Thursday, March 20, 2008

Layering On The Narrative...


There was a lot of great feedback about my 20,000 Leagues Under The Influence post and some were asking how DCA will be different now than what came before...

The main difference is everything that's being designed has a theme, a narrative that focuses on the actual ride. There will no attraction like the "Maliboomer" which is essentially a carnival ride with little theming and no story. Don't believe me? Remember the focus of that Influence article used the descriptions of TDS based on the Mouse's press kit. Well take a look at this official description of what the new land opening in 2012 will be:


"Carsland nestled in the heart of Ornament Valley, Carsland will be home to the characters from Disney-Pixar's smash hit 'Cars' spanning 12 acres this brand new land will transport guest to the heart of Radiator Springs, where they will experience ground breaking attractions, a dine-in restaurant and free wheeling fun for the whole family.

Radiator Springs Racers a speedy 'E-Ticket' attraction will place guest right in the middle of the amazing detailed world of Mater, Lightning McQueen, Doc and Sally. After a quick race briefing from Doc and Lightning, passengers will suddenly find themselves in the midst of an exciting race through shadowy woodlands, canyons and valleys, waterfalls and tunnels, complete with hairpin turns, steep banks and a heart-pounding dash for the finish line.

Carsland substantially increases the size of the park, with two additionally immersive rides featuring Luigi and Mater. "This is the the first major project of DCA that goes outside the boundaries of the themepark and really starts to add space and activities," Bob Weis said.

At Mater's Junkyard Jamboree, a full-size moving, talking and dancing Tow Mater will be the disc jockey at a spinner ride that will have passengers whipped around the desert floor in truck trailers. And at Luigi's Roaming Tires, guest will find something molto specile. With the help from Guido, Luigi has taken delivery of a new shipment of tires from Rome, but every time he tries connecting the compressor, he creates an "air"- racing car ride."


See how there is a story... an attempt at least to tell an idea or create a narrative structure. It's going to take time, but slowly this park will have all the details that were missing when it opened and then some. The story for "The Little Mermaid" attraction will be just as good too. There are also a few surprises you'll find in the pier over the next two years. Annual Pass Holders who've visited the area lately will notice how the details keep being piled up. Just take a look at the "Midway Mercantile" shop riders will have to go through as they exit. The sign alone shows how much quality has improved. I'll talk more about this a little later this month in another Blue Sky Alert...

Yes, there will be one coming. Patience. You can stop sending me e-mails about it.

Soon...

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

This sounds extremely weak to me. Is there any kind of structure to this Carsland Racers attraction, or is this just a "ride around and see things" affair?

Simba said...

You're kidding, right "anonymous?"

This is going to be a $300 million mega-e-ticket which should rank up there with the biggest of all Disney e-tickets worldwide. It's based on the latest version of the Test Track technology, with high speed banked turns and a rather large show building with indoor scenes and animatronics. It's not just a "ride around a bit" type thing.

Gn2Dlnd said...

"Anonymous" must be of the belief that Pirates was weak right up until they added all that "structure" from the films.

Bob & Rob "Professional American Writers" said...

Yeah, this is a big league ride, no doubt. It's gonna have all of the bells and whistles...and some good ol' fashioned wind in the face speed. Can't wait! Bob

aracuanbird said...

Sorry I posted earlier under the anonymous banner...

Anyway, gn2dlnd, thanks for figuring out what I "must" believe about Pirates...are you a real mind reader, or do you just play one on the Internet?

This article offers a single paragraph dscription of this Racers ride which, when boiled down, amounts to "you're in a race." Hardly a layered narrative in my mind.

My kids love Cars. Personally, I think it is the weakest of all Pixar's offerings, featuring an unlikable protagonist thrown into a conflict where the only thing at stake is a meaningless, made-up trophy. For my money, if you want to watch this movie done 10x better, go see Surf's Up. Anyway...

I guess I can see that Disney is trying to create a "universe" around these Cars characters, similar in a sense to the Star Wars or DC universe. All sorts of media, from film to the internet to comic books to theme parks feed off of and draw into this scheme. That's fine, it'd be cooler if Cars was cooler. But from the description offered, there is little that is being added to the universe with this ride. Unlike the Mater and the Ghostlight short, this just sounds like the same-old, same-old.

And, unlike Pirates, which offered these exotic scenes that included hints of debauchery and neat environmental effects like cannon balls careening into the water and a city that is burning down, here you drive by...trees?

Oh yeah...that is exciting!

Anonymous said...

All you guys arguing that there's no theme to this complain about Peter Pan or Snow White? It sounds like this ride will put you in the world of the movie just as those did.

It sounds like it will be a great place to experience the film, particularly for families with boys.

Spokker said...

"It sounds like it will be a great place to experience the film, particularly for families with boys."

You can experience the film on DVD.

While I don't generally dislike rides that simply retell the movie, I am alarmed that such valuable real estate is being devoted to an attraction that may do just that.

I like the term "Inspired by". The Nemo ride simply retells the events of the movie. It's like you're watching the DVD underwater. Boring.

Indiana Jones however uses elements from the films coupled with new ideas to create an entirely new adventure. It tells a story that is definitely Jones material but isn't a shameless rehash of the series.

The same could be said about Star Tours. It's not just the movies in ride-form, but inspired by the movies. Even Mr. Toad's Wild Ride refrains from simply retelling the movie.

I hope that Radiator Springs Racers does that.

Disneyland shouldn't be Universal Studios where you ride the movies. That doesn't mean rides inspired by films should be done away with, but a proper balance should be striven for.

Unfortunately as it stands the parks are leaning toward character-based attractions far more than they should be.

KINGCRAB said...

Spokker, you seriously need to quit being negative, stop looking for things to complain about and give up reading MiceAge, the Re-Imagineering blog and all those other non-watchdog Disney-bashing sites!