OK, it's that time again ... time for a Spirited thread to go on and on and on ...
I've been receiving some depressing email of late and I'm starting to wonder, frankly, whether WDI has the capability left to wow me anymore. Or any of us 'purists'.
I think I first got the feeling that something was 'off' when the much ballyhooed (first time I've used that in a post) Test Track debuted a decade ago and left me with a collective yawn.
The money was there. The ride system was state of the art. But the result? It sure didn't leave me with the same feeling that Mansion and Pirates and Pan did (and still do).
And since then, there have been far more misses than hits.
Even the hits, don't appear to be the type of attractions that are timeless. Pirates ... and American Adventure... and Big Thunder ... and Mansion ... and Small World ... are.
But will anyone here honestly tell me TT, Mission Space, Soarin, Everest and PhilharMagic are?
The only one that has a chance is Everest because it is a cool, well-themed, well-thought-out Disney coaster.
The others? I enjoy Soarin and PhilharMagic, but not like the old attractions above, and film-based attractions lose repeatability the more you experience them (are you listening Tom Fitzgerald?). HISTA was a huge hit in 1991 ... MuppetVision too. Have you ever had to wait to enter either of them (beyond waiting for the next show) in the last decade? Even on the busiest days?
Mission Space ... it's simply a glorified simulator and we all know how well they fare over time. The fact it tends to make a large segment of the ridership physically ill, makes you wonder if this will even have the staying power of a Body Wars or Star Tours.
And how many abject failures have there been? Attractions that have wasted hundreds of millions of dollars that have gotten collective yawns by the general public and vitriol by the fan community? I won't list them here because I think you all know what I am talking about.
What about all the redos that should have been redon'ts?
I just wonder if so many people have died, retired or been forced out -- and real talents marginalized in political gamesmanship -- if WDI is capable of giving me a WOW.
I admit Mission Space did that the first time, but with each subsequent ride it's lost something.
This love affair WDI has developed for sticking animated characters in any place at the cost of show makes me wonder if they have a clue or are just following orders.
This reliance on new gimmicks -- the Living Character Program -- reminds me of past fascinations with simulators and 3D movies (hey, Tom, still reading? ... what about you Bruce?)
It's almost like Disney is afraid to either a.) try something completely new; or b.) create a long, immersive family attraction in the Pirates vein (and please geeks, don't bring up WRE here!)
I see talented individuals and some quality work.
But what I don't see is the next attraction that will take me into a world of Pirates sacking a town or fly me from London to Never Land (without any snotty FA's slamming their service carts into me because they have issues with management!) where I can never grow up or take me on a runaway mine train into a 'spirited' mountain full of gold.
I also know it isn't a money issue either because WDI is so wasteful it should be an arm of the US government ... maybe FEMA? The costs of DAK, DCA and DSP are all in the same relative ballpark. Yet one stands so much above the other two ... So to just blame 'the beancounters' isn't fair and it isn't accurate either. Sure, there are times when another $20 million could have made a huge difference. And there are just as many examples where $20 million was thrown away on things that won't improve the guest experience in any way.
I guess when it comes right down to it two things have changed -- Disney seems to have lost its creative touch and daring, and I have grown as a person to where simple WalMart crap doesn't impress me just cause it's at 'Disney World' and the marketing machine tells me I'm supposed to be impressed.
Those are some of my thoughts.
What are yours?
And consider this thread, my holiday gift to you ... hopefully, it will keep spreading joy right on into 2008!