Month: August 2017

Episode 22: Closing, Opening, Building, Retheming, Remembering, Riding


Closing credits roll on an opening day attraction, three is better than two, Orange and the New Green, “Pier”ing into Pixar, a touching tribute, and seeing spots all over the Walt Disney World Resort.



Episode Cast

Parker Byrd – Chris Laning
Erin Dole – Paige Laning
“It’s true!” – Jon Laning

Intro Music

“The Whip” Kevin MacLeod (
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0

Fauxmercial Music

“Deliberate Thought” Kevin MacLeod (
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License


Main Street Travel Company logo

Main Street Travel Company

This episode of “Guest Room” is brought to you by Main Street Travel Company., an authorized Disney Vacation Planner. Main Street Travel’s experienced planners will help you build your dream vacation to Disney or anywhere in the world! Main Street Travel Company. Where do you imagine yourself?



ERIN: Closing credits roll on an opening day attraction, three is better than two, Orange and the New Green, Piering into Pixar, a touching tribute, and seeing spots all over the Walt Disney World Resort. Hello and welcome to the the August 25th edition of “Guest Room” on ENN, the Ears News Network. Bringing you Disney News you won’t believe….and probably shouldn’t…I’m Erin Dole.

PARKER: And I’m Parker Byrd. And Erin, we have commented in the past that at Disney’s Hollywood Studios at the Walt Disney World resort in Orlando so many attractions have closed one wonders what there really is to do at the park anymore.

ERIN: That’s for sure.

PARKER: Well, believe it or not, as of August 13th yet ANOTHER attraction is closed.

ERIN: Seriously?

PARKER: And this was a biggie. The Great Movie Ride, the dark ride showing a cadre of the most notable scenes in cinematic history, and a scene from Alien, was the centerpiece of Disney’s Hollywood Studios (or Disney’s MGM Studios as it was called when it originally opened). It was housed in a replica of the iconic Grauman’s Chinese Theater, where the whole putting footprints of Hollywood stars into cement began.

The Great Movie Ride was an opening day attraction when the park made its debut in May of 1989 and in fact was the only opening day attraction still in operation. While Star Tours and the Indiana Jones Stunt Spectacular show are still operating they did not open until later in 1989. So if I am not mistaken…

ERIN: And you usually are.

PARKER: This marks the very first time a Disney park has had all of its opening day attractions closed.

Now The Great Movie Ride is being closed to make way for “Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway”. While we will have more on that attraction as details become available early indications point to it being somewhat of an overlay to the current ride system. Essentially replacing the iconic movie scenes with those from Mickey Mouse shorts, and putting Goofy in charge of the ride vehicles. That should end well.

Anyway, they say it is always darkest before the dawn and certainly with this upcoming attraction, Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, and Toy Story Land in the offing, brighter days do seem to be ahead for Disney’s Hollywood Studios or whatever they may ultimately call it. But for now it seems like Disney has invented a whole new term for the industry…..the “¼ day park”.

ERIN: If that. Disney’s new ride sharing service, Minnie Vans, has begun operation at the Walt Disney World. This service, similar to Uber and Lyft, allows guests to make reservations through a mobile app for transportation to and from places within the resort. The vehicles carry the Minnie’s distinctive red with white dots pattern on the sides and a white roof with a black Minnie head outline with a red and white bow. These vehicles are not hard to miss. They take Disneybounding to a whole new level! An Uber idea from Disney to give guests a Minnie pick-up.

PARKER: This month also saw the relaunching of Mission Space in the Future World section of EPCOT at the Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando. The attraction’s previous versions “Orange team” and “Green Team” have been replaced with the names “Orange Mission” and “Green Mission”. The Orange Mission has pretty much the same storyline as it previously did, a simulated training mission to Mars, but the video has been upgraded to HD for a better experience. The Green Mission not only now has optional booster seats allowing the ride height minimum to be lowered to 40” it has a whole new mission. It is now an orbit of the Earth. You launch from Kennedy Space Center, cut through the middle of America where you pass over the Grand Canyon, San Francisco, the Hawaiian Islands, Japan, China, the Middle East, and Italy. You even see the northern lights. Then, weather permitting, you come in for a landing back at Kennedy Space Center.

Now it should be noted that ENN has learned that due to federal regulations surrounding the use of Kennedy Space Center in the film and the proximity of the park to that government facility, guest opting to ride the Green Mission will be required to purchase a one day ticket to Kennedy Space Center at $50 for adults and $40 for children.

ERIN: That’s ridiculous!

PARKER: True Erin. But everyone knows that it usually costs a little more to go green.

ERIN: Really Parker? Already with this?

PARKER: Back after this.

COMMERCIAL: Main St. Travel Company

FAUXMERCIAL: “Luxurious Lou: Hollywood Tower Hotel”

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ERIN: Welcome back to “Guest Room” on ENN. Turning our attention to Anaheim, one of the announcements coming out of D23 was the rethemeing of Paradise Pier in the Disney’s California Adventure at the Disneyland Resort into Pixar Pier. It will essentially be some different “neighborhoods” that will allow you to get up close and personal with some of your favorite Pixar characters including ones from “The Incredibles”, “Inside Out” and “Toy Story”.

Pixar Pier will open in 2018 as part of a resort-wide “Pixar Fest” celebration which will also include a new Pixar themed fireworks show at the Disneyland Park and the Pixar Play It parade will move to the Disneyland Park too. Pixar Fest will be a limited time event, but Pixar Pier will be a permanent change….or at least as permanent as things are any more at Disney…(Great Movie Ride).

Now ENN has learned that keeping with the Pixar tradition John Ratzenberger has been given a role in Pixar Pier. He has been hired to be the Custodial Host for the Pier.

PARKER: I’ll bet he really cleans up in that role is he doesn’t Hamm it up too much.

ERIN: Parker, you really went off the Cliff with that one.

PARKER: Back over on the East Coast, a new memorial was recently erected off of the Seven Seas lagoon at the Walt Disney World resort in Orlando, to remember Lane Graves. He was the young boy who died in June of 2016 when he was snatched by an alligator as he was wading along the edge of the Seven Seas Lagoon near Disney’s Grand Floridian hotel.

The memorial is a lighthouse, gold in color with two blue stars. It is the symbol of the Lane Thomas Foundation, which was started by the boy’s parents in his memory and provides financial support for non-medical expenses to families with children in need of life-saving organ transplants at Omaha healthcare facilities.

The memorial is erected near where the attack took place. New safety measures and signage also came about as a result of this unfortunate event. It’s a beautiful memorial and one we hope will remain untouched in the future.

ERIN: And finally, over the past few episodes and on our YouTube series, Ears News Bites, we have covered many announcements coming out of the D23 Expo which was held last month in Anaheim, California. It ranged from a new ride themed off of Guardians of the Galaxy to a whole new transportation system at Walt Disney World.
But this announcement was a little different as it didn’t pertain to the parks but to another big part of Disney, the Cruise Line.

Disney announced that they are adding three new amazing ships to their cruise line. These ships are going to be bigger and even better than the newest ships, the Disney Fantasy and the Disney Dream.  Not much detail has been released about these ships but we have been told that there will be about 1,250 guest state rooms which is just slightly larger than the Disney Dream and the Disney Fantasy. Disney Cruise line fans are expecting wonderful things from these new ships since the Disney Dream and the Disney Fantasy brought the Aqua Duck and the virtual portholes in interior rooms.

The Aqua Duck is a water coaster that goes out over the side of the ship for an amazing view while guests are riding. The virtual portholes provide guests in interior rooms with real time views from cameras on the side of the ship, with occasional surprise visits from animated characters.

Now most of the design has yet to be planned and even some of the names have not been thought of yet. But inside sources tell ENN that the recent close of the Disney Wishes fireworks show at the Magic Kingdom in the Walt Disney World resort in Orlando, may actually have been not just to make room for a new fireworks show but to make room for a new cruise ship as well. There is speculation that one of the new ships will be named Disney Wishes, which, let’s face it, is all any Disney fan could ever wish for.

PARKER: (singing) Wishes!

ERIN: Parker!  And that’s all for this edition of ENN’s “Guest Room”. If you would like to comment on this episode or would like to send along a news story for us to look into drop us an email at

PARKER: You can listen to this and future episodes by finding us in the iTunes store and on Stitcher, just search on Ears News Network. Details can be found on the “How to Listen” page at There you can find links to our Facebook page and Twitter account as well.

ERIN: And don’t forget to check out our ENN Youtube Channel where you can see our Ears News Bites. So until next time, I’m Erin Dole

And I’m Parker Byrd. Thanks for listening to the Ears News Network, the mistrusted name in Disney news. Goodbye everybody.


Lack of Cents in the Disneyland Guardians of the Galaxy Attraction

This news item originally appeared on Episode 21 of the Disney news SATIRE podcast, “Guest Room” on the Ears News Network with Parker Byrd and Erin Dole.

Tony S., a cast member at the new Guardians of the Galaxy – Mission: BREAKOUT! Attraction over at Disney’s California Adventure in the Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, California wrote to tell us about an encounter he recently had.  Tony was working the exit of the ride when a group of four young boys, just barely tall enough to ride it by his estimation, came hurrying out excitedly chattering.  Curious, Tony stepped closer to see what he could make out of the chatter. One of the boys said “Hey…I had a 5 cent piece in my hand and it floated up when we were dropping.”  

Now, our lawyers would like us to point out that having loose objects in this attraction is ill advised, dangerous, and against Disney policy.  You could even get expelled from the park if caught violating this rule. So JUST DON’T DO IT!

Anyway, Tony writes that a second boy responded “I pulled out my 10 cent piece and it floated too!”.  A third boy also chimed in “I pulled out my 25 cent piece and it floated too”.

While dealing with little kids isn’t exactly Tony’s strong suit, he noticed that the fourth boy’s downtrodden look was in stark contrast to the other three. Tony approached the boy and asked him “Did you float a coin as well?”

“No sir!” said the boy.

Marveling in the fact that perhaps one young guest had actually obeyed the rules, and hoping it served as a message to the other three, Tony confidently asked the boy “Why not?”

The boy’s answer? “‘Cause I didn’t have any cents.”

Minnie Vans Setting New Bounds

This news item originally appeared on Episode 21 of the Disney news SATIRE podcast, “Guest Room” on the Ears News Network with Parker Byrd and Erin Dole.


Minnie Vans © Disney

ERIN: Yet another announcement coming out of D23 was the announcement of Disney’s new Minnie Van service coming to the Walt Disney World resort in Orlando.. Of course that is Minnie spelled M-i-n-n-i-e!

This ride-sharing like service seeks to mimic the services many have come to expect from service providers like Lyft and Uber. Guests will use an app to schedule a pick up that will take them to various places around the resort. The specially decorated vehicles will be driven by Disney employees . The service is expected to be in full operation later this month.

The promotional pictures showed Disney’s fleet of Minnie vans all bearing Minnie’s signature red with white spots scheme. Now that I think of it, it kind of takes Disneybounding to a whole new level!

Disney to Leave Guests Hanging By a String

This news item originally appeared on Episode 21 of the Disney news SATIRE podcast, “Guest Room” on the Ears News Network with Parker Byrd and Erin Dole.


Disney Skyliner

Disney Skyliner ©Disney

Also at the D23 convention a few weeks back Disney announced a new transportation system coming to the Walt Disney World resort in Orlando.  The new system, called the Disney Skyliner, is a gondola system, similar to  a ski lift with an enclosed car, attached to a cable.  

Now the concept is not  new for this resort.  The Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World used to have the “Skyway” ride which was an opening day attraction.  It connected Tomorrowland and Fantasyland. It was a great way to skip over the crowds in between.  It closed in 1999.

This new version won’t be in a park exactly. Rather it will connect the Art of Animation, Caribbean Beach,Pop Century and new Disney Riviera resorts with Disney’s Hollywood Studios and EPCOT.

Of course some may be concerned about the safety of the Disney Skyliner? For instance if  a thunderstorm suddenly blows in,  will they be able to get everyone off the ride in time?  And with numerous gondolas filled with guests on a line that stretches on for miles,, if it were to break down or the power goes out for a while, you are talking a massive evacuation spread over miles and miles of the resort.

Emergency Exit Slide

Emergency Exit Slide

Well ENN has learned that Disney has come up with a potential plan to deal with the evacuations.  They are considering equipping each of the gondolas with an inflatable slide, similar to the ones used on commercial airplanes. Should a stoppage occur, guests will be instructed to pull a handle, deploy the slide and self-evacuate to the ground.

Now I see two potential unintended consequences with this. First, the allure of a thrilling slide to the ground could lead to guests wishing for. Or even causing ridestops. But more importantly , depending on where your gondola stops along the route, it could be less of an evacuation and more like air delivery of gator food.



Tribute to Ellen’s Energy Adventure in Guardians Ride?

This news item originally appeared on Episode 21 of the Disney news SATIRE podcast, “Guest Room” on the Ears News Network with Parker Byrd and Erin Dole.

Ellen's Energy Adventure

Ellen’s Energy Adventure

ERIN: One the many announcements coming out of D23 was cool news that a Guardians of the Galaxy themed ride is coming to EPCOT in the Walt Disney World resort in Orlando, Florida. It’s going to replace Ellen’s Energy Adventure which is closing in August. Ellen’s Energy Adventure starred Ellen Degeneres and “Bill Nye the Science Guy”.

Not a ton of detail on the ride but it is supposed to be based on the premise that Peter Quill, you know Star-Lord, actually visited EPCOT as a kid. Concept art also showed Rocket and Groot in the preshow.

Though ENN has learned that in a nod to Ellen’s Energy Adventure, Rocket’s friend will be referred to as “Baby Groot the Living Root”.

“Ears News Bites” Episode 1 – Marty Sklar

In this debut episode of ENN’s Ears News Bites series, “Parker” talks about the recent loss of Disney Imagineer Marty Sklar.