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  • [Fun] The FUTURE OF. the park(s)-IPs

    I have been thinking. I recall the original idea for DCA expansion circa 2012 was to do a Car Land. This would have still been true to the California theme of the park. It still would have had the garish feel.

    I just thought, will the movie Cars be relevant in two decades? It's MUCH harder to retheme an entire land-based around 1 movie to a different franchise than it is to retheme a single ride in a themed land. What do you think Cars Land will look like in 3 decades? Could it be rethemed, to the original non-IP version while keeping much of it still intact?


    Now, I grew up with Cars. But, I do not believe it the movie is timeless.
    To all who come to this place of dreams, welcome. Disney California Adventure celebrates the spirit of optimism and the promise of endless opportunities, ignited by the imagination of daring dreamers such as Walt Disney and those like him who forever changed- and was forever changed by- The Golden State. This unique place embraces the richness and diversity of California... Its land, its people, its stories, and, above all, the dreamers it continues to inspire.--Robert A Iger.

  • #2
    I think it would be very difficult to rework something on the scale of Cars Land, which is a concern I've had ever since the project was announced. Bugs Land and Bountiful Valley Farms are proof that the Disneyland Resort isn't opposed to bulldozing lands, but Cars Land is so large in scale that there isn't any precedent (that I can think of) of something like it being rebuilt from the ground up. I suppose Disney could eventually get rid of the "town" portion of Cars Land and keep Ornament Valley, but even that I have a hard time seeing happening.

    I'm sure the Cars movies will always have some relevance as new generations are exposed to the movies through platforms like Disney Plus, just as I grew up with movies before my time through VHS. Still, I can see Cars Land becoming like Mr. Toad's Wild Ride in the sense that the theme park presence of characters outlives the popularity of the movies they were based on. We might see the replacement of Mater's Junkyard Jamboree and Luigi's (again) and Radiator Springs Racers might get an updated form at some point, but I'm 95% sure that Cars Land will still be around in 30 years.
    Last edited by Brian PieGuy; 04-15-2021, 04:55 PM. Reason: grammatical errors
    Brian the Pooh

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    • #3
      Yeah, I'm pretty much concerned about 90% of the single IP lands like Cars, Pandora, Toy Story, Zootopia, Frozen, etc. The ONLY 2 that I think can be ok in the long run are Star Wars and Avengers because those characters have already existed for decades, and you can keep the land theme while maybe cycling in new attractions in the future based on what is and isn't popular at that point. There are dozens of Avengers who could all easily have their own attractions. This is also why I'm glad that the Avengers Campus isn't just Wakanda, or Asgard, this way you can still add Thor or Black Panther attractions in the future. If the land was just themed to one of those movie, you wouldn't be able to add any other Avengers in the future. Similarly with Star Wars, I don't think it would be too difficult to switch the Rise of the Resistance in the future if they deem it necessary to be a different part of the timeline. You could have it be that the land doesn't take place at any specific time and then you can work with characters from all of the timeline so then you could have Mando and Grogu, Ahsoka, Ezra and Sabine, Luke, Han, Leia, Vader, Maul, etc, which is the approach they took for Avengers, where any character that has been in the movies is fair game regardless of their status currently in the movies.
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      • #4
        I think the allure of a road trip in the wide open spaces is timeless. Speaking only of Cars Land. The movies mean nothing to me, and I love it.
        I guess it's kind of got to be taken on a case by case basis, and some things will be timeless to some people.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by mickeyfan42 View Post
          Yeah, I'm pretty much concerned about 90% of the single IP lands like Cars, Pandora, Toy Story, Zootopia, Frozen, etc. The ONLY 2 that I think can be ok in the long run are Star Wars and Avengers because those characters have already existed for decades, and you can keep the land theme while maybe cycling in new attractions in the future based on what is and isn't popular at that point. There are dozens of Avengers who could all easily have their own attractions. This is also why I'm glad that the Avengers Campus isn't just Wakanda, or Asgard, this way you can still add Thor or Black Panther attractions in the future. If the land was just themed to one of those movie, you wouldn't be able to add any other Avengers in the future. Similarly with Star Wars, I don't think it would be too difficult to switch the Rise of the Resistance in the future if they deem it necessary to be a different part of the timeline. You could have it be that the land doesn't take place at any specific time and then you can work with characters from all of the timeline so then you could have Mando and Grogu, Ahsoka, Ezra and Sabine, Luke, Han, Leia, Vader, Maul, etc, which is the approach they took for Avengers, where any character that has been in the movies is fair game regardless of their status currently in the movies.
          One of the things I find so interesting about Pandora is that the land was finished nearly 10 years after Avatar came out. And the movie, while a financial success by all metrics, it was critically mixed, with opinions becoming more sour as it ages. No one was really expecting or asking for a Pandora land when Disney announced it, and the land is successful largely because there isn't a large presence of characters from the movie. Aliens, sure, but whatshisname and whathername and theotherone? If they're around, I've never seen them, and clearly do not remember their names even a little bit (I remember Zoe Saldana and Sigourney Weaver were in it but you could not pay me to remember their names). The fact that the land has been so successful, despite a lot of adults not remembering anything but the setting and kids having not seen it at all, makes me think it's probably safe for decades to come. It's just such a well designed land, and I think when it comes to Disney they can kind of force something to be a Cultural Icon with enough skilled design and aggressive marketing.

          That's the same for Cars Land. There's just no doubt that it's spectacularly done, but this time instead of being because the setting is so unique and weird and magical, it's because the land feels familiar. That's a testament to both the land still having shades of Car Land, and to the movie itself being the right kind of generic where the characters tell their story in their very simple and trope-y designs. The characters might be phased away from meet-and-greets over time, but I doubt the ride characters will leave because they fit so well into the land, and the land is accessible even to people who haven't seen the movie because it's the Grand Canyon and Route 66, those are still cultural icons. I really do think it's there for the long haul, or at most will indeed become Car Land in all but name.

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          • #6
            Speaking as someone who never saw Avatar but remember the sort of buzz that surrounded it when it was new, it's actually pretty good theme park material precisely because the setting was the most striking thing about it. Not many people cared much about the specific characters, but they sure wanted to visit Pandora and experience the exotic alien nature for themselves. And now they can--well done, Disney!

            Likewise, Harry Potter makes for good theme parking because the thing in the books/movies that really grabbed people's attention was the fantasy of discovering that you are actually part of a secret magical society living just slightly askew of the real world. The characters and plot events there are much more memorable than those of Avatar, but they aren't ultimately the main draw. The wizarding world itself is the main draw. (It also helps, of course, that the books/movies feature extensive shopping scenes in very picturesque little magic shops, so the extra revenue generation is built in.)

            Despite their vast popularity, I don't think Star Wars and the MCU are ideal for theme parks because they don't, on the whole, fulfill that criterion of having the setting take center stage. The Star Wars universe is huge and contains a lot of colorful planets, but we never spend enough time with any one part of the Galaxy to fall in love with it. It is all about the drama of the characters and the huge epic plots. The MCU also has places in it that I would love to visit, but Disney seems to want to focus on high-profile character appearances instead.
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            • #7
              Originally posted by Karalora View Post
              Speaking as someone who never saw Avatar but remember the sort of buzz that surrounded it when it was new, it's actually pretty good theme park material precisely because the setting was the most striking thing about it. Not many people cared much about the specific characters, but they sure wanted to visit Pandora and experience the exotic alien nature for themselves. And now they can--well done, Disney!

              Likewise, Harry Potter makes for good theme parking because the thing in the books/movies that really grabbed people's attention was the fantasy of discovering that you are actually part of a secret magical society living just slightly askew of the real world. The characters and plot events there are much more memorable than those of Avatar, but they aren't ultimately the main draw. The wizarding world itself is the main draw. (It also helps, of course, that the books/movies feature extensive shopping scenes in very picturesque little magic shops, so the extra revenue generation is built in.)

              Despite their vast popularity, I don't think Star Wars and the MCU are ideal for theme parks because they don't, on the whole, fulfill that criterion of having the setting take center stage. The Star Wars universe is huge and contains a lot of colorful planets, but we never spend enough time with any one part of the Galaxy to fall in love with it. It is all about the drama of the characters and the huge epic plots. The MCU also has places in it that I would love to visit, but Disney seems to want to focus on high-profile character appearances instead.
              I couldn't agree more about the MCU! I don't want to pass too much judgement on Avenger's Campus before I see it myself, but the draw to the land seems so much more about specific attractions, while the land itself is simply the place the buildings are. The story they're trying to tell about it being a recruitment center but the concept art and pictures I've seen don't really tell that in any visual way. The idea to design it to the brand itself and not the story seems designed to be updated constantly, but that's just another way of saying it will date itself constantly and need the updating. If a land is immersive enough and well designed enough, I don't think it matters that the specific origin is outdated.

              That's actually why I really respect Galaxy's Edge, because they built an environment. I think it's a good compromise between being generically themed to the brand over the story (in that they didn't chose one of the established planets) and highly immersive environmental storytelling (in that they did invent a planet, design its ecosystem and architectural history, and give it a backstory).
              Last edited by RapunzelsCabbage; 04-15-2021, 08:30 PM.

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              • #8
                This conversation has come up a couple times in the past few years since the proliferation of single IP lands or areas. The bottom line, I think it really comes down to what the IP the land is based on is. While not entire lands, if The Haunted Mansion and Pirates of the Caribbean can sustain themselves for half a century then I see no reason why rides and lands based on ANY IP can survive if they are well thought out and mirror the quality of other timeless classics. As mentioned in the thread already, Cars Land is phenomenal in terms of details and overall quality. There are tons of little details, and while two of the attractions are relatively straight forward the anchor of the land is incredible. Even if the Cars franchise wanes in popularity and eventually fades into obscurity I think the land could stand on its own for decades. Sure some of the elements may not hit with the intended audience anymore and may be removed, see DJ's music moments, but the land itself and the attractions within will likely maintain a high level of popularity based on their sheer level of quality for a long time.

                That being said, I would argue the real danger in single land IP is when the work is a poor overlay or aimed at a VERY specific audience. Pixar Pier, for example, likely has a lifespan. While not a single IP per say, the land based entirely on Pixar properties will likely grow tiresome as fewer and fewer people have an attachment to the baby on the stick.

                I think there is always a place for a very well crafted landed with excellent attractions that don't just rely on the IP's popularity.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by linkeq2001 View Post
                  This conversation has come up a couple times in the past few years since the proliferation of single IP lands or areas. The bottom line, I think it really comes down to what the IP the land is based on is. While not entire lands, if The Haunted Mansion and Pirates of the Caribbean can sustain themselves for half a century then I see no reason why rides and lands based on ANY IP can survive if they are well thought out and mirror the quality of other timeless classics. As mentioned in the thread already, Cars Land is phenomenal in terms of details and overall quality. There are tons of little details, and while two of the attractions are relatively straight forward the anchor of the land is incredible. Even if the Cars franchise wanes in popularity and eventually fades into obscurity I think the land could stand on its own for decades. Sure some of the elements may not hit with the intended audience anymore and may be removed, see DJ's music moments, but the land itself and the attractions within will likely maintain a high level of popularity based on their sheer level of quality for a long time.

                  That being said, I would argue the real danger in single land IP is when the work is a poor overlay or aimed at a VERY specific audience. Pixar Pier, for example, likely has a lifespan. While not a single IP per say, the land based entirely on Pixar properties will likely grow tiresome as fewer and fewer people have an attachment to the baby on the stick.

                  I think there is always a place for a very well crafted landed with excellent attractions that don't just rely on the IP's popularity.
                  Yeah, Pixar Pier is definitely in more trouble than Cars Land I think. The big problem with Pixar Pier is that it doesn’t have a unified design. It, like how Avenger Campus has been designed, is based around different characters in different parts, and without cohesion one building on its own is going to age faster than a full environment. I’m really not sure what the better answer for the MCU is since the most interesting aesthetics tend to be so character specific, but while Pixar movies don’t really share the universe the way the MCU does many of the stories have a shared look of midcentury modernism. But when you look PP the times and scales are all over the place. If they’d given it a specific setting rather than doing the neighborhood cheat I think they have a lot more longevity.

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                  • #10
                    I think the success of any land that is based in an IP is how immersive the land is. Carsland will be successful for many years because it is a very immersive land that brings you into the world, same with Avatar. The danger comes from the fact that the more open ended a land is the more easily adaptable it becomes there for lands based on a single IP are stuck into the themes that it has established although attractions could still be updated as we have seen already with Luigi's. There are however issues that can come with more generalized lands like the issue of Tomorrowland which the concept of tomorrow is so ever changing that the land can never actually keep up as a place of tomorrow.
                    BGood! It's not just my motto its my name!

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by RapunzelsCabbage View Post

                      I couldn't agree more about the MCU! I don't want to pass too much judgement on Avenger's Campus before I see it myself, but the draw to the land seems so much more about specific attractions, while the land itself is simply the place the buildings are.
                      And really, what would they have done with it? The "core" setting of the MCU, where the action tends to center, where most of the popular characters live and work most of the time, is...here and now. Large American cities, circa today (or a few years from now). If they wanted to give us Wakanda and Asgard and the Quantum Realm and Xandar and whatever the heck is going on with Doctor Strange, it would be much more appealing to walk into. But Iron Man and Spider-Man are the biggest draws, so we get stuff we could basically see downtown.
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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Karalora View Post

                        And really, what would they have done with it? The "core" setting of the MCU, where the action tends to center, where most of the popular characters live and work most of the time, is...here and now. Large American cities, circa today (or a few years from now). If they wanted to give us Wakanda and Asgard and the Quantum Realm and Xandar and whatever the heck is going on with Doctor Strange, it would be much more appealing to walk into. But Iron Man and Spider-Man are the biggest draws, so we get stuff we could basically see downtown.
                        That’s so true. I’ve been trying to armchair imagineer that place for months, and the best I’ve come up with is a kind of battle-raged New York, where the Spidey ride is marked not by a giant logo but by growing webbing surrounding a building and the Dr, Strange sanctum is faced like his Bleeker St building, and there’s an actual Stark/Avengers Tower. I’d be okay traveling just to NY if it felt like I was at least traveling and not the Avengers setting up a pop up carnival. I mean I love Grizzly Peak and that’s just the redwoods, but very well done and immersive.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by RapunzelsCabbage View Post

                          Yeah, Pixar Pier is definitely in more trouble than Cars Land I think. The big problem with Pixar Pier is that it doesn’t have a unified design. It, like how Avenger Campus has been designed, is based around different characters in different parts, and without cohesion one building on its own is going to age faster than a full environment. I’m really not sure what the better answer for the MCU is since the most interesting aesthetics tend to be so character specific, but while Pixar movies don’t really share the universe the way the MCU does many of the stories have a shared look of midcentury modernism. But when you look PP the times and scales are all over the place. If they’d given it a specific setting rather than doing the neighborhood cheat I think they have a lot more longevity.
                          I wish that the Pier had not changed to "Pixar Pier". Mickey's face on the wheel has become such a marketing icon for the park, and yet it makes absolutely no sense with being the Pixar Pal-A-Round now. Also, personally I miss Ariel's Grotto and have little to no interest in going to Lamplight Lounge (I don't drink and feel awkward at all restaurants that are known for the alcohol rather than the atmosphere and food). I do think that if they had simply made everything still have that Victorian design style that Toy Story Mania has it would have been the best way to handle it, you can still have different movies and characters represented in the attractions as they are now, but with a cohesive architectural style.
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                          November 19th-25th

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by mickeyfan42 View Post

                            I wish that the Pier had not changed to "Pixar Pier". Mickey's face on the wheel has become such a marketing icon for the park, and yet it makes absolutely no sense with being the Pixar Pal-A-Round now. Also, personally I miss Ariel's Grotto and have little to no interest in going to Lamplight Lounge (I don't drink and feel awkward at all restaurants that are known for the alcohol rather than the atmosphere and food). I do think that if they had simply made everything still have that Victorian design style that Toy Story Mania has it would have been the best way to handle it, you can still have different movies and characters represented in the attractions as they are now, but with a cohesive architectural style.
                            I feel the exact same way. I think Pixar Pier is a Toy Story Land on steroids. It gave them excuse to market more of Pixar intellectual properties. I am more surprised they couldn’t use their other classic animation. The pier is a perfect land to execute new dark rides for other Disney animated classics. I have always felt Paradise Pier would have been the DCA version of Fantasyland, providing not only carnival rides, but some like 2 or 3 more family oriented dark rides.

                            I hope one day Pixar will be dropped and renamed back to original name. As well as bringing back California Screamin’.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by RapunzelsCabbage View Post

                              That’s so true. I’ve been trying to armchair imagineer that place for months, and the best I’ve come up with is a kind of battle-raged New York, where the Spidey ride is marked not by a giant logo but by growing webbing surrounding a building and the Dr, Strange sanctum is faced like his Bleeker St building, and there’s an actual Stark/Avengers Tower. I’d be okay traveling just to NY if it felt like I was at least traveling and not the Avengers setting up a pop up carnival. I mean I love Grizzly Peak and that’s just the redwoods, but very well done and immersive.
                              California Adventure has always suffered from the fact that it was presenting a very "here and now" view of California. If the themes focused more on colorful historical eras, the mystique of the movie industry, etc. it would have been better received from the get-go. I will never understand why "Let's give them a scaled-down facsimile of things they can get the real version of within a day's drive" was considered a winning strategy. Theme park execs are that out of touch, I guess.
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                              • #16
                                Originally posted by Karalora View Post
                                California Adventure has always suffered from the fact that it was presenting a very "here and now" view of California. If the themes focused more on colorful historical eras, the mystique of the movie industry, etc. it would have been better received from the get-go. I will never understand why "Let's give them a scaled-down facsimile of things they can get the real version of within a day's drive" was considered a winning strategy. Theme park execs are that out of touch, I guess.
                                Bingo. DCA v1.0 was the product of the creative vision of the self-styled Walt Disney v2.0...

                                Click image for larger version  Name:	Michael_Eisner.jpg Views:	0 Size:	12.1 KB ID:	8635475
                                "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

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                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by Karalora View Post

                                  California Adventure has always suffered from the fact that it was presenting a very "here and now" view of California. If the themes focused more on colorful historical eras, the mystique of the movie industry, etc. it would have been better received from the get-go. I will never understand why "Let's give them a scaled-down facsimile of things they can get the real version of within a day's drive" was considered a winning strategy. Theme park execs are that out of touch, I guess.
                                  I've always wondered if that was because it was "Easterners" involved in the project. To them, current day California would be interesting and exotic. For me, having grown up in California, I was craving the drama and allure of days gone by. What a wasted opportunity!

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                                  • #18
                                    Originally posted by Pips View Post

                                    I've always wondered if that was because it was "Easterners" involved in the project. To them, current day California would be interesting and exotic. For me, having grown up in California, I was craving the drama and allure of days gone by. What a wasted opportunity!
                                    I would counter that by pointing out that you already get a lot of that at Knotts
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                                    • #19
                                      Originally posted by Pips View Post

                                      I've always wondered if that was because it was "Easterners" involved in the project. To them, current day California would be interesting and exotic. For me, having grown up in California, I was craving the drama and allure of days gone by. What a wasted opportunity!
                                      As I understand it, they were looking to develop a second gate in order to keep tourists on-property for longer than a day or two. Reasoning that out-of-staters tend to make a Disneyland visit a small part of an overall tour of California (which is probably true), they decided the best way to keep them around was to have the rest of the state right there. The goal was literally to substitute for California as it is--a fine idea if it would work, but there was never going to be any way to make it work. No one who wants to go whitewater rafting in the Sierras is going to be satisfied with a three-minute flume ride (that you wait 90 minutes for). No one who wants to see the Walk of Fame and Chinese Theater and other bona-fide Hollywood landmarks is going to be impressed with a fake street with fake storefronts and a creepy fake limo ride with fake celebrity animatronics. No one who is interested in the Santa Monica Pier is going to look at a carnival built on an artificial lake 10 miles inland and think "Yeah, this is what I was after." No one is going to be glad they went to the single overpriced restaurant with the sickly grapevines in the garden beds instead of driving up to Napa Valley. And especially no one is going to be happy with those things when for what they paid to see them, they could have visited the tried-and-true, historic, groundbreaking, magical park just across the way.
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                                      • #20
                                        Originally posted by Karalora View Post

                                        As I understand it, they were looking to develop a second gate in order to keep tourists on-property for longer than a day or two. Reasoning that out-of-staters tend to make a Disneyland visit a small part of an overall tour of California (which is probably true), they decided the best way to keep them around was to have the rest of the state right there. The goal was literally to substitute for California as it is--a fine idea if it would work, but there was never going to be any way to make it work. No one who wants to go whitewater rafting in the Sierras is going to be satisfied with a three-minute flume ride (that you wait 90 minutes for). No one who wants to see the Walk of Fame and Chinese Theater and other bona-fide Hollywood landmarks is going to be impressed with a fake street with fake storefronts and a creepy fake limo ride with fake celebrity animatronics. No one who is interested in the Santa Monica Pier is going to look at a carnival built on an artificial lake 10 miles inland and think "Yeah, this is what I was after." No one is going to be glad they went to the single overpriced restaurant with the sickly grapevines in the garden beds instead of driving up to Napa Valley. And especially no one is going to be happy with those things when for what they paid to see them, they could have visited the tried-and-true, historic, groundbreaking, magical park just across the way.
                                        Which is exactly why the park has never truly worked, and it's the park's fundamental problem. The park's overall strategy, as determined by Michael Eisner and other executives, was an attempt to get people to skip the "other" parts of their vacations. It's the same strategy that brought us Animal Kingdom (keep people in WDW instead of driving over to Busch Gardens for a day) and the Studios park (keep people from visiting Universal Florida). It's very reactionary. The ironic thing is that when Disney does something original, people love it, yet they often rely on imitating others.

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