I don't know if any of you have listened to the most recent Official Disneyland Resort Podcast, but it's entirely dedicated to Rockin' Both Parks.
It features interviews with various individuals from within Walt Disney Imagineering. The interview with Christie Allen (Senior Show Producer) and Paula Hinkle (Principle Lighting Designer, Emiritus) from WDI, in particular struck me as distressing... Either these people had been given a script they had to use as a guideline, or they simply don't "get" Disneyland. And if they simply don't "get" Disneyland, then what is their business in WDI?
Let's look at some interesting excerpts from this Podcast:
Michael (Podcast Host): First off, let me just ask you, who are you and what do you do?
Christie Allen: I'm a senior show producer for WDI, I'm responsible for taking a project from it's creative concept through to it's completion and opening
Micahel: And the special project that we're going to btalk about today?
Christie: Rockin' Both Parks.
Michael: And Paula, what is it that you do?
Paula Hinkle: I'm a lighting designer
Michael: Now, I heard a much fancier definition of what it is that you did earlier, I mean, Christie really laid it out. So Christie, give us that definition again.
Christie: What I said about Paula is that she was a Principle Lighting Designer, Emiritus from Walt Disney Imagineering. Paula actually retired earlier in the year and we've actually brought her back for this special show because she is the best in the industry at adding beautiful lighting designs to rock-n-roll music in rollercoasters.
My thoughts: They brought Paula back from retirement to do this project, and she delivered this? Some flashing lights and some tacky dancing "rock and roll fans"? Maybe it was the budget cuts... but really. Come on...
Michael: What can we expect here at Space Mountain?
Christie: Paula has come back in and designed for us a rock'n'roll lightshow for the cosmos. I mean, this is Space Mountain, in the future, in a rock-n-roll concert extravaganza.
Paula: We've added several hundred lights to this. Along the track, and under the track. Our tagline for this is "Space Mountain revealed." Along the line of what Christie was talking about, of people always want to see it with the lights on... so we have colored light, and we have light that changes color, and that chases... So now you can see the track, and we've tried to light it so it's interesting.
My thoughts: Why are Imagineers pleased that they're giving away the magic of Space Mountain? But openly admitting that this attraction was internally referred to as "Space Mountain: Revealed" and saying that they've purposely lit up the track with colored lights because guests have always wanted to see the track clearly shows how out-of-touch these Imagineers are with their jobs.
The magician shouldn't be giving away the secret to his trick, and yet, they openly admit that's what they're doing. The fact that Imagineers are willing to blatantly display the backstage magic of any attraction is very upsetting with me, and totally contradicts the entire Disneyland experience that Walt Disney and WED worked so hard to create.
Michael: Now on an attraction like this, what is it that gets you most excited about working on a special thing like this, Christie?
Christie: Oh gosh, that's really hard to say First of all its working with really great people and it's taking something we know and love very very much and trying to sort of guess - if we could do anything we wanted to it to make it super special, what could we do? So, on this it's certainly been working with the music, it's been working with the lights, it's creating a new storyline for a beloved attraction that is just out of this world. I'm really lovin' it, I think the guests are going to really love it. so far the folks that have sort of ridden sort of secretly really love it.
My thoughts: I'd like to know what new storyline Christie and her team of Imagineers came up with for Rockin' Space Mountain. If anything it's completely vague and almost nonexistant. We're blasting off into a outerspace rock concert, and the Red Hot Chili Peppers have taken the Space Stage. But why? Why is Space Station 77 all of a sudden a rock-n-roll space port? Why, and more importantly, how are the Red Hot Chili Peppers in space, on the Space Stage? And also, if we're still in outerspace, why are there no stars anymore? The story is confusing, lacks cohesiveness, and uninteresting. Great work, WDI.
Michael: Is there any one particular aspect that you're particularly proud of... when it comes to the lighting Paula?
Paula: I think it would be the video projections. We're having a lot of fun with it. And some really creative people working on it in the media portion of it. It's been a lot of fun.
My thoughts: The feature many have noted to be the tackiest of the Rockin' additions is apparently our Lighting Designer's favorite part. Good grief.
...Anyway, what are you guys' thoughts on this podcast, and in particular this interview?
Note to Mods: I would have included this in the "Rockin' Reactions" thread, but did not because this is not personal reaction to the attractions, but rather, discussion regarding the behind-the-scenes aspect of it with Imagineering, etc. I don't think this needs to be merged, but if you guys think so, I suppose you know best...