Your Generation has thee following @Disneyland & DCA available within the last decade (some of these Rides / Attractions I enjoy, some I don't bother waiting in line for) -
Big Thunder Ranch
Pirates's Lair on Tom Sawyer Island
The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh
Rapunzel and Flynn Meet n' Greet
Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters
Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage
Star Tours: The Adventure Continues
Disney California Adventure
The Little Mermaid" Ariel's Undersea Adventure
Toy Story Midway Mania
Goofy's Sky School
World of Colour
Grizzly River Run
Monsters, Inc. Mike & Sulley to the Rescue
Red Trolley Car
The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror
the whole area of Cars Land (from Radiators Springs Racers to Ramone's House of Body Art)
Some of US from a different generation enjoy what is still available @ Disneyland & DCA that hasn't been "eisner" ' d (neglected until it can't be fixed), especially those Rides & Attractions that continue to influence & entertain Theme Park Guests from the last 40 years (& from the day Disneyland opened) thanks to the dreams of Walt Disney, as well as the innovations from Imagineers .... & we'd <3 to make sure these elements @ the Disneyland Resort remain intact!
In all seriousness though, you are a train guy I get that. I however am not. I am sure there are things that I am passionate about that you would probably care less about. I wouldn't call that an anomaly. People have different tastes and different passions.
Sometimes, when I first enter the park, I ride the train from Main Street and go all the way around back to Main Street, but I don't get off till I get to New Orleans Square and head for Splash Mtn.
The GCD/PM is the highlight of the trip.
This has been both a lively and exciting discussion. I am glad that I started it. Both sides make good points about the trains, Diorama, and Primeval World. The idea of Disney Nostalgia really hit home for me -- it was not something that I had truly considered. Which leads to my next idea...
IF the Imagineers find that, for any existing attraction, they cannot really "plus it" (like they did with POTC) but instead must sacrifice it to Yesterland BUT they feel strongly that the nostalgic/historic element outweighs the dwindling ridership, how about creating an actual Yesterland? Perhaps in part of that "Third Gate" parcel where Star Wars and Marvel attractions are rumored for?
But the logic and the profit motive don't seem to line up. If they were to free up the real estate for a third gate, the investment in that real estate would be best served by building new attractions on the raw space--not dismantling existing attractions, moving them there, then building the new attraction in the old park. There are not only cost considerations, there are grandfathered-in exemptions to code that wouldn't survive the relocation.
Probably be better all around to hype the new third gate as the "Now Disneyland," and let "Classic Disneyland" become the de facto Yesterland.
Personally, if you want to look at real estate that could be reclaimed for new cool stuff, I'd look no farther than Paradise Bay in DCA. Scale down World of Color so it becomes a moat-like thingy, and build a new land within. Just one idea, to prove I'm not just a grumpy traditionalist.
Be careful what you wish for:
Inner Space > BLAB
People Mover > Shade
Carousel of Progress > Innoventions or Disney's internal codename Immersive Advertising Experience
Submarine Voyage > Talking Fish Fillets
At most they should Enhance it like so:
The sound of the DLR welcomes people to the park, it's part of the heartbeat that let's people know the park is a living, breathing entity. As you enter, the vision of the DLRR Station is above you, perhaps not as iconic as the castle which has been used as branding of Disney for years, but almost as iconic to the subconscious which has noted it every single time one enters the park. From so many places in the park, the sound of the whistle reminds you of that energy... and as Steve has already mentioned, 75% of the guests ride the train, either as an attraction unto itself, but at the very least to get from one part of the park to the next.
Kids today, while certainly more electronic-centric than previous generations, STILL get excited at the sight of animals and definitely at the sight of Dinosaurs...especially life sized, moving dinosaurs.
I don't think this is JUST about nostalgia. But nostalgia is a large part why the park has charm. Whether people are conscious of it or not, nostalgia for times gone by, stereotypically more simple times (I say this, because realistically, they weren't necessarily more simple, just cluttered by different types of things and burdened by other weighty matters), is and was a large part of what makes Disneyland special. I can't imagine anyone would want Main Street redesigned to represent a 21st century shopping mall, decorated with modern Old Navy Store Fronts, Starbucks logos, and perhaps a mini-Target.
While children don't have context to appreciate nostalgia in the same way, they, when allowed, find excitement in seldom visited outdoor vistas of the Grand Canyon populated with animals they would be fortunate to spot in the wild. And while we know the presentation of this as a throwback, since they rarely see dioramas in any form, they will see it as "Something they have never seen." Yes, I'm certain some people see it as a tad corny...but what's wrong with that? The cynicism that we are experiencing now is a pendulum that swings back and forth. People crave corny with some frequency, and that pendulum is due for a swing back.
Update lights? sure. Enhance audio... absolutely. Create a better transition, nah, it's not necessary, the transition from one locale to a similar millions of years before is done with narration and in our minds. It still works.
That's the best way to sum up this attraction, it still works. And it works beautifully.
+1. Excellent post, Pirate Lover 68!
The point of my post was to show that sometimes getting rid of the old doesn't mean you might actually get something better. There are lots of bad possibilities that could become of the Diorama space like walling it up and making it storage space or turning it into an advertising showcase of the latests Disney products. With the way things have been lately, they might do some kind of projection based experience similar to Finding Nemo which I think is worse cause usually animatronics are better than projections.