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  1. #1

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    What if Disneyland were built today?

    We all know that Walt modeled Main Street after a turn of the century town because it was nostalgic for those who were visiting in the 1950s. It's also fairly evident that the other lands were based upon the pop culture interests of the era, with inspiration drawn from the popularity of Davey Crockett, Zorro, tiki culture, Disney animation, the atomic age, etc.. The subsequent castle parks followed a formula that had been proven to work. If Disneyland hadn't been built until today, do you think Walt would have chosen the same lands for his park? Is there something inherently timeless about these choices, or have we simply trained ourselves to think of the original 5 lands as timeless? Either way, what lands would you choose if the park were built today and we'd never known the other lands?

  2. #2

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    Re: What if Disneyland were built today?

    ORDDU: My advice would be to look no further than Hong Kong Disneyland for your answer, since it's the most recent Disney theme park to be built.

    ORWEN: Or, maybe, Shanghai Disneyland--except that it's being built with more of an Asian taste in mind.

  3. #3

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    Re: What if Disneyland were built today?

    HongKong and Shanghai have been biased from the existence of previous parks and expectations of what a DL park should have. What if they didn't have that prior knowledge to build off of?

  4. #4

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    Re: What if Disneyland were built today?

    Sounds like a DCA type of park.

  5. #5

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    Re: What if Disneyland were built today?

    I don't think Walt would be satisfied with a DCA type park.

  6. #6

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    Re: What if Disneyland were built today?

    Okay, I'll play. If Disneyland were being created today I think it would look like this:

    Main Street = would be 1920s themed, with sleek cars and Roaring 20s fun and have it be like a Great Gatsby party that never ends.

    Adventureland = would be more or less the same, but I think an Adventurers Club would be built with that kind of dinner show fun. I also think that no rides would be original concept: everything would be a movie tie-in. Jungle Cruise would have the animals from Lion King, Jungle Book, Tarzan, and maybe Emperor's New Groove in it.

    Fantasyland = would be more or less the same, but I think that the most popular Disney movies would all be represented. I think that overall everything would be movie based all over the park.

    Discoveryland = I think Frontierland would not exist and instead they'd do a steampunk land where Frontierland is.

    Spaceland = instead of Tomorrowland, with all the space characters.

    New Orleans Square = I hope this would exist, because it's so charming...and there's nothing like it except for the real New Orleans. Haunted Mansion, if it was built today, would just be a permanent Nightmare Before Christmas ride...or maybe it would have the Hocus Pocus characters or something. Definitely it would not be an original attraction.

    I think if Disneyland were built today it would not be as charming. Everything would be based on movie properties.

  7. #7

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    Re: What if Disneyland were built today?

    ORDDU: Actually, I think the fact that so many attractions ARE based on movie properties is what makes Disneyland so charming. It gives it a mythology that is unique among other theme parks that are mostly based on thrill rides.

  8. #8

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    Re: What if Disneyland were built today?

    Main Street would be 1950s, since that would be going along with the nostalgia of the older visitors for their youth similar to how in the early 1900s was for those in the 1950s. I also don't think TL exists, but instead is either a pure Star Wars land. Fantasyland, NOS, and Adventureland would all be the same, except maybe bigger, and Critter Country & Frontierland would somehow be combined more as an extension of NOS (along with the Mark Twain) further back in the park.

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    Re: What if Disneyland were built today?

    Quote Originally Posted by Witches of Morva View Post
    ORDDU: My advice would be to look no further than Hong Kong Disneyland for your answer, since it's the most recent Disney theme park to be built.
    So it'd be cheap, derivative, small and boring. Good thing it was built in the 50s, when quality counted!

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    Re: What if Disneyland were built today?

    ORDDU: More than likely so. Although I have to also say that Hong Kong Disneyland is slowly coming into its own and hopefully, some day, will rise to the same level as the original Disneyland.

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    Re: What if Disneyland were built today?

    Quote Originally Posted by Witches of Morva View Post
    ORDDU: More than likely so. Although I have to also say that Hong Kong Disneyland is slowly coming into its own and hopefully, some day, will rise to the same level as the original Disneyland.
    I don't think any park can match Disneyland.

    It was planned and built by artists and people passionate about it. It wasn't designed by bean counters and castrated by lawyers.

    The attractions are originals, and have been worked at by true craftsmen.

    I'm not saying DL couldn't be built right now -and made even better- by the current generation. I'm absolutely sure it could be made far better, more beautiful, etc.

    The problem is, there has been a shift in perception. Disney knew he had to build someone that was beyond anything the world had ever seen if he wanted to see his money back. Right now, corporations (where CEO's earn 300X times what their lowest level employees do) are more concerned about bottom lines, shareholders, their annual bonus, etc. They build up to a certain price point and spend millions calculating break-even points, etc.

    That's the difference between Disneyland and everything else - passion, instinct and values vs. bottom line and December bonuses.

    Example: the park next door. DL is 58 years old and it still looks stunning. It's planning, materials, concept and looks are not old - they are timeless. DCA or CA or whatever it is is called right now is a nightmare. It has clashing styles all around. It has beautiful zones, like Carthay, and horrible ones, like the Flight area. It has small routes that lead nowhere or can't be exited easily. It has concepts mashed-up like they were thrown from the skies. DCA was a park that was built to a price point and with stupid expectations of attendance numbers. DL - well, it was a man's dream.

  12. #12

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    Re: What if Disneyland were built today?

    I guess I wasn't clear on the question. What I was wondering is, with all things being equal (talent, vision, creativity, dedication it creating the best guest experience, market factors, etc) what lands would you expect to see today? I think we all know that corporate mindsets now dominate decision making and result in inferior products, but what if that wasn't the case? What cultural icons would Walt and his 9 old men look to for inspiration if they were just now creating the original park with an equal amount of dedication and show quality?

  13. #13

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    Re: What if Disneyland were built today?

    ORDDU: Thank you for your well worded posting fjhuerta, duckling. My sisters and I agree with what you had to say.

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