Things Walt would not be proud about

Discussion in 'Disneyland News, Rumors and General Discussion' started by hbquikcomjamesl, Aug 10, 2018.

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  1. hbquikcomjamesl

    hbquikcomjamesl Active Member

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    I agree with Mr. Geryak's basic premise about there being much that Walt would be proud of. Yet at the same time, I'd say that there's also quite a bit that he wouldn't care for. There are a lot of things, in recent years, that simply weren't up to Disney standards in terms of immersive theming (particularly in parts of DCA, as it was when it opened). Along with things that were changed, simply for the sake of making them different, without actually making them better (and sometimes making them not-as-good). And also a few things that simply went away, for no apparent reason (e.g., SpectroMagic).

    Now, of course, I would take it as a "given," that none of these have ever happened as egregiously in Disney theme parks as they have in, say, Six Flags or Cedar Fair parks. Just as I would take it as a "given" that experiments sometimes produce total disasters (but to keep a total disaster of an innovation around after an overwhelmingly successful demonstration that "going back" works is insane: "Light Magic" closed after one season, and yet even after the overwhelming success of last summer's MSEP revival, the powers that be keep trying to keep "Pain in the Night" -- which, arguably, makes "Light Magic" look good -- alive, instead of putting it out of everybody's misery, and incorporating the good bits into the MSEP.)

    So yes, Walt would have a lot to be proud of. But there's also a lot (what does a Disney theme park need with a crudely-themed, off-the-shelf, "wild mouse"?) that would make him say, "What were you THINKING?"
     
  2. Marlin Perkins

    Marlin Perkins Well-Known Member

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    I agree with some of Geryak's points too. However,what stands out for me is the argument in favor of Star Wars Land. Sure, Walt had a castle built in Fantasyland (originally known as Snow White's then changed to Sleeping Beauty), but it's also a generic symbol of a fantasy world. You can name it anything you like, it's still a fairytale castle. And, it's still just one attraction within the park.
    Geryak also mentioned Lion King having been based on stories from another medium and how it is now "quintessentially Disney today." Most of Disney's stories were based on or taken from classic tales. BUT, these things were given the Disney magic--they were transformed and are uniquely Disney. Star Wars does not exude a Disney vibe. It will (hopefully) never be given the Disney treatment. What of the Indiana Jones franchise, also owned by Disney? Marvel? Any future buy-outs? Do we dedicate lands to them?
    IMHO Disney should never have designed an entire land, within the DL realm, for one franchise that will never be, and nobody ever wants it to be, "quintessentially Disney." Give it a ride. Build a Star Wars castle. But, a whole land?! Yeah, Walt's turning in his grave.
    And, don't even get me started on serving alcohol in CA as well as right outside the gates in DTD.
     
  3. hbquikcomjamesl

    hbquikcomjamesl Active Member

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    I don't object to there being a whole land based on Star Wars. SW may not be a Disney property other than by ownership, but it's still a better fit than some of the recent acquisitions. I would personally rather see a whole land based on SW than see a single attraction (or a temporary overlay on a land) based on, say, Marvel.

    Nor (despite being a teetotaler) do I have a problem with DCA serving alcohol to the general public; it's NOT a Magic Kingdom, and there's ample precedent for non-MK Disney parks serving alcohol (cf. Epcot, Studios, AK). But keep it out of the MKs. DLP should have been a one-time concession to French culture (or even better, the whole Euro-Disney operation should have been built in a country that wouldn't have had a problem with the local MK being an alcohol-free zone). It should not have led to alcohol being served to the general public in WDW-MK, or in DL.
     
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  4. Marlin Perkins

    Marlin Perkins Well-Known Member

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    I was trying to see some of this from what I think would have been Walt's perspective. Then, I went off on my own tangent--as I'm admittedly, a traditionalist.
    Personally, I'm sure Star Wars Land will be fun, interesting, and popular. But, will it be, say, in another 40 years from now? Hard to tell. It seems risky. If not, I guess they can change the entire land.
    As for the alcohol, I don't think Walt would have liked the element. For me, nothing goes down smoother than a stiff drink after a day (or 3) at the happiest place on earth. Yet, I was really turned off the last time I went to CA and watched people sucking down margaritas while in line for Toy Story Mania. Some people can handle a couple of drinks, but these folks were really obnoxious.
     
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  5. PNWTigger

    PNWTigger Well-Known Member

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    I think when it comes to alcohol being served in any Disney park that it should be only allowed in a certain area. Table service restaurants are an appropriate place to imbibe on a drink or two with food, but standing in line with an alcoholic drink in hand is just asking for trouble. At DCA drinks in the Pacific Wharf where there is plenty of seating makes sense or even in the Paradise Grill area over by Goofy's Sky School. I don't feel that there is an area that has a similar feel in Disneyland though. Yeah...there's the area outside of French Market Restaurant or in front of Jolly Holiday that has a similar seating type of area, but it just doesn't seem to fit to me.
     
  6. hbquikcomjamesl

    hbquikcomjamesl Active Member

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    That sounds even worse than the worst abuses I saw, my last visit to WDW, during the Epcot event that has devolved into Food & Wino Festival. (Is it my fault that they schedule that thing for the one period out of the whole year when Central Florida is neither excessively hot nor excessively wet?)
     
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  7. JeffG

    JeffG Member

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    Whenever articles or threads like this come up, I always find it notable that there is an amazing correlation between what Walt would and wouldn't like and what the person writing likes and dislikes. Walt was not exceptionally predictable and there is certainly no way of knowing how he would have responded to another half a century of cultural and technological progress. These discussions are never really much of anything beyond a variation on any other personal likes & dislikes discussion.
     
  8. hbquikcomjamesl

    hbquikcomjamesl Active Member

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    Well, we DO know that on the one hand, he did smoke and drink, and DID want a private club in DL, where he and Disney management could wine-and-dine actual and potential attraction sponsors (among others), but on the other hand, he did not want the general public drinking in his park, and he did not want any drinking in front of children in his park, because he regarded free-flowing alcohol as one of the bad things about the conventional "amusement parks" of that era.
     
  9. Marlin Perkins

    Marlin Perkins Well-Known Member

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    I don't think that's necessarily true, Jeff. Partially, yes. It's obvious that nobody can climb inside the mind of Walt Disney--and that includes Geryak, the author of the mentioned article. And, I admit that I can't resist the temptation to spew my own personal likes and dislikes. However, as hbquikcomjamesl mentioned, we can continue and look at some of Walt's words and actions back in the day (such as his alcohol ban) and how he wanted DL to be different from other amusement parks, and apply that as a general ideology. Thankfully, Walt wanted to control his kingdom. He didn't want a "dirty" carnival atmosphere. Which, btw, is one of the reasons the park wasn't built near the beach, because he didn't want people coming in wearing swimsuits and sand in their shoes. Did Walt have influence with the City of Anaheim regarding what types of businesses would be built around DL? Does the Walt Disney Company have influence on the city today? You know they do. We can look at other things that have remained fairly consistent, such as hiring "cast members" in order to dictate the Disney image So, although a half century of cultural changes have occurred, we know that some things have remained pure to Walt's original vision while other things have slowly morphed under the Disney Co.
     
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  10. hbquikcomjamesl

    hbquikcomjamesl Active Member

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    And has "The Disney Image" evolved to reflect changing tastes? Of course it has; things that would have been considered shockingly indecent in 1955, or 1965, or even 1975, would have been considered perfectly normal in 2005 or 2015. And vice versa. That's why Walt, even though he had a mustache, didn't permit CMs to have facial hair back then, and yet The Walt Disney Company eventually did change the appearance rules, a few years ago. And why, for example, there used to be gender-specific assignments, and why ethnic stereotypes were once much more widespread in Disney theme parks than they are today. (And in the case of the latter, we will probably, in another 20 years, look back on 2018, and make remarks about ethnic stereotypes that we don't even notice today.)

    We've all seen pictures of how DL guests dressed back in the 1950s and 1960s, And how they dressed to go to DL and the various WDW theme parks, in the 1970s and 1980s. Do we dress that way today, visiting DL? (For the record, I do, except that I generally don't show up in a suit and tie, unless it's maybe a quick Sunday visit to WDW-MK, after church, but just before I have to catch a ride to the airport or train station.)
     
  11. Marlin Perkins

    Marlin Perkins Well-Known Member

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    I think the Disney look has evolved, certainly. I don't know how "they" decide what the appropriate look is or what Walt had to say about it as a general practice. But thankfully, they don't allow CMs to be plastered with tattoos yet. That too will probably change within the next 20 years.
     
  12. PNWTigger

    PNWTigger Well-Known Member

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    Maybe the tattooed CM's could work in PoC...you would expect to see a tattooed pirate or two, right? ;)
     
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  13. Marlin Perkins

    Marlin Perkins Well-Known Member

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    Why....I never thought of that. ;)
    [​IMG]
     
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  14. hbquikcomjamesl

    hbquikcomjamesl Active Member

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    (Groucho, singing Yip Harburg; it's been covered both by Michael Feinstein and by Joan Morris)

    Lydia, oh, Lydia, say, have you met Lydia?, oh, Lydia the Tattooed Lady . . .

    I once encountered a Home Depot cashier named Lydia, who did sport a number of tattoos. She also looked like, if I were to break out in even one chorus of "Lydia," she would probably hurt me.
     
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  15. Marlin Perkins

    Marlin Perkins Well-Known Member

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  16. hbquikcomjamesl

    hbquikcomjamesl Active Member

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    Yes, I saw that. What would Walt do?:(
     
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  17. Phroobar

    Phroobar Moderator

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    Walt wouldn't put up with labor unions and would consider Anaheim's mayor to be a communist.
     
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  18. PNWTigger

    PNWTigger Well-Known Member

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    You almost made me snort coffee out my nose when I read that!! Too true though.
     
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  19. Phroobar

    Phroobar Moderator

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    Remember they tried to unionize his animators. He fired everyone of them, bared them from the studio and made sure they were blacklisted from every other studio. He hated that kind of nonsense. Today he would fight the hotel labor unions tooth and nail to a point bankrupting the company.
     

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