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  1. #46

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    Re: The Exploitation of Walt for Buena Vista St.

    Using BVS as what Walt experienced when he first arrived to California is completely metaphorical....for the imagineers resonsible for creating DCA initially, and correcting the mistakes made. Follow me. The first steps into Disneyland are into a homage to Walt's child-hood town. The first steps into (D)CA 2.0 are a homage to what Walt experienced when he moved on to California. To pursue his dreams and see what's next. So the imagineers are basically saying, 'We F'ed up. Let's move on. See what we can see what's next.' And with the 'next' park(only so because it is next-door), is like the next step for Disney parks. hahahahaha....Yeah. Good ol sarcasm.

  2. #47

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    Re: The Exploitation of Walt for Buena Vista St.

    It isn't necessary that he be tied to it. I just don't think it's a bad idea, either. IF they are going to have a 'golden age of Hollywood' section, I don't think keying it to the time when Walt arrived in town is exploiting his name. The Disney name is really the only one left from the golden era. Warner Bros. still exists as a name but has been swallowed up in a losing media conglomeration of crap. MGM is really just a film library owned by others. The old legends of the era are all but forgotten except by film buffs. But again, we'll see how well they do it. If they can keep it understated I think it's a fine idea.

  3. #48

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    Re: The Exploitation of Walt for Buena Vista St.

    Quote Originally Posted by ALIASd View Post

    Also I believe arguably that it was Walt he was selling in all aspects including his life and beliefs. Where do you believe the impetus for the philosophies and direction sprang from even for Disneyland alone? Mr. Disney's various interests ranging from Abraham Lincoln, the old west, family entertainment, his studio and the future.
    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Wiggins View Post
    I disagree. Walt reflected the interests and cultural values of his audience, from the 20's through the 50's. He was a studio mogul, futurist and (above all) story man, who directed his studio's energies toward the things that interested him personally. The points you cite as things Walt was "selling" were the things Walt loved as a child -- which also resonated with large portions of the public. Walt wasn't selling, so much as he was playing. Playing hard, by his own rules, and for keeps, but playing nonetheless. His philosophy and method are not remotely connected to those of Disney today. Or with the movie business itself, for that matter.



    Sorry Mr. Wiggins I don't see the distinction, you say you disagree and then offer support for the points made in the post with which you say you disagree. The effort is the same, just a small difference in supposed motive. Or perhaps I am missing the point you are trying to make.
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  4. #49

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    Re: The Exploitation of Walt for Buena Vista St.

    Buena Vista Street needs to be about Walt in order for the whole non-theme re-theming of DCA to work. As the Imagineers labor to turn this sows ear into a silk purse, the entire "California" theme is largely being abandoned in favor of a much looser theme based more on what Disney has done in California, namely, make animated films. So Disney animation and its characters become the new theme and California becomes no more than a backdrop or setting for attractions based on Disney owned properties old and new. In short, a 1920's LA street without reference to Walt would work fine if the theme was still "California," but since the theme is now "Disney in California" Walt needs to be worked in in order for this convoluted non-story to work.

    By the way, I don't think any of this is necessarily a good idea and I'm sure that the irony of slapping Walt's image all over a park he never would have built has never occurred to the Burbank brain trust.
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  5. #50

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    Re: The Exploitation of Walt for Buena Vista St.

    Quote Originally Posted by techskip View Post
    Walt has become yet another character in the Disney empire.
    Yes indeed he has and the Disney Corporation handles him like one. They paraphrase his comments, they take what he said out of context and they abuse his ideologies all to further whatever their current mission is. It's a shame that the founder of this former great entertainment empire is so maligned. They might as well take pen and celluloid and start drawing him and make him do their bidding.

  6. #51

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    Re: The Exploitation of Walt for Buena Vista St.

    Quote Originally Posted by mousechild View Post
    The effort is the same, just a small difference in supposed motive. Or perhaps I am missing the point you are trying to make.
    I see your point. Motive was the point I was trying to make.

    Walt's Disney made and sold stuff. Eisner's Disney sold stuff Walt's Disney made while privately and cynically mocking Walt's era, culture and philosophy. Post-Eisner Disney sells stuff Walt's Disney made and sells Walt himself -- while privately and cynically mocking Walt's era, culture and philosophy, and opportunistically co-opting them for financial gain.

    It's not what they're selling that I object to. It's the cynicism.


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  7. #52

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    Re: The Exploitation of Walt for Buena Vista St.

    Quote Originally Posted by dizzneeland View Post
    Using BVS as what Walt experienced when he first arrived to California is completely metaphorical....for the imagineers resonsible for creating DCA initially, and correcting the mistakes made. Follow me. The first steps into Disneyland are into a homage to Walt's child-hood town. The first steps into (D)CA 2.0 are a homage to what Walt experienced when he moved on to California. To pursue his dreams and see what's next. So the imagineers are basically saying, 'We F'ed up. Let's move on. See what we can see what's next.' And with the 'next' park(only so because it is next-door), is like the next step for Disney parks. hahahahaha....Yeah. Good ol sarcasm.
    Minor flaw... if you use the analogy that Main Street is Walt's childhood... by extension the original lands are portions of his imagination (Adventureland, Frontierland, Fantasyland and Tomorrowland). I can buy that. I can even go so far as to buy the addition of NOS and the attraction to both ghosts and pirates (neither of which he saw but both he worked on).

    If Walt enters DCA then I can see how HPB fits in... but then we have Golden State, Bugsland, Paradise Pier, and Carsland... really not relating to what Disney himself did in CA. If anything the tie directly to Disney makes it worse.

    Quote Originally Posted by SnorkletsMom View Post
    It isn't necessary that he be tied to it. I just don't think it's a bad idea, either. IF they are going to have a 'golden age of Hollywood' section, I don't think keying it to the time when Walt arrived in town is exploiting his name. The Disney name is really the only one left from the golden era. Warner Bros. still exists as a name but has been swallowed up in a losing media conglomeration of crap. MGM is really just a film library owned by others. The old legends of the era are all but forgotten except by film buffs. But again, we'll see how well they do it. If they can keep it understated I think it's a fine idea.
    Warner is a shell, MGM is a shell... Disney itself is nowhere near the caliber it was... I hate to say it but once again it demonstrates why tying to Walt is a bad idea IMHO.
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    Re: The Exploitation of Walt for Buena Vista St.

    Quote Originally Posted by mousechild View Post
    Sorry Mr. Wiggins I don't see the distinction, you say you disagree and then offer support for the points made in the post with which you say you disagree. The effort is the same, just a small difference in supposed motive. Or perhaps I am missing the point you are trying to make.
    I'll take it a step farther... was Walt selling his ideas/values etc... or was he selling the public what he knew it wanted? Notice how Disneyland was a lot more unique and not just filled with characters... "back in Walt's day"
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  9. #54

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    Re: The Exploitation of Walt for Buena Vista St.

    Quote Originally Posted by techskip View Post
    I'll take it a step farther... was Walt selling his ideas/values etc... or was he selling the public what he knew it wanted? Notice how Disneyland was a lot more unique and not just filled with characters... "back in Walt's day"
    Walt was giving the public what he knew they wanted - even though the public didn't know they wanted it. And right - Disneyland was more unique and more special when it wasn't just filled with characters...there was more to it than a saturation of franchise opportunities. We should be thankful for the very strong foundation left by Walt...otherwise there might not be a Disneyland left today.

  10. #55

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    Re: The Exploitation of Walt for Buena Vista St.

    Quote Originally Posted by Circa1966 View Post
    Walt was giving the public what he knew they wanted - even though the public didn't know they wanted it. And right - Disneyland was more unique and more special when it wasn't just filled with characters...there was more to it than a saturation of franchise opportunities. We should be thankful for the very strong foundation left by Walt...otherwise there might not be a Disneyland left today.
    Walt sold the public what they wanted. At a time when cowboys were popular he sold them Frontierland. When people asked for the deep mysteries of the jungle he presented them with Adventureland. When the public wanted to fly to the moon he gave them Tomorrowland and eventually when people wanted to see pirates and ghosts he gave them NOS (both attractions completed after his death but the point stands).

    Walt believed in marketing and selling what was popular from coonskin caps to space stuff. His "limit" was that he never let any one popular item encroach on a land it wasn't themed to. He didn't really sell himself, and he really didn't sell the public on things they didn't want. Disney the company does the same to a degree... pushing what is popular. The difference is that Walt created unique attractions to cater to the public's tastes... Disney simply makes a movie and then copies it. Disney also has no respect for the limitations of a land's theme.

    As I said the farther they stray from Walt the quicker they are to quote him just to remain in his shadow.
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  11. #56

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    Re: The Exploitation of Walt for Buena Vista St.

    It was downright insulting when they were throwing Walt's name around every other sentence when they were talking about the Disneyland Dream Suite.


    I dont think it was insulting at all the Disneyland Dream Suite was mainly designed by Walt Disney himself.(Well Some of it...i think) and its Walt really wanted built for himself but they built the one in the Fire depo. instead.

  12. #57

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    Re: The Exploitation of Walt for Buena Vista St.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dragonfire View Post
    It was downright insulting when they were throwing Walt's name around every other sentence when they were talking about the Disneyland Dream Suite.


    I dont think it was insulting at all the Disneyland Dream Suite was mainly designed by Walt Disney himself.(Well Some of it...i think) and its Walt really wanted built for himself but they built the one in the Fire depo. instead.
    For the most part, the only thing about the Disneyland Dream Suite that was of Walt's design was the existing room layout - and even that was butchered when they turned the minibar room into a bedroom, and closed off the dining room. Some of the interior design in the main sitting room was inspired by original Dorothea Redmond designs, but I don't think much else was.

    That they used Walt Disney's name and face to market a promotional giveaway that almost no park guests would ever get to see is what is insulting. Even more so when you consider the space had been open to the Disneyland public for 20 years as the Disney Gallery.


    At the very least, Buena Vista Street will be completely open to guests. The use of Walt is fine as a storytelling tool, if used properly, like on Main Street. I think we should all be glad, however, that the original "Walt Disney Plaza" name was ditched.

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  13. #58

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    Re: The Exploitation of Walt for Buena Vista St.

    Quote Originally Posted by BigThunder View Post
    Buena Vista Street needs to be about Walt in order for the whole non-theme re-theming of DCA to work. As the Imagineers labor to turn this sows ear into a silk purse, the entire "California" theme is largely being abandoned in favor of a much looser theme based more on what Disney has done in California, namely, make animated films. So Disney animation and its characters become the new theme and California becomes no more than a backdrop or setting for attractions based on Disney owned properties old and new. In short, a 1920's LA street without reference to Walt would work fine if the theme was still "California," but since the theme is now "Disney in California" Walt needs to be worked in in order for this convoluted non-story to work.

    By the way, I don't think any of this is necessarily a good idea and I'm sure that the irony of slapping Walt's image all over a park he never would have built has never occurred to the Burbank brain trust.
    This is a well-reasoned post. This "evolution" of DCA strikes me as similar to what happened to the Studios park at WDW. They both started out with a theme that wasn't well-suited to building a theme park full of attractions around.

    "Hollywood glamour" is just too creatively stifling to work as a fully integrated theme park ideal. It's too specific, especially when you add the layer that everything in the park was supposed to be a working "film set."

    What you see now at the Studios is a park that has almost abandoned any pretense that it's a working film studio (which it originally was, of course); the attractions very loosely fit a general theme of stuff found in the entertainment world, and thus tentatively connected to Hollywood. A few phony production buildings remind you of the theme, but it's been decisively placed on the back burner.

    "California" is broader as a theme, but also a bit mundane and abstract. It can (and apparently does) mean almost anything. Hollywood? Check. A wilderness trail? Sure! A seaside carnival? San Francisco? An airport hanger? It's all pretty California-y, so why not?

    Where the Studios theme did too much, locking the creative people in a box before they even got started with any new idea, DCA's seems to do too little. It presents the illusion of a unifying concept without offering a lick of direction or focus.

    A step back from the conceit that everything is literally grounded in California for a less concrete approach using the state's heritage(s) as a backdrop for Disney tradition might not result in the most coherent theme, but it's probably a better product than what they have now.

    Just like the Studios is now the park of "stuff that might remind you of Hollywood in a Hollywood-ish setting," DCA could be the park of "Disney characters (drawn in California), plus some California-y things to look at."

    Neither park will ever be a masterwork of theming, but you can only work with what's already there at this point.

    So...having said all that, I think that retheming the park entrance to a period piece stripped from Walt Disney's young adulthood can only be an improvement to what's already there, which makes me think a bunch of 30-foot tacky postcards collectively vomited into a theme park.

  14. #59

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    Re: The Exploitation of Walt for Buena Vista St.

    Quote Originally Posted by techskip View Post

    Again I stress Walt didn't need to justify his decisions with his own quotes, sell books in the park based on his life, or build statues in honor of his success. Everything that I have read about him indicates he was both humble and private. The company has managed to do the exact opposite.
    But isn't this what we do to our cultural titans? Abe Lincoln probably wouldn't have liked seeing statues of himself in the 19th century either, but that didn't stop Walt Disney from practically deifying him at the World's Fair, and then Disneyland.

    And to me, that's OK. When someone is gone, we inflate them. Put them on a pedestal. We might even use their very period-specific words and phrases to justify things that run contrary to what they believed.

    Is it excessive at times? No doubt. But I don't see it as harmful. Cultures need heroes to worship, make larger than life, and say "he/she mattered." It's just human nature.

    I realize there's a second line of argument here, that not only is it offensive to plaster Walt's image around the park on its own merits, but it's doubly offensive because the corporation bearing his name collectively urinates on his legacy with each new decision.

    That one is harder to push back against, mainly because I think it's based mostly on emotion. That doesn't make it wrong, but it's really impossible to prove that said urination is NOT happening. I imagine the truth is somewhere in the middle between "TWDC pays undying fealty to the ideals of its founder" and "TWDC performs a daily jig on Walt Disney's grave."

    I'm absolutely positive that many of the decisions made since 1966 run counter to what Walt Disney would have personally done, since...he's dead. We don't have a clue what he would have done, or whether his ideas in later life would have even been that good. (That EPCOT as city thing sounds like a boondoggle in the making to me, personally.)

    I do think that the company has become too focused on profit, and puts out some products that are pure crap (The Disney Channel being the first thing to come to mind). But I also know that walking into Disneyland gives me an indescribably special feeling 4 decades after we buried the man, which means somebody since then has done a lot of things right.

    There have been missteps in the last 40 years, but a lot of good has come out of this company since then too. The list of decidedly post-Walt Disney products that have brought me joy would be too long to list here.

    Maybe I'm too naive, but I don't think the old man's vision is dead yet.

  15. #60

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    Re: The Exploitation of Walt for Buena Vista St.

    Nothing *has* to be anything, anywhere. They wanted to tie the entrance of DCA into Walt and nostalgia of when he first arrived in California....the California he saw then. Cool, an homage to the man who gave us the park across the way. I don't know why it burns your hide that they acknowledge him when explaining the entry in promotional videos and such. As far as I know, when you walk in there isn't a huge bubble above that's gonna say, "Hey! This is what Walt saw in 1920!"

    Kind of like how in promotion for Disneyland, Walt explained the entrance to him was like walking down main street in a simpler time, and was modeled on his childhood memories. OMG, WHY did he have to do that!? He didn't, it's just nice and it's interesting to know.

    As far as the discussion about how Disneyland back then was so great b/c it wasn't all about characters and this and that....well, guys, there weren't as many characters back then you know. We got 50 more years of characters since then. And Walt did tie in most everything in the park to his movies, be them animated or live action. And he certainly did not mind renting out the place to sponsorships, everything on Main Street was sponsored out to something. Maybe it's nice they can just run most of main street on their own name now, and fill it with their own merch. I mean, really......maybe the best compaint could be that Disney live action movies suck now, so they don't inspire cool attractions.

    Walt as a character, he is a character. He knew it. It was by design. I've read every book on him that I could find....and all of them agree, Walt carefully contructed himself as his companies greatest character and spokesman. He even took time to make sure he knew how to spin his own childhood into fairytale of sorts. He knew what he was doing and he was right. The world is still fascinated by him and holds him at the end all be all of happiness, creativity, wonder, joy, ect.....

    So why in the hell WOULDNT they want to tie something new into Walt Disney and his story? He spent his whole life making himself his greatest character and it's probably the greatest gift he left his company.
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