MousePlanet Mailbag for January 15, 2004
We receive considerable feedback regarding our site. Although we cannot
publish all of them, the following may be of interest to other readers.
Feedback for Mike Scopa
Regarding "The Trouble With Epcot" (Nov. 7, 2003), Randy Stockdale writes:
Just read your article on Epcot never really meeting Walt's vision. Excellent article on
past, present and future of Epcot. I personally like Epcot because it both has the thrill
rides AND has the culture of World Showcase. (I'm 44 and enjoy Test Track and Mission: Space.)
But where else can you get your fill of thrill rides in the morning and listen to music from
around the world in the afternoon? Epcot's identity may be just as most guidebooks put it – a
mix of fun and learning.
What I found most interesting, however, were Walt's comments and vision of a place with parks
for kids, pathways and various types of recreation throughout the community for residents.
Many of these same ideas were used when Jim Rouse developed Columbia outside of Washington,
D.C. Shortly afterward. Rouse envisioned a community with a mix of various peoples who would
live and work in Columbia. Certainly, Walt and Rouse had similar ideas in developing the
recreational areas. Columbia is well-known for its walking pathways, community pools and
recreation centers. Columbia has its problems today as well – mostly governmental authority. To
my memory, Walt never mentioned how EPCOT would be governed.
Just thought you might be interested in the analogy and comparison between these two great
Randy – You may be interested to know that Rouse was quite an admirer of Walt Disney and Disneyland.
In 1963, in his keynote speech before the 1963 Urban Design Conference at Harvard University, Rouse said:
"I hold a view that may be somewhat shocking to an audience as sophisticated as this: that the greatest piece of urban design in the United States today is Disneyland."
"If you think about Disneyland and think of its performance in relationship to its purpose, it's meaning to people—more than that, it’s meaning to the process of development—you will find it the outstanding piece of urban design in the United States."
"It took an area of activity—the amusement park—and lifted it to a standard so high in its performance, in its respect for people, in its functioning for people, that it really does become a brand new thing. It fulfills all its functions it set out to accomplish, un-self-consciously, usefully, and profitably to its owners and developers."
"I find more to learn in the standards that have been set and in the goals that have been achieved in the development of Disneyland than in any other piece of physical development in the country."
I don't recall seeing any material indicating that Walt had in fact contacted Rouse to get feedback on the EPCOT master plan but it certainly would not surprise me.
Your point on how EPCOT would have been governed is well taken. I don't think Walt addressed that issue in his film presentation but surely EPCOT would have required some governing body.
Unfortunately that might have been a topic on the agenda for a future discussion which, sadly, Walt never had the opportunity to organize.
Thanks for the note.
Feedback for Mark Goldhaber
Linda Beavers writes:
Thank you for your insights on Walt Disney World. Keep 'em coming. Whenever
I go to the parks, I usually feel too rushed or tired to really stop and
look at the details. But it's the details that set Walt Disney World apart
from all the other theme parks and why I love it there so much. Thank you
for pointing them out. I'll try to be more observant next time I go (June 2004).
Linda – I'm glad you're enjoying the stories. It's been fun writing them so
far. If there's anything in particular that you'd like to hear more
about, please let me know. The only way for me to find out what people
want to hear about is for them to tell me. Thanks for writing!
Regarding "Betcha Didn't Know, Part 2" (Oct. 8, 2003), Mark's series on lesser-known facts about Walt Disney World, Andy Schubert writes:
Hi! Just finished your latest article and was intrigued by the connection
between the resorts and the sections of the Magic Kingdom. I had made the
connection myself, but haven't seen it in print until now. Extending your
idea further, it seems to follow that the Wilderness Lodge would complement
Frontierland and the Grand Floridian, with its Victorian style architecture
would complement Main Street. This leaves Fantasyland and Toontown (and
Liberty Square) without complementary hotels (yet), but I believe there have
been rumors for many years regarding a future "Asian"- or possibly "Venetian"-
themed hotel to be built on the large parcel of land within the monorail loop
on Seven Seas Lagoon (not far from the Contemporary). Do you have anything
to support that this notion of matching lands to resorts would continue?
Andy – Well, I'm not sure that the Wilderness Lodge and Grand Floridian were designed to follow the original plan of matching architectural styles. I think that the concept is now dead. However, Fort Wilderness dates back to that time and would seem to be a good match for Frontierland, though it's not really visible from the park.
Hold the thought on the other, originally planned resorts. I'm planning
an article that will include a little about the Asian (planned for current
site of the Grand Floridian), Venetian (planned for a site between the
Contemporary and the Transportation and Ticket Center), and Persian (planned for the shore of Bay Lake
behind the Tomorrowland Indy Speedway), among other planned-but-never-built
Thanks for writing!
Feedback for Lani Teshima
Regarding "Whose eBay Auction Was It, Anyway?" (October 17, 2002), Holly writes:
My name is Holly. I'm a 14-year-old from West Virginia. I just read Holly's trip
to California to meet the cast of Whose Line is it Anyway? Is there any way that I
could have a chance of doing that or do you know? My 15th birthday is
coming up and it would be a dream come true to meet Ryan Stiles and
Drew Carey. I know that's asking a lot, but I have been dreaming about
meeting them since the first time I watched Whose Line which was
about three years ago and I have yet to meet any of them. Whose Line has
inspired me to want to join in on the comedy career. I look up to
those guys more than anyone I know. They're truly my heroes and will
always be for the rest of my life.
This might be my one and only
chance on meeting them, especially Ryan Stiles, because I barely have any time to travel. This would be the best thing
that would or could ever happen in my life! You don't know how much
this would mean to me if I can have this chance. If you know of any
way I could have this thrilling experience will you please let me
know. I would very much appreciate it! And yes I do know that there's a
lot of people out there that would love a chance like this, but you
don't know what this means to me. No one does. I really, really need to
meet them. I can't explain it... I just do.
Holly – Thank you very much for taking the time to write.
The Holly that was interviewed for the article was the winner of a
very exclusive auction held by Disney. Disney only sold two of these
packages on the auction, and another woman bought the second auction
(Holly getting the first). So far as I know, Disney has never sold
such a package since.
That said, I have some extremely bad news for you. As of the Fall 2003
TV season, ABC-TV did not pick up Whose Line for its fall line-up.
What that means is that the show, at least for now, has been
cancelled. This means that Disney will not be auctioning off any more
of these special opportunities.
If the show were still on the air three years from now, one thing I
would recommend would be for you to write away for tickets to see the
taping of the show. Many of the TV shows give away tickets to watch
the tapings for free... unfortunately almost all of them, including
Whose Line, required that the audience members all be adults at
least 18 years of age.
If you would like details on how they USED to give out tickets, you
can visit this site.
Warner Brothers (the company that produces The Drew Carey Show) used
to have a mailing address to which you could send letters to the
actors in its shows, but I am told that since the September 11, 2001 terror attacks, they no longer
accept mail at the address. You could give it at try anyway, although
I don't know if you will be successful:
c/o The Drew Carey Show
4000 Warner Blvd.
Burbank, CA 91522
In the meantime, you can also send him an e-mail at the Warner
Brothers' Web page.
There is an online form you can use to send Mr. Stiles e-mail.
I'm sorry I don't have better news for you.
Feedback for MousePlanet
Regarding the March 6, 2003 Mailbag, Kathie writes:
I just went to this Web site [DealPass.com] per a posting by Stan, to get Disney Meal
vouchers. It is a fraudulant website and you should not do any business with
them. If you would like to see for yourself type
connections by DealPass in a
search engine you will pull up a site with 12 seperate postings of how people
were signed-up without their consent. And if you forget or don't cancel within
the 30-day trial, which they may change at their discretion, at anytime, without
notice, they will charge your card of record $139.99 per month until you do
cancel by the specific manner they request. If you call the number on the
website you are put on hold "forever."
Just FYI. Hope it helps.
Kathie – Thanks for the tip. It's always a good idea to research companies before trusting them with your hard-earned vacation money!
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