I appreciate that.
You're right - you're not even close to the top of the list when it comes to those that "denouce the parks." Perhaps I overreacted just a bit, but it's getting rather hard to log on to just about any of the Disney fan sites out there and see yet another group of folks complaining about your work - especially those that haven't got a clue about what it is they're complaining about. It really is one of those situations of "Fine. You think you can do it better? Be my guest!" And living in that world - imagine my joy to find the Disney Railroads Discussion Board... a place I perceived to be in favor of the parks and their railroads. You can probably guess how I felt finding yet another of the continuing threads about how "poor" HKDL will be.
Would steam have been great? You bet. Did we get it? Nope. But moving on... these trains look fabulous! Let's not throw out the baby with the bath water shall we? Steam or no steam, we're still getting another addition to the "things at Disney that run on rails" universe, and that's no small feat! Before joining WDI I spent several years doing new park development for folks like Universal, Paramount, Herschend, Premier, and others. You wanna guess the single hardest sell to a group evaluating an attraction matrix when reviewing the masterplans??? Railroads! NO one wants them. The maintenance, logistics, operation, and costs all add up to a very quick veto in our world. I'm not sure many people understand just what a coup it is to be getting another Disneyland Railroad... regardless of type. Moreover, don't think the specter of "modernization" is far off... for Disney or others... I'm sure Disney will be the very last to let the trains go... (and I'll be long dead, I hope, before that day arrives) but some of the other more beloved park railroads out there aren't bullet proof! Take Cedar Fair for instance... I can't speak to Cedar Point, but I know for a fact that the Ghost Town and Calico at Knotts is not viewed as sacred. More than once in planning discussions the phrase "just remove the train" has be uttered. And as far as steam goes, again Cedar Fair at one point was looking at removing the "steam" from the steam train at their Missouri park.
Let's not send the wrong message here, you know it's very easy for the accountanteers to simply say "well, if they only want steam trains, then they just won't get a train at all... that saves us even more money!"
Do I agree with the situation? Not at all, but let's try to keep a positive outlook...
No, "fake" steam engines aren't ideal, but the quality is there, the love is there, and the Disney touch (all be it not in the boiler) can been seen.
Not the best Disney trains? I'll give you that, but these are Disney trains nonetheless.
Edited By WesternRiverRR on 1105060275