• Welcome to the WDWMAGIC.COM Forums!
    Please take a look around, and feel free to sign up and join the community.You can use your Twitter or Facebook account to sign up, or register directly.

Al Lutz on what is NOT coming to Star Tours at DHS

WDW1974

Well-Known Member
Soon as I can get a few more sources I can completely trust....:cool:

YOU?!??! HAH???!

Seriously, you're too nice and, yes, I am saying that as your friend.
You need to have an edge and be able to go for the jugular ... and also take a cheapshot here or there to get folks awake and the blood circulating.

The reason Al is successful is because he mixes very good information with strong opinions and rhetoric that he knows is going to stir things up in both fanboi circles and exec suites from Glendale to Anaheim, Burbank to O-Town.

He is very good at what he does.

Maybe you and I could have a Good Cop, Bad Cop Disney Column ...
 

WDW1974

Well-Known Member
Believe me...I don't have any problem with people ripping on TDO, because almost all of the time, it DOES deserve the bad press (which it doesn't get enough of). My point was that Al goes (really) out of his way to make derogatory comments about WDW, not so much the management, but the park itself - something that makes me wonder if he has a personal vendetta against the place rather than just pointing out the mismanagement. But maybe that's just me.

I get what you are saying. You are correct. Al does make sure to toss those digs out there. But it's not personal at all (trust me on this one). His goal is to stir the pot and he knows that he will do that and get attention and readership by doing so. Look at what we are talking about here. Guess he's successful at it ... :)

Negativity sells.

If I post a thread here about something positive, then it usually dies pretty quickly. But if I say something negative, it tends to go on and on and ... that's just human nature.

I'm cognizant of that. My point was that he chose not to report on the decided improvement (over the plans released at D23, not necessarily the original plans) and rather further shed a bad light on it. It would be one thing to say "The previous plans included the coaster, which at Rasulo's behest was removed and replaced with a meet and greet complex. When Staggs took charge, the meet and greet was swapped for the originally planned coaster." (Cliff Notes version) versus saying "the one billion dollar DCA project was given the go-ahead, while WDW's Fantasyland Expansion was re-evaluated, and had its meet and greets cut." Again, a simplification of the actual events that transpired, just unfair reporting on Lutz's part. (Not that he is a reporter...its his blog and he'll cry if we wants to.)

But that is the bottom line. Al gets to write what he wants to. That's the freedom he gets with his blog. I've often had issues with Al ... for instance he tends to have a mancrush on DLR Prez Georgie Kalogridis based largely on the man's appearing in the park vs. the prior Prez Ed Grier, who was hardly ever seen. The simple fact is Georgie is very 'net savvy and was told by smart Spirits that fans (and bloggers) like to see you in public, so he'll be out there taking pics and signing autographs (scary!) But Al will turn around and read into that that George is somehow a better Prez than Ed ... George in turn will get all the credit for everything from WoC to Mermaid to CarsLand ... all things that were approved and pushed through when Ed was in charge. Al won't point those things out. Al also seems to love Tom Staggs, but seems to miss the point that EVERY exec in an important position in P&R was put into their position by the hated Jay Rasulo. In other words, no matter what Al may think, almost nothing has changed despite the job swap at the top. ...

Just some thoughts ...
 

TP2000

Well-Known Member
Maybe hes jealous that our Little Mermaid is getting a far superior queue and facade than DCA's. :wave:

Have you actually seen it in person? I have, and the details they are now adding are gorgeous.

All we've seen of the WDW version of Mermaid is two fuzzy and vague renderings of a rocky cliff and a stucco castle. The sketches and artwork and actual glass tiles on display now at the DCA Blue Sky Cellar point to a gorgeous facade and building for Mermaid. Where's all this info on the WDW version coming from exactly?

What sketch of WDW's Mermaid exists besides this one? http://www.disneydreaming.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/06/Journey-Of-The-Little-Mermaid.jpg

It's nice looking, as far as grassy cliffs with stucco castles and footbridge over ponds go, but it's nothing that blows you away or rewrites the book on theme park design. What's the big deal exactly? :confused:
 

sponono88

Well-Known Member
I like both buildings because they each match the theme of their respective land. Prince Eric's castle is certainly quite beautiful, but it's really nothing new as we've seen Disney do castles before. At DCA they're taking a different approach with the early Victorian design in a boardwalk setting (reminiscent of Venice Pier), using many different art forms like stained glass, relief murals, tile art, etc. They are also working on some unique lighting effects for the building at night, based on what I heard it will look amazing.
 

TP2000

Well-Known Member
I like both buildings because they each match the theme of their respective land. Prince Eric's castle is certainly quite beautiful, but it's really nothing new as we've seen Disney do castles before. At DCA they're taking a different approach with the early Victorian design in a boardwalk setting (reminiscent of Venice Pier), using many different art forms like stained glass, relief murals, tile art, etc. They are also working on some unique lighting effects for the building at night, based on what I heard it will look amazing.

Yes, thanks for summing that up well.

I don't wan't it to sound like I think Prince Eric's Castle won't be very pretty and attractive. I think it will be. But the DCA version is also very pretty and very attractive, and rather grand looking.

There's very little info and pictures to go on for the WDW version, but from what little we know about it, it's going to be pretty too. I just don't quite think it's anything radically superior to the rather lavish and fancy DCA version. :animwink:
 

SeaCastle

Well-Known Member
I get what you are saying. You are correct. Al does make sure to toss those digs out there. But it's not personal at all (trust me on this one). His goal is to stir the pot and he knows that he will do that and get attention and readership by doing so. Look at what we are talking about here. Guess he's successful at it ... :)

Negativity sells.

If I post a thread here about something positive, then it usually dies pretty quickly. But if I say something negative, it tends to go on and on and ... that's just human nature.

If this is the case, I'll take your word for it. I hope that he could use his rhetoric to get some change down here in "O-town", but so far things seem the same.

Perhaps it was you who posted this on LaughingPlace, but you made a good point in saying that posting about your "magical" moments like eating a sundae while watching the fireworks doesn't really do any good for anyone...it's not stimulating any change.
 

KevinYee

Well-Known Member
I like Kevin Yee, but he is too wishy-washy (something I have said to him in person). I think he tries way too hard to be perceived as 'fair and balanced' which just ain't gonna fly in either fan corners or TDO suites, so you wind up losing with both audiences.

You have indeed said that in person! We need to have another one of those walks next time you're in O-town!

There are certainly times I agree with you, that I ought to be lowering the boom far harder. At the end of the day, I just feel wrong if I haven't "called it as I see it"... and the truth is, there is still a lot which is positive to see.

I'm not blind to the cumulative effect: if you say the good with the bad, it implies the bad isn't so bad. It probably would be more effective to harp only on the bad. But that isn't entirely 'honest' to my experience, which is why I don't do that. I'm really only comfortable relaying what I see.
 

rct247

Well-Known Member
While our exterior queue, gift shop, and ride capacity aren't in bad shape and are technically fine, I would have still liked to see some money go into updating these. Why? Thinking ahead toward the future of course.

Star Tours is going to be busy, ESPECIALLY when it opens during Star Wars Weekends. Wouldn't you think that any extra capacity would be nice? How about keeping most of the exterior, but plus it? Repainting would even be acceptable. Will the inside contain interactive queue elements? I'd hope so, but why not extend that to outside either. I bet when it reopens they wouldn't have done a single thing to the exterior and that includes things switching out older lights with LEDs. The shop is very cogested. More merchandise has been added including the build your own lightsaber station. Rearrangement for traffic flow would have been nice.

It just doesn't make sense to me other than money. All across property little enhancements like upgrades in LED lighting have taken place. Emporium and Mouse Gear have had store rearrangements. Haunted Mansion & Pooh got interactive queues. Tower and shops on Hollywood Blvd and Main St are getting paint jobs. It would have been a missed opportunity if we don't see any of this in Star Tours when it reopens just because "it wasn't broke, so don't mess with it". (Even if things ARE broke, they usually don't mess with it...i.e. Yeti, Thunder Mt) Let's say a repaint of the props in the exterior is needed 5 years down the line, then the still popular ride will have work walls up and may even have to go down completely. While you have it closed with the time, why not make the investment is all I'm saying.
 

WDW1974

Well-Known Member
You have indeed said that in person! We need to have another one of those walks next time you're in O-town!

Yes, Kevin, we absolutely do. My recent trip wasn't conducive to meeting since much of it was business-related (didn't even hit Studios or DAK at all). My one full park day was at .... IOA!

I have the feeling next time we see each other, I'll just be blathering on about how amazing TDR was and we'll never even get to rag on WDW.:drevil:

There are certainly times I agree with you, that I ought to be lowering the boom far harder. At the end of the day, I just feel wrong if I haven't "called it as I see it"... and the truth is, there is still a lot which is positive to see.

I get that. I still see plenty of positive (less though than the other Disney resorts) ... it's just I don't think Disney needs to know (from a blogger's perspective) what it's doing well. First, you have the blogging/podcasting whores who will take anything from The Mouse (see Disney Dream launch, which I have a feeling you weren't invited on!) to puke forth the WDC's talking points/PR. Second, it's usually not hard to tell when you're doing something right. You don't get guest complaints. CMs tell you 'it's working' . You get guests telling you ... etc ...

I could blather on about how nice Mansion looks now ... or how tasty the food is at the California Grill. But why? It doesn't address the issues (and WDW has plenty) and I think Disney knows.

I'm not blind to the cumulative effect: if you say the good with the bad, it implies the bad isn't so bad. It probably would be more effective to harp only on the bad. But that isn't entirely 'honest' to my experience, which is why I don't do that. I'm really only comfortable relaying what I see.

But a lot of that needs to be put into context ... for instance, I really liked your column today, but it's such a complex issue ... and you nailed the key point (even if it was buried a bit) in that if NEXTGEN is really all about adding capacity to address guests' biggest complaint (lines, waits, not able to do it all) then wouldn't it have been better to spend the billion plus on adding new attractions that actually ADD capacity to the park ... instead of virtual queues that will send more people into the packed walkways? (BTW, am thinking of starting a thread here about the whole idiocy of it all)

The reason the Board of TWDC approved such a large investment in NEXTGEN wasn't to add capacity to the parks like MK or to improve the guest experiences by having them book meet-and-greets and FPs in advance along with meals (and soon bathroom breaks and churro stops!) ... it was approved because it will generate revenue and profit from Day 1 as at its heart is datamining and using the info to get guests to spend more in all manner of ways. It's to move the revenue model almost to a virtual ticket book where everything is a la carte and your value at the table is based on where you are staying, what rate you are paying, what services you have taken advantage of (from DME to DDP etc).

Disney isn't investing a billion plus (I've heard the actual number is closer to $1.5 in the real world) because it wants to improve people's MAGICal WDW vacations. That may well happen for some people, but that's not the purpose.

It's totally opposite to say UNI adding WWoHP to IOA to attract guests, which also has amazingly enough done wonders for the bottom line.

The Mouse still doesn't get it.
 

Captain Neo

Well-Known Member
The Swiss Family Treehouse is about 40 years old; age doesn't matter if the project is done well.

thats not the point you made it sound like the store just recently got a refresh when its really become quite stale. Disneyland's store will get a more modernized upgrade to match the new Star Tours.
 

Figments Friend

Well-Known Member
I could blather on about how nice Mansion looks now ... or how tasty the food is at the California Grill. But why? It doesn't address the issues (and WDW has plenty) and I think Disney knows.



But a lot of that needs to be put into context ... for instance, I really liked your column today, but it's such a complex issue ... and you nailed the key point (even if it was buried a bit) in that if NEXTGEN is really all about adding capacity to address guests' biggest complaint (lines, waits, not able to do it all) then wouldn't it have been better to spend the billion plus on adding new attractions that actually ADD capacity to the park ... instead of virtual queues that will send more people into the packed walkways? (BTW, am thinking of starting a thread here about the whole idiocy of it all)

The reason the Board of TWDC approved such a large investment in NEXTGEN wasn't to add capacity to the parks like MK or to improve the guest experiences by having them book meet-and-greets and FPs in advance along with meals (and soon bathroom breaks and churro stops!) ... it was approved because it will generate revenue and profit from Day 1 as at its heart is datamining and using the info to get guests to spend more in all manner of ways. It's to move the revenue model almost to a virtual ticket book where everything is a la carte and your value at the table is based on where you are staying, what rate you are paying, what services you have taken advantage of (from DME to DDP etc).

Disney isn't investing a billion plus (I've heard the actual number is closer to $1.5 in the real world) because it wants to improve people's MAGICal WDW vacations. That may well happen for some people, but that's not the purpose.

It's totally opposite to say UNI adding WWoHP to IOA to attract guests, which also has amazingly enough done wonders for the bottom line.

The Mouse still doesn't get it.

Thank you 74' for posting this....about time someone did ( perhaps already done before, but i missed it..!).

I am really not overly excited about all the 'NextGen' hype....and the more one thinks about such 'datamining' the less appealing it all sounds. Who wants to completely plan everything out in advance like one was planning a military battle ( complete with bathroom breaks and churro stops) ??

The impression i get to date about the whole thing is it is yet another way to 'classify' Guests and file them into different 'catagories'. This makes it feel like someone who can only afford to room at a Value Resort will be getting a 'less Magical' experience then a Guest staying at a Deluxe. This is the Guests' perception, and maybe this is what Disney is counting on to make folks pony up the extra cash. I can easily see that being a focus used in forthcoming marketing for this once it begins....

....it all leaves one wondering...what ever happened to Walt's attitude that every person is welcomed with equal enthusiasim, regardless of where they come from and how much income they make? What was once a 'day in the Park' has slowly been turned into a 'exclusive members only' club in some respects. Not something i like to see, but as they say, 'Money talks, BS walks..'

:(

So getting back to the original topic ( what was it....oh..right...Star Tours! Yay! )

I am glad they are keeping the outside and queue at Studios. It looks great, and after a little repainting and refurb it will look even better. I agree with others in that it would be awesome to see some Ewoks added but i understand the reasoning behind their daytime absence. By the way, can you still hear them up in the huts at nighttime? A while back you could hear them chattering and the little lights flickering up in the houses.

Besides the ride itself, i am hoping the inside queue is updated a little. Those huge videos screen really were looking foggy when last i saw them.

It is fun to remember that when this attraction first opened, NONE of the 'newer' Star Wars flicks were around. It has a nice classic 'old school' feel to it...before the other three films came around and gave us lovely things like Jar Jar Binks. Of course, they gave us fantastic things like General Grevious and alien Jedi Knights....so it is not a complete loss. It will be interesting to see what they cherry-pick to add to the new attraction.

Looking forward to it!

:)
 

Thrill Seeker

Well-Known Member
The exterior should be updated. I'd love to see a modernized take on what is already there. The gift shop is fine the way it is...

I'm just hoping it no longer talks about the Tomorrowland Star Port at DHS...
 

AEfx

Well-Known Member
All of the Disney bloggers have their own personal axes to grind, they all think too much of themselves, and they all seem to think they are journalists when in fact writing a blog of opinions to further that agenda.

That said, while Al's distatste for WDW is palatable every time he mentions it, he's not exactly wrong most of the time. And he has the most accurate, detailed information of anyone who writes regularly about the parks. Everyone else is just an imitator.
 

Register on WDWMAGIC. This sidebar will go away, and you'll see fewer ads.

Top Bottom