This week we discuss 200,000 people converging on the resort, Disney revoking annual passes, the future of Imagineering, a trivia spectacular, and more!

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News this Week:

Last week we talked about the capacity for Millennium Falcon: Smuggler’s Run coming to Galaxy’s Edge this next Summer, this week the Orange County Register posted an article regarding the expected wait times for the new attraction based on the capacity. Touring Plans, who they interviewed about the topic, estimated 6 hour waits to experience the attraction. – https://www.ocregister.com/2018/12/05/how-long-will-you-have-to-wait-in-line-to-ride-disneylands-new-millennium-falcon-attraction/

If you think the wait to experience Smuggler’s Run was bad, just wait until you hear how long it might take just to get into Disneyland that first couple of days after Galaxy’s Edge premieres. Blooloop spoke with Bill Zanetti who studies theme park design, operations, and management and he estimated that up to 200,000 people could descend on the park for the opening, leading to 8 to 10 hour waits just to enter the park. Zanetti is more worried about the parking capacity around the parks as the new parking structure isn’t expected to make it in time for Galaxy’s Edge. – https://disneyparks.disney.go.com/blog/2018/12/see-the-grand-gingerbread-house-and-make-your-own-at-disneys-grand-californian-hotel-spa-at-the-disneyland-resort/

In an unexpected move, Disney has begun to revoke annual passes of guests who buy limited edition merchandise and resell it outside of the parks. Online, the feedback on this has been positive as most people want a fair chance to grab merchandise and not have to compete with re-sellers. One of our supporters in the chat brought up some interesting aspects of this and is here to discuss this. Welcome Chris to the show. So what makes this so interesting to you? Do you think this is a step in the right direction? What can Disney do to help make this process better? – https://www.ocregister.com/2018/12/07/disneyland-is-quietly-revoking-annual-passes-of-guests-who-buy-and-resell-souvenirs/ and https://www.ocregister.com/2018/12/10/disneyland-fans-pleased-that-the-park-is-cracking-down-on-resellers/

A video posted on YouTube from Disney has the entire theme park industry a buzz with what is coming down the line. The video, linked in our show notes, shows the animatronics that Imagineering are working on for the new Beauty and the Beast attraction in Tokyo Disneyland. The new attraction is trackless like what is coming to Disneyland for the Rise of the Resistance attraction in Galaxy’s Edge and features some of the best animatronics anywhere. – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bJtNxaTwgz0

On a sad note, it appears that Disneyland has been cutting some Guest Services in the parks recently. The wait times board in the hub has been closed up and hasn’t been staffed in a few days. At City Hall, the popular buttons for celebrating almost anything can be picked up from a cart in front and not from a Cast Member inside. – https://micechat.com/212115-disneyland-update-holiday-surprises/

Two popular events are returning to the resort in 2019. The Lunar New Year will take place January 25th to February 27th at Disney California Adventure, and the Food and Wine Festival will return from March 1st to April 23rd. For the Lunar New Year, the Three Little Pigs will join the parade as part of the Year of the Pig. The Food and Wine Festival will feature exciting food and wine pairings in the Festival Marketplace locations, as well as at restaurants in California Adventure. – https://disneyparks.disney.go.com/blog/2018/12/disneyland-resort-launches-2019-with-the-return-of-lunar-new-year-and-disney-california-adventure-food-wine-festival/

Last week we talked about all the events and dates for some of the things going on in 2019, but this week the Orange County Register posted exact dates for much of the first half of the year leading up to the opening of Galaxy’s Edge, expected to debut in June. This is a great resource if you are planning your trip in the next few months. – https://www.ocregister.com/2018/12/06/disneyland-announces-its-official-dates-for-events-in-2019/

The Disney Gallery is featuring memorabilia and art from Mary Poppins Returns in the Main Street Opera House. Artwork, costumes, props and more make up the collection on display. If you are excited for the new Mary Poppins movie, this is a great way to get closer to the action! – https://disneyparks.disney.go.com/blog/2018/12/disneys-mary-poppins-returns-film-memorabilia-gallery-now-open-at-disneyland-park/

What is 7 and a half feet high, 12 feet wide and in the lobby of the Grand Californian? The Grand Gingerbread House, of course! After marveling at the work the pastry chefs did to create this extravaganza, you can build your own small version! You must be a hotel guest, but you get to work with the pastry chefs that created the larger Gingerbread house to help craft your smaller version. – https://disneyparks.disney.go.com/blog/2018/12/see-the-grand-gingerbread-house-and-make-your-own-at-disneys-grand-californian-hotel-spa-at-the-disneyland-resort/

There has been a flurry of activity in the upcoming Tropical Hideaway. So much so that tiki torches, lighting, tables and seating, and more are installed and waiting the final touches to open. Disney posted a preview of the area just before recording this week showing that the new area could be open at any time. – https://micechat.com/212115-disneyland-update-holiday-surprises/ and https://disneyparks.disney.go.com/blog/2018/12/first-look-the-tropical-hideaway-at-disneyland-park/

We missed this one last week, but Napolini Pizza has re-opened in Downtown Disney following an extensive remodel. The location offers 9 inch personal pizzas starting at $6.95 each. This makes this location very budget and family friendly which is needed in Downtown Disney. – https://www.ocregister.com/2018/12/08/napolini-pizzeria-a-build-your-own-pie-place-has-reopened-in-downtown-disney/

After closing to make room for a hotel that never materialized, the Starbucks location on the western end of Downtown Disney has re-opened. You now have another location to get your morning caffeine. – https://micechat.com/212115-disneyland-update-holiday-surprises/

On December 8th, there was another Disneyland auction from Van Eaton Gallery, this time online. Some of the interesting items that were on auction included Imagineering buttons, books, flyers, tickets – including an opening day press ticket, and more. No word on how much the items went for, but I am sure they raked in some cash! – http://www.icollector.com/Disneyland-Online-A-Holiday-Auction_as56186

About a year ago we reported on an outbreak of Legionnaires disease that was speculated to have come from cooling towers backstage in New Orleans Square at Disneyland. This week the Orange County Health Care Agency reported that although they can’t be 100 percent certain, the towers are likely the cause of the outbreak. – https://apnews.com/8cca373502854283815c8a9bb4dd067f

Finally this week, Disney has posted some concept art from the new Marvel themed area coming to Disney California Adventure. They also lay out the overall plans for the different Marvel areas coming to the various resorts around the world and how they tie in together. – https://d23.com/just-announced-global-avengers-initiative-assemble-earths-mightiest-heroes-disney-parks-around-world/