For the purposes of this thread, "original" means "not directly based on a movie." (Acknowledged: Nothing is 100% original, no art was created in a vacuum, everything was inspired by something, nothing new under the sun, etc.)
So if you've been on MiceChat for 10 seconds, you already know that there is an ongoing debate between those who want more original attractions and those who say that they're no longer a viable option. Various reasons are often given for the latter, such as: the public wants/demands movie-based attractions, people expect to see pre-existing "Disney" material when they come to a Disney park, they're easier to market, that worked in the 50's and 60's, but it's 2013, etc. (Feel free to add any I've missed).
What I'm wondering is why these reasons are thought to pertain to this medium of entertainment, specifically. What is it about the theme park that makes it different that all other mediums when it comes to original content?
Granted, many popular content producers in all mediums are running screaming from originality for the relative safety of well-established franchises. Pixar, for example, is producing more sequels than ever before. I'm sure some people are against that, and other people think it's fine. But I don't see anyone saying Pixar should never produce an original movie ever again. So why don't the creatives at Imagineering get the same opportunity to create something from scratch...out of the clear BLUE SKY, if you will. What is it about movies, TV shows, books, etc. that are able to introduce people to new franchises, stories, characters and experiences, while the theme park is only fit to adapt them? (and by "them" I mean almost entirely popular recent movies).
I want to make it clear that I don't think there's anything wrong with something being adapted from a movie, in a theme park or any other medium. I just don't get why it should be exclusively that with the parks, and not elsewhere.
Especially when attractions like The Enchanted Tiki Room, "it's a small world", Pirates of the Caribbean, Haunted Mansion and Space Mountain (to name a few) are just as iconically Disney as any movie they've ever produced (and much more iconic than many movies they produced). Some inspired soundtrack albums of their own and their songs are included on Best of Disney compilation albums. Some were adapted into children's picture books and in some cases movies of their own.
In fact, even with some older adapted attractions, the theme park versions became more iconic than the movies that inspired them. I guarentee more kids know Splash Mountain than Song of the South. And that's why we still have the Brer characters walking around the park.
And by the way, the "Sleeping Beauty Castle" that acted as the icon of the entire company for decades, is the one from Disneyland. The castle that appears in the movie is King Stefan's Castle (it's implied that Sleeping Beauty Castle in on the blueprints presented by King Hubert, though they're never shown).