MousePlanet Mailbag for September 9, 2004
We receive considerable feedback regarding our site. Although we cannot
publish them all, the following may be of interest to our readers.
We received quite a lot of responses regarding Karl Buiter's article
about the new Las Vegas Monorail system, which opened its four-mile stretch
along the Las Vegas Strip earlier this year, as well as its accompanying
photo profile by Alex Stroup of the dilapitated and abandoned monorails
now mothballed in Vegas (article).
Don Jones writes:
As a Las Vegas local, I enjoyed your article on our new Monorail, set
Bombardier had a heck of a time getting the computer controllers to
work; unlike WDW, our monorails don't have pilots. Instead, they rely
on a computer system to maintain an even gap between trains
for consistent service. Any holdups caused the system to crash, which
has finally been fixed.
Bombardier was paying late fees of up to $80,000 per week for the system
not running (it was supposed to open in March). Someone cleverly pointed
out that, for that kind of money, they could have hired a staff of pilots
for close to five years and ignored the computer problem
our Mark VIs don't have a cockpit. Ah well.
It's exciting to see one of Walt's fondest projects brought into the
mainstream in America's fastest-growing city. This is exactly what he
would have wanted.
When you get a sec
ask someone about the high-speed rail we're trying
to build from the Nevada line, so that Californians (something like
60% of our tourist trade during some parts of the year) can park
and ride instead of clogging Las Vegas Blvd.
Good story on the Las Vegas monorail. I can tell you put a lot of research
into it. My only quibble is the idea that this is going to greatly impact
traffic in Las Vegas. It will not. The monorail only runs along the
Strip, and thus only tourists for the most part will be using it. It's
main draw will be conventioneers who are attending a convention at the
Las Vegas Convention Center.
Even when (if) it is expanded downtown it still won't put a dent in
traffic because locals will still for the most part not use it. Some
locals work on the Strip and downtown, but nobody lives in those parts
Hi Jace Thank you for taking the time to write. I will make sure
to forward your comments to Karl, our writer for the article.
I agree that this may not fix all traffic problems in Vegas, but having
sat through really long cab rides to travel from the Luxor to Paris (half
an hour? That's nuts!) I think this will help a lot! Plus, it will be
great to have such a high-visibility project that is successful. Hopefully
they will build spurs and extensions, and other cities will join in, too.
Alan Douglas writes:
I really did enjoy Karl Buiter's article on the new Las Vegas monorail
network. I visited Las Vegas in late 2002 (After visiting Disneyland
Resort of course!) when construction on the track was well under way.
I rode on the existing MGM to Bally's line and I remember thinking that
the trains looked very much like the Disney Mark IVs, so thanks Karl
for confirming that for me. I do reckon that the Disney monorails' Lear
Jet noses look much more streamlined and stylish than the new
Las Vegas Bombardier Mark VI's rounded blunt nose. But I guess that's
progress for you, and it does make the new trains look distinctly different
from the Disney ones.
The new monorails will certainly be a step up from the old Disney trains
that still had manually operated passenger doors. However it is such
a shame to see them rusting and vandalized. I am sure that a buyer could
easily be found. Remember when eBay auctioned off just the nose (Although
the buyer did receive the whole carriage) of Disney World's Mark IV
monorail 'Red'? There seemed to be no shortage of keen bidders then
and it went for $20,000. You can check Monorails.org
for details and photos of Monorail Red being delivered to its new owner.
Alan Douglas Wellington, New Zealand (AKA Middle Earth)
I am so happy to see that Las Vegas sees these monorails as more than
just a tourist attraction or theme park ride. These truly are reliable,
safe, and just plain good-looking ways of mass transit. They compliment
the city surroundings and fit just about anywhere. I live in Clearwater,
Florida and recently there has been talk about running 'light rail'
through the area (Pinellas County). Many of those talks have included
monorail as an alternative to automobile congestion.
I am sad to see that the old Disney monorails that ran so reliably
at WDW and then in Las Vegas have just been abandoned in a railyard
and mercilessly vandalized. Let's hope that some historical society
can buy them and bring them back to glory in a museum of transportation.
I really enjoy the columns and articles. Please, keep it up!
Great article! The mothballed/abandoned trains are really a shame!
We were contacted by two different clients a few months ago about re-using
these for private projects.
One key omission in your article:
Gensler of Nevada was the architect and designer for all the fixed
facilities. We also were the architects for the initial one-mile long,
MGM - Bally's Monorail as well as the planned Downtown Extension (the
only member of the Team to work on every phase of the project). I am
the Project Director and have been involved since 1991 in the design
and planning of the system.
PS: We are doing professional photography of the station next month,
if you are interested in updates.
Thanks for the coverage!
Sincerely JF Finn, American Institute of Architects
Hi JF. Yes, we're interested! Please contact
me with your email address, please. Lani
Scott Jensen writes:
Now if that ain't the most sad sight I have seen.
For all these monorails done for Vegas's tests for a monorail system
and success, they put them in a field.
I know I have rode in those monorails many times when they were here
at WDW. I wish I could take them home with me but a museum or at least
in door storage is a more fitting place for them.
Thanks for sharing the pictures. I am glad they have their system up
and running (which I have been watching closely) but to have done that
to the old monorails was so sad. I am glad I was able to find a few
pics of them when they ran at the beginning of the Vegas monorails days
Scott with www.bigfloridacountry.com
In addition to his article about the Vegas monorails, Karl also got some
feedback about his profile of the Fantasy
Waters show at the Disneyland Hotel. Ben writes:
Hi. I just wanted to say thanks to Karl Buiter for his article on Fantasy
Waters at the Disneyland Hotel. I have a few comments about it, though.
The song from The Rescuers that he lists as Someone,
is actually Someone's Waiting for You. Also, Golden
Dreams from the American Adventure at Epcot was also used at Great
Moments with Mr. Lincoln at Disneyland. It was added in 1984 when Mr.
Lincoln was updated with many parts from American Adventure added in.
So, technically, the show is still Disneyland specific.
Anyway, thanks, and keep up the good work!
Send your thoughts, questions, or comments for Karl
I just have some questions I was wondering if you could answer. What
is the weight range for Disney princesses? Are some skinnier than others?
And is dance ability important in the audition process?
I looked around and couldn't find anything specifically about weightjust
height. If you call the audition number found on this
pagethey might tell you.
All the princesses I've seen look about the same weightbut it is
hard to tell (Ariel is in a body suit and Belle and Cinderella are always
in large ball gowns). I've heard they go for a certain look.
Movement is an important component for auditions. Some characters dance
and others do not, you might be asked to learn a basic dance (but they
will teach you the steps).
They might look at you and decide you might fit better as a different
characterlike Cruella or one of the fairies from Sleeping Beauty.
It all depends on what they have open.
For more on the auditions themselves, you might want to read
our article about face character auditions.
Hope that helps.
Shoshana continues to get raves about her article, Going
Solo at Disneyland. Don writes:
I read your article last week regarding visiting Disneyland on your
The article was timely in that I just spent the last 3 days at Disneyland
on my own.
I took advantage of your many tips. I have a fantastic time and your
advice made it even more enjoyable.
One thing in particular, the single rider line at Splash Mt was absolutely
the tip of the day. The wait time was 120 minutes and I was going to
head elsewhere when I remembered your single rider line tip. I checked
with the cast member at the Fastpass entrance and he handed me a single
rider pass and informed to go to the exit of the ride. I went in and
there were only 4 other single riders in front of me. I waited no more
than 5 minutes. It was so fantastic I did it a second time.
Thanks to you, I avoided missing out on a personal favorite attraction
that I otherwise would not have known about.
You made my morning. I'm so glad that you were able to enjoy a short
waittwicefor Splash (in the summer the line is beyond ridiculous).
Three days at the resort sounds like a wonderful vacation and I'm glad
you had a great time!
Send your thoughts, questions, or comments for Shoshana
I'm interested in purchasing meal voucher tickets for walt disney world.
i was wondering if you had any idea were to purchase these tickets?
if so, would you be kind enough to pass on this information. Thank you,
The most popular vouchers these days are the Quick and Casual
These can be used at counter service restaurants and include a full meal
plus tax and tip (if applicable).
The prices are $17.50 for these vouchers.
You can get these vouchers at Florida Orlando Tickets. For more info
go to their
I do not recommend the use of these vouchers unless you
do research and know how best to make use of them. You may not save as
much money as you think.
You possibly could save money on the Character Breakfast vouchers but
not that much. For info on these vouchers go to their
character dining page.
There are other sources for these vouchers but they may be higher priced
and come with a membership fee requirement.
If you are really interested in trying out these vouchers, please consider
going to Florida Orlando Tickets. By the way neither myself nor MousePlanet
is compensated by them
I just know that I have yet to hear a complaint
Good luck and please let me know how things pan out.
Send your thoughts, questions, or comments for Mike
Lynne Brochu writes:
I was curious if you would know where I can find a a list of when Disney
plans to re-release videos? I having been waiting for several years
for the The Jungle Book to come out again since our copy got
I believe The Jungle Book is getting a nice Platinum Edition makeover,
and the word I've heard is that they might be reissuing it in 2006 or
Hope that helps.
We reported in an
earlier Park Update: Disneyland about Disneyland's Happiest
Faces on Earth photo submission project. Sue Flores writes:
The paper says to go to address at subject above, but when I do I can't
find any information about sending in photos for your amazing photo
collages. Please advise. Sue
Hi Sue - Make sure when you go to disneyland.com/photos that you click
on the Skip Intro link at the Web site. It will then take
you to the main information page. From there, you can click on the blue
Start Here button for the actual submission process.
Thanks for writing!
Send your thoughts, questions, or comments to our mailbag
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.
January: 6, 13, 20, 27
February: 3, 10, 17
March: 10, 17, 31
April: 14, 21, 28
June: 2, 9, 30
July: 7, 28
August: 4, 11, 18, 25
September: 4, 15, 22, 29
January: 8, 15, 22
Febuary: 12, 19, 26
March: 18, 25
April: 1, 8, 15, 22, 29
May: 13, 20
June: 3, 17, 24
July: 1, 22, 29
August: 5, 26
September: 9, 23,
October: 14, 21, 28
November: 4, 18
December: 2, 9
September: 4, 18
August: 21, 28
July: 10, 17, 24, 31
May: 22, 29
April: 10, 24
March: 6, 13, 27
February: 13, 20
January: 9, 16, 30
December: 5, 12,
Help us continue to bring you fresh daily news about Disney
and its theme parks.