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Is Disney too bloated?

Professortango1

Well-Known Member
Are you talking about Big Foot Rapids at Knotts?
What is the story in the queue? I see one rock work of an indian as you get on the ride. The rest of the ride can be seen from the trail next to Pony Express. The back side shows backstage buildings. They use to have to water falls on so at least you can get wet. It ends going through a metal tube much like the tunnel Disneyland's train goes through as it arrives at Toon Town Station. There is no finale. No Big Foot AA. No animals. Nothing. The river is just a cement trench loop without any left turns and very few plants.


That video shows the sad current state, but up until Pony Express was built, it was a lot better. The queue features broken cages, large footprints, and other such set/props to give us the feeling we're going out to hunt Bigfoot. The ride uses the classic gags like gysers and waterfalls because they work. People naturally laugh and perk up when they see the waterfall coming and they wonder who's going to get it. This is done incredibly well throughout Popeye's and Bluto's Shipwreck Barges in Universal Orlando. The ride then ends with going into a fog filled cavern where you can hear Bigfoot roaring out inches from your raft.

It has a story (hunting Bigfoot), gags, and a finale ominous finale on a Knott's budget. Disney spent millions more to have no story, no real gags other than the gyser at the end, and no finale. Even with the bigger budget, they don't have animatronics or animals or anything special about the experience. It's just a very pretty version of the standard raft ride rather than being a unique experience.
 

Phroobar

Well-Known Member
That video shows the sad current state, but up until Pony Express was built, it was a lot better. The queue features broken cages, large footprints, and other such set/props to give us the feeling we're going out to hunt Bigfoot. The ride uses the classic gags like gysers and waterfalls because they work. People naturally laugh and perk up when they see the waterfall coming and they wonder who's going to get it. This is done incredibly well throughout Popeye's and Bluto's Shipwreck Barges in Universal Orlando. The ride then ends with going into a fog filled cavern where you can hear Bigfoot roaring out inches from your raft.

It has a story (hunting Bigfoot), gags, and a finale ominous finale on a Knott's budget. Disney spent millions more to have no story, no real gags other than the gyser at the end, and no finale. Even with the bigger budget, they don't have animatronics or animals or anything special about the experience. It's just a very pretty version of the standard raft ride rather than being a unique experience.

I think the ride is a little less than you remember. Do you have pictures of this additional theming? I know the two waterfalls use to work but a sound effect in an unthemed tunnel doesn't compare to an actual cave with rock work like GRR has. BFR has no drops and no free lockers while GRR has two drops (one spinning) and lots of theming. BFR has less theming then Magic Mountain's Roaring Rapids ride. If there was story, it hasn't been there in over ten years.
 

Professortango1

Well-Known Member
I think the ride is a little less than you remember. Do you have pictures of this additional theming? I know the two waterfalls use to work but a sound effect in an unthemed tunnel doesn't compare to an actual cave with rock work like GRR has. BFR has no drops and no free lockers while GRR has two drops (one spinning) and lots of theming. BFR has less theming then Magic Mountain's Roaring Rapids ride. If there was story, it hasn't been there in over ten years.

Yes, the story has been paved over for the most part since Pony Express came in awhile ago. I believe there is still one footprint that remains in the queue. I wasn't talking about what the ride has become, but what both attractions were when opened after spending money in development. One attraction had a fantastical story represented with set pieces, props, and effects; the other was a very basic raft ride just done on a large budget. As a kid, floating into that dark and fog-filled tunnel, my mind was able to show me the monstrous creature making those roars. It wasn't complex and visual, but it was a great low-budget finale with a fog-filled cave and speakers. GRR is much nicer, but there's nothing there. It's like Coke Zero. It tastes kind of like Disney, but there's zero substance. It's like riding through pirates with just the sets. No AA's, no effects, just some pretty sets of a pirate village. It's still high quality, but lacking anything to get personally invested in. At that point it's just a standard flume attraction with pretty scenic design. GRR is a standard rapid attraction with pretty scenic design whereas I find the original Bigfoot Rapids to be just as successful. It lacked the Disney details, but it made up for it with storytelling and gags. Popeye and Bluto's at Universal I'm sure cost a fraction of what Kali River Rapids cost, yet the plastic figure laden raft ride is honestly the best rafting attraction I've experienced while Kali is the weakest. Ride design matters more than themeing. A bland set can be plussed, a mediocre ride design is set in stone. Knott's could put money into adding some nice themeing and show pieces. Disney can't really add a finale or gag or even AA's as they left no room for any of that. Instead, it's a build up to a short drop without any stakes to it. Physical thrill without any emotional context, very un-Disney IMO.
 

TP2000

Well-Known Member
Are you talking about Big Foot Rapids at Knotts?
What is the story in the queue? I see one rock work of an indian as you get on the ride. The rest of the ride can be seen from the trail next to Pony Express. The back side shows backstage buildings. They use to have to water falls on so at least you can get wet. It ends going through a metal tube much like the tunnel Disneyland's train goes through as it arrives at Toon Town Station. There is no finale. No Big Foot AA. No animals. Nothing. The river is just a cement trench loop without any left turns and very few plants.


Thank you for posting that! I have been going to Knott's since the 1970's, and Bigfoot Rapids has always been the same. It's a lightly themed raft ride through cement troughs and past industrial warehouses, with some really sparse landscaping along the way. The big finale' through the metal tunnel is the one "show scene" that sticks out.

If @Professortango1 remembers some props in the queue and a speaker with roaring Bigfoot growls, then I'm sure that must have been there. The route of the raft trough and the basic ride didn't change when they added Pony Express nearby a decade ago.

But to be honest when there was mention of Bigfoot Rapids being superior to Grizzly River Run, I was baffled. Bigfoot Rapids is the same as it's been since the 1980's, and typical of Knott's attempts at very light themeing and an obviously underfunded landscape department.

As a reminder, here is Grizzly River Run. Not some of Disney's best work obviously, but I think we can all agree it is dramatically different than Bigfoot Rapids.
 

Professortango1

Well-Known Member
Thank you for posting that! I have been going to Knott's since the 1970's, and Bigfoot Rapids has always been the same. It's a lightly themed raft ride through cement troughs and past industrial warehouses, with some really sparse landscaping along the way. The big finale' through the metal tunnel is the one "show scene" that sticks out.

If @Professortango1 remembers some props in the queue and a speaker with roaring Bigfoot growls, then I'm sure that must have been there. The route of the raft trough and the basic ride didn't change when they added Pony Express nearby a decade ago.

But to be honest when there was mention of Bigfoot Rapids being superior to Grizzly River Run, I was baffled. Bigfoot Rapids is the same as it's been since the 1980's, and typical of Knott's attempts at very light themeing and an obviously underfunded landscape department.

As a reminder, here is Grizzly River Run. Not some of Disney's best work obviously, but I think we can all agree it is dramatically different than Bigfoot Rapids.

I said more enjoyable, not better quality. When Bigfoot Rapids opened in 1988, it was the longest rafting ride in the western hemisphere. Disney one-uped that with their length and drops. Okay, both attractions pushed the envelope, but Disney's is more recent so obviously the envelope is pushed further. Disney's rapids are tamer and result in drier guests, so Bigfoot wins on that front. Themeing obviously goes to Disney. Story goes to Knotts since is has one and Disney doesn't. My point isn't that one is so much better than the other, just that Disney spent so much more money and time for an attraction that is just the prettier version of the other.

If Bigfoot's current homogenized state throws you off, compare Popeye and Bluto's at Islands of Adventure. GRR is far more "real," but the IOA attraction is tons of fun with gags around every corner and a great layout and flume.

This isn't meant to be "other attractions are better" but showing how much more Disney spent for similar attractions that don't really shine much brighter due to poor design choices.
 

Phroobar

Well-Known Member
Personally, I find BFR tame and very rarely do I get wet. Popeye use to be a decent cartoon raft ride but Sea World's Shipwreck Rapids is far superior to either except GRR.
 

Professortango1

Well-Known Member
Personally, I find BFR tame and very rarely do I get wet. Popeye use to be a decent cartoon raft ride but Sea World's Shipwreck Rapids is far superior to either except GRR.

Haven't been to Sea World in years, but I have heard good things about Shipwreck. The only raft ride I think GRR is superior to is Kali River Rapids. I won't go on that again as it isn't worth the walk through the empty queue even. GRR is a little better with the views, but still not Disney quality. Roaring Rapids in Shanghai looks best, but still suffers from Disney's flawed thinking that a drop equals a finale, even when there's no context to it.

Disney reinvented the flume ride with Pirates and Small World. They reinvented the log ride with Splash. They seem to have spent millions replicating and polishing amusement park rides with their Rapid attractions.
 

TP2000

Well-Known Member
Kali Rapids at DAK is hot garbage. Truly awful in a park that can't afford awful attractions, and yet manages to have several.

Thank you. That's the real story here. Kali River Rapids is a total embarrassment. In a theme park that only has like six rides.

Grizzly River Run at DCA isn't Walt Disney's Pirates of the Caribbean, but it's radically better and longer than Kali, and it's in a theme park that has twenty five rides instead of six. I have no idea how WDW even survives with their parks that have a half dozen rides of noticeably inferior quality.
 

Phroobar

Well-Known Member
I think the east coast doesn't know what Disneyland has to offer. If they did, the place would be more bombarded with people than it already is. Heck, a lot of them think the Magic Kingdom IS Disneyland.
 

Kramerica

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
I think the east coast doesn't know what Disneyland has to offer. If they did, the place would be more bombarded with people than it already is. Heck, a lot of them think the Magic Kingdom IS Disneyland.

Not to get too far off into the weeds here. But as someone who used to exclusively go to only Disneyworld, but now seeing what Disneyland Anaheim is like, I haven't been back to Disneyworld. The quality of what we have here on the west coast is vastly superior to what Disneyworld has to offer. And the fact that Disneyland has more to do in it's two parks than Disneyworld has to do in it's four. That says something.

That being said, Kali doesn't bother me too much. The theming is nice atleast. It looks like Knott's version is just barren of any type of theming at all.
 

TP2000

Well-Known Member
I think the east coast doesn't know what Disneyland has to offer. If they did, the place would be more bombarded with people than it already is. Heck, a lot of them think the Magic Kingdom IS Disneyland.

Last time I went to WDW in '14 (was it '13?) I was only there for two days, after a family visit in New England. I stayed at the Polynesian, and on day two I parked in the Magic Kingdom parking lot and rode the ferry to the park. The CM on the back of the parking lot tram was going on and on and on about how "the entire Disneyland Resort in Cali can fit in the Magic Kingdom's parking lot, all of it!" and how "Walt Disney dreamed of fixing all the mistakes he made in Disneyland and it was his proudest achievement when he opened Walt Disney World in 1971".

They really equate size with quality out there. I have no clue what the acreage of the parking lot compared to the Anaheim property is, but the fact that there are just as many rides and actually more daily entertainment offerings in the two Anaheim parks than in all four WDW parks combined sums it up. But then us Californians already know that. :cool:

And yes, he actually called it "Cali", much like the raft ride called Kali, in that way that only buffoons who have never actually been to California would call it. Like clueless tourists in San Francisco who say "Frisco" and immediately get the worst table in the restaurant.

After the tram parked I walked back a couple cars to get a look at him. He was 28 or 30 (way older than "college age"), with a bronze anniversary pin of some years on his name badge and a uniform past its useful life, his tasks done he was staring at the middle distance with a glazed look. Probably day dreaming of how Walt Disney cut the ribbon on the Magic Kingdom in 1971, or maybe just trying to remember what his girlfriend wanted him to pick up at WalMart on the way home.

They really have a problem at WDW with the CM's who run the transportation system (bus drivers, tram conductors, etc.) going way, way, WAY off script and just making stuff up about Fifth Theme Parks and Walt opening the parks, etc. It happens so frequently, and with such spectacularly bad results, that I honestly don't think the WDW managers even care. Heck, the manager may have given him that hilarious script to read as we circled the parking lot. :rolleyes:
 
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Deleted member 107043

I know a lot of you disliked the "One Disney" initiative, but I believe one of the operational challenges the program sought to rectify were inquities that often results in unfair comparisons pitting one resort against the other in the minds of Disney's customers. Stats and trivia are perfectly fine as part of spiel on a boring parking lot tram, but off-script nonsense from cast members only serves to drive petty rivalries among fans. Leave that mess backstage.
 

raven24

Well-Known Member
I can't stand it when people call California, "Cali." Like nails on a chalkboard. It's a dead giveaway for those who aren't from California.

The poor CM didn't know Walt Disney had been dead for FIVE YEARS by the time MK opened. What does the team teach new CMs in traditions in Florida? That CM had the history all wrong.
 

Kramerica

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
They really equate size with quality out there.

This.

In every measurable category that I can think of, except for size, Disneyland Anaheim is superior. And again, this is coming from a Disneyworld native.

But to get semi back on topic. I think the rapids ride is a good guide of efficiency as far as theme parks go. I'm having a hard time finding a build cost of any of them though. Can anyone find that info?
 

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