LETTERS  PCR #308      February 13--19, 2006)

  • Reader on 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea article (and ED Tucker's resposne)
  • Backbiter Dave on Autographs (with Nolan AND Ed's response)
  • Couch Potato In Exile

    Letters to the EditorWe welcome your feedback.


    I just read Ed Tucker's story about the 20K ride. I never went to Disneyland or Disney World as a child. But growing up in the late 60's and early 70's our family always watched Watched "Walt Disney Presents" and later "The Wonderful World of Color." On those shows we often saw Disneyland and the newly opened Walt Disney World on TV.

    The 20K Leagues ride was always featured on TV. I always wanted to ride on it. Finally, I finally went to the Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World for the first time in early 2002. We road on many of the rides I had always wanted to ride on (Pirates of the Caribbean, the Steam Railroad, Peter Pans Flight, The Haunted Mansion, and The River Boat).

    But I couldn't find 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea. I had told my son all about it and he was also looking forward to it. It finally dawned on me that the big beautiful blue but empty Lagoon was all that was left of it. We just came back the Christmas form our second trip there and saw that the area had been filled in and replaced with a silly play ground.

    I think removing this great ride is an insult to the memory of Walt Disney. It was a big part of Walt Disney's original vision of Disneyland and The Magic Kingdom in Flordia.

    Your article with its pictures was a little comfort and provided some information about the real story behind its closure. The link to 20K.com was great.

    Please let me know that you have read this and please feel free to forward this E-mail to anyone at Disney.

    Bill Dunn

    I did indeed read it and was moved enough to forward it on to the article's author, who has a few words to say, below. Thanks for writing! -- Nolan

    Thank you for the kind words about my article. One of my major considerations in publishing it was to get the facts of the destruction of this great ride out to the people who deserve to know them. I agree completely with your statement about removing it being an insult to the memory of Walt Disney and what he intended Walt Disney World to be. Ultimately replacing that wonderful lagoon with a boring playground was just the final slap in the face to anyone who enjoyed the ride. Unfortunately writing, calling, or E-mailing the Disney corporation about your dissatisfaction with the ride being gone will most likely only result in a waste of your time. The Disney of these times only understands the bottom line on their financial statements. I can't tell you how many times I have heard someone complain because they went to Walt Disney World only to find that the ride is now gone and completely forgotten. The only statement that might even begin to register with Disney is if these people started walking out, demanding their money back, and explaining to the people at the ticket counter it was because this ride was gone. Most people are not adamant enough in their convictions to do this but I for one, knowing the ride is gone and the circumstances under which it was removed and destroyed, will never set foot in the Tragic Kingdom again.

    - ED -


    Why would anyone pay for an autograph? More importantly, why would a celebrity charge for one? I'm at a loss. What did I miss? I don't care if it's a movie poster, or a high school student's notebook paper. It amounts to the same thing. It's a f*cking signature on a piece of paper. It means nothing at all. The work is what counts. Do you like David Carradine? Well, that's just fine. But watch Kung Fu, or Kill Bill if it means that much to you. Scribblings on a piece of papyrus? Nonsense. I will scrawl his name out on my toilet tissue, and you will never know the difference. Shameful!

    Dave (backbiter69 on the board)

    Thanks for writing! While I don't exactly agree with your obviously jaded view of this area of collectible, I must say, to me, celebrities are about to price themselves out of business, but that's just me. As long as opportunistic fans feel they can make a buck on eBay, they'll stand in line for however long it takes. Of course, the celebrities know this, too, and want their cut ahead of time. I remember a time when ALL autographs were free, but then again, we didn't have automatic online auctions then, either! Kinda spoiled the practice for the rest of us who just wanted a personal souvenir. ---Nolan

    I'm not sure if Dave intended to or not, but he brings up a very interesting question about celebrities charging for autographs and the reasoning behind why people pay for them. Even before the days of online sales, there were lists circulated among collector's that sold autographs so the phenomenon of people seeking out and paying for signatures just like any other type of collectible is not a new one. People often collect photos, newspaper articles, and magazines about their favorite celebrities so autographs are just a natural extension of this. Celebrity guests at shows were originally paid to be there and signed autographs for free if someone brought something for them to sign. In the early 90's, I first noticed that celebrities started selling their own photographs if you wanted to buy one but still signed anything you brought for free. Gradually this process began to change until it evolved into the "pay per signature" system in place today. I can't really say why most people who collect autographs do or why they are willing to pay for them other than to have a unique memento of a person they admire. I don't really consider myself an autograph collector because the only ones that mean anything to me are ones I have obtained in person. I usually have the person sign a piece of original memorabilia like a poster or record related to them that is already in my collection. I also have the signature personalized to me because I have no intent on reselling the item and profiting from their signature, only making a collectible more personal to me. I agree with you that celebrities are in danger of pricing themselves out of the market and many have already done so but, like so many other things, as long as there are people willing to pay the price, there will be someone waiting to sell it to them.

    - ED -


    Hello Readers,
    Couch Potato here, currently in exile from the US Government. I don't want Dick Cheney coming after me with his shotgun. I have finally found my true love/soulmate here in Interzone (picture below), and will be inviting everyone to the wedding as soon as preparations are made.

    Take care,
    Vinnie Blesi and fiancÚ.

    To send an email to Letters to the Editor write to: Crazedfanboy1@aol.com.  Any emails sent to this address will be assumed intended for publication unless you specifically instruct me not to. I can and do respond privately, if that is your preference. Frequently, it's both ways.---Nolan

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