Saturday, September 6
(Thanks for the link, Chris M.)
And now, the Hong Kong government may back out of its investment in Hong Kong Disneyland.
And Disney plans another park in Shanghai.
These days you can buy an amphibious motor coach or an amphibious sports car, and that's all well and good. But with over one hundred years of amphibious cars to select from, Danny's Land reminds you to shop with caution. Oh do be careful, 007!
A goofy little QuickTime movie of the Munchkin animatronics from Disney MGM Studio's Great Movie Ride lip-synching to a beer commercial.
(Link from the very entertaining Disney geek-out Jim Hill Media.)
My immediate responses are sadness and disgust. From all the behind-the-scenes sources I've read over the past few years, Disneyland cuts costs in inappropriate places, like their maintenance budget. According to one source, Disneyland and Disney's California Adventure currently share a ride maintenance staff smaller than they used to have at Disneyland alone.
According to mouseplanet.com:
Both Anaheim Police and the Anaheim Fire Department have secured the location, and Rasulo said that Disneyland's technical staff has not yet been allowed on the scene of their accident to conduct their own investigation.
This was probably wise. When there was a death on the Sailing Ship Columbia in 1998, someone from Disneyland actually swabbed the blood off the deck before police arrived.
Here is a page outlining current ride safety regulations in California. It's worth noting that these regulations came into effect as a direct result of the 1998 Sailing Ship Columbia accident. (CORRECTION, 9/7/03: Sorry, I was wrong. The Columbia accident was a factor, but the legislation came about because of the efforts of the mother of a kid who got his foot crushed at Disneyland... by the Big Thunder Mountain Railroad.)
And here's a sobering thought, from snopes.com:
All the deaths (save the most recent) were the result of guests who apparently ignored safety instructions and/or defeated rides' safety mechanisms.
Save the most recent. From the mid-1960s to the mid-1990s, there were eight fatalities (nine, if you count the employee who was crushed by America Sings) and most of them were kids screwing around or riders making errors in judgement. From the mid-1990s to date, there have been two, and both of them look a lot like maintenance problems.
I was interviewed briefly about ride safety in 1999 by suck.com (scroll down, or use your browser's find feature to search for the phrase "While I've been"), and for some reason, the specific roller coaster I cited was Big Thunder Mountain.
One other interesting note, all the helicopter footage of the accident scene reminded me of two things...
1. Didn't Disney lobby to have the airspace over Disneyland declared a no-fly zone?
2. The two most deadly civilian helicopter crashes took place in 1968; the first was a flight from Disneyland to LAX, the second, LAX to Disneyland. Disneyland helicopter shuttle service was discontinued thereafter.
Wednesday, September 3
(Tip of the monorail conductor's hat again to Steve Mandich.)
Monday, September 1
Yeti in amusement parks, here, here and here.
My new trivia for the day -- the yeti in the Disneyland Matterhorn is named Harold.