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  1. #1

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    3/8: Extra Everest

    Kevin reviews Animal Kingdom's annual passholder special event... Discuss it here...

    DIRECT ARTICLE LINK: Extra Everest - MiceAge.com
    "Politics is the profession whereby the inevitable is made to seem a great human achievement" - Quentin Crisp

  2. #2

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    Re: 3/8: Extra Everest

    I am normally a huge fan of Kevin's work. However, this time i must offer a huge "Bad Job". In this day and age, for any company to spend thousands of dollars for a free evening for customers, it is just plain rude to complain that you did not get enough for your free event.

    Be thankful that they gave you extra ride time. I know that living here in Texas I would love to have a few free hours of Everest.

    I think special thank you to WDW is in order. And Kevin, don't be greedy. It is not becoming.

    Otherwise, i love Kevin and his commentary!

  3. #3

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    Re: 3/8: Extra Everest

    Criticism noted, and all due apologies. I was aiming for a balanced reaction here, but it was apparently harder than I thought to simultaneously say thank you and also suggest they could have improved it, too.

    I did consider saying merely "thank you" and not offering the feedback they requested. But wouldn't that send the message that they need NOT do more than this in future such events? I do think the event could have been improved (and made profitable, in fact), so I was hoping to find a gentle balance in the review.
    Kevin Yee
    MiceAge Columnist

    I am the author of several Disney books:
    Jason's Disneyland Almanac - a daily history of Disneyland
    Walt Disney World Hidden History - tributes, homages, and ride remnants at WDW
    Your Day at the Magic Kingdom
    Mouse Trap
    Tokyo Disney Made Easy
    101 Things You Never Knew About Disneyland
    Magic Quizdom (The Disneyland Trivia Book)

    “The press [should be] a watchdog. Not an attack dog. Not a lapdog. A watchdog. Now, a watchdog can't be right all the time. He doesn't bark only when he sees or smells something that's dangerous. A good watchdog barks at things that are suspicious.” – Dan Rather

  4. #4

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    Re: 3/8: Extra Everest

    I agree with everything that Kevin stated. I could tell he enjoyed the event. He just wants to improve it with minor changes that would increase the guest experience as well as make Disney some money.

  5. #5

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    Re: 3/8: Extra Everest

    Kevin – Thanks for another great article.
    We last visit WDW in 2005, so Everest was being build then. But the one thing I never figured out is why do they close DAK so early? Even during the summer months?

    When I asked that of a cast member they said it was because of the animals – once it got dark they would be hard so see. Even the San Diego Wild Animal Park (now called San Diego Zoo Safari Park) stays open until at least 7pm, and offers the special over-night experiences for families.

    But the animals aside, DAK has plenty more to do in the way of attractions, shows, restaurants, shopping, entertainment, etc…So at least to me they could easily stay open until 9pm or so with evening events not offered during the day. And additionally maybe offer special over-night “experiences” as the SD Safari Park does.

    What are your thoughts on this?

    Ken Goldenberg
    Rancho Santa Margarita, CA

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    Re: 3/8: Extra Everest

    Compared to what Disneyland often offers the special EE 5th Anniversary AP event was lackluster. Of course, it is better than nothing. Adding special pins and t-shirts for the event would up it a notch in terms of specialness for APers at Disneyland East.

    However, one big goal of the event was to garner publicity for EE and AK, the story about the special event splashed all over the web and Disney got their $20,000 worth in terms of advertising. After all, EE must be a fantastic ride if APers, who can ride the attraction whenever they want, lined up to ride it during a special event! I don't think that the main goal of the event was to offer APers a reward for buying an annual pass (which is worth it if you are a big Disney fan living within 200 miles of WDW IMHO).

    I think WDW management is testing the waters to see if they can whip up enthusiasm among APers and see if they can free advertising in the mix. When they are competing against Harry and friends in Orlando they could use all the attention they can get, even if it is over a 5 year old ride with a broken AA.

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    Re: 3/8: Extra Everest

    The costs from labor are marginal. I would not be concerned about it. The cost for DJs are extra and I don't think it costs much. So Disney didn't do much for this event, whether cost, labor, effort, and any other criteria. It seems to be a do-it-yourself type party.

    and offer something for sale.
    This is totally wrong. If it is billed as a party to appreciate the passholders, merchandise should be offered for free as a gift. It would be similar to a party favor. They could have offered additional perks like a free photopass. In other words, a party should be treated as a party. At least have some free cake and coffee or juice.

  8. #8

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    Re: 3/8: Extra Everest

    Agreed on all the constructive criticism you gave at the gate.

    However, experiencing these rides in the dark is not ALL that uncommon - remember all of the hotel guests who (until recently) got EMH at night. I for one always made it a point to visit DAK when it was open for that as it takes on a wonderful new personality at night.

    Even with the loss of those EMHs at night, I see a ton of 8pm regular closings coming up this Spring - so perhaps all guests will see the park at night very soon.
    Please consider the environment before printing useless emails

  9. #9

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    Re: 3/8: Extra Everest

    After reading Kevin's article, maybe Disney should just not do anything.

  10. #10

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    Re: 3/8: Extra Everest

    Last thing WDW needs is to sell more AP's.

    WDW should simply absorb the cost of not catering to JKR's demands, and wait out this HP storm (probably about three years). Oh, and improve the parks in the meantime.
    "Here You Leave the World of California Today and Enter the World of, um, er, California Today."

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    Re: 3/8: Extra Everest

    While I may disagree with some of Kevin's complaints (burnt out bulb in Canada pavilion), I think that he makes a good point that when Disney goes half-way with a special event it hurts the brand, such as the apparent "declining by degrees" of Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party.

    Regarding Expedition Everest articles, isn't Kevin going to do a part 2 looking at perhaps the broken Yeti or the poorly disguised backside of EE which greets everybody entering AK's parking lot from a certain angle?

    Personally, EE will never be "special" for me like Pirates in Disneyland or even the Matterhorn. The best part is the queue, but the mountain looks unfinished, the back side looks weird, the train track juts up to the top of the mountain at an unatural angle and there aren't any plants on the mountain. I love the Matterhorn with the small pine trees and greenery, . . . Everest just plain looks fake. (Minus when it is seen when approaching it from a certain angle).

    Plus, when you get to the top and see Epcot, well, it pretty much ruins the illusion for me.

    I think that part of the reason that team Orlando went with a half-baked anniversary party is because how can they celebrate (with a straight face) an "E-Ticket" which has its star actor broken and which has an unifinished look?

    I look forward to Kevin's second Everest column (if there is one?)

  12. #12

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    Re: 3/8: Extra Everest

    The Everest photo collection was sent in all at once; I have no idea when/if Al will run the rest. The point to that series wasn't to say Everest is bad; it was to point out that it still has a lot going for it.

    The Canada bulb was actually an example of a thing that WASN'T a decline. It was invoked when I was saying that there are lot of maintenance problems I see that I don't report on, because they *do* get fixed.

    There are, however, lots of maintenance problems that *are* declines
    Kevin Yee
    MiceAge Columnist

    I am the author of several Disney books:
    Jason's Disneyland Almanac - a daily history of Disneyland
    Walt Disney World Hidden History - tributes, homages, and ride remnants at WDW
    Your Day at the Magic Kingdom
    Mouse Trap
    Tokyo Disney Made Easy
    101 Things You Never Knew About Disneyland
    Magic Quizdom (The Disneyland Trivia Book)

    “The press [should be] a watchdog. Not an attack dog. Not a lapdog. A watchdog. Now, a watchdog can't be right all the time. He doesn't bark only when he sees or smells something that's dangerous. A good watchdog barks at things that are suspicious.” – Dan Rather

  13. #13

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    Re: 3/8: Extra Everest

    Ban FastPass on Disney rides?

    Yes, this would be better for everyone... not just the privileged few (or those in the know).

  14. #14

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    Re: 3/8: Extra Everest

    I think I attended all the AP parties at Disneyland in Anaheim. They were always a $25.00 or so hard ticket event, with special foods, backstage tours (the projection rooms of Circle-Vision!), and chats with Imagineers. I'm surprised that the Everest event was free, it's hard to imagine Disneyland in Anaheim ever offering a free AP party. Frankly, it's hard to imagine them offering an AP party ever again after the Light Magic fiasco. I'd love to have the annual parties back, instead of the disorganized merchandise events that seem to have replaced them.
    So full of Disney Magic, my eyes are blue.

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    Re: 3/8: Extra Everest

    Great article! I wish they would do something like that here at Disneyland. The closest recent event like this that I can remember is the Haunted Mansion one, but one had to pay to attend. Unfortunately, I didn't get to. I liked this article just for the pictures and description of the event alone, especially since I'm in California and love any Walt Disney World news. I actually liked your criticism. I think criticism is important to building up and maintaining Walt Disney's amazing parks and company to what it once was or what it should be at right now. I think a lot of people have been disappointed by Disney many times in more recent years that they take anything and everything they can get from them and are afraid to criticize and think about or say what could be better. An example of this is with the recent "Princess" movies, Disney's Princess and the Frog and Disney's Tangled. People are just so happy Disney is attempting a classic, fairy-tale type animated movie that they don't point out or get mad at those who do mention that the films aren't as good as Walt Disney's classics, like Walt Disney's Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs or Walt Disney's Sleeping Beauty.

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