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  1. #16

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    Re: Bad News Imagination fans

    Quote Originally Posted by goofy donald View Post
    Now this may be controversial but here it goes anyways. while i do agree with you wholeheartedly eric that the great epcot concept of old is currently dead i feel like slowly disney is taking that concept back and with the instillation of new leadership at WDW, i think that change will speed up even more.
    I wouldn't go "all in with your wager" in thinking that the "Edu-tainment" concept is coming back to Epcot anytime soon. In fact, if I'm not mistaken, it was on George K.'s watch that Horizons was "evicted"; he was the President of Epcot (before he went on to Disneyland).

    Also, if not mistaken, he was influential in getting rid of the words "EPCOT Center" and, for simplicity (because we're all "ignorant guests" and never got the EPCOT concept) he campaigned for just calling it Epcot (after it was Epcot 98, 99 - then the debacle of the Millennium wand came - oh god, I just puked in my mouth).

    Yeah, George has been around Disney for years but he may not necessarily be as pro-fan and pro-Disney nostalgia as you may think he is or want him to be. And while he may stress and focus on items like maintenance we'll have to see if it makes and noticeable change to WDW.

    The Cars Land concept is cool but the budget for DCA's makeover was set about the time George arrived - he just helped to execute. And since he was man at the top at the time of opening (and success) he's naturally getting the accolades. The funding source came from the board of Directors who addressed a problem

    The Epcot of today is so dis-jointed because it's spirit has been trampled on. From an Imagination pavilion makeover that looked like a 7th grade science project after it re-opened to a the Pixarization of the Seas pavilion, we'll never have the 1982 excitement of EPCOT Center ever again.

    And really, what is left to explore there - in Future World they abandoned the concept of health (probably because most guests had a hard time getting their electric carts to climb the ramp into the pavilion). Will we build a "social media" pavilion full of interactive games - we already have that and it's called Innoventions. Land, Energy basically hold onto their origins with Transportation having tried to - but the others I don't even visit anymore because they're lame.

  2. #17

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    Re: Bad News Imagination fans

    Quote Originally Posted by godsonsafari View Post

    You mean like Animal Kingdom tries to do?

    It isn't so much that edutainment is necessarily dead IMO. There's an inherent problem though with the concept in play at a theme park because technology so rapidly changes. I don't think the pace of innovation was ever really understood by the designers back in the original concept of Epcot or by the park heads during those early years.

    I think a major problem is they build attractions with the intent of showing off/utilizing new technologies as the goal. Instead, they should design the attractions with the intent of being a good, engaging, entertaining attraction, and the technology should only be there to support how to do it. Not the other way around.

  3. #18

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    Re: Bad News Imagination fans

    Quote Originally Posted by godsonsafari View Post

    You mean like Animal Kingdom tries to do?

    It isn't so much that edutainment is necessarily dead IMO. There's an inherent problem though with the concept in play at a theme park because technology so rapidly changes. I don't think the pace of innovation was ever really understood by the designers back in the original concept of Epcot or by the park heads during those early years.
    They knew, they were just energized by it, not afraid of it. By the time Epcot opened in 1982, WED had been doing Tomorrowland for over 25 years. By that point they must have known the challenge that came with an area themed to the future. To think that they were still naive at that point underestimates how much thought they put into the design process. Their solution to keep up with the always approaching future was to court sponsors to absorb some of the cost for the updates.

    In Imagination and Motion's case, the sponsors also wanted a degree of creative control and their desire for a new attraction is part of what lead to the changes in those pavilions. On the other side, Horizons lost its sponsor and new sponsors wanted to make their own ride not pick up the tab for GE's old one. In both cases Disney saw the dollar signs and didn't care that they had to lose what should have been classic attractions to get those dollars and either couldn't find or didn't care to look for sponsors that that would be interested in the existing attractions the way the had for Spaceship Earth and It's a Small World.

    The problem is as it has always been, money. It's not that they aren't creative enough, it's not that technology advances faster than they can keep up with. It's who is going to pay for it and Disney does not want to be the ones picking up the bill. They could bring back Horizons or the old Journey into Imagination or reopen the Wonders of life any time they want. They just don't want to pay for it.

    Tony Baxter designs great rides because he is an artist. He learned from imagineers who were all artists when the place was run by artists and the goal was to make the best rides, not sell vacation packages and merchandise. His resignation didn't kill the hopes for a restored imagination pavilion. It was already dead. Tony hadn't had a decent assignment since the mid 90s because his style of making the best possible attractions despite the cost didn't mesh with the corporate policy of never spending more money than you absolutely have to. He represents a breed of designer that the company has been trying to push out for a long time now, and their success in doing so shows in the kinds and quality of attractions they've put out since. The current Imagination ride is a prime example. It's empty, heartless, offensive, and boring.

    That doesn't mean that anyone should stop trying for better. It just means that the road may be longer and harder than you think.
    It bothers me when people selectively edit quotes to support whatever point they are trying to prove.

  4. #19

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    Re: Bad News Imagination fans

    Quote Originally Posted by KingEric View Post
    World of Motion - TRONED
    SpaceShip Earth - half the ride is an old eSurrance commercial animated fantasy of a jetson like future
    I laughed more then I should have.
    Living with the Land - in the best shape, but long gone are the live tour guides on Living with the Land
    I don't agree with this point, Living With The land only had live guides for a relatively short period of time and honestly they didn't add much. It's a tour about fruits and veggies a guide doesn't add much magic to it. Still, it's great to see Crump's mark on EPCOT preserved.

    Anyway, EPCOT is long dead, unless someone who actually cares more about the parks rather then increasing profits something could be done but until that time... hope we get more Tron things since at least that's "future related", even though it's all based on a 1980 movie (funny how that works). Sad but we've got to be at least thankful the Land hasn't gotten the ax yet.
    I'm sure there's at least a few hundred different master plans for some sort of grand re imagining for EPCOT but until the day some crazy exec actually green lights it EPCOT will remain a mess. Didn't Ron Schneider have a small article on the original version for the "re imagining" of Imagination and how they had to scale down 3 times to fix the peanuts they got a for a budget?

  5. #20

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    Re: Bad News Imagination fans

    A few things:
    1. Why did they ever change the Imagination ride in the first place from the attraction we all supposedly loved? Maintenance issues? A dip in rider attendance? It seems somehow on a money-making scale, Imagination wasn't cutting it. And what about Horizons and World of Motion? Why are they gone?
    2. Epcot isn't dead. Come on now. Wonders of Life is dead. Imageworks and the 3D theater is stale. But there's more good than bad. The Seas is great! It still edutains, and it uses characters kids love in a setting that is completely acceptable. If anything, it's even more relevant now. TRON-ized Test Track is better than the last Test Track. The Land is still a great pavilion. I freakin love Mission:Space. Although I preferred Irons' Spaceship Earth, I still enjoy M's version. Epcot is wounded. It isn't dead.

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  6. #21

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    Re: Bad News Imagination fans

    Quote Originally Posted by disneytom View Post
    I wouldn't go "all in with your wager" in thinking that the "Edu-tainment" concept is coming back to Epcot anytime soon. In fact, if I'm not mistaken, it was on George K.'s watch that Horizons was "evicted"; he was the President of Epcot (before he went on to Disneyland).

    Also, if not mistaken, he was influential in getting rid of the words "EPCOT Center" and, for simplicity (because we're all "ignorant guests" and never got the EPCOT concept) he campaigned for just calling it Epcot (after it was Epcot 98, 99 - then the debacle of the Millennium wand came - oh god, I just puked in my mouth).

    Yeah, George has been around Disney for years but he may not necessarily be as pro-fan and pro-Disney nostalgia as you may think he is or want him to be. And while he may stress and focus on items like maintenance we'll have to see if it makes and noticeable change to WDW.

    The Cars Land concept is cool but the budget for DCA's makeover was set about the time George arrived - he just helped to execute. And since he was man at the top at the time of opening (and success) he's naturally getting the accolades. The funding source came from the board of Directors who addressed a problem

    The Epcot of today is so dis-jointed because it's spirit has been trampled on. From an Imagination pavilion makeover that looked like a 7th grade science project after it re-opened to a the Pixarization of the Seas pavilion, we'll never have the 1982 excitement of EPCOT Center ever again.

    And really, what is left to explore there - in Future World they abandoned the concept of health (probably because most guests had a hard time getting their electric carts to climb the ramp into the pavilion). Will we build a "social media" pavilion full of interactive games - we already have that and it's called Innoventions. Land, Energy basically hold onto their origins with Transportation having tried to - but the others I don't even visit anymore because they're lame.
    when I made my comments i certainly was not being pro nostalgia, i just liked the concept and cohesiveness of the epcot of old and think a reminiscent version may possibly be coming back. you make quite a few fair points here though, no one can really say who's to blame exactly for the lack of a unified vision in epcot and what level of responsibility can or will really make a difference. its just my personal belief that a lot of the negatives that occurred under george k at epcot happened with Eisner intervention and horizons being lost as a major negative is debatable considering the quality of attraction they put in its place. like i said it may be a long shot but i think its a possibility.

  7. #22

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    Re: Bad News Imagination fans

    Quote Originally Posted by sbk1234 View Post
    If anything is going to be done with it to rework it back to the masterpiece it was in the beginning......
    While the original ride was far superior to the mess that's there now, I don't think it was all that either. I always thought it was about 2/3 finished, with the last third just some film loops that didn't hold up to the strong beginning.

  8. #23

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    Re: Bad News Imagination fans

    Quote Originally Posted by Pizzapants View Post
    And what about Horizons and World of Motion? Why are they gone?
    Horizons was falling apart
    Take a look at the theme park models I make at kolbykonnection.com

  9. #24

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    Re: Bad News Imagination fans

    Quote Originally Posted by danyoung View Post
    While the original ride was far superior to the mess that's there now, I don't think it was all that either. I always thought it was about 2/3 finished, with the last third just some film loops that didn't hold up to the strong beginning.
    I tend to agree, it was a bit of a yawner and only after hearing Tony Baxter speak about it do I really understand what it was about and the meaning behind some of the props.

    Perhaps if they "re-imagined" it and included variability like the re-do of Star Tours that would make Imagination rise again. To a large degree, the pavilion over the past 10 + years has been akin to its sponsor - Kodak - - Thanks for the memories Kodak but now I can take a picture with my phone at any point in time. Perhaps Apple or Google should be the sponsors of the pavilion now. But technology changes so fast - they could be dead in 10 years too.

  10. #25

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    Re: Bad News Imagination fans

    Quote Originally Posted by mratigan View Post
    Horizons was falling apart
    True, and sinking into the ground as well.

    I think this pavilion was the perfect synthesis of all the Future World themes but then as the concept of EPCOT Center began to fail with Disney execs that were brought on board post 1982 this pavilion was destined to die with it and it did.

    In fact, if there was ever a park in search of a theme it would be Epcot these days. What is it anymore? Is it a travelogue? Is it a World's Fair (what "are those" by the way - we haven't had one in awhile and none seemingly on the horizon (no pun intended)).

    Seriously, maybe we start a thread entitled "lost park in search of a concept" for Epcot - help it find its id.

    I personally think Epcot jumped the shark when Soarin invaded the Land pavilion? I thought wtf??

  11. #26

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    Re: Bad News Imagination fans

    Quote Originally Posted by disneytom View Post
    I personally think Epcot jumped the shark when Soarin invaded the Land pavilion? I thought wtf??
    And I think it was when they start turning Epcot into "Kidcot". Learning replaced with characters.

    I'm not a frequent WDW visitor: 1989 with my future wife, 1999 with my wife and 5-year old son, and 2012 as empty-nesters. In 1989, we spent most of the time at Epcot (of course, AK didn't exist and the Studios was in its infancy (it only rated a second day that trip because Star Tours soft-opened the day after our first day there)). Last year, I was extremely bored by Epcot. Most everything in Future World has been dumbed down and made more kid friendly. Living Seas has been completely ruined. Back in World Showcase, very little has changed in 23 years. If you're not into shopping, you quickly exhaust what it has to offer.

    In the 2012 trip, we spent the most time at DHS followed by MK. We had planned the last day to be Epcot but in the end decided there was more we wanted to do at DHS and MK although since we had dinner reservations at Epcot, we did run over there for dinner but then right back to MK.
    Last edited by lstone19; 02-07-2013 at 07:17 PM. Reason: fix typo

  12. #27

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    Re: Bad News Imagination fans

    Quote Originally Posted by lstone19 View Post
    And I think it was when they start turning Epcot into "Kidcot". Learning replaced with characters.

    I'm not a frequent WDW visitor: 1989 with my future wife, 1999 with my wife and 5-year old son, and 2012 as empty-nesters. In 1989, we spent most of the time at Epcot (of course, AK didn't exist and the Studios was in its infancy (it only rated a second day that trip because Stars Tours soft-opened the day after our first day there)). Last year, I was extremely bored by Epcot. Most everything in Future World has been dumbed down and made more kid friendly. Living Seas has been completely ruined. Back in World Showcase, very little has changed in 23 years. If you're not into shopping, you quickly exhaust what it has to offer.

    In the 2012 trip, we spent the most time at DHS followed by MK. We had planned the last day to be Epcot but in the end decided there was more we wanted to do at DHS and MK although since we had dinner reservations at Epcot, we did run over there for dinner but then right back to MK.

    I have to say I pretty much agree with everything you've said here. There is very little "Future" in Future World and, think about it, we hardcore fans have gotten so beaten down by their lack of capital improvements in World Showcase that we wet ourselves when a restaurant changes ownership or gets refurbished - a restaurant of all things. This park is nothing more than a Yawn these days and, quite frankly, the only thing that is carrying the Park any more are the restaurants in World Showcase.

    Everything has to have a sponsor now to get any sort of attraction upgrade or creation (unless it's an interactive game, not sure who is paying for that).

    It is so sad especially since such enthusiasm was centered from all parts of the Disney organization on the EPCOT concept. Now it is a Park in search of a theme - a lot to do I suppose but there is no understanding of what it is really meant to be about. They might as well call it Disney's Corporate Partnership Adventure Park - DiCPAP - (not the best acronym but well suited to what the thing is these days).

    Tom

  13. #28

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    Re: Bad News Imagination fans

    There's so much wrong with WDW these days, Imagination and ultimately Epcot is only another drop in the proverbial Bucket of Stagnation that has enveloped the entire Florida property. It really is about money, profits and probably a good bit of out-of-touch ego and stupidity within TDO.

    While nice that TT got a full makeover, it was still a good, relevant and educational ride that only needed a little TLC to fix the broken things. Certainly not a complete gutting. Even Soarin could have used an update before TT. It's not like making a new Soarin movie (or a new 4D movie for the imagination theater) would break the bank.

    World of Energy is yet another example of missed opportunities. Big Oil is going through a second renaissance in our country, but fracking, high gas prices, and the BP incident has given them a serious image problem. If TDO had half a brain, they could get one or all the oil players to bankroll a complete World of Energy makeover or in the very least, update the movie into this century. It's not like Disney doesn't own a movie studio or anything...

    Our family for the first time in almost 10 years has decided to go elsewhere this year for vacation. When I see trash on the ground, peeling paint and things on rides that no longer work, my heart sinks. When I go to buy a souvenir, tickets or food and I realize how much more I'm paying for this dissapointment, I only feel anger. We prefer to remember WDW for what it was, not what its becoming. As sad as it is, even our local Six Flags has done more to earn our money the last few years. And they've been in bankruptcy.

  14. #29

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    Re: Bad News Imagination fans

    Quote Originally Posted by aggiemullins View Post
    There's so much wrong with WDW these days, Imagination and ultimately Epcot is only another drop in the proverbial Bucket of Stagnation that has enveloped the entire Florida property. It really is about money, profits and probably a good bit of out-of-touch ego and stupidity within TDO.

    ...

    Our family for the first time in almost 10 years has decided to go elsewhere this year for vacation. When I see trash on the ground, peeling paint and things on rides that no longer work, my heart sinks. When I go to buy a souvenir, tickets or food and I realize how much more I'm paying for this dissapointment, I only feel anger. We prefer to remember WDW for what it was, not what its becoming. As sad as it is, even our local Six Flags has done more to earn our money the last few years. And they've been in bankruptcy.

    Again, a great venting and summary from a hardcore fan about their displeasure of the current WDW experience. And, like me, you seem to be voting with your pocketbook which is exactly what we all need to do. I'm not saying boycott but actions and, more importantly, "inactions" speak louder than words. I will not renew my AP this year (me). I will not visit this year because stagnation doesn't equate to value or fun. I will not "settle" and be taken for granted.

    This isn't Disney bashing as much as it is an observation that the the marketplace is speaking for itself. Walt would understand, the marginal value isn't there anymore (at WDW) and people are revolting.

    For example, the dining plan all but destroyed the "vacation" aspect of the Vacation Kingdom. This is no longer an upscale, interesting and relaxing resort to visit. There is little pleasure anymore of simply coming in for the weekend to enjoy the surroundings and a nice meal - the dining plan has caused food to be bland, common and uninviting.

    Disney gets what it deserves until they come to their senses and so some soul searching or else conduct non-biased focus groups to understand why repeat visitors are dwindling and they're getting bashed like baby seals on boards like this.

    They could make money hand over fist by investing a little money in quality and "plussing" of the existing show - I would literally pay money to see the Piranah (sp.?) fish effect in the WDW Jungle Cruise. I would certainly pay money to see the holiday overlays at Bears, Small World and Mansion.

    I resent having to pay money for "interactive" games in lieu of expansive new lands or rides. Nor do I want to see reconfigured attraction lines that attempt to entertain me by repeating the same gag over and over again because they've overbooked the ride so must that wait times are now double what they used to be and they're trying to get my mind off the fact that the lines move at glacial pace (almost as slow as Disney's capital improvement plans).

    To the poster "aggiemullins", perhaps consider Tokyo Disney Resort - it's not nearly as expensive as you'd think it would be and they do Disney better than Disney currently does (or has done in the past 20 years). Quite frankly, it's a great cultural experience to see Japan and the parks are awesome - the Disney nostalgia just courses through the veins here.
    Last edited by disneytom; 02-07-2013 at 03:58 PM.

  15. #30

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    Re: Bad News Imagination fans

    I agree that imagination is just a drop in the bucket when you look at the current shuttered show space all around wdw.

    There is currently so much wrong like at DTD that saying fix imagination seems like a crazy wish.
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