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MousePlanet Mailbag for June 24, 2004

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

Today, we shine our spotlight on some of the many comments we got regarding Disneyland's 50th Anniversary celebration, which we have covered in both our Park Update: Disneyland, as well as in “The Happiest Celebration on Earth: Disney unveils plans for Disneyland's 50th anniversary celebration,” which we ran last month.

Feedback for the Mailbag

Mike Ricciardi provides a pretty inspired list of things he would like to see Disneyland do to celebrate the 50th. He writes:

Although there are many wonderful things that were announced for the 50th anniversary, they missed a golden opportunity to really bring back a lot of visitors from the past. Here's what they could have done:

1. Restore the original Golden Horseshoe Revue – certainly they could have found a few of the original cast members and perhaps a guest appearance by Wally Boag, himself. Let us not forget that Walt and Lillian Disney celebrated their 3oth anniversary in this historic theatre on Wednesday July 13, 1955. Something else: this stage was used for a Disneyland Television Special. Notable performers like Ed Wynn, Annette Funicello and the original Dapper Dans appeared.

2. Reunite all the original Dapper Dans since 1955

3. Re-establish a classic Disneyland event known as Dixieland at Disneyland – The great Harry James, Louis Armstrong and Louis Prima all appeared at this event.

4. Restore the Mike Fink Keel Boats – with a launch from TOM SAWYERS ISLAND/ THis would help the traffic exiting from the Tom Sawyer island attraction while re-establishing a classic ride from the past.

5. Reestablish the Firehouse Five Plus Two group

6. Replace the Limo ride and re-establish the Country Bears in an attraction that could be called “The Country Bears Go Hollywood"

7. Establish $19.55 admission for the selected days and hours

8. Do a major refurbishment of the Tiki Room

9. Reduce price for the “Through Walt's Eyes” tour to $19.55

10. Re-establish the Twin Peak Waterfalls that were part of the Frontierland landscape

11. Re-invent the Skyway to Fantasyland

12. Establish one of Walt's cherished plans for the park “One Nation Under God” in a Liberty Street Attraction or Edition Square type of attraction

13. Release a new Muppet film for the Muppet Adventure – It was okay for 1992 but not today. Miss Piggy as the Statue of Liberty losing her dress does not cut it in a post-9/11 world.

14. We need an “E” attraction for DCA – Does anybody remember plans for a cowboy and Indian attraction called Thunder Mesa? Can't do Indians with cowboys today, but it could be with prospectors and the gold rush.

15. How about we dump the name California Adventure for the name Eureka!

Just a few suggestions. And to all those sharp-pencil boys—kindly remember what Walt used to say: “We Never Do Anything Twice” and “You Can't Top Pigs With Pigs” So start thinking original. Start thinking like our founder did!

Daniel writes:

It seems that a lot of people are disappointed in the 50th anniversary plans. I'm not disappointed, but I'm not overwhelmed. I think a lot of fans set themselves up for disappointments. With Paul Pressler gone and now cast member Mat (as he is called) in charge people just assumed that things would be better. Maybe cast member Matt does have a better vision then Paul would have but he still has to face the reality of Eisner and his penny pinching ways.

I'm glad they are not reopening Subs and Peoplemover. If Disneyland is going to do anything, I'd rather they spend their resources moving forward, not backward.

As far as Walt Disney World getting way better attractions on Disneyland's birthday goes, I don't think that is the case. It may seem that way, but I think Walt Disney World were getting those attractions anyway. They are just using the 50th anniversary as a marketing tool to promote them, because they were opening around that time anyway. That's how I see it.

Disneyland has its history. Walt himself has walked around the park. It is an original. There is no doubt that Disneyland is great.

But let's face it. Walt Disney World in Orlando is far superior in almost every way. Its size, its cleanliness, its attractions. If I lived elsewhere than Southern California and I had to choose between Disneyland and Walt Disney World for my family vacation, I'd choose Walt Disney World every single time. Disney knows this. Walt Disney World generates more revenue for them, they get a lot for tourists as apposed to locals, so yeah, Walt Disney World is going to get more and better stuff. As they should.

Don't get me wrong, I love Disneyland and I'm looking forward to the 50th stuff. But I understand the reality of the situation. I'm fine with them adding stuff to Walt Disney World. Gives me a reason to go back.

Stewart writes:

My parents celebrated their 50th anniversary 4 years ago. They didn't want a fancy party, or any big celebration. They chose to spend the time with family and we had a nice dinner. We talked, we laughed, we cried (a little) and we simply enjoyed each other's company.

People are “disappointed” (that's what I gather from the press it's been getting) that Disneyland won't be getting lots of new “stuff” for its 50th “Birthday.” Well, maybe that's a good thing. Seems to me like the best way to spend the time and money between now and the 50th is to fix everything that's already there so that it's in pristine condition (and that's what they seem to be doing). We are getting a new attraction (Buzz).

We are getting a new parade. We are getting a new Fireworks show. We are getting a new Space Mountain. We are getting a new retrospective in a very underutilized facility (Mr. Lincoln). The castle is being tastefully made over for the 50th. A lot of little things are getting fixed (all the work on Main St; Tomorrowland pavement; Tiki Room overhaul, etc., etc., etc.). All these things take time and money—and well, when you are fifty, sometimes a good makeover is the best thing you could get!

Am I disappointed? A little. Am I going to visit during the 50th? Absolutely! If, for nothing else, to see Walt's Dream in the best shape that it's been in, in say, 50 years? Sure—there are areas that need to be worked on (Tomorrowland comes to mind immediately)—but that's always been the case (except during the “glory days of Tomorrowland” from the 1968 Rehab up until the closing of America Sings)—Disneyland is looking pretty good for a 50 year old (almost)—and with the good makeover that it seems to be getting these days, it will be even better for the 50th.

See you at Disneyland!

Steven writes:

Where are the giveaways like the free cars when they did the 30th anniversary? The park should give something, not just raise the prices.

I also feel that they should do something different… Redoing a ride that they already have… Come on, Disney trying to pull something over on us… A parade? Don't they have one now? Hmmm, a firework show? Still nothing different.

I really don't know what I'd like to see, so maybe I should try working for them since I don't have any ideas either and get paid tons of cash for nothing, but I do think that they should come up with something unique to make this 50th something special for everyone that loves Disneyland… After all, isn't that what the Imagineers get paid for? Well, these are just my thoughts at the moment.

Elizabeth Field writes:

My husband and I were so disappointed on the plans for the celebration at Disneyland. It seems that Disney World is getting the better end of the deal. We went to Disneyland last year, going this year, and have plans of being there for the 50th.

I grew up going to Disneyland on a regular basis. Almost seems like it will be just another trip to Disneyland. Don't get me wrong, Disneyland is a lot of fun. We love it! However, considering that this is Disneyland's 50th Anniversary, well, it just seems very disappointing on what they have planned for the park. As I was reading the article to my husband, he said, “Wait a minute. I thought this was Disneyland's 50th Anniversary. I didn't realize it was Disney World's 50th Anniversary.”

We are also very upset that they will be taking Soarin' Over California away. Heck, that's one of the best rides in the California Adventure park. And let me tell you, that park needs all the help it can get.

Hi Elizabeth – You will be pleased to know that the Soarin' Over California ride is not closing at the Disney's California Adventure park. It's that Walt Disney World in Florida is getting a copy of it. One of the few hits at DCA, and it has to share it with its Florida sibling. So it's not quite as bad as losing the ride, but it's again taking some of the spotlight away from the Anaheim park, isn't it?

—Lani

Elizabeth replied:

Thank you for the info. My husband and I are very happy to hear that.

Gary Baldassari writes:

Seems like the finest in spreadsheet entertainment has come home to roost. Maybe they can put up the likeness of a giant contract, in 3D and color, with the smell of new paper, to keep the park guests attention.

Stan Schwarz writes:

I agree with the disturbing non-announcement and lack of new attractions for Disneyland Park for its 50th. At least, as you stated, they could have told people if they will ever bring back the submarines.

There are other issues that Disneyland's 50th doesn't seem to address here. As you stated, what will become of the Rocket Rod track in Tommorowland, and why won't they tell us? Why take out the Lincoln attraction, and will it return? I agree with you there.

You know, Disney Company makes its own decisions independent of what its frequent visitors think. I don't hear them asking questions like, if you had a say so, how would you improve Disneyland Resort? What attractions would you like to see? They don't ask us!

Charlie writes:

How very disapointing! Thats all that can be said. It's, “How can we do this on the cheap?” Another example why Eisner and those who blindly support him must go.

Jarred writes:

I'm very dissapointed, Walt Disney World gets 6 new rides and attractions betwwen now and the end of the celebration and the Disneyland Resort gets magor ones, a parade, and a fireworks show. So much for Disneyland Park at the Disneyland Resort being their flagship park. Buzz Lightyear will be the second ride in three years to have a borrowed concept from Florida. This is sad. Walt must be flipping in his grave.

Phil Riordan writes:

As I understand it, the completion of the Disneyland theme park was made possible by the success of the 1954 Disneyland television show. And that show's success was due to the popularity of it's first big hit, Davy Crockett. I am disappointed not to see mention of Fess Parker, who played Davy Crockett, in Disneyland's anniversary plans. Mr. Parker was at the opening ceremonies of Disneyland, and he should be a part of it's 50th Anniversay celebration.

JR writes:

Well, no one has botherd to mention that, in spite of promises, Space Mountain will not be reopened at Disneyland until well after the birthdate! Its reopening has apparently been put off again, this time until November 2005.

Karen Hahm writes:

Hey there!

I think it is absolutely brilliant to celebrate the 50th Anniversary as it is a thing to show the world that Disney is still alive. I would love to be there and celebrate the 50th Anniversary in the Disney World Resort Florida as it is the Place where my Disney madness broke out. I never thought I would be so affected by the whole thing but it is a different world and since then I met so many people with the same feeling. Celebrate it and let the World know that Disney is the place where dreams come from. I will try to save money to be a part of the celebrations next year as I always wanted to come back.


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