Posts Tagged ‘Disneyland’

OrangeJuice: Home Suite Home

In 1998 a new Tomorrowland debuted at Disneyland. It featured an empty Submarine lagoon, an old rickety Space Mountain, a transplanted attraction from Florida and an ill-advised and ill-fated new attraction called the Rocket Rods. The later would close before the turn of the century and the transplant, Innoventions, would eventually become a mere shadow of its Florida predecessor.

These days Tomorrowland is fresher and sharper than the “new” version unleashed in 1998. Space Mountain is a sparkling gem, Buzz Lightyear has taken up residence in the Circlevision Theater, a gleaming new fleet of monorails are on the tracks and the Submarines are once again cruising through the icy blue waters of the lagoon. But what of Innoventions? Is it still the attraction that time forgot? The answer is a resounding “no”.

The bottom floor of the old Carousel Theater, the current home of Innoventions, is under major construction. The Mayor of Tomorrowland (that’s Tom Morrow for you layman) got his eviction notice and the Innoventions Dream House is moving in. The sprawling interactive, live action, free form exhibit will span the entire bottom floor including the rotating outer ring. It’s real technology on display that you can touch and feel. You don’t have to settle for watching Cast Members demonstrate how the technology works, you will have the ability to walk right into the modern abode and put it to use yourself – no restrictions.

The exhibit features every technological marvel they could cram in and a character family that wanders through the house interacting with guests and living out the daily dramas of being a modern family in a modern home. It’s like nothing you’ve encountered in any Disney Park around the world. So keep your balls peeled to see how the new concept works. Will the openly accessible techno-toys prove to be too troublesome to manage and maintain? Only time will tell.

What I can tell you is, the new Dream House is finally living up to what Innoventions has been promising all along: new technology in everyday application. Are you sure this doesn’t belong in Fantasyland? [smirk] All joking aside, it’s a smart and welcome addition to the new new Tomorrowland. Now if only they would bring back the People Mover.

OrangeJuice: Midway Madness

Are you ready to get in a really really really long line? The construction walls are just about to come down over at Disney’s California Adventure in the Paradise Pier district and Toy Story Midway Mania is almost ready for the public’s prying eyes. The attraction with the overly wordy title is in its final test and adjust phase as I type this.

Long Story Short: You get in a vehicle, pop on some 3-D glasses and play several different, interactive computer generated midway style games. On your journey you’ll shoot darts, hoops, suctions cups and pies from your own personal “gun” and score points. When you’re done, you’ll get a score. It’s a lot more fun than it sounds.

Good: The technology on display here is staggering. One of the simplest and most dazzling effects is how the projectiles that splat, soar and careen their way onto the 3-D targets actually appear as if they are coming from the “gun” mounted to the front of your vehicle. Other 4-D effects serve to enhance the experience, like puffs of air when you pop a balloon or a light splash of water when you hit a wet target. It’s great fun and immensely entertaining.

Bad: There is no story here. None. Zip. Zilch. Nada. The very best Disneyland attractions are the ones that place you in the middle of a story in progress or at the least a highly themed environment. Beloved attractions tell a story. Also-rans do not. On Midway Mania you get in, you play the games and you get off – it’s like Buzz Light Year’s Astro Blasters on steroids without a plot. It’s all whiz and no bang.

Ugly: The ride vehicles are technically superior but strange in shape and size. Also there’s no clever disguise of a mine car, bobsled or jeep. It’s just a big weird behemothey thing you sit in to facilitate the game play.

Odd: It was noted among quite a few male riders exiting the attraction that firing the “gun” (an unusual device that requires you to yank repeatedly on a cord every time you want to fire) bears a resemblance to **ahem** a certain type of gratification. Females may not get it but the guys on board spotted the similarities immediately. One fellow even claimed to be blind after riding. You may want to steer clear of unsupervised packs of teenage boys.

So there you have it. Toy Story Midway Mania is spectacular display of a superior technology hindered only by it’s lack of story. It really doesn’t matter what I think anyway because people are going to love this attraction! It’s the type of family friendly fair that plays directly to the Disneyland faithful and the Pixar devoted. In other words everyone on the planet is going to be scrambling to ride it over and over again.

Let’s talk about “Bag Check” at Disneyland

Is the bag check really necessary?

I say it isn’t needed.

Here’s my case:  They don’t really look in you bag and anything you didn’t want them to find needs only to be carried in your pocket or in the bottom of the bag where the Security Cast Members never look. For example, my wife has a very small pink Swiss Army Knife on her keychain.  It has a tiny knife blade, tiny scissors, tiny nail file and a tiny tooth pick.  We usually carry the keys in one of our respective pockets.  However one day the keys made there way into the top portion of her purse and we were turned away at the Resort Bag Check and told we couldn’t bring the item in.

What was our solution?  We took the keys out of the bag and put them in our pocket and walked back through the Bag Check line. See?  What’s the point of all this?  I’m not sure really.  After all we don’t have bag check when we go into a college, or a mall, or a movie theater, or a train or even a city bus.  What makes the resort so different?

So here’s your chance to chime in…  [poll=2]

OrangeJuice: Monorail Red Hits the Tracks

Word has it the unofficial opening of the new Monorail Mark VII will be this Friday, 04/25/2008.  Disneyland Park Guests will have the first opportunity to hop aboard OC’s most advanced transit system and travel the 2.8 mile route in style. Of course some of us may have already ridden it a couple of times [insert coy look and sly grin here].

The new train features indoor recessed mood lighting (think Virgin America) and expensive sporty red color-change paint that transitions depending on how the light reflects off of it.  There’s also been a seating change – no more sitting across, on these new trains you’ll be facing outward with a fantastic view of the Parks.

Not only is the Monorail the fastest attraction in Disneyland it also serves the purpose of transporting guests from Point A in Tomorrowland to Point B in Downtown Disney.  Don’t you wish it went other places in Orange County?  You’re not alone. Mayor of Anaheim (and ass-hat extraordinaire) Curt Pringle wants to see the monorail connect to the proposed transit hub near Angel stadium. Check out the details here.

Here are a few tips if you’re feeling adventurous and want to take a tour on the Highway in the Sky this Friday:

  • Be patient.  There will be lines. Don’t underestimate the attraction’s popularity.
  • Be courteous. A long line can be an unpleasant place when you’re feuding with the folks in front of you. Cutting and holding spots in line really annoys people around you.
  • Follow instructions.  When a Cast member asks you to slide all the way down you should, you know, do that.  This is not private seating, get used to the idea that your hips will be touching a stranger’s hips. You’re gonna get real friendly with 108 strangers fairly quickly. 
  • Don’t ask to sit in front (at least for now).  Under normal circumstances Cast Members will be accommodating if you request to ride in front, but during a busy time such as this you may just want to content yourself with standard seating and save the request for a later date. 
  • Be flexible. One way trips may be in effect (meaning you’ll have to get off at Downtown Disney and re-board).  Go with the flow and for the love of Sheba, if you’re asked to disembark please do so. 
  • Be understanding.  This is a new train in its soft opening.  It may not be running.  It may stop running and return to the Roundhouse suddenly.  If you don’t get on, try and buck up and take it like a trooper.  If you’re feeling blue, just remember that feelings are like treasures – so bury them. 
  • Pay attention.  Then come back to the Metroblog and give us a trip report in the comments!

If you miss Monorail Red, don’t fret, the new Monorail Blue is already in the roundhouse getting ready to make a summertime debut. See you in the Park!  

Malpractice Suit = Catharsis?

Ah yes, good morning!  How was your weekend?  Well while you were busy getting ready for Earth Day on Tuesday (be sure to head to Disneyland to get your free recycled button) and voting for your favorite cat (be sure and bring your insulin and Pepto-Bismol) this Orange County family was suing the pants off of Anaheim Memorial Hospital.

Seems that about an hour after the child was declared dead after drowning in the family’s swimming pool a police officer noticed that, you know, she was breathing again.  Isn’t it enough to thank Zeus almighty for bringing her back from the dead?  Why do we have to sue someone over it?

Here’s an idea: Focus on the future and the child’s future.  Oh and by the way, call me uncaring but how long is it before someone sues the parents on behalf of the child for not properly supervising her and therefore letting her drown.  OK, maybe that was a bit harsh but you get my point. Move forward, let go, forgive yourself and shut up.

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