attraction design

Seven Attractions that Disney Wouldn’t Build Today

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Walt Disney and his team of Imagineers practically invented the modern theme park. They took old ideas and elevated them to something guests would be talking about for years to come.

Over the years, the crowds have grown most sophisticated and ride technology has changed too. It still comes down to one thing, telling an amazing and engaging story, rich in detail, and immersive in environment.

Here’s a list of 7 attraction types that will never be built again in a Disney theme park:

Snow White / Pinocchio Dark Ride – The original dark ride at Disneyland was little more than a giant electric train set going through a series of wooden cutouts. Not only are ride systems much more complex, guests are too savvy for simple set decorations. The new rides are all nearly 360 degrees immersive.

The Great Movie Ride / Ellen’s Energy Adventure
– Not only are both these rides full of expensive to build and maintain animatronics, their ride systems are large and complex, essentially theaters on wheels. The modern guest doesn’t quite get the metaphor.
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My Journey Through Antarctica at SeaWorld Orlando

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What to say about SeaWorld Orlando’s newest land and attraction – Antarctica. I was invited to SeaWorld for a special press preview, but was only able to experience the attraction as designed once. It broke down on my second ride and then they kicked us out for a VIP party. So I have a few opinions, but they’re mixed results based on incomplete data. Since they did invite me to the event, I will do my best to explain.

Antarctica as a land encompasses an attraction, a store, and a restaurant, but sadly no restrooms. The store and the restaurant I found to be top quality. Although I did not get to sample the food, I’m sure Chef Hector did a great job preparing the international flavored options (American, Italian, and Asian). The store, as you might expect was full to the brim with great penguin themed merchandise. They’ve also introduced a build your own penguin cup booth. More on that in a future post.

While SeaWorld is in competition with the other local parks, they’ve taken a different angle to their themed design. Unlike Belle’s Village in New Fantasyland or Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Islands of Adventure, SeaWorld is not trying to put you ‘in the movie’, just ‘in the mood.’ The mood being set by tons of hand carved ‘ice’, various south pole elements, and some fun penguin representations. There’s no story being told, but you do feel like you’re in a wondrous place representative of Antarctica. Read More »My Journey Through Antarctica at SeaWorld Orlando

When stuck on an attraction, when is it okay to call 911

There’s a story in the Orlando Sentinel this morning about a ride-stop and subsequent guest evacuation on the new Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey attraction at Universal Orlando’s Islands of Adventure park. Ride-stops and walk-offs happen all the time at theme parks, particularly with… Read More »When stuck on an attraction, when is it okay to call 911