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Everything posted by djsamuel

  1. That is true. A friend of mine works on maintaining that ride. Another problem is inadequate staffing to handle the increased maintenance of that ride.
  2. Having a daughter who lives near Disneyland and who goes there frequently; I can tell you that Galaxy’s Edge is no where near as crowded as HS. In fact, she’s sent photos showing the lower crowds. When my daughter and son in law went to ride Rise of the Resistance, they got a hotel and were in line to get into Disneyland early in the morning. They still didn’t get to ride until later in the afternoon. There were still some issues with the ride there as well. A much larger percentage of people at Disneyland are locals and aren’t as desperate to ride Rise of the Resistance as those at HS who have paid a lot of money for a single trip to WDW. So even though my daughter had to get to Disneyland early there were fewer people who did not get to ride because there were fewer people trying.
  3. If it is to be like Disney California, they have the paper fast passes and Maxpass. I love it, much better than the WDW system. You pay for Maxpass, and that allows you to get a fastpass via the app on your phone ONCE YOU ENTER THE PARK. You can then grab another pass using your phone once you used your previous fastpass. In addition, purchasing the Maxpass (which I believe cost us $15 a day) also gives you photopass for the day. If you don't want to spend the money, the paper based fast pass system is still there.
  4. You are correct. The rules changed after that.
  5. Can't agree with this more. Add the town of Keystone and spend some time there. Also, Badlands and Wind Cave National Parks are great. The crafts being sold at Crazy Horse and the people selling them are terrific. As a side story, my wife's family used to take their camper from NJ to South Dakota to take clothes collected at their church to an episcopal priest named Father Two Hawk. The clothes were for the Native Americans there. While visiting, my wife and her siblings would ride horses and play with the children on the reservation. Several years ago when we were at Crazy Horse, my wife was talking to a woman who was making a dream catcher for our daughter. In the course of the conversation, my wife mentioned her trips to Father Two Hawk and why they came. the woman, who was my wife's age, stopped what she was doing and said, "I got my clothes from Father Two Hawk when I was a child." Here she was at the same reservation at the same time my wife would visit. And they met almost 40 years later.
  6. I'll have to look the next time I stop over there. A friend of mine is friends with John and works with him. As of last week, he mentioned nothing of any change, and we were talking about him. My only thought would be if they are having someone handle activities at the fort since he is also involved with the building of Reflections which is taking a lot of time (and meetings).
  7. We saw that this year when we went up to visit family in NJ over Christmas. Even had the camper, and Griswold hanging from the roof.
  8. I agree. The 500 loop is a really nice loop in a great location.
  9. If you're looking for a more quiet loop that is classified as a non-meadows premium loop, the 1100 loop is a nice choice. It is across the street and up a little bit from the Meadows area, yet not too far away. My wife and I always walk around the loops, even if we are just stopping in for the day, and it is not too far unless you have difficulty walking. The buses are always convenient. Many enjoy the golf carts, but certainly not necessary.
  10. I know several situations where families consisting of around 30 year old parents and their kids either move their work from home location or take new jobs to escape high cost areas to enjoy the relatively low cost and income tax free status of Florida. After they move, the grandparents retire and follow them down; buying their own home nearby. About half of the homes in our development are parent/grandparent pairs, or even triplets.
  11. I LOVE Nine Dragons; ate there yesterday. ALWAYS a great meal and service. One of my favorites.
  12. I am being convinced that Disney is using high dining prices as a tool to show a value in the meal plans. Some of the prices are getting out of hand. Others remain somewhat reasonable in price; like Ale and Compass, Grand Floridian Cafe, Sebastian's, etc.
  13. Many people, including me, commute daily from west of Orlando to east Orlando. Some jobs are located along Sand Lake road, around the Lockheed Martin facility there. I have several friends commuting from Clermont to that area. The downtown Orlando area has a growing digital media industry. Companies such as EA are planning on moving to the center of Orlando from Maitland in a few years. I know several people who commute from the Clermont/Winter Garden area up to Maitland for EA and will do the same when EA moves. East Orlando (near UCF) has a really large simulation industry, anchored by the military and large companies like Lockheed Martin on Lake Underhill road, Boeing, and others. I commute from Clermont to near UCF. It isn't a bad drive and the East Orlando area is just too dense for me. Also, a lot of people enjoy the Clermont/Winter Garden area a lot. It is a great place to live.
  14. I love the Biergarten. We were at Epcot yesterday and I looked at the price and saw it was now $46 for lunch. that seems really high to me. Am I mis-remembering the previous price? I thought it was around $35.
  15. Dinner at BOG is really good (at least it was last Mother's Day); much better than breakfast or lunch. Noise is a real concern, wlthough we always ask to be seated in the Gallery and that is much quieter.
  16. A lot of the people buying have one family member working at Disney. My wife worked at Disney for years while I have what she calls the "serious job" earning more money and the serious benefits. Her job, even retired, provides some great "fun" benefits that save us a fortune. I know several families who recently moved to the area from the midwest and the east coast (and one from the West Coast) and they do not work at Disney. The Orlando economy is really starting to boom in the high tech sector although it gets overshadowed by the tourism industry.
  17. The big concern is Hong Kong as they are getting hammered by the protests last quarter. From Disney's most recently quarterly report: " Operating income at our international parks and resorts was comparable to the prior-year quarter, as growth at Disneyland Paris and Shanghai Disney Resort was largely offset by a decrease at Hong Kong Disneyland Resort. "
  18. The construction up Avalon is mind boggling. I have no idea where the people are coming from, but they need to get a handle on it. As far as all of those Starbucks; I must be too old! I just don't get it. 😀
  19. Avalon Road is being widened to 4 lanes the entire length. It looks like a traffic light will be in place at Western Way and Avalon, and there is a lot of construction currently blocking Flamingo Way at Avalon. A big problem area will be the intersection of Western Way and Buena Vista Drive. That really backs up now each day around shift change times and especially normal rush hours. Also, the intersection of Avalon and 192 can be a nightmare. Finally Hartzog Road will be an issue, especially now that a large Del Webb 55+ community is just starting construction right on Hartzog, about halfway to the Western Way.
  20. Test Track had a lot of issues at the beginning, both in software and mechanical. There were much larger issues there. Fantasy of Flight had some and of course the Skyliner as well. Seven Dwarfs Mine Train closed several times the first few weeks after opening, not including the fire. You are also assuming that the lack of announced previews and soft openings equates to a lack of testing. Give it a month and see where they are. They were certainly under pressure to get the crowds up at Galaxy’s Edge, and that is one of the factors used in risk management.
  21. Just because there were no previews or soft openings doesn't mean there was not extensive testing prior to opening. I know there were some previews that were not announced. In the almost 40 years I've been working on this stuff, I've never seen a flawless rollout. They are just too complicated, and given the safety systems on top of it, there are bound to be shutdowns caused more by an abundance of caution than an actual failure to operate. I do not agree that it opened too soon. They could have waited a month and still would have probably had issues, but that is all part of the tradeoffs. Software reliability calculations for fault density shows basically an asymptotic curve towards zero; you never fully get there and the return on additional testing time diminishes greatly the further you get into testing.
  22. I think Smuggler’s Run far exceeds Star Tours. The simulator quality, especially the motion, far surpasses that of Star Tours; which it should because it is a much newer ride. My wife gets motion sickness on Star Tours but not Smuggler’s Run because the motion is so much better (synched to the visual). Of course, I work on flight simulators so maybe I’m looking at it differently. I enjoy both rides a lot. As far as opening ROTR too early; I think you would have had problems even if they waited. As an engineer working on similar technology, I’ve experienced problems that showed up in operational use that never showed up in extensive testing. Normal use provides scenarios never anticipated in test procedures; an operator hitting buttons in a different order, a guest moving or standing in a way not anticipated, unforeseen maintenance issues, etc. Plus during system development there is always the risk analysis that takes place that puts performance against cost and schedule. The risks are assessed and either mitigated or accepted. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. It is the same issue when you buy a new design car in its first year of production.
  23. Yes, the frame the swings will be hung on looks new.
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