Monday, October 6, 2008

Disneyland - Cast Member Photos - Autopia, Old and New

Today's post is, thankfully, brief. We explore anew the unique (unpaid) benefits of being a Disneyland cast member.

Working there is great because:

A. There's always plenty to drink.

B. Sometimes you get to DRIVE! (Or at least help a dead guy to steer). [Thanks to Bruce Nelson and "Molly" for originally supplying this picture].

C. You get paid HUGE, PILES OF MONEY (or at least get to stand by a dead guy in a pile of loot). [Thanks to Bruce Nelson for originally supplying this picture].

D. The Autopia cars are just so darn colorful---what's not too love!

Oops. Sorry, they got rid of the colorful ones on the right (from 1984)...and replaced them with...




Anonymous said...

I'm enjoying your blog very much. It's nice to learn about Disney behind the scenes, as it were, and to know that you had such a great time working for them.

Toby said...

does not look like work..:-)

Katella Gate said...

Howdy Mike -

I can't say I like the new colors that they've rolled out at Disneyland lately either, mostly cause it's being done from a marketing perspective, not from a design point of view. And since Disney design FOLLOWS market trends, and does not lead them, you can see some poor decisions to keep Disneyland "relevant".

The Autopia cars are just mimicking what the public is now buying in the real world: bland neutral colors are in, bold primaries are out.

Tomorrowland got its present dirty colors because the sunny "Great big beautiful tomorrow" concept is no longer fashionable. A bleak future is being sold in the marketplace, hence the bleak colors.

Even the JC boats got the same treatment: The elegant "African Queen" look of the original boats were dumped because they were perceived as prim and fussy and the boats dressed down to look like off road vehicles.

I work in exhibits design so I know how imperative it is to keep things in a state of change. We all love the nostalgia of the Disneyland of our childhood, but Disneyland isn't a museum and can't be kept in a state of suspended animation and still be a living place.

I had no objection to pulling out Walt's original Fantisyland because it was replaced by something much better.

I do object when the replacement isn't as good as the original. In exhibit environments where the budget is tight or you have non-creatives making creative decisions, you can see a lot of "fidgeting" - meaningless changes in colors or trim to give the illusion of improvement.

And that was mostly Pressler's contribution to the park: inexpensive overlays that give the impression of improvement, but in the end, nothing's really better.

However, I think that after DCA debacle, that sort of "on the cheap" thinking is out and the company is making an earnest effort to put the Magic back in the Magic Kingdom.

So let's hope they change the colors on these vehicles. Grey is not a magic color.

Mike said...

Katella Gate,

I could've have authored your posted comment. In fact, I'm not sure I didn't. Maybe I'm posing as "Katella Gate" just to make it look like I have more than 4 readers (including dear Mom).

Your thoughts are appreciated and I couldn't agree more! Disneyland should continue to grow and add new things---just not UGLY things! What next, a Goth Small World because the latest trend is gloom and doom?! "Dark" Tomorrowland is just NOT doing it for me!

Don't even get me started on the savaging of the Jungle Cruise boats! No striped canopies?! Does the public really want an "Eddie Bauer" edition of the Jungle Cruise?



Katella Gate said...

Speaking of new vehicle designs, Al Lutz over at MiceAge just posted photos of the new It's a Small World boats.

Honestly, when I was a 9 year old, I could kitbash model cars that looked more professional than these boats.

But I guess 99% of guests would never notice, so making them 99% cheaper is good business sense. Like leaving all those "unnecessary" lifeboats off the the "Titanic". That saved a lot of money too.

I guess we're gonna have to wait a few more years and see if the Gurr-Goff magic is allowed to come back and make its home at Disneyland.

webhosting service said...

A good job

Namowal said...

[QUOTE]And that was mostly Pressler's contribution to the park: inexpensive overlays that give the impression of improvement, but in the end, nothing's really better.[/QUOTE]
The whole thing reminds me of a used car with a fresh paint job to make it seem newer. I'm surprised they didn't spray the western face of the Matterhorn with chrome.

Katella Gate said...

[Quote] I'm surprised they didn't spray the western face of the Matterhorn with chrome.[/Quote]

It almost came to that Namowal... I was hearing persistent rumors that the Fab Five (Mickey and Co.) were going to have their faces carved into the Matterhorn a la Mount Rushmore.

Outside of the Park that would be called Advertising - But that kind of relentless self-promotion inside the Park after we've paid our admission is just abuse.

Anonymous said...

I was never a big fan of the raceway at WDW mostly because it always had a long line and the ride didnt' feel Disney enough for me but seeing these pictures makes me feel like I'd enjoy Disneyland version a lot. Riding underneath the monorails and nearby the Matterhorn, with the submarine lake right there. What a difference!