Thursday, July 28, 2011

Another Rant: The Sorcerer's Hat at MGM!

Walking down Hollywood Blvd. in 1993 there was an amazing sight of seeing not only The Great Movie Ride, but a large part of what Disney's MGM Studios really was. The openness of it all was apparent, and it was completely inviting. Walking down today however it seems as though something has changed. Can you guess what it is? I'll give you a hint.

Yes. It is the Sorcerer's Hat. Amazingly one addition could completely change the way a park can look. Ask Disney fans and enthusiasts what they think about the hat and the consensus would probably be borderline hatred. Though it is ugly, and though fans may despise it, rumor has it that there was a reason for it that is more to it than just adding a park icon. It dealt with Disney being taken to court. Apparently the owners of the Graumann's Chinese Theater took the Walt Disney Company to court in the mid to late nineties, based on the usage of their famed building. (in case we aren't all aware, The Great Movie Ride is a replica of the front of the faed theater.) As rumor has it, the original agreement between Disney and the theater owners wnet like this: The building could be reproduced for the park, but so long as Disney did not make money off the building. What does that mean? If you look at Disney t-shirts, and postcards and such from the early nineties, the building was in a way used as the unofficial icon of the park. It was put on t-shirts, mugs, and so on. The owners of the Chinese Theater were furious that Disney decided to use the building to make money in memorabilia and souvenirs that they eventually took them to court. Disney either lost, or settled and it was decided that rather than take the facade down, as long as the view of it was obstructed from the entrance, and Disney no longer used it as a de-facto icon, it could stay. So while you walk down Hollywood Blvd. you may be angry and upset for the hats placement, but it seems that our anger is pointed at Disney, but not for the reasons we all thought it was.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Monorail's Shutting Down Early?

It seems as though the Walt Disney Resort has taken a strange new measure in keeping costs down at the Happiest Place on Earth. As has been stated on numerous places on the internet, Disney has decided that as of July 11 the Epcot monorail will cease operation one hour after park closing. That includes nights in which Epcot has Extra Magic Hours (EMH). Magic Kingdom will follow suit starting August 1.

Many people who know me might be prepping themselves for one of my famous soapbox rants. Sadly, this is not one of those nights. The reason being... I understand why they are doing this, and am shocked that this has not happened in the past. I have been killed on discussion forums because I do not view this as a big deal, but honestly is it.

 I have a certain belief about this whole situation.

The idea of EMH is so that Walt Disney Resort guests can have extra time in the parks to enjoy the attractions without the added crowds. If you are brave enough to weather fatigue and crying children, this is an excellent time to ride attractions that you love until your heart is content. In my belief the Monorail at night is for guests who are staying off property that are going home for the evening. They need the Monorail to get them back to the Transportation and Ticket Center (TTC). In Epcot the Monorail has an even less function as it is only necessary for guests who started at Magic Kingdom. My question is this: If you are a Disney Resort guest, how are you getting to Magic Kingdom on a night that they have EMH?

My guess would be that 9 times out of 10 guests will be using the Disney Resort bus line. It takes you from resort to park, and I know I have used it exclusively on many of my trips. If this is the case then why is the Monorail closing a big deal. It is not being used by resort guests, and those who need rides to the TTC are guests who were trying to stay in the park much later than they were supposed to anyway. I am not trying t be vindictive or act holier than thou, but the EMH is designed for resort guests, and therefore Disney should make an attempt to keep it that way. Though this is not their reason for the change, I think that it might be an added bonus. Logically the Monorails closing an hour after park closing is not a huge deal. The only resorts really affected are the Grand Floridian, Polynesian and the Contemporary (and this has a walkway straight from the entrance) If the company decides to only cease the express monorail, they will probably need less trains, and less workers. This is not a major issue. It may be a cost effective solution to a longtime problem.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Prepping for Disney...!

In the next month I will be taking yet another trip to Walt Disney World. As a precursor to that trip I think it is time to spend a little time talking about preparing for a trip to Disney World. It is a grueling experience! If done correctly (and by that I mean to see as much as possible) you may need a vacation from a trip. There are many things you must keep in mind when prepping to go to Disneyworld.

1. Keep in Mind- You will not be able to see everything- I must have been to Walt Disney World roughly 10-12 times on either one or two week vacations. I am confident in saying that I have not seen everything yet! That's right. I have not yet seen it all. There are places that I have not visited. There have been trips where I left disappointed that I missed too much. If you have a plan, you will see the most possible.

2. Plan Plan Plan! On top of making your trip easier to navigate, and be prepared, it is also a fun experience. For many people the thrill is in the planning. Plan accordingly. Make ADR's and figure out where the Extra Magic Hours are going to be for the days you will be there.

3. Know your Climate- Depending on when you are going, Florida can be hot! It is important to dress accordingly. If you are going in the winter months, you may want to bring some sort of a sweatsirt as the nights may get cool. Be sure to have bathing suits in the summer months because you may need to spend time in the pool on an almost daily basis because of the heat.

4. Be ready to have fun! As I continue to countdown toward my trip I will be posting more preparation tips. Feel free to add any tips that you may have as well. Making a Disney trip easier is important in having an excellent time in the vacation capital of the world!