Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Blue Sky Buzz (Orlando): It's Just A Fantasy...



Well summer is in full bloom right now and it's time for a little bit of buzz about that little plot of land in Florida Disney owns...

Now, I've known about this for a few weeks, but I sent out some secret messages to the Bothans and have been waiting patiently for the last couple weeks to hear back for confirmation...

Over the weekend my Blue Sky decoder ring started glowing and I've received enough confirmation to let you in on some of it...

Remember when we talked about the Magic Kingdom and my ranting of the cloning that was being done to DCA's "Little Mermaid" attraction? I know, I know, a lot of you gave me grief about that. You know, it appears that Lasseter's influence has caused the Imagineers to work on all kinds of blue sky projects with the hope that Iger will open the pockets of the Mouse if he's confident that John Lasseter has faith in it... cause for the most part, Iger has a lot of faith in him.

Now remember these proposals are "blue sky" just like the name of this blog and anyone or all could change. The economy and several other factors could squash this dream, but if not, there's a whole lot of fun headed down to the Reedy Creek Improvement District.

Specifically, Fantasyland.

I remember mentioning that the Little Mermaid wasn't the only project, but I didn't know what else was in the cards for that land. I was actually quite conservative and didn't want to imagine anything big because of Mr. Rasulo's dumbing down of the abilities of the Creatives, something I wish I could discuss(but can't).

Imagine that Little Mermaid attraction we talked about before... it's basically going to be the ride we have here, although it might be a bit smaller and the exterior should be envisioned differently, but all around Fantasyland you'll notice a great deal of detail and a great deal of difference in a bout four or five years if it all comes to pass.

How would you like to get through with your adventures with Ariel and Sebastian and walk out looking around the Florida sunshine basking in that new roller coaster that's been put in for Disney Fans/Geeks to ride. A roller coaster? What are you talking about? The one themed to the Seven Dwarfs, that one. Lavishly made up with details that are closer to something you'd see in Tokyo that stateside, but it's there...

Now what about the other areas of the land that are proposed to have a radical makeover? I mean, there is that Pixie Hallow that looks like you've wandered into the forest in Neverland, there's a meet and greet for Tinkerbell, but the details of this little area are going to make little princess run screaming through this area and really bring a smile on the face of every Disney fan.

There's a new area for a meet-and-greet with the Princess that's quite nice as well.

Oh and remember I talked a while back about there being very few attractions based on the Animated films of the Second Golden Age? I specifically talked about none for my favorite Disney animated film... well, if this comes to pass that will no longer be true. That's right, there is a very nice "Beauty and the Beast" attraction planned for this area as well. I only hope that take some of the great ideas that were proposed for the "B and B" attraction that was to be built in Paris over a decade or so ago.

The plans are still being fleshed out, but these proposals are very extravagant and will leave the Magic Kingdom's Fantasyland looking unlike it's Disneyland sister or any other Disney theme park in the world... and that's a good thing. We need more originality, more reasons to spend money at each of these stops. The budgeting for this expansion is a lot too, not as much as DCA's, but you'd be surprised at how close it is. And this expansion will take up a good portion of Fantasyland, transforming it from an area that has had very little improvement in decades into one of the most different versions of arguably Walt's most famous "land". Now, by the early part of next decade we can possibly look forward to a reason to walk around Fantasyland other than just to compare how much more we like the California version. We can only pray that Rasulo doesn't intend on cloning every one of these concepts for every other park... that would be a way for him to squeeze the fun out of this ambitious proposal. He's like a physic vampire with the ability to suck creativity out of the soul of WDI. I hope Lasseter plays like Van Helsing and puts a stack through his corporate meddling...

Cause if what I've described makes it to completion, you guys are going to be booking your tickets to Orlando rather earlier than you planned. There's a reason to go to WDW that is totally unique for a change.


And that's a change for the positive...

32 comments:

Anonymous said...

it's about time the magic kingdom gets some originality. new attractions with snow white, tinkerbell, ariel, and belle sound pretty exciting. is the snow white coast themed as the dwarfs' diamond mine? just curious...

Anonymous said...

These ideas sound soo exciting! I wondered if they might use Beauty and the Beast at Beastly Kingdom, but this will do just fine. I hope it is an elaborate dark ride. - Great post Honor.

Daniel said...

If Eisner had his way, Big Thunder Mountain would be turned into the "Snow White and the Seven Dwarves Mine Cart Madness."

KINGCRAB said...

Interesting concepts.

However, I also have to say, Honor, that I feel that all of the constant Rasulo-bashing is getting annoying.

Anonymous said...

The only thing that'll improve Fantasyland is if they remove the gas-guzzling intoxicating Tomorrowland Transit Athourity. Put em on eco-friendly fuel, electonic, shorten the track - anything. I hate that smell of gas that spills out into that side of Fantasyland. It's a weird scent of deep-fried food, gas, and cotton candy - all mixed together, and it gives me a headache.

OK. im done ranting now.

Anonymous said...

First of all, Daniel, your comment makes no sense. Eisner is no longer with the company, and there have been far more character tie in attractions since he left. The new regime would be more likely to change Big Thunder since they seem to have no problems adding Disney characters to classic attractions.

Second, anonymous, Tomorrowland Transit Authority is a Linear-induction powered attraction. I believe you are referring to the Tomorrowland Speedway.

I'm glad we're hearing about new attractions for the Magic Kingdom, and thankfully they are in Fantasyland since they all have to do with animated films. Honor, you have every right to bash Rasulo as sometimes I think he is worse than Pressler.

t said...

While I am SO happy that all these great ideas and plans are floating around for all the parks...in terms of stateside, am I the only one that is worried what the economy is going to do to all this. Besides the DCA makeover, everything else seems to be great, but in terms of economic climate, at the wrong time.

sorry, to be downer. I am usually not this type at all...

jrriddle said...

@t
The economy is in the toilet right now. However these attractions will probably take years to be greenlit and built (hopefully built, I've been waiting since the early 90s for a B&B attraction after seeing that peek at DLPs model) by that time I would think people will be spending money on travel again.
Besides there is still that annoying little wizard at Uni to compete with.

Anonymous said...

"...you'll notice a great deal of detail and a great deal of difference in a bout four or five years if it all comes to pass" Is this in part a response to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter land at Islands of Adventure?

Ghosthost2 said...

It is great news that WDW's Fantasyland will finally have an identity of it's own instead of being "the crappy version of Disneyland's Fantasyland." Will Snow White and Pan get exterior and interior makeovers like they did in DL for New Fantasyland 1983? I really love the idea of a Seven Dwarfs roller coaster in Fantasyland, as long as it is a massive experience on the level of Big Thunder Mountain and Space Mountain instead of Goofy's Barnstormer. WDW's Fantasyland is in need of a thrill ride. Remember DL's Fantasyland has one with the Matterhorn.

Anonymous said...

I love the sound of all of this! The Magic Kingdom desperately needs an injection of attractions. The only part I disagree with is the not wanting it cloned part. Why not? If it gets cloned, most people who visit these attractions at another Disney park will likely never see it in WDW anyhow. Plus, cloning will help justify the crazy costs of these attactions during such crummy financial times. Everyone wins.

KINGCRAB said...

Honor, you have every right to bash Rasulo as sometimes I think he is worse than Pressler.

Anonymous, you're out of your mind!!! Pressler was MUCH worse than Rasulo.

And I still say that the Rasulo-bashing needs to stop or at least be reduced significantly!

I'm glad we're hearing about new attractions for the Magic Kingdom, and thankfully they are in Fantasyland since they all have to do with animated films.

Just because an attraction is based on an animated film doesn't mean that Fantasyland is where they all should go. Not all animated film-based attractions would work in Fantasyland anyway.

Honor Hunter said...

"The only part I disagree with is the not wanting it cloned part. Why not?"

Uh, originality? Would you want all your kids to be exactly alike? I wouldn't...

"If it gets cloned, most people who visit these attractions at another Disney park will likely never see it in WDW anyhow."

And you come to this conclusion with what evidence? The reason people go to different parks is to experience the what is different about each. That's one of the major draws of Tokyo. You can't find anything like TDS anywhere. ANYWHERE.

"Everyone wins."

Thanks for your comments, Mr. Rasulo...

Anonymous said...

Honor is right, Kingcrab. I've worked with Jay Rasulo. He deserves more bashing than what Honor does. The man isn't as bad as Paul was, but he's the major problem with the Parks and Resorts division right now.

Honor Hunter said...

Boy, Kingcrab,

If you don't like the Rasulo bashing you're gonna hate one of my upcoming posts...

Sorry, but if you notice I'm not really critical of many others and that's because I tend to feel that for the most part the management team in power is pretty good. NOT with Rasulo...

I'm critical of him because he deserves it. Both for reasons I've talked about and for reasons I can't talk about.

We'll just have to disagree, Kingcrab.

Kevin said...

I'm very, very excited about this news. I personally love the idea of Disney bringing back interest to classic films by dedicating rides and attractions to them - a Snow White coaster is a terrific way to go. This news should also quell the grumblings that Disney parks are turning into Pixar parks.

Corruption said...

Let's just hope that this actually happens.

And Honor, not to be nitpicky, but you are making TONS of grammar/spelling/syntax errors lately. Maybe try typing in Word or something (for grammar check), then copy/paste into Blogger.

socalkdg said...

"And you come to this conclusion with what evidence? The reason people go to different parks is to experience the what is different about each. That's one of the major draws of Tokyo. You can't find anything like TDS anywhere. ANYWHERE."

90% of DLR's visitors are locals. They don't travel to WDW, and they definetly don't go to TDL. With transportation costs increasing, people are still going to travel, but it will be localized.

Clone away.

Honor Hunter said...

socalkdg,

I hate to inform you of this but DLR's guest are NOWHERE near 90%...

Not even close.

And if there were a lack of ideas inside WDI then I wouldn't mind cloning, but there is no lack of ideas, only a lack of will by the Suits...

I want all the attractions to be great and richly detailed. I want them to all be of the same high quality, but I don't want them to all be the same. If it wasn't for cloning WDW would already have a great ride no other park ever had with the "Western River Expedition".

Now that Marc Davis ride alone would be worth going to WDW...

RayChase said...

I have similar feelings as ghosthost2...will they revamp the look of Fantasyland? The renaissance faire look just aint cutting it. I would not mind them cloning the concept and visual appeal of Disneyland's Fantasyland....

Sounds promising if it all comes to pass..

Kevin S. Willis said...

I'm fine with the revamp of Fantasyland . . . that being said, I always miss old attractions when the close. Sometimes its better that they do, but I still miss them (my never-gonna-happen idea of a sattelite Disney park: retro-Disney. It'll be where Carousel of Progress goes when it "passes on". The Snow White ride that got replaced by Pooh in Florida. Mission to the Moon. Even that Delta ride that Buzz Lightyear replaced. The old restaurants, old parades, old shows--all there!

But I digress. Are the new attractions going to replace old ones? Is the roller coaster going to be a re-themed Thunder Mountain? Is there more undeveloped land in the area for Fantasyland to expand? Thanks, honor, you know all, see all. ;)

Anonymous said...

I'm sooooooooo happy to read about the expansion of Fantasyland in WDW. When I visited it last year, I could NOT believe how small it was and how little it had to offer! The only really good attraction there IMO is Mickey's Philharmagic. Most of the rest of it was just more of those goddamn gift shops. And it also reeked that there were no places to sit and rest and enjoy the ambience. Fantasyland is Walt's best-known "land" and deserves better treatment at the Florida park. And as someone else mentioned, there is that certain wizard who's planning to take up residence at rival Universal to worry about (although IMO the Potter craze has faded and the books always sucked anyway). It's smart of Disney to try to beef up Fantasyland as a countermove to Rowling's drab, dark, derivative little wizard world. I only hope the Fantasyland changes come quickly. I can't wait to see them!!!!

socalkdg said...

"I hate to inform you of this but DLR's guest are NOWHERE near 90%... Not even close."


From Mouseplanet:
Disney insists that the percentage of guests who regularly visit both Disney World and Disneyland is very small, and the majority feels cheated if they visit a Disney resort and can't find a certain signature attraction.

From Hotel Online:
With vacationers traveling shorter distances, and with 86% of California's tourists coming from other parts of the state

From DVC:
Southwest and Northwest DVC owners account for less than 15% of ownership in the DVC program(with California being approx 5%).

All of this backs up my many statements that people that visit DLR don't visit WDW. If clones are only going to be seen by 5-15% of the people at both resorts, then a clone of a great attraction is worthwhile for both locations.

By the way, they should put the "Western River Expedition" into DCA by Grizzly Rapids. : )
Maybe even the Counrty Bears as well.

Honor Hunter said...

"Disney insists that the percentage of guests who regularly visit both Disney World and Disneyland is very small, and the majority feels cheated if they visit a Disney resort and can't find a certain signature attraction."

I can imagine how cheated they would feel if they'd seen much of what WRE would have been...

"With vacationers traveling shorter distances, and with 86% of California's tourists coming from other parts of the state"

I don't know the context of what this is from and even still it's worded very badly... Californian's tourist? To what Disneyland? I don't know who wrote this socalkdg, but if they're implying that 86% of Disneyland visitors are from Cali then they should be fired for such an inaccuracy. DL used to get a lot of travelers from Japan and the surrounding areas, but right now the majority of travelers are coming from Mexico and surrounding areas as for foriegn guests. As for Americans, they get a lot from Oregon, Arizona and the surrounding areas.

And again I tell you, socalkdg... nowhere near that number come from California.

These parks are not McDonalds, btw. They're not supposed to be exactly alike. Not that they shouldn't have some rides that are similar and a basic layout that each follows, but if you want to give people a reason to come you give them variety... you don't tell yourself that you know how and why the public will react to something... that's how DCA was created.

We all know how brilliant that decision was, don't we?

BTW, the people that came up with DCA and all these wonderful plans about building all these clones are the ones that never planned for a day when some disaster would affect occupancy levels in the park(911, remember) and were forced to scramble in late 2001 when attendance plummeted. All their planning and they couldn't see the need for a back-up plan for some situation like this? Their arrogance was full front back then and it's still right out in front on issues like this cloning. These are soulless bean counters whom I have no respect for...

You know the type, don't you? They told story people in the animation department how to write a movie and turned out such classics as "The Emperor's New Groove", "Chicken Little" and "Home on the Range"...

Nuff Said.

Chris Q said...

So Honor, you might not be able to say, but will a new Snow White coaster spell the end of Snow White's Scary Adventures?

anonymouse said...

You guys gotta quite reading into what's being said. He didn't say a Snow White Roller Coaster. He said a SEVEN DWARFS Roller Coaster.

Don't find a hidden meaning. Don't make presumptions. He didn't say it, you're inferring it.

Chris Q said...

Ummmm, OK, "anonymouse." It's actually a pretty logical inference to make, since they're from the same film.

Anonymous said...

I think Mr. Toad's Wild Ride would make a better coaster than Snow White.

Anonymous said...

Can't you just blog in English...God Damn, you are trying to say something here, but it is so difficult to read. Quit trying to be so clever...it doesn't work.

Anonymous said...

I think its great that disney has finaly decided to add more rides to the magic kingdom because honestly it was getting a bit stale! If you thein about it when was the last time you saw a new major attraction line space mountain or splash mountian hit the magic kingdom, thats because they know they have people eating out of the palm of their hands, they know people will come back and saw they are the best just because they are disney!!!!!!!! And for the record Universal is way better than disney!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Kim said...

I think it is way more importand to expand the Disney Land Resort Paris they do not even have a water ride and theres no way to cool down ... While Magic kingdom has it all . so come on have a little heart xD

baccarati said...

The Emperor's New Groove is my favourite movie ever. Disney or not, animated or not. :)

I love this blog. But why do people have to make such bitchy comments? Just read it and deal with it or stop reading it. Plain and simple. No one cares if you make a clever snide comment in a blog. Especially anonymously. Your Internet check is not in the mail.