I got time...
Let me tell you a story...
Two actually. A tale really. The tale of two, possible future worlds. One is what the vision of Suits have for this world, and the other is what Creatives want for this world. You see the see the Suits see only profit and opportunity. The Creatives see ideas as the real treasure. The trick is finding somewhere in the middle. In a balanced world, the Creatives will find a way to prove to the Suits that their vision is what is needed, and creating something just for the sake of dollar signs isn't actually good for the bottom line in the end, as it diminishes what the Founder successfully created that made his company so profitable.
Translation is, originality and thinking outside the box to give the guest what they didn't know they wanted was how Walt Disney blazed his path to create a company that is now the pinnacle of, and largest deliverer of entertainment in the world.
This tale is of the Disney World part of that world.
There is a lot going on in that Florida haven right now. Construction of the Fantasyland Expansion, the continued work on expansion of Disney's Animal Kingdom with the fantasy animal park coming to fruition with the "Avatar" land, and most importantly, the addition and bringing new life into Disney's Hollywood Studios that will happen in the next few years.
This park has been waining over the past decade+. It has lost focus on what it is and where it is going. It's in the process of trying to find what it is trying to entertain guests with, to tell who it is really. It's beginning to shake off the narrative that it is the Mouse's alternative to Universal Studios and now trying to figure out what film experience it wants to tell to everyone entering it's gate. While DAK is expanding to a full day park with the myth element (albeit, a sci-fi mythical creatures design, not a fantasy mythical creature design) of the park, DHS is now planning on moving away from being a movie "tour" park, and being a movie "experience" park.
I have great hope for Walt Disney World. With the hiring of George Kalogridis, the languishing quality of WDW will finally be addressed. The lower standards that are accepted there as the norm will hopefully, slowly be replaced by what we expect in a Disney Experience. Kalogridis is a nuts and bolts guy, so we should expect operations, and quality to be made a much more prominent focus over the next few years. If you're unhappy with what you get there, please make sure you let guest relations know so that it reaches Team Disney Orlando. It has a much better chance of getting addressed with George now in charge.
Now, back to that vision thing. Here's what the dilemma is. Right now, actually the last few months of last year and into the new year, the company has been working with the decision of what path to move forward with on the expansion of Hollywood Studios. You see everyone loves success since it's so elusive in business. In a world where profit is king, you want to replicate what works. In Burbank's case, this means clone it. Duplicate it. Copy it and hope lightning strikes twice, or even three times. Such is the case with Cars Land, which is the single most profitable creation for the parks in twenty years. The easy answer for the Suits is to clone it, the more difficult answer from the Creatives is to recreate what made it successful.
I'm sure you've read all the rumors floating around the Internet about cloning Cars Land down in Florida. How it's going to go where the old Hollywood Backlot Area is and expand the Pixar Place area of the park. This is partially true. The Pixar Place area is where Imagineers expect to create the expansion of the park that I refer to, mainly at least. But therein lies the fight.
One path is that one. To clone Cars Land and expand the Pixar Place and give it a much grander imprint in the Hollywood Studios park. The shadow of the Lamp will fall heavily on this gate if that choice is the direction they head. It'll be destined to be a hit just like out here in California. There will be no shortage of demands if the land is announced, with its immersive theming and escapist fun that literally draws you into an animated world. This would make the Studio Backlot an inviting plot of real estate to put this WDI creation. Instant hit: just add three years of construction, hundreds of millions of dollars, and in 2015 you'll have a swarm of people descend on the Florida resort for the experience we have out here.
Then there is the alternative.
Expand the Pixar Place, but not with a clone. Imagine that? Now what would/could it consist of? Well, the area as pitched would have several other Pixar character creations. This lists rings like a laundry list of the last decades hits for Disney animation via Emeryville. Nemo ideas, lots of Toy Story ideas thrown around (including several attractions out of the "Toy Story Land" areas in Paris and Hong Kong), even talk of a Ratatouille clone like the one being built at Walt Disney Studios Paris (not likely, though, but not impossible). But the new E-Ticket surrounding all of these minor C and D Ticket attractions would be something better. Something incredible even.
Yes, that pun was intentional. The proposal, which wasn't a done deal when I talked to my Bothans near the beginning of the year, would involve the Brad Bird creation. If the Mouse decides to go the non-clone route, the largest part of the expansion would be an attraction based on "The Incredibles" film.
It's not the same one that was going to go into DCA when they were scrambling for something to stop the bleeding and the laughter, but it is a project that is designed to take you into the idealized world that Bird created where Supers were very real. This one would feature cutting edge technology, with animatronics and possible 3D/4D effects that rival anything done with Cars or the new Ratatouille ride.
It's part of what Lasseter wanted with each park having its own original creations. Attractions to make you want to travel to different parks for different reasons. Imagine that? The plan was to have two or three C-Tickets, budget permitting of course, and a large E-Ticket based on this film to define the entire area as a fully immersive experience of Pixar's imaginative stories. A Pixar land so to speak. Will that happen? It's a matter of numbers, time and justification of money that comes down to a battle of Suits and Creatives trying to figure what will be best. Cloning? Or creativity? So which side will win?
We'll likely find out what the answer is to that question sometime later this year...