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  1. #1

    • Mkcoastie
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    The Down Side of Quality..........

    Greetings fellow Micechatters!
    Well, let's see.....where to start? I wanted to make a note of an unfortunate phenomena. The thing is, I don't think anything can (or should) be done about this other than to, well, make a note of it......

    I returned from a trip to WDW this October. I went with my wife, two kids (8 and 5), and my in-laws. None of the people traveling with me were as....well..... obsessive about Disney as I am. While my wife and kids love Disney and the parks, I am the only one who spends endless amounts of time frequenting sites like this one. With that being said we where all exited when we found that the new Fantasyland was soft opening while we where there. And it is with this setup that I get to my point (finally)........I think the detail and immersiveness of the Little Mermaid building and line make the ride seem less impressive than it should. you see, I personally did not notice this. Having spent my fair share of time reading all sorts of reviews and seeing all sorts of photos of the DCA version, I knew exactly what to expect. It's a solid C, or maybe even a D ticket ride. Viewed in this light it's a good ride. It more than holds it's own against other dark rides such as peter pans flight or pooh. I'm happy with this (hey, they can't all be e-tickets, right?). Talking with my travel party, however, I noticed a slight element of disappointment among them. After doing some thinking, I believe I know what is (at least partially) to blame here. Unlike in DCA, MK version of VOLM is a C-ticket attraction that was given a full out E-ticket queue and building



    (DCA's is nice, but not on the level of MK's).


    The spectacular lead up this ride is given makes the ride a lot less impressive and I think draws more attention to some of the faults of the ride itself. My wife brought up things like transitions and felling that they felt "unfinished".

    Like I said, I'm not sure if anything could of should be done about this, I certainly wouldn't want less quality or detail or immersiveness.......but I was curious to see what your opinions where.

  2. #2

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    Re: The Down Side of Quality..........

    I agree, with DCA and MK having the same exact ride, the queue for MK is WAY more then what they needed. I understand having such a huge queue in Florida for the giant crowds, but the amount of detail and money spent was alot. Where as DCA, you see the show building think its nice and think the rides cute. You walk to the MK version and expect the ride to blow you away and sadly doesnt.

  3. #3

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    Re: The Down Side of Quality..........

    I completely understand the reactions above (the exterior oversells the ride), but my reaction was the exact opposite. (Maybe because I also knew what to expect). MK's Mermaid has an A+ queue & exterior. Even if the ride doesn't meet the expectations set up by the queue, I still feel that the super-detailed queue enhances the overall attraction immensely. If you approach attractions holistically, as one might the Tower of Terror or Haunted Mansion - where the exterior, queue, preshow, ride and post-show portions all add-up to form the complete experience, then the outstanding queue and exterior should benefit your experience. If nothing else, it undeniably benefits the area aesthetics.

  4. #4

    • Metro-Retro Historian
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    Re: The Down Side of Quality..........

    "Whale of a Tale" plays in the FL queue. I can't complain about that. The interactive elements tend to slow down the line a bit though. It's probably great when the line is backed up that far but on an omnimover that really shouldn't happen all that much, maybe in the summer when the place is packed.

    I don't think it outshines the ride itself. They fit together pretty nicely since scuttle is introduced in the queue and bookends the ride itself. I don't know why they built the inside of a castle like a ruin though. That part really didn't fit with the whole fairytale thing.
    It bothers me when people selectively edit quotes to support whatever point they are trying to prove.

  5. #5

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    Re: The Down Side of Quality..........

    Quote Originally Posted by mkcoastie View Post
    I'm not sure if anything could of should be done about this, I certainly wouldn't want less quality or detail or immersiveness.......but I was curious to see what your opinions where.
    Well hello. I too have two children and they probably don't love Disney as much as mom and dad do. Their problem. LOL
    But in regards to your comment.. having had the pleasure of visiting Tokyo DisneySea almost 2 years ago and seeing the unsurpassed level of themed quality this Disney park offers, it's something I whole heartedly welcome, especially at the Magic Kingdom park where everything seems tired and in need or upgrades (at least that is how it was the last time we visited). I have not visited the new Fantasyland yet but what I see on pictures is truly wonderful and I welcome this direction of themed quality at Disney World. Some people say the new area makes the rest of the park look below standard, not just the mermaid ride alone. We have been on the Mermaid ride at Disney California Adventures, so if that one is similar to the magic Kingdom's, then I have an idea. We found it to be a "D"-ticket style ride. If the queue is as impressive as I've seen on photos then yes, the ride will not be as elaborate. But I would forgive that only because in CA, they had to adjust the ride to the size and limitations of using an old building for the ride, as opposed to building something from scratch. I'm just elated that the level of quality offered at Tokyo DisneySea is now found at the Magic Kingdom. I hope the rest of the park gets improvements at this level.
    If I have a concern it would be this: I hope the maintenance department at Disney World can keep these new additions as fresh and clean as they look today, for many more years to come. Poor maintenance here will kill the experience for me. I love the lovely waterfalls I've seen and the wooded areas.. but it takes work to keep these features in top shape. Let's hope maintenance do their job.

  6. #6

    • Mkcoastie
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    Cool Re: The Down Side of Quality..........

    Quote Originally Posted by RandySavage View Post
    I completely understand the reactions above (the exterior oversells the ride), but my reaction was the exact opposite. (Maybe because I also knew what to expect). MK's Mermaid has an A+ queue & exterior. Even if the ride doesn't meet the expectations set up by the queue, I still feel that the super-detailed queue enhances the overall attraction immensely. If you approach attractions holistically, as one might the Tower of Terror or Haunted Mansion - where the exterior, queue, preshow, ride and post-show portions all add-up to form the complete experience, then the outstanding queue and exterior should benefit your experience. If nothing else, it undeniably benefits the area aesthetics.
    actually, this is exactly how I felt about it. I loved the whole enviorment....I left exstatic about the level of quality being put into new fantaslyland. I was kind of surprised when my family (more "normal tourists" than I am) talked about their dissapointmentment with the ride itself. it was only after talking with them that I was forced to think of theories as to why they felt this way. Don't get me wrong, they actually enjoyed the whole experiance overall, I'm just noting the negative part of their verbal reviews.

  7. #7

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    Re: The Down Side of Quality..........

    I want to encourage WDW to do more of this kind of immerse story telling and not less. While the ride might not have hit the nail completely on the head, the set up was beautiful, and I want more of that.

    But I think in 10 - 20 years people will not be able to remember a time at MK pre-VOLM
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  8. #8

    • Mkcoastie
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    Re: The Down Side of Quality..........

    Quote Originally Posted by KingEric View Post
    I want to encourage WDW to do more of this kind of immerse story telling and not less. While the ride might not have hit the nail completely on the head, the set up was beautiful, and I want more of that.

    But I think in 10 - 20 years people will not be able to remember a time at MK pre-VOLM
    Agreed.

  9. #9

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    Re: The Down Side of Quality..........

    Quote Originally Posted by Dapper Dan View Post
    I don't know why they built the inside of a castle like a ruin though. That part really didn't fit with the whole fairytale thing.
    I think when you're in the queue, you're supposed to be UNDER the castle. The castle is right on the beach, so it had to be built up high so that when the tide comes in, the castle doesn't flood. And the Imagineers said that the queue was built with the tide out, so if that's true and you're walking through the underside of the castle, I wouldn't imagine it would look very immaculate if it's meant to be just a large area to catch the tide.

  10. #10

    • Minion
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    Re: The Down Side of Quality..........

    I rode it recently with my sister, who hadn't watched video of the CA version, and it seemed to have the opposite effect on her - the beauty of the queue, show building, and surroundings seemed to make the actual ride more special to her than it probably deserved to.

  11. #11

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    Re: The Down Side of Quality..........

    Why can't we look on the bright side of things? I'm bummed out.
    DisneyTwins
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  12. #12

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    Re: The Down Side of Quality..........

    It's also really cool to watch the fireworks from back there. You get to watch the skies light up with your choice of 3 castles as a backdrop.
    It bothers me when people selectively edit quotes to support whatever point they are trying to prove.

  13. #13

    • Mkcoastie
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    Red Face Re: The Down Side of Quality..........

    Quote Originally Posted by Disneytwins View Post
    Why can't we look on the bright side of things? I'm bummed out.
    Don't be. At the end of the day we got an absolutely beautiful area the likes of which have not been seen in a while. The little Mermaid, in my opinion, is still a great dark ride in an environment that us WDWers can be proud of. I know I started this thread by taking note of a sad effect.....but I am extremely happy right now. I try not to be to overly optimistic, but I see a lot of positive things going on. WDW is not going to get the "one foul swoop fix/renew" treatment that DCA got. Frankly, it doesn't need to. When you look at what’s going on, however, there are good signs everywhere. The new fantasyland is a wonderful addition to the MK, and it' biggest project isn't even done yet. We got a MUCH better version of the little mermaid than DCA as well as a restaurant that rivals anything anywhere. Sure, some were upset that part of the expansion is a meet and greet......but it's the most advanced, well themed and fun meet and greet in ANY Disney property (and I’ll stick by that.) As all this was going on we saw EPCOT getting ready to celebrate 30 years as test track went under the knife. When she emerged as Test Track 2.0 she resembled what we were celebrating so nostalgically for EPCOT's 30. We just got a brand new "budget" resort that was well enough done to warren good reviews from even the most jaded of resort stayers (for a budget hotel!). On the horizon, something big is coming, that much at least seems certain. Weather the "big" thing is Avatar (I hope not) or something else......from what we've seen lately, it will be well executed, beautifully themed and something to be happy about. I personally believe that WDW still need a lot of love.......but I am feeling very positive.

  14. #14

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    Re: The Down Side of Quality..........

    Quote Originally Posted by KingEric View Post
    I want to encourage WDW to do more of this kind of immerse story telling and not less. While the ride might not have hit the nail completely on the head, the set up was beautiful, and I want more of that.

    But I think in 10 - 20 years people will not be able to remember a time at MK pre-VOLM
    Same here...
    For the love of Disney....

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