Thursday, August 23, 2012

If I Ruled The World: Animal Kingdom

I sit upon my throne at the top of Cinderella Castle, and I look at a map of my land, and I can’t help but turn my attention to my zoo, Animal Kingdom. Now that I have more efficient Transportation and am working on Downtown Disney I send my unlimited funds towards the newest addition to my world: Animal Kingdom.
If I Ruled The World: New Animal Kingdom Map

New CMM close up.
Camp Minnie-Mickey:
  • The Lion King show has grown on me, but I don’t think it belongs there in CMM. It doesn’t fit with the theme. Move it to Africa somewhere behind the Tusker House. I can’t be the only one who thinks that a show that takes place in Africa should be in the African section of this park.
  • Also, in CMM, I think the theme should be extended even more. Add several more Kids Discovery Club locations here. Maybe with a conservation/merit badge theme. Some kind of cross between Kidcot at the World Showcase at Epcot and the interactions of Innovenetions.
  • I’d also open up a path from CMM to the new Lion King show, to complete the outer circle walkway.

Africa/Rafiki’s Planet Watch:
  • I enjoy Africa as it is. And I like the train ride to Rafiki.

  • Fix the Yeti! It’s sad that the largest Audio Animatronic is broken.

Dinoland USA:
Torosaurus - Joan Marcus
copyright CPC 2008

  • I would take out Finding Nemo: The Musical. It’s a great show, but it doesn’t fit with the theme. I have other plans for this show. I think this show building could be used for a dinosaur themed production. Something like the traveling show Walking With The Dinosaurs. This show would invoke the same feel of Nemo but be truer to the dinosaur theme.
  • I don’t like Chester and Hester’s Carnival. Why are there carnival rides in a Disney park? Isn’t that why Walt created Disneyland, so parents and children could ride rides safely, and together? Also, any theme that has you on a parking lot is a bad theme. Is the Dino-Institute allowing them to be there? I don’t have an idea of what to replace these attractions with, but given my unlimited resources, I think Imagineering can come up with something.
New DinoLand U. S. A. close up.

Discovery Island:

New Discovery Island close up.
  • It seems as though I don’t really like any of the shows in the park. It’s Tough To Be A Bug is an okay show, but I don’t see it as the center attraction. It just doesn’t belong in the park’s weenie. Something Chip and Dale might work, it makes sense for them to be inside a tree, they are B list characters, they are funny. They can be guiding guests through some kind of animal misadventure.
  • Boats! So much of this park is water, but why aren’t there boats in Discovery River. If I ruled the world, there would be.
  • AK needs some sort of closing, nightly show. I know that I can’t have fire works. So perhaps something like California Adventure’s World of Color. I would put it in the Discovery River between Asia and DinoLand USA.

And after my hard day ruling over the Animal Kingdom, I bid adieu for now.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

PIXAR Animation Studios: Part 12: Cars 2

Series Intro: In my purposeful retrospective of WDAS I couldn’t ignore it’s younger sister: PIXAR. This is Part 12 in the retrospective of PIXAR

Official Title: Cars 2
Release: June 24, 2011br /> Running Time: 106minutes
Estimated Cost: $200 million
Estimated Revenue: $559.85 million (only have as much as Toy Story 3
Overall Rating: 3 stars out of 5

Plot Summary: (Abridged)
While racing abroad with most of the Radiator Springs crew, McQueen and Mater have a fight. And Mater leaves for home, but is stopped when British Intelligence believes he’s an American Spy.
As Mater is off having misadventures, more and more cars are dying in McQueen’s race. The media is blaming a new fuel. The audience is aware that if the fuel gets heated by electricity, it will explode.
Mater and McQueen make up and despite his low intelligence Mater saves the day and is accepted for who is his.
Back in Radiator Springs McQueen and his rival – Francesco – along with other race cars, race in the first every Radiator Springs Grand Prix. The British spies return to ask Mater to join them, but he declines, because he wants to spend time with his friends.

Plot Rating: 3 stars out of 5
Eh, just like the first movie, I really couldn’t get into it. Why does McQueen revert to his bitchiness for this movie?

Animation Rating: 3 out of 5
PIXAR dropped the ball on this one; it just didn’t love up to its predecessor’s standards for animation. I thought the eyes and eyelids looked hand drawn. Not what I want from a PIXAR movie.

Final Thoughts: The film felt like it was rushed. It was so after Cars that I didn’t really care to find out more of what happened to these characters. I know that this is a strong franchise for PIXAR and Disney is milking it for all it’s worth (nee: Carsland and Disney California Adventure), but it’s just not for me.

Next Up:

Thursday, August 9, 2012

If I Ruled the World: Hollywood Studios

When my royal mind needs a break from the daily grind of ruling the happiest place on Earth, I call my lackeys and have then entertain me with films and things of the sort. But all is not well in the little park that could. For what was once the epitome of theming has now turned into one dead-end street after another that barely reflects the Hollywood that Never Was. Of course, I am talking about Disney’s Hollywood Studios (formerly Disney/MGM Studios).
If I Ruled the World: New Hollywood Studios Map
Hollywood Boulevard:
Not the best photo manip, but
better than the hat.
• Remove the hat! It’s just an eye sore. I don’t like it. I don’t want it. And there is no one in Imagineering you can convince me otherwise.
• The Great Movie Ride once was great, because it mixed classic movies with contemporary ones to give you a long-range view of movies. However, that’s not the case anymore. I think the ride just needs a few new scenes. I personally don’t like the Public Enemy scene nor the western scene, but there are other places to update movies. Disney Studios has many more classic (and modern classic) movies than it did when the park was built, use some of those properties.

Echo Lake:
• I would do something with the Sounds Dangerous building. I have never seen it used for the Drew Cary show. The last time I was in the park, they were doing something with America’s Funniest Home Videos in the space, but I couldn’t get in, so I don’t know what was going on. This unused space could be turned into a preview center. Show exclusive trailers and behind the scenes featurettes for upcoming Disney releases.
Skywalker Ranch with Indiana Ride
from Disneyland Map and Cantina.
• Next, I would rename the area on the left side of the lake to “Lucas Films Land” or “Skywalker Ranch” to better reflect some of the other changes happening over there.
 • Indiana Jones: I love the stunt show and want to see more Indy. Import Indiana Jones Adventure from Disneyland to just behind the stunt spectacular.
• Transform Backlot Express to the Mos Eisley Cantina. It would serve exotic sounding food (but really maintain its current menu of burgers and fries) with an Audio Anamatronic cantina band playing Star Wars music all day long (think Sunny Eclipse at Magic Kingdom’s Cosmic Ray’s Starlight CafĂ©).
They would play all day!
• Also, at the Mos Eisley Cantina, one might be able to run into Star Wars characters. A meet and greet in one corner of the restaurant would allow fans face time with some of their favorite characters.

Streets of America:
Muppet Hollywood Studios Land.
(Dark ride building is courtesy of
Walt Disney Studios Park Map - Paris)
• Studio Tour: What to do with this studio tour? I understand that nostalgia has kept this here, and what would a studio be without its back lot tour? But this tour used to be something. Now it’s a shell of its former self. Catastrophe Canyon looks likes it’s been through a catastrophe, it’s dirty and your can clearly see where everything is going to fall. And Pearl Harbor? When did that come out? I say, close it down for a lengthy refurbishment. Gut the whole this and start from scratch.
Toy Story playland from Disney Dream.
• Honey I Shrunk the Kids Movie Set Adventure: reposition it’s entrance to be part of Pixar Place and change it to a Toy Story Movie Set Adventure, something like the Oceaneer’s Club on Disney Cruise Line’s Dream and Fantasy.

• I would also split this land up. I would take the entire left side and call it “Muppet Hollywood Studios,” where the word “Muppet” was placed on top the world “Disney” in a sign that looked just like the park’s logo.
• Muppet Vision 3D would need updating. A new movie and working 4D effects.
 • Pizza Planet: To better fit the Muppet Hollywood Studio’s theme. Pizza Planet would be turned over to the capable hands of Swedish Chef.
• Mama Mel Rose’s would also be rethemed to Muppets.
• A Muppet themed dark ride. Behind the streets of San Fransisco, I want a new show building for a Muppet dark ride. Muppet’s fit so well with the Disney ride ideology of “then something when wrong.”

Commissary Lane:
• No changes.

Pixar Place:
Pixar Place with new Toy Story Playland
(courtesy of Walt Disney Studios Park Map)
• To help ease the transition from old Pixar Place to the new Toy Story play area, the show building that currently houses Studio Catering Company, would be broken up to create the new pathway to Toy Story play area.
• This show building next to Toy Story Mania will be for the Monster’s Inc. Laugh Floor. It doesn’t belong in Tomorrowland (monsters have nothing to do with the future). But it fits right in with Pixar Place.

Mickey Ave. and Animation Courtyard:
Why doesn't this walk way
already exist?
• Update the Voyage to the Little Mermaid. Use HD footage, create new costumes, etc.
• There would also be a paid experience added to the backstage area new the Magic of Disney Animation. I really enjoyed the area where you are taught to draw characters. The problem here is that the room is too small for how many people want to do it. I would add another studio that required a special admission (perhaps with a backstage tour aspect), which would give you a couple hours of drawing class.
• I’d also add a path between the courtyard to Sunset Boulevard. It is really annoying to go from one to the other – being forced to go to Hollywood Boulevard.

Sunset Boulevard:
• Beauty and the Beast – Live on Stage. The map calls this a musical Broadways-style show. However, I’ve seen Beauty and the Beast on Broadway, and I don’t remember seeing any characters that wore masks (or heads). I would just update the costumes for Beast and the Beast’s enchanted servants. Make is a combination between what is there now (very representative of the movie) and Broadway (a bit too fanciful for Hollywood Studios).
• Fantasmic! – If Disneyland can have Fastpasses, so can we!

So ends another day of spending and fixing. I know I did not make Hollywood Studios have a more cohesive theme (in fact, I made it more sporadic by splitting some of the lands), but I believe these changes will help make this park stronger.