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  1. #1

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    SWAB's 6/14/07 Comparative Studies TR

    In order to re-establish my faith that Disneyland is still the ultimate theme park (in spite of the recent thematic erosion occurring inside the berm), a comparative studies project was created, and a research site was chosen because of its recent thematic changes, its proximity, and ease of study.

    After assembling and outfitting my research team, we pushed-off towards “Six Flags Discovery Kingdom” in Vallejo, CA (from this point forward to be referred to as “DK” for convenience sake) to hopefully prove, conclusively, Disneyland’s (hereafter referred to as “DL”) superiority as ‘theme park’, and the importance of coherent theming, in order to maintain said superiority.

    My Team:

    MRS. SWAB---Attractions Research
    FO’C’S’LE SWAB---Thematic Studies Lead

    SWAB-IN-LAW---Consumables Research

    All empirical data is to be presented here in a “points” form. For the ease of comparison, all pertinent information will be expressed by an awarding of “points”, in different entertainment areas of both parks.

    Our Study Begins:


    DK’s trams are a bit woeful. +1 point DL

    …and they are “sponsored”. +1 point DL

    Exploring alternative routes to the Park, we came across an Enjoyable Walk Path. Not as enjoyable as one may expect. +1 point DL

    Once inside DK, we find a Central Hub, and several themed areas radiating outward. The Central Hub is a thematic free-for-all where we find live camels, dolphins, souvenir shops, funnel cake, midway-style gaming, DC Comic-book characters, and Warner Brothers cartoon stars. The themed areas are: AIR, SEA, LAND. Since DK is also an Animal and Aquatic Park, these themed areas are provided for ease in locating which animal you wish to see. It, however, is NO help in determining the location of specific attractions one may wish to ride.

    Inside the Park Gates we find a camel. I like camels. +1 point DK

    I also like Foghorn Leghorn, and Marvin the Martian. +1 point DK

    However, because of the inclusion of such confusing, conflicting elements, DL’s entrance area, with a more organized theme, shows itself to be superior. +2 points DL

    The Funnel Cake at DK is superior to DL. +1 point DK













    The above photos represent the entire, and only parade at DK. +2 points
    DL

    Dolphins are creepy. + 1 point DL

    No live penguins at DL. +2 points DK

    The ‘Sacred Elephant Bathing Pool’ much more realistic. +1 point DK

    However, the Flying elephant ride left much to be desired, comparatively speaking. +1 point DL

    The infestation of ‘piratical’ theming where it doesn’t belong (in this case, a Raptor/Exotic Bird Show) earns both Parks -1 point DL, DK

    The conclusion of this study, and the results will be shortly forthcoming...

  2. #2

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    • Kerplookee
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    Re: SWAB's 6/14/07 Comparative Studies TR

    I wonder if anyone has planned a family vacation here from the east coast?
    Quote Originally Posted by Grumpee View Post
    I only care for Disney bling!

  3. #3

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    Re: SWAB's 6/14/07 Comparative Studies TR

    Quote Originally Posted by Duck44 View Post
    I wonder if anyone has planned a family vacation here from the east coast?
    Batman was there.

  4. #4

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    Re: SWAB's 6/14/07 Comparative Studies TR

    Fun Thread Swab, man you have gotten more hairy since your profile pic...lol Looking forward to the "results."

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    Re: SWAB's 6/14/07 Comparative Studies TR

    STUDY CONCLUSION:



    The Railroad…yeah, well…+2 points DL

    DK’s “ROA” are pirate-free. +1 point DK

    Killer Whales are scary, and too large to be made to do tricks. +1 point DL



    Wonder Woman…enough said. +2 points DK

    DK’s Pirates do not move (no matter how hard you squeeze them). +2 points DL

    ‘Maraglyphics’? No points awarded.

    All attractions at DK were thrilling, well-designed, and had no visible theme-connection to the themed areas in which they resided. This was the case with restaurants, and souvenir shops as well.
    The animal shows were entertaining, well-rehearsed, and well-performed.
    Park Characters were fun, engaging and very outgoing (except Wonder Woman, whose shorts were unbelievably tight, probably interfering with any jovial mood she might naturally be in).

    CONCLUSIONS:

    Of course, we see that DL, by nature, and by its numbers, is far superior.
    Final Tally:
    DL---13 points
    DK---8 points
    It should be noted, however, that all the people attending “Six Flags Discovery Kingdom” that day were having a lot of fun, including myself and my team. All this entertainment was being provided without the benefit of theme.

    So, we see that it would not be so hard to sell tickets, and stay profitable, and remain popular if theme was completely abandoned. So why keep it? Is it being kept? Every departure from theme and story-detail takes DL one step farther down the road that leads to amusement parks, DL’s “competition”. “It can’t happen”, one might say. Up until a few years ago, I would have believed it impossible for Disney to change POTC’s storyline, and kick Tom Sawyer off his island, replacing him with elements from an unrelated storyline. It is becoming increasingly clear that we are living in an age where everything is fair game. Which makes it increasingly important to make thoughtful decisions that encompass broad timelines, rejects the short-term, and embraces thematic principles that support “show” and Disney story-telling.

    **the above ‘comparative study’ bears no resemblance (hopefully) to any scientific research endeavor, and its results and methods are not only questionable, but probably unreliable**

  6. #6

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    Re: SWAB's 6/14/07 Comparative Studies TR

    Quote Originally Posted by fo'c's'le swab View Post

    She looks really young for Wonder Woman, and looks a bit like Shannon Dorherty (sp?) from 90210.

    Cute Study! Good Job.

    A little piece of heaven

  7. #7

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    Re: SWAB's 6/14/07 Comparative Studies TR

    Quote Originally Posted by Pirate Lover 68 View Post
    Fun Thread Swab, man you have gotten more hairy since your profile pic...lol Looking forward to the "results."
    Thanks, I think! Nice of you to notice...or real "creepy", I can't decide which . Hope you enjoyed the rest!
    Last edited by fo'c's'le swab; 06-18-2007 at 01:34 PM.

  8. #8

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    Re: SWAB's 6/14/07 Comparative Studies TR

    I see almost no compairson here. Compair DK and AK. Those parks have the same theme which are animals.

  9. #9

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    Re: SWAB's 6/14/07 Comparative Studies TR

    Too many freckles to be wonder woman I had no idea this place existed but I would never go anyways.

    Now, I'll turn that little mouse's dream into a nightmare Fantasmic!

  10. #10

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    Re: SWAB's 6/14/07 Comparative Studies TR

    First, we're going to need further evidence before accepting that "unbelievably tight shorts" claim.

    Second, I can't believe anyone wants to utterly abandon theming at DL. I have to think that even the dullest guest would flinch and frown at seeing a rocket ship on Main Street. There is a common agreement out there that can be the basis for shoring up support and winning arguments.

    Third, the deteriorization of theming at DL is most evident in FtL and TL, and I think that's no accident. Positive attitudes toward the American Frontier experience and toward a rosy futurism based on technological advance have taken severe beatings over the last several decades, and this gives Imagineers a rather ambiguous basis in the mass culture for building and strengthening the themes in these two areas. In short, these Lands are adrift, and Disney is not entirely to blame for it. Not only that, but thematic problems with both lands go way back, even into Walt's own time. FtL has suffered a long neglect, with only one important new ride since the late '50's (and that one a replacement for another that had fallen into disrepair). TL has had thematically out-of-place elements from the get-go. Beyond that, since the villainization of technology, beginning in the late '60's, the pure TL theme has been a tougher sell anyway.

    Take these two troublesome lands out of the discussion, and DL theming looks generally healthy, although Main Street's commercial homogenization is to be deplored.

  11. #11

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    Re: SWAB's 6/14/07 Comparative Studies TR

    Quote Originally Posted by HBG2 View Post
    First, we're going to need further evidence before accepting that "unbelievably tight shorts" claim.

    Second, I can't believe anyone wants to utterly abandon theming at DL. I have to think that even the dullest guest would flinch and frown at seeing a rocket ship on Main Street. There is a common agreement out there that can be the basis for shoring up support and winning arguments.

    Third, the deteriorization of theming at DL is most evident in FtL and TL, and I think that's no accident. Positive attitudes toward the American Frontier experience and toward a rosy futurism based on technological advance have taken severe beatings over the last several decades, and this gives Imagineers a rather ambiguous basis in the mass culture for building and strengthening the themes in these two areas. In short, these Lands are adrift, and Disney is not entirely to blame for it. Not only that, but thematic problems with both lands go way back, even into Walt's own time. FtL has suffered a long neglect, with only one important new ride since the late '50's (and that one a replacement for another that had fallen into disrepair). TL has had thematically out-of-place elements from the get-go. Beyond that, since the villainization of technology, beginning in the late '60's, the pure TL theme has been a tougher sell anyway.

    Take these two troublesome lands out of the discussion, and DL theming looks generally healthy, although Main Street's commercial homogenization is to be deplored.
    I realize you probably already know this, but the TR, in its entirety, was one gigantic .


    (Except the part regarding Wonder Woman's shorts. The presence of Mrs. Swab precluded the more thorough documentation of the better areas of Wonder Woman)

    (Oh, and except the closing diatribe regarding theme--I was serious about that. All else: meh.)

  12. #12

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    Re: SWAB's 6/14/07 Comparative Studies TR

    Quote Originally Posted by HBG2 View Post
    First, we're going to need further evidence before accepting that "unbelievably tight shorts" claim.

    Second, I can't believe anyone wants to utterly abandon theming at DL. I have to think that even the dullest guest would flinch and frown at seeing a rocket ship on Main Street. There is a common agreement out there that can be the basis for shoring up support and winning arguments.

    Third, the deteriorization of theming at DL is most evident in FtL and TL, and I think that's no accident. Positive attitudes toward the American Frontier experience and toward a rosy futurism based on technological advance have taken severe beatings over the last several decades, and this gives Imagineers a rather ambiguous basis in the mass culture for building and strengthening the themes in these two areas. In short, these Lands are adrift, and Disney is not entirely to blame for it. Not only that, but thematic problems with both lands go way back, even into Walt's own time. FtL has suffered a long neglect, with only one important new ride since the late '50's (and that one a replacement for another that had fallen into disrepair). TL has had thematically out-of-place elements from the get-go. Beyond that, since the villainization of technology, beginning in the late '60's, the pure TL theme has been a tougher sell anyway.

    Take these two troublesome lands out of the discussion, and DL theming looks generally healthy, although Main Street's commercial homogenization is to be deplored.
    So, two out of four ain't bad?

  13. #13

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    Re: SWAB's 6/14/07 Comparative Studies TR

    Interesting! I would never have thought to compare the two!
    I'd rather be at Disneyland




  14. #14

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    Re: SWAB's 6/14/07 Comparative Studies TR

    Quote Originally Posted by fo'c's'le swab View Post
    I realize you probably already know this, but the TR, in its entirety, was one gigantic .


    (Except the part regarding Wonder Woman's shorts. The presence of Mrs. Swab precluded the more thorough documentation of the better areas of Wonder Woman)

    (Oh, and except the closing diatribe regarding theme--I was serious about that. All else: meh.)
    Again, the lack of doomed you once again.

    Great report. I'm a native Californian and didn't know that place existed - I believe I know why now.

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    Re: SWAB's 6/14/07 Comparative Studies TR

    Quote Originally Posted by fo'c's'le swab View Post
    So, two out of four ain't bad?
    Thematically, Fantasyland is doing fine, as is Adventureland (Tarzan's TH is not a thematic failing), and NOS (the POTC additions are not a thematic controversy). I think Toontown should have been simply part of Fantasyland, but if you consider it a separate land, it's excellently themed as well. A nice chunk of FtL is still thematically coherent and enjoyable.

    The patient ain't dead yet, that's all I'm saying.

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