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  1. #1

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    Interview with Tim Delaney

    Beings that I am completely enamored with all the work going into
    the DCA refurb, it's hightened my curiosity to find out exactly what went wrong when the park was initially designed. In that, I've found an article interviewing imagineer Tim Delaney, who designed both of the biggest missteps of Disneyland's ugly stepsister: Paradise Pier and Sunshine Plaza.

    At points, I found myself chuckling at statements said about the Sun icon:

    "It will be timeless. It’s never going to change for the next 500 years."

    ...and ripping the fresh coat of Got2BGlue out of my hair hearing Tim talk about the popularity of the Maliboomer.


    Hope you all enjoy the read:
    laughingplace.com

    <link deleted>
    Last edited by NeverNeverland; 12-10-2008 at 04:30 PM. Reason: link removed per MiceChat rules

  2. #2

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    Re: Interview with Tim Delaney

    Very cool thanks for sharing it!!!

  3. #3

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    Re: Interview with Tim Delaney

    Does anyone know if he still works for Imagineering... or do I see him in the dungeon on Snow White...
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  4. #4

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    Re: Interview with Tim Delaney

    Look at it, it has a gorgeous color to it. It’s a very rich, warm color. It has a kind of a timeless quality to it also.

    Kinda makes me feel bad for him. He felt really good about it. To the point deluding himself.

  5. #5

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    Re: Interview with Tim Delaney

    While he does sound a bit delusional I have to defend him in that I think he meant the Sun Icon material could last 500 years, not that the Icon would actually be there for 500 years. But I may be wrong.
    The Mickey audience is not made up of people; it has no racial, national, political, religious or social differences or affiliations; the Mickey audience is made up of parts of people, of that deathless, precious, ageless, absolutely primitive remnant of something in every world-wracked human being which makes us play with children’s toys and laugh without self-consciousness at silly things, and sing in bathtubs, and dream and believe that our babies are uniquely beautiful. You know…the Mickey in us.
    -Walt Disney

  6. #6

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    Re: Interview with Tim Delaney

    That was a very amusing read. Thanks for brightening my day!

    Some favorite quotes:

    Disney's California Adventure is about now. It’s not about fantasy. It’s not about history. It’s about right now.
    Oh, good. Why would anyone visiting a Disney theme park want to get away from where and when they currently are?

    The whole idea is that we’re walking through a picture postcard starting with the California letters, going through the images of California with the mural and kind of looking through the Golden Gate Bridge.
    First of all...I never realized that. Definitely not an obvious intent. And secondly, if I'm in a postcard, where's all the writing?

    Well the sun icon, just being on its own, works on its own. But now that we add the heliostats to illuminate it, it adds another level of intrigue. It actually adds that kind of quality of California art and science.
    Heliostats...heliostats...oh, right! The things that make it impossible to take a photo of your family in front of the sun icon without your shadow showing up on the people, right? I just love it when "that quality of California art and science" is used to improve the experience.

    It’s not going to be like Disneyland. It shouldn’t be. It’s meant to compliment [sic] and contrast at the same time.
    Firstly...learn the difference between "compliment" and "complement." Secondly, complement and contrast basically mean the same thing - DCA is supposed to emphasize the ways it's radically different from Disneyland. Why would that be appealing to someone who loves Disneyland?

    The other issue, of being able to see the outside world, to me that’s all part of the California story too. There are certain things that we have tried to block out but other things - like I had to sit and look at that Pacific Hotel for a long time and then I said, let me see if I can fix that, so I redesigned it. So now it looks great. Now it looks better.
    Oh...right...since ugly visual intrusions happen all over the state, they must be appropriate in the park! Why didn't I think of that? I guess it's just a good thing there aren't any visual intrusions anywhere else in the world, or else Disneyland might have some, too!

    Then I have to say, regarding the wheel, the Sun Wheel, it’s the only thing I hate to say that I borrowed from New York, from Coney Island.
    Well, at least you were committed to reinforcing the California theme with Paradise Pier.
    I’m not a big lover of Ferris Wheels. I find them to be not very interesting.
    And so passionate about your creation, too! Gives us a lot of reason to feel the same way.

    I think the coaster is kind of typical of what we did. I wanted to create something that was a real family Disney thing.
    Very Disney, definitely. I can hardly tell the difference between it and Thunder Mountain.

    After 25 years here, I feel like I know our audience very well and I know what they like and what they want to do.
    You can "feel like" the moon is made of cheese, but that doesn't mean it's true.

    [regarding the Screamin' loop] There’s also a little bit of inconsistency, although I’m thrilled by it because I did it myself, with the mouse ears right there where the coaster goes through...
    Unfortunately for...you know...the customers, they don't have the benefit of having worked on the attraction. Maybe unconditional pride in your own work isn't the best way to improve your craft?
    I kind of design stuff from a marketing approach.
    And thus...DCA.

    Anyway, yes, thank you for the link. Luckily, I can smile about these things now in retrospect because some of the mistakes are at least partially being addressed.


  7. #7

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    Re: Interview with Tim Delaney

    Well, because the link has been deleted, I can't read the interview but from what I'm seeing in this thread...

    1. Hilarious.

    2. The guy sounds a little...cocky.
    ap·pur·te·nant – adjective: appertaining or belonging; pertaining.

    ...to Disneyland.

  8. #8

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    Re: Interview with Tim Delaney

    While I respect that you've picked through his press stuff with considerably valuable points (Its nice to see the effort made to justify why you thought it was amusing, instead of the usual Internet "lol he sucks"), I'm actually really saddened by how much of the blame is getting dumped on this insanely talented man.

    Tim Delaney is not just another Imagineer. He's one of the risk-takers.
    The sort who takes a crowbar to the train of thought to derail it out of the comfort zone and into new and unexpected areas.

    Anyone who's seen the man's illustrations can see just how damn hard he tries to break the mould, and if you ask me, that takes some balls and a ton of talent.

    Heck, he propsed the idea of a monstrous brass and glass tower in place of a traditional castle at Disneyland Paris... that's basically telling the boss men that you think the centrepeice and historic icon of the parks is tired and needs modernising.

    While he didn't convince anyone about that particular project, he did get put in charge of the Space Mountain project, and the success in that one pretty much saved the Paris resort!

    If anything, Imagineering could do with more people like Tim Delaney. People who really want to explore new ideas.



    I would also like to point out that he was possibly stung by budget cuts throughout the California Adventure project, smashing once great ideas of his into diluted forms. Even if he could see the flaws and was displeased with the final outcome himself, he's hardly likely to admit in an interview!
    Marketing were probably talking through him the whole time.

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    Re: Interview with Tim Delaney

    Quote Originally Posted by Unimagineer View Post
    While I respect that you've picked through his press stuff with considerably valuable points (Its nice to see the effort made to justify why you thought it was amusing, instead of the usual Internet "lol he sucks"), I'm actually really saddened by how much of the blame is getting dumped on this insanely talented man.
    Assuming that you're talking to me...please forgive me if that's how my post came across. I didn't intend it that way at all. DCA's problems are far too complex and corporate to be attributed to any one individual, and I'm sure that in some ways, Mr. Delaney's efforts improved the park over what it otherwise would have been. I won't pretend to know much about the guy, but if he was the brain behind DLP's Space Mountain, he certainly isn't brainless. But I definitely disagree with some of the choices he made and defended on this particular project, and some of the quotes in that article were just too pricelessly...DCA-ish for me to ignore.


  10. #10

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    Re: Interview with Tim Delaney

    I'm sure he's very talented in many ways, and I appreciate someone willing to take risk, but he was just way off on this. When someone brags about how in touch they are with the customer and the results show that he was dramatically wrong about how people would react to virtually everything he said, you have to ackowledge that he's lost touch with the average guest. Look, they've decided to rip out everything the guy supervised, the results speak for themselves. Most of us would get fired for wasting thousands, but he can waste millions and that's ok, because he's a risk taker. It's pretty easy to take risks with other people's money, believe me.
    The Mickey audience is not made up of people; it has no racial, national, political, religious or social differences or affiliations; the Mickey audience is made up of parts of people, of that deathless, precious, ageless, absolutely primitive remnant of something in every world-wracked human being which makes us play with children’s toys and laugh without self-consciousness at silly things, and sing in bathtubs, and dream and believe that our babies are uniquely beautiful. You know…the Mickey in us.
    -Walt Disney

  11. #11

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    Re: Interview with Tim Delaney

    Quote Originally Posted by Unimagineer View Post
    While I respect that you've picked through his press stuff with considerably valuable points (Its nice to see the effort made to justify why you thought it was amusing, instead of the usual Internet "lol he sucks"), I'm actually really saddened by how much of the blame is getting dumped on this insanely talented man.

    Tim Delaney is not just another Imagineer. He's one of the risk-takers.
    The sort who takes a crowbar to the train of thought to derail it out of the comfort zone and into new and unexpected areas.

    Anyone who's seen the man's illustrations can see just how damn hard he tries to break the mould, and if you ask me, that takes some balls and a ton of talent.

    Heck, he propsed the idea of a monstrous brass and glass tower in place of a traditional castle at Disneyland Paris... that's basically telling the boss men that you think the centrepeice and historic icon of the parks is tired and needs modernising.

    While he didn't convince anyone about that particular project, he did get put in charge of the Space Mountain project, and the success in that one pretty much saved the Paris resort!

    If anything, Imagineering could do with more people like Tim Delaney. People who really want to explore new ideas.



    I would also like to point out that he was possibly stung by budget cuts throughout the California Adventure project, smashing once great ideas of his into diluted forms. Even if he could see the flaws and was displeased with the final outcome himself, he's hardly likely to admit in an interview!
    Marketing were probably talking through him the whole time.
    There's a difference between taking risks and not getting it.

    Tim Delaney's explaination and justification for DCA shows he probably doesn't get it. His idea to replace a Magic Kingdom's traditional Castle with a brass and glass tower shows that he probably doesn't get it.

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    Re: Interview with Tim Delaney

    This has all the hallmarks of somebody desperately trying to convince himself of something...either that or he's just delusional.

  13. #13

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    Re: Interview with Tim Delaney

    I agree Robert, it does seem like he's trying to convince himself about some of it, and on some it just seems like he genuinely thought he was right, and doesn't get it, as they say. Some things I agreed with him in an abstract sense, but as I always say, the execution failed. Sure some of that may have been budget cuts, but that's also a fairly weak excuse.

    I do however appreciate the attempt at making DCA something different, and I'd love to see a real Disney theme park that was slightly skewed to an older audience. To bad DCA was geared to an older audience, but it was a amusement park, not a Disney theme park. Hopefully in a few years it will be worthy of being called a Disney theme park.
    The Mickey audience is not made up of people; it has no racial, national, political, religious or social differences or affiliations; the Mickey audience is made up of parts of people, of that deathless, precious, ageless, absolutely primitive remnant of something in every world-wracked human being which makes us play with children’s toys and laugh without self-consciousness at silly things, and sing in bathtubs, and dream and believe that our babies are uniquely beautiful. You know…the Mickey in us.
    -Walt Disney

  14. #14

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    Re: Interview with Tim Delaney

    I've grown tired of simply blaming a poor budget for the mistakes that Imagineers made when initially creating DCA. Even in the "blue sky" renderings adorned all over the Paradise Pier Hotel, the design were tacky and bland. From the conceptual stages this land along with Sunshine Plaza was created on the cheap.

    Paul Pressler may have signed the checks, but I didn't see his name anywhere on the artwork.

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    Re: Interview with Tim Delaney

    Quote Originally Posted by manifest View Post
    I've grown tired of simply blaming a poor budget for the mistakes that Imagineers made when initially creating DCA. Even in the "blue sky" renderings adorned all over the Paradise Pier Hotel, the design were tacky and bland. From the conceptual stages this land along with Sunshine Plaza was created on the cheap.

    Paul Pressler may have signed the checks, but I didn't see his name anywhere on the artwork.

    A poor budget was just a part of the downfall of DCA. The significant part was the "creative" executives running the project. Even with some talented people working on the park, the overall creative decisions were dictated by those upper management that had no real creative inspiration.

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