TH Creative
Writer

Published: November 12, 2013 at 1:54 PM

Mr. Baxter says: "If it's just stuff, without someone who's appealing to you, it's like the Jungle Cruise without a jungle guide. If you took the skipper off and put the boat on auto-pilot and you went through and just saw animals, it wouldn't be nearly the ride."

THC is standing and applauding.

(Pause ... Wipes away a tear)

Continues applauding.

98.85.101.33

Published: November 12, 2013 at 2:17 PM

So it would turn into the Land at Epcot. No more live guide just a boring boat ride by plants on auto pilot
Robert Niles
Editor

Published: November 12, 2013 at 2:53 PM

Nice catch! That's exactly what went through my mind as he cited the example. But he was on a roll, so I didn't hijack the moment to mention it. But I am so glad that others caught that, too.
Anon Mouse

Published: November 12, 2013 at 3:14 PM

If they had such a hard time in deciding how to call Figment, how would the guests have a clue? I never understood the significance of the Imagination pavilion. The decline of this pavilion makes it clear that there's no substance behind it. It is time to convert it into a new World Showcase country.

The stories behind Splash Mountain and Big Thunder is awfully pendatic. How would an schooled engineer not figure out common sense? So Tony Baxter came to the rescue? I'm not knocking Tony. I'm just saying that the engineers must be on the slow side if the story is true. Or perhaps Disney needed someone to increase their budget, otherwise, the rock work for Splash Mountain would come out completely half-baked and Big Thunder Mountain will constantly stall.

BTW, I'm an engineer. I would use a string.

TH Creative
Writer

Published: November 12, 2013 at 3:43 PM

THC is still standing and applauding.
O T

Published: November 12, 2013 at 4:43 PM

I just loved the original The Living Seas but Tony's idea sounds amazing. Also would have liked to see his version of The Land.
Thankfully he could go all the way with the Imagination ride. It was once the most fun ride in EPCOT before they "improved" it into a lifeless mess.
Robert Niles
Editor

Published: November 12, 2013 at 5:18 PM

I think what Tony was saying with the Thunder story is that one needs the ability to think about the physical concerns of engineers and the aesthetic concerns of designers to create a compelling themed attraction. He's not saying that the engineers couldn't have designed the track without his string trick -- heck, it was their design idea that Tony was trying to change. But he wanted to preserve certain vistas and visuals, too. You can go to any Six Flags and Cedar Fair park and see perfectly functional coasters that don't deliver the theming and vistas of Thunder. That's what you get when you leave the design to engineers alone.
Jonah Sirota

Published: November 13, 2013 at 7:17 AM

"If they had such a hard time in deciding how to call Figment, how would the guests have a clue? I never understood the significance of the Imagination pavilion. The decline of this pavilion makes it clear that there's no substance behind it."

Well, agree to disagree. What was brilliant about the original was that it was such a great ride, with such a clear narrative (at the age if 8 I had no trouble "getting it"). To me, this Imagination pavilion, and the ride especially, was like the landmark homage to the spirit of Walt himself. This is precisely because it was separate from all of the IP that was usually the focus. There was a purity to it. (I get that figment and dreamfinder were essentially new IP, and that they were there partly to sell Kidak film, but still, it was a refreshingly un-cynical thing. Tony's quip about how the suits weren't happy about the dragon to begin with reinforces this). The decline of the pavilion, I would argue, was symptomatic of a triumph of business concerns over the spirit of imagination itself.

Jonah Sirota

Published: November 13, 2013 at 7:42 AM

One more thing:

Mr. Baxter, if you're reading these comments, I want to thank you for a lifetime of great work. Like all brilliant creative people, I know that you were just doing what had to be done, and doing the best you could. To me your creations are special, and you have brought great joy to me and my family, and have allowed us to share time and fun with one another in a very meaningful way. Thank you for sharing so generously in these interviews. And thank you for sharing so generously in your life's work.