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Toy Story Mania ride to take it up a notch - Orlando Sentinel, 1/27/07

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  • Toy Story Mania ride to take it up a notch - Orlando Sentinel, 1/27/07

    http://www.orlandosentinel.com/busin...,7564173.story


    Toy Story Mania may be Walt Disney World's most interactive ride yet when it opens next year at Disney-MGM Studios, continuing a trend for "personalized" attractions and other experiences.

    The new attraction, announced Friday at Walt Disney World, will merge the ride-through shooting theme of the Buzz Lightyear's Space Ranger Spin ride at Magic Kingdom with newer technologies to let riders and characters communicate with one another, and to let the ride computer tailor each rider's game. Another Toy Story Mania is being built at Disney's California Adventure theme park.

    "We're taking the Toy Story characters you know and love and combining them with incredibly crazy video gaming for what we call 'Toy Story Mania,' " said Tom Fitzgerald, executive vice president of Walt Disney Imagineering, the company that designs Disney attractions. "Toy Story Mania is the next-generation interactive ride-through experience."

    Visitors will ride through a series of scenes appearing as carnival midway games such as the ring toss and dart throw. The visitors will get to play at each booth, running up score tallies. Technology will allow them, with virtual images and 3-D glasses, to see themselves "shooting" rings, pies, eggs and other objects at targets.

    Other technology will allow Toy Story robotic characters to talk with riders, maybe even giving them tips. And a computer will track how well each visitor is doing and adjust the game's skill level along the way, Fitzgerald said.

    Disney World President Meg Crofton said the new ride continues Disney's growing trend toward developing attractions and other experiences that are more personal and customized.

    Crofton cited similar robotic communication technology that will be used in the Monsters Inc. Laugh Floor Comedy Club opening this spring in Magic Kingdom. She also cited the millions of giveaways and guest-employee interactions that Disney calls "magic moments" under the current "Year of a Million Dreams" promotional campaign. Such "immersive experiences," she said, are the direction for Disney World.

    "There is no exit strategy for 'magic moments,' " she said.

    Check out my Theme Park Photos at http://darkbeer.smugmug.com

  • #2
    Re: Toy Story Mania ride to take it up a notch - Orlando Sentinel, 1/27/07

    Gotta love that last quote from InoverherheadMeg.

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    • #3
      Re: Toy Story Mania ride to take it up a notch - Orlando Sentinel, 1/27/07

      Why hasn't Iger already fired some of these hacks?

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      • #4
        Re: Toy Story Mania ride to take it up a notch - Orlando Sentinel, 1/27/07

        So this attraction will be at both Disneyland Resort and Walt Disney World?

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        • #5
          Re: Toy Story Mania ride to take it up a notch - Orlando Sentinel, 1/27/07

          Originally posted by barfownz View Post
          So this attraction will be at both Disneyland Resort and Walt Disney World?
          Yes, it is going to the Disney-MGM Studios park, in the former Millionaire building. And it is scheduled to open prior to the DCA version.
          Check out my Theme Park Photos at http://darkbeer.smugmug.com

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          • #6
            Re: Toy Story Mania ride to take it up a notch - Orlando Sentinel, 1/27/07

            Originally posted by PragmaticIdealist View Post
            Why hasn't Iger already fired some of these hacks?
            He won't.

            He's not Michael Eisner.

            He's not that hands-on.

            I also believe he's allowing Jay Rasulo to stack the deck with puppets, like InoverherheadMeg, in order to either see results or let the man (who isn't well-liked by anyone at Disney other than the people who owe their careers to the man) hang himself.

            It might be very, very smart ... but I'd just ask around Glendale and Anaheim and Orlando (and China) and see how well thought of, JR is NOT.

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            • #7
              Re: Toy Story Mania ride to take it up a notch - Orlando Sentinel, 1/27/07

              Am I the only one to think that this ride is not inspiring? I am sorry to be critical already but, sincerely, I am not impressed by this concept whatsoever. I was expecting something better, something really new... I mean, it does not look good at all... It is Buzz Lightyear... Does anybody feel like me?
              Jeanmi

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              • #8
                Re: Toy Story Mania ride to take it up a notch - Orlando Sentinel, 1/27/07

                Originally posted by jml338 View Post
                Am I the only one to think that this ride is not inspiring? I am sorry to be critical already but, sincerely, I am not impressed by this concept whatsoever. I was expecting something better, something really new... I mean, it does not look good at all... It is Buzz Lightyear... Does anybody feel like me?
                Yes, quite a few people do. Toy Story Mania is a deeply flawed idea, which lacks creativity.

                The "Disneyland" forums contain more detailed critiques. If you perform searches for "Midway Mania" or "Toy Story Mania", you'll find several people who very much agree with you.

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                • #9
                  Re: Toy Story Mania ride to take it up a notch - Orlando Sentinel, 1/27/07

                  Thank you. I am going to look into this.
                  Jeanmi

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                  • #10
                    Re: Toy Story Mania ride to take it up a notch - Orlando Sentinel, 1/27/07

                    Originally posted by jml338 View Post
                    Am I the only one to think that this ride is not inspiring? I am sorry to be critical already but, sincerely, I am not impressed by this concept whatsoever. I was expecting something better, something really new... I mean, it does not look good at all... It is Buzz Lightyear... Does anybody feel like me?
                    Yes, absolutely. This ride is nothing more than an off-the-shelf ride with some enhancements and modifications, with an even more off-the-shelf theme.

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                    • #11
                      Re: Toy Story Mania ride to take it up a notch - Orlando Sentinel, 1/27/07

                      Tom "Fountains Are Exciting" Fitzgerald, lol. (Al's nickname for him not mine, although I wish I thought of it)

                      Universal Studios is actually ahead of Disney nowadays. There's a Men In Black attraction that been open for years that this ride is based off. Not to mention Disney has yet to match the scope or realism of SpiderMan from Universal.

                      And a new "Monsters Inc." themed attraction...well, I guess the most "originality" you can get from WDI these days is using Monsters Inc instead of Toy Story. It's sad when every single Disney attraction around the world is based off 5 or 6 movies.

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                      • #12
                        Re: Toy Story Mania ride to take it up a notch - Orlando Sentinel, 1/27/07

                        What is Toy Story Mania taking up a notch?

                        I don't understand Disney thinking that these personalized experiences are the new end-all. It's ridiculous.

                        Disney creating a generation of park-goers who WILL begin to expect nothing but custom experiences, and that's digging a very dangerous hole.

                        The problem with this custom-experience crap is that nobody asked for it to begin with. If people were demanding it we'd be seeing rides like the Haunted Mansion, Space Mountain, Pirates of the Caribbean, or Peter Pan's Flight struggling to fill ride vehicles. We'd be seeing rides like Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters and Mosnters Inc and the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror with immense lines.

                        Guests like to ride the rides, no doubt, and they like to have some bit of interaction, but nobody is demanding a "me"-centric ride. So why is Disney abandoning time-tested ride forumlas, or true creativity, for attractions that are basically becoming the theme park evolution of the gaming industry.

                        Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters = Atari
                        Toy Story Mania = Super Nintendo.

                        ...I really don't want to see rides build up to the XBox 360. After a while its just going to get too repetitive, and the old Atari and Sega Genesis' of Disneyland will become miserably outdated.

                        Photos, news, and commentary every week from Walt Disney's Magic Kingdom!

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                        • #13
                          Re: Toy Story Mania ride to take it up a notch - Orlando Sentinel, 1/27/07

                          Who said interactivity HAS to be a game...

                          I would suggest to you that Haunted Mainsion, Indy, Star Tours, even Mr. Toad are all interactive to some degree.
                          Check out my other blog:

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                          • #14
                            Re: Toy Story Mania ride to take it up a notch - Orlando Sentinel, 1/27/07

                            Originally posted by cellarhound View Post
                            Who said interactivity HAS to be a game...

                            I would suggest to you that Haunted Mainsion, Indy, Star Tours, even Mr. Toad are all interactive to some degree.
                            So far Disney's highly publicized "interactive" attractions HAVE been video games: Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters, Toy Story Mania!, and the Tokyo Monsters ride.

                            I agree, Disney rides have always been interactive to some degree. The Tower of Terror is interactive as you "wave goobye to the real world" - and the Haunted Mansion you ride side-by-side hitchhiking ghosts, and yes, you're right. Mr. Toad- you can steer your car.

                            But this new interactivity-focused rides are a dangerous direction. Rides SHOULD incorporate some sort of interaction, but their basic premise SHOULDN'T BE interaction.

                            For example, Buzz Lightyear is ride that will bore you to tears if you don't use the laser guns. Rides should NOT rely soley on guest interaction as the foundation for their success.

                            Photos, news, and commentary every week from Walt Disney's Magic Kingdom!

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                            • #15
                              Re: Toy Story Mania ride to take it up a notch - Orlando Sentinel, 1/27/07

                              Originally posted by MasterGracey View Post
                              Rides SHOULD incorporate some sort of interaction, but their basic premise SHOULDN'T BE interaction.
                              Like the Jungle Cruise? An original interactive attraction. You can interact with the skipper, duck at the spears, react to the hippos, or placidly watch. Either way, you're still enjoying the attraction.

                              I admit that I am worried about these new interactive attractions also. Monsters Inc, Toy Story Mania, and the whole ilk can get very old very fast. Turtle Talk and Buzz were enough to just leave it at that. Why run this concept into the ground?
                              It's a Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah...Tip for Today!









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