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  1. #31

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    Re: Why Some Disney Fans Don't like the last 15 years of the Parks?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Weaver View Post
    Nothing wrong with basing an attraction or even a land on a movie. Look at the success of The Wizarding World of Harry Potter. And I still hope Disney will someday do something permanent with Mary Poppins. But I don't like non-Disney films such as Star Wars or Indiana Jones being dragged in as the basis for attractions in Disney parks. The main issue, though, is the experience you get from the attraction: do you just ride through a synopsis of the movie (i.e. Winnie the Pooh)? Or do you get an experience above and beyond what you would get by simply watching the movie on DVD (i.e. Toy Story Midway Mania)? The attraction must provide a different experience than simply watching the movie, for example, if they moved Autopia over to Carsland and you actually drive one of the characters from the movie and it talks to you. Also, simply copying rides from other theme parks and giving them a coat of Disney paint is not very innovative or original. You can get the same type of experience you get on Grizzly River Run at similar rides at Sea World, Knott's and Magic Mountain. What they need is more completely original experiences, that you cannot get by watching DVDs or visiting other theme parks. Otherwise, why choose to visit a Disney park over the competing parks?
    I guess it depends on the Disney property itself and what kind of experience it would have to offer. In some cases of replacing a preexisting ride with Disney characters, it doesn't always work. I hate what they did to the El Rio del Tiempo boat ride at Epcot. All the mysticness and beauty of the original ride sucked away in favor of the Three Cabelleros and it sucks! I'm more forgiving about replacing the original Living Seas expedition at Epcot with a Finding Nemo ride. The original ride wasn't all that good anyway. As far as what's being done at DCA, some of it (such as replacing Superstar Limo with Monsters Inc) are actually good replacements but others such as replacing MM with GSS are questionable. If that ride sees any improvement in attendance it will only be because of an increase in attendance for the entire park itself.

    I'm still a bit hesitant on the idea of an area like BVS where every store and eatery will be named after a Disney character or reference. But it will take a few years for a place like BVS to find its footing.
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  2. #32

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    Re: Why Some Disney Fans Don't like the last 15 years of the Parks?

    Quote Originally Posted by StevenW View Post
    This is exactly why I don't trust the ideas of the Disney "originalists".
    You're in good company:



    "Disneyland is about translating movies into attractions."
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    "With the acquisition of Marvel and now of Lucasfilm,
    Disney may have finally found the grail. You don't need
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  3. #33

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    Re: Why Some Disney Fans Don't like the last 15 years of the Parks?

    For me, Pixar is only one aspect of the larger problem. When Walt opened DL, it was its own creature, allowed to be whatever Walt wanted it to be. (It wasn't even part of the company during his lifetime.) That changed w/ the Eisner concept of synergy, where every aspect of the Disney company must promote every other aspect. Synergy slowly but surely transformed the company's main mission into marketing itself, creating a continuous feedback loop of which DL was only one part.

    When the main objective is marketing, all other priorities change. There's less room for originality in attraction design. Lands that were intended to be real places become mere backdrops on which to hang the current marketing message. Suspension of disbelief is discouraged, since losing oneself too much in the environment might distract from the "real" message of marketing. The house is papered w/ cheap AP's to encourage people to view the message over and over again.

    In short, the park no longer exists for its own sake; it's just one more vehicle Disney uses to promote its filmed product. That, more than anything else, is the real tragedy of the last 15 years.
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  4. #34

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    Re: Why Some Disney Fans Don't like the last 15 years of the Parks?

    So...annnnnnyway... I'm just gonna enjoy my AP and Disneyland, because the place is still fun as heck if you don't treat it like a shrine to years past and gripe about everything.

  5. #35

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    Re: Why Some Disney Fans Don't like the last 15 years of the Parks?

    I agree in part.

    I think the buzz ride is pretty fun and somewhat imaginative, Nemo too, to a lesser extent. I was and am completely against the Star Tours redo. It's just Lucas ruining the franchise even more by adding prequel stuff into it and making it more like 'riding the movie'. I mean, Indy is based on the films of course, but it's a whole new adventure not linked to the movies at all. And it's great. But that's for another topic.

    Carsland I agree it's just bad.. but also the park is CALIFORNIA Adventure.. and the movie Cars DOES NOT TAKE PLACE IN CALIFORNIA. The entire plot of the movie is that the main character is trying to get out of this small desert town and get to California!

    Also, California Adventure failed from the beginning, and they've tried to make up for it by turning it into 'Pixarland'. There are going to be literally two entire lands, nearly half the park, that are totally dedicated to individual Pixar movies. Combined with the few Pixar movie rides they already have there, and the Pixar character parade they have.. It's pretty much 'Pixarland'.

    And the problem about lack of creativity is true. Even with the rennovations to DCA, almost all the new things are based on Disney or Pixar movies. The latest big ride that was original I think was Expedition Everest in WDW and before that it was Soarin'. Everything else has just been rides based on movies.

    Yet, it's not entirely true that imagination and creativity and originality is gone. Perfect example.. Tokyo DisneySea. The entire park is a super imaginative concept. And aside from the Little Mermaid ride, and maybe one other I can't think of.. The entire park is filled with new, creative, innovative, and original rides not linked to any Disney/Pixar movie or tv show. So that shows the potential is there, but for some reason for the Domestic parks, Imagineers have been lacking new original ideas.

    I've said it before and I'll say it again. Can the only two possible categories for original dark rides be Pirates and Ghosts? I mean think about it, not since the 1960's has Disney come up with another ride similar in style to Pirates or Haunted Mansion that is completely original and not based on a Disney film or an already well established story/legend. Surely, there must be more options open than pirates and ghosts...

    I think overall, the problem with Disney/Disneyland over the past 15 years is that slow transition from really good, creative ideas done without budget or profits in mind... to something that's almost entirely based on profits and budgets and synergy with Disney/Pixar films and other media outlets. It seems over the past 15 years, for every Soarin' or Everest we got.. they gave us 3 or 4 Buzz's or Toy Story Midway Mania's or Winnie the Pooh or Little Mermaid's.

    I mean, think about this.. for Soarin' they travelled all throughout the state, spent weeks getting great footage and doing research and finding the best spots at the best times to film California. And for Expedition Everest.. My God! The Imagineers travelled to Nepal and Mount Everest, lived among the Sherpa's, studied the history and culture, and even brought back dozens of authentic objects and artifacts from Everest and Nepal to use all over the ride to add that level of uniqueness, originality, and authenticity.

    The thing is.. trips around the state or around the world like that are few and far between, whereas before.. nearly every ride was made only after the people who would actually design and build the rides took trips around the world to study and mimic these real things they were going to emulate in the rides.

    Or I just thought of another attraction that was Super cool at WDW and I'm happy I was able to go on.. it was Alien Invasion or something like that in Tomorrowland at MK. It was totally unique and original, always had a huge line.. Then they decided to close it, redo it, and make it about Stitch instead. Just completely unnecessary and ridiculous.

    I could go on.. but I think I've made my point.
    Last edited by JamesDusenberry; 02-23-2011 at 05:07 AM.
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  6. #36

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    Re: Why Some Disney Fans Don't like the last 15 years of the Parks?

    Quote Originally Posted by toonaspie View Post
    I think it comes back to public demand again.

    The original conception of Disneyland (featuring every and only the attractions that the park originally opened with) wouldn't have lasted long. People expect to see Disney characters in a park that's named after Disney. And the non-Disney-character attractions that became popular only became so because the technology used when they first came out was considered ahead of it's time. The same logic can be applied to the very few original attractions that are found in Disney parks these days.

    I disagree that the technology was the only reason those attractions became popular. People are fascinated by pirates, ghosts, jungle exploration, space travel, etc., etc. These are archetypal themes that strike a chord in people. They don't need to have seen a specific movie to be interested in them.

    My favorite description of Disneyland is "the place where the greatest American myths reside." (And though this is actually from a quote by a 1990's Imagineer defending the liscensing of Indiana Jones, I think it captures the basic idea of what Walt was trying to create.) In the early days, there was less need for a distinction between movie-based and non-movie-based attractions, because they were all working towards the same purpose - allowing people to experience these fantastic adventures that had captured their imaginations since childhood.

    Original (or in some cases formerly original) attractions like Pirates, HM, Jungle Cruise, Tiki Room and Small World have become a part of the popular conciousness and represent Disney in people's minds just as much as their movie-based counterparts. For evidence of this, just look at how often they've been parodied. Comedians know the general public will get what they're talking about. And some movie-based attractions (Splash Mountain, Mr. Toad) are better known to the public today than the movies they're based on.

    However, getting back to Toonaspie's post, I agree that the fascination of the new technology was a factor in their popularity - so why can't we have new original attractions that also feature technology that's way ahead of its time?


    Now I have my problems with Disney characters being incorporated into certain attractions shamelessly and stupidly in the past. Pixar has often been a great offender of being incorporated into very low rated and un-Disneylike attractions. But Carslands sounds a helluvalot better than ghost towns and all of that...
    Here, we agree. I think Carsland has potential, if it's done right, because the location in the movie actually looks like an interesting place to visit, and ghost towns sound more like Frontierland territory to me.

    In answer to the OP's question, I have the same big problems with recent DL history as several other posters:

    1) The aversion to ambitious original attractions in the past 3 decades, and the push to turn existing originals into movie-based attractions.

    2) The emphasis on promoting characters by having guests passively watch their adventures instead of putting the guest at the center of the adventure. (But as I say, they don't sell plush scenery.)
    Last edited by animagusurreal; 02-23-2011 at 07:25 AM.
    "Happy Working Song" parody for DCA remodel: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x-TYESfNTP8&feature=plcp

    Retro Rant Review of "The Hunchback of Notre Dame II" (comedy review of direct-to-video
    Disney sequel):
    Part 1: http://www.youtube.com/user/animagus.../1/q1j7FU8QXu0
    Part 2: http://www.youtube.com/user/animagus.../0/sasNTMDRBLU

    Retro Rant Review of "Home on the Range" (comedy review of Disney movie):
    Part 1: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J7mC-...feature=relmfu
    Part 2: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qoUie...feature=relmfu
    Part 3: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G3Vea...feature=relmfu


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  7. #37

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    Re: Why Some Disney Fans Don't like the last 15 years of the Parks?

    Quote Originally Posted by Broadway Guru View Post
    In short, the park no longer exists for its own sake; it's just one more vehicle Disney uses to promote its filmed product. That, more than anything else, is the real tragedy of the last 15 years.
    If the filmed product is good quality, we wouldn't be having this conversation. It's films were never its strong suit. Live action is horrible. Animation was where it's at, but they blundered with digital animation, which was why they HAD to buy out Pixar. Let's clear. Pixar is Disney. Disney is Pixar.

    There's nothing wrong with promoting movies in the parks or having rides based on its movie and characters from the movies. The problem with the theme parks is the lack of resources they are devoting to the rides.

    In a way, you look at the problem narrowly. The malaise in film reflects its malaise in theme park. They are one and the same.

  8. #38

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    Re: Why Some Disney Fans Don't like the last 15 years of the Parks?

    ^

    I agree with Broadway Guru.

    There's nothing wrong with Disneyland promoting films, just as there's nothing wrong with a great animated film that happens to sell a lot of toys (most of the great Disney films did, most of the great Pixar films do). BUT - Disneyland should be it's own product first, rather than just an advertisement for other products.


    Now that Disney Animation and Pixar are both under the same corporate ownership, and Lasseter is running around trying to fix Disney, there is some crossover between the two. However, Pixar is still Pixar and Disney Animation is still Disney Animation, or else they wouldn't be calling them by two different names.

    Some of the Pixar films would make great attractions, but the ones we've gotten so far have failed to capitialize on the elements of the films that would best lend themselves to attraction adaptation. I want a Toy Story attraction that makes me feel like I'm a toy, not like I'm playing a cardboard cutout shooting gallery, or a Wii game.

    I think the malaise in film reflecting the malaise in park is more a factor of the corporate culture of the moment enhancing or poisining all aspects of the company, rather than that the only way for the current attractions to be good is to have good current movies to be based on.
    "Happy Working Song" parody for DCA remodel: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x-TYESfNTP8&feature=plcp

    Retro Rant Review of "The Hunchback of Notre Dame II" (comedy review of direct-to-video
    Disney sequel):
    Part 1: http://www.youtube.com/user/animagus.../1/q1j7FU8QXu0
    Part 2: http://www.youtube.com/user/animagus.../0/sasNTMDRBLU

    Retro Rant Review of "Home on the Range" (comedy review of Disney movie):
    Part 1: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J7mC-...feature=relmfu
    Part 2: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qoUie...feature=relmfu
    Part 3: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G3Vea...feature=relmfu


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    Pratfall the albatross superheroine visits the Carthay Circle Theatre.

  9. #39

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    Re: Why Some Disney Fans Don't like the last 15 years of the Parks?

    Quote Originally Posted by animagusurreal View Post
    Now that Disney Animation and Pixar are both under the same corporate ownership, and Lasseter is running around trying to fix Disney, there is some crossover between the two. However, Pixar is still Pixar and Disney Animation is still Disney Animation, or else they wouldn't be calling them by two different names.
    No, the suggestion was Pixar was not Disney. Sure, Pixar and Disney Animation are different divisions. Each division has its own culture and businesses, but they are still part of the same company. Often, Pixar was attacked for being in the theme parks because some feel it is less worthy of being in the parks than Disney Animation.

    Certainly, Disneyland should be promoting itself rather than its film products, but I don't see how its rides are not promoting Disneyland. A film is experience in a dark theater or the comfort of your home. A ride IS experienced in the theme park.

  10. #40

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    Re: Why Some Disney Fans Don't like the last 15 years of the Parks?

    Quote Originally Posted by StevenW View Post
    No, the suggestion was Pixar was not Disney. Sure, Pixar and Disney Animation are different divisions. Each division has its own culture and businesses, but they are still part of the same company. Often, Pixar was attacked for being in the theme parks because some feel it is less worthy of being in the parks than Disney Animation.
    Ah, then we pretty much agree on this. I never had a problem with Pixar based attractions in theory, but then I never had a problem with Indy or Star Wars being in the parks, either.

    Certainly, Disneyland should be promoting itself rather than its film products, but I don't see how its rides are not promoting Disneyland. A film is experience in a dark theater or the comfort of your home. A ride IS experienced in the theme park.
    I don't think Disneyland should be promoting itself, I think Disneyland should BE itself.

    The new attractions emphasise the characters way more than the old ones. Look at how many times Peter Pan appears in his attraction, and look at how many times Pooh appears in his. I feel like that's not because it makes the attraction better, but because it promotes the toys more.

    Original attractions and movie-based attractions that are approached in a unique way set Disneyland apart from movie-based parks like Universal. They're part of what's made Disneyland an entertainment icon in its own right.
    "Happy Working Song" parody for DCA remodel: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x-TYESfNTP8&feature=plcp

    Retro Rant Review of "The Hunchback of Notre Dame II" (comedy review of direct-to-video
    Disney sequel):
    Part 1: http://www.youtube.com/user/animagus.../1/q1j7FU8QXu0
    Part 2: http://www.youtube.com/user/animagus.../0/sasNTMDRBLU

    Retro Rant Review of "Home on the Range" (comedy review of Disney movie):
    Part 1: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J7mC-...feature=relmfu
    Part 2: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qoUie...feature=relmfu
    Part 3: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G3Vea...feature=relmfu


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    Pratfall the albatross superheroine visits the Carthay Circle Theatre.

  11. #41

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    Re: Why Some Disney Fans Don't like the last 15 years of the Parks?

    No one should have a problem with their promoting Disney's other products and brands in the parks. I mean, we should actually expect it.
    HOW they do it is the issue.
    Positive examples: Lion King Parade. Um.....(anyone?)
    Negative examples: Princess crap.
    "Here You Leave the World of California Today and Enter the World of, um, er, California Today."

  12. #42

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    Re: Why Some Disney Fans Don't like the last 15 years of the Parks?

    To all of you talking about Tokyo Disney Sea... have you been there? It's full of movie tie ins. There's a Little Mermaid LAND, an Aladdin area, an area based on 20000 Leagues Under the Sea, the Indiana Jones ride is there and the whole area around it is inspired by it. I'm not saying it's not awesome but acting like there's no movie tie ins isn't true.

    I agree that DCA is going in the direction of Pixar Land in many areas, but in other areas it's not. I'll reserve judgement until they finish the refurb. I can say that it was pretty lame before, and even now I mostly go over there for elecTRONica. If the Pixar will pull more people in, then so be it.

    As for Disneyland itself, I still love it. I don't think adding Nemo to the subs was necessary but I was never a fan of it much anyway so it doesn't affect me much. And there are still a lot of rides with no movie tie ins. All of the mountains save for Splash. Haunted Mansion (with the exception of Holiday). Jungle Cruise, Tiki Room, Autopia.

    A park like Disneyland needs to grow and evolve. I think many of you are taking it a little too personally. No one is going to like everything they do, but for everyone who doesn't like it, there's someone who does.
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  13. #43

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    Re: Why Some Disney Fans Don't like the last 15 years of the Parks?

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    Re: Why Some Disney Fans Don't like the last 15 years of the Parks?

    Quote Originally Posted by StevenW View Post
    Often, Pixar was attacked for being in the theme parks because some feel it is less worthy of being in the parks than Disney Animation.
    No, Pixar attractions are attacked for being in the theme parks because some feel the attractions are unimaginative and uncreative, if not dullass boring.
    "With the acquisition of Marvel and now of Lucasfilm,
    Disney may have finally found the grail. You don't need
    imagination or art. All you need is a brand."

    - Neil Gabler


  15. #45

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    Re: Why Some Disney Fans Don't like the last 15 years of the Parks?

    Quote Originally Posted by StevenW View Post
    There's nothing wrong with promoting movies in the parks or having rides based on its movie and characters from the movies. The problem with the theme parks is the lack of resources they are devoting to the rides.

    In a way, you look at the problem narrowly. The malaise in film reflects its malaise in theme park. They are one and the same.
    And they shouldn't be. To reduce DL to a promotional vehicle is to hamstring it. In the synergistic vision, all parts of DL must "pull their weight" in promoting other company product. Thus, attractions which are not character based must become so, either by being made into movies or by having characters retconned into them (or, in the case of Pirates, both).

    This vision narrowly limits the parks' appeal to people who like the particular movies Disney chooses to promote. The idea of a Route 66 area is appealing to many people: car enthusiasts, baby boomers, history buffs, or just people who like road trips. Carsland appeals to people who like the movie "Cars."

    Let's look at this another way. What if the shoe was on the other foot and Disney Studios was forced to make only movies that were based on an existing ride at a Disney park?
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