7/14/08 - Monday in the Parks - News, Photos and Tips
by, 07-14-2008 at 04:52 AM
Good day, I think the title of this column will be a bit misleading this week, as we look at BOTH the Southern California Parks, but also a chance to step outside the box with a visit to the Orange County Fair and Dachshund Races in Huntington Beach.
A lot to get to, so lets get going...
Disneyland Park celebrates its 53rd Anniversary this week
OK, I know that some folks will not be happy with bringing up History, but we need to talk about this upcoming Thursday, July 17th AND Friday, July 18th.
As most folks know, Disneyland held an International Press Preview on Sunday, July 17th, 1955 and had one of the largest Live TV remotes at the time on ABC. The 90 minute TV show started at 4:30 PM Pacific Time, 7:30 PM Eastern, on ABC, which was perfect for Prime Time. This special event had Walt Disney and hosts like Ronald Reagan, Art Linkletter, Bob Cummings and others showing off the new park.
But what most folks don't understand is that the park Officially opened on Monday, July 18th, 1955 at 10 AM.
David MacPherson, at the time a 22 year old College Student decided around Midnight to jump on his motorbike and be the first in line to be the first person to enter Disneyland on Opening Day. (Watching the ABC broadcast helped his decision). He got to the park around 1 AM, and the rest is history.
Our friends at Yesterland.com got ahold of an official Disneyland Press Release from July, 1956 that talks about the First Anniversary of Disneyland.
This document clearly shows that Disneyland's Opening day was July 18th, 1955. Alas, around 1965, some Marketing person at Disneyland decided that July 17th was a better choice (Heck, in 1965, the 17th was a Saturday) because a plaque in Town Square had the date.
Most folks don't understand that the Dedication ceremony was held TWICE, once on Sunday afternoon around 4:30 PM for the ABC broadcast, and then a second time, at 1 PM on Monday the 18th for the official public opening. In fact, most of the photos of the Dedication are from the July 18th ceremony, as it was much easier to get the still cameras in the area and not interfere with the TV cameras and live remote.
So if you plan to visit Disneyland this week, enjoy your visit, and remember to celebrate BOTH July 17th and July 18th, as they are 2 very important days in Disneyland history.
In honor of the 53rd Anniversary, Disneyland will be holding a special ceremony at 4:45 PM on Thursday, July 17th in the Town Square of Main Street, U.S.A. This small ceremony will basically be a replaying of Walt Disney reading the Dedication, along with a few Characters.
Also, in honor of the 53rd anniversary, there will be 3 meets where folks can gather and meet other Disney fans. Both Thursday and Friday at Noon, I will be at the Central Plaza (aka Hub) in the inner circle near the Partners Statue (South west corner).
And then Thursday at 4 PM, at the south end of the Flag Pole area (near the Main Street, U.S.A. train station) to watch the 4:30 PM Flag Retreat, and then the 4:45 PM Dedication Ceremony. Please stop by and say Hi... No Cost or obligation!
Innoventions Dream Home - the House of TODAY, not Tomorrow....
The New York Times had an interesting article in yesterday's Sunday edition regarding the new "Innoventions Dream Home".
Make sure and read the entire 4 page article at the link.
...because the Innoventions Dream Home, the latest in a long line of model dwellings aimed at telling us how we might live in years to come, turns out to be positively retrograde.
Mark VII Monorail Red update
The new Mark VII Monorail Red is currently operating, but under some strict limitations.
The Air Scoops to help cool the new Mark VII Monorails
When the temperature gets around 80 degrees, it has to be taken offline. And even if it is under 80, the main trains are being restricted to just 15 people per main car (compared to the official capacity of 22 people). This does hurt the capacity of the Monorail system, as the Mark V Monorail Purple still operates (and without restrictions, basically 24 people per main car). But the requirement to limit the Mark VII to just 15 people is making the Monorail CM's work just a bit harder, and can cause some minor delays in dispatching the new Monorail.
The gap at the bottom of the Mark VII Monorail windows is only a couple of inches wide.
While the new Mark VII Monorail Blue is on property, they are not testing it that much to allow the Monorails to function as best as possible during the peak summer season. Expect to see the new Mark VII Blue in late August and September for official testing.
The Tail Cone of the new Mark VII Monorail Red
Would you like to volunteer for the Disneyland Half-Marathon
Sonya Smith at the Orange County Register has the details on how to volunteer to help out with the Half-Marathon, which will be held on Sunday, August 31st, 2008. (Yes, this is Labor Day weekend, and will make a busy weekend even busier). You can even get a free Disneyland ticket if you donate at least 12 hours of your time.
Castaway Cove opens up at Howard Johnson Plaza Hotel - Anaheim
The new Water Play area at "HoJo's", which is located on Harbor Boulevard, basically across the street from Tomorrowland, opened last weekend.
This is a major addition, and makes HoJo's a true destination hotel in Anaheim. HoJo's has been known for having a great staff, nice large rooms, and a wonderful landscaped property.
Here are some of the details of the new area, provided by the Howard Johnson Plaza Hotel....
“Castaway Cove” area:
- 30-foot Pirate Ship with two slides
- Cargo-net climb
- 300-Gallon Drench Bucket (dumps every seven minutes after the warning bell rings!)
- Water Curtain & Water Umbrellas
- Water Canons, two on the ship’s deck and two on the ground
- Hot tub with 15-person capacity featuring additional back and foot jets
- “Speedy’s Sprayground” toddler’s pool and fountain play area
- Two outdoor showers
- Restroom facilities
Operating hours: Castaway Cove area is open daily from 9AM until midnight. There is an attendant on duty while the ship is open. The ship-deck and slides will close at 7PM. Quiet time begins at 10PM when all other Castaway Cove water features will be shut off. Speedy’s Sprayground and the hot tub will remain open until the closing time of midnight.
The “Garden Pool” area:
Operating hours: The Garden Pool is open daily from 9AM until 10PM.
- Newly refurbished and expanded decking, adding more square footage for sun bathing
- The deep end was raised to five feet to provide more usable space in the pool. Keep in mind our pool and deck space is double the size of the average pool in The Anaheim Resort and it is not located on a roof or in a parking lot!
- Two outdoor showers
Anheuser-Busch finalized plans to be
bought by InBev
Anheuser-Busch, the Beer company that makes Budweiser and many other brands, plus runs the "Worlds of Discovery" parks, including SeaWorld, Busch Gardens and other locations looks to be purchased by InBev, which will create the world's largest Brewer.
News reports state that InBev is not interested in "secondary" businesses such as Theme Parks. But other big mergers, including NBC Universal has stated that they wanted to sell off the Theme Parks, but then decided to hold onto them due to the positive Cash Flow they create.
It is too early to tell what will happen to the "Worlds of Discovery" parks, but the unit just consolidated its offices from scattered locations, including the A-B main offices in St. Louis to Florida, so the division is ready to be separated. Here is hoping that they find a good home, as they have been run very well for 44 years (SeaWorld San Diego opened in 1964).
Knott's Berry Farm news
Brady MacDonald at the Los Angeles Times has a couple of interesting articles regarding the park.
First off, a good video of their new attraction, Pony Express.
Also, Brady has the list of all the new mazes for Knott's Halloween Haunt, which opens September 25th (aka Knott's Scary Farm).
MiceChat is planning a special Meet at Knott's Scary Farm on Saturday, September 27th. You can get more details at the following link.
THE 2nd ANNUAL KNOTT'S SCARY FARM MC MEET - SEPT 27th
Orange County Fair now open through August 3rd
The Orange County Fair opened Friday to large crowds (over 26,000 folks entered during the first hour, over 40,000 in the first 6 hours).
This is a Deep Fried White Castle Hamburger, amazingly good!
The big draw for opening weekend was the Maloof Money Cup, a major Skateboarding competition to be broadcast on CBS on a tape delayed basis. They built a special Skateboarding area (set) that costs over $300,000 and will be torn down today (to allow other events, such as the Demolition Derby) to be held in the Action Sports Arena.
The OC Fair has a bunch of specials, including a couple of days where you can enter for free with a donation, and $1 rides.
You can get the full info here...
Old World German Restaurant Grand Re-Opening
OK, its not a Theme Park or has rides (like the OC Fair), but it is a fun place to go, and is an excuse to post a few photos of some cute dogs! (and have a good German Dark Beer!)
They offered free food (a nice meal, either a Quarter of a Chicken or a large piece of Meatloaf) They had over 500 people claim their free meal in about 15 minutes of opening.
More info on Old World can be found here...
And the big winner of the races, Woody with his "family".
Selected Photos from Darkbeer.Smugmug.com
The backside fo the World of Disney Store is getting a new set of shingles.
Interesting to note, the first set of Disneyland "Tickets" did have the E Coupon longer than the rest (top of photo), even though most folks remember the "short" E Coupon version, which was used for the vast majority of the time the Coupon books were on sale.
Well, that should do it for this week, if you have a chance, please stop by the Hub on Thursday and/or Friday at Disneyland and say Hello! (and don't forget, there is always a Noon Meet at the Hub on Sunday's).