That's how I heard it too, and I thought it was mighty gracious of her. They make a big presentation to Ah-nold with a custom motorcycle worth a bundle and then hand Walt's daughter a framed picture that probably cost about $90. I was offended on her behalf.
Al, your article is right on the nose. Exactly what I experienced yesterday. Yesterday's "celebration" wasn't about the guests or the park, it was about soundbites and imaging. It paled in comparison to the 30th Birthday celebration.
That being said, however, I did have a good time. The crowds were manageable and I got to ride Space Mountain, the Mark Twain and Big Thunder.
Well, at least Arnold is donating the bike to charity for an auction...
Many Bothans died to bring MiceChat this information.
Thanks Al for your update. I was one of those early risers and I know about the lines....I was in several. I think Disney did pretty good at getting everyone of us in, in a reasonable manner. My daughter and I did head straight for the castle but found it unreachable to even find a good viewing spot. Instead we headed off to Critter Country to get in the line for the limited edition pin and clothing. Much to my amazement I was in that line for over 6 hours from the time I got in the line to when I finally checked out with my goodies in hand. They definitely needed to do something to make it easier for all of the 5000+ who stood in that line to buy our limited edition pin. Those of us who were in that line had NO chance to see the Opening Ceremony because they didn't put a video screen in Frontierland.
On the t-shirts that were available with the date from the opening of Disneyland and yesterdays date of the 50th birthday they should have told people that all the clothing was running small by a size or two. I'm home now and find that my t-shirt doesn't fit...too small. And I can't get another one. I'm out of luck for that one.
This is just my 2 cents worth of yesterday. If asked if I'd do it again, my answer would be YES, in a heartbeat. I still felt special to be able to enjoy the park, get a rush for early admittance, having such a warm welcome by the employees and just saying I did that.
It was crowded at first but it died down quick. When we first got in they were having a ceremony which everyone seemed to knock each over to get a good view of these small screens. Is it a law that when someone has a stroller they must clip your ankle from behind?
Disneyland was packed but the lines were short. The longest we had to wait in line was probably 1 hour and that was for Spalsh Mountain which broke down anyways.
The crowd control scenario could've been better. I usually know my way around Disneyland but detour after detour can throw someone off. They closed Sleeping Beauty's Castle for the fireworks which I understand. When one worker tells you to go to this way to get inside Fantasyland while another worker says you can't enter the way you were told by another worker got kinda old after a while. Some of these workers need to take classes on etiquette. For instance, my family and I were trying to enjoy the huge firework ceremony (which can make you break your neck trying to watch) but in the mean time this crowd control worker is yelling at the top of her lungs for folks to take 2 steps back when you have nowhere to go. Then this family of five gets right in front of us and they're told to take 2 steps back. Running right into us. It wasn't even crowded in that area to begin with. They had a recording playing along with the fireworks but we couldn't hear it cause of the workers yelling at the tops of their lungs. Oh well
Then there was going home. The tram to the parking lot was probably the longest line that whole day. Not cause of the amount of people cause there were hardly any but these 2 females decided they wanted to fight over who sat where. I don't understand why Disneyland workers can't just take these people off and allow us normal people to get on so we can go about our lives. Nope, they turned off the tram, made us walk all the way to the other pickup and my father is a disabled Veteran. We stayed put but workers are yelling at us to move to the other line. We shouldn't have to. One workers tells us to get on the tram and the driver tells us to get off. Another worker later said it was ok to get on, the driver tells us again to get off.
Other than poorly planned crowd control and lost workers, I had a great time.
Mind you, I'm not complaining... after all, it's the thought that counts... but did anyone else find the cupcakes not all that good? I noticed the employees were practically begging people to take them towards the end of the day. But the golden ears looked better than I expected.
Yeah, the corporate talk was a bit annyoying, but that's the way the deal goes, so I could stand that. Art & Diane were great (and I swore she said they didn't have one). The thing that irritated me the most was LeAnn Rimes being incorporated all over the place into the rededication montage. What was up with that?
One's personal experience for the day is always going to vary, but for myself, it wasn't a bad time, and the crowds were unexpectedly managable. Yeah, it could've (and maybe should've) been more, but I still had a good time, primarily thanks to the enthusiasm the GP & cast brought in themselves.
I think the expectations of some mice chatters were so high, no celebration could ever live up to the hype. I live in Hollywood, left my house at 5 mins to 8, arrived at Downtown Disney around 8:30am and was in the park pretty soon thereafter. Despite reports that as a Deluxe pass holder I wouldn't be able to buy a blockout ticket, there was no line at the window and I purchased a blockout ticket with no problems.
After a quick breeze around adventureland, I found a place in front of the hub. The people I met were really nice, though I was happy to be on my own, since everyone was very uptight about their space. In the end we were all just staring at a TV screen, so there was really no need to worry. Once people stood up there was tons of room.
My expectations weren't that high for the speeches and so forth since I thought the May 5th extravaganza was nothing special. What is special about Disneyland is the experience you bring to the park; some kind CM who helps you out; or just the luck of finding a cool spot to enjoy a Dole whip. There was never any possibility that Eisner was going to say something that would enhance my day (except maybe "free passes for everyone"). He doesn't enjoy the park the way I do, nor do I expect him to. I got my ears, I got my map, watched cool vintage footage and it made me smile. What were you expecting - Micky disco dancing down Main Street? You're already in the happiest place on earth, and you probably didn't pay $56 either.
You're already in the happiest place on earth, and you probably didn't pay $56 either.
This deserves repeating.
And anyone who would go to DL to see a re-dedication ceremony featuring Eisner, while there is Space, Matterhorn, Splash, Indy, POTC, HM, BTMRR, etc. all ready for you to board, really needs his head examined. I'll let Al off from this particular head examination, since he has to cover it.
I say, no expectations for DL Anniversaries anymore. And No expectations for Walt's or Mickey's or Donald's birthdays. Then when there is something special, it's a bonus. These anniversaries shouldn't distract guests from the main reason they're there.
But then, some guests have been there enough to demand something special for their hard-earned entrance fee.
"Here You Leave the World of California Today and Enter the World of, um, er, California Today."
The anniversary celebration was great!! Yea, there were problems but I walked down Main Street and had the cast members waiving & greeting me, I was able to ride several rides and see each of the special celebrations. I was lucky enough to see the big show from just to the right of the castle with only a handfull of people in front of me. I saw Bob Gurr walking down Main Street, too.
The things that bothered me:
1. Only 5000 pins available for an expected crowd of 50,000 plus people?
2. The protesters that can't separate their political ideals from a family day at Disneyland. They were right in front of us. Guess what, I don't care if your gay (that's your choice) and if you don't like a policy, protest in Sacramento or somewhere else.
If you watch your replay of Diane's comments, she says something like 'I really don't think that dad would expect or imagine that people would resist change because they loved the original attractions so much.' Sounded like she was defending the decisions to close attractions to me. During the preshow for "The First 50 Years," the cast member made two comments about having to tear out attractions to make way for new things. I couldn't help but wonder if they are setting us up for something??
Not everyone goes to Disneyland for the rides. In fact Disneyland was designed to be much more than that. "A place where children and parents can have fun together"I have a 2 year old and to be honest... we don't ride many rides. We go to sit on a bench and let her play, we go to share time as a family, being a family-- without TV, PC Games, Bills, Neigbours or any other such distractions. We go to escape reality (and yes, we go alot).
I love Disneyland and as I said before I was just glad to be there yesterday, and to be able to share the stories of the day with my daughter as she grows up. She gets to tell her children that she was there the day Disneyland turned 50 years old.
Thanks for the article Al, your Arnold commentary was really funny, especially the part where you made light of his accent. This is going to get a little off-topic, but I love hearing our Governor talk, he's got such a unique manner of speaking. And to think, Hollywood wanted to call him "Arnold Strong" and take training to reduce his accent when he first arrived! Thankfully, he's incredibly shrewd (otherwise he wouldn't be here today) and made his accent and difficult name a part of his appeal. He's actually a terrible actor, however, he realizes this fact and always selects roles that don't require a lot of dialog or drama. He knows his limits and picked roles based on them, emphasizing instead his strengths as an actor. What's really funny is that because he has not much acting ability, his voice and mannerisms in his movies is quite similar to his real-life persona. In other words, when he's speaking in public, it's as if any and every character he's ever played is speaking instead of him! Only someone as shrewd and intelligent as Arnold could take a minimal acting ability with a thick accent and unfathomable last name and make a career out of it. He stayed away from his weaknesses (dramatic acting and dialog) and concentrated on his strengths (physical strength and charisma) to make it big in Hollywood. I don't care what those protestors say, the man started out with $20 and a gym bag when he came to this country, beat all the odds in Hollywood (which were stacked highly against him) and then became Governor of the state of California. If anyone understands hard work and how America works, it's Arnold. It's truly a shame that a small group of people decided to make a political statement out of Disneyland's 50th anniversary.
Anyway, I really see Al's point about the ceremony being more corporate-serving than an actual heart-touching, memory-filled look back on the past 50 years.
I expected the 50th to be a circus--and from what I've seen and read, it mostly was. That's exactly why my "50th Anniversary Trip" is scheduled for October
I was surprised about the lack of press coverage. One of our local news stations in Las Vegas ran about a 15 second blip on the festivities (Eisner--smile--Arnold--smile--Mickey--wave--fireworks--boom) and that was pretty much it. I guess too much coverage could mean Disney wouldn't be able to squeeze any extra dollars out of the DVD sales.