Home > Imagineering, Next Generation Experience, TWIWD > Year-end wish list 2011

Year-end wish list 2011

Here we are at the end of the year, and here I am looking back, somewhat disappointed in myself as I haven’t posted near as many times as I wanted to for this year. Time flies and there is never enough to do everything I need or want to do, which is why I haven’t posted in a while. I’ve had numerous ideas throughout the year, but just not enough time to fully think about, research and complete them. So, rather than go another month or more with nothing new, I decided to just post a compendium of some of those unfinished ideas. Please keep in mind, some of these are just rough ideas and maybe not very well thought out, so consider them “blue sky” with lots of room for improvement.

Virtual Realities

From the beginning of time, children have dreamed of being a grown up, and doing grown up things. What if there was a way they could experience one or more of these? It would seem to me that technology has advance to the point that some of these might be possible.

  • Train Simulator where kids young and old could drive a (virtually) real train
  • Airplane Simulator – how many kids have dreamed of being a pilot?
  • Fire Truck –
  • Semi-Truck – drive the big rig
  • Race Car – NASCAR, Indy/Formula 1, etc.
  • Monster Truck
  • Space Shuttle – be an astronaut and fly into space

This could be built in one of several places at WDW, Imagination pavilion at Epcot or Disney Quest at Downtown Disney.

Test Track Overhaul

Rumored to be on the schedule for a refurb/upgrade sometime in 2012, here’s a few random thoughts of my own for what they might consider in the upgrade. This happens to be one of my favorite attractions, but certainly could use a refreshing.

  • More interactive experience
  • Allow riders a choice of different vehicles or colors
  • In-car “Radio” where they can choose their music while riding
  • On-ride video for purchase
  • Allow participants to choose which tests are performed
  • Use the EMV vehicle technology and enhance the ride, maybe an off-road option
  • Drive thru America/World – different (changing) scenes on route

In-room Concierge / Next Gen

An idea I had recently based in part on a rumored new RFID wristband technology being tested and supposedly rolled out at WDW in the near future. If you’ve followed mine or any other Disney blogs this year, you’ve probably seen a mention or two of what’s being called “Next Gen”. I’ll spare the details, but in brief it’s a big project that Disney Imagineering is working on in secret to re-engineer the parks and resorts. There have been many rumors about just what this project will bring, but here are some of my own thoughts on how they could enhance the guest experience.

In-room concierge via a “smart TV” in the room. This service would show the guests’ agenda and/or planned activities for the next day and allow them to make changes and additions, including schedule reservations for table service restaurants based on availability and preferences. To further enhance the system, it could even suggest a park touring plan, restaurants and other activities based on their family dynamics. To make this even better, a summarized day plan could be sent to your smart phone where you could even make changes as you go thru your day. This is just a rough idea that has a lot of potential.

Castaway Cay DVC

With the apparent success of Disney’s Aulani resort in Hawaii, it would seem the other DVCs built in the right place, might be a good idea. So, why not build out the island that is owned by Disney and used by the cruise line, Castaway Cay. Currently, it appears they only use about a 1/4 or even less of the island. With more work building up the infrastructure and support systems on the island, they could expand the runway (if needed) and then charter flights in and out a few days a week. It could be their own tropical oasis that would make for a truly unique vacation experience.

Ticketing Options

Admittedly, this one is a bit of crazy idea since ticketing options are already pretty varied and somewhat confusing, but just bear with me as I try and hash it out.

More ticketing options

  1. 70 – (Value) Base Ticket – Not eligible to use Fast Pass
  2. 75 – Fast Pass Eligible
  3. 80 – FP + includes One Snack + One Quick Service Meal
  4. 95 – FP + One Table Service Meal (or two Table Service Meals) + Refillable Cup (Optional $25 in park credit)
  5. 105 – FP + TS + QS + Snack + Refillable cup/mug

The optional $25 credit could be used if a TS restaurant was unavailable. Good for use at any restaurant in WDW.Base tickets cost $85 right now.Typical Counter service meal + drink runs about $11-12 ?Typical Table service meal + drink runs about $23-25 ?Typical snack is $2-4 Refillable cup value – $5 (Single day use)If the RFID/Next Gen project kicks off and does in fact utilize RFID wristbands or other electronic forms of ticketing, they could expand ticketing options even further to something similar to the old ticket books that were originally used at Disney Land and Walt Disney World. I’m not crazy about the idea, but what if they had multiple level purchasing options that would allow you to ride a specified number of attractions in a given day. I realize this is a step backwards in some sense, but given that the parks are continuing to increase in attendance spread throughout the year, something like this may at some point be necessary, especially during peak periods around the holidays.

Tomorrowland Shooting Gallery – Space/Future themed

An idea I’ve tossed around several times involves a Frontierland style shooting gallery, only with a space or futuristic theme in Tomorrowland. I could see a side area where kids and adults could blow a buck or two shooting aliens or spaceships with a laser blaster rifle or handgun.

I’m not totally committed to this idea because in some sense, there is a shooting gallery of sorts, Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin, so adding this might just be overkill. But, as a former arcade playing, space ship/alien shooter, I can attest to the fun that I used to experience from such activities. I could never get enough of shooting at space ships and invading aliens from other worlds.

So, that’s my wish list for the coming year(s), what do you think? Anything you would add or change?

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