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I'm often surprised as someone who doesn't have a "local" park at how critical frequent visitors to the US parks often come back with relatively glowing reports about DLRP. For example, comments like maintenance may be bad but still better than MK or WDSP isn't great, but comparable to the smaller US parks kind of sit oddly with the sorts of things that spark online petitions in the US.
I liked DLRP a lot, but maintenance was often atrocious rendering what I'm sure are great attractions somewhat hokey. This is the case at MK's Splash too, but I don't think overall the MK is nearly as bad. For one thing, the exteriors positively gleam at MK compared to what you see over in Paris where they're often left to literally rot before being replaced. The Fantasyland attractions at DLP leave those at MK for dead, though.
As for WDSP, well, it has some decent attractions but I can't fathom how any Disney theme park fan could put it even close to the level of Animal Kingdom. A large swath of the park is still bitumen paths with minimally-themed buildings that make it look like a not-quite-top of the line outlet mall. The multistory carpark is also visible from the main plaza area inside the park. Then again, if you approach any visit to a theme park trip as potentially as painful as a visit to the dentist then you're bound to be pleasantly surprised! But, good lord, I can only imagine the reaction if WDSP 2011 was what Disney had come up with for WDW's 4th park or DL's 2nd.
I'm also not sure I get the comparison between the ToT buildings at WDSP and DHS as both being "parachuted in" among soundstages. That is 100% the case at WDSP where it's literally been dropped down in the middle of the park, but at DHS a whole Sunset Blvd mini-land was created that beautifully sets the scene for the tower looming at the end of the street.
As for WDSP, well, it has some decent attractions but I can't fathom how any Disney theme park fan could put it even close to the level of Animal Kingdom.
Certainly DAK would win ANY competition with WDSP on the question of external theming of buildings, walkways, and so on. The only reason I consider them (possibly - and I did say "possibly") comparable is the amount of time a tourist would want to spend in each park. Someone looking only for rides would find 8 hours of things to do in WDSP, but only about four hours in DAK, maybe six at best. The "feeling" at DAK is obviously more Disney, though.
“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
Sounds like WDSP could benefit from a DCA 2.0-style facelift. It wouldn't even need to be as extensive, because it seems like there are already a decent number of attractions. The lack of restaurants is bizarre; is there an official reason for that?
Sounds like WDSP could benefit from a DCA 2.0-style facelift. It wouldn't even need to be as extensive, because it seems like there are already a decent number of attractions.
Quoted for truth. I'm told that the Imagineers have drawn up a fairly ambitious masterplan for expanding and improving the park (it would involve the addition of a central lake surrounded by three new themed lands, beyond the top of the current Hollywood Boulevard area) but, as is always the case with DLP, the money is not forthcoming. Here's hoping that Iger will dig deep to help us celebrate the resort's 20th anniversary next year!
The lack of restaurants is bizarre; is there an official reason for that?
None that I've ever discovered, and I worked there as a Cast Member. Once you get through the Studio 1 building at the entrance, there's also a surprising lack of merchandise opportunities. It's very odd. Luckily, there are plans for a big new Ratatouille dark ride (using the trackless technology from Tokyo's 'Hunny Hunt') that will also include a restaurant and shop. Planning permission has been granted, plans and concept art are all out there on the internet. Again, we're just waiting on the money.
---------- Post added 12-23-2011 at 11:30 AM ----------
Rock n roller coaster was at at the park when it opened and was the best attraction.
Also quoted for truth. Oh, and as a slight correction to Al's otherwise excellent article, the story of Rock 'n' Roller Coast in Paris isn't that Aerosmith are now coaster experts. Well, not quite. The idea is that they've taken over a vacant soundstage on the Disney backlot to test their new creation - the Soundtracker vehicles. The soundtrackers are able to translate rock music into a full motion, full sensory experience that you feel with your whole body. So the coaster trains are called Soundtrackers (rather than super stretch limos) and the Gravity Building (the main show building) is the controlled environment in which the experiment takes place.
I know. It makes about as much sense as Steve Tyler deciding to become a coaster enthusiast, but that is the official storyline. Sadly, it's never been made very clear in the pre-show or on the ride itself.