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  1. #1

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    Red Face Would you ride this disaster?

    So.. I was thinking.. what would an article about a "classic" attraction be like if it opened in today's glut of insider info, speculation, and discussion? So, I wrote up this little article. Would you want to go and ride this disaster? It's all in the spin.. I think Disney did it right "back in the day".



    From the stories I've been hearing, the "Haunted Mansion" continues to look to be in trouble. WDI designed the building and it has been sitting there unused for 3 years! They can't even decide on if they want it look clean or run down. If they can't even decide on something as basic as that, can you imagine the confusion inside this attraction?

    Initially, my sources tell me, the Haunted Mansion was supposed to be a walk through where you could explore different themed rooms on your own, but now, in order to maximize throughput (people per hour), they've decided to utilize a system of "cars on belts" (using what's being called an omnimover system and the carriages on the Haunted Mansion are being called "Doombuggies") to move you through the mansion. Nice idea, keep us under control and on your schedule.

    From what I've heard about testing of the "omnimover" system, they can't even get that system worked out. Apparently it's very jerky and they have to shut the whole thing down whenever someone in a wheelchair or has difficultly getting into "Doombuggies" wants to ride the attraction. When the attraction stops (101s), they'll just play an audio snippet recorded by one of the Imagineers, X. Atencio, who designed the the attraction. They won't even spend the money to bring in a professional announcer! Folks, this is just piling up to be a disaster when, or if, it ever opens! I'm even told X recorded several other sounds that will be used in the attraction because "it's good enough".

    One of the rooms of the mansion the folks at WDI was excited about was what's being called "The Ball Room" where a fleet of ghostly dancers appear to be dancing around in the ballroom. But, rather than using the advances in the audioanimatronics being developed for the Pirates of the Caribbean attraction for these ghostly dancers, they basically are using the same simple "still figures on a spin table" technology used to make the natives "dance" on the Jungle Cruise. Good to see they're advancing technology! From what I'm being told, it's somewhat convincing, but not nearly as good as it could be if they had the time and money to do it right. Sounds like this is one of those, ride it two or three times attractions to me. Doesn't sound like this one is high on the re-rideable list.

    There are also conflicting stories about the backstory for this attraction. There are features in there that are rumored to be part of one side's of WDI's version of a backstory. But there are other designers feuding with that team and putting in their own backstory, causing the whole thing to be a horrible mess of story telling. One WDI insider told me,

    "Some of the suits in TDA are so convinced this attraction will be a flop, they're going to hire cast members to dress up in costumes and stand in the attraction to try to bring some level of scariness to the attraction. This would be the first attraction that will rely on real humans to be integral to the story telling in the attraction, which shows the total failure and mess this attraction is turning out to be."

    One insider at TDA emailed me this,

    "Here at TDA, we're looking forward to gutting the Haunted Mansion and using the space inside for offices, workshops and warehouse space. There are plans on the board to convert the mansion building into a giant store, a west-side version of the Emporium. Those plans show an opening date for the store to be around 2010. Tell your readers to ride the Haunted Mansion shortly after it opens because it won't be around for very long."

    So, pay attention to when this attraction opens and get there to ride it as soon as you can, because it sounds like it won't be around for very long. Sounds to me it's not only the buggies that are doomed on this disaster. What do you think?

  2. #2

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    Re: Would you ride this disaster?

    Haha, excellent satire. It's a great reality check, thanks for taking the time to write it!

  3. #3

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    Re: Would you ride this disaster?

    Loved it. And the point is well made as well.

    The information age comes with many benefits as well as many negative side-effects. Sometimes just having mystery about something makes it better than it would have otherwise been.

    Our revels now are ended. These our actors, As I foretold you, were all spirits and Are melted into air, into thin air: And, like the baseless fabric of this vision, The cloud-capp'd towers, the gorgeous palaces, The solemn temples, the great globe itself, Yea, all which it inherit, shall dissolve And, like this insubstantial pageant faded, Leave not a rack behind. We are such stuff As dreams are made on, and our little life Is rounded with a sleep. mycroft16 on Twitter

  4. #4

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    Re: Would you ride this disaster?

    Very clever. Kudos for a well written article.

    However, it would be easier to read about this "disaster" and remain
    hopeful considering Pirates of the Carribean was built only shortly before. Reading about the "disaster" that Small World is to become right after riding Finding Nemo: Submarine Voyage leaves me with little faith at all.

  5. #5

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    Re: Would you ride this disaster?

    Very intelligent and very thought provoking. My one question is what was the first ride to come up that Walt had NO say in whatsoever since he had passed away? Would it still be considered satirical or history?
    Best interview answer: My biggest weakness is my honesty...I can never remember my lies!

  6. #6

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    Re: Would you ride this disaster?

    How true! With all of the chatter over new rides nowadays something with the problems like the haunted mansion would have had a really bad rap before it even opened. With many people dismissing it completely before ever giving it a chance.

  7. #7

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    Re: Would you ride this disaster?

    Haha, a fun read thanks for sharing. Very interesting...

    "I'm not funny. What I am is brave." - Lucille Ball


  8. #8

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    Re: Would you ride this disaster?

    That was a great read. Fabulous first post. Welcome to Micechat! Now, I'm assuming you're probably a big HM fan--as you should be --but it's fascinating how, as you say, the right spin can change a lot of perception. Don't get me wrong...I think Disney has a lot to work on in terms of achieving the quality it used to, but I also think a lot of the online community has gone too far in its jumping-the-gun, insanely serious, disrespectful criticisms, and to that end, I appreciate you taking the time to inject a little voice of wisdom into all this. We should certainly approach Disney's work with a critical eye if that suits us--as it suited Walt!--but moderation and simply being reasonable are...nice things.


  9. #9

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    Re: Would you ride this disaster?

    Excellent perspective, and, perhaps the best first post ever!

    Welcome to our little family!

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    "Not Carnegie, Vanderbilt, and Astor together could have
    raised money enough to buy a quarter share in my little dog."

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  10. #10

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    Re: Would you ride this disaster?

    Awesome first post and I know I love this disaster of doom.

    Welcome to Mice Chat. Much like Haunted Mansion there is no way out now...
    "Why do you wear that stupid bunny suit?"-Donnie.... "Why are you wearing that stupid man suit?"-Frank the Bunny.....

  11. #11

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    Re: Would you ride this disaster?

    Welcome to MiceChat!

    excellent post! made me think... everyone on MC should have to read this

  12. #12

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    Re: Would you ride this disaster?

    Superb satire! I love it.

  13. #13

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    Re: Would you ride this disaster?

    Best first post ever!

  14. #14

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    Re: Would you ride this disaster?

    I would still ride that... Why? Because it has ghosts and potentially people popping out to scare me... You've got me sold.

    Even back then, despite all of the problems WDI might have faced with the attraction, they still had solid gold on their hands with the concept of a "haunted" attraction, despite creative differences in approach and technological woes.

    But you do do a good job of pointing out how spin works, especially here in the Disney fan community. Back then we had a far better spin doctor though... Walt Disney. He could outdo any other spin that might have come his way. We saw it time and time again. Keep up the great work though. Have you heard about that God-awful Tiki restaurant they want to do?


  15. #15

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    Re: Would you ride this disaster?

    First off.. I'd like to thank everyone who has enjoyed reading this. I was a bit afraid people would take it wrong. Glad satire hasn't lost its place in the world of humor. But, blush blush over these "best first post" comments. Ah shucks, twerent nuttin.

    Aura - Oh my gosh, yes! Can you believe a restaurant filled with singing birds and flowers!?!?!

    But, isn't it interesting how the spin doctors are handling the TSMM and "small world with Mickey" situations? I know Marty is considered a "god" and a voice from the "old school" but I really do think he has mastered executive corporate speak, nullifying his position of "I used to work with Walt, so I think I can speak from experience on what he'd think." But to trot him out in some corporate speak memo format about "small world" and then name drop Tony et al names somehow thinking the community would go, "OOOHHHHH, well then nevermind."

    I like riding it's a small world, call me a silly freak. But one thing I enjoy about it is the historical aspect of it as much as the atmosphere you become absorbed into. So much to see. I understand their position, but would it really hurt them to consider ours? Do they realllllllly think that by adding stylized characters to the attraction people will go, "Oh, I must ride this. And little Bobby never liked Ovaltene or it's a small world before, but gosh golly, now that he knows this is a Disney attracition, I just can't get him out of line for it. And he keeps chanting 'move Ovaltene please!' It's amazing!" I know I may live in Fantasyland, but come on... And has the ridership of iasw dropped to levels that they need a marketing ploy to drum up some business for this classic?

    rant box off... sorry. I guess next time I should have some coffee before I get online.... I'll save the story for how I almost caused an international incident while riding iasw for a later time.

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