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Old 01-18-2013, 07:45 PM   #46
mrsR123
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Originally Posted by YoHo View Post

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.
I, like pilfer, only commented where I disagreed.

Epcot, it's pretty much a shell of it's former self: The Seas, SSE, JIYI and the Mexico pavillion have all been ruined. I would have preferred a park with Test Track AND --was it World of Motion. And I've never set foot in the life pavillion because my kids were really little the only time it was ever open since I started going as a grown-up and we were being very selective about what we tried to do at the time...

I don't disagree at all about Pirates and HM-- they are pretty much perfect and shouldn't be messed with and aren't being equalled very often if at all with "technology of the time" new attractions.
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Old 01-18-2013, 08:14 PM   #47
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Spiderman and HP both are both examples of cutting edge technology being used to spectacular results, regardless of the inspiration. In other words, had Walt had this type of inspiration for his attractions initially he certainly would have taken advantage of them. For anyone to deny Walt's intelligence otherwise is utterly ridiculous.

Further, what grand story does HM an Pirates tell? Oh, I know some see granduer and I certainly do agree that quality 'storytelling', if that's what you wish to call it (although to me it's a misnomer) is paramount in the Disney and 'new world' theme park experience ... but I do not agree that this was Walt's singlular motivation. Pishaw.
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Old 01-18-2013, 10:16 PM   #48
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Two things.

Talking about specific rides and relative Disney Magic: Soarin' is simply not a Disney Attraction. It is totally bereft of both theming and story. You walk into the room and the unadorned ride mech is just hanging there in front of the movie screen... and then you get a localized version of the Impressions de France experience.

Just think for a minute about that ride mech and what you (not the royal you, suggesting what someone like Walt would have made of it, but just, you know, actual you, non-Imagineer, non-creative genius you) could make of it. Think about the fans in the old If You Had Wings speed room, think about the in-seat theming of the 3D movies, think about staging and the "reveal" of the meat of the ride used in so many Disney rides (Space Mountain, Haunted Mansion, even Rock 'N' Roller Coaster). Why couldn't we be on Aladdin's Magic Carpet as it was zooming out of the collapsing desert cave? Why couldn't we have been hanging from a door with Mike, Sulley, and Boo, one step ahead of Randall? Why couldn't we have been a part of any number of stories, familiar from Disney classics or newly minted, rather than being shown a movie sitting in a fake hang-glider?

The one and only reason is that they simply didn't care anymore. The mech was cool enough, no need to go overboard, right? And don't get me wrong, I thought Soarin' was a fun ride, and I'm quite sure I'll ride it again. But there is nothing about that ride that says or feels "Disney" to me, nothing that separates it from the crowd as "Only in Disney could this happen."

Which brings me to the second point, related to The Baron's exhumation of AV's post.

In Walt's day, things were simply never good enough. Yes, at some point they were opened to the world, but right up until that moment (and oftentimes after that moment), the mindset was to figure out how to make it better, how to put you deeper into the story, how to make it a more spectacular show.

No one was able to instill that mindset like Walt did, but it was Michael Eisner who made settling SOP at Disney. Will a lot of people think, as I did above, the ride mech was "cool enough?" Will they, as I admitted to above, have fun, and be willing to ride it again? Then stamp a TM Disney on it and don't bother me about it, again.

That was the damage Michael Eisner did to Disney: nothing less than tearing out its heart, its soul, the thing that made them what they were and made them different from everyone else who was attempting something similar.

I can't and won't say I never had any fun with Disney products during the Eisner era.

But I can and I will say that that son of a ***** destroyed The Magic of Disney.
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Old 01-18-2013, 10:25 PM   #49
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Originally Posted by YoHo View Post
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.
Was the Soarin technology new? It was the first time I had ever seen it but I don't know if Disney Imagineers invented it. I totally agree with the idea that the theme works well in California, and I do think it is lazy (if not insulting) that Epcot got the same movie. IF the WDW got a version that flew over the great wonders of the world, and the line theming matched it, maybe. But I agree with the removal.

Kilimanjaro Safari - I can't see it.

Expedition Everest - I am torn. I want to stick with my teacher friend, because that queue and subsequent story to me is totally engrossing. BUT, it hinges on the Yeti. The actual roller coaster technology is fairly routine (but so is Pirates of the Caribbean). I think I would keep Everest in the elite category with a full blown terrorizing yeti.

I agree that Toy Story Midway Mania is FUN! But it is a giant video game. The theming in Tower of Terror is pretty spectacular.

By the way, I think the Spiderman ride would be the evolutionary ancestor to the amazing Forbidden Journey. So the list looks like this...
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Old 01-18-2013, 10:38 PM   #50
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Haunted Mansion 1969/1971 - Ultimate Ride?
Small World 1966/1971 precursor to brilliance
Carousel of Progress 1967/1975 also precursor
Pirates of the Caribbean 1967/1973
Space Mountain 1975 standard
Splash Mountain - 1989/1992
Tower of Terror - 1994 not sure about the objections.
Soarin 2001/2005 WDW Not good enough
Fully Functioning Expedition Everest? (Does it still count with the broken Yeti?) 2006
Toy Story Midway Mania - 2008 Fun, but not mythic

I have read a lot of the old posts, and I don't understand the drawbacks to Splash Mountain. Great story, animatronics (when it works), music, thrills, it seems like a classic to me.

This line of questioning doesn't get me very far. I was thinking that there would be a clear cut delineation among pre-Eisner - Eisner - and Iger. But I am not seeing much separation.

One thing is for certain, In 40 years we should have more to talk about. That would have been the case if someone of Walt's temperament was in charge. If the execs hadn't settled for ok.
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Old 01-19-2013, 01:14 AM   #51
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Dear Mr. Head!!

Another 'home run' post!!! (For those of you who glossed over it, go back and read it again! Every word of it.)

It didn't take you very long to get back in the saddle!! Glad you're back!

Sincerely,

Baron


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Old 01-19-2013, 07:16 AM   #52
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Walt's Frozen Head View Post

In Walt's day, things were simply never good enough. Yes, at some point they were opened to the world, but right up until that moment (and oftentimes after that moment), the mindset was to figure out how to make it better, how to put you deeper into the story, how to make it a more spectacular show.Disney.
This is exactly right. As one who used to frustrate the other regulars, I know what it took to get me to see the light and in today's Disney fandom, most folks don't even know there is a light.

I will stand by my opinion that some great aspects were added to WDW under Mikey but agree that without Walt's ideals guiding everything, the magic was doomed.

WFH and Baron were always great at always returning the the issue of SHOW, for that is what it was. Today it's just Walmart.
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Old 01-19-2013, 01:58 PM   #53
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I didn’t want this thread to turn into an Ei$ner bashing moment, although I have to say – It’s a lot of FUN!!!

What I wanted was a critical look at how they utilized the massive land holdings they had in Central Florida. Were the resorts/hotels/motels/cheap rip off motels, the best they could do? Was MGM/Studios/Whatever it is now, really a great theme for a third gate or would it have been the ultimate Disney experience within a massive E.P.C.O.T. pavilion (the original plan)? Was AK really needed or could they have done better with a different concept altogether, instead of “keeping up with the Joneses” (i.e. Tampa)? Those are the questions that need answering. The overall plan. The BIG PICTURE!! Not weather Soarin’ has a new film or not!

OK. One last thought as long as the “theme” of this thread took a left turn somewhere, and it’s mainly for my friend, The Pirate…

Quote:
That was the damage Michael Eisner did to Disney: nothing less than tearing out its heart, its soul, the thing that made them what they were and made them different from everyone else who was attempting something similar.

I can't and won't say I never had any fun with Disney products during the Eisner era.

But I can and I will say that that son of a ***** destroyed The Magic of Disney.
You can try all you like to defend your buddy Mikey, by listing all the good (not great by any means and not even close to Walt’s Disney) but good things that happened under his watch. But Mr. Head, as usual (and in way fewer words than I normally use), hit the proverbial nail right on the head with the above quote. And that, my dear Pirate, is indefensible!! In the words of Pink (Floyd that is)…

“The evidence before the court is incontrovertible,
There’s no need for the jury to retire!”


Ei$ner – GUILTY OF MAGIC MURDER IN THE FIRST DEGREE!!
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Old 01-19-2013, 03:51 PM   #54
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~The first time I experienced Tower of Terror {Eisner}, I was expecting the typical "Power Tower" turbo drop attraction -- it was anything but. It's one of the best attractions anywhere.

~I had the same impression of Splash Mountain {Eisner} -- I went in expecting basic "log flume", but left speechless.

~Kali River Rapids {Eisner}, I had high expectations, was super impressed with the elaborate queue, but left underwhelmed.

~Dinosaur {Eisner}, was a delightful, (rough & alarmingly loud) surprise.

~Expedition Everest {Eisner} is probably one of the best coasters ever.

~Rock n Roller Coaster {Eisner}, I love the theme, it's so unique & fun!

~Original Test Track {Eisner}, super fun.

~Mickey's Philharmagic {Eisner} is so fabulous & so underrated!!!

~Unfortunately, I can't think of any new ride attractions under Iger, there must be something I've overlooked.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Walt's Frozen Head View Post
Two things.

Talking about specific rides and relative Disney Magic: Soarin' is simply not a Disney Attraction. It is totally bereft of both theming and story. You walk into the room and the unadorned ride mech is just hanging there in front of the movie screen... and then you get a localized version of the Impressions de France experience.

Just think for a minute about that ride mech and what you (not the royal you, suggesting what someone like Walt would have made of it, but just, you know, actual you, non-Imagineer, non-creative genius you) could make of it. Think about the fans in the old If You Had Wings speed room, think about the in-seat theming of the 3D movies, think about staging and the "reveal" of the meat of the ride used in so many Disney rides (Space Mountain, Haunted Mansion, even Rock 'N' Roller Coaster). Why couldn't we be on Aladdin's Magic Carpet as it was zooming out of the collapsing desert cave? Why couldn't we have been hanging from a door with Mike, Sulley, and Boo, one step ahead of Randall? Why couldn't we have been a part of any number of stories, familiar from Disney classics or newly minted, rather than being shown a movie sitting in a fake hang-glider?

The one and only reason is that they simply didn't care anymore. The mech was cool enough, no need to go overboard, right? And don't get me wrong, I thought Soarin' was a fun ride, and I'm quite sure I'll ride it again. But there is nothing about that ride that says or feels "Disney" to me, nothing that separates it from the crowd as "Only in Disney could this happen."

Which brings me to the second point, related to The Baron's exhumation of AV's post.

In Walt's day, things were simply never good enough. Yes, at some point they were opened to the world, but right up until that moment (and oftentimes after that moment), the mindset was to figure out how to make it better, how to put you deeper into the story, how to make it a more spectacular show.

No one was able to instill that mindset like Walt did, but it was Michael Eisner who made settling SOP at Disney. Will a lot of people think, as I did above, the ride mech was "cool enough?" Will they, as I admitted to above, have fun, and be willing to ride it again? Then stamp a TM Disney on it and don't bother me about it, again.

That was the damage Michael Eisner did to Disney: nothing less than tearing out its heart, its soul, the thing that made them what they were and made them different from everyone else who was attempting something similar.

I can't and won't say I never had any fun with Disney products during the Eisner era.

But I can and I will say that that son of a ***** destroyed The Magic of Disney.
~Powerful post! At the suggestion of the Baron, I will read it again! Epcot needs some help, for sure. If I'm understanding correctly, Soarin' replaced Kitchen Kabaret and/or Food Rocks. Isn't the addition of Soarin' a huge upgrade?!? I do agree that Soarin' was cut short of its full potential, but it's a very nice attraction. And, now that I think about it, Soarin' would have been a better fit for Future World.

~I have to ask this. What has Iger done to "restore" the Magic of Disney? Because, as it pertains specifically to the theme parks, I just see a greater extension of Eisner -- excluding the very recent & very "reactive" theme park expansions.

Quote:
Today it's just Walmart.
~Well, most of "them" have come from Goldman Sachs and it shows. Guests expressing genuine interest in just having a fabulous Disney vacation with new, innovative experiences -- are now overly concerned with cheap "discounts" & "free food." Who's to blame for these low Disney expectations?
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Old 01-19-2013, 09:56 PM   #55
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First I'll respond to the two quotes that seem directed at my post.

"I do agree that Soarin' was cut short of its full potential, but it's a very nice attraction."

And that's the heart of the argument I was trying to make: "cut short of its potential... but very nice" isn't what made Disney magical in the first place. "Cut short of its potential... but very nice" is what Michael Eisner settled for, what Michael Eisner established as Disney's norm. Compare Tokyo DisneySea attractions overseen by Oriental Land Company with contemporaneous stateside attractions overseen by Michael Eisner. Eisner never tried to be the best, never raised the overall level by raising the expectations and the standard. Eisner did the the exact opposite of that.

"What has Iger done to "restore" the Magic of Disney?"

To be honest, I have no idea. I've actually been in Car 4 (are we still doing the "Car" thing?) for the better part of this past decade. After I read on the internet that more specialized merch was returning to the parks and resorts (another loss of the Eisner era was "The Fab Five" and the way the same exact merchandise starting showing up everywhere in the parks and resorts [not to mention the Disney Stores and Wal-Marts], replacing merch that was themed to individual lands and resorts, even individual rides and characters), I posted on the july171955 site a question as to whether this was a sign that positive changes were coming back, that someone along the line might "get it" and Iger, at least might not be quashing things out of pure evil delight. The responses did not fill me with much hope (along the lines of "even a blind pure evil squirrel finds a nut once in a while"), and I let it go at that. So I have no real answer for this.

I did want to mention one other thing, in regards to attributing Tower of Terror and Splash Mountain to Eisner. Over the years I've gotten flack for splitting this hair, but I believe that it's valid to split: ToT and Splash were not attributable to Michael Eisner and his policies, they were attributable to Frank Wells and his policies. I can agree that ToT is pure Disney Magic, likely the last great example of such on American soil. And Splash (which is really a dark ride, not a log flume, in its execution) is actually rather infamous for being the project that that convinced Eisner to be openly antagonistic to the Imagineering group (I wish AV were still around to tell this story, suffice to say that Imagineering missed some deadlines trying to get the ride right, and that adversely affected some pomp and circumstance Eisner wanted to enjoy. To Eisner, his self-aggrandizing dog and pony show was more important than the guests' ride experience, and Imagineering began its Eisner-directed descent into oblivion as soon as Michael no longer had to share the reins).

Eisner was CEO for twenty years, half with Wells as President, and half with Iger (Michael Ovitz? Never heard of him). It takes a long time for an institution as large as Disney to change its culture. It would take a decade or more to undo what Eisner did, and a CEO willing to undo it. I do not have any evidence to present that Iger has that willingness.
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Old 01-19-2013, 10:32 PM   #56
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I can agree that ToT is pure Disney Magic, likely the last great example of such on American soil.
.
I know at one time, although it was long, long ago I would have debated this point but time has proven this to be absolutely correct. ToT is masterful and nothing approaches it since AND there was no synergistic tie in.

Eisner did not give show or quality any concern in regard to the ideals Walt established. Certainly he gave 100% to his agenda, which took Disney down a different path altogether and any parallel to classic Disney was purely because it served his purpose. I get that.

But he did grow WDW into what it is today. Is that better? Probably not, in my opinion, but I don't think many of the millions of WDW visitors would agree which is the rub. As lockedinlogic points out, this Disney has no incentive to dowhat Walt fans would want. They are simply too successful with their MBA mentality, which makes me very sad.

However, should some magical Disney leadership step up (Lasseter), WDW could at least be transformed (it's possible). The skeleton and infrastructure is there should they decide to finish MGM or AK and reinvent Epcot.

I know you think I'm truly holding out for a hero lockedoutlogic, but I can't help myself.
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Old 01-20-2013, 12:51 PM   #57
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I think it is a Fantastic Thread.......

Walt bought up half of Central Florida for a reason: He was disgusted with the Hotels, Restaurants, Neighborhoods spawning around DisneyLand. He vowed never to have that happen again: Go in Large - anticipate Expansion!

The company died - for a time - after Walt died! The "Roy Side" took control of management. The country was in recession and there was a prolonged era of:
  • WWWD (What Would Walt Do?)
  • We were delighted by 14 Herbie Movies,
  • No new restaurants / hotels at WDW were built! The vultures built them on Irlo Bronson though - exactly what Walt did not want!
  • Epcot was built - thanks so little! I am not a Epcot hater - has anyone ever duplicated it, would they? Probably no -there is a reason! My son just left working at Epcot as a College Program member. His thought: It is a huge restaurant, bar and duty free that they charge $90 to visit!

Finally the Disney Decade began - and - one of Eisner first decisions was to skuttle the original 10 Story boring design for what became the Swan / Dolphin. He got out of the contract and hired Michael Graves (a top 70's architect) to design the two buildings. Campy? I think so! But better then a 10 Story industrial design!

Eisner:
  • Capitalized the property. Not giving us resorts, but, themed resorts that are wonderful!
  • Brought us DS - which - is lackluster and a bad impersonation of what had been done by others.
  • Animal Kingdom - which - despite it's problems is a WWWD type of project!
  • Copied the Timeshare craze and used the land to build DVC division! Brilliant: Guaranteed occupancy with returning customers!
  • Copied the Cruise craze and built himself some boats and bought an Island.
  • Eisner was never the brain child over the Fantasic Movies of the early 'Disney Decade': Bueaty and the Beast, Lion King, Toy Story (add 10 more)! No that was Katzenberg - and Eisner felt threatened and ran him off!
  • Somebody on this thread said Well's was the "creative" guy! Nothing more wrong could be written: Wells was the FINANCIAL Guy - but - his real gift was keeping large Ego's working together! Regardless, Well's developed a huge Bean Counting environment that permeates the Lake Buena Vista property today!

IMHO:
  • We benefited from the Eisner era: Incredibly good entertainment, great resorts, the Animal Kingdom!
  • We still suffer from the Eisner / Wells era: We don't have to be better then our competition - our minion followers will still come!
  • Iger is a TV guy! He is following the Eisner strategy regarding the parks! In fact, he promoted an Accountant to run Parks! He is investing, but, it is far from the amount needed to be cutting edge!

In conclusion: Eisner/Wells had their problems, but, you cannot dismiss the era and it's impact on WDW: 12 (or so) new Themed Resorts with varying price ranges, 2 New Parks, DVC, Sports Complex, 100 new Characters, DTD Expansion.

WDW Today, for good or ill, is based on Eisner's vision - not Walt's!

The question truly is: If we could revive Walt for a week and give him a tour of the WDW property (and his competitors) - would he approve? And, I ponder that question all the time!

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Old 01-20-2013, 01:19 PM   #58
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Originally Posted by Peter Pirate 2 View Post
This is exactly right. As one who used to frustrate the other regulars, I know what it took to get me to see the light and in today's Disney fandom, most folks don't even know there is a light.

I will stand by my opinion that some great aspects were added to WDW under Mikey but agree that without Walt's ideals guiding everything, the magic was doomed.

WFH and Baron were always great at always returning the the issue of SHOW, for that is what it was. Today it's just Walmart.
This article from the Orlando Sentinel about George Kalogridis published today seems to be capitalizing on this discussion.

"More so than many other present-day execs, friends say, Kalogridis is steeped in the company's tradition of show and service. "

I guess the question is, does he really get it?
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Old 01-20-2013, 01:23 PM   #59
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Originally Posted by bom_noite View Post
I think it is a Fantastic Thread.......

The question truly is: If we could revive Walt for a week and give him a tour of the WDW property (and his competitors) - would he approve? And, that is a question I think of all the time!
Me too!
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Old 01-20-2013, 02:35 PM   #60
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Originally Posted by bcrook View Post
This article from the Orlando Sentinel about George Kalogridis published today seems to be capitalizing on this discussion.

"More so than many other present-day execs, friends say, Kalogridis is steeped in the company's tradition of show and service. "

I guess the question is, does he really get it?
Thanks for the link Barry! George does give the impression that he cares. Hope springs eternal, lol.
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