MiceAge Disneyland Update: Goat Hijinks, Jedi Mind Tricks and Rabbit Holes

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

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Published on January 07, 2014 at 3:00 am with 129 Comments

The Disneyland Resort has just finished one of the most consistently busy Christmas seasons in its history, and you can practically hear the Cast Members breathe a sigh of relief this week. But now the parks in Anaheim plunge into a winter of unknowns, as money from Burbank is coming in fits and starts, and with recent pre-Christmas layoffs in TDA casting a chill over many back-of-house and nonessential departments. In this update we’ll recap just how busy the season was, what’s really going on with some of the weird refurbishments this year, and what’s been approved and what is still on hold for both Tomorrowland and the 60th Anniversary in 2015.

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Got that leftover frosted snowman cookie warmed up?  Market House Starbucks latte poured (the lines are so much shorter than the DCA location)?  Good.  Let’s get you updated on the latest in the ever-evolving news coming from the Disneyland Resort.

A Merry Little Christmas

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The two weeks of Christmas and New Year’s always bring the very busiest days of the year for the Disneyland Resort. This year the calendar and the weather cooperated perfectly to provide a steady stream of domestic and international tourists to Anaheim. With perfect sunny and warm weather for two weeks straight, the crowds remained consistent from day to day, instead of the attendance peaks and valleys caused by a few rainy days last year. From December 21st through January 4th the two parks pulled in almost uniform attendance each day, with Disneyland at around 65,000 per day, and DCA around 35,000 per day. The very busiest day of the holiday season for Anaheim was Friday, December 27th when just over 101,000 people packed into both parks combined. Disneyland did have to suspend ticket sales for several hours on the 27th, and several other days in the past two weeks, forcing late arrivals over to DCA until early evening when Disneyland could reopen to them. But the local press never picked up on that story like they usually do, and TDA has gotten smart with how they train CM’s to phrase things at the ticket booths and parking lots now when Disneyland becomes full to capacity. The result was a two week stretch of extremely busy days that slipped under the radar with the media and most of the park’s fans.

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Although 2013’s holiday season missed setting an attendance mark on any one day by a few thousand, unlike last year when a cold rain slashed attendance for a couple days and then compressed that attendance when the sun returned and pulled in 105,000 for both parks a few days after Christmas. But the steady and consistent pace of daily attendance in the 95,000 to 100,000 range this year proved that a steady pace wins the race, and the overall 2013-14 holiday season is going down as the busiest and most profitable in the Resort’s history. After Bob Iger’s recent comments to the investment community about this past summer and fall featuring “increased visitation and spending” at the Anaheim property while Disney’s Orlando property struggles with both of those things, the folks in TDA are simply thrilled at the results from this holiday season.

Please Continue to Hold…

But now TDA has to wade through a tough corporate environment this winter, where big investments like Star Wars Land that Bob Iger had broadly hinted just a few months ago would be coming to Disneyland are still stuck in that unfortunate holding pattern we’d told you about in the last update. As our Editor’s Note last week leaked however, that first phase of the Star Wars makeover of Tomorrowland did mercifully get the green light from Burbank in December.

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While no exact date has been set for the project to begin, the current plan will see the complete reskin and remodel of the main Tomorrowland buildings flanking the entry walkway off the Central Plaza. The theme for the opening act of Tomorrowland will be a futuristic looking “space port”, that frames the existing attractions nicely while setting up the environment for all the new Star Wars experiences planned for the back half of the land whenever they finally get approved.

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If funding holds, The Astro Orbiter, perhaps the most unfortunately placed of all of Disneyland’s attractions, will be ripped out and go to Yesterland temporarily. A new version of this classic spinner is planned for Tomorrowland. But when it reappears as part of the Star Wars project it is supposed to be placed on the upper levels of the buildings on the back half of the land near Space Mountain. The old PeopleMover tracks over that section of the land will also be torn out in this first phase. Buzz Lightyear’s Astro Blasters and Star Tours will continue to operate throughout this construction project, as TDA’s planners have plotted out a series of moveable construction walls and temporary walkways through the aesthetic re-Imagineering of the building’s exteriors.

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But the real substance of the Star Wars Land project, the new rides and shows, are all backfilled into phase two of this Tomorrowland project. And phase two is all still on temporary hold for Disneyland, and appear to be simply cancelled for Disney’s Hollywood Studios out at WDW. The optimists at Imagineering however are using this additional time stuck in limbo to their advantage. The Imagineers assigned to the Star Wars Tomorrowland project have now been debriefed on the characters and plotlines coming for Star Wars Episode VII that opens in theaters in about two years. The original plan for Disneyland’s Tomorrowland relied heavily on characters and plot points from the first three Star Wars films, with attractions like a Millenium Falcon walk-thru on the old PeopleMover platform, a wild Tatooine cantina replacing Tomorrowland Terrace, and a speeder bike ride through an Ewok village where Autopia currently sits. Those key attractions are all still part of phase two, but they are being layered or tweaked to include references from Episode VII that will be released in theaters at least 18 months before any of those attractions open.

Sub-Thing to Tide you Over

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Meanwhile, at the back of the land and before any of this has formally been announced, TDA is sticking to their original operations budget for Fiscal Year 2014 that was based on Star Wars Land already being announced by now. Disneyland President Michael Colglazier has brought an old WDW tactic out to California, where a WDW attraction is closed for “refurbishment”, but little if any work is done while they save money by not operating or maintaining the attraction for an extended period of time.

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WDW management is most infamous for doing this with Splash Mountain at the Magic Kingdom Park. For years now, like clockwork, Splash Mountain closes for January and February. Some years the ride remains untouched during the closure, and some years the ride sits untouched for only a month before they go in and spend the last few weeks painting a bit and doing some actual maintenance. But the annual eight to ten week closure during the winter is simply a ruse and a way to save a nice chunk of operating labor on a water ride during the coldest and slowest time of the year.

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A version of that strategy is basically what’s now happening with the Submarine Voyage at Disneyland. Except the “refurbishment” is slated to last a year and refurbishment work is focused almost entirely on saving the Resort a lot of money on its water bill. The 5 million gallon lagoon, built in 1959 and inadequately patched up in 2006, now leaks like a sieve into the sandy Anaheim soil and constantly needs topping off with new water. The Resort will soon be draining the lagoon, and has received a special permit from the Orange County Sanitation District to send the water on to Orange County’s underground aquifer basin instead of just flushing it out to the Pacific. This will earn the Resort credits from the water district and brownie points with the local politicians, plus give Disney something “green” to crow about by its Public Affairs team. And the empty lagoon will also save TDA a lot of money in a drought year, on top of the huge crew of Attractions Cast Members and extensive nightly maintenance that easily makes the Submarine Voyage the single most expensive attraction to operate at the Disneyland Resort.

Once the lagoon is drained and the subs placed in mothballs, the attraction is planned to sit quietly and wait while the number crunchers in TDA count the savings for the rest of this fiscal year. If Star Wars Land finally gets approved and announced later in 2014 as Imagineering hopes, the submarines will have already been closed and can remain closed as the Blue Sky Cellar reopens with a splashy new exhibit showing the Endor forest and a new E Ticket ride where the submarine caverns currently reside. But if Fiscal Year 2015 approaches in October and the Star Wars project remains in financial limbo, TDA might consider performing a few weeks of a legitimately needed refurbishment to the underwater sets and vehicle battery packs themselves in order to reopen the ride by next Christmas. But that would require spending money that just isn’t flowing right now.

TDA executives, knowing Star Wars Land is the wild card even Burbank can’t pin down now, have also cooked up a timeline that has the submarines closed until the spring of 2015 and reopened as part of the nostalgia themed 60th anniversary. The subs would then close again in 2016 when the speeder bike ride begins major construction on the roof of the submarine caverns. But, again, that’s only if the Star Wars project continues to be delayed.

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With that, TDA thinks they’ve played their cards right and have just successfully closed the old submarines for a second time, but this time without any drama from fans or the media. Unlike Paul Pressler who infamously closed the submarines with a clumsy public announcement and subsequent media dustup in the summer of 1998, Michael Colglazier timed the closure for the busy holiday season when the locals weren’t paying attention. TDA also got an incredibly vague refurbishment story out on the Disney Parks Blog to give them a bit of cover. They even closed the ride a day early this past Sunday, due to a facilities issue that the park management happily blamed in order to shutter the ride early and avoid any sort of scene by passionate or suspicious fans at the end of the night. It worked.

Remember?

While that news is tough to swallow, it’s about as bad as it gets in Anaheim, at least for now. The news on the 60th Anniversary plans for 2015 aren’t exactly great, as the budget has been slashed and hacked quite a bit, but TDA thinks they can pull something off for the fans while spending much less than originally planned. Gone are the plans for an all-new night parade for Disneyland. Instead, there’s currently an idea to bring back the Main Street Electrical Parade from the dead and slot it back in to the nightly Disneyland entertainment lineup. This cheap and easy offering would be marketed under the broad nostalgia theme they have decided on for the 60th, where old favorites and long-gone pieces of Disneyland history return for 2015.

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The Golden Horseshoe Revue is planned to come back to Frontierland, after proving a hit last winter. (Even if Miss Lilly and the can-can girls generated a few concerns at City Hall from oversensitive visitors.) TDA is also mulling a plan to build a temporary CircleVision theater, in a tent, for a return engagement of America The Beautiful. And for the holiday season of 2015 they are considering re-installing the spectacularly kitschy Christmas star on top of the Matterhorn like the one that was used from 1961 to 1972. The star was mothballed in 1973 as a victim of the Energy Crisis that year, before it could become a victim of better taste by the 1980’s.

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So the 60th, as it currently stands, won’t offer any new rides, and no permanent new offerings, but instead will be a year-long celebration of memories and oddball history. And in that type of nostalgia-fueled environment, the cheap plan to ship the old Electrical Parade out from Florida is something TDA thinks they can pull off successfully.

Meanwhile, in Disney California Adventure, there’s plenty of work ahead this winter and spring. Mary Niven has cancelled her standing weekly meeting with her top strategists and operations managers from around the park as they plotted out operating strategy for the Monstropolis project, now that the Monsters Inc. Door Coaster and attached development got the axe from Burbank. Instead, the focus for DCA turns to Soarin’ Over California, which will be closing next month for an aggressive four month refurbishment.

We’d told you in past updates about this HD makeover plan for Soarin’ that Disney has yet to formally announce and that hasn’t shown up on public planning calendars yet. But the project is a big one that escaped the budget knife in November, and it will be a race against the clock to get both theaters completed within four months. To upgrade the theaters to a digital HD IMAX system, the existing IMAX metal screens must be removed and replaced with new screens designed for the new 4K laser projectors and the slightly different image they cast.

The audio system behind the screens and in the theater will also be upgraded, while the flying theater infrastructure itself gets a full refurbishment. WDI will also be installing new equipment for better smell effects, as well as infrastructure for the water spray effects that WDI has planned for the new Soarin’ The World movie coming to DCA and Shanghai in 2015. Don’t forget that we’d told you last year to mark March 12th, 2014 on your calendar, as that’s the evening WDI will be flying HD cameras over and around the Disneyland Resort as they film the new ending to the attraction.

While the Subs and Soarin’ refurbishments will be the most noticeable this winter, there are plenty of other closures planned for both parks. The Redwood Creek Challenge Trail, Pirates, Splash Mountain, Columbia, and Indiana Jones Adventure will all be closed for at least several weeks at a time this winter into early spring, while Small World and Haunted Mansion also undergo their usual January refurbishments.

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Big Thunder Mountain will be reopening officially by early February, and soft openings could be occurring by late January after Cast Members are invited to ride in mid January. When those soft openings and previews do begin, there will be a few new surprises in and around the 1979 classic E Ticket. The biggest changes arrive in the final lift hill, which has historically been known as the “Earthquake Scene” and has already been subject to several upgrades in the last 20 years. This time, the earthquake concept is shelved in favor of a more dramatic mine explosion triggered by a rather famous animatronic goat (Google “Disneyland Goat Trick” if you aren’t familiar). Digital mapping, smoke and mechanical effects in this new scene will all combine to make that final lift hill a bit more menacing, while changing the plotline of the ride back to the original 1970’s concept of “bursting out of the mine” at the top of that lift for the final thrill portions of the track.

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More goat tricks on the way.

 

Now scheduled to go down February 3rd.

Now scheduled to go down February 3rd.

At about the same time Big Thunder Mountain reopens after 14 months of work, Alice In Wonderland will finally close for its long overdue refurbishment to replace the exterior track. The Alice closure was pushed back yet again from January to February, as TDA and WDI both buy some time to try and salvage as much of the lavish dark ride improvements originally budgeted for the 60th anniversary as they can. If Burbank agrees to unfreeze the budgets for the remaining Anaheim projects while they try to stem the flow of red ink on the massive MyMagic+ project in WDW, the Fantasyland dark ride improvements will get the green light, so we could still see that fully animatronic and expressive Queen of Hearts yet. But if the budgets remain on lockdown through this winter, this year’s Alice refurbishment will focus solely on replacing the exterior track with a wider version that meets California’s strict employee safety standards for fall protection.

Oh-kay – that wraps up the current status of what we can tell you at the moment. There is a remarkable atmosphere of uncertainty hovering over the plans for the resort.  Between ride refurbishments, anniversary plans and new attractions, even Burbank and Team Disney Anaheim are scratching their heads in wonder.

How the Anaheim property emerges from this winter of unusual refurbishments and budgetary uncertainty is yet to be seen. But we will continue to keep track of these developing and ever changing projects and provide you the information as the pieces fall into place.

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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129 Comments

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Comments for MiceAge Disneyland Update: Goat Hijinks, Jedi Mind Tricks and Rabbit Holes are now closed.

  1. What happened to TDA telling the guys out in Orlando to keep the Main Street Electrical Parade. And what makes you certain WDW will be so willing to give it back to them after three years. Especially with Spectromagic now scrapped. Unless WDW no longer want to deal with the added cost of a night-time Parade.

    • Magic Kingdom has a fancy new Steve Davison designed parade on the way that they can run by day and night. They’ll be ready to let go of the Electrical Parade just about the time Disneyland needs it. But will it still be functional after the years of abuse WDW has been subjecting it to?

      • I saw MSEP indoors and protected on my last trip to WDW. It looks like they have kept it in great shape.

  2. Wow so work walls around the beautiful tomorrowland lagoon the entire year? Unacceptable.

    • Maybe they’ll use themed scrims to cover the empty lagoon? A scrim that wraps around the whole lagoon, printed with an image of the water, several subs at their dock, and the seagulls on their bouy would be nicer than plain walls or an empty lagoon.

    • So obviously you found the walls around Big Thunder Railroad almost all year long unacceptable too? Or the walls up in and around New Orleans square to expand Club 33 unacceptable? Temporary walls around Alice for 3 years was ok? Come on. If something has to be refurbed, it’s the price we pay. We will never, ever have a 100% fully functional and pretty looking park.

      • Um did you even read the article? What is unacceptable is boarding up an entire iconic area of Disneyland simply for the reason of saving operating costs, with little or no intention of actually refurbishing or improving the ride. This is not the case with BTM or Matterhorn as both had complete track replacements as well as new special effects added to the ride experience. Matterhorn also had a beautiful new and improved paint job. If these attractions were boarded up for the sole purpose of saving money throughout the year as their fate was being discussed, then yes, absolutely that would be unacceptable, but that wasn’t the case. Both rides were significantly improved, which according to the article, is not the case of Nemo. Alice is a minor attraction on the corner of fantasyland and doesn’t have construction walls around it, and doesn’t compare to the subs which have the largest footprint of any attraction in Disneyland. And club 33 scrims are for an actual work in progress, which again according to the artcicle, is not the case for the subs which are closing indefinitely to save money until their fate is decided, not for extensive refurbishment as was the case for BTM or Matterhorn. The examples given are irrelevant to the information of the article and what I find to be unacceptable. Nonetheless, it is these kinds of decision that makes it easy for me not to renew my Disneyland AP for the time being.

      • I think $92 is a pretty high price to pay already…

  3. Sounds like Pressler and Harriss are back in TDA.

  4. The Electric Parade coming back? For crying out loud, they’ve whipped that horse to death! It’s too old and worn out to pull TDA’s collective butt out of the fire yet again. As far as the nostalgia angle, it hasn’t been gone long enough. Sure, when it left in 1996, there were tears of sorrow. But the last time it left, did anyone even notice?

    Then, as a previous poster noted, that would leave Florida’s Magic Kingdom without a nighttime parade. Maybe they feel that attendance is so strong they don’t need it, and that fireworks will be enough. That would certainly be in line with traditional Disney World thinking.

    They need to stop grasping at inexpensive straws, leave the Electric Parade in Florida and design a new nighttime parade for Disneyland.

    • I would be very surprised if WDW was willing to give the parade up. They run it nightly, even during the quietest times of year. With Fantasmic! in the Studios, MK really needs a nighttime parade to give some meaning to the evening hours; the mass exodus to the buses after the fireworks is bad enough as is

      Plus, didn’t we get reports after less than a year of the parade being in WDW that the floats had all suffered a lot of damage from being exposed to the harsher elements in Florida? I was under the impression that TDA wanted nothing to do with the parade after that

    • Please, please, please do NOT bring back the Electrical Parade. I went to DCA to see it when then pulled it out of storage the first time. I was hoping for a magical experience down memory lane. Instead it was just tired and old.

      If they bring it back again, I know I will officially be done with Disney.

      “Burn me once….”

    • I agree. I loved the parade as a kid, and even had the fortune to drive for the parade when I was a CM in the early ’00s at DCA. But I don’t want to see it back either. It’s time for that parade to be in moth balls for good. I want something new at Disneyland. It’s becoming painfully obvious that it has been far too long since anything new and exciting has come to Disneyland. If it weren’t for the place Disneyland has in my heart, I’d just go to DCA instead.

    • Agreed. Let it actually “glow away forever.” Put it out of it’s misery, already!

      • Honestly, its better than no night time parade at all, I am sick of the fireworks being “the best thing to do at night in the parks” because they are BORING! Any nighttime parade (with the excuse of light tragic) would be good in the park right now.

  5. Interesting that suddenly there’s some plausibility to the subs’ return. According to your previous updates, I thought their closure was supposedly a done deal

    And that “incredibly vague” Parks Blog post about the refurbishment is far more specific than what most attractions get. Short of a major overhaul like Big Thunder (or…gasp…that subs), they don’t comment on routine maintenance

    Rumors of a temporary CircleVision theater date back a couple years, when they were toying around with extra hours for APers. They still haven’t done it yet, but I think it would be a lot of fun (if they can find the space to make it work)

    • Their closure is mostly a done deal. But they aren’t in any rush to destroy the subs or fill in the lagoon because they need to keep the attraction on the books (so they can use its budget for something else). If Star Wars gets canceled or delayed again, then it could come back, but the likely scenario is that Star Wars gets announced and the subs quietly go away after a year of closure. Remember, Disneyland Resort will soon be challenged by Harry Potter at Universal Hollywood. Disney will need Star Wars as their counter strike. And the recently approved aesthetic retheme of Tomorrowland is a placeholder on that project and a first step toward a major change and expansion of Tomorrowland (which would require the removal of both the Subs and Autopia). But if they have a significantly delayed Star Wars and they find that they are critically deficient on the 60th plans, they could refill the lagoon and reopen the subs for a short time if they had to. It’s something they need to crunch the numbers on as the 60th gets closer. Obviously, hopes are on Star Wars and not on reopening the resort’s most expensive attraction.

      Though things were much more dire last month, just days after Iger yanked all the budgets, shut down and delayed projects and forced layoffs and massive budget cuts over MyMagic+. With a month to shuffle things around, the parks are figuring out what they can get done with what little they have left. After you read Kevin Yee’s update today, there is reason to believe that MyMagic+ fears may also begin to loosen for Bob Iger and he may start to get the creative wheels moving again in Imagineering. There’s reason for hope.

      • Dusty I respectfully disagree. Short sided descions to milk money out of a cash cow was done with the permission of Disney Corporate, back in the 90′s as it is today. Always done to counter BAD moves by Burbank. How could they allow so much money to wasted on NSA level spy system for guests? No data told them people wanted this thing. Yes, I want every second of my vacation planned out to the second. Very few.

        More closed attractions, higher ticket costs, less park. What is it, 3 years now for that dopey Alice in Wonderland ugliness. There’s simply NO excuse for that eyesore. Replacing Old out dated attractions with even Older out dated attractions, ie Capatin EO.

        Datedland’s 50th Anniversary was a joke! Gold Mickey Ears and photo murals. really. Now the 60th is even worse than that. This turkey is all set to fail. Wal-Mart Santa hats for the so-called jingle cruise, is just insulting to their customers.

        Disney hasn’t built ANYTHING of any significance in 20 years. We just get cheap mistakes, with some silly overlay as a quick patch. All the while the claims of not enough money. Really! they rake in a $100 a head for a OLD, dated park that is long passed been amortized out. The park is the gift that keeps on giving.

        The updates on attractions can only be done, if they write of the cost on The Oriental Land Company. They’re getting tired of it.

        Hey Disney make tons of money. Make all you can. Just re-invest a reasonable amount of money on expansion, capacity and God for forbid some kind of MAGIC!

        Let you’re Passes Expire folks. It’s the only way they’ll respect you in the morning. Go to Knott’s, Uni, Sea World, San Diego Safari Park.

      • My hope is for the Subs to return and Autopia to get updated. I also hope Star Wars is delayed for so long where they rethink about the plans and use it for part of the 3rd gate ( w/ Marvel and maybe Avatar).

        I am looking forward to the “complete reskin and remodel of the main Tomorrowland buildings”… Except for AO/new spinner going on the SM patio. It should be put back on to the platform.

      • Well said, tooncity!

  6. It’s interesting to me that we can declare that 2014 is a drought year, even though we’re less than a week into it

    • I’ll assume you’re not from California and don’t understand our weather, here’s the thumbnail précis: Southern California doesn’t get rain all year, instead getting rain and snow in just a few months of winter storms.

      Now 2013 was already one of the driest on record, so we are already in a short term drought, and reservoirs & aquifers are low all over Southern California. Basically we’re taking out more water than we’re getting, so we have a water “deficit”.

      Now if we’d been whipped by winter storms this year we might have made that water deficit up, but like Al said we haven’t been seeing the storms we’ve seen other years. A series of high pressure ridges have been keeping things warm and dry this rainy season, we only have 20% of the usual snow levels in the Sierras, and unless we see a Noah’s Flood level deluge the drought we’re already in will continue the rest of the year.

      • I lived in southern California for 6 years, so I’m familiar with the weather there. From my experience, most of the rain seemed to come in February and March, with a little more in June and possibly December. There’s still plenty of time to catch up

        Reservoirs are likely low because they aren’t built at the same pace that the population grows; they’ve been low for years so this isn’t really new. The low snow levels may be a decent indicator though; still I think it’s too early to make that call (especially when there’s a very good chance Disney will be pumping those millions of gallons back into the lagoon at the end of summer)

    • The official rain year runs from July 1 – June 30. (Incidentally corresponds to the state’s fiscal year). This makes sense because California gets rain in the late fall through early spring, and this unit of time is what is impact by El Nino, La Nina, etc. Comparing years based on a Jan 1 – Dec 31 calendar would be pretty inaccurate.

    • Northern Californian here. It WILL be a drought year. No rain up here and our lake is dry. No water so send down to So Cal.

  7. The MSEP has SOME merit because when Flights of Fantasy opens in March, it will be the new day AND night parade. However, there is no way in holy heck MSEP will survive being transported 3,000 miles again. TDO is NOT taking care of it and some nights it goes out with whole units missing. MSEP, maintained by TDO, is 2 seconds away from becoming SpectroMagic. Unless TDO keeps MSEP and actually spends money to fix it during FoF run.

    • I was under the impression that FOF would have 2 performances, but they would both be during daytime hours. Way back when, DL would have 2 performances of its daytime parade, and also 2 performances of MSEP. Why couldn’t MK do the same? Granted, they don’t have the parade storage issue that DL does (there’s only room for one parade at a time in the space between Main Street and Tomorrowland), but it is still operationally feasible

      And for what it’s worth, MSEP would also occasionally have units missing during its run at DCA. From what I saw, it was much less frequent, but it happened nevertheless

  8. “”Why couldn’t MK do the same?”"

    ^^ Because………………it’s MK………under Phil Holmes and George K. YEA.

  9. wow, I had no idea Disney was hurting so bad financially. Maybe we can take up a collection for them…

  10. Well if anything, the Thunder Mountain goat triggered mine explosion sounds freaking awesome. I can’t wait to see this.

    • I was slightly dissapointed to hear that the earthquake is rumored to be no more, but this idea actually sounds pretty cool

    • Maybe that’s part of the reason they never bothered fixing the broken earthquake rocks in the WDW version, if they knew this changed scene was on the horizon.

  11. The Pressler era has returned.
    Same OLD dusty crud from Datedland!
    Save your money folks and let your Passes expired until they actually give you something for your money, instead over overprice food and overprice trinkets.

    • The difference between now and the Pressler Era is that Pressler cut budgets and maintenance because he was trying to pad the bottom line to make himself look better. Today, they are spending literally BILLIONS of dollars on MyMagic+, Avatar Land, Shanghai development, Star Wars development, and all sorts of interactive projects. The money was flowing freely until Iger realized that consultant fees and other overruns of MyMagic+ were out of control and that the project wasn’t likely to generate the revenue needed to make its cost back. The emergency condition that the parks are in at the moment will not be a permanent thing (at least so long as they figure out how to squeeze a few extra dollars out of every guest . . . which they will).

      • Makes sense, but don’t quite understand the line that they need to keep the subs on the books so they can use it’s budget for something else. That sounds like Anaheim is just trying to confuse Burbank?

      • That’s exactly what Anaheim is doing. Keep it as an attraction for FY 2015 and keep funding available just in case. This is a common business practice.

      • People need to remember that Disneyland is a BIG cash cow in a BIG cash cow business. To think Bob Iger’s only consideration in approving budgets for TPR is whether or not people will enjoy the offerings, or “feel the magic” are sadly mistaken. He might be trying to rob peter to pay paul, which happens regularly, or he might be trying to justify another even larger project that has only gotten as far as the 500 building on the Lot. Either way I can’t say I’m disappointed with how my Disney stock has been performing over the past 12 months.

  12. Thanks for the update sounds like a fortifying postion at Disney while they figure out how to counter USH IMO while saving money at the same time.

  13. I just hope this Star Wars take over of Tomorrowland is just a bad dream. Can’t wait till I wake up.

    • Yeah not everyone is in love with Star Wars (especially afters eps 1-3) and it certainly isn’t the best science fiction has to offer.

  14. I doubt that Disney will be able to squeeze more money out of their quests this year. Universal has potter coming this year. That is going to draw many new families over there which will more than offset a few more churros purchased at WDW. When they make a mistake, they take a decade to admit to it. So I see budget cuts at Disneyland to offset the costs. Also they might try to implement it at Disneyland, which would be a mistake. But the accountants would then have two cost centers to spread the red ink over.

    • It does not appear that Disneyland is in any hurry to implement MyMagic+. They’ll let Florida work out the kinks and go through all the pain.

    • Harry Potter won’t be at Universal until 2015, though they will have Despicable Me opening this year, so Harry Potter won’t be leaching any DL visitors in 2014. Also, Universal is a fun place to go, however, it is still just a 1 day park (in fact we did it all in about 3/4 of a day). If anything, Universal will draw more visitors to California who will then go to Disneyland to supplement their Universal day.

      • If the Despicable me attraction in Hollywood is anything like the one in Orlando it will only be about a D ticket attraction and I doubt will move the needle much in attendance.

      • Nice that Disneyland has to rely on Universal to get guests for them

  15. Seems like Disney is expert at sneekiness and inventing “truths”. Wow, they’re politicians!!

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