Did Disney Go Through a Mean-Spirited Phase?

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MW1218
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Did Disney Go Through a Mean-Spirited Phase?

Post by MW1218 » Jan Mon 19, 2009 8:23 am

A thought that's been in my mind for a while now is that the death knell of the Eisner era came amid a slew of Walt Disney World and Disneyland attractions that, for lack of a better term, could be described as 'almost torturous,"; specifically, yet not limited to, the sense of smell.

Journey into Imagination with Figment
It's Tough to be a Bug
Stitch's Great Escape
Honey I Shrunk the Audience

These are just a few that I could think of, but the common problem that I have with them is that, when it came to designing these attractions, Disney shifted from an immersive, good-natured experience to one that really upped the gross-out factor and was designed to make you squirm.

Compare these attractions to ones where smell is being utilized in a pleasant fashion like Philharmagic or Soarin, and I think you'd begin to see my basic point...that Disney has realized their mistake, and kind of walking it back.

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Post by sherabby » Jan Mon 19, 2009 8:36 am

Smell is used in Spaceship Earth. Some people like that burning smell but I don't really care for it.
My son absolutely hated It's tough to be a bug. I'll never be able to get him back into that tree for quite some time now. I hate Stitch's Great Escape. I hate to use the word hate about Disney but I cannot come up with a better word right now!
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Post by MW1218 » Jan Mon 19, 2009 8:47 am

I'm talking about the new attractions that were created around the same time as the one I talked about, not just any attractions that happen to have smell in them.

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Post by BuDz211 » Jan Mon 19, 2009 10:15 am

I dunno. I really enjoyed Alien Encounter and I believe there was a part where a man was attacked and blood supposedly splatters on everyone. That was kinda gross but cool.
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Post by boilerbabe » Jan Mon 19, 2009 10:27 am

I guess I was surprised when Alien Encounter came out, I thought it was cool but very un-Disney! I didn't think much of It's Tough to be a Bug. It didn't offend me with the smells.
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Post by js3901 » Jan Mon 19, 2009 12:00 pm

I don't think they were "mean-spirited" or anything. I think the creative powers that be (were) were obsessed with Plussing everything. they also wanted to use what was "new" and "now" in their attractions (like PotC update with Jack Sparrow, Monsters Inc Laugh Floor, Stitch's great escape). -
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Post by agingerbugg » Jan Mon 19, 2009 3:21 pm

I think the disgusting smells is the same reason Jelly Belly included sardine and vomit in their Berttie Bott's Every Flavor Bean, because some people like to be grossed out. It is like a roller coaster, people ride them because they like the "safe" thrills. No sensible person would think of taking a convertible and driving it 65mph down a winding road, but it's okay to do it on TT. Some people just thinks it's fun. Personally, I like taking people who have never been on Stich, It's Tough to be a Bug (of course this is a really cute show) and Journey just to see their reactions.
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Post by LivinTheDream » Jan Wed 21, 2009 3:21 pm

I don't see it as mean-spirited rather just missing the mark. I didn't mind Honey I Shrunk the Audience (except that the movie it's based on is almost forgotten now) but It's Tough to be a Bug seems like just a repeat with different movie (although a little scarier...). Stitch didn't do it for me. It was a little too out there and a little too late in my opinion, but then again I never did Alien Encounter because it was too scary for my tastes at the time.

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Post by Jacca5660 » Jan Wed 21, 2009 5:59 pm

sherabby wrote:Smell is used in Spaceship Earth. Some people like that burning smell but I don't really care for it.
My son absolutely hated It's tough to be a bug. I'll never be able to get him back into that tree for quite some time now. I hate Stitch's Great Escape. I hate to use the word hate about Disney but I cannot come up with a better word right now!
One of my boys who was 4 his first time in It's tough to be a bug, is still afraid of it (he's 15 now)! Poor kid got scared to death.
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Post by figmentaholic » Jan Wed 21, 2009 6:11 pm

agingerbugg wrote:I think the disgusting smells is the same reason Jelly Belly included sardine and vomit in their Berttie Bott's Every Flavor Bean, because some people like to be grossed out. It is like a roller coaster, people ride them because they like the "safe" thrills. No sensible person would think of taking a convertible and driving it 65mph down a winding road, but it's okay to do it on TT. Some people just thinks it's fun. Personally, I like taking people who have never been on Stich, It's Tough to be a Bug (of course this is a really cute show) and Journey just to see their reactions.

I think you hit it on the head. It isn't "mean" it is just meant to be an all sensory experience. They want rides that engage all of your senses. They do it with Philharmagic- they have smells and wather for touch, and Muppet Vision 3-D which has water as well. Other rides use other ways to stumulate touch like Tough to be a Bug and Honey I Shunk the Audience use air guns.

All of these things are the same as smell. Some people like to be grossed out, but everyone wants to be thrown fully into a ride or experience to get the most out of it- and I think Disney has done a great job with it.
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Post by Nz58cl » Jan Thu 22, 2009 7:25 am

Juvenile humor perhaps? I like It's Tough to be a Bug but I do make sure to not to sit back on the bench. :roll:

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Post by Cheshire Cat » Jan Thu 22, 2009 12:01 pm

Juvenile humor perhaps? I like It's Tough to be a Bug but I do make sure to not to sit back on the bench.
I'm glad I'm not the only one that does this... I've always had a phobia of bees, so it makes me nervous. I've never felt it on the attraction but it looks like it could be painful/uncofortable when those pointy things stab you in the back... :?

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Post by Mr.ToadWildRider » Jan Thu 22, 2009 2:34 pm

Cheshire Cat wrote:
Juvenile humor perhaps? I like It's Tough to be a Bug but I do make sure to not to sit back on the bench.
I'm glad I'm not the only one that does this... I've always had a phobia of bees, so it makes me nervous. I've never felt it on the attraction but it looks like it could be painful/uncofortable when those pointy things stab you in the back... :?
My first time in my youth I recalled it actually hurting me. In recent visits when we actually visit DAK, it's just a touch not even really uncomfortable.

I agree with the general sentiment of the thread though - they replaced figments roses with skunk (and it's not even skunk, I like skunk smell the figment smell is like singed hair and rubber), they throw in the stink bug at ITTBAB, and Stitch has that horrid chili onion breath. What happened to the oranges in Horizons? Please don't say they're in Soarin'! now because I personally think Soarin's smells smell like air freshener or cleaning products - not what I put on the level of Figment's rose water paint or Horizon's desert orange groves. I can at least still enjoy the embers left by the fall of Rome...

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Post by MW1218 » Jan Thu 22, 2009 2:46 pm

Yeah, Nz5 brings up a good word, juvenile. I guess during those years Disney started kind of slumping to the lowest common denominator instead of producing sharp, more finely-tuned attractions that made you think more than "OH NO DOG SLOBBER!"

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Post by DisBeamer » Jan Thu 29, 2009 4:36 am

Mr.ToadWildRider wrote:
Cheshire Cat wrote:
Juvenile humor perhaps? I like It's Tough to be a Bug but I do make sure to not to sit back on the bench.
I'm glad I'm not the only one that does this... I've always had a phobia of bees, so it makes me nervous. I've never felt it on the attraction but it looks like it could be painful/uncofortable when those pointy things stab you in the back... :?
My first time in my youth I recalled it actually hurting me. In recent visits when we actually visit DAK, it's just a touch not even really uncomfortable...
I think it just used to be harder. Like, the year AK opened I remember it hurt like crazy, and last time I saw it (say .. 04?) it didn't. I wonder if it was adjusted, or if it's just broken down after years of whacking people in the spine. I'm not sure who thought it was a good idea to jab people in the back as part of the attraction, but I'd beg to differ with them.
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