traded in for a one-day park pass, even if it was bought back in the 1950s, 1960s, or 1970s. Remaining A, B, C, D, and E tickets in incomplete ticket books have only a minimal cash value toward new tickets. I have to admit that I'm impressed that Disneyland still honors ticket books from many decades ago.

A guest should take the old ticket books to City Hall in Disneyland or to Guest Relations at California Adventure. I assume that “minimal” means that an E coupon, despite having a face value of 75 cents, would be worth much less. That's because because the value is calculated in relation to the price of a ticket book, in which attraction tickets were substantially discounted.

My guess is that the old ticket books are worth far more on eBay than at City Hall. I'm not a collector, but I've been told that unused books in good condition are highly valued by collectors. Even ticket books missing the park admission ticket are still valuable. The value goes down as more tickets have been used.

Joy asks:

This may sound really dumb, but my husband and boys love the cinnamon churros at Disneyland. We are going to Disney World for the first time this December, and they say it just won't seem Disney until they bite into one of those yummy treats in Florida. Do you know if they are sold anywhere in the parks down there? A personal answer would be appreciated.

Hope someone out there can give you an answer, Joy.

Mike writes:

I am a Security CM. I always thought that security was good. We had a lot covered and always enough security for back up. We always had enough supervisors to respond to situations. There was security at most gates you couldn't walk to far without seeing security. Due to budget cuts alot of security is being cut back more than half. I don't think it is going to be as safe as it use to be. Respose time is going to be alot longer and it will incovinince many. find out what you readers think of all the cutbacks in security.

Feedback for Park Update: Disneyland

We received quite a bit of mail from readers after we ran a Disneyland Park Update about the new Tower of Terror attraction at Disney's California Adventure park.

Keith writes:

Regarding the description of how DCA's Tower of Terror allegedly will work, it may not be (quite) as bad as it may seem.

First, let me say that eliminating the Fifth Dimension scene is inexcusable. It takes a lot to impress me, but the Tower of Terror absolutely blew me away (and still does). The execution of the Fifth Dimension scene in particular is quite simply, perfect. The horizontal motion is at first delightfully unsettling, but then it gets even more bizarre and unsettling, as various devices toy with your senses.

Finally plunged into total darkness, you have a slight sense of motion (apparently up into the drop shaft)—but it's so smooth you can't quite tell how fast, how far, or in what direction you're moving. Therein lies the possibility for DCA's arrangement to be at least “passable.” They may well be able to move guests horizontally without their even being aware of it. But they will be missing not only the best part of the ride, but also one of the most! brilliant and elegantly executed scenes Disney has ever done!

As to the “Magic Mirror,” I can't for the life of me recall anything like that in Test Track, but there was such an effect at the finale of Test Track's predecessor, World of Motion. The “Magic Mirror” (using the same technique as the Haunted Mansion's “Hitchhiking Ghosts” scene) transformed the Omnimover vehicles in which guests were riding, into futuristic cars. It's hardly a “new”effect, nor is it even remotely a worthy replacement for the Fifth Dimension.

One final note, which I'm surprised no one else has mentioned. The DCA Tower looks like crap, at least in the photos I've seen. The WDW version is richly detailed inside and out. The incredible detail on the exterior—which goes a long way toward setting the mood—is visibly absent in the DCA version. Perhaps they didn't want to set expectations too high?


Richard K. writes:

The issue of whether the version of Tower of Terror built in DCA would have the “Fifth Dimension” room was settled long ago: it won't. However, I can assure you that this is no great loss. The theming throughout the queue, the library with Rod Serling's introduction, and the appearance (when the elevator doors first open) of the ghostly family down the hall, after which everthing, including the interior of the elevator, turns into a star field, are the important Disney touches to this attraction. Of course, you then get bounced up and down like a yo-yo.

The “Fifth Dimension” room is visible the second time the elevator door opens (in Walt Disney World) and you see some odd looking glass display cases with stuff in them on either side of you. You can't really tell what the stuff is, and you can clearly see a track on the floor in front of you. For first-time riders, there is a bit of a surprise when the elevator rolls forward out of the shaft, but it certainly is not what the ride is about, and its elimination won't be a big deal...

Anyone who's ridden Tower of Terror in Florida more than once knows the elevator will move forward past some stuff they don't recognize before it drops. The experience in DCA will be a slightly different one, and the moment of hesitation before the first drop will be different, but it probably won't be any less “good.” (An analogous situation is the reaction of some people to the version of “The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh,” which has recently opened in Disneyland. The Anaheim version of the ride is actually superior to the one in Orlando, though from the internet grumbling you wouldn't know it.)

Riders in DCA will be thrilled by The Tower of Terror, just as those who've ridden it in Florida have been for years.

Hi Richard;

Thank you so much for your (more than) two cents—your comments are great, and simply make me all the more curious about the new ride.

As an adult who grew up having “falling elevator” dreams as a child, I was absolutely petrified with worry about whether I would have the nerve to go on Tower of Terror—as soon as I learned I was going to Walt Disney World. My husband and a couple of wonderful friends talked me into it. If it weren't for the themed show, I would have written it off altogether. But I have been on Tower of Terror in subsequent visits to the park, and I think it's great that the visitors to the California resort will get to share in such a fine and well-crafted attraction.

Again, thanks for taking the time to write with your opinions. I really appreciate it!

-- Lani

Feedback for Park Update: Walt Disney World

The following relates to news we relayed about Residential Street closing in our Park Update: Walt Disney World back in July 21.

A cast member writes:

It is great to visit this site and see articles so frequently. For the most part, everything is world class in these columns.

I was just reading today and wanted to clarify that on August 5th, Cast Members at WDW were told the future of The Osbourne Family Lights. At the annual business update, our feelings were confirmed that the “Spectacle of Lights” would not show up in any way shape or form this year.

There is no time and no one wanted to split the lights up around property. They are all being stored in the old Hunchback Theater (Backlot Theater). They won't be there for too long. The new building facades and flats of San Francisco will go at the the end of that street. This will go along with the Chicago Flats at the end of the street opposite SF.

The plans do include an El Train going back and forth (as theming, not to ride) in front of the skyline flats. The New York Street will be like Big City Street.

To demonstrate movies being made in small spaces to represent many places: NY, SF, Chicago, DC, and beyond Washington Square will be the Mediterannean Facades of the Stunt Show whose sets will be exactly like that of the one in Paris.

The first stunt car will be delivered this October and one of the Jumbotron Screens is already complete. The Backlot Tram tour will also drive through the facades as an entertaining part of the tour. It seems that whether the show is going on or not, the tram will drive through the show after Catastrophe Canyon. After the Tram tour goes down for three months in early 2004, the final redirect of the trams will be complete.

Soundstage 4 that used to be used for the “Making Of...” attractions at the Studios will host The Haunted Mansion Movie exhibit. Guests will stroll through the actual ballroom set that has already been delivered and set up and will see props and costumes from the movie. The dinning table used in the film will also be direct from the set and a large screen will give away some secrets from making this movie. This will be between Millionaire and One Man's Dream. It will open in Fall.

The new Animation Tour is undergoing heavy change to update and become more interactive. In today's world, people want more time to be part of something, and take something away. The old Walter Cronkite and Robin Williams movies will say good-bye.

Like DCA Animation tour, a theater with interactive artist's desk will be seen in the first theater. A real artist (not actor) will interact with the audience and use the Mushu material to start the tour. The group will continue through the tour as normal until the wall screen is shown.

The second theater with the beautiful moments will also be missed as it is transformed into an art class. The tour guests (or members of each group in the tour) will be taught by Disney artists on how to draw some Disney characters on their artist desk and be allowed a take-away. The Animation Tour will be done by Halloween. We will also be doing simple corrections and rehab to the pavement in the Animation Courtyard and be adding FP to Playhouse Disney Show next door.

With all this coming in the not-so-long future, it is awesome. Although everyone is excited for the changes to the park, we are crossing our fingers for an announcement, if we are lucky after the upcoming Magical Gatherings 15-month celebration, for the Studios to acquire at least one more attraction... something people get on and move around in, I mean. It would be perfect in the far left corner of the park. With so many properties to use, keeping guests on the Muppet Vision/Big City Street side of the park should be easy.

After that, some people hope that there will be a new future for Drew Carey's Sounds Dangerous and the old FX tour that is right off of the Water FX tank and goes through the soundstages and could lead to the soon to open Haunted Mansion Exhibit. Here's to hoping.

Mark writes:

I have a trip scheduled for WDW in October and we are going to go to Epcot on Oct 9. I have seen the park hours for Epcot on the 9th and it says that they close both parts of the park at 3pm. Is this true or is it a mistake?

Thanks for your help.

From what we know, this is correct. Walt disney World is hosting a three-day international press event October 8-10, and Epcot is closing early for the press event surrounding the official grand opening of Misison: Space.

Feedback for Lani Teshima

Pam wrote:

I read your reply about getting to the second Fantasmic show during the crowds after and I have a little advice that worked for my family and I. Keep in mind when I say “my family,” I mean all 15 of us that usually make the Disneyland trip. We range in age from 18 months to 78 years.

We found a good place to sit near Rancho del Zocalo in Frontierland right after the start of the first show. We were able to run to the restrooms, grab a sweatshirt or drink, etc. A couple of us even hit Big Thunder while we were there. There are plenty of benches and places to sit there.

Once Fantasmic was about 3/4 over, we headed over by the French Market. You can't stop along the way because the cast members move you along. Right at the end of Fantasmic, start moving down toward the river through the crowd. The cast members usually don't stop you, especially if you look like you know where you're going. Then just stay standing while everyone clears out and kind of stake your claim!

It worked pretty well for all of us because of our different levels of mobility. The grammys stayed with the stroller up by the French Market, while the rest of us moved down and got our place. Then we sent someone to get the grammys and the stroller. Hope this helps. It worked for us.

Hi Pam – Wow, trying to coordinate the movement of 15 people must be a real task! Rancho del Zocalo sounds like a great spot... and of course, that conjures up images of you dressed like a herding cowboy—yeeehah!

Thanks for the tip. I'll share it with our readers.

Pam replied:


Thanks for the reply. It was like leading a herd! As you might expect, I was in the lead with a stroller no less. I try hard not to be a commando stroller mom, but, boy, people sure do get out of your way when they see a stroller followed by 13 people, including three grammys, walking hand in hand like a human chain down the walkway to the center of the Rivers of America. Even the cast members got out of our way.

Hope it helps and keep up the great work as always! Can't wait to get back to Disneyland December 2003!

Doreen writes:

i have severe wheat and dairy allergies and will need to finda natural food store or health food store near Disneyland as soon as i get there... if this isn't your area of expertise... could you pass my question on to someone else. i would truly appreciate it. i've tried to find listings through web yello pages, but not much help.

Doreen – The closest health food store to Disneyland is the Naturway Health Foods store, located at 1010 North Euclid St. That is roughly three miles from the resort. I don't know if you have a rental car, but you should be able to take a taxi to get there fairly easily. Give them a call at (714) 956-0262 to find out if they sell the foods you need.

You don't mention where you are staying, but make sure you ask for a refrigerator in your room to keep your food.

In addition, some of the nicer restaurants at the resort will be happy to accommodate your restrictions, especially if you make arrangements with them in advance.

Have a wonderful trip!

Adrienne Vincent-Phoenix also provides the following:

Mother's Market.

They don't have a Web site as much as a sign post, but it lists their three current locations.

Mother's is basically a giant “health food” grocery store. None of the locations are exactly close to Disneyland—all are about 20-30 minutes away—but they are definitely the best. They have a full grocery section—most of the grocery items are grouped by lifestyle—low carb, low salt, wheat-free, and so on.

They also have a huge vitamin and nutritional suppliment section, produce, deli, frozen foods and the like. Mother's Kitchen is a mostly-vegetarian restaurant inside the store, which also has a juice counter.

The Costa Mesa location is not the closest store, but it's the fastest drive. The Huntington Beach location is techincally closer, but it's a long drive down Beach Boulevard.

Regarding the All About Merchandise article on pressed pennies (August 6), elongated coin collector Robert Hoff writes:

Hi Lani;

I just read your article.

First we want to thank you for helping share this great hobby with your readers.

My daughter and I started collecting in the late 1980s and in the 1990s watched a small group of collectors grow one by one, to the large numbers of people that collect today, thanks to mainly to the internet. Matter of fact, most did not ever think that there was even one other person that collected these little treasures until they read an article about the hobby. I need not tell you that articles like yours are very much appreciated.

However, and please forgive me in advance, I am worried that after reading your article, some readers might paint coins and then place them in the penny presses. This can (and has) on occasion left very tenacious deposits on the die that spoils the coins rolled by the people that follow. It is done by some collectors, but it has become a problem lately, much like the pressing of foreign coins.

I ask you help in discouraging these practices as they can cause maintenance issues which can result in the loss of penny presses and disappointed souvenir seekers. I look forward to your future articles. If we can help with an introduction to the man that to many is “The Father of the Disneyland Penny Presses,” provide scans or values, or reference copies of past articles written about Disneyland pressed coins for TEC or NFFC, please let us know.

Happy collecting, Bob and Stasi Hoff

When queried about coating coins, Robert wrote back:

Hi Lani;

Yes, any coating on the coins can cause the problem.

We own a couple of machines that are part of our collection. They are old machines that were on duty back East in the days of their youth. We sometimes roll coins for people with them. Often times, we will coat the coin with opaque stain or clear lacquer to show original coin detail after it has been pressed. However, that is in a machine that is open and can be cleaned after/during use.

Coin-operated machines, like the ones from Eurolink that are often seen at the Disney parks, are maintained by people other than those that press coins with them. So, when a stained or lacquered coin is pressed, the “presser” can not clean the die. This is a problem as the paint will build up on the back die and work it's way to the front die.

Also, commonly the coin is pressed incorrectly (wrong side) and the paint winds up on the front die directly. This fills the engraving and may linger for many rolls, marring each coin until the die is worn clean, or a maintenance call discovers and corrects it.

Not as common but if you visit the park twice a week for a few years looking at the machines each time, you will see sometimes these painted coins stuck in the “drop” and jamming the machine. This is from the paint on the outside edge of the coin, which makes the coin just a little bit too big for some machines that are adjusted tight to stop some foreign coins from getting between the dies.

Whew! Am I wordy or what? Sorry for being so gabby! But thank you for asking about ECs.

Happy collecting, Bob ...and Stasi

Cathy writes:

Hi Lani,

Just wanted to you to know I enjoyed your pressed penny article very much, as your timing couldn't have been better. We leave for DL on Saturday and have saved up our quarters and pre-1982 pennies and have staked out our favorite character/attraction presses. You're right, they are the perfect souvenir, especially for kids. Thanks for your article!


Hi Cathy;

Thanks for your kind note. I really think pressed pennies are the best little hobbies for kids (and adults who are kids at heart, like me!). They're cheap, they encourage the inquisitiveness of kids by giving them a goal to find and spot the machines, and it's something they can show off when the get home.

If you haven't had a chance, take a look at Lou's list of Disneyland pennies at Stuart's Web site. Lou is very thorough, and updates that list regularly.

Have a wonderful trip!

Feedback for Mark Goldhaber

Sheree writes:

Hi Mark,

Thank you for your trip reports. I really enjoy reading them. I would like to know why the posting of trip reports has changed? When Brian maintained the trip reports he would post several reports in the archives before they were splashed on the main page. This was great for people who wanted to print several reports to read while traveling or for people who are looking for a report from a specific hotel. Now the reports seem to be doled out one or two a week. I am not sure you are the right person to ask but thank you for any info you can provide.


Brian did a great job of handling a lot of work. When he left, the workload was split among many people who already had lots of responsibilities. While I am not responsible for the processing of trip reports, I believe that the person handling them only has time to process them at the same rate as they go onto the main page. Therefore, they're not ready to go into the archives before they hit the main page. You can still check the archives for the same information, you just won't see the articles that have been processed but not published on the front page yet. I believe that the trip reports are coming in at a rate of about 2-3 per week, and that's the rate that they're hitting the front page. I hope that this answers your questions.


[We've updated the Trip Report main page, including adding a prominent link for those who want to submit trip reports. – Editor]

Comments are still coming in to Mark for his series of Windows on Main Street.

Justin P. writes:

What a wonderful series of articles describing the tribute windows. I have always been considered a Disney expert (read fantatic) by family, friends and fellow CMs, but one subject that I have never had good answers too were all of these windows. Unfortunately, my own research on this subject has not progressed much in several years.

I am not certain about the Magic Kingdom, but at Disneyland there is at least one window tribute that is not on Main Street. I believe that Harper Goff's window is in Adventureland, the reason is not at my immediate disposal.

Anyway, thanks again for sharing your hard work. I look forward to your next series about the hidden Imagineer tributes, as the Imagineers are my second most favored thing in the world, next to Walt.

Hi Justin,

It took a bit of work for me to track down the information on some of these. The information book that they keep behind the desk at City Hall was helpful with some of the names, I found some great information via the Internet (though finding the right search query was an interesting exercise), and Dave Smith at the Disney Archives was a great help with those that I couldn't track down anywhere else.

That's interesting information about Harper Goff at Disneyland. Maybe I'll try to follow up on that one.

I'm glad you enjoyed the series, and I hope that I have something that's new to you in the hidden Imagineers article. I wanted to be an Imagineer for a long time, but these days I'm not so sure with the job security issue. (That doesn't stop me from collecting Imagineering paraphernalia, though.)

Thanks for writing!

Mark's reply piqued Justin's interest. He writes:

Hi Mark,

Thanks for the quick reply. If you don't mind me asking, what discipline were you considering practicing as an Imagineer. I am always interested to talk to others who follow the Imagineers. For I, too, have been working towards that goal since I was 9—and that was long time ago.

My love affair with the Flower St. Gang started after I had read the last section in Christopher Finch's wonderful book “The Art of Walt Disney” and was solidified the first time I stepped foot in the Magic Kingdom some 28 years ago. My life's mission was to become one he people who made the rides work and now I am an electrical engineer with a deep passion for ride systems.

Even though there are questions about one's job security within WDI, in reality, it is not much better in most places right now. Fortunately several key items, in my opinion, have occurred to help bolster WDI. First was the departure of Paul Pressler, I could go on for days, but as a TDS cast member I know what it is was like working for him, not directly of course.

Second, was the promotion of Jay Rasulo, even though I have not personally experienced Disneyland Paris, I am most pleased with reports of how well that property has progressed in recent years and am encouraged for future developments here in the States. Lastly, was that whom ever took over the reigns had to understand that the Guests do not just come to shop. but to experience new unique adventures and the old classics that the Imagineers are so good at creating. I for one am moving, albeit at slower than expected pace, towards transferring into WDI.

I hope that you too will someday be able to achieve your dream.

Hi Justin,

Sorry it took so long to reply this time around. I was on a family vacation without access to email.

The desire to work for Disney was kind of a growing thing with me. I always enjoyed all things Disney, but it never really occurred to me that Disney could actually be a career option until after seeing Disney highlighted in “In Search of Excellence” in a Management class in college. The desire fermented in me for a while, and I sent my first resume after meeting the presenter of a session on Disney hiring and orientation procedures at a technology conference and asking him for information on whom to target my resume to.

I originally had thought of myself as a story man, maybe writing stuff for Imagineering. I especially thought that I would be able to contribute in “plussing” attractions, as my occasionally nit-picking ways help me to see additional improvements to already great ideas. (Of course, others just think that it makes me an egotistical pain in the neck. It probably works both ways.) I also considered doing computing support for initiatives, but I never got very far. Part of my problem was that I wasn't really focused enough on making it happen. I guess I had too much else going on in my life at the time. Now, I've got too many tethers to staying where I am, so I've come to terms with not working for Disney, and I content myself with writing articles and trip reports for MousePlanet.

I agree that things are looking up a little for Imagineering with the replacement of Paul Pressler by Jay Rasulo, but there are still prevailing issues with upper corporate management that keep the outlook questionable. As we still feel that we don't want to move in the near future due to our desire to keep our current medical teams for certain family members, I'm going to have to keep my Disney dreams on hold. Good luck with yours, however. Let me know when you make it inside the Mouseworks!


Darren writes:

Wow. An article about the Windows on Main Street and you cannot devote a picture to some of the more important contributors to WDW? Who do I mean? How about Roy O. Disney, for one. Let's face it, the place wouldn't have been built if it weren't for Roy after Walt died. Roger Broggie, obviously too inconsequential a player to show the window, eh? Herb Ryan, Mary Blair, et al, who contributed to WDW's overall look from the outset. Dick Nunis? 'Nuff said. And as an aside, if you want to tell people that you already talked about someone like Ron Miller in Part I, how about a hyperlink so people can easily get to that information?

Overall, this was a very disappointing article on your site. It almost seemed as if it were too much work towards the end. “Let's see, we showed a few pictures at the top, so let's just cram in the rest of the info and then show Walt's window and everyone will be happy.”

I would have loved to put pictures of those other windows in. Heck, I would have loved to have published photos of every window. However, while I was reviewing my photos, I decided that my the pictures of those windows were not really publication-quality. I put in the best of the lot that I had for this group of windows.

You'll notice that each article only had about nine photos in it. That's the reason. If they were bunched up at the top, that's my fault in how I ordered the article. I didn't spread the photos out enough. There was no slight of anyone intended. In fact, my write-up under Roy's window specifically states: “Arguably, Roy was singlehandedly the most important person in making Walt Disney World happen.” That doesn't sound like a slight to me. Or did you not read the write-ups and only look at the pictures? The pictures aren't everything.

Joe B. from Jacksonville, Florida writes:


I absolutely loved your Main Street Windows article. We live in Florida and travel to WDW several times per year. While I was aware of the decorated windows on Main Street I had no idea of the significance of their names. My father is a retired real estate developer and model railroad enthusiast and was friends with Dick Nunis, Ward Kimball and others. I just sent him a note about your article; he will really enjoy it. Thanks for taking the time to produce such interesting stuff.

Joe B., Jacksonville, FL

Hi Joe,

Thanks for the compliment! I love sharing Disney knowledge and stories. Actually, if your father has any stories about the Disney folks that he'd be willing to share, I'd love to hear them! I'm sure many folks out there would love to hear stories about some of the Disney Legends, or even the not-so-legends. I know I would.

Thanks for writing, and let me know if your father would be interested in sharing!



Do you have specific questions about an upcoming trip to Disneyland, Walt Disney World or another park, or do you need help with your trip planning? While you can contact one of the columnists, we encourage you to join our special MousePlanet community on our MousePad discussion board. There, you will find like-minded Disney park fans who can try to help answer your questions.


Did you read something interesting (good or bad) on MousePlanet, or here in the Mailbag? We'd love to hear from you! Send your comments to the Mailbag here.

We welcome your questions and comments, but keep in mind that all questions submitted to MousePlanet become property of this Web site. Letters of interest to the readership may be published, and may include your full name unless you specifically request that your last name not be published. They may be edited for length or style and in consideration of a family readership. Questions may also be quoted on other parts of the site as well.



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