The world is a worse place in my opinion. I think Disney is one of the few family institutions left in the world. It is a place where you can trust your kids to be around. Forget about things that happen behind the scenes that may not be the most savoury, I am talking about things the public is privy to. Like movies, or tv shows or the theme parks. None of the attractions will have foul language or sexual innuendos. Go turn on the television today and try and find a show that the whole family can watch. Good luck. With Disney you have that type of mentality. There is still a warmth and an innocence about it to this day.
Plus, without Disneyland there isn't WDW either. There is no standard park that everyone else wants to emulate. You would see places like Knotts or Kennywood as the barometer for "old" parks. I think either way rollercoasters still would have evolved but there wouldn't be a place that captures a person's imagination and immerses them in it all. Universal would have never had a theme park either, just a studio tour. The butterfly effect is actually pretty big without Disney.