OK, folks, I want your opinions. Rides that are dated and need to be removed or overhauled are a somewhat constant subject around here. I've noticed recent threads like Fishbulb's 11/12/06 Trip Report, where he points out the empty line for Honey, I Shrunk The Audience, and the Renovation of Star Tours? thread where that attraction is regarded as being desperately in need of renovation.
Forget for a moment the recent upgrades/changes to the Haunted Mansion and Pirates of the Caribbean. Even before those upgrades, the rides were still big draws, the kind of rides you come back to Disneyland to ride again and again.
What's the difference? Is the subject matter of pirates ransacking a village inherently more appealing than a trip to Endor? Or is it the scope/size of HM and POTC that make them continue to "work", decade after decade? Is it the number of animatronics or special effects?
Put differently, could ST or HISTA have been themed/designed differently such that they'd still be drawing large crowds decades later?