Saturday, July 31, 2010

One Man's Dream to close

A Disney fairy recently flew in my window and told me that if I wanted to get pictures of One Man's Dream at Disney's Hollywood Studios, I should head there this week. When it goes down for refurbishment it may not come back up, or large sections could be changed. Might this be the first sign of changes coming for the 40th Anniversary of Walt Disney World?

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No World of Color after summer at DCA

Guests who call to book dining packages to see World of Color at California Adventure in the fall are being told that there are no scheduled shows after Labor Day. When pressed guest relations says a version of the show may come back after Thanksgiving, but they aren't accepting reservations.

This is a bit of a shock to those guests who planned vacations to Disneyland hoping to see the big new item the resort promoted this summer. I can understand them limiting performances to three or four nights a week as DCA won't support 10 or 11PM closing times all week during the off season, but to not show it at all is a weird decision.

So the question is, are they retooling the show? The biggest complaint about WoC is that it has no story line and no dramatic finish. It's beautiful and powerful as everyone hoped it would be, but Fantasmic! still wins in the story category.

However, I thought that the benefit of the new World of Color technology was that they could make changes on the fly. No retooling required. So it must be something economic related.

Fans? What do you think?

Update: Disneyland has decided to extend DCA hours to 8pm with one show on weekdays and two on weekends. Well, that's a relief. Oddly, the park is still scheduled to close at 6pm on some nights with a show scheduled for 8:15 that night. What are 5,000 guests supposed to do for 2 hours when the park is closed?

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Monday, July 26, 2010

Fantasyland phase II on hold?

This week the big news on the grapevine has been the status of the Fantasyland expansion at the Magic Kingdom. Construction on the Little Mermaid ride will go on, but nearly everything else is on the table. The reason? There is a huge concern that Disney is losing the boy market and the new Fantasyland, with its princess fest and Tinkerbell emphasis did not adress that.

Add to that the fact that Harry Potter has been a bigger success that the folks at Team Disney had expected and there is a real desire to come up with something that is attractive to all members of the family, not just moms and daughters.

I think this is a great idea. Disney was over counting the popularity of its Princess franchise in the new Fantasyland. Forty-five minute waits to see the Princess in toontown will not translate into demand for a halfdozen new Princess Meet and Greets even if they include a little show or story.

The question is whether Disney will greenlight some of the projects being considered for the other gates while they retool the Fantasyland expansion or if they go into conservation mode and tighten the purse strings. Some of the projects that might get a bump include Star Wars land (aka Lucasland) at DHS, an Adventureland upgrade with a new coaster, and Australia at DAK.

Whatever they chose, I hope its a big statement that says they are still interested in being a leader in theme park family entertainment.

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