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  1. #1

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    DLR Podcast on Rockin Both Parks: "Our tagline for this is 'Space Mountain Revealed'"

    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...
    Last edited by MasterGracey; 01-15-2007 at 03:03 AM.

  2. #2

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    Re: DLR Podcast on Rockin Both Parks: "Our tagline for this is 'Space Mountain Reveal

    I also just heard this podcast today and was going to post on it.
    I thought the lighting design segment was the most puzzling for the same reasons. While the lighting designer and show producer were impressed with the projections, I was completely baffled. I noted on the attraction itself that the projectors have not altered their movement programming, simply the image. They still move just like asteroids... but more like a bad James Bond movie opening.
    Their discussion on the high-tech nature of most of the devices inside the dome are true. Those light rigs with the LED blenders and moving heads are quite cutting edge. No doubt a WholeHog3 is the brains of this operations. I still think they'd be better served using those lights somewhere else... heck, move them to Fantasmic! It's desperate for a lighting upgrade.

    The reaction I got was that WDI seemed to have many more ideas, and a much more firm grip on a new storyline than they were able to translate to the finished overlay. The people he interviewed earlier on seemed to have a better grip, conceptually, on the overlay, but it just does not turn out like that.
    I was actually surprised at how much had gone into the overlay to leave us with such a disappointing outcome.

    However, this podcast does feature some great little tidbits on how Space Mountain and California Screamin' are operated and designed (although there was no mention of Intamin for Screamin'... telling, ain't it? ... come to think of it, no one ever mentioned Vekoma... but who would! I digress). I found lots of this podcast to be full of information.

  3. #3

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    Re: DLR Podcast on Rockin Both Parks: "Our tagline for this is 'Space Mountain Reveal

    Quote Originally Posted by mrfantasmic View Post
    I also just heard this podcast today and was going to post on it.
    I thought the lighting design segment was the most puzzling for the same reasons. While the lighting designer and show producer were impressed with the projections, I was completely baffled. I noted on the attraction itself that the projectors have not altered their movement programming, simply the image. They still move just like asteroids... but more like a bad James Bond movie opening.
    Their discussion on the high-tech nature of most of the devices inside the dome are true. Those light rigs with the LED blenders and moving heads are quite cutting edge. No doubt a WholeHog3 is the brains of this operations. I still think they'd be better served using those lights somewhere else... heck, move them to Fantasmic! It's desperate for a lighting upgrade.

    The reaction I got was that WDI seemed to have many more ideas, and a much more firm grip on a new storyline than they were able to translate to the finished overlay. The people he interviewed earlier on seemed to have a better grip, conceptually, on the overlay, but it just does not turn out like that.
    I was actually surprised at how much had gone into the overlay to leave us with such a disappointing outcome.

    However, this podcast does feature some great little tidbits on how Space Mountain and California Screamin' are operated and designed (although there was no mention of Intamin for Screamin'... telling, ain't it? ... come to think of it, no one ever mentioned Vekoma... but who would! I digress). I found lots of this podcast to be full of information.

    I suppose much of the new lighting is cutting-edge, however it was simply used in very uninteresting, and subsequently unimpressive ways. As for the projections, they're disappointing. If they were going to project people, they should have filmed the Red Hot Chili Peppers performing, silhouetted them, and projected them onto the ceiling. This would have worked with the new "story," considering the Red Hot Chili Peppers have just gotten on the Space Stage... but instead we get people dancing? Boring.

    Nevertheless, I found the Podcast to be making so much hype over a project that really doesn't deserve the hype.

  4. #4

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    Re: DLR Podcast on Rockin Both Parks: "Our tagline for this is 'Space Mountain Reveal

    This is true.
    Though there were some little nuggets of good in there, as well.

  5. #5

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    Re: DLR Podcast on Rockin Both Parks: "Our tagline for this is 'Space Mountain Reveal

    These people possess a vacuousness worthy of outer space.

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    Re: DLR Podcast on Rockin Both Parks: "Our tagline for this is 'Space Mountain Reveal

    Here's another quote from Ryan Hewitt, Sound Engineer for Red Hot Chili Peppers, also responsible for making the custom mixes for Rockin' Both Parks.

    RYAN HEWITT: Fortunately the people who are programming the music, Evian Cleen & John Dennis at Disney - they rode the ride and they went through the whole cataloge of the Chili Peppers and several other bands and fortunately the Chili Pepeprs were picked. And these songs fit the rollercoasters so perfectly, it's uncanny. Once you edit the song down to the exciting parts, like, you have to take out the parts that are not providing propulsion behind the ride, they just fit perfectly. You have to ride the coaster, or see the video while I'm playing it back - it's really strange.




    ...Interesting... Personally, I didn't feel the audio fit the attractions very well. "Around the World" works with California Screamin', but it isn't choreographed for the attraction well enough. It fits loosely, not perfectly.
    Last edited by MasterGracey; 01-16-2007 at 05:23 PM.

  7. #7

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    Re: DLR Podcast on Rockin Both Parks: "Our tagline for this is 'Space Mountain Reveal

    I was at the Park this past weekend, both Saturday and Sunday. On Saturday I rode Space Mountain with these selfsame friends. I will not ride it again until it is returned to it's normal state of whatever. This show stinks to high heaven. One of the major reasons for SPACE Mountain is that you are supposed to be in the total darkness of SPACE!!! Now it's like riding with the work light on, only flashing in different colors. Whoopie. I had no problem with the music, it was OK. Just not what I want. If you like it, then so be it. But I didn't even get over to DCA to try Screamin and after riding Space, I really wasn't all that interested.
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    Re: DLR Podcast on Rockin Both Parks: "Our tagline for this is 'Space Mountain Reveal

    I can't say much because I haven't been on either ride but it is very disappointing to hear how out of touch WDI can be......................

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    Re: DLR Podcast on Rockin Both Parks: "Our tagline for this is 'Space Mountain Reveal

    I was going to post a few comments on this podcast, but I hit my head this morning and must've forgotten.

    The entire Podcast seemed like an ad for the two additions. They are all advertising material, but this one seemed less focused on the Imagineering and more about plugging the hell out of the stuff. I don't think there was 30 minutes worth of material either...
    I don't mean to sound bitter, cold, or cruel, but I am, so that's how it comes out. - Bill Hicks


  10. #10

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    Re: DLR Podcast on Rockin Both Parks: "Our tagline for this is 'Space Mountain Reveal

    I agree MasterGracey that these two imagineers seem to miss what Disneyland is all about. Disneyland is about having your dreams come true, come into reality. Blasting through space at high speeds is a dream that many have as children and continue as adults. That is why Space Mountain is popular, the speed and the mystery of space.

    Let's be honest, Rockin' Space Mountain was not designed to be an improvement on Space Mountain. It was simply the cheapest way they could get a "new" attraction to hype to increase attendance. There is no "story" to it. The podcast is simply another means to promote this cheap attraction.

    People complain when the name Walt is invoked. But I have to here. It was his idea to have a roller coaster in the dark. I have to say that it was a brilliant idea since darkness does heighten the thrill. I don't think this "rockin" ride reflects Walt's concern for quality, cutting edge rides or rides for the whole family.

    Thanks for the report.
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  11. #11

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    Re: DLR Podcast on Rockin Both Parks: "Our tagline for this is 'Space Mountain Reveal

    This Podcast was horrifying to listen to.

    These poor Imagineers are just trying to keep their jobs, play the game, and hopefully last long enough to be assigned to the next Soarin' or Pirates or Indy type project. That's not really their fault. But Disney should not release this type of thinly veiled advertisement for the latest marketing gimmick and try to pass it off as legit information.

    This was a commercial for Rockin' Both Parks, and by default a commercial for the 2Fer1 ticket deal. The funny thing is that they'll never try to pull another Rockin' promotion ever again, or at least not without a major infusion of capital and creativity into the next version. Rockin' Both Parks is one of the biggest flops Disneyland has had since Rocket Rods or Light Magic in the late 1990's.

    WDI should be ashamed for letting some of their Imagineers get dragged down into this corny and failed marketing gimmick. And now there's a Podcast to last for all eternity to prove it once happened.

  12. #12

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    Re: DLR Podcast on Rockin Both Parks: "Our tagline for this is 'Space Mountain Reveal

    Quote Originally Posted by TP2000 View Post
    This Podcast was horrifying to listen to.

    These poor Imagineers are just trying to keep their jobs, play the game, and hopefully last long enough to be assigned to the next Soarin' or Pirates or Indy type project. That's not really their fault. But Disney should not release this type of thinly veiled advertisement for the latest marketing gimmick and try to pass it off as legit information.

    This was a commercial for Rockin' Both Parks, and by default a commercial for the 2Fer1 ticket deal. The funny thing is that they'll never try to pull another Rockin' promotion ever again, or at least not without a major infusion of capital and creativity into the next version. Rockin' Both Parks is one of the biggest flops Disneyland has had since Rocket Rods or Light Magic in the late 1990's.

    WDI should be ashamed for letting some of their Imagineers get dragged down into this corny and failed marketing gimmick. And now there's a Podcast to last for all eternity to prove it once happened.
    I can't imagine that Imagineering would lower themselves to spew out this garbage. And even if they were forced to do the interview, I can't imagine them sounding as proud of Rockin' as they did in the interview, at least as far a Christie is concerned, I felt like she was actually deluded enough to believe that her project turned out good.

    And the fact that Paula actually admitted that they PURPOSELY lit up the track, and tried to make it look interesting, shows a clear disconnect that these Imagineers have with the themed attractions they're meant to be creating.

    They sound like they're straight from the team that designed and built DCA.

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    Re: DLR Podcast on Rockin Both Parks: "Our tagline for this is 'Space Mountain Reveal

    Quote Originally Posted by mrfantasmic View Post
    However, this podcast does feature some great little tidbits on how Space Mountain and California Screamin' are operated and designed (although there was no mention of Intamin for Screamin'... telling, ain't it? ... come to think of it, no one ever mentioned Vekoma... but who would! I digress)..
    Why would they mention Vekoma, when AMEC Dynamic Structures built it?

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    Re: DLR Podcast on Rockin Both Parks: "Our tagline for this is 'Space Mountain Reveal

    I like Rockin' Space Mountain. As aforementioned on other threads, a definite improvement would entail better music that is in sync with the ride.

    As far as "revealing" the track goes, this is absolutely inane...and lame. Jeers to these Imagineers as they don't know their game. I want to see a plentitude of intriguing special effects to gaze upon in the precarious cosmos.

    Lastly, when the hell are we going to get our bloody meteor?
    Last edited by Ride Warrior; 01-22-2007 at 11:47 AM.
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    Re: DLR Podcast on Rockin Both Parks: "Our tagline for this is 'Space Mountain Reveal

    vekoma made the track based upon the old design according to many sites... AMEC Dynamic built it from the track delivered...

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