Now for some philosophical reasons for the contemporary resort being the new home of a Star Wars Theme. (And no it has nothing to do with the force or midichlorians) I’m talking about Disney’s core philosophy of having unity and purpose behind every detail of imagineering the total Disney experience.
Kent Mitchell (General Manager Disney’s World Contemporary Resort) shared a great story about the contemporary being modern back in 1971 when it opened and the evolution of the hotel over the years. Everything Disney imagineers did when it opened blew people’s minds! But the contemporary is lacking in that synergy of Walt’s look to the future today. I visited the contemporary a few weeks ago and I couldn’t help notice there is no clear theme on the inside. The giant mural looks like it’s from a small world after all.
Wing T Choa (former Imagineer Executive) said “The resort plans are to tell a story of where people like to go on vacation and Disney is able to bring those place to the guest.” So If:
The Polynesian Resort = Adventureland
Grand Floridian = Main Street
The Contemporary = Tomorrowland
If the theme of the Contemporary Resort is to be, well contemporary or modern or even futuristic, it needs some help. Disney is all about storytelling and guest experience but there is nothing that says tomorrowland or the future to be found. One of my favorite memories as a teen visiting Epcot was the section they had under the
Death Star, I mean Spaceship Earth that had all these amazing gadgets from the future. A phone I could carry around?? Shut up, that will never really happen! Then in 2-3 years I would see the technology of tomorrow come to life around me and I remembered where I saw it first. That is the experience of tomorrowland and the entire section of the park has Space Mountain and the Sky Rockets. It is a perfect fit for the Star Wars brand to keep consistency with the theme Walt intended. (While I’m at it, you can probably take out the Tomorrowland Speedway and replace with speeder bike roller coaster or some green friendly electric landspeeders:)
If disney embraces the Star Wars brand like their own characters and tell the story and immerse guest into the star Wars universe like only Disney can. Then Disney will be able to create a place “where people like to go on vacation and Disney is able to bring those place to the guest.” I can’t go to a naboo hotel underground, or frozen hoth hotel or spend the night in Darth Vader’s chamber on the Death Star or Yoda’s hut or any of the other fun amazing places because it doesn’t exist… yet!
The new wave of hotels Disney is creating is amazing! The Cars, Lion King and animation hotels go over the top, so why not give the Star Wars brand the same treatment? My daughter LOVED the lion king when she was young, but now that she’s a freshman in college, not so much. I loved Star Wars when I was 6, and I have been a fan for 30+ years and there are millions of fans around the world who would flock to Disney just to experience what only Disney can deliver. The Star Wars fan base is far more reaching than any other Disney movie and their fans are life long fans and even if we grow up (on the outside) our affection for Star Wars would draw us to a Disney Star Wars Resort like moths to a light saber.
Kevin Myers, a 42-year Disney veteran who is the vice president in charge of hotel operations, talks about how the contemporary resort is iconic and guest are stunned by the futuristic idea of a monorail running through the hotel. The Contemporary Resort has always been more of a spaceport than anything I have ever seen and more primed for the Star Wars Theme than anything out there. Walt Disney World became the first Destination Resort in America and what better way to celebrate their new purchase than by creating an amazing, futuristic resort that fit the theme of Tomorrowland and the Star Wars Universe.
Now that Disney owns Star Wars, it’s time that Star Wars fans had a proper place to go, play and stay to celebrate the fun that Disney could bring by being transported to a galaxy now, thanks to Disney not so Far Far Away…
What are your ideas?