Sunday, September 6, 2009

Waiting For The East Wind...


It seems that things are shaping up in an interesting way...

From what my Bothans have been dropping hints at over the last couple weeks, we most likely will see the announcement of Shanghai Disneyland before the end of the year. All the details are finally falling into place. Unless of course, something dramatically alters the topography of the global economic situation, kind of like the recession that happened last fall. It put several projects on the back burner and caused the cancellation of a few that weren't planned. Some of those projects have slowly started to move forward again, but in the case of SDL, it actually helped.

With the downturn in the world market, the Chinese were more desperate than they were right before the crisis to give the Mouse as good a deal (percentage-wise) as the HKDL deal. After the bottom dropped out of the financial market the Walt Disney Company was in a far better hand. The Chinese needed them more than the company needed the government to enter the Chinese market. Jobs are after all, a great way to sedate unrest. Having a full stomach can shut a complaining mouth, one could put it. It got several concessions that previously weren't on the table. So plans actually moved forward, rather than backward in this present, unstable time.

All eyes will be watching though to see if Iger has learned from Eisner's follies. The former CEO's first foray into the foreign theme park business was Disneyland Paris aka: Euro Disneyland, a park of stunning beauty and much more fully developed than later parks bearing Eisner's touch. The glut of hotels he wanted help create a situation where everything after it was restrained when it came to letting WDI design wondrously magical parks. After the economic problems of Paris everything new felt small, calculated and cautious, the result of bean counters without imaginations. Not Imagineers, creators of worlds that took you to amazing places. Eisner seemed to blame them for the failures more than his own inflamed and overly protected ego.

Iger will have his ego tested when plans are produced for Shanghai. Will he have learned the lessons of under-building a park? Will the staples of almost every other park, the Pirates, Haunted Mansion and IASW attractions, be included in the first phase? How will he incorporate Pixar properties into this park? They're not partnered properties anymore, but fully owned and a staple of the Disney Empire as much as Winnie the Pooh or Darth Vader (ahem). Will he go for a unique design or just clone most of the elements of previous parks? Will the presentation art be as great as what we've seen for Euro Disneyland, Tokyo DisneySEA, even DCA and the original work from Hong Kong, or will it be like the lackluster, cartoony examples we got from the the HKDL Expansion? These and many more questions remain to be answered. This will Iger's first test on what his vision of a Disney theme park is and the entire Disney world will be watching.

And waiting...

37 comments:

MarkTwain said...

This is just as big a test for Jay Rasulo as it is for Bob Iger. I can easily imagine WDI coming up with some stunning ideas that get approval, only to be vetoed by Rasulo and replaced with something cheap (a la Toy Story Land). Overall, though, I expect we'll be impressed.

Honor Hunter said...

As much as it pains me to say this, Jay Rasulo wasn't the man problem. The HK Government was the problem with their rejection of almost every idea Disney had for the area. And the ideas were pretty good. Hopefully, the deal with Shanghai will give the Mouse more leverage.

And let's wait and see what the Toy Story Land turns out to look like. The artwork leaves a lot to be desired, but the land and attractions may not...

Dan said...

I don't have very high hopes for the Toy Story Land attractions. To be quite honest, their just generic carnival rides with a Pixar stamp on them. However, there certainly is hope for the Land as a whole, I believe. Seeing what they did with the Mr. Potato Head AA for TSMM gives me hope that the land will be filled with more AA's of Toy Story characters, and I think in the Hong Kong concept art you can even see a large Rex interacting with you. I guess we'll see though.

On the Shanghai Front, I'm very optimistic. All preliminary reports indicate a VERY large budget, and even if we only get completely original E-Ticket for the whole park, as long as they include all the lands and staple attractions as you said with room for future expansion, it's a win in my book.

Anonymous said...

Typography=topography

The Chinese are tough negotiators and are very conservative. I would predict a lot of clones of recent attractions at this park too.

PirateGuy 815 said...

I hope this is more successful then Hong Kong. The Chinese government is way too strict with what they want in the theme parks. I hope Disney knows what they're doing.

Anonymous said...

Hint.. the weenie at Shanghai is going to be a giant Luxo lamp!! Thats gonna look awesome!! It will move and light up at night!!

The lands are going to be Fantasyland, Adventureland, Superheroland, Celebrityland and of course Pixarland!!

Gonna rock!! Can't wait!!

MCP said...

I was going to break into the Kremlin to squire some military files, but my calculations showed me their demise.China is the Communist power now. They are very clever about it though. They have adopted an almost free market system yet still control their society.

End of Line.

PirateGuy 815 said...

I hate to get political, but... Walt would not have done this. He despised Communists. It's abigger slap in the face them DCA ever was. I just hope the park itself is all right.

Anonymous said...

^^^ You're an idiot.

You don't know what Walt "would do" - alas no-one does.

Walt is dead. Long gone.

Anonymous said...

China is a great place.
The Chinese are very good people.

Plus Chinese food is tasty :)

PirateGuy 815 said...

I'm just saying how everyone hates DCA because Walt wouldn't have wanted it. And they use that to justify why they hate DCA.

I do not hate China. I'm trying to show how ridiculous that "What walt would have wanted" statement is.

DCA said...

Disney's China Adventure

Visit China. In China.

Tiger Mountain Rapids.
Soarin' over China.

Hollywoodland featuring Pixar, Tower of Terror, and Marvel Town.

Noodle Factory tour.

Seaside amusement park area with Shanghai Bay water show area, China Screamin Coaster, Mulan Fan Wheel, and Toy Story Midway Mania.

No trains, monorails, boats, or period vehicles needed, and bring in one of the retired parades from another park. Easy, nothin' to it.

Anonymous said...

that's not true about DCA not being what Walt would have wanted. there were plans drawn up before Disney's death for a 2nd gate in Anaheim with a California theme. over on jim hill's site there was an entire article about it from official documents. nobody truly knows what is in the WDI archives so saying what Walt would have done or not done is beginning to become a cliche.

Spokker said...

Considering Walt Disney ruined the careers of several people in Hollywood because he believed they were Communists, I do feel quite confident that he would not have done business with China, at least to keep up appearances.

Of course, you can't say for sure what Walt would have done, but if he did do business with China, he'd be a hypocrite.

Dan said...

Well, if Walt was opposed to the economic policies supported by Communist governments, he would have had no problem with dealing with Modern China as they are communist in name only, and have embraced free market/capitalist principles. However, if he was opposed to the totalitarian/one-party governments and human rights violations, then would not have approved of the WDC's current dealings.

Anonymous said...

Oh shoosh Spokker, stop trying to act like a normal poster on here.

Sooner or later you'll be banned... then where will you go...

Honor Hunter said...

Really Spokker?

Walt destroyed some people who he "believed" were Communist?

Care to name names?

;)

Anonymous said...

D23 Announcement? Pretty Please?

Spokker said...

http://articles.latimes.com/2007/jul/21/local/me-hilberman21

http://www.cartoonbrew.com/classic/rip-david-hilberman.html

Urban Myth said...

From Spokker: "Walt Disney ruined the careers of several people in Hollywood because he believed they were Communists..."


From the LA Times: "David Hilberman, whose union activities at Walt Disney Studios and brief membership in the Communist Party led to his blacklisting..."



Sounds like to me, Walt was right. He was a Communist. No, "BELIEVED" about it.

I don't think I'd want someone that was the member of a party that was supported and funded by a nation bent on our destruction. How dare Walt do that.

Don't blame him for wanting to keep his company and country safe.

Get a like, Spokker. The facts are even against you when you argue this. Please.

Michael said...

Honor Hunter -
Let me start by saying that I thoroughly enjoy reading all the updates, insights, and facts that you post. However, could you PLEASE proofread your posts before you actually post them?
The regular spelling and grammatical errors, along with omitted words, are very distracting when I'm trying to follow your otherwise very intelligent train of thought. On your "Blogger" profile, you claim your occupation is a writer. What sort of professional writer makes so many blatant errors? Please take the extra moments to proofread your posts, it will be well worth your time.

robert said...

hey i am thought they are giong to bult to three new theme land in hong kong disneyland afer they deal they should gone to start to bult . what went worng .

Honor Hunter said...

Michael said: "What sort of professional writer makes so many blatant errors?"

One that doesn't use an editor on his website...

He's too expensive for this personal stuff. Nice to just write in a stream of consciousness kinda way, though.

Hehe...

Spokker said...

"Don't blame him for wanting to keep his company and country safe."

What do an animator's political ideals have to do with his ability to draw a picture?

Walt was a paranoid nut, plain and simple.

Michael said...

Honor Hunter,
That is a valid point, and I understand where you're coming from. For the most part, I can overlook simple spelling errors (not even notice them at times) but what really interferes with my concentration on what you're writing is when whole words, or suffixes, are missing. Such instances tend to textually change the intended meaning of the sentence, and I have to stop and figure out what you're trying to say.

I enjoy your steam of consciousness writing style, with it's inherent conversational tone, and am not suggesting you make any changes in that regard. I simply ask that you do a quick read-through before posting, so you can make any corrections, in order to provide a smoother and more enjoyable reading experience. Thanks for taking the time to reply to my comment, and I hope my remarks are not taken as negative or overly critical. I really do enjoy all the interesting stories and topics you discuss in your posts, and I consider your opinions and ideas to be well formed and equitable, if not thought-provoking.

Anonymous said...

Keep it up spokker...

Continuing to whine when you're in the wrong was what got you banned from MI.

Keep it up, get angry, be an idiot!!! Please!

Dysitopic Enuciator said...

Spokker said: "Walt was a paranoid nut, plain and simple."

This from a man that says he loves Disney and hates the company getting away from where it used to be.

As for him being a nut, you didn't really address the flaw in your previous statement. You said he "believe they were Communist," which is a long way from someone actually being an acknowledged member of the organization. YOU conveniently avoided that, after stating the exact opposite. You imply that Disney was paranoid, but what do you call it when you're paranoid and it turns out to be your right? I wouldn't call them a nut.

As for you saying "What do an animator's political ideals have to do with his ability to draw a picture?"???

Well, the man was a member of an organization that wanted to DESTROY the country. Are you unclear as to what that means?

Would you say the same thing if he were a member of MAMBLA? Of course, what does liking having sex with little boys anything to do with his ability to draw a picture?

You don't know how to use reason or logic very well, do you Spokker? I must say, you're about as deep as a bottle cap.

Aaronius Lives said...

Like it or not, Disney has already built a theme park in a land that is "communist." Mind you, there has never really been a communist country. There have totalitarian governments and dictatorships that use the name "communist." And to look at China and see "communist" is incredibly incorrect. If anything, China is like the British Empire in the 1800s.

Uhhhhh...back to the original idea before we all went crazy.

(And it's "NAMBLA.")

Anyhoo, What I'd love for the Disney people to do here is to truly create a new park for the Chinese. One that caters to the Chinese spirit and desire. It's so easy to forget that Disneyland is based on the American experience. Right now, the Chinese experience is heating up, redefining economic and politcal realities, dreaming up cities and industries and the rest. The new park should reflect their day in the sun.

Magic King Dumm said...

Glad you know your Man-Boy Love organizations properly, Aaronius Lives!

Anonymous said...

Oooh-err someones getting a bit shirty on here.

Anonymous said...

Just wanted to say, you're all wrong!

stupidstupidstupidstupidstupid

Spokker said...

Hong Kong is considered the freest economy in the world in some circles, much more free than the mainland.

"Well, the man was a member of an organization that wanted to DESTROY the country. Are you unclear as to what that means?"

It's just more paranoia and propaganda.

Communists weren't that much of a threat and there was no reason to "contain" communism. The system falls apart on its own. No reason to get an animator blacklisted for some wacky viewpoints.

Daniel Day Lewis said...

Spokker you are making more and more sense recently.

Honor Hunter said...

He is?

That's just propaganda...

Anonymous said...

No he does. China isn't exactly the evil empire.

I feel most of the US just really resent that any other country or nation might also be a decent place, or might be nice people.

Get over yourself. The US is as bad as any other nation that you constantly hound upon.

Spokker said...

I'm partial to the Scandinavian nations myself.

Anonymous said...

Spok... why are you still pressing buttons on your keyboard?