Research trip's off to a booming start
by, 05-15-2008 at 11:42 PM (1456 Views)
What a day!
After getting in to the Orlando, I raced to get my car, check in, and head to the Studios. Once there, I was taken behind the shrub barrier, met Imagineers Kevin Rafferty and Sue Bryan and then got to try out Toy Story Midway Mania! (apparently, the official name of the attraction on both coasts is Toy Story Midway Mania!, but the marketing department uses Toy Story Mania! because it's shorter and easier to spoon-feed to the public) in between Imagineering taking shots at fixing software issues. Kevin and the Imagineering publicity guys all beat me, but then they've been play-testing the thing for a while.
Anyway, the attraction is great, the queue is cool, and it should be on target for soft opening in the morning. Then I got a great interview with Kevin outside the attraction.
One of the Imagineering publicity guys and I took in the high-energy Block Party Bash parade, which has changed a bit since I first saw it at DCA almost three years ago, before heading over to the Animation Courtyard to wait for Imagineer Jason Surrell.
In pursuit of air conditioning and a quiet location, I ended up interviewing Jason in a cast member vestibule with a Cast Deployment System kiosk near the Animation attraction. It was another great interview (but then, I don't think that I've heard a bad interview with Jason).
Both interviews went really well, and I had enough questions to go twice as long on each, but both of them had to get to their respective meetings that they took time away from to meet with me, so I really can't complain.
After heading back to the room to finish unpacking my bags and my Owner's Locker, I headed to Epcot to catch Davy Jones' Flower Power concert performance. It was pretty good, though I still have a little problem with hearing him sing "I'm a Believer," which was Mickey Dolenz' song.
I then headed over to the California Grill to meet John Van Meter from Owner's Locker for a great evening of dinner and conversation. He's a really nice guy.
Then it was back to the room to download audio, set up for tomorrow and try to get the podcast published. I'm having some access problems from the hotel room, and we'll have to try to correct them in the morning so no podcast yet.
Tomorrow, I've got the Associate Brand Manager for Star Wars Weekends and Jim Lewis, the President of the Disney Vacation Club, as well as some business meetings.
Oh, and if you're in the area, we've got two (yes, two) meets scheduled for Saturday. We're meeting at the Main Street Bakery at park opening to get some food and then head to the tables outside Casey's to seat, eat, meet and greet. Then, at 8 p.m., we'll be meeting outside Boulangerie Patisserie at Epcot's France pavilion for chocolate mousse and then find a spot to watch Illuminations. Stop on by!