Monday, October 17, 2011
"But Doesn't Mickey Look a Little Small?"
You have to admit Disney has done a pretty good job its makeover of its Paradise Pier section of Disney California. Yes, there is still room for improvement. The retail shops near the old Maliboomer site need to be re-themed to more closely fit in with the predominantly Victorian themed architecture. Everyone is still waiting for a real "Disney" worthy queue line for California Screamin'. There's not much that can be done with King Triton's Carousel. It is what it is.
Perhaps the biggest single improvement to the pier was the peeling and discarding of that ghastly looking giant orange covering that housed the swing ride - once named The Orange Stinger. Man it was ugly. The ride itself - swings spinning on a spindle - is sadly an off-the-shelf carnival ride that is featured at most non-Disney theme parks and even state fairs. These are rides that are bought, not "imagineered" in the true Disney sense. Disney owned it so the ride wasn't going anywhere but it did have to be re-themed to fit in with the new vision of Paradise Pier and now spins wildly to the music of the William Tell Overture as Silly Symphony Swings based on an early Mickey Mouse cartoon - The Band Concert. Up on top of the ride, conducting the mayhem, stands bandleader Mickey. It is the only ride/attraction in either park that features its most prominent resident (not counting Fantasmic here).
But I noticed it right away and everybody I am with pretty much says the same thing when coming near the ride - "isn't Mickey a little small?" Yes. Yes. Double-yes. Supposedly the figure of Mickey that tops the ride is about 6 feet tall. On a ride that tall, he does really look mouse-like. To do justice to the ride and Mickey, he should have been taller and more prominent. He should have been made to where his silhouette could stand out from hundreds of feet away. It's a bad ride but at least it could been a more pronounced focal point if we had been given a bigger Mickey. Maybe there was a ride engineering / balance problem with a bigger Mickey but with the small Mickey, you've taken the park's biggest star and made him into cake topper.