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  1. #46

    • "I Break Things"
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    Re: Esplanade fountain?

    Wow this thing really really became heated. Having worked at the resort and done an extensive amount of GC and crowd planning I thought I would toss this in. Both tram stops dump into the Esplanade which in turn feeds the parks. It serves a vital role in keeping the tram unloads clear, allowing more Guests to wait for their entrance to the park.

    Pre 9/11 without the security checkpoints the Esplanade would fill up even faster and it was not uncommon to have people waiting for Disneyland while standing at the California letters.

    Post 9/11 the Esplanade fills at a slower rate and when the gates are opened it allows the gates to catch up to the inflow and eventually as less come in the Esplanade slows down. On extremely busy days they will close the gates, generally around the 12-1 time frame due to park capacity but I have seen it close as early as 11am. At this point people must make the decision to either wait for Disneyland's gates to reopen, or go to DCA. MANY chose to wait and the Esplanade begins to fill up again.

    As has been noted multiple times DCA's main entrance is now going to extend to the current letters. In the past they have had various contests; most noteably a Honda, various premiers, and several sculptures. In ALL cases the Esplanade became more crowded. Having a fountain would increase the leisure traffic, thereby increasing overall foot traffic. Instead of the Esplanade being a place of transition, it would become a meeting point, a rest stop, a relaxing stay. More people would stay there which means less room for those who are simply waiting.

    I am not sure if you have tried this experiment but if you stand on Main Street and just stare at a random spot on a building, people will stop, and stare... that's how crowds grow. They REALLY do not want to make a crowd in the Esplanade and that is what a water feature would create.

    Knowing that this would displace individuals even 10& of the time... where would these individuals go? They walk off the tram into...?

    As far as my personal experience with the park and crowd control, I helped with the design and implementation of a variety of crowd control scenarios. I know crowds and this will cause one.
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  2. #47

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    Re: Esplanade fountain?

    I just found two more cents...

    I don't really like the over use of fountains, even in the parks. Small ones, like in Magnolia Gardens are ok. But huge ones like in DCA to me represent the Irvine-ization of Disney and makes the place look more like the Irvine Spectrum Center and Fashion Island more than anything else.

  3. #48

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    Re: Esplanade fountain?

    Still like the idea of the fountain, but not at the cost of crowd control. It's hard though, I usually get to Disneyland early enough that I don't realize how far back the crowds go. And it seemes like they'd have to do something ...
    What about a tile mosaic in the floor, use bits of colored stone to make a variety of pictures people can look at? I admit you'd get some gawkers, but it'd look really great and add a lot of life to the area.
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  4. #49

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    Re: Esplanade fountain?

    To continue my disertation of "NO". I had to leave for work earlier, I'm on lunch now so I have a few minutes.

    To build said fountain would require them to not only remove the specific portion of the Esplanade for the footprint, it would also require them to remove a path to this footprint for electrical, water etc. This increases the congestion, size, and scope of the construction.

    IF they add a fountain they also have the cultural aspect to consider. In many countries it is considered ok to let children strip naked and run through fountains. Anyone who remembers TL's giant marble will agree with this. I'm not sure if that would possibly present a real problem but I am sure someone, at some point, will end up in the fountain. You also have to consider the overall design of the fountain. ANY fountain will provide a meeting place, a focal point, a place to sit, and a place to relax. ALL of those factor will make, and build, a crowd.

    The easiest solution would be to not build a fountain but to instead plant shade trees but that presents another problem entirely. Most trees are planted in recessed planters, so the roots don't show and you have a nice flat surface. The problem with this is that there are still gaps to vent air, and this can create a trip hazard. If they do not recess the planters then you run the risk of individuals tripping on the roots. If you elect to build a planter to surround the tree then you have the exact same problem of people sitting around making a crowd. Only instead of one fountain, you now have 10 or 12 smaller crowds growing around the various shade trees.

    Ultimately the Esplanade was designed as a large barren wasteland of brick. It was designed as a transition point, specifically so you would not stay there, but keep going. If you change it's designation from a transition point to a meeting point then you must find room for the displaced crowds. This is not an IF... it is a WHEN... that place does fill up and without the extra space the crowd WILL overflow into the tram areas and DTD.

    A smaller fountain would have a lesser effect on a crowd congestion, but it would also have a much lesser effect on the overall appearance, design, and enhancement of the area. In closing, the only way to do this would be to do it big, and doing it big would cause more problems then solutions.
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  5. #50

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    Re: Esplanade fountain?

    LOL...I guess if little wet kids are running around naked, that might create a huge slip and fall hazard!
    Last edited by HeyBaloo; 11-01-2007 at 11:23 AM.
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  6. #51

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    Re: Esplanade fountain?

    Quote Originally Posted by HeyBaloo View Post
    One thing Disney should be an expert at is crowd control, and line formations. There is plenty of room to divert people off in lines to sides of the esplanade for just the morning crush hour. They could also put a raised or terraced area in, with the fountain on top, with the crowds lining up in lower or subterreanean (sp) areas. Push the tram drop off area back some. Also reinvent the bus/shuttle drop off area (ugh).
    Actually Disney proper is good at CREATING problems, and leaving the cast and crew to come up with solutions to fix them. When it comes to external queues and diverting people... they really were clueless, at least while I worked there. I agree that there is a great deal of wasted space in the tram area, but to redo the Esplanade would create both crowds and trip hazards. They didn't even want to put in actual roped lines for the gates because they were afraid of trip hazards and individuals jumping over/under the ropes... and those would have been removeable.
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  7. #52

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    Re: Esplanade fountain?

    A fountain dead center would of course be very pretty to look at, but as the Skip has said it has more cons than there are Pros. Something should be placed in the middle, although a fountain would fit nicely, it can be done better.
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  8. #53

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    Re: Esplanade fountain?

    Yeah I guess people are so excited to get in.....it becomes a logistical nightmare. I worked at Sea World as a kid and remember how much I hated working Main Gate in the Summer.

    What about an overhead canopy? Kinda like they have in Japan. Or like the Fremont Street Experience....LOL!

    Gotta go...bye...
    Last edited by HeyBaloo; 11-01-2007 at 11:37 AM.
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  9. #54

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    Re: Esplanade fountain?

    Not just a fountain... as I said placing ANYTHING that would become a focal point would cause a crowd. As an example they put a Honda car contest there for a little while and that became a headache, on several occasions they have had premiers and those were headaches. The various Mickey sculptures that the stars painted... imagine EVERYONE wanting a picture with EVERY statue... that was a nightmare. The premier probably had the extra local crowds, but the contest was more or less just the summer crowd. It was designed specifically to be a transition point, if the decision is made to switch it to a focal point then they must consider the impact it will have on crowds.
    "Happiness is a Low Water Level"


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  10. #55

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    Re: Esplanade fountain?

    Quote Originally Posted by seasnake View Post
    What about a tile mosaic in the floor, use bits of colored stone to make a variety of pictures people can look at? I admit you'd get some gawkers, but it'd look really great and add a lot of life to the area.
    I like this idea. What about something large enough that it was better seen from a slight distance, so it would interest people and pull them in, but not encourage them to stand still right in the middle of the esplanade? Even just a simple pattern (waves for DCA-side? Character silhouettes for DL-side?) would be better than the pavers as they exist now!
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  11. #56

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    Re: Esplanade fountain?

    I hear techskip though on the crowd control, so it'd have to be something that drew you in but didn't encourage lingering. I think the mosaic idea at the least keeps things open and gives you something to look at, but it's too big to "take a picture with it and me, mom!" and hopefully people would rather be in the parks then on the pretty picture, given the opportunity.
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  12. #57

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    Re: Esplanade fountain?

    One question, Aren't the CA Letters about ten feet away from the current turnstiles? Ten feet doesn't seem to be that long. They could at least fit a small water oasis in the center. Think of the Polynesian at WDW. Near the main entrance to the hotel under the monorail station, there is a small area with palm trees and waterfalls that could fit perfectly in the center of the esplanade. I know that there will be congestion, but unless it occurs 15% of the year, it seems that It wouldn't cause that much of a problem. Disney more than likely doesn't care about the people who stand in the esplanade, they want them to pay and come in to watch the fireworks from inside the park, not outside of it. These are my opinions, therefore they should not be taken seriously.



    Ok, I'm ready for the arguments now.

  13. #58

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    Re: Esplanade fountain?

    Quote Originally Posted by stitchon View Post
    Disney more than likely doesn't care about the people who stand in the esplanade, they want them to pay and come in to watch the fireworks from inside the park, not outside of it.
    If that is the case then why would they build a water feature that people would stand around, instead of leaving a barren wasteland where no one wants to stay too long? Again just a thought, but anything large enough to improve the desirability of the environment will most likely have an impact on congestion.

    Personally I would LOVE to see a large old style fountain with a variety of the Disney characters, done in some type of stone. However I realize that anything on a grand scale would also pose a grand problem. To make it an icon and a focal point would also make it a congested spot in an area that is designed to be in constant transition.
    Last edited by techskip; 11-01-2007 at 09:00 PM.
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  14. #59

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    Re: Esplanade fountain?

    How about giant letters spelling out P I A Z Z A ?

  15. #60

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    Re: Esplanade fountain?

    I don't think there will be enough room for a fountain that big after the changes are made because DCA's enterance is getting extended to at least the california letters.

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