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    In Defense of Pirate's Lair on Tom Sawyer Island

    Simply put.....I go over to the island more than I ever did when it was themed to plain old Tom Sawyer and Huck and their adventures. I liked the old cave system, but there was hardly anything to look at for a person over say, 10. I can appreciate from a distance, the benefits of having a secluded place to go and relax without the pressure of waiting in a queue or the like, and just have a relaxing area of the park is good.

    However.....I find now, there is more to look at on the island. When the Bootstrappers were still performing there and not on the mainland, I could spend a good hour and half watching their set, then walking through the cave system and soaking up the atmosphere. I count the additions of the peek-in windows, the animatronic pirate and the design and ambiance of the new cave a distinct advantage over the old island, which had a simple but admittedly spooky sound effect/area in the final resting place of Injun Joe. And those elements wouldn't have been introduced to the island without the pirate overlay, which directly relates to the popularity of the films.

    I can appreciate certainly, those who miss the simpler days of the Mark Twain theme, and they are classic literature which should still be taught, and read....the books are still a fun read and very sociologically interesting. Simple facts are though...kids these days know about the adventures of pirates and Captain Sparrow more than they do of Aunt Polly and Huck. This isn't good, or bad in my opinion...but it's true.

    I am far from saying...hey, just because a movie makes a boatload of money, it makes slapping it on everything alright! But Pirate's Lair works for me, thematically. If you see it from mainland Frontierland...it looks like a wooded island with a old mill on it. You board the raft to get there in between Pirates of the Carribean and the Haunted Mansion. It may be officially listed as being in Frontierland, but if you see it from Frontierland, it looks fine. You get there from a raft launch inside New Orleans Square. In the early days, the island was crawling with actors depicting pirates, very good in character and interacting with everyone, kids and adults. And better still.....they may sell it on the mainland, but not one piece of cheap Pirates merchandise was to be found on the island itself for sale.

    So in the end, what you got was a island that was still a relaxing escape from the main park, with meandering trails and scenery, and added top-notch effects and a new themed walk through experience, with very good live performers. I am all for that, regardless of what it replaced.

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    Re: In Defense of Pirate's Lair on Tom Sawyer Island

    Due to its position with regards to Frontierland and New Orleans Square, the general theming of Pirate's Lair works for me as well, but I cannot put up with all the Pirates of the Caribbean references. They all feel waaay out of place and don't really add anything to the island.

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    Re: In Defense of Pirate's Lair on Tom Sawyer Island

    Uh-oh.

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    Re: In Defense of Pirate's Lair on Tom Sawyer Island

    Quote Originally Posted by Legacy View Post
    Due to its position with regards to Frontierland and New Orleans Square, the general theming of Pirate's Lair works for me as well, but I cannot put up with all the Pirates of the Caribbean references. They all feel waaay out of place and don't really add anything to the island.
    Fine by me....I don't decree, everyone must love new island or else! Personally, the effects and way it is integrated works better for me than the way they handled the ride overlay itself....there is no one yelling the name Jack Sparrow at you, for instance. If you were to casually walk the island, today, you'd see...signage! About Pirates! If you went into the cave system, there are cursed pirates in there. And that works, thematically, for me. You are on a island you got to by boarding a raft marked clearly, Pirates Lair, departing from a land known for housing a attraction featuring pirates. I certainly respect your view of the added elements being out of place, but I respectfully disagree.

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    Re: In Defense of Pirate's Lair on Tom Sawyer Island

    Quote Originally Posted by fo'c's'le swab View Post
    Uh-oh.
    Heh yes....time to batten down the hatches and await the storm, says I.

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    Re: In Defense of Pirate's Lair on Tom Sawyer Island

    The simple fact is...even as a kid I had no clue who Tom Sawyer was, so you're argument that kids today don't know about him is sort of irrelevant.

    The theme has absolutely NOTHING to do with Frontierland OR New Orleans Square--both of which are set thematically in the mid-1800s. New Orleans Square is set in the 1860s, a century and a half after the great age of pirates (present day Somali escapades notwithstanding).

    It's a true, utter, savage failure of both theme and imagination, and should be sent into the briny deep as soon as the watch changes.

    NOTE--I said nothing of the quality of the entertainments there--which is a discussion for another thread.

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    Re: In Defense of Pirate's Lair on Tom Sawyer Island

    The quality of the execution is hardly being challenged. Even Steve - one of our biggest PLOTSI-haters - has not been shy to admit that the quality of the workmanship is excellent, if I remember correctly. It truly is an entertaining product. But thematically...he and the others do have a point. It does not reinforce the Old West theme of Frontierland.

    But I'm gonna be so bold as to say that Tom Sawyer Island didn't, either. The setting was Missouri, a far cry from the west coast setting of Frontierland. It only worked insofar as the fact that it was an island in the Mississippi River, which also passed New Orleans, which happens to be the theme of an adjacent land. It was a stretch, to say the least.

    Past mistakes don't justify mistakes in the present, but it's important to keep this in mind. Granted, TSI felt more like Frontierland than PLOTSI does, but if we approach things objectively, the fit isn't much better. And because PLOTSI can be interpreted as an imagined pirates' lair on the same island, just like the one Tom and friends enjoy in the book, it could even be argued that they're technically equally thematically valid.

    [EDIT: Note that I'm not trying to say that a theme must necessarily correspond to a single geographical area. Adventureland is a great example of a pastiche of many different regions, and it works. But Frontierland is supposed to be about the Old West, to my understanding, and the South doesn't quite fit the bill.]


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    Re: In Defense of Pirate's Lair on Tom Sawyer Island

    Well, the Captain Jack Sparrow show on the island has been gone for a while. That was part of the addition, that is no longer. There was a meet and greet area for him too, and I don't suppose they are using that anymore.

    The bootstrappers were ok for a short stay by Cafe Orleans, and they did develope some fans. They were ok for a year, but they overstayed their welcome.

    The rest of the island additions were good and enhanced your stay, with one exception. WHY the cannibal bone cage?!?!?!? This is Pirates Lair on TS Island, NOT CANNIBAL Island!!!

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    Re: In Defense of Pirate's Lair on Tom Sawyer Island

    Quote Originally Posted by Steve DeGaetano View Post
    The simple fact is...even as a kid I had no clue who Tom Sawyer was, so you're argument that kids today don't know about him is sort of irrelevant.

    The theme has absolutely NOTHING to do with Frontierland OR New Orleans Square--both of which are set thematically in the mid-1800s. New Orleans Square is set in the 1860s, a century and a half after the great age of pirates (present day Somali escapades notwithstanding).

    It's a true, utter, savage failure of both theme and imagination, and should be sent into the briny deep as soon as the watch changes.

    NOTE--I said nothing of the quality of the entertainments there--which is a discussion for another thread.
    I agree with the general theme timeframe of New Orleans Square. However....and this is a big however....you start out on Pirates, the ride, in period New Orleans presumably...with the manor house and the bayou. Then you travel back via 'magic'/unexplained force to the heyday of pirate activity. And this was a ride Walt Disney himself had input on, with a transition from one theme period to another with no explanation save for a couple of dark tunnels and waterfalls. And it works beautifully.

    Granted, the transition to the island is less successfully executed. But it takes place in a land where you already have a pirate attraction that takes you from one place and time entirely to a totally different one without reason. I don't mind personally how you get there, and once on the island..there's nothing there that specifically dates it, anymore, or states the date or time period is the same as New Orleans Square or Frontierland. It's a seperate attraction, just like you don't expect the Matterhorn and Alice in Wonderland to be the same setting and time period, even though they are right next to each other.

    Tom Sawyer Island started out as being roughly themed to the same timeframe as Frontierland, but even that doesn't hold up so well..the books were written about the southern states, when Frontierland was a exploration of the settling and early days of the American West. That's two totally different locations. Now, it's a different theme entirely...a seperate attraction that never claims, hey, it's the same time period or locale as the surrounding areas.

    I respect the idea that the theme issues are seperate from the quality of actual attractions on the island, I am merely saying for me personally, the theme doesn't bother or distract me, and I don't think it's a terrible atrocity. Thank you for your response, Steve, and regardless of my thoughts, I do appreciate your opinion on the matter.

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    Re: In Defense of Pirate's Lair on Tom Sawyer Island

    Quote Originally Posted by Steve DeGaetano View Post
    The simple fact is...even as a kid I had no clue who Tom Sawyer was, so you're argument that kids today don't know about him is sort of irrelevant.

    The theme has absolutely NOTHING to do with Frontierland OR New Orleans Square--both of which are set thematically in the mid-1800s. New Orleans Square is set in the 1860s, a century and a half after the great age of pirates (present day Somali escapades notwithstanding).

    It's a true, utter, savage failure of both theme and imagination, and should be sent into the briny deep as soon as the watch changes.

    NOTE--I said nothing of the quality of the entertainments there--which is a discussion for another thread.
    I have a bit of a challenge to this... The exterior of the island is a fort, rock formations, and various shipwrecks... Given that, if the entertainment is not walking around, how can it be claimed "out of theme" when the wreck and rocks fit 1800's (fort construction doesn't fit either time period sadly!) Just a thought...

    I like how the Mark Twain has blended this thought in it's spiel by referring to Tom and Huck as "playing in the wrecks pretending to be pirates" because I can see them doing that.
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    Re: In Defense of Pirate's Lair on Tom Sawyer Island

    Quote Originally Posted by Datameister View Post
    The quality of the execution is hardly being challenged. Even Steve - one of our biggest PLOTSI-haters - has not been shy to admit that the quality of the workmanship is excellent, if I remember correctly. It truly is an entertaining product. But thematically...he and the others do have a point. It does not reinforce the Old West theme of Frontierland.

    But I'm gonna be so bold as to say that Tom Sawyer Island didn't, either. The setting was Missouri, a far cry from the west coast setting of Frontierland. It only worked insofar as the fact that it was an island in the Mississippi River, which also passed New Orleans, which happens to be the theme of an adjacent land. It was a stretch, to say the least.

    But Frontierland is supposed to be about the Old West, to my understanding, and the South doesn't quite fit the bill.]
    These are excellent thoughts, and we had them roughly at the same time heh...see my response to Steve's post for the full response, but basically, yes...the old TSI when it was considered part of Frontierland was rather a thematic shoehorn in as well, seeing as it and the stories it depicted never represented the American West.

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    Re: In Defense of Pirate's Lair on Tom Sawyer Island

    Quote Originally Posted by Datameister View Post
    The quality of the execution is hardly being challenged. Even Steve - one of our biggest PLOTSI-haters - has not been shy to admit that the quality of the workmanship is excellent, if I remember correctly.
    You remember correctly. Some of the effects are astounding. The interactive adventures are fun, even for me.

    Quote Originally Posted by Datameister View Post
    But I'm gonna be so bold as to say that Tom Sawyer Island didn't, either. The setting was Missouri, a far cry from the west coast setting of Frontierland.
    You forget your American Literature, dear sir.

    Missouri in the 1830s - 40s (the time period of Tom Sawyer/Huck Finn, as noted by Twain in his introduction to Tom Sawyer) WAS the frontier, plain and simple. Besides, Frontierland was meant to encapsulate a broad swath of the Frontier period--not just the old west. Frontierland was meant to evoke Colonial America through the conquering of the American West and Southwest.

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    Re: In Defense of Pirate's Lair on Tom Sawyer Island

    Quote Originally Posted by darkfairycthulu View Post
    the old TSI when it was considered part of Frontierland was rather a thematic shoehorn in as well, seeing as it and the stories it depicted never represented the American West.
    Again, this is a complete mis-understanding of what Frontierland *was* all about. It was NEVER "Westernland."

    Missouri in the period depicted WAS the frontier of American civilization.

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    Re: In Defense of Pirate's Lair on Tom Sawyer Island

    Quote Originally Posted by Aladdin View Post
    Well, the Captain Jack Sparrow show on the island has been gone for a while. That was part of the addition, that is no longer. There was a meet and greet area for him too, and I don't suppose they are using that anymore.

    The bootstrappers were ok for a short stay by Cafe Orleans, and they did develope some fans. They were ok for a year, but they overstayed their welcome.

    The rest of the island additions were good and enhanced your stay, with one exception. WHY the cannibal bone cage?!?!?!? This is Pirates Lair on TS Island, NOT CANNIBAL Island!!!
    The Captain Sparrow show, while personally annoying to me, wasn't ongoing every hour of every day. It wasn't the equal of how often his name is shouted during the revamped ride, as if to beat you over the head with it. It would be similar if they said Captain Jack Sparrow every other sentence in the walk through portion, which they do not. At the island opening, he was a aspect of the theme, along with Will Turner, the Bootstrappers, Davy Jones, the shipwrecks, treasure, and skeletons.

    Your opinion is welcome, of course, and some people may not like the Bootstrappers for an extended run. I like sea chanteys personally and always enjoy seeing them, I think they should stick around. Merely differing opinions. As for the bone cage..it seems to me, the theme is a island the pirates happened upon and stowed treasure there, leaving things behind. Maybe some pirate brought the cage with them for some loopy pirate reason, or it got washed up from one of the shipwrecks.

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    Re: In Defense of Pirate's Lair on Tom Sawyer Island

    The Pirates overlay is much more entertaining that what was there before and the PotC movie angle has been diminished significantly over time.
    Thematically Tom and Huck didn't really make much sense either in Frontierland as Data points out above. As a fait accompli, they might as well tie the island into the ride as a part of NOS, and ditch any reference to Tom and Huck, and Frontierland.

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