BREAKING NEWS: Disneyland President Ken Potrock Talks Disneyland Reopening in NEW Podcast!
If you haven’t listened to D23’s official podcast “D23: Inside Disney” you don’t know what you’re missing. Each episode is an absolute treasure trove of information! The latest episode (Episode 85) features none other than Ken Potrock, Disneyland President!
In the episode Potrock covers a wide-range of topics regarding Disneyland’s reopening including some surprising changes, the upcoming Avengers Campus and when we might see a new Jungle Cruise.
You can find the podcast in it’s entirety below.
In addition, here are a few highlights:
When asked how he felt about the reopening Potrock candidly said “relieved” that after 412 days of closure to finally be able to bring the magic back to cast members and visitors alike and to also “restart the economic engine” in Anaheim which has been badly hit by the decline of tourism.
When asked what rides and attractions he was most looking forward to Potrock admitted that he had only ridden Rise of the Resistance for the first time a few days ago which has quickly become top of the list!
Second on the list for the Disneyland President was Radiator Springs which he called “a bit personal” as the ride, particularly the mountain peeks remind him of the Cadillac car that his dad used to drive when he was a boy!
When asked about what it felt like to see the Cast Members back at work, Potrock said “I’m in awe of them.” He went on to cite their resilience, patience and graciousness as being truly inspiring.
The next topic was reopening highlights that visitors should be on the lookout for. Potrock said main thing is that it (Disneyland) is going to be different and that Disney is trying to be transparent about this. Disneyland is still under quite strict capacity restrictions. He went on to say one things that he hopes guests will be able to lean-in to are all of the technological upgrades that have been going on while the parks have been closed to make visiting Disneyland easier!
When asked specifically about Disneyland’s newly re-imagined Snow White’s Enchanted Wish, Ken Potrock said that the goal was to make the attraction “less scary.” With that in mind, they brought in a team of Imagineers to essentially recraft the story told on the ride in order to make it more “joyous and festive.” He said that the ride even includes actual footage from the film!
Potrock goes on to say that guests won’t want to miss King Arthur Carrousel when it reopens on Friday. This beloved merry-go-round has recently been repainted which he says has “re-energized” the experience.
NEW Jungle Cruise
Winding down the interview Potrock took a minute to talk briefly about the plans for the Jungle Cruise. Segments of the attraction are being reimagined so as to not be culturally insensitive and the ride is currently closed for refurbishment. Potrock advised that there were some very particular things that Disney felt were wrong with the attraction and felt like some of the depictions weren’t as respectful as they wanted them to be. Disney knew they needed to go in and make some changes while at the same time remaining respectful and true to the classic attraction. He went on to call the Skippers the “core” of the ride and advised that Imagineers wanted to enhance the story to give the Skippers more to work with!
He went on to say that current skippers as well as skippers from years past were brought in to help craft the story.
But the most important bit of news was when Potrock revealed that the Jungle Cruise will be reopening at Disneyland theme park – THIS SUMMER!
The Disneyland President did take a quick minute to talk about the Avengers Campus which is also opening this Summer at Disney California Adventure. When asked what he was most excited about when it came to this new land, Potrock jokingly said “The Shawarma!” He then went on to call Spider-Man Webslingers “amazingly interactive.” He went on to say that he sees it as being a ride people will want to go on again and again because it is “enormously competitive!” He joked that the attraction was being tested this week and that thanks to some quick slinging he had the high score on the ride! This is giving us definitely Buzz Lightyear vibes!
Potrock said another aspect of the Avengers Campus that will be truly spectacular are the stunt and show components that Disney is weaving into the adventure. He said that there will be four different entertainment experiences for guests to enjoy from Spider-Man leaping across rooftops to Doctor Strange learning the mystic arts. There will also be “a classic battle of good versus evil that will be absolutely show-stopping.”
Potrock went on to call Pym Test Kitchen “the sleeper hit of the Avengers Campus” with the ability to maximize and minimize food!
The issue of the Blue Bayou serving alcohol came up to which Potrock said that having a great meal sometimes feels incomplete without a glass of wine or champagne especially for those celebrating. He said that there has been a lot of guest feedback about introducing alcoholic beverages to Disneyland. Potrock offered that they used the pandemic to add what was missing from the Blue Bayou but to do so with a “great amount of responsibility.”
Potrock was also asked during the interview if there was something major that Disneyland fans had to look forward to and he simply said “Keep an eye on Downtown Disney.” This is exciting news as before he moved to the West Coast Potrock was one of the executives involved in the reimagining of Disney Springs!
If you found these topics interesting do listen to the D23 podcast in its entirety above. Readers are also encouraged to keep following along with MickeyBlog for further Disneyland news and updates!
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