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  • 3/13: Whirl of Color

    Kevin has part one of a new Fantasyland photo tour. Discuss it here...

    DIRECT ARTICLE LINK: Whirl of Color - MiceAge.com
    "Politics is the profession whereby the inevitable is made to seem a great human achievement" - Quentin Crisp

  • #2
    Re: 3/13: Whirl of Color

    I've heard Kevin's objection before, voiced by others:

    There's a tiny spark of objection in my consciousness here, having to do with the theme overall. Disney parks provide simulated environments for escapism. Do we want/need an escape to a carnival-type atmosphere? The same problems plague Dino-Rama and Paradise Pier in Disney California Adventure. I don't like the theme there, too. It could be a very well-themed simulation, but if it's a simulation that's kind of close to what we're actually DOING, then it's a lot less obvious why to even bother.
    It misses the point. The kind of circus being portrayed in this new land never existed, and certain doesn't today. This is exactly what Fantasyland is supposed to be: A fantastical portrayal of something that was real - but never like this. This isn't a recreation of the kind of modern parking-lot carnival that anyone today would see, but a romanticized 30s-era *circus*.

    This is different from Dino-O-Rama, which is simply a very clean version of something that really does exist today: The parking lot carny. Dino misses in that it *should* have aimed more squarely at the now-existinct Route 66 roadside tourist trap, which is still allegedly how it presents itself. The addition of the midway games, however, clearly pegged it as a shopping-mall carnival, which is a shame.

    But there's no shame in Disney wanting to romanticize the great American circus. The reality of the circus may not have been much different than that of today's State Fair carnys, but Disney isn't dealing in the reality anymore than they do over at Jungle Cruise or in Frontierland.

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    • #3
      Re: 3/13: Whirl of Color

      There's a tiny spark of objection in my consciousness here, having to do with the theme overall. Disney parks provide simulated environments for escapism. Do we want/need an escape to a carnival-type atmosphere? The same problems plague Dino-Rama and Paradise Pier in Disney California Adventure. I don't like the theme there, too. It could be a very well-themed simulation, but if it's a simulation that's kind of close to what we're actually DOING, then it's a lot less obvious why to even bother.
      Back in the 1950's, when circuses were enormously stronger in American culture that they are today, Disneyland had a circus. They even tied it in with the megapopular Mickey Mouse Club. Top acts, a quality show. It flopped.

      Walt learned what TDO is about to re-learn: circus doesn't sell. Big top = boring. A circus cobbled together out of cartoon characters? Please.
      "With the acquisition of Marvel and now of Lucasfilm,
      Disney may have finally found the grail. You don't need
      imagination or art. All you need is a brand."

      - Neil Gabler

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      • #4
        Re: 3/13: Whirl of Color

        Nice update Kevin.

        I also was skeptical about the circus-theme for the new land. After all, circuses are kind of gritty. It was a really keen observation you made about the relatively pristine Dumbo with cheery colors and the train station with the more classical run-down circus look. You can even seen the difference with the trash cans, some are bright stripes of orange and white, and others have weathered wood slabs painted on them.

        I really love the look of the Dumbo ride! It looks awesome at daytime and at night, a lot of great colors, and I can’t wait to see how the interactive queue plays out. I am a fan of the original Dumbo, so its nice to see the Dumbo-theme expanded upon.

        I think that the ‘run-down’ circus feel of the rest of the mini-land obviously was made to closely match the Great Goofini ride. After being to MK hundreds of times, I never rode the Barnstormer (nothing to see), and didn’t really enjoy this area of the park. Because the Dumbo looks so good, I would ride the Great Goofini just to see the Dumbo and experience more of the Circus theme, especially at night. I am surprised that they didn’t tear out this coaster and put in a Casey Jr. Circus train like in Disneyland as the land practically is begging for one, and the GG is ho-hum in itself.

        The train station looks a lot better than I thought it would, even though it doesn’t quite scream Fantasyland, the metal work uses a darker patina than I would have selected, but it is solid and very much adds to the circus story of the land and is better than some other train stations.

        The massive new bathrooms . . . I didn’t like how it looked in concept art drawings, too much like an industrial-looking abandoned warehouse. What was actually built looks a lot better, even though it kind of hides the train station, I think it would have been better to have built the bathrooms off to the side somewhere. They really add to the circus-atmosphere of the land.

        I think that the stone walls look . . . cheap, rushed? They are the same type you would find around chain restaurants like Macaroni Grill, simply build a regular cinder block wall and add some stones cut on one side. Cheaper to maintain than painted railwork, cheaper to build than custom metalwork. I don’t see stones walls in Dumbo’s circus, but do see them in the rest of the New Fantasyland.

        As a whole, this new mini-land looks great. From this point forward, expect at least one Dumbo to always be running as in future refurbs they can shutdown one Dumbo at a time and leave the other one going. If they don't add a Casey Jr. Circus Train ride, and/or at least a Storybookland Canal boat ride, then it would be a crime against humanity in my opinion.

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        • #5
          Re: 3/13: Whirl of Color

          Originally posted by Mr Wiggins View Post
          A circus cobbled together out of cartoon characters? Please.
          Dumbo was in the CIRCUS in the movie, and Casey Jr. was a CIRCUS train. Seems like good theming to me. Please.

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          • #6
            Re: 3/13: Whirl of Color

            Typo in the opening sentence. The date is incorrect.
            "JESUS!!! That's Cold!" -- Walt Disney's final words.

            "You hear people talk about, 'I don't think Walt would like this,' or 'I don't think Walt would like that.' You have no idea what Walt would want! No clue whatsoever! Because the people that worked with him day in and day out didn't know what Walt wanted. Walt didn't know what he wanted 'til he wanted it."
            -- Randy Thornton, Walt Disney Records

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            • #7
              Re: 3/13: Whirl of Color

              Originally posted by brassplayer View Post
              Typo in the opening sentence. The date is incorrect.

              Should read, "On Monday March 13...."
              Today is March 14.
              http://twitter.com/wdwprince

              http://youtube.com/wdwprince

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              • #8
                Re: 3/13: Whirl of Color

                Originally posted by chesirecat View Post
                After all, circuses are kind of gritty.
                So was medieval Europe - but not Fantasyland. So is the jungle in Africa - Adventureland. So was the American frontier - Frontierland.

                The point is that people can be nostalgic about things, and Disney theming often plays off of that nostalgia by cleaning it up and making it pretty and accessible. It's a Storybook Circus, not a circus.

                And with circuses out of existence (that kind of circus anyway), it's a perfect theme for a corner of Fantasyland. It brings to life Disney characters that were circus characters.

                This isn't Walt's failed attempts to have a big top in Disneyland. I don't know why "circus" as a fantasy theme is any less eligible than the fantasized European village and "tournament tents" already in Fantasyland.

                The coaster makes no sense, though. No more than the Laugh Floor in Tomorrowland. They clearly just wanted to reuse the ride in building a dedicated "kiddie ride" area (which is a real shame, since most of the parks are more about experiences the whole family can share) to replace Toontown.

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                • #9
                  Re: 3/13: Whirl of Color

                  Originally posted by swrdfghtr View Post
                  The coaster makes no sense, though. No more than the Laugh Floor in Tomorrowland. They clearly just wanted to reuse the ride in building a dedicated "kiddie ride" area (which is a real shame, since most of the parks are more about experiences the whole family can share) to replace Toontown.
                  I think it still makes a ton of sense flying aces were, near the end of the great circus era, an exciting different part of the circus seen as the new cutting edge attraction. keep in mind, the great goofini in the ride is represented as a stuntman, getting fired out of cannons, throwing knives ect. these jack of all trade stunt people had large roles throughout many classic circuses.

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