F! stay or go I could care less either way. The island was a LOT more realistic before the installation, but some would argue that the "improvements" also prevented possible drownings. Fantasmic is a fun show, and it really captures the "magic" of Disneyland. It has contributed to countless family memories, becoming a tradition for many on vacation. Few things compare to the wonder in a child's eyes when they see the dragon for the first time.
At the same time when F! is dark, one honestly appreciates the tranquil quiet of the big river. Whether by train, or by boat, the scenery and sounds offer a brief trip back into history, even if only for a moment. Suddenly life slows down, the puff of steam, the creak of timbers, the clank of the tracks and the sounds of splashing water all invite you to finally relax and simply take in the experience. When F! is dark you feel that void, but you don't necessarily miss it.
I really hope that you were being sarcastic in your remarks regarding Fantasmic! I have been a fan of this show since the beginning, and I know my kids enjoyed every minute of their 6 viewings on our last trip. You are certainly entitled to your opinion, of course.
Be that as it may.... just because people have grown up with Fantasmic, doesn't mean that everyone under the age of say.... 40 LOVES the show. It sounds like you are attempting to make a blanket statement as to who and how many people like Fantasmic. Just because one "grows up with something" does not necessarily equate to them automatically liking something.
People from all ages and all walks of life both like and dislike Fantasmic. Is it still a popular show? Well if the "acres" (sarcasm) of blankets laid out hours before the show are any indication then yes.... its still popular. But for everyone who sits on those blankets and loves the show there is someone who could care less about it. If you love the show... great!! If you don't... great!!!
I saw Fantasmic the very first year it opened. I sat on the grass across from the island (there was a section of grass back then that has since been removed for the flow of traffic), and I remember enjoying it greatly. I still enjoy some parts of it.
But not enough to sit on the ground for hours waiting for it. The area was never designed to be a "stage" for a presentation for hundreds of people. It just wasn't. I haven't seen F! in its entirety in years not because I dislike the show per se, but because I refuse to either sit for hours waiting for it (its just not worth it) or stand and try to see over the heads of people in front of me for what while its a nice show, is not worth the time and effort when I could be doing something else.
What I really miss? Being able to ride the Twain around the river at night. Its just a beautiful, peaceful thing to be able to do. I agree with techskip, that the area especially at night without F! is a wonderful area of the park to relax, and forget the real world on the outside without the sensory overload of the show and the people clogging the walkway waiting for it.
As for TSI... I'm not sure what I would do to fix it. Maybe the first thing I would do is get rid of No Child Left Behind, so instead of teaching kids to pass a standardized test, they could actually teach some culture and creative works of literature, so that kids now days actually know who Mark Twain and Tom Sawyer are. And while we're at it, how about teaching them some of the great American folk lore/stories like Paul Bunyon and Johnny Appleseed.... it could be themed to actual American history, when kids had imaginations and could think for themselves and didn't need computer games, and tv and smart phones to be entertained.
Semantics aside, I think it's more than fair to say that the vast majority of park visitors truly look forward to seeing the show. They certainly don't want to see it removed. The longevity of the attraction speaks to this. 20+ years later and still going strong.
A single generation is 20-25 years. A couple means 2. Therefore a couple of generations would be a minimum of 40 years. A couple of generations is what was stated, which would be by definition 40-50 years and since F! has only been around for 20 years, it has only been around for a single generation... but that is semantics and in reality has little to do with the original question or basis of the thread so I won't derail it any further. I was just pointing out what happens when you make blanket statement and sweeping generalizations.
I don't see how anyone made any kind of blanket statement at all. Saying that there are a lot of people who cherish memories of the attraction as much as you cherish other memories from your childhood is not a blanket statement. It's a fact. To say otherwise would be to say that you cherish nothing from your own childhood.
There seems to be a general vibe of elitism or entitlement present on this board currently. Anyone that expresses a point of view that differs from the DLR Regulars is immediately cast aside and dismissed as making "blanket statements" or "fallacies". This is apparent in the tone of multiple threads currently up on this board.
I don't get the hate for the show at all. Everyone is entitled to their opinion, but to give the perception that folks that camp out for the show are somehow "clogging up the walkways" and "wasting their time" is certainly counter to the opinion of most people who have seen the show. I would bet my last dollar that the overwhelming majority of people who have seen it would like to see it again. That's why the show has run for so long and they have invested so much money into refurbs. People love this show. There are others who come to the park just to see it and then leave. I don't think they consider it a waste of time.
CoasterMatt didn't say that everyone likes the show, He made a very general comment. As you said, if you like it, fine. If you don't, that's fine too. But to imply that people who are willing to camp out to see it are wasting their time is a really harsh thing to say.
I like the bambi idea. They really need to do something with that real estate. It's pretty lame as is.
Personally, as someone who grew up with Fantasmic, I don't care too much for it. I never watch it, and I think it hijacks the entire surrounding area in a very obtrusive way. I'm not saying that it should be scrapped just because I personally don't like it, but I would prefer if it was moved to DCA or something.
First of all, yes, yes, a thousand times, YES!!! As a teacher, I'll tell you No Child Left Behind has done a lot of harm to public education. Not wishing to turn this into a political debate, I will stop there.
However, as for Fantasmic! I've seen it many times. I love it. I think it was the best show Disney has ever done. EVER. But I do hate what it has done to the beautiful, tranquil nightime ambiance that once existed in Frontierland and New Orleans Square. In fact, the whole west side of the park. For that reason, I'd like to see it go. If not forever, perhaps just limiting its run. Only on Friday and Saturday, and only once a night. Will it be crowded? Sure. But people who wish to wait and see it will have that chance. Others will have the opportunity to enjoy a nightime cruise on the Mark Twain, or just stroll through the moonlit streets of NOS, without having to wait until nearly midnight.
The cold, hard truth is Disneyland was never designed for a show of such magnitude to be shown there. It IS intrusive. I don't fault people who stake out a spot for a couple of hours for the show. I've done it myself. There are days when being forced to sit for a while is actually a welcome break from a busy day.
But Disneyland can't handle that gargantuan flow of people without it impacting EVERYONE who isn't interested in seeing the show. Some type of compromise seems in order.
Both photos, the real Missouri.
Perfect? Maybe not; but Disney never said it was actually supposed to be Missouri (I mentioned that as shorthand). Frontierland represents ALL of the American frontier--and the island and surrounding shores on the back side look a whole lot like places on the east coast and mid-west I've seen. And I would definitely not say that the man who designed the Island, Walt Disney, "failed miserably."
For me, the "magic" of Fantasmic IS the transformation of the area into this incredible show and the repurposing of the island, Mark Twain, & Columbia into set pieces. It's genius! WDW's Fantasmic has a dedicated theater that doesn't intrude on the ambiance of the surrounding park ... but it is a pale comparison to what we have in Disneyland... totally lacking the magical transformation of the Rivers of America.
That being said, Disneyland DOES pay a large price to have such a large & popular show right in the heart of the park. I HATE the competitiveness of finding a good viewing spot and don't like having to waste precious time in the park camping out. (and yes, I have a strategy that includes the 2nd showing)
As far as the island goes ... Disney needs to reimagine the Tom Sawyer theme or do something entirely different. It really doesn't make sense to use the limited real estate they have for such a small percentage of their guests. I haven't even bothered to visit the island for many years. It needs to somehow tell more of a story and offer more of an adventure to tempt me to take time away from other rides and shows.
Keep Fantasmic - but eliminate the campers. Re-imagine the Tom Sawyer theme or re-do the island entirely. That's my vote.