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

Eddie Sotto

Premium Member
My theory on the Hogwarts Express -- it will be a shuttle train, but with a passing section in the middle so that more than one train can use that same track.

Inside the passing section will be some kind of show tunnel in which something goes terribly wrong, etc.

Sounds logical.
 

Eddie Sotto

Premium Member
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Eddie, thank you so much for you time.

All the talk about Potter has me thinking about another new ride, Little Mermaid.
I have read online and heard from various friends how the ride is lifeless and has none of the charm that Disney is known for. As an Imagineer is there a worse way your new attraction could be described? Can this be fixed when the attraction is already opened?

It is great to see Universal taking the old Disney approach to parks and attractions, almost makes you wonder if in a few years we will be pleading with Disney to the Uni approach!

I quit WDI back in 1999, so I was not involved in that Attraction. To be honest, I have not been on it yet myself, but yes, I've read some of those reviews. I've also read good ones. It's funny that when Toy Story MM opened, fans rallied against the show depending so much on video, and longed for a good old AA show. Mermaid is exactly that and for a dark ride is lush from what I hear. I think the emotion might be lacking from what I've read.
 

IlikeDW

Active Member
I quit WDI back in 1999, so I was not involved in that Attraction. To be honest, I have not been on it yet myself, but yes, I've read some of those reviews. I've also read good ones. It's funny that when Toy Story MM opened, fans rallied against the show depending so much on video, and longed for a good old AA show. Mermaid is exactly that and for a dark ride is lush from what I hear. I think the emotion might be lacking from what I've read.

I don't think they literally meant Mermaid was your attraction, more like if an attraction you worked on was characterized that way.
 

Cosmic Commando

Well-Known Member
:lol:
No...Trams aren't part of the plan. That would be a nightmare.

I am sort of curious about the placement of the station in Hogsmeade. If they were to put on the Sinbad plot, it would require the moving/removing of the current train.
Jeez, no, not real trams. Somehow I don't think that would pull in the crowds. ;)

I was thinking of a ride vehicle with a CNG-powered "engine" pulling a train of big, boxy cars all on top of automotive chassis. Then you hide all of the automotive stuff under a train facade. You'd have a lot of space inside to theme it however you want. With some work put into it, I'd bet you could make it look like a pretty darn convincing train.

Without knowing anything about Universal's operations, putting an actual train in might be easier in some ways, but it seems like a headache to say the least to have that whole road eaten up by a rail right-of-way.
 

Scuttle

Well-Known Member
I see. Well, I worked on "Mission:Space", and there's plenty of love/hate to go around on that one!

Eddie, did you ever have a feeling that the centrifuge would be a bit much at that time? I'm curious to see what some Imagineers thought about the intensity during the "blue sky process".
 

KevinYee

Well-Known Member
Plus, I'm curious if WDI splurged to buy you all access to Kennedy Space Center's secondary location (I think Astronaut Hall of Fame?) so you could try a centrifuge :)
 

Eddie Sotto

Premium Member
Plus, I'm curious if WDI splurged to buy you all access to Kennedy Space Center's secondary location (I think Astronaut Hall of Fame?) so you could try a centrifuge :)

I know we had access to all kinds of "off limits" stuff. We flew the Shuttle Simulator at Houston, went into assembly areas, etc. I think KSC gave us free access as we were out to promote Space. After I left WDI, we were involved in brainstorming what would be next at KSC, and got to tour all kinds of cool areas and get close.
 

Scuttle

Well-Known Member
I know we had access to all kinds of "off limits" stuff. We flew the Shuttle Simulator at Houston, went into assembly areas, etc. I think KSC gave us free access as we were out to promote Space. After I left WDI, we were involved in brainstorming what would be next at KSC, and got to tour all kinds of cool areas and get close.

That's amazing.
 

ChrisFL

Premium Member
Eddie, there's a lot of things I don't like about Mission:Space but I'm not blaming you directly ;) Just one question, was the centrifuge already the basis for the attraction when you were leaving? I recall there were a few different ideas about what kind of attraction to set up.

Did you ever get to check out the Space Shuttle Experience at KSC? Its a much different take on the space simulator.

I like it, but it is very, very shaky (on purpose). That's part of the "how realistic is too realistic?" question.

It is also interesting, because as I recall they didn't skip over mentioning the accidents that happened with the shuttles either, but mentioned them in the preshow. Its that line that I'm sure WDI has questions about crossing when dealing with real life events.
 

Eddie Sotto

Premium Member
Eddie, there's a lot of things I don't like about Mission:Space but I'm not blaming you directly ;) Just one question, was the centrifuge already the basis for the attraction when you were leaving? I recall there were a few different ideas about what kind of attraction to set up.

Did you ever get to check out the Space Shuttle Experience at KSC? Its a much different take on the space simulator.

I like it, but it is very, very shaky (on purpose). That's part of the "how realistic is too realistic?" question.

It is also interesting, because as I recall they didn't skip over mentioning the accidents that happened with the shuttles either, but mentioned them in the preshow. Its that line that I'm sure WDI has questions about crossing when dealing with real life events.

When I left it was a Centrifuge, yes, but the final story (which is very different), ride profile, and media came afterwards. The ride system began as a coaster of "capsules" to deliver essentially the same type of experience. The centrifuge came later in the development. I knew that spinning rides have a self editing audience (you either opt in or out), as the "Mad Tea Party" has similar issues for some and is still considered a classic. Coney Island had G force spinning rides like the "Rotor" where you stick to the walls and those have been around since the 20's. The centrifuge, even at a low G force gives you a sustained G experience exactly as a rocket launch does, and so to be realistic, we went that way as it was a sensation that served the story as science fact.

I did not see the current Simulator ride at KSC.
 

Eddie Sotto

Premium Member
Walt Disney and Jack Benny Skit

This is a REALLY funny skit with Walt and the legendary cheapskate Jack Benny.

I've seen this in black and white but someone posted it in color and i never get tired of watching it. Benny has amazing comedy timing. It's interesting to see one of Walt's last on-camera performances as it was shot in 1965, about a year before his passing. He brags about Mary Poppins, so he must have been feeling pretty successful. There is a bit at the end with Elke Sommer. Enjoy it!!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2-54gVEfDDY
 

Nemo14

Well-Known Member
This is a REALLY funny skit with Walt and the legendary cheapskate Jack Benny.

I've seen this in black and white but someone posted it in color and i never get tired of watching it. Benny has amazing comedy timing. It's interesting to see one of Walt's last on-camera performances as it was shot in 1965, about a year before his passing. He brags about Mary Poppins, so he must have been feeling pretty successful. There is a bit at the end with Elke Sommer. Enjoy it!!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2-54gVEfDDY
Love the Mary Poppins skit! :ROFLOL:
 

unkadug

Follower of "Saget"The Cult
This is a REALLY funny skit with Walt and the legendary cheapskate Jack Benny.

I've seen this in black and white but someone posted it in color and i never get tired of watching it. Benny has amazing comedy timing. It's interesting to see one of Walt's last on-camera performances as it was shot in 1965, about a year before his passing. He brags about Mary Poppins, so he must have been feeling pretty successful. There is a bit at the end with Elke Sommer. Enjoy it!!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2-54gVEfDDY

I'd also like 110 free tickets to Disneyland.... Please.
 

lazyboy97o

Well-Known Member
Michael Crawford turned in this great piece of research on what would have been at WDW. Check it out. Would all those high-rises hurt the MK sight lines?

http://progresscityusa.com/2012/01/04/a-model-kingdom-1968/
I think they likely would have and would explain why the Polynesian became low lying buildings.

What perplexes me more is why there were plans for a resort directly east of the Magic Kingdom (the Venetian, later the Persian). I would think the close proximity would give rooms with park views the added "benefit" of seeing backstage.
 
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