Jump to content
LCVG
Angry the Clown

Disneyland/World and Universal parks discussion thread (where the magic never ends... until a ride you loved is knocked down and replaced with something lame)

Recommended Posts

Not a huge fan of plastic clutter and the variety of novelty park popcorn buckets that have come and gone in the past (the AT-AT one was ridiculous), but this.... THIS....

 

 

 

Yeah I would buy that. 

 

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Taschen, with whom I have spent more money on books than I care to mention, are releasing a book about Disneyland in a few weeks.

 

disneyland_ju_gb_3d_01172_1806131647_id_

 

disneyland_ju_gb_open_0094_0095_01172_18

 

disneyland_ju_gb_open_0158_0159_01172_18

 

Quote

This bountiful visual history draws on Disney’s vast historical collections, private archives, and the golden age of photojournalism to provide unique access to the concept, development, launch, and enjoyment of this sun-drenched oasis of fun and fantasy. Disneyland documents Walt’s earliest inspirations and ideas; the park’s extraordinary feats of design and engineering; its grand opening; each of its immersive “lands” from Main Street, U.S.A., to Tomorrowland; and the park's evolution through the six decades since it opened. It is a treasure trove of Disney original documentation and expertise, with award-winning writer Chris Nichols drawing on his extensive knowledge of both Disneyland and Southern California history to reveal the fascinating tale of “the happiest place on Earth.”

 

https://www.taschen.com/pages/en/catalogue/popculture/all/01172/facts.walt_disneys_disneyland.htm

 

It's one of their more generously priced publications. 

 

 

Taschen are enjoying a nice run of Disney projects lately. Their Walt Disney Archives, like most of their XXL books, is well worth the expense. Coming in a couple of months is their hefty Ultimate History of Mickey Mouse.

 

disney_mickey_mouse_xl_gb_3d_01148_18052

 

https://www.taschen.com/pages/en/catalogue/film/all/01148/facts.walt_disneys_mickey_mouse_the_ultimate_history.htm

 

 

 

Think I am going to plan a trip to Anaheim in 2020, around May which if I time for weekday visits things might not be too horrendous around Star Wars land. Would be nice to go next year, less so for Star Wars but mostly because Haunted Mansion turns 50 next summer, but Star Wars madness will keep me away. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Angry the Clown said:

Not a huge fan of plastic clutter and the variety of novelty park popcorn buckets that have come and gone in the past (the AT-AT one was ridiculous), but this.... THIS....

 

 

 

Yeah I would buy that. 

 

 

 

 

 

They should fill it with coloured popcorn so it looks a bit more like the bugs he’s filled with. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Some TRON news for Florida:

 

Quote

Disney has just released timelines for the closures of the Walt Disney World Railroad and Tomorrowland Speedway in connection to TRON roller coaster construction.

 

Starting in December 2018, the Walt Disney World Railroad will pause its grand-circle tour of the Magic Kingdom and take up residence in the Main Street Station. This will give guests a chance to see the railroad via up-close looks and one-of-a-kind photo opportunities. Disney didn’t say when the Walt Disney World Railroad will resume service.

 

Also, the Tomorrowland Speedway will close for a portion of 2019 as the attraction’s track is adjusted to make way for a wider walkway back to the TRON roller coaster. It will re-open in the Summer of 2019 without a theme change.

 

 

 

 

 

It'd be crazy if Speedway re-opens and hasn't been converted to electric vehicles. Surely that has to happen by the 50th anniversary?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 8/4/2018 at 9:29 AM, Angry the Clown said:

Not sure how he got close enough to capture that image of the spaceship again, even with a quality telephoto lens to cover the distance I can't quite picture where he'd be getting such a good angle from.

 

You can get this view from Toy Story Land. Here is another shot from WDWMagic from just a bit further back. 

 

Star-Wars-Land_Full_33225.jpg?width=800&

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I noticed that in one of Tim Tracker’s latest videos. Interesting it is so visible. The east entrances at both parks might be where the most obvious differences are as you’d think there would be more separating Toy Story from Star Wars at the studios. I’m sure they will plant some tress soon enough at least, but it looks like it could nevertheless deviate from the artwork and model in Florida.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 8/13/2018 at 6:53 AM, Angry the Clown said:

Halloween stuff already going up on display in and around the Florida parks. Just crazy. Seems earlier and earlier every year now.

 

What I find crazy is that a ticket to Not So Scary now costs more than a day there. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I’d be really frustrated holidaying there in August and seeing all the Halloween stuff (August is when I’d always be there as a kid as that’s the main school holiday month in the UK). May is definitely the time of year I think I would look to make my visit to Florida in future as it seems good weather wise, Epcot gets Flower and Garden...etc so eyeing time between end of spring break and memorial day weekend seems sensible.

 

I was researching a potential 2020 trip to California and the only thing I think I’d need to be wary of in May there is booking around Grad Nights at Disneyland which sound like a nightmare to get caught up in (they seem to mostly land on Fridays and Saturdays). I won’t know 2020 Grad Night dates until around june next year as that’s when they seem to announce the calendar, but if it works out and I can afford it I think it would be a pleasant time to be there. I suspect I’d just miss the opening of DCA’s Marvel attractions though.

 

It’s never going to be cheap for me to get to California, especially since I will never fly that many hours in economy again like I have in the past. My thought is to try and get out there for a week, spending a few days revisiting LA and then the rest in Anaheim. Since it’d be Disneyland’s 65th year I’d quite like to grin and bear the crazy price of the Disneyland Hotel for the fun and historical value of it too but we’ll see. I’d like to be in Anaheim long enough for a day at DCA and two at Disneyland itself. I’d be quite tempted to splash out on the Walt’s footsteps tour and VIP tour at Universal too as I’ve never done those before.

 

So yeah, 2020 California then then 3-5yrs later for Florida I guess as that’s going to be super expensive.

 

Been watching a lot of Youtube videos of people who have done solo trips, especially to the Florida parks, and those are quite fascinating. The thought of Disneyland solo is no issue to me whatsoever, but Disney World always seems like such an inherently family/group based place to be but a lot of solo visit vlogs I’ve been watching are starting to convince me that there are a lot of upsides (single rider lines for the win!).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So it looks like the MS ignite conference is booking out both Universal parks again for their attendee party, so I'll likely be able to hit most of the big attractions at IoA and Studios again.  Hopefully the HP Train is up this year, and not sure if it's worth doing F&F/Kong at all, but if they're available, free, and probably mostly walk on, why not?  Last year was pretty insane with the longest wait of the night being the 15 minutes in line for HP at IoA.  Also staying at the Aventura near the parks, so we'll see how that is.  We did Cabana Bay last year, which is fine, but pretty wide/sprawling, so lots of walking to get where you needed to go. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Very nice that you'll be at the Aventura. Tim Tracker's press day video from there should be going online later today. Really interested to see how it has turned out.

 

Kong looks worth doing for sure. F&F... ehhhhh. I mean if you can get on it quickly, why not, but otherwise it truly does look abysmal. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

F&F feels just like Disaster. Only worth going on just because it’s there and to say you’ve done it, and only if the wait is short. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, last time they did this we managed to do Transformers, Mummy, Simpsons, MIB, Gringotts, Forbidden Journey, Spider-Man, and the Hulk (I think that's all) in under 4 hours, including beer stops along the way.  Kong was open then, but I think it had a 70 min wait at one point.  They were funneling people towards IoA when we got there, so we broke off and headed right first, which seemed like a good move.  Plan was to take the HP train across, but that was down, so we ended up taking the service tunnel that they had open instead.  Definitely a unique experience that you'd probably only get with a private event or super expensive VIP tour. 

 

Also, not a major park addition, but the local CF park in Toronto is adding a B&M dive coaster next year:

https://youtu.be/xKsvAVsyNkM

 

Looks pretty awesome-glad to see some investment finally after a few years of "new flat spinny ride"

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Kong is worth doing, and my second favorite ride there right now (I still love Hulk).  Not worth an hour, but 20-30 min sounds right.

 

HP train ride is different in each direction, FYI.  Have fun!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Very sad to read confirmation that the pilot involved in a fatal light aircraft crash on Monday was Disney Imagineer Scott Watson. He had a lengthy career within the R&D department.

 

Quote

Watson was described as the quintessential imagineer: someone who was both creative and technically savvy. Those who worked with him said he left his mark on scores of Disney’s theme park attractions, from Indiana Jones to Soarin’ Over The World to the upcoming Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge.

 

“He had a million ideas and was just a brilliant person to be around,” said Phil Lelyveld, who worked on projects with Watson over his 10-year tenure at Disney and now runs the Immersive Media Program at the USC’s Entertainment Technology Center, a think tank within the school of Cinematic Arts. “He came up with a number of novel ideas for the theme parks and other things in Disney, but he also had the technical skills to prototype them.”

 

The 55-year-old executive held 45 patents that spanned a range of innovation, from a new approach to theme park ride vehicles to an apparatus for rendering 3D computer-generated graphics in real time, to a system for delivering an enhanced interactive TV broadcast, in which the video broadcast to one screen is enhanced by a simultaneous content delivered to a second device.

 

“I remember Scott pitching me the concept of live interactive television, showing me a demo and jokingly referring to it as ESPN ‘The Ocho,'” Amazon Studios COO Albert Cheng recalled on Facebook of his time as digital media head at Disney’s ABC Television Group.

 

Watson was intimately involved in the development of Aladdin’s Magic Carpet Ride, an early virtual reality trial at DisneyQuest in Orlando, Florida.  The trial, which lasted from July 1994 through September 1995, yielded key findings about how to tell stories in virtual reality, according to an account in the VR newsletter Upload.

 

One former Disney Imagineer, Mike Peterson, recalled how Watson stayed cool under pressure in one anecdote he shared on Facebook about the Aladdin VR attraction.

 

“I remember the night before opening, when he had a serious bug to fix, and he took a break to play a video game. Some managers would have screamed … ‘Get back to work! We have an opening tomorrow!’ Fortunately, our manager knew enough to leave us alone to concentrate on our projects,” Peterson wrote. “After the break had cleared his mind, he fixed the bug and the show opened on time. He was a truly unique and amazing person, who died doing what he loved.”

 

Digital 360 Ventures Principal and former Sony Pictures executive Mitch Singer, who knew Watson from industry standards work, recalled his love of Burning Man festival.

 

“He was adventurous and really enjoyed life.  Funny always laughing.  And the more you learned about him, the more you realized that he was the brains behind a lot of Disney projects,” Singer told Deadline. “I had an idea once and I was filing a patent with Sony and the patent counsel called me and said, ‘Do you know Scott Watson?’ I said, ‘Yes.’  He filed the same idea a few years ago.”

 

Disney didn’t respond to Deadline’s request for a comment about its long-time executive. However, Disney Imagineering President Bob Weis issued in a statement to ABC News mourning his loss.

 

“The Walt Disney Company is stunned and saddened by the loss of our long-time friend and colleague, Scott Watson,” Weis said. “Those of us who worked with Scott during his nearly 30-year career at Disney knew him as a humble genius who made making magic look easy. Our hearts are with his family during this difficult time.”

 

https://deadline.com/2018/08/disney-imagineering-cto-scott-watson-remembered-as-humble-genius-1202445437/

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

https://cnnmon.ie/2BJDK9V

 

Disneyworld employee union and Disney agree to $15 minimum wage increase. I’m really glad to hear this. Disney Parks should want the best people they can get, bit only because people want to work there, but because it is a good place to work. It’s hard to do that after the glow of working at Disney wears off and you’re earning less than a livable wage. I know this will probably mean Disney trying to nickel and dime guests even more, but that happens already. 

 

Apparently Disneyland got a similar deal last month. A bit surprised I didn’t hear about it. Micechat had run stories for years about how they couldn’t keep staff because they could earn more working at fast food places down the street. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, Graeme said:

https://cnnmon.ie/2BJDK9V

 

Disneyworld employee union and Disney agree to $15 minimum wage increase. I’m really glad to hear this. Disney Parks should want the best people they can get, bit only because people want to work there, but because it is a good place to work. It’s hard to do that after the glow of working at Disney wears off and you’re earning less than a livable wage. I know this will probably mean Disney trying to nickel and dime guests even more, but that happens already. 

 

Apparently Disneyland got a similar deal last month. A bit surprised I didn’t hear about it. Micechat had run stories for years about how they couldn’t keep staff because they could earn more working at fast food places down the street. 

 

I forgot to post about the Disneyland pay increase. Delighted to hear the Florida resort will mirror the deal. 

 

3 hours ago, Graeme said:

Oh and there was news the other day that the Sinbad stunt show at IOA is shutting down. More HP to come?

 

With the third park inevitably housing more Potter I think it’d be better to turn that space into something else, but I did voice my surprise some months back that the whole Lost Continent section was still there and had not already been swallowed up by Wizarding World expansion. If the third park might play host to Fantastic Beast themed stuff then maybe that space in IOA is where the Ministry of Magic might go, but you’d think that better suited to the London section at Universal given that’s where the ministry is in the universe.

 

I wish I felt excited about Universal. I found some old photos of my last trip from 94 recently, inc some blurry low light images of me working Earthquake during the audience participation pre-show. I sense I would enjoy IOA a great deal, but my passion for cinema meant that I used to love the Studios park dearly and I know today that would not be the case anymore. As strange as it will be to one day get back to the Disney parks out there after what will be around 30yrs, I think Universal might feel the nost alien as everything I knew, save for ET and the mock Hollywood and New York streets, is gone. Not even existing attractions updated, just gone completely. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I never went to Universal Florida before IOA was built and most of the original attractions were gone. I never got to ride Kong, Earthquake, or their BTTF (thankfully I had experienced the Hollywood equivalents) so I have no real fondness for the park.

 

My friend is more like you though. Huge movie lover, went as a kid, had great memories of the old attractions. It crushed his soul when Jaws shut down. Thankfully he got to say a proper goodbye to it. Went down for the last day, rode it over and over and I think was on the very last boat that night. 

 

It’s now quite a mixed bag and a bit of a hodgepodge of attractions all trying to capitalize on whatever movie was hot at the time they were built.... and Jimmy Fallon. The Mummy is good, Simpsons is fun, Transformers is good but a reskin of a better ride....and I’m sure Diagon is amazing. The rest seems to be very subjective. There are those that think MIB is one of the best rides in the park, and I just don’t get it at all, Rip Ride is a pretty lame coaster that some people really like etc. If Diagon Alley wasn’t there, I don’t think I’d really miss skipping it. 

 

IOA though, I adore. The first time I walked into the Port of Entry took my breath away. As I was taking as many pictures as possible I was thinking “this is what happens when you let creative people do something original with a budget”. It’s just a bunch of shops and no attractions, but it’s amazing to look at all the details. The only thing that spoils it is the advertising for Express Pass and the Meal Plan everywhere. 

 

The rest of it is also pretty great, despite a bit of need for upkeep and a number of spots where you can tell the budget started to run dry (the inside of Ripsaw Falls). There are great details everywhere and more than it’s fair share of great attractions. I could go on for awhile. 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I’m wondering how much life The Mummy has left. I suspect they were eager to re-theme it to the Cruise movie before it bombed, so now the clock is probably ticking on the original. I’d be surprised if it is still there by the time I go back which would be a shame as I have never ridden it. If I get out to California in two years time then I’d hope to ride it there, even though it’s the inferior version.

 

I don’t lament the loss of Earthquake. I enjoyed it but it wasn’t an e-ticket attraction by any means. I was surprised even when they re-branded to Disaster that it that it was effectively the same ride. Now, well, I think the F&F ride looks embarrassingly bad so it remains a sad waste of space. 

 

Kong... Kong was damn impressive in its day. It was just one of those BIG indoor attractions that really blew me away with the scale of it all and the theming of the queue was so great. It hurt that the ride was based on the unpopular 70s remake though. It’s another loss I can accept more easily, and it’s cool they revisited Kong with the Jackson version at IOA even though it is screen and 3D heavy. I’d have loved a full on version similar to the original ride in scale but themed to the 1930s. It could have been Universal’s answer to the Indiana Jones Adventure.

 

Jaws I will always miss, though it is still at Universal Japan so hopefully I’ll get a chance to ride it again someday if i get out there. What’s sad about the loss of that ride was that it could probably be re-done today in a far more economical and environmentally friendly fashion than what they had, and to see Universal utterly ignore their heritage of classics that have stood the test of time is very sad to me, and I feel the same way about Back to the Future.

 

I think the old BTTF ride would look old and stale today to be sure, but they could re-think the IP in a new way in a building with a smaller footprint. It’s crazy that BTTF’s presence is now nothing more than the train and replica of the car parked randomly in the park, with a Doc Brown cast member roaming around.

 

I think I’d enjoy the Simpsons ride and the Springfield area, even though my adoration for the show is pretty much limited to its first nine or ten seasons. The Krusty and amusent park parody factor of the ride naturally appeals to me. :) 

 

It’s funny that T2’s replacement is allegedly some kind of Bourne related show. I enjoyed T2 a lot when visiting the Hollywood park but I accept that this day in agenit was probably looking a little long in the tooth, and poor sequels surely harmed the franchise over time. I know I knock Universal from time to time for having barely any IP presence of their own in the parks, and they do own Bourne, but that’s already a franchise that’s been put to rest. If it is Bourne I’d give it a five year life expectancy before they look to change that space up again. You’d think licensing Mission Impossible from Paramount would be a more popular option if it’s true that’s going to be some kind of indoor stunt attraction.

 

The Ghostbusters show I have a soft spot for, particularly the revised version they did. The first version was OK, the main show was technically always the same, but the story worked better in the revision with Walter Peck shutting down the storage containment facility and I think Louis Tully was part of it too. Again, not a Universal property but it would have been cool to see a Ghostbusters dark ride, maybe a shooter like MIB. I see the firehouse facade is still there with that eye sore of a coaster tunelled through it. Ughh. That coaster...WHY EVEN? Bah.

 

I’m sad about losses like the Funtasic World of Hanna Barbera but that’s mostly sentimental and an easy one to accept was a property of its time for a certain generation (weird that they keep Scooby and the gang as character meet and greets though if those properties are considered so irrelevant to modern guests and have no other presence in the park). Minions seems like a totally good fit for that ride space for modern audiences, way, way more than Jimmy Neutron. I think i’d enjoy it. 

 

REALLY sad the Hitchcock show is long gone. I think Shrek 4D is in that space now? It’ll be interesting to see what replaces Shrek as we’re constantly hearing that its days are numbered. Long runoured Secret Life of Pets dark ride maybe? Uni need to up their game on dark rides.

 

I’m sure Universal are desperate to tear down E.T. I’m glad Spielberg remains firm on that. It’s still one of my favourite ride queues. Since they’re trying to hide the soundstage aspect of the park and increase imersion I’ve never understood why the building exterior was not themed to be part of the forest. That would be neat and make it seamless (the Spielberg video intro can be ditched as it serves no purpose). Regardless, I do hope it’s still there whenever I go back.

 

Men in Black looks quite fun to me. None of those shooting dark rides existed when I was last in these parks, but the forthcoming reboot of the franchise will probably dictate whether it sticks around. I have no memory of what occupied that space when I was last there. I’m sure I have old park maps buried somewhere so it’d be fun to dig those out someday. Likewise I don’t remember what was in the space Transformers now eats up.

 

I guess that covers everything I knew from my time there. It’s fun that Beetlejuice still does meet and greets, again not a Universal IP but whatever. The guys playing him seem just as into it in videos I see on youtube today as they were 20yrs ago.

 

An artist I follow on Twitter who has worked for both Disney and universal parks recently shared art for a Beetlejuice dark ride for Universal. It seems like something he just decided to dream up himself rather than it ever being seriously considered in the past, but DAMN. What an idea...

 

 

 

You know what made me laugh recently? When I was researching a California trip I took a look at Universal Hollywood to refresh my memory as to what’s new there now and was surprised the Waterworld stunt show is still going strong. Talk about attractions that long outlive the properties they’re based on! It’s a great show. I was always surprised they never duplicated it in Florida (I think Japan has it).

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Not sure what could/would replace the Mummy, but it's probably one of the best coaster/dark ride hybrids around.  It's not like the 90s version is a "classic" by any measure, but it's still a fun ride.  Has it evolved to the point where the original source doesn't matter though, and it's now just a generic ride through an Egyptian tomb?  MIB is probably also the best "shooter" ride that I've ever been on, and again, it has the benefit of being physical sets with physical effects.  I can see the subject matter showing its age here too, but the core experience is still a lot of fun. 

 

If they're intent on a third park though, they need all the attractions they can get.  I'd expect everything else to stay as-is while all resources go into the new site. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

MIB has a sequel come reboot with Tessa Thomson and Chris Hemsworth in production, so again I could see some of the queue content getting updated with the new cast if it's a hit. Really great cast all round on that project (Emma Thompson, Liam Neeson, Kumail Nanijani, Rebecca Furguson supporting). Writing team is the one concern for me, however. Not a great track record.

 

The building facade is an interesting one to work with for The Mummy's ride space. It would be fun if The Mummy kept the core coaster element but was re-themed to all the classic 1930s Universal Monsters somehow. Stick some Abbot and Costello animatronics in there for good measure. :) 

 

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×