In this edition of Theme Park Bits:
- The Super Bowl LIV champ goes to Disney.
- Look at 3-D versions of the Disney Parks via Apple Maps.
- And more!
If there’s one thing you must know about me, it’s that I’m a longtime Buffalo Bills fan. (Stop laughing.) If there’s a second thing you must know about me, it’s that I’m a longtime New York Mets fan. (I said stop laughing.) What do those teams have to do with theme parks? Well, with the conclusion of Super Bowl LIV, the Kansas City Chiefs quarterback who led the team to victory, Patrick Mahomes, of course visited Walt Disney World the day after his victory. Mahomes is the son of former Met Pat Mahomes, and the Chiefs won their very first Super Bowl (as a longtime Bills fan, I can’t help but be happy for another team with a long losing streak). Anyway, good for Mahomes and the Chiefs, and for Disney to showcase a big winner so soon after the Big Game.
If you’re an iPhone user and you love the Disney theme parks, you’re in luck. Make sure you update your Apple Maps app, because once you do, you’ll find more detailed, 3-D versions of many of the major landmarks in both Walt Disney World and Disneyland. It hasn’t come to the point where you can find colorized versions of things like Cinderella’s Castle at the Magic Kingdom, but you’ll find a great deal more detail throughout the parks when you look at them on the maps. Of course, you can walk down Main Street, U.S.A. via Google Maps. Maybe that’ll be in the next iOS update.
Hard as it may seem to believe, we’re just under a month away from the arrival of a new attraction in Disney’s Hollywood Studios. No, it won’t be in Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge. I’m talking about Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway, which has now gotten to the point where Cast Members are being trained in how to operate this wild new ride. Take a look at the video above to see how Cast Members are getting ready for the arrival of the two most famous mice in the whole world, and get just a bit more excited for this new attraction.
Tokyo Disneyland is going through some major updates, as recently discussed here. While the Tokyo DisneySea park is taking a bit longer to complete its Fantasy Springs expansion, guests can expect to pay just a bit more to attend the park. Starting this April, ticket prices are going up by roughly 9 percent, from 7,500 yen to 8,200 yen. Annual passes are also going up in price; the good news is that the price increase is only focused on adults. Children’s ticket prices will remain the same. In case you’re wondering what might have led to the ticket-price increase, revenues have been down across the board by a few percent. So really, it’s your fault. (Not really.)
But we’re going to end today’s column on an upbeat note for Walt Disney World. The new president of the Orlando resort, Josh D’Amaro, recently announced that Disney will be investing millions of dollars into some things guests like you and me will never see: updated break rooms, better dining plans, and more. You may grouse about this, as it’s the kind of impact that will never be tangible to the outside observer, but it’s this kind of investment that encourages me. Walt Disney World, like its fellow resorts, can’t operate well without dedicated Cast Members. They more than deserve a better working environment than they have now. Good on you, Josh. (You’re doing our first name proud.)
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