Animation and Anime

John Lasseter, please, don't let this happen... Don't let The Magic Kingdom become Midas' Kingdom...

Published at: Jan. 21, 2011, 12:59 a.m. CST

 

Hey John, Harry here...

I don't know if you're aware, but I've recently been hit with a miraculous event in my life.  I just had an incredibly amazing spinal surgery where suddenly dead parts of my body started coming to life.   I will be walking again.   Instantly, when we heard the diagnosis, my wife and I looked at each other and said, DISNEYLAND!

You see, it's this thing my wife and I do.  Lots of others do.   So I hear.   But our shared love  for the Magic Kingdom is one of those things that just makes us giddy.   Now, it is pretty well known that at this particular moment - as I'm being destroyed and put back together.   As I reach out to my former mostly dead left leg and pull up a foot that was designated as Drop Foot - and I am already pulling it right tonight... for the first time in 7 years.   About 3 hours ago.   And as I did this, it completely confirmed for me the sheer magic of what is happening to me.

But then, before my wife left my side tonight, she said, "Harry - did you hear what they're doing to Disneyland?"   And she sent me to THIS LINK.

I've been radiantly upbeat about everything.   The pain and torture that I feel every second of rehab, it's like kisses - to feel this intensely after years of lowered sensation.   Today, I sat and chatted with my Octogenarian Roommates about their lives, made them laugh and as there was some weird shared history...  It made me feel so great.   Especially as I consoled ANN about her son's battle with Diabetes, her own hunched back and battle with shingles.  She hates the way she looks now, but honestly, as I talked to her, got her smiling and laughing as her husband fights back from a seriously debilitating stroke...   I told her as she admitted her self disgust, that she's still beautiful.   And it isn't a lie.  I told her, that she reminded me of Dale Evans.   It was no lie, the resemblance was eerie.  She stared in disbelief at me.   And burst out a confession, that when she was a girl back in the day, her father was a big Texas Rancher & Farmer.   And as she rode out into the prairie each day she dreamt that she was Dale Evans, she terribly wanted to marry Roy Rogers.   About an hour of talking later her husband was doing walking therapy past our room door and as we saw him walk by, she was looking at him.  So sad to see him in that shape.   And I said, "There goes your Roy, he's doing better than me!"   She smiled, a tear came out, she gripped my hand and said, "Thank you!"   

This is a kindness I learned at DISNEYLAND.

When I was 4 years old, I got separated from my parents at DISNEYLAND.   I sat down in the middle of Main Street crosslegged and just began to cry, because I couldn't find my Mom & Dad.   Turns out they had  just spotted me, but had noticed the wandering Mickey Mouse walking up to me.   They held back, the cast member took a knee to get down to my level, and asked me what was wrong, and I told Mickey that I lost my Mommy & Daddy...   Mickey looked up, saw a group of redheads heading in my direction, one snapping a photo - and Mickey said, "Cheer up, nobody is lost in Disneyland" and pointed to my parents.

I have a beloved polaroid of this chance encounter with Mickey.   My favorite cartoons as a kid were LONESOME GHOSTS, MICKEY'S TRAILER and CLOCK CLEANERS.   And here I was, lost - only to have Mickey Mouse - my favorite character reunite me with my parents.   It was truly the happiest place on Earth.

On my wife & mine's 1st wedding Anniversary we spent 3 days and nights in DISNEYLAND - exploring every nook and cranny.  Each day we delighted at running into different characters around the park.   My wife had an extended body language conversation with CHIP or maybe it was DALE.   Which cracked me up beyond belief when they literally bumped into one another.

Me, one day as we were headed past WINNIE THE POOH's ride, I caught sight of Br'er Bear - and the resulting picture of the two of us is actually my wife's favorite photo of me, that doesn't have her in it.  (knocking me out)  But what makes the photo - is the genuine shock and utter delight as I met this awesome roaming character.

We found out that apparently y'all have a Br'er Fox running around too!   And at that point, I swore to my wife, no matter how many times it takes, we will find Br'er Fox - and get a photo with him, doing my best Br'er  Rabbit gulping impression.   

But you know what will kill my love and enthusiasm for DISNEYLAND?

This policy.   The MAGIC of the MAGIC KINGDOM isn't in the technological marvels that have been created or the set-up photobooths which make a MAGIC place seem like a Mall at Christmas.   A crass, unspontaneous experience where you just buy a map and a corporate photopass and in one trip, you get everything that I've been spending a lifetime going and returning to Disneyland to do.   Find the characters.   The Disneyland Cast is a precious thing, but I've noticed a difference when I see the characters in specified locations with backdrops and lines.

The enthusiasm of the children diminish.  The parents tend to say things like, "This is outrageous" - and me...   Well, I've never gone to a single one of those areas.   My wife took a photo with Ariel, but it was, frankly, a terrible photo $$$.   I'm serious, she's glowing, but Ariel has this dead sort of mannequin face, because the job becomes sitting there, ushering through kids and dorks like my wife - and the real magic is the wonder of the interaction when you bump into them.

It's the part of Disneyland that is constantly new and refreshing.  You never know who you'll run into.   I ran into Maleficent in our last trip.   I was wearing a black & purple shirt and she came at me cackling about finally, someone with class.   My wife had this Japanese Wallet Size Polaroid camera and snapped a photo of us talking about how the Prince ruined everything by kissing her.   How is the story SLEEPING BEAUTY if it is actually WAKING BEAUTY.   It's called SLEEPING BEAUTY because of Maleficent - and she agreed completely - it was magic.   Other than getting to ride in reverse through THE HAUNTED MANSION and through the Behind The Scenes...   It was the greatest moment for me, that trip.

In an ever tightening economy, this just reaks of the worst of profiteering.   And I know DISNEYLAND is a business - but once it was a dream - and Walt's dream is being perverted.   Those CAST MEMBERS were the backbone - and remain the backbone of the DISNEYLAND experience.   Don't let them be taken off the streets, and out of the magic that lives a lifetime.   

I already get said to think that no kid that goes to Disneyland now, will ever be rescued and consoled by MICKEY MOUSE.   It was that moment that sealed the bond.   Mickey will always be my hero, bust him and the others from their Brothel'd lives.   

The cast members have more fun, the audience has more fun - and true magic lives in those moments at DISNEYLAND.

My wife and I go every year.   This news brought up a discussion tonight about our kids (in the future) - and how without that environment of magic, we'd probably scale back to once every 5 years or so.   But Patricia and I looked at each other feeling...  that's so sad.  But it is the truth.

Readers Talkback

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  • Jan. 21, 2011, 1 a.m. CST

    Post 0

    by HEADGEEK

    John Lasseter, please, don't let this happen... Don't let The Magic Kingdom become Midas' Kingdom...

  • Jan. 21, 2011, 1:06 a.m. CST

    post 0.1

    by ORIONgods

  • Jan. 21, 2011, 1:10 a.m. CST

    Luckily your parents showed up...

    by Scrantonicity

    before you were "reallocated" to the It's A Small World" ride.

  • Jan. 21, 2011, 1:11 a.m. CST

    Mickey talked?

    by futureman3000

    Does your memory have Mickey talking or did it actually happen? Most of the main characters are already at photopass locations now, I don't think this will be a big change. Do you go to Disney World too Harry?

  • Jan. 21, 2011, 1:12 a.m. CST

    That polaroid you speak of...

    by omniunco

    ...can we see it?

  • Jan. 21, 2011, 1:14 a.m. CST

    Do any back people write for AICN?

    by helowsyos

  • Jan. 21, 2011, 1:21 a.m. CST

    Harry - Why did you allow this title?

    by helowsyos

    "The Sun Will Come Out Tomorrow, Yo! "

  • Jan. 21, 2011, 1:22 a.m. CST

    Harry, You remind me of my own magical moment at Disney...

    by longlivethenewflesh

    I was young, probably 5-7 years back then. Growing up in FL we went to Disney World A LOT. Anyway, this particular memory was at the Haunted Mansion. They have the moving sidewalk you get onto before boarding the carriages. Well when I hopped from that moving floor to the tram, one of my shoes was left behind. I was strapped in and off on the ride, only managing to lean and whisper to my father, " I just lost one of my shoes!" He mentioned something about going into a gift shop afterwards and buying some Mickey shoes, or what have you, but that never came to pass. When I got off the ride, in my sole shoe, and approach the exit, someone tapped me on my little shoulder. I turn around and look at this hulking figure, every bit the Frankenstein or Lurch, hovering over me. He definitely scared me at first, but then, leaning down to speak with me he said, in perfect, deadpan character, "The Master informed me that this was stinking up the mansion..." and in between his giant pointer and thumb, the Disney cast member held my missing shoe. Obviously it left an impression on me and it's something I'll never forget. There really was some honest to goodness magic about that place.

  • Jan. 21, 2011, 1:23 a.m. CST

    helowsyos & futureman3000

    by HEADGEEK

    1st off - I swear mickey talked to comfort me, but when I remember the voice it was exactly Mickey's. Now - was it that I heard him in my head as a child. That I can not say. But that is my memory. Everytime I look at that photo, that's the memory - and it is... amazing. 2nd off - well, currently I'm a back person, going through spinal surgery recovery, but I think you meant BLACK people. Personally, I'm like Colbert, I don't see color, but I'm told that the long term staff happens to be white and awfully male. But we've had a rainbow of contributors over the years. From time to time, I run stories from an awesome writer I know who is African American, when he checks out killer film festivals around the globe. I hope he continues to contribute.

  • Jan. 21, 2011, 1:24 a.m. CST

    Oh, this is not good...

    by Bob Loblaw Law Blog

    I took my sister and dad to Disneyland two years ago for my dad's 50th birthday. First time for both of them. I gushed at my intense love for the park, and how it's so very different from any other theme park, anywhere. When you've been to Disneyland, you have an INSTANT connection to anyone else who has been there. My dad and sister loved it. But... my sister, then 19 years old, having seen Disneyland only through TV and movies for years, said to me, "Where are all the characters? I haven't seen that many." I didn't have the heart to tell her that they used to be everywhere, but had become less prominent in the last few years. But... somehow she knew. Maybe it was the 60+ minute wait in Toontown just to get a quick picture with Mickey at his house that tipped her off. I still love Disneyland. I was just there in October, when my wife made sure we bought Harry an R2D2 Mickey Ears hat for his BNAT birthday gift. Like Harry and Patricia, it has always been a special place for us to visit as a couple. But misguided decisions like this remove a bit of the magic. I really hope this is reconsidered. Walt wouldn't have wanted it this way.

  • Jan. 21, 2011, 1:25 a.m. CST

    This really is a travesty...

    by iamnicksaicnsn

    I knew things were getting more controlled, but to have it THIS controlled is ridiculous. Especially just for the dollar. I know it has to be expensive to keep up the park, but we have to get something going with this. HARRY Work Your Magic!

  • Jan. 21, 2011, 1:27 a.m. CST

    money grabs are bad business

    by CreamCheeseAlchemist

    Any stockholder in for more than a couple years should recognize that moves like this may reduce operating costs and increase revenue in the short term, but it can also turn off consumers. It probably will also decrease the range of characters in the park. I don't think I've seen Merlin since the sword ceremony got pulled. I have such fond memories of it because I actually pulled it out of the stone as a kid. :)

  • Jan. 21, 2011, 1:29 a.m. CST

    Mickey Spoke?

    by wampa_one

    Or his handler did?

  • Jan. 21, 2011, 1:31 a.m. CST

    Oh I get it....

    by helowsyos

    Most writers here are white guys that post "Yo!" in the titles when the story involves black people.

  • Jan. 21, 2011, 1:37 a.m. CST

    Photo Lines

    by wampa_one

    Disneyland is a magical place, but it is a crowded one with limited space, now, much more so than it was 30 years ago, or whenever you were bawling on Main Street USA. If Jasmine is seen walking the streets of Adventureland, she'd be mobbed - by little girls who love Aladdin & by horny dudes who love cleavage. So they have people line up to offer some level of order & the backdrops don't hurt - a photo with an appropriate backdrop is much nicer for framing than one with some morbidly obese woman driving by on one of those scooters. It's like waiting in line for Santa. It does tarnish the magic a bit though, I'll give you that.

  • Jan. 21, 2011, 1:45 a.m. CST

    So, um, what exactly are they doing to Disney Land?

    by Mike_D

    I don't get it Harry.

  • Jan. 21, 2011, 1:46 a.m. CST

    This site is starting to creep me out....

    by Steve

    Even when I was a kid I didn't want some creep dude in a mouse suit getting near me.

  • Jan. 21, 2011, 1:48 a.m. CST

    Disneyland... don't become Six Flags

    by dvdhound79

    Living in Illinois for the first 2 decades of my life we made frequent trips to Six Flags before my first time to Disney World (is that the one in Florida?) at 14. At Six Flags I'd remember "bumping into" the WB characters. It was amazing, especially at Halloween. As I hit my 20's I recall seeing them less and less. On my first trip to Disney (mentioned above) I remember feeling like I was 10 again. I didn't see them as "guys in a suit" and it sounds like the higher-ups are seeing them as such and not as the possibility of a magical encounter that ALL KIDS deserve to have. Shame on them.

  • Jan. 21, 2011, 1:52 a.m. CST

    Let's see that pic Harry....

    by JediRob

    ...sounds pretty amazing. Would love to see it. This whole story is very unfortunate. I love seeing the characters walking around, even if I don't run over to hug them. There's just something so simple and fun about it.

  • Jan. 21, 2011, 2:09 a.m. CST

    I hope this doesn't happen in Florida.

    by pushthebuttonmax

    Scan that pic in Harry, it sounds cool.

  • Jan. 21, 2011, 2:24 a.m. CST

    The photographers are Cast Members too.

    by Kevin Bosch

    First off, I've worked as a videographer on cruise ships, along side the ship photographers. People upset about prices or packages always look to demonize the photog's, criticizing their work to their face, or informing them how pointless their job is. The photogs not only have to be hospitable and entertaining to the guests/passengers, but also be skilled at photography, and just as responsible for your enjoyment as any other Cast Member (especially when they also take pictures with everybody's camera in the party). Now, to the point, this thing with the characters has been going on for a long time. I doubt there'll be any noticeable change. Considering HOW MANY people visit the parks nowadays, it would be impossible to have characters walking around like they used to. They would be immediately mobbed by people, looking to take pictures, and an natural queue would form. I've seen people rush characters walking the short distance from the backstage to the photo area. The sectioned off, controlled area gives guests a fair chance to see and interact with the characters. Recently my baby sister had a nice chance to interact with Jasmine and Aladdin for a few minutes after waiting in line, which wouldn't have happened if they were walking around and were mobbed by people. It'd be nice to not have to wait in line to see characters at Disney - or wait in line for rides - but that's now impossible when you consider reality.

  • Jan. 21, 2011, 2:29 a.m. CST

    My family went to Disney World in '86

    by Dennis_Moore

    because my dying mother wanted to see Epcot. I recall seeing two cast members dressed as Robin Hood and Little John (furry versions) hitting on two hot brunettes in a corner near the entrance. "Little John" was demonstrating to the girls how water would pour out of the nose of the costume after he slammed the head repeatedly into a nearby square shaped topiary. I'd bet they don't get away with that sorta shit these days!

  • Jan. 21, 2011, 2:44 a.m. CST

    Thanks for the response.

    by futureman3000

    I worked at Disney World. Most characters are young guys and girls, because you need a lot of energy. Mickey is short girls usually. I think characters only talk when they are surprised somehow and just react, like if they fall or laugh. Most of the time I seem to see random characters walking around is when they are going to their location, so that should still happen.

  • Jan. 21, 2011, 2:59 a.m. CST

    Having known several people who've worked at both

    by elgato73

    Disney World and Disneyland, this is not surprising. One of my friends worked at Disneyland from the late seventies to the late nineties. He absolutely loved it for about 15 years and actually made his way up in the company and into nice little office job. He said he loved coming to work for that period of time but he said that during the last five or so years he was employed there, Disney started to do things which were just totally out of character and absolutely went against everything he had been taught from day one. They began putting profit over people just like every other damn corporation (Eisner, anyone?) and after several run ins with upper management which were about the downsizing of his own department's staff, he quit and went to work elsewhere. He said, Disney constantly made policies to put more and more visitors in situations where they had to spend money for the littlest things while taking away much needed staff to run the very things that maximized their profits. Other friends have said the same things. Disney constantly puts their employees in situations where they have nothing to do but comply or hit the door. There is no bargaining. I feel really sorry for the people who work in the character department there. As Disneyland makes less and less of their characters available to walk around their park, there will be less and less jobs. That's pathetic. Not only does that hurt the economy it hurts little kids who come to that park to be entertained. As it sounds, Disneyland just wants to treat Mickey Mouse like a shopping mall Santa and that's pretty fucking sad in my book. Pretty soon, the only characters who'll be out in the park will be cardboard standups. Hey, kids! Get your picture taken with the cardboard Mickey Mouse! Brutal.

  • Jan. 21, 2011, 3:10 a.m. CST

    The immediacy you seek is at the character breakfast.

    by Julius Dithers

    yeah, you gotta pay 60-70 bucks per person, but the characters come to you rather than vice versa and there's the all-you-can-eat buffet breakfast. Oh, scratch that idea. We want you on the mend, Harold.

  • Jan. 21, 2011, 3:12 a.m. CST

    wat?

    by frankenfickle

    disneyland is ruined because the dudes in suits won't walk around any more? holy shit what a comfortable age we live in.

  • Jan. 21, 2011, 3:15 a.m. CST

    Another observation...

    by Julius Dithers

    Brer Fox and Brer Bear were swamped last time I visited and their fans were exclusively black. Draw your own conclusions. Maybe Song of the South would kill on Blu-Ray. We're a post-racial America, after all.

  • Jan. 21, 2011, 3:44 a.m. CST

    Really? This is what you care about?!? You're joking, right?

    by jamesonian

  • Jan. 21, 2011, 4:15 a.m. CST

    I love the story, but I'm 35 & I don't "get " Disney.

    by Daredrummer

    Anytime I see someone reveling in something they love I appreciate it. I do. And I love Harry's story here, I can appreciate it. However, that said, I'm a 35 year old child of the 80s. I love Transformers, GI Joe, He Man, Marvel, DC, all of those magical 80s times, but somehow Disney escapes me. I have absolutely 0% connection or understanding of it. It all seems like disconnected, childish, irrelevant icons of a bygone era, only used for marketing and general recognition, just to strain whatever last few dollars can be made form the properties before society as a whole writes it off ala Popeye. I have always resented Disney even as a kid. It seemed like they were patronizing me as a child and I always hated that. That's my 2 cents. But...I did like the story, Harry. Thanks.

  • Jan. 21, 2011, 4:33 a.m. CST

    So many more important things to worry about...

    by Karl Hungus

  • Jan. 21, 2011, 4:52 a.m. CST

    Harry , your not the only one.

    by spangu

    Another website screamscape.com has brought this subject to it's readers attention and suggests an email capmpaign to - DLResort@disneyonline.com

  • Jan. 21, 2011, 6:25 a.m. CST

    Everybody knows EPCOT is where it's at.

    by kikuchiyoboy

    If you needed a pick with the big time characters, EPCOT was the place to be. No lines and easy access. Besides, Figment is there along with an awesome little tequila bar. That's a good combo.

  • Jan. 21, 2011, 6:26 a.m. CST

    "pick" = "pic"

    by kikuchiyoboy

  • Jan. 21, 2011, 6:41 a.m. CST

    by MikeTheSpike

    Aha! Patricia! The curtain is reveeeeeealed...!

  • Jan. 21, 2011, 6:49 a.m. CST

    Correction: The First Thing that Harry Said was.... McDonald's

    by DarfurOnTheRocks2

    Magic Kingdom? Try Golden Arches... All kidding aside, get well :)

  • Jan. 21, 2011, 6:50 a.m. CST

    Carsland looks sweet

    by DarfurOnTheRocks2

  • Jan. 21, 2011, 7 a.m. CST

    It is all false nostalga wraped in plastic

    by Charles_Corkey_Thatcher

    Harry, Disneyworld/land is just a callious money vacuum designed to pull at the heartstrings of kids and parents who remember what being a kid was like. It is not real by any sense of the imagination. You want a real childhood experience? Have a charity function that gives underprividledged kids toys. That will give you so much more than going to Disney ever could. Disney is all about the bottom line and this article just goes to show that they truly don't care. They know people are going to come, so why feed into it?

  • Jan. 21, 2011, 7:14 a.m. CST

    Harry ...it would be really awesome if you could post some of those pics

    by StupendousMan

    I think it would add much depth to this article!

  • Jan. 21, 2011, 7:39 a.m. CST

    Heartless corporation acts like heartless corporation. News at 11.

    by THE_CHOPPAH

  • Jan. 21, 2011, 7:42 a.m. CST

    Don't change, Disneyland.

    by THE_CHOPPAH

    You might disillusion Harry.

  • Jan. 21, 2011, 7:44 a.m. CST

    Disney exploiting and commodifying childhood?

    by THE_CHOPPAH

    Heavens! I do declare!!

  • Jan. 21, 2011, 7:45 a.m. CST

    Won't somebody PLEASE think of the children?

    by THE_CHOPPAH

    And all the revenue they generate for our multinational media conglomerate?

  • Jan. 21, 2011, 7:45 a.m. CST

    stupendousman

    by HEADGEEK

    totally agree,but i am in the hospital right now

  • Jan. 21, 2011, 7:46 a.m. CST

    But seriously, Harry. Don't worry about it, big guy.

    by THE_CHOPPAH

    After all, the sun will come out tomorrow, yo.

  • Jan. 21, 2011, 7:49 a.m. CST

    Saw this first hand - Disney World 3/2010

    by Dave

    My wife's family and I took my daughter, who was about 2-and-a-half at the time, on her first trip to Disney World in March of last year. I witnessed exactly what Harry was talking about where rather than seeing free-flowing characters, they were all in set locations with a PhotoPass photographer stationed nearby. On the bright side, we had a good experience with the PhotoPass system - my daughter got pics with all of the characters and all of the princesses (EPCOT is by FAR the easiest place to get this accomplished). The PhotoPass people were friendly and the characters seemed genuinely interested in making my daughter happy (probably helps that she's a dead-ringer for Shirley Temple). I can also say that the qualiity of the PhotoPass shots was suprisingly good - my in-laws even put together a calendar of the experience using PhotoPass pictures. That being said, it is kind of disheartening that those random drop-ins from the characters have been completely dropped. I don't think it would be that terrible if they had both the staged photos AND the free-flowing characters (with PhotoPass personnel nearby). The major gripe I have with PhotoPass are these annoying passports that kids can get. They are basically autograph books so kids can get signatures from their favorite characters ... or in other words another way to get adults to visit every corner of the park and spend money. Some of these kids were so rude that they would cut my daughter off, get their autograph, and the leave without getting a picture (I imagine there is some sort of incentive for getting all the signatures). I got frustrated enough that I started stepping in front of open pathways to characters to block these asshole tweens and protect my daughter. A mom of one of these POS tweens got in my face about letting her kid through. I looked at her, said "my daughter was here first", and turned back around. Why am I sharing this story? This really shouldn't be happening at the happiest place on earth. ... BTW, mom went and got a Disney rep and complained about how rude I was. I moved so the rep could see my two year old and said, "we're just waiting patiently in line." The rep said "okay" and walked away. Score.

  • Open letters need proper grammer. Why would John Lasseter even finish reading this? if you actually cared about how the Disney characters are used in the park, then you need to protest it clearly, concisely, emotionally and grammatically.

  • Jan. 21, 2011, 7:57 a.m. CST

    Harry gets to go to the front of the line anyways

    by teamneedle

  • Jan. 21, 2011, 8 a.m. CST

    If this concerns you don't go to EPCOT...

    by Iudex

    I went last year for the first time since I was a kid... Walt would be so disappointed at what they're doing and not doing there.

  • Jan. 21, 2011, 8:01 a.m. CST

    People who complain about grammar should spell "grammar" correctly.

    by THE_CHOPPAH

  • English, motherfucker. Do you speak it? Harry, heed the wisdom of Jules.

  • Jan. 21, 2011, 8:10 a.m. CST

    I don't know about DisneyLAND...

    by rev_skarekroe

    ...but the DisneyWORLD Magic Kingdom went to shit when they replaced the Penny Arcade/Magic Shop with a sporting goods store.

  • Jan. 21, 2011, 8:14 a.m. CST

    And somewhere... a fairy dies.

    by impossibledreamers

    Come on Tink! Breathe! Breathe you little wench, you never gave up on a fight in your life!! BREATHE!! The idea that you could 'round a corner and bump into any of the Disney characters was always one of the cool aspects of the park. But, now knowing that Buzz will always be here or Donald will always be there - takes some of that 'magic' away... Sorry Tink... I guess it wasn't enough pixie dust. I'm gonna' call it. Time of fairy death... 9:14am

  • Jan. 21, 2011, 8:23 a.m. CST

    helowsyos/the_choppah/bitch ass troll

    by nobodylistenstodestro

    He put Yo in the title because of the Will Smith connection, not because there are black people involved. I personally would have wrote it Yo, the sun gonna come out tomorrow. Now, stop being a sensitive little bitch.

  • Jan. 21, 2011, 8:24 a.m. CST

    Going to Disneyland tomorrow

    by purplemonkeydw

    that's all i got...hooray!

  • Jan. 21, 2011, 8:27 a.m. CST

    Nobodly listens to nobodylistenstodestro.

    by THE_CHOPPAH

  • Jan. 21, 2011, 8:27 a.m. CST

    Thank goodness for Conventions, huh?

    by Shut the Fuck up Donny

    I still get to see all the characters *I* want to see walk around and interact with them until the cows come home...And it's still cheaper than a trip to a Disney resort. I can appreciate the heartbreak of some people here (including Harry), but I was always a WB guy and never enjoyed Disney even as a child.

  • Jan. 21, 2011, 8:28 a.m. CST

    Only front people allowed here!?

    by pw

    Racists

  • Jan. 21, 2011, 8:28 a.m. CST

    Err..Forgot to clarify: Scifi/Fantasy/Comic Conventions

    by Shut the Fuck up Donny

  • Jan. 21, 2011, 8:39 a.m. CST

    ledergrant

    by nobodylistenstodestro

    Dont be a fucking moron. There is absolutely no way they would fire an employee for helping a lost kid. Whether or not they were allowed to speak.

  • Jan. 21, 2011, 8:53 a.m. CST

    The the_Choppah

    by nobodylistenstodestro

    Excellent play on words, you must be some kind of genius.

  • Jan. 21, 2011, 9 a.m. CST

    So Where Were Those Negative Green Hornet Reviws Again?

    by Bruda5000

    Just so I get this straight, you can take the time between rehab, pain meds, and your third helping of hospital food but you still cant post anything negative about the Green Hornet. Please dont have kids Harry, you're just bound to disappoint them with broken promises. Oh and one last thing, its Disney Land asshole. At those ticket prices you're damn right they are out to make a profit. If you're going to protest something, protest some shit that matters. Not whether you or your Wife can have conversations with mythical characters at random intervals while you waddle around the park. Used to love you Harry, now I just see you as dishonest and kind of pathetic. Ive got no hate for you bud, just a building resentment.

  • Jan. 21, 2011, 9:19 a.m. CST

    Who reads this shit?

    by Willbraham

    Get a fucking twitter page Harry. I want to see movie news, read rumors, learn about future productions, see interviews with actors, directors, etc. Why the fuck are you constantly talking about a childhood that no one cares about? And why is this, sure to be, crapfest of a film the reason that has you reminiscing? Dude get your priorities straight...I'm seeing better news coverage on films from places like Perez Hilton... Let me repeat..... ......PEREZ HILTON! Harry...we're geeks, nerds, fanboys. We are not your aunty Delanore. We don't know you, therefore your silly stories don't mean shit to us. And why would you share such coveted and private memories with people who wouldn't pour boiling diaarhea on you if you were freezing your nuts on the street? 10 years ago your website was the shit...now your website is becoming pure shit. My bookmark space doesn't like you anymore. Peace.

  • Jan. 21, 2011, 9:23 a.m. CST

    '51 Alice and the Hatter by the Starcade

    by CreamCheeseAlchemist

    Snapped some shots of them there last time I visited.

  • Jan. 21, 2011, 9:23 a.m. CST

    re: willbraham

    by teamneedle

    willbraham: absolutely gd right.

  • Jan. 21, 2011, 9:32 a.m. CST

    So.... Harry....

    by Le Grande Zombi

    "I just had an incredibly amazing spinal surgery where suddenly dead parts of my body started coming to life." I'll just go ahead and acknowledge the elephant in the room by asking two questions: 1. Have you been impotent all of these years? 2. And--if so--is feeling returning to your previously numbed genitals? Just a couple of simple questions.

  • Jan. 21, 2011, 9:37 a.m. CST

    P.S.

    by Le Grande Zombi

    Disneyland is Disneyworld lite. Go to Disneyworld.

  • Jan. 21, 2011, 9:42 a.m. CST

    I agree - EPCOT desperately needs an overhaul

    by gruntybear

    Especially the decimated "Future World" portion, where whole pavilions sit abandoned and rotting and the entrance has that hideous "sponsor a brick" tombstone structure practically blocking visitors' view of Spaceship Earth.

  • Jan. 21, 2011, 9:44 a.m. CST

    Please share the picture Harry!

    by snomusic

    All the ones you mentioned, but especially the Mickey story one - it's a shame to read a touching story like that only to not see it. As for haters like willbraham and legrandezombi - ignore them - YOUR site is fine the way it is. I like the community and familiarity it has.

  • Jan. 21, 2011, 9:44 a.m. CST

    Harry. Who can we write to?

    by End_Of_Line

    I have to agree. I truly loved seeing the roaming characters around Disneyland. I have a 2 year old little boy, and we already have plans to go to Disneyworld for his 5th birthday. It would be unfortunate that he didn't have the awesome magical feeling of seeing his favorite character walking around the park. Of course, having the characters in a pre-defined place may save Disney a little in the short run, but it's just not as much fun. I remember when Toon Town opened up, and it was at that time that I noticed that there were fewer characters roaming, but to have NO roaming characters would take away a lot of the experience. Disney... you already got $100 out of each body walking into the park, plus at least another $100 per body inside the park. The people are paying for magic, and you are just getting greedy(er). Harry - I know that online petitions rarely mean anything, but who can we write to, so that the uppers at Disney know that they are making a BIG mistake with this decision?

  • Jan. 21, 2011, 9:48 a.m. CST

    snomusic

    by Le Grande Zombi

    I'm not a hater! Pray tell, what do you mean? Seriously. I've been to Disneyland and Disneyworld--multiple times. Disneyworld is superior to Disneyland in every way. Disneyworld has everything Disneyland has and 50 times more. Like Harry, I loved Mickey when I was a kid--largely based on a trip to Disneyworld when I was a wee bairn.

  • Jan. 21, 2011, 9:50 a.m. CST

    willbraham and legrandezombi

    by snomusic

    Stop the hate. You don't like the site, fine, but the site has been the same for years, and it's community and family of characters is what is liked by a number of readers. There's no reason for Harry to change HIS site just because of the couple of jackwagons a day complain because he doesn't make HIS site conform to their jackwagon standards. Ya want the site to be different? Make your own site that just the way you want it - that freedom still exists!! But ya better hurry - there's no telling when it might disappear...

  • Jan. 21, 2011, 9:52 a.m. CST

    Sorry legrandezombi - I meant teamneedle

    by snomusic

    My apologies....where's that darn edit button?

  • Jan. 21, 2011, 9:56 a.m. CST

    Polaroid, or it didn't happen...

    by Flip63Hole

    Regardless, get well and give 'em Hell, Harry.

  • Jan. 21, 2011, 9:59 a.m. CST

    Edit buttons are for the weak!

    by Le Grande Zombi

    So glad the AICN management deep sixed the upgrade edit button. The magic of AICN TB must be preserved. I still miss < P >. <B>Don't you?</b>

  • Jan. 21, 2011, 9:59 a.m. CST

    Should read I still miss < P >

    by Le Grande Zombi

  • Jan. 21, 2011, 9:59 a.m. CST

    < P >

    by Le Grande Zombi

  • Jan. 21, 2011, 9:59 a.m. CST

    As a major Disney/Pixar fanatic, I hear ya on this one, Harry

    by Kamaji

    When I heard what Eisner was going to do in the early 2000's, I stopped wearing my Mickey Mouse watch when studying animation. I spent 2 days by myself exploring Disneyland (rode on every single ride!), but even by myself, I did miss the memories. My Mom has been gone for 15 years due to cancer, and I recall the only mountain she would ever consider riding was the Matterhorn. My parents spent their honeymoon at Disneyland, and I've been there at least 9 times in my lifetime. I went with cousins when I was 5. We huddled together by Small World and watched the Electrical Parade. We got my Uncle to come along and he went with us on Splash Mountain when I was 9. There's a picture of me from the early 80's posing with Brer Fox- I'm just a scrawny little 3-year-old in the photo, but I always think back on that one. I recall 2 years ago seeing Alice skipping off down the path between the Matterhorn with a couple children. That was a moment that while I was not a part of, it definitely was magic. To think that could be taken away is rather upsetting. The one character that I've wanted to meet since I was 11 is The Beast. He's my favorite character, but he's never out when I've visited in summer.

  • Jan. 21, 2011, 10 a.m. CST

    Ok, can't use lesser and great than signs at all now...

    by Le Grande Zombi

    I miss HTML tags.

  • Jan. 21, 2011, 10:01 a.m. CST

    snomusic- There are talbacks for a reason. Get over it.

    by Willbraham

    It's called an opinion. Maybe you can form your own someday.

  • Jan. 21, 2011, 10:06 a.m. CST

    nothing fills me with a greater sense of ennui and banality

    by mthrndr

    Than discussion about Disneyland and Disney World. It's all nonsense profiteering on characters no one gives a shit about any more. The only good thing about Disney is Pixar, and Pixar was not a Disney brainchild, but rather an acquisition.

  • Jan. 21, 2011, 10:09 a.m. CST

    Disney Land / Disney World mean nothing to me

    by VitaminJ

    I'm sure there was some magic and honest fun in the parks as originally conceived by Walt and friends. However, in my lifetime (the last ~25 years) the parks represent little more than crass commercialism and gift shop money grabbing. Unfortunately, when I think of the name "Disney" I do not think of the films I loved as a kid like Beauty and the Beast or The Lion King. I think of shopping mall Disney stores full of overpriced Pooh dolls. I think of the countless direct-to-video sequels Disney pumped out over the last 20 years that, in my mind, ruined some of their classic titles. Cinderella is not supposed to be a damn franchise. Disney has thankfully decided to shutter their sequel factory, but the damage is done. On the bright side, hooking up with Pixar was a good move. Pixar's films are beautiful and untainted, and I hope they stay that way. I do not want to see "Wall-E 2: The Robot Olympics" advertised on the Disney Channel in twenty years.

  • Jan. 21, 2011, 10:15 a.m. CST

    Mickey talked!

    by fabshelly

    Mickey talked when I was a kid, too. That's before Disney ruled that all non-face characters must be silent. Not many kids remember, but Harry and I do. The Fabulous Disney Babe

  • Jan. 21, 2011, 10:17 a.m. CST

    mthrndr

    by Le Grande Zombi

    You're actually filled with banality? Other than that word choice problem, I largely agree with you. The Disney ventures always were crass moneymakers at the end of the day.

  • Jan. 21, 2011, 10:24 a.m. CST

    Harry...write a book dude

    by Willbraham

    You're wasting these sweet stories on this silly webpage. No one takes the internet seriously. The internet is like that retarded (not literally) relative that keeps giving you money, but you never respect them for it because you know they would just buy stupid shit themselves. Putting things into a biography that is sold online or stores would be far more exciting and profitable(for you), than wasting them on this ugly ass site. update this friggin thing already. the only new thing i see is your fat ass cartoon in the corner of the page everyday. If you can't grow with us, I don't see how you can expect us to relate to your past. Coming to aicn is like going back in time. I feel like I'm in the 80's when I come here. And I come here because I'm loyal. I've been here for at least ten years. I resent being called a 'HATER' by snomusic's stupid ass. A 'HATER' is what someone calls someone when they can't handle criticism. PS I would buy your bullshit biography (hardcover, bitch) with all your silly stories and life lessons, and etc. HARRY KNOWLES' BIG BOOK OF BULLSHIT: BIOGRAPHY OF THE FIRST INTERNET MOVIE GEEK

  • Jan. 21, 2011, 10:27 a.m. CST

    Get out your credit card, Willbraham!

    by fabshelly

    http://www.amazon.com/Aint-Hollywoods-Redheaded-Stepchild-Speaks/dp/0446679917/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1295627191&sr=1-1 Harry's book. Jim Hill and I went to the signing in Hollywood years back.

  • Jan. 21, 2011, 10:34 a.m. CST

    True story.

    by Dkev00

    A couple years ago we went to Disney World. My wife had purchased day passes on ebay to save a buck. We got to the Epcot gates and the passes wouldn't work. Long story short, the passes were originally purchased with a stolen credit card then my wifed purchased them on ebay. Once we proved our story, one of the park managers comped us 2 passes. He said this happens at least once a week. He could have sent us packing, but he was very cool about the whole thing. I think my wife learned her lesson.

  • Jan. 21, 2011, 10:35 a.m. CST

    I used to come here to hear about movies....

    by Steve

    Oh my fing god Disney characters can walk around the park. Aaaaaaaahhhhhhhhh the horror of it all. Waaaaahhhhhhhaaaaaa

  • Jan. 21, 2011, 10:37 a.m. CST

    right..becasue disney has never been about the money. : /

    by FleshMachine

    it's been crass, commercial and shallow for a couple decades now. at least.

  • Jan. 21, 2011, 10:42 a.m. CST

    I don't think you should have given me the amazon link,

    by Willbraham

    Fabsbelly. The reviews are scathing. I'll pass. Maybe it would work as a pop-up book?

  • Jan. 21, 2011, 11:07 a.m. CST

    chip n dale

    by deelzbub

    met up w/ one of them @ DW back in '79. Walked across half the park w/ that chipmunk. It was the coolest part of the day. We appreciate these relevant stories, Harry.

  • Jan. 21, 2011, 11:09 a.m. CST

    and helowsyos

    by deelzbub

    is still mad that the Fresh Prince won't return his calls. Get a job, Jazzy Jeff!

  • Jan. 21, 2011, 11:10 a.m. CST

    I think it's a problem in how they conceptualize value.

    by Lobanhaki2

    See, they're thinking they can get more money by nailing down the characters so their photographers or whatever that system is can make more money selling photos to parents. But they're undoing part of the less linear experience of encountering the characters more throughout the park. They think just because they can't systematize it make an obvious profit off of it, it's not important. But if they do end up doing this, it might devalue the experience, and these days, there's already little enough value in going to amusement parks, much less indulging in the resort vacation sort of experience Disney expects. In the obsession to realize rationalized profits, the folks at Disney might be undermining their ability to make profits in general. Just because you can't explain it or work it out in a single pitch doesn't mean it doesn't matter.

  • Why do we care about honoring the spirit of a Nazi sympathizer?

  • Even on the heaviest days in June/July, Indy and any of the other "E" ticket attractions are easily accessible if you use your FastPass allocations wisely. I typically ride Indy a minimum of 3-4 times each visit & I never spend more than 20 minutes in line. FastPass is your friend. Plus, the Indy line is totally part of the fun. You're walking into the Temple of the Forbidden Eye and avoiding all of the traps along the way. It's the best, most detailed, most intricately themed queue in all of the U.S. Disney properties. I wouldn't miss it for the world.

  • Jan. 21, 2011, 11:11 a.m. CST

    That's right. Walt Disney was a Nazi sympathizer.

    by THE_CHOPPAH

    He only made those WWII propaganda films to protect his brand.

  • Jan. 21, 2011, 11:12 a.m. CST

    Ledergrant

    by nobodylistenstodestro

    Reread my post dumbass. Just talking, sure I guess. A crying child, separated from his parents? No fucking way. That said, I have hard time believing harrys story.

  • Jan. 21, 2011, 11:12 a.m. CST

    Uncle Walt had a grand old time with Hitler's buddy, Leni Riefenstahl.

    by THE_CHOPPAH

    Don't you forget it.

  • Jan. 21, 2011, 11:14 a.m. CST

    That's right kids!

    by JustUsNerdsHere

    Time to grow up. Happy memories for children is not profitable! Any self respecting corporate entity knows that!

  • Jan. 21, 2011, 11:14 a.m. CST

    My first trip/how disneyworld used to be

    by BlaGyver

    My first trip to Disneyworld was....97 I guess, I think I was 5. I was there with my mom, dad, and sister who was 2 at the time. That trip, we went to Magic Kingdom 3 times (my sister and I had never experienced anything like it so we really couldn't get enough). The second night, we decided to close the night out with Jungle Cruise, which we had yet to ride. My sister had been complaining most of the day about not wanting to eat, being tired, etc. You know, things that 2 year olds complain about. My parents had been dealing with it and their patience was wearing thin, so when we saw that there was a 2 hour wait for Jungle Cruise and my sister started complaining, they basically told her to suck it up. About halfway through the line, my sister started saying that she needed to use the bathroom, which would basically stop her and whichever parent left from riding the ride (my parents were, in retrospect, kind of geeking out that entire trip. My dad had been to Disneyworld when he was 7 or 8, but not since, and my mom had never been. So both were kind of excited about Jungle Cruise). My sister says, "I gotta go now!" and just as she finishes saying it, throws up EVERYWHERE. Straight up projectile vomits up everything she's eaten that day. It gets all over my mom, all over the floor, just fucking EVERYWHERE. Within 20 seconds there's a ton of employees surrounding us cleaning up the mess and making sure everyone is okay. What proceeded over the next hour was incredible: They got my mom and sister out of line and moved my dad and I up to the front. They proceeded to stick me next to the guy that "drives" the Jungle Cruise boat and tell him that he had a co-captain today: Me. I got to "steer" the Jungle Cruise boat. It was the single coolest thing ever. When we were ready to get off, a cast member came over and asked if it was my first time at DisneyWorld. I said yes. They asked how I liked the ride and I told them it was my favorite so far. They said if that was the case, there was no reason my dad and I couldn't just stay on and ride again, which we did. After the second ride, my dad and I went to find my mom and sister who were in a guest services room. They had given my mom a new teeshirt free of charge as well as a coffee thermos filled with hot chocolate (we still have the coffee mug to this day). They'd also wrapped my sister up in a TinkerBell blanket and given her a change of clothes. As we were leaving, a park attendent came over with a large shopping bag and handed it to my sister. She had picked up a complete set of 6 Disney Princess dolls for my sister to take home since she wouldn't be able to come to the park the next day. She also told me to stop by the Emporium on Main Street tomorrow around 11. When I got there the next day she handed me a Timon plushie (my favorite character from the first movie I ever saw in theatres) and told me it was for doing such a good job co-captaining the boat the day before. That was the single best vacation ever. Disneyworld still gets me all these years later and it really is my favorite place in the world, but it saddens me that it's changed so much. I can't see something like that happening in the parks today. That same trip, my dad had an impromptu encounter with The Mad Hatter who he hit it off with (the guy dressed up as the Mad Hatter hinted as subtlely as he could that he had gone to the same college as my dad) and that was another highlight of the trip. My dad still has the picture of them together in his office.

  • Jan. 21, 2011, 11:16 a.m. CST

    Hitler's favorite movie was Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.

    by THE_CHOPPAH

  • Jan. 21, 2011, 11:16 a.m. CST

    willbraham

    by Bob Loblaw Law Blog

    You're an idiot. Not only is this Harry's site, so he can do as he damn well pleases with it... but he DOES have a Twitter account, and has had one for a while. In fact... that's how I found out Harry wrote this article. Not because I read it on his Twitter feed... but because he tweeted me personally and told me to read it because he knows I love Disneyland. I kid you not. That's why Harry is so cool, in my book. Good luck finding another site like this where the site's founder actually gets to know and befriends his readers. You may not like everything Harry writes, but don't insult him (or the rest of us) by telling him how to do things. If you don't like here, leave... and go read CHUD or HitFlix, or E! Online. BTW, Harry tweets at @headgeek666. He's always tweeting cool stuff.

  • Jan. 21, 2011, 11:16 a.m. CST

    When I went to Disney in '89 you had to go to Mickey

    by moorE12

    All the other characters were walking around, except for Mickey. I am guessing they did this to make it more special.

  • Jan. 21, 2011, 11:17 a.m. CST

    Your parents are sick in the head

    by Thunderbolt Ross

    They "held back" so you could talk to fucking Micky Mouse?

  • Jan. 21, 2011, 11:19 a.m. CST

    The real reason a lot of you miss the "good ol' days" of Disneyland.

    by THE_CHOPPAH

    Fewer black people at the park. Don't deny it. "Good ol' days" and "how it used to be" are always code for a time when minorities were less accepted by the general white public.

  • Jan. 21, 2011, 11:27 a.m. CST

    Why is it that the Disney aesthetic held so much appeal for Hitler?

    by THE_CHOPPAH

    And why is it the dominant aesthetic for mainly white, "middle American" children and their mommies? Hmmmmm ....... And why did Disney wait so long to feature a black princess? They had Middle Eastern and Chinese princesses already. Is it because those cultures are known to foster totalitarian governments and culture? Hmmmmm ....... When will Disney feature their first Jewish princess? Hmmmmm ........

  • Jan. 21, 2011, 11:27 a.m. CST

    Eh, it's been like this at WDW for years...

    by sapno_krei

    Seriously, you're not missing anything. Kids don't care if the characters are walking around or standing in a special meet-and-greet area. In their eyes, it's not a prefab photobooth but rather part of the characters' homes. And there are character meals where you can interact with them as they walk around the room. I'd much rather have it that way than to risk get my child lost in a mob chasing Mickey down the street.

  • Jan. 21, 2011, 11:33 a.m. CST

    I saw a character line-up at Magic Kingdom a couple months ago.

    by Tarijeno

    It was like a buffet line - twenty people standing along a cordoned rop to get their picture taken with a stir crazy kid in a Tigger costume.... sad.

  • Jan. 21, 2011, 11:33 a.m. CST

    "we can have coupon day, or something"

    by Seven_of_Borgnine

    - That Bloodsucking Lawyer from Jurassic Park

  • Jan. 21, 2011, 11:39 a.m. CST

    The sun'll come out tomorrow, yo?

    by Subtitles_Off

    Aw HELLZ naw!

  • Jan. 21, 2011, 11:44 a.m. CST

    Guess this is part of your charm Harry...

    by skycrapper

    that you still care about things like this. I'm a Warner Brothers cartoon guy so Disney characters really don't have the same effect on me. Glad your back is progressing well.

  • Jan. 21, 2011, 11:49 a.m. CST

    hope Disney burns just to spite you

    by mr teaspoon

  • Jan. 21, 2011, 11:52 a.m. CST

    This is sad? I guess so.

    by Subtitles_Off

    This is some corporate fukk figuring out how to make crowd control pay. This is America today. This is the kind of s#!t your generation usually calls "good business." I don't believe -- not for a second -- that the twentyling intern sweating inside a Pluto costume is pissed he no longer has to walk around and suffer the abuse. Theme Parks are not places one goes any longer to make soppy memories to store away for their nostalgic years. They are glorified shopping malls where you stand in long lines for the pleasure of being given a pair of 3D glasses and shown to a seat that maybe moves or blows hot air up your ass. They are places where you pay $17.50 for a fukken balloon and then pretend you've done something "magical" for your precious urchin. Why, all of a sudden, do you expect John Lasseter to care about magic, awe, and spontaneity disappearing from American culture? We abandoned all that at least thirty years ago.

  • Jan. 21, 2011, 11:55 a.m. CST

    subtitles_off

    by THE_CHOPPAH

    Who doesn't love some hot air blown up their ass every now and then? This is America, after all.

  • "I, Ronald Wilson Reagan, do solemnly swear ... "

  • Jan. 21, 2011, noon CST

    Very sad!!! I'll never forget Peter Pan

    by dx27hbk

    When my daughter was 4 years old we were walking around the park when she turns to me and asks me "daddy what's next?" when all of the sudden someone puts there arm underneath my free arm and asks the same thing "where to daddy" it was Peter Pan and and Wendy. My daughter is 9 years old and to this day remembers that moment. All her fantasy about the story were true she was indeed in never neverland. It will be a sad day indeed if this takes place!

  • Jan. 21, 2011, 12:07 p.m. CST

    Harry, I sent your story to ThemeParkInsider.com.

    by The Reluctant Austinite

    I'm also a Theme Park fanatic, so I sent your story to Robert Niles, editor of Theme Park Insider, which is another site I visit on a daily basis. I think it's a news worthy story that Disney fans should have an open discussion about. Long live the Haunted Mansion! Also, Snow White's Scary Adventures, one of the rides designed personally by Walt, is being torn down soon for the newly revamped Fantasy Land. So if you like that ride, hurry to ride it one last time. I've always thought of it as a junior version of the Haunted Mansion.

  • Jan. 21, 2011, 12:08 p.m. CST

    gruntybear

    by Claimjumper

    Do you remember when AT&T used to sponsor the Indy ride? At the start of the line, they gave out cards with an alphabet key so you could decipher all of the messages carved on the walls. I still have a couple somewhere.

  • Jan. 21, 2011, 12:13 p.m. CST

    the_choppah

    by aikimoe

    You sound exactly like every religious fundamentalist in America, or every historically ignorant, knee-jerk ideologue who's ever described America to be in a "final descent." And comparing Disney to Nazism? What are you, a humanities freshman? You'll feel better after you've read some books and lived a little longer, trust me.

  • Jan. 21, 2011, 12:15 p.m. CST

    I don't need to compare Disney to Nazism.

    by THE_CHOPPAH

    The proof is there for all to see.

  • Jan. 21, 2011, 12:16 p.m. CST

    aikimoe, tell me more about old people.

    by Subtitles_Off

    Are they all humorless and literal? Do they poop regular?

  • Jan. 21, 2011, 12:21 p.m. CST

    This would be typical of the Disney Company

    by Vlad the Inhaler

    Let's face it, the core competency of Disney isn't magic -- it's crowd control.

  • Jan. 21, 2011, 12:24 p.m. CST

    America and Disneyland will remain glorious forever!

    by THE_CHOPPAH

    My mommy told me so.

  • Jan. 21, 2011, 12:26 p.m. CST

    and Tigger too!

    by Wehmenstein

    On my first trip to Disneyworld when I was four, I rounded a corner just after entering the park and almost walked right into Tigger. I was a huge Winnie the Pooh fan and literally fell to my knees in the shock of seeing Tigger in real life. My parents have a picture of it, and we still talk about it to this day (the only part of that trip we still talk about!).

  • Jan. 21, 2011, 12:30 p.m. CST

    "The whole thing got too artificial."

    by THE_CHOPPAH

    It's always been artificial. Let's all be nostalgic for a different kind of soulless bullshit!

  • Jan. 21, 2011, 12:43 p.m. CST

    "exploring every nook and cranny."

    by Phildogger

    "On my wife & mine's 1st wedding Anniversary we spent 3 days and nights in DISNEYLAND - exploring every nook and cranny." Did anybody else read this the wrong way? I nearly threw up in my mouth!

  • Jan. 21, 2011, 12:45 p.m. CST

    The Disney parks survive on Boomer nostalgia now

    by Prof. Pop-Cult

    Even many actual kids today see it as something that their grandparents are into more than they are. The Universal park in Florida is making bank on their Harry Potter attraction that there is talk about expanding it since it's been so crowded. Yes, Disney has properties that appeal to today's kids -- look at Pixar and Cars. But how come we don't see the Disney parks reflect this with more permanent attractions modeled around their popular modern-day movie properties? Also, I don't think John Lasseter has much say, if any, over how the parks are handled (I could be wrong about this). He's in charge of the animation departments.

  • Jan. 21, 2011, 12:45 p.m. CST

    Is Harry even allowed on any of the rides?

    by THE_CHOPPAH

  • Jan. 21, 2011, 1:18 p.m. CST

    helowsyos: I'm sure the yo in the headline was used

    by UltraTron

    to make fun of the Will Smith hip hoppity hoppin machine. As we all know so well the illuminati dumb our youth down with such music. Paving the way for an entire demon possessed populace- if ya believe in that sorta thing. Basically Nixon, Bush- everyone since Kennedy have all been demon puppets- I'm just saying. And basically they like to bath in baby blood to soak in the adrenaline- if ya believe in that sorta thing. They are immortal but apparently want our flesh to puppet around. Why else would they need us? Fucking illuminati demon bastards. Now they've gotten their reptilian fangs on the Disney cast members! Fresh cast-member blood must be a new fad for them as they ready their ultimate evil plan. Interdimensional bastards.

  • Jan. 21, 2011, 1:21 p.m. CST

    the magic kingdom

    by THE_CHOPPAH

    is a false dawn for you both

  • Jan. 21, 2011, 1:22 p.m. CST

    I did always have more love for Bugs and Foghorn Leghorn

    by deelzbub

    because they were on TV for 2 hours every Sat. morning. It seemed that Disney was always stingy w/ Mickey and Co. Wonderful World of Disney only put the cartoons on every now and then. I might have felt differently if Mickey and Horace Horsecollar were in heavy rotation a la Road Runner and Coyote.

  • Jan. 21, 2011, 1:39 p.m. CST

    Harry is the Jim Cramer of movie critics.

    by THE_CHOPPAH

    Scott Pilgrim was the Bear Stearns of movies.

  • Jan. 21, 2011, 1:40 p.m. CST

    80's Epcot was incredible

    by darthvedder81

    That park is a shell of what it once was. Some of my most vivid childhood memories are from my family's Disney trips in '86 and '87. The Magic Kingdom was fun but my six year old eyes were wide open at EPCOT. You really felt like you'd stepped into the future (and I'm still waiting for the world to catch up to it's vision). It sucks that they are eliminating the walkaround characters but it's probably inevitable given the size of the crowds and the expectation of the modern tourist. For me I remember a glorious time when people didn't need high-tech roller coasters and thrill-a-second attractions to be entertained. I'd trade all the costumed characters away if it meant they'd bring back the wonder that was EPCOT Center.

  • Jan. 21, 2011, 1:43 p.m. CST

    Deelzbub, you have a point

    by Shut the Fuck up Donny

    I'm in my early 30's and I remember that if I wanted to see Disney cartoons at a young age, my parents had to pay specifically to order the Disney Channel, just like for HBO, Showtime, etc. It seems now that might be biting Disney in the butt a bit. There are a lot of people like you and me (and others have mentioned it in this topic) that just didn't get enough exposure to their product to really care about and want to now spend disposable income in things related to their properties. Of course now the Disney Channel is easily available, and to no surprise, more younger children are keen on Disney goodies.

  • Jan. 21, 2011, 1:51 p.m. CST

    Was just in Disney World in November...

    by SK229

    and I saw at least three characters pop out of nowhere. Not sure about Disneyland. Now that you mention it, I was there two years ago and don't remember seeing any just walking around. However, Disneyland, even when ti's supposed to be a slow day, is FUCKING MOBBED every time I'm there... at night on the weekends, they literally have to create lanes of human traffic and you feel like a car merging onto the 405. So from a safety point of view, I guess it makes sense cause with the sheer numbers they're seeing (Disney is like crack to some people... I used to include myself), it's possible a character could literally cause a stampede or someone could get hurt. And Knobules, the longest line in the world award goes to Wizarding World of Harry Potter. Mofo was FIVE HOURS LONG the week of Thanksgiving... so we were told. We went the following Monday and waited 10 minutes in the morning and in the last 5 minutes the park was open, we got right on it, even though the sign said 30 minutes. The ride itself is INSANE... probably the most immersive experience I've ever had, except for the 'screens', which I'm actually quite sick of on rides. The bean counters thought 3D and 'screen' type rides would save the day with a bigger ROI, but now you can head down to your local multiplex and see that shit. MORE ANIMATRONICS AND ACTUAL SETS, PLEASE! Must say, Universal goes balls out nearly every single time and Disney most certainly does not. They do it maybe once a decade - Twilight Zone in the 90's... Everest in the previous decade. Hell, Universal will TEAR DOWN rides that are still kicking ass and replace/repurpose them... even when they shouldn't like with King Kong and BTTF in Universal Orlando. (The Mummy is a great ride, but I'm just not a Simpsons fan.) Also, I gotta say this about Disney World. The hotel room prices are fucking ridiculous. It costs something like $400+ to stay in the boardwalk, $500+ in the Grand Floridian, Yacht and Beach, etc., and there is no way at all that you're getting a $400+ level of service. I was there for a wedding and I heard so many horror stories from everyone, including people we didn't even know, about the people who work at the hotels giving you a hard time if you ask FOR ANYTHING. I mean, ANYTHING. The policy seems to be to stall, act like the person asking for something has six heads, then ask someone else if it's ok, then not give it to them for 45 minutes to an hour, then only do something when the person complains again. Most everyone we talked to said that their hotel room prices are out of whack with the rest of the world, even New York City, where paying $500 for a hotel room will get you a helluva lot more than it will in Disney World. Not to mention you can go on a cruise and get a much higher level of service for far less money... I think Disney's prices and level of service/amenities are anachronistic at this point. They make literally ZERO sense, but they continue to act like they do. What's funny is that I think as far as service and 'magic', I guess you'd call it, Disney raised the bar, others have met and exceeded it, and now Disney is falling backwards. I actually think it sucks and it's sad. At this point, I'd rather go to an all-inclusive or go on a Royal Caribbean cruise... at least you get better food every night for far money. Disney dining options, at least if you want to have a nice dinner, aren't always the best and they charge out the ass. Unfortunately, even if everyone stopped going to Disney, the lesson upper management types take from that is always, "Raise prices". Until nobody can afford it and the place shuts down, I believe they'd take it that far before saying, "Hey, maybe we're doing something wrong?"

  • Jan. 21, 2011, 1:59 p.m. CST

    Iudux

    by Phimseto

    I went to Epcot five years ago after an eighteen-year gap, and I agree with you completely. The excellent Horizons had been replaced by the tawdry Mission: Mars. I loved the two pavilions under Spaceship: Earth, where they had all sorts of "future items" and polls where you could predict how things would develop. When I went back under there...all it was was Playstation 2s running Kingdom Hearts and one or two other Disney related games. I was horrified. The worst, of course, was Journey to Imagination, where they butchered the wonderful original ride and turned it into a glorified commercial for their live-action films. Oh, and my favorite part as a kid - the cool imagination playground post-ride had been whittled down to almost nothing. Awful, awful, awful.

  • Jan. 21, 2011, 2 p.m. CST

    Oh, and Harry...

    by Phimseto

    ...I agree with you 100%. Case in fucking point: getting rid of the 20000 Leagues Under The Sea ride at Disney World and replacing it with...Ariel's Grotto, nothing more than a "pay for" photo op with a girl dressed up as Ariel.

  • Jan. 21, 2011, 2:04 p.m. CST

    CHOP CHOP CHOP

    by THE_CHOPPAH

  • Jan. 21, 2011, 2:04 p.m. CST

    I'm with Harry, Mr. Lasseter...

    by madmaximustdie

    I have been an annual pass holder (despite living out of state) for 3 of the last 5 years... I LOVE this park with all my heart...but I, too, have noticed diminished joy with the lines (though the workers insist it's 'not' a line - but it has to be a line in order for other parents not to get mad)...I also recall the incredible joy of the summer of 77 (when I met you street sweeping in Tomorrowland) upon spontaneously seeing characters -- please don't let them take that away from us! Aren't there enough characters in the Disney universe that some could stroll, while others park? And seriously, while one Mickey is parked, couldn't another (perhaps in different costume) stroll at the other side... I'm OVERJOYED you are involved. I know how much the park means to you. Please do what you can...

  • Jan. 21, 2011, 2:05 p.m. CST

    Disney World seems dated now

    by I Max U Mini

    I remember going to the Florida attraction when it first opened. The last time I went was in 1997. It seemed old to me. My wife and I now take our kids exclusively to Universal Theme Parks in Orlando. There are rides for kids, teens and adults and the miraculous worlds they create are second to none. And the characters walk around. We've run into the Ghostbusters, The Marx Brothers, Shrek and Donkey, a shitload of Marvel superheroes and I haven't even brought up Dudley Doright, Popeye, and all those fabulous Dr. Seuss characters.

  • Jan. 21, 2011, 2:06 p.m. CST

    SK229

    by Phimseto

    Great post...though typing your name made me want to write instead, "Why aren't you at your post?"

  • Jan. 21, 2011, 2:10 p.m. CST

    Harry are you going to post a vidoe of you walking?

    by hallmitchell

    I want to see it with the Rocky music in the background.

  • Jan. 21, 2011, 2:11 p.m. CST

    Harry, as a one time Imagineer, I need to tell you...

    by Citizen Sane

    ... that your wasting your effort. I grew up in LA with Disneyland as my favorite of all places like many others. I grew up wanting to share in the dream and, hopefully, make some meaningful contributions to it. My time as a contractor at WDI started as a dream coming true before my eyes. What I learned about the mouse in my time there proved to be quite the opposite. I routinely encountered widespread arrogance and elitism among the ineffective management. Among the "full-timers"I found pathetic incompetence complicated by hostile petty politics. The contempt that they harboured for each other, the guests and the customers was unbelievable. I had to devote as much time watching my back as I did doing my work... and I spent A LOT of time and energy doing my work because I wanted nothing more than to make a career at Imagineering. My fellow contractors and myself busted our asses to do a good job and I am sure that the ruthless, talentless full-timers that served as our "leads" happily took credit for our good work (because their own work was truly useless) after our contracts were ended during second Bush recession. <br><br> I have to qualify this by adding that my time there was in the middle of the horrific Eisner era and possibly when the company was at its most dysfunctional; actually "dysfunctional" is soft peddling it... more like diseased. <br><br> After Eisner was appropriately excised, my hope as a Disney fan and theme park freak was that all that corporate nonsense would end and that, going forward, the parks would once again becime a magical place to visit. After putting all my frustration from working at the company aside, I resumed my role as a fan of the parks. But I have since learned that has yet be the case. The problem is that EVERY time I go to the parks (particularly the ones here, I encounter so much more frustration when dealing with the event services, guest relations and customer service) that I have completely given up on the Disney parks altogether. I have found that the dysfunction, incompetence and downright rudeness of the cast members to be common and unbearable. EVERY time I visit the experience manages to become unpleasant at the hands of the cast members and how they run the place. <br><br>My point is that Disney is gotten too big and too powerful as a corporate entity. They are about revenue streams and cash flow and to maximize all of that means excising the quality of the "Disney" experience. <br><br>All of the studios do this now too with half of their cinematic offerings being hemogenized and formulaic to minimize risk and "guaranty" certain a minimum response from the ticket buying public. You and I and all of the AICN contributors know that the element of surprise is what makes an entertainment experience both special and memorable as you have clearly articulated in your appe,al to Lasseter here. However, that runs contrary to corporate (and now Disney) culture. The parks in california are currently in a growth pattern (attendance wise) and they are going to increase efficiency to maximize their throughput (and cash flow). They will not turn people away at the gates unless the regulatory powers that be tell them that they have to; and they will not facilitate any random activity within the swollen crowds that might joepardize that efficiency, even at the cost of the quality of the experience.<br><br> An old friend of my family was a member of the Directors Guild and he personally knew Walt. He told us some great stories but mostly he was progressively shocked at the directions in which the company has taken over the years. He is gone now, but in consideration of my experiences with the company, I completely understand what he was talking about. I have also known many others that have had there own stories reflecting the incredible lack of intergrity displayed by the Disney company over the years. <br><br> I have digressed here because many Disney philes wear rose colored glasses and could benefit from some genuine objectivity. I personally have given up hope as a fan of their parks and characters and avoid it as much as I can. It just isn't worht the inflate cost, stress and lack fun. Your diatribe is understandable and justified, but it will go unheard. I'm sure John Lasseter believes that he cares; but even if he bothers to read it, nothing will change to bring the "magic" back.

  • Jan. 21, 2011, 2:13 p.m. CST

    Charles_Corkey

    by ditkaman

    It has to suck to be that jaded. Some of my fondest memories are of my Disney World vacations in Florida with my parents. My kids have been there and they talk about it all the time. If you're a kid, if you can just let yourself go a little bit and get lost in that child-like innocence, it is still absolute magic. But yeah, a toy drive with orphans would really make the kids light up. Those would be some magic memories all right. Hey kids, instead of vacation we're going to stay home and give your shit away!

  • Jan. 21, 2011, 2:19 p.m. CST

    BTW...

    by Citizen Sane

    ... a hot girl I once dated took her young son there when the roaming Tigger character cam of to hug her. She reciprcated and at the very last second Tigger moved his outstetched arms and groped her tit and crotch as she threw her arms around him. She dragged her son out of the park and never returned. It's hilarious but true.

  • Jan. 21, 2011, 2:21 p.m. CST

    Walt would be ashamed...

    by Disgustipitated

    This is disgusting. The most memorable moments I have from Disney World were spontaneous character interactions like that. Goofy playing which hand to shake and ultimately pulling my hat over my four year old eyes literally 4 decades ago. Minnie Mouse stopping to sit next to me and put her head on my shoulder in an attempt to cheer me up since I had no smile on my face almost 30 years ago. Captain Hook & Smee stopping me on the pier in front of the Contemporary Hotel when NO ONE ELSE was around, grabbing my pirate flag I got from the Pirates of the Caribbean ride out of the shopping bag I carried and saluting it then pretending to toss it into the water almost 25 years ago. Out of everything I experienced whenever I went, these were the moments that stood out. I remember them as though they happened yesterday. John, I'm with Harry...please...PLEASE don't let this happen. Ask yourself...what would Walt do?

  • Jan. 21, 2011, 2:21 p.m. CST

    Wilbraham the douche

    by ditkaman

    Who reads this shit? You, I guess. Since you took the time to scroll on down and comment. What, you have time to complain but not to, you know, read the article? The ENTIRE point of Harry's site here is that he offers reviews that are unabashedly colored by who he is and what he has experienced in life. It's the whole point of the site dude. He isn't going to break a film down based solely (or soullessly) on it's technical merits. He is going to passionately defend or hate it and he is going to allow his life-experience to color that review. It's why he's different. Why I love his reviews. And why stories like these are relevant to Harry the reviewer and Harry the person. I'm glad I'm not your aunt Dolores or it would be my job to let you know you're a whiny douchebag that can't see the larger point right in front of him.

  • Jan. 21, 2011, 2:33 p.m. CST

    Harry, EASY SIMPLE SIMPLE SOLUTION

    by mark steinfitz

    Have the characters still walk around randomly, but have them show up at scheduled places once an hour or every 2 hours or something. Kinda like a fastpass but in reverse, for the characters. Simple. Done. No need for a giant long rant. Lasseter, (great movie btw) if you're reading this, there you go.

  • Jan. 21, 2011, 2:36 p.m. CST

    The Perversion of a Dream

    by Rob

    Harry, I grew up in Disney World, and I mean that quite literally. My dad's office was underneath Main Street and my mom was a manager at the Christmas Store in Buena Vista (and as a teenager in SoCal she worked on Storybook Land where every Friday Walt would come by, close the ride for 30 minutes, and take all the girls out for milk shakes) - my daycare was the KidnerCare on park grounds. I saw so many of the classics in the movie theater reserved for employees (I seem to recall it being behind FrontierLand, but dude, I was 5 - who knows!). I knew all the guys and girls in the costumes. I came to be able to tell who was Donald by how they walked. And whenever they came up to my sister and I, we shared the secret, helped keep that magic alive by pretending they were Donald and not Uncle Curt, Aunt Jesse, Uncle Jim. We were kids, but everyone there (and sure, it's likely because of the position my dad held) treated us like we were one of them, like we were helping to build the Magic of Disney. When I read your stories about growing up and visiting Disney - and that Mickey story, man, damn... fucking great and indicative of what the park was meant to be - it reminded me of all those happy childhood memories before I became a jaded douchebag. The place had the power to crack through even the most hardened fanboy. It may have been a tad kitschey, but after an hour or two you bought in and wallowed in the place. I loved Disney. Truly, madly, deeply (gay, I know) until we left the area, moved up to DC, and Eisner took control. That money-grubbing bastard turned what was a magical, beautiful dream into a machine geared towards making money and not Magic. Hotels sprung up everywhere and their gaudiness reflected what Walt would have raged against: Bilking every parent out of ever dollar they possibly could. Slowly but surely, every old timer that helped build not only the parks, but the company as a whole, were summarily dismissed (you can't fathom the bitterness many of those now-retired men and women hold) and something began to happen. The park looked and felt washed out, thin, grey. It started losing its luster... and when they announced you could win a chance to spend a night in Cinderella's castle? Fuck that. That's like watching your virginal daughter unwillingly lose her innocence. That went too far. To me, the park is gone. The Magic is gone. It was bought and sold decades ago and all that used to glitter done shines with an oily sheen, a sickly gloss of makeup that covers sores and pustules. I always hoped Roy could salvage the Dream, breathe life back into it, but he's too old and too powerless to stop the machine that's turned the Dream into a G-Rated brothel.

  • Jan. 21, 2011, 2:38 p.m. CST

    Oh and...

    by Rob

    If anyone doubts my Disney creds... I know where Walt fucking freezer is. Oh yeah.

  • Jan. 21, 2011, 2:52 p.m. CST

    Francis from Pee-Wee's Big Adventure is based on Harry.

    by THE_CHOPPAH

  • Jan. 21, 2011, 2:58 p.m. CST

    darthvedder81

    by TheSpaceHerpe

    100% agree with you on that. My family and I use to go down to Disney World roughly every other year in the 80s and early 90s. EPCOT was always the one we would go back to time and time again. I loved Wonders of Life, World of Motion, and Universe of Energy. My wife and I went back in 2005 and were shocked. It was all gone. Sure Test Track was fun, but that was not the point of Epcot. Disney lost all its luster that day and have no desire to ever go back.

  • Jan. 21, 2011, 3:05 p.m. CST

    I've always been bitter

    by BlaGyver

    That I never got to pull the sword from the stone in Magic Kingdom. Shit still gets on my nerves.

  • Jan. 21, 2011, 3:16 p.m. CST

    That sucks about Disneyland,

    by rabidfnark

    but I'm glad to hear that you're doing better, Harry. That was pretty cool, what you shared with us about your roommates. Touching stuff. As far as I'm concerned, you're still the cat's pajamas. Hang in, and continue to get better, my friend.

  • Jan. 21, 2011, 3:17 p.m. CST

    I couldn't agree more.

    by Stormshadow4life

    It just steals some of the magic away from the place

  • Jan. 21, 2011, 3:56 p.m. CST

    went to WDW in 2008

    by Ye Not Guilty

    I guess I'm one of the lucky ones who stayed on property and had a great trip! All the castmembers were nice as could be and our hotel concierge made every one of our requests possible. Yes there were the photopasd character areas but we also saw characters wandering around the park.

  • Jan. 21, 2011, 4:12 p.m. CST

    Harry. Somehow, dude....

    by CHRISTIAN_BALE_TRASHED_MY_LIGHTS

    ...your writing has improved tenfold since this medical breakthrough of yours. I don't know what the fuck happened but I might actually be able to read your reviews now. And, yes, this is sad news. I've only been to DISNEYLAND once (many years back) and I bumped into Donald Duck. Even though I was about fifteen years old, it was still a magical moment. It's horrible to think that he'll now be stuck somewhere for profit rather than roaming around the park.

  • Jan. 21, 2011, 4:18 p.m. CST

    What's Harry's next temper tantrum going to be about?

    by THE_CHOPPAH

    One contender: -McDonald's offering apple slices as a substitution for fries in Happy Meals. See, when Harry was five, McDonald's was THE MOST SPECIAL PLACE IN THE WORLD. When he went to McDonald's his mommy and daddy MADE SURE that Ronald McDonald himself came over and chatted with young Harry. For his fifth birthday, his parents threw him a surprise party at Mickey D's, inviting all of Harry's greatest friends, including all the seedy-looking creeps Harry's dad knew from the movie-memorabilia and flea-market circuit. Little Harry was SO EXCITED that he downed 20 or 25 large orders of McDonald's fries, each order washed down with a chocolate shake. Little Harry had a tummy ache after that, but he really, REALLY wanted to keep chowing down on the fries and shakes, so he went over to a corner to pretend like he was pwaying with some of his new pweasants and instead ralphed in his socks to make room for more! Why ever would McDonald's ruin Harry's childhood memories by giving children a chance to engorge themselves on apple slices instead of those magical shoestring potatoes. Please, Jim Skinner, honor the memory of Ray Kroc, and get rid of those damned apple slices!

  • Jan. 21, 2011, 4:23 p.m. CST

    I'm right there with you

    by lynchmob17

    I've been a Disney fan for years(I actually prefer WDW now, though), but I've seen things go downhill in the last 15 years. Food prices skyrocket while the quality plummets, ticket prices through the roof($80 for one day? Really?), real silverware at the Blue Bayou replaced by plastic, maintenence become slipshod(remember when everything was spotless? Now Toontown looks 30 years old. Broken glass and peeling paint. WTF?), unique shops replaced with stores that all stock the same generic Disney items, etc. The average family is being priced out of Disneyland. Gone are the days of just dropping in and having some fun for the day. Management has become cold-hearted cynical ass rapists who only care about how many corners they can cut and how YOU the dumb hick will pay for mediocrity instead of quality. They don't respect you at all. Eisner destroyed what this company was all about. The current regime isn't much better. Disney broke my heart.

  • Jan. 21, 2011, 4:26 p.m. CST

    One more thing........

    by lynchmob17

    Why are there no cool animatronic rides anymore? There's nothing like the Pirates or Haunted Mansion built anymore since the Indiana Jones ride, and that was mostly Lucas Art. They slap together these cheapjack rides like Aladdin's Magic Carpet Ride(ripoff of Dumbo) or that crappy Roger Rabbit ride. If you need proof that they just don't care, there you go.

  • Jan. 21, 2011, 4:34 p.m. CST

    So... Maudlin....

    by yomomma

    You know,you could just put these posts regarding your health and surgeries in sperate clearly labeled posts so we can brace ourselves for the latest wall of text about your miracle without being ambushed by it in DVD columns and random Disney rants. Sometimes, you just want a quick read at work about actual movie related issues, is all.

  • Jan. 21, 2011, 4:37 p.m. CST

    God, Harry, This is Pathetic

    by MagnoliAB

    I thought that they were tearing Disney Land down or something.... then I click the link and realize your writing this letter, because your upset that the guy in the Mickey Mouse costume has to stay in relatively one place so people can take photos.... Give me a fucking break, dude. Are you really worried about this? Disney land is nothing but fake, cookie cutter, sterilized nonsense in the first place, where the only goal is making money. Any nostalgia you feel is attributed to the fact that you were 7 years old, not to the fact that Mickey Mouse wasn't confined to a certain space.

  • FACT.

  • Jan. 21, 2011, 4:46 p.m. CST

    Disneyland Annual Passholder here

    by Bobba Phat

    I go to Disneyland & CA Adventures literally dozens of times a year. My nine-year-old loves the park, and my wife and I have great times there as well. We've literally just about seen it all when it comes to those two parks. While this is kind of a bummer, I'm sure you realize that this is almost the case now, and has been that way for most of the last decade. What was originally a decision to get popular characters in assigned places of the park for easy access to tourists continues to grow. While I rarely go to the Photopass 'stations' anymore (I've had my picture taken with everyone, including Brer Fox & Bear, who are indeed some of the rarest characters to see in the parks), whenever we go with friends or family Photopass is a great place where you're guaranteed to see Mickey, Donald, etc. You can plan to meet the characters and walk away happy. The characters ALWAYS react great with people, and almost always make you feel like they genuinely want to make a brief 'connection' with you. The only times that's not the case are a) if an adult is acting like a creepy asshole, or b) if the actor sucks and is about to lose their job. I get why your bummed out, but not only is this kind of an unsubstantiated rumor, but not really that big of a deal. It really is rare for characters to wander around the park, and when they do the inevitable line forms anyway (or they keep walking and hurt the feelings of kids hoping to wait in line and meet the character). Disneyland does what they do in order to please as many people as possible, and there really isn't another way to please everyone most of the time. I'll be curious to see if this policy does indeed begin in the near future, and if so if it does make the park feel 'empty.' To be honest I used to live in the mid-west, and went to Disney World several times: I hardly EVER saw any characters there. When I moved to So Cal over a decade ago and starting going to Disneyland, I was shocked with the amount of places you can see characters, and even as 'formal' as the Photopass places are it lets tourists feel excited meeting their favorite Disney character

  • Jan. 21, 2011, 4:47 p.m. CST

    "Asi Hates" by THE CHOPPAH

    by THE_CHOPPAH

    (To the tune of Motorhead's "Ace of Spades") If you like good movies, I tell you I'm your man You win some, lose some, it's - not - the same to me There's no pleasure in Bay, don't even dare mention JJ I don't share your taste, it's all just fucking waste! Shit Asi Hates! Shit Asi Hates! Yearning for new Nolan, loving some Fincher, Hate going with the flow, it's not a game to me, Jar Jar or Bay, garbage mocking you, Zack the Hack is shit, Zack the Hack makes shit, Shit Asi Hates! Shit Asi Hates! You know I'm born to view, and Brewery Trek's for fools, But that's the way I like it baby, I just wanna hate forever! And don't forget Crapformers! Jar Jar and Mikey Bay, you all love to suck on 'em, Watch 'em and weep, waste your fucking time, I see it in your eyes, you know I'm fuckin' right, The only thing you see, you know it's gonna be, Shit Asi Hates! Shit Asi Hates!

  • Jan. 21, 2011, 4:47 p.m. CST

    John Lasseter isn't listening, Harry. He's more concerned about

    by Quadrillionaire

    his self-indulgent pet project... the Cars franchise.

  • Jan. 21, 2011, 4:48 p.m. CST

    lynchmob, re animatronic rides

    by Bobba Phat

    Disneyland's CA Adventures is opening up a Little Mermaid right this spring that will be an old-fashioned looking animatronic ride. The set-up and flow of the ride looks VERY similar to Haunted Mansion, only obviously with animatronic Little Mermaid characters. I've only see the mockups of the ride, but it looks cool

  • Jan. 21, 2011, 4:53 p.m. CST

    This is getting kind of hilarious.

    by Subtitles_Off

    The Fresh Prince Generation bitchin' and moanin' about Disney letting their dreams down with broken glass and peeling paint! What kind of world have you people been living in? You think people in their fifties who used to grow-up around baseball parks like going to your Godzilladomed sports megarenas and paying thirty bucks for a hot dog? You think people in their 60s who used to read books give a shit about your Twitter and your Kindle? You think people in their 40s who remember good music and movies want to hear about Ashton Kutcher and The New Pornographers? What DEƒUCK®? This is the world you've made by responding to the things you respond to. Bigger. Faster. More. More. More. It usually results in draining the magic from things. Sucks to have been born past 1975. "Daddy, Daddy, Daddy, take me to Harry Potter's world!" "Shut up and do your homework. After that, mow the lawn. Any of your little rat-bastard buddies come over and drop their bikes in my garden, I'm taking that s#!t and making wind chimes out of it."

  • Jan. 21, 2011, 5 p.m. CST

    Cars. Jebus!

    by Subtitles_Off

    I thought they were kidding with that first trailer. I thought maybe they were going to do a whole series of trailers with the cars in different movie genres. A clever way of disguising that the movie will be just another Pixar thing about anthropomorphic things going somewhere. But, nooooo. It's actually a "spy movie" with cars as the spies. And all you Pixar zombies are gonna cry at the end and remember the time you broke a wheel off your first Hot Wheel.

  • Jan. 21, 2011, 5:01 p.m. CST

    Riley Martin

    by smatt584

    Riley Maryin: I just went this October, the prices are not that bad if you go about it in the right way. 3-days were more than enough for the 2 Disneyland parks in Cali (keep in mind that all of Disneyland will fit inside just the parking lot of disneyworld). What you should do is buy a "citypass" before you go. Each pass runs about $275 and gets you 3-days admission to Disneyland (park-hopper so you can go in between Disneyland and Disney California adventure at leisure all 3 days), as well as a days admission to universal studios, sea world, the San Diego zoo, and the san diego zoo safari park. It's basically your entire kick-ass vacation for less than $300 a person. I spent way more on hotels than I did for the whole weeks entertainment. Although when I went I ended up paying another $90 or more so I could also see Knotts Berry Farm (awesome in holloween time), and Six Flags, both of which are not on the citypass. It really was the most affordable vacation I've taken without having a buddies place to crash.

  • Jan. 21, 2011, 5:04 p.m. CST

    Subtitles, you are on FIRE!

    by THE_CHOPPAH

    These fuckin' twits are sorely lacking in perspective.

  • Jan. 21, 2011, 5:07 p.m. CST

    Boy, is the post fucking ponderous man...ponderous,

    by JiggahJu

  • Jan. 21, 2011, 5:11 p.m. CST

    willbraham

    by catlettuce4

    These types of personal articles from Harry are exactly the reason we come here to AICN. It is not purely a movie news site... there are many other sites that are, if you want that. This site has always revolved around Harry's interests, past, and personality. That's what AICN is.

  • Jan. 21, 2011, 5:16 p.m. CST

    "This one time, when I was eight, I went to Disneyland,

    by Subtitles_Off

    and I played peek-a-boo with Tigger, and, when we got back to our hotel room, my older brother called me a homo and shoved my head into the toilet." Growing up ruins everything.

  • Jan. 21, 2011, 5:20 p.m. CST

    Thank you, Choppah.

    by Subtitles_Off

    I have been tickled with your work here and in the Yoback, as well.

  • Jan. 21, 2011, 5:20 p.m. CST

    Cheers!

    by THE_CHOPPAH

  • Jan. 21, 2011, 5:29 p.m. CST

    Disney staff

    by smatt584

    The Disney staff isn't as sterilized today as you make them out to be. Mickey is at his house where you expect him to be, not wandering where you have a chance at missing him and spoiling your kids' vacation. And there is still the legendary Manard working there (I saw him in the Tiki room when I was there in October) and that guy puts a spit-shine on the customer experience like no other. I don't think anyone else could have made a simple "put your garbage in the recepticals" speech so fucking entertaining, even for a modern jaded college student like myself. Although I will say that once you go to Disneyworld, Disneyland looks pretty sad in comparison. I went to Disneyland in 1998 and had the best family vacation I've ever had, then to disneyworld in Feb 2010 and was blown away by the whole park (although when parents start to get old and have to walk that much, it really does get harder to enjoy things with them), and the whole time we were at DW I was talking up DL to my girlfriend. So when I finally get to take her to DL in Oct 2010, she was like "this is it?!?", lol. I still will never forget the magic when i was 12 seeing Disney for the first time, an it had nothing to do with seeing the characters walk around. Although one thing really pisses me off; the last time I went, I noticed that the sanitation staff all now wear all-white jumpsuits instead of attire that matches the land they work in. Took me out of the experience even more than waiting in line, which is saying a lot.

  • Jan. 21, 2011, 5:37 p.m. CST

    Jeez, you want some cheese with that wine?

    by Mag

    There was nothing magical about having to fight a crowd of parents and children to get to a character in the park. It was horrible. Parents can be disgusting. At least this way you do not have to worry about being elbowed in the ribs by someones mother who thinks littler Johnny is more deserving. When Little Johnny needs a good spanking

  • Jan. 21, 2011, 6:13 p.m. CST

    I went to Disneyworld in 1993

    by cushing1967

    Saw a guy being stabbed by a fat mental woman in the carpark. And now the magic is gone. Sigh Oh, and Donald Duck molested my girlfriend at EuroDisney in 1997. Well, stuck his feathery finger up her arse as she was getting her photo taken. Happy, happy days.

  • Jan. 21, 2011, 6:15 p.m. CST

    As I tried to say above

    by cushing1967

    I saw a guy being stabbed in the car park by a fat mental woman. And in 1998 my girlfriend was molested by Donald Duck at Disneyland Paris. You can't buy memories like that.

  • Jan. 21, 2011, 7:42 p.m. CST

    subtitles_off, I meant your hemorrhoids, they must be on fire!

    by THE_CHOPPAH

    You sound cranky, and really old. If THE CHOPPAH gave hugs, he'd give you one. Of course, you'd probably just complain that hugs were better in the old days.

  • Jan. 21, 2011, 8:49 p.m. CST

    It's not about money vs. magic...

    by GoDFaDDa42

    As some of the anti-corporate folks here would have you believe. The problem is short-termism. The long-term profit curve depends on the reputation of the park as a positive tourist destination, and the mall-Santa experience hurts that reputation. In the short-term, it's massively more profitable to force everyone through the paid photo/autograph stations. Short-termism is a cancer that afflicts corporations, charities, and individuals alike - damaging long-term prospects for short-term gains. It's epidemic in the modern Western world.

  • Jan. 21, 2011, 9:46 p.m. CST

    Bitches Pleez.. Disney WORLD is better than ever!

    by MST3KPIMP

    While I agree they NEVER should have closed the Main St arcade and magic shop, DW still has lots more to offer now with M.Kingdoms improved versions of Space Mountain, Haunted Mansion and POTC. The Spectromagic light parade is far better than the old one and the fireworks are the best. The whiners can argue that Mr.Toads Wild Ride is gone but was that sooo great? Most everything else is there and some new stuff like Philharmagic and Winnie the Pooh ride is pretty awesome. I first went to Epcot in the mid 80's and while it felt more "futuristic" it was also pretty boring aside from the Dinosaurs. Now they have lots more to do like Test track and Soaring, shit they even brought back Captain EO. MGM/Hollywood Studios which sucked royal dick in the 80's/90's is now quite enjoyable with the addition of The Tower of Terror, The Stunt Car show, Fastasmic the Aerosmith Coaster and theres talk of an long overdue new Star Wars ride. Even the least of the Parks 'Animal Kingdom' still has the awesome Yeti coaster and finding Nemo/bug's life shows. I really think most of you are projecting your lost childhoods/bitter adulthoods and blaming Disney for it.. they were always Magic AND Superficial AND Awesome AND Shitty and were always trying to make money. It could never be all things to all people at all times but they are the BEST at what they do and everyone copies them. Universal is neat but relies on trends like Shrek and Harry Potter that noone will give a shit about it 15 years "remember the Waterworld Stunt Show?". Disney with all theyre faults will always be the classiest and most consistent force in theme parks, even if a mere 85% of its daily patrons leave happy this is a minor miracle as the standard Disney sets is far greater than any other.

  • Jan. 21, 2011, 10:05 p.m. CST

    Hugs were better in the old days.

    by Subtitles_Off

    And I wouldn't let you hug me even if you were wearing Spider-man's reboot suit so you couldn't get your bodily fluids all over me.

  • Jan. 21, 2011, 10:10 p.m. CST

    there is really only one response to Disney.....

    by Mark Loh

    ARE YOU RETARDED??!! The Disney management are basically destroying their own brand with this ridiculous decision AND at the same time diminishing a child's awe of the 'anything is possible' dream. The whole point of being in Disney apart from the rides is to be able to meet up with the characters but not in a controlled environment like they are now proposing. Glad I didn't continue buying my annual pass this year!!!

  • I have my great story of meeting Mickey and it means a lot to me. I would really hate to know that moments like that are not going to happen again and that people are going to miss out on that unexpected magic when visiting the parks. Shame on Disney (but not a suprise really).

  • Jan. 21, 2011, 10:29 p.m. CST

    Good. Now Pluto or whoever won't walk around the corner and

    by crazy4dragons13

    catch me smoking weed.

  • Jan. 21, 2011, 10:30 p.m. CST

    all unexpected, and then turn me into Disney Jail.

    by crazy4dragons13

  • Jan. 21, 2011, 10:37 p.m. CST

    Too Late. It Already Happened.

    by mike904

    The Magic Kingdom become the Midas' Kingdom several years ago. A girlfriend and I went to DisneyWorld just before Christmas in 2007. You had to PAY to see the Christmas parade. Otherwise you had to leave the Magic Kingdom park before the parade. It would have been over $40 for two people.

  • Jan. 21, 2011, 10:41 p.m. CST

    characters @ universal studios

    by Arcadian Del Sol

    I went to Universal Studios and they had 'generic hollywood" characters walking around. My friends and I had purchased giant oversized sombreros @ EPCOT and this Eliott Ness dressed guy walks up to me and says, "say pally - dem hats dere, dey keep ya dry in the rain, does they?" I opened my mouth to reply and the carnation on his jacket squirted my face completely wet with water. It was easily the funniest thing ever to happen to me. It was the highlight of our entire trip.

  • Jan. 21, 2011, 10:43 p.m. CST

    Universal Sucks cuz Marvel Island Sucks

    by MST3KPIMP

    They took an incredible property and botched it. That park does precious little to create the basic depth and excitement the marvel universe established, aside from the exceptional Spider-man, the rides and theming are WEAK. Ooooo lets paint a rollercoaster green and make it the HULK coaster.. Then we'll take the tea cup ride and call it STORM FORCE.. brilliant. Or the Dr.Doom tower which can be experienced at most traveling carnivals but would no doubt be far more interesting as you can't be sure the gump operator secured the latches properly. With the exception of Halloween Horror NIghts Universal SUCKS at theming and details. The sad truth is that MSI could be dismantled and rebranded in a single evening as the only actual Marvel related items are thin plywood cutouts of various characters bolted to storefronts roofs selling not only generic & overpriced marvel products but DC as well as I witnessed just last year! Thank God Disney the masters of theming now own Marvel as theres hope they will eventually create Marvel themed attractions so we can see how its done.

  • Jan. 21, 2011, 10:49 p.m. CST

    smatt584

    by Bob Loblaw Law Blog

    "Although I will say that once you go to Disneyworld, Disneyland looks pretty sad in comparison." I gotta disagree. My first trip to Disneyland was in 1995. I was 14 and I loved it. My first (and only) trip to Walt Disney World wasn't until 2007... and I also loved it. It's so damn big... but incredible. You need a week just to scratch the surface. But... I've been back to Disneyland 6 times since that trip to WDW... and although I love WDW, I prefer DL because it's the original... it's (mostly) manageable if you only have a day or two to spend there... and it's classic. Plus... WDW doesn't have the Matterhorn. But, like I said... I love both. But WDW didn't make me look at Disneyland as "sad in comparison." If anything, I love Disneyland MORE now that I've also experienced the magic of WDW. I can't wait to one day maybe experience some of the other Disney parks around the world... but I will always love Disneyland in Anaheim.

  • Jan. 21, 2011, 11:02 p.m. CST

    read DISNEY WAR by Stewart

    by HadWoodenTeethChasedMobyDick

    it tells the story of what went down with all the shit and it's good.

  • Jan. 21, 2011, 11:17 p.m. CST

    STAR TOURS 2...

    by MST3KPIMP

    better be more than retro fitting the org. ride with a generic 3-D pod-race.. there better be alot more going on or I'll be quite po'd. I always hated Star Tours even when it was first introduced, just seemed like a waste of the greatest property ever.

  • Jan. 21, 2011, 11:20 p.m. CST

    it's going to be all clone warsd up

    by HadWoodenTeethChasedMobyDick

  • Jan. 21, 2011, 11:41 p.m. CST

    Bob Loblaw law blog

    by smatt584

    I know what you're saying. Maybe I worded it a bit harsher than I meant. I still love Disneyland, and am always sad to leave, but the first time I went with my family was so good and then I had 12 years in between visits and I think I kinda built it up in my head, and then I went to Disneyworld. When your younger, DL all looks so big and then I go to DW when I'm older and that is basically the adult-size to DL's child-size, so when I went back to DL it was a bit of a letdown. Although I will say that, if i had to choose, I'd rather go to any Disney park than any other amusement park.

  • Jan. 22, 2011, 12:58 a.m. CST

    DisneyWorld

    by shawnh199

    When you take your kids to DisneyWorld, I can't speak for DisneyLand, You go to see how they react. The staff there works to create a fun and great environment for everyone. The simple trick is to have fun yourself. Let go, use the Force, etc. There will be jackmonkeys that will pop up or try to line cut or get in the way or do other stupid things or you run into a tour group of Brazilian Teens that should be run out of the park. Enjoy time with your family and it is far cheaper than psychotherapy for the kids later in life.

  • Jan. 22, 2011, 1:44 a.m. CST

    What does this have to do with the rides?

    by Jaka

    The exhibits? The shops? All of the other attractions and eye candy that exists at Disneyland? Nothing, you say? OK then. Moving on.

  • Jan. 22, 2011, 2:37 a.m. CST

    Jesus what an enormous EGO you have Harry

    by quantize

    ME ME ME ME ME ME ME ME ME ME ME ME It's your one great Achilles heel. You simply can't let this site be about actually cool NEWS. We keep getting your sob stories and of course so much is LEFT OUT, who the fuck would know the actual truth anyhow...whether you've really taken genuine responsibility for your health like everyone else has to learn.

  • Jan. 22, 2011, 3:40 a.m. CST

    Is this really that big an issue?

    by WickedChicken37

    Who the fuck cares?

  • Jan. 22, 2011, 5:18 a.m. CST

    Can you pay extra for a Princess

    by Dennis_Moore

    to sit in one's lap?

  • Jan. 22, 2011, 7:13 a.m. CST

    SAY IT LOUD & CLEAR: THE KING OF GREED IS DISNEY'S ROBERT IGER !!

    by JonChambers

  • Jan. 22, 2011, 7:14 a.m. CST

    LET'S HEAR IT: "FUCK YOU, ROBERT IGER"!!! FUCK YOU 100 TIMES OVER

    by JonChambers

  • Jan. 22, 2011, 7:15 a.m. CST

    HOPE ROBERT IGER GETS BUTT-FUCKED BY A GOAT

    by JonChambers

  • Jan. 22, 2011, 8:52 a.m. CST

    Did anyone else read this and think...

    by Apocalypse_Pooh

    Did anyone else read this and think, "Wow - there goes Knowles again, telling some sob story when his secret desire is to get some free shit from Disneyland". Look at this thing -- He addresses the letter directly to John Lasseter, then tells John he is going to Disneyland after his physical rehab, then talks about how much he loves Disneyland...it's all right there. He's trolling the waters for Disneyland to give him park tickets and a photo-op with Brer Fox because of his "injury". Count on it - this isn't Knowles sharing anything with us, this is Knowles looking for a hand-out.

  • Jan. 22, 2011, 9:02 a.m. CST

    re: Harry...write a book dude by willbraham

    by Seelbach

    http://www.amazon.com/Aint-Cool-Kicking-Hollywoods-Butt/dp/0752264974/ref=ntt_at_ep_dpi_1

  • I've been to Disney World countless times. I've been to Disneyland far fewer times, but at DL, it's more manageable, like someone else said, and there's a lot more in the DL park than in the Magic Kingdom park in Orlando. At DL, you've got the Indiana Jones ride, the Matterhorn, quite a few more rides in Fantasyland and you've got Toon Town. You also have a much longer Pirates ride and if you're there around Halloween, the Haunted Mansion is COMPLETELY transformed for it. The overlay of Nightmare Before Christmas has gotten so complex that it's like a different ride. You also can ride Star Tours and see Captain Eo in DL, something you'd have to go to two other parks to do in Florida. And if you get a two-park ticket, you're adding a ton of other rides that are in different parks in DW, plus some other original attractions. In terms of bang-for-your-buck, I'd say that DL actually TRUMPS DW in a lot of ways because so much is packed into a smaller area and DL now has three or four good places to eat. The bread bowl soup in New Orleans Square is affordable and it's delicious, plus the seating area makes it feel like a very nice outdoor cafe. Then there's that new Mexican buffet area that's very nicely designed and the food is pretty good too. As for Disney War, that book is probably one of the best books about modern corporate business practices, especially in the entertainment industry, that you will ever find. I'd say, though, the most amazing thing about it is that for every homerun that Eisner and Katzenberg hit early in their Disney careers, Eisner missed just as many perfect pitches later on... the list is actually quite amazing and the fact that he'd fuck up the Pixar relationship is PURE HUBRIS. You can see that his ego became an extreme liability to the company and that Roy, while also acting out of a love for his namesake, was also acting on behalf of the shareholders... they were losing out big time with Eisner and the board that he controlled. But it's indicative of corporate america today, one that is controlled by entitlements and a boys club (and gals too these days, look at Yahoo) where performance honestly doesn't even matter. All of Wall Street is a sham these days, and the funny thing is, once a company goes public, for all the accountability they're supposed to have to the SEC and shareholders, companies actually seem to become MORE irresponsible in their decision making process... it's like the blame gets spread so far and wide, everyone is afraid to fight whatever regime is in place, and so you wind up with large corporations becoming cults to the egos of the CEO. And it's the smaller shareholders who lose out, people who park $50k in Disney stock, for example. They get the shaft while the failed execs get exorbitant severance packages as well as some ridiculous paid advisory position... and that's if they can't manage to get the some job ruining some other company, which they usually do. Lastly, if you look at Apple (of which I'm not always a big fan, they're absolute control freaks), it's one of the last companies run by someone with a singular vision... without Jobs, it's very likely that the company will go through the same pains that Disney did (and continues to go through) when Walt died. And let's not forget, the same man with a vision was ousted from said company in favor of one of these corporate lackey CEO's and he had to come back over 10 years later to get his house back in order.

  • Jan. 22, 2011, 9:50 a.m. CST

    Who can we contact...

    by flynnie

    If we want to writer a letter to someone regarding this issue? Disney is one of my favorite places, if not my most favorite, and I agree that this will severely diminish the magic that makes it so special. I know it would just be one letter, but still. It's important to have a voice.

  • Jan. 22, 2011, 10:41 a.m. CST

    Why can't they use both strategies?

    by FrodoFraggins

    Place popular characters in predetermined spots but also have extra versions of them randomly walking around the park. As a kid the only character I loved was Goofy, and I saw him on my first trip to disneyworld. But was too scared to go up to him. :(

  • Jan. 22, 2011, 10:45 a.m. CST

    re: Jesus what an enormous EGO you have Harry

    by teamneedle

    I just find it funny how HE post all this information about his health to get sympathy from everyone. I would rather he boast about how much weight he lost and how great he is doing. That's not going to happen is it? very lazy.

  • Jan. 22, 2011, 10:59 a.m. CST

    Harry, you need to get together with a screenwriter

    by v3d

    I'm not saying this to kiss your ass. Over the years Hollywood has made dozens of rags to riches, triumph over tragedy, base on true event, and David and Goliath movies. Being a film, sci-fi, animation nerd, I usually don't care about the kid who won the big game or similar crap. But a story about a kid who was a nerdy fanboy and grew up to have the most influential movie site on Earth does interest me. Hell, a hit movie was just made about another guy and a website. Get on this.

  • Jan. 22, 2011, 11:19 a.m. CST

    Over a YEAR and STILL NO OBIT for ROY DISNEY!

    by conspiracy

    Great way to show the love...

  • 1. Disneyland is a business, a big one. It has millions of shareholders, like me, and some of the largest are people you all idolize. THESE people want return on their investment, period. Oooh...in the press they tell you folks that they are not Corporate monsters, that they are fans and want to not do things ONLY for profit...that they only take a dollar a year for pay, etc.. Well, that is a FUCKING LIE. They invest because they want the MAXIMUM return, in fact they hire a cadre of CPA and Investment Managers to make exactly sure that is what happens...and fire them if they do not. So while THEY can factually go to the cameras and bemoan corporate America, behind the scenes their minions are going about making sure they stay rich. 2. It ISN'T all about $$$$$. Look Harold...you have gone how many times to DL? 4? 5? Well my friend I have been at least 150 times...that's right...150 times at LEAST. I've seen it grow from a regional park, to a national treasure to an international destination. I've been going since I was 5. I go twice a year even today. And you know what...as much as the walking characters ad "Charm", they are more a DANGER these days. When DL was attracting 30-35,000 people a day you had room to move...characters could stop in the middle of New Orleans Square and the kids would cluster and people would simply walk around them. That was then.... Today a SLOW day at DL is 40,000 people...most days they are near capacity at 50,000+, and some days they even stop allowing in people due to over crowding at 60,000 people. Plus, you now have TWO parks, a shopping district, a regional mall...there are days when the DL property has over 100,000 people between these entities. Do you know what happens when DL has 50K in the park and Brer Bear stops to take a picture with a dude in a chair and his bride? CHAOS. People jumping fences, trampling the greenery, a bottleneck that forces people shoulder to shoulder as the Character is hemmed in by others wanting a picture. It IS NOT SAFE...not only you YOU, but the person in the suit. They can not see, it is very hard to move (which is why they have handlers) and now they have 1000 people gathered around them trying to get a picture...kids rushing from all sides and no way to control the situation. Brer Bear is going to move wrong and step on a 5 year old and Now you have a lawsuit, or a hurt kid, and a shattered memory and a screaming mother. No...it isn't Charming to stand in line, no it isn't what Walt had in mind, yes it does suck to not see them walking the park (I took a ride in the tea cups with Alice and the Mad hatter once..Alice was Fuckable as hell). But these are the times..and these are the reasons...and I understand why this is being considered.

  • Jan. 22, 2011, 11:40 a.m. CST

    old news

    by RentonRiggs

    Really? with a headline like that I thought they were tearing the castle down. But seriously, this bent out of shape because you'll have to wait in line to get a picture taken with Goofy? Am I missing something or haven't they been doing this for over a decade? At least in Orlando they have. Perhaps not in California, but last time I was at Disneyland (and I've been there 8 times in 3 years) I can't really remember characters just walking around. The crowd has changed since they opened their doors in the 50s. You see footage from the parks back then, everyone was wearing suits and hats, all dressed up for a day out. Now its not uncommon to see a 2 year old running around in nothing but a diaper. A better story here would be the changing face of the park as a necessity to accomodate the modern crowd. Example: they had to shut down and redesign "Its A Small World" because the average rider/patron's weight has increased so much that the boats were scraping the bottom. The "river" was made deeper so the boats wouldn't get stuck. Same reason they got rid of the Skyway. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3uaLlkg4Dhk) That's a real story. This is just silliness. The Disney parks have evolved over and over since they opened in policy and in attractions. The changing face of the crowds is what dictates the policy and attraction change at the parks, nothing more. There are way worse things to complain about. Like how California Adventure is utterly boring or how Finding Nemo's Adventure isn't worth waiting 4 hours to ride.

  • Jan. 22, 2011, 11:48 a.m. CST

    Oh..and Characters do NOT talk...

    by conspiracy

    they get fired if they do, their handlers talk for them...they do not move an INCH without the handler there to help them because they can not see out of the costumes very well... If Mickey came to comfort you it would be because his handler led him there, because honestly unless you were the size of a fucking BUS, Mickey would have more easily tripped over you than seen you.

  • Jan. 22, 2011, 11:54 a.m. CST

    And the DL "Princesses" are always "HOT"...

    by conspiracy

    LA and OC is crawling with out of work actresses...all the princesses are "Hot". And from what I know the cast parties are fucking blow outs! Always look for the Alice Character if you are a perv like me...the girl is always totally hot, and if you are an adult,..they can be a tiny little bit "flirty" if it isn't too crowded (or like me get them on a tea cup)...the female face characters are savvy...they know why you are talking to them lol. The Face Characters are the only ones allowed to talk...no talking Mickeys, or Donalds.

  • I mean, wtf....

  • Jan. 22, 2011, 12:37 p.m. CST

    Rentonriggs...good fucking post.

    by conspiracy

    Yeah..today's park visitor has all the class of Kim Kardashian at a Los Angeles Lakers Bukkake Party. When I used to go with my parents..they kept me on a short leash, and people were patient. Today kids run amok and parents scream and complain if the guy in the suit leaves before their precious tot gets a picture...never mind the guy has been out there for 30 minutes in a 200# heatbox on a 99 degree day. THAT is the main reason Disney has done this...the parks are too crowded, and many of the visitors are selfish subhumans. And the Skyway closed because of liability...people were rocking the cars and some asshole fell out. In the past, people would follow directions and not act foolish, today a kid would jump off a marked cliff and the parents would sue the park service for putting it there.

  • Jan. 22, 2011, 12:45 p.m. CST

    "people you all idolize"

    by Subtitles_Off

    Speak for yourself. The thickness of stockholders wallets don't impress me any more than their imagined girth. Other than that, conspiracy is on point. The "problems" with Disney theme parks are mostly due the patrons. Too many. Too stupid. Too entitled. America On a Daily Basis. If I were Tweedledee, I wouldn't want to walk around in it, either.

  • Jan. 22, 2011, 12:46 p.m. CST

    My fiancee used to adore everything Disney...

    by Half-Baked-Goggle-Box-Do-Gooder

    She loved Disneyworld, dragged me there twice, and then...She got a job at a Disney store in our local mall. At first, she dug the employee discounts and insider shit like that. But, gradually, the magic wore off. Employees began being required to work longer hours for less money, the discounts started getting restricted, she began to see a little more clearly just how pitilessly the Disney brain trust viewed their customers - And then she and every other employee (Except the managers - Hmm.) got screwed up the ass on a benefits and stock option double cross that stayed just this side of the legal definition of "fraud". Which wasn't anything that I hadn't been warning her was going to happen, but noooo - She was one of the Faithful The Disney gospel tolerates no doubt and all are expected to just shut the fuck up and TRUST the Mouse House. So. Her Happiest Job On Earth got flushed like so much sewage, and the Place Where Dreams Come True told her to fuck off if she didn't like it. A sad way to get one's eyes yanked opened...

  • Jan. 22, 2011, 1:10 p.m. CST

    SUbs..I wasn't refering to their wallets, but rather...

    by conspiracy

    their "public" ideology. People like Steve Jobs...outwardly promoting a Greener, Kinder, Progressive society with his "I only take a dollar a year and I value my employees" statements....but in fact a monster that makes Bill Gates during his heyday seem like Mother Teresa in comparison. I'm a businessman and Libertarian in the old sense of the word, and think Steve and those like him can do what they fucking well please...I just don't like the fucking hypocrisy of their public persona and statements, nor the pavlovian like response of their fans. Worse..I dislike seeing "Blame", if that is what this can be called, being shouldered upon the wrong people. Don't Blame Iger or Thomas Staggs people...they are just doing what they are told by THEIR bosses to do; and in this case they are right for many many reasons.

  • Jan. 22, 2011, 1:32 p.m. CST

    Jesus, Harry. Get a blog already

    by banville

    You boring fat fuck.

  • Jan. 22, 2011, 1:32 p.m. CST

    Talking Mickey

    by CreamCheeseAlchemist

    Prototypes of talking head mask characters have been around quite some time already. The ice shows just jumped on them but California Adventure's Mickey dance crew show includes a speaking Mickey

  • Jan. 22, 2011, 1:37 p.m. CST

    renton/conspiracy

    by PotSmokinAlien

    sorry dudes, but complaining about one how specific ride isn't worth a 4 hour wait is both more newsworthy than this and constitutes? i don't see how... Harry is wheelchair-bound and can't even ride Small World and the Skyway and whatever else was closed because of America's late 20th century weight gain, but he still evidently goes and has the time of his life regardless of those changes. surely such enthusiasm is shared by others, and matters more than the defeatist attitude you guys seem to have confused with reality...

  • Jan. 22, 2011, 1:37 p.m. CST

    *constitutes a "good post"

    by PotSmokinAlien

  • Jan. 22, 2011, 1:38 p.m. CST

    Yeah but goggle-box,

    by Subtitles_Off

    you just described every American working stiff's life experience everywhere. It's one thing to say, "My Disney experience was a bad one," and another to insist, "My experience was bad because it was Disney." They probably treated her better than FedEx treats its employees. The problem isn't about disappearing "magic." It's about business. It's about function. It's about the difference between the way we all want the world to be and the way the world really is. And whether the difference is truly necessary or just imposed upon us by our Corporate Overlords.

  • Jan. 22, 2011, 1:46 p.m. CST

    Sorry. Make that our

    by Subtitles_Off

    Greedy, Republican-Libertarian, Hypocritical, Unethical, Self-absorbed, PR-savvy, Isolated, Money-laundering, Stock-optioning, "Allegedly" Law-abiding, Maybe Foreign, Some of Them Jewish, More of Them More-likely Christian, Predominantly White and Male (but not sose you'd excuse your occasional über-bitch or token minority), Corporate Overlords. I don't want to be accused of making any unfair generalizations.

  • Jan. 22, 2011, 1:48 p.m. CST

    the avg family cannot afford disneyland anymore

    by john

    76 bux for an adult entrance ticket im sorry, but the magic went out of disneyland when they switched over from the a-e ticket system even more magic (and romance) left that place, when they got rid of the monsanto ride

  • Jan. 22, 2011, 1:50 p.m. CST

    Oops, I left out...

    by Subtitles_Off

    Retired Military and Posing Populist. I'm a fan of all the other types of Corporate Overlords.

  • Jan. 22, 2011, 1:52 p.m. CST

    Wait. Take the religious reference out.

    by Subtitles_Off

    That could be mis-interpreted. Now. Everybody clear on the enemy?

  • Jan. 22, 2011, 1:55 p.m. CST

    Mr. Off, you're head and shoulders above the common crowd

    by THE_CHOPPAH

    just like THE CHOPPAH his sophomore year of college. I bet a guy like you has carved out a hell of a niche for himself in life. Me, I live in a refurbished old fallout shelter, with only the internet, my collection of 19th Century marine-life-on-geisha Japanese print erotica, and Stranahan's Whiskey for company.

  • Jan. 22, 2011, 2:03 p.m. CST

    I caught a corporate overlord once.

    by THE_CHOPPAH

    I keep him in the sub-basement and make him watch Disney FastPlay DVDs day and night. His screams used to bother me, but now I find them strangely soothing.

  • Jan. 22, 2011, 2:17 p.m. CST

    I haven't been to Disney World since I was a little chopling

    by THE_CHOPPAH

    but even then I didn't like having a bunch of fucking furries rubbing themselves on my person. I have a vague memory of headbutting an overly friendly Pluto in the beanbag. Took the magic right out of his kingdom. THE CHOPPAH is no longer welcome in the Orange or Osceola counties.

  • Jan. 22, 2011, 2:49 p.m. CST

    Here's the reverse side of this story

    by Bramton1

    I was 8 the first time I went to Disney World. I went up to a walkaround Goofy and asked to get a picture with him. Then some autograph seekers ran up and GOOFY FUCKING BLEW ME OFF. My parents have a picture somewhere of a dejected 8 year old standing next to a Goofy who HAS HIS FUCKING BACK TO ME. FUCK GOOFY!!!

  • Jan. 22, 2011, 3:27 p.m. CST

    for me the magic died when

    by darkpassenger

    they pulled America sings, Submarine Voyage (could have kept the serpent at least), and final straw with the Country Bear Jamboree. Thanks Harry, that was a nice story. I used to love disneyland like 5-10 years ago now its kind of meh. Every time I go like 3 big attractions are closed, and every time im just about to enter indiana jones it breaks down. Get well soon harry. Just watched monkey bone the other day, forgot you were in that. It was a lot better than i remember it being.

  • Jan. 22, 2011, 3:37 p.m. CST

    cool news here

    by darkpassenger

    batman returns batmobile on ebay, one of 3 used in the film http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=270691960611&ssPageName=STRK:MEWAX:IT#ht_931wt_1167

  • Jan. 22, 2011, 3:43 p.m. CST

    Save your money and go to Europe or something...

    by FlickaPoo

    ...where you stand a chance of finding wonder that hasn't been stage managed, focus grouped, and carved out of Styrofoam™ for your pre-chewed delight. By all means, take your little kids to Disney World/Land, but if you have the means...I highly recommend the magic the wider world has to offer. It is so choice.

  • Jan. 22, 2011, 3:52 p.m. CST

    Suddenly smells unfriendly in here.

    by Subtitles_Off

    Which of the_Choppahs have we here, now? I thought you Cool Kids had a new clubhouse and too many scruples to hang out here with the lower forms?

  • Jan. 22, 2011, 4:01 p.m. CST

    If they want them to not move...

    by Fucked by IBM

    Just replace them with fucking statues. Have the statues there and the photo scam AND have the characters walking around, everyone is happy.

  • Jan. 22, 2011, 4:04 p.m. CST

    WTF AICN

    by Fucked by IBM

    I just registered here and the thing uses my "login name" for posts instead of my "Name" Get your shit together

  • Jan. 22, 2011, 4:18 p.m. CST

    Unfriendly to people born before, or after 1975, Mr. Off?

    by THE_CHOPPAH

    Us old timers have to stick together.

  • Jan. 22, 2011, 4:27 p.m. CST

    Harry and this TB is showing how old the geek demographic is becoming.

    by Prof. Pop-Cult

    Admit it: Almost everyone here now is in their late 30s, or pushing toward 50, and still acting infantile (regardless of whether any of us have girlfriends, wives or children) over these silly matters that today's current generation of young people, especially males (you know, the generation depicted in The Social Network and younger) couldn't give a rat's ass about. Honestly, everything about this topic and thread responses reeks of pathetic-ness. This generation (Gen-X) is starting to become worse and more self-centered than the Baby Boomers who ruined this nation.

  • Jan. 22, 2011, 4:30 p.m. CST

    Walt Disney's greatest achievement:

    by BurnHollywood

    Getting people to perceive a corporate money-making endeavor as "magic" and an "institution".<p> I said this before, I'll say it again...we broke-ass kids grew up with Bugs and Daffy (on TV every Saturday morning, regular as clockwork), not Mickey and Donald. And Disneyland means as little to me as Elitch Gardens means to someone who's never been to Denver...SFW. Everything's magic and special when you're four...kids are kinda easy to impress.

  • Jan. 22, 2011, 4:38 p.m. CST

    Disney World died when they got rid of the tar-babies...

    by THE_CHOPPAH

    wandering around the park and posing for pictures. Getting all wild eyed and sweaty, punching that sticky black thing in the face and beating it with sticks... You pups have no idea what a good time even looks like.

  • Jan. 22, 2011, 4:46 p.m. CST

    Subtitles Off -

    by Half-Baked-Goggle-Box-Do-Gooder

    The problem, of course is not that Disney turned out to be just another greedy, soulless megacorp, but the pollyanna-ish customer attitudes that all of the OTHER greedy, soulless megacorps continue to both promote and exploit, even in this much savvier age. Disney is no different from BP or Goldman Sachs - It's ALL bullshit. They're just better at the cute'n'cuddly bullshit.

  • Jan. 22, 2011, 4:52 p.m. CST

    Disney World died when they decided that brassieres...

    by THE_CHOPPAH

    were a mandatory part of the Snow White costume. I grew up in the swamps of central Florida, but one summer the gators got so bad I camped out in the Jungle Cruise area of the park for a couple of months. To this day I'm instantly aroused by skin white as snow, lips red as blood, and hair black as ebony.

  • Jan. 22, 2011, 8:51 p.m. CST

    THE WAY THEY HAVE THE CHARACTERS ARE WAAAY OUT OF DATE

    by uberman

    Why cant they spend some of that ga zillions they have and make real characters from the movies instead of people running around with giant bobble heads that never change expression? Surely they could create a more realistic version of their classic characters instead of the same thing theyve been doing since they opened? A little facial movement? Smaller heads? I dunno, but something new, something...fresh. They could really drum up business if they did. They have the money, and Im sure its costly, but good god, its 2011 folks!!

  • Jan. 22, 2011, 9:18 p.m. CST

    MY 7 YEAR OLD...

    by unicorndick

    THINKS DISNEY IS A LITTLE "BABY-ISH" And that is 7, not 27 or 37. SEVEN. How do grown men get so attached to this shit? Of all things, teens or college drop outs dressed like cartoon characters who represent nothing. This is like when people yearn for a "simpler time". The time wasn't simpler...we were CHILDREN. And then we grow up. I have gone with with my kids but as an adult I can never imagine going to "explore" Magic Kingdom without children. For fucks sake, even the rides suck big time. Going to Magic Kingdom without kids is like going to Chuck E. Cheese without kids just to chill. Weird. Harry - hope your back gets better but don't need daily updates. Just have that little cartoon in the corner be an image of Bane breaking you in half.

  • Jan. 22, 2011, 9:28 p.m. CST

    This site needs WAY more exclamation points.!!!!

    by unicorndick

  • Jan. 22, 2011, 10:48 p.m. CST

    This much savvier age.*

    by Subtitles_Off

    The age of the Tea Party? The age of The Black Eyed Peas and GaGa? The age of Snooki? Of Twittering and "Likes"? Of immersive! world-building! in 3D!? Of Zack Snyder, Michael Bay, Christopher Nolan, J.J. Abrams? Of information and opinion but little patience for knowledge and education? This age? The one we're living in now? This is where I say something in favor of past times which gets misconstrued as a paen to Norman Rockwell and one of The Choppahs --- the funny one? the one who only thinks he's funny? the one who likes to drink? the one who knows about computers? the one who has to have the last word? the one who lives to taunt AsimovLives? the one who doesn't? --- insults my receding hairline. The generation isn't a fraction as savvy as it likes to always remind the rest of us it thinks it is. *(No personal offense to goggle-box intended or implied --- nor should any be inferred.)

  • Jan. 22, 2011, 11:07 p.m. CST

    unicorndick...why do I like Disney.

    by conspiracy

    Because it is the only wholesome, untainted, pure, innocent thing left in a life full of sex, debauchery, business deals, bills, sin, disillusionment, betrayal, and death. Because for a few hours I can ride the fucking Haunted Mansion and turn off my fucking cell phone.... Because unlike Six Flags, which I also like for different reasons, the bathrooms don't smell like a whores cunt and the floors are not full of piss. Because it is a lie, a facade of a time and place that never was...yet probably should have been. I've blasted across the Nazca desert of Peru at triple digits in an old Dodge 3700 GT with a girl I met in Lima into S&M; just to see the Nazca Lines. I've criss-crossed the China Sea in a single cylinder Banca boat to do a Jungle Treks in the Philippines, I've fucked for 2 days at swingers "resorts" in the Bay Area and flown in the middle of the night to Vegas just to fuck a stripper I was "seeing" at the time and the new girl she met at the club. But no matter how "Adult" I get..there is always, ALWAYS room for just a little sweet, innocent Disney. It's ok dude...let your inner child out...don't feel threatened by the big fucking mouse...liking himwon't lessen you as a man.

  • Harry, yOu DOG.

  • Jan. 23, 2011, 8:45 a.m. CST

    subtitles_off

    by HapaPapa72

    Amen. The cars are Smarter, the phones are Smarter, and yet a lot of people out there are getting dumber.

  • Jan. 23, 2011, 8:57 a.m. CST

    unicorndick

    by HapaPapa72

    I see what you're saying, but that's the whole point. We were children, we grow up, but Disneyland is that place where we can (hopefully)leave the adult cynicism at the door(tough, I know, especially with all the money pouring out of our wallets) and just go be a kid again, or at least try. It is a lot more fun with our kids. I always used to crack up at the little "lost boys and girls" wandering the parks, looking as outlandish as possible, trying out their new(?)mohawks in a safe family environment.

  • Jan. 23, 2011, 9:04 a.m. CST

    conspiracy - totally correct

    by Ninja Nerd

    And, I want to party with you! I've done some very similar things...just saying!

  • Jan. 23, 2011, 9:28 a.m. CST

    Jesus Con, that's just about the best thing I've read yet.

    by Stuntcock Mike

    Trumps my story of Minnie Mouse giving me noggin in the submarine easily.

  • Jan. 23, 2011, 9:59 a.m. CST

    Ariel Is Def The Hottest Of The Disney Princesses

    by NeonFrisbee

    Even if they ruined the original story (like Disney always does when they rape these fairy tales), she was the hottest. I mean, she's basically half naked the entire time! If only she had been a blonde. That woulda fit much more than red-head.

  • Jan. 23, 2011, 10:13 a.m. CST

    As much as I hate Harry's ramblings...

    by Dan Halen

    even if they are truly heart felt like this entry, I do like that his words do carry weight (no pun intended). The Mouse has ears, let's hope he gives a shit.

  • Jan. 23, 2011, 10:14 a.m. CST

    Harry...

    by TDH1138

    I go to Disneyland every 6 weeks or so. I've been an annual passholder for YEARS. I've been to Disney World twice in the last year. They have implemented this at Disney World... NOT Disneyland. Not yet, anyway... The characters still walk thru the park at DW. They still can be seen interacting with people. The "Photo Pass" is just to help people get to see they're favorite character at a specified area at certain times. I myself have (at age 38) started getting character autographs and pics. You do the Parks enough in your life, you start to do new things to keep it new all the time. This is my new thing. Disney World does this because of it's massive size. Disneyland/DCA and DTD in Anaheim are in one location and you don't need buses and trams to get from one park to the other. You need a week to do Disney World properly. If you only had one day, you can crank out both parks in Anaheim.

  • Jan. 23, 2011, 10:39 a.m. CST

    Eddie Murphy at Disney

    by iceman199

    Went for the first time to Disney World back in 1984. Saw Eddie Murphy near the height of his popularity. Is he considered a "character"? He was in the horrible "Haunted Mansion". Course that was 20 years later. Went last year the day after the Superbowl. Not that great a day to go. All the New Orleans fans from Miami made the trip over to see Drew Brees, who as MVP was contractually obligated to go to Disney World the day after for a parade.

  • Jan. 23, 2011, 1:46 p.m. CST

    The characters don't walk around at WDW much.

    by F-18

    They are mainly at locations around the parks called "character greeting spots".

  • Jan. 23, 2011, 6:39 p.m. CST

    DAMNED DISNEY SUITS

    by FeralAngel

    The company's been going down the shitter since Eisner bought the Muppets. Would Walt have done that? NO. The guy invented Mickey Mouse, sound cartoons, color cartoons, theme parks and audio-animatronics - what the hell would he want with puppets? And then Iger bought Marvel. Does the Incredible Hulk belong in Fantasyland? HELL NO. And NOW Disney is using land it could be building more attractions on for...get this: housing developments. The :corporating" of Disney is now complete. It's all about the buck now. Sorry to break this to you, Harry, but Disneyland already IS Midasland, thanks to the suits running (ruining) the company right now. You appeal to Lasseter...how's he any different from the rest of them? He makes good CGI movies, but I've seen no respite of the cheapening and creative laziness displayed by the people who run the Disney parks, whose initial idea of how to "expand" Fantasyland involved Princess Meet and Greets. Wow, THAT'S groundbreaking! Department stores have been doing that with fake Santas for over one hundred years, but hey, I guess Princesses are better, because if any characters sell more toys than the Fat Man...well, you get the idea. True, the suits have since dumped the idea (largely due to the disgusted reaction of Disneyphiles, I imagine), but the new plans for the park aren't all that impressive in my view. Everything is tied into possible merchandising - there are no original, non-movie-based rides like Haunted Mansion or Space Mountain being built. Disney parks are largely just one giant Disney commercial. And that is NOT the vision Walt had. I applaud your attempt to do something, Harry, but really, you've just scratched the surface. The parks have been travesties for some time now, and it's not just because of the oppression of the walk-around characters...or haven't you heard about the broken Yeti in the Expedition Everest ride at Walt Disney World, the yeti that's been broken for over 2 freaking years and the damned Disney suits won't do anything about it? Hell, why isn't Lasseter doing anything about it, if he has any influence in the parks at all?

  • Jan. 23, 2011, 6:43 p.m. CST

    I ran into the Big Bad Wolf once

    by FeralAngel

    I was a kid at WDW, and the Wolf was totally in character. He tried to eat a tourist's camera, pretty funny. And then I saw Mickey Mouse hugging little kids, and it was well cute damn it. Yeah, good for you for speaking up, Harry, but again, you're just scratching the surface of what's wrong with the parks.

  • Jan. 23, 2011, 6:57 p.m. CST

    Glad you're on the mend, Harry

    by FeralAngel

    Sorry I didn't mention it earlier.

  • Jan. 23, 2011, 7:44 p.m. CST

    www.reverbnation.com/thewholemtaistapped

    by JAMES S. LIAR

    heyy i agree anything with childhood theme parks and education shouldn't be closed but we all know money rules not justice!!!.

  • Jan. 23, 2011, 7:48 p.m. CST

    Plus there's other ways to make money

    by Peter David

    Years ago, my family was on a trip to Disneyworld and my daughter, who was two, maybe three at the time, was VERY intimidated by the costumed characters. She wouldn't go near any of them. And Pluto was just kind of hanging around on Main Street (it was a light day, not a ton of people), and he saw that she was scared. And he spent nearly five minutes doing nothing but slowly drawing her out of her shell, playing with her, encouraging her. By the end of that, she was hugging him and she had no trouble with any of the other costumed characters. And when she departed the park that day, she did so with her arms wrapped tightly around the large plush Pluto. Now...if the costumed Pluto had not spent the time with her, that's a toy sale that doesn't get made. I doubt that's a unique situation. I'll wager when kids have these spontaneous interactions with the characters, it leads to purchases of memorabilia as souvenirs. But there's no way of directly measuring the cause and effect. PAD

  • Jan. 23, 2011, 8:59 p.m. CST

    I think your first mistake is

    by ApneicMonkey

    considering Disneyland to be a non-business. Do you really think they give 2 shits about your or your child's happiness?

  • Jan. 23, 2011, 9:37 p.m. CST

    Nevermind the Characters, Howabout the $12 Parking charge!

    by MST3KPIMP

    holy crap that is outrageous!

  • Jan. 23, 2011, 10:34 p.m. CST

    I saw Mickey in his house

    by HornyForHarry

    I kinda remember it being a surprise to find him in there, though I kinda maybe remember being coaxed to go in but wasn't told he'd be in there. i went in just thinking i'd check it out. but since I was young, I was naive and confused and fealt shocked to find him in there saying hello or waving and laughing or whatever, then he took a picture or something. the point is i was to young to even realize if this was a scheduled spot or if the line i waited in was for this or something coming up, i was a kid and it didn't really matter to me if they came up to me or i waited to see them. but i guess i can see how it would be cooler if the charactors continue to walk around on their own and mingle. in a perfect world where there was no agenda in business and no fear of sociopathis employees and rowdy customers. whatever. i went to disneyworld twice in my life and had a good time though i wasn't one of those disneyfanatics who saw all the movies, maybe just lady and tramp and fox and the hound. black cauldron i watch nowadays and i don't even consider roger rabbit "disney".

  • Jan. 24, 2011, 12:28 a.m. CST

    There's a reason for this.

    by elwinransom451

    I've always lived about 10-15 minutes away from D-land. The "handlers" were started to PROTECT the guy/gals in the suits from being harassed by over zealous kids whose parents let them run rampant. I saw an 8 year old child beat the HELL out of the "interactive" trash can "Push," while his parents did nothing about it. Also, my friends who were characters in the 70s said that anytime they heard Spanish, they immediately headed the other direction because of the lackadaisical nature of the parents. Besides, if you don't want to pay for their photo the CM WILL take one with YOUR camera. I think the nice thing about being a local is that my children never cared to do much character interaction. Let us know when you're going Harry! I'll treat you to a game of Tron at Flynn's!

  • Jan. 24, 2011, 5:37 a.m. CST

    hey conspiracy, can you take me to...

    by The_Crimson_King

    one of those "swingers" parties?

  • Jan. 24, 2011, 12:05 p.m. CST

    Damn, conspiracy, I've missed you.

    by THE_CHOPPAH

    Your escapades remind me of the time I used to scout "Petri dish" villages in Africa for the pharmaceutical industry. My debauchery knew no bounds in those days before AIDS.

  • Jan. 24, 2011, 12:15 p.m. CST

    the bacteria living inside that fake mickey costume...

    by LookWhosTalkbackingNow

    has the best time at Disneyland. maybe mickey gave you syphilis when he took that polaroid with you.

  • Jan. 24, 2011, 12:15 p.m. CST

    $12 ain't shit

    by LookWhosTalkbackingNow

    for parking.

  • Jan. 24, 2011, 12:16 p.m. CST

    Harry, congrats on everything though

    by LookWhosTalkbackingNow

    it really is amazing.

  • Jan. 24, 2011, 12:17 p.m. CST

    i was at mickey's birthday back in like 1990...

    by LookWhosTalkbackingNow

    @ disney WORLD. and i got to see epcot center and that michael jackson thing. i saw a special birthday celebration too!

  • Jan. 24, 2011, 6:52 p.m. CST

    Universal is going to decimate Disney in the next 10 years

    by Citizen Sane

    Based on the directions that each is going: <br><br> Islands of Adventure is experiencing both ground-breaking and record attendance and sales because of their innovative and detail oriented (partly because of JK Rowling's involvement) treatment of the Harry Potter franchise (just like Walt once did for his parks). <br><br> Disney is pissing off all of their guests with announcements like this and the Princess meet and greet expansions at "Magic" Kingdom, which are not new attractions but blatant attempts at inflating revenue through manipulation and opportunism. There is no value to these additions to the parks other then to corner the guests and squeeze a few more dollars out of their pockets. <br><br> Well, we can send The Dis'me Company a message by... <br><br>... NOT WASTING OUR TIME AND MONEY VISITING THEIR PARKS!!!

  • Jan. 24, 2011, 10:31 p.m. CST

    To quote the great Steven S. Langford...

    by SirGaryColeman

    Who gives a shit? Who gives a fuck?

  • Jan. 25, 2011, 12:16 p.m. CST

    Universal is going to destroy Disney in the next 10 years

    by Citizen Sane

    Based on the directions that each is going: <br><br> Islands of Adventure is experiencing record attendance and sales because of their innovative, detail oriented (partly because of JK Rowling's involvement) and ground-breaking treatment of the Harry Potter franchise (just like Walt once did for his parks). <br><br> Disney is pissing off all of their guests with announcements like this and the Princess meet and greet expansions at "Magic" Kingdom, which are not new attractions but blatant attempts at inflating revenue through manipulation and opportunism while minimize invest and potential liability. There is no value to these additions to the parks other then to corner the guests and squeeze a few more dollars out of their pockets. <br><br> Well, we can send The Dis'me Company a message by...<br><br> ... NOT WASTING OUR TIME AND MONEY VISITING THEIR PARKS!!! <br><br> I mean really... long lines, spoiled kids, rude "cast members", disgusting food, over-priced crappy chatzkies, (mostly) cheezie attractions, run-ins with strollers and "handicapped" losers in those lazy chairs (just to get to the front of the line). <br><br> There are better ways to have fun.

  • Jan. 25, 2011, 3:16 p.m. CST

    To Mr. puffy_mscrote

    by Mark

    I didn't doubt your Disney creds until you referred to Roy as "too old and too powerless"... I guess that's one way to describe "dead." Or until you said "I know where Walt fucking freezer is." Because I know that Walt's ashes are interred in a cemetery in LA.

  • Jan. 25, 2011, 3:58 p.m. CST

    Disneyland

    by ProfGriffin

    Harry, I share your love of Disneyland. I share that love of the magic of that park! But I have to agree with CONSPIRACY. It's a safety issue. The attendance at the parks is HUGE and we saw firsthand what a sudden character appearance can do to a crowd moving through Adventureland. It's not that bad to have the character appear and walk though the crowd to a spot where they can stop and visit with fans. An organized line forms and people can pose with their favorite character. I know it's not random...like musical chairs with the Hatter and Alice, but it is a necessity.

  • Jan. 25, 2011, 4:28 p.m. CST

    was just at disney in october

    by the_booger_in_your_egg_salad

    Characters really don't walk around at all anymore. That part sucked. But characters would be mobbed if they walked around, even with handlers, as they get mobbed once they leave the backstage area. The sad part is that none of the lesser known characters come out at all except for the parades. I remember Captain Hook following little kids around; Mary Poppins giving out advice; the Alice in Wonderland characters sneaking up on people, Chip and Dale just being themselves, etc. That's all gone. My children brought their autograph books that they had half filled from our last visit just 3 or 4 years ago. There was no point in bringing them. The actors who play the characters still do a great job though. We took pictures of my daughters with Snow White and she took time to speak with each child while she remained in character. She saw my 10 year old son standing off to the side. She looked at his NY Giants shirt and asked if he was the prince in a land where Giants walked around. She told him he must be very brave and he melted, probably popped his first wood. She talked to hm about protecting his princess sisters and they posed for a very nice picture. It is a small silly moment, almost more for parents than kids, but its Disney magic, even though we waited on line for it. TLDR version, no wandering characters = suckage, the remaining characters still do a great job

  • Jan. 26, 2011, 10:42 a.m. CST

    The Diz

    by Essemtee

    The good: During our visit to WDW in FL, the wife and I noticed Baloo, Mr. Smee, Stitch, and Goofy's son Max posing for pictures in a non-crowded area of the park. They all took their time to play charades, entertain us, and we were the last to say goodbye before they snuck off backstage. As you're exiting the park, there's a row of characters posing and clowning around (Chip and Dale are a laugh riot), pretty organized area, and we have treasured photos. The bad: 90+ degree heat, waiting in long-ass lines that seemingly didn't move, for Jessie and Woody, and then Buzz elsewhere, and giving up and leaving the line cuz my feet were scorching, or Buzz had to go and "recharge his batteries".

  • Jan. 26, 2011, 11:17 p.m. CST

    I have no idea what I just read

    by chien_sale

  • Jan. 29, 2011, 1:24 a.m. CST

    Go to "Goofy's Kitchen" at Disneyland Hotel

    by HB_Dad

    Its a buffet (your kind of thing I'm told Harry) and best of all all of the Disney characters come around to each table and interact with guests and sign autographs and stuff. We take our kids on their birthdays every year!

  • Feb. 9, 2011, 7:51 p.m. CST

    Disney magic

    by captzeep

    A writer at the Orange County Register wrote a great piece about his time as Mowgli. They made him have short hair and nobody knew who he was supposed to be, then he either persuaded them to let him wear a wig or grow out his hair. The world has changed a lot since Disneyland was started up. The characters walking around independently represent a risk- they have to stay in character all the time, and they are vulnerable. Back in the day people punched them sometimes; I'm guessing that problem has gotten worse. And maybe the management doesn't feel they can train young people these days to the level they need to for them to interact independently with the public and always stay in character and represent Disney perfectly. The park means a lot to people. In the 70's a recently widowed uncle visited us in OC and took me and my brother and sister there. He released us to do our own thing when we got there, he said he just wanted to reminisce. Mom said later he sat down with her and told her how he and grandma would just sit in the kitchen and cry. Glad to hear you're getting better Harry. You never appreciate your body parts until they stop working! :D

  • Feb. 26, 2011, 2:53 p.m. CST

    Maleficent

    by abraham schneider

    Yes Maleficent is one of Disney's most awesome characters but it will ruin it if in this new movie they are putting together she is just misunderstood