Monday, July 6, 2015

Theme Parking: Four And A Half Ways To Improve Disneyland

  • Over in the Family section of The Orange County Register, staff writer Kedric Francis posted an article titled "10 ways to improve Disneyland". As I am a blogger and it is my nature to respond to articles like this when I have nothing else to write, let's examine the list and see how much of it makes sense.
  1. Streamline the entrance to the parks - Opening a no-bag line at bag check seems like a no-brainer. I can't imagine walking into Disneyland without a bag, but I suppose there are many who do. And while I don't think that the gates are that terrible of a wait, I'm sure I would use an annual passholder entrance were it available. Verdict: Yes
  2. Retire the “Song of the South” characters that populate Splash Mountain - It would be impossible for me to argue about where Song of the South belongs in the Disney pantheon. That the company has all but disowned the film certainly casts the characters' inclusion in the ride in a strange light. The greatest problem is what to replace it with. The article's suggestions of Up, Wall-E, and Marvel Comics seem ill advised as Splash Mountain sits squarely in Critter Country. Considering how popular the ride still is, it would be best left alone until a truly better option comes along. Verdict: No
  3. Add fast, casual breakfast options in the morning - We rarely get to Disneyland early enough to worry about breakfast in the park. The one time we did, we ended up at the Jolly Holiday Bakery Café for croissants and muffins. It was fine, but we would have welcomed an option between the continental breakfast fare and a full restaurant meal. (Though had I the means and opportunity, I'd always breakfast at the Carnation Café.) Verdict: Yes
  4. Help provide easier public-transit access to the parks - I am so out of my league on this one, I don't even know where to begin. Verdict: Eh
  5. Go locavore - When a writer just has to make a list of ten items, this is the kind of thing that's likely to crop up. Only the fact that my daughter likes raisins keeps me from laughing the entire suggestion off. Verdict: Sure?
  6. Serve alcohol at Disneyland - First, that an article in the Family section is looking for more ways to get alcohol in the park is pretty funny. Second, it's hard for me to care that much since I don't really understand the fascination with alcohol anyway. I'm not some park purist who has to follow Walt's edict that alcohol sales be limited to Club 33. But I also don't see why people need to drink so badly. Verdict: Eh
  7. Expand early entry - Again, I don't have experience with early entry because we are never in the position to take advantage of it anyway. It sounds like a good deal already, so I don't quite know why it needs to be better. I suppose I'll take the author's word for it. Verdict: Eh
  8. Keep the Main Street bypass alley open at all times, but especially after parades and at closing time - Building bypass alleys behind Main Street seemed like a genius idea for curbing congestion during parades. But I've never actually found them open. I can't say for certain that I even know where to find them. We often find ourselves sneaking through the shops along the western side of the street just to avoid the crowds where we can. Disneyland should be more liberal in allowing their use. Verdict: Yes
  9. Let the characters speak - Really? You don't think that would be creepy as all get out? Would you even be able to hear the performer through the head? Again, this seems like a poorly considered addition to the list. Verdict: No
  10. It’s time to permanently park Autopia - We took our daughter on Autopia for the first time a couple months ago. She was finally tall enough to ride along with her mother. She had a blast, even though she was unable to drive herself. Autopia is a lot of fun and it is unique in the park. However, it takes up a crazy amount of land. If one takes into account Innoventions and the Submarine Voyage, Disney has enough room to open an entire Star Wars Land in the park. I would hate to see Autopia go, but it might be for the greater good. Verdict: Yes
  • So, four good suggestions and one that seems okay. What would you like to see improved at Disneyland?

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