Monday, December 21, 2009

Regional Squabbling!

Just a short little thought, but one that includes a question I'd like to pose.

Mr. Lincoln has returned to Disneyland, and the show is very nice, if a tad too quickly paced for my taste. The return of the Paul Frees narration, gorgeous Buddy Baker music, and Battle Hymn of the Republic finale nicely fills a few gaps where I wished the new Hall of Presidents show here in Florida stuck closer to tradition, making the Floridian re-do much more acceptable overall for me. But I digress. This has gotten the wheel in my head turning about Mr. Lincoln, The Hall of Presidents, and demographics. Here I may be of more help to the discussion than most in that I actually worked at the Hall of Presidents for a bit.

Why is Mr. Lincoln doomed to a passive, spotty audience at Disneyland? The show certainly doesn't suffer for lack of a good location - indeed it's probably the most conveniently located show in the park, located right where you must enter and exit - and neither does it suffer for an audience hungry for history and tradition, as that's what Disneylandites do best. One can't do something at Disneyland like install automatic doors at Pinocchio Village Haus without resulting online discussion and photos, but this same history-conscious audience continues to traipse right past Mr. Lincoln twice a visit with nary a second thought.

Yet day in and out the fairly similar in appeal Hall of Presidents, a show nearly 25% longer and placed in a similarly large pedestrian space, attracts huge audiences at peak hours, sometimes filling a nearly 700 seat theater several times a year. Some of it has something to do with the immortal allure of air conditioning in Florida, some of it has something to do with the mostly older and more conservative demographic of the southeast, but I'm starting to wonder if some of it hasn't got to do with being on the East Coast.

I'm actually thinking of the hundreds of times I was asked if the show was Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln, by full name, or if "Mr. Lincoln" would appear. I'm thinking of the dozens of people who told me about seeing Mr. Lincoln in New York in 1964, of how memorable it was. I'm thinking of the fact that the show in fact is native not to the West Coast, but the East Coast. Perhaps one of the numerous cultural differences we must take into account when discussing reception in one place or another is that the concept of a Mr. Lincoln show in relation to a Disney brand has rooted deeply in the East Coast, in the regional mythology, probably as strongly as a Matterhorn rollercoaster at Disneyland has rooted itself in the West Coast.

We also should take into account that most East Coast people have access to and may have visited the actual seat of our government, Washington D.C., and have access to the actual places where the events dramatized in the attraction have taken place. It's far more interesting when you've stood at Gettysburg, seen the real White House, looked at the balcony draped in black at Ford's Theater. The early history of the United States lives still on the East Coast, whereas California has always been founded by and for business. This may be another key to understanding why Californians aren't interested in sitting for Mr. Lincoln whereas East Coasters will sit to hear Mr. Lincoln's speech.

It may be turned around a bit to explain why these same Californians will fervidly defend their Enchanted Tiki Room, a show with a much more prominent placement and exterior in Florida which is mostly walked right past. The Tiki Room not only opened first in California, but Tiki culture itself is a very southern Californian thing, a kitsch culture which is proudly defended. Tiki began in Los Angeles in the 1940's and spread elsewhere before contracting back to Southern California, where backyard jungles and bamboo and Mai Tais still hold their appeal. Reversing the question yet again, this may be why the Country Bears still play to appreciate audiences in the South but were sent packing eight years ago in California, despite being steps away from the entrances to two of the most popular attractions in Disneyland.

So obviously regional culture and regional tastes enter into it quite a lot - quite a lot more, perhaps, than Disney fans seem to be ready to acknowledge. Too often online discussion of the domestic theme parks hinge on how to make the Magic Kingdom more identical to Disneyland, ignoring the fact that these parks are literally a continent apart, keep different hours, have different resources, are designed to be different, have different regional weather (the somewhat beat-up appearance of the Magic Kingdom is sometimes a result of Florida's punishing environment, which makes mince of WDI's careful work twice as quickly), and even are seen under different types of sunlight which dictates different colors and even different paint. And most importantly, they have different audiences which have different schedules and different needs.

Californians sit for the Enchanted Tiki Room because it is native Californian, distinctly so, just as Floridians find more to identify with and enjoy in Country Bear Jamboree than Californians. Some of these differences have been exploited by WED or WDI over the years - Liberty Square for Florida, New Orleans Square for California is an obvious one - but there are others we'll probably never guess at without direct access to Disney's information files. But it raises intriguing questions.

Would Superstar Limo have gone over well in Florida? How about California Adventure itself?

Would EPCOT Center have been more warmly received by Californians? Would Kitchen Kabaret still be playing today on the other side of the country?

Why doesn't anything in DCA drive attendance? Was it born with the Disney themed design equivalent of an original sin which will forever relegate it to third-rate status by Californians regardless of what it does offer? And why is Muppet-Vision 3D in line to be removed in California, but is a staple in Florida? Do East Coasters relate to Muppets better than West Coasters? Why has the Aladdin musical show proven to be far better received?

In a way this may prove to be the most fully convincing argument against cloning, Disney's current method for greenlighting attractions with a minimized financial risk. Who is Toy Story Midway Mania actually for - Right or Left Coasties? Will it be a walk on in DCA in five years but still run high capacity in Florida?

21 comments:

Gryffud said...

I think a bit part of the answer may not be regionalism so much as it is demography.

Way more locals visit Disneyland regularly than Disney World. Disneyland currently stands at 925,000 annual passholders, poised to top a million in this upcoming year.

The folks who are going to see Muppet Vision 3-D in Orlando maybe have never seen it before, or perhaps saw it once or twice a year or more ago.

Many of the folks seeing it at DCA visit Disneyland Resort monthly or more. Even if you love the show, a "theater show" like Muppets or Mr. Lincoln, may not hold up to 6, 10, or 12 visits a year the way Space Mountain or Haunted Mansion does.

I love "It's Tough To Be A Bug" but I don't visit it each and every time I'm at the park.

DeeJay said...

Also, Disneylandites/Annual Passholders felt insulted by the "off-the-shelf" nature of many of DCA's attractions believing, rightfully so, that there was "nothing to see" at DCA. It wasn't California that was presented, but rather a stock amusement park antithetical to Walt's original idea for Disneyland.

olegc said...

I agree a little with Gryffud. multiple visits in a single year mean you will only go on attractions that bring excitement or something to spot you may have missed before.

However, I also wanted point out that The Opera House, while in a highly trafficed area, is not part of the flow. At WDW - the Hall of Presidents is along a "must use" path to get from one land to another. You can walk into the left tunnel at Disneyland and entirely miss the Opera House.

JosephM said...

I think it's more psychological. For Mr. Lincoln everyone wants to go visit Space Mountain, Splash Mountain, Pirates, and Haunted Mansion. "Well catch it as we go out!"

At Magic Kingdom it's with the rest of the rides. It's no longer the "catch it as we go out" attraction. It's the "lets ride it, it's next to the Haunted Mansion/on the way to Splash/etc".

That's my attempt at an explanation.

Mark Taft said...

Great post and astute observations. What will drive attendance at California Adventure? Good question- and one Disney has wrestled with for years.

I can tell you what will not- a 2nd rate version of Tower of Terror; carnival rides as staples of the park; film upon film lifted right from Florida. Will the upcoming Little Mermaid attraction or Radiator Springs Racers? They will at least offer something of high quality to a park full of lower than traditional Disney quality attractions. Will DCA ever be able to lure guests from Disneyland? Not when high quality E tickets of old are there!

Nothing in DCA holds up compared to Pirates, Mansion, Space, Splash, Matterhorn and Big Thunder Mountains. Even Small World is a design masterpiece in comparison. Imagineering has their work cut out for them. The accountants failed, pure and simple, by slashing budgets and possibilities to shreds.

I've assembled collections of DCA artwork from before park opening to the new Blue Sky Cellar phase. The transitions tell a fascinating story.

Just judge what I'm saying for yourself. For those of you interested, start here: http://insightsandsounds.blogspot.com/2009/11/more-california-adventure-bargain.html

Mark
www.InsightsandSounds.blogspot.com

Eric Scales said...

Let me see if I can explain this not so fully formed theory of mine. I feel like when WDW was built, and again with EPCOT, there was a very concious effort on the part of the Company to appeal to a higher standard of guest. Not a money thing, simply raising the bar of taste and class. WDW was a Resort, not a theme park in an orange grove, and it's obvious from seeing any promotional material from that time that that's what they were trying to tell guests: "Come to WDW and be treated to sights privelages that you won't find anywhere else". Even attractions that had originated at DL were plussed and made more opulant, elaborate, and special for the Florida incarnations. EPCOT Center certainly didn't play down to anybody, it unappoligetically took the high road of mixing education with entertainment, but didn't stoop to thrill rides or character meet and greets (we're talking early years here folks). While perhaps not every guest got either park in this sense, the identity of WDW was very much that of a high class resort (at least to this Southern CA kid).

While DL had Mr. Lincoln, I think the DL Management enjoyed having a bit more freedom with their image- it's certainly easier to promote a fun loving 1 day park than a high class multi day family trip. DL is quicker, easier, and I think over the years that's the image they've built up, even when it meant ignoring attractions like Lincoln, Country Bears, and Circle Vision, because they didn't fit the marketing plan of young, fast, and hip.

In recent years it's become greyer for both resorts. WDW has a wider mix of all kinds of attractions in every park, and DL will occasionally try to shoehorn something dignified or low key (Lincoln and SB Castle Walkthru) into it's otherwise frenetic lineup of mmet and greets and character makeovers. But in the case of either coast, the minimal short term advertising given to these new attractions is fighting the public image each resort has built in everyone's mind. In other words, Disneyland says it's the hip cool place for you to spend an evening with yoru AP friends riding roller coasters, and by the way come sit through a 20 minute history lesson while you're there- see? Despite the best efforts of the Imagineers involved, DL's heart isn't in the message being given.

Walter Sobchak said...

You were right to say that East Coasters will watch the Hall of Presidents because it was originally an east coast show. You'd be surprised how many people went to the New York's World Fair as children and then brought their children to Disney and forced them to sit through the same shows they watched. I know this because my mother did just that, and my sisters and I grew to love the show also.

And it's not only the Hall of Presidents that benefits; on the Carousel of Progress it's always common to see people with Yankees/Giants/Rangers shirts/hats or people with New York/Jersey/Connecticut accents taking their children to see the show and then singing the song. (FWIW, General Electric is an eastern company based in Connecticut)

Perhaps a better awareness to history has something to do with how the Presidents show is treated on either coast, and the east simply has more direct contact with America's early history. I can travel 20 miles in all directions and find places where Washington really did sleep, and I live in a place he didn't even travel to often (Connecticut). Virginians live next to sacred Civil War battlefields. So perhaps this is another reason the Hall is better attended.

FoxxFur said...

The truth probably lies somewhere between all of these viewpoints. Would DCA have been less of a bomb here in Florida, regardless of quality? Frankly, yes. Because people will go to WDW regardless. Would it have affected the public perception of it? Probably. There's plenty of stuff that's kind of crap in WDW that doesn't have a bad reputation because it's well attended - the rather sad original Buzz Lightyear ride in Magic Kingdom is a relevant, if decade old, example.

I guess what I'm saying is that in the Disney community we're big on "received wisdom". I wonder how much demographics inform that wisdom. DCA wasn't a bad park, frankly. But now Disney's spending billions to change that reputation. It's what they should've done in the first place, but it's also somewhat deadening to consider that they won't then turn around and spend billions to fix another broken park like Disney-MGM Studios because nobody's saying it's a problem with their wallets.

It's important to note that Florida's attraction just inside the gate has been closed for almost two decades - The Walt Disney Story - so the "catch it on the way out" mentality is very true.

But I find it amazing that in a park where locals line up down Main Street to buy *candy canes* from the Confectionery that on opening weekend Lincoln was playing to a half full theater.

Eric Scales said...

I don't know the numbers, but I went and saw Lincoln opening day and while the theater may have been half full (can't say I really even noticed but it was a heavy 50% it it's true)the portion of the lobby that's specifically themed to Lincoln now and not neautral space kind of themed to the Gallery, was jam packed. Once the preshow came on, there was hardly room to move. This is a much smaller space than the theater, but I assume that guests approaching the theater might have been scared off a bit by how packed the lobby was.

June said...

Because the Aladdin show is amazing! I was able to see it for the first time this summer. Though I've sailed I-75 south countless times to visit WDW, and even worked there on the College Program, I had never been to Disneyland until my family went to visit my sister in California. I wish WDW had Aladdin. It'd be great for Disney Hollywood Studios.

Gil said...

I don't know, you may be right about history on the East vs. West Coasts, but frankly I think the attendance difference is simply the result of scope.

Disneyland has one audio-animatronic that talks. In 2009, lots of places have one audio-animatronic that talks. And lots of those places are not Disney at all.

But WDW has 44 audio-animatronics. Sure they don't all talk, but 44 audio-animatronics! Seeing all 44 presidents stand at once, hearing not just Lincoln but any current president, it's just more appealing. Hall of Presidents has a large theater it plays in, a prime location in WDW, and that overall adds to the spectacle. It's not some small attraction thrown on the side of Main Street USA, where most don't even look at the attraction listing.

Chris Stangl said...

I refrained from adding to this discussion until I had opportunity to see Mr. Lincoln '09 in action. In short, it is a beautiful show — the best incarnation since the World's Fair — and features the finest Audio-Animatronics in the park. It's great, and could easily stand to run twice as long (it could also stand to have some music cues swapped). Something puzzling and telling is going on in the pre- and post-show areas though, and it may offer another perspective on why this fine/tacky/compelling/fascinating show plays to tiny audiences.

The (unintentionally?) hilarious ego-trip Great Man mash-up of the Walt Disney Story and Great Moments makes for a confused theater lobby. The First 50 film plays on a monitor, Country Bear maquettes and the massive relief map of the park share space with busts of Lincoln and the bedroom-sized White House model... The Disneylandana and Lincolnana flow together in the brain, but are actually in different rooms. The Lincoln display empties into the theater, Disney self-congratulation-room flows into the newly relocated Disney Gallery (I'd thank the gods, but fear they'd be angered by all the celebrating). The preshow rooms/Gallery (itself an Attraction "museum" and merch area in equal measure) serve to smush together the actual-factual facts — that, in chronology, Lincoln did his thing, Walt Disney did his thing, Disney built Lincolnbot for the World's Fair, and Robo-Lincoln transformed the possibilities of Disneyland — until, in the metanarrative Disney's achievements are placed on scale with Lincoln's... and Abe ends up as Walt's puppet.

This reaches an apex of insanity when exiting the show through a hall of giclée-on-canvas portraits of Great American Minds, including Ms. Miley Cyrus.

ANYway. Certainly the East Cost has claim over the earliest American history and maybe that history is more alive in local collective semiconsciousness. But Disneyland is a tourist destination as much as a hangout for locals (and fetish object for passholders). Personally, I consider Lincoln a must-do, every time (when it's, y'know, there), but that's coming from a park history obsessive, a '64 World's Fair collector, and a local who visits regularly, and knows to space his Tiki Room and Lincoln shows as leg-resting periods. We'd have to ask those thousands who aren't watching the show!

My guess: there's simply no other part of the park that is concerned with history (of the American and park-centric variety) in such a didactic fashion. There is no other Learning in the park, save Innoventions, where kids skip around playing with the toys and ignoring the supposed science lesson. Great Moments is framed as a reverent history lesson, right on the marquee... and speaking of "Golden Dream", the Golden Dreams film played to empty houses in DCA until the theater was exploded. Thanks to Epcot's focus on tech, innovation and world culture, the Florida resort has a long association with educational content which spills over and sustains attractions like Hall of Presidents. Meanwhile, Disneyland's primary futurist vision, Tomorrowland, slid deeper into irrelevancy and only survives on the crazy fumes of space opera and cartoon fish.

The Gallery is also not a high-traffic area, and I'd posit it is for the same reason. I wouldn't dream of NOT stopping in, and I think I once teared up when face-to-face with original Mary Blair concept art. But visiting families quite reasonably don't care as much about this creative/corporate history (they also don't stop in the Main Street Cinema), and, in the shop area, tend to glance at the high-end collectables and head off to the Emporium. It makes sense. They have a different relationship with the park, different needs and interests.

Gil raised the point above, so we may as well face it: Hall of Presidents was literally an E-ticket, while Mr. Lincoln was a C.

Chris Stangl said...

As to whether DCA would work better elsewhere... who knows?, obviously, but we'd be robbed of the spectacle of outrageous miscalculation and bizarre full-immersion simulacrum experience of walking around in a California-themed park set down in California. While the first incarnation is a massive waste of money and resources, the whole thing is like a living philosophical thought experiment, and I wouldn't trade it for anything.

Well, no, I'd trade it for Country Bears.

FoxxFur said...

I still have a creeping suspicion that DCA would've gone over gangbusters in Florida, where things don't have to be very good to be very profitable. Maybe Superstar Limo would be spinning on to this day and complaints about the park would still be limited to a vocal minority on MiceChat. The "received wisdom" of it would have been dramatically altered.

I'll admit I'm kind of fond of California Adventure, tho not for the reasons Disney wants me to be. Where else can one visit a virtual reality version of a place you already are, and pay much more to do it than you would to just go to the place in reality! And also because the Mission Tortilla Factory was a weird attraction, and Heimlich's Chew Chew Train is secretly brilliant. But honestly, it's nice to go to a fake Germany for a pretzel and beer in EPCOT Center, but Disney knows well enough not to offer a swamp boat ride and "cracker shack" at WDW.

Glad as always to hear your take on the show, Chris... I still don't understand how or why those rooms fit together, maybe it'll make sense when I finally get back to Anaheim... also glad to see somebody else amused / offended by the implicit equation of Miley Cyrus with Abraham Lincoln. Great Moments with That's So Raven?

Whatever. A very faithful form of the 1964 show is back to playing in California, and I say hooray, no matter how many awkward lobbies and shops have actually enabled it.

C33 said...

I think the cloning of attractions really does provide a great barometer for these sorts of comparisons.

Take Soarin' Over California. At Epcot the line is pushing an hour on a good day and can get up to two and a half on a bad one. At Disney's California Adventure, however, where the attraction has practically an entire land to itself, the line just touches 45 minutes on the busiest of days and usually hovers in the 20-30 range. East/West arguments could go either way- would Californians be more interested in seeing a tour of their own home state than Floridians? Or would it actually be more of a draw to Floridians since they don't have access to the actual landmarks as Californians do.

The same goes for Toy Story Mania, which can get as high as 3 hours at Disney's Hollywood Studios but usually stays in the 40 minute range at DCA.

And the most extreme example would probably be the Tower of Terror, which has around an hour wait at WDW but rarely tops 20 minutes at DCA except on the busiest of days.

Of course, in making these comparisons it's hard to control for the differences between the parks themselves. Epcot is significantly larger than DCA and has significantly higher attendance. DCA as a park still fails to draw in crowds and as a result the lines just don't get that long. It will be interesting indeed to keep an eye on these as DCA receives some (hopefully) major attendance booths with the World of Color and Cars Land, which will if nothing else at least raise attendance temporarily around their opening.

FoxxFur said...

One must also note that the DCA Tower of Terror has three drop shafts which hugely impacts the capacity. Imagine if the Florida Tower's line suddenly began moving along 30% quicker!

C33 said...

True! Not to mention the lack of a
"5th Dimension" sequence and the ability to load and unload on two levels.

Interestingly, however, the line for the attraction at Disneyland Resort Paris (which has a duplicate of the DCA version) is usually much longer than either the DCA or DHS attractions.

Chris Stangl said...

I was mulling this over some more. There is an interesting fable from the book of Ye Olde Parke Tales, in which The Company attempts to consider these nebulous factors of regional history and local interest, overshoots and outguesses themselves. The plan was, of course, to bring Pirates to California. Because tales of actual piracy (and lightning bugs, I guess) are ingrained in Florida's history, culture, collective imagination, they would presumably desire no robotic pirates. The inverse was planned for Florida: a cowboy ride, an exotic story of the West... a Western River Expedition.

While Western River Expedition was famously cancelled for reasons unrelated to geography, Pirates went East due to simple demand: the people asked for it.

Matteo said...

I wonder how much of the difference comes back to the different functions the parks have come to perform, as Disneyland of the late '90s and aughts has become a Southern California playground while Walt Disney World remains a metaphorically-shining-although-in-actuality-somewhat-threadbare City on the Hill for countless families, international visitors, and Midwest newlyweds to make pilgrimage. Because of this, in Florida, tourist time and dollars dictate an almost obsessive drive to "see it all" within the 4 to 7 days allotted, pushing every visitor into every queue to suck out vacation memories, be it Hall of Presidents, Muppet*vision, or, should it have landed there, Superstar Limo. Walt Disney World is not just a kingdom or a "land"; it does not belong to a group of individuals. It is the "World", a place we visit, are part of, then return from. I do not get a sense of ownership in WDW, but a sense of "shock and awe", a sense of conqueror.

Contrast this to Disneyland, which, after the opening of WDW, has become a communal part of Southern California rather than a beacon-like Oz to the masses. In Disneyland, everyone is a resident for a few hours rather than a mob of nomads who roam through, take what they need, and move on. In Disneyland, a person is there for a few hours, then can leave, confident that they will easily return. As a resident of Ohio, who cannot easily return to Disneyland, even I have felt this pull- on one trip (pre-"Disneyland Resort"), lured by the ease of crossing a street from my hotel rather than navigating a complex barrier of busses and watercraft, I strolled into Disneyland, saw Tikis, Star Tours, and the Haunted Mansion, hoofed to the Disneyland Hotel for some karaoke singing, then headed back to my own budget no-tel a few steps away, satisfied that I had spent a pleasant few hours, hours I don't think would have been as satisfying in Walt Disney World. With this sense of approachability and ownership in Disneyland, I think it is easy to overlook the leisurely and more static (and longer) show-based attractions, knowing that you have a limited time today and can always check 'em when you are back tomorrow. This same sense of ownership and laid-back visitation, though, protects The Enchanted Tiki Room in a way it wouldn't Country Bear Jamboree- The Tiki Room is part of this ownership dynamic. It is "in the club" in a way that the poor Bears, as a hillbilly cousin visiting the California sunshine, never would be. I find it hard to even imagine my California friends saying the word "jamboree" in any way other than ironic.

Mr. Lincoln and Sleeping Beauty are also part of this club, hence their continued presence and resident griping when they are changed, but they are there more in a position of "resident emeritus". We (as in the California, communal 'we') expect them to be there and don't you dare take them out, but we have to get to Space Mountain and then Pirates because its a weeknight and the kids have homework; we'll check them (and Tikis, too) next time.

Matteo said...

So WDW is Paris and Rio and Hong Kong and, even, Vegas- a beautiful and crazy place to visit, tour like crazy, and head home- while Disneyland is the community playground at the park down the street, creating different ideas of ownership and power within each's respective clientele and citizens. Some of this attitude is probably, like attraction preference, regional- the Puritan East Coast idea that visiting neighbors has a time and cocooning behind your own fence has a time versus the West Coast, laid back, "who-loves-ya-where-ya-been" clubbiness. And, unlike WDW, where the visitors have long been conditioned to accept a new suburb popping up every 10 years or so (Hiya, EPCOT Center! Hiya, Disney-MGM Studios!), DCA is definitely NOT part of the Club of Disneyland. It is this attitude that contributes to its lack of acceptance. Someone just built a second, plastic-y playground next to OUR playground and expects us to go THERE? And they populated it with even more visiting hillbilly cousins? And they had the gall to theme it around the same mountains and piers and industries and movie studios WE already OWN? Whatever.

Would DCA have flown in Florida? I also expect that it would have. It would have been one more 'burb to conquer. However, as witnessed in the early days of Animal Kingdom (a park that, in its expectation that WDW visitors would slow down and peacefully take it all in, was probably as mismatched in purpose and idea for the Florida vacationers as DCA was for the California club), I think DCA's Florida downfall would have been too little to conquer. The majority of griping in a "Disney's Florida California Adventure", would not have been quality or "Disney experience" (in the sense that the audience knows Disney better than Disney knows Disney), but would have come from, just as the Studios and Animal Kingdom first encountered, the perception that, when everything was seen and done by 3 p.m., the vacation dollars were not being well spent. At least the Studios could claim to be designed as a "1/2 Day Park", and, in the case of Animal Kingdom, I think it was a mismatch of audience and park goal (which, to be honest, was combined with a desire on the part of Disney suits to cut cost by cutting attractions and hoping no one would notice). This also goes toward explaining how, by adding a roller coaster and an air-conditioned stage show, suddenly Animal Kingdom is seen as legit by visitors, yet, no matter how many drop towers and kiddielands are added to DCA, it is still not seen as part of the club, and it won't be part of the club until the voices of the club feel that they have had an imprint on the place. When this happens ("Because of us, we have World of Color", "Because of us, we have Little Mermaid"), DCA will be accepted. Walt Disney World is about volume, in size and sound. Disneyland is about ownership and belonging. The role each place has been assigned over time by the individual audiences, roles and goals which are definitely regional, and the different power dynamics between owner and customer in each park, go a long way toward explaining why a funky and un-PC jamboree continues to play in Florida while a funky yet PC tortilla factory is a 2-minute walk-through in CA.

Nicholas Tucker said...

Very interesting conversation going on here.