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  1. #31

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    Re: Amazing NY Times article from February 11th, 2001 and Paradise Pier

    Quote Originally Posted by MasterGracey View Post
    Paradise Pier is only one of DCA's many problems. Granted, it's one of DCA's largest issues, but don't give it all the credit.
    As my post said, there are weaknesses throughout the entire park,
    Most notable in PP. The next major problem is the entry area, lack
    of a Main Street and general POOR layout of the entire park. They
    should have followed the example that worked so well with DL, in
    getting to the center of the park and setting the mood all at the same
    time ~ with a "Main Street" that makes it much easier to get from one
    area to another with ease.

    It's really frustrating that it doesn't appear that they will be going far
    enough with getting rid of the PP theme. And for years they have left
    the entry area and PP with no changes at all ~ the worst areas of DCA.
    The only area that they have done anything with is Hollywood Pictures
    Backlot, and then they remove the entire Hollywood and Dine from
    public access?!?!?!?

  2. #32

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    Re: Amazing NY Times article from February 11th, 2001 and Paradise Pier

    Quote Originally Posted by MrLiver View Post
    It's hard to back up with any written proof, but certainly if you around during the time of the preview center and the press conferences you would know that DCA was suppose to have a completely opposite feel from Disneyland.
    Right. And it most certainly does have an opposite feel from Disneyland. A cheap feel, as opposed to a quality feel. Whether that was the intention of Braverman's hip, cool, and contemporary goal is beyond me though.

    Quote Originally Posted by MrLiver View Post
    For instance, in the official backstory of Soarin' Over California, the existence of the attraction is described as being the result of the aviators in Condor Flats building a hang gliding simulator. It wasn't magic or suspension of belief... it was you sitting in a theater watching a simulation. Nothing more.
    Sorry, but that isn't a theme. That's a cop-out being disguised as a theme by some meaningless words.


    Quote Originally Posted by MrLiver View Post
    I suppose it's fair to say that I misspoke in saying that DCA acknowledged the fact that it is fake. A more accurate description is that Disney, in building DCA, acknowledged that their experiences were fake and tried to build a park that didn't rely so much on passing everything off on fantasy to be relevant.
    If Disney knew nothing was relevant why even call it a theme park? If nothing is relevant, and Disney knows it, then doesn't that mean that there is really no theme at all?

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  3. #33

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    Re: Amazing NY Times article from February 11th, 2001 and Paradise Pier

    Somebody was kind enough to send me an internal PointPoint presentation file years ago. I totally trust this person in the fact that this is the real Mc Coy, and not a fake. If I could share my source, I am sure you would agree that it is a true document.

    Sorry, guys I will not post the file, nor will I share it. I am sorry, but you are going to have to trust me on this one. I will clearly identify my comments with brackets [like this]. I am also only going to post selected information, mainly related to the infamous comment, and other points discussed over the last few years.

    I received a 10 slide presentation, based on the wording, is an internal WDI presentation.

    The first slide is the title slide...

    THE "OFF THE SHELF" DECISION
    Slide 2 is titled "1995 Company Mentality", which had 7 points.

    Point 2 is "Can we do a "E" attraction for $70M?"

    Point 6 is "With Paul Pressler's arrival our client became the "parks", not MDE."

    Slide 3 is

    1996 KEY TO A CHEAPER PARK


    Facility, Show or Ride - Pick any 2.

    Capitalize on an improving ride industry.

    Take known technology & theme it with paint color, lighting & graphics.

    Take advantage of engineering already spent by others.

    "Direct Lifts"

    If it's good enough for Six Flags ....

    The "Guiding Principles"
    As to the second point of Capitalizing, [To me, this is looking at outside companies, such as S&S Power, since the outside vendors have been making better products in the last decade or so]

    And the fifth point, "Direct Lifts" [and as described in a later slide, this is taking attractions from other Disney parks, such as Muppets 3-D (the example they used)]

    Slides 4 and 5 talks about the Guiding Principles.

    The 4th slide is titled "How can Disney's California be realized for less than traditional practice?"

    Then we have 11 points for the sub-category "Park Planning/Design/Theming" (the next slide has the other sub-category).

    Point 1 is "No berm around the park", other points mention outside visual intrusions are OK, themed facades are faux, show-like, not immersions or period reproductions, that only the entries and front facades are to be themed, and to keep the Monorail as is.

    Slide 5 contains 5 "Backstage Philosophy" points, including "First cost before life cycle savings"

    Slide 6 is titled "Embracing the Industry... Their way"

    5 points, my favorite is "We don't have any lawyers & we don't want to get any."

    Slide 7 is titled "Our Experience", with the category of "good" and 11 points

    Slide 8 is the category "Lessons Learned" and 6 points.

    Slide 9 is just a title slide, "Would we do it again?" and nothing else.

    Slide 10 starts with "Yes" in large letters, and then the sentence "The pros far out weigh the cons. But..."

    Then we have 5 points, my favorite on this page is, "Have attractions partners sign(underlined) in advance of the buy."

    [OK, this is the end of the PowerPoint presentation. So what have we learned, that the statement "If it's good enough for Six Flags..." was actually made at a meeting inside the Disney company, and not made up, as some folks wanted us to believe! That Disney had serious cost control issues while designing and building DCA. That Disney made the decision to use "Off the Shelf" rides instead of designing and building their own. That Disney is looking to keep the costs down on new "E" attractions (the $70 million comment, and now the LA Times report of DCA's ToT costing $75 million). That Disney purposely cut back on the theming at DCA.]
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  4. #34

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    Re: Amazing NY Times article from February 11th, 2001 and Paradise Pier

    Let's look at the fourth slide, and the "Park Planning/Design/Theming" points.

    point 1, "No berm around the Park", matches up with what was built.

    point 2, "Each attraction will be designed to achieve a specific emotional impact. “Mega E’s with elaborate facilities, shows and rides will be avoided in favor of story.", and the park opened with no Mega-E's, finally we are getting a large E with ToT, but nothing of that level was included in the original park.

    point 3, "Some visual intrusions are okay, including structures outside park boundary", as people have mentioned (and complained about) seeing the city from GRR, the Sun Wheel, etc. detracts from the attraction.

    point 4, "Themed facades are faux, show-set like; not immersions into replications of period themed architecture." Once again, matches up with what is offered at DCA.

    point 5, "Themed facades are limited to entries and front facades and thus cover only a portion of the visible facility." Once again, a perfect match to what was delivered with DCA.

    point 6, "Keep the Monorail as is". And that is exactly what happened, they didn't move one inch of track, instead the attractions and other park structures were built to accommodate the Monorail. Disney did try to hide and/or use the monorail a part of the design, for example the Golden Gate Bridge at the front entrance, or the Superstar Limo sign. And they helped to limit the intrusion, but by no means did it eliminate it. They also helped keep costs down by not moving the Monorail, or adding a DCA station.

    Point 7, "Use “direct lifts” (e.g. Muppets 3-D) where possible." And we got direct lifts, Muppets 3-D, WWTBAM-PI (but of course, without the pre-show offered at WDW) and ITTBAB. And Animation, which I would not call a "Direct Lift", but the majority of the attraction was.

    Point 8, "Surf City rides are “off-the-shelf” except for paint, lighting, graphics and show features.", And what did Paradise Pier (the revised name for Surf City) get ?

    Point 9, "Where possible no new ride systems to be invented. We will use developed technology." And what did we get, the one new ride system (Soarin') was actually part of the Westcot design, so much of the design work was already completed.

    Point 10, "Make “provisions only” for the future addition of a parade or water spectacular." And what did they do, build a large path through the park to accommodate a Parade, and added no infrastructure to the lagoon. They had to build the Parade building after opening, and had to add many features when they attempted LuminAria. And some of those "provisions" for the water spectacular were not that well thought out in regards as to where the guests were going to gather to watch the future show.

    And the last point "No upgrades or tie-in to the existing Disneyland systems.", also how DCA was delivered.
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  5. #35

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    Re: Amazing NY Times article from February 11th, 2001 and Paradise Pier

    And while looking for that Powerpoint Presentation, I found an old post of mine from August 5th, 2005....

    http://www.micechat.com/forums/dca_i...ast-t9078.html


    FYI, I decided to post this information here because some folks want to re-write history, and claim things like DCA was designed as a park just to get folks to stay another day, when if you go read the LA Times article from 2001, you can see that is totally incorrect...

    Or when you see folks like John Cora say that the park primary focus was to have it built as cheap as possible, then folks like Roy Disney confirm it... well, no wonder people are disappointed and upset with what Disney delivered in DCA....

    But there is hope, as Al Lutz stated in his last update on Tuesday, maybe the poor performance of the park will finally get the attention of the new folks in charge, and they will be willing to address the problem, and approve some funds to help improve the park....
    And glad to see 2 years later, that the folks in charge did step up to the plate and approved the funds needed for the major overhaul.

    It should be fun to watch the bulldozers transform the park to something better (I HOPE!), but I think it has a very good chance of becoming better.
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  6. #36

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    Re: Amazing NY Times article from February 11th, 2001 and Paradise Pier

    You wrote that it was an internal WDI presentation, but was it written by WDI for WDI, or was it written by consultants outside of WDI for WDI?
    "Here You Leave the World of California Today and Enter the World of, um, er, California Today."

  7. #37

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    Re: Amazing NY Times article from February 11th, 2001 and Paradise Pier

    Thanks for the posts, Darkbeer.

    sediment - does it really matter? Whether it was written by WDI, Eisner, or an ouside consultant is irrelevant - what matters is that the powers that were actually agreed on this nonsense and built it.

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  8. #38

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    Re: Amazing NY Times article from February 11th, 2001 and Paradise Pier

    I am almost sure it was a WDI prepared presentation.

    Heck, read some of the wording...

    "Can we do a "E" attraction for $70M"

    "With Paul Pressler's arrival our client became the "parks", not MDE."
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  9. #39

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    Re: Amazing NY Times article from February 11th, 2001 and Paradise Pier

    Quote Originally Posted by Darkbeer View Post
    I am almost sure it was a WDI prepared presentation.

    Heck, read some of the wording...

    "Can we do a "E" attraction for $70M"

    "With Paul Pressler's arrival our client became the "parks", not MDE."
    Even more proof that Braverman is a complete hack.

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  10. #40

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    Re: Amazing NY Times article from February 11th, 2001 and Paradise Pier

    Quote Originally Posted by MasterGracey View Post
    Thanks for the posts, Darkbeer.

    sediment - does it really matter? Whether it was written by WDI, Eisner, or an ouside consultant is irrelevant - what matters is that the powers that were actually agreed on this nonsense and built it.
    Well, I would be troubled (slightly) by the fact that WDI chose to create a PowerPoint presentation instead of a presentation of actual designs of attractions and themed lands, letting the bean counters worry about stuff like money.
    And if it were made by an outside consultant, then it is troubling that WDI had to be told how to make a theme park. (And how to make one incorrectly.)
    Either way, I'm troubled. But it was a long time ago, and things are different now. But, how much wasted money and effort would have been averted if real Imagineers had been consulted? Mr. Hench was still around, and it seems, according to his oft-quoted quip about DCA, that he was not asked his opinion until after it had already been built.
    "Here You Leave the World of California Today and Enter the World of, um, er, California Today."

  11. #41

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    Re: Amazing NY Times article from February 11th, 2001 and Paradise Pier

    Quote Originally Posted by sediment View Post
    Either way, I'm troubled.
    Me too.

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  12. #42

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    Re: Amazing NY Times article from February 11th, 2001 and Paradise Pier

    Quote Originally Posted by MasterGracey View Post
    Me too.
    Yes, it's all very troubling.
    "Here You Leave the World of California Today and Enter the World of, um, er, California Today."

  13. #43

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    Re: Amazing NY Times article from February 11th, 2001 and Paradise Pier

    Quote Originally Posted by Darkbeer View Post
    I am almost sure it was a WDI prepared presentation.

    Heck, read some of the wording...

    "Can we do a "E" attraction for $70M"

    "With Paul Pressler's arrival our client became the "parks", not MDE."
    It's not uncommon for outside consultants to act as if part of the team.
    But you're probably right. Your "source" might know for sure, though. If that person hasn't gone "missing" after you've spilt these beans. You know how accountaneers hate spilt beans. Gotta count them all over again.
    "Here You Leave the World of California Today and Enter the World of, um, er, California Today."

  14. #44

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    Re: Amazing NY Times article from February 11th, 2001 and Paradise Pier

    Sheesh, when is enough, enough???



  15. #45

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    Re: Amazing NY Times article from February 11th, 2001 and Paradise Pier

    Quote Originally Posted by MrLiver View Post
    The problem was that Disneyland's family audience didn't like DCA. In its opening year, DCA surpassed the attendance of almost every other park in the nation and made the top ten list.

    It wasn't that DCA didn't have an audience, it's that the 13 million people that were already going to Disneyland had very little interest in the new artistic direction.

    For a lot of people, especially the kind of people who read the New York Times, the word Disney means fake, disingenuous, commercial and artificial.
    A bastardized version of art. There are people out there who see Disneyland and it's insistence on it's own conceived reality as silly and foolish (and certainly you've seen that mocked time and time again in movie and song).

    DCA was meant to get passed that by producing a world that was visually appealing but still acknowledged the fact that it wasn't real. It was designed to appeal to a group of people who had already rejected Disneyland as a fake experience not worth a visit.

    I say this not to defend their decisions or the vision for the park, but only for historical perspective. I know there were a lot of people who didn't understand the point to the park, and certainly I think a majority of people who were visiting Disneyland didn't get it either.



    The park is struggling to appeal to the DISNEY audience. At some point I suppose the management decided that it would be easier and far cheaper to just keep producing park experiences that used the exact same formula to appeal to the already existing audience than to attempt to appeal to a new audience.

    Some of the first decisions they made in changing DCA was abandoning the California theme and adding family friendly cartoon related attractions. Today DCA and Disneyland are getting attractions that follow the same exact formula so closely, that I doubt anyone would object had the attractions built in DCA been located in Disneyland or visa versa.

    Maybe that's a good thing, maybe it's not. That's a matter of opinion. Some people like getting the same thing over and over and over again. If they didn't, Hollywood would have gone out of business years ago.

    A long time ago Walt envisioned a park that had lands that were all unique and different and over time that park just kind of merged into a singular experience. A long time ago Epcot was a park that was fundamentally different from any other Disney experience, and now Disney is spending billions of dollars "fixing" that park to mesh better with the other park experiences. The same thing is happening to DCA.
    Please tell me you are not among the people in charge of fixing D.C.A.

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