Nice Post!^ I hear what you guys are saying, but IMNHO John had his hand in Nemo all the way up to his armpit. The way that attraction plays is as much his doing as anyone's. We'll see if Carsland lives up to its hype -- and humognous budget.
Over the last 20 years there've been any number of brilliant ideas advanced by WDI. The reason they haven't become reality is because the Company is too damn cheap -- and doesn't care about true innovation any more than its millions of customers do.
Disneyland went from a couple hundred acres of orange groves to a technological, creative and showmanship marvel that made kings and queens put it on their Must See list. They did it by innovating far above anything else in their time. Today's Disney is content to grow the easy, low-hanging fruit, and market it to customers who, by and large, are content to gobble it down as-is.
As a techno-geek and Disney fan who was regularly astonished by Disneyland's innovation, the most astonishing thing to me today is how people who grew up with Pirates, Haunted Mansion and Indy as the base-line norm are content to shovel cash at a company that isn't topping those classics every few years. Seriously, when it comes to the heavy R&D that results in rock-your-world innovation, Disney isn't even trying. (NexGen? Pul-leese!)