DLW 152: Author Mike (Wally) Davis

October 7, 2020

This week, things are moving erradically for the parks reopening, a new shop opens inside of one of the parks, faster security could be coming, cast member layoffs, a celebration of 20 years of pin trading, we talk with Mike Wally Davis about his new book, and more!

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What a week it has been. Since we last recorded, there were rumors of guidelines being released to allow the parks, and other amusement parks throughout the state to open, then they were postponed, then Bob Iger left the task force that was working on the guidelines, then more and more Anaheim area organizations are pressuring the state and Governor Gavin Newson to allow the parks to open. The guidelines that were rumored to be suggested were that “individual theme parks can reopen only once their county reaches the least-restrictive “minimal” risk level, they must operate at 25% of attendance capacity, and limit visitors to residents living within a 120-mile radius of each theme park.” The biggest issue with this was that to get to the minimal risk level would basically mean waiting until the pandemic was over. – https://www.disneyfoodblog.com/2020/10/02/news-early-details-of-californias-theme-park-reopening-guidelines-revealed/ and https://www.laughingplace.com/w/news/2020/10/01/california-attractions-and-parks-association-asks-state-not-to-finalize-reopening-guidelines-until-modifications-are-made/ and https://www.laughingplace.com/w/news/2020/10/01/bob-iger-leaves-gavin-newsom-economic-recovery-advisory-group/ and https://www.laughingplace.com/w/news/2020/10/02/california-officials-to-work-with-theme-park-operators-before-issuing-reopening-guidelines/

Guests can now step inside the gates of Disney California Adventure to shop, but it isn’t what it sounds like. Stage 17, which has been home to Who Wants to be a Millionaire: Play It! and recently a Frozen themed area for the holidays, will be open and used as a retail space to help with guest demand for Halloween merchandise. Even though this building is inside DCA, guests will enter through a backstage entrance to the left of the entrance to DCA and head right into the space. The building will house 10,000 square feet of retail space. – https://disneyparks.disney.go.com/blog/2020/10/fall-is-filled-with-halloween-merchandise-collections-featuring-new-disneyland-resort-backlot-premiere-shop-coming-soon-to-stage-17-in-downtown-disney-district/ and https://www.disneyfoodblog.com/2020/10/05/news-disneyland-resort-will-open-a-backlot-premiere-shop-in-downtown-disney/

With the amount of guests that have been arriving at Downtown Disney for an escape from reality and their piece of Disney Magic, the security checkpoints have been slow going. Waits of 90 minutes or more just to pass throught the security checkpoints have been reported on the weekends. The resort is testing new contactless metal detectors at the screening areas that hope to speed things up a bit. The system allows guests to walk through the new detectors without the need to remove items from their pockets, open their backpacks, or place anything in a bin. The new scanners can process 10 times more guests, up to 3,600 per hour. The system also uses artificial intelligence to detect weapons on guests as they pass through. – https://www.ocregister.com/2020/10/03/disneyland-tests-new-contactless-metal-detectors-to-speed-visitors-through-security-checkpoints/

Josh D’Amaro, Chairman of Disney Parks, visited Downtown Disney this week to apologize to cast members for the layoffs that the company just announced last week. He listened to cast members and let them vent, cry, and just express their feelings. His visit comes after the announcement that 28,000 cast members between Disneyland, Walt Disney World, and Disney Imagineering would be laid off. – https://wdwnt.com/2020/10/josh-damaro-visits-cast-members-to-apologize-at-downtown-disney-district/

LaughingPlace posted the breakdown this week of the number of cast members being laid off. Of the total 28,000, 5,000 would come from the Disneyland Resort, 400 from Imagineering, and the rest from Walt Disney World, Disney Cruise Line, and Disney Vacation Planning. 2,765 non-union Cast Members, salaried, and executives are reportedly being laid off in California. Nearly 1,000 Cast Members from Unite Here Local 11 are expected to be let go out of 3,000, most of them working in hotels. – https://www.laughingplace.com/w/news/2020/09/30/walt-disney-imagineering-to-be-impacted-by-layoffs-as-more-details-emerge-about-disneyland-numbers/

With the cast member layoffs, some of you might want to help lessen the blow for them and their families. MousePlanet has posted some links on their site at places where you can donate to help those families in need. – https://www.mouseplanet.com/12767/Disneyland_Resort_Update_for_October_5__11_2020#news5

Usually, we get a Fall Foodie Guide for the parks, but since this is anything but a usual year, we get a foodie guide for Downtown Disney. For a link to the full list, visit the link in our show notes. – https://disneyparks.disney.go.com/blog/2020/10/foodie-guide-to-2020-fall-treats-at-the-downtown-disney-district-at-disneyland-resort/ and https://www.disneyfoodblog.com/2020/10/04/check-out-the-fall-and-halloween-themed-treats-coming-to-downtown-disney-in-disneyland-this-season/#more-387055

Disney Pin Trading is celebrating 20 years with a virtual pin event. On November 13th and 14th, over two dozen new pins to celebrate this event will be released. Registration for the event opens on October 7th at 1PM Eastern. This event provides the opportunity to preview upcoming pin releases, a Disney artist and merchandiser virtual panel presentation, access to video content on various pin topics from familiar faces, downloadable celebratory art, ways to interact with other fans and of course, limited edition commemorative gifts! Tickets are limited, so visit the link in the show notes to reserve your stop today. – https://disneyparks.disney.go.com/blog/2020/10/celebrate-twenty-years-of-disney-pins-with-an-all-new-virtual-pin-event/

From now until October 9th, Disney is offering a free download of “Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge: A Crash of Fate” to celebrate Star Wars Reads month. The book is a Young Adult Novel that takes place on Batuu and follows the story of two friends, who get seperated for a couple of years and reunite for an adventure. To download the free e-book, head to the link in the show notes. – https://wdwnt.com/2020/10/disney-gives-away-free-star-wars-galaxys-edge-ebook-in-celebration-of-star-wars-reads-month/

The Dapper Days events for the Spring of 2021 have been announced. In 2021, Dapper Days will celebrate their 10th anniversary with events on April 10th and 11th at Disneyland, and April 24th and 25th at Walt Disney World. – https://wdwnt.com/2020/10/dapper-day-announces-spring-2021-event-dates/

Discussion Topic:

Mike (Wally) Davis and “Blue Vomit, Bare Bums, and a Bit of Magic – https://www.amazon.com/Blue-Vomit-Bare-Bums-Magic/dp/B08FXC5RRG/

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