Thursday, September 06, 2007

Back from radio silence!

Sorry about the extended radio silence. I've been putting the final touches on Draft 1 of the next book (which will be out for Holidays 2007, and will be Disneyland CM themed).

To make up for it, let me pack into a single post several things I've been meaning to say lately:

1. Free dining is back. You can tell because all reservations are full, and most tellingly, the Tomorrowland Terrace Noodle Station is now again a temporary looking all you can eat dinner buffet. Sigh. I'd say it's time for the rumored restaurant to be built on the site of the old TL skyway building!

2. Recently discovered little devices atop one shop in World Showcase, right near the rose garden. Turns out they are bug clickers, designed to scare away bugs from the rose bushes at the shop. Weird. They are quite audible to human ears.

3. No more milk refills to kid's meals at sit-down restaurants. That's quite sad. Are we pushing soda onto the next generation? I refuse to give in.

4. There's a lot of 'tiny atmosphere' now: they draw hopscotch at the UK pavilion, or a giant 'snakes and ladders' (think chutes and ladders). Many country pavilions are now doing more interactions and games like these. I see games in heavy use at the MK before parades: hula hoop, four square, even jumping rope. The latter makes me cringe each time. What if a Guest face-plants and sues?

5. When walking past the Lego store at DtD, I heard a ringing public telephone, so naturally I looked for it. Joke's on me! The sound emanated from a speaker above their window displays. I surmise they installed this because they know that heads turn, naturally, to the sound of a ringing phone. Those heads will now see the Lego displays. Cute.

6. I'm dismayed by the merchandise decision to make some stores at the parks look like discount stores. Watch for endcaps and counter displays that have a giant, garish '$10' in yellow letters. We don't want Wal-Mart, do we?

7. But one great thing about merch: Epcot is stocking retro designs from the 1980s on a few t-shirts. Alas, they don't seem to carry XL. don't they realize that many of us old enough for those t-shirts now wear larger sizes??

8. Have you ever hung around in the HISTA playground at MGM? (I guess I should start saying DHS). Parents by the dozen perch at the exit and await their kids, who run amok. Fine so far. But the parents are on the ground and in the sun. Is it so hard to build chairs and benches and shade here???

9. There's a ride in almost every park I've never done. At DHS, it's the Animation Academy. At DAK, it's Pocahontas. At MK, it's the Astro Orbiter. At Epcot, ... nothing.