Tuesday, March 24, 2009

No WiFi in Walt's Vision of the Future

So I'm sitting in Tomorrowland at Walt's park here in Anaheim, California, eating a $7.00 slice of pizza, and I decide to check my mail on the old iPod Touch. Scanning, scanning...whoops, there is no wireless Internet in Walt's vision of tomorrow! In fact, I haven't found reliable WiFi anywhere at the Disney resort, even in the hotel, despite the fact that the management claims it does exist. On my devices, an open Disney network does come up, but always at zero strength, useless.

If Walt were here today, I'd ask him about this issue. I'd also ask him what happened to the PeopleMover, my favorite Disney ride. It was evidently dismantled here at the California park in 1995, but I could see the tracks there yesterday when we visited. Rumor has the PeopleMover may return to California someday. I say, bring back the Tomorrowland Transit Authority: when they were running things, you could hop on a pod and ride it right through Space Mountain!

It is interesting to compare the park in California with that in Florida. In Orlando the castle is the center of the park, but here the castle is no larger than a typical McMansion in Tennessee. Instead, you've got the Matterhorn as a centerpiece. Amazingly, the Captain Nemo submarine ride that disappeared from Orlando twenty or thirty years ago (until recently the lagoon still sat there, empty) is here in California, but Nemo is a fish, not a Captain! Plus there's no Hall of Presidents or Country Bears. But for the most part, Disney has tried to keep the attractions (and the prices) at the two parks in synch.

I was amazed at how Disney had been able to redevelop huge parcels of what has to be some of the most expensive real estate ini America to make a Downtown Disney and California Adventure theme park next door to Disneyland, but was told that the land was previously a parking lot.

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