Thursday, October 05, 2006
The Irrelevance of Mark Twain's Tom Sawyer
Yes it's true. Jay Rasulo and the marketing minions at Disney Corporate are pushing hard for a rushed tear-down of Tom Sawyer's Island to make room for a Jack Sparrow themed Pirate Playground in May of 2007.
Those within the Orwellian confines of W.D.I. now tasked with shape-shifting this classic Walt inspired island of adventure and brave enough to talk about it generally don't agree with their new mandate. Driven hard by the movie's financial success, this is a decision that is both knee-jerk and wrong.
The argument that is being used is that the Island is no longer being attended, so W.D.I. must make it "relevant".
Just when did attendance drop? Was it when the fort shut and locked its entrance gate? When the bridges were temporarily run down and closed? When the allure of a burning cabin was shut off? When water traffic backed off with the loss of the Keel Boats and slimmed down Canoes? When the designated "smoking area" for that region was moved to the load/unload of the rafts?
So now what? Collective wisdom at Imagineering is that the disease has been mis-diagnosed. But no one in upper management seems to care about the legacy of Disneyland anymore. It's old fashioned, and long-term apparently does not appeal to Wallstreet.
Okay, so Disneyland is not a museum. Still, some things are just fun!
But only when they are working the way they had been designed to.