Sounds Boring with Drew Carey
Walt Disney World:
Isn't it time to replace this boring and dated attraction!?
I LOVE Disney World but there are a few attractions that are in desperate need of replacement or restoration. One of which being "Sounds Dangerous with Drew Carey" It is SO outdated and unentertaining. I just think with all the technology that Disney has why not replace this attraction with something new and exciting. As a side note I heard rumors that they were updating the Muppets 3D show as well. Does anyone know if this is true. Sometimes they close attractions for restoration but when it reopens there are such subtle changes that it would take a real disney fan like myself to find them. Finally, if they are restoring muppet 3D I just hope they don't half it like the Pirates of the Caribbean update. Random placement of Johnny Depp as Captain Jack Sparrow is not impressive. COME on disney!?
They probably do want to, they just don't know what exactly to do with such a small space. I mean that space would probably have to be turned into a gift shop or something, but it is too small for a good new attraction.
From James Rao
Posted February 18, 2011 at 10:23 PM
No word on Sounds Dangerous, but it is only a matter of time (and money) before it becomes part of Yesterland.
As for Muppetvision 3D, it was updated to be all digital last Spring. Far as I know nothing else was changed.
And personally, I like the Jack Sparrow updates to PotC, however unless they reimagine the whole Magic Kingdom version of the attraction, it will always pale to insignificance when compared to the Disneyland version.
I like Sounds Dangerous!
Did I blow your mind?
Sounds Dangerous is kitsch. My buddies/family and I go in to laugh at it, not with it. I think we'll take it to that Rocky Horror level and start dressing the parts and interacting with the movie.
^^Give yourselves over to absolute pleasure.
I too,think Disney needs to re amp most of their rides. Uni is currently in that proceeds but Disney is kind of forgetting about it's home town of Florida and going off into other places around the world. I think they should fix the things in Disney world before going off and building new things in other places.
Some major expansions need to happen in all 4 of Disney worlds parks (yes I know they are doing a expansion in fantasy land but that's not enough for my taste). Disney has the money and the land to make some great things but they don't use it on the right stuff (for instance the new online method of ordering tickets,fast passes, and other things). Disney needs a huge project to go on since all the talk now is with Uni and Harry potter. They need something to completely destroy harry sending a clear message that they want to stay on top.
From Alison P
Posted February 19, 2011 at 2:29 PM
I don't think money can be the issue for Disney. I think they just need a new imagineer who thinks BIG. Drew Carey must go. If space is an issue, replace Drew with a new restaurant. I've only been to SciFi a THOUSAND times.
As for Muppets, I was just at Disney in January and I didn't notice any difference. I love muppets but it still looks like its from the 80s.
Speaking of kitsch, Its CaptainEO in Epcot here to stay? Or just a temporary tribute to MJ. I went to this attraction thinking it was going to be "Honey I shrunk the kids" and it turned out to be one of the most bizarre 3D experiences I have ever had.
From James Rao
Posted February 19, 2011 at 5:43 PM
Just remember, Disney is not competing with Universal, Universal is competing with Disney. In fact, looking at the 2010, post-Hogwarts attendance numbers a little closer, Universal Orlando averages about 5.6 million visitors per park. Disney's LEAST POPULAR Orlando park, Animal Kingdom, pulls about 9.6 million visitors a year. So in terms of attendance, the Mouse is hands down the go to destination in Florida, even with Hogwarts spreading like fire across the nation (BTW, I hear that doctors can give you an ointment to get rid of your Hogwarts).
That said, competition is good for Disney and good for us theme park fans. While Universal may be a distant second place in attendance, it is number one in headlines right now, and that certainly will have a beneficial impact on what the Mouse does next, even after the Fantasyland expansion is complete.
So expect thrilling changes at all Disney parks... including DHS. Sounds Dangerous will not be around much longer, despite Anthony's love of Drew Carey!!! =)
I'm just going to put this out there, James R. I don't think Disney Management has a grasp on the needs of what has to be done in their theme parks anymore. I'm not saying that Universal does either (ESPECIALLY with their new owners.) Disney has a ton of problems (customer service quality going down while their competitor has SOARED, the minute details they use to care about being overlooked, tied into the fact that they're being obviously cheap, which is horrible for them) which have pushed me away from them. I now have no interest in visiting any of their parks, which I had said about Universal for five previous years. This Fantasyland upgrade--not helping that fact.
From James Rao
Posted March 8, 2011 at 4:53 AM
I couldn't disagree more - Disney is constantly changing and evolving, and usually for the better. Not every decision has been a home run, but their overall success rate is very high. And at least they make the attempt, most parks just stagnate, fester, and eventually rot. If you are comparing Disney to Disney, there certainly has been some tightening of the belts and extending of profits at the expense of the customer experience, but if you are comparing Disney to everyone else, the gap is still vast. Perhaps you need to visit a few more parks like those I frequent here in the Midwest (Six Flags Saint Louis, Worlds of Fun, Adventureland [Iowa], Frontier City) and gain some perspective back. Only Silver Dollar City in Branson, MO, offers a Disney-type experience, and even then it can only be labeled "Disney-on-a-budget" by anyone who is being truly honest.
And seriously, what is wrong with the New Fantasyland expansion? Were you expecting a 500 ft hyper coaster with 17 inversions to headline the changes? Now, that would really be a sign that Disney had lost their grasp on what their customers want!
Whats wrong with Customer Service at Disney? I think Universal has gotten better from where they have been!
the customer service issue with Disney is that there is general apathy amongst most cast members who deal with guests on a day to day basis. It's stark and obvious. As a guest who expects alot from Disney, I'm seeing petty cost-cutting measures that are not typical of the company, and I see Universal adding the extra details to their stew that Disney has been famous for.
Let me clarify, here, that my fanboy status has gone out the door quite some time ago--I've worked for both of these companies and am quite jaded to both of their business practices. So this is merely coming from a guy that enjoys themed entertainment, not one that favors either company.
And to tackle the what's wrong with the Fantasyland rehab issue, Pixar has been vastly underutilized in the parks, it's their most relevant and current product and they are slowly mingling tiny elements of this studio far across their parks--in other words, they are watering down their hottest seller. Once they bought Pixar, they could have dedicated a large chunk of real estate to their ever growing lineup of hits. Instead, they create one ride that heavily mimics Men in Black, and refurbed a few more areas in completely different parks to house some of those characters. Pixar deserves much more credit, having revived Disney's Animation from a deep slumber.
The refurb in Fantasyland? Kinda sad considering it's the most chaotic themed land in any of Disney's parks--that place is always packed, always churning, and the fact that they're nearly closing it off to guests for some time is a big mistake. The way it is now? Nearly perfect. The classic movies have rides with a classy feel, the newer material is cutting edge that accommodates the newer material. Disney had that formula down pat. They could remove a classic that wasn't as relevant and replace it with the newest epic animated masterpiece til the end of time--all while keeping 80% of the land operating. This expansion is throwing that model away.
From James Rao
Posted March 9, 2011 at 4:41 AM
As a non-Disney employee, just a "every-other-year" visitor, I have not noticed the cast member apathy of which you speak. In fact our cast member interactions have almost always been top notch. However, as an "insider" I expect you might see things the casual visitor does not.
As for the Pixar thing, DHS is the place. And from all accounts there will be more Pixar additions in the future including the oft rumored Monster's Inc. inverted coaster. Disney has to walk a fine line though, as many Disney-philes do not want more Pixar in the park, and they definitely don't want to see Pixar further expanded into the much beloved Magic Kingdom. Keeping Pixar additions to a minimum in MK illustrates Disney management IS listening to and in touch with diehard fans.
As for the Fantasyland update, I still don't see the issue. Far as I can tell most everything except a subpar Snow White attraction still remains, and can still be lifted and retrofitted at any time. The addition of the Little Mermaid omnimover and the Seven Dwarves coaster should make for a significant improvement, and the dueling Dumbos area will be a boon to families who have waited 45 or more minutes so their indiscriminate children can ride what amounts to nothing more than a Red Baron spinner. Furthermore, the expansion looks like it will be absolutely stunning and beautiful, and add quite a bit of space to what you imply is the most popular area of the park. I just don't see the downside you described.
But as you mentioned, you've been on the inside, and I have not. I am sure your disgruntled comments are reflective of some "not great" experiences in working for the Disney company, which I imagine can be a harsh mistress for a slightly better than minimum wage salary. I will take your comments with a grain of salt, knowing that at least some of your ire is a result of things that have happened in your past, and not so much aimed at anything actually happening in the parks today.
I appreciate your insights, though, and your perspective. And your current jaded view is just one more reason why I would probably never want to work at a theme park I truly love!
Yep, it was definitely a mistake to go from a fan to working for both locations. Scraped away the joy of visiting the parks for quite some time. Slowly getting that back after years of working at a different profession.
I can agree, I've worked for all the major parks in Orlando and as a result I'm still highly jaded even nearly twelve years out of my personal enslavement /wink.
Now, don't get this wrong. I love the parks, the magic, the rides, the beauty and the joy they bring. I can easily get lost in it as quickly as I did being a small child, however I still can't look at any park in the same view now. The blinders are off so to speak, I just know how those pleasures are accomplished and have been on the receiving end things so many times it's nearly laughable now.
I also FULLY agree that the customer is very rarely right, lets face it these are multi-billion dollar companies and people see dollar signs at the slightest complaint. Which some thing do deserve some sympathy many are just people looking to get something for free sadly, the "I-Me-My" attitude has gotten out of hand which does ruin legitimate complaints and problems.
However you have to understand, anyone faced day-to-day with "YOU ruined my vacation because I had to wait in line" or "Your the reason my kids are crying and I'm going to have your job because we didn't come in time for 'whatever-named' show" gets very old very quickly.
The other problem is, as a previous worker for various parks you will naturally hold those places to a higher standard. I believe this happens from the simple fact of you know the ability and the talent they have available and get upset because it's not being applied nearly as well as it could or should be. Let's face it, we all go threw that daily with our normal jobs. When you've gone threw the parks, you know the quality could really be there but simply isn't anymore. This would aggravate anyone and drove most of us into drinking! It's also why I firmly believe and highly respect the parks out there that do listen to the "little man" or common worker do so much better, the smaller person will always spot flaws that management can't see.
As for the expansion, it makes me slightly sad. They could have done something amazingly grand but have gone threw cut-backs which seem to be only 'mediocre' at best. I have my own personal hopes for it, but I refuse to set them very high anymore. Let's face it, when the GTA's go to smaller parks that care.. it really should say something to the bigger, more complex parks.
From James Rao
Posted March 12, 2011 at 7:38 AM
Carrie, too bad you never ran into me and my family when you worked for the Mouse. We have a reverence for Disney Cast members that can't be matched. People like us would have made you love your job.
As for the expansion... again, I don't see the cut backs. This Disney project is reportedly costing about $450 mil, while the entire Wizarding World was under $300 mil. Sure, it is okay to have a wait-and-see attitude, but why not hope for the best from the best?
I just wish someone would tell me the downside to the changes. I look and I see nothing but goodness. A new dark ride, a new whole-family coaster, a new restaurant, a new dedicated place for character meets, a vastly improved Dumbo area, and some really great looking landscaping throughout. Where's the downside?
I choose to be optimistic and excited for this expansion. Keep moving forward!
And Drew Carey must go!
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