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News Refurbishment coming soon to Disney's Polynesian Village Resort - Moana details to be included

FerretAfros

Well-Known Member
Hoooooo! Let’s spend a ridiculous amount of money on sponsorships and make sure no one is aware that we’re doing it! Yeah!

And why did you turn this a discussion about Epcot? While your point is easily disproved - I already posted Marty Sklar’s comments that Horizons was all about selling GE - I’m talking about about Disney’s entire history as a theme park corporate shill in blatant and subtle ways. The whole point is that people are complaining about IP because it’s ruining the purity of the parks or the resorts or whatever. And I’m saying that Disney has never, ever been pure, but no one complains about that. Elsa is ruining World Showcase and Moana is ruining the Polynesuan but Monsanto’s commercial in Disneyland was adorable! It’s ridiculous.

(I still can’t get over that you think that the commercialization wasn’t absolutely blatant in Future World, though. Gobsmacking. World of Motion had an actual *Eastern Airlines reservation desk* as riders got off. Must’ve been a coincidence! Can’t imagine how they’d have gotten the notion to book a flight on Eastern Airlines!)

Anyway, that’s my perspective, YMMV, and I’m not gonna derail this thread any further. Have a great one.
The corporate sponsorships that EPCOT Center opened with were a feature, not a flaw. While it's easy to think of The Walt Disney Company as the modern multimedia conglomerate, in 1982 Walt Disney Productions was a much smaller company with a failing animation studio, a live action studio that hadn't had a big hit in over a decade, and two theme parks. Including major sponsors not only allowed the park to have a bigger scale and scope than Disney could have done alone, but it also lent a level of gravitas and legitimacy to the experience beyond Disney's solo abilities.

The Future World sponsors were the titans of the American Free Enterprise System, at a time when they were at the top of their game. This was an era was GM was "too big to fail," just before international manufacturers would provide serious competition in the middle-class market. SSE was sponsored by Bell Systems at its peak, just before Ma Bell was broken up. Exxon had the energy crisis in its rear-view mirror, and it would be years more until the Exxon Valdez oil spill would bring an immediate negative connotation to the company's name. In short, yes it was advertising, but these sponsors all brought a level of respect that simply doesn't exist for mega-corporations in 2021.

Additionally, sponsorships and cross-promotions were much more widespread during that era. For example, Mutual of Omaha is still tightly associated with its wildlife television show, years after it went off the air. This type of "soft power" (as modern audiences may call it) has evolved over the years, but was done in ways that were mutually beneficial to both parties, which is certainly the case with Future World's sponsors. Similarly, the World Showcase sponsors added (and continue to add) a level of authenticity that Disney would be unable to achieve on their own, while reaching customers who might not otherwise have access to their products.

A ride about living under the ocean and in outer space runs a very real risk as coming off as a silly fantasy, but with the endorsement of GE it suddenly has an air of credibility. GE on its own may seem like a faceless corporation, but showcasing their vision for the future helps create positive affiliations and build anticipation for products that won't be available for many years. There are tangible benefits for both parties.

On the flip side, so many recent character additions only serve as a distraction. Does having the Up characters in the DAK bird show add anything to the experience? Does having a Mary Poppins Returns-inspired color palette enhance Citricos? In nearly every application, the characters are either so heavy-handed that they serve as a distraction, or they're so subtle that they add nothing of value yet still quietly undermine the placemaking. Instead of creating a mutually beneficial relationship where the characters and the park both benefit from being associated with each other, as EPCOT's sponsors did, they are often included to the detriment of the overall experience simply due to lazy design.

And although in many ways today's Disney has the ability and resources to tackle more serious subject matter on their own, their increasing reliance on cartoon characters in every new experience only reinforces the notion that their products are just a silly fantasy for kids. Sure, Disney alone could come up with a more whimsical vision of what the future might hold, but it wouldn't have the authority behind it to say that it could actually become reality, which ultimately makes it less interesting. It's that basis in reality that originally made EPCOT so engaging and stick with people long after they left, unlike typical amusement parks where the thrills come easy and are easily forgotten.

As much as the Future World architecture or synthesizer music, the park's sponsorship model is a reflection of the era in which it was created, and would have been done very differently if it were built from scratch today. But it also doesn't mean that the sponsors were a detriment to the park; on the contrary, they were what allowed it to become a household name so quickly.
 

Ponderer

Well-Known Member
On the flip side, so many recent character additions only serve as a distraction. Does having the Up characters in the DAK bird show add anything to the experience? Does having a Mary Poppins Returns-inspired color palette enhance Citricos? In nearly every application, the characters are either so heavy-handed that they serve as a distraction, or they're so subtle that they add nothing of value yet still quietly undermine the placemaking. Instead of creating a mutually beneficial relationship where the characters and the park both benefit from being associated with each other, as EPCOT's sponsors did, they are often included to the detriment of the overall experience simply due to lazy design.

And although in many ways today's Disney has the ability and resources to tackle more serious subject matter on their own, their increasing reliance on cartoon characters in every new experience only reinforces the notion that their products are just a silly fantasy for kids. Sure, Disney alone could come up with a more whimsical vision of what the future might hold, but it wouldn't have the authority behind it to say that it could actually become reality, which ultimately makes it less interesting. It's that basis in reality that originally made EPCOT so engaging and stick with people long after they left, unlike typical amusement parks where the thrills come easy and are easily forgotten.

As much as the Future World architecture or synthesizer music, the park's sponsorship model is a reflection of the era in which it was created, and would have been done very differently if it were built from scratch today. But it also doesn't mean that the sponsors were a detriment to the park; on the contrary, they were what allowed it to become a household name so quickly.

“I have a perfectly good watch! Why do I need a watch with Mickey Mouse on it? What value does that add? Why can’t I simply have a classic watch? Why do they have to slap IP on it? It’s only going to make it appeal to kids and it just cheapens the whole watch experience for me.”

I’ll also say this, because I think this whole perspective is wildly condescending. My wife is fine with the Disney parks, but she’s not a big theme park person. You know what she does like? Disney and Pixar films. When they add characters, it *enhances her pleasure.* Do you know how judgmental it sounds when you call her little thrill of recognition “distracting?” Bird shows? She’s seen good bird shows before. But a little Disney character in there? That makes it more satisfying to her, and I resent anyone who dares to say her enjoyment of it isn’t valid or beneath the dignity of the parks. I showed her the Citricos redesign and her first reaction was, oh, that’s pretty nice, kinda looks like some restaurants I’ve seen. I showed her some of the Mary Poppins details and her response was, “Oh, now that’s clever.” A lot of people around here seem to think they’re the arbiter of theme park purity, and I keep coming back to that over and over and over again. A lot of people, not just children, LIKE IT BETTER THIS WAY. And you may disagree, but you do not get to tell them they’re wrong.

I’m not saying everything with IP works - I secretly applauded the “accidental” fire that took down Eisner’s Tiki Room update. Yes, you can go too far. But I don’t give a hot damn about it when Walt was literally criticized in his day for merchandising everything to an inch of his life. NOW you’re going to start caring about IP? He sure didn’t.
 

UNCgolf

Well-Known Member
“I have a perfectly good watch! Why do I need a watch with Mickey Mouse on it? What value does that add? Why can’t I simply have a classic watch? Why do they have to slap IP on it? It’s only going to make it appeal to kids and it just cheapens the whole watch experience for me.”

I’ll also say this, because I think this whole perspective is wildly condescending. My wife is fine with the Disney parks, but she’s not a big theme park person. You know what she does like? Disney and Pixar films. When they add characters, it *enhances her pleasure.* Do you know how judgmental it sounds when you call her little thrill of recognition “distracting?” Bird shows? She’s seen good bird shows before. But a little Disney character in there? That makes it more satisfying to her, and I resent anyone who dares to say her enjoyment of it isn’t valid or beneath the dignity of the parks. I showed her the Citricos redesign and her first reaction was, oh, that’s pretty nice, kinda looks like some restaurants I’ve seen. I showed her some of the Mary Poppins details and her response was, “Oh, now that’s clever.” A lot of people around here seem to think they’re the arbiter of theme park purity, and I keep coming back to that over and over and over again. A lot of people, not just children, LIKE IT BETTER THIS WAY. And you may disagree, but you do not get to tell them they’re wrong.

I’m not saying everything with IP works - I secretly applauded the “accidental” fire that took down Eisner’s Tiki Room update. Yes, you can go too far. But I don’t give a hot damn about it when Walt was literally criticized in his day for merchandising everything to an inch of his life. NOW you’re going to start caring about IP? He sure didn’t.

This is the part of your argument I don't get. You're talking about purity and what Walt did -- while I'm sure some people make that argument, I haven't seen anyone make it here.

I don't care about purity or what Walt did. I care about what makes the parks more enjoyable for me. Inserting IP in places where I don't believe it belongs makes the parks worse. You also don't get to tell me I'm wrong that many areas of the parks/resorts were better, more enjoyable places without the IP infusion.
 

Ponderer

Well-Known Member
This is the part of your argument I don't get. You're talking about purity and what Walt did -- while I'm sure some people make that argument, I haven't seen anyone make it here.

I don't care about purity or what Walt did. I care about what makes the parks more enjoyable for me. Inserting IP in places where I don't believe it belongs makes the parks worse. You also don't get to tell me I'm wrong that many areas of the parks/resorts were better, more enjoyable places without the IP infusion.

That’s fine, but too many people are making that pronouncement without any indication that it’s opinion or that there can be any disagreement on this issue. The person I was responding to made it clear that they considered their opinion absolute rock of ages truths, and the reason I’m surly on this is that so many people are treating people who disagree like they’re insane, like they’re horrible people, like they’re enemies to everything Disney stands for.

And believe me, I’ve been around a long, long time and I’ve seen this happen in every major fandom, so I’m extra sick of it.
 

lazyboy97o

Well-Known Member
“I have a perfectly good watch! Why do I need a watch with Mickey Mouse on it? What value does that add? Why can’t I simply have a classic watch? Why do they have to slap IP on it? It’s only going to make it appeal to kids and it just cheapens the whole watch experience for me.”

I’ll also say this, because I think this whole perspective is wildly condescending. My wife is fine with the Disney parks, but she’s not a big theme park person. You know what she does like? Disney and Pixar films. When they add characters, it *enhances her pleasure.* Do you know how judgmental it sounds when you call her little thrill of recognition “distracting?” Bird shows? She’s seen good bird shows before. But a little Disney character in there? That makes it more satisfying to her, and I resent anyone who dares to say her enjoyment of it isn’t valid or beneath the dignity of the parks. I showed her the Citricos redesign and her first reaction was, oh, that’s pretty nice, kinda looks like some restaurants I’ve seen. I showed her some of the Mary Poppins details and her response was, “Oh, now that’s clever.” A lot of people around here seem to think they’re the arbiter of theme park purity, and I keep coming back to that over and over and over again. A lot of people, not just children, LIKE IT BETTER THIS WAY. And you may disagree, but you do not get to tell them they’re wrong.

I’m not saying everything with IP works - I secretly applauded the “accidental” fire that took down Eisner’s Tiki Room update. Yes, you can go too far. But I don’t give a hot damn about it when Walt was literally criticized in his day for merchandising everything to an inch of his life. NOW you’re going to start caring about IP? He sure didn’t.
Why didn’t Moana have Mickey Mouse in the movie? Wouldn’t it have been a more enjoyable movie with Mickey Mouse?
 

Ponderer

Well-Known Member
Why didn’t Moana have Mickey Mouse in the movie? Wouldn’t it have been a more enjoyable movie with Mickey Mouse?

Why, yes it would’ve. Like any number of other Disney films.

1626827881279.jpeg
 

RSoxNo1

Well-Known Member
My thoughts exactly. And I realize my interest in having less characters in the rooms is an opinion some find ridiculous. I would have preferred to see the characters appear as they do as small parts of the paintings in the room and that’s it.

The contemporary rooms seem like a serios miscalculation in my opinion and give off major cartoon laboratory/office vibes, which is absurd considering the resort they are a part of.
To that point though, changing out some pillowcases solves many of the problems with the Contemporary rooms. The closet and dresser inserts could also be removed in theory.
 

RSoxNo1

Well-Known Member
How is remodeling Poly to incorporate Moana dumbed down and lazy?

The trend toward wine and dine is absolutely geared toward adults btw.
Character integration is dependant on the familiar over quality. These rooms are sold as the Moana rooms, not updated Poly rooms. As I said upthread, I think there are things they did very well here but they probably did 5-10% too much. I'm always going to prefer "subtle".

Historically, updates like this would be better suited for under performing areas of a moderate resort as opposed to all of a Deluxe resort on the monorail line. I really don't think the demand was there for every Polynesian room to have the Moana treatment, just like the demand wasn't there for every Contemporary room to have the Incredibles treatment. I'd object far less if they did these updates to 25-50% of the rooms as opposed to all of them.
 

jmuboy

Well-Known Member
The video tour is a great look at these rooms. There are things that I object to and things that I think were very well executed.
My thoughts:
  • The swirly Moana logo all over the place is a nice touch.
  • Functional use of space is well done.
  • I think the subtle Moana print in the bathroom is perfect. I think the bathroom is exceptionally well executed.
  • I think the Moana print on the wall is exactly what I expected for an obvious tie to the character. These types of prints are relatively normal in Disney hotel rooms and this fits the room and resort.
  • The headboards / bed dressing with the flower print body pillow look great.
  • I don't like Hei Hei on the wall. I would have preferred just the flower prints.
  • The Maui tattoo accent wall is interesting but I could do without Maui and Moana on that wall.
  • I'm undecided on the Moana lamp.
These are pretty much exactly my take on the room. I would stay at the at the Polynesian still. I would stay at the Contemporary only if it was free.
 

TikibirdLand

Well-Known Member
The corporate sponsorships that EPCOT Center opened with were a feature, not a flaw. While it's easy to think of The Walt Disney Company as the modern multimedia conglomerate, in 1982 Walt Disney Productions was a much smaller company with a failing animation studio, a live action studio that hadn't had a big hit in over a decade, and two theme parks. Including major sponsors not only allowed the park to have a bigger scale and scope than Disney could have done alone, but it also lent a level of gravitas and legitimacy to the experience beyond Disney's solo abilities.

The Future World sponsors were the titans of the American Free Enterprise System, at a time when they were at the top of their game. This was an era was GM was "too big to fail," just before international manufacturers would provide serious competition in the middle-class market. SSE was sponsored by Bell Systems at its peak, just before Ma Bell was broken up. Exxon had the energy crisis in its rear-view mirror, and it would be years more until the Exxon Valdez oil spill would bring an immediate negative connotation to the company's name. In short, yes it was advertising, but these sponsors all brought a level of respect that simply doesn't exist for mega-corporations in 2021.

Additionally, sponsorships and cross-promotions were much more widespread during that era. For example, Mutual of Omaha is still tightly associated with its wildlife television show, years after it went off the air. This type of "soft power" (as modern audiences may call it) has evolved over the years, but was done in ways that were mutually beneficial to both parties, which is certainly the case with Future World's sponsors. Similarly, the World Showcase sponsors added (and continue to add) a level of authenticity that Disney would be unable to achieve on their own, while reaching customers who might not otherwise have access to their products.

A ride about living under the ocean and in outer space runs a very real risk as coming off as a silly fantasy, but with the endorsement of GE it suddenly has an air of credibility. GE on its own may seem like a faceless corporation, but showcasing their vision for the future helps create positive affiliations and build anticipation for products that won't be available for many years. There are tangible benefits for both parties.

On the flip side, so many recent character additions only serve as a distraction. Does having the Up characters in the DAK bird show add anything to the experience? Does having a Mary Poppins Returns-inspired color palette enhance Citricos? In nearly every application, the characters are either so heavy-handed that they serve as a distraction, or they're so subtle that they add nothing of value yet still quietly undermine the placemaking. Instead of creating a mutually beneficial relationship where the characters and the park both benefit from being associated with each other, as EPCOT's sponsors did, they are often included to the detriment of the overall experience simply due to lazy design.

And although in many ways today's Disney has the ability and resources to tackle more serious subject matter on their own, their increasing reliance on cartoon characters in every new experience only reinforces the notion that their products are just a silly fantasy for kids. Sure, Disney alone could come up with a more whimsical vision of what the future might hold, but it wouldn't have the authority behind it to say that it could actually become reality, which ultimately makes it less interesting. It's that basis in reality that originally made EPCOT so engaging and stick with people long after they left, unlike typical amusement parks where the thrills come easy and are easily forgotten.

As much as the Future World architecture or synthesizer music, the park's sponsorship model is a reflection of the era in which it was created, and would have been done very differently if it were built from scratch today. But it also doesn't mean that the sponsors were a detriment to the park; on the contrary, they were what allowed it to become a household name so quickly.
Well written. Thanks for the insight!
 

GimpYancIent

Well-Known Member
To that point though, changing out some pillowcases solves many of the problems with the Contemporary rooms. The closet and dresser inserts could also be removed in theory.
It goes a bit deeper than cosmetics. Some demo and reconfiguring is needed first then the application of styling.
 

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