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Dateline Disneyland

Star Tours 2, Waterfails, Rapunzel, Building Cars Land, Red Car, Toy guns, +MUCH More

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by , 08-16-2010 at 02:06 AM
Disneyland's Alice in Wonderland is open once again after temporary measures were put in place to keep guests and maintenance workers from falling off the elevated outdoor portion of the ride track. If one thing is good about Alice's horribly tacky safety additions is that they're temporary until a permanent solution can be installed. Meanwhile, construction walls are up around Star Tours in Tomorrowland as work starts to gear up on the ride's major overhaul. Over in Disney California Adventure, construction continues on the park's $1 billion remodel and expansion including the major Cars Land and Little Mermaid projects. Outside the parks, the Disneyland Hotel continues its big remodel as well as the hotel's fan-favorite waterfalls fade into Yesterland.

Thanks to boy33 for extra help with Alice in Wonderland photos this week.

For more information on any of the construction projects featured in today's update, just look for a Project Tracker water mark and click that photo for more information on the project and to join the on-going discussion.

There's plenty to get to this week, so let's get started!


Inside Dateline Disneyland


Sponsored by Howard Johnson Plaza Hotel - Anaheim Resort


WELCOME TO DISNEYLAND!
Disneyland's classic Alice in Wonderland ride reopened over the weekend with the new temporary safety barrier installed to help keep maintenance workers and ride operators safe from falling off the ride's elevated outdoor section.


The ride's new look is significantly less charming than before and the new tarp-covered safety scaffolding looks painfully temporary, no matter how much effort went into the Wonderland-themed design on the tarps and the oversized leaves lining the edge of the new scaffolding.


The new safety precautions on this 50-year-old attraction are a result of a concern a Cal/OSHA employee voiced during an unrelated visit to the park about a month ago. Disney opted to voluntarily close the ride to install the temporary safety measures until a permanent fix could be made in the future.


The OC Register's Around Disney blog had more information on the closure in a recent article:

Disney ride reopens after safety fix
The Alice in Wonderland ride at Disneyland reopened Friday after a monthlong closure to fix a potential safety hazard, park officials said.

The ride, in the Fantasyland area of the park, was shut starting July 15 so that crews could install a barrier along the outside, elevated track where the rides carriages travel. The barrier is intended to help prevent maintenance workers from falling off the ride’s track.

Disney said it voluntarily closed the ride to fix the potential problem.

On the same day as the ride closed, an official from the California Division of Occupational Safety and Health, had noticed the potential problem while touring the park on an unrelated matter. When the safety official notified Disney of a “potential safety issue,” Disney closed the ride until it could find a fix.

The safety barrier is a temporary measure, said Betsy Sanchez, a Disneyland Resort spokeswoman. The ride likely will have to be closed again for some time when a permanent barrier is installed. No timeline has been set for that.

In the meantime, the ride will be open for visitors, Sanchez said. [ FULL ARTICLE ]



Photos don't fully illustrate just how bad this looks in person.








New faux wall






Nearby, Gepetto's Sweet Shop next to Pinnocchio's Daring Journey will soon close to make way for a meet-and-greet featuring characters from Disney's upcoming animated film, Tangled


The meet-and-green opens October 15. Disney released concept art of the character location last week:








STAR TOURED
Over in Tomorrowland, construction walls now surround Star Tours as work gets underway inside the attraction building.




A peek behind construction walls show the indoor queue flooring is being torn out




No work yet on the outdoor queue area


Disney released a video last week previewing a travel commercial that will be shown on the large screens in the Star Tours queue when it reopens in 2011.
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GUNNING FOR ADVENTURE
Over in Adventureland and Frontierland, Disneyland has brought wooden toy guns back to store shelves after roughly a nine-year ban on the toy.



The OC Register's Around Disney blog had more information on the return of the toy guns:

Disneyland resumes sales of wooden toy guns
Disneyland recently began selling wooden toy guns again, about nine years after pulling them off of store shelves.

Disney officials decided to resume sales of the toy guns, which are now orange and green, because of customers’ requests, said Betsy Sanchez, a Disneyland Resort spokeswoman.

Disneyland had continued selling plastic guns, including space-like and pirate-themed ones, Sanchez said.

The new toys are big sellers, she said.

“They are so incredible popular they often sell out,” Sanchez said.

She declined to reveal the number of guns sold.

Disney stopped selling the historic, 1800s-style guns in 2001 when California legislators passed a law requiring all toy guns to be brightly colored to avoid being mistaken for real weapons.

But Disneyland fans continued to request the guns that used to be available in Frontierland and Adventureland.

“They seem to be really nostalgic,” Sanchez said. “They are really an element of the show and theming of the lands, particularly Adventureland and Frontierland. They are part of the overall experience.”

The colored guns now are available in Disneyland at Pioneer Mercantile, Indiana Jones Adventure Outpost and Pieces of Eight, as well as World of Disney in Downtown Disney.

The guns are sold individually and in sets. [ FULL ARTICLE ]

The toy guns range between $12.95 and $16.95 in price





CALIFORNIA CONSTRUCTION
A look at California Adventure's ongoing $1 billion remodel and expansion...

RED CAR TROLLEY
Work continues on the Hollywood Pictures Backlot and A Bug's Land connector path behind the Red Car Trolley walls near the Tower of Terror


Meanwhile, guests might notice a new small detail related to the Red Car Trolley in front of the Tower of Terror, hinting at how thematic details will set apart the rethemed Hollywoodland and Buena Vista Street areas from their Sunshine Plaza and Hollywood Pictures Backlot predecessors


The LA Times Funland blog discussed the upcoming Red Car Trolley attraction in a recent blog post:
Red Car Trolley to ply Disney California Adventure streets in 2012
Come spring 2012, the Red Car Trolley will add a much-needed burst of kinetic energy to the streets of Disney California Adventure. Somewhere, Walt Disney is smiling.

Reminiscent of the Pacific Electric Railway that ran throughout Southern California in the 1920s when Walt Disney first arrived in Los Angeles, the Red Car Trolley will feature a butterfly grill evocative of the original and seating for 20 passengers amid a green-and-cream interior.

The Red Car will depart from DCA’s main entrance along the newly rechristened Buena Vista Street, past a replica of the Carthay Circle Theater and through the renamed Hollywoodland district before stopping at the Tower of Terror attraction and reversing direction.

“Power poles” will extend from the tops of the battery-powered trolleys to decorative overhead wires, which will be powerless in part out of concern for the balloons sold to park visitors and the parade floats that travel the route. Pendulum-like wigwag signals will swing at several key crossings. [ FULL ARTICLE ]





THE LITTLE MERMAID: ARIEL'S UNDERSEA ADVENTURE
Work continues on the upcoming Little Mermaid attraction at Paradise Pier.




































CARS LAND
Over in Cars Land, work continues on the massive amounts of faux rock work that will make up Ornament Valley and Radiator Springs. Views from the Hyperion Theatre stairs into Cars Land give a sneak peek at the creation of the rock work.









And views from Mickey's Fun Wheel show progress at the upcoming Radiator Springs Racers attraction and the rest of Cars Land












Rock wall rising behind Pacific Wharf:






WASHED UP
This last weekend marked the final days of the Disneyland Hotel waterfalls as they close today, Monday, August 16 to make way for a new wedding lawn for the hotel.


The classic waterfalls will be missed. Here's a look at them from their final weekend of operation:












Hidden caves were both romantic and adventurous.





The old Fantasy Waters show area at the Disneyland Hotel will also be removed during the hotel remodel.







The remote control Jungle Cruise boat pond continues to be dismantled




The steering wheels and pay stations are all gone now





And construction continues at the Wonder Tower










THIS & THAT
The "Celebrate Today!" logo has been removed from the Disneyland Hotel hat icon and been replaced with the Hotel logo


Downtown Disney's build-your-own skate deck stand has closed.





Back in Disneyland, we finally got photos of the Honda CR-Z display in Innoventions for you.


Nothing too exciting, really.


Summer Nightastic/Honda CR-Z sweepstakes entry stations





And Chip N Dale Treehouse in Mickey's Toon Town is behind refurbishment walls





AROUND THE PARK
And we've got just a couple shots from around the parks to end today's photo update









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WEEKLY NEWS AND INFORMATION ROUND-UP

Weekly Theme Park Hours
AUGUST 16 — 22, 2010


Disneyland Park
Disney California Adventure
Monday - Sunday: 8 am - 12 midnight
Monday - Sunday: 10 am - 11 pm
For a complete listing of theme park hours, visit the Disneyland.com Theme Park Calendar

Closures and Refurbishment Schedule
Disneyland Park

  • Haunted Mansion: Closed August 30 - September 16 to install Haunted Mansion Holiday overlay
  • Main Street Vehicles: Closed September 7 - 30 for refurbishment.
  • Space Mountain: Closed September 12 - 16 to install Space Mountain Ghost Galaxy overlay.
  • Roger Rabbit Car Toon Spin: Closed September 20 - December 16
  • Indiana Jones Adventure: Closed for one day September 22.
  • Mark Twain Riverboat: Closed September 27-30.
  • Star Tours: Closed Star Tours 2 revamp. Reopens May 2011.

Disney California Adventure

  • Toy Story Midway Mania!: Closed August 30 - October 10 to install safety gates in load station.
  • Bountiful Valley Farm area: Closes permanently September 7 for Cars Land construction.
  • Maliboomer: Closes permanently September 7 for removal.
  • Pizza Oom Mow Mow: Closes September 7 to begin retheme to Boardwalk Pizza and Pasta. Reopens May 2011.
  • Mullholland Madness: Closes October 12 to begin re-theme. Reopens May 2011 as Goofy's Sky School.
  • Burger Invasion: Closed for retheme to Paradise Garden Grill. Reopens May 2011.
  • The Little Mermaid: Ariel's Undersea Adventure: Under construction. Opens Spring 2011.
  • Souvenir 66 and Corn Dog Castle: Store and dining location closed for remodeling through May 2011.
  • Red Car Trolley: Track under construction in Hollywood Pictures Backlot. Attraction set to open spring 2012.

Downtown Disney & Hotels of the Disneyland Resort

  • Arcade (Disneyland Hotel) Closed permanently July 30 as part of Disneyland Hotel remodel
  • Jungle Cruise Remote Control Boats (Disneyland Hotel) Closed permanently July 31 as part of Disneyland Hotel remodel
  • The Lost Bar (Disneyland Hotel) Closed permanently August 1 as part of Disneyland Hotel remodel
  • Croc's Bits & Bites (Disneyland Hotel): Closed permanently August 1 as part of Disneyland Hotel remodel




ATTENDANCE DROPS DESPITE 'RECORD CROWDS' AT DCA
From Around Disney:

Attendance drops 4% at Disneyland Resort parks
Fewer visitors headed to Disneyland Resort parks in late spring and early summer, despite the declared success of the new “World of Color” show, Disney reported Tuesday.

The two California parks, Disneyland and Disney California Adventure, experienced a 4-percent slip in attendance, compared to roughly the same three-month period the year before.

It was the first dip in visits in about a year. Despite the struggling economy, attendance has either stayed flat or increased by as much as 20 percent per quarter over the previous year.

The Walt Disney Co. on Tuesday released its earnings report for the third quarter, which ran from April 4 to July 3. Disney President Bob Iger and Jay Rasulo, chief financial officer, discussed the report on a webcast with investors. See a previous story about Disney’s third-quarter earnings.

The Disneyland Resort is the largest private employer in Orange County, with about 20,000 workers in two theme parks, the Downtown Disney entertainment-shopping area and three hotels.

Even though park attendance is down, Bob Iger, Walt Disney Co. president, credited the new “World of Color” water-and-light show with drawing “record crowds to Disney California Adventure.” Iger said the success of “World of Color” — the first major attraction to open in the park’s $1-billion expansion — is a “promising sign of our investments there.”

“World of Color” debuted June 11 — just three weeks before the quarter ended, meaning some of the initial attendance bump could show up later.

The “World of Color” also proved to be a major expense, contributing to an 8-percent drop in income for Walt Disney Parks and Resorts, Disney reported.
For the full article visit:
Around Disney: Attendance drops 4% at Disneyland Resort parks



DISNEY WORLD CHANGES FANTASYLAND EXPANSION PLANS
Disney has taken another look at its Fantasyland expansion plans for Walt Disney World and realized they're not as good as they thought they were. It's a good thing, and now changes are in the works:

Disney says Fantasyland expansion plans are changing
Disney is redrawing the sweeping Fantasyland expansion plans it laid out last year, even as bulldozers clear land for the project inside the Magic Kingdom.

With the revisions, begun under new Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Chairman Tom Staggs, designers are attempting to rebalance the plans, which initially tilted heavily towards young girls by emphasizing attractions and experiences built around Disney’s stable of animated-movie princesses.

“We took a hard look at it amongst a number of us and said, ‘Can we make the appeal broader? Can we make it even better?’ “ Staggs said during an interview this week with the Orlando Sentinel.

The Fantasyland expansion is a critically important project for Disney. The Magic Kingdom, the busiest theme park in the world, now draws more than 17 million visitors a year and needs added capacity to ease pressure on crowds inside the park. The project, billed as the largest expansion in Magic Kingdom history, also comes as Disney World faces heightened competition from Universal Orlando, where the new Wizarding World of Harry Potter has drawn rave reviews — and enormous crowds — since opening in June.

Staggs declined to discuss specific changes to the Fantasyland plans, saying Disney would unveil them “in due course.”

The original plans called for a lavish indoor ride based on the movie The Little Mermaid, a trio of interactive princess character-greeting areas, an elaborately themed Beauty and the Beast restaurant, an expanded Dumbo attraction for young children, and a vaguely defined fairies-themed area.

Staggs said much of what was included in the original plans will be incorporated into the final product and that the changes are “improving it on the margin.” He characterized the revisions as part of any creative project’s natural evolution. As an example, Disney cited Hong Kong Disneyland, where early blueprints included an area dubbed “Glacier Peak” that was eventually replaced with a section themed around the company’s Toy Story film franchise.

“Our process is always iterative and always goes through changes as it goes along,” said Staggs, who was the Walt Disney Co.’s chief financial officer when he switched places with parks-and-resorts chief Jay Rasulo at the start of this year. Staggs added: “I believe one of my most important jobs is to make sure that I’m enabling and challenging our creative process to create the best possible result.”

Disney first announced the Fantasyland expansion plans 11 months ago, with Rasulo personally unveiling them during a convention in Anaheim, Calif., for a company-sponsored, $75-a-year fan club. Staggs is now running the theme-park division and Rasulo is CFO following an executive shuffle orchestrated by Disney President and Chief Executive Officer Bob Iger.

The Fantasyland construction is well underway: Yellow backhoes and mountains of dirt are visible behind temporary construction walls erected inside the Magic Kingdom.
But rumors have been building for weeks that changes were afoot, fueled by reports from a pair of well-known Disney bloggers, Jim Hill of Jim Hill Media and Al Lutz of MiceAge.com.

Company followers say there have been two pivotal developments since the Fantasyland plans were first announced: Staggs was installed as head of Walt Disney Parks and Resorts, and Universal opened the Wizarding World of Harry Potter.

Staggs, who has three young sons, is said to have expressed concerns that the initial plans for Fantasyland were too narrowly tailored to girls. The Wizarding World, meanwhile, has delivered impressive early returns for Universal Orlando since formally opening June 18.
For the full article visit:
The Daily Disney: Disney says Fantasyland expansion plans are changing





Okay - that finishes this week's edition of Dateline Disneyland! Thanks for reading and please be sure to discuss this week's update in the comments section below! Thanks again to boy33 for extra help this week.

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Dateline Disneyland



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Comments

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  1. AliKzam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by unclemike
    Am I not thinking clearly, or does that "EST. 1942" metal street marker make no sense? Isn't the whole area supposed to be 1920s LA/Hollywood?
    I agree. It's a snazzy looking marker and a great touch for atmosphere, but I thought the idea of the redo was that we're entering the California that Walt was introduced to. Wouldn't that mean that the marker should be dated for some time in the 1920s? Even if they're honoring the time in Hollywood when Walt was already successful, there would have already been a trolley line set up past a famous hotel on a popular Hollywood intersection. Of course, that's assuming this is a real place (which we're supposed to ).
    Otherwise, I like it. If Toontown ever goes away at DL, I can think of a place Roger Rabbit could go.
  2. Evan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AliKzam
    I agree. It's a snazzy looking marker and a great touch for atmosphere, but I thought the idea of the redo was that we're entering the California that Walt was introduced to. Wouldn't that mean that the marker should be dated for some time in the 1920s? Even if they're honoring the time in Hollywood when Walt was already successful, there would have already been a trolley line set up past a famous hotel on a popular Hollywood intersection. Of course, that's assuming this is a real place (which we're supposed to ).
    Otherwise, I like it. If Toontown ever goes away at DL, I can think of a place Roger Rabbit could go.
    That, and the hotel itself is supposed to have closed in 1939. Why would it make any sense to have the marker say "Est. 1942"? Unless it's referring to the Red Car Trolley stop having been established in 1942?
  3. Yeeeoww's Avatar
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    So is all the rock work in Cardsland going to block the ridiculous view of Anaheim and the Convention Center from inside the park?
  4. DisWedWay's Avatar
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    I wonder how many kids will be refinishing there colorful guns to make them like the old Fronteirland/Adventureland ones thier older brother or even fathers still have(my sister was into Alice back then.). Good thing they are wood and not plastic to make it easier to sand down. E Bay does not require all "Classic" toy guns be repainted bright colors to sell, just a bright plug in the end which can be removed after purchase. I still have my 1955 Davy Crockett Wallet, Coonskin cap, and Flintlock rifle along with my Nichol's Stallion Johnny Slaughter pistol. I would buy a Captain Jack Sparrow pistol today if they looked like his. {:<}
  5. MasterGracey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AliKzam
    I agree. It's a snazzy looking marker and a great touch for atmosphere, but I thought the idea of the redo was that we're entering the California that Walt was introduced to. Wouldn't that mean that the marker should be dated for some time in the 1920s? Even if they're honoring the time in Hollywood when Walt was already successful, there would have already been a trolley line set up past a famous hotel on a popular Hollywood intersection. Of course, that's assuming this is a real place (which we're supposed to ).
    Otherwise, I like it. If Toontown ever goes away at DL, I can think of a place Roger Rabbit could go.
    Quote Originally Posted by Evan
    That, and the hotel itself is supposed to have closed in 1939. Why would it make any sense to have the marker say "Est. 1942"? Unless it's referring to the Red Car Trolley stop having been established in 1942?

    Buena Vista Street will be 1920s Los Angeles, when Walt Disney arrived - but Hollywoodland would make sense to be temporally set in the 1940s since the Hollywood Tower Hotel is already closed and abandoned.

    It's interesting that the Red Car Trolley marker is dated 1942 - it must be a relatively new Trolley stop for Hollywoodland, and in front of an abandoned hotel, no less!

    - Andy
    Dateline Disneyland
  6. Barbossa's Avatar
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    About the 1942 date... what year did Who Framed Roger Rabbit take place? I wonder if there's a connection.
  7. RedHandedJill's Avatar
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    Work and construction is rapidly progressing and beautifully I might add.
  8. cadjoe321's Avatar
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    Nice update!
  9. Dadoo's Avatar
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    GREAT update!

    But those walls around Alice are HORRIBLE! Glad they are temporary! They better come up with a REALLY good alternative so that we can still feel like we are crawling along a leaf/vine and not some crappy roof! Way to go OSHA! After 50 years, NOW you decide to say something? REALLY?!

    And those toy guns are PATHETIC! What ACTUAL park guests would want to buy those? They are FAR from nostalgic IMO. With those colors, I don't think it matters if they are wood or plastic! CHEAP is what they look like! Why not just paint the end of the muzzle a bright orange color and leave it at that? Or is California law more strict than that? Besides, what 6 year-old is going to be carrying around a REAL antique muzzle-loader pistol/rifle and successfully loading and firing it? Real muzzle-loaders kick like Lampy when he turned into a jack-a**! I mean REALLY!!

    Cars Land really is starting to look cool! That cement work went up REALLY fast! I'm excited to see it and The Little Mermaid when they are finished!

    Again, GREAT UPDATE!!
  10. DisWedWay's Avatar
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    I hope when they do the final railings for Alice, they are "Orgainic" looking as ones we did in TDS Lost River Delta. They can be very tasteful and themed to look like interlocking vines with leaves and flowers.
  11. DLFreak71's Avatar
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    Wow, the walls (and the wood under the track) are really really bad.

    If Disney can realize that the plans for WDW arent' great, does that show hope that they will realize the waterfalls should stay (b/c of their beauty, uniqueness to the hotel and makes more sense than grass) for all to enjoy and they will understand that they need to get a permanent railing up really quick because Alice has been replaced with an ugly, ugly piece of tarp, wood and railings.
    It's also said that things have to be idiot proofed these days. My generation and generations before me did well without all these idiot proof things being done.

    Oh,
    and thanks for the update. Living in AZ, I live vicariously through these updates.
  12. Timekeeper's Avatar
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    I am now wondering if the Hong Kong Disneyland(or WDW) Page has started a Rumor about Glacier Bay Returning?


    Timekeeper
  13. 4Apples4Disney's Avatar
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    Great update as usual. Thanks to everyone for all the hard work!
  14. MickeyMousePal's Avatar
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    Alice in Wonderland new look doesn't look that bad as some people say. It may change Walt's image, but it didn't destroy it competely.
  15. Kimura's Avatar
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    Alice In Wonderland looks horrible. Granted, the current setup is only temporary, just look at what they've done by adding platforms on both sides of the track. Hopefully, the permanent solution will not include these, but if it does, it will take away the fun element of riding along the edge of a "leaf".

    As for the toy guns... Get rid of them. If Disneyland wants to keep the "nostalgic" toys, they shouldn't screw them up with all those outrageous colors. Just stop selling them altogether.
  16. Melonballer's Avatar
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    I don't have any pics to share of the waterfalls, but here are some of Fantasy Waters and the Koi pond. These were taken in 1979.









  17. mondo's Avatar
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    Are WDW guns still brown and real looking? I bought a rifle in '06 when i was a CP. I had my parents bring it home with them on the plane, after their visit. They had no problem.lol
  18. toonaspie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by eicarr
    The good thing though I guess is that the Disneyland Hotel must becoming a discount hotel. The waterfalls and shows being replaced by a grass lawn and the paddleboat marina being replaced by kiddie watersides and urine. Putting fiber optics in a headboard is rather silly waste of money in a hotel that lost its experience as a park getaway/oasis. But even with the dull chain hotel grounds and urine pool... as long as it's under $100 I'll give it a try.
    I'm with you on this. With so much being taken down and so little being replaced...and with theming becoming more bland with every upgrade this might as well be a value or moderate level hotel. You're mostly paying for the walking distance but I would insist on my money being worth some Disney theming if this is really a Disney hotel.
  19. monktard's Avatar
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    Here is an idea for the Alice safety worker fix- get rid of the rails and install a rail 2-3 inches off the deck next to the guide rail for the cars or at the edge of the platform and have workers wear harnessess attached to the rail with a safety line that slide with the worker. If they fall, the harness will catch them. I believe this is the rig many roller coasters have for their daily inspection. This would keep the safety measures mostly out of sight and allow Disney to restore this ride to its original form.
  20. RetlawInMyBlood's Avatar
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    Thanks for the update. What a bunch of overkill's. 50 years with no railing; now the theming looks horrible, all due to someone trying to justify their job at OSHA.
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