Sunday, May 11, 2008
Blue Sky Buzz (Anaheim): Band Aid...
A NOTE: In the future, I've decided that all BSA's will be labeled as "Blue Sky Buzz" instead of "Blue Sky Alert" just so you know what to keep an outlook for guys...
- Honor Hunter
I thought I'd give you guys a little update. Not a long and detailed report as some of our past posts have been, but for all you clamoring for more updates on the "Extreme Makeover" of DCA this might help. Again, I don't want you to think of this as a regular column... wouldn't want to disappoint you when the weeks go by without any 411 simply because news is slow or Bothans are in hiding, k?
Well, now where do we go from here? Progress...
Things are still developing for DCA, particularly the Paradise Pier area. Remember I mentioned the retheming of the Orange Stinger in my last mini-update? Want to know what it's going to be called?
"The Silly Symphonies Swings"
I figured a few of you would roll your eyes at that... but it actually looks quite nice, even though it's not really going to have SS cartoons on it. It's going to feature stylized designs from one cartoon. And that cartoon isn't actually a Silly Symphony. It's a very famous Disney cartoon... the one that introduced a color Mickey Mouse to the world. That's right, "The Band Concert" will be the theming on the new Orange Stinger/Silly Symphonies Swing. It's got a lot of nice details and is much more of a Disney ride. Not just in terms of having Disney characters, but in detail and downright whimsicalness... the ride will still have the theming we discussed back in that last BSA, but the mast will be painted like a tornado just like in the one in that short and as it twirls there will be smoke effects to add atmosphere. Atop the ride, seen from all sides of the Pier will be "Conductor Mickey" from the short, spinning around directing the ride. My thoughts on this are that we should equate this ride with the Dumbo ride over in DL, only for an older audience.
The stores are due to get a Makeover after summer as they've fallen behind schedule in the construction plan. The goal is still a spring/summer kickoff for the new Victorian themed pier and "Disney's World of Color" nighttime show, though.
The details keep adding up for the new land of DCA. While it hasn't been decided if the name "Cars Land" will be the final choice, it has been determined to make this area the showplace of the park. Anyone whose been to Paradise Pier lately to see the detail of the new building for TSMM, the Midway Mercantile store, the shaded queue areas or the new Don Tomas food venue have gotten a taste of the details that are to come for this side of the Esplanade. It's a very nice change from what was there before. And it's nothing compared to what the Radiator Springs of Cars Land will look like. And I'm not exaggerating... it's going to be that detailed. The detail as you walk around this recreation of the small town from the film will amaze and delight the crowds in summer 2012. Expect this area to be packed and crowded with the young and the young at heart when it opens. There's going to be a smoothie stand themed to Fillmore(George Carlin's character in the film) and a diner based on Flo(Jenifer Lewis' character in the film). The drive-in restaurant is on the back-burner but not totally out of the picture yet. It will most definitely be part of any expansion in the Second Phase. WDI would like to do it now, but that depends on the money being budgeted for it. John Lasseter will have a lot of sway with this as the construction comes closer. If the crowds are sufficient for the new Toy Story ride and the work on the Pier does what was intended then they may go ahead and budget it for this phase. The reason it and a couple other projects have been cut back is because of how much this new land is costing. It's going to be almost half what the entire park cost to build. Paul Pressler would have fainted upon seeing the construction costs for this section alone.
The Hollywood backlot area will be getting a bit more detail than was originally planned for the First Phase. There are still major plans to extend and massively detail this part of the park in the second Phase, but some of this land will get a good deal of TLC during the next four years.
Remember that "Mickey's PhilharMagic" attraction that was supposed to appear where the Muppets are now? The size of the building and the retrofitting cost of it killed that, but what winds up there might please many a Disney fan... and many a C.S. Lewis fan. Yep. That's right. The attraction taking the place of Kermit and Miss Piggy is going to be based on the world of Narnia and it'll be in 3D. The Imagineers are focusing on creating a narrative that wraps the guest in the world of Aslan... it should be pretty nice, I'm just not a fan of wearing glasses for every ride. The detail around the areas that head toward the Hyperion will get a modest redo to brush away some of the modern pop-culture references.
Oh, and one more thing...
With that tonal theming of the area brought back to a more 30's look and feel there is a name change for the area. This part of the park will no longer be "Hollywood Backlot"... instead the new area will reflect the Hollywood of old known as "Hollywoodland". Now some of you may groan at this, but being a Hollywood history fan, I can tell you that this is spot-on. Most of you may not know that that is what Hollywood was called back in the early part of the 20th century. The sign was originally put up to advertise a housing development and the sign read: "Hollywoodland". It was only around the 40's that the land was removed and naming this part of the park that name is a great theming element.
Well, that's all I've got for this mini-update today. I hope you've felt caught up. Since the last big BSA was posted we've given you two mini-updates to tide you over the next month or so...
Until my Bothans send me another secret message, remember what I always say...
Posted by Honor Hunter at 6:40 AM
Labels: DCA, Extreme Makeover, Imagineering, Themeparks, WDI
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Sounds vary promising! I personally LOVE the idea of "The Silly Symphonies Swing" pure Disney!
Thanks for the mini-update! Glad to hear that things are still progressing along. :)
Also, when you said "The stores are due to get a Makeover after summer," did you mean after this summer or the summer of 2009? Thanks again!
I'm conflicted here.
There's the side of me that wants DCA to just improve. And I think that side is satisfied.
Then there is the side that really wants to see Disney build the best possible park they can in America, and that part isn't so satisfied.
I still think Disney can build a park on par with DisneySea in Tokyo and hopefully they will try to live up to and exceed the high standard set by that park with the possible 3rd gate in Anaheim.
And while DCA will be improved, it won't live up to that high standard and continue to be a mishmash of conflicting themes and stories.
In the CarsLand paragraph: dinner=diner.
Thanks for the update. I'm patient. This was a satisfying post.
but, is the narnia attraction a film or a ride thru or walk thru thing?
Good deal. The Muppets attraction has needed to be dumped for some time now, given that a: It's horribly dated and b: nobody cares about those old socks anymore. It's about time Disney did something with Narnia in the parks. I hope this ride rocks out loud and also that the building will have lots of Narnian ambience in the decor and theming. Narnia and the North!
i like the blue sky "buzz" idea... btw, it isn't the muppets are "old socks" as someone put it. the attraction might be old, but a muppet great movie ride (as once planned for florida) would be a very fun family attraction.
Great stuff. The future of DCA is indeed bright. It's going to be a thrill to sick back and watch the park transform over these next few years.
I'm glad Iger really seems to get it and is allowing this all to happen.
Glad to see news on the updates planned for DCA - very positive!
As my kids (6 & 10) said when we visited Disneyland & DCA last year... "What's a Muppet?"
Now, if you mention "Narnia", you'll get their attention...
The Muppets mean a LOT more to Hollywood than Narnia.
Regardless if kids don't watch muppets these days, a great muppet movie ride would still work. If they would approach the attraction ala pirates or mansion, cept with muppets, the characters would do fine. Parents will get it, older kids will eventually get it, and little kids will just see fun puppets taking them through a whimsical ride.
"As my kids (6 & 10) said when we visited Disneyland & DCA last year... "What's a Muppet?"
I hope you told your kids about the muppets and how popular they were etc.
Now then, did they enjoy Muppetvision? Regardless of how old and tired it is, it's still a good show if you're seeing it for the first time.
HH --- Any word on if they will remove the Hyperion Theatre stairs to create a true theatre lobby, and theme the small avenue leading to ToT (and its surrounding areas)? That corner of the park is so depressingly unthemef yet it has 2 of the best rides in the park!...
"The Muppets mean a LOT more to Hollywood than Narnia"
HAHAHAAHAH (takes breath) HAHAHAAHA!!!
Um, no. When's the last time Kermit the talking house slipper and flopped Ford Hybrid salesman starred in a movie that made almost $744,783,957 worldwide, hmmmm? Like maybe never? As for appeal to today's kids, he has pretty much zip. He's not even a star on Sesame Street, that moronic Elmo claims that crown. And honestly, now that some guy who usually makes R-rated "comedies" (like "Forgetting Sarah Marshall" - god that was horrible) is making a Muppet movie, I'd be perfectly happy if kids of today *remain* ignorant of the Muppets. There's better stuff out there for them now...like the Narnia films.
The Muppets sucked back when they were popular. I have absolutely no clue what Narnia is but it can't be any worse than Muppets.
And it's not like anything in this remake has anything to do with California except maybe the entrance redo and a couple other things. A Narnia 3D movie might as well go in the Hollywood section.
Honor, I have a question. This has nothing to do with this blue sky alert. But on the next one can you tell us more about "Soarin Over The World"? On MiceAge there is a DCA Project Tacker that says by 2013 "Soarin Over California" will have a new film and be called "Soarnin Over The World". Is this true?
Yeah, me too. Is that really true?
Funny how you guys says that about the Muppets. Their story, Jim Hensons story, is very similar to Walt Disneys own. Narnia is simply a studio film.
Shall we just pop anything into the parks ala Narnia, or perhaps something that has heart to it like the Muppets?
Narnia? Yawwwwn...Disney's answer to Harry Potter? I'd definitely skip a Narnia attraction, and I'd probably be very skeptical of anything replacing the Muppet movie. I'd love to see an updated Muppet movie as well as a new Muppet TV show, or film in theatres.
Philharmagic would have been a terrific replacement because it's a terrific show. Why can't they just design it around the Muppet theatre shape/size? Surely this is possible...I don't buy the reasoning you mention...
The Silly Symphonies Swings idea makes me so giddy and relieved. Tearing down the orange peel will make the swings so much better, let alone an awesome theme to Disney history!
I like "hollywoodland"...they should make the area more vintage then, date it back a few years instead of going for the studios angle. Also, how does Monster's Inc fit into hollywood land? makes no sense...
You don't have to "buy" the reason Honor gave, but it's the truth. PhilharMagic was designed for a building with a huge screen and the structure and surrounding area would simply not work with installing this attraction. If Disney wanted to spend about as much as they did on TOT then it might be worth it, but this is not an E ticket attraction and to spend that much money on something of that califur is not wise. Don't blame Honor or WDI for these short sighted mistakes. Put them squarly where they belong with Michael Eisner and Paul Pressler. And to a smaller degree with Barry Braverman for not having the testicles to stand up to these two idiots.
As for Narnia? It's not my favorite film, but the movie and book series have a huge following and will make a great addition to the entertainment in the new Hollywoodland.
Okay, comparing Walt Disney to Jim Henson is a total riot. Jim Henson was a philandering drug-user. I'd say that alone makes him significantly different from Walt. Also, unlike Walt, Jim specialized in one thing - clever puppetry - while Walt was interested in a vast variety of media and, moreover, enhanced each and every one he took an interest in. And Walt took personal and professional risks Jim never had to face. Besides, I distinctly remember reading an article wherein Jim stated that Disney had a "saccharine view" of the world that he, Jim, had no interest in perpetuating. That alone makes me shake my head. Jim's hippy-dippy philosophy has fallen by the wayside, while Walt's "saccharine" view of the world survives and thrives - because Walt believed in those corny values elitists like Jim scorned. That's one reason why Disney and the Muppets have never been a good fit. Disney built values into his works that resonate through generations. The Muppets are just a clever novelty act that faded a long time ago.
Walt's "saccharine" view of the world survives and thrives
Interesting... does it? Does Walts saccharine view still live on? Or does the disney corporation simply live on after dropping that view?
Both men did Hollywood, they came, they did what others told them not to, they did what they wanted to, and both succeeded in their own light.
At first thought, the Silly Symphonies Swing idea just doesn't fit. But after a while, everything clicks and makes perfect sense. If what I'm imagining is correct, then it should turn out quite well.
As with the other changes, they seem promising, just as long the plans goes until the end.
Does Walts saccharine view still live on?
Of course it does. And it will never die, no matter what!
I don't get it. It is still just an off the shelf ride. I think I'd be more accepting if they would just change the name of the whole park. Why not drop the "California"? At least then the "Adventure" is more all-encompassing. Conflict of theming is my major beef with DCA. Of course, I never should have visited DisneySea last year. I've not been the same since. Bitter?....yeah, pretty much.
Wait, why would they get rid of Muppets when a new Muppet movie is about to come out? That doesn't make any sense. Muppets are set for a resurgence thanks to Jason Segal and Judd Apatow. Sure this isn't kid-friendly but neither is DCA! A winery? A looping coaster? None of that screams little kid. I'd much rather see the park turn into something that adults and teens can enjoy while the little ones stay at Disneyland.
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