Welcome to my take on the psychology and sociology of the Disney culture. This is my own outlet and expression of my views on Disney everything! I love great discussion too so please feel free to comment. I mostly follow the current state of Disney but I have a social-science-colored lens through which to view it and occasionally compare it to the past. I'm a bit of a biased nostalgic too so please enjoy a little thoughtful commentary mixed in with educated exploration.
Tuesday, September 18, 2012
If I Ran Disneyland...
This is an unedited opinionated post, with some
society observation sprinkled in, so you have been warned!
If I ran Disneyland, it would still be a place of
entertainment AND education.When I
first became enamored with Disneyland history, one of the hugest shocks to me
was the existence of many attractions that made learning fun and information
come alive.The attraction I instantly
fell in love with and still have an avid obsession for is 1967 Tomorrowland’s Adventure
Thru Inner Space.I also know now that
many others in the Disney community have a similar affection for this ride that
took you on a visually stimulating trip into molecules and atoms.It just stuck with people somehow, and for
some reason with me even though I’d never actually experienced it before its
transfer into Star Tours in 1986.
Groovy science (See Link A)
But this is just one of the many “edu-cational” experiences
that Disneyland has since lost.Kids can
no longer imagine what their future home may look like with tomorrow’s
technology as the children in the past could with Monsanto’s House of the
Future.They don’t feel the magic of
progress and learn how far technology has come like they did in the Carousel of
Progress.They can’t immerse themselves
in Native American culture like they could in Frontierland’s Indian
Village.They can’t even see first-hand
what kind of whimsical stores a turn-of-the-century Main Street would house
because there is no themed Flower Mart, Candle Shop, or Pharmacy anymore.
Look how intrigued that guest is! Learning! (See Link B)
Walt Disney’s opening day speech mentions that one of the
things Disneyland is dedicated to is “the hard facts that shaped America.”Does the Disneyland of today reflect that?
Not to me.History and science can be
fun if presented in the right way, and right now it’s not being presented in
much of a way at all.
If I ran Disneyland, my first project would be a total overhaul
on Innoventions.The concept is great,
the execution not so much.Lets rip out
all the outdated and boring crap and stuff that awesome rotating building with
cutting edge technology presentations, a new tricked out House of the Future,
and lots of hands-on, sneak peak, awe-inspiring gadgets that help kids (or
adults) learn without knowing they’re learning.Also, it’s imperative that it be updated as new technology is
released.Partner up with some companies
to help hype their products and everyone wins.From there, restore some historic storytelling to Frontierland and
Adventureland.Disney can even introduce
a re-vamped Davy Crockett or a new iconic figure to have their own historical
fiction show, to have something to promote.
I sure don’t claim to know “what Walt would do,” with the
Park today, and I know these are my own meager opinions.Society is so used to what Disneyland is now,
that to reintroduce such things may seem bland to today’s young audience. But from what I’ve seen of such recent glowing
projects as Buena Vista Street in Disney’s California Adventure, I believe WDI
currently has the power to make learning fun once more.