Tourist Claptrap: Star Wars, Haunted Foyers, and More

It’s Gonna Be Tattooine Hot: The 2008 Star Wars Weekends may take place in June again this year, which as Steven Ford suggests over at the Sentinel’s Theme Park Rangers blog, is gonna be rough for the Empire:

It will be interesting to later learn how that date will or won’t affect the gate numbers. Does anyone here care much whether it’s May or June when you don your 20-lb. Stormtrooper outfit?

Haunted Mansion Goes (Sorta) PC: The great Jim Hill over at Jim Hill Media reports that the days of each Disney cast member putting their unique spin on working at the Haunted Mansion will soon be coming to an end. Instead of the loosely-formatted improv delivered by butlers and maids (“Drag your bodies to the DEAD center of the room,” etc.) the cast members working the attraction will now have a strict script to follow and even some acting coaching and blocking to go with it.

Outlet Stores In The Stream: The Dixie Stampede property has been picked up by Chelsea Property Group, owner of Orlando Premium Outlets, according to the OBJ:

But at least one local retail expert believes the smart move would be to build more upscale outlet shops there. “That particular outlet mall is really strong, and expanding it makes a lot of sense,” says Jack Liberty, president of Liberty Universal Management, which manages nearly 7 million square feet of retail space in Central Florida.

(I am now officially OUT of Dolly Parton-related puns, so I hope this story goes quiet soon. Not that the handful I’ve offered have been any great shakes–today was a REAL reach.)

Farewell MGM, Hello Hollywood: In case you haven’t made it over yet in the new year, has some images up of the new rebranded Disney’s Hollywood Studios, formerly Disney-MGM Studios.

3 Comments so far

  1. mb (unregistered) on January 9th, 2008 @ 2:14 pm

    Last week I went to the Magic Kingdom in the first time in years. I did find it interesting that none of the people working the Haunted Mansion seemed to be in character. All of them just seemed to be acting like normal cheerful Disney employees. None of the comments that I could see being a problem were made. I rode the ride twice at two different times, and it was the same each time. I wonder if Disney has told their Haunted Mansion employees not to act their characters already?

  2. Matt (unregistered) on January 9th, 2008 @ 3:43 pm

    MB: That could very well be…that could be an interim measure designed to avoid “offending” anyone until they get the script and staging in place.

    I’m no CEanything, but from where I sit, taking away employee initiative that contributes in a positive way to the overall experience (and by extension the bottom line) is INCREDIBLY demoralizing.

    (I sounded like Andy Rooney for a second there, didn’t I.)

  3. Terry Howard (unregistered) on January 9th, 2008 @ 10:24 pm

    Haunted Mansion with cheerful attendants = dumb.

    Someone in Disney brass should get canned for that.

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