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Hey, Jim MacPhee ...


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  • Hey, Jim MacPhee ...

    Yes ... it's one of your big online and behind the scenes cheerleaders, the old Spirit AKA WDW1974. Yep ... EPCOT Center and I go way back ... to that magical 1982 opening and even before ... when you got to monorail on over (after seeing an amazing preview in the Walt Disney Story) to the construction site to view SSE in all its wandless (and cemetery less) glory ... and watch that video ... boy, hearing that 'We're Getting Ready' cheesy music brought me way back to my teens. Both EC and I have been through a lot in a quarter of a century ... but we're both very psyched about the next 25 years. Having you in charge after the very questionable leadership and decision-making of your three predecessors is exciting.

    Anyway, I have to say it was a great attempt on 10/1 to do something for the fans and amazing cast who recognize what a momentous occasion EC's 25th was. Sure. Jay Rasulo and WDW Marketing did their best to minimize the day ... but you knew that was coming. And you must know JR's time has to be getting closer to an end ... just look at the last two guys who have held that job ... it's not a position you keep for a decade.

    Well, even though in many ways the day was depressing because it reminded some of us of how great, spectacular and awe-inspiring EC was for its first decade or so years -- before it got muddled, cheapened, WalMarted and wanded -- we're looking ahead.

    So what now? What of WoL? Of Imagination? Will we ever see another nation added to World Showcase? How about some 11 p.m., midnight or even 1 a.m. closings on weekends year-round? For ALL guests? For a park with such a large food, beverage and shopping component, you can't follow the lead of your predecessors and keep the absurd 9 p.m. closes.

    Some other things need desperate attention too ... while the Nemo ride is a cute, high-quality 'C' Ticket, much of the Seas are falling apart ... literally. The pavilion is in bad shape. The other night as I watched the gentle giants of Florida's intracoastal waterways glide through their tank, I looked at the walls around the manatees' glass ... have you? The walls look like they're rotting away at the seams ... very, very, very bad show. This is what happens when you just ignore things (yes, George and Karl and Brad ... we all know what you did and didn't do when you had the job).

    And Energy? Nothing worse than being on a very-dated (and I like Ellen) attraction about energy than having it lose energy and cause you to be evacuated. This really needs to be rethought ... and you may want to tell those 'hip' Imagineers that adding celebs to attractions doesn't lead to longevity, but instead stamps a 'use by' date on the bottom. That awful Canada film is a prime example of that.

    Oh, and I see the park has yet another Food and Beverage guru ... you might want to pass these thoughts along (of course, we know you don't actually read this stuff ... not like your counterpart in the MK who has been caught doing so -- I imagine when spotted he felt kinda like the Rep. from Minnesota in the airport bathroom! ;-) )

    ... it's great that Chefs de France didn't insult us with a $23 hamburger for the free dining period this year. But they still removed the $28 filet ... and, frankly, that's tacky. I expect better from chefs like Paul and Roger and that other dude whose name escapes me at 3 a.m.

    And Tutto Italia? Well, you can tell it isn't Disney operated just by how well-dressed its managers are (for some reason while EPCOT was getting older, Disney management went from wearing nice duds purchased at Burdines or perhaps Lord and Taylor over in Tampa to Sears ... or worse, WalMart ... not what a premium 'brand's' management should look like ... is this all they can afford?) ... the food matched the service and the management.

    Very, very good. But have you checked those prices? You simply can't charge $25 for pasta to an audience that is used to paying $8-12 at the Olive Garden. I don't know if this is a lease deal where Mickey is putting the screws to them (which would explain why Alfredo's pulled out of such an amazingly profitable venture) or simply a Tom Kelly type consultant decreeing what the pricepoints should be after picking up his huge check from Burbank ... but I'll tell you what's common sense: people aren't going to drop $300 for five people to dine there with no alcohol, not happening.

    I've already commented on the wonderful thread started by Nbodyhome about how pleased I was with Teppan Edo. They did a great job there. And the servers, well, the Japanese are known for being tops in that department (I think that's why some folks in fan forums don't want to hear about how wonderful the OLC's 'Disney parks' are.)

    Well, my friend, you have quite the challenge ahead of you. And working with some of the vipers in P&R and WDI, I'd be careful and choose your battles wisely. You have friends in high places, but we all know what that means on the flipside.

    Thanks again for acknowledging EPCOT Center's 25th ... and for putting on a great show for those who were there. And good luck in your (still) relatively new position. You have a lot of people pulling for you ... people who will help in any way they can to make sure the EPCOT legacy that Marty spoke of gets revitalized and goes on for a very long time.

  • #2
    Re: Hey, Jim MacPhee ...

    Originally posted by WDW1974 View Post
    ... you might want to pass these thoughts along (of course, we know you don't actually read this stuff ... not like your counterpart in the MK who has been caught doing so -- I imagine when spotted he felt kinda like the Rep. from Minnesota in the airport bathroom!
    Hey wait! Larry Craig is a senator from Idaho, not Minnesota, we just had the good sense to catch him here!

    Otherwise, great observations, I'm glad to see someone's keeping the place on it's toes!
    In view, a humble vaudevillian veteran, cast vicariously as both victim and villain by the vicissitudes of fate.



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