Thursday, January 10, 2013
MiceAge 1/10 - DisneyQuest Stagnation
There’s a lot to like about DisneyQuest. It’s a five story arcade that lets you play games all day for one price. Even if you paid full price ($46) it could end up being a bargain if you’re the sort of person who could play video games–and other interactive experiences and simulators–all day long. I’m that kind of person, so I like the idea of DisneyQuest. More people end up here because it’s included with the “Water Parks & More” add-on to the base park tickets. Since they “paid” for it, many people figure they might as well drop by and experience it.
One assumes they don’t have a super high level of expectation. After all, most of them didn’t shell out money specifically for this admission. By the time they arrive, many consider it a “bonus” (even though they did, in fact, pay for it. This is the magic of all-encompassing vacations and pre-paid vacations) and as such probably won’t get too indignant if the experience doesn’t measure up.
For the most part, the experience DOES measure up. There are actually five floors of games and experiences. Everything is included in the cost. The games are routinely cycled out and replaced by new ones. They have somewhat new four person air hockey here (though not the divinely fun Pac Man Smash Air Hockey I saw at IAAPA this year, which apparently is elsewhere on Disney property for people who pay for each game). The vintage games section is supposed to be vintage, and it’s fine. The modern games section really does have mostly modern games. And it really is possible to spend a long afternoon here, or even the entire day.
Scratch at the surface a little bit, though, and it’s not hard to see that the “magic” here has some rough edges. Some of the signage is peeling, and the laminate covering is pulling away. This sort of thing doesn’t happen overnight–it must have been a long time building up. When I worked in restaurants at Disneyland a couple decades ago, this would have gotten someone in big trouble. Let’s think about this for a second. What are the various ways this could have come to still be on display for the paying public to see?
Either (1) no one has reported it or (2) it’s not being fixed because of budget. The budget part could be because there is no money for new signs–it just gets deferred to the next refurb–or because there are not enough maintenance workers at night to fix all the problems (which would still be a budget thing). I don’t know which it is, and at some level I don’t care. What matters is the final outcome and what the paying public is seeing.
There are beaten up walls, scratches and dings all over. Some of this is unavoidable. It is, after all, a working facility pummeled by hundreds of visitors a day. But even given that extra latitude, it’s hard to reconcile the reality of what’s on the walls with the image of pristine environments that used to be the hallmark of Disney parks and attractions. It’s just so much. Individually it’s easy to explain away dings and scratches, but on a cumulative level they just add up to imply, subtly but firmly, that the place is run-down.
Read the rest of the article: http://micechat.com/19295-disneyquest-stagnation/
Kevin Yee is the author of numerous independent Disney books, including the popular Walt Disney World Earbook series and Walt Disney World Hidden History.