I'm Kevin the creator of Defunctland - AMA

Done a few AMA's on the Facebook group. Never done one on the subreddit, so ask away if you're interested in BTS stuff or whatnot.

You've done umpteen videos about Eisner but you've only scratched the surface on his relationship with Katzenberg. Do you ever think you'll do a deep dive into it or do you think it's out of the scope of your channel?
It really doesn't come up that often given Katzenberg being 100% locked into the studio side of things. I think James Stewart's DisneyWar is actually a fantastic companion piece for Defunctland. The book has barely anything about the parks in it, but it is chapter after chapter of studio stuff.
Why hide behind Brad Pitt?
As I've said, I am not Brad Pitt. Just eerily similar, legally distinct, and noticeably waxy.
Most overrated and underrated ride
Most overrated ride, Peter Pan's Flight. Most underrated ride, Spaceship Earth.
What currently operational ride are you looking forward to being decommissioned so that you can do a feature on it?
P.S. Also, I went to Disney Quest when I was a little kid and loved it, but I couldn't understand why it was shut down. My parents said it was too expensive, but your video made it crystal clear! Brought back some great memories.
Well it's always bittersweet when something gets shut down. I would say Flight of Passage would make a very interesting video.
If you could see one franchise attempted by another park, which would it be? Example: Disney’s version of a Harry Potter area, Universal’s take on DC/Justice League.
Honestly, I would have loved to see Universal's take on Star Wars.
What has been your favorite story thus far?
I think the War for Disney's America has the most cinematic story of any of the episodes in the way that it progressed through 1994-1995. Most episodes don't have a story. They're just a series of events that I have to connect into a narrative.
Would you want to meet Michael Eisner? What would you say to him?
I'm not sure and I have no idea.
I just wanna say that I really enjoy your content! The whole show feels like something that you could find on TV, especially the Jen Henson episodes. It would be awesome if you got hired to do a Netflix show or something like that. I do have a couple questions though, do you do your own research? And do you have a team of people that help put the episodes together or is it just you?
Thanks! If you look in the credits of any video you can see who did what. I do the majority of the research on most episodes, but I have a writer, Kristin Beal, that does the research on her episodes (McDonald's, Berenstain Bears, Santa Parks, etc.). There is a lot of people that help put things together. On top of Patrons, Nate Begle, my audio guy, Corvyn Hartwick, my fact checker, John Lagerholm, my assistant editor, and a lot more.
In your opinion is Disney progressing towards its own Defunctland with its new IP-based lands in its parks (Pandora, SW:GE, Toy Story land) or is Disney simple doing what it must to survive?
I think the IP-based lands are a bad idea in the long run but sure do seem to be profitable now.
Is there an attraction you've done a video for already that you wish you could find more information on? Is there anything you've tried to do before but simply didn't have enough to research for a full video?
Thanks for all the entertainment and hard work you do!
I wish there was more out there for Hitchcock at Universal, and I think the one I can't make work is Arrcade on Disney Cruise Line.
whats your favorite Disney park?
In light of the new muppets episodes, who’s your favorite muppet?
Kermit. Always has been and always will be. I relate to him the most.
Ever check fan suggestions?
Mini episodes based on attractions from other countries aside USA and Canada?
Exactly, what gauged your interest on defunct park rides?
Yes I look at fan submissions. Season 2 we did a lot of episodes outside US. Always on the table, but definitely more of a focus for Season 2.
What got you interested in making videos on Theme/Amusement Parks in the first place? Have you always been an avid documentary fan in addition to theme park lover?
It was really a snowball. I was a wikipedia addict and a casual fan of the parks. I also have done film production for a while, always leaning toward documentary.
How often do you visit the parks? Do you chalk it up as “research for work” or just go for fun?
I try to make one trip to Disneyland a year and I live close to Orlando so I go often. I try to have fun but it's hard not to have ideas start going while I"m there.
What was your inspiration in making a virtual theme park based around old defunct rides?
I didn't really have an inspiration. I thought it would be cool.
Will we ever again be graced with as brilliant a cinematic parody masterpiece as War For Disney’s America?
If the right topic comes, absolutely.
Earliest theme park memory?
Crying because I didn't understand what Tomorrowland meant, I thought it meant the ride wasn't open until tomorrow
Something that I love about Defunctland is that you get into the business side of things for why things do/ don’t pan out. Is there an aspect of business (marketing, product strategy, negotiations/“office politics”) with regards to theme parks that you find the most interesting?
I think it's the openings. Whether they go big or go small. It always seems to work the exact opposite than they intend it to.
Why did you leave Jennifer Anniston for Angelina Jolie?
That was Brad Pitt, I am a mere wax resemblance.
Do you realize how iconic your voice is at this point?
Haha, for better or worse, I think a certain group of people would recognize it out of context
As someone who's also grown up on World's of Fun (because let's face it, Kansas has nothing), it was awesome to see an episode on a park I know!
Is there a ride that isn't defunct that you've ever wanted to cover, just because of how cool it was? And if so, why?
I think the Pony Express at Knott's is just really interesting especially seeing the ride type more prominently recently.
Do you watch other ThemeParkTube channels?
Sort of. If they send me something to review, or if I just put it on autoplay. I listen to park loops more than anything.
Face reveal when? XD
Love your videos! Your multi-part Jim Henson doc was simply sublime.
The reveal of the top of the material vessel that I am currently using looks more like Chris O'Dowd, which is why I constructed the sentient wax Brad Pitt as a new permanent host. Just haven't taken it out in the sun yet for obvious reasons. And thanks!
Is defunct land (and YouTube in general) your end goal or do you have more conventional film making projects in mind?
I believe that there is an unknown future of distribution for filmmakers like me. My end goal is to continuing to create things, and hopefully finding a way to do that.
Yo your channel has the most well produced documentary type content I've seen on YouTube, and I really appreciate you doing the Jim Henson mini series.
I also have a topic suggestion for a video: Marineland, in Niagara Falls, Canada. There's a large history of animal abuse at the park, and the park's owner was not very nice, to say the least.
This would be worth it for a parody of the park's commercial jingle alone.
Adding onto this comment with Ontario Place, which shut down almost a decade ago and is literally abandoned, except for the massive Imax theatre.
Hey Kevin, thanks for all the top quality content you provide. Other than the internet, what resources do you use to do your research?
I use the internet of yesterday. Newspapers. Lots and lots of newspapers. I also will buy books and read them. I think I read around 4 books for the Henson series.
As a kid, were you a fan of some of the rides and TV shows that you have covered while doing the series?
Probably half and half. Some of the shows have been after my time and I never had a chance to ride some of the rides, but the Henson series in particular was very personal for me.
Any chance on a Gwazi episode?
Anything is possible
If you could spend a day at any theme park on any date past or present, what park and what day would you pick?
Will you do anything more regarding Henson and the Muppets?
I'm sure eventually, but not for a bit.
Do you have any recommendations for books on Jim Henson? Your series was phenomenal. If you’re ever in NYC you should see the Museum of Moving Image exhibit on him
Brian Jay Jones Biography on Jim
Thank you for your work! We love watching your videos in my household, and I recommend them all the time. I see you mentioning you’d like to experiment and branch out with other topics. Good luck and I hope you go for it!
Thanks so much!
If you can resurrect one defunct ride but you have to sacrifice one ride you love what would it be.
I would sacrifice Spaceship Earth for Horizons and Test Track for Journey.
I guess this is more broad, but what are your feelings on the reign of Bob Iger so far?
You can answer more about the parks projects under him or about the direction of the company in general if you like
It's too early to tell. He's either a short term genius or a long term genius. I think short term.
I picked a good time to check this sub. I, like many others, came from the Nick Hotel video. What was going through your mind in the next couple of days watching that video explode and becoming your most viewed video in not much longer than a week?
It was awesome! I hope it happens again some day. Happy cake day by the way!
Big fan of your videos! I love your voice, I would pay you to read the phone book to me.
Thank you!
Where the hell do you get all your information? Your stuff is insanely thoroughly researched. How in the world do you know things like "X fixture was appropriated into the Y part of this other ride"?
Lots and lots of newspapers and books and message boards (with fact checking). Happy cake day by the way!
What inspired you to start your channel?
Just for fun, and to make some short documentary type content. Also Jake from BSF.
What inspired you to talk about TV shows? Is there any other type of experience you'd like to potentially cover in the future?
I wanted to branch the channel out, because it started to become this thing that was "oh cool it's a little channel about theme parks" to a channel that can do historical retrospectives on culture. The diversification has helped a lot with the channel's image. And I'd love to do a series on defunct Broadway musicals.
What where the easiest and hardest episodes to make and which is your favorite
I think the hardest episode to make was Okefenokee in terms of what to show, my favorite to make was Disney's America.
How do you choose which attractions/TV shows to talk about on your channel?
From here on out, it's going to be increasingly how to tell a bigger story, so what fits and what doesn't. Then in between those bigger miniseries doing fan voted episode like I did for McDonald's, Bears, and now Dragon Tales.
How do you feel about Universal's newest park: Epic Universe?
No feelings because so little was announced
eww, is that the confirmed name?
It seems like you take a lot of time and put a ton of work into your videos. Sorry if this has been asked before, but is this your full time job? Or just a side gig/hobby?
This is my full time job, but I also do other jobs/things.
What gives you the right to dunk on my local theme park?
Because it is my local theme park too
Hello! Long time listener, 1st time caller.
How much did you cry while putting together the last part of the Henson series?
Is there another mini-series like Henson's in the future?
And I want to thank you for having The Monster Plantation on a series. My stepfather was a cop in Cobb Cty and would work security at six flags in the summer on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday from '83-'88. I would spend most of my days at six flags in the monster plantation. Riding over and over again.
It had air and GA is hot as hell in the summer. I knew every single word from beginning to end. I studied those monsters. I'll never forget the smell, such a distinctive smell that I can't compare to anything else I've ever come across.
Went back to six flags a couple of years ago, it's not the same ride anymore. It no longer has that odd foreboding feeling to the monsters.
If you could ride any ride from anywhere or anytime all day for 5 summers what would it be?
I cried a lot. Yes, season 3 of Defunctland. Flight of Passage.
No question, just wanted to say thank you for all of your hard work and dedication to the YouTube videos. It is can’t miss content and I sincerely appreciate it. If you ever suffer burnout and shut it all down, I’ll still look back fondly for providing me with such great history lessons from Michael Eisner, to Jim Henson, to all of the various rides and attractions. Thanks for everything Kevin and be well.
Thank you!
What are the chances of a book on Disneyland, Epcot or the other Disney Parks?
Although the book didn't break a ton of new ground with me, it did have a lot of nostalgic value to me when I was a disney fan as a kid. I got to discover Tokyo Disney Sea and Disneyland in the last decade and it brought back my enthusiasm for the parks. I'd love to hear any insider info on the other parks and not just stop at the Magic Kingdom.
I have absolutely loved the series, yours are an instant watch when they come up on my feed.
I'd probably do one on Epcot next if I did one.
Your Henson series might be my favorite work of yours. Ever consider doing that for another creator?
Possibly, Season 3 of Defunctland is about a concept in a similar format
Big fan of your stuff, man! DefunctTV was a great addition to the lineup of content you make - is there any other medium or kind of content you’d want to talk about, but haven’t had the chance to?
Failed musicals
What’s your fondest memory of Worlds of Fun?
Hurting my back on the Timberwolf
I wanted to say thank you for all your work. It has perfectly described my obsession with theme parks and I love DefunctTV.
If you could see one of the untouched original ride ideas at any Disney park become a movie or series in the same way Pirates of the Caribbean did, what would you want to see and why?
Journey Into Imagination because it'd be amazing
I was wondering if there are any abandoned attractions that are no longer in use but are still standing that have interested you? Or you've thought about making a video on? I've always thought theme parks and rides deserted is a surreal oddity. Love the show by the way, it's one of my favorite series on YouTube.
Nothing comes to mind, but I also find them fascinating
What’s up with the wax Brad Pitt avatar?
Answered above
With things such as defunctland have you ever thought of recreating the rides in Minecraft to 3-dimensionally experience them (of course with the limitations of blocks)? I’m a builder and do a lot of Disney related projects, and have always been curious about if that’d work as a recreation,
Not in Minecraft no, but I know a lot of people have built some pretty cool things.
Have you considered monetizing, like a youtube series or a candle website endorsement?
We are monetized, and we do have a candle website endorsement!
That was oddly specific
What is your favorite Henson film? TV show? As a lifelong fan, thank you so much for that series. It meant so much to me and brought me to tears more than once.
Muppet Movie and Muppet Show. I know that's generic but they're the best.
What do you think about
Screw them
What do you think the future holds,for ET? Will you ever do a theme park injuries video?
I will never do a theme park injuries video. Sometimes they come up naturally, but I feel that is exploitative as an end itself.
Thanks for all the great content!
What’s your favorite scent at Disney World e.g. Pirates or F.O.P?
How would you fix The imagination pavilion?
I think Polynesian
What are some parks that you want to get to?
Cedar Point
What inspired you to create the channel, and what’s your opinion on the DisTwitter accounts? Do you have a few favorites?
I was a wikipedia addict with an interest in extinct things. And I don't follow any specific DisTwitter accounts that I can think of besides friends
What is a ride that you've made a video about that you would've most wanted to go on?
Probably Astroworld in general
I was a documentary filmmaker with an interest in theme parks, so it was a natural combination
I just wanted to say thanks for all the hard work you and your team have put into all the Defunctland videos, I've enjoyed watching all of them since the beginning
I love all the original music for the videos especially the DefunctTV theme and the Jim Henson mini-series theme, is there any chance of releasing all the original music used as maybe a sort-of soundtrack>
Possibly, we just put Bear Country on Spotify and iTunes!
where'd the idea for the jim henson series come from? any plans to make a similar series on someone else?
I loved Brian Jay Jones's book and thought an anthology DefunctTV series would be an interesting way to jump from point to point in Jim's life.
What happened to the Podcast! I loved your podcast so much, but the uploads stopped with season three! there is still so much to discuss. I even liked the old format before you changed it up, the messier approach. Its really a great thing to listen to in the background
More podcasts are coming!
What is your favorite individual episode, and are there any things you specifically don’t want to do?
Disney's America, and I really don't want to do parades.
What amusement park and ride do you have the fondest memories of from your childhood?
Sorry if this is a repeat question but are you still making the vr defunctland area or has the project been scrapped?
Yes we're making it
I have done that, it's most of Season 2 of Defunctland.
Is Epcot worth going to now, or should I wait a couple of years? I've been there before, but it's been a good 14-15 years.
It's interesting. I'd wait til D23 to see what will change and what will stay the same.
If you had to choose something else to base your channel on, what would it be?
Good question, I'm not sure. History in general?
Excited for the upcoming announced Nintendo Land parts of Universal?
What do you think is generally believed to be the most haunted ride you’ve come across ? (Not saying it is, just most believed to be)
Haunted? Not sure, I haven't done many with that. And I don't really play video games so I am generally excited for Nintendo Land
So sorry if this has already been asked but are you planning on restocking hard copies of your book? My boyfriend wants one for his birthday but I can’t find one anywhere. We love your videos! Big fans! Thanks for the hard work and consistent content.
Is season three going to be a continuation of season two (IE, what happened after Eisner) or an entirely different concept?
Entirely different
Will you ever do lesser known Halloween amusement events?
Hi Kevin,
Being a viewer from the UK, I really loved your piece on The Black Hole/Alton Towers. Have you considered doing any more videos on UK theme parks? (Camelot in Lancashire was a theme park that’s completely abandoned now and has a lot of history for example.)
I appreciate your audience is likely primarily US-based but this would be really fun to see!
Keep up the amazing work 👌
Love your name
will DefunctTV be limited to exclusively family-friendly productions or is there potential for shows aimed at older audiences to be featured in it?
Is making the channel your full time job? Also when approximately will season 3 begin?
Essentially and September
What is your biggest Disney park pet peeve?
Also just wanted to say that my family loves your videos. My 9 year old son is a huge fan, he loves Disney, documentaries, and youtube so your videos are his favorite things to watch. Thank you!
What inspired you to do the Jim Henson series (which was amazing btw) and are you considering doing another series like it? If so, about who?
Brian's book on Jim, and Season 3 of Defunctland will be very similar to the Jim Henson series, but more about an idea rather than a person.
Which exisitng park that you haven't visited would you most like to check out?
Cedar Point
Thanks so much!
What happened to staycation club?
We have moved onto the project and will be uploading the content to another channel
What do you think about galaxy’s edge so far?
Rumors are that they're already considering rebranding it.
Sorry I don’t have a good question but I just wanted to say thank you for making such great content! I’ve always been interested in theme parks but your show boosted it up to a full on obsession and inspired me to consider theme park design as a potential career!
I loved your appearance on podcast the ride, and practically fell out of my chair when j saw Lindsay Ellis did a voice for one of your episodes. Any chance you could do a longer collab with her?
What caused you to go the route of covering parks and rides of yester year or did you try to do something else on youtube that didnt stick and this was a backup plan?
I saw you mention that you listen to park loops, what are some of your favorites? (Love the content by the way, thank you for all the work you put in!)
What non Disney related channels do you watch on youtube?
What has your YouTube experience been like so far?
Any chance of podcast episodes based on the muppets?
Hey Kevin, love the show. I’ve seen/heard you say that theme based lands are a bad idea before. I have read a few articles pointing out that some of the Disney theme based lands (Avatar, Star Wars) are kind of nondescript when it comes to actually being themed to their respective universes. They could easily take the major landmarks out of Star Wars (the Millenium Falcon, etc.) and make it something else from what an article I read made me understand. Avatar might be a bit more work because of the floating mountains. On the other hand, Toy Story land and Cars land are huge outliers in that regard. Do you think Disney would ever strip these areas of their distinct theming and take them in another direction? If so, what would the timeline for that be?
What do you think the future of theme parks is? How would you stay true to the spirit of the original ideas that were WDW and Universal etc.? And will they ever fix my beautiful imagination institute ?
Love everything about the channel and videos. Keep up the great work!!!
How likely are you to respond to this question thirteen hours after you posted this ama?
Are you going to work with yesterworld again? Also what episode was the best to research?
Crunchy or Creamy Peanut Butter?
I have watch your channel since the alien encounter video and I love it. My one question is what got you into wanting to make these wonderfuly made documentary type videos
Thank you for what you do!
Will you do an episode on Star Trek: The Experience in Las Veags?
Hi Kevin! Love your stuff so far. I've been a fan of your content for only a few months but have successfully fallen into loving your content and other Theme Park YouTubers. Ever since I watched the Eastern Airlines video, I've been curious towards probably the most trivial pieces of trivia I could think up. In 1972's WDW, we had If You Had Wings, but was replaced by If You Could Fly, then Delta Dreamflight, then Disney's Take Flight, and now Buzz Lightyear's Space Ranger Spin. Is that plot of land the most replaced area of Walt Disney World as of 2019? Admittedly I haven't looked into it further, so I'm probably wrong.
If you could have anyone as a guest on your podcast who would it be?
Also do you have any plans to talk about 6 flags great adventure? There are plenty of defunct rides there, as well as the tragic haunted house disaster.
You’re one of my favorite YouTube channels and probably the most well produced one I’ve seen
What's your favorite piece of Disney parks music? Currently in the parks as well as previously in the parks.
Zambezi Zinger or Orient Express?
Hey Kevin would you consider doing a video on the rise and fall of paramount Parks
Not a question, but thanks for doing Defunctland!
Hiiiii Kevin. Anyways, what is your favorite Disney ride, favorite universal ride, and least favorite for both?
Can you do an episode on the ride at the old Star Trek experience in Vegas? Or the old Star Trek show at Universal? Thanks! Oh my wife and I love your channel!
I love watching your series and I just wanted to say thank you for all the amazing amusement park stories. It almost makes up for all the things I missed experiencing as a child.
Would you consider doing an episode on Six Flags AutoWorld? I wasn't born yet when it was still around but I used to have family that lived in Flint who told me about it. I'm curious to hear your thoughts on it.
What was your favorite interview so far?
What is the most horrifying part of Tales of the Okefenokee?
Whats you favorite operating ride, and your favorite defunct ride?
Are there going to be any new episodes of debunkedland?
I don't really have a question, I just want to compliment your work! I was recommended your video on Action Park and I've been hooked ever since!
My favorite episodes are definitely "The War for Disney's America" and "Space Mountain: From Earth to the Moon."
I love how your videos tell a story as well as give us information.
Keep up the good work!
Soooo... Is the VR thing dead or...?
As has been stated countless times including a recent post on this subreddit, it’s still happening. Progress is slow, no updates at the moment