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  1. #1

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    Restoring Walt Disney’s Disneyland: The Golden Horseshoe Revue

    Full story can be found at http://imagineerebirth.blogspot.com/

    There are many differences in today’s Disneyland experience from that of Walt’s classic Magic Kingdom. And it’s not just a matter of old rides that are missing or replaced, but of a different tone and texture.

    There was a time when the environments of Disneyland were more like a time-machine: the frontier, the turn-of-the-century, the future - - all these lavish sets were meant to transport the guest to that idealized time and place, to sort-of a living movie-lot - - not just a modern day “themed” experience, like Las Vegas or Solvang or Outback Steakhouse.

    Part of that immersive show was the live entertainment that evoked the times portrayed, whether it was the Dapper Dans singing barbershop on Main Street or a wild saloon show in the old west.

    Slue Foot Sue’s Golden Horseshoe Revue was the showplace of Frontierland from opening day clean through to the Eisner era, when it closed as the longest-running stage show of the day.

    A passionate vaudevillian at heart, Walt Disney proudly presented a full-bodied, over-the-top, corn-fed interactive burlesque show right out of the history books, and audiences ate it up with a silver spoon.

    With a saloon madam, her dancing girls, an Irish tenor and a cowboy comedian (and their band), The Golden Horseshoe Revue didn’t try to be relevant to the times in any way, but transported guests back into another era of entertainment; to the days before movies and television when seltzer and pantaloons reigned supreme.

    Wally Boag, Betty Taylor and company made the show fresh for close to thirty years. During times of amazing political and social change and upheaval in the real world, the show continued to shoot from the hip. Despite the onset of several wars, civil rights, feminism, hippies, disco and rap, the girls of the Golden Horseshoe kept kicking their heels to the delight of the most diverse audiences…

    Into the 80’s, Pecos Bill was still spitting teeth, the girls were still posing for the Police Gazette and Sue was still looking for her Big City Beau. Audiences never seemed to tire of the show.

    Even though history had marched on, the old west remained the same – and so did the burlesque. It was, after all, supposed to represent another era. As spectators and participants, we learned about what that era may have been like. We didn’t look for our own social reflections and moog synthesizers in their frontier antics.

    But the coming of political correctness and entertainment expense cutbacks (as well as the retirement of the original cast) finally called a halt to the old time fun.

    Sadly, Frontierland has gone from boomtown to ghost town in the process. The Golden Horseshoe was the gold-digging, gunslinging heart of Walt’s old west. Now Frontierland more evokes Boot Hill.

    http://imagineerebirth.blogspot.com/

  2. #2

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    Re: Restoring Walt Disney’s Disneyland: The Golden Horseshoe Revue

    I guess I'm the only guy who didn't mind, from how often it is brought up here. That whole show was basically cast and directed to please Walt. For instance, it gave Wally Boag a career because Walt thought his comedy shtick was hysterical.

    It's a nice room, but the original show was a pretty far cry from Broadway.

  3. #3

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    Re: Restoring Walt Disney’s Disneyland: The Golden Horseshoe Revue

    That Imagineering blog is really something isn't it?

    Honestly, if they were truly concerned with restoring Walt Disney's Disneyland they'd create all-new innovative, blockbuster attractions showcasing the newest technologies in ways that present an all-immersive experience to guests.

    Not to say that Walt's 1950-1960s Disneyland was crap, but honestly, I want something new. Whatever the reason, that show is in Yesterland now.

    Why would people, such as these bloggers on the Re-Imgineering Blog be so adamant about bringing everything that was dead and old and removed back to Disneyland? If anything, they should be striving to IMPROVE on what is there and making it better and coming up with new, interesting ideas for Disneyland instead of crying over long-gone shows and attractions. Sorry, but Tomorrowland 1967, Adventure Thru Inner Space, the Golden Horseshoe Revue, Country Bears, and Skull Rock are all long-gone. Sure, maybe all of the attractions were removed with poor excuses or weren't replaced with better attractions, but what can we do now? Bring back the dead? No thanks. How about bringing in something new and better than the old show and the new show?

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  4. #4

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    Re: Restoring Walt Disney’s Disneyland: The Golden Horseshoe Revue

    Quote Originally Posted by MickeyMania
    It's a nice room, but the original show was a pretty far cry from Broadway.
    Wasn't that the point? Shouldn't you be able to find experiences at Disneyland that you can't find anywhere outside the berm? Nothing against the "Billy's", who are hysterical, but I never got to see or participate in an orignal-style show like the one they used to offer, and feel that it really would make Frontierland more of a trip into America's history rather than just a stroll through a themed area.

  5. #5

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    Re: Restoring Walt Disney’s Disneyland: The Golden Horseshoe Revue

    Quote Originally Posted by MasterGracey
    ...Honestly, if they were truly concerned with restoring Walt Disney's Disneyland they'd create all-new innovative, blockbuster attractions showcasing the newest technologies in ways that present an all-immersive experience to guests.

    Not to say that Walt's 1950-1960s Disneyland was crap, but honestly, I want something new. Whatever the reason, that show is in Yesterland now.

    Why would people, such as these bloggers on the Re-Imgineering Blog be so adamant about bringing everything that was dead and old and removed back to Disneyland? If anything, they should be striving to IMPROVE on what is there and making it better and coming up with new, interesting ideas for Disneyland instead of crying over long-gone shows and attractions. Sorry, but Tomorrowland 1967, Adventure Thru Inner Space, the Golden Horseshoe Revue, Country Bears, and Skull Rock are all long-gone. Sure, maybe all of the attractions were removed with poor excuses or weren't replaced with better attractions, but what can we do now? Bring back the dead? No thanks. How about bringing in something new and better than the old show and the new show?
    Don't you think that the Imagineers have been chomping at the bit for the last decade-plus, waiting to do just what you suggest??

    Maybe you might be more sympathetic to those that look back fondly on the old attractions if you were old enough to have experienced them yourself. I doubt very few people would want to see them still around in their original technology, but their concepts are still cutting-edge. Imagine how incredible, and crowd-pleasing many of those "old shows" would be if they had simply kept upgrading them with new technology and programs rather than gutting them out wholesale?

    I'm not saying that everything ever done at the park should stay, but a "good show" is a good show; just look at the Tiki Room. Freshen it up and suddenly its packing them in again after 40 years.

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    Re: Restoring Walt Disney’s Disneyland: The Golden Horseshoe Revue

    Oh heck no. We only have so much space to work with, and something new will bring in more bodies than something old with some fiber optic lights on it.

    That's why I cringe everytime I hear about a new Flying Saucers. There's a difference between continually plussing an attraction, like the Jungle Cruise or Pirates recently or the Matterhorn way back when, and simply bringing it back from yesterland after everyone stopped caring. This is like if they tore down the mountain just to build a new one rather than just put ice caves and a monster in the old one. If you're going to go that far, you should do something new.

  7. #7

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    Re: Restoring Walt Disney’s Disneyland: The Golden Horseshoe Revue

    >>It's a nice room, but the original show was a pretty far cry from Broadway.<<

    Thank god!

  8. #8

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    Re: Restoring Walt Disney’s Disneyland: The Golden Horseshoe Revue

    I was simply using that as a figurative reference of quality, not literally saying that they should be putting in RENT anytime soon.

  9. #9

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    Re: Restoring Walt Disney’s Disneyland: The Golden Horseshoe Revue

    Quote Originally Posted by speederscout
    Don't you think that the Imagineers have been chomping at the bit for the last decade-plus, waiting to do just what you suggest??

    Maybe you might be more sympathetic to those that look back fondly on the old attractions if you were old enough to have experienced them yourself. I doubt very few people would want to see them still around in their original technology, but their concepts are still cutting-edge. Imagine how incredible, and crowd-pleasing many of those "old shows" would be if they had simply kept upgrading them with new technology and programs rather than gutting them out wholesale?

    I'm not saying that everything ever done at the park should stay, but a "good show" is a good show; just look at the Tiki Room. Freshen it up and suddenly its packing them in again after 40 years.
    To make a point, here is an example out of many that the posters on that blog have suggested, but I personally think an interactive ride-through (Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters) that connects players from their HOMES via the Internet is much more "Tomorrow" than reviving the old Circarama/CircleVision 360 attraction as that blog suggests. Give me a break.

    I know what you're getting at talking about being sympathetic towards old attractions that I may have not experienced, and I agree... I am a bit less sympathetic towards old, dead attractions that I never saw or dont remember... But the posters of that blog come off just a bit too extreme and seem as though they want nothing but Disneyland circa 1950-1969 brought back. I see very little progress in their ideas, but instead they just want to turn Disneyland into a time warp back to the way they remember it from their childhood.

    Give me a break and let's get some NEW, bigger and bolder ideas. Go back to Yesterland via the internet or build a time machine. Let's bring Disneyland up to speed and give it its place in 2006, not 1966.

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  10. #10

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    Re: Restoring Walt Disney’s Disneyland: The Golden Horseshoe Revue

    I have no problem with the Billy Hill show. It's not like they ousted the previous show. Those people just got old. I do wish that they would bring back the Variety Show starring Dana Daniels. That would keep the best Billy Hill show together and not what we have now.


    This has been a Filmways presentation dahling.

  11. #11

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    Re: Restoring Walt Disney’s Disneyland: The Golden Horseshoe Revue

    Master Gracey, I'm being genuinely curious here: I know you are only 18 years old, and that you were literally in diapers when Star Tours opened and America Sings closed, but what do you recall or truly know about some of those attractions?

    A quick visit to Yesterland.com reveals all that you truly missed. Could it be that those "old" attractions really were more magical and unique than you recall from your pre-toddler days? True, some of the things we have now are better than what we had then... but some of what we've been given isn't nearly as creative, clever, or even as detailed as what was taken from us. Its easier to put in something new with cheap thrills than it is to care for, maintain, and upgrade something that was more complex, even something from back in the "old days".

    Again, I am NOT saying that nothing at the park should be changed, or that everything ever built there was a bonafide hit, but lets look at what some of those old, warn out attractions could be like if Disney had brought them "up to speed and give it its place in 2006":

    Circlevision: all that film and all those projectors; what a headache, not to mention keeping all that stuff synced up. But imagine what it would be like "brought up to speed" with today's digital technology. Can you imagine standing there, surrounded by high-definition digital projections??!? OH MY GOSH!!

    Adventure Through InnerSpace: Sure they put in Body Wars at WDW, but its just a simulator. That concept works excellent if you're in a space shuttle-type vehicle, but Adventure Through InnerSpace was immediate and intimate, since you were in Haunted Mansion model omnimovers. With today's technology and effects that ride would blow you away as much as it did audiences back then.

    Flying Saucers: that ride was so ahead of its time that they couldn't get it to ever work reliably, which is why it was finally closed. I say "BRING IT BACK", because today they can make it work. And what a thrill to be able to pilot your own genuine hovercraft! I can't even imagine how cool that would feel!

    As I said earlier, while the technology might be dated by today's standards, the concepts and shows were and are still cutting-edge. A good show and good design is timeless.
    Last edited by speederscout; 03-03-2006 at 05:38 PM.

  12. #12

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    Re: Restoring Walt Disney’s Disneyland: The Golden Horseshoe Revue

    There are many differences in today’s Disneyland experience from that of Walt’s classic Magic Kingdom. And it’s not just a matter of old rides that are missing or replaced, but of a different tone and texture.

    There was a time when the environments of Disneyland were more like a time-machine: the frontier, the turn-of-the-century, the future - - all these lavish sets were meant to transport the guest to that idealized time and place, to sort-of a living movie-lot - - not just a modern day “themed” experience, like Las Vegas or Solvang or Outback Steakhouse.

    Part of that immersive show was the live entertainment that evoked the times portrayed, whether it was the Dapper Dans singing barbershop on Main Street or a wild saloon show in the old west.

    I totally agree. Lots of the magic (from days past) was in the atmosphere or in the magic Disneyland evoked. To see some of the "non-ride" activities and free stuff was always just as fun if not more fun than going on an attraction. I said in a previous post, one of the most enjoyable times I ever had was when we were at the Disneyland Hotel sitting outside at the tram pick-up area. All of a sudden, a five-man band came up and asked us for a song request. I never had more fun at the Park or the Hotel than I did that day belting out Whale of a Tail and other Disney songs. This wasn't an attraction. This was free and that's what I think is now missing.



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  13. #13

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    Re: Restoring Walt Disney’s Disneyland: The Golden Horseshoe Revue

    Quote Originally Posted by speederscout
    Don't you think that the Imagineers have been chomping at the bit for the last decade-plus, waiting to do just what you suggest??
    Absolutely. I think it is said best by JustinSpace in relation to DCA "Yes, We Know, Got it, Thanks ". They are as frustrated as the fans.

    The growing concern in almost all of those posts is that Disney execs are viewing the parks as just another commodity, and not the 'special place' we all know it is.

    However, there are two things to be said about that. Firstly, it IS just a commodity as far as the shareholders are concerned. These are the people that Disney's execs answer to, and they are the ones that will be concerned with the bottom line. The idea is to maximise profitability, not cater to a nostalgic view of yesteryear.

    The other thing is that there is a certain strength in having some of the same attractions at Disney parks around the world. It is all well and good if you live near a Disneyland, or have an unlimited budget to globe-trot, but for many people, their closest Disney park is going to be the only one they are able to go to. As a result, there is a wisdom of sorts in having some 'cookie cutter' attractions (such as Buzz Lightyear).

    This is not to say all parks should be identical. All of them need to represent something individual, and that is good business sense as well as my overwhelming sense of fandom.
    “I don't mean to sound bitter, cold, or cruel, but I am, so that's how it comes out.” - Bill Hicks


  14. #14

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    Re: Restoring Walt Disney’s Disneyland: The Golden Horseshoe Revue

    Quote Originally Posted by speederscout
    Master Gracey, I'm being genuinly curious here: I know you are only 18 years old, and that you were literally in diapers when Star Tours openned and America Sings closed, but what do you recall or truly know about some of those attractions?
    I said that I dont hold sympathy for attractions that I missed out on, and thats probably a big reason I have the view points I have.
    Sure, Adventure Thru Innerspace might have been a really great attraction back when it was around, and sure, maybe it could be updated with new technology for an exciting new experience, but in the end its an OLD concept.

    I think what I'm trying to get at is that once an old idea is dead, it should remain dead. Why revive a dead deal when there are millions of new/undeveloped ideas Imagineering has stashed away in the archives?

    I'd prefer something new and never-before-experienced before bringing back something that's been dead and gone for years, even if it was incredible in its heyday.

    Quote Originally Posted by speederscout
    A quick visit to Yesterland.com reveals all that you truly missed. Could it be that those "old" attractions really were more magical and unique than you recall from your pre-toddler days? True, some of the things we have now are better than what we had then... but some of what we've been given isn't nearly as creative, clever, or even as detailed as what was taken from us. Its easier to put in something new with cheap thrills than it is to care for, maintain, and upgrade something that was more complex, even something from back in the "old days".
    It may be easier to put in something new that serves up cheap thrills, but I never said that I want that. And I don't think its BETTER to upgrade old attractions forever if something bigger and better comes along.
    Star Tours, from what I understand was definately a thrilling, worthwhile replacement to Adventure Thru Innerspace because it showcased new simulator technology in an exciting flight to Endor. It might not be the innovative new exciting thing nowadays, but if they completely removed Star Tours for a new, exciting E-Ticket I would be all for it, even though I grew up riding Star Tours.

    Quote Originally Posted by speederscout
    Again, I am NOT saying that nothing at the park should be changed, or that everything ever built there was a bonafide hit, but lets look at what some of those old, warn out attractions could be like if Disney had brought them "up to speed and give it its place in 2006":

    Circlevision: all that film and all those projectors; what a headache, not to mention keeping all that stuff synced up. But imagine what it would be like "brought up to speed" with today's digital technology. Can you imagine standing there, surrounded by high-definition digital projections??!? OH MY GOSH!!
    Isn't Soarin' sort of an upgraded CircleVision? I mean, I don't think I ever truly got to experience Circle Vision, but Soarin', from what I understand is an extension of the idea, and is definately something that can be updated and it expands on CircleVision's success by creating an exciting ride system to go along with the wonderful movies.
    I don't think CircleVision in its original form, even if updated with HD projectors could be as good as a ride-through experience. I might be wrong, I accept that, but I think an interactive ride (Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters) is probably better than watching a film in 360.


    As I said earlier, while the technology might be dated by today's standards, the concepts and shows were and are still cutting-edge. A good show and good design is timeless.[/QUOTE]
    What about all of the other good show designs that have never been produced just waiting to see the light of day? What about all of the ideas that WDI is working on as we speak? Wouldn't you rather see something new rather than just an revived attraction?

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  15. #15

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    Re: Restoring Walt Disney’s Disneyland: The Golden Horseshoe Revue

    I never said not to bring in new ideas or totally new attractions... Not sure where that idea came in. What I wrote was that some of those old attraction concepts would be, and are, still viable.

    Where did I imply one over the other??

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