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  • cavore
    started a topic Trip Report Who is trying to mess with who?

    Who is trying to mess with who?

    Hello everyone,

    I know this will be a controversial post, but I feel compelled to express my feelings about my last Orlando visit during this past week and out of which I have very mixed feelings.

    Let me begin with by developing the reason of the topic of this thread. My first visit to WDW was in 1997, I was 7 years old at the time and I absolutely loved it. I remember everything in Disney being so amazing, spectacular and with a sense of unbeatability that made me grow into a huge Disney fan. This sense of what I first experienced comes back every time I see home videos from that vacation or when I go through park guides I still have saved from back then. Back then it seemed that nobody messed with Disney, We didn't even considered going to Universal Studios.

    My second visit was in 2002. I was 12 at the time and I remember most things seemed to be just "as I left them". I was still impressed by the parks and attractions, slightly underwhelmed by Animal Kingdom, but yet Disney seemed to be the best. We visited Universal for the first time and although the main Universal park did not impress me at all, I was amazed by Islands of Adventure. It seemed that with this park Universal was trying to mess with Disney. I know the story of the park being built by laid-off imagineers and whatnot, but I have to say Islands of Adventures is massively themed with relevant and innovative attractions for each of the lands it has. Disregarding the Dueling Dragons and Hulk Coaster (both prime examples of smooth thrilling roller coasters), Spiderman, Poseidon's Fury, Jurassic Park River Ride, the Popeye rapids etc etc etc, all have a level of detail and innovation that seemed to be the first time I felt a theme park was seriously competing with Disney.

    I visited Disneyland Paris (not the WDS) during the winter of 2010 and I absolutely loved it. Apart from maintenance problems (some peeling paint, garbage floating throughout the day in water bodies) the park is absolutely stunning. The rides and theming prove to be of Disney Quality. I was 20 at the time and I absolutely loved it. It is a must on my next visit to Paris.

    And let me express what I felt with this current visit to the Orlando parks. I visited Islands of Adventures first. Everything seemed to be "as I left it". I am not personally a fan of Harry Potter and I was yet so impressed by the Wizarding World. All shops, the land itself and the Forbidden Journey are serious additions to an already great theme park. I was very happy at the merchandise choices throughout the park. All of it is very relevant to the land in which is located and features a wide array of themed products that made me feel very satisfied. Next I visited DHS and let me say, I was very underwhelmed by it. Nothing has changed since my 2002 visit with exception of the Motors, Action! show (direct import from Paris) and the Toy Story Midway Mania which featured a long queue throughout the day. I was not even sad to miss it because I know a ride relying on 3D projections and shooting at targets to earn points was not appealing to me. Everything else seems extremely stale and old. Great Movie Ride? looking good but rode it in 1997 and 2002. Muppetvision? I had seen it in 1997 and 2002 and remembered enjoying it, but right now it seems extremely old (the part of the video in which you see some "guests" from the park features extremely 90's fashion, effects were turned off...) In the end, Rock and Roller Coaster and Tower of Terror seemed to be the best rides in this whole park. I loved Fantasmic but I could also note some effects missing (no sparks coming out of Mickeys hands and several low rise fireworks were missing such as the sparklers during the Sorcerer's Apprentice scene).

    I did not buy any merchandise at all as it seemed that most stores carried the same over and over. Today I visited Downtown Disney with the intention of buying several articles but guess what, Once Upon a Toy, World of Disney, and all the other stores around, even the Christmas store, featured the same merchandise. I wanted to get some plush and I ended having to tell one of the employees "I am looking for something I cannot get at any Toys R Us". It seems all the merchandise is extremely generic to the point that several of the merchandise currently at World of Disney is also available at the Character Warehouse at the Orlando Premium Outlets. We had lunch at Rainforest Cafe (I know it is not operated by Disney) for which we made reservations at 8:30. We ended up getting our dishes at 9:45. I was outraged to pay almost 20 dollars for a dish which featured small pieces of chicken and that was accompanied with CHIPS with the option of getting french fries for an extra fee. We ate at a restaurant at City Walk this week and for around the same price I got an extremely large and satisfying HALF CHICKEN with a mountain of stuffed rice and vegetables all over. Is this the Disney Experience I remember and treasured so much? Nope.

    My next rant is Disney's future. I have concluded that with the Fantasyland expansion and Avatar land, it is now Disney who is trying to mess with Universal. A vast majority the "new" Disney attractions of the past decade or so have been unimaginative formulas that are repeated over and over, sometimes making even no sense whatsoever (Soarin' at Epcot is the exact same at Soarin' over California at DCA, with the same movie of CALIFORNIA. What does this have to do with Epcot? Nothing. They could not even bother to use the same ride system to conceive a new movie that would be relevant to Epcot. The Fantasyland expansion in my opinion is a joke. How innovative is the Dwarves coaster? Not much considering the modern coasters and experiences you are getting everywhere else in non-Disney parks. It will be an up and down coaster with swinging cars which will probably just go through stiff seven dwarf dolls using song that have existed for more than 80 years. Dueling Dumbos? I even find that to be a stupid name. Why would anybody be excited of having just a double spinner of a ride that has existed since 1955? The Great Goofini is just a "re-theme" (read: new coaster cars and a couple of new signs) of a pre-existing attraction. Get a cloned dark ride of the Little Mermaid (I doubt they will even bother with fixing the rushed finale of the current version) and then add a couple of restaurants and that's it. Nothing new, nothing exciting.

    I won't talk to fast, but to be sincere, Avatar was a fad that lasted something around a month and a half and I do not know if two following movies will justify me getting excited about a new land for it at DAK. Also something that annoys me, instead of investing on fun or innovating things, there seems to be a trend with pointless "improvements" such as the Haunted Mansion queue and the new "Next Gen" Its a Small World interactive elements (characters created on Iphone apps that appear on screens, fantastic!)

    Call me a cynic, pessimistic, or whatever you want, but I feel WDW has become a stale rip-off that relies on the Rizzo Effect previously discussed and that has made all new additions just a facade for cheapness and lack of dedication and imagination. On my next Orlando trip, I don't think I will even consider going to Disney Parks whatsoever, apart from maybe the Magic Kingdom for me to enjoy all that had been built since the 70's. This concludes my post.

  • Neon Cactus
    replied
    Re: Who is trying to mess with who?

    While I don't necessarily agree that WDW has lost the magic, I definitely agree with the comments about the merchandise. I used to go to Disney World and drop hundreds on merchandise (and this was before the kids!). Now I go back and see the same stuff that was there years ago, every shop has the same stuff, and the new designs don't even appeal to me. Worse is the lack of quality in the latest merchandise. I've worn holes in the shirts I've bought within the past three years, while the Disneyland 40th anniversary and Pleasure Island sweatshirts I bought about 15 years ago are still in great condition. Even my daughters don't see anything they "must have" from Disney World.

    Last summer I was able to take them to Universal for the first time and we were blown away by the experience we had. Their employees provided great service, and the theming was great. My 8 year old loves rock climbing walls and the one that the Universal park has, themed as the side of an alley, was great looking. The rides were fun. I still think the Disney parks are magical, and there's always the possibility that being the first time at Universal made it look better than it is, but we're going back to Orlando in November, and my daughters wanted to make sure we're going back to Universal also.

    As for the Harry Potter area, yes, it's magical and the merchandise was great (my oldest daughter went online, wrote down everything she wanted to buy, and saved up her birthday money to get it), but I wonder how much of that is Universal's doing and how much is because J.K. Rowling was so hands on in the process and demanded it?

    Leave a comment:


  • cavore
    replied
    Re: Who is trying to mess with who?

    http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_UUSrVTphI7...al+Edition.jpg

    both have too much skin for having characters dressed like that, they will probably use some sort of blue Morphsuit to do it.

    Leave a comment:


  • Peter'sGirl
    replied
    Re: Who is trying to mess with who?

    Originally posted by Coheteboy View Post
    First off, shes not topless. Just skimpy.
    But isn't her "top" a necklace?

    Leave a comment:


  • Coheteboy
    replied
    Re: Who is trying to mess with who?

    Originally posted by Peter'sGirl View Post
    Exactly! And I have no idea how they're going to get around the fact that the main lady goes around topless the whole time, which is not really something you'd want to expose a eight-year-old to.

    First off, shes not topless. Just skimpy.

    Leave a comment:


  • Peter'sGirl
    replied
    Re: Who is trying to mess with who?

    Originally posted by Coheteboy View Post
    Haha while I agree with the hate on Avatar, I actually seen the movie. The natives on Pandora (the Navi) are blue and wear light clothing covering the unmentionables. There's some love making but none of it is "human" and it's mostly PG-13 action and language.

    Not something I would pick for a Disney park personally.
    Exactly! And I have no idea how they're going to get around the fact that the main lady goes around topless the whole time, which is not really something you'd want to expose a eight-year-old to.

    Leave a comment:


  • Coheteboy
    replied
    Re: Who is trying to mess with who?

    Originally posted by Peter'sGirl View Post
    I totally agree with you on the whole Avatar land thing. I've never seen that movie, have no intent to, and the land itself won't be coming out until 2016 or something, and it's kind of done with already. And it's not even a family movie, right? Aren't there, like, naked people running around everywhere?
    And, Animal Kingdom, if you're going to put in a new land, can you do Beastly Kingdom? I mean, you've already got a dragon in the middle of your animals-walking logo thing, anyway!
    ANIMAL KINGDOM, Y U NO BEASTLY?


    Haha while I agree with the hate on Avatar, I actually seen the movie. The natives on Pandora (the Navi) are blue and wear light clothing covering the unmentionables. There's some love making but none of it is "human" and it's mostly PG-13 action and language.

    Not something I would pick for a Disney park personally.

    Leave a comment:


  • Peter'sGirl
    replied
    Re: Who is trying to mess with who?

    I totally agree with you on the whole Avatar land thing. I've never seen that movie, have no intent to, and the land itself won't be coming out until 2016 or something, and it's kind of done with already. And it's not even a family movie, right? Aren't there, like, naked people running around everywhere?
    And, Animal Kingdom, if you're going to put in a new land, can you do Beastly Kingdom? I mean, you've already got a dragon in the middle of your animals-walking logo thing, anyway!
    ANIMAL KINGDOM, Y U NO BEASTLY?

    Leave a comment:


  • Erik Olson
    replied
    Re: Who is trying to mess with who?

    I don't know who needs to hear it, but the post-elevators load area at WDW Haunted Mansion is a scary, obviously dangerous situation in crowd management. It is a matter of time before someone is crushed.

    Regardless of whether they need to have each doom buggy occupied to move the crowds through, there should be fail-safe remote switches from downstairs that keep any other guests from coming down until the load area is moving. The challenge is that the ride will go down for a minute or more at somewhat regular intervals and the load area then backs up. Obviously, the easy answer is that the elevators will not cycle down (or even close from the foyer load areas) if the doom buggies aren't moving.

    Too simple?

    Leave a comment:


  • Coheteboy
    replied
    Re: Who is trying to mess with who?

    That Haunted Mansion queue looks like a fire hazard to me.

    Leave a comment:


  • ORD84
    replied
    Re: Who is trying to mess with who?

    Originally posted by Virtual Toad View Post
    The Haunted Mansion load area situation is outrageous. We talked about this in a pervious post. It's unfomfortable, uncalled for and a disaster waiting to happen.

    Would you want to subject your children to this? How and why in the world is "efficiency" trumping SAFETY?!

    WDW needs to fix this. Now.
    No kidding, the fact that it IS VERY UNSAFE for that many people to be crowded in that small area, god forbid if there was some kind of emergency....

    Leave a comment:


  • Virtual Toad
    replied
    Re: Who is trying to mess with who?

    The Haunted Mansion load area situation is outrageous. We talked about this in a pervious post. It's unfomfortable, uncalled for and a disaster waiting to happen.

    Would you want to subject your children to this? How and why in the world is "efficiency" trumping SAFETY?!

    WDW needs to fix this. Now.

    Leave a comment:


  • Mr Wiggins
    replied
    Re: Who is trying to mess with who?

    Originally posted by Coheteboy View Post
    I don't think I'm asking for too much when I want WDW to treat itself like the world class destination that it is.
    Amen. If Disney management can pull Disneyland out of the hole it was sinking into, there's no good reason they can't do the same for WDW.

    The first step, of course, is for them to admit they have a problem. As Dustysage posted last year:

    Originally posted by Dustysage
    As a frequent visitor to both WDW and Disneyland Resorts I can absolutely confirm that the quality of show at WDW is many times worse than Disneyland. While there are a few minor maintenance issues at Disneyland (notability Indiana Jones and the west side of ToonTown), the issues at Disneyland are minor compared to the general state of decline and poor maintenance at Disney World.

    Disneyland feels very fresh and well maintained, Disney World feels very tired, as though it is struggling just to maintain basic standards rather than Disney standards.

    It is pretty clear to me that Disneyland is being maintained to meet the high standards of its much larger repeat visitors (locals and APs). Florida is being maintained to meet the lowest standard they can get away with which will maximize their savings and budgetary obligations. Unfortunately, frequent WDW visitors, such as myself (a DVC member and AP) notice the quality issues and feel that WDW needs to step it up.

    And maintenance isn't the only issue:

    Originally posted by Dustysage
    ...Disney is spending way too much time and money on low level Kim Possible and interactive queue work rather than fleshing out new attractions which will bring people back to the parks.

    During the D23 Expo they had NOTHING new to share from WDW. That's just depressing.
    Last edited by Mr Wiggins; 02-28-2012, 01:32 AM.

    Leave a comment:


  • Coheteboy
    replied
    Re: Who is trying to mess with who?

    Originally posted by TylerDurden View Post
    Universal is the leader of the theme park industry right now (in Orlando at least). Attendance numbers aside, Universal has been the one not only upgrading their parkS with new experiences EVERY YEAR for the last FEW years, but doing so by using the latest in technology and innovative theming. When was the last time Disney announced four projects (a parade, watershow, state-of-the-art golf course, AND simulator based on a beloved franchise) for parks on either coast all for ONE YEAR? Come to think of it, when was the last time Disney came out with an innovative attraction at all? Indy, Tower of Terror? And those were all from the '90's...Universal has tapped into never-before-seen technology to create Spider-Man, The Mummy, and the crown jewel of all rides, Forbidden Journey all within the last few years. And Universal also has the ability to uniquely bend traditional rides (launch on the Hulk, dueling aspect of Dragom Challenge, major theming on Jurassic Park) to make them noteworthy and immersive experiences.
    If you think about it, Universal has been outdoing Disney for a while now, but Disney has always trumped their brand name...well turns out all Universal needed was the right brand to bring the people in, and now that they've done that, Disney needs to play catch up. All the people experiencing Harry Potter will also happen to see all the other great things Universal has been doing while Disney laid back and substituted branding for actual innovation, and will realize how great Universal is until the Disney brand name means diddly squat. And Universals not even done with Harry Potter yet, and I can assure you phase 2 won't be the last phase by any means.
    Disney, it's time to step it up, you're losing your audience and losing them quickly


    I think this really sums it up. WDW may still be a pleasant place to enjoy a vacation but the truth is, WDW is SLOW to add anything new and when they do, it's usually replacing something already there rather than adding to it.

    The new Fantasyland is the first thing in a very long time that actually adds NEW attractions, but even still, half of it was the existing Toon Town Fair.



    I think the major point is, WDW is treated as Walt Disney WORLD. It's the sum of all the parts. If one theme park gets something new, the other parks pretty much get a free pass to not do anything that year.

    I will admit that in the past two years, WDW has been getting more additions and that's great. But..... Universal is still doing a better job with more innovative technologies.


    Islands of Adventure opened in 2001 and at that point in time, they had Orlando's most impressive and amazing attraction in Spider-Man. You would THINK that in the following 10 years, Disney would have something that at least rivaled that. I do admit, I love Mission:Space but it has its flaws and I like it more for the thrill than the overall experience. I thought it was great fun but Spider-Man truly blew me away and knocked my socks off. So ten years later, Harry Potter ride would open and then blow away Spider-Man. Still nothing from Disney that came close.

    All the while, Animal Kingdom's Dinosaur would become less and less the thrill it used to be with broken effects. Expedition Everest would have a broken yeti that would never get fixed. And Splash Mountain, well, we all know that one.


    Also, Animal Kingdom had promised new lands within years of opening. That also didn't come to fruition. Sure, Asia was officially a land but that park is in need of more things to do.

    and again, I'll bring up the closure of the Pleasure Island bars that everyone loves so much, Wonders of Life Pavillion.... and seriously when are they going to update Tomorrowland Speedway?


    I don't think I'm asking for too much when I want WDW to treat itself like the world class destination that it is.

    Leave a comment:


  • goofy donald
    replied
    Re: Who is trying to mess with who?

    Originally posted by Mr Wiggins View Post
    Meaning no disrespect, but in the interest of accuracy, your argument in this and other WDW forum threads clearly has been that the criticism of WDW is without basis, and that the critics of WDW are seeing problems which are not there.
    No, I stand by my argument that "a true representation of the park's state of affairs should be present so people can make a slightly more accurate opinion on what they think of the park without actually being there". Just because I tell an opposing side of the story from your own, it doesn't mean I am trying to convince others to think the way I do. All I want is for the option to be available. All I can offer to this forum is my knowledge of the parks and my experiences, its all anyone here can offer to the ongoing discussion. I very recently had a positive experience that I could then compare to my past experiences and therefore create my opinion of the parks currently based on that. The bottom line is, and you never really addressed it in your counter argument, that there are two sides to this story and only one side is currently being told. I don't think my own personal opinions on the parks should affect that basic issue that is currently present.

    I also find it amusing that you took all your information on my beliefs about WDW as a whole from one post. do I believe those points about maintenance and cleanliness? yes without a doubt, when I visited in February, those fields were on par or at the very least comparable to that of my last DL visit. however is the park without issue? most certainly not and in fact there are just as many examples from my self giving mediocre to negative comments about the parks then positive ones, research for yourself. a perfect example of this is the Avatar addition which I have been one of the if not the largest proponent against its construction on the entire forum, along with countless other areas such as Imagination pavilion and the seas with nemo and friends. I just don't think the parks primary issues are at the maintenance area. So to conclude I think the next time before you make the accusation that I seek to invalidate other peoples opinions, you should do a little more research then pulling up one week old post. Talk about poorly veiled personal attacks on ones character....

    Leave a comment:


  • cavore
    replied
    Re: Who is trying to mess with who?

    I can tell you I am no the kind of person who goes around trying to spot the littlest of details and complaining about them. As I said, I went to Disneyland Paris a bit over a year ago and I found a great surprise against what I had heard. Apart from some of the litter on the gardens and lakes/moat, attractions were in fairly good shape and things looked nice.

    But how can I not complain about WDW after my last visit. This is the picture of the HM loading area:

    Click image for larger version

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    I know I should use my imagination at Disney Parks, but I shouldn't use it to pretend I don't feel like in a mall during black friday. I took this picture after around 5 minutes after having unloaded the stretching room. Imagine this with more people unloading right behind us.

    The point about Universal's additions is absolutely true. I did not want to visit Epcot because apart from Mission: Space and Soarin' (clone ride), I know there is nothing new in the whole park that I had not seen in 2002. In fact, there might be less. Tres Caballeros River Fiesta Tour is not a new attraction. The Living Seas with Nemo is not a new attraction. Disney should really stop thinking that they can get their way by throwing in a couple of characters into an aging attraction and pretend it is new. The only thing worse than this is when they listed the Water Squirting Totems of Hong Kong Disneyland as an actual attraction. Why should I then feel like paying over 80 dollars to see this? Animal Kingdom fares worse, as the only new addition is Expedition Everest. If I could have, I would have skipped Disney Studios as well and visited Universal on that day. The only "new" attraction at Disney Studios as I said is the Motors, Action show (I acknowledge it is good) and Star Tours which frankly greatly disappointed me. I expected it to have at least a new queue, but nothing. The only new thing about it is the movie and the 3CPO commanding it.

    Universal on the other side has the new Rip Ride Rockit coaster (Unique in Orlando and with elements such as choosing your own soundtrack), Revenge of the Mummy (I've heard great things), The Simpsons Ride (revamped from Back to the Future but entirely rethemed), and Shrek 4D (should be fun). The Men in Black laser ride is an actually immersive ride with big sets and animatronics, NOT 3D screens and cut-out painted plywood sets. I think they are even getting a new night time show that should be good.

    I think that whenever I visit next, I might stay at a Universal Hotel, visit both parks and maybe jump into the Magic Kingdom if I am with someone who has not seen it.

    Leave a comment:


  • Mr Wiggins
    replied
    Re: Who is trying to mess with who?

    Originally posted by goofy donald View Post
    My argument is that a true representation of the park's state of affairs should be present so people can make a slightly more accurate opinion on what they think of the park without actually being there.
    Meaning no disrespect, but in the interest of accuracy, your argument in this and other WDW forum threads clearly has been that the criticism of WDW is without basis, and that the critics of WDW are seeing problems which are not there.

    For example:

    Originally posted by goofy donald View Post
    ...I was there just a short month ago now and it was not at all as you described. little to nothing was noticeably broken, paint was not worn

    Your opinion is that so little is wrong with WDW that its critics must be deliberately looking for problems:

    Originally posted by goofy donald View Post
    ...if something was wrong you had to go purposefully looking for it.

    You even insist that the maintenance of WDW is essentially equal to that of Disneyland:

    Originally posted by goofy donald View Post
    ...outside of a few instances (splash and yeti not Everest itself) maintenance/cleanliness is fairly equal between both locals.
    I respect you having your opinion, but let's be clear on what your opinion is: that WDW is in good shape, that its maintenance is virtually equal to that of Disneyland, and therefore that any opinion which states otherwise is by your definition invalid.

    Leave a comment:


  • goofy donald
    replied
    Re: Who is trying to mess with who?

    Originally posted by Mr Wiggins View Post
    I think the notion that critics of WDW "control the minds of many" is ridiculous. Kevin Yee, Coheteboy and many others are in fact accurately reporting the state of repairs (or rather, non-repairs) at WDW.

    The reality is that the negative publicity about WDW is the result of the way WDW is being managed, not of the customers who report it.
    no but the fact that almost the ONLY things that are reported are negative give an nonobjective view of the resort as a whole. When only negativity is reported, negativity can be the only accepted viewpoint. My argument is that a true representation of the park's state of affairs should be present so people can make a slightly more accurate opinion on what they think of the park without actually being there.

    Leave a comment:


  • TylerDurden
    replied
    Re: Who is trying to mess with who?

    Universal is the leader of the theme park industry right now (in Orlando at least). Attendance numbers aside, Universal has been the one not only upgrading their parkS with new experiences EVERY YEAR for the last FEW years, but doing so by using the latest in technology and innovative theming. When was the last time Disney announced four projects (a parade, watershow, state-of-the-art golf course, AND simulator based on a beloved franchise) for parks on either coast all for ONE YEAR? Come to think of it, when was the last time Disney came out with an innovative attraction at all? Indy, Tower of Terror? And those were all from the '90's...Universal has tapped into never-before-seen technology to create Spider-Man, The Mummy, and the crown jewel of all rides, Forbidden Journey all within the last few years. And Universal also has the ability to uniquely bend traditional rides (launch on the Hulk, dueling aspect of Dragom Challenge, major theming on Jurassic Park) to make them noteworthy and immersive experiences.
    If you think about it, Universal has been outdoing Disney for a while now, but Disney has always trumped their brand name...well turns out all Universal needed was the right brand to bring the people in, and now that they've done that, Disney needs to play catch up. All the people experiencing Harry Potter will also happen to see all the other great things Universal has been doing while Disney laid back and substituted branding for actual innovation, and will realize how great Universal is until the Disney brand name means diddly squat. And Universals not even done with Harry Potter yet, and I can assure you phase 2 won't be the last phase by any means.
    Disney, it's time to step it up, you're losing your audience and losing them quickly

    Leave a comment:


  • Mr Wiggins
    replied
    Re: Who is trying to mess with who?

    Originally posted by goofy donald View Post
    The constant negative publicity by a few currently controls the minds of many, this leads to the sky is falling persona of groups who follow up to the minute updates from a broken figure to a new "rumored by a """"source"""" exclusive", it happens everywhere in every forum and it doesn't make any sense especially as a fan.
    I think the notion that critics of WDW "control the minds of many" is ridiculous. Kevin Yee, Coheteboy and many others are in fact accurately reporting the state of repairs (or rather, non-repairs) at WDW.

    The reality is that the negative publicity about WDW is the result of the way WDW is being managed, not of the customers who report it.

    Leave a comment:

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