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  1. #1

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    Visions of Forged Beauty

    A few semesters back I helped a classmate with her CA history project. The assignment was to write about a historical landmark or critique an institution relating to local history and present to the class. Together we crafted a pretty snazzy presentation about DCA, I even through in a 3:00min montage of the park. After the presentation we toke questions, possibly the most jarring and irrelevant question was saved for me; the Disney aficionado. A kid asked, “Why are the rocks so fake? I mean you go to Knott’s and they are, like, rocks.” I guess the person was asking why everything seems manufactured to the degree of obviousness within the Disney parks.

    Over time I’ve heard the same question crop up in various forms by people that find Disneyland to be either a guilty pleasure or obscenely contrived. To answer my classmates question I could only state that Knott’s does in fact have “like, rocks” But Knott’s also prominently features exposed fiberglass shells on many of the attractions that utilize synthetic rockwork. You can also find fake evergreens sprinkled throughout the park. This sense of sub par craftsmanship is not exclusive to Knott’s; Universal also boasts fake show elements. I came back from Universal Studios today after going for the first time ever this march. On this visit I've noticed some less than obvious "Visions of forged theming" such as a plasticy wood door or nearly cardboard castle. Between Six Flags, Knott’s, and Universal one might say they universally share hideous attempts at theming. But Disney gets the bad rep. Can anyone tell me how DL earned this reputation? Does it even deserve its reputation for being phony?

  2. #2

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    Re: Visions of Forged Beauty

    i have never once heard this reputation for DL being phony to the point of obviousness.

  3. #3

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    Re: Visions of Forged Beauty

    Interesting. The rock work at DCA on Grizzly Peak looks pretty realistic to me. It might be the context of the rock work next to other elements that hurts the illusion for some. The rockwork in theme parks seems to just stop sometimes and not naturaly transition, maybe that is the issue.
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  4. #4

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    Re: Visions of Forged Beauty

    Quote Originally Posted by DasDisney View Post
    i have never once heard this reputation for DL being phony to the point of obviousness.
    Oh my gosh, I've attended the park with a few friends that almost detest the park for being so "plastic". I think it comes down to the basic Disney aesthetic, lots of high gloss paint and shiny materials. Also some don't even believe that many things in the park are real not illusion. Such as the fire torches at the tiki room wait area, (seriously this happened a week ago). I've also herd people accuse Disney of playing recorded audio of birds singing from the trees once.

  5. #5

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    Re: Visions of Forged Beauty

    I think its the fact that you understand they you're walking into a theme park. With that pretense and knowledge, you automatically assume that everything around you has been manufactured or specifically created for you. At that point you disregard any idea that anything within Disneyland can be comparable to anything in the real world when in fact there really are little differences in terms of look and feel.

    I mean, all the rock work at Disneyland is impeccable and im sure if i had no idea i was in a theme park, or had just a photo of it, i would assume that grizzly peak was a real mountain.

    AtomicBear makes a good point about the rockworks transition, especially with the matterhorn and a little with BTMR and the walkways next to them. That deffinately sets off the realism, but i dont see anything wrong with the rockwork itself.

    Sir. Mouse has point about that high gloss paint too. But at the same time, if ya paint wood to look nice, wouldnt you use high gloss too? I mean it just looks good! And it isnt an abnormality to have high gloss paints on things.


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  6. #6

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    Re: Visions of Forged Beauty

    I've always thought the artistry of Disney's rock work was far better than Knott's.

    That being stated I think Knott's actually influenced Disney artistically in many ways in the details provided in its attractions. Take the Calico Mine Ride for example. This ride was built in 1960 and I think many elements of this ride were utilized by Disney much later on in POTC, in the grotto scene especially.

  7. #7

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    Re: Visions of Forged Beauty

    ...then you get to the rocks outside Tomorrowland...

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  8. #8

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    Re: Visions of Forged Beauty

    people are just bitter
    because disneyland is the most expensive

    kindly make your way inside, there are dozens dying to join you.

  9. #9

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    Re: Visions of Forged Beauty

    Quote Originally Posted by Jakob the Butler View Post
    people are just bitter
    because disneyland is the most expensive
    That might be it. lol

    BTW I was just using the rock work story as an example. A lot of people generaly perceive DL to be a tacky phony place. Not me though.


    And I like the Rocks in TL. A cool detail that went unnoticed was the fact that the rocks near Ariels grotto morphed into the TL rocks. I just wish they wern't such a crowd control issue.

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    Re: Visions of Forged Beauty

    Quote Originally Posted by Sir.Mouse View Post
    BTW I was just using the rock work story as an example. A lot of people generaly perceive DL to be a tacky phony place. Not me though.
    I think that this issue comes up because there are a lot of people out there who simply detest things that others find popular. Some may argue and have valid points for the 'fakeness' things within Disneyland... but for the most part, I would bet money it's just an internal bitterness that likely manifests itself in far more arguments than just Disneyland.

    In summary - some people just like to hate what YOU like.

  11. #11

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    Re: Visions of Forged Beauty

    I think it's mostly perception, as others have said. There are definitely a lot of people who think everything in DL is fake. I guess it has to do with the fact that DL is much more focussed on creating non-real environments then other parks. The funny thing is that there really is not much in the world that is trully authentic. Most touristy places the world over are recreations of what was once really there, they're not authentic. People are also very ignorant. You could probably show them real rock structures and if they were within DL, they'd still insist that they were fake. You only have to overhear one debate over whether the guests at Blue Bayou are real to realize how much DL messes with people's perceptions.
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  12. #12

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    Re: Visions of Forged Beauty

    ^^Thats true. I guess you can say that disney successfully blurs the lines between reality and illusion, creating a great show and confusing guests.

  13. #13

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    Re: Visions of Forged Beauty

    I dont see how anyone could go into a THEME PARK, and look for what is fake and whats real. its not a wildlife park, or a campground, it is a theme park. I dont get why people would even think that.

    As far as keeping theming goes, its incredible what kind of detail Disneyland pays to their rides. Im sure there are some kinks in the system, but some rides you really cannot see many flaws at all. Now i've never been to knotts but i've never been on another ride thats as detailed oriented as all of the Disneyland rides.

    But since the person is comparing Disneyland to 2nd rate Knotts, im sure its just the person being negative towards Disneyland.

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    Re: Visions of Forged Beauty

    I guess most of the negativity is rooted in a deep loathing towards Disney as a corporate conglomerate. Detractors might link the extravagant use of detail and incredible craftsmanship in Disney parks with excessive spending and corporate indulgence. Utter nonsense if you ask me. Disney just makes a good product.

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    Re: Visions of Forged Beauty

    Quote Originally Posted by Sir.Mouse View Post
    Oh my gosh, I've attended the park with a few friends that almost detest the park for being so "plastic". I think it comes down to the basic Disney aesthetic, lots of high gloss paint and shiny materials. Also some don't even believe that many things in the park are real not illusion. Such as the fire torches at the tiki room wait area, (seriously this happened a week ago). I've also heard people accuse Disney of playing recorded audio of birds singing from the trees once.
    They do in the Indy queue

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