MickeyBlog News for September 23, 2019
Disney theme parks experienced an eventful week. One form of transportation is almost ready to go while another lost power. Some shows are ending, and a ride is going seasonal. However, a new show is in the offing, and we learned more about an upcoming nightly presentation. Find out how Disney’s even-steven in the latest edition of MickeyBlog News. But let’s start with a bombshell…
Disney Almost Bought Twitter
This story might belong in the Alternate Reality Hall of Fame. Robert Iger will release an autobiographical memoir entitled The Ride of a Lifetime: Lessons Learned from 15 Years as CEO of The Walt Disney Company on September 23rd.
The bombshell revelation from this book is that Iger’s company, Disney, almost purchased Twitter a few years ago. He explained, “The troubles were greater than I wanted to take on, greater than I thought it was responsible for us to take on.”
Later, Iger added, ““I like looking at my Twitter newsfeed because I want to follow 15, 20 different subjects. Then you turn and look at your notifications and you’re immediately saying, why am I doing this? Why do I endure this pain?”
All Twitter users can relate.
The stunning part of the discussion is what happened next. Rather than spending the capital on Twitter, Iger’s team invested that money in a fledgling streaming technology company, BAMTech.
Yes, if Disney had purchased Twitter, they may not have ever created Disney+. Its service is affordable because the company has vertically integrated around BAMTech. They’d have to pay a great deal of money to run Disney+ on someone else’s digital architecture.
Trapped on the Monorail
A few unfortunate Disney guests suffered through an unexpected monorail stoppage. In fact, it was the worst kind of stoppage, as these riders required rescue from the train.
The monorail lost power and was unable to recover. With no option in play, the Reedy Creek Fire Rescue had to deploy cherry pickers aka “bucket trucks” to retrieve the stranded guests. The people onboard the monorail reported that they smelled “electrical and brakes.” It certainly doesn’t sound good.
The fire department’s aerial platform helped everyone exit the train and return safely to the ground. However, the incident is simply the latest black eye for Disney in terms of monorail miscues. Park officials need to do something. Speaking of which…
Much has changed at Disney theme parks over the past few days. Let’s get you caught up with the changes. Let’s start with one that Disney has confirmed privately but not publicly.
Primeval Whirl at Disney’s Animal Kingdom has suffered extended downtime in recent weeks. Imagineers have overhauled the attraction, trying to bring it back into operation. However, they’ve suffered multiple delays, missing deadlines for a return date.
Cast members have told inquisitive guests that the ride is seasonal now. It will only open during busy periods to siphon traffic. This strategy is the same one that spelled the beginning of the end for Stitch’s Great Escape at Magic Kingdom. If you love Primeval Whirl, you should ride it the next time it’s open.
The other important closures are a pair of live attractions. The Burudika Band at Disney’s Animal Kingdom is apparently about to go away for good. According to the always-plugged in Radio Harambe on Twitter, The performances will stop permanently on October 13th. Meanwhile, the JamboEveryone twitter feed has started a #SaveBuridika campaign. You can follow the instructions there to petition Disney.
Similarly, Mariachi Cobre Presents…The Story of Coco at Epcot’s World Showcase ends this week. The Mariachi Cobre will thankfully continue their regular sets, just not the Folklórico dancing show. Your last chance to catch it is on September 28th.
Finally, two presentations will reduce their number of shows in coming weeks. The Matsuriza Taiko drum show will no longer perform on Tuesdays and Wednesdays.
Similarly, everyone’s beloved JAMMitors at Future World will stop playing on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. Between these two changes and Buridika, Disney’s apparently taken an anti-percussions stance this week.
While Walt Disney World has reduced its number of shows, Disneyland received welcome news this week. Frontierland will add some new entertainment options.
For starters, a magician will wander the themed land. He’ll entertain guests by performing “astonishing demonstrations of sleight-of-hand.” The magician will hang out on the Mark Twain steamboat, The Golden Horseshoe, and the streets of Frontierland.
Speaking of The Golden Horseshoe, the iconic restaurant will add a new form of entertainment this fall. While you dine here, you can watch duelin’ piano players battle for Old West supremacy. These two pianists will play thematically fitting tunes, and they’ll even take requests during their showdown! The show will make you feel like you’re part of the frontier gold rush, only without all the Typhoid Fever.
The other significant park addition is one we already knew was coming. The Parks Blog revealed more about Epcot Forever, the impending nighttime presentation. You’ll definitely want to watch this video to learn about the show.
We’re only days away from Epcot Forever’s arrival, which sadly means that we’re only days away from the end of IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth. Semisonic was right that every new beginning comes from some other beginning’s end.
Anyway, Epcot Forever looks spectacular and should satisfy all longtime Epcot fans. Conversely, IllumiNation fans only have a few days left to watch the renowned show before it leaves the park.
Disney Skyliner Operating Hours
The introduction of the Disney Skyliner isn’t a random decision on Disney’s part. Park officials understand that they can reduce reliance on buses on monorails by introducing this new (well, retro) form of travel.
The Skyliner system will officially open on September 29th. Yes, it’s less than a week from becoming a significant change in the way that visitors traverse the Disney campus. As that date approaches, Disney revealed a couple of important details.
First of all, the gondola system will NOT run during lightning storms. It’s a precautionary measure to protect guests. Realistically, everyone should get in the habit of checking a weather app for their park visit. That way, they’ll know whether lightning could disrupt travel plans.
The other important information is the operating schedule for the Disney Skyliner. The times will vary by station. Here’s the schedule:
September 29th through November 28th:
Sunday: 8 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Monday: 8 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Tuesday: 8 a.m. to midnight
Wednesday: 8 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Thursday: 7 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Friday: 8 a.m. to 11 p.m.
Saturday: 8 a.m. to 11 p.m.
Disney’s Hollywood Studios Station:
September 29th through November 2nd:
Sunday: 5:45 a.m. to 11 p.m.
Monday: 5:45 a.m. to 11 p.m.
Tuesday: 5:45 a.m. to midnight
Wednesday: 5:45 a.m. to 11 p.m.
Thursday: 5:45 a.m. to 11 p.m.
Friday: 5:45 a.m. to 11 p.m.
Saturday: 5:45 a.m. to 11 p.m.
November 3rd through November 21st
Sunday: 6 a.m. to 11 p.m.
Monday: 7 a.m. to 11 p.m.
Tuesday: 7 a.m. to 11 p.m.
Wednesday: 7 a.m. to 11 p.m.
Thursday: 7 a.m. to 11 p.m.
Friday: 6 a.m. to 11 p.m.
Saturday: 7 a.m. to 11 p.m.