Written by Russell Meyer
Published: September 27, 2004 at 10:49 AM
A special thanks to my editor and wife Stefany for her assistance.
For an unprecedented third time in two months, weather has caused closings at theme parks in central Florida. I’m wondering where the Sentinel found a honeymooning couple from New Jersey who were “not very concerned” about the incoming storm, and feel that a foot of snow is more nerve racking than a Category 2 hurricane (big surprise). Living in the Washington D.C. area, we’ve experienced both ends of the weather spectrum over the past 10 years. Both weather extremes can be equally crippling, but most damage and problems caused by snow is a result of ignorant people trying to venture out in a blizzard, or just not skilled enough to drive in the snow. The damage caused by a tropical system is almost completely caused by nature, and the damage is more severe and longer lasting. I’m sure the resilient people of Florida will make it through yet another punch, and I wish them all the best in dealing with yet another disaster.
Doesn’t Disney have enough musical touring companies? I suppose the show demonstrates how Disney has over-saturated its own market, since they’ve resorted to using a libretto full of rejected songs in a show with no real story. Is anyone really going to pay Disney prices for a show with little story and a set of second tier songs from the Disney catalogue? I guess we’ll find out in about a month, in the greatest place to start a national musical tour... CLEVELAND!
Shark Tale Readies for Release
Dreamworks is trying to put some more buzz behind this Friday’s release of Shark Tale (as if there isn’t enough marketing power behind the release already), and MSNBC poses an interesting question… Do A-list celebrities help out animated features with their voice talents? Take Aladdin, coming to DVD in “Special Edition super-uber-hyper Disney DVD format” a week from Tuesday. It was groundbreaking in promoting an animated movie based on a voice talent, Robin Williams (and what a performance!). However, Disney’s most recent flop, Home on the Range, provides an opposite example. The recently released DVD is only 5th on the DVD rental market in its first week, and chock full of celebrity performances, but weak on box office punch. Pixar seems to be taking a middle road, relying on one or two A-list celebrities and a bunch of lower tier talents for supporting voices, a formula that seems to be working for them. The Incredibles vs Shark Tale will be an interesting fight to see, though the films will not be directly competing in theaters. Based on what I’ve seen of the two, The Incredibles looks to be a much more appealing and original story.
Golden Ticket Awards Released
It seems like only last year when the Golden Tickets were announced by Amusement Today. Many of the winners have retained their spots from last year, with Cedar Point taking “Best Park,” Holiday World taking “Friendliest Park Staff” and “Cleanest Park,” and Busch Gardens Williamsburg taking “Best Landscaping” and “Most Beautiful Park.” In order to give those parks that may be overlooked in lieu of the big guns like Cedar Point and Schlitterban, two new categories were added this year- Best Children’s Park, won by Legoland, and Best Indoor Waterpark, given to West Edmonton Mall. One of the biggest surprises is Millennium Force unseating Six Flags New England’s Superman: Ride of Steel. And while I’ve never seen it, I have a hard time believing that Six Flags Fiesta Texas has a better night-time show than all of the Disney parks. Maybe someone who’s been to SFFT can enlighten me. It seems that most of the other winners have won previously or ranked highly. While Amusement Today may be experts, looking at their top coaster lists will demonstrate that by no means are they enthusiasts.
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Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom
Disney's Animal Kingdom
Disney's Hollywood Studios
Disney California Adventure
Universal's Islands of Adventure
Universal Studios Florida
Universal Studios Hollywood