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  • [Question] Space Mountain and the "Hallway of Blah"

    Hi folks, occasional poster Virtual Toad here. Just got back from a two-day trip to WDW with the family (wife, toddler son and 5-year-old son) and wanted to share some impressions from our visit... things that really stood out.

    There was the usual good, bad and ugly but three things stuck with me from our MK trip:

    1. They STILL haven't touched up the faux cobblestones where the wedding "ring" used to be at the exit to the Haunted Mansion. Are they trying to tell us something? It almost feels like they're deliberately thumbing their noses at anyone who knew about or enjoyed the mystery of the ring. Look, we get it, WDI/WDW. You don't like us. It wasn't really a ring. We don't get to decide what the story is, you do. Fine. Now can you please touch up the area so it doesn't stick out like a sore thumb? Is five minutes with some black paint and a paintbrush too much to ask?

    2. The climactic earthquake scene at Big Thunder Mountain keeps getting less and less climactic every time we visit. Yes, there used to be hokey little rocks on sticks, but at least they moved. Now there's no motion at all... no shaking boulders, inadequate lighting, exposed security cameras and a ton of black fabric covering gaping holes where rockwork used to be. Get on this WDW. Fix it and fix it NOW.

    3. This is the last one and it's the one that puzzles me the most. They spent MILLIONS retheming Space Mountain's queue only to route guests in the standby line through what my five year old calls "the hallway of BLAH!" Why spend all that time and money on a spectacular rehab, then ruin the immersion by diverting guests through an unthemed, cramped, hot hallway with garbage on the floor and cracks in the walls? It's jarring, uncomfortable and way below any reasonable expectation of Disney show standards. Even for today's WDW this is a new low. It makes the "new" Space Mountain LESS enjoyable than it was BEFORE the rehab!!

    Okay, enough ranting, but if there's anyone out there who can provide any insight to the logic behind the "hallway of BLAH" we'd sure like to know.

  • #2
    Re: Space Mountain and the "Hallway of Blah"

    Funny, I wonder about those same things... but it's not worth it. No one in management cares, and there will be enough Disney Apologists around to defend the parks.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Space Mountain and the "Hallway of Blah"

      Yeah, I agree but the hallway thing just perplexes me... there has to be SOME logic behind it, right? Some operational reason to justify it? Queue railings installed backwards? Unsafe flooring? Anyone?!

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Space Mountain and the "Hallway of Blah"

        This is the first time I've heard of the earthquake effects not working on BTMR. Last summer we went to WDW, and when we rode it, they were working fine, so obviously it's not an old thing at least. That does seem like a shame though, as it's one of the key effects in the ride.

        *goes to see if she can find video*

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Space Mountain and the "Hallway of Blah"

          What is the hallway??? Where is it? Pics?

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Space Mountain and the "Hallway of Blah"

            I haven't been able to find any pics or video of the hallway or the broken effect on BTMR. Sorry... but it seems like no one has posted pics of it. Sorry... I searched everywhere...

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Space Mountain and the "Hallway of Blah"

              Big Thunder Mountain's Earthquake sequence is actually being repaired as we speak. They just didn't want to close the entire ride down just to fix the one sequence.

              The Haunted Mansion is slated to get work done in the future that will address your cobblestone issue. But there is no reason to work on it now when that area could change dramatically in the future. It's the ground for pete sake.

              The Space Mountain hallway... yes, that is a legitimate complaint. It looks horrible.
              -Bill

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              • #8
                Re: Space Mountain and the "Hallway of Blah"

                I always hated that Hallway in Space. It's so bad, I knew exactly which one it was.
                DisneyTwins
                Since May 2003

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Space Mountain and the "Hallway of Blah"

                  Originally posted by Bill View Post
                  Big Thunder Mountain's Earthquake sequence is actually being repaired as we speak. They just didn't want to close the entire ride down just to fix the one sequence.

                  The Haunted Mansion is slated to get work done in the future that will address your cobblestone issue. But there is no reason to work on it now when that area could change dramatically in the future. It's the ground for pete sake.

                  The Space Mountain hallway... yes, that is a legitimate complaint. It looks horrible.
                  Isn't the Big Thunder situation like saying, well, the video game screen in the last part of Carousel of Progress doesn't work but let's keep the attraction open anyway?

                  Or, well, the Carnotaurus is broken at the climax of Dinosaur but let's just put a smaller, static dino head in its place and keep the attraction open anyway?

                  Or the Yeti at the climax of Everest is broken, but hey, just throw a strobe on it and keep the attraction open anyway?

                  Or, Splash Mountain smells of burning plastic after new lights were installed but, hey, let's hope the toxic fumes aren't too bad and just keep the attraction open anyway?

                  It didn't used to be this way. Stuff always worked. Disney was Disney because of its insane attention to quality and detail.

                  I love WDW, I grew up with the place but with the prices they're charging for dramatically reduced quality, quite frankly, I'm starting to feel fleeced. That's why the Sapce Mountain hallway bothers me so much. IT WASN'T ALWAYS LIKE THIS. Who decided to route the standby line through a trashy back hallway and away from a very nicely themed queue that cost millions to re-do?

                  It just seems inane and insane, and it's part of a bigger picture that just keeps getting worse.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Space Mountain and the "Hallway of Blah"

                    Wow the Space Mountain queue is supposed to look like that? When I was there in May I just thought they hadn't finished. What a dissappointment!
                    Fratsor Sister - Delta Mu Chi Alpha

                    ΔΜΧΑ

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                    • #11
                      Re: Space Mountain and the "Hallway of Blah"

                      Oh, the hallway of "did I enter an employees only area?" Yup, last time I was there - the guests next to me were wondering if we had all made a wrong turn and ended up behind the ride. From games and effects to...nothing.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Space Mountain and the "Hallway of Blah"

                        When they did the refurb I thought they were going to improve the line experience not diminish it
                        The test of success is not what you do when you are on top. Success is how high you bounce when you hit bottom.
                        -George S. Patton

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                        • #13
                          Re: Space Mountain and the "Hallway of Blah"

                          Originally posted by Virtual Toad View Post
                          It didn't used to be this way. Stuff always worked. Disney was Disney because of its insane attention to quality and detail.
                          Only Tokyo delivers on this issue. old School Disney and much more, for less at the ticket window.

                          I love WDW, I grew up with the place but with the prices they're charging for dramatically reduced quality, quite frankly, I'm starting to feel fleeced. That's why the Sapce Mountain hallway bothers me so much. IT WASN'T ALWAYS LIKE THIS. Who decided to route the standby line through a trashy back hallway and away from a very nicely themed queue that cost millions to re-do? It just seems inane and insane, and it's part of a bigger picture that just keeps getting worse.
                          Welcome to my world..

                          And Bill... exactly what are they doing to the earthquake scene in BTMT? The version of the ride, and especially that scene, have been an embarrasment of riches, and it is the version with the most visible need of improvements and maintenance. Will they add the fiber optic gold dust from Paris and re-install the falling rocks (as originally seen here) from Tokyo?
                          Last edited by TDLFAN; 08-19-2010, 07:28 PM.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Space Mountain and the "Hallway of Blah"

                            Originally posted by Virtual Toad View Post
                            Isn't the Big Thunder situation like saying, well, the video game screen in the last part of Carousel of Progress doesn't work but let's keep the attraction open anyway?

                            Or, well, the Carnotaurus is broken at the climax of Dinosaur but let's just put a smaller, static dino head in its place and keep the attraction open anyway?

                            Or the Yeti at the climax of Everest is broken, but hey, just throw a strobe on it and keep the attraction open anyway?

                            Or, Splash Mountain smells of burning plastic after new lights were installed but, hey, let's hope the toxic fumes aren't too bad and just keep the attraction open anyway?

                            It didn't used to be this way. Stuff always worked. Disney was Disney because of its insane attention to quality and detail.

                            I love WDW, I grew up with the place but with the prices they're charging for dramatically reduced quality, quite frankly, I'm starting to feel fleeced. That's why the Sapce Mountain hallway bothers me so much. IT WASN'T ALWAYS LIKE THIS. Who decided to route the standby line through a trashy back hallway and away from a very nicely themed queue that cost millions to re-do?

                            It just seems inane and insane, and it's part of a bigger picture that just keeps getting worse.
                            I agree on absolutely everything you said. And I'm glad I'm not the only one that hates the new Splash Mountain lighting.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Space Mountain and the "Hallway of Blah"

                              Part of the problem is a vacuum of good, strong leadership - Meg Crofton being a major piece of this bad equation. She is a HR executive with a very middling, tier III resume. Clearly, she is not someone who can (or cares to) exert any influence on Weiss, Staggs or Rasulo to get the resource$ to deal with issues like these. She is likely Weiss' proxy and nothing more. Her job is simply to milk the WDW cash cow by selling off land for things like the Flamingo Crossings Outback strip mall and balance discounts with ticket prices to make her short-term performance targets.

                              Dick Nunis would have blown a gasket if he saw one burned-out light bulb on Main Street. Pride in maintaining the highest standards mattered as much as the bottom line. The World is run by lesser people today.
                              Last edited by RandySavage; 08-19-2010, 08:14 PM.

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Re: Space Mountain and the "Hallway of Blah"

                                Originally posted by Virtual Toad View Post
                                It didn't used to be this way. Stuff always worked. Disney was Disney because of its insane attention to quality and detail.

                                I love WDW, I grew up with the place but with the prices they're charging for dramatically reduced quality, quite frankly, I'm starting to feel fleeced...

                                It just seems inane and insane, and it's part of a bigger picture that just keeps getting worse.
                                You've perfectly encapsulated the lament of all those who grew up with WDW in its golden age (prior to June 1994). 'Tis a strange World we shoulder... A strange World indeed.

                                You can thank Roy E. Disney for ousting Ron Miller and bringing in Michael Eisner. You can thank Michael Eisner for royally screwing up Euro Disney, and then blaming what was largely his fault on Imagineering and Parks & Resorts. You can thank him for taking action based on that misplaced blame by cutting costs across the board at the parks, and changing the reporting structure so that WDI is basically a consultant for Park Ops, and everything was overseen by Strategic Planning (who refused to greenlight just about any major investment before they were eliminated by Iger). You can thank Jay Rasulo, Al Weiss and their nepotistic followers for being the overseers of the destruction of standards at WDW for the last sixteen years. On and on I could go, but those are probably the most responsible events/parties...
                                I knew if this business was ever to get anywhere, if this business was ever to grow, it could never do it by having to answer to someone unsympathetic to its possibilities, by having to answer to someone with only one thought or interest, namely profits. For my idea of how to make profits has differed greatly from those who generally control businesses such as ours. I have blind faith in the policy that quality, tempered with good judgment and showmanship, will win against all odds.
                                -Walt Disney

                                sigpic

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                                • #17
                                  Re: Space Mountain and the "Hallway of Blah"

                                  This is not meant as a "defense" of the employee-looking hallway at Space Mtn, but a guess at an explanation. As you say, there had to be SOME logic behind it.

                                  My thought is that WDI didn't tackle that part of it at all - operations must have. After WDI hands off a ride to Operations for T&A (ahem! that means test and adjust), Operations can do what it wants. I'm guessing that the existence of FastPass lines dictacted a need to delve into the hallway, not anything WDI intended. Now it's a separate question - if my surmise is true - why WDI didn't anticipate this need.

                                  As for the rest of the thread, goodness knows there are declines around here.
                                  Kevin Yee
                                  MiceAge Columnist

                                  I am the author of several Disney books:
                                  Jason's Disneyland Almanac - a daily history of Disneyland
                                  Walt Disney World Hidden History - tributes, homages, and ride remnants at WDW
                                  Your Day at the Magic Kingdom
                                  Mouse Trap
                                  Tokyo Disney Made Easy
                                  101 Things You Never Knew About Disneyland
                                  Magic Quizdom (The Disneyland Trivia Book)

                                  “The press [should be] a watchdog. Not an attack dog. Not a lapdog. A watchdog. Now, a watchdog can't be right all the time. He doesn't bark only when he sees or smells something that's dangerous. A good watchdog barks at things that are suspicious.” – Dan Rather

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                                  • #18
                                    Re: Space Mountain and the "Hallway of Blah"

                                    Originally posted by KevinYee View Post
                                    This is not meant as a "defense" of the employee-looking hallway at Space Mtn, but a guess at an explanation. As you say, there had to be SOME logic behind it.

                                    My thought is that WDI didn't tackle that part of it at all - operations must have. After WDI hands off a ride to Operations for T&A (ahem! that means test and adjust), Operations can do what it wants. I'm guessing that the existence of FastPass lines dictacted a need to delve into the hallway, not anything WDI intended. Now it's a separate question - if my surmise is true - why WDI didn't anticipate this need.

                                    As for the rest of the thread, goodness knows there are declines around here.
                                    That's my hunch as well, that they wanted to route Fastpass exclusively to the right side. Problem is, if there's a lull in Fastpass, they want the option to send people from standby on the left over to the right side track. They can theoretically do that in the space behind the control tower just before the poor standby souls enter the hallway of Blah.

                                    But even if that is the case, it never worked that way before. SM existed for decades without having to use the hallway. Is that really the best solution they can come up with? (BTW, I miss the spontenaity of getting to choose which track to ride!)

                                    This is clearly an Ops blunder and they should be ashamed. And WDI should be outraged. As should each and every guest who has to endure the hallway of Blah.

                                    Now who do we have to schmooze over in Ops to get this thing fixed?

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Re: Space Mountain and the "Hallway of Blah"

                                      It's called "PREVENTATIVE MAINTENANCE" for a reason...

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Re: Space Mountain and the "Hallway of Blah"

                                        Originally posted by Virtual Toad View Post
                                        Isn't the Big Thunder situation like saying, well, the video game screen in the last part of Carousel of Progress doesn't work but let's keep the attraction open anyway?

                                        Or, well, the Carnotaurus is broken at the climax of Dinosaur but let's just put a smaller, static dino head in its place and keep the attraction open anyway?

                                        Or the Yeti at the climax of Everest is broken, but hey, just throw a strobe on it and keep the attraction open anyway?

                                        Or, Splash Mountain smells of burning plastic after new lights were installed but, hey, let's hope the toxic fumes aren't too bad and just keep the attraction open anyway?

                                        It didn't used to be this way. Stuff always worked. Disney was Disney because of its insane attention to quality and detail.

                                        I love WDW, I grew up with the place but with the prices they're charging for dramatically reduced quality, quite frankly, I'm starting to feel fleeced. That's why the Sapce Mountain hallway bothers me so much. IT WASN'T ALWAYS LIKE THIS. Who decided to route the standby line through a trashy back hallway and away from a very nicely themed queue that cost millions to re-do?

                                        It just seems inane and insane, and it's part of a bigger picture that just keeps getting worse.
                                        I officially love you!

                                        Until guests and fans of WDW start standing up to Disney the way the Disneyland fans have, WDW will continue to decline.

                                        When you pay top dollar for a week at Disney World, you should expect the level of quality that Disney always bills themselves as representing. Remember the old story they used to tell about replacing the light bulbs BEFORE they burned out and the never ending painting of Main Street? Well, these days, those are just stories. Especially in Florida.

                                        Dusty
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