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  1. #1

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    What was the bleakest part of Disneyland's history?

    What period in the park's history was most lacking, dismal, and where the future of the park was in most jeopardy- in terms of attendance, quality, etc. Oh, and the last 5 years don't count- because though you can argue quality- you can't deny the surge of attendance and park revenue that has characterized these past recent- successful years.

  2. #2

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    Re: What was the bleakest part of Disneyland's history?

    This may be a little more than "dismal" but things were looking bleak for the park right around the time that a rider was killed on Big Thunder and another killed by a docking cleat on the ROA landing.

    When I think of "bleak" times for Disneyland, those two events come to mind.
    "The old man's gonna knock on the sky. Listen to the sound."

    AP'er since 2004. Yup.....I'm one of THEM.

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    Re: What was the bleakest part of Disneyland's history?

    Light Magic. Nearly 20 years passed before Disneyland had a proper nighttime parade again. Light Magic did more damage than they could have foreseen, and we have been paying for it for years.

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    Re: What was the bleakest part of Disneyland's history?

    2001, with 9-11, DCA 1.0, Country Bears closing, Rocket Rods officially closing leaving the PM track empty, HMH (imo)




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    Re: What was the bleakest part of Disneyland's history?

    Hmm. 1998, with the New Tomorrowland fiasco, and DCA 1.0.

    The whole 1998-2002 era, I believe. It's the closest I've seen Disneyland to being ugly.

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    Re: What was the bleakest part of Disneyland's history?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ortizmo2000 View Post
    This may be a little more than "dismal" but things were looking bleak for the park right around the time that a rider was killed on Big Thunder and another killed by a docking cleat on the ROA landing.

    When I think of "bleak" times for Disneyland, those two events come to mind.
    Yeah, nothing can be worst than guests being killed.

  7. #7

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    Re: What was the bleakest part of Disneyland's history?

    I'd have to say the period where Disney executives thought it would be great having Neil Patrick Harris host a water show. The place may not be in danger of closing because of it, but that doesn't mean the show is any good.

  8. #8

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    Re: What was the bleakest part of Disneyland's history?

    The 70s. Most people can't think back that far (or were alive then) but the area around Disneyland had decayed to a miserable state. Prostitutes walked up and down Harbor Blvd. in front of the park because the area was surrounded by cheap motels. Strip clubs, adult book stores, a liquor store on every corner. Outside Disney's berm was an inner city ghetto that was downright scary as hell.

    So you can criticism the Walt Disney Company for many things, on many levels. But what they did to revitalize the surrounding area to create the "Anaheim Resort" has to be applauded. They cleaned up Times Square in New York City...and they cleaned up Anaheim. You have to be thankful for that!

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    Re: What was the bleakest part of Disneyland's history?

    I always call the period from the mid-90's through 2005 the "Disney Dark Ages."

    That's when all the budget cuts after the Disneyland Paris fiasco started hitting home. Maintenance was reduced (thus the BTMRR and Columbia accidents), cleanliness was reduced, cast member training was reduced, many of the top imagineers left (including many going to Universal, and this has, I think, permanently[?] changed the balance of power in the theme park world, where it's no longer "Disney and then everybody else"), the "strategic planning group" was tasked with cutting budgets for new parks and attractions (thus DCA 1.0, New Tomorrowland, etc.; the legacy of these things having tarnished the Disney name is still with us, and will unfortunately take a long time to fix [I've had multiple people say to me approximately: "I finally went to a Disney park, and those places aren't nearly what what they're cracked up to be, it was nothing special, so I'm not going to Disney again... the park was called Disney's California Adventure..."]).

  10. #10

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    Re: What was the bleakest part of Disneyland's history?

    The Paul Pressler / Cynthia Harris era.

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    Re: What was the bleakest part of Disneyland's history?

    When Walt died
    Quote by Al:
    To that end I'd like the Internet community to join me in reminding the Disney company that "it all started with Walt." As you can see below we've created some T-shirts, plus a few simple graphics that you can copy and paste into your websites to let folks know how you feel.
    -Al Lutz



  12. #12

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    Re: What was the bleakest part of Disneyland's history?

    Quote Originally Posted by DLR CM View Post
    The 70s. Most people can't think back that far (or were alive then) but the area around Disneyland had decayed to a miserable state. Prostitutes walked up and down Harbor Blvd. in front of the park because the area was surrounded by cheap motels. Strip clubs, adult book stores, a liquor store on every corner. Outside Disney's berm was an inner city ghetto that was downright scary as hell.

    So you can criticism the Walt Disney Company for many things, on many levels. But what they did to revitalize the surrounding area to create the "Anaheim Resort" has to be applauded. They cleaned up Times Square in New York City...and they cleaned up Anaheim. You have to be thankful for that!
    Oh yes, I remember that time! You didn't leave the park after dark unless it was in a large group. You kept your windows rolled up or you'd get bombarded with obscenities (if you were female) or propositions (if you were male) from the 'ladies of Harbor Bl'.

    But the park itself was wonderful. We still had TL 67.

    I can't really think of a bleak period per se as far as what Disney has done to​ the parks because I've always had a wonderful time, but the behavior of people in the parks is pretty bleak these days.
    "Life is not about waiting for the storm to pass, it's about learning to dance in the rain.​"

  13. #13

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    Re: What was the bleakest part of Disneyland's history?

    Quote Originally Posted by laurainwonderland View Post
    The Paul Pressler / Cynthia Harris era.
    Gonna have to second this. I just finished a feature on my blog where I tried to come up with something new that has been added to Disneyland Park every year since it opened and is still present in some form (distinguishing it from the Magical Milestones at the 50th), and the pickings were pretty slim from the Pressler/Harris era. I had to resort to showcasing a lot of eateries and minor attractions. Even the one big thing that team did in Disneyland--the New Tomorrowland in '98--is mostly shuttered by now.
    Like this post? Read more like it at The Disneyland Dilettante!

  14. #14

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    Re: What was the bleakest part of Disneyland's history?

    Now is the bleakest time. There is no way to go back to when the parks were not overcrowded and the way forward seems to be status quo.

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    Re: What was the bleakest part of Disneyland's history?

    Quote Originally Posted by DLFreak71 View Post
    When Walt died
    That
    "A little consideration, a little thought for others, makes all the difference." Eeyore

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