"The Carsland Conundrum" - article

Started by Anthony, December 18, 2011, 04:41:32 PM

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Fine, but I'm not worried if Mystic Manor has toonyfied characters, it could be whimsical and fun. Splash Mountain has toonyfied characters and that doesn't bother me either. So it's a problem for you and not me I think.
Ed & David


Yeah, I'm not worried about Mystic Manor looking a bit toony, either. A lot of Disney's older rides are toony, anyway; that's just part of their charm. :)

Quote from: "ed-uk"But Mystic Manor and Buena Vista Street proove that Disney isn't all about franchises today. CarsLand is based on a franchise Buena Vista Street is not, so both can live together in the same theme park and be enjoyable, I think.
True, but that's it. Every single other change that has been made to the park involves adding toons. Those two projects (and Grizzly Glutch) are the only original designs I can think of that Imagineering have created in the last decade.
Disneyland Paris
    [li]January 2000, 2012[/li]
    [li]April 2012[/li]
    [li]August 2009, 2011, 2013[/li]
    [li]New Year 1997-98, 1998-99, 2001-02, 2002-03, 2003-04, 2004-05, 2005-06, 2006-07[/li]
Walt Disney World
    [li]August 2008[/li]


DCA opened without Disney characters and toons and it wasn't as popular as TWDC had hoped. The park had Condor Flats, Sunshine Plaza etc. So I think history shows here that Disney characters, entertaintment, parades, shows and rides do work together. If we go to a Disney park that's what we can expect to find.
Ed & David


Ya, I am sure it had nothing to do with the fact there was very little there, most of which could be found in a similar form elsewhere, or why soarin' is the most popular attraction on both sides of the US.
since 2001 (many before that)


"Most of which could be found in a similar from elsewhere," may sum it up. But Disney are spending a billion dollars on it to make the Disney difference, even if Carsland is a franchise and remembering that Buena Vista Street is not.
Ed & David


ok, my tuppence worth and and attempt to find middle ground perhaps.
I think that Disney can make that Disney difference with any attraction, franchise or not, but what is important is if the imagineering process is successful or not. And a strictly franchise project may either be more constraining or tempt creative laziness as it offers quick wins. These quick wins can still have a credible economic argument I believe, but do need to be part of the larger picture still, and that is the whole park experience for guests. That, I think, is where Dave et al make very useful points, and I would guess most users here can reflect on those experiences that made a Disney park trip something special, beyond their expectations and providing experiences that they go on to treasure and want to repeat. Often, I believe, those experiences may or may not relate to characters from Disney films, but almost certainly do relate to creativity, immersion, inclusion, fantasy and story telling. And here at least it is vital, imho, for the non franchise part because it allows a more personal experience somehow by the participant and it makes up part of that 'you know Disneyland is so much more...' conversation that I'm sure we've all had with friends and family.

......................maybe :)


I think you have to find a compromise. For me, Disneyland has always been a mix of rides based on great atmosphere and storytelling without movie characters and rides based on disney movies. But the recent development is only focusing on the disney brand. While other theme parks spend a lot of money on creating new realities, Disney just spends its money on boring attractions overlayed with toons. In my opinion there is so much potential not being used in the recent years at DLP. At least they tried to refurb the stuff already being there in the last months, the best decision made for years. It was pretty bad to see old attractions like the pirate ship or the tree house fall apart. But we discussed that often enough.

My problem is: Why altering the Disneyland Park so much? We have the (Film) Studios right aside - why not building the film-based attractions there? Of course we had them in Disneyland Park right from the beginning, too (Snow White, inoccio etc.), but these are the classics. Why not building all this new stuff in the Studios? They will never reach the Disneyland Park in its perfection, even if it has decreased in the recent years there, too. The Studios are fun to go for a while, the rides are funny, but not more. They are good, but not fascinating. They are funny, but not unique (Every time I'm in the Studios I think: You have to go back do the other park soon. Not that I don't like the Studios, it's just that Disneyland Park has so much more to offer concerning details, atmosphere, storytelling).

I actually dont think theme parks are for kids only. Especially here in Germany, or at least within the people I know, theme parks are more perceived as places for, I would say, young adults. Europa Park for example advertises with its new rollercoasters and automatically attracts more than just kids and families. DLP instead just focusses on this group and automatically creates this "for kids only" image.

As for Princess Pavillon. I dont know why such a low capacity "attraction" is built while others (Keelboats, canoes, old mill) are closed or seldom used due to this argument.

So of course I understand why Disney tries to place their own brands in the parks, but as I said, I would have focussed on the Studios with this Toon-uprising.

They want to sell merchandise, that's comprehensible, but in my opinion Disney also sells something more valuable at the moment: Their soul.
Secure all cargo, all passengers aboard!


Bring back the moon!


I think a lot of you are being quite unfair on Disney. Times have changed and so have the people. I think the evolution of the Disney parcs is nothing but naturall. I'll explain why.

Saying that Disneyland used to be about imagination and unbranded attractions isnt true. From the day Disneyland was born Walt knew exactly how to use his toons and characters to get people in the Parc. Just watch the opening of Disneyland in 1955. By that time Disney was associated with their toons and movies. It was a strong household brand which is why he named it Disney land! The Pink castle is connected to Sleeping Beauty (which was in preproduction at the time and Disney knew he could give that movie free publicity by dropping it in his park), frontierland was marketed as the place of Davie Crocket, Swiss Family Treehouse, Snow White, Peter Pan. Not to mention all the toons walking around the parc (which arguably is the thing Disneylands around the world are most recognised for.)

Yes not all the attractions had a movie/franchise connection. But Disney's portfolio of movies was smaller at the time and the emphasis on movies/tv was smaller aswell. Keeping that in mind, fastforward to 2012, where movies and franchises play such an increasingly big role in our lives. Children are glued to tv sets, computers ect, where they are bombarded with stories and characters.

Now consider the expanding market of theme parcs and having to stand out to beat your competitors. It gets increasingly difficult to come up with innovative attractions as we have been spoiled rotten. It costs millions and millions of dollars to create an attraction and you have to explain this expenditure to your shareholders. The safest way to insure guest satisfaction is to use your incredibly famous portfolio of characters.

When you account for all those things its only natural that you see more and more toons in the parc. Also the regular guest (believe it or not) LIKE the character connection with the attractions. The regular person doesnt visit Disney as frequent as we do. Its a large expenditure and they want to make sure their kid gets to meet and experience their favourite characters. I remember being young and visiting EuroDisney and being dissapointed because there were no attractions based on Ariel, Beauty and the Beast, Alladin, Lion King ect. I grew up with those movies and I wanted to see those characters and ride their attractions. I could not have cared less about Snow White or Alice ( Although I loved Peter Pan).

However where I do agree with the negative comments is about the lack of imagination with the new attractions. Its not lazy to smack a character or franchise on an attraction. Actually, a lot of thought has previously gone into that Franchise and is ussualy expanded upon in the attractions. But the attractions themselve are lazy and unimaginative. They are generic, common and easy to build.

But we can't expect amazing attractions when a Theme Parc does not make money. Could you imagine TSPL without the toy story reference? Nobody would have cared as it's too plain and common. At least the Toy Story theme keeps the kids entertained.

Attractions without a toon reference will still be made IF they are strong enough in execution to create the buzz and hype needed to pull more people. For example Soaring. It will come sooner then later as we all know Soaring over the world is being produced. I think they are developing Soaring at the moment to make the attraction more stunning and more innovative before it will have a world release.

But it will come, and so will other attractions not based on a toon or franchise.


Timwatch, you make some good points and I agree with you, Disney parks have evolved. I think some people sneer at cartoons and toon characters like they are not good enough for the parks, and had it not been for the success of Mickey Mouse and Snow White, Disneyland probably would never have been built. Walt Disney had as much to do with toons as he did theme parks, and as you say the park is called Disney-Land.
Ed & David


But it isn't called Toon-Land. Disney of course had a strong connection to movies and characters, but he also represented other virtues. Walt Disney never stood for 100 % toon based environments in my opinion. He also wanted to tell stories independent from his movies, for example in Main Street or Frontierland. So you need a mixture of both if you want to follow Walt's visions. But unfortunately, in the recent past there was a clear shift towards the toon/character part because you might make more money with it. But I think many permanent visitors come again and again because they were attracted by the non toon areas and are pretty frustrated about the recent development (obviously including myself ;)).
Secure all cargo, all passengers aboard!


Bring back the moon!


I know it's not called Toon-land, but I associate Disney with animation and film. Most theme parks in the world have non toon areas, so what makes Disneyland different?  If there has been a clear shift towards the toon/ character part because Disney think they can make more money out of it, I can understand why they might take that approach. And Disney having bought Pixar for billions, want to make more money out of the characters and films in the Parks. Would Walt Disney have done that, maybe in 2012 he would of? That's pure guess work on my part.
Ed & David