Eddie Sotto's take on the current state of the parks

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Eddie Sotto

Premium Member
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A pretty cool site about Imagineer Julie Svendsen.
http://www.juliesvendsen.com/index.html

Cool indeed. I had the privilege of having an office right next door to Julie for several years at WDI (It was Sam McKim's office after he retired). You could not ask for a better and more talented neighbor! Her site tells the story best, she is obviously gifted, but more than that is a truly kind and compassionate person. Her site is only a small slice of all the projects she worked on at WDI. Julie designed some outstanding murals for the "Queen of Hearts Restaurant" at TDL too. There are many Imagineers like Julie out there that do not get much press, but deserve to and are what made WDI projects so special in the past.

She does not mention it on her site, but her father has a great Disney legacy in writing and animation, Julius Svendsen. She has the DNA for sure!

http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0841035/
 

tirian

Well-Known Member
That's really a myth.

I recently went to Disneyland for the first time, ready to be floored by this amazing Pirates ride that supposedly blew ours out of the water (pun intended). It really doesn't.

Yes, the beginning is a little longer, but it's just through more empty caves. Doesn't really add anything new to look at or anything to the story.

Like most things at Disneyland, everything is closer to you and smaller - ours feels a lot more open and "epic".

The only significant difference is the treasure room is in the middle of the ride instead of the end, and while it's neat...I don't think it's any better or worse than what we have.

Finally, while the Bayou where you board is extremely neat and well done, I prefer ours - because I guess I'm missing something, but it seems more in line with the story to go from a Pirate bunker to a Pirate ride, as opposed to an 1800's Louisiana bayou into a Pirate adventure. Again, it's really well done - but thematically, I prefer ours.

I rode it at least ten times in a week (and have ridden ours 100's of times), so this all wasn't just from a quick impression. It's cool, but while it is slightly longer (almost all because of the big empty caves on the way to the actual show scenes), but I really don't think it's this far superior creation as I've been led to believe my whole life. I'd say they are about even.

Be careful; the DL fanboys are going to tar and feather you. ;)

Frankly, I don't find DL to be significantly better than the MK either, but that's a different topic for a different thread. I prefer the wide open spaces of the MK over the cramped (but very detailed!) paths of DL. I confess that I do envy their Columbia.
 

Exprcoofto

New Member
That's really a myth.

I recently went to Disneyland for the first time, ready to be floored by this amazing Pirates ride that supposedly blew ours out of the water (pun intended). It really doesn't.

Yes, the beginning is a little longer, but it's just through more empty caves. Doesn't really add anything new to look at or anything to the story.

Like most things at Disneyland, everything is closer to you and smaller - ours feels a lot more open and "epic".

The only significant difference is the treasure room is in the middle of the ride instead of the end, and while it's neat...I don't think it's any better or worse than what we have.

Finally, while the Bayou where you board is extremely neat and well done, I prefer ours - because I guess I'm missing something, but it seems more in line with the story to go from a Pirate bunker to a Pirate ride, as opposed to an 1800's Louisiana bayou into a Pirate adventure. Again, it's really well done - but thematically, I prefer ours.

I rode it at least ten times in a week (and have ridden ours 100's of times), so this all wasn't just from a quick impression. It's cool, but while it is slightly longer (almost all because of the big empty caves on the way to the actual show scenes), but I really don't think it's this far superior creation as I've been led to believe my whole life. I'd say they are about even.

It's not a myth, it's a fact. We do have a shorter version of Pirates with less scenes than Disneyland's. However, which ever one you prefer is completely opinion. I prefer Disneyland's since its much more impressive with the Bayou scene, two drops in the massively long cave scene, the finale scene (where the drunken pirates are shooting at you, right after you pass by a bunch of burning wood, and "up the waterfall" w/ the lifthill and the little island at the end. WDW's is nice too, especially the queue. But as far as the ride goes, I like Disneyland's better - but that's just my opinion.
 

Eddie Sotto

Premium Member
Be careful; the DL fanboys are going to tar and feather you. ;)

Frankly, I don't find DL to be significantly better than the MK either, but that's a different topic for a different thread. I prefer the wide open spaces of the MK over the cramped (but very detailed!) paths of DL. I confess that I do envy their Columbia.

I think the biggest weakness of the WDW POTC is that it's in Caribbean Plaza. NOS is so rich by comparison. The best thing about the WDW version to me is the queue itself and the plaza sets that up nicely.
 

HMF

Well-Known Member
I think the biggest weakness of the WDW POTC is that it's in Caribbean Plaza. NOS is so rich by comparison. The best thing about the WDW version to me is the queue itself and the plaza sets that up nicely.
Throughout this thread we have talked about your contributions to Disneyland and Disneyland Paris. Did you ever contribute to WDW?
 

Eddie Sotto

Premium Member
WDW work.

Throughout this thread we have talked about your contributions to Disneyland and Disneyland Paris. Did you ever contribute to WDW?

Sure. I worked on lots of "blue sky" conceptual development for WDW, including Videopolis (8Trax) for Pleasure Island and other hotel and location based entertainment type projects. Disney Island, Discovery Island, Pal Mickey, PhotoPass, etc. Enhancement proposals for EPCOT included World Showcase like the Swiss Pavilion, or being the creative force behind "Mission:Space" until I quit in 1999. Worked on integrating Fedex into Space Mountain as well. Lots of DLP Main Street concepts (i.e. Casey's Corner) found their way into WDW over time.

My favorite contribution to WDW is being the conductor's voice on the Steam Train station announcements. "Last Caaaaaal Boaaaaaaaard!"
 

Eddie Sotto

Premium Member
How far in development was Mission Space before you left and the project went to Sue Bryan and Bob Zalk?

Pretty far. I left in Sept of 1999. We had just decided to focus on the centrifuge ride system idea (beyond the track based solutions), build a new building, and the story/concept had moved beyond the original moon trip treatments into Tom Fitzgerald's group where it was more of thrill based show. The post show (if any, things were really tight) and the sponsorship aspects were still up for grabs and the final ride experience story were still being decided. I was responsible for the idea of putting guests in an interactive capsule and sold the show based on that.
 

_Scar

Active Member
Was it always supposed to replace Horizons or was the idea thought up and used when time came to end the pavillion?
 

Mr. Morrow

New Member
It depends on how you view "wasted" as ideas can return from the dead at any time. The Pirate (Lafitte's) Island stuff that I worked on was sitting in a drawer someplace, but came back later because of the movies, but it did come back evolved, so the process of churning through ideas only begets more ideas and they build on what has been presented, even if it was not built. There is a value there. It's good that not all ideas get built, as they get developed and for one reason or another, lose their appeal in the process and reveal their flaws. FWIW, Western River is one of those projects (Don;t shoot me but I don't like it). If the money you used to explore the idea taught you it would be so so, then it's far cheaper than building it and finding out.

I think the percentage of money spent on "blue sky" concepts is only a fraction of the budget of WDI. Usually there are "needs" being filled by projects and requests from other groups.

Thanks you are right I guess at WDI nothing is ever truly wasted. Like the Alien shooting gallery in DL that never happened that became Buzz SRS.
 

HMF

Well-Known Member
Pretty far. I left in Sept of 1999. We had just decided to focus on the centrifuge ride system idea (beyond the track based solutions), build a new building, and the story/concept had moved beyond the original moon trip treatments into Tom Fitzgerald's group where it was more of thrill based show. The post show (if any, things were really tight) and the sponsorship aspects were still up for grabs and the final ride experience story were still being decided. I was responsible for the idea of putting guests in an interactive capsule and sold the show based on that.
In a way I wished you had seen the project to completion so that a "Good" Attraction might have been a "Great" Attraction.
 

Eddie Sotto

Premium Member
Was it always supposed to replace Horizons or was the idea thought up and used when time came to end the pavillion?

More the latter. There had been many ideas for Space Pavilions over the years but most collapsed under their own scope or lack of a sponsor. Horizons had lost it's audience and GE was looking to leave the show as well. So they wanted a thrill type ride to replace it. the ride flew for a very low budget initially, but it never was going to get the scope of a pavilion like the others.
 

mp2bill

Well-Known Member
That's really a myth.

I recently went to Disneyland for the first time, ready to be floored by this amazing Pirates ride that supposedly blew ours out of the water (pun intended). It really doesn't.

Yes, the beginning is a little longer, but it's just through more empty caves. Doesn't really add anything new to look at or anything to the story.

Like most things at Disneyland, everything is closer to you and smaller - ours feels a lot more open and "epic".

The only significant difference is the treasure room is in the middle of the ride instead of the end, and while it's neat...I don't think it's any better or worse than what we have.

Finally, while the Bayou where you board is extremely neat and well done, I prefer ours - because I guess I'm missing something, but it seems more in line with the story to go from a Pirate bunker to a Pirate ride, as opposed to an 1800's Louisiana bayou into a Pirate adventure. Again, it's really well done - but thematically, I prefer ours.

I rode it at least ten times in a week (and have ridden ours 100's of times), so this all wasn't just from a quick impression. It's cool, but while it is slightly longer (almost all because of the big empty caves on the way to the actual show scenes), but I really don't think it's this far superior creation as I've been led to believe my whole life. I'd say they are about even.

Wait, the DL version starts in a Louisiana bayou? How does that make sense?
 

Eddie Sotto

Premium Member
Wait, the DL version starts in a Louisiana bayou? How does that make sense?

Because at DL the Ride is set in "New Orleans Square" (which historically is in Louisiana and on the edge of the Bayou country), so it's logical to leave the Bayou and set out for the pirate action. In history, Jean Lafitte the Pirate had his hideout on an island in the Bayou just across from NO. WDW is set in the Caribbean Plaza so you depart from an old Spanish fortress typical of what you'd find in Nassau, Puerto Rico or any number of coastal colonial batteries. This "fort" concept was explored in the original concept art done by Herb Ryman and others and later realized in the design of DLP POTC.

I'm not sure one is right or wrong. better or worse, it's just different and have their allure. I think the beef people have had with WDW vs DL is the lack of thrill brought by the falls and the ending falling a bit flat. But it depends what you are brought up with. I can see both sides as neither ride is perfect in my opinion. I prefer DL, but that's just me.
 

Mr. Morrow

New Member
Because at DL the Ride is set in "New Orleans Square" (which historically is in Louisiana and on the edge of the Bayou country), so it's logical to leave the Bayou and set out for the pirate action. In history, Jean Lafitte the Pirate had his hideout on an island in the Bayou just across from NO. WDW is set in the Caribbean Plaza so you depart from an old Spanish fortress typical of what you'd find in Nassau, Puerto Rico or any number of coastal colonial batteries. This "fort" concept was explored in the original concept art done by Herb Ryman and others and later realized in the design of DLP POTC.

I'm not sure one is right or wrong. better or worse, it's just different and have their allure. I think the beef people have had with WDW vs DL is the lack of thrill brought by the falls and the ending falling a bit flat. But it depends what you are brought up with. I can see both sides as neither ride is perfect in my opinion. I prefer DL, but that's just me.

I like the version in DLP best imo I think WDI got it perfect here having the skeleton scenes at the end.
 

Eddie Sotto

Premium Member
I like the version in DLP best imo I think WDI got it perfect here having the skeleton scenes at the end.

I thought I would like the DLP better too because I liked the "logic" of it, but when I finally rode it, those scenes at the end after all the action felt anti climatic, as you end on something static instead of the skeletons building a mystique that climaxes in the reveal of the pirate ship and the fort. Just an opinion and i see why you'd prefer DLP.
 

Mr. Morrow

New Member
I thought I would like the DLP better too because I liked the "logic" of it, but when I finally rode it, those scenes at the end after all the action felt anti climatic, as you end on something static instead of the skeletons building a mystique that climaxes in the reveal of the pirate ship and the fort. Just an opinion and i see why you'd prefer DLP.

I never thought of it that way.
 

misterID

Well-Known Member
There had been many ideas for Space Pavilions over the years but most collapsed under their own scope or lack of a sponsor. Horizons had lost it's audience and GE was looking to leave the show as well. So they wanted a thrill type ride to replace it.

*grabs pitchfork* :fork:





The one thing I don't get when they changed up your concept of M:S, I remember you saying you wanted it more like 2001, having a "deeper" experience, why they had to lose that approach to make it more of a thrill ride. Why couldn't they incorporate both?

And your idea with the astronaut outside the craft shining his flashlight inside the cabin is fantastic.
 
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