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  1. #1

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    4/20: Compendium

    Catching up on Disney World, discuss it all here...

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

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    Re: 4/20: Compendium

    Kevin, those monitors at Star Tours have been turned off for as long as I can remember at Disneyland. I'm willing to bet they haven't been turned on at WDW either. I've been a very regular visitor to Disneyland since 1995, and it's been at least since then. When I moved to Florida, I noticed that the screens were turned off here too, and I figured they probably thought 5 was too many when they first started the ride.

    The real decline by degrees at Star Tours at WDW is the sound isn't in sync. If you pay attention on the ride, the sound on the movie is about a half second behind the effects. I've even let cast members know about that one, but apparently it's by design. It drives me nuts every time I'm on the ride.

  3. #3

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    Re: 4/20: Compendium

    So Kevin, were the photos from the water park tubes yours? Were those your first "waterproof camera" samples. If so, they're pretty good. Looking forward to seeing more from the water parks. I have seen so little of them I often forget they are part of the WDW resort. Thanks for the reminder. Nice article, and I agree that the Star Tours stickers are indeed tacky. Bad show.

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    Re: 4/20: Compendium

    Those were indeed my photos, and what you see represented the first half hour of using the new camera... still fiddling with settings. The glowing-ice-cave in the Blizzard Beach lazy river didn't come out in focus, so I have a lot to learn with that camera. I'll eventually take it on the Summit Plummit and share the photos... sure to be fun
    Kevin Yee
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    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: 4/20: Compendium

    The Star Tours monitors have always been that way at both Disneyland and WDW. In fact, they ones with the logo are not monitors at all, but speakers. If you look closely they have no glass and are perforated. Disneyland is the same way but doesn't have the logos on theirs; they are just blank.

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    Re: 4/20: Compendium

    ^ That will teach me to rely on memory rather than old photos... maybe I'm getting old. I could have sworn I had seen all monitors in use at one time.

    Of course, this doesn't address the fact that it LOOKS like monitors taped over with signs.
    Last edited by KevinYee; 04-20-2010 at 06:43 AM.
    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: 4/20: Compendium

    "Every other" monitor position has always been speakers at both parks. If you had taken the time to look closely at them you would have seen the perforated grills and the speakers behind them.

    Fastpass still rules, by the way.

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    Re: 4/20: Compendium

    Quote Originally Posted by Mickey_Mouse View Post
    The real decline by degrees at Star Tours at WDW is the sound isn't in sync. If you pay attention on the ride, the sound on the movie is about a half second behind the effects.
    I have to disagree with this. I was on WDW's ST just last week, and the sync was excellent. What I always watch for is the sync with the little video screen with the main screen. You can really see it as they go to warp. Many times it's way out of sync - the blue hyperspace effect goes off in the little screen before going off in the main screen. This time they were right on the money.

  9. #9

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    Re: 4/20: Compendium

    The last time I checked the economy in the United States wasn't doing so great. I don't know why people seem to think Disney is exempt from this. I can understand the mistake you made about the monitors, but the fact that you seemed to mark down the Star Tours experience because Disney could have been trying to save electricity seems silly. Saving money is something that everyone in the country is trying to do, and the idea of "cutting corners" is something that we all have to deal with these days.
    Marquis d'Bod of the RCMC... always and forever



  10. #10

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    Re: 4/20: Compendium

    Interesting article as usual Kevin. I never looked closely at the "monitors" and always thought that they were set to display a Star Tours logo, and maybe once I noticed a sign. Yeah, the appearance of being a monitor with a taped on sign isn't great, but it is good in that the speakers ARE hidden from view. Think about how bad ST would look with big black speakers hanging from metal poles in the "boarding area", sort of destroys the illusion of entering a spaceship. I don't think that they ever utilized those spaces for monitors as I always remember a ST logo or something, they have always needed speakers for the ride intro, and maybe they added logos later as it looked bad to have a blank looking monitor. Having each of those "speakers" turned into monitors would be too many talking heads, IMHO, and the real monitors are well spaced.

    There have been a lot of articles about the construction in DCA and one thing I hate is that there are massive speakers sort of hanging from the street lamps painted in a hideous green. Disneyland has the same thing, but they are more discrete and some speakers are "disguised" as rocks. The new speakers in small world loading area are a dark green pole type speaker in the outdoor loading area topiary garden at SW in DLR, not as obvious, but not completely hidden either. An article about the hidden or not so hidden speakers of the Disney parks would be cool, I always notice them and how they are disguised when I go to the parks.

    Same pole type of speaker for the new "Paradise Park", i.e. little green pole type speakers in addition to massive speakers hanging from lamp posts. I wish they would have put them in fake rocks or hidden them better as it detracts from the magic in my opinion. Splash mountain uses a ton of speakers, but they are really well hidden.

    As Star Tours 2.0 will eventually be coming out, I wonder how big of a problem this is as likely the whole ride will get an upgrade, i.e. big screen HD screens with a new intro no doubt. For something built decades ago, it is cool that ST still looks futuristic/fantastical. Also, I wouldn't classify it as a declining by degrees as it was always that way, maybe you could say that it is more poorly designed? Very interesting observation though!

    BTW, if you think the Star Tours boarding area is bad, the former HISTA (now Captain EO) area in Disneyland sported flat screen monitors with readily visible exposed wiring in the back. Not very futuristic or well designed when compared to even ST! Also, there are some awesome disguised speakers (I think they are speakers and not electrical transformers) very near the hub in Disneyland which are made to look like fake tree trunks! Pretty cool.
    Last edited by chesirecat; 04-20-2010 at 11:51 AM.

  11. #11

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    THANK YOU for the update, Kevin!

    I loved the quote from Fierce Creatures:


    "Reader Donald saw last week’s update about Schlitz, which prompted a memory from the movie Fierce Creatures. In Donald’s words, "It's about a small, quality run zoo that is taken over by a big corporation. The big corporation makes changes and dumbs the place down, cuts quality, all with the idea of making more money. Sound familiar?" During the movie, one of the characters makes the following speech:

    "I think the whole Octopus philosophy is poison. The only aim of any and every McCain business is to downsize and halve the quality, to make enough money to acquire another business to downsize and halve the quality, to make enough money to acquire *another* business to downsize, etc., etc., without ever running a single one of them really well. And if anyone ever raises the question of quality, they're immediately attacked as an elitist, because at Octopus it's considered morally offensive to talk about anything but money. All so that Mr. Rod McCain can feel a little more powerful every day. That's why, instead of running this *wonderful* zoo - properly - we've got to spoil it in order to finance his next *mindless* acquisition."
    Last edited by jcruise86; 04-20-2010 at 11:03 AM.

  12. #12

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    Re: 4/20: Compendium

    Quote Originally Posted by KevinYee View Post
    ^ That will teach me to rely on memory rather than old photos... maybe I'm getting old. I could have sworn I had seen all monitors in use at one time.

    Of course, this doesn't address the fact that it LOOKS like monitors taped over with signs.
    Ahhhhh Kevin, you never disappoint. It seems to me that you are now searching for things to pick on Disney for. First the Tron-o-rail, now Star Tours queues. Dude, Star Tours is 20 years old! I'm guessing the monitors are about the same, so they probably suck some good amps through the antiquated circuitry, so why, even if you were correct with Disney turning them off, would this be a problem to you? I know you are focussing more on the stickers looking tacky, but why would Disney want to sink money into it? Disney has already said they are going to revamp the Star Tours rides next year, so hopefully the ride queue entertainment will as well. A better gripe is how Tomorrowland is about as 'tomorrow' as the eighties....which I recall is where the land is supposed to be time-wise. Did any of that make any sense?

    I love you all.
    Last edited by jaxbistro; 04-20-2010 at 03:01 PM.

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    Re: 4/20: Compendium

    I think Kevin is spot-on correct for criticizing the the Star Tours monitors/speakers. They may be as designed, but what they LOOK like are dead monitors. Maybe it's a design that just didn't work quite as well on paper. Hey, it happens. But that doesn't mean it's okay.

    My favorite pic was of the pitiful little toy monorail where the Wooden Hummer used to be. Too funny.
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    Re: 4/20: Compendium

    Quote Originally Posted by Hazelrah View Post
    I think Kevin is spot-on correct for criticizing the the Star Tours monitors/speakers. They may be as designed, but what they LOOK like are dead monitors. Maybe it's a design that just didn't work quite as well on paper. Hey, it happens. But that doesn't mean it's okay.

    My favorite pic was of the pitiful little toy monorail where the Wooden Hummer used to be. Too funny.
    I understand his point, but why criticize something that is a) 20 years old, and back in the late 80's that was cutting edge technology, and b) something that is scheduled to be updated by the end of this year?

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    Re: 4/20: Compendium

    I think Kevin was right the first time. They were monitors originally. I remember all 5 slots playing the video originally, and probably have a photograph somewhere that proves it.

    Everyone in my household agrees that they were monitors and not speakers. (Including a former WDW cast member.)

    I even remember the first time I saw the stickers and reaching up and tapping on the CRT's that were there and touching the glass the stickers were stuck to.

    They probably got this way when a CRT failed, and instead of ordering a new one they just shuffled parts around and placed the stickers on every other one hoping people would fall for it.

    It is declining by degrees, anyway you look at it. And while some of you said there is a recession, Disney's profits continue to grow and ticket prices continue to go up, so I think we should expect high show quality from them.

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