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Disneyland/World and Universal parks discussion thread (where the magic never ends... until a ride you loved is knocked down and replaced with something lame)


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:( Just done my morning news check and read that Marty Sklar has passed away at the age of 83. 

 

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We are deeply saddened by the passing of our dear friend, Disney Legend, and Walt Disney Imagineering Ambassador Marty Sklar. Marty was instrumental in preserving Walt’s spirit over many years. For more than a half of a century, Marty helped share the magic of Disney-themed entertainment with people around the globe.  

 

Born on February 4, 1934 in New Brunswick, New Jersey, Marty began working for The Walt Disney Company one month before the opening of Disneyland in July 1955. He initially worked as a writer and communications specialist for the Company. He wrote scripts for various shows and presentations for Walt Disney. Marty was at times referred to as “the voice of Walt.”

 

In 1961, Marty moved to WED Enterprises, today known as Walt Disney Imagineering, as a part of a team assigned by Walt to develop Company-sponsored attractions for the 1964­–65 New York World’s Fair. Beginning in 1974, he moved into executive roles. Marty became a key force in guiding the creative development for theme parks, shows, Disney resort hotels, and the Disney Cruise Line ships. He was the only person who both worked on and attended the grand opening of all eleven Disney parks, dedicating 54 years to the Company. In 2001, Marty was inducted as a Disney Legend.

 

Marty, who generously presented a number of inspiring programs at the museum, helped preserve Walt’s spirit of imagination throughout his career. In recognition of his contributions and impact, in November 2016, the museum awarded Marty with the Diane Disney Miller Lifetime Achievement Award at its gala at the Disneyland Resort, brilliantly emceed by Neil Patrick Harris. Recently, in June 2016, Marty was appointed to the museum’s esteemed Advisory Committee.

 

Through his books Dream It! Do It! My Half-Century Creating Disney’s Magic Kingdoms and One Little Spark! The Road to Imagineering, his stories and insight will continue to spark the imaginations of generations to come.

 

Our thoughts are with his family during this time.

 

We will you miss you, Marty.

 

RIP.

 

http://waltdisney.org/blog/remembering-marty-sklar-1934-2017

 

His books are essential for any imagineering fan's collection. 

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My daughter got excellent grades this year, so I told her to pick her vacation spot.  Knowing Galaxy's Edge isn't open at Disney World yet, she picked Ohio, for the excellent coasters at King's Island

Galaxy’s Edge is very impressive, but I would say that many of the criticisms of it are justified. It looks great, and has an amazing level of detail, but it can feel a bit sparse and feels like there

We leave for Florida on Wednesday. We're spending two days at Disneyworld and going to Magic Kingdom and Epcot, I believe.  My wife was in charge of doing that part. I haven't been to Florida in 15 ye

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Indeed. As a lover of EPCOT in its heyday, his passing left me particularly sad this morning, especially with the park now in such a period of potentially radial transition. Those who got to meet him at D23 earlier in the month were very lucky (though it angered me the other week learning that people booed during the Pirates of the Caribbean panel because of the redhead changes, but at least his argument in defence of it got a rapturous round of applause and cheers that far outweighed the negativity. I hope those who booed feel like even bigger jerks today).

 

I think that just leaves Bob Gurr now as the remaining imagineer of the golden age to have worked under Walt himself.

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12 hours ago, Angry the Clown said:

Do we know what the timeline for getting the skyliners finished? End of 2017 or first quarter of 2018?

 

I don't think it's nearly that soon. I can't find any firm speculation on dates, but a few guesses of late 2018-early 2019. The Pylons could be up pretty quick, but they still have 4 stations to build which could take some time. And that station at Carribean Beach Resort is probably going to have 3 Wheelhouses/queues etc.

 

I'm pretty curious how the whole thing is going to work. If you want to use it to get from Epcot to DHS, it could be quite time consuming if you have to transfer twice. It would have been nice if they had made a line directly from Epcot to DHS, as they are  very close. 

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1 hour ago, Graeme said:

There are, thankfully a few more. Rolly Crump, Alice Davis, Xavier Atencio is remarkably still going at 97, and though you might not consider him strictly an imagineer, Richard Sherman worked with Walt directly on many attractions. 

 

I knew Sherman was still alive but didn't know Alice Davis was too. That's great. I had completely forgotten X and Rolly Crump were still with us (which is bad of me being such a big Mansion fan. Bad and downright stupid). 

 

Nice to see photos of the Disneyland Railroad back up and running today!

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Watching ResortTV1's Friday livestream (he's at the Magic Kingdom today). It blows my mind stuff like this is even possible. 

 

I don't know if I'd succumb to all those damn pins that are the rage amongst fans now. Dangerous stuff. :)  A cast member showed him some passholder and vacation club exclusives including a lovely Epcot one with Figment. 

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That would have been cool. I would have liked to have been able to stand in some of those rooms and really take in the scene (Alien is always one that I feel I'd like more time in). 

 

Listening to one of the old Disney Dish podcasts from a few years ago, they mentioned that Great Movie Ride was rented out for events like that on a regular basis. I wonder if that's just their regular event in there they put on to say goodbye. 

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So with all the transportation improvements, the one I'm still a little amazed at is that there's nothing in store for helping with congestion at MK.  The other parks are OK from what I remember, but leaving MK after fireworks is a nightmare.  The fact that you need to either take a boat or monorail to get to the parking lot means that there's a huge backlog, so unless it was particularly bad in 2013, it's probably the thing I'm least looking forward to for the next trip.  I think we were an hour from the end of the MK fireworks to being in the car, and a lot of that was the monorail line.  Not a lot of fun with very tired small children. 

 

Also started looking into whether there are any other extra ticket things we want to look at booking for Dec.  Has anyone done the VIP packages for any of the evening events?  Thinking about the ones for Rivers of Light at AK, and the Star Wars fireworks at DHS, but both might also be fastpass-eligible.  The Star Wars fireworks are also not listed for Dec, so not sure if it's going away, or just being updated...  We'll see I suppose. 

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14 minutes ago, ChrisBardon said:

So with all the transportation improvements, the one I'm still a little amazed at is that there's nothing in store for helping with congestion at MK.  The other parks are OK from what I remember, but leaving MK after fireworks is a nightmare.  The fact that you need to either take a boat or monorail to get to the parking lot means that there's a huge backlog, so unless it was particularly bad in 2013, it's probably the thing I'm least looking forward to for the next trip.  I think we were an hour from the end of the MK fireworks to being in the car, and a lot of that was the monorail line.  Not a lot of fun with very tired small children. 

We waited for the ferry after the fireworks as my wife's friend thought it was slightly faster since they can get a lot more people on than the monorail.  Still, walking with the crowd out of the park, waiting for the second ferry, then ferrying across, and the final ten minute walk to the shuttle took probably an hour at least.  There are two paths out to the ferry and each path essentially becomes two separate lines.  I'm guessing its a crap shoot as to which line goes first.  Ours went second and took about 15 minutes after the first one left to arrive.  I will say that the ferry was able to clear out the huge crowds  pretty quickly.  We were lucky that there was a shuttle waiting and since they always go to MK first, it was mostly empty and we got seats.  

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23 minutes ago, ChrisBardon said:

So with all the transportation improvements, the one I'm still a little amazed at is that there's nothing in store for helping with congestion at MK.  The other parks are OK from what I remember, but leaving MK after fireworks is a nightmare.  The fact that you need to either take a boat or monorail to get to the parking lot means that there's a huge backlog, so unless it was particularly bad in 2013, it's probably the thing I'm least looking forward to for the next trip.  I think we were an hour from the end of the MK fireworks to being in the car, and a lot of that was the monorail line.  Not a lot of fun with very tired small children. 

 

I wonder if they will work on that. They actually put in for planning permission last year to construct a flyover and alter the exit to relieve congestion around the Magic Kingdom.

 

world-drive-extension_exhibit_4_27_2016-

 

You can read more about the planning application below:

https://blogmickey.com/2016/05/disney-files-plans-overhaul-magic-kingdom-parking-entrance/

 

I didn't know they were currently working on a new vehicle entrance and parking lot for Hollywood studios.

 

hollywood-studios-parking-lot-entrance-0

 

Prep for those Star Wars crowds. :o

 

Lots more recent photos from last week of the parking/entrance work:

 

http://blogmickey.com/2017/07/photos-hollywood-studios-parking-lot-construction-new-entrance-cast-building/

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Retro EPCOT merch coming to the park in September:

 

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eptfa4789768713.jpg

 

 

eptfa4789768716.jpg

 

 

eptfa4789768715.jpg

 

 

eptfa4789768714.jpg

 

https://disneyparks.disney.go.com/blog/2017/07/begin-to-dream-with-retro-inspired-merchandise-for-35th-anniversary-of-epcot-this-fall/

 

 

Some neat stuff there. I especially like the magic band and the box it comes in (it's limited to 3,500).

 

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Some interesting news out of Universal.

 

Ever since Harry Potter opened, Universal has been really trying to up its game when it comes to food offerings, having higher quality, more varied and interesting choices. They tried to do the same at Volcano Bay, their new water "theme park" with lots of Polynesian inspired food offerings, some of which looked very good. 

 

Well it looks like this choice hasn't paid off this time, as Universal has removed almost 30 items from the parks menus, and added 4 more basic burger and hot dog options. 

 

Most of of the items include fancy burgers, tacos, poke bowls, and BBQ items. 

 

Speculation is that these items weren't popular enough and not the type of food that a water park crowd is really looking for, and that the quality of the items could not be maintained as the menu was too varied. Also the capacity of the park is apparently about half of what they expected, so the number of people ordering these items is even less than what they would have planned for. 

 

I think it's an interesting development. Universal made a big deal about the food at this park, even having press tastings and claiming that it was a major part of the theming and experience. Unfortunately, it appears to be another one of those things that is hyped up and then reality sets in once operations has to actually execute on a daily basis. 

 

I think people are willing to try things they normally wouldn't eat in an all consuming experience like Potter as that is part of what makes it fun. 

 

https://orlandoinformer.com/blog/volcano-bay-changes-menus/

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Hmm.  I suppose one can't knock Universal for trying something new with the food in their want to be competitive, so credit to them for trying at least. Again, I love the idea of water parks but have never been to any as the theming appeals and I LOVE water, but crowds not so much in those kinds of environments. My thought would be guests would really only want basic quick-service food there though, especially when it is around $70 to get into the place. How long do people typically stay in those kind of parks?

 

Being more adventurous with the menus definitely makes more sense in immersive lands of the main parks though I agree. From videos I have seen it looks to me as if the food is more interesting and of slightly better quality in the Avatar section of Animal Kingdom than it is elsewhere in most other parts of Disney parks, and supposedly Galaxy's Edge is going to have highly inventive menu options too.

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I don't think we would go back to the water parks.. Thankfully we scheduled them towards the end of the vacation, but we all got sick after going to the Disney one in Orlando. Honestly not much different that what we could go to locally.

 

Food is an interesting ordeal at any park. You have to feed the massive crowds that peak around 12-1 PM. I think they to a good job of giving a little variety in the Potter lands still fairly simple food that they can churn fast for the crowds. Butter beer stands always have a line, at $6 a cup they are raking in the money there.

 

Universal does seem to have a bit more variety IIRC, Disney food is kinda disgusting - choice of the most cardboard tasting pizza (think the cheapest frozen pizza you can get at your local supermarket) or the saddest looking hamburgers or the standard hotdog is usually the option. We usually hunt for the turkey legs stands as they are quite massive and a couple can feed 4.   I think EPCOT is the only park where you would get a variety.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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I'll be heading to Orlando for work in September, and as it turns out, the attendee party for the MS Ignite conference is at Universal, so I'll get a chance to check out studios/ioa stuff that I haven't seen yet.  I may also have an extra day in there, so I might try and check out Volcano Bay if the weather is decent.  I haven't been to any of the Disney water parks since 96, but from what I remember they were reasonably standard from an attraction standpoint, just much bigger.  Typhoon Lagoon is notable for having one of the best wave pools out there, since at the time they were doing these massive waves once an hour that were much bigger than a typical waterpark.  They also made a big deal about Blizzard Beach having the tallest speed slide (wedgie machine) in the world.  The Volcano Bay queue system with the wristbands seems cool though. 

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