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  1. #16

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    Re: My Problem with Tokyo Disneyland Hotel

    Interesting take, but to me the TDL Hotel has elements of Victorian elegance, yet, it is not a carbon copy of the Grand FL or the HKDLH. Step inside and you will notice the similarities, yet nothing in there looks cheap. You can tell they did spend money building it and it is a classy resort hotel and without shame, it's pure Disney in the artwork and craftmanship.

  2. #17

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    Re: My Problem with Tokyo Disneyland Hotel

    I’m sure there’s nothing cheap about the Tokyo Disneyland Hotel. But what I think has happened is a shift in the basic philosophy of how Disney designs things.

    “In the past”, as they would say in Epcot, the idea was to create a hotel that gave you a strong emotional connection to a place or topic. Disney did this by using movie design techniques – as I said, at the Mira Costa you feel like you’re in an Italian palace. It’s more than just the pictures on the walls or furniture. Everything in the hotel is there specifically to evoke that emotion within you.

    But Disney doesn’t really do that anymore. Disney now designs “Disney” environments – they want to give you an emotion attachment to The Brand instead of creating a place from your imagination.

    That’s why I call the style “Disney Victorian”. The Company has created this elaborate, Mary Poppins-esque form of design and have made it symbolic of The Brand. The Victorian elements now evoke “elegance” and “old fashioned luxury”, “non-threatening”, and “this must be an expense place” – they are not there is produce a slow-pace, a grace and charm of a real Victorian hotel. The multi-story atrium lobby is there to impress you (and to make it seem like you’re getting your $700 a night worth), it’s not there to create a “Victorian” mood.*

    Personally, the reason I like Disney to begin with, and why I visit DisneySea every chance I get, is to see worlds from my imagination brought to life. In Porto Paradiso I feel like I’m in Renaissance Italy; I love walking through the streets of early 20th century New York.

    The Disney “Grand” style resorts don’t spark my imagination – all they are doing is trying to impress me. Too many people are trying to do that to me in the real world. But only at Disney can I see the Nautilus and wish – just like when I was seven years old – to climb aboard and go on an adventure.




    * While the atrium at the Mira Costa is very, very much in keeping with the atmosphere of a magnate's palace.

  3. #18

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    Re: My Problem with Tokyo Disneyland Hotel

    Very valid opinion and I agree.

  4. #19

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    Re: My Problem with Tokyo Disneyland Hotel

    1/19/09: Mark this one down

  5. #20

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    Re: My Problem with Tokyo Disneyland Hotel

    It’s a really tall hotel, looks like about 8 stories in photos I’m looking at now, taller than the average Disney-designed hotel. I’m assuming the height may have contributed to the feeling of being overwhelmed and to the lack of intimacy. Obviously, they could have constructed something shorter, but I imagine prevailing facts of capacity issues and the scarcity of space in Japan, and especially Tokyo, were what predetermined the general size and shape of the building itself, building up rather than out. The trick would then have to be designing “quaint” into an admittedly imposing structure.

    Based on pictures of TDSea (admittedly I haven’t been there myself yet), I’ve tended to think for a while now that the OLC has been sort of heading in the direction of “trying to impress,” and the appearance of the new hotel seems only to continue them in that particular direction. Personally I’m OK with that for now as I believe “awe” as much as “quaint” can be equally effective at conveying the theme’s mood and atmosphere. Just look at Cinderella Castle, Spaceship Earth, or the Tree of Life.

  6. #21

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    Re: My Problem with Tokyo Disneyland Hotel

    Good point. However, you must go and see this for yourself. I do agree the OLC is always trying to impress, and they most certainly succeed, but I honestly do not find anything wrong with this hotel at all. Yes, it is tall, yet, it does not impose itself over the TDL park as much... maybe because only the main building is tall and adjacent wings escalate down in height. Beside the main atrium, many other areas of the hotel are intimate and quaint. Especially the lovely gardens. This is a "grand" palace ala Disney, and the size of it is right for it, especially when the space it was built on was previously a small section of the parking lot.
    You have to see it to really appreciate it for all the little details that make this building a true Disney dream structure.

  7. #22

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    Re: My Problem with Tokyo Disneyland Hotel

    It's a beautiful hotel, but I think Another Voice is over-analyzing the issue, and there are many other Disney-built hotels that fit in both categories he cites. The Mira Costa seems stuffy, cold, and claustrophobic to me.

  8. #23

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    Re: My Problem with Tokyo Disneyland Hotel

    Again – there’s a difference between recreating the feeling of a place, and creating a new place.

    The Mira Costa is supposed to make you feel like you’re in an Italian Renaissance palace. For some people, that kind of place feels opulent, classical and stately. Others may feel that it’s a mausoleum, cold and stuffy. In Florida Disney set out to build a place to make you feel like you were in a South Seas village – long meandering paths through lush landscape illuminate by flickering torches and with the background sound of running water.

    The intent of the hotels were to make you feel like you had just stepped into a movie, that you were in an environment that you had only been able to imagine before.

    That’s a different intent than Disney’s latest creations. Disney doesn’t want to bring imaginary environments to life – they want a brand impression. A soaring atrium does not give you the “I’ve just stepped back a hundred and twenty-five years” feeling. It’s intended to awe and impress people into thinking “this is an expensive hotel – Disney is a high class brand”. All the gingerbread (with hidden mickeys), all the draperies (with hidden mickeys) and all the wallpaper (with hidden mickeys) aren’t there to key into your expectations of what “turn of the century” was like – it’s simply the corporate design pattern, the Brand Image (complete with hidden mickeys).

    It’s not over-analyzing things. There is a reason why Disney’s California Adventure, Disney’s Animal Kingdom and Disney Studio Paris are all massive financial disasters – hidden mickeys and all. Up until this point, the Oriental Land Company has been able to avoid the craters in the balance sheets of the U.S. and European operations. I believe it’s because OLC understands their market and the core appeal of Disney theme parks where the suits in Burbank and Paris have grown to be completely clueless. No one that truly understands “Disney” would have made the in-the-genes mistakes of California Adventure and Paris Studios.

    I believe that people go to Tokyo Disney and the other resorts to experience places that, normally, could only exist in the imagination. A lot of those places are from childhood, but I think that as we grow into adulthood we need – from time to time – to experience a little bit of that as well. I spent a good chuck of my childhood with Captain Nemo and it’s nice to see my Nautilus waiting at the dock. At the same time, my adult sensibilities enjoy a brief flight of fancy as I wander down marbled halls and imagine feel for a bit that I was a Medici.

    But Disney is betting its future on brand extensions – the desire to consume Toy Story in different ways. Somehow buying a DVD makes me also want to visit a carnival ride that shares the same title and graphic treatment. That concept has been proven wrong over the last decade and more, but Disney still continues down that path.

    Much to its future financial hazard.

  9. #24

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    Re: My Problem with Tokyo Disneyland Hotel

    Quote Originally Posted by forestlite View Post
    Two months after my return from TDR, I still could not place my finger on exactly why the Tokyo Disneyland Hotel was the least favorite of the places I stayed while in the parks (the other two included MiraCosta and the Hilton). While reading Walt Disney's biography, it came to me reading the section devoted to Disneyland. Walt purposely scaled Main Street and other areas of the park to be smaller and more intimate. In his opinion, other parks tried to overwhelm guest with their size and power. Walt wanted the guests at Disneyland to feel they were in control of the environment and not feel intimidated. While the Tokyo Disneyland Hotel is a work of art in terms of design and style, that hotel is too huge and overwhelming for my taste. It lacks the intimacy and warmth that is crucial to the Disney experience. Although I did not stay at the Ambassador, I did visit the lobby and prefer it much more. That will be the hotel of choice on my next visit (and the Hilton was pretty awesome too)!
    Thank you so much for your thoughts on this hotel. We usually hear rave reviews, but your counter point is well taken and much appreciated.

    I've never been to the Tokyo Disneyland Hotel. But I did stay at the Mira Costa and LOVED it. Lavish, beautiful, well appointed, but TOO expensive.
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  10. #25

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    Re: My Problem with Tokyo Disneyland Hotel

    Quote Originally Posted by Another Voice View Post
    In Florida Disney set out to build a place to make you feel like you were in a South Seas village – long meandering paths through lush landscape illuminate by flickering torches and with the background sound of running water.
    Ok, point taken.. but,

    The intent of the hotels were to make you feel like you had just stepped into a movie, that you were in an environment that you had only been able to imagine before.

    ..is that is the case, how do you explain the messy theming of the Contemporary? Or the feeling of being a miniscule monopoly game piece when you step into the All-Star Fiascos? Or.. the Coronado, Port Orleans, DVCs.. Yatch/Beach Clubs..
    ALL very nice in some degree or another, but do I feel like I am stepping into a 'movie'? No. Do I feel I am slightly transported to a different place? Absolutely yes, but to some degree. Then again, I think we agree that the Disney people are now aiming to just kill the resort competition rather than giving the guests a truly unique experience. Bt the point I am trying to make is.. does not matter what Disney resort you happen to be at, all of their hotels aim to please in theming but not really take you to a far away place you never imagined. Even the theme parks fail to be 100% right about this. Something about those photo-taking CMs in the middle of Main Street, using hightech digital photography in a turn of the century setting...that bugs me.. See what I mean? So when I take all of this in consideration.. deep down, you can not be too picky about the hotel's theme. Now, their quality.. is a different story.[/quote]

  11. #26

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    Re: My Problem with Tokyo Disneyland Hotel

    I totally miss the ability to suspend my disbelief and feel as though I was in a totally different place and time in the parks. As an example, I remember the first time I went to the Brown Derby in MGM--the lighting was subdued, they had telephone orderlys bringing the phones around, faux starlets strutted about...you could really believe that you were back in the glamour days of Hollywood. Now--I'm not sure there's any way to perceive anything but that you're in a nice eatery in a theme park.

    When I was little (maybe because I was little?) I remember being able to go to Tomorrowland in DL and really feel as though I was in the future. Needless to say, I have entirely different feelings when I go there today.

  12. #27

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    Re: My Problem with Tokyo Disneyland Hotel

    Quote Originally Posted by TDLFAN View Post
    ]..is that is the case, how do you explain the messy theming of the Contemporary? Or the feeling of being a miniscule monopoly game piece when you step into the All-Star Fiascos? Or.. the Coronado, Port Orleans, DVCs.. Yatch/Beach Clubs..
    Just because these works have not been specifically criticized does not mean they are being defended.

    all of their hotels aim to please in theming but not really take you to a far away place you never imagined. ... , you can not be too picky about the hotel's theme. Now, their quality.. is a different story
    Stateside, it seems that Disney is abandoning hotels with a themed experience for hotels with a themed decor. The first seeks to create an all encompassing experience. The second is items of decoration that have a common relation. The Value Resorts are not themed in the Disney sense, they are decorated with items pertaining to a subject. There is no attempt to bring one into a experience of a decade's pop culture, or sports, or film, or music. The new Pirate rooms at the Caribbean Beach Resort would also be decorated.

    I think what Another Voice is saying is that the Tokyo Disneyland Hotel is not a full effort to bring one into a Victorian experience. Disney has established elements of decoration and design drawn from the Victorian period that it, the company, has associated with luxury. The building is beautiful, well designed, and has all the qualities of a great hotel. When walking around the grounds what do you feel; that you are at a Victorian retreat or that you are enjoying a wonderful hotel? When you say, "TDL Hotel has elements of Victorian elegance" it sounds like you are saying you are reminded of Victorian design but the whole time you are aware that it is all fake, there is no blurring the lines between reality and fantasy.

  13. #28

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    Re: My Problem with Tokyo Disneyland Hotel

    posted by TDLFAN
    ...This is a "grand" palace ala Disney...
    "Grand" is probably the perfect adjective (and may be an even better word than my use of "awe" to describe Cinderella Castle in my earlier post).

    posted by Another Voice
    ...It’s intended to awe and impress people into thinking “this is an expensive hotel – Disney is a high class brand”...
    But it is an expensive hotel. What's wrong with flaunting it, especially for a Victorian theme? That period of time in England was known for extravagance. Maybe you're thinking Victorian countryside, instead of Victorian palace.

    On a slightly different note regarding expense...

    I live in Southern California, and as an adult have had DLR annual passes most years than not. We got California Adventure, which most folks realize was done cheap, and therefore not given much a chance to be successful. Now I realize money doesn't guarantee the best product, but depending on the product it can certainly increase your chances. I have no idea if OLC's intent is to make people happy about the priviledge of staying in an expensive hotel, but believe me if I ever stay there I'd be thankful for it, having seen how little monetary investment my poor DCA got. When it comes to Disney, I'll take "this is an expensive hotel" any day.

  14. #29

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    Re: My Problem with Tokyo Disneyland Hotel

    Quote Originally Posted by Another Voice View Post
    I haven't been inside Tokyo's Disneyland Hotel yet, but from I have seen it too is along the lines of the "Disney Victorian" instead of a truly themed environment. I wonder if will really matter much as I don't think many in Japan have an association with true Victorian/Main Street.
    It's important that you see the place for yourself. It's a lot different from the Grand Floridian in a lot of ways, AND I didn't think much of it through the pictures I saw but when I went there...WOW.

    And there are a lot of incredible touches that you have to see to appreciate (VERY Disney, all around). The 24 hour convenience store is an additional plus that you must see in order to appreciate (ANY Disney hotel guest would appreciate it, I'm sure!).

    Anyway, I'm not trying to curb your opinions, but I must say that in this particular case pics and videos don't do the place justice (much like DisneySea).

  15. #30

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    Re: My Problem with Tokyo Disneyland Hotel

    Animal Kingdom a financial disaster? How so? It's a busy place, now.

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