Thursday, June 24, 2021

What Even is an Attraction at Sea?

During April's Once Upon a Disney Wish presentation, DCL announced that the Wish will have a large water slide called the AquaMouse.  From what they've shown of it, it looks like a very fun ride.  Parts of it appear to be similar to its predecessor, the AquaDuck on the Dream and Fantasy, but it's different enough to get me excited for it.

I can't wait to ride the AquaMouse, but something I didn't understand about the AquaMouse was how it was referred to in the presentation.  The people in the presentation called the AquaMouse "the first-ever Disney attraction at sea".  
It's called the same thing in a Disney Parks Blog post about the slide.  But wait, isn't the AquaDuck, which has been around for over a decade, an attraction?  Did everyone working for Disney forget about the AquaMouse's older counterpart?  Or is the AquaDuck not attractive enough to be an attraction?  What makes a ride an attraction?

Let's start our search at the page for the AquaDuck on the DCL website.  The word 'attraction' is never used on this page, but it does say that the AquaDuck is the first-ever water coaster at sea.  The AquaDuck is very popular, and it attracts crowds every day it's operational.  Since it attracts so many people, wouldn't you call it an attraction?  I guess Disney doesn't.  If we use this logic, the DCL ships have a lot of attractions.  The theatres, the pools, the Magic's AquaDunk, the smaller water slides, the youth clubs, and the sports decks are among what I consider to be attractions.  However, to keep this post straightforward, I'll be keeping my focus on the AquaDuck.

If the AquaDuck isn't an attraction, what is?  Let's take a look at the list of attractions on the Disney World website.  This list includes every ride and experience at Disney World.  In addition to the attractions at the four main Disney World parks, this list includes water slides, like those at Blizzard Beach and Typhoon Lagoon.  One of the water slides at Typhoon Lagoon, the Crush 'N' Gusher, is a raft water slide that looks a lot like the AquaDuck.  This slide is even classfied as a water coaster, just like the AquaDuck!  If the AquaDuck was at Disney World, it would surely be on this list.  But since it isn't, it's not classfied as an attraction.

So why is the AquaMouse "the first-ever Disney attraction at sea" when it clearly isn't?  I think it's for marketing.  The AquaMouse is not the first-ever water coaster at sea (that was the AquaDuck), but it is still a water coaster.  In order to get the media and potential new customers excited, Disney needed a way to make the AquaMouse sound completely new when they have something like it on the Dream-class ships.  So, the AquaMouse is an attraction at sea, while the AquaDuck isn't one.  It's good for companies to hype up something new, but calling the AquaMouse something that it's not is confusing and misleading.

Plus, there are so many other first-evers that the AquaMouse could've been called.  Riders will watch a Mickey Mouse cartoon, Scuba Scramble, on the ride up, and the AquaMouse is the first ever water coaster at sea to do that.  Disney should've just called the AquaMouse the 'first-ever water coaster at sea that has had a Mickey Mouse cartoon created exclusively for it'.  It's also the 'first-ever Port Misadventures excursion'.  We can't forget that it's also the 'first-ever DCL water coaster that doesn't require riders to walk up 70 steps'.  There were so many missed opportunities!  Disney could have at least called the AquaMouse the 'first-ever Disney attraction at sea that isn't really the first ever Disney attraction at sea, but we're saying that it is for marketing purposes'.  As long as it's true, anything would be better than 'the first-ever Disney attraction at sea.'

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