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  1. #1

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    7/18: Not Quite a Home Run

    Disneyland gets the crowd control right, but misses the mark with the 50th ceremony... discuss it here!
    "Politics is the profession whereby the inevitable is made to seem a great human achievement" - Quentin Crisp

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    Re: 7/15: Not Quite a Home Run

    Thanks for the synopsis, Al...

    I am disappointed that the event had no TV tie in... Rather from the looks of it, the event seemed very PR - Press oreinted...

    I think the fact that there wasn't a real TV tie in this 17th reminded me that the park isn't really our land... The notion that Walt gave Disneyland to the world got lost in a frenzy of "Ohhh... Harry Potter is released," and "I really like Jonney Dep as Willy Wonka..." Which is going to be the talk of the water coolers everywhere... Disneyland's 50th got lost nationally... It is REALLY sad...

    But I suppose it is a sign of the times... And in the back of my mind shows me how much TWDC execs really don't care so much for the park the way Walt did...

    I also found it interesting reviewing the streaming video from another source, that even though Disney-Miller mentioned that the Tiki-Room will be the same 50 years from now; she mentioned that everyone family already had copies of the picture Corporate just gave her... I am surprised you missed that, Al...
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    Re: 7/15: Not Quite a Home Run

    Nice update, Al - thanks for staying up and writing it. One correction - I think the word you want to use is self-deprecation, not self-depreciation. The first one is when something doesn't take itself too seriously. I'm not sure the second can be used as a hyphenated word, although depreciation is when you value something lower as it becomes more used. I can't imagine you'd really be using that word about DL!!!

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    Re: 7/15: Not Quite a Home Run

    That update was wonderful, Al...just as all your updates have been. It may sting that I'm no longer in California and cannot join the rest of the micechatters at DLR but reading your updates does warm my heart and make me feel better about not being able to attend...
    Many Bothans died to bring MiceChat this information.

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    Re: 7/15: Not Quite a Home Run

    Quote Originally Posted by cellarhound
    I also found it interesting reviewing the streaming video from another source, that even though Disney-Miller mentioned that the Tiki-Room will be the same 50 years from now; she mentioned that everyone family already had copies of the picture Corporate just gave her... I am surprised you missed that, Al...
    Actually, I'm pretty sure she said "Everyone in my family loves this picture, but we don't have a copy".

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    Re: 7/15: Not Quite a Home Run

    Greetings from Sunny SoCal. I was one of the mass yesterday and it was wonderful. I do agree that the ceremony seemed a little off. It felt like it was very "thrown togehter". It was wonderful and moving to heard Diane repeat her father's words, and Mr. Linkletter is always great, but that was about all that was done well. It felt very political and business centered. But, we refused to let that leave any mark on our day. We had a completely wonderful day. The crowns weren't bad, the lines we expected and the cast members were smiling (I would be smiling as well if I got a window on Main Street) and everyone (for the most part) was in a good mood, with no more expectations than to simply be there.
    I do have to add that it was rather nice from our perspective, in that my day was not at all impacted by the media.
    "A dream is a wish your heart makes..."

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    Re: 7/15: Not Quite a Home Run

    I think the most touching presentation yesterday was Matt O's dedication of the new window on Main Street for the cast members. I don't know when the ceremony took place, but I saw a replay on a Jumbotron. I got a sense that this man is able to draw out the best in the people who work for him. He also displays a genuine humility that you can't fake. While we all would have loved to see him in the rededication ceremony, I think he would have upstaged both CEOs and the governor. It is fitting and according to his character that he was in a smaller, mostly unseeen ceremony honoring the cast members.

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    Re: 7/15: Not Quite a Home Run

    I have to say that I was one of the ones that was there at 4:30 am and it was a great feeling to just do what I love to do best, talk with other fellow disney nuts. After all, you have to be a nut to line up at that hour to be guaranteed admission into the park. I have to agree with Al that there was something missing yesterday. Yes, all of the speeches seemed very canned and that is not so important to me. I mean, it was just a ceremony from a very large corporation being very corporate. I have to say that the best thing for me all day was when we walked into the park and saw all of those castmembers on Main Street clapping, waving, telling is good morning, thanking us for being there and welcoming us home. It was that feeling that I was looking for. I am lucky to have had that feeling repeated again later that afternoon after the broadcast of Walt's opening day speech. After it was over, I looked over to see a whole group of castmembers huging each other and crying. I was very moved, as they were as well. I walked over and gave each of them a hug and said Thank You. They told me no, Thank You for being here through all of good and bad. Again, that is what I was looking for. Forget the Golden Mickey Ears, forget the pin (that you had to wait for over 4 hours to get and then not even be guaranteed one, even after arriving at that ungodly hour), forget the canned speeches and the lovely park map. For me, the day was all about that feeling that I got that morning. The memory of my partner proposing to me at Snow White's wishing well. That memory of the first time I rode the carousel. That memory of spending the whole night with my mom in the park during the Star Tours opening weekend. To me the whole day was just about that . . . memories. All the great memories that I have had over the years. I will ALWAYS remember that feeling I got when we were shuttled over from DCA to Disneyland and right down main street to see all of those castmembers clapping and waving. Those tears and memories that I had yesterday as this was all happening were what was most important for me! Everything else was just gravy on the side!
    So ask yourself that same question, can you look past all of the "ceremonies" and think back to why you have been drawn to this wonderful park time and again. We are all after those elusive memories, good and bad, old and new!
    That is what Disney means to me. It truely is a magical place and will always be special to me.

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    Re: 7/15: Not Quite a Home Run

    50th was a total disappointment.

    It felt no more special than the 49th or the 48th or the 47 or the 46.


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    Re: 7/15: Not Quite a Home Run

    Quote Originally Posted by ahecht
    Actually, I'm pretty sure she said "Everyone in my family loves this picture, but we don't have a copy".
    It sounded to me as such... "Everyone in my family loves this picture, we all have a copy..." I am going to have to go back and listen to it again...
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    Re: 7/15: Not Quite a Home Run

    Great article Al, and it was nice seeing you at the meet yesterday.

    However, my line to get into the park was no where near as organized.

    I was staying at the Anaheim Hilton, and walked over across the street to the Timon lot, where I took the tram.

    Once I was dropped off by the tram, about 7:30am, thats when the trouble started.



    Its hard to tell from these photos just how long the line is, but it was very long, and there were no ropes, no CMs to tell people what was going on, just a long line with a suit coming out to observe every now and then before walking back to the baggage check.



    and it continued to get longer....



    ...but it still wasn't moving! The baggage check was just sitting there.



    Finally after about a half an hour, a suit came out and started directing part of the line in a different direction, causing us to move forward almost to the font, but the line didn't move.



    And then, after about another fifteen minutes, the line finally started moving and we got through the baggage check...



    into another, albeit shorter line to get into the park:





    So I wouldn't say that the park was entirely organized in getting people into the park, although it would seem that they never had to close the gates.













  12. #12

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    Re: 7/15: Not Quite a Home Run

    I think the tone of the article was rather negative. Al even mentions that they did a lot of things right, and the negativity seems to focus on the ceremony, but he seems to let that ruin his appreciation for the whole day. I was fortunate enough to be there in January 1990 when they had the big media day with Eisner and Ronald Reagan. I was also there on July 17, 1995 for the 40th anniversary. Both days were kind of circus-like, but I had a great time being there. Of course the actual ceremonies were corporate and self promoting. When you are on a huge stage like that, take advantage of promoting everything about the company.

    I was not able to be there yesterday, but read several of the updates on Mouseplanet. My thoughts on it were that A) Disney did a great job planning this out from a crowd control standpoint. Having the line go into California Adventure was a great idea, and from most accounts, the lines flowed smoothly into Disneyland. B) It was nice having the cast members high fiving the guests, saying welcome home. C) I was happy that Diane showed up. As Walt's daughter, it was fitting that she be there and start the dedication. I hardly think you can classify her as a corporate shill though, considering she hasn't been nearly as visible as Roy over the years and her husband got ousted to bring in Eisner and Wells.

    Bottom line is on those days, there is going to be vast media coverage, and they're going to get prime areas. On the 40th, I got there when it opened, rode Matterhorn and Pirates, and then claimed my spot and got right by the front near the VIP area and got great views of Eisner, Roy, Dick Nunis, Fess Parker and the others. The area got jammed and I'm sure everyone's view back was not perfect, but it all depends when you show up. And they didn't put up the jumbotrons as I recall. It sounds like Disney was trying to give everyone a chance to experience the ceremony as much as possible. And for me, it was just being there, being a part of it, that counted. So the corporate angles they play up in the ceremony just don't matter to me as much as they bother Al.

    The article felt to me like Al felt he had a duty to be there and report on this, as opposed to wanting to be there and be a part of all this. I'm as cynical as anyone I know, but there are times where you just have to put all cynicism aside and just have a great time.

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    Re: 7/15: Not Quite a Home Run

    yesterday was a commercial spectacular put on by Disney Executives, VIP's and Celebs had the best view for anything and more than likely recieved complimentary "I was there pin". The ceremony was very much canned, and having seen the whole thing on the Jumbo-tron in the Merchandise line, I must say. Disney now will do anything to get your dollar. I arrived last night just after my boyfriend got off of work (disney security guard) and we stood in line for 4 hours to get into DCA in order to get into the park. It was a very nice set up inside DCA, and they kept everything under control, though they should have been giving us the doughnuts and coffee for free, and not have to pay for them. After entering into DCA we recieved our wristbands and mouse ears, then preceeded to sleep or try to sleep till they lined us up again to enter into Disneyland. From the Jumbotron inside the plaza at DCA we saw the rehearsal and the fireworks rehearsal that they had planned for the ceremony. So in a sense we saw the ceremony twice. Upon lining up again, we preceeded through the nicely set up walkway queue into Disneyland to be greeted by many cast members who were offering high fives. Highlight of that, the Disney Executives....greeting US!, that was fun they even offered us high fives (no wonder, they know we will pay the money) from there the ropes were cordened off to those who wanted to see the ceremony, or to those we wanted to brave the special merchandise line and be lucky enough to get a voucher for the pin. I was in the light blue group (third to get into the park) it was debated while we were in line, how many people per color they were giving out throughout the time we were in line, we went from 1000 per color to 500 per color, by the time my group had made it into Festival Area, we were able to see the jumbo tron and got to see the entire ceremony on the jumbotron. (lucky compared to others who were still waiting in line and had to decide whether they wanted to skip the line and go see the ceremony or stay in line and see it replayed) By the time we made it to buying the merchandise, they had stopped the line for twenty mins so we could watch the majority of the ceremony, good on the cast members behalf, but on the other guests behalf, they probably should have kept the line moving. What touched me was the fact that children were paying attention to walt's words more than the corporate canned speeches, children in line looked toward Diane Disney Miller to carry her father's vision and see that her father's wishes are carried out. I only hope Disney Corp Executives payed attention to this throughout the day, or just by seeing the children's faces. That is Disneyland's true mission.

    The four hour line to get the merchandise and pins (both of which i got) are special, but nothing is more special to me than seeing these children look up to Diane Disney Miller to carry on her father's vision. Parents of children in line pointed out who she was and how she related to Walt Disney and how it was her, that gave her father the vision for Disneyland. Merchandise says nothing to memories made by countless children everyday at the park. If the park would pay attention to this more than merchandise, (of which sometimes they do) they will see that attendance will go up, and people will want to be at a place not only where they feel like it is "home" but it is really a place for them. I didn't have enough money to be a VIP, but Disney makes me feel VIP when a cast member will go out of thier way to help a guest, or will help make a child smile. Little things go a long way.

    I will never forget the many memories Disneyland has helped make in my life, from graduations to dates and many things in between. From being a cast member to interacting with them on a daily basis, Disneyland is a memory maker, while that principle stays alive....Disneyland will stay alive, no matter how corporate or commercial executives try to go, they can't take away the principle of Walt's vision and should act more upon that everyday.

    Make us ALL feel at home, not just VIPs and Celebrites.....

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    Re: 7/15: Not Quite a Home Run

    Thank so much for the pictures and information about the 50th Anniversary Al. I personally checked miceage frequently in anticipation of this update as I was not able to make the 50th Anniversary Day. I find it interesting that Michael Eisner commented that even Walt Disney couldn't have imagined how beautiful his park would become! Much of the most beautiful parts of the park are essentially very much similiar to the Disneyland that Walt Disney knew and helped build. If Walt Disney came back and saw the changes at Disneyland during the 50th Anniversary he would probably be amused by the new pooh ride, although decide to change much of it with better ride technology and an exterior more indicative of pooh WHILE bringing back a new and improved Country Bear Jamboree in Critter Country, decide to renovate 1/3 of the park right on the spot while assembling a team of imagineers to design some new E-Ticket attractions. As to the McDonald's Fry Cart . . . Walt would probably say "That really has to go, put in something unique like a Mike Fink sandwhich stand selling honey roasted chicken sandwhiches or something and "Mickey's Golden Nugget French Fries" and don't overchage . . .and I'm switching to selling Pepsi, it tastes better than Coke, and Iger, you're fired."

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    Re: 7/15: Not Quite a Home Run

    Quote Originally Posted by ahecht
    Actually, I'm pretty sure she said "Everyone in my family loves this picture, but we don't have a copy".
    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.

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