WOW! Thank you so much for such a great update after such a long 'break'! It was worth the wait
The budget for Wonderful World of Color sounds insane. Have they thought about installing some sort of super-expensive retractable stadium seating for DCA's lagoon? I hope they hit this infrastructure nightmare first, before they build a really great show that tons of people would end up complaining about (just cause they couldn't SEE it... )
The new holiday castle effects sound absoutely amazing.... actually... it's my favorite nugget of new info in the update. This is the kind of stuff that Disney/Disneyland is best at. We really do seem to be entering a new 'golden age' with Lassetter.
As soon as he announces a replacement for the Peoplemover (and, thereby, gets all the hardcore Disneyland fans up and behind him)... I don't see his genuine passion for the park slowing down. He loves Disneyland as much as us! It's going to be a very exciting time to be living in Southern California the next decade! Woo!
If the Pow Wow party is half as good as last years in Orlando then it will really be something. They closed down Animal Kingdom on the final night of the conference and decked out the whole park with food, drinks and entertainment. It was the best event I have ever been too.
Count me in the camp that is NOT excited about a "Boutique" park. More exclusivity for only those who can afford it is a guest-hostile action that might backfire on them. Imagine the hurt of the father that has to explain to his family that they can only afford DCA and that they aren't rich enough to visit the new boutique park in the old strawberry field. The whole idea reeks to high heavens of a corporate disconnect with the "Average" guest of the resort.
On the other hand, I'm thrilled with the Super-Mega-Colossal treatment the new rides, shows, and attractions are getting at Disneyland and DCA.
Let's just hope that level heads prevail and that a Disney worthy super-mega-colossal park of the full sized variety gets built as Anaheim's 3rd property.
(Folks, don't forget to Digg the first page of Al's update if you appreciate his hard work and effort on this long awaited column)
Like Dusty said, I'm less than enthusiastic about a ritzy park. Personally I don't think that people with that much disposable income are really into theme parks, at least not enough to support a park like that for 365 days a year.
The reason Discovery Cove works is because that truly gives you an experience that you can't get anywhere else. If it's just another park, you can get that for less 200 yards away.
Is there any way that once everything over at Disneyland and DCA is underway and all plans are finalized we can get John Lasseter over to Walt Disney World and have him demand the same type of attention to detail at that resort.
I love the Magic Kingdom and have never been to Disneyland, but from what I see in pictures and read in these updates Disneyland seems to be much superior. Magic Kingdom is in desperate need of attention, especially with Space Mountain, that ride is a breakdown nightmare, everytime I have waited to go on it, it has been closed due to technical difficulties.
I would write to John Lasseter if I could and plead with him to come out here and visit all the Theme Parks and tell the executives what needs to be done.
Again, maybe it was because October was my first ever visit to WDW and that I was so overwhelmed by the SIZE of everything, I didn't see that much stuff that needed repairing (aside from Haunted Mansion).
It will be interesting to see if we start noticing stuff when we go back in May.
I agree the "botique" idea stinks. I think its good to keep prices for all disney parks somewhat higher so that it does not end up like Magic Mountain. But to price a park so far out of reach of middle class americans will leave a bad taste in the mouth of millions of loyal diney fans like my self. I hope they dont do this.
Al's columns are always worth the wait. I would take issue with his comment that Garden Grove isn't a "real" city. Apparently, he hasn't traveled down Harbor Blvd., past Orangewood the past seven years. GG already has 2500 hotel rooms near at or near the intersection of Harbor and Chapman, with a 288 room full-service Sheraton hotel under construction right now. Also, a 225-room expansion to the Embassy Suites (one of the best performing in the nation) has been proposed, which would flag the property as an Embassy resort property. The expansion would include a spa, resort pool, full service restaurant and additional conference facilities.
When the first batch of the new GG hotels opened around 2000, it was a wake up call to Anaheim. The new development you are seeing (or will see) around Harbor and Katella was, in no small part, a response to what was happening in Garden Grove.
People seem to hate the idea of a super elite park across the street, but to me, this is what the Disneyland hotels have always been. I can't believe people pay Hundreds of dollars a night more than they have to just to sleep somewhere, yet they always seem to do fine (so well, in fact, that they keep building more). I think these same people would pay double admission for a day or two to see the boutique park. Plus, if it gives us more attractions that are complete (and not stripped down for budget reasons), I say lets do it. Some really awesome rides might trickle down into the other parks. Maybe it would take some of the crowds out of Disneyland proper, too. Plus, I would be more likely to go to this park once every 3-5 years, just to experience it. Seems much more worthwile than shelling out all that extra cash for the Disney hotels. I have been driving to Disneyland and sleeping in Anaheim hotels for 20 years, and I have never stayed in one of the Disneyland hotels. Sleep at a $100 a night hotel, and put that extra money where you really want to be, at a better park!
Vikings are like pirates... why don't we have a movie starring Johnny Depp!?