Wednesday, 26 February 2014

Poor Zurg has suffered enough

So I'm sticking with the Tomorrowland area since Tomorrowland needs some work as it's more like Pastland. One thing that needs to be fixed is Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters. Since it's opening in 2005 all it has ever really been is Roger Rabbits cartoon spin with an interactive gun. While at first it seemed like a pretty neat idea, Toy Story Mania opened which was the same idea except 100% better. It was 3D, interactive, and a better system than Buzz. After Toy Story opened you don't see buzz have more than a 20 minute lineup, nor is it worth waiting more than that. 

Some history should be mentioned first. The attraction first opened up as circlerama. Later changed to Circle-vision 360° and then Circle-Vision. It was a large stand up theatre area with large televisions all around you. It was then closed and reopened as the Rocket Rods queue. It was the largest queue to ride ratio in the park and still is in history. After Rocket Rods closed the building was first used to house King Arthur's carousel as it was being re-painted. Then went under construction to become Buzz Lightyear. 

Now that you have a bit if a back story there are a few things I would do to make this much better. The first thing I would do is get rid of Buzz, I am not going to lie. It's outdated, not as good as other rides that are similar. Then you are left with one question, what do you do with the building? There are a few things you could do to the building making it worth while. The first choice would be to re-open Circlevision or a attraction like that. The idea of that type of attraction is still seen at Disney world. It is used at the Canada Pavilion in the world Showcase at Epcot and still works great!

The problem is that maybe people don't want to stand for a show. Another question is was what they showcase? The next solution is a quite simple one but involves other concepts in it. The next solution would be to do another previous thing. This world be to used it as a queue for the people mover or rocket rods or a different attraction using the track. It would be like it formerly was and they would be able to incorporate old rides into the queue like rocket rods. Now I'll admit this isn't my favourite solution and it would be my last choice, but I'd still rather it than Buzz Lightyear.

There is one last solution that could be done is a different ride. I know, crazy right, a ride in a attraction building! That's absurd (sarcasm is fun)! But I'm serious... There are millions of rides that could be done and fit in the building. You can't tell from the outside or even on the ride the size of the building. But if you look at an Aerial view you can see just how large it is and just how large the theatre is. Rides ranging from something like Adventures Thru inner Space or a different old "throwback" ride to something that is brand new and unsee before. Maybe it has something to do with time travel like an Ellen's Energy Adventure yet smaller and ranges throughout time. Almost a Back to the Future like idea but obviously can't be like that as Disney doesn't own the rights. 

Overall, there are many options to what can be done with the building. Obviously, there is keep Buzz Lightyear in the building but that would be my last choice. My top choice would actually be putting in a different ride all together. It could either be an old ride design or a new one as both are good depending on who the guests are and what their opinions are. Close behind it however is putting it back as the Circlevision theatre as the experience in Disney world is beautiful and it should be in Disneyland as well. Third on my list would be the queue for a ride. I rather it be a line for a ride than an actual ride. If that doesn't say something I don't know what would. 

That's all for this week! Remember to send in questions or comments you have about this post or any other future posts. Come back on Sunday!

Sunday, 23 February 2014

Critter Country Secrets & History

Secret:
1. Where Winnie the Pooh is now is what used to be Bear Country Jamboree. You can see evidence of this by riding Winnie the pooh and about half way through the ride you can look back and see a few characters from BCJ (Max, Buff and Melvin).
2. While on Splash Mountain you will see Fowler's Cellar which is adjacent to Fowler's Harbor, a dry dock for the S.S. Columbia. Fowler's Harbor, Fowler's Inn and Fowler's Cellar are all named as tributes to Admiral Joe Fowler, a retired Navy Officer and close friend of Walt Disney, who was integral to Disneyland's construction.
3. From the right angle Splash Mountain resembles Pride Rock from the Lion King.


Trivia:

1. Splash Mountain is based off of one of the most, if not the most controversial Disney movies created, Song of the South. This can be seen through the main characters throughout the ride in Brer Fox, Brer Bear and Brer Rabbit.
2. Tony Baxter was the lead imagineer who was in charge of this design and actually came up with the idea of a log fume to help the back corner of the park which was struggling.
3. It wasn't originally going to be called Splash Mountain. It was originally going to be called Zip-A-Dee River Run but then Michael Eisner (Good 'Ol Eisner) decided do change it to Splash Mountain for two reasons. The first one was because he wanted to cross-refrence it with a movie by Disney being released that year by the name of "Splash". The second reason is that the cast members all wanted a new mountain and Eisner thought this one would make a "Splash". That is how it got it's name!

History: (I am pretty sure most of these are known but if not alright!)
1. The most known one is also a Secret I put. That is that Winnie the Pooh used to be a favourite for most in Bear Country Jamboree.
2. Most of the Splash Mountain Characters seen in the final boat scene were originally from America Sings. At this time America Sings was struggling and was to soon shut its doors. Tony Baxter thought it would be smart to take the animatronics from there saving them time, money and labour.
3. Critter Country went through different names throughout time. Originally it was called Indian Village, later renamed to Bear Country, and finally to broaden the species a bit, they renamed the land to Critter Country.

Until Next Sunday, that is all for now! Don't forget to send me suggestions on what to do next week!

Wednesday, 19 February 2014

Nemo has been found enough times

For this week I am talking about Finding Nemo's Submarine Voyage. I thought it would be fitting to talk about it since it is currently closed for refurbishment. 

First some history. When Disneyland first opened the lagoon it was smaller and used for the ride Phantom Boats. It was closed shortly after as people would get trapped in their boats as the boats should break down. The boats would be stuck in the middle of the lagoon with no way of helping them. It was removed shortly after. In 1959, they opened the Submarine Voyage through Liquid Space. This ride was open until 1998 to make way for Finding Nemo in 2007. 

When I was in Disneyland in late December I knew it was closing down at the beginning of January. There were rumours that it would stay closed at this time. I decided that I would ride it one last time just incase it was going to be closed down. I happened to get lucky as the wait time was 10 minutes while the rest of the day it was 30+. I ended up going on the ride and the ride was longer than I waited in line. Let me just say one thing about the ride. It was awful.

Don't get me wrong, the technology behind lining the sound up with where you are is amazing! And Tony Baxter, the lead imagineer on this project is my most favourite imagineer. He just missed the ball with this attraction. There were many things that just didn't work for me through the whole ride. One thing is the queue. I know this sounds funny but Disney is known for completing the whole experience. This ride queue just doesn't have it, the Nemo ride in Walt Disney World (WDW) is way better for their queue! It immerses you into the world of Nemo. The problem they may have though is because the queue is outside but it's Disney, they can figure something out. Another thing they really missed the ball on is the story and part of the back story. Tony Baxter once did an interview where he said that creating a ride based on a movie can be quite hard as sometimes you only re-tell plot. Basically the entire ride was just a re-tell of the plot which if I wanted to re-hear the plot I'd watch the movie. What they should have done in my opinion is make the ride about what happened AFTER the end of the movie. Not what happened in the movie. 

That is just some suggestions I have on what I would do with the Finding Nemo ride. What I would actually do is just leave the ride closed. On March 18th at the AGM, I would announce the closure of Finding Nemo. Then I would do a bit of a 'throwback' to a previous ride. Can you guess which one? It was never in Disneyland. I'd turn it to a 20,000 leagues under the sea type ride. Take the nautilus designed submarines and have those in the ride as that really brings the focus on the ride as the shape really stands out intriguing more guests to the ride. The actual ride would be a mix of Submarine Voyage thru Liquid Space as well as 20,000 leagues. That way you get a distinctive ride vehicle to intrigue people to it then have the ride want people to go on it more than once. Another thing that would need to be addressed is the length of the ride. Speed up the subs a bit or shorten the track as a 10+ minute ride can be too long.  

If I personally had it my way I would create the 20,000 leagues under the sea ride. I never got to ride it and it looked absolutely amazing. It's a real shame they got rid of the track as well as the lagoon all together at WDW. That would be awful if something like that happened to the lagoon in Disneyland. I'd rather Memo stay than have the lagoon go even though I'm not a huge fan of the ride (as you might be able to tell from this). 

Overall I'd say that even though Nemo can bring in some people, it costs way too much to make it worth while as they don't have enough subs making it the most expensive ride in the whole park. I'd say keep it closed and try to bring in a new ride that does better making it more worth while for them to create. 

As always, I'd love your input on what you agree or disagree with! Also tell me about what you would like me to talk about next week or the following! Don't forget to come back Sunday for the Secrets & History post!

Sunday, 16 February 2014

Tomorrowland History & secrets

I will be giving history, trivia, secrets and other things in each different post (I love this sort of thing!). I will start off with all the lands in DLR. If this is highly liked I will then do the same with WDW. The first land I will go over is tomorrowland.

Secret: 

  1. One of my most favourite secrets, while being weird, is a kinda-secret washroom. Most people don't know this unless they look at the maps (even then it's tricky) or just know it. The way to find this is you go to where you would go to the railroad in between Autopia and the fastpasses for Autopia. As you are walking to the railroad station, turn left just before the little souvenir cart and the washrooms are behind the corner and stairs leading to the people mover track. Another secret with this is it is one of the biggest washrooms in the park.
  2. I lied, this one is my favourite of Tomorrowland if not all of DLR. This one lets you get a free souvenir at Disneyland... You heard me right... A FREE souvenir... What you do is look at your show time guide and go to the ASIMO show at Innoventions (only good thing in Innoventions). You want to get there about 20-30 minutes before the start of the show. There will be a cast member who will do a few trivia questions giving out coins for getting the answer right. The questions are fairly easy like the time I went it was "what was the walk through exhibit when Disneyland opened" (20,000 leagues under the sea), "what attraction has a basketball court in it" (Matterhorn), and others like that. The coin has ASIMO on one side and Disneyland Innoventions on the other. It is made by highland mint so is great quality!
  3. Want to go on Star Tours or Space Mountain but it's a long line all day? There are two solutions. The first solution is go there first thing in the morning and get a fastpass or even wait until a little later in the day and get a letter one. If you don't want to lock your fastpass all day then there is a different solution. The best time would be before, during or after the fireworks. It also works during parades but not as well usually. During one of these things the line is usually cut in half if not more.



Trivia/ Fun Fact:

  1. Did you know that Space Mountain is only 199.5 feet tall? That is because for where it is there are laws about any structure that is over 200 feet has to have a flashing light on it. While personally I believe a flashing light would still tie in fine the decided to keep it under the height requirement.
  2. The structure for the people mover can be seen all over tomorrowland while walking around, but did you know you can see it from on other attractions? You can see it in the queue of Star Tours as well as one of the scenes in Buzz Lightyear (Fun Fact: The moon and sun from circle vision 360° lobby can be seen in this area as well). You can obviously also see it many times on he monorail or Autopia. You can no longer see it in Innoventions anymore.
  3. This is trivia and history conjoined into one. Buzz Lightyear opened 7 years later at DLR than at WDW (2005 compared to 1998). The two reasons for this is the building Buzz is in first held Rocket Rods on the people mover track and once that was a bust it held King Arthur's carousel while being refurbished as it was so big. It then went into construction and opened up in 2005.



History
1. This is one of my favourite pictures of the history of different attractions that were and now starting in 1967. The legend explains it all:


2. Matterhorn was originally part of tomorrowland before becoming part of fantasyland. To this day the different tracks are called the tomorrowland and fantasyland track to represent the corresponding sides.
3. Even though the Flying Saucers were taken out before 1967, it was originally planned to be re-put back in underneath Space Mountain but was scrapped for the same reason it was taken out. 

Thursday, 13 February 2014

People Mover Part 2

Let me start this off by apologising for not having a post yesterday. I was extremely busy and didn't have a chance to post but am publishing it today instead. My hope is to continue on with posting on Wednesdays but this week had a minor setback so was unable to do so. 

I am going to now take what I had said in the first one and expand it. I felt that whole I explained it in the first one it was very deep and I could go into more detail. The first thing I'll go into more detail on is the track and the idea behind it. 


The green path shows the track of the People Mover. The People Mover track goes through or over:

Autopia
Innoventions
Redd's Rockett Pizza Port
Space Mountain
Star Tours
Buzz Lightyear

The track looks into Buzz Lightyear and Star Tours. It looks into Innoventions but the wall that it looks into is covered by ASIMO, Thor, and the xbox game area. If the xbox area was moved or at least the curtain taken down people could ride the People Mover and be able to look into Innoventions and see other exhibits making people want to do into Innoventions as it's struggling right now (something I'll talk about in my next post). 

The next item I want to go into more detail about is the safety aspect. With Disneyland, safety is a number one priority. The easy solutions for some place would be putting window along the entire indoor area so if there is a need of evacuation, there is no risk of people falling into a different attraction accidentally. And with how the carts are set up there is an exit on one side of the vehicle and the easy way to deal with this is to create a fence along the side that the door is on the whole way through. The problem would the be stairs which again create two or three sets of stairs in the track between Innoventions and Buzz Lightyear. That way there is am exit everywhere needed incase of a closure of the ride due to a breakdown.

The next idea that I would personally want to incorporate is a screen that can be used if wanted showcasing history, facts, hidden mickeys, etc. of the ride they are either going through, facing, or The People Mover itself. With the technology that is available today it would be fairly easy to have it set up that way. One way to do it would have a touch screen like a tablet where it would have the ride as a schematic or blueprint with at the bottom there are choices for history, facts, etc. and people get to chose what they want to view and can chose to continue viewing that ride or going to the next one they can see.

The last item I want to go over I'm more detail is how the track will work. In the original people mover it was motorised by wheels pushing it along the track. Then with rocket rods steel tubing was put in. The steel tubing needs to be removed as steel tubing is only beneficial for faster rides ( Matterhorn, Space Mountain, California Screamin' and Big Thunder Mountain Railroad when it reopens). The People Mover isn't a fast ride and steel tubing would be a waste and awful for this ride. A more reasonable solution would be to put in the same system used for something like Mr. Toads wild ride or even a basic track like the old way had.

As mentioned shortly above my next post is going to be on Innoventions next Wednesday. Come back on Sunday as I am going to start a new series all about history and secrets of different places in Disneyland and then moving over to Walt Disney World.

Wednesday, 5 February 2014

Disneyland needs to move more people

You may have been able to tell from the title what attraction I am talking about here. Incase you don't I am talking about the Peoplemover. I never got to ride it unfortunately but I am very passionate about that ride. If you ever want to ware 4+ hours talk to me about the Peoplemover.

First, a little history of the people mover. It was added in Tomorrowland in 1967 with Adventures through Inner space, the monorail and the submarine voyage through liquid space. These were all added to create the theme of "world of motion" throughout Tomorrowland. The ride lasted 28 years before closing in 1995. The ride was then replaced by Rocket Rods in 1998 which lasted a little longer than two years. The track is still there more than 13 years after the closure of Rocket Rods.

Now, what do I suggest doing? Before I explain let me just remind you again I am only 16 and while I think I know what's right it may be entirely wrong! Here's what I would do. First, I would decide what to put in there. A definite no is obviously Rocket Rods as the track just wasn't built for a ride like that and you'd need a slower ride. Personally, I would put the people mover back in as Disneyland needs one of those slower rides that can be done together and everyone enjoys. Secondly, I would go through the entire track and make sure everything is all right (no litter, no tree branches overhanging or anything else that would protrude on the track. Thirdly, I would window off any place that opens up into a building as there is no need to have a risk of injury for whatever reason. The advantage they have now over 15 years ago is so many different technological advances. Nowadays they could put touch screens in the car so you can see different things about different places in the park so if you are in Star Tours you could see history about the new one, the old one and even Adventure through inner space. It could be done fairly easily for all the rides to as well as you can then have many different languages talking to you through the ride. Lastly, I would make repairs to the track that are needed in a few places as Rocket Rods would have damaged it in many ways as well as giving it a new paint job as in some places it's a little worn down.

One thing I'd like to point out is that Disneyland said that they are not able to re-open the Peoplemover as OSHA wouldn't allow them as it would pass regulations incase of a breakdown as well as wheelchair accessibility. The incase of breakdown excuse is garbage for two reasons. All you need is a railing and stairs off. Half of it is indoors where there are doors to get up there anyways so if they broke down in the building they'd get out and leave through the back way. When they are out side there are railings for more than 50% on the one side. How the Peoplemover cars open they only open on that one side anyways so it wouldn't matter as they could only get out on that side. As for stairs down just build one in the deeper part of the track that's intermingled with Autopia. I say this as it would be closer to walk towards a building in most places anyways. The only problem would be a wheelchair accessible cart. There is an elevator and it is actually now the tomorrowland terrace shop. Build in a little platform on the loading dock that goes in and out like it does for Space Mountain then the only problem would be incase of breakdown which the pathway is wide enough that a wheelchair would fit down. Another problem with this is that how would this not pass but something like the monorail does? If it breaks down then the people are trapped on it until rescue. Just a thought though! Let me know what you though about it all as I like to hear feedback!