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  1. #31

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    Re: 7/15: Not Quite a Home Run

    I'm sorry you didn't have a good time there Al, but almost every other review of the day I've read has been positive (JHM, MousePlanet,other forums, etc).

    Also, I agree with what Neon Cactus said.

    -Michael
    “You can design and create, and build the most wonderful place in the world. But it takes people to make the dream a reality.” - Walt Disney

  2. #32

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    Re: 7/18: Not Quite a Home Run

    I reviewed the tape this morning... and I could swear Disney-Miller says "We love this photograph... We all (don't?) have one..." If it was "don't" the word was swallowed by her...
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  3. #33

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    Re: 7/18: Not Quite a Home Run

    Hi AL,

    i was there - i had made my reservations 6 months ago for this - i stayed at the paradise pier where i was told i was guaranteed an entry. here is where Disney blew it. People that spent several thousand dollars to be on property and a guaranteed place for the 50th were actually let in AFTER those that waited in line. now i understand for the people that waited all night were obviously anxious to get in also, but wouldn't it make sense from a BUSINESS perspective to maybe treat the people that just dumped thousands in you coifures to be let in first. Disney just doesn't get it. i could've saved myself a fortune and just stayed at a motel 6 and showed up like you did a 6am and would've had about as good a view as you did - i was stuck behind the obnoxious rocks around Tomorrowland and could barely see anthing - if those ugly boulders from the future were removed a whole lot of people could've had a better view. also - i've been to the tencennial - 25th, 30th, 35th, 40th, and now the 50th and in my opinion this was the cheapest, cheesiest thing i ever saw. i thoroughly enjoyed Diane, and Art - but eisner, iger, and especially arnold just cheapend the day!! why not have some of the living people that actually were part of the creation talk instead of some schmoozefest by ceo's and governors. i was very dissapointed. i have to somewhat disagree with you about crowd control. as the fireworks, and fantasmic all go off simulataneous anyone that isn't in a viewing place is essentially FORCED to walk thru these throngs of crowds and you better not stop. i got so tired of hearing some brain dead crowd control employee shout no stopping and keep right. well one of the problems is that a great deal of the guests simply don't speak english so when explosions are going off over you head its a natural thing to stop and look up but the incessant chants of keep moving and keep right is just ridiculous. make a parkwide announcement - in several languages, post signs in the park an at the entrances that state once the fireworks start the rest of the park shuts down - so stay where you are and then simply don't allow people to move until its over. at one point while being herded like the cattle we were i got hit on the head with a flashlight by an over zealous employee waiving it frantically and not looking (or judging by her attitude), caring. when i mentioned something about it i got an attitude and was told that it sucked to work there. Walt would be so proud! i was at disneyworlds 25th and they handed out limited edition lithos - what'd we get some cheap hat and all the cupcakes that could sink a ship! i was glad to hear Art and Diane and it was special to me to be there on that date but in my opinion Disney managemnet turned it into a lovefest between arnold, bob and mike when it should have been completely about WALT! who cares what mike or bob have to say, and it must have been somewhat galling for Diane and Ron and their kids to hear Mike talk about the great work Ron did for the company. i had plans to come back and stay at the grand californian in november but i think based on how i was treated i am really not in the mood to give Disney my money - i'll stay off property, save a bundle and in the end get just as good an experience as if i spend thousands to fool myself into thinking that maybe just maybe Disney will stop kissing the butts of the premier pass holders and understand that the people spending money on rooms and staying on property is there real bread and butter.

  4. #34

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    Re: 7/18: Not Quite a Home Run

    Great update Al. You hit the nail on the head.

    TV: I was disapointed that there was no television coverage for the big event. Going back to my childhood every big celebration in the parks was crried live (or taped) on TV. Events of minor importance were covered by the Disney 'Channel and of course the big anniversaries, Birthdays, and grand openings were covered on broadcast TV.

    This a big thank you is needed for the people who recorded it and put it online. If not no one would have seen it that wasn't there at the park. But what I did see I was not happy with. Art and Diane were great. I loved Mickey and friends leading the Disneyland band and the arrangement was neat. Hoever considering that it was a 50th Anniversary yo uwould have expected a whole lot more like a special parade or extended fireworks. Something that I remember seeing on TV in the past. I hope and pray that in the future the parks are run by someone who really respects the big anniversaries and celebrates them with class. Anby other organization would celebrate with a huge cake, not thousands of little ones.

    Also using the occasion for politics was quite offensive and I know Walt turned in his grave. This was a day to celebrate Disneyland and all it stands for not a perfect chance to boo Arnold for what he has done or not done. This is not a political board so I refuse to take that beet any farther.

    But of course I am an outsider, not an AP, but a Disney fan. Mickey's 75th felt just as bad. I know you don't want to give an age for a character but Mickey is a pop culture icon and deserves to be celebrated as one. 15 years or so ago I remember the hoopla at 60 and felt that 75 should have been celebrated much better than that . Oh well.

    Enough rambling on. Thanks for the update Al.
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  5. #35

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    Re: 7/18: Not Quite a Home Run

    Quote Originally Posted by BDBopper
    I hope and pray that in the future the parks are run by someone who really respects the big anniversaries and celebrates them with class. Anby other organization would celebrate with a huge cake, not thousands of little ones.
    That is something great about Matt Ouimet. If Pressler & Harriss were here, they'd probably focus all their energy on this one day. However, Ouimet and Rasulo focus on every day. To him, every day is important. He even said that they are focusing more on the future. He knew that Harriss's plans were less than steller (attraction wise) and plans to do better for the events he has control over. Also, didn't they make a big cake for something else (perhaps Walt's 100th)?

    -Michael
    “You can design and create, and build the most wonderful place in the world. But it takes people to make the dream a reality.” - Walt Disney

  6. #36

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    Re: 7/18: Not Quite a Home Run

    The good:

    * They overprepared, and seemed to be okay with that. A few years, if they had planned for 75,000 guests and only 30-40,000 showed up leaving thousands and thousands of unclaimed hats and cupcakes, I think the mood would have been that it was a disaster, a waste of money. Instead, the general mood was, "Hooray, we prepared for the worst and it didn't happen, so now we can just relax and have a good day." I think that's an important shift in attitude.

    The bad:

    * Where was the over-the-top experience, specifically for that day? Cupcakes and hats are nice, but didn't blow me away. Nothing Disney did blew me away. Everything else was no different than any other day at the park in theis 18 month stretch. I mean geez, they went to the trouble of recording extra spiel for the end of the fireworks, would it have been that hard to throw on a spectacular finale?
    So yeah, I agree that it wasn't quite a home run in that respect. Fortunately, I had an immeasureably good time anyway, but that was thanks to the people I was with, not what Disney did.

  7. #37

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    Re: 7/18: Not Quite a Home Run

    They did a great job with crowd control, and how they handled the early morning lineup was very impressive. Even after the mad dash debacle in DCA they managed to recover and get things organized again.

    I had a very fun time on Sunday and I don't want that to be understated. But the thing that bothered me was that there were no "little surprises throughout the day" like I'd hoped for and they'd even advertised. We had the ceremony and the dedication speech, and that was all lovely. But I was still waiting for some little surprises, perhaps a little nostalgia, perhaps something extra, that they hadn't told us about and that would make all of us disney freaks go nuts.

    I guess there's always the 100th :/

  8. #38

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    Talking Re: 7/18: Not Quite a Home Run

    I disagree. It was a total home run. From the merchandise event, to golden Mickey ears and cupcakes (yikes alot of surgar), it was AWESOME. We arrived Sunday in line @ 2:30AM and left Monday 12:30AM. Couldn't have asked for a nicer time.

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  9. #39

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    Re: 7/18: Not Quite a Home Run

    I really think they did a great job. We had plenty of "little surprises" - the hats, cupcakes, and most importantly, feeling like a celebrity walking down the red carpet as we entered (that TOTALLY made the day for everyone in my group). There were two ceremonies (counting the 4:45), and in order to help everyone see them they had jumbotrons all over, which I really appreciated, as one who's missed out on seeing everything due to crowds at other ceremonies. In fact, I think those of us in jumbotron areas probably enjoyed the ceremony more than those with a distant view of the actual event.

    I think having confetti streamers shoot out of the jumbotrons to coincide with the daytime pyro on the castle was a GREAT touch, making us feel involved.

    I think the constant stream of awesome video clips on the jumbos all day was a great "little surprise" (only wish they'd been doing them all night on the one in DCA, but since we were lined up below it, we might never have gotten rest that way, so from a selfish pov, it's just as well).

    The cupcakes were great, and the gold dusting on them was a great touch. Unnecessary, but they did it - they plussed it to just make them *that* much more special, and that kind of attention is what we all love Disneyland for in the first place.

    The only thing that could have made the day better would have been a better, less shareholder-meeting-like ceremony. Something with a little more heart. They could have made it 30% shorter by cutting out all the corporate language, speaking straight from the heart (except Eisner, who obviously attempted this and failed miserably).

    Also, I received a phone call at noon from a friend who was at Disneyland Paris. They did *nothing* there. It would have been really cool if they'd set up at least one jumbotron in all the other parks showing what ours were showing, and during the ceremony, do a brief satellite linkup with the ambassadors of the parks just wishing Disneyland happy birthday.

    But beyond improvements to the ceremony, they could not have done a better job at creating a day-long party atmosphere. The jumbos were a big part of that. Even if you'd missed the ceremonies, or been unaware of them, you could not have been unaware of the fact that Sunday was something special, or that it was a party. Good on them!

    Unusually and exceedingly peculiar and altogether quite impossible to describe...



  10. #40

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    Re: 7/18: Not Quite a Home Run

    I think clearly the expectations were too high for many people. They set up jumbotrons so everybody could see the ceremony. They kept playing events on the jumbotrons all day long. They gave out free hats and cupcakes. Not to mention Buzz, Space Mountain, Turtle Talk, the gold ride vehicles, the Mickey shaped 50 icons throughout the park. The fact that the Tiki room was rebuilt and the park looks better than it has for a long time. The incredible atmosphere Disney provides.

    But if you read the posts from the people who went: I showed up late and didn't get a good view of the ceremony. All they gave us was hats and cupcakes. The cupcakes were awful. I had to pay for my refreshments at California Adventure while they provided a unique place to get in line to get into Disneyland. The speech was too corporate.

    I'm assuming most, if not all, of you went because you love Disneyland and you are fortunate to have been there for arguably its greatest milestone. My guess is that it probably turned out a lot better than if Paul and Cynthia were there. Say what you want about Arnold being there, but major events like this attract politicians like flies and that's what presentations with corporate leaders are usually about. At least they got Art and Diane to show up. I don't see what the issues are with Iger right now. He's got Pixar talking to him, he's reconciled with Roy, he was a rising star within ABC when they were a top network prior to Disney acquiring them, and he's gotten them turned around lately (I hate Dancing with the Stars, but they turned it into the #1 show under his leadership). Give the guy a break and a chance!

    And please, you actually got a free dessert from the Walt Disney Company. The least you could do is enjoy it!!!

  11. #41

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    Re: 7/18: Not Quite a Home Run

    I haven't heard anyone complain about paying for food in DCA. As far as I'm concerned, Disney has every right to make a buck while paying for staffing to cover that line. And if, in the process of making a buck, they've provided us with the means to acquire hot food and cold drinks during the lineup, even better!

    Actually, I'm surprised they didn't open up Greetings. All those hours with guests standing around, they'd have done some business.

    Like I said, more power to 'em for opening the location!

    Unusually and exceedingly peculiar and altogether quite impossible to describe...



  12. #42

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    Re: 7/18: Not Quite a Home Run

    I truely enjoyed your description of the 50th experience through the Main Street entrance. I think those of us that entered through the monorail into Tomorrowland were forgotten. Our experience went as follows:

    Arrived Friday night at the Disneyland Hotel guest parking lot at approximately 7:30pm. Traffic was not heavy at all but coming from Pasadena and Los Alamitos to home caused some delay. We checked into the hotel under our assumed names (kidding) and our reservations were still in the system (since July 15, 2004). After checking in at the Check In desk the first question that I asked was the following, "What time will the park open?" and "Do hotel guests on property get some sort of priority to get into the park?" The response to these questions were "8:00am or possibly 7:00am" and "hotel guests will have early entrance on Saturday and Sunday." I stated that I would check back in on Saturday morning to determine if any changes had been made.

    Off to DTD for dinner! On our way to dinner, we stopped by the monorail entrance and checked in with the Cast Members to see what they would say about the entrance on Sunday. A friendly CM stated that she was most positive that the Disney suits like to run things like a well oiled engine and that they gates would open immediately at 8:00am and the first monorail would be underway at 8:00am. This contradicted the hotel's information but we figured that Disney suits were still deciding what to do! After dinner and some shopping it was off to bed! Actually we didn't get to bed until 12:30pm due to Mice Chat reading and a couple of games of Buzz Lighyear Astro Blaster game online..........wish I had gone to bed at 11:00pm!

    Saturday morning we....I mean my wife decided to sleep in and pass on the early entrance into the park. I have always wanted to see the rope drop and raising of the American flag on Main Street! At 7:30am we were out the door and off to the DTD monorail entrance. Still no change on the early entrance on Sunday or the time the park would open. Later that evening, the hotel desk CM stated that as of the 5:00pm managers meeting, all hotel guests would be guaranteed entry into the park as well as re-entry should you leave. Ensure you got the "glow in the dark" Tigger stamp. The early entry on Sunday was no longer an option which was very disappointing. The CM also went on to state that the park may open at 7:00am depending upon how well the line up in DCA went. Tickets would go on sale at about 12:00am and people could start lining up at 12:00am. When would people be moved to DCA depended upon how fast the Espanlade filled up and how fast the DCA people could clean up after the park closed at 10:00pm. We spent all day in the park checking out the layout of the monitors, festivities, and locations of the merchandise area behind Big Thunder Mountain. The most memorable part of the day was trying to calculate a $50.00 lunch in order to score the rather large "Walt selling Mickey popcorn on Main Street" pin. We were able to add a castle plate, a side order of hashbrowns, and a cinnamon bun and get one of the most expensive breakfasts in the history of my life! After a full day of fun in the sun plus rides, we ate dinner at the Storyteller's Cafe. Back to the hotel for a good nights rest but alas TV and a couple of rounds on Buzz Lightyear Astro Blaster online kept us up until about midnight!

    Sunday has arrived!!!! To quote Obi Wan Kenobi, "this is when the fun begins!" We were up by 5:30am, out the door with breakfast by 6:00am and in the monorail line by 6:15am. We were able to be about 200 in line and with some quick calculations, 20 people per monorail car, 5 cars per monorail train equals about 100 people. Multiply that by 2 gives you 200! We figured we would be on the third monorail and in the park by 8:00am. Meanwhile we could see the Downtown Disney line curving around and occassionally moving like a very long snake! Well we waited and waited and waited...all the while watching the main entrance line continue to move. Our friends had shown up at 5:30am and were issued the Puzzle Wristband but were happily sitting in DCA. Finally at around 7:30am, the line started moving towards the security check point. Cheers of joy resounded! All was good! We also received our golden Mickey ears and Disneyland 50th program. We passed the security check point at 7:35am and was in the monorail station at 7:40am. Monorail Purple started loading individuals.....once loaded the doors closed! We waited with baited breath as the monorail was ready to pull out......but alas it just sat there and waited and waited and waited and waited! No word was annouced as to why the monorail sat their from 7:35am to 8:33am! By 8:15am, small children were growing impatient, middle age children were sitting on the ground with their head in their hands, teenagers were talking on cel phones, and adults were sitting and chatting. Around 7:40am, the cel phones started ringing with messages that implied that friends and relatives were already in the park. You could tell by gasps from people saying, "They are already in the park! We are still sitting here in the monorail station waiting for Monorail Purple to depart!" Finally Monorail Purple pulled out of the station at 8:35am to numerous cheers and celebratory gestures. It was amazing that no one in the monorail station revolted in that one hour waiting period. My wife and I attempted to start a chant regarding how we wanted the monorail to leave but our attempts went unnoticed. By 8:45am, the third monorail train, Monorail Red, arrived and we were underway!

    Well after a full day of celebration, heat exhaution, stomach problems, flu symptoms, and too many cupcakes, we departed the park at 8:00pm dreading having to go to work on Monday morning...wishing that the day was only beginning........!

    Moral of the story is as follows:

    1. Don't believe the first thing you hear from a CM because it is bound to change within the next 24, 48 and 72 hours.

    2. Just because you book your Disneyland Hotel reservations 1 year in advance, pay $254.00 per night for two nights to stay "on property", and carry a hotel key and hotel pass through the monorail gate, it doesn't guarantee you early entry into the park, a pin voucher, or a quick route to the Disneyland Festival Merchandise area.

    3. The monorails will not run until all people that have been lined up since 11:00pm in DCA have entered the park. A fact that was not announced until we were in the park and heard from others that that was the case!

    4. To quote Scar from the Lion King, "Life's not fair!"

  13. #43

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    Re: 7/18: Not Quite a Home Run

    Quote Originally Posted by WatchYourHeadNStep
    3. The monorails will not run until all people that have been lined up since 11:00pm in DCA have entered the park. A fact that was not announced until we were in the park and heard from others that that was the case!

    4. To quote Scar from the Lion King, "Life's not fair!"
    That actually sounds like the most fair way to do it, allowing the people who were first in line to get into the park first.

  14. #44

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    Re: 7/18: Not Quite a Home Run

    Yeah, if they'd let hotel guests who got to sleep all night in before us, I'd have been majorly po'd. Think about it if it had gone the other way: ah, so all the people with MONEY for a hotel stay get to get in before us plebs, just because they had the dough.

    Hotel guests had the opportunity to stand in line all night with the rest of us. More so because you didn't have to worry about what to do with your car before midnight.

    The only sucky part is that they didn't tell you that. They should have told you so you had the option.

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  15. #45

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    Re: 7/18: Not Quite a Home Run

    I guess it pays to be "hardcore"...
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