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Thread: 4/28: Clubbing

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    4/28: Clubbing

    Kevin on what's up for kids at Disney World. He also has an Animal Kingdom Picnic Follow-Up, discuss it all here...

    DIRECT ARTICLE LINK: MiceAge.com - A different look at Disney...
    "Politics is the profession whereby the inevitable is made to seem a great human achievement" - Quentin Crisp

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    Re: 4/28: Clubbing

    Good article Kevin, but the newer attractions have been alientaing adults greatly and completly pander to kids. Not just the CSAs.

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    Re: 4/28: Clubbing

    I think Walts words have always been taken out of context. If he was so discouraged about having to wait for his kids to ride the carousel then why not just get a ticket for himself and get on it with them. i think it was more about the ambience of the place and not about particular attractions. The carnival park also probably just had simple attractions that had no appeal to him or any other adult.

    Disneyland filled that gap with its variety of attractions and its lush gardens where adults could relax while the kiddies rode things like Dumbo.

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    Re: 4/28: Clubbing

    One other quote from Walt was that he enjoyed watching other people have fun. It was fun in itself. I think that happy feeling you had for your children learning and enjoying themselves is akin to that. Now I know it is intensified because they ARE your children, but the principle is the same.

    I also understand that Walt sat on that bench probably for hours with his kids. I think he ever said that a carousel was not fun, but it did have limited appeal to him, and most adults. I think his formula of attractions that maybe appeal more to kids in one area, and maybe more to teens in another, is one of the secrets to Disneyland success. He worked hard at attractions that the whole family would enjoy because he said that he designed attractions not for kids specifically or adults specifically, but for the child within.
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    Re: 4/28: Clubbing

    I haven't read the article, but is this about Sea World's new Polar Expedition Exhibition?
    Not sure if that is kid-friendly.
    "Here You Leave the World of California Today and Enter the World of, um, er, California Today."

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    Re: 4/28: Clubbing

    Not that kind of clubbing. Ouch!
    Kevin Yee
    MiceAge Columnist

    I am the author of several Disney books:
    Jason's Disneyland Almanac - a daily history of Disneyland
    Walt Disney World Hidden History - tributes, homages, and ride remnants at WDW
    Your Day at the Magic Kingdom
    Mouse Trap
    Tokyo Disney Made Easy
    101 Things You Never Knew About Disneyland
    Magic Quizdom (The Disneyland Trivia Book)

    “The press [should be] a watchdog. Not an attack dog. Not a lapdog. A watchdog. Now, a watchdog can't be right all the time. He doesn't bark only when he sees or smells something that's dangerous. A good watchdog barks at things that are suspicious.” – Dan Rather

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    Re: 4/28: Clubbing

    I always took Walt's quote to mean that he didnt like the dirty and seedy aspect of carnivals. The rickity, unsafe rides; the dusty environs; the unsavory "carny" workers; etc.

    Ironically 60 years later, these are same things that people despise about carnival and traveling fairs today. They are things that kids will enjoy because they are innocent children but parents will worry because they are world-weary adults. Hence they can not "enjoy" them even though in essense carrousels and the like are fun for all ages.

    Walt took those fun things and created a safe, clean, and courteous environment.

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    Re: 4/28: Clubbing

    Kevin, the KidCot isn't just for kids! A few years ago, I was at WDW with a few friends. We bought the passport books in Mexico and as we were drinking around the world, we stopped in each country to get stamped (and a welcome note - we also learned some trivia!). It was a lot of fun!! We might have been able to color if we asked... So if parents really want to join in, they can at least buy the passport book and get it stamped and signed.
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    I knew you'd feel the same things...





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    Re: 4/28: Clubbing

    I don't know... the Griffith Park carrousel wasn't dirty or seedy. As to his comment referring to *all* family members riding *all* the rides, I agree with the viewpoint that Walt could have climbed up on the carrousel if he wanted, so what he was yearning for was something more "fun" that the whole family could enjoy... together. I'm just not buying the idea that Disneyland was originally conceived as a place where kids have their rides, adults have theirs, and teens have theirs.

    What was actually *built* (let alone altered over time) differed from the original conception. But I have a hard time seeing the conception as something other than "everyone can ride everything, and have fun doing it."
    Kevin Yee
    MiceAge Columnist

    I am the author of several Disney books:
    Jason's Disneyland Almanac - a daily history of Disneyland
    Walt Disney World Hidden History - tributes, homages, and ride remnants at WDW
    Your Day at the Magic Kingdom
    Mouse Trap
    Tokyo Disney Made Easy
    101 Things You Never Knew About Disneyland
    Magic Quizdom (The Disneyland Trivia Book)

    “The press [should be] a watchdog. Not an attack dog. Not a lapdog. A watchdog. Now, a watchdog can't be right all the time. He doesn't bark only when he sees or smells something that's dangerous. A good watchdog barks at things that are suspicious.” – Dan Rather

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    Re: 4/28: Clubbing

    Great article Kevin,

    I had an annual pass for wdw and visited epcot several times and noticed that the kidcot activities are sort of just for little kids and that if your family is past that age group then there isn't much to do. My nephew visited epcot last summer and did enjoy kidcot, which I think is an attempt to include the whole family as epcot is more of a grown-up park where there isn't much to interest very young children, i.e. there is no fantasyland or toontown there. So in that way, the kidcot stuff is an attempt to make EPCOT more marketable for little kids and I have heard guests say that their young children "aren't old enough for epcot yet."

    As I don't have young children myself, I sort of avoided the kidcot stuff, but it did make me feel excluded somewhat and it detracts some from the ambience of EPCOT as the stations look cheaply put together.

    I think that little children actually enjoy the rides more than the activities, which are just a filler. If you have riden Nemo in epcot then you know that kids really love the ride and even ride it a couple times. That is what epcot needs more of C and D ticket rides, which cost money.

    Disney could add more attractions to EPCOT that are fun for the whole family, even very young children. Such as perhaps a Germany boat ride attraction, which was planned and there is a show building. I would add an east coast alice in wonderland dark ride to the England part of epcot or maybe even a storybook land canal boat ride somewhere in EPCOT. Disney makes the mistake in thinking that the only way to add attractions for 4 to 7 year olds is to have stations where kids can work on small projects. Not magical enough in my opinion. Walt never underestimated his customer and some little kids no doubt would rather be on rides they would enjoy than this if they had a choice.

    Although Walt did add a carousel to Disneyland, it works in ways that probably every other carousel in the world doesn't. Mostly because it is a great carousel compared to old and decaying carousels, it is in Fantasyland i.e. a castle and the ride cues and is the only carousel in the world that I really enjoy riding because of how it looks and its location. Walt knew that kids and adult would ride the carousel in Disneyland together and have a great time because the themeing is great in Fantasyland (especially after the re-imagineering in the 1980's that brought it up to where Walt wanted it.)

    Contrast this with King Triton's carousel in DCA, I don't like it and wouldn't ride it because it is "wrong" somehow, and not as well made with the elevated platform like in Fantasland.

    The teacup ride in Fantasyland is really just based on an old carnival ride, but due to pluses and excellent themeing is more than its roots. Same thing with Dumbo, really just a "carnival ride" but with themeing it is something that presidents and leaders of foreign countries want to ride. That is becaue there is a believability about Fantasyland and a place where it is OK for adults to act like kids and ride these rides. In a carney type theme park the adults don't ride the "kiddie" attractions as they aren't themed, aren't as good in terms of design, and you don't feel it is your place to ride them. The whole believability of Disneyland is that adults can become kids again and ride attractions that aren't thrill rides.

    Not many people in their 20's to 70's would go to a country fair and wait 30 minutes to ride a carousel, but that is what happens in Fantasyland everyday. Walt actually made the carousel work due to a thousand little details that make it fun.

    startedbyamouse.com/graphics/gallery/KingArthurCarousel1280.jpg

    This is a gorgeous carousel, and the surroudings are so beautiful that adults enjoy riding it. Notice the details, the sword in the stone, the nice masonry, the cool shade, the beautifully maintained horses, and it is large so you don't get as dizzy, the beautiful plants and landscape in the immediate area, plus the location is perfect you get to spin around fantasyland and see the castle. Remember Walt traveled to Travolli gardens and wanted to make Disneyland as beatiful as it really is a botanical gardens in its own right. Constrast with below of a carousel in a mall:


    The Carousel is located at Padre Staples Mall in Corpus Christi Texasthecityofcorpuschristi.com/escape/carousel.jpg
    The differences are subtle, but this is why Disneyland is a hit and DCA isn't.

    I'm going to DL in a couple days, and I plan on riding the carousel to see the horse that made into a tribute for Mary Poppins and to generally loitter around the sword in the stone and to perhaps buy a goofy hat and feel like a kid again. Walt's genius was in taking something that was ordinary and turning it into something that felt truly magical for the guests.

    Look at the King Triton's Carousel in DCA:
    laughingplace.com/files/guide/dl/att/00201/A01-01.jpg

    Notice the lack of beautiful architecture around the carousel and how ugly it looks. No plants, no beautiful brick masonry, looks smaller though I maybe wrong, no special details, looks generic. I'd rather see the Disneyland Castle on my carousel then a support beam for a roller coaster. When I saw it I remarked that my 4 year old nephew might like it, but only because he isn't old enough to know what a good ride is. I have yet to ride it. It looks like an expensive reproduction of a rundown carnival carousel. My estimated tally:

    Number of rides on King Arthur's Carousel: 30 times and counting easily. Love it. This carousel is beatiful to just look at it.
    Number of rides on King Triton's Carousel: 0. Will probably never ride it.
    Last edited by chesirecat; 04-28-2009 at 01:03 PM. Reason: hotlinked pictures removed

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    Re: 4/28: Clubbing

    Okay, maybe I'm mixing my quotes. Apparently it was Lillian Disney who said to Walt, "But why do you want to build an amusement park? They're so dirty."

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    Re: 4/28: Clubbing

    Quote Originally Posted by disdad70 View Post
    Okay, maybe I'm mixing my quotes. Apparently it was Lillian Disney who said to Walt, "But why do you want to build an amusement park? They're so dirty."
    I think Walt replied basically saying, "That's the point, mine won't be."

    Go google tivoli gardens, Walt traveled there and noticed how clean it was, and beautiful as well in terms of plants.

    In the 1950s, a time when a lot of people wore hats outdoors and dressed up when they came to Disneyland, Walt's idea for the park was pretty revolutionary. Even Roy didn't understand "why" Walt had to build the park when the studio was finally becoming profitable.

    There is a lot in the "DNA" of Disneyland that was researched and refine meticulously. Walt even had his workers not pour cement paths until he found out where they were walking naturally, and even spied on guests to see how many feet the average guest would walk before throwing something down (30 feet I think) and then planted trash cans every 30 feet. This is why Disneyland was so much more than an amusement park. A similar effort was not put into DCA and this is why it failed.
    Last edited by chesirecat; 04-28-2009 at 02:16 PM.

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    Re: 4/28: Clubbing

    Quote Originally Posted by KevinYee View Post
    I don't know... the Griffith Park carrousel wasn't dirty or seedy. As to his comment referring to *all* family members riding *all* the rides, I agree with the viewpoint that Walt could have climbed up on the carrousel if he wanted, so what he was yearning for was something more "fun" that the whole family could enjoy... together. I'm just not buying the idea that Disneyland was originally conceived as a place where kids have their rides, adults have theirs, and teens have theirs.

    What was actually *built* (let alone altered over time) differed from the original conception. But I have a hard time seeing the conception as something other than "everyone can ride everything, and have fun doing it."
    I think Walt did want to climb up on that carousel, but it was probably a small one just for kids. I am sure there are pictures of Walt riding his carousel in Fantasyland. If Walt built Disneyland for himself, or mostly for himself, then he added a good quality carousel that both parents and kids can enjoy together, and so much more too.

    The plaque says it all "Here you leave today and enter the world of yesterday, tomorrow, and fantasy." Walt basically gave permission to adults to ride little kids rides. Remember in the 1950s people still dressed up to go to Disneyland and also on airplanes, there was a certain amount of restraint, a grown up parent riding a little carousel in a "kiddie park" would look weird, so Walt created basically a playground for both parents and children. Nobody ever says that Peter Pan is just for little kids, you see a whole lot of teenagers, adults with tatoos and everybody riding these things along with kids. I think this is because Fantasyland doesn't talk down to guests, as Walt also knew that his guests would know quality from something built cheap. That's the magic formula, good quality rides in a well themed atmosphere and the "permission" for adults to act like kids again.

    Part of why I wouldn't ride the King Trident's Carousel in DCA is that "over there" I feel like that carousel is mostly for children. I bet if you look at the ridership of the carousel in Fantasyland versus DCA you would find that the whole family rides the Fantasyland Carousel, but the one in DCA get a much younger audience.

    While I feel silly riding that little train ride in Bugsland in DCA, Heimlich's Chew Chew Train, . . . I feel perfectly fine riding every attraction in Fantasyland in DL.

    What was conceived for Disneyland changed a lot. Walt had also lamented that for people traveling to Hollywood and his studios wouldn't it be great if there was something to see. Walt also used people who had great experience in cinematography to create realistic "sets" or themed areas for guests to immerse themselves in different lands. Sure the kernel of an idea about creating something that both parents and kids could enjoy together was there but there were a lot of little kernels of inspiration as it took many years for Walt to be able to build Disneyland so he no doubt went through thousands of little ideas that were discarded.

    The carousel in Disneyland isn't just a stand alone ride, like a carousel in DCA or a mall, the entire mileu of Fantasyland, including the castle and the ques to rides like Mr. Toad, the entire area, is actually part of the ride! The carousel was always situated behind the castle in roughly the same area it was as the castle itself plays a cameo in the carousel ride. Look at all of the pictures of people on the carousel, the castle is often in the background. It is like those rides on top of buildings in Vegas, it is not only the ride, but the surroundings. In this case the surroundings around the Fantasyland carousel are the most expensive ever built. Walt knew this, this is why the carousel has been in roughly the same area.

    The whole kidcot experience is an idea in a corporate sense to add back some of what EPCOT lacked in the eyes of some at wdw. EPCOT was much different than magic kingdom when conceived. I do agree with Kevin that the Kidcot experiences don't work well, there isn't anything for parents to do, which is ironic given the history of Disneyland, which I am sure the creators of these booths didn't consider much. A great E-ticket added to epcot that the whole family could enjoy would add to the family experience at EPCOT more than kidcot and would bring in more guests.

    I think that Buzz Light in Tomorrowland is a great example of how Walt's concept of Disneyland works. Kids that are in prime video game playing age, around 12 or so, love the games and adults like the game too as well as the dark ride aspects, a win-win

    While I may be neutral or slight negative on Kidcot, I really really don't like how the play area in Fantasyland at WDW across from Pooh's is done. It looks neat, in a way, with Pooh's tree and stuff to play on, BUT it is clearly for little kids, and parents must watch and don't have anything to do. I hope that the Seven Dwarfs Mine Car ride goes here as it is sad seeing something that most adults can't participate in at the Magic Kingdom. If you are reminded that you aren't a kid anymore the illusion is broken and it makes the whole area less fun.

    Kevin is right, everybody should be able to enjoy everything.
    Last edited by chesirecat; 04-28-2009 at 03:17 PM.

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    Re: 4/28: Clubbing

    Quote Originally Posted by chesirecat View Post
    There is a lot in the "DNA" of Disneyland that was researched and refine meticulously. Walt even had his workers not pour cement paths until he found out where they were walking naturally, and even spied on guests to see how many feet the average guest would walk before throwing something down (30 feet I think) and then planted trash cans every 30 feet. This is why Disneyland was so much more than an amusement park. A similar effort was not put into DCA and this is why it failed.
    Bingo. Four decades of theme park design, construction and operations knowledge that had been accumulated at DL -- and the long-time employees who accumulated it -- were ignored by the new management who built DCA.
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    Re: 4/28: Clubbing

    Interesting read, Kevin.

    I don't have kids, but I have visited WDW with them. I find the move toward things like Kidcot to be troubling more than anything. Much like the playgrounds at the MK. It seems to me that Disney isn't doing what it did for 40-plus years and that is making attractions, rides and entertainment that can be enjoyed by people from age 8 to 88.

    I can't imagine taking children to WDW and spending time watching them color with a bored CM. You can do that at home for free.

    It all speaks to the getting away from 'Walt's Way' ... instead of attractions like KS, Mansion, Peter Pan, SSE etc ... that can largely be enjoyed by all ages you now have offerings that run the gamut from stroller birgade type stuff (Pooh's Playground, Playhouse Disney, Boneyard etc...) to thrill rides for largely teens and adults (RnRC, MS, EE etc ...) Very few attractions (Soarin would be one, PhilharMagic another) have opened this decade that appeal to all ages.

    As to your picnic update, not surprised at all that you can buy the same items next door with no wait, no planning. That's what I'll likely do if the mood hits me at DAK (although I actually enjoy Pizzafari and Flame Tree a lot).

    Too bad there wasn't more substance happening at WDW to give you plenty to write about.

    You planning on being at TPFKaTD-MGMS for the 20th anniversary Friday?

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