While Disney was building Dumbo clones, places like Islands of Adventure were erecting state-of-the-art theme parks with dark rides like The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man, which Disney has yet to outdo stateside.
With its two newest domestic parks drawing the lowest attendance and operating under the shortest hours, it just drove home how far Disney had strayed from the quality formula that drew tens of millions annually to its other theme parks.
While I wrote a more biting critique of the shortcomings at Animal Kingdom, I was even more disillusioned after my first visit to Disney's California Adventure this past summer. How can a park this expensive feel so hollow?
As for the theme parks, let's hope that Iger takes the technological baton and spares no expense to make it sing. Let Disney remember how important it is to stand out as an attraction worth driving to from Toledo, flying to from Dublin, and walking to from the parking lot.
This isn't just a golden anniversary. It's a golden opportunity.