Update for October 20th, 2012   1 comment

Here’s a News Round-Up, And Some Food For Thought

Mermaids Ahoy!

This past Friday, Mermaids were finally added to Pirates of the Caribbean at WDW. The new scene is placed directly after the waterfall, and spills over into the following beach scene as well. As the boats pass the waterfall, the mermaids’ song begins to play, and a mermaid swims past. A mermaid skeleton now lies on the beach. Take a look:


Video Via Attractions Magazine

I think the effect looks really cool, and that’s just based on videos. I’m excited to see it in person. Sadly, though, I feel that the addition of the mermaids in that location seems a little odd. Yes, it is the most logical place to add them. But they don’t exactly work right there. Not because they don’t fit, but because it throws the pacing of the opening scene off. The opening scene shouldn’t have dialogue other than “Dead Men Tell No Tales”. Placement is my issue, but not because they don’t belong right there. Placement is the issue because there is so much other stuff going on in that spot. You travel through the caverns. Suddenly, you have Blackbeard shoved into your face (literally!). As soon as you get out of the waterfall, there go the mermaids. As soon as they swim off, there’s the beach. I just feel there should be more spacing and breathing room. The opening scene should be slowly paced, quiet, empty, and foreboding. It shouldn’t be filled with mermaid songs and constant action.The mermaids are a welcome addition, but it feels like there’s little breathing room in what should be a spaced out, slow, quiet, and eerie set of scenes.
I think that I would like this new addition even more if the waterfall projection was removed, and the Mermaids’ Song wasn’t being played. Like I said to@ThemeparkZach and @EPCOTExplorer, I’d like it if the caves became progressively darker, and the mermaids’ voices slowly become louder. Remove the signing, and replace it with the mermaids’ eerie siren wails and shrieks.

A Country Hoedown!

This past Wednesday, The Country Bear Jamboree re-opened after a scheduled refurbishment. Fans were worried that the show would be bowdlerized, cut down, made ‘politically correct’, and that Big Al would be removed. As the doors reopened,  fans were treated to a refreshed show complete with newly dressed/skinned/costumed bears. But much to their chagrin, about five minutes of the show was cut. Two songs were removed, and a few lines of dialogue were cut. Curiously though, the more questionable songs remained in the show. Many fans claimed that with the removal of some dialogue the show seems choppy. To me, the show always seemed choppy, and the dialogue all over the place. On the plus side, The New York Times reports that during the refurb, the ride control was changed, allowing Disney to easily install holiday shows again.
Personally, I am not a Country Bears fan. I like the history, the Animatronics, and the concept of an Animatronic show, but I can’t stand the music. So I’m not really torn up over this. Didn’t like the show then, don’t like it now.
Regardless, while it is unfortunate to lose showtime, the Imagineers working on the project put out a lot of great work. I find it very neat that they went back to the original Marc Davis sketches to use as reference when redressing the bears. That’s something aimed right at fans. So it is slightly upsetting that when WDI did go out of their way to do something we would appreciate and refurbed a classic attraction- just like we’ve been wanting- they get nothing but negative remarks. But in the upset fans’ defence, Disney’s video of the behind-the-scenes work claiming how important the classics are to them was a little inappropriate. Disney had just cut the show down, and many of the Imagineers in the video did not act as though the attraction meant much to them.

I think this segways very well  into my point of discussion…..

Classic Keep Up

As much as fans whine and complain about how Disney doesn’t care and/or keep up the classic attractions, it isn’t true. This year alone saw a new queue and effects to The Haunted Mansion. In just this week, Country Bears re-opened from a refurb with lots of new costumes and Pirates received a new showscene. And let’s not forget the return of the original Tiki Room last year.
While the work may not always be what we had in mind, you can’t say that Disney doesn’t touch the original attractions.

What do you think? Do you think Disney still doesn’t care about the classics? Leave a comment and tell us what you think!

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One response to “Update for October 20th, 2012

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  1. I opted not to watch the video so I would be surprised the next time I go to Disney. I can’t quite picture where the mermaids come in but I think it will be a nice addition to an otherwise slow beginning. As for the classic attractions upkeep, well I think overall Disney does a poor job with upkeep on all of their attractions. Maybe it is because I go so often that the “magic” is not there for me as it was years ago (when I only went once a year or so and my kids were much younger). I don’t see why Disney can’t manage to clean/scrub and repaint to keep things looking fresh. I also notice that many of the cast members have wrinkled uniforms or poorly fitted uniforms. Classic attractions don’t all need to be refurbed (hence that’s is what makes them classic), but regular maintenance would be helpful.

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