On the Issue of Monetizing “Legends of Frontierland” – An Open Letter to Disney

Dear Walt Disney Imagineering, Team Disney Anaheim, and whomever else it may concern, Over the past several weeks I have been playing “Legends of Frontierland,” and despite an initial suspicion that this was all going to be a spectacular mess, the game has far and away exceeded anything I could have dreamed of. You guys … Continue reading On the Issue of Monetizing “Legends of Frontierland” – An Open Letter to Disney

Defining Our Medium, a.k.a. What the Hell is a “Theme Park” Anyway?

When looking at theme parks, I feel as though there has never really been a sufficiently good explanation of what defines them as an artistic medium*. When looking towards other media, it’s easy to define what they are. Literature is words on a page, collected into sentences and paragraphs to inform, enlighten, or entertain. Film … Continue reading Defining Our Medium, a.k.a. What the Hell is a “Theme Park” Anyway?

On the Subject of “Theme” in Theme Parks

I read an article on MiceChat recently which suggested that part of the reason Universal’s recent aggressive expansion in theme parks has been working is because fans of Universal are less particular about “thematic intrusions” or the “appropriateness of intellectual property,” than Disney fans, who are far more vocal about such things. There may or … Continue reading On the Subject of “Theme” in Theme Parks

Thoughts on Disneyland’s “Adventure Trading Company”

Following my initial post about Disneyland’s “Legends of Fronteirland” game, I have continued to play and have seen the game slowly evolve, and in many ways improve. Many of the flawed mechanics have been fixed, new features have been unveiled, and the cast of the game remains as excellent as the day it began. I’m … Continue reading Thoughts on Disneyland’s “Adventure Trading Company”

What Theme Park Fans Can Learn From the Success of Video Games

Today, the great people at Extra Credits released their 200th episode. If you’re not familiar with these guys, PLEASE go check out their website. Their series of videos discussing all manner of topics relating to video games are not only entertaining but hugely important to our discussion of video games as an industry and as … Continue reading What Theme Park Fans Can Learn From the Success of Video Games

Disneyland’s “Legends of Frontierland” Review – 99 Problems But a Bit Ain’t One

Today, Disneyland launched a new “interactive experience” called “Legends of Frontierland.” It’s best described as a strange hybrid of an Alternate Reality Game (ARG) with Live Action Role Playing (LARP) in which you, the guest, get to create a character, align yourself with one of two competing factions, and then do various tasks to help … Continue reading Disneyland’s “Legends of Frontierland” Review – 99 Problems But a Bit Ain’t One

Reveals in the Haunted Mansion or: How it Took Seeing an Effect Broken to Realize That I Didn’t Like it.

So many of the great effects in Disneyland are based on the idea of a reveal. Turning a corner in almost absolute darkness, hearing screams and a disembodied voice up ahead before you round the turn to see the source of the voice: a ghostly Jolly Roger above a dark archway. Emerging from the inside … Continue reading Reveals in the Haunted Mansion or: How it Took Seeing an Effect Broken to Realize That I Didn’t Like it.