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  1. #31

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    Re: Shanghai DL To Be Outsourced by WDI...

    Quote Originally Posted by LongIslandGuy View Post
    thousands of dreams of becoming an imagineer crushed....
    There goes my future.

  2. #32

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    Re: Shanghai DL To Be Outsourced by WDI...

    Quote Originally Posted by blueohanaterror View Post
    6) You really think John Lasseter would sit still if flatlining WDI were on the table?
    Yep. John's a creative. A top creative, but so far as WDC is concerned, a creative - period. When it comes to the organizational wills and wants of WDC and its divisions, John will do what Bob and the business brain trust tell him to do.

    If, for example, DCP is so hot to trot out their Tink franchise that they want John to appear on video gushing about how fantastic The Tinker Bell Movie is (yes, the same drek-to-DVD Tinker Bell Movie that John wanted to shut down, but was forced to keep going because it was part of DCP's business plans), then he'll do it.

    And did.

    "With the acquisition of Marvel and now of Lucasfilm,
    Disney may have finally found the grail. You don't need
    imagination or art. All you need is a brand."

    - Neil Gabler


  3. #33

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    Re: Shanghai DL To Be Outsourced by WDI...

    Quote Originally Posted by HMF View Post
    There goes my future.
    If your only interest in themed entertainment is working for Imagineering, then I would strongly suggest you seek another area of professional focus.

    Disney has drastically changed in the past 10 years, if not 20. Imagineering is not what you think it is; many young fans desire working for the WDI of yesterday, falsely believing that long-time careers of creating leading edge ride technology and E-Ticket attractions still exist.

    Those days have been long gone. It's just now becoming apparent to others outside the company.
    "Dope smoking insects and reckless driving always work." -- Cousin Orville

  4. #34

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    Re: Shanghai DL To Be Outsourced by WDI...

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Wiggins View Post
    Yep. John's a creative. A top creative, but so far as WDC is concerned, a creative - period. When it comes to the organizational wills and wants of WDC and its divisions, John will do what Bob and the business brain trust tell him to do.

    If, for example, DCP is so hot to trot out their Tink franchise that they want John to appear on video gushing about how fantastic The Tinker Bell Movie is (yes, the same drek-to-DVD Tinker Bell Movie that John wanted to shut down, but was forced to keep going because it was part of DCP's business plans), then he'll do it.

    And did.

    Very true.

    My Pixarian friends who've worked for the company since the Point Richmond days have lamented the control which Disney wields over the company now. I can't count the number of times I've heard "this is no longer the same company" for the past few years.

    Anyone who bought into the Principle Creative Advisor myth dilberately spun for the Pixar acquisition needs to take a good look at the above post, because it clearly defines the limitations of Lasseter's involvement with Disney, especially at WDI.

    John's opinions are respected, but he doesn't have any actual power to make drastic changes within Glendale's org chart or within the parks. John may not like the personnel changes going on at WDI, but it doesn't matter, since he's powerless to stop them. It's not his business unit to manage.

    So if Iger wants to convert Imagineering into a job shop, there's not one thing Lasseter can do about it.
    "Dope smoking insects and reckless driving always work." -- Cousin Orville

  5. #35

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    Re: Shanghai DL To Be Outsourced by WDI...

    Quote Originally Posted by BlueSkyDriveBy View Post
    If your only interest in themed entertainment is working for Imagineering, then I would strongly suggest you seek another area of professional focus.

    Disney has drastically changed in the past 10 years, if not 20. Imagineering is not what you think it is; many young fans desire working for the WDI of yesterday, falsely believing that long-time careers of creating leading edge ride technology and E-Ticket attractions still exist.
    That's exactly the point. I want to get in and once I have enough power make the changes needed. Besides I am hell-bent on the job and would do anything to get it.
    Last edited by HMF; 08-16-2010 at 07:33 PM.

  6. #36

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    Re: Shanghai DL To Be Outsourced by WDI...

    Quote Originally Posted by RandySavage View Post
    You can't do much worse (by Disney standards) than what WDI has done in recent years with DCA, WDSP & HKDL.
    I agree with DCA and WDSP, but not HKDL. Agreed, it's too small, but the design and theming are great. It just needs more attractions. Which I look forward to seeing when Mystic Manor opens!


    ImagineerWarrior

  7. #37

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    Re: Shanghai DL To Be Outsourced by WDI...

    Quote Originally Posted by ImagineerWaryur View Post
    I agree with DCA and WDSP, but not HKDL. Agreed, it's too small, but the design and theming are great. It just needs more attractions. Which I look forward to seeing when Mystic Manor opens!


    ImagineerWarrior
    I wouldn't call Hong Kong Disneyland a great design. It's nice, but nothing really stands out in terms of architecture or theming aside from the Rivers of Adventure (an unique twist, I'll admit). Without bringing attractions into the picture, the identical entrance to Disneyland and all of Main Street up to the castle is nothing new.

    Hong Kong's Fantasyland seems like a bare courtyard instead of the medieval village and spacious European countryside feel of Disneyland and Disneyland Paris. Nothing distinctive or sweeping vistas like at previous Magic Kingdoms.

    Tomorrowland is kinetic and colorful, but it is again lacking in detail and is too cartoonish for my taste. Adventureland is great and probably my favorite land in the park, but it is just too bare with only Jungle Cruise anchoring it. Although huge and spacious, this only makes the emptiness stand out even more.

    The attention to detail in the whole park is lacking. On the surface everything looks aesthetically pleasing, but there is nothing to find and discover once you pay attention and look for the little details. The theming is nice, but it's mostly generic and without the substance to support it.

    Another complaint is the lack of themed queues in the park, which someone brought up in another thread I believe. Nearly every queue is a switchback with little theming, making immersion while waiting in-line less effective than a detailed queue that builds excitement by telling a backstory.

    And of course, the need to constantly tear the train tracks and build out of the original park shows they did not plan the park very well. The sandwiching of the three new lands right against Adventureland is just clumsy and unattactive in a hub and spoke layout. I imagine the one pathway servicing all three lands will be a nightmare in high traffic.
    ~ Tokyo DisneySea’s Arabian Coast at nighttime ~


  8. #38

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    Re: Shanghai DL To Be Outsourced by WDI...

    It's amazing the hyperbole and the assumptions made of people simply because they're at the top.

    Iger actually has great respect for the minds at WDI and what they do. He rubbed some people the wrong way and now there's sniping going on. If anything, what I've gotten is he SUBSTANTIVELY appreciates what WDI does, where Eisner would express fascination, admiration, lip service - and then throw key people and amazing plans under the bus. Iger is what he presents. People in Hollywood know him as one of the most straightforward, plainspoken execs in this industry.

    It's easy to dismiss him as a "techhie" - as yes, he has launched TWDC forward into technology initiatives like no other entertainment company - even Sony. But he's got great respect for the principle of compartmentalization WHILE cross-pollinating. Anyone assuming the opposite simply is swallowing a lot of junk spouted from the mouths of some disgruntled people. Boy, do I know the type.

    There IS more than one person "on the ground" in Shanghai and many more roaming Asia to find vendors and get the support structure ready to build this park. It IS moving forward, and yes, Distance IS a very valid reason - to save money. It's either build another bland Hong Kong Xerox park from a distance and telegraph the whole thing with few creative distinctions, or DESIGN something significant and lovely and special that can STILL be built for a price that makes sense and still makes a profit. Seriously - does anyone here know what running a business with subcontractors is LIKE? Now multiply that times a thousand and you begin to recognize the complexity of building an entire resort that INCLUDES a theme park, in a country where not only is the primary language VERY different from the key designers, but there are huge dialectical changes from province to province that seriously impede progress in their OWN native construction projects. That alone is just a huge stumbling block to get over. And there are hundreds of others. If this were being built in Sydney, sure, they'd still be saving money by finding regional vendors and contractors for services, but a lot of these other issues would not have to come into play.

    Hong Kong and Paris have been harbingers of concern for the future and the tightening economy has made things worse... In light of that, it's amazing this whole project is going forward at all. So this over-the-top hysteria about this being a 'test case' conspiracy to eventually shrink WDI to a little boutique design shop - is exactly that. Hysteria.

    Believe what you want, but my opinion is there's a lot of hasty assumptions being made on the basis of almost nothing at all except common sense factors of export and construction. Try THIS: wait five years and see what really happens.

    Really... this whole dialogue just has me shaking my head. What people believe sometimes is what they want to believe. Iger doesn't like WDI so their days are numbered. Sheesh. What a crock.

  9. #39

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    Re: Shanghai DL To Be Outsourced by WDI...

    Quote Originally Posted by 4 Park Central View Post
    If you know anyone that can get into the MAPO building there is a model at the far end of the hall. :-p
    yes, we *know* you see that model everyday after clocking in.

  10. #40

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    Re: Shanghai DL To Be Outsourced by WDI...

    Quote Originally Posted by blueohanaterror View Post
    Believe what you want, but my opinion is there's a lot of hasty assumptions being made on the basis of almost nothing at all except common sense factors of export and construction. Try THIS: wait five years and see what really happens.
    Or wait one year, perhaps even less, to see which former Imagineers like Tim Delaney or Eddie Sotto or maybe even the Kirks are back at Imagineering, as contractors, working on Shanghai. No need to wait five full years to prove the rumor.

    Really... this whole dialogue just has me shaking my head. What people believe sometimes is what they want to believe. Iger doesn't like WDI so their days are numbered. Sheesh. What a crock.
    Iger doesn't "dislike" WDI, per se. Iger dislikes the costs associated with WDI in the designing and building of the theme parks and resorts.

    WDI is the last design firm in the industry which doesn't operate from the Uni Creative outsourcing model. The rest of the industry adopted this methodology, years ago.

    It is simply a matter of time before WDI conforms to the rest of the themed entertainment industry. Potter @ IOA proved beyond all doubt that the model works. And that's all Iger truly cares about.

    WDI will continue to be slowly downsized over the next five years or so, whether or not you choose to accept it.
    "Dope smoking insects and reckless driving always work." -- Cousin Orville

  11. #41

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    Re: Shanghai DL To Be Outsourced by WDI...

    Quote Originally Posted by BlueSkyDriveBy View Post
    Or wait one year, perhaps even less, to see which former Imagineers like Tim Delaney or Eddie Sotto or maybe even the Kirks are back at Imagineering, as contractors, working on Shanghai. No need to wait five full years to prove the rumor.
    That team of outsourced talent would be cause for celebration.

    It is simply a matter of time before WDI conforms to the rest of the themed entertainment industry. Potter @ IOA proved beyond all doubt that the model works.
    But the model also fails. Universal Singapore is seeing major problems with all its outsourced, original E-tickets (Madagascar, Battlestar & Jurassic Park rapids). Delaney, Kirk, et. al. are proven talent who can do the job, but without an institution like WDI, it seems to me that when the current senior imagineers are all retired there could be a major experience gap, whereas WDI from inception to the late 90s had a very strong lineage (i.e., experienced imagineers teaching younger ones). With that gone can the same level of quality be achieved as consistently?

  12. #42

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    Re: Shanghai DL To Be Outsourced by WDI...

    Quote Originally Posted by RandySavage View Post
    That team of outsourced talent would be cause for celebration.
    Absolutely!
    But the model also fails. Universal Singapore is seeing major problems with all its outsourced, original E-tickets (Madagascar, Battlestar & Jurassic Park rapids).
    I'm not convinced that Uni Singapore's problems stem from the outsourcing model that UC has adopted, given the overall high acceptance of Potter, which was totally outsourced.

    Sure, Forbidden Journey is experiencing growing pains as did Spider-Man during its first year of operation. Leading edge E-Tickets are unpredictable, especially those using newer technology. But both in-house and outsourced projects can and will experience disastrous failures, no matter who developed and/or built them.

    It's not simply a matter of in-house vs outsourced. It's more a matter of knowing which envelope to push and by how much. And some design teams, no matter where they reside, simply do not have enough expertise to distinguish those dividing lines. Disco Yeti in E:E is a stellar example of in-house design failure.

    Delaney, Kirk, et. al. are proven talent who can do the job, but without an institution like WDI, it seems to me that when the current senior imagineers are all retired there could be a major experience gap, whereas WDI from inception to the late 90s had a very strong lineage (i.e., experienced imagineers teaching younger ones). With that gone can the same level of quality be achieved as consistently?
    At the risk of sounding like a business suit (which I'm definitely the antithesis of by every conceivable measure), I believe this argument is no longer valid.

    Theme park experiences are changing, definitely, but not necessarily for the better. Most of the time, the failure to deliver quality product can be placed squarely on management's financial decisions to contain costs. Given the financial burden of creating and maintaining these parks and resorts, corporations will continue to lose interest in these types of operations unless costs can be better contained. And keeping a studio full of permanently salaried artists and engineers simply for the sake of maintaining a design legacy is massively expensive. Corporate leadership across the board simply does not have the intestinal fortitude to deal with expensive labor costs of this nature any longer. It's just not how business is done in the 21st century, especially by multinational corporations such as Disney.

    The old original WED model of keeping thousands of Imagineers continuously on the payroll isn't realistic anymore, given how many companies are now creating themed entertainment as good as if not better than WDI has, even during their glory days. And it's not as if the next generation of theme park designers will be hopelessly lost, never having the opportunity to learn the ropes from the previous generation of Imagineers. Most of those professionals have their own design firms and studios now, and are hiring the next generation of park designers to train themselves.


    WDI is no longer WED, and hasn't been for a very long time. The dysfunctional political gamesmanship at WDI will continue to drag the company down, even further away from the design fundamentals that the Legends created in the fifties and sixties.

    The passing of the torch continues on, just not inside Glendale. And in many ways, I'm beginning to believe this will ultimately prove to be the saving grace for Walt's theme park legacy.
    "Dope smoking insects and reckless driving always work." -- Cousin Orville

  13. #43

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    Re: Shanghai DL To Be Outsourced by WDI...

    Quote Originally Posted by BlueSkyDriveBy View Post
    Or wait one year, perhaps even less, to see which former Imagineers like Tim Delaney or Eddie Sotto or maybe even the Kirks are back at Imagineering, as contractors, working on Shanghai. No need to wait five full years to prove the rumor.
    Heck, no need to wait... a lot of former WDI folks are already back at work, shuttling back and forth on the Shanghai project. None of the big names you mentioned, but very talented individuals nonetheless.

    While I'm certainly glad that these people still have a place at the table, I'm not really on board with this projected future model for WDI. I'm a firm believer in institutional knowledge, and without keeping a critical mass of people in various disciplines on staff, you lose that. Also, while it's certain that these independent studios can pull off any new project Disney could desire, I feel that relying only on contractors doesn't allow for the blue sky process that results in really outlandish and great new ideas.

    If you need a highly-themed Hogsmeade, great. There are plenty studios that you can call up and get that. But you won't get Rolly Crump goofing around in the back room coming up with a Museum of the Weird or Harper Goff moonlighting on a totally different take on World Showcase... so many of the great Disney attractions have come from people sneaking around in the model shop in between projects, and I fear that's something that can't be re-created on a contractor basis.

  14. #44

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    Re: Shanghai DL To Be Outsourced by WDI...

    Disney has been nothing but a car wreck ever since Hannah Montana debuted on the Disney Channel.
    2014
    A year that holds the challenge of truly bringing Earth into the 21st Century.

  15. #45

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    Re: Shanghai DL To Be Outsourced by WDI...

    Quote Originally Posted by MiklCraw4d View Post
    If you need a highly-themed Hogsmeade, great. There are plenty studios that you can call up and get that. But you won't get Rolly Crump goofing around in the back room coming up with a Museum of the Weird or Harper Goff moonlighting on a totally different take on World Showcase... so many of the great Disney attractions have come from people sneaking around in the model shop in between projects, and I fear that's something that can't be re-created on a contractor basis.
    Name me five "great Disney attractions" created in the last 10 years on the old school model you're describing, attractions that did NOT have a direct tie-in to an existing brand, Disney's or otherwise.

    What you seem to forget is that the leadership at Disney no longer gives a crap about Imagineers "sneaking around in the model shop in between projects" looking for ways to create original attractions for the parks. Virtually everything is now tied to an existing property or brand, or borrowed from an existing attraction. That's what Iger wants for the parks. That is his vision. He no longer desires Imagineers who tinker in between projects. He doesn't want Imagineers "wasting time" in between projects. That's lost capital for labor expenditures he'd rather not pay.

    Doesn't matter whether or not contractors can delivery new and original "great Disney attractions" for the parks. Iger doesn't want to shoulder the added expense to keep a permanent Imagineering workforce in order to make that happen. He's rolling the dice and taking his chances with the contractors.
    "Dope smoking insects and reckless driving always work." -- Cousin Orville

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