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  1. #31

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    Re: 6/5: Cars Land Guide

    Great update Al, as usual! This is one I've been waiting for and I can't wait to get in there and experience all of it on Saturday!

    You've hit a personal pet peeve of mine with the generic Disneyland Parks merchandise...absolutely hate it, would love to see them have more truly unique items that you can't get at your local mall, but would be happy just to see uniquely DisneyLAND (or it CA or CL) merchandise.

    As for the Cafe...it's a rare area where I disagree, I don't like the nickname Pig Cafe and hope it goes away. I'm rooting for Fiddlers as a nickname myself!!

  2. #32

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    Re: 6/5: Cars Land Guide

    Theme Park Merchandise is not at Team Disney Orlando, but located in a boring one story building in Kissimmee Florida.


    Bringing the Love since January 10, 2011
    We were sent over there with the message that only we would defend Disney quality.. We learnt quickly that the Japanese culture speaks to a level of quality that is hard to comprehend. They were all unbelievably skilled and willing to do the right thing.
    Craig Russell -Walt Disney Imagineering

  3. #33

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    Re: 6/5: Cars Land Guide

    Quote Originally Posted by danyoung View Post
    While I appreciated this article as a whole, I really do wish Al would stop referring to the Fiddler Fifer and Practical Cafe as the "Pig Cafe". Yeah, it's probably a cute name that some insiders call it, but for us, the general public, call it by its real name, K?
    Because the real name just flows off the tongue for your average tourist. Don't blame us, blame the ridiculous idea of calling it "Fiddler Fifer and Practical Cafe".

    Also, I do find this change of attitude on DCA fascinating - where DCA 1.0 was filled with puns and was roundly criticized (deservedly so) for it and now we get an entire land filled with cars related puns and now its inspired and clever. No, car based puns are just as lazy and tired as the California puns were. How can Disneyland create all that magic, emotion, and humor without resorting to puns?

  4. #34

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    Re: 6/5: Cars Land Guide

    "Fillmoreís Taste-In:

    A basic fruit stand and juice bar, that operates entirely outdoors in front of his hippie geodesic dome. The smoothies and juices were very sweet, and there appears to be some fructose corn syrup added to the drinks here. Itís not entirely healthy or all-natural, but itís a clever little way to offer some fresh fruit and beverages beyond the usual Cokes and beer."

    The only "smoothies" are the Fuze bottled drink that are sold in fruit carts across the resort. Fillmore's is a standard fruit cart with no specialty drinks.

    "Cozy Cone Motel:

    This is basically a series of snack bars with some outdoor dining tables. The Food & Beverage team deserves credit here for coming up with very unique car-themed twists on their usual menu of popcorn, churros and drinks. They are serving craft beers from Bear Republic Brewing up in Healdsburg, which should impress the foodies who expect only Budweiser on tap at a theme park snack bar. The floats and ice cream and chili all got good reviews, and the location will be a nice food option for snacks or cheaper meals."

    Beer is NOT sold at Cozy Cones, that beer is only sold at Flo's. However, there is vodka available to add to the specialty drinks sold at Cone 3, and cone 3 only.

    ---------- Post added 06-05-2012 at 09:11 PM ----------

    On Ramone's House of Body Art, 5 of the 6 painted car hoods in the display windows have a hidden Mickey. Happy hunting!

  5. #35

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    Re: 6/5: Cars Land Guide

    Quote Originally Posted by socalkdg View Post
    If, as many have said, this ride gets better as you gain more experience, then its easy to see how the developers of the ride were liking it. They were good at it, thus it was fun. They weren't able to see how the ride would be for a newcomer.
    In any given cycle, there may be two or three who will be able to get their tires to function as they would like. That's a pretty low percetage. That means there are only a few tires actually doing anything significant while the rest are just floundering in the corners, hung up with the other floundering tires and a clutch of beach balls.

    The beach balls were of little benefit other than people trying to reach for them (and could never grab) resulting in the tires actually moving in the direction they were reaching in. Coordinating two people to lean in the same direction is another challenge.

    ---------- Post added 06-05-2012 at 10:11 PM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by chesirecat View Post
    Great article Al!

    Its such a exciting time with Carsland about to be premiered before the public.

    In terms of the stuff sold in the Curios shop, it has happened many times before that the imagineers plans for 'selling' super expensive or esoteric stuff in a shop just to fit in with the land, have been changed in order to sell more of the stuff that people will buy. I am actually ok with this for Carsland as I love what Lassetire and company have done and I hope that Carsland make the company a lot of $$ such that the rest of DCA gets . . . made into something else.

    They could stock the Curios shop with all sorts of the weird toursity items you can buy on the historic Route 66 like pieces of petrified tree, rock candy and scorpions encased in plastic, but I think most guests want something that is clearly a Disney product and Disney simply doesn't make this kind of stuff.
    First, if people are only interested in buying generic Disney junk, they can get it in most any other shop in the park (they could have land specific merchandise in every land and people could STILL get the generic junk if they wanted). IF Disney felt that they needed Disney identified merchandise in the curio shop, then they could develop Disney branded versions of the "weird toursity items you can buy on the historic Route 66 like pieces of petrified tree, rock candy and scorpions encased in plastic". THAT would make them truly
    worthwhile souvenirs of Carsland.

    ---------- Post added 06-05-2012 at 10:29 PM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by WDW1971 View Post
    What is with the continuous disparaging of WDW. It is not cool and not pleasant to read about one of your favorite places in the world in such a negative light.
    I believe the issue was the point that all of Disneyland's merchandise is controlled by a division in WDW. These people haven't experienced Disneyland and have no idea as to what Disneyland visitors might prefer.

    WDW's merchandise organization pretty much dictates the content of the DLR shops. I don't recall how long ago it was when Disneyland actually had their unique interesting shops and merchandise. Oh, there have been a couple of instances through that time when there have been some rare batches of unique merchandise (and that DOESN'T mean pins, beanie babies or vinylmation).

    So, don't take it as an attack on your favorite places in the world. Just realize that it 's the focus of frustration towards those responsible for the merchandise situation we have to suffer with here.

    ---------- Post added 06-05-2012 at 10:38 PM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by 80sDLCastMember View Post
    Because the real name just flows off the tongue for your average tourist. Don't blame us, blame the ridiculous idea of calling it "Fiddler Fifer and Practical Cafe".

    Also, I do find this change of attitude on DCA fascinating - where DCA 1.0 was filled with puns and was roundly criticized (deservedly so) for it and now we get an entire land filled with cars related puns and now its inspired and clever. No, car based puns are just as lazy and tired as the California puns were. How can Disneyland create all that magic, emotion, and humor without resorting to puns?
    I agree with that. And along with the kitchie "cleaver" names in cars land, I have an issue with al the Walt-centric names on Buena Vista Blvd. I've heard the "backstory" explanation that "Walt came to LA, saw Oswald's, Clarabell's, Fiddler, Fifer & Practical names and included them in his animations". And, I suppose that when he saw the Elias & Co. store, he decided to change his middle name.

    Hopefully, WDI will get in some new talent that won't fall into the "catchy name syndrome".
    Last edited by bfdf55; 06-05-2012 at 09:53 PM.

  6. #36

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    Re: 6/5: Cars Land Guide

    Quote Originally Posted by socalkdg View Post
    . . . I've always enjoyed hanging out in the grizzly park area, as well as by the rapids. The new park is very nice as well. Cars land and BVS will be two new places to just hang out.
    My favorite place has been inside the huge, dark Animation lobby, with different scenes from the same movie shown at the same time all around you.

    And although it's not exactly beautiful, we love eating and having a beer near the sourdough restaurant with mariachi musicians performing.

    And Mickey's Funwheel offers riders of the outer cars a chance to chill out and take in the scenery as we used to be able to do on the Skyway and on the Peoplemover. Those rides made me feel like I was hanging out.

    I think that having great places to hang out is the biggest difference between the Disneyland Resort parks, and Universal Studios Hollywood.

    And the Grand Californian is an intruder I welcome into DCA with its access into my favorite hangout place, its magnificent, natural and confortable lobby.
    Last edited by jcruise86; 06-06-2012 at 12:37 AM.

  7. #37

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    Re: 6/5: Cars Land Guide

    Quote Originally Posted by chesirecat View Post
    They could stock the Curios shop with all sorts of the weird toursity items you can buy on the historic Route 66 like pieces of petrified tree, rock candy and scorpions encased in plastic, but I think most guests want something that is clearly a Disney product and Disney simply doesn't make this kind of stuff.
    All Disney needs to do is stick a Cars Land, DCA or Mickey logo on those things ... it worked for Mickey's Fun Wheel.





  8. #38

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    Re: 6/5: Cars Land Guide

    I think I'll wait until September to visit Cars Land. The crowds should be smaller and most of the bugs will have been corrected. I don't really like going when it's above 95 degrees out anyway.
    Everyone is entitled to an informed opinion.
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    There should be a sticky thread called "This Day in Disney History." The company has a long history and this would be a good way to acknowledge it. Walt was born 112 years ago; that's quite a chunk of American history and culture.

  9. #39

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    Re: 6/5: Cars Land Guide

    I guess Al is using Kathy Lee Gifford's fact checker again!

    I was there on Saturday, and trust me at Luigi's there was no cast members screaming out instruction and begging people to listen. There were 2. One at the front who told us how to use the ride and one at the end who asked us "Do you understand and feel comfortable about how the attraction works?" and if you said yes, you moved on; said no, she did a little review.

    And about the merchandising. I guess it's been a big failure over the last 15 years and Disney is just too stubborn and pig-headed to change it. Think of the millions they have lost sticking to this idea that non park specific merchandise just does't sell! - yeah right folks. There is a reason Mrs. Disney's antique shop went under. And it wasn't 'cause it was making too much money. It was closed because it WASN'T making any money anymore. If this current trend - of 15 years now - wasn't working for the parks, Guess what? THEY'D STOP USING IT AND GO TO SOMETHING DIFFERENT. People are buying non-park specific merchandise, and they must be buying in such quantities that Disney keeps restocking it. So, let's just keep beating that dead horse. Maybe if Al were to stamp his feet and threaten to hold his breath, they will change it just for him. But that does't seem likely. And the best part of this whole thing? Guess where the head of merchandising at WDW started their career in Disney? Go ahead, look it up!

    And lastly, let Al have his fun with this "Pig Cafe" thing. He's trying his dangest to make that name stick and it just won't. One day he'll over hear some CM use and then think it's a done deal. So let him have his fun for now until something brighter and shinier catches his attention and he moves on.

    Sheez, what people won't say to sell newspapers.



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    And to all you snark police out there. I am not attacking anyone here. When you run a site that gossips about something, be prepared for some back talk. It's all in good fun!
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  10. #40

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    Re: 6/5: Cars Land Guide

    Quote Originally Posted by danyoung View Post
    While I appreciated this article as a whole, I really do wish Al would stop referring to the Fiddler Fifer and Practical Cafe as the "Pig Cafe". Yeah, it's probably a cute name that some insiders call it, but for us, the general public, call it by its real name, K?
    Since when does ANYONE in the Disney fan community call anything by its full name. We are the kings of the acronym and the abbreviation. Don't believe me? Meet me at Soarin' over in DCA and I'll explain.

    Quote Originally Posted by TDSTOM View Post
    And about the merchandising. I guess it's been a big failure over the last 15 years and Disney is just too stubborn and pig-headed to change it. Think of the millions they have lost sticking to this idea that non park specific merchandise just does't sell! - yeah right folks. There is a reason Mrs. Disney's antique shop went under. And it wasn't 'cause it was making too much money. It was closed because it WASN'T making any money anymore. If this current trend - of 15 years now - wasn't working for the parks, Guess what? THEY'D STOP USING IT AND GO TO SOMETHING DIFFERENT. People are buying non-park specific merchandise, and they must be buying in such quantities that Disney keeps restocking it. So, let's just keep beating that dead horse. Maybe if Al were to stamp his feet and threaten to hold his breath, they will change it just for him. But that does't seem likely. And the best part of this whole thing? Guess where the head of merchandising at WDW started their career in Disney? Go ahead, look it up!
    Generic Merchandise sells no doubt... but look at WWoHP. Specialized merchandise can sell too if it's done right. No one is asking for the shop to sell petrified tree bark. But with a franchise so perfectly made to move merchandise, you'd think someone would be bright enough to say "I bet tourists would buy a Carsland specific piece and a generic piece if we offered both, instead of just getting one generic option that is offered in every store." Not everything has to be as dull as an antique shop, there are ways this could have been made to work and the community is upset that those options weren't fully given a chance.

    The worst part of it all is that there is a successful model in WWoHP, and so it is hard to watch Carsland fail out of the gate where others have succeeded. And don't give me the "Harry Potter is more popular etc. etc." thing, Cars has moved more merchandise for Disney than any other property has in a long time.

    Quote Originally Posted by WDW1971 View Post
    What is with the continuous disparaging of WDW. It is not cool and not pleasant to read about one of your favorite places in the world in such a negative light.

    Not all MiceAge readers call Disneyland their "home park" and Al needs to realize that there are people that love WDW that come here to. Perhaps I will take my readership somewhere else if this continues.

    I hope everyone remembers that there would be no DCA, no Carsland, no Buena Vista Street if it were not for WDW and Orlando.
    It wasn't fun to read about DLR in the 90's either. I don't think Al has ever operated as if to ensure that reading his columns are all "fun". He provides critical commentary, and whether you agree with him or not, that is ALWAYS what this site has been about. So please, if you are looking for cutesy stories and photo updates (not that either are bad, both have their places) there are plenty of websites, forums and columns here that offer both. But don't criticize the column for doing exactly what it is designed to do.

    As to your last point, I fail to see any specific connection. Its just as easy to say their would be no WDW without DL or no DL without Mickey (it did all start with a mouse... not WDW).
    Last edited by cruise; 06-06-2012 at 11:17 PM.
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  11. #41

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    Re: 6/5: Cars Land Guide

    Quote Originally Posted by cruise View Post
    Since when does ANYONE in the Disney fan community call anything by its full name.
    That's of course true. But can't we call the Fiddler Fifer and Practical Cafe the FFP? Pig Cafe is just rude.

  12. #42

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    Re: 6/5: Cars Land Guide

    Quote Originally Posted by cruise View Post
    Generic Merchandise sells no doubt... but look at WWoHP. Specialized merchandise can sell too if it's done right. No one is asking for the shop to sell petrified tree bark. But with a franchise so perfectly made to move merchandise, you'd think someone would be bright enough to say "I bet tourists would buy a Carsland specific piece and a generic piece if we offered both, instead of just getting one generic option that is offered in every store." Not everything has to be as dull as an antique shop, there are ways this could have been made to work and the community is upset that those options weren't fully given a chance.

    The worst part of it all is that there is a successful model in WWoHP, and so it is hard to watch Carsland fail out of the gate where others have succeeded. And don't give me the "Harry Potter is more popular etc. etc." thing, Cars has moved more merchandise for Disney than any other property has in a long time.
    Cars Land hasn't failed out of the gate on merchandise. It has been stated there are 3 stores. 2 stores sell appropriate land specific items. 1 store sells generic merchandise. They are offering variety. Exactly what you believe should be done, as do many of us. Sorry that you misunderstood and thought all threes stores will sell generic items.

  13. #43

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    Re: 6/5: Cars Land Guide

    Quote Originally Posted by TDSTOM View Post
    And lastly, let Al have his fun with this "Pig Cafe" thing. He's trying his dangest to make that name stick and it just won't. One day he'll over hear some CM use and then think it's a done deal. So let him have his fun for now until something brighter and shinier catches his attention and he moves on.
    Completely true. I work at Disneyland and have heard exactly zero Cast Members reference it as the "Pig Cafe". The only place I've heard it called that is in Al Lutz' columns.

    In fact, the name that seems to be catching on is just simply "Fiddler". Simple, easy to say, easy to understand exactly what you're referencing.

    Think about it: most folks (even many "Disneyphiles") don't even know who Fiddler, Fifer, and Practical are. Why would the name "Pig Cafe" have any chance of catching on? Explaining to the average person on the street why you're calling it the Pig Cafe would be even more tedious than explaining who Fiddler / Fifer / Practical actually are.

    This is a meme that Al (along with possibly 1-2 of his more-embittered WDI sources) is trying to desperately make catch on. I highly doubt it will.

  14. #44

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    Re: 6/5: Cars Land Guide

    With all of the Pixarification being done to DCA, they really should have rethemed the Jumping Jellyfish with Finding Nemo along with Ellen doing voice overs.

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    Re: 6/5: Cars Land Guide

    Quote Originally Posted by danyoung View Post
    That's of course true. But can't we call the Fiddler Fifer and Practical Cafe the FFP? Pig Cafe is just rude.
    FFP works too, I just can't wrap my head around why anyone would be upset with an abbreviation. So he chose one and went with it, everyone else can call it what they wish. I fail to see why its so rude, so why be so upset? Let him call it what he wants.

    Quote Originally Posted by El Bandolero View Post
    This is a meme that Al (along with possibly 1-2 of his more-embittered WDI sources) is trying to desperately make catch on. I highly doubt it will.
    Also... he is either trying to make the name catch on or... wait for it... he just chose it because it does, in fact, flow. Don't place a motive unless you're sure. As of now, it's all speculative. It's fine to speculate, but let's not condemn the guy without any actual evidence.

    Quote Originally Posted by socalkdg View Post
    Cars Land hasn't failed out of the gate on merchandise. It has been stated there are 3 stores. 2 stores sell appropriate land specific items. 1 store sells generic merchandise. They are offering variety. Exactly what you believe should be done, as do many of us. Sorry that you misunderstood and thought all threes stores will sell generic items.
    I never said I was under the impression that all stores sold generic stuff. Generic stuff belongs on BVS or in the other generic park shops, of which there are many. Does WWoHP carry any generic Universal merchandise? No, because that land is completely and utterly dedicated to its theme.

    All this aside, you seem to be forgetting WE ARE TALKING ABOUT A CURIO SHOP!!! Of all places where there should not be generic merchandise, this seems the most screamingly obvious place not to do it!
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