Monday, March 4, 2013

Extra Ordinary Definition of "Limited"

This past week, Sarah Tully, wrote a blurb about how Captain EO, the attraction more people stand above while waiting in line for Space Mountain than actually go on, will be around for the "foreseeable future."

The "tribute"
The attraction, which originally ran from 1987 to 1997 was reinstated on Feb. 23 after the untimely death of the star of the short film, Michael Jackson, in 2009.

Now it's 2013, no one is really thinking about MJ's death, and yet Captain EO, produced by now-Disney-"owned" George Lucas, still plays daily at Disneyland.

I've mentioned before that the theater that is now showing Captain EO, and before that (and after that) showed "Honey, I Shrunk The Audience" has been an underutilized section of the park for years. To be specific, probably since 1992, five years into the first run of Captain EO.

As someone who goes to the parks on a weekly basis, it's always nice knowing that there are a few attractions you will never have to wait long in line for. It's even better when those attractions happen to be ones you actually want to ride, like The Haunted Mansion, Pirates of the Caribbean, The Storybook Canal boats or every dark ride that isn't Peter Pan's flight. Or, at the Magic Kingdom, my personal favorite no-wait standby, The TTA People Mover (Bring it back, Disneyland!).

Captain EO is not one of these attractions. For starters, the whole concept of a 3D/4D film-as-an-attraction idea is cheap and a bit of a cop out. Their capacity usually stinks, but that detail doesn't even matter, because they rarely fill up to capacity, proving that I'm hardly alone in giving them a thumbs down.

Secondly, when you look up dated in the dictionary, the entry after Taylor Swift (because who has she not dated?) just happens to be Captain EO. The film had to be quite spectacular when it debuted, but then again, a 10 MB thumb drive would have a technological marvel in 1987. Nostalgia for anything from the 80's will never be a thing, and Captain EO proves it. It's clunky, ugly, boring and a little too grimy to appeal to a 2013 (or 2011 or 2010) audience. Just like the decade it's from.

As a whole, Disneyland's Tomorrowland leaves something to be desired in so many ways, and Captain EO, along with Innoventions, Autopia, an empty people mover track, the boring Astro Orbiter, the remnants of an older, more exciting Astro Orbiter, and the gigantic waste of space/capacity nightmare that is the Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage. The land would, hands down, be the weakest land at The Happiest Place on Earth if it didn't have what are arguably the park's two best attractions in Space Mountain and Star Tours: The Adventure Continues.

So what should be done withe the space that lays underneath the Space Mountain queue? Maybe take the queue of Space Mountain down a floor and make it interactive. Maybe do something with Wreck It Ralph and use a bit of the space that's used for the also under-used Starcade (who wants to play a video game when you're in between Space Mountain and Star Tours?). I don't know though, I'm not an Imagineer, and furthermore, I'm not the guy that says no to every good idea Imagineers have.
It's been nice to see Iger and co. put in a billion across the promenade, but now Disneyland could use a little love and investment, and Tomorrowland would be the best place to start, today.

No comments:

Post a Comment