The BLOGFlume-Death, Taxes, and Roy E. Disney
Knott's kills an attraction, Kennywood butts heads with borough, and Roy E. Disney hasn't a clue
Written by Russell Meyer
After celebrating the debut of Silver Bullet, Knott’s Berry Farm looks to have dropped the gavel on Kingdom of the Dinosaurs. The dark ride, which has been in an increasing state of disrepair, has recently had the sign removed from the front of the attraction and trashcans blocking its entrance. The attraction featured ride vehicles similar to many Disney rides which slowly transported passengers back in time to see ancient creatures of the past. While many scenes were very similar to EPCOT’s Universe of Energy, the attraction was never nearly as popular, and seemed out of place amongst the numerous thrill rides. The ride also suffered because a number of ride vehicles were removed from what was a continuously loading ride, creating one that stopped frequently to load new passengers with bored riders sitting inside the attraction, inviting mischief. From experience, Kingdom of the Dinosaurs was not a ride you really wanted to waste your time on, as I spent about an hour waiting for this less than spectacular ride. While Cedar Fair has not announced a replacement for the attraction, let alone the extinction of Kingdom, rumors are flying from everything to a Sally dark ride to another coaster. I wouldn’t want to speculate what would be in the works for that section of the park, but I’m not sure anything big could be installed soon considering the recent expense of Silver Bullet.
Kennywood Park, located just outside of Pittsburgh, PA, is becoming the crutch of West Mifflin as the council is trying to raise local taxes on all workers working in the borough. The borough currently levies a $10 occupation tax, but is looking to impose a new $52 “emergency municipal services tax.” A number of Kennywood employees are young high school students (making on average $4,500 per year), who would be severely affected by this outrageous tax increase. A similar occupation tax was applied to workers in the city of Pittsburgh, and the municipality is poised to take advantage of this disturbing precedent, which was recently approved by the state legislature. As more and more people live in areas other than where they work, cities and regions are under increasing pressure to balance their budgets by imposing these new “occupation” or “commuter” taxes. For blue collar employees, it becomes a catch-22. People can no longer afford to live where they work because of rising housing costs, and now cities are beginning to make the suburbs unattractive with commuter taxes on people seeking affordable housing. We just cannot win!
No Disney Seat
In a very strange move, Roy E. Disney has asked board members to reject a proposal to grant a seat on the Walt Disney Company board to a Disney heir forever. Mr. Disney stated on his web site that he did not feel that a seat on the Disney board should be guaranteed merely because of bloodline, and that “in the interest of corporate governance,” board members should not pass the proposal introduced by Frank Wierenga, a shareholder from Pennsylvania. While many companies set aside symbolic board seats for heirs of founders and owners, it appears that Roy Disney does not feel that the seat offered in this proposal would make Disney any better. Will anything make this guy happy? It seems like all he does is complain about how every move the company makes tarnishes the name of Disney. Then, when a shareholder makes a gesture to make him and his kin once again an integral part of the direction of the company, he scoffs at the notion. Disney has made a lot of bad decisions in recent years, but Roy E. Disney has yet to make a good one since his exit from the Walt Disney Company.
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