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  • #41
    Re: The Revival of the AA Theatre-Style Attraction

    Originally posted by Trintara View Post
    Wren's mention of the hista theater made me think that there is the potential for a cool robot show. They don't even have to give the AAs much of a skin. There could be lasers and fog effects, and kaboom! And crash! And wowie!
    Originally posted by Trintara View Post
    Lasers and explosions. Always.
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    • #42
      Re: The Revival of the AA Theatre-Style Attraction

      Originally posted by GothicManor View Post
      Disney would now rather build a thrill ride like a coaster or simulator that only a narrow age group of healthy people can ride and even then it often kills or maims people! Or the painted plywood type of attraction they seem to love these days.....
      But they are emmensly popular.

      Why spend 100 million dollars building an AA show like Pirates, when you could spend half that on an attraction like Tower of Terror, which is just as popular and a guaranteed hit.

      That's why Disney will never build another AA show again.

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      • #43
        Re: The Revival of the AA Theatre-Style Attraction

        Originally posted by MrLiver View Post
        As for your interview idea - it's pretty clever but I honestly don't see why it couldn't be done with video and CGI instead. It would be cheaper to maintain and upgrade over time.
        I think the entertainment value of having AA instead of video is the feeling that you are witnessing the interview show live. Especially if you add in a part where the audience gets to ask some questions. I like the idea that you would swap out panelists or guests, it does add to the repeatiblity.

        And, curious, I thought James Lipton WAS an AA.

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        • #44
          Re: The Revival of the AA Theatre-Style Attraction

          The problem is not the AA's. It's the story telling.

          No offense, but most Disney AA shows in Disneyland have lacked a strong sense of storytelling. They simply are not exciting enough. They might be Nostalgic, cute, or even have great music (America Sings' music was awesome). But in the end, you need an actual story that the audience loves to watch.

          In general, most theatre attractions at Disneyland have ALWAYS lacked a good story.

          They need to get an actual Hollywood script writer who is good at what they do and do storyboards and then make the technology match the storyboards.

          Look at Terminator 2 3D in Universal Studios. That one has an engaging story, and the technology to match it too. Disney has never really tried something like this. Their theatre attractions have always been kitsch and gimmicky with no real plot.

          I wish they'd bring back Lincoln, but make it 10 times better and more advanced. Make it an actual AA movie-like experience (some parts would have to be done with a projector). Show him "walking" around the stage... err i mean, country. Show him going to the debates, show him getting the letter to grow his facial hair, show him pursuing the Civil War to save the country, and seeing all the carnage that results. Show soliders fighting in Gettsyburg, and then Abraham shows up and gives his famous speech. Show him going to the theatre and being assasinated. Show the train that carried his body around the country as his country men mourned (and some rejoiced).

          There is not a lot of space in the Opera House, but I think you can put a lot of this into the screen and make Abe himself an AA along with a few other key characters, and have them interact with the screen. The sets themselves would be partly on the screen and partly 3D objects that lower from the ceiling, raise from the floor, or come from the sides of the theatre. You could really make an amazing show that audiences would be captivated by.

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          • #45
            Re: The Revival of the AA Theatre-Style Attraction

            One of the reasons that coasters and other thrill rides are popular with management is because they are a “sure thing”. When the park invests in this type of ride the management is guaranteed to deliver a thrill, a cheap thrill, but still a thrill.

            An AA ride/show is all about the script and the immersion that the ride puts you into another world. There is no guarantee for management that the audience will like it. Because there is no guarantee management shy’s away from the whole Pirates / HM / Tiki room type of attraction.
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            • #46
              Re: The Revival of the AA Theatre-Style Attraction

              Ultimately I believe Disney's attitude towards AA shows probably mirrors that of Liver and Flynnie--just look what they did with the new Subs--cheaper, less 'real' digital projections and visual effects with no substance.

              But that doesn't stop us from imagining and building the better AA show, does it? What is the AA show subject matter YOU would like to see? We've already had some great ideas, let's hear some more. Frontierland, maybe, as Oswald suggested?

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              • #47
                Re: The Revival of the AA Theatre-Style Attraction

                Originally posted by MrLiver View Post
                They don't. But it's still cheaper to do film attractions that can be swapped out every few years than an AA show.

                Yes people still like Pirates and Mansion, but other AA shows, particularly the ones at Epcot, are long gone. Obviously Pirates and Mansion have something that World of Motion and Carousel of Progress and America Sings did not.

                Tiki Room is still there, but Country Bears and Lincoln are not - what's the difference between them?

                I'd say that nostalgia is playing a bigger factor here than you want to admit. It's the same reason why fans are able to enjoy Mr. Toad, but complain endlessly about Pooh.

                Consider if you will that Tiki experienced a surge in interest after Country Bears and Lincoln had been closed. Maybe there's only room for one AA show in a park.

                As for your interview idea - it's pretty clever but I honestly don't see why it couldn't be done with video and CGI instead. It would be cheaper to maintain and upgrade over time.

                The biggest difference at the Tiki Room, which caused attendance to
                increase was visibility of the entrance. It was hidden before the
                refurbishment. The sound of the preshow Tiki's was turn up which
                also brought more visibility to the Tiki Room. Of course, and consider
                the Tiki Rooms location has always been a high traffic area ~ just
                more visible.

                Unlike the Country Bear Jamboree ~ not nearly the high traffic area,
                BUT once again, the entrance to this show was too hidden. And
                It Desperately needed a much more noticable welcoming entrance.
                Of course, the Christmas show was still very popular. but it received
                more attention in the maps/guidebooks during Christmas also. The
                rest of the year, they ended up sticking with the Country Bear
                Vaction Show. I would have liked seeing them bring back the orignal
                "Blood on the Saddle" version, every once in a while. Even both of
                those shows were over 10 years old.

                If they would have added another update, with perhaps a variety
                of options from show to show, that would have certainly brought
                attention to this attraction that was so beautifully furnished! It,
                along with the Tiki Room, were my favorite audio animatronic
                theaters.

                And consider the number of upgrades, and enhancements that
                the Haunted Mansion and Pirates, even the Jungle Cruise have
                received. The Country Bears and their show just needed
                a few more enhancements, just like all the other audio animatronic attractions at DL.

                Destroying BOTH Country Bear Theaters was one of THE WORST
                decisions made under the Eisner/Pressler regime. And it take a
                lot to get on their "worst decisions" list.
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                • #48
                  Re: The Revival of the AA Theatre-Style Attraction

                  I think a flaw is people think AA = life-like and projection = not

                  People need to stop thinking about traditional 2d flat projection and think what other type things can be done and are being done.

                  Some of the facial projections Disney does are top notch - I don't hear people screaming Leota's head sucks because its a projector and not a AA.

                  There are other effects that can be done to make something not physically there appear to be (nemo fish in the Living Seas... ghosts in the HM.. etc).

                  The 'AA or nothing' thought process is flawed IMO and shows too much nostalgia vs freedom to accept what gives a better overall result.

                  The particular application is so key to that decision. For instance, the AAs in Muppets3d pull the effect fantastically. Does that mean if we added a bunch of AAs to HISTA it would magically fix the show? Hell no.
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                  • #49
                    Re: The Revival of the AA Theatre-Style Attraction

                    Originally posted by Aladdin View Post
                    The biggest difference at the Tiki Room, which caused attendance to
                    increase was visibility of the entrance. It was hidden before the
                    refurbishment.
                    Unlike the Country Bear Jamboree ~ not nearly the high traffic area,
                    BUT once again, the entrance to this show was too hidden.
                    In complete agreement here. LOCATION LOCATION LOCATION. We had a thread not too long ago where this same idea was argued. I believe that Bear Country Jamboree's isolation in an empty and unpromising Bear Country was more to blame for its downfall than content or Guest apathy, IMO.

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                    • #50
                      Re: The Revival of the AA Theatre-Style Attraction

                      Originally posted by fo'c's'le swab View Post
                      What elements of past AA attractions should any NEW AA shows try to avoid? What do you see as inherent 'liabilities' to AA theatre shows?
                      The biggest liability for any show that expects to run a long time is a rigid script that is never changed - it becomes boring, as everyone in the room stands there and recites the script along with the soundtrack - think the HM Stretching Room, "Of course, there's always MY way..."

                      This is one of the big attractions of the "Aladdin" show at the Hyperion - the performers are miked live and not "tracked" mouthing a pre-recorded show. (Only the music is tracked to avoid paying a band.) The Genie is allowed to throw in current affairs lines or react to another performer's gaffe or fluff, and you never really know what to expect.

                      (And if all the show Cast are up to ad-libbing some off-script interactions you could really make it interesting, as the director is up in the booth tearing his hair out. Remember that most of Tim Conway's funniest sketch work on the Carol Burnett Show were ad-lib - he would go through the rehearsals doing it straight, and unleash the funny when the audience was there and the cameras rolling...)

                      With modern computer tech, having a show with many different variations would be easy - like "The Character Interview Show" idea brought up earlier - if they prepare a dozen different opening and closings, a few hundred questions, and a few hundred asides and interactions, every show could be different.

                      And after a year or two, you think up a new list of questions and answers, sit the character voice talent down in the booth for a few hours to tape them, and have the AA Wrangler program a new set of show elements to go with them.

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                      • #51
                        Re: The Revival of the AA Theatre-Style Attraction

                        Originally posted by flynnibus View Post
                        . Does that mean if we added a bunch of AAs to HISTA it would magically fix the show? Hell no.
                        Since AAs, according to some, don't 'sell' a show, it makes about as much sense to ask if POTC or JC would be just as popular without AAs. To that I also say 'Hell no'. It's characters that gives POTC life and popularity; also with HM and JC. Tangible real characters--many are even named. They are individuals in ways no 'projection' can be.

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                        • #52
                          Re: The Revival of the AA Theatre-Style Attraction

                          Originally posted by fo'c's'le swab View Post
                          Since AAs, according to some, don't 'sell' a show, it makes about as much sense to ask if POTC or JC would be just as popular without AAs.
                          That's not what I said at all. Your statement assumes they are the ONLY thing that makes the attraction popular or not. AAs are part of the 'solution' not THE solution - hence my statement that adding AAs to any old attraction regardless will not make it popular.

                          AAs are NOT the defining aspect of an attraction as seen by both popular and unpopular ones including them. The point is too much of one aspect without the other supporting elements will still fail. I provided examples of where AAs 'alone' can fail and what other elements should be included to help build the total package.

                          If you took all the AAs from POTC and put them in a simple ride structure like Snow white with just some cut-out flats it would not be nearly as popular. Because the AA's do not define the show alone!
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                          Originally posted by sleepyjeff
                          Disneyland was meant to be sipped not chug-a-lugged

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                          • #53
                            Re: The Revival of the AA Theatre-Style Attraction

                            These attractions are software-based, so I don't understand the reason that new shows are not offered periodically.

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                            • #54
                              Re: The Revival of the AA Theatre-Style Attraction

                              I like the old AA shows, but then, I'm an old AA myself.

                              I'd like to see the Carousel building in Tomorrowland returned to it's original purpose and function. An all new Carousel of Progress show that starts in say, 1955, and goes through 2055 would be nice.
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                              • #55
                                Re: The Revival of the AA Theatre-Style Attraction

                                I have to agree that Audio-Animatronics cannot be consider a sole selling point. This is the case with any technology. Every part of an attraction's show needs to work to support the show. The Indiana Jones Adventure would not be the same without the Enhanced Motion Vehicles, but just the vehicles would not work either.

                                In the end I think it comes down to a solid story. I always make it a point to see The American Adventure when I am at Walt Disney World. The Country Bear Jamboree, which I do enjoy, is not nearly as important to me.

                                The condition of the equipment is also very important. I find nothing worse than being able to hear Audio-Animatronics clicking an clacking, and hydraulic and pneumatic lines going.

                                In the end I still think it comes down to a lack of respect. We're no longer guests, just suckers who will be wooed by the Disney name.

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                                • #56
                                  Re: The Revival of the AA Theatre-Style Attraction

                                  It's not about one element being better than everything else-it's a combination of everything together, in prime quality, that make a fantastic attraction.

                                  Pirates of the Caribbean is defined as "the" Disney attraction because it combines fantastic characters, vibrant sets, and special effects in a fully three-dimensional environment while expressing an engaging and exciting experience. Not one of these elements, I think, could be deemed "better" or "more" than any of the others. They work seamlessly together to create a practically perfect attraction.

                                  I do not believe that a "thrill" factor is necessary for an attraction to be successful, as Pirates and Haunted Mansion can attest to that. But for the park to work as a whole, there should definitely be an adequate amount of thrill rides to fully even-out the day for the average guest who is looking to see and experience many different elements.

                                  I think many of the AA shows have failed because, as mentioned, a lack of repeatability. If I go on Pirates of the Caribbean right now, I'm almost certain that I will see something new on this individual trip; not that it hasn't been there before, but with so many things to look at and see, as such a stimulating experience, I can't take it all in once or twice. The Tiki Room reflects this in that, as the room is fully 3-dimensional and you can sit in any seat which will provide many different angles for the show. The experience retains a unique and variabled quality as opposed to a theatre that makes you sit forward and look at one stage every time you visit.

                                  Think about Star Tours, going off into the movie/AA tangent. Most agree here that the attraction needs an update. We've seen it already. We're looking in one direction, face-forward. But if the entire room was filled with different things that we could see, if the entire space was used, instead of seeing the same movie playing once again with one t.v. and one AA, I think it wouldn't have gotten old so fast. It's a design element that needs to be studied. If you're trapped in one room, it had better be a good one, and it had better have things to look at from all directions, all sides. An attraction ought to be a 3-dimensional environment, because then you feel like you are a part of that environment.

                                  A lot of AA shows have a history of being rather long. Some people here complained about the refurbished Tiki Room getting a few cuts, but I think it helped move the show along in some ways. You have to keep your audience attentive. They didn't come to see a play, they're at Disneyland. Keep it short, keep it simple, but don't ignore the story or the fullness of what is necessary to be conveyed to the audience.

                                  Location, as mentioned, is important. I've said it before, and I'll say it again-I had no idea that the Tiki Room existed until my best friend brought me there. I loved it, and shortly after it went under the heavy refurb and came back, fresh and new, and with a far more declaring marquee. There isn't a doubt in my mind that that fact alone has helped attendance. It's not that it was a bad show or people got bored with it, as the Tiki Room is still seeing great attendance-it's just questionable if anyone knew there was an attraction there in the first place.


                                  Swabbie, I love your interview idea! WDI has kinda already made these initial steps with Laugh Floor at WDW-but I think utilizing AAs would be a lot more interesting than a flat digital screen.

                                  I don't hate projections, but fact of that matter is that they usually look flat, non-interactive, and most of all, not real. The Leota projection works because she's projected onto a 3-dimensional "face" in a crystal ball. It's the physicality aspect that tends to go missing here. Therefore most projections just can't be as effective because they still have a flat look about them. If utilized properly, they can, as Leota proves-but even that idea seems to have been mostly abandoned.

                                  I don't want to feel like I'm watching a movie. That take me out of the believability factor right there. But if it looks like I'm seeing a fully 3-dimensional, physical thing, that moves and talks and acts like I would expect something that it represents-then I as an audience member can believe.




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                                  • #57
                                    Re: The Revival of the AA Theatre-Style Attraction

                                    I think the Country Bears should be brought back, but not in their original, dead-end location. They were replaced, and Pooh will most likely not change, or leave, any time soon. I have accepted this fact.

                                    I propose that the CBs go into Frontierland, replacing all (or some) of BTR. The entrance could be through the old MTTNW bear country tunnel and then hook right, going through the ridge, and into the lobby.

                                    The new show would be, of course, western themed. I'm not entirely sure about the design of the theater and stages, but I'm leaning more towards a saloon-type feel. I realize we have the Golden Horseshoe, so it may not be the best idea to have two similar looking venues in Frontierland... I'm not sure.

                                    Anyways, check out the script that I've worked out so-far (it's not much, but it's a start), as well as the cast/song list for the show.



                                    Any polite, helpful, constructive suggestions (that don't tear my idea to shreds ) to further this would be welcome.

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                                    • #58
                                      Re: The Revival of the AA Theatre-Style Attraction

                                      The key for new AA's is the keep on pushing the technology. In Walt's day, computers were in the infancy. Today we can have random movement and random responses. No show has to be exactly the same. In fact, now with better microphones, and the Turtle talk technology, we now can have interactive moments in the show. All of this could be a fun and memorable attraction that the whole family would love.

                                      Disney has just to fork over some bucks.

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                                      • #59
                                        Re: The Revival of the AA Theatre-Style Attraction

                                        I vote a solid yes. Animatronics are one of Disney's strongest theme park related properties. They should keep pushing the technology forward into the 21st century--sorry for the cliches--and not assume that a technology is dead simply because audiences expect it to be updated and not allowed to stagnate. Disney's strength and true source of profit will always be storytelling (or experiencetelling, in the case of the older rides), but one of its best ways of doing this in the parks is through audio-animatronics. Projections have their limited uses, such as Madame Leota and the singing busts. They're great for stuff like that! Indispensable, actually. But that doesn't mean they're suited to the majority of character effects.

                                        By the way, be careful about the assumptions you make. I've seen one or two in this thread that I trust will be proven incorrect within the next few years.

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                                        • #60
                                          Re: The Revival of the AA Theatre-Style Attraction

                                          Originally posted by fo'c's'le swab View Post
                                          In complete agreement here. LOCATION LOCATION LOCATION. We had a thread not too long ago where this same idea was argued. I believe that Bear Country Jamboree's isolation in an empty and unpromising Bear Country was more to blame for its downfall than content or Guest apathy, IMO.
                                          If the bear band show was worth it, people would have trekked up there to see it.

                                          Obviously we don't say that Splash Mountain has attendance problems, and it's located even further back than the bears were.

                                          And today Winnie The Pooh sees more guests that the Country Bears were.

                                          Location in a theme park means almost nothing. If you have a show or an attraction worth seeing people will see it. The Country Bear Jamboree was just not worth seeing.

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