1/28 - Monday in the Parks - News and Photos
by, 01-28-2008 at 05:50 AM
Well, another Monday morning, and another week of letting you know what is going on in Southern California and how it relates to the Amusement/Theme Park and related businesses.
First off, a big thanks to "Robs Mustang" who lives in British Columbia, Canada and has provided me multiple photos of the old Disneyland Mark V Monorails being dismantled at a factory in Port Coquitlam, BC.
Mark V Monorail Red Photos - arrived in Canada and no longer in the YoaMD wrap!
So the big question for most guests is when they can expect Multi Train operation of the Monorail. Alas, internally there are much bigger issues. Right now the new Mark VII Monorail Red has failed its initial tests after being delivered to the DLR on December 20th, 2007. There are some serious issues between the Disneyland Resort (aka the Walt Disney Company) and Burke Composite, and everyone basically expects lawsuits in the future with the main question, who was at fault? And what caused the fact the new Monorail can not run on the current track.
As a regular guest, I would plan on a single train operating on the Monorail track for the foreseeable future.
Anaheim Resort Area Zoning issues
Sarah Tully over at the Orange County Register reported the following this last week.
First, the former "Toys R Us" location at the south end of Harbor Blvd. plans have once again be delayed.
Also, the Anaheim Planning Commission has rescinded an Environmental Report waiver that goes back to the original SunCal plans. This rescission should help end the lawsuit that the Walt Disney Company filed against the City of Anaheim, as Disney felt the overriding of Environmental rules was improper in this situation.
Off topic, but I, along with everyone at MiceAge/MiceChat, would like to thank The Orange County Register for the mention of the Gumball Rally 2 event held last Saturday. (More on this at the end of the article.)
California Pizza Kitchen to open today at the Anaheim GardenWalk
The latest restaurant is to open today at the AGW (Bubba Gump and the Cheesecake Factory were the first two). If you would like to check the place out, Monday, February 4th could be a good choice, as CPK is planning to donate all dine-in pizza sales to charity that day (Children's Bureau of Orange County).
The other three Katella Avenue based restaurants (P.F. Changs, Roy's and the M&S Grill) should all be open in the next few weeks. The entire mall complex is still on schedule for a May 2008 opening.
NAMM and its effect on the Anaheim Resort Area.
As mentioned here last week, I gave you a warning about the combination of the largest convention in Anaheim and a holiday weekend. The NAMM show went off successfully and brought record crowds to the area. This caused the entire area to have booked hotels and large amounts of traffic issues.
The Disneyland Resort itself wasn't too highly impacted, other than the change in schedule of the Aladdin Musical in DCA, since one of the major NAMM companies rented out the Hyperion Theater.
For park guests, the main issue was the traffic getting into the park. Many folks reported long backups (including the Disneyland Drive 5 South exit being backed up to access the main parking structure). But once you got to park your car, the parks were busy, but not packed.
Upcoming Disneyland Events
A reminder, as mentioned here last week, Tomorrow, Tuesday, January 29th will be the first of 6 Disneyland "After-Hour" YoaMD events. About 3,000 people will be awarded a special lanyard on Tuesday that allows them to stay in the park after closing. These lanyards are handed out on a random basis, so if you are interested in attending, I would get to the park around Noon, and then walk around the park and go on attractions inside of Disneyland. You might get lucky enough to win a pass to the special event in the afternoon.
If you are lucky enough to get a Pass (Lanyard), you will be sent to the Big Thunder area at 8 PM while the park is cleared of other guests. When the park is cleared (expected to be around 8:30 PM, maybe a bit later), the winners will get one hour to ride selected attractions, which will include both East and West side attractions. (Basically the majority of the park).
Here is hoping that Disney communicates the fact that the winning guests are only getting this opportunity to spend an extra hour in the park enjoying very short waits on the attractions. The first "After Hour" Dream event at DCA had a lot of disappointed guests, as they expected something more than just an extra hour in the park.
Also, folks have asked why the park closes early on Tuesday, February 5th. Disneyland will open an hour earlier than normal, and close an hour earlier (7 PM). This is due to the fact that Google has rented out the park for a special private event that evening.
Haunted Mansion has reopened
The removal of the Holiday overlay has happened, and a couple of positive changes to the Haunted Mansion have happened.
The main one is the addition of new designs on the moving rubber belts (the Loading belt, the unloading belt, and the speed ramp that takes you back up to the park level after the exit ramp).
Alas, one negative issue, the Madame Leota Seance Room is back, and the "floating" Leota is back, but the change in lighting is showing all three wires that make Leota float visible. Here is hoping that they can address the lighting issue, and keep the magic "hidden".
Away from Anaheim
Brady MacDonald over at the LA Times has reported the following this week.
The Santa Cruz Boardwalk is adding an interactive simulator ride, called the "Desperados Sheriff Academy" in the next few months.
Also, Six Flags Magic Mountain is spending around $2 million to upgrade and improve one of their signature coasters, "X". "X2" will have three new trains, a new paint job, a revised queue, and the goal of drastically increased capacity, when it opens in late May. (current schedule).
Also, don't forget, "Star Trek; The Tour" is still being offered in Long Beach, next to the Queen Mary until February 17th.
Last, but not least..
MiceChat.com held a couple of major events at the Disneyland Resort this weekend.
On Saturday, MiceChat held the "Gumball Rally 2", where participants tried to ride every attraction in both Disneyland and Disney's California Adventure in 11 hours. Nobody finished the quest (the maximum score was 100 points). Two teams got 84 points, but one team turned in the packet earlier than the other team, which was the tie-breaker.
On Sunday, even with major rain predicted, close to 200 folks showed up to celebrate the third anniversary of Mice Chat, which officially started in mid-January, 2005.
And by the way, I want to thank all the folks that work for Disneyland, including the folks at "TDA" (Team Disney Anaheim, aka park management), they went out of the way for the MiceChat group, and accommodated us in a few special ways, including allowing the Double Decker Bus (aka Omnibus) to be used as a Photo Platform for our group shot in front of the Castle, and other minor accommodations. With the very light crowds due to the rain (and even more of a reason, "Expected" rain), Disney could do things that normally would not be possible in larger sized crowds.
But it is important to thank all the hard working Cast Members, from the new front line workers, to those in Management for helping make the weekend guests have a wonderful time at the Disneyland Resort. Sometimes you see a complaint, and yes, this weekend there was one incident that upset more than few guests that were part of the MiceChat events, but the vast majority of the "CM's" went above and beyond their job description to make the weekend stand out to those who visited.
And finally, to all those who came up to me and said hello at the Disneyland Resort this weekend, I truly do appreciate all the kind words and compliments on this new weekly article.
And don't forget, there are plenty of photos not shown here at http://darkbeer.smugmug.com .