When I took my annual trip to the park on Thursday, I noticed a lot of problems that may or may not be the result of the heavy Christmas crowds taking their toll on the parks. But there were some other problematic things that were not the results of crowd destruction.
First off, I noticed a large amount of light bulbs out on Main Street and especially in Paradise Pier. Do they EVER replace the light bulbs that line Ariel's Grotto? There were more burned out than the amount actually on. And on Main Street, I noticed a lot of burned out bulbs on the train station and quite a few other areas. It was the most light bulbs I have seen burned out in years.
Another big problem I encountered was Space Mountain. DO THEY EVER CLEAN THE QUEUE!!!??? There were big patches of paint missing or sloppy slabs of mis-matching paint patches. Also, there were huge clumps of dust that lined the queue all the way down to the loading station. It was almost as if they hadn't vacuumed or swept the queue since 2005. The screens over the tvs were also coated in dust and it clearly distorted the view of the monitors. It doesn't look like they have cleaned the queue since 2005 and I was extremely disappointed. At the end of the ride, the steps while exiting the ride were in terrible shape. Most of them were missing the rubber/ vinyl lining and were again coated with large dust balls. I won't even explain the loud squeal of the cars on the track.
Thirdly was the dilapidated state of Star Tours. That ride is in such dire need of a thorough refurbishment it is ridiculous. Again, the queue looked like it hadn't been cleaned or dusted in years.
There were a lot of handrails and painted areas that needed to be painted over. I hope they see to it after the crowds leave. The Matterhorn's handrails were some of the ones in need. For example, big patches of paint were missing from the air gate's wooden decorations.
So some of you may be thinking that I went to the park looking for problems, but I did not. These were things right out in plain sight that anyone could notice or encounter. I thought it was important to report some of these problems with the hope that things will get taken care of ASAP.
One last problem I encountered was actually noticed by my aunt who has not been to the park in years. She was, in her own words, "disenchanted" by the sloppy appearance of the Cast Member costumes. She saw quite a few young ladies with hair colors that were more than one unison color and others whose costumes, again in her words, were not "pressed well." That was her biggest disappointment. I explained to her some of the turnover problems they had and the cutbacks they have made in costuming that have created a decline in Cast Member appearances and standards. And again, this is someone who only goes to Disneyland every few years who noticed little details like this.
I just hope the park does not fully return to its relaxed maintenance standards of the 90's and that these problems will be addressed and that the management does not let things continue to slide. I have too much respect and love for the park that I hate to see things like burnt out light bulbs and peeling paint in plain sight for any visitor who is paying 65 dollars and upwards to enjoy a day at the parks. There is no excuse for it.
And I have to get this out of my system- will someone please spray down Space Mountain's white exterior!!!