The MiceChat Podcast is back with a very special episode featuring lots of great news and surprises.

April turned into a huge news month for Disney and theme park fans. With the opening of Mystic Manor in Hong Kong Disneyland, pending attractions at Knott’s Berry Farm, SeaWorld and Universal Orlando, there’s almost too much good news to share. If only we had an industry insider to help us sort it all out . . . wait a minute . . . We do! Animatronics super genius, Garner Holt, stops by to discuss his involvement with new projects opening at Disney and Knott’s Berry Farm. Topics include:

  • Mystic Manor at Hong Kong Disneyland. The magical new attraction which will leave your chin on the floor.
  • Knott’s Berry Farm’s completely reinvented Timber Mountain Log Ride. It is one of the first log rides ever built. Now, through the magic of animatronics and Garner Holt, the ride has been completely rebuilt with all new thrills and effects.
  • Sudden Disneyland attraction closings. It was a shock when several of Disneyland’s major attractions were all closed at the same time for safety reasons. We investigate the reasons why.
  • Universal Hollywood’s massive 25 year evolution plan has been approved. What does that mean? Major new attractions and expansion.
  • Plus, MiceChat News, Gumball Rally, Reader questions, and the scoop on where’s Al.

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Special guests: Garner Holt & Bill Butler of Garner Holt Productions Surprise guests:

  • John Waite (of Hurbut Amusement Company)
  • Norman Gidney of

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  • Lee Mallaby

    Great episode as usual guys, there definitely need to be more and on a much more regular basis.
    As a Universal fan, its great to hear that NBC are not only pumping money in to Orlando, but Hollywood as well.
    On a final note, I would like to wish Al all the best and hope he gets back on the podcast soon.
    Keep up the excellent work guys.

    • Thank you Lee.

      We’d certainly like to do more of them. It’s time and schedule that holds us up.

  • Malin

    Great news, I have something to listen to at the Gym tonight.

  • eicarr

    Hang in there Al!! Amazing show!!!

    Great to hear Disneyland’s unofficial 3rd park “knotts Berry Farm” is getting back on track and not turning into a six flags like I feared. I HAVE to ride the log flume on my next trip to neighboring Disneyland.

    Universal badly needs a home run, that cold cement “transformers ride” parking garage lacked the warm experience the actual Universal Studios needs to keep me from rushing through it. The park is a collection of random 70’s 80’s and 90’s expansions that don’t work cohesively with the out of place dry Florida rides they’ve scattered around in hard to find locations. I’d be happy with just the tram and Harry Potter area before heading back to DL for the afternoon. Universal is losing major money in California where expectations are higher than the lacluster DCA1.0 disappointment they’ve become.

    • Thank you so much for listening to the show!

      I agree that Universal’s Hollywood park is a mix of quality levels. The Florida parks are far superior in many ways. However, the Hollywood park’s main draw is that it is a real life working movie studio. No other studio park can hold a candle to that. The tram tour all by itself is reason enough to visit.

      With the overwhelming success of Potter at Islands of Adventure, we can expect many big new things in the future. Uni has learned that if you build BIG you get big returns.

  • George Taylor

    You mentioned that WDW isn’t adding as many safety features as Disneyland. I wondered if RCID had any say in that, especially since the building codes for Lake Buena Vista and Bay Lake are much more stringent than the rest of the country. Also, what jurisdiction does OSHA have at WDW. I know they’ve stepped in before…

    Anyway, it was a great episode!

    • Disneyland is dealing with California state regulatory agency DOSH (previously known as Cal-OSHA), they wouldn’t have any say over Florida. Still, if Disney felt that a change was worth making for safety reasons at one park, wouldn’t that still be true for the other parks as well? It’s a curious development.