August 15, 2017

Welcome to Disney's New Half Day Park and Mouse vs. Rat

Why haven't I posted an article about my response to D23 2017? Truly, it's pretty easy to answer- it's a combination of time and not really having much to say until I gave it some further thought. 

In the midst of white supremacy, the ongoing threats by North Korea, microchipping people, additional attacks by ISIS and Radical Islam (which doesn't seem to get called out by anyone's media), what is going on with the Walt Disney Company is, frankly, no where near as important. But it is what you come to this blog for, so here we go.

Am I happy about Shanghai Disneyland's Tron Lightcycles coming to the Magic Kingdom in Florida? Absolutely- even though the concept art looks quickly and poorly done. Should Disney really want to sell it as a first class upgrade to the park, they need to first treat it as such, and great concept art always suggests the value of the project. Cheap looking art also tells a story. See renderings for DCA's Tower of TerrorBugsland, and Animal Kingdom's awful Dinorama for proof. Want further proof? Just look at anything designed for Toy Story Land/Play Land etc. 

Concept art on the quick and on the cheap.

Back to Tron. This is a win, but it better fit into the area pretty well. The Magic Kingdom's Tomorrowland might be much more cohesive than that of Disneyland's, but it is still sorely lacking in sparkle and appeal. In fact, I'd say that park as a whole is missing that special something that makes it have the incredible fan base of the Anaheim original. For that matter - as much as I am looking forward to going there next year - the whole of Walt Disney World at large is lacking as well. D23 only highlights that fact by the content of what was shared. Maybe the oft- rumored 50 "enhancements" for the 50th anniversary of the resort will turn into something more.

Now about the Studios. The all new Mickey and Minnie's Runaway Railway sounds terrific, even if it's screen based and short, but it certainly should not be replacing The Great Movie Ride. It should anchor the Animation section of the park. Or are they letting that piece of the park die as well? 

Let me say that they suits could have let the Great Movie Ride rest for a few days before placing advertisements for the new attraction on the sides of the theater the day after closing the iconic opening day attraction. Talk about disrespect! I guess this is the new method of doing business. And welcome to Disney's New Half Day Park. What is it now, four rides and a handful of long past their prime shows? Even California Adventure had more to offer while that park was being transformed! You can cram all the Star Wars related things in there that you want, but this is just poor planning and at worst more disrespect for their paying customers.

Beautiful art of what I hope enhances 
my favorite World Showcase pavilion.

Epcot. Let's be honest: The writing was on the wall years ago. Did anyone who was even somewhat paying attention think that the character invasion would not be coming to this once great and unique park? Yes, Remy's Ratatouille adventure should be quite fun. But this is interesting: It's Mouse vs. Rat. Both attractions will share the same ride system albeit in two different parks. The suits will make sure both are successful. They have to be as they are the first real additions in years. It's still shocking to me how the suits have let these parks deteriorate by intentional neglect. Coco in Mexico, and Frozen in Norway. But what pray tell is coming to the U.K.?  You can be sure it is not an attraction without a movie tie-in. That just isn't done anymore unless it is in an overseas park. Gotta give them a bit thanks for not killing off Impressions de France, though. At least for now, it's safe.

Star Wars Hotel and Disney Skyliner? Mixed bag at best.

When you blow this up, the size of the art
is great- the concept is not.

On the other side of the U.S., we hard core fans get to look forward to the revamping of Paradise Pier into Pixar land. This is the third incarnation of a bad idea made worse. But I say stick all the Pixar characters into this area, and leave the rest of California Adventure alone unless it is done as excellently as Cars Land. The Runaway Railway could fit in very well at the Pier if they don't transform it all into Pixar. A new spinner is ok if it means Screamin' gets some needed paint and refurbishment and if the ugly 1.0 facades get a reworking. And Disney, (i.e. Chapel), please leave the Fun Wheel alone. If you've got to shove a character on it, I'd rather have Mickey's face than anyone else.  A concession to a poor design and even poorer plans. This park was getting so much better, but I fear new leadership doesn't really get the idea of theme. We all know Marvel is coming. Let's hope it is accomplished with much love and class as Buena Vista Street and not in the style of the original Backlot. 

There you have it, D23 from my view. Comments?

(Art copyright The Walt Disney Company.)

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