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  1. #46

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    Re: Have you guys been to any park that wasnt owned by Disney?

    In addition to the DLR and WDW, I've been to:

    Tokyo Disneyland & DisneySea, Universal Studios on both coasts & Islands of Adventure, Knotts (but not since 1996), & SeaWorld Orlando.

    SeaWorld was not busy, but it felt busy. It was designed such that everyone was heading to the same show at the same time. You don't see this so much at Disney. They have crowd control down to a science, and do a better job of guest flow than other parks.

    DCA as we know was designed to give guests a reason to avoid Knotts & Universal, but it does still have that certain Disney magic lacking in other parks.

    Does it "suck" compared to Disney's high standards? Absolutely. Is it still a fun park? Definately.
    My Micechat cruise trip report, Part 1:http://micechat.com/14795-disney-wonder/

  2. #47

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    Re: Have you guys been to any park that wasnt owned by Disney?

    I have been to a lot of parks in my life, and perhaps that is why I dislike DCA as much as I do. I have probably been to 50-60 parks, and DCA ranks next to the very bottom of parks that I have had fun in. Having said that, I don't come on here and continually bash it because there is no point in that. Disney obviously realizes it isn't the best park, or they wouldn't be investing so much money into 'fixing' it.

    Here's a quick rundown of why I don't like it much compared to just about any other park:

    Re-rideable rides - The park simply doesn't have much that is rideable over and over. Unlike Disneyland next door, which has a number of rides that you would have to ride over and over to get the full experience of, almost everything in DCA is straightforward, I rode it and I don't feel like I have to see it again.
    Cheaper versions of rides - I adore the Tower of Terror in Flordia, and have said it is probably one of the best rides ever created. But, by eliminating the forward dark-ride-ish section, I wasn't at all surprised by the ride or what it did. I feel the same way about just about everything else, from Screamin' to the Maliboomer and so on. It's all okay, but if I want a really cool roller coaster, I'd head to Magic Mountain and ride something there.
    Lack of rides - When you have the two above things and combine that with a park with very few rides in it to begin with, it means that you can "do" the whole park very quickly and feel done with it. My wife and I did the whole park in two hours and really felt done.
    No focused target - DCA doesn't try to focus in and capture any one segment of the market, which is what I think a successful park needs to do -- unless it is Disneyland, in which case it tries to focus in and capture all segments of the market. But seriously, if you are looking for thrills, you've got Magic Mountain. If you're looking for movie type stuff and big effects, you've got Universal. If you're looking for family, you've got Disneyland. So what is the point of DCA? It doesn't work on any of those levels.
    Cost - DCA costs the same as Disneyland, and Disneyland obviously has a ton more and is right next door.

    When you combine all of those together, DCA is just a disappointing park overall. My wife, who hates thrill rides and has only been dragged to a few parks with me, mostly Six Flags ones, said that DCA was the worst park she had ever been to and she never wanted to go again. In fact, for New Years Eve when we had the choice between DCA for a reasonable price and Disneyland for the 2 day hopper price, DCA literally was never even a thought.

    I think the problems with DCA really stem from MGM Studios -- when Disney built that park, they found out they didn't need enough for people to do all day, they would still come. I went to that park right after it opened. It was basically wait for three hours to do the super long backlot tour, and the Great Movie Ride, and... um... they were building some stuff for the future. But it was okay because the experience was so different than anything else that was offered in the Orlando area at the time that it made it worth it, and I remember walking away with a really good feeling about the park. I think that Disney got the idea with that park though that they could slap their name on a much smaller project and people would come out in hordes. They did it with every park after that point that they have constructed, including DCA, Animal Kingdom and the Studios Park in Europe (which, by the way, *easily* takes the cake as worst park I ever visited). The difference though with all of these parks is that because they weren't as totally different as MGM was, people don't like them as much and their attendance suffers.

    DCA was built because the thinking was that with two parks, people would stay in Disney hotels to be sure to experience both of them, just like MGM added length to the stay for people at the WDW property. But without DCA yet having that 'it' factor, there is no reason for that to happen.

    The final thing that Disney will always have to struggle with in DCA is that it is really Disneyland Part II. Unlike Epcot, Studios and Animal Kingdom which all have extremely varied park-wide themes, the themes of DCA are very similar in nature to the themes found next door at Disneyland. So instead of creating a park that competed with others, Disney created a park that competed directly against themselves.

    And that's my relatively long three cents on the whole matter. I don't chime in too often here, and I don't bash DCA much aloud, but I also do understand where it comes from.

  3. #48

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    Re: Have you guys been to any park that wasnt owned by Disney?

    Oh, and one last random thought:

    The complaint about Disney putting in too many movie themed rides into their parks is just people looking at what Disney himself did with rose colored glasses. Remember:

    Adventureland was themed after the True Life Adventure series.
    The Matterhorn was themed to Third Man on the Mountain.
    Frontierland was themed to be the land of Davy Crocket.
    Tomorrowland was themed to "Corporate Sponsorship-Land," where practically every attraction was put on by some corporation to sell something.
    Fantasyland was obviously based on the animated movies.

    In fact, I think that if we took off the rose colored glasses and really looked at the themes of a lot of the rides that went in when Disney was around, 90% or more of them were built either because it was a movie tie-in, a company was paying for it to give people a message from that company or a little bit of both.

  4. #49

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    Re: Have you guys been to any park that wasnt owned by Disney?

    Adventureland was themed after the True Life Adventure series.
    The Matterhorn was themed to Third Man on the Mountain.
    Frontierland was themed to be the land of Davy Crocket.
    Tomorrowland was themed to "Corporate Sponsorship-Land," where practically every attraction was put on by some corporation to sell something.
    And yet none of these rely on you having seen the franchises they're based on, nor do they feel like advertisements for those franchises...

    Fantasyland was obviously based on the animated movies.
    I don't hear anyone protesting movie rides in Fantasyland.

    But we're getting way

    Anyone else find it curious that this thread has seemingly been abandoned by its creator? EDIT: On second thought, I suppose ChurroMan did say the point was to tell off every MCer and not listen to any sort of discussion about it, so maybe I shouldn't be surprised.


  5. #50

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    Re: Have you guys been to any park that wasnt owned by Disney?

    Quote Originally Posted by Datameister View Post
    And yet none of these rely on you having seen the franchises they're based on, nor do they feel like advertisements for those franchises...

    I don't hear anyone protesting movie rides in Fantasyland.

    But we're getting way
    Actually, the reason that I tossed this in was because a few people had mentioned the problem the park now faces is that it will have all movie themed rides. When it opened, it probably had the least movie / film tie ins of any park. Offhand, I can think of Muppets, the Animation building, Bugs Life show,. There was almost no tie in to films or anything "Disney" about most of it, which in my opinion is part of the reason that it has had such a rough time finding an audience.

    Almost everything added since that point has been to try to link the park more closely with the things that people recognize the most about Disney -- it's properties.

    So I don't think it's that far off topic. As for being advertisements for those movies, I think it's all in the eye of the beholder. How we will look at these things in 10 years from now will be very interesting.... but that is getting off topic, so I'll return things back to the DCA thread

  6. #51

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    Re: Have you guys been to any park that wasnt owned by Disney?

    I have also been to quite a few non-disney parks.

    SeaWorld (San Diego)
    Knott's Berry Farm
    Universal Studios Hollywood
    Busch Gardens (Europe)
    Six Flags Discovery Kingdom
    Paramount's Great America (Santa Clara)


    Future:
    January 2009
    Tokyo Disneyland
    Tokyo Disneysea

    I love all the park that i have been to because each park have their own rides, themes, and many more aspects. Since i have never been to DCA and when i go to DCA for the first time, i am sure i will love it because it has its own uniqueness

  7. #52

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    Re: Have you guys been to any park that wasnt owned by Disney?

    As for being advertisements for those movies, I think it's all in the eye of the beholder.
    True...but how many people today or in Walt's time would ride the Jungle Cruise and then say, "Ugh...we get it already. We know it's the African Queen ride, okay?"

    There was almost no tie in to films or anything "Disney" about most of it, which in my opinion is part of the reason that it has had such a rough time finding an audience.
    I would argue that a Disney park can do very well without a huge proliferation of Disney franchises. Disneyland has historically maintained a rather high ratio of original attractions to franchise-based ones, and its success stems from its devotion to quality and its healthy mix of original and non-original attractions, I think. Legal issues aside, Six Flags could create a new amusement park in which each roller coaster is "themed" to a Disney character--Willie's Extreme Steamboats, Minnie's Tilt-a-whirl, Pinocchio's Wooden Coaster, etc. I don't think such a park would do anywhere near as well as Disneyland ever has or will because it's the quality that brings people in, not the franchises alone.



    Pinocchio's Wooden Coaster...man. Is that where you lie on your back, and it just gets longer and longer every time you ride?


  8. #53

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    Re: Have you guys been to any park that wasnt owned by Disney?

    Quote Originally Posted by Datameister View Post
    Anyone else find it curious that this thread has seemingly been abandoned by its creator? EDIT: On second thought, I suppose ChurroMan did say the point was to tell off every MCer and not listen to any sort of discussion about it, so maybe I shouldn't be surprised.
    It was a typical "MiceChatters complain too much so they suck", bomb the OP wanted to drop. Some people want to take their ball and go home, other leave landmines as they depart. Chat boards are normally about discussion so this thread was irrelevant from the start.

  9. #54

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    Re: Have you guys been to any park that wasnt owned by Disney?

    Quote Originally Posted by aashee
    It was a typical "MiceChatters complain too much so they suck", bomb the OP wanted to drop. Some people want to take their ball and go home, other leave landmines as they depart. Chat boards are normally about discussion so this thread was irrelevant from the start.
    True, that.


  10. #55

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    Re: Have you guys been to any park that wasnt owned by Disney?

    Quote Originally Posted by Datameister View Post
    True...but how many people today or in Walt's time would ride the Jungle Cruise and then say, "Ugh...we get it already. We know it's the African Queen ride, okay?"
    Yes, but at the same time there are certain themed rides that have been added that you don't need to know much of anything about the character to 'get it'. Indy is probably the best recent addition -- sure, the Indiana Jones character is in there, but if you had no idea who he is, the ride would still stand up well and tell a complete story -- like the Jungle Cruise, or the Matterhorn, or a lot of the other rides where we forgot about their theme.

    The difference is that the themes that Disney is picking for rides now are generally more 'timeless' so you don't forget their themes over time, and the paying customers demand to see the characters to fully understand the experience. Snow White's redo is a perfect example of this.

    Anyway, back more on topic:

    I would argue that a Disney park can do very well without a huge proliferation of Disney franchises. Disneyland has historically maintained a rather high ratio of original attractions to franchise-based ones, and its success stems from its devotion to quality and its healthy mix of original and non-original attractions, I think. Legal issues aside, Six Flags could create a new amusement park in which each roller coaster is "themed" to a Disney character--Willie's Extreme Steamboats, Minnie's Tilt-a-whirl, Pinocchio's Wooden Coaster, etc. I don't think such a park would do anywhere near as well as Disneyland ever has or will because it's the quality that brings people in, not the franchises alone.
    It isn't the franchises alone because Six Flags has franchises from Warner Bros that are just about as solid as Disney's. It is a matter of how Disney uses those franchises that makes the difference. I can still remember the last Looney Tunes cartoons on network TV (Tiny Toons), but I can't remember a new Mickey Mouse cartoon series being on network TV in my lifetime. And with Warner making hits like Batman, Superman and introducing new properties on a regular basis where Disney hasn't had any really big franchises that weren't cartoons until recently, Six Flags *is* poised to have a better set of linked attractions.

    And you're right about the quality thing. Disney can invest a lot more into their new rides and shows to greatly increase their quality when they want to. But quality isn't what Disney had at DCA. In fact, I think that Mulholland Madness and the Dark Knight Coaster that some of the Six Flags parks installed this year are the same ride underneath it all. But, even though they aren't perfect, from everything that I have seen of the Six Flags rides, they greatly trump Mulholland in the way of quality.

    So... franchise theming isn't everything, but when Disney leverages it so hard next door and it is almost non-existent on the rides at DCA, it is just another gap that the customer notices from one park to the next. And, when you are next door to one of the best if not the best parks in the country / world (it is my favorite park), everything becomes magnified. Put DCA next to Knotts, and I think that it would be easier to have some good things to say about it. Or next to Universal Studios, where it would be a completely different sort of experience. But next door to Disneyland? Even with the changes that are coming in the future, DCA has an uphill battle to overcome in truly making it stand out on its own.

    Think about this -- I know some people that go to WDW for Epcot, or for the Studios. How can Disney make DCA stand out so it appeals to people enough to make them decide if it is better to do Disneyland or DCA? That's the exact problem that imagineers will struggle with in the future with that park.

  11. #56

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    Re: Have you guys been to any park that wasnt owned by Disney?

    Took a family trip to Magi... I mean Wally World once.


  12. #57

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    Re: Have you guys been to any park that wasnt owned by Disney?

    Yes, but at the same time there are certain themed rides that have been added that you don't need to know much of anything about the character to 'get it'. Indy is probably the best recent addition -- sure, the Indiana Jones character is in there, but if you had no idea who he is, the ride would still stand up well and tell a complete story -- like the Jungle Cruise, or the Matterhorn, or a lot of the other rides where we forgot about their theme.
    Very, very true. Indy is and always will be the quintessential movie attraction. I fail to see how it could POSSIBLY be any better. It's done perfectly. When I first rode it, I had only seen a few minutes of Raiders of the Lost Ark, but I sure as heck "got" the ride. After I saw the films--which I saw because I wanted to, not because the attraction sold them to me--I appreciated the attraction all the more. Trust me, you will not find a more staunch advocate of Indy-style movie-based attractions than myself!

    Okay, now that we've more or less agreed, I think you're right that we should get back on topic. Although I haven't any more to say regarding the vitriol in the OP, so I suppose I'll bid this thread adieu for a little while unless I think of something else to say...


  13. #58

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    Re: Have you guys been to any park that wasnt owned by Disney?

    Quote Originally Posted by Datameister View Post
    Very, very true. Indy is and always will be the quintessential movie attraction. I fail to see how it could POSSIBLY be any better. It's done perfectly. When I first rode it, I had only seen a few minutes of Raiders of the Lost Ark, but I sure as heck "got" the ride. After I saw the films--which I saw because I wanted to, not because the attraction sold them to me--I appreciated the attraction all the more. Trust me, you will not find a more staunch advocate of Indy-style movie-based attractions than myself!
    The only one who I can think of might be myself, because I absolutely adore that ride.

    Now having said that, while they aren't as perfect of examples, I feel that the same can definitely be said for Buzz Lightyear's Astro Blasters, which is often times an example of a ride done wrong by Disney lately. Without seeing the movies, you know that some guy named Buzz Lightyear wants to have you help destroy a bad guy. And who cares about the fact that it is a movie in Tomorrowland, is it really worse than the Aluminum Hall of Fame?

    Okay, now that we've more or less agreed, I think you're right that we should get back on topic. Although I haven't any more to say regarding the vitriol in the OP, so I suppose I'll bid this thread adieu for a little while unless I think of something else to say...
    Heh, yeah rare that happens, I guess...

    The only other thing that I can think of to steer this back on topic is this -- if you picked up DCA and you put it into another market -- say the Midwest or Texas or New York or something -- it would fare a lot better, and I would probably like it a lot more than I do.

    I think the less parks someone has been to, the more they would actually like DCA. If I've only been to Disneyland and DCA, I get the idea that every park should have a couple rides for everyone, and some shows, and a parade, and so on. But looking at the parks that I've been to in categories:

    As a thrillseeker, I would seek out King's Island, or many of the Six Flags parks.

    Something more intimate and special feeling? I immediately think of Holiday World, where the first time I was there one of the owners of the park strapped me into a roller coaster and asked me how I liked it when I got off. How many times has anyone seen Iger or Eisner working at a ride for a day?

    Nostalgia? Coney Island or the Santa Cruz Boardwalk fit that bill.

    Incredible scenery that happens to have other stuff around? Busch Gardens Williamsburg or Alton Towers.

    Looking for a park with huge and incredible effect driven rides? Universal Studios (either one) is the best place for me.

    If you asked me about what park was my favorite for some of the above topics, you'd get the parks I named above as my answers to those type of favorite parks. DCA doesn't come near the top in any one of those because while it isn't bad, it excels in nothing. Disneyland is my favorite park that I've been to because while I don't think it is the best in any one of those categories, it ranks very highly in *all* of them.

  14. #59

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    Re: Have you guys been to any park that wasnt owned by Disney?

    G-Dan-
    I agree completely with nearly everything you've said with the exception of one thing, I don't think DCA could even survive as a stand alone park. Like you say, it doesn't offer more than virtually any of the major theme parks out there in any single area. If it were not for DL, it would be nearly empty.

    In some ways, it never needed to be a great park to accomplish what Dis wanted to accomplish, which was become a resort cheaply. It has never been a legitimate full day experience, but being next to DL, which you could argue is a 1-1/2 to 2 day park, now you have a legitimate multi-day experience and more reasons for people to stay on property longer. They also added significant value to annual passes, which now offer far more then any of the competition in the area.

    Obviously, DCA is not a great park, but the success of the DLR as a whole will allow it to become one eventually. It will take time, but it seems to me that the audience for more Disney in Anaheim is there, so DCA will keep getting tweeked until they get it right.
    The Mickey audience is not made up of people; it has no racial, national, political, religious or social differences or affiliations; the Mickey audience is made up of parts of people, of that deathless, precious, ageless, absolutely primitive remnant of something in every world-wracked human being which makes us play with children’s toys and laugh without self-consciousness at silly things, and sing in bathtubs, and dream and believe that our babies are uniquely beautiful. You know…the Mickey in us.
    -Walt Disney

  15. #60

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    Re: Have you guys been to any park that wasnt owned by Disney?

    These are the parks that I have been too over the years.
    Although it wasn't Disney, I loved Marriott's Great America, Then the city/ county ran it, then Paramount took over. Paramount gave it a good run.
    Personally loved the park better when Marriott's owned it, they tried very hard to be like Disney up until Marriott sold it off.
    Frontier Village - in San Jose, not the most detail themed park, but still fun before it closed.
    Knott's in the 70's. Today's version will never have the atmosphere and feel.


    DCA, needs more and I look forward to the bigger changes.
    1st Amendment-Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

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