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  1. #1

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    Education and entertainment coexist?

    As time as gone on, Disney has gotten away from attractions that try to educate.

    I think that education and entertainment can coexist on an attraction. Golden Dreams is a good example of how NOT to do it. Let me share some observations:

    1) People MUST have fun learning new things. Education is not the goal, it is the subplot. The goal MUST be to have fun. That is why people go to amusement parks in the first place.

    2) People cannot be just TOLD FACTS but must experience the facts. I don't want to hear a lecture on Egypt, I want to sail down the Nile as a Pharaoh.

    3) The attraction cannot be presented as a learning experience. Mr. Lincoln was not originally presented as a lesson about Lincoln but as an opportunity to see a human, state-of-the-art audio-animatronic. When the AA was no longer state of the art or a novelty, attendance dropped.

    4) We must go where no one has gone before. We also have to want to go there. An attraction must touch the imagination in the guest's mind and heart. It must be innovatively presented. A film is not innovative.

    5) Building an attraction that has an historical or educational element is no different than making a movie with an historical base. The story is the key. A good story will attract people. If people learn about Cleopatra or Mark Twain in the process, they have been educated.

    6) Walt felt it was is obligation to bring education to his rides. He felt to have his guest learn something while being entertained was heightening the value of Disneyland. He felt he owed it to future generations.

    Am I right or wrong?
    Jiminy Cricket Fan
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    Love Disneyland and Walt Disney World!

  2. #2

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    Re: Education and entertainment coexist?

    Quote Originally Posted by JiminyCricketFan
    6) Walt felt it was is obligation to bring education to his rides. He felt to have his guest learn something while being entertained was heightening the value of Disneyland. He felt he owed it to future generations.

    Am I right or wrong?
    this a new one for me, it has only been in the last 20 years or so that people have had the notion that everything must be educational. I also belong to Cruisecritic.com message boards about cruising. I here over and over the question "is taking my kids on a cruise educational?" the correct responce is no it is not, disneyland is not about education its about fun. I believe that this subject comes up because people are looking for reasons to take there kids out of school and do things "FUN".

    From everything i have read about Walt I have never seen anything to say that he wanted the park to educate people.

    So I think you are wrong, but then again what I said does not make me 100% right or you wrong at all. just my .02 worth

    Bob

  3. #3

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    Re: Education and entertainment coexist?

    I think you are both right and wrong.

    You cannot educate people by just telling them facts. Its all in the presentation. You must engage people to get them interested.

    BUT... Disneyland is not about education, nor has it ever been. It was never Walt's intent to foist an educational experience on the public through Disneyland. Lets think about his opening day speech: "with the hope that it will become a source of joy and inspiration..." No mention of education there. Just fantasy and enjoyment.

    And sometimes, that is enough.

    Quote Originally Posted by Senator David Wu (D-OR)
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheHousingBubbleBlog
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  4. #4

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    Re: Education and entertainment coexist?

    DL isn't history as it "really was" it was "history according to movies". When the JungleBook Cartoon was made back in the 50's-60's Walt told the guy writing it to NOT read the book, but to make up his own story, Walt hated the book.

    Main Street and Fronteerland are not historial but rather the history "as it shoudl have been" or an ideal history, not a true history.

    That's a big reason why so many people freaked out when Disney wanted to build a"historal" site back east somewhere.

    I don't remember ever hearing anything about Walt wanted Disney to be educational.

    However, having said that, I do agree with your points 1-5.

  5. #5

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    Re: Education and entertainment coexist?

    I think one thing that disney has been doing really well with is Playhouse Disney. I was a nanny for a while and I must say that shows like Bear in the Big Blue House, Higglytown Heroes, Dora the Explorer, and Jojo's Circus really are great ways for children to have fun while learning at the same time. Although plotlines are of course very basic and repetitive, they do teach basic lessons and values while throwing in reading, etiquette, hand-eye coordination, excercise, and expression. I must admit I have never been inside the PHD attraction in DCA, but judging by the long lines to see the show, it must have had a big pull for the children.

  6. #6

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    Re: Education and entertainment coexist?

    My daughter is too old to have watched Playhouse Disney, but she was WAY into "out of the box" on Disney and "Blues Clues" on Nick.

    BTW disneydancr, Dora is Nick, not Disney.

    Quote Originally Posted by Senator David Wu (D-OR)
    Don't let faux-klingons send real Americans to war!

    Quote Originally Posted by TheHousingBubbleBlog
    Everyone says that the U.S. doesn’t make anything anymore, but that’s not exactly true. We’re the world leader in the manufacturing of bull****.

  7. #7

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    Re: Education and entertainment coexist?

    I am currently looking in my Walt Disney biographies to find the quote. I have a few of them so it will take some time.

    Two points:

    1) I never said that Walt's goal was to teach. I believe that he just felt that you could teach while entertaining them. And I think he looked for opportunities to educate while entertaining.

    2) We forget Disney history. Walt was the first to do nature films. In those first nature films, audiences learned about the animals and birds but also had fun watching animal antics at the same time. The Jungle Cruise grew out of those True-Life adventure films. Tomorrowland had exhibits about the future to learn how it would be. It was not Sci-fi as much as it was Sci-reality. It was as accurate as scientists could predict. People learned how different gravity was on the moon for example. It was still meant to be fun. But you learned something in the process.
    Jiminy Cricket Fan
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    Love Disneyland and Walt Disney World!

  8. #8

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    Re: Education and entertainment coexist?

    Quote Originally Posted by JiminyCricketFan
    I believe that he just felt that you could teach while entertaining them. And I think he looked for opportunities to educate while entertaining.

    IMO and in my interpretation this is not what you said here:

    6) Walt felt it was is obligation to bring education to his rides.
    Of course Walt felt you could teach while entertaining. But I don't think he felt is was an obligation to bring education to his rides.

    I think you made two totally different points here.

    Quote Originally Posted by Senator David Wu (D-OR)
    Don't let faux-klingons send real Americans to war!

    Quote Originally Posted by TheHousingBubbleBlog
    Everyone says that the U.S. doesn’t make anything anymore, but that’s not exactly true. We’re the world leader in the manufacturing of bull****.

  9. #9

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    Re: Education and entertainment coexist?

    Yay for edutainment!

  10. #10

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    Re: Education and entertainment coexist?

    Of course, I remember the Jiminy The Cricket safety films in school.

    "I'm no fool, no sir-reey, I'm gonna live to 103"

  11. #11

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    Re: Education and entertainment coexist?

    Walt, in fact, is quoted as saying that one of Disneyland's goals was to educate.

  12. #12

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    Red Face Re: Education and entertainment coexist?

    Quote Originally Posted by a_hyperbole
    BTW disneydancr, Dora is Nick, not Disney.
    Oops

  13. #13

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    Re: Education and entertainment coexist?

    Quote Originally Posted by Steve DeGaetano
    Walt, in fact, is quoted as saying that one of Disneyland's goals was to educate.
    I remember reading that somewhere too. Too many of his attractions were based on reality to suggest that he wasn't interested in education. Science, technology, exploration, and story telling seem to be at the root his attractions.

  14. #14

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    Re: Education and entertainment coexist?

    I'll try to locate some quotes tonight...

  15. #15

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    Re: Education and entertainment coexist?

    Quote Originally Posted by Walt Disney
    “To all who come to this happy place; welcome. Disneyland is your land. Here age relives fond memories of the past...and here youth may savor the challenge and promise of the future. Disneyland is dedicated to the ideals, the dreams and the hard facts that have created America...with the hope that it will be a source of joy and inspiration to all the world.”
    Still, I don't think edutainment works. Just look at Epcot, at Innovations. It's too expensive to maintain and too preachy to bear (as in you only get a clean one-sided view - there's no controversy at a Disney park). I wonder, why bother with edutainment at all when you can provide fantasy, something that is in real shortage?

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