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  1. #16

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    Re: How to make Downtown more Disney-like, and less like every other outdoor mall

    I agree there could be vast improvements on Downtown Disney. It's really nothing more than an outdoor shopping mall. I remember the Downtown Disney at Disney World. When it opened there were several Disney owned stores. Disney then consolidated all of those small stores into the World of Disney store and then got new corporate tenants in the other stores, and that seems to be the direction they're taking in the non-theme park locations of both Disneyland and WDW resorts. Rumors have it that more corporate restaurants and shops will be going into Pleasure Island at WDW.

    However, I do not think they should re-route the monorail. First of all, there's simply no need for the cost. One of the most special parts of taking the monorail over to the park is when the monorail glides into the park through Tomorrowland (I like taking the monorail at WDW from the TTC to EPCOT as it goes into Future World also). Why take that away?

    Also, I don't get to Disneyland nearly as often as I'd like anymore, so the likelihood of "persuading" me once I'm in the park of leaving to go to a shopping district is pretty slim. And considering how busy the park gets sometimes, if you leave the park and may not be able to get admission back in, it makes the persuasion that much harder.

    I would, however, like to see more of a themed look to the area.

  2. #17

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    Re: How to make Downtown more Disney-like, and less like every other outdoor mall

    Put a Peoplemover in it and play Disney music!


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  3. #18

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    Re: How to make Downtown more Disney-like, and less like every other outdoor mall

    The only place that I ever really go to in DTD is WOD and La Brea Bakery. I really don't venture into the rest of DTD, except when I'm with somebody who wants to eat there while visiting the park - and even then I hate leaving DL to go eat at DTD.

    I guess if they did re-theme the area I'd be more apt to venture beyond WOD.


  4. #19

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    Re: How to make Downtown more Disney-like, and less like every other outdoor mall

    This is a great topic. Walt Disney revolutionized theming by not just theming a ride or a building, but a whole area. That created the immersive experience and clearly made for a richer and more pleasing experience. But DTD in Anaheim has all the "traditional" theming. One building is keyed to the tropical islands right next to a present day building right next to the bayou country. The eye sees this jumble of ideas and does not allow you to feel like you really are in any of those interesting themes. Our shopping malls have a store themed to india next to a french style next to a pop culture store. We only see them as "fakes" and not the real thing.

    How pleasant if Disney was creative and really made a new and innovative shopping experience!! If similar stores where grouped as to style and theme and entertainment was scattered among the shops and not relegated to one end, it truly would be a "Disney" area which reflected the imagination of Walt himself.

    Pressler thought that Main Street was a shopping mall. How wrong he was! Walt saw Main Street primarily as a place to have fun, to create the illusion you walked back in time. He knew that when people were having fun, shopping would be fun as well!
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  5. #20

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    Re: How to make Downtown more Disney-like, and less like every other outdoor mall

    I think both 1313HarborBlvd and PI both had some good ideas on how to improve DtD. Good luck on trying to get Disney to pony up the money. One of the problems with DtD is the concept dates back to the Eisner era when al he had was $$ in his mind. I think theming is a great way to start renovating that area.
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  6. #21

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    Re: How to make Downtown more Disney-like, and less like every other outdoor mall

    I guess I am just easy to please, I like DTD just the way it is... I do not walk through it as often as I would like. I think it has something to offer people who are visiting Disneyland and people who are visiting just DTD. I agree that it is not as nice as the Universal City Walk.
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  7. #22

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    Re: How to make Downtown more Disney-like, and less like every other outdoor mall

    I say string clear white lights from one building top to another - almost like being roofed by lights. There are some areas in Fashion Island in Newport Beach that has sort of a swag looking light display near Bloomingdale's - it's very inviting.

  8. #23

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    Re: How to make Downtown more Disney-like, and less like every other outdoor mall

    Quote Originally Posted by PragmaticIdealist View Post
    I hate those carts, too. They are especially bad along the pedestrian bridge since they make the walkway so narrow.

    That bridge should have half the number of carts and stands it has now, and they should be placed in the very middle of the pathway so that guests can enjoy the landscaping along the sides.

    Disney kept insisting that it wanted to keep Downtown Disney upscale, but the vendor carts make the place trashy. (Incidentally, they make Disneyland trashy, too.)
    I disagree with this. Fashion Island in Newport Beach uses those same carts, and I wouldn't say that Fashion Island is trashy (think Rodeo Drive for those of you who don't live near DL). But there does need to be something on the bridge because otherwise it would be just a huge boring expanse. Reconfiguring the carts to the middle is an ok idea, but that would create even more congestion.

  9. #24

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    Re: How to make Downtown more Disney-like, and less like every other outdoor mall

    The Grove is far more Disney-like than DTD and a good model.

    * Some warmer, more detailed and inventive facades would be nice, some nostalgic, not just bland postmodernism.

    * A Vault Disney store which makes available every film and tv show and LP and song in the Disney library for CDs and DVDs on demand.

    * A computerized dancing waters fountain.

    * A warmer, more inviting garden-like atmosphere to sit and have coffee, drinks, etc.

    * A Disneyana antique mall with vendors from all over the globe and Disney things you can find nowhere else.

    * Video murals and screens and building projections playing lovely experimental animation and patterns.

    * An outdoor theatre for classic Disney films.

    * More trees and heat lamps.

    * More affordable and tasty family-friendly food franchises. Rubio's, Old Spaghetti Factory, In N Out Burger.

    * Disney themed restuaurants and niteclubs (Neverland, Wonderland, Annette's Beach Party, Enchanted Tiki Lounge).

    * Themed Miniature Golf (Wonderland!)

    * Themed bowling.

    * Disney music only karaoke and piano bar.

    * Cheaper and more substantial alcoholic beverages. Happy hours.

    * Get rid of those creepy flip-flopping athlete faces on the ESPN Zone. Scary!

    * Character interaction.

    * No abandoned/unused facilities.

  10. #25

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    Re: How to make Downtown more Disney-like, and less like every other outdoor mall

    Erm... you're basically just turning Downtown Disney into American Waterfront.

    You could have just said that in the post and saved yourself a lot of work.
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  11. #26

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    Re: How to make Downtown more Disney-like, and less like every other outdoor mall

    Quote Originally Posted by DisneyIPresume View Post
    I disagree with this. Fashion Island in Newport Beach uses those same carts, and I wouldn't say that Fashion Island is trashy (think Rodeo Drive for those of you who don't live near DL). But there does need to be something on the bridge because otherwise it would be just a huge boring expanse. Reconfiguring the carts to the middle is an ok idea, but that would create even more congestion.
    I completely agree! Just because there are kiosk/carts along the bridge doesn't constitute trashiness. As you say, Fashion Island has these all over the place, and they are TOTALLY nice. The carts at Downtown Disney have interesting and innovative things. Every time we go there, my wife HAS to get a pearl! It's just tradition. And it's cool, you know? I think, personally, it just adds to the serenity of the outdoor shopping experience at Downtown Disney. And what's more - they do not take up room as there is plenty.

  12. #27

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    Re: How to make Downtown more Disney-like, and less like every other outdoor mall

    Quote Originally Posted by merlinjones View Post
    The Grove is far more Disney-like than DTD and a good model.

    * Some warmer, more detailed and inventive facades would be nice, some nostalgic, not just bland postmodernism.

    * A Vault Disney store which makes available every film and tv show and LP and song in the Disney library for CDs and DVDs on demand.

    * A computerized dancing waters fountain.

    * A warmer, more inviting garden-like atmosphere to sit and have coffee, drinks, etc.

    * A Disneyana antique mall with vendors from all over the globe and Disney things you can find nowhere else.

    * Video murals and screens and building projections playing lovely experimental animation and patterns.

    * An outdoor theatre for classic Disney films.

    * More trees and heat lamps.

    * More affordable and tasty family-friendly food franchises. Rubio's, Old Spaghetti Factory, In N Out Burger.

    * Disney themed restuaurants and niteclubs (Neverland, Wonderland, Annette's Beach Party, Enchanted Tiki Lounge).

    * Themed Miniature Golf (Wonderland!)

    * Themed bowling.

    * Disney music only karaoke and piano bar.

    * Cheaper and more substantial alcoholic beverages. Happy hours.

    * Get rid of those creepy flip-flopping athlete faces on the ESPN Zone. Scary!

    * Character interaction.

    * No abandoned/unused facilities.

    I am 98% with you on those ideas! Especially on those horrible ESPN athlete heads.

    I love the idea of Karaoke! I go karaoke all the time and it's tough finding disney songs because of the whole copyright situation, so it would be awesome to finally go someplace that owns all the songs! But definitely do include other popular hits... gotta have variety for people to keep coming. "DISNEY KTV" it would be a hit!

    DISNEY'S ROCKIN' BOWLING would be neat... since they like the "rockin' idea so much. Bowling balls will be 'disney' colors... not the awful colors found in other bowling alleys. Video screens above each lane will be synched to show panarama views of disneyland or scenes from classic disney films and animated shorts... and most notably some disney rarities. Silly Symphonies that none have ever seen. They're on the Treasures disc but the general public won't buy that.

    Downtown Disney needs to feel like a downtown. Not a mall. Citywalk has that nice big tv on hardrock where it plays a bunch of stuff... even popular games. Disney needs the same thing (as you said) that plays disney cartoons with clips of walt disney in between, and clips from disney movies (with the title shown so people can see what it is). Maybe play a disney ballad from the film and see people humming along as they go to the next shop. I dunno... SOMEthing that makes it more disney.

    I say no on Spaghetti Factory and the like as I would prefer that the Imagineers design their own restaurants... great ideas that woldn't fit in the parks. I know another park has the Tony's Italian restaurant... that would be nice to have, though maybe something different than what's offered (catal is italian too). But yes, definitely more affordable is good.

    And I know there's gonna be a Walt Disney Museum in San Francisco, but I always wanted a Museum of Imagineering in Downtown Disney, located at the area where the Disneyland Hotel meets Downtown Disney. I don't want this to be just any old "disney gallery". I want this to be a full fledged working and operating museum matching the likes of LACMA or something like that. There will be the displays that remain constant, but there will be rotating galleries with different themes to keep guests coming back. And of course.. a store with high end, more exclusive disney products and of course.... frameable art that's more imagineering based rather than "animation".


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  13. #28

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    Re: How to make Downtown more Disney-like, and less like every other outdoor mall

    I love this idea! I wish this could be done!
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  14. #29

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    Re: How to make Downtown more Disney-like, and less like every other outdoor mall

    Quote Originally Posted by DisneyIPresume View Post
    I disagree with this. Fashion Island in Newport Beach uses those same carts, and I wouldn't say that Fashion Island is trashy (think Rodeo Drive for those of you who don't live near DL). But there does need to be something on the bridge because otherwise it would be just a huge boring expanse. Reconfiguring the carts to the middle is an ok idea, but that would create even more congestion.
    Downtown Disney opened originally without any carts because the company was trying to create a relatively upscale atmosphere. Then, someone decided that a few along the bridge would make it more interesting. I agreed. But, then, a few turned into several, which were strewn all along the bridge and throughout the rest of the complex. And, that's when they started becoming a problem. The trashiness is partly due also to the types of merchandise some of the carts sell.

    Outdoor vending inside Disneyland is the same way. Popcorn and balloons in a few strategic locations gave way under Pressler and Harriss to cheap plastic toys, cotton candy, and funnel cakes every few feet.

  15. #30

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    Re: How to make Downtown more Disney-like, and less like every other outdoor mall

    Look at your average mall. Look how clean and fresh Downtown Disney is. Disney did do a great job.
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