News Disneyland to give Snow White’s Scary Adventures dark ride a major facelift in 2020

Brer Oswald

Well-Known Member
My issue isn't that the show does a book report storytelling. That's exactly what people expect, and especially in a branded theme park environment there's nothing wrong with that (so long as that's not the only kind of entertainment available). My main issue isn't even the script or the actual production of the show (though neither are great). It is primarily adding songs to a story that was originally designed without them, particularly when the original source material in question is a ~90 minutes animated film.

It almost never works, and the only time it does is when the creative team looks at the source material from another angle, and/or is trying to say something new or deeper about the original work or characters.

Too often, though, it turns into "take this moment from a property you love, but now it's a song." Almost never a good one either (if "Big Blue World wasn't in the Nemo ride at Epcot, would anyone know it? Are people going to remember the other songs at all? Not likely). That, regretably, is Nemo in a nutshell.

Now, Disney is not the only company that has ever done this, but it is a personal pet peeve. It's precisely what people who hate musicals imagine them to be like. I would rate the show much higher if the songs (that add nothing except length) were removed, but even then it would hardly be as exceptional as people proclaim it to be. .
I get that. Some people like that premise. I find it groan worthy. Sat through it once, never again.
 

Professortango1

Well-Known Member
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I don’t consider Peter Pan a book report. It’s more of an experience. The settings are the focal point. The only two story segments, if you can even call them that, are the nursery and pirate ship scenes.

The nursery sets the stage for the experience of flight. The pirate ship gives you a Classic Peter Pan vs Captain Hook fight that would even be typical before the Darlings came to Neverland. Then, you return home. It works because it doesn’t try to be anything more than it is.
You're also forgetting the flight to Neverland and Tiger Lilly being drowned at Skull Rock. You leave the nursery, fly to Neverland, save Tiger Lilly, get captured by Pirates, see Peter and Hook fight, and then fly away with Peter at the helm why Hook evades the Croc. Its all presented in chronological order.
 

PiratesMansion

Well-Known Member
Right??? I was so surprised when I visited because I kept hearing Nemo and Festival of the Lion King praised so highly. Imagine my disappointment to see old Disneyland parade floats and bad puppetry. It made me appreciate Frozen at the Hyperion much more.
Yeah, the gap between entertainment can be downright embarrassing.

That said, I do enjoy Festival of the Lion King even with its somewhat chintzy legacy, though I actually prefer the book report version in Hong Kong that gets rid of a lot of the weirdness (Monkeys on HS gym mats? Giraffe noises? No thanks!) and has improved staging.
 
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MansionButler84

Well-Known Member
In the Parks
No
You're also forgetting the flight to Neverland and Tiger Lilly being drowned at Skull Rock. You leave the nursery, fly to Neverland, save Tiger Lilly, get captured by Pirates, see Peter and Hook fight, and then fly away with Peter at the helm why Hook evades the Croc. Its all presented in chronological order.
Yeah...it’s basically the movie. In 2 minutes.
 

Brer Oswald

Well-Known Member
You're also forgetting the flight to Neverland and Tiger Lilly being drowned at Skull Rock. You leave the nursery, fly to Neverland, save Tiger Lilly, get captured by Pirates, see Peter and Hook fight, and then fly away with Peter at the helm why Hook evades the Croc. Its all presented in chronological order.
I must be thinking of the Florida version. You leave the nursery. Fly over London. Fly over Neverland. Fly over the Jolly Roger as Peter Pan fights Hook. The story is light and easy to understand if you haven’t watched the film. I didn’t the first time I went on the ride, and I loved it.

The Tiger Lily scene doesn’t detract from the ride if you don’t understand what’s happening, because the main appeal is flying over London and Neverland.

The Little Mermaid ride’s appeal is supposed to be “experiencing the story and music in person”. But several critical plot points are left out. The deal she makes with Ursula is glossed over, and we don’t even experience the “no voice” effect. The Climax is skipped over. What happened for the heroes to defeat the villain?

I didn’t understand anything past “Under the Sea” on my first ride through, and even after watching the film, I still don’t understand it (I don’t have all the scenes memorized, mostly just the basic points).

I never got this confusion with Peter Pan, Pooh, Alice, the original Snow White. I doubt many others did either.
 

mickEblu

Well-Known Member
You're also forgetting the flight to Neverland and Tiger Lilly being drowned at Skull Rock. You leave the nursery, fly to Neverland, save Tiger Lilly, get captured by Pirates, see Peter and Hook fight, and then fly away with Peter at the helm why Hook evades the Croc. Its all presented in chronological order.

I don’t understand how seeing tiger lily, Pan and Hook fighting on a pirate ship, the Indians etc make it a book report ride. Yes, the ride is loosely in chronological order, more specifically the second half, but do you FEEL like you are passively watching the movie unfold in front of you? I don’t. I feel like I’m experiencing moments from the movie. When Baxter came up (?) with the term “book report” ride I think it was specifically to point out some of these rides like Mermaid where you are passively watching the movie unfold in front of you as a spectator and not because he was picking on attractions that highlight moments from the film. If that was the case there would be no need to even coin the term as all of the Fantasyland dark rides would be considered book report rides except for maybe Toad.
 
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Professortango1

Well-Known Member
I don’t understand how seeing tiger lily, Pan and Hook fighting on a pirate ship, the Indians etc make it a book report ride. Yes, the ride is loosely in chronological order, more specifically the second half, but do you FEEL like you are passively watching the movie unfold in front of you? I don’t. I feel like I’m experiencing moments from the movie. When Baxter came up (?) with the term “book report” ride I think it was specifically to point out some of these rides like Mermaid where you are passively watching the movie unfold in front of you as a spectator and not because he was picking on attractions that highlight moments from the film. If that was the case there would be no need to even coin the term as all of the Fantasyland dark rides would be considered book report rides except for maybe Toad.

I'd say the 2nd half of Peter is very passive and feels no different than The Little Mermaid. Its one of the reasons I don't like Peter, the first half is amazing and the 2nd half is a mess. With Snow White, Pinocchio, Alice, Toad, and Roger WE are the protagonist. Things happen to US throughout. We are trapped in a cage, we are pursued by the Witch, we are escaping the Queen of Hearts. With Peter's second half, we fly by watching scenes from the movie.
 

mickEblu

Well-Known Member
I'd say the 2nd half of Peter is very passive and feels no different than The Little Mermaid. Its one of the reasons I don't like Peter, the first half is amazing and the 2nd half is a mess. With Snow White, Pinocchio, Alice, Toad, and Roger WE are the protagonist. Things happen to US throughout. We are trapped in a cage, we are pursued by the Witch, we are escaping the Queen of Hearts. With Peter's second half, we fly by watching scenes from the movie.

I can agree with that but I still don’t think I would classify Pan as a book report ride. Peter Pans Flight is the first three scenes from the nursery through Neverland. That’s why people ride it. The rest of the ride is basically in one room because they had to fit in the ending. In regards to the last few scenes of the ride, I think the “sensation” of flight and the view point from above goes a long way in not making the rider feel like they are watching a movie at home.

Reminds me what a shame it is they ruined the London scene and they really have to do something with that Neverland star projection screen.
 
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Dr. Hans Reinhardt

Well-Known Member
I'd say the 2nd half of Peter is very passive and feels no different than The Little Mermaid. Its one of the reasons I don't like Peter, the first half is amazing and the 2nd half is a mess. With Snow White, Pinocchio, Alice, Toad, and Roger WE are the protagonist. Things happen to US throughout. We are trapped in a cage, we are pursued by the Witch, we are escaping the Queen of Hearts. With Peter's second half, we fly by watching scenes from the movie.

Good points. My only real issue with Pan at Disneyland is the length of the ride. 2 minutes is entirely too short for the typical wait times and for the overall ride experience. For those reasons I didn't bother with it on my last few visits. In comparison Little Mermaid rarely has long waits and the ride is 6+ minutes.
 

PiratesMansion

Well-Known Member
I think the FL rides ARE book report rides (except Mr. Toad, which goes off in its own direction). They DO go through scenes straight from the movie more or less in chronological order.

I just think that we only really started saying "book report rides" to insult things like Mermaid and so it carries that negative connotation, even though there are better-received legacy rides that also fit the criteria.
 

MisterPenguin

President of Animal Kingdom
Premium Member
Are people really trying to narrowly define "book report ride" to keep their favorite rides from getting that label?

First of all, being 'a book report' doesn't necessarily mean the ride is bad. The phrase has negative connotations because some (or many?) book report rides are lazy and not that good.

Secondly, if a ride has scenes from the movie in roughly the order they happened in the movie, then that's a book report ride.

"X happened. Then Y happened. Then Z happened. Just like from the movie. The end." - Book report

Doesn't matter whether the scenes are static or dynamic or whether you've been put into the story or just watching. You're just rehashing the movie.

Which can be a great ride if the story is told well, has great SFX, and an innovative ride mechanic.

Or it can be horribly boring with slow moving vehicles passing static tableaus.
 

mickEblu

Well-Known Member
Are people really trying to narrowly define "book report ride" to keep their favorite rides from getting that label?

First of all, being 'a book report' doesn't necessarily mean the ride is bad. The phrase has negative connotations because some (or many?) book report rides are lazy and not that good.

Secondly, if a ride has scenes from the movie in roughly the order they happened in the movie, then that's a book report ride.

"X happened. Then Y happened. Then Z happened. Just like from the movie. The end." - Book report

Doesn't matter whether the scenes are static or dynamic or whether you've been put into the story or just watching. You're just rehashing the movie.

Which can be a great ride if the story is told well, has great SFX, and an innovative ride mechanic.

Or it can be horribly boring with slow moving vehicles passing static tableaus.

That’s not the connotation of “book report ride” in the way Tony Baxter meant. Which is the only reason the term made its way down to the Disney fandom forums in the first place. Why coin the term to describe Mermaid in the first place if damn near all the other FL style dark rides worldwide are book report rides?
 
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Okee68

Active Member
I think the FL rides ARE book report rides (except Mr. Toad, which goes off in its own direction). They DO go through scenes straight from the movie more or less in chronological order.

I just think that we only really started saying "book report rides" to insult things like Mermaid and so it carries that negative connotation, even though there are better-received legacy rides that also fit the criteria.
"Book report ride", for the most part, isn't meant to describe the traditional Fantasyland dark rides, all of which currently - or at least have a history of - directly involving riders with their settings and characters. The phrase was conceived as an insult toward rides such as The Little Mermaid and Beauty and the Beast, which feature nothing more than blunt re-creations of film scenes that guests passively observe without interacting with in any meaningful way. A book report ride is akin to having a story read to you, as opposed to participating in the story. Even the current versions of Peter Pan are arguably book report rides, as much as I hate to say it - "arguably" only because the London and Neverland scenes still make riders feel as if they are the ones flying with Peter Pan. Only the 1955 original had Hook ordering Smee to shoot guests down as they sailed past him, along with a total lack of the Darling children to suggest that guests were the ones being taken to Neverland by Peter.

In a good Fantasyland dark ride, guests play a character within the ride's story and directly affect what the characters in the attraction do, sometimes affecting the scenery as well (notably in the case of Mr. Toad). In a book report ride, guests are totally invisible and have no bearing whatsoever on the events of the ride.
 
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mickEblu

Well-Known Member
I think the FL rides ARE book report rides (except Mr. Toad, which goes off in its own direction). They DO go through scenes straight from the movie more or less in chronological order.

I just think that we only really started saying "book report rides" to insult things like Mermaid and so it carries that negative connotation, even though there are better-received legacy rides that also fit the criteria.


In the strict definition of the term “book report” (not necessarily “book report ride” coined by Baxter) you could say they all qualify as book report rides except for Toad. With that said, to say Mermaid and Pan are both book report rides without considering the origin of term as it pertains to Disney dark rides or without explaining how they are vastly different in their approach is Pointless really and doesn’t paint an accurate picture.

In short, the guy who coined the term “book report ride” doesn’t find the majority or all of the Fantasyland rides to be book report rides.
 
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Brer Oswald

Well-Known Member
Are people really trying to narrowly define "book report ride" to keep their favorite rides from getting that label?

First of all, being 'a book report' doesn't necessarily mean the ride is bad. The phrase has negative connotations because some (or many?) book report rides are lazy and not that good.

Secondly, if a ride has scenes from the movie in roughly the order they happened in the movie, then that's a book report ride.

"X happened. Then Y happened. Then Z happened. Just like from the movie. The end." - Book report

Doesn't matter whether the scenes are static or dynamic or whether you've been put into the story or just watching. You're just rehashing the movie.

Which can be a great ride if the story is told well, has great SFX, and an innovative ride mechanic.

Or it can be horribly boring with slow moving vehicles passing static tableaus.
I don’t consider Peter Pan a book report because it’s main goal isn’t to retell the story of Peter Pan. It has some scenes from the film, but I don’t think that qualifies as it being a “book report”.

There are plenty of great book reports. My favourite ride is a book report. Winnie the Pooh is a great book report.
 

PiratesMansion

Well-Known Member
I don’t consider Peter Pan a book report because it’s main goal isn’t to retell the story of Peter Pan. It has some scenes from the film, but I don’t think that qualifies as it being a “book report”.

There are plenty of great book reports. My favourite ride is a book report. Winnie the Pooh is a great book report.
What scenes from Peter Pan AREN'T from the movie?

I guess you COULD choose to say that it's not a book report if we're involved in some way, but I think the line of "we are participating" and "we are passively observing" is thinner than some here are speculating unless we really are being chased by some antagonist for the length of the ride (ex. Alice, are we participants or observers? To what degree/for how long? At what point does it shift from a book report to whatever else people want to call it so that they don't have to call it a book report?)

I agree there's some nuance there, but it still seems to me that the main difference for most people in determining whether or not something is a book report ride is whether or not the poster likes the ride in question.
 

Okee68

Active Member
What scenes from Peter Pan AREN'T from the movie?

I guess you COULD choose to say that it's not a book report if we're involved in some way, but I think the line of "we are participating" and "we are passively observing" is thinner than some here are speculating unless we really are being chased by some antagonist for the length of the ride (ex. Alice, are we participants or observers? To what degree/for how long? At what point does it shift from a book report to whatever else people want to call it so that they don't have to call it a book report?)

I agree there's some nuance there, but it still seems to me that the main difference for most people in determining whether or not something is a book report ride is whether or not the poster likes the ride in question.
Alice in particular is a weird, inconsistent mess when it comes to riders' perspective. In the original ride, guests were definitely supposed to assume the role of Alice, with Alice herself nowhere to be found. Each scene, however, featured a brief storybook-style narration spoken by an unseen Alice in past tense (example: "The next thing I knew, I was in the Upside-Down Room..."), which provided the impression of a slightly older Alice recalling her experiences in Wonderland as the guests themselves witness the events she's speaking of play out firsthand. It was an effective, clever set-up that I don't think most people had any confusion about.

The 1984 version retained Alice's disembodied voice, but her dialogue was spoken in present tense as though she were currently experiencing the events of the story despite still not being anywhere in sight, barring that one hidden figure of her in the flower garden which the vast majority of riders never even saw. For this version of the attraction, riders were intended to simply be themselves as they followed directly behind Alice; this is supported by several bits of dialogue incorporating "they" instead of "she" ("They're weeds!" and "Off with their heads!"). This format doesn't fully work, however, because once again Alice never really appeared in the ride back then. It's odd being made to feel like you're following around a character but never actually seeing them.

The 2014 updates only made things more confusing, as now an animated figure (or screen) of Alice is shown in some instances, but not in most.
 

Brer Oswald

Well-Known Member
What scenes from Peter Pan AREN'T from the movie?

I guess you COULD choose to say that it's not a book report if we're involved in some way, but I think the line of "we are participating" and "we are passively observing" is thinner than some here are speculating unless we really are being chased by some antagonist for the length of the ride (ex. Alice, are we participants or observers? To what degree/for how long? At what point does it shift from a book report to whatever else people want to call it so that they don't have to call it a book report?)

I agree there's some nuance there, but it still seems to me that the main difference for most people in determining whether or not something is a book report ride is whether or not the poster likes the ride in question.
I don’t recall the “Flying over and through Neverland” section in the film. The ride is “fly with Peter Pan over London. Go to Neverland and watch him fight Pirates.”

It shares a lot with the film, but the morales of the story aren’t present in the ride. The characters don’t grow and change like they do in the film. The characters don’t have motivation for their actions. The ride doesn’t even cover the “never growing up” aspect of the plot.

I don’t think it’s fair to say that “book report” rides are only rides that I dislike. I consider Splash and Pooh well done book reports.
 

PiratesMansion

Well-Known Member
I don’t recall the “Flying over and through Neverland” section in the film. The ride is “fly with Peter Pan over London. Go to Neverland and watch him fight Pirates.”

It shares a lot with the film, but the morales of the story aren’t present in the ride. The characters don’t grow and change like they do in the film. The characters don’t have motivation for their actions. The ride doesn’t even cover the “never growing up” aspect of the plot.

I don’t think it’s fair to say that “book report” rides are only rides that I dislike. I consider Splash and Pooh well done book reports.
I'm not super familiar with the Peter Pan film (NOT one of my favorites), but there is a shot, right when we arrive, when we see Neverland with the rainbow in an image that bares a passing resemblance to what we pass on the ride.
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Additionally, we may not see the figures/scenes in that exact context, but we do see the mermaids, the indians, etc. in a way that is very similar to their depiction on the ride. And it does make sense, in a way; just as in the film Peter Pan moves through different vignettes (the Indians, the mermaids, etc.) before eventually cohering into a plot, so does Peter Pan's Flight. Arguably like a book report.

The morals of the dark rides and the films aren't necessarily consistent. We don't see Pinocchio in the ride do anything other than react to his obstacles, or prove that he is brave, truthful, and unselfish. We don't see Alice learn that perhaps reality and growing up is better than a violent fantasy world. Snow White the film spends very little time concerning itself with the Queen/the witch, and I don't know that there's much there that connects to the morals or lessons of the film. Themes, sure, but not morals.

It may or may not be fair to say that book reports only describe rides people don't like, and I know that that belief doesn't describe you personally. However, I haven't seen anything thusfar to sufficiently convince me otherwise for most people.
 

Professortango1

Well-Known Member
I don’t recall the “Flying over and through Neverland” section in the film. The ride is “fly with Peter Pan over London. Go to Neverland and watch him fight Pirates.”

It shares a lot with the film, but the morales of the story aren’t present in the ride. The characters don’t grow and change like they do in the film. The characters don’t have motivation for their actions. The ride doesn’t even cover the “never growing up” aspect of the plot.

I don’t think it’s fair to say that “book report” rides are only rides that I dislike. I consider Splash and Pooh well done book reports.

But then why is Tiger Lilly tied up in the waters around Skull Rock, like she was in the movie? Why are the Darling children held captive on the boat, like in the movie? Why does it end with the flying ship and Peter at the helm, like the movie? Its certainly rushed, but it is a book report ride.
 

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