News Splash Mountain retheme to Princess and the Frog - attraction discussion only

Brer Oswald

Well-Known Member
Seems like Disney is moving away from attractions with lots of low-tech AAs (RotR notwithstanding) in favor of just a few high-tech AAs (hello Na'vi Shaman of Songs)+ screens. I'd love to see BOTH, actually- lots of little, low-tech AAs and a few, attention-grabbing lifelike ones (with maybe a subtle use of screens).

But the technology to run them is VERY different. The clicky-clacky of the electromechanical pneumatic/hydrolic systems have given way to the (quiet) whirring of electronics with tiny electric motors. The cost to build is much higher, but the cost to maintain the old AAs hardly seems worth it (hence a lot of broke-down mechanical AAs across the parks).

Splash Mountain has lots of AAs. There's no way they're going to maintain those AND add a new high-tech system for new AAs. There's also no way they're going to recreate all the old AAs but with modern technology. So I'm thinking a lot of those old AAs are destined for the scrap pile. :(
It’s unfortunate, but it’s true. It’s likely way cheaper to build 8 high tech animatronics than 80 medium tech like you see in Splash.

Which means that, overall, most of the more recent projects are middling experiences with 20 or 30 seconds of high points. They don’t even build sets and environments like they used to.

It’s sad, but that’s the era we’re in. Hopefully the next era is more like the ones of years past.
 

_caleb

Well-Known Member
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It’s unfortunate, but it’s true. It’s likely way cheaper to build 8 high tech animatronics than 80 medium tech like you see in Splash.

Which means that, overall, most of the more recent projects are middling experiences with 20 or 30 seconds of high points. They don’t even build sets and environments like they used to.

It’s sad, but that’s the era we’re in. Hopefully the next era is more like the ones of years past.
I keep hoping that as the tech becomes cheaper, WDI will come up with ways to repopulate attractions with AAs. Just like we now see projection mapping literally everywhere in the parks, we may see some breakthroughs that allow for AAs to be cheaper/easier/more flexible.

The use of drones, for example are one thing I think we're going to see more of. Originally, they were very expensive and quite dangerous. Now, they're smaller, lighter, safer, and more capable, so application can move beyond "a car-sized X-Wing hovering over SWGE on opening night," to the use of tiny drones in aerial light (and sound) shows.

The stuntronic AAs are another example of this. The first one cost a TON of money (R&D), but the idea is a high-tech AA that they literally throw across the parks. So they've worked hard to get the cost/weight down, and I think we're going to see more of them.
 

BuzzedPotatoHead89

Well-Known Member
It’s unfortunate, but it’s true. It’s likely way cheaper to build 8 high tech animatronics than 80 medium tech like you see in Splash.

Which means that, overall, most of the more recent projects are middling experiences with 20 or 30 seconds of high points. They don’t even build sets and environments like they used to.

It’s sad, but that’s the era we’re in. Hopefully the next era is more like the ones of years past.

I still think the primary justification for the retheme has honestly been the high cost to maintain many of these aging AAs for what many consider to be primarily a “thrill ride first, story ride second”. At DL in particular, these AAs date back to the 70s and given the damp/intimate environment makes it challenging for the maintainance teams to access.

Combine that with OSHA and years of deferred maintenance (since the infamous Pressler era) and I’m not shocked TDA and WDI thought up the idea of a more “marketable” retheme. I still have hope some of the AAs will remain to be redressed (in Mardi Gras attire for the finale) or reskinned (Brer Bear to Louis) but I wouldn’t be shocked if up to 2/3rds of them aren’t dumped entirely.
 

_caleb

Well-Known Member
I still think the primary justification for the retheme has honestly been the high cost to maintain many of these aging AAs for what many consider to be primarily a “thrill ride first, story ride second”. At DL in particular, these AAs date back to the 70s and given the damp/intimate environment makes it challenging for the maintainance teams to access.

Combine that with OSHA and years of deferred maintenance (since the infamous Pressler era) and I’m not shocked TDA and WDI thought up the idea of a more “marketable” retheme. I still have hope some of the AAs will remain to be redressed (in Mardi Gras attire for the finale) or reskinned (Brer Bear to Louis) but I wouldn’t be shocked if up to 2/3rds of them aren’t dumped entirely.
I agree. @lazyboy97o has also pointed to additional refurb costs related to infrastructure wear due to the wet environment. That will certainly eat up a large portion of whatever budget the project receives.

I do think there's a place for a more stylized approach to AAs that could keep costs way down. The low-tech AAs in It's a Small World, for example, don't need to be super articulated or lifelike. Or the head-turning Storm Troopers in Rise. Maybe there's a way to do something like this as a low-budget/high payoff approach to reusing a few older AAs while wowing guests with a high-tech, "lifelike" AA with fluid animation like we're seeing in BatB?
 

Brer Oswald

Well-Known Member
I still think the primary justification for the retheme has honestly been the high cost to maintain many of these aging AAs for what many consider to be primarily a “thrill ride first, story ride second”. At DL in particular, these AAs date back to the 70s and given the damp/intimate environment makes it challenging for the maintainance teams to access.

Combine that with OSHA and years of deferred maintenance (since the infamous Pressler era) and I’m not shocked TDA and WDI thought up the idea of a more “marketable” retheme. I still have hope some of the AAs will remain to be redressed (in Mardi Gras attire for the finale) or reskinned (Brer Bear to Louis) but I wouldn’t be shocked if up to 2/3rds of them aren’t dumped entirely.
Oh, getting rid of the AAs is definitely a primary reason for this. Splash goes down for what, 2-3 months a year for this very reason? Animatronics and a water ride is a costly mix. And people still complain to high heavens about how poorly maintained it is.

Meanwhile, TDL has seemingly no issues maintaining there’s. That’s probably why they aren’t too keen on changing it. That and the fact that fuzzy animals top Princesses over there.

Meanwhile, the only thing separating Six Flags from Disney to your average American is Mickey Mouse and the Castle. Splash is just a thrill ride to most of them. The story is just a nice bonus.
 

Magicart87

Premium Member
Purely Speculative> Disney marketing put their foot in their mouth by stating the attraction would take place after the events of the movie. I feel like the entire marketing blurb about the overhaul was doomed by this one statement. I suspect OLC would have been more receptive to the PatF overlay had the attraction storyline taken place either as a new subplot during the events of the movie or possibly a prequel story sans any humans and voodoo undertones. In doing so, it would have remained truer to the original attraction and had larger international appeal with a greater focus on the AA critters. OLC doesn't care about Mardi Gras. OLC doesn't care about Tiana.
 

Animaniac93-98

Well-Known Member
A common thread between Mermaid, Frozen Ever After an BatB is the downplaying of the movie's villain in the ride. Gaston isn't in BatB at all. Disney doesn't seem to like their newer Princess rides with too much scares. Even Snow White in California is being toned down.

I wouldn't expect much of Facilier in the ride, even if he would be the most interesting element. I think like Frozen, most, if not all, of the thrills will come from the drops.
 

_caleb

Well-Known Member
A common thread between Mermaid, Frozen Ever After an BatB is the downplaying of the movie's villain in the ride. Gaston isn't in BatB at all. Disney doesn't seem to like their newer Princess rides with too much scares. Even Snow White in California is being toned down.

I wouldn't expect much of Facilier in the ride, even if he would be the most interesting element. I think like Frozen, most, if not all, of the thrills will come from the drops.
Huh. Never thought about the lack of Bad Guys. That’s interesting. Also, it seems to make things a bit boring.
 

drizgirl

Well-Known Member
A common thread between Mermaid, Frozen Ever After an BatB is the downplaying of the movie's villain in the ride. Gaston isn't in BatB at all. Disney doesn't seem to like their newer Princess rides with too much scares. Even Snow White in California is being toned down.

I wouldn't expect much of Facilier in the ride, even if he would be the most interesting element. I think like Frozen, most, if not all, of the thrills will come from the drops.
Newer princess rides also don't have big drop hills.
 

Brer Panther

Well-Known Member
I wouldn't expect much of Facilier in the ride, even if he would be the most interesting element. I think like Frozen, most, if not all, of the thrills will come from the drops.
Wasn't it reported that the "Friends on the Other Side" would appear in the ride, with Dr. Facilier's shadow replacing Brer Fox's shadow on the lift hill?
 

Brer Panther

Well-Known Member
Sooooooooooooo, wouldn't that imply that Dr. Facilier will be in the ride, or that if nothing else there will be a bit of a "scary" element to it?
 
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