Welcome to the MiceChat Round-Up of the best Disney and other theme park news and discussions. From Disney's social media group comes a home movie of the original Hatbox Ghost in Disneyland's Haunted Mansion. In other news Phineas and Ferb hit DCA; we get a guide to drinking around the world at EPCOT; answer some questions about the August D23 Expo; and then round things out with the latest articles from MiceAge. Ready? Here you go!
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Phineas & Ferb Rockin' Rollin' Dance Party
DisneyFunGuy starts off the review topic for DCA's newest mini show, featuring Phineas and Ferb. Even our own Dustysage has a short video report here!
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Q. My question concerns your story about Disneylands' Grad Nite. With the recent announcement that 2012 Grad Nites being a park hopper and then 2013 GN being switched over to DCA, doesn't this look like Team Disney Anaheim is doing to GN what WDW did to their GN offerings? I've been chaperoning these last two GN @ Disneyland and would hate to see this tradition go away. Any thoughts? Maybe an update in a later column? - Steven
A. Interesting timing on their announcement, wasn't it? You got the PR version, now here's what's actually behind all the changes.
The move to get the grads to start the party earlier by folding in a park-hopper ticket is mostly driven by an attempt to regain the use of the popular Toy Story parking lot. For the past two years the Toy Story parking lot was used as a giant processing center where up to 500 school buses per night are cycled through Toy Story over a six hour period for the grads to receive their instructions and wristbands that will match them up with their buses the following morning. The buses are then dispatched in an endless stream as a batallion of Anaheim police officers control the intersections around the resort to get the buses across city streets and on to the old tram route behind Cars Land. The grads are unloaded there and walk up the tram route and into the park by 1:00 AM, while the buses leave and park in the surface lots that surround the Mickey & Friends parking structure.
In the morning the grads exit the park and walk along the regular Disneyland tram route and are then sent to various color-coded sections of the surface parking lots, all in a massive crowd control operation that involves 25,000 sleepy teenagers trying to find their school bus amongst hundreds of buses based on their wristband coloring. Not only does it require an enormous all-night army to accomplish, it takes the 3,600 parking spaces in Toy Story out of the days inventory because the lot must remain empty until the buses begin arriving in the early evening. There were several days this past June where the resort barely squeaked by on parking inventory, even using the several other auxiliary lots Disneyland has and forcing Cast Members to park in some lots with the park customers. It was an operation that was messy, confusing and ridiculously expensive to keep up, and the loss of 3,600 parking spaces on each day was unsustainable as DCA brings in more visitors each year.
By encouraging an earlier arrival and blending the grads in with the regular day visitors in the evening, they cut out the Toy Story bus operation and they gain back those 3,600 parking spaces for an increasingly busy resort. It also dramatically reduces the labor force needed, as the buses will park in the surface lots on the west side of the resort and be in the same place when the grads return in the morning, like dozens of school buses already do nearly every day of the year. There's plenty of details to work out over the next 11 months, but it already has TDA's planning team breathing a sigh of relief for 2012.
The move in 2013 where the grads park-hop in the evening and then move to DCA late at night for the party is a test to see how TDA can play with the flexibility of the newly remade Disneyland Resort after Cars Land opens. By 2013 DCA will have one of the strongest attractions rosters of all of Disney's theme parks, especially for a teen demographic. With five E-Ticket thrill rides, three popular and modern dark rides, plus over a dozen additional rides ranging from the Mad Mouse coaster to the Pier's carnival spinners to 3-D shows that a teen audience would relate to very well. They'll give it a strong chance of succeeding in '13, kicking it off each night with a special World of Color to be produced just for the Grad Nite audience that year.
And remember, despite all the official announcements and discussions about Disneyland's Grad Night program, the fact still remains that Orlando mismanaged theirs. - Al
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New film surfaces about the Haunted Mansion’s most disputed resident. Phineas and Ferb are the two newest regular character additions to DCA. We also go back to a day when the Disneyland Parking Lot and Disneyland Harbor Boulevard sign still existed! ~ Aladdin
Disneyland in Black and White
Regions Beyond goes retro and has some two-tone Disneyland Photos for us!
Menus-Boardwalk Pizza and Pasta,Paradise Garden Grill and Corn Dog Castle...
Poisonedapple has a complete menu for all of DCA's new Paradise Garden Restaurant's, including the newly re-opened Corn Dog Castle!
Actual Home Movies of the Hatbox Ghost in the Haunted Mansion (August 1969)
The most elusive ghost at the Haunted Mansion was the Hatbox Ghost. Some even questioned whether it was really part of the attraction. But recently, a photo and home video were discovered, giving life to back to this Disney legend! See the photo, the video, and also a separate interview with Tony Baxter, who recounts his memory of the Hatbox Ghost! (via Disney Social Media)
Subliminal Radiator Springs Racers Promotion in Cars 2
SS77 asks if Cars 2 gives us a mini sneek preview of what DCA can expect with Radiator Springs Racers! Tell us what you think!
Full ride of old Monorail from 1990. VIDEO Enjoy!
WildforMrToad located a video, taken from the Monorail, during Disneyland's 35th Birthday year! Take a look at this pre-Indy, pre-DCA trek.
Hello again, everyone! It’s starting to heat up here in Anaheim! On the forums this week are an optimized Disneyland, our own Star Wars Weekends (yes, please!) and a proposed 3D Muppet Show. Please keep posting your rumors and ideas as you never know…they might just make next week’s Round-up! -Demigod-
Armchair Imagineering: Muppet Show 3D (instead of Muppet Vision 3D)
MiceChatter Right Ear returns this week to give us another idea for DCA – a 3D Muppet Show!
Armchair Imagineering: My optimized Disneyland with changes and removals.
Mice Chat member RegionsBeyond also makes a return appearance this week with a revamped and retuned Disneyland Park.
Star Wars Weekends
An idea that certainly gets MY vote, DisneylandMaster proposes that Disneyland and DCA have their own Star Wars Weekends.
Sometimes, even with all our great columns (In the Parks, Weekend Update, Orlando Parkhopper, Dateline Disneyland, etc.) big stories/rumors hit either right after our columns run or are worth discussing in a larger context. WDW has a few big pieces of news this week that fall into that category. ~yoyoflamingo
Hyperion Wharf Being retooled, and other canceled/delayed WDW projects
Wonder when things are going to be built at Walt Disney World? Well, some more recent projects might not see the light of day at all. Find out what the latest rumors are here. And, hope you didn't have your heart set of shopping in Flamingo Crossings anytime soon.
Wizards, animals, and kingdoms OH MY! A winder*wonder Pic Trip Report
See the wonder of winder*wonder as she and her new hubby experience the East Coast versions of Disney and Universal for the first time! A charming report that is sure to make you smile.
Guide to Drinking Around the World...Epcot's that is!
Ever wanted to drink around the world at EPCOT but don't know how to accomplish such a lofty goal successfully? Well, now's your chance! WDWFigment shares his tips on maximizing your drinking while minimizing the problems associated with it. It's win/win! Also included is an alternative to cupcakes around Walt Disney World!
Enchanted Fireworks 2011
Vincent shares home video of the Enchanted Fireworks show from Disneyland Paris!
Phanton Manor art/poster work in progress
Daveyploo shares the progress of a Phantom Manor poster he is making for his wife! Looks good so far!
D23 Expo Questions
wishyouwell has opened the floor with a question about the upcoming D23 Expo. If you have questions or better yet, answers, drop on by and be prepared for this years Expo.
D23 Expo Arena Schedule Announced
D23 has announced the 'Arena Schedule' for the upcoming expo. Dustysage brings us the information and lets us know what to expect.
D23 Expo Ticket Package Auction
Dustysage has informed us of a D23 Expo package on the charity site, Bidding for Good. The package offers 4 passes and some great swag, so if you're interested, check it out.
Star Trek_ - Infinite Space
Retrocool has started a great topic on a new web based Star Trek game!
Does anyone have a Google+ invite they could spare?
Orbitalpunk has started a discussion on Google+ the new “facebook” like social networking site.
Apple drops the ball on Final Cut X
Ni_teach has started a discussion regarding the new software Apply has released. What do you think of the new version of Final Cut, does it cover everything you would need in a video editing program?
Finally- Merchandise with ALL the princesses
Ever wanted to collect all the princesses that Disney has advertised to us? Lobeobann found that the DisneyStores have been carrying the complete collection!
Batman 3 - The Dark Knight Rises
The highly anticipated third parter of Nolan's Batman trilogy now has an official (awesome) movie poster with an official teaser trailer due in the coming weeks.
Fanboys and the General Audiance
JerrodDRagon asks how/why people 'flood' to movies that are nothing but explosive and have over-the-top action.
Peter Jackson has released a 2nd production video with some cool footage of the main cast in costume.
Disney & Johnny Depp partner on two new films
The studio probably would've signed on with Johnny to make a live-action feature of 'My Little Pony' just to stay in business with him & his producing partner sister, but these sound better.
Paramount announces In-House Animation division
Paramount Pictures is launching a new, in-house animation division, the studio announced Wednesday. It is aiming to release its first title in 2014.
7/12: Al Lutz - Meg Story
Executive Shuffle, NextGen Update, D23 Expo, Carthay Circle Club, much more!
7/11: Orlando Parkhopper – Monorail Cuts, Characters Removed, Updates and More
Orlando is always a whirlwind of excitement. This week, the Parkhopper crew bring us news that characters have been cut from Extra Magic Hours in the parks (Disney claims the guests don't want to see them). Tink and friends are moving again, this time back to the Magic Kingdom from Epcot. Monorail hours are being cut, which is sure to upset resort guests. Fancy new refillable mugs sense wether you are allowed a free refill or not. Plus, dining and attraction reviews, news and observations from Universal and Busch Gardens Tampa.
7/11: Dateline Disneyland - Pan Pacific gates, Carmageddon, Phineas and Ferb, Garden lights and MORE
Planning on visiting Disneyland this weekend? If you're traveling by car from north of LA, you may want to reschedule your visit to the Happiest Place on Earth or you may find yourself in some of the most intense Los Angeles traffic the region has ever expected. If your route avoids the Los Angeles area, then you'll be in for a treat. Disneyland celebrates its 56th anniversary on Sunday as both parks tout their new Soundsational Summer offerings including the new Star Tours and Little Mermaid attractions. Also new at Disney California Adventure, Phineas and Ferb take to the streets with a new dance party and the Paradise Garden dining area lights up the night on Paradise Pier. Meanwhile, construction continues throughout the park, including putting the finishing touches on the new Pan-Pacific Auditorium-inspired main entrance gates.
7/8: Werner Weiss - Island Mouse
We bring you more construction photos of the DVC Ko Olina Resort on Oahu!
7/9: Weekend Update - Disneyland Postcards, Kennedy Space Center, Guggenheim Bilbao and More
The Weekend Update is chock full of photos from interesting vacation spots today. We start out this week with a new ride at Australia's Dreamworld. MiceChatter biggsworth took a trip to the Kennedy Space Center recently. These photos demonstrate why this is one of Central Florida's biggest attractions. The Space Shuttle made its final launch into the cosmos yesterday, these shots help put it all into perspective. We also have some retro Disneyland photos to share this week. I'm not sure if the motels that surrounded Disneyland back in the day added to or subtracted from the festive atmosphere around the Anaheim park at the time, but they sure are fun to look at decades later. Next up, we cruise to Bilbao, Spain and the spectacular Guggenheim museum. Finally, we have some bonus shots and video from MiceChatter rmckay of the amazing World of Color holiday show. Enjoy!
7/8: In the Parks - Disney Pan Pacific, Manta, Universal, Legoland Sea Life and More
It's an exciting time to be a theme park fan. Disneyland and Disney California Adventure continue to wow with their summer offerings. Knott's is about to open the tallest ride in the park's history. Universal City Walk prepares a summer concert series on a flashy new stage. SeaWorld is building a smooth new coaster and Legoland's Sea Life Aquarium has been overrun with Octopus! There's lots to see and do.
7/7: Sue Kruse - Pressing Matters
Sue finds cool things and fun events you may have missed!
7/6: MiceChatter - Disneyland Fun
SAMLAND is on summer vacation this week, but we have a wonderful addition to MiceChat to introduce to you. Meet Sarah, of the MiceChatter video blog on YouTube. This is Sarah's 4th videocast for MiceChat and we think you'll agree that she's the latest star in the MiceChat constellation. This week, Sarah shares her thoughts on a possible new Matterhorn movie, DCA's new Paradise Garden restaurants, Goofy's Sky School, Fireworks and more. Plus, there's a chance for you to win an Amazon Gift Card just for viewing the video.