The Tao of Gaming

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Random thoughts about Disneyworld

Since I just got back from Orlando (with just a small sunburn, thank you very much) …

  • Disney’s Line Management technology continues to improve by leaps and bounds. I wonder if it’s trademarked or otherwise protected from IP, since so many people could learn from it. Even if you don’t have the resources of Disney, some simple ideas should proliferate. I’m looking at the TSA here.

  • Overheard in Epcoyt — “I didn’t think the Amish would come to Disneyworld.” “That’s a cast member in a period americana costume.” “Oh.”

  • The most powerful concept in Judaism is Afikomen. I’m glad that the Jewish Media Cabal lets Disney use this power for good … the KimPossible missions in Epcoyt makes going through the World Showcase possible with small children.

  • Favorite attention to detail moment — Epcoyt has a game where kids recycle (and otherwise save the earth). It’s funded by Waste Management, so you have kid-sized garbage trucks to push around from station to station. If you pull the truck to back up, it beeps.

  • Verdict on Animal Kingdom — Meh. The Safari is good. Everest Expedition (Rollercoaster) is good. Tree of Life is vaguely neat. Finding Nemo show (ala Lion King broadway, but only 30 minutes long) was ok if you like that kind of thing.

  • The Land (at Epcoyt) has three attractions (apart from shops/restaurants). One is a hang-gliding simulation. One is a boat ride. One is a preachy video about conservation. Actual land gets screwed pretty hard, if you ask me.

  • That video is the most bizarre thing I saw at Disney. Timon and Poomba destroy the African Plains by damming up a river …. to build a theme park. I spent the entire latter half slack jawed in amazement. It was like an addict’s cry for help. “Please, for the love of God, don’t waste valuable energy/land/resources on Disneyworld!” was the message throughout. And I’m completely convinced that they took 7 minutes of footage from Koyaanasqatsi and just replaced Philip Glass’s soundtrack with excerpts from the Lion King.

  • How come Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride is gone but the Swiss Family Robinson Treehouse endures? That’s the saddest place in the happiest place on earth.

  • The closing show in Hollywood Studios (Fantasmic!) has one of the most stunning effects I’ve ever seen, but blows it in the first few minutes. I spent the rest of the show waiting for it to be topped. And (Spoiler Alert!) Mickey beats the villains. Seriously, the Harlem Globetrotters would kill for that streak.

  • Epcoyt and Tomorrowland prove that Disney should stick to the past. At some point they fixed spaceship earth (the big ball thing) so that it did history instead of predictions. Good call. Ride still sucks, but much less now.

  • The “Interactive cartoon” technologies (used in the Monster Inc Laugh Floor and Turtle Talk with Crush) works pretty well. (A voice actor talks with the audience, and the lips move roughly in time with his speech, and he presumably directs the animation somewhat). Thank the maker Imagineers used this technology to add a fart joke for the children.

  • And according to the Juxtapositional humor on the laugh floor, I was supposed to bring churros for 200 guests.

  • Ah Mulan. Banished to the Chinese Pavilion at Epcoyt.

  • The Haunted Mansion still rocks. Now with addtional M.C. Escher!

  • EPCOYT stands for Experimental Prototype Community of Yesterday’s Tomorrow.

  • (My wife insists that was an actual Amish person).

  • The kids favorite ride was Søren, a ride through the dismal philosophy of Kierkegaard.

  • Most shocking moment — The lost and found got the hat J lost.

  • I liked all the rollercoasters (that I got to ride), but the Orange ride of Mission:Space made throwing up seem like a pretty reasonable option. I was never in any serious danger, but I was queasy for a good two hours afterwards.

  • I always remember too late that Space Mountain sets of primal “You are going to hit your head” warnings deep in the lizard brain. (Probably from not being able to judge distances/heights of all those girders in the dark).

Update:
Oh, one last thought — Norway has a Viking Ride, China has acrobats and replica Terra Cotta Warriors, and Canada has … Martin Short. Ye gods.

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Written by taogaming

March 14, 2009 at 12:10 pm

Posted in Ramblings

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16 Responses

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  1. Just got back from Disneyworld, as well. I too was bummed about the lack of Mr. Toad’s. Also, regarding Mission Space, Dramamine is your friend.

    Recneps

    March 15, 2009 at 6:11 pm

  2. Just got back from Disneyworld, as well. I too was bummed about the lack of Mr. Toad’s. Also, regarding Mission Space, Dramamine is your friend.

    Recneps

    March 15, 2009 at 6:11 pm

  3. I always liked the viking ride.

    Mark Haberman

    March 15, 2009 at 9:05 pm

  4. Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride was great. I guess it’s too far removed from this generation’s exposure to Disney commercialism. How sad the price of “progress.”

    I somewhat liked the Safari at Animal Kingdom, although when we went, I think 90% of the animals were sleeping somewhere else. The representative zebra we saw must have drawn the short straw and had to go stand out in the field and look “zebra-y.” Yay Africa. The rest of AK was really underwhelming, although it had just opened last time I went—not even a rollercoaster. My guess is that it’s not much different now.

    I remember Epcot when I went back in the early 80’s. This was the time of ET and Empire Strikes Back and all the early 80’s “future” fonts everywhere. That’s what it’s always going to be to me. They should have kept it as a museum to “What we thought the future was going to be in 1980.” That would have been more fun these days than some of the bland stuff they have now, especially for today’s kids to see. (Hence, I understand Brian’s coining of “Epcoyt.”) It’s funny, these days, I don’t think we have a real fantastic vision of the future like we did back then. I think we all got jaded by 9/11, Dubya, and the bad economy, and are now happy if we just make it through the next 10 years or so with the future not being worse than the present.

    Chris F

    March 15, 2009 at 10:39 pm

  5. Canada does have Le Cellier Steakhouse, however, which in my book makes up for any Shortcomings…

    Regarding Animal Kingdom – having been the year it openned and again last year, it _has_ moved forward – Expedition Everest is my favorite coaster at Disneyworld – but it’s still a one-short-day park.

    w.r.t. Mr. Toad – there’s a wonderful website at http://www.yesterland.com/ that is mostly about Disneyland, but does touch on Disneyworld quite a bit (and mentions the demise of the ride in Orlando, at least in passing). Credit to Mark Jackson for making me aware of the site…

    Joe Huber

    March 16, 2009 at 11:21 am

  6. Canada does have Le Cellier Steakhouse, however, which in my book makes up for any Shortcomings…

    Regarding Animal Kingdom – having been the year it openned and again last year, it _has_ moved forward – Expedition Everest is my favorite coaster at Disneyworld – but it’s still a one-short-day park.

    w.r.t. Mr. Toad – there’s a wonderful website at http://www.yesterland.com/ that is mostly about Disneyland, but does touch on Disneyworld quite a bit (and mentions the demise of the ride in Orlando, at least in passing). Credit to Mark Jackson for making me aware of the site…

    Joe Huber

    March 16, 2009 at 11:21 am

  7. So, what is the special Disney line management technology?

    Alexfrog

    March 16, 2009 at 3:09 pm

  8. Epcot’s Futureland has been dramatically changed throughout the years. All of the changes have been bad. It makes me sad that what in my childhood was my favorite park is now horribly boring.

    Old Imagination > New Imagination. By leaps and bounds – Why did they do this? WHY???? This used to be my single favorite ride when I was a kid. Now it’s awful.

    Old Horizons > New Space ride. Disney really used to be very good at making a 10 year old (me) dream about the future. Now they are good at taking generic scrambler rides and adding a theme to it.

    Old World of Energy > New World of Energy Where’s the cool smell, and the rotating TV sets, and why is Ellen there?)

    Old Comunicore > Company Showcase > Nothing. Oh look it’s the Sony exhibit with PS3s. For the price to get my family in here I could just buy one myself. But that’s better than the completely empty space that was there last year.

    Old Seas > New Seas. You used to take a cool elevator to go down into the sea level. Elevator has been replaced by shitty nemo exhibit. But worse the whole experience of being under the ocean was killed.

    Old Open Entrace > New Entrance. It feels like a holocaust museum with all the tombstones everywhere.

    Did I miss anything? I liked the modified Earth ride tho I heard they RE-modified it after the last time I was there and that made it not as good, but I haven’t seen it. I think The test track is dull, but not any less dull than the previous world of motion exhibit. And the land, although still boring, now has a cool hand-gliding simulation so I’ll go for a positive.

    Overall I actually think that the parks treaded a fine line between marketing Disney products and making things fun, but have completely crossed the line and the parks don’t feel the same. Biggest change overall: Each ride with a store used to have unique things specific to that ride. Now all stores have mostly the same best selling items with only a few minor changes. How I miss the pirate store of Pirates of the Caribbean (Now with more Johnny Depp (See marketing comment just mentioned).

    Felix Rodriguez

    March 16, 2009 at 4:08 pm

  9. Epcot’s Futureland has been dramatically changed throughout the years. All of the changes have been bad. It makes me sad that what in my childhood was my favorite park is now horribly boring.

    Old Imagination > New Imagination. By leaps and bounds – Why did they do this? WHY???? This used to be my single favorite ride when I was a kid. Now it’s awful.

    Old Horizons > New Space ride. Disney really used to be very good at making a 10 year old (me) dream about the future. Now they are good at taking generic scrambler rides and adding a theme to it.

    Old World of Energy > New World of Energy Where’s the cool smell, and the rotating TV sets, and why is Ellen there?)

    Old Comunicore > Company Showcase > Nothing. Oh look it’s the Sony exhibit with PS3s. For the price to get my family in here I could just buy one myself. But that’s better than the completely empty space that was there last year.

    Old Seas > New Seas. You used to take a cool elevator to go down into the sea level. Elevator has been replaced by shitty nemo exhibit. But worse the whole experience of being under the ocean was killed.

    Old Open Entrace > New Entrance. It feels like a holocaust museum with all the tombstones everywhere.

    Did I miss anything? I liked the modified Earth ride tho I heard they RE-modified it after the last time I was there and that made it not as good, but I haven’t seen it. I think The test track is dull, but not any less dull than the previous world of motion exhibit. And the land, although still boring, now has a cool hand-gliding simulation so I’ll go for a positive.

    Overall I actually think that the parks treaded a fine line between marketing Disney products and making things fun, but have completely crossed the line and the parks don’t feel the same. Biggest change overall: Each ride with a store used to have unique things specific to that ride. Now all stores have mostly the same best selling items with only a few minor changes. How I miss the pirate store of Pirates of the Caribbean (Now with more Johnny Depp (See marketing comment just mentioned).

    Felix Rodriguez

    March 16, 2009 at 4:08 pm

  10. I did miss one thing:

    The Wonders of Life Pavillion > Nothing. Body wars was awesome.

    I really can’t go to Disney anymore. it makes me bitter. I thought for a long time that maybe it’s because I grew older. But in truth, pretty much every change they’ve done is for the worse.

    Felix Rodriguez

    March 16, 2009 at 4:48 pm

  11. Old Imagination > New Imagination

    True. My wife never went on the old one, and I keep trying to convince her how cool it was, but she won’t believe me because of how lame the new one is.

    Recneps

    March 16, 2009 at 7:52 pm

  12. Recneps, you want to know the really sad thing:

    It’s still there, the old one. Its in the second floor of that building. Sitting there with the electricity turned off. For the life of me I can’t figure out why.

    Kaelistus

    March 16, 2009 at 11:33 pm

  13. Oh Ye Gods, Imagination. I failed to comment on that. It does indeed suck. Innoventions, too.

    Brian

    March 16, 2009 at 11:44 pm

  14. Oh Ye Gods, Imagination. I failed to comment on that. It does indeed suck. Innoventions, too.

    Brian

    March 16, 2009 at 11:44 pm

  15. The original Imagination was the one with Figment the dragon, right? I don’t remember much more than that, and that it had a science museum-like shadow-capture wall. When I went back a couple of years ago, I think the new ride had Robin Williams.

    The water worm fountains are still in front of Imagination, I hope– those were the coolest things in the park.

    Peter Sarrett

    March 17, 2009 at 5:23 pm

  16. Yes Figment the dragon.

    But the really cool thing was after the sit down ride.. There was a playground full of all these bizarre contraptions: A bubble machine where you could make different combinations of colored bubbles along with sound. A room where every tile made a distinct sound… A full body pin wall… It was all so very cool. Here’s a few piccs of what it was:

    http://waltdatedworld.bravepages.com/id102.htm

    Felix Rodriguez

    March 19, 2009 at 2:41 pm


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