In this edition of Theme Park Bits:

  • The Disney Skyliner has hit a major milestone.
  • Disney Cast Members have more grooming freedom now.
  • Disneyland’s Matterhorn is going through unexpected construction.
  • And more!

Disney Skyliner

A few weeks ago, the Disney Skyliner at Walt Disney World was struggling through some dark times. The gondola-style transportation that lifts guests high in the air through some of the resorts and parks had closed down due to getting stuck late at night. But now, just a few weeks later, the Skyliner has already hit a pretty important milestone, having transported its 1 millionth guest. At this rate, the Skyliner will have transported 10 million guests…maybe by the end of the year? (Probably a little later than that, but that’s still a lot of people in a short time.)

One of the fairly well-known bits of trivia about Disney Cast Members is that there are – or, rather, there were – strict guidelines about how they could dress while in costume. Until the year 2000, male Cast Members weren’t allowed to have facial hair of any kind, but the rules have slowly become more lax. Now, the rules for some physical choices are even looser – male Cast Members can have beards up to one inch long, and all Cast Members can wear a bracelet and a necklace. (Yes, it’s true: they couldn’t before now.) These rules still seem a few years behind…well, the rest of the world, but it’s a step forward still.

As we approach the end of 2019, one of the big, highly anticipated films coming out is from Disney, the animated sequel Frozen II. As you might imagine, there’s going to be a bevy of tie-ins to the new film at the park, starting with food. Disney’s posted their foodie guide for Walt Disney World, with lots of new, limited-time options at the parks, resorts, and Disney Springs. There’s going to be everything from Frozen Orange Vanilla Cream Soda in the Norway pavilion at Epcot to a pumpkin-spiced donut tart at the Contemporary Resort. And if you want a real sugar rush, try the drink in the photo above: Elsa’s Frozen Wave, a cotton candy vanilla milkshake with whipped cream, fall and winter sprinkles, and a white chocolate coin. I have a sugar high just typing that out.

This week over at Disneyland, construction crews are hopefully wrapping up on an unexpected refurbishment to one of the park’s E-Ticket attractions, the Matterhorn Bobsleds. As you may recall, over the summer, some of the mountain facade’s rockwork broke loose and necessitated that the track in that section was closed. (For those not in the know, Matterhorn Bobsleds has two roller-coaster tracks.) On weekdays this week and last week, the fix has been in to hopefully resolve this issue. Even longtime attractions get long in the tooth, clearly.

One of the stranger Disney-related stories of the last year is easily that of the pilfered attraction sets over at Walt Disney World. An Epcot attraction that’s long since been closed, Cranium Command, nevertheless had some of its ride props in storage on resort grounds. That is, until they were apparently stolen, a fact that has now been confirmed missing by Orange County authorities. In an equally odd twist, some of the character clothing from the attraction’s character Buzzy was recently acquired via eBay by NBA player Robin Lopez. Lopez is now cooperating with cops, but it’s just so odd to see this stuff not only being snatched up via online auction, but by sports figures. No doubt, there will be more twists to come in this very weird story.

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