Monday, February 19, 2007

Dare to Dream ...

Head on over to Re-Imagineering for some potentially wonderful news from the inside. It appears that the blemish on EPCOT's face (of the sort that often strike 25-year-olds, if we're to be allegorical about it) may finally be going away. Hip, hip ... well, let's not say that last word until we see it for ourselves!
But if all goes well, the days of stooping, leaning, craning and kneeling to "fudge" photos of Spaceship Earth's beautiful geosphere, like the one above, may be numbered.


Digital Jedi said...

It will be wonderful to get that sense of scale back. But like you say, let's hope this isn't too good to be true.

Anonymous said...

Epcot82, I enjoy your photographs very much!

No pun intended, but the Wand and the Big Ass Hat look as if they come from the same "hand." (aheh!) Surely they have a common denominator somewhere at the top of the Disney power structure. Someone with awful taste and obtuseness so tremendous that it's frightening.

How in the wide, wide world of sports did they happen at all?

As distasteful as the whole subject is, the truth is that these are the results of individuals, and as such must serve as very clear homing beacons (I watched Eo one too many times) for execs serious about solving the Disney Theme Park Problem.

Okay, I''ll say it: I want blood!

Anonymous said...

You are absolutely right. And yet no one at Disney thinks this way. No one thinks about the trade-offs of making a better movie for Epcot versus making Step Up. They are different divisions with different budgets. Unfortunately, these minor improvements are losing ground to major attractions like Toy Story Mania. And yet what Park Mgt doesn't get is that the bad Norway film is just as much to blame for sagging Epcot attendance as the lack of new E-Tickets. In fact, Disney has put a lot of focus on E-Tickets. Its not E-Tickets that Epcot needs. Its for places like World Showcase, which comprise, what half the park?, to be fresh.

However, in the Studios defense, you named a bunch of flops and so you are kind of being selective. Most of those movies were green lit before the new film strategy. Now that the studio has cut back on new films and is focusing on "quality" Disney branded fare, we should see profit margins go up. At least that's the theory.

Anonymous said...

The bad Norway film is just as much to blame for sagging Epcot attendance as the lack of new E-Tickets.

Wow! What a good point! BINGO!

With regard to the actual films for the theme parks, I dont relate them to Disney film studios specifically.

It seems to me that Films (The Walt Disney Company box office movies, animation, TV) and Theme Parks are two different animals. Films are one company. Theme parks are another -- WED, Imagineering, whatever you want to call it, is the theme park equivalent of what the studios and animation are to Disney.

If the animation was broken, they'd fix the animation studios. In order to fix the theme parks, WED or Imagineering needs to be fixed.

Bad management at the parks can't have the same ill effects as bad Imagineering -- different ill effects, yes, but the same, no -- so I don't factor park management into the picture much when pondering what it is that ails the theme parks. There is no management without something to manage. Imagineering needs strong vision in a strong hand.

Anonymous said...

This would count as about 500,000 of the million dreams Disney needs to fulfill this ad campaign if it really happened.

Captain Schnemo said...

If the animation was broken, they'd fix the animation studios.

Actually, they didn't start making better films, they just destroyed their own animation department and bought Pixar.

I don't think that bodes well for WDW.

J Gall. said...

Disney's Wide World of Sports Complex Celebrates 10 Years

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- Disney's Wide World of Sports Complex is celebrating its 10th anniversary in March 2007. -from Deb's update @

You've got to be kidding me. Another money losing venture and it gets a 10th Birthday party while EPCOT doesn't get a silver anniversary. Spaceship Earth.

Geoffrey said...

Back after almost 2 weeks of absence I come back to wonderful news here..

*crosses fingers* please in the spirit of Epcot recycle the steel used to build the wand and make something useful out of it..perhaps a shiney new wrecking ball to take down the swan and dolphin (very wishful thinking i know, but i couldn't think of anything else)

please let this rumour be true...

Anonymous said...

I was surprised to read recently that there are people who like the wand because they feel it adds some "Disney" feeling to Epcot. It got me thinking that either they have certain expectations of what comprises Disney theming, (that is, that they feel it should involve a certain degree of fantasy and cartoon characters), or that the quality of that special Disney style entertainment has been dwindling at Epcot, (which is mostly what this blog maintains).

I happen to feel that most people's impressions, including management, reflects the former situation, while the actual issue is the latter. Some guests and management want Epcot to be more like Magic Kingdom, and yet they forget that what made Epcot so wonderful is being undermined by their very actions.

Epcot once had three powerhouse attractions that were designed by Disney's best imagineers: World of Motion, Journey into Imagination; and Horizons. They each embodied the Disney style with quality shows featuring detailed settings, wonderful music, and a strong message of how they fit into the theme of Epcot. It wasn't the same flavor as a Fantasyland show but did catch the quality of Haunted Mansion and Pirates of the Carribbean. All that has been traded for a giant cutout Mickey hand holding a wand, Princess breakfasts, Mickey themed stores, and character meet-n-greets.

Anonymous said...

What if they removed the wand and placed mouse ears on Spaceship Earth?

Geoffrey said...

anonymous {What if they removed the wand and placed mouse ears on Spaceship Earth}

then i wouldn't feel terrible if we started boycotting Disney products, movies, theme parks, everything and everything that has a Disney stamp or has semi Disney Ownership..including Pixar, Apple, Dreamworks..

and in fact I'd even consider pulling out of the Disney Vacation Club as a form of protest(yes i know the irony that I'm protesting by withdrawing out of something that I hate(but its more convenient when i visit the theme parks hance why i joined))

Also if someone wanted to bulldose over spaceship earth and world showcase I wouldnt feel too terrible either, as the true spirt of EPCOT and Disney would be dead in my opinion.

Anonymous said...

Great post Dean. Yes there are many Disney’s. Magic Kingdom may have Stich’s escape and the Country Bears but they are only a few hundred feet away from the Wheel of Progress and Hall of Presidents. Kids and adults would do well to experience both.

WDW is the greatest vacation spot because of its incredible range of activities, and one of a kind experiences. It is a mistake if those in charge don’t recognize that many people do go there for Spaceship Earth and The Land. Sure maybe your average five year old would prefer “Lightning McQueen drives through The Land” and “Stitch’s learns to use phone and internet connection inside the Ball” ride; However I guarantee that change would decrease attendance no matter how well done.

I’m in a DVC family and the parks must support the gamut of experiences. Everything cannot be themed to the kiddies and thrill riders. No place on earth serves the kiddies better, but there must be something for them to transition into. The fact is thrill rides can be found without 2 grand in airfare for the family.

Someday when my oldest doesn’t want to do the Winnie the Pooh ride and doesn’t want to get a character autograph, I look forward to Hall of Presidents, and hopefully an updated Norway movie. If the only type of choices are (figuratively) Snow White ride or Space Mountain and she’s outgrown the first perhaps we will just find a coaster nearby.