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RE: Dominion at Dusk 2014 (May 24th - August 31ts)

Evan, how did the new Starlight Spectacular compare to the old one? I didn't really notice any need for change (quite honestly, I loved the way it was done with the strung-up lights), so I really hope the new lighting effects improved the experience instead of de-proved. It is really hard to tell from the KDFans Instagram video. Was the music at least the same?

Edit: Oh, never mind. I don't understand why everyone always has to mess with perfection. :(

KDFans said:
I have to be honest here, but I was disappointed with this year’s setup. I see this as a major downgrade from last year. It has a more modern look, but the presence is just not like it was. Don’t get me wrong though, it still looks great, but all potential that it had is now gone. The trees are lit from below which leaves the tree tops very dark. The lights also cannot be seen from the Eiffel Tower, which helps show how much the top of the trees were under-lit.

Well....I broke my cardinal rule of NOT visiting KD on Saturdays, by visiting KD today. It was just my little Gal and I, and despite the crowds, we had alot of fun. I let her stay up extra late so that we could see the lights for this. I have a short and sweet review. Visually, this event is very cool! We were both in awe of all the flashing lights, and especially the fountain. There is a flaw however. Rave music was playing VERY loudly. The techno bass lines and screaming synthesizer tones were just too much. All the kids around the tower were freaking out coming off of their 8 hour sugar rush. We still tossed our pennies in the fountain and enjoyed it's splendor on our way out as usual. Just wish I had packed some ear plugs :)

Edit: Just so there's no mis-understanding, rave music creates absolutely no charm.
Wait... are you really saying they have replaced that uplifting, inspiring rock n' roll versions of Peanuts music with rave music? Are you serious? No, no, no, no, no, no, no.

You were doing so well KD... you were doing so well...

I was there Saturday night with my kid and walked through Starlight Spectacular twice. It's loud and not all rave music, there's some rock n' roll stuff too. One of the songs I tagged was #Selfie by The Chainsmokers (the instrumental version). Made me feel like I was in club. At least the lights were synced to the music.
coasterman00 said:
Made me feel like I was in club.

This exactly. The modern, rave music makes you feel like you are at a club. Exactly how does that make for a better park experience? I just do not understand why they would replace something so perfect with something so... lackluster. :(

Joe said:
This exactly. The modern, rave music makes you feel like you are at a club. Exactly how does that make for a better park experience? I just do not understand why they would replace something so perfect with something so... lackluster. :(

So if I read the top of the thread right, this is an event happening after 10pm? I'd assume they are targeting young adults and teens then. You shouldn't be shocked - this is what kids listen to. A lot. On top of that, if it's original music (which I doubt but it could be) then it is way more cost effective to hire one guy with a MacBook Pro and a set of ProTools than it is to hire a composer and a band, or an orchestra or some hybrid thereof.

I mean, let's be real here. It's not like central Virginia is some undiscovered bastion of arts and entertainment. KD is catering to what people want. And most people like bad music (of all kinds). Stand by the Intimidator 305 entrance long enough and you'll see what I mean.
I didn't see the Starlight Spectacular last year, but the club music didn't bother me really. I just wished they turned the volume down a notch or two.
Nic and ReggaeInMyJeggae, your point is well taken, and while I agree that people may enjoy such music, I don't see it as fitting the event. Don't get me wrong, club music can fit in some places, but in the past the music played was uplifting, cheerful, and exciting. Really the only thing exemplified with club music is the latter. I do not see what made last year's music "tedious." Also, as a teen, I can assure you that I do not listen to "club" music like this, nor do any of my friends, and hearing it at a theme park does not improve my experience. If anything, it cheapens it. Dominion at Dusk on International Street is one of the most epic, regal events I have ever seen. Especially considering the elegant adjustments done to the fountains, I feel like club music weakens the potential of the event.

Music seems like a weird issue because it makes such a huge difference on the experience of the park, but it seems like it could be changed easily, especially if they already have the rights to more fitting music. I wonder if it can actually be changed after the event starts. As Mazakman said, music like this creates no charm. Maybe there is still hope for change.

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Actually, as I have said before, I think music is a critical element, and for me one of the most powerful aspects of any event or theme.

I'm not taking sides on rock versus club. In fact, I would tend to favor neither. I prefer classical music (Romantic period) with my light shows. My point is that just because you felt that the music was "perfect" last year, doesn't mean everyone agrees with you. My assumption is that the park changed the music, based on feedback from somewhere. Maybe a majority of guests prefer the club music. Who knows. I do know that I find electronica much more energizing than rock. I like both, but if I am depressed, I need to listen to New Order to cheer me up.
Now, an important question to ask is if the music was actually changed. For all I know, the music choice is the same as in previous years (possibly with new additions). This video back from the event's inaugural season plays similar music to that of today. I have yet to visit in person to see how the music actually varies.

For all I know, the music is the same, but I am focused on what I consider "bad" instead of what I liked. What people like better is going to vary. Simply put, in my opinion, the more uplifting (almost elegant) music is what I prefer, based on the caliber of the event. At least in my opinion.

Well I saw the light show last night and I did enjoy both the displays and the music. I can't compare it to last year, but taken on its own merits I like what they did.
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It pains me to admit this, but my sister is correct. The music was great for the light show last night. (I will not comment on the the Peanuts crap everywhere...)

stupid dog...
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I have heard that the "Christmas lights" were having technical and syncing issues due to squirrels nawing on the cable cords during the off-season, so the park decided to replace that with LED light strobes which is more economic and not a bad hassle to maintain. I have seen both versions and the music is still the same (at least to me) and the Eiffel Tower is still lit up on all sides as always. The fountains were drop dead beautiful and it's great that the restoration has them "dancing" like they did in the 1970's.
So I was watching a video of the fountain show at Canada's Wonderland ("Starlight Spectacular: Illuminations of Water") and was reminded of the rumor that circulated around this time last year about KD getting a similar fountain show. We were almost certain KD would get an actual fountain show with dancing lights. Indeed there was plenty of evidence to support this rumor. What we saw in 2014 was not exactly what we were hoping for, though. While the fountains were still elegant, the new color choices were beyond beautiful, and the rising and falling motion of the water was amazing, I couldn't help but feel like the fountains were missing something.

I did some looking in to the fountain system installed at KD. It appears to be the exact same system as the one at Canada's Wonderland. In fact, the spacing of the fountains and position of the jets is exactly the same as used in the fountain show. Both systems appear to be made by Waltzing Waters, which Matt Oimett mentioned in an interview as a product he took great interest in at an IAAPA convention.

I thought of how every so often, one of the fountain jets at KD would come "loose" and the water would wiggle back and forth, making a large "S" shape. I found it bizarre that the pipes could come loose so easily, so I did some looking into CW's fountains and discovered that the jets have some sort of mechanical locking/unlocking mechanism that allows the jets to wiggle and create such a motion of water.

So, let's look at what we have so far: CW's fountains and KD's fountains are (presumably) by the same manufacturer (which specializes in fountain shows), they use the same system, and (perhaps by mistake) KD's fountains displayed some ability to dance like the ones at CW. Also, KD's fountains already do use some sort of "dancing" programming; and last year when Gene was still around, he alluded to the fountains being able to perform in a style similar to the ones at CW.

I wonder if our fountains truly do have the capability to "perform," and something fell through at the last minute and a show was never made for them. Maybe time, money, or technical constraints put off the production of a fountain show. However, my hypothesis is that our fountains have the ability to perform an actual show in a caliber similar to that of the Canada's Wonderland fountains. I could be totally off on this, but I believe it is possible. We might not see a fountain show this coming season, or the next, but I believe that if the park has the proper ambition, a show can be produced and performed.

What are everyone else's thoughts?
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