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

Eddie Sotto

Premium Member
Was that before Fantasmic! got its own dragon instead?

I do like the fact that ideas (and even lots of AA's) are never dead at Disney, but get re-used or recycled into new ideas.
It was prior. I had worked on an inflatable dragon for Randy Bright to be on top of the Castle, but later looked at doing one ala TDL that talked, breathed fire in the DL one.
 

Eddie Sotto

Premium Member
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Talk went really well, lots of laughs and well attended.
 

wedenterprises

Well-Known Member
I'm sorry to have missed the event, I bet it was really interesting!

I like the question above regarding Tony Baxter's role in guiding DLP. Could you elaborate? I'd like to know specifically what Tony's grand ideas were for this park initially. What were some directions the teams were given? Obviously you and Chris and Tim had your ideas, but did they come from a central theme/concept? What was the centralizing concept and how did that come about?

I imagine it would be a dream come true to direct anything but I wonder how much freedom there is for someone in that head role.
 

Jeanine

Member
The talk was great! Incredibly entertaining and informative with terrific videos and photos. I had previously heard of Mr. Sotto largely in connection with Encounter (on my short list of "places I need to go,") so it was fun to discover all his work on DLP, etc.

Really one of the highlights of the convention for me--I only wish the talk had been given a longer time slot. Thanks for the presentation, and thanks for steering me towards the forum here--I look forward to a great deal of catch-up reading!
 

KevinYee

Well-Known Member
I'm kind of digging the fact that one poster here was an Encounter fan first and foremost, and then happy to discover the DLP connection. This begs the question: what would you want your legacy to be, Eddie? Can you rank the top five things you are most proud to have been a part of?
 

Eddie Sotto

Premium Member
I am sure Jeff (Burke,Show Producer, Frontierland) and Tom (Morris, Show Producer, Fantasyland) had plenty of ideas as well.
I have SVHS video with all of us together back then, we were all good friends and got along, but time did not allow it. I saw Tony yesterday and he had a great idea, to get a room in Paris and do our own DLP retrospective.
 

Eddie Sotto

Premium Member
The talk was great! Incredibly entertaining and informative with terrific videos and photos. I had previously heard of Mr. Sotto largely in connection with Encounter (on my short list of "places I need to go,") so it was fun to discover all his work on DLP, etc.

Really one of the highlights of the convention for me--I only wish the talk had been given a longer time slot. Thanks for the presentation, and thanks for steering me towards the forum here--I look forward to a great deal of catch-up reading!
Enjoyed meeting you and others. I hope you enjoy all the stories here on the thread and in Part 1. This site has a good background interview as well.

www.themedattraction.com
 

Cosmic Commando

Well-Known Member
Thanks so much for taking time to discuss with us fans, Eddie! I've been here from the beginning. I hope you can bear with me for my comments/theory/question.

I came up with this question while thinking about the Carousel of Progress, actually. I love the CoP, but I understand why it's perpetually on the chopping block. I think that time has changed the way people relate to the attraction. When the show opened in 1964, many of the people in the audience were alive during the time periods portrayed by the early scenes. I think that's what CoP was meant to be... a lifetime of progress. My wife and I often have discussions from time to time similar to the Mindset List: our kids won't know what TV static is, or that TV really used to be black and white, or why you click on a picture of a floppy disk to save something in Microsoft Office (or that before those floppy disks, there actually were floppy disks that were floppy). It's not that those early scenes aren't good anymore, but the world around them changed. No one in the audience today remembers the turn of the century. What used to be nostalgia is now more like a museum piece. I would love to see a nostalgic 90's scene more in the middle of the show: the dial-up modem sound, the kid remarking how fast this new 56K modem is as the audience sees a simple picture load on his CRT screen bit-by-bit and then slowly come into focus like we all did in 1996. :)

I think this concept is why something like Steamboat Willie on MSUSA doesn't bother me, even though many online seem to hate it. When Disneyland opened, there were only 50 years between the time period of MSUSA and the present day. Put something from 1928 in the cinema, and it would have stuck out much more. It would be the difference between remembering when they were little kids and then seeing something from when they maybe had kids of their own. Today, logically we know the dates don't line up if we think about it, but we didn't experience it. No one is up in arms in Fantasyland: "I can't believe they used this 12th century masonry right next to this 13th century heraldry!" We have that "aesthetic distance", both in time and miles, from the medieval European themes that dominate Fantasyland. With every year that goes by, we are getting further and further away from 1901.

Based on your experience with Main St. in DLP, I'd love to know how you think something like this may eventually apply to the idea of what a Main St., USA is. I know you tried to take MSUSA into the Roaring 20's; do you think elements outside of the original turn of the century timeframe could be folded in organically, just as a real town would grow and change? What do you think MSUSA will look like in the future?
 

Eddie Sotto

Premium Member
Special treat for you

Here is something from yesterday's speech. I POSTED THIS super rare VIDEO SHOT INSIDE WDI FROM 1988. This was made to show to our French counterparts and introduce them to our team. You will see my office as well as our working area and the EDL model shop. Enjoy and welcome to Part 2!.

http://gallery.me.com/boss_angeles#100347
 

Eddie Sotto

Premium Member
Based on your experience with Main St. in DLP, I'd love to know how you think something like this may eventually apply to the idea of what a Main St., USA is. I know you tried to take MSUSA into the Roaring 20's; do you think elements outside of the original turn of the century timeframe could be folded in organically, just as a real town would grow and change? What do you think MSUSA will look like in the future?
DLP Main street is actually layered with change from the late 1800's to the 1918. You hear songs from the first world war along with the gasoline pump (http://www.photosmagiques.com/gallery/disneyland_park/main_street_usa/main_street_motors.php). The older "1888" Civic Buildings are much earlier. (http://www.photosmagiques.com/gallery/disneyland_park/main_street_usa/town_square.php) The DLP Camera Store (http://www.photosmagiques.com/gallery/disneyland_park/main_street_usa/town_square_photography.php) has signs of expansion and electric light being installed alongside the Gas, so in essence, by Walt's design, Main Street is all about a small town in transition. So it does grow organically or is a snapshot of a small town caught in this change, but yes, the organic layers are part of it. How deep the layers go and how much time is spanned is the question. You could probably use the original main street as a base and land in the 40's or 50's, peppering in some redone facades. I think once it becomes too ordinary, then you've lost it. You still want to step into an optimistic "time capsule" of some scope and have it be seamless.
 

HMF

Well-Known Member
Here is something from yesterday's speech. I POSTED THIS super rare VIDEO SHOT INSIDE WDI FROM 1988. This was made to show to our French counterparts and introduce them to our team. You will see my office as well as our working area and the EDL model shop. Enjoy and welcome to Part 2!.

http://gallery.me.com/boss_angeles#100347
I actually never heard of the Imagineers shown in the video.(outside of Eddie of course) It looks like a great place to be. (assuming it is similar now to how it was then) I would love (and hope to) someday work there(though I am highly opinionated as many on this board will attest so I am not sure how my relationship with management would be.)
 

Eddie Sotto

Premium Member
I actually never heard of the Imagineers shown in the video.(outside of Eddie of course) It looks like a great place to be. (assuming it is similar now to how it was then) I would love (and hope to) someday work there(though I am highly opinionated as many on this board will attest so I am not sure how my relationship with management would be.)
One reason I posted this is because I want you to see the operations meeting with us around the table and other people that are involved in a project like this. The heavy set Gentleman Peter Kelly was a set designer on Hello Dolly! which inspired much of Main Street. Sandy Mullally worked on movies like "Paint your Wagon". We had some talent in the team. Bob Baranick, the man joking about the Phantom Manor model, worked with me prior to disney and were were good friends. He worked on the Tarzan Treehouse at DL and built that spaceship model you saw there.
 

HMF

Well-Known Member
Bob Baranick, the man joking about the Phantom Manor model,
Did he leave as well? I recall he was Show Producer for the much hated "Politically Correct" changes to Pirates of the Caribbean which while I may not particularly like them were much less damaging to the ride than Jack Sparrow's "toast to piracy and it's many shiny rewards".
 

lazyboy97o

Well-Known Member
Well didn't wre inspire splash mountain and big thunder?
Western River Expedition was part of a larger project, Thunder Mesa, that also included a runaway mine train as well. The runaway mine train project was headed by Tony Baxter and did evolve into the larger, independent Big Thunder Mountain Railroad. Splash Mountain is not very western, as it takes places in Georgia.

I have SVHS video with all of us together back then, we were all good friends and got along, but time did not allow it. I saw Tony yesterday and he had a great idea, to get a room in Paris and do our own DLP retrospective.
Paris is even further away!

Here is something from yesterday's speech. I POSTED THIS super rare VIDEO SHOT INSIDE WDI FROM 1988. This was made to show to our French counterparts and introduce them to our team. You will see my office as well as our working area and the EDL model shop. Enjoy and welcome to Part 2!.

http://gallery.me.com/boss_angeles#100347
Drats! The video format is not supported by my TouchPad.
 

Eddie Sotto

Premium Member
Did he leave as well? I recall he was Show Producer for the much hated "Politically Correct" changes to Pirates of the Caribbean which while I may not particularly like them were much less damaging to the ride than Jack Sparrow's "toast to piracy and it's many shiny rewards".
He was and pretty much did whatever Tony needed him to do including his Pirate redo. As I recall he quit. I really like him and we worked well together.

http://www.linkedin.com/pub/dir/Bob/Baranick
 

Eddie Sotto

Premium Member
Do you know if the backlash from the Pirate thing may have been a contributing factor to his departure?
I don't think so. He did the Tarzan Treehouse afterward and that was well received. Creatively he was under Tony, so he was not accountable for the content of those rehabs. Bob was not just liked, by most he was loved. I really thought he was great to work with and a good friend. He was on Indiana Jones for a round (we all were, I had it twice) and then there was a change in direction and they went back to square one, so it was difficult for him. I inherited it until it went back to Tony to take to the finish line. I think he just wanted a change. I get that.
 
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