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In the Parks

2/18/08 - Monday in the Parks - News and Photos

Rating: 3 votes, 3.67 average.
by , 02-17-2008 at 11:28 PM
Well, another Monday, and another Holiday. And another busy weekend at the parks. They had the "Theme Parks are Very Busy" signs out in the Anaheim Resort Area.

Sunday around 1 PM

One extra month of "Pay for Disneyland, get DCA for FREE!"

And talking about "Theme Parks", Disney is happy to be getting the locals to go visit DCA after spending the day at Disneyland, so much so, Disney has extended the current 2fer offer. Plus, the 2 days for the price of 1 ParkHopper has also been extended

Now, you must use the first day at either park on or before May 22nd, 2008. As before, you have 30 days to make your second visit, so if you buy and use the first day of the 2fer around mid-May, you have until mid-June to use the second day.

All the other rules, including having proof of living in the proper Southern California or Baja California, Mexico zip code is needed for every person using the ticket, have not changed. Just the ending date.

The top 20 Dream CMO finalist have been informed

Brady MacDonald over at the Los Angeles Times has found 13 out of the top 20 finalists.

You can check out his full article here...

The 20 Dream CMO finalists will be further winnowed to a Top 10 before the three-week voting window opens March 2. The Top 3 vote getters travel to a Disney theme park in mid-April for a head-to-head competition that will be videotaped and voted on again by the online public. The winner serves as a goodwill ambassador at Disney parks around the world.

Below are profiles of 10 of the “Known 13″ Dream CMO finalists, including their favorite Disney movies, characters, theme parks and rides plus links to their video resumes.
What is going on with the BTMRR goat?

Brady MacDonald also talked about the Missing Goat at BTMRR this week, and specifically mentioned MiceChat.

Here is hoping the Goat gets back from Vacation soon!

Innoventions Dream House coming in May

The Associated Press published an article Wednesday morning that was poorly written, and left people asking "Where were they going to build the new House of the Future?

The following official Disneyland Resort Press Release gives the full details...

Disneyland Resort Reaches Agreement with Microsoft, HP, Life/ware and Taylor Morrison on Innoventions Dream Home.

Guests to experience cutting-edge technology in a simple, fun and interactive environment.

ANAHEIM, Calif., Feb 13, 2008 -- The Disneyland Resort today announced a five-year alliance with Microsoft, HP, Life/ware and home builder Taylor Morrison to showcase integrated digital technologies for the home in the immersive, story-telling experiences for which Disney is known. The alliance includes the design and development of the new Innoventions Dream Home attraction, a 5,000+ sq. ft. home belonging to the fictional Elias family, scheduled to open in May in Tomorrowland at the Disneyland Resort.

Keeping with Walt's vision of bringing cutting-edge and inspiring ideas to Tomorrowland, the Innoventions Dream Home will introduce Disneyland guests to newly available technology from the participating companies that will enhance their lives today, while providing them a glimpse of the emerging digital advances they may find in their homes in the future. The attraction will provide guests with a "high-tech, high-touch" opportunity to experience technology in an entertaining, low-risk environment showing them how the power of technology can connect them to the people and things they care most about.

"We're thrilled that Disney has chosen Microsoft to bring digital entertainment to life at Disneyland," said Joe Belfiore, Corporate Vice President, Entertainment and Devices eHome Division at Microsoft. "Together, we're showcasing innovative technology that is both attainable and inspiring, offering park guests the opportunity to see, touch and feel digital home experiences in a simple, fun and interactive environment."

"This exciting alliance gives each of our partners a forum to inspire our guests' imaginations and motivate them to incorporate and enjoy the new technologies that are available today," said Ed Grier, president of Disneyland Resort. "Consistent with the Disney heritage of growth through innovation, the Innoventions Dream Home is just another example of how we are committed to investing in and developing exciting projects that keep our guests returning again."

The technology companies will showcase a wide range of technologies and products in the exhibit, including the latest in mobile phones, PCs, digital music and gaming. The Innoventions Dream Home demonstrates how home technology can be simple, intuitive and fun while helping guests understand how to seamlessly interconnect their home, the surrounding community and the world, helping consumers stay closer to the people, places and entertainment that are most important to them. The alliances also help ensure that the Innoventions Dream Home remains on the forefront of technology with the newest devices and products as part of the exhibit.

Guests will actively engage in this experience as they help members of the fictional Elias family prepare for a trip to World Soccer Championships in China, where their son is competing. Elias family members rotate throughout the house, randomly interacting with guests in the various rooms. Upon exiting the house, guests can learn more about the companies that collaborated to create the Innoventions Dream House, exploring the technologies for themselves first-hand.

The notion of a Dream Home has deep roots at the Disneyland Resort. Walt Disney was fascinated with the concept of a futuristic home and he introduced concepts at World's Fairs that led to the first "House of Tomorrow" exhibit in Disneyland (1967). Those early versions featured modern conveniences for housewives, but the story line always focused on progress that led to a better way of living. In 1998, Disneyland opened Innoventions, an interactive pavilion featuring what was then considered breakthrough technology: voice-activated computers, high-definition TVs, smart-cars and satellite broadcasting.

The intent was not to predict the future, but to let people play with emerging technologies and imagine how those technologies might enhance everyday life. The precursors to the Dream Home enabled people of all ages to experiment with interactive devices, games and exhibits, demonstrating both the fun and the significance of modern innovations.

Now comes the Dream Home, a convergence of five companies and their fascination with technology. The combination of Disney's strong storytelling heritage, cutting-edge technology expertise from Microsoft, HP and Life/ware, and Taylor Morrison's talent for building an environment that will bring it to life, will inspire Disneyland guests' imaginations for years to come.


HP - Carlos Montalvo, Vice President, Managed Home Division, Personal Systems Group

"The Disney Innoventions Dream Home will bring to life HP's vision of consumers living a connected, high-definition lifestyle, demonstrating how simple it is today to control where and when you enjoy your digital content. As a driver of the emerging 'Connected Entertainment' market, HP is delivering on the promise of making connected entertainment an integral part of everyday life."

Life/ware - Seale Moorer, Founder and CEO of Life/ware

"Life/ware is honored to be a part of the ongoing legacy of Tomorrowland," said Seale Moorer, Founder and CEO of Life/ware. "The Innoventions Dream Home may seem futuristic to many Disneyland guests, but in fact, adding Life/ware entertainment and automation technology to products many people already own will bring this experience much closer to home than ever before. We're thrilled to work with Disney and our partners to help people see how they can enhance their digital lifestyles now and in the future."

Microsoft- Joe Belfiore, Corporate Vice President, Entertainment and Devices eHome Division

"Microsoft technologies touch the lives of 1 billion people, giving us an unparalleled opportunity - and perhaps responsibility - to help people understand the products and services that can enrich their lives. With millions of visitors to Disneyland every year, being a part of Innoventions Dream Home is one way to reach people and fulfill that role."
"By visiting the Innoventions Dream Home at Disneyland, people can see, touch and feel the latest and greatest Microsoft technologies that will inspire them to try out new technologies in their own homes as well as better understand what's available today."

Taylor-Morrison - Sheryl Palmer, CEO

On participating:

-- "Taylor Morrison has a rich heritage of building homes that become a meaningful part of our customers' lives. To be able to participate in a project that carries the Disney name on it is a tremendous compliment to the hard work of our staff through the years."

-- "Much like our partners, Taylor Morrison has a legacy of being an innovator in its field. We're excited to apply our extensive design and construction expertise to the Innoventions Dream Home and feel fortunate to be the exclusive provider of this pioneering technology package when it's brought to market."

On the home's design:

-- "In designing the Innoventions Dream Home, we approached the project in much the same way as we have the wide range of homes we've built through the years - by drawing on our company's experience, imagination and old-fashioned ingenuity."

-- "Being an industry leader takes determination, inventiveness and a dedication to being bold when the situation calls for it. Like Walt Disney and our Innoventions Dream Home partners, these traits have served to transform Taylor Morrison into the dominant market leader it has become over the years."

On the partnership:

-- "We feel very fortunate to be partnering with our fellow Innoventions Dream Home collaborators in this five-year alliance with Disney to bring the latest in cutting-edge technology and home design to Disneyland Resort guests."

-- "Walt Disney was fond of saying that his company 'all started because of a mouse.' For Taylor Morrison, it all started with a house, built by a 16-year-old visionary, Frank Taylor."

Doesn't look like the House fo the Future to me

Santa Monica Pier to get a new Ferris Wheel

Another Los Angeles Times article this week reported that Pacific Park at the Santa Monica Pier is replacing its current 12 year old Ferris Wheel with a brand new $1.5 Million state-of-the-art version in May.

The sea air and salt water took a toll on the old wheel, with new paint jobs often looking weathered almost upon completion. The new Chance Morgan galvanized steel wheel is expected to resolve that problem.

The current Pacific Park Ferris Wheel, a photo from May, 2006

Interesting recent developments in the "Save Our Anaheim Resort" initiative that is scheduled to be on the June, 2008 ballot.

At the February, 12th Anaheim City Council meeting, Mayor Curt Pringle asked the council to make the SOAR initiative, which basically would require the approval of voters for any zoning change in the Anaheim Resort area that would allow uses others that Tourism and related business use, law without placing it on the ballot. It is expected to be on the February 26th council agenda.

Sarah Tully of the Orange County Register reported on February 14th that SOAR might request that the council not approve the measure directly, and let it go to the vote of the people, which would cost the city about $250,000 in election costs.

“Our preference is to take it to the voters,” said Annette McCluskey, spokeswoman for SOAR. “It’s just that we’ve said all along, we’d like voters to decide. I think we’re just being consistent with what we said.”
It’s unclear if the council will adopt the initiative at its Feb. 26 meeting anyway: The mayor is for it. One council member is against it. One is undecided. One won’t say. And the last, Councilwoman Lucille Kring, may have a conflict of interest that will force her to abstain from voting. Read a story on the issue here.

And to finish up the article, some recent photos from the parks, plenty more can be found at

Part of the painting on the Disney Clothiers refurb has been finished

Work continues on King Arthur Carrousel

They closed down the Matterhorn for testing last Tuesday and Wednesday

The testing was to check out some new trains that were delivered

One of the new trains, which is exactly like the old version

Much of the restroom building inside of Fort Wilderness on TSI is finished, though some of the Fort outer wall needs to be finished

The Pin Carts at the Plaza Pavilion, along with the Piano have been removed in preparation of refurb work to the building.

A look at the progress of the GCH/DVC new addition

And a look at the Toy Story Mania! progress

While no new restaurants at the Anaheim GardenWalk have opened, some of the public area has opened.

Thursday, February 14th was another After Hour "Special Park Dream Time Event", this was the second out of six events to be held at Disneyland.

As part of the After Hour event, all the winners had to gather in the Festival Arena for 30 minutes. One couple took advantage of it.

Roque asked Shelby to marry him, and she said yes! Congratulations to the happy couple, and a nice Valentines Day memory.

And caught another couple proposing later during the event

Mickey and Minnie having fun and saying goodbye to the After Hour event guests

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Updated 02-18-2008 at 09:35 AM by In the Parks



  1. tcsnwhite's Avatar
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    What is going into the Plaza Pavilion?
    rumor was the new Disney Gallery?
  2. JeffYardDog's Avatar
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    The new Santa Monica Ferris Wheel is only $1.5 ? What a deal ....
  3. themur's Avatar
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    Darkbeer, you are amazing. You are everywhere!!!!!!
  4. Aladdin's Avatar
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    ACCCCCKKKKK! Another 5 years of Innoventions!!!
  5. StrikeYerColors's Avatar
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    i noticed on saturday that they were painting some of the individual roof tiles on the toy story building. it's getting really detailed, and looks great!!!
  6. Sambo's Avatar
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    Great - The "house of the future" will not be a predictive view of the future like the original HOF, but a continuation of the Innovations theme of showing "cutting edge" technology that by the time it makes it into the display, will already have been available at Best Buy for quite some time. It is no wonder people are losing faith in Disney Management and Imagineering. It is patently obvious they have lost the ability to present a vision and tell a story, and replaced that with just selling us more products.

    I miss the vision of the "good old days"...
  7. Big D's Avatar
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    I missed out on the original House of the Future, so I'm super excited about this new one coming, I really hope it is very cool and not a lame outdated Back to the Future II-type display. Is it going to take over all of Innoventions, or is it going to be built next to it where the Hatmosphere and the old Skyway buidling is?
  8. Darkbeer's Avatar
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    As I understand it, it will take over the entire lower level of the current Innoventions, and that the other sponsors, such as Honda and Siemens will remain on the upper level.

    There will be no new "additions" to the building, so no new construction at the Hatmosphere (now called the Autopia Winners Circle) and the old Tomorrowland Skyway station was.
  9. Bruce Bergman's Avatar
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    They still didn't say WHERE the Innoventions Dream Home is going, or give any clues at all as to how they will lay it out or make it work.

    I've got a very bad feeling about this... <Dun Dun Dunnnnn!> But I'll reserve judgement till more details either are revealed or leak out.

    Suffice it to say that before they get too far they'd better Focus Group the heck out of their prototypes, elicit honest and un-skewed responses and actually listen to the feedback.

    --<< Bruce >>--
  10. danyoung's Avatar
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    As always, I'm most appreciative of the photos and news, David. But I had to crack up at the following in reference to the 2-fers -

    As before, you have 30 days to make your second visit, so if you buy and use the first day of the 2fer around mid-May, you have until mid-June to use the second day.
    Now, I'm not always the sharpest tack in the tray, but even I can figger out what 30 days means without the extra explanation. But I guess too much info is better than not enough, eh?
  11. fkurucz's Avatar
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    <<Great - The "house of the future" will not be a predictive view of the future like the original HOF>>

    Tell me about it! I think that part of the problem is that our leading companies aren't really engaged in any future looking research, and if they are they aren't likely to showcase it.

    What I would like to see is an energy efficient house that uses a fraction of today's energy without sacrificing comfort. Perhaps through a use of innovative materials and design. Of course the reality is that houses in the US will continue to be built out of sticks, chipwood, sheet rock and fiberglass into the foreseeble future.

    So, I guess what we will see is today's house with next year's toys, which aren't all that different from this year's toys. Yawn.

    I recall an old PacTel commercial where they showed a room with a wall sized tv screen, which created the illusion that two distant rooms were next to each other. Why can't the do things like that in the so called House of Tomorrow instead of just showcasing the sponsors products. After all we already know that Microsoft makes Windows and HP makes computers and printers.
  12. Zorro825's Avatar
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    Great pics Darkbeer! i was there on Valentines Day also and I won one of those lanyards. It was very fun and made our Valentines even more special.
  13. PanTheMan's Avatar
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    Great pics & update! And it was very Nice to meet you!