This week, Disneyland has postponed their opening, but work goes on, Splash Mountain changes are coming, new guidelines are agreed upon by Cast Member unions, Ambassador term extension, we talk about the Walt Disney Archives, and more!
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As is usual with posting out podcast episodes, Disney released big news right after our episode went live. Due to the State of California waiting until after July 4th to make any new announcements in regards to reopening requirements, Disney postponed the reopening of Disneyland and Disney California Adventure, as well as the Resort Hotels. The company stated that they would just not have enough lead time to prepare the parks for opening. There has not been a date announced at this time, but is probably a bit off due to the rise in COVID-19 cases throughout the state. – https://disneyparks.disney.go.com/blog/2020/06/disneyland-resort-reopening-update/ and https://www.micechat.com/262288-breaking-news-disneyland-confirms-potential-park-reopening-delay/
Even though re-opening has been delayed, work is still happening inside the parks. The Frontierland bridge project is nearing completion, the path leading to the Matterhorn from the hub has also resumed work. Snow White, the Haunted Mansion, and King Arthur’s Carousel have also resumed work. Some painting has started in Toon Town on Mickey’s House, and the two big projects – Avengers Campus and Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway have also resumed work. – https://www.micechat.com/262304-disneyland-update-splash-down-closures-new-aerial-photos/ and https://www.ocregister.com/2020/06/27/disneyland-resumes-200000-renovation-of-frontierland-gate/
Over in Disney California Adventure, work is continuing at Avengers Campus. From aerial photos, it looks like there is quite a crew working on getting the new land completed. Also, the Food and Wine booths have been removed from around the park, dashing the hopes of guests that hoped that the festival would return when the park reopened. – https://www.micechat.com/262304-disneyland-update-splash-down-closures-new-aerial-photos/
As we spoke about last week, there was a push to re-theme Splash Mountain to Princess and the Frog. This week, Disney Imagineering announced that they had been working on this exact proposal since before last summer. They released some concept art for the outside of the attraction. The re-theme will keep the general bones of the current attraction and add theming elements on top of it. They did not release any concept art for the interior. The new story will follow Princess Tiana and Louie on the way to their first Mardi Gras performance. – https://disneyparks.disney.go.com/blog/2020/06/new-adventures-with-princess-tiana-coming-to-disneyland-park-and-magic-kingdom-park/ and https://www.micechat.com/262305-breaking-news-splash-mountain-to-become-princess-and-the-frog-themed/
Cast Member unions and Disney have reached an agreement on the guidelines for their return to work at the parks. Cast Members will receive two weeks of paid sick leave if they contract COVID-19, thermometers will be provided to the cast members, and they will perform a COVID-19 test prior to heading to work under the new agreement. Cast Members that work within 6 feet of guests will be provided with a plastic face shield. Cast Members will also have the option to remain on furlough with benefits for the first recall. If they are recalled a second time, they will have to go on an approved leave of absence. Unions make up 28,000 of the 31,000 cast members at the resort. – https://www.disneyfoodblog.com/2020/06/26/news-disneyland-and-union-cast-members-have-reached-an-agreement-concerning-their-return-to-work/ and https://www.ocregister.com/2020/06/25/disneyland-reaches-agreement-with-cast-member-unions-on-park-reopening-process/
In the before-times, Disneyland Ambassadors held their position for two years. Now, with the parks being closed and having to do a lot of their job on social media from home (and sometimes from the parks), their tenure has been extended by a year until January 1, 2022. I have to admit that I rather like them (they listen to the podcast) and am glad that Justin and Rafa are going to be sticking around. – https://www.micechat.com/262304-disneyland-update-splash-down-closures-new-aerial-photos/
This past Monday, Disney flew helicopters at elevations as low as 500 feet over the resort to get “footage for the future.” Disney did something similar to this a couple of weeks ago at Walt Disney World which included 3D modeling of the parks. This data can be used to create a digitally accurate model of the parks for use by Imagineers and other departments to plan future attractions and offerings. – https://www.ocregister.com/2020/06/29/disneyland-helicopter-captures-aerial-footage-of-eerie-ghost-town-during-coronavirus-closure/
In a fun article from MiceChat, they asked the question that I usually use as a reason that Disneyland is superior to Walt Disney World: Which resort has more attractions? The last time that they compiled this list was 2014 before Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, Avatar land, Galaxy’s Edge, Toy Story Land, and the removal of A bug’s land – making the count 57 to 50. How does Disneyland fair 6 years later? 59 to 58, in favor of Disneyland! World wide, the resorts measure up like this: Tokyo Disneyland has 45 between their two parks, Disneyland Paris has 35 between their two parks, Hong Kong Disneyland has 20 at it’s one park, and Shanghai Disneyland comes in last at 16 attractions. If 16 attractions seems low, note that DCA has 18 attractions currently. – https://www.micechat.com/262347-which-disney-resort-has-the-most-attractions-2020-edition/
The Walt Disney Archives – MousePlanet Interview – https://www.mouseplanet.com/12688/Dave_Smith_and_The_Birth_of_the_Disney_Archives
The Walt Disney Company – https://thewaltdisneycompany.com/preserving-the-legacy-the-walt-disney-archives/