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Old 01-24-2013, 11:12 AM   #181
raidermatt
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Originally Posted by disneyworld1977 View Post
And I don't have kids, but from what I have seen from family's with kids, when they see bigger than life Disney Icons, the kids are excited. I have seen kid's run towards some of these objects like the giant Woody and say "Mom, look there's Woody" and they stare in amazement up at him. Don't you think some of the parents of these kids would get a warm fuzzy feeling seeing their kids have so much fun around these things that the kids already might be in love with? Just an observation.

I just try to put myself in someone else's shoes when it comes to why someone would like or even dislike something. Some don't understand the hype with Soarin or TSMM. I love the rides, but I am not going to say they don't know what they are talking about. And vice versa.
I haven't gone through the whole thread, but I did want to address a couple of things that relate to the "come back with something better" idea.

I do have kids. And yes, they will run up to a giant Buzz in amazement. But frankly, there are a lot of things that elicit that kind of response. They have been known to react the same way to a playground, for example. But that doesn't mean it was designed in the classic Disney manner.

So let's get beyond "kids like it", or even "people like it". There are lots of things people like, and yes, that is a big part of success. But we have to at least acknowledge there is something else when it comes to Disney. Something that struck a much deeper chord within people as far back as Mickey Mouse and Snow White, continuing through many of the subsequent films and parks.

Something that has resulted in fan sites like this one, with thousands of participants.

And clearly that something took hold long before Eisner (and Frank Wells) was a glint in Roy Jr's eye.

THAT'S what we are trying to figure out when we look at these issues. Is Disney continuing that legacy of touching people in a way that nobody else can do? Or are they, at least at times, simply not trying.

If you think the Values do that, fine, please explain. We are all open to new thoughts and ideas. Some of us have changed our views on things quite signifcantly as we looked at things from other perspectives and learned more about HOW Disney became so special in the first place.
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Old 01-24-2013, 11:35 AM   #182
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To me I think it comes down to the people who are commenting on this thread are of two varieties. 1) Lived through the glory days in the 70's and early 80's. They believe that this is how Walt always wanted it and how Disney should be molded going forward. Nothing short of what was accomplished during this time frame is acceptable. 2) The other group may/or may not have grown up during this same time period. However, they look at what Disney is now and say, "You know what they did a pretty damn good job."

I'm not at all trying to say that what WDW today is at all perfect because even I know that there are a lot of mistakes and things that could be improved upon. However, I think it's somewhat silly to try to hold the company up to the standards that Walt set. There has only been and will only ever will be one Walt Disney. There may be people who try to step up and fill his shoes (some of those who have haven't done a great job) but no one will ever come close to what he did for the parks and the company.

When I look around now and examine my entertainment options, when it comes to quality, value, and overall satisfaction the first thing that comes to mind is WDW. I would argue no company has ever really come close and there may never be one that comes close.

Even considering the value resorts. We may all disagree on what constitutes a 'theme' and what is simply 'decoration' but when it comes down to it the experience you get staying at one I would argue far exceeds any 'economy' hotel I have ever stayed at and even rivals some of the higher end hotels as far as experience. They may not have five star accommodations but many hotels do.

I think I have come to the point of 'agree to disagree' with many of you and that's fine. I'll keep checking in on this thread as I am enjoying the discussion though.
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Old 01-24-2013, 11:42 AM   #183
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Originally Posted by DRDISNEYMD View Post
~"Many people" have their own idea of what constitutes "substance." Is it qualitative, quantitative or a little of both? This statement is somewhat vague -- substance in relevance to what - specifically? This discussion is as multifaceted as the Disney brand. Disney is structured into four divisible entities -- parks & resorts - studios - television & by-products. Do you object to the entire Disney brand, or just specific aspects within the brand. I can't speak for "many people" only for myself, and with that, it's always subject to change.
I think most folks would like both (have the cake and eat it, too) but would accept less (but not zero) quantitative to get more qualitative.

I suspect, with Eisner, we got not quite either...at least on a more micro level.

Take DHS, for example.

When it opened, you had the Backlot tour and the Great Movie ride. That's it.

http://www.yesterland.com/mgm-beginning.html

I wouldn't call that much of substance. Now, has it grown? Absolutely it has. But it still doesn't hold a candle to MK or Epcot (and I'll not argue the fact there are pure greed business reasons for keeping it that way..different discussion). And yet, day guest are still paying full price to enter.

And that's what I mean to demonstrate: Eisner was a lot less worried about the quality of the products he slapped the Disney name on. Now, not to the extent the Kodak execs were..but still. I think it's easy to see that..you're right...Eisner was a lot more concerned with having the Disney name on the park (and opening it before Universal opened) than he was in ensuring a Disney EXPERIENCE in the park.

Look at DCA, too. That was put together on Eisner's watch (and fixed, largely, on Iger's).

Look at the Disney stores (which are a little more plus and minus during Eisner's terms). When they started, they offered a high end boutique experience and merch to customers/guests. Granted, started on Eisners watch..but also EARLY on, and while he still had a more "disney-fied" executive structure. Once he really entered his megalomaniac days, and had changed the corporate culture and embraced the sharp pencil suited Yes men...he almost killed them. By insisting on a more homogenized (and cheaply made, to be blunt) merch selection and a "good enough for the Gap, good enough for us" guest experience.

THATS what I mean when I say "brand over substance".

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~What "past quality?" Prior to Eisner's arrival, the majority of Disney's revenue derived from the parks. Eisner took over Disney, at it's weakest most vulnerable point, and had he continued to depend solely upon theme park revenues, Disney would not be the powerhouse that it is today.
By "past quality", I mean the projects before Eisner, or that were greenlit and largely developed before his fingers touched them.

Agree on the powerhouse comment, to some extent. At least to the point that they would be a very different company. And I'll not debate that what he did had positive effects on their bottom line. They did.

But there was an alternate course which COULD HAVE HAD (and we'll never know, which is why this is all a big game of "what if") similar effects on their bottom line, but radically different effects on the quality of the products that had their name on them.

Quote:
Eisner brought Disney to the masses, eliminating the "need" to actively seek out Disney, but also fueling the "desire" to visit the theme parks. Eisner expanded the Disney brand with three new gates, water parks, hotel/motel expansion, The Disney Renaissance, the acquisition of ABC, the Pixar collaboration (the best Pixar Films were under Eisner), Disney Cruise Line, DVC and much more.
I disagree, here. I think Disney was already pretty ingrained in the social consciousness of the masses. In fact, I think Eisner played OFF of that, actually, to make his big bucks.

3 new gates? Epcot was really not his. Disney MGM (which we covered) was. AK (which we've covered and I'm not sure I would count as much of a success story, all things considered) was. So was DCA. And Disneyland:Paris.

Notice that, of those parks, almost every one needed massive "fixes", after they opened, to actually make them appealing to guests. I would argue that DHS still isn't fully fixed and AK isn't "theme-parky" enough for the masses. That's because Eisner was very much a "Field of Dreams" guy: Build it and they will come (because we're Disney and they HAVE to). He's not altogether wrong, either.

He built (or had built) some (SOME) very nice resorts and some that are...just OK. I agree with many here who say the values are decorated, not themed...but that's just MHO. They do fill rooms, so that's good for their bottom line. And they obviously have not reached saturation point, yet. One wonders, again, though.....what might have been.

I would not count ABC as an unmitigated win for Eisner. During his actual tenure, it was more of an albatross (ditto ABC Family...I have no idea what those execs were smoking, given their business model/plans, and the fact they were impossible to implement). It has been more successful, lately...but that's because they've had better management (and, I'd suggest, less micro-managing from Eisner).

Pixar...again, he gets mixed marks. He prayed on a small start up company, giving them TERRIBLE terms, and won the lottery. He had ZERO input on the quality of the Pixar product, too (or, rather, only as much input as Pixar decided to give him, to play nice). Remember, Disney just distributed what Pixar gave them. Lassiter might have been the one guy, on earth, who got to tell Eisner to "go scratch", on occasion, when Eisner sent his notes along.

Eisner also relied on Pixar, letting the Disney animation quality tank (and trying to shutter the division, remember), and then practically ran them out of town with his ego and unwillingness to actually share in their own success. Yes, Iger deserves some credit for being more human and being able to make a reasonable deal to purchase them. But, at that point, Pixar had Disney basically over a barrel.

Disney Cruise line...I can't disagree. It's a bright spot, for sure. I don't know a lot about the business side history of that concept...so can't comment much on the development or impetus for that move. Maybe someone else might disagree....

DVC....again, it's hard to disagree. It's provided a decent product for an (arguably) reasonable price. And it's made the company boatloads. I'd argue the expansion of DVC was a bit of a no-brainer, given the way OKW sold (probably WAY under what the market would have borne)..but he did greenlight OKW, so...there you go.

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~That's not to say, that some things couldn't have been executed better. I'm sure quality, creativity and innovation succumbed at some point during the Eisner era. I just empathize with Disney's frail position when Eisner took over.
The frail position is an easy excuse, EARLY. But the fact is: If Disney had the capital to invest.....that time was past. Especially by the late 80's. You can excuse missing the boat early, I guess. But the funny part is: Exactly the opposite happened. The quality/substance was noticeably better early, in pretty much every business unit, and got worse as they got stronger.

That's a tell tale side that "branding" is taking a front seat to substance.

The funny aside is: Disney was never in trouble because of the quality or substance of the products they offered. They were markedly different from other brands (who faded because they either lost quality, share, or failed to keep up with changing trends/technology) because they still had a quality product to offer. They had quite valuable assets to use, that consumers WANTED.

They just didn't want to sell them.

Quote:
Iger - yes, I totally agree! Eisner, no I kinda disagree! Eisner expanded the Disney brand out of necessity. It was a necessary evil & Disney dominates today because of it. I just can't ignore the fact that just prior to Eisner's arrival -- instead of creating magical memories and telling stories, Disney was fending off corporate barbarians! Eisner was brought in to fight, and fight, he did. Now, Iger is a little bit different, Disney is not under the threat of a corporate takeover, so now, is the time to focus on creativity and innovation! I like Iger, overall I think he is great for Disney, I just wish he would have placed more emphasis on plussing and maintaining the WDW resort.
Eisner had to use the assets he had. Yes, the brand was one of them. But there are different ways to harness a brand. One is easy..short term..and potentially harmful long term. The other is hard, short term, and can end up making the brand stronger (and more valuable) long term.

Eisner went one way. It made them scads of money, which is good for shareholders and, hopefully, the company long term. I'm hoping we're seeing SOME signs (certainly at DLR...but not only there, and not ONLY in resorts) they're abandoning that for a "brand re-strenghtening"..meaning offerings of greater substance.

I'll grant you: It's a great big game of "what if" and monday morning quarterbacking.

Eisner didn't need quick cash. Once he was installed as CEO, and the family bickering stopped, he was OK. He had assets that he could use to generate revenue, and the stockholders knew it. Largely, the share price was tanking because the execs refused to open the vault...to ANYONE (broadcast, home video, whatever) and develop their other assets. Eisner came in, with the backers vocal support and (really) insistence) saying he was going to do all that. Stability hit when Eisner's name was announced, really. HIS brand was the big stabilizing force (funny how quickly ornery investors calm down).

Quote:
~Yay!!! We agree, but for Iger it's an advantage -- for, Eisner it was for survival!

~I'm not prepared to say Eisner's path was easy. He could have just sat there and continue to depend on park revenue and re-releasing the Disney classics, that's easy -- Disney would have surely failed. Eisner took huge risks, that took Disney from the brink of bankruptcy to billions in revenue! Yes, I agree Eisner may have missed the opportunity to expand creatively. Sure, I will agree that the WDW resort could have looked just like the Vegas strip, lol.
He didn't take the easiest path...because he probably would have destroyed the company he was working for. He didn't do that. He could have started out, right away, slapping the Disney name on everything and anything that showed the faintest interest. He was a bit more discerning...a bit more than a bit early in his tenure and ONLY a bit, later.

But he took an easier path than the one being suggested.
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Old 01-24-2013, 11:55 AM   #184
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I haven't gone through the whole thread, but I did want to address a couple of things that relate to the "come back with something better" idea.

I do have kids. And yes, they will run up to a giant Buzz in amazement. But frankly, there are a lot of things that elicit that kind of response. They have been known to react the same way to a playground, for example. But that doesn't mean it was designed in the classic Disney manner.

So let's get beyond "kids like it", or even "people like it". There are lots of things people like, and yes, that is a big part of success. But we have to at least acknowledge there is something else when it comes to Disney. Something that struck a much deeper chord within people as far back as Mickey Mouse and Snow White, continuing through many of the subsequent films and parks.

Something that has resulted in fan sites like this one, with thousands of participants.

And clearly that something took hold long before Eisner (and Frank Wells) was a glint in Roy Jr's eye.

THAT'S what we are trying to figure out when we look at these issues. Is Disney continuing that legacy of touching people in a way that nobody else can do? Or are they, at least at times, simply not trying.

If you think the Values do that, fine, please explain. We are all open to new thoughts and ideas. Some of us have changed our views on things quite signifcantly as we looked at things from other perspectives and learned more about HOW Disney became so special in the first place.
I am trying to get away from this thread, its driving me crazy.

Just kidding. I guess I don't dig as deep as some others do or have as strong of an opinion or I am not as smart.

As far as the classic Disney manner, I understand what you are saying. And this is a little bit off kilter, but my DW and I love "classic" Mickey. In fact, we have one of our bathrooms in old classic Mickey. I don't have the new Mickey stuff. Another example,, I like how Disney has tried bringing out the retro Epcot stuff...t-shirts, bracelets. I saw some murals of retro design. So there is some thought and tie to classic WDW icons.

I think to me what it boils down to is this, without getting technical about "Is it a theme", "Is it a story", or just a decoration. If you step onto property, onto a resort and sit there and look around, you should ask "Is this Disney?" If you answer yes, then Disney has accomplished it's purpose to you. If you answer no, they haven't accomplished it's purpose to you. Then what do you do? Well, you go stay someone else on property that makes you feel that this is what Disney is about.

And there are little things around the parks that I want to see something done with, I am not saying I am satisfied with EVERYTHING that has been done or not done.

There has been so many thoughts on this, that, and the other about how Disney has done things. They are still doing alot of things right obviously to be where they are today, and like others, I may not agree or understand why they did something the way they did.

I will say this to end this post. There is nothing like the "original, classic" Mickey. And there is nothing like the "original", Walt Disney.
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Old 01-24-2013, 11:58 AM   #185
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Imagine that Disney Attractions are Gymnasts at the Olympics. Haunted Mansion and Splash Mountain are competing in the same event. Both execute the event flawlessly.

However, because Haunted Mansion does not use existing movie tie ins and established story points. It's "routine" is harder than Splash Mountain's and therefore it has a higher possible perfect score. So HM wins and SM loses, because both were perfect, but HM did something more impressive.
Watch out for that East German judge...he'll get you every time.

There is a point there, actually, and I'm not ONLY trying to be glib/funny (though, largely, guilty).

Subjectively, as a judge, that's going to be what you see.

But, in gymnastics, every judge is going to give different weights to that performance. That's why they added the technical skills portion of the scoring. If they're doing "the same routine" (unless you meant "same aparatus"), they'd have the same base technical score.

What you're seemingly talking about, above, in your analogy really sounds like they both did the same technical routine. They hit all the same jumps, all the same, skills, no technical deductions for either one. That's flawless. So their base technical score would be the same.

But the difference is the "artistic impressions" score...which is where the judges come it. Your judgement is that because the performer has less physical advantages, or pulls the tricks off with what more you term "grace"...they're better. Or, to get back to attractions, because an attraction doesn't have the advantage of an existing tie in, or aid from other media, etc, they're more artistically pleasing.

And I'm OK with that.

Where I think we part company is when you then say "And the other performer, who got the exact same technical score but isn't doesn't get QUITE the artistic score from me...stinks,isn't worth considering, and should instantly be sent to the Gulag".

And now, I think we've killed the gymnastics analogy.
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Old 01-24-2013, 11:59 AM   #186
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Wonderful post YoHo!! And right on the money.


That same concept can be carried out throughout all of Disney theme parks, INCLUDING, the resorts. The Poly needs to be richer, deeper and more engrossing. A giant Buzz is hanging fruit so low, it is nearly touching the ground!!

But see, on that...I absolutely agree.
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Old 01-24-2013, 12:08 PM   #187
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Again, the Imagineers came up with a plan for multitier accommodations without sacrificing on the core concept of Disney themeing. Management decided they're rather build Wilderness Lodge 2: Wrath of the Tribal Masks.
Serious question: Spent much time at AKL? I mean...I get the lobby criticisms...but AKL really shines in other places/areas. The rooms are definitely themed, and the collection of African art scattered around is pretty amazing.

Bag on SSR, the values, and some of the other more recent Disney creations and I'm likely right there with you. Pointing to a hotel that has no equivalent hotel guest experience outside of Africa...and we, again, part company.
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Old 01-24-2013, 12:19 PM   #188
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I hear you...


And the simple reason is this: it's still better than the alternatives.
Ding ding ding ding ding!!

We have a winner.

I've said this before in this thread.

I keep my trips, and our "-ates" (debates, speculates, etc), firmly in different congnitive buckets.

When I'm at WDW, I'm not looking for all the declines in degrees, or lack of details, or any of that. I'm away from work, with my family, and enjoying myself. Just because the steak I ordered last year isn't around (or is a different cut of meat) or AOA has started to drastically overcharge people for the family sized rooms they're offering (rooms, FYI, I will likely never stay in) doesn't have one iota of an effect on my trip.

But it is interesting stuff to talk about around the water cooler, when I get back.
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Old 01-24-2013, 12:44 PM   #189
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To be more clear: IMHO, his motivation was a high quality SHOW. But quality in almost everything was certainly a pretty defining principle in his life.

I disagree. I do think it's a bit of a "chicken vs egg" discussion, but it's an interesting one, for sure.



Because his talents (and one of his interests), as a younger man, were in animation and drawing. And his focus seemed to be on 2 things (and you can see this, most obviously, in the original Alice shorts and Oswald material):

1) To provide a higher quality entertainment experience/SHOW so that he could command a higher price for his work (or to convince others to commission MORE work)...essentially to differentiate himself from the rest of those doing the same. I'm not trying to make him sound mercenary, either. But, for much of his studio days...his focus (EDIT: OK, focus is too strong a word...his immediate concern, maybe, is better) was on paying the bills. His perfectionist nature helped him do that...but it also ran up the "bar tab", too.

2) To use interesting new techniques and innovative tech (or uses of technology) to do so.

PART of it story. PART of it was presentation. But he needed all of it to be of high quality. It was the quality of the SHOW, not any single part of that show.

Those motivations seemed to carry forward throughout his career, actually. It's one of the reasons he sent animators around the world to study subjects, why he convinced his animators to study architecture in period pieces, and why he developed, or had developed, multiple patents on different animation and filming techniques/technologies.

If he JUST wanted to tell a story....why not be an author? Why not focus more on original material rather than ape fairy tales/literary works? Because, for Walt, it was about presenting that material in a certain way, with a certain level of quality (perfection, in his mind). His goal was the perfect show, in whatever media or format he could deliver it.

Walt was a perfectionist. I don't think anyone can argue that. It's what drove him. Doesn't that, in itself, pretty much answer your first question in the first line quoted, above?



To provide a quality show that would appeal to families, where parents and children could do things together.

Walts own words:


We all know the "sitting on the bench watching his daughters on a carousel" story, so I'll not belabor it.

But notice the words he's using. What's he talking about?

Disneyland is a show. That's another Walt quote.

Only part of a show is the story....an important part, but only part.



And I would never imply that storytelling isn't part of what Walt did well. A big part. I just don't think it was the entirety of what drove him or motivated him. I think story was, is, and should be part of a quality show. Maybe it's the most important part. But it's not the ONLY part.



No, he was the ultimate SHOWMAN. Better than even P.T. Barnum, IMHO, because he put on shows of higher quality.



And that's the fundamental disagreement we're going to have. I think he told the best stories by demanding a show of the highest quality. It was his attention to details, his insistence on virtual perfection...not just from him but from the people that worked for him. Nothing, NOTHING was ever good enough until it HAD to be good enough (because Roy told him they were going to have to shut down if they didn't ship/open/sell "it). Knowing that, knowing everything we know about Walt...from those who worked with him to those that knew and loved him...I'm not sure what other conclusion you're going to come to, here. I don't mean the romanticized "Uncle Walt" version we saw open "Wonderful World of Disney" on TV screens every week.



See, I disagree. Walt's focus was on a quality show. He used storytelling, and many other factors, to put it on.
Well, this is the easist post I've ever written. DITTO! I agree with every single point including nuance. Well done Pilferk!
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Old 01-24-2013, 01:03 PM   #190
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In the interest of full disclosure: I side firmly on the "decorations" side of the "are they/aren't they" discussion re: the value hotels.

But I want to point out the elephant that, to me, looks like it's in the room:

There are some potential...undercurrents (I hesitate to label them inferences)...that indicate people think the reason some of those discussing the topic take issue with the values is because they are the budget accommodations. That taking issue with a Giant Bowling Pin somehow equates to taking issue with THEM, and their financial situation, or preference/selection of accommodations. That there is some sort of "class warfare" implied in the objections. And that those people are simply looking down their noses at the values from their "ivory towers" at the Deluxe resorts. And that, really, their objection is that the Values shouldn't exist (because doing more would cost more, which would raise the price, which wouldn't make them values anymore) simply to purge the masses.

And there are some discussing the flip side..the decorations side, as it were...who are either not getting that undercurrent or don't feel comfortable addressing it because of the obvious socio-economic discussions that could arise.

I'm not that smart.

I don't mean to speak for anyone but me, but, for my part...it doesn't matter WHAT price point Disney is charging for what is the Allstars, AOA, and Pop Century (and I'm having a hard time pegging AOA as a value, given the price point Disney set the family suites at). If fact, I'd peg SSR in that group, too. I don't think those staying at the values are "lesser" because they stay there. I'm not trying to bag on their choices, or why they make them. I'm not trying to make them feel bad about the fact they can only afford, or really prefer, the values. THAT IS NOT THE POINT. Not for me (and I've been less than active in this spur of the conversation), but I'd bet not for most of the "others" either. I'll let them chime in, though.

In fact, I'd argue the opposite. What I'd really like is a somewhat equivalent Disney experience across all the price points. Vary the room size with amenities and services like everyone else does. You can certainly differentiate by something other than what they've chosen to differentiate with. PART of the problem is that Disney's Deluxe hotels really aren't (at least in terms of service and amenities). They're moderates.

So, rather than strata based on that (and room size), like the rest of the industry, Disney chose to create their own strata. It's an odd setup (in that it's very different than what the industry would levy if they were categorizing things). And they trickle it down from there.

Really look at what Disney has chosen to do with the mods, and how do they REALLY differentiate from the values. Really, the most remarkable thing is the increase in theming...and about 30 to 40 sq ft.

Between the mods and the deluxe hotels? Same 30 to 40 sq ft, but a pretty marked difference in amenities and service levels.

But that's a tangent. What I really wanted to express is this: Nobody is telling anyone not to go to Disney. I don't think ANYONE here thinks those that stay at a value are second class citizens. The issue people are talking about is with the product, not those that consume it. Don't take it personally. It's not meant to be a personal attack.
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Old 01-24-2013, 01:53 PM   #191
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Originally Posted by pilferk View Post
To be more clear: IMHO, his motivation was a high quality SHOW. But quality in almost everything was certainly a pretty defining principle in his life.

I disagree. I do think it's a bit of a "chicken vs egg" discussion, but it's an interesting one, for sure.



Because his talents (and one of his interests), as a younger man, were in animation and drawing. And his focus seemed to be on 2 things (and you can see this, most obviously, in the original Alice shorts and Oswald material):

1) To provide a higher quality entertainment experience/SHOW so that he could command a higher price for his work (or to convince others to commission MORE work)...essentially to differentiate himself from the rest of those doing the same. I'm not trying to make him sound mercenary, either. But, for much of his studio days...his focus (EDIT: OK, focus is too strong a word...his immediate concern, maybe, is better) was on paying the bills. His perfectionist nature helped him do that...but it also ran up the "bar tab", too.

2) To use interesting new techniques and innovative tech (or uses of technology) to do so.

PART of it story. PART of it was presentation. But he needed all of it to be of high quality. It was the quality of the SHOW, not any single part of that show.

Those motivations seemed to carry forward throughout his career, actually. It's one of the reasons he sent animators around the world to study subjects, why he convinced his animators to study architecture in period pieces, and why he developed, or had developed, multiple patents on different animation and filming techniques/technologies.

If he JUST wanted to tell a story....why not be an author? Why not focus more on original material rather than ape fairy tales/literary works? Because, for Walt, it was about presenting that material in a certain way, with a certain level of quality (perfection, in his mind). His goal was the perfect show, in whatever media or format he could deliver it.

Walt was a perfectionist. I don't think anyone can argue that. It's what drove him. Doesn't that, in itself, pretty much answer your first question in the first line quoted, above?



To provide a quality show that would appeal to families, where parents and children could do things together.

Walts own words:


We all know the "sitting on the bench watching his daughters on a carousel" story, so I'll not belabor it.

But notice the words he's using. What's he talking about?

Disneyland is a show. That's another Walt quote.

Only part of a show is the story....an important part, but only part.



And I would never imply that storytelling isn't part of what Walt did well. A big part. I just don't think it was the entirety of what drove him or motivated him. I think story was, is, and should be part of a quality show. Maybe it's the most important part. But it's not the ONLY part.



No, he was the ultimate SHOWMAN. Better than even P.T. Barnum, IMHO, because he put on shows of higher quality.



And that's the fundamental disagreement we're going to have. I think he told the best stories by demanding a show of the highest quality. It was his attention to details, his insistence on virtual perfection...not just from him but from the people that worked for him. Nothing, NOTHING was ever good enough until it HAD to be good enough (because Roy told him they were going to have to shut down if they didn't ship/open/sell "it). Knowing that, knowing everything we know about Walt...from those who worked with him to those that knew and loved him...I'm not sure what other conclusion you're going to come to, here. I don't mean the romanticized "Uncle Walt" version we saw open "Wonderful World of Disney" on TV screens every week.



See, I disagree. Walt's focus was on a quality show. He used storytelling, and many other factors, to put it on.
So now his focus was SHOW, not Quality. Got it.

But what is SHOW?

You are actually misunderstanding what Storytelling is.
What Walt's SHOW was is just Storytelling. Walt's version of it. so we are still arguing at cross purposes here.
I'm talking about the grand human tradition of Storytelling. Cave Paintings, Music, Art, dance and you're discussing a word Walt used that is encompassed by Storytelling.

When I say Walt was a Storyteller, perhaps the premier story teller of the 20th century. That encompasses so much more than movies or Theme parks or SHOW or Quality. Those are all a part of what made him the greatest Storyteller of the century.

Hopefully now we're not talking at cross purposes any more.


Disney as a company no longer deals in being storytellers. They used to, even after Walt died. Eisner was not a storyteller.
Iger isn't a storyteller either, but he's hired and retained Storytellers like Lasseter.
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Old 01-24-2013, 01:53 PM   #192
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Originally Posted by golf4miami View Post
To me I think it comes down to the people who are commenting on this thread are of two varieties. 1) Lived through the glory days in the 70's and early 80's. They believe that this is how Walt always wanted it and how Disney should be molded going forward. Nothing short of what was accomplished during this time frame is acceptable. 2) The other group may/or may not have grown up during this same time period. However, they look at what Disney is now and say, "You know what they did a pretty damn good job."
Neither accurately describes me, for whatever that's worth. I did live through the 70's, but I was a kid and my personal experiences during that time have very little to do with my opinions on Disney's business philosophies.

And certainly there are things that have been accomplished since that are "acceptable". The Pixar films for example (minus Cars 2), as well as the Disney animated films from Little Mermaid through Lion King.
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Old 01-24-2013, 01:57 PM   #193
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Watch out for that East German judge...he'll get you every time.

There is a point there, actually, and I'm not ONLY trying to be glib/funny (though, largely, guilty).

Subjectively, as a judge, that's going to be what you see.

But, in gymnastics, every judge is going to give different weights to that performance. That's why they added the technical skills portion of the scoring. If they're doing "the same routine" (unless you meant "same aparatus"), they'd have the same base technical score.

What you're seemingly talking about, above, in your analogy really sounds like they both did the same technical routine. They hit all the same jumps, all the same, skills, no technical deductions for either one. That's flawless. So their base technical score would be the same.

But the difference is the "artistic impressions" score...which is where the judges come it. Your judgement is that because the performer has less physical advantages, or pulls the tricks off with what more you term "grace"...they're better. Or, to get back to attractions, because an attraction doesn't have the advantage of an existing tie in, or aid from other media, etc, they're more artistically pleasing.

And I'm OK with that.

Where I think we part company is when you then say "And the other performer, who got the exact same technical score but isn't doesn't get QUITE the artistic score from me...stinks,isn't worth considering, and should instantly be sent to the Gulag".

And now, I think we've killed the gymnastics analogy.
I said event not routine. (which would encompass both apparatus and floor exercise)

So you did not get the analogy correct. To use your slightly more restrictive wording. They are performing different routines on the same Apparatus. HM's is a harder technical routine.

Of course we the judges are a subjective lot. And I know many that prefer Splash Mountain, but Technically, the routine is not as difficult. It's using an existing story and straightforward Story-boarding and plotting. It is just not as complex a routine.
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Old 01-24-2013, 02:11 PM   #194
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This has already been commented on, but I'll reiterate, because it bothers me.

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Originally Posted by DRDISNEYMD View Post

~What "past quality?" Prior to Eisner's arrival, the majority of Disney's revenue derived from the parks.
What past quality?
Well Disneyland and WDW for one. Obviously them.
How about every single animated film made by Walt Disney? That was Disney's other big revenue stream. Rereleasing past films to theaters.
And how did Eisner and Wells resurect the company? By releasing those old films to Video. How in the good lord's name would Eisner and Wells have resurrected Disney if they couldn't have rented or sold copies of Snow White, Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty?
All I can think is that what you really mean is that Disney spent a decade making Herbie sequels instead of good films, but then it was Ron Miller that made Splash and Tron, not Eisner and those were the films that restarted the motion picture division.

And for the record, the Theme parks are still where the company derives most of their money.
Quote:
Eisner brought Disney to the masses, eliminating the "need" to actively seek out Disney, but also fueling the "desire" to visit the theme parks.
This has been addressed also, but What?

I'm not even sure how to address this? Mickey Mouse Club? Wonderful World of Color? Davy Crocket? DISNEYLAND!!!!
Disney was a household name for the entire baby boomer generation and those that followed. All Eisner did was capitalize on the growing credit and housing market to encourage people to take more Vacations and buy Timeshares. He didn't bring Disney to the Masses. Disney was already a household name. He just gave you more ways to give him your money.
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Old 01-24-2013, 02:20 PM   #195
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^ Exactly. (if other posts get posted, this is in regards to pilferk's post #190)

The chandelier came up, but I tend to look at the differences between the A & B Ticketed attractions vs the others. Refresher: A's were the Main Street Vehicles and the Carousel, B's were Dumbo, Mad Tea Party, Keelboats, Main Street Cinema and the Shooting Gallery.

Many of those are still there in some form. When you walk by the Carousel does it scream that they used lesser materials, limited themselves to a color palette of brights, exposed structures are okay? Quoting from an article Jim Korkis wrote for Mouseplanet

Quote:
Every day, unsuspecting guests at Walt Disney World ride a genuine antique by mounting a horse that might be valued at more than $100,000 and decorated with 23 karat gold leaf. For two minutes, they are transported to the joy of their youth or a royal fantasy where they heroically ride round and round through a land of enchantment. Ironically, that experience was originally valued at just an “A” ticket, the lowest price for any Walt Disney World attraction. Today, it is free.
Does it strike you that the vehicles were any less restored or detailed than the Train? No, these things may be smaller experiences but the detailing is all top notch, no obvious corners cut. I get the same feeling walking around the Values as I do walking through the Women's department in some stores. All of a sudden because it's not normal, someone decided it needed to be garish, bad color choices, unflattering styles, etc.

While I was looking around at old posts, I found one from AV that said most Deluxe guests aren't actually the well-heeled folks. They're average people who are splurging. So I think Disney's always been scared that if they had designed Values with the same design principles of everything else they'd have done previously, people would decide they didn't need to splurge on that portion of their vacation. The obvious solution, would be that they'd *gasp* have to upgrade their Deluxes to be worthy of their designation. Instead, they went the other way.
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