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Wanted you guys to see this

Magenta Panther

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Okay, so there are these art installations/dark ride experiences called "Meow Wolf" being built in various areas around the U.S. The first one was built in Sante Fe, New Mexico. Recently another installation was built in an actual amusement park - Elitch Gardens, in Denver, Colorado (in this instance, the attraction is called "Kaleidoscape", and was installed into what once was an old haunted house dark ride).

These places are mind-blowing. I'm going to leave two videos here for you. One is from the Carpetbagger's channel, and features a full Meow Wolf attraction walk-through:


And the other video involves a behind-the-scene look at the artists who built one area of the attraction called "The Forest":


Now here's my point - and to quote Ellen Degeneres, I do have one: Notice in the behind-the-scenes video how hard the artists worked to cover up the ceiling in the Forest room. They did this because they were building the attraction inside a warehouse and if people saw the warehouse ceiling, then the illusion would be broken. Now contrast the artists' concern with this problem to Imagineers who had no such qualms in letting what is clearly a warehouse ceiling being seen in The Little Mermaid ride, particularly in the "Under the Sea" area. You look up and not only see ceiling beams, you see plastic fish stuck to a very obvious spinning wheel to simulate "swimming". It all looks fake and cheap as hell. And that's just one instance of Imagineering cheaping out. Holy crap, stuff like that burns me up. The artists behind Meow Wolf had very little money and had to scrape and dig to find the materials they needed to create their incredible otherworldly magic. The Imagineers have MILLIONS of dollars to work with, but they leave show buildings undisguised and stick plastic fish on wheels and yes leave broken yeti AAs to rot.

I hope that if Imagineers read this forum that they see this and have the integrity to feel at least a little bit ashamed...
 

Magenta Panther

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Here are two more videos regarding artists who are creating incredible immersive worlds:

First, Meow Wolf's Omega Mart - a surreal supermarket:


And an experience created by another group of artists, entitled Rainbow Vomit:


Frickin' awesome.
 

MisterPenguin

Fully Pfizered!
Premium Member
To connect to Disney...

There was a survey from Disney that went out to some folks asking what they thought about such things as Meow Wolf and "escape rooms."
 

aliceismad

Well-Known Member
I mean, all of the classic rides are similar. Pirates, IASW, Peter Pan, etc. Even pieces of Haunted Mansion. Should Disney want to do better? Yeah, I would love to see that. But it's not like Little Mermaid was the first of its kind. (Although I agree some parts seem lazy and it cost way more than it should've.)

Meow Wolf is amazing! I've been to the one in Santa Fe. They're building a new one in Denver now as well as one in Vegas. But it's also really really overwhelming, and there are no ride vehicles (with maintenance costs and concerns) or major water features or animatronics or land/building purchase costs or heavy insurance costs either. (Kaleidoscope in Denver does have animatronics, but it had animatronics before it was Meow Wolf. The building in Santa Fe is a long-term lease.)

Also, I don't think it's super accurate to say they had to scrape money together, at least not for the permanent one in Santa Fe. George R.R. Martin was a benefactor for Meow Wolf in Sante Fe.


 
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Giss Neric

Well-Known Member
As theme park fans, we do tend to notice things like this more often than others but is it really worth putting effort into theming a ride from top to bottom and side to side when most average goers just focus on the scenes that they want you to focus on.
 

GraysonsDad

Member
As theme park fans, we do tend to notice things like this more often than others but is it really worth putting effort into theming a ride from top to bottom and side to side when most average goers just focus on the scenes that they want you to focus on.
I think that yes, as it's Disney we're talking about, they do need to put that much effort into it. If we're talking about Six Flags, Sea World, King's Island/Dominion, Busch Gardens- those are different cases. But for Disney? Yes, they need to put that much effort into it, it's part of what makes Disney stand apart from the other parks.
 

aliceismad

Well-Known Member
As theme park fans, we do tend to notice things like this more often than others but is it really worth putting effort into theming a ride from top to bottom and side to side when most average goers just focus on the scenes that they want you to focus on.
Interesting question. Personally, I think perhaps the most immersive "fully themed" dark ride at WDW is Navi, and it gets flack for being too short and not having enough story and/or animatronics (which are also valid critiques). I don't think I can think of a Disney dark ride that doesn't have some areas that are just painted walls/ceilings.
 

Magenta Panther

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Meow Wolf is now very profitable, and deserves to be. More and more of these will be popping up all over the country. Which means Disney AND Universal now have serious competition. Let's see what they do about it. Personally, I'd rather experience a Meow Wolf attraction than anything WDW has come up with lately, and that includes the new Mickey ride.

BTW, the patron/financial supporter of the first Meow Wolf was none other than...George R. R. Martin, creator of Game of Thrones, etc.
 

aliceismad

Well-Known Member
More and more of these will be popping up all over the country. Which means Disney AND Universal now have serious competition.

I think it could potentially spur the Disneys and Universals to think in different ways, and that would be good. Meow Wolf has had success, but it remains to be seen whether additional locations will be sustainable in the long term. I see it more akin to an art gallery or museum than a theme park. More of a niche market.

The collaboration Elitch Gardens in Denver is an interesting one, and I would be interested to see if that might happen again somewhere else. Elitch is no longer affiliated with Six Flags or any other chain, though. There are several videos of Kaleidoscope online.
 

NelsonRD

Well-Known Member
I am sorry, but I do not think this is serious competition to Disney or Universal. From looking at the videos, it is different, but I find it too creepy, so I am sure people will be divided on the level of entertainment this provides.
 

WondersOfLife

Blink, blink. Breathe, breathe. Day in, day out.
As theme park fans, we do tend to notice things like this more often than others but is it really worth putting effort into theming a ride from top to bottom and side to side when most average goers just focus on the scenes that they want you to focus on.
Uhhhhhhhh. Yes.
Haunted Mansion vs. Little Mermaid.
 

Archie123

Well-Known Member
Meow Wolf is now very profitable, and deserves to be. More and more of these will be popping up all over the country. Which means Disney AND Universal now have serious competition. Let's see what they do about it. Personally, I'd rather experience a Meow Wolf attraction than anything WDW has come up with lately, and that includes the new Mickey ride.

BTW, the patron/financial supporter of the first Meow Wolf was none other than...George R. R. Martin, creator of Game of Thrones, etc.

Serious competition.... 😂 😂 😂 😂 😂
 

JoeCamel

Well-Known Member
Here are two more videos regarding artists who are creating incredible immersive worlds:

First, Meow Wolf's Omega Mart - a surreal supermarket:


And an experience created by another group of artists, entitled Rainbow Vomit:


Frickin' awesome.
This is what the kids of old hippies build...
 

aliceismad

Well-Known Member
I am sorry, but I do not think this is serious competition to Disney or Universal. From looking at the videos, it is different, but I find it too creepy, so I am sure people will be divided on the level of entertainment this provides.
There is definitely an aesthetic associated with parts of the Santa Fe site that I'm not sure would be appealing to the mass market.

(I've also casually heard a perspective that it was something to be experienced while under the influence of various substances. I don't even drink, so the idea of being impaired and in one of those environments is kinda terrifying.)
 

Marc Davis Fan

Well-Known Member
Notice in the behind-the-scenes video how hard the artists worked to cover up the ceiling in the Forest room. They did this because they were building the attraction inside a warehouse and if people saw the warehouse ceiling, then the illusion would be broken. Now contrast the artists' concern with this problem to Imagineers who had no such qualms in letting what is clearly a warehouse ceiling being seen in The Little Mermaid ride, particularly in the "Under the Sea" area. You look up and not only see ceiling beams, you see plastic fish stuck to a very obvious spinning wheel to simulate "swimming". It all looks fake and cheap as hell. And that's just one instance of Imagineering cheaping out. Holy crap, stuff like that burns me up. The artists behind Meow Wolf had very little money and had to scrape and dig to find the materials they needed to create their incredible otherworldly magic. The Imagineers have MILLIONS of dollars to work with, but they leave show buildings undisguised and stick plastic fish on wheels...

Standard-setting classics like Pirates of the Caribbean and Haunted Mansion took great care to prevent views of exposed ceilings (except when they're supposed to be there) and show lighting. In the past, when major attractions did have visible ceilings or show lighting, it was generally attractions that either weren't intended to be transportive (e.g., Small World), or that were consciously designed with greater expectations of disbelief-suspension (e.g., Splash Mountain, but even there it's mostly hidden unless you look for it).

It's only in more recent years that Disney has stopped taking this into serious consideration. Not just The Little Mermaid, but the supposed "mega e-ticket" Radiator Springs Racers has clearly-visible show lighting that breaks the illusion.

Disney is supposed to be the gold standard of building immersive worlds. Visible ceilings (in outdoor scenes) and visible show lighting are an embarrassment, and only add fodder to the common public misperception that Disney experiences are "low quality mass entertainment" rather than art.

Thankfully, even today, the lack of consideration about ceilings and show lighting only appears to happen in some projects. For instance, Na'vi River Journey takes great pains to avoid visible ceilings and visible show lighting, while Rise of the Resistance does the same in terms of show lighting.

But there should absolutely be an official Imagineering guideline where visible ceilings (in outdoor scenes) and visible show lighting are avoided at all costs, just like there is an official Imagineering guideline about sightlines.

As with much of Disney's historical consideration about details, even if the guests don't recognize the presence or absence of something explicitly, it adds to (or subtracts from) their holistic experience and perception of quality/immersion.
 

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