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  1. #76

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

    I'm not trying to stretch your words, it's just that I think you're presenting a bleek vision as a reason for leaving the railroad plain and boring.

    This is a railroad that traverses Walt's old time Main Street USA, exotic Adventureland, historical Frontierland and New Orleans Square, stradles the magical worlds of ToonTown and Fantasyland, (appearing in the Small World facade) and through the futuristic transports of Tomorrowland.

    But it's got little to show for it, in terms of a connection to those places... I think it should be more of a GRAND CIRCLE TOUR with more plusses that take you into the themed areas not just physically but mentally as well. There are so many ways as Pragmatic and I and others have suggested to plus the show. I can't understand purists who want the Yesterland Railroad and can't imagine any overlays not tied to Pixar. I don't want something tacky, I want something to better connect the story that you are travelling to these different lands and you're on a tour of the park.

  2. #77

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Steve DeGaetano View Post
    Sorry if the DRR is a little too real for you... But even if your ideas here are implemented, you're still going to see "backstage areas." What do you plan to do about that?
    I'm actually less concerned with a glimpse of backstage areas, that part is fun, I'll admit though its not "seemless storytelling" if that's really your thing.

    Mostly I hate the landscaping in Adventureland and the way the Festival of Fools looks like a giant junkyard and that sewerlike tunnel. And above all else, I don't like the taxidermies in the Grand Canyon. I'm not a PETA activist or anything but I don't think they are very "Disney". Thematically it makes more sense at DLP, as you pass the mansion show building you're in the Grand Canyon, then you're in Frontierland. That railroad was more fun. If memory serves, the Magic Kingdom's WDWRR is pretty similar to Disneyland's minus dioramas and Small World facade.

  3. #78

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

    Quote Originally Posted by CaliforniaAdventurer View Post
    I can't understand purists who want the Yesterland Railroad and can't imagine any overlays not tied to Pixar.
    Most of the elements that currently undermine the show at the Disneyland Railroad were added in the last decade or so, so purists should be wanting to return the Grand Circle Tour to its previous condition.

  4. #79

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

    Consider the anomaly of a century-old steam train entering the world of Tomorrowland. Could the approach to the Tomorrowland Station be made more futuristic? How about the station itself? Really play up the irony.

    Here's an idea to jar your senses: install an approach tunnel to Tomorrowland that employs the same spinning-lights effect used in the lift section in Space Mountain.

    "Your train is now going through a time warp into the future!"

    OK. That was probably a little too blue-sky, but fun to think about.
    "Yesterday, a man walked up to me and said, 'Isn't it a shame that Walt Disney couldn't be here to see this?' and I said, "He did see this, that's why it's here."
    -Art Linkletter July 17, 2005-


    When you wish upon a star your dreams come true.


  5. #80

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Chaney View Post
    Consider the anomaly of a century-old steam train entering the world of Tomorrowland. Could the approach to the Tomorrowland Station be made more futuristic? How about the station itself? Really play up the irony.
    I've always thought that the Disneyland Railroad could be "presented" by the "group" that presents Walt Disney's Carousel of Progress at the Magic Kingdom, the Tomorrowland Metro Retro Historic Society.

  6. #81

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

    Quote Originally Posted by lazyboy97O View Post
    I've always thought that the Disneyland Railroad could be "presented" by the "group" that presents Walt Disney's Carousel of Progress at the Magic Kingdom, the Tomorrowland Metro Retro Historic Society.
    The Railroad "presents" itself just fine--bells ringing, whistles blowing as the trains steam into the elevated Main Street Station. When built, it was the very first attraction people saw. Not a castle; not a rocket ship; not a pirate galleon. A 19th century steam train. That Walt chose to highlight the train speaks to its powerful significance. Having some fictitious "historical society" present it would demean the railroad unnecessarily.

    It's OK to "present" a show. But the Disneyland Railroad is not a "show." It's a real, working railroad.

  7. #82

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

    Quote Originally Posted by PragmaticIdealist View Post
    Most of the elements that currently undermine the show at the Disneyland Railroad were added in the last decade or so, so purists should be wanting to return the Grand Circle Tour to its previous condition.
    I don't think you'd want a return to its "previous" condition. For many years after being built, the railroad was devoid of virtually every element we've come to see as familiar. No tunnels, no dioramas (with their attendant "taxidermy," as if that's something to complain about), no trestles. But we could see vast panoramic views of high-tension wires and parking lots while pasing through Adventureland and Frontierland.


    (How's that for lush landscaping on the outskirts of Adventureland?)


    (And you thought Tormorroland Station looked weak.)

    As for elements "undermining" the "show," are there really that many? Some Mardi Gras props were added, but what other ones do you speak of?
    Last edited by Steve DeGaetano; 02-19-2007 at 10:03 AM.

  8. #83

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Steve DeGaetano View Post
    I don't think you'd want a return to its "previous" condition. For many years after being built, the railroad was devoid of virtually every element we've come to see as familiar. No tunnels, no dioramas (with their attendant "taxidermy," as if that's something to complain about), no trestles. But we could see vast panoramic views of high-tension wires and parking lots while pasing through Adventureland and Frontierland.


    (How's that for lush landscaping on the outskirts of Adventureland?)


    (And you thought Tormorroland Station looked weak.)

    As for elements "undermining" the "show," are there really that many? Some Mardi Gras props were added, but what other ones do you speak of?
    Those two pictures are unfair. Most of the landscaping had just been installed in the first, and I happen to think Fantasyland Station looks pretty good, especially since much of the rest of the realm was using the same style of tents at the time.

    The examples of poor showmanship to which I am referring include:
    • The anemic displays in the cabinets of Main Street Station that undermine the believability of the fiction.
    • The safety announcements in English and Spanish that are made as the trains are already in motion.
    • The current narration, itself, for a whole host of reasons.
    • The views of the backside of Disneyland City Hall and the Group Sales office, which, thankfully, are both better hidden than they used to be.
    • Fluorescent lights in Adventureland.
    • The lack of show lighting in Adventureland.
    • The lack of off-board sound systems for jungle noises along Block 1.
    • Views of the backsides of the Pirates of the Caribbean show buildings.
    • The semaphore at Frontierland Station that is painted incorrectly.
    • The conspicuous loudspeaker at Frontierland Station.
    • The lack of an observation platform to view the locomotives more closely.
    • The sign pollution on-board the trains advising guests to move small children away from "vehicle" openings.
    • The lack of continuity between the Splash Mountain scene and the rest of the tour.
    • The lack of a burning settler's cabin to make views of the Rivers of America more interesting.
    • The lack of traffic on the rivers.
    • The show lighting at the Rivers of America that is designed to be hidden from the river traffic but that is fully visible to the D.R.R.
    • The dry-docks for "Fantasmic!" that often are lit with fluorescent lights and that now feature flashing red lights.
    • More flashing red lights at the gate near Frontierland.
    • An unobstructed view of the massive parking structure, which is fully lit at night with fluorescent lights.
    • The closed-to-the-public Festival Arena, which not only fails to fit Frontierland; it also is lit with work lights often.
    • The industrial flashing inside the tunnel to Fantasyland.
    • The chain link fences near the Fantasyland Theatre.
    • The lack of benches inside Toontown Depot.
    • The lack of continuity between Toontown Depot and its surroundings.
    • The mess of show lighting and other show equipment at "it's a small world".
    • The parade crossing, which, especially now, has several vehicles on stage and in full view of the guests. (Does anyone call security anymore to insist that those vehicles are removed?)
    • The crates filled with trees and other vegetation that looks as if it is about to be planted on-stage.
    • The conventional crossing signal and crossing arm.
    • The street markings at Parade Crossing.
    • The vehicles on-stage at the roundhouse and near the train yards.
    • The purely functional design and visual style of the roundhouse, which happens to be visible to passengers.
    • The rusty and unpainted monorail beam, switch, and staircase.
    • Views of the poorly-designed Autopia.
    • Visual intrusions from the newly elevated Harbor Boulevard.
    • Sirens and other street noise partly due to the placement of a new firehouse in Anaheim at Clementine Street.
    • The lack of an announcement for the arrivals and departures of the trains at Tomorrowland Station.
    • The ugly Rocket Rods maintenance bay, which was added in 1997 or '98.
    • The dilapidated and uninteresting "elephant doors" there.
    • Unobstructed views to both Harbor Boulevard and backstage approaching the dioramas.
    • A lack of landscaping in the area near the dioramas tunnel.
    • The bullet hole in the "Grand Canyon" glass.
    • The exit signs in the dioramas.
    • The faulty lighting and other show equipment in the "Primeval World".
    • Views of the Administration Building, which is, again, thankfully, better concealed than it used to be a couple of years ago.
    • The barking dogs at the kennel.
    • And, a new culvert that strangely uses chain-link fencing near Main Street, U.S.A.

  9. #84

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

    I agree with all your criticisms except the following: Anything related to public safety, I say we have to put that above good show. If there's a better way to do both, I'm all for it. Secondly, dogs bark. They're not trying to ruin the show. If you think people can really hear a pack of sad animals crying for their owners (I haven't noticed this) then maybe move them to DCA?

    Quote Originally Posted by PragmaticIdealist View Post
    Those two pictures are unfair. Most of the landscaping had just been installed in the first, and I happen to think Fantasyland Station looks pretty good, especially since much of the rest of the realm was using the same style of tents at the time.

    The examples of poor showmanship to which I am referring include:
    • The safety announcements in English and Spanish that are made as the trains are already in motion.
    • The sign pollution on-board the trains advising guests to move small children away from "vehicle" openings.
    • The dry-docks for "Fantasmic!" that often are lit with fluorescent lights and that now feature flashing red lights.
    • More flashing red lights at the gate near Frontierland.
    • The conventional crossing signal and crossing arm.
    • The street markings at Parade Crossing.
    • Sirens and other street noise partly due to the placement of a new firehouse in Anaheim at Clementine Street.
    • The exit signs in the dioramas.
    • The barking dogs at the kennel.
    • And, a new culvert that strangely uses chain-link fencing near Main Street, U.S.A.

  10. #85

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

    Quote Originally Posted by CaliforniaAdventurer View Post
    I agree with all your criticisms except the following: Anything related to public safety, I say we have to put that above good show. If there's a better way to do both, I'm all for it. Secondly, dogs bark. They're not trying to ruin the show. If you think people can really hear a pack of sad animals crying for their owners (I haven't noticed this) then maybe move them to DCA?
    I should clarify by saying that there is a right way to provide safety announcements and signage, and there is a wrong way to do so. And, unfortunately, the Disneyland Railroad's current communications with guests on these matters are just poorly designed.

    The announcements should be given to passengers while the trains are in the stations and while the guests are waiting to board. And, the plaques aboard each carriage should be: better written; more attractive; not plastic; more in keeping with the turn of the 19th Century; and, arranged more professionally on the surfaces of the gondola.

    Also, moving the pet accommodations to the parking structure probably makes more sense than keeping them at Disneyland's entrance since most of the parking is in the North Resort area, now. The space where the existing kennels are located could probably be put to better use in the future.

  11. #86

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Steve DeGaetano View Post
    The Railroad "presents" itself just fine--bells ringing, whistles blowing as the trains steam into the elevated Main Street Station. When built, it was the very first attraction people saw. Not a castle; not a rocket ship; not a pirate galleon. A 19th century steam train. That Walt chose to highlight the train speaks to its powerful significance. Having some fictitious "historical society" present it would demean the railroad unnecessarily.

    It's OK to "present" a show. But the Disneyland Railroad is not a "show." It's a real, working railroad.
    It's not really something I'd ever push. I just think it'd be a very simply solution to the "something old doesn't belong in Tomorrowland" comment that comes around ever so often. Nothing over the top. Just a way to explain why the train is in Tomorrowland. However, nobody seems to have a problem with Old Europe having a train.

  12. #87

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

    I've re-grouped your observations so I could more easily address them.
    Quote Originally Posted by PragmaticIdealist View Post

    The examples of poor showmanship to which I am referring include:
    • The anemic displays in the cabinets of Main Street Station that undermine the believability of the fiction.
    • The safety announcements in English and Spanish that are made as the trains are already in motion.
    • The current narration, itself, for a whole host of reasons.
    • Fluorescent lights in Adventureland.
    • The lack of show lighting in Adventureland.
    • The lack of off-board sound systems for jungle noises along Block 1.
    • The conspicuous loudspeaker at Frontierland Station.
    • The lack of an observation platform to view the locomotives more closely.
    • The sign pollution on-board the trains advising guests to move small children away from "vehicle" openings.
    • The show lighting at the Rivers of America that is designed to be hidden from the river traffic but that is fully visible to the D.R.R.
    • The dry-docks for "Fantasmic!" that often are lit with fluorescent lights and that now feature flashing red lights.
    • An unobstructed view of the massive parking structure, which is fully lit at night with fluorescent lights.
    • The industrial flashing inside the tunnel to Fantasyland.
    • The chain link fences near the Fantasyland Theatre.
    • The bullet hole in the "Grand Canyon" glass.
    • The exit signs in the dioramas.
    • The faulty lighting and other show equipment in the "Primeval World".
    Agreed

    Quote Originally Posted by PragmaticIdealist View Post
    • The views of the backside of Disneyland City Hall and the Group Sales office, which, thankfully, are both better hidden than they used to be.
    • Views of the backsides of the Pirates of the Caribbean show buildings.
    • The lack of a burning settler's cabin to make views of the Rivers of America more interesting.
    • The lack of continuity between the Splash Mountain scene and the rest of the tour.
    • The lack of traffic on the rivers.
    • The closed-to-the-public Festival Arena, which not only fails to fit Frontierland; it also is lit with work lights often.
    • The rusty and unpainted monorail beam, switch, and staircase.
    • Views of the poorly-designed Autopia.
    • Visual intrusions from the newly elevated Harbor Boulevard.
    • Sirens and other street noise partly due to the placement of a new firehouse in Anaheim at Clementine Street.
    Virtually all of these comments are real "grasping at straws" arguments, most (all?) of which do not come under the jurisdiction of the Disneyland Railroad, and not something they can change. How is it the DRR's responsibility to determine where a firehouse is built in Anaheim??
    Quote Originally Posted by PragmaticIdealist View Post
    • The lack of benches inside Toontown Depot.
    • The lack of continuity between Toontown Depot and its surroundings.
    • The mess of show lighting and other show equipment at "it's a small world".
    • The parade crossing, which, especially now, has several vehicles on stage and in full view of the guests. (Does anyone call security anymore to insist that those vehicles are removed?)
    • The crates filled with trees and other vegetation that looks as if it is about to be planted on-stage.
    • The conventional crossing signal and crossing arm.
    • The street markings at Parade Crossing.
    • The lack of an announcement for the arrivals and departures of the trains at Tomorrowland Station.
    • The ugly Rocket Rods maintenance bay, which was added in 1997 or '98.
    • The dilapidated and uninteresting "elephant doors" there.
    • Views of the Administration Building, which is, again, thankfully, better concealed than it used to be a couple of years ago.
    And, a new culvert that strangely uses chain-link fencing near Main Street, U.S.A.
    Can't really comment here...I don't recall ever really being aware of most of these things. But ToonTown depot...Perhaps it would have been better if built on the "Toontown" side of the tracks, but as a former conductor I don't have to explain to you this issues with that.

    Quote Originally Posted by PragmaticIdealist View Post
    • The barking dogs at the kennel.
    Imagine you've entered the turn-of-the-century world of Lady and the Tramp.

    Quote Originally Posted by PragmaticIdealist View Post
    • The vehicles on-stage at the roundhouse and near the train yards.
    • The purely functional design and visual style of the roundhouse, which happens to be visible to passengers.
    • More flashing red lights at the gate near Frontierland.
    • Unobstructed views to both Harbor Boulevard and backstage approaching the dioramas.
    • A lack of landscaping in the area near the dioramas tunnel.
    You know, I hate to burst your pragmatic, but idealistic, vision, but the roundhouse happens to be a real, working facility. Labor goes on there. Men sweat. Grease drips. Vehicles are parked there. It's not like this is "on-stage" in Fantasyland, and someone has parked his F-150 pickup. C'mon Pragmatic. I expect better from you.

    Quote Originally Posted by PragmaticIdealist View Post
    • The semaphore at Frontierland Station that is painted incorrectly.
    This one gets me...Just how is it painted "incorrectly?" Order boards came in a wide variety of paint schemes. Please tell us how you discerned that this one is somehow "incorrect."

  13. #88

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

    Do you find time to enjoy your trips to Disneyland when you're not making up a forty-item list of things wrong with the train?

  14. #89

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Steve DeGaetano View Post
    This one gets me...Just how is it painted "incorrectly?" Order boards came in a wide variety of paint schemes. Please tell us how you discerned that this one is somehow "incorrect."
    The flag that lowers with a train approaching from the East should be painted white and black on the side facing the train and red and white on the side facing the station.

    When Frontierland Station was refurbished in the late 1990's, the flags were painted incorrectly, and this mistake has been there for, at least, seven years, now, even though several work orders have been made.

  15. #90

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

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by PragmaticIdealist

    • The vehicles on-stage at the roundhouse and near the train yards.
    • The purely functional design and visual style of the roundhouse, which happens to be visible to passengers.
    • More flashing red lights at the gate near Frontierland.
    • Unobstructed views to both Harbor Boulevard and backstage approaching the dioramas.
    • A lack of landscaping in the area near the dioramas tunnel.


    You know, I hate to burst your pragmatic, but idealistic, vision, but the roundhouse happens to be a real, working facility. Labor goes on there. Men sweat. Grease drips. Vehicles are parked there. It's not like this is "on-stage" in Fantasyland, and someone has parked his F-150 pickup. C'mon Pragmatic. I expect better from you.
    All areas that are visible to guests are considered part of the stage

    When I happened to be there, there were never vehicles parked on-stage in that area, except on a handful of occasions. And, you can be sure that I had security remove those vehicles whenever some people started getting sloppy.

    Those vehicles were not involved in actual work. Someone just wanted to avoid walking a few extra feet.

    The personnel backstage have parking available to them that is adjacent to the roundhouse and that is not visible to the trains. So, there is no reason a guest should be subjected to seeing an F-150 in Disneyland.

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