Lee’s Daily Blog

Theme Parks

Theme Parks: Disney Blue Sky Cellar

by on Sep.06, 2009, under Theme Parks

This post is for Saturday 5th September, 2009

A short post this one. Disney Parks released this video about from the imagineers a few weeks ago. It gives a good insight into upcoming items. Pay attention to some of the footage in the video – there are some good insights in there you don’t want to miss!

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Weird Al’s New Song – Skipper Dan

by on Jul.13, 2009, under Theme Parks

Weird Al has released the music video for his new single ‘Skipper Dan’ on his myspace page.

The video/song tells the story of Dan who doesn’t quite make it into show business as he thought he would, but instead ends up working on the Jungle Cruise at Disneyland (something that has probably happened fairly often).

Apart from being a pretty good song, if you’re a disney fan it’s worth a listen, even if it’s just to pick up on those well known lines such as The back side of water’.

Skipper Dan

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Theme Parks: Manta Opens for Soft Openings

by on May.13, 2009, under Theme Parks

manta-with-signThis post is for Saturday 9th May 2009

In the last week seaworld has started opening Manta for some of it’s theme park guests.

Feedback on the internet seems to be very positive on the ride on the whole, as well as the theming of the lagoon in the queue area (although not all the sealife is present in the pool yet).

The Manta Wing Dip

The Manta Wing Dip

Feedback on the ride itself has suggested that (from Orlando Sentinel):

Row 8 — the back row — is a very intense ride, according to folks who have been front and back of the coaster. In fact, we’d say the back is best reserved for coaster buffs, not the lily-livered. It’s all about the G’s. One rider told me Row 7 was “bad” but that 8 was significantly more jarring. You’ve been warned.

Hopefully, when I’m over in July I’ll get a chance to try a few different rider positions and see if there is much difference.

One of the things I was worried about was the ride capacity, having seen these flying coasters take a lot longer to load than your standard coaster. Seaworld are saying that they could get up to 1500 people through, but as humans are involved, so will want to remove shoes etc. They’re hoping to get a throughput of 1000 people an hour which is similar to Kraken. I think this is largely being assisted by the fact they have 2 loading stations – but no complaints there!

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Theme Parks: Manta Test Flights

by on Mar.28, 2009, under Theme Parks

manta-logoOne of the rides I’m most looking forward to when I visit Florida in June / July this year, is the opportunity to ride the new coaster at Seaworld – Manta.

I’ve ridden Air at Alton Towers and thought it was a fantastic experience, and knowing how the parks in Florida usually do things even better, it has got me highly looking forward to it.

In the last couple of weeks, Manta has been seen making ‘test flights’. Some of these test flights can be seen in the video below from Orlando Attractions Magazine

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Theme Parks: It’s a Small World Reopens

by on Feb.17, 2009, under Theme Parks

It's A Small World - by Matthew HarpThis post is for Saturday 7th February 2009

About 12 months ago, news went round that It’s a Small World, would be going down for renovation. Part of this would be to upgrade the channel which the boats travelled a longer (rumoured to be to allow for slightly larger guests to ride in the boats without them ‘bottoming out’). It would also be to to clean up and fix any problems with existing dolls to ensure the experience remains at the highest quality.

What got some people up in arms though was the possibility of Disney characters being introduced into the attraction. Although some people were in favour of these changes, others felt it would be taking away from what the attraction was meant to be like.

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Theme Parks: Disney Offers Buy Outs to 600 Managers

by on Jan.25, 2009, under Theme Parks

Although not your standard Theme Park discussion this week, this story did grab my attention in the RSS Feeds.

From the Orlando Sentinel:

The Walt Disney Co. offered buyouts Wednesday to more than 600 executives at its U.S. resorts — including 313 in Orlando — as the company struggles to cut costs amid a worsening recession.

The company planned to hand-deliver buyout packages to 619 executives, each of whom will have until Feb. 6 to decide whether to accept the offer.

Disney warned it will resort to lay offs if too few employees voluntarily walk away.

Disney seems to be trying its hardest to take as minimal impact as possible by targeting its cost saving measures (at least they haven’t gone directly into letting people go), along with trying to keep attendance up such as by cutting hotel rates.

Whilst the cuts are at the higher level, I don’t think it will impact the guest experience we have all come to love at Disney. However, if they have to start laying off staff lower down the chain, it is at that stage I think we risk seeing it influencing the experience we have at the Disney parks.

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