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  1. #1

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    It's all about the story?

    There have been many a thread about why Disney is so magical and I think I have the answer. Of course many people say it's the scenery and how everything seems magical. But I think the answer is a whole lot more subtextial. I believe what makes Disney so magical is the fact THAT EVERYTHING TELLS A STORY. The attractions, the lands, and the stores all have a story or possible story behind it all. And in these stories that the park tells, there is always some sort of mystery involved where you can draw your own conclusion.

    Some of the tales are pretty simple to understand: the fable that is Splash Mountain, most of the Fantasy Land rides. Then there are some that they just give you backdrop and have you create your own scenario: Matterhorn, SM, BTMR, etc.). And of course the lands themeing always tells a story like Mainstreet is basically just a period piece but you know a story is there. And some of the tales are so complex that Disnoids are still trying to get there heads around them. The most notorious being NOS. It is very safe to assume that POTC and HM are two parts of one really big story, a uique form of storytelling indeed.

    And the magic of "The Tale" goes way beyond the "show" elements. The urban legend about Walt being frozen under HM that is another story that pulls you into the magic as well. The same can be said for all the ghost stories and legends about the park.

    And I think that is the one thing that sets Disney far from the other parks, Walt gifted the park with ability to tell a story. A story with mystery, intrigue, and of course Fantasy. Makes a weird sort of sense when you think about it.

  2. #2

    • rainy day girl
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    Wow, the Bob has an excellent point. I'd never looked at it that way, but now that you've put it all out for me here, I think you're 100% on the money.
    Looking for the truth about giraffes? http://www.menacinggiraffes.blogspot.com/

  3. #3

    • Lovin' Life!
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    I agree! It IS all about the story! (sometimes we are just too close to the trees...if you know what I mean....). We just knew it was magical...but as you said, no one ever explained why! Thanks for bringing it in to focus for us!
    ....it all began with a Mouse...

  4. #4

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    No, Walt is not under HM. It was believed he was under POTC, though I personally think his body is under the Carousel of Progress at WDW and the spinning in his grave from reacting to what Eisner and the other evil executives have been doing is what causes the Carousel of Progress to turn when the 1994 version opened.
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  5. #5

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    Disney himself said "it's all about the show" -- and a show always tells a story of some sort. Without the show, there's really not much of lasting interest.
    "Say, uh, ever hear of the devil's paint pots? Real mystery of the desert. Bubblin' pots of mud in all kinds of colors."

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by THE BOB
    There have been many a thread about why Disney is so magical and I think I have the answer. Of course many people say it's the scenery and how everything seems magical. But I think the answer is a whole lot more subtextial. I believe what makes Disney so magical is the fact THAT EVERYTHING TELLS A STORY. The attractions, the lands, and the stores all have a story or possible story behind it all. And in these stories that the park tells, there is always some sort of mystery involved where you can draw your own conclusion.

    Some of the tales are pretty simple to understand: the fable that is Splash Mountain, most of the Fantasy Land rides. Then there are some that they just give you backdrop and have you create your own scenario: Matterhorn, SM, BTMR, etc.). And of course the lands themeing always tells a story like Mainstreet is basically just a period piece but you know a story is there. And some of the tales are so complex that Disnoids are still trying to get there heads around them. The most notorious being NOS. It is very safe to assume that POTC and HM are two parts of one really big story, a uique form of storytelling indeed.

    And the magic of "The Tale" goes way beyond the "show" elements. The urban legend about Walt being frozen under HM that is another story that pulls you into the magic as well. The same can be said for all the ghost stories and legends about the park.

    And I think that is the one thing that sets Disney far from the other parks, Walt gifted the park with ability to tell a story. A story with mystery, intrigue, and of course Fantasy. Makes a weird sort of sense when you think about it.


    Exactly. The Atmosphere sets the story as you go also. Walt and the original imagineers had it right. Eisner and his group COMPLETELY missed this while designing DCA.
    -----------------------------------------------
    DISNEYLAND: Greatest Man-Made Place On Earth

    YOSEMITE NATIONAL PARK: Greatest *GOD-Made Place On Earth

  7. #7

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    This is very true.... but it's not just the story... it's the creation of sufficient thematic detail to "immerse" the visitor in this story. It's all designed including colors, smells, music and even CM costumes and even some CM interactions! (Read John Hench's Imagineering book for details; he says it much better than I ever could!)

    BTW. that's what DL *should* be... over the Pressler/Harris years DL lost a lot
    of this.

  8. #8

    • Cowboy, Bear, Pirate, etc
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    Thumbs up The Story is Everything

    In the recent AP mailer, there's a quote from Walt saying that the purpose of Disneyland is to entertain and to educate (although he might have said inform). I think that a lot of guests are no longer able to even grasp the educational or historical aspects of some Disney shows and attractions. I don't know how many times I've heard people say, while hurrying from point A to point B, absolutely inane things about rides that completely miss the whole point.

    I think that people have the best time at Disneyland when they take the time to slow down and actually get the point of what they're doing. This requires that they not make the false assumption that Disneyland is "for kids" or make the assumption that it's just an amusement park. I think that Frontierland especially suffers because Americans no longer read about or pay as much attention to history.

    Unfortunately, many of Disney's newer attractions don't even require subtext; they just require things like the ability to shoot while moving. Maybe that's why people hate DCA so much. There's no backstory, no history, no subtext, nothing upon which people can hook their hopes and dreams.
    Last edited by HuckSawyer; 06-21-2005 at 02:40 PM.

  9. #9

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    It's true! There ARE stories behind everything in Disneyland, and completely intentional. WDI (sans DCA, sigh) really tries to justify everything.

    I'll quote the Imagineering book in a second, once I finish this one mission in my video game.
    Well, light travels from the sun. Then, bounces off of our planet, and back into our eyes so we can perceive color. My body can intercept that light and dance around on it!


    -- robotarmada.net --


  10. #10

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    I agree 100% about the story being the key to Disney's success in Theme parks. There is so much more than what you see on the surface. There are many layers to Disney. I think another prime example are the Africa and Asia areas at WDW's DAK. Those areas are just overrum with every tiny little detail they could squeeze in. I'm not kidding. If you were kidnapped and put on a plane blindfolded for an undeterminded amount of time and then had the blindfold removed in DAK's Africa section you just might believe you are in East Africa!
    WALT'S DISNEYLAND DEDICATION SPEECH! - To all who come to this happy place, welcome! Disneyland is your land. Here age relives fond memories of the past, and here youth can savour the challenge and promise of the future. Disneyland is dedicated to the ideals, the dreams, and the hard facts that have created America, with the hope that it will become a source of joy, and inspiration to all the world.

  11. #11

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    There's something about illusion and discovery, especially in NOS where you never see a show building and you're never quite certain how big the land is or where it's hidden. No mater how tempting the weenie, there's always something better just out of sight. The towering rocket jets lure you into Tomorrowland, but just around the corner, towering over everything is Space Mountain and the Space Stage. Seen it all? Not quite, another stage rises magically out of an innocent planter.

    Each land is a "hot set" with water, fire, vehicles and other dynamic elements. Other parks have done the old west, but have they done the frontier with river boats, mule rides, stage coaches, mine trains, and canoes making so much action you felt as if the nation was expanding while you watched?

    The stories told don't feel fake because often they aren't. The antiques in the One of Kind antique shop are real and real antiques are mixed with recreations around the park. Even the stories themselves are often real. We had a president Lincoln, we lived in towns like Main Street, and we expanded the frontier with the Louisiana Purchase and the Gadsden Purchase, both represented along the Rivers of America.

    Disneyland is about story, but as told by a master showman in a dynamic, plausible, immersive and participatory way.

  12. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by HuckSawyer
    In the recent AP mailer, there's a quote from Walt saying that the purpose of Disneyland is to entertain and to educate (although he might have said inform). I think that a lot of guests are no longer able to even grasp the educational or historical aspects of some Disney shows and attractions. I don't know how many times I've heard people say, while hurrying from point A to point B, absolutely inane things about rides that completely miss the whole point.

    I think that people have the best time at Disneyland when they take the time to slow down and actually get the point of what they're doing. This requires that they not make the false assumption that Disneyland is "for kids" or make the assumption that it's just an amusement park. I think that Frontierland especially suffers because Americans no longer read about or pay as much attention to history.

    Unfortunately, many of Disney's newer attractions don't even require subtext; they just require things like the ability to shoot while moving. Maybe that's why people hate DCA so much. There's no backstory, no history, no subtext, nothing upon which people can hook their hopes and dreams.
    Yup, agree 100%... In fact in the Imagineering book, John Hench has drawings for
    a Adventures in Science and Adventures in Mathematics exhibits/rides. That would have been totally AWESOME IMHO!!

    From I heard Imagineering still creates a backstory for every ride. However, often
    they are not revealed to the builders or the story/concept is so watered down that
    there's nothing left of the original story. Case in point, l
    look at the obvious attention to detail and the stories evident in TDS. Absolutely
    HUGE amount of backstory/concept work. All because it's done on somebody
    else's dime (OLC).

  13. #13

    • Here to change the world
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    It is all about the story. That's what Disney has forgotten over the years and why Pixar makes dang good movies. Pixar knows its all about the story, Disney seems to need a reminder... You can make the coolest looking ride ever, but if the story sucks, then the ride sucks.

    This coming from the guy named Captain EO

  14. #14

    • Hooterville, USA
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    I think it's the music. Every great ride has music to make you remember.


    This has been a Filmways presentation dahling.

  15. #15

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    The "story" is convoluted and seldom comes across. It is all about the Dole Whip. End of story.
    "As usual he's taken over the coolest spot in the house"- Father re: Orville 1963

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