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  1. #16

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    Re: 1/4: Happy New Year?

    Quote Originally Posted by TheManator View Post
    I say there needs to be a website of contributors who can take pictures and see what is wrong. A column for new items, a column for items that have been around for sometime, and when an item gets fixed, it's moved into another column. I personally think people need to intentionally find things wrong, because the more people that notice, the more higher ups at disney will notice too.

    I love that idea. Part of Disney's charm has been their attention to detail, and I hate it when I see those details go downhill. The trashcans really bother me. It was so cool that each land even had their own styled trashcan. I've taken pictures of the trashcans on vacations because they impressed me so. I really don't want to throw my trash away on Main St in a bright, glowing green can.
    "All our dreams can come true.....if we have the courage to pursue them."
    - Walt Disney

  2. #17

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    Re: 1/4: Happy New Year?

    Declining by Degrees has really made me much less interested in visiting WDW. I'm a Southern California girl, raised on Disneyland, so going to WDW would be a major adventure for me. So if the park is declining, i really wouldnt want to go.
    Oh, and Kevin, the comparison of the Gold Rush coaster at Magic Mountain made me twitch. Magic Mountain is by far the WORST park in decline i have ever seen. Its covered in trash, peeling paint, spiderwebs, dust covering, gang members and trashy people to boot. My friends and i call it "crap mountain" now.

    Keep up the great work! And i hope the park notices!









  3. #18

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    Re: 1/4: Happy New Year?

    I've seen this StarWars stand mentioned a few times now. Why hasn't anyone mentioned this is nearly identical to what you used to be able to buy in any ToysRus/etc?

    http://www.amazon.com/Star-Wars-8485.../dp/B0007YDCK4

    Used to see this in regular toy shops for the same exact thing

  4. #19

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    Re: 1/4: Happy New Year?

    Thanks for the many compliments in this thread. I'd like to return the favor, though. In many ways, this week's column represents a group effort. Your criticisms in prior weeks helped shape and focus my ideas (and my contexualizations) going forward. This is one reason I encourage criticisms, so long as they are civil and constructive. They can only help better the product.

    And yes, I see the irony of being criticized while I criticize the parks, but would like to think that I'm "walking the talk" by doing what I hope Disney does: actually listen to its critics. Moreover, I'd like to thank you for the criticisms.
    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

  5. #20

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    Re: 1/4: Happy New Year?

    Quote Originally Posted by MickeyMania View Post
    I'd hate to turn your visits into WDW into a hunt to find broken things, but if there's something obvious, perhaps we should repeatedly rag on them a little to get them to wisen up.
    I'd also like to not make my trips negative. They aren't negative. I go for a great time and I have a great time. But my eye for inconsistencies in the Disney product has been honed by ten years of this online carping, and ten years before that of being a Working Lead at Disneyland, where it was essentially my job to look for such problems (albeit just in one location). So I have evolved a kind of equilibrium. Spotting problems comes second nature to me, and it doesn't ruin my day. I just snap a photo, jot down a note (usually on a napkin!!) and move on to the next great thing.
    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

  6. #21

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    Re: 1/4: Happy New Year?

    Quote Originally Posted by danyoung View Post
    I'm also blown away at how your experience on NYE in Epcot differed from regular contributor TDLFAN. In your eyes crowd control was working pretty well, while in his eyes crowd control was a total nightmare. Always good to read more opinions and then make one's own decisions, no?
    I think experiences can differ wildly even at the same park and on the same day, so I do agree it's wise to collect opinions from all over. I realize my columns are just one more voice in the collective, but it's important for all of our voices to be heard.
    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

  7. #22

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    Re: 1/4: Happy New Year?

    Quote Originally Posted by captsmith84 View Post
    Try riding Space Mountain again and listen for the music this time. I can assure you that it's there. It's simply from Disneyland's Space Mountain and is fairly faint.
    Well, it's not like I *wasn't* listening for the music last time, because I was, but I know what you mean. I stand by my observation that on that day, at least, there was no music. It's helpful to hear that there is supposed to be music - maybe it was turned off for my last journey. What I should have done is ride TTA that day to see if the music was audible up there.
    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

  8. #23

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    Re: 1/4: Happy New Year?

    Kevin, great column!

    You mentioned something about the casual visitor not noticing these things, and it's absolutely true. I love all things Disney (well, all things Walt Disney, perhaps), but I have only visited WDW once (couple of years ago), and I don't know if it was because of the excitement of being there or what, but I didn't notice any decline or broken things, and I guess that's what management thinks, "only some repeat visitors will notice". It's a shame, because the experience could be so much better with everything working properly.

    And the intention of your column is right on: Disney should know that we, the paying public, notice these things!

    Keep it up!

  9. #24

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    Re: 1/4: Happy New Year?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mineux View Post
    Declining by Degrees has really made me much less interested in visiting WDW. I'm a Southern California girl, raised on Disneyland, so going to WDW would be a major adventure for me. So if the park is declining, i really wouldnt want to go.
    This is the down side of articles like this one being written. I don't think Kevin is in any way saying that WDW is not a fun place to visit, or that you wouldn't have a terrific time, especially if it's your first visit. If you could put it on a scale, with old time Walt-run DL rating at 100%, WDW is perhaps at 90%. Others might say lower in some parts, but there is still plenty of fun things to do, sights to see, incredible restaurants to visit.

    I'm all for getting the numbers back up closer to the 100% that it should be, and I like Kevin's articles maybe bringing some much needed attention to the problems. But don't let the small stuff keep you from planning a great vacation at a truly wonderful place!

  10. #25

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    Re: 1/4: Happy New Year?

    Quote Originally Posted by danyoung View Post
    This is the down side of articles like this one being written.
    I agree; it's a downside. And I really am not trying to say "don't visit."

    But here's the thing: if NO ONE said that the upkeep problems are making them re-think making a visit, then Disney really doesn't have a financial incentive to change. So in a way, it's also positive that people are deciding to stay away.

    It's a hard, hard balance to strike right, and I've no doubt I will get it wrong from time to time.
    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

  11. #26

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    Re: 1/4: Happy New Year?

    Kevin:

    I agree with your declining by degrees ideas. I posted a thread over at another site after my most recent visit in June of this year.

    From my first visit in 1995 thru 2001, I visited either California or Florida parks two or three times a year. Upon moving to Canada, I didn't go again until June of 2006. The differences were obvious and upsetting.

    There were so many things that upset me during my visit -- I was actually sad.

    - The jumping water fountains at Epcot were just completely out of whack. At the time I commented to a friend who had never been there before, "Trust me.. these used to be cool." My argument in a previous posting was shut them off or fix them. Running them as they were was embarrassing.

    - Several things were just not working right in the "Great Movie Ride"... microphones placed in scenes to capture the audio weren't working. I said to a castmember outside afterwards -- "We couldn't hear a word from the 'host' .. start to finish in that ride. The host/hostess may as well not even been present." (That would be a BIG savings!)

    - I noticed IMMENSE amounts of garbage present in Splash Mountain scenes. Cups, straws, bags, wrappers etc strewn throughout the edges of scenes. And in several cases the stuff had been there FOREVER.. with layers and layers of dust and spider webs on it. I know garbage happens sometimes.. but OLD garbage is inexcusable.

    - As Kevin has noted, I saw lots of places where normal maintanence was being ignored. Burned out or badly flickering neon, burned out bulbs, and the like...

    - I always enjoyed the monorail messages but this time around they were heavily mixed up with some "Stitch" messaging that was most confusing. Ironically besides being UTTERLY too loud, it was also completely impossible to comprehend. In the end, my friends (again new to Disney) suggested we avoid the monorail as much as possible because riding it was just too annoying. I tried to explain that it didn't used to be like that ...

    - Carousel of Progress was open.. but in at least two different scenes there were visible problems with the animatronic character's skin. It either needed replacing or adjusting. I couldn't quite be sure which. Either way it was distracting.

    - We stayed at Pop Century. I've stayed at value resorts before and this was fine in my opinion. The most obvious thing about our stay there was the incomplete resort across the water. It looked very 'Un-Disney' to have that incomplete hotel with grass growing around the empty building etc.

    Go get 'em KEvin.. Hopefully they'll fix SOME of this stuff..

    John

  12. #27

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    Re: 1/4: Happy New Year?

    I just got back with my daughter from Disneyland a couple of weeks ago and after reading the up keep Issues in Mice age i really kept an open eye on things and i must say that i was Im pressed with the condition with Disneyland and there up keep, its really too bad that people in our society are getting to a point that they don't respect the parks and feel they have the right to do whatever they want to them because they bought a ticket to that park, We will be making our first trip to Disneyworld next October and can anybody tell me how well there transit system runs, Im asking because our group will be staying in 2 different hotels in the rewsort area( wilderness lodge and Pop century)
    AND TO THINK IT ALL STARTED WITH A MOUSE

  13. #28

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    Re: 1/4: Happy New Year?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mineux View Post
    Declining by Degrees has really made me much less interested in visiting WDW. I'm a Southern California girl, raised on Disneyland, so going to WDW would be a major adventure for me. So if the park is declining, i really wouldnt want to go.
    As I said before, there's a LOT to see at WDW, and Kevin has a lot of experience with this stuff, so if a cobwebbed streetlight at EPCOT and a few paint chips that escape most people's eyes is small potatoes that would probably not even be seen the first time visitor and to a regular visitor would add up to a 'hm, not as good as last time' opinion. You have to REALLY know WDW to see some of this stuff, otherwise you'll be too busy marvelling at everything.

    The worst-case example at WDW is the Haunted Mansion, and while it's broken down to the point of needing to be closed and overhauled, the same is true of Disneyland's TSI. Meanwhile, TSI at WDW is bigger and better-kept and the fort still works. So it all depends on your perspective.

    Quote Originally Posted by KevinYee View Post
    Well, it's not like I *wasn't* listening for the music last time, because I was, but I know what you mean. I stand by my observation that on that day, at least, there was no music. It's helpful to hear that there is supposed to be music - maybe it was turned off for my last journey. What I should have done is ride TTA that day to see if the music was audible up there.
    Unless I don't know WDW SM as well as I think I do, they pipe the space tunnel music (or as I like to call it, 'twinkle twinkle byoooooop') on the TTA level over those sets.

  14. #29

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    Re: 1/4: Happy New Year?

    There used to be a time when Disney parks proudly announced in their marketing materials that they replaced light bulbs BEFORE they burned out, when the bulbs reached 80% of their expected life span.
    God, what a waste.

  15. #30

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    Re: 1/4: Happy New Year?

    Thanks for your great articles, Kevin. I must say, those new trash cans are hideous, and it makes you wonder how much money they are saving by cutting corners like this. The rivets and detail are what give the old cans a bit of class, whereas the new ones would fit better in a hospital on a military base. There's declining by degrees and then there's falling off a cliff.

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