Where's the outrage?
I thought for sure it wouldn't be too hard to find someone that was crying foul over how the Agent P Adventure was besmirching the World Showcase. I've only seen a couple of photos of what they've done and it looks like it would be fun, so I figure someone out there must be disgruntled.
But it brought me to another thought, as well. I can't remember if I've posted this idea here before or not, but I think that what would give Future World in Epcot the real shot in the arm it needs is to make it Phineas and Ferbcot. Not so much in the sense of re-theming everything with the cartoon's style, because that would do the opposite of my proposal. I suggest that P&F become the hosts of Epcot and that their youthful enthusiasm for invention and adventure infuse everything in Future World. Add in the world's coolest roller coaster and Epcot is off to the races again.
I read the "What to do with Future World" thread and found it interesting, but noticed that most people writing long for the optimism and educational aspects. I think P&F embody that perfectly, but are simply in a more modern time frame. I think the biggest issue with Future World and what is holding it back, is that the vision of the future is still based on 1960s visions of the future which have come and gone. Space travel isn't at all like we thought it might be. It's more about how to make life on Earth better now moreso than attempting to get large numbers of people to live somewhere other than here (insert joke). I just see P&F being such a good conduit for showing what the future can be like and how we can all help get it there. When is the last time you were at Epcot and were really amazed at what the future held because of what you saw there? I bet it has been a while.
What has puzzled me for a long time is how the Imagination pavilion is not the showpiece of Future World. I get that SSE is the architectural centerpiece, but Imagination needs to be the heart of it. What kind of future do you have without it? My thought is that Imagination needs to abandon the ride element, at least as the centerpiece. I love Figment and I think that he should keep his child-like disposition, but lose a bit of his naivete. He should be set free of a caretaker (P&F would simply frame the entry) and allowed to dazzle guests with his imagination like only a dragon could. I would open up the 2nd floor for a restaurant or reboot of Imageworks. Another thing I don't get is why they can't work out a deal with 3M or Maxpro (I think) to highlight how their window films work by covering the pyramids in it so the space is usable again. Even if it's not a huge profit center in and of itself, wouldn't the benefit of the space in use make it worthwhile? But, I picture a stage show that allows Disney and the technology creators a place to experiment with new stuff that will blow the audience's mind. Figment would be the central character in a regular show, but there would be segments in it where someone like Cirque du Soliel or Blue Man Group (I know they're at Universal, but things change) can try out new tech or show ideas. It wouldn't be a full show like you'd get at DTD, just a segment or two. To give you an idea of how different it would be, picture watching an acrobatic segment of CdS, except now, instead of sitting below and looking up at the performers, you're up where they are and can look down and see just how costly a mistake would be. It would use something like the elevators in ToT, only without the thrill ride aspect. You know, stuff you wouldn't see just anywhere. In the evening, the outside of the building would become the star. Picture it with elements of World of Color and the Castle projection as an introduction to Illuminations. I'm sure that imagineering has lots and lots of similar and 10x better ideas that have languished in office drawers, but if anything needs to standout at Epcot, it's that pavilion.
The P&F idea would work this way in The Seas: I'd keep the Nemo ride, if for no other reason than it's familiarity now, but in small ways bring back some of the educational aspects of Epcot to it. It needn't be a 2x4 to the forehead type of message, just something to keep people learning a little something. I think the projection of Marlin and Dory is one of the coolest effects I've seen in a while there, so I'd keep it, but just instead of sticking slavishly to the Nemo story only, just throw in some other bits of interest that help the story along. Add some dimension by making it a randomizing segment, like in the new Star Tours. Make it more involving and not just a retelling of a story you probably already know.
The big kahuna would be having the World's coolest Roller Coaster at the Universe of Energy. It would surround Future World and have a dark part similar to Space Mountain showing you what the world would be like without energy. As you come into the light, you learn quickly about gravitational and hydraulic energy and that it plays a role in every aspect of our lives (but in particular, the bite-size nuggets at the park). I mean, wouldn't that get you more excited about Epcot? I know some will frown on the roller coaster, but do it right, and it would be a winner.
Now, of course, I'm using the same financial resources that P&F use on their show, because they can do anything, so I realize it's not something that would happen quickly in the real world, but I just think that it would bring the energy and excitement up to where it really should be and leave folks with that enthusiasm for what they can do to shape the future and be struck by the wonder of it.
Re: Where's the outrage?
Most people probably will not even read a lengthy writing as this. I did, and I think your ideas are really good and I like pretty much all of them. I can't say all of them, because my family and I, haven't been back to WDW since '07. I was one of the many in this country to lose my job in '08 and we haven't been to WDW or anywhere else for that matter. So some things you mentioned I don't seem to be familiar with. But I like your ideas for the Universe of Energy and the Imagination Pavilion. If people would read this lengthy reading, there would be more comments. But I did read it in its' entirity and I think you are spot on!
Re: Where's the outrage?
I think it is a really need idea...they need to figure out something with Futureworld, bring it "up to date" so to say, so that it still "the future" of technology. And I think the P&F tie in will help with the kids. I think it makes sense in a way as well - but I'd also be afraid of P&F "burnout" on the adults. If they could do it unobtrusively, it could work.
As for the lack of outrage...The WSA was not new with P&F. It was originally Kim Possible, and had been around several years before they just re-skinned it. The funny part is that I believe the announced that the KP show was canceled before WSA opened...
Re: Where's the outrage?
Keep in mind of something as well... Disney is really good at killing shows at the peak of their popularity alla Kin Possible, and then the attraction becomes dated real quick... This would mean that the company would need to put significant stick and time into P&F... and it could be great... or it could blow up in their faces... what do they do if P&F's popularity wanes after pouring as much money as this upgrade would take...?
Re: Where's the outrage?
Hm, weird. I just got an email notification about the replies to this thread, but the most recent one is from back in October. I'm glad it came, because I hadn't checked back in a while.
First of all, thanks for the comments! I know it was a long one, but the ideas were just growing and growing, so I went with it. I'm glad you found it rewarding. PHDad, I hope things have improved since then! I also lost my job in 2008, so I feel for ya.
As for the outrage, I was aware of the Kim Possible adventure. I was not-so-subtly poking fun at purists by feigning outrage about the intrusion of the semi-animatronic cartoonic Platypus adventurer, which Kim never was, into the world showcase.
As for character burnout, it is a risk, I don't deny that. The thing that P&F have going for them is that they aren't annoying, unless you find optimism annoying, which you might. Even though their show takes place in the same timeframe as when it's airing, there's still a timelessness that could work to their advantage. But, as you noted, this proposal wouldn't change Epcot into a P&F World park, they'd just be the hosts that tie the attractions together and give Future World a cohesive point of view. My hope would be that after you get by the entryway where P&F introduce you to the idea of SSE, when you go in, it has all the amazing imagineering and artwork it has now, but the show would be infused with the energy and hunger for what's next that P&F have, but not actually have the characters in there in any way, perhaps save for hidden mickey style.
Maybe if they did the world's coolest roller-coaster, the Universe of Energy could be their 100% show-themed pavilion, I don't think there would be a big objection to that, as opposed to leaving it in its current state.
To give an idea of the theme, just picture P&F in their Tron outfits outside of the new Test Track, the ride would be exactly as it is now (good or bad, not passing judgement here), just with P&F introducing it or inviting you in to it. Low-key is the key.
Imagine an awesome "Honey I shrunk the KIDS" (not the audience)-style indoor play area in the land where they (the kids) can work off the extra energy that all the healthy good food gave them (that they just learned about on the ride). I mean, good nutrition and exercise can be fun and positive without the fake enthusiasm of "Krazy for Kale!" I think they learned that being sarcastic and making fun of fat people isn't the way to go about it. The balance they need to find is to make it something the parents can participate in as well without physically taxing them too much. I don't know the answer, but it's one of the principles that Walt founded the parks on that should be kept in mind.
I think this sums up how I would want people to feel as they left Future World and I would put it on the back of the welcome sign, similar to how they put the "See ya real soon!" in jack-o-lanterns above breezeways as you exit the Magic Kingdom around Halloween: P&F would be in silhouette, walking away from the viewer, as if they were ahead of you making their way out, with the quote, "Ferb, I know what we're gonna do tomorrow!"
THAT is how people should feel when leaving Future World, with the wonder of the light in the concrete of the walkway, not the doom of the tombstones you pass as you exit now. Hench was a great, great designer and I have mountains of respect for him, but those things were a real head-scratcher.
Re: Where's the outrage?
The forum is currently sending out emails 2+ months after the post they reference. Unfortunately, the admins don't seem to be doing anything about it.