If the parks were falling apart, if there was common negligence, if there was maligned junk popping up in place of new quality then I could see a mocking #DisneySide movement on Twitter. I'm thinking of the Washington Nationals fans who jokingly mock their team's attempt at "Natitude" as a catchphrase by Tweeting pictures of people sleeping or reading the newspaper at games with #Natitude after it.
Disney fans are nowhere near this.
Sure, I could joke that if I decide what time I'm going to go to the grocery store, mow the lawn, and take out the garbage 6 months in advance, I'm "showing my Disney side." But that's not exactly funny. And you know what, the mere fact that I would associate a Fastpass with every day life IS showing my "Disney Side" and is kind of what they want anyway.
Yes, I admit I have two Pixar sweatshirts (one red, one green), own a pair of big yellow shoes for around the house, and have a WDW Cast Member license plate frame on my car. Everyone I work with knows I love Disney and used to work at EPCOT.
I love Universal Orlando. It's so much fun and very well done.
But it's not Disney. Disney has kind of become part of my identity, no different than my political or religious identity. I love Disney in a different way than Universal and it's not something that can be described very well. It's a feeling. Walking into a Disney park feels magical and makes me happy. Walking into Universal doesn't move me the same way, even if I'm bound to have more "fun".
And I will never wear a "Universal Studios" polo or express my love for Despicable Me or Shrek the same way that I could with Mickey Mouse.
I could write so much more on this, but the article is pretty thought-provoking. Thanks for writing it.
Universal's biggest problem is not going this route. They could license many IPs, or bought them outright and display the characters in their parks. Too many times, they swap one character for another. Thus there is no consistent staying power of character building. Disney does this to great effect with their princesses and Mickey Mouse. Universal removed Curious George and will soon remove Shrek despite people who truly enjoy the characters and will like to keep seeing them in the parks. If Universal is smart, they will have a pernament agreement with Dreamworks Animation to allow their characters to always be in an Universal theme park; however, perhaps the ship has sailed. Dreamworks licensed their characters to be in other properties. Madagascar is no longer exclusive to Universal.
I appreciate Disney, enjoy the innovation of their products, but their over Disney-fication of everything is getting to be a bit much.
I am an Animation fan and have actually been more impressed with what Disney Animation has done the past 4 years; even more so then Pixar. I do have very different feelings when I visit Disney vs. Universal. (Both are good feelings, just different)
I think Disney is doing some ground breaking things at its other parks. (Car’s Land, Mystic Manor, Poo’s Honey Hut, Ratatouille, Journey to the Center of the Earth) It’s disappointing they seem to lack any vision for Disney World. I’m hoping things will change with Avatar.
I feel Universal is on the right track, but they have missed several opportunities to acquire licensed characters. (DC comics, Scobby Doo, Dreamworks) I really want Universal to create a “haunted attraction” and some type of “Fantasy Land” that both kids and adults can enjoy together. I also am tired of every attraction being tied to a franchise. While I am sure they make more money, I love the story of Expedition Everest. (no Yeti comments---please)
And FWIW, the headline of this post was an attempt to play off "Beware the Dark Side." The more I look at it, the more I think that it just didn't work. Star Wars and Disney are just a tough pair to blend.
All the things you mentioned: Carsland, Mystic Manor, Ratatouille are all in parks that desperately needed people in the parks stat. It wasn't too long ago TPI deemed DCA a near lost cause and DS in Paris as being the worst Disney park in the world (I actually agree with that one).
I also wouldn't say WDW is being left behind, New Fantasyland and Avatarland seem to be done or in the works.
Also, I really do not find Disney Side at all creepy. Maybe it is my midwestern sesabilities, but I read the promo as a way Disney comes into our everyday life.
Who hasn't started humming the Twilight Zone Theme in an elevator?
Ok, just me?
I've got to admit it, even though I'm passionate about the Universal Parks in Orlando I still have a "Disney side."