A lot of the regular MC bunch know I usually read the various threads on my lunch break, or when I'm home. If I see a trend from thread to thread sometimes I'll comment on it. This is one of those times. I know a lot of threads have "sprung up" recently in regards to tying a movie into a new or existing attraction. Most cite Pirates as being either proof it works, or proof it doesn't in either respect it is completely objective. What I find humorous is that it wasn't Pirates that started this "tie-in" frenzy... it was Disneyland.
To see the reality of how "tied-in" Disneyland is to it's various movies and characters, one has no further to look then our beloved Fantasyland. With the exception of 4 attractions, Fantasyland would not exsist without Disney movies. Of those 4, only 1 is left intact and still standing more or less in it's original state to this day.
- Motorboats- gone, often used for a variety of functions and now slated to be a smoking pit.
- Skyway- gone, sad really, but alas gone and now a home for stray cats.
- Fantasyland Autopia- gone, well technically not gone but fully absorbed by Tomorrowland. It would depend on the individual as to whether or not it really even fit in to begin with.
- Matterhorn- still here... that's right, an actual original still standing as a reminder that sometimes things do not change, and sometimes they do.
The next obvious question, why point it out? I point this out because Fantasyland is a perfect example of two types of tie-ins, direct and indirect. Direct tie-ins like Pan, Snow White, Pinocchio, Toad and Alice take you right into the pages of the story. Indirect ones like Casey, Dumbo, King Arthur, and Teacups all just "borrow" the respective movie to provide a convenient cover for a very basic ride system. The Storybook is a unique addition that falls somewhere between the two, as it highlights the various stories at times and places you "right there" at other times.
The amazing thing is that Fantasyland works, and has worked with minimal changes over the last 50 years. It makes me wonder if Fantasyland would be received in the same way if it had been built in the modern day. Because when you really boil it down, it is one giant movie tie-in. And that is exactly the way Walt wanted it. He wanted at least one spot where you could walk right into a Disney movie, and feel like you were a part of it.
So for me the whole question of should it be done, should it not be done, is irrevelant. My hope, is that Disney provides a balance between those attractions with direct tie-ins, and those with indirect ones. I love originality, but I also like the thought of being in a Disney park, with Disney characters. These days finding actual characters aside from just the popular ones is an honest challenge. Disney has a vast vault of characters... and sadly most go unused.
I also believe in originality, finding new and exciting ways to entertain the masses if you will. Technology is great, but at the end of the day I like having something real in front of me. I value the pictures of things I've seen, not projection screens I played on.