Wow! What a busy week for me! Bowling, villains, and more. First off, let me give a HUGE thanks to all who supported Team MiceChat at the 2013 Blogger Bowl! I am so grateful and thrilled to have taken part in this event. We had so much fun and our Team finished third in the bowling tournament. Your donations go to help Give Kids the World Village, the charity which sends very ill children on Orlando vacations. Again, thank you all so very much for helping touch the lives of families in need.
I also attended the Unleash the Villains event at Hollywood Studios on Friday the 13th. I wrote a full article on Wakefield Report sharing my thoughts and experiences from the nights events. Sadly, it seemed Disney was just not ready for so many people to converge on DHS. How is it they were not ready? Passholders and cast members alike had been buzzing about this event since they announced it almost a year ago. High marks should go out to Disney Entertainment for providing an amazing stage show and wonderfully costumed characters. The originality, creativity, and energy of the stage show and dance party was a much welcome experience for a Orlando crowd that has been starving for anything new for the last half dozen years. I can easily see Disney holding this event again, charging a hard ticket price, and scaling back on the amount of people who they let in. Let just hope Disney operations management is ready next time. A lot more people walked away angry than folks who walked away happy. That’s never a good thing,
On to the podcast . . .
9 NEWS NUGGETS YOU NEED TO KNOW:
Story 1: A man has filed suit against Six Flags Great Adventure because he was told he could not ride the “Nitro” ride and some other coasters because he has a prosthetic arm. The man claims he felt “shame and embarrassment” over the incident and is suing because “he has had trouble sleeping and getting the images out of his head,” Personally, I think this might be a bit over the top. Six Flags, I assume, is not letting him ride because of safety reasons. Imagine if they did let him ride the coasters and he fell off a ride? Six Flags would definitely have a lawsuit on their hands. Is this man just looking for money or are these sour grapes merited? It’s a sad thing when a theme park is sued by a guests because they take precautions to keep someone safe. (Insert your own joke about safety rails at Disneyland here)
Story 2: I continue to hear bad things about the current state of Disneyland Paris. It really upsets me to see the endless pictures and videos coming out of Paris that show the park degrading and in a constant state of disrepair. I came across this article from a group of Disneyland Paris fans that states that a new big ticket attraction may not be coming to DLP until 2020! That is a long way away and I really think the DLP crowed deserves better. The recent 25th anniversary celebration last year showed the potential of DLP and hopefully the locals out there can get vocal enough to shake off this sad state of complacency at DLP.
Story 3: Kevin Yee provides a great walk though and article about the new Princess Fairytale Hall at Magic Kingdom. I was sad to see Snow White’s Scary Adventures go away, and to be honest, I am less than thrilled to see this new meet and greet area. Disney Mommy types tell Disney how much they love throwing their kids in front of characters for pictures, and Disney is responding by ripping down rides and creating more meet and greet opportunities. Personally, I think meet and greets should be spontaneous, organic and fun. Today’s meet and greets are overly structured, forced, and watered down. Maybe one day we can find a happy middle ground of great fun meet and greets that don’t come at the cost of closing attractions.
Story 4: So have you heard about the movie Escape From Tomorrow? It is a guerrilla film that was shot inside of Disneyland and Walt Disney World. The film was screened at the Sundance Film Festival earlier this year and now the trailer for the film is out. The trailer is somewhat vague as to the exact plot of the film but a lot of people are giving it high marks for its creativity and uniqueness. There is a certain vocal group of people who are hoping that Disney sues the filmmakers for making this film. Using the excuse that the filmmakers didn’t have permission to film inside the parks, the people hoping for a suit are probably just upset because the film doesn’t show Disney in the most Pixie Dust filtered light.
Story 5: Food trucks are on the way to Downtown Disney at Disney World this fall! The only current spot at DtD I go to for a decent lunch is Earl of Sandwich so I am more than excited about these food trucks coming to town with some creative and tasty sounding options! Now lets hope they offer an annual pass discount. (Fingers crossed but I’m not holding my breath)
Story 6: Universal is planning to go BIG! During a recent conference call Universal chief Steve Burke says that he wants to add “thousands of rooms” to the Universal Orlando resort. With the resort only sporting 2,400 rooms (4,200 after Cabana Bay opens next year) Universal is eying about 15,000 rooms at the resort in the long run. In a startling revelation Burke says attendance at the Universal Studios Florida has grown 20% since June! That is a similar jump that was seen by Universal when Wizarding World of Harry Potter opened three years ago. Universal is ready for a fight and they are dealing blow after blow to Disney World. A lot of people have had their heads in the sand for a long time now about the current state of things at Disney but I think a lot of eyes are being opened and Universal is right there to pick up the pieces of a lot of broken hearted Disney fans.
Story 7: Disney Cruise Line has announced that they are cancelling two cruises on the Disney wonder ship in January. The cancellation is for “unplanned maintenance”. No word on what the exact issues is with the ship but I’m thinking it would have to be something relatively serious to cancel the sailings. On a positive note, Disney is providing a full refund, 25% off the gusts next sailings, and they are covering any airline change fees that would be incurred by impacted guests.
Story 8: Elton John, Billie Jean King, Venus Williams, and Andy Roddick will be at ESPN Wide World of Sports on November 17th to participate in a celebrity charity tennis tournament. The event is open to the public and tickets can be purchased here.
Story 9: Derek from MiceChat’s Unofficial Universal Orlando Podcast has provided us with a great first timers guide to Universal Orlando’s Halloween Horror Nights! Even if it isn’t your first time to HHN, give this a read and make sure you are prepared for all of the madness that is Halloween Horror Nights!
By the way: If you want to be super cool and awesome, it would be great if you took a minute and went over to iTunes and left us a nice review. 😉
You can hear all of this and more on Episode 47 of the Wakefield Report Podcast: