Thursday, December 31, 2009

2009 in Review

What a year, what a year!!! This has been a huge year in the World of Disney (and no, I don't mean the store). This year has brought us what I would like to call "The Good, the Bad and the Ugly".

"The Good": One huge good thing I would say would be the introduction of D23. This club was a great addition to the Disney Company. While I do believe that the club is slightly overpriced, I believe the perks that you get from a membership are completely worth it. In connection with D23, the major D23 Convention in September was another "Good". The experiences provided at that convention had never been seen before from Disney and there were some amazing announcements, including some of the other "Goods", including then announcement of the Fantasyland Overhaul, Star Tours 2, Cruise Line Announcements and so much more! This convention had many exciting and big pluses for this year.

This year's celebration and promotion "What Will You Celebrate?" seemed to come as a good success to Disney. Not as big as the "Year of A Million Dreams" maybe, but it still seems that many took advantage of the Free admission on your birthday or at least the "Birthday Fun Card". As for this coming year's celebration, "Give a Day, Get a Disney Day"...Well, I'll get to that in a little bit.

I continue with the good by mentioning the return of The Muppets to popularity! From being a part of the new Disney celebration, to the rumors of a future refurb of MuppetVision 3D, to their hilarious Youtube videos, you cannot deny that the Muppets are back and ready for action! Definitely what I would call a "Good".

My final mention is the return of hand drawn animation to the Disney Company with the movie release of The Princess and The Frog. This movie not only brought back an art thought lost by computer animation, but also brought a new princess to the collection to be loved by all!

"The Bad": In some way, this category should be called "The Tragic". Many tragedies befalling the Disney Company this year. They say that things come in 3's and that was certainly proven over the summer! First was that terrible monorail crash that killed a driver named Austin right after the 4th of July. A few weeks later, we had the sudden death of an actor named Mark Priest, who died after a fall he had while doing the Pirate Tutorial in Magic Kingdom. The third would be the accident during the Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular practice that killed one of the actors of that show. Three tragedies that hit the company in less that 2 months.

Unfortunately, this would not be all of the deaths that the Disney family would have to endure this year. The final blow for the year came just a mere 2 weeks ago with the death of the beloved Roy E Disney. Crucial in many decisions in the Disney Company since the death of his uncle and father, Roy cared deeply about the family business and took pride in seeing that Disney kept the quality it has always been known for. He will be sorely missed.

The safely of the transportation has been questioned this year in Disney. Between the monorail crash, bus problems and a total monorail shutdown just the other week, it has many people worried, wondering if it is alright to use and questioning whether it is worth using. I personally think such issues can happen to anyone and it is just a bigger deal because it happened to Disney.

"The Ugly": There were some pretty ugly things that happened in regards to Disney, though we hate to admit it. The first would be the collapse of Stitch's Supersonic Celebration in Tomorrowland. While Stitch is cute and fluffy (though I know some people that would disagree on that), his show that lasted a mere 6 weeks is what I would definitely call "Ugly". They did not plan well for the show and spent a lot of money on something that will probably not get used often. A big blunder on Disney's part.

Another "Ugly", also from Tomorrowland, would be the new audio for the Tomorrowland Transit Authourity. The Space Mountain Refurb went pretty smoothly from what I know, but all did not go well with the TTA. The audio has been changed with a new voice and new sayings. The audio has been described by many as just downright boring! There is no talk whatsoever in Space Mountain and the famous reference to Tom Morrow has been cut completely, angering many veteran guests. It's really a shame.

The final under the "Ugly" category is Captain EO. Well ok, this is more of a personal preference for the "Ugly" category...let me explain. I do not know much about Captain EO, what I have seen seems very cheezy, I am not sure it will really work for today's audience and the only reason they are bringing it back is because of the outcry that was given for its return after Michael Jackson's death. I personally find this a ridiculous reason to bring back an attraction. There was no outcry for the Walter Cronkrite audio for Spaceship Earth after his death, why bring this back?

This finally brings us to the future segment:
What Awaits us in 2010???

What will happen with Captain EO: They are closing Honey I Shrunk the Audience in California on the 4th of January to bring this back in February and I cannot wait to see what happens to this attraction. It is suppose to only be a limited will be interesting to see exactly how limited.

The fate of Sounds Dangerous in Hollywood Studios: This is pretty self explanatory. An attraction on seasonal operation, closed for 11 months and opens just in these last 2 weeks planning to close again on the 2nd of January...why waste the space on it? If you are going to close it Disney, just do it! There are not too many people who will miss it, honest!

Studio Backlot Tour: This is supposedly going down for refurb in February to reopen again in March, but there are many rumors flying around that when it does go down, it will not come back. Ideas and concept art for a Monsters Inc. roller coaster have been circulating for a while online and it is utterly convenient that Backlot happens to be located smack at the end of Pixar place.

Fantaslyand Overhaul: Yea, we know, its happening, but when?? I would absolutely love to see a timeline for this. It is just a little broad for people when you say by 2012. I know I would like to know what will be closed, if anything, on my trip in June. The railroad is scheduled to be closed in 2010 for a few months because of this overhaul, but we don't know when yet. Will I be able to see Mickey and Minnie's house for the last time on my trip in June? Even just a brief idea of what is going to be tackled first would be great to have!

Marvel/Disney: I did not put this acquisition in the 2009 part because I am not honestly sure if this is good, bad or ugly. I will be very interested to see if anything happens with this combination in 2010.

Monorail/Transportation Safety: I will assume that Disney is and will be taking a good hard look at what happened this year in the way of Transportation around the park and will look into some safety features and updates that are needed to ensure that calamities like this year do not happen again.

So much of this and more is to happen in 2010, the only word of advice that can be followed is words from the great Walt Disney himself: "Keep Moving Forward!"

Thank you all so much for reading this blog and giving me the feedback that you do! It really makes it enjoyable to write and I hope you will continue to come here to The True Disney Fan for Disney news in 2010!

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