Saturday, March 31, 2007
This park needs help anyway. Here's my list:
1. Get rid of half the shows
2. Replace them with rides of some sort. Some thrill, some family Omnimovers, some movies
3. Add *new* offerings for the whole family, not thrills.
4. Expand the park. This can probably only be done by ripping down the soundstages currently backstage. Well, so what. They haven't been in use in ages anyway. Expand, or die. Already DAK has caught you and is still racing ahead, in terms of attendance.
The former is likely a play by Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, one of the major DLP investors who is probably demanding reciprocation for him propping Disney up (you see, he's part owner of Four Seasons). And yes, there probably is room on property for ultra luxury. Those customers would come to Disney too.
The budget stuff seems to me a blantant attempt to get people paying Disney and not some unnamed hotel for the budget experience. I said as much when I broke the news about Western Way expansion (and this is one of only two things I can really say I beat every single media outlet on). Disney sees the 192 corridor full of cheap hotels and thinks: "gee, how can we get *their* money too". The problem is, the "cheap" experience is NOT the Disney experience. On the whole, this one is probably bad news. As always, I withhold full judgment until I actually see it, but that doesn't prevent me from guessing. Let's just say my guesses are not as yet very positive.
Monday, March 26, 2007
My wife didn't want to - she had the baby strapped on her belly in a "snugli" sling. So we took a pass. It didn't occur to me until later that this may be DQ's version of the Year of a Million Dreams... this is how they make a family's dream come true. Had the kids both been older, we would have jumped at the chance.
Over in the TTC, I've also seen wild turkeys in the central patch of swamp. That was neat.
But then a couple of weeks ago, I finally saw a live, wild alligator at WDW. You'd think I would see it in the canals that run alongside (and across) the roads. But nope, I saw it within the confines of a theme park. It was just swimming around, loose and carefree, in the central lagoon of DAK (you know, the one between Expedition Everest and Dinoland). It was small - maybe a four footer - but still really neat to see. We were at the Flame Tree BBQ and it was right below us, about ten feet down, and sitting lazily in the water. Cool. I wonder if anyone's ever been bitten by a gator at the parks? Access to that body of water is by and large restricted, but the fences are pretty low-key. If he wanted to, the gator could have found his way to people.
Thursday, March 22, 2007
Tonny points out, and I agree, that it's sad Disney can't make dark rides any more, or at least not as often as movie rides.
Here's the video: http://bookish85.vox.com/library/video/6a00cd9700115b4cd500d09e5cad12be2b.html
or try www.muse.mu
Monday, March 19, 2007
Sunday, March 18, 2007
I'll have a full review in my MiceAge article this week. But in brief, I found it less annoying than it could have been, but really not that great of an addition to Tomorrowland. Certainly it fits the Pixarized theme of the new Tomorrowland, but I would rather it had fit the vision of ... well... tomorrow. And if it's going to be Pixar, at least make it so flat-out entertaining we don't mind the co-opting of our beloved future visions. Alas, it's not that funny.
More later this week on MiceAge.
Friday, March 16, 2007
The death is the 10th involving Disney World rides and water-park attractions since late 2004.
The full story here: http://www.orlandosentinel.com/business/custom/tourism/orl-disneydeath16x07mar16,0,1626148.story?track=rss
That really gave me pause. Ten deaths in a year and a half?! The vast majority, if not the complete totality, have been due to natural causes and pre-existing conditions. So it's not like Disney safety is to blame.
But look where these people are dying: climbing steps for water parks or after riding roller coasters. These people are NOT dying while riding any "Walt" rides (that is, rides the whole family can go on together). Something I hope they remember. Thrill rides do cause deaths.
Thursday, March 15, 2007
Whatever you do, don't compare Michael Eisner's latest project to Lonelygirl15. Yes, Prom Queen, a web-based serialized soap opera made up of three months' worth of 90-second shorts launching April 2, is aimed at the same tech-toting, YouTube-watching, advertiser-tempting teens. But Eisner insists he's offering viewers far more than a pretty face talking into a camera.
With Vuguru, the new standalone production studio behind Prom Queen, Eisner -- best known for his 20 years at Disney -- hopes to own the realm of made-for-web original programming. He'll do it, he says, by offering what he calls far better storytelling and quality than what's currently found on the likes of YouTube. Oh, and instead of one pretty face, you'll get five, all with scripted lines and post-production cleanup.The full story on Wired here: http://www.wired.com/news/culture/0,72976-0.html?tw=rss.index
"All over Orlando you see forces at work that are changing America from Fairbanks to Little Rock. This, truly, is a 21st-century paradigm: It is growth built on consumption, not production; a society founded not on natural resources, but upon the dissipation of capital accumulated elsewhere; a place of infinite possibilities, somehow held together, to the extent it is held together at all, by a shared recognition of highway signs, brand names, TV shows, and personalities, rather than any shared history. Nowhere else is the juxtaposition of what America actually is and the conventional idea of what America should be more vivid and revealing. Welcome to the theme-park nation. "
The full article here: http://www7.nationalgeographic.com/ngm/0703/feature4/
Wednesday, March 14, 2007
If you are coming to Orlando, or Disney World in particular, you may want to stay on property at one of the Disney World hotels (though I never did this as a tourist myself). However, if you have a large family or if you desire more space than a cramped 400 square foot hotel room, there are other options.
You may know that I write occasional travel articles for OrlandoVacation.com. These folks connect renters and vacationers in the Orlando vacation home business. Such vacation homes have popped up all around Disney World’s main entrance, and there are almost as many vacation homes in
Looking back at my experiences now, I would definitely give the vacation home experience a shot. If you’re going with a group and can use multiple rooms, you’d be surprised by how much money you can save using a house instead of a hotel room.