Yes, it has been a while. And yes, sometimes it takes that long to gather and
confirm things for you. Thanks as always for your patience.
Summer is underway and
so far things look
promising for both Disneyland and DCA this season, or at least promising
once they finally get those new monorails up and running. But go beyond
the surface in a few key areas around Anaheim and you'll find some people
increasingly worried about the direction Anaheim is headed, at least in
the short term. In this update we'll fill you in on all the latest
gossip around Disneyland, and why things aren't going as well as they
should be for folks up WDI's Glendale offices.
Got that Jamba Juice unbagged yet? Have that PowerBar
unwrapped by now? Well then let's get going with the update
today shall we? - Al
It's Midway Mania...
Let's begin by wrapping up the coverage on DCA's newest attraction,
Midway Mania. Or, if you are one of the stubborn creative types in
Marketing, Toy Story Mania! The ride itself has been operating daily
for about a month now, playing host to tens of thousands of Cast Members
and Imagineers, their families, and most recently Annual Passholders and
regular DCA day visitors.
Thus far WDI is thrilled with both the formal and informal feedback
they've been receiving from all of the preview riders. This was never
meant to be an E Ticket, but rather a solid D Ticket, and in that role
it seems to be living up to the goals set out for it by its designers
and budget. Also thrilled thus far is Anaheim's
Operations and Maintenance departments, as the preview phase of the
attraction opening has showed that the ride system and technology used
is surprisingly reliable. Certainly there have been some minor technical
issues to work through with the 3-D screens and the interactive effects.
But the ride system itself is proving to be an operator's dream, and
headaches and troubles have been few and far between, which is a great
sign at this early stage.
As the hand selected crew of Attractions CM's learn the ropes and get
the hang of operating the ride, they're now able to pull in 1,000
per hour counts and keep the line consistently shuffling past Mr. Potato
Head. Luckily for those CM's, the Anaheim executive team resisted the
urge to add in a Fastpass line,
which makes the overall operation of the ride much simpler and easier to
deal with. The executives out in WDW weren't as savvy however, as they've
saddled the Florida version with Fastpass and a Single Rider Line.
Since that decision was made midway through the design phase, the queue
in Florida is not nearly as straightforward as Anaheim's and
approximately 70% of riders in Florida won't be seeing the ground-breaking Mr. Potato Head animatronic that's off to the side
inside the Florida queue.
While the D Ticket attraction is a nice addition for the park, the
designs of the facility itself and the surrounding redevelopment are a
peek at the future of DCA. WDI took full advantage of the budget to
dramatically retheme the original stucco and cement look of Paradise
Pier. This is clearly not something former resort honchos Paul Pressler or Cynthia Harriss
would have approved, and DCA is better for it.
While WDI poured their
hearts into theming the new Toy Story ride buildings to the max, there is also
some evidence that perhaps WDI over-thinks some things they put into the
Take for example the "Don Tomas" snack bar built across the
boardwalk from the new ride. Believe it or not, there is an elaborate backstory to this snack shack that involves a Hispanic family of
entrepreneurs who set up shop selling turkey legs on the pier a century
ago. The name "Don Tomas" is quite literally a Spanish form of "Mr.
Tom", as in Tom Turkey. The stand was also decorated with pictures of
this mythical Tomas family, with period accessories placed throughout.
Don Tomas roughly translates to Mr. Tom, selling turkey legs. Get it? It's okay if you
didn't make that connection, as WDI really didn't explain that backstory
to anyone in Anaheim either. The poor Cast Members staffing the cart
never received this communication from the designers and have no clue
what the name Don Tomas means, or what their supposed role is in this
little tale, except to sell turkey legs and Cokes to tourists.
Imagineers love to say that the magic is in the details, but sometimes
they can be far too obscure to matter much.
You'll see more and more Spanish language