MiceAge Disney Rumor Update: Cars, Conventions and Cashholders

Written by MiceAge. Posted in Disneyland Resort, Features, MiceAge Update

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Published on July 09, 2013 at 4:00 am with 151 Comments

Summer is in full swing at the Disneyland Resort! The attendance numbers are still very healthy and continue to reflect the new reality that DCA now pulls in over 40% of the attendance between the two parks, instead of the traditional 25/75 split that had been in place until Cars Land opened last summer. In this update, we’ll fill you in on why that attendance split has Disney’s Board of Directors making a rare park visit, why very few of the attraction plans the Board approved will be announced at D23 Expo next month, and how Disney executives finally grew a backbone in order to combat embarrassing operational problems that had been festering for a decade.

So grab your cup of coffee stirred with Swiss Miss hot chocolate, put on your fuzzy bunny slippers, kick your heels up, and enjoy a mostly good news update from the Disneyland Resort.

A few weeks ago, Bob Iger and Tom Staggs spent the day in Anaheim. That’s not uncommon, especially in the last few years, as Disney’s Chief Creative Officer John Lasseter had been visiting almost monthly and kept insisting Staggs come down to Disneyland to inspect things with him. But on this particular visit, Bob Iger and Tom Staggs also hosted a rare meeting of the Board of Directors at a Disney theme park. The Board always assembles annually at the Shareholders Meeting, and occasionally throughout the year they will be summoned to the corporate offices in Burbank. But it is very rare for Bob to assemble them in Orange County at the Disneyland Resort.

All of Disney's favorite things in one shot: Fireworks, Confetti, Bob Iger , Tom Staggs, John Lasseter and a happy crowd of media and mommy bloggers.

The reason behind this rare show of corporate force was Bob Iger’s next big push for the Parks & Resorts Division of the company, and Bob needed to convince the Board to approve the increased spending he has planned for the parks. It was just over six years ago that a similar meeting took place, as Bob needed their votes to approve a 1.2 Billion dollar plan to fix and expand Disney California Adventure. Corporate governance rules require that an expenditure that large get full approval from the Board, and when the DCA Extreme Makeover was publicly announced in October 2007, it was a fix-it plan beyond anyone’s wildest imagination for that troubled park. Six years later, it is now quite obvious that not only did the DCA plan work, but, right out of the gate in 2012, it surpassed the most optimistic of projections for key analytics like annual attendance, per capita guest spending, and hotel room occupancy levels. The extremely strong performance of DCA, and thus the entire Anaheim resort property, was even achieved against strong financial headwinds from a rather weak economy, which makes the numbers even more impressive.

The Board of Directors visit was planned by Walt Disney Imagineering and Bob’s sharp pencil boys in advance, as the Board spent the morning in the Presidential Suite and private board room at the Grand Californian Hotel. There they received financial briefings and overviews of the Parks & Resorts division that made the case that the DCA makeover put the Anaheim property on a rocket ride to increased cash flow and very strong customer feedback scores that promise even more future growth. Top execs from Imagineering then gave the Board a creative overview of the DCA project, as some members of the Board weren’t members back in ’07 when the project was launched. WDI also rolled out several of their top concepts to expand the Anaheim property further, with the Monstropolis mini-land and E Ticket Door Coaster planned for the sleepy Hollywood Backlot area and a new Star Wars themed makeover for the messy Tomorrowland section of Disneyland. The Board also got overviews of WDI’s plans to attempt a more modest makeover of the Disney’s Hollywood Studios park in Florida, with a scaled down Cars Land section and some of the same Star Wars concepts planned for Tomorrowland.

Once the presentations were over, and the swanky luncheon had been cleared away, the Board set out for a very rare field trip into an actual working Disney theme park. Even though the Parks & Resorts division of the company has always been a consistent cash generator and far exceeds the profits from the Consumer Products or Broadcast TV divisions, let alone the bottomless money pit that is the trendy Disney Interactive division, the theme parks are very rarely visited by top executives. Parks Chairman Tom Staggs and Chief Creative Executive Bruce Vaughn led the group through DCA, stopping at the private 1901 Lounge on Buena Vista Street for beverages.

We call it a "Theme Park"

Once they finally got to Cars Land, a photo op was set up in front of the Cadillac Range to capture their special visit to a theme park, and then Bob Iger and the Board of Directors were whisked in through the exit of Radiator Springs Racers to a waiting car so they could experience the ride everyone is still talking about. The Board genuinely seemed to enjoy themselves that afternoon, which was Bob and Tom’s strategy. The plan Bob Iger and Tom Staggs have cooked up is to use the DCA makeover as a model for future park growth, but that will require a larger outlay of cash for the next few years and for that, the Board must approve the increased division expenditures. It’s hoped that this schmoozy visit to DCA last month generated some goodwill amongst the Board members, people who would ordinarily never visit a theme park, and that they will be supportive of Bob’s plan to turn on the money spigot for Disneyland, DCA, and DHS.

Mouseketeer in the middle

A GREAT BIG BEAUTIFUL TOMORROW

With so many headliner additions slated for the parks in the next few years, you would think that would make next month’s D23 Expo a home-run of exciting announcements and lavish Imagineering artwork of the upcoming rides. But it appears the exact opposite will be true, as WDI has been warned by Burbank to keep their cards very close to their vest at D23 Expo while Comcast pours money into several new rides at Universal Studios up the freeway in Hollywood. And until the Board officially approves the big expenditures for Fiscal Year 2014 through ’17, it doesn’t look like the beans can be spilled in time for D23 Expo.

A long, long time ago . . . .

That’s not to say that smaller scale projects can’t get underway sooner, particularly in Tomorrowland, as part of a strategic plan is to remake that aging section and restore its former glory. The plan now, using development funds under the 100 Million dollar mark already earmarked for Disneyland, is to go in and do “placemaking” and aesthetic improvements in Tomorrowland just prior to the 60th Anniversary in 2015. Captain EO is on the chopping block with that plan, which should come as no surprise to anyone. The long-rumored West Coast version of the Monsters Inc. Laugh Factory would take up residence in that 3-D theater, while the area around it gets an aesthetic re-skinning that will help it mesh better with the big-budget plan to bring more Star Wars presence to Tomorrowland. The E Ticket of the Tomorrowland remake uses the speeder bike coaster concept on the old PeopleMover route, originally Imagineered with a Tron theme but now using Star Wars as the storyline for the new ride.

Take the overpass, it's quicker

Also currently planned for the 60th is a new night parade from the capable hands of Steve Davison for Disneyland, and a new afternoon parade for DCA. The tentative parade plan has the MSEP staying in Walt Disney World until it is permanently retired (although when it left Anaheim in 2010, it was originally supposed to return to Anaheim in 2012), and the existing Pixar Play Parade at DCA would be shipped out to Florida if the TDO team wants it. And there is still the creative plan to dramatically re-Imagineer the existing five Fantasyland dark rides for Disneyland’s 60th that we told you about a few months ago.

I'm watching you, always watching

Meanwhile in DCA, the planning for Monstropolis has shifted into high gear this summer with Anaheim’s operations team. Mary Niven and Michael Colglazier would like to see the new mini-land and E Ticket Door Coaster open by the Fall of 2016, even as WDI rushes to fine tune the engineering and design of the new ride building and attached dining and retail. The Door Coaster concept would have riders strapped onto the sides of doors as they are sent through several large show scenes in addition to a thrill ride component through the cavernous door hangars. Building on the wild success of Radiator Springs Racers that brought back the art of animatronic dark ride storytelling paired with a family thrill ride, both WDI and TDA want the Door Coaster to wow audiences even if the riders aren’t huge Monsters Inc. fans. And it helps immensely that this is a Pixar property, as John Lasseter’s Pixar team that keeps a close eye on Cars Land will be intimately involved in the process for Monstropolis and the Door Coaster.

Gee 23

So while there are still plenty of things moving forward for the Anaheim parks short-term, plus even bigger plans for large-scale investment in the broader Parks & Resorts division, the financial timing and corporate politics don’t align well for any big D23 Expo announcements next month. And that’s not an easy pill for D23 to swallow, as fans will be expecting a big announcement, as in years past. Now that The Lone Ranger has flopped bigger than John Carter, there won’t be much buzz to generate from Disney’s movie studio at the Expo. Broadcast TV is struggling with audiences, and Disney’s more successful cable networks like ESPN have only a small presence at the Expo. And, since Disney’s Interactive division is still struggling to get traction as it loses tens of millions of dollars every quarter, Burbank refuses to go big with D23 Expo exhibits for that division. WDI has expanded their pavilion footprint this year, as their separately-gated exhibit is always a hit with Expo crowds. But without a major announcement about new E Tickets and splashy theme park expansion, D23 Expo may have a hard time generating fan interest from the 50,000 expected to attend. Unless things change in the next few weeks, due to The Lone Ranger casting a dark cloud over the summer, don’t expect anything unless Bob Iger changes his mind and allows at least one of the new projects for Disneyland, DCA or DHS to get announced.

GAC ATTACK

While fans prepare to be either disappointed or surprised at D23 Expo in August, the management on both coasts are preparing to roll out a dramatic makeover to the existing Guest Assistance Card (GAC) program at all parks. The GAC, generally used as a front-of-the-line pass with few strings attached, got national exposure on The Today Show back in May. Today Show producers hired several unscrupulous Annual Passholders who rent out their GACs for cash in order to allow people to cut to the front of the line at unlimited rides each day, and then exposed the practice in a major undercover camera feature that had Today Show audiences gasping at their TV sets.

In an example of just how out of touch many of Disney’s theme park executives are, it was only when this Today Show expose aired that they would admit that they had a problem. Their own theme park teams in Guest Relations and Attractions have known this was a problem for years, and had been trying to tell the executives it was something that needed attention, but they were constantly told not to worry about it, mostly because no executive had the guts to attach their name to this hot-button issue. The problem is at its most severe in Anaheim, where over 100,000 Annual Passholders are now using the GAC process to board attractions each year, in addition to smaller numbers of hotel guests or casual visitors who aren’t Passholders. On the average busy day, Disneyland Resort’s Guest Relations teams in City Hall, the Chamber of Commerce, and the Guest Services windows in the Esplanade, are now issuing between 1,200 and 1,400 GAC passes per day. And until recently, those GAC passes could be post-dated for 60 days at a time, in an attempt to cut down on the number of people applying for GAC passes each day. But that practice exponentially increased the numbers of pre-issued GAC passes that would arrive on days with high Annual Passholder visitation.

GACety GAC, don't talk back

That means that on the average busy Sunday, when AP visitation swells, there are upwards of 3,000 GAC passes being used between the two parks, most of them stamped for a total of 6 people allowed per pass. The Cast Members at Guest Relations can track those numbers easily, and the Cast Members who staff the GAC check-in podium at Radiator Springs Racers marvel at how up to 4,000 people per day will access Racers via a GAC pass instead of using a Fastpass or waiting in the Standby or Single Rider lines. When a popular ride like Racers, which can only accommodate 20,000 people per 15 hour day under the most optimal of conditions without any major downtimes, has 20% of its riders coming through using a Guest Assistance Card, you know there’s a problem.

Once a small but sensational slice of the larger GAC abuse issue was exposed on The Today Show, the alarm bells rang in executive suites in Anaheim and Orlando and the top suits were embarrassed enough to finally do something about it. And in a 180 degree turnabout after ignoring years of complaints from their operations teams, several key executives are now rushing to jump on the bandwagon and attach their names in support of this suddenly trendy topic. The managers in the parks can only roll their eyes and think “Now you’ll listen to us? What took you so long?” The result is that top managers from Anaheim were quickly flown out to Orlando for a week-long summit with dozens of Orlando managers on how to end the current GAC program and rebuild a new process in its place.

Guest Relations Cast Members on both coasts have heard rumblings on the more restrictive plan, still being hashed out via bi-coastal video conferences, and they are preparing to don their suits of armor for the inevitable yelling that will occur at Guest Relations in all six American theme parks when the GAC gravy train comes to an end. The first step in the process already began last month, as Guest Relations no longer post-dates a GAC for two months at a time in order to flush the system of old cards prior to the new program rolling out. The current policy only allows a GAC to be dated for two weeks at a time. However, when the rollout for the new program approaches in August, Guest Relations will stop dating them for two weeks and only issue GAC passes one day at a time in an attempt to flush out the last of the old cards. The new system can then begin without any old valid GAC passes still in circulation, and that date is tentatively slated to happen in August.

The new process for accommodating those with legitimate disabilities that prevent them from waiting in a line is still having the details ironed out, as we hear more about how it might work we’ll fill you in. What’s important to know now is that the current GAC process is coming to an end, and very soon. The Today Show kicked off the panic, but perhaps this could be a lesson for the executives in TDO and TDA that their front line staff knows what is working and what is not. It would be nice if an executive or two would be willing to stick their neck out just a bit to help their own teams provide the best service possible to the broadest range of paying guests possible. It’s a shame the problem was ignored for so long that a hidden camera expose had to end up on The Today Show, instead of simply fixing the problem years and years ago like the front-line teams had been requesting.

IN SUMMARY

Life’s full of tough choices, innit? Speaking of which, the latest MiceChat Podcast features a gutsy interview with Ursula the Sea Witch, Pat Carroll herself, and a surprise appearance by legendary Imagineer, Bob Gurr. You won’t want to miss what happens when these two 80+ year olds get together and take over the show. Plus more theme park news and gossip. It’s a real hoot and a must listen.

Direct Link | MiceChat Podcast RSS FeediTunes Link

Don’t forget to follow us on Facebook and share with your family and friends. We are looking forward to hearing your comments. Is Laugh Floor a good replacement for the Captain or is it too much Monsters with a whole mini-land on its way to DCA? Do you have ideas on how best to change the GAC program? Attending the D23 Expo this August? We await your always interesting observations!

 Special thanks to Fishbulb and Andy Castro for their photos

About MiceAge

The MiceAge crew was started by Al Lutz in 2003, and is committed to bringing you the inside Disney story that you just can't get anywhere else. As much as we'd all like to see more frequent rumor updates on the site, we only publish when reliable news and rumors are available to share. Generally, you'll find a new MiceAge news update from Al and crew once or twice a month on Tuesdays. The MiceAge news Editor can be reached at: [email protected]

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  • DuckyDelite

    “…more modest makeover of the Disney’s Hollywood Studios park in Florida, with a scaled down Cars Land section and some of the same Star Wars concepts planned for Tomorrowland”

    Please tell me this isn’t true. That park is becoming like a clearance aisle at a discount department store. Racks and racks of outdated everything. Does the WDW team really not have any new ideas?

    I know many did not like Roy Disney, but wasn’t he the one that kept telling the Disney Board about over saturation?

  • Baloo

    Hopefully the changes to the GAC program are announced to the public so that the media publicizes them that way there are no excuses.
    I always wondered why they did not ask for some kind of disable documentation, Anyone that has a plaquered or disabled license has a DMV issued paper. I ride the metrolink to work and they even have a disabled card that must be present as proof to buying disabled discounted tickets.

    They could even have a disabled logo integrated into the pass when it is purchased so that they would not have to be re-issuing GAC cards if proof is shown at time of renewal.

    I am sure there legal actions that they need to be aware of but if the DMV and transportation system requires it then they should be able to do the same thing.

    There also needs to be a control on wheelchair rentals and anyone renting a chair needs to be issued a GAC pass to go with it to show proof that in fact the wheelchair is needed. I have heard of people renting the chairs just so they do not have to walk and so that they can avoid long lines.

    As for the Laugh Factory, i really hope this is not true. Seems like such a waste for that area. Why would they even consider building an old show like that here at one of the parks with the highest passholder ratio It really makes no sense, sooner than later it will be as empty as Captain EO and the muppets

    • MrsRobinson

      Definitely agree!! I’ve been wondering why they don’t do this. I’m sick of seeing the teenage kids getting away with using GAC cards and it really made me mad seeing the Grad-nite kids getting a GAC. Or the people that come up and ask where the “in front of the line” card goes.

  • Indiana Joe

    So sad to hear the TRON ride probably will not happen. I love Star Wars, but feel that Tomorrowland should remain a mixture of different Sci-Fi and a TRON ride would have been amazing.

    • eicarr

      At least an arcade, bar and TL ElecTRONica would be nice(and inexpensive)

    • PinkMonorail

      Does every ride have to be a thrill ride? How about a peoplemover-speed ride instead of speed cycles on unbanked tracks yet again? Something people who can’t do coasters can ride.

  • FarFromHome

    The only reason we did the Laugh Floor at WDW is because we wanted to get out of the heat, and off of our feet. It was kinda funny for the kids, but not much there for the adults. Replacing Capt EO just seems like a quick, lazy fix.

  • Disney Analyst

    I will say that I really do love Laugh Floor…..

  • jasmineray

    The Laugh Floor? Is this a joke?

    Let’s hope that doesn’t actually happen. And we don’t need another Star Wars-themed attraction in Tomorrowland. There’s nothing wrong with Tron.

  • yellowrocket

    No. No. No. No.

    There are several things wrong with this article.

    Sure. The Lone Ranger is flopping. But, it’s not nearly on the scale of John Carter. Johnny Depp’s stardom will get the flick some overseas dollars to get it over the John Carter fiasco hump. No way will Lone Ranger make up its production and marketing budget, but Disney will have made Johnny happy enough to get him to do Pirates 5, so it’s a win. But making Lone Ranger out to be a bigger flop than Carter is just sensationalism.

    Also, Disney Interactive actually has a winner with Disney Infinity. The game and collectible nature has kids and gamers salivating. DI, let me introducd you to “traction”. More sensationalism.

    ABC is not struggling. They have multiple hits and lots of potential pilots that other networks lost the bids for. Several genre shows such as the Once Upon a Time franchise should do well at D23. Again… more sensational journalism.

    But, the facts are just plain wrong when you guys repeatedly give the GAC story credit to The Today Show. It was the New York Post that first lit the interwebs on fire about the company selling GAC tours at WDW – that led to the Today Show doing a package on the tours at Disneyland. But, since this *IS* primarily a Disneyland site, I can understand how you gave credit to The Today Show.

    • http://micechat.com Dusty Sage

      Sorry Yellowrocket. but the Lone Ranger didn’t pull in half of what Disney was expecting it to do opening weekend. That’s a major disappointment for the company however you may want to spin it. Our point being that Disney may want to shift the focus with some exciting new news at the expo, even though they currently aren’t planning on doing so.

      Disney Infinity is really neat and a creative winner, completely agreed, but the division is bleeding cash and has yet to pay off for the company.

      You will see a lot of Once Upon A Time at the Expo (it will be one third of the Treasures of the Disney Archives exhibit). They are certainly trying to do the synergy thing. But having a few hit shows is not enough for a network. You need big advertising revenue as well, and ABC just doesn’t perform at the high profit margins that Disney would like. It has been a challenge for Iger and a reason why he has been shopping the network to potential buyers for years.

      Finally, it doesn’t matter who “broke” the GAC story. Anyone on this site could have told you years ago that there was a problem. The issue is that Disney management wasn’t paying attention and until the Today Show ran their story, Disney wasn’t interested in fixing this problem.

      • Baloo

        i agree that The Lone Ranger was a huge disapointment for DIsney which is why I was surprised to read an article this morning while doing my daily wall street check

        It seems that the Lone Ranger will not be such a big right off as John Carter for DIsney and that Disney is still possibly looking into continuing the trilogy. Supposedly even though the opening weekend was not what was expected, the brand name alone with revenue from merchandise and broadcast rights for the movie from networks along with other supplemental income from the movie might be enough to compensate for its budget.
        Article also states that one trend that is very visible with the Lone Ranger numbers for this weekend is that the majority of people that saw the movie were 25 years of age and above. According to the article huge openings are the cause by the under 25 age bracket which tend to cause huge opening weekend numbers. movies that tend to bring in 25 and older have longer life as they tend to not show up on opening weekend in large numbers.

        Another thing on Disney’s favor is that the director and Producer of the Lone Ranger movie insisted on creating live sets which include the five mile train track, and town used in the movie. According to the person interviewed from Disney this would offset the cost of creating sequels for the movie and in the long run help offset any loss of the first one.

        It will be interesting to see how this plays out but it seems that Disney is even being quoted as saying that it is too soon to say that the movie is in the same category as Joh Carter which did not have any possible revenue return from merchandise and known Franchise status.

      • TodAZ1

        Sorry, Dusty, but Al’s article clearly stated that the Lone Ranger was a bigger flop than John Carter. While I don’t agree that that’s “sensationalism” as yellowrocket stated, it is, at the very least, extremely premature. Not really sure how you can compare the 2 movies when Lone Ranger hasn’t even been out in theaters a week now. Weak opening weekend? Absolutely. But to say it failed worse than Carter is wrong.

        And as Baloo has stated (saving me from getting the same info I read), they already pretty much know that LR isn’t as big a flop as John Carter.

      • http://micechat.com Dusty Sage

        Here’s what the LA Times has to say about it: http://touch.latimes.com/#section/-1/article/p2p-76599027/

        “Johnny Depp in “The Lone Ranger,” one of the costliest flops of the modern era.”

      • Baloo

        to be fair the LA times article does say that DIsney might have to take a right off of 100 million compared to the 200 million of Joh Carter but it also does not account for what DIsney and wall street is saying and that is that the Lone Ranger has been generating in income from merchandise and will most likely recoup most of its money from licensing.

        So although the La times might be creating its list of flops it is seeing only movie revenue from first run shows of which non on the list are capable of generating income above and beyond its movie and television run.
        That makes a huge difference when it comes to considering a movie a flop by the studios. There is a reason why DIsney is still not ruling out continuing with sequels. This is the same reason why DIsney did not rule out sequels for Tron as well even though many considered it a flop.

        There is no disagreement that the movie is not generating income as hoped (although movie was projected to only bring in about 135-150 million domestically and it still has a chance to get closer to those numbers).
        I think the disagreement is that it is a bit prematurely to say that it was a bigger flop than John Carter especially when analyst are saying that it will most likely be profitable by other means besides ticket revenue

      • TodAZ1

        Exactly, Baloo.

  • danielz6

    An expansion of star wars in tomorrowland? Monsters Inc in tomorrowland? Once innoventions is gone space mountain will be the only thing in tomorrowland that actually fits the theme. RIP tommorowland, the only of the original lands of Disneyland that didn’t survive. Ironically, Tron, which fits the theme of tomorrowland better than anything else on the plate, isn’t happening. And what about the expansion of frontierland, oh there’s no franchise that they can put there and we can’t have non-franchise attractions in Disneyland right? That would be such a radical concept!
    I am, however, extremely excited about the fantasyland dark ride enhancements. That sounds very interesting. Fantasyland is the heart and soul of Disneyland, and I wont be renewing my AP until at least 2015 because that’s the only thing of interest to me in these updates.

    • eicarr

      Star Wars is sciFi Fantasy and fits DL more than the generic Space Mountain, a train station, car ride, paid company exhibits, a giant squid on opening day, 360 degree shows on china, and singing animatronics at America sings.

      • Monoautorail

        Except the entire Star Wars universe is set “a long time ago.” “Tomorrow”-land. You see the problem?

      • danielz6

        Star wars is not sci fi…it is Space fantasy. That is a common error that most people make. George Lucas has called it that many times. It is grounded in pure fantasy “a long time ago”. There is nothing realistic or scientific about it, the fact that it takes place in space doesnt change that (i am a big star wars fan by the way, OT of course). The complete opposite of tommorowlands theme which is the future and science.
        Star wars fits better because space mountain is generic are you kidding me? So Lilo fits better in adventureland than the original Tiki room because its generic? How about Pirates of the Caribbean? It seems like “generic” attractions made Disneyland into the standard by which all other theme Parks are compared to.

      • Marko50

        I disagree with many of your examples. The giant squid was from a sci-fi movie – and if Jules Verne isn’t sci-fi… The 360 degree shows were futuristic not because of their content, but because of the inventive way they were filmed. America Sings was in Tomorrowland because of its innovative show building. The rest I agree with, including Star Wars being sci-fi no matter what its creator may say. If it looks like a duck, smells like a duck, etc.

  • WDWorldly

    So they’re adding the Monsters, Inc. Laugh Floor attraction to Tomorrowland, where it doesn’t fit the futuristic theme whatsoever, instead of adding it to the planned Monstropolis land at Disney California Adventure, where it doesn’t fit the California theme whatsoever.

    • eicarr

      You’ve never taken the wrong CA freeway exit like I have.

      • lightofdarkness

        Ha! Monstropolis… aka the Watts Towers!

  • jcruise86

    If Disney is going to consummate it’s marriage to Star Wars, then either
    the Autopia area
    OR
    the combined Captain EO theater plus Anaheim’s little Space Mountain plus some backstage area (plus digging deeper and building higher)
    should be the location of a thrilling, yet family-friendly combination of Star Wars-themed, indoor space-themed coasters. Maybe just call it Star Wars, or call it “Space Mtn. Range featuring Star Wars.”

    No loops because loops would lead to the tortuous over-the-head and shoulders bars that make Paris’ Space Mtn. so infuriatingly painful.

    • jcruise86

      its (Correcting myself)

  • jchamb268

    I am all in favor of the revamped Hollywood back lot area, I think it will be fun, I just hope they can dump the whole Mad T party dance thing, it does not belong there. I like the idea of some more Star Wars but I hope they don’t rename the land StarWarsland.

    When it comes to the GAC card why don’t they just limit to the actual rider and one guest. There is no need for a family of 6 to cut in front of everyone when they are perfectly capable of standing in line with the rest of us. One i’m ok with, 6 is abuse.

    • The First Star

      Would you want to split your family up all day? Remember, that’s valuable time that you could be using to chat and bond with your family while you’re in line. I agree that 6 is a lot, but what about a party of 3 or 4? Disneyland was something the whole family was supposed to be able to enjoy together, right?

      I agree that something has to be done, but splitting up families is not the answer.

  • Johnny

    To help address the GAC issue, Disney should re-instate their decades-old policy that at least one person in the party must wait in line for the attraction. When this person arrives at the boarding area, the remaining members of the party may also board.

  • Right Ear

    I will defend the Monstropolis Project as being a good project till the day I die, but with Laugh Floor however, why not just place it in the Monstropolis area next to the Hyperion (in the former Hollywood and Dine building) and retheme it to a Comedy Club to justify it not being at MI. Although the existing attraction is good, it could really benefit from this and a few notable updates to it.

    • Bfscott77

      Monstropolis doesn’t belong on Hollywoodland, it belongs as a subland of Fantasyland inbetween Fantasyland and Tomorrowland – where Autopia is now, at least part of it.

  • napamaninsocal

    Tomorrowland is never going to be about the future. It costs way too much money. It needs a universal scifi theme, just not sure if star wars is it. If it is star wars, i would want everything in it to be about star wars, but I would not want things like Space mt star wars themed or buzz lightyear kicked out.

  • Jungle Trekkie

    This update and the other reporting on MiceAge are so informative that it makes going to D23 seem superfluous. Keep up the good work MiceAge team.

    Does anybody know what this speeder bike coaster on the People Mover track is going to be like? Will it be something like the speeder bike chase in “Return of the Jedi”?