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  1. #1

    • Armchair Imagineer
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    Does Disney Purposely Place Lower Quality Attractions in America?

    Returning from a stellar trip to Tokyo Disneyland and DisneySea, I found myself comparing the Tokyo attractions with counterparts in Anaheim and Orlando. To me, the American guests are getting shortchanged. But why?

    In John Arden's book "America's Meltdown: The Lowest Common Denominator Society", the dust jacket states:

    As entertainers, corporations, and even the government pander to the lowest common denominator, American life becomes increasingly vicarious, prefabricated, and bereft of meaning. This book examines contemporary American consciousness, considering the factors that have driven society toward gossip and sensationalism at the cost of substance and depth.

    Celebrity news, video games, cookie-cutter schools, and shopping, shopping, shopping. As entertainers, corporations, and even the government pander to the lowest common denominator, American life becomes increasingly vicarious, prefabricated, and bereft of meaning. This book examines contemporary American consciousness, considering the factors that have driven society toward gossip and sensationalism at the cost of substance and depth.


    Does Disney consider Americans to have a "lower common denominator" than the Japanese, and therefor will be accepting of inferior versions of attractions?

  2. #2

    • The doctor is in
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    Re: Does Disney Purposely Place Lower Quality Attractions in America?

    My ex-boyfriend had been to Tokyo Disneyland and he was comparing it with Disneyland in Anaheim. He basically said the same thing about the attractions and overall park being better overseas. I also work with several people who have been to Disneyland in Paris and have also said the parks overseas don't really compare.

    Why? To me the answer is simple... Americans don't have a very high expectation of quality anymore. Most of our goods are outsourced and are cheap and so is our food. Why should theme parks be any different? Not to mention the fact that Americans have become increasingly lazy and focused on other things like their iPhones and designer jeans.
    Please... put Guardians of the Galaxy in Tomorrowland.













  3. #3

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    Re: Does Disney Purposely Place Lower Quality Attractions in America?

    Well one of the big reasons Disney state sideattractions are "budgeted" is because Disney is spending their money to build them. As oppose to Hong Kong and Tokyo were either the Chinese government and OLC is paying all or most of the investment.

  4. #4

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    Re: Does Disney Purposely Place Lower Quality Attractions in America?

    I went to Disneyland Paris, and yes, I was more impressed with their Space Mountain, Phantom Manor, Big Thunder Mountain etc.

    One thing I'd like to point out, though, is that all the overseas parks are a lot younger than DLR and WDW. So they're building shiny new parks rather than trying to maintain older ones built under different technological times. That doesn't explain DCA but I am sure it does factor in. Plus as mentioned, Tokyo in particular has much different financing, and the folks in charge there seem to be more about quality than pinching every penny (or yen).

    Plus, I have to think that the average park guest might not have the means/inclination/opportunity to ever visit the Tokyo/Hong Kong/Paris parks so they won't have a comparison. If most guests were able to get over there, and the Powers That Be started hearing "Why aren't we like Disney Sea?!" perhaps there would be changes...

  5. #5

    • Nutty about Disney parks
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    Re: Does Disney Purposely Place Lower Quality Attractions in America?

    Quote Originally Posted by Malina View Post

    Plus, I have to think that the average park guest might not have the means/inclination/opportunity to ever visit the Tokyo/Hong Kong/Paris parks so they won't have a comparison. If most guests were able to get over there, and the Powers That Be started hearing "Why aren't we like Disney Sea?!" perhaps there would be changes...
    Thanks to the Internet and Youtube videos of ride experiences, I'm hoping that change could some pretty soon.
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  6. #6

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    Re: Does Disney Purposely Place Lower Quality Attractions in America?

    Quote Originally Posted by DoctorQ9 View Post
    Does Disney consider Americans to have a "lower common denominator" than the Japanese, and therefor will be accepting of inferior versions of attractions?
    The message Disney gets from the ever-increasing amounts of money spent by its ever-increasing numbers of American theme park customers is clear: inferior versions of attractions, lower quality of customer service and cheaper, generic merchandise is not only acceptable, but when combined with modern marketing techniques is guaranteed to deliver ever-increasing profits.


    Quote Originally Posted by DoctorQ9 View Post
    Returning from a stellar trip to Tokyo Disneyland and DisneySea, I found myself comparing the Tokyo attractions with counterparts in Anaheim and Orlando. To me, the American guests are getting shortchanged. But why?

    In John Arden's book "America's Meltdown: The Lowest Common Denominator Society", the dust jacket states:

    As entertainers, corporations, and even the government pander to the lowest common denominator, American life becomes increasingly vicarious, prefabricated, and bereft of meaning. This book examines contemporary American consciousness, considering the factors that have driven society toward gossip and sensationalism at the cost of substance and depth.

    Celebrity news, video games, cookie-cutter schools, and shopping, shopping, shopping. As entertainers, corporations, and even the government pander to the lowest common denominator, American life becomes increasingly vicarious, prefabricated, and bereft of meaning. This book examines contemporary American consciousness, considering the factors that have driven society toward gossip and sensationalism at the cost of substance and depth.
    If you want a real shockeroo, try reading the book cover to cover (it's a short book and a quick read), then go visit any large So Cal mall on a weekend.

    And keep in mind that Arden's book was written ten years ago.
    Last edited by Mr Wiggins; 05-04-2013 at 04:13 PM.
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  7. #7

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    Re: Does Disney Purposely Place Lower Quality Attractions in America?

    I'd take a day at Disneyland in Anaheim over a day at Disneyland Paris anyday.

    'The grass is always greener on the other side' comes to mind here.

  8. #8

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    Re: Does Disney Purposely Place Lower Quality Attractions in America?

    As someone who has been to all the parks except for Hong Kong on several occasions, I can say with conviction that no other park compares to the Original Disneyland. Yes, DisneySea is a close runner up, but honestly, apart from Winnie The Pooh, Splash Mountain and Critter Country in general, Tokyo Disneyland doesn't hold a candle to DLC, and anyone who's been to both parks knows what I'm talking about!

    Disneyland Paris is gorgeous, but in the end has too little actual content to even compete. And speaking of being shortchanged, it is definitely the one park that seems to be continuously getting the short end of the stick. Indiana Jones and the temple of peril, anyone?
    Recent attempts to try to invigorate the disaster that is Disney studios park has left DLP more or less abandoned, to the point where I'm wondering if they'll even add any new attractions there, like ever.

  9. #9

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    Re: Does Disney Purposely Place Lower Quality Attractions in America?

    I think the Disney of today wants to trade on its reputation and so long as the profits come in doesn't really care where they come from. Rather than the old build it and they'll come stateside and in Paris I think the mantra is screw them dry while they are here.

    I recently came back from Paris to the UK and I was shocked by DLP the park is literally rotting prices are astronomical, it's been years since anything major was added and lots of places close early. I visited on a public holiday and this still happened. I haven't been to the US parks for 10 years but from what I've read WDW at least is heading down similar lines, at least it was when I was last there in 1999.

    When I went to Tokyo a few years ago (before the quake) it was how Disney should be. Clean fun and reasonably priced and I'm saving to back.

    I guess what I'm trying to say is that corporate Disney would rather get a one off $100 out of me now whereas OLC is happier to get $50 out of me year on year and make more in the long run. A sad state of affairs ;-(

  10. #10

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    Re: Does Disney Purposely Place Lower Quality Attractions in America?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ryan120420 View Post
    Well one of the big reasons Disney state sideattractions are "budgeted" is because Disney is spending their money to build them. As oppose to Hong Kong and Tokyo were either the Chinese government and OLC is paying all or most of the investment.
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  11. #11

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    Re: Does Disney Purposely Place Lower Quality Attractions in America?

    I'm willing to say that people like Eisner, Croften, Harris, et al, are more that responsible for the quality of Disneyland and WDW. These folks are where the buck began and ended.

  12. #12

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    Re: Does Disney Purposely Place Lower Quality Attractions in America?

    Disneyland wasn't built in a day, it took several decades. DLR still benefits from Walt's original vision, we have a real steam locomotive, a beautiful Main Street, plus quality oriented Imagineers such as Tony Baxter have given us great E-Tickets like Indy and Splash. Disneyland Paris's Indy coaster is pathetic, I didn't even ride it when I was there.

    However . . . on a case by case basis, some recent additions aren't as good as overseas versions. Just compare Pooh's Hunny Hunt to DL's Pooh. DL's Pooh's budget was something like $30 million, they could have plopped down more $$$, like in the $70 million range, but they didn't. We know who to blame.

    Magic Kingdom took the cheap route in several instances, such as Small World, and no moderate maintenance cost low capacity attractions which add to the overall atmosphere and quality, such as Storybook Land Canal boats. Decades later they've tried to fix this with FLE.

    Paris Disneyland is much younger. They've got some great rides, such as Phantom Manor, and some classics with charm, but because Disneyland has a head start, and hence more rides, I think Disneyland wins.

    Disneyland Hong Kong is the smallest castle park, they had so few rides when it opened. Sure, some folks says that Disneyland didn't have many rides when it opened either, but the company has more cash than then, and Disney only pays half the bill. So, DLHK had to do something amazing to even turn a profit, hence Grizzly Gulch and Mystic Manor, two high quality attractions. Toy Story Land . . . I don't think it is very high quality, but at least it provides desperately needed rides.

    Kitchen Calamity will be an awesome ride, with an amazing new ride vehicle/RV path even better than Mystic Manor. But again, it is going into a failing theme park.

    Carsland is high quality, also went into a failing theme park.

    I think the reason why Disneyland hasn't had a big new E-Ticket, and got a lame version of Pooh is because DL is not a failing park. Sure, DL could expand to soak up the guests who hate the long lines, and to let in more guests during the holidays, but it may take a couple years or more.

    So, we have:

    Failing Theme Park = A great new attraction/land.
    Part Owners who want quality (OLC) = a great new attraction/land

    The Chinese government also wants to show-up Hong Kong, hence they're getting the $4 billion dollar castle park . . . Disney can do quality when they want to.

  13. #13

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    Re: Does Disney Purposely Place Lower Quality Attractions in America?

    I don't know this to be true, but I suspect that the cost of construction is higher in the US than anywhere else.

    What I'm getting at is that $1,000,000 would build more and better overseas than it would here in the US.

    Again, I'm only guessing.

  14. #14

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    Re: Does Disney Purposely Place Lower Quality Attractions in America?

    Quote Originally Posted by DrFink View Post
    My ex-boyfriend had been to Tokyo Disneyland and he was comparing it with Disneyland in Anaheim. He basically said the same thing about the attractions and overall park being better overseas. I also work with several people who have been to Disneyland in Paris and have also said the parks overseas don't really compare.

    Why? To me the answer is simple... Americans don't have a very high expectation of quality anymore. Most of our goods are outsourced and are cheap and so is our food. Why should theme parks be any different? Not to mention the fact that Americans have become increasingly lazy and focused on other things like their iPhones and designer jeans.
    I haven't been to any Disney property outside of Anaheim, but I've done my share of international travel. Regarding that last sentence I quoted, from what I've seen the idea that Americans are more focused on smart phones and designer jeans or are lazier than the citizens of any other country is just patently false. Humans are humans, and the good folks of Japan or France or Great Britain or name your country are just as shallow and lazy as any American. It's never fair to generalize, but if I was forced to, from my experience I'd say Americans were actually harder working and less lazy than those in European and even Asian countries.

    So if these international Disney parks are indeed better, I don't think the reason is because of Americans getting more focused on their phones and getting lazier. But I do agree with another part of your quote - about Americans having a reduced expectation of quality.
    Last edited by Steveman; 05-05-2013 at 06:38 PM.

  15. #15

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    Re: Does Disney Purposely Place Lower Quality Attractions in America?

    Quote Originally Posted by Steveman View Post
    It's never fair to generalize, but if I was forced to, from my experience I'd say Americans were actually harder working and less lazy than those in European and even Asian countries.
    Not in South Korea, or surprisingly Greece

    Name:  avg-hours-worked-per-country-korea-no-11.gif
Views: 328
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    Though some argue people in the U.S. work very hard,
    The U.S. is the Most Overworked Nation in the World

    With the internet, and ability to work from home, it is harder to quantify, (IMHO), how much people are working these days. Also, if you work crazy hours, does your productivity eventually fall off?

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