MickeyBlog News Update – Edition #5
Disney has changed a couple of long-standing practices this week. They’ve invented a more convenient way for you to store your stuff at the parks, and they’ve also found a way to have fewer toiletries stolen. The latest edition of Mickey News has some truly strange news.
Stop Stealing the Soap!
Do you hoard Disney soap, shampoo, and lotion like they’re Beanie Babies in the mid-90s? You’re not alone. Disney’s tiny bottles are extremely popular with hotel guests. Presumably, it’s because these toiletries are equal parts functional and memorable. They’re easily portable souvenirs that you can take home with you.
Grabbing as many spare bottles of Disney shampoo as possible is a tried and true ritual of packing your bags during hotel checkout. Disney knows this, and they’ve apparently had enough. In a move that will save pennies, possibly even dollars, the company recently added pump dispensers to hotel room showers and sinks. Those wonderful little bottles that you love are apparently getting phased out in favor of a more secure system.
Thus far, the changes have only occurred at a few Value and Moderate Resorts. Common sense dictates that Disney won’t make this change at their most expensive properties, but they have been especially budget-conscious the last two years. If anybody sees any pictures of lotion dispensers at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort’s $2,000 per night bungalows, PLEASE share them with us.
(Author’s confession: I have at least a dozen little bottles in a keepsake box somewhere. I should probably make sure those things don’t leak.)
Digital Lockers Arrive at Magic Kingdom
Do you have trouble remembering where you left your keys? And isn’t that problem so much worse at Walt Disney World, where many of the attractions bump and jostle stuff out of your pockets? Well, I’ve got great news!
As of last week, all four theme park gates have new, state of the art digital lockers in place. When you enter the familiar locker storage part of the park, you’ll discover a new system that will dispense locker codes rather than keys. For a cost of $7 for a small locker, $10 for a middle-sized locker or $15 for a giant locker, you put away anything that you don’t need immediately while visiting the park. When you return to pick up your merchandise, you simply enter the code on the keypad to open your locker. The process is seamless and user-friendly.
You should be aware of a couple of caveats, though. When using the digital kiosk, you can only pay with cash or a credit card. To use a Disney gift card or your Magic Band, you’ll need to speak with a cast member. Also, as of publication, the giant lockers are only available at Magic Kingdom and Epcot. That may change in future weeks. We’ll alert you if/when it does. Until then, pack lighter for trips to Animal Kingdom and Hollywood Studios. And speaking of the latter park…
A Major Update and a Potential Change at Disney’s Hollywood Studios
Are you like me? Are you anxiously anticipating the arrival of Toy Story Land at Hollywood Studios? If so, I have great news. Earlier this month, imagery from the construction site indicated that Imagineers had completed the tracks for Slinky Dog Dash, the new roller coaster that will debut in 2018. This week, Disney imported the ride carts for the attraction! Disney even created a cute video to commemorate the occasion. You can watch it here. Seriously, how adorable is that ride cart?
On a stranger note, Disney’s park surveys have heralded significant changes in the past. I mention this because several internet users have posted imagery from a current survey. It asks for opinions on potential new names for Hollywood Studios. While that’s not entirely surprising in the face of several seminal changes coming to the park in 2018 and 2019, the suggested titles for Walt Disney World’s third gate are largely uninspired. Choices include:
- Disney’s Hollywood Studios (Yes, people can choose the current name)
- Disney Kaleidoscope Park
- Disney Storyverse Park
- Disney Hyperia Park
- Disney Beyond Park
- Disney Cinemagic Park
- Disney Legends Park
- Disney XL Park
- Disney Cinemagine Park
Which ones do you like the best? Personally, I don’t mind Storyverse Park or Legends Park, but I’m worried that XL Park will win. All things being equal, I’d rather the name stay the same. After all, Star Wars and Toy Story are major Hollywood franchises, right?
Disney Theme Parks: Home Edition
Disney knows that you spend a lot of fantasizing about your next trip to the park. When you’re at home, there’s not much else that you can do to feel like you’re in the warm glow of the Disney Bubble, right? Well, the company tried something a few years ago to help you pass the time between park visits.
Programmers designed an Xbox 360 game entitled Disneyland Adventures. Its gameplay hinged on the Kinect, an interactive accessory whose responsiveness was notoriously inconsistent. The game faltered despite having some wonderful ride simulations.
Well, Disney recently announced that they’re doing an updated version of the game for the PC, Xbox One and Xbox One X, meaning that the graphics will be 4k- and HDR-quality, presuming that you own the right hardware. Disney also promised additional features for the games, hopefully including updates for newer attractions like Guardians of the Galaxy – Mission: Breakout. The remastered version of the game will sell for $30. You can buy it starting on October 31st.
What do you do if you’re not a gamer, though? Well, Google feels your pain and wants to help. Their Google Maps app has collected GPS data over the past several months. At some point in the near future, you will be able to check Google Maps to see a street level view of the Happiest Place on Earth. Google employees recently strapped 360-degree cameras to their backs and walked through the various themed lands at the park in order to give you the best view of Disneyland. Hopefully, these two programs will be the next-best thing to visiting the parks.
Day of Giving
On a final note, Disney wants to do what it can to help the people affected by the flooding in Texas. On August 31st (that’s today!), all of Disney’s television platforms including ABC, ESPN, and Freeform will fundraise for the Red Cross. GMA will even host a telethon starting at 8 a.m. EST in the morning. This fundraising campaign is in addition to the $1 million the company previously announced that it’s donating to the hurricane relief efforts in the area. And if you are one of the people impacted by this horrific event, please stay safe and know that you’re in our thoughts and prayers this week.