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Personal Interactivity at Disneyland


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  • Personal Interactivity at Disneyland

    Disney seems more and more concerned that the theme parks are not competing very well with growing entertainment media such as games since many children, adolescents, and young adults, especially, express a preference for these experiences.

    I do not believe attractions like Buzz Lightyear and services like Virtual Magic Kingdom are appropriate responses, however, to this phenomenon since they are not organic to the theme park medium. They seem more like gimmicks awkwardly tacked onto otherwise conventional and pedestrian experiences.

  • #2
    Re: Personal Interactivity at Disneyland

    It's a tough thing to handle for Disneyland and trying to beat videogames at their own game with simplistic little in-ride goodies just flat out isn't going to work.

    Disneyland's big attraction was stepping into the world of fantasy. While video games are stuck on a tv screen, the possibilities in them attract people to that aspect more and more as graphics have gotten complex enough to support it.

    It's a lot harder to promot Autopia("where anyone can drive without a license!") when kids can play Grand Turismo and race through the world with real cars, etc. The latter is virtual, sure, but as it becomes more and more detailed, the scope of the fantasy starts outweighing the fact that it's on a tv screen.


    • #3
      Re: Personal Interactivity at Disneyland

      I think there is potential in designing smaller, individual ride vehicles that permit the user to have more control over their movement and in designing walk-through attractions that offer more chances for users to deviate from a single course. Disneyland offers this interactivity in some respects by the design of the area walkways, but not as much in others.

      Additionally, I think it might be wise to create more attractions that operate like arcades in that they give guests challenges and conflcits that said guests can have a personal hand in overcoming and that offer real rewards. These attractions cannot be personally-interactive in name only, though; they must be narrative experiences that fully involve and immerse the guests in physical environments.

      Allowing guests to live a story in a personally-interactive way means that the attractions have to give guests a fictional motivation that stands apart from the usual reasons a guest might engage in a particular activity at the park.
      Last edited by PragmaticIdealist; 06-22-2006, 01:54 AM.


      • #4
        Re: Personal Interactivity at Disneyland

        Let me also say that I do not believe passive entertainments are inherently worse than interactive ones because being a spectator has its advantages, too.

        Disneyland should move beyond shooting galleries and video arcades, though.


        • #5
          Re: Personal Interactivity at Disneyland

          I agree that there should be new and innovative approaches to rides and use of technology in the parks, however, you cannot require a guest to interact or to interact well as part of the ride experience.

          What is wonderful about rides like buzz is that guest can participate or just observe, and the level of participation doesn't necessarily effect the quality of the overal experience.

          the interactivity needs to be a take it or leave it proposition, because forcing people to interact would be bad
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          • #6
            Re: Personal Interactivity at Disneyland

            I agree. Interaction should spring from a guest's motivations and initiative.

            I compare the situation to a shop where a salesperson asks a customer, "Can I help you?", versus a shop with a salesperson who merely says, "If you need me, I'll be right over here."

            Guests should not be required to respond unless they find themselves in an appropriate frame of mind.

            Star Tours, for example, works as well as it does because it allows guests to participate in the story in an impersonal way.


            • #7
              Re: Personal Interactivity at Disneyland

              I'm sorry, but I disagree with you. VMK and Buzz have become hits since their introductions and a huge amount of people enjoy them.

              With VMK, one learns a lot more about the parks and their history through the different games and experiences that can be discovered. There's even an "Adventure Through Innerspace" game. When you complete an in-park quest, it encourages people to look at the more fun minutia in the park that they typically wouldn't look for, providing a new type of enjoyment that usually only hard-core fans look for to appreciate.

              If the people are happy, then IMO, it's a good thing. Disney isn't lessening it's name by doing these types of things in my opinion. What they're doing is evolving with society, because society is evolving into the gaming community. If you're not into that, you don't need to participate in it. There are plenty of other attractions you can enjoy.


              • #8
                Re: Personal Interactivity at Disneyland

                I am personally glad that Disney is trying new and diffrent things. I think that Buzz is 100% better than The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh, but I would not like to see every attraction to be like Buzz.
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                • #9
                  Re: Personal Interactivity at Disneyland

                  It's not that I am necessarily opposed to V.M.K. I just don't think Disneyland is adequately responding to the competition gaming poses with some of these initiatives.

                  I think Disneyland could do great things by making more experiences that are like games, but are fully immersive and environmental, as well.


                  • #10
                    Re: Personal Interactivity at Disneyland

                    My first response to seeing this thread was, "Meh, that's what Innovations is and nobody likes it."

                    But As I read more responses I think I understand a little better what you are getting at.

                    In the Star Acade their used to a game (maybe it's still there) where you sat in a ball and "flew" a jet fighter. As you made the jet roll or turn, back, ect the ball did it too so you could be hanging upside down in the ball as you played the game. As you made the plane turn, the ball would turn too. I almost made myself sick playing that game a few times. But the game cost $4-$5 to play for 4 minutes.

                    What I thinkwould be really cool, is they had a bank of them (I dunno, 20 of them) networked together so you could play against other players and try to shoot at other players. But istead of making it a pay acade game, make it a free attraction like any other ride. Everybody waits in line, then straps into the little ball flight similator. Then play for 4 or 5 minutes. Ifyou get shot, you shake a little and a red screen flashes bu you keep playing until the time limit is up.

                    Teamed play and it could be Star Wars themed. You would have the red team vs the blue team, but each team sees themselves and their team as the rebels while the other team looks like the Empire's fighters. The computers could easily do this.

                    If you had two or three networks or games running at a time, one game could be unloading and loading, while the other game is being played. Just stagger it so one game loading/unloading at time.
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