When last we met, we watched a lavish trip planning video from 1993. Today we’re going to stop by Walt Disney World merely one year later, but it’s pretty obvious that by 1994 things have really changed.
For one thing, there’s the length of the video. The 1993 edition is almost fifty minutes long; by 1994 it had been pared down to twenty. You can tell how this affected the flow of the segments – it took nearly twenty minutes in the 1993 video to look at the Magic Kingdom and Disney-MGM Studios alone. In this video, we breeze through those parks in about eight minutes. The result is that many of the older attractions, even some classics, get no mention at all. Watch how the video skips around the Magic Kingdom, and think about how many key elements have been completely left out.
There have been some changes in the parks, too. A new Tomorrowland arrived in the Magic Kingdom, and Sunset Boulevard opened at the Disney-MGM Studios. A number of changes were underway at Epcot – not longer EPCOT Center, please note, and soon to be the ridiculously titled “Epcot ’94”.
Other things to note in this video, aside from the massively sped up pace, indicate the slow creep towards blatantly deceptive advertising. This can be seen in the promos for new attractions Alien Encounter and the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror, which have been used and reused so many times over the years that I guarantee you’ve seen at least elements of them before. These highly “dramatic” depictions of the attractions bear little resemblance to the actual rides whatsoever, and are obviously attempts to be “edgy” and appealing to teenagers. What’s funny is that I was a teenager when they emerged, and I was mostly annoyed that they indicated that Disney thought I was an idiot. The production values of these newly-filmed segments are notable, as they employ many tactics and gimmicks that Disney still uses today
If you’ve watched the 1993 video, you can also catch Disney in a lie here and there, as they re-use guest interviews from the earlier video to describe completely different attractions. Of the guests offering “testimonial” for Alien Encounter in this video, one group was actually describing the Sorcery in the Sky fireworks show and another was talking about her ride on Splash Mountain.
Towards the end of the video things get really insidious, as we begin to see actors start to appear as fake families talking about their Disney experiences. This really starts the narrative of Disney as a place only for families or kids, and it indicated the dream/wish/magic saturation that would emerge in years to come.
But check it out for yourself! 1994, Disney propaganda style: