jason surrell

“Walt liked the idea of the storytelling tableaux. But he said, ‘You can’t tell a story from beginning to end without a climax, as in a film, if you’re moving.’”

– Marc Davis, Imagineer

I pulled this quote from Jason Surrell’s descriptive, illustrative, well-adjectived book, Pirates of the Caribbean, from the Magic Kingdom to the Movies. A few pages later, Surrell says:

“The Burning Town scene is a fitting climax to the grandest theme park spectacle Walt Disney and his Imagineers had ever created. In some respects, it was the only way they could end the show. After all the wonders the guests had just experienced, there was nothing they could possibly do to top themselves other than burn their set to the ground, just as Atlanta had burned in Gone with the Wind.”

Wait a minute.

Walt Disney says that rides “can’t tell a story from beginning to end without a climax,” yet “the grandest theme park spectacle Walt Disney and his Imagineers had ever created” has “a fitting climax?”

“It was the only way they could end the show?”

Nossir, no structure here. No stories to see. Move along.