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The "Admit Matt Was Right" 40th Anniv. Report

#1 User is offline   yulilin 

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Posted 02 October 2011 - 05:23 PM

First and foremost I want to let you know this will probably be a long post. Second, let's get it out of the way, Matt was right about the hype for this event. There I said it, now let's move on.
I wasn't really expecting much, but after reading so many blogs and posts and reports that there may be retro characters, and there may be extra surprises, and confirmed by Disney a special tag to Wishes! I was kinda excited. After all I did go to Epcot for it's 25th Anniversary and that was really cool, I got to sit down and listen to Marty Sklar talk about Walt and Imagineers and Magic, got to see a nice presentation and a special tag after Illuminations, old attraction music was piped thru the park (you know the one that you only get to hear on Mouse World Radio). This is Magic Kingdom, the original, 40th anniversary. Bring it.
I asked my husband to drop us off (Gus and myself) at the Contemporary because I didn't want to deal with the monorail/ferry madness. Later I heard a lady say that the monorail broke down for about 10min. as they were coming. Got to the turnstiles around 7:40am, there was already a large crowd, they were giving out the buttons, that was nice. I did see a big group of people who had lined up early to get wristbands for the special merchandise like in SWW, no worries, I have no desire (or money) to buy anything. We were brought in and waited for the welcome show, nothing extra there...as soon as the park opened everyone rushed in, I was next to the group from the official Mickey Mom's Club and I have to say that one of the ladies went for the special maps and took like 50, I'm not kidding, she just smiled and told me it was for the rest of her group...wow...later in the day they had CM giving out 1 map at a time.
No communication on the part of CM, some didn't know how the parade would come down, if it would go left or right, finally someone said they were splitting at the Hub, after an area that was originally roped off was opened by a manager we grabbed our spots, good spots too, we could see the parade coming down Main Street. Everyone was in good spirits and ready for the characters to come.
Ok, the characters coming down with the old celebration music was fun, the characters were plentiful, but...no retro characters worse for me was, no special characters, just the same you see everyday.The only villain was Capt. Hook, they had available Jack Sparrow, Tarzan, Jane, the Fairies (come on, who really thinks you shrink in Pixie Hollow),Abu, Bullseye, I mean they were there the previous night for MNSSHP, why not have them walk down Main Street, there would be no meet and greets anyways, surprising no characters from Winnie the Pooh.
Ok, I didn't let that get to me, then the presentaion was nice, some nice words from Meg C. but I thought they would bring some CM who have been there for 40 years, only one came, said something funny about E tickets and A tickets. Then Dapper Dans sang the song and that was it...oh...I forgot...free paper streamers...woohoo!!
Seeing as there wasn't really going to be anything extra we decided to leave and Enjoy Food and Wine Festival, I could have the celebration cupcake later when we came back...wrong, they sold out around noon. I did hear that the Main Street Band came out and did a special performance and heard that there was an extra showing of the parade (no it wasn't Remember the Magic)
Came back for the Electrical Parade and Wishes with the special tag. Sat in our favorite spot, next to the barbershop to see the floats come out. Cindy's coach had problems and was delayed a couple of minutes with the mice having to dance, and wave at the people waiting, then we see Pete's Dragon coming only for it to flicker and go completely dark, so Elliot had to stay backstage. No Razzle Dazzle for us tonight.
Alright, we got our spots for Wishes right next to the flagpole, good view for periphery fireworks. Wishes starts, hey what? no tinkerbell? in my mind, "maybe she's flying later during the special tag" Wishes goes on, some extra side fireworks come up, Wishes is over and everyone just stands and waits, this is it, the special anniversary fireworks...waiting, waiting, the lights come on, that's it. We dart out of there as fast as we could to beat the traffic.
Got in the car and ask my husband how was his day (he had been working at Backlot Tour, first day back after the refurb) anything new at Backlot Tour? No. Any new paint? Doesn't look like it. Did it run smooth (main problem during the 9 months he's been working there) Catastrophe Canyon broke down twice and the Water Tank once.
What is going on?
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#2 User is offline   COH#1fan 

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Posted 02 October 2011 - 07:06 PM

View Postyulilin, on 02 October 2011 - 05:23 PM, said:

First and foremost I want to let you know this will probably be a long post. Second, let's get it out of the way, Matt was right about the hype for this event. There I said it, now let's move on.
I wasn't really expecting much, but after reading so many blogs and posts and reports that there may be retro characters, and there may be extra surprises, and confirmed by Disney a special tag to Wishes! I was kinda excited. After all I did go to Epcot for it's 25th Anniversary and that was really cool, I got to sit down and listen to Marty Sklar talk about Walt and Imagineers and Magic, got to see a nice presentation and a special tag after Illuminations, old attraction music was piped thru the park (you know the one that you only get to hear on Mouse World Radio). This is Magic Kingdom, the original, 40th anniversary. Bring it.
I asked my husband to drop us off (Gus and myself) at the Contemporary because I didn't want to deal with the monorail/ferry madness. Later I heard a lady say that the monorail broke down for about 10min. as they were coming. Got to the turnstiles around 7:40am, there was already a large crowd, they were giving out the buttons, that was nice. I did see a big group of people who had lined up early to get wristbands for the special merchandise like in SWW, no worries, I have no desire (or money) to buy anything. We were brought in and waited for the welcome show, nothing extra there...as soon as the park opened everyone rushed in, I was next to the group from the official Mickey Mom's Club and I have to say that one of the ladies went for the special maps and took like 50, I'm not kidding, she just smiled and told me it was for the rest of her group...wow...later in the day they had CM giving out 1 map at a time.
No communication on the part of CM, some didn't know how the parade would come down, if it would go left or right, finally someone said they were splitting at the Hub, after an area that was originally roped off was opened by a manager we grabbed our spots, good spots too, we could see the parade coming down Main Street. Everyone was in good spirits and ready for the characters to come.
Ok, the characters coming down with the old celebration music was fun, the characters were plentiful, but...no retro characters worse for me was, no special characters, just the same you see everyday.The only villain was Capt. Hook, they had available Jack Sparrow, Tarzan, Jane, the Fairies (come on, who really thinks you shrink in Pixie Hollow),Abu, Bullseye, I mean they were there the previous night for MNSSHP, why not have them walk down Main Street, there would be no meet and greets anyways, surprising no characters from Winnie the Pooh.
Ok, I didn't let that get to me, then the presentaion was nice, some nice words from Meg C. but I thought they would bring some CM who have been there for 40 years, only one came, said something funny about E tickets and A tickets. Then Dapper Dans sang the song and that was it...oh...I forgot...free paper streamers...woohoo!!
Seeing as there wasn't really going to be anything extra we decided to leave and Enjoy Food and Wine Festival, I could have the celebration cupcake later when we came back...wrong, they sold out around noon. I did hear that the Main Street Band came out and did a special performance and heard that there was an extra showing of the parade (no it wasn't Remember the Magic)
Came back for the Electrical Parade and Wishes with the special tag. Sat in our favorite spot, next to the barbershop to see the floats come out. Cindy's coach had problems and was delayed a couple of minutes with the mice having to dance, and wave at the people waiting, then we see Pete's Dragon coming only for it to flicker and go completely dark, so Elliot had to stay backstage. No Razzle Dazzle for us tonight.
Alright, we got our spots for Wishes right next to the flagpole, good view for periphery fireworks. Wishes starts, hey what? no tinkerbell? in my mind, "maybe she's flying later during the special tag" Wishes goes on, some extra side fireworks come up, Wishes is over and everyone just stands and waits, this is it, the special anniversary fireworks...waiting, waiting, the lights come on, that's it. We dart out of there as fast as we could to beat the traffic.
Got in the car and ask my husband how was his day (he had been working at Backlot Tour, first day back after the refurb) anything new at Backlot Tour? No. Any new paint? Doesn't look like it. Did it run smooth (main problem during the 9 months he's been working there) Catastrophe Canyon broke down twice and the Water Tank once.
What is going on?

Speaking as the dark cloud before your silver lining, I'd have to say Disney is losing its edge. In fact, I'd say it's already been lost.
"In an age of fads, copycats, and rapidly changing trends, you have chosen to stand out from the rest and be an individual. We applaud your courage and self-expression. Thanks for being a part of our show today. Don't ever change. The world needs more people with your spirit." - The Citizens of Hollywood
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#3 User is offline   QuickGold 

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Posted 03 October 2011 - 11:00 AM

A broken clock is right twice a day ;)

Sadly your experience is what many people thought too. I asked a lot of people who were at the event what they thought of it and all but one thought Disney could have done a lot more. Most categorized the 40th celebration as mediocre to pathetic.

My take on it is, if you're gonna do something, then do it really well. Don't put something together cheaply and quickly for the sake of having something.

Glad to hear I didn't miss out on anything.
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#4 User is offline   yulilin 

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Posted 03 October 2011 - 12:03 PM

View PostQuickGold, on 03 October 2011 - 11:00 AM, said:

A broken clock is right twice a day ;)

Sadly your experience is what many people thought too. I asked a lot of people who were at the event what they thought of it and all but one thought Disney could have done a lot more. Most categorized the 40th celebration as mediocre to pathetic.

My take on it is, if you're gonna do something, then do it really well. Don't put something together cheaply and quickly for the sake of having something.

Glad to hear I didn't miss out on anything.

Exactly, if you're going to do something then do it right.I just keep going over in my head the extra characters they could have had: Terk, Timon, Pocahontas, Mulan, Marie,Penguins from Mary Poppins, Suzy, Perla, Gus, Jaques, even Duffy...but it's like they saw what they were going to use that day for the regular parade and then that was it. I'm curious to hear what Debbie has to say since she stayed longer at MK after the morning "surprise"
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#5 User is offline   Jeanine 

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Posted 10 October 2011 - 03:19 AM

Yeah, it was pretty underwhelming. After the crush/trauma of getting up early and standing around in order to listen to Crofton intone a speech someone prepared for her (and after almost having a girl take my hand off before I could unwind the streamer that had tangled around it,) we took our anniversary buttons and maps and left for the day. Later, after the fireworks, I think we stood around for like 10 minutes afterwards, expecting a tag. The best thing was that so many people made a mad dash for the exit, lines were pretty short.

Frankly, having seen events at several different parks, I think this was one of the more minimal ones. One thing I did notice, is that it seemed like various media outlets were getting interviews with Imagineers, etc. prior to the ceremony, which fits with a trend I've been noticing lately, where the bulk of their celebrations now seems exclusively geared towards media. Did WDW Today get any invitations for the anniversary?
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Posted 10 October 2011 - 10:47 AM

View PostJeanine, on 10 October 2011 - 03:19 AM, said:

Did WDW Today get any invitations for the anniversary?

Nope.
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#7 User is offline   ADP 

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Posted 10 October 2011 - 11:46 AM

I was there and what I find sad is how much focus there was around 40th anniversary merchandise versus other activities. Between, pins, shirts, cupcakes, art, etc it seemed like this celebration was more about profit and marketing than actually celebrating a milestone. I know the merchandise was in demand because the lines coming out of the Diamond Horseshoe and the Main St. Bakery were off the charts, but there needed to be more balance of additional celebration activities. Disney fans crave both!
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#8 User is offline   Jeanine 

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Posted 10 October 2011 - 06:07 PM

What I thought was also weird was how limited all the merchandise was. I don't think I even saw any of it, except for the Kidney/Daily stuff at the Contemporary signing the day before. I understand that they might want to make the demand higher by only producing a small number of pins or whatever, but what was the deal with the cupcakes? What possible benefit could anyone accrue by limiting the number of cupcakes people could buy? Were people going to freeze them in lucite and ebay them?
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Posted 11 October 2011 - 06:38 AM

We stayed for a little bit after the ceremony and the parks were packed. We waited in line for the TTA and sat in an almost full theater for COP. My parents were near the Rose Garden for Wishes and my dad said it felt like they waited in line just to walk.

I was surprised by how quickly all of the banners/balloons were taken down. By the time we were back at the TTC all of the balloons and chalk messages/drawings were gone and the banners went down minutes after the ceremony ended. It was like they wanted everyone to forget it ever happened.
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Posted 11 October 2011 - 10:43 AM

View PostADP, on 10 October 2011 - 11:46 AM, said:

Between, pins, shirts, cupcakes, art, etc it seemed like this celebration was more about profit and marketing than actually celebrating a milestone.
That is sadly what Disney thinks can fly now for a celebration. Offer a bunch of things to buy and call it a day. Frankly, when it's basically just merchandise available, I'm insulted by it.
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#11 User is offline   yulilin 

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Posted 11 October 2011 - 10:58 AM

While there are people that keep buying these items, they'll keep doing it. Sadly most items end up on Ebay for pure profit. I didn't even go inside any stores but Debbie did, and she said that there was a CM at the door with the t-shirts and people were just snatching them off his hands, without even looking at sizes or anything
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Posted 12 October 2011 - 12:55 AM

My husband & I were there for less than an hour...we thought it might be fun to get a cupcake to celebrate my bday...when I saw the lines, heard ppl were waiting 3 hours to buy things & ppl carrying 5-6 cupcakes each we decided wine was better than pastries any day. We jumped on the monorail & went to Food & Wine.

On Sunday at the Touringplans meet up. Dave & I were looking around on ebay while we were waiting for Len to buy us some margaritas. There was a 40th anniversary pin for $80. This is reason #225 why I don't buy that stuff. Reason #1, I don't like trinkets or clutter.
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Posted 12 October 2011 - 10:46 AM

Best thing we can do is not buy the stuff on eBay people put up there with the hopes of a quick buck
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Posted 17 October 2011 - 08:29 AM

Sorry for the delay in posting. Been a busy lately. I was underwelmed by the 40th celebration also. After waiting since 7:30 to enter the park, I walked through The Emporium on the way to the end of Main St for a parade viewing spot. Emporium was packed and CMs were coming out of a backstage door into the store with 40th T-shirts a few at a time handing them out (I think to limit how many each guest grabbed). I thought the white ladies shirt was GAUDY with lots of gold foil that will crack and look awful after several washings- didn't like it at all. The black mens cut was better so I wrangled 2 one for my hubby and one for me. Guests were grabbing shirts out of the CMs hands...it was quite frantic a scene. In summary, the black 40th t-shirts are ok but made cheaply - they run very small and are made from thin fabric. I'm glad I went up a size on both of ours. The parade was "cute" but nothing special. Even though I was fairly close to the presentation (at the hub where it meets Main St), I couldn't see anything on the stage so I pretty much gave up and wandered around the park for a while. All I can say is I'm glad I did it just to see what Disnay didn't offer. I'm also glad I'm a local with an Annual Pass and didn't drive hours or spend significant $$$ to attend this lame effort for a 40th anniversary.
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Posted 19 October 2011 - 04:42 PM

i heard disney under estimated the crowd level by about 10k.
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Posted 20 October 2011 - 08:34 AM

Maybe the 50th will be a bigger celebrating like Disneyland's 50th
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Posted 14 November 2011 - 03:42 PM

You know, I've kinda sat back and processed the 40th Anniv for a bit over a month now, because I wasnt a happy camper with Disney that day, but I didnt want to blog about it on IE and come off in a total whiner kind of post.. however here's my unfiltered thoughts on it.

Actually.. before I do.. the major highlight of that day was meeting many of you! Yulady, Sarah, Matt (the next day)... I also present my favorite picture of the day.
Posted Image

And there's a side story (separate post.. or I'm sure Sarah will enlighten) to this picture of Tim
Posted Image

Anyway.. I was pretty underwhelmed with the 40th and by the end of the day, I was pretty pissed off. WE didnt get there as early as most people but still made rope drop and met up with Sarah and Tim, Todd, John and ran into Yulady around the hub and made the parade. The parade.. it was alright, I enjoyed the kickback to the old parade music (Time to remember the magic is a favorite), but as soon as the parade was over, it was a giant push towards the castle and no one outside of our group paid any attention to Libby in her wheelchair and this was the first of many times she was practically run over that day. We totally missed the presentation to get out of the crowd and went to Adventureland until we met back up with everyone for Tiki Room and Pirates... from there the day went pretty smoothly for us.. never had a horribly long wait (HM was 30, as were most others) and during the day I thought the crowds actually let up a bit. We headed back to Pop for a bit to relax and every time we passed a CM at the gate, we got 2-3 40th anniversary Maps and I offered the extra's up to anyone on twitter who wasnt able to be there so they could avoid the idiots on Ebay selling them for money.

On our way back to MK, we took the monorail this time and expected the crowds, however we didnt expect a gentleman from a non english speaking family to literally sit on the back of Libby's wheelchair (where the bookbag was hanging over the handles) and a CM looked at us and kind of gave us that "what?" expression.. the rest of the afternoon went fine, park started getting really crowded again after dinner and really packing them in for MSEP and Wishes. We asked CM's about any kind of wheelchair seating, we were told in the morning and for the evening there was none and we'd have to just join in the masses for a spot. The hub turned into a nightmare and it seemed like the CM's werent even trying to control the crowd at some points. We had one walk up to the tape "line" where people were overflowing and asked people to clear out to make room and when she said her piece, turned around oblivious.

Wishes, while good as usual, I was a bit underwhelmed with the "added" fireworks. Yeah the perimeter fireworks were cool but I expected more. Something added in at the end, and I'd even heard a CM tell a group of people to expect the previous evening firework show to make a "return" one night only type thing. The constant theme of the day was that it seemed that most CM's had no clue what was going on or didnt care and that was exemplified after Wishes. The only way to describe it was chaos. Guests jumping fences to get out of the hub, Libby had someone stand on the back of her chair AGAIN just to yell over her and after wishes, I didnt see a single CM in the hub or trying to control the chaos. We had a repeat of the chaos in Frontierland during the 2nd MSEP where they had a 1:1 corridor to keep traffic moving and a family comes through with a double stroller taking up both lanes, pissing off many people, and at one point, lifting the stroller up, with the child in it, over other people, strollers and Libby once again and when people were asking her why, she was telling people to get over it and stop making such a big deal.. and again, no CM in sight.

I dont know if this was a similar situation from others, but all in all, I wish I had gone back to the Studios or Epcot that evening because it was literally hell for Libby and I. I cant imagine how it would have been if we had Tim with us that evening.
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#18 User is offline   QuickGold 

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Posted 15 November 2011 - 11:35 AM

Great photo of Tim
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#19 User is offline   sarahzy 

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Posted 17 November 2011 - 12:35 PM

HA!! I love that picture. Both of them, but the Tim picture cracks me up. And if you've met Tim, no real explanation needed. ;) It was great meeting you and Libby, Mark!
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