"The (Alien Intelligence) Agency reported that a gigantic spaceship has landed inside Hong Kong Disneyland with signs of alien life detected onboard," it said in a press release announcing the added attraction for the upcoming Halloween.
BTW anybody having a weird screen on this thread and only this one or is it just me?
Memo to Tim W. ... it's not just you.
It just seems that WDI has been tasked with PROMOTING the licensed properties that have generated financial success for their company. On ther other hand, Universal Creative pioneers ride systems. UC looks at the technology and then (SECONDARILY) considers the pop culture franchise that can become the platform to bring 'em to the gate.
After the Potter wave breaks, what will Walt Disney Imagineering bring to the table?
WDI not doing it is a little odd, but Disney has a weird relationship with their Asian parks so its not too suprising.
And no, I do not think Disney is copying off of Universal. Terminator is a copy of Muppetvision, Shrek of Philharmagic, and the Mummy of Rockin Roller coaster. I can make those claims, but I think they are all coming from the same pool and pretty much everybody is out of good ideas. And TH,come know, you work in some capacity for Universal Creative, especailly on MIB. Lets not let our biases get our ways. (BTW, I am bias too) :)
But whatever, I am pretty sure that the major audience at HKDL is not familiar with the American rides.
Others they are planning:
New Haunted Mansion
A Grizzly River Run
Excited about new Haunted Mansion. It looks like the Adv. Club
As for how Universal stacks up against WDI in the past decade, I really enjoy the original, non film-based attractions like Soarin' and Everest which I think are great. Spiderman blows anything in WDW away and Mummy and MIB are great as well. In fact, I love all of IOA. Both companies are still capable of creating great attractions, but the thought process sets them apart as you said TH. Disney management takes the basically says we want to take the Toy Story franchise and create a ride to sell merchandise and comes up with Midway Mania. Universal says we want to create an amazing ride that will (hopefully someday) draw people away from Disney, takes their 3-d dark ride technology and creates Spiderman.
Oh and Anthony, they're not making a Grizzly River Run, their making a next-gen Big Thunder Mountain in the new Grizzly Trail (Fronteirland) area that they're building. Supposedly it will have more in common with Everest than traditional Big Thunder's.
If its any concelation, TH, Disney is going straight from scratch on the rest of these lands for HKDL. I thought they planned the park a little strange. Cool rides though.
Jungle Cruise a bit of thrill ride? Rao! Pack your bags!
First, I strongely concur with the notion that Universal is currently at the forefront of attraction development.
IMHO, Nothing WDI has done in the past decade matches Mummy, MIB, and Spider-man in terms of fun and quality. Transformers and Harry Potter will, probably, only reassert that claim.
Now I agree that most of this shift has been caused by the cuts that Eisner implemented in the second half of his tenure. In the beginning, WDI was on fire under his helm. Star Tours, Splash Mountain, The Tower of Terror, Indiana Jones, Alien Encounter, and Buzz Lightyear are all signs of the immense creativity that WDI has when they have financial support. After the death of Frank Wells and the early failure of EuroDisney, Eisner then became paranoid and crippled WDI.
Tokyo DisneySea is proof of this. The Oriental Land Company spares no expense and gets tremendous attractions.
Disney claims they have been sitting on a Spider-man killer for years, but until they get funding for it, it is still a myth. Hopefully, Lasseter can move WDI in the right direction. However, until then, UC is the best attraction group in the country.
As far as copying goes, both companies "borrow" from each other.
Many of the Universal attractions are plussed versions of established Disney rides. E.T. is Peter Pan. Jaws is the Jungle Cruise. MIB is Buzz Lightyear. Spider-man is Indy. Dudley is Splash Mountain. Terminator is Honey. Back to the Future was Star Tours. The Mummy is Indy/Rock and Roller Coaster. Universal can crib as well.
Of course, Eisner famously ripped-off Universal by quickly building MGM when he heard of their plans for an Orlando park. Disney even went so far as to practically rip-off Earthquake directly with Catastrophe Canyon.
I don't mind the shared imitation, as long as they keep one upping each other. Competition is good.
Walt Disney World
Tokyo Disney Resort
Theme Park Insider Books