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Should Disney Start Upgrading Older Animatronics or Leave Them Be?

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  • [Question] Should Disney Start Upgrading Older Animatronics or Leave Them Be?

    This question rises from a recent trip to the Disneyland Resort. While riding Splash Mountain, I couldn't help but notice the first of the geese on the left after the first drop into the first show scene. Every movement it made kept on making a "Pst" sound. The sound of rushing air from the air hydraulics, I could presume. Same thing on Pirates of the Caribbean. During the jail scene, the pirates kept on making "Pst" sounds (And sometimes they actually overpowered the audio). When compared to newer animatronics, such as Jack Sparrow and the cars from Radiator Springs Racers (The Sheriff still blows my mind as to how smooth it goes) they are near silent with very fluid movement.

    That got me thinking. Should Disney upgrade the older animatronics to become less noisy and possibly a bit more fluid? Of course there may be people who say, "Nooooooo. You're ruining a great ride by doing so!" Well, I just want to hear your opinion and your opinion only. Maybe compare and contrast different opinions and possibly come up with a middle point, possibly?

    (Of course there could be some exceptions, such as Abe Lincoln, but we can discuss that below)
    30
    Yes! I am all for updating them!
    40.00%
    12
    No! I am against updating them!
    0.00%
    0
    Maybe. Depends on what attractions and what animatronics.
    60.00%
    18

    Total Tender Rides: 20
    Total Lilly Belle Rides: 9
    Total Dapper Days Attended: 2
    Total Mark Twain Wheelhouse Rides: 5

  • #2
    Re: Should Disney Start Upgrading Older Animatronics or Leave Them Be?

    The goose on Splash was probably rescued from America Sings, so it may be in need of upgrading.

    The pirates are suffering indigestion from the makeover several years ago when they started chasing the women for their food instead of ... well ... you know ; )
    "She's taking everything. She's taking the house, she's taking the kid, she's taking the dog. IT'S NOT EVEN HER DOG. IT'S MY DOG! SHE'S TAKING . . . MY DOG!"
    - Ron Livingston, "Band of Brothers"

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    • #3
      Re: Should Disney Start Upgrading Older Animatronics or Leave Them Be?

      Well Tom Morrow is still there
      we can canabalize him
      Take a look at some of my models I make at kolbykonnection.com

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      • #4
        Re: Should Disney Start Upgrading Older Animatronics or Leave Them Be?

        The animatronics in Pirates have often been upgraded over the years, so I expect the jailed pirates will get their turn as well. I know the auctioneer pirate has gone through several upgrades over years for example.

        The RSR animatronics are just a pure wonder to me. I still can't believe they did what they did. No matter how much hype and accolades put upon RSR, it won't be enough in my opinion.
        sigpic
        Find our trip report videos on Youtube at FreshBakedDisney. Find our blog at www.freshbakeddisney.com.

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        • #5
          Re: Should Disney Start Upgrading Older Animatronics or Leave Them Be?

          If its making the "Pst" sound, that means its time for a new skeleton.
          sigpic

          What is thy bidding, my Mouseter?

          Check out my tumblr: http://dvader2015.tumblr.com/








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          • #6
            Re: Should Disney Start Upgrading Older Animatronics or Leave Them Be?

            i'm for updating if it makes things look more uniform; in pirates, it's obvious that certain characters are more modern that others.

            "oh, i just love happy endings!"




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            • #7
              Re: Should Disney Start Upgrading Older Animatronics or Leave Them Be?

              When something gets pressurized it has to relieve it somehow.

              For example lets say a balloon was under an AA and was used to raise the AA up and then lower it. You inflate the balloon to raise the AA, then let the air out to lower it.

              Modern electronics can move in two directions, so they don't need to relieve pressure like old pnuematic systems. The problem with switching them out is money. It cost a lot more to build new attractions like LM and RSR than HM and America Sings.
              Be Cool Stay in School!
              Next year I'm trying for a summer internship at Stark Industries.

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              • #8
                Re: Should Disney Start Upgrading Older Animatronics or Leave Them Be?

                I could think of a couple dozen other priorities ahead of it. Maintain but not replace. I'd hate to see them spend a ton of cash on something that will have a minor impact in the grand scheme and loose out on something big in TL or FL.
                With kind regards,
                The Tony

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                • #9
                  Re: Should Disney Start Upgrading Older Animatronics or Leave Them Be?

                  I think it largely depends on the show, and the purpose.. I'm going to play devils advocate here and say that probably all of the Pirates in Pirates of the Caribbean, baring the "special show guys" the ones that usually do the most talking (Auctioneer, Jack, Barbosa etc) really need to be phased out. The new guys look like there's actually a person standing there, and the old guard just aren't up to the task.. and that's kind of the point of riding pirates is to be amazed by details like that. I'd say the same would go for Haunted Mansion, if not for the fact that all the animatronics are in near total darkness with different kind of lightning than Pirate's full fledged set pieces. I don't think I'd do anything to Splash, or Small World.. Small World in particular fits it's purpose having dated robots.. but Pirates was always a spectacle, and I personally think it should stay that way.

                  Oh and if Disneyland had any shows left that used AA technology like Country Bears.. most certainly I'd like to see them upgraded to the fullest extent.

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                  • #10
                    Re: Should Disney Start Upgrading Older Animatronics or Leave Them Be?

                    Originally posted by AnimationGuy View Post
                    I think it largely depends on the show, and the purpose.. I'm going to play devils advocate here and say that probably all of the Pirates in Pirates of the Caribbean, baring the "special show guys" the ones that usually do the most talking (Auctioneer, Jack, Barbosa etc) really need to be phased out. The new guys look like there's actually a person standing there, and the old guard just aren't up to the task..
                    Yeah, you can really spot which ones are old and which ones are new right away, which isn't good. It compromises the internal reality of the experience.

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                    • #11
                      Re: Should Disney Start Upgrading Older Animatronics or Leave Them Be?

                      I know some may dislike doing this.....but I'd even be up for Upgrading the dark rides with high tech too.....make Pinocchio move more and blink...stuff like that
                      Happy Halloween!!!

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                      • #12
                        Re: Should Disney Start Upgrading Older Animatronics or Leave Them Be?

                        Yeah, I'm kind of torn. On one side, we have the Auctioneer on PoTC, perhaps one of the most lifelike animatronic figures in the park and has been updated numerous times. However, his fellow animatronic pirate figures are somewhat outdated in comparison to him so in that respect I feel some of the animatronics on PoTC should be upgraded a little bit, but not too much.

                        Then we have an attraction like the Tiki Room. Truly a classic and one of the father attractions for audio animatronics and although the bird's movements are simple and looking a tad outdated, giving then a complete overhaul technologically would take away from how classic that attraction is.

                        So for me, it's a toss up. So attractions that are older and more classic should stay relatively the same as far as the quality of their animatronics but some relatively new rides deserve an upgrade such as Splash Mountain.

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