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  1. #31

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    Quote Originally Posted by askmike1
    Unless someone is doing a formal paper, they almost always abrieviate everything. MK DL DCA EP MGM DAK/AK TDS TDL DLP WDSP IASW HISTA WWTBAMPI (which I think is the worst abbreviation ever) SM DQ LMA TT ToT RnRC GMR M:S F! and OKW to name a few.

    -Michael
    But do you remember how the arrogant folks that ran TDA from 1996-2003 made a decree back in 2000 that CMs were NEVER supposed to refer to Disney's California Adventure as DCA? For some reason they felt DCA had the same quality as poison, due to 'Internet buzz' and didn't want the acronym used. they were very anal about it ... only in late 2001 when it became apparent that people like Al Lutz and the Disney geek community knew more about what folks went to Disney parks for than the consultants that Disney paid tens of millions to, did TDA let up on the use of DCA.

  2. #32

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    Enjoyed the column, Kevin. I think you nailed Disney-MGM's problems quite well. It's a park that truly segregates its visitors with thrills or toddler attractions, with very, very little in between. Disney doesn't much believe in family attractions. AA;filled adventures and even dark-rides cost more than Playhouse Disney or even RnRC.

    I truly dislike the park. the only Disney park in the USA I feel that way about. I often skip the park entirely and I visit quite a bit.

    Yes, I'd much rather be at DCA ... well except for the Brown Derby.

    Such a completely different vibe from the way the park felt in its early years (1989-1997) when it was such a vibrant, happening place. It definitely has an identity crisis.

  3. #33

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    Quote Originally Posted by ChiMike
    Enough to give Universal double digit attendance growth last year, while Disney subsidizes Tragical Express to try to de-motivate visitors from going with flexible transportation while in Orlando.
    I heard it was almost none. WDW's numbers didn't go down at all once IOA opened.

  4. #34

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    That's incorrect. You heard wrong. All WDW parks have had negative growth for the majority of years since Universal opened.

    Now most of WDWs decrease had nothing to do with Universal, larger economic forces in conjunction with miserable strategic planning were at work. However, it's pretty hard to ignore the thesis that (outside of AP holders) everybody that enters a Universal park is a potential body that could have had an extra day on their hopper or an extra meal at a Disney park. Universal now offers a significant alternative to Disney. It's on Disney's shoulders for being the "top dog" to minimize Universal's impact.
    -Mike

  5. #35

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    Quote Originally Posted by WDW1974
    It's a park that truly segregates its visitors with thrills or toddler attractions, with very, very little in between.

    Such a completely different vibe from the way the park felt in its early years (1989-1997) when it was such a vibrant, happening place. It definitely has an identity crisis.
    But THERE is stuff in-between. That was part of my early point. The problem is that in-between stuff is either outdated or has long outlasted it's depreciation.

    Their fault lies more with bad updating and bad capex. Like the build-up to the Millennium celebration sort of set-up Epcot to fail down the road, the 100 years of Magic did the same with MGM. These celebrations du annee are short-term gimmicks that I think take the eye off the prize for each park that is unlucky enough to be hosting them.

    There is no doubt about the current crop of WDI offerings. They are HIGHLY segmented. However, the park as it stands now is suffering much more from age and neglect, then it is by it's roster's make-up of kid attractions v. adult attractions. Indy, Sound Show (in whatever form), Star Tours, Muppets, Beauty and the Beast, Tram Tour, Animation, sad to say GMR, are all older attractions that are contributing to the real dilemma of the park. At least they are trying with the theoretical replacement of Indy, but still, a great park does not a stunt show make.

    Second, this has been a problem long in the coming, way before 1997. I hate to admit it, but there was more things done to try to bolster the park since 1997, then done to it from 1995 to 1997. While I disagree with the long-term value that most of those attempts brought with them, the park felt less stagnant then it did in say, 1996.

    They tried to ride on the wave of popularity from one single attraction, and moved on to more gates and additional water parks. Like Michael Eisner's infamous engine/cylinder analogy, they burnt-out the MGM engine.
    -Mike

  6. #36

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    The problem with Disney-MGM Studios is it's overall ride deficit.

    In a nutshell, there are two extreme rides (ToT and Rock 'in' Roller Coaster), two or three toddler attractions (no rides) and, other than a new stunt show, what little that lies in-between is outdated. Add to this, Kevin is correct in indicating that the overall atmosphere (stages, backdrops, scenery, etc.) is in need of re-tooling on a grander scale.

    As far as a fifth park goes, many of us would like to have a stateside Disney Sea. Apart from that, I think most everyone, Kevin included, would prefer a broad, thematic concept that Disney hasn't tried before. Other than that, nobody knows, exactly what the theme will be at this point, or when the gate will be built.
    Last edited by Ride Warrior; 06-11-2005 at 10:57 AM.

  7. #37

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    Quote Originally Posted by ChiMike
    That's incorrect. You heard wrong. All WDW parks have had negative growth for the majority of years since Universal opened.

    Now most of WDWs decrease had nothing to do with Universal, larger economic forces in conjunction with miserable strategic planning were at work. However, it's pretty hard to ignore the thesis that (outside of AP holders) everybody that enters a Universal park is a potential body that could have had an extra day on their hopper or an extra meal at a Disney park. Universal now offers a significant alternative to Disney. It's on Disney's shoulders for being the "top dog" to minimize Universal's impact.
    When IOA was about to open Disney had all these big plans for each park. And then when IOA was getting low numbers Disney decided to scale back on the plans because they didn't see that park as a big threat because there numbers didn't go down much.

    The only threat IOA had was towards Universal Studios because there numbers went down because people who went to Universal just started spending time at IOA. But overall it didn't get people away from WDW.

  8. #38

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    Lots of really long posts here so sorry if this has already been mentioned but in regards to the 1930s theme...

    I've never been to Disney MGM Studios but if the 1930s atmosphere talked about in the article is anything like it is at the HPB then it's not supposed to be in the 1930s. All of the architecure is simply supposed to be from that era. Go to Hollywood or LA today and you'll see tons of buildings that were built in this time period. Think Hollywood Tower Hotel in both parks. They were "built" in the 1930s but their presence in the park isn't supposed to transport you to a long time ago like with Indiana Jones Adventure at DL, it's supposed to be "today."

    And sure Hollywood today doesn't look much like it is represented in HPB but then isn't this imagined immersion of themeing or whatever it was that was discussed that more modern parks like Animal Kingdom suffered from? Taking you out of the real world and into sanitized "Disney" representations.
    Joey AKA "dlfreak"
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    I'm addicted to Disneyland. Disneyland hobbies are expensive.
    If I become a bum people are going to say "Don't give him money, he's just gonna use it on Disneyland."
    Disneyland. My Anti-drug.

    With all this talk of "off the shelf" and "on the back-burner" it seems the only thing that DCA is really missing is the kitchen sink!

    Create your own Virtual pet today!

  9. #39

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    Quote Originally Posted by DBFan117
    When IOA was about to open Disney had all these big plans for each park. And then when IOA was getting low numbers Disney decided to scale back on the plans because they didn't see that park as a big threat because there numbers didn't go down much.
    I think you are missing the real underlying motivations.

    When Disney scaled back, and IOA received low numbers, the country was experiencing the bubble bursting, the cost of capital rising, the recession beginning, unemployment creeping up, and then later 9/11.

    Orlando was saturated from prior growth with excess hotel rooms and theme parks. IOA helped prove to WDW that there was too much capacity. NOT that what IOA was, was a bad thing.

    Mission Space, Expedition Everest, Magical Express, are all of a number of things that were a direct reaction to Universal.

    All four Disney parks saw a decrease of visitors after the Millennium Celebration. During the same time, attendance at Universal (combined) was increasing due to the additions of IOA, City Walk, and the hotels.

    It can then be logically concluded that Disney was loosing out on the opportunity to service the increased Universal guest count. In 2004, Universal parks saw double the growth that WDW parks saw. Once again, bodies that WDW could have had to fill 'their' park and hotel capacity. WDW's loss, Universal's gain.

    Quote Originally Posted by DBFan117
    The only threat IOA had was towards Universal Studios because there numbers went down because people who went to Universal just started spending time at IOA. But overall it didn't get people away from WDW.
    I'm sorry but you couldn't be more wrong. That just is not reality. It might be a nice thought, but it's wrong.

    Like Tokyo Disney, the resort as a whole has seen an increase of visitors spread among the two gates. Both Tokyo Disney and Universal Orlando's original first gates STILL outdraw their respective second gates. IOA is not hurting Universal because it is Universal. The additions of Hotels, City Walk, and IOA have ratcheted up the need for Disney to stay the market leader. Each burger sold or turnstile spun at Universal is one less for Disney. Universal's attendance has been growing faster than Disney's. It's a fact. There is not an endless supply of theme park patrons. Universal's additional bodies ARE choosing Universal over other recreation options. People aren't for the most part strictly picking Universal and not visiting WDW, BUT, they are choosing Universal for a portion of their recreation dollar.

    Ohh, yeah, Even with that fact, WDW is a far better resort than Universal.
    Last edited by ChiMike; 06-11-2005 at 11:41 AM. Reason: grammer
    -Mike

  10. #40

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    Quote Originally Posted by dlfreak
    Lots of really long posts here so sorry if this has already been mentioned but in regards to the 1930s theme...

    I've never been to Disney MGM Studios but if the 1930s atmosphere talked about in the article is anything like it is at the HPB then it's not supposed to be in the 1930s. All of the architecture is simply supposed to be from that era. Go to Hollywood or LA today and you'll see tons of buildings that were built in this time period. Think Hollywood Tower Hotel in both parks. They were "built" in the 1930s but their presence in the park isn't supposed to transport you to a long time ago like with Indiana Jones Adventure at DL, it's supposed to be "today."

    And sure Hollywood today doesn't look much like it is represented in HPB but then isn't this imagined immersion of theming or whatever it was that was discussed that more modern parks like Animal Kingdom suffered from? Taking you out of the real world and into sanitized "Disney" representations.
    While I agree, when you visit MGM's ToT you are not then being transported to 1930s. BUT, parts of MGM from the get-go were designed to make you feel like you WERE visiting Hollywood's Golden Age. Right down to the street performers. DCA's HPB is a whole other thing. Now at DCA you are visiting in the "now". Where older facades aren't the real thing but simply sets.

    Brown Derby, Chinese Theater, Street Performers, Hollywood Blvd., Echo Lake, Sunset Blvd. all were supposed to take you to that "Disneyland" place. One of the problems that the park has is that that theme or purpose has not been consistent or supported. It started when they opened up parts of the backlot to foot traffic and continued through fantasy additions like Star Tours to DCA type (I know MGM was first), live in the now, additions like Millionaire.
    -Mike

  11. #41

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    A lot of discussion about the Studios and the mystery land buyer, but nothing so far on what is a huge announcement for Sea World. Shamu really is kind of an also-ran in Orlando. That said, I'll get the ball rolling.

    Is this area (between the thrill rides and Sea Harbor Drive, correct?) really big enough for any sort of park? I happen to stare at it all day (I work in the Harcourt building accross the street), and it just seems too narrow, especially if they want any sort of a buffer between the two parks. Is this seen as an "all-day" park, or a couple-hour add-on to a day at Sea World?

    Putting aside the question of space, though, it seems like a good idea. With typical traffic on I-Drive, Wet n Wild can be close to a half-hour away (even though it's only a couple miles), and there seem to be a lot of newer hotels in this area, giving thema potential market. Being "kid-firendly" with a sea lion theme might help, too, since Wet n Wild seems geared more toward a teen market. And Sea World could definitely use more things to do.

  12. #42

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    Disney-MGM Studios has so many problems, really. From its current management that pushes a combo of kiddie attractions and thrill rides. To older attractions like GMR, Star Tours, MuppetVision that have gotten old and stale. To attractions that have no purpose like the tram tour of ... of ... what, exactly? To vast empty areas where attractions used to be Animation Studios, SuperStar Television. To specialty shops that no longer sell anything unique. To a haphazard growth plan that didn't actually follow any master plan so things like production areas became theme park, cast member parking became theme park etc ...

    The park, which I loved in 1989 despite its small size, has no direction, no cohesive theme that ties it together.

    And let's not even talk about how the Big *** that runs the company thought the Big *** Hat belonged right in front of the Chinese Theater.

  13. #43

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    Quote Originally Posted by WDW1974

    The park, which I loved in 1989 despite its small size, has no direction, no cohesive theme that ties it together.
    Doesn't though? The park is about Hollywood, right? What does Hollywood mean to you? Movies, actors, plastic, insincerity? The park is actually a better replica of the movie business than, well, the business itself. I haven't been for a good ten years, but I find it hard to swallow that it has evolved that much...I think this park has a good chance of overcoming it's current complacency and adding attractions and themes of an almost endless nature.

  14. #44

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    I've had to copy, paste & edit the original article since there so many things that I felt needed a reply.

    The third and fourth parks built—Disney-MGM and Disney’s Animal Kingdom—might well be examples of "reactionism:" the company (Eisner in particular) wanted to steal business from existing, similar parks—Universal Florida and Busch Gardens Tampa, respectively. The audiences were fairly obvious: those interested in movies/moviemaking, and those interested in animals and nature.
    I searched on the internet for background information to reference here, but I distinctly recall reading (perhaps in "Prince of the Magic Kingdom: Michael Eisner and the Re-Making of Disney" by Joe Flower) that the Disney-MGM Studios began simply as an expansion pavillion for Epcot. The inital idea came about with The Great Movie Ride as the center piece (hence its current size) and then Superstar Television and The Monster Sound Show. As the idea developed, it became apparant that Disney essentially had another theme park. Thus the Disney-MGM Studios was born. I do not have access to the timelines for Universal and DMGM, however I'm certain that timing of both would disprove that DMGM was built in reaction to Universal. Granted, DMGM was rushed once Universal was announced to beat opening day, however the initial concept and design to build it would have been independent of USF.

    The Disney-MGM theme in particular seems to cry out for further attention. It’s a given that the park was built for film buffs, and yet it’s equally true that the park was created partly as an excuse to have a working studio operating in Florida. This was a time of dramatic expansion for Feature Animation, and a resurgence for Disney live action. Among other projects were the new Mickey Mouse Club, where Britney, Justin, and Christina got their starts, as well as entirely new film divisions and television shows (with the natural side effect of a burning need for more soundstages). Enter Disney-MGM, which could be built to satisfy production needs but also offer additional income streams. The actual production also lent an aura of authenticity to the entire enterprise; surely more was filmed here than at rival Universal Studios Florida, which is more of a theme park than a working production zone.
    To add to the above...I disagree with the statement that the park was buildt for film buffs (of which I am one as my BA confirms). You do not have to be a film buff to be fascinated with the movies, entranced by them and perhaps curious as to how they did that. Case in point films such as Titanic, Gladiator, the Star Wars saga, ET, and the list goes on.
    I cannot answer as to wether or not the Studios were buildt as an excuse to have a working Florida studio. I do know though that at the time there was a LOT of expectation that with the advent of both Studios, that Flordia was expected to become an East-Coast Hollywood. That has obviously not happened. Granted, it does beg the question as to wether or not this was something that TWDC and Universal anticipated or initiated. But again, I go back to the origins of the Studios that I mentioned above. At minimum, it only made since to include a working production facility given what I stated previously.

    But MGM’s strength would also turn out to be its weakness. As film production waned here, the backlot and soundstages lost much of their vitality. Is it any wonder that Residential Street would eventually be demolished to make room for the car stunt show Lights Motors Action? Relevance is fleeting.
    I believe that downfall in recent years to the Studios is related to general decline of the Television and Film Division. When I worked at the Studios, the big billboards up and down Mickey Avenue showcased multiple Buena Vista Television productions - The Golden Girls, Home Improvement, Empty Nest to name a few. Keep in mind that Residential street featured recreations of the exterios for TGG & EN as well as some others. ALSO, while SuperStar Television was an EXCELLENT show (which I dearly loved) it was not updated to keep pace with the current 'hit' shows. Two final notes, Disney failed to introduce attractions based on the hit films AND failed to quickley (or not at all) showcase the makings of. Remember that Armageddon was a Touchstone release. While there was a 'Making of...', it didn't last that long, nor were there other such tie-ins with other films. Final note on this subject, keep in mind that the following films have been released by Dreamworks SKG - Shrek, Gladiator, Madagascar, Saving Private Ryan, AI, Galaxy Quest, Shark Tale, House of Sand of Fog, The Time Machine, Antz, Mouse Hunt, The Ring, Spin City. Where would The Walt Disney Studios be today if Eisner hadn't run Katzenberger out? Granted, not all of the films mentioned would have transitioned to theme park attraction per se. My point is that the DMGM Studios is the victim of an lack of creative talent in the Studio division.

    Even more problematic was the closure of Feature Animation’s division in Orlando. No more would animators be visible behind plate glass, working on the next hand-drawn animated feature. Thus dropped the other shoe, and suddenly the entire Disney-MGM Studios park seemed to lack not only a sense of urgency, but also a sense of place. Without film production and animation, what exactly is Disney-MGM’s calling? The park used to celebrate movies and witness their creation, and is now down to just celebrating them.
    Florida Animation was initally given the charge of creating various shorts. It was only after the Animation Renaissance started to peak that WDA-FL really took to root. As I recall, the main animation for Lion King was done in California, however some of the work was done in Orlando with an increasing triumph of Mulan (FL's first fully produced Animated Film - If I recall.) I would agree that the demise of Animation was a *CRITICAL* blow to the park as it removed any and all sembelence of being a production studio. (More on that below...)

    Will the Great Movie Ride have to be substantially revised? Building new sets and Audio-Animatronics strikes me as all but impossible—it’s more likely they would simply close the ride altogether. That may even be behind the logic of covering up the park’s onetime icon—the Chinese Theater—with the Sorcerer’s Apprentice hat. That hat indicates a desire to skew the park’s message more toward Disney animation, a move bolstered by the revised Animation building, the presence of a Little Mermaid attraction, and dedicated character greeting areas that dot the streetscape near the Backlot Tour.
    Over the years, there has been a transition at the studios away from 'MOVIES' to 'SHOWBIZ'. Rumor has it that after the 25th Anniversay and the Millenium, that the leadership team at the Studios argued that the Studios should be the focal point for the 100 Years of Magic celebration. Evidently, the MK and Epcot enjoyed a HUGE attendence boost due to the promotion and the Studios wanted a take of it. That dictated that the Mickey hat would be buildt at the Studios and would become the new icon for the park in keeping with the shift to 'SHOWBIZ'. For the record, while the Chinese Theatre (using its proper name) may have shown up here and there, the Studio water tower was always the offical icon of the park. The Chinese Theatre is so named, because Disney never acquired the licensing rights to call it MANN'S Chinese Theatre - the name of the theatre on which it is based. I'm assuming that because that, it could never be used as the icon. As to its location, where else in the Studios would you have put it if it was intended to become the new icon? Its location had NOTHING to do with covering up the Chinese Theatre since the CT WASN'T the offical icon of the park. Furthermore, I do not believe that it is appropriate to say that the hat 'further skews the park toward animation'. This is subjective statement. The hat is a symbol and as such can be interpretted any number of ways. Furthermore, 'the revised animation building' (which I assume refers to the five? story 'Animation' building that was built) was built simply because Feature Animation was packed like rats all over the place. The construction of the building consolidated everyone into one building. Additionally, I know that some of the floors where not completed when the building opened. I can only assume that they were left as so in the event that FA needed more space or that another WDW department needed offices. (Every notice the lack of Office buildings on property?)

    The loss of MGM will hollow out even further the already-endangered theme of the studio park. If it’s not about witnessing movie production, and it’s being reduced to celebrating only Disney movies, how is this much different from the Magic Kingdom? (wisecracks that leap to mind include such zingers as "it’s not as fun and thematically integrated as the MK" or "there’s far less to do at the Studio park").
    I’m forced to conclude that the Disney-MGM Studios park is thematically adrift, even before MGM exits the scene.
    Agreed somewhat. As I've stated before, the Studios is shifting from 'MOVIES' to 'SHOWBUSINES' and that this shift has been in the works for sometime.

    Worse, it aims at two completely opposite audiences. There’s a pandering to very young children, even toddlers, via several attractions: the Honey I Shrunk playset, the Muppets, Playhouse Disney, the Voyage of the Little Mermaid, and even Mickey’s sorcerer hat rather than the visually arresting (but apparently boring to toddlers) Chinese theater. The other audience is composed of thrill-seekers, especially teenagers. Witness the "thrill corner" at one end of Sunset Boulevard: Tower of Terror and Rock ‘n Roller Coaster both seem to belong somewhere other than at the studios park, yet there they are.

    Trying to appeal to two audiences at the same time can be inherently dangerous—it might inadvertently make NO ONE like you.
    HELLO!!! Have you taken a moment to look at the Movies that are out there? Have you browsed through T.V. guide recently? Wether you believe that the Studios is about MOVIES or SHOWBIZ, the products of both vary greatly in terms of intended audience. Do you really think that any intelligent adult is going to sit down in front of the TELETUBBIES and which it unless a child is there? Do you really think that a child is going to be able to discuess the religion and philosophy of 'THE MATRIX' or the questions of faith brough up by 'CONTACT'? I know that you've heard the term 'Chick Flick'. There's a reason why Chick Flicks are made - to go after the female audience. I know for a fact that Production Studios (20th, Dreamworks, Paramount, etc.) have indicated to various Producers and Directors their desire that the film be written and edited to garner a specific film rating. An example is that an 'R' rating my eliminate a huge percentage of the potential 'PG-13' audience. Disney itself is not above this. 'National Treasure' was originally going to be released as a Touchstone Pictures film. When 'NT' was given a 'PG' rating, it was released as a Walt Disney Pictures film to indicate that it was family friendly thus expanding it audience. To say that the DMGM Studios tries to cater to multiple audiences is correct. You cannot have a theme park based on a MOVIES or SHOWBIZ theme and have it appeal to everyone simply because the source material DOESN't apply to everyone (unless you cut down the number of titles).

    This month I overheard two families (both with multiple young children, including toddlers) killing time in the Orlando International Airport by discussing their just-finished vacations. One reporting spending four days straight at the Magic Kingdom—apparently Disney World can be funneled down to just this one park for them. The other family enthusiastically explained how they spent seven days visiting the Magic Kingdom, Epcot, and Animal Kingdom. Much talk ensued about the relative amount of entertainment for children at Epcot and DAK, but curiously, neither of the families ever mentioned Disney-MGM Studios. It was as if the park didn’t exist for them, or was completely out of the question. Despite the attempt to lure toddlers as outlined above.
    Just because two adults don't visit the Magic Kingdom on a visit, does it mean that MK has failed in its purpose or has lost sight of its theme? No. Two families are not a valid statistical sampling. Maybe, the park didn't exist for them because of the demographics of their family.

    One could construct an argument that the dual audiences could be reconciled—barely—as a micro version of the "WDW tossed salad": something for adults, something for teens, something for toddlers. All in one park rather than spread out. However, the various offerings for each of those audiences seem exclusive. Toddlers can’t ride the thrill rides and teens won’t want to sit through Playhouse Disney. Somehow, this just has a completely different feel from the dark rides of the Magic Kingdom, or Pirates of the Caribbean. What happened to the idea of whole families doing things together?
    See the comment above about MOVIES and SHOWBIZ not appleaing to everyone.

    Let’s set that aside for now and get back to the idea that the park is thematically adrift. I mean that completely in the "at sea" context. For really, how do we define the theme at this park? Or is it themes? Consider this: I challenge you to quickly, off the top of your head, rattle off the names of the lands at Disney-MGM Studios. Can’t do it? I’m not sure there are such names... this may be the only Disney park without "lands" per se. And if areas like "Mickey Ave." are meant to be lands, then where is the cohesive theming and the immersion?
    So a theme park has to have 'lands' to be called a theme park? I think not. If you go back to the origins of the parks - The Movies, you'll see that the theme is pervasive throught the entire property. When I worked there, I did not think twice about any discontinuity between the various parts of the park. It was just about the Movies. Someone that I did work with pointed out, that the park was dividing into roughly two parts - the theme park and the production studio. Granted that differentiation has all but gone, but that's another item. In short, in the theme park you entered the movies, in the production studio you saw how it was done.

    The whole thing is vaguely reminiscent of 1930s Hollywood, I suppose, and that theme is strongest in the front areas of the park (Hollywood Blvd and Sunset Blvd). How that morphs to the Indiana Jones "adventureland/jungle" area, or to the ABC Commissary, or to the Star Tours obviously-fake set dressings, or to the bricked-in Muppet area... that’s all beyond me. Maybe it all fits with the 1930s Hollywood idea? Fake soundstages abound, and there are some backdrops meant to look like film sets (Big City, Star Tours), and yet sometimes the soundstage idea is abandoned (Tower of Terror, Rock ‘n Roller Coaster). And what is Aerosmith doing in the 1930s?
    If you've ever visited a studio backlot, you know that the Backlot is nothing more than a hodge podge of buildings, studios and outdoor sets. I seem to recall that there was a plane wreckage set build at Universal California for War of the Worlds which was incongruitous(sp) with the buildings around it.

    In conclusion, as one person put it years ago - Universal knew how to do a Studio, Disney knew how to a theme park. The Studios does have its short commings and it is by far the park that it was when I worked there. It does need help. However I refuse to accept that it is as thematically adrift as the article makes it sound. It will be interesting to see how things develop if MGM pulls out, but hopefully that will be a good thing. While I was thinking about my response, it did occur to me that Disney missed out on at least TWO keys things. First, TWDC receives royalities from The Lord of the Rings films as Miramax at one time bought the rights to it. Eisner evidently didn't want to spend the money. Why didn't the TWDC respond to the inital success of the film by doing somesort of 'Making of...' or putting in a LOTR attraction given that the films would gain momentum over the following two years? (Guess Strategic Planning was out taking a nap.) Along with that, the completion of the Star Wars saga would have been announced as far back as 1996 or 1997. (The teaser was realsed '98, with the film following in '99). I would like to think that maybe, just maybe, a reintroduction/revitalization of the Star Wars incorporation into the Studios would have had a phenomenoal(sp) impact on the experience and the bottom line in terms of attendance & corresponding revenue. Given that the momentum of the films would have lasted about SIX years, I feel that this was nothing short of a missed opportunity. Granted, GL would have been quite busy with production, but I'm certain that with the right amount of cash and imagination, TWDC would have found a way to have pulled off such a strategic project.

    Nuff Said.

    David H
    WDW Cast Fall '93 - Fall '02
    Studios Fall '93 to March '94

  15. #45

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    85
    It has long been rumored that any fifth park at WDW would be based on roller-coasters and or possibly have a Disney Villan theme (or Disney Heros & Villians).

    My guess would be Six Flags since August the 3rd is the Busch behind the Busch acquisition of SeaWorld and his current little pet project. August the 4th evidently isn't all that thrilled with owning theme parks. Hence, Busch's absence from bidding on Universal or going in for join-ownership deal.

    Quote Originally Posted by WRDest79
    Kevin says the plans for WDW 5th gate are "mind-blowing", but what does that mean? Does anyone have any idea what hes talking about?

    Sounds like the mystery company is either six-flags, or busch gardens!

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