Disney's New Caribbean Beach: Theming Without a Sense of Time or Place
Disney's New Caribbean Beach: Theming Without a Sense of Time or Place
Posted Thursday, July 31, 2008 at 6:30p Pacific Time
You may have seen this article in the Orlando Sentinel about updated theming to the Caribbean Beach resort. The illustration depicts beds styled like boats. A table themed as a giant compass. It's decked out top-to-bottom in Pirates paraphernalia, yet I think this room has the concept of Pirates' theming all wrong. Here's why:
Do you imagine that the pirates of Pirates of the Caribbean sleep in beds styled as boats? Did they do that in the movie? Of course not, so why is that the case here? It's the equivalent of the Cinderella Castle Suite offering up a giant glass slipper as a bathtub.
You could argue that what I'm asking for might demand an unappealing level of realism—do people really want to stay in what passed for a bedroom on a pirate ship?—and, of course, nobody wants that. But it seems like there's a middle-ground that would feel like a room out of the Pirates world while still preserving the "fun" that this concept thinks it's offering up.
Theming, at least the way Disney has traditionally defined it, goes beyond "styling" to communicate a sense of time and place. What time and place does this room take me to? Nowhere, unfortunately, except the Caribbean Beach Hotel circa 2009, or maybe a kid's bedroom. Not the world of Pirates of the Caribbean.
The Caribbean Resort was the very first WDW property I stayed at back in '90 and given that there was a pretty wild storm going on when we arrived, the overall effect was pretty convincing.
As it was originally executed, the CBR was a nice place to stay for a reasonable price (by WDW standards) where you didn't have to go far to get to the resort bus stops, each area had a convenient pool (and laundry!) and it wasn't far to the main building where the food services were located.
But over the years the prices went up and now it looks like the concept will be much more juvenile in nature and an attempt to capitalize on the POTC franchise.
So what? WDW has plenty of other resorts in all price ranges so if they want to provide a place to stay that is way over the top in terms of a particular theme, let them.
Posted By davewasbaloo Friday, August 15, 2008 at 4:05a Pacific Time
No thanks. I go for a mix, and if toons are the fantasy element, then I am close to stopping going.
Posted By Route66 Friday, August 15, 2008 at 2:02a Pacific Time
I think its super cool.. I dont go to Disney parks for a history lesson. I'll take fantasy any day.
Posted By mperry Thursday, August 14, 2008 at 10:44p Pacific Time
IS this WDI can do these days, If so I need to become an Imagineer.
Posted By kennect Tuesday, August 12, 2008 at 8:02p Pacific Time
I think the best idea is to wait and see what these rooms really look like in the flesh...I am not crazy about the artists rendering of them but they could be a lot different in the flesh...Time will tell....
Posted By DOGWITKEYS Tuesday, August 12, 2008 at 4:07p Pacific Time
So lets see, If my memory serves me correctly...the first time you see a sleeping pirate in the attraction (WDW and alive) is when he is sleeping in a mud puddle with pigs, and the first time in the films is in Dead man's chest when Jack goes down for rum and meets bootstrap, they were sleeping in barracks about three or four high. Now as cool as it would be to have little billy and Susy sleep in simulated mud while they dream of their upcoming day of fantasy at a disney park (especially if your that parent and your mad at your kids). I just don't see how the kids would buy it and how disney would tell you to sell it to your kids so you lay $200 per night for it. This goes back to the age old argument that disney focuses more on the kids well-being that the adults, which is the way it should be. As far as the themeing goes...Disney always has and will continue to make their most realistic interpretations of every project they tackle, but would you want to sleep on top of those realistic interpretations.
Posted By 999HAUNTS Tuesday, August 12, 2008 at 7:53a Pacific Time
Um, that Dr. Suess room has made me dizzy LOL!
Posted By Kar2oonMan Monday, August 4, 2008 at 6:16p Pacific Time
The pirate rooms look more like Capt. Hook's pirate ship than POTC. Which is appropriate enough considering the market they're aiming for. I can easily imagine little kids getting a big kick out of this room.
Posted By jkayjs Monday, August 4, 2008 at 5:49p Pacific Time
Oh and BTW, race car drivers don't sleep in beds made of cars either but that doesn't keep many little boys from going to bed in their favorite NASCAR mobile.;)
Posted By jkayjs Monday, August 4, 2008 at 5:46p Pacific Time
You can't please all of the people all of the time.
I think the themeing is spot on for what it's intended to be. Lot's of whimsey and a dash of pixey dust.
It gives another option and since they plan on charging extra many folks will pass. It won't be my choice when Mr.jkayjs and I go but when my grandson gets older if he loves pirates we'll be ponying up the extra $25 in a heart beat.;)
I wonder how many rooms they will do? One bldg or a whole section?
It really doesn't matter because they won't have any trouble filling them with all the pirate lovers out there.
As long as they use quality material and don't cheap out they will be cute. I don't really see a cheesy factor in the drawing, will have to wait to see an actual mock up.
Posted By danyoung Monday, August 4, 2008 at 4:54p Pacific Time
I just saw on the MousePlanet update that Disney will be charging $25/night more for the pirate rooms. Guess I'll never see one for myself!
Posted By NikkiLOVESMickey Monday, August 4, 2008 at 3:21p Pacific Time
The Seuess room is kind of neat, but the Jurassic Park room looks cheesy.
Posted By Mr X Monday, August 4, 2008 at 3:19p Pacific Time
Yuck, barf (yeah, Seuss deserves a double comment)...
The Jurassic Park room is surprisingly intriguing though (I could imagine that might be similar to a REAL hotel room on Isla Nublar, before a raptor bursts in and eats you :p).
Nikki, agreed. My four year old is way into it though (I don't get it...but it's apparently very popular since it's even on regular JAPANESE TV these days too, dubbed of course).
Posted By dshyates Monday, August 4, 2008 at 3:09p Pacific Time
I believe these 2 are what they are competing with:
Posted By NikkiLOVESMickey Monday, August 4, 2008 at 3:01p Pacific Time
^^^^^I say "YUCK" every time I see SpongeBob on TV, which is often because my 3 year old niece loves him.
Posted By Mr X Monday, August 4, 2008 at 2:08p Pacific Time
One word. Yuck.
(two words if I have to add a "yuck" to that Spongebob Squarepants hotel as well!)
Posted By beamerdog Monday, August 4, 2008 at 1:33p Pacific Time
My kids would have loved it when they were younger. note: the Sponge Bob room made me slightly dizzy.
Posted By dennis-in-ct Monday, August 4, 2008 at 1:32p Pacific Time
it is too much for me ... kind of "in your face" and NOT subtle at all.
Maybe it is a response to the highyly cartooned rooms at the Nickelodeon hotel
if you're a kid - great ... but personally I perfer a more traditional room with fun subtle character details.
Posted By Kimrue Monday, August 4, 2008 at 12:47p Pacific Time
I think the theming is cute. Just like I'm sure in Carribean Islands not everyone living there sleeps in bright obnoxiously colored buildings with salmon headboards and linens.
Posted By danyoung Sunday, August 3, 2008 at 11:44a Pacific Time
Methinks Mr. Maletic is thinking too much. The room in the picture looked like pretty cool theming to me!
Posted By gmaletic Sunday, August 3, 2008 at 7:26a Pacific Time
>Not to be a argumentative person, even though I am capable of it, wouldn't a "real" pirate sleep on hammocks or straw bunks? How does one get authentic in a fantasy?
It's a good question. As you say, you don't want a real pirate experience; at the least, the beds would be too uncomfortable!
When I'm walking around the resort, I should feel like I'm in the POTC world. As one idea, theming the resort and rooms to resemble the shops and alcoves of Caribbean Plaza in the Magic Kingdom would make the place feel more like you're in the POTC world. The ship-beds in the artist rendering instead make me feel like I'm in a kid's room.
One might argue that what I'm proposing isn't as "fun" as what is in the rendering, but that problem can be corrected, too. How about hiding the TV behind a false bookcase? Have little clues around the room lead me to a secret drawer holding some pirate trinket? All while being in a room that 1) is attractive; 2) looks like something from the 17th century Caribbean, and 3) that an adult wouldn't dread spending a night in.
There may be good reasons why my "fun" ideas wouldn't work, but these are just off the top of my head. My point is, the room can be fun while making me feel like I've been transported to another place and time.
Posted By NikkiLOVESMickey Sunday, August 3, 2008 at 7:17a Pacific Time
Not all that appealing for me, but I'm not a 10 year old boy, either.
Posted By gmaletic Sunday, August 3, 2008 at 7:11a Pacific Time
Doobie is aware of the problem with the link. If you go to the link in post #10, that will get you there for now.
Posted By dshyates Sunday, August 3, 2008 at 6:26a Pacific Time
For anyone having trouble with the links, try this one. Thanks Dave for the suggestion.
Posted By davewasbaloo Sunday, August 3, 2008 at 6:22a Pacific Time
I navigated via the LP main page and then left a comment that way
Posted By danyoung Sunday, August 3, 2008 at 6:18a Pacific Time
I'm having the same problem.
Posted By dshyates Sunday, August 3, 2008 at 6:01a Pacific Time
Or the one below.
Posted By dshyates Sunday, August 3, 2008 at 6:00a Pacific Time
I can't get the link above to open anything. All I get is a blank page.
Posted By davewasbaloo Sunday, August 3, 2008 at 5:45a Pacific Time
I always thought the bed in PotC was that of a very comfortable pirate after years of successful plundering.
These rooms are kind of cute, but it feels more like what a non Disney resort (Holiday Inn, Alton Towers) would do. I expected more from WDW.
But have you guys seen the new water play area at the CBR? It looks like Hojo Anaheim or McD's rather than Disney too. They have truly seemed to have lost their way.
Posted By Goofyernmost Sunday, August 3, 2008 at 4:35a Pacific Time
Not to be a argumentative person, even though I am capable of it, wouldn't a "real" pirate sleep on hammocks or straw bunks?
If I am not confusing the scene, isn't that bed in the POTC a bed of a rich person that the pirates are pillaging? How does one get authentic in a fantasy?
Posted By Friar Tuck and Roll Saturday, August 2, 2008 at 11:28p Pacific Time
As to the theeing of the beds, its not like Disney doesn't have reference for what a pirate bed should look like. In the Captain's Quarters at the beginning of Disneyland's POTC there is an example of what could be used for a pirate bed. Some of the rest of theming of that area could also be used to help decorate the hotel rooms.
Posted By davewasbaloo Friday, August 1, 2008 at 12:44a Pacific Time
Agreed, while cute, I too was hoping for something a little more authentic. The kids will love it. But that's the problem, disney is trying to only appeal to kids these days. Ironically disney used to quote how Walt did not talk down to kids. How times have changed, and definately not for the better. And people wonder why I rag on WDW?