Archive for the ‘DL Resort’ Category

Monorail Red Finally Running

Thursday, July 10th, 2008

The new Mark VII Monorail — known as “Monorail Red” to those of us who are tired of Disney naming all of their monorails “Mark” — is finally running at Disneyland.

The monorail was plagued by design problems from the start. The first monorail delivered by German manufacturer Der Wonderkin Monorailverks was underpowered, hard to control, low capacity, and H0 scale — not at all what Disney had in mind. Specifications were completely revised, fleshed out from a single sentence (“A cool new red one”) to more than 500 pages and an entirely new vehicle was fabricated.

When the new model was delivered, it looked great but proved to be almost as problematic as its predecessor. Said Disneyland monorail roundhouse supervisor Monorail Supervisor Fred, “We just couldn’t understand why so many poor design decisions were made by the vendor. Why was the steering wheel so big? Why was it oblong? And why did a monorail have a steering wheel in the first place? It was a mess. The cabins had no air conditioning and the windows barely opened so the cabins got suffocatingly stuffy almost immediately, and that’s when we found out that the designers had done all their research on west-coast American weather by visiting Seattle. Not very diligent if you ask me, but I will say that the Mark VII has excellent rain protection.”

The pluses of the new design — such as a top speed of more than 600 MPH and sleeping berths for long journeys — were not enough to convince Disney that Monorail Red would be show ready without significant modifications. The problems became such a joke at Disney that Pixar even included a passing scene of a broken red monorail near the beginning of their hit movie WALL*E.

So how did Disney finally get Monorail Red up and running? By taking matters in their own hands, that’s how. Said Disneyland’s chief railstock engineer Chief Railstock Engineer Brunhilda, “It was nothing you couldn’t fix with a chainsaw, duct tape, and a little paint.”

The Pin Vault

Monday, June 23rd, 2008

Disney pin traders will be pleased with the latest addition to Disneyland Resort’s Downtown Disney — the Disney Pin Vault (captured just before opening by our Official DisneyLies Photo Correspondent).

The Pin Vault

This gigantic store has the largest collection of rare, vintage, hard-to-find, one-of-a-kind, signed, dangled, pin-on-pin, flocked, lenticular, light-up, animated, jumbo, micro, 3D, audio, holographic, precious-metal, scented, hallucinogenic, holy grail, POH, and self-aware collectible Disney pins on the planet. Says store manager Cloisinné Baubél, “Pin aficionados have been known to become excited to the point that they need medical attention when they see our collection. Our hand-selected pins cost from as little as $25 for a simple retired cast-member lanyard pin to as much as $12,000 for a pin encasing a relic such as a fragment of Walt Disney’s true desk. Many people ask if we trade pins and we answer that we do happily trade — for cold, hard cash.”

The store’s gigantic vault-like front door is in fact the real thing. It operates on a time lock, so guests must enter the store promptly when it opens at 10 a.m., and cannot leave until the door again opens at 5 p.m. Serious pin collectors only. No food, drinks, scrappers, or strollers.

New Emergency Procedures

Thursday, April 10th, 2008

Disneyland has always maintained a focus on safety (aside from a brief period beginning in the mid ’90s). Even so, park management thinks that guests are not doing enough to keep their part of the safety bargain.

“You have no idea how unsafe guests can be,” said Perry Winkle, fictional Disneyland management professional. “They dance atop trash cans, put their kids on stilts to get them past height restrictions, and barely get out of the way when chunks fly off of insect-themed parade vehicles. Despite the safety benefits, it would be cost prohibitive to relieve the park of guests. That is why we have begun the Disneyland Safety Performance Initiative.”

This initiative involves teaching cast members to work safety information into their characters. Haunted Mansion cast members, for example, already use safety-related dialog (e.g., “Drag your body to the dead center of the room, or the unstoppable closing doors may leave half your corpse behind.”)

Our Official Disney Lies Photo Correspondent caught sight of a pair of newly trained Indiana Jones cast members perform the “if you’re not at least this tall, you could end up like this” skit.

Disneyland Indiana Jones attraction height demo demonstration

Hopefully, this will make us all much safer!

Hidden Mickeys!

Monday, March 24th, 2008

Disney fans love searching the parks for hidden Mickeys (HMs). Our Official DisneyLies Photo Correspondent is no different, and she sent us photos of a number of HMs from a recent visit to Disneyland Resort.

New Orleans Square hidden Mickey

This HM, found in New Orleans Square, has unusually small ears. We assume it is supposed to represent a young Mickey Mouse.

Disney’s California Adventure hidden Mickey

This HM, from Disney’s California Adventure, is of the “exploded Mickey” type. Exploded Mickeys can be found in a number of DCA locations, and Disneymaniacs are hopeful that, during the extensive demolition that will preceed upcoming DCA improvements, they will get to see an exploded Mickey actually explode!

Indiana Jones hidden Mickey?

Do you see the HM in this photo from the Indiana Jones attraction? No? Here, we’ll crop, rotate, stretch, and enhance the photo. See it now?

Indiana Jones hidden Minnie detail

If you answered yes, then you’re wrong! That’s not a hidden Mickey, but a hidden Minnie, and they don’t count. Heck, it doesn’t even look that much like Minnie (it’s all blurry, distorted, and full of compression noise). While we’re at it, the hidden Eyeore in this attraction doesn’t count either, so stop sending us photos.

That’s it for this time. Thanks, Official DisneyLies Photo Correspondent!

Sweater Day

Thursday, March 20th, 2008

In honor of what would have been the 80th birthday of Fred “Mr.” Rogers, cast members at all U.S. Disney parks and facilities will be wearing sweaters. Cast members will also be required to sing a happy little song in the morning when they get their sweaters out of their lockers.

Guests are invited to join in the fun by wearing sweaters and sneakers, avoiding the use of big words, and not discussing their violent past as a Navy Seal.

A taste of Disney

Saturday, March 15th, 2008

Any real Disney fan knows that there’s quite a bit of work that goes into creating magic, and much of that work goes on behind the scenes. Not too long ago, our Official DisneyLies Photo Correspondent happened across one of those behind-the-scenes workers on the job at Disney’s California Adventure and asked what it was like creating Disney magic.

Disneyland Resort Food Rollout Quality Assurance Specialist Naomi de Plume

“Well, I’m an official Disneyland Resort Food Rollout Quality Assurance Specialist, which means that it’s my job to move through the parks incognito and sample any newly introduced food items to make sure that they meet pre-determined standards,” says Naomi de Plume, pictured here in one of her many disturbingly effective disguises.

“Today I’m trying a selection of special California-themed sweets that we’ve introduced into Disney’s California Adventure. I’m almost done with this Venice Beach Cruller, and although I admit it really does remind me of Venice, I don’t know that that’s a good thing. I think I’m going to recommend they do away with it. The La Brea Tar Pits Fudge, too. I like the Knotts Berry Farm Suckers, but I hear that there’s some problem in Legal, so they might not make it. That leaves the California Pine Scented Churros — kind of an acquired taste — and the Alcatraz “The Rock” Rock Candy, which is pretty standard.

“I wish they hadn’t had to abandon the idea for the Hollywood Walk of Fame Waffles of Fame, but it just took too long to make each guest a customized waffle with their name on it.”

We asked Naomi what she really looked like. “Don’t you wish you knew! Seriously, though, I can’t let cast members see me out of disguise or they might try to make sure I get something better than what guests are getting. Everyone wants to fool the quality-control woman. So sometimes I’m a tall black man, sometimes I’m a short Latina woman, sometimes I’m a nondescript Asian-American grade-school student, sometimes I’m a talking trash can, and sometimes I’m the rugged man of distinction you see before you now. You never know — and neither does anyone else!”

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Thursday, February 14th, 2008

Happy Valentine’s Day to all our loyal DisneyLies Blog readers!

In celebration of this happy event, we have arranged a special promotion with the Disneyland Resort! Just approach any Resort ticket booth today during normal operating hours and say that you would like the “DisneyLies Valentine’s Day special.” You will then be able to purchase a two-park ticket for the price of a one-day park hopper! (Get it — it’s Valentine’s Day so you get two together, like a happy loving couple!) That’s a significant savings compared to the price of purchasing separate tickets for each park. Share the special with someone you love!

Enjoy! And be sure to write to us and tell us how you used all the money you saved!

Movin’ on in Anaheim

Tuesday, February 5th, 2008

As part of its strategy to build the resort feeling of its Anaheim properties, Disney is in negotiations with the city to build a transportation system that will link Disneyland Resort, Angles stadium, the Anaheim Convention Center, the new triffid-themed Gardenwalk project, and Disneyland’s soon-to-be-built third park (Disney’s Inland Tokyo Sea California).

There has been much speculation about what the transportation system will be, with monorails, peoplemovers, and modified “it’s a small world” ride vehicles being the most popular choices. But Chevy Impaala, our anonymous contact within Team Disney, says that none of these ideas are accurate.

“People are thinking correctly when they assume that something in the parks will be repurposed for the transportation system,” says Impaala. “But considering the large scale and expected usage numbers of the system, Disney has decided to stick with its greatest strength — the queue. One enormous queue will link all locations, efficiently moving guests from place to place. It’s simple, it’s inexpensive, and it uses tested technology. The initial rollout, planned for 2010, includes a FASTPASS system, so that, for example, those with tickets for Angels Stadium will be able to get a FASTPASS so that they arrive at the stadium before those who do not plan their day as carefully, but without having to stand around all day.”

Strike!

Thursday, November 8th, 2007

The Hollywood writer’s strike is a big blow for Disney. Until the strike is over, characters in all Disney parks will be unable to speak. It is not yet clear whether other cast members will have to remain silent as well.

$$$$ for California!

Monday, July 23rd, 2007

The Walt Disney Company announced last week that $1 billion would be made available to add and improve infrastructure at Disney's California Adventure (sometimes referred to as "The Park that Guests Forgot"). The enormous size of this sum was, in part, due to Disney's desire to gain public support by refunding the money of anyone who purchased a full-price, one-day, one-park California Adventure ticket at any time since the park opened. Further research revealed that this would cost the company only some $40,000 (including the cost of hunting down the guests qualifying for refunds, most of whom are in foreign countries or institutions of some type). This leaves much more money available for park improvements than originally anticipated.

Improvements planned for California Adventure include a newly themed entrance, a more kinetic environment, new "e-ticket" attractions, and a systematic tearing down and rebuilding of the entire park one section at a time to make it the kind of place it should have been on opening day.

After hearing that the board had approved the $1 billion budget, John Lassiter — Poobah of Disney Imagineering — was heard to say, "That's all?"