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Disney Has Lost It's Way - An Article From The Federalist

Joesixtoe

Active Member
I don't mind some IP just not mostly IP. When you create your own story then the guest have to pay attention the whole ride in order to know what's going on. Kinda like, a movie is always better when you don't know the story. Like I have to go to the magic kingdom to experience space mountain. There isn't a show about it, there isn't a franchise around it. The story is in the ride(although I'm still trying to figure it out)...
 

MagicRat

Active Member
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Great read. Quite a few things in there that perfectly capture what I’ve either said (just better stated) or thought as well. I’ve long thought that the company has been drifting towards creative bankruptcy. And I’ve also noted, possibly in the post in my signature, that organic growth from within is/has been a better long-term strategy than Iger’s growth-by-acquisition approach. Under Iger, Disney is no longer “Disney”, it’s a hodgepodge, and that’s not necessarily a good thing.
Your post images a few, so I will quote yours. What was Disney doing with accepting sponsorships from big money corporations at Epcot in 80’s or allowing being influenced by Country “Sponsors”? The fact is you allow your fondness for the past to cloud what a corporation or a country always does.

Pay money have fun or don’t. Nothing much has changed.
 

erasure fan1

Well-Known Member
This is what I don’t really get... in general, all Universal builds is IP attractions, usually screen-based ones. Outside of hitting a home run with WWoHP, how exactly are they out-Disneying Disney?
You really answered your own question. I had said in many ways, and with potter, they did, big time. To some extent jurassic world as well. The dino interactions are awesome. I never said that all of a sudden Uni is the all around gold standard. But they are doing some things better than Disney.
 

HansGruber

Active Member
I'm sorry folks, but the constant up-sell and constant attempt to gouge customers is going to undermine Disney way before the constant inclusion of IP into the parks.

$532.52 for a family of 4 for a grand total of 3....THREE "after" hours at AK?! And this price is for SEPTEMBER, one of the slowest months of the year. I mean, Disney really is doing a terrible job of trying to hide the fact they are gouging customers.

I can barely comprehend that they charge $22 (?) for MK parking when the entire parking experience is so incredibly outdated and poorly designed.

I've said it before and I'll say it again, it's only a matter of time before the Magical Express becomes a "premium" feature for resort guests. Just wait and see.
 

bryanfze55

Well-Known Member
You really answered your own question. I had said in many ways, and with potter, they did, big time. To some extent jurassic world as well. The dino interactions are awesome. I never said that all of a sudden Uni is the all around gold standard. But they are doing some things better than Disney.
I’m sure Universal does do a few things better. For one, it’s a more convenient and potentially budget-friendly vacation.

However, this really boils down to a discussion of IP. I just don’t think it’s really fair to Disney to say “IP is not only expected but encouraged for use in Universal, but Disney is garbage if they use IP!” Positive response to IP at Universal is one of the main reasons Disney is focusing on IP themselves right now.

While I certainly prefer most of the non-IP attractions that came long before Iger or Chapek were ever a thing, I do understand why Disney is so hellbent in inserting IP into the parks. Their belief is that’s how they will compete with Universal. I just think the same standard should be applied to both parks when making judgments like these. Yes, Universal was always “Ride the movies” - but Disney was also a movie studio when Disneyland opened in 1955, and there were several IP-based attractions upon opening. Disney’s parks are certainly wonderful, but at the end of the day, Disney is primarily a media company just like Comcast. And both are pretty much running things the same way nowadays in an effort to one-up each other but in a risk averse manner.
 

erasure fan1

Well-Known Member
However, this really boils down to a discussion of IP. I just don’t think it’s really fair to Disney to say “IP is not only expected but encouraged for use in Universal, but Disney is garbage if they use IP!”
I'll go back to what I've said in other threads. Very few think Disney is garbage for using IP. The vast majority of complaints stem from shoving it all over the place with little to no justification. It's IP for the sake of IP. If it makes sense, and fits the area, then most will be fine with it. Sure we would all love some more original concepts. Just don't tell me that starlord visited epcot when he was 8, then BAM, zandarian outpost. Because that's when you lose people. And for the record, I dont give Uni a pass. I said I would love to see what they could come up with on their own.
 

Jon81uk

Well-Known Member
Why does Universal get a free pass on making all of their rides IP-based and Disney is ridiculed? Because we expect that from Universal, I guess?
Because the theme of Universal Studios was "here's how movies are made" and Disney-MGM studios originally largely the same. Since DVD extras showed how they are made at home, the theme of these parks switched to "step into the movies". The studios parks have always either celebrated, recreated or shown how movies are made.

Whereas Disneyland (and therefore Magic Kingdom) was less about the movies, it also drew inspiration from classic Americana and Disney's True Life Adventures to present other locations in our past, fantasy and future. Unfortuantly the fantasy part has overtaken the past and future parts.
Basically don't complain about Star Wars at Hollywood Studios and Potter at Universal Studios as these parks are about walking in to the movies. But at Disneyland and MK, there should be more emphasis on fake reality and less on movies.
 

Tony the Tigger

Premium Member
Has a company whose founder said, “We do our best when we work with our own stories,” become, as one movie reviewer recently noted, “creatively bankrupt” and “eating its own tail” by focusing almost exclusively on sequels, remakes, and marketing?
Well, no, because sequels and remakes are, by definition, “working with our own stories.”

Author also fails to mention Disney has rarely had an original story idea; most of their biggest hits are adaptations of others’ stories.
 

bUU

Well-Known Member
Expectations shouldn’t play a role in that equation. Quality is quality, and expectations don’t change the raw quality of something.
Well put. Expectations that emanate from baseless entitlement are like a prison one builds for one's self.
 

WondersOfLife

Blink, blink. Breathe, breathe. Day in, day out.
What Harry Potter did was to show Universal what the public really responded; beautiful design. No more beige boxes with a "Harry Potter" marquee. The attraction looked like Old Europe and was far and above anything else at the resort. Universal has responded by committing to a new third park with this level of quality.
I disagree. What Harry Potter did was bring Universal's most profitable IP negotiation to a park that DID already have immersive theming. Islands of Adventure wasn't studio themed before Potter came around. It just didn't have the most popular IPs. Like, sorry to say it, but nobody cares about Dr. Seuss, outdated comic strip cartoons, or anything about the lost continent. And it had Marvel BEFORE it was as popular as it is today. Jurassic Park? I feel like it is a good popular IP, but for some reason, nobody ever spends a half second in there. Harry Potter "saved" universal because it had its GINORMOUS fan base.

Think about all the other newer IPs. King Kong isn't raking in crowds despite it's elaborate exterior theming. Neither is Jimmy Fallon or Fast & Furious. But Harry Potter is bringing everybody over into the other park.

Harry Potter's fanbase is bad***t CRAZY. Theming is one thing. But to claim that Harry Potter saved ALL of Universal because they NEVER did elaborate theming before is to say that you totally disregarded Islands of Adventure as a whole entire theme park before Potter existed.
 

starri42

Well-Known Member
Because the theme of Universal Studios was "here's how movies are made" and Disney-MGM studios originally largely the same
Was that really true for Universal Studios Florida, thought? My memories of visiting it as a teen are not the sharpest, but aside from Earthquake and the Psycho show, I don't really member a focus on that, and unlike MGM, there was no backlot tour. I know they added Twister, but that got dated really quickly.

I'm not saying there wasn't the facade of "how movies are made," but there wasn't much when you got down to brass tacks.

Not to mention that MGM would have had an IP-based land in Roger Rabbit had there not been the falling out between Disney and Stephen Spielberg.
 

bryanfze55

Well-Known Member
I'll go back to what I've said in other threads. Very few think Disney is garbage for using IP. The vast majority of complaints stem from shoving it all over the place with little to no justification. It's IP for the sake of IP. If it makes sense, and fits the area, then most will be fine with it. Sure we would all love some more original concepts. Just don't tell me that starlord visited epcot when he was 8, then BAM, zandarian outpost. Because that's when you lose people. And for the record, I dont give Uni a pass. I said I would love to see what they could come up with on their own.
I think we agree more than we disagree. I don’t like IP for the sake of IP either. For instance, Disney ruined the bird show at Animal Kingdom by inserting “UP” characters. They make no sense for that show. It also bothered me when Disney transformed Paradise Pier into Pixar Pier. As far as quality goes, they’re pretty much equal. It’s no more or less fun now than it was before. But Disney acted like the IP overlays were new attractions, and that was obnoxious.

But I do think when effort is put into new lands/attractions, Disney has hit some recent home runs even when the focus is on IP. I’ve used Cars Land and Pandora as examples. IP isn’t inherently good or bad, and it seems some fans have a more black-and-white approach to this matter. That’s all.
 

Jon81uk

Well-Known Member
Was that really true for Universal Studios Florida, thought? My memories of visiting it as a teen are not the sharpest, but aside from Earthquake and the Psycho show, I don't really member a focus on that, and unlike MGM, there was no backlot tour. I know they added Twister, but that got dated really quickly.

I'm not saying there wasn't the facade of "how movies are made," but there wasn't much when you got down to brass tacks.

Not to mention that MGM would have had an IP-based land in Roger Rabbit had there not been the falling out between Disney and Stephen Spielberg.
Okay It was always been a mix of enter the movies (such as Jaws and Kong) and how they are made (Earthquake, Alfred Hitchcock, Monster Make-up etc), (both in Florida and the original Hollywood tram tour), but its in the last 15 years there has been a significant shift away from the how its made and to the enter the movies. I think the only how its made that is left at Uni Florida now is the Monster Make up and at DHS there is some still in the Indianna Jones show.
 

NickMaio

Well-Known Member
Universal's ad slogan used to be "ride the movies", their very first tourist attraction was a tram ride through their Hollywood Backlot, years before any formal park was built. Their whole gimmick from day one was simulating scenes from movies and explaining how that was done. The only changes have been the inclusion of movies not made by Universal, such as Harry Potter, and not focusing on the "how to" side.

Disney used to treat attractions as their own creative medium to explore. The golden age of Imagineering from the early 60s to the early 80s saw them consistently take this approach, which was still sometimes continued in WDW until the opening of Expedition Everest. While some non-IP attractions have been built overseas in the past decade (such as Mystic Manor), in the states Disney has completely abandoned this kind of thinking with only minor exceptions like Awesome Planet. In a number of cases these IP rides have been made on the cheap, with the thinking that the brand association would make up for any shortcomings in quality.

Universal's approach to attraction design had a built in shelf life. The soundstage look of the park was intentional. Don't spend a lot on exterior scenery because what's inside will be gone within 10 years. That obvious lack of quality is what set Disney apart. They built beautiful, timeless attractions that lasted for generations and did not chase fads. When Disney blatantly tried to copy Universal with MGM Studios and its cast of current movie and TV characters, the results did not match the attendance of Magic Kingdom and the shows became stale within a few years.

What Harry Potter did was to show Universal what the public really responded; beautiful design. No more beige boxes with a "Harry Potter" marquee. The attraction looked like Old Europe and was far and above anything else at the resort. Universal has responded by committing to a new third park with this level of quality. That represents and improvement for them from their humble beginnings, but the park will still by tied to IP that may date itself over time, or already be past its prime (Fantastic Beasts).

Just like in the mid-80s when MGM Studios was first announced, Disney is now trying to copy Universal. Avatar and Star Wars are so obvious attempts to recreate that Harry Potter magic that even the general public has noticed. Now Disney is being compared to Universal and not always in a positive way like it used to.

We as Disney fans don't want to see WDW become an imitation of Universal. Whether that's the Universal of 1990 or 2010, the WDW parks need something substantial to differentiate the experience or else all Orlando parks are just going to become more or less the same thing with the only difference being the movie the ride is based on (keep in mind now BOTH parks are using IPs not originated in house).

IP is tolerated at Universal because it's been their sole focus from day one and their attraction design approach has improved over time. There are exceptions like Fast and Furious, but that's been the trend for the last decade. We like seeing Universal do better.

Disney has almost completely abandoned their approach of treating attractions as their own creative medium, something WED realized and wanted to pursue once Disneyland was a financial success. Disneyland's use of IP in the beginning was to help compensate for the lack of funds to build quality attractions and some of those (like the 20,000 Leagues set tour) were scrapped before Walt passed away. The E-tickets that made Disney famous like Space Mountain and Haunted Mansion are no longer appreciated by current leadership, even though people still line up for them decades after opening. We want Disney to do better and build better, and not just rely on the crutch of IP to justify everything they do. We became Disney fans because they saw the potential in a blank canvas, not because the parks looked like a version Universal Studios with Disney movies.
Send this to WDW please, if you won't I might ;)
 

The_Jobu

Well-Known Member
Was that really true for Universal Studios Florida, thought? My memories of visiting it as a teen are not the sharpest, but aside from Earthquake and the Psycho show, I don't really member a focus on that, and unlike MGM, there was no backlot tour. I know they added Twister, but that got dated really quickly.

I'm not saying there wasn't the facade of "how movies are made," but there wasn't much when you got down to brass tacks.

Not to mention that MGM would have had an IP-based land in Roger Rabbit had there not been the falling out between Disney and Stephen Spielberg.
Maybe I'm dating myself, but I remember going as a youngster and getting all how movies made vibe from things like Alfred Hitchcock, Horror make-up, Twister (as you say), Angela Landsbury, etc. They had stunt shows too, and I'm vaguley remebering something about be in a Star Trek episode? Maybe I was just hallucinating.
 

Janir

Well-Known Member
For the last decade, I think Disney’s IP in parks craze has largely been a response to Universal’s success with the WWoHP. Plus, I think Iger and Chapek genuinely believe (based on whatever data they’ve compiled) that park-goers want IP-based attractions.
On my last trip late last month I was wathcing the MK fireworks from the train station area and the adult ladies behind me keeps squeeing about "Oh look there's Baymax!" "Oh there's Lighting McQueen!" "Ohh that's XXX!" to her adult friends and family with her, no kids just adults, throughout the castle projection of the fireworks show. So I totally believe that the Disney Parks research is coming up with the data that is telling the Bobs that the customers want IP everywhere and they are laser focusing on that data to self rationalize that IP will be everything, so buy Fox and get D+ going with all the IP we can scrape together. On a related note of IP material. Anyone take a look at various websites with news articles about D+ and the initial offerings? Disney has a huge vault of stuff, tons of old shows like the Davy Crockett stuff that's no where to be seen on the D+ lists, but every back episode of current Disney cable channel shows will be available.
 

jimbaker84

Active Member
I think the article made a few fair points, the issue with overpricing is nothing new but it does seem to have ramped up recently (parking charges at the resorts is my personal bug bear).

I don't really have much of an issue with IP being added to the parks, as long as they do so in a fitting location and without removing popular/classic existing attractions. Ratatouille is an example of a great use of IP as it is specifically connected to the area in which it will be situated, it is new (i.e. does not replace anything) and from having experienced the DLP version i know it to be a great attraction.
 

Janir

Well-Known Member
I’m sure Universal does do a few things better. For one, it’s a more convenient and potentially budget-friendly vacation.

However, this really boils down to a discussion of IP. I just don’t think it’s really fair to Disney to say “IP is not only expected but encouraged for use in Universal, but Disney is garbage if they use IP!” Positive response to IP at Universal is one of the main reasons Disney is focusing on IP themselves right now.

While I certainly prefer most of the non-IP attractions that came long before Iger or Chapek were ever a thing, I do understand why Disney is so hellbent in inserting IP into the parks. Their belief is that’s how they will compete with Universal. I just think the same standard should be applied to both parks when making judgments like these. Yes, Universal was always “Ride the movies” - but Disney was also a movie studio when Disneyland opened in 1955, and there were several IP-based attractions upon opening. Disney’s parks are certainly wonderful, but at the end of the day, Disney is primarily a media company just like Comcast. And both are pretty much running things the same way nowadays in an effort to one-up each other but in a risk averse manner.
You know, when I really think harder about it its not so much the IP use as the WAY it's being used in lieu of doing new original work. It's not that IP is being used it's that it's being used as a crutch for original attractions and being 1/2 a--ed. Some IP use turns out very good. Avatar turned out pretty well, the entire Pixar Pier was meh. Even slightly older attractions, Voyage of the Little Mermaid, mostly an IP music fest ride, 7 Dwarves using an old IP, turned out great and fun. Frozen - its better than Mermaid but not a must do in EPCOT other than its one of a few attractions in World Showcase. Sticking overlays of Jack Skellington in The Haunted Mansion in DLR is another badly done IP push. Just because Nightmare b4 Xmas was a successful movie and the only major Halloween movie Disney has, TV shows not counting.
A search of these forums could keep this going on for IP's inserted that aren't as well done as they could have been. Maybe I'd be more forgiving if more care was used when IP's are inserted into attractions.
 
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