Visit SpaceCampUtah.org to learn more about the Space Education Centers in Utah. Visit SpaceGuard.org and ProjectVoyager.org for information on joining a simulator based school space and science club.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

The Space Center and Disney. More Reflections.

Hello Troops,
The following comments came by email from a former fantastic Space Center Flight Director named Julie Billings. Julie was once a Disneyland employee and has a unique insight into all things Disney and Space Center. Thanks Julie for your thoughts.

Mr. Williamson

And Now Julie's Comments:
Quick response to Mr. Williamson's blog:

He is absolutely right. It is something Disney has striven to do since it opened. But being attractions instead of simulations makes it difficult. Not to mention the workload of up to 80,000 people a day. Just recently Disney has been able to get out of the repetitive rut with newer more innovative rides, such as the new Tower of Terror with a random selection of drops, Buzz Lightyear with a way to interact, and their newest Toy Story Mania with a 'never the same ride twice' feel to it. At Disney World they have what is called Disney Quest where you can design your own roller coaster and ride it, at an extra price. But never will it be up to what the Space Center can achieve. At the Space Center you are completely immersed in the story for hours at a time. As repetitive a mission can get as a Flight Director, there was always a change based on the creative (or uncreative) children inside.

I remember on my 16th birthday an overnight mission was canceled and Mr. Williamson let what staff who wanted to come do an overnight mission instead. I jumped at the opportunity, birthday or not, and I had a friend who got mad at me because I skipped out on the Mountain View football game. I remember telling her, "I would have rather done what I did then go to Disneyland!" After the words left my mouth I couldn't believe such blasphemy, but it was true.

Now, that being said I love Disneyland and most things Disney. I hope my kids share this love of Disney and love to go to Disneyland. Right now I think I would rather go to Disneyland than anything. But at that age of 16 and before, the Space Center does something to you that nothing else can. And it truly is "Better than Disneyland."

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