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  • How Disney and Universal respond to wishes of their guests

    I've just realized an observation with Disney and Universal and their response to please the fans of each respective company.
    Disney Fans: "We want a new ride without an attached I.P."
    Disney: "Okay, Mickey and Minnie's Runaway Railway, coming right up." "It has a new *original* song created by Imagineers."
    Disney Fans are then annoyed because they didn't get what they wanted.
    Universal Fans: "We want a ride without screens, but with actual set pieces and animatronics at Universal Parks."
    Universal: Okay, Secret Life of Pets-Off the Leash coming right up. "It has animatronics and real set pieces with minimal or no screens."
    Universal Fans are then happy because the company listened to them.

    Does Mickey and Minnie's Runaway Railway count as an original attraction? In this case, it seems as if Universal actually has done what their fans wanted them to do, whereas Disney is finding loopholes to see what they could pretend is an "original attraction."

    As a Disney fan, I find it interesting to look at how the two corporations operate in response to the wishes of the guest. Disclaimer: This does not demonstrate how they always act, it just demonstrates one type of reaction. I have never been to Universal, but have been to Disneyland Resort many times. The above is just an observation based on each company's response to doing the best to satisfy the guest.



    Note: This is not intended as a complaint about Disney's operations management, rather it is just an observation.
    Last edited by rld275501; 03-08-2020, 12:55 PM. Reason: Incorrect spelling
    An Aspiring Walt Disney Imagineer.

  • #2
    Runaway railway blows any of Unviersal's Rides out of the water. Idk why people are so avidly against having animatronics and screens.

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by nickdean707 View Post
      Runaway railway blows any of Universal's Rides out of the water. Idk why people are so avidly against having animatronics and screens.
      Oh, I'm not talking about a competition here being ride vs ride, I'm just pointing out an observation. Sure, Disney's ride may be better, but is that ride what the guests originally asked for?
      An Aspiring Walt Disney Imagineer.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by rld275501 View Post

        Oh, I'm not talking about a competition here being ride vs ride, I'm just pointing out an observation. Sure, Disney's ride may be better, but is that ride what the guests originally asked for?
        I think people have been asking for a mickey mouse attraction for a long time. Unfortunately, they can never please anyone. It's either that people HATE the new art style, or they can't stand screens in attractions.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by rld275501 View Post
          ...As a Disney fan, I find it interesting to look at how the two corporations operate in response to the wishes of the guest.
          Universal has a different corporate hierarchy than Disney, and a totally different self-view. Universal has a slimmer management structure that listens to customer input whether it's positive or negative, and has a self-view of "we're #2 so we have to try harder." Disney's humongous, top-heavy executive structure operates in a bubble of "we're #1, we've always been #1, we'll always be #1" and gets its customer input through the filter of layers upon layers of surveys, demographic abstractions and number-crunching -- which virtually guarantees that management hears what they want to hear.
          "Disneyland is often called a magic kingdom because
          it combines fantasy and history, adventure and learning,
          together with every variety of recreation and fun,
          designed to appeal to everyone."

          - Walt Disney

          "Disneyland is all about turning movies into rides."
          - Michael Eisner

          "It's very symbiotic."
          - Bob Chapek

          Comment


          • #6
            I don't remember them asking.
            "And yes, we implore EVERYBODY to follow the park rules. Having off-ride footage is great, but any still photo's or video's taken ON the coasters at SFMM are strictly against the rules. They are there for your (and everybody's) safety." "Six Flags doesn't allow ANY loose articles on their coasters, and they don't allow video taping on their coasters. " BUT, "​ This is not true. Six Flags does not allow ANY On-Ride video or pictures on the rides. The ONLY way is if you get explicit permission from Park Management." ???

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            • #7
              What's ironic about Mickey and Minnie's Runaway Railway is that it when it was announced a few years back at the D23 convention it was promoted as an original attraction. In fact, the imagineer making the presentation even said that this was the company's response to those asking why they don't do original attractions like Pirates of the Caribbean and Haunted Mansion anymore. A total face palm moment. Since they haven't really promoted the attraction like that since then (as far as I know at least), I think somebody sent a memo to them letting them know how dumb those remarks were. We all love Mickey certainly, but he's also the world's most notable IP. I remember wondering at the time if the Burbank brain trust was really that dense.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Mr Wiggins View Post

                Universal has a different corporate hierarchy than Disney, and a totally different self-view. Universal has a slimmer management structure that listens to customer input whether it's positive or negative, and has a self-view of "we're #2 so we have to try harder." Disney's humongous, top-heavy executive structure operates in a bubble of "we're #1, we've always been #1, we'll always be #1" and gets its customer input through the filter of layers upon layers of surveys, demographic abstractions and number-crunching -- which virtually guarantees that management hears what they want to hear.
                Pains me to say this, but I actually agree with you. Miracles do happen. HAHA. Universal, if anyone has been, is constantly doing surveys to understand the guest experience. This is through emails and in person at the park. Twice now I have been brought to the VIP lounge for a 15 minute survey. Disney just wants your email address and they are done with you.
                "And yes, we implore EVERYBODY to follow the park rules. Having off-ride footage is great, but any still photo's or video's taken ON the coasters at SFMM are strictly against the rules. They are there for your (and everybody's) safety." "Six Flags doesn't allow ANY loose articles on their coasters, and they don't allow video taping on their coasters. " BUT, "​ This is not true. Six Flags does not allow ANY On-Ride video or pictures on the rides. The ONLY way is if you get explicit permission from Park Management." ???

                Comment


                • #9
                  As for the question posed, I wouldn't consider Mickey and Minnie's Runaway Railway an original attraction in the sense of Pirates of the Caribbean, Haunted Mansion, Big Thunder, etc. It's a derivative of an IP in the same way that Roger Rabbit's Cartoon Spin is. It's not a recapitulation of any particular movie or cartoon, but it makes extensive use of previously established imagery, characterizations and culture. So it's closer in spirit to Roger Rabbit's Cartoon Spin and Mr. Toad's Wild Ride than it is to Peter Pan's Flight and Snow White's Scary Adventures.

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                  • #10
                    I think you over estimate how many people that go to Disneyland want a non IP ride. The die hards like us, maybe... but the average person goes to Disneyland to see Disney stuff. Anyway, as much as I'd like something on par with Pirates or the Haunted Mansion, a new ride starring Mickey Mouse in ToonTown is also awesome to me. For years everyone thought ToonTown was going to be put down to expand other lands, and it's finally getting something new to revitalize it.
                    "Have I gone mad?"
                    "I'm afraid so. You're entirely bonkers. But I'll tell you a secret. All the best people are. "

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                    • #11
                      Apples and Oranges. Universal fans want IP rides and theming isn't as important. Disney fans love theming and the history of the park. Disneyland has always had tons of Americana mixed in with IPs. The management wants to be global, so they just want to focus on IPs and forget the Americana theming and history of the park. Henceforth the conflict and complaints form fans.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by TacAlert View Post
                        Pains me to say this, but I actually agree with you. Miracles do happen. HAHA. Universal, if anyone has been, is constantly doing surveys to understand the guest experience. This is through emails and in person at the park. Twice now I have been brought to the VIP lounge for a 15 minute survey. Disney just wants your email address and they are done with you.
                        lol! And back at ya -- I totally agreed with this post that you wrote today (I up-voted it with a Like).
                        "Disneyland is often called a magic kingdom because
                        it combines fantasy and history, adventure and learning,
                        together with every variety of recreation and fun,
                        designed to appeal to everyone."

                        - Walt Disney

                        "Disneyland is all about turning movies into rides."
                        - Michael Eisner

                        "It's very symbiotic."
                        - Bob Chapek

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I'd like a non-IP ride like Pirates or HM and I'm also happy and excited for a Mickey and Minnie ride.

                          Although I enjoy the WWoHP, I don't really care for Universal otherwise and it's because it's all just a bunch of IPs and doesn't feel integrated. I realize that the park being so spread out across levels with the huge escalators is part of the reason it feels so disjointed to me, but it's also the modern strip mall feel, the lack of Americana in its various forms that we get from Disneyland and even from Knotts, though in a smaller scale.
                          "I wish they all could be California Bears!"

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Sun Bonnet View Post
                            I'd like a non-IP ride like Pirates or HM and I'm also happy and excited for a Mickey and Minnie ride.

                            Although I enjoy the WWoHP, I don't really care for Universal otherwise and it's because it's all just a bunch of IPs and doesn't feel integrated. I realize that the park being so spread out across levels with the huge escalators is part of the reason it feels so disjointed to me.
                            Universal
                            I AGREE......... Universal Is also a Big IPs Market.....and
                            Do not care for the escalators rides...to get to one place to the other.
                            I really enjoy the Back Lot Tour ...and watch how movies is made...that it !
                            IMO

                            Soaring like an EAGLE !

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                            • #15
                              The number of Guests requesting a non-IP attraction from Disney is probably in the less than 1% range, it’s probably safe to assume that most Guests don’t even know what IP means. We might not ever again have a non-IP attraction at Disneyland Resort, certainly not a major one.

                              And that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Disneyland comprehensively covered the major genre themes so well over its first 25 years that there might not really be any great ones left to do. Pirates, haunted houses, outer space, the Old West, exotic jungles, etc. have already been done. If there’s a major theme that hasn’t been done by Disney for an attraction I’m sure I can’t think of it, although I’d certainly be interested in suggestions. That leaves IP to base attractions on because they can be very unique.

                              When I think of relatively recent major non-IP attractions from Disney they’re not necessarily “better” because they’re non-IP. Grizzly River Run is a fun attraction, I enjoy it every time I go on it, but it does feel very generic in a lot of ways. Would it be better with a Disney theme? Yeah, it probably would. If Splash Mountain had been a generic log ride like the one in Knott’s Berry Farm it wouldn’t be nearly as popular as it is, the Disney songs and Disney characters add tremendously to that attraction.

                              When it comes down to it I think an attraction like Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway most certainly needs to be IP-based. While Disney listening to Guests is certainly a good thing, letting Guests dictate the course of a company isn’t necessarily a good idea.

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Originally posted by Disney Adventure View Post
                                And that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Disneyland comprehensively covered the major genre themes so well over its first 25 years that there might not really be any great ones left to do. Pirates, haunted houses, outer space, the Old West, exotic jungles, etc. have already been done. If there’s a major theme that hasn’t been done by Disney for an attraction I’m sure I can’t think of it, although I’d certainly be interested in suggestions.
                                If they ever pump life back into Tomorrowland, it really does open up the opportunity to explore a non-IP based attractions; however, Disney has such a vast library... the chances of something original coming out could still be quite small.

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  In fairness, folks have been complaining online about screen based attractions at Universal parks for years now. I don't think something like Secret Life of Pets is necessarily a "direct" result of listening to the general public, rather, it's a pre-determined step in the direction that Universal has been aiming to go for years now (which is more family oriented entertainment/attractions). It goes without saying that in order to do that, you can't have screen based everything because it would exclude some members of the family (-and interestingly enough, SLoP actually does have a height requirement, though it is small).

                                  This change in direction is evident everywhere going forward, heck, they just shut down the Walking Dead last week. It's also worth noting that Pets wasn't built as a direct result of Guests "wanting" that type of attraction but is a direct result of the limited building space Super Nintendo Land is offering them in the Lower Lot.

                                  Nintendo Land was supposed to feature a Yoshi Omni-mover style attraction (which can be seen being built in Japan), however due to space restraints here in Hollywood, it couldn't be built. The budget, however, was still approved to build it and so they took the money already approved and ride system and bam, Secret Life of Pets was born upstairs. It was probably a smart move because even though not everyone cares for the franchise itself, people really do love pets in general so the entertainment factor that the new attraction brings to young ones plus the inevitable cash flow of the gift shop's "adopt a pup" plushies will probably make this a big win for them.

                                  Even more to the point of the topic at hand, I am still inclined to believe that Universal listens to the general public moreso than Disney because I have experienced it firsthand and have taken the time to answer their (rather specific) survey questions both in person and online. But even here I'm not sure I want to sway too far to one company or the other because, I never actually take the time to answer Disney's questionnaire e-mails or talk to Guest Services/Survey Cast Members. The reason? Because I think Universal needs it more. Even nowadays with all their new additions, I only finds myself riding three or so attractions there before considering myself done for the day. Despite all their improvements, Universal Studios Hollywood still isn't the full day park experience I want or get when I visit Disneyland or even Universal Studios Orlando so I'm more inclined to help or give suggestions in any way I can. Disney has no shortage of options for reaching out to them (heck, they've got Guest Service CMs staffed outside the entrances to Galaxy's Edge), but the most recent time I've ever even bothered to seek them out was to complain about the change of the Main Street Cinema to a tacky gift shop.

                                  A change, mind you, they listened to and reversed. Yes, it's true that Disney's questions can be a little loaded but what we say still gets through, even if they don't always go along with it. Disney has even publicly admitted to still receiving messages regarding the conversion of Tower of Terror to Guardians so our messages are getting through to the top, they just aren't always being taken into consideration. Universal's park suggestion questionnaires are also a tad loaded as well. When I took their most recent survey about what type of attraction(s) I would like to see added to the park, they were all very specific, multiple choice type questions that left me very little wiggle room for real creative input.

                                  I think a very real test of Universal's listening to the General Public will happen when their Jurassic World attraction re-opens. Rumor has it that this downtime is to install the long awaited final Indominus Rex figure that they couldn't get to work properly by opening last Summer but this downtime is also offering them a chance to improve an area of the attraction that has been torn apart by park-goers and giant carnivores alike: Predator's Cove. When this area debuted it was seen as laughable and lifeless (the cheaply made plastic Pterodactyls that look like surfboards didn't help). But Universal has been receiving input on the area since last Summer and if other Universal fan-sites are to be believed, they have taken this input to heart and we can expect some kind of change to happen in this area of the ride.

                                  If we can get some improvements there, it will be much appreciated and also confirmation that Universal is listening the the public very closely. Not that Disney doesn't.. their attractions have seen changes based on Guest feedback as well but with the sheer quantity of what they have to offer Guests, concerns are not as pressing because there is so much else to take in while visiting a park like Disneyland. However, in a park like Universal Studios Hollywood that has only a handful of attractions/experiences, they really can't afford to NOT listen to issues with any one of them because it's a much bigger chunk of what they have to offer.
                                  "I take no side. I am beyond your worrying and wars. I am unseen. Unknowable. Like a rock in the river."

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                                  • #18
                                    This feels a bit like grass is greener on the other side syndrome. You could find similar examples of Disney listening to fans: Soarin’ over California (even if temp), using the old cave dialogue in POTC, adding Mickey’s Philharmonic (instead of just another preview center), adding music to the security/tram area (long criticized for being unwelcoming), removing the French Fry rocks from Tomorrowland. Disney could definitely listen more, but as passholder to both, I don’t see Universal as this customer-service beacon of light.
                                    APs
                                    Burning Cabin
                                    Splash Mountain
                                    Star Wars
                                    Fantasy Faire
                                    Smoking
                                    Pirates
                                    Souvenir Popcorn Buckets, apparently.

                                    Happiness is not letting these things consume you. A close second is seeing it consume others.

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                                    • #19
                                      Originally posted by DisneySpaceAce View Post
                                      I think you over estimate how many people that go to Disneyland want a non IP ride. The die hards like us, maybe... but the average person goes to Disneyland to see Disney stuff.
                                      It didn’t use to be like this. Back in the day especially pre-Eisner the average guest didn’t expect to see “Disney stuff”. They expected a well themed environment designed as an escape from the real world. If that involved Disney “IP’s” then great but often it did not. In fact when I was growing up I always was amazed how Disney never relied on their characters or movies to tell a story like Universal did. And beyond that what amazed me was how Disneyland’s non IP-driven attractions became characters in their own right. POTC and HM became their own franchises. The IP sprung up from Disneyland. Disneyland often created Disney’s IP, instead of Disneyland relying on existing IP which now it overly relies on much to the detriment of imagination and creativity.

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Blurr--Glad to hear that people still complain about Tower of Terror. No, I don't think about it every day, but I do think about it every time I visit. I will always believe it was a huge mistake on their part to re-skin it. (Not referring to ride mechanism, which could have been improved with any themeing.)

                                        They were so close to building Marvel Land--they should have put all the energies in that area, and left Tower alone. It was one of their best examples of themeing, and fit Hollywood Land well. I miss it and its wonderful gift store. I think it provided a imaginative break from all the other IP rides, and with the Guardian theme--it does not. I will miss it forever.

                                        Comment

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