June 15, 2024

Did Disney Make a Classic AM/PM Mix-Up?

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George: I'll tell you what happened. I bet he got the AM/PM mixed-up. Jerry: My money's on the snooze. I bet he hit the snooze for an extra 5 and it never came back on.




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George: I’ll tell you what happened. I bet he got the AM/PM mixed-up.
Jerry: My money’s on the snooze. I bet he hit the snooze for an extra 5 and it never came back on. Imagine your whole life riding on an alarm clock.
Kramer: Alarm clocks? I never use ’em. Don’t trust ’em. I have an, uh, mental alarm. I set my head for quarter to seven and…I get up!

Like Kramer, I don’t trust alarm clocks. I use my body’s internal mechanism to wake up the vast majority of the time, and it never uses the snooze button. I’m always up at the crack of dawn. When I do have something important to be up even earlier for, I set like 4 different alarms…and inevitably wake up 5 minutes before the first goes off because my body is just paranoid, I guess, that I’ll sleep through all 4 of them or somehow mess up. You just can’t trust the robots for anything essential.

This same philosophy extends to the scheduled post when there’s embargoed news or I want something to go up at a specific time. This applies even when we’re traveling and, for example, operating on a 13 hour time difference. It’s just fear the scheduling feature–it’s too much power for one person, with too much potential for mistakes. While I’ve thankfully never made the AM/PM mix-up, I know others who have. They are spoken about in hushed voices–the Jean-Pauls of the Disney blogging world, if you will.

Well, it would seem that Walt Disney World made its own AM/PM mix-up in the most high stakes way possible. First thing this morning, Disney Parks teased that fans should tune-in tonight to “Disney Night” on American Idol, as the all-star judges and host Ryan Seacrest kick off the night at Disneyland at this summer’s Pixar Fest. Meanwhile, the Top 5 hopefuls fly to Walt Disney World Resort in Florida to make memories and prepare for their Disney Night performances.

Most notably, Disney promised “even more enchantment” and “a special announcement as we gear up to celebrate the opening of Tiana’s Bayou Adventure at Walt Disney World.” Renowned actress and singer Jenifer Lewis, the voice of Mama Odie in the upcoming new attraction Tiana’s Bayou Adventure, will perform “Dig a Little Deeper” from The Princess and the Frog. Eight-time Grammy winner Terrance Blanchard, a featured musician in the film and collaborator on Tiana’s Bayou Adventure, will accompany Jenifer on the trumpet.

As someone who has been sitting on pins and needles awaiting an opening date for Tiana’s Bayou Adventure, this had to be it. Finally. We expected an official date over a month ago during the annual shareholder’s meeting…and then again later last month during other major synergistic events…and then most recently during last week’s earnings call. I’ve been so sure that a date was coming any day now that I’ve been staying up late every night while we’ve been in Japan, making sure I cross the ‘time threshold’ when Disney normally drops news.

Suffice to say, I’m burning the candle at both ends and beyond exhausted as a result. I was thus incredibly relieved when that American Idol teaser went up very early in the morning (e.g. a reasonable bedtime in Japan time). Welp, this is it. I can finally get some rest–the announcement is coming in the morning!

Fast-forward to a little after 11 p.m., and I’m awaken from a deep sleep not by my internal clock or actual alarm–but by Sarah shaking me aggressively. She had been up the whole time, either out on the streets trying to capture a rare Charizard in Pokémon GO or feeding Megatron. Perhaps both. According to her, press release had gone up–a claim about which I was, ahem, slightly dubious.

Even in my state of delirium, I thought there was no way Disney would make the announcement on the Sunday morning of Mother’s Day. If you could pinpoint an exact time not to finally reveal the date, that would be it–worse than a Friday afternoon news dump. But as it turned out, Sarah was right as always. A press release had gone up announcing the official opening date of Tiana’s Bayou Adventure, containing the following key lines:

“Drop on in” with Princess Tiana this summer, as Tiana’s Bayou Adventure opens in Magic Kingdom Park at Walt Disney World Resort on June 28, 2024.

The heart of Tiana’s story reminds guests that everyone has the potential to make their dreams a reality. With teams of Imagineers, Disney Animation artists, cast members and Louisiana artisans working together, Tiana’s Bayou Adventure is sure to pass a good time when it opens at Walt Disney World Resort in Florida on June 28, 2024, and later in 2024 at Disneyland Park in California!

I was flabbergasted. There were a few signs that the release was meant to be a draft (for example, there was a placeholder “TBD, 2024” in the publish date), but the announcement was legit. So rather than fixating on the why of it, I got to work so I could get back to bed.

Fast-forward again, this time about 6 hours. Now the press release has been poofed from existence and none of the official Disney Parks social media accounts have shared the news. It’s like it never happened. And in the cold light of day, it’s now pretty clear what went wrong: Disney had a classic AM/PM mix-up!

They had a press release ready to roll that would publish after the end of the episode, at 10 p.m. Eastern. But instead of that happening to supplement the big reveal (which will presumably happen in the final moments of American Idol, because that’s how they get ya to watch the whole thing), it went live at 10 a.m. Eastern when everyone was having Mother’s Day brunch with their families…or asleep in Japan, as the case may be.

There’s no reason to believe the press release contained any errors or that the June 28, 2024 opening date for Tiana’s Bayou Adventure is wrong. If that were the case, Disney would’ve quickly issued a correction instead of pretending the announcement never happened. Just think of how many families have already booked trips in the hours since the news broke. (Honestly, kinda inadvertently brilliant to have this drop on Mother’s Day. How many dads who forgot to get something scrambled to give the gift of a WDW trip?!)

But that wasn’t the plan. Disney just wants to make the announcement (that they already made) for the first time (even though it’s the second time) during American Idol. It’s another classic Disney remake!

Or perhaps this is part of a concerted, multi-year viral marketing campaign by Walt Disney World as it embarks on a series of “goof up” announcements. The company actually has a proud legacy of inadvertent reveals, from the opening year of Tiana’s Bayou Adventure to the official date of Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind.

To this day, the latter remains my all-time favorite announcement. You might recall former head of corporate affairs Geoffrey Morrell, who was hired in January 2022 and terminated only a few months later. (Don’t feel too badly for him, he was paid $8.4 million for his efforts, making roughly $119,000 per day–more than Bob Chapek.) Morrell was a controversial character, working comms for Presidents Bush and Obama, and also the deadly Deepwater Horizon explosion and oil spill.

At Disney, Morrell was best-known for accidentally announcing the opening date for Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind, a hilarious gaffe that some fans thought was deliberate viral marketing. (It was not.) In case you missed that little instantly-deleted gem, he tweeted: “Just another day at the office—got to “test ride” the new @Guardians of the Galaxy rollercoaster at @EpcotCentre. @WaltDisneyCo Imagineers designed this one like no other ride you’ve ever been on. Have to ride it to believe it! Check it out starting Memorial Day weekend!”

That was truly the perfect way to reveal the ride’s opening, right down to tagging the parody account (the chef’s kiss). While I appreciate Walt Disney World continuing this rich tradition of opening date goof-ups with Tiana’s Bayou Adventure, I have to admit that this one is fairly ho-hum as compared to the excitement and meme worthiness of the Morrell goof-up. But then again, I’m glad that Disney didn’t drop another $8+ million dollars to bring back the master and have him cook up another iconic social media announcement. Tiana’s Foods is already preparing something special, so we don’t need too many chefs in the kitchen.

Or, who knows. Maybe it wasn’t an attempted viral moment and wasn’t an AM/PM mix-up, but was a separate knob for publishing. Why separate knob…why separate knob?!

Planning a Walt Disney World trip? Learn about hotels on our Walt Disney World Hotels Reviews page. For where to eat, read our Walt Disney World Restaurant Reviews. To save money on tickets or determine which type to buy, read our Tips for Saving Money on Walt Disney World Tickets post. Our What to Pack for Disney Trips post takes a unique look at clever items to take. For what to do and when to do it, our Walt Disney World Ride Guides will help. For comprehensive advice, the best place to start is our Walt Disney World Trip Planning Guide for everything you need to know!

YOUR THOUGHTS

What do you think…was this a classic AM/PM mix-up? Expecting Disney to do a Tiana’s Bayou Adventure opening date remake on American Idol? Are you excited for the grand opening of Tiana’s Bayou Adventure at Magic Kingdom on June 28, 2024? Do you agree or disagree with our assessment? Any questions we can help you answer? Hearing your feedback–even when you disagree with us–is both interesting to us and helpful to other readers, so please share your thoughts below in the comments!




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