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  1. #1

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    Armchair Imagineering: The Next Big Thing

    We have all, from time to time, thought about what Disney should do next in their theme parks ... The next new ride technology, a way to somehow improve fireworks shows, make a virtual reality attraction, etc.
    So let's hear your wild and crazy ideas, your wishes for future attractions, and bring out the Imagineer we all wish we were!

    My idea is not necessarily the "next" big thing, but definitely something I hope they are working toward and will one day implement.
    With audio animatronics improving and becoming more life like, technology like what's used in the Crush attraction at DCA or the Monsters Inc. attraction at WDW where there is someone behind the screen speaking and the character's mouth moves with the person's voice, and autonomous animatronics like Lucky the dinosaur... I see all of these things combining so that Disney is able to have a stand alone autonomous animatronic able to walk around and interact and talk to guests.
    So then, instead of having Mickeys and Minnies and the lot being people in suits, 6 feet tall, and huge compared to the kids, they can have a lifelike animatronic Mickey that is only 2'-3' tall and can walk around the park by himself (probably accompanied by a cast member) and be able to have full conversations with people, in Mickey's voice. The same for all the other characters of course.

    I think it would be amazing to come to Disneyland and see a little Mickey and Goofy and Donald walking around, taking pictures with people, maybe even be able to sign an autograph for kids. No more situations with kids freaking out because they realize it's just a guy in a suit or anything like that. And I think that would pretty much be the pinnacle of animatronics. Well, maybe an animatronic Dumbo or Tinkerbell that could actually fly... but I'd be satisfied with Mickey and the gang walking around talking to people.

    So... that's my big idea, let's hear yours!
    Words any Disney fan and especially Disney employee should live by:

    "Disneyland is a work of love. We didn't go into Disneyland just with the idea of making money."
    -Walt Disney

    "Disneyland will never be completed. It will continue to grow as long as there is imagination left in the world."
    -Walt Disney

    "I do not like to repeat successes, I like to go on to other things."
    -Walt Disney

    "We did it, Disneyland, in the knowledge that most of the people I talked to thought it would be a financial disaster - closed and forgotten within the first year."
    -Walt Disney

    "It's kind of fun to do the impossible."
    -Walt Disney

    "I only hope that we don't lose sight of one thing - that it was all started by a mouse."
    -Walt Disney

  2. #2

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    Re: Armchair Imagineering: The Next Big Thing

    Virtual Reality +Plus+ : Take virtual reality to the point where you can not just experience one or two events in VR but an entire lifetime......the "game" would be going on super, super fast irl....but in your mind it would actually seem like normal speed; 60+ years on the inside would only take a half hour or so on the outside.

    Think about it.....you could live 500 years over the course of a weekend
    Waiting for Godot Micechat.com

  3. #3

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    Re: Armchair Imagineering: The Next Big Thing

    OOOOooo! I like it alot. How cool would it be to see a little Mickey walking around the parks!

    I don't think it would be able to sign anything, however, so in order to get an autograph the oversized sweat suits would still be needed :/

  4. #4

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    Re: Armchair Imagineering: The Next Big Thing

    I'm looking forward to the day they finally give costumed characters the ability to speak. Voice changers inside the suit would make every encounter as personal as one with a face character that chats with you.

  5. #5

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    Re: Armchair Imagineering: The Next Big Thing

    I understand what you're attempting
    to get across.

    Walt Disney Imagineering has actually begun
    developing a more personal experiece
    for guests to have within the parks.

    You can read more about it in this April 21st
    edition of Al Lutz's Columns entry: Return to Flash Mountain.

    Scoll down until you come across the sub-heading that reads:
    "Rides that know who you are".

  6. #6

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    Re: Armchair Imagineering: The Next Big Thing

    It's an interesting idea, to be sure. One that I hadn't really thought of before. I could see it working with only 1 or 2 characters; I don't think we'd be able to completely replace characters in suits.
    It's a little confusing to think about what size each character is supposed to be... would we do it by judging their height relationship to animated humans that appear in their old cartoons? i guess i'm too used to thinking of them as human sized.
    "And all I ask is a tall ship and a star to steer her by" (John Masefield)



  7. #7

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    Re: Armchair Imagineering: The Next Big Thing

    Yeah that's interesting what they're talking about in that article. Though I have seen something like that before nearly 10 years ago at Universal. On the E.T. ride you gave your name before you went on, and as long as it was a common name, it was timed so that at the end of the ride E.T. said your name.

    It was a novel idea, but it didn't really add anything to the ride.
    Words any Disney fan and especially Disney employee should live by:

    "Disneyland is a work of love. We didn't go into Disneyland just with the idea of making money."
    -Walt Disney

    "Disneyland will never be completed. It will continue to grow as long as there is imagination left in the world."
    -Walt Disney

    "I do not like to repeat successes, I like to go on to other things."
    -Walt Disney

    "We did it, Disneyland, in the knowledge that most of the people I talked to thought it would be a financial disaster - closed and forgotten within the first year."
    -Walt Disney

    "It's kind of fun to do the impossible."
    -Walt Disney

    "I only hope that we don't lose sight of one thing - that it was all started by a mouse."
    -Walt Disney

  8. #8

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    Re: Armchair Imagineering: The Next Big Thing

    Disney is right with you they call it, "Living Character Initiative" or LCI. There are mickeys and minnies and donald etc. at WDW that blink their eyes and move their mouths but thats basically only for pre-recored shows.

    I cant wait for the day to see a stand alone pluto AA that interacts with guests or a stand alone Stich, but a 5' tall Mickey has presence unlike a a 2' tall one.

  9. #9

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    Re: Armchair Imagineering: The Next Big Thing

    Well we have a basic idea of how tall the characters are in relation to one another. Basically they're all the same height except for Pluto and Goofy. In fact, Pluto would probably be the easiest character to make into a walking, talking animatronic because he's on four legs.
    And I would imagine they could use the Mickey in the Partner's statue for the size and scale. Basically just make an animatronic Mickey the same size and dimensions as the one in the partners statue and go from there.
    Words any Disney fan and especially Disney employee should live by:

    "Disneyland is a work of love. We didn't go into Disneyland just with the idea of making money."
    -Walt Disney

    "Disneyland will never be completed. It will continue to grow as long as there is imagination left in the world."
    -Walt Disney

    "I do not like to repeat successes, I like to go on to other things."
    -Walt Disney

    "We did it, Disneyland, in the knowledge that most of the people I talked to thought it would be a financial disaster - closed and forgotten within the first year."
    -Walt Disney

    "It's kind of fun to do the impossible."
    -Walt Disney

    "I only hope that we don't lose sight of one thing - that it was all started by a mouse."
    -Walt Disney

  10. #10

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    Re: Armchair Imagineering: The Next Big Thing

    There are 6 billion people in this world. Why use modern technology just to make more?

    I say if there are to be advanced audio animatronics, they should be used to resemble new robot characters, NOT humans.

    Take Tom Morrow, for instance. He's clearly a robot and doesn't try to conceal it. An animatronic Mickey walking around just seems pointless when we as humans can accomplish the simple task of walking already.

    We cannot, however, accomplish metallic wrists and gleaming gold faces wearing see-through futuristic jackets.

    And we cannot be pirates 24-7.
    Ohhai!

  11. #11

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    Re: Armchair Imagineering: The Next Big Thing

    Quote Originally Posted by JamesDusenberry View Post
    So then, instead of having Mickeys and Minnies and the lot being people in suits, 6 feet tall, and huge compared to the kids, they can have a lifelike animatronic Mickey that is only 2'-3' tall and can walk around the park by himself (probably accompanied by a cast member) and be able to have full conversations with people, in Mickey's voice. The same for all the other characters of course.
    The idea sounds interesting, though if this was done it seems certain characters could only be animatronic and other not. You could not go back and forth in different areas of the park. I think kids would wonder why Mickey is big in Toontown and small on Main Street.





  12. #12

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    Cool Re: Armchair Imagineering: The Next Big Thing

    That would be quite interesting, having mascots talk. But me, I'll settle on just having more realistic animatronics.

  13. #13

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    Re: Armchair Imagineering: The Next Big Thing

    Nice to hear all the input on my idea, but I don't just want us all to talk about what I came up with... I wanna hear from everyone else! I'm sure you all have some interesting and creative ideas for new rides or attractions, or ways to improve or change existing rides, etc.
    Let's hear 'em!
    Words any Disney fan and especially Disney employee should live by:

    "Disneyland is a work of love. We didn't go into Disneyland just with the idea of making money."
    -Walt Disney

    "Disneyland will never be completed. It will continue to grow as long as there is imagination left in the world."
    -Walt Disney

    "I do not like to repeat successes, I like to go on to other things."
    -Walt Disney

    "We did it, Disneyland, in the knowledge that most of the people I talked to thought it would be a financial disaster - closed and forgotten within the first year."
    -Walt Disney

    "It's kind of fun to do the impossible."
    -Walt Disney

    "I only hope that we don't lose sight of one thing - that it was all started by a mouse."
    -Walt Disney

  14. #14

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    Re: Armchair Imagineering: The Next Big Thing

    How about creating a new roller coaster at Disneyland that starts in Adventureland and goes around the perimeter of the park. It would be like Magic Mountain's "Ninja" except themed to Tarzan.
    The ride would emulate swinging on vines through the jungle, swinging around trees (the track posts, just like Ninja), etc.

    Or how about redoing the People-Mover to be the pods from The Incredibles?

    Maybe not the "Next Big Thing" but they could be fun rides.

  15. #15

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    Re: Armchair Imagineering: The Next Big Thing

    I like the Incredibles idea! Or instead, how about theme them to the time machines in Meet the Robinsons. tHe ride could explain that the time machine has transported into the future, and then the "time machines" will go around tomorrowland, and their purpose will be just for the fun of exploring the future now that you've transported to it with your time machine. =P The vehicles would look really complex, though, maybe too busy, I think your pod idea blends in more.

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