View Full Version : My Thoughts on 4 Days at WDW

Peter Pirate
10-20-2003, 05:12 PM
Lots of random thoughts. So browse throught them and take your pick for discussion.

1. It was very busy and not just MK. Epcot was as busy as I've seen it in a long time. AK was an effort to navigate and at MGM 'ToT' and 'RnR' had waits of 70 and 100 minutes on Sunday!

2. MK closing hours for the weekend were 10 on Friday and 11 on Saturday with two 'Specto's' on Sat. Further, both 'COP' & 'Timekeeper' were open. 'Mickey's Philharmagic' was incredible! It is so clear and bright...The next generation, just as I had hoped. The effects don't have the edgyness of 'ITTBAB' at AK but given its location in Fantasyland I think it hits a home run for its intended audience! We saw 'Wishes' from the CG and 'Ohana and enjoyed them although they didn't wow us as 'Illuminations' does. Maybe they need to be experienced from inside the MK...

3. What could the logical rationale be for not running 'COP' & 'Timekeeper' on a regular basis? The savings of keepng them closed has got to be minimal especially when compared to the added entertainment options it affords in the otherwise woebegone Tomorrowland. Come on Disney. But I do think the 'Stitch' adventure will be a winner.

3a. Couldn't the Fantasyland Lagoon be converted into fountains ala Epcot? It'd be soothing in a hectic area and would at least put the area to use.

4. Epcot seemed rejuvinated. With the excitement at 'M:S' evident everywhere (the Pirate rode it again and still had much trepidition, but it is awesome and definately a thrilling winner). The big crowds at the Wine and Food fest has to please Disney. Even 'JIYI' had a line to the front door! I think 'Soarin' ' will be a big boost to Epcot's attractivness and while those of us who know way more than we should about Disney are a tad upset with it being a cloned movie, most folks won't be angry about this, especially after riding this spectacular ride. I think the first and easiest next thing that must be done is to get a parade back for the nightime crowd (TON would be fine with me). Certainly the 'LS' needs something and 'The Wonders of Life' needs modernization as well, but I think Epcot is on its way back.

5. MGM still needs another show to replace the lost 'Doug Live' and 'HOND'. A more kid friendly show like 'Doug' performed with the brilliance and intricacies (to appeal to adults) of 'HOND' would be a Godsend. Work has already begun on the auto stunt show and while this isn't my cup of tea, I appreciate that it has received good reviews from Paris and will not downplay its possibilities. But as always, I think as 'Indy' ride would make this park GREAT!

6. AK is what it is and I love that. But while I'm excited for 'E:E' I am more than a little saddened that nothing new in the animal realm has been given or even offered for the future. Disney can do this right if they chose to, lets hope they see this soon. I can see the good and the bad of Dinorama. The area is fun. In fact it's actually a lot of fun. But it isn't magical in any sense and while I have no problems with it being there I am expecting something in compensation and as great as I expect 'E:E' to be it alone will not satisfy my hopes for AK.

7. The Swan Hotel. Not magical to purists. Is in the sightlines of Epcot. Is not Disneyesque enough...Phooey! It's a great hotel in a FANTASTIC location and they have now added the Heavenly Beds to every room!!! My thoughts are that if the AKL ever adds this type of bedding I will certainly never stay anywhere else again!

8. The Parks were clean. The batrooms clean, although there was no paper towells once.:eek: We ran into the 'Dancing Hoovers' one night and I must say that they did their job very well and DID NOT seem to bother anyone. To do this cleanup by broom would be absurd. We didn't notice mass early closings of vendors as had been std. practice not too long ago. Maybe a change has occured?

OK? Any questions, feel free to ask. Otherwise, any thoughts?

10-21-2003, 08:16 AM
Mr. Pirate -

Thanks for the synopsis. I happen to be embarking on the World next week and am anticipating the crowds.

Several things mentioned particularly struck me:

1) Hours/parade increase - Was this only the case for the MK? and how did you learn of it?

2) AK being difficult to navigate - care to elaborate?

Also -

I wouldn't be so quick to discount E:E. An attraction of this magnitude is guaranteed to entice visitors to include the park as a must do. If you're merely saying that it won't be the end-all solution for the place then I'd agree. However, I am content to allow this expansion to improve the capacity, for now, which in light of the other recent announcements will presumably rejuvenate the place overall.

Of course, this doesn't mean the buck stops here! But the buzz is certainly working around these parts! My compliments to the publicity/marketing/promo personnel. Is it true the Bucs are endorsing M:S on a FL ad?

Peter Pirate
10-21-2003, 09:02 AM
crusader, the hours were up at MK only I think. AK was open until 6 though so that may be an additional hour. MGM closed at 7:30 with Fantasmic and Epcot is always the same. I'm not sure when they announced the Friday hours & parade increase but it WAS on the printed attraction daily (so it was at least a day in advance).

As for AK, you know the narrow sidewalks do make it tough when the crowds are there and they were there on Thursday. Wait times were not bad though, just a typical 10 minutes or so.

As for E:E, I'm certainly NOT discounting it...In fact after riding M:S and seeing McPhil I'm quite sure it'll be a mind blower...I'm only lamenting nothing new in the animal department, after all it is Animal Kingdom and I'd like to see Disney really push the envelope in this area. But I understand their need to pull in crowds first. I just hope successful attractions away from animal innovation doesn't doom animal attractions in the future.

I haven't seen the Bucs in a commercial but we're in South Florida so unless they got the Dolphins it probably wouldn't air down here. I agree about the press though, even here inthe Keys, where most couldn't care less about Disney, I've been questioned numerous times about M:S (due to the adds)...You'll love it, btw!

10-21-2003, 10:00 AM
I've remarked on the flow at AK myself. My theory is that E:E will incorporate a re-designed pathway to mitigate some of this problem.

As the park expands the spokes will diminish (assuming the wheel completes itself).

South Florida? Man, I should have pulled out the atlas! Well, my source was near Clearwater so that explains it.

I haven't caught the ads here but whenever I mention the trip the first thing I hear is a commercial plug of some sort whether it be the M:S or the recent campaigns or upcoming releases. Amazing the power of the media. I hope they don't overkill the advertisement but right now the message is out and people are talking. (I have to believe they're booking as well) I just found out two friends and a family member are going to be there when I am. Hey, the party just keeps gettin' better!

PS. I've recruited 20 unsuspecting brave souls for the space flight and tower of terror! HA!

10-21-2003, 12:27 PM
We're going to be in the world next week as well!

I'm not sure if it was the Bucs ad for M:S or not, but I did see a quick clip of a couple players riding the attraction when the Bucs played on Monday night a couple weeks ago. I caught the very end of it and thought it may just have been a MNF/ABC promo tie-in for the ride.


Were COP and Timekeeper open the entire time MK was open or
were there limited hours?

We haven't seen CoP since '97 and would definitely love to catch this classic again!


Peter Pirate
10-21-2003, 12:56 PM
I wasn't in Tomorrowland at night so I really don't know...Perhaps someone else knows???

10-21-2003, 03:14 PM
***"Were COP and Timekeeper open the entire time MK was open or
were there limited hours?"***

I'll let you know tomorrow nite :-)

10-21-2003, 04:52 PM
Thanks knwviking! Have a great trip!

Bob O
10-21-2003, 11:34 PM
As for AK, the animals they need should be in BK!!!!!
And wdw needs to stop their attack of the cloned rides and open Soarin with a original film, i would perfer one based on the US but failing that one on FLA would be ok and end it at wdw just like the one in CA ends at DL!!!

Peter Pirate
10-22-2003, 07:31 AM
Bob, there is NOTHING dramatic enough about the Florida topogrophy to warrant a show of its own...It would be a bore. I agree that it would be nice to get a film of 'Soarin' Over America' and to tell you the truth I still have hope.

I think the first step for WDW was to just get the attraction greenlighted. You know a bird in the hand? As development goes along there is always time for an "upgrade". Will this happen? Who knows. But it is possible and logical and the worse case scenerio is that WDW gets 'Soarin' Over California' with a new ending, and despite your protestations, that really isn't a bad thing, per se...pirate:

Bob O
10-23-2003, 05:01 PM
Peter a film on FLA wouldnt be my first choice but if done correctly and using photo's from space launches etc it could be good, but i would perfer a film covering the USA where there is more than enough to make a excellant film.
While a cloned attraction is better than nothing we have to hold disney up to higher standards than a SF park which throws similiar rides/shows in all their parks.

10-24-2003, 07:43 AM
Thursday nite MK closed at 8:30 pm. We didn't get into Tomorrowland until a little after 6:00 and TK was closed. CoP was open till closing. The park seemed very crowded, don't know why TK would be closed.

10-24-2003, 08:43 AM
Thanks again viking! We fly out tonight at 4:00.

Re Soarin clone:

I like the idea of having the same movie as Cali. I do hope that they keep the original movie for a few years and then update it with a Soarin over America or something of that nature. I haven't experienced Soarin' and don't plan on going to DLR anytime soon and I'm sure there are millions more like me...

10-24-2003, 09:17 AM
but i would perfer a film covering the USA where there is more than enough to make a excellant film.

That is much better suited in the Americas Pavilion at World Showcase.

Soarin should have an agricultural flare complete with aromas and sights to engage us - particularly given it is now part of the Land. Having never seen the attraction, I'm not sure what we're actually getting here. But I do agree with mickey1010 on this. It's a great addition and if we get it sooner because of the existing theatrics then so be it.

Viking - thanks for the live update. mickey 1010 - I'll be there in less than a week so it looks like we'll be neighbors for a few days!

Bob O
10-24-2003, 01:16 PM
Since it is going to take awhile to build the building that will house the show wdw would have more than enough time to come up with a new film rather than being cheap and just using a old film.
While having some agriculture in the film would be good, but if we arew going to spend ten minutes hovering over a corn filed it wont be worth much other than a place to take a nap.
Its sad that so many people hold disney up to little if any objective standard and are happy with whatever disney gives them. Shouldnt we expect more from disney then just throwing cloned attractions around because it is cheaper rather than expecting/demanding them to be able to offer original options for their parks????

10-24-2003, 05:55 PM
I agree with BobO about this one. Soarin' is really good and I applaud Disney extending the idea to another park. However, the thought of plopping a film about California into a Land-themed pavilion in a park in Florida just seems illogical to me. I keep thinking "what does California have to do with Florida?"

But it is good and I'll enjoy seeing it again even though I'm not sure if this ride will be one of those that's fun to ride over and over.

Peter Pirate
10-24-2003, 06:17 PM
OH geez, there you go again Bob. I can't understand if the fact that if I can't see how a 'Soarin' Over Florida" film could possibly be half as cool as "Soarin' Over California" makes me a non-objective Disney apologist...

Oh I can see it now...We'd take off in the Panhandle and fly over some white beaches and blue water, from there we fly over a swamp. then we can fly over some orange groves...Oooop's they did that in CA...Ok, then we'll fly over some white beaches and blue water. From there maybe a fly over Domino Park in Little Havana, that'd be exciting! Then we can fly over a golf course and have them hit a ball at us..Oooop's they already did that too? Nevermind. Now we can get to the good stuff...South Beach. More white sand and blue water, but what's that? Naked ****s & thonged butts all over the place...Uh-oh, not too Disney, let's skip South Beach. On to Key West and Soarin Over Fantasy Fest...What's that? More public nudity? Oh well, back to another white beach and blue sky. On the way back to WDW we can once again zoom over that ever exciting swamp and maybe do a close up on an aligator...OOOhhhh Ahhhhh...

Let's face it Bob, your "Disney is cheap" spiel isn't really holding water anymore. M:S is packing Epcot, Mickey's Philharmagic is great at the MK. E:E & the Auto Stunt Show are already under construction and they've approved the transportation of a great new ride to WDW that isn't quite what everyone wanted...But truth be told most of the complaining is coming from folks who HAVE already been on "Soarin' Over California" when the truth of the matter is (as has already been pointed out) most of WDW's guests have not...Cheap decision or smart decision, does it really matter? It's a GREAT addition to Epcot in any form.pirate:

Bob O
10-25-2003, 01:43 PM
Pete, A film with nude beaches in Miami/Fla would be a great addition!!! Now that would be great scenery and already would give ita bonus over the film in DCA.
Regarding the spending of money, it is nice to see disney FINALLY put some money into their theme parks. But when you factor in the years it is taking to add the attractions and spread them over four parks it is less impressive. And since attendance and spending per captia is going down( and has for several years when little money has been spent on improvements) they arent doing this for our benefit( but it is great that we will benefit) but are hoping to do something to entice people back into the parks.
And yes the cheap decision is to throw in another cloned attraction(like the stunt show)(why not redo Star Tours for something really new??? and of course it could be cloned to other parks right??). Of course the right thing to do is to make up a new film for the attraction that is unique, but of course that is too much money so instead we will get a cloned film that has nothing to do with the location it is going to be shown at.
Maybe next we could clone the rides from Fliks Fare and put them into the Universe of Energy building or maybe put them in China and some would still be applauding the move!!!

10-25-2003, 09:44 PM
20 minutes over a cornfield????

How did that become the interpretation for "agricultural flare"?

and -

How come it was ok for Walt to clone the Magic Kingdom but anything the company tries to duplicate now is criticized as cheap and tawdry?

Joe public doesn't care if the film is the same. The attraction is a welcome addition. Think how far something like this will go in assisting FW. You really can't argue against it.

I do agree with StarTours lacking oxygen!! There will always be an attraction in need at any given point in time.

Bob O
10-26-2003, 10:47 AM
I guess maybe we could throw in a soybean field or how about a cabbage patch to make it real exciting!!!!!
Each park has numerous attractions/shows that arfe in great need of oxygen!!! If it only was Star Tours it would be ok.

10-26-2003, 12:08 PM
They could soar over a cocoa bean field and dump you into a chocolate shop upon exit. Hey it works for Hershey!

or they could soar over a wheat field and some fruit orchards then through a baking factory before dumping you into a room full of Mickey cakes, pies and donuts.

Cha-ching! Cha-ching! Cha-ching!

10-26-2003, 12:28 PM
Does anyone have any idea what the film portion of Soarin' cost to shoot ? I'm just curious if we're talking tens of millions, one million, half mil ?????? And how long does it take to make a film like this ? Would making a new film delay the opening of the ride ?

On the subject of cloning: A great ride is a great ride. Why should I have to travel cross country or half way around the world to experience a great ride. Give me my WDW version of any great ride the other parks have to offer. I won't feel like Disney is cheaping out or failing to be creative. I just want the ride.

10-28-2003, 01:20 PM
I have no idea what a new film would cost to shoot, but...

I humbly suggest that a change in the film would cascade to other, necessary changes. The coordination of the film to the seat movements and other in-theater effects (ie. any smell-o-vision moments) would have to be done and tested. That's extra time and labor and cost. If you use exactly the California version, the programming is cut-and-paste with, presumably, a shorter test cycle.