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DLW 214: Our Experience with Genie+ and Lightning Lane

This week, entertainment is making a comeback at the resort, more festivals for 2022 at Disney California Adventure, Genie+ experience, what it took to get it’s a small world reopend, we report on location from the parks, and more!

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News:

Some new and returning entertainment is coming to Disneyland in 2022. An expanded “Celebrate Gospel!” will debut in February at the Fantasyland Theater, and “Tale of the Lion King” will return in the spring, also to the Fantasyland Theater. The Main Street Electrical Parade will return to Main Street in time to celebrate its 50th anniversary in June. Fantasmic! and World of Color are also announced to return, with no firm time frame yet. Finally, Disneyland Forever fireworks will also be lighting up the sky once again in 2022. – https://disneyparks.disney.go.com/blog/2021/12/more-fan-favorite-entertainment-returns-to-disneyland-resort-in-2022-including-celebrate-gospel-and-tale-of-the-lion-king/

Nothing quite beats a food festival at Disneyland! Lunar New Year and Disney California Adventure Food and Wine Festivals are returning in 2022. The Lunar New Year celebration in 2022 is based on the Year of the Tiger, so Tigger will be joining the festivities. Raya, from Raya and the Last Dragon will make her debut at Disneyland for the celebration as well. The Lunar New Year runs January 21st through February 13th. Starting March 4th and running through April 26th, the Food and Wine Festival will return. Sip and Savor passes will be offered for both celebrations. – https://disneyparks.disney.go.com/blog/2021/12/fan-favorite-limited-time-festivals-return-to-the-disneyland-resort-in-2022-lunar-new-year-and-disney-california-adventure-food-wine-festival/

As we have been covering for a few weeks now, Jessica Rabbit is taking over Roger Rabbit’s Car Toon Spin. Last week, Jessica Rabbit, dressed in her best detective outfit, made her appearance in the attraction. A new figure was placed next to the car trunk that she used to be inside of, then where she held the sledgehammer, she has been changed over to the new look, and finally, her silhouette has been updated in the queue to reflect the new look. – https://www.disneyfoodblog.com/2021/12/11/photos-new-detective-jessica-rabbit-animatronic-debuts-at-disneyland/ and https://www.micechat.com/309922-roger-rabbit-cover-up-at-disneyland-jessicas-new-starring-role/

The Disability Access Service, better known as “DAS” has been improved! Starting with visits on December 20th, guests who utilize the service can pre-register for the service virtually with a Cast Member. To do this, guests use a live video chat feature as early as 30 days prior to their visit, but no less than 2 days before arrival. Guests can then book up to two one-hour return windows for select experiences, per day in advance. In the future, Disney says that guests enrolled in the system will be able to same-day self-select an attraction, without having to visit with guest relations. – https://www.disneyfoodblog.com/2021/12/07/guests-can-now-virtually-pre-register-for-disneylands-disability-access-service/

It was great to be able to ride it’s a small world on it’s first day of operation for the holiday season, but it took a lot of work to get it open! The Disney Parks Blog documented the process. The underground maintenance room of the attraction, known as “the pit” flooded on November 10th, while refilling was underway. Almost all of the ride control machinery is in the pit, and was submerged in at least 7 feet of water. Twenty different teams sprung into action to get the attraction working again. They set a timeline of 4 weeks to get it operational again. More than 200,000 gallons of water needed to be pumped out of the pit before teams could even begin to determine the damage. Teams worked to determine what could be cleaned and salvaged, and what needed to be replaced. Many of the spare parts which they could use were stored in the same pit. The team reached out to small world attractions around the world to get the needed parts. They met the goal of under 4 weeks and reopened the attraction on December 6th. The timeline was expected to be several months under normal conditions. – https://disneyparks.disney.go.com/blog/2021/12/how-disneyland-resort-cast-rallied-to-open-its-a-small-world-holiday/

We saw first hand how the launch of the Genie system in Disneyland went last week. The first hour or so worked well as we were able to buy our Genie+ service, and make a couple of Lightning Lane reservations for Guardians and Midway Mania. We were even able to mobile order some food and have a lot of PhotoPass photos taken. About an hour into the day, the entire system went mostly unresponsive. The free Genie service to plan the day only displayed an error, and reservations for Lightning Lane attractions could not be made. Even the Lightning Lane+ pay-per-attraction options were not available. However, around 5pm, the system seemed to come back online and continued to work for us perfectly until the end of the night. Even the couple hours the next morning, the free portion of the service seemed to be working well. – https://www.micechat.com/309918-disneyland-update-genie-fail-entertainment-holiday/

If, like us, you were in the parks on December 10th for the launch of Genie+, and you used the service, you may have received an email from Disneyland. The email states that they are “working to provide recovery” for the launch. Not exactly sure what that means at this time, but it is possible that Disney will either refund guests, or provide some other perk for the inconvenience. – https://www.disneyfoodblog.com/2021/12/13/select-disneyland-genie-users-to-be-provided-recovery/

A new Star Wars photo opportunity has come to Downtown Disney. Next to the Star Wars Trading Post, there are two new displays for The Book of Boba Fett, the new Disney+ show coming later this month. The first is a throne that Boba can be seen sitting on in the trailer for the new show. The second is a sand crawler, which fans will know from the original movies and the Mandalorian. – https://www.micechat.com/309918-disneyland-update-genie-fail-entertainment-holiday/

A strange construction project that drew a lot of attention has finally been completed. The right side of the walkway to ToonTown has finally come out from behind construction walls and has been revealed to be an ADA access ramp. Theories had been talked about like a new Lightning Lane queue, or other odd options, but this is just an ADA ramp for people needing the less bumpy path and slighly less grade going to ToonTown. – https://www.micechat.com/309918-disneyland-update-genie-fail-entertainment-holiday/

It is going to be easier to spot former Disneyland, and other Disney Parks Ambassadors in the future. New gold Disney Ambassador Alumni name tags have been created that take their inspiration from Walt Disney’s Disneyland employee #1 badge. The new name tags were presented to the current alumni at a recent alumni gathering. So, next time you are in the parks, be on the lookout for a gold name tag to see if you are in the presence of a former Disneyland Ambassador. – https://disneyparks.disney.go.com/blog/2021/12/new-alumni-name-tag-for-disney-ambassadors/

It has been a little while since guest’s paper parks have been able to grow – until now. A new Disney Paper Parks: Holiday Edition has been posted on the Disney Parks Blog. The Paper Parks are designed by Imagineers for all to enjoy. The holiday version is 12 ornaments, for the 12 days of Christmas, featuring different parks around the world. Starting in Disneyland and moving through all the parks around the world, this is a set not to be missed! To download the Paper Parks, visit the link in our show notes. – https://disneyparks.disney.go.com/blog/2021/12/disney-parks-blog-presents-disney-paper-parks-holiday-edition-designed-by-walt-disney-imagineering-part-4/

We have spoken before about the great relationship that Disney has with the Make a Wish Foundation. Last week, Disneyland hosted a Galaxy of Wishes fundraising event in Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge. The money raised from this event will help the Make a Wish Foundation be able to grant more wishes for children with critical illnesses. Disneyland was part of the first wish back in 1980. – https://disneyparks.disney.go.com/blog/2021/12/galaxy-of-wishes-disneyland-resort-and-make-a-wish-join-forces-to-create-more-magic/

We wanted to have the final update on the Cast Member union negotiations and voting that took place a couple of weeks ago. The Cast Members voted to accept the current contract, which will offer $1 per hour retroactive to June 16, 2021, $1 per hour starting June 16, 2022, but being pulled forward to November 17th, 2021, and a final $1 per hour on June 16, 2023. Cast members who were hired on or before June 16, 2001 will get $2000 for fulltime and $1000 for part time, one time payments. Cast members hired between June 17th, 2001 and June 16, 2011 will receive $1000 for full time and $500 for part time, one time payments. For the full list, visit the link in our show notes. – https://www.micechat.com/306249-disneyland-contract-troubles-leave-cast-concerned/

Trivia:

Question Submitter Answer Tage Teresa Other
When did the very first “A Christmas Fantasy Parade” start at Disneyland? Producer James November, 1995

In what year did famous Disnyland candy canes make their debut? Tricia H. 1968

The residents of Cars Land celebrate the season by creating their own unique trees. How do Mater, Sally, LIzzie and Luigi decorate their trees? Tricia H. “Mater – Old Tires Sally – Traffic Cones Lizzie – Route 66 Luigi – Hubcaps”

½

Cast Member Costume! Starting from the bottom up, the cast members wear blue pants. Most I’ve seen are baby blue, though I did see navy-ish once or twice. They have a white shirt tucked in. Reminds me of a button up, though there’s no buttons and it’s a rather deep V. That reveals a blue and white striped shirt underneath, really makes me think of Mr. Smee. And to top it off, they’re often wearing what I can best describe as a sun hat. Not big and floppy by any means. But it does have a ribbon that matches their pants. Producer James It’s a Small World

Discussion Topic:

Tage and Teresa in Disneyland

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