After Rhode: What happens next?

V/N McQueen

Well-Known Member
In the Parks
No
As intellectually-minded and serious about the art and purpose of theme parks as Joe was/is, he wasn't able to do much about the broad strategic trajectory the top brass has set WDI on for a very long time:

So what happens next will be - unfortunately - a seamless continuation of what's been happening:

-More technology/screens/interactivity.
-Less nuance/history-mindedness/sophistication.
-More dependence on popular, established characters & film/tv IP.
-Less originality/imagination/invention.
-More ballooning overhead and costs for new developments.
-Less bang for the buck.
-More fantastical/superficial/child-friendly content and re-themes.
-Less real-world enrichment, inspiration & illumination.
-More shoe-horning of IP into ill-fitting locales.
-Less harmonizing of themed lands with their attractions.
-More diversity in branding and hamfisted PC "fixes".
-Less diversity of experience & themes, as all parks homogenize toward a OneDisney(tm) experience.
-More going with the safe option.
-Less risk-taking.
-More theme-less or poorly-themed mid-rise hotels/DVC.
-More "just ignore me" massive, highly-visible, unthemed showbuildings (e.g., Ratatouille, Tron, GotG)

And unfortunately this is going to last for years, if not decades, to come.
 

NickMaio

Well-Known Member
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TLDR: Disney Parks becoming more like Six Flags, while Universal Parks become more like old school Disney.



I don't mean to disparage Six Flags (they're quite fun for a weekend trip), but Disney parks have always prided themselves at providing "The Disney Difference", and now that difference is walking right out the door.

Meanwhile at Uni...
I have also been thinking and saying this for years - - - - - - you mention it here and it's heresy......
Disney is resting on its laurels and not in a good way. Toy story land is a perfect example of this - - - just build what ever and they will still come.
It's pathetic.
 

larryz

Breathe in, breathe out...
Premium Member
Considering the strategic direction Disney's been taking in the parks, the hotels, and in content acquisition and delivery, I detect a move towards getting out of the theme park business. I expect Disney will sell the parks and resorts to some established amusement park company sometime in 2022. The key will be widespread vaccine availability and some perception of herd immunity to Covid-19.

That's not necessarily a call to panic -- Sea World Inc was successfully spun off of AB/InBev after the Busch's sold out off their breweries and parks, so it can be done. Just pray they find a company with deep pockets and customer-service focus instead of a building full of MBAs and corporate value raiders to buy them.

And from the corporate suit perspective, trimming company headcount by more than 100,000 direct employees certainly can't hurt the ol' executive bonus picture!
 

Goofyernmost

Well-Known Member
I have also been thinking and saying this for years - - - - - - you mention it here and it's heresy......
Disney is resting on its laurels and not in a good way. Toy story land is a perfect example of this - - - just build what ever and they will still come.
It's pathetic.
You guys will not be happy until children are no longer recognized as people deserving of any entertainment venue. Walt's motivation was to have a place for Children and their Parents to have a good time together. You want everything to be just for adults and the hell with the kids. Toy Story Land may not be up to the entertainment value of grown ups, but it is exactly what their children were hoping for. On top of all that they can do it along with their parents. My what a novel idea, to bad it was already thought about 60 years ago by one Walter E. Disney.
 

Lilofan

Well-Known Member
Looks like Rohde could have been part of the additional 4K layoffs bringing the total to 32K layoffs instead of 28K. The 32K number was reported today in the Orlando news.
 

FettFan

Well-Known Member
You guys will not be happy until children are no longer recognized as people deserving of any entertainment venue. Walt's motivation was to have a place for Children and their Parents to have a good time together. You want everything to be just for adults and the hell with the kids. Toy Story Land may not be up to the entertainment value of grown ups, but it is exactly what their children were hoping for. On top of all that they can do it along with their parents. My what a novel idea, to bad it was already thought about 60 years ago by one Walter E. Disney.

You're not getting what we're saying.

Toy Story Land is lame, and you can tell it was built on the cheap to free up more money for Galaxy's Edge.

The thinking behind it is that you're shrunk down to toy-size and are in Andy's backyard, right?

Well, Disney already did a similar concept 30 years ago, but did it SO MUCH BETTER.


It didn't have a roller coaster or an off-the-shelf spinner ride, but kids and parents both loved it. Kids because there were plenty of things to climb on, parents because those giant grasses made for a welcome relief from the central Florida sun.
 

networkpro

Well-Known Member
In the Parks
Yes
You're not getting what we're saying.

Toy Story Land is lame, and you can tell it was built on the cheap to free up more money for Galaxy's Edge.

The thinking behind it is that you're shrunk down to toy-size and are in Andy's backyard, right?

Well, Disney already did a similar concept 30 years ago, but did it SO MUCH BETTER.


It didn't have a roller coaster or an off-the-shelf spinner ride, but kids and parents both loved it. Kids because there were plenty of things to climb on, parents because those giant grasses made for a welcome relief from the central Florida sun.

and it was smack dab in the middle of an area without any links to it at all (other than "movie")
 

Disneyhead'71

Well-Known Member
IDK, after interviewing the lead Imagineer on FEA, I fear that WDI is already suffering from a lack of intellectual depth. Rohde leaving will be quite a blow to the guardrails of thematic integrity and depth of content. Pretty sure this will lead to things like Zootopia in DAK. Not because they don't care about thematic integrity, but because they truly don't understand why it doesn't fit.

And I don't think for a second this was Joe's decision.
 

NickMaio

Well-Known Member
You guys will not be happy until children are no longer recognized as people deserving of any entertainment venue. Walt's motivation was to have a place for Children and their Parents to have a good time together. You want everything to be just for adults and the hell with the kids. Toy Story Land may not be up to the entertainment value of grown ups, but it is exactly what their children were hoping for. On top of all that they can do it along with their parents. My what a novel idea, to bad it was already thought about 60 years ago by one Walter E. Disney.
Not exactly - - - I have a 3 year old and LOVE the rides for little ones, even before we had a child. What really ticked me off was the half arsed attempt at Toy Story land. It is insulting and poorly created. Not up to Walt's standard at all. My gripe is not with the rides but the lack of real theming. Sure Star Wars seems to be done right. Mickey and Minnie railway - - - why keep the Chinese theatre exterior? OH ya, money and being cheap. Dino-land USA - - - - - - what a joke and an eyesore.
Look across the globe at other WD parks - - - - THEY have the right idea. THAT is what Walt was going for.
American WD parks have been falling behind for far too long. Others are picking up where Walt left off....too bad its not WDW America.
 

NickMaio

Well-Known Member
You're not getting what we're saying.

Toy Story Land is lame, and you can tell it was built on the cheap to free up more money for Galaxy's Edge.

The thinking behind it is that you're shrunk down to toy-size and are in Andy's backyard, right?

Well, Disney already did a similar concept 30 years ago, but did it SO MUCH BETTER.


It didn't have a roller coaster or an off-the-shelf spinner ride, but kids and parents both loved it. Kids because there were plenty of things to climb on, parents because those giant grasses made for a welcome relief from the central Florida sun.
Yes----yes---yes
That was a great experience even thought it had no rides......so much fun.

Toy Story Land was and is an epic letdown for Disney theming and guest interest.
 

The Empress Lilly

Well-Known Member
I think there are like three imagineers left. Who have been told by Josh D'Amaro to just work harder.


You guys will not be happy until children are no longer recognized as people deserving of any entertainment venue. Walt's motivation was to have a place for Children and their Parents to have a good time together. You want everything to be just for adults and the hell with the kids. Toy Story Land may not be up to the entertainment value of grown ups, but it is exactly what their children were hoping for. On top of all that they can do it along with their parents. My what a novel idea, to bad it was already thought about 60 years ago by one Walter E. Disney.
Walt? Here is the kiddie playground Walt built:

KTPBKYC_10_65_N16B.jpg


Seventy years of progress later, and the kiddie exploration area is a baresteel coaster in a barren environment.
 

Jones14

Well-Known Member
I’m of the mind that Animal Kingdom specifically will be fine. The park now has enough to do that there’s no real need to throw things in as quickly as possible a la Epcot and Hollywood Studios, and as far as I’m aware the park as it is today is very well received.

I don’t think they’ll want to mess with that, especially since the other parks will continue to need big improvements for the forseeable. We’ll probably see another E-Ticket to replace Dinorama and a new nighttime show in the mid-late 2020s, and then they’ll leave it alone for another decade, just like they did after Everest and again after Pandora.
 

Mickey5150

Well-Known Member
Not exactly - - - I have a 3 year old and LOVE the rides for little ones, even before we had a child. What really ticked me off was the half arsed attempt at Toy Story land. It is insulting and poorly created. Not up to Walt's standard at all. My gripe is not with the rides but the lack of real theming. Sure Star Wars seems to be done right. Mickey and Minnie railway - - - why keep the Chinese theatre exterior? OH ya, money and being cheap. Dino-land USA - - - - - - what a joke and an eyesore.
Look across the globe at other WD parks - - - - THEY have the right idea. THAT is what Walt was going for.
American WD parks have been falling behind for far too long. Others are picking up where Walt left off....too bad its not WDW America.
Dino-land is the single greatest land in all of the Disney parks. Everything in the land is connected and everything tells a story. Look at the names on the buildings, the different rooms in Restaurantosaurus, take a look at the street signs. Look on the ground in Dinorama and notice the old parking spaces since this roadside amusement park was built on a parking lot. The attention to detail is so incredible in Dinoland and all anyone wants to do is complain about it. Walt would love Dinoland.
 

the.dreamfinder

Well-Known Member
So Mr. Rhode retires.
What is the future of Imagineering?
Vision, strategy, personnel, outsourcing, bespoke vs off the rack.
All of those kind of questions.


**NOT A DEBATE ABOUT HOW/WHY MR. RHODE HAS LEFT
Continue the same course Iger/Rasulo set it on. More outsourcing, fewer employees that work for WDI in an attempt to control costs.

These efforts will fail and the increasing cost of WDI to do anything will make anything original or on theme an impossibility.

WDI will continue to suffer brain drain and many individuals who worked at WDI will run/work for the firms that do the work WDI used to do, at ever increasing cost.

Rohde leaving really changes nothing artistically so long as Chapek/Iger’s Franchise/IP mandate remains in place.
 

NickMaio

Well-Known Member
Dino-land is the single greatest land in all of the Disney parks. Everything in the land is connected and everything tells a story. Look at the names on the buildings, the different rooms in Restaurantosaurus, take a look at the street signs. Look on the ground in Dinorama and notice the old parking spaces since this roadside amusement park was built on a parking lot. The attention to detail is so incredible in Dinoland and all anyone wants to do is complain about it. Walt would love Dinoland.
Keep drinking that mouse eared kool aid.
 
You guys will not be happy until children are no longer recognized as people deserving of any entertainment venue. Walt's motivation was to have a place for Children and their Parents to have a good time together. You want everything to be just for adults and the hell with the kids. Toy Story Land may not be up to the entertainment value of grown ups, but it is exactly what their children were hoping for. On top of all that they can do it along with their parents. My what a novel idea, to bad it was already thought about 60 years ago by one Walter E. Disney.

The exact reason you're defending Toy Story Land is the reason it reflects on this idea poorly. Disneyland was full of family attractions that could be experienced by all, even with the Matterhorn as a thrill ride. Instead of a family friendly place, Disney did what most other parks do and created a campy kid section instead of peppering those family attractions throughout the park. Almost everything other than Runaway Railway is a thrill ride, even if those other attractions, other than RnRC are still family friendly.
 

Goofyernmost

Well-Known Member
You're still missing the point. The issue isn't Disney building things that kids can enjoy. Disney has been doing that forever and that's part of why we love them. The issue is that Toy Story Land was built, seemingly, ONLY for kids to enjoy.
Nope, you are still looking at it through the eyes of a cynical adult. Would you enjoy riding Dumbo, or the Carpet ride or the Carousel or the old HISTK or Pooh's ride by yourself. It isn't needed for the target it is aimed for. (But I will repeat that all of those can be enjoyed as a family, together.) That is not different. You are creating a problem that doesn't exist because you feel it necessary to be angry about it because it didn't cater to your particular standards. I went through the land last year, I didn't ride anything but I did recognize the fun that it must be for kids and even thought the creative level was quite acceptable, again, for it's target audience.

In my mind most of the negative criticisms for anything you might find in WDW or other Disney Parks is simply because you are not taking the time to realize that not all things can be about you. Or even try to understand why certain things are the way they are. There are plenty of rides that I rode and enjoyed when my kids were little that I wouldn't dream about riding now because the main focus was not on my getting my jolly's but doing things with my family. One size does not fit all.
 
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