Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Daily Figment 145: Quality, Ray and Marty

Ray, from Grumpy's Hollow, has written a post about quality, theme parks, Imagineering and us. At least us in the sense of theme park-attending people.

Not just me and you.

My thought is that there was a time when the Disney Theme Parks were educating the public on what it meant to be entertained in a Theme Park. Before Disneyland, there really wasn't anything like it. We had to be taught how to have fun. Fun the Disney way.

This reminded me of a quote from Marty Sklar from The E-Ticket Magazine:
I had the little office right out in front of where the Tour Guides are now, in the building that was once the Police Station. There was a light globe out front that said "police" and I learned a lot when people came in my office and asked me questions. That was when I began to realize what people didn't understand about Disneyland, from the questions that they'd ask. So I began to spend time out at the ticket windows. I quickly found out that people were saying, "Now I want to go on the Mark Twain, and I want to go on the Jungle Cruise, but I don't want to go on any rides." I learned that they related rides in those days to the whips and the shoot-the-chutes and all the stuff that was in the old amusement parks, and they knew that Disneyland was something else. Walt had sold that on television. They didn't really understand the word "rides" in connection with our kinds of shows and experiences. Because of this, we invented a whole new language and started calling them "attractions," "adventures," "experiences" and we wrote the word "ride" out of our vocabulary for many years. The public brought to the Park their preconceived expectations about the Mark Twain and the Steam Trains, and didn't consider them rides in the traditional amusement park sense.

--Marty Sklar, as interviewed in the Fall 1998 edition of The E-Ticket Magazine. pp. 5-6.

The quote from Marty Sklar sums up anything I could say about the issue. Even though Disney is educating us on being a theme park guest, we are still educating Disney on what theme park guests actually are and what they want. The best thing that we can do for Disney, as bloggers, podcasters, forum members and Disney Geeks, is to be evangelists. Preach to everyone we can what Disney is and what a Disney vacation can be. We know what a great Disney vacation can be; it is now our job to share that with the world!

On your way out, after reading Ray's post, head on over to Jeff's place and check out his article about defending the Wildcats. The man knows what he is talking about.

If you haven't subscribed to The E-Ticket Magazine...you really should. It is the most amazing magazine concerning Disneyland, Imagineers and attractions that are gone but not forgotten. They publish irregularly, but each issue is worth its weight in gold. I'll have a full review of the magazine and specific issues over the next couple of weeks.


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