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  1. #31

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    Re: MiceAge Update, Mermaid and Alice

    Quote Originally Posted by DrFink View Post
    I don't see why Little Mermaid needs a refurb. It isn't outdated, it tells the story, and is a fun ride. Not to mention there is never a line.

    I must agree that the end is rushed, though. The way the ride is designed just focuses more on the fun, light-hearted aspects of the story and not the real villain conflict. I don't think you could change that without completely redesigning the ride.
    A lot of the ride is pretty good. But the main scene--Under the Sea--is really a failure in comparison to what they were trying for. I buy that I am underwater for all of the underwater scenes except for that one. I mean, I think they could have sold the "underwater" better, but I will just assume it was way to expensive. But in the Under the Sea scene it totally loses me. It's really bright, I can see all the overhead lights, and being underwater is more convincing in more enclosed spaces--like every other underwater scene in the ride.

    So anything they can do to improve that, to me, is good.

    Quote Originally Posted by Drewfilmboy View Post
    Disney is probably going to utilize several digital projectors to project the ride film on the imax dome screen instead of using one large digital projector (which I don't believe exist yet for that large a scale?)
    LieMAX or Digital IMAX uses two projectors I believe, so they would have to use a lot, and they are not cheap. It will be interesting.

  2. #32

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    Re: MiceAge Update, Mermaid and Alice

    I'm so excited to see the improvements on TLM. Loving the plans for the Fantasyland Dark rides as well, although I was hoping for something bigger to add to these plans for their 60th.

  3. #33

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    Re: MiceAge Update, Mermaid and Alice

    The Ursula scene are way too short. Not enough build up. There are too many scenes where nothing is happening. The descend into the sea needs more projections of the air bubbles. I'm not entirely sure why the interior looks like a cave on the walls. Not enough realistic algae or coral.

    The final scenes where Ariel is shown as a human happens much too quickly.

    How about just turning this ride into a Small World type ride? Just play the necessary songs over and over again with dancing sea animals. Just forget about the plot of the movie.

  4. #34

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    Re: MiceAge Update, Mermaid and Alice

    I think TLM is a pleasant ride. It certainly could use some better details and lighting. Flaws aside, we still went on it a few times a day while we were there. We chose to do so because it is an enjoyable ride, there was hardly a wait, and we wanted to ride something really quick without having to stand in a long line.

    The Fantasyland dark rides pack a lot more charm even though they are quite rushed in the storytelling. To be honest though, while I think they are indeed a bit more charming, I believe there is a healthy dose of nostalgia impacting our opinions as well. Since this is a ride my daughter is growing up with, I'm curious to see if she will view it much the same way that we view the FL rides.
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  5. #35

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    Re: MiceAge Update, Mermaid and Alice

    Contrary to what Disney seems to think, storytelling and dark rides do not work together.Darkrides are more about place making and settings and putting people in those settings. No one told an effective story in a dark ride.

    And that's why the Little Mermaid ride fails. It is trying to piece together a story that it doesn't need to. The focus shouldn't be on Ariel but rather on the scenes and places. By making Ariel such a central focus of the ride, it really just becomes a movie character meet n greet.

    That's just my personal opinion though. I Don't much care for the ride, but I assume there is some degree of popularity even as just a way to let the kids see Ariel. However that being said obviously Disney isn't happy with the results if they feel compelled once again to put money into it. Even if the ride is running to 80% of capacity, that still represents wasted labor and maintenance costs in the unused 20%. Mermaid was incredibly expensive and the tweaks and adjustments give the impression that they are desperately trying to make the dark ride format work. But I think the age of the omnimover is over.

  6. #36

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    Re: MiceAge Update, Mermaid and Alice

    Quote Originally Posted by MrLiver View Post
    Contrary to what Disney seems to think, storytelling and dark rides do not work together.Darkrides are more about place making and settings and putting people in those settings. No one told an effective story in a dark ride.

    And that's why the Little Mermaid ride fails. It is trying to piece together a story that it doesn't need to. The focus shouldn't be on Ariel but rather on the scenes and places. By making Ariel such a central focus of the ride, it really just becomes a movie character meet n greet...
    Nail on the head!
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  7. #37

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    Re: MiceAge Update, Mermaid and Alice

    You know, I've always thought that all the dark rides at DL were too abrupt. Whether it's Snow White or Pinnocchio or Peter Pan they always seem to focus too much on the first part of the story and then rush the ending. Really only Mr. Toad has a fully fleshed out ending, although they kind of rush the beginning with that one and never really explain why he's going on his wild ride. These are 90 minute movies turned into 1 - 3 minute rides, you can't do justice to the story no matter what you do.
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  8. #38

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    Re: MiceAge Update, Mermaid and Alice

    Quote Originally Posted by MrLiver View Post
    But I think the age of the omnimover is over.
    The ominimover might not be dead. It is really a matter if they want a high capacity ride. My feeling is omnimovers does not scream out E-Ticket with Haunted Mansion as the only exception to the rule. My hope is we go to trackless rides.

  9. #39

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    Re: MiceAge Update, Mermaid and Alice

    Quote Originally Posted by StevenW View Post
    The ominimover might not be dead. It is really a matter if they want a high capacity ride. My feeling is omnimovers does not scream out E-Ticket with Haunted Mansion as the only exception to the rule. My hope is we go to trackless rides.
    From an engineering standpoint though, a trackless ride system would be just as bad, if not worse than an omnimover. Essentially you are straddling a C Ticket type experience with an E Ticket ride system and from a financial standpoint that is a recipe for disaster. Omnimovers have lots of moving parts and are expensive to maintain and operate. I believe that is what is driving the push to increase the rideability of Mermaid.

    When attractions have a hard time justifying their maintenance and labor budgets per rider, they end up on the list of rides to be closed. The sub's have the same problem: E Ticket ride system with a C Ticket experience. The cost of keeping the subs running is hard to justify against their ridership numbers. But if the sub's are still pulling a line and running to 90% efficiency they will look a whole lot better than a ride running at 80%

  10. #40

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    Re: MiceAge Update, Mermaid and Alice

    I work in Fan classics and I'll be happy to see Alice and the other dark rides get some tlc. (Even if it means more Parade/GSO shifts) it doesn't seem like they can do much with the outside track without making it a roller-coaster type decline. (Maybe thats what they're going for?...)
    Most of the work should be upgrading the tech and FINALLY getting rid of that "go away"green tarp around the scaffolding and making it look like a real show building

  11. #41

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    Re: MiceAge Update, Mermaid and Alice

    Quote Originally Posted by MrLiver View Post
    From an engineering standpoint though, a trackless ride system would be just as bad, if not worse than an omnimover. Essentially you are straddling a C Ticket type experience with an E Ticket ride system and from a financial standpoint that is a recipe for disaster. Omnimovers have lots of moving parts and are expensive to maintain and operate. I believe that is what is driving the push to increase the rideability of Mermaid.
    A given attraction has a lot to accomplish:

    1. Be a pleasant, even exciting, experience for the guests, in addition to your visceral high speed thrills. This is where Disney excels, most of Disney parks aren't meant to be standard theme parks where you ride lightly themed roller coasters, the whole "I'm going to Disneyland. "is to imply so much more.


    2. Brand synergy. Recently went on a trip to Sea World, and missed the Disney characters, stories, more than I thought. Some may want a generic theme park experience, but I think that most guests want to see their favorite characters writ large.

    3. Be fully integrated into a broader land/experience.

    Mermaid kind of fails when it comes all three of these functions, given that a lot of guests aren't wowed by mermaid, and that you don't feel that you really off on an adventure with Ariel, This kinda hurts the Little Mermaid brand. In terms of being part of a broader experience, Paradise Pier kinda isn't one of DLR's most photogenic lands, and there doesn't seem to be much reason why Mermaid would be in Paradise Pier to begin with.

    Quote Originally Posted by MrLiver View Post
    When attractions have a hard time justifying their maintenance and labor budgets per rider, they end up on the list of rides to be closed. The sub's have the same problem: E Ticket ride system with a C Ticket experience. The cost of keeping the subs running is hard to justify against their ridership numbers. But if the sub's are still pulling a line and running to 90% efficiency they will look a whole lot better than a ride running at 80%
    The Nemo subs are actually quite energy-efficient, And relatively maintenance-free. I don't remember a major refurbishment for the subs since they opened in 2007. And it's not hard to see why, the name of subs utilize rechargeable batteries and electric motors, hardly any maintenance at all given there is basically just one moving part.
    Last edited by chesirecat; 11-13-2013 at 01:12 PM.

  12. #42

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    Re: MiceAge Update, Mermaid and Alice

    Quote Originally Posted by MrLiver View Post
    Contrary to what Disney seems to think, storytelling and dark rides do not work together.Darkrides are more about place making and settings and putting people in those settings. No one told an effective story in a dark ride.

    And that's why the Little Mermaid ride fails. It is trying to piece together a story that it doesn't need to. The focus shouldn't be on Ariel but rather on the scenes and places.
    No, Disney is right. It's just people are mistaking story for plot. The two are different things.

    A themed ride needs a story (i.e. the underlying theme, moral, set of values or emotional undercurrent that is trying to be conveyed). It guides all decisions regarding the content and design of the ride itself.

    Trying to tell a coherent plot (i.e. which is only one of many mechanisms that are used to tell a story) is death to a dark ride. You cannot plot out a ride like a movie. Like you said, it would be too uninvolving for the ride-goer. At that point, you might as well make the movie, it's a more effective storytelling device.

    Having an explicit Ursula death scene close out the Little Mermaid ride would not improve it. Not one iota. The fundamental problem is that the ride doesn't have a story but has a plot. Maybe the Imagineers mixed up one for the other...I don't know. But it is because they didn't start out with a story, but started out with a pre-made plot that wasn't ever designed to be a ride but they tried to shoe-horn into one, that it ended up as something completely ruderless.

    There are maybe a couple ways to save it, but giving it more plot certainly isn't one of them.

  13. #43

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    Re: MiceAge Update, Mermaid and Alice

    All this talk of story telling, plot, place making, settings, etc, etc ... I'm getting lost in it.

    Just trying to round up things here -

    These seem to be the different type of formats used in Disneyland (or in DCA):

    1. Are the "back story" attractions that are not "lifts" from any film. Such as the classics of PotC pre Jack Sparrow, HM as the best examples. In that format ... we can use our own imaginations to create our own adventure. Sort of a blank slate ... but with rich backgrounds ... and our minds can write what we want it to be. I will always prefer this format than any other. It's a subtle mind interaction .. that makes these kinds of adventures more "stimulating".

    2. Fantasyland Dark Ride original format from opening (1955) - You didn't see Snow White, you didn't see Toad, you didn't see Peter Pan .. .because YOU .. the rider ... was Peter, Toad, etc. And you wized through the same type of scenes .... per the films. That was another brilliant format ... making YOU the center of it all.

    3. Are the ride formats that do involve seeing characters around .. but at least in a "new story" created for the theme park. Indy, RSR, Roger Rabbit are among this format. It's not the same exact story per the film - but at least a "continuation" of the same sort of situations familiar from the respective films.

    4. Rides that are direct lifts from the films .... the movie reproduced .. page, for page ... where the rider just sits back ... really "sits back". This isn't a personal story you can create for yourself .. you are watching another person's story/adventure unfold ... as you see them in scene to scene. A fine format ... if you just want to kick back, and watch someone else's story unfold. It's not as "personal" or "interactive" .. as the first 2 formats I mentioned. Which in my opinion are less "stimulating" experiences.

    Am I missing any other type of format?
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  14. #44

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    Re: MiceAge Update, Mermaid and Alice

    Honestly, if I felt I was actually under water yet still in open air where I could conceivably reach out and touch the sets (unlike the subs), the experience would be so much better. I am not sure how they could do this. I am no engineer and I am not good at that kind of stuff.

    I am sure this has been beaten to death here, but I can say that this:



    is a MUCH better ride. I also realize that it would have been MUCH more expensive to produce. I am sure the Peter Pan-style ride system would be difficult, but I am guessing technology has advanced since that was built.

    With fog, light effects, and a scrim, it seems like they could have created a scenario where it actually looks like you are above or below water. Look up to see "above water" on the other side of the bluish scrim (with lighting and fog effects) as well as bubble machines would really sell it to me. Same goes with looking down from "above the sea."

    That said, the ride would not be as efficient.

  15. #45

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    Re: MiceAge Update, Mermaid and Alice

    Brand synergy is not a req for being a good attraction.

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