Thursday, August 28, 2008

Building Better, By Example...


Tokyo DisneySEA is amazing...

I'm sure you've all gotten tired of hearing Blue Sky Disney report on that. But it's true... you have to see it to believe it. The pictures, as amazingly, stunningly beautiful as they are don't do it justice. It's like hearing that Paris is lovely and only seeing it through a postcard... You have to experience it to appreciate what Imagineers are capable of if given the proper budget and simply allowed to dream.

I thought I'd take the time to focus on specific elements of the park. Particularly, my favorite port out of the seven at TDS; Mysterious Island. And even more specific, the iconic weenie of the port, the entire park even:

Mount Prometheus.

Just what is it and how did WDI design and build such a structure?

It's the largest, man made rock structure ever built by the Mouse. 750,000 square feet, 2,000 pieces of ruble rising 160 feet into the air. 10 rocket burners, each weighing 3,000 pounds that shoot fire over fifty feet into the air. Pools of boiling water which are really thirty thousand gallons of water pressurized to look as if you're in an active volcano(again, the attention to detail is numbing at times). The "20,000 Leagues Under the Sea" attraction is within this area and the "Journey To The Center Of The Earth" attraction is right beneath the mountain...

And below that ride is the restaurant, "Vulcania," with a ceiling constructed on springs so as to cushion the vibrations of the attraction and diffuse the sounds from guest eating in the dining area. Keeping with the South Pacific theme of the area Mysterious Island is supposed to be in, the food served is Chinese(cooked with Geo-thermal steam, just like how Nemo would have cooked his food). Even the food carts and gift shops are so detailed as to just marvel at. Not to mention the ability to have dinner at the Nautilus Galley!

And this post has only focused on this one port... there are six more, larger ports that we could discuss. But the great thing about walking around this port, this park, this resort is that it shows you what Disney can do.

Over the next decade it's going to be a challenge to the new management of WDI and the Mouse in general to show us that they can reproduce similar quality attractions of these kinds elsewhere in the world. Not because we don't believe they can do it...

But because we know they already have.

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

Since i can't think of anywhere to put these marvelous attractions in any of the four parks of Disney World, they should convert Discovery isldnd to a jules verne mysterious island based around these rides.

Honor Hunter said...

They don't need to reproduce these exact rides...

Just the detail, theming and quality in whatever they build.

Anonymous said...

I've never been to any Disney Resort outside of the U.S., so I just want to know how much english is there is around this park and to what extent? BUT, this place looks AWESOME and is most definitely somewhere I will be going in the next year.

TDR Fanatic said...

You don't have to know Japanese to go to the park, but you have to expect it since many rides and shows are either partially or all in Japanese. All the Cast Members speak English so you should have no problem communicating.

nojarama said...

Someday I WILL win the lottery (or get a sugar daddy) and will get to visit this stunning park!

Spokker said...

"All the Cast Members speak English so you should have no problem communicating."

They speak various levels of English. Most Japanese students take English language in high school so they know a little bit.

Spokker said...

Oh, and pantomime works reasonably well. Listen, you're at a theme park. You'll figure out what to do.

As for the shows and rides being in Japanese, I found it to be mostly a non-issue. With the exception of the Magic Lamp Theater, I didn't yearn for any translation. Much of the storytelling in each attraction is visual and you get what's going on.

Anonymous said...

spokker, they offer a hand-held English-language translation device (it displays the text in English as it is spoken on stage in Japanese) at the Magic Lamp Theater.