Another year has come to a close so it’s time to do CMDTA’s Disney Year Review. Keep in mind that these subjects are not in any particular order. Also this is not a complete list of events that took place in 2011 it’s just what I felt was noteworthy.
The Death of Steve Jobs
Disney Impact: Steve Jobs was the largest share holder of Disney stock and was a board member. Beyond that he had a set of skills that drove Apple to be the highest valued company in the world. At the end of the day you cannot replace a loss like this.
Personal Notes: It was shocking how little time took place between the announcement that Jobs was stepping down from his position at Apple and the time of his death. In some ways it reminded me of how suddenly Walt Disney died. One day he was at work and a short time later he was gone.
The Fantasy Land Expansion
Disney Impact: This should draw more people into Fantasy Land and not because it’s new. When all is said and done Fantasy Land should have a much higher capacity. This could take some of the strain off of the headliners in the Magic Kingdom.
Personal Notes: It’s about time. Out of all of the lands in the Magic Kingdom I spend the least amount of time in Fantasy Land. It’s typically too crowded and there are too few attractions that I care to ride. That could change when this expansion is complete.
The Closure of Toon Town
Disney Impact: They sure got a lot of use out of a “temporary” land. Disney isn’t really taking a big risk by replacing it.
Personal Notes: In all my trips to Disney World I never spent more than five minutes in this area of the Magic Kingdom. I can’t say I’m sad to see it go.
The Disney Dream
Disney Impact: This ship helps them stay competitive in a brutally cutthroat industry.
Personal Notes: I’m still not going to book a Disney cruise. I just can’t afford it.
The Haunted Mansion Updates
Disney Impact: Disney keeps guests who are stuck in line happy and they proved they can improve something without ruining its charm.
Person Notes: When I heard the hitchhiking ghosts were getting an overhaul I was really worried. Disney had a really mixed track record. They hit this one out of the park. The new ghosts are awesome.
Mars Needs Moms
Disney Impact: They took a huge hit on this film. This one is going to hurt for a while.
Personal Notes: You know a movie failed when it’s available through Netflix’s instant stream and I still have no desire to see it. I honestly do not know a single person who saw this movie. To call this movie a total failure would be the understatement of the year.
Star Tours 2 Opens
Disney Impact: When you update a popular ride you are taking a big risk. When that ride involves Star Wars the risk is much greater. Disney put their best foot forward and didn’t try to cut corners.
Personal Notes: I heard a lot of details before riding this ride. Those details really didn’t ruin the ride for me. The 3D is honestly the best 3D I have ever seen. Most 3D just doesn’t work for me. It seems like I can never really focus on the 3D aspects. This ride is a huge exception to that. The multiple rides is also a huge plus that got me to ride this multiple times in a row. I haven’t done that in a while.
Seal Team Six
Disney Impact: Disney got mud on their face for this one. Trying to profit off of this was just a dumb move.
Personal Notes: How could this have turned out in a positive way? Was Disney going to do a war game? After all nothing says violence like Disney.
Pirates on Stranger Tides
Disney Impact: Massive impact. Disney ended up with more than a billion reasons why the Pirates franchise is still alive and well.
Personal Notes: It made a billion but it still stunk. I loved the first Pirates movie. After that they were all trash. I will say that this movie was much better than “At Worlds End.” That movie was truly awful.
The Best Fire Ever
Disney Notes: When the Tiki Room caught fire Disney made lemonade out of lemons and did it on a dime.
Personal Notes: When the Tiki Room caught fire I really didn’t care. In my opinion that ride was destroyed years ago. When they announced that the original Tiki Room was making a comeback I thought “What’s the Catch?” Well the catch was the fountain was gone but it’s still a better ride than what we had before.
Disney Impact: It’s a big gamble that could be either a huge success or a huge failure. Time will tell.
Personal Notes: I didn’t believe it when I first heard the news. When the shock wore off I thought “Thank you Universal.” If Harry Potter didn’t show up at Universal we would have never seen an announcement like this. I personally think this will be a big boon to the Animal Kingdom.
The Muppets Make a Comeback
Disney Impact: Disney made money off of a franchise that had been on the shelf for quite some time. They didn’t make as much as they hoped but it still worked.
Personal Notes: I was very happy to see the Muppets take the center stage again. Who in their right mind doesn’t love the Muppets? I just hope Disney keeps them an active franchise. I don’t want to see them disappear.
So there is 2011 in a nutshell. Sure I didn’t mention things like Cars 2 but I couldn’t list everything. If I did this entry would be huge.
If you want more info on what happened in 2011 go download the year end edition of the “Inside the Magic Podcast.” They cover almost everything and it took them almost five hours to do it.