MiceAge Update – Enhancements for Disneyland, Tire Replacement for DCA

Written by MiceAge. Posted in Cars Land, Disneyland Resort, MiceAge Update

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Published on September 30, 2014 at 3:00 am with 110 Comments

The first week in October begins the new fiscal year for the Walt Disney Company, and for Disneyland Resort that almost always means projects either kick off or wrap up in order to satisfy the sharp pencil boys who are always trying to defer the bills to the following fiscal year. Fiscal Year 2015 is no different for Anaheim, as lots of plans awaiting approval in Fiscal ’14 will now be getting underway in Fiscal ‘15. In this update we’ll fill you in on the previous rumors we’ve told you about that got approved, and a few long shot surprises that will be coming very soon to the Anaheim parks.

Diamonds are a Park’s Best Friend

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Fiscal 2015 will be the year remembered as Disneyland’s Diamond Celebration. While the budgets for the 60th celebration aren’t as big as they used to be before MyMagic+ began wreaking havoc all over the place at the Florida parks, there are still some very lavish entertainment additions heading to both Anaheim parks. The night parade coming to Disneyland, based on Hong Kong’s new Paint The Night parade, got several key additions and plussed up extras compared to the Hong Kong 1.0 version. Most notably, several additional float units and lighted performers were added for Disneyland, plus a last second decision to create a new Frozen float for the parade.

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Disneyland’s Entertainment team is working out the details on the logistics and choreography for this new night parade, after carefully studying the Hong Kong version and finding some weak spots. The concept of a “show stop” with magic paint brushes activating LED effects on the performer’s costumes and floats was supposed to make the jump to Anaheim, but Disneyland’s team has found the concept a bit hokey and barely noticeable by the Hong Kong spectators standing along the parade route frantically trying to get their paint brush to do something.

Parades with lengthy show stops often fall flat with audiences, as it can seem as if the parade has come to a grinding halt due to a technical problem or traffic jam, rather than a purposeful pause for some unexplained theatrical flourish. If the paint brush effect is barely noticeable and unimpressive, there are plenty of Operations people in Anaheim who would prefer that the Entertainment team just keep the big new parade moving along instead of stopping for an ineffective sight gag that most folks won’t understand.

Aside from tweaking the massive new night parade, Disney’s pyrotechnic wizards are busy putting the finishing touches on the new fireworks show. This will be the 15th anniversary of Steve Davison’s fireworks shows in Disneyland, since he first boosted his career with the successfully ground breaking “Believe… There’s Magic In The Stars” fireworks for Disneyland’s 45th anniversary. But before the new show can debut next May, lots of new equipment must be installed so it will be back to the future as Disneyland returns to performing the simple (some might even say archaic) Fantasy In The Sky show this winter and spring, beginning Friday, January 9th.

To prepare for the new parade and fireworks show the backstage alleys behind Main Street will be wrapping up later this fall. The project has been scaled back quite a bit since we first broke the news to you on the proposal almost two years ago, and instead of a fully themed companion to Main Street USA, the alleys will be simple 15 foot wide pathways making a doglegged short cut behind existing Main Street buildings. The eastern alley will feature nicely rebuilt ends on the south and north entry portals to the alley, particularly on the north end where a new First Aid facility with a themed two story façade will replace the 1970’s era trailers hidden behind cheap lattice walls. But the alleys themselves will be simply adorned and unable to access the Main Street buildings they pass directly behind.

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The likely scenario here will be that the alleys will remain closed behind decorative gates for most of the day, and only be opened by the crowd control teams at the height of the nightly crush when all the new night entertainment is happening. They won’t be nearly as lavish and fully themed as the original concept, which was to feature additional retail and park amenity space. But when Disneyland attempts a lavish new night parade performing up to twice per night, plus a huge fireworks show, and multiple showings of Fantasmic!, those alleyways will be a dramatic improvement over the crush of humanity that already swamps Main Street on busy nights.

And all the other projects and nostalgia-fueled concepts we’ve told you about for the 60th continue full speed ahead with the funding green light for the new fiscal year, including sparkly new Diamond Celebration silver nametags for the Cast Members. The rehab for Peter Pan’s Flight has now grown to over three months long, as the plan to plus up that classic dark ride for the 21st century has now been slotted to begin on Monday, February 9th and extend into late May.

The 60th won’t only focus on Disneyland though, as the full remake and plussing of World of Color we’d told you about continues to move forward. That will cause World of Color to go down for a long winter’s nap after Christmas, as they rebuild and refit the existing infrastructure with new plumbing and special effects.

Flat Tires

There’s another addition coming to DCA for 2015, which has been in stealth mode for the past few months as WDI has had to walk carefully around some powerful Imagineers to get out of the starting gates. The result is that Luigi’s Flying Tires is now slated to close on Sunday, January 11th to be remade into an all new ride, in the shortest amount of time possible.

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We’d told you back in 2013 how John Lasseter continued to put his considerable influence behind the Flying Tires attraction, even though Mary Niven’s operations team at DCA felt the ride was a real turkey. In that previous 2013 update we told you how DCA Cast Members leaving their shifts were surprised to find Imagineers at Luigi’s after the park closed testing remote controlled Guido characters. The remote controlled Guido forklifts acted as battering rams who would bash into the tires and help move them around the attraction. That idea continued to morph artistically at WDI, while the Operations team in Anaheim schemed to do away with the ride permanently due to the low customer-satisfaction scores it receives and the unfortunate track record of injuries from people tripping while they try to climb into the cumbersome vehicles. John Lasseter’s dream of reinventing the Flying Saucers from his youth never quite worked well, and everyone in Anaheim and a growing group in Glendale knew it but didn’t have the guts to tell Lasseter.

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But after lots of political footsie with Imagineers, TDA has now gotten their wish and the original Luigi’s attraction is planned to close just after Christmas. The current plan is to replace the Flying Tires and the oddball and easily overlooked “Festival of the Flying Tires” backstory with a new attraction that removes the need for the riders to steer their own vehicles. A fleet of 1950’s Fiat cars, ostensibly Luigi’s extended family visiting from the old country, will spin and twirl around the floor in a choreographed musical production number in the new ride tentatively called “Luigi’s Festival of the Dance”.

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The new ride will keep the existing tire showroom building and indoor queue, and use a version of the WiFi controlled system that guides autonomous vehicles through the Ratatouille ride at Disneyland Paris and Mystic Manor at Hong Kong Disneyland. The massive fans and deep basement that powered the Flying Tires ride system will be put into mothballs, while the new ride is built literally on its grave. If the aggressive schedule from WDI pans out, the new ride could be up and running by the Christmas season of 2015, just under a year from the time the Flying Tires closed.

There’s no word yet whether they might get Fiat to sponsor the Luigi’s Festival of the Dance ride, although that would probably upset the bigwigs at General Motors who have been in recent talks with TDA to once again sponsor at least one attraction in each Anaheim park. When the Star Wars Tomorrowland plan was officially dead and buried earlier this year, WDI began contemplating an updated version of Autopia that would fit perfectly with a GM sponsorship. Autopia and/or a GM sponsorship of Radiator Springs Racers, with those soaring Cadillac tailfins, are on Disney’s wish list of corporate agreements now that GM has exited its dark bankruptcy era and has money to spend.

When Hollywood Freezes Over

But before Luigi’s Flying Tires can join the Rocket Rods, in the short list of failed Anaheim attractions, DCA will need to get through the busy holiday season. And as we’ve told you, the Frozen franchise will be invading DCA’s Hollywood Land section in a big way this Christmas. Ice skating, a new stage show, plus Frozen exhibits and merchandise, food and beverage offerings, and lots of icy décor will take over most of the Backlot area of Hollywood Land.

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The Frozen characters themselves will now be moving from Fantasyland over to the Disney Animation building, and they will set up residence in the space that was always supposed to be reserved for character meet n’ greets; Character Close-Up at the exit of the Animation Academy. That area hadn’t been used for character greetings in over a decade, and it’s most recently been the site of the nifty Toy Story Zoetrope machine. But the zoetrope will be packed up and moved into storage and that area showcasing recent Disney or Pixar movies will be redressed as Anna and Elsa’s royal lair. The greetings will be by reservation only, as they’ll use a form of the Fastpass tickets currently in use for Frozen in Fantasyland.

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You won’t be able to avoid Frozen this winter when you enter Hollywood Land, and the end date on all this Frozen fun is open-ended as Burbank wants TDA to ride the popularity for as long as possible. Burbank really missed the boat on the Frozen craze last winter and spring, losing out on a lot of merchandise sales and theme park visits since they weren’t prepared to satisfy customer demand for Frozen. They’ll try harder this Christmas season, and keep the additions around indefinitely, but it may be too late to drive much new business. The last-minute addition of Frozen to the upcoming night parade at Disneyland, plus the makeover of Maelstrom in Florida, means that Frozen will be found in the parks for decades to come, perhaps to serve as a reminder that Burbank needs more faith in the product they create.

New Year, New High Definition

And once DCA concludes the holiday season with a big Three Kings Day celebration in early January at the returning Viva Navidad show, it won’t just be Luigi’s Flying Tires closing for an extended period. Soarin’ Over California will finally be moving forward with the transition to an HD digital format that was cancelled at the last minute a year ago. Soarin’ will also close on January 11th, and remain closed until late May. It won’t just be an HD upgrade however, as the Soarin’ building and all of Condor Flats are now budgeted to receive themed Placemaking by WDI.

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Condor Flats and Soarin’ were the lone breakout hit for DCA when it opened in February, 2001, and if it weren’t for Soarin’ the generally crummy reviews for the park in ‘01 would have been truly horrific. But Soarin’ and the surrounding shops and restaurants still have a 2001 design that doesn’t fit with the new period-specific (and much more expensive) aesthetic that WDI has been ladling onto DCA since Toy Story Midway Mania opened in 2008. Gone will be the circa 2001 generic props and cheap shopping mall signage around Condor Flats, to be replaced with a distinctly mid 20th century vintage look and feel. The interior hallways and theaters of Soarin’ Over California will also change, with vintage props and a more enveloping queue and pre-show.

The transition to an HD format should be a stunner, as the simple upgrade to digital recently at DCA’s It’s Tough To Be A Bug show made a huge difference in that 15 year old theater. The new Soarin’ worldwide footage will have to wait however, as the Soarin’ The World footage is slated to debut first in Shanghai Disneyland, whenever that horribly delayed and massively troubled project is able to open sometime in 2016. But DCA’s signature attraction from 2001’s opening day will at least get a fresh new look and impressive tech upgrade for the 60th celebration.

While DCA flogs the Frozen craze to death this winter and closes several shows and attractions for big makeovers, Disneyland will also be heavily into refurbishment mode. A larger than normal amount of cosmetic and infrastructure improvements have been added to the Fiscal 2015 budget for Disneyland. The exterior cosmetic refurbishments that began this summer at the Main Entrance and Main Street USA will continue to spread throughout the park, while the usual rolling refurbishments of attractions continue through spring.

It’s important to remember how much better Disneyland looks today compared to 10 years ago when it was scrambling to fix years of neglect before the 50th Anniversary began. But as good as the Resort already looks, TDA wants to make sure the park sparkles for the Diamond Celebration, and the TDA planners carved out a big chunk of extra money to make it happen. It’s a good reminder of how passionate about Disneyland many long-term executives in TDA are, even if the Disneyland President top spot is a revolving door position that is filled by a nomadic and emotionally detached exec every three years. (Michael Colglazier’s executive contract in Anaheim will be up in early 2016, barely 15 months from now.)

Legends of the Fall Protection

While the park exteriors are being freshened up this winter, more attraction refurbishments will be scheduled to fix the glaring problems with lighting and animatronics in too many rides lately. Those inoperative fixtures and figures are all due to the panicky “Fall Protection” standards that Disney’s safety team imposed in Anaheim suddenly last year, after Disney was fined due to an outside contractor falling and breaking his arm while cleaning the Space Mountain dome in November, 2012.

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The most noticeable maintenance problems caused by the fall protection standards currently appear in Splash Mountain, where entire lighting racks hung from the ceiling and some animatronics placed too close to tall ledges are now off-limits to Disney’s maintenance teams. Splash Mountain will close for refurbishment this January, and TDA has dedicated a healthy budget to rebuild and re-engineer the lighting rigs and animatronic sets throughout that ride so that maintenance teams can return to performing upkeep in those areas. Until that refurbishment however, Splash Mountain will remain a dark and creepy ride with many inoperative animatronics. Rolling rehabs at other less noticeable problem areas in other attractions and facilities will begin this week and continue through the spring, under the beefed up budget for Fiscal ’15.

Interestingly, many of the exact same physical conditions and maintenance scenarios exist at the identical or similar rides in Walt Disney World. But with Florida’s far less legislated environment, no state inspector will be bothering any of the Team Disney Orlando managers to bring their facilities up to the Anaheim standards for worker safety. While Disney executives love to gush about “One Disney” and their universal safety standards on each coast, when it comes to spending a lot of money to upgrade the facilities that are identical to Anaheim, the Orlando team is curiously quiet on that specific topic.

Okay, that just about wraps things up for this update. Does news of an enhanced 60th anniversary parade have you twinkling with delight? Is an updated Lugi Tires attractions inflating your expectations? Let us know your thoughts below.

If you enjoyed today’s update, please be sure to share with your friends on Facebook and Twitter. We’ll see you again soon. 

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. The MiceAge news Editor can be reached at: [email protected]

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  • FerretAfros

    I agree that the Flying Tires have been somewhat of a flop, but I have a hard time believing that they’re giving up on a $300million attraction so quickly. Given that the attraction functions properly, but is just less popular than expected, that seems like a very expensive solution to a relatively minor problem; not every attraction needs to be a home run

    I’m also not sure if there’s a big enough footprint for a trackless ride (sounds similar to a dry version of Aquatopia at TDS), but I suppose it could use some of the remaining Timon lot space if needed

    • yellowrocket

      Take it with a grain of salt… MiceAge used to be the bastion for reliable park rumors, but since the Subs DID in fact return, along with several other misguided rumor reports, not all of their information is reliable.

      • bamato

        Yellowrocket, I feel your comment is a little off-base. A lot of the rumors and reports here are in fact not rumors, but facts confirmed by TDA. The Miceage crew can’t do anything about TDA changing plans as they move forward. Miceage said from the start that the subs may or may not return. These guys all do a great job presenting us with the most reliable information they can offer. I certainly appreciate everything they do!

      • DLFan1995

        This is a pretty solid rumor. The info is reliable as I understand it.

        Of course, the issue now is whether being run through some sort of dance in Luigi vehicles will be any more entertaining than the Flying Tires. It doesn’t sound that interesting tho me.

      • MoonRakerSCM

        Bamato- I feel your comment is off-base. They are rumors and are never confirmed by TDA. Unless it is an official press announcement or direct confirmation from a Disney owned source, they are rumors and nothing more. The here and there statements of ‘from sources deep within TDA’ from MC or anyone supporting MC does not make anything confirmed.

        DLFan1995- What makes it a solid rumor? Because MC says so, some random person on the internet says ‘my sources say this is true as well’, Bamato calls out someone questioning a comment suggesting otherwise? MC has a mediocre record at best and people on here seem to forget things as they happen. These are rumors, nothing more, and are not official until DISNEY itself announces anything.

        People on this site are quick to dismiss the past… it’s so convenient to just say that ‘oh, plans changed’ when a an equal and very likely explanation is that the plans never existed. As Yellowrocket mentions, EVERYONE except MC said that the subs were returning… and then they did. For years different ideas have ‘been reported’ to redo Tommorowland, and nothing has happened. Remember when DCA was going to have Monstropolis? Never happened. Remember when Frontierland was going to double in size? Never happened.

        Sure, they get some things right, likely because they hear whispers of some things going on from their source. But these are rumors and never ‘facts’ just because MC or even worse just an everyday reader of MC thinks so.

      • Internitty

        Miceage amended their claim that the subs may or may not return to the subs would return and stay open for the 60th anniversary then be closed after the 60th. I personally hope this is completely wrong but they are right so often I don’t hold much hope for the future of the subs.

      • yellowrocket

        Exactly! They amended their rumor when it became painfully clear that the lagoon was not closing. What else were they going to do? I used to check this site daily, but with the increased negativity, heavy reliance on podcasts, plus the addition of amateur writers with little or no editing (Terri Hardin’s articles are almost unreadable) and the disappearance of Kevin Yee – now, I only visit on Tuesdays to see if there are any rumors circulating, no matter how unreliable they may be.

      • redmars

        To be fair, it seems like whoever are MiceChat’s sources use this column as a trial balloon for certain concepts. Also, by all accounts, not a whole lot was done to Finding Nemo, and several effects are still missing. Seems like MiceChat was right on that.

      • yellowrocket

        They were NOT right on that. They were WRONG. They said it would close permanently; a statement which caused quite a bit of ruckus in the Disney fan community. The rumor was wrong. It has now reopened.

      • bfdf55

        MoonRakerSCM, I’ve also heard that the rumor is based on solid info, NOT from MiceAge. You know, there are people here who actually have their own sources, many from actually within the company.

      • bfdf55

        If they had actually closed the subs, then everyone who claimed that they would return WOULD BE WRONG.

        Everything was based on rumors at the time. MiceAge has been right in the past and they have been wrong in the past. But to focus so much intensity on this issue is of absolutely NO value.

    • gmaletic

      $300 million? I assume you mean 30? (I don’t know that it’s 30 either, but 300 million is way too much. Radiator Springs Racers cost around $200 million.)

      It’s jut not a fun ride, and if you can build a new ride while leveraging an existing ride infrastructure—and its beautiful queue—then it’s probably a good idea.

      • DisWedWay

        Indy DL was $150 million plus or minus.

      • Marko50

        Actually, that’s your opinion. I love the tires and I’m kinda pissed that they may be rolling away. And I also hope that if this happens that Lassiter doesn’t get pissed or discouraged and stop doing stuff for the parks.

      • Mackster

        Luigi family dance sounds an awful lot like the tractor ride to me. Is that what we can expect? Mater’s ride but in Fiats instead of tractors? If that’s the case then it is a huge disappointment already. I was never a fan of the flying tires but it was not that the concept was wrong it was that the engineering was flawed. If they wanted hover craft bumper cars then they needed to make them more maneuverable. That would have been an easy thing to do without having to use people leaning this way or that. Had they simply had a moveable disk layer between the soft tire and the hard platform you road on which cold be spun around by the rider, with an opening on one side of the disk that connected to a opening at the center of the disk, such that you would turn a disk similar to the one on the tea cup right that would move the disk with an opening under the seat to direct air out an opening you could have steered the tires without ever having to lean this way or that. Which would have also allowed them to use a heavier thicker tire portion because it wouldn’t be required to flex as much to steer the tire…. it was a good idea done poorly…. the dancing fiats will likely be a bad ride done well… Not sure which is worse.

    • Tomorrowland_1967

      With all due respect to bamato … have to say … he has a selective memory. Miceage was pretty adamant from the start …. that the subs were going .. and Star Wars stuff was moving in. Only later did they alter their own words to say “it MAY come back”. And now I read only just recently .. Star Wars land replacing TL is completely dead. I hope it was never on the table to begin with. I can’t imagine the heads at Disney were really considering turning one of DL’s original 5 lands into a single franchise land. Thinking everyone and their dog is a sure/bonafide Star Wars fan.

  • RodeToad

    Great update as always.

    Condor flats – do you know if the mid-century makeover will be “’50’s National Park-lodge-like” or something else? The special posters they made for “Planes” that were ’50’s National Park-inspired seemed like a possible future tie-in to the area.

    No Star Wars “land” updates? 🙁
    Lol. Any news?

    • yellowrocket

      Maybe they’ll move Walt’s “EarForce One” plane from the studios park in Florida to Condor Flats since that area of the park is shutting down. It would certainly go with the mid-century design they are now going with.

      • DisWedWay

        How about the tanker truck in Florida that will be out of a job soon and would fit in Radiator Springs.

    • cruise

      I hope they go the National Park route, and tie the “land” together with Grizzly Peak. In it’s current state, Condor Flats is much less a “land” and is more just Soarin’ and a few facilities to support it.

      I’m not a fan of these single attraction “lands.” To me, that type of design reminds me more of a Universal park rather than a Disney one.

  • marksummer

    The original Flying Saucers ride in Tomorrowland was a marvel. Luckily, I never experienced the many breakdowns that led to it’s closure. I do vividly remember that clever way that one part of the ride was always loading while another part of the ride was in operation. There was an intense kinetic energy to this attraction that as a ride was probably no better than Luigi’s. But the saucers were so cool to sit in and to look at. They were flying saucers, not flying tires! Way cooler!

    • Algernon

      It did look a lot better than a bunch of stupid tires.

    • whamo

      I’m jealous. I always wanted to go on that ride. Every time I was at the park back then, though, it was down for repairs.

  • LoveStallion

    Well, I called it two years ago. Luigi’s Flying Tires wasn’t going to make it past its fifth birthday, I figured. And here we are.

    Per FerretAfros, was it really a $300M attraction? That seems alarmingly expensive for an attraction of its type, and I find it hard to believe it really costs that.

    Either way, yes, it works, but it’s dreadfully boring and altogether pointless. I’m not sure the dancing fiesta or whatever will be much better, but it’s a start.

    Really, this would be a chance to extended the racing portion of RSR into some of LFT territory and build a simpler replacement for the latter.

    • FerretAfros

      I’ve seen the $300M figure in several places; it’s high, but believable when you consider how things spiraled out of control on it. The original budget for it was somewhere in the $100M-150M range, which wasn’t enough to get the system up and running (big surprise!). The original was notoriously expensive and difficult to operate; what were they expecting with this one?

      And I agree that the alternate idea doesn’t sound too exciting either, and the whole festival of the “whatever” tires idea is really strange without any logical connection to anything. It will be interesting to see how this plays out

      • LoveStallion

        Or ORRRR (!!!) a desert-themed Mystic Manor. Not part of the Cars family, but who cares.

  • MyFriendtheAtom

    nervous about them touching those dark rides… Alice refurb was overkill

    • LoveStallion

      And we didn’t get a projected Queen face, which was the one thing they promised.

      • MoonRakerSCM

        Did Disney officially promise it? Or was it just MC who said they did?

    • Algernon

      I’m terrified about the same clowns who brought us Tarzan’s Treehouse, the Nemo Subs, ugly safety railings, and paving stones, messing with Peter Pan. But I no longer go there, and, thankfully, Virtual Reality will soon be here, for those of us who like things the way they used to be and wish to revisit past and much better versions of Disneyland.

      • ayalexander

        Perhaps in your virtual reality, you can go on virtual micechat and sit on your virtual high pedestal there while chanting “subs, treehouse, peoplemover” like you do here, the only difference is that you will get all the attention in the virtual reality version, while we bask in the glorious silence of not having to hear your infernal chanting.

      • loungefly97

        Tony Baxter recently talked about the Tree House on a podcast. Basically Tarzan saved it from being removed completely. It was a true binary choice: no treehouse, or Tarzan’s treehouse. The budget was also severely limiting based on expected response. But early response was so good that the budget, in hindsight, could have been larger, with actual animatronics, etc.

        Either way, it wouldn’t exist otherwise.

      • yellowrocket

        Really? You’d rather not go to Disneyland at all than accept change? Fine. Stay home and look at the park through your computer screen and remain upset because there is a window off center. The rest of us will be enjoying the levity brought by your absence that is keeping it the ‘happiest’ place instead of the most negative place on earth.

      • Algernon

        To all those who don’t like what I have to say, all I can say is, “I was as you are, you will be as I am.” One they will destroy the Disneyland you love. That day is coming, and you, too, will take refuge in the world of Virtual Reality.

      • MegaDisney

        SMH. Could you be anymore condescending?

      • Algernon

        So, I take it that to you Disneyland is just a piece of real estate where any and all changes are okay with you, even if they turned the Small World Ride into Whoopi Goldberg’s Tugboats to Tehachapi, to promote their latest failed movie project? And I was not trying to be condescending.

      • ayalexander

        Algernon, if small world was turned into a Whoopi Goldberg ride, it would probably be because of a sudden burst in popularity. My point is, if small world were to become outdated to the point where no rehab could make it exciting and wonderful to the modern world, I’d say “rip it out, put something new” I love certain attractions, I’d probably throw a fit if they demolished Indy or Haunted Mansion, but that fit would only last a few days, the thing is, nothing in this world lasts forever. Haunted Mansion will probably get a complete rebuild in 10 to 20 years from now anyway, those old-fashioned movie-set construction scenes won’t last as long as the heavy duty construction of lets say…the Mermaid sets or like the Indy sets.

      • yellowrocket

        Yep! The wonderful world of virtual reality! Let me just whip out my Nintendo Virtual Boy while I enjoy this ice cold Crystal Pepsi or maybe a Zima. Later, I’ll run down to Circuit City and buy the divx of Lawnmower Man before I head to Chicago’s DisneyQuest to play Ride the Comix.

        If you had it your way, you’d stop Walt from building the Monorail so you could ride the Viewliner in whatever the 1950s version of virtual reality is (a viewmaster maybe ?).

      • Algernon

        Actually, Disneyland is the 1950’s version of virtual reality. Walt Disney is my greatest hero, and had he lived longer, we would be living in a far better world. His last project before he died was EPCOT (the community, not theme park). It would have been a model for non-polluting transportation and clean, perfectly planned communities. When he died, it was abandoned. A man of dreams was replaced by people with law and accounting degrees. To many of them, Disney is just a gig until the next opportunity, be it hotel management, or a cruise ship line comes along.

        Virtual reality and augmented reality will soon be here, and the ones who are mocking it will look as foolish as those who said man will never fly. The world will change rapidly, and brick and mortar theme parks may not survive. Hopefully, Disney itself, or perhaps historical societies, will create versions of Disneyland for every year of its existence. Wouldn’t it be great to “go back in time” and attend the opening day ceremonies, maybe even attend your high school reunion, as yourself, as you were back then?

      • ayalexander

        Algernon, no I wouldn’t wish to do any of those things in virtual reality because its weird. If you could do all those things in virtual reality, then thats the same amount of things that you wouldn’t be doing in the real world. The growing problem with society today is that more and more people are spending their whole lives in front of a screen, be it phones, tablets, movie theaters, tv’s, car monitors, and computers. If people would just put down their screens and just go out into the world and try something new, you’d find it much better. I may not make much money but I always make an effort to go on a road trip a couple times out of the year, often stopping at new towns or cities I’ve never been, or going to a national or state park I’ve never visited before. I’m only 22 and I’ve been more places on the west coast than anyone I know. I travel back roads to stay off the beaten path, I go to diners, parks, and monuments. Because I know one day they may not exist anymore, and I want to have seen it for myself. Yeah maybe technology will let you do something like that, but I’d rather see it for myself.

  • Susan Hughes

    Wait! So Elsa and Anna will no longer be present at Disneyland? Only at DCA? That doesn’t make sense. First of all, thematically speaking they shouldn’t even be in Hollywoodland. I know their meet and greet has it’s problems over in Fantasyland, but it’s a better fit for them. To remove them completely from Disneyland doesn’t make sense. There’s nothing wrong with having them at both parks. It will double the opportunity for guests to see them.

    • rstar

      That was my thought. Why remove them from Disneyland? Fantasyland is Princess Central!

      Great update, Al & crew! Thanks you!

      • Susan Hughes

        This won’t do anything to satisfy the out of control hunger of the guests to see them. And it could just piss them off more if they have to go to DCA instead of having all the Princesses in on place.

      • Marko50

        Susan, your first comment made me think maybe you were thinking rationally for once. Then came your followup…

    • solarnole

      I think it’s the same reason why they are going to remove them from Magic Kingdom and put them in Epcot. It makes people with young kids go to a park that they would normally skip. It’s a better mouse trap but the Frozen characters do not really fit in DCA or Epcot.

  • The Shadoe

    ” It won’t just be an HD upgrade”

    It better not be an HD “upgrade”! HD might be a great buzzword when referring to the definition we find on our television sets, but by definition IMAX has a greater resolution than HD.

    • daveyjones

      i believe this refers to replacing the original film (analog) projectors with digital ones.

    • Monoautorail

      HD projectors have lower resolution than film, but films get dirty and scratchy, break, etc. Digital projection has a sustained ability at nearly flawless projection, even though pixels are, as you say, by definition lower resolution than film is.

  • tooncity

    No NEW attractions. Nothing to see here folks, keep moving.
    Disney just continues to waste it’s potential.

    • ayalexander

      You don’t call a replacement for Luigi’s a “new” attraction? Or the rebuild of Condor Flats? If you think about it, the only corner of the park that isn’t getting enough attention is the back ends of Tomorrowland, other than that, all corners of Disneyland are popular, there is no need for a new attraction. Its not like in the 60’s where there was acres and acres of land to be had, today there is no land left and building a new attraction means destroying something else. By all definitions, Disneyland is FULL.

      • tooncity

        Another Defender. Hey take off those ROSE colored glasses. Datedland ahs many CLOSED attractions that they’re turned into shop or restaurants. Yeah, that Carousal of Stupid Invention is a real attraction. Flight to the Moon, behind Red Rockets Pizza. Closed Fantasyland Skyway Station CLOSED. All the CLOSED and shuttered effects in Toontown. What about the Area between Main Street & Space Mountain. What’s about Starcade, that’s been a dusty dinosaur for 25 years. Area behind Splash Mountain???? Bust out that Waste of space on the Winnie the Pooh store/Long Bar. There’s lots of room, Stop being such a HOMIE!

        Pull your head out- buddy, you’re starting to smell!

      • ayalexander

        is it cloudy up there on that pedestal of yours?

  • Baloo

    Well at least, they could eventually remove the huge air equipment backstage and give them more room room for expansion.
    I wonder if they can eventually come up with something in the future that uses the huge underground pits for a two level attraction which is something that I had wished they did for pooh when the country Bears were removed instead of filling in that huge basement

    • yellowrocket

      There was a huge basement under Country Bears? Wow. What was it used for? I’m guessing 1970’s era computers to run the animatronics? Since MK had the DACS (?) control room centralized, its version doesnt have a basement, other than the Utilidors.

      • Baloo

        The country Bears theaters had a huge underground area. It was quite interesting. Several of the animatronic bears that rose from the bottom up to the stage were down there and had lifts that would activate to bring them up during the show.

        We were allowed to see how the show worked once in a private event. They allowed us to look down into the pits and they look pretty large. There was two theaters so each theater had there own pits although i don’t remember if they were connected to each other and if they occupied the whole show building.

        If i remember correctly they were filled in when they re-used the attraction building for Pooh. when i had heard about the new attraction i had hoped that the new pooh ride would have been built like Alice and used the bottom level to make areas of the ride multilevel adding room for better show rooms and effects. sadly we got a watered down attraction with lots of empty areas and static figures

  • Disney_Dad

    This is all good news. However, I’m curious to know when the rest of the FL dark rides will be going down for upgrades, as we were told in an earlier report that they would all be enhanced in time for the 60th.

    • Lobot

      I’m guessing they will only upgrade a couple of the dark rides now. They would have to stagger the work since they couldn’t have all of them closed for three months starting in early February.

  • RBNeale

    The new parade and fireworks sound great, although while we’re waiting, I wish they’d go back and re-run the “Believe…There’s Magic in the Stars” show, because that was just stunning!

    It’s long past time they should re-do the Flying Tires. I think the Dancing Tires sounds like it could be a lot of fun if it works as I’m picturing it, depending on how intricate/surprising the “dance” moves are. I imagine it like you’re square dancing, but you don’t know what the “steps” are going to be. Could be a lot of fun! Maybe even have a voiceover of Luigi calling out choreography like waving your arms or clapping, simple “chicken dance” kind of moves. They could even pre-program in different “dances” so it wouldn’t get boring. On the other hand, I can see them going cheap and dull with it, too… 🙁

    I read a lot of contempt (or semi-contempt) for Disney and their “missing the boat” on Frozen madness last winter, but I don’t really blame them too much. How could anyone have anticipated how that movie would take off the way it did? My guess is that when the suits previewed the movie, they thought it was good, like Tangled, but not an Earth-shattering phenomenon (like Lion King was). That was certainly my reaction when seeing it. How could they know it wasn’t going to be another Chicken Little or (worse) Meet the Robinsons? (OK, I would hope even the suits would be able to see it was better than Meet the Robinsons…) Personally, having Frozen “take over” doesn’t bother me too much, because I know it will get scaled back again eventually. But wouldn’t it be great if they could have Frozen replace the Aladdin show (which is still great, but it’s time for a change)? That would be expensive, I know, but I think there’s a lot that can be done with theatrical effects that would be thrilling to see. Far better than a simple sing-along.

    • FigmentJedi

      Why you gotta be hating on Meet the Robinsons? It was a good movie that started this whole quality upswing from feature animation and the aesthetics would be perfect for a Tomorrowland overhaul.

    • Susan Hughes

      The Imagineers who were converting the Rapuznel meet and greet into Frozen weren’t sure how the movie would do. That’s why they saved all the Tangled elements, in case they had to re-install them back into the tower.
      But now it sounds like if Elsa and Anna are abandoning their current spot, so Rapunzel and Flynn could return. They’re both still very popular.

    • Internitty

      Doesn’t dancing Fiats sound a lot like Mater’s Jamboree?

  • eicarr

    Florida lawyers should all be greatful to the big money Disneyland will bring them. Every safety upgrade is an aknowledgement by Disney that a problem exists (that they or public inspectors found). Those injured on a WDW version should use Disneyland’s version as a court example to get damages. WDW has decided saving money over lives is more important, so any damages awarded must me MASSIVE so WDW will change its ways.

    • yellowrocket

      More WDW bashing. Go on. Get it out. Let it go.

      The reason WDW won’t have those fall protection updates isn’t because of money. Each state has their own rules. Naturally, California has stricter guidelines due to a number of environmental factors that aren’t in Florida – seismic activity is one off hand. And, if we’re going to point fingers, lets look at the number of cast member casualties in Florida (with 4 parks, thousands of hotel rooms, multi-modal transportation, and 2 water parks) versus the deaths and injuries at Disneyland. WDW may withhold the money to build quality attractions these days, but I’d say they certainly care about the safety of their employees.

      • daveyjones

        Why no mention of the protection that Reedy Creek offers WDW in terms of Florida’s state building and safety codes? That’s the primary reason we aren’t seeing fall protection work on property out there.

      • yellowrocket

        Wrong. Reedy Creek would only offer favoritism for local city (and some county) building codes. Do you really think RCID could override OSHA? I’m an engineer that worked on buildings in Celebration before it was separated from RCID. All Florida state codes are intact. Any fall protection issues the state has are already in place. Quit trying to see controversy where there is none.

      • solarnole

        Under One Disney you are allowed to smoke medical pot and have same sex marriage at WDW because apparently all California laws are valid in Florida at WDW.

    • gimackenzie

      Are you insane?

      “Every safety upgrade is an aknowledgement by Disney that a problem exists”

      Almost none of these “safety enhancements” are due to actual problems. Do you see people falling into the castle moat? Or workers raining down from the Fantasyland rooflines? This is all the result of overactive inspectors and spineless Disney lawyers allowing their imaginations to run wild in the worst way, and nothing more.

      • TodAZ1

        What eicarr is saying is true, though. If Disney is making the safety upgrades at Disneyland and something happens to a guest or worker at WDW from basically the exact same operating system/circumstances (cleaning the outside of Space Mountain, for example), the lawyers for the injured party could, conceivably, come at Disney with the “You fixed it in California, why not in Florida?” argument. And they’d be right to. Disney clearly is seeing the situation as a safety concern. But, what……………only a concern in California??

      • Algernon

        They are ruining the look of the place. Virtual Reality can’t get her fast enough. Forget the real thing.

      • Internitty

        Virtual reality is so yesterday. Go to Rekall and get a memory implant of the perfect vacation for a fraction of the price and free up all that wasted time that could be used more productively leaving sarcy comments on blogs. Choose from any Disney era, relive opening day at Disneyland over and over.
        “For the memory of a lifetime: Rekall”

    • MarkW

      I heard there were lawyers hanging out by the Disney World castle moat waiting for people to tumble off the drawbridge for lack of sufficient fall protection!

  • Nola ron

    Great update and as always great pics! Plan on being there late May.

  • fnord

    Darn, I was looking forward to ride the tires to see how
    the experience compares to the flying saucers which I
    rode once as a third grader.
    It seemed impossible to control your direction, the lines
    moved slowly due to low capacity, and I didn’t ride
    again because there were so many great attractions,
    why revisit the lesser ones.
    But if I visit anywhere this fall, it will be diagon alley
    in orlando.

  • Disneykin Kid

    I always thought that the problem with the Flying Tires was that they were too big. They are considerably larger than the Flying Saucers, The smaller Flying Saucers seemed to be more nimble.

    They really need to put Star Wars and maybe Marvel in the third park. People are going to expect Diagon Alley type of immersiveness, you can’t go back now after Diagon Alley – and they just don’t have the space to do it in Tomorrowland or Toon Town – which to me is a big head scratcher. Theme Tomorrowland to Guardians of the Galaxy and maybe the new Tomorrowland movie.

    • mondo

      It makes perfect sense to theme Tomorrowland after the upcoming movie. And maybe a little of ‘Miles from Tomorrowland’, an upcoming Disney Jr. show.

    • second blue teacup

      Given that the average modern porky kid weighs what an adult weighed back in the 60s, I’m not surprised that they made the saucers so big. You’re looking at 600+ pounds if mom, dad, and kid ride one tire.

  • Blu923

    no news on the 60 hour party?

    • ayalexander

      I hope they let us know soon. I’d give my left two lug nuts for that 60 hour party. No matter the cost.

  • DisneyDoll

    It’s good to hear that they are spending some money on the park to bring back some of the magic that has been lost. I’ve always loved going but when you fly from Australia & are a huge Disneyland fan, it was very disappointing to see how the park had gotten so run down. I look forward to visiting for the 60th celebration.

  • mycroft16

    Where are they getting all this extra money for expanding project scope and doing extra work when MyMagic+ is wreaking havoc with all their budgets?

    • AaroniusPolonius

      Considering that they just had rises in attendance at nearly all their parks (notably not Disneyland, however,) and just released the biggest animated money maker, ever, I’d say there’s your answer.

      The MyMagic+ caused Disney to curb spending meme is totally getting old, and is absurd, to boot. We’re talking about the most attended theme park operator in the world by a landslide amount. Their last few quarterly reports basically noted that the parks generate a billion a month in revenue, and that 250 million is pure profit. Disney doesn’t invest in their parks for reasons beyond WDW technology projects gone successful. And yeah, it’s taboo here to state that, but is there any indication that the armbands aren’t working at WDW?

      • The Lost Boy

        We visited Disney World last September and participated in the beta testing of My Magic Plus./Magic Bands The only controversy was from those visitors that asked us about the Magic Bands and were upset that they couldn’t get the for themselves. I’m looking forward to the system being implimented at Disneyland.

      • Marko50

        You seem to be the only one.

  • Ravjay12

    The flying tires suffer the same fate as the original!? Hahahaha! That’s funny. 300 million wasted. Probably another 2-3 years before they get anything new now. The dark rides in Fantasyland badly need an update. The Alice refurb looks great and the rest should get the same treatment. All those Fantasyland rides are ancient and Walt would’ve updated them too.

  • Angeldude98

    I agree that Luigi’s Flying Tires is a dud. I rode it only once and that was enough. It’s hard to figure out, steering is extremely difficult, and the tires can get hopelessly stuck in the middle of other tires. I hope the replacement ride is much better!

    As for the upcoming nighttime parade at DL… it sounds great! Though I do wish they’d bring back the Main Street Electrical Parade! That parade was one of the best and most magical highlights of a visit to DL back in the day. It needs to come back!!!!!

    And yes, the park looks SOOOOO much better now as compared to the 1998-2005 period when it was in such neglect thanks to the management of that time who cared more about marketing and merchandising than about keeping the park sparkling and full of magic… as it should be. I imagined that if Walt had been alive then, he would’ve died of a heart attack after seeing how his beloved park was being so neglected and was run down. I am happy that DL looks as good as I remember it from earlier days… if not better. However, I do think they are seriously overdoing it with those “safety enhancements” (I hate what they’re doing to Sleeping Beauty Castle). I mean, come on… seriously? No one has fallen or gotten hurt from falling off the SLC bride (no one has ever fallen from it as far as I know…). Those side railings look awful!!! 🙁

    Anyway, in spite of that the rest of the park is looking great. They do need to bring a major NEW attraction to DL park sometime soon though… it’s been a long time already.
    Very curious to see how the 60th Anniversary will turn out to be like.

  • danielz6

    Luigis definitely didn’t cost 300 mil, that was Radiator springs racers. And why replace a boring attraction with another boring attraction,and is redundant with the already quite fun Maters up the street? At least the tires had nostalgia for the folks who miss the saucers.
    The whole thrill of aquatopia, which was one of the rides that really surprised me at Disney sea, is that you don’t know when and where you are going to get wet. That thrill is augmented by the trackless system as you don’t know what direction you’ll go and can suddenly turn and get hit with water unexpectedly. So a dry version of aquatopia would just be boring.

  • Baloo

    Maybe these last couple years instead of spending money on remote controlled Luigis they should have spent money on figuring out a way of making the ride vehicles smaller so that they moved along the platform easier. I bet you though that Lawyers were involved and worried that smaller tires would be a concern of going too fast.

    Speaking of money wasted, Does it bother anyone else that they spent years and millions of dollars creating unique entertainment like lucky the dinosaur and Luxor and then all of a sudden they disappear never to be seen again. The last time we saw Lucky and Luxor they were both in WDW. I wonder if poor Luxor is still locked up in the closet in Pixar place at hollywood studios park rotting away never to be seen again.

  • KEBSD

    I am envisioning the new Luigi’s ride as being similar to Aquatopia at Tokyo Disney Sea. It doesn’t really have any story or logic behind it, but it’s fun to ride.

  • Benvolio7

    “If you enjoyed today’s update, please be sure to share with your friends on Facebook and Twitter. We’ll see you again soon.”

    No Google+ love? I know you’re on there…

    I very much enjoyed todays update, but I hope you don’t mind… I don’t use Facebook or Twitter and will be sharing it on Google+ instead.

  • Golden

    I’m heading to DL resort this coming April, along with 5 people who have never been before. I’m kind of sad about some of this:

    1) Flying Tires – I missed it altogether 🙁 very sad about that. I really wish they weren’t giving up on it so soon. I wanted to experience it.
    2) Splash – please reopen by April!!! Soooo many things closed from January to May
    3) Soarin’ – a favourite, sad about it to, but this has been long signalled and we always expected it to be down.
    4) Peter Pan. I can live with this. I was really hoping Mr Toad wouldn’t be down (because I always feel like any visit to this ride could be my last), and since it is next on the agenda after Peter Pan I thought the timeline might mean it was down.
    5) Fireworks display… missing out on the great current show, missing out on the great new show. Poor timing!

    That’s four rides that may be down that I ideally hoped wouldn’t be down, though.

  • Nitsud

    The Flying Tires should be replaced with Autopia. Then Disneyland would have more than enough room for a brand new land.

  • mondo

    For me,the best info in this article is :

    “When the Star Wars Tomorrowland plan was officially dead and buried earlier this year, WDI began contemplating an updated version of Autopia that would fit perfectly with a GM sponsorship. Autopia and/or a GM sponsorship of Radiator Springs Racers, with those soaring Cadillac tailfins, are on Disney’s wish list of corporate agreements”

    It is good to know TL will not become StarWars Land and the possibility of the Autopia getting an update.

    • Lobot

      whoah!!! yup, totally missed that. That news… er, um rumor, is right up my alley!

  • As soon as the capacity/operation/overall fun issues came about on Luigi’s Flying Tires, I (as well as others) immediately suggested using the LPS idea for the attraction. It could make it continuously loading and still seemingly unpredictable. Glad to hear that it’s happening.

  • SpectroMan

    Wise choice to leave the show stop out of Paint the Night. We don’t need cheese in an otherwise spectacular display. Not everything needs to be “interactive” these days.

    I’m excited about Fantasy in the Sky! It means half the park doesn’t have to close! I hope it’s the REAL show from the 90s, too.

  • The Fassa

    FINALLY!!! The dammed ’01 Condor Flats shall leave and be replaced with an expensive and good-looking ’15 version!!! This makes me so happy, since the last time I visited the DLR was in 2013 and the puns and props in that area looked unappealing when compared to the rest of DCA. Now, this great ride will be finally getting it’s proper land!

  • MWH1980

    Watching video of Paint the Night on YouTube, and my brain is already mentally imagining this transposed to Anaheim. I’ve missed that magical feel of something amazing rolling through the hometown feel of Main Street at night, like a dream come to life.

    Though I also was trying to figure out the paintbrush interactions. They seem to have as much bearing on the parade as those glow necklaces my family bought from vendors when we saw the MSEP in 1990.

    I also like the idea of a non-stopping parade, though I guess the days when the viewers would clap along to the Baroque Hoedown are no more…since every other person will have their phones in their hands taking pictures.

    I think they could have a great chance to make that Frozen float spectacular, and I wonder what else they could craft, as I’m sure there are some popular properties in the States that would be just as popular as many of those PIXAR floats…though the use of Owl City’s song makes me wish they’d have a Wreck-It-Ralph float, with lit-up mini-carts with lit Sugar Rush racers, kind of like the Shriners and their mini cars at the old parades.

    My Dad has had fond memories of the MSEP, and I hope the new night parade will be ready to go in a year when we’re both in California for Christmas time.

  • tcsnwhite

    “Parades with lengthy show stops often fall flat with audiences…”

    Uhhh, The Lion King Celebration anyone? Blast to the Past? Party Gras? Walt Disney’s Parade of Dreams?

    • Marko50

      Thank you.

  • Kidgenie

    Hummm. I like this update, seems more on the mark then they have been, still, I must say who ever is feeding micechat their info on WDW…. MICECHAT PLEASE FIND A NEW SOURCE FOR WDW “INSIDER” INFORMATION. I put that on caps because Miceage / Micechat continues to be too far off base regarding WDW.

    Fall protection is a MAJOR issue at WDW. MAJOR, not a minor thing to be largely in ignored. And its Major because of the accident at DLR’s space mountain. There are so many roofs that are now off limits at WDW, and so many buildings that cannot be cleaned until a fall protection item can be implemented. Because the property is so big, they cannot budget the fall protection upgrades for everything all at once, or even within the same fiscal year. The fixes are big and expensive. The Parks are getting the priority right now as many resorts are literally turning green or back in the name of safety. Florida may not have state inspectors, but it has every it of the fall protection issues as DLR, magnified by the fact that there is a LOT more area and thus a LOT more issue to be resolved.

  • phruby

    The Fiat replacement for the tires sounds like armchair imagineering to me. Why would they spend millions of trackless vehicles like Disney Sea’s Aquapia with no obsticles and a small area. Part of the fun of the Disney Sea version is the water. Here you basically would have bumper cars that you can’t drive that don’t bump into each other. I don’t buy it.

    Also why is Micechat still trying to sell the idea that the Frozen Skating Rink will be in the Millionaire building at DCA? The Disney Park Blog already confirmed back on Sept 10th that it will be in Downtown Disney again. http://disneyparks.disney.go.com/blog/2014/09/holidays-at-the-disneyland-resort-returns-november-13-through-january-6-2015/

    Just another set of made up rumors from Micechat like the subs and star wars land that the Disney Park blog shoots down.

  • DCAPAPA

    Why do they keep insisting that DLR is getting no new attractions because of my-magic, when WDW just keeps getting major funding for new attractions. They are currently working on over 1 billion in projects at WDW and just announced a major new Frozen attraction for EPCOT. This won’t be a simple overlay. The “new stuff” embargo is only being applied to DL. The reason is that Disney doesn’t really give a crap about DL anymore and is putting all their park funding into their true love, WDW. It’s looking like it will be a decade between new attractions for DLR, which is unprecedented in the themepark world.
    It’s also looking like what we thought was a major additional investment into DCA, was actually just Disney pulling all future DLR investment money for the next decade forward and spending it all at once. Now they are going to let it sit for a decade with nothing new, leaving TDA to try and draw interest with what little funds they have with little enhancements and Marvel meet and Greets.
    It’s very sad

  • MikeBlakesley

    Man, people are impatient on this board. When a big hit like Frozen comes along unexpectedly, it takes a long time for ideas to be created, analysis to be done, plans to be made, budgets to be set, and actual construction to take place. Big stuff is happening and has happened at both DL and WDW.

    I’m guessing concrete Star Wars plans haven’t been announced yet because they know it’s gotta be something big and amazing. You don’t get big and amazing overnight.

  • danielz6

    Are you folks aware that a rumor may or may not be true? Its kinda like the definition of one. Otherwise they’d be called facts. Getting upset at micechat because a rumor didn’t realise is like getting upset at a weatherman that it didn’t rain when the “slight chance of rain” was reported. Take an english lesson and come back later.

    • Marko50

      I’m pretty sure that someone who says, “Take and english lesson” shouldn’t post with at least four grammar errors in it.

  • danielz6

    And that advances the discussion how? Anyhow I’m currently studying japanese as it’s a goal of mine to learn a third language. I’ll gladly take an english lesson language is one of my favorite studies.

  • pattimarie

    i loved the flying tires!!! it has become my favorite ride of late. it took one time to get the hang of it, but now my family and i can steer the thing where we want it to go and it gives me the feeling of flying. we usually try to steer across field to the other side without hitting anyone before it ends. although bumping another tire can also be fun. it really takes me out of the everyday for a short time–what a disney ride should be doing. having to work at the “steering” of the thing by using teamwork and leaning in the same direction is a big part of the fun, and makes it unique. i will really miss it, and i wish it wasn’t going. lassiter had a good idea, and the new idea doesn’t sound so great–more like the other rides.

  • OriginalMousekteer

    And no mention of Fantasmic? This is the biggest fiasco in decades. Mary Niven has issued an edict that Fantasmic! convert to FastPass. For more than a week the traffic flow in Frontierland and New Orleans Square has ground to a halt as the main walkway through the middle of the Fantasmic! viewing area is closed to through traffic for Fantasmic! performances.

    The only access to Haunted Mansion and Critter Country is over the Pirates Bridge from Adventureland, continuing forward between Cafe Orleans and French Market on the left and the raised viewing terraces on the right until you reach Haunted Mansion. The entrance to Pirates is awkwardly at the West end of the Bridge, making a 180 turn down the ramp.

    Exiting is even worse. Traffic is directed to the rear of French Market to meander through the clogged back streets of NO Square past Blue Bayou and fighting the exit of Pirates and the inbound wheelchair traffic (no small thing) and taking a right turn over the Pirate Bridge.

    If you want to reach Frontierland, you have to go all the way out of Adventureland and reenter Frontierland. The opposite is true in the reverse.

    Cast Members working Fantasmic! are freaking out. Guests are angry and frustrated (and justifiably so). There is only one row of viewing on the Pirate Bridge, which is already vastly inadequate for the amount of traffic in and out of this large area serving three E-Ticket attractions. And wait until they implement FastPass in November! They will have to set up a special queue at City Hall for all the irate APs.

    Add to this the chronic down times at Pirates and Mansion and the backlog of maintenance issues there and at Splash and you have a very sick area. And nobody has twigged to the gross stupidity at Pirates as the efficiency experts have stepped in and their “enhancements” have made Pirates capacity plummet. For over a year, the Pirates team, hourlies, trainers, leads, and managers, have fine-tuned the capacity of each boat to deal with rampant flooding in the aging fleet. Enter the “experts” who have imposed a blanket policy of three people per row, based only on numerical, theoretical averages. This will be in effect Saturday and Sunday. Expect longer waits.

    Add to this the fact that experienced Cast Members are setting their preferences to other attractions and you get more new Pirates. What’s wrong with this picture (hint: EVERYTHING!!!).

  • Bob Weaver

    I don’t see anything wrong with Fantasy in the Sky fireworks. The best thing about that show was that you could see it from many locations in the park. You didn’t have to fight for a prime viewing spot, or stake out a position for hours in advance.

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