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Thread: 3/2: Leap Story

  1. #16

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    Re: 3/2: Leap Story

    Allowing the local kids with cheap yearly annual passes it what killed it for folks like me who spent TONS of money to sly down from Seattle and stay ON PROPERTY.

    I also have a Premier Passport but would have gladly paid extra if I had to in order to get more control of the chaos.

    I did about 10% of the things I had planned for that night.... no Fantasmic, no special food, and missed out on about 80% of the rides I wanted to go on (Space Mountain, Indiana Jones, etc). My free immediate fast passes I got from Disneyland Hotel were useless before I even got into the park as ALL fast passes were gone before 8PM.

  2. #17

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    Re: 3/2: Leap Story

    Quote Originally Posted by mcow1 View Post
    Didn't think it was misery at all. I was there for all 24 hours of it and had a great time. Sure there was a few things that could have been done better. But, I'd do it again.
    This. The fun I had with family and friends far outweighs the bad stories for me. Granted, I got there when it opened so I had zero entrance or parking issues, but in my eyes it was an amazing event.

  3. #18

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    Re: 3/2: Leap Story

    Amazing how it's 'TDA planners' planning for Carsland opening.. and dealing with that.

    But it's Orlando's fault for not planning for this properly?

    How can orlando be responsible for staffing and plans for the park for some days, and TDA be responsible for other days?

    This reeks of typical 'blame the desk jockey from afar' - yet TDA didn't react or interject with their own staffing and operations capabilities... even when they had the approaching signs of problems like Al mentioned even before the park opened.

    And where were ANY estimates that this was going to be a record night? Hindsight is indeed 20/20 for the naysayers it seems.
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  4. #19

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    Re: 3/2: Leap Story

    I do have to say, even though TDO are the boneheads who came up with the insultingly low estimates for crowds, TDA should have been able to calculate their own numbers and plan accordingly, despite what TDO was saying. Doesn't TDA know their own demographic by now? Surely they know how many APs alone are out there. Put the guy who ordered more OMDD t-shirts in charge!!

    So -- shame on TDO for the ridiculously low crowd estimates. But shame on TDA, too, for not knowing better.

    ---------- Post added 03-02-2012 at 01:56 PM ----------

    Amazing how it's 'TDA planners' planning for Carsland opening.. and dealing with that.

    But it's Orlando's fault for not planning for this properly?

    How can orlando be responsible for staffing and plans for the park for some days, and TDA be responsible for other days?
    Because One More Disney Day was a bi-coastal, Orlando/Anaheim event, with, apparently, TDO put in charge of crowd estimates.

    Carsland opening is a TDA only event.
    "In many ways, the work of a critic is easy. We risk very little yet enjoy a position over those who offer up their work and their selves to our judgment. We thrive on negative criticism, which is fun to write and to read. But the bitter truth we critics must face, is that in the grand scheme of things, the average piece of junk is probably more meaningful than our criticism designating it so. But there are times when a critic truly risks something, and that is in the discovery and defense of the new. The world is often unkind to new talent, new creations, the new needs friends." - Anton Ego

  5. #20

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    Re: 3/2: Leap Story

    I was there at 6 am on Wednesday and finally left after 3 am on Thursday. Wanted to do the whole 24 hours, but was annoyed by the amazingly nasty people who descended on the park after 11 pm.

    The first signs of impending chaos was at the end of the Soundsational parade. It literally looked like a tsunami of people behind the rope--we jumped up from where we were sitting in front of the Disney Clothiers to avoid being swept away!

    My wife and I flew down last minute on Tuesday evening from Seattle to do this and we were very pleased all day. Really, the event was great until the late night arrival of AP's came in. The event SHOULD have been blacked out, because it was the folks with the cheap passes that really were being obnoxious.

    We loved being in a filled Golden Horseshoe for Billy Hill at 12:15--the energy in the crowd and from the Billys was electric! We loved seeing the Country Bears, and were in line early to get our picture with them right at 11:15 (they were a bit late getting out). We loved hearing "Jump in the Line" playing at 2 am to keep everyone awake. We loved seeing Mickey and the Gang in their pj's.

    But it was CLEAR that there was little management going on. As a former Disney manager (nearly a decade with the company), I was surprised at how few managers were on site, taking the hits for the cast members. Many of them were in very good spirits, surprisingly, but there was not enough of them to stop the hordes of people blatantly smoking wherever they felt like it, removing the ones who were clearly intoxicated (Tomorrowland smelled like a cheap bar, so strong was the reek of alcohol), and keeping control.

    The few cast members we interacted with before we left at 3 were in good spirits, but even they realized that they were woefully unprepared. They were smiling--at least to us, because we were being pleasant to them--but they deserve to get bonuses for surviving with their sanity intact.

    We decided we just didn't want to battle the crowds anymore, since we had just been in October and are heading back again in August. It would have been nice to stay until 6, but the sheer number of people made everything unpleasant. And the number of nasty people with blatant disregard for Disney cast members and security just frustrated us to the point that I was ready to start punching people.

    As we left, the line to re-enter Disneyland stretched from the exit turnstiles across the esplanade, across the front of DCA and back to Disneyland. People were trying to jump the line through the exit gate, and the one or two security guards were clearly overwhelmed by the number of misbehaving people.

    Interestingly, we spoke to one suit at 11 am when we crossed over to DCA for a bit, and he said, "We should hit about 44,000 people, but that's about it. Busy, but manageable." Clearly, he--and the rest of TDA--were not prepared. And they need to apologize to the incredible cast members that kept Disneyland from being torn apart by the nasties who descended late at night.

    Glad we didn't drive, glad we didn't park. We didn't face any of that nightmare.

    But would we do it again? YOU BET. We were part of Disneyland history. That doesn't happen every day!

  6. #21

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    Re: 3/2: Leap Story

    Quote Originally Posted by aashee View Post
    This. The fun I had with family and friends far outweighs the bad stories for me. Granted, I got there when it opened so I had zero entrance or parking issues, but in my eyes it was an amazing event.
    Agreed. I fall under the category of passholder who was there for the spectacle. We were at the park for the full 24 hours and to us it was an endurance challenge. We knew there was a chance it could get insanely busy, so the long lines didn't really bother us as much as it could have.

    I smelled pot smoke once while I was there. Not the first time that's happened at Disneyland. But I never really saw any of the rowdy teen/college behavior that people in the forums are saying ruined their trip.

    I guess what bothered me the most were the completely trashed queue lines towards the end of the event, though I had to assume it was because of under staffing. We had no idea of the anarchy going on outside the park, and didn't even think that reinforcements wouldn't have even been able to get there. Total insanity.

    There were highs and lows for us, a definite roller coaster of emotions for our group of 10. But would I do it again 4 years from now, even if it had the same level of crowd control and under staffing? Yes, in a heart beat.
    RAKE-A-REESY, CLUCK CLUCK

  7. #22

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    Re: 3/2: Leap Story

    The wife and I left Riverside Wedesday and 4:00 pm and were parked on the half-filled Goofy deck in less than an hour. My son and daughter came later and had some traffic on the surface streets. Our actual goal was to see the World of Color with Ariel's Grotto tickets. 6:30 dinner reservations worked out perfectly for a 8:15 show.

    The Park was exactly as I expected, crowded. There wasn't the usual clear-outs after the parade and Fantasmic. We waited 45 minutes to kill some time on the train. I sent my daughter on recon to get a table for the Billy Hill show. But we did get a few rides in. My wife likes the carousel and it was mostly a walk-up that night. If properly organized, Disney could make some real money the next time.

    There was still plenty available to make it a productive visit. When the wait at the Tower of Terror was 90 minutes, we went to draw cartoons

    The amazing thing is at 4:00 am Thursday there were at least 100 people in line at the ticket booths.
    Last edited by The Lost Boy; 03-02-2012 at 12:31 PM.

  8. #23

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    Re: 3/2: Leap Story

    All I have to say is that it was a perfect day to have Modern Family taping....not really. :P I saw them taping in Adventureland at the Indiana Jones queue. It seemed pretty convenient for them that Indiana Jones just happened to conveniently get evacuated of its queue and ride before the actual taping. It created a dead end in Adventureland making the only way to CC and NOS was to go around through frontierland. They wrapped up in about 15 minutes, but the ride remained closed after. As to the legitimacy of the attraction closing...I question it.

    I followed them into Frontierland where a bigger scene starring Chip and Dale was about to be shot. They pulled guests from the crowds around the ropes to be extras, looking for families and people wearing certain things(one included a male wearing sandals with socks). Everyone in the immediate area was told to not wear "One More Disney Day" clothing/buttons as to not give away the day it was shot. I personally loved how Chip and Dale were simply "Chip and Dale" and didn't let the TV Cameras get to their ego...they were just themselves interacting with the kids called into the shot. The director saw that most of the people crowding around were i nthe shot. So they had us walk in a circle to make it look like it was a regular day.

    I was a star that day...ok, maybe not. But I'm going to be looking for myself in that episode.

    As you can see in the screenshot of my Facebook update below, all the gear the Modern Family crew brought was causing some energy problems for the nearby Rancho del Zocalo restaurant for my CM friends(I was a former DLR CM myself.)
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  9. #24

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    Re: 3/2: Leap Story

    TDA should man up and pay the CMs that worked the event retroactive bonuses for sticking it out since management failed to adapt and the front-line held the line against what seems to be an impossible situation.

    ---------- Post added 03-02-2012 at 05:04 PM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by TodAZ1 View Post
    I do have to say, even though TDO are the boneheads who came up with the insultingly low estimates for crowds, TDA should have been able to calculate their own numbers and plan accordingly, despite what TDO was saying
    That's what I'm saying. While your strategic marketing and planning may be coming from some remote group - is that same group responsible for daily operations and staffing? I would say NO - given all the other evidence (even in the same article) to the contrary.

    And it wouldn't be TDO - it would be the global parks people.

    Quote Originally Posted by TodAZ1 View Post
    Because One More Disney Day was a bi-coastal, Orlando/Anaheim event, with, apparently, TDO put in charge of crowd estimates.

    Carsland opening is a TDA only event.
    But global parks wouldn't be the ones actually executing the thing - they wouldn't give up the scheduling control, operational, and everything else. TDAs are the ones who EXECUTED the thing, and they obviously failed to correct what Al is saying bad planning from above, they failed to adapt when they had the signs, and the result is what we saw.

    There is a big difference between a superior saying ' here are the estimates ' and the people actually responsible for translating those estimates into real operational directives.

    I have a hard time believing the global parks people are the ones saying 'X guests in DL means Y CMs at cafe orleans' for one event, and it's TDA being responsible on a different day when TDA is responsible for the park on both days.
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  10. #25

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    Re: 3/2: Leap Story

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Wiggins View Post
    ...And a night that was a win-win for Disney Parks® management: humongous sales of food and merch, cheap labor costs thanks to understaffing; frontline CMs take the heat from disgruntled guests while suits sleep dreaming of big bonuses; morning-after PR spin makes it sound like everything was hunky-dory... hey, what's not to love?
    Well not per say cheap labor - those CMs got serious overtime pay to stick around (and thank goodness they did). Kudos to the CMs, they were all-hands-on-deck and very friendly, especially given the circumstances. My party was evacuated from our Space Mountain rocket twice in a row and the CMs of course recognized us and laughed and smiled along with us. That was probably the best part of the night.


    But I never thought I'd see someone smoking pot out in the open in line for Haunted Mansion, or seeing a guy screaming the f word over and over again in the esplanade at 3 am...it was a more dangerous version of Grad Nite (I went twice, and both experiences were miserable because "guest" behavior was horrid and the magic felt sucked out because Disney blasted club music all over).

  11. #26

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    Re: 3/2: Leap Story

    I was there from about 5:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m. It wasn't that busy when I arrived but the crowds grew continually until reaching maximum capacity when I was leaving. There is a disconnect between FL and CA operations but I am glad that DL exercised some local decision making. I was also glad to see that some of the execs were on hand for both the opening and closing hours. (True, I'm sure they went home and got some sleep while the CM's stayed in the trenches.)

    I was surprised that some of the shops closed early (Disneyana, Disney Gallery) as these would have probably also set some sales records. But I suppose they expected mostly AP's to attend and not part with their money. I knew when I was leaving the park that this was no ordinary DL event. The line to get in stretched from the east DL gates all the way across the front of DCA and people were still pouring into bag check. One of my biggest surprises as the midnight hour approached were the long lines at the ticket booths. My realization was confirmed when I noticed that the trams arriving were almost as full as those returning to Mickey and Friends. The back-up of cars trying to get into the parking structure were as long as any Christmas holiday visit. The back-up stretched well up the southbound 5. This was really a moment in history that no one will soon forget. A crush of people trying to get INTO Disneyland at midnight?

    I witnessed the same general happy-go-lucky guest attitudes. Lot's of smiling faces which given the huge crowds are not typical. I only experienced one inconvenience as I tried to make my way back to NOS for dinner reservations. The parade was starting and I was walking on the west side of Main St. when I reached a CM who was directing everyone to the street. The sidewalk was clear but she had her orders. I walked into the street with many more people but could hear the parade coming. As I reached the corner we were all directed to the east sidewalk just in time to avoid a head-on collision with the parade. Around the famous Tomorrowland rocks and back to the hub crossover. But the crowd of people there were stationed to watch the parade, not cross. A CM directed people to "the left side of the rocks" to cross. Once on the other side a CM handling the cross traffic from the hub directed everyone to the "other side of the rocks". Huh? I told her she needed to communicate with the other CM as he was sending us to her. She said it would work out. Eventually it did. You could see by the expressions on some CM's faces they had never seen crowds like these.

    At Cafe Orleans one of the servers mentioned he had been there since 8:00 a.m. It was apparent that many were being held over. But he wasn't complaining and actually seemed to be enjoying the general festive attitude of the guests.

    I'm glad I went and was part of the experience.

    As always, nice article, Al.
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  12. #27

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    Re: 3/2: Leap Story

    Quote Originally Posted by ethanwa View Post
    My free immediate fast passes I got from Disneyland Hotel were useless before I even got into the park as ALL fast passes were gone before 8PM.
    You might not want to hear this now, but... the hotel fastpass cards work EVEN when when regular fastpasses run out. IE, Star Tours will run out of FPs around 2 or 3 pm, but YOU can use that card to get an immediate use FP until closing time. Most rides leave one machine open and uncovered but usually do not staff it.

    Quote Originally Posted by flynnibus View Post
    Amazing how it's 'TDA planners' planning for Carsland opening.. and dealing with that.

    But it's Orlando's fault for not planning for this properly?

    How can orlando be responsible for staffing and plans for the park for some days, and TDA be responsible for other days?
    I know this has already been addressed, but that's not what Al said. He said the estimate came from an office that is now located in Orlando. Everything else is on TDA's shoulders, he makes that pretty clear, I thought.
    I would guess though, that to corporate, the estimate is everything. You staff according to the estimate and you don't actually change your staffing until either the estimate or the actual attendance officially changes. Sometimes, it changes too late and you have no one left to call in. Or you do call them, and they get stuck on the 5 for 2 hours and in the streets of Anaheim for another hour. But I seriously doubt that some lowly in-park manager or scheduler in a land would be allowed to add more shifts before that, even if they used their experience, common sense, and knowledge of their area to say "hey, we really should get enough people to run ALL of our vehicles that night, not just half" days ahead of time. Because that would be not allowed in order to save money on labor.

    It's cute that you all say "I hope the CMs who worked it get bonuses or a few days to recover". Those poor guys will get regular, old-fashioned overtime and be at work again the next day. I'm sure they are glad they survived it, and that the mood of the crowd was drunk and festive rather than the usual ANGRY of Christmas. (Hey CMs, as a longtime AP, I would like to promise never to be angry about crowds even on the busiest of days! we're not all rude!)
    But I would be nervous with the park that close to anarchy, so I can imagine that some of them were scared out of their wits. At least on NYE everyone is prepared for this kind of thing, and it seems like the whole cast is working all at once that night.
    "And all I ask is a tall ship and a star to steer her by" (John Masefield)



  13. #28

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    Re: 3/2: Leap Story

    So if these attendace estimates are correct, the largest attendance days in DL History would be:
    1. One More Disney Day
    2. July 17th, 2005
    3. Last Night of MSEP
    4.Opening weekend of Mansion

    ---------- Post added 03-02-2012 at 07:07 PM ----------

    And it DEFINATLY seems like WDW continues to act as "England", with DLR as "The Colonies" and Queen Megara issuing edicts for the "O.C. peaseants" on high.

  14. #29

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    Re: 3/2: Leap Story

    While I certainly don't fit the demographic of the day (58) I had a great 22 1/2 hours in the park Weds. Inside all day I was completely oblivious to the mass confussion on the "outside world". There is no doubt though the the day was split into 2 distinct modes. From opening till 6:00 PM most rides had little or no wait. But after watching Fantasmic at 1:00am (Set up blankets at 8:30pm) the waits all exceeded 1 to 1 1/2 hours. But I was sure glad I made the trip form Nor Cal and would gladly do it over again.

    PS It was great to see the final "morning" performance of Billy Hill at 4:45am. The crowd was rocking and so were the boys.

  15. #30

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    Re: 3/2: Leap Story

    If the 106,000 number is accurate, it wouldn't have been the largest attendance in Disneyland Resort history. On December 27, 2002, the total for both Parks was 108,274 (roughly 80,500 at Disneyland and 27,700 at DCA).

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