Tuesday, November 28, 2017

YouTube Tuesday #21: 1993 Walt Disney World Vacation Planner

But seriously, “Wo-ho, Wo-ho, A Piwates Wife For Me” is just adorable.

Back in the day, Disney Vacation Planning videos combined all sorts of presentation elements to make you DROP EVERYTHING AND GO TO DISNEY WORLD RIGHT NOW YAAAAAAAAAAAAAAYYYYYYY!!! For whatever reason, many of these elements are lacking in modern Disney Parks videos. But for whatever reason, the early 90s videos did a better job of showcasing everything at the resort, rather than just the most profitable elements. They showed an opportunity to relax and have a vacation. They showed options for all walks of life, not just the core demographic. And they use phrases like “fun is the only thing Mickey takes seriously.”

My favorite part about these videos (besides the EPCOT Center footage obviously) is the music. They are special, barely-recognizable BGM versions of classics from Mary Poppins, Beauty and the Beast, Journey Into Imagination, and Spectromagic. You really have to listen to hear them, but they’re there in full glory. And they’re tuned in such a way to make you FEEL like you’re in a more relaxed era, where the best way to spend an afternoon is to sit at the Dixie Landings food court, and the best way to spend an evening is to golf or go ride World of Motion. There’s literally no pressure. No Fastpass+ to make. No advanced dining or character reservation to run to. Just relaxation and fun.

Notice how Disney by this time still wasn’t afraid to be authentic. I mean, just look at how many REAL PEOPLE they interview! And you can tell it’s authentic. These people are not being fed lines. Especially the British guy who rhapsodizes about the Country Bears (saying pithily they’re “a bunch of bears dancing and singing”) or the teenagers who literally can’t remember what they saw in the costume warehouse portion of the Backlot Tour, or the woman who says Space Mountain “hits the ceiling” (whatever that means). And the Cast Member interactions are authentic too. You can tell they’re not actors. And it makes all the difference. A short rundown of some random musings:

·       I love seeing a lot of the old footage and costumes. The skippers with their old costumes and using real guns. The (real) old video footage of Mansion and Space. The Old Tomorrowland (though we don’t see much of it outside of the Speedway, Space, and Delta Dreamflight), and of course Mickey’s Starland.
·       This is the point in history when Disney Animation still considered Rescuers Down Under a classic. Also, Goofy and Donald are considered “fairy tale characters.”
·       There’s an interesting Roger Rabbit sighting riding Thunder of all things, maybe he got lost on the way back from Griffith Park?
·       As expected, there is some absolutely choice EPCOT Center footage. Everything from the Rainbow Tunnel to Mesa Verde. And a tour of the countries before all the margarita wagons. Le sigh.
·       There’s a quick tour of MGM in the Superstar Television/Monster Sound days, where half the appeal of the Backlot Tour was Residential Street and Ernest’s house.
·       I want to go to Pleasure Island again. Right now. Take me. Especially since apparently the entirety of Orlando can get shoved in front of the West End Stage for the New Year’s celebration.
·       The exploration of the hotels is quite welcome and quite a contrast to today’s tourist brochures. Notice how much they play up the sailing and motor-boating aspects. And they’re very quick to point out that Caribbean Beach, Port Orleans, and Dixie Landings are “light on your pocketbook.” And the Disney Inn!
·       They actually mention the non-Disney property hotels! Swan and Dolphin and the Hotel Plaza are featured in short segments.
·       Remember kids, Disney had villas/condos before there was the Disney Vacation Club. It was called Disney’s Village Resort, right where Saratoga Springs is currently.

And remember to fly with Delta, kids! Remember when Disney had such strong ties to sponsors, and when Disney cared about advertising with them? What happened to that? Now it's "presented by Siemens...we think?...we guess? Did they pay for this exhibit?" But here we actually get TESTIMONIALS from customers on why Delta Airlines is so spiffy. Be Our Guest, indeed!

For the next few weeks we’ll be taking a break from roller coaster specials and featuring the old 1990s Disney planning videos. So we hope you enjoy a nice nostalgia romp. Or, conversely, you’ve been warned.

--ParkScopeJeff (@ParkScopeJeff)

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