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  1. #1

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    Does it appear that Tony Baxter has lost his passion for Disneyland?

    Has he become more "Corporate" than innovative Imagineer? I just read a story regarding the Gardens and how there was an
    Elliott family reunion at the Gardens to say goodbye to the place and he and the Imagineer in charge of the PFF project were walking through even though they supposedly knew the Elliott's (their children, both the brothers have passed) were there just kept walking past with no acknowledgement at all. For those that don't know, The Elliott Brothers played at the Gardens from around 1957 to 1969 and were known for Date Nite at Disneyland. What is in the pipeline for Disneyland has IMO, been lackluster. What's everybody's thoughts?
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    Re: Does it appear that Tony Baxter has lost his passion for Disneyland?

    Having all of your creative ideas shot down for budget reasons and being forced to add Nemo to a Disneyland classic would cause anyone to lose passion.
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    Re: Does it appear that Tony Baxter has lost his passion for Disneyland?

    Tony Baxter has not lost his passion for the Park. Not in the slightest. He loves the Park more than anything and has absolutely dedicated his life to it. From what I've heard, he is working on a number of big projects coming to Disneyland while supervising the smaller stuff like PFF.

    Just because you haven't heard of anything that's in the pipeline doesn't mean there isn't anything in the pipeline.

    I have met Tony personally very briefly on a few occasions at the Park and I must say, his passion is evident whenever he talks about it. He is more passionate about what he does than any other Imagineer I have talked to.

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    Re: Does it appear that Tony Baxter has lost his passion for Disneyland?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bronco21 View Post
    Having all of your creative ideas shot down for budget reasons and being forced to add Nemo to a Disneyland classic would cause anyone to lose passion.
    can be part of it
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    To that end I'd like the Internet community to join me in reminding the Disney company that "it all started with Walt." As you can see below we've created some T-shirts, plus a few simple graphics that you can copy and paste into your websites to let folks know how you feel.
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  5. #5

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    Re: Does it appear that Tony Baxter has lost his passion for Disneyland?

    I'm not sure why this question is being asked... just because he didn't stop to talk to the Elliot family? What other evidence do we have that *might* suggest he's lost his passion?

  6. #6

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    Re: Does it appear that Tony Baxter has lost his passion for Disneyland?

    I doubt 'lost passion' is the right word for it, but lately, Tony has had his pet projects (Lincoln for example, Sleeping Beauty Walkthrough) to oversee and refurbish without seemingly seeking an elaborate project that is currently publicly known: all we have are rumors on that front. I also wouldn't read too much into observed behavior in public reported by an outsider, without knowing the full story or interaction not witnessed by someone not involved, myself.

    He is also smart enough, doubtless, to keep his head down and follow corporate direction when they want a project he might not personally agree with so that he gets to keep overseeing projects at all, rather than being forced out or seen as 'causing trouble'.

    In addition, he has worked for Disney in the creative end since 1979 at least. He has a career of thirty plus years designing attractions for the parks, and (sadly) is closer to the end of an career on the ground being in charge of large-scale projects. I'd love it if he was in charge of an entirely new attraction, but I'd also be very surprised if that was the case.

    His dedication to Disneyland and fellow fans (like he is) is admirable and always been on display, but he is, after all, still with the company precisely because he knows how to pick his battles and not rock the boat too much in the face of corporate mindset regarding tying all new additions into a product line/Disney brand, regardless of personal feelings. I've had the pleasure as well to talk to him in person twice, and he was direct, friendly and very keen on talking about recent projects at the park.
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  7. #7

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    Re: Does it appear that Tony Baxter has lost his passion for Disneyland?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bronco21 View Post
    Having all of your creative ideas shot down for budget reasons and being forced to add Nemo to a Disneyland classic would cause anyone to lose passion.
    I don't know if he's lost the passion or spent too many years drinking the company kool-aid, but his praise for the Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage (in an lengthy fan magazine interview he called it a "major E-Ticket") sounded more like a corporate executive parroting PR than a creative imagineer upholding the standards of Disneyland.

    Even more so was his reaction at a dinner event when asked whose decision it was to put the poster of Miley Cyrus in the exit of Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln. He said, "That was my idea and I stand by it."

    One attendee reported:

    I asked Tony who decided that Miley should be represented on the wall of notables and why her picture was even bigger than president Obama's. He said very forcefully that HE had made the decision and that he was really upset by what he had read online about it. He seemed really irritated by the controversy.

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  8. #8

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    Re: Does it appear that Tony Baxter has lost his passion for Disneyland?

    Quote Originally Posted by RegionsBeyond View Post
    I doubt 'lost passion' is the right word for it, but lately, Tony has had his pet projects (Lincoln for example, Sleeping Beauty Walkthrough) to oversee and refurbish without seemingly seeking an elaborate project that is currently publicly known: all we have are rumors on that front. I also wouldn't read too much into observed behavior in public reported by an outsider, without knowing the full story or interaction not witnessed by someone not involved, myself.

    He is also smart enough, doubtless, to keep his head down and follow corporate direction when they want a project he might not personally agree with so that he gets to keep overseeing projects at all, rather than being forced out or seen as 'causing trouble'.

    In addition, he has worked for Disney in the creative end since 1979 at least. He has a career of thirty plus years designing attractions for the parks, and (sadly) is closer to the end of an career on the ground being in charge of large-scale projects. I'd love it if he was in charge of an entirely new attraction, but I'd also be very surprised if that was the case.

    His dedication to Disneyland and fellow fans (like he is) is admirable and always been on display, but he is, after all, still with the company precisely because he knows how to pick his battles and not rock the boat too much in the face of corporate mindset regarding tying all new additions into a product line/Disney brand, regardless of personal feelings. I've had the pleasure as well to talk to him in person twice, and he was direct, friendly and very keen on talking about recent projects at the park.
    Thank you for the thought out post. And yes, most of us don't know what's coming in the future for the park though my hope is they start "Imagineering" and quit "Marketeering".
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  9. #9

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    Re: Does it appear that Tony Baxter has lost his passion for Disneyland?

    I had met Tony Baxter about a week after the Railroad exhibit opened up in the Gallery. I had to wait 30 minutes to find a chance to talk to him because he was chatting with a gallery cast member. Not an exec. A CM. I don't think any Imagineer would do that if they were passionless about the park. When i had asked if I could have a picture with him, he not only said yes, but actually gave input as to where we should take it and guided me over to the picture of Walt in the train.

    To see him engage with CM's and park guests like that tells me he has not lost his passion for the park.

  10. #10

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    Re: Does it appear that Tony Baxter has lost his passion for Disneyland?

    Well, like they said in the film "The Right Stuff":

    "No bucks, no Buck Rogers"

    Gotta give and take a little. Although the profit they make on bottled water alone should fund 3 E-ticket rides.

  11. #11

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    Re: Does it appear that Tony Baxter has lost his passion for Disneyland?

    With Tony's increasing irrelevance in the Company I cannot help but worry if he may have been broken. If he decided that succumbing to a lesser, more subordinate position was better than leaving.

  12. #12

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    Re: Does it appear that Tony Baxter has lost his passion for Disneyland?

    Quote Originally Posted by brian11811 View Post

    Gotta give and take a little. Although the profit they make on bottled water alone should fund 3 E-ticket rides.
    Or the drinks.
    The $6 hotdog (that cost less than 10¢) can fund alot too
    Quote by Al:
    To that end I'd like the Internet community to join me in reminding the Disney company that "it all started with Walt." As you can see below we've created some T-shirts, plus a few simple graphics that you can copy and paste into your websites to let folks know how you feel.
    -Al Lutz



  13. #13

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    Re: Does it appear that Tony Baxter has lost his passion for Disneyland?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Wiggins View Post
    I don't know if he's lost the passion or spent too many years drinking the company kool-aid, but his praise for the Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage (in an lengthy fan magazine interview he called it a "major E-Ticket") sounded more like a corporate executive parroting PR than a creative imagineer upholding the standards of Disneyland.

    Even more so was his reaction at a dinner event when asked whose decision it was to put the poster of Miley Cyrus in the exit of Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln. He said, "That was my idea and I stand by it."

    One attendee reported:
    I asked Tony who decided that Miley should be represented on the wall of notables and why her picture was even bigger than president Obama's. He said very forcefully that HE had made the decision and that he was really upset by what he had read online about it. He seemed really irritated by the controversy.

    I still question whether it was really his decision with Miley or it was him trying to turn the blame away from other imagineers since it was less likely that people would be upset about it if it was his decision. But I would not be suprised. There is something known as brown nosing even with high ranking imagineers like Tony. There is a reason that Tony has stuck around so long. He really knows how to play the corporate game. I'm sure there was a reason he put it in and I doubt it was just because he really loved Miley.

    The subs are an area I am not clear on. I read somewhere that Tony and WDI in general only created the ride only because corporate would only allow them to bring back the subs if they connected it to a character. Tony is obviously passionate since he thought it was better to save the subs in some form than have them lost like WDW. Should he and WDI been a lot more creative with the Nemo concept? Oh yeah it is a horrible attraction. Was Tony forced into incorporating Nemo? From what I've heard yes. And the "e-ticket" quote and whatnot seems like more corporate brown nosing than anything else.
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  14. #14

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    Re: Does it appear that Tony Baxter has lost his passion for Disneyland?

    Quote Originally Posted by orbitalpunk View Post
    I had met Tony Baxter about a week after the Railroad exhibit opened up in the Gallery. I had to wait 30 minutes to find a chance to talk to him because he was chatting with a gallery cast member. Not an exec. A CM. I don't think any Imagineer would do that if they were passionless about the park. When i had asked if I could have a picture with him, he not only said yes, but actually gave input as to where we should take it and guided me over to the picture of Walt in the train.

    To see him engage with CM's and park guests like that tells me he has not lost his passion for the park.
    Could it be he has not lost his passion for people rather than the park?
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  15. #15

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    Re: Does it appear that Tony Baxter has lost his passion for Disneyland?

    Quote Originally Posted by Disneymike View Post
    Could it be he has not lost his passion for people rather than the park?
    Not the case at all. Let me reiterate what I said earlier:

    Tony loves Disneyland more than anything. He has dedicated his entire life to Disney and Disneyland. Tony also knows how to play the corporate game. He understands that he needs to satisfy the accountants before he is given a bit of freedom to work with. From what I have heard, Tony has played his cards right and has gotten a bit of creative freedom for a few areas within Disneyland.

    He just recently completed 2 great projects that are totally classic Disney: Sleeping Beauty Castle and Mr. Lincoln. I think those 2 examples show that he hasn't lost his passion. From what I have heard, when the Matterhorn opens in June, we may see a few enhancements Tony and his team have come up with.

    Most importantly, he has pleased the pencil boys enough that he has been given a bit of free reign on a few very big projects coming to Disneyland in the next decade or so.

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