Disney fans here have been much preoccupied with the retheming of “Tower of Terror” to “Guardians of the Galaxy—Mission Breakout” at Disney California Adventure, and the opening of Pandora at Animal Kingdom in Walt Disney World. On the other side of the planet at Tokyo DisneySea (one of the best Disney parks in the world—ask anyone who’s been there, or just look at a photo below) the latest attraction to open is “Nemo and Friends SeaRider.” The new ride, which opened on May 12, replaces one of the park’s 2001 opening day attractions, “Stormrider.” That ride was kind of like a bigger version of “Star Tours,” but not nearly as good. You could see the seams all over the large screen, thus destroying the illusion that you were supposed to be looking out a large observation window at the front of a new type of plane. Said aircraft was designed to drop a “fuse” into the center of a hurricane which immediately dissipates it. The ride was not the best thing Walt Disney Imagineering has done, and it usually had the shortest line in Tokyo DisneySea, about 20 to 40 minutes in a park where two- and three-hour lines are the norm.
They just fixed it by redoing the entire thing with an overlay from the film Finding Dory. There are many Disney park enthusiasts who bemoan the conversion of a ride with an original storyline and characters to that of an Intellectual Property (“IP”) which Disney owns. Personally, I don’t care as long as the ride is good. Read the rest
Pacific Ocean Park--or as it was commonly known in Los Angeles from the '50s through the '70s, P.O.P.--was extraordinary in both its glamorous rise and spectacular fall. As a family-oriented attraction in the '50s with modernist-styled rides designed by Hollywood's best, P.O.P.'s attendance briefly surpassed that of Disneyland.
Domenic Priore and I uncovered hundreds of images, most unseen elsewhere, including original ride designs, illustrations, and photos of the Tiki-rich, space age, and nautical rides. P.O.P. was often widely seen in movies and television shows throughout the '60s. Its Cheetah auditorium hosted important early rock shows, including those by Ritchie Valens, The Doors, and Pink Floyd. Read the rest