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  • 11/12: Lights Out

    Epcot's Lights of Winter get unplugged for good, discuss it here...

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  • #2
    Re: 11/12: Lights Out

    I found out about the Lights over a week ago and was not happy to hear about this, I've been looking forward to them all year. Epcot used to be my favorite park for the Christmas holidays, and now it's going to be barely a thought.

    I signed up yesterday for the Facebook Group, and I hope more people do too (it's over 100 now, and was just started last night). It is beyond me that Disney wouldn't even announce it, and just think that noone would notice - not to mention throwing up a response on Twitter!

    I do feel bad for the gospel group - getting caught in the middle of this. And season passes to ICE seem like such a good idea now!
    Last edited by nbodyhome; 11-12-2009, 06:16 AM.
    Denise

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    • #3
      Re: 11/12: Lights Out

      I'm new to the site here, and I've never seen the LoW display (we usually go to WDW in the summer), but the excuse of being technically obsolete is simply unacceptable.

      You're talking about a company that has always prided itself at being the very forefront of technology, even inventing it if they needed to, in order to get the job done.

      I guess they'll have to get rid of the steam trains, too, since they are technologically obsolete.

      Walt would be kicking someone out the door about this if he were still around.

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      • #4
        Re: 11/12: Lights Out

        Lights of Winter is my favorite holiday feature of the parks.

        I've added comments to the disney parks blog, written letters (mailed this morning) to several park execs, and emailed guest services. But it all feels depressingly futile ... I'd like to think someone is listening, and cares, but after years of such cutbacks there is just no evidence that there is.

        Saying I'll cancel a trip, or spend less money, feels good; but in reality the resulting dip in revenues would just justify further cuts and accelerate the downward spiral. I think only a management change will turn things around.

        I don't think I'll be able to affect that by voting my measly 15 shares of stock. I hope the combined power of the various message boards and other groups can manage to wake someone up over there.

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        • #5
          Re: 11/12: Lights Out

          Yeah, the outdated technology thing is hard to grasp. These were created in the early 90's for Disneyland Paris, whom I'm assuming never expected to run them more than a couple of years. WDW probably saw the opportunity to add something new to Epcot without capital expenditure other than shipping costs, and took it. But I can see how the whole thing was never constructed as a permanent fixture. The incandescent bulbs do look outdated now, with so much LED being used elsewhere. "Technology to run the lights" is a matter of upgrading software...so yes, it's an excuse, but at the same time, I can see how they were becoming a maintenance issue.
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          • #6
            Re: 11/12: Lights Out

            I'm glad I got to see them last year for my first trip to WDW before they were gone!
            Keith





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            • #7
              Re: 11/12: Lights Out

              I'm not buying the "outdated technology" story either. I work in a large medical university, and we have many older legacy systems that do totally unique work, but because of the computer platform they're on they are not easily upgradable. But you don't simply scrap something that works just because it's tech is aging. I think the LoW technology is wonderful the way it is, no matter what platform it's running on. If the tech is old, upgrade it. But to simply scrap something that obviously means so much to so many people during the holiday season is simply unacceptable.

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              • #8
                Re: 11/12: Lights Out

                Why are you all assuming they scrapped a WORKING obsolete system?

                Maybe the system failed and they weren't able to replace or re-design the system in time for the holiday season?

                It's also possible the show was already scheduled for replacement, but not yet, and it became in-operable and rather then try to re-engineer a EOL system, they retired the system early and accepted a gap of shows until the new one is ready.

                It all depends on when the situation was known - these systems aren't used all year long, so it's possible when they came out of storage, the system was found to be in-op and then it was too late or impossible to repair and too dead-end to re-engineer the whole thing.

                The show isn't just software, its lighting controllers, hardware, and software to run it.

                The reality is we don't know the full details - and everyone just jumps to conclusions to slam the company... yet ignoring they are doing just the opposite in most other holiday shows. The fact this one stands out from the pattern should make it appear as an anomoly, not a re-enforcement of some downward spiral.

                Money can't buy everything.. especially time. So why all the assumptions they just killed it to save operating expenses?
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                • #9
                  Re: 11/12: Lights Out

                  Because wouldn't Disney tell the fans that? Why wait until it is bombarded with questions, after hearing it from unofficial sources, to say they are not coming back. And then to pass the answer onto Twitter and the blog as almost afterthoughts instead of saying, "Hey, we have a great new fantastic light display coming up next year!" Disney is known for that type of promotion, and if that was the case, they definitely would have announced that, but when the holiday websites came up and no mention came of Lights of Winter, and the fansites started questioning, and comments began, and they didn't appear in the staging area like normal, Disney chose to ignore the response until there was no choice. We would completely understand if something new and better is coming, but since Disney hasn't announced a new idea, one can only assume cost cuts.
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                  • #10
                    Re: 11/12: Lights Out

                    While your theory has a lot of merit, the evidence says otherwise. There are pictures up on the internet taken earlier this week showing the LOW in their storage area behind Epoct. The area is a overgrown with weeds. No ones been in there since last January when they were put back in storage.

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                    http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2745/...8a0a1c9f_b.jpg

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                    • #11
                      Re: 11/12: Lights Out

                      Originally posted by flynnibus View Post
                      Money can't buy everything.. especially time. So why all the assumptions they just killed it to save operating expenses?
                      Given Walt Disney World's track record in such matters, it seems a pretty safe assumption.

                      If the system was unusable this year, why did they instead state it was obsolete (and therefore they were prompted to retire the display)? They didn't say they had to retire the thing (in fairness, they didn't say much at all - a twitter for an announcement like this? Really?). In any event, if there actually were defects in the Lights of Winter which prevented their use, this immediately begs the question of who dropped the ball and didn't realize there was a problem until it was too late.

                      It's so much easier (and far more probable) to believe that this was yet another in a long-line of "declining by degrees" cutbacks at Walt Disney World.

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                      • #12
                        Re: 11/12: Lights Out

                        Originally posted by yoyoflamingo View Post
                        Because wouldn't Disney tell the fans that?
                        When does Disney ever tell us that a system broke? They use gentle ways to say its unavailable, it's having 'technical difficulties' or whatever generic terms they want to use.

                        When did Disney tell the fans Rocket Rods was failed and breaking?

                        They don't say these types of things... that's why they wouldn't just 'tell the fans that'.

                        Originally posted by yoyoflamingo View Post
                        instead of saying, "Hey, we have a great new fantastic light display coming up next year!" Disney is known for that type of promotion
                        Since when? Disney doesn't promote one promotion during another one. Why promote 'come next year, not this one!'. They promote things when the news will be seen as positive and attract people. Not in conflict of an existing one.

                        Originally posted by yoyoflamingo View Post
                        We would completely understand if something new and better is coming, but since Disney hasn't announced a new idea, one can only assume cost cuts.
                        Guesses are certainly a fair stretch from damning them.. but hey, why not, it's the 'fan' thing to do.
                        Last edited by flynnibus; 11-12-2009, 10:23 AM.
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                        Am I evil? yes, I am
                        Am I evil? I am man, yes, I am

                        Originally posted by sleepyjeff
                        Disneyland was meant to be sipped not chug-a-lugged

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                        • #13
                          Re: 11/12: Lights Out

                          Originally posted by Mikado View Post
                          Given Walt Disney World's track record in such matters, it seems a pretty safe assumption.

                          If the system was unusable this year, why did they instead state it was obsolete (and therefore they were prompted to retire the display)?
                          Because obsolete is fine - as long as its working. Obsolete is a problem when you can no longer fix or repair something.

                          If they didn't intend on continuing the show past a point, and the show becomes unusable, why would you rebuild the show simply to throw it away soon after?

                          Originally posted by Mikado View Post
                          In any event, if there actually were defects in the Lights of Winter which prevented their use, this immediately begs the question of who dropped the ball and didn't realize there was a problem until it was too late.

                          It's so much easier (and far more probable) to believe that this was yet another in a long-line of "declining by degrees" cutbacks at Walt Disney World.
                          Here's your info that someone should have checked already. Did Disney advertise it the show in its normal holiday advertising and lead-in info? If not, we can remove the 'too late' from the discussion - but that doesn't remove the possibility that the show could have already had a specific EOL specified, and they could have chosen to not rebuild the show if its already scheduled for replacement.

                          The assumptions here are there is no replacement coming and this is just some big cost cutting thing killing off a perfectly good show. Something that really only has one thing supporting it... the fact we have no show this season.
                          Check out my blog - Coreplex: Rambling from inside the Grid


                          Am I evil? yes, I am
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                          Originally posted by sleepyjeff
                          Disneyland was meant to be sipped not chug-a-lugged

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                          • #14
                            Re: 11/12: Lights Out

                            Originally posted by Mikado View Post
                            Given Walt Disney World's track record in such matters, it seems a pretty safe assumption.
                            You mean the track record of just adding a massive light show to the MK two seasons ago? Or the massive overhaul of the Osbourne Lights?

                            The track record is that they are investing in these shows.. not backing down.
                            Check out my blog - Coreplex: Rambling from inside the Grid


                            Am I evil? yes, I am
                            Am I evil? I am man, yes, I am

                            Originally posted by sleepyjeff
                            Disneyland was meant to be sipped not chug-a-lugged

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                            • #15
                              Re: 11/12: Lights Out

                              Originally posted by flynnibus View Post
                              You mean the track record of just adding a massive light show to the MK two seasons ago? Or the massive overhaul of the Osbourne Lights?

                              The track record is that they are investing in these shows.. not backing down.
                              You say a lot without saying much.

                              They invest in the displays that make for good marketing. Cinderella Castle covered in lights and the world's most famous heap of twinkle lights are instant $$$ affairs. They look good on advertisements, people plan trips around them and no one could possibly miss them. The Lights of Winter was a dusty old thing that was apparently so boring that it needed to be spruced up by obnoxious, shrieking shows involving dancing Disney characters as it had been for its last few years. So out it goes.

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                              • #16
                                Re: 11/12: Lights Out

                                Originally posted by flynnibus View Post
                                Why are you all assuming they scrapped a WORKING obsolete system?
                                You make some interesting points, and others have made some interesting counter arguments. What I see, regardless of the actual physical reasons (if there are any) as to why the show can't go on, is a massive mis-calculation from Disney about the importance of the LoW display to the holiday atmosphere of Epcot. If the system just wasn't working and they found out too late, then they really should have come clean with that, at least to the point of saying that they'll either have it back up and running for next year or they'll have something new and better in the same location for next year. But to throw the announcement out with the trash by way of a quickie Twitter announcement is a pretty obvious attempt to minimize the impact of the decision. And the fans are speaking out loudly and clearly that they (we!) are not happy with that decision.

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                                • #17
                                  Re: 11/12: Lights Out

                                  Sad. Just...sad.

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                                  • #18
                                    Re: 11/12: Lights Out

                                    Originally posted by danyoung View Post
                                    You make some interesting points, and others have made some interesting counter arguments. What I see, regardless of the actual physical reasons (if there are any) as to why the show can't go on, is a massive mis-calculation from Disney about the importance of the LoW display to the holiday atmosphere of Epcot. If the system just wasn't working and they found out too late, then they really should have come clean with that, at least to the point of saying that they'll either have it back up and running for next year or they'll have something new and better in the same location for next year.
                                    And this expectation matches Disney's long standing behavior how?

                                    Disney barely acknowledges closures of entire, full year attractions even when its blatantly closed right in front of you with little hope of return. (WoL pavillion anyone?? Skyway?? CoP? 20K? I don't know why we think Disney would all of a sudden turn around and make announcements about a show not showing when to the best of our knowledge they never advertised as happening in the first place for this year.
                                    Check out my blog - Coreplex: Rambling from inside the Grid


                                    Am I evil? yes, I am
                                    Am I evil? I am man, yes, I am

                                    Originally posted by sleepyjeff
                                    Disneyland was meant to be sipped not chug-a-lugged

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                                    • #19
                                      Re: 11/12: Lights Out

                                      Originally posted by flynnibus View Post
                                      The assumptions here are there is no replacement coming and this is just some big cost cutting thing killing off a perfectly good show. Something that really only has one thing supporting it... the fact we have no show this season.
                                      In those days prior to the official Twitter acknowledgement that LoW are not coming back, several Epcot CMs said in message boards and Facebook that they were told by their managers that the Lights were not coming back ... and I think at least one of them cited budgetary reasons. Remember this was BEFORE the news was official.
                                      Kevin Yee
                                      MiceAge Columnist

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                                      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)

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                                      • #20
                                        Re: 11/12: Lights Out

                                        Originally posted by flynnibus View Post
                                        And this expectation matches Disney's long standing behavior how?
                                        I agree with you that Disney doesn't usually announce when things are closed. My problem comes with the reason that they gave. I find it very hard to believe that there was any technological problem with the system. If nothing else, they could have put it up and hard wired the lights to just all stay on. That would be far better than not putting them up at all. To make the statement that they did, with the reasons that they gave, is to open the door to all kinds of questioning by us, the paying public.

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