MiceAge Update: In A Tomorrowland Not So Far Away

Written by MiceAge. Posted in Disneyland Resort, MiceAge Update

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Published on August 06, 2013 at 3:00 am with 101 Comments

On Friday, almost every public-facing division of the Walt Disney Company will arrive in Anaheim to host the bi-annual open house known as D23 Expo. The Burbank teams will try and create buzz for the media networks and movie studios with star power, while less savvy divisions like Disney Consumer Products will simply roll out a static display of stuff to buy like at any home show or mall, and the Imagineering group from Glendale will be muzzled from saying much of anything about the very real projects they’ve got coming to the American parks in the next few years. In this update we’ll get you up to speed on just what those projects currently are for the Anaheim parks, why they won’t say much about them at D23, and what else is coming to Anaheim before the bulldozers arrive.

So grab one of those trendy glazed cronuts and a skinny latte as we explore the wonderful world of Disney.

Emerald city it's not.

The D23 Expo is August 9-11, 2013 at the Anaheim Convention Center.

ALL THE WORLD’S A STAGE

After the D23 Expos in 2009 and 2011 when senior execs gave splashy keynote addresses revealing big new theme park projects, it was a surprise to Disney fans when the D23 Expo schedule was announced and Tom Staggs wasn’t listed as a keynote speaker and no Parks & Resorts session was scheduled for the Anaheim Arena. If the schedule is to be believed, no major announcements of new products and upcoming attractions will be announced at this D23 Expo. Although WDI has expanded the footprint of their super-popular pavilion, and it’s really the crowd generator for the entire weekend amongst the smaller and more mundane displays from Consumer Products, the Internet Group, or ABC Television. But the interior of the WDI pavilion will house displays and exhibits of how Imagineers go about their work, a cautiously staged open house of sorts, instead of revealing any of the new rides and shows they are actually working on in Glendale. Although a few carefully edited images will be placed around the pavilion for sharp eyed fans to find; like sketches of the Star Wars land project coming to both Disney’s Hollywood Studios and Disneyland’s Tomorrowland, or of the Monstropolis miniland and Door Coaster E Ticket planned for DCA. But overall, D23 Expo has been neutered of nearly everything that helped it create what buzz it had in ’09 and ’11.

It’s not that WDI doesn’t want to share their new toys, it’s just that the timing isn’t right for the corporate bean counters to be announcing major new capital expenditures just yet, and officially the Door Coaster and Star Wars projects have yet to be greenlighted by Burbank. There’s also another round of white collar layoffs coming to TDA and TDO, after similar downsizing happened at ABC, the Studios and ESPN in recent months. And Jay Rasulo as Disney’s CFO has been telling New York bankers for the past year that Disney is scaling back on their parks investments after going big with over 1 Billion at DCA in recent years, plus two new cruise ships, Aulani, and New Fantasyland. After that much capital expenditure, the Wall Street crowd wants to see a company scale back and earn back some of that investment before they announce more spending. And finally, the MyMagic+ program at WDW has had more hiccups than successes thus far and is still far from a full rollout and thus isn’t ready for prime time and a major public reveal at the Expo. The timing of the D23 Expo in early August, agreed to over a year ago, just isn’t right for big parks announcements this year. Perhaps if it had been held in October or November, when most of the current projects will have a better chance of being announced, then D23 Expo could have offered big news for theme park fans.

So instead we’ll fill you in now on where these various projects stand and where they are headed.

The first big project was the most surprising when we broke the news on it here a few months ago; the plans to turn the sleepy, semi-abandoned corner of Hollywood Land at DCA into a Monstropolis miniland complete with new shops, restaurants, and a major E Ticket thrill ride themed to the Door Hangar scene in the Monsters Inc. movies. That plan continues to move forward as stealthily as possible, with the timeline still for an opening at the end of Disneyland’s 60th Anniversary celebration in late 2016.

A LONG TIME AGO…

Meanwhile, Disney’s purchase 10 months ago of Lucasfilm turned the plans to remake Disneyland’s Tomorrowland on its ear. Out were ride concepts based on Tron and Marvel, and in was a Star Wars invasion of nearly the entire land. Disneyland operations teams don’t want the park in construction mode for the 60th Anniversary, so the plan to remake Tomorrowland is now being broken up into two phases.

You think me beautiful?

The first phase is planned to get underway this winter with the closing of Captain EO and major “placemaking” work on the existing buildings that mostly date from 1967. The 15 months of work would wrap up by early spring 2015 in time for the 60th, and leave a new Star Wars 3D movie in the old Captain EO theater, new destinations programmed into Star Tours based on the seventh Star Wars movie to be released in summer 2015, and a freshened aesthetic to the buildings surrounding Space Mountain. Once the 60th Anniversary begins to wind down, the real work begins on plans to build a Star Wars speeder bike coaster on the old PeopleMover tracks, plus more Star Wars eye candy and freshened facilities throughout the land.

The biggest of the Star Wars offerings wouldn’t open until after the 60th is over, and the construction in Anaheim’s Tomorrowland would be in conjunction to a similar Star Wars expansion for Disney’s Hollywood Studios out in WDW. But also planned for 2014 and ’15 is an update to Soarin’ Over California and an upgrade to an HD digital format instead of the 70mm film it currently uses, all in anticipation of the Soarin’ The World film being created simultaneously for Shanghai, DCA and Epcot. There’s also the tech upgrades to the five existing Fantasyland dark rides in Disneyland, plus new parades and fireworks in Anaheim coming for the 60th Anniversary events.

There's nothing to see here . . . move along . . .  move along . . .

Most of that won’t be mentioned at D23 Expo though, and the announcements are instead planned to be dribbled out to the public only at the last minute before construction begins. It’s also no secret that Burbank is keeping a close eye on all the work going on at Universal Studios Hollywood, with the Comcast corporate owners seemingly trying to cause havoc at Disney’s flagship parks after Comcast was spurned and publicly embarrassed over their clumsy takeover attempt of Disney back in 2004. It’s now in Disney’s best interest to play their cards as close to their vest as possible.

THE EXECUTIVE TREATMENT

The MyMagic+ system also won’t get a keynote address at D23 Expo, but not because the execs behind the program didn’t want to be ready to talk about it by now. Unfortunately, the rollout has been repeatedly delayed and the limited tests of the system at WDW have seen more bugs and problems crop up than they’d hoped for. MyMagic+ will have a techno-display in the WDI pavilion, but the display will stick with vague promises of future offerings rather than a big infomercial type plug from senior Disney execs in the arena.

It’s probably for the best that Tom Staggs or other senior execs don’t try and deliver a keynote address on MyMagic+ anyway. Remember Mr. Staggs, and most other senior execs in Burbank, never bother with anything remotely resembling a Fastpass return time much less a long Standby line when they are visiting the parks. Most of the executives and their families are always assigned a VIP guide from the Guest Relations team and they are whisked through the exit of any ride in the park without question. Tom Staggs certainly isn’t a recognizable face to 99.9% of theme park visitors, so it can’t be considered a security measure to prevent him from being mobbed for autographs. As we told you in a previous update, even Tom Staggs’ extended family gets the royal treatment. This past Christmas his in-laws and their children were assigned VIP guides even when Staggs wasn’t with them, so the whole extended family could be whisked in through ride exits and have special character interactions and viewing areas set aside for them during the busy Christmas period.

Tom Staggs and the other senior execs who might eventually give a public demonstration of MyMagic+ will never actually use the service beyond a staged media event, nor have they ever had to deal with the theme park hassles that theoretically make MyMagic+ a worthy product in the first place. It’s interesting to think of a company executive touting his company’s new product that he himself would never use, nor has he or his family ever had any need or desire to use such a product, and as long as he works for the company that offers that product he and his family will never have any need to use it. Now that you know that, it’s probably for the best that MyMagic+ won’t be hyped by Staggs at D23 Expo this year.

However, Tom Staggs will give a kick-off and keynote address at the second D23 Expo this year, which will be held in October at Tokyo Disneyland. Staggs and Bob Iger will both appear at the Japan Expo spread across Tokyo Disney Resort’s hotel and convention facilities, and they will be able to share more about future attractions there than they will in Anaheim this weekend. Many of Disney’s media stars, the archival displays, and the exhibit hall offerings shown in Anaheim will be shipped over to Tokyo for the Japanese D23 Expo, which should make a few East Coast fans grumble since Burbank has flatly refused to consider hosting a D23 Expo at Walt Disney World. And that about sums up why D23 Expo won’t mention any of the new rides coming to Anaheim.

PEOPLE EATERS AND PROCUREMENTS

For years the plans to add new attractions to Disneyland were based on a need to increase overall park capacity, in order to achieve the magical number of each daily visitor experiencing an average of 10 rides per day. That “ride per cap” statistic is used by Disneyland managers and TDA’s industrial engineering team to plan everything from park operating hours to the number of cash registers open at The Emporium or the number of canoes running on the Rivers of America. The higher the ride per cap, the happier the customers are. With the opening of Cars Land and the wild success of Radiator Springs Racers, an attraction that still shows up in all the customer research this summer as the most popular offering at the entire resort, the traditional park attendance numbers have been turned on their ear.

This summer the attendance split continues to be roughly 60/40 between Disneyland and DCA, a huge jump from previous years where the split was at best 75/25 and often closer to 80/20 with visitors preferring Disneyland in huge numbers. But that has all changed. Most days this summer have seen Disneyland’s attendance right around 40,000 per day, while DCA brings in 30,000 or more.

Dude, where's my car?

The result is that Disneyland has seen the ride per cap skyrocket well past 10 rides per day as the Anaheim crowds are far more evenly spread out between the two parks. That means the Star Wars remake of Tomorrowland isn’t driven so much by a need to increase park capacity, as it is a need to cash in on Bob Iger’s big new investment in Lucasfilm. The expansion of DCA with Monstropolis, on the other hand, is being driven more by a need to increase park capacity in that park that is now more popular than anyone in TDA had thought it would be. Cars Land simply reinvented how the entire Disneyland Resort works, and it turned decades old assumptions about where Anaheim tourists would go with their time and their dollars upside down. TDA is just now catching up to that new reality.

TDA’s industrial engineering team will be attempting a few experiments with that new reality this September. With Disneyland’s ride per cap safely above the number 10, TDA will be cutting back on weekday hours the first few weeks in September and closing Disneyland at 7:00 p.m. while DCA continues to stay open until 8:00 p.m. and host a nightly World of Color show. Disneyland has also cut back on late evening hours on the first few weekends in September, until at least the HalloweenTime offerings kick off later in September. They’ll watch the numbers and crowd flow closely on those days, to see if they can get away with shorter operating hours at Disneyland while DCA remains very popular. It also helps that these are the last few weeks of the fiscal year, and saving some labor dollars as the resort coasts to the financial finish line will make the sharp pencil boys in TDA smile. But who could have ever thought we’d see the day that DCA could pull in such huge numbers that Disneyland would have shorter daily operating hours than DCA? The Disneyland Cast Members getting off an hour early this September can thank Cars Land for that.

GAC ATTACK PART 2

With D23 Expo avoiding a mention of most of the big long term projects the company is actually working on, there are still new things coming to the Anaheim parks in the short term. We’ve told you in the past about changes coming to the Guest Assistance Card (GAC) program, after an embarrassing expose on The Today Show had executives in Orlando and Anaheim shocked that it had gotten that bad. Of course the Guest Relations and Attractions teams in the six American parks knew it was even worse than that, and the abuse of the system was so widespread that thousands of people per day were wandering the Anaheim parks with GACs issued to them for dubious or simply fraudulent reasons. But the executives had refused to address the growing problem for years since it wasn’t a glamorous topic and the hard work of fixing it might bring unflattering attention. The Today Show changed all that, and the complete revamp of the system has been pushed back to October due to the scope of the project growing quickly over the summer. What has many theme park managers rolling their eyes is how all the executives are now tripping over each other to try and get on the bandwagon and be seen by their peers and bosses as someone who is working on the GAC project. There are other huge problems in the Anaheim parks that don’t get much attention from ladder-climbing execs (the horrific Cast Member parking situation, for example), but at least The Today Show turned the GAC problems into a trendy topic that can be used to puff up annual performance reviews for the executive class.

New and improved. Now with 50% less GAC.

With all the recent investigation into the problems associated with the GAC system with paying guests, even more scandalous behavior has been uncovered. The Guest Relations team has now determined that a growing number of active Anaheim Cast Members now get GACs for themselves when they sign friends and family into the park with their complimentary main gate passes. Many of these temporarily-disabled Cast Members work in Attractions five days a week, or used to work in Attractions before they moved to white collar jobs in TDA, and thus are familiar with the GAC system and how to get it. But a growing number of Cast Members from across all departments are now stopping in at Guest Relations just after they sign in their families or friends and are picking up a GAC for their use by using the popular code words that get you the GAC with the desirable stamps that provides the fastest boarding.

But it’s not just the front line Cast Members and TDA office drones who have been identified picking up their GAC on each visit, as a growing class of lower level executives and white collar folks from various Burbank divisions are also getting in on the GAC craze when they visit Disneyland. It’s a growing topic around Burbank water coolers that if you are taking the family down to Disneyland with your complimentary tickets on the weekend you can get a GAC by using a few select medical phrases or excuses. One VP from Disney’s Burbank media networks even wore a neck brace as she got her GAC on a recent weekend visit, although she wasn’t wearing the neck brace when she left work on Friday afternoon and no longer needed it by the time she returned to work on Monday morning. Only the senior executives in Burbank like Tom Staggs get the VIP guides who whisk their family in through the exits, as the lower level execs are left to fend for themselves by getting a GAC to go along with their free admission passes. But the newly restrictive GAC process to be rolled out this fall will hopefully put a stop to the abuse, especially with the Cast Members and Burbank employees who are using them fraudulently.

MiceChat Podcast

Dusty and Doug dish the dirt on the Disney parks while Fishbulb grills Universal Hollywood Creative Director, John Murdy, on plans for Halloween.

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Are you on your way to the D23 Expo August 9th – 11th, 2013? Please stop by the MiceChat booth in the Collectors Forum to shake hands with Disney legends and notables, win prizes, and meet the MiceChat and MicePod crew. For a full listing of MiceChat special guests, prizes and activities please visit our 2013 D23 Expo page HERE

Oh-kay.  That should just about wrap up everything for this pre-D23 update.  Get over to Tomorrowland and say goodbye to EO before he blasts off this winter. What are your thoughts forlks? Glad to see Monster’s Inc Laugh Floor no longer mentioned for Tomorrowland? Are you ready to open doors in Monstropolis? Happy our concerned about TDA’s GAC attack? Half the fun is hearing your comments.

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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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Comments for MiceAge Update: In A Tomorrowland Not So Far Away are now closed.

  1. Cast members getting GACs – now I am truly sickened. Sigh. All the folks using GAC who did not have a real need for it, thanks a lot! JERKS!

    • What Disney needs to do is ask for the person’t name and identification and a waiver that they are not Disney employees. Disable Disney employees need to request a different GAC and signed by their supervisor before visiting the parks. This document is exchanged at City Hall for the regular GAC. This is what I’ll do.

      • I think this would most likely be illegal.

      • Legal problems up the wazzoo. I think a better approach is to require CMs and APs to bring the DMV document that somes with their disabled placard or plates or a signed form from a doctor, unless they can be readily identified on sight by a lay person as missing one or more limbs or the use of one or more limbs (the latter being the standard at CA DMV).

        This absolutely should be required before giving APs a three-month GAC.

        Moreover Disney needs to reach out to advocacy organizations to develop pre-visit materials on the web site that, for instance, advise guests with disabilities that they will still have to wait in line and that parents with profoundly disabled children (including cognitive disabilities) should think twice before scheduling their visit in peak season and of the need to pre-plan logistics with other family members accordingly. Every CM’s horror at Fantasmic, Parades, and World of Color is the mother with an autistic child who shows up five minutes before show (on peak days) asking where their reserved section is.

        The article is spot on–this is hard damn work for management who doesn’t like to break a sweat. It will require a multi-faceted approach, including heavily managing guest’s expectations. For too many guests, whether they are really disabled or not, the GAC has become the Willy Wonka “Golden Ticket” and it has been left to worsen for far too long.

        Look for front-line CMs to be given vague and conflicting instructions and then blamed when there are problems with implementation. But only after upper managers, aided and abetted by legal and marketing weenies, formulate the plan with little or no real input from the front line.

  2. THANK YOU Disney for finally taking care of the goddamn GAC problem. It makes me sick to see so many people flashing those bogus cards to cut in line. And I’ve yet to see anyone actually with a handicap using them.
    What pisses me off the most is their arrogance. For example, over in Cars Land, Luigi’s Flying Tires’ main entrance is wheelchair accessible. But boy do those low lifes get pissed off when you tell them they will use the main entrance and not the exit.
    There are those who DO have a legitimate handicap, either physical of mental. Hopefully the new GAC program will do a better job of finding out who genuinely needs these cards, and who is just a lazy low life.

    • I understand your frustration because of the abuse and behavior of some people but not every disability is visible to the naked eye. There are people that sometimes need the card/pass which might seem perfectly healthy. It is rate that I use a disabled pass when I go to the parks an only go get one when I am in real pain. If you were to look at me I would look like a very healthy 43 year old man but many times I am in lots of pain because of a dead section of bone in my hip. Standing in one spot for long periods of time can sometimes cause me to not be able to move and fall. So some of those people you see that don’t look like they need them might actually do.

      I never really understood why Disney did not run the GAC program like the DMV runs their disabled program. In order to get a disabled plaque or license person is required to show proof. The DMV then issues a written paper along with the plaque. I carry my paper with me everywhere and have showed it to cast members when asking for the GAC card. Most of the time they say they don’t need it.
      A person with legitimate disability would most likely have one. The only exception should be for the elderly which would be an obvious obersavation

      • This is a good point. The system definitely needs to be reformed- for one thing, no Disney employee should be able to use GAC unless their disability is also listed at their workplace- come on guys, that should be so hard to check!!

        But I do worry that the changes will leave out those with invisible illnesses. I have a niece with a severe thyroid disorder that leaves her exhausted after a short period of exertion. to the point where she’ll literally collapse if she pushes to far. You wouldn’t know a thing is wrong with her, but a GAC pass allows her to enjoy much more of Disneyland before she runs out of energy.

        Disney needs to do their research during this upgrade and make sure they are offering GAC not only to people who are visibly handicapped, but also those who fit a certain criteria for invisible illnesses. Tough job, I admit.

      • I agree, Baloo; in fact, I think that is how they should handle the issue from now on.

      • I totally agree with you, in that Disney should adopt a similar method for handing out GAC cards in much the same way the DMV does.
        Disney’s current policy is to NOT question ANYONE who walks into City Hall/Chamber of Commerce and asks for one. It’s that simple to get one. You just have to have no morals or ethics. That would explain why so many people have a GAC card with a wheelchair stamp…and no one has a wheelchair!!!
        The first thing they need to do is stop issuing GAC cards with a 4 month duration. You should have to get one each day you’re in the parks, much like buying a ticket. That “may” cut down on some of the lazy low lifes, who will not want to go through the hassles of having to lie to a Cast Member every visit, compared to only having to lie every 4 months.

      • My son is in a wheelchair and obviously disabled. I’ve been told by City Hall cast members that the wheelchair is his GAC.

      • By the way, the reason a GAC is used in the first place is because the regular line is NOT wheelchair assessable. You don’t need a GAC in DCA.

      • Because it is illegal to ever ask for proof of a disability, or medical information. I guess the DMV can do it because it is a state regulatory agency? I mean they need other medical information anyway to determine if you are fit to drive, eg eyesight, epilepsy, etc. But for a private business, you can’t ask for proof of disability, and the ADA definition of disability is so broad now. Much broader than what most of us would consider even a mild physical or mental handicap.

    • Maybe park guests or Disney personnel should carry their California State issued handicap blue plastic placards around their necks on a cord( with paperwork stating they are the person it was intended for), after they have parked in a handicap parking zone. This would help with issuing the GAC cards..

      • The State should issue the Disabled placards with the disabled persons picture on it much like the drivers license cards. Then the Disneyland staff can quickly see your placard with your face on it to issue you a legitimate GAC card.

      • Ha! Here in Sacramento, they’ve done stories… If you drive by most State Buildings you’ll see that on-street parking is nearly impossible, and almost everyone has a Handicap Placard. Local TV crews setup cameras showing how many (mostly state employees) would jump into there cars without any issues. Some even jogging to the cars. Some they ran data and found the card was for a family member. There’s also some Doctors that’ll sign for one along with some “medical” marijuana.

        Basically the Handicap parking system is just as screwed up as the GAC.

      • This, of course, wouldn’t work as you need your DMV placard *in your car* at all times while parked in a handicapped space.

  3. Is it even logical for Disney to host the Expo in WDW? They just don’t have a similar amount of space there.

    • It was announced from the beginning that the Expo would alternate between Anaheim and Orlando. But that was abandoned after the first Expo.

      But there is plenty of convention space in Orlando to do it. It’s one of the major convention cities.

      After seeing that almost all of the visitors to the first Expo were locals and not folks who traveled from around the country to get there, they probably decided that trying to do a show in Orlando wouldn’t draw big enough crowds to justify the tremendous expense.

    • The area and state also has such a smaller population. Plus you have to fly actors, staff and exhibits all the way out there.

  4. Cannot believe they are actually STILL going full steam ahead with Monstropolis. So Monsters Inc in TL is out now and a new 3-D film is going in there? TG

    • Thank goodness on both accounts.

      Regardless of the complaining that some folks are doing about Monsters, it is exactly the sort of immersive environment that a dead corner of the park like that needs. One new ride and a LOT of placemaking. I love it.

      Nothing could be worse than Monster’s Inc Laugh Floor (except perhaps for an expansion of Innoventions). So glad to hear that the space has been slotted for more Star Wars.

      • Or just do an old Sunset Blvd mansion version of Mystery Manor. Much, much better idea.

      • I agree! Love all of the updates and can’t wait for Monstropolis and the door coaster.

        I have to say, I am super bummed that Captain EO is leaving. I remember seeing it for the first time as a kid and I love that I was able to take my kids to see it. At 5 and 3 years old they love it and we watch it on YouTube very often. I hope the new Star Wars short that plays in there will be great and I hope it won’t be too much Star Wars in that area.

    • Yeah since Monsters University has made over 600 million in the box office , this is a guarantee now and TDA knows it, By then DCA and Disneyland will be a 50/50 split , 35000 in DCA and 35,000 in Disneyland, and that’s was their goal,

  5. Construction walls would be a major improvement over the current embarrassingly bad Tomorrowland for the 60th.

    Glad Star Wars (and hopefully Marvel) can be used instead of the less popular Pixar. Hoping for a Star Wars overlay of buzz lightyear. I’ll shoot Greedo first.

    • I can’t help thinking it would be a mistake to do all new Tomorrowland attractions as Star Wars. There should be a Mavel Avengers 3D movie to replace Captain EO maybe as Captain America.

      Any news on the Innoventions replacement or update? Or the Astro Orbitor?

    • “eicarr
      August 6, 2013 at 7:41 am

      Construction walls would be a major improvement over the current embarrassingly bad Tomorrowland for the 60th.

      Glad Star Wars (and hopefully Marvel) can be used instead of the less popular Pixar. Hoping for a Star Wars overlay of buzz lightyear. I’ll shoot Greedo first.”

      LOL so true.

      Eicarr, I like the cut of your jib.

  6. Thanks for the update, Al.

    There are far worse franchises upon which to base a Tomorrowland rework than Star Wars, and I am breathing a sigh of relief. I seriously hope they do more than just superficial changes to building exteriors, some plywood cut outs, and a new 3D movie.

    The GAC abuse sounds like a nasty boil on the company’s posterior in desperate need of lancing, but the problem is one which Disney has fostered with their poor (or non existent) oversight of what is, after all, an essential program.

  7. Knocking on Tom Staggs for not using MyMagic+ or Fastpass is unfair since you already acknowledge he uses the VIP service. My feeling is What’s the Difference? You pick the service that represents your status. Tom Staggs’ only problem is he didn’t pay for it himself. As for GAC, that’s a bummer. Another way to skirt the service.

    Is the Muppets out of DCA? Either way, the original Muppets 4D is a waste of time and much too old to hold a crowd.

  8. Why make Tomorrowland go full Star Wars when you seem to be working on making Tomorrowland into the next big parks-based franchise with Brad Bird’s Tomorrowland movie, Disney Junior’s Miles from Tomorrowland and the Space Mountain movie?

    • Hopefully these three will be successful so the Star Wars stuff will get scale back in TL. I would watch these just so TL won’t go full SW. There is also the Tron Legacy sequel and Black Hole remake coming up. What if they are successful too? They would/should make room for them too.

    • 10 points!

  9. I hope that Disney gets as good at fitting non-linked properties into lands based on single franchises as it did fitting various franchises into single lands based on ideals or places and times in history.

    Also, while I understood the links that made Cars Land “acceptable” for DCA, the monsters land still bothers me. The Hollywoodland theme has so much potential and fits with the California basis of the park. Too bad they want to fit in another Pixar land.

    • The Hollywood Land theme will still be there , Monstropolis will be a Mini Land in the corner that no one goes too!

      • Sorry, you’re incorrect. I’ll go with my family, so at least 5 people will go. Can’t wait.

      • What I meant to say the current corner that no one goes to , I’m all for Monstropolis !

  10. Dang – bitter much? I don’t think there are too many CEOs of worldwide corporations out there that use their company’s products and services the way a member of the general public would – that’s just the way the world works in these days of mercenary company-hopping. Getting the first class treatment for yourself and your family is one of the perks that comes with the position, and it’s part of the standard compensation package most places – you just wouldn’t notice or care if it wasn’t something visible like walking around Disneyland. And of course executives have to be able to make presentations about products they’ll never use themselves – get the image of Steve Jobs out of your head and think about just about every other corporate presentation you’ve ever endured – do you really believe that person is going to go home and use that moisturizer/light that candle/read that magazine/put on those tires/etc.? If you’re looking for personal connection, keep your purchasing local – you’re setting yourself up for constant disappointment if you’re expecting it from a multi-national.

    • But to have an exec specifically tout a line-waiting service when they never have to wait in any lines, nor do their extended family merely by association with the exec, that’s something different.

      They probably shouldn’t let the sr. execs who never have to wait in any line or juggle any Fastpass times do the infomercial for the MagicBands. They’d be laughed out of the convention center by all the CM’s in existence if they tried. And CM’s are a HUGE portion of the D23 audience since we get $15 tickets.

      • And who do you propose present it? A lower level cast member who is afraid to speak in public or has terrible speaking skills? An actor who may have never used the service either?

        Just because an executive might not use a service doesn’t mean they shouldn’t present on it if they are the ones overseeing its implementation.

        You think airline CEOs shouldn’t be able to talk about innovations in the cockpit because they don’t ever fly the planes?

      • bacevedo, I wouldn’t expect the CEO of an airline to speak knowledgeably about cockpit improvements. But I WOULD expect the CEO of Boeing or Airbus to speak knowledgeably about cockpit improvements.

        For the airline CEO, I would expect him to speak knowledgeably about the product they give to customers; cabin service, reservations website, frequent flier program, airport amenities. For Tom Staggs to speak about a new multi-billion dollar system designed to help you wait in line, I would expect Mr. Staggs to have waited in at least one Standby line, or juggled one Fastpass return time against the needs of a hungry child or the afternoon parade.

      • I’m sure Mr. Staggs will demonstrate how it works without actually using it.

        We only learn about Mr. Staggs using the VIP service from this website. Who would otherwise know and does it matter?

        I don’t understand why a CEO or Sr. Executive would be laughed by other CMs. Regular CMs are not in position to laugh at their bosses. I think it would be the Imagineers who came up with the Fastpasses and MagicBands who know the technology would chuckle if a manager flubs the system, but I would think they anticipate such an occurence. How many times have an Apple or Microsoft or Google technology presentation gone wrong when the screen froze? More times than they would acknowledge and it happened with the best like Steve Jobs.

        Fastpasses and MagicBands are straightforward and quite hard to mess up. If it is hard, then they haven’t dumbed it down enough. Also, Fastpasses have worked for quite a long time. I enjoy using it and I think it’s great that it is a free service. Complaining about a CEO for not using it is like saying “why not take my ticket. You should use it, not me.”

  11. As much as I used to love Star Wars before George Lucas destroyed it I think the Star Wars overkill will put a lot of people off. Personally I feel they should try to incorporate some Marvel (loved the Iron Man idea) and keep Buzz or at least move it to DCA. I have always thought Tron would work in DCA starting with the retheming (sorry make that actual theming) of the video game arcade, I mean it’s such a no brainer just to make it look like Flynn’s from the outside at least and use the space more wisely like adding floors for attractions perhaps.
    I also hope they are planning to rename Tomorrowland to Yesterland since Star Wars is set a long time ago in a galaxy far far away.
    I have high hopes for Star Wars episode 7 but I think the new Star Wars land is an unhealthy obsession.

    • Very well said I agree fully. At its core star wars doesn’t belong in tomorrowland at all. It is Space fantasy set a long time ago. But if it is going to be there I prefer it share the space with the other franchises/attractions other wise you might as well call it Star wars land, why even call it tomorrowland? Oh yea, I forgot about the fan outrage and rioting in the streets haha.
      Its also like expanding Indiana Jones in adventureland. The one attraction works great but putting it on the jungle cruise, on the tree house etc just would be too much. Also, star wars should’ve been used along with marvel in the 3rd park, where a star wars land could be built from scratch and done right, not shoehorned into existing facilities. I can’t help but think this is a shortsighted and rushed decision by Disney to capitalize on its 4billion dollar star wars investment and not the best choice for Walts park.

  12. I’m not sure why everyone is hating on the Monster’s Laugh Floor- we just got back from WDW and we liked it and I think that would be way better than EO. Also Tomorrowland was never supposed to be based on one theme- I do not like that it will be all Star Wars. I like the Star Tours ride but to base the entire land on Star Wars is tooo much. Also I like Buzz Lightyear and it is always popular just look at the line. One thing that hasnt been mentioned that we should have somewhere in the part is the Mickey Philharmagic either in Disneyland or DCA. It is better than EO or Muppets. Also I havent seen this mentioned lately is the traffic control in Tomorrowland- they need to move the rockets back up on the platform so that entry is not so bottlenecked especially right after a parade or the fireworks. Innoventions needs to go- it has been reworked so many times and they all are time & money wasters. They need to make that something that is new and uses the space in a better way than Innoventions. I know there has been talk about a ride there and that would be great instead of that dead space. But one other place besides Tomorrowland that needs to be redone and revamped is ToonTown- but that is for another discussion.

    • I think the hate towards Laugh Floor is because it is in TL.

  13. Star Wars taking over TL is not a good idea. Buzz? Subs? Autopia? These are going to fit in how? Also, a 3D Star-Wars-based film Attraction (with motion simulation seating) right next to a . . . 3D Star-Wars-based flight simulator Attraction. How does this make sense to anyone?

  14. Not surprised but absolutely sickened and infuriated by the GAC abuse from Cast Members. As a former CM who believes in the honor and privilege it is to be part of the Disney Cast and legacy, I hold special contempt for these vile and morally bankrupt people. If they really wanted a GAC all they would have to do is to be as smart as my wife and myself; plan ahead to make sure they have children with Autism.(of course this is sarcasm) I wish they could experience all the other parts of our lives, all the other adjustments and sacrifices we have to make on a daily basis. The GAC program allows our twins to experience the parks in a way they could not if the program did not exist. The GAC does get us on the attractions faster…sometimes, not all the time but that is graciously welcomed because they cannot stand in line as long as a typical child. So they get to experience the magic of Disney because of the GAC. It is nice to have a time and place when Autism is not a handicap that excludes us from a great time. The GAC allows a place of escape for the twins away from their busy everyday schedule of school and therapy. Disneyland becomes a “happy place” for them and a “source of joy and inspiration”. Hopefully the changes in October can eliminate some or most of the abuse and still give those that actually need the program a way to enjoy the parks as much as possible.

  15. Does anyone know yet what the changes will be to the GAC program? Taking my son who has autism in November, so I’d like to know what to expect. I hope they preserve it for those who really do need it, as my son does. Without it, a trip to DL would be extremely difficult.

    Just a reminder to some of those above leaving comments . . . not all disabilities are visible. My son appears to most as normal, and it’s disheartening to have people glare at you for using the GAC. If they only knew what a struggle it is for us to take even the simplest trip they’d keep their dirty looks to themselves.

    • The main changes to GAC so far have been mainly for AP guests. The card was issued to us for two months at a time and now they have cut that down to two weeks. It might be cut down to every visit in the future which would be a minor inconvenience but well worth it if this cuts down on abuse. The other change may occur with the number of guests allowed with each card, the current number is 6 but we often see larger groups.
      Make sure when you ask for the card that you clearly detail why your son is unable to stand in the stand-by line possibly because of over stimulation and how it would affect him and possibly others. There have only been a couple of times that it has been difficult to get the card. I don’t know if your son is very sensitive to noise but my twins wear noise reducing headphones and they are a great help. I hope you have a great time in November! Hang in there with the glares-just try to focus on how much fun your son is having.

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