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Disneyland's 50th Anniversary: It's a Clone-ebration!
The Walt Disney Company announced today in Anaheim its plans for a worldwide celebration of its flagship park Disneyland's 50th anniversary.
By Robert Niles
Call it a “Clone-ebration!”
The Walt Disney Company announced its plans for a worldwide celebration of its flagship park Disneyland's 50th anniversary today in Anaheim. In a sunbaked ceremony at the foot of Sleeping Beauty's Castle, Disney theme parks chief Jay Rasulo said all 10 of the company's theme parks would celebrate Disneyland's birthday by importing attractions from other Disney parks.
“In honor of the park that started it all, every Disney resort will join in creating great memories for our guests with this unprecedented global celebration,” Rasulo said.
Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida will get:
Disneyland Paris will get:
Tokyo Disney Resort will get:
In addition, Disneyland will debut a new fireworks show called “Remember,” saluting past and present “E ticket” attractions. A new parade will also debut next year, called “Walt Disney' Parade of Dreams,” featuring floats themed to Beauty and the Beast, Pinocchio, the Little Mermaid, Alice in Wonderland and the Lion King. Space Mountain will also reopen after its extensive rehab.
Finally, Disney will redecorate the exterior of Sleeping Beauty's Castle with tapestries, banners and crowns. No company official could confirm if the castle's walkthrough attraction would reopen as part of the celebration. The walkthrough closed in September, 2001 and has not reopened.
The Disney Cruise Line will also participate in the celebration, sending the Disney Magic to the Port of Los Angeles for 12 seven-day cruises, beginning on May 28, 2005. The Magic will sail from L.A. to the Mexican ports of Puerto Vallarta, Mazatlan and Cabo San Lucas. No company officials were able to respond to questions about future cruises from Los Angeles, or if the Disney Cruise Line would establish a permanent presence in Southern California.
Academy Award-winning actress Julie Andrews will serve as the honorary ambassador for the Disneyland 50th Anniversary. Both Andrews and original Disneyland host Art Linkletter participated in the celebration kickoff, reminiscing about visiting the park for their first times with Walt Disney.
From patrick sayreWOW!!!!!
Posted via 184.108.40.206 on May 5, 2004 at 2:02 PM (MST)
I'm might just shrink down into a sigularity and become the black hole of disappointment I'm so underwhelmed.
The company that Invented the modern Theme park, and THIS is the best they can come up with? Where is the NEW E-Ticket? What about the Lagoon? What about an Expansion? WHat about bringing in the cool crap from DisneySea? What About? What About???
Somebody call a Preist!Eisner and Co. are the Anti-Walt! Maybe an exorcism is in order? Dear God and all that is Holy, when will We get NEW GOOD STUFF?!?!?!?!
From Kenny HittLook at the developments at WDW this past year:
Posted via 220.127.116.11 on May 5, 2004 at 2:26 PM (MST)
EPCOT: Mission:SPACE, Soarin'
MAGIC KINGDOM: PhilharMagic, Stitch's Great Escape
DISNEY MGM STUDIOS: Lights-Motors-Action
ANIMAL KINGDOM: Expedition Everest, Lucky the Dinosaur
Seems a bit lopsided, don't you think?
Tokyo DisneyLand? A new coaster announced, but they really don't need it cuz their parks kick ass already.
DisneyLand Paris? DIDDLY-DICK. No wonder their budget is going into the toilet. You have to spend money to make money, gentlemen...
From Robert NilesThe only items the crowd responded to (besides Linkletter and Andrews, of course) were Buzz Lightyear and the Disney Cruise Line. Indeed, the Cruise Line was the only thing mentioned today that I'd even remotely consider spending money on (and, as I've said before, I'm not a cruise guy.)
Posted via 18.104.22.168 on May 5, 2004 at 2:41 PM (MST)
Still, Main Street is looking better than it has in years, and the pruning on the hub has helped better reveal the castle again. (Though I certainly missed the shade as I melted under the cloudless sky this morning.) If Disney could gets its flagship park back in shape again for the 50th, I'd be happy.
Of course, it is never a good sign when a company says "hey, we're getting back up to where we were 10 years ago!"
"Disneyland: We've Stopped Sucking!" is hardly the catch-phrase the company was hoping for. But it appears to be where they are at today. It's a start, I guess.
From Robert NilesLet's put this in perspective, too.
Posted via 22.214.171.124 on May 5, 2004 at 5:25 PM (MST)
Disney's rarely, if ever, launched major attractions in conjunction with park birthdays. In fact, it's often tried to space them between anniversaries, as not to blow all its promotional opportunities in one year.
Birthdays, and that's what anniversaries have been called in the past, have traditionally been about parties... and gifts. Who remembers the prize machine at Disneyland's 35th Birthday? Or the giveaways for Disney World's 15th?
The expectation for new E-tickets started when Al Lutz reported that some Disney Imagineers wanted to celebrate the 50th by upgrading Disneyland's E-tickets to best version available in from among the other Disney theme parks. Cost doomed that plan, but from it came fans' desire to see new E-tickets for the 50th. (And, I'm guessing, came the company's idea to "cross-pollinate" by importing relatively inexpensive shows and attractions from park to park.)
Frankly, I don't care if the company debuts an E-ticket for the 50th. I'm more concerned that the company's stalled in bringing major new attraction concepts and technologies into its parks, anniversary or not, favoring instead the "Attack of the Clones."
Give me a kick-rear giveaway for the 50th instead: Disney cruises, tickets to ESPN sporting events, cars, Disney gear and theme park trips. How about every day someone from each resort gets a week's vacation to the Disney resort of his choice anywhere in the world? How many people would *that* promotion draw in?
By the way, not mentioned during the ceremony, but buried in the press packet handed out later, lies confirmation that Tokyo DisneySea will debut its clone of Tower of Terror on the American Waterfront in 2006. Coupled with the Lost River Delta attraction, and TDS is getting *two* thrill rides for DL's birthday. Gotta love Oriental Land's deep pockets.
Anyone wanna take a guess which Disney resort *I'd* pick if I won my dream giveaway? ;-)
From Kevin BaxterI can't believe they delayed the announcement just to give us the same damn crap we always thought we were getting.
Posted via 126.96.36.199 on May 6, 2004 at 12:41 AM (MST)
That said, I have to agree that an E-Ticket doesn't necessarily need to debut during an Anniversary year. Just look at how well the Millenium Celebration did at Epcot, and what did they get? A temporary pavilion, a new parade and a new nighttime show. And people got all excited.
Problem is, Disneyland has spent so many years trying to get people excited over new parades and nighttime shows that people sure aren't going to get excited over new ones.
I was actually excited about new stuff like the projections on the castle and the holographic image of Walt. Not major, but different than ANOTHER parade and ANOTHER fireworks show. What I would have done is open an E-Ticket this year and use the celebration to extend its hype. ToT will benefit from this, but what Disney ride will? Dumb.
From patrick sayreThough I can appreciate Niles perspective on this Disney B-day, that doesn't mean I have to like it.
Posted via 188.8.131.52 on May 6, 2004 at 9:33 AM (MST)
Let's look at this from a larger perspective, not just nuts and bolts Eisner business 101.
This is Disneyland, THE theme Park that started an empire, and was the pattern for every themepark afterwards. And, Disney is a company that didn't just create a few memorable cartoon characters but rather introduced a world wide audience to a slice of American culture by almost single handedly inventing a world product, long before the concept even existed in marketing circles.
One would certainly think Eisner and Co. would do Walt proud , and make a bold move on the 50th year of such an Iconic institution.
You would think they'd take it upon themselves to take the oppritunity presented and show the Theme Park Business that Disney is once again a innovator in the art of crafting attractions, not just cloning parks.
Look at the Lagoon sitting there for how many years now? Think of what could have been done there with the technology available. A Singular attraction, not seen anywhere else. Or the Vast unused land in and around the park? Its certainly not making money sitting unused.
Instead of making each park unique worth travelling the world to experiance, we now get boring homogeny, and a feeling of Been there, Done that, wrote the book. I wonder if there will be a second 50 years?
From Cherry NegraSigh...it's the McDoanldsization of Disney. I too am completely underwhelmed by this so called "celebration." Especially since everything they announced has been discussed ad nauseum on virtually every website dealing with Disney. Well, they may have outlawed cloning for humans but it's carte blanche for Disney attractions.
Posted via 184.108.40.206 on May 7, 2004 at 10:08 AM (MST)
From Ben MillsPARIS FREAKIN' SUCKS!!!
Posted via 220.127.116.11 on May 7, 2004 at 10:25 AM (MST)
From Zach HoffmanWell, I still like the idea that they are making each park better somehow, even if it isn't much better. I'd also have to agree with going to the Tokyo Disneyland Resort, though. That sounds like it is going to be great in just a few years.
Posted via 18.104.22.168 on May 7, 2004 at 1:49 PM (MST)
From andrew shauerCan't Disney be smart for once and give us a Mary Poppins ride? They already got Julie Andrews campaining for them and I don't think it would have been too hard to some how tie in a Poppins ride.
Posted via 22.214.171.124 on May 7, 2004 at 8:15 PM (MST)
From Robert NilesWouldn't it have been nice if she'd cut that as part of the deal? Please, Ms. Andrews, hear our wishes!
Posted via 126.96.36.199 on May 7, 2004 at 8:21 PM (MST)
By the way, funny how Eisner didn't mention her role in Shrek 2 when he introduced her, either?
From Dave MasonLet's not forget the significance of Walt Disney's final anniversary celebration at Disneyland.
Posted via 188.8.131.52 on May 7, 2004 at 11:36 PM (MST)
The 1965 10th Anniversary "Tencennial" was among the most exciting years in Disneyland history.
The 10th Anniversary year gave us "Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln", as well as exciting announcements of upcoming projects to include It's a Small World, Primeval World, and New Orleans Square (including Pirates of the Caribbean and the Haunted Mansion).
It was a time of great anticipation of "coming attractions"... rather than the routine press announcements we witnessed this week.
Where's the beef?
Even Michael Eisner's introduction of Julie Andrews was dismal. How do you botch up the presentation of a Disney icon who is "practically perfect in every way?" Just give Eisner a shot at it.
From Derek Potterwow....gee.....This really makes me want to go and spend money there. A celebration huh, sounds more like a weak substition for their unwillingness to be creative and develop something new for a change. They actually have the gall to hype it up too. What a crock of...well you know what I mean.
Posted via 184.108.40.206 on May 12, 2004 at 10:00 PM (MST)
From Robert NilesAccording to the Summer 2004 issue of Disney Magazine, the new Tokyo DisneySea coaster will be called Raging Spirits.
Posted via 220.127.116.11 on May 20, 2004 at 8:21 PM (MST)
The ride will take its visual look (though not its story) from Disney's Emperor's New Groove, an Imagineering VP told the magazine. In addition, the ride's theme will turn on a group of explorers who screwed up reconstructing a sacred altar by putting a god's head on backward, resulting in (everyone together now) things going terribly wrong!
From alex morehouseI don't like the idea of how Disney keeps cloning their attractions. I came up with an attraction plan that could help Disney parks on bothn sides of the U.S.
Posted via 18.104.22.168 on May 22, 2004 at 10:22 AM (MST)
I. DISNEY-MGM STUDIOS
III.ANIMAL KINGDOM, DISNEY'S CALIFORNIA ADVENTURE
From Robert NilesI would love to see someone pay Jack Black to come in and do up a concept for a theme park attraction. He strikes me as the type of guy who would very much be into this. Plus, he's funny, insightful (see School of Rock) and parks need fresh perspectives.
Posted via 22.214.171.124 on May 22, 2004 at 3:39 PM (MST)
That said, I kinda doubt Disney would be the company to do this deal.
From Kevin BaxterI think the Imagineers do come up with a lot of great ideas, but they can never get the money for any of them.
Posted via 126.96.36.199 on May 30, 2004 at 3:03 PM (MST)
That said, even Tokyo DisneySea, which got all the money in the world, didn't open with very many excitingly original attractions. So maybe a new perspective from an outsider is a possibility. Just look how much Steven Spielberg has helped Universal.
From Andrew RectorDisney has debuted new rides in anniversary years before. For the 40th anniversary of Disneyland they opened Indiana Jones Adventure which was the last great ride Disneyland has added, and that was 9 years ago.
Posted via 188.8.131.52 on June 28, 2004 at 4:51 PM (MST)
From Juan PitonesI recently visited Orlando and now that I see the news about Disneyland's 50th birthday is very heartbreaking to know that all the other parks are getting better rides than the ORIGINAL Disney park. I am actually more enthusiastic about Space Mountain's re-opening than the Buzz Lightyear ride or the new parade and fireworks.
Posted via 184.108.40.206 on June 30, 2004 at 10:23 PM (MST)
I think that the ocassion was perfect for a blockbuster action, after all, this is the park that started it all, and after the 50th, it might become a national landmark.
It would have been great if PhilharMagic was premiered at Disneyland instead of MK, and if getting a clone, that should have been Test Track or Mission Space on a special edition suited for Disneyland's Tomorrowland.
I still hope that some announcements could come during next year about new and exciting stuff, because Disneyland deserves better than what they have planned today. After being at Disney World, I felt that most of the rides at MK were below the quality of their original counterparts in Anaheim (exception: BTMRR which was bigger and meaner!), so I kept wondering about all the guests who would return to their countries without experiencing the true Disney magic (the one that resides in the West Coast).
From Brian McCaugheyDoes anyone know if the "refurbishing" of Space Mountain will be like the "refurbishing" of Tomorrowland in general. In other words, is it going the be the same ride -but with new music, and painted gold? Will it go from being a "futuristic thrill ride" to being "a heart-stopping adventure that harkens back to the aesthetics of Jules Verne?"
Posted via 220.127.116.11 on July 15, 2004 at 11:27 PM (MST)
From Laura JeffreyI think people that visit Disneyland spend too much time concentrating on rides and not enough time concentrating on the history that the park represents. I don't know that I agree with the way Michael Eisner is running the company, but I couldn't do it in a million years. It's a huge responsibility to be in charge of maintaining a legacy and perpetuating a dream and philosophy. I have heard so many people call California Adventure a flop because it doesn't have many big rides. I think Walt Disney would have been ecstatic about the park because it is different and adds a new dimension for a new group of people. As long as the Disney Corporation keeps building and changing, and looking both forward and back, then Walt's vision will be preserved and that is what is most important. Sure, it would be nice to see wasted space used...and it will be at some point, but I for one am excited to see the new attractions during the 50 year celebration, and couldn't care less about another ride.
Posted via 18.104.22.168 on October 26, 2004 at 1:28 PM (MST)
From Johnny JusticeWell, I have to say, this is all very dissapointing. I was really looking forward to the 50th. I am a season pass holder and I let my pass lapse for awhile because it just seemd to me that Disney started losing site of it's audience and the parks have really lost their magic for me. Too much unused space and missed opportunities. Here's a few ideas that seem obvious to me.
Posted via 22.214.171.124 on October 31, 2004 at 12:31 PM (MST)
Space Mountain: Completely revise Space Mountain with the same ride system used in the Rock n Rollercoaster at MGM. I hope they don't clone the Aerosmith ride but the rollercoaster is one of the best I've been on.
PeopleMover or RocketRods: Return them in time for the Tron rerelease as Lightcycles. You wouldn't even have to redesign the vehicles. Add some sweet Tron visuals and projections in the tunnels and that ride would rock. I don't get it, they had problems with the cars so they just scrapped the whole thing?
Star Tours: Please replace this boring attraction! Atleast update the ride so that the movie varies each time you go on it. Star Tours my ass. How about adding trips to the planets on the posters in the lobby? How about choosing which planet you want to go to by queing up in the appropriate line?
Submarine Voyage: Leave Nemo in Fantasyland! This ride could be updated with more action. A little more theatrics and thrill. Get rid of the dumb fish held in place by wires and the boring story line. Add a nice soundtrack with a better soundsystem in the subs.
Tarzan's Treehouse. Restore the treehouse to Swiss Family Treehouse. Remake the movie with an updated cast. Tarzan sucks and this attraction is an original that should have been preserved. Talk about remembering the history of the park.
Indiana Jones is sweet. It's a keeper.
The Jungle Cruise is also cool.
Tiki Room could use some freshening and the animatronics could be better.
New Orleans Square
Pirates of the Carribean: Please don't mix the movie and the ride, that's all I ask.
Haunted Mansion: Boy did they blow it with that crappy Eddie Murphy movie. Mixing the mansion with Nightmare is a cool idea for the holidays. I would like to see a permanent Nightmare before X-Mas attraction but I think it belongs over in Fantasyland.
Bring back the Bears! Did we have to lose the Country Bears to get Pooh? I like the ride but bring back the Bears! I even enjoyed the lobby with all of the games and the Bear Chair.
Same with the Mile Long Bar and mini-arcade. If it doesn't fit here, move it to Frontierland.
The Castle. The Castle needs the dragon. Paris Disneyland has the dragon! Bring it to California! Improve the walk through with a more exciting story with Animatronics climaxing with the dragon that is soo scary, you're afraid to walk by it to get out of the attraction.
Captain Hooks Galley and Skull Rock! I would like to see this area return. It could be a combination play area and dining area. Explore the ship and adjoining Lost Kids play area.
These are just a few ideas. I could go on a rant but I am out of time.
Any thoughts on these ideas?
From Scott SealWhat's with all this negetivity towards the 50th? They aren't making any new rides? So what? If you're going to a Disney theme park looking for new and EXCITING attractions, you've got your gaze set towards the wrong destination.
Posted via 126.96.36.199 on December 7, 2004 at 7:12 AM (MST)
There are countless cookie cutter AMUSEMENT PARKS around the world where anybody can get onto a roller-coaster and drop their stomach, and there are even some good theme parks (like Busch Gardens Williamsburg) that offer plenty of rides and thrills. Disneyland, Disney World, etc...those places aren't about thrills, they're about magic and Disney.
It's a hard medium to operate in, too, guys. I mean, Disney is an integral part of most Americans' childhoods', and the attractions at the parks have to tap into that nostalgia by representing a past that sits seperately and squarely and shinningly apart from the rest of the world and culture...at the same time, like any other theme park, they are pressed to invent new concepts, when, sadly, their feature animation department (the source of almost all Disney lore and luster) is floundering.
Also, as far as the company replicating the rides in all of their theme parks, as opposed to taking a more individualized route: doesn't that make sense? You have to realize that while some of us may be interested in the diea of traveling the world over to experience all that Disney has to offer...most of the world's population is not. The people of Japan want to go to Cinderella Castle, sail with the Pirates of the Carribean, and blast-off from Space Mountain, and the vast majority of them would by no means spend the THOUSANDS upon thousands of dollars to make the trip to Florida and do it. The Disneyland parks around the world are designed to bring Disney to people's doorsteps, not to plot a course from fanatical Disney travelers on a road of discovery.
I'm not clearing Eisner's name (I'm a SaveDisney advocate and all of that), but as for the themeparks? They could be better, but I do try and consider that it's extremely hard to introduce new ideas to places that most people visit SPECIFICALLY for the purpose of experiencing the fabled old favorites.
From Robert Niles"If you're going to a Disney theme park looking for new and EXCITING attractions, you've got your gaze set towards the wrong destination."
Posted via 188.8.131.52 on December 8, 2004 at 12:14 PM (MST)
*That* is why Disney's theme parks have fallen so far in the past decade. Now, even fans concede that Disney cannot deliver fresh experiences and excitement. Believe me, Walt and the crew he trained wanted people to feel excitement when they walked into Disneyland.
An anniversary need not result in a slew of new attractions. Indeed, one could argue that the company ought to spread out its promotional "juice" by introducing new attractions in years *without* anniversary celebrations. But given that Disneyland has ignored its customers and failed to open any major new attractions in the park for almost *10 years*, it is time for something fresh. And exciting. Anniversary or no.
From Scott SealI see what you're saying, but I disagree that Disneyland's lack of new attractions has caused it's decline in attendance rates. Certainly, I'll agree that a want for something new to experience at the park probably keeps local visitors at bay, from a "what are we going to do this Saturday, fellow local California resident? How bout Disneyland?" standpoint, but again, I really think it's a small part of the overall picture. An important part, yes, but a small part.
Posted via 184.108.40.206 on December 9, 2004 at 5:50 AM (MST)
Disney is a tourist destination. They're not so much looking for repeat visitors I think as they are "magical vcation" guests who are on a once in a lifetime excursion. In that respect, I think Disney's sagging themepark business is directly tied to their sagging animations department.
Same attractions, same parks...and if Disney puts out another Aladdin or Lion King (figureatively...not those crappy "additional adventures of _______" sequels), I think park attendance skyrockets.
I agree that new attractions are important, for returning guests and repeat business...but I think it's just an after effect to the real problem.
No one is interested in Disney right now, and it's because of their crappy features department.
From Mike JamesI have been present for ALL the recent Disneyland anniversaries, but was dissapointed to see that there were no announced "give-aways" during the year like; the Disneyland Lapel Pins, or the collector cards, or the gift machine. These guys are making a ton of money... it's time to give a bit back to the public in appreciation??
Posted via 220.127.116.11 on January 3, 2005 at 9:14 PM (MST)
From Stephenni BentleyMy daughthter Alyssa is six and I also have a new 10 month old daughter(Bella) too. Since my first daughter was born we made it a tradition to take her to Disneyland every year for her birthday, her Bday falls in May. As an adult growing up on Disneyland and now seeing it through my daughters eyes, I have no complaints. The look in my Childs eyes are all the thrills I need. This May The 50th will not only mark Alyssa growing 1 year older, but also the first year Bella will really enjoy the park. For me I still get teary eyed as I pass through the gates and enter into a world that is TRULY magic for my girls. They have no cares as to roller coasters and New Attractions. They only care that Here Elephants fly, Pixies sprinkle dust on them, and Tea Parties DO exist. Here they can walk the streets in a princess costume felling beautiful and no one will laugh. After all, its not known as The Happiest Place on Earth for nothing right? Im an adult so I know about wanting the next Bigger & Better thing, But I also know AS an adult that Bigger does not always MEAN better. I look forward to the 50th because it marks another year of tradition for my family. It also means another year closer to the TEEN years when my girls will think MAGIC isnt COOL anymore, and that Disneyland needs NEW COOL rides. So for now ill be most happy to just enjoy the park as it has always been for me and my girls "MAGIC"! Please be kind and put on your Kid Glasses and remember when all you wanted was to follow your heart Second star to the right and straight on til morning. I wish I could include their Photos from last year, the joy on their faces is all you would need to remember how AWESOME Disneyland truly still is.
Posted via 18.104.22.168 on January 13, 2005 at 12:51 AM (MST)
From diane garciai'm not too big on the politics of disney. besides, you know their plan to take over the universe and stomp over anyone who stands in their way. i kid, sort of. but i'm excited about the disney's anniversary. my grandmother took me to their 35th when i was 5 and i got pulled into that embarassing conga line parade. i do hate change though. i'm still boycotting disney california because it so drastically changed disneyland. and the new downtown disney too.
Posted via 22.214.171.124 on February 17, 2005 at 3:19 AM (MST)
From Jorge CabreraJust making a comment, I heard that Space Mountain will not be opening on May 05 and will relaunch fall 2005. If the park dosen't relaunch it for the anniversary, it won't have that much of a "celebration" only 2 new shows, and 1 new ride for kids(astroblasters) where is the "exciting part" of the 50th anniversary? We really hope they think about it and open Space Mountain on May 05 2005 after its long-time rehab.
Posted via 126.96.36.199 on February 26, 2005 at 8:32 PM (MST)
From Adriel TjokrosaputroI know what is it!The biggest is RAGING SPIRITS that will opened in Tokyo DisneySea.It costs about $80 million.It was the most expensive construction in Disney history after Expedition Everest and Mission Space.
Posted via 188.8.131.52 on May 23, 2005 at 11:44 PM (MST)
From Valerie OrrisWe're going on vaca in cali for the 50th. Dang hope it isn't too crowded ne ideas....
Posted via 184.108.40.206 on June 24, 2005 at 7:36 PM (MST)
From Patrick PejackJohnny Justice, great ideas. You are absolutely right on with everything you said. If Disneyland even did one or two of the things you suggested, I would go. As is, I get pretty bored going there now.
Posted via 220.127.116.11 on July 19, 2005 at 10:37 PM (MST)
ps. I love DisneySea in Tokyo. About 80% new stuff, all of it awesome! (even in Japanese)
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