Now that we are firmly in the new millennium, I believe Disney will change match the new challenges and advances. When Disneyland was created so many common modern technologies were not even conceived. Cell phones, computers, the internet, DVD’s, iPods, and video games are just some of those technologies. With these, the way people are entertained has changed. Theme parks will have to change with the times. Disneyland will need to adapt to remain entertaining to future generations. I have thought of some things that might be part of future attractions. I am interested in your response to these:
I believe that in the future rides will be much more interactive. Today we see the response that Ros is getting in the new Monsters Inc. ride. A miniature camera allows a CM to choose from 20 responses to coordinate with the type of guests in the vehicle. So far I think it has been a hit. The beginnings of this idea could be traced back to Walt who had the dog in Carousel of Progress bark at guests in the show.
Computers could also be involved. Imagine you are Cindy going on Pirates when in the auction scene, suddenly have all the Pirates turn and say, “Happy Birthday, Cindy.” A chip could know if this is your birthday, anniversary, first time to Disneyland, from another country, and so on. Now I know that some might not like such intrusion. Others I think would. This could work with the My Pal Mickey device. You buy or rent Mickey. He is told that you are having a birthday. Then when going through the ride, it senses Mickey who tells the ride to respond to you. It could be totally coordinated with the ride experience. The auctioneer could say, “Aye, Cindy, you would bring a boat load of gold if you were up here!” All kinds of responses could be done on other types of rides. You could be referred to by name or your preferences could be observed.
2) Choose your path
I see that with the advent of video games, more people want control in the rides. I could see that a ride would not just have one path, but maybe a couple “forks in the road” where guests could choose to go to the right or left. This concept was batted around as an option for the Pirates overhaul, where at night there would be a separate path guests would take. But I see rides where the guests make the decision. During that type of ride, there are two choices to experience. A small section of the ride would be unique, after which riders could rejoin the main path. Another example is Indiana Jones. I want to go through one of the other doors to experience something new. Or how about different tunnels in that ride which have different surprises. This could keep the same ride fresh and include a little more fun for the guest.
3) Difficulty level
Rides could offer two choices of difficulty, one easier for more timid guests or children. This is not a new idea. The Matterhorn is reputed to having an easier side for younger children. Now with computers, the same ride could respond very differently for each group of guests. Some complain that Mission: Space is too thrilling. Fine, then have two styles of the same ride, one for less adventurous souls. We all know that Indiana Jones had a less turbulent version. Imagine that individual vehicles could be programed for particular types of rides. The choice could go the other way. More adventurous souls could get a tougher version of the same ride. This could allow families to partake of rides that now have height restrictions.
4) Random Sequence
This is where the experience is controlled completely by computer. Tower of Terror in Florida has this type of ride. I see more rides randomly changing so that each guest experience is unique. This allows the guest to ride the same ride over and over again, but still remaining fresh. Random generation allows for guests never to predict what will happen next. Shows like Country Bears could have different performers with different acts that randomly appear. New ghosts could decide to haunt at random in the Haunted Mansion. Randomness provided by a computer would bring more magic and give more of a feeling of “life” to animatronic performances.
5) Puzzle solution
The idea is to take the video game experience and make it life size. With many video games having puzzles for players to solve, I see that concept only growing into a life size pursuit. Guests could find clues or symbols which are generated by a computer each day. These clues would lead to a solution. I see that Tom Sawyer Island would be the perfect venue to allow guests to roam and discover things. These clues could be checked with PDA’s or a main board. The clues could open a special door, or provide a prize or just spell out a message. Also a whole land or even the whole park could have clues that one could collect and decipher.
So what are your thoughts? Are any of the ideas things you would like to experience? Do you have more ideas of how technology will change our Disneyland experience? What do you believe will come first? Do you believe that Disneyland will never change?