/ Wednesday, January 25th, 2012

In this week’s WDW Radio Disney Book Club, one of the topics we are reading about and discussing is Walt’s interest in and fascination with miniatures. In The Vault of Walt, author Jim Korkis explains,

“.. for a man who always had big dreams, Walt Disney took some of his greatest delight in the world of miniatures.  For decades, he both constructed and collected a huge variety of intricate tiny objects.  Sometimes those small objects inspired some much larger idea including attractions at the Disney theme parks.” (Korkis, pg. 13)

Indeed, miniatures can be seen used in Disneyland’s Storybookland Canal Boats and with the model train display in EPCOT’s Germany pavilion.  This gave us a radical idea: how would you like a Disney attraction, like “It’s a Small World,” to be miniaturized and put on display like the trains in Germany?   The miniaturization would free up valuable land, allowing for a newer thrill ride to be built in its place?

Give it some thought and cast your vote below!  In the comments section, tell us YOUR ideas for other ways to incorporate miniatures in Walt Disney World.

What do you think of this week's proposal?

  • THUMBS DOWN! Miniatures are NOT the same as the real thing. (77%, 155 Votes)
  • THUMBS UP! This honors Walt's love of minatures and gives Imagineers thechance to create another great attraction! (23%, 47 Votes)

Total Voters: 202

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Click here for more information and questions on the  The The Vault of Walt – WDW Radio Disney Book Club


7 Responses to "THUMBS UP/THUMBS DOWN… Miniaturizing Disney!"

  1. Christopher says:

    NO WAY!!! Looking at something in miniature is nice and can spark memories but can never replace the actual thing. It’s just not the same. There is still plenty of space for Imagineers to build things without removing some others. When you look at the miniature model of Peter Pan’s Flight at the One Man’s Dream attraction, does it give you the same rush and high as actually flying over the rroftops of London and into Neverland. Again I say: NO WAY!!!

    I know we have to say good bye to some attractions that we love along the way, but simply to add a thrill ride is not an excuse to me. WDW is a family park and the smaller “non thrill” rides have always and should maintain their rightful space as well.

    That being said, in tribute to some of the “fallen” attractions that have made way for others, an area of miniatures would be a neat way to pay tribute to them and provide an archive of sorts. It would allow those memories of experiencing those attractions to be sparked amongst those who experienced them first hand and a point for sharing with the next generation what it was like “when I ws your age”

  2. Your survey question is flawed because it encompasses several very different issues:
    – Are miniatures in themselves a worthy attraction at Walt Disney World?
    – Should existing (even classic) attractions be removed?
    – Should a whole-family attraction be replaced with a thrill ride?
    One could answer “yes” or “no” to each of those independently. My “no” vote on this (and perhaps many others’ too) stems from a “no” to at least one of the component questions.

  3. I think if it works for the story of the ride/attraction, it’s fine. In storybookland it makes sense because they are trying to convey a story of a 3D book, but a book illustration is almost never full size, so the scale of the models (plus the land limits in Disneyland) fit with the overall story of storybook land. In Germany, the trains are in a train garden and the appropriate size for that, I don’t think they’re going for it being a miniature version of a full-size attraction. I also think that if you get carried away with miniatures, you really start to lose the immersiveness of the experience, that is, you’re aware of the illusion. You may be aware of the illusion in full-size attractions as well, but it’s much easier to suspend disbelief when it’s full size or forced perspective.

  4. Dave Dominie says:

    Miniatures are great to look at but it is not the same as the ride experience. Especially not, “It’s a Small World”. That is the greatest ride ever.

  5. I agree a miniature tribute to lost attractions might be nice, but not as a way to eliminate current attractions. Remember how Disneyland even started. Originally Walt started in minatures and was working on miniature “Disneylandia” that would tour the country. But Walt recognized miniatures wouldn’t be a long-term draw and so he thought bigger! We should honor that dream and continue to think big!

  6. Disney has plenty of unused property. Let them use that to build new attractions.

  7. I think that Chuck Lionberger is right. I don’t think that to take an attraction down and make a miniature of it is the right thing to do unless it is one that is considered a classic, and no longer can get sponsership (if needed). But I do think that to have maybe a miniature overview of parks, or rides on display thruout the parks\lands, would be something that might give a different look or maybe have a miniature of what the park\land used to be. That at least for me would be something I would find interesting.

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