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  1. #61

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    Re: Tom Sawyer Island - Time for a Change

    Quote Originally Posted by BlAcKoUt510 View Post
    If Fantasmic is a low quality show I wonder what that says for just about every other theme park show out there.
    Disneyland isn't just "every other theme park... ...out there". However if the island was razed to put in a coaster as the OP suggested, it would be well on its way to becoming just that.
    "You can cut me off from the civilized world. You can incarcerate me with two moronic cellmates. You can torture me with your thrice daily swill, but you cannot break the spirit of a Winchester. My voice shall be heard from this wilderness and I shall be delivered from this fetid and festering sewer."

  2. #62

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    Re: Tom Sawyer Island - Time for a Change

    Allow me to try to tackle this for a second... First i would get rid of most of the pirate paraphernalia and props, except for what would be needed to imply river pirates such as the ones that were found on the Mississippi and Ohio rivers; secondly, I would put a Mark Twain face character on the fantasmic! stage during the day and have him telling tall tales and entertaining the guest; and lastly regarding fantasmic!, I would retheme it to a more appropriate theme such as the gold rush and the tales of pecos bill.
    The fountain of youth really is in Florida... thats why they built Walt Disney World where they did.

  3. #63

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    Re: Tom Sawyer Island - Time for a Change

    Quote Originally Posted by Meville View Post
    I'm honestly shocked at all the hate for F! There seams to be a very vocal minority of people who are stuck in the past and do not want to accept that Disneyland (and the world for that matter) has changed over the years (not agreeing with current building codes? REALLY??). I understand to a point as I know in 30 years I will likely be doing the same thing, but to write off every new innovation, every new idea or every new aspect of a constantly changing park is just plane short sighted. As I understand Disneyland, by design, was meant to always be changing; why was that particular part of Walt's vision over looked.
    And once again, the most important part of Walt's quote is ignored.

    "...as long as there is imagination left in the world." Fantasmic! spoon feeds imagination to the crowd. The crowd is not encouraged to imagine. In fact, Mickey angrily takes this imagination away from us. "This is MY imagination!" is what he says, if I recall.

    The new Disney is trying so desperately to take the imagination away. So they can build things on the cheap and therefore hopefully their guests will fall prey to it, blindly emptying out their pocket books to sit and be entertained, rather than using their own imaginations to take them to the world of the American frontier and the boundless opportunity that it represented.

  4. #64

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    Re: Tom Sawyer Island - Time for a Change

    Quote Originally Posted by DisneyIPresume View Post
    "This is MY imagination!" is what he says, if I recall.
    You are misquoting and taking it out of context. Mickey says, "you may think you're so powerful, but this is my dream!". The context is not to tell the audience that they are not to use their own imaginations. It was telling the evil sorceress to not inject her nightmares into his dreams.
    "You can cut me off from the civilized world. You can incarcerate me with two moronic cellmates. You can torture me with your thrice daily swill, but you cannot break the spirit of a Winchester. My voice shall be heard from this wilderness and I shall be delivered from this fetid and festering sewer."

  5. #65

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    Re: Tom Sawyer Island - Time for a Change

    Quote Originally Posted by penguinsoda View Post
    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.
    This is worth the minor detour. What you speak of is a nationwide generation... for example Baby Boomers or Generation X. What I believe the poster meant was generations within visiting families. 20-25 years is easily enough time for a parent, who was a child, to take their own child to see the show. In that respect you have 3 generations. You have the parent who is now the grandparent. You have the child who is now the parent. And you have the newest generation. If the grandparents were present at the initial opening (some families vacation with their grandparents) then that would make 4 generations watching the same show. The EXACT same thing has happened to me with the Electrical Parade. My GRANDPARENTS took me to see it as a child along with my parents. My mom has been with me countless times to see it, and was with us when we took our on kids (sadly it had moved to DCA and was shortened). The point is 4 generations within our vacationing family had seen the show within it's lifespan. Fantasmic is no different in that respect.

    Quote Originally Posted by Steve DeGaetano View Post
    Yes, perhaps in California. However, in "normal" states, such things are done all the time (see, e.g., Jamestown Settlment, VA).
    While I "get" the different codes on a state by state basis... Jamestown is an unfair comparison due to the historical significance of it. However I feel compelled to give you an appropriate California example of equal age and historical significance where building codes are being enforced so... Mission San Luis Rey in Oceanside CA. They are currently spending a small fortune retrofitting the roof (and they've come across original tile and adobe bricks in the process). They also need to retrofit the rest of the complex within the next few years. As amazing as these old structures are they're not allowed to rebuild them in the same manner as the original construction. In some respects the older buildings are grandfathered, and to some degree exceptions are made. But they still must comply to the building codes especially if it's a new construction.
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  6. #66

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    Re: Tom Sawyer Island - Time for a Change

    Quote Originally Posted by calsig31 View Post
    It was telling the evil sorceress to not inject her nightmares into his dreams.
    Ironically, all the while the current Disney tries to inject their ideas of family entertainment (read "marketing") into my dream (a place where I can let my imagination run free, without corporate telling me the story), the chance to use my imagination diminishes.

    Fantascrap! is bread and circuses, nothing more.

    Disneyland used to appeal to the sophistocated; the high-brow. You could see it in their advertising even. Learned thinkers would expound on the park as though discussing fine art. Books and essays were written.

    You would never see such a discourse on Magic Mountain or Busch Gardens. No essays on cultural importance; no books or theses or museum exhibits. These parks were simply amusemnt places, like the piers of old (and sadly which Disney attempted to emulate in DCA). You don't see much intellectual discussion of the Park today as you did before. In previous days, the place was considered almost high art; something far beyond the simple amusement parks of the day.

    As we sit here discussing the merits of this show or that, of the changes that have occured over the years, I would ask those glorifying recent changes to try and look back and see what they've lost in the process, if they can. This isn't about certain people wistful or nostalgiac for the past; it's about knoweldgeable people longing for the intellecualism that used to accompany them to this place of pleasure.

    As frogs simmer in the warming water, they forget about what made the pond desireable in the first place. The time is coming when the pot will be boiling--and it looks as though that time is just about upon us.

    ---------- Post added 09-02-2012 at 02:25 AM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by techskip View Post
    Jamestown is an unfair comparison due to the historical significance of it.
    There's no historical significance to Jamsetown SETTLEMENT. It's a modern-day re-creation of Jamestown--complete with historically-correct reconstructions.

    Fair comparison.
    Last edited by Steve DeGaetano; 09-01-2012 at 06:27 PM.

  7. #67

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    Re: Tom Sawyer Island - Time for a Change

    Quote Originally Posted by Steve DeGaetano View Post

    You would never see such a discourse on Magic Mountain or Busch Gardens. No essays on cultural importance; no books or theses or museum exhibits. These parks were simply amusemnt places, like the piers of old (and sadly which Disney attempted to emulate in DCA). You don't see much intellectual discussion of the Park today as you did before. In previous days, the place was considered almost high art; something far beyond the simple amusement parks of the day.

    As we sit here discussing the merits of this show or that, of the changes that have occured over the years, I would ask those glorifying recent changes to try and look back and see what they've lost in the process, if they can. This isn't about certain people wistful or nostalgiac for the past; it's about knoweldgeable people longing for the intellecualism that used to accompany them to this place of pleasure.

    As frogs simmer in the warming water, they forget about what made the pond desireable in the first place. The time is coming when the pot will be boiling--and it looks as though that time is just about upon us.


    Oh good lord, this is Disneyland we're talking about, a little corner of the world where you can have fun and forget the stress of the real world.

    It seems to me that the water is boiling for you, because you've taken all the fun out of the place.





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  8. #68

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    Re: Tom Sawyer Island - Time for a Change

    Quote Originally Posted by emwhysee View Post
    Is it possible to have a balanced dialogue about this without all the vitriol? If you don't like Fantasmic! that doesn't mean it is inherently bad/evil/antithetic to the very definition of Disneyland. Same goes if you love it. The weight of your opinion isn't greater because you state it as a fact. The reality is, there's no objective formula, so it has to come down to a balanced assessment of how people who visit the park respond to and value an attraction. So the truth is: there are people on both sides -- both regarding Fantasmic! AND the day use of the island itself.

    Isn't it more interesting and engaging to have a reasonable and imaginative dialogue about possible solutions instead of this dead-end battering of an all-or-nothing proposition?

    For example...Is there's an alternative to the all-consuming scheduling of Fantasmic! (Only one per night, only certain nights of the week), seating alternatives (reserved or Fastpass seating, with a finite # of spaces so the whole area doesn't become a blanket encampment for hours on end).

    Likewise, aren't there more options for the island to consider than either an e-ticket roller coaster (a' la DLP) or returning it to it's previous Tom Sawyer incarnation? Surely there's imagination enough to envision something that's appealing to both grown-ups and kids that honors the natural history ideals of its original life, but also takes advantage of new innovations and new ideas. Could there be room for a cool walk-through attraction (like Cinderella in the castle)? Could there be a more physical attraction (not unlike the canoes that get you there) that also incorporates Disney's gift for richly and vibrantly imagined storytelling (Pirates, Haunted Mansion, Splash)?

    Am I crazy, or aren't those possibilities, and the infinite others a more interesting way to explore the OP's original query about change for the island than debating the definition of a generation or nastily disparaging all opinions that don't agree with your own?
    I fully agree with this statement.

    ---------- Post added 09-01-2012 at 08:13 PM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by penguinsoda View Post
    Well if you want to be specific, a generation is defined as anywhere from 20-25 years, depending on what source you access. Fantasmic has been around for just over 20 years so a "couple of generations" from a technical standpoint is not valid.

    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.
    Regarding educating children about Mark Twain and tall tales in my elementary school we learned about tall tales (Johnn Appleseed, Paul Bunyon) and Mark Twain. Now I'm in High School and we're reading Huck Finn this year and already have been assigned some Mark Twain. I'm not sure about other districts but I know at least a part of Orange County schools are teaching these things.

  9. #69

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    Re: Tom Sawyer Island - Time for a Change

    Quote Originally Posted by Chesire View Post


    Oh good lord, this is Disneyland we're talking about, a little corner of the world where you can have fun and forget the stress of the real world.

    It seems to me that the water is boiling for you, because you've taken all the fun out of the place.
    Well said.

  10. #70

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    Re: Tom Sawyer Island - Time for a Change

    Quote Originally Posted by DisneyIPresume View Post
    And once again, the most important part of Walt's quote is ignored.

    "...as long as there is imagination left in the world." Fantasmic! spoon feeds imagination to the crowd. The crowd is not encouraged to imagine. In fact, Mickey angrily takes this imagination away from us. "This is MY imagination!" is what he says, if I recall.

    The new Disney is trying so desperately to take the imagination away. So they can build things on the cheap and therefore hopefully their guests will fall prey to it, blindly emptying out their pocket books to sit and be entertained, rather than using their own imaginations to take them to the world of the American frontier and the boundless opportunity that it represented.
    Are you really saying that there is no imagination left in the world? No imagination left in the minds and hearts of the Disneyland Imagineers? And furthermore, how can you look at a show like Fantasmic! and not see the imagination that went into that production?

    And according to the narration at the beginning of Fantasmic it's not Mickey taking imagination away from the viewer, it's including us, the viewer into his imagination and showing what can amazing things can be done.

    "Welcome to Fantasmic! Tonight, our friend and host Mickey Mouse uses his vivid imagination to create magical imagery for all to enjoy. Nothing is more wonderful than the imagination, for in a moment, you can experience a beautiful fantasy or an exciting adventure. But beware, nothing is more powerful than the imagination, for it can also expand your greatest fears into an overwhelming nightmare. Are the powers of Mickey's incredible imagination strong enough and bright enough to withstand the evil forces that invade Mickey's dream? You are about to find out. For we now invite you to join Mickey, and experience Fantasmic!… a journey beyond your wildest imagination."
    Honestly I can't even tell if you are just Trolling at this point because I can't even fathom someone complaining about Disney attaching a new THEME to a THEME park. And don't act like the old Frontier-land was an open book without a backstory to go along with it. Westerns were huge business and Disneyland could bank on that. Kids could emulate their hero's like Davey Crokett and the Lone Ranger, much like kids could emulate Jack Sparrow and Jake nowadays.

  11. #71

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    Re: Tom Sawyer Island - Time for a Change

    Quote Originally Posted by Steve DeGaetano View Post
    There's no historical significance to Jamsetown SETTLEMENT. It's a modern-day re-creation of Jamestown--complete with historically-correct reconstructions.

    Fair comparison.
    Not trying to split hairs but if the stated mission of Jamestown Settlement is to be a HISTORICALLY ACCURATE reproduction of how the actual Jamestown was built then I'd say there is substantial historical significance in how it is constructed! In fact I would go out on a limb and say the construction alone would be utilized as an experimental archaeological learning tool. All of that said, I still provided a period specific example within California that is currently being forced to comply within California seismic building codes. So either way... I can state with confidence that building a publicly accessible fort within Disneyland using period specific methods likely would not be allowed under California law irrespective of how great such an undertaking would be.
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  12. #72

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    Re: Tom Sawyer Island - Time for a Change

    “Around here, however, we don’t look backwards for very long. Wekeep moving forward, opening up new doors and doing new things… and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths.”

  13. #73

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    Re: Tom Sawyer Island - Time for a Change

    We went to WDW in January and I was so happy to get onto their Tom Sawyer Island. The Fort was open and the AA's inside were working. The Escape Tunnel was just as creepy as what I remember from Disneyland's. It was a lot of fun. My grands could hardly be pulled out of the Fort and it was raining. If the Island hadn't closed at dusk, they would have spent a lot more time. I would love to see our Fort Wilderness reopen!

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  14. #74

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    Re: Tom Sawyer Island - Time for a Change

    Quote Originally Posted by Meville View Post
    Are you really saying that there is no imagination left in the world? No imagination left in the minds and hearts of the Disneyland Imagineers? And furthermore, how can you look at a show like Fantasmic! and not see the imagination that went into that production?
    What I am saying is that we had better be careful and always keep an eye out for the imagination that exists within all of us. These discussions are necessary because it keeps this in check. Walt is warning us about the one thing that will doom Disneyland forever -- and that is the loss of imagination. Both in the world and within Imagineering.

    I guess it just boils down to my personal belief that Disneyland is a place of escape, which most people agree with, and that Imagineering's role is to create the cues that help a person move to that area of escape, wherever it may be for that person. Imagineering needs imagination to create it, and the guest needs imagination to take the cues and transport themselves there, within their own minds. Imagination is just not the responsibility of one person or another, but of everybody.

    It is this philosophy which steers me from most shows and parades at the parks, and is a huge reason that backstory on most attractions interest me next to nothing.

  15. #75

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    Re: Tom Sawyer Island - Time for a Change

    Quote Originally Posted by DisneyIPresume View Post
    What I am saying is that we had better be careful and always keep an eye out for the imagination that exists within all of us. These discussions are necessary because it keeps this in check. Walt is warning us about the one thing that will doom Disneyland forever -- and that is the loss of imagination. Both in the world and within Imagineering.

    I guess it just boils down to my personal belief that Disneyland is a place of escape, which most people agree with, and that Imagineering's role is to create the cues that help a person move to that area of escape, wherever it may be for that person. Imagineering needs imagination to create it, and the guest needs imagination to take the cues and transport themselves there, within their own minds. Imagination is just not the responsibility of one person or another, but of everybody.

    It is this philosophy which steers me from most shows and parades at the parks, and is a huge reason that backstory on most attractions interest me next to nothing.
    I guess what bothers me is the corporate push and the realization that things like Jungle, Haunted Mansion, Pirates, Matterhorn,Thunder and Space likely wouldn't be possible today without some main movie or character shoehorned in. The reality is that most of Disneyland today is a commercial. Those concepts may have started out as original imaginative thoughts but by the time they are finished products they're attached to a movie or a character we already met. That is of course assuming it isn't just a retelling of an already accomplished work or already known movie.

    Imagination and creativity are gifts that the corporate side of Disney seem content to stamp out the moment they're spotted.
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