Tuesday, September 7, 2010
Adventures Bye Disney...
Disneyland's Second Gate looks a lot like a walled fortress right now...
And as I've mentioned before, it's only going to get more so when the new year comes. This park will finally have the detail and theming that it has been lacking in for the majority of the last decade. I know many people have mentioned the lack of a cohesive them to the park, but it will have one when all this is done. I'm not saying it's as good as Tokyo DisneySEA's theming, which it's not (but really, almost nothing is as good as that park's theme). But it will have a theme and not everyone will like or approve it, but the theme will work to expand the offering that can be built there. With the addition of Cars Land, the park will primarily have four major themed areas:
The Front Entrance/Hollywoodland - Themed to the bygone era of Los Angeles of the late 20's/early 30's and Tinsel Town in the 40's.
The Golden State - Themed to a Californian National Park like the way Yosemite might have appeared as in the 50's.
Paradise Pier - Themed to a Victorian turn-of-the-century seaside pier along a mythical coast of a California that never was.
Cars Land - Themed to the sites one would have seen along historic Route 66 during its heyday in the 60's as California's gateway to/from the West.
See the narrative they're working with? Each of the four sections will be themed to a different time period of California. The adventures you will experience there will be Disney attractions that are tailored to go along with what would be happening during a specific period. Now, certain people are going to complain about some of this, but it doesn't bother me. Woody, Buzz and the gang are toys that populate an area of a midway where toys would be prizes that you could/would win. It's like they're staring in a period attraction instead of staring in a period film. That's the justification for seeing Mickey or Goofy walking around Paradise Pier. A lot of people seem to get upset when they talk about Mickey in Victorian times because he wasn't created yet, but it's a set piece and he's the star. No one complained that he wasn't around when he made "The Nifty Nineties," so how could he be in that time? It was him fitting the period. But Mickey will fit any period they put him in at the park and come 2012 he's going to look really nice walking around in an early version of Hollywood. And don't get me started about what it'll be like having him there in a new Californian themed Christmas/Holidays setting. And the Golden State will capture the spirit of what it was like to have been in this fictional national park, with some left over memories of the mining company that occupied the land before it became a historic place. Cars Land will take you to a part of the state's past that many people have never experienced. These are Disney adventures via time capsules.
So each new attraction is planned to have a need to be presented in a period themed era and it'll be told from a distinctively Disney standpoint. And they'll play out on one of these four areas or eras if you like. This will allow Imagineers to dream up some interesting concepts and not be bound by the restrictions that the ill conceived opening day version of this park was. It's not the tightly constructed theming of Tokyo DisneySEA, but it is a much better master plan of a way to take this park in the direction of being or becoming a Disney Park.
And that is where it's needed to go...
Posted by Honor Hunter at 9:49 AM
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Where does Flik's Fun Fair fit in here? Is it still technically part of Golden State? Is it still going to be called Bug's Land without the Bountiful Valley area?
I can follow your logic, or is it backpedalling, and the 4 general themed areas kind of work in a sort of fuzzy logic way. Doesn't explain A Bug's Land though, and now that the farm area is being removed, it's just kind of there, between Hollywood of the '40s and Cars Land.
And I know that California has deserts, but Radiator Springs is really set in Arizona or New Mexico.
Let's face it, DCA is a hodgepodge of imported clones and Pixar attractions shoehorned into a struggling, loosely California themed park. One can easily explain the theming of Disneyland as having 4 cardinal realms, Fantasy, Adventure, Frontier and Tomorrow, or TDS as being about nautical exploration with 7 ports of call, but DCA needs to be explained to the lay person in a short paragraph, with a few asterisks and sidebars, and it still doesn't really make much sense. It wouldn't have been designed this way if they had started from scratch. It's been a series of more and more expensive fixes.
The theming based on specific periods of time is all well and good, but I worry that a fun new attraction based on something like Wall-E, or Ratatoille, or Finding Nemo will be added in the future, and then there goes that logic too.
And one more thing, I know that Cars Land is costing hundreds of millions, and that the buttes will block some sightlines to the power poles and hotels, but you will see the Tower of Terror from inside the land, and the fake backs of the new mountain range are looking like they will be very plain, and very visible from all over the rest of the park.
"It wouldn't have been designed this way if they had started from scratch."
Well, duh! You can really state the obvious, can't you?
I understand what you're saying, but it's really being anal. Really. Yes, even Honor is saying it's not the elaborate explanation that DisneySEA is, but as much as I love EPCOT, it's theming is just a big, permanent World's Fair. It's not even close to what Walt wanted. Not even in the same galaxy and I don't hear near the whining about that. Would I have liked to have gotten DisneySEA here? Or even Port Disney? Hell, yeah, but it didn't happen and I'm over it. The new theming of showing Disney adventures across the spectrum of time is fine. It's not Disneyland or DisneySEA, but it works as a showcase of all that is the Disney experience from a setting of the state where all those dreams happened.
Or perhaps we could just go to Disney's San Diego Animal Park? Or Disney's Universal Studios Park? Or stop over to that World's Fair that was dropped into Florida? Or even that clone of Disneyland. Real original, hmmmm?
See how easy it is to be picky? Not very hard at all. I'm looking forward to the new theming and walking down an idealic version of the Los Angeles that Walt saw when he became the man is did. And viewing new experiences that the company he created in the time periods he was alive is fine by me.
Anyone know when they're going to install that HAT in Disney's park over in Universal City? That would be fun to see.
Well, not really, no.
Let's enjoy what we got, and that goodness we don't have the people in charge of the parks that were a decade ago. Then I'd be as depressed and down as everyone here.
Yes, Cars wasn't in California, but it was on the way to it. Route 66 was the experience that Lightning had as he moved along toward his goal and as much as that highway cut through all those states, California is the ultimate realization and representation of it. I feel Cars Land is kind of like exiting the state and heading on that grand adventure that was California. It's kind of like, on your way out west you stop in after visiting all those places that made Walt, Walt.
Hey, I'm glad we're getting all those new and detailed attractions. And the Buena Vista Street is going to look great, much better than the open mall that is there now.
As for Bugs Land, it represents the Golden State just fine. If you've ever been to Yosemite, you've seen areas like it. I've even seen a few bugs along the way!
I like that Tom Staggs is in charge of parks instead of Rasulo and absolutely in favor of Pressler. He seems like he genuinely cares, having met and talked to him a couple times in the park. With him and George in charge of the Resort, I don't think the next park we get, whenever that is, will be the disappointment that DCA was. That's something to be hopeful, and thankful for.
a bug's land is its own land, and the area encompassing Pacific Wharf, the performance corridor, and the Winery are supposed to be called El Camino Real.
DCA will not reflect California in a real way. You already said the Victorian Pier is a fantasy. All the other lands are in the past. It's the California of yesterdayland. It's a place and time that doesn't exist anymore. The backdrop is only an excuse for Pixar characters and rides.
I wonder if they will ever change the name of the park. DCA is much too tongue twisting. It's the same with all their other attraction names, which are typically 3 words. They must reduce the names to one "catchy" word. No one will call the new Radiator Spring Racers ride as anything other than "Cars". Same with "Mermaid" or "Tower" or "Screamin" or "Soarin". Just make it official. How about "DisneySouthLand"? The southland is what some refer to Southern Cal, which is most of DCA.
"With him and George in charge of the Resort, I don't think the next park we get, whenever that is, will be the disappointment that DCA was. That's something to be hopeful, and thankful for."
By the time a third gate gets considered for Anaheim -- if ever -- both Staggs and George K will be long gone. Neither of these execs will remain in their current jobs longer than a few years.
^Hopefully Iger will be gone too. And he can take junk like Marvel and the Muppets with him, and Disney will be somewhat cleansed of its current corporate taint and can get back to focusing on original, self-generated Disney concepts and inventions. And that includes reviving Imagineering instead of outsourcing, which has resulted in yeti fail and dragon fail. Disney's really pitiful right now. And it's Eisner's and Iger's fault. We need a SaveDisney Phase II...
A few points and questions of my own.
1. I too am confused where A Bugs Land (Flicks Fun Fair), will fit into all this.
2. It's easy to say if they got it right from the beginning we wouldn't be in this mess. Unfortunately they didn't so we're stuck with what they're giving us. I'm happy they have taken the initiative to rework the park and try to squeeze something better out of it.
3. I am all for a name change to the park. And while it would cost a lot for marketing and small changes around the park itself, I think it might benefit the overall morale of the park amongst greater parks around the world. Something along the lines of Disney Dreamland, or Disney Imagination Park. It could play a simple theme of transitioning between the real worlds to the world of imagination and dreams. From shrinking to the size of bugs, to interacting with talking cars, walking through the worlds of the past and future (hollywoodland, paradise pier)
4. A SaveDisney campaign can only go so far based on who is behind it. We have no face or name to drive it into success. With our friend Roy gone, it would be difficult. And lastly this would be Phase III not II.
While Disney is taking care of all the big stuff, I hope they don’t forget about the little details that make things really stand out. I for one am glad to see the Golden State section becoming more of a 1950’s era when going to the state parks was at the height of popularity. Would it kill them to get rid of that semi-surfing dude voice spiel on Grizzly River Run and replace it with Ranger J. Audubon Woodlore? The voice isn’t going to mean anything to kids except for what they should and shouldn’t do, but most adults would remember the voice. Who knows, maybe someone would even start doing the bump-bump dance. Maybe even have the ranger and Humphrey the bear walking around in the area? Maybe subtly put some Bambi characters in the attraction. LOTS of little things they could do just on the one attraction alone, not to mention a lot of other places.
The fact the A Bugs Land did not cost a lot makes me think that it would be very easy to remove that whole land in favor of something else. That space could easily be added to the El Camino Real section of the park. The fact that Honor has not included it makes me think that perhaps the bugs will be gone in the future...
As for the name change... It is not necessary. DCA will still be about California- just a romanticized one. That was DCAs problem in the first place. It tried to be a park where you could see all of California in 1 day. It didn't transport you to places that you can't see everyday. The different time periods work.
"Wall-E, or Ratatoille, or Finding Nemo will be added in the future, and then there goes that logic too."
Well they have robots, rats and fish in California, so it fits the theme perfectly. Also balloons and houses.
Honor.. can you clear some things up? 1st, a while back, you had said that the park was segmented ala streets like El Camino Real, Route 66, Santa Monica Blvd., Hollywood Blvd. etc... and now you say it's about chronological themes...
Which is it?
Anonymous #5 (alias Gigglesock the Troll), you are as dead as you always are and need to stop contaminating these blogs with your unnecessary, untrue, mean-spirited rhetoric!
DCA will not reflect California in a real way. You already said the Victorian Pier is a fantasy. All the other lands are in the past. It's the California of yesterdayland. It's a place and time that doesn't exist anymore.
Not at all like Disneyland, which is a totally up to the minute and current representation of the Western United States, Northern Europe and the Equatoral regions of the world.
Disney peddles in fantasy and does it best with things that either no longer exist or never did to begin with. Part of the downfall of DCA was that it was too heavily reliant on being current. The problem being that if I want to see Hollywood as it is now, I can just go to Hollywood. If I want to see an authentic seaside pier amusement park today, I can just go to Santa Monica. And so on.
California yesterland is perfect! It has a "here you leave today..." vibe, and it has something to offer both visitors and residents. The only thing I don't like is the emphasis on Pixar because A) I don't like Pixar, and B) Pixar makes their name through being very current and modern. It's not as easy a fit as, say, Ranger Woodlore or the Hyperion Studios would be.
DCA hits the geography of California with mountains, coastal, city/inland, farmland, and the soon to be opened desert(Carsland).
Its one of the few states that has just about every type of geography, and DCA will reflect that with its themed areas.
To the Anonymous who attacks people personally instead of offering any kind of mature, intelligent debate: I won't stoop to your level. Fact is, Disney definitely needs to shape up, and ditching deadwood like the Muppets would be a great start. Beefing up Imagineering would be another great move. I agree with Hunter that the DCA renewel is a great start, but after Murphy the dragon collapsed the other day, one wonders whether or not Disney has the talent or will anymore to bring ANY project through to a truly creative and crowd-pleasing conclusion. Two major technical failures do not make for good PR or customer confidence. Plus, while World of Color is another step in the right direction, it is, despite some nice effects, a very incoherent show. (Although it's a major plus that the Muppets don't appear in it anywhere) ;) . DCA has a lot of potential - but I doubt that potential will be realized unless a major housecleaning takes place within the Disney corporation. Stockholders like me have been dissatisfied with Disney corporate leadership for years. I'd had high hopes for Iger, but those hopes have been dashed. Just the same, I want to be optimistic, and I appreciate Honor's reporting of developments within the Mouse House (he gets news I don't, despite having some contacts myself within the organization). Things within Disney could turn around in a hurry - with the right leadership.
I'm a little concerned about the longevity of Cars Land. It's heavily reliant on the future success of the Cars brand. In 10 years will that land feel dated and obsolete? Don't get me wrong, I think it will be top notch. I love Pixar Cars but it just doesn't seem consistent with the theming of previous lands (in any Disney park)... it's Frontierland, not Davy Crockett land. It's called Mysterious Island, not 20,000 Leagues land. Dedicating an entire land to the Cars(TM) franchise seems a little... desperate maybe?
Watch what you say about Pixar, Cory Disgusting!
They've been saving Disney and helping them escape and recover from the dark Eisner years!
I too have been wondering the same thing. But I believe, if done right, Cardland will be able to survive even if Cars doesn't. The characters, save for the ones in RSR, could easily be ditched and the place could represent a small town on Route 66. RSR could become like Splash Mountain, where the average guest has no idea who the characters are because Song of the South has fallen off the face of the Earth.
Troll, why do I have to watch what I say about Pixar? Are you going to find me and punch me in the nose or something?
Gonk, technically Mysterious Island is based on 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea. Even though there is a ride identified with another Jules Verne novel, it has been redrafted to cohere with the look and "alternate history" version of 20K.
But that said, I agree with you. the difference with Disneysea dedicating whole ports to 20K or Little Mermaid is that those are established classics. Cars is a money engine and we haven't seen what kind of longevity it has. I see it, Bugsland and Jack Sparrow in PotC as the same sort of short-sighted exploitation of what is profitable right now. Even when Walt was laying Davy Crockett a bit thick on Frontierland, it was a a character representing the land, not as a land representing the character.
Cory, PirateGuy. Good comments... I'll buy that! I guess we just have to trust those imagineers.
btw, what the heck is going on with the backside of that mountain in cars land? It's just a giant wall? Would it have killed them to move the footprint of the rock by just a few meters to get SOME degree of slope down the backside?
Enough with the whining. It's not DisneySEA and never will be, but it will finally be a fun Disney park with high quality attractions.
I understand and agree with what Honor is saying. California Adventure will be a theme park that gives Disney experiences set in romantic-idealic representations of the Golden State that no longer exist or never were. I can live with it.
I expect the next park to have a great theme from the first day and not have to work so hard to become a Disney park. I think they've learned their lessons. If not, we'll teach them the second after they announce something that proves they haven't.
I also seem to have read some comments here and elsewhere that seems like Honor is covering for the park. I think anyone whose read Blue Sky for any length of time knows this is as far from the truth as possible. Look at any of his posts about DisneySEA or Port Disney or even WestCOT. I think he's been honest about DCA, but willing enough to take what they're doing and respect the results.
Now Disney, for the third park, Dark Kingdom, pllllleeeeeaaaaseeee??? That would be an awesome and unique park!
Paging Honor Hunter, paging Honor Hunter, please block or at least reprimand Cory Disgusting and Anonymous #9 (alias Gigglesock the stupid Muppet-hating, Marvel-hating Troll) for their overly-negative, hateful, discriminatory and untrue remarks before those two pesky insects contaminate this blog even further!
As for recieving personal attacks, the two of you deserve it, due to your intensely idiotic and ungrateful attitudes!
Bits of musings:
- Pixar has helped Disney immensely... and they have brought to the parks some wonderful characters and rides/attractions, well-loved by both children and adults.
- Adding Bambi characters/theme to the river raft ride would be GENIUS! I've always wanted to have *any*thing about Bambi at the parks and so far... nada.
- Personally we didn't care for California Adventure mostly because it was too... modernly California. I agree that renaming the park might be a good way to go. (Either that or focus more on the park being "an adventure IN California" rather than one "about" the state...) Until they do, those that insist it should remain true to "California" in theme/storyline as it was "designed" to be will keep hanging on to that original idea and the park will never seem Disney/fantasy/fun enough.
- Bugs Life/Land is just fine with us... it eliminates a LOT of "stroller traffic" in the rest of the park and is a great place for the toddler set to have their day at the park as well. (Never understood why people are so anxious to get rid of the things that the little kids love the most...) I do agree it should be kept separate from the main areas but there's nothing wrong with having it.
I think Bugs Land fits. I've always thought that it could be considered the "front garden" of the Hollywood Tower hotel, and its inhabitants have set up a carnival for us to play in. I think this park is going to be really snazzy once it's complete.
As for the name, Disney California Adventure, it helps to emphasize that this is a DISNEY California Adventure, not a REAL LIFE California Adventure. We are taking a journey with our Disney friends and exploring what once was of the Golden State.
MeRSiamese- The idea of integrating Bambi characters to the river raft ride is perfect! Did you hear that somewhere or is that you're idea? My kids just asked me recently why there was no Bambi at Disneyland!
Paging the emotionally-arrested Anonymous #24, if you can't take the truth in my posts, don't have your mother read them to you.
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