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Shouldigo12

Well-Known Member
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Opinions are just that, they are opinions and therefore cannot be wrong or invalid.
Exactly, but apparently that's something that needs to be said multiple times, to multiple people.
 

eliza61nyc

Well-Known Member
On paper, I'm right in the sweet spot for nostalgia-based views of WDW (particularly EPCOT) since my family went every year from the mid-1980s through the mid-1990s spanning my grade school and teen years. I then didn't visit WDW again until I brought my kids nearly two decades later, so I can see the differences (good and bad) pretty clearly. The IP "debate" also always fascinates me considering that Disney is the very definition of an IP company (and that was the case long before today). A few thoughts:
  • A great ride is a great ride (whether IP-based or not) - Ultimately, the argument about whether "too much IP" is being used in the park is irrelevant. A great ride is ultimately a great ride. Big Thunder Mountain Railroad and Space Mountain aren't based on any IP, Splash Mountain is based on IP that Disney itself wants to erase from its history, Flight of Passage and Tower of Terror are based on non-Disney IP. There are also examples of poor/mediocre rides that use great IP (e.g. The Seas with Nemo & Friends). This isn't an argument for or against the use of IP in attractions. Ultimately, IP in and of itself isn't good or bad. That being said...

  • Great IP can elevate an experience to another level - The advantage of the use of great IP in an immersive fashion is that the visitor does bring in pre-existing emotions that can elevate the experience to another level as long as the ride itself is still great (e.g. a bad ride is just being papered over with great IP). A perfect example is comparing Test Track in EPCOT with Radiator Springs Racers in DCA. Those attractions are the same ride from a technical perspective, but the visceral experience of being transported to the world of Cars completely blows away Test Track. To be sure, part of that is the immersive theming in Cars Land, but the point is that tying it to "Cars" the IP as opposed to "cars" in the generic sense really does transform the experience. It's also the reason why Star Tours still survives today while Body Wars was closed down years ago. There's something specific about the images on the screen transporting the rider to the Star Wars universe that create a visceral reaction based on that rider's pre-existing emotions regarding that IP that traveling through a body with the exact same ride system simply can't match. (Universal has shown us that with Harry Potter, too. Generic wizards and fantasy, which have long been theme park staples, couldn't ever create the immediate bond with the visitor that Harry Potter specifically brings to the table.) Further to that point...

  • Expecting Disney to not use IP is like expecting McDonald's to not sell burgers - Think about the amount of new iconic IP that Disney has either created or acquired since EPCOT opened in 1982. The Little Mermaid/Beauty and the Beast/Aladdin/Lion King stretch of films were still years away from being made, Pixar didn't exist, Star Wars wasn't under Disney control and hadn't even completed its first trilogy, Marvel wasn't under Disney control and was largely just seen as Spider-Man and the Hulk at the time, etc. Reasonably putting myself into the shoes of a Disney executive whose livelihood is dependent on my decisions, why on Earth would I go out of my way to NOT use pre-existing IP in a new attraction, which is what I see a lot of nostalgic Disney fans advocating? One could argue that the only reason why Disney didn't have all IP-based attractions from the very beginning is that they simply didn't own it at the time in the way that they do now today. If anything, it's amazing how much IP that Disney is just letting sit on the shelf that could fit perfectly into the theme of a place like EPCOT (much less any other park), such as the science and technology behind Big Hero 6, community behind Zootopia, conservation behind Wall-E, etc. To that point regarding EPCOT...
  • EPCOT always had IP-based attractions in the form of corporate sponsorships - This is where the 20/20 hindsight of age allows me to see things that I didn't notice when I was a kid. For instance, I loved the old Kitchen Cabaret show and I'm sure that many people here would consider that to be an example of a non-IP attraction. However, Kitchen Cabaret only existed because it was essentially a 20-minute ad for Kraft brands and products... which are all forms of IP. It was the same thing with the Universe of Energy with respect to Exxon and other corporate-sponsored attractions. Those attractions needed to be underwritten by corporate sponsors in order to exist in the first place and they used corporate synergy in the exact same way that today's rides integrate entertainment-based IP. Essentially, the "underwriting" of new attractions today is tied to the integration of IP from other parts of Disney. This isn't a right or wrong statement, but rather the business model has changed drastically from the 1980s and we need to look at it through that lens if we want to be reasonable.
To be sure, there are perfectly valid reasons to be critical of Disney. The center of Future World has been allowed to turn into a ghost town and old pavilions and buildings throughout WDW are sitting unused. I largely agree with the argument that existing attractions shouldn't be replaced when there is conceivably room to add new attractions without subtracting any others (e.g. The Great Movie Ride in DHS). Upcharge events are being increasingly relied upon by Disney to wring out extra revenue from events that used to just be included in the standard ticket price.
that's a great line.

Upcharges are probably the one thing that doesn't bother me at all, mainly because my opinion is always that they are all optional. don't want to do the dessert party, don't.
 

LittleBuford

Well-Known Member
EPCOT always had IP-based attractions in the form of corporate sponsorships - This is where the 20/20 hindsight of age allows me to see things that I didn't notice when I was a kid. For instance, I loved the old Kitchen Cabaret show and I'm sure that many people here would consider that to be an example of a non-IP attraction. However, Kitchen Cabaret only existed because it was essentially a 20-minute ad for Kraft brands and products... which are all forms of IP. It was the same thing with the Universe of Energy with respect to Exxon and other corporate-sponsored attractions. Those attractions needed to be underwritten by corporate sponsors in order to exist in the first place and they used corporate synergy in the exact same way that today's rides integrate entertainment-based IP. Essentially, the "underwriting" of new attractions today is tied to the integration of IP from other parts of Disney. This isn't a right or wrong statement, but rather the business model has changed drastically from the 1980s and we need to look at it through that lens if we want to be reasonable.
I posted this in another thread long ago, and your point about corporate sponsorship reminded me of it:

https://books.google.com/books?id=ADEDAAAAMBAJ&lpg=PA16&dq=epcot a second year&pg=PA16#v=onepage&q=epcot a second year&f=false

It's a review of EPCOT written in 1984 and published in the magazine Cruise Travel. The pervasiveness of corporate sponsorship is something noted (and criticised) by the author. The whole article offers a fascinating (if limited) snapshot of how the park was viewed by at least some people in its early days. A particularly telling excerpt: "But the bad news is that Epcot remains a disturbing dichotomy of some truly fine, interesting experiences coupled with others that too often are more commercialized than they should be—in many cases ill-conceived, repetitious, time-wasting and just plain boring."
 

Frank the Tank

Active Member
I posted this in another thread long ago, and your point about corporate sponsorship reminded me of it:

https://books.google.com/books?id=ADEDAAAAMBAJ&lpg=PA16&dq=epcot a second year&pg=PA16#v=onepage&q=epcot a second year&f=false

It's a review of EPCOT written in 1984 and published in the magazine Cruise Travel. The pervasiveness of corporate sponsorship is something noted (and criticised) by the author. The whole article offers a fascinating (if limited) snapshot of how the park was viewed by at least some people in its early days. A particularly telling excerpt: "But the bad news is that Epcot remains a disturbing dichotomy of some truly fine, interesting experiences coupled with others that too often are more commercialized than they should be—in many cases ill-conceived, repetitious, time-wasting and just plain boring."
Great find! It also shows that there are some rose-colored glasses about how "spontaneous" things used to be with how much this article emphasizes planning well in advance in order to see everything and how you wouldn't get a dining reservation (which could only be made on the day of attendance) unless you made it immediately after the park opened.

To be clear, I loved the old EPCOT of the '80s and '90s - it was (and still is) my favorite Disney park. I just realize that a lot of the attractions that worked well back then wouldn't work today (and not so much about attention spans that a lot of people today like to harp on, but rather technology advanced much quicker than the "future" that EPCOT in the mid-1980s could have anticipated).
 

Sneezy62

Well-Known Member
I posted this in another thread long ago, and your point about corporate sponsorship reminded me of it:

https://books.google.com/books?id=ADEDAAAAMBAJ&lpg=PA16&dq=epcot a second year&pg=PA16#v=onepage&q=epcot a second year&f=false

It's a review of EPCOT written in 1984 and published in the magazine Cruise Travel. The pervasiveness of corporate sponsorship is something noted (and criticised) by the author. The whole article offers a fascinating (if limited) snapshot of how the park was viewed by at least some people in its early days. A particularly telling excerpt: "But the bad news is that Epcot remains a disturbing dichotomy of some truly fine, interesting experiences coupled with others that too often are more commercialized than they should be—in many cases ill-conceived, repetitious, time-wasting and just plain boring."
Thanks for posting this. It’s interesting that Spaceship Earth, Horizons, and World Of Motion are worth the wait (15-30 minutes) while much of World Showcase is panned as too commercial and time consuming. Universe of Energy is simply deemed too long to waste precious time on. The article is aimed at getting the most out of a short visit pre or post cruise. It does a good job of saying “here’s how to get the most out of a one day visit to EPCOT Center”.Nice post!
 

eliza61nyc

Well-Known Member
As with all situations there is nothing inherently wrong with knowledge. Knowing the backstory to a park is wonderful if that's what you are into, it only becomes a problem when it's used as a weapon to berate others. Then the person becomes simply a cyber bully.
I often find it a bit ironic, that folks who know so much about the parks and Walt act on line the total antithesis to what they claim they want to preserve.
Then I remember the old saying i was told about catching more flies with honey than vinger. Once it's implied that all other views are wrong.
 

eliza61nyc

Well-Known Member
For those who have never read his blog, I HIGHLY recommend reading @sshindel 's EPCOT Manifesto.

Nice blog, some very interesting thoughts. One thing to remember is what he says in the opening.

To explore the mission of EPCOT Center, the park as it existed in the 1980s and 1990s.

which is great and I like the fact that he recognizes that, that EPCOT no longer exists and he doesn't berate those who enjoy the park of 2019.

I think the very last line sums it up very nicely.

I hope that you enjoy reading, and please feel free to comment to share memories, thoughts, to troll me, whatever. It's not life or death, it's a theme park! Let's have some fun.

great advice, it's not life or death when you come down to it.
 
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Trackmaster

Well-Known Member
Is it possible that Disney has more IPs now compared to the past because... Disney studios has been buying up so many properties and studios now, so they have a great pool to choose from? When you all of the sudden have Fox, Pixar (they've had it for a while but just making a point), Star Wars, and the MCU at their fingertips, it makes it a lot easier from the decades ago when you just had to he traditional Disney cartoons to choose from.
 

MisterPenguin

Rumormonger
Premium Member
In the Q1 conference call, Iger doubled down on IP being leveraged in the parks. The context is that if people like popular IP, they'll come and spend to experience it, and thus good for the company.
 

Trackmaster

Well-Known Member
In the Q1 conference call, Iger doubled down on IP being leveraged in the parks. The context is that if people like popular IP, they'll come and spend to experience it, and thus good for the company.
Why do you think that 95% of the blockbusters (films) that have come out over the past five years have all either been sequels or adaptations from other media? The guys upstairs know that the familiar sells.
 

bpadair32

Well-Known Member
Next time read the entire thread before you leave a reply. Had you done so, you would have seen my response where I apologized and clarified what the intent of my post was.
I saw the apology and its beside the point. My point was that the fact that the thought of comparing the two even entered your head shows your dramatic lack of perspective.

Also, being a "proud snob" is just another way of saying you're a jerk and don't care.
 

Ninja Mom

Active Member
In my opinion, the Disney company that we once knew of is dead. There is no longer a drive for excellence or innovation. Creativity and quality are minor considerations.


The Disney of today is only ever interested in its stock price. That's it. That's all there is in this era. The ONLY focus is to pump up the stock price. Iger has resorted to turning the parks and the Disney legacy into some overpriced, minimum quality effort. The Stock price is the "Pimp" that every other aspect of Disney must suffer under.

Disney parks have now been reduced to the cheapest possible "come on" at the maximum price levels. It's all one big con job. Disney is depending on your sense of nostalgia when you consider a Disney vacation. They are hoping that you don't notice that it's all one big hustle for your cash while providing you with the minimum effort.

My favorite con of all is when Iger says that the parks are too crowded, so we must raise prices.

If the parks are too crowded where are all the phased closings and why are they building more resort rooms?


For years the parks have pretty much been abandoned. Occasionally, Disney would throw us a bone with a reimagined this or that and minor expansions. Epcot has especially paid the price of the Disney Parks collapse. It's basically been turned into a yearlong food court. Disney cares not a bit about anything going on in Epcot. They only care if they can get you to pay 8 dollars for a 3-ounce premixed margarita and 7 dollars for 3 frozen dumplings. After all, the Stock Pimp must be paid.

If it weren't for the competition from Universal, the parks would be completely stagnant and would sink into ever increasing levels of disrepair and dysfunction. All while the pretty commercials show you a Disney parks experience that is disappearing before our eyes.

As for the I.P. infiltrating the parks it's because it's cheaper than innovation and it's cross marketing the brands. I.P. is basically the laziest way they can do things in the parks. They are hoping that by cramming down your throat, the latest entertainment effort, they can build a following. Disney used to be the definition of entertainment greatness. Not so much anymore. Now the entertainment is purchased off the shelf, and prepackaged.

They only problem with that is that there is no shelf life when a concept has no greatness. That's a problem that Universal suffers from. So, we are seeing the once almighty Disney abandon its history of crafting fantastic themes and concepts and buying them off the shelf with short expiration dates.

Always remember that the Disney of today is ONLY a con job designed to escalate the stock price. Iger is destroying everything we love about the Disney legacy. He's cheapening it and selling out, all for higher dividends.

That's why all this is happening.

~NM
 

eliza61nyc

Well-Known Member
In my opinion, the Disney company that we once knew of is dead. There is no longer a drive for excellence or innovation. Creativity and quality are minor considerations.


The Disney of today is only ever interested in its stock price. That's it. That's all there is in this era. The ONLY focus is to pump up the stock price. Iger has resorted to turning the parks and the Disney legacy into some overpriced, minimum quality effort. The Stock price is the "Pimp" that every other aspect of Disney must suffer under.

Disney parks have now been reduced to the cheapest possible "come on" at the maximum price levels. It's all one big con job. Disney is depending on your sense of nostalgia when you consider a Disney vacation. They are hoping that you don't notice that it's all one big hustle for your cash while providing you with the minimum effort.

My favorite con of all is when Iger says that the parks are too crowded, so we must raise prices.

If the parks are too crowded where are all the phased closings and why are they building more resort rooms?


For years the parks have pretty much been abandoned. Occasionally, Disney would throw us a bone with a reimagined this or that and minor expansions. Epcot has especially paid the price of the Disney Parks collapse. It's basically been turned into a yearlong food court. Disney cares not a bit about anything going on in Epcot. They only care if they can get you to pay 8 dollars for a 3-ounce premixed margarita and 7 dollars for 3 frozen dumplings. After all, the Stock Pimp must be paid.

If it weren't for the competition from Universal, the parks would be completely stagnant and would sink into ever increasing levels of disrepair and dysfunction. All while the pretty commercials show you a Disney parks experience that is disappearing before our eyes.

As for the I.P. infiltrating the parks it's because it's cheaper than innovation and it's cross marketing the brands. I.P. is basically the laziest way they can do things in the parks. They are hoping that by cramming down your throat, the latest entertainment effort, they can build a following. Disney used to be the definition of entertainment greatness. Not so much anymore. Now the entertainment is purchased off the shelf, and prepackaged.

~NM
Wooza, ok tell us how you really feel.

Just wanted to address the stock "pimp" because I think that implies something nefarious or bad. When you are a publicly traded company or corporation, you have a legal obligation to do the best for the people who own the company. There is NO "pimping" going on. Yes the stockholders expect to be paid, that is why they purchased shares in the company. they did not do it for customers to feel nostalgia or warm and fuzzy. they did it because they have retirement plans, investment accounts and individual stocks that they want to increase in value.
Now of course customer happiness is vitally important but again there is no "pimp" they are not exploiting anyone. no one is being held hostage, no one has a gun to their head forcing them to go to Disney.

This insinuation that somehow guest go to the world and somehow don't understand what they are spending or can't figure out if they are having a good time or not ( I'm assuming that's what you meant by the "not noticing the hustle for my cash" sentence) is baffling.

now only time will tell whether or not there is any "greatness" to the parks but I look at it this way Captain America first came on the scene back during what the 1940's? (somebody correct me if I'm wrong, I didn't google) the first Avengers came about in the early 60's along with the GoTG comics, so if any thing they are picking from sources that already have staying power. whether they translate well to the parks remains to be seen.
 
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