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What if: Would Disneyland Still Succeed if it Had No IP Representation at All?

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  • bigcatrik
    replied
    Originally posted by bayouguy View Post
    Thinking no too... But Walt knew about balance, and not designing Disneyland all about the movies...Main Street has been about an ideal representation of an American concept, the Rivers of America as well...of course, Frontierland had Davy Crockett in mind...and Fantasyland had all the princesses in mind...Walt just didn't want laziness in his studio...He wanted his animators to press with original ideas to be used in Disneyland...He probably had fun picking through all the trashcans in the studio offices...looking for those hidden gems...
    I also think that Walt thought of Disneyland as sort of its own "movie." In any of his projects that caused sonic booms in popular media (Steamboat Willie, Snow White, Disneyland, Mary Poppins?) he asked himself "What can I show people that will astonish them?" Not in so many words, of course, since we don't have that direct quote, but his fingerprints always seem to lead to that affect.

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  • Eagleman
    replied
    I not against IP contents in the parks....
    Just do not the like the "Over Kill" that Disney is doing !
    and turning Disney Parks into "Billboard"....
    It a radically changed today management is doing for there Marketing........
    which IMO- take away the experience .
    There should be a Balance

    Leave a comment:


  • Captain Andy
    replied
    I'm one of the minority who thinks Cars land lacks creativity. I always felt that Disneyland "lands" were the foundation to many stories. Cars land only leaves room for one. I would argue the same for Pixar Pier –– Paradise Pier left imagination to the park-goer. Pixar Pier feels incredibly plastic, and uninspired.

    I actually appreciate the remnants of DCA 1.0 (Golden State, specifically) because there's definitely a timeless aura to them. Unfortunately, IP's tend to date lands and attractions for better or for worse. It would be wonderful if WDI had more freedom in the creative process, but unfortunately, I've accepted that Disney cannot resist the power of its catalogue and executives don't like taking risks.

    I'm not saying that all the attractions or lands created as of recent are terrible. Just every now and again, one craves a new story... or the basis of one so the imagination can run wild. I haven't gotten that feeling from Disney in a while. I think the area near Grizzly River Run, or the Jungle Cruise queue still trigger that inner-child of mine. Just small pockets of wonderful Imagineering.*

    *Court of Angels was another spot, but lo... I cannot get in, haha.
    Last edited by Captain Andy; 10-18-2020, 01:31 PM.

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  • bayouguy
    replied
    Originally posted by vegasnative View Post
    No. Disneyland has always been based on intellectual properties. Certainly, not to the level it is today, but each of the four original lands were based (lightly at least) on disney products that were then popular. Main Street USA was arguably the only part that wasn't. The main difference is that previously it was much more nuanced. Disney does true life adventure documentaries, does the jungle cruise. Disney does Davy Crockett and other historical figures, does Frontierland. Disney does third man on the mountain, and then does the matterhorn. It was much more careful and outside of fantasyland, never just placing the property in. It was more about taking inspiration from an already existing IP product and carefully moving that in.

    I don't thing today's usage of IP is always bad though. I think times have changed significantly and it is what people have come to expect. The average visitor is much more excited about the prospect of being placed in their favorite movie or with their favorite characters than being transported elsewhere. If you look at the world's leading parks, Disney and Universal basically, they are full of IP. If you look at the parks that still just offer general theming, they are second tier. Like Knotts and Six Flags.

    Personally, I think the sweet spot is in the middle. Indiana Jones is a perfect example. You get a new adventure, that fits in the land perfectly, with a character you know. As much as I liked Splash Mountain, I think the princess and the frog layover will be perfect as well. It fits perfectly into NOS. You'll have the town part where pirates and the mansion are and then the backwoods part with Splash. I think the key is seamless integration of IP.

    Thinking no too... But Walt knew about balance, and not designing Disneyland all about the movies...Main Street has been about an ideal representation of an American concept, the Rivers of America as well...of course, Frontierland had Davy Crockett in mind...and Fantasyland had all the princesses in mind...Walt just didn't want laziness in his studio...He wanted his animators to press with original ideas to be used in Disneyland...He probably had fun picking through all the trashcans in the studio offices...looking for those hidden gems...

    Leave a comment:


  • bigcatrik
    replied
    Originally posted by mtlchuck View Post
    This is an extremely interesting question for one particular reason: when Euro Disney opened to a catastrophic financial loss, Michael Eisner threatened to pull all of Disney out of the park, which would have left the banks to run a theme park stripped of ALL Disney IP's - no Mickey, Princesses, Pinnochio, NOTHING. I always wonder what this paralel reality would have been like, with Disneyland Paris having to remove every single Disney IP and transform the whole park into a generic theme park with non-Disney IP's.
    Nara Dreamland started construction as an official Disneyland-themed park in Japan ca. 1960 but licensing fell through before it opened (1961) so they came up with their own mascots. It became famous a few years ago as videos with titles like "Abandoned Disneyland Knock-off" circulated online. It operated successfully for a few decades until Tokyo Disneyland took away its "Disneyland in Japan" thunder, but it still stayed open until 2006 (demolished in 2016).

    When Cedar Fair bought the Paramount parks they removed all the Paramount branding (Top Gun, Star Trek, etc.) from the parks in one fell swoop, but those are thrill parks which, admittedly, are less dependent on IPs for their ride experiences.

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  • JayRomy
    replied
    Originally posted by mtlchuck View Post
    This is an extremely interesting question for one particular reason: when Euro Disney opened to a catastrophic financial loss, Michael Eisner threatened to pull all of Disney out of the park, which would have left the banks to run a theme park stripped of ALL Disney IP's - no Mickey, Princesses, Pinnochio, NOTHING. I always wonder what this paralel reality would have been like, with Disneyland Paris having to remove every single Disney IP and transform the whole park into a generic theme park with non-Disney IP's.
    I've never heard of this. Learn something new everyday!!

    Where would it have stopped though? POTC for example, it'd be a show building and a trough / flume. And the castle... would the whole thing come down? Skull Rock? The animatronics on BTMRR (and is the rock work IP?) So many questions!! 😵😬😵

    Definitely something to ponder, at least for me.

    Leave a comment:


  • Eagleman
    replied
    Originally posted by Steven Fonzi Brown View Post

    Personally, I would LOVE to see a "Flight Through Fantasy" type of attraction, which uses a ride system similar to a combination of Peter Pan's Flight and Soarin', where you soar through a dark ride of classic Disney animated moments, like "Circle Of Life", "A Whole New World", etc (sort of similar to how the Whole New World flight took you through many different cultures, with nods to other Disney IPs like Hercules). It would be a chance to bring in some of Disney's most famous/popular fantasy IPs that currently don't have a legit dark ride in the American parks.
    You have a very interesting concept
    for a Attraction.....That sound cool..........

    Leave a comment:


  • Steven Fonzi Brown
    replied
    Originally posted by Mike_M View Post
    Blurr, I agree with everything you say there. I do enjoy Pooh, but have never liked its location.

    Personally, I think that the Fantasyland style dark rides work best when clustered together and ridden one after another. They are usually fairly short rides by themselves, but when you do a few back to back, they instead become a single longer experience. When you have them by themselves like Pooh, Monster’s inc or Little Mermaid, they end up feeling like an incomplete experience.

    I’ve said it before, but by tearing down the FL theater, you have ample space for either a new E-Ticket, or a second Fantasyland Dark ride cluster with multiple attractions (of which Pooh would fit nicely).
    Personally, I would LOVE to see a "Flight Through Fantasy" type of attraction, which uses a ride system similar to a combination of Peter Pan's Flight and Soarin', where you soar through a dark ride of classic Disney animated moments, like "Circle Of Life", "A Whole New World", etc (sort of similar to how the Whole New World flight took you through many different cultures, with nods to other Disney IPs like Hercules). It would be a chance to bring in some of Disney's most famous/popular fantasy IPs that currently don't have a legit dark ride in the American parks.

    Leave a comment:


  • Bob Weaver
    replied
    Walt: The park is the ride.

    Eisner: The ride is the park.

    Leave a comment:


  • Mike_M
    replied
    Blurr, I agree with everything you say there. I do enjoy Pooh, but have never liked its location.

    Personally, I think that the Fantasyland style dark rides work best when clustered together and ridden one after another. They are usually fairly short rides by themselves, but when you do a few back to back, they instead become a single longer experience. When you have them by themselves like Pooh, Monster’s inc or Little Mermaid, they end up feeling like an incomplete experience.

    I’ve said it before, but by tearing down the FL theater, you have ample space for either a new E-Ticket, or a second Fantasyland Dark ride cluster with multiple attractions (of which Pooh would fit nicely).

    Leave a comment:


  • Blurr
    replied
    Originally posted by Mike_M View Post
    I personally don’t think Pooh is a bad attraction. It’s a simple dark ride in the tradition of the Fantasyland classics. When compared to them, I believe it’s a very good C-Ticket which I don’t think it was ever meant to be more than. Not every new attraction needs to be a full E-Ticket to be good, but I think that’s the unfair comparison Pooh gets.
    I more or less agree with you on Pooh, I actually enjoy the attraction (though admittedly, part of that is my time as a CM working it) but I think our version catches flak for a few different reasons aside from it not being a major E-ticket.

    For starters and likely primarily; it replaced the Country Bear Jamboree which was a better thematic fit for the "deep south" style Critter Country was trying to be as an extension of New Orleans Square. Pooh takes place in England, I believe. So you've got him kicking out a show folks enjoyed (though I could take it or leave it) and situating himself where he arguably does not belong. Mostly because money. I can understand why that would leave a sour taste in some folks mouth. I'm not sure if the Princess and the Frog overlay will do it's placement any favors, since that overlay feels like a perfect transition from NOS, too. Then bam, Pooh, again. It's a stretch but maybe because they're both "fairy-tale-esque" enough that it could work in Pooh's favor. We'll have to see what they do with the land.

    Then you've got the reality that our version of the attraction is by far the weakest when compared to WDW's and to a more "unfair" extent, Tokyo's. Like you've said, not everything needs to be a giant E-ticket in the way that Tokyo's ended up but we didn't even get it as good as Florida. Some folks can't help but look at ours and feel like we got the short end of the stick.

    I actually think WDW's version of Pooh is perfect. I'm sad it replaced their Mr. Toad but it's a must-do on my trips there, I really do feel it is that good and an example of creating that sort of, perfect Fantasyland classic dark ride you're describing that doesn't need to drop our jaws with every twist or turn. Ours is okay, it's charming and I personally enjoy riding it for what it is but there other factors working against it outside of the whole "riding it for what it is" sort of thing.

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  • Mike_M
    replied
    Originally posted by JerrodDRagon View Post

    The Pier? No way Hollywood by a country Mile is muchhhhhhhhhhh worst. Hollywood land has not only no identity but lots of land that is wasted.

    DCA 1.0 wasn't bad for lack of IP the three best rides were all new IPs...Screamin, Soarin and Grizzly. Its the most of the wasted land and too many restaurants/shops. If the Grizzly area had a mine cart coast....and the Peir had a haunted beach manorI honestly think DCA would have had wayyyy more people coming into it. They were cheap.

    Now Carsland while an IP land has the charm of route 66, which is why I loveeeeee it. The neon lights at night and the cool dessert feel look but most days its 70 degrees.

    I think Quality usally beats out whatever they make...none Ip rides aren't all good...but look at Pooh/buss dark rides they to me feel so boring and just cheap. Heck while the new Star Wars ride tech is amazinggggg..I think if you made it where you were helping Luke and Vader Was the villain it would be even better because those characters mean a lot more to people than Rey and Kylo. (heck the actors are so done with SW they didn't even want to do voice lines for the new Holiday special)
    I can meet you in the middle on that.

    Yeah it’s pretty much all shops in Hollywood land, but to me, the design of it was well done, it has a bit of a Main St vibe to it, and at least looked the part.

    The Pier on the other hand was a slap in the face to everything DL is about by being the one thing Walt didn’t want to make in DL: a carnival atmosphere.

    I agree with you that there is still a lot of wasted space in DCA and that theming in the park is still very inconsistent in a lot of places (Monster’s Inc will always make no sense where it is). I think they’ve made improvements over the years, but there is still more DCA would need to do to ever come near the charm and clout DL itself has.

    I also agree with you that quality trumps the IP/no IP debate as well. A good attraction is a good attraction, and a bad attraction is a bad attraction, IP or not. I personally don’t think Pooh is a bad attraction. It’s a simple dark ride in the tradition of the Fantasyland classics. When compared to them, I believe it’s a very good C-Ticket which I don’t think it was ever meant to be more than. Not every new attraction needs to be a full E-Ticket to be good, but I think that’s the unfair comparison Pooh gets.

    Buzz however hasn’t aged well. It’s still fun, but it is not a high quality attraction at all and if it went away to be replaced by something else, I don’t think I’d miss it.

    Leave a comment:


  • JerrodDRagon
    replied
    Originally posted by Mike_M View Post

    They made a lot of mistakes initially, but DCA 1.0 was originally devoid of Disney IP in a majority of the park, and to be honest, adding IP to it has arguably made it a better park overall. CarsLand is one of the best lands of any Disney park IMO.

    Pixar Pier though is the example I tend to use most often when talking about poor story and taking IP in the park too far. It just wasn’t needed. Paradise Pier made sense as it was.

    What DCA needs is that balance that still exists at DL. There is no undoing some of the largest sins in DCA (The pier being the biggest offender left from the original design) but finding a better balance instead of making the whole place Pixar Park would solve the remaining issues DCA has left I believe.
    The Pier? No way Hollywood by a country Mile is muchhhhhhhhhhh worst. Hollywood land has not only no identity but lots of land that is wasted.

    DCA 1.0 wasn't bad for lack of IP the three best rides were all new IPs...Screamin, Soarin and Grizzly. Its the most of the wasted land and too many restaurants/shops. If the Grizzly area had a mine cart coast....and the Peir had a haunted beach manorI honestly think DCA would have had wayyyy more people coming into it. They were cheap.

    Now Carsland while an IP land has the charm of route 66, which is why I loveeeeee it. The neon lights at night and the cool dessert feel look but most days its 70 degrees.

    I think Quality usally beats out whatever they make...none Ip rides aren't all good...but look at Pooh/buss dark rides they to me feel so boring and just cheap. Heck while the new Star Wars ride tech is amazinggggg..I think if you made it where you were helping Luke and Vader Was the villain it would be even better because those characters mean a lot more to people than Rey and Kylo. (heck the actors are so done with SW they didn't even want to do voice lines for the new Holiday special)

    Leave a comment:


  • Mike_M
    replied
    Originally posted by mtlchuck View Post
    This is an extremely interesting question for one particular reason: when Euro Disney opened to a catastrophic financial loss, Michael Eisner threatened to pull all of Disney out of the park, which would have left the banks to run a theme park stripped of ALL Disney IP's - no Mickey, Princesses, Pinnochio, NOTHING. I always wonder what this paralel reality would have been like, with Disneyland Paris having to remove every single Disney IP and transform the whole park into a generic theme park with non-Disney IP's.
    I’m very glad that didn’t come to be.

    DLP is a beautiful park, and to me felt closer to the spirit of DL than MK at WDW does. There is so much there that takes the best of DL and reimagines it in the most creative ways. It’s truly a love letter to DL, and in many ways to Marc Davis as well because his influence is everywhere; especially in Frontierland.

    It’s honestly difficult for me to imagine what it would be like if the IP was stripped out. Phantom Manor & POTC, while different than their DL counterparts, have enough similarities that I doubt anything could have been left behind. The Replica of Capt Hook’s ship from the pre-1983 Fantasyland which has a prominent place next to skull rock; Sleeping Beauty Castle and the landscaping which takes direct visual cues from the film; Fantasyland and it’s visual inspiration from other Disney classics. The list goes on.

    The deeper I go in this thread, the more I believe that it just isn’t a Disney park to me without some key pieces of IP. A castle, pirates, a haunted house, a Jungle Cruise, Peter Pan’s flight, and Mickey & the Gang.

    Leave a comment:


  • mtlchuck
    replied
    This is an extremely interesting question for one particular reason: when Euro Disney opened to a catastrophic financial loss, Michael Eisner threatened to pull all of Disney out of the park, which would have left the banks to run a theme park stripped of ALL Disney IP's - no Mickey, Princesses, Pinnochio, NOTHING. I always wonder what this paralel reality would have been like, with Disneyland Paris having to remove every single Disney IP and transform the whole park into a generic theme park with non-Disney IP's.

    Leave a comment:


  • Mike_M
    replied
    Originally posted by Mr Wiggins View Post
    Not at all, Mike. You're spot on so far as their output goes. Where we might differ is in the details of how the internal process has declined over the decades. But sadly, the end result is the same: instead of product that is greater than the sum of its parts, which was the hallmark of WED and pre-Iger (and I would say pre-Eisner) WDI, the product is less than the sum of its parts, and enormously less than its potential.
    Very true, and well said as always.

    I think it’s safe to say WDI is not WED, no matter what any of us like or don’t like about what they do now.

    I don’t think WED on its own could achieve technically what WDI can, and on the flip side, I don’t think WDI can achieve on its own creatively what WED did. WED was full of storytellers learning how to build their stories in 3D. WDI is full of engineers learning how to tell stories with their technology.

    I believe the skill and passion is there in the imagineers, but I think the skill today is heavier on the engineering side of things. They build beautiful, elaborate attractions that tell unique and wonderful stories. It’s just that other people came up with those stories. I don’t know if that’s a crutch, or if it’s because when Imagineering became an actual career path for people to achieve, something was lost due to skipping over the part where they made movies first for 20 years like the WED guys did. They jumped right to the building attractions part.

    Perhaps this is just the natural evolution of things in the industry. The initial spark of genius can only happen once. Everything that comes after is just building on the shoulders of giants. I still love what WDI does, a lot. But will there ever be anything as unique and game changing as POTC?

    Probably not.

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  • Eagleman
    replied
    Originally posted by Mr Wiggins View Post

    Spot on. The name of the game becomes "Anticipate and Deliver What the Marketing Execs Want."
    Only if WDI was able, really do there job ,like those back in Walt days......
    I bet they can come up great Lands and Attractions !
    In technological innovation and Imagination...........

    IMO
    They now Today part -Marketing Team.......which is sadly not the same !<>

    Leave a comment:


  • Mr Wiggins
    replied
    Originally posted by Blurr View Post
    ...I think WDI is probably still full of talented people. -and if not, they’re definitely out there and wouldn’t be too hard to find. I think the issue with DCA 1.0 was its lack of approved funding. It was done on the cheap and “Blue Sky” isn’t really a reality when you’re limited by such a small budget.

    I’m sure the larger issue at hand is upper management not allowing WDI to be as creative as they’d like to be. They want safe and for-sure profits, not to take chances on a new idea they might consider a risk. At least, not usually. That would be my guess.
    Spot on. The name of the game becomes "Anticipate and Deliver What the Marketing Execs Want."

    Leave a comment:


  • Blurr
    replied
    Mike_M; I haven’t seen the Imagineering story yet, but I do vaguely remember seeing some kind of concept art that involved Goofy in a sort of “Goofy about driving” car-based attraction when I visited the Blue Sky Cellar many years ago? It’s been a long time.

    I think WDI is probably still full of talented people. -and if not, they’re definitely out there and wouldn’t be too hard to find. I think the issue with DCA 1.0 was its lack of approved funding. It was done on the cheap and “Blue Sky” isn’t really a reality when you’re limited by such a small budget.

    I’m sure the larger issue at hand is upper management not allowing WDI to be as creative as they’d like to be. They want safe and for-sure profits, not to take chances on a new idea they might consider a risk. At least, not usually. That would be my guess.

    Leave a comment:


  • Mr Wiggins
    replied
    Originally posted by Mike_M View Post
    ...Wiggins will jump on me for this one, but I don’t think WDI has much left in themselves for original story/character creation. I have to wonder if DCA 1.0’s failures left them unconfident in their own ability to create from scratch, and so they instead pivoted to where they are now which is finding good stories elsewhere and bringing them to life in the parks.
    Not at all, Mike. You're spot on so far as their output goes. Where we might differ is in the details of how the internal process has declined over the decades. But sadly, the end result is the same: instead of product that is greater than the sum of its parts, which was the hallmark of WED and pre-Iger (and I would say pre-Eisner) WDI, the product is less than the sum of its parts, and enormously less than its potential.


    Leave a comment:

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