Just Published: Theme Park Insider: 2016 Year in Review
Written by Russell Meyer
Published: November 18, 2004 at 11:36 AM
On a Serious Note
Orlando Sentinel 11/17/04
It’s time for the labor unions to vote on a new proposal submitted by Disney execs. The deal will increase pay and decrease healthcare premiums, but still does not appear to be enough for HERE and Teamsters leaders. The two more dominant unions are urging membership to vote down the proposal, while Disney and other union leaders are urging an agreement and end to the negotiations. Universal health care and its ramifications aside, unions, while in many cases beneficial to large groups of employees working for massive companies, prove yet again that they have the ability to gum-up the system. What’s at issue here is the power of unions even in a “right to work” state, where a large percentage of employees are not even union members.
Eisner Takes the Gloves Off
Orlando Sentinel 11/17/04
Michael Eisner was placed under high scrutiny as he faced cross-examination in the Delaware Chancery Court trial where shareholders are seeking damages against Eisner. "I accepted the fact that the contract said what it said," Eisner stated on the record, but he also stated that he would have rather the cash go to the Walt Disney Company if he could have done that. He insists that the board had full knowledge of the details of the contract, but minutes from the meeting that the contract was discussed were not available.
To put it another way…
Oh, woe is me, I decided to give someone a BIG FAT contract with separation stipulations, and then fire them so they could cash in… I would rather the money go back to the company that I work for so that I could capitalize on it and fatten my own wallet. You knew what was happening. Remember I told you in that secret meeting when no minutes were taken. Just accept it. It’s not MY fault…
New Characters Taking Over
Orlando Sentinel 11/17/04
Disney unveiled two new additions to its Orlando theme parks and announced plans for Typhoon Lagoon.
First, Stitch’s Great Escape officially opened in the Magic Kingdom to the public, complete with adorable little kids and toilet paper on Cinderella’s Castle. Yes, that right, the castle was “tp-ed” overnight, adding so much class to the “happiest place on earth.” What’s next, flaming bags of poo on the drawbridge? While reviews on this site offer mixed opinions on the revamping of the incredibly scary Alien Encounter, opinion from the Sentinel gives a more positive spin.
Secondly, Disney officially debuted its additions to the Living Seas additions. A familiar Aussie can tell you all about nature at Bruce’s Shark World. Also, Crush the sea turtle can teach your children about the ocean using “real time” animation technology. That way, all of the kiddies can learn about marine biology in a means reminiscent of the intellectual rambling of Keanu Reeves…Whoa!
Finally, Disney made it official by announcing their plans to add a series of slides and flumes to Typhoon Lagoon. “Crush ‘N’ Gusher,” which sounds more like what happens when you sit on a jelly donut than a water slide, is Disney’s spin on the popular “Master Blaster” water coaster. The slides will be part of Hideaway Bay, a brand new section of the park, and will take riders through steep drops and “gravity defying inclines,” as they travel through a tropical fruit facility. While the addition sounds great, the name needs some serious work.
ABC Pushes the Envelope on MNF
In a slightly theme park related story, ABC issues an apology for its Desperate Housewives Monday Night Football introduction featuring Terrell Owens and Nicollette Sheridan. While I found the spot incredibly amusing, many others found it offensive. While the scene was a bit racy, it was no more than the usual fare found on Desperate Housewives, the #2 prime time television show. The MNF intro appeared in the same 9:00 PM time slot as DH, and did not reveal any “naughty bits.” The NFL is cringing over the complaints and fears another Janet/Justin debacle. While TV has become increasingly more raunchy over the past 10 years, to complain about a spot that is no more offensive than the show that inspired it is hypocritical. Will the FCC ever let us make up our own minds about what’s appropriate?
Are You Nuts Enough?
As if there wasn’t enough stuff on the top of the 1,149 foot Stratosphere Tower in Las Vegas, soon you will be able to go INSANE. Insanity, the newly named ride which has been rumored for the past year, will spin riders on an inverted centrifuge reaching speeds up to 40 MPH and 3 G’s of force on its riders. Add to that the fact that you will be looking straight down at Las Vegas and moving up to 65 feet away from the side of the tower, and the ride starts to really deserve its name. Insanity will take up the remaining real estate on the top of the tower joining The Big Shot, High Roller, and X-Scream. While a “Top Thrill Dragster” style roller coaster ascending the side of the tower was denied by the city council, the Stratosphere has countered with two of the most unique and terrifying rides on the planet. Whatever you do, LOOK DOWN!!
Yet Another Indoor Waterpark
Business North 11/17/04
Yet another indoor waterpark is popping up in a northern climate. The Edge, a $20 million 35,000 square foot tropical escape, broke ground today in Duluth, MN. The park is scheduled to open in fall 2005. With Cedar Point’s Castaway Bay, Deep River (Crown Point, IN), and 3 Great Wolf Lodges (Williamsburg, VA, The Poconos, PA, and Niagara Falls, Ontario) opening in the next year, the indoor waterpark business is “springing” up everywhere. Can we maybe get a decent indoor theme park?
Walt Disney World
Tokyo Disney Resort