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  1. #31

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    Re: Could a "Disneyland" be built today?

    No, I don't think Disneyland as we know it would be built today if it didn't already exist.

    Walt Disney Productions had some unusual circumstances going for it. The creative guy had his name on the studio. The financial guy was his brother. Walt had to rent out his own name to the studio in order to finance the project. When he asked for "too much" money, it caused tensions between him and the shareholders. Roy went to bat for his brother even when the two severely disagreed.

    I think a park of Disneyland-level innovation and originality could be successful today, but I don't know that any of the current big corporations will attempt it anytime soon. (At least not in the U.S.)

    Some things about the market were different back then, too. For one thing, there were only three major TV networks. When Walt came on TV to explain his new theme park projects, I imagine it was to a much larger portion of the viewing public than it would be today. However, this shouldn't mean that it's "impossible." A film studio promoting a theme park using a TV show was a new idea at the time. Find new ways of promoting and profiting from original theme park attractions now! Be creative! Original video games are promoted like movies these days, with trailers - why not promote original theme park rides this way?

    Every time I see a new "theme park" announced, it's usually a coaster park. I remember seeing something about a rock 'n' roll themed park online. Sounded really cool. So I looked it up and what did I see? A few mildly themed looking buildings surrounded by garishly painted steel tracks. Nothing wrong with that, but to me, it's not a true theme park.

    The only thing I see that even looks like its trying to compete with Disney here in the U.S. is Islands of Adventure. And even that has Exposed Steel Syndrome.

    It does surprise me that there isn't some eccentric billionaire who is a Disney fan and wants to build his or her own theme park.

    I sometimes wonder what would have happened if Pixar had split from Disney and eventually went on to expand into it's own Disney-like studio, distributing their own films, with a live action division, theme park division, etc. But that doesn't seem to happen too often today. Despite being founded by three of the most major moguls in Hollywood, DreamWorks films are still being distrubuted by other studios (did they ever have their own distribution?), while Shrek resides at Universal Studios theme parks.
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  2. #32

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    Re: Could a "Disneyland" be built today?

    Could it...yes.....WOULD it no

    The amount of money that it would cost for someone who's NOT Disney and does not own IP's...the tech...or plans they have been using for years would never spend the money to make a place like Disneyland

  3. #33

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    Re: Could a "Disneyland" be built today?

    Yes, it could be. Just not with Walt's vision. If it was built today, then we'd all be satisfied with not having any original rides.
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  4. #34

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    Re: Could a "Disneyland" be built today?

    I think it's entirely possible. However, any park being built would certainly cost more, and take more time to be built. Still amazes me to think Disneyland was built so quick!
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  5. #35

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    Re: Could a "Disneyland" be built today?

    I believe that someone with a Walt kind of vision, unlimited funding and the patience to withstand the regulations put upon the concept could GET CLOSE to something resembling the original Disneyland.

    BUT NOT DISNEY! They no longer have the capability to do something (even a copy) even as simple as Disneyland at the quality it retains.

    As has been mentioned before, new regulations would put a major burden on even trying to replicate existing attractions.

    Yes, Disney does pump out weak Disneyland replicas. But, on their own dime, they wouldn't even attempt to replicate the original DL.

  6. #36

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    Re: Could a "Disneyland" be built today?

    Quote Originally Posted by Uncle Bob View Post
    I definitely think it could be done again, possibly soon. The industry is doing pretty well financially, but it's also become quite stagnated in many ways. As Omegadiz said, everyone in the industry today has taken many lessons from Disney. Because everyone in the industry has been trained in thinking is a certain way, there is a lot of group-think and people are not willing to experiment or take risks because they just do things the way the industry does them. This is the same situation Walt faced when amusement park and boardwalk operators were telling him his idea wouldn't work.

    Even on the creative side, it's basically become an industry process that goes far beyond WDI. WDI uses the same consultants, many of them the best former Imagineers that now have their own companies which do work throughout the themed design industry. So again, for the most part, people throughout the entire industry are trained to do things in a certain way. There is an opportunity for a really creative group to put together something revolutionary. I see that as an opportunity just like the one Walt had in the Fifties.
    I don't necessarily agree with you here. I think many people are willing, and currently ARE experimenting with new ideas and are taking risks. Just look at projects like the Americana/Grove in L.A., Ripley's, City Museum St. Louis, Universal Singapore, Ski Dubai. These are all examples of projects that have experimented with and pushed forward the entertainment model that was founded by Disney. They are all revolutionary on their own. Also, these were all designed by companies with people who are direct descendants of the Disney/WED culture. There are plenty of lessons that have been learned from Disneyland as far as how guests interact with the world around them, and the process of designing for those factors continues to benefit from that book of knowledge. This doesn't mean that everything is designed the same way. Are there people out there who just sort of float along and copy Disney? Yes. Absolutely. But those projects always get a lackluster reception, and those people fade from the theme industry like dying stars.

    More so than ever, themed entertainment companies are firing on all cylinders. And there is an arms race to find the next great idea. Just look at the projects currently in development in China, Dubai, Jordan, Russia, India. They are all very forward-thinking and original. They are the next-generation of theme parks.

    This issue gets tossed around a lot. Every week, someone accuses the entertainment industry of being stagnant. Just look around the world and you will see that theme parks have evolved into the "Themeparkization" of malls, retail stores, restaurants, theaters, and even neighborhoods and public parks. These places are extraordinary and have revolutionized the world around us. This has already happened. So the issue seems to me that people aren't looking for the "next big idea," necessarily. They're looking for more of what they like, more Disneylands, but repackaged with different IPs and better technology. This isn't a bad thing, I want it too. But let's start calling it what it is for once.

    Quote Originally Posted by Uncle Bob View Post
    Disney is also actually providing another opportunity for other upstart companies because of its focus on promoting its own intellectual property. Disney has basically built a huge market of people who enjoy themed design as a pure art-form and then abandoned them. Nobody today is competing for this potential business. Eventually, someone is going to take advantage of this opportunity and do what Walt did again.
    You can't blame Disney for being a business. While the theme park fan is a mark of success, catering to that group specifically is not lucrative. Other companies could possibly do it, but the cost is just so prohibitive, especially in America. But people are finding a way to speak to these people anyway. If you're speaking about creating original IPs and stories, video games are becoming virtual theme parks, filled with cinematic stories and worlds that theme park fans have been begging for for decades. Case in point: Bioshock Infinite

    Just watch this and you will see that video games are the new theme parks:

  7. #37

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    Re: Could a "Disneyland" be built today?

    Quote Originally Posted by Taggart View Post
    I don't necessarily agree with you here. I think many people are willing, and currently ARE experimenting with new ideas and are taking risks. Just look at projects like the Americana/Grove in L.A., Ripley's, City Museum St. Louis, Universal Singapore, Ski Dubai. These are all examples of projects that have experimented with and pushed forward the entertainment model that was founded by Disney. They are all revolutionary on their own. Also, these were all designed by companies with people who are direct descendants of the Disney/WED culture. There are plenty of lessons that have been learned from Disneyland as far as how guests interact with the world around them, and the process of designing for those factors continues to benefit from that book of knowledge. This doesn't mean that everything is designed the same way. Are there people out there who just sort of float along and copy Disney? Yes. Absolutely. But those projects always get a lackluster reception, and those people fade from the theme industry like dying stars.

    More so than ever, themed entertainment companies are firing on all cylinders. And there is an arms race to find the next great idea. Just look at the projects currently in development in China, Dubai, Jordan, Russia, India. They are all very forward-thinking and original. They are the next-generation of theme parks.

    This issue gets tossed around a lot. Every week, someone accuses the entertainment industry of being stagnant. Just look around the world and you will see that theme parks have evolved into the "Themeparkization" of malls, retail stores, restaurants, theaters, and even neighborhoods and public parks. These places are extraordinary and have revolutionized the world around us. This has already happened. So the issue seems to me that people aren't looking for the "next big idea," necessarily. They're looking for more of what they like, more Disneylands, but repackaged with different IPs and better technology. This isn't a bad thing, I want it too. But let's start calling it what it is for once.



    You can't blame Disney for being a business. While the theme park fan is a mark of success, catering to that group specifically is not lucrative. Other companies could possibly do it, but the cost is just so prohibitive, especially in America. But people are finding a way to speak to these people anyway. If you're speaking about creating original IPs and stories, video games are becoming virtual theme parks, filled with cinematic stories and worlds that theme park fans have been begging for for decades. Case in point: Bioshock Infinite

    Just watch this and you will see that video games are the new theme parks:
    I suppose you have a point in regard to some of the new things that are being done around the world, a few are interesting, but honestly, most of it does not impress me. You may love everything the industry is doing, I find it shockingly stale. Especially here in the US, face it, 99% of us will never go to those places you're talking about. People as a group are never looking for the next big thing, but they usually love it when they see it. I don't think that the only thing people would want are just more Disneylands with different IP, but clearly the industry does, that's the problem.

    I regard to video games, they are not a place to go and enjoy the company of you're family and friends and they offer absolutely zero interest to me personally. This modern industry was started by a guy wanting a place to take his daughters to that he would enjoy as well. It's shocking how people seem to ignore that basic reality that a theme park is a shared experience in the real world that even social games don't provide. Whenever people suggest video games or virtual reality are going to replace amusement parks I don't find that at all believable. If I'm wrong I shudder for our future as we are truly losing our humanity and ability to maintain healthy social relationships.
    The Mickey audience is not made up of people; it has no racial, national, political, religious or social differences or affiliations; the Mickey audience is made up of parts of people, of that deathless, precious, ageless, absolutely primitive remnant of something in every world-wracked human being which makes us play with children’s toys and laugh without self-consciousness at silly things, and sing in bathtubs, and dream and believe that our babies are uniquely beautiful. You know…the Mickey in us.
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  8. #38

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    Re: Could a "Disneyland" be built today?

    the unfortunate reality is that no one is willing to take a risk like that without an established IP, a clearly recognizable label, or a well known name. Walt built places like Pirates, Jungle, Mine Train and Haunted Mansion BECAUSE he could... most today aren't willing to take that risk inside or outside of Disney. For examples... Carsland, The "re-do" of the Pier, HP Land in Universal, even Legoland is relying heavily on commercial franchises like Indy and Star Wars! It's a sad reality of our time.
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  9. #39

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    Re: Could a "Disneyland" be built today?

    Quote Originally Posted by Uncle Bob View Post
    I suppose you have a point in regard to some of the new things that are being done around the world, a few are interesting, but honestly, most of it does not impress me. You may love everything the industry is doing, I find it shockingly stale. Especially here in the US, face it, 99% of us will never go to those places you're talking about. People as a group are never looking for the next big thing, but they usually love it when they see it. I don't think that the only thing people would want are just more Disneylands with different IP, but clearly the industry does, that's the problem.
    I don't love everything that the industry is doing. Believe me, I'm probably one of the most cynical, jaded people around - certainly when it comes to theme parks. I am hard to impress. But I do know for a fact that the industry is, right at this very moment, trying to be original, find new ideas, and rethink what it means to have a shared experience in a theme park. From what I've experienced, most of these groups you speak of are so forward thinking that the technology of our day is a limiting factor, if you can believe that. And even though every Disney fan hates things like NextGen, it was/is/stillwillbe an attempt to revolutionize the theme park experience.

    You may be right that you or 99% of people here may have trouble seeing the new, amazing stuff being designed in China and the Middle East, but how is this any different than Disneyland existing for almost 30 years before anyone overseas really got to taste something like that? I would love to see something in the US on par with a Disney-level of placemaking, but that won't happen for a very long time - at least until land, construction, and operating costs go way down.

    Quote Originally Posted by Uncle Bob View Post
    I regard to video games, they are not a place to go and enjoy the company of you're family and friends and they offer absolutely zero interest to me personally. This modern industry was started by a guy wanting a place to take his daughters to that he would enjoy as well. It's shocking how people seem to ignore that basic reality that a theme park is a shared experience in the real world that even social games don't provide. Whenever people suggest video games or virtual reality are going to replace amusement parks I don't find that at all believable. If I'm wrong I shudder for our future as we are truly losing our humanity and ability to maintain healthy social relationships.
    I completely agree with you. Yes, I too am a person who likes to share experiences with my friends and family, in a real setting. But the world has changed in just the last 5 years. Designers aren't ignoring that, nobody is ignoring that except the theme park audience itself. Look at any queue in any theme park today and you will see more than half of the guests glued to their cell phone screen. No matter how engaging attractions try to be these days, the world is becoming less about reality and more about our "virtual families" who are with us all the time, connected through our devices. I don't think that theme parks will necessarily be replaced by games, but the lines of reality are blurring, and people are becoming far more accepting of virtual worlds as a tangible method of storytelling, and place of gathering and socializing.

    It's scary. It makes me feel old. But it would be foolish for designers to ignore who their current audience is.

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  10. #40

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    Re: Could a "Disneyland" be built today?

    i do, but lets take into a account that what makes the part so one of a kind it the old fashion american family fun. main street USA, frointerland, new orleans square, ect. they are all perfectly coordinated scenes, themes, lands, and stories that i dont think would be thought of being done in todays world. i dont think some planner today would think of the things the WDI team did then. Disneyland is such a marvel already that it just tops it self, because they got the right formula the first time. you know what i mean?
    making a super park the way disney is and have it be as sucessful and a house-hold name? no. people do not have heart anymore.
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  11. #41

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    Re: Could a "Disneyland" be built today?

    I think it would be impossible to build another Disney world...
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    Re: Could a "Disneyland" be built today?

    Quote Originally Posted by Uncle Bob View Post
    I suppose you have a point in regard to some of the new things that are being done around the world, a few are interesting, but honestly, most of it does not impress me. You may love everything the industry is doing, I find it shockingly stale. Especially here in the US, face it, 99% of us will never go to those places you're talking about. People as a group are never looking for the next big thing, but they usually love it when they see it. I don't think that the only thing people would want are just more Disneylands with different IP, but clearly the industry does, that's the problem.
    Since you admit another "Disneyland" isn't possible with the ideas being stale, do we need to go on? There is only one Disneyland. Everything else is pale imitations. Even Disney hasn't come up with anything remotely unique and revolutionary since Disneyland when they have the money to do it. I certainly thought EPCOT has its moments of greatness, but it hasn't kept up. Some say Tokyo DisneySeas is the best theme park yet. Oh well.

    You haven't acknowledged the advances so why complain about it. Not every good thing has to orginate in the U.S.A. The new frontier of advancement is happening in Asia. China is where the action is especially since they manufacture most technological items. They are having their Golden Age now.

  13. #43

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    Re: Could a "Disneyland" be built today?

    Quote Originally Posted by StevenW View Post
    Since you admit another "Disneyland" isn't possible with the ideas being stale, do we need to go on? There is only one Disneyland. Everything else is pale imitations. Even Disney hasn't come up with anything remotely unique and revolutionary since Disneyland when they have the money to do it. I certainly thought EPCOT has its moments of greatness, but it hasn't kept up. Some say Tokyo DisneySeas is the best theme park yet. Oh well.

    You haven't acknowledged the advances so why complain about it. Not every good thing has to orginate in the U.S.A. The new frontier of advancement is happening in Asia. China is where the action is especially since they manufacture most technological items. They are having their Golden Age now.
    I didn't say another Dinseyland isn't possible, I'm saying to be a new Disneyland today, it can't just be another copy of Disneyland. Another Disneyland is possible, but to create a new Disneyland you'd have to be as original and bold as Walt and his original Imagineers. I'm sure it will have some characteristics in common obviously, but it also needs to stand on its own as being somehow distinct. I can acknowledge that there are individual creative people throughout the industry who have great ideas. But those who really control the industry also have a mindset that they already know how to do everything and are not very open to new ideas.

    These parks are almost entirely designed by US based firms. China is nothing but a cheap place for US firms to manufacture. The only advanced technology they have is what they steal from us via hacking. The parks being built in Asia are not a representation of Asian innovation but of US companies trying to capture markets in growth areas.
    The Mickey audience is not made up of people; it has no racial, national, political, religious or social differences or affiliations; the Mickey audience is made up of parts of people, of that deathless, precious, ageless, absolutely primitive remnant of something in every world-wracked human being which makes us play with children’s toys and laugh without self-consciousness at silly things, and sing in bathtubs, and dream and believe that our babies are uniquely beautiful. You know…the Mickey in us.
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    Re: Could a "Disneyland" be built today?

    You can't have a new Disneyland when you don't acknowledge the obvious. I mentioned Tokyo DisneySeas and you didn't have anything to say about it. I'm not even sure you know what a new Disneyland is. It's something you want to complain about not having.

    Your assessment of Asia is rather stereotypical. It ignores the strides they have made in advancing their own technological and educational base. While US companies have a stake in China and elsewhere, it is the best companies doing businesses there as it should. You said "US companies trying to capture markets in growth areas.", which is perfectly valid, but it ignores the impact of money, people, and resources to create an almost perfect environment for new theme park ideas to flourish. The US market is zombie-like in comparison, which is probably why you're wondering why there is no new Disneyland. It won't happen here.

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    Re: Could a "Disneyland" be built today?

    But UncleBob is somewhat right, StevenW. 99% of the theme parks being opened and built in China right now are all designed by a handful of companies here in Los Angeles. Yes, China has made tremendous economic and educational growth, but the Chinese still haven't learned how to build "emotion" or "immersiveness" in entertainment projects yet. When they do try to do it themselves, it usually comes out as boring, weird, and they just rip-off and copy attractions in the USA. For an example, check out Fantawild Aventure:

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    Weird, huh?

    I just don't agree that China is all bad and they can't do anything on their own, as UncleBob suggests. They just aren't there yet. The World of Warcraft ripoff park they did (google it) wasn't that bad. Unfortunately it's falling apart after 2 years.

    The US isn't "zombie-like" as you suggest, StevenW. The USA couldn't be hungrier for the next big thing. The problem is that land, development, construction, and permitting costs are much more expensive here in the US. A park like Disneyland would easily be around 1.5 to 2 billion to build these days. I won't get into the economics of feasibility here, but spending that much to build a domestic park would be a financial disaster. You could never make back that cost in 10+ years of solid attendance.

    ...

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