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  1. #16

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    Re: How About....A Trip Report!!!

    There is just something about traveling that seems to bring out different aspects of people's character. As a cast member at Disneyland I was probably yelled at using the majority of the languages on this Earth (and many, many different variations of what passes for American English)...often just because I was the closest person with a name tag.

    The incident I wrote about stuck me not because of he man's behavior, but because it was one of those things that, when you think back on it, are just so friggin' weird.

    Here I was, an American who had just flown in from Guam, having gone through swine flu screening with flights from who knows where, standing in the middle of a fake Italian plaza built on landfill in Tokyo Bay listening to a French man arguing over a piece of paper with a picture of Mickey Mouse on it.

    Sometimes I just can't help but think that the world is all just messed up beyond fixing these days.

  2. #17

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    Re: How About....A Trip Report!!!

    You get crazy people no matter where you go, so not even Tokyo is safe from them. I've traveled to many places, have seen a few different cultures and you have your good and bad everywhere.

    Unfortunately, it only takes a few nuts out there to ruin things for everyone else.

    I did come across the Black Ship book Gurgi was referring to on Amazon- I never did wind up picking it up- but I may think twice now that you said it wasn't too good

  3. #18

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    Re: How About....A Trip Report!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by jedimaster7313 View Post
    You get crazy people no matter where you go, so not even Tokyo is safe from them. I've traveled to many places, have seen a few different cultures and you have your good and bad everywhere.

    Unfortunately, it only takes a few nuts out there to ruin things for everyone else.

    I did come across the Black Ship book Gurgi was referring to on Amazon- I never did wind up picking it up- but I may think twice now that you said it wasn't too good
    Well, it's not that it wasn't good, but it was basically a college textbook...or somebody's dissertation. It was very collegiate.

  4. #19

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    Re: How About....A Trip Report!!!

    There are two basic issues I have with Black Ships.

    First, it was really his thesis and so he felt obliged to fit it into the typical “Evil American Corporate Imperialism Out to Enslave Kind Hearted, Peace loving, Che t-shirt Wearing Proletariat” – which even the author doesn’t really buy into. It’s hard to argue that Japanese cultural was at the mercy of an American invasion in 1983 or even now. In the book, the author is forced to bend a lot of what he sees to fit this narrative.

    The bigger problem is that the author has now real experience or knowledge of Disney. His research in Japan was relegated to supervised readings of employment manuals and taking to a couple very junior cast members in bars after work. His knowledge about the Disney company overall comes from academic “works” which generally laughably bad.

    He still made a few interesting points. Basically the Oriental Land Company took all of the Disney operations manuals and threw them in the trash. They strated over in the Japanese method. And while Disney in the U.S. looks for the best individual to fit the job, OLC finds the best individual to fit the company (the job becomes irrelevant – you do what the company asks of you).

    As I remember, he never really explains the whole “Disney” concept in terms of greater Japan. Lacking any real understanding of what makes “Disney” work, he’s left with basic cultural generalities, some basic “pre-war” vs. “post-war” generational issues and other academic boilerplate text. There’s very little on the development of Tokyo Disneyland expect for a description of the politics and scandals that happened with the landfill project.

    If you want to feel that you’ve read absolutely everything you can about Tokyo Disney, then get this book. If you’re looking for a good overview or analysis of the park…that book has yet to be written.

  5. #20

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    Re: How About....A Trip Report!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by Another Voice View Post
    There are two basic issues I have with Black Ships.

    First, it was really his thesis and so he felt obliged to fit it into the typical “Evil American Corporate Imperialism Out to Enslave Kind Hearted, Peace loving, Che t-shirt Wearing Proletariat” – which even the author doesn’t really buy into. It’s hard to argue that Japanese cultural was at the mercy of an American invasion in 1983 or even now. In the book, the author is forced to bend a lot of what he sees to fit this narrative.

    The bigger problem is that the author has now real experience or knowledge of Disney. His research in Japan was relegated to supervised readings of employment manuals and taking to a couple very junior cast members in bars after work. His knowledge about the Disney company overall comes from academic “works” which generally laughably bad.

    He still made a few interesting points. Basically the Oriental Land Company took all of the Disney operations manuals and threw them in the trash. They strated over in the Japanese method. And while Disney in the U.S. looks for the best individual to fit the job, OLC finds the best individual to fit the company (the job becomes irrelevant – you do what the company asks of you).

    As I remember, he never really explains the whole “Disney” concept in terms of greater Japan. Lacking any real understanding of what makes “Disney” work, he’s left with basic cultural generalities, some basic “pre-war” vs. “post-war” generational issues and other academic boilerplate text. There’s very little on the development of Tokyo Disneyland expect for a description of the politics and scandals that happened with the landfill project.

    If you want to feel that you’ve read absolutely everything you can about Tokyo Disney, then get this book. If you’re looking for a good overview or analysis of the park…that book has yet to be written.
    Yes! Everything you said! I just couldn't put it as succinctly as you did. It is by no means a true insight into Tokyo Disneyland (as it was written before it became a resort). I'm just not quite sure why it was published in the first place, as I can't see it having any interest to anybody even doing cultural studies. For that there are much better books available. I only bought the book because I thought I might learn something about the way Disney was adapted for the Japanese, and possibly the origins of Tokyo Disneyland, but I really didn't learn all that much from it...

  6. #21

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    Re: How About....A Trip Report!!!

    Black Ships was interesting but, as Another Voice states, badly flawed. There's a good book on the subject still waiting to be written.

    While I have always enjoyed the Mickey Mouse Revue, I can't see how opening Philharmagic in its place (along with Toy Story Mania in DisneySea) are major misteps by OLC.

    Mickey Mouse Revue had attendence levels that were so low I'm amazed they kept it open this long--people don't want to see it anymore and Philharmagic is a great attraction that will suck up large crowds. (Literally, a "crowd pleaser.")

    And Toy Story Mania is also a crowd pleaser in both Anaheim and Orlando, and everyone I've taken on it has been smiling when they came off AND immediately wants to ride again. And again. Since it is not coming at the expense of any existing attraction in DisneySea (i.e., it's not going into an existing building), what's the problem? Is it that it uses contemporary Pixar characters in the American Waterfront? That anachronism is the only real objection I can see.

    Yes, they are both film-based attractions. But unlike Honey I Shat on the Audience, Philharmagic has proven that it keeps its crowds. I can't imagine Toy Story Mania becoming unpopular over time because it takes most folks a lot of practice to get really good at it. Like Buzz Lightyear, I believe it will remain popular as long as it's open because of the gaming aspect.

    On the other side of the coin, I feel that the new Monster's Inc. attraction will become less popular in years to come. The interactive aspect with the flashlights is confusing and a failure. The ride just isn't up to the best rides in the rest of the park--and it's not that much better than the version in DCA without the AA figures. In fact, I would say the version in DCA is better because you get more story. (Don't know why AV dislikes it so much--it's a damn good dark ride and the equal of anything over in Fantasyland).

    But good trip report! You should have stayed longer.

  7. #22

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    Re: How About....A Trip Report!!!

    Two reasons why I think 'PhilaMagic' is a bad move.

    First, any theme park with a strong local base has to work a fine balance between keeping the older shows that people want to see and bringing in fresh material. 'Mickey Mouse Review' could have been a brilliant example on how to do that economically. The show had run unchanged for 25 years - how about replacing a few scenes! People get tired of watching Alice in Wonderland, replace it with a scene from The Lion King. Bring in bigger, new effects. Make the show fresh again every year - make the show just like a live entertainment venue that rotates performances.

    Look at what happened to the popularity of 'The Haunted Mansion' thanks to the Nightmare seasonal overlay. Why couldn't 'The Mickey Mouse Review' be given a similar treatment?

    The second reason is that OLC is adopting the same disease that is killing the U.S. parks. The real draw of the Disney theme parks is to present new and exciting experiences that can't be had anyway else. People have always wanted to explore a haunted house, to sail on a pirate adventure, to soar in outer space. Sure, sitting in a movie theater watching those things can be fun - but Disney lets you actually feel like it's happening to you.

    But Disney in the U.S. made a strategic decision a decade ago to make the parks "brand experiences". The parks are simply a way for people to re-experience their favorite Disney movies and television shows. Disneyland is just another place to rerun 'High School Musical' - this time as a stage show or as a parade or as a special box lunch. Go to WDW these days and you can spend an entire day re-watching Marlin search for Nemo across various different stages, screens, and shower curtains.

    This really restricts the parks' ability to be creative. It also means the parks produce shows based on DVD sales rather than excellence. A quick ride through Disneyland's (Anaheim) 'Pooh' ride will quickly see how bad things can get. There can be many great attractions created from Disney stories - but to do so exclusively is the problem.

    In a park as unique as DisneySea, squishing in Disney properties with absolutely no relation to the rest of the park is the worst possible form of 'synergy'. Buzz Lightyear carny games in 1913 New York? Why not take the same ride system and create a new storyline? Why not something that expands and enhances the atmosphere of the Waterfront instead of something that has to be excused away?

    As for not riding 'Monsters' - it was a simple decision based on time. While I want to see the attraction, there were other things I want to see more in my limited time.

  8. #23

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    Re: How About....A Trip Report!!!

    Sorry everyone, I just got an e-mail from Photobukcet that the "bandwidth" on the pictures has been used up. I find it hard to believe that all 25GBs have been used up, but I'll find a better photo host for the shots.

  9. #24

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    Re: How About....A Trip Report!!!

    I think the bigger reason for replacing Mickey Mouse review is the cost of maintaining the animatronics. TDL has just opened the animatronic-heavy Monsters Inc ride as well as Pooh and others in the recent past...so closing attractions like Meet the World or Mickey Mouse Review may help to defray those costs. At any rate...Philharmagic is an excellent 3D movie...and should be very popular.

    On another note...I would love to see Mickey Mouse Review come to back to MK, and Philharmagic relocate perhaps to DHS, where as a celebration of classic Disney films it would be in line with the park's original theme...and enhance the attraction profile of the park. Just a little daydreaming...
    Down with the Hat


  10. #25

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    Re: How About....A Trip Report!!!

    Can't wait to see the rest of the picts, great trip report!

  11. #26

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    Question Re: How About....A Trip Report!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by Another Voice View Post
    Buzz Lightyear carny games in 1913 New York? Why not take the same ride system and create a new storyline? Why not something that expands and enhances the atmosphere of the Waterfront instead of something that has to be excused away?

    As for not riding 'Monsters' - it was a simple decision based on time. While I want to see the attraction, there were other things I want to see more in my limited time.
    Hm...I don't actually see Buzz in the concept art.


    (Joe, I hope you don't mind me linking your image.^^)

    I agree with you, though. I hope they decided to leave him out or make him a very minor presence, since we already have Buzz's Astro Blasters in TDL. If they did that, one of the charms of Toy Story to me has been its classic toys like Pull-string Dolls, the Army Men, Slinky Dog, and Mr. Potatohead. These are all really 1950s-era properties, so they're still anachronistic if we're very technical, but I think the vibe, sans Buzz, could totally work in American Waterfront. And if it goes where folks say it's gonna go, all that color and light could really jazz up that corner a lot!^^ Would you be for it if they left Buzz out, AV, or would you still have the same reservations?

    I know some people really dislike Ride & Go Seek's placement, thematically, but the lack of a "Monsterland" sort of earns Disney/OLC some leeway here, I think. And for me personally, the visual design of Monsters, Inc. is perfectly suited to TDL's Tomorrowland. For me, it works, and I think Toy Story Mania could, too. I hope so, anyway.


    RandySavage, I hope you don't mind, too.

    Heck, I'll just LINK to the thread I'm stealing from, too!

  12. #27

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    Re: How About....A Trip Report!!!

    It would have been fantastic if Disney had used the 'Mania' ride system and created an attraction that fit within the storyline they've already developed for the American Waterfront. It worked brilliantly for 'Tower of Terror', didn't it? And Gilded Age New York is filled with story potential.

    The only reason to keep it 'Toy Story Mania' is to sell DVDs. DisneySea - more than any other Disney park - requires a super attention to detail and themeing to work. It's why some many people say they just enjoy being in the park; it's like visiting a complete other world. But if you throw in elements that break that illusion...then the whole thing falls apart.

  13. #28

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    Re: How About....A Trip Report!!!

    Honestly, I think that giant Woody face breaks the illusion. There isn't anything like that at all at TDS. It's such a huge character-driven marquee, that it really does look out of place. Although, it does kind of remind me of the scene of Pleasure Island in Pinocchio...but again, that scene was a generic character meant to represent a carnival. I think having it be Woody, is too blatant. It's not classy, it's carny...not really romantic at all. Sure, it might evoke Coney Island, but even then, I think it's too blatant. Hopefully this is one instance where the final product does not match the concept art. TDS is probably the only Disney park where you can compare the concept & final, and they are fairly close...

  14. #29

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    Re: How About....A Trip Report!!!

    I think the OLC will make TSM fit into It's port, I think it can fit just as well as monsters. I don't however want Medatrainnian harbour looking like paradise pier! The giant woody face might be horrible though...

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    Sad Re: How About....A Trip Report!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by Another Voice View Post
    It would have been fantastic if Disney had used the 'Mania' ride system and created an attraction that fit within the storyline they've already developed for the American Waterfront. It worked brilliantly for 'Tower of Terror', didn't it? And Gilded Age New York is filled with story potential.

    The only reason to keep it 'Toy Story Mania' is to sell DVDs. DisneySea - more than any other Disney park - requires a super attention to detail and themeing to work. It's why some many people say they just enjoy being in the park; it's like visiting a complete other world. But if you throw in elements that break that illusion...then the whole thing falls apart.
    Quote Originally Posted by gurgi View Post
    Honestly, I think that giant Woody face breaks the illusion. There isn't anything like that at all at TDS. It's such a huge character-driven marquee, that it really does look out of place. Although, it does kind of remind me of the scene of Pleasure Island in Pinocchio...but again, that scene was a generic character meant to represent a carnival. I think having it be Woody, is too blatant. It's not classy, it's carny...not really romantic at all. Sure, it might evoke Coney Island, but even then, I think it's too blatant. Hopefully this is one instance where the final product does not match the concept art. TDS is probably the only Disney park where you can compare the concept & final, and they are fairly close...
    Color me convinced. I'm one of those people whose main draw to TDS - even more than Duffy! - is the incredibly immersive atmosphere. I actually dread the trend this points towards so much now - understand and concur with your opinions so totally - that I kind of fear this thing. If it looks like that in the final product, I'm very likely to hate it. If I actually have to see it all the time, it may be the beginning of the end of my DisneySea enchantment. Especially in American Waterfront and Mediterranean Harbor (my favorite areas), you guys are absolutely right - there is NOTHING like that! The way Scrooge is used in McDuck's, Shiriki Utundu in ToT, and Duffy in Cape Cod - they all have story reasons that really ground them there. Two of them are (arguably) original TDS characters, two of them are shops not attractions, and Scrooge is so perfectly themed to McDuck's as to not make it about selling character goods at all, especially since there's hardly any Scrooge stuff there.^^ This kind of movie-based theming/product placement sounds like the encroachment of all the stuff people complain about at WDW. I'm even nervous now about Turtle Talk coming to the Columbia, although that does seem more appropriate, and I have thought before that it would be nice if something else happened on the Columbia. Oh, bummer...I'm genuinely wary now!

    Is it okay if I still like the lights and colors, though?

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