Jim Hill asks for Patience on DCA

Discussion in 'Disney Rumors and News' started by airlarry!, Sep 25, 2002.

  1. airlarry!

    airlarry! Did you know some ferns date back to Prehistoric t

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    See his new article on the Flik Fun Fair addition to DCA. He counsels patience for those who complain that the addition is beset by bad sight lines, is too small, and is simply rethemed off the shelf rides.

    www.jimhillmedia.com
    I am a big fan of Jim. Big. But I think his mine cart runs a bit off the track here when he says that these are not valid complaints because you can't compare DCA to Disneyland when it was built. (Sounds like another thread we are debating...) Au contraire. First, I personally have never heard anyone say to add to DCA "something spectacular like Disneyland's Fantasyland." Un-hunh.

    Look at the Mermaid section of The Disney Seas (TDS). I have heard scant complaints that the TDS version of fantasyland is bad...mainly because even though it is allegedly cheap knock-offs of old carnival kiddie rides....it is the manner in which they are done and presented, especially when compared to certain new kiddie areas done in DCA and elsewhere, that is praised not vilified.

    I hope they have pulled off the same magic at Flik's as they seem to have done at The Mermaid's. I have been to neither TDS nor DCA, so I can't be a very good judge yet.

    But, I don't think it is too much to ask that if the Imagineers want to add a section to DCA for the little kids, that they do it with the same quality as The Disney Seas, and they make it fun for the entire family to enjoy.

    Or else we get....oh no...the Caste System of Parks. ;)
     
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  3. Luv2Roam

    Luv2Roam Dexter: Takes Life. Seriously.

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    I don'tr know so much that there isn't enough for little kids in DCA. I don't think there is enough there to get and keep anyone's attention past a day. And even a day is pushing it.
    Because he is saying not to ***** about it before anyone has been there, does it mean it's THAT bad? ;):jester:
     
  4. space42

    space42 WDW Addict

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    Again I ask, why do we need kiddie lands in the fist place? Wasn't the spark that ignited Disneyland something along the lines of Walt wanting a place where he and his daughter could enjoy time TOGETHER?

    Why can't the kids get E-Tickets too!!!!!!!!!?

    My first trip to WDW that I can remember was when I was about 4 or 5 (I had been before but I have no memory of those trips)
    My best memory from that trip was Pirates. Thinking that our boat was really being attacked by the pirate ship. Having to duck down in my seat to avoid the cannon fire.
    Do you really think 4 or 5 year olds visiting DCA today are going to have those same type of memorys?
     
  5. EUROPA

    EUROPA DIS Veteran

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    The point that I would make is that in the 40's and 50's that was the avaible attractions at that time. Anything outside of that would need to be developed first. Disney did this. Could he fill the whole park with orginal rides? NOPE. He could not do it and then operate it. He would have really been bankrupt then.

    Things have changed 50 years later. Now it is possible with the size of Disney to develop attractions that are not off the shelf. It will cost more money but they do have the abilty to do it now. They should not be putting in spinners.
     
  6. hopemax

    hopemax Note to Self:

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    Actually, it was Walt and his daughters, but the point is still there. He wanted a place where parents and kids enjoyed experiences together. And it had to have been more than just physically riding with them, anyone could have ridden that carousel at Griffith Park. Walt wasn't forced to sit on the park bench, and I would imagine that there were times he did ride with his girls. But that didn't change his need for something MORE.

    I'm worried for DCA, I'm worried that they didn't really get the right answer with their surveys. They were looking for an answer they could solve easily. When people said, "There wasn't enough for kids to do." I think they really meant, "There wasn't enough rides for everyone to do together." The new land, simply gets one part of the family of the benches. Before Mom and the little one were waiting while Dad took the older kids on the other rides. Now Mom and the little one have something to do while they're waiting. But do families really want to split up like that? And the "height requirement" rides are on the opposite side of the park from this land so if families are going to do separate things, it's probably going to be a couple hours before everyone hooks back up again. And DL (with Jungle Cruise, Pirates, HM, Roger Rabbit, Peter Pan) is still only 300 feet away.
     
  7. Bob O

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

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    He probably isnt a apologist like some here but apparnetly was hit with a large wad of pixie dust and is suffereing from blurred vision/thought process!!
    If Walt had a problem it is that he wasnt a business at all and never pretended to be one. While eisner is a businessman trying to pretend to be a person with who is creative.
    I will see it first hand soon but what i have read is that the theming to the area is excellant but the rides are lame even by kid standards and were run with short ride cycles and all have big capacity problems(tough that may not be a problem at DCA which doesnt have crowding problems). I can see a kiddie ride or two but why not something the whole family can ride and enjoy and something new rather than themed carny rides??? The only answer is they wanted a cheap fix!!
     
  8. hopemax

    hopemax Note to Self:

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    Bob,

    Don't assume that Walt wasn't a business man. He was, and a pretty darn good one. Roy was simply BETTER. And more importantly Roy liked being a business man, Walt liked being an entertainer. Using a baseball analogy, when you consider how many men play baseball and never make it to the Majors, for Jeremy Giambi to have played for 5 years proves he must be a good baseball player. But stand him next to his brother Jason, and he doesn't look that good.
     
  9. space42

    space42 WDW Addict

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    Thanks Hope, I corrected my post too (hope you dont mind) :)

    Agreed 100%
    This area wouldn't be so bad if DCA already had their own California themed equals to Pirates, Mansion, Small World, Jungle Cruise, 20k Leagues, etc. But they do not. The solution was to add more off the shelf carni rides in a park full of off the shelf carni rides.
     
  10. Bob O

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

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    I know Landbaron can supply the quote's but Walts strength was his creativity and assembling a team to make his dreams come true and not sitting at a spread sheet with the accoutants!!
     
  11. PKS44

    PKS44 DIS Veteran

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    A big difference in what Walt did in 1955 and what was done now is that Walt did not ask anyone to pay a flat admission rate equal to a park with 40+ attractions to enter a park with a fraction of the attractions...You can have carny rides if themed appropriately be a significant part of the experience BUT you can't expect that alone to justify $47 a day admission charge (the same goes for just having a few special E rides at AK) --as I recall Walt did not even want any admission price but Roy insisted on it---when the park was organized as a low admission, pay as you ride affair things were different--
     
  12. raidermatt

    raidermatt Beware of the dark side. Anger...fear...aggression

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    On the surface, Jim does make some good points. I'll reserve judgement on Flik's until I see it in person, but it does appear to be reasonably well done, especially if the Bamboo is going to eventually block ToT.

    So if all he's looking for is somebody to say Flik's makes DCA better than it was, then I'll be happy to volunteer a "yes, it makes it better".

    Will DCA with ToT be better than DCA without it? "Yes".

    But when you are dealing with a baseline as low as the public reaction to DCA, are those questions enough?

    No. Better is, by definition, an improvement. But limiting standards in this way is part of the whole problem that caused DCA's problems to begin with.

    Forget what DCA is, and whether something will be an improvement. Instead, ask what DCA SHOULD be, and if the new additions live up to the standards that should have been followed all along.

    Does Flik's meet that criteria? Maybe. I'm not necessarily against Disney ever using "off the shelf" rides, as long as they are not relied upon everywhere, and as long as they are done well.

    I'm also ok with some clones, like ToT, but again, as long as they are not dumbed down and as long as clones are not seen as the entire solution.

    So, sure, Flik's and ToT are steps in the right direction. But let's face it, when you're up against the wall, its hard to take a step anywhere but forward.
     
  13. DisneyKidds

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

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    Correct, Walts primary strenght was not his business acumen..........well, maybe it was actually. Acumen is depth of perception, especially in practical matters. Walt let Roy work out the details, but Walt took an innovative, yet simplistic, approach to business. Give them quality and they will come, quality at all costs. Was this because he was a business simpleton? No! Walt was much more of a shrewd businessman than he gets credit for.
     
  14. Another Voice

    Another Voice Charter Member of The Element

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    Coming up with excuses is so much easier than doing a good job in the first place...

    It really is – all that thinking and creativity and work and effort. That stuff’s just really hard, you know? People holding you to expectations, trying to live up to what’s been done in the past, actually having the pressure of pleasing an audience…who in their right mind would put themselves at risk for those headaches.

    No, the public just doesn’t understand. They sit out there and whine about stuff like “value for their money” and “I want something good” and all the other petty, uncaring complaints. Sure, THEY want to have a good time. But do THEY think about how like really hard that can be? No! The public is just so greedy, they’re so demanding, they just don’t care!!

    It’s all their fault!!!!!


    Sorry Mr. Hill, I ain’t buying it. Poor work is poor work – excuses, blame tossing and cries of unrealistic expectations don’t change anything. There isn’t a single guest that cares about any of it. They know what they like, and it’s not they’re fault if they refuse to hand over money for something they clearly don’t like.

    And this whole “but Walt did it” excuse from the apologists is really kind of funny. I guess the basic argument is that if it was done fifty years ago, it ought to be okay today. But that argument shows a tragic lack of understanding about “show”.

    Let’s take a look at it. Walt created ‘Dumbo’ out of a basic spinner ride; Eisner is building ‘Ladybug’ out of a basic spinning ride. The difference isn’t the amount of themeing, it’s in how the mechanics either reinforce the story or replace it.

    The story of ‘Dumbo’ is about an elephant that can fly. The experience of the attraction is to give the guests an opportunity to fly along with Dumbo – the ride mechanism is simply a means to the end (and in fact, the original concept was for something very different). When you look at ‘Dumbo’ the ride, you are reminded of the story behind a flying elephant: – the big ears, Timothy the Mouse, the magic feather. It’s hard not to look at the ride and replay a favorite scene from the movie in your head. The ride is an extension and expansion of the story.

    The ‘Ladybug Spin’ at Flik’s is based on the Francis the Ladybug. No where in the movie is there any indication that Francis spins, rotates, twirls or revolves. No where in the movie is a rotating Francis a plot element or part of the storyline. So when you look at the ride, you’re not reminded of a well-liked story. All you’re looking at is a decorated ride mechanism. There’s no “extra” dimension to the ride, there’s no emotional involvement, there’s no experience beyond what’s right in front of you. It just looks pretty, but there is no depth.

    The STORY makes a Disney attraction, not the amount of decorations glued onto the machinery. It’s that difference that makes the Fantasyland dark rides “magical” and the Flik’s rides “carnival”. It’s the story that gives the emotion to an attraction that makes it more than just an physical experience. It’s the difference between a child’s desire to “fly with Dumbo” and “spinning really fast”.

    And it’s that lack of understanding about the creative process that’s the failure of California Adventure and so many other recent attractions. It’s not that Walt was Good and Eisner is Evil – it’s that Walt Knew and Eisner Doesn’t. Fantasyland was an expansion on classic Disney stories, Flik’s uses the movie only a unifying design element.

    All the excuses, all the whining, all the lectures about “critics” and all the demands that we – the audience – lower our standards isn’t going fill up that void.
     
  15. hopemax

    hopemax Note to Self:

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    Van France mentions this, in "Window on Main Street." Yes, Walt did not even want a general admission, but it wasn't Roy insisting that they have one. They added the gate admission because they didn't want disreputables hanging out in the park. The gate admission kept the panhandlers away.
     
  16. KMovies

    KMovies DCL Veteran

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    Let's put the facts on the table -

    Gee, Epcot should never have been built because it never did or never will do better than the Magic Kingdom.

    Are you insane, building MGM/Disney Studios, gosh, it will never even be as successful as Epcot which isn't as successful as the Magic Kingdom

    Way to go - build Animal Kingdom, yet another park that will do less than MGM, Less than Epcot, and less than Magic Kingdom.

    Face it - while each park wasn't as successful as the last, as a whole, each was a great addition. And no one would say that Florida should still have just the one park.

    Disneyland - DCA is not meant to equal, just extend stays. Should it be the same price? Movies are the same, whether long or short, big budget or small budget. For a first time guest, DCA's price is a one day ticket. Disneyland's price may be two day's tickets as it will take longer to view all of the attractions - and really enjoy yourself. Therefore, it would cost more at Disneyland. Yes - at first Disneyland was pay by attraction but that has long passed - with the entire industry. Most parks are pay one price (Six Flags, Paramount Parks, Cedar Fair Parks, Universal Parks).

    Does DCA need more attractions - yes, and it will. Look how they grew MGM. Animal Kingdom has grown too. Disneyland grew and grew and grew. DCA, give it five years, and it will be a great park - but always less "Magical" than Disneyland. But a great companion.
     
  17. Another Voice

    Another Voice Charter Member of The Element

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    "How do we explain the kid section over at TDS?"

    Simple – it’s a matter of story.

    The Mermaid Lagoon is designed as King Triton’s kingdom from the movie and contains many areas. Each section invokes a portion of the ‘Mermaid’ journey.

    The main attraction is the fantastic ‘Little Mermaid’ show – a show that recounts the Mermaid plot and sets the stage for the rest of the area. The smaller rides are connected to the ‘Under the Sea’ segment from the film – a significant and memorable segment of the story. The redressed carnival rides are a cleaver way to capture the movement and excitement of that part of the story. Other sections of the area tie to other portions of the film: there’s the shipwreck filled with Ariel’s treasures to explore, the grandeur of King Triton’s main hall, a long and scary exploration cave leading to Ursula’s lair.

    As a whole, the guest get's to experince the entire story of the 'Little Mermaid' through a series of experiences - each part of the area exists to support the main storyline.

    At Flik’s, there’s no unifying story behind the attractions or the layout – it’s simply a carnival put on by the bugs. It’s exactly the same as the local shopping mall that dresses up it choo-choo- train as a trip through Candyland for the holidays or a casino dressed up like Paris; it’s a matter of design and not trying to tell a story.

    What’s worse is that there probably was a unifying story that could have been created for ‘A Bug’s Life’. From the ant’s kingdom to P.T. Flea’s circus to the flying birds – there’s a lot of material in there. But none of that come through at Flik’s: it really is nothing more than decorated carnival rides. You wander from ride to ride – it’s pleasant but bland.

    And again, very unlike the ‘Mermaid Lagoon’ at DisneySea. There all the sections combine to tell a very clear emotional storyline – the mystery of walking deep down under the sea, the excitement of being ‘Under the Sea’, the scary bits with Ursula and the sea monsters, the happiness of the ‘Little Mermaid’ herself. It’s the changes in emotions that make a good story, the variety of experiences.
     
  18. Bob O

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

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    More great posts by AV!!!
    KMoives-Why should people who visit a park today pay full admission price to get into a park that wont be worth a full days admission for at least 5-10 yrs??? A park should have a full days worth of attractions/shows from the moment it opens and that explains why TSD has been a major success and AK/DCA havent been. If you arent going to build a park from day one with a full days worth of activites it shouldnt be opened at all. MK/EPCOT were built from the get go with enough attractions to keep one busy for a whole day and since then disney has chosen to intentionally build parks in the US without a full days activities so as to make money but not to "wow" the guest which use to be a main objective!! The guests plays second fiddle which wasnt the case before MGM was opened to try to blung Universal's entry into the market which had a full days worth of activities as did the next park they built-IOA.
     
  19. airlarry!

    airlarry! Did you know some ferns date back to Prehistoric t

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    Thanks AV. Great closing...err...summation.

    You know, sometimes I wonder if I am the only one who follows the TDS v. DCA story closely. When I read posts that question the backstory of some of the TDS areas, I just can't help but wonder if maybe I'm the only one that reads Marc Borelli or any of the other great journals of the TDS explorers. But apparently Monsieur AV and others have done their homework.

    And I'll do you one better.

    Take a look at some of the photos some of the websites have of the actual ride mechanisms of the Mermaid areas. Even the construction is better...more expensive...more themed...whatever you want to call it. The Jellyfish ride immediately comes to mind.

    I agree with Matt, as usual, in that I will wait to reserve judgment on Flik until I see it. But I think anyone can make an educated opinion if one looks at all the photos or listens to how the stories were put together for the two areas. And on this one issue, Monsieur Jim seems to lose to Monsieur AV.
     
  20. wdwguide

    wdwguide Ex Guide Book Author

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    Disney parks have been opening in phases ever since Disneyland. It doesn't seem like it because there were more high-quality attractions to start with, and more were usually added within months - not years, as seems to be the case today - but at least the principle of opening partially-completed parks to defer costs is nothing new. That said, the degree to which Disney has been doing this with AK, DCA, and WDS is in my opinion excessive (although there was no alternative in the latter case) and has hurt the company's image.

    As for the admission price, the law of supply and demand doesn't quite work in this scenario. Charging different prices for different parks on the same property basically tells the average, uninformed guest (and there are a LOT of those out there) that the cheaper parks are of lower quality, and will thus rank them at a lower priority. As ridiculous as that may sound, I have seen references to several studies that show just that (I think there's one in Fjellman's book in regards to the Disney-MGM Studios if I recall correctly).
     
  21. DisneyKidds

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

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    I was toying with the idea yesterday of asking about Alladin. So what do you say Monsieur AV? Certainly the flying carpets are as apropos as Dumbo when it comes to the concept of being in the movie. You are flying along with Alladin above Agrabah just as much as you are aloft with Dumbo. Fantasyland is a decent backdrop for Dumbo, but it isn't a true circus. The area around the flying carpets is also a decent backdrop for Alladin, although they could have done more to create Agrabah.
     

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