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  1. #31

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    Re: Who killed Wonders of Life?

    WoL is so 80s. Though I think the removal of the big sign killed it more than anything else.

  2. #32

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    Re: Who killed Wonders of Life?

    I only visited WDW in 86 and 87, so in my eyes, Wonders of Life is the newest pavillion in Future World up until around 2000 when Test Track opened. To me, Test Track and now Mission: Space don't equate to WoL because they represent the new design ideal of Epcot and not the classic (AKA good, sound, stable, entertaining) design. In short, even though I've never ridden them, Test Track and Mission: Space strike me as -rides-. WoL and the other Future World attractions are -pavillions- with multiple attractions. Spaceship Earth is an exception, but it's Spaceship Earth...it's not really comparable.

    I think when Disney moved away from the pavillion concept and into the 'let's build a big thrill ride and attach some displays and a huge gift shop, and we'll call it a 'pavillion' so no one will notice the difference' concept, I think they jumped ship on the entire theme and theory of Epcot as a whole, especially Future World. That was the draw for me and my family in the 80's: this wasn't a 'theme park', this was someplace where we could explore entire subjects that affect us all as humans and learn while we played. Transportation, Energy, Imagination, Agriculture, Sea Life, Communications, and the vision of the future presented at Horizons were universal themes. Test Track is a complete leap out of this concept, and Mission: Space seems to be as the only thing I ever hear about in relation to this 'pavillion' is the centrifuge ride that so few can enjoy.

    WoL seemed to fit -perfectly- with that initial theme. Health and Biology were already part of The Land's agricultural theme, so expanding on those concepts just seemed to be a natural fit. They had the thrill ride element with Body Wars, and they had the other informative and entertaining shows as well.

    Now...why didn't this work well enough to last into the new milliennium? I never got to see it, so I have no opinion, but I trust what's been said. I think it was yet another casualty of the 'run it till it dies then replace it on the cheap' business theory of the Eisner years. When you think Energy may have been shuttered if it wasn't for the incredibly stupid concept of inserting Ellen Degeneres into the film and ride, you can see that mindset extremely clear. At least the new regime seems set on updating older pavillions, with The Land's major update and now the Living Seas. (Even if we have to get a poorly-fitting Nemo theme to justify the expense.)

    I mourn the loss of the Wonders of Life and that I never got back in time to see it. I hope that they choose to replace it with something that actually fits the Future World theme and theory, rather than finding an excuse to put an indoor LIM coaster or something.

    Swerving off-topic for a moment, I've always wanted a Music pavillion there...such a dark ride that would make, if the music rights could be cleared...from Vivaldi to Metallica, all the way to the potential future of everyone making music via home computers and sharing it with the world.
    Mr. Dark
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  3. #33

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    Re: Who killed Wonders of Life?

    Soooooo well said!!!! I agree.

  4. #34

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    Re: Who killed Wonders of Life?

    i don't think exon would have shuttered universe of energy. ellen has been in the picture for several years now. and there was always plans for a space pavilion. I remember the first time i went to epcot in 1983 right after horizons opened and they were talking about the new pavilions planned. One was a health pavilion, one was sea life and the last was about space and space exploration. i was never impressed with horizons and the world of motion was a walking billboard for gm cars. oh and I believe disney gets a tax break for having solar power so I don't think that UOE will be shuttered any time soon. I think disney needs to get past the idea that someone else has to shell out money for their rides and plan on budgeting their own funds. I must admit I loved the wonders of life, cranium command was funny and so accurate, and body wars kept the kids busy for several hours between riding and waiting in line.

  5. #35

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    Re: Who killed Wonders of Life?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bill
    Soooooo well said!!!! I agree.
    I concur.

    Mr. Dark, that is a perfect assessment, although I think Mission: SPACE probably does work with EPCOT's original design intent.

  6. #36

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    Re: Who killed Wonders of Life?

    In short, even though I've never ridden them, Test Track and Mission: Space strike me as -rides-. WoL and the other Future World attractions are -pavillions- with multiple attractions. Spaceship Earth is an exception, but it's Spaceship Earth...it's not really comparable.
    That is because the two attractions they replaced (World of Motion & Horizons) were also rides (and not pavillions). And what about Universe of Energy. That attraction is also (and was always) a ride and not a pavillion.

    Test Track is a complete leap out of this concept
    So TT has nothing to do with transportation? TT teaches us how Cars are tested. It is no more or less "Epcot" than WoM was.

    Mission: Space seems to be as the only thing I ever hear about in relation to this 'pavillion' is the centrifuge ride that so few can enjoy.
    So few can enjoy? The only reason it has a 20 minute wait most of the year is because it is one of the fastest (if not the fastest) loading attractions in Epcot (about 40 people/minute). This New Year's Eve, it had 100-150min waits. In fact most people who can't go on Tea Cups or Star Tours can go on Mission Space. So it's not true that so few can enjoy.

    (Even if we have to get a poorly-fitting Nemo theme to justify the expense.)
    I'm going by what you've said before that you have never actually seen the new Living Seas. TLS is more popular than ever now. And next year (when the ride part reopens) it is likely to be better than ever. The hydrolators & preshow (along with the general SBA theme) was dated. The whole pavilion (at least imo) was either boring or cheesy.

    They had the thrill ride element with Body Wars, and they had the other informative and entertaining shows as well.
    Have you seen the many pictures from this previous NYE? While every other attraction/pavilion had huge waits, WoL was empty. Body Wars was deserted. BW is another dated attraction. The only reason Star Tours is still around is because it has to do with Star Wars (a very popular franchise). If it weren't for that, it too would be closed.

    -Michael
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  7. #37

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    Re: Who killed Wonders of Life?

    World of Motion and the original Universe of Energy show are what led to EPCOT being snubbed by critics as a corporation's view of the future instead of a dreamer's. It's not that they're old and dated, it's that they're old and dated AND a 10 minute long business card telling you why you should be thankful for oil companies.

  8. #38

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    Re: Who killed Wonders of Life?

    Quote Originally Posted by MickeyMania
    World of Motion and the original Universe of Energy show are what led to EPCOT being snubbed by critics as a corporation's view of the future instead of a dreamer's. It's not that they're old and dated, it's that they're old and dated AND a 10 minute long business card telling you why you should be thankful for oil companies.
    Yes and no.

    They certainly were meant to help improve the corporate image of Exxon and GM as companies working for the betterment of mankind (INSERT SARCASTIC SMILIE) BUT ... they were both quite popular for years and they both were longer than 10 minutes (I'd say over double that for Energy and 15 for Motion). And while I always cringed post-1989 when the announcer talked about the oil arriving at 'majestic Port Valdez' after the drunk captain almost destroyed a pristine ecosystem, I did enjoy the preshow film on a unqiue screen that moved and pulsed with ... well, energy.

    And WoM, the ride, wasn't any commercial for GM ... Test TRack is much more so. It was a whimsical AA-filled tongue-in-cheek ride thru the history of transport. I loved it, although I also used it to nap in sometimes too!

    I don't have a problem with either attraction leaving, but I don't think the park was plussed with the replacements either. I think Test Track, in particular, is the most overrated attraction in Disney history.

  9. #39

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    Re: Who killed Wonders of Life?

    Guess I won't be missing much while TT is closed, huh? For some reason I figured you would have greater protests of MissionSPACE than you would Test Track. I know I'd ride TT before MS.

    Anyway, before I ever seriously looked at WDW to see what was there and consider going there, I (and I presume everyone else) had long seen those episodes of Simpsons/Futurama/FamilyGuy/etc that lampoon the Future World attractions, particularly those that try and paint a happy face on big industries. And I remember the immediate criticism on opening, too.

  10. #40

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    Re: Who killed Wonders of Life?

    Quote Originally Posted by askmike1
    That is because the two attractions they replaced (World of Motion & Horizons) were also rides (and not pavillions). And what about Universe of Energy. That attraction is also (and was always) a ride and not a pavillion.

    So TT has nothing to do with transportation? TT teaches us how Cars are tested. It is no more or less "Epcot" than WoM was.

    So few can enjoy? The only reason it has a 20 minute wait most of the year is because it is one of the fastest (if not the fastest) loading attractions in Epcot (about 40 people/minute). This New Year's Eve, it had 100-150min waits. In fact most people who can't go on Tea Cups or Star Tours can go on Mission Space. So it's not true that so few can enjoy.

    I'm going by what you've said before that you have never actually seen the new Living Seas. TLS is more popular than ever now. And next year (when the ride part reopens) it is likely to be better than ever. The hydrolators & preshow (along with the general SBA theme) was dated. The whole pavilion (at least imo) was either boring or cheesy.

    Have you seen the many pictures from this previous NYE? While every other attraction/pavilion had huge waits, WoL was empty. Body Wars was deserted. BW is another dated attraction. The only reason Star Tours is still around is because it has to do with Star Wars (a very popular franchise). If it weren't for that, it too would be closed.

    -Michael
    About WoM and Horizons...Horizons was more of a dark ride, I absolutely agree on that. But WoM and Energy both had more to offer than the ride portion. Energy has it's pre-show, then it's film, THEN the ride. WoM had the ride, but then the center where GM had various displays. They were all more well-rounded than TT and Space seem to be.

    And that's the key here: seem. As I said, I've not been within a -decade- of those attractions. All I'm working on is public perception, discussion on bulletin boards and sites like this one, and behind-the-scenes shows on Travel Channel and whatnot. While I pore over all those thoroughly, it's possible if not even likely I'm missing a big part of the overall picture. I still posted what I did because public perception can be everything...and the perception of this member of the public is: Space and Test Track are thrill rides. They replaced multi-faceted dark rides/pavillions that everyone from 1 to 101 could enjoy and even learn from. Even within the realm of dark rides, they each had show elements that were extremely diverse and unique. Horizon had it's IMAX film and 'simulator' ending where you chose your own adventure. WoM had animatronics, but also those 'Adventures In Inner Space/If You Had Wings' simulator sections and that amazing miniature future city set at the end. The perception of Space and Test Track? In Space you get spun around in a centrifuge so you feel like you're blasting off, then deal with gravitational forces to complete 'mission objectives' like astronauts. Test Track runs you around a fast paced, high action compressed version of how cars are tested. if they have more depth than that, I apologize, but Disney hasn't done a very good job in communicating that depth.

    If tons of people of all shapes and sizes are enjoying Mission: Space, great! Again, the perception gained from reading sites like Micechat is that it's become known as the vomit comet with more Code V's than any other ride in Epcot and frequent complaints of nausea and dizziness afterwards. Basically, it's not a mild ride. My wife, with nasty vertigo problems, could not ride it. She would have loved Horizons, though.

    No, I haven't seen the 'new' Living Seas, although in my teens when we visited I loved the Hydrolators (how -did- it look like we were going down so far?). I don't doubt that it's getting a great makeover to revitalize it. The fact that they need a tie-in to a cute kid's movie to do that is a little sad, though, and it does yank the pavillion right out of the theme of Future World. Am I one of those change-resistant fuddy-duddies? I supposed you could say so. I'm not one for abandoning concepts that work for concepts that may not when that change is driven by something other than the pursuit of excellence. Epcot does not need contrived movie tie-ins to be excellent. Make the product solid, market it properly, and you will succeed (and they did, for years). If it started to fail and age, that's due to a lack of drive on the part of the company, not a lack of movie tie-ins and costumed character appearances. Again, I'm apparently a curmudgeon at 35, because I remember going to -museums- on vacations when I was a kid. No flashy animated characters needed to learn with my family and have a great time together.

    As for Wonders of Life, I'm sure it is an absolute bomb right now. My issue is that it seems like a strong concept, and that the attractions could appeal to people. If they don't, again, it seems like a lack of drive on the part of the company. If there are structural problems with the design as rumored elsewhere in this topic, well, that makes perfect sense. Take out the sign, only open it on occasion, remove it from maps...voila, it's underperforming and needs to go away. Sounds more like an assassination than a natural death to me, but it doesn't matter now. It's dated look, lack of marketing, and bad locale have absolutely done away with it. I just would have liked to have seen it. I'm a sucker for sims like Star Tours, and the other attractions sounded cute.

    I just hope they do replace it, and that they replace it with something that more closely resembles the original vision for Epcot and Future World. I'm just afraid we'll get another thrill ride to appeal to that hot 18-25 demographic.
    Mr. Dark
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  11. #41

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    Re: Who killed Wonders of Life?

    You have a strong point. However, it should be remembered that Epcot got slammed for a number of years for being a large corporate-sponsored educational film with little Mickey Mouse to be seen anywhere. That died down, partly because they did add some character and partly because people have since the park is just one part of a large resort taken as the sum of it's parts, and in the 1980s nobody knew anything other than Magic Kingdom and Disneyland before it.

    I still don't understand, though, how Nemo and SeaBase Alpha can't exist at the same time. If the Submarine Voyage in CA can begin with that same semi-serious drawling script and then progress into character-filled Nemoland, why can't the SeaBase infuse some character into it's dry story without losing it's whole identity?

  12. #42

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    Re: Who killed Wonders of Life?

    It's always a shame when any attraction in the the parks shuts down. I know I shouldn't look at it like this, but I fear that when it shuts down it's a failure. I worry that part of the problem was yes they had a lot of educational things about the body, but were any of them entertaining? I remember always kind of passing through but never really staying long.

    I also heard rumors that it was the buildings integrity that might have shut it down. IF this is true, what chance is there that the pavillion will be reopened in the future?


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  13. #43

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    Re: Who killed Wonders of Life?

    Energy has it's pre-show, then it's film, THEN the ride.
    And it still has the preshow, then the film, then the ride (followed by another film, some more ride & one more film).

    WoM had the ride, but then the center where GM had various displays.
    TT also has the ride and a center where GM has various displays.

    if they have more depth than that, I apologize
    Yes they do. What you said is all true, but it's like giving the Cliff's Notes instead of reading the book. In my opinion, M:S gives a very similar sensation to horizons. What it comes down to is whether you like thrills or omnimover-type rides. Test Track is only high-speed for the outside loop. It is very fun (and informative) to know the difference between ABS braking and braking when your steering get's locked. The environmental rooms are always fun & the crash into the wall part is almost guaranteed to surprise any newcomer.

    Disney hasn't done a very good job in communicating that depth
    They are advertising them as thrill for a good reason. Attractions like WoM, Horizons, WoL & the old UoE gave Epcot a very bad rap as an educational park. Most kids & teens did not want to go there because of this fact. So in order to bring back this demographic, they need to advertise the "tainment" in Edutainment.

    With the "protein spill" problem, there were two main causes.
    1) People did not know what to expect. They think that just because it's a Disney ride, it won't be to bad. Thankfully, this problem is decreasing a lot (as people finally know what it is about).
    2) People do not follow directions. They say the warnings many times and people don't seem to listen. If they say look foward & keep your eyes open....do it. If not, you might throw up.

    The fact that they need a tie-in to a cute kid's movie to do that is a little sad, though, and it does yank the pavillion right out of the theme of Future World.
    Future World has two purposes, both summed up in the word edutainment. It has to be educational & entertaining. The problem with the old pavilion (specially in recent times) is that it was too much of the first and not enough of the second. Turtle talk (and the later additions) balanced everything out. Now, you learn in the LS, you get entertained, and you find out the many uses of the word "dude."

    I worry that part of the problem was yes they had a lot of educational things about the body, but were any of them entertaining?
    I think that in it's time, they were entertaining. Sure, 10 years ago Body Wars would have been extremely popular & the other things in the pavilion would all have been loved by most, but that time has past. The technology, as well as the design are all dated.

    -Michael
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  14. #44

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    Re: Who killed Wonders of Life?

    Quote Originally Posted by askmike1

    They are advertising them as thrill for a good reason. Attractions like WoM, Horizons, WoL & the old UoE gave Epcot a very bad rap as an educational park. Most kids & teens did not want to go there because of this fact.

    -Michael
    If this is true, then how come Epcot (ca. 1982 - 1999) used to get 10 to 12 million a year and now it can't seem to break the 10 million mark. Sure teens complained about it, but they went because parents appreciate the educational aspects of Epcot. This is the same reason parents take kids to places like Washington DC and Kennedy Space Center. But I think that the attendence problem is a result of Epcot trying to appeal to the teenage crowd and alienated its core audience of families (with pre-teens) and adults traveling w/o kids.
    Last edited by Pete; 01-08-2006 at 08:09 PM.

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    Re: Who killed Wonders of Life?

    Quote Originally Posted by Pete
    If this is true, then how come Epcot (ca. 1982 - 1999) used to get 10 to 12 million a year and now it can't seem to break the 10 million mark. Sure teens complained about it, but they went because parents appreciate the educational aspects of Epcot. This is the same reason parents take kids to places like Washington DC and Kennedy Space Center. But I think that the attendence problem is a result of Epcot trying to appeal to the teenage crowd and alienated its core audience of families (with pre-teens) and adults traveling w/o kids.
    Very good point.

    Disney has diluted and watered down what was a very strong edu-tainment type park that attracted all ages, but now tries to go after teen thrillseekers with weak attempts like Test Track and Mission Space (and fails) and goes after the stroller brigade with coloring tables where high end shops once stood. It's all poorly conceived. (and I love Mission Space, so I'm not attacking an attraction).

    And the Epcot doesn't appeal to kids/teens is frankly all anecdotal ... and has become the stuff on Internet myth. There's some truth in it, but just some.

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