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Posts tagged “walt disney world

Five completely offensive rides that should be closed immediately

In light of the closure of Fear:VR at Canada’s Wonderland, Great America and Knott’s – after a protest from the President of the Orange County chapter of the National Alliance of Mental Health – a person who admitted he never actually experienced the attraction for himself – Great American Thrills is proud to present to you five more offensive rides that should be shut down, torn down and never spoken of again.

(If you haven’t already gathered, this is all sarcasm – please be offended if you did not get the joke already).

 

1.) Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, Walt Disney World

Offends: Little People

As our good friend Eric the Actor from the Howard Stern Show always used to say, the correct term is “Little People.” Who thought to name a ride after seven height-challenged people, and then make then sing as if they were merry? Oh – it was a famous KIDS movie? So we’ve inoculated our children that it’s okay to say this, too?!?

 

2.) The Demon, Great America

Offends: Church-going folk

Sadly, this is the only one on our list that played out in real life. Turns out back in the 1980’s, people were not down with the idea of theming a coaster after a devil-like apparition that was eating guests randomly. Thankfully, people got over themselves and not only is the ride still around – but it tweets, too!

 

3.) All water rides

Offends: Aquaphobiacs

Seriously – how can you in good conscious place all that water around a log and let people float in it? What a disgusting insult to people who fear water…

 

4.) Gold Striker & Gold Rusher, Great America & Six Flags Magic Mountain

Offends: Mine Workers

 

How can either of these roller coasters accurately portray the savage life endured by miners, all in the search for rare minerals…they should be ashamed of themselves.

 

5.) Top Thrill Dragster, Cedar Point

Offends: Decent people

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Have you seen that thing? It looks like a giant wanker. A hot dog. A gentleman’s “special region.” We can’t have our kids grow up in a world like this…

You see how slippery this slope is? If you don’t like something about a park – just do what everyone else does – don’t support it. Don’t impose your beliefs on them, it only makes you part of the problem…

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Legacy of Arrow World Premiere in Downtown San Jose

It’s the day after Christmas – and you didn’t get what you wanted, did you? That ugly sweater, socks or worse – underwear!

Have no fear – we’ve got you covered…

Give the gift of an experience that they won’t soon forget – a ticket to the world premiere of ACE’s “The Legacy of Arrow Development,” presented by the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk!

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Tickets are just $10, with a $10 upgrade available if you’d like priority seating, reception and Q&A with the filmmakers. You can purchase your tickets here or at the Montgomery Theater Box Office.

We’ll see you in your best suits and dresses on the evening of January 23rd!


IAAPA Trip Report, Day One

After flying in yesterday and adjusting to the time change (best as you can) I’m ready to start writing down my thoughts – with some leftover pizza and a Blue Moon at my side.

Today, I was able to visit the Orange County Convention Center for the first time, to help set up the ACE booth as well as pick up my badge for the big IAAPA exhibition. For the first time, was able to see incredible scope of the event. As big as you might think it is – think BIGGER. Of course, the floor isn’t even finished as I type – so it’ll only feel larger by this time tomorrow.

Afterwards, I had lunch with American Coaster Enthusiasts President (and roommate for the week) Jerry Willard – that’s when he brought up his afternoon / evening plans…a trip to the Magic Kingdom.

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I bit. It’s been 20 years since I last visited Florida (for Disney World with my family). And boy, was the trip out there today worth it.

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Turns out, not only was the “Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party” significantly less crowded than it was during the day (the park closed at 7 to the general public), they gave you all the cookies and hot cocoa you could down AND it was CHEAPER to get in, too. Every ride was either a walk on or well under 30 minutes.

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If you don’t mind Christmas being jammed down your throat a little too early, this is a great way to experience the Magic Kingdom at breakneck pace, yet still get everything in, too.

Oh, and the fireworks were incredible as well 🙂

Day Two has technically already arrived, so expect a blog post late Monday night. Until next time, everyone!


Disney Raises AP Prices – So Why Are You Complaining?

Disneyland has a problem. And it’s the best problem to ever have if you’re a business – too many people want to come visit you than you have room for.

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Hope you’ve saved your Disney Dollars – you’re going to need them.

Boo freakedy hoo.

So it should come as no surprise today that both Florida and California parks announced sweeping changes to their annual passholder programs, most notably eliminating the premium pass.

Now, before you start complaining about how high the prices are – take a minute to think about this: Disneyland in particular has become nearly unmanageable when it comes to crowds. Even days that were traditionally lighter have all but disappeared – as AP’s tend to visit those days. As a result, the overall experience of the park has lowered.

Now here’s where it gets interesting – buried deep in the Disney website is an interesting line: “Limited number of passes available…” Yup – there’s a limit to how many passes will be sold. Will you know when they’re low? What if you usually upgrade later in 2016?!? All legitimate questions right now.

Here’s some more turkey legs for thought: Disneyland was never designed to be a “season pass park.” They’re really brought this problem onto themselves by not limiting AP sales or keeping their prices so low that so many could afford them. The park was meant to be for a special occasion – maybe once a year or so. You can’t combine the tourist crowds with those who visit everyday and think the level of service and satisfaction will be the same.

Copyright 2015, Kris Rowberry. All rights reserved.

Kris Rowberry and family take on Arrow’s Matterhorn Bobsleds at Disneyland.

It’s simple supply and demand – too many people want something, there isn’t enough supply (capacity) so the only way to lower the crowds it is to make it harder to afford it.

What do you think? Is a $1000 too much to ask for for an annual pass? Tell me in the comment section below or on my social media links!


GoPro fail roller coaster photo goes viral for all the wrong reasons

San Mateo based GoPro learned the hard way on Tuesday that not every photo taken with their venerable cameras is the best to highlight to a larger audience.

On Tuesday, the company posted this photo to all of their social media accounts, from Gopro / coaster fan, Peter Win:

GoPro Ad Fail

Screenshot credit to our friends over at: http://www.ParkJourney.com

 

While the photo is quite spectacular – it’s also spectacularly against the rules to even attempt.

In addition to the selfie stick being a loose article aboard the ride – the dangers of smacking a low beam, hitting a fellow passenger or jamming part of the ride’s mechanical systems SHOULD have made it clear not to even attempt. Park rules clearly state this not only in line, but also as you board. We also heard reports of riders with mounted cameras on their body being asked NOT to wear them.

They don’t call those beams “headchoppers” for nothing.

So called, “selfie sticks” have damaged rides at both Disneyland and Disney World due to clearance issues, in addition to ruining the experience for everyone around the user.

The New Texas Giant – the ride featured in the photo – hits a top speed of 65 miles per hour with a first drop of 79 degrees.

Surprisingly, when you filtered out the inevitable spam, every single comment on the photo questioned why the company would post a photo that so blatantly broke the rules and endangered other riders. You’ll note I’m writing in the past tense – that’s because the company took the photo down just a few hours after initially posting it.

Let’s be blunt – they got HAMMERED with negative comments.

But I believe the hammering might be for the better in the long run, as it indicates something greater: a vast majority of people are finally recognizing that the “selfie stick” is not only incredibly annoying, it’s downright dangerous in many situations it’s being put into.

And it’s not just ride enthusiasts recognizing this. Many in the “general public” are finally seeing that extending a three foot pole on a ride moving at freeway speeds – all for a photo or video – isn’t the smartest decision.

In other words, there’s hope that the “selfie stick fad”  may be just that – a fad.

No Selfie Sticks

We can hope cell phone recording on rides goes away too, right?

 

What do you think? Will so-called “selfie sticks” eventually find their way to the trash heap? Or will incidents like this become more common? Tell us on our social media channels, or leave a comment below:


Disneyland Ticket Prices Increase, Suspends Sales of Annual Pass

Following suit of it’s Florida parks, Disneyland today unveiled several changes to it’s pricing that has set the internet fandom ablaze with anger.

Single day, single park ticket prices were raised $4.00, to $96.00 per person over the age of 10. In addition, most park hopper tickets and annual passes were raised around 10% across the board.

Now, I’ve written before about the increases at Disney World – and how they’re actually a bargain when you consider the fact that Disney bundles their services, unlike other parks that charge separately for everything. (Think airline fares). But, Disney also dropped a bomb on SoCal residents, saying they won’t be selling any NEW Annual Passes to Southern California residents this year.

Why only Southern California? Because Disneyland has for years, offered discounted passes to residents of specific zip codes in the area. (Call it a “Sorry for interrupting your dinner with fireworks every night” discount). Effectively, the Resort needs to somehow mitigate the already large crowds in their parks. But, is this the best way to do it? Here’s my thoughts:

Firstly, there’s only have one person to blame for this problem of gluttony…Disney Marketing Executives.

Years ago, Disneyland was a destination resort – a place you went to once in a great while. My family always joked, “We’re due back for a trip to Disneyland, it’s been 10 years.

However, the culture has changed – and Disneyland tried to adapt with it. The park is now popular with two separate and very different clientele: the Annual Passholder and the Destination Tourist. Disney plays to these uber fans (and you have to be to pay $700 a year to go to the park) with merchandise, discounts and even conferences (D23). When you combine those two different types of people at a park, you get crowds. Lots and lots of crowds.

Gone are the days of “slower” operations – because the AP’s go on those days to avoid the tourists. When the kids are out of school, the AP’s stay away because the tourists are in the park en masse.

What a perfect “problem” to have!

Now, generally, Disneyland has some of the fastest, most efficient operations in the world when it comes to pumping people through rides. But there’s only so much you can do when the park is at capacity – during the middle of the week. At a certain point, you just can’t bring more people into the park.

So, what would be my solution? Eliminate the discount on Southern California passes. The difference in cost can be easily made up by those who will undoubtedly renew their pass, year after year, despite any price increases.

Or, go back to ticket books and limit the number of people allowed into the park on any given day. Basically, don’t guarantee admission until you’re in the park. The earlier people get there, the more they’re going to spend, anyway.

Folks, Disneyland is a fantastic place to have a few days of fun. The real secret to the magic – is that you have to pay up front, to not worry about anything else once you’re inside. So suck it up…the State of California isn’t making operating a park in the state any cheaper – so guess who gets to pay the difference…you guessed it – you and me.


Disney World admission price increases – but is it really that expensive?

This week, the amusement fan community and even the national media gravitated to the news that Walt Disney World was increasing their single day, admission prices to $99 at the Magic Kingdom. It was the second price hike in less than 12 months for the Florida resort.

Now, most people who read the story probably thought the same thing: HOLY CRAP – IT’S $100 DAMN DOLLARS TO GO TO DISNEY WORLD FOR A SINGLE DAY?!?

However, there are a few factors that most sources (and most viewers) probably didn’t take into consideration when the story broke. Let us then, consider the following:

Bill Nye Consider the Following Animation

A single day admission (purchased at the main entrance to the park):

Disney World: $99.00

Six Flags Over Texas: $64.99

Cedar Point: $54.99

So, “apples to apples,” Disney seems wildly overpriced, right? Well – first we have to ask if it’s really an “apples to apples” comparison. There’s one thing that most folks don’t take into account when price-comparing parks – it’s their line management programs (AKA “fast pass” systems).

Disney offers their “Fastpass” system free of charge, (built into the cost of admission, regardless of length of ticket) to all guests with a valid ticket on all of their operating “e-Ticket” attractions as well as many others. (The only constraint is how many you can hold at one time). Both Six Flags Over Texas and Cedar Point also offer their own version of a line management system (dubbed “The FLASH Pass” and “Fast Lane,” respectively). However, they are generally limited to set number of attractions or rides per ticket.

And unlike Disney, both chains charge additional fees for this service. Six Flags has three different tiers of pricing, ranging from $40 to $90 per guest, while Cedar Point offers two tiers of pricing, ranging from $75 to $90).

With that in mind, let’s now see how much each park is really costing you, “apples to apples”:

Disney World: $99.00

Six Flags Over Texas: $104.99 – $154.99

Cedar Point: $129.99 – $144.99

*It should be noted – that all costs in this comparison are calculated at the single person rate.

With the extra service of a “fast pass” system on some of their major rides, we can see that a trip to the Magic Kingdom is actually still quite competitive with other parks around the country – in fact – you’re getting MORE for your money on a single day admission.

Spread it out over several days, and the Disney price drops even further, whereas at Cedar Point and Six Flags, you’ll need to pay full price for their “fast pass” systems each and every time you go.

Now, this comparison does not take into account a season pass which – depending on the number of times visiting the park – can dramatically reduce these prices. But, considering most people visit Disney only once a year (or less in my case) then we’ve assumed folks will visit these regional parks the same amount of times per year.

What do you think? Was Disney out of order for raising prices twice in a single year? Do you use “fast pass” systems at parks OTHER than Disney? Why or why not? Leave me a comment below and tell me what YOU think!