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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)

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Yeah, it's really not something to be upset about.  Changing Tower of Terror to Guardians was a much bigger problem, and even that seems to have turned out OK (as long as they don't fuck with the Florida version...).  I'm sure there's going to be some easter egg hidden in there to call back to the original version.  These are probably the same people who complained about changes to POTC.

 

The only thought I had about bringing Tony Baxter in on this, is that you need to keep in mind that this was the guy who thought a ride based on Song of the South was a good idea in the 80s...

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2 hours ago, ChrisBardon said:

Yeah, it's really not something to be upset about.  Changing Tower of Terror to Guardians was a much bigger problem, and even that seems to have turned out OK (as long as they don't fuck with the Florida version...).  I'm sure there's going to be some easter egg hidden in there to call back to the original version.  These are probably the same people who complained about changes to POTC.

 

I think one of the reasons Tower's re-do got a pass in the end was that the DCA version was seen to be the inferior version of the original, and that what replaced it was quickly accepted as a superior experience. Tempers always simmer quickly in these instances when something is replaced by something as good, or better. The only thing that puzzled me was how obscure it was, re-themed, right at the end of the little Hollywood section of DCA. They're sort of retconning that now via way of the Marvel campus of course. It's an eye sore of a building to be sure, in the age fo Disney where sight lines no longer matter, but the ride does look fun. It's actually an impressive example of what they can do with a short turn around, although Splash will be a lot more complicated.

 

As you say, I think if they tried to do anything with the Florida version I'd be pretty angry. That's earned its place as a bonafide classic alongside Haunted Mansion and Pirates. I could envision a day when they strip out the Twilight Zone element since it's not a property Disney own. As a nerd for the old series that would make me sad, but so long as they kept the Hollywood Tower theming, and perhaps re-worked the Harrison Hightower backstory from the Tokyo version to fit, then that would be acceptable.

 

IF Disney throw a decent amount of money towards Splash, and who knows whether that's possible given the current circumstances, or what announced projects for elsewhere have been scrapped to make this happen instead, then I think there's every chance it could be a better ride and that the (reasonable) majority who may be sad now will get over it quickly. The things they could do with lighting and foliage alone could be really charming. I suppose I shouldn't get too hung up on the Magic Kingdom version not fitting in quite as well either since Splash was still set in the South. 

 

The big flaw in my view is still that they're doing this kind of overlay on a ride with a height restriction. A lot of kids will miss out, and while yes one could argue Seven Dwarves Mine Train has a restriction too, you'd think there's a lot of kids out there who'd benefit from seeing characters with their skin colour having such a major presence on a ride. 

 

 

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The only thought I had about bringing Tony Baxter in on this, is that you need to keep in mind that this was the guy who thought a ride based on Song of the South was a good idea in the 80s...

 

Certainly, although even then he knew to be careful what elements they lifted from the movie (and there was a desire to re-use the animal robotics from America Sings to help keep the budget down for a new attraction). It's not like it was ever really Song of the South: The Ride, with all of its toxic elements painting the picture of idilic life on a plantation. I do seem to remember some subtle Uncle Remus references in the queue though. Is my memory right? Are they still there?

 

Also, don't forget Disney had re-released the movie theatrically to success in the 1980s.... TWICE, and on home video internationally. There's definitely an argument to be made as to the origins of the inspiration for Zip a Dee Doo Dah too of course. I can't see them retaining it outside of Splash Mountain once it is re-themed anyway. I'll miss Br'er Bear, that much I can say for certain. I always liked his design. 

 

One could reasonably argue that Port Orlean's Riverside, beautifully landscaped though it is for a moderate resort, is a genuinely more offensive standing creation than Splash ever was given its original 'Dixie Landings' Cotton Plantation backstory at WDW. That was built in the early 90s and opened in 92. At least they removed the back story and original name. I suppose if there was to be any further debate over the influence of some of its architecture then that debate would surely then have to turn to Disneyland's Haunted Mansion too. 

 

 

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4 hours ago, Angry the Clown said:

The big flaw in my view is still that they're doing this kind of overlay on a ride with a height restriction. A lot of kids will miss out, and while yes one could argue Seven Dwarves Mine Train has a restriction too, you'd think there's a lot of kids out there who'd benefit from seeing characters with their skin colour having such a major presence on a ride. 

 

That's true-it's a 40in restriction now, which isn't THAT big.  I remember my daughter was able to make it on for our first Florida trip when she was 5.  They might be able to redo the restraints to get that down a bit, but much more than that and you're running into more problems with the drop etc being too scary.  I'd expect that this retheme will come with a new character meet & greet location as part of it to have something for the smaller kids as well. 

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Seems Scott Trowbridge is also involved in Splash.

 


Between Charita Carter, Baxter and Trowbridge, they certainly seem to be assigning their best people to this. Again I just hope they have the budget to allow them to deliver.

 

I keep thinking about how nice it could look at night if they have fibre optic firefly effects...etc

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I’m disappointed that Splash Mountain is going away. Not angry, and not disappointed with the decision or why Disney made it, but disappointed that a ride I really like is going away. 
 

I understand the reasons and while I could argue that Splash Mountain did enough to distance itself from the source, I acknowledge that this could be a “bad take” and that as a 40 year old white male I am most likely blind to its problems. I do agree that having a ride related to Song of the South is problematic and while most people are probably not familiar with it, there is much easier access to information on its origins every day, which is not a good look. 
 

I do have concerns about basing it on Princess and the Frog though. Themeing is a bit of a wash as it is right next door to New Orleans Square in DL and will be wildernessy enough that it will fit into Frontierland just as well as the current ride based in the south. 
 

While I think Tiana is a great character, I’m worried that Princess and the Frog could be viewed as problematic in 10-15 years also.

 

I am excited for the possibility of “Are you Ready” playing while you go up the lift hill, with some modern projection effects all the way up. I  think that could be great. 

 

I also worry that Disneyland is losing a member of its “Mountain range” and that it will be called something like “Princess and the Frog: Tianas Wild Mardi Gras Log Drop Adventure”. Ugh. 

 

I’m mostly disappointed though that I may not get to take my daughter on Splash Mountain. Of the pictures she has seen of our trips to DL and WDW, she seems the most taken with Splash Mountain and loves to watch video of people dropping out of it. She loves Tiana, so I’m sure she’ll be ok with the changes, but I would like her to have heard “How Do You Do?” while dropping into the show building at least once. 

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8 hours ago, Graeme said:

I also worry that Disneyland is losing a member of its “Mountain range” and that it will be called something like “Princess and the Frog: Tianas Wild Mardi Gras Log Drop Adventure”. Ugh. 

 

Yeah, the name is definitely going apparently. It's surely going to be something convoluted in modern Disney parks fashion. Hopefully they don't try to work the film title into the name at least (it wouldn't even make sense if it's set after the film and there should be no frogs involved). Tiana and Louis' Mardis Gras Mountain? 🤷‍♂️

 

I'll miss How Do You Doo as well. I'm glad I have that on the Musical History of Disneyland box set.

 

I really wonder if anything could have been salvaged had Disney thought to take the Br'er characters and handed them over to a predomenantly African American team of writers, directors, animators and voice talent to fuel a new animated series on Disney+ that would have both washed away the stain of Song of the South, while making the characters relevant to young guests (not that that ever mattered much, as Splash has been proof for two decades now that you can still have an attraction beloved by many ages that isn't based on anything, or in this case anything many people even remember or know existed). 

 

Changes like this always leave me wondering whether I benefit from not having ridden a ride that's going away in so long, that they already become distant memories for me, or whether it's worse that I don't have more recent memories and chances to say goodbye to certain attractions. My last encounter on Splash would have been the Disneyland version in 2002, but it was also a much loved favourite for me and my dad during our WDW visits when I was a kid (it was typically the ride we went right towards on park opening). I wonder if Disney have any sway over whether it can stay in Tokyo or not (it hasn't been announced for change, but I don't know if they could push TLC to change it in arguing it no longer fits with the Disney brand).

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7 hours ago, Graeme said:

I also worry that Disneyland is losing a member of its “Mountain range” and that it will be called something like “Princess and the Frog: Tianas Wild Mardi Gras Log Drop Adventure”. Ugh. 

 

The "wild mardi gras log drop" sounds like what happens the morning after eating too much Jambalaya, beignets and muffulettas...

5 hours ago, Angry the Clown said:

Changes like this always leave me wondering whether I benefit from not having ridden a ride that's going away in so long, that they already become distant memories for me, or whether it's worse that I don't have more recent memories and chances to say goodbye to certain attractions. My last encounter on Splash would have been the Disneyland version in 2002, but it was also a much loved favourite for me and my dad during our WDW visits when I was a kid (it was typically the ride we went right towards on park opening). I wonder if Disney have any sway over whether it can stay in Tokyo or not (it hasn't been announced for change, but I don't know if they could push TLC to change it in arguing it no longer fits with the Disney brand).

 

I don't think there's really any danger of "losing" the ride.  I'd be pretty sure that the main constraint is that the layout be identical to what's there now.  Given the finances, changing out the theming and animatronics is one thing, but moving track is probably out of the question. 

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5 hours ago, Angry the Clown said:

I really wonder if anything could have been salvaged had Disney thought to take the Br'er character characters and handed them over to a predomenantly African American team of writers, directors, animators and voice talent to fuel a new animated series on Disney+ that would have both washed away the stain of Song of the South, while making the characters relevant to young guests


I was wondering the same thing and had a very similar paragraph typed out. I agree that if they had given back the characters, instead of just trying to hide their roots that it could have possibly been a powerful gesture. 
 

I thought they had, but it turns out it was Universal that did a Br’er Rabbit movie with an all black cast and director.

 

https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0493201/

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24 minutes ago, ChrisBardon said:

I don't think there's really any danger of "losing" the ride.  I'd be pretty sure that the main constraint is that the layout be identical to what's there now.  Given the finances, changing out the theming and animatronics is one thing, but moving track is probably out of the question. 


Yes, I fully expect the ride layout to remain the same. The experience, in that sense, should not change. 

 

2 minutes ago, Graeme said:


I was wondering the same thing and had a very similar paragraph typed out. I agree that if they had given back the characters, instead of just trying to hide their roots that it could have possibly been a powerful gesture. 
 

I thought they had, but it turns out it was Universal that did a Br’er Rabbit movie with an all black cast and director.

 

https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0493201/


Fascinating. I never knew about that movie.

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23 minutes ago, ChrisBardon said:

 

The "wild mardi gras log drop" sounds like what happens the morning after eating too much Jambalaya, beignets and muffulettas...

 

I don't think there's really any danger of "losing" the ride.  I'd be pretty sure that the main constraint is that the layout be identical to what's there now.  Given the finances, changing out the theming and animatronics is one thing, but moving track is probably out of the question. 


I don’t understand this sentiment that the ride will be the same because the layout will be the same. Splash Mountain is great because of the theming, animatronics and music. The layout only serves as a means to view these elements and the drop at the end provides a thrill. 
 

If all you care about are the drops, then yes, there is no loss, but a lot of people ride Splash Mountain to see the theming and hear the music. The drops are just something they have to deal with. 
 

If they gut the mountain of all it’s animatronics and replace it with screens and static props, I don’t think that would be a very satisfying ride, even though it is the “same”. 
 

Indiana Jones and Dinosaur share the exact same ride layout and ride mechanics. One is a Disney Classic that is one of the best theme park attractions ever made.... and the other is just ok. 

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I'm really interested to see what level of animatronics they even put in the new version. Frozen/Seven Dwarves projected kind, Little Mermaid kind, or Tokyo Beauty and the Beast kind. I think we can rule out the latter due to budget. My bet would be on Little Mermaid levels of modelling and movement (but probably without a singularly impressive Ursula animatronic, unless they really want to do something good for Louis). In fairness a Little Mermaid level of quality would be OK given the speed the logs travel at. Any more sophisticated and it's potentially a waste of money as guests would pass them relatively quickly (on the recent Tomorrow Society podcast interview with Tom K Morris he explains how physics dictates the speed the logs have to travel at, and no amount of ride design can change that). 

 

It would be nice if Randy Newman is asked to do the music for the ride.

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1 hour ago, Graeme said:

I don’t understand this sentiment that the ride will be the same because the layout will be the same. Splash Mountain is great because of the theming, animatronics and music. The layout only serves as a means to view these elements and the drop at the end provides a thrill. 


Fair point-I was thinking of it as a ride that was tied to basically nothing right now in my kids' eyes, but was one of their favourites in the park.  It was a "big kid" ride that they could go on, and they liked the drop at the end as well as the buildup.  To contrast, Ripsaw Falls at IoA wasn't near as big a hit.

 

I figured it would be the "same" in that they'd provide the same E-Ticket level of polish to whatever it becomes.  Maelstrom is better for being turned into Frozen (even if that did have a track change) for example. 

 

I really hope they go for something impressive near the end, especially given how the load/unload can back up there.  I'd definitely like to see the physical versions (like the Jack Sparrow in POTC, or Hondo in the falcon), but those projected faces might show up in the mid-ride areas.  They look...ok? 

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Another thing I am wondering about is how they can pack it as densely with characters because there really aren't that many central players in Princess and the Frog (fewer when you consider one dies, and another is dragged to the underworld). I think a lot of the existing animatronics could be re-used and re-skinned to represent the wildlife, but will they be as vocal as the animals in Splash? PaTF is quite selective as to which creatures talk, but this being something of an epilogue to the movie could take liberties I suppose. It'd be great if there are some new characters and songs in and amongst the familiar stuff. I like it when ride's get exclusive songs (the Mickey and Minnie one is pretty catchy).  

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3 hours ago, Angry the Clown said:

It'd be great if there are some new characters and songs in and amongst the familiar stuff. I like it when ride's get exclusive songs (the Mickey and Minnie one is pretty catchy).  


I expect this will be very similar to Frozen Ever After in terms of story and songs. That ride takes place after the movie, in preparation for a festival and is essentially an excuse to have the characters sing all the songs (with altered lyrics). 

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I also wonder how long Splash Mountain will remain in Japan. I suspect it will remain there for quite awhile. 

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20 minutes ago, Graeme said:

I also wonder how long Splash Mountain will remain in Japan. I suspect it will remain there for quite awhile. 

 

Is it exactly the same over there?  Wasn't Japan the one territory where you could still get Song of the South on laserdisc?  I think I remember people talking about importing that back in the HTF days...

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Tokyo Splash has the same layout as Florida, but scenes are in a different order, the only exterior drop is the big one likely due to weather concerns, and (of course) all the lighting and animatronic effects are far better.

 

 

The Japanese version of 'How do You Do' is fun.

 

9 hours ago, ChrisBardon said:

Wasn't Japan the one territory where you could still get Song of the South on laserdisc?  I think I remember people talking about importing that back in the HTF days...

 

Japan had a laserdisc, but here in Europe it was released on VHS once or twice in the 1980s (I still have my late 80s copy from when I was a kid). I don't think I have seen the film in around 25-30yrs now. Much of it is a blur, memories of which only really lived on in me through Splash Mountain. Even as a child I was never particularly fond of the film though. I was fascinated by the merging of live action and animation at that time whether it was Song of the South, Mary Poppins, Bedknobs and Broomsticks...etc, but the live action story bored me. It's just generally not a good film. I also really hated the kid in it (the character that is). 

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https://disneyparks.disney.go.com/blog/2020/07/virtual-queue-update-for-star-wars-rise-of-the-resistance-at-disneys-hollywood-studios/
 

Rise of the Resistance will still be using boarding passes, but they will now be distributed in batches as 10AM, 1PM and 4PM.

 

I think this is a good change as it will discourage people to show up super early more than the old system, but also gives people who stay the day to have more opportunity to get a pass. 
 

It can also allow them to alter the number of passes for the later groups depending on how the ride has been operating, instead of relying on back up groups. 

 

 

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