Not exactly consistent (neither of these Twitter accounts are mine)...
FYI, the show can still be run with only two platforms working. And it’s still scheduled to return on June 22nd, and they’re working their butts off trying to meet that date.
Although there’s a chance it won’t be ready, so they canceled dessert parties as a “better safe than sorry” move. If it doesn’t return on the 22nd, it’ll only be delayed a few weeks, if that. Disney probably won’t make an announcement about the delayed opening if it happens and will quietly change the entertainment schedule, so keep an eye out.
Nooooo, we need to get you more cocktails.
You rang? I'm back from my weekly trip to OSH, I keep putting off my fruit tree maintenance, and it's still several hours away from cocktail time, but because I like you all I'll do this sober...
Recently we had a nice long catch up session on the patio over several drinks and a charcuterie thing I threw together. The conversation landed on the political climate in Anaheim, the recent Bernie Sanders visit, the $18 minimum wage referendum, etc. and how it can all impact future development in Anaheim. She agreed that any future major development announcements are on hold until at least after the November election. She said things between TDA and Anaheim government are very, very tense. No one is talking, which is a complete 180 degree environment from the previous six decades when things were always very chummy, even after political ethics laws took effect in the late 1970's and the infamous trips to Catalina and such ended. She said that even the early 1990's when Eisner floated the idea of DisneySea in Long Beach and Anaheim got grumpy about it is nothing compared to the current Cold War. There are a few city councilmen that are still friendly with Disney execs, but Mayor Tait is openly hostile and he has the power to direct civic department heads to cease and desist with anything that could make life easier for Disneyland.
But for the past couple years there have been two major projects designed for post-Star Wars that had moved through the pipeline at WDI and been favored by TDA (first Colglazier, but then D'Amaro questioned some of it). They both involve pushing the existing park boundaries outward, creating more park acreage and more capacity. And it's the capacity thing that killed one of them.
1.) The first project is an expansion of Mickey's Toontown, to add the Mickey & Minnie Runaway Railway ride to Disneyland. There are two buildings directly north of Toontown that would be demolished to achieve this, both used by the entertainment department to house offices, rehearsal halls, CM uniform issuing, and locker rooms. Those functions in those buildings would be moved off-site and/or into a new basement level, while the Mickey & Minnie railway ride would sit in a new ride warehouse directly north of Toontown. Toontown would be redone with a new aesthetic that matches the ride aesthetic and the entry to the new Runaway Railway thing. That project is still ready to go, once the political climate changes in Anaheim and Disneyland feels more confident about the future.
Any future Fantasyland expansion would be south of the railroad tracks, in the areas currently under-utilized by the Fantasyland Theater, Motorboat Cruise, etc. Although there is still an expansion pad left between Millenium Falcon ride and Fantasyland Theater/Toontown. The hot topic now in TDA is "capacity", and Disneyland needs more. She also said those unofficially official TEA reports were laughably inaccurate, especially for DHS and DAK at WDW, and that Disneyland pushes 20 Million and DCA has been in the low teen millions per year for four years now. Both parks need more rider capacity.
2.) The second big project is Marvel Land, obviously. The neighbor lady doesn't know I was a longtime reader of Al Lutz, but she told me about the big E Ticket coaster concept that Miceage and other insiders here have mentioned for the past few years. I played along. That Avengers themed coaster concept has been killed by TDA because WDI could not get the rider capacity on it up to an acceptable level.
She explained there has been a sea change within TDA regarding the willingness to put up with creative ideas from WDI that were pretty to look at but had unacceptably low rider capacity. She sited Cars Land and Radiator Racers as costing a fortune, but having much lower rider capacity as the big E Tickets of the 20th century like Pirates, Mansion, Big Thunder, etc. She said if Richard Nunis and the pre-Pressler group were still in charge of Disneyland, they never would have allowed WDI to build these big expensive E Tickets with such pitiful daily capacity numbers. (She also mentioned an old exec with the surname "Cora" or "Korra" who was always a stickler for high capacity offerings, and Pressler fired him 20 years ago for being old-fashioned) She said Star Wars rides won't have good capacity either, but it was too late for those and execs are now getting worried about how Star Wars rides will cope day after day, month after month, year after year.
For whatever reason, the industrial engineering department and some others in TDA have convinced the new TDA Prez D'amaro to wake up to the fact that WDI keeps designing these big fancy rides that are pretty and cost a fortune but have pitifully low capacity. The Marvel Avengers coaster was the worst example of this, and it has now been cancelled and WDI was sent back to the drawing board to come up with something that can deal with the giant crowds that Disneyland draws. Because the big Avengers coaster was cancelled, Marvel Land is now back at square one and the land is on hold and will take at least a year to get moving again. It will still have a E Ticket thrill ride of some kind, but WDI is looking for a suitably high capacity ride system to use and then build a story around. She doubts Flik's Fun Fair will close this September since now there's no reason to with the coaster sent back to the drawing board, although they still want to move Flik's Flyers over to Pixar Pier.
Pixar Pier will open this weekend, the Indredicoaster is ready to go and supposedly a nice improvement over the minimally themed Screamin', but they are going to have to open the Pier in a state of semi-readiness and some of the snack bars and gift shops won't be completely done. Expect to see continuing detail work on Pixar Pier into July before it finally gets completed to the state it was supposed to be on June 23rd.
Now I feel like someone owes me a glass of something. And don't tell the neighbor lady.
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