Why can't he speak from a realistic business standpoint? I thought this was a DISCUSSION BOARD.
Thanks for posting the exerpts, MasterGracey. Very interesting read. I remember reading about the announcement of Paris as well and was kind of perplexed as to why he chose there.
To add insult to injury, they wanted to give people more incentive to come, so they add: A CRAPPY 2ND GATE!
IMO, it can certainly be argued that some of the attractions of Walt's time had carnival elements to them, but the way he implemented them into the overall story that was his park was very different than other amusement parks/carnivals. He did so in a fantasy-based way that was innovative. There was a special connection the guest already had with the attraction because they knew of its tie-in to something deeper (whether it was tied in to one of his movies, or TV shows, or American history, or whatever). It wasn't just a "ride" to get a little thrill from for a few seconds.
For me the attractions at Paradise Pier are actually "rides." They do have a tie in to California themes, but it's a tie in to a part of Californi"ana" that was about the boardwalk amusement parks.
And for me, amusement parks on a pier are not Disneyland. I don't think that was something that Disneyland was ever intended to be. Hence, for me, there is a disconnect on those rides that there isn't on the attractions in Disneyland, where I become more involved in a richer fantasy world.
There's a reason that 9 times out of 10 I choose the Disneyland entrance over the DCA entrance. Disneyland, for me, is an experience. It is an adventure.
IMO, DCA is more like an amusement park with a more generic-driven theme.
DCA will certainly always have a higher quality stamp than other amusement parks, because it is Disney.
That doesn't change the fact though that I like the "feel" I get from Disneyland more.
Great post. That's exactly it. Disneyland has an experience that is unique... an experience that one can only get at Disneyland. You cannot go to Knott's, Universal, Six Flags, or Sea World for it.
Going to DCA, there was a common argument from everyone: "this place feels like Six Flags Universal Berry Farm."
That's not a feeling you want people to feel in a Disney park. In time, this will definitely change but it's just an unfortunate way to open a park that could have been a grand slam right away.
I feel like the point of the OP is being somewhat ignored and this thread has devolved into the same old bashing of the mistakes of the past. Obviously there were many mistakes made with DCA and Paris as well. That has nothing to do with whether or not it is possible for WDI to take a land that has put a bad taste in many fan's mouths and transform it into something that will be evocotive, beautiful and feel like a Disney quality place. I strongly believe that it can be achieved and that the direction that WDI seems to be taking is a very strong one and right for the feel that they are trying to achieve for the new direction of the entire park.
Clearly the only mistakes made with DCA were not just the lack of characters, that is the most ridiculous oversimplification of a very complex and multi-part problems that DCA has and thus why we see many millions of dollars making fundamental thematic changes to large portions of the park. Still, I feel that many of the arguements against what PP and DCA could be always tend to focus on the past rather than the future. I feel like most people who are the most vocal critics of PP with the exception of a small few begrudgingly admit that they like the new direction for PP. I completely agree with the idea that a Disney park should not look like a modern day amusement park, parts of DCA do and it was a huge mistake. The perception problems for the park that this caused were huge and it defintely became a glaring east target for the fan community. Still, I think that the concept is valid for the park if it's handled properly. I agree with the OP, something amazing could potentially come out of taking an old concept and actually doing something new and creative with it.
True. Taking PP into the Victorian age is definitely the right direction for salvaging a bad idea and taking it into 'acceptable, we'll have to live with that".
I attended an Imagineering breakdown of what was coming to DCA and both Marty Sklar and Bob Weiss admitted the problems of DCA into a slide show. One of the main problems that they are trying to address is to stay away from how "modern" the park was. Concrete everywhere was a sign of the modern age so that is definitely going away.
I think PP can be very nice when they're all done with it. Especially when the Orange is finally gone. Still not a fan of the Golden Zephyr, Jumpin Jellyfish, etc.. the area nearest to Little Mermaid. I just think the land is possibly too large. One side of the bay is more than enough.
I believe the best way to improve the carnival rides of PP is to make the environment of PP a special place to be. I think the problem is not the rides themselves, but that the experience while of the rides does not currently take us to a magical, romanticised version of a seaside pier that could never quite have existed, but feels like a real place. If the rides and their surroundings convincingly transoport us to this version of Paradise Pier, then it will become a Disney experience. The only real problem beyond that is one of perception amongst some fans that feel that any representation of anything that might remind them of an amusement park should never be part of a Disney park. I really think those are a small minority who mostly will come around if Disney really gives WDI the freedom and financing to do their best work and PP becomes whay I believe it can be. Unfortunately it will be many years until the land reaches its full potential.
In regard to expanding PP all the way around the bay I have mixed feeling about it. In some ways I think that it's a good idea because one of the other big problems of DCA is the lack of separation between lands and visual intrusuion between thematic areas. This is one step in what seems to be an overall plan to reshape the park into new bigger more thematically cohesive lands with better overall organizing principles and from they have to work with and what is worth keeping in the park this seems like a smart plan. I do like the idea that it seems like they are going with to have big lands PP to celebrate the ocean, CL to celebrate the desert, and Grizzly Peak and CF combined into a large land based on the mountiains. To me, with the notable exception of the entire Bugs area, this is a plan that I believe will feel right and accomplish the thematic goals that they want to achieve. I also think that the best way to finish this project would be to just completely remove all of BL and put a Bay area of the late 1800's with a barbary coast and China Town in the remaining parking lot. Then we'd have all of the urban parts of the park together with representations of Hollywood, LA, SF, Napa and Monterey all connected then with the three big lands dedicated to the natural parts of the state all around. I have my doubts that they'd do this but I really think it would be smart if they did and give a much more cohesive experience to the park.
On the other hand, I do think there are some other themes, most importantly the Bay Area, but others too that still could be explored in the park and I think they could have made, and actually still could, retheme the North and West part of the bay into a new land too. In some ways all of the plans for this area to me seem somewhat to be placeholders and Mermaid is being given a facade that would easily still let them go back to more of a Bay Area theme for this area. Or they may still retheme the Wharf area into more of a Bay area feel possibly also, but the SF influence in that area of PP is remaining to some extent and they've definitely left a few options for the future. It seems to me that will help transition between thematic areas much better matter which of these directions they chose to go. In the end I'm not really opposed to making the whole area PP or going a different direction, as long as they make the areas work together.
In regards to how encompassing Paradise Pier is, I always liked that if you were on one side of the bay, you got to see the iconic view of Paradise Pier with the coaster and Sun Wheel.
I thought that if you're standing by the Sun Wheel, your view across the bay should be of another land entirely. This separation would just really add to the overall atmosphere of being able to look off in the distance and see something different, to have the feeling that where you are is far away.
And besides, the Little Mermaid attraction is in an odd location, honestly... you're gonna have San Francisco bathrooms to the right, Grand Californian Hotel directly behind it with a prominent view of Grizzly Peak.
Again, the problem is a lack of understading of the product Disney is selling. Pressler didn't get it when he slashed the budgets for DCA and thought the Disney name alone would sell the park. And Liver doesn't seem to get it when he continues to endorse Pressler and his business practices.