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  1. #1

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    Walt Disney; Paradise Pier; & The Circle of Life

    Hello all,

    So I've been reading the DCA Tracker thread and some of the comments about Walt Disney not approving of the 'idea of' Paradise Pier(Ferris Wheel, Carnny games, etc). It made me think: When Walt built Disneyland, nothing like it existed. These days theme parks are common place in vacation planning, and Disneyland is part of public concious whether or not the individual has actually stepped foot on property.

    Basically, a lot has changed in the theme park world since then. We now have SeaWorld, Busch Gardens, Universal. So to me it actually makes since for Disney to pull the rug out from everyone and go back to the basics that intially gave Walt the inspiration to create the theme park. And reinvent what may not conceivably work to those that don't normally picture Ferris Wheels and carrny games when they think of Disney.

    I see it as in the same vein of Disney Studios calling Disneyland 'Walt's Folly' but since it was done right, the audience caught on and continued to come back to see Walt's Folly again and again and that opened the Studio's eyes, making believers out of them.

    Now, I will agree the original execution of DCA was very sub-par when placed within stones throw of Disneyland proper. And in the original carnation, there wan't much to base my(this topic's) argument on. And now with the changes and upgrades being made, and the time, sweat, money and man power being invested into improving not only the image but overall quality of DCA, I think Walt would approve of the idea of Paradise Pier. Only he would've done it right the first time....

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

    Sorry, but I strongly disagree. =/ The way to pull out the rug from under the competition is by moving forward in a really amazing way, not by moving backward in a really cost-cutting way.


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

    Quote Originally Posted by Datameister View Post
    Sorry, but I strongly disagree. =/ The way to pull out the rug from under the competition is by moving forward in a really amazing way, not by moving backward in a really cost-cutting way.
    I agree. Pushing the envelope will take things further. Disney needs to be the leader not the follower.

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

    No ferris wheels in Walt's time?!?!?!?!

    The only thing I agree with what you said is this:

    there wan't much to base my(this topic's) argument on

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

    Whew, this thread is gonna get heated I can tell.


    Now that Paradise Pier is built, I can tell you that I honestly had enjoyable times riding the coaster and the Sun Wheel. The views of the Maliboomer ain't bad either.


    But with that said, I really do disagree. There was still plenty of envelope to push, whatever that means. Lands should be built to encourage more creativity, not less.


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

    I also think that if Walt ran the show, it wouldnt take 2 months to paint a circle, considering he built disneyland in a year.

    I know times have changed quite a bit and there are much more steps nowadays but it just seems like the work happens much slower now than what walt would have allowed.

    And he would have most definatly pushed the button if he were involved in the new park. It would be just as good as disneyland, but a whole new experience. I like the idea of bringing back the older Disney feel though, like the silly symphany swings. Actually linking it to Disney

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

    Quote Originally Posted by dizzneeland View Post
    I think Walt would approve of the idea of
    Paradise Pier. Only he would've done it right the first time....
    Of course he would have agreed! Wasn't a carnival area pegged for the original concepts of Disneyland?

    Some people today forget that Walt was about entertaining people, and anything that entertains people certainly has a place inside his park.

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

    Quote Originally Posted by MrLiver View Post
    Of course he would have agreed! Wasn't a carnival area pegged for the original concepts of Disneyland?

    Some people today forget that Walt was about entertaining people, and anything that entertains people certainly has a place inside his park.

    Even porno?


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

    Quote Originally Posted by Coheteboy View Post
    Now that Paradise Pier is built, I can tell you that I honestly had enjoyable times riding the coaster and the Sun Wheel. The views of the Maliboomer ain't bad either.
    Sure. It's not like Paradise Pier is a negative experience. Same goes for DCA - there's plenty there that's reasonably enjoyable. A few parts of it are even exceptional. But when that's the best you can say about a modern theme park built by the company with a better pedigree than any of the competition, that's not a good thing.

    Let's not forget that Paradise Pier wasn't intended to be a great, revolutionary homage to the past. It was intended to draw people in with minimal expenditures and minimal creativity on Disney's part. That's not to say that one could not theoretically build Paradise Pier with purely artistic reasons, but the fact of the matter is that's not why Disney built it. It was the best way to get away with some off-the-shelf rides.

    There's a reason amusement parks and carnivals and boardwalks have been built like Paradise Pier: compared to the alternative, it's easy and it's cheap. And that's not what you expect when you pay Disney-level prices for admission.

    EDIT:

    Quote Originally Posted by MrLiver
    Of course he would have agreed! Wasn't a carnival area pegged for the original concepts of Disneyland?
    And...um...he ended up deciding not to do that. I guess it probably just wasn't in the budget, right? Walt always wanted to add that honest-to-goodness carnival land to Disneyland, but he died before he got the chance. Give me a break.

    Quote Originally Posted by Coheteboy
    Even porno?
    You forgot the casinos, bordellos, and hookah lounges! Those are entertainment too, and thus appropriate to Disneyland! Oh, wait...the first two aren't really legal in California. I guess we'll just have to keep it to hookah lounges. Is that cool, Liver?


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

    Quote Originally Posted by Coheteboy View Post
    Even porno?
    Maybe someday.

    But seriously, what is the alternative? Saying that Disney can never built a Ferris Wheel? They can never build a roller coaster or space shot? Why limit the possibilities?

    If the guests come and enjoy what they have to offer, then what is the problem with building it?

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Aladdin View Post
    No ferris wheels in Walt's time?!?!?!?!

    The only thing I agree with what you said is this:
    I was talking about nothing like Disneyland existed. I also had a feeling someone with the opposite view would quote me on that exact line, and I'm glad the person that did misread what was said....


    I think the topic is being read that Walt would agree with Paradise Pier as it existed in 2001. I'm talking about just the 'idea' of Paradise Pier. If he and his main men where in a blue sky discussion and the thought of reinventing the seaside boardwalk for a land in his park or a new park on the drawing boards came up, he wouldn't immediatly shoot it down. They would figure out ways to plus rides like the Ferris Wheel, and create an immersive enviroment that would entertain and give a new experience to something that guest may have had a similar experience with before, but obviously surpassing it.
    Last edited by dizzneeland; 04-08-2009 at 11:54 PM.

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

    And if the idea they arrived at were something based on the boardwalk idea but with a significant twist, maybe they'd go for it...and rightfully so! Imagine the following:

    * A boardwalk the way cavemen would have built it.
    * A boardwalk from the year 2947.
    * A boardwalk in the Discoveryland tradition - a steampunk future that never happened.
    * A boardwalk built entirely by cartoon characters a la Mickey's Toontown.
    * A boardwalk built underwater by mermaids.
    * A boardwalk that happens to be haunted.
    * A boardwalk where all the mechanisms and characters and animatronics and so forth happen to be alive, and they periodically make a point of reminding the guests of it.

    Those are just off the top of my head! All of these could provide a genuinely Disney-ish experience. None would be appropriate to DCA, but they could all theoretically work in a Disney park somewhere. The boardwalk theme could work, sure. But what I don't want to see is this:

    * A boardwalk that's marginally higher-tech, somewhat cleaner, and way pricier than the competition.


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

    Quote Originally Posted by Datameister View Post
    Sorry, but I strongly disagree. =/ The way to pull out the rug from under the competition is by moving forward in a really amazing way, not by moving backward in a really cost-cutting way.
    I also agree. There is nothing "outside the box" about midway games. They have them at Knott's, they have them at Universal Studios Hollywood (and possibly Orlando), they have them at Legoland, they have them at Sea World. Just more of the same with nicer facades and home depot ceiling fans XD.


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

    Cost cutting Data? That's your best arguement? They are building a water show that alone probably will cost more than most of the competition spends on additions to their parks in a 5 year period. Not to mention rethemeing pretty much every structure and attraction in the entire land and adding a new E-ticket quality dark ride. If the land becomes nostalgic and entertaining and makes the guests happy it will do its job and be successful, and if anything I would think that would be the most important thing to Walt. But none of us know what he would think, but clearly we do know that this version is already resonating with people in a vastly stronger way than the previous version, and that's even more important than what Walt would have thought in the real world. I believe it will contribute to much more appreciation and enjoyment of DCA by both the public and most fans and that the project will be seen by most as a huge success for WDI.
    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

    Quote Originally Posted by Datameister View Post
    And if the idea they arrived at were something based on the boardwalk idea but with a significant twist, maybe they'd go for it...and rightfully so! Imagine the following:

    * A boardwalk the way cavemen would have built it.
    * A boardwalk from the year 2947.
    * A boardwalk in the Discoveryland tradition - a steampunk future that never happened.
    * A boardwalk built entirely by cartoon characters a la Mickey's Toontown.
    * A boardwalk built underwater by mermaids.
    * A boardwalk that happens to be haunted.
    * A boardwalk where all the mechanisms and characters and animatronics and so forth happen to be alive, and they periodically make a point of reminding the guests of it.

    Those are just off the top of my head! All of these could provide a genuinely Disney-ish experience. None would be appropriate to DCA, but they could all theoretically work in a Disney park somewhere. The boardwalk theme could work, sure. But what I don't want to see is this:

    * A boardwalk that's marginally higher-tech, somewhat cleaner, and way pricier than the competition.


    Well, currently we have:

    -a boardwalk as tight wads would have built it.

    -a boardwalk as road stop attraction with dinosaur theme


    Both scream cheap. And I think that's ultimately the problem. There is absolutely nothing wrong with having a ferris wheel type attraction at a disney park. I think it's rather romantic. But look at Disneyland Paris. They made a ferris wheel themed off The Old Mill. How clever!



    anyhoo... i'm not here to poo-poo the very notion of the seaside park just yet. I think taking it towards the Victorian Era is a good start. I'm just not convinced it was the right thing to do.

    It seems like something that would belong in a Disney World Hotel or something that would be nice if connected to their Downtown Disney.

    And ultimately, the surrounding areas are really intrusive to the Pier theme. With the city of Anaheim as a backdrop and a looming ugly paradise pier hotel flanking the other side, and then the Grand Californian on the opposite end... they could do a lot more to protect the guests of DCA from the outside world.


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