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  1. #1

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    1/24: WorldView - The Disney Look

    Kevin shares news and info from DisneyWorld. Discuss it here...

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

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    Re: 1/24: WorldView - The Disney Look

    For a few minutes this morning there was a giveaway on the column for app codes, but these are all given out, and the article no longer mentions the app. Just an FYI (in case anyone read it this morning and wondered what happened).

    Here's the iTunes store links:


    Disneyland Resort Times: http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/disne...de/id308075259
    WDW Times: http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/walt-...es/id311567632
    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: 1/24: WorldView - The Disney Look

    I've been reading Declining by Degrees for years now. I'm also well aware of the issues that have plagued WDW for years, too. No way on earth I could have been prepared for that Splash Mountain video. Simply unbelievable. There is absolutely no way me or my family will ever attend any Disney theme park in Florida ever again. Ever. I'll stick to my nearby Paris (not much better) and Cali. They get it right.

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    Re: 1/24: WorldView - The Disney Look

    Nice article Kevin, I have noticed burnt out bulbs in Tomorrowland in both Magic Kingdom and Disneyland before, in addition to crack plastic lighting fixtures. A major LED upgrade (replacing the neon with an LED equivalent), would help significantly with this problem.

    Normally, an LED bulb can last in the range of 50,000 to 100,000 hours, maybe less for some of the newer ones. A CFL maybe 15,000, and an incandescent much less. HOWEVER, a professional would know that you can under-drive incandescents so that they last 30 times longer . . . that's right, there is a little diode that ACE Hardware sells, so maybe you get 70% of the light from the incandescent, but it lasts for +50,000 hours.

    In terms of LED bulbs, there is a lot of variability in quality. A good LED bulb will last for ten years, but light bulb makers know that if they make an LED that 'burns out' in three years instead of ten, you will have folks buying expensive light bulbs more frequently. I have a lot of LEDs spotlights on 12 volts which I purposely underdrive, . . . they will probably last for decades. I think that most line voltage LEDs are over-driven, and they should be slightly dimmed so that they last at least to manufacturer specs, i.e. 50,000 hours or whatever.

    Now, the lights on Mad Tea Party are new LED popcorn lights which are "experimental" as they are trying to see if they can replicate an incandescent, so maybe the manufacturer is working with a first generation product, some of the first LED bulbs I bought at the big chains burnt out faster than incandescents and were pretty pricey. If they LEDs on Mad Hatter cost 5-10 times as much as incandescents, and burn out as fast (faster here), then they are toast. This is a manufacturing problem, though I would have under-driven these LEDs and probably have gotten them to last years longer.

    In five years, even better LED bulbs will hit the market.

    I don't blame the electrical department at Orlando as there are a lot of harding working folks there, (one who was very helpful when I was working on a different project), but obviously the money isn't there for simply hiring somebody to walk the park at night and make notes about burnt lights and fix them. If I was in charge, I would replace the T-Party lights with 12-volt popcorn warm white LEDs driven by a dedicated LED power source and under drive them (dimmed slightly), I would also be on the phone to the manufacturer demanding a refund, or perhaps lower the voltage on these lights, replace the burnt ones, and see how long they last.

    Any competent full-time electrician could keep all the four parks looking great. Its a matter of budget.

  5. #5

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    Re: 1/24: WorldView - The Disney Look

    Thanks, Kevin!

    Your article reminded me of James Q. Wilson's theory that if police and their communities don't address little things like broken windows, then more important things go downhill.

    From 1972 through the early 1980s we visited WDW every year, but if Staggs and Iger want me and my family back, they will have to make it exceptional enough for us to justify crossing the country.

    I wish the Four Seasons, Ritz Carlton or the Oriental Land Company would buy Walt Disney World.

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    Re: 1/24: WorldView - The Disney Look

    Like many, I agree with Kevin's article and the declining conditions of the Magic Kingdom. It is the attention to details that makes us all appreciate Disney parks more than other parks and why we fell in love with them in the first place.

    BUT a part of me wonders if these "declines" are more noticeable to us (as Disney fans) and less to the typical park goer. We visit these parks on a regular basis and know what's suppose to work and look. The average person may not know or be that observant. If shows and rides should be closed to ensure a proper show, then these casual park goers miss out on that experience (regardless of the true show experience). Multiply this by the amount of rides in decline and their trip would be far less memorable. Maybe this is the reason/logic behind Disney's actions, they would rather allow guests to experience a ride in some working order than not at all....and gamble on whether the average person would even notice a missing light bulb, or two, or eight. I agree that park management needs to take a proactive approach to prevent such declining conditions, but if the masses aren't complaining, maybe management doesn't see any problems. It's a shame, people are paying good money to get the full Disney experience and its not be delivered.

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    Re: 1/24: WorldView - The Disney Look

    I agree that park management needs to take a proactive approach to prevent such declining conditions, but if the masses aren't complaining, maybe management doesn't see any problems.
    The problem is that management should know on there own if light bulb(s) have been out for 8 weeks. Like Kevin said, that's not just one bulb out for one night. These are lights that are out for 2 whole months! Are they even looking at their own attractions anymore?

    The Splash Mountain video was the capper. Disney has to be their own worst critic on upkeep and maintenance. They can't wait to hear complaints before they do something about the problem. The 'average' tourist won't know what it's supposed to look like. So, if they see a broken Animatronic that's not moving (or barely moving), they will assume that's how it's supposed to be. And, further, they'll wonder what the big deal is about Disney parks. They can see the same level of showmanship/attraction detail at Universal Studios and pay a hell of a lot less to experience it.
    "In many ways, the work of a critic is easy. We risk very little yet enjoy a position over those who offer up their work and their selves to our judgment. We thrive on negative criticism, which is fun to write and to read. But the bitter truth we critics must face, is that in the grand scheme of things, the average piece of junk is probably more meaningful than our criticism designating it so. But there are times when a critic truly risks something, and that is in the discovery and defense of the new. The world is often unkind to new talent, new creations, the new needs friends." - Anton Ego

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    Re: 1/24: WorldView - The Disney Look

    Sometimes, others know what is best for the guest than the guests themselves. Most times, the WDW management decides it knows best.

    I'll go with Kevin's opinion more often, though, when there is a difference of opinion.

    Kevin, you should keep a log, and tell us from time to time when or whether the simple maintenance gets done. (FYI, replacing rotting piers is NOT a simple one.)

    Since it appeared to have worked for Al and Disneyland in the 90's and 00's, it's time to make your attempt on the much larger-scale WDW.

    I just want to say, good luck, we're all counting on you.
    "Here You Leave the World of California Today and Enter the World of, um, er, California Today."

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    Re: 1/24: WorldView - The Disney Look

    Quote Originally Posted by sediment View Post
    I just want to say, good luck, we're all counting on you.
    Just don't call me Shirley!
    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

  10. #10

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    Re: 1/24: WorldView - The Disney Look

    So, I take it the position of "Lamper" is dead at WDW? Really..to employ one cast member per park, 40 hours per week, to both ascertain condition and get up on ladders and replace bulbs is cost prohibitive? That floors me. I'll do it GLADLY for $14/hour.
    As far as animatronics, WDW really needs to make a decision: bump up the available animation mechanic staff, or close attractions more often to do the necessary upkeep.
    Please consider the environment before printing useless emails

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    Re: 1/24: WorldView - The Disney Look

    Facial hair on the male cast members (some of the girls already have it) I'm all for it!

    Splash Mountain looking like an ICU. Not cool at all.

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    Re: 1/24: WorldView - The Disney Look

    Quote Originally Posted by [Link to unauthorized site removed
    ;1056696109]Like many, I agree with Kevin's article and the declining conditions of the Magic Kingdom. It is the attention to details that makes us all appreciate Disney parks more than other parks and why we fell in love with them in the first place.

    BUT a part of me wonders if these "declines" are more noticeable to us (as Disney fans) and less to the typical park goer.
    I think Kevin made a pretty good point with the video of the WDW Splash Mountain riverboat with motionless figures . . . kinda creepy, but also obvious to 80% of people on the ride. Things like this add up and do detract on the average guest's experience. You can tell that the figs on Splash aren't working as other figures move, but some are frozen in odd positions. Even if a guest figures, "that's how it supposed to be", then he or she might be thinking, "they didn't design that the right way!"

    One good thing is that Big Thunder's massive refurb will include the addition of an interactive queue, which means that Splash will stay open, through the summer, and will get a massive refurbishment probably starting early Jan 2013. And given that Splash has had a notoriously long line, a new interactive queue will be added. This extended refurbishment will allow time for fixes to be completed on most of the audioanimatronics, management will want Splash looking good when the media descends on MK when the Fantasyland Land expansion is finally completely opened with the unveiling of the Snow White Ride as the cherry on the sundae.

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    Re: 1/24: WorldView - The Disney Look

    Keep fighting the good fight Kevin. A great article, well-thought-out (as usual), told with a great tone that will demand a serious look by management.

    I can't wait and look forward to seeing the progress of the burnt-out light bulbs.

    Thanks.
    Permanecer sentado por favor...

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    Re: 1/24: WorldView - The Disney Look

    Quote Originally Posted by Al Lutz View Post
    Kevin shares news and info from DisneyWorld. Discuss it here...

    DIRECT ARTICLE LINK: The Disney Look - MiceAge.com
    Kevin, I totally agree with you. I was there in August and again in November and found the same lighting still out. If you ever have a chance to see the Grand Floridian at night, well you'll see it ain't so grand.

    I took the Tour, "Walk the Park as Walt would have" a long time ago and I remember being told that there were two full time CMs just to change light bulbs. I guess they retired or were let go.

    It is truly amazing to me to find out that the VP in charge of the Magic Kingdom doesn't even visit the park. WDW needs to take some advice from their West Coast bretheren and start visiting. Seems there are always photos of George K and Mr. Pixar walking the parks.

    We came home from our November trip worn out and wondering why we're spending all this money at a park that doesn't care what their guests think. The WDW mentality is that most are first time visitors and won't know any better. Others just always seem to come back. Case in point, the Declining degrees of Christmas decorations around the entire resort as well as the seemingly lack of Gingerbread at the resorts. Almost every hotel would feature some sort of Gingerbread display. Now it is down to four. Lights of Winter? Maybe there are too many lights burnt out.

    We're giving Disneyland a try this year (and Aulani). I've seen the detail on MiceAge when it comes to the west coast theme parks. I love WDW but I don't feel appreciated any longer. I'm only a number to them.
    I know DL went through a blue period when it came to maintenance and upkeep. Hopefully WDW will learn its lesson. One new area in a theme park still doesn't make up for the mess in the other lands.

  15. #15

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    Re: 1/24: WorldView - The Disney Look

    One new area in a theme park still doesn't make up for the mess in the other lands.
    Amen, brother!
    "In many ways, the work of a critic is easy. We risk very little yet enjoy a position over those who offer up their work and their selves to our judgment. We thrive on negative criticism, which is fun to write and to read. But the bitter truth we critics must face, is that in the grand scheme of things, the average piece of junk is probably more meaningful than our criticism designating it so. But there are times when a critic truly risks something, and that is in the discovery and defense of the new. The world is often unkind to new talent, new creations, the new needs friends." - Anton Ego

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