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Everything posted by A.J.

  1. I suspect this as well. If anyone has gone recently, I'd love to hear about it... Seems like Knoebels' lack of a traditional single entrance / access point would make the rule more difficult to enforce.
  2. Correct, the aforementioned lawsuit is one of the situations which led to today's version of the Disability Access Service Card. The new policies were put in place specifically to curb abuse.
  3. So the inverted coaster is less like an inverted version of a Firestorm / Space Warp and more like a larger version of the Suspended Family Coaster. I really like that. It's so different from other inverted coasters... That's refreshing to see.
  4. Just did a couple of Park Pass reservations for the last few weekends in July... Butter-smooth, no problems at all, even after the predicted "rush" at 7 AM. Still plenty of availability for all four parks after that first week. Fan sites over-hyping the process as usual.
  5. Right, the liens situation is not unprecedented though it is unusual to see it occurring at this scale. The COVID crisis is not something that SeaWorld could have controlled but the level of investment is somewhat paralleling what we saw from some Six Flags parks during the era of the Premier Parks acquisition. Forgive me, but based on speculation I've read (and ONLY from speculation I've read), I'm not sure upper management has the parks' long-term prospects in mind.
  6. Some sources (such as this one, though exact details are unverified) are reporting that a lot of the people laid off were from non guest-facing positions, such as from marketing, or Universal Creative, and in a few cases those people had years of experience with the company. I've been noticing a significant amount of shakeups impacting a lot of creative friends and colleagues these past few weeks alone... The design side of the theme park business is going to look remarkably different once this all settles down.
  7. Resort guests at the Disney parks have always had earlier access to FastPass reservations over non-resort guests and passholders... 60 days in advance versus 30. In this current situation, current resort guests are being given a several-day advantage to reserve (a) day(s) at their park(s) of choice over passholders and non-resort guests. As capacity limits increase, or IF they increase since Florida is now apparently becoming the Darwinism state, I could see Disney keeping the "amount" of available reservations the same for passholders and non-resort guests and opening up the increased number of reservations to resort guests only.
  8. I have doubts as well, that seems a little out of character (heh). I originally was going to include the initial reporting of all resort changes being forced paid upgrades in the list as stuff that was actually happening, but as I was getting the research together I started reading some reports / comments on other fan sites / social media channels that some people who Disney called to change (not the guest calling Disney) were offered the upgrades free of charge. Again, it's not completely clear and not having an impacted resort reservation myself, I can't independently confirm.
  9. Since this hasn't been posted in earnest here in the forum, here's the rundown for everything regarding the openings at Walt Disney World, pulled from the Parks Blog and some other sources: Park reservations go live for resort guests (including resort guest passholders) on June 22, non-resort annual passholders on June 26, and all other ticket holders on June 28, at 7 AM eastern each day You must have your ticket or pass linked in MyDisneyExperience to make a reservation New vacation bookings and park tickets open for 2021 dates on June 26 Park hopping is temporarily suspended, each reservation can only be for one park per day Annual passholder previews are on July 9 and 10 for Magic Kingdom and Animal Kingdom Events and spectaculars are suspended, characters will still make occasional appearances throughout the day No FastPass, Single rider queues, or Rise of the Resistance boarding passes All major attractions will be open with the exception of Princess Fairytale Hall, Town Square Theater, Up A Great Bird Adventure, Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular, and Fantasmic Spaceship Earth's renovation has been delayed and it will re-open in its current state with EPCOT In addition, there are reports that guests staying in resorts that will not be reopening with the parks are being asked to relocate to a resort that is open. Some reports are saying that guests are being asked to pay full price to upgrade, but others have said that they are not being charged if they do not choose a specific resort to relocate to. Your mileage may vary. Hopefully I didn't miss anything or give any incorrect information.
  10. I absolutely loved Duinrell despite the crowds and not actually riding anything besides the Nautic Jet and the Alpine slide. It's all just so pretty. I've got a bunch of photos of the rides and yes, I'm working on my own report again. Things just kind of got in the way.
  11. Keep in mind that even though a park may still be operating at a loss, if the loss is less than if they were to stay closed, then it's still worth it.
  12. Not sure they have the digital infrastructure to implement that.
  13. I think it might of been... 2006 or 2007? It had Kentucky Rumbler and that crazy sketchy Scat ride.
  14. Even the oldest Coaster Expedition style videos had a higher production value and editing effort than a typical "vlog". You told a story! That's why they were always better! For some reason the one that sticks out in my head is the one from Beech Bend, of all places.
  15. You're welcome everyone, hopefully this lays it out in bare terms. It's a fair assumption that the problems are being dealt with throughout the entire company. Remember though, that the parks and their consultants can always come to a new agreement if they can both agree on terms. What this all means is that if you were holding off on a trip for a specific ride - be it Iron Gwazi, Ice Breaker, Pantheon, and / or Emperor - eat it as a lost cause and just go, because we won't see any openings until the parks have started making enough money to pay everyone off.
  16. As usual, enthusiasts are blowing this out of proportion. See level-headed article here: https://www.orlandosentinel.com/business/tourism/os-bz-coronavirus-seaworld-construction-liens-20200616-olovgxilybbetnorlkhho5xuzq-story.html Emphasis mine: Essentially, for obvious reasons, SeaWorld Parks can't pay their bills right now. And it goes beyond just Rocky Mountain, Premier, and B&M - these liens are coming from their contractors, architects, themimg consultants, everyone - from all of SeaWorld's parks that have active construction projects right now. The rides specifically - if any of the manufacturers have to sign off on the ride before turning operation over to the park, they can straight-up refuse to until their bills are paid or SeaWorld is on track to being in good standing. Likewise, the contractors can just stop their work too - remember that all those people still need to be paid. As for lump sum vs installments, that all comes down to what's written in their contracts. But the point here is that while the situation is unusual, I would be surprised if it results in anything other than delays to the openings of the rides. In other words, sorry Iron Gwazi fans, but you need to keep going to the park without Iron Gwazi until SeaWorld can pay their bills.
  17. I also find it hilarious that parents are upset that they actually have to be parents now.
  18. The U.S. Government has basically left any and all procedures regarding COVID-19 to the individual states, only offering (limited) recommendations as to how they should proceed. The President has threatened to "step in" if he feels that a state is not opening as fast as he thinks it should, though analysts have concluded that he may not have the legal authority to do so and he has not done so yet, for any state. Florida's government is very pro-business and has always wanted to see things close later and open sooner. The Governor, a noted ally to the President, is attributing the increase in COVID cases in the state to an increase in overall testing, though some outlets have reported that the increases are due to premature re-openings and / or inconsistent mask and distancing enforcement throughout the state, as well as a potential under-reporting of confirmed cases. Based on the fact that their plan was approved because of the supposed mask / distancing enforcement, I wouldn't be surprised if Orange County had the ability to penalize them as part of the agreement. Though, the county stepping in and doing so may draw political backlash that they might not to deal with, not just from citizens doing civil disobedience, but potentially from the state government as well. I've read some reports from other coaster people that part of the reason why SeaWorld and Busch Gardens acted the way they did was because they were just completely unprepared for their openings, though I can't confirm that myself. I have reservations coming up so I'm interested in seeing if things change after they've been opened for a few weeks. Disclaimer for those who read this later: My attempted neutral analysis doesn't change the fact that mask wearing is not a political issue and shouldn't be treated as one. Wear your mask. Please.
  19. I wasn't comfortable getting into it either but now that you have, I can say that I've also been noticing that, and it IS weird! Some people I know actually kind of frown on me for having a SeaWorld pass for that reason.
  20. That is awful. Not only are those people littering on natural landscape, they're also preventing someone who would actually use the mask from having it. I'm getting tired of head-ranting every time I read something like this.
  21. Oof, that is ROUGH. I already knew of restricted capacities on Mako and Kraken but that long of dispatches for Manta is just awful. Were they running double station on Manta? You'd think they would want to do it that way... Split the crowds in half, be able to disinfect and load while the other train is on the circuit... The "issue" for people is that the instructions / recommendations for face masks came from local and / or state governments and that people are seeing it as a restriction of their own personal freedoms. There is also the same "don't be a wuss" camp that you'd hear from as a kid when you'd be pressured into doing something dangerous. To those people, wearing a face covering is an admission of fear and a knock on their pride. No one seems to understand that face covering requirements are supposed to be a sign of mutual respect for your fellow person's needs - instead, it's a political and ideological issue. What's worse is that people see this stuff and instead of saying, "oh, I need to protect myself MORE when I go", it's "oh, I can get away with it because no one else cares".
  22. It's quite fascinating... The only turntable movement that you can deliberately feel is at the very beginning and the end, when turntable movement actually happens in the story. For the entire ride, you're basically clueless to the movements of the turntable because there's just so much else going on.
  23. The whole point of calling it and theming it "Splash Mountain" was to incorporate the animated characters on their own without the baggage of the film. If I'm reading correctly, a big sticking point with supporters of the petition is the dialect used by the character voices during the ride, which I don't disagree with. While I adore The Princess and the Frog, that theme doesn't make sense in Magic Kingdom's Frontierland. But, to be fair, neither does Splash Mountain's current theme, so... Like others have said, Disneyland can get away with it because New Orleans Square is in very close proximity to Critter Country. Though, it would require a pretty big reconstruction of the entrance, exit, and queue to align with New Orleans Square. Or, perhaps they could use it as an excuse for just a blanket re-do of Critter Country into something else.
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