Josh is joined by friend Peter Armado to discuss Disney’s ongoing relationship with the LGBT community. From Disney’s involvement in Georgia politics to a possible gay Star Wars character. They strive to cover everything Disney has done for the community or has yet to do and what the LGBT’s relationship is like with Disney in the 21st Century.
Over the past few years, Disney’s trend at the theme parks is to take existing properties like Star Wars or Avatar and create attractions and lands out of them. Thanks to the popularity of Universal’s Wizarding World of Harry Potter land, it doesn’t seem like this trend is slowing down. Walt did think of properties when building his original theme park but he also wanted to create new original ideas for his park. So when did Disney decide to slow it’s building of original concepts.
Does media have a hand in this? Creating buzz for something like Star Wars Land is much simpler than opening something nobody has ever heard of. Does Disney choose to market it’s Intellectual attractions over it’s original attractions? What will the future look like? Will something like Bugs Land or Cars Land stand the test of time like Adventureland or Frontierland have?
On Modern Mouse Radio #99 we created a contest as a celebration of our 100th episode. The winner of that contest was going to be appearing on an “Armchair Imagineers” episode of MMR and that day has come! Josh Combs is a Southern California resident and he’s a frequent visitor to Disneyland. He’s also an aspiring artist (Check out his Clothing Company and Instagram) as well as a tech and science guy, so it seems fitting that we redesign Disneyland’s Tomorrowland.
Armchair Imagineers is our signature series on Modern Mouse Radio and takes three peoples ideas to reimagine a Disney park or hotel or space. There are no limits to what we can do with money or ideas, but we do have to work within the space and keep guests of the park in mind, hopefully creating a fun experience.
Love our ideas? Hate our ideas? Have your own ideas? We would love to hear them and what they are all about! Leave a comment below or on any of our social media pages!
Stories Discussed This Week
Daredevil Season 2 is Here
New Mobile Game “Magic Kingdoms”
Descendants Sequel and Music Video
Indiana Jones 5 Announced
Joy and Sadness Meet at Epcot
Zootopia Characters in the Parks
Star Wars at SXSW
Storymaker comes to Walt Disney World
Email Josh: Josh@ModernMouseRadio.com
Let’s say that you’re an annual passholder, and you’ve got your routine. Visit the ranch in Frontierland in the afternoon to visit the goats in the afternoon, take a lap on the Disneyland Railroad in the afternoon and hit up Fantasmic! at night. And now, due to Star Wars Land construction, your routine has been ripped out from under you and that may leave you thinking, ‘Well what now?’ While some of the down attractions such as the canoes or Rivers of America might’ve been a placeholder for you during your visits, they were still important to the planning of your day in some capacity, even if it was just a scenic way to build in a break for yourself. Now’s the exciting time to reinvent your frequent trips to the park, and here are my tips to do so!
Then: Disneyland Railroad
Purpose: Transportation, break time for parents to relax while their kids feel like they’re on a ride. A novelty sight to see. It is truly a bummer that the Disneyland Railroad will be down for an entire year. This was such a staple of my childhood. If it was really hot outside, you could sit down for a minute and have a scenic view of the park, it was a great time killer if you were waiting for a show or a parade to start and the sounds of the Disneyland Railroad took you back into another time.
Now: Disneyland Railroad
Suggested Substitutions: The Monorail may be an attraction that you skip over on your trips, while it can technically provide a lot of the replacements you may be looking for. It’s an air conditioned transportation system with a massive hint of nostalgia. While it won’t take you to the locations that the Disneyland Railroad could hit within the park, it’ll provide a great alternative if you are looking for something that feels like a ‘ride’ for the little ones, all the while giving yourself a break. Or be sure to check out the vehicles on Mainstreet for that wave of nostalgia that the Disneyland Railroad used to provide.
Purpose: Nighttime entertainment. Ugh, words cannot express how sad I am that we have to wait an entire year!
Suggested Substitutions: While Paint the Night parade or the fireworks are an easy substitution for your nighttime entertainment, I have a different tip for you if you’re a frequent visitor of the parks. Why not use the evening time to hit the big rides that usually have massive lines during the day? Why not go on Splash Mountain or Indiana Jones? Also, rides like Big Thunder Mountain and Jungle Cruise are GORGEOUS at night. It’s time to take nighttime entertainment to a whole new level.
Then: Rivers of America
Purpose: A relaxing afternoon of sailing on the boats or watching the canoes go by. Rivers of America is the visual center of the park, so let’s find you some new eye candy for the day.
Now: Rivers of America
Suggested Substitutions: Have a seat somewhere in New Orleans and snag a mint julep and people watch. Browse the shops and snap some photos amidst all the beautiful scenery in the area. This may be a part of the park that you usually hustle through to find the restroom, but I promise you, a little quality time there might be the breath of fresh air that you’re looking for.
Then: Big Thunder Ranch
Purpose: A relaxing area to sit, see farm animals and have a quiet escape in the park.
Now: Big Thunder Ranch
Suggested Substitution: Take a morning stroll by the castle/hub area. Watch the ducks in the water by Snow White’s wishing well, or sit and people watch with the best seat in the house. The castle. If you’re looking for another cute nook of the park, walk by Walt’s apartment on Main street or check out the fire station!
A lot of people have expressed that they feel like Frozen and Star Wars have completely taken over Disneyland, and I totally get it. You feel like the park you know so well is changing all around you. And change can be great, but comfort can be better. I get it, trust me. When I worked at the Disney parks, it was before Frozen Fever. Heck, it was even before Disney owned Marvel. It was jarring seeing the signs of Frozen everywhere in the park when I visited last summer, and it was weird seeing a Thor meet n’ greet. At first I thought to myself, ‘Am I ok with all of these changes?’ And the answer I’ve decided upon is, YES. And here’s why…
Frozen Fever isn’t a new phenomenon for the Disney parks. It feels like it to you, the grownup who is watching your park change right before your very eyes. It doesn’t feel this way to the little girls and boys who are obsessed with Frozen and jump for joy whenever they see Frozen merch or their favorite characters from Frozen. If we all re-traced our steps, back to when we were a little younger, we might remember that Disneyland went through a Tinkerbell phenomenon about 15 years ago. There were probably adults walking through the park at that time thinking, ‘Enough already. We get it. Tinkerbell is popular now.’ I was obsessed with Tinkerbell during this time. And Disneyland fed into that obsession for me. I had to own any piece of merchandise that had that pouty pixie face on it.
When I started to work at Disneyland, there was an awesome photo location for Ariel. Music would play and mist would fall over Triton Gardens, and a cove would transform into an over-sized shell and Ariel would appear for her meet n’ greet. It was so special and fun. Don’t know what I’m talking about? It’s because this area is now Pixie Hollow, where you can meet Tinkerbell and all of her friends. Pixie Hollow came a few years after my Tinkerbell obsession. The photo location was setup in response to the success of the new Tinkerbell movies. When they first announced that Ariel’s meet n’ greet was going away to make room for Pixie Hollow, we were all disappointed. We thought, great…Tinkerbell is taking over. Then, I quickly remembered that little girl who used to beg her parents for Tinkerbell stuff and I would’ve been thrilled if there would’ve been a Pixie Hollow when I was growing up.
I’ve seen Frozen and most of the Tinkerbell movies. I loved all of them. Better yet, I love seeing little kids faces light up when they see their favorite characters from these movies. It’s truly special. And sure, some of it might feel a little overboard. But next time you roll your eyes at the abundance of Olaf, keep an eye out for the little kid excitedly waving at Elsa in Paint the Night, or listen to little kids singing “Let it Go” at the top of their lungs. It’ll warm your heart. There will be new Disney movies that will get a huge response from Disney fans, and when that happens, the parks will feed into the hype. Things that we know and love right now will change to make room for the new. And that’s ok. Because the great thing about Disney, is they never forget about their classic stories.
Stories Discussed This Week
Kylo Ren Replaces Darth Vader
Coca-Cola coming to Disney Springs
More Closures at Hollywood Studios
Shanghai Disneyland’s Official Opening
Star Wars/Pirates Switch Release Dates
Fan Made Star Wars Short Film – “Kara”
Shakira’s Zootopia Song
ABC Family to Free Form
Email Josh: Josh@ModernMouseRadio.com
Keith and his friends made their way to the Star Wars Launch Bay where you can now meet some of your favorite Star Wars characters. They met Chewbacca and our friend Kaleigh wore her wookie mouse ear headband to meet him, which Keith explains in the video. See more from Keith at the links below.
Josh is joined this week by Richard and Sarah from the Skywalking Through Neverland podcast. They are major fans of everything Star Wars and were able to attend the Hollywood premiere of the film. They have the picture with JJ Abrams to prove it!
Josh poses the question of how the future of Star Wars looks. With a huge push from Disney, with one film release a year and countless opportunities for merchandise, television, books, and comics, will the public tire of the franchise? What is everyone looking forward to with the new resurrection of Star Wars, especially with everyone high on The Force Awakens. What about the expansion into theme parks? Will it draw new audiences to the parks?
Give your thoughts on the future of the Star Wars franchise. What do you think will happen? Will it continue to be popular? Will it’s popularity fade? What are you looking forward to from the franchise?