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  • Your Thoughts on Disneyland post 1984 (The New Era)

    For those who have been around Disneyland for a long time, pre-1985, how did it feel going into a new era under the Eisner/Wells regime? From 1955-1984, Disneyland roughly stayed the same, not much changed after Walt had passed and not many memorable attractions were gone (save for COP and Natures Wonderland). The feel was very much Classic Disney, then comes 1985. I will describe what changes happened in the first 10 years of this new era, the good and the bad, of course.

    In 1985, the first significant change into a new hip Disney was Videopolis, an 80’s dancing paradise for teens. The Haunted Mansion saw a live actor in a knight suit and the 30th anniversary celebration saw spectacular prizes being given out for the 30th guest each day as well as the gift-giver extrordinaire. The Main Street Electrical Parade returns after a three year absence with four new floats. The Submarines are repainted and renamed. The Frontierland Shooting Gallery got new laser technology and an entirely new scene. A Disneyland favorite (Adventure thru Inner Space) closes forever.

    1986 came and brought Captain EO, a lavish 17 minute 3-D space music video starring Michael Jackson and effects never seen in a 3D theater before. The Totally Minnie parade showed the cool side of Minnie. Circus Fantasy, the first of many (corny IMO) promotions debuts. Big Thunder Ranch opens providing a walkway from Frontierland to Fantasyland. The Character Shop closed and was replaced by Star Traders. Country Bear Vacation Hoedown takes over the original Country Bear Jamboree show. Half of Mary Blair’s ceramic mural displays are taken down in Tomorrowland. The Golden Horseshoe Revue starting Disney legend Betty Taylor has its final show since premiering in 1955 and is replaced with the Golden Horseshoe Jamboree.

    1987 oversaw Star Tours, the first non Disney film to have an attraction at Disneyland and the first motion simulator ride. The PeopleMover got a new white paint job along with some C-3PO narration during the new star tours scene. Tony Baxter’s passion project, The Disney Gallery opened above Pirates providing an outer queue for the ride as well. Disney Dollars made their debut. The Mark V monorail trains replace the former 1967 versions. Another promotion, The State Fair debuts at Disneyland.

    In 1988, another (cheesy) promotion, Blast from the Past comes to the park. Bear Country is renamed Critter Country. The Mickey Mouse 60th Birthday parade premiers. Fantasyland brings back it’s railroad station after 22 years. America Sings closes its doors forever at the Carousel Theater.

    1989 debuted Splash Mountain, a true Disneyland E-Ticket that uses America Sings’ animatronics. The original Disneyland marquee outside the park is replaced. Disneyland Presents A Preview of Coming Attractions closes its doors. Videopolis debuts its first signature stage show, Walt: One Man’s Dream.

    1990 claims Disneyland’s 35th anniversary with the Party Gras parade as well the prize giving Dream Machine. The forgettable Dick Tracy and the Diamond Double-Cross debuts at the Videopolis theater. Dumbo is replaced with a version meant for Disneyland Paris adding six more elephants.

    1991 sees yet another promotion in the form of the Disney afternoon avenue which retools Autopia and Motor Boat Cruise. The Talespin Plane Crazy show takes up residency at Videopolis and shortly after, Mickey’s Nutcracker takes its spot for the holiday season. The short lived Celebration U.S.A parade comes to Disneyland.

    In 1992, the park gets its biggest entertainment show yet, Fantasmic!. The World According to Goofy parade strolls down Main Street. The Haunted Mansion adds Piano Ghost scene. Storybook Land adds modern classics such as The Little Mermaid and Aladdin as well as a repainted and more sophisticated looking Monstro. Fantasyland Railroad station is redesigned to Toontown Depot. Beauty and the Beast gets a stage show at Videopolis. Mattel sponsors it’s a Small World and brings a new pastel color palette used in Disneyland Paris. Mission to Mars closes it’s doors forever.

    In 1993, Disneyland’s eighth land Mickey’s Toontown opens to the public. Motor Boat Cruise closes forever and is replaced by Fantasia Gardens. Aladdin’s Royal Caravan premiers and is the first of many Disney animated feature parades. The Tahitian Terrace closes and is replaced by Aladdin’s Oasis. Blaine Gibson’s “Partners” statue is placed in the middle of the Hub. The Haunted Mansion got a new cemetery.

    1994 brings Roger Rabbit’s Car Toon Spin to it’s newest land. The popular Lion King Celebration parade makes it’s debut. Billie and the Hillbillies replaces the Golden Horseshoe Jamboree show. Jungle Cruise is slightly shortened and receives a new queue. Adventureland goes through a 1930’s re-theming to accommodate Indiana Jones the following year. The Mike Fink Keelboats close down (not being brought back till 1996). The Skyway closes forever. Matterhorn receives new scene with Frank Wells tribute.

    1995 brings the much anticipated 40th Anniversary and the highlight is it’s newest E-Ticket, Indiana Jones Adventure. The Haunted Mansion receives a Hearse in the queue. Space Mountain gets FedEx sponsorship and adds new queue video and animatronic robot. The Spirit of Pocahontas show replaces Beauty and the Beast at Videopolis. The PeopleMover closes for good.

    Most of us are aware of what the next ten years were like, how did you feel going into this new Disneyland scene, was it unsettling, exciting, etc?
    Last edited by MAC1986; 07-20-2020, 10:25 PM.

  • #2
    I grew up as this era was dying.

    The Cons are we lost a lot of none IP's and unique rides (PM and Skyway).

    The Pro's are the parks now have a lot of great rides and DCA has improved to be a very worthy second park. The era of like 2000-2010 were the dark years bad clone rides like Winnie the Pooh, and cheap rides like Monsters Inc (yes its better than what was here but it could be so much better)
    and DCA 1.0 (which I like parts of like Soarin but overall just wasn't that great of a park) but once WOC and Carsland opened we have seen some small improves to the parks like Snow white getting some great new effects, Star Tours 2.0, and Star Warsland while not perfect having one of the best E ticket rides EVER made.
    Happy Halloween!!!

    Comment


    • #3
      One thing I don’t understand was the media always made it seem that the park was becoming stale by 1984. In the seven years prior, there was so much happening between 1977 and 1983. 1977 saw Space Mountain, the park’s first state of the art video arcade (Starcade), the Superspeed Tunnel and the new space stage. 1978 brought a new Matterhorn adding ice caverns and the Abdominal Snowman. 1979 added Big Thunder Mountain, within those three years, there was plenty of new thrills. 1980 saw a big 25th anniversary celebration. 1982 added The World of Tron to the Peoplemover and a year later a brand new beautiful Fantasyland complete with a new ride and a handful of updated rides. That’s a lot of growth in six years. Hmmm, that’s no dryspell in my book.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by MAC1986 View Post
        One thing I don’t understand was the media always made it seem that the park was becoming stale by 1984. In the seven years prior, there was so much happening between 1977 and 1983. 1977 saw Space Mountain, the park’s first state of the art video arcade (Starcade), the Superspeed Tunnel and the new space stage. 1978 brought a new Matterhorn adding ice caverns and the Abdominal Snowman. 1979 added Big Thunder Mountain, within those three years, there was plenty of new thrills. 1980 saw a big 25th anniversary celebration. 1982 added The World of Tron to the Peoplemover and a year later a brand new beautiful Fantasyland complete with a new ride and a handful of updated rides. That’s a lot of growth in six years. Hmmm, that’s no dryspell in my book.
        It might have to do more with the Company at that point, movies around that time were fine but most weren't what we got when Walt was around or later int he 90's.
        While the Tron Tunnel to me isn't a big add on paper...I remember that from when i was a small child. So I can't argue that it didn't not leave an impression.

        Also thinking about it if I remember right around that time WDW was having lots of creative troubles so maybe the narrative is just kinda lazy and instead of saying what wasn't working they lump Disneyland in there just because.
        Happy Halloween!!!

        Comment


        • #5
          Disneyland was constantly being improved throughout that 1966-1984 era with minimal losses - though some of those minor changes were subject to debate even at the time (Sleeping Beauty Castle Diorama change to the "doll'' format, loss of Nature's Wonderland and loss of Indian Village to Bear Country, loss of Keel Boats). Haunted Mansion was a smash, Country Bear Jamboree too, American Sings and America on Parade not so much. Space Mountain and Big Thunder were highly appreciated additions to the park in the late 70s, along with the Abominable improvements to Matterhorn - as this upped the roller coaster count from I to 3 and broadened the park's appeal. Big Thunder trail itself was a big hit, opening crowd flow "the back way" without a trip back to the hub. New Fantasyland was received with honors by all (save the loss of the Pirate Ship - which was sad) and The Main Street Electrical Parade became a don't miss heartfelt tradition. The park was still "pure" Disney culture through-and-through at that time.

          Then things got controversial... Eisner's kids didn't like Disneyland so he set out to change the atmosphere with "modern" additions. On-the-cheap painted pasteboard cutouts were added to Motor Boat Cruise and Small World Way to create Gummy Gulch and Disney Afternoon Avenue (also inspired by Eisner's kids) from the cheesy TV shows (which were already controversial from an animation perspective - as in-Studio quality had always been top notch until then and the TV Animation division by its very existence ruined that). Then there were tacky themed seasonal events like Circus and State Fair that put an overlay on the park such as a Ferris wheel plopped in front of the castle - making DL seem like a back woods amusement park. Main Street was given an overhaul to make the interiors "mall like'' with crowd flow all down the street - which irreparably changed the historic small town stores vibe and we lost the apothecary, ice cream parlor etc. The big change came with Lucas and Star Tours & Captain Eo which altered the Disney vibe entirely - though Tomorrowland was starting to feel tired at the time, this change added 2 popular of-the-moment attractions, but took away several timeless favorites including the much lamented Marty Blair Murals and Adventure Thru Inner Space (no one really missed Mission to Mars) and the outdoor space stage - which had also begun to host 3-D movies at night with Magic Journey from Epcot. Splash Mountain was exciting for those of us that loved Song of the South, but it's location in (what was) Bear Country never seemed to make sense, further cartooning the once virgin Frontier - and an odd choice if only because Splash could easily have been located in Big Thunder Ranch where it would have provided a seamless transition between Fantasyland and Frontierland. The fact that Splash was the first off-the-shelf ride from an outside company, only themed by Imagineering, also was subject to behind the scenes controversy. Videopolis and the tent were highly disapproved of as they belonged in Tomorrowland not Fantasyland. At some point big name performers/concerts were also phased out. So throughout that period there were positive additions but a ramping up of Disney cultural shift from old world magic makers to new corporate raiders. Indiana Jones - also popular attraction but another step outside the Disney vibe.

          Then the bottom dropped out with Fantasmic! forever changing the frontier crowds and the peaceful nighttime cruises of Rivers of America. Then the loss of Skyway and PeopleMover and Swiss Family Treehouse and and the obscene Tomorrowland 98 which ruined Disneyland to this day with its awful legacy -- then the loss of the parking lot and DCA and... closure of the subs and Country Bears, cheap Pooh, Starbucks, etc... all downhill from there.

          For me, the best moment for Disneyland was about 1985 when Alice opened and completed the new Fantasyland and Tomorrowland was still as it was from the late 70s. And The Disneyland Hotel was still operated by Wrather corp and a few belts were only a Monorail trip away. You could still park out front and run for your sweater late in the day. There was a sweet spot. I'll never forget the simple joys of flying high above Tomorrowland on the Rocket Jets or over the Electrical Parade route on the Skyway, gazing at Walt's formal and work offices on display in Opera House, or those blissful nighttime rides on the Mark Twain...

          Growing up one of my greatest dreams was to be able to go to Disneyland whenever I wanted and I achieved that in the early 80's and until the late 90's it was mostly bliss, as Walt's Disneyland slowly faded away.
          Last edited by merlinjones; 05-26-2020, 08:19 AM.

          Comment


          • #6
            merlinjonesWhat was the behind the scenes controversy behind Splash?

            Also, I believe Videopolis was intended to be in Tomorrowland because originally it was going to be called Galaxy, but things changed.

            Don’t forget the ball of death with the motorcycle in front of the castle during Circus Fantasy lol.

            Comment


            • #7
              MAC: The only Splash controversy was what I mentioned - It would never, ever be a big deal today --- but the fact that Splash Mountain was built over a prefab water drop ride designed by an outside company raised eyebrows (with insiders), back in the day when things were done "a certain way" (see also TV Animation and Tween Disney Channel). BTW - Song of the South was considered a beloved classic in the 1980s so there was absolutely no controversy re: the theme of the ride (no matter what you've read, the movie only became a hot potato after the execs decided to suppress it in the 90s).

              Yes, Videopolis would have been great in the Space Stage at Space Mountain - but...

              And yes again, the Ball of Death in the Hub - like the Ferris Wheel - was cause for fainting spells among the faithful (pre-internet, mind you).

              But we were right about one thing.... it was all ''a slippery slope!'' ; )
              Last edited by merlinjones; 05-26-2020, 08:30 AM.

              Comment


              • #8
                The park peaked during the early 90's. '89 to up until '94 we had had all the great rides: People Mover, Rocket Jets, Skyway, Star Tours, and Splash Mountain all operating at the same time. The only thing missing was Indy, but we lost the People Mover and Skyway and started a downward trend in '95. In addition, we also started to lose the original vision of Toontown which had a moving trolley, a real bounce house, a long slide from a tree house into a ball pit, and promise of more to come.

                This does not mean it's broken forever. Some of these things can and will be fixed, but it's likely to take an extended amount of time at this point.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Pre Eisner days still had a number of Walts hires working in the parks. Especially in management and a premium was placed on customer service. Eisner ushered in the end of that era with a carnival type atmosphere with motorcycles in the parks and other foolishness. But still you had lots of far better paid employees in the parks in Eisner's time thus better service all around and guests went home happy more often than not.

                  But with that said, Esiner's cost cuts ended up literally killing people which made it truly the darkest days in the history of Disneyland.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I think there are more than 2 phases to consider. Below is how I’ve understood the evolution of the park. I’m sure I’m missing some points, and some highlights for me are low points for others. Feel free to append.

                    1955 - 1967 : The Walt Years
                    This is where we have Walt’s original vision (I included 1967 since he had green lit Pirates and Tomorrowland while still alive)

                    Highlights:
                    -The Park itself and opening year originals
                    -1959 Growth
                    -1964 World’s Fair and its contribution to the park
                    -New Orleans Square
                    -New Tomorrowland

                    Low Points:
                    -Not everything was ready opening day
                    -Mickey Mouse Circus




                    1968 - 1984 : The Post Walt Years
                    Here is where the Imagineers who were still around during the Walt years moved forward, trying to do what they thought Walt would want.

                    Highlights:
                    -Haunted Mansion
                    -Space Mountain
                    -Big Thunder Mountain RR
                    -New Fantasyland

                    Low Points:
                    I honestly can’t think of any




                    1984 - 1994: The Frank Wells Years
                    New growth and new ideas. The original Imagineers are retiring and a new generation are taking over. Chances were taken, and were mostly successful.

                    Highlights:
                    -My formative years in the park (Personal Highlight)
                    -Star Tours
                    -Splash Mountain
                    -Mickey’s Toontown
                    -Indiana Jones Adventure (development started in 93)

                    Low Points:
                    -Disney Afternoon additions




                    1994 - 2002: The Pressler Years
                    It is a dark time in the park. Cheap cheap cheap is the name of the game.

                    Highlights:
                    -Haunted Mansion Holiday overlay
                    -Addition of DCA
                    -Addition of Downtown Disney
                    -Growing from a park to a resort

                    Low Points:
                    -Tomorrowland 1998
                    -DCA poor quality
                    -Overall Quality
                    -Closure of Subs




                    2005 - 2019: The Bob Iger years
                    A new commitment to quality in the parks

                    Highlights:
                    -These are the years I started bringing my kids to the parks (Personal Highlight)
                    -DCA redesign
                    -CarsLand
                    -Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage
                    -Improvements to Alice & Peter Pan
                    -Redesign to Sleeping Beauty Castle Walkthrough
                    -Hatbox Ghost
                    -Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge

                    Low Points:
                    -A reliance on existing IP for new ideas
                    -Pixar Pier
                    Last edited by Mike_M; 05-27-2020, 08:02 AM.
                    Mike_M

                    Disneyland Trips
                    Walt Disney World
                    Disneyland Paris

                    1980, 1982, 1984, 1986, 1987, 1989
                    1990, 1992, 1993

                    2000, 2001, 2006, 2007, 2009
                    2010, 2011, 2014, 2016, 2016, 2017, 2/2019, 11/2019
                    2020

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      For me, the post 1984 addition that resonated most for me was Splash Mountain.

                      I do like the redesign of the Castle, he Hatbox addition to Mansion, and the refurbishment of Fantasyland. I know the latter was just prior to the '84 cut-off mentioned in the title of this thread, but it was something I certainly enjoyed as a final product, post '84. And I thought they did a beautiful job keeping it in line with how Walt originally perceived it to be. (Though I do miss the pirate ship!).

                      I wasn't a huge fan of Mickey's Toontown....would have preferred seeing it as an extension of Fantasyland, what with the great animated features they were continuing to turn out. DCA, pre- and post-refurbishment has really done little for me. I mean, it's not bad since it's revitalization, but it just doesn't resonate with me like Disneyland does.

                      I think both Indiana Jones and Star Tours are great attractions and could have been done nicely with non-IP themes.

                      But post-84, with the new leadership, that's what we would start to see more of.
                      Eisner was a movie/TV guy, and his talents didn't lie in the theme park division of entertainment. Nor was it really his interest.
                      Conversely, Walt was just unique. An inspiration. Not just another movie/TV exec. He too started as a movie/TV guy, but he had a talent and level of creativity that went beyond that.

                      It can't be denied though that bringing Star Wars in was big for Eisner because it got attention on the park again, and fast! It drew in a lot more people, in a rapid manner, that maybe it wouldn't have, had it just been a generic trip on board a flight simulator into space.

                      Similarly, the Indiana Jones connection brought in an extra grouping of fan that a generic Jeep adventure into the bush of the Congo might not have accomplished.

                      So did Disney really need Star Wars and Indiana Jones? Clearly, the addition of Space, the refurbishment of the Matterhorn with Harold, Thunder, the New Fantasyland. Those made for great commercials and brought a lot of people in to the park when they went in.

                      But as for SW and Indiana Jones? Well, maybe so. For the fast fix they were looking for. And by 84, Disney was struggling.

                      I think though that overall, when I think post '84 Disneyland, the first thing that comes to mind, even more so than the IP phenomenon, was the paradigm shift from that sense of a family, to one of corporate mentality. And I only say this from my perspective as a CM who worked there from '83 to '94 and saw the transition first hand. Again, not as a guest, but from a CM view. There was definitely a different feel at the park post '84.

                      It went from Walt's sense of treating his CMs like family, to one of being a cog in a corporate wheel. But that's how corporations often times are. So it is what it is.

                      But Disneyland had always been different in that way. It was more than just a job. But for those of us who had worked there for some time it didn't change the way we felt about our role in the show, and it certainly didn't change the way we treated the guests. That was still Walt. And we believed in it. Regardless of the philosophical changes, from the top, that we might have seen, and felt, going on around us.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        CASurfer65 Being there in the time that you were, a significant change you saw when Eisner stepped in was the closure of Adventure thru Inner Space, a very memorable ride, did this strike fear to you and many other that no ride at Disneyland was safe?

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I started working in the summer of 1983 on Tomorrowland Attractions & parade guest control, assigned consistently to the parade's handicapped area near the castle & the Matterhorn, and then worked there again in either 1985-1986 or 1986-1987 (I can't remember which year), as a Jungle Cruise Guide.

                          The Eisner/Wells team was admired for their energy, but feared for their lack of interest in Walt Disney's vision. Soon after they arrived Eisner/Wells just about doubled the admission price in just two years. Surprisingly, it didn't hurt attendance. (Like when the prices at the Blue Buyau were just about doubled in a short time in 2006, give or take 3 years, and it remained packed.)

                          I had lunch with Disney archivist Dave Smith back then and he confided he had reservations about the new team.

                          Eisner/Wells launched the outstanding Disney Cruise Line, the excellent original Disneyland Paris park, the animation renaissance (with Roy Disney Jr. & Katzenberg), the Animal Kingdom Park, & some really cool hotels including the Grand Californian, the Animal Kingdom Lodge, the Wilderness Lodge, and the Hotel Cheyenne. Eisner also heroically was a corporate leader in defending the rights of Disney's gay employees. When Southern Baptists boycotted Disney for this. Eisner wasn't intimidated and after a # of years they called off the boycott.

                          But Eisner/Wells also led a new movement to dramatically overpay top American corporate executives. And they did not lead the way (like Starbucks, Costco, In 'n' Out, & Trader Joe's) in compensating its workers substantially more than their competitors.

                          Eisner failed to make DCA worthy of Disneyland when it opened, and created--by far--the worst Disney park ever made in the Paris studios park.

                          It was sad when Wells died, and given Eisner's next 13 years with awful executives like Paul Pressler, it was arguably a worse ending of a creative collaboration than the break up of Lennon-McCarney.

                          Eisner left as a gazillionaire, but to his credit he has consistently & quietly been an awesome philanthropist after stepping down.

                          Bob Iger has emulated Eisner's ability to make enormous amounts of money--I've read his compensation has been 900 times what the lowest-paid, full-time cast member would make at Disney's American parks. Iger will might be known mostly for just buying things others already created like Marvel, Star Wars, and Pixar; though to his credit he gave some brilliant people freedom to create some incredible things.
                          Last edited by jcruise86; 06-02-2020, 12:50 PM.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by jcruise86 View Post

                            ...But Iger will be known most for just buying things others already created like Marvel, Star Wars, and Pixar, though to his credit he gave some brilliant people freedom to create some incredible things.
                            It’s the 2nd part of that sentence which is why I’ve looked at the Iger years as significantly setting him apart from the latter half of Eisner’s term.

                            Yeah he bought up a lot of IP and made a ton of money, but he knew why they were good and for the most part let them continue doing what made them good to begin with. Iger isn’t a micro-manager from what I could tell. He found good people and or creative companies, brought them in and let them improve the overall company.

                            Pixar is currently over used in DCA for sure, but when Pixar was bought, their creative team came into the parks and helped enable a creative direction that had been blocked for years and did improve the overall quality of the experience for guests.

                            I guess it just seems that the pressler years left such a bad taste in everyone’s mouth, that the parks are still seen as having the same stench, even though he’s long gone.
                            I think that’s unfortunate given how far the parks have come back in the last 15 years.
                            Mike_M

                            Disneyland Trips
                            Walt Disney World
                            Disneyland Paris

                            1980, 1982, 1984, 1986, 1987, 1989
                            1990, 1992, 1993

                            2000, 2001, 2006, 2007, 2009
                            2010, 2011, 2014, 2016, 2016, 2017, 2/2019, 11/2019
                            2020

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Mike_M View Post
                              ...I guess it just seems that the pressler years left such a bad taste in everyone’s mouth, that the parks are still seen as having the same stench, even though he’s long gone....
                              Pressler's philosophy was that every square foot of Disneyland should earn its keep in profits. His belief that Disneyland's rides should be run until they broke and only then be repaired, combined with his rejection of Walt-era standards of show, entertainment and customer service, made him Eisner's perfect choice to run not only Disney's flagship theme park, but later the entire Disney Parks division.

                              In Disney's management hierarchy, Pressler was the gold standard. The benchmark. The one to emulate if you wanted to move up the ladder. For a time, he was touted as Eisner's successor.

                              Yes, Pressler is gone, but the core of his management philosophy lives on. It is alive and well in a Cast Member training regimen that is a pathetic shadow of the pre-Eisner standards. In rides that operate with fewer in-service vehicles. In a CM-to-guest staffing ratio that is a fraction of the pre-Eisner years. In non-unique shops stuffed with generic merchandise regardless of whether it fits the theme of the land. In a proliferation of ODV carts, many of which have displaced sit-down spots and quiet nooks. In decades of deferred upgrades that have turned Tomorrowland into a near ghost town. And in the appointment of a revolving-door parade of Strategic Planning, Finance and Marketing executives to head Disney Parks -- the latest of which, Bob "Cheapek" Chapek, became CEO.

                              Today, Chapek is the management gold standard. The benchmark. The one to emulate if you want to move up the ladder.
                              "Disneyland is often called a magic kingdom because
                              it combines fantasy and history, adventure and learning,
                              together with every variety of recreation and fun,
                              designed to appeal to everyone."

                              - Walt Disney

                              "Disneyland is all about turning movies into rides."
                              - Michael Eisner

                              "It's very symbiotic."
                              - Bob Chapek

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Mr Wiggins
                                Yes, management of the parks is handled by bean counters and execs looking to climb the ladder. Yes, the park isn’t run as a one man passion project anymore. Yes the shops are filled with mostly useless trinkets and plastic nonsense (I’ve said before how much money I save on my trips by not buying souvenirs) And yes, Tomorrowland is a shell of its former glory.

                                I understand having passion about this park. Every one of us who frequents these pages does so because the park means something special to us in one way or another. I also remember that you once said that it’s important to bring these criticisms to light as a way of keeping park management in check. To a certain degree I agree with you. It just seems apparent to me from your posts that the park has been ruined for you, and that makes me sad. You don’t seem to be able to see the good that is still there or the many things in the park that are actually better than they were 25 years ago. You’re so angry at management and how the park is run that I feel you’ve lost sight of the park itself. I’ve asked before, but I am very curious when was the last time you actually stepped foot in the park. It’s one thing to read posts about it and see other people’s pictures, but there is no replacement for actually being inside the berm. The sights, the sounds, the smells and the feelings can’t be replicated on a forum. It takes being there to appreciate what’s there and to understand that the magic of the place still exists.

                                I understand and appreciate casurfer65 and jcruise86’s perspectives as former CMs and being critical of the changing working environment over the years. I turned down a position in the Walt Disney Company 13 years ago because I didn’t want to mix business with this pleasure. I prefer being just a guest over being a cog in the Disney machine. I’m not ignorant of what is behind the curtain, but having that separation allows me to not let it get under my skin. My relationship to the park is very personal. My career is something separate. Mixing the two seemed that it would change my perception of the park in a way I don’t think I’d like.

                                For me, with the exception of Tomorrowland, the Disneyland Resort of today is significantly better than the park I grew up with. The majority of what I loved as a kid is still there, but there is so much more now to enjoy. My favorite version of the park overall is the one I experienced in January of this year.
                                Last edited by Mike_M; 05-30-2020, 10:00 AM.
                                Mike_M

                                Disneyland Trips
                                Walt Disney World
                                Disneyland Paris

                                1980, 1982, 1984, 1986, 1987, 1989
                                1990, 1992, 1993

                                2000, 2001, 2006, 2007, 2009
                                2010, 2011, 2014, 2016, 2016, 2017, 2/2019, 11/2019
                                2020

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by Mike_M View Post
                                  Mr Wiggins
                                  Yes, management of the parks is handled by bean counters and execs looking to climb the ladder. Yes, the park isn’t run as a one man passion project anymore. Yes the shops are filled with mostly useless trinkets and plastic nonsense (I’ve said before how much money I save on my trips by not buying souvenirs) And yes, Tomorrowland is a shell of its former glory.

                                  I understand having passion about this park. Every one of us who frequents these pages does so because the park means something special to us in one way or another. I also remember that you once said that it’s important to bring these criticisms to light as a way of keeping park management in check. To a certain degree I agree with you. It just seems apparent to me from your posts that the park has been ruined for you, and that makes me sad. You don’t seem to be able to see the good that is still there or the many things in the park that are actually better than they were 25 years ago. You’re so angry at management and how the park is run that I feel you’ve lost sight of the park itself. I’ve asked before, but I am very curious when was the last time you actually stepped foot in the park. It’s one thing to read posts about it and see other people’s pictures, but there is no replacement for actually being inside the berm. The sights, the sounds, the smells and the feelings can’t be replicated on a forum. It takes being there to appreciate what’s there and to understand that the magic of the place still exists.

                                  I understand and appreciate casurfer65 and jcruise86’s perspectives as former CMs and being critical of the changing working environment over the years. I turned down a position in the Walt Disney Company 13 years ago because I didn’t want to mix business with this pleasure. I prefer being just a guest over being a cog in the Disney machine. I’m not ignorant of what is behind the curtain, but having that separation allows me to not let it get under my skin. My relationship to the park is very personal. My career is something separate. Mixing the two seemed that it would change my perception of the park in a way I don’t think I’d like.

                                  For me, with the exception of Tomorrowland, the Disneyland Resort of today is significantly better than the park I grew up with. The majority of what I loved as a kid is still there, but there is so much more now to enjoy. My favorite version of the park overall is the one I experienced in January of this year.
                                  This thread is about "Your Thoughts on Disneyland Post 1984." It is not for posters to present their personal critiques of other posters.
                                  Last edited by Mr Wiggins; 05-30-2020, 11:37 AM.
                                  "Disneyland is often called a magic kingdom because
                                  it combines fantasy and history, adventure and learning,
                                  together with every variety of recreation and fun,
                                  designed to appeal to everyone."

                                  - Walt Disney

                                  "Disneyland is all about turning movies into rides."
                                  - Michael Eisner

                                  "It's very symbiotic."
                                  - Bob Chapek

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                                  • #18
                                    Originally posted by Mr Wiggins View Post

                                    This thread is about "Your Thoughts on Disneyland Post 1984." It is not for posters to present their personal critiques of other posters.
                                    My critique was mostly about trying to understand your perspective in relation to the OPs question.

                                    Is this opinion coming from someone who has been in the park somewhat recently and is speaking from personal experience as to the impact of these management decisions over the decades.

                                    or

                                    Is this someone that has become so disillusioned with the park that they haven’t returned in a long time, only watched from a distance, and now has a purely academic perspective rather than a direct one?

                                    I think understanding that actually addresses the theme of this thread perfectly. What shaped your opinion? How did the park’s changes impact you personally? How has the park management decisions translated to your guest experience year after year or kept you away year after year.
                                    Mike_M

                                    Disneyland Trips
                                    Walt Disney World
                                    Disneyland Paris

                                    1980, 1982, 1984, 1986, 1987, 1989
                                    1990, 1992, 1993

                                    2000, 2001, 2006, 2007, 2009
                                    2010, 2011, 2014, 2016, 2016, 2017, 2/2019, 11/2019
                                    2020

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                                    • #19
                                      My lament for post '84 is not so much as what was added, but with what was lost.
                                      Last edited by Laugh-O-Grams; 05-31-2020, 06:54 AM.
                                      We need another Walt...and fast!

                                      "It's always more difficult to recover than it is to do the right thing at the beginning" - Tony Baxter,
                                      The Imagineering Story, Episode 4 "Hit or Miss"

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        I think 1976 was the peak of Disneyland, in terms of the overall experience of being there.

                                        The quality of the experience declined steadily as Eisner steadily applied his vision. 1993 was a low point in the cast morale. A train cast member saw the crowd approaching the New Orleans Square station after Fantasmic and quickly rushed to close the gate even though a train was sitting there. He said, "The train is closed." The train left empty and everyone had to walk down Main Street at 11 pm. on May 15, 1993. In 2003 a cast member angrily yelled at guests to clear the parade route. A week later the death on Big Thunder happened. The Eisner era was a horrible time to visit the park, despite the big-ticket attractions based on non-Disney properties.

                                        Walt created Disneyland and Autopia, which has lasted 60 years. Eisner created DCA and Superstar Limo.

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