In honor of Pride Month we explore the history, purpose, and opposition to Gay Days at Walt Disney World! Plus, news and rumors from Walt Disney World, Universal Orlando and Disneyland Resort.
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Bob Iger Steps Down From President’s Advisory Council
Disney CEO Bob Iger has stepped down from President Trump’s Advisory Council after the President backed out of the Paris Climate Agreement. Iger said in a tweet:
Walt’s Apartment To Re-Open This Summer
Walt & Lillian Disney’s apartment over the firehouse was once included in the Walk In Walt’s Footsteps Tour at Disneyland. Then, with no explanation it was removed late last year.
Sources are reporting that the reason the apartment was closed to the public was to perform some gas and electrical work as well as to make the apartment ADA compliant with the installation of a wheelchair elevator.
Our sources say that the apartment will return to the Walk In Walt’s Footsteps tour on June 30.
Disney Parks Attendance Down In 2016, Universal Up
According to the New York Times, “…attendance declined at 13 of 14 Disney theme parks around the world in 2016 compared with 2015, according to an independent report released on Thursday.” Whereas Universal saw an increase, “the result of popular new Harry Potter attractions. Attendance at Universal Studios Hollywood, for instance, rose nearly 14 percent, to 8.1 million.”
Disney Parks Profit Up Despite Attendance Drop
What’s amazing about the shrinking attendance numbers at Disney are that they pulled in record profits last year. People often complain that the higher prices at the gate are keeping them away from the parks, what Disney will never publicly admit is that that is exactly why they are raising prices. The crowds at all of the US parks, especially Disneyland in Anaheim are ridiculous, and Disney knows it.
It appears that Disney is focusing on less people in the parks, spending more money. According to Investopedia, “…domestic attendance was down 1 percent in 2016, but that was more than offset by a 7 percent rise in per capita guest spending, a sharp improvement from a 4 percent increase per guest a year earlier.”
Southwest Rolls Out 72 Hour Sale
Southwest Airlines has announced their semi-annual fare sale and the time to book is right now! Good Day Sacramento reports, “Flights that are under 500 miles start at $49 and go up from there, generally related to the distance of the flights.”
The sale comes with a ton of exclusions, but Disney fans will be happy to know that there are several routes available to Orlando, and Southern California. Click here for more information.
Popular Banshee Toys Sold Out At Pandora
When you visit Pandora: The World of AVATAR at Disney’s Animal Kingdom there is a wildly popular piece of merch that is, in effect, a small animatronic Banshee that bonds with you. The Banshee’s reportedly had their own lines mirroring some of the Pandora attractions and are, as of June 3rd, sold out!
Cast members are saying that the next Banshees will not hatch for a few more weeks.
Walt Disney World Cracking Down On Fastpass + Cheaters
For quite a while now people have been taking advantage of a loophole in the Fastpass + system at Walt Disney World. The glitch allows people to link “phantom” or un-ticketed MagicBands to their My Disney Experience Account and pick up extra FastPasses for those extra MagicBands to popular attractions.
Disney is expected to roll out a new in-park validation system for FastPass + that will prevent MagicBands without a valid admission from being used to enter an attraction’s FastPass queue.
WDWNT says, “This in-park validation system will check to ensure that a guest used an active ticket for admission before redeeming a FastPass+. If you didn’t, the Cast Member at the FastPass+ line at any attraction can see this and deny you entry. Repeated attempts will lock MyDisneyExperience accounts from utilizing the FastPass+ booking option, which can be a serious deal for those abusing the system. Guest Relations will be able to unblock accounts if the behavior was deemed non-abusive.
This new policy is slated to rollout within the next few weeks at Walt Disney World.”
Gay Days at Walt Disney World: A History
Gay Days began in 1991 as an unofficial day of Pride at Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom, it has since ballooned into a week-long event that attracts many thousands of people from all over the world! On this episode we pay homage to this important event.
- The history: Time Magazine reports, “Gay Days started modestly in 1991 as a way for some 3,000 lesbians and gays from central Florida to become more visible — on one day, the first Saturday in June — in the theme parks that dominate the region’s economy. By 1995, at least 10,000 gays and lesbians were traveling to Orlando for the gay day at Disney.”
- The motivation: Time’s article hypothesizes that the choice of Walt Disney World symbolizes something of a lost adolescence that many gay people suffer from when they are forced to live in the closet, as a watered down version of their true self. There is something liberating about being able to share the most magical place on earth with someone you love.
- The opposition. Of course: Time’s article continues, “Even though Disney has never officially sanctioned Gay Days and has asked employees to treat the first Saturday in June just like any other day, Christian-right groups have scolded the company for doing nothing to stop the event. For eight years after Gay Days began, the Southern Baptist Convention boycotted Disney. Even today Disney still issues countless refunds during Gay Days to families who “don’t want their children exposed to gay people.” The reality is, the opposition is shrinking.
We have moved our merchandise away from Spreadshirt because they kept rejecting our designs. This past week we moved over to TeeSpring and introduced a whole new design for Pride Month! You can grab this design on a premium t-shirt, tank-top or coffee mug! We’ve also rolled out a fun short that says, “Am I too old for Disney? NO!” and have re-issued the original “Live your life as if there’s no midnight.” shirts with the mouse ears logo.
The design is available in our TeeSpring shop by clicking here.
Kory & Philly at Universal Studios Hollywood & Disneyland This Weekend
This weekend Kory and Philly are headed to SoCal to shoot some videos at the parks. Saturday we’ll make our first visit to Universal Studios Hollywood! Sunday we’ll spend a few hours at the Disneyland Resort so Philly can experience Guardians of the Galaxy – Mission: BREAKOUT!. If you’re going to be at the SoCal parks this weekend, let us know! We would love to meet you!
Next Week’s Guest!
One of the things I love about visiting Disneyland is trying to find the little things that remain from when Walt still walked the park. The problem is, it’s difficult to find those little touches. Author Jim Denney has written a book that makes that a whole lot easier. It’s called Walt’s Disneyland: It’s Still There If You Know Where To Look. We have Jim on the show next Wednesday night!
Sad to report that this week we had no new iTunes reviews…so, we have nothing new to read! So, head to Apple Podcasts and leave is a 5 star review and we’ll read it on next week’s show! Oh and if you left us an iTunes review in a market outside the US, take a screen capture of that review and send it to email@example.com, because otherwise we can’t see it!
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OUR NEXT LIVE TAPING
WEDNESDAY, JUNE 14, 2017 AT 7:55PM
Our guest next week, Jim Denney, the author of the book Walt’s Disneyland: It’s Still There If You Know Where To Look! You can pick up his book on Amazon here. Until next week…