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Disneyland has decided to not lose the Atmosphere Characters! Walt wins!

Hey folks, Harry here

Well - greed has been averted.  DISNEYLAND's atmosphere characters will continue to wander & ride.   You will not have to stand in endless lines for every form of joy at Disneyland.   And the tradition will remain.   

This was due to an overwhelming response from folks like you.

Thank you.  This made me smile on a very hard day here in Rehab.  


Readers Talkback
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  • Jan. 25, 2011, 4:18 p.m. CST

    Post 0


    Disney Fans win! Atmosphere Characters to remain!

  • Jan. 25, 2011, 4:19 p.m. CST


    by WriteForTheEdit

    This truly would have been a terrible thing for Disney. Suck it, bean-counters!

  • Jan. 25, 2011, 4:21 p.m. CST

    Now, if they'll just get that Tron Lightcycle ride going...

    by WriteForTheEdit

    ...we really will be feeling warm and fuzzy towards The Mouse House.

  • Jan. 25, 2011, 4:22 p.m. CST

    Sorry, last thought... glad to hear you're smiling, HK.

    by WriteForTheEdit

  • Jan. 25, 2011, 4:25 p.m. CST

    Aicn saves disneyland

    by Laguna_Nigel

    Awesome news, when my son gets is old enough he can experience the total joy, anyone who has been there has experienced. Can't help but think that super mutant harry had alot to do with this. hip hip hooray

  • Jan. 25, 2011, 4:33 p.m. CST

    Ledergrant: Fuck, yes.

    by WriteForTheEdit

  • Jan. 25, 2011, 4:34 p.m. CST

    yes, no more greed from Disney Corp. : /

    by FleshMachine

    rolls eyes and shakes head

  • Jan. 25, 2011, 4:40 p.m. CST

    And it was all because of YOU, Harry!


    Way to go, young man! David O. Russel should turn this crusade of yours into a movie.

  • Jan. 25, 2011, 4:44 p.m. CST

    hate to tell you this bro

    by the_booger_in_your_egg_salad

    but they already pretty much eliminated all the atmosphere characters already. Here's to hoping that you'll be feeling well enough to stand on long lines if you want to interact in any way with a character.

  • Jan. 25, 2011, 4:46 p.m. CST

    thanks Harry

    by sadclown

    mostly for changing the header animation from that human centipede business. I was actively avoiding the site.

  • Jan. 25, 2011, 4:49 p.m. CST

    Good to hear

    by Lando Griffin

    We plan on taking our youngest son for his first Disneyland trip this year and am glad that we'll still be able to walk around the park and bump into some of the characters

  • Jan. 25, 2011, 4:52 p.m. CST

    Well thank god...

    by blackwood

    Such a victory for the upper-middle-class in the face of corporate malfeasance!

  • Jan. 25, 2011, 4:53 p.m. CST

    RE: Tron @ Disneyland

    by Lando Griffin

    Anyone else remember when the section of the old People Mover that was a tunnel betweem Star Tours and Space Mountain was Tron themed with the light cycles whizzing by? </p> Speaking of park updates wouldn't be logical for Autopia to be Cars (Pixar) themed?</p> Theres supposed to be news regarding when Star Tours II is going to open at Disneyland (was announced that Disneyworlds version would be opening in May)

  • Jan. 25, 2011, 4:56 p.m. CST

    Re: roaming characters

    by WriteForTheEdit

    I think the reason we're seeing far less of these guys and gals than we used to does have much to do with fear of potential lawsuits... too many incidents of "groping" charges, etc. Nowadays, there are still free-range characters, but they are usually accompanied by non-costumed "handlers." I'm pretty sure this is true at all the big corporate theme parks, not just Disney. The world we live in seems to get a tiny bit sadder every fucking year. Still, this is a victory for the fans.

  • Jan. 25, 2011, 4:58 p.m. CST

    Mr. Sunshine of Harry's shoulder

    by donkingkong

    Hey I call this another triumph for you - This can only point to another omen for great things to come for you Mister Knowles! Hope your back recovery continues to go well sir.

  • Jan. 25, 2011, 5 p.m. CST

    @lando griffin: Superspeed Tunnel, hellzyeah!

    by WriteForTheEdit

    Also, FYI, Disney is in the midst of a fairly massive rebuild of the California Adventure theme park (adjacent to Disneyland), that will include a whole Cars-themed land when it's all done in 2012. The highlight of that area will be the "Radiator Springs Racers," which will blow Autopia right into the Pacific Ocean. Google it; it's pretty fucking cool.

  • Jan. 25, 2011, 5:01 p.m. CST

    The world is save for children again...

    by jamesonian

    ...because no rational adult would give even a tiny f*#k about this.

  • Jan. 25, 2011, 5:01 p.m. CST

    Harry, this is excellent news! Braindrain...

    by sweeneydave

    Every once in a while you say something that makes me guffaw. Kudos.

  • Jan. 25, 2011, 5:11 p.m. CST

    Where's Captain Eo?

    by Sigourneys_Beaver

    It'd be safe for the kids. the real one is dead.

  • Jan. 25, 2011, 5:11 p.m. CST

    The Nazi wins?

    by matthooper8

    He didn't get his favorite world built... It's an Aryron World After All.

  • Jan. 25, 2011, 5:16 p.m. CST

    All your base

    by magnetoelectric

    is 'save' for children. 'Aryon' Children

  • Jan. 25, 2011, 5:24 p.m. CST

    Even as a kid, I didn't really care about the characters

    by beastie

    I was there for the rides! The characters were kind of cool, but never interested me much. I recently went back to Disney World, with my kids and saw people flocking to the characters. I still don't get it, and neither did my kids. I just don't get why people care THIS MUCH about where in the park the characters are. I only ever imagined this being something that was brought up as a footnote in park meetings: "Should we let Donald walk all around the park or stay near Donald themed stuff?" "Who cares? Just make him stay. How much should we price umbrellas at?"

  • Jan. 25, 2011, 5:29 p.m. CST

    HARRY DID IT!!!!!!!

    by MacReady452

    That letter put it over the top. Way to go. That will give you a feeling no spinal surgery could.

  • Jan. 25, 2011, 5:33 p.m. CST

    Can't EXPAND the comments AICN!

    by D o o d

    What's going on...?????

  • well the word CERTAIN does make this announcement sound a bit diplomatic,no?

  • Jan. 25, 2011, 5:35 p.m. CST

    Harry, I'm afraid Walt lost a long time ago.

    by HelveticaBOLD

    I never visited Disneyland until I was 14, in the summer of 1985 -- and it was, to my eyes, a magical, remarkably perfect environment: the sidewalks were spotless, the "cast members" were amazingly friendly, entertaining and genuine, and the rides themselves came with a sense of history and artistry that accompanied the wonder. This all went right along with Walt's famous vision of Disneyland as an escape from the real world, in which one could walk right into a fantasy and put their cares away. I spent the ensuing years visiting the park from time to time, every couple of years or so, and there has been a noticeable shift in the overall feel of the park in that time, particularly since the early 1990s: spilled food, drinks, litter and (God help us) vomit all sit for at least a minute or two before being cleaned up; the landscaping is no longer executed as impeccably as it once was; burned-out light bulbs go unreplaced; the "cast members" now come across as if they work at Six Flags -- bored and joyless; and even graffiti makes an occasional, unwelcome appearance that goes unattended. Hell, the very existence of the 'other' park in Anaheim, Disney's California Adventure (which is, let's face it, the SAME park -- it's just that you're required to pay another admission fee in order to visit it), is a total affront to the specific directives Walt gave: he explicitly vetoed the 'carnival/boardwalk' atmosphere that DCA unequivocally embraces. Walt's vision was scuttled years ago, particularly in the Michael Eisner era, and the remnants of what Walt wanted have been flaking away for decades. It pains me to say so, but until the day comes that Disney is no longer run like a corporation, Disneyland will continue to deteriorate, at least in its soul, if not its physical state. And Disney is too big a company to ever stop being run like a corporation. Those days, I'm afraid, are over.

  • Unfourtunately never been to a Disney Park, but a land where its an affront that litter is sitting for a few minutes doen't sound like a utopia, more like an unhappy place to work in. So in this specific case, whats probably happend? Worker's rights I guess.

  • Jan. 25, 2011, 5:49 p.m. CST

    Hey, uh... guys. I hate to tell y'all this...

    by Jared_Syn_City

    ...but Walt like to make a buck as much as the next guy. Disneyland was built as a money making machine, and it still operates that way. Disney was a fantastic visionary, businessman and entrepreneur. That dude knew how to make him some $$$$.

  • Jan. 25, 2011, 6:01 p.m. CST


    by JonChambers

  • Jan. 25, 2011, 6:02 p.m. CST

    jared_syn_city: true dat...

    by WriteForTheEdit

    One of my favorite Disney quotes was in reply to some question or comment about his "art." And he scoffed at the notion of himself as an "artist," and finished with: "...this is show business and I am a showman." Making money and doing wonderful creative work need not be mutually exclusive endeavors. As long as the first action does not take precedent over the second.

  • Jan. 25, 2011, 6:02 p.m. CST


    by JonChambers

  • Jan. 25, 2011, 6:02 p.m. CST


    by JonChambers

  • Jan. 25, 2011, 6:03 p.m. CST


    by slone13

    That's why Disney World will always trump Disneyland. I've been visiting Disney World for over 25 years now and it's still impeccably clean and the "cast members" are always on their game. The Orlando crew run a tight ship, made only more impressive by the fact that Disney World dwarfs Land in size. On an unrelated note, it's always bothered me that from certain places in Disneyland I can see outside the park, thereby destroying the illusion of a it being it's own "land".

  • Jan. 25, 2011, 6:06 p.m. CST

    Told ya.

    by TDH1138

    Yea... I told you. It's only going to happen at Disney World.

  • Jan. 25, 2011, 6:17 p.m. CST

    Disneyland is a dump compared to Disney

    by pushthebuttonmax

  • Jan. 25, 2011, 6:17 p.m. CST

    comapred to Disney World*

    by pushthebuttonmax

    Don't let your nostalgia get in the way.

  • Jan. 25, 2011, 6:18 p.m. CST

    compared* goddamit

    by pushthebuttonmax

  • Jan. 25, 2011, 6:19 p.m. CST

    Great! Now just fix the Disco Yeti on Expedition Everest!

    by The Reluctant Austinite

    For those not in know, Expedition Everest had one of the most sophisticated animatronic figures ever built by Disney for the ride's climax. Long story short: it broke down, and would take weeks (some say even longer) to fix and reprogram. This is too long a time for the attraction to be down in the eyes of Disney execs, so the quick fix has been to install a strobe light near the frozen Yeti to make it look like it's moving. This has been going on for over a year, so it has been called "The Disco Yeti" by fans.

  • Jan. 25, 2011, 6:21 p.m. CST

    Fantastic! Fantastic news!

    by moonlightdrive

  • Jan. 25, 2011, 6:48 p.m. CST

    @reluctant austinite: that Yeti figure is going to be a bitch to fix...

    by WriteForTheEdit

    ...if I understand correctly. Seems that the mechanics that make it move are so massive and powerful, that the figure and its motors have their own support framework, completely separate from the structures that support that roller coaster and the mountain itself. They'd need to rip a lot of it apart to do what is necessary. And that may take a long, long time. Which sucks, because the temporary solution is pretty bogus.

  • Jan. 25, 2011, 7:01 p.m. CST


    by boardbrtn

    Of fucking course it's a big deal. What was better than running up to Mickey, Minnie, Donald, Goofy, etc. and being able to ask for an autograph!?

  • Jan. 25, 2011, 7:41 p.m. CST


    by HelveticaBOLD

    It's not that working conditions have improved for the eployees -- the park has only been running since the mid-'50s, so it's not like the staff were ever expected to toil away under inhuman conditions or anything. No, the problem is economic ~ there simply aren't as many people employed in the park as there once were whose job it is to clean up, repair and landscape the place.

  • Jan. 25, 2011, 7:43 p.m. CST


    by montessaurus


  • Jan. 25, 2011, 8:04 p.m. CST

    Cool news

    by catlettuce4

    It's not often fan response actually accomplishes a change in decisions like this. I'm glad it worked out.

  • Jan. 25, 2011, 8:07 p.m. CST

    Good job Harry, now create universal health care

    by moorE12

  • Jan. 25, 2011, 8:21 p.m. CST

    Re: Re: Site Maintenance

    by Gene Cowan

    This site will never universally support browsers, silly. AICN is forever stuck in 1998, where having functionality AND a good looking site are unheard of.

  • Jan. 25, 2011, 8:23 p.m. CST

    writing to Mickey

    by Gene Cowan

    Braindrain, I had no idea you could do that. What was the address you used to write to them?

  • With the exception of Kiss the Girl by Ashley Tisdale on The Little Mermaid dvd, I thinq all these disney brats remaking classiq Disney tunes is just a way for the house of mouse to try to give them unnecessary publicity.

  • Jan. 25, 2011, 9:35 p.m. CST

    Walt wins?

    by Citizen Sane

    Maybe on this battle front... for the time being, anyway. <br><br> At the risk of coming across as cynical (perhaps just a little), this is but a small symptom of much bigger problems with this still fucked up company. Even the vaunted World of Color at DCA is in fact just another means to promote their movies and DVD's, not a tried and true attraction in the mold of "Walt" or "The Dream" or "Magic". <br><br> Just wait, Mouschwitz will keep trying to twist each and every part of the dream out of recognition for the sake of quick and easy cash flow... just wait.

  • Jan. 25, 2011, 11:14 p.m. CST

    Careful what You wish For Harry

    by HornyForHarry

    now it's going to be something worse. I'm sure the secondary charactors would have still roamed around. but now who knows how they'll cut costs, who knows indeed.

  • Jan. 25, 2011, 11:24 p.m. CST

    forget health care - i just want to own a copy of Song of the South.1

    by Arcadian Del Sol

    Its no more or less racially offensive than Tom Sawyer or Gone With the Wind, but yet its locked away forever in the Disney Vault never ever to be seen again. For God's sake, Dumbo stopped just short of blackface in its racial pantomimes, but they can't stop themselves from remastering it onto a new video platform every 2 years. GIVE US SONG OF THE SOUTH!!

  • Jan. 25, 2011, 11:39 p.m. CST

    You win this time Disney.

    by SantosLHalper

    This time.

  • Jan. 26, 2011, 12:05 a.m. CST


    by uberman

    fer heavens sake, Disney, do something to give those giant bobbleheads some moving features or some semblance of life. Giant paper mache heads may have cut it back in the early 60's, but its now 2011 and you have the same ol schtick. You could really re-imagine your entire park if you used your imagineers and some $$ to create lifelike characters.

  • Jan. 26, 2011, 12:14 a.m. CST

    Umm. how has greed been averted?

    by Monroville

    I don't understand how greed was a factor here... maybe laziness, cheapness or fear of excessive lawsuits (which would be the fault of overzealous customers.. unless there WERE some overzealous costumed molesters). Even so, with or without "atmosphere" characters, you still pay the same ticket price at the counter... so if money doesn't really have a factor here (since Disney still gets the same money out of you whether there are characters roaming the streets or not), then how are they being greedy?

  • Jan. 26, 2011, 1:20 a.m. CST

    No one gives a F*ck!

    by Orion

  • Jan. 26, 2011, 5:46 a.m. CST

    telemarketer your whole willd over-misinterpretation

    by Smack_Teddy

    of the statement "This was due to an overwhelming response from folks like you" means you have serious psychological issues dude and need to take a reality check. Sort yourself out sick arrogant obnoxious puppy

  • Jan. 26, 2011, 6:25 a.m. CST

    Please Take This Comment...

    by Pawprint

    ... as official notification of my not giving a fuck whatsoever about this, and also my registration of amusement that this decision was made with any consideration to either Harry or people on this site.

  • Jan. 26, 2011, 7:01 a.m. CST


    by bastian1138

  • Jan. 26, 2011, 7:37 a.m. CST

    telemarketer must be a blast at parties.

    by rev_skarekroe

    Except that he probably doesn't get invited to parties because he spends the entire time attempting to dismantle the hopes and dreams of those he talks to, and because he repeats himself over and over and over again.

  • Especially since my wife and I are raising a family.

  • Jan. 26, 2011, 8:33 a.m. CST


    by UncomfortablyInLoveWithHitGirl

    Its one of the real joys of visiting. Idiots.

  • Jan. 26, 2011, 9 a.m. CST

    overwhelming response demands

    by Truxton Spangler

    that AICN's codemonkeys fix this site next.

  • Jan. 26, 2011, 9:49 a.m. CST

    They aren't characters, they're corporate brands

    by cloudyP

    Walking logos. Disney just creeps me out.

  • Jan. 26, 2011, 10:36 a.m. CST

    every day can be like a day at Disneyland :)

    by brightgeist

    watch the new ZEITGEIST: MOVING FORWARD, it's brilliant!

  • Jan. 26, 2011, 10:38 a.m. CST


    by phifty2

    For a minute there I totally had no interest in the outcome of this.

  • Jan. 26, 2011, 10:42 a.m. CST

    Strategic leaks to assess demand among the wider public

    by CreamCheeseAlchemist

    3 months after the celeb press picked up on the Captain Eo return rumors in th Disnoid community, the company confirmed it. This was a test that panned out well on the theme park side and perhaps will for Tr3n. After that, I wouldn't be surprised if a future report from this source involves the Hatbox Ghost being installed in the Haunted Mansion shortly before the new movie comes out.

  • Jan. 26, 2011, 10:46 a.m. CST

    Let them roam free, but I think the characters

    by Ingeld

    should all be fitted with electric shock collars that would administer an electrical charge that would cause the person to give an audible yelp if they wandered into certain areas. I would then change the areas or perimeters randomly and daily without informing the characters. And every day they can hide a single key to turn it off, but the characters will often be pitted against other characters in order to get it. Do this and the people will flock to Disney World to see the likes of Snow White and Eyeore battle to survive the Magic Kingdom.

  • Jan. 26, 2011, 10:52 a.m. CST

    And to think Harry was quoted on one of the Fight Club...

    by phifty2

    ...DVD's. I remember his review, "...don't be a space monkey..." Anyway, Watchmen is on tv. See ya.

  • Jan. 26, 2011, 11:35 a.m. CST

    telemarketer reads like Bill Frist diagnosing Terri Schiavo over the TV

    by Immortal_Fish

    He does.

  • Jan. 26, 2011, 12:47 p.m. CST

    I don't get how Walt wins anything here.

    by HornyForHarry

  • Jan. 26, 2011, 1:42 p.m. CST

    Walt's Legacy has NOTHING to do with Disney Anymore

    by MagnoliAB

    And that's a fact.

  • Jan. 26, 2011, 2:15 p.m. CST

    WDW memory

    by homer40

    A few years ago I was at Disney World with the family and we were staying at the Boardwalk, which is my favorite hotel on site. There is a back entrance to Epcot for the Boardwalk area guests, which comes right in between France and England. I was standing outside the gift shop and suddenly saw all the characters from Robin Hood. I screamed like a little kid (I'm 45) and ran over and hugged Friar Tuck. Suddenly the characters surrounded me. I got the impression that few were paying attention to them, as Robin Hood is not that well remembered. I got to spend five or ten minutes alone with some of my favorite Disney characters. Just a great memory.

  • Jan. 26, 2011, 2:17 p.m. CST

    Another WDW memory

    by homer40

    Can't remember if it was the same trip, but we stayed in the Magic Kingdom for a late night party. You had to pay extra, but it was a very crowded time, and they only sold so many tickets, so the park was nearly empty. Right out in front of the castle were Mickey, Minney, Donald, Pluto, Goofy, Cinderella, and more. There were no lines, no handlers, just a smattering of people around to interact with characters that have become too hard to get to lately, and they are never walking around. What a treat.

  • Jan. 26, 2011, 2:24 p.m. CST


    by Mitch

    I'm really happy about this. My two young boys really love the characters. We were just there before the holidays and the characters help pass the time with all the long lines.

  • Jan. 26, 2011, 2:26 p.m. CST

    Telemarketer just doesn't get it.

    by homer40

    It doesn't make you a freak because you enjoy seeing the characters at Disney. It makes you someone who loves movies. Disney was a genius, and his films continue to amaze decades after his death. This is, after all, a movie fanboy site, and Disneyworld and Disneyland are a place where movies come alive. There just isn't any place like it. If you really love movies dude, you owe it to yourself to watch the old cartoon shorts, and the classics, because they are great films that, for many of us, along with Warner Brothers and, to a lesser extent (in my view) MGM, helped define out childhoods, and which we now pass on to our kids. A great movie is a great movie. I will say that though Disney really does this much better than anyone else, I was at Universal this summer and we saw Homer Simpson outside the Simpson's Ride and I yelled, again like a little kid, HOMER! I ran over to hug him and get a pic, pushing my kids the ground as I ran. It was fucking Homer! My wife noted, derisively, that she hadn't seen me that excited or happy pretty much ever, and that I never got that excited over her. Makes me laugh to remember.

  • Jan. 26, 2011, 2:30 p.m. CST

    Disney idea - Lines

    by Mitch

    I know they have the Fast Pass system already in place. But why not offer guests the ability to cut to the head of the line for a fee. (I know Universal already has this) But for Disney, somehow align this with a charity and REALLY hike the price up... Like $1K+. Market it like: "Cut for Charity" where a high % goes to a qualified charity. There are plenty of impatient & wealthy parents out there that would do it in a second.

  • Jan. 26, 2011, 3:09 p.m. CST


    by blayne

    Are you serious? That's been gone since 1988. The animatronics are in Splash Mountain.

  • Jan. 26, 2011, 3:11 p.m. CST

    Skip the lines

    by homer40

    Disney could easily institute a system like Universal to allow people with more money to skip the lines. This is one area where Disney isn't in it for the money. Disney believes that once you pay to get in, everyone should be treated equally. I've often wished for the same thing, but I understand the philosophy, and I agree with it. The front of the line pass is done at many parks, Universal is just one that gives it free if you stay on site (and it is well worth the money), but I actually feel bad for those who can't afford it. Not that it keeps me from jumping in front of them, but parks charge a lot for the privilege. I actually paid almost a hundred dollars at sea world this summer for me and two kids, and it was basically just to ride two coasters (one, the Manta, where you ride facing the ground is just amazing.) Had I not purchased the pass, just going on the two coasters once would have taken the whole day. So I applaud Disney for not gouging us any more.

  • Jan. 26, 2011, 3:57 p.m. CST

    Does this mean...

    by NightArrows

    That hot Cinderella working at the park will be able to wander over to my Disney resort room and give me a proper hand-job wake-up call now? Because THAT would be awesome, especially if she sings "When you wish upon a starrrrr..." whilst "waking" me up...

  • Jan. 26, 2011, 4:55 p.m. CST

    The Flux Capacitor(actual prop) is permanently on

    by UltraTron

    display in the Universal Studios haunted house walkthrough. It's built into one of frankenstein's control panels. One of the universal cast members told me. Glad he wasn't in line at some photo-op and could tell me that. One of the coolest things during the visit

  • Jan. 26, 2011, 11:11 p.m. CST

    Inflatable Guantanamo Prisoners

    by illegal alien vs sexual predator

    Thats what I call "atmosphere." Thanks Banksy!

  • Jan. 26, 2011, 11:49 p.m. CST

    Why is Harry humping Wal-E???

    by Tikidonkeypunch

  • Jan. 26, 2011, 11:49 p.m. CST

    Why is Harry humping Wal-E???

    by Tikidonkeypunch

  • Jan. 27, 2011, 12:34 a.m. CST

    At least he is not eating out his own butt

    by Mag

    Last months was disgusting. Harry eating himself out...

  • Jan. 27, 2011, 6:45 a.m. CST

    Go the Itchy & Scratchy Land route..

    by Axl Z

    That worked out fine and was cheaper.. "with a cool dry wit like that I could be an action hero!"

  • Jan. 27, 2011, 10:14 a.m. CST

    No you won't.......

    by robhouston

    have to stand in line to get a photo taken with a character. That sucks - you know - being guaranteed a keepsake to take home to display in your home if you wish. NOW you get to scramble around the park like a madman hoping to catch some characters that your kids want to see and get autographs/photos with. Hoo Fucking Ray.

  • Jan. 27, 2011, 10:17 a.m. CST

    Cars / Autotopia

    by robhouston

    A Cars land is being built in the California Adventure Park next door.