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  1. #1

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    Is Disneyland a Museum?

    I've read a variety of threads that seem to border on this question but then at the last minute... walk away. I've proposed and read other proposals for "living history" exhibits in several lands, Frontierland most notably. I've also seen a lot about various displays, and proposed several "museum quality exhibits". People also complain that rides are becoming "dated" or "stale". Others plead with Disney Corp. to keep rides because they feel the same rides are "classic" and should be left as is. Then I thought about it. Disneyland is a Theme Park, but the overall goal of that theme is entertainment, not education. I realize even the founder claimed "It will never be complete" and with that mentality it will be a constant construction zone of creative energy. So I ask everyone's opinion, has it become a museum? should it's goal be preservation and education? or should it continue to develop and change with the times?
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    Re: Is Disneyland a Museum?

    Disney pioneered "Edutainment," and I think integrating history into Disneyland is important.

    I don't think Disneyland should become a history lesson about itself, but should rather delve into the history of the themed areas it has. Frontierland should takea cue from Knott's and get real blacksmiths, etc. Tomorrowland should be a vista into the future and should offer a real look at future technologoy - not what Innoventions currently offers. New Orleans Square should reflect the history and lifestyle of 1860s New Orleans. And Main Street USA should be living history of turn-of-the-century Hometown, USA complete with properly themed stores, lamplighters, etc.

    Of course, the history and "hard facts" that Disneyland should work to maintain within its themed realms shouldn't be entirely realistic. An idealized version of the history of such things is a hallmark of the Disneyland experience and that should also be taken into account.

    I think the infiltration of the park by out-of-place pirates, space toys, cartoon fish, Shopping Mall USA, and turkey legs is a life drain on Walt Disney's Magic Kingdom, and those problems need to be remedied and can easily be fixed by replacing them with living history elements which could work to entertain audiences while continuing to draw said audiences.

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  3. #3

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    Re: Is Disneyland a Museum?

    It's not a museum yet.....maybe fantasyland is. I think it would be nice to update those rides a bit.

    I think it would be kind of cool if they did have a museum of sorts available. Have some stuff from the past...old ride vehicles, costumes, displays...IDK, It would be fun to look at.

  4. #4

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    Re: Is Disneyland a Museum?

    I think the only parts that are somewhat like museums are Frontierland, Critter Country, and New Orleans Square. I wouldn't call them museums though. More like homages to the past. Those parts of the park should definitely keep the historic elements though. Being accurate the time period and lots of detail is really what makes it interesting. That is one of the reasons I was so sad to see TSI go. I love how Mark Twains stories involve timeless themes set in a very interesting past that kids today don't get to experience often.
    I believe that Walt chose the lands he did so that the guest could experience a little bit of all the things they don't get in their day to day lives. Between the lands you get the ability to enjoy the nostalgia of days gone by, the adventures of today, the challenges of tomorrow, and the fantasy of eternity.

  5. #5

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    Re: Is Disneyland a Museum?

    I'm not sure how Turkey Legs fits in that list of problematic elements...but moving on...

    I think "classic" elements can have their own entertainment value. People enjoy classic elements as one way to be entertained. So when folks beg for a ride to stay a certain way, that is one of the things in place...they get great entertaining satisfaction from the "classic" elements of a particular ride. Now that doesn't mean that is always what is going on... sometimes people really are just yammering for something to stay a certain way BECAUSE it was ALWAYS that way... but it's hard to know where the line is.

    If they had taken the high road, changed the LAND that TSI was, even going as far as making it it's OWN land and made the pirate theme even more "classic" rather than just a movie tie in, we could have a different type of argument about the pirate infiltration.

    I think there are certain elements about Disney that have always had a museum quality. Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln is one. Walt thought that moment in history and that historical figure deserved an attraction. And sadly, because people run away from "historical", it's just not as popular, but I love that Mr. Lincoln has been there, I love it. I find it entertaining for it's educational experience, I find it entertaining for it's emotional content.

    I would be entertained by a blacksmith in Frontierland... by a gun fight... if an attraction is both entertaining AND happens to be educational...I'm all for it.

  6. #6

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    Re: Is Disneyland a Museum?

    >>So I ask everyone's opinion, has it become a museum? should it's goal be preservation and education? or should it continue to develop and change with the times?<<

    A false argument. How are these things mutually exclusive?

    Why can't it be world's greatest "living museum" in tribute to the late great Walt Disney, preserving and restoring his own works while adding creative, exciting new exhibits that fit his entertainment philosophies?

    It can. Why not?

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    Re: Is Disneyland a Museum?

    Quote Originally Posted by FantasmicPrincess View Post
    I think the only parts that are somewhat like museums are Frontierland, Critter Country, and New Orleans Square. I wouldn't call them museums though. More like homages to the past. Those parts of the park should definitely keep the historic elements though. Being accurate the time period and lots of detail is really what makes it interesting. That is one of the reasons I was so sad to see TSI go. I love how Mark Twains stories involve timeless themes set in a very interesting past that kids today don't get to experience often.
    I believe that Walt chose the lands he did so that the guest could experience a little bit of all the things they don't get in their day to day lives. Between the lands you get the ability to enjoy the nostalgia of days gone by, the adventures of today, the challenges of tomorrow, and the fantasy of eternity.

    How is Critter Country on the list of a "somewhat like museum"? The part was re named, so the past is already gone and there's no original ride left there.

    I don't think Disneyland is a museum and I don't know where all this gets started.
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  8. #8

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    Re: Is Disneyland a Museum?

    Who made up the "Disneyland is not a museum" line anyway? Some Imagineer trying to validate a personal project for a pitch?

    To my knowledge this is NOT a Walt Disney quote, yet some people use it like one. Why do you think that is?

  9. #9

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    Re: Is Disneyland a Museum?

    I don't see the two concepts as mutually exclusive. Kids and adults love the Monterey Bay Aquarium. They have acheived a satisfactory balance without pandering to any one demographic. It's entertainment with the added danger of actually learning something whether one realizes it or not. What's more fun than 'learning' without effort?

    This should not be confused with Disney's responsibility to 'teach'. They have no such responsibilities, in my opinion. The effort that is put forth toward education and historical accuracy is purely voluntary, and is what seperates Disney Parks from the 'herd'. It's a delicate operation that Disney has managed to perform quite well in years past, and are certainly still capable of doing so in the future.

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    Re: Is Disneyland a Museum?

    Quote Originally Posted by DLFreak71 View Post
    How is Critter Country on the list of a "somewhat like museum"? The part was re named, so the past is already gone and there's no original ride left there.

    I don't think Disneyland is a museum and I don't know where all this gets started.
    I my museum list was not things that are historic to Disneyland, but things that are historic to a time period. Although Critter Country BEARly (hehe, pun) makes that list, it always reminds me of a time when our country was more forests and less cities. The Uncle Remus time period.

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    Re: Is Disneyland a Museum?

    Disneyland isn't a museum. It's way cooler. It has rides and things of that nature.

    And that's my intelligent post of the day.


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    Re: Is Disneyland a Museum?

    Quote Originally Posted by merlinjones View Post
    Who made up the "Disneyland is not a museum" line anyway? Some Imagineer trying to validate a personal project for a pitch?

    To my knowledge this is NOT a Walt Disney quote, yet some people use it like one. Why do you think that is?
    I believe it's a paraphrase of something Roy E. Disney said with regard to discussions inside the company in the 1980's about closing the studios.

  13. #13

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    Re: Is Disneyland a Museum?

    I simply asked a basic question. Should Disneyland focus on the details of history as some on here have pointed out? or should they focus on fun, and entertainment? Is it "horrific" that they paint a beautiful stylistic portrait of history... or is it a good thing considering it is a theme park meant for kids and not necessarily scholars. In short... is it a theme park or a museum.

    This had nothing to do with a Walt Quote... and everything to do with a variety of threads about how Disneyland doesn't portray..... in history!
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  14. #14

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    Re: Is Disneyland a Museum?

    disneyland can be both, history can be fun, by living it, thats the point of disneyland, an immersive experience you dont get at 6flags!!

    i mean its not perfect (nemo, jack sparrow, pastel main street, we can go on about that) but its kind of like the movie marie antoinette, its not exactly historically accuarate but its beautiful and immersive and tells a story and another view.
    instead of reading about the old west, we used to be able to really live and explore there, we could dream of the future, but at disneyland, you lived in it! We get to experience a boomin new orleans port, we experience it, not read about it. The same for most other lands..


    i hope my post made sense, and i didnt make myself look stupid. If i did im sorry lol i tried.

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    Re: Is Disneyland a Museum?

    Some plays are based on true stories, and some aren't. As the director of "Davy Crockett" opined, in the case of that legendary figure, it's hard to tell where fact ends and fancy begins.

    He went to Congress to serve a spell, but I don't believe he patched-up the crack in the Liberty Bell.
    Last edited by PragmaticIdealist; 08-03-2007 at 03:32 AM.

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