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Eddie Sotto's take on the current state of the parks (Part II)

wdwmagic

Administrator
Moderator
Original Poster
#1
This is part II, and the continuation of our most viewed discussion thread of all time - "Eddie Sotto's take on the current state of the parks". You can read Part I (which has over 1 million views!) here
http://forums.wdwmagic.com/showthread.php?t=440383

Just a quick note on why we need to begin a Part II. Once a thread becomes a certain size, it begins to affect the performance of the database server, which slows down the entire forum. I hope you all continue to post in the discussions in this new thread. Thanks!
 
#2
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I just wanted to be the first on part II. Thanks Eddie, you 've been very kind!
 

KevinYee

Well-Known Member
#3
Eddie, I'd like to ask a question about Design's overall role in the larger scheme of theme park building.

In an ideal world, should design:

1. come after the NEED is identified
2. come first, and drive/alter/adjust the NEED
3. solve problems only
4. (opposite of 3) be able to exist independent of NEED/PROBLEMS
5. be in the background so it's all but invisible (the discussion of kerning makes me think you agree with this)
6. (opposite of 5) be an objet d'art and a cause for discussion in and of itself

Or, did I just erect a strawman? Is your answer "all of the above"?
 

Vernonpush

Well-Known Member
#5
Wow! What a great thread (part 1), I can't wait to see what is discussed in part 2.

Thank you, Eddie (and everyone else), for all that you have contributed, inspired, and thought provoked about the design aspect of WDW.
 

Eddie Sotto

Premium Member
#6
I just wanted to be the first on part II. Thanks Eddie, you 've been very kind!
You beat me here! I just want to take this moment to say thank you to all of you who have either been participating actively in the discussion, or like Norma Desmond said in Sunset Boulevard, been those "wonderful people out there in the dark". As Walt Disney once said, "let's not rest on our laurels" and keep moving forward!
 

Eddie Sotto

Premium Member
#7
Eddie, I'd like to ask a question about Design's overall role in the larger scheme of theme park building.

In an ideal world, should design:

1. come after the NEED is identified
2. come first, and drive/alter/adjust the NEED
3. solve problems only
4. (opposite of 3) be able to exist independent of NEED/PROBLEMS
5. be in the background so it's all but invisible (the discussion of kerning makes me think you agree with this)
6. (opposite of 5) be an objet d'art and a cause for discussion in and of itself

Or, did I just erect a strawman? Is your answer "all of the above"?
The first thing I would have to say, is that design essentially is a solution to a problem. Ideas and concepts are different than design. Designs usually answer or solve something using a combination of materials. Charles Eames wrote a great paper on what design is.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles_and_Ray_Eames
 

rsoxguy

Well-Known Member
#8
The first thing I would have to say, is that design essentially is a solution to a problem. Ideas and concepts are different than design. Designs usually answer or solve something using a combination of materials. Charles Eames wrote a great paper on what design is.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles_and_Ray_Eames
On that note, do Imagineers ever find that design is the end of idea? Are there times when a good idea is not a functional reality?
 

Eddie Sotto

Premium Member
#9
On that note, do Imagineers ever find that design is the end of idea? Are there times when a good idea is not a functional reality?
Or worse, when the good idea becomes a dysfunctional reality. Sometimes great ideas are ahead of their time and really can't be executed without so much compromise that the idea itself is betrayed. Other times, mediocre ideas have so much money thrown at them but you can't figure out why they built it in the first place. In creative meetings you may hear an outrageous idea that on the surface sounds great, but in reality as people begin to discuss it more and more its flaws begin to show and it begins to head toward the conference room door. Bad ideas sometimes make themselves evident after they go through a few iterations. I will say, that great ideas sometimes deserve to distill themselves and not be immediately run down to a conclusion as they require examination and and investment of time to really determine their feasibility. I would say that this is one of the biggest issues of any creative organization. Great ideas are thrown out of dismissed before they have a chance to be the fleshed out. They become cannon fodder.
 

Eddie Sotto

Premium Member
#10
Wow! What a great thread (part 1), I can't wait to see what is discussed in part 2.

Thank you, Eddie (and everyone else), for all that you have contributed, inspired, and thought provoked about the design aspect of WDW.
I'm sure part two will be a re-asking all the questions from part one, and this will give me a chance to give you the real answer.
 

rsoxguy

Well-Known Member
#11
I have always envisioned the old PR films of Walt having fun with Imagineers as being the norm. Instead, it sounds more like a competitive atmosphere in which individuals have to work against a corporate and peer pressure type of atmosphere.
 

scpergj

Well-Known Member
#12
Or worse, when the good idea becomes a dysfunctional reality. Sometimes great ideas are ahead of their time and really can't be executed without so much compromise that the idea itself is betrayed. Other times, mediocre ideas have so much money thrown at them but you can't figure out why they built it in the first place. In creative meetings you may hear an outrageous idea that on the surface sounds great, but in reality as people begin to discuss it more and more its flaws begin to show and it begins to head toward the conference room door. Bad ideas sometimes make themselves evident after they go through a few iterations. I will say, that great ideas sometimes deserve to distill themselves and not be immediately run down to a conclusion as they require examination and and investment of time to really determine their feasibility. I would say that this is one of the biggest issues of any creative organization. Great ideas are thrown out of dismissed before they have a chance to be the fleshed out. They become cannon fodder.
I see a similarity to writing good computer code in a group environment...meaning, something that sounds like a great solution to a problem, when discussed with the design team, may at times prove to be more cumbersome than initially thought. Elegance in design applies to all types of engineering disciplines, I guess!
 

flavious27

Well-Known Member
#13
I have always envisioned the old PR films of Walt having fun with Imagineers as being the norm. Instead, it sounds more like a competitive atmosphere in which individuals have to work against a corporate and peer pressure type of atmosphere.
That is every place. I worked in a bank branch before where we worked as a team but at the same time you were always looking out for your self for promotions and or bonuses.
 

trs518

Active Member
#14
Or worse, when the good idea becomes a dysfunctional reality. Sometimes great ideas are ahead of their time and really can't be executed without so much compromise that the idea itself is betrayed. Other times, mediocre ideas have so much money thrown at them but you can't figure out why they built it in the first place. In creative meetings you may hear an outrageous idea that on the surface sounds great, but in reality as people begin to discuss it more and more its flaws begin to show and it begins to head toward the conference room door. Bad ideas sometimes make themselves evident after they go through a few iterations. I will say, that great ideas sometimes deserve to distill themselves and not be immediately run down to a conclusion as they require examination and and investment of time to really determine their feasibility. I would say that this is one of the biggest issues of any creative organization. Great ideas are thrown out of dismissed before they have a chance to be the fleshed out. They become cannon fodder.
I once got to hear the owner of an improve/sketch comedy theater talk about the "process" of doing comedy. One of the big things he said is that when brainstorming new skits, is that there are no bad initial ideas. First impressions can be deceiving. Remember that the "experts" in the amusement park business thought Walt's idea for Disneyland wouldn't work.
 
#15
Okay, Eddie, here's a question I don't think was in Part I (and congrats on over a million views as well):

As we all know, transportation to the Magic Kingdom is interesting. In your opinion, is the build-up of the ferry or monorail ride from the parking lot worth the difficulties of the closing bottleneck? Do you have any ideas for how to resolve that issue?

Thanks!

BL
 

Eddie Sotto

Premium Member
#16
I once got to hear the owner of an improve/sketch comedy theater talk about the "process" of doing comedy. One of the big things he said is that when brainstorming new skits, is that there are no bad initial ideas. First impressions can be deceiving. Remember that the "experts" in the amusement park business thought Walt's idea for Disneyland wouldn't work.
Quite similar. Thats pretty interesting.
 

Eddie Sotto

Premium Member
#17
That is every place. I worked in a bank branch before where we worked as a team but at the same time you were always looking out for your self for promotions and or bonuses.
Speaking of self promotion, this Friday I will be doing an hour talk on the history of Disneyland Paris. Im using some fun old videos and construction images taken over 20 years ago. Guaranteed that there will be some never before seen stuff and some fun. Disneyana Fan Club in Anaheim at Doubletree Hotel. Stop in and say hello in person if youre a left coaster.
 

RSoxNo1

Well-Known Member
#18
Quite similar. Thats pretty interesting.
The nature of comedy, be it a comedic sketch or a stand up bit or something else is all part of the creative process. If the creative process is artwork, a building, or a theme park attraction the foundation of that creative process is the same.

I never had the theme park creative process experiences that Eddie had, but I did do stand up. As a different creative outlet, it seems that there are certain parallels. Sure some ideas may be completely thrown out for one reason or another, but it doesn't make the initial thought process incorrect.
 

Eddie Sotto

Premium Member
#19
The nature of comedy, be it a comedic sketch or a stand up bit or something else is all part of the creative process. If the creative process is artwork, a building, or a theme park attraction the foundation of that creative process is the same.

I never had the theme park creative process experiences that Eddie had, but I did do stand up. As a different creative outlet, it seems that there are certain parallels. Sure some ideas may be completely thrown out for one reason or another, but it doesn't make the initial thought process incorrect.
I used to develop comedy series for television and sit in meetings with writers. And so there is this interplay of pitch between all the different writers to see which ideas take and which writers begin to build on the idea immediately. And so you're out there trying to create some sparks that will light a brush fire in the minds of those in the room. If some energy is developed, you kind of sense that and go with it. If the moderator of the meeting is paying attention to the energy in the room in which ideas are sparking, then they continue to throw fuel into those directions and begin to build on them. If an idea kind of falls flat, you stoke it and after trying a few rounds they usually die and you move on. Sometimes though, those same ideas spark a completely different direction such as the opposite. Then you have to be discerning enough to see that coming and jump on it. The process as you say, is very similar. I really don't think there's a right or wrong way to do this as inspiration is something you really can't schedule or predict but you can recognize great ideas and fan them.

Of course brainstorming sessions can also become politicized. You may have a combination of introverted and extroverted people in the room and some tend to dominate the entire meeting with their contributions While others just sit there silently thinking. When others try to contribute differing directions the dominant ones move off of them and slowly bring the meeting back toward their initial idea. a good moderator tries to keep the playing field as level as possible. That's why it's good to publish the agendas of the meeting days ahead so those that are more introverted and less vocal can think about the ideas first and write them down and contribute in a more meaningful way.
 
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