(Via Dateline Disney)
Brady MacDonald over a the LA Times takes a shot at the recently “recycled” revision of Mulholland Madness (aka Goofy’s Sky School). Rarely do I stray from commenting on anything beyond the tracks of the Disneyland Railroad, but I need to echo Mr. MacDonald’s disappointment.

I took a spin on the recent refurb this past weekend and have to say that it certainly wasn’t worth the thirty or so minutes my wife and I waited to ride. Even the father of two standing in front of us, couldn’t wait to voice his displeasure upon hearing that nothing major had changed on the attraction other than the aesthetics.

I really, really, really want to like this new park. C’mon Team Disney, help us out…

“I didn’t expect much from the re-imagineered ride, found at any freeway fun park or traveling carnival. But I could not have imagined much less from the team at Walt Disney Imagineering.”



(Via the Disney Parks Blog)


Cool or What?

One of the nice things about having time to aimlessly browse the Internet is finding stuff like this. I was looking for some vintage photos of Los Angeles for a unrelated business project and came across a collection photos provided by the UCLA Library. Is there anything better than classic black & white photos of our favorite place on earth?

Are you 54?

A very happy birthday to the Happiest Place on Earth. Both Agent Zero and I have been very busy with work lately, but he did manage to stop by the park early this morning to snap a few pics. Click  here or on the Agent Zero tab above to check out his pics.


Just in via Dateline Disney. According to Al Lutz’s latest column on MiceAge, we can all feel safe about continuing to promulgate the rumor that Star Tours will finally receive a long overdue overhaul…

While Disneyland seems relatively quiet by comparison, there are a few surprises proposed for the original park in the next few years. The most promising is the new Star Tours 2.0 makeover that has just recently received its funding green-light from Burbank and is now slated for an arrival in Tomorrowland in the spring of 2011. While that attraction was originally supposed to arrive in spring, 2010, we’d detailed for you in a previous update how a wussy executive team out in Orlando got cold feet at spending as much money on their version as Anaheim had planned to spend on their installation.

Now, I have no way of proving it, but I distinctly remember pushing the idea of astar-tours-poster-web major refurb for Star Tours several years ago. It had a lot to do with the fact that amongst all of the refurb rumors flying around at the time, overhauling Star Tours seemed to make the most sense.

Why? Simple, in the world of business and project management and cost-analysis, a remake of Star Tours seemed the most feasible. You see, nothing is more appealing to a penny-pinching corporate suit (including myself) than the idea of going after “low-hanging fruit.” I know it’s a term that’s so overused these days, but it’s true. While I had no real insight as to the actual capital outlays required to revamp an attraction of this type, just the fact that the attraction relied on newer technologies like computer generated video and “virtual” environments to achieve it’s entertainment value made it a no-brainer in terms of cost in my mind. In other words, think of Star Tours as a very cool, specialized type of flight simulator. There’s a reason airlines and aircraft manufacturers rely on flight simulators… it’s easier to render all types of scenarios in a virtual environment. If it’s computer-based, it’s flexible and easy (read: cheaper) to modify (relatively speaking). I would assume that the same thing holds true for the engineering behind  Star Tours.

Little did I know at the time however, that there were other things in play besides cost considerations delaying the anticipated overhaul of this attraction. Things like legal challenges and strained relationships with stake-holders, and of course executives on both coasts jockeying for position. With that in mind, it really is amazing that anything gets done at the park.

At any rate, I really hope this rumor holds true. I’d love to see an update to this excellent attraction.

America Sings InfoHappy 4th of July everybody! Just a quick note to let you know that I’ve added a new track to the Audioland section of the blog. I think you’ll really enjoy this month’s selection. BTW, If you’re crazy enough to be thinking about heading to Disneyland this holiday weekend, I really hope you have a great time amid the craziness and that you take a moment to reflect on this special day.


Last Ride.

cvr42A bit of sad news. I just received notice that the always excellent  “E” Ticket Magazinewill soon cease regular publication. It wasn’t until recently that I decided to get a paid subscription to the quarterly edition of the magazine, but I always remember seeing copies for sale at the Disneyana shop on Main St. I still recall browsing through various copies on several occasions and noting the overall quality of the content, interviews with Disney Imagineers past and present and of course all of the beautiful vintage photos that filled each edition.  According to their website, the magazine is in the process of being sold…

The “E” Ticket Magazine is in negotiations for sale.  The new owners do not intend to continue publishing, but back issues will be available on some level while they last. If you want these back issues, please order them NOW! We are not kidding, order them NOW!

That’s too bad. I’m glad to know that I was smart enough obtain a few really great copies, but don’t expect any of the really popular editions to be avaialble much longer. In other words, snap them up before they’re gone.

Update 4/2/09: Apparently I’m being told by our loyal readers that this is not really news. There was a statement by the founders of “E” Ticket Magazine almost a year ago regarding the closure of the business. As always, I appreciate the clarification, but I do have to say that “news” is such a relevant term these days. In fact I use the term quite sparingly for that very reason. Contrary to popular belief, the GCT Blog is not a news site. It was never designed to be. If you’re someone who has a penchant for late-breaking news about Disneyland, I highly recommend sites like MiceAge or Mouseplanet or any of the other fine independent Disney news sources out there. In fact, this is the reason why we feature RSS newsfeeds so prominently right on our front page (i.e. we leave that stuff to the experts). This blog is about commentary, opinion and sharing ideas about a common interest. So whether the news is “old” or “new” it doesn’t really matter to me, you can rest assured that I’ll have an opinion on it either way.