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A Spirited Perfect Ten

Phil12

Well-Known Member
We'll see - tight schedule. The house I rented for us is sick. Gates, upscale in Davenport. Exceeded expectations. We may just stay in and have our cocktails drink in the pool at night and all day Sunday. We will see - maybe TS tomorrow night.

The only disappointment today was having to deplane 10 minutes after we boarded for " a weird smell our crew needs to investigate" that set us back an hour and that for our finale meal on Sunday night, my uncle wants to take out all of us out for "Florida Seafood"....

(((Wait for it....))))

...at Red Lobster.
He insists. (((Shudder)))
When I go to WDW, I always have the urge to eat at the various local Chinese restaurants. Although I've never had the pleasure to eat at Panda Express.
 

Cosmic Commando

Well-Known Member
Indeed it looks to be.

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Disneyland-WinniePooh-sign.jpg
Hopefully Shanghai gets the WDW version, not the DL version.
 

Cosmic Commando

Well-Known Member
Why not the Tokyo version? Both US attempts are awful
I consider them different things. Pooh in WDW is (IMO, of course) possibly the best classic Fantasyland dark ride. Tokyo just turned it up to 11. Different budgets, different scope. To me, it would be like saying Lincoln in DL is worthless because WDW did a giant stage show with all of the presidents. If I had both in front of me, I would probably ride the Tokyo version 99 times out of 100; the one time on the WDW Pooh just to remind me how much better the Tokyo one is. However, I still think the WDW version is great as a small attraction.
 

bhg469

Well-Known Member
I was one bench behind Tony on Forbidden Journey. Walked the queue with him. He was slightly impressed. To say the least.
I'm sure if he didn't have tightwads scaling back every decision he made he could probably come up with something almost as good. Forbidden Journey is a fantastic experience but it's a bit too much for a lot of people. I guess that cuts down on the re rides though.

I am dying to see universal pull off a haunted mansion equivalent dark ride. I doubt it's on their drawing board but I'd definitely like to see something that isn't focused on thrills but loads of practical effects and AAs but still entertaining.
 

MerlinTheGoat

Well-Known Member
I consider them different things. Pooh in WDW is (IMO, of course) possibly the best classic Fantasyland dark ride. Tokyo just turned it up to 11. Different budgets, different scope. To me, it would be like saying Lincoln in DL is worthless because WDW did a giant stage show with all of the presidents. If I had both in front of me, I would probably ride the Tokyo version 99 times out of 100; the one time on the WDW Pooh just to remind me how much better the Tokyo one is. However, I still think the WDW version is great as a small attraction.
In terms of "traditional" dark rides (excluding Hunny Hunt from this equation entirely), i'd rank both Alice in Wonderland and Pinocchio as far better than WDW's Pooh IMO. I actually feel that Pooh is a weaker ride than all of Disneyland's classic dark rides. Even Mr Toad I think gets a bit of an edge (doubly so for WDW's), there's something very charming about it in spite of using very simplistic "cutout" props for most/all of the scenery.

It's hard to explain, but it's kind of like how Little Mermaid is technically a "more impressive" ride when it comes to technology and such, but there's something off about the execution that gives the simpler and older rides an edge.
 
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misterID

Well-Known Member
In terms of "traditional" dark rides (excluding Hunny Hunt from this equation entirely), Alice in Wonderland and Pinocchio are both far better than WDW's Pooh IMO. I actually feel that Pooh is a weaker ride than all of Disneyland's classic dark rides. I'm even more fond of Mr Toad (doubly so for WDW's), there's something very charming about it in spite of using very simplistic "cutout" props for most/all of the scenery.

It's hard to explain, but it's kind of like how Little Mermaid is technically a "more impressive" ride when it comes to technology and such, but there's something off about the execution that gives the simpler and older rides an edge.
That might be sentimentality talking also. I have high regard for Toad too, but I can't deny it was the closest to a standard fair dark ride Disney has ever made. I've never ridden Alice or Pinocchio, though.

Oh, and if it weren't for the terrible ending, LM could have been a really great dark ride. I never understood the hate for it. Its a nice little ride.
 

MerlinTheGoat

Well-Known Member
Bringing Hunny Hunt back into the debate- it's an impressive attraction with a "different" type of ride system, but it definitely feels like what one expects a "traditional" dark ride would be like in the 21st century. I mean that as a compliment, not an insult, they managed to create a new and interesting type of dark ride. I think it's fair to compare it to the Pooh rides other parks received. The trackless ride system IMHO is a natural evolution of the traditional dark ride to me.

The ride system WDW's Pooh and other similar dark rides use has been around for a VERY long time, considerably older than Disneyland itself. It made sense to use these types of ride systems in 1955, the Disney company wasn't exactly a massively wealthy company at that point and had incredibly tight budgets (it was also their first try at a theme park). Money wise that type of ride system made sense. It was the imagineers who made them something more than what you'd see at a carnival, working their magic around financial and technical limits to make them more special and charming than anything else around. But Disney has become one of the most wealthy and powerful entertainment companies on earth, their disposable income is lightyears away from what was available to them back in the 50's, 60's and even early 70's when WDW was new. While it made sense that they'd have to use cheaper ride systems back then, not so much anymore.

I'm not at all trying to insult the classic dark rides by the way, I just think they shouldn't try to recycle that type of ride system anymore.

That might be sentimentality talking also. I have high regard for Toad too, but I can't deny it was the closest to a standard fair dark ride Disney has ever made. I've never ridden Alice or Pinocchio, though.
Technologically yes it is very simple and fair like, no argument there. But there's definitely something more to it that makes me fond of it besides nostalgia. The old school Walt era imagineers were very talented at designing even the simplest and cheapest attractions with a lot of charm, working around limitations in creative ways.

Technically speaking the Little Mermaid is a more impressive ride than any other Fantasyland dark ride besides Hunny Hunt. But the execution is simply so lacking that far older and less technologically impressive rides beat it easily from an entertainment perspective. Sometimes there's something to be said about simple rides, but really it entirely depends on WHO is doing the design work.

I've ridden Pinocchio at Disneyland Paris and really enjoyed it. Not ridden Alice in person, but seen it in video form and have a very high opinion of it. I feel that Alice as a movie also felt like it had a lot of good material to use in a ride, which may have been a benefit for its creation. In fact that may be among the reasons why I have a high regard for Mr Toad as well, the movie inherently had a lot of potential to make an interesting ride. While I do think many movies can indeed make good rides given the proper talent behind them, some seem easier to imagine as a ride than others.
 
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tirian

Well-Known Member
That might be sentimentality talking also. I have high regard for Toad too, but I can't deny it was the closest to a standard fair dark ride Disney has ever made. I've never ridden Alice or Pinocchio, though.

Oh, and if it weren't for the terrible ending, LM could have been a really great dark ride. I never understood the hate for it. Its a nice little ride.
Pooh at WDW is better than the version in DL, but can't be compared to Toad. The two attractions are so vastly different in tone and art direction that it's unfair to lump them together as similar dark rides.

Alice was pretty lousy before its excellent refurb with the digital image mapping. All the MK attractions need this tech pronto. It's a relatively inexpensive way to keep things fresh, and WDW's refusal to use it indicates a larger laziness that needs to be addressed.

The original EPCOT Center attractions like World of Motion, Horizons, and Imagination used animated projections to keep backgrounds dynamic, and the AAs made everything more physical and impressive. As DL has proven, the Fantasyland dark rides benefit from the next generation of EPCOT-style art direction.
 

BrianLo

Well-Known Member
First of all, the show building is pretty much identical in shape/size to MK/HK, so I don't think it's remotely going to be the DL version (which is definitely a good thing, although it's absolutely a more charming locale/outdoor queue than the Fantasyland tent style).

I too think Pooh is a bit the victim of sentimentality and harsh critique from what it replaced or what it wasn't. In MK it took out a beloved classic. In my opinion, it is a bit better of an attraction than Toad, but clearly not enough at the loss of another attraction. In HK it was simply a mess due to it being the only ride in Fantasyland on opening. That's just an unfair amount of pressure, it is by no means a headliner. Sorry HK, I love you, but your Fantasyland is still garbage. DL came after MK, was a lesser version and also removed another attraction (CBJ). Then of course they all suffer in relation to Tokyo as well.

For what it is worth, I think the MK/HK version are better paced/more thorough than Hunny Hunt, which comes up a bit short in number of show scenes. Now that said: the trackless ride tech, the improved scenery and AA's put Hunny Hunt leagues ahead. If Pooh takes a few tricks from Tokyo and melds some of the improved scenery/AA's, that would be a real boon for this attraction.

All that said - I don't terribly mind if Pooh is an out-and-out clone at SDL. Chief among those reasons is SDL has done a fantastic job of meeting a high originality benchmark, TSPL has been removed (which was my primary concern from a poor decision standpoint) and Pooh is the fourth rung attraction in their decent Fantasyland menu. It would be slightly odd though with how much everything else has been changed for SDL to have only one sole cloned hold-out...
 

MerlinTheGoat

Well-Known Member
Pooh at WDW is better than the version in DL, but can't be compared to Toad. The two attractions are so vastly different in tone and art direction that it's unfair to lump them together as similar dark rides.

Alice was pretty lousy before its excellent refurb with the digital image mapping. All the MK attractions need this tech pronto. It's a relatively inexpensive way to keep things fresh, and WDW's refusal to use it indicates a larger laziness that needs to be addressed.

The original EPCOT Center attractions like World of Motion, Horizons, and Imagination used animated projections to keep backgrounds dynamic, and the AAs made everything more physical and impressive. As DL has proven, the Fantasyland dark rides benefit from the next generation of EPCOT-style art direction.
I did like Alice before the image mapping and don't feel it was "lousy" (old perhaps but still very charming), but I do agree with your opinions on those implementations of the mapping technology.

I'm usually against the overuse of video screens and how they're taking over as a prominent show element. Examples such as Toy Story Mania (which I highly dislike) and even an otherwise great attraction like Gringotts to me are the wrong way to approach video use in a ride. Rides like Ratatouille and Toy Story Mania I almost see more as simulators on a track rather than rides. But I do make an exception here for the manner in which EPCOT's rides generally used video and what you're proposing. Sets and animated/animatronic figures still being the prominent showpieces, but with background and other scenery using projected elements for added detail that would otherwise be static or blank anyways. For instance (if done correctly) I would prefer clouds that move and even change shape to a static painted image of clouds.

And i'm rather liking how they've been enhancing the classic Disneyland dark rides with this sort of thing, Snow White I think was the first and came out looking really cool (love how the entire room in the mirror scene morphs by altering the walls).

While this doesn't really count as digital video mapping, a recent example of how important dynamic background effects are came to mind. Pirates of the Caribbean at WDW has been missing a lot of cloud and rain effects on the walls/ceilings for years, i'd noticed how bare and detail-less the backgrounds had been looking. But shortly before the refurb these effects were switched back on (at least when i rode in May) and the difference was night and day. It really upped the atmosphere and helped maintain immersion, disguising the boundaries of the building. These effects aren't achieved via video projection and there are now better options with newer tech, but the general idea is similar.

I will mention though that other than Pooh and Peter Pan, there aren't really any dark rides to upgrade, those are the only two there anymore. And Pan needs FAR more than some projection effects to bring it up to par (i'd guess not much can be done to get Pooh up to par with Tokyo without a rebuild and more space). For the most part I prefer Disneyland's 1983 Peter Pan (even prior to the recent refurb), as well as Disneyland Paris. Shanghai is now getting an entirely new version of the ride. And with Tokyo's Fantasyland getting an overhaul, I would imagine their Pan is getting an upgrade/overhaul or even a rebuild as well (theirs is a direct 1:1 clone of WDW's apparently).
 

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