7/18/19 Disney News on Parade

7/18/19 Disney News on Parade

Welcome to this week’s Disney News on Parade on Facebook Live. We cover both Disney at Play and Disney at Work topics. You can find the video here.

Here are the headlines for this week:

Walt Disney World

An empty lot in June at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Photo by J. Jeff Kober.

Summer Attendance Soft

Why is it so? Three reasons:

  • Prices are up
  • Despite exceptions, Summer is not the time to travel
  • Not enough new attractions–People waiting for Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge & More

Solution? More attractions, more discounts, better weather. Free meal plan announced for Fall.

Coronado Springs Gran Destino Tower Opens

The new Gran Destino Tower. Photo by J. Jeff Kober.

Look for our upcoming comparative review in the next day or so on this “not so moderate” resort.

Lion King Celebration at Disney’s Animal Kingdom

Festival of the Lion King–The most popular entertainment show in Walt Disney World. Photo by J. Jeff Kober.

Long before there was Harry Potter at Universal, there was Lion King at all four parks:

  • Disney MGM Studios: The Making of The Lion King–22 of its 85 minutes were created here.
  • Epcot: Circle of Life Film
  • Magic Kingdom: Legend of the Lion King
  • Disney’s Animal Kingdom: Festival of the Lion King

That still happens today with The Little Mermaid, Frozen, and Beauty & The Beast offerings being in at least two parks.

We have an extensive article with exclusive photos and video about The Animation Experience at Conservation Station at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. Yes…the trains are running again…kind of.

The Animation Experience at Conservation Station. Photo by J. Jeff Kober.


Park Attendance Down

Because the Rise of the Resistance is not open, this part of the park is underutilized. Photo by J. Jeff Kober.

This is being casually observed by visitors in the park, stated queue times, aerial views of visitors (see USA Today) and even entertainment cutbacks. Disney says on its blog post it has had 1,000,000 visitors ride Millennium Falcon. That’s essentially an average of about 20,400 a day or about 1,275 an hour. Is that good?

Four things that are contributing:

  1. Annual Passholders are Blocked Out.
  2. People Feared Massive Crowds
  3. Rise of the Resistance is Not Open
  4. Park Prices Are Up.

What it isn’t:

  1. People don’t like Star Wars–Remember Seasons of the Force & Star Wars Weekends
  2. People don’t see enough familiar characters–Remember Pandora

Disney and Space

Guests gather at the Tomorrowland Terrace to see the first steps being taken on the moon. Photo by Disney.

It’s the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11. Few people realize the connection between Disney and the eventual space race. Catch our two part series with Disney Historian Jim Korkis. Part I can be found here.

Abigail Disney Speaks Out on Worker’s Conditions at Disney

Abigail Disney, the daughter of Roy E. Disney and the grand daughter of Walt’s brother, Roy O. Disney, has spoken up about working conditions at Disney, and has done an interview on “Through Her Eyes” with human rights activist Zainab Salbi. Disney has responded by calling her investigation a “stunt”. You can see their response here on CNN Business.

At the Candy Kitchen on Main Street U.S.A. at Disneyland. Photo by J. Jeff Kober.

Here are the souvenirs from this situation that you may be able to apply to your organization.

  1. It’s a start, but walking in the shoes of your employees requires much more than passing by and talking with them.
  2. Not every organization is tailored to employing people from internship to death.
  3. Time will not think kindly back on excessive executive compensation packages and wage gaps. It’s time for every board of directors to re-think this. See this article in Forbes for more.
  4. If you as an organization want to be perceived as a caring organization, take better care of your employees than anyone else. That is leadership.

By the way, while this problem exists in Florida, it’s really a problem in California. Morning Edition on NPR spoke about the housing shortage in California, how it’s driving up prices, and the contention on both sides of the issue.

Disneyland’s 64th Birthday

There are many pictures of Walt Disney at Disneyland, and several with him and his beloved train. But there’s one picture no one has, and that’s how we’ll end our story on Facebook Live, with the very first time the Disneyland railroad was put into operation. It’s a great story.

Photo by Disney.

J. Jeff Kober

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