DEBATE: What makes a Disney attraction 'successful'?

Discussion in 'Disney Rumors and News' started by DisneyKidds, Oct 21, 2002.

  1. DisneyKidds

    DisneyKidds <font color=green>The TF thanks DisneyKidds for mo

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    So, what is it folks? What makes a Disney ride/attraction 'successful'? Is it popularity (attendance/lines), is it the quality of the ride mechanism (technology), is it unique identification with Disney (themeing), is it all of the above, none of the above, something entirely different?

    How do you define 'success' as it relates to Disney attractions?

    Talk amongst yourselves.........................*

    *Not so obscure SNL reference.

    Fill inthe blank - 'I'm feeling a bit _________' :crazy:.
     
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  3. BRERALEX

    BRERALEX That's a wrap.

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    sorry for the short answer

    what makes a disney ride successful is when its not debated upon here :D
     
  4. Bob O

    Bob O <font color=navy>Voice of Reason<br><font color=re

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    To me its the total package!!!! It not based on any specific ride mechanism but how the ride is themed and how the theme is caried out from the beginning to the end. You can have rides as different as TOT/HM/POTC, one is hi-tech and the other's arent but the theme/story is carried out from beginning to end to perfection. Its kind of hard to say what it is exactly but you do know it when you see it/expereince it. To me a great disney ride/attraction is a ride that has the "wow" factor from beginning to end, the theming is excellant and places you right into what ever the ride/attraction is, you are part of that experience.
     
  5. Luv2Roam

    Luv2Roam Dexter: Takes Life. Seriously.

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    Too me it's the DETAIL that go into the Great Disney attractions, like ToT. When they do something right, they do it right. When it's half done, ya get that carpet ride. ;)
     
  6. WebmasterCricket

    WebmasterCricket <font color=blue>Administrator<br><font color=red> Administrator

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    To laugh often and love much, To win the respect of intelligent persons and the affection of children, To earn the approbation of honest citizens, and endure the betrayal of false friends, To appreciate beauty, To find the best in others, To give of oneself, To leave the world a bit better whether by a healthy child, a garden patch or a redeemed social condition. To have played and laughed with enthusiasm & sung with exultation; To know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived - THIS IS TO HAVE SUCCEEDED.

    RALPH WALDO EMERSON
     
  7. DisneyKidds

    DisneyKidds <font color=green>The TF thanks DisneyKidds for mo

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    Mr. J - Love the quote. I actually carry it in my wallet - no kidding. I like to look at it once in a while and share it with others. It provides some lofty, yet attainable goals.

    Walt was most defintely successful :). I bet we could adapt it for an attraction ;).
     
  8. mcdrinkyd

    mcdrinkyd Earning My Ears

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    Having read a LOT about this lately, I've come to a few conclusions. For me, anything at WDW is 'magic' if it makes me realize how great things CAN be. Most people seem to get goosebumps not from big drops or fast rides but from being stunned that the grass can be a little better, the show can be more breathtaking, the ride can take you a little further away from the mundane. Some rides work great at this, like the Pirates, Splash Mountain, and Small World. Some seem to miss the mark (Alladin, Triceritops spin(IMO)).

    The greatest ride I've ever taken was a monorail ride at midnight from the TTC to Epcot to pick up our van, in 1999. My family and I were on the last night of our trip, and my nieces and nephew really wanted to ride in the front cab of the monorail, but this was to be the last monorail of the night, and there was young couple already in the queue. When the CM overheard this, he called another monorail to do an extra trip just for our kids. Needless to say, they were elated. So, we waited another 10 minutes, and our kids sat up front. When we arrived at EPCOT, there was a tram sitting right at the foot of the landing, as the monorail driver had called ahead. To top it off, the back end tram operator let my nieces serenade the driver through the intercom.

    A magical time for all, but what made it possible? A) The ride itself was fairly unique. There aren't a lot of monorails in the world, much less ones that let kids ride with the drivers. B) Undoubtably, the service. The CM's bent over backwards to make the experience special. And they were allowed to have fun doing it. So it cost a little bit to run the monorail an extra lap, but the countless thousands that I've spent at WDW will more that cover that. C) The atmoshphere. We had just had a fantastic day, catching Illuminations and FITS, saw a few great shows, and rode a bunch of cool rides. We did this in a safe, family enviroment. We were the last people on a public trasportation terminal at midnight, and we were letting our kids run around the landing without fear that they were going to get mugged or abducted (say that about any other city.) And even after a hundred thousand people or so had gone through the TTC that day, the place was as clean as it had been that morning.

    All in all, the entire experience showed me that a higher standard can be met. These same criteria apply to all rides. In the words of Steve Jobs, it was "insanely great."

    More E-ticket rides would be great, don't get me wrong. But if I want to ride another roller coaster, I'll go to Six Flags or IOA. Disney has spent a great deal of time and money to make me expect more from an amusment park, and as long as they provide that 'something more', then I'll keep spending my money there.
     
  9. WebmasterCricket

    WebmasterCricket <font color=blue>Administrator<br><font color=red> Administrator

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    I think the list IS different for every person.

    Some people love the Tiki Birds some hate it. The appearance of success will waver depending on how you view the attraction or what experience you may have during your visit.

    mcdrinkyd just gave a perfect example. He made a successful attraction out of a mode of transportation. Some wouldn't even consider the monorail an attraction.

    A long time ago, I helped out with a trivia test and one of the questions was "What was the first attraction to close at WDW?"

    The answer given was "The preview center". To many, this was an extraordinarily successful attraction, to others, it was a waste of time.


    JC
     
  10. DisneyKidds

    DisneyKidds <font color=green>The TF thanks DisneyKidds for mo

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    Ooops - Sorry JC. I deleted my last post. Since you seem to be commenting on it I will put it back................sorry about that :).

    [As previously posted]

    Bob O - I agree with you. However, wouldn't this make the list of successful attractions different for every person?
     
  11. PKS44

    PKS44 DIS Veteran

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    Storytelling-is it a good story, well told?...all successful Disney rides are...somebody in Disney also appears to have gotten mixed up about this and thinks it has to be a story from a successful movie...somehow the Pirates, the HM, SplashM and SpaceM, succeed without much (as the case of Splash) or any (for the others) identification with any popular movie...

    Find a good story, tell it well through the ride-->success.

    Paul
     
  12. DVC-Landbaron

    DVC-Landbaron What Would Walt Do?

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    Hmmm… I remember sitting in the Dolphin with Gcurling and Peter Pirate and discussing this very issue a year and a half ago. And after an awful lot of talk we still had no answer. We agreed, for the most part, on rides or attractions that were DEFINITELY Disney. And we agreed on rides that DEFINITELY fell short. And the surprising thing was that we fairly agreed on those that should have WOWed us, the ones that had ALL the right elements, but still… well… just didn’t do it, especially over time!! SO I will ponder it.

    In the mean time, just a couple of thoughts on what has already transpired:
    Yeah. For the most part Mr. Kidds you are right, Walt was most definitely successful. But not always!! (Surprised!?!?)

    Bob O mirrors my take on the subject. He started his post:
    For me it is far easier to say what elements in a Disney attraction don’t matter at all!! And ride mechanism is certainly one of them. BUT! At the same time technology is an intricate part! So where does that leave us? I sure don’t know, but if you’re still following this and have any idea what I mean, or better yet, have an answer, please clue me in!!!

    Mr. J. Cricket says:
    And I agree!! It is certainly very subjective, but I really believe that we should be able to come up with a criteria, or standard that should be a good indicator of a Disney “something”.

    And here is where I think that a criteria or standard could help. Because I KNOW that some people hate Tiki, but I really think that virtually everyone would admit it is DEFINITELY a Disney attraction!! Just one that they don’t particularly care for!! (I say “virtually” everyone, because I have just finished a similar debate where everyone… Oh well!!) On the other side of the coin, there will be some guilty pleasures! Something that clearly fails as a ‘Disney” attraction, yet you still LOVE anyway!! (a certain ride in Adventureland comes to mind) For me it is that stupid Ice House by Coke!! I HATE it there!! It has no business in EPCOT! NONE!! But, I cannot walk past it! I ALWAYS have to walk though it!! Go figure!
    Ahhhhhh!! The preview Center was GREAT!!!! I loved it!! It was really cool to see the things that were coming. And it even had elements of the 5 year plan, Mr. Kidds!!
     
  13. Testtrack321

    Testtrack321 <font color=blue>Good GOD, man, quit banging your

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    It's the atempt and attatude towards it durring creation. If Pressler (or now Raius, or however you spell his name) hacks the hell out of the budget and they get depressed about the project and want out, then you have it. The'll do a slopy job and everyone will hate it.

    It their main focus was doing it cheeply (ToD, JIYI) and quickly, a bad product will come out.

    It's those that are nurtured and cared for that succede. Look at a good example. Cranium Comand. This little gem isn't as advertised as Body Wars nor did it get the attention it deserved for awhile. But it's good because the people working on it knew it was a good idea and loved it. They didn't treat it as second rate compared to Body Wars.
     
  14. Bob O

    Bob O <font color=navy>Voice of Reason<br><font color=re

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    Testtrack- I agree about Cranium Command, its a gem that isnt that well known but it put together to make a excellant show!!
    Disneykids-I would agree that everybody will have their own favorite attraction.
    But i think their are some that are mentioned by almost everybody as being a great attraction, be it POTC/TOT/HM as a few examples and i think that is because the attention too detail is their from beginning to end and the story is told in a easily observable manner. And when disney does get it right and out the whole package together no other park kcan match that type of experience and that is why disney is heads and shoulders above the rest, inspite of me!!
     
  15. SnackyStacky

    SnackyStacky <font color=9900FF>Disney Addict<br><table border=

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    It seems there's been a morph into two seperate discussions, so I'll try to combine the two discussions into one.

    The inital question was what makes a Disney ride "successful". Well, what does successful mean? Does that mean that a lot of people like it?

    OR, do we mean it is a "Disney" ride? A ride that would make Walt proud?

    Since I think that the original question was in reference to the latter, I'll answer that one.

    A ride is successful if:

    1.) it has a cohesive, identifiable storyline
    2.) it fits into the area where it was built
    3.) it fits into the grand scheme of the park in which it was built
    4.) the show is carried out from beginning to end
    5.) it is innovative (not necessarily new technology, but a new way of using perhaps an older technology or ride format)

    For me these 5 criteria can fit anything that I consider a true Disney attraction.

    I'll pick a ride from each park that I feel is Disney, and one that I feel isn't true Disney. (And everything is based on a park that is theoretically well-kept and maintained like it SHOULD be)

    Magic Kingdom:
    Splash Mountain is one of my favorite rides and one that I feel is a true "Disney" experience.
    1.) The story line is very clear and apparent. At least it is to me.
    2.) I believe that it fits into frontierland, even though marginally. I really think that this would have had a better home in Fantasyland. (I know that the logistics of that would have been nearly if not totally impossible)
    3.) I don't think anybody doubts that it fits into the grand scheme of the Magic Kingdom. It belongs there! It's pure magic!
    4.) Even on the parts where you could be bored out of your skull, they keep you entertained. Neat plants, and tons of things to look at. All of the effects (lighting, and sound, etc.) are well hidden.
    5.) A ride that's been around forever: the log flume. Used in a totally new way.

    Small World (I was going to go for the even easier one and use Aladdin, but I figured I'd not rehash that old discussion! :) ) misses the Disney mark, and Walt designed it!

    1.) I can loosely feel a storyline, but that's not where I believe it misses the mark.
    2.) I don't think this fits into Fantasyland at ALL. I don't think that there's anyplace that it would work anywhere in the Magic Kingdom.
    3.) As I said in the last step, I think this ride is a sort of edu-tainment that belongs in World Showcase at Epcot. I don't believe it carries out the Magic Kingdom "feel".
    4.) Lighting effects in full view. It looks like the Festival of Lights at Niagara Falls. Cheap, cheezy, and tacky.
    5.) I do think that it was innovative. During a time of civil unrest and discrimination, Walt came up with a way of showing his love for all people. (If he was racist or prejudice, he did a damn good job of hiding it...I'm really not sure if that was his intent with this ride, but it's what I took away from it)

    Epcot:
    For a tried and true successful Epcot attraction, look no further than Spaceship Earth!

    1.) The storyline? The development and progression of communication.
    2.) One of the problems with labeling something "Future World" is it has to be ever-changing in order to keep up. But when the park was built, this was definitely in the future. One of the last scenes with the families using TVs to translate, and the one that translates? In the 80's that was just the most amazing thought!
    3.) It totally fits into the theme of Future World. Because it tries to take a glimpse into the future.
    4.) Definitely fits into Epcot. It is both entertaining and educational at the same time.
    5.) As far as the 1980's were concerned, this was innovative. Nobody had known how to make a full sphere and not just a dome. Even now, the drainage system is too cool!

    Something that misses the mark? Rio de Tiempo.

    1.) While the history of Mexico appeared to be the storyline, it was somewhat loose.
    2.) Yes, it definitely fits within the Mexican Pavilion.
    3.) Yes, definitely fits into World Showcase.
    4.) The show is carried out, very well I think. I LOVE the very beginning riding past the pyramid.
    5.) THIS is where it misses the mark. There was NOTHING innovative about this ride at all. The boat had been done. No new special effects at all.

    MGM:

    The Tower of Terror. Whether or not you can get the courage to ride it is one thing, but if you doubt for a moment that it's a Disney ride, take a walk through the queue and use the chicken exit.

    1.) Such an awesome storyline! DEFINITELY there, definitely clear.
    2.) It sure enough fits into the Sunset Blvd. theme.
    3.) Yup, it fits into the Hollywood park!!!
    4.) The show is executed with such perfection. The attention to detail is absolutely amazing. As I said, just walk through the queue and use the chicken exit. It's AMAZING to see!!!!
    5.) Definitely innovative. I don't think anybody has ridden an elevator that leaves the shaft, or that falls faster than gravity.

    Missing the mark? The Muppets 3D.

    1.) Was there even a storyline? If there was I don't remember it. In fact I remember one of the characters saying it wasn't a dumb excuse for 3D effects.
    2.) Isn't this in the New York area of the park? Was the Muppet theatre supposed to be in New York? It just didn't fit to me.
    3.) I don't see how it fits into the park. I don't think it had anything to do with the Hollywood theme.
    4.)A great show!!!! It definitely hits the mark here for me. They actually destroy the theater!!!!!
    5.) NOTHING innovative here. The 3D technology had been done in Epcot with Honey I Shrunk the audience. The same water and air tricks and whatnot had been used before?

    Animal Kingdom:

    Hitting the mark is the Kilimanjaro Safaris.

    1.) Although it definitely felt tacked on, a storyline was very clear.
    2.) DEFINITELY fits into Africa!
    3.) DEFINITELY fits into Animal Kingdom.
    4.) There is no better show than live animals as far as I'm concerned.
    5.) I've been on open-air safaris before. We have one close to Buffalo in Canada. But they don't have climate controlled rocks, and lures to get the animals to come. They have trams, not unique modified trucks.

    What doesn't hit the mark is Primeval Whirl.

    1.) Storyline? Is there supposed to be one? If so I don't see it.
    2.) It fits into it's area of a roadside carnival.
    3.) It does NOT fit into the Animal Kingdom. Unless roadside carnivals now travel to exotic places.
    4.) I don't think that there is any show to this piece. It just lacks. It's a wild mouse coaster. Nothing else.
    5.) If the cars spinning on a wild mouse counts as innovative, then I suppose it is innovative. But it seems like such an antiquated ride.

    Those are the factors that I think can show if a Disney ride is successful.
     
  16. BRERALEX

    BRERALEX That's a wrap.

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    not a big deal but wasnt the muppets first?

    i hear what your sayin about muppets missing the mark at mgm but yeah like you said the show is a hit with me too.
     
  17. DisneyKidds

    DisneyKidds <font color=green>The TF thanks DisneyKidds for mo

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    Ah, Mr. Stacky – good observation. Now, before we move on, does everyone see it? You are right my Snacky friend; it does seem that people are discussing two different questions here. One would be ‘What makes a Disney attraction successful’? The other would be ‘What makes a Disney attraction ‘Disney’? Just want to make sure we are clear. Sometimes those nuances can be difficult for some people to see ;).

    So, SS, you have chosen to answer the latter question, and it is a good answer. Thanks for sharing. However, the question of what is ‘Disney’, what makes Disney ‘Disney’, when does ‘Disney’ cease to exists – well, they have been discussed at length just a few ;) times. Not that it isn’t a great discussion to have, but I was going for something else. I know there may be some people contributing now that haven’t had the pleasure :crazy: of one of those lengthy discussions on ‘Disney’. I’m sure there are some around here who would love to oblige and pick that discussion up again. But I was looking for a new avenue to explore with this thread.

    I quite deliberately, and very carefully, chose the word ‘successful’. Now, on the surface, some may consider those two question above to be one and the same, that ‘success’ and ‘Disney’ are inextricably linked when it comes to Disney attractions. That is a great point for discussion. Let me pose a few questions in that regard.

    Can a Disney attraction that many would agree IS ‘Disney’ end up NOT BEING successful?

    Can a Disney attraction that many would agree IS NOT ‘Disney’ end up BEING successful?

    If the answer to these questions is no, then ‘success’ and ‘Disney’ are indeed one and the same when it comes to Disney attractions. However, if the answer is yes, then one must have a different answer for what constitutes ‘success’ and what makes something ‘Disney’ when it comes to Disney attractions.

    Your thoughts………………….*

    ………Snack-a-lack-a-ding-dong…………………………………………..
    ………DVC-one-if-by-Land-baron…...........................................................
    ………BobO-my favorite clown……............................................................
    ………JC-don’t-step-on-my-Cricket……………………………………….
    ………mc-I-need-a-drinkyd………………………………………………...
    ………PKS-44-22-hut-hut-hike…………………………………………….
    ………Luv2-4-6-8-who-do-we-appreciate-Roam………………………….
    ………Brer-I’ve-got-a-thorn-in-my-a**-Alex………………………………
    ………Disney-what-do-you-live-for-to-give-everyone-a-headache-Kidds…
    ………Testing-testing-1-2-3-track………………………………………….
    ………Anybody else? Anyone? Bueller? Bueller?.......................................


    * Either an obscure reference to yet another SNL skit, or how a certain Disney Company owned network’s sportscaster might call out members on the Disney discussion field of play ;). And yes, in case you are wondering, I had nothing better to do on the train this morning :crazy:.
     
  18. WebmasterCricket

    WebmasterCricket <font color=blue>Administrator<br><font color=red> Administrator

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    Shooting gallery in Frontierland.

    I wouldn't exactly call that "Disney" and yet someone probably shovels out the quarters hourly. I'm sure it wouldn't still be there if it wasn't successful.

    Which brings up another point. Does longevity help define or validate an attractions success?

    JC
     
  19. DisneyKidds

    DisneyKidds <font color=green>The TF thanks DisneyKidds for mo

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    Good question, one I was holding back ;).

    I, too, was thinking of what I might consider successful and unsuccessful Disney attractions. I'll hold off on that for now, but one I thought of was Mr. Toad's Wild Ride. Obviously gone now, and for years prior to closure it didn't exactly pack them in. However, I'm sure there are many that considered this ride 'Disney' and a 'success' at one time. So, was Mr. Toad's a successful Disney attraction? I really don't know :confused:.

    The more I think about it I DON'T think longevity is a given for a successful attraction. I'm sure we can all think of attractions that were wonderful, or at least we thought were wonderful, that have closed. Carousel of Progress comes to mind (although it technically isn't closed I guess - but might as well be given how infrequentlyit is open). Of course that begs the question - why did they close? Perhpas it gets back to that personal list of successful attractions :crazy:.
     
  20. WebmasterCricket

    WebmasterCricket <font color=blue>Administrator<br><font color=red> Administrator

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    I'll throw out another twist.

    The "skyway" (I'm not sure if that was the official name or not) was not "Disney" nor was it exactly successful, but damn if there wasn't always a line at both ends.

    I think that attraction (or was it transportation :confused: ) wasn't attractive due to the ride, but the view it provided and possibly the "rest stop".

    Does successful mean "busy"?

    On a personal note, If I ever meet the person that closed the doors to COP, I'll give them a "Great big beautiful smack upside the head". Fool :mad:

    JC
     
  21. KNWVIKING

    KNWVIKING DIS Veteran

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    I think my answer is pretty simplistic compared to all the others. When I get off a Disney ride- or any other ride for that matter- I ask myself if the ride was worth the wait in line ? Will I wait in line for Splash Mountain-yes. Will I wait for Dumbo or Carpets-no.That doesn't mean Dumbo or Carpets are bad,just not the best way to spend my time,(but I know adults will stand in this line because their kids want to ride Dumbo).

    Several of my favorite rides have virtually no "thrills" to them whatsoever. Rides like PotC, JC,TTA,CoP,Spaceship,etc, have a theming & relaxation quality that I have never seen at any other theme park and I prefer them to some break-neck,beat-you-up roller coaster. Of course,you'd get a different opinion if you talked to college aged sons.
     

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