News Items

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”.

Donald Duck in Cars 3 Almost happened

Cruz Ramirez at Cars Land in Disney's California Adventure.

Cruz Ramirez at Cars Land in Disney’s California Adventure. © Disney

This news item originally appeared on Episode 19 of the Disney news SATIRE podcast, “Guest Room” on the Ears News Network with Parker Byrd and Erin Dole.

PARKER: On June 16th, Cars 3 made its U.S. debut. The Pixar film, the third in the Cars franchise, centers around Lightning McQueen in the twilight years of his racing career. In it, he is faced with adversity that he must try to overcome.

ERIN: Wait! A main character faced with an adversity they must overcome? That’s original.

PARKER: I can relate to it. Anyway as part of his attempts to overcome this adversity, he is partnered up with Cruz Ramirez a young trainer who is eager to use her talents to help Lightning make his return. It is a partnership that ultimately just may be successful. But I wouldn’t want to spoil it for you.

ERIN: More than likely you stopped researching it so you wouldn’t spoil it for yourself.

PARKER: Anything is possible Erin.… The movie did take the number 1 spot on its opening weekend, even dethroning Wonder Woman for that spot. However, its $53.5 million in box office earnings from that opening weekend is lower than the $60.1 million dollar opening for Cars and the $66.1 million opening for Cars 2. Considering some had projected it would clear $80 million its first weekend there is some disappointment in the Pixar camp.

One Disney/Pixar insider says that they are beginning to second guess their decision not to go with an earlier plot twist. It seems that early on in the writing the idea was suggested to include classic Disney characters, namely Donald Duck, and a few of his singing friends in the movie.

Donald would have portrayed Mack Duck the cousin of Lightning’s original hauler, along with two new Piston Cup drivers Jose CARioca, and PanAlfa, which is short for PanAlfa Romero McLaren Fiero Toyota Ascari Volkswagen, the III. These would not have been mere cameos either. In fact, the trio’s presence in the film would have been so prominent, that plans called for changing the title of the movie from the rather bland sounding “Cars 3” to the more intriguing title “The Three Carburetors”.

ERIN: Really Parker?

PARKER: Hey, you can’t make this stuff up!

ERIN: No I CAN but apparently YOU can’t!

“Avatar Flight of Passage” Secretly Soarin’?

This news item originally appeared on Episode 18 of the Disney news SATIRE podcast, “Guest Room” on the Ears News Network with Parker Byrd and Erin Dole.

Avatar Flight of Passage

Avatar Flight of Passage ©Disney

PARKER: The other attraction which opened is “Avatar Flight of Passage” which is essentially a flight simulator complete with 3D effects which has you flying on the back of a mountain banshee over the Pandora landscape. With a flight through a floating mountain, down a flowing river, overtop a running herd, and even over the ocean where a whale-like creature breaches the surface…..only one question will be on your mind….”Why didn’t they just call this Soarin’ Over Pandora?”.

ERIN: Parker there can only be one Soarin’!

PARKER: I’m just kidding Erin. This is definitely not Soarin’! But ending the ride with fireworks over the Tree of Life was a bit much.

Na’vi River Journey Warnings

This news item originally appeared on Episode 18 of the Disney news SATIRE podcast, “Guest Room” on the Ears News Network with Parker Byrd and Erin Dole.

Na'vi River Journey

Na’vi River Journey. Copyright: Disney

ERIN: Now of course there was a big opening on the East Coast as well.  On Saturday, May 27th, the same day Guardians opened, over at Disney’s Animal Kingdom in the Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Florida, the new land Pandora, World of Avatar made its official debut.  The area is themed to look like Pandora, the setting of James Cameron’s 2009 film, Avatar. It comes complete with floating mountains and bioluminescent vegetation.  

With a more detailed explanation here is ENN correspondent Natalie Azou who is at Disney’s Animal Kingdom checking out the new land.  So Nat, tell us what you think of the new theme, your overall impression of Pandora, your thoughts on the attractions,  and what the lines were like.

NAT:  Awesome. Awwesome! Awwwwesome!!! Not so awesome.  Back to you.

PARKER:  Uh thanks, Nat Azou, ENN correspondant.  That report was Awww….

ERIN: …Kward! That’s what that was Parker. I told you I should have gone!  Anyway, Pandora, World of Avatar sports two new major attractions.  

The first, “Na’vi River Journey” takes you on a slow boat ride through the bioluminescent forest. You see lots of wonderful colors, plants, and are even  greeted by a Na’vi shaman toward the end of the ride. And while you will want to reach out and touch all the wonderful things you see, like any attraction you will need to keep your hands, arms and legs inside the boat…..and please…whatever you do….don’t squeeze the shaman!

(Long pause)….Well??

PARKER: You’re on a roll.

ERIN: Really Parker.

“Guardians” Attraction Quite the Collection

This news item originally appeared on Episode 18 of the Disney news SATIRE podcast, “Guest Room” on the Ears News Network with Parker Byrd and Erin Dole.

Collector's Fortress at Guardians of the Galaxy attraction at Disney's California Adventure.

Collector’s Fortress at Guardians of the Galaxy attraction at Disney’s California Adventure. © Disney

ERIN: The re-theming of the Hollywood Tower of Terror into a Guardians of the Galaxy attraction officially made its debut on May 27th. This updated attraction, now called “Guardians of the Galaxy – Mission: BREAKOUT!” utilizes the same ride mechanism of the old Twilight Zone: Tower of Terror attraction, essentially a crazy elevator ride, but is much friendlier in tone and appearance. The idea is that the “Collector” is showing off his newest finds, the Guardians of the Galaxy. Rocket has escaped and is enlisting your help in freeing the other guardians. The elevator stops at several floors and we see each character on display.

The collector has seemed to have traveled throughout the entire galaxy because we see many artifacts from past avengers and x-men. There are even a few artifacts that represent battles.
Now I want to see you marvel knowledge Parker. And any listeners out there can try this too. The answers will be in the show notes on our website.

The collector has gathered a few items throughout the galaxy.  Try to figure out who or what these items refer to, ready Parker?

PARKER: Ready Erin!

ERIN: A damaged Ultron Sentry:

PARKER: The battle in New York?

ERIN: No. Terrigen Crystals?

PARKER: Asgard?

ERIN: No. A red leather jacket and a pair of silver shoes?

PARKER: Black Widow?

ERIN: No. Eye Patch?  This one is so easy you have to get it .

PARKER: Captain Jack Sparrow!

ERIN: Last time i checked Captain Jack Sparrow wasn’t a superhero. He didn’t even wear an eye patch. You don’t really seem to be getting any of these right so I am just going to list them:

  • Compass with a picture of a women in the lid
  • Royal Guard’s uniform
  • Car battery
  • Cracked Rolex
  • World War I dog tags
  • A red notebook with a star on the cover
  • Pair of White gloves
  • Hearing aids
  • Smashed Walkman
  • And finally Captain America trading cards

Ok well anyway the answers the this Marvel trivia of sorts will be in the show notes. It is amazing how much the collector managed to gather from the avengers. These are all references back to other marvels movies that they have thrown into this ride. We heard that the collector himself doesn’t even know where most of these items came from. All he knows is that these items were special at some point in time so he collected them, I guess his name does suit him then right Parker.

PARKER: “Suit” him? I see what you did there!


“Pirates of the Caribbean” Attraction Gets the Hook?

This news item originally appeared on Episode 16 of the Disney news SATIRE podcast, “Guest Room” on the Ears News Network with Parker Byrd and Erin Dole.

Pirates of the Caribbean sign

Pirates of the Caribbean ©Disney

PARKER: And finally, in related news, LJ Silver, a cast member at that same “Pirates” attraction at the Magic Kingdom in the Disneyland Resort, told us about an interesting encounter he recently had with a guest. One particular day he noticed a young girl who came through the queue numerous times. Now a lot of people like to reride this attraction, but LJ noticed that each time she seemed to be more and more frustrated. Finally LJ’s curiosity got the better of him. As she approached he said to the girl “Aye there Lass, why you been looking so salty?”

The girl gave him a stern look and said “I have ridden this ride many times and I still can’t find the Captain”.

LJ smiled and said “Aye, he is a tricky one to find. But if you keeps your eyes sharp when they are dunking the mayor in the well, you just might spy that sly Capt. Jack Sparrow”

“Not him!” snapped the girl, “Capt. Sparrow is really bad at hiding. I’m trying to find Hook.”

LJ was confused at first, but finally replied “Oh Lassie, you won’t be finding Capt’s Hook in these seas, he only hangs out with Peter Pan in Fantasyland.”

“Not true!” yelled the girl, “Hook has to be here!”

“And why is that lassie?” asked LJ

“Duh!”, she explained, “Because this is Pirate of the Carabiner right?”

ERIN: Parker, I’m beginning to think we should have stayed on hiatus.

Jack Sparrow Animatronic Updated in Disneyland “Pirates of the Caribbean”

This news item originally appeared on Episode 16 of the Disney news SATIRE podcast, “Guest Room” on the Ears News Network with Parker Byrd and Erin Dole.

Pirates of the Caribbean sign

Pirates of the Caribbean ©Disney

ERIN:  E! News has reported that on Wednesday evening, April 26, riders of Pirates of the Caribbean ride in the Magic Kingdom in the Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, California were the first to see a newly upgraded Captain Jack Sparrow being tested out. They noticed it where Sparrow makes his appearance while the mayor is being dunked.

PARKER: (In bad spanish accent) Don’t tell him Carlos! Don’t be cheekin!

ERIN: Seriously Parker! We don’t need your “poultry” comments.

PARKER: Sorry.

ERIN: Anyway,This version was so natural and lifelike that many people swore it was Johnny Depp…because it was.  The popular and versatile actor had taken the place of his animatronic counterpart and was even mimicking the motions and lines that normally appear there.  Fans were going crazy!

While many suspect the stunt was to help generate buzz for the upcoming release of “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales” it turns out it was actually part of an exchange program.  While Depp was standing on golden sands and watching the ships that go sailin’. Somewhere beyond the sea the animatronic, nicknamed Johnny….. 5, was preparing to replace Depp in the filming of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them 2.

PARKER:  Wow! Sounds like Depp may have “stiff” competition there.