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6/20: Toy Story what? Innoventions Dream Home, Award Wieners, Wall-E merch, +MORE

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by , 06-20-2008 at 03:20 AM

New park maps.

The inside flap of the park maps note the new Toy Story Midway Mania and Innoventions Dream Home attractions.

At the parking toll booths, guests are given "Adventure Roadmaps" as part of the Honda Pilot and Midway Mania cross promotion.

The Adventure Roadmap features a series of "trivia" questions to answer guests need to answer to enter in the Honda Pilot sweepstakes.

The billboards at the Mickey & Friends tram stop have been swapped out for Toy Story (Midway) Mania.

The Green Army Men directing guests to Toy Story Midway Mania at Disney's California Adventure that Al Lutz mentioned in his June 17 column set up shop on this small stage in front of the Downtown Disney security tents.

A Honda Pilot that guests can get in and check out is parked out in the esplanade.

"Disney's California Adventure or Bust"? Right.

Despite a somewhat misleading and confusing ad campaign excluding the California Adventure park's name and the wrong name for the attraction, the new Toy Story Midway Mania ride opened with wait times upwards of 2.5 hours on Tuesday.

Prior to its 11 am opening to park guests on Tuesday, the attraction's queue stretched from the Pacific Wharf pedestrian bridge all the way to the Sunshine Plaza fountain, weaving through the Bountiful Valley Farm area along the way.

The grand opening ceremony took place at 10 am in the Golden State amphitheater, with radio stations broadcasting live nearby throughout the day.

Yet, the attraction has routinely been encountering extended periods of down time. On opening day, the attraction broke down several times, the longest was for three hours, causing Cast Members to clear the queue. Shortly after the attraction re-opened, the wait time hovered around a posted 90-minute wait-time. On Thursday, the attraction broke down a little over an hour before the park was scheduled to close, and Cast Members turned guests away, saying that, despite their trying, they didn't expect it to re-open before the park closed early for Grad Nite. Hopefully the attraction starts running reliably soon, as CMs are hoping that some of the kinks are worked out before opening up the Single-Rider queue in a couple weeks.

The ride-though isn't the only part of Midway experiencing issues. On opening day Mr. Potato Head went to bed early after one of his animatronic arms broke.

Not only is the attraction itself faulty, but so is the advertising. The message boards have been buzzing ever since the TV spots started airing and the billboards went up about the somewhat misleading representation of the attraction being at Disneyland - both with the toys sneaking down Main Street, U.S.A. and the use of the Disneyland Resort logo. But the attraction is also suffering from having two names. The opening-day ceremony marked a bizarre juxtaposition of both of the names literally right on top of each other, with the ceremony stage signage covering up the attraction marquee.

The Honda Adventure Roadmap map oddly features both attraction names right next to each other.

And after having just seen the Green Army Men advertise Toy Story Midway Mania on their stage in Downtown Disney, guests are greeted with signage after the security checkpoint advertising Toy Story Mania.

Where is the consistency?

It's definitely not here.

The merchandise for the attraction, including these new Toy Cannons continue the double-name problem.

The entire debacle is completely silly, and shows the true maturity level of certain divisions of the company. While Imagineering has to put their foot down to give the attraction an appropriate name, another division has to lead some misguided attempt at showing superiority. It's silly and just ends up looking bad to guests, who just want to be able to ride the new ride without having to deal with it having an identity crisis as it constantly breaks down.

While the marquee new attraction for the summer has its fair share of problems at DCA, across the esplanade at Disneyland, the new Innoventions Dream Home hosted media and sponsor guests on Monday and Tuesday. But guests wanting to get a look at the new Dream Home featured in their Disneyland guide maps are being turned away. Apparently, the residents are still "moving in" to their much-delayed Dream Home.

Guests looking down into the Dream Home from the second level of Innoventions got a look at a nicely-furnished home, complete with more digital photo frames and appliances running Windows Vista than anybody could ever need.

Still, the place looks nice, and hopefully it can get finished up by the planned opening targeted for the end of the month.

The House of the Future table that was in one of the old Innoventions zones has made it into the Elias family's young boy's room.

Outside, the Tomorrowland smoking area, which was poorly re-located to the pathway between Autopia and the Tomorrowland Railroad Station when the Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage opened, has finally been moved.

The smoking area should never have been moved here, because the cloud of smoke was an awful torture that Railroad passengers had to walk through to and from the Tomorrowland train station, and guests entering Autopia not only had to deal with the Autopia exhaust, but cigarette smoke as well.

The new location is all the way at Fantasia Gardens at the former Motorboat Cruise dock.

Only the back half of the dock is reserved for smokers, as the front half is still seating area for the adjacent turkey leg and churro carts. Surprisingly, the division of the space works, and the eating area is not terribly affected by the nearby smoke.

Better signage may be needed, though, as some guests lighting up did not realize that the smoking area was at the back of the dock, which is an issue for eating guests.

Nearby, work continues on "it's a small world," with the attraction marquee covered up in tarps and scaffolding.

Hopefully the marquee will ditch its pastel color scheme and be repainted in gold and white to match the attraction facade.

The cannon in Town Square has returned.

And over in DCA, the new Award Wieners dining area in the never-used Muppet*Vision 3D queue has opened.

You wouldn't know it from these photos, but this space sees way more guests than it ever did as Muppet*Vision queue.

Overhead fans help beat the heat.

Ever since Seasons of the Vine closed, its been hard to track the progress on the new Walt Disney Imagineering preview center that's moving in. But apparently there is work going on behind those doors, and the Preview Center should open up later this summer.

You can't ride it, but you can pretend with the new Monorail Mark VII attraction poster.

The side-by-side poster set, similar to the side-by-side Submarine Voyage set, is quite nice.

WALL•E merchandise is now available around the Resort. Thanks to Armadillo4 for a few of these shots!

A new line of Pirate Princess merchandise has hit the shelves for the ladies.

I'm certainly not in the target demographic for this stuff, but I just don't see the appeal.

And a look at some other new, and relatively new merch available now.

Alright, that should do it for this week. Thanks for reading, and feel free to discuss below!

Also, be sure to subscribe to the MiceChat Featured Blogs RSS Feed so you never miss your Disneyland fix again!

See you next week!
- Andy

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Updated 06-20-2008 at 04:35 AM by Dateline Disneyland



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  1. pussnboots's Avatar
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    The future does not involve Windows Vista.
  2. Steve DeGaetano's Avatar
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    The "No-Fly" zone in effect? :)

  3. WheresMickey's Avatar
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    Nice report!
  4. HighLeveller's Avatar
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    The future does not involve Windows Vista.
    Not in my future at least. Same with ultra-computerized things requiring "standby mode", or a bajillion energy-using digital-picture frames when one would be enough and we should be moderating energy usage, or... but that's a different topic.
    Anyways, back on topic: good update; nice to see the TSMM opening-day inbfo.
  5. VeganPrincess's Avatar
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    I wish DLR would make up their mind - Toy Story Mania or Toy Story Midway Mania?!
  6. CupcakeTerror's Avatar
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    Great report! I'm really looking forward to visiting this weekend... can't wait to see TSM(M)!
  7. Monorail Man's Avatar
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    The future does not involve Windows Vista.
    Especially considering that NOW, I have a full Vista Windows Media Center in-home setup (including two main recorder boxes, and 2 extenders for our other TVs), including an Xbox 360. Add to that storing my full media collection on my Windows Home Server (and accessible to me anywhere), I fail to see how this can be any 'futuristic' when it comes to media.
  8. BC_DisneyGeek's Avatar
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    Very informative update, thanks!

    And yeah, the amount of digital picture frames is garish and silly.
  9. socalkdg's Avatar
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    Having stood in line for a few hours for this ride, most people will know it as the Toy Story ride. Thats what most people were calling it.
  10. Monorail Man's Avatar
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    RIP: Phillip A. Couch Casting Agency
  11. KENfromOC's Avatar
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    WHO CARES what they call it! Leave to the MiceChat bunch to make so much out of something so trivial!
    We went there on Father's day. The sign said a 50 minute wait. It took only about 20 minutes to get in - Kudos to the cast members working the ride. I loved it, my wife loveed it and my 19-month old girl loved it. I'm not much for "gaming" attractions, but this was a lot of fun.
    Your pictures are great, my so many of you sound like a bunch of old hens! Get over it!
  12. triesch's Avatar
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    Thanks for the great update, Andy!

    Since you posted the contest questions, I'd really like to enter online. But, I'm 1200 miles away, so I need some help with question #1. What is strapped to the Honda Pilot's roof? Is that a kayak? I can't tell from the angle of the photos. Can anyone help me with that one? The rest of the answers are a piece of cake!

  13. JiminyCricketFan's Avatar
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    Great report! On that new Monorail poster the word "Monorail" needs to be larger. Otherwise, it s a great poster.
  14. sixflagsrules's Avatar
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    More proof Disney is going down the toilet. Thank god it wont be missed.
  15. Club 33 Mike's Avatar
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    I think its only the angry self hating Disney geeks that actually care what they call the ride. You think 99.99999% of part attendees notice, or care?
  16. Monorail Man's Avatar
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    Leave to the MiceChat bunch to make so much out of something so trivial!
    We care, and this is a discussion board, so we talk about it (seems simple enough for me!). There just seems to be the unsung golden rule with Yellow Shoes marking that 'the Midway can only be mentioned once they get to the Resort'. I also like how there is now about 4 different 'logos' for TSMM as well.
  17. peoplemover1's Avatar
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    Amazing Dateline this week Andy!!!! So chuck full of great info and pictures!

    IMO, TSMM should just be referred to as Midway Mania because once you're in the attraction, none of the Toy Story characters need to be there anyway!

    ....and I didn't notice anyone standing in line or any of the people I was with or that are planning on taking in the attraction calling it "the Toy Story Ride"! hahahaaa ppppfff

    Keep up the good work Andy!
  18. stitchon's Avatar
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    Innoventions looks really nice. I didn't expect it to turn out that well at all. Bravo.
  19. filmfreak11's Avatar
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    The Wall-E talking toy and small plush have apparently been very popular and selling like hotcakes.

    socalkdg, Club 33 Mike, KENfromOC I think are right. Same thing with the general public going to the pirate ride, haunted house, magic mountain (aka matterhorn bobsleds)... and getting those "useful" fast tickets (fastpass)...

    Sure the offical name is Toy Story Midway Mania, but people are still gonna call it anything they like.
  20. MaryAnn in Wndrlnd's Avatar
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    Wow. I guess some of you guys have never studied marketing, or ever been in a position to market something before.

    This has little to do with us being self-hating, anal retentive, jerks, and more to do with simple, bad marketing.

    When you are marketing something brand new to the public, your goal, as marketer, is to make it as simple and easy as possible for you to gain brand association, and get your consumer to consume, and thus pay, for your product.

    Disney is failing on two fronts. First, the name. Two different names equals conflicting press releases, conflicting advertising, and conflicting merchandise. Could you imagine if Nike shoes released shoes named "Air Jordans," but the press releases say "Air Michael Jordans?" Any PR firm worth their degrees would be peeing their pants over trying to fix that blunder. Air Jordans is a brand. It's not just a product anymore. Any company selling a product wants their products to be a household name. How about Kleenex? Band-Aid? Windex? If these products were never called a consistant name, they would never be household names. That's why companies always start big campaigns whenever they change the name of something. Because brand name association is powerful marketing. Think of Space Mountain, Star Tours, Matterhorn, Haunted Mansion, Big Thunder, Jungle Cruise..... Toy Story Midway Mania will not become a brand name like the rides above if the marketing continues the way it is now.

    Two, As has already been explained in Al's article, and other posts on MiceChat, the marketing directing people to the Disneyland Resort, and not DCA makes it difficult for people to consume their product. Doesn't take a genius to figure that out.

    And we care about this for a variety of reasons including the fact that we want to see Disneyland succeed at this endeavor. Why? Because the more people that come to Disneyland, the more revenue, the more new attractions and products we will have offered to us. Also, if this "prelude," so to speak, for the California Adventure make-over is considered a brazen success, it guarantees a full supported attack plan for the rest of the park. If it doesn't, the scale keeps tipping in the direction that the changes may not do anything to turn that park around, and we may not get everything that we have told we will get. In other words, the opinion may turn into that the park isn't worth upgrading. A little apocalyptic. But there is that chance.

    Oh. And do I need to mention that several MiceChatters own shares of Disney stock? That's enough reasons to care in my opinion.
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