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Thursday, November 15, 2001

Roman Dirge, the creator of the creepy-cute little character Lenore, has put a little film of the Haunted Holiday on under the comic and stuff section and then in the short films area. You all might like to check it out... he also has a really great web site there worth visiting, if you haven't been by in a while. The Flash intro on his website is worth the visit in itself.

Also heard from an ex-imagineer, and he had a couple interesting comments...

"...since the big layoffs at WDI (they are literally shutting the place down, selling off the tools in all the warehouses, firing people who have been there 20 years, etc.), I'm pretty much frustrated with the theme park industry. There just isn't the sort of money and quality (with the exception of the Tokyo DisneySea stuff I did) being spent any more."

"But I was very pleasantly surprised with the "Nightmare" rehab. It was very well done! It made me a little upset, though - because I pitched a whole Nightmare dark ride to go in Fantasyland up at WDI about 4 years ago... The people who make those decisions told me "We will probably never do something like that." Of course, people in the parade dept. down at Disneyland were given carte blanche! Yes - WDI had almost nothing to do with the Nightmare rehab. Even the Jack figure was built down at the park, not MAPO (traditionally the manufacturing arm of Imagineering). It's kind of sad - it feels like Imagineering (at least how it is supposed to function) is not going to be around much longer...."

Anyway, the comments are similar to others I've heard from folks that had been with WDI. Now I've never been one of these webmasters who gets very political about Disney; I'll let other websites with more inside sources and facts take that role. But it's an absolute shame... sometimes it seems like Disney doesn't realize how much the public DOES realize its magic comes from its quality behind the scenes. Heck, that's what is all about. WDI is the "special ops" team of the theme park industry, and Disney is, well, abandoning it, it would seem. Let's hope the tepid public response to California Adventure and the overwhelming response to Haunted Mansion Holiday let the brass see that the effort behind the scenes is the real bottom line, not dollars and cents.


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