In this episode, we discuss current Disneyland events, as always. We also tour Disneyland as it was in 1980 with novelist & nonfiction author Dave Smith, who was a cast member in 1980. Big Thunder Mountain was new and the park celebrated its 25th Anniversary.
Disneyland Resort Current Event
***Disney Resort Updates***
Due to the outbreak of the COVID-19 (Corona) Virus, ALL Disney Parks, Cruise Lines, and Disney Vacation Club Resorts will be closed until further notice:
Disney is over whelmed with people attempting to rebook / cancel so please be patient with them. They are modifying their cancelation policy to accommodate guests. Many booking services can be handled online (links above). They are reportedly going to extend AP's by one month.
Please be sure to follow CDC and your State's guidelines during this crisis. We will get through this.
Shanghai Disneyland • Shanghai Disneyland is now open but requires reservations. Please visit their site for details.
Walt Disney World • Walt Disney World theme parks are open.
• Additionally, Disney Vacation Club properties at Walt Disney World and Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground have begun to reopen to Members and Guests. Disney Springs has already begun to reopen. Upon reopening, theme parks, Disney Resort Hotels, restaurants and other offerings may be modified, limited in capacity and subject to availability or closure.
Disneyland • The Downtown Disney District is open.
• The Hotels of the Disneyland Resort remain closed and will reopen at a later date.
• Disneyland Park and Disney California Adventure Park remain closed and will reopen at a later date, pending state and local government approvals..
Hong Kong Disneyland • Hong Kong Disneyland Park officially reopened on Jun 18 with reduced capacity, enhanced health and safety procedures and a new reservation system for all guests. All guests entering the park will be required to undergo temperature screening and wear face masks.
• Magic Access members may make a reservation beginning 8 days prior to their visit. General guests may make a reservation beginning 7 days prior to their visit..
Disneyland Paris • Disneyland Paris announced a phased reopening of the resort as of 15th July 2020, starting with both theme parks, Disney’s Newport Bay Club hotel and Disney Village..
Disney Cruise Lines • Disney Cruise line suspends cruises through July 27, 2020.
INFORMATION CORRECT AS OF July 17, 2020. Please check individual Resorts eb pages for restrictions, requirements, and changes.
Disneyland Resort President Shares Message in Celebration of Park’s 65th Anniversary
Jul 17, 2020"Ken Potrock, President of Disneyland Resort, shared a message on his Instagram account today celebrating the 65th anniversary of the Happiest Place on Earth."
“Sixty-five years ago today, Walt Disney’s dream became a reality. He created this truly special place for guests of all ages to have fun together. I want to thank the amazing Cast of the Disneyland Resort for keeping his dream alive by creating happiness and making magic for people around the world. To commemorate this special day in Disney history, I hope you enjoy this unique retelling of Walt’s dedication. Happy 65th Anniversary to the Disneyland Resort!”
"Hong Kong Disneyland saw one of the biggest drops in the theme park industry with a 15% attendance decline in 2019 following months of social protests in the Chinese-ruled city. Shanghai Disneyland absorbed a 5% attendance drop in 2019 due in part to Disney’s yield strategy on ticket pricing and capacity controls."
Long lines greet reopening of Downtown Disney
Downtown Disney reopened to the general public at 10 a.m. on Thursday, July 9 after a four-month coronavirus closure.
By BRADY MACDONALD
UPDATED: July 10, 2020 at 12:51 p.m.
"Long lines that would put Space Mountain to shame greeted shoppers returning to Downtown Disney on Thursday morning, July 9 after a nearly four-month closure of the outdoor mall next to Disneyland.
"Socially distanced, mask-wearing crowds emphatically answered the question on the minds of Downtown Disney merchants: Will any shoppers come to the outdoor mall while Disneyland remains closed indefinitely?
"An endlessly snaking line with parties 6 feet apart wound its way from the entrance of the World of Disney store past the ticket booths, across the esplanade between the two parks, ran in front of the shuttered Disney California Adventure gate and continued to coil as the mall officially opened at 10 a.m. Thursday. World of Disney opened early just after 9:30 a.m. to accommodate the anxious crowd of shoppers."
"The orderly security checkpoint on Thursday now included a temperature check with a handheld contactless digital thermometer pointed like a gun by Hoag Hospital staff members at each shopper’s head. Then came a tent where a security dog sniffed each arriving visitor.
"The now-familiar post-9/11 security checkpoint has now added plexiglass protection for guards and dispensed with having guests empty the contents of their pockets into a tray before walking through a metal detector. Crews were continuing to work on the cement next to one newly erected tent, cutting down the capacity for dealing with the crowds of shoppers ready to step foot on Disney property for the first time since mid-March."
"The most notable missing Downtown Disney business: The Void virtual reality experience. The termination of a license agreement between Walt Disney Studios and Void VR triggered the termination of the Downtown Disney lease, according to a notice posted to the Anaheim storefront."
"Plexiglass has been installed on the gates of Disneyland and Disney California Adventure as well as on the turnstiles between visitors and employees. A towering crane loomed over Avengers Campus in DCA."
Orange County Register
Photo Tour of Disneyland’s Downtown Disney on Reopening Day
Jul 9, 2020
Thu, July 9, 2020
Welcome Back to Downtown Disney District, Phased Reopening Begins Today at Disneyland Resort
by Valerie Lee, Public Relations Manager, Disneyland Resort
"The health and safety of guests, operating participant employees and Disney cast members are at the forefront of our planning. Several operational changes have been implemented based on guidance from health authorities to promote physical distancing and enhanced cleanliness throughout the Downtown Disney District."
... "To help guide you through these new measures, cast members from our Guest Experience Team are walking throughout the Downtown Disney District to help explain our new health and safety measures and answer any questions you may have."
Disney Parks Blog
Disney Releases New Artwork and Room Floor Plans for Disney Vacation Club Tower Coming to Disneyland Hotel
Jul 17, 2020
"Disney has filed full details for the Disneyland Hotel Disney Vacation Club tower in a public document, which contains room floor plans and a new artist rendering of the L-shaped tower from Walnut Street.
"The City of Anaheim has published a document that contains more details on Disney’s plans to build a Disney Vacation Club tower at the Disneyland Hotel.
"The staff of the Planning and Building Department have approved these plans, which will go before the Planning Commission on Monday, July 20th."
From Mickey Mouse to aerospace: Disney exec Colglazier is next CEO at Virgin Galactic
By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
UPDATED: July 16, 2020
"Michael Colglazier, a Disney executive, has been appointed chief executive officer of Virgin Galactic as the space tourism company prepares for commercial service.
"Colglazier has most recently been president and managing director of Disney Parks International, Virgin Galactic said Wednesday.
Disney has named Jill Estorino, a 29-year company veteran, as Colglazier’s successor. She will be responsible for overseeing the company’s parks and resorts international operations and development, including Hong Kong Disneyland, Tokyo Disney Resort with the Oriental Land Company, Shanghai Disney Resort and Disneyland Paris."
"Colglazier takes over the CEO role on July 20 from George Whitesides, who will now be chief space officer and focus on future business opportunities, including point-to-point hypersonic travel and orbital space travel, Virgin Galactic said."
"The company is currently in a flight test program progressing toward launching paying passengers on suborbital flights into the lower reaches of space over New Mexico."
Orange County Register
Radio Batuu broadcasts Star Wars music, news and sports in Disneyland’s Galaxy’s Edge
A new Star Wars book from Lucasfilm and Walt Disney Imagineering reveals new details about the Black Spire radio station that plays in select locations throughout Galaxy’s Edge at the Anaheim theme park.
By BRADY MACDONALD
PUBLISHED: July 15, 2020
"A local Black Spire Outpost radio station broadcasts pop music from throughout the Star Wars galaxy as well as droid battles, dejarik tournaments and outlawed podraces that play on a continuous background audio loop in the Galaxy’s Edge themed land at Disneyland.
"A new Star Wars book from Lucasfilm and Walt Disney Imagineering reveals new details about the Black Spire radio station that plays in select locations throughout Galaxy’s Edge at the Anaheim theme park.
"The new 'Traveler’s Guide to Batuu' from Lucasfilm and Walt Disney Imagineering serves as an in-world travel guide to the Black Spire Outpost village on the Star Wars planet of Batuu, the setting for the 14-acre lands at Disneyland in Anaheim and Disney’s Hollywood Studios in Florida."
"Local Black Spire radio station BSO 401.72 broadcasts in Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge bathrooms — known as refreshers in Star Wars parlance.
“'The station’s DJ, Palob Godalhi, is the closest thing Black Spire has to a local celebrity,' according to the 'Traveler’s Guide to Batuu.' 'Stick around a while to hear the latest news, some favorite music, and more.'"
"DJ Palob Godalhi is an anagram of Pablo Hidalgo, a Lucasfilm creative executive who was heavily involved in the creation of the backstory for Galaxy’s Edge. The Palob Godalhi character first appeared in the 1998 Star Wars novel 'Rebel Dawn.'"
"The 'Traveler’s Guide to Batuu' is ostensibly penned by Eloc Throno, a galactic historian and travel writer who has also written guides to Tatooine, Mustafar and other Star Wars destinations. Eloc Throno is an anagram and Star Wars pen name for author Cole Horton. The book also credits Hidalgo, fellow Lucasfilm creative executive Matt Martin and Walt Disney Imagineering managing story editor Margaret Kerrison — who all had a hand in developing the backstory for Galaxy’s Edge."
Orange County Register
Disney Details Their Commitment to Health and Safety Measures at Their Parks
Jul 7, 2020
"As Disney continues the phased reopenings of their parks and resorts across the world, they have detailed their commitment to taking the health and safety of guests, cast members, and the larger community very seriously."
"Disney apps: With the My Disney Experience and Disneyland apps guests already know and love, guests can view hand sanitizer and handwashing locations, explore digital menus, and more.
"Limited-contact options: From Mobile Order and cashless payments, to Walt Disney World’s MagicBands and online check-in at select locations, Disney is offering technology solutions that can make it easier for guests to minimize contact and maintain physical distancing."
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Show Notes for Episode 289