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  1. #1

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    Does the Modern Public expect more or less?

    In several discussions it has come up that either the Modern Public expects more out of Disney (in the form of technology, characters etc) or less out of Disney (in the form of unique experiences, extremely detailed well themed queues and attractions etc.) I am curious what will be said if we simply pose the question... Does the Modern Public expect more or less out of Disney? and please cite examples of then vs now.
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  2. #2

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    Re: Does the Modern Public expect more or less?

    As a CM, most of the feedback I get is on how things should be better. Some of them really do expect Disney to go all out for them and cater to their every whim, while other people come expecting Magic Mountain-type thrills on the attractions, and inevitably they both end up being disappointed.

    Some of it is just being greedy, where they want the experience you see in commercials, and more. Disneyland isn't a spa where you're pampered to high-heaven, and people don't really keep in mind that they're sharing the park with 30-70k other people, all of which also want to have their magical day just for them. They go to attractions in a wheelchair expecting to get on right away like it's a magic ticket, or they get annoyed sitting in traffic at Autopia because they expected it to be a fast ride like Test Track.

    The average Guest tends to want more than what there is to offer.

  3. #3

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    Re: Does the Modern Public expect more or less?

    I think modern guests just want to feel special and important more than anything. In the 50s and well into the 60s, the idea of personal happiness through consumerism was still being developed and refined. People were still gauging their happiness by their family situation, and not yet by what their money could provide. During those decades, people were just happy to get to go to such a place. The level of customer service and story immersion were a huge bonus and a huge draw, and the total guarantee of a level of quality entertainment as promised by the Disney name. Today, people are feeling far more entitled to a certain level of service and quality as it relates to value for money, but I think overall the level of taste and sophistication of the average guest has declined, leading people to be a bit more "demanding" (to put it nicely). People today are more self absorbed to powers of ten than in the early decades of Disneyland's history. The position of Disney as a Premium Brand has declined in recent decades due to oversaturation of the market with cheap licensed consumer goods and sub-premium entertainment offerings.

    The development of this type of consumer was predicted and developed by Edward Bernays, a Nephew of Sigmund Freud. His essay "The Engineering of Consent" is summed up by wikipedia below:

    "He defines "engineering consent" as the art of manipulation of people; specifically, American citizen, who are described as "fundamentally irrational people... who could not be trusted." It maintained that entire populations, which were undisciplined or lacking in intellectual or definite moral principles, were vulnerable to unconscious influence and thus susceptible to want things that they do not need. This was achieved by linking those products and ideas to their unconscious desires. Ernest Dichter, who is widely considered to be the "father of motivational research," referred to this as "the secret-self of the American consumer."

    Dichter sums it up thusly:

    "The Engineering of Consent also applies to the pioneered application of Freudian psychoanalytic concepts and techniques to business—in particular to the study of consumer behavior in the marketplace. Ideas established strongly influenced the practices of the advertising industry in the twentieth century.
    The techniques applied developing the "consumer lifestyle" were also later applied to developing theories in Cultural Commodification; which has proven successful in the later 20th century (with diffusion of cultures throughout North America) to sell ethnic foods and style in popular mainstream culture by removing them from geography and ethnic histories and sanitizing them for a general public.
    Ernest Dichter applied what he dubbed "the strategy of desire" for building a "stable society," by creating for the public a common identity through the products they consumed; again, much like with Cultural Commodification, where culture has no "identity," "meaning," or "history" inherited from generations, but rather, is created by the attitudes which are introduced by consumer behaviors and social patterns of the period. According to Dichter: "To understand a stable citizen, you have to know that modern man quite often tries to work off his frustrations by spending on self-sought gratification. Modern man is internally ready to fulfill his self-image, by purchasing products which compliment it."

  4. #4

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    Re: Does the Modern Public expect more or less?

    expects more, pays more, gets less?

    i'm just being pessimistic, i know it. i've been on here all day now haha.

    but i'm a little bit serious.

    i wasn't around in the 50s and 60s, so i don't actually know.

    but i have this romanticized notion that when Walt was around, everything he and the company came up with was just some sort of happy surprise to the public. Something they hadn't ever dreamed of before but were completely delighted by when it was given to them. there's no denying that the quality of many products, including products available in the park, wa much higher than products we purchase today (take the fresh squeezed orange juice for example). the public then didn't expect disneyland to be jam packed with tons of overly stimulating rides, but disney kept putting new stuff in with the latest technology none the less. as they kept doing this, of course the public came to expect everything we see and buy and eat and do int he parks to be top-notch quality, but the quality declined. so now we have high expectations, and we pay our high prices almost happily because we expect so much, but but we really don't always get it.

    i didn't think i was going to ramble this much. i wanted to be concise. oh well! i think as long as we don't let those expectations slip, what we get in terms of the quality in the parks will still be worth it. after all, LOTS of stuff in there is still top-notch, and that's why we're all here on mice chat and why we keep going back.
    Last edited by StrikeYerColors; 07-17-2009 at 10:57 PM.
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  5. #5

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    Re: Does the Modern Public expect more or less?

    More. DCA opened in 2001, considered by fans as a failure, and by the general public as just 'dissapointing'. Now, what if DCA opened in 1960? What would have the reaction been like then? I would argue that it would have gotten a much more positive reaction since the public would be expecting less.

  6. #6

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    Re: Does the Modern Public expect more or less?

    Um, well, I think people are amazed when they go into Disneyland for their first time. It's cleaner and over all quality of Disneyland is better than Six Flags and all the other type of theme parks. People do think a ticket into Disneyland for the day is expensive though, but I think its worth it. Your going to have to pay the prices if you want a theme park with good rides and cleanliness! When Walt Disney was alive Disney was always inventing something new and better such as Animatronics. I think they need to invent new technology or maybe even better Animatronics. It's possible. I think many people are impressed by Disney even though they are sickened by the high prices and I think many others think Disney could do better, such as inventing some sort of new technology, kind of like how they created AA's
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  7. #7

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    Re: Does the Modern Public expect more or less?

    Does the Modern Public expect more or less?
    All you can eat buffets.

    'Nuff said.
    "It has that thing - the imagination, and the feeling of happy excitement - I knew when I was kid."
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  8. #8

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    Re: Does the Modern Public expect more or less?

    The modern public quite naturally expects more. Let's take dark rides for instance. Many feel let down by DL's Pooh ride; due to the fact that it is technologically inferior to that of tokyo and WDW. However, it's crisp digitally produced music, use of holography, and colorful modern props (even though some seem like they are cardboard cutouts) are so technologically superior to the classic Fantasyland darkrides that folks in the 50's and 60's would have been blown away. That's my take, techskip.
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  9. #9

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    Re: Does the Modern Public expect more or less?

    Fantasyland rides do need to be fixed up a tad....too many cardboard and wooden figures. Disney needs to make really advanced animatronics and change the Fantasyland rides a little
    ...After a YEAR I finally was able to figure out my password again! I'm baaack! Woohoo!(:
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  10. #10

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    Re: Does the Modern Public expect more or less?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ride Warrior View Post
    The modern public quite naturally expects more. Let's take dark rides for instance. Many feel let down by DL's Pooh ride; due to the fact that it is technologically inferior to that of tokyo and WDW. However, it's crisp digitally produced music, use of holography, and colorful modern props (even though some seem like they are cardboard cutouts) are so technologically superior to the classic Fantasyland darkrides that folks in the 50's and 60's would have been blown away. That's my take, techskip.
    Pooh stinks.

    *giggles like a little girl*
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  11. #11

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    Re: Does the Modern Public expect more or less?

    Quote Originally Posted by Donald_Duck View Post
    Pooh stinks.

    *giggles like a little girl*
    I like to use stinky examples, especially when facing down wind.
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  12. #12

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    Re: Does the Modern Public expect more or less?

    On the other hand, sometimes less is more.
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  13. #13

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    Re: Does the Modern Public expect more or less?

    Quote Originally Posted by twobluestripes View Post
    i wasn't around in the 50s and 60s, so i don't actually know.

    but i have this romanticized notion that when Walt was around, everything he and the company came up with was just some sort of happy surprise to the public. Something they hadn't ever dreamed of before but were completely delighted by when it was given to them.
    I've been a frequent Disneyland visitor from 1955 (age 7) and your notion is not romanticized. It's right on target.

    Here was the deal in the early days: you'd go and go and go to Disneyland, and just about the time you got the park truly wired, kaboom -- they'd add something new and amazing. The Rainbow Caverns Mine Train, Skyway, Tom Sawyer Island, Midget Autopia, Columbia, Alice in Wonderland, all within two years.

    So you'd get way stoked by the new stuff, and you'd go and go and go and go and whammo -- Matterhorn and the Monorail and the Submarine Voyage thru Liquid Space, all in '59. Mindblowing. And so you'd go and go and go and go and BOOM -- summer of '63, Tiki Room. The most hardcore DL fans' jaws hung open. Nobody had seen anything like it.

    And that was the pattern. No matter how stoked you got, a year or two later WED would do something to blow your expectations out of the water.

    You barely had time to get the Tiki Room dialogue memorized (the better to rip your fellow DL geeks who hadn't), when the '64 World's Fair opened and the magic of WED made news in magazines and TV. Shortly thereafter Lincoln and Small World came to Disneyland. I can't even begin to describe what it was like the first time watching Lincoln stand up and speak, even with knowing from TV shows what was going to happen.

    By 1966 Disneyland was the destination, and the question wasn't if WED's next E-Ticket would knock your socks off, but if they'd take your feet with 'em. No matter how rabid a Disneyland dweeb you were, no matter how critical an eye for detail, the park kept topping your expectations with new, more creative offerings in attractions, live name entertainment, food and merchandise.

    Turned out it was just a warmup.

    Because then New Orleans Square opened. Seeing the concept artwork couldn't prepare you for the amazement of actually walking through it for the first time. Pirates of the Caribbean? Unbelievable! People came off the ride shaking their heads in astonishment. Tomorrowland '67 with the Peoplemover, Adventure thru Inner Space and the Carousel of Progress? Incredible! And two summers later, Haunted Mansion. No words to describe the experience when it opened.

    See, WED's performance curve was so consistent for so many years that we baby boomers could literally grow up with the park, from kindergarten through college, taking for granted that always-expanding, always-improving, always-surprising new things at Disneyland were normal.

    We didn't demand it. It was just the way Disney did things.


    Last edited by Mr Wiggins; 07-18-2009 at 01:51 AM.
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  14. #14

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    Re: Does the Modern Public expect more or less?

    As usual, what Wiggins said is wise.

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    Re: Does the Modern Public expect more or less?

    Disabled guests just want to be able to ride coasters and have fun like other people. I as a disabled person expect nothing out of a new attraction but was glad to see that wheelchairs can ride the Sun Wheel and Toy Storiy Mania. I am busting buttons that there will be access to all levels of the viewing area for World of Colour and that went beyond my expectations. I expected some token seating in the back row or in a corner.but now those disabled guests who arrive late will be in the back, those who arrive in the middle get the middle and the early ones can sit where they like.

    I too remember when anything from Disney or even Knott's was fine. Nowadays we know about technology and the possiblities for a new ride. The black light paint, fiber optics, state of the art animatronics, etc. have us saying is that it.

    I think Nemo subamarines went beyond my expectations with the special observation room and that they could have used some animatronics and cute sets with no special effects. I loved the special effects on that ride.

    However, I have seen people in awe of even a simple cut outs and animatronics/dolls set like Small World and Snow White. It is not just simple minded folks or people from the backwood who are in awe but I have seen educate person in awe of stuff that I know could be made even more awesome. It was a thrill to watch my friend on his first tender ride, first monorail cab ride, and his first ride on Soarin'. It is fun to see someone on a ride for the first time, for many it is awesome to them and they love the ride.

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