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Posts Tagged ‘Business’

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.

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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.

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Taking the Bait?

nav-joind23With the recent  grand opening of D23 (Disney’s new online community for Disney fans), I’ve been debating on whether or not I should actually take the plunge and fork out the bucks for a charter membership. From what I’ve seen so far, the bulk of the content seems to be geared more towards what I refer to as the “Generic Disney Fan” and not towards folks with more specialized interests like me. Also note that Disney.com already has tons of similar content which is already free. I have noticed lately however that there has been some coverage of topic areas that I find more intriguing. For example, in a recent Around Disney blog posting titled: D23 reveals new location for Disney Gallery I found this…

In addition to California Adventure news, the magazine features an article on plans for an addition to Main Street, U.S.A.  – The Disney Gallery.  The former Disney gallery was booted from its location in New Orleans Square to make way for the Dream Suite; D23 reports that the gallery will now occupy the Bank of Main Street.

While it’s true that  this was pretty much old news (to most Disneyland nerds anyway), I did find it interesting that D23 also provides this kind of coverage. Yes, there is a segment of the Disney fanbase (however small) that is more interested in what’s going on at the park then on when the new High School Musical 3 special edition DVD will be avaible.  Yes D23, give us more of this kind of thing and there’s a good chance that folks like me will fork out the $74.95 for a charter membership. And while it’s true that “insider” news regarding all of the happenings at the Disneyland Resort is a plentiful commodity these days (there’s plenty of “unofficial” news sources that cover this stuff- perhaps even over-cover it), there’s always something nice about getting news from the source.

I guess what I’m really saying is… stay tuned for a decision.

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Is “D” for Doomsday?

OK, so if you haven’t already heard, Disney today announced the launch of D23. Touted as a massive on-line community for Disney fansd23 all over the world, D23 will feature events, exclusive content and information only available from the source itself. Not to mention the requisite “plusses” people have come to expect…

Not only will D23 offer an exciting year long schedule of magical, one-of-a-kind events — everything from advance screenings of Disney films to exclusive gatherings in Disney parks — but today’s announcement of the first-ever D23 Expo is sure to thrill Disney fans the world over.

While I for one am not really into the whole “community” thing (yes I’m boring), it will be interesting to see what impact the launch of D23 will have on all of the “un-official” Disney community sites that have already flourished on the web for years. These numerous fan websites and blogs (including this one) continue to exist  because they cater to a niche market previously ignored by Disney management. Now that the Mouse has set his sights on this mostly untapped segment, things could get a little dicey. After all, there’s only so much cheese to go around…

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Oh Suite!

Last month I posted a few tidbits regarding plans for a new Disneyland Gallery and also pondered what was to become of the space abovedreamsuitesign_disney the Pirates of the Caribbean that formerly housed the gallery and more recently, the Disney Dream Suite…

Well over at MiceAge, senior columnist Al Lutz appears to have answered my question. Hint: It’s called a perk.

Meanwhile, in the parks, John Lasseter can’t seem to get enough of his latest company perk, the Disneyland Dream Suite in New Orleans Square. Any Disneyland fan knows this sprawling apartment home was originally built as a three bedroom suite for Walt and his grandchildren, but wasn’t completed in time for Walt to occupy it himself before his sudden passing in late 1966.

But now that the apartment no longer has lucky contest winners camped out in it every night, the Lasseter family has taken to using it as their home away from home when John needs a Disneyland fix.

Well, I guess I can’t blame the guy. Hell, I’d be doing the same thing.

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