DLW 140: David Koenig

July 15, 2020

This week, Downtown Disney reopens, what has changed, what is the process like and more, Fuel Rod updates their terms, updates on the progress at the parks, Disneyland turns 65, we talk with a special guest about cast members from 1955, and more!

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Downtown Disney re-opened this week and one of our supporters, Liberty, took over our Instagram for the day to cover the occasion. Guests lined up outside the gates of the resort on opening day and crowds were pretty heavy. Once the gates opened, some of the stores like World of Disney and the Disney Dress Shop had a virtual queue system setup for access and to keep numbers of guests inside as socially distant as possible. Initially, crowds made it difficult for distancing inside of World of Disney and eBay resellers were quick to pick up as much of the new 65th anniversary merchandise as possible. On day 2, things were much more manageable and went smoothly. – https://wdwnt.com/2020/07/photo-report-downtown-disney-district-7-9-20-grand-reopening-social-distancing-temperature-screenings-and-more/ and https://www.disneyfoodblog.com/2020/07/09/photos-first-look-at-a-reopened-downtown-disney-at-disneyland-resort/

What is different now that Downtown Disney has reopened? First, mobile wait lists that allow guests to provide their name and phone number and will receive a text message when they are able to enter. New product launches are also not coming to the resort and will instead be available online through merchandise events or shopDisney. This includes monthly releases and limited-edition merchandise. Dressing rooms are also not available. Returns and exchanges will be accepted at DIsney-owned locations, but could vary with 3rd party vendors. – https://www.micechat.com/263030-downtown-disney-whats-open-and-whats-still-closed/ and https://disneyland.disney.go.com/experience-updates/downtown-disney/

Finally, what is open at Downtown Disney? (See list at Disney link) – https://www.micechat.com/263030-downtown-disney-whats-open-and-whats-still-closed/ and https://disneyland.disney.go.com/experience-updates/downtown-disney/

As we reported on last week, parking for Downtown Disney is limited to the Simba lot, behind the Paradise Pier Hotel. The large parking garages, including Mickey and Friends and the Pixar Pals lot are not available. Parking is free for the moment, and doesn’t open until the posted time at the lot, which is currently 10am. – https://www.micechat.com/263030-downtown-disney-whats-open-and-whats-still-closed/ and https://disneyland.disney.go.com/experience-updates/downtown-disney/

The Walt Disney Family Museum has announced a day of special events to celebrate the 65th anniversary of Disneyland on July 17th. The “Virtual Community Day” will be on July 17th from noon to 5pm pacific time and will be open to the public. No registration will be required. Guests will include Camille Dixon and Bill Rogers, the voices of Disneyland and Disney California Adventure. Legend Rolly Crump’s son, former Imagineer Chris Crump will also be present. The presentation will also include some home videos of Disneyland’s opening day. – https://www.micechat.com/263579-virtual-disneyland-65th-anniversary/

The Orange County Register spoke with TouringPlans about how many people Disneyland would actually be allowing into the parks when they do reopen. Based on the numbers from Shanghai and Walt Disney World Parks and data collected by TouringPlans, the estimate is about 10% of capacity, or about 8,500 guests, or 20% of the average daily attendance at Disneyland Park alone. DCA would have 5,000 guests, or about 18% of the daily count. – https://www.ocregister.com/2020/07/14/how-many-people-will-disneyland-admit-with-reduced-capacity/

A statement was sent out to Disneyland and Disney World APs, giving passholders an update on the extensions Disney had promised back when the parks closed back in March. Walt Disney World APs will receive a 30 day extension to their passes. Disneyland Annual Passholders ware now being told that their extension would appear on their accounts 6 to 8 weeks after the parks reopen. The statement also noted that Disneyland will have park reservation rules and limited availability for its theme parks. Disneylay APs were originally told that their passes would be extended the number of days that the parks were closed but we have not her a definitive answer from Disney recently. – https://www.disneyfoodblog.com/2020/07/14/disneyland-annual-passholders-to-receive-an-automatic-extension-on-passes-after-the-parks-reopen/

In a story that has been quiet for some time now, FuelRod has made some changes to it’s policy on free swaps. For guests that purchased FuelRods before October 26, 2019 can fill out a questionnaire online that could give them access to free lifetime swaps. After verification, an account must be created and the FuelRod app will need to be installed on their mobile phone for the free swaps to work. Swaps are still listed as free for everyone in Walt Disney World and Disneyland for the time being, but is an additional fee elsewhere. – https://dlnewstoday.com/2020/07/fuelrod-announces-new-founders-program-for-free-unlimited-swaps-at-any-kiosk-to-resolve-litigation/

Twitter user @bioreconstruct, who is known for posting aerial photos of Florida area attractions, posted aerial photos of the Disneyland Resort this week showing some progress on projects around the resort. Not a lot to see with the plot backstage for Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway, but over at Avenger’s Campus, there is some work being completed. The exterior of the Spider-Man attraction is almost complete, the Ant-Man microbrewery is also continuing construction. Again, the Quinjet is visible still backstage and covered at the moment. An interesting note: the side of Mission Breakout is being repainted to a blue-gray to better fit in with the new land. No word on how extensive this will be. – https://wdwnt.com/2020/07/photos-new-aerial-view-of-construction-for-mickey-and-minnies-runaway-railway-and-avengers-campus-at-disneyland-resort/

On July 17th, Disneyland will be turning 65, and for the first time in its history, it will not be open for this occasion. That hasn’t stopped any new merchandise coming out! There is quite a variety of items including a Mickey plush, a variety of shirts in all forms, socks, hats, a skirt, spirit jerseys and more. There was also a shopping event online for the merchandise. – https://www.disneyfoodblog.com/2020/07/09/first-look-celebrate-65-years-of-magic-with-disneylands-new-anniversary-merchandise/

As of recording this episode, the online 65th anniversary merchandise still has a wait of approx 70,000 people but some of the coveted merchandise has already made its way on to Ebay and other re-selling sites. The Commemorative Coins for the anniversary were sold out 30 minutes into the event. They retailed for $150 and were limited to one per person. There were 1955 coins available for the event, after a quick search on Ebay, 77 are currently listed for sale and almost 10 coins have already been sold on Ebay. Prices for the coin range from $500 to $1200! – https://www.disneyfoodblog.com/2020/07/14/did-you-see-how-much-disneylands-65th-anniversary-merchandise-is-now-being-resold-for-on-ebay/

Did DIsney World pick a bad time to reopen? That is the question that the Orange County Register is asking. I think we have been going back and forth on this ourselves. As much as we have wanted Disneyland to open, the rise in cases just doesn’t allow it to happen. Disney World did wait longer to open than its competitors in the state, but that seems like it hurt it more in this case as the COVID-19 cases have surged before they reopened. – https://www.ocregister.com/2020/07/14/disney-world-picked-a-bad-time-to-get-back-in-the-theme-park-business/

Disney has released even more of Main Street, USA and the Magic Happens Parade in the form of Disney Paper Parks. You can download the new design that can be printed out and constructed at the link in our show notes. – https://disneyparks.disney.go.com/blog/2020/07/disney-parks-blog-presents-disney-paper-parks-designed-by-walt-disney-imagineering-part-2/

Discussion Topic:

David Koenig


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