Page 3 of 4 FirstFirst 1234 LastLast
Results 31 to 45 of 50
  1. #31

    • Member
    • Offline

    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Posts
    178

    Re: My Problem with Tokyo Disneyland Hotel

    To catch up…

    I’m not saying that the Tokyo Disneyland Hotel is a bad hotel. I was there just before it opened and I haven’t been inside it yet – so I can’t judge it fairly as a hotel.

    What I’m saying is that this hotel doesn’t follow the “old” Disney tradition of building immersive recreations of imaginary places. Resorts like the WDW’s Polynesian, Contemporary*, Dixie Landings are all designed to give you a sense that you had stepped into a movie.

    When you’re watching a really good movie, haven’t you ever noticed that the world outside of the screen simply disappears? You don’t feel like you sitting with hundreds of other people, you don’t notice the glaring EXIT sign or the curtains or the people wandering up and down the aisle. And why do you feel anxious or nervous or afraid when a character slowly walks down the long, dark cobwebbed filled hallway?

    It’s because the “magic” of movies are their ability to let our imaginations replace our rational thinking for a few moments. We place ourselves in the story, we feel like we are in the story. We feel like we’re in the water with the shark, or hanging over the cliff, or racing down the street.

    That’s what Walt was trying to do with the parks: to make a “real life” place that let’s you feel the same as when you watch a movie. The ‘Haunted Mansion’ makes you feel like you’re exploring a supernatural house, ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’ brings you along for the adventure. That is the “magic” of the Disney parks.

    The Mira Costa Hotel follows this concept. Everything about the place is there to evoke the feeling of being in an Italian palace. The marble, the long hallways, the “I’m a rich noble; look at how much I can spend on wall decorations!” flair of the design. You can easily imagine the Galileo having supper there and then returning to Fortress Exploration across the bay for his nightly observations.

    But, from what I’ve seen, the Tokyo Disneyland Hotel doesn’t have that philosophy behind its design. The hotel is not there to make you feel like you’re about to bump into Sherlock Holmes or to transport you to a different time and place. The hotel is meant to be elegant, lush and expensive.

    That’s fine, but that’s not why I like Disney. There are a lot of hotels that are elegant and lush. And if I really wanted to be impressed with expensive then I’d had to Las Vegas. But no one else can recreate the “movie experience” like Disney does.


    Clearly it’s not simply the amount money spent, but how it’s spent that determines success or failure. ‘Peter Pan’ is about as cheap of a ride as you can get, but it draws a lot more people than the mondo-expense ‘Mission: Space’. Had Disney been willing to do the hard work, they could have created a place at Disneyland just as impressive as DisneySea for the DCA’s original cost. It’s just the same that you can make a movie for $10 million dollars that have people cheering in the aisle or you can spend $350+ million on a movie that people don’t remember once they hit the parking lot. It’s just that Disney chose not to create a place that fulfilled why people go to Disney parks in the first place; they thought they could con people into spending money just on the strength of the Disney brand.


    Disney’s Animal Kingdom was meant to both increase the number of guests visiting WDW and to increase the length of stay. It didn’t do either. All that seems to have happened is that people spend a half day less at the other parks. It has rearranged the guests’ visit but hasn’t brought in additional revenue to Disney.


    * The Contemporary was the resort counterpart to Tomorrowland. The hotel was designed in the late 1960’s when soaring atriums, clean expanses of concrete and monorails zipping through the lobby were the future. Believe me, in 1973 it really felt like the future. Now – decades later – the place seems commonplace (expect for the monorail part) is both a testament to the designers’ ability to “get” the future, but also to later days Disney’s refusal to keep the place fresh and interesting.

  2. #32

    • secure all cargo
    • Offline

    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Posts
    522

    Re: My Problem with Tokyo Disneyland Hotel

    posted by Another Voice
    Had Disney been willing to do the hard work, they could have created a place at Disneyland just as impressive as DisneySea for the DCA’s original cost. It’s just the same that you can make a movie for $10 million dollars that have people cheering in the aisle or you can spend $350+ million on a movie that people don’t remember once they hit the parking lot.
    I have to respectfully disagree. That's like saying Disney could have build a Victorian-themed hotel on the budget of a Motel 6. Or that they could have done TDS's Pooh's Honey Hunt on the dime of DL's Many Adventures of Pooh. A TDS quality park on Paris WDS budget too? No, I figure at some point it is no longer possible to hide the reality. Regarding TDHotel, it's fine to say they didn't need to spend so much to be successful, but supporting this with the converse argument to it's extreme doesn't really make your point.

    I understand the film analogy and had actually considered it earlier, but I feel the similarities end with the practicality of bringing the story to life. As I mentioned in an earlier post, I think a budget's degree of influence depends on your medium. Film has the advantage of being on a screen. Although you are immersed and emotionally invested, you are still physically separate, a passive observer, and you can therefore get away with a lot of things and still tell a good story for cheap (see "Miramax" from the late 80's - early 90's for examples). Theme parks have an added dimension, you are an active participant (albeit limited). You are completely physically surrounded by the illusion. The audience has the ability to scrutinize in a way not possible for film, they can actually interact in the story. So details, which add considerable expense, must be considered in order that the audience is never removed from the fantasy.

    Seriously, I may have overlooked something and I'm open to suggestion, but I can't come up with a short list of successful yet underbudgeted attractions that bring their imaginary environments to life. (I'm not sure I agree that Peter Pan is cheap -- compared to the carnival and amusement park dark rides from which it borrows it's format, I think they spent quite a bit). I can think of a few that would have benefitted from, amongst other things, more funding; Bathroom of Tomorrow, Grizzly River Run, Rocket Rods, Food Rocks, Sounds Dangerous, Dino-Land, shall we continue?

    As I've said in my prior post, no I don't think more money guarantees a great result. But conversely, I can't agree with the idea it couldn't have helped DCA or for that matter WDS. There are so many problems with both parks including the basic themes, but I have to believe none of the Imagineers (even the misguided Barry Braverman) set out to make a bad show. Rather, they were directed to do something for only so much deposit, and that was sincerely the best they or likely anyone else could have done. Well, no deposit, no return (sorry).

  3. #33

    • Member
    • Offline

    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Posts
    975

    Re: My Problem with Tokyo Disneyland Hotel

    First off, there is the simple fact that some of the creative leads at WDI were not up to the task - Braverman being a perfect example (I believe Braverman was the one responsible for destroying any sense of story or coherence in EPCOT's Future World in the 1990s).

    I agree with Another Voice in that there has been, in recent decades, an executive mandate to over-"synergize" the parks with movie and consumer product tie-ins at the expense of good and ORIGINAL concepts. Ironically, this has been a detriment to the Brand.

    Looking at theme parks of (post-1984) Eisner Era (and many of many of park executives under Eisner (Al Weiss, Rasulo) remain with the Company), you've got several contradictory categories:

    1. well-designed/-executed, but underbuilt "half-day" parks (AK, HKDL, MGM, TDS)
    2. poorly designed/-executed and also underbuilt "half-day" parks (WDSP, DCA)
    3. well-designed/-executed full-day parks (Disneyland Paris, Universal's Islands of Adventure, Universal Studios Florida).

    From this we see the most common denominator: the surest way to make an underperforming park is too build it with to few things to do (MGM being the only exception to this rule).

    Would Animal Kingdom (a beautiful, transporting, orginal park if there ever was one, IMO) have been more successful with Beastly Kingdomme, Excavator and the Asian raft safari from day one? I think the answer is a definite 'YES,' despite arguments of max-build out and intra-WDW park visitor poaching.

    Even keeping their lackluster themeing, would DCA or WDSP have been more successful with double the (non-carnival) attractions from the outset? I think so. So the question of quantity is as important as quality. Both need to be addressed.
    Last edited by RandySavage; 01-27-2009 at 12:51 PM.

  4. #34

    • Banned User
    • Offline

    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Orlando
    Posts
    14,940

    Re: My Problem with Tokyo Disneyland Hotel

    Just took a walk in the Tokyo Disneyland Hotel yesterday folks.. and I have to re-emphasize.. there is absolutely NOTHING wrong with this hotel. It's gorgeous, and while it evokes a sense of victorian elegance, the more you look at it.. well, the less victorian it is! So I have to say that they have created a brand new Disney themed format here... The hotel is what I would call "Main Street USA Chic".

  5. #35

    • Member
    • Offline

    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Posts
    252

    Re: My Problem with Tokyo Disneyland Hotel

    Quote Originally Posted by TDLFAN View Post
    The hotel is what I would call "Main Street USA Chic".
    Or as we've called it for decades...

    Mictorian.


    ImagineerWarrior

  6. #36

    • Member
    • Offline

    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Posts
    178

    Re: My Problem with Tokyo Disneyland Hotel

    I have to say that they have created a brand new Disney themed format here...
    And that’s rather my point (and again, I’m saying that TDH is a bad hotel). The traditional (and, in my opinion, best) Disney hotels were the ones that followed the original theme park idea of creating complete “I’ve always wanted to be there” environments – the future, the South Seas, Africa, etc.

    But to me the ‘Mictorian’ or ‘Main Street Chic’ style isn’t meant to do that. This type of design only evokes The “Disney” Brand and it’s meant to give guests a “Disney” experience. Instead of feeling like I’m walking down Cherry Tree Lane looking for flying nannies, I’m searching for hidden mickeys and hoping that ‘High School Musical 5 – Drunken Spring Break on Padre Island’ is going available on pay-per-view.

    It’s the attitude that destroyed the U.S. parks, again, in my humble opinion. The parks are no longer seen as entities that exist for their own right. We don’t get the new, fresh attractions and shows that make people what to visit the parks. We don’t get new stories like ‘Haunted Mansion’ or ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’. There’s nothing to make people go to a Disney park for what’s at the park.

    Instead the parks are now just a way of reselling everything else that The Walt Disney Company (stock ticker DIS, incorporated in Delware, all rights retained) is selling. We get a Tinkerbell meet & greet (or should I say meet & smile) BECAUSE of a really bad movie is being released on DVD. The Living Seas is gutted to retell a movie to sell more videos and plush. There are ESPN backpacks in Frontierland and Buzz Lightyear spinner toys in Adventureland.

    Now that’s all well and good if you’re a “fan”, but the honest truth is that the vast majority of people do not sleep between Mickey Mouse sheets, wearing “I Heart Goofy” t-shirts and eat off Donald Duck plates. Most people don’t what to see a Jonas Brother street party. They don’t care about a Chicken Little remake of Autopia. Gee, even at Disneyland people should they didn’t even care about a Johnny Depp pirate remake of Tom Sawyer’s Island.

    People care about quality more than they care about branding. It’s more important to put on a good show than to put on a show with The Fab Five.

    Now before everyone starts hammering the Reply button – yes, Disneyland had movie-ties from the beginning. But they were limited to Fantasyland. It was also at a time when Disney movies were re-released only once in seven years. Disneyland was the only way to keep the stories alive with the public in the generation between. But in today’s world, the entire Disney archive fits on my Netflix queue. The movies themselves are whenever I want; there’s no reason for a theme park ride to retell me the story.

    But what drove people to see Disneyland, WDW and all the rest were the new and original adventures they could have. Disney’s ability to “wow” the audience with new adventures like ‘The Jungle Cruise’ brought people to Disneyland. Disney’s ability to make people feel like they were living fifty years into the future brought people to WDW.

    Disney is artificially restricting its appeal. Anytime you shrink your audience base, it’s a bad thing. The birthrate in Japan has decreased every year since Tokyo Disney first opened. All those young working office women searching for “cute” will grow up. It would be a tragedy if the only example of non-branded theme park were to descend further down this path for it can only lead to bad things.

    Seriously, I may have overlooked something and I'm open to suggestion, but I can't come up with a short list of successful yet underbudgeted attractions that bring their imaginary environments to life.


    This should probably be its own thread, but ‘Underbugdeted’ is a relative term. Each story you want to tell or each environment you want to create does require a certain minimum about that you need. It all comes down to the feeling you want to create and the way in you create it. ‘Tom Sawyer’s Island’ doesn’t give you a sense of being isolation and exploration? ‘Soaring’ doesn’t make you feel like you’re flying? The old ‘Adventure Thru Inner Space’ was a masterpiece of “suspension of disbelief”. It also points out how unwilling and unable Disney has been able to create this sense in the Eisner era.

    Disney spent $35+ million on Disneyland’s ‘Winnie the Pooh’ – I’m sure that’s many times what OLC spent on Fortress Exploration. Yet, what’s the better attraction? Disney spent $650 million on the DCA and there’s a lot that could that. How much did Disney spend to build a raft ride though a concrete bear-shaped mountain? How about saving the money on the mountain and building a raft ride through Ice Age Los Angeles (based on the La Brea Tar pits) where you encounter giant Mammoths are stalked by saber-toothed cats. Slightly more interesting, isn’t it? There’s an empty row of San Francisco style homes and a Whoppie Goldberg movie. How about ‘Barbary Coast’ San Francisco with rollikin’ saloon/restaurant and ‘Mulholland Madness’ enclosed and themed as a race through a gold mine?

    And both parks at Universal Orlando – the Studios and Island of Adventure, were huge failures despite being “full day” parks. It’s what you present rather than how much you throw out that’s the determining factor. And even Disneyland opened with only 17 attractions (with The Jungle Cruise being the biggest, most high tech ride there).

  7. #37

    • Member
    • Offline

    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Los Angeles
    Posts
    145

    Re: My Problem with Tokyo Disneyland Hotel

    Quote Originally Posted by Another Voice View Post
    Disney is artificially restricting its appeal. Anytime you shrink your audience base, it’s a bad thing. The birthrate in Japan has decreased every year since Tokyo Disney first opened. All those young working office women searching for “cute” will grow up. It would be a tragedy if the only example of non-branded theme park were to descend further down this path for it can only lead to bad things.
    While I agree with much of what you say, I'm not sure you can generalize the US aesthetic to Japan. My experience in Japan has led me to believe that everything there--whether for man, woman, or child--is geared to be small, expensive, and cute...which I think is why their interests and Disney dovetail so well.

    Even on the trains, I've seen elderly businessmen in 3-piece suits absorbed in their cellphones...from which dangle huge stuffed Mickey Mouses. So I don't think a lack of interest in "cute" is necessarily a worry. The lack of originality and the temptation to settle for making money rather than making magic? Probably a different story.

  8. #38

    • Banned User
    • Offline

    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Orlando
    Posts
    14,940

    Re: My Problem with Tokyo Disneyland Hotel

    Making money rather than magic in Japan? Seriously, I think TDR as whole is the most magical of the parks and it deserves to make the money (and they do). Let's talk about WDW, where there is a shortage of magic and everything they do is for the pursuit of the mighty dollar, while delivering a substandard Disney experience to infrequent guests who do not know any better.

  9. #39

    • Beach Expert
    • Offline

    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    A beach town that Harbor Blvd was named after
    Posts
    10,609

    Re: My Problem with Tokyo Disneyland Hotel

    I'd like to point out that Walt Disney never specifically designed or owned a hotel in his entire life. So to ask how Walt Disney would have designed a hotel is anyone's guess.

    I think we can more or less speculate how he would have designed his theme parks but hotel design is a totally different thing. (Perhaps he had some input on the design of the Contemporary but I am sure it was minimal, if that). Modern day culture and society defines what a hotel is, and people expect to see certain features on hotels based upon these expectations. In theory, Disney can build a hotel to more accurately reflect the time period it is trying to represent, but it would be a tough sell. Don't get me wrong -- It would be nice for Disney to build an accurately themed Victorian hotel, but in today's culture a hotel isn't lavish without amenities such as a 7 story atrium or internet connection, or whatever today's guests are accustomed to in order to make their stay pleasant and comfortable. .

  10. #40

    • Member
    • Offline

    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Posts
    178

    Re: My Problem with Tokyo Disneyland Hotel

    I think TDR as whole is the most magical of the parks and it deserves to make the money (and they do).
    It's interesting that U.S. Disney has forgot the basic "magic = lots of people with money" formula that Walt figured out so long ago.

    but in today's culture a hotel isn't lavish without amenities such as a 7 story atrium

    Disney isn't Williamsburg. I never said anything about having to put the loo in a little shed out back. Disney (as in the corporate, not Walt) designed both their theme parks and the original hotels at WDW to create a specific sense of place. The Mira Costa has that.

    But that idea has been replaced with an easier and more brand-centric conceit. Disney wants it to be "Disney". There's no sense of place, just brand impressions from various product lines - hence all those hideous crimes against fiberglass that hang all over the All Stars at WDW. Sure, lots of people like it. Lots of people think Cheez-Whiz is mighty good eating too.

    In the end the brand becomes so self-referencing that it appeals to a narrower and narrower group of people. If the parks and hotels become nothing but icons to old movies and long forgotten TV shows it quickly becomes stale and looses its appeal.

    Seriously - do Ellen DeGeneres and Martin Short really pack them into Epcot?

  11. #41

    • Member
    • Offline

    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Japan
    Posts
    1,122

    Re: My Problem with Tokyo Disneyland Hotel

    The restaurant manager at Canna (the Asian restaurant inside TDH) specifically said that there are no references to Disney inside the restaurant or on the menu. When we asked why, he said that this restaurants theme wanted to convey a more serious tone and departure from the theme parks.
    JoeInJpn
    Contact me at contact(at)jtcent(dot)com!
    For the latest TDR News, read JTCEnt.com's TDR Nempa Blog!
    Watch TDR Videos and Photos on Joe's Tokyo Disney Resort Photo Site!

  12. #42

    • secure all cargo
    • Offline

    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Posts
    522

    Re: My Problem with Tokyo Disneyland Hotel

    posted by Another Voice
    Disney spent $35+ million on Disneyland’s ‘Winnie the Pooh’ – I’m sure that’s many times what OLC spent on Fortress Exploration. Yet, what’s the better attraction?
    Huh? DL's Pooh vs. Fortress Exploration is like apples vs. oranges, isn't it? It doesn't make any sense to compare these two, they're not even close. As an attraction, Pooh is a dark ride. I haven’t seen FE myself, but there is no ride, rather it seems like some type of interactive area, maybe edutainment. In addition to the nature of the attractions themselves, there are fundamental differences in cost distribution -- you’re talking $35 million for only R&D plus construction, you haven’t even considered the cost of operating and maintaining a ride-based attraction w/ multiple animatronics vs. an edutainment interactive exhibit (or have you?). My guess is Pooh costs more over the long run than FE. Perhaps you should compare FE to other Disney edutainment attractions. That's why I compared DL's Pooh with TDL's Pooh, the basic format is the same so the comparison makes a lot more sense.

    (Besides that, based on its own merits, DL’s Pooh is generally considered a disappointment. You might be able to find evidence of this right here on the micechat forums. The queue is regularly 5-10 minutes long, and on a couple of occasions my daughter and I have walked on.)

    Your general idea about “Disney Brand” is well put. Roy E. himself criticized this mentality during the SaveDisney days in an essay similar to your posts (although even golden boy Bob Iger commonly makes references to the Disney Brand, so unfortunately it lives on). But doesn’t it make any sense to say that brand kept Disney from delivering a better $650 mil 2nd gate. I prefer to think brand is what helped keep Disney from releasing more than the $650 mil necessary to deliver something less brand-like. It would have freed the Imagineers, maybe even Mr. Braverman himself, to consider far more blue sky ideas as actual possibilities, heck they possibly might have had an ever better overall park theme.

    Mr. Eisner was right in becoming careful with his budgets after EuroDisney opened. But over the years it gradually turned into an excuse for laziness and bottom lining that would impress short-sighted shareholders. And he paradoxically justified it with the idea that anything with the Disney Brand name would become (at least in the U. S.) an automatic success, regardless of the product’s quality.

    Here’s another example. The history of DL’s former Paul Pressler and Cynthia Harris is that they spent very little on attractions amongst other things. Check out the ’97 Tomorrowland upgrade. We got a cloned movie, a cloned idea for edutainment that was considered genius by Mr. Eisner because the sponsors covered almost all the costs, a relocated ride, another ride that was shuttered after a year because of maintenance nightmares (which were all fixable if they had spend money banking the pre-existing track), and a new paint job. Nothing really changed except it looked kinda ugly instead of outdated, and everyone was disappointed. They started with an already limited budget, and watched it slowly chipped away as the project moved along. Brand limits the budget, and consequently the imagination. You can still have a failure with a bigger budget, nevertheless in the theme park world, you still at the very leaset need to start with it.

  13. #43

    • secure all cargo
    • Offline

    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Posts
    522

    Re: My Problem with Tokyo Disneyland Hotel

    posted by DisneyIPresume
    I'd like to point out that Walt Disney never specifically designed or owned a hotel in his entire life. So to ask how Walt Disney would have designed a hotel is anyone's guess.
    I was thinking about this myself. The DL Hotel was done by Wrather, Walt just licensed his name. We have a template for what is a Disney theme park, but not necessarily for what is a Disney hotel.

    I think it also bears mentioning the fact that although the Disney Company designs most of its hotels, it’s not done by Imagineering, there’s a separate hotels division that dreams them up. I can certainly imagine hotels div trying to accomplish the same goals as the Imagineers, but then we don't really know that for sure.

  14. #44

    • MC Blogger
    • Offline

    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Posts
    1,043
    Blog Entries
    52

    Re: My Problem with Tokyo Disneyland Hotel

    Excellent posts, Another Voice.
    Mark

    Disney parks and art, movies, music, more... Over 1, 000 Posts!
    www.InsightsandSounds.blogspot.com

  15. #45

    • Member
    • Online

    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Posts
    201

    Re: My Problem with Tokyo Disneyland Hotel

    Quote Originally Posted by mark View Post
    Excellent posts, Another Voice.
    Agreed...Another Voice has brought up some interesting and valid points!

Page 3 of 4 FirstFirst 1234 LastLast

Similar Threads

  1. [Question] Is it even possible to book a room at Tokyo Disneyland Hotel
    By B-Dex in forum Tokyo Travel Planning
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: 08-01-2009, 08:15 AM
  2. [Pictures] Artistry of the Tokyo Disneyland Hotel
    By TDLFAN in forum Tokyo Disney Resort
    Replies: 50
    Last Post: 08-18-2008, 07:57 PM
  3. [Question] Tokyo Disneyland Hotel Booking
    By saxycool in forum Tokyo Disney Resort
    Replies: 13
    Last Post: 06-21-2008, 10:48 PM
  4. Tokyo Disneyland Hotel
    By Disneyfan4 in forum Tokyo Disney Resort
    Replies: 16
    Last Post: 05-01-2008, 02:42 PM
  5. The new (Tokyo) Disneyland Hotel
    By DisneyMickey in forum Disneyland Resort
    Replies: 14
    Last Post: 09-11-2007, 07:21 PM

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •