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  1. #121

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    Re: Is the Grand Canyon a little too dated?

    Quote Originally Posted by PragmaticIdealist View Post
    When you explained the original reason for the existence of the "Grand Canyon", you inadvertently argued the point that the display is antiquated and obsolete because of the defunct Santa Fe Railroad.
    I certainly never argued--inadvertently or otherwise--that the display is "antiquated and outdated." Please, Pragmatic, don't try to read any more into what I write than the words indicate. I think, usually, I'm pretty clear.

    Listen--steam trains still operate to the rim of the Grand Canyon. They aren't operated by the Santa Fe.

    But neither are the Disneyland Trains. However, because the Canyon and Western Railroading are closely associated, even today, there is a "connection"--assuming one even needs to have any kind of "connection" whatsoever between the physical plant of the Disneyland Railroad and its surroundings.

    Trains by their very nature move along and beside and through and past different scenic elements. The Grand Canyon and the Primeval World aren't any more incongruous in the Disneyland sense than being able to see a model Matterhorn from the settee in the Lilly Belle.


    Quote Originally Posted by PragmaticIdealist View Post
    Nostalgia only has value to a subset of the population, but history can be appreciated by everyone. The problem is that Disneyland should never be a museum of outdated and outmoded ideas. Whenever something culturally-significant at Disneyland outlives its relevance, said something must be presented to guests in a different, more appropriate context.
    Who are you to decide what portion of the population values nostalgia? Maybe my three year old--who's never seen the dioramas--might one day have nostalgia for them. And who is to determine when something becomes "culturally insignificant?" Would that be you? Or perhaps some other person who claims to be "culturally superior?" How does a static diorama presenting one of the natural wonders of the world ever "outlive its relevance?" Relevance to what?!!

    Please, I repeat: Lets focus our energies on things in the park that really do need work; It seems enough folks have chimed in here in support of both the GC and the PW to suggest that the attractions perhaps aren't as "culturally insignificant" as some folks would have us think.
    Last edited by Steve DeGaetano; 03-09-2007 at 12:56 PM.

  2. #122

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    Re: Is the Grand Canyon a little too dated?

    This argument reminds me of the Donald Duck/Chip and Dale cartoon where Donald is building his railroad, and of course keeps repeating the mantra "not to scale" We are just getting caught up in "not to theme" DL shouldn't be a slave to the theme of DL, Walt wasn't. he put a mountain in tommorrowland, and did so many things that todays "brand management" teams within Disney deam completely innapropriate.

    Walt was an entertainer. He had something in the diorama and GC that entertained. it didn't have to make complete sense with the theming because it was his picture that he was painting.

    Spruce them up, make them look nice. add new effects, or add a complete new experience. I'm ok with any of those as long as the show and enterainment value improves.

  3. #123

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    Re: Is the Grand Canyon a little too dated?

    Quote Originally Posted by Yendorb View Post
    DL shouldn't be a slave to the theme of DL, Walt wasn't. he put a mountain in tommorrowland...
    Nothing wrong with having a mountain in Tomorrowland. Because mountains in and of themselves don't represent a place in time. Unless you don't believe there will be any mountains in the future.

    This sort of reminds me of the person that was so focused on the scale of Main Street, that he commented to Walt that the trees were too big and needed replacing. Walt shot back, "Trees have no scale!"

    But I think I know what you're saying.

    No matter where the Matterhorn was placed as far as map references and operational responsiblity...its designers considered Fantasyland its real home. Its entrance faced Fantasyland, it was meant to compliment and provide a nice backdrop to Storybookland's Alpine village scene (reported to be one of Walt's favorite views in the Park), and generally add to the Alpine flavor of the Bavarian themed Castle and its surroundings. The feeling was that it couldn't really hurt any Land's visual integrity...simply because you could expect to find a snowcovered peak in any of them at the time. Even Adventureland.

    I suppose now if someone wants to be really hardcore about it...that the Matterhorn should be removed because you would never expect to find a view of a snowcovered mountain in New Orleans.

    Walt just instinctively knew when and where most things would work. And just like with the motion picture business where "cheating" is often the norm for the sake of bigger entertainment value...Walt was not against playing loose with the facts sometimes. But he generally only did it when he knew it would work and he could get away with it.

    I think what people tend to forget is that not all of the "rules" of Disney theme parks today, were around when Walt was alive. Or even the same throughout the span when Walt was alive during Disneyland's first 11 years. The old quote that "Disneyland is in a state of becoming" wasn't just about adding new things. Disneyland's design and operational philosophies were being fine tuned as they went along. Things Walt built and placed in 1955, might not have passed his newer standards in 1965. Even immediately after Walt...new and positive and now-important changes were made to how Disneyland would be operated in the future.

    But generally, they didn't go about trying to change or eliminate old elements that might not fit in with those newer design philosophies...as long as the element in question remained entertaining and/or interesting to the public and to Disneyland's general theme and purpose. It was (and most often still is)..."If it ain't broke, and ain't costing us a fortune, and folks aren't actively complaining about it...don't fix it."

    I equate the Grand Canyon Diorama somewhat with the Sleeping Beauty Castle walk though attraction. They both may have outlived the technology of the day...but they both remained part of the many "little things" that provided Disneyland with its unique charm and history. They are both as big a part of the "Magic" of Disneyland, as Pirates or Nemo.

    I just hope the Grand Canyon Diorama never goes the way of Sleeping Beauty.

    One of the great things about Walt that's hardly ever mentioned these days, is how he knew that the existence of "A Ticket" attractions was every bit as important to Disneyland's draw and charm...as the big "E Ticket" rides. He knew that the public didn't just want a collection of major "E Ticket" rides. They wanted a varied and paced experience. A day full of thrills and quiet little simple pleasures.

    IMHO.

  4. #124

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    Re: Is the Grand Canyon a little too dated?

    Quote Originally Posted by Opus1guy View Post
    One of the great things about Walt that's hardly ever mentioned these days, is how he knew that the existence of "A Ticket" attractions was every bit as important to Disneyland's draw and charm...as the big "E Ticket" rides. He knew that the public didn't just want a collection of major "E Ticket" rides. They wanted a varied and paced experience. A day full of thrills and quiet little simple pleasures.

    IMHO.
    I agree with the rest of this, but this really is one of the most important things in your post. Take the fireworks, for example. I know I am in the minority, but my favorite display to this day is Fantasy in the Sky. It was a simple fireworks show without any "bells and whistles" like the current show has. And IMHO it was a much better show. Just like the GC and PW, it is very simple, comparatively. Sometimes simplicity is the best way to go.

    Also, you can't have any E ticket attractions without any A tickets to compare it to.

  5. #125

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    Re: Is the Grand Canyon a little too dated?

    Quote Originally Posted by Opus1guy View Post
    One of the great things about Walt that's hardly ever mentioned these days, is how he knew that the existence of "A Ticket" attractions was every bit as important to Disneyland's draw and charm...as the big "E Ticket" rides. He knew that the public didn't just want a collection of major "E Ticket" rides. They wanted a varied and paced experience. A day full of thrills and quiet little simple pleasures.

    IMHO.
    Amen, this is the biggest problem with losing the ticket books. It diminished the value placed on those rides, and thier place. it eventually led to the loss of skyway, peoplemover, subs, etc. because those weren't assets generating x number of c, d, or e ticket customer revenue anymore, but, liabilities that could be closed.

    The Railroad though terribly important to DL, isn't an E ticket.

    Still want them to clean up the GC and Primevil world and make it nice and pretty though.

  6. #126

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    Re: Is the Grand Canyon a little too dated?

    Excellent post, Opus.

    There is often understated elegance in the simple.

  7. #127

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    Re: Is the Grand Canyon a little too dated?

    Just for reference and fun:




  8. #128

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    Re: Is the Grand Canyon a little too dated?

    The "Grand Canyon" is kind of like the crate at the exit of the Indiana Jones Adventure.

    On the prop are written the words: "Real rewards await those who choose wisely."

    When the attraction was presented by AT&T, the box read, "True Rewards await those who choose wisely." AT&T, at the time, was using "True Rewards" as a trademark.

    The question is whether or not the crate and the "Grand Canyon" should even exist in the absence of the institutional patrons who determined their inclusion in the respective shows in the first place. Do these show elements detract in any way from the experience, itself, when there no longer exists a reason for their being?

    One can say that they hold nostalgia for many people, and that fact is true. I'm nostalgic about "All Because Man Wanted to Fly", the P.S.A. pre-show to Circle-Vision 360. But, without P.S.A., I wouldn't want the film back in Tomorrowland.

    I would be more inclined to see the film re-synthesized into something new that might fit a new setting, such as in the Condor Flats area of D.C.A., or I might like seeing the film made available on video. Or, the film could be presented as an historical artifact at the Disneyland Hotel. Any of these decisions would maintain the artistic integrity of Disneyland while also satisfying my desire to revisit something from my past.

    Preserving original design intent is important, but, when institutional patrons change or are acquired by other companies, maintaining relics from these relationships, however quaint said relics may be, is, ultimately, not true to the visions of the original artists.

  9. #129

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    Re: Is the Grand Canyon a little too dated?

    Quote Originally Posted by PragmaticIdealist View Post
    The "Grand Canyon" is kind of like the crate at the exit of the Indiana Jones Adventure.

    On the prop are written the words: "Real rewards await those who choose wisely."

    When the attraction was presented by AT&T, the box read, "True Rewards await those who choose wisely." AT&T, at the time, was using "True Rewards" as a trademark.

    The question is whether or not the crate and the "Grand Canyon" should even exist in the absence of the institutional patrons who determined their inclusion in the respective shows in the first place.
    OIY!! There is a difference between a crate at the end of an attraction and a whole attraction!
    I think an argument could be made for removing the crate altogether from the exit of Indy, but your comparison the crate at the end of Indy's exit and the GCD is laughable.
    The GCD never had Santa Fe plastered on it anywhere. Oh sure, there was an attraction poster that suggested guests ride the SF&D railroad to see the GCD, but there was nothing as crass as that crate at the end of Indy.

    Let's take your weak argument a step further, shall we?

    Based on your suggestion, we should:
    Remove Indiana Jones since it's original sponsor, At&T no longer sponsors it.
    It's a small world should get yanked because the Bank of America no longer sponsors it.
    Get rid of Space Mountain because Fed Ex no longer writes a sponsorship check.
    Take out the Disneyland Railroad because Santa Fe no longer supports it.
    Get rid of the Autopia since Richfield Oil doesn't sponsor it anymore.
    Close down the Golden Horseshoe because Pepsi no longer supports it.
    Remove the Enchanted Tiki Room because United Airlines stopped sponsoring it.
    Pull the Tomorrowland Rocket out since TWA no longer sponsors it.

    Sorry PI, if you're argument doesn't apply to all then it can't apply to one, simply because you want it gone.
    Charlie
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  10. #130

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    Re: Is the Grand Canyon a little too dated?

    Quote Originally Posted by PragmaticIdealist View Post
    The question is whether or not...the "Grand Canyon" should even exist in the absence of the institutional patron[s] who determined [its] inclusion...

    Preserving original design intent is important, but, when institutional patrons change or are acquired by other companies, maintaining relics from these relationships, however quaint said relics may be, is, ultimately, not true to the visions of the original artists.
    The Santa Fe DID NOT "determine the inclusion" of the Grand Canyon Diorama.

    They DID NOT sponsor the Grand Canyon Diorama.

    They DID NOT come up with the concept.

    They DID NOT assist in its design.

    They DID NOT contribute to the project financially.

    They DID NOT contribute to the project creatively.

    "WALT DISNEY, greatest showman of them all, waved his magic wand over Disneyland and came up with not one but two attractions that seem certain to be among the wonders of the entertainment world for a long time to come.

    "Nobody but Disney would have the audacity--and the imagination--to move Grand Canyon from its natural setting in Northern Arizona to Disneyland at Anaheim, Cal."
    --The Santa Fe Magazine, June 1958
    (emphasis added)

    (And before anyone tries to advance the silly argument that the Grand Canyon Diorama should be changed because it is not "among the wonders of the entertainment world" anymore, bear in mind that the other attraction being dedicated that fine spring day and meriting the same high praise was the Fred Gurley locomotive and the Excursion Cars. The hyperbole applies--or doesn't apply--to both).
    Last edited by Steve DeGaetano; 03-10-2007 at 04:06 PM.

  11. #131

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    Re: Is the Grand Canyon a little too dated?

    I just want to throw in my 2-cents worth. The first time my family and I went to Disneyland, we were so overwelmed (still are everytime we get to go.) We had visited other (nameless) amusement parks in the past and we were so impressed by how much more awesome everything was at Disney. We were awe-struck by how much everything was just so above and beyond anything else we had ever experienced, how Disney is so imaginative, beautiful, happy, certainly NOT just an amusement park. Before the trip, we had devoured all the park guides/Disney guides that were printed. So as we were boarding the train, I told my son (3 at the time) how we were going to be seeing the GC and Primival World. I went on and on about dinosaurs, etc. We were all so excited. Well......all I can say is what a disappointment. I hate to say that it was the one and only thing that disappointed us on that trip to DL. To this day, everytime we ride the train, I almost wince at those dioramas. I hope, hope, hope that they will given some TLC and updates soon. Just my opinion.
    Last edited by TooFarAway; 03-10-2007 at 08:46 PM.

  12. #132

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    Re: Is the Grand Canyon a little too dated?

    Quote Originally Posted by TooFarAway View Post
    I just want to throw in my 2-cents worth. The first time my family and I went to Disneyland, we were so overwelmed (still are everytime we get to go.) We had visited other (nameless) amusement parks in the past and we were so impressed by how much more awesome everything was at Disney. We were awe-struck by how much everything was just so above and beyond anything else we had ever experienced, how Disney is so imaginative, beautiful, happy, certainly NOT just an amusement park. Before the trip, we had devoured all the park guides/Disney guides that were printed. So as we were boarding the train, I told my son (3 at the time) how we were going to be seeing the GC and Primival World. I went on and on about dinosaurs, etc. We were all so excited. Well......all I can say is what a disappointment. I hate to say that it was the one and only thing that disappointed us on that trip to DL. To this day, everytime we ride the train, I almost wince at those dioramas. I hope, hope, hope that they will given some TLC and updates soon. Just my opinion.

    You and me both brother. I keep my eyes closed during the Grand Canyon part. Just kidding. But I may start doing that. The taxidermy museum just plain sucks. The Dinos are a little better.

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    Wink Re: Is the Grand Canyon a little too dated?

    Quote Originally Posted by PragmaticIdealist View Post
    The "Grand Canyon" is kind of like the crate at the exit of the Indiana Jones Adventure.
    Are you taking on the evil one who shall remain nameless, again?

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