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Thread: Save Alice

  1. #1

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    Sad Save Alice

    I've read about the proposed fix for the outdoor portion of Alice and it sounds horrible...it basically sounds like the track will just go along the side of the building instead of going out and then back. I really hope that they don't ruin this as it is the best part of the ride and makes this ride unique.

    "The replacement of the track at Alice In Wonderland is back on again, and a shorter and wider track that hugs the building more and is completely up to fall-protection standards would be installed this winter. Alice is tentatively slated to close in January, 2014 and then reopen by late May with a new track."

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    Re: Save Alice

    ORWEN: At first I thought the title of this topic was meaning that the Alice attraction would go away altogether. But now I see it's only the outdoor track that's going to be changed. I'm not sure if this is a bad thing or a good thing so will have to wait and see.

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    Re: Save Alice

    This has been rumored for almost 2 years now. I hope they don't completely remove the outdoor portion though.
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    Re: Save Alice

    They dropped a whole lot of caveats in that story bit...

    The one project that has been delayed and rethought multiple times in the last three years, fixing the outdoor track at Alice In Wonderland, has spawned an even bigger idea. The replacement of the track at Alice In Wonderland is back on again, and a shorter and wider track that hugs the building more and is completely up to fall-protection standards would be installed this winter. Alice is tentatively slated to close in January, 2014 and then reopen by late May with a new track. But the plan to fix Alice that had been debated in both TDA and at WDI for the past several years brought attention to all of Fantasyland’s five classic dark rides. While they were all rebuilt for the New Fantasyland
    It's mush words (in a non-perjorative sense). My takeaway is that this is possible, but not set in stone.
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    Re: Save Alice

    Quote Originally Posted by Helios77 View Post
    I've read about the proposed fix for the outdoor portion of Alice and it sounds horrible...it basically sounds like the track will just go along the side of the building instead of going out and then back. I really hope that they don't ruin this as it is the best part of the ride and makes this ride unique.

    "The replacement of the track at Alice In Wonderland is back on again, and a shorter and wider track that hugs the building more and is completely up to fall-protection standards would be installed this winter. Alice is tentatively slated to close in January, 2014 and then reopen by late May with a new track."

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    Not going to happen.

    Alice's outdoor track serves an important function, namely safely returning the ride vehicles closer back to grade, it is purposefully twisty so that the cars don't speed up too quickly as they can only handle so much change in elevation, either ascending or descending. (Have you ever noticed that the caterpillar cars have to twist and turn to go up that first elevation? Easier on the motor, hikers know it is harder to walk straight an incline versus a zig-zag path that is longer, but with a much easier slope on the knees!) Does anybody think that they are going to design a new ride system with advanced brakes so that the cars can complete the outward downward segment quickly?

    Why?

    The slope of the outdoor segment isn't bad at all, and this is because the outdoor track has a lot of turns and is long, can't put in a roller coaster hill here, lol. It would also mean that guests/workers couldn't safely use said ramp as the slope would be extreme.

    The fix is easy to envision: vines wrapping around the track to form "rails". Probably cheaper than demolition and building a speed ramp on the side of the castle.

    Alice's outside section was built the way it was for a reason, the rumor starter at TDA obviously is unfamiliar with Alice's mechanics and design.

    There was actually a section of Alice's track where the grade was bit too steep, and the caterpillars would try to tip over if it was front heavy, i.e. heavy guests in the front row.
    Last edited by chesirecat; 08-08-2013 at 02:09 PM.

  6. #6

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    Re: Save Alice

    It could be worse; they could put a AA of Johnny Depp in there
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    Re: Save Alice

    Quote Originally Posted by 4th Gen Disney Fan View Post
    This has been rumored for almost 2 years now. I hope they don't completely remove the outdoor portion though.
    I'm sighing right now.

    Alice's outdoor track section has to be long and twisty (twists and turns add to the length and increases traction/friction, and decreases the rate of descent), the caterpillar vehicles can literally *not* go down a straight incline which would probably have four times the slope of the current outdoor track which is designed to descend slowly within the caterpillar's tolerances, can't go that much faster.

    A shorter track would, of course, have a steeper slope, and the ride vehicles couldn't handle it, plus if the ride stopped there (if it physically could!), you couldn't exit safely at all, unless they put in some really deep steps. They'd have to design a new ride system . . . way, way expensive, and for no good reason.

    Zigzag road ascending/descending, was part of Alice's original design, to the ride vehicle up above Mr. Toad, if you (car, caterpillar, whatever) can't handle the ascending/descending slope, you zigzag.

    Most guests think the zig-zag is all for fun! Great example of how an "under the berm" type problem evolved into a nice ride feature that guests don't realize is a necessity in the design.

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    So, yeah, WDI/TDA isn't debating changing the path of the outdoor track, it serves a critical purpose. Scaffolding can be left up for a while, they simply haven't closed Alice for ride capacity issues, and George K. kinda left it on Disneyland's plate for the new prez to deal with, makes his balance sheet look a tiny bit better.
    Last edited by chesirecat; 08-08-2013 at 12:36 PM.

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    Re: Save Alice

    Best part of the ride. Hopefully they will come up with a new idea since the windy track is necessary.










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    Re: Save Alice

    Quote Originally Posted by DreamsofColor View Post
    Best part of the ride. Hopefully they will come up with a new idea since the windy track is necessary.
    The outdoor track has to be lengthy and have a slow descent (small slope), this is why it has two layers of tortuosity: the general meandering path of the platform, and the added serpentine track of the caterpillar. Too much slope and the caterpillar will tip forward as the back wheels go up! They had to lengthen the track and decrease the slope in a certain area because of this.

    Sure, they could put in something else . . . but it would basically look the same, i.e. be a long/slow winding track downwards. Not sure why they'd do that, if only to waste money?

    I think they still ask heavier guests, i.e. adults, to sit in the back of the caterpillars.

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    Re: Save Alice

    Quote Originally Posted by chesirecat View Post
    I'm sighing right now.
    How did my post cause you to sigh?
    "I do not like to repeat successes. I like to go on to other things." - Walt Disney

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    Re: Save Alice

    Quote Originally Posted by 4th Gen Disney Fan View Post
    How did my post cause you to sigh?
    Not your post!

    Just that this bogus Alice rumor regarding the track has gotten fans worked up for nothing!

    Building a vine/plant railing (such as where the scaffolding currently is), isn't that expensive, and regardless, the outdoor track serves an integral function that you can't compress into a track shorter and close to the building, the caterpillars would literally tip forward, and the system wasn't designed for this brake-wise.

    Though I guess it would be funny to see guests freak out as the caterpillar tips 45 degrees downward as it zips down to the ground, while the brakes whine!

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    Re: Save Alice

    "the best part of the ride"?
    Really?

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    Re: Save Alice

    Quote Originally Posted by chesirecat View Post

    The fix is easy to envision: vines wrapping around the track to form "rails". Probably cheaper than demolition and building a speed ramp on the side of the castle.

    Perfect! Or dress the track as a pathway of large flowers that you travel down whose leaves & petals curl up & form a low wall or even a lacy tunnel? Why is it that we here on MC seem to be able to see practical yet attractive solutions to things?
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    Re: Save Alice

    Yeah Disney just screwed up on this one....no clue why they could not just put rails with flowers and vines on it....my god would that have been easier and cheaper then crap we've had for three years

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    Re: Save Alice

    Quote Originally Posted by JerrodDRagon View Post
    Yeah Disney just screwed up on this one....no clue why they could not just put rails with flowers and vines on it....my god would that have been easier and cheaper then crap we've had for three years
    I'm kinda clueless about the whole cost issue, but it would basically involve pouring a modest foundation around the track, or maybe not even that, maybe just cement pylons to hold up a vine/plant rail structure. Then the cost of the custom metal work. Maybe $500,000? $750,000? Less if Disney has folks on salary who can do part of the design/installation. Not that expensive for a company like Disney. Renting scaffolding is expensive, but I'm thinking Disney bought the current Alice scaffolding, probably costs around $40,000 for all that scaffolding and installing it. I know it needed to be done on a temporary basis, but it's sure been there a long time and this detracts from the guest experience.

    The cheaper route would be to put in a metal structure, and just cover that with fiberglass leaves, probably in the $300,000 range, maybe $200,000 if they put in a bare bones railing and then planted some vines to grow over it, versus $500,000 to $750,000 for complex/custom metal vine structure. I guess it all has to match though.

    The sad fact is that the cost is kinda trivial, they've probably lost some business just because guests see the scaffolding and subconsciously are turned off, and then maybe don't book a vacation next year. Certainly this delay has antagonized the regulars who are more cognizant of this issue. So, yeah, from a business standpoint it was a poor decision, you don't want guests not enjoy one of the high points of a Fantasyland ride and to come away with the impression that Disney is letting stuff fall apart.

    Look at the temporary-permanent structures in the esplanade, when you're business is good word of mouth and you make your money in part by operating a clean photogenic park, you kinda don't want to put off work that ends up leaving areas of the park look like they're falling apart, or cheap. If you pay a lot to go to Disneyland (as most people do), then you don't want to feel that you go a cheap experience by looking at temporary stuff held together with duct tape.
    Last edited by chesirecat; 08-08-2013 at 07:14 PM.

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