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  • [Idea] Disneyland: Not the Same Without Implied Danger?

    Now, I know some will disgaree with me on this. But, I think it is a valid point when viewed against most (not all) popular attractions.

    I think the most successful attractions in Disneyland itself are the ones with implied danger. The two perhaps top rated "E-tickets", Pirates and Haunted Mansion, are rife with rather morbid imagery, and in Pirates, the threat of potential bodily harm (cannons, guns, fire, etc). They are memorable, exciting, and fun especially for these morbid touches.

    If it stopped there, I would agree, I might have nothing. But let's move on shall we? Indiana Jones Adventure. "Danger" stamped all over it, from the human skeletons lining the waiting area and triggered booby traps, to the famous giant rolling ball out to crush you and Mara's super-fun room of skulls of human sacrifices. Wheee! In Jungle Cruise, there are several morbid and dark visual gags, though played for laughs.

    The Matterhorn (sudden appearances of Harold and general aura of mysteriousness/danger coupled with bumpy roller coaster) and Star Tours (exciting battle against the Death Star) continue on, as being big-name attractions somewhat centric on danger/adventure aspects.

    Even Splash Mountain gets in on the act, with the singing happy cast of animals giving way to the ominous lift hill and menacing, wise-cracking vultures, more menacing score, and somewhat dark in tone scene of Brer Rabbit held captive, pleading not to be thrown over the hill into the Briar Patch.

    I admit, readily, there are plenty of non-danger/adventure attractions (Alice, Casey Junior, Tiki Room, Mark Twain, Storybook Land, etc) from the days of Walt and the early years, prior to 2000. These however are not the big ticket attractions discussed as "Disneyland classics", for the most part. Some that are considered classics, Peter Pan and Small World, buck the trend solely on charm and design. However, let's look at those added basically to Disneyland after 2000.

    Country Bears (always whimsical, but in later years, not as well attended), was replaced by Pooh Bear. Zero threat there, and general lukewarm reviews, if not outright dislike. Buzz Lightyear...zero peril/danger beats. Pixie Hollow...really?. Not one major attraction added to the park since roughly 2000 has balanced correctly the "threat/action" mood so integral, I feel, to Disneyland being enjoyable for everyone. Tower of Terror does it marvelously well, but I am exempting it from this conversation, due to being in DCA.

    Furthermore, efforts have been made to reduce the threatening or dark aspects in some cases (burning cabin going away, Haunted Mansion Holiday cartoon overlay with more whimsical tone), or the prime example, Stitch evicting the very well designed and genuinely scary concept Alien Encounter in Florida.

    Ghost Galaxy was a breath of fresh air, at least, in the park showing it can and is somewhat willing to do outright "scary" content. What do you think, is adventure and the safe sense of "danger" a thing of the past for Disneyland? Have the cartoons truly taken over, ensuring all will only be light, cheery, and forgettable fluff tied to new animated releases? At least with the Sleeping Beauty castle re-opening and overhaul, the menacing elements of the film were kept, along with the ominous portions of the original attraction. Not so with Buzz, Pooh, and their ilk. And that is a shame. Bring on the danger and adventure, I say, and let the cartoons take a backseat again for a while. The balance is tipping too far into "safe" or "watered down for kids" territory, I feel, without enough nods to the adventurous Disneyland of old.

    Your thoughts?
    when the spooks have a midnight jamboree....

  • #2
    Re: Disneyland: Not the Same Without Implied Danger?

    you can add Snow White's Scary Adventure to the list of danger themed rides.

    with all the dark imagery in that ride, i feel like i'm in immediate danger of death... of course until the end when theres a bunch of random flashing lights and doors open up to a very abrupt ".. And they lived HAPPILY EVER AFTER!" smiley faces. comfort. sigh of a relief that i'm still alive.

    should be an e-ticket. haha.
    -plagued

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    • #3
      Re: Disneyland: Not the Same Without Implied Danger?

      Agreed wholeheartedly. It's common knowledge that Disneyland has a light, warm, fanciful, charming side, as well it should - but Disney has leaned so heavily in that direction with a lot of its more recent output that you'd think that's the only thing there. I don't think every single element needs a big dose of perceived danger, but it needs to be there in moderation. Disney is very big on the story angle these days...but what is story without conflict?

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      • #4
        Re: Disneyland: Not the Same Without Implied Danger?

        Originally posted by Datameister View Post
        Agreed wholeheartedly. It's common knowledge that Disneyland has a light, warm, fanciful, charming side, as well it should - but Disney has leaned so heavily in that direction with a lot of its more recent output that you'd think that's the only thing there. I don't think every single element needs a big dose of perceived danger, but it needs to be there in moderation. Disney is very big on the story angle these days...but what is story without conflict?
        Good point, Data, and I should have been clearer perhaps. I in no way say that every attraction must have scary/horror/danger content. That would be silly. Disneyland has a image certainly of having charming attractions, and that's as it should be, but not to the point of neglecting of having exciting attractions or anything even slightly "edgy". As Walt Disney said himself roughly phrased, if you go for kids only, you're dead.

        There are several I like without it so much, Tiki Room is the best example, and Alice. But my big issue is, Disney seems to think these days only about being charming/family friendly as far as the parks go, and I take a lot of issue with that. Just not smart, or in the long run, interesting at all for me.
        when the spooks have a midnight jamboree....

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Disneyland: Not the Same Without Implied Danger?

          The problem is that such things as "Pirates" and THM were "edgy" when they arrived -- only some heavy lobbying from Walt changed the public perception that they didn't belong in the Disney universe. However, since Walt has been gone, the studio has gone way beyond the 5-year-old target market for cartoons and 11- and 16-year-old markets for live action.

          A good illustration is from Studio Ghibli. My young stepson-to-be is allowed to load the "Totoro" DVD any time he's permitted to watch TV, but "Grave of the Fireflies" is in the "Mom and Dad ONLY" collection, until he's old enough to deal with the concepts in there.

          In order to catch TODAY'S "edge," an attraction would have to be so far beyond Walt's era as to belong in a different park than you would find the Three Little Pigs and "Small World."

          Imagine a "Wrongsideofthetracksland" aimed at the late teens and young adults of today. Here is where you would put edgy PG-13 attractions which wouldn't be considered family-friendly.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Disneyland: Not the Same Without Implied Danger?

            Originally posted by darkfairycthulu View Post
            Good point, Data, and I should have been clearer perhaps. I in no way say that every attraction must have scary/horror/danger content.
            And just for the sake of me being clear, I didn't think you were suggesting that. I think we're on the same wavelength here. Luckily, there are even people at Disney who are, too. Here's a photo that someone else took at a convention or something and then posted here a while back - I saved it because I get a kick out of this slide, which is part of a presentation that a major Imagineer frequently does in a variety of venues.


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            • #7
              Re: Disneyland: Not the Same Without Implied Danger?

              Even Alice has an explosion. Mr. Toad has that railroad train you go under. Sleeping Beauty has Maleficent. Jungle Cruise has the gunshots that had me cowering in fear that he'd shoot the damn thing again. Mine Train had the wobbling rocks. Inner Space shrank you. Indiana Jones is nothing but peril. Pirates is a chamber of horrors for kids, far frightening than Haunted Mansion which is "supposed to be" scary. Scenes of peril are a staple of Disney films. Disney has made a science out of scaring kids to death.

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              • #8
                Re: Disneyland: Not the Same Without Implied Danger?

                Originally posted by Bob Weaver View Post
                Even Alice has an explosion. Mr. Toad has that railroad train you go under. Sleeping Beauty has Maleficent. Jungle Cruise has the gunshots that had me cowering in fear that he'd shoot the damn thing again. Mine Train had the wobbling rocks. Inner Space shrank you. Indiana Jones is nothing but peril. Pirates is a chamber of horrors for kids, far frightening than Haunted Mansion which is "supposed to be" scary. Scenes of peril are a staple of Disney films. Disney has made a science out of scaring kids to death.
                You forgot almost getting graunched in outer space, courtesy of McDonnel-Douglas . . .

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                • #9
                  Re: Disneyland: Not the Same Without Implied Danger?

                  You're right. And those inflating seats were WEIRD.

                  Even the dinosaurs in the Primeval World diorama were a threat when I was a kid.

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                  • #10
                    Re: Disneyland: Not the Same Without Implied Danger?

                    Yes, the adventures in Disneyland allow you to "survive" something and feel all the better for it. "Hurray for you -- you made it out!" I remember reading something (I think attributed to John Hench) that spoke of how the Park allows you to get that "pat on the back", the reassurance that you're going to be OK. It goes back to the seminal fairy tales we all grew up with, wherein there's always that menacing presence which is ultimately defeated.

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                    • #11
                      Re: Disneyland: Not the Same Without Implied Danger?

                      Submarine Voyage-- Giant squid and tottering columns (sorta).

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                      • #12
                        Re: Disneyland: Not the Same Without Implied Danger?

                        Storybookland Canal Boats: you get swallowed by a whale.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Disneyland: Not the Same Without Implied Danger?

                          The OP is made of WIN. I can not add to that most excellent post.

                          Our revels now are ended. These our actors, As I foretold you, were all spirits and Are melted into air, into thin air: And, like the baseless fabric of this vision, The cloud-capp'd towers, the gorgeous palaces, The solemn temples, the great globe itself, Yea, all which it inherit, shall dissolve And, like this insubstantial pageant faded, Leave not a rack behind. We are such stuff As dreams are made on, and our little life Is rounded with a sleep. mycroft16 on Twitter

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                          • #14
                            Re: Disneyland: Not the Same Without Implied Danger?

                            Originally posted by Datameister View Post
                            Here's a photo that someone else took at a convention or something and then posted here a while back - I saved it because I get a kick out of this slide, which is part of a presentation that a major Imagineer frequently does in a variety of venues.

                            Hah, that slide is awesome. Thank you Data, I love that...good to see someone out there gets it.
                            when the spooks have a midnight jamboree....

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Disneyland: Not the Same Without Implied Danger?

                              Originally posted by Werner View Post
                              Yes, the adventures in Disneyland allow you to "survive" something and feel all the better for it. "Hurray for you -- you made it out!" I remember reading something (I think attributed to John Hench) that spoke of how the Park allows you to get that "pat on the back", the reassurance that you're going to be OK. It goes back to the seminal fairy tales we all grew up with, wherein there's always that menacing presence which is ultimately defeated.
                              Exactly my point...the peril you survive isn't being built in much anymore, at Disneyland. It's seen too much as being "for kids", it seems. The worse that can happen is you'd be in peril of having your honey stolen in Winnie the Pooh.
                              when the spooks have a midnight jamboree....

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Re: Disneyland: Not the Same Without Implied Danger?

                                Originally posted by mycroft16 View Post
                                The OP is made of WIN. I can not add to that most excellent post.
                                Thank you very much Mycroft! I appreciate that quite a bit.
                                when the spooks have a midnight jamboree....

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Re: Disneyland: Not the Same Without Implied Danger?

                                  This is the issue I had when I heard about the new Radiator Springs Racers. Such a thrilling attraction design applied to a humdrum theme. Racing has no real stakes, especially when the guests can't really control the vehicles. Racing from danger or chasing something or escaping or anything with stakes puts an emotional investment into the attraction. Don't get me wrong, I'll enjoy speeding around in a car. But it'll be a purely physical thrill without engaging me mentally or emotionally.
                                  Women, they make the highs higher and the lows more frequent.

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Re: Disneyland: Not the Same Without Implied Danger?

                                    Originally posted by Professortango View Post
                                    This is the issue I had when I heard about the new Radiator Springs Racers. Such a thrilling attraction design applied to a humdrum theme. Racing has no real stakes, especially when the guests can't really control the vehicles. Racing from danger or chasing something or escaping or anything with stakes puts an emotional investment into the attraction. Don't get me wrong, I'll enjoy speeding around in a car. But it'll be a purely physical thrill without engaging me mentally or emotionally.
                                    Thank you Professor, you are quite right. This is an excellent point, I am glad you raised it. It's all about Disney perceiving characters need a ride, not that something will be an exciting experience or have personal involvement from guests, the way I see it from how Racers has been pitched.
                                    when the spooks have a midnight jamboree....

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Re: Disneyland: Not the Same Without Implied Danger?

                                      That is so true. I wait for the day that the DLR gets a thrilling ride at the "Dinosaur" level. I'm thinking that the updated star tours and little mermaid attractions may be thrilling- well to an extent.
                                      ):lol::blush::bow::yea::sleep::thumbup::captain::clap::geek::im theone::meet::ap::squeeze::smart::angel:dMom

                                      Oh how I love smiles!

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Re: Disneyland: Not the Same Without Implied Danger?

                                        Originally posted by Professortango View Post
                                        Don't get me wrong, I'll enjoy speeding around in a car. But it'll be a purely physical thrill without engaging me mentally or emotionally.
                                        I wish I could say more, but for legal reasons, I can't. So all I'm going to say is...you're wrong. Very, very wrong. Understandably so, considering the limited information that's been made public, but still wrong. And when 2012 comes, you are going to be SO happy to experience the proof. :yea:

                                        Comment

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