HERE YOU LEAVE TODAY AND ENTER THE WORLD OF YESTERDAY, TOMORROW AND FANTASY — Plaque over the entrance tunnels into Disneyland
The five (soon to be six) Theme Park resorts owned and operated by the Disney Company. Their best known attractions include state-of-the-art rides and shows based upon the Disney films, as well as spectacular parades, fireworks and other live performances. You want to make sure everyone knows you're going there.Walt Disney came up with the idea for his original park when he took his children to a park and noticed the parents just hanging off to the side while the children played. He decided to build a place where the entire family could have fun and enjoy themselves. While the idea was met with some skepticism, the execution was resoundingly successful.The resorts include:
Disneyland: Opened July 17, 1955 by invitation only, and the following day to the general public. The original and the only park Walt saw built within his lifetime. Serves as the template for most of the parks worldwide, though fans praise the fact that Disneyland is the only park that had Walt's personal touch. Its companion park, California Adventure, opened in 2001. During his visit to the United States, Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev's biggest disappointment was the fact that he couldn't visit Disneyland due to security concerns (he publicly wondered if there were missiles hidden there). That the leader of the largest Communist state wanted to go to one of the greatest successes for capitalism ever should say something about A: the Cold Warat that point, and B: how much everybody wanted to go to Disneyland. It's important to note that there are not as many resorts around this site because Disney did not have a lot of money at the time, they were nowhere near the Mega Corp in the fifties as they are today. This is also why many attractions were and still are sponsored. For example, Dole Pineapple sponsored the Tiki Room, Mattel sponsored It's a Small World, and Honda now sponsors Innoventions (where you can see an ASIMO demonstration).
The primary reason was that the KGB told the U.S. Secret Service that if anything happened to Khrushchev during the visit it would mean war. And even though Walt was very anti-communist, he enjoyed having foreign dignitaries and looked forward to showing Krushchev his submarines.
Walt Disney World: The largest and most popular of the resorts opened in 1971. Includes four parks: Magic Kingdom, EPCOT (opened in 1982), Disney's Hollywood Studios (formerly Disney-MGM Studios, 1989) and Animal Kingdom (1998), as well as two (formerly threenote The original, River Country opened in 1976 but eventually became very outdated compared to its sister parks and closed permanently in 2001) water parks: Typhoon Lagoon (1989) and Blizzard Beach (1995). Fans constantly debate which of the four parks is the best, whether they were better in the old days, and so on. Disney World also includes many hotels, an all-purpose sports complex, golf courses, and a few shopping/dining/entertainment complexes like Downtown Disney. The actual "Reedy Creek" property upon which Disney World sits is huge, and many guests are surprised to learn that it consists mostly of wildlife preserves and undeveloped natural Florida habitat. This "breathing space" is deliberate, as Walt Disney was particularly upset when the popularity of Disneyland sparked a development frenzy back in Anaheim, essentially cutting off almost all chances of expansion. (Disney couldn't do this in Anaheim because other businesses got to the surrounding land first) The property on which the resort sits on was bought by Roy O. Disney, Walt's older brother. Fittingly, there is a statue of him sitting with Minnie Mouse just past the entrance of the Magic Kingdom, to complement the famous "Partners" statue at the main hub.
Tokyo Disney Resort: Opened in 1983 and is the first (and only) franchise Disney resort, run by the Oriental Land Company rather than Disney itself. Some additions such as Pooh's Honey Hunt and the Tokyo DisneySea park have become some of Disney Imagineering's most lavishly praised creations.
Disneyland Resort Paris (formerly known as Euro Disney Resort): Opened in 1992, and going for an even more elaborate look (as well as Darker and Edgier for some attractions). Includes two theme parks, the original one now known as Disneyland Park and a second, opened in 2002, known as Walt Disney Studios Park. Urban Legend has it that this park was planned and built because Michael Eisner's wife, Jane, liked to shop in Paris and wanted someplace she could stay without paying for it. It bombed spectacularly at first, though it eventually gained some legs. As of late, though, Disneyland Park's ticket sales have been cannibalized by Walt Disney Studios Park. After opening, the park was hated by the French people, who opposed the poor (by French standards, anyway) working conditions there and viewed it as an example of American cultural imperialism. Despite the initial hostility, today the resort has some of the largest attendance numbers of any European tourist destination.
Hong Kong Disneyland: The newest of the resorts, opened in 2005. It's very close in design to the original Disneyland, though it's much smaller and only has a few of the iconic Disney attractions. Nonetheless, it's gained notoriety for, in essence, having the exact opposite problems that Euro-Disney did. However, Disney has announced plans for a large expansion that brings unique attractions to the park, some being new twists on old favorites. The expansion includes Big Grizzly Mountain Runaway Mine Carts, which is a twist on Big Thunder Mountain Railroad. The story goes that miners discovered gold in the mountain on 1888, complete with friendly bears. Now it's your turn to take a ride through the mine....
There is a new Toy Story themed land, which is themed to look like Andy's toys in the grass of his backyard, and recently, a Lighter and Softer twist on The Haunted Mansion, set inside a Victorian-era mansion in the jungle belonging to Adventurer Archaeologist Lord Henry Mystic and his pet monkey, Albert. Lord Mystic's just gotten back from another archaeological expedition and brought back an enchanted music box. Then one day, Albert opens the music box, and the artifacts in the mansion come to life...
Shanghai Disneyland: After years of planning for a resort in mainland China, the project was approved by the Chinese government in November 2009. Ground was broken in April 2011 and is currently scheduled to open in 2015. The resort will be 2-3 times the size of the Hong Kong Resort with room for up to 3 parks. The first of which will of course be a version of the Magic Kingdom with the other two expected to be ports of EPCOT and Animal Kingdom.
Some attractions have so many tropes, they have their own pages:
In addition to the main theme park resorts, Disney also runs several additional vacation and leisure ventures that spread their influence to just about every corner of the globe and give guests access to more vacation options outside the parks while still maintaining that "Disney feeling":
Adventures by Disney: Runs guided vacations to various destinations in the US and around the world ranging from Yellowstone Park to the French Riviera, each coordinated by Disney "Adventure Guides" who serve as personal tour guides as well as concierges, giving guests the opportunity to see the wonders of the world while still retaining trademark Disney hospitality.
Disney Cruise Line: Well, it's a cruise line...from Disney. Currently has a fleet of four ships: Disney Magic, Disney Wonder, Disney Dream, and the newest, Disney Fantasy which entered service in 2012. Originally based out of Port Canaveral, FL the ships now sail from various ports in the US for cruises to the Caribbean, Europe, Mexico, and Alaska. Caribbean cruises all feature a stop at Castaway Cay, Disney's own private island in the Bahamas. Yes, Disney bought their own island just for cruise guests. Should this really surprise you?
Disney Vacation Club: Disney's take on timeshare ownership, and as you might hear about it while staying at WDW, The Best Kept Disney Secret. Members buy into a share of a DVC resort and get an annual alotment of points based on the size of their investment. These points can be put towards a trip, as well as banked year to year or borrowed again the next year depending on the type of trip wanted. For most people, the initial investment pays for itself after a few years. Resorts feature ammenities above and beyond those of the Deluxe resorts including Villa style rooms with full kitchens. Members get priority access to their "home" resort when booking, but can also use their points to stay at any resort they choose. Disney also owns three off-site resorts in Hilton Head, SC, Vero Beach, FL, and Aulani in Hawaii, and contracts with hundreds of hotels around the world that members can visit as part of DVC.
Aborted Arc: The nods to dragons and unicorns in Animal Kingdom were hinting towards a land that they ended up never building, Beastly Kingdom, focusing on fantasy creatures. The only things left of that (so far) are a dragon shaped rock formation near Camp Minnie Mickey, a bridge that looks like the entrance to a castle, and the big dragon who appears on the park's logo to the confusion of many a guest. The concept of including mythological creatures into the park was eventually picked up by Expedition Everest's Yeti, but has yet to be paid off in full. It's speculated that the ideas for Beastly Kingdom might finally be realized in the upcoming Avatar Land, but so far they've been very tight-lipped about details.
Some of the Imagineers behind Beastly Kingdom went to work on Universal Studios' Island of Adventure, and many of the attractions in that park's mythology-themed area, especially the Dueling Dragons coaster, were derived from the Disney project. (Much of this area would be incorporated into The Wizarding World of Harry Potter later; Dueling Dragons was rethemed and renamed Dragon Challenge.)
In the super-secret-invite-only Club 33 restaurant, several disused animatronic animal heads hang from the wall. Walt had planned to be able to speak through them to his guests. The idea was abandoned because it was deemed too silly for a high-class restaurant, and because of privacy concerns. The idea sort of came to fruition at the now shut-down Adventurers' Club in Disney World's Pleasure Island.
The giant, unused building at Epcot's Japan pavilion was originally built to hold an American version of Meet the World, a charter attraction at Tokyo Disneyland (as the parks' development and construction overlapped). But this Audio-Animatronic/film show recounting Japanese history glossed over the country's role in World War II, and Disney execs realized that it might offend American veterans, so it was scrapped.
Actor Allusion: At The Enchanted Tiki Room: Under New Management, William calls Morris a hockey puck, a favorite insult of his voice actor Don Rickles.
In the Aladdin stage show at California Adventure, Iago may squawk "Aflac!?" like another bird that Gilbert Gottfried has voiced.
Adaptation Distillation: The philosophy behind designing the "dark ride" version of an animated film is that, instead of rehashing the plot of the film, you should try to recreate the dominant visual/emotional impact of the film using a handful of pivotal scenes taking place in immersive environments. Hence (for example), the bulk of the Peter Pan ride consists of two rooms occupied by models of London and Neverland surrounded by fiber-optic stars, over which riders "fly" in vehicles suspended from an overhead track. The film's actual plot is compressed into a few brief scenes toward the end of the ride.
A lot of attraction backstories rely on promotional items and books on the parks to understand.
Disney has a website to explain different locales in Walt Disney World's New Fantasyland, as well as a fictional explanation as to why visitors had to wait 41 years after Disney World's opening before going to these places. (After fans of fairy tales outgrew the stories, villains seized the opportunity to steal significant items, activating a curse that hid New Fantasyland from the real world.)
To understand the backstory of Mystic Manor, you need to watch the pre show. It mentions that Lord Henry Mystic along with his adorable and mischief making pet monkey Albert collected rare artifacts from around the world to display in the manor, and have opened it to the public in the 1900s for them to see.
Anachronism Stew: Very minor, but the final scene of Carousel of Progress set in The Eighties accidentally became this when the TV broke, and since analog tube TVs are no longer manufactured, they replaced it with a very 2000s-ish flatscreen.
Apocalyptic Log: One of the radio transmissions in the queue for Jungle Cruise has a skipper warning the dockmasters about the natives attacking passing boats, cracking in and out before being lost in static.
The Artifact: The Imagination pavilion at EPCOT had its ride and Image Works section re-themed to correspond with Honey, I Shrunk The Audience, which is now replaced with Captain EO.
If you've ever seen the Electrical Parade, most of the people around you were probably murmuring "Who is that?" when the Pete's Dragon float came by. The Pete's Dragon float that is immediately followed by an America's Bicentennial float...
This also happens during Disneyland's Soundsational Parade when the Three Caballeros-themed float comes by.
The Electric Water Pageant also sports a Bicentennial-themed finale.
And of course there are the aforementioned mythical creatures in the Animal Kingdom iconography.
Artifact of Doom: The Shiriki Utundu idol in Disney Sea's Tower of Terror. Also a mystic gem in the Indiana Jones sequence of the Great Movie Ride at Disney's Hollywood Studios. And no matter what, DON'T LOOK INTO THE EYES OF MARA. That could be dangerous. Really dangerous. And then there's the enchanted music box at Mystic Manor, which makes the artifacts come to life to try and kill Albert the Monkey and the guests, and wreck the mansion.
Artificial Atmospheric Actions: Hearing Spanish instructions can feel this way in the American parks: the English voices are all very expressive and in-character. The Spanish announcements by comparison sound almost like a text-to-speech announcement. The "Exit" signs in some attractions and Dark Rides too...but really, you'd have to be Too Dumb to Live to not make them visible, or to have some way to fix the ride/rescue stuck people.
VERY nicely averted in It's A Small World with the foreign language instructions - fits the theme and all sound very nice and expressive. Alice in Wonderland and Casey Jr. Train also avert this, too.
The Animatronics can also seem this way. When they fail, it's either quite hilarious at best or downright scary at worst.
As Long as It Sounds Foreign: The chanting in the Tapestry of Nations/Tapestry of Dreams parade is a fictionalized version of African languages giving it the world music feel it needed without being very specific of its origin.
Awesome But Practical: Every park, even if not based around a hub structure like Disneyland and the Magic Kingdom, will have one very tall and very unique landmark directly in the center of the park.*
Imagineers call such visual magnets "weenies." Really.
Disneyland, the assorted foreign Disneylands, and the Magic Kingdom have a castle (Cinderella in Florida and Tokyo, Sleeping Beauty at the others). EPCOT has the Spaceship Earth sphere, Hollywood Studios has the Sorcerer Mickey cap. Animal Kingdom has the Tree of Life, and California Adventure has Carthay Circle Theatrenote prior to the reopening in 2012, it lacked a true icon, with Grizzly Peak being the closest thing to one. They serve two main purposes. The first is having something to get your picture taken standing in front of. The second is so that no matter where in the park you are, you can look up, note where the landmark is in relation to you, and instantly know where in the park you are.
The latter function is VERY important, as many rides are not only disorienting, but have exits nowhere near their entrances. For instance, Stitch's Great Escape in the Magic Kingdom has you enter on the south side of the show building, under the Tomorrowland Transit Authority track, but you exit into Mickey's Star Traders on the other side of the building.
Awesome Moment of Crowning: Tokyo Disneyland and later Walt Disney World had a show, Cinderellabration, depicting Cinderella's coronation into a princess. The festivities included guest appearances by the other princesses, and fireworks that viewers could see even in the daytime.
Beneath the Earth: Disney Sea's Journey to the Center of the Earth, the portion of Disneyland Paris' Phantom Manor where the Doombuggies are Buried Alive and you see a bunch of corpses rising from their underground graves.
Bears Are Bad News: Played fairly straight with the bears in Big Grizzly Mountain Runaway Mine Cars at Hong Kong Disneyland, in which bears inadvertently send riders on the wrong track and later blow up some TNT and sending riders off on another track.
The various Country Bear shows more or less avert this (see Beary Funny below), except for in the Country Bear Vacation Hoedown, which has a line in one song, "The Great Outdoors", in which the bears sing that "if y'all don't join us, we'll chase you up a tree!"
Butt Monkey: Skippy, the cute and fuzzy little alien from the pre-shows of Alien Encounter and Stitch's Great Escape. In Alien Encounter, he was teleported from one tube to another, but got fried in the process, then disappeared indefinetely when being re-teleported to the previous tube. He does not suffer any physical harm in Stitch's Great Escape, even though he has been arrested for "jaywalking between Mars and Jupiter".
Albert at Hong Kong's Mystic Manor is a literal example. After opening an enchanted music box acquired by his owner, he soon becomes a target for some of the things brought to life by the magical music, from the tikis shooting arrows at him, to Samurais trying to decapitate him and even the jade statue of The Monkey King/Sun Wukong creating a vortex trying to suck him out of the mansion.
California Doubling: Often the Florida parks are advertised with footage from Disneyland Resort. This has only become more common with the homogenous "Disney Parks" branding.
The Cameo: The current version of "it's a small world" includes "small world" versions of Disney characters in the corresponding areas. Some are really obvious (Ariel and Lilo & Stitch in the tropical area, The Three Caballeros in South America), some not so much (you specifically have to be looking to find Peter Pan and Tinkerbell flying way overhead in Europe, and it may take a minute to realize some of the jungle's animals are Simba, Pumbaa, and Timon).
Captain Obvious: The narrator of the extinct semi-educational ride Adventure thru Inner Space gave a few gems such as:
(While the car is surrounded by giant snowflakes) "These are snowflakes!"
"And yet this wall of ice only seems smooth and solid. From this tiny perspective, I can see that nothing is solid, no matter how it appears!"
"Yes... these are water molecules! H2O... Two hydrogen atoms bonded to a single oxygen atom."
Justified in that the voice-over we heard was supposed to be his stream of consciousness from the first time he underwent the voyage.
Parodied on The Jungle Cruise.
Skipper: And now I'd like to point out some of my favorite plants here to you. (points at random plants without saying anything)
Centrifugal Farce: The Disneyland show episode "Man in Space", which was made in 1955, had a section on how astronauts would be trained, including being put on a centerfuge. Seeing how far the show predates the actual space program, it's remarkable how far ahead the scientists involved (who were consultants on the episode) were preparing.
Creepypasta: Given the fact that some people find scary things in the park, and that people love to try and make things grim dark, the parks are a somewhat common target.
Collectible Card Game: Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom is looking to be partially this, though played within the parks and utilized to battle various Disney villains at interactive screens.
Content Warnings: In a sense. On the park maps, some attractions have warning symbols if they're likely to frighten children; however, it's inconsistently applied (using Hollywood Studios as an example, The Great Movie Ride gets the warning, but not Star Tours - The Adventures Continue).
Cosmetically Advanced Prequel: Star Tours: The Adventures Continue (2011-Present) is set roughly a year or two before the events of A New Hope whereas the original Star Tours (1987-2010) took place sometime shortly after Return of the Jedi. Since the prequel trilogy already fits this trope, it naturally stands to reason the droids, various technologies and overall look of the attraction appear slightly more sleeker and advanced than it's predecessor.
Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: On 9/11, cast members in Walt Disney World (yes, even the ones in costume!) evacuated all six parks. In ten minutes. (SIGH) Yes...they brought the GUESTS with them, silly! note Note That the Magic Kingdom at Disney World has a truly massive underground tunnel system (the "utilidors"), partially designed to help protect any guest to the park.
Upon hearing that the WTC and the Pentagon had been attacked, Disneyland Resort immediately shut down both parks out of fear that they would be attacked as well. However, the Indy Ploy resulting from it was ingenious: show classic movies and cartoons in the hotels non-stop (complete with popcorn), and make all the games in the arcades free. Operations resumed the following day.
Death Mountain: Big Thunder Mountain, the Matterhorn, and Expedition Everest's Forbidden Mountain fit the role pretty well.
Dem Bones: Found in Pirates of the Caribbean. Cheerier skeletal characters are in both versions of the Mexico pavilion's boat ride in a Day of the Dead scene.
Pretty much what World of Color is. Even with the deletion of the Alice sequence.
Mr. Toad's Wild Ride takes you through HELL. Literally.
And then, there was Magic Journeys...
Disneyfication: Disney did this to one of their own attractions: The Sinbad ride at Tokyo DisneySea, which went from a rousing adventure in a Mary Blair-esque visual style to a musical that took out all the danger in Sinbad's adventures, gave him an adorable sidekick and basically went full Small World.
Early-Bird Cameo: Disney's done this with whole rides. The Sleeping Beauty Castle walkthrough at Disneyland opened several years before the movie, It's Tough to be a Bug opened a few months before A Bug's Life, and Countdown to Extinction featured Aladar and the Carnotaurus from Dinosaur about two years before the movie came and the attraction was renamed for the movie (though they have nothing in common, otherwise).
Easter Egg: Entire books have been written about the so-called Hidden Mickeys, inconspicuous images of Mickey Mouse or his silhouette placed in various unexpected locations around the parks. It is also very common, when one attraction is closed and replaced with another, for the Imagineers to include an unobtrusive tribute to the old attraction in the new one.
Ego Polis: Does this trope REALLY need explaination? The ENTIRE theme parks are smothered with Walt Disney's likeness, including the name!
Strangely enough, Walt Disney himself tried to avert this. He named Disneyland after himself (or more accurately after his company) but he didn't want his image to appear anywhere in the park, and during his lifetime it didn't. It was only after his death that "The Walt Disney Story" was installed in the Main Street Opera House, complete with a mural featuring a huge grinning portrait of Walt. More portraits, statues, etc. have been added over the years, but Walt wouldn't have wanted any of them.
Hong Kong Disneyland's Mystic Point, named for Lord Henry Mystic, though it is more of a small explorer's outpost that serves as the base of operations for Mystic's adventures that he's opened up for visitors curious to see his vast collection of art from around the world and a meeting place for the Society of Explorers and Adventurers.
Eiffel Tower Effect: At Walt Disney World, certain landmarks from the four parks are used to represent them: Cinderella Castle for the Magic Kingdom, Spaceship Earth for EPCOT, the Sorceror Mickey hat for Disney Hollywood Studios, and the Tree of Life for Animal Kingdom.
We're devils, blighters and ne'er-do-well cads Drink up, me 'earties, yo-ho Aye, but we're loved by our mommies and dads Drink up, me 'earties, yo-ho
Everything's Better with Dinosaurs: Probably the only reason EPCOT's Universe of Energy has a massive Dinosaur sequence, which itself was based on Disneyland's Primeval World diorama that serves as the finale for the Disneyland Railroad.
Everything's Better with Sparkles: "it's a small world" contains a very high ratio of glitter to total surface area. Many of the parade and stage show costumes ramp up the glitter quotient as well. And then, there's the Bibbity Bobbity Boutique...
Also, the taxicabs in Roger Rabbit's Car Toon Spin.
Everything Is Trying to Kill You: The nasty side effect of the enchanted music box on the artifacts in Mystic Manor at Hong Kong Disneyland, from Norse Gods freezing up to the room, huge Venus Flytraps snapping at you, cannons and giant crossbows firing at you, Tikis shooting arrows at you and Albert, and the Monkey King statue creating a massive vortex trying to suck you and Albert out of the mansion.
Executive Meddling: Very prevalent in the late Eisner-era, like so many other things at Disney. Shut down the Subs for the first time, the entire fiasco surrounding Journey Into Imagination, the infamous cost-cutting that went into California Adventure, the Paris Studios park and Hong Kong Disneyland and other problems.
Expansion Pack - Well, Toontown and California Adventure. And well before either, New Orleans Square and Bear Country/Critter Country.
It's much harder to do in California specifically because they couldn't buy as much land when they started out - by the time they could have bought the land to make it mirror the Florida and other worldwide parks; third party hotels and restaurants had already gobbled it up and capitalized on it.
Far East: China & Japan at EPCOT's World Showcase and Asia at the Animal Kingdom.
Fantastic Voyage: Body Wars. Was taken further in "Adventure Thru Inner Space", which went down to an atomic scale.
Fantasy Ghetto: Averted in that classic fantasy aspects are a major part of the parks - Fantasyland is even front and center in the Magic Kingdom-style ones. Affirmed in that, more than ever, the fantasy aspects are almost all fairy-tale princesses and, well, fairies; intended to appeal to young girls. You want stuff like knights, sorcerers, or dragons; you're pretty much out of luck. Supposedly part of the major expansion to Florida's Fantasyland is intended to fix this.
The giant cobra on the Indiana Jones ride at Disneyland (named, in fact, Fluffy)
Harold the Yeti on the Matterhorn.
Bucky, the fire-breathing dragon in Fantasmic!
And now the new model is called Murphy—actually a reference to the many problems it experienced when it was first unveiled, but still a cutesy name for something that can spit a plume of fire 20 feet long
Foreign Remake: Phantom Manor is the French version of The Haunted Mansion at Disneyland Paris in a house◊ awfully reminiscent to Bates Manor◊ in Psycho and is set to an original backstory integrated with the themed Frontierland it's located in. There's also Mystic Manor at Hong Kong Disneyland.
Tower of Terror at Tokyo Disney Sea has no affiliation, whatsoever, with The Twilight Zone and is themed with "Hotel Hightower" in 1912 New York instead of 1930s Hollywood.
Frivolous Lawsuit: Too many to count; hardly any are successful. A lot of people only saw the Theme Park Version of law... so as a result they thought they could sue for absolutely trivial things. One of the more hilarious ones is a woman who claimed to have gained 50 pounds after The Three Little Pigs apparently fondled and harassed her - the charge was dropped when the costumes were found to have had inoperable stub-arms.
Fun with Acronyms: EPCOT, the Experimental Prototype Community Of Tomorrow (Walt's intention for the site, but after his death the company reworked the idea into a World's Fair-style theme park). There of course have been jokes about other things it could stand for, like "Every Person Comes Out Tired".
Among Cast Members it's "Employee Paychecks Cut On Thursday"
The boat operator on one Troper's trip gave this gem: "Experimental Polyester Costumes Of Torture"
Fur Against Fang: The theme of 2012's Halloween Celebration at Hong Kong Disneyland
The whole of Disneyland Paris's Pirates Of the Caribbean ride counts as this, as it is the only version of the ride not to have been bowdlerised,and still contains, for instance, the pirates clutching a teenage girl's petticoats and wondering where she is, or updated for the film series. If anything, more crap is gotten past the radar in this version there is an addition where silhouettes of a woman being harassed by two pirates, and it seems like they are trying to sexually assault her.
Before Great Moments with Mr Lincoln was opened, Disney's demonstrated their new animatronic technology to a group of Illinois government officials. They were not amused when the Lincoln figure broke down and started leaking redhydraulic fluid from its head. From then on all figures were switched to blue fluid.
Green Aesop: Contained in EPCOT's The Land pavilion and almost the entirety of the Animal Kingdom park.
During the 1970s, the burning cabin on Tom Sawyer Island was changed to fake fire as people complained it wasted energy. The actual energy was trivial compared to Disneyland as a whole, of course.
Guide Dang It: Some of the Hidden Mickies are in very hidden locations. How do people find these without a guide?
Gary Sinise is your training instructor in Mission: Space, resulting in an [[Apollo13 interesting case]] of Actor Allusion.
Hey, It's That Voice!: Several. Troy McClure and Mr. Potato Head as the talent agents at The Enchanted Tiki Room: Under New Management, Lumiere as Pierre in the same attraction, Paul Reubens as Rex in the Star Tours ride, Robin Williams in The Timekeeper. Thurl Ravenscroft also provided his voice for many of the rides. In fact, he's that singing bust everyone mistakes for Walt Disney. Oh, and did we mention that Paul Frees does several voices for Disney attractions, too, most notably the Ghost Host in The Haunted Mansion?
Hub Level: In the Magic Kingdom parks, the Central Plaza at the end of Main Street is a real-life example and possible Trope Maker.
Hula and Luaus: The Enchanted Tiki Room and Walt Disney World's Polynesian Resort. Also the long gone Tahitian Terrace at Disneyland.
There's apparently going to be a Disney resort in Hawaii.
Which has the unexpected positive side effect of both raising the value of Mariott's timeshare next door, and giving Mariott more business. See, the timeshare units cost about the same. Disney's are smaller, though.
The Tribal Arts room of Hong Kong's Mystic Manor lifts elements directly from the Tiki Room.
"And here we see the back side of Schweitzer Falls, named after the back side of the famous explorer, Dr. Albert Falls."
Also noticeable in the Aladdin-based stage production in California Adventure.
Not to mention the extinct Kitchen Cabaret / Food Rocks show at The Land pavilion.
Incredible Shrinking Man: A Bug's Land, a part of California Adventure themed to the movie A Bug's Life, is built to make guests feel bug-sized, with giant shamrocks, benches made of popsicle sticks, and restrooms disguised as a giant box of tissues. Honey, I Shrunk The Kids became the basis for a playground/set walk-through (Hollywood Studios) and the 3D show Honey, I Shrunk the Audience (EPCOT/Disneyland/Disneyland Paris/Tokyo Disneyland). Body Wars (1989-2007) took you on a mission inside the human body within a ship miniaturized to fit within a blood vessel. Before all of these, however, the trope was taken to the maximum possible severity in the long-gone Disneyland ride Adventure Thru Inner Space, in which riders were "shrunk" small enough to travel inside an atom.
Fantasmic! is an even better example, with several Disney Villains from various films attempting to attack Mickey Mouse via his dreams, and a few good guys helping him out.
Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom, an interactive game hosted by Merlin that sends guests around the Magic Kingdom park to battle the various Disney villains that are working together.
Inverted Trope: While normally the scenery would attempt to be as believable as possible, the (real) restaurant opposite of the Pirates Of The Caribbean ride, The Blue Bayou, could easily be mistaken as part of the scenery.
Lighter and Softer: Stitch's Great Escape is a much softer version of ExtraTERRORestrial Alien Encounter, which was so scary that parents frequently complained to the staff that it terrified their kids, (even though there were warnings saying it may be too intense for children under 12). Alien Encounter itself is actually lighter than the original concept for the show, which was going to be called Nostromo and featured the Xenomorph from Alien, along with other characters such as Ripley, and the Weyland-Yutani company. This idea was abandoned when it was decided to be too scary for a Disney theme park.
Light Gun Game: Buzz Lightyear's Astro Blasters and Toy Story Midway Mania are theme park ride versions of this.
Literal-Minded: Face characters will sometimes develop a severe case of this when asked for an autograph.
Matrix Raining Code: Shows up in the current version of Spaceship Earth at the start of the descent. This probably wasn't meant to be unnerving but...
Meaningful Name: The two talent agents from The Enchanted Tiki Room: Under New Management are named William and Morris.
And pretty much any other character in the park who isn't from a pre-existing Disney movie or TV show is named meaningfully or punnily.
Mega Corp: An intergalactic one in the form of X-S Tech in the now-gone Alien Encounter attraction at Magic Kingdom.
Disney itself falls into this with the amount of power that they wield at Disney World. Just look up "Reedy Creek Improvement District" and be astounded at the amount of power that the state of Florida gave Disney for its operations there. There's a reason why snarky Floridians call it "America's Vatican".
Root Of All Evil declared Disney to be more evil then SCIENTOLOGY. Well, it is a whole lot bigger, wealthier, and influential, and thankfully hasn't caused anyone's death. On purpose. That we know of.
Less litigious, too.
Merchandise Driven: If it's a popular movie or other Disney property that sells a lot of merchandise, odds are you can expect to see an attraction based on it — if not now, then certainly in the near future. Whether this is a good or a bad thing is hotly debated.
Every ride built for the last several decades ends by dumping you right into the gift shop for that attraction.
And some are being actively remodeled so that they will dump guests into a gift shop. It's a Small World is, at the time of writing.
Guerrilla Movie: Escape From Tomorrow, a black-and-white film about a man slowly going crazy (or is he?) during a family vacation, was secretly filmed at Disney World and Disneyland. The director was amazed he, his actors (who hid their scripts on their iPhones), and crew wasn't caught; then again what's one more a guy with a camera at Disney World?
Munchkin: There is a certain class of fan that treats a day at the park like a game. Most time on rides and least time in line wins. With the addition of FastPass, the strategy has become even more Serious Business.
Mythology Gag: Increased a lot after the original park hit 40 years or so, especially as so many rides have gone away. It's not uncommon to see a nod to Horizons around today's EPCOT, an attraction which itself had a Continuity Nod to Carousel of Progress.
In fact, one of the biggest Horizons tributes in Florida is not in Epcot at all, but rather in the post-show for Space Mountain after the ride was overhauled in 2009.
Never Trust a Trailer: Sometimes, commercials for the attractions feature things that are not at all included in the actual attraction for obvious reasons other than for perhaps, dramatic effect.
Nice Guy: Practically a prerequisite for working in a Disney park. It's incredibly hard to find someone working there who doesn't genuinely enjoy doing their job (or at least do a decent job of acting like it), from the costumed characters to the guys who walk around with brooms and dustpans who keep the place obsessively clean.
This is a big part of Disney's corprate policy.
It should be noted that they certainly don't get paid extra to smile.
Nice Hat: Mainly (but not exclusively) the iconic mouse ears. It started with the classic Mouseketeer style and exploded from there. You can get one for practically any conceivable occasion or character now.
Ninja Pirate Zombie Robot: The Pirate Zombie Robot part, anyway—audio-animatronic pirate skeletons on the Pirates of the Caribbean ride.
Noble Savage and The Savage Indian: Disneyland capitalized on the popularity of The Western with a full-blown Indian Village in the early days. Tom Sawyer Island featured a burning cabin and arrow-studded settler. As attitudes changed, the Indian Village closed in the 1970s and the burning cabin went through a series of new back stories — river pirates, a moonshiner accident, and finally a careless settler endangering an eagle nest (seriously). The fire is finally out and the cabin is just a cabin.
Furthermore, you hear the narrator of the Railway train ride tour blabber on and on about "the spirit of Pocahontas" as you pass through the remains of the Indian Village.
Obvious Beta: Some criticisms seem to be merely because of maintenance and construction - "When I last went there; half the park was walled off", "*insert ride here* were closed so everybody swarmed Mullholland Madness/California Screamer/Soarin' over california/Other attraction here", "The halls are too narrow because it's all under construction." This gives the feel of an Obvious Beta but really; construction and maintenance has to happen sometime.
As for 2012, it looks a lot more complete. However, let's just say don't expect to get on the Cars Racers anytime soon.
Old Shame: Splash Mountain is based upon Song of the South, a movie they otherwise don't like talking about. Rumor has it, however, is that people who are hired as Cast Members on the ride are shown the movie during training.
As the parks have aged, Disney has begun talking more and more openly about old rides that didn't quite work out or simply didn't last for very long, such as Flying Saucers or the Viewliner, respectively. But certain attractions, such as the opening year's circus or the Rocket Rods will only ever be acknowledged once every blue moon.
Ominous Pipe Organ: Dreamfinder played one in the Tales of Terror sequence of the original Journey Into Imagination (the twist, though, was that since the section was about literature, the organ resembled something of a huge typewriter/computer). And don't forget the atmospheric music in the Haunted Mansion, which even has an actual pipe organ being played by a ghost in the ballroom scene (and is actually the same pipe organ from 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea).
Oracular Head: Madame Leota in the Haunted Mansion. Also the Shrunken Ned fortune telling machine at Disneyland's Adventureland.
Our Ghosts Are Different: The Haunted Mansion's spirits are said to be from all over the world, with the Mansion itself serving as a supernatural boarding house/retirement center. But in the Tower of Terror, the ghosts seem to be permanently stuck in the hotel as a result of the elevator accident. Then in Phantom Manor, we've got the ghostly villain taking on three forms throughout while tormenting the bride into old age.
In fairness, Tower of Terror (at the U.S. parks) is based on an intellectual property that Disney had to license, so discrepancies could arise from that situation.
Lampshaded in the movie where it states that the ghosts can't actually leave the hotel grounds due to the curse that caused the accident in the first place.
Oven Logic: In the last part of the current version of Carousel of Progress, though unintentional, the oven was programmed to automatically set the temperature if it hears numbers spoken aloud (that's one hell of a design flaw) and the father was talking about the Grandmother's score in a video game.
Pantomime Animal: Cast members in character costumes who roam the parks. (This doesn't include "face characters", like Alice or Snow White.)
Parental Bonus: Disneyland has (or at least had) a few areas where parents could take a breather and enjoy some relatively tasteful atmosphere and fine dining, complete with (gasp!) alcoholic drinks. Oh, and the Submarine Lagoon used to have comely Mermaids in there to wave and smile at passing men. There also used to be a working Pharmacy and a shop selling women's underclothes.
While Disney World's Magic Kingdom has a very, very strict "no alcohol, EVER" policy, said policy does not extend to the non-Magic Kingdom parks. As a matter of fact, "Drinking Around the World" (guests attempt to try the signature alcoholic beverage of each country in World Showcase) is a popular extra-curricular activity for some guests. They'll even would let you bring a margarita on Mexico's El Rio del Tiempo until it closed in 2007.
As for Disneyland, you'll probably have to head for California Adventure, unless if you're lucky enough to have a membership in the uber-exclusive Club 33. There, you'll find the more complete bar in any Disney Park.
A former band of holiday-themed street performers in the Hollywood Studios park in Florida performed a song about what they would build the perfect gingerbread man out of. After singing an overly-long description of how he bites the gingerbread man's arm off, a rather effeminate man completes his portion with the line "and a gummy thong!"
Parody Retcon: The Jungle Cruise was supposed to be an African safari ride, with animatronics replacing the inconvenient live animals. Nobody took it seriously, so Disney switched to the Played for Laughs version we have today.
Politically Correct History: Pretty much any attraction with a historical setting, although Pirates of the Caribbean and The Hall of Presidents are major offenders. Upper management seems to think that people don't come to theme parks to be disturbed or have their consciences bothered, and they're probably right.
POTC is noticeable for once containing scenes that were considered less politically correct (pirates chasing wenches, a naked girl hiding in a barrel) that have since been replaced by "family friendly" versions (women chasing pirates away with brooms, Jack Sparrow hiding in a barrel).
Averted with the now-defunct Golden Dreams in California Adventure. The show didn't pull any punches regarding the treatment of native Indians by the conquistadors, the dangerous circumstances under which Chinese railroad laborers had to work during the Gold Rush, the overt racism against the Japanese (especially "picture brides") during the early part of the 20th century, or the hardship and borderline hostility towards migrants from Oklahoma and Arkansas during the Dust Bowl. (It often played to near-empty houses and has been closed and replaced by a dark ride themed to The Little Mermaid.) Golden Dreams was intended as the Spiritual Successor to Epcot's still-running The American Adventure, a retrospective on U.S. history through World War II that does take a few moments to point out that women, blacks, and Native Americans often got the short end of the stick compared to white males.
Prop Recycling: Various animatronics from closed rides. Dozens and dozens of America Sings characters were moved to Splash Mountain, and various bits of World of Motion have shown up in everything from Pirates to just hanging around the California Adventure backlot section for atmosphere. It was necessary in Splash Mountain's case to do a lot of reprogramming to make the America Sings animatronics "forget" their old routines.
Rattling Off Legal: Parodied in Star Tours: The Adventures Continue, where the disclaimer for all the astronomical incidents the agency will not cover lasts for almost half a minute. It is the Evil Empire 's reign, after all...
Raygun Gothic: Tomorrowland at Walt Disney World. Tomorrowland at Disneyland ("updated" in the 90s to wild indifference) and Discoveryland at Disneyland Paris are more Steampunk.
Retraux: The 2008 Sleeping Beauty Castle Walkthrough at Disneyland uses all kinds of special effects to recreate a mid-50s attraction. Meanwhile, Great Moments With Mr. Lincoln utilizes audio from a 1964 World's Fair exhibit with an advanced audio-animatronic.
Right on Queue: The lines at especially popular attractions range into the truly absurd, especially for newer rides. Various methods have been attempted to combat this, like adding interesting things to look at during the wait including puzzles (The Indiana Jones ride has old hieroglyphs you can decode), short films that help set up the plot, and finally the Fast Pass system.
The longest ride queue to date occurred in Walt Disney World Christmas day (one of the busiest days for the park) in 2009, when one of the theaters for Soarin' Over California broke down. The resulting line from fans of the ride soon grew to SEVEN HOURS! For those keeping score at home, a flight from Orlando International Airport to LAX is only five hours.
Hard mode: leave the end of the broken-down Soarin' line in Florida, hop on a real plane to LAX and arrive in Anaheim to get in line for their Soarin' Over California before you would've gotten to go on the Florida version.
The Radiator Springs racers in California Adventure park - quite literally every single knows this.
Scenery Porn: No shit! Some look very artificial... but many of the resorts and rides are veryScenery Porn. Special mention goes to Storybook Land in Anaheim - Those plants you see in there? There's a good reason they look so realistic - they are real.
Also, there are herbs growing throughout the parks in Anaheim, but there's a lot in Tomorrowland. There are herbs growing such as lavender, sage, and basil; fruits such as bananas, grapes, pomegranate, and oranges, and even peppers and coffee beans. All selected based on an "Agrifuture" concept for the area's landscaping.
In the Animal Kingdom park, the designers even made sure the streetlights and power poles looked correct for the regions of the world the park sections represent. And the entry rainforest contains plants from every continent.
Scotireland: Anecdotal evidence suggests more than a few Merida face characters don't know the difference between a Scottish and Irish accent.
Script Wank: Ellen's Energy Adventure. The original Universe of Energy spent a lot of time discussing alternate energy sources, such as the solar panels on the attraction itself. The new version may well be titled "I love fossil fuels".
While we're on Star Tours, it was often compared to EPCOT's beloved Body Wars. The interior of the Bravo 229 vessel mimics that of the Starspeeder so much, you couldn't help but automatically think that you're on "Star Tours only inside the human body". Even the instructional video was a clone.
Luigi's Flying Tires and Radiator Springs Racers of California Adventure's Cars Land to Flying Saucers (1961-1966) and Test Track, respectively.
The Starscream: The Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom game shakes things up and has Maleficent play this part to Hades, who serves as the Big Bad. Jafar and Ursula are also trying to take the Crystal of the Magic Kingdom pieces for themselves or shake off Hades' leadership.
Take That, Us: The park staff often makes pot shots to "It's a Small World After All". It's somewhat of a whipping boy.
The Talk - Yes, "The Making of Me" was real. While this site does not include the film, it does have a photo of the hilarious disclaimer outside the theater. Still to be answered: Is the middle of an already overstimulating Disney World vacation really the best time to have this subject brought up; possibly for the first time for some kids? That said, Martin Short actually handled it pretty well.
Updated Rerelease: Quite a few rides have been altered over the years. Although whether or not this is a good thing is up to debate, most have just received technical upgrades.
This also helps keep some rides from getting too old, from getting too outdated not only because they're over fifty years old, but also for safety purposes.
Among others, the Star Tours ride got retooled to include more scenes and characters from the entire Star Wars film saga uniting both the classic and prequel trilogies.
With Disney's acquisition of Lucasfilm and the prospect of upcoming franchise installments, we're likely to see many updates to the ride in the years to come.
Variable Mix: Many of the rides with iconic theme music have that music change slightly from scene to scene, utilizing different instrumentation, rhythm, and even chords to provide the right atmosphere for the visuals. "It's a Small World" is the most famous example, but an even better one is "It's Fun to Be Free", the jaunty theme song from the now-defunct World of Motion attraction. You can sometimes catch it on MouseWorld Radio.
Many of the parades do this. For example, the Main Street Electrical Parade has a unique theme for each float, and the sound system smoothly segues between them as the floats move down the route.
According to the Haunted Mansion anniversary issue of Disney's "Twenty Four" magazine, plans were made and eventually scrapped for an indoor, perpetual-twilight (think Blue Bayou/Pirates Of The Caribbean) Disney park featuring at the end of their Main Street USA equivalent, not the familiar princess castle, but the Haunted Mansion on a hill. Crowning Hub Of Awesome!
The Wild West: Frontierland (and Westernland at Tokyo Disneyland).
Wooden Ships and Iron Men: This exact phrase is used in the recorded narration for the Sailing Ship Columbia attraction (a full-scale replica of the historical ship)
World Tree: The Tree of Life, the centerpiece of Disney's Animal Kingdom.
The "Tree of Technology" in Anaheim's Innoventions attraction also seems to have a bit of this vibe.
Writer Revolt: Done on the occasions when Imagineers are forced to tear down a ride to build a new one. They'll often sneak in a Shout Out to the original version.
Occasionally, the shout out will be in a totally different attraction. At the Magic Kingdom, a tombstone for Mr. Toad is in the Haunted Mansion queue. Also, references to Horizons and Submarine Voyage are in Space Mountain's post-show.
The former was originally how people in 1955 thought people would be living in 1980; the latter, how people in 1982 thought people would be living in 2000.
Actually discussed and then reconstructed in the old attraction Horizons, which reminisced about some visions of the future that were off the mark, then goes ahead and made some slightly less absurd (at the time) predictions of its own.