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Oh no, say it ain't so, Joe..

TrainChasers

Well-Known Member
Disneyland is not nor has ever been a mess.
Galaxies Edge and Tomorrowland both have major issues. I think Tomorrowland looks worse than dino-land right now.

But while we are talking about over rated imagineers, I’m unimpressed with anything Trowbridge has done at Disney and yet he designed my single favorite theme park attraction ever... Spider-Man. So partly it’s what we are all drawn to, and also the projects designers are given. I can’t stand the guardians tower for example but consider myself a pretty big Joe Rohde fan.
 

Rteetz

Premium Member
I can't speak for the other poster, but IMO;

Joe started a trend in WDI that obsessed over detail and forgot the fundamentals about good park design. His obsession with authenticity fails to understand adaptation or the appeal of the Disney parks as romanticized realities. I think a perfect example was when AK opened, and among other things, people couldn't find their way back to the parking lot. He had a vision for the park that did not really suit the needs of guests or add anything more to the "zoo with rides" concept that hadn't been done before besides making it a little more polished in its presentation.

AK, his signature work, was built in the same era of WDI that saw an interest in industrialized environments (factories, studios etc) and technology for the sake of technology (Test Track 1.0 being the ultimate example). Trying to show off technical abilities and how cool the "real world" was instead of presenting something better. The park wants to take you to "exotic" places, but in too literal a sense. It comes across as imitation and doesn't really add anything more besides copyrighted Disney IP (not always Joe's fault). Avatar is the only land that really builds on an concept and takes it further, wisely distancing itself from the narrative of the original movie.

To me, there's a thru line that connects Main Street, New Orleans Square, World Showcase, Mediterranean Harbor etc and its a kind of romanticism. Animal Kingdom Lodge has that, but not the park itself. It's a shame.

I also increasingly appreciate how someone like Claude Coats could use threadbare resources and make something memorable, instead of WDI spending half a billion for something that still feels half baked. Everyone at WDI is guilty of this, but Joe's approach to and advocating of research trips won't teach him or others how to change that.
And I am completely on the other side. AK is my favorite park and Joe's work is really what has given me new found love of Disney parks.
 

1HAPPYGHOSTHOST

Well-Known Member
Galaxies Edge and Tomorrowland both have major issues. I think Tomorrowland looks worse than dino-land right now.

But while we are talking about over rated imagineers, I’m unimpressed with anything Trowbridge has done at Disney and yet he designed my single favorite theme park attraction ever... Spider-Man. So partly it’s what we are all drawn to, and also the projects designers are given. I can’t stand the guardians tower for example but consider myself a pretty big Joe Rohde fan.
Galaxies Edge and Tomorrowland both have major issues. I think Tomorrowland looks worse than dino-land right now.

But while we are talking about over rated imagineers, I’m unimpressed with anything Trowbridge has done at Disney and yet he designed my single favorite theme park attraction ever... Spider-Man. So partly it’s what we are all drawn to, and also the projects designers are given. I can’t stand the guardians tower for example but consider myself a pretty big Joe Rohde fan.
Oh those lands have issues but no true Disneyland fan considers Galaxy's Edge part of Disneyland proper. Tomorrowland still has some great attractions. Disneyland as a whole is not nor has ever been a mess. some areas maybe untidy, sure. but Walt's Original Magic Kingdom is not a mess.
 

TrainChasers

Well-Known Member
”sacred cow” implies that Disneyland is sacred and must not be criticized since it was Walt’s park.

Of course Walt thought it was fine to have a babes in toyland movie set on display at the Main Street opera house, giant Pepsi logo on the curtain of the Saloon, and an exhibit advertising ladies underwear on Main Street.

But I’m really drifting off topic here... question, has Joe worked on anything inside the Disneyland Park? Surely he has at some point right?
 

1HAPPYGHOSTHOST

Well-Known Member
Of course Walt thought it was fine to have a babes in toyland movie set on display at the Main Street opera house, giant Pepsi logo on the curtain of the Saloon, and an exhibit advertising ladies underwear on Main Street.
Everything is relative to its time period. when Dinseyland opened there was nothing wrong with having a underwear shop on main street. you can't look at the past with the glasses of today
 

TrainChasers

Well-Known Member
Is that what he was trying to say?? lol why didn't he just say that instead of trying to sound pompus and snooty? lol. some people man. And Disneyland is not beyond criticism don't get me wrong. I am no Disneyland homer but referring to it as "a mess" is just not accurate on any level.
I’m guessing that’s what he meant. But yeah, I’m not sure what the issue was.

I feel like DAK is the only park that feels like it has 1 vision, and that’s because Joe has been there from the beginning. That’s what I was getting at.

Disneyland is an amazing park. It does not have the feel of a complete design. The Tomorrowland redo did more harm then good and now we have a Star Wars shopping mall and a preview movie theatre in Tomorrowland along with a Mickey moose dance party. All wrapped up in a rusting peoplemover now. What the actual?

Then drop in Star Wars that wasn’t designed at the same scale or design of the park and the whole thing feels off. I’m talking total design of course. Main Street, New Orleans, Fantasyland all feel practically perfect in every way.
 

TrainChasers

Well-Known Member
Not to get too far off topic but I disagree with this point. Disneyland was carefully planned out before it was built then there were the well known expansions. Disneyland is as complete as they come. so I disagree with that.
I’m pretty sure we agree. I’m mostly talking about how Tomorrowland looks now, and how Galaxies Edge doesn’t fit the rest of the park.
 

hopemax

Well-Known Member
I love Joe, but I've always thought he needed a partner. Someone to be a little more practical, and like someone else said some operational fundamentals. For example, the weaving in Pandora. The banshees are fabulous, some of the stuff in the store and restaurant to bring everything together. But if there was 25% less weaving would guests notice? With 25% less, could they have added some other *thing* to represent the Navi culture? IMO, it's all a little too one note for what we presume is a diverse and rich civilization.
 

asianway

Well-Known Member
”sacred cow” implies that Disneyland is sacred and must not be criticized since it was Walt’s park.

Of course Walt thought it was fine to have a babes in toyland movie set on display at the Main Street opera house, giant Pepsi logo on the curtain of the Saloon, and an exhibit advertising ladies underwear on Main Street.

But I’m really drifting off topic here... question, has Joe worked on anything inside the Disneyland Park? Surely he has at some point right?
Captain Eo
 

lazyboy97o

Well-Known Member
I can't speak for the other poster, but IMO;

Joe started a trend in WDI that obsessed over detail and forgot the fundamentals about good park design. His obsession with authenticity fails to understand adaptation or the appeal of the Disney parks as romanticized realities. I think a perfect example was when AK opened, and among other things, people couldn't find their way back to the parking lot. He had a vision for the park that did not really suit the needs of guests or add anything more to the "zoo with rides" concept that hadn't been done before besides making it a little more polished in its presentation.

AK, his signature work, was built in the same era of WDI that saw an interest in industrialized environments (factories, studios etc) and technology for the sake of technology (Test Track 1.0 being the ultimate example). Trying to show off technical abilities and how cool the "real world" was instead of presenting something better. The park wants to take you to "exotic" places, but in too literal a sense. It comes across as imitation and doesn't really add anything more besides copyrighted Disney IP (not always Joe's fault). Avatar is the only land that really builds on an concept and takes it further, wisely distancing itself from the narrative of the original movie.

To me, there's a thru line that connects Main Street, New Orleans Square, World Showcase, Mediterranean Harbor etc and its a kind of romanticism. Animal Kingdom Lodge has that, but not the park itself. It's a shame.

I also increasingly appreciate how someone like Claude Coats could use threadbare resources and make something memorable, instead of WDI spending half a billion for something that still feels half baked. Everyone at WDI is guilty of this, but Joe's approach to and advocating of research trips won't teach him or others how to change that.
Other parks are praised when they create areas for guests to explore a d Disney’s Animal Kingdom sought to expand on that idea. While it does lack the organizational principles of the landmark, node and path, the “Image of [Theme Park]“ it also came as Disney was starting to condition and reward the commando style of visitation.

While Disney’s Animal Kingdom is a celebration of nature, it does present an ideal, but one that is notably less anthropocentric. The gritty realism for which the park is known is not a constant characteristic. It exists in specific places to tell that story of more interplay between man and nature, namely Africa, Asia and Pandora. Discovery Island and Conservation Station are not gritty and worn. Even the Dino Institute is not worn in its “public” areas.

I’ll even defend research trips. Experiencing a space is different than just looking at pictures of it. Even today, non-Western design can be severely under documented and/or accessible.
 

Animaniac93-98

Well-Known Member
Beautifully said. Kali River Rapids is Exhibit A of his narcissism. A queue filled with crap from his research trips and a ride that is boring and one of the weakest rapid rides you’ll ever experience.

For a park with hardly any rides, I rarely go on it. Speaks volumes on his ability to understand what makes an enduring attraction.

Disney (top level, not just Joe) is in part to blame for this.

AK has had multiple attractions that suffer from being under developed (Discovery River Boats being the most infamous) or obviously slapped together to increase capacity (Tarzan Rocks).

AK had the potential to be as good as DisneySea or the Disneyland Paris of the 90s, but suffered from the same problems as DCA and WDSP. The stronger design compared to those helped to mask the similar flaws.
 

lazyboy97o

Well-Known Member
Disney (top level, not just Joe) is in part to blame for this.

AK has had multiple attractions that suffer from being under developed (Discovery River Boats being the most infamous) or obviously slapped together to increase capacity (Tarzan Rocks).

AK had the potential to be as good as DisneySea or the Disneyland Paris of the 90s, but suffered from the same problems as DCA and WDSP. The stronger design compared to those helped to mask the similar flaws.
I would say that this speaks to Joe’s ability. Disney’s Animal Kingdom faced those same problems, including reductions in funding after the fact, and was able to still present a clear vision that remains strong to this day, that has not required billions of dollars in fixes.
 

TrainChasers

Well-Known Member
AK has had multiple attractions that suffer from being under developed (Discovery River Boats being the most infamous)
Wildlife express is probably my most hated Disney attraction.

I would say that this speaks to Joe’s ability. Disney’s Animal Kingdom faced those same problems, including reductions in funding after the fact, and was able to still present a clear vision that remains strong to this day, that has not required billions of dollars in fixes.

Agreed 100%.
 

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