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  1. #1

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    The "Small" Rides...What is the Difference Between Parks?

    In looking at Disneyland and DCA side by side, it is not any contest which most often gets looked down upon. I am curious to one particular aspect of this, in specific...

    We mostly all know that as of right this minute (not counting impending/underway construction on Little Mermaid and Radiator Springs Racers), DCA pales in comparison with number of E-ticket/large scale themed attractions. Even when those open, will still be tilted in DL's favor (9 or 10 at Disneyland, 6 or so at DCA). But...what is the big difference in the "small" attractions between parks? And I don't mean, say Tiki Room, or Snow White, or that league....I am talking about the Astro Orbitor here, or the Tea Cups, or the playgrounds and bounce house in Toontown. While themed, they are still basic in concept, along the lines of what you'd see at any amusement park.

    Is it that DCA has predominately these sorts of attractions in the second tier (Zephyr, MaliBOOMer, Grizzly recreation area, Bugsland rides) mixed in with a few movie attractions, animation display, and 2 dark rides? The count of..pardon the expression...kiddy rides seems much higher. Is this a matter of perception, since there isn't the range of immersive dark rides of Fantasyland, or even shows such as Lincoln and Tiki Room that use AA technology? The "generic" rides at DCA to me, seem to stand out that much more...is it the sparseness of other types of attractions, or are they truly worse than what is in DL?

    Looking at Disneyland, you have two aerial spinner rides (Dumbo, Astro Orbitor), a teacup spinner, a carousel, kid playgrounds, a bounce house..there even used to be a ball pit. Now, these all may well be themed better than average...but all that still screams run of the mill amusement park to me. I don't hate such things, but have no personal use for them. DCA may have more (water splash area, bumper cars, slow moving kiddy train, aerial spinner, parachute jump, two "giant swing" type rides, carousel, drop tower, playground/outdoor activity center), but are they really less in quality overall than what is in Disneyland? I won't argue much for MailBOOMer, but the rest it is pretty obvious they tried to theme things at least to the area they are in, even if not always about California.

    Is the issue really contingent about the thematic quality of "dressed-up" carnival rides (which Disneyland also has), or is this an issue of an attraction mix issue....DCA just doesn't have enough mid-level attractions of the quality of Disneyland, and so the lower tier (themed standard amusement park ride systems) takes the place of the C ticket dark ride, in the eyes of the consumer, and the expected quality just doesn't match up to what is across the road? I'd count Monsters, Inc even as well as a lower-tier...it lacks the charm of the Disneyland dark rides (yes, even Pooh is more charming to me).

    What say you, MiceChat public?

  2. #2

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    Re: The "Small" Rides...What is the Difference Between Parks?

    One star already, and not even any comments! Score.

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    Re: The "Small" Rides...What is the Difference Between Parks?

    That was me, darkfairycthulu. I hate this thread! I hate its guts!

    No, but seriously, it's an interesting topic. I do think DCA's less-than-ideal mix of attractions negatively affects perceptions of the lower tier. They're not that fundamentally different from their counterparts in Disneyland - it's just that there are so many of them and so few truly amazing attractions to balance it out.

    I like to think I'm pretty fair about the issue, though - I've never been a big fan of this sort of attraction in the context of Disneyland, either. I can appreciate their necessity, since not every attraction can be a huge E-ticket, but it's not like I love the Fantasyland carousel while detesting the one in Paradise Pier. (Although I do think the one in Fantasyland is more attractive.)


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    Re: The "Small" Rides...What is the Difference Between Parks?

    Quote Originally Posted by Datameister View Post
    That was me, darkfairycthulu. I hate this thread! I hate its guts!
    Ah hah! My nemesis revealed at last!!

    Quote Originally Posted by Datameister View Post
    No, but seriously, it's an interesting topic. I do think DCA's less-than-ideal mix of attractions negatively affects perceptions of the lower tier. They're not that fundamentally different from their counterparts in Disneyland - it's just that there are so many of them and so few truly amazing attractions to balance it out.

    I like to think I'm pretty fair about the issue, though - I've never been a big fan of this sort of attraction in the context of Disneyland, either. I can appreciate their necessity, since not every attraction can be a huge E-ticket, but it's not like I love the Fantasyland carousel while detesting the one in Paradise Pier. (Although I do think the one in Fantasyland is more attractive.)
    Indeed, as always, very well stated, sir. I don't think there's that much of a quality differential between most of them, to be perfectly honest...it could just be Disneyland itself lends them more charm by association: seeing a carousel and a spinning cup ride in proximity to a well-themed, quaint, European fairy tale village. That makes a huge amount of difference indeed. And we agree about not being the largest fans of the Disneyland style iterations, either, though I don't hate them. I don't hate the ones in DCA either. They just sort of...stick out more, with not much around them to elevate them. I wouldn't say most are any worse than what is in DL, though.

    Except Heimleich's Chew Chew Train. *shudder*

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    Re: The "Small" Rides...What is the Difference Between Parks?

    OK, yes....I am saying here that some of Disneyland's rides are glorified carnival/standard theme park attractions, with higher thematic elements and more well-thought out placement. Several, in fact, are equal to "lesser" attractions in DCA, which are equally standard ride systems upgraded with thematic additions and customization. And I don't see anything wrong with that. DCA just has a poorer mix of attractions, overall, so the same sort of rides at Disneyland that get overlooked stand out at DCA. Feel free to rate this thread downwards more if this is disagreed with..but I promise, it is accurate, the way I see it.

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    Re: The "Small" Rides...What is the Difference Between Parks?

    If you think about it, many of the Fantasyland dark rides are nothing more than what you could see at any other amusment park anywhere in the world (of course not with the same quality of scenery as Disneyland). The Dumbo spinner is really a glorified generic spinner (flying elephants are soooo much better small rockets!) but even the Astro-Orbitor is really just the generic ride with a stack of planets on top and diffrent paint. However I think that mainly the really generic rides stick to being placed in Fantasyland, Toontown, and Tomorrowland (with Pooh being the exception in Critter Country). So I get what your saying.

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    Re: The "Small" Rides...What is the Difference Between Parks?

    Its all about balance. Disneyland has a great balance from A to E. DCA is working hard to get to that point. A little ways to go though.

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    Re: The "Small" Rides...What is the Difference Between Parks?

    You are totally correct it is the mid level dark ride that is missing from DCA. And to Bring in your other thread to this one as well I also think it is the special little elements of total area themeing that is missing as well and downgrades the type of feeling of some of the attractions. This is where I believe SSS area getting it right the theme element is great for that attraction IMO (I know many disagree) I believe the attention to theme and a dedication to add in dark rides would help to push DCA to the next level (may and probably will never get close to DL itself) So hopefully phase II will focus on these areas.
    And my kids get a kick out of the theme of HCCT although the length of that ride is pretty shudder-rific! lol

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    Re: The "Small" Rides...What is the Difference Between Parks?

    It's all about history and DCA has none. The so called dark rides at DL are the ones we all grew up riding.

    Sentimental value so to say.


    This has been a Filmways presentation dahling.

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    Re: The "Small" Rides...What is the Difference Between Parks?

    Quote Originally Posted by TrevorD View Post
    Its all about balance. Disneyland has a great balance from A to E. DCA is working hard to get to that point. A little ways to go though.
    I think that this statement best explains the issue.

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    Re: The "Small" Rides...What is the Difference Between Parks?

    It's a combination of everything mentioned above. Ultimately, I think the rides at DCA suffer because of the multiple perceived strikes against them:
    1) The lack of nostalgia inherent in Disneyland

    2) The lack of mid-level dark rides and attractions to balance the park experience and properly position those current attractions as B and C ticket experiences

    3) The lack of execution to detail in execution/the attempted execution of a hip/relevant theme - in comparing King Arthur's and King Triton's carousel, King Triton's suffers because of its housing despite both being carousels.

    4) The number of rides designed as kid experiences as opposed to family experiences - speaking from personal experience, as 29 year-old, married no kids male, I'm much more likely to ride the dark rides and carnival rides in Fantasyland than Flik's Fun Fair. At this point, I don't really have a desire to ride the rides in Flik's Fun Fair, even if I could.

    5) The number of rides themed specifically to be carnival rides - I don't want to hammer this one too hard, because I know many others have spoken in length about this topic. I personally like the idea of having a Disney version of a early 20th century seaside pier complete with carnival rides. I do hope they take the little touches and details up to the nth degree, but in this section of the park I have no problems with a ferris wheel designed to be a ferris wheel or roller coaster designed to look like a wooden roller coaster. That said, in comparing say a spinner designed to emulate flying like Dumbo and the Golden Zephyrs, the Dumbo spinner is generally looked on more favorably.

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