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  1. #1

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    Sad WDI........almost.....DEAD.....

    All Animatronic inventory and future Animatronic production will now be done by a THIRD PARTY. So much for being a "theme park leader". RIP W.E.D. and MAPO......With no in house AA production at WDI, what the hell are they gonna do now? Just sit around and dream up stuff that will never get built and draw bad concept art? Give us more bad CGI video screens? The days of WDI turning into Uni. Creative (hired on as needed basis) are getting closer I fear.....

    Garner Holt Productions Acquires Complete Disney AA Production Parts Inventory - LaughingPlace.com: Disney World, Disneyland and More
    Last edited by penguinsoda; 03-23-2012 at 09:20 PM. Reason: Link to non partner site with forums edited

  2. #2

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    Re: WDI........almost.....DEAD.....

    I think I would be more shocked and saddened if this was not a long time coming. Garner Holt Productions has been doing most of the animatronics for Disney for some time now. Disney will do as they have been doing for a few years now, buy animatronics from Garner Holt Productions.

  3. #3

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    Re: WDI........almost.....DEAD.....

    The article also states they have acquired all the historic designs as well.
    “No worries, stay calm, one question. 
Do you happen to know how to fly this thing?”

  4. #4

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    Re: WDI........almost.....DEAD.....

    While this saddens me, I also understand that times are changing.

    Bottom line is, as long as the quality doesn't decrease, it doesn't matter to me.


    Disneyland - 1982 to Present
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  5. #5

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    Re: WDI........almost.....DEAD.....

    As long as Garner Holt has some sort of exclusivity contract with Disney (i.e. no leaking of sensitive docs or artwork, no re-using Disney designs elsewhere) it's just part of the outsourcing times we live in.

    Then again, wasn't WDI always a cyclical business that had very few permanent cast members? I'm sure most of the Cars Land creative team has already been laid off and is looking for their next projects...
    Please consider the environment before printing useless emails

  6. #6

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    Re: WDI........almost.....DEAD.....

    Why does this "WDI is dead" topic come up every few years?

    Subcontracting a reality of the business world and of course WDI has been doing it for years. The article even says Garner Holt has been building AAs for 10 years and has made more than any other company in the world (including WDI)!

    What if Garner Holt can build AAs better and cheaper than WDI? If Garner Holt has been working with WDI for so long, that means they built the Jack Sparrow and Ursula AAs. And subcontractors are building Cars Land. I think we can all agree that these are all pretty amazing.

    The topic of WDI hiring on an as needed basis has come up so much over the years, but I don't believe it makes any difference. And really, does it make sense for a company to keep permanent staff in all design and construction trades? For example, why would they have a full time person to sculpt rockwork if they're not constantly building new rockwork? It doesn't make sense, so they find the best artist they can, hire them on a contract and supervise their work.

    Just because artists, designers, builders, etc are on not permanent doesn't meant they don't work on multiple WDI projects over time. And new talent keeps things fresh.

    I see it as a smart business move. Using subcontractors frees WDI creativity and money for better things.
    Last edited by mcstewart37; 03-23-2012 at 08:49 AM.

  7. #7

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    Re: WDI........almost.....DEAD.....

    So sad. Even if you subcontract to the best company around, you just can't expect the same level of care, commitment, and oversight you can with in-house work.

  8. #8

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    Re: WDI........almost.....DEAD.....

    Also, this means Garner will have WDIs AA compliance tech. That was the ONE thing that set Disney AAs apart. This IS the end of an era. And Garners work has NOT been that great. The Buzz robot AAs, HMH AAs, Murphy (look how well THAt went) and yea and the greatest GEM......THE YETI. Yeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeaaaaaaaaaaaa.................... ..

  9. #9

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    Re: WDI........almost.....DEAD.....

    Quote Originally Posted by JCSkipr79 View Post
    Murphy (look how well THAt went) and yea and the greatest GEM......THE YETI. Yeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeaaaaaaaaaaaa.................... ..
    Murphy was botched by the crew at Disneyland and Garner Holt's Project Yeti is often confused for, but not related to, the infamous "Disco" Yeti inside of the Forbidden Mountain.

    The technology is the big coup de grâce for Holt, but we do not know if Disney was wise and maintained any sort of exclusivity.

  10. #10

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    Re: WDI........almost.....DEAD.....

    Um guys, Disney has been outsourcing Animatronics for over a decade. It's nothing new.


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    Re: WDI........almost.....DEAD.....

    Quote Originally Posted by k_peek_2000 View Post
    Um guys, Disney has been outsourcing Animatronics for over a decade. It's nothing new.
    This is new. Disney was not wholly outsourcing their most advanced figures and maintained a number of proprietary technologies that enabled Disney's figures to remain the best in the industry. All of that was apparently sold off.

  12. #12

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    Re: WDI........almost.....DEAD.....

    A lot of craziness today on Mice Chat. One filled trash can and the world ends. People so mad that Starbucks is coming into the park (people I'm sure have had numerous Cokes and Dole whips), and now this?!?!?!

    Jeez! There are companies that solely focus on animatronics. Disney never focused solely on this. It's probably wiser form them to do this. You would want a company to do this...to outsource to a company that does it better. This is not bad news. This is a company being smart. Sure, you can be saddened by the end of an era, but its adaptation to an ever-evolving market. C'mon guys!!!!!!
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    Re: WDI........almost.....DEAD.....

    I'm not totally shocked or saddened. I think it's better to do this than to keep doing it at WDI because these days, they have a team that has way too much on their mind. This way you give the job to a company who solely specializes in the field. They do one thing and nothing else.

    Yes, Murphy was quite a pain in the butt, but you're going to get that no matter what. A machine with tons of moving parts is going to screw up eventually.
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  14. #14

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    Re: WDI........almost.....DEAD.....

    What about the giant AA's in Tokyo (Journey and Sindbad)? Will those be outsourced? Or will it still be WDI flying out to do any work on them.

    Also, I was under the impression things like the new Lincoln and the Johnny Depp AA's were primarily designed by WDI?

  15. #15

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    Re: WDI........almost.....DEAD.....

    Quote Originally Posted by isny View Post
    What about the giant AA's in Tokyo (Journey and Sindbad)? Will those be outsourced? Or will it still be WDI flying out to do any work on them.
    Garner Holt did all of the Tokyo DisneySea animatronics 12 years ago. They won THEA awards for the massive amount of animatronic and theme work they did as a contractor for WDI at Tokyo DisneySea. Garner Holt has also created and maintained animatronics for Tokyo Disneyland. They also do animated figures and large-scale animatronics for entertainment spectaculars at Tokyo Disney Resort, like the massive animated floating barges for the Legend of Mythica show at Tokyo DisneySea. Etc., etc., etc.

    And yes, Garner Holt has also been the designer and builder of recent animatronics in Anaheim; the Fantasmic! dragon, Mr. Potato Head, Jack Skellington and Oogie Boogie in Haunted Mansion Holiday, Johnny Depp in Pirates, etc.

    Garner Holt is the leader in animatronic development, fabrication, and maintenance. It's been this way for over a decade. This is nothing new, and if anything it will allow for even better technology to come into the parks, and better maintenance and upgrades to existing animatronics inside the parks already.

    I don't get why this would be such a big deal, unless you hadn't been keeping track of the animatronic industry since the 1970's.

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