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  1. #1

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    8/24: Every Little Detail

    Magical Beginnings: Targeting Kids, Plus: Two New Disney Parks Books. Discuss it here!

    Full Column HERE:
    Last edited by Dustysage; 08-24-2006 at 06:54 AM.
    "Politics is the profession whereby the inevitable is made to seem a great human achievement" - Quentin Crisp

  2. #2

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    Re: 8/24: Every Little Detail

    Thanks for sharing


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    Re: 8/24: Every Little Detail

    Thanks for the heads up on "The Disneylands That Never Were". I just ordered a print copy.

    I've heard of the other proposals/concepts that were mentioned in the review, except for this one:

    "No mention of the proposed integration of Tom Sawyer Island with both Pirates and Mansion"

    Anyone have the story on this one, or a link to some info? Thanks.

  4. #4

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    Re: 8/24: Every Little Detail

    I don't think of this so much as a failure of Disney, forgetting the "Griffith Park Credo", or deviating from it, so much as a general misconception of age appropriateness at Disney. I don't believe every ride has to be able to be ridden by every age. If so, we wouldn't have some really spectacular rides.

    There has developed a "magic age", which the public themselves have defined, at which point a child is perceived as ready to go to WDW. We are getting ready to bring our two year old son to Disney in 3 weeks. I can't tell you how many people have said, "Why? He won't remember it!" It's not so much about him remembering, as him experiencing it, and our getting to see him experience it.

    I'm glad Disney has put out these guides, and is combating this misconception. I'll be grabbing the guides as soon as I get in the parks, so I can ensure that my son has an experience that his two year old brain might have a chance at remembering! If he doesn't remember this trip, he'll remember one of his other trips he's going to go on as he grows up!

  5. #5

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    Re: 8/24: Every Little Detail

    Quote Originally Posted by Randman
    I don't think of this so much as a failure of Disney, forgetting the "Griffith Park Credo", or deviating from it, so much as a general misconception of age appropriateness at Disney. I don't believe every ride has to be able to be ridden by every age. If so, we wouldn't have some really spectacular rides.

    There has developed a "magic age", which the public themselves have defined, at which point a child is perceived as ready to go to WDW. We are getting ready to bring our two year old son to Disney in 3 weeks. I can't tell you how many people have said, "Why? He won't remember it!" It's not so much about him remembering, as him experiencing it, and our getting to see him experience it.

    I'm glad Disney has put out these guides, and is combating this misconception. I'll be grabbing the guides as soon as I get in the parks, so I can ensure that my son has an experience that his two year old brain might have a chance at remembering! If he doesn't remember this trip, he'll remember one of his other trips he's going to go on as he grows up!
    Completely agree.

    I read many articles stating how you should wait until your child is a certain age that its made Disney realize they have to combat these misconceptions. My 4 year old has 3 WDW trips and over 50 DLR trips under her belt and is a true fan.

    Just because a ride doesn't have a height requirement listed doesn't mean its for everyone in the whole family. The matterhorn can easily mess up an older persons neck or back(I'm 41 and only ride it for my daughter), many kids are scared of Mansion, Toad, Snow White, while adults fear Small World(that song, that song), hate autopia, and won't go on the carousel.

    Walt wanted the parks to have something for everyone, and they do. Through public misperception many people feel that their 2-4 year old kids won't enjoy themselves. Disney is working to correct this.

    Your comments about your kid enjoying Test Track is but one of many things you will go through as you wonder why your kids enjoy certain things. Its called the generation gap.

  6. #6

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    Re: 8/24: Every Little Detail

    Quote Originally Posted by socalkdg
    Your comments about your kid enjoying Test Track is but one of many things you will go through as you wonder why your kids enjoy certain things. Its called the generation gap.
    Now that I disagree with. I enjoy Test Track myself.

    I'm able to separate that experience from the intellectual argument about the original idea of a Disneyland: a place where families are not separated and can ride the rides together. This is the entire essence of the Griffith Park concept. Walt was sitting on a bench and the idea came to him. I very much doubt Walt sat on a bench, separated from his daughters while they rode, and thought to himself "gee, they should build a park where us adults have our rides and the kids have their rides." That's not what the credo means.

    What I'm trying to communicate these days is that I still believe in the GPC and I also believe the current Disney park system, which is a hybrid, has a role in the world. So I'm hoping there's another Walt Disney out there who wants to build a place where parents and kids aren't separated when they go on rides.
    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

  7. #7

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    Re: 8/24: Every Little Detail

    So I'm hoping there's another Walt Disney out there who wants to build a place where parents and kids aren't separated when they go on rides.
    I'm not sure how that would work? Let's build your park, called Magicland. Let's take a family of 5. Mom, Dad, Johnny, Timmy and Katie.
    Little Johnny is 3 years old. Mom and Johnny love riding the Bouncing Kangaroo ride (a Dumbo type ride).

    Katie, who is 8, though, hates the Bounching Kangaroo. She loves the bumper cars, a ride which is way too aggressive for Johnny, so she rides with Daddy.

    Timmy, who is 15, couldn't care less for the Bouncing Kangaroo ride, or the bumper cars. He is all about the Snapper Twirl. Fast, twisty, rock music, and inversions. Dad rides with him!

    Ok, we got our park. Now we bring in another family, of 3. Mom, Dad and Charlie, who is only 2. Charlie can clearly ride the kangaroos, but can't ride the bumpercars or Snapper Twirl, which mom and dad love!

    Our park has failed the GPC. By their very nature, kids like different things as they get older. How do we accomidate for this in your park? And, do we forever forbid the parents from enjoying rides that are too intense for kids?

    It just doesn't work. And that's not Walt wanted. Do you honestly believe he felt that families should do every activity together every second of their visit? Or, did he want to offer many different experiences, so that families could share favorite things, kids could do things, parents could enjoy things, and together, have a wonderful experience. Remember, Walt put in rides that were not designed for small children. Just think abou the Flying Saucers. He had rides not designed for adults (Midget Autopia).

    There doesn't have to be 100% togetherness for the GPC to apply. It just has to be an environment where parents and kids can have fun together. And Disney fits that bill perfectly.

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    Re: 8/24: Every Little Detail

    Quote Originally Posted by Randman
    Do you honestly believe he felt that families should do every activity together every second of their visit?
    Yup. I do. Midget Autopia was the ONLY ride that mandated separating kids and adults, and this was a ride opened later in response to the crushing crowds at the other Autopias. (I do note the irony of DL having a carousel when a carousel got Walt thinking)

    The Disneyland of 1955 was derided by critics before it opened as something that would never work, for a lot of the reasons you cite in your post. It's in all the books, easy enough to look up!
    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: 8/24: Every Little Detail

    So, if I understand correctly, Kevin, in your park, you would have no rides that a toddler couldn't ride, and no rides that an adult couldn't fit into. No attractions that might scare a child, and no attractions that would stimulate an adult's intellect (for fear of excluding a child)?

    Sounds kinda boring.

    And again, how does your park take into account the differing tastes of children as they grow older?

    I don't think your park can actually be built because of these issues. And perhaps that's why Walt moved away from it. You can't build everything for everyone. Heck, my mom couldn't ride a carousel, because it made her motion sick.

    You build a place that has something for everyone, with lots to share, but with things of interests to all ages.
    Last edited by Randman; 08-25-2006 at 08:17 AM.

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    Re: 8/24: Every Little Detail

    Yeah, in a nutshell. There would be thrills, but they would be EMOTIONAL thrills, or INTELLECTUAL thrills, or VISUAL thrills.... just not physical thrills.

    Walt's Disneyland stayed that way until he died, with the exception of the Midget Autopia (a temporary solution). So it wasn't he who moved away from it; it was his successors.
    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: 8/24: Every Little Detail

    Whose to say that Walt wouldn't have moved away from the GPC as time went by and peoples [and his] taste started to change? Actually, whose to say he wouldn't have changed his vision somewhere down the line in response to new technology and the change in laws?
    Last edited by HUH?; 08-25-2006 at 06:06 PM.

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    Re: 8/24: Every Little Detail

    Quote Originally Posted by KevinYee View Post
    Now that I disagree with. I enjoy Test Track myself.

    I'm able to separate that experience from the intellectual argument about the original idea of a Disneyland: a place where families are not separated and can ride the rides together. This is the entire essence of the Griffith Park concept. Walt was sitting on a bench and the idea came to him. I very much doubt Walt sat on a bench, separated from his daughters while they rode, and thought to himself "gee, they should build a park where us adults have our rides and the kids have their rides." That's not what the credo means.

    What I'm trying to communicate these days is that I still believe in the GPC and I also believe the current Disney park system, which is a hybrid, has a role in the world. So I'm hoping there's another Walt Disney out there who wants to build a place where parents and kids aren't separated when they go on rides.
    Sorry, I misunderstood you. I was thinking you were disappointed that your kid liked Test Track instead of one of Walt's traditional rides.

    I took a look at the originals from DL, and a number of rides are still in existance today and aren't that popular with the 10-30 crowd and the ones no longer in existance would not have been popular with this same age group. Just because an adult could ride with their kids didn't mean they enjoyed the carousel, autopia, storybook boats, etc. Additionally many of the dark rides are too scary for youngsters.

    I think the 10-30 crowd is a big reason rides like the following came into existance:

    Big Thunder Mountain Railroad
    Splash Mountain
    Space Mountain
    Indiana Jones and the Temple of the Forbidden Eye
    Star Tours

    I'd also include Test Track, Expedition Everest, Safari, Buzz Light Year, and Soaring in this list, maybe even TOT. I'll try the green version of Mission Space next April to see if my then 5 year old would enjoy this as well. I believe the new Nemo rides, as well as versions of Midway Mania will belong in this group as well.


    I have a 4 year old and took my wife's parents(middle 60's) so I have a broad spectrum of ages(no tweeners or teenagers yet) and they enjoy all these rides listed above with the added benefit over Walt's rides of also appealing to the 10-30 crowd as well. So I feel all the rides I listed still embody Walt's original vision, and Disney is doing even better today with its shows, from Fantasmic and Illuminations to Lion King, Beauty and the Beast, Little Mermaid, Alladin, etc.
    Last edited by socalkdg; 08-25-2006 at 04:36 PM.

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    Re: 8/24: Every Little Detail

    Bravo! The kiddie make-over the parks are undergoing is single biggest threat to the Walt legacy.

    Oh man, when I was a kid I hated kid rides. I always wanted to do stuff the older kids and adults were doing. I'd be right there next to Walt wishing there was a place with adult rides that didn't restrict responsible walking age kids that weren't afraid of full sized dinosaurs, pirates, ghosts, or charging hippos. As a kid, the pooh ride would have bored me, the meet and greets would have seemed creepy, and the princecess make-overs would have seemed targeted at pedophiles.

    As an adult, I wish there was a place without dumbed down kiddie attractions. They're just cheap and lame, and saying they're for kids doesn't fool me as an adult, and would have angered me as a kid.

    What's even worse, the rides are now all becoming based on characters, not experiences. This is clearly just to sell toys, or perhaps it's to destroy what imagination is left in the world so people will stop imagining the better choices Walt would have made.

    So I say, mention it in every article, flood city hall, and inform the media.

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    Re: 8/24: Every Little Detail

    Even if all the rides were appropriate for everyone it wouldn't mean every member of any given family would like every one of those rides and want to ride them together. What if one kid hated the teacups and their brother loved them? It may have nothing to do with age, just preference maybe one child gets motion sickness. Not everyone love It's a Small World, some people think the TTA is boring. Not everything can appeal to everyone.

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    Re: 8/24: Every Little Detail

    I disagree with Kevin's interpretation.

    Some of this is just catering to these kids, not doing things 'only' for them.

    My children love reading the maps when we are going around the parks, and to have literature and things geared just for them is excellent.. as it involves them more in our 'discussions' on where to go next, and lets them feel empowered as well.

    It also helps highlight areas that are more age-friendly then other attractions so guests looking to target those things can find them easier. Finding things like the art stations, etc setup throughout EPCOT etc would be much easier and now lets the kids get involved in finding them.

    This whole 'its segerating' the kids vs the adults thing is way over blown I think. The idea to have kid friendly literature is great.

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