IMO not only is the OP on target, but especially this post as well:
...Synergy slowly but surely transformed the company's main mission into marketing itself, creating a continuous feedback loop of which DL was only one part.
When the main objective is marketing, all other priorities change. There's less room for originality in attraction design. Lands that were intended to be real places become mere backdrops on which to hang the current marketing message. Suspension of disbelief is discouraged, since losing oneself too much in the environment might distract from the "real" message of marketing. The house is papered w/ cheap AP's to encourage people to view the message over and over again.
In short, the park no longer exists for its own sake; it's just one more vehicle Disney uses to promote its filmed product. That, more than anything else, is the real tragedy of the last 15 years.