CHPA outgoing CEO Myrna Pitt has served with distinction

first_imgDear Editor,I was saddened by the news that Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Central Housing and Planning Authority (CHPA), Myrna Pitt has tendered her resignation with effect from July.While I served as the Minister of Housing and Water during the People’s Progressive Party/Civic’s tenure in office, Pitt proved to be a competent, ardent and committed public servant as well as professional.She executed her functions with distinction and demonstrated very high levels of dedication despite the challenges faced by the entity while rolling out various policies and decisions as adumbrated by the government with collective and comprehensive input from the staff at the Central Housing and Planning Authority.It was definitely an honour to have served alongside Pitt who proved concerned and truly committed to Guyana’s overall development.After all, she was a stern and disciplined professional. I enjoyed our moments working round the clock during my tenure as Minister whether in the field, building Expo, during one of our many one stop shops or our retreats.Guyana should be proud of this daughter. I pray that God grants her the continued good health and peace. The CHPA and ministry has lost one of the best and brightest minds in its field of work.Irfaan AliFormer Housing and Water Minister, current PPP/C MPlast_img read more

UPDATE – Dawson Creek RCMP asking for help finding missing senior

first_imgShe is described as:Caucasian140-150 poundsWith long gray hairGlasses5’4″And may appear confused.The vehicle is described as:Pontiac VibeRedBC license plate: CM117SExtensive damage all around vehicleTaillights being held on by red tapeAnyone with information on Beattie’s location is requested to contact the Dawson Creek RCMP at 250-784-3700, or if you wish to remain anonymous, please contact Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477. Beattie is reported to be driving a red Pontiac Vibe that has extensive body damage to it. The taillights are said to be held together with red tape.Advertisement UPDATE as of Sept 1 – The Dawson Creek RCMP is pleased to confirm that the 71 year old female reported missing has been located, and she is safe and sound. Thanks to the media and public for your assistance.DAWSON CREEK, B.C. – The Dawson Creek RCMP are asking for the public’s help in locating a missing Kamloops woman.Bonnie Beattie who is 71 years-old was reported missing to the Dawson Creek RCMP on August 31.  According to the RCMP Beattie went for a drive Friday morning to visit a family member in Tomslake and never arrived.- Advertisement -Beattie used to live in Dawson Creek area and had visited Tomslake earlier this week on Wednesday.The Dawson Creek RCMP are concerned about her wellbeing as she may have become confused or disoriented during her drive and may be lost in the area.last_img read more


first_imgJoanne Sweeney-Burke has qualified for the final of TV3’s The Apprentice.The Donegal businesswoman put in another solid performance to end up on the winning side.She may not have known much about her task in selling cars but her organisation skills proved she still has plenty to offer millionaire car dealer Bill Cullen. And the Downings woman proved she’s a real diamond after Bill sent her and her team-mates Eugene and Noel to jewelry giant Boodles.And Joanne even came away with a little present.But the real present for Joanne was reaching the final four of the competition.Joanne will now go forward with Eugene, Noel and Maurice to the final and the chance to become Bill’s new partner in business. A source close to Joanne said everything is there for the taking.“She is in the final and that’s where she wanted to be form the start.“Donegal can be very proud of Joanne and she will certainly give the lads a run for their money next week.”But will Joanne hear the golden words “You are hired’ from Bill next week?Only time will tell. IT’S CHAMPAGNE FOR JOANNE AS SHE REACHES THE FINAL OF THE APPRENTICE was last modified: December 13th, 2011 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Germany boss Joachim Low signs new deal until after Euro 2020

first_imgGermany coach Joachim Low has signed a new contract which will keep him in the role until after Euro 2020.The German Football Association (DFB) announced on Monday that the 56-year-old had agreed an early two-year extension to his contract, meaning he will be in charge of the world champions for the next two major championships.Low succeeded Jurgen Klinsmann as Germany boss in 2006 and led them to World Cup glory in 2014.Germany were beaten by France in the semi-finals of Euro 2016, but have begun the qualifying campaign for the 2018 World Cup in Russia well.They top Group C with three wins from three, with an away match in San Marino next up on November 11.In Low’s five major tournaments at the helm, Germany have always made it at least to the semi-finals, while they were beaten finalists at Euro 2008.“I have always stressed that I could not imagine a better coach for our national team than Jogi Low,” said DFB president Reinhard Grindel.“He has defined this team over the years with his passion and his expert ability, bringing them on and leading them to the World Cup title.“He emits great decisiveness and the motivation to defend the World Cup title in Russia.“Both sides wanted security for planning the future and to be able to concentrate on the sporting challenges we face without any disturbances from speculation.“We are pleased that we are able to continue this extremely faithful and successful collaboration beyond the World Cup and Jogi Low would also like to be in charge when we want to start our home group games at Euro 2020 in Munich.”Should Low see out his new contract, he would break the all-time record of 167 games as Germany coach held by Sepp Herberger. He has already beaten Herberger’s record of wins (94) in his 141 games in charge so far.No Germany coach has ever been in charge for seven major tournaments.“Our collaboration is defined by great trust,” said Low. “We all want to confirm our success from Brazil (in 2010) in Russia.“It’s a great joy for me to develop the team and the players and lead them to the highest level – that spurs me on just as much as winning titles.“Right now, all that matters for us is to win our group and qualify for the World Cup in Russia.” Germany head coach Joachim Low 1last_img read more

Judge OKs challenged subdivision

first_imgSANTA CLARITA – A Los Angeles Superior Court judge approved the 1,089-home River Village subdivision that was challenged by the Sierra Club and other environmental groups. The 33-page decision by Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Dzintra Janavs, dated Monday and made public Tuesday, clears the way for The Newhall Land and Farming Company to build the development on acreage north of the Santa Clara River in Saugus. The Sierra Club, the Center for Biological Diversity, Friends of the Santa Clara River and the California Water Impact Network filed suit in June 2005, challenging the Santa Clarita City Council’s approval of the project. The environmentalists alleged the project, formerly called Riverpark, did not offer adequate protection for the last unchanneled river in Los Angeles County. They also argued it would have a negative impact on animal and plant species in the area – the western spadefoot toad, the San Diego backtailed rabbit and the holly-leaf cherry scrub plant. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREFrumpy Middle-aged Mom: My realistic 2020 New Year’s resolutions. Some involve doughnuts.The plaintiffs also maintained the city’s environmental impact report did not adequately assess the project’s impact on the Santa Clara River. Janavs disagreed. “A review of the record discloses extensive discussion in the EIR and staff reports concerning the encroachment into the Santa Clara River and the impacts to it,” the judge wrote. Babak Naficy, the attorney for the plaintiffs, was not immediately available for comment. Carolee Krieger, a spokeswoman for the California Water Impact Network, said Janavs has ruled in favor of developers before in similar cases. She said she was not surprised by the decision. “I would bet you we’re going to appeal it,” Krieger said. “Every time she’s ruled against us in the past, we’ve gotten her rulings overturned.” Geralyn L. Skapik, the lawyer who represented the city, said Janavs’ ruling was “a very well-written and well-reasoned decision.” Skapik said Janavs took more than two months to reach a decision because she had to read more than 85,000 documents in the case and also has a busy calendar in general. She said Janavs is an expert in the California Environmental Quality Act, with which all EIRs must comply. Robert I. McMurry, an attorney for the developer, said the project “will allow for development that is needed in the area. It’s evident by her 30-(odd)-page decision that she gave her decision a great deal of thought.” Janavs took the case under submission May 31 and was defeated for re-election less than a week later by a candidate without judicial experience. Due to the public outcry that followed, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger reappointed the veteran jurist to the bench less than three days later. The housing development will be built on land bordered by the Santa Clara River and Newhall Ranch, Bouquet Canyon and Soledad Canyon roads.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more

Liverpool warned over signings and urged to buy a player like John O’Shea

first_img Where every Premier League club needs to strengthen in January Arsenal transfer news LIVE: Ndidi bid, targets named, Ozil is ‘skiving little git’ Getty Images – Getty New job Crusaders vs Wolves (Thursday, 8pm) – talkSPORT 2Luton vs Middlesbrough (Friday, 7:45pm) – talkSPORTSalford City vs Stevenage (Saturday, 12:30pm) – talkSPORT 2Brentford vs Birmingham (Saturday, 3pm) – talkSPORT 2Nottingham Forest vs West Brom (Saturday, 5:30pm) – talkSPORT 2Manchester City vs Liverpool (Sunday, 3pm) – talkSPORTBristol City vs Leeds United (Sunday, 4:30pm) – talkSPORT 2 OFF Jurgen Klopp guided Liverpool to their sixth European Cup last season, but it has been a quiet summer for the Reds Video Player is loading.Play VideoPlayMuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration 1:30Loaded: 10.91%Stream Type LIVESeek to live, currently playing liveLIVERemaining Time -1:30 Playback Rate1xChaptersChaptersDescriptionsdescriptions off, selectedCaptionscaptions settings, opens captions settings dialogcaptions off, selectedAudio Tracken (Main), selectedFullscreenThis is a modal window.Beginning of dialog window. Escape will cancel and close the window.TextColorWhiteBlackRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentTransparentWindowColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyTransparentSemi-TransparentOpaqueFont Size50%75%100%125%150%175%200%300%400%Text Edge StyleNoneRaisedDepressedUniformDropshadowFont FamilyProportional Sans-SerifMonospace Sans-SerifProportional SerifMonospace SerifCasualScriptSmall CapsReset restore all settings to the default valuesDoneClose Modal DialogEnd of dialog window.Close Modal DialogThis is a modal window. This modal can be closed by pressing the Escape key or activating the close button.PlayMuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration 0:00Loaded: 0%Stream Type LIVESeek to live, currently playing liveLIVERemaining Time -0:00 Playback Rate1xFullscreen Man United transfer news live: Haaland ‘wants a change’, two players off in January Getty Images – Getty “If [Virgil] van Dijk was to come out the game for a few weeks…“They just need someone who could come into the team and fill different roles.“Someone like at Manchester United, who had John O’Shea. What a great player he was, playing at left-back, right-back, centre-half, central midfielder. TROPHY “It’s a player you can rely on just to strengthen the squad and keep it going. But for one reason or not Liverpool have not really added any senior players.”Liverpool have so far signed just two players this summer, neither of whom are expected to play a role in Klopp’s first-team for the upcoming season.Sepp van den Berg was brought in from PEC Zwolle for around £1.3million, and the young teenage defender was joined on Merseyside by England starlet Harvey Elliott last week.Both players are likely to spend 2019/20 in the Reds’ underage sides, meaning no additions have been made to the senior squad with just over a week to go before the transfer window closes. deals latest Liverpool have missed a trick by not signing a versatile player who can play in multiple positions this summer – someone like Manchester United cult hero John O’Shea.This is according to Joe Cole, the former Reds midfielder, who joined the Drivetime team in the talkSPORT studio on Tuesday afternoon to preview the upcoming season.He discussed other clubs he played for, such as Chelsea and West Ham, before praising Jurgen Klopp for the work he has done at Anfield over the past few years. What every Premier League club’s fans dream of this Christmas Former Crystal Palace and West Brom manager Pardew takes over at Dutch strugglers LATEST Matic one of two players for sale with ‘two Premier League clubs’ interested Joe Cole says Chelsea can build stability from the bottom like Man CityCole, who made 42 appearances for Liverpool during a year-and-a-half with the club, said: “You’ve got to give massive credit to Jurgen Klopp for the way he assembled that team, and the mountains they climbed to be champions of Europe.” FAREWELL 2 targets LATEST FOOTBALL NEWS John O’Shea spent 12 years with Man United before moving to Sunderland and then Reading, where he is now a coach REVEALED NOW: Joe Cole joins us live in the studio on @talkSPORTDriveHe’ll be discussing:☑️ Chelsea under Lampard☑️ His thoughts on #WHUFC☑️ Returning to #CFC as a coach➕ Loads more in an in depth chat📻 Listen –— talkSPORT (@talkSPORT) July 30, 2019“But maybe Klopp has not seen anyone who fits the character of his team.“You don’t win titles when it’s that tight with just your first XI; there will be games when [Jordan] Henderson has to come out the team, whether because of injury or suspension or something. So who is going to do Henderson’s role? However, the former England international believes there is one thing Klopp should have done this summer to ensure Liverpool don’t drop off during 2019/20 and fail to replicate their challenge for a first ever Premier League title.“There is nothing glaring in Liverpool’s side where you think they need that to get to the next level, because they are strong everywhere,” Cole continued,“but I think maybe if there was an opportunity to bring someone in just to keep that rolling within the club… LIVE on talkSPORT Check out all the live commentaries coming up across the talkSPORT network this week Liverpool news live: Klopp reveals when Minamino will play and issues injury update BIG PRESENTS UP TOP Redknapp calls Son ‘petulant’, but Holloway says red card for Rudiger kick was ‘soft’ Liverpool update ‘Champions Wall’ after ending 2019 as European and world champions The biggest market value losers in 2019, including Bale and ex-Liverpool star 2last_img read more

Jury fails to reach verdict against farmer accused of assault in row over cow

first_imgA jury has failed to reach a verdict in the case of a farmer accused of assaulting his neighbour in a row over a straying cow.Gerard McGarvey of Golan, Milford, claimed he was assaulted by his neighbour Hughie McBride on the morning of 8 July, 2015. McGarvey told Letterkenny Circuit Court that he was going to work at Milford Mart after 8am on the day in question, when he noticed one of his cows had broken out and was in McBride’s garden.However, when he went to try and get the black Hereford cow out, he was prevented from doing so by McBride.McGarvey brushed past his neighbour and admitted trespassing onto McBride’s land to get his cow.However, in evidence, McGarvey claimed that he was punched twice in the head and on the ear by McBride.The cow eventually got off of McBride’s land and McGarvey said he later attended his doctor.He was referred to Letterkenny General Hospital and later to see a facial specialist at Altnagelvin Hospital in Derry.Medical evidence was given that McGarvey, 49, had suffered a fractured jaw and had to have a titanium plate fitted into his jaw.McGarvey had suffered a fractured jaw and had to have a titanium plate fitted into his jawThe accused man, McBride, strenuously denied that he assaulted his neighbour. He claimed that he was simply fed up of Mr McGarvey’s animals coming into his garden.McBride and his wife claimed their garden had been destroyed by McGarvey’s animals and that they had continually reported the matter to gardai.However, a station officer at Milford Garda Station said he had checked the Garda Pulse system and there was just one report of a sheep coming into the McBride garden.The accused man said he did not like to say so, but he swore on his children’s lives that he did not assault the alleged victim.He said he had contacted the Bovine Office and then the cow pound in Cavan, which impounded stray animals until they were paid for by their owners.Peter Nolan, barrister for McBride, put it to McGarvey that his animals were constantly straying into his client’s property.Silage not paid forHe said the real reason McGarvey had accused his client, McBride, of assault was because he owed his client €450 for silage he had not paid for.McGarvey admitted that he owed the money for the silage. The barrister put it to McGarvey that he had been “like a raging bull that morning trying to get his cow”.“You were going to get that cow and you didn’t care if you had to walk over that man,” said the barrister, but McGarvey said he “never touched anyone”.The jury retired to consider its verdict on Friday afternoon (5 May), but returned and told Judge Terence O’Sullivan that they could not reach a unanimous verdict in the case.Majority verdictThe judge sent them back to their jury room and told them they must return a verdict of no less than 10 members.However, the jury returned yet again a short time later and told the judge they simply could not reach a majority verdict.Judge O’Sullivan discharged the jury and adjourned the case until the next sitting of the circuit court in Letterkenny.Jury fails to reach verdict against farmer accused of assault in row over cow was last modified: May 7th, 2017 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:courtcowdonegalGardaiMilfordtrespassinglast_img read more

Tourlestrane win Leo Kenny Cup

first_imgTourlestrane won the Connacht Leo Kenny Memorial Cup last night.The Sligo county champions beat Galway’s Killanin by 0-16 to 1-11 in the final at the Connacht GAA Centre.Gavin Cawley reports…Audio Player Up/Down Arrow keys to increase or decrease volume.Joint-boss Eamon O’Hara was delighted with the victory…Audio Player Up/Down Arrow keys to increase or decrease volume.Audio Player Up/Down Arrow keys to increase or decrease volume.Here’s captain James Leonard…Audio Player Up/Down Arrow keys to increase or decrease volume.last_img read more

What’s Up with Wait Times at Disney’s Hollywood Studios?

first_imgFootnotes[1] In the real world, the actual number of people who ride per hour is almost always lower. Rides sometimes stop temporarily to let people on or off, or for temporary mechanical issues. As long as we use the same attraction capacity for 2014 and 2015, the calculations work out the same. We used the same attraction capacity for 2014 and 2015 which means we are assuming the “real-world” capacity was the same in both years.[2] Our crowd calendar is based on the standby wait times between 10 AM and 5 PM, at certain attractions in each park. We’re using the 10AM-to-5PM time period here for consistency.[3] Backlot Tour was closed in February 2014 and February 2015.[4] Our wait time modeling software is Treenet by Salford Systems. It’s a stochastic gradient boosting modeling engine. It’s more accurate than regression models, which we used in previous versions of the crowd calendar. Our lead statistician, Fred, came to us from Statistics Canada. Our other statistician, Steve, was a statistician at the Centers for Disease Control. That doesn’t guarantee they’re right all the time. But they have some idea of what they’re doing. 🙂[5] What does the “J” in “Arthur J. Fonzarelli” stand for? Share This!Wait times at Walt Disney World have been significantly higher than we expected over the last few months — 20% higher, year over year, in 2015. Since our crowd calendar is based on wait times, we needed to determine the causes. And we will have updated crowd calendars within a few days.Today we’ll look at why we think wait times are higher at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. I’ll cover each WDW park in a separate blog post starting tomorrow.We think higher wait times at Disney’s Hollywood Studios are almost entirely due to these 3 things:Closed attractionsMechanical problems at Tower of TerrorBetter handling of FastPass+ return lines in the parkWe explain each of these in detail below. We also looked at whether Disney has changed the number of FastPasses available, ride capacity, the ratio of FastPass guests to standby guests, or whether guests are using FastPass+ significantly more now. We don’t see any clear evidence of those happening; that’s also explained below. (There’s also increased attendance at the other parks, which we’ll talk about when we cover them.)BackgroundOur analysis needs a little bit of math, but it’s all pretty simple.Take a ride like the Tomorrowland Transit Authority. Its track holds 32 ride vehicles. Each vehicle holds 10 people. One complete trip around the track takes about 10 minutes, so each ride vehicle goes around the track 6 times per hour.The number of people that the TTA can serve in an hour is 1,920:32 ride vehicles x 10 people per vehicle x 6 times per hour = 1,920If the wait at the TTA is 10 minutes, that means there are 320 people ahead of you in line [1]:10 minutes of wait / 60 minutes in an hour * 1,920 people per hour = 320 peopleYou can use the same calculation at rides with FastPass+, like Toy Story Midway Mania. TSMM has an hourly capacity of around 900 people. If the posted wait is 50 minutes, the number of people who get to ride before you is:50 minutes of wait / 60 minutes in an hour * 900 people per hour = 750 peopleMost of those 750 people will come from the FastPass+ line – in fact, around 80% of the people who ride before you will come from the FastPass+ line. We’ll use that information a bit later. For now, the thing to know is how to figure out the number of people ahead of you, using the standby wait and the hourly capacity at each ride.Standby Wait Times for 2014 and 2015We collect thousands of posted wait times from our users, from our employees, and from Disney’s My Disney Experience app, at every ride, in every park, every few minutes, every day. We’ve done this for many years, and we have over 8 million wait times.Here’s the average posted wait in line for Toy Story Mania in January 2014 and January 2015, between 10 AM and 5 PM [2]:So in January 2015 at Toy Story Mania, there were around 90 fewer people ahead of you to ride TSMM between 10 AM and 5 PM, versus January 2014.Here’s all the DHS attractions we track, for January 2014 and January 2015:The red lines are for the Studio Backlot Tour, which closed in September 2014, and the Legend of Captain Jack Sparrow, which closed in November 2014. There were no people in those lines in January 2015. We think most of them got in line at other attractions.There were also slightly fewer people in line at Muppets and Tower of Terror in January 2015. For the month, there were around 792 fewer people in line at all DHS attractions between the hours of 10 AM and 5 PM, as compared to 2014.Here’s April 2014 and 2015. Easter was in April in both years, which draws high crowds in the weeks around it. Wait times were slightly higher in 2015. The higher number of people in line in 2015 almost exactly matches the number of people who were in line at the closed attractions in 2014 [3]:That’s kind of amazing. You can explain 98% of the increase in Easter wait times (122 out of 5,865 people is the remaining 2%) by showing that most guests who used to be in line at closed attractions, got in line at open attractions.We summarize all of 2015 below.But Wait…There’s More (Closed Rides, That Is)The charts don’t include lines for The American Idol Experience, which closed in August 2014, or the Magic of Disney Animation, which closed in July 2015. These attractions didn’t have posted wait times, and we didn’t include them as part of our DHS crowd calendar. And they were not very popular. But American Idol had anywhere from 2 to 4 performances between 10 AM and 5 PM, and Animation had drawing classes, character greetings, and a few things to do. Some people were in those attractions.It’s reasonable to say that some of the people who used to go on those attractions now get in line somewhere else. Here’s the average number of extra people in line at DHS in 2015, before and after Animation closed:Idol closed in August 2014. Here’s the year-over-year difference in extra people in line for September and October (there’s some overlap with Animation, too):Saying that people move from closed rides to open rides is obvious. It’s the scale of the impact that’s interesting.How Ride Closures Increased 2015 Wait TimesWait times are up 20% at DHS for rides open in both 2014 and 2015 (from 30 minutes to 36 minutes) so far this year. That works out to around 319 more people in line at the open rides. But the closing of Backlot Tour, Legend of Captain Jack Sparrow, American Idol, and Magic of Disney Animation account for all of this change and more. In fact, attendance may be down slightly at DHS. Here’s why we think that.Of all the extra people in line at DHS at any given time in 2015, almost 45% happened at Tower of Terror in February and March:Tower’s wait times were up 85% in February and 25% in March. It was up 4% in every other month of 2015.  That indicates mechanical issues at Tower of Terror, not a brief flash of popularity.A Smoother FastPass+ Return Experience Increases Standby WaitsWhen Disney World transitioned to FastPass+ in early 2014, it did not start well. (We wrote a blog post about it in March 2014.) Many guests didn’t understand how it worked. Verifying a reservation took too long, and Castmembers had to deal with MagicBand hardware issues. What used to be a 5-minute wait with paper FastPasses, often turned in to a 10- to 15-minute wait to use FastPass+. Guests complained about long FastPass+ return lines, when the whole point was to make lines shorter.The problems with FastPass+ in 2014 meant FastPass+ impacted standby wait times less in 2014: Because people had problems getting in the FastPass+ line, a bit more of each ride’s capacity went to standby guests, reducing the standby wait in line.Most of those FastPass+ issues have been resolved in 2015. MagicBands scan faster, and when lines start to develop, Castmembers have been trained to scan only one person’s MagicBand, instead of everyone in a group. Since it’s faster to get into the FastPass+ line now than in 2014, standby lines are slightly longer.To put this in perspective, in 2014 we estimated that your wait to use FastPass+ was going to be 15 to 25% of the posted wait time. That’s closer to 10% in 2015. It’s not perfect – long lines still happen sometimes – but it’s better. And we think it’s increasing standby wait times slightly versus 2014.Why Our Crowd Calendar Didn’t Anticipate These ChangesWe track hundreds of variables for our crowd calendar models, everything from park hours to weather. One of variables is “Total ride capacity lost to closures.” And we had the right numbers in there, but the models didn’t adjust properly. At this point, we think that model didn’t give enough emphasis to the high number of ride closures. The models seem to work well with one or two ride closures (we’ve done pretty well at Epcot for 2015, even with Maelstrom and Captain EO closed), but we don’t think the model has ever seen this many rides closed in one park at once. We know that the model sometimes has trouble with things it hasn’t seen before, and we’re working with the company that wrote our modeling software to make sure we make the right adjustments [4].We should have an updated Crowd Calendar out within a few days. Once we think we’ve got mass closures handled properly, we’ll do another update after that. We know both Soarin’ and Maelstrom will be closed at Epcot in early 2016, and we want to make sure we handle that.Other Ideas We ConsideredLots of people have a many ideas about what’s causing the higher wait times. We tested many of them and found them less convincing. Here’s a short list of some things we tested.Is Disney Intentionally Lowering Ride Capacity? No. I said this on a WDWToday podcast and in blog comments here. I don’t think it’s true now. You can explain virtually all of the wait time increases across all four parks by looking at attraction closures, more efficient FastPass+ lines, and mechanical issues. Disney management may be a lot of things, but they’re not Enron. I regret saying it, and I apologize.My spokesman, Arthur J. Fonzarelli, will now read a prepared statement on my behalf [5]: Are Posted Standby Wait Times Artificially High? Not as far as we can tell. It’s well known that the posted wait time outside a ride is usually wrong. It’s wrong at every theme park, including Disney. And it’s often wrong on purpose: sometimes it’s meant to be a pleasant surprise, such as when the posted wait time is 60 minutes and you only wait 45. Other times it’s a way for park management to tell you to go somewhere else, such as when Toy Story Mania has a posted wait of 80 minutes at park closing, when the actual wait is 15; they want to close the park on schedule and avoid paying overtime.Our Lines app lets our users send in both Disney’s posted wait, and the actual amount of time they spent in line. We compared the ratio of actual waits to posted waits for 2014 and 2015 over 11,000 samples. That’s not a huge number. At many minor attractions, we don’t have enough actual wait/posted wait pairs to say anything. But for the big attractions, as far as we can determine, the ratio of actual wait to the posted wait time has not increased significantly across WDW. (If anything, the posted waits are getting slightly more accurate at some attractions.)Is Disney Prioritizing FastPass+ Guests Over Standby Guests More in 2015? Not according to Castmembers or our counting.When Disney adds FastPass+ to an attraction, it has to set aside a certain amount of the attraction’s capacity for FastPass+ riders. The default is around 80%, meaning 4 FastPass+ users will ride for every 1 standby guest (a 4:1 ratio). If a bunch of FastPass+ users show up all at once, the Castmembers at the ride can bump up the ratio to 10:1, meaning 91% of the ride’s capacity goes to FastPass+.If that doesn’t reduce the FastPass line, Castmembers can take 20 FastPass+ guests for every 1 standby guests – 95% FastPass+ allocation – until the FastPass line disappears.How do we know this? We asked Castmembers what the rules were, and they told us. Then we counted the number of people in line to check their answers.Last Thursday, we sent Seth, one of our researchers, to stand in line at Peter Pan. It had a 60-minute standby wait. When he got to the front of the line, just as he was about to board, he turned around and walked back through the line, counting the number of people in the standby line as he passed them. He counted 196 people, and the posted wait was still 60 minutes. That indicates around 82%% of the ride’s capacity was being held for FastPass+ guests, almost exactly the 4:1 ratio the Castmember said it would be.Seth found the same 4:1 ratio at The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh, Princess Fairytale Hall, Jungle Cruise, Buzz Lightyear, Space Mountain, and later at Toy Story Mania. The Castmembers at Seven Dwarfs Mine Train said they used a 3:1 ratio (i.e., 75% FastPass+ and 25% Standby); we counted the number of people in line yesterday and that was accurate. It’s a Small World was slightly higher on Thursday (around 90% / 10%), but back to normal yesterday. So with only a few exceptions, 4:1 seems to be the standard ratio, and has been for a long time.Is it FastPass+ Supply or Demand? Fred, Steve, and I spent a long time looking at this. As far as we can tell, there’s no clear trend on FastPass+ supply, demand, or the relationship to standby wait times.First, a couple of things: We track the FastPass+ availability every few minutes, at every attraction, every day, up to 60 days in advance. As I write this, we have more than 16 million FastPass+ data points. Knowing when FastPasses run out helps us tell you which FastPasses you should get in advance, and which attractions should have FastPasses on the day of your visit.Here’s a chart showing Great Movie Ride’s average FastPass+ availability and standby wait times, by week, between 10 AM and 5 PM, for 2014 and 2015. The Fastpass+ times represent the amount of time before a Fastpass+ reservation became unavailable. So for example, if at 10 AM the last available reservation was for 10:45, that would be 45 minutes. If on a Tuesday we saw the last reservation get nabbed on Sunday that would be two days.The lines in the top half of the page show when FastPasses run out. Red lines are for 2014, blue for 2015. Higher lines mean FastPasses ran out faster.There’s a small gap in 2014 FastPass+ data, where our code broke and we didn’t collect anything. But even then, it’s clear that for much of 2014 and 2015, you could get a FastPass+ for Great Movie Ride within 15 minutes of “now” – an “instant” FastPass. If demand for FastPass+ was up in 2015, you’d expect FastPasses to run out sooner; the blue line for 2015’s FastPass availability would be consistently higher than 2014’s red line. But it doesn’t look like that.The bottom half of the graph shows the average posted wait time at Great Movie Ride. Again, red lines are 2014 and blue lines are 2015. Wait times are significantly higher since early April 2015, even when you could get an “instant” FastPass on the same times both years. In fact, it was harder to get a Great Movie Ride FastPass in late July 2014 than in late July 2015, and waits were higher in 2015. So no matter whether FastPasses ran out faster or slower in 2015, wait times seem to be higher.Here’s MuppetVision 3D. We wouldn’t recommend using FastPass+ at Muppets. The thing to note is that there doesn’t seem to be a clear relationship between FastPass+ availability and standby waits. The two lines don’t move in tandem.Here’s Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster:FastPasses ran out as fast or faster at Rock ‘n’ Roller coaster for 8 weeks in the second half of 2014 versus 2015, but wait times are higher (or the same) in 2015.Here’s Toy Story Mania. Again, it was harder to get FastPasses in some weeks in 2014, yet wait times are higher for the same weeks in 2015:“But wait!” you say. “What if Disney increased the supply of FastPasses AND guest demand also increased? That would explain the higher standby waits.” We thought of that, too. We don’t think it’s happening. Here’s how we checked.If Disney increases the supply of FastPasses at a ride, they increase the amount of the ride’s capacity that’s dedicated to FastPass+. Remember that the default is a 4 to 1 ratio, or 80% – the Castmembers told us that. So that hasn’t changed.“But maybe management increased the supply and didn’t tell the Castmembers!” We checked that too. It doesn’t seem to be happening. Let’s say management decided to allocate 90% of Toy Story’s capacity to FastPass+. If that happened, just 81 people in line would result in a 60-minute standby wait. We counted the number of people in line, though, and compared it to the standby time; it’s the same 4:1 ratio as it’s been.To finish off the Studios, here’s Star Tours. There were 6 weeks in 2014 where it was harder to get a FastPass+, yet wait times were lower:Here’s Tower of Terror:There are actually a few weeks here where you get something that kind of looks like a pattern. Late June’s FastPass+ availability and standby waits look the same for 2014 and 2015, and the high FastPass+ availability for the week of 8/30/2015 matches the lowest standby waits of the year. So that’s promising. But overall, FastPasses have been available consistently about 1.5 hours in advance since the end of June 2015, while wait times have fluctuated between 30 and 70 minutes, so that’s hard to explain.We also don’t think there’s a clear relationship between FastPass+ availability and standby waits in any other Disney park. We’ll show that over the next few days.FastPass Supply and Demand In General We also looked at the possibility of any other combination of change in FastPass+ supply and demand. On the supply side, there are 3 possible options:Disney has increased the number of FastPasses availableThe number of FastPasses available has stayed the sameDisney has decreased the number of FastPasses availableThe same things could have happened on the demand side. That gives us 3 x 3 = 9 possibilities.To see whether any of them are true, it’s helpful to consider what would happen to the FastPass+ availability lines in the graphs above in any scenario. Here’s a chart showing what you’d expect to see with those lines, for all 9 possible changes in FastPass+ supply and demand:We don’t see a consistent pattern in the year-over-year availability of FastPasses across DHS attractions. That means we can probably rule out all of the options except for the ones in the upper left (“higher supply/higher demand”) and lower right (“lower supply/lower demand”). But as we’ve shown above, counting the number of people in the standby line doesn’t seem to support either of those two scenarios. That’s why we don’t think there have been major changes to FastPass+ supply or demand.Of course, Disney could be changing the FastPass+ supply dynamically every day (without telling Castmembers to change the FastPass line ratios), differently at each attraction, based on things like projected hotel occupancy or weather, in a way that produces the trend lines above. That would be really hard for us to see (and harder to prove). It would also be moderately complicated to implement, and I’m not sure what the goal would be there. But it’s possible.So that’s where we’re at for now. Closed attractions and better FastPass+ systems seem to be the best explanation for Hollywood Studios wait time increases. We’re making adjustments to the models and calendars, and we’ll have updates out within a few days. Thanks for reading. See you tomorrow.last_img read more

Wanna See a Fish with a Mustache?

first_imgWould you buy any of these items? Let us know in the comments.Photos: Christina Harrison Share This!There’s a new line of merchandise in the UK pavilion at Epcot that celebrates the fish & chips dishes sold nearby at the Rose & Crown and Yorkshire Fish Shop restaurants.The artwork features a dapper fish and French fry duo, looking oh so British. Mr. Fish sports a monocle and mustache and Mr. Chips has a bowtie and a Pinocchio nose. We’re not sure why, but we approve.last_img