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Posts Tagged ‘Disneyland’

  1. Disneyland Rant – Ticket Prices are Only Part of the Solution

    February 14, 2018 by Ryan

    In the least surprising news of the week, Disney raised ticket prices for their US parks.

    Yawn.

    Let me get a few things out of the way…

    People who enjoy going to the parks do not want to pay more.

    Yes, it is expensive.

    Yes, in 1955 Walt originally charged $1 for admission (although if you wanted to actually ride anything you needed to buy a ride ticket separately).

    Yes, today’s prices way outpace inflation when compared to that.

    This news happens every year – sometimes twice a year. It shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone by now. You could set your Futurosity Shop watch by it.

    Disney offers the same explanation each year also: they do this to help control the crowds.

    I can go along with that to a point. They will eliminate some people from visiting. Those folks can go visit Knotts Berry Farm instead.

    But if Disney were serious about crowding at the parks, here is what they really need to do: Eliminate the option for Southern California residents to pay for their pass in monthly installments.

    Disney won’t do that, for the same reason that the government takes taxes out of your paycheck. People are lousy savers. If they see a little bit of money come out of their paycheck each time, they don’t notice the large total at the end of the year.

    Another thing Disney really needs to do is eliminate the Fast Pass system.

    Fast Pass allows you to obtain a return time for major rides and attractions. Instead of standing in line, you can be somewhere else doing something else. You come back in your window of time, and walk through the shorter line on the side.

    This creates several problems.

    If you are not in the line, you are somewhere else in the park, taking up space.

    When you return to the attraction, they slow down or stop the standby line to let the fast pass line go ahead.

    If everyone just waited in one line, it would move continuously. The lines would eat people from the walkways, reducing crowding. It would be a win-win!

    But now that Disney makes money selling “Max Pass”es (a paid Fast Pass system done within the Disneyland app), I’m afraid that they are never going to go back!

     


  2. The ayes have it

    August 7, 2010 by Ryan

    By the Powers! I’ve been visit’in an enjoyable, entertain’in place.

    I admit that when I first heard of a new restaurant called Pirate Island, I immediately thought it be another Chuck E. Cheese, where kids could eat pizza and play games. Shows what a sprog I ’twas.

    I took me hearty and little buccaneers with me for lunch. Outside the restaurant were bulky, hefty wood doors, which were me first clue that there be someth’in different await’in inside. I opened them, to find a dimly lit lobby with a pirate scene that reminded me of the ride at Disneyland. The animated pirate skeleton was surrounded by doubloons in the middle of a dark, foggy swamp – I knew instantly that this was go’in to be fun.

    The greeter, dressed in moderate pirate costume, asked how many there be in our party. He seated us in the Bayou section of the restaurant, kindly point’in out were to find things as we ventured along. This was a perfectly themed, dimly lit area, with trees and fireflies about. The background chantey and chirping crickets completed the atmosphere (very much reminiscent of eat’in at Disneyland’s Blue Bayou).

    A great difference from the Chuck E. Cheese experience was that a server came to our table. She was very kind, and explained where to find everything in the restaurant. She asked what we would like to drink, and then came a incredible, fantastic blimey: they serve Apple Beer! Shiver me timbers and load me to the gunwales with me grog!

    We opened the menus and found the next bolt from the blue: they offered much more than just pizza or a salad bar. We ordered from the lunch specials, which included a drink.

    Me hearty ordered the barbequed chicken personal pizza, but felt like she be waste’in her calories on the flavorless, tasteless crust and sauce. I tried it and agreed. I mark the scallywag who prepared it with the black spot! Make the scoundrel walk the plank! On the other hand, me daughter ate the cheese pizza and loved it. So for the wee little ones, it be a good choice, but for the grown ups, there be better pick’ens to plunder.

    I also ordered the lunch menu, and chose the three fish sliders and chips. Sink me again! Instead of serving the American counterfeit of french fries, these chips be sliced potatoes, freshly fried – genuine authentic chips!

    While eat’in, there was a small show where a storm blew, a skeleton talked, and cannons fired. From where we were sitt’in, it was tricky to tell that the show had started. It only ran every 15 minutes, so it might have been nicer if the show ran more frequently, or if we had a cue to know to look at it before it was half underway.

    We explored the rest of the restaurant. Ye be enter’in through a cave to scrub ‘yer hands at the washroom, but be warned that cannons fire as ye pass by. The dining area at the other half of the restaurant is themed as a city ripe for plunder’in. Pass through another cave to enter the Aargh-cade and play area for the wee ones. Another word of advice: Ye best be order’in ‘yer tokens from the wench who serves ‘yur table, for ye get more coin for ‘yer pieces of eight that way.

    The table server would prove to be a mixed bless’in. At the start, the wench put us at ease and made the experience a pleasure; but at the end we didn’t know if it be proper to leave the table to go play, or wait to pay the check, or be leaven the leftovers wait’in there, or be haul’in them along with us. It was a little bit awkward, unfamiliar feel’in in me gut. We left our drinks, a few portions of pizza, and some coupons that we didn’t use this time (but thought we might be bring ’em back again another day). After hav’in our fun, we found the table wiped clean ‘an our loot mislaid.

    Yo-ho-ho – we will be back to try some more vitals (perchance including Pirate Pasta, Corsair Clam Chowder, Chicken, Fish and Chips, Sandwiches, Burgers, and Wraps). For Pirate Island be a good time enjoyed by all and great place to get me pirate on!


  3. You’ve Got a Friend in Me

    July 4, 2009 by Ryan

    About mid-May, following my experience with the tremor, I brought home a gift for my four-month old girl. I picked out a “Wheezy” plush doll (from Toy Story 2), a black and white penguin, with yellow feet and beak, and a small red bow tie. As he does in the movie, this stuffed animal has a squeaker inside, so when you squeeze the toy it squawks back. The size, colors, and sound were just right for her young enjoyment, and she has taken quickly to the toy. She can easily grab his wings to hold him, and sometimes enjoys putting his beak into her mouth.

    A little more than a month later, she was at Disneyland. Upon exiting the Toy Story ride, there are numerous movie related merchandise available to purchase. Imagine the look on her face as her young eyes saw an entire shelf full of Wheezy dolls on display. Though she couldn’t speak it, one could see the little wheels turning in her head as she tried to process the sight of so many of her favorite doll – row after row, stacked deep on the shelves.

    …to there.”]What's the point of prolonging the inevitable? We're all just one stitch away from here...to there (points to yard sale).

    His squeaker works, too!


  4. Love the ‘land

    June 17, 2009 by Ryan

    Sometimes people ask me why I like Disneyland so much? What makes it so special? Why do I keep going back?

    As you enter the park, you must pass under a tunnel that supports the train track. Above the tunnel is a sign that reads:

    Here you leave today and enter the world of yesterday, tomorrow and fantasy.

    And that sums it up for me. Even if I have spent most of the day standing on my feet at the convention center across the street, or fighting the stressful traffic at the end of a 564 mile car ride, I feel an energy and renewal wash over me as I approach the land. When you walk through that tunnel, you emerge on a typical 1900 era Main Street scene like you could imagine happened in any small town at the time. Go a little further, and you see a fairy-tale castle, inviting you to come further and explore. Along the way, you can detour into the jungles of another continent, ride herd through the frontiers of America, or blast off in the exciting world of space and technology. Or head through the castle and end up in a place that could otherwise only be found within the imagination of a child.

    I distinctly remember being there for my first visit, which was as a grown adult. Somewhere in the middle of our multi-day trip, I found myself so lost in the experience that I stopped, and thought to myself, “I know I have a job somewhere, but where?” I had to think hard for a couple of minutes before I could pull reality back enough to remember my employer’s name. It was a tranquil experience where I found I had let go completely of my cares, and I liked it.

    I like the feeling every time I go. I love the immersive theming, the impressive entertainment, and the inviting ambiance.

    I agree with their saying, “love the land”.


  5. I felt the Earth move under my feet

    May 23, 2009 by Ryan

    Everyone in California is pretty much going to laugh at this. I don’t care. It is my blog post, and it is interesting to me, so I’m going to write it. And yes, I’m going to make myself sound very heroic, like a true survivor who has a wondrous tale to spin. A daring adventurer, full of conquest and deserving of admiration. I also want to apologize for the lateness of getting this article written and posted. After all, after enduring such a remarkable experience, it took some time to overcome my emotional high. Plus there were the obligatory media interviews, parades, parties and celebrations thrown in my honor upon my triumphant return home. All of these distracted me from recording my true-life adventure for all to read.

    I was in Anahiem, CA (no surprise there) on the evening of Sunday, May 17, 2009. I had been working at the Anahiem convention center, setting up the booth, working the show floor, and then packing the booth away at the California Dental Association’s exhibit hall. All of that standing on my feet, accompanied by the obligatory trip to the Magic Kingdom on Saturday night from 6:00 pm – midnight, made me feel as though I deserved a rest.

    I had wandered my way through Downtown Disney, enjoying some wonderful blues music played by Brother Yusef out on the street. I found my way to the Paradise Pier Hotel, where I meandered up to the third floor pool and observation deck. In this section of the building, this was the roof. For the rest of the building, the rooms continue up many stories higher (see photos here).

    I had arrived early to stake out my position for a view of the evening fireworks at Disneyland. I sat in a tall chair, close enough to the railing that I could prop my feet up high and change the blood flow through my legs. If you ever want to view the fireworks but cannot go inside the park, this is the best location to do so, as they also play the music with it.

    It was at about 8:45 pm, local time, that it happened. A 4.7 earthquake, centered close to LAX,  rolled through this part of the state. The first jolt was the hardest. It felt as though the entire building swayed, startling me from my relaxed position at the railing. I brought my feet down quickly and sat up, at once recognizing it was, and at the same time questing if it really was, an earthquake. All the earthquake training I had received came flooding my mind; how I should get under a desk or in a doorway.

    As the second rolling motion came through (a little less powerful than the first), I instinctively started looking around me, and saw that there was nothing close to me that could possibly fall on me. I reasoned that if the building didn’t crumble, I had nothing to worry about, and so I settled my fears and chose to ride it out and enjoy the experience.

    The third rolling motion occurred, gently and almost unnoticed compared to the first two. It may have been a reaction of the building swaying more than anything.

    As I sat wondering, “Is that it?” some native Californians nearby began to cheer and applaud.

    Within about 5 seconds time, I survived my first earthquake experience unscathed (as apparently everyone else but one person in the state did too).


  6. Disneyland is planning Sweet 16 party for Cyrus

    August 25, 2008 by Ryan

    AP – Published: Sunday, Aug. 24, 2008 1:06 a.m. MDT

    Disneyland has announced it will throw Miley Cyrus a Sweet 16 party Oct. 5.

    The party will accommodate 5,000 fans at a cost of $250 each.

    Cyrus’s actual birthday is Nov. 23.

    Wow! To be in Disneyland, with a crowd of only 5000 people, sounds pretty cool.

    Since it is a birthday party, are guests expected to bring gifts? What do you get for a mega tween pop-star who already has everything?

    And lets face it: I just don’t have a thing to wear to the party!

    Sorry Hannah – er, Miley – I’ll have to pass on this one. thanks for the invite anyway.


  7. A Magic Train to the Magic Kingdom?!

    February 26, 2008 by Ryan

    I once had a dream that they had built an extension of the Disneyland monorail from the Magic Kingdom to Saint George, Utah. I was pretty excited about the dream, because it meant that my ten-hour-drive would now only be a four-hour-drive and then a monorail ride the rest of the way!

    (Also, I did wonder why they didn’t make the monorail continue to follow I-15 and go all the way up north, say, directly to my house? It was somehow explained logically in my dream that the weather would be too unreliable and elements to harsh to go north of St. George. Too troublesome to maintain that beam going that distance.)

    Oh, sure, somehow, this all made sense to me in my dream.

    So today, I was surprised to read this Associated Press story, “Future of Vegas-to-Disneyland levitating train up in air.”

    The teaser headline read “Rail Line From Sin City to the Magic Kingdom” and featured a “photo illustration” of Mickey Mouse in his 50th Anniversary tuxedo standing in front of the famous “Welcome to Las Vegas” sign. I was intrigued with the idea as I read it. Unfortunately, it seems that this article is more about how the project will likely NOT get built rather than actually coming to pass.

    Still, it made me think of that dream I had long ago, and smile to myself once more.

    Now, the whole thing does make a lot of sense. The biggest traffic jam I have ever witnessed in my life was in the I-15 northbound lanes, and it extended at least four miles through the middle of nowhere in the southern California desert, on a Saturday morning while people were making their way to Las Vegas. Folks were making the best of it, sitting on the hoods of their cars, talking to their neighbors, sharing a drink, and waiting patiently.

    At least, they looked patient. I was observing them as I drove swiftly southbound, where there was no delay at all.

    So I can see and attest that something ought to be done to help transport people quickly through that stretch of land.

    And if I can cut that portion of my drive into a 300-miles-per-hour, 2 hour journey, all the better! I’ll happily let those who want to gamble in Vegas help finance it.


  8. Disneyland’s Downside

    February 25, 2008 by Nate and Michelle

    Since our return to the far flung north earlier this month, we have begun to notice negative side effects from our trip to Disneyland. I know, I know; what could possibly be the downside to visiting “The Happiest Place on Earth?” Sure, we enjoyed the rides, the shows, the lack of stress, and the great weather. But therein lies the problem: the great weather. See, since we returned, we suddenly loathed the snow, the cold weather, and the brown/white, barren landscape. We long for green. Our friends rejoice when we have a sunny, 45 degree Saturday. But 45 degrees is not warm, it’s cold! Perfect weather consists of a cool morning (about 55 or 60 degrees) followed by a mild 75 degree day and lots of sun. The plants are green and the roads and walks are dry. That’s a nice day. And we officially have Spring Fever.


  9. Wait? Wait For What?!

    January 23, 2008 by Ryan

    It bothers me when people say that they want to wait until their kids are older before they take them to Disneyland. I usually bite my tongue and let it pass.

    If you know me, you know I do a fairly good Jimmy Stewart impersonation. I have a favorite scene, from “It’s A Wonderful Life,” where George gets upset and hollers back at Mr. Potter, in front of the rest of the Building and Loan board…

    “Just a minute — just a minute. Now, hold on, Mr. Potter. You’re right when you say my father was no business man. I know that. Why he ever started this cheap, penny-ante Building and Loan, I’ll never know. But neither you nor anybody else can say anything against his character, because his whole life was . . . Why, in the twenty-five years since he and Uncle Billy started this thing, he never once thought of himself. Isn’t that right, Uncle Billy? He didn’t save enough money to send Harry to school, let alone me. But he did help a few people get out of your slums, Mr. Potter. And what’s wrong with that? Why . . . Here, you’re all businessmen here. Doesn’t it make them better citizens? Doesn’t it make them better customers? You . . . you said . . . What’d you say just a minute ago? . . . They had to wait and save their money before they even ought to think of a decent home. Wait! Wait for what? Until their children grow up and leave them? Until they’re so old and broken-down that they . . . Do you know how long it takes a working man to save five thousand dollars? Just remember this, Mr. Potter, that this rabble you’re talking about . . . they do most of the working and paying and living and dying in this community. Well, is it too much to have them work and pay and live and die in a couple of decent rooms and a bath? Anyway, my father didn’t think so. People were human beings to him, but to you, a warped, frustrated old man, they’re cattle. Well, in my book he died a much richer man than you’ll ever be!”

    So, when people say they will wait to take their kids to Disneyland, they usually offer reasons like “I’ll take them when they are older and they can enjoy it more,” “They are too young to remember it,” “They can’t enjoy the rides yet,” or other similar themes.

    To that, I want to launch into my Jimmy Stewart impersonation, and ask, Wait! Wait for what?! Until your children grow up and leave you? Until your children are so old and broken-down that they – that they are too old to believe in magic of the fairytale? Until they get to an age when they don’t want to hang around with you in the park anymore? DON’T WAIT to go and create memories!!! The sights, sounds, colors, motion, activity, and experience are just as great for a six-month-old as a 106-year-old. If you wait, then you leave that much less time to enjoy the memories later in life! Granted, your toddler may not ride the Indiana Jones jeeps or California Screamin roller coaster, but there is a small world of rides that parents and children can enjoy together. And that is the best part of Disneyland – you can experience it together.

    Here is what Walt Disney himself said about the park he created…

    “It came about when my daughters were very young and Saturday was always daddy’s day with the two daughters. So we’d start out and try to go someplace, you know, different things, and I’d take them to the merry-go-round and did all these things – sit on a bench, you know, eating peanuts – I felt that there should be something built where parents and the children could have fun together. So that’s how Disneyland started. Well, it took many year – it was a period of maybe 15 years developing. I started with many ideas, threw them away, started all over again. And eventually it evolved into what you see today at Disneyland. But it all started out from a daddy with two daughters wondering where he could take them where he could have a little fun with them, too.”

    Still not sure? Here are a few specific items that you CAN do together with your young children…
    Rides
    Disneyland Railroad
    Main Street Cinema
    Main Street Vehicles (Fire Engine, Horse-Drawn Steetcars, Horseless Carriage, Omnibus)
    Mark Twain Riverboat
    Sailing Ship Columbia
    Big Thunder Ranch (Petting zoo)
    Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh
    Haunted Mansion
    Pirates of the Caribbean
    Jungle Cruise
    Tarzan’s Treehouse (if they can walk up stairs – lots of stairs)
    Goofy’s Playhouse
    Mickey’s House
    Minnie’s House
    Alice in Wonderland
    Casey Jr. Circus Train
    Dumbo
    it’s a small world
    King Arthur Carousel
    Mad Tea party
    Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride
    Peter Pan’s Flight
    Pinocchio’s Daring Journey
    Snow Whites Scary Adventures
    Storybook Land Canal Boats
    Astro Orbitor
    Autopia
    Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters
    Monorail

    Shows:
    Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln (Opera House)
    Billy Hill and the Hillbillies
    Disney Gallery
    Enchanted Tiki Room
    Innoventions
    Captian Eo
    Parades
    Fireworks
    Characters meet and greets

    You’ll fill up your time easily enough!


  10. Disney Character Warehouse and The Disney Store

    December 24, 2007 by Ryan

    Disney Character Warehouse and The Disney Store

    Two separate topics today – first, the Disney Character Warehouse

    A company by the name of AMS Liquidation runs some outlet stores under the name Disney Character Warehouse. I’ve mentioned them in the Beardall’s Guide to the Disneyland Resort (see pages link), but not in great detail. The best I’ve been able to determine, the way these folks operate is this: Imagine that a retail store at Disneyland or Disneyworld has extra stock. That store sells off boxes of their stuff to the AMS folks. This company then distributes that among their several stores. Most of the time, that merchandise ends up being the old stock – such as a stuffed animal or t-shirt that has “2006” on it, or a holiday themed item that’s time has past. Sometimes though, it seems that one store might have overstock, and sell to the AMS people. So they end up receiving current merchandise that is still available in other Disneyland stores — just not at the particular store that gave up their extra stock. Recently at the Salt Lake City location they had recently received a huge Christmas themed shipment, and I picked up some current merchandise of that nature that I later saw on our winter pilgrimage to the park.

    If you are interested in a deal, they are worth keeping an eye on, and if one comes to your town, check them out. Keep in mind that if you spend $100, they will give you a card that is good for 10% off at future visits ($250 gets you 15%). We have combined purchases for several family members, and easily obtained that discount card.

    Second, the Disney Store

    We used to have a couple of Disney Stores around here. During the 90’s, they were especially big and did a lot of business. Then the merchandise line started changing to more kids, and more generic items; less for adults or collectors. Business started falling, and the Disney company began closing them until they finally sold out the few remaining stores and the brand name to The Children’s Place. In the closing of the stores, we lost all the locations near us. In fact, the closest one we could find was in Arvada Colorado, a good eight-hour drive.

    I was recently on a business trip to San Francisco, and was ecstatic to find that my company trade show coordinator had put me in the St Francis hotel, which unbeknownst to me until I got there, was directly across the street from The Disney Store (a special thanks and shout out to Christy! Though in actuality, I don’t think she knew it was there either).

    It was one of the classic stores, decorated when the Disney company was in charge and was building them with real pixie-dust. I was so excited (and such a Disney nerd), that half of the photos I took of that trip were just of the inside and outside of that store.

    Now yes, the actual content of the products they were selling were nothing special. I could buy most of it here at home at Target or one of the “-Mart” stores. The rest of the products I could buy online at disneyshopping.com. But this store at least had the feeling and brought the excitement to me momentarily! And getting lost in the feeling and excitement is a big part of what the Disney magic feeling is all about.

    So a few weeks ago, they finished building a new Disney Store in the mall here. It will be sandwiched in-between “The Children’s Place” and “Build-a-Bear” so it has good company. In fact, that little corner of the mall will kind of seem like a part of “Downtown Disney” with that combination of businesses together. They have just opened, and from the looks of the crowds inside have been very well received! But the decor is not as magical. In fact, it is only a slight notch above the standard retail look, in my opinion. It misses the magic a bit.

    But no matter, the Disney company knows they have me and my family hooked. We’ll spend a few dollars here and there, and enough others like us will spend some to, that we’ll keep the place open and make business worthwhile.