Former Disneyland Custodial Manager

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In this episode, we discuss current Disneyland events, as always. We also chat with Doobie and Rebekah from LaughingPlace.com, and then with John Martin, a retired Disneyland Operations Manager who started working in the Blue Bayou in 1967, and eventually became a Disneyland Custodial Manager, helping to open Disneyland Paris and Disney California Adventure. 

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​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:

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​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 will open beginning July 11 for Magic Kingdom Park and Disney’s Animal Kingdom Park followed by EPCOT and Disney’s Hollywood Studios on July 15.
                                 • 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 will begin reopening on July 9.
                         • 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 June 22, 2020. Please check individual Resorts eb pages for restrictions, requirements, and changes.



Disney to replace Splash Mountain ‘Song of the South’ theme with ‘Princess and the Frog’
By Todd Martens
June 25, 2020

"Walt Disney Imagineering unveiled plans on Thursday to retheme the ride to its 2009 animated work 'Princess and the Frog,' a fairy tale that stars the company’s first Black princess."

"'Princess and the Frog' was chosen as the new theme for the ride sometime last year, said Disney. The as-yet-unnamed refresh will be coming to Anaheim’s Disneyland Park, where it will more closely tie into the nearby New Orleans Square. The change will also take place at the Magic Kingdom at Florida’s Walt Disney World."
...
“'The Princess and the Frog' project is largely being overseen by Carmen Smith, Imagineering’s VP of creative development and inclusive strategies, and Charita Carter, who was instrumental in the development of Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway, which recently opened at Disney’s Hollywood Studios in Florida. A version is under construction at Disneyland."
...
"Narratively speaking, the attraction will begin sometime after the end of 'The Princess and the Frog' film. The twisting log rid will follow Princess Tiana and Louis, a plump, trumpet-playing alligator, as they head to a Mardi Gras concert."
...
"Disney’s famed Imagineer Tony Baxter, known for spearheading Big Thunder Mountain and his role in bringing the works of George Lucas into Disney parks, oversaw Splash Mountain’s creation and has served as creative advisor to Imagineering on the project. Baxter voiced his support of the makeover in a statement provided by Disney. In the comment, Baxter argues that Disney in the early-to-mid-’80s was often forced to look to the company’s deep past for inspiration, as its own films of the era struggled to resonate on a larger cultural scale.

“'When Splash Mountain came to life over 30 years ago, the wave of Disney Animation that started with ‘The Little Mermaid’ had not yet begun,' said Baxter. 'New stories would give us characters, music and wonderful places that now reside in the hearts of audiences everywhere. Following conversations with Imagineering’s leaders about the new attraction’s scope and resources, I had a great sense of reassurance — the attraction will be one to be proud of ... bringing to life places, characters and music from the animated classic ‘The Princess and the Frog.’”

LA Times


Jun 25, 2020
Tiana’s Place is moving into the laughing place. Today, Disney announced that Splash Mountains at both of its domestic resorts would be reimagined with a Princess and the Frog theme.

Laughing Place


Thu, June 25, 2020
New Adventures with Princess Tiana Coming to Disneyland Park and Magic Kingdom Park
by Michael Ramirez, Public Relations Director, Disneyland Resort

"As part of the creative development process, conceptual design work is well underway and Imagineers will soon be able to conduct preliminary reviews and develop a timeline for when the transformation can start to take shape."

Disney Parks Blog


Disneyland and Disney World to remake Splash Mountain with ‘Princess and the Frog’ theme
The Splash Mountain log flume rides at Disneyland in Anaheim and the Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World in Florida will be transformed with a new theme based on the 'Princess and the Frog' animated movie, according to Disney.
By Brady MacDonald

PUBLISHED: June 25, 2020.

Orange County Register


What to expect when Disneyland rethemes Splash Mountain
Disney plans to update the Splash Mountain log flume rides at Disneyland in Anaheim and the Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World in Florida with a new theme based on the “Princess and the Frog” animated movie.

By Brady MacDonald

PUBLISHED: June 26, 2020

"Concept art of the new Princess Tiana version of the attraction shows fireflies twinkling in the sky around the 87-foot-tall Splash Mountain. The twisted tree trunk at the peak of Splash Mountain has been transformed into Mama Odie’s house — complete with a boat wedged into the branches of a Spanish Moss-covered tree. In the film, the tree-bound boat in the deepest part of the Louisiana bayou serves as the home of the voodoo priestess/fairy godmother Mama Odie."

Orange County Register


Disneyland reopening is delayed beyond July 17
By Todd Martens
June 24, 2020

"Disneyland’s reopening will be delayed beyond July 17, Walt Disney Co. announced Wednesday, saying it will wait for state guidelines before specifying a new target date."
...
"The postponement for the Anaheim parks comes as California and other parts of the nation are seeing significant increases in COVID-19 cases. 

"A dozen unions that represent about 17,000 Disneyland employees sent a letter to Gov. Gavin Newsom last week, saying that because of the coronavirus, opening the park would be unsafe. Disney’s Wednesday announcement alluded to the union apprehensions and said the company has reached accords that cover more than 11,000 of its workers.

"Newsom’s office expressed support for the delay."

LA Times


Jun 24, 2020 5:39 PM Pacific Time
Due to the State of California’s plans not to issue theme park reopening guidelines until next month, today the Disneyland Resort announced it would need to postpone the proposed reopenings of Disneyland and Disney California Adventure.

Laughing Place


Disneyland reaches agreement with cast member unions on park reopening process
A union letter to Disney demands further health and safety measures for Disneyland employees before the Anaheim parks reopen.
By Brady MacDonald 
PUBLISHED: June 25, 2020.

"A coalition of unions representing more than 11,000 Disneyland cast members have reached an agreement with Disney on bringing employees back from furlough in preparation for the now-delayed reopening of the Anaheim theme parks.

"Disney has signed agreements with 20 cast member union affiliates to bring Disneyland employees back to work, according to a statement from Disneyland."
...
"Employees will be required to conduct an at-home COVID-19 assessment before heading into work and will be provided a thermometer, under the agreement.

"Cast members who must work within 6 feet of Disneyland visitors will be provided a plastic face shield."

Orange County Register


Disneyland postpones July 17 park reopening until further notice
Disneyland is postponing a proposed July 17 reopening of its Anaheim theme parks while it awaits theme park reopening guidelines from the state.
By Brady MacDonald

PUBLISHED: June 24, 2020

Orange County Register


Thu, June 25, 2020
Disneyland Resort Reopening Update
by Thomas Smith, Editorial Content Director, Disney Parks

"The State of California has now indicated that it will not issue theme park reopening guidelines until sometime after July 4. Given the time required for us to bring thousands of cast members back to work and restart our business, we have no choice but to delay the reopening of our theme parks and resort hotels until we receive approval from government officials. Once we have a clearer understanding of when guidelines will be released, we expect to be able to communicate a reopening date."

Disney Parks Blog


Disneyland helicopter captures aerial footage of eerie ‘ghost town’ during coronavirus closure
The aerial views captured during the 6-hour helicopter flyover on Monday, June 29 of the Disney theme parks are being collected for “future use.”
By Brady MacDonald 

PUBLISHED: June 29, 2020

"Disney will fly a helicopter a few hundred feet above the deserted walkways and vacant promenades of Disneyland and Disney California Adventure to collect aerial footage during the coronavirus closures of the Anaheim theme parks.

"Aerial views captured during a helicopter flyover on Monday, June 29 of Disneyland and Disney California Adventure are being collected for future use, according to Disneyland officials."
...
"The airspace over Disney theme parks is typically restricted. The Anaheim theme parks have the same restricted airspace protections as the White House, major U.S. landmarks and sporting events. No-fly zone designations prohibit aircraft from flying below 3,000 feet and within 3 miles of Disney theme parks in the United States."


Orange County Register


Disneyland resumes $200,000 renovation of Frontierland gate
Construction has resumed on the Frontierland bridge and other essential work around Disneyland and Disney California Adventure that needs to be completed prior to reopening the parks, according to Disneyland officials.

By Brady MacDonald

PUBLISHED: June 27, 2020

"Construction has resumed on the Frontierland bridge and other essential work around Disneyland and Disney California Adventure that needs to be completed prior to reopening the parks, according to Disneyland officials.
"A building permit filed with the city of Anaheim before the coronavirus closure of the park calls for the replacement of a pair of 15-foot-tall faux wooden gates and a 16-foot-long marquee along with the widening of an existing bridge at the Frontierland entrance, according to public records."


Orange County Register


How will Disneyland characters maintain social distance in the coronavirus era? 

Social distancing measures will force Disneyland and Disney California Adventure to maintain a safety buffer between Disney’s cast of characters and the visitors who want a souvenir selfie with their favorite princess, superhero or cartoon character.

By Brady MacDonald

PUBLISHED: July 3, 2020

"Disneyland will have to deploy a host of clever strategies to keep their beloved characters safely socially distanced from visitors in the COVID-19 era when the Anaheim theme park eventually reopens following an extended coronavirus closure."
...
"Expect to see more of Disneyland’s limited-time Mickey & Friends Band-Tastic Cavalcade — which dispatched characters aboard a double-decker bus during inclement weather. The rainy day character interaction would work perfectly as a social distancing solution in the COVID-19 era."
...
"Much like Animal Kingdom, Mickey, Goofy, Ariel and other Disney characters with attractions in the Paradise Gardens Park area of DCA could make water-bound appearances on Paradise Bay — which will sit unused with the World of Color nighttime spectacular dark for the foreseeable future due to COVID-19 crowd concerns."


Orange County Register


Which Disneyland shows and attractions will remain closed when the park reopens?
Social distancing measures will force Disneyland and Disney California Adventure to keep some parades, nighttime spectaculars, shows, rides and attractions closed once the parks reopen following an extended coronavirus closure.
By Brady MacDonald 

PUBLISHED: July 2, 2020

"Social distancing measures will force Disneyland and Disney California Adventure to keep some parades, nighttime spectaculars, shows, rides and attractions closed once the parks reopen following an extended coronavirus closure."
...
"Disneyland’s Fantasmic and DCA’s World of Color certainly draw large crowds. Expect the nighttime spectaculars to remain dark when the Anaheim parks reopen. Fantasmic at Disney’s Hollywood Studios and the Epcot Forever water-based nighttime spectacular are not scheduled to immediately return. Fireworks shows at the Magic Kingdom and Disney’s Hollywood Studios are set to remain on hiatus.

"Disneyland could opt to offer the occasional unscheduled nighttime surprise — a short burst of fireworks overhead or brief glimpse of dancing water fountains — that would keep crowds low yet still entertain fans."


Orange County Register


How Disneyland will enforce mandatory mask rule when park reopens
Mandatory mask policies have become a lightning rod in American culture amid the COVID-19 pandemic and the debate over face coverings extends to the Disneyland faithful as well.
By Brady MacDonald 

PUBLISHED: July 1, 2020

"Disneyland plans to deploy a team whose primary job will be to enforce a new policy requiring visitors to wear protective face masks along with other COVID-19 health and safety protocols when the Anaheim theme park resort reopens following an extended coronavirus closure."
...
"To help spread the message, Disney launched a new campaign starring The Incredibles that encourages visitors to follow the COVID-19 health and safety guidelines."


Orange County Register


Will Disneyland suspend FastPasses, single rider lines and park hopping?
Annual passholders and longtime locals who have mastered Disneyland and Disney California Adventure may face a new set of obstacles to their ride navigation wizardry once the parks reopen.
By Brady MacDonald

PUBLISHED: June 24, 2020

"Walt Disney World, Tokyo Disney and Disneyland Paris have all temporarily suspended their FastPass services — which allow visitors to book return times in advance for their favorite attractions and wait in a shorter line at a prescribed time. Single-rider lines — which parks use to fill empty seats on rides and typically have shorter wait times — will be unavailable at Disney’s parks in Florida and France."
...
"Disneyland has not yet announced if it will follow the lead of other Disney parks and suspend FastPasses, single rider lines and park hopping.

"Walt Disney World will suspend the FastPass+ service /for the time being' to use the additional queue space to manage attraction capacity and maintain physical distancing. Park hopping will be temporarily unavailable at Disney’s Florida parks due to attendance limitations."


Orange County Register


Disneyland will be last Disney theme park to reopen worldwide
Tokyo Disney became the last Disney resort to announce a reopening date. The Tokyo Disneyland and Tokyo DisneySea theme parks will reopen on July 1.

By Brady MacDonald 

PUBLISHED: June 23, 2020


Orange County Register


Downtown Disney rolls out new coronavirus health and safety guidelines 

The reopening of Downtown Disney is the first step of a phased plan that will see Disneyland and Disney California Adventure reopen on July 17 pending government approval and Disney’s Grand Californian and Disney’s Paradise Pier hotels reopen on July 23.

By Brady MacDonald

PUBLISHED: June 23, 2020


Orange County Register


What the new Disney Park Pass reservation system could mean for Disneyland annual passholders 

The new Disney Park Pass advance reservation system unveiled by Walt Disney World offers a glimpse at the changes Disneyland annual passholders could face when Disney’s Anaheim theme parks reopen on July 17.

By Brady MacDonald

PUBLISHED: June 20, 2020

"Disney World’s new reservation system gives hotel visitors a four-day head start over annual passholders and nearly a week’s advantage over existing ticket holders. As Disneyland visitors know, reservations for the Rise of the Resistance virtual queue are often snapped up within minutes each day. Pair that with government-imposed reduced capacity at the parks and it’s possible reservations could become unavailable for days, weeks or months rather quickly if Disneyland adopted a similar system.

"The new Disney Park Pass advance reservation system brings with it some significant changes for Disney World annual passholders." ...

"Disney has announced that annual passes will be extended for the number of days the parks are closed — unless the passholder requests a partial refund. Beyond that, Disney World annual passholders are being offered a one-month extension of their passes or the option to cancel their passes, according to Syfy Wire theme park journalist Carlye Wisel.

"For Disneyland passholders, a similar agreement would essentially turn the $829 Deluxe, $1,199 Signature, $1,449 Signature Plus and $2,199 Premier annual passes into $649 Flex passes. Flex passholders are required to make advance reservations to get into Disneyland and Disney California Adventure on busy days."


Orange County Register



You can listen to show 288 on iTunes or go to Libsyn service here.

Show Notes for Episode 288