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  1. #46

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    Re: "Story" vs "Immersion and Imagination" - What works best for you?

    I prefer to imagine the stories myself.

    And I think I'm going to leave it at that. But to be fair, my sister (the youngest) doesn't have as strong imagination as me. And the middle sister, she even doesn't have a strong imagination. It got weaker as years progressed. I'm not blaming Disney for this, but I do wish that we could get some newer... not-entirely-told stories to us. Like, the Monsters Inc ride, while it tells a story, if you look in the city scene into the windows and stuff you can kinda use your imagination.

  2. #47

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    Re: "Story" vs "Immersion and Imagination" - What works best for you?

    Quote Originally Posted by MasterGracey View Post
    It only would become a story ride if the Jungle Skipper created a unique full-fledged narrative for the attraction - but I don't even know if that would be allowed.
    ever heard of Narrations? It was a Disney program that put all spieling attractions in one "department". It's where one of the survival guides came from, which in turn brought about specific characters that the Skipper could portray! Sometimes it's fun being an "Old Timer". In any event my "thoughts" remain the same. If it is one standard spiel from dock to dock, and multiple Skippers use this same cookie cutter spiel, then it shifts from being an experience to being a story. Because that is what a story is, one continuous monologue that gets you from point A to point B. IF Skippers CHOSE to vary their spiel then each trip becomes a unique experience. This allows for an enjoyable re-ride as well as an appreciation for each Skipper's unique style.
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  3. #48

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    Re: "Story" vs "Immersion and Imagination" - What works best for you?

    well put...
    You can't talk S*** unless your gonna do something about it...

  4. #49

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    Re: "Story" vs "Immersion and Imagination" - What works best for you?

    immersion and imagination is better for me. I hate having a story force fed down my throat (although the story mixed with immersion works well for Lucas properties such as Star Tours and Indy) but I dont want to go on a ride that tells the cliffnotes version of a dvd I can watch at home. I want to see something totally different like a Pirates, a Haunted Mansion, Space Mountain, etc.

  5. #50

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    Re: "Story" vs "Immersion and Imagination" - What works best for you?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ghostbuster626 View Post
    I dont want to go on a ride that tells the cliffnotes version of a dvd I can watch at home. I want to see something totally different like a Pirates, a Haunted Mansion, Space Mountain, etc.
    Not a Fantasyland fan, eh?

  6. #51

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    Re: "Story" vs "Immersion and Imagination" - What works best for you?

    Quote Originally Posted by techskip View Post
    ever heard of Narrations? It was a Disney program that put all spieling attractions in one "department". It's where one of the survival guides came from, which in turn brought about specific characters that the Skipper could portray! Sometimes it's fun being an "Old Timer". In any event my "thoughts" remain the same. If it is one standard spiel from dock to dock, and multiple Skippers use this same cookie cutter spiel, then it shifts from being an experience to being a story. Because that is what a story is, one continuous monologue that gets you from point A to point B. IF Skippers CHOSE to vary their spiel then each trip becomes a unique experience. This allows for an enjoyable re-ride as well as an appreciation for each Skipper's unique style.
    Are they still allowed to take on a different personality in which to tell the story from? I've been with a couple of different skippers that were nice. They mixed it up and one made me freak out cause he stopped in the piranah section. Fun times.

    Or, do they have to be like... same version over and over again?

  7. #52

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    Re: "Story" vs "Immersion and Imagination" - What works best for you?

    Quote Originally Posted by Circarama View Post
    I find it interesting that every response so far has been in the affirmative for "immersion and imagination" and not one person has said that they prefer to have a "story" told to them.

    Considering the fact that most of the attractions made now days are story-driven, who do you think Disney is listening to when planning these attractions?

    I agree with you totally. I for one would love to know who Disney is listening to...maybe it's time for them to evaluate...
    Thanks for starting this thread, i'm finding it to be one of the best.

  8. #53

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    Re: "Story" vs "Immersion and Imagination" - What works best for you?

    I love to portray characters in my area, i feel it helps contribute to the story and/or just setting of where your at. Its the cast that brings the story to life.
    You can't talk S*** unless your gonna do something about it...

  9. #54

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    Re: "Story" vs "Immersion and Imagination" - What works best for you?

    Quote Originally Posted by MasterGracey View Post
    Weird, I've been meaning to get around to start a thread similar to this.

    I'm disturbed with the growing "story" trend in Imagineering that began with Tony Baxter's Big Thunder Mountain Railroad in the 70s and pushed even harder by Eisner in the 80s. Because of "story," Imagineeering has mostly abandoned the ways of WED's immensely popular "experience rides."

    I was recently reading through Jason Surrell's new book, The Disney Mountains: Imagineering at its Peak and it details how Tony Baxter's Big Thunder Mountain Railroad was the beginning of present-day story-based Imagineering.

    Tony Baxter is perhaps single-handedly responsible for the demise of attractions like The Haunted Mansion, Pirates of the Caribbean, The Matterhorn Bobsleds, or the Disneyland Railroad that don't rely on story to carry the attraction. These attractions rely heavily on the experience they offer, and not on a story being told to guests.

    I think that some of Imagineering's recent story-based projects are surely exceptional hits. The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror is great. Indiana Jones Adventure benefits greatly from the story it offers. And Star Tours benefits from its story as well, even if thematically it is somewhat questionable.

    Yet, sometimes WED-style "experience rides" are better fits. Surely, the Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage could have been a bigger success if it didn't try to impose a story upon itself and its riders. And is the supposed "Space Station 77" storyline for Space Mountain entirely necessary? And the addition of a story to Pirates has changed the attraction forever.

    What I find disturbing about all of this is the revisionist history that present-day Imagineers are feeding to the public. With every new attraction, Tony Baxter or some other Imagineer tells us that every attraction has a rich story for guests to experience and that it is life-long tradition for Disney to do this. It's simply untrue. Tony created this tradition, and in some cases its worked beautifully... but in others not so much.

    It's important for Imagineering to revisit a little Marc Davis quote from 1969, otherwise, we run the risk of being fed more and more stories that simply are unnecessary or poorly concieved:
    "We don't have a story, with a beginning, an end, or a plot. It's more of a series of experiences building up to a climax. I call them experience rides."
    - Marc Davis
    Some really good further reading on this can be found at the Re-Imagineering Blog:
    The Myth of Story (November 25, 2006)
    One of Our Dinosaurs Is Missing! (April 30, 2007)
    It is a bit odd that you place all the blame on Tony Baxter. Not to put him on some sort of pedestal, but perhaps it was more than one individual who started such a new direction? Yes, Tony is probably the most well known imagineer, but do we have real proof that it was all him?
    Perhaps Tom Fitzgerald and crew had some sort of influence...in particular during his recent reign as creative head of WDI?

    I just don't know if it is right to place the "blame" at one person's feet...the reality is that it was probably a number of folks. Just a thought...

    And by reading a lot of the posts here...perhaps some of us don't quite 'define' story in the same way WDI does...?

  10. #55

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    Re: "Story" vs "Immersion and Imagination" - What works best for you?

    Quote Originally Posted by techskip View Post
    ever heard of Narrations? It was a Disney program that put all spieling attractions in one "department". It's where one of the survival guides came from, which in turn brought about specific characters that the Skipper could portray! Sometimes it's fun being an "Old Timer". In any event my "thoughts" remain the same. If it is one standard spiel from dock to dock, and multiple Skippers use this same cookie cutter spiel, then it shifts from being an experience to being a story. Because that is what a story is, one continuous monologue that gets you from point A to point B. IF Skippers CHOSE to vary their spiel then each trip becomes a unique experience. This allows for an enjoyable re-ride as well as an appreciation for each Skipper's unique style.
    I understand that you're saying completely. But I'm still not convinced that Jungle is a story ride in any scenario.

    Just because there is a monologue, doesn't mean there is a story. Again, look at Haunted Mansion. The Ghost Host is definately a character, even if he is disembodied. He also has a speil that gets us from point A to point B. But that doesn't make the Haunted Mansion a story ride - the Haunted Mansion is completely one of Marc Davis' "experience rides." There may be bits of story sprinkled through the attraction for specific characters, but the ride itself doesn't offer a linear story with any sort of plot.

    The Jungle Cruise, from what I've experienced is similar. You go from scene to scene, none of them seemingly related in any way except by the jungle theme, and your ride is connected loosely via the Skipper's spiel. There is no real plot, just a series of experiences and encounters with jungle animals and cheesy jokes.

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  11. #56

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    Re: "Story" vs "Immersion and Imagination" - What works best for you?

    Quote Originally Posted by tcsnwhite View Post
    It is a bit odd that you place all the blame on Tony Baxter. Not to put him on some sort of pedestal, but perhaps it was more than one individual who started such a new direction? Yes, Tony is probably the most well known imagineer, but do we have real proof that it was all him?
    Perhaps Tom Fitzgerald and crew had some sort of influence...in particular during his recent reign as creative head of WDI?

    I just don't know if it is right to place the "blame" at one person's feet...the reality is that it was probably a number of folks. Just a thought...

    And by reading a lot of the posts here...perhaps some of us don't quite 'define' story in the same way WDI does...?
    I don't mean to blame Tony for anything. I think he's done stellar work at the parks and his influence is immensely appreciated.

    However, Tony came up with the Big Thunder Mountain Railroad attraction, which was to be part of Marc Davis' Thunder Mesa project. Baxter wrote an elaborate backstory to the attraction and intended the ride itself to offer a story to guests. I don't think Baxter had any sort of scheme or intention to rid the parks of "experience rides" but current management latched onto the idea of story-driven attractions, and Tony's success with Big Thunder certainly influenced the way future attractions started being presented.

    I think Tony Baxter's more subtle approach at offering story-driven attractions to guests with Big Thunder has since evolved into a twisted cookie-cutter version of itself, and I think that blame can be placed on Eisner.

    Tony's more direct story-driven Splash Mountain and the "Oh no! Something went wrong!" approach with Star Tours was great and exciting for the type of attractions they are, but when these rides became such hits, I think Eisner came in and insisted that attractions start to follow the successful more in-your-face story style.

    Of course, much of this is speculation - but we all know how Eisner's micro-management impacted every aspect of the Company, so I wouldnt be surprised if my speculation is too far off base.

    But it still is telling that Tony's success with story-driven Imagineering has since heavily influenced most every attraction since Big Thunder Mountain Railroad.

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  12. #57

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    Re: "Story" vs "Immersion and Imagination" - What works best for you?

    Quote Originally Posted by MasterGracey View Post
    I don't mean to blame Tony for anything. I think he's done stellar work at the parks and his influence is immensely appreciated.

    However, Tony came up with the Big Thunder Mountain Railroad attraction, which was to be part of Marc Davis' Thunder Mesa project. Baxter wrote an elaborate backstory to the attraction and intended the ride itself to offer a story to guests. I don't think Baxter had any sort of scheme or intention to rid the parks of "experience rides" but current management latched onto the idea of story-driven attractions, and Tony's success with Big Thunder certainly influenced the way future attractions started being presented.

    I think Tony Baxter's more subtle approach at offering story-driven attractions to guests with Big Thunder has since evolved into a twisted cookie-cutter version of itself, and I think that blame can be placed on Eisner.

    Tony's more direct story-driven Splash Mountain and the "Oh no! Something went wrong!" approach with Star Tours was great and exciting for the type of attractions they are, but when these rides became such hits, I think Eisner came in and insisted that attractions start to follow the successful more in-your-face story style.

    Of course, much of this is speculation - but we all know how Eisner's micro-management impacted every aspect of the Company, so I wouldnt be surprised if my speculation is too far off base.

    But it still is telling that Tony's success with story-driven Imagineering has since heavily influenced most every attraction since Big Thunder Mountain Railroad.
    ahh, ok. I see your point of view now.

    I, personally, think what Tony has done has been pretty stellar...as well as the numerous people that have worked with him (and those unnamed in WDI usually get left out, so I wanted to mention them here). At the same time, like any creative or artist, one can get stuck in a certain mode and things can get stale or taken too far. And, I have no doubt that management under Eisner, and Tom Fitzgerald, probably took that initial concept of a more story-driven experience and went to far with it in the wrong direction- applying it all over and in places where it may not be necessary.

  13. #58

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    Re: "Story" vs "Immersion and Imagination" - What works best for you?

    Quote Originally Posted by MasterGracey View Post
    However, Tony came up with the Big Thunder Mountain Railroad attraction, which was to be part of Marc Davis' Thunder Mesa project. Baxter wrote an elaborate backstory to the attraction and intended the ride itself to offer a story to guests. ... Tony's success with Big Thunder certainly influenced the way future attractions started being presented.
    Has anyone really ever ridden Big Thunder and thought they were being presented with more of a story than, say, Pirates or Haunted Mansion?

  14. #59

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    Re: "Story" vs "Immersion and Imagination" - What works best for you?

    ^Come to think of it, not really. Feels more like an "experience" driven thing to me...but hey, to WDI and Tony, maybe it is "story" driven and I'm just not getting it. A nice highly themed roller coaster of a runaway mine train through the little town of Rainbow Ridge...am I getting it? is there more?

  15. #60

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    Re: "Story" vs "Immersion and Imagination" - What works best for you?

    Quote Originally Posted by MasterGracey View Post
    Just because there is a monologue, doesn't mean there is a story. Again, look at Haunted Mansion. The Ghost Host is definately a character, even if he is disembodied. He also has a spiel that gets us from point A to point B. But that doesn't make the Haunted Mansion a story ride - the Haunted Mansion is completely one of Marc Davis' "experience rides." There may be bits of story sprinkled through the attraction for specific characters, but the ride itself doesn't offer a linear story with any sort of plot.
    The Butler says a line or two every other scene... Skippers usually won't shut up from the time you get on the dock to the time you step off... I could be wrong but I think you need a better example then that. I've done the couple words every other scene approach, and they loved it, because they didn't speak or understand English!

    Quote Originally Posted by BoogaFrito View Post
    Has anyone really ever ridden Big Thunder and thought they were being presented with more of a story than, say, Pirates or Haunted Mansion?
    Nice... took the words right out of my mouth. I believe Thunder's queue is amazingly well themed, but after that you are simply riding a well themed coaster through a collapsing mine. Very few people realize there is a whole mining haunted Indian legend back story surrounding it!
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