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  1. #1

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    Lightbulb Re-thinking the Studios park

    I know an awful lot has been said on the subject of how to expand the Walt Disney Studios park, but what of its other main short fall? I'm talking, of course, about the lack of theme and atmosphere. If you were put in charge of the park for just one month, how would you go about injecting a bit of warmth and character into the place? There are a few ground rules that I want to set out before we begin...

    1) I am NOT talking about new attractions or expansions. I figure there are enough threads out there on this subject already, and as we now have a number of new rides on the cards this is no longer the top priority. The changes I'm talking about should be aesthetic - fountains, statues, flower beds, façades, music, props, posters, etc.

    2) Any proposals should be REALISTIC. We all know that the park is operating on a restricted budget, so any ideas you have should be easy to impliment and readily achievable. So no proposals to tear down the Studio 1 building and replace it with a full scale replica of Sunset Blvd.

    3) This last point is less of a rule and more of a recommendation. If at all possible, I'd like to see some ORIGINAL ideas that would be unique to the park, and not just cloned from Disney/MGM in Orlando. They should also fit in with the resort's remit to cater to a European audience.

    So there you have it. We're nearly all amateur Imagineers here, so let's get those creative juices flowing. The person with the best overall plan for the park gets a free croissant! Bon courage à toutes et à tous!

  2. #2

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    I propose more greenery, fountains, trees and flowers beds around the guests areas. Plus more enticing 3D signage at their ride buildings... That alone will improve the ambiance in the studio park.

  3. #3

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    I couldn't agree more, TDLFAN. I worked in the Studios for seven months, and one of its biggest problems is the fact that it's all so featureless! Production Courtyard is probably the worst offender, so to start things off, I'd get rid of that crappy little open air stage they have in the centre. It looks so feeble and lost in the middle of that vast space.
    What the courtyard needs is a strong central icon to hold the area together and give it focus. Obviously, the Tower of Terror will go a long way towards solving that problem, but I still think something in the middle of the courtyard would help.
    Thus I propose to replace the stage with a large musical fountain, a little like the one in EPCOT, but which dances to famous movie themes. (James Bond, Fantasia, Lord of the Rings, etc.)
    Then I'd get rid of most of those scrawny trees that line the main space and replace them with raised flowerbeds.

  4. #4

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    It needs more Disney touches, after all it is supposed to be the Disney Studios. They should start by adding the recreation of Walt's Burbank office found at DL in Anaheim.

    Film studios need not be bland and characterless. The attractive Paramount Studios in Hollywood demonstrate that.

  5. #5

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    While I have not been to Disneyland Resort Paris when you look at the pictures they do come across as just empty buildings. When you compare that to walking down the street at the Hollywood area at the DCA or any of the streets at the studios in Florida you can Cleary see what is missing.

    I can’t think that creating a few street sets along the outside of some of the areas would not be that costly. It would make it look much more like a studio and would really bring the place alive.

  6. #6

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    Yeah I mean there are two things people want to see when they visit me at the movie studio where I work in Los Angeles:

    The Backlot sets
    The Stages where filming is going on
    The actual commissary where everyone eats.

    Why not have a Commissary with a Vaudeville Stage Show
    Stages with Popular TV shows filming in them and then give tickets to the tapings. That takes a couple of hours of the day and then you dont need a full day's worth of attractions in the park to make it a fun all day park.
    And build some backlot sets that you can walk through and take pictures in.

    Then bring some of those things to DCA.

  7. #7

    • Former Epcot CM
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    The broadcasting studios for the French, German and Spanish Disney Channels are headquarted in WDS - are park guests allowed in at Studio Disney* style tapings?

    *On Disney Channel UK, Studio Disney is a live three hour slot every week day with presenters introducing programs and playing games with phone-in viewers. I'm not sure if Disney Channel USA or other DCs have something similar.
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  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by Speedway
    The broadcasting studios for the French, German and Spanish Disney Channels are headquarted in WDS - are park guests allowed in at Studio Disney* style tapings?

    *On Disney Channel UK, Studio Disney is a live three hour slot every week day with presenters introducing programs and playing games with phone-in viewers. I'm not sure if Disney Channel USA or other DCs have something similar.
    I'm afraid not. While programmes are filmed in the building, the tour no longer offers glimpses for the guests. Instead, all the working studios are hidden away out of view. Whent he attraction first opened, guests were given the chance to watch a French Disney Channel show called "Zapping Zone" being filmed, and later on "Playhouse Disney". But "Playhouse" is now being filmed in South America while "Zapping Zone" proved unpopular with most guests.
    Personally, I think that the Disney Channel tour is the attraction in most need of a serious overhaul.
    Given the choice, I would scrap the guided tour altogether (it's an insult to the intelligence, whether you're five or fifty) and install something a little more like the Disney Animation attraction at DCA. I would include a rather grand central foyer area full of screens displaying clips from various pieces of Disney TV history. (From old clips of Walt right up to Desperate Housewives.)
    From this foyer, guests can choose to explore the interactive studio section, where they will be able to film their own short TV show - either news and weather, blue screen work, etc. There would even be working (though simplified) mixing desks, allowing guests to add music, captions and so on.
    Another short tour would feature a brief history of television, starting with John Logie Baird and then charting the evolution of Disney Channel.
    Finally, I would have a large open-plan interactivity area, in whihc guests could explore various small exhibits on telecommunications and the science behind television images.
    So there's my grand plan. I'd welcome any additional ideas or criticism.

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by soundtracker
    I'm afraid not. While programmes are filmed in the building, the tour no longer offers glimpses for the guests. Instead, all the working studios are hidden away out of view. Whent he attraction first opened, guests were given the chance to watch a French Disney Channel show called "Zapping Zone" being filmed, and later on "Playhouse Disney". But "Playhouse" is now being filmed in South America while "Zapping Zone" proved unpopular with most guests.
    Personally, I think that the Disney Channel tour is the attraction in most need of a serious overhaul.
    Given the choice, I would scrap the guided tour altogether (it's an insult to the intelligence, whether you're five or fifty) and install something a little more like the Disney Animation attraction at DCA. I would include a rather grand central foyer area full of screens displaying clips from various pieces of Disney TV history. (From old clips of Walt right up to Desperate Housewives.)
    From this foyer, guests can choose to explore the interactive studio section, where they will be able to film their own short TV show - either news and weather, blue screen work, etc. There would even be working (though simplified) mixing desks, allowing guests to add music, captions and so on.
    Another short tour would feature a brief history of television, starting with John Logie Baird and then charting the evolution of Disney Channel.
    Finally, I would have a large open-plan interactivity area, in whihc guests could explore various small exhibits on telecommunications and the science behind television images.
    So there's my grand plan. I'd welcome any additional ideas or criticism.
    The park is missing that visual weenie that draws you into the center of the park. Infact, from what I've seen, it doesn't have a center.

    Maybe someone needs to get the Disney\MGM plans out of the cupboard and review what works, and use it. Even a giant wizard hat would suit me!

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by drnilescrane
    The park is missing that visual weenie that draws you into the center of the park. Infact, from what I've seen, it doesn't have a center.

    Maybe someone needs to get the Disney\MGM plans out of the cupboard and review what works, and use it. Even a giant wizard hat would suit me!
    Another good point, which is already being rectified. The Tower of Terror is all set to become the park's centrepiece. Quite literally! It's being built slap bang in the middle of the park, and will serve as a new emblem for the studios.

  11. #11

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    YOU ARE JOKING! They sooooooooooooo cannot use an attraction (it isn't even an original attraction! By the time it will be built at the studios it will be more than a decade old) as a wienie! How lazy are they getting!?
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  12. #12

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    Notice how the tower is becoming the 'band-aid' fix for bad parks? They are trying to delay the fact it needs a new grand masterplan (or even an old, proven formula such as properly cloning something like MGM or DisneySea if they are THAT desperate), a proper budget and a heck of a lot of dynomyte for DCA and DSP to become full day, respected parks. We only have to look at DisneySea to see that the Imagineers can make a good park without the Burbank BS (then again OLC are realy stingy when it comes to employees).

  13. #13

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    >>Notice how the tower is becoming the 'band-aid' fix for bad parks?<<

    Are you saying TDSea is a bad park? Because frankly, IMHO... having TOT at TDS is more of an attempt to add more capacity and interest in TDS, rather than fix a "bad" park, which TDS is not.

  14. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by TDLFAN
    >>Notice how the tower is becoming the 'band-aid' fix for bad parks?<<

    Are you saying TDSea is a bad park? Because frankly, IMHO... having TOT at TDS is more of an attempt to add more capacity and interest in TDS, rather than fix a "bad" park, which TDS is not.
    I ment DSP and DCA. I didn't realise that TDS was getting a TOT... TDS is definatly NOT a bad park! (One of the most anticipated in the world!)

  15. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by drnilescrane
    Notice how the tower is becoming the 'band-aid' fix for bad parks? They are trying to delay the fact it needs a new grand masterplan (or even an old, proven formula such as properly cloning something like MGM or DisneySea if they are THAT desperate), a proper budget and a heck of a lot of dynomyte for DCA and DSP to become full day, respected parks. We only have to look at DisneySea to see that the Imagineers can make a good park without the Burbank BS (then again OLC are realy stingy when it comes to employees).
    Let's not forget that the reason it's being put into all the parks is because it's a good and popular attraction. And if there's one thing that WDS needs, it's a good and popular attraction.
    You've made a good point about them needing a new masterplan though. Happily, the Tower is not only supposed to mark the end of this phase of construction at the park, but the beginning of the next. André Lacroix (CEO of EuroDisney SCA) has announced that the park will "double in length" by 2009. There look to be some big plans ahead.

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