5/12/08 - Monday in the Parks - News, Photos and Tips
by, 05-12-2008 at 03:41 AM
Good Monday Morning, lots to get to today, just like the construction crews finishing up the new summer attractions being built at the Theme parks around Southern California.
Save VMK Rally - Small Crowds, but gets its message across
The official protest held at Disneyland Saturday was not well attended, but did get some good media coverage.
The Associated Press ran a story on Friday, talking about the event.
Saturday morning maybe wasn't the best time to hold the event, as the Press Conference at 6:45 AM was attended by 2 members of the press, Sonya Smith of the Orange County Register and myself.
But the event ended up on the front page of the Local section of the Sunday OC Register, as the top of the page.
And here is a link to her online version of the article, which is easier to read than the photo above, which was basically designed to just show the placement of the story in the paper.
While the group was small, the message was fairly clear, they realize that the event will more than likely not change the fact that the game will be shutting down May 21st. But the message that they wanted to get out was that it isn't "just" a game to the players, but a community. Disney failed to offer other options, such as converting to a Pay for Play system, or even offering to be able to take your "friends" list to other Disney operated games.
My photos of the event, and a scan of the flyer they handed out to folks walking down the street can be found at this link...
Eli Manning Finally "Goes to Disneyland"
Due to logistical problems, the Super Bowl Winning Quarterback from the New York Giants that made the famous "I'm Going to Disneyland" commercial this year finally fulfilled his obligation Wednesday, along with his new bride, Abby McGrew.
Eli Manning did meet up with the Tustin Cobras Pop Warner Team that showed up the day after the Super Bowl, expecting to meet the QB.
Knott's new coaster, Pony Express has started testing, and a chance to be the first official riders in a Charity Auction.
Pony Express, Knott's Berry Farm's newest attraction, scheduled to open Memorial Day weekend, is auctioning off the first public rides to raise money for charity for the Speech and Language Development Center in Buena Park. The nice thing, Knott's does donate all the costs of the event, so 100% of the money raised goes to the charity. The auctions are being offered on eBay, and there are a set of auctions, each of which are different seats, so if you plan to bid, make sure you understand the individual auction you are bidding on.
Disneyland Mark VII Monorail Red once again testing during the day
Friday morning, the new Mark VII Monorail Red was brought back out for testing during the day. Alas, it is still having minor problems with Door Closures and sensor issues. Expect to see Red out testing this week during the day, but understand that the Monorail has not been approved by the California State Agency, DOSH, and cannot accept guests. Mark V Monorail Purple is scheduled to also run during this time, which will allow guests to ride and use the monorail.
There is no official date for guests to ride the new Mark VII Monorail Red, but the daytime testing is a good sign to getting closer to the making the new Mark VII available to guests.
Want the best way to win a prize from the "Year of a Million Dreams", your costs just went up a cent!
In one of my first articles for MiceAge, I talked about how you could enter the "Disney Dreams Giveaway" by mail. Well, the United States Postal Service has raised the Postcard rate to 27 cents, effective today. (One Ounce Letters are now 42 cents).
There are still about 7 and a half months to send in postcards if you would like to have a chance to win a prize. Odds are about 1 in 70, and most winners get a pair of Dream Ears or a Pin Lanyard. Full details are available at the link below.
In a related item, Disney is currently handing out flyers when you enter a parking lot that will allow you to get a free Year of a Million Dreams pin, if you give them our name and address. The promotion is scheduled to expire at the end of the month, of course, it is "while supplies last", so it might end earlier.
Last chance for Southern California Residents to take advantage of the "Pay for Disneyland, get DCA for FREE!" offer
Thursday, May 22nd is the last day for a Southern California, or Baja California, resident to purchase and use the FIRST day of the 2Fer ticket. The second day has to be used within 30 days of the first use, and has to be "other" park. A 2 day ParkHopper is available for $25 more than the 2fer if you want to spend both days at Disneyland.
The Walt Disney Company releases Second Quarter results, Disneyland Attendance was basically Flat.
The Conference Call also stated that Domestic Attendance was up 5% if you combine Anaheim and Orlando. These numbers are comparing the January though March 2007 attendance as compared to the January through March 2008 attendance. One major event did make a impact on the numbers. In 2007, Peak Easter Break was in April, which is reflected in the Third Quarter of 2007, but all of the Peak Easter Break in 2008 was in March, so part of the increased attendance was due to the shift in the holiday season.
Attendance at Walt Disney World increased 7 percent year over year, and Disneyland attendance came in “just above the prior year.”
Howard Johnson Anaheim Plaza Hotel starts work on Castaway Cove
As reported here first about a month ago, HoJo's Anaheim has started work on its new Water Play area...
The new Water Play area is scheduled to open up this summer.
The new "main" pool area is open and available to hotel guests.
A few news articles...
Blue Sky Disney has some new news in regards to DCA...
A really neat Proposal at Disneyland. A lucky couple got picked for the Dream Suite as part of the 27 months of over 2.25 Million prizes, aka the "Year of a Million Dreams" promotion. Well the boyfriend used the event to propose to his girlfriend, in bathrobes in front of the castle. You can check out the photo at the link.
The City of Anaheim is looking into expanding its Anaheim Convention Center across the street from Disneyland to help keep is biggest events in town.
An very interesting article from the Orange County Register that deals with The Cheesecake Factory and the lack of a kids menu at the Anaheim GardenWalk has gotten a lot of responses, including the Director of Marketing of The Cheesecake Factory.
A few photos of the current Anaheim GardenWalk progress. They are scheduled to hold an VIP Outdoor concert this Thursday, May 15th and open May 31st.
Tram issues remain from the "dark" day that happened a week ago Friday, with three major events happening. A suicide at the Disneyland Hotel, Anaheim Police drawing guns at the Paradise Pier Hotel on a suspected Felon, and a minor accident with a Parking Structure Tram hitting a sign while trying to pass another tram in the Parking Structure Loading area.
This has changed the Tram driving policy, including changing the main areas that they load from, a slower policy of passing other trams, and a few other changes. This has slowed down the amount of guests that can be served per hour, and is creating longer waits for trams.
And even more photos from Darkbeer.Smugmug.com
Of course, there are plenty of things to look at my Smugmug site, which is a website I am so glad to be associated with. The folks who run it are amazing, and a joy to deal with.
If you are interested, here is a discount code that will get you $5 off an account of your own...
The Dreams Banners have been removed from the Castle. (Last week's article show the banners, even thought the "rods" remain"
A few events in the Adventureland area will start Memorial Day weekend.
A Kitty thought she would join the Noon meet at the Hub.
This is Elvis, hanging out next to Knott's Independance Hall.