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In Defense of Pirate's Lair on Tom Sawyer Island

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  • #46
    Re: In Defense of Pirate's Lair on Tom Sawyer Island

    Originally posted by Steve DeGaetano View Post
    Frontierland represents an amalgam of the Frontier--and the 1840s Missouri frontier shares equal footing with the southwest Big Thunder Mine or the Southern New Orleans Square.
    Exactly. TSI fits quite nicely into Frontierland's theme.

    One observation I'll make (though given the nature of some of the Pirates stuff on the island, it doesn't totally justify the overlay), is the American South's connection to pirate history.

    The New Orleans/Jean Lafitte connection aside, many of the channel islands off the coasts of Southern states were home to pirate activity and have a definite place in pirate lore.

    Note that TSI is accessed from the "Southern" side of Rivers of America (the entire arm from New Orleans Square to Critter Country is decidedly Southern). Think of TSI as a channel island off of say, South Carolina or Georgia, where Song of the South took place.

    Yes, TSI is a river island and officially a part of Frontierland. So I concede this thematic hurdle. But, think of it this way: You're in the South, you ferry over to a nearby island that has pirate stuff on it. That in and of itself (as in, forgiving the afore-mentioned hurdle) is a thematically authentic experience. What think ye, Steve?

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    • #47
      Re: In Defense of Pirate's Lair on Tom Sawyer Island

      /\
      Good try but I don't think he'll give you an inch.

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      • #48
        Re: In Defense of Pirate's Lair on Tom Sawyer Island

        But alas the pirates overlay no longer exists as it did when Pirates Lair first opened. Now it will sit for the next two years until summer 2010 and possibly deteriorate as Tom Sawyer's Island deteriorated away for the last 10 years.

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        • #49
          Re: In Defense of Pirate's Lair on Tom Sawyer Island

          Originally posted by MasterGracey View Post
          I see what you're getting at.

          I think it's a weak argument, and seemingly the reasoning WDI uses quite frequently these days.

          It's like Toy Story Midway Mania in DCA. A beautifully-themed victorian building on a 1920s seaside pier. But nevermind when you get inside -- it's all contemporary and uses overtly modern technology to carry the show.

          This sort of half-hearted Imagineering where an attraction looks thematically appropriate from the outer facade, but is completely out of place on the inside does not justify it for being completely out of theme. Just because Pirate's Lair on Tom Sawyer Island looks appropriate from the outside (pirate flags, singing pirates, and piratey rafts notwithstanding) doesn't mean it is thematically appropriate for Frontierland or even New Orleans Square.
          Wow... you should research how Matterhorn looked from the inside when it was built. Or we could talk about Tomorrowland station... possibly even America Sings... what about Club 33? or the decision to not cover up the Guests in Blue Bayou... MANY Times the shell technique has been used, and it works.

          Originally posted by MasterGracey View Post
          Pirates of the Caribbean directly relates to its New Orleans Square setting. The only issue with Pirates of the Caribbean is the attraction's temporal setting, yet, this is taken care of via the waterfalls that effectively work as a time travel mechanism for the rider.
          Originally posted by HMF View Post
          And POTC fits ' Why?
          POC Has NOTHING to do with NOS and everything to do with the Caribbean... hence the name... aside from Layfette there isn't even a documented Pirate in LA!

          So again... when there is a lack of characters how do you justify a blemish in theme? It seems to me that shipwrecks, rocks, and old buildings would be prevelant in the 1800's as well. The enitre "it doesn't fit" argument thus far has been the view of the island from the River... when the characters are not present you see an island... which would fit...

          If you wish to discuss the topic of the island then we can also discuss the topic of Indy and Swiss Family being side by side... minor time warp there... or we can talk about Star Tours and the appropriateness of CircleVision...
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          • #50
            Re: In Defense of Pirate's Lair on Tom Sawyer Island

            I rather enjoy the pirates theme. Otherwise the island doesn't have too much of a draw for me. I like that they gave it a new update. I liked it more when they had the pirates ON the island... it gave it a better feel. Though I wish they'd bring all the pirates back onto the island.
            For certain you must be lost to find the places that can't be found. Elseways, everyone would know where it was.

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            • #51
              Re: In Defense of Pirate's Lair on Tom Sawyer Island

              Originally posted by techskip View Post
              Wow... you should research how Matterhorn looked from the inside when it was built. Or we could talk about Tomorrowland station... possibly even America Sings... what about Club 33? or the decision to not cover up the Guests in Blue Bayou... MANY Times the shell technique has been used, and it works.
              I'm well aware of how the Matterhorn appeared inside in its early years. But it's a bad example -- the Matterhorn was always planned to feature ice caverns and an abominable snowman. However, budget and other projects got in the way.

              From Jason Surrell's "The Disney Mountains" book (page 27):
              "Walt had always intended the show to be just as compelling within the mountain's dark tunnels and icy caverns as it was on the snow-covered slopes and ridges outside. But, like other classic attractions, including Pirates of the Caribbean and The Haunted Mansion, the Matterhorn's 'second phase' was indefinitely postponed when Walt and his Imagineers were sidetracked by the 1964-1965 New York World's Fair.
              What might come to a surprise to longtime Disneyland fans is that the abominable snowman, a now-familiar figure, has been planned for the Matterhorn from the very beginning. The Imagineers were hard at work on the abominable snowman and the rest of the interior during the attraction's busy first year or two of operation. In fact, Harriet Burns had gone a long way toward finishing a full-size, fiberglass-and-fur cloth mock-up of the abominable snowman. The original intent was for the mythical monster to haunt the Matterhorn on opening day, but there just wasn't enough time or money to accomplish everything Walt wanted to do by then. Walt pulled the plug when he realized the attraction was a big hit without an interior show."


              As for America Sings -- that attraction was created for a special celebration and I think even Tony Baxter acknowledged the show's thematic issues with Tomorrowland in a DVD release somewhere. I can try to find that if you want.

              Club 33 is a private club. I also don't see much of an issue with the Victorian theme of Club 33. Seems appropriate enough to me.

              And what's wrong with the Blue Bayou? The restaurant, from the Pirates of the Caribbean bateaux is supposed to look like a big dinner party on the patio of a big New Orleans plantation house. What's wrong with that?


              Originally posted by techskip View Post
              POC Has NOTHING to do with NOS and everything to do with the Caribbean... hence the name... aside from Layfette there isn't even a documented Pirate in LA!
              From page 22 of Jason Surrell's "Pirates of the Caribbean: From the Magic Kingdom to the Movies" book:
              Among the assignments Walt gave to Marc Davis when he first came to WED in 1961 was the wax museum in the basement of what was then still the Blue Bayou Mart, an attraction that has been in a more active state of development since 1958, when the first rough site plan was created. Marc designed a second, more detailed view of the Pirate Wax Museum in the early 1960s, shortly after he began working for WED. The walk-through attraction would showcase the dark side of the Delta City, long known as a land of pirates, vampires, and voodoo, undoubtedly influenced by Madame Tussaud's Wax Museum and its infamous Chamber of Horrors in London.

              Surrel goes on to give interview excerpts from Imagineers telling how Walt Disney ultimately (and inadvertently) named the attraction "Pirates of the Caribbean." Surrell also notes the historical research Davis did on pirates of the time period... and the ultimate decision to skew more romanticized, rather than historically accurate. So all-in-all it seems the approach to Pirates of the Caribbean in New Orleans Square was more of a romanticization of New Orlean's reputation for the dark and weird -- pirates, voodoo, vampires, etc. -- whether or not it was accurate thematically or historically. The Pirate walk-through wasn't the only time these themes were explored for New Orleans Square, either. There's a voodoo priestess' shop up on an upper level of New Orleans Square, near the back of the French Market. Also, Rolly Crump's infamous "Museum of the Weird" explored these themes heavily, and the voodoo and vampire themes can be seen in some old Haunted Mansion concept art, too.

              But I guess if there is a problem with the Pirates attraction in New Orleans Square, thematically, then it would have to be taken up with Walt Disney.
              Last edited by MasterGracey; 12-19-2008, 01:48 AM.

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              • #52
                Re: In Defense of Pirate's Lair on Tom Sawyer Island

                So we excuse a Victorian Theme in 1860's NOS because it is a Private Club, we excuse the manner of dress of modern tourists in 1860's bayou because it is a modern restaurant, and we excuse the Pirates in modern NOS because Walt put them there... but Pirates hidden on the island are unacceptable? In all 4 cases cited only the facade matches the theme!
                "Happiness is a Low Water Level"

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                • #53
                  Re: In Defense of Pirate's Lair on Tom Sawyer Island

                  I don't recall the pirates as too hidden, Skip. When we steamed past the area on the Mark Twain last year, all I could think of when I saw what I saw on the island was that I was no longer on a Mississippi sternwheeler in the 1840s. The illusion was destroyed.

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                  • #54
                    Re: In Defense of Pirate's Lair on Tom Sawyer Island

                    Originally posted by techskip View Post
                    So we excuse a Victorian Theme in 1860's NOS because it is a Private Club
                    My knowledge about Club 33's interior decoration is very limited, but if it does clash with NOS, I'm slightly inclined to accept it because it's almost like a backstage area to most guests. Not a chance they'll ever see it. Still, thematic consistency would nice.

                    we excuse the manner of dress of modern tourists in 1860's bayou because it is a modern restaurant
                    That's always going to be a problem with any part of the park. We have to excuse seeing modern tourists in the future, in exotic jungles, in a quaint European village...that's just an unfortunate necessity in the theme park business. Besides...with the low lighting and distance and positioning, I find it quite hard to tell what the guests are wearing. It's not difficult to imagine it as an in-theme dinner party on the plantation house's terrace.

                    and we excuse the Pirates in modern NOS because Walt put them there
                    Pretty much. There's the business with Jean Laffite and so forth, but that's a rather tenuous connection. Pirates of the Caribbean is excused because it's a masterpiece, because the transition between NOS and the Caribbean is exceedingly well executed, and because it's been there so long that it becomes easy to forget how different it is from NOS...but if we approach things objectively, it's just as much of a thematic disruption as PLOTSI. Less of one in the sense that it's hidden, and more of one in the sense that it's not so much a childhood fantasy as it is a real adventure through the days of the pirates.

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                    • #55
                      Re: In Defense of Pirate's Lair on Tom Sawyer Island

                      Originally posted by Datameister View Post
                      My knowledge about Club 33's interior decoration is very limited, but if it does clash with NOS, I'm slightly inclined to accept it because it's almost like a backstage area to most guests. Not a chance they'll ever see it. Still, thematic consistency would nice.
                      Victorian theming in 1860s New orleans Square is perectly IN theme--The 1860s were smack dab in the middle of the Victorian era.

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                      • #56
                        Re: In Defense of Pirate's Lair on Tom Sawyer Island

                        I know that most of the arguments so have been about the theme and if it fits or does not fit. However, I want to make the argument that pirates lair saved TSI.

                        When I had heard that TSI was going to shut down for the make over I went the week before the shut down and spent 2 hours taking pictures and going over every inch of TSI. And I must say that it was in really sad shape. Many things like the teeter-totter rocks and other things which had made TSI fun had been removed by the lawyers’ years ago. It’s had to explain how lifeless the place way. In the two hours I was there I saw maybe two or three other families or groups.

                        Now that pirates lair is in place I see full rafts and lots of people having a lot of fun.








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                        • #57
                          Re: In Defense of Pirate's Lair on Tom Sawyer Island

                          Could the island not have been improved and still kept in theme?
                          Last edited by Steve DeGaetano; 12-19-2008, 09:20 AM.

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                          • #58
                            Re: In Defense of Pirate's Lair on Tom Sawyer Island

                            Originally posted by Steve DeGaetano View Post
                            Victorian theming in 1860s New orleans Square is perectly IN theme--The 1860s were smack dab in the middle of the Victorian era.
                            Ah, good.

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                            • #59
                              Re: In Defense of Pirate's Lair on Tom Sawyer Island

                              Originally posted by techskip View Post
                              So we excuse a Victorian Theme in 1860's NOS because it is a Private Club, we excuse the manner of dress of modern tourists in 1860's bayou because it is a modern restaurant, and we excuse the Pirates in modern NOS because Walt put them there... but Pirates hidden on the island are unacceptable? In all 4 cases cited only the facade matches the theme!
                              Why would anyone need to 'excuse' a Victorian themed Club in a land set in the 1860's?
                              WD didn't put pirates in 'modern day' (1860s) NOS.

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                              • #60
                                Re: In Defense of Pirate's Lair on Tom Sawyer Island

                                Originally posted by fo'c's'le swab View Post
                                WD didn't put pirates in 'modern day' (1860s) NOS.
                                This is a hard concept for many to grasp. Not sure why. Maybe because the entrance to the attraction is in NOS?

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