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  1. #61

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    Re: Improving the Disneyland Railroad in Order to Utilize Excess Capacity

    Quote Originally Posted by PragmaticIdealist View Post

    I would prefer that the Disneyland Railroad be able to view the Jungle Cruise launches while they, in turn, are not able to see the trains. And, there is, indeed, a way to achieve exactly that effect. But, I'm really just imagining all the possibilities.
    As both a railroad conductor and a Jungle Cruise skipper I can attest that you actually can see one attraction from the other, but I'm sure it's only because we're standing. The seated guests probably cannot see. As my boat enters the hippo pool, I can easily see the top of the train canvas and hear the engine as it passes behind the berm. As a conductor, I can see Jungle boats as they head away from the hippo pool towards the skull boat. The attractions come very close together but few guests ever realize it. I really like how each one is kept distinct from the other, but wouldn't mind if the Jungle Cruise had been designed to integrate the railroad better. As it is now, though, the Indian elephant pool and hippo pool (along with the entire attraction and land) are designed to be far from civilization and it makes thematic sense for the attractions to be separate. To incorporate the railroad would hurt the story I am trying to tell as a skipper.

  2. #62

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    Re: Improving the Disneyland Railroad in Order to Utilize Excess Capacity

    Quote Originally Posted by Wally View Post
    Gah, I'm sorry if the answer has already been posted. But that was too much of a tease, I MUST know what cartoon character is already on DRR engine.

  3. #63

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    Re: Improving the Disneyland Railroad in Order to Utilize Excess Capacity

    Quote Originally Posted by CaliforniaAdventurer View Post
    It's seriously a letdown, the Adventureland section is boring, then you get these jarring Mardi Gras props and boom you're back in Ol' N'Orleans. Then it's cool, you go through Splash Mountain (but it was closed last time I visited, and we had a dark tunnel to go through.) Then we popped out in Critter Country, which is fun in the day time, but it was dark. So we continued around in the dark until we get to the backside of "What's that foolish waste of space" (Festival of Fools arena), a little bit of backstage, then the sewer tunnel. Followed by Toontown/Small World (nice) and the backside of Agrifuture in the dark. Then the smelly musty ugly Grand Canyon, followed by the dinos that don't move. Then the last tableau of the Dinosaur Diorama, you have something interesting to view. Then without explanation you're back at Main Street looking over your shoulder at the entrance to DCA.

    So what story are we telling here again? That mass transportation sucks and the autopia (driving your own car) is the way to go?
    I have a feeling that no matter what Disney did, outside of putting in surround sound and having a fireworks show accompany the coaches, that you will be disappointed in the ride. I know there are a few who think like you, but thankfully not many.

    Probably one of the most-talked about topics on these boards is "backstage." How so many people want to get a glimpse, even for a moment, at how their favorite park runs. yet, when you are "forced" to see "a little bit of backstage," you consider it a "serious letdown." Strange. It's almost as if you're grasping for things to complain about.

    Have you ever ridden a real train? I suggest the Amtrak to San Diego for a nice day trip. The coast is beautiful! But you know what? When you leave LA Union Passenger Terminal, you are treated to a number of sights that can be disconcerting and disturbing: Graffiti-strewn walls, razor wire, homeless people living in boxes, flood channels, the backs of seedy industrial buildings. Same for when you arrive in San Diego.

    You won't see any of that in a car, as the sterilized scenery bordering the gray strip of asphalt in front of you whizzes by. And yet, you seem to suggest that the car trip might be more interesting, just as you suggest the Autopia more intersting.

    You see? When one travels by train, part of the allure is that you get to see "the other side of the tracks." It isn't all glamour and excitement and cleanliness. It gritty. It's real. it's called "railroading."

    Walt understood this. The scenery around the main line has remained little changed, and has in fact improved since the park was built, as the foliage grows more lush each year. And as you travel along and see beautiful scenery, you also get to see Disneyland's own "other side of the tracks." Some, as myself, find "story" and something of interest in this diversity.

    So instead of moaning and whining about what the railroad "might" be by making it an "extravaganza of sights and sounds, thrills and chills for the entire family!", sit back, relax, and try to enjoy it for what it is.

    You can ride Indiana Jones later.

  4. #64

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    Re: Improving the Disneyland Railroad in Order to Utilize Excess Capacity

    Quote Originally Posted by Steve DeGaetano View Post
    Strange. It's almost as if you're grasping for things to complain about.
    I wouldn't call that strange here... I'd call that the trained condition! They are conditioned to look for it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Steve DeGaetano View Post
    Have you ever ridden a real train? I suggest the Amtrak to San Diego for a nice day trip. The coast is beautiful! But you know what? When you leave LA Union Passenger Terminal, you are treated to a number of sights that can be disconcerting and disturbing: Graffiti-strewn walls, razor wire, homeless people living in boxes, flood channels, the backs of seedy industrial buildings. Same for when you arrive in San Diego.
    The NE corridor is the same way.. pretty rank areas

  5. #65

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    Re: Improving the Disneyland Railroad in Order to Utilize Excess Capacity

    The Disneyland Railroad isn't the backstage studio tour at the Disney-MGM Studios; the railroad is, instead, the Grand Circle Tour of The Magic Kingdom of Disneyland.

    Would I have loved Disney to build the early 20th Century roundhouse and turntable that was part of Herbert Ryman's original conceptual illustration? Absolutely, I would. But, Disney never did. Mr. Disney, instead, built a backstage roundhouse whose entrance was hidden in Frontierland. So, I only want to see the operational underpinnings of Disneyland when they are truly part of the show.
    Last edited by PragmaticIdealist; 02-17-2007 at 11:04 AM.

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    Re: Improving the Disneyland Railroad in Order to Utilize Excess Capacity

    Quote Originally Posted by PragmaticIdealist View Post
    Would I have loved Disney to build the early 20th Century roundhouse and turntable that was part of Harper Goff's original conceptual illustration?
    I fear the elaborate brick roundhouse/turntable/car shed depicted in Herb Ryman's (not Goff's) drawing might have been a bit on the pricey side for cash-strapped Walt Disney.

    The resulting tin shed with covered pole barn exending out the rear that was the first roundhouse was never much to look at (the late Peter Ellenshaw depicted it as a gray smudge in his large painting of the Park used by Walt Disney in the TV show "Disneyland"), but it was cheap.

    (Shameless plug: Look for an extensive history of the Disneyland Roundhouse, from concept to creation, in an upcoming MiceAge article!)
    Last edited by Steve DeGaetano; 02-16-2007 at 02:41 PM.

  7. #67

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    Re: Improving the Disneyland Railroad in Order to Utilize Excess Capacity

    Quote Originally Posted by PragmaticIdealist View Post
    The Disneyland Railroad isn't the backstage studio tour at the Disney-MGM Studios; the railroad is, instead, the Grand Circle Tour of The Magic Kingdom of Disneyland.
    I'm not sure how you can compare the Disneyland Railroad with a "backstage tour." You get tiny glimpses here and there; some of those most people don't even see if they are looking into the park.

    And a point of clarification: According to my research, the trip was never called "The Grand Circle Tour." Early publicity flyers advertised only "The New Circle Route around Disneyland."

  8. #68

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    Re: Improving the Disneyland Railroad in Order to Utilize Excess Capacity

    Instead of adding another train, why not add an extra car to each train?
    "If you can't raise the bridge, lower the river."
    I've never seen the Disneyland Railroad at a loss for passengers. The stations are usually jam packed when I go to ride. The dioramas need help, but that would perplex the already swollen wait lines.
    "They's two B's in basketball!"

  9. #69

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    Re: Improving the Disneyland Railroad in Order to Utilize Excess Capacity

    Quote Originally Posted by Steve DeGaetano View Post
    I fear the elaborate brick roundhouse/turntable/car shed depicted in Herb Ryman's (not Goff's) drawing might have been a bit on the pricey side for cash-strapped Walt Disney.
    Sorry about that... I inadvertantly confused my Herberts and Harpers.

    My point, however, is that the operational aspects of Disneyland are kept hidden because the artists responsible for The Magic Kingdom intend for the show to be that way.

    The fact that guests can now see dry-docks in Frontierland and landscaping crates in Tomorrowland detracts from the experience, and many, if not most, guests see the grand circle tour as being compromised by such things.

    The Disneyland Railroad is an example of where the operation coincides with the show. When I was with the company, I even proposed having technical specifications and schematics on hand that the stationmaster, the station agents, and the conductors could give to interested guests. An old-fashioned roundhouse would have worked the same way, but the current roundhouse and car shed doesn't.
    Last edited by PragmaticIdealist; 02-17-2007 at 11:18 AM.

  10. #70

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    Re: Improving the Disneyland Railroad in Order to Utilize Excess Capacity

    Quote Originally Posted by PragmaticIdealist View Post
    When I was with the company, I even proposed having technical specifications and schematics on hand that the stationmaster, the station agents, and the conductors could give to interested guests.
    Now see, there's a perfect example of an outstanding idea--inexpensive to implement, but something that guests with a fascination for the trains (like myself) would have cherished. I'm curious--did this idea go any higher than your supervisor before it was summarily dismissed by some clueless exec??

  11. #71

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    Re: Improving the Disneyland Railroad in Order to Utilize Excess Capacity

    Quote Originally Posted by Brer Bear View Post
    Instead of adding another train, why not add an extra car to each train?
    They would have to lengthen the platforms.

  12. #72

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    Re: Improving the Disneyland Railroad in Order to Utilize Excess Capacity

    Quote Originally Posted by Steve DeGaetano View Post
    Now see, there's a perfect example of an outstanding idea--inexpensive to implement, but something that guests with a fascination for the trains (like myself) would have cherished. I'm curious--did this idea go any higher than your supervisor before it was summarily dismissed by some clueless exec??
    The proposal was never dismissed. It was mostly just forgotten. The champion for the attraction at the time never finished the project. And, the business units were being shuffled so often that his successors were not made aware of the idea.

  13. #73

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    Re: Improving the Disneyland Railroad in Order to Utilize Excess Capacity

    Quote Originally Posted by PragmaticIdealist View Post
    When I was with the company, I even proposed having technical specifications and schematics on hand that the stationmaster, the station agents, and the conductors could give to interested guests. An old-fashioned roundhouse would have worked the same way, but the current roundhouse and car shed doesn't.
    I too would love this "plus." I love trains but not necessarily a lot about them. This would be a very cool way to educate some of the guests who want to better understand all the love and detail that has gone into the DLRR.
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  14. #74

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    Re: Improving the Disneyland Railroad in Order to Utilize Excess Capacity

    Quote Originally Posted by Steve DeGaetano View Post
    I have a feeling that no matter what Disney did, outside of putting in surround sound and having a fireworks show accompany the coaches, that you will be disappointed in the ride...

    Have you ever ridden a real train? I suggest the Amtrak to San Diego for a nice day trip. The coast is beautiful! But you know what? When you leave LA Union Passenger Terminal, you are treated to a number of sights that can be disconcerting and disturbing: Graffiti-strewn walls, razor wire, homeless people living in boxes, flood channels, the backs of seedy industrial buildings. Same for when you arrive in San Diego.

    You won't see any of that in a car, as the sterilized scenery bordering the gray strip of asphalt in front of you whizzes by. And yet, you seem to suggest that the car trip might be more interesting, just as you suggest the Autopia more intersting.

    You see? When one travels by train, part of the allure is that you get to see "the other side of the tracks." It isn't all glamour and excitement and cleanliness. It gritty. It's real. it's called "railroading."

    Walt understood this. The scenery around the main line has remained little changed, and has in fact improved since the park was built, as the foliage grows more lush each year. And as you travel along and see beautiful scenery, you also get to see Disneyland's own "other side of the tracks." Some, as myself, find "story" and something of interest in this diversity.

    So instead of moaning and whining about what the railroad "might" be by making it an "extravaganza of sights and sounds, thrills and chills for the entire family!", sit back, relax, and try to enjoy it for what it is.

    You can ride Indiana Jones later.
    This is your idea of "seamless storytelling?" That railroading is gritty and shows you the darker side of life. That on one side of the tracks there's Disneyland, and on the other side, it's devoid of all scenery. So you're saying they want to "show" the ultimate in the haves and the have nots?

    My vision is a magical train with LillyBelle style cars for everyone, (pack in more seats) with extended platforms if need be to accomodate demand. A train that gives you that great familiar view down Main Street, takes you under a canopy of overgrown flowering jungle plants with monkeys in the trees and snakes on rocks (not the scary IJ variety). Followed by a different welcome to New Orleans (ditch the modern looking Mardi Gras props and replace with an animatronic of some 18th Century looking men unloading a horse drawn wagon filled with old time goods into a fake "shop" facing the railroad, viewable only from the railroad.) They probably have everything stored away in a closet at EPCOT since WOM ended. Followed by some inconspicuous lighting around Frontierland so it looks like there's a full moon every night (remember it's a magical train I'm thinking of). Then make up the rest of it yourself - my ideas for Tomorrowland won't be finalized until the future, but one thing is certain, the Grand Canyon taxidermies would be replaced by animatronic animals, and there could be a little sprucing up in the Dino tunnel.

    Alternatively, reincorporate the "World of Motion" into many different points along the way, and let that be a part of the show.... I'm not saying every scene but there may be a few of them that would fit into the show.

    The Grand Canyon could be the futuristic transportation tunnel, and most of the rest of the show could begin after It's A Small World and continue around the back of the Autopia.

    I figure if the Adventureland jaguar and the jungle cruise animals are outdoor animatronics, some of them sitting in the water, that Disney can display any animatronics outdoors. But something tells me that I'm going to be told it wouldn't work.
    Last edited by CaliforniaAdventurer; 02-17-2007 at 02:52 PM.

  15. #75

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    Re: Improving the Disneyland Railroad in Order to Utilize Excess Capacity

    Quote Originally Posted by CaliforniaAdventurer View Post
    This is your idea of "seamless storytelling?" That railroading is gritty and shows you the darker side of life. That on one side of the tracks there's Disneyland, and on the other side, it's devoid of all scenery. So you're saying they want to "show" the ultimate in the haves and the have nots?
    Wow...not sure showing the occasional backstage area equates with showing "haves and have-nots." That does seem to stretch what I've said to the breaking point, doesn't it? Even if you did preface it with "So you're saying..." Not that twisting my words into something unrecognizable merits a response, but no, I did not say that.

    Railroading does show the darker side of life. That's why we have classic railroad ballads such as "The Wreck of the Old 97," Casey Jones," John Henry," (all three of which end in death) "Folsom Prison Blues," and "City of New Orleans (if you want gritty railroading, you can't do better than the latter). That's part of the story--like it or not. Walt lived long enough to have a budget where he could have created a...ahem, "magical train." But he didn't want that. He wanted to give a taste of real railroading. Walt Disney understood that all good fantasy has a veneer of reality. Sorry if the DRR is a little too real for you.

    Quote Originally Posted by CaliforniaAdventurer View Post
    My vision is a magical train with LillyBelle style cars for everyone, (pack in more seats)
    Been there, done that. It was called "Retlaw 1," and the cars spent most of their life in the roundhouse storage area.

    Quote Originally Posted by CaliforniaAdventurer View Post
    Followed by a different welcome to New Orleans (ditch the modern looking Mardi Gras props and replace with an animatronic of some 18th Century looking men unloading a horse drawn wagon filled with old time goods into a fake "shop" facing the railroad, viewable only from the railroad.) ...one thing is certain, the Grand Canyon taxidermies would be replaced by animatronic animals, and there could be a little sprucing up in the Dino tunnel.
    Those are good ideas. I hate those Mardi Gras props. But even if your ideas here are implemented, you're still going to see "backstage areas." What do you plan to do about that?

    Quote Originally Posted by CaliforniaAdventurer View Post
    I figure if the Adventureland jaguar and the jungle cruise animals are outdoor animatronics, some of them sitting in the water, that Disney can display any animatronics outdoors. But something tells me that I'm going to be told it wouldn't work.
    I'm not saying it won't work. I'm just not sure they're necessary.

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