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  1. #76

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    Re: Walt Disney; Paradise Pier; & The Circle of Life

    There's a ton of back and forth bickering on this topic, and both sides have valid points..but really when you get down to it Walt Disney would NOT have made a seaside amusement pier on the cheap. For those of you who are unfamiliar with the story behind Disneyland. Walt was watching his little girls playing at a pier like Paradise Pier, and as he watched them riding the merry go round he thought of how dirty, unappealing, and poorly ran these piers where. Which gave him an idea, an idea of a clean, well kept, theme park where families could enjoy the attractions all together..this idea eventually grew under Walt and his first imagineer's imaginations to become Disneyland. In fact when Walt first brought the idea to his wife Lillian she asked him "really Walt, why do you want to build one of those, they're dirty, broken down, and dangerous" to which Walt replied: "but you don't understand....my park won't be any of those"

    So when back in 1999 or so they were announcing Disneyland's second gate I was heartbroken to hear that one of the "lands" planned was a seaside amusement pier. As this was totally against the origins of Disneyland. For the longest time I refused to visit DCA because of this. In recent years they've turned it around a bit. And I've ventured into DCA more. I enjoy alot it has to offer, Hollywood Pictures Backlot, Condor Flats, A Bug's Land, and even Redwook Creek, but there's one land that still bothers me.


    Paradise Pier. It seems very dissrespectful to Walt and the generations of Imagineers who worked years and years to perfect Disneyland

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  2. #77

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    Re: Walt Disney; Paradise Pier; & The Circle of Life

    ^^^We're not discussing Walt building it on the cheap. It's more what could've been done to not build it on the cheap. The discussion evolved into what it is now, but I'm enjoying the discussion.

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    Re: Walt Disney; Paradise Pier; & The Circle of Life

    Quote Originally Posted by HMF View Post
    1. the Andys room backstory really only applies to the Disneys Hollywood Studios version.
    Not so. It's right there in the exit. And in any case, we're still dealing with toys that are the same size as us...but that's not part of Paradise Pier's theme. Everything else is relatively realistic.

    2.I think they are trying to not focus on the California theme. It is after all one of the reasons the park failed in the first place.
    No - their interpretation of the California theme and their ridiculously low budget were what caused the park to fail. A park that masterfully celebrated the past, present, and future of California - with a few purely fantastic elements thrown in - would have succeeded if enough money were invested in it.

    Quote Originally Posted by dizzneeland View Post
    With the complaints about not enough 'Disney' rides at DCA, and PP gets a major E ticket and a D ticket, and the response is, 'I don't like where they're putting it. A boardwalk wouldn't have a mermaid. There's no toys working as barkers on midways.' To be honest I've never seen a huge water show at a pier, but I guess everyone just overlooks that. The additions to PP are more thematically correct then Nemo and Buzz, which is why I brought those comparisons up.
    But again, you're pointing out really bad mistakes Disney has made and telling us that upcoming mistakes are acceptable just because the quality level of the execution will be higher. You can't justify mistakes by other mistakes.

    If there are a couple 'out of place' attractions, then lets hope they're immersive in themselves and at the least have the facades match the surrounding area.
    Those are great attributes, sure. But each new attraction is an investment. It costs money to build, and money to eventually replace. That means you need to do it RIGHT if at all possible. TSMM is gonna be around for a while. So will TLM. And they are flawed. Better than what we've been getting, but flawed. And they don't need to be.


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    Re: Walt Disney; Paradise Pier; & The Circle of Life

    Quote Originally Posted by Datameister View Post
    Not so. It's right there in the exit. And in any case, we're still dealing with toys that are the same size as us...but that's not part of Paradise Pier's theme. Everything else is relatively realistic.



    No - their interpretation of the California theme and their ridiculously low budget were what caused the park to fail. A park that masterfully celebrated the past, present, and future of California - with a few purely fantastic elements thrown in - would have succeeded if enough money were invested in it.



    But again, you're pointing out really bad mistakes Disney has made and telling us that upcoming mistakes are acceptable just because the quality level of the execution will be higher. You can't justify mistakes by other mistakes.
    Whether or not it's a mistake is open to the individual. I don't think TSMM and TLM are mistakes. I think the mistake was not including darkrides in the pier in the first place. Which comes down to the low budget DCA was given initially.


    Those are great attributes, sure. But each new attraction is an investment. It costs money to build, and money to eventually replace. That means you need to do it RIGHT if at all possible. TSMM is gonna be around for a while. So will TLM. And they are flawed. Better than what we've been getting, but flawed. And they don't need to be.
    Flawed in what way?? Convuluted yes, but flawed? I can't say that til I experience them first hand. The way I see it, if TLM and TSMM are flawed, then WoC is too.

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    Re: Walt Disney; Paradise Pier; & The Circle of Life

    Quote Originally Posted by dizzneeland View Post
    Whether or not it's a mistake is open to the individual.
    Certainly. The question is...can you support your opinion?

    I don't think TSMM and TLM are mistakes.
    Why are the concerns I've mentioned not valid?

    I think the mistake was not including darkrides in the pier in the first place. Which comes down to the low budget DCA was given initially.
    But again, to be thematically correct, those dark rides would not be trying to represent real adventures. You'd be riding on a ride that's supposed to feel like a ride. And that is a really depressing direction for a Disney theme park to take.

    Flawed in what way?? Convuluted yes, but flawed?
    "Convoluted" isn't a good thing. Each part of a theme park ought to actively reinforce the theme of the larger unit it's part of, if at all possible. That goes for scenes, whole attractions, even lands. If the connection is a tenuous or convoluted one, it's not the right approach.

    I can't say that til I experience them first hand.
    Not with absolute certainty, no...but the preview center and so forth are there so that you can develop an opinion beforehand.

    The way I see it, if TLM and TSMM are flawed, then WoC is too.
    The whole of Paradise Pier is flawed, through and through, and it probably will be for decades to come. WoC will make no more thematic sense than Fantasmic. By sheer virtue of its amazing execution, it'll mostly be accepted and enjoyed. TLM will probably be the same way, and TSMM seems to be that way already, though I personally have some issues with the execution, too.

    This is a fantasically difficult problem. It's not as if there's an easy solution - Disney dug themselves into a ditch that would be very expensive to climb out of. But instead of directing their money wholeheartedly at climbing out, they're tunneling sideways through the earth and digging a new ditch that's not quite as deep.


  6. #81

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    Re: Walt Disney; Paradise Pier; & The Circle of Life

    There is more than one way to create a Disney attraction and to say that many attractions of the past were all real adventures just simply isn't true and does not need to be so. You can try and wiggle out of it with the same type of semantics that we're using to justify the PP attractions, but that's a fact and there's nothing wrong with it. Everything said negatively about many of the new PP attractions can be said about many other Disney attractions and just because "real" adventures happen to be the type of attraction you enjoy, or see as being the highest form of Disney creativity, still does not mean none of these other types of attractions should exist.

    In reality even the "real adventure" attractions are pretty cartoonish. Pirates, Jungle, HM, and BTMRR are full of animated shorts come to life and Star Wars and Indy are basically comic book characters. This is what Disney does. It's what Walt did his whole career. Disney animation and parks both are full of cartoon characters, usually extremely cartoonish ones that show their emotions through overly expressive rubber-like body movements set it what are usually reality based, but stylized, environments. Walt not only loved to blend film with animated characters but even the early Mickey shorts usually had very nicely and fairly realistically painted backgrounds. It's this sense that magical things can happen in these real world environments is what Disney magic is all about.
    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.
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    Re: Walt Disney; Paradise Pier; & The Circle of Life

    You seem to be missing my point, Uncle Bob. Perhaps I didn't articulate it clearly enough. Let me try again.

    There is not a single attraction in Disneyland that's themed in such a way that it's supposed to seem like a ride at an amusement park. Even the cheapest, most pathetically off-the-shelf attractions there are still pretending to be something other than theme park rides. You're really flying with Dumbo. You're really riding a steam train along the rivers of America, past the Grand Canyon, past the world of the future, and so forth. You're really entering Indiana Jones' real adventures. You're really blasting into space in a rocket. You're really exploring a real haunted house. You're really meeting real cartoons come to life. No matter where you go, you are supposed to be imagining that you are somewhere other than an amusement park.

    Paradise Pier is, by nature, the opposite of this. When you're on a roller coaster, you're supposed to think you're on a roller coaster. When you're in a Little Mermaid dark ride, you're supposed to think you're in a ride on a boardwalk that shows fake figures of Ariel and friends. When you ride a Ferris wheel, you're supposed to think you're on a Ferris wheel. Same goes for Mulholland Madness, same goes for MaliBOOMer, the Orange Stinger, etc.

    In other words, this has nothing to do with how "realistic" the attraction in question is. It's all about what it's trying to do. Is it trying to provide an experience you could have in real life, or is it trying to provide an experience that you really are currently having in real life?

    (The only exception I can think of in Disneyland is the carousel, which is fun enough, but I'd hardly argue that it's thematically appropriate to Fantasyland.)


  8. #83

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    Re: Walt Disney; Paradise Pier; & The Circle of Life

    While I agree to some extent, there are plenty of examples that aren't those types of attractions. For example, the the scale issues of TSMM exist in the Tea Cups and Mr. Toad, there's no explaination of your shrinking. Casey Jr and Storybookland have simmilar but opposite scale issues if you want to look at them as real, I however have always seen them as nothing more than rides, not real adventures. Small World is clearly a ride IMO. And to be honest, seeing any of the classic FL dark rides as anything more than rides really takes a leap of imagination and if you're going to be as rigid with geography as you seem to be with DCA then none of them make sense being next to each other as is with Adventureland as well. Much of Tomorrowland has always been other types of attractions, many times exhibit not adventure based. Capt. EO, Circle Vision, America Sings, COP never pretended to be anything more than shows. All versions of Innoventions and the house of the future, and many of the original displays were just exhibits. Even the PM and Monorail are really more exhibits of future tech than a real adventure.
    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

  9. #84

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    Re: Walt Disney; Paradise Pier; & The Circle of Life

    Quote Originally Posted by dizzneeland View Post
    I don't think TSMM and TLM are mistakes. I think the mistake was not including darkrides in the pier in the first place. Which comes down to the low budget DCA was given initially.

    Would you not say that building Paradise Pier in the first place was a mistake?


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    Re: Walt Disney; Paradise Pier; & The Circle of Life

    Quote Originally Posted by Uncle Bob View Post
    While I agree to some extent, there are plenty of examples that aren't those types of attractions. For example, the the scale issues of TSMM exist in the Tea Cups and Mr. Toad, there's no explaination of your shrinking.
    But you're supposed to be in a Fantasyland where stuff like that happens. It's a bit of a stretch - and by no means my favorite part of the park! - but it works. And again...you're not supposed to just be on a ride.

    Casey Jr and Storybookland have simmilar but opposite scale issues if you want to look at them as real, I however have always seen them as nothing more than rides, not real adventures.
    I can honestly say I've never been on either and have little interest in them, though I've seen videos. They're kind of a gray area, and not one I really support.

    Small World is clearly a ride IMO.
    One of several big problems I have with it.

    And to be honest, seeing any of the classic FL dark rides as anything more than rides really takes a leap of imagination
    But they try, and for little kids, they succeed. Old folks won't be fooled, but the style of storytelling is engaging enough for some of them to be drawn into it, too. These attractions are 100% pretending to be real adventures, not theme park rides.

    if you're going to be as rigid with geography as you seem to be with DCA then none of them make sense being next to each other as is with Adventureland as well.
    This topic always gets brought up in discussions of thematic geography, and the comparison is quite simply incorrect. Fantasyland and Adventureland make no claim to represent a single geographic location. They are pastiches of many different areas that share enough similarities in their aesthetics and in their purposes that they can work together to form a unified whole. If Fantasyland was called Londonland or Franceland or Switzer Land or something, yeah, I'd be annoyed! Just like I'd be annoyed if Adventureland was called Indialand or Africaland or Polynesialand or something. If you're gonna explicitly make a theme that's geographically explicit, you follow it. California Adventure is quite clearly supposed to be about California - that's what the name says, that's what the dedication says, and that's what most of the original park tried so feebly to be.

    In other words, I am fine with any level of geographic specificity or vagueness as long as there is a cohesion to the way it feels and as long as the attraction/land/park does exactly what it sets out to do.

    Capt. EO, Circle Vision, America Sings, COP never pretended to be anything more than shows.
    So, while watching Captain EO, you were supposed to think of yourself as sitting in a modern-day theater with 3D glasses? In America Sings, you were supposed to be watching a bunch of fake, mechanical animals lip-syncing to pre-recorded music? In the Carousel of Progress, you were supposed to be looking at humans made of plastic and metal and wiring and electronics?

    All versions of Innoventions and the house of the future, and many of the original displays were just exhibits.
    Many of those I don't think have any place in a theme park - and most of them were brought about by lack of money and the need for corporate sponsorships. But even so, you were still supposed to be looking at future technology. In the thematic framework of Tomorrowland, it's not an exhibit...it is the future.


  11. #86

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    Re: Walt Disney; Paradise Pier; & The Circle of Life

    Quote Originally Posted by Datameister View Post
    So, while watching Captain EO, you were supposed to think of yourself as sitting in a modern-day theater with 3D glasses? In America Sings, you were supposed to be watching a bunch of fake, mechanical animals lip-syncing to pre-recorded music? In the Carousel of Progress, you were supposed to be looking at humans made of plastic and metal and wiring and electronics?
    No, but you were aware that you were watching a show. For example, America Sings was a show presented by animals, but no doubt it is a show.

    So, going back to PP, TSMM is ride that takes you through a midway. Now, it may fail in getting the average person to suspend disbelieve enough to make them think they are playing midway games, I can't judge it since I haven't rode it, but the parellel to Captain EO, American Sings, and Carousel of Progress is there. The attraction's technology is one thing, what is presented is something else, and I argue in concept meets your criteria of not simply being a ride that is ride (like the roller coaster). Now, that is the only current example in PP and the implementation may be lacking. Also, I can't refute your point about TLM not meeting that theme. However, going back to the orginal question, I think you could have implemented this theme in a way that would have met Disney standards as you defined them. I don't think they did, but you could have done it, especially if it is Californian boardwalks of the past. Also, I don't think that every attraction needed to not be a a ride you knew was a ride to carry off the theme. Although the current implementation is lacking because of this.

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    Re: Walt Disney; Paradise Pier; & The Circle of Life

    I guess at least you're consistent and largely I agree that the more "real" the adventure, generally, the more most people can really connect with the attraction. Still, as others have pointed out, there's nothing wrong with a few of these attractions. Just basing a whole land on this type of attraction, all of which were pretty poorly and cheaply done was the real problem. As much as I can relate to the distaste for copying a lesser form of theme park, which obviously, it in some ways is, I still think it's inherantly tied to California culture and lifestyle in a way that makes it work for this park if it's executed correctly.

    I also just think we see the name differently, being named California to me can be taken more than one way, and if we take it as an idea rather than the geographic place I see little difference from FL and AL. California can be just as much of an idea as those places if you look at it that way. In the end I think it's funny that we always argue over this though because in reality there's very little difference in how we'd actually approach most projects. I too prefer the real adventure types of attractions and there would be more of that if I were in charge of DCA certainly, but I think there is room for the less than perfectly themed attractions, because it provides a variety of types of entertainment that a theme park also needs. Maybe the park should be renamed if so many people feel that if California is in the name it means the whole park needs to be that rigidly tied to the geography. If that's really the problem, then they should just change the name. But whatever the name becomes, I still think the name needs some connection to the idea of California.
    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

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    Re: Walt Disney; Paradise Pier; & The Circle of Life

    Quote Originally Posted by Uncle Bob View Post
    I guess at least you're consistent and largely I agree that the more "real" the adventure, generally, the more most people can really connect with the attraction.
    I'm glad we agree on that.

    As much as I can relate to the distaste for copying a lesser form of theme park, which obviously, it in some ways is, I still think it's inherantly tied to California culture and lifestyle in a way that makes it work for this park if it's executed correctly.
    But there are many other viable options for California that were not explored, ones that would have had a lot more...integrity to them.

    I also just think we see the name differently, being named California to me can be taken more than one way, and if we take it as an idea rather than the geographic place I see little difference from FL and AL. California can be just as much of an idea as those places if you look at it that way.
    But California is not an idea. California is a place with many ideas associated with it. You can't celebrate the California by exploring similar ideas expressed in other parts of the world. Then you're celebrating other parts of the world that happen to have some similarities to California!

    Maybe the park should be renamed if so many people feel that if California is in the name it means the whole park needs to be that rigidly tied to the geography. If that's really the problem, then they should just change the name. But whatever the name becomes, I still think the name needs some connection to the idea of California.
    But again...what name could possible explain the weird mishmash we'll be seeing in a few short years? There is no name that clearly and concisely and sensibly express the idea that it's a park about California, bugs, anthropomorphized cars in Arizona, Danish mermaids, toys, and vintage animated Disney characters? A name should be a clear expression of identity, especially if it's a new name. You don't change it to something else unless you've got a real good reason for it.


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    Re: Walt Disney; Paradise Pier; & The Circle of Life

    Why can't Paradise Pier recreate rides as rides? If there's still imagination to them than there is absolutely no problem. For instance, if they added a show scene on California Screamin' where you see the sea horizon or some plot point is put in...you could still be "on a roller coaster" but it would be a "Disney Adventure". Granted that's not what they're doing... but I don't have a problem with what they have planned. It only seems below standards once you get all technical.

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    Re: Walt Disney; Paradise Pier; & The Circle of Life

    Quote Originally Posted by pianoman13 View Post
    Why can't Paradise Pier recreate rides as rides?
    Because there's not much that's romantic about an industrial facility that churns as many people through per hour as possible, feeding them carefully designed doses of emotions and thrills. The point of an attraction is to "be" somewhere other than that attraction. That's how the magic happens.

    For instance, if they added a show scene on California Screamin' where you see the sea horizon or some plot point is put in...you could still be "on a roller coaster" but it would be a "Disney Adventure".
    No...that'd be an experience you could easily get by going to a real seaside amusement park, such as the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk. They're less numerous than they once were, but they exist. And they're the genuine article. I'm not a fan of them, but at least they're authentic.

    It would be "Disney Adventure," as you put it, if the roller coaster developed a mind of its own and decided to take you underwater, or if something went horribly wrong (never fails! ) and you had to take a detour through an area of the pier under construction, or if it were a roller coaster on another planet, or if it somehow raced through scenes that established an environment other than an amusement park. But none of those things would work in the context of a land that's themed to be nothing more than a run-of-the-mill pier, minus the authenticity and the beach. And more to the point, none of them would serve to honor California.

    It only seems below standards once you get all technical.
    In the words of a friend of mine who'd never been to Disneyland before, upon seeing the top of Paradise Pier above the roof of the hotel he was staying in, before entering Disneyland itself and having a fantastic time:

    "Why does Disneyland look so un-magical?"

    And that about sums up what DCA means to the "average guest." No technicalities are required for one to realize that the plot of land occupied by Paradise Pier had SO much more potential.
    Last edited by Datameister; 04-09-2009 at 11:08 PM.


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