The Scoop on the Pirates Changes, DCA Makeovers, Christmas, More... Discuss it all here!
The Scoop on the Pirates Changes, DCA Makeovers, Christmas, More... Discuss it all here!
Well, what a read! Here's my opinions on the news:
Pirates Changes - Not looking forward to this one. Unless WDI can really impress me, it seems that the 1967 classic will be gone. Instead, we will have a lifeless movie tie-in. I thought the whole point of the movie campaign was to celebrate the original attractions, not to decimate them. Well, at least it can be removed. ;) :captain:
Tweaking DCA - Sounds a bit to ambisous, so far. Especially redoing the entire hubcap entry plaza, and putting up another theater for Golden 'Reams. However, I can reasonably see a change to the Soarin' area. I always thought that the thing that made DCA look so cheezy was the tiny-tiny lands, that only encompassed one attraction. 1920's Paradise Pier? Cool. Perfect era for the theme, and would allow WDI to work their magic. :D
Spiffing Up - I know what's missing, do you? ;)
"The Disney Difference" - $100 Bonus? Sign me up...not. Seriously, the big problem with not getting enough CMs is the fact that the resort doesn't pay anything. This "Presenteeism" is proving, IMHO, to be a big timing blunder. Sure it's better than the lax CM ways of Pressler/Harris combo, but it's really not what the resort needed right now. Up to 60 hours a week for Attractions CMs? Man, If I only worked at the parks as much as I work on MiceChat, I'd be a 'rich' man. :blink:
The 1920's Paradise Pier sounds very similar to the look of the Boardwalk at Disney World.
I love Al's report. I always look forward to new articles and the pictures.
With that being said, I'm concerned about the Pirates extreme makeover. However, I do like some of the ideas that Al's reporting on. I like the idea of livening up the dark cave and the new animatronic characters. (In fact, whenever I hear 'new animatronic character I'm amazed. It feels like Disney has an all out war on animatronic characters by replacing close to fifty or so Country Bears with unmoving Disney Store Pooh characters. Not to mention the animatronic pirate who balanced on the barrels is gone from Pirates, that I believe happened a long time ago.)
What worries me about the reimagineering of Pirates is that they are reshaping the ride for the 2nd and 3rd sequels to a great film. Sequels are usually less interesting and successful than the first film and I'm wondering why they are willing to risk their best ride (in my opinion) to advertise 2 films that may end up being lackluster.
If they had based the refurb on the first film, I wouldn't mind too much. But the fans of 'Black Pearl' haven't seen nor accepted the new films yet. They could be 'Ghostbusters 2 and 3' for all we know. (I know, there's no GB3 but you get my meaning...) Disney usually moves on a project once they know something is a success. You know, making an attraction or stage show after the success of the film its based on. Doing it beforehand could prove to be dangerous. The films may be laughable (see Matrix 2 & 3 to get my meaning) and that would make the ride laughable, too. That would be sad to see.
But I'll try to keep my hopes up. The 'Lord of the Rings' trilogy is an example of three successful films. :)
Changing the Wicked Wench into the Black Pearl is a cool idea. I know, purists will hate that but it would be quite stunning to see.
But it also sounds like their transforming Pirates into a scarier ride. ie. Davy Jones effect, a dead body comes back to life and an animatronic character of Geoffrey Rush (that's scary all by itself) :D. Pirates doesn't need to be scarier. That's what the Haunted Mansion is for.
Now, adding Johnny Depp to the mix has me feeling mixed. I like Depp and his character. But do we need to add him to the ride like they did with Stitch into famous Disney animated trailers when they were advertising 'Lilo and Stitch'? I don't know. Adding him to the barrel in the drunken pirates scene is cool. But laughing at the pirates in jail? Wasn't he one of the pirates in jail in 'Black Pearl'? Not only that, but this kind of ruins the scene. The gag is that the dog has the keys. Having someone sit there and tell you it's funny is lame. Not to mention, if I was one of those pirates I'd be looking at the distracting laughing-at-me Jack, not the mangy mutt.
I guess we'll have to see about this when it all happens. I'm hoping they don't ruin the ride. I will try to stay optimistic.
This is fantastic news! The biggest news Al's had since before the 50th news started. I still hunger for the nighttime version of Pirates that has been rumored, but these changes will liven up the ride just enough for my next 500 rides. The changes to DCA I wish could happen instantly with Sorcerer Mickey's magic wand, but they will come none to soon. I can't believe the Incredibles ride is finally going to be announced since it's been a rumor for a year now. These are all positive changes and it's great to know that at least once Disneyland will out do it's little brother when Pirate's 2 comes out! Take that WDW!!
I'm happy to hear WDW's awful Pirates version will also get some attention.
Thanks, Al... Excellent, as usual! :D
I am still curious as to what the status is on the PeopleMover, I don't know if it is off everyone's radar now... Or what... I think it has gone down to the C-list of concerns...
Pirates is an A-list thing as it will be an imporant promo tool for the new movies coming out... So I am not surprised by the news at all...
Getting more details on the DCA plan was great as well, this is an A to B-list kinda thing... getting DCA up to speed I think is important all and all for the bottom line...
Labor woes is always an A-list thing... I am just finding it bizzare that Disney is taking out their "keys of success" to other businesses as a management learning course... And yet they still have problems maintaining employees...
"Changing the Wicked Wench into the Black Pearl is a cool idea. I know, purists will hate that but it would be quite stunning to see."
I'm not so sure about that. Every time I've been on Pirates after the first film came out, most guests assumed either the ghost ship, or the Wicked Wench were the Black Pearl. So, I doubt the average guest will notice, since they already think that anyway.
As for Al's update, it was very interesting!
The Pirates makeover could be good, but they sure do need to tread a fine line between the classic and the new. If they go too overboard, they will have big problems with complaints. If they can manage to get it just right though, it should be really neat. Is this version planned to run all day though, or is it still a nightime only thing? I don't want to assume, but by Al's description, it sounds like a all-the-time thing.
I can't wait for next summer though with Pirates, Rock-it Mountain, and Tower of Terror! I'm going this Christmas, but I'm going to have to make a special trip next year too!
As for DCA, yeah, it needs it! I'm glad they're changing things so massively. The best idea is the Paradise Pier area. From the start, I always thought it should have looked like the Boardwalk Inn at WDW. That old "Coney Island" 1920's feel will be very classy, and should look a heck of a lot more "Disney" than the current Six Flags look...
So...since they're moving Golden Dreams, I wonder what will become of the "San Francisco" area? That place needs a major shot in the arm too. It's one of the weakest areas as far as theming goes. They should add a small "hill" to make it feel more like the city it's representing. Put a Cable Car over there as a prop or something. Put another good attraction where the old Golden Dreams was.
I also like the idea of the Craftsman style for the entrance. It will tie into the Grand Californian so much better, and should look more warm and inviting. Not to mention it will blend well into the revamped Condor Flats with it's new Redwood theme. I can't wait to see how all this turns out!
Half of those Pirates updates I could honestly do without. This isn't like what they did to the Mansion at all! I foresee buyers remorse at WDI.
Is there another anniversary 50 gone now? Because one of the 50s has been gone since the end of September.
Maybe it's the way the details are described, but the Pirates makeover smacks of typical WDI "no one get's it" storytelling. I'm sure this is a cut to ribbons version as well. The nightmare mansion redo is a total makeover and is very immersive. there is no way a guest would confuse it with the old show and the storytelling is really clear. that attraction lends itself to this. The Pirates redo reads like a light makeover without any real tonal change. I'm scared that there are Parrots and so many dialog driven changes as NO GUEST ever listens to any of it. Why can't there be bold, real change? I fear that this seems like an un marketable "too little" rehab. There should have been a HUGE transformation scene with swordfighting skeletons. A WOW!!!!. This has no wow. More of a scavenger hunt of revision. pepper's ghost fighting skeletons are something you could put on TV and people would show up for. Not a bunch of parrots and trivial changes. (When you rely on a celebrity lookalike that is a big risk. Just look at Indy.) I will bet you most guests assume that the pirate ship there now IS the Black Pearl (ever watch Jaywalking?). And to add to that, tonally, the song and the attitude of the existing ride is not that of a hunt or search, but of an oblivious party, diametrically upposed to what they are trying to convey. I really want to be wrong about this and sure i am about much of it, but it all sounds desparate and in the end, a missed opportunity at the expense of a classic.
the cabin has flamed.
Well said. I think the problem is that PotC already has a solid story line, and messing with that to better gel with the ride could create some problems.Quote:
Originally Posted by Monorail Man
This is some of the best news I've heard in a long, long, time. I am not by any means a purist. I feel that if something better comes along in the future, it is WDI's responsibility to seize the day and make those changes. Pirates of the Caribbean is a wonderful attraction. However, the public ulitmately decides what they want to see, and after the enormous success of the Black Pearl, they want to see Jack Sparrow. Whenever a movie tie-in comes into a park I like to think of it this way. Pretend there was never a movie, would the characters from that film still be good characters for a theme park. Jack Sparrow, Barbossa, and Davy Jones are excellent theme park characters. Indiana Jones is an excellent theme park character, even Buzz Lightyear is a very Disney-like theme park character. The one thing I wish is that Disneyland wouldn't always get all of the major refurbs. Walt Disney World's version of POTC needs a massive update much, much, more than Disneyland.
One day I hope that the Walt Disney Company can realize the potential of WDW and send in someone like Ouimet to revitalize this resort. The place is beautiful, especially the Animal Kingdom. I would love to see someone with the same passion and zeal come in and turn WDW into the flagship resort of the line. I know everyone at this site disagrees with me, but I feel that this place has the special magic along with the blessing of size. There is so much potential here.
Great column Al!
I like the sound of the updates planned for Pirates of the Caribbean (on paper anyway - execution is something we'll need to see). My only concern is how the second and third movies will be received. If people don't like them, adding all the movie tie-ins could backfire. Imagine if they had made substantial changes to The Haunted Mansion in anticipation of the release of that movie.