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Old 01-17-2013, 05:28 PM   #31
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Disney Dining was better in the 90s before it was Disney Dining.


I have a hard time with this thread topic, not because I'm waffling on my hatred of Eisner, but because, in the end, I had a lot of good times with the Walt Disney Company headed by Michael Eisner and so the question of whether I'd prefer the Disney from pre-disney decade is hard.

I give a qualified YES, I would prefer that Disney, but I give the full throated yes to the alternate history version: "I'd prefer the Disney that would have come from a Disney that grew under a Ron Miller + Someone leadership team."

Would that we could wind the clock back to the 1970s and repair the rift between Roy E. and Card and Ron Miller. Because as always, it was ultimately Disney family squabbles that brought on the Barbarians and that chucklehead Eisner.


And if we're very specifically talking about WDW, then the above goes double. There are a lot of things that I love about WDW that came in the 90s, but not one of them excels they way everything built before 1990 does (Or did, Epcot's been pillaged like Vandals sacking Rome.)
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Old 01-17-2013, 08:05 PM   #32
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~I don't take offense to the term "dumbing down", I respectfully disagree. Disney Dining has been dumbed down to satisfy the masses from free dining, imo. It was too good to be true and too good to last.

~I totally agree with the assessment, that it's no longer a "dining plan," but a "food plan." With that said, there seems to be a small resurgence of creativity slowing making its way back on to the menus, so that's good.

~I prefer the deluxe resorts but I have to agree that in many areas they "fall short" & do not mirror industry standards. The only thing that I consider "deluxe" is the close proximity to the park(s), the pools and the CM's, who have always gone beyond what is expected of them, imo.
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Old 01-17-2013, 10:04 PM   #33
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Let me ask this... Which rides in WDW represent the best technology could offer at the time or theming so great that it blows people away. The truly great rides?

For example: The exemplar right now is The Wizarding World of Harry Potter. This land has top notch theming. The Forbidden Journey queue through Hogwarts is the best queue anywhere, and the ride itself is state of the art mind blowing good (and butterbeer is awesome).

At WDW what would have been those rides and who was in charge during the development? (I think things have to be viewed in their own time for this to work. For example, Little Mermaid may have been awesome in 1964, but not now in 2012.)


Haunted Mansion 1969/1971
Small World 1966/1971
Carousel of Progress 1967/1975
Pirates of the Caribbean 1967/1973
Space Mountain 1975
Splash Mountain - 1989/1992
Tower of Terror - 1994
Soarin 2001/2005 WDW
Fully Functioning Expedition Everest? (Does it still count with the broken Yeti?) 2006
Toy Story Midway Mania - 2008


What is missing? What needs to be removed?
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Old 01-18-2013, 08:38 AM   #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DVC-Landbaron View Post

Another Voice
1. Michael Eisner was hired as the creative executive. Frank Wells was the person really running the company along with the heads of the individual business units. Yes, Eisner did bring in Katzenberg, but he quickly developed his own power base and can’t really be considered a “Michael” person even in the best of times. Notably Attractions remained managed by “Walt and Ron” people all throughout the “golden Eisner years”.

2. These people were able to run their divisions as they wanted with the occasional interruption from Eisner. They were able to stop most of his really dumb ideas early – closing Animation, selling EPCOT Center, opening up a chain of fast food joints, etc.

3. Eisner’s primary purpose in the early years was to lend his Hollywood credibility and let Jeffrey borrow the rolodex to stars at the Betty Ford clinic. Yes, he did jump start the studio, but that was a process that had already started. Many people had been waiting for Disney to reawaken and jumped at the chance to help. And the single event that most sparked the company, ‘The Little Mermaid’ was a project that pre-dated Eisner (and one he wanted killed).

4. Eisner micromanages in the things that interest him, and utterly ignores those that do not. While he’s more than willing to spend an entire day picking out the fabric for the lobby chairs, the man couldn’t tell you what “rack rate” means to the hotel business. Many times he would get involved in the most mundane of decisions – and override the management that made the calls in the first place – while ignoring the serious issues around him. This caused tremendous problems between him and the company’s upper management. It’s very hard to look seriously at a man for strategic guidance when his only interest seems to be how quickly you can manufacture the new monorail costumes his wife just designed.

5. He has no ability to “tough out” a problem when they appear. It’s an ability that’s become legendary about town. He flung himself into the design decisions about Euro Disney and California Adventure and then completely abandoned both projects when troubles arose. Also witness his approach to Animation – he hated it at the beginning (because it was perceived as a failure), then “fell in love” when it made gobs of cash, but now since there hasn’t been another ‘The Lion King’ again he’s shutting down the division. There has been no attempt to fix the division or to find out what went wrong. It’s just been dropped like a worn out toy.

6. Eisner’s tinkering, ego, and lack of true business skills forced out all of the company’s top management and a created turnover rate remarkable even for Hollywood. In the last five years alone, how many studio heads have rolled through the lot? Through the death of Frank Wells and the loss of anyone with the intestines to say “NO!”, what you’re seeing today is pretty much the Eisner that’s been there all along.

7. Well, maybe not all along. It’s worse now after a decade of self-promotion and being surrounded by yes-droids. He honestly thinks he’s the business genius that he’s been pretending to be and that makes him dangerous as well. People were laughing at him for the Fox Family deal, both inside and outside of the company. Only the ones on the outside didn’t both the wait until his back was turned.

No, Eisner is not to blame for all the bad things that have happened or are happening, but he should likewise receive the appropriate amount of praise for what went right. Eisner was good as the Hollywood smoozer to whisper sweet nothings into the ears of stars and to parade himself about at the premier parties. But he’s not a businessman. He never has been nor ever will be.

Too bad we can't call in for a stunt double whenever a real decision has to be made.

Thus ends the Disney gospel according to AV
That (esp 6 and 7) pretty much hits the nail on the head, IMHO.
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Old 01-18-2013, 08:45 AM   #35
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Originally Posted by BRERALEX View Post
Feels like 2001 around these here parts.
I think there's something to be said for doing that.

There were plenty of conversations, back then, that ultimately ended with a "we'll see".

I think, now, it's a good time to review/revisit that "promise". We've now seen the end of the Eisner era, and we're coming up on the end of the Iger era.

Definitely enough information to enable reflection.
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Old 01-18-2013, 08:54 AM   #36
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Originally Posted by bcrook View Post
Let me ask this... Which rides in WDW represent the best technology could offer at the time or theming so great that it blows people away. The truly great rides?

For example: The exemplar right now is The Wizarding World of Harry Potter. This land has top notch theming. The Forbidden Journey queue through Hogwarts is the best queue anywhere, and the ride itself is state of the art mind blowing good (and butterbeer is awesome).

At WDW what would have been those rides and who was in charge during the development? (I think things have to be viewed in their own time for this to work. For example, Little Mermaid may have been awesome in 1964, but not now in 2012.)


Haunted Mansion 1969/1971
Small World 1966/1971
Carousel of Progress 1967/1975
Pirates of the Caribbean 1967/1973
Space Mountain 1975
Splash Mountain - 1989/1992
Tower of Terror - 1994
Soarin 2001/2005 WDW
Fully Functioning Expedition Everest? (Does it still count with the broken Yeti?) 2006
Toy Story Midway Mania - 2008


What is missing? What needs to be removed?
I think you might need to add:

Illuminations (the Millennium Version): OK, it's a show, not a ride. But I'd argue it was (and maybe still is...though I think Worlds of Color has supplanted it) the single best night time spectacular in the US. Both the theming and the tech should get it a mention.

Rockin Rollercoaster (esp back when the intro was actually done right, with the CM going to get the guitar). Indoor LIM launch coaster was, at the time, pretty wowing. Granted, it's a relatively stock coaster...but inside, with pretty good theming.

Test Track (when it opened): For obvious reasons, I think.

Killamanjaro Safaris: As much as you'd like to point to Bush Gardens:Tampa and even Six Flags: Great Adventure for their safari experiences YEARS before..I think this has to get a nod on theming, alone.
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Old 01-18-2013, 12:17 PM   #37
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bcrook View Post
Let me ask this... Which rides in WDW represent the best technology could offer at the time or theming so great that it blows people away. The truly great rides?


Haunted Mansion 1969/1971
Small World 1966/1971
Carousel of Progress 1967/1975
Pirates of the Caribbean 1967/1973
Space Mountain 1975
Splash Mountain - 1989/1992
Tower of Terror - 1994
Soarin 2001/2005 WDW
Fully Functioning Expedition Everest? (Does it still count with the broken Yeti?) 2006
Toy Story Midway Mania - 2008


What is missing? What needs to be removed?

Highlighting the word themeing, because of course that's what makes a Disney E-ticket attraction an E-Ticket.

Haunted and Pirates are the most complete soup to nuts Disney E-ticket attractions that still exist. There is not a flaw in their execution from a "Disney" perspective.

Not a single other attraction you list falls into that category.
And let me be clear, to me, it was with Pirates and Haunted that Imagineering and Walt perfected the Disney Themed E-ticket attraction. These 2 are the best of the best. Everything before them was an evolutionary step to them.

Carosel of Progress and Small World come close, but they are prequels in my mind as I said.
Space Mountain and for that matter Big Thunder are excellent Disney Coasters. I have a hard time putting them with Haunted and Pirates, because of what they are, not due to execution.

Splash mountain... We had a lot of arguments about Splash over the years. It's probably the best Eisner era attraction in WDW. It does not however match or exceed the standards set by Pirates/Haunted.
Tower of Terror comes damn close. I want maybe an extra minute or 2 of "story" before the drops start. It's a good attraction in a weak park though.
DCA's version is horrible though.

Soarin is an awesome D ticket attraction. And it's themeing is adequate for DCA. It doesn't meet the requirements for E-ticket stardom. When set in the context of Epcot though, its simply not up to snuff at all. People should be offended that they just dropped that in there without even a different movie.


Expedition Everest is a Joke. Not worth mentioning.

Midway mania. Not an E-ticket, so not up to those standards. Fun though.

The Safari ride is a frickin joke on all fronts. The animal enclosures pale in comparison to San Diego Wild Animal park and the "story" is a punishment.

Rock N' Roller Coaster is just a coaster. My chief complaint here has more to do with what they've done to the studios than any specific problems with the attraction itself, but then, true Disney means those interactions with the park at large matter.



Of the still existing attractions, the only ones you missed are Hall of presidents which isn't up to Pirates/Haunted and Star Tours which at the time of opening was incredible but needed to be updated in the early 90s and wasn't.


Beyond that, all of the attractions that would be up to Pirates/Haunted standards were in Epcot and have either been removed or altered in such a way as to be ruined.
Horizons of course met the Pirates/Haunted standards. It withered and died. Spaceship earth came very close, but subsequent changes have cheapened the experience. Universe of Energy wasn't quite up to Horizons, but it was unique. And of course that trifle of an attraction "Journey into Imagination" is near the top too.


Of course not one good thing has been done to Future world since the Health Pavilion was installed. Everything since then has been a step down in quality.


If you expand to attractions not at WDW, then Indy at DL is quite possibly the modern equivalent of Pirates/Haunted.

Some would say it loses points for being a 3rd party (at the time) property and for that matter being a movie tie in, not a true original and I'm sympathetic to that view, but setting those aside, it is by far one of the best attractions Disney has done.
And of course there's Disney Seas, but I'm not familiar enough to express an opinion about any of that.
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Old 01-18-2013, 12:39 PM   #38
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Originally Posted by YoHo View Post
Expedition Everest is a Joke. Not worth mentioning.


The Safari ride is a frickin joke on all fronts. The animal enclosures pale in comparison to San Diego Wild Animal park and the "story" is a punishment.

Rock N' Roller Coaster is just a coaster. My chief complaint here has more to do with what they've done to the studios than any specific problems with the attraction itself, but then, true Disney means those interactions with the park at large matter.
Respectfully disagree on a couple of points here, YoHo.

I think EE is well done. The museum story set up in the queue is really well done-- it makes one wonder whether there might actually be something up there. The coaster is a really good time. There were people who were convinced they had gone upside down after they had ridden.

Yes, the Yeti is a train wreck (pun intended) but that's an engineering problem not a theming one.

The safari is unlike anything else they'd done. No, it's not the San Diego wildlife park. But it's lush and amazing. The original Big and Little Red story was heavy-handed, but it was better than no story at all, which is what we have now.

It's probably not fair to hold all of DHS against what is a pretty awesome roller coaster with a reasonably creative theme.
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Old 01-18-2013, 01:24 PM   #39
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Quote:
Originally Posted by YoHo View Post
Highlighting the word themeing, because of course that's what makes a Disney E-ticket attraction an E-Ticket.

Haunted and Pirates are the most complete soup to nuts Disney E-ticket attractions that still exist. There is not a flaw in their execution from a "Disney" perspective.

Not a single other attraction you list falls into that category.
And let me be clear, to me, it was with Pirates and Haunted that Imagineering and Walt perfected the Disney Themed E-ticket attraction. These 2 are the best of the best. Everything before them was an evolutionary step to them.

Carosel of Progress and Small World come close, but they are prequels in my mind as I said.
Space Mountain and for that matter Big Thunder are excellent Disney Coasters. I have a hard time putting them with Haunted and Pirates, because of what they are, not due to execution.

Splash mountain... We had a lot of arguments about Splash over the years. It's probably the best Eisner era attraction in WDW. It does not however match or exceed the standards set by Pirates/Haunted.
Tower of Terror comes damn close. I want maybe an extra minute or 2 of "story" before the drops start. It's a good attraction in a weak park though.
DCA's version is horrible though.

Soarin is an awesome D ticket attraction. And it's themeing is adequate for DCA. It doesn't meet the requirements for E-ticket stardom. When set in the context of Epcot though, its simply not up to snuff at all. People should be offended that they just dropped that in there without even a different movie.


Expedition Everest is a Joke. Not worth mentioning.

Midway mania. Not an E-ticket, so not up to those standards. Fun though.

The Safari ride is a frickin joke on all fronts. The animal enclosures pale in comparison to San Diego Wild Animal park and the "story" is a punishment.

Rock N' Roller Coaster is just a coaster. My chief complaint here has more to do with what they've done to the studios than any specific problems with the attraction itself, but then, true Disney means those interactions with the park at large matter.



Of the still existing attractions, the only ones you missed are Hall of presidents which isn't up to Pirates/Haunted and Star Tours which at the time of opening was incredible but needed to be updated in the early 90s and wasn't.


Beyond that, all of the attractions that would be up to Pirates/Haunted standards were in Epcot and have either been removed or altered in such a way as to be ruined.
Horizons of course met the Pirates/Haunted standards. It withered and died. Spaceship earth came very close, but subsequent changes have cheapened the experience. Universe of Energy wasn't quite up to Horizons, but it was unique. And of course that trifle of an attraction "Journey into Imagination" is near the top too.


Of course not one good thing has been done to Future world since the Health Pavilion was installed. Everything since then has been a step down in quality.


If you expand to attractions not at WDW, then Indy at DL is quite possibly the modern equivalent of Pirates/Haunted.

Some would say it loses points for being a 3rd party (at the time) property and for that matter being a movie tie in, not a true original and I'm sympathetic to that view, but setting those aside, it is by far one of the best attractions Disney has done.
And of course there's Disney Seas, but I'm not familiar enough to express an opinion about any of that.

I respectfully disagree on some points, here.

1) I don't think everything has to measure up to "the best" to still be noteworthy. While it's also worth noting that Disney still hasn't suprassed POTC and HM...and I can see that point clearly...I don't agree that other stuff isn't remarkable. Just because the meal I had yesterday isn't the best meal I've ever had doesn't mean it wasn't remarkably good.

2) I strongly disagree on your opinion of Killamanjaro Safari. While I agree, it's not San Diego Safari Park (but,then, you're comparing a whole park to one ride/attraction, too)....it's still pretty darn impressive. I agree the story was heavy handed....and is now gone. But I still think it's a highlight of the resort (not just AK). I think the theming in the enclosures, along the que, and certainly in the vehicles (including most of the drivers) is pretty "wow".
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Old 01-18-2013, 01:49 PM   #40
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I'm willing to concede on E:E. KS, you guys are damning with faint praise. I'd rather have no story. And I'm specifically comparing it to safari ride at San Diego.

Rock N' roller coaster. I'm not a fair person.


Also I note neither of you cared to comment on the fact that Epcot used to have attractions that met the highest standard and not one of them exists any more.


Also Also, I'm not sure it's possible to exceed Haunted and Pirates on a Technology adjusted scale. I mean sure, in absolute terms you could have newer technology. I mean that in terms of being a 100% on every single aspect of what it takes to be a Disney attraction. Do you understand? in other words, if Disney were to have created pirates in 2013, but used the exact same technology, it would no longer be a perfect attraction. but some mythical new attraction that used modern technology and hit everything else from theme to storytelling would not somehow be more perfect than pirates.
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Old 01-18-2013, 01:51 PM   #41
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I hope this goes along with the talk here about the "growth of WDW". And since I saw the blog about times are a changing and maybe Disney is listening.

It talks about how Disney may be on sites like this and seeing what the Disney fans are saying.

Having said that, made me wonder. This may be a dumb question or someone have touched on it at some people. But does Disney have like a focus group of sorts, whether a small or large group of individuals, whether in person or now with technology, online that they try to get valuable information from the Disney fans? Instead of just doing surveys in person or online, or is that about it? I was just curious. And I am not talking about general stuff like, "What would you like to see at WDW?". I mean more specific things like focus on a particular attraction or land, like Avatar Land, to get very detailed info from the real Disney fans out there.

Just a quick thought. What do you think? Or maybe you know more about this than I would?
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Old 01-18-2013, 01:58 PM   #42
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I'm willing to concede on E:E. KS, you guys are damning with faint praise. I'd rather have no story. And I'm specifically comparing it to safari ride at San Diego.
Not at all...but the story isn't the sum total of the theming. And I don't think anyone should be shocked by the terms "heavy handed story" and "Disney" being used in the same sentence.

And, if you didn't like it, it's gone. They've removed it. So...there you go.

Again, compare to San Diego Safari park and I agree...San Diego wins. But being #2 doesn't mean it's not noteworthy. It just means it's number 2...and it's closest real competition is a continents width away.

Quote:
Rock N' roller coaster. I'm not a fair person.
Fair enough (pun firmly intended).

Quote:
Also I note neither of you cared to comment on the fact that Epcot used to have attractions that met the highest standard and not one of them exists any more.
I've found people get ticked off when I post a lot of "I agree" and "Ditto"...so I skip past it a lot.

But, to make you feel better:
I agree.

Epcot, especially Future World, is a mess. It's gotten WORSE as they've tinkered, not better. Soarin is a nice addition...but it's the only one I can think of that was a net positive in Future World.

Quote:
Also Also, I'm not sure it's possible to exceed Haunted and Pirates on a Technology adjusted scale. I mean sure, in absolute terms you could have newer technology. I mean that in terms of being a 100% on every single aspect of what it takes to be a Disney attraction. Do you understand? in other words, if Disney were to have created pirates in 2013, but used the exact same technology, it would no longer be a perfect attraction. but some mythical new attraction that used modern technology and hit everything else from theme to storytelling would not somehow be more perfect than pirates.
Like, say, Spiderman over at IOA? Note: I'm purposefully poking the bear.

No, I getcha.

But I don't think you have to be better than the best (and POTC/HM are "the best" Disney has done, considering WHEN they were done, and the end result), or even match the best, to be worthy of praise or remark. I think that metric is slightly unfair (though I guess we go back to the comment, above). Noteworthy, but still ultimately unfair.
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Old 01-18-2013, 02:19 PM   #43
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Well, sure in isolation it's perfectly reasonable to call them noteworthy or worthy of praise, but how do they compare when you remove them from isolation? And how do they compare when you think about what we should accept from Disney?

I mean, Disney has not met the standard set by Haunted and Pirates in at least 28(ish) years. (Assuming we consider Horizons to have met that standard. I do.)
Maybe we put Indy in there, but if you do, that's still around 17 years ago and not in Florida.

28 years and they couldn't once reach the peak they previously set. Sure we can muddle around down in the weeds and talk about how nice Soarin is(Only at DCA, at Epcot its crap, because no new movie), but why frackin bother? I mean heck, even Pirates itself has been undermined.



As for Spiderman, I've never ridden it, so I can't say from experience, but I don't think an attraction about a popular comicbook character can meet the standard set by pirates and Haunted. The use of a "property" as the back story undermines it.
I think the "Story" and we can get into what that means needs to be original.
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Old 01-18-2013, 02:23 PM   #44
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but why frackin bother
So say we all!!!
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Old 01-18-2013, 03:16 PM   #45
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Alright I'm going to step into the waters and post my perspective as a 24 year old who didn't really get to experience the parks as many of you did before they were changed.

First off let me put it out there that I agree that there really is nothing quite like the 'classics'. Even I find myself bemoaning the fact that they changed Pirates to reflect the movies more by inserting Jack Sparrow everywhere. I wish they would have just left it alone. I also hated it when they changed the Enchanted Tiki Room and inserted that insufferable Iago into the show. I'm glad this one is back to more of it's original state now.

However, and maybe it's because I haven't been to the parks enough times (from Ohio), I still think Disney has done a 'frackin' good job at creating an experience that makes guests want to return again and again. There have been some miss-steps and there are things that even I shake my head at and wish they would change back but that doesn't mean the place isn't fun and doesn't excite me.

I try not to take things too seriously and I guess you could say that my standards are too low, especially for Disney. I would put most Disney rides up against almost any ride anywhere and say that Disney is going to come out ahead in most cases. The only two exceptions would be Harry Potter and MAYBE San Diego (I haven't personally been on it, so I'm taking everyone's word on it). I worked in the amusement industry at a park up here in Ohio for two years and the difference in ride quality and theme is just astounding. For me, I count my blessings every time I get to visit Disney because I know there are thousands if not millions who wish they could do the same.
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