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Hi, my name is Lucas, I’m a former CM from the Disney international programs and I’m here in this lovely group to share some thoughts on why Disney should not end Wishes. I’m gonna try not to be that sentimental about the show. I mean, when you work there, or you’ve been there a lot, you’re obviously gonna develop a huge care for this show, for the meaning it brings to you about hope, and believing, and dreaming. But also, I’d like you people to discuss the arguments that I’m bringing, because this is a serious issue that I think that Disney lovers must be concerned about our beloved Disney parks. Well, basically, I think Disney is trying to fool us.
Let’s start by checking the arguments they used on releasing this info today. They released a video on the official Disney parks blog showing basically that they are building up an amazing soundtrack that would tell us about a “journey” based on overcoming difficulties and achieving victories. It will include not only the fireworks, but also lasers and projections. You can read it here: https://disneyparks.disney.go.com/blog/videos/happily-ever-after-nighttime-spectacular-will-debut-at-magic-kingdom-park-may-12/ Additional info found at insidethemagic explain that they will include other animated films not presented on wishes, such as: Aladdin, Beauty and The Beast, Frozen (I know), The Lion King, The Little Mermaid, Moana, Peter Pan, The Princess and the Frog and Toy Story. I didn’t quite understand why Peter Pan is on this list, cause it’s already featured, so maybe these will be the only movies used, Idk. Check it here: http://www.insidethemagic.net/2017/02/new-disney-firework-spectacular-announced-for-the-magic-kingdom/
Alrighty then. I’m not saying that this new show isn’t gonna be awesome! Actually, it might be, cause it’s Disney, we know them, and the preview is quite amazing (mostly because there will be a sorta scary part with Ursula and stuff). What I’m here to ask is: there was actually a need for this???? Really, I wish that anyone who really wanted a new show could just reply to this post. I understand that, well, technology advances, and all the lasers and projections on the castle will be amazing and uptaded. I also understand that there’s a need to include new big movies to the parks, such as Tangled, The princess and the Frog, Frozen (I know, I know) and even Moana. But first, let’s take a look to the history of Disney in general to understand why they might be doing this.
“Wishes: A Magical Gathering of Disney Dreams” debuted on October 9, 2003. So, to use some math, it’s been less than 14 years on the run. And, maybe a few people on this group might remember, but did you guys know which show it replaced? It was called “Fantasy in the Sky”. And did you guys know which year the previous show debuted? 1971. 1971. Oh yes, it was there SINCE THE BEGINNING. It occurred for 32 years. Thirty-two!!! And, according to Disney wikia, it opened at MK because it was a show from Disneyland, created in 1958 because Walt Disney himself “requested a firework show (…) to keep guests at the park for longer hours and provide much needed night-time entertainment.” (All this info you can find here <> and here <>) So, as also informed on the Disney wikia, after decades of the show, people wanted something new. That makes a lot of sense to me. Now, let’s check this 1991 video that I found on youtube of the Fantasy in the Sky show: https://youtu.be/EBi8huQnL6w I don’t know what you think, but it’s quite similar to Wishes, huh? There’s even Tinker Bell at the beggining! And comparing it to Wishes, it looks like we actually got an improvement, because Wishes is not only based on instrumental songs, but has a whole narrative of Jimny Cricket teaching us the power of our dreams. That explains why it was a groundbreaking success from the beginning!
But do you guys really think that the new show will just be an improvement? Let’s think about recent changes at Disney parks. Animal Kingdom will get a huge change with the inauguration of Pandora and the so long awaited Rivers of Light. It is finally a park that guests might consider spending a whole day in. Epcot is forgotten on its events and old rides, but there’s still the beautiful “Illuminations: Reflections of the Earth” show to hold a few guests till the end of the day. FIY, the show is basically the same since it debuted in 1988, even maintaining the name. Now Disney’s Hollywood Studios is completely empty because of all the changes undergoing. But they somehow managed to create a new show on the Chinese Theater to hold guests, besides “Fantasmic!” , which is on the run since 1998, that also suffered some rumors of closing, but I think they realized that DHS could not loose anything else. The “Star Wars: A Galactic Spectacular” is quite fun, and all the information composed by the lasers, projections and fireworks fit well with the Star Wars theme. But it replaced a very shortly aired show, the “Simphony of the Stars: A Galactic Spectacular”. It lasted only 8 minutes, but, boy you would leave the park feeling like you exploded inside out. I’m not kidding, it was only based on sounds and fireworks, but they were massive, and it was way more amusing! Anyone can agree with that. Last but not least, at Magic Kingdom, the biggest recent change they’ve experienced was the addition of new fantasyland on the end of 2012. Since then they basically changed stuff that wouldn’t make such an impact in their pockets. They replaced “Dream Along with Mickey” that featured the most classic Disney Princesses with “Mickey’s Royal Friendship Faire” that only included the 2010s. It looks nicer to me, but the music is definitely not as remarkable, and a lot of people complained. And then they replaced “Celebrate The Magic” to smash our hearts, airing the “Once Upon a Time” show which is terribly worse, because it makes no sense like the paintbrush did in the previous one and even featured less movies!!! I will always miss the remarkable theme song and Walt reminding us that it was all started by a mouse. By the way, with this new show, they might say goodbye to this projections, too.
So, my point here is: what impression this new show will cause on guests? I think that all these new shows are an attempt to pretend that the parks are updating according to new movie successes, when, in the other hand, the rides remain the same, not as thrilling, technological, or incorporating the new icons that come up from the yearly movies. It’s a cheap way to make it look fresh, when many of the buildings are older than many of the guests and don’t actually entertain like some of Universal rides, for example. I mean, how many recent movies were adapted to the rides besides the meet and greets, Frozen replacing a Norway boat ride, and Tangled getting a fancy restroom? Magic Kingdom rides does not invite guests to spend more than two days as it used to, and we can stay a lot of time discussing all that could be replaced or updated, like Stitch’s Great Escape, Country Bear Jamboree, Tomorrowland Speedway and even classics like Splash Mountain or The Jungle Cruise, and that’s just the beggining. So I think that there is a danger that the new show might even figure out less fireworks, in a way to cut the budget, as suggested by the crew from the daily fix (https://youtu.be/SpsQm9755OQ). And I also think that all Disney lovers should somehow press Disney to bring up actual innovation to our beloved parks. I’m really sad that I’ll never watch Wishes again, make a wish for the Blue Fairy and experience the hope and emotion it meant to me, to all the CMs and Disney lovers. But I’ll remain believing in my wishes, for they are the magic in the world.
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