The original inspiration for the study was due to the fact that in everything else Walt did, he may not have invented it but he certainly perfected it. EPCOT seemed so out of left field I knew there had to be something more. Luckily, between Dave Smith, Buzz Price, and some folks I know at Gruen, I was able to connect the dots. Over the next few months, there will be more on this research. If you have any interest in WDW, I strongly recommend the FOUR DECADES OF MAGIC book. Kevin Yee also contributed along with a stellar cast of Disney historians and bloggers.
Sam SamLand's Disney Adventures
Follow me on twitter at Sam Gennawey (samlanddisney) on Twitter
I grew up not too far from Southdale -- originally commissioned by the Dayton Hudson Corporation, which now is known as "Target Corporation". Is it a coincedence that this company has always been forward-thinking and modern with retail concepts? I think not...
What's interesting about Gruen is that he viewed the mall as a way to get away from the 50's suburban mentality, which he hated. Ironic, because now malls are considered to be one of the worst things about the suburbs.
But Gruen's vision for Southdale was never complete. It was meant to be the "center of the community" and a way to provide a downtown of sorts which suburbs tended to lack. It was meant to be ringed by residences, apartments, schools, etc. Basically, a cleaned up and idealized downtown area.
Instead, it is ringed by parking lots and expensive boutique stores selling mostly clothing and overpriced garbage (I'm looking at YOU Brookstone!). Hardly the idealized downtown he envisioned.
I'm not surprised Walt Disney took inspiration from Gruen.
since we lived practically next to to disneyland when i was a kid in the 60's, we'd go often. i remember staring at this thing for what seems like hours. it was huge and amazing.
Great article so far, can't wait to hear more about it.
very good, this makes me feel like i know walt
I prefer Anaheim's ride because of its speed and music.
In the 1970s, my brothers and I would go to SFOT every weekend from the first one to the last. The Log Ride was one of our favorites, especially when the temp went above 90. Once, we went on opening day and the temperature was below freezing and the Log Ride was running! At the drop was an enormous blue icicle, 50 feet long, from the top of the hill to the creek below! (The icicle was blue because the water was dyed blue.)
I didn't ride.
Anyway, I'm glad to read about how SFOT got the world's first log ride.
Wonderful article, as always
I would love to visit a Disney Ski Resort...I would have been interested in those summer activities as well. A rustic lodge or Swiss resort would be very trendy right now, and could encourage environmental pride and conservation. Right now, people are more interested in TVs and computers...they don't know or understand how mother nature works and it is integral that those who have the means show the world just how important, special and beautiful it is. (Of course, that also means that environmental groups have to allow some industry to come in and do a few things to get the public to come).
I still wish Californians had supported that bill that would have charged $15 per person a year to upkeep our state parks...$15 is nothing, and we all would have been able to visit the parks with basically an annual pass.
Once again, a great article. I do have to question your Splash Mountain naming theory. The movie "Splash" was released in March of 1984, months before Michael Eisner joined Disney. Word while I was working at D/L was that Michael preferred simpler names for movies and attractions. Hence, "Basil of Baker Street" became "The Great Mouse Detective" and "Song of the South" (aka "Zip-a-dee River Run", aka "Song of the South") became Splash Mountain (Wikipedia isn't always right <g>).
Florida one is definitely better to me. One thing I didn't see mentioned is that the lighting in Florida is vastly superior. It is my understanding that 2 geese from AS (what an odd attraction for TOMORROWland) became droids in the Star Tours queue.
There is some misinformation:
1. There is no "summer mode" and no jets "switched on" on the drops to get people wet.
2. Rufus the bear was up at the first drop as installed, but is now Br'er Bear sleeping in his house.
I know, the music is really different in DL and MK.
Of the two, I prefer the MK's. The queue is better, the logs are more comfortable, and there is less use of 2-D cutouts. And I for one like the more long drawn Florida iteration...the Anaheim one just seems to go by too fast. Both are excellent rides though.
I don't have to go to Tokyo to know that one is the best...in terms of the look, the setting, the queue, and the maintenance. But it will be nice to see for myself, soon...
Thanks everybody. Frankly, I am partial to the one at Knott's but I don't make the rules. Well, I guess I do. Whichever one you ride, I still believe a ride at night is always the best time to go.
Sam Sam Land
There are few rides that I give WDW the edge to but I have to agree with you on Splash Mountain. I enjoy the WDW version for all the reasons you mentioned. The first time I rode it I just knew it was the superior version. Thanks for a great article. Lots of new info I didn't know, like Marc Davis designing America Sings, one of my childhood favorites as well.
I haven't been to WDW's since 1997, so I don't remember the music at all! Since music is huge for me, I'd give that edge to DLR's version... though I think I remember the hopping Br'er Rabbit and more of the scenery in WDW being better than DLR's.
I have yet to visit TokyoDL... again, it seems like they get a better version! This attraction, Monsters, and Pooh Bear. Lucky!!!
Here's to hoping that the additions to WDW's Haunted Mansion make it to DLR's!
I agree with Timmy Tokyo Disneyland version is the best, all the effects works and all the Audio-Animatronics in perfect condition (like the hopping Br’er Rabbit)
Actually alot of America Sings fingers didn't make it into Splash Mountain like the Old Grey Mare, Sam & the owl, the pig waiter, the rock n roll birds, and a few others.
Actually think DL's is better. MK's is like a directors cut, longer, more drawn out, but the editing is tight and makes DL's a better ride. And while the additional scenes tell the original story better, Splash Mountain is it's own story, and works great.
Great story! Thanks alot.
Many years ago, in1974 to be exact, I got a 3-hour private tour of WED Enterprises as it was then called. Part of that tour was going through the eye-level walk through model of Western River Exp. It was very cool and I wish it would have been built.
TYhe highlight of the tour was a sit-down with Marc Davis who had models and drawings in his office of America Sings that has just opened.
© 2005 - 2010 - MiceChat, LLC
MiceChat is not associated in any manner whatsoever with the Walt Disney Company, its subsidiaries and / or its affiliates. The official Disney site is available via this link.