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Posts Tagged ‘News’

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.

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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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Agent Zero has just posted new pics from his trip to Disneyland earlier today. He mentioned that the crowds weren’t too bad for a summer Sunday morning, but as the temperature began to rise, so apparently did the attendance. Still, it’s nice to know that there’s somebody willing to battle the heat to get us some new pics.

Click here or on the “Agent Zero” tab above to check out his latest trip report.

-Sam

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Semi-Live from Disneyland

Here’s the archived copy of Hugh Hewitt’s live broadcast from Disneyland earlier today. For those of you outside the L.A. radio market who may not be familiar, Hugh is a political commentator and talk radio host who takes a break every year to broadcast live from Disneyland. If you’ve never heard his Annual Disney Day broadcast before, I urge to click below and take a listen. Politics aside, if you’re a true fan of Disneyland, I think you’ll enjoy the show….

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Just FYI.

Changed the Flickr photo widget on the bottom right of the page to update from Agent Zero’s photostream rather than mine. AZ has way more activity on his photostream (you never know what the dude is gonna post) and I figured it might add a lot more variety.

-Sam

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Sam’s Day Off.

peteI took the day off because I deserve it. I basically told all of my clients that I was out of the office today and did my best to ignore the constant e-mail notification dings on my phone. I stopped by Disneyland around 2PM to snap a few pics and found that even on a weekday, the summer crowds at Disneyland Resort will soon be on their way. The overcast skies (aka June Gloom) burned off just after lunch giving us a preview of life at Disneyland when things start heating up. Schools out and people want to have some fun. Yes, the economy may be slow, but it’s not that bad. Trust me. I also need to point out that I’m not as handy as Agent Zero when it comes to putting a trip report together, but I hope you enjoy the pics regardless…

Click here to see the pics from my visit to Disneyland earlier today.

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