Thursday, July 17, 2008

Sleeping Beauty to Reawaken!


July 17, 2008 - Anaheim, CA - The interior of Sleeping Beauty Castle at Disneyland will open in time for the December holiday season, offering guests a “reawakened” version of its classic walkthrough presentation kissed with vibrant scenes of Aurora, her charming prince, the evil Maleficent and other characters from the beloved fairy tale film.

“It is fitting that we are announcing the return of a classic on the 53rd anniversary of Disneyland,” said Tony Baxter, Senior Vice President of Creative Development for Walt Disney Imagineering, who unveiled a model of the castle on July 17, the birthday of Disneyland park.

Next year marks the 50th anniversary of Walt Disney’s “Sleeping Beauty,” and the excitement generated by the anniversary of the motion picture spurred interest in the return of the Disneyland attraction.


Also celebrating the milestone 50th Anniversary of “Sleeping Beauty” is Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment, which will release a two-disc Platinum Blu-ray™ Hi-Def disc, making “Sleeping Beauty” the first Walt Disney animated classic title to be released in high definition, as well as on two-disc Platinum DVD. A bonus feature on the new release will be “The Original Sleeping Beauty Walk-Through Attraction With Walt Disney Imagineering,” an immersive experience recreating the original castle walkthrough.

On April 29, 1957, nearly two years before the premiere of Walt Disney’s animated feature “Sleeping Beauty,” the Sleeping Beauty Castle Walkthrough opened with an in-park ceremony featuring Walt Disney and actress Shirley Temple who, some 20 years earlier, had presented Disney with his special Academy Award – one Oscar and seven little ones – for “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.”

The crafting of the 1957 walkthrough show fell to Walt Disney Imagineer Ken Anderson and animation art director and color stylist Eyvind Earle, credited with giving the motion picture “Sleeping Beauty” the distinctive and colorful look of storybook illustrations in medieval style. An entirely new look appeared in 1977 when the attraction’s redesign featured miniature dioramas, including moving figurines similar to the window displays in the shops on Main Street, U.S.A.


When the attraction is unveiled later this year, the “show” will differ from the dioramas of the 1980s and ‘90s, returning to the unique style of the original 1957 show and motion picture. Enhanced with new scenes and special effects magic, the re-Imagineered attraction will employ technology not available in the 1950s to represent scenes from the story of "Sleeping Beauty," including the magic of good fairies Flora, Fauna and Merryweather, and the more sinister spells of the evil Maleficent.

For the first time, guests who are unable to climb stairs or navigate the passageways of the Castle will be able to experience the walkthrough “virtually” in a special room on the ground floor of the Castle.

Source: Disneyland Press Release

62 comments:

Spokker said...

Good, but it still took a DVD release promotion to get the attraction reopened, which should have never closed in the first place.

People Mover won't be back until they can figure out how to tie it in with a Pixar movie.

John Holdun said...

"Re-Imagineered!" Yes!

volcano joes said...

Spokker said: "People Mover won't be back until they can figure out how to tie it in with a Pixar movie."

One word: Incredipods

Spokker said...

"One word: Incredipods"

One word reply: Yuck.

I see this announcement as positive overall, but I'm not going to kneel down and lick the boots of Disney over this. It's just another small step to Disneyland firing on all cylinders again. Right now they are in the red creatively and are working toward breaking even.

Merlin Jones said...

More details on the restored Sleeping Beauty Diorama:

http://mousepad.mouseplanet.com/blog.php?b=219

Katella Gate said...

Re-opening this attraction is good news, but let's all see how it turns out before praising it.

At best, this is a "B" ticket attraction, but consistent production quality has been Disney's bugga-boo for decades now. It should be a slam dunk, but we won't know until the doors open.

I also want to know if Disney is sincere about using Earle's original art direction, or if this is just another attempt to exploit an artist's name without respecting the artist's art, like Mary Blair.

Disney: Prove my cynicism wrong -- I beg you.

Mr. Lincoln said...

"or unable to navigate the passageway"

Kind of funny coming from the company that just put out Wall E!

Anonymous said...

Sheesh, what sourballs. This is supposed to be good news, but all we get is "fans" who don't seem to care anymore. I should've expected this from a not-a-museum blog.

Anonymous said...

kk> it still took a DVD release promotion to get the attraction reopened, which should have never closed in the first place.<

It's darn near impossible to say something wholly positive on this blog, even when Disney brings something back unchanged.

You'd think with all the "if it ain't broke don't fix it" talk of late, that there would be cheers, but this brings out the true prejudice of the begrudged or backhanded compliment.

>>Re-opening this attraction is good news, but let's all see how it turns out before praising it. <<

I guess the same courtesy of withholding judgement is not extended to IASW...

Shawn said...

It is so sad to come here and see what should be good news criticized by the negative fans in the comments.

Seriously if you hate Disney that much than stop coming. It doesn't matter what they do, you spew your nonsense garbage. The diorama as it was in 2001 when it closed needed to be updated. Thank god it is reopening.

I agree they have made many mistakes, but being so negative without seeing what the end result is crosses the line. Previous management closed it and the new management is reopening it.

There is no need to "insert negative comment on newest Disney project no matter what it is" here.

Will Robison said...

One step forward...

Two steps backwards...

The (current) Disney way

Spokker said...

"It's darn near impossible to say something wholly positive on this blog, even when Disney brings something back unchanged."

Well, it isn't coming back unchanged, but that's not the point. Look at this project in the context of history. When it closed, no reason was given. 9/11 hysteria played a part, but I feel that was just an excuse to close the attraction to save a bit of money.

I'm glad it's being brought back, but I lament the fact that the walkthrough has to be "brought back" at all.

Imagineering is in a peculiar spot right now in that they can't move forward until they restore what was lost. Even then, the end result is often compromised considering the concessions they have to make (Nemo in the submarines, characters in Small World, etc).

Merlin Jones said...

I can assure the comment gallery that my posting this press release about the Sleeping Beauty Castle Diorama was meant as a compliment and celebration of the return of this attraction - - and in an enhanced original version yet!

Many thanks to all who are contributing to this project. It makes me cry happy tears to know it's coming back in this form.

So any crankiness should be aimed at individual commentarians, not the Blog. We approve and support and applaud this Re-Imagineering of Walt Disney's vision for Sleeping Beauty Castle wholeheartedly!

Spokker said...

This news is great. Disneyland needs more of these little A Tickets restored. A and B Tickets help to flesh out the experience and add value to a guest's ticket. Hell, the next thing I'd like to see is the Dream Suite gutted and the Disney Gallery rebuilt. By the way, where the hell is Lincoln?

But just because Disney is throwing us a bone doesn't mean you ignore history. The old regime gave no official reason for closing the walkthrough. The generally excepted reason was 9/11 hysteria, which is complete BS because they never closed the restaurant inside of Cinderella's Castle at WDW. It was just another cost cutting measure, plain and simple.

While I'm happy to see the walkthrough return, it doesn't mean Disney is going to be on a binge bringing back old attractions that should have never closed in a first place. There has to be a promotional tie-in.

The Submarines had Nemo. Tom Sawyer's Island had the Pirates movie. And the Sleeping Beauty walkthrough has a "50th ANNIVERSARY BUY IT NOW BEFORE IT GOES BACK INTO THE VAULT FOREVER (or until the next DVD)" DVD release.

It still reinforces what has been wrong with Disneyland for so many years. Instead of building the best projects it seems like Imagineers have to pick and choose from a list of movies Disney is planning to release to base projects on.

They got lucky with this one.

Claire said...

Having just met with Tony Baxter recently, I can assure everyone that Imagineering is treating this restoration with the utmost respect for Eyvind Earle’s original design. There was a “revamped” version of Sleeping Beauty’s castle in the 70’s with poorly-customized Barbie dolls that looked horrible, and Tony and WDI are making a point not to make that mistake again.

Yes, Imagineering put together the 3D walkthrough for the new Sleeping Beauty DVD, but it’s only because Higher Ups saw this walkthrough that they expressed interest in restoring its physical counterpart in the first place. The walkthrough will be a tie-in, sure, but more coincidentally than anything.

Why people commenting on this blog are so quick to judge the Imagineers poorly simply boggles me. They love the park as much as we do, if not more, and I don’t see why that’s so hard to imagine.

-C

teevtee said...

Has anyone said Disney would suddenly be on a binge to bring back closed attractions?

Has anyone said that one good move erases other bad moves?

No and no.

This is GREAT news and should be looked at as nothing but great news. To somehow complain about this or to use this as a reason to complain about past actions is just plain ridiculous.

There are those inside WDI who FIGHT for stuff like this, I mean FIGHT tooth and nail. If they need to tie it in to a DVD release or what ever in order to get it done then so what?

It just blows my mind that anyone who posts on a blog like this could find any negative thing at all to say.

Great news Disney and thank you for those who fought for this, keep it up.

Merlin Jones said...

Well, then we can only hope that future Blu-Ray releases of "Peter Pan" and "Swiss Family Robinson" will bring back the Pirate Ship/Skull Rock and Swiss Family Treehouse - - on Home Video's dime!

...I hope.

Anonymous said...

"And the Sleeping Beauty walkthrough has a "50th ANNIVERSARY BUY IT NOW BEFORE IT GOES BACK INTO THE VAULT FOREVER (or until the next DVD)" DVD release. "

It's ironic to complain about this when the Castle was named such and the walk thru first realized as a promotional tie in to the first release of the movie by Walt himself! He started it!

Anonymous said...

This blog is hypocritical. They welcome changes for some attractions and protest others. Pirates? Ok! Tiki Room? NO! Sleeping Beauty Castle? Ok! Small World? NO! You're not just flip-floppers, you're followers. If the author decides to set an agenda, that's fine, but its the lack of critical thinking that has me alarmed.

How can a blog post over two month's worth of guilt-laidened content, about the changes to Its a Small World, gleefully accept the changes of another attraction? The line you're drawing for what is acceptable is blurry.

Spokker said...

"It's ironic to complain about this when the Castle was named such and the walk thru first realized as a promotional tie in to the first release of the movie by Walt himself! He started it!"

I thought about that. Synergy is only part of what Disney is about. It shouldn't be the only reason they do anything.

Spokker said...

"Well, then we can only hope that future Blu-Ray releases of "Peter Pan" and "Swiss Family Robinson" will bring back the Pirate Ship/Skull Rock and Swiss Family Treehouse - - on Home Video's dime!"

Then you have to understand what I'm saying. That's the problem!

Instead of doing the right thing, restoring the Swiss Family Treehouse, their hands are tied. Imagineers are free to create what they are told to create, not what is best for the parks overall.

Synergy is great and all, but it's out of control.

Anonymous said...

The Castle walk thru is just a reopening of something ( a major WDI refreshment) that arguably should have never closed, so it's not really creatively controversial at all. They should next return Lincoln as he was in 1966. (It's hard to beat the Mormon Tabernacle Choir). The IASW thing is different in that they are essentially changing the intent of the show, so that gets lots of attention.

As a Disney shareholder, I like the fact that they are at least smart enough to time these things to times when the public's awareness (DVD release) will be high so the attraction and the film will be fully appreciated. As a child I used to ride Mr. Toad, having never seen the short and wishing I could experience it somehow.

Good job WDI!!!!

Anonymous said...

I think changes are good if they actually enhance the attraction. Adding Jack Sparrow to the Pirates ride at least didn't hurt anything (IMO what would really improve the ride would be to beef up the sea battle scene - it's too tame by modern standards), but OTOH adding Iago to Tiki Room pretty much destroyed it. However, I rejoice at the restoration of the Castle - bravo, bravo, Mr. Baxter! And as for the character additions to "Small World"...well, I've seen videos of the Tokyo version...and I think it's cool. The characters are not intrusive in any way, and it's kinda fun to pick them out (Look! There's Aladdin!) so no harm done. Anyway, as a big fan of the parks, I appreciate Mr. Baxter's attempts to fix all the badness prior adminstrators have inflicted upon them. If he could improve the Living Seas with Nemo ride at WDW (it's so underwhelming - there is no illusion that you're actually underwater, it's just film projected on screens), do something about that horrible Stitch show, reinvent the Tiki Room minus that ugly annoying parrot figure, get rid of the Muppets at DCA (and WDW as well...they're irrelevant boring hand puppets who do NOT belong there), and do the wonderful (as rumor has it) things planned for WDW's Fantasyland, I'll be one happy Disneyphile. You go, Tony!

Anonymous said...

“This blog is hypocritical. They welcome changes for some attractions and protest others. Pirates? Ok! Tiki Room? NO! Sleeping Beauty Castle? Ok! Small World? NO! You're not just flip-floppers, you're followers. If the author decides to set an agenda, that's fine, but its the lack of critical thinking that has me alarmed. 



How can a blog post over two month's worth of guilt-laidened content, about the changes to Its a Small World, gleefully accept the changes of another attraction? The line you're drawing for what is acceptable is blurry.”


You don’t seem to be able to differentiate between enhancing/improving and “plussing”/”making relevant”. For the most part, the “plussing”/”making relevant” is ONLY done in order to provide marketing something they THINK they will be able to promote (without considering any original creative integrity), whereas, enhancing/improving is done to actually upgrade and/or enrich an attraction without damaging it’s creative intent.

The Sleeping Beauty Walk Thru reopening will, in essence, be restoring the overall integrity of the Castle. Much like someone restoring an actual medieval castle that had fallen into disrepair, or restoring an ornate jewel box that had it’s plush interior ripped out, this redo is making the Sleeping Beauty Castle back whole again. As many have stated, the walk-thru should never have been closed in the first place. ALSO, in this case, Disney is NOT adding extraneous Disney characters to the attraction just to make it more “relevant”.

As for the other attractions you mentioned, most of the “plussing”/”making relevant” done to them did little to actually improve them and in most cases (outside of Pirates, which is in a situation of it’s own) actually caused a loss of overall creative integrity.

For the most part, EVERY attraction that goes through any sort of modification during a “rehab” must be looked at on a case-by-case basis. Disney has many Imagineers who have the creative integrity to understand when something can be “tweaked” without damaging it’s overall integrity. Unfortunately, they ALSO have some who have little concern for those issues and are only interested in getting their ideas produced. And there are also some in management that are of the same thought that will allow those faulty ideas to go through (DCA, DSP, Light Magic, etc.).

It behooves those here and elsewhere to constantly be on the lookout for telltale signs of potential mistakes in order to hopefully head them off. Through the years, we have become fairly adept at recognizing those Imagineers and management that we can trust and rely upon, just as with those that we cannot trust (though many of those rarely expose themselves).

So, being diligent is a good thing. But we must also be wary of those who seem to be critical of us for doing so, since there are some of those do come from the ranks of Imagineers and other Disney employees that aren’t to be trusted who look to discredit attempts to bring these issues to light.

teevtee said...

In regards to the above post...

I think you mean the Hong Kong version of IASW as the Tokyo version has no characters at all.

In the HK version I can see the logic... the Chinese are much less familiar with most Disney characters than we are so they are building the attraction from scratch, essentially reinventing it, to introduce these characters to China. Good or bad I at least see the logic and I understand the motivation behind it... and again, it is a NEW version of the ride.

When they build DIsneyland Paris and created a radically new and different version of Mansion and Pirates you did not hear people complain because these were NEW attractions and therefore free to explore alternate takes on the theme.

However things get murky when you start mucking around with CLASSIC attractions which have stood for decades and are every bit as popular and relevant now (more so even) then they were when originally built. There is just no reason on God's green earth to add characters to the original IASW. AT BEST the attractions survives mostly in tact, at worst it is destroyed... either way, why screw with it?

Anonymous said...

Would I be the only one who enjoyed the puppet styled walk through? I mean, I'm not knocking the revamp but I actually enjoyed the dioramas and scenes. The lightning strobe effect was classic, and I can almost still see it! Anyhow, I will be looking foward to the reopening as well.

Anonymous said...

“This blog is hypocritical. They welcome changes for some attractions and protest others. Pirates? Ok! Tiki Room? NO! Sleeping Beauty Castle? Ok! Small World? NO! You're not just flip-floppers, you're followers. If the author decides to set an agenda, that's fine, but its the lack of critical thinking that has me alarmed. 



How can a blog post over two month's worth of guilt-laidened content, about the changes to Its a Small World, gleefully accept the changes of another attraction? The line you're drawing for what is acceptable is blurry.”


You don’t seem to be able to differentiate between enhancing/improving and “plussing”/”making relevant”. For the most part, the “plussing”/”making relevant” is ONLY done in order to provide marketing something they THINK they will be able to promote (without considering any original creative integrity), whereas, enhancing/improving is done to actually upgrade and/or enrich an attraction without damaging it’s creative intent.

The Sleeping Beauty Walk Thru reopening will, in essence, be restoring the overall integrity of the Castle. Much like someone restoring an actual medieval castle that had fallen into disrepair, or restoring an ornate jewel box that had it’s plush interior ripped out, this redo is making the Sleeping Beauty Castle back whole again. As many have stated, the walk-thru should never have been closed in the first place. ALSO, in this case, Disney is NOT adding extraneous Disney characters to the attraction just to make it more “relevant”.

As for the other attractions you mentioned, most of the “plussing”/”making relevant” done to them did little to actually improve them and in most cases (outside of Pirates, which is in a situation of it’s own) actually caused a loss of overall creative integrity.

For the most part, EVERY attraction that goes through any sort of modification during a “rehab” must be looked at on a case-by-case basis. Disney has many Imagineers who have the creative integrity to understand when something can be “tweaked” without damaging it’s overall integrity. Unfortunately, they ALSO have some who have little concern for those issues and are only interested in getting their ideas produced. And there are also some in management that are of the same thought that will allow those faulty ideas to go through (DCA, DSP, Light Magic, etc.).

It behooves those here and elsewhere to constantly be on the lookout for telltale signs of potential mistakes in order to hopefully head them off. Through the years, we have become fairly adept at recognizing those Imagineers and management that we can trust and rely upon, just as with those that we cannot trust (though many of those rarely expose themselves).

So, being diligent is a good thing. But we must also be wary of those who seem to be critical of us for doing so, since there are some of those do come from the ranks of Imagineers and other Disney employees that aren’t to be trusted who look to discredit attempts to bring these issues to light.

John Silver said...

Just a reminder to cynical fans...

the castle itself was technically a movie promotion, as it was changed from Snow White Castle to match the upcoming theatrical release of Sleeping Beauty.

Sheesh, this is great news; lots of great stuff coming from WDI as a whole these days

Anonymous said...

Sleeping Beauty? What was that?*

David H

*For the less adept, that's a very, very subtle jab at the fact that Disney per se hasn't put out a memorable Animated Film for what - 10 years maybe? - and has been relying on its Classic films for way to longer without expanding its collection (apart from Pixar). I'm pretty certain that there's still age-old fairy tales out there waiting to be brought to the big screen.

Anonymous said...

Tony's tease hint (in the press release) of what's also to come was "from another galaxy", which leads me to believe they may also adding "Stitch" to one of the walk through scenes. This way, kids that may be bored with the predictable story of Sleeping Beauty will able to point out Stitch hiding in each window or pretending to be the forth fairy.

The other high tech notion may be a card swipe touchscreen at the end of the walk thru (embedded in a open book) that allows you to buy the DVD right there and pick it up on Main Street or have it sent home. A Sony monitor ("magic mirror") can show the restored clarity in Blu-Ray as well. It may even be able to say

"47% of guests that bought this DVD also had Popcorn, get both for 89.95, better together"

Merlin Jones said...

Orange County Register had more details:

http://ocresort.freedomblogging.com/2008/07/17/a-closer-look-at-sleeping-beauty-castle/

>>A Closer Look at Sleeping Beauty Castle

Sally French, Orange County Register
July 17th, 2008

On April 29, 1957, the Sleeping Beauty Castle Walkthrough opened at Disneyland, two years before the premiere of “Sleeping Beauty.” 21 years later, the attraction was redesigned to more accurately represent the movie. In addition, updates such as dioramas and moving figurines were installed. As guests lost interest in the attraction, it was closed in 2001.

Plans for the new attraction are based on the original attraction and film. One of the reasons that the walkthrough was popular in the 50’s was because of the innovations in technology.
“I think of the castle as the prototype for effects in attractions such as the Haunted Mansion,” said Disney executive Tony Baxter at a Thursday morning press conference.

Imagineer Chris Merritt presented some original pieces from the 1950’s version, such as Maleficent’s “goons.” Guests could peer through peepholes in dungeon doors. Mirrors were used to reflect guests’ eyes, creating the illusion that the eyes of the goons blinked whenever the guests did. Because of the popularity of this effect, which often created long lines, the dungeon doors were covered with a tapestry and largely forgotten.
But Imagineers uncovered the hand-sculpted clay models of the goons in the 90s, which they showed reporters Thursday, the 53rd anniversary of the park.

Another more ominous piece of the Sleeping Beauty Castle Walkthrough was the effect of Maleficent’s shadow. After guests passed the happy ending scene, her shadow loomed on the wall in a separate diorama. The effect was taken away after it scared younger guests.

In the Maleficent’s Dungeon scene, flickering flames in a dream sequence used the same technology now in the burning city scene on the Pirates of the Caribbean attraction.

Will these original concepts be brought back to the new castle walkthrough?

“Whether it’s old-fashioned technology or something new that hasn’t been designed yet, we want to make it the best that it can be,” Senior Show Designer Chris Merritt said.

“We want to keep the castle good and original, but that doesn’t mean they wouldn’t bring in something new that’s part of a whole new galaxy. That’s a hint,” said Tony Baxter.

The photo above is an artist’s rendering of one of the scenes that will be on display in the Sleeping Beauty walkthrough expected to open this fall.<<

Anonymous said...

"doesn’t mean they wouldn’t bring in something new that’s part of a whole new galaxy. That’s a hint,”

Galaxy could mean "Stitch" will be added to each scene popping up for the kids to enjoy. Or maybe it's a high tech addition, like a touch screen "Storybook" at the end to allow you to buy the DVD or Aurora Cruise Package just by swiping your Disney Credit Card right on the spot!

I can't wait to see what they come up with!

Louis A Bustamante said...

I think it's great that they have added a separate virtual walk-through for the disabled. I can imagine lots of folks never ventured into the castle because of all the steps.

Anonymous said...

They should reopen the locked door on the porch of the China Closet on Main Street to re-introduce guests to the lost dioramas for the "Wizard of Bras, Hollywood Maxwell" exhibit.

Merlin Jones said...

There are several interesting pages of NFFC presentation model photos and some interview video at:

http://www.laughingplace.com/Lotion-View-704.asp

teevtee said...

Watch some of the video over on Laughingplace.com

I think it really helps illustrate that WDI is full of very caring and knowledgeable people. It is very easy for fans to (more often then not incorrectly) blame WDI and be very cynical but the truth is that most at WDI are huge park fans. They got into it because they enjoyed the parks and many are giant Disney fans in general. They pour real passion and care into these projects and 90% of what we complain about have nothing at all to do with WDI. WDI are not in independent control of what gets done at the parks, this castle walk through is a perfect example of WDI wanting to restore a classic attraction and only being allowed to after management had a reason (DVD release) for them to do so. The problem lies in the short sided thinking of those who are managing the parks, not with WDI.

dan_steinberg said...

Wow - I can't see this as anything but a positive.

How can it possibly be worse than a trashcan blocking a door?

Anonymous said...

Actually, the sad thing watching the Tony Baxter interview video at LaughingPlace.com is when he says a number of people never realized that the Sleeping Beauty Walk-Through Attraction ever existed.

I was left with the impression he was talking about managers at Disneyland and the corporate level, not simply guests at the park.

You'd think the execs would get a two-week crash course on the history of the company, its founder and its theme parks.

I know Bob Iger grew up in New York, but maybe if he and others would take a little more interest in the past they'd see the genius of the Walt Disney as a storyteller. showman and innovator.

They'd might see that Lasseter's genius is simply following the rules laid down by Walt about quality being the best business plan.

They might visit the Adventurers Club or watch Disneyland's Country Bear Jamboree before deciding to gut them for something far less magical.

They might actually visit Tokyo and realize in today's interconnected world, we in the states KNOW what Imagineering is capable of delivering and we're tired of settling for less because of cost cutting.

I'd rather have one very special new attraction every four or five years than three in the same amount of time that aren't as good as they could or should be.

That said, this is a wonderful and welcome development. If they handle the ADA compliant area like Nemo, it'll be fantastic.

Merlin Jones said...

Here's a great article on the history of the Sleeping Beauty Walk-Through, including Ken Anderson's memories of creating the attraction and a complete description of scenes in the diorama:

http://www.mouseplanet.com/articles.php?art=ww080723ws

no1here said...

Following on the heels of "Jungle Cruise - the movie" can we expect "People Mover - the movie" with a celebratory reopening tie-in?

Anonymous said...

It unfortunate that WDI did not see the opportunity to bring back the Skyway as a means of ascension and descension within the Castle. Reopening something is not that imaginative. The Castle is an icon and deserves an amazing interior experience.

The money for the "virtual room" could be applied to the budget as now the disabled could go too. Being able to "fly" by the displays from your fairy themed bucket, and with a few minor cable transmissions, change direction to travel across the interior, would have made this attraction into a magical experience. Sure, they may be a few challenges with hiding the cables, bashing out a few walls to clear the buckets,widening the towers, etc. But isn't doing the impossible what WDI is there for? They did it once with a Mountain, why not a Castle?

Anonymous said...

Nothing personal and since you are "Anon" it should not embarrass you. However, putting the Skyway inside Castle walk thru has to be the dumbest thing I've ever heard. I hope I'm not seeming closed minded.

"Doing the impossible" becomes "doing the ridiculous" as that technology in that small confined space is not technically feasible. Why not just use Peter Pan boat vehicles instead, they would actually be more attractive.

Don't mean to offend , just an opinion.

Dr. Zaius said...

"...Being able to "fly" by the displays from your fairy themed bucket, and with a few minor cable transmissions, change direction to travel across the interior... Sure, they may be a few challenges with hiding the cables, bashing out a few walls to clear the buckets,widening the towers,..."

Sheesh! No wonder you're Anonymous!

teevtee said...

Your kidding right?

I mean aside from the horrid ugliness of what you just described, and the idea that flying by TINY dinoramas is hardly an engrossing experience is the fact that the castle is small... like doll house small.

What they are doing is in this case just right... no need to wish for more, especially some ridiculous silly thing like that.

Spokker said...

I was with you up until you suggested flying fairy buckets could fit into Sleeping Beauty's Castle.

Anonymous said...

"putting the Skyway inside Castle walk thru has to be the dumbest thing I've ever heard"

Now I know what it must be like to be an Imagineer and have your ideas pounced on and stomped to death before you can even sketch it. Walt made the Pirate boats go "up" a water fall and put boats inside a building. I suppose that's dumb too?

I admit that I've never been inside the walk thru before it was closed and the displays on your blog look bigger than they may really be. The Castle I have been inside of is in Florida and it seems quite large, although the one at Anaheim looks different and must be smaller somehow. Excuuuuuse me.

I'm sorry for having an idea and even sorrier for sharing it here. I won't mention it again.

Anonymous said...

^^^^^

While you may feel that your idea was pounced on, all Imagineering ideas must meet minimum criteria. They have various levels of design development that they must follow. In your case, putting ANY ride system into the castle would be considered unfeasible. There is just NO room for anything other than the existing NARROW walkways and scenes.

While some of the challenges to your idea were rash, Imagineers often face similar challenges (though, it sometimes appears that they haven't been challenged NEARLY enough).

Spokker said...

I enjoy the romanticism of Imagineering as much as anybody, but if someone's idea stinks, it stinks.

As much as they portray Imagineering to be this wonderful place where everybody and their ideas are cherished like the unique little snowflakes they are, it's still a business.

If you told your idea to Tony Baxter himself he would certainly do his best to let you down easily, but inside he's going to wonder what the hell you're smoking.

In any case, somehow connecting the skyway to the castle would ruin the look of the castle. It makes no sense, even in "Fantasyland".

If you are unable to bear having your ideas ripped to shreds then don't go into any creative business. Even if your coworkers aren't honest with you, your audience will be.

teevtee said...

As Spokker said the very essence of ANY creative work, and especially the work WDI does is having your ideas critiqued. Only those very few that can withstand HARSH evaluation have a chance to move on.

What you suggested would be similar to saying lets add a ball room for 300 people inside a Mini Cooper and lets also make the 300 people teleport to get inside... it is just flat impossible. Obviously you are well intended and the thoughts behind your idea are good, and yet the idea itself is still poor. That's OK... all great ideas are born out of a LOT of trial and error and modification.

Perhaps the reason your idea got cut down (aside from stinking) is because it somehow made it seem as though what WDI IS doing with the castle is not good enough. The fact is that the return of the modest walk through in the castle is a GREAT sign that WDI and Disney as a whole does in fact get it sometimes and it deserves nothing but praise.

FYI, the castle at DL is TINY as compared to the one in Florida and even the Florida one would be hard pressed to fit an attraction such as you described.

Anonymous said...

"the very essence of ANY creative work, and especially the work WDI does is having your ideas critiqued."

Interesting point.

Maybe this is the reason that from time to time we end up with homogenized and calculated projects. They are over thought "vehicles" designed by committee from the critiques of marketing, finance and focus groups.

Walt knew what worked by watching the reactions of the guests, sat at the exit, or waited in line and just did what he felt was gonna exceed the expectation of the audience.

teevtee said...

That is in incredibly naive though romantic view of old Uncle Walt.

I will put aside reality for a moment and pretend that Walt did as you suggest, even so actually CREATING those attractions took and INSANE amount of work, back and forth give and take and compromise. To think that Walt "just did it" is beyond ridiculous. He lived in the real world with all of it's limitations and practical realities. To say he "just did it"is a HUGE slap in the face to the scores of people who worked their asses off to make it work.

No, I am afraid you are dead wrong on this. Walt never "just did" anything. He WORKED, he made people WORK. The creation of many of the classic attractions took literally YEARS of back and forth critiquing. No, it was not with focus groups but to think that ideas were not ruthlessly ripped apart and then reassembled in new ways is to fundamentally not understand the creative process of how the parks came to be.

Walt had a great vision, Walt was a ruthless task master who got work done and Walt knew how to find really great people to work with him... but Walt or the original Imagineers never "just did"anything... That is an insult not only to the real genius of Disney, but also to the countless years of work the people who actually created the attractions (hint, they were not Walt) worked their lives for.

Focus groups do suck, marketing driven ideas generally suck... I give you that... but the creative process is all about being cut throat and examining EVERY idea with a microscope and then editing away all the crap... nothing is JUST DONE, it is a crazy difficult process and nearly miraculous when projects of the scale Disney works on come together in the end... it takes Herculean effort.

Anonymous said...

Tell me, how is it possible that after that marvelous process of sifting, critiquing, refinement and Herculean effort you still get "Superstar Limo"?

theatreman said...

That projects developed under Walt, and since, have gone through many iterations with additions, subtractionsand changes, can be seen in many of the concept sketches, design lay-outs, and hptographs of the "finished" projects.

My experience in creating a work for the stage, is that a certain harmony among designers, cooperation and mutual respect among actors, commradely give-and-take, joie de vivre and one-for-all-and-all-for-one-spirit, can create a collaborative psychic pride and spirit which leads to great theatrical success.

One would hope that cooperation rather than cutthroat competition would characterize the collaborative work of the Imagineers -- but that's just my hopeful imagination from the outside imagining in.

Anonymous said...

I know it's off topic, but how about a posting about the recent passing of Harriet Burns?

- Mark Eades

Spokker said...

"One would hope that cooperation rather than cutthroat competition would characterize the collaborative work of the Imagineers -- but that's just my hopeful imagination from the outside imagining in."

Read about how John Lasseter runs things at Pixar. He has said that screenings of early versions films are not "pat on the back" sessions. Flaws are exposed, and conflict has resulted in at least one director being taken off a film.

Then look at the finished result at Pixar. I could only hope that Imagineering is run that way.

Anonymous said...

”Walt had a great vision, Walt was a ruthless task master who got work done and Walt knew how to find really great people to work with him... but Walt or the original Imagineers never "just did" anything... That is an insult not only to the real genius of Disney, but also to the countless years of work the people who actually created the attractions (hint, they were not Walt) worked their lives for.

”

I think you are over reacting to the “just did”. My impression to that is that if Walt felt the challenge was in any way feasible, he could trust that his talented Imagineers could do it. The people he pulled from the studio were the “Pixar” and “Industrial Light and Magic” level of the time. Most of what Walt proposed was WAY beyond anything anyone had ever conceived of. But, he and his team were able to make it happen.

While the many of the challenges were certainly well beyond just putting together some slightly themed off the shelf toys, when the Imagineers put their efforts into it, they “just did it”. Much of what they did back then couldn’t be done by today’s Imagineers because now they often aren’t given the opportunity to “just do it”. The limitations placed on them in recent years have frequently resulted in little more than “slightly themed off the shelf toys”.

Of course, that’s not to say that they don’t get some remarkable things accomplished, GIVEN THE OPPORTUNITY, it’s just that those opportunities are EXTREMELY RARE.

Anonymous said...

I think the whole tirade about Walt "just did it" is misplaced. What I got out of the post was simply that Walt was a dictator and "did" (green lighting not executing) "things" instinctively, versus a corporate culture that uses committees and data to conditionally approve and hone an idea into blandness.

At Pixar, Lassiter could invite all the critique he wants as he was the last word and held on to the core vision. Only the comments that refined the big idea were approved, versus dismantling a concept and homogenizing it in a rudderless corporate morass.

And Harriet Burns will be surely missed.

Greg Bevier said...

This is a good thing. The last time I saw the Sleeping Beauty dioramas was in 2000 and it was seriously shoddy. (Barbie dolls?)

This is good news. It's a small step in the right direction. You have to crawl before you can walk.

teevtee said...

The problem with all they anonymous posts is that it is impossible to keep track of who is saying what.

I assumed that the anonymous person who suggested that we put the skyway zooming through the castle and past tiny dioramas was in fact the same person who thought Walt "just did it". Therefore I wanted to stress that there is a TON OF WORK and a TON OF REJECTION involved with the creative process, especially what WDI does.

The points this latest anonymous poster makes about WDI being limited by many outside restrictions placed upon them is certainly true much of the time.

Capt. Tomorrow said...

And why HASN'T there been a tribute to Harriet Burns on here?!? For shame.

Chuck Adams said...

I saw the post about Penelore llc. I wrote them and asked if I could come visit their shop (it's only 20 minutes from WDW). I reached Dave Ensign who was very enthusiastic and invited me to the shop right away. I can't tell any of you how cool the place is. It's like I walked into wed imagineering in the 60's just a little bit smaller. They have these autographed pictures of wed legends everywhere. Harriet Burns, Marc Davis, Perry Russ, Lee Nessler etc. When I asked what this had to do with their work, Dave kindly told me that Penelore was here BECAUSE of these great people. Dave was great and took me to lunch. He started to tell me about Penelore's future projects and I was completely captivated. I don't think he ate a bite but he left me so inspired and as a "disneyland museum" fan I can finally see that it hasn't died.

Hey. I'm not a fan of Disney subbing things out to outside vendors BUT it's good to know that there are companies/people who live and breath Walt's vision.

Blast me if you want to but it's true. I've seen it for myself.

Anonymous said...

i definitely critique disney on everything.....im VERY particular on what disney does.....i pretty much understand the type of things Disney wanted for his park....so given that id like to say that i have high hopes for this attraction....with all that has been said, i believe that if disney does what they said they would, then this will be mostly the past blended with more modern effects....i heard that the goons' eyes will be like the 50s....i cant wait....i havent been in the castle in 17 years and when i went to go in it, they said it was closed forever....and it broke my heart forever....but now....ill get to see it again...AND remember because the dvd comes with a virtual walkthrough of the original attraction.....even if you guys want to be negative....i wont....because i believe that this will be where old and new memories collide.....