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  1. #46

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    Re: Was Disneyland really better in the "Good Old Days"?

    My first trip was in 1986 (I was 5 years old)

    I still like Small World, but when I was a kid, Small World was heaven. I just love, love, loved it. Of course, in this case, it's me that's changed, not Small World. Same thing goes for the Jungle Cruise and Toontown.

    A lot of my older "good old days" memories of DL come from watching countless specials that showed footage of DL from before my time. This was back in the good old days of the late 80's and early 90's, when Disney had a TV special to commemorate virtually *every* promotion and anniversary. Ah, those were the days .

    I miss all the new attractions that were being built in the late 80's/early 90's - even though at the time I didn't go on most of them, and was mad that they were building (what seemed like) so many thrill rides. I didn't go on Splash and Indy for the first time until the same day that I went on Space and the Matterhorn for the first time, so they were all "new" to me that day.

    Now, I love the big thrill rides, and hope they build more, but I'm also hoping that the Nemo Subs will be the return of the family E-ticket that they promise to be.

    One thing I think was better in the old days was the Electrical Parade being in DL. Maybe it's just what I got used to, but I think it worked better in the setting of DL, watching on Main Street or in Fantasyland.

    And I definitely prefer the Country Bears to Pooh.

    Also, I never got caught in post-Fantasmic gridlock on Summer trips between 1992 and 1997 (I didn't go to DL between 1998 and 2002). The first (and thus far, only) time I experienced it in July 2003, I had no idea what was going on, but I was informed by a CM "this happens every night."


    Quote Originally Posted by OneMansDream View Post
    New attractions. Major investments in the park are chosen based on their marketability, not their ability to enhance a specific land or the park as a whole.
    The budgets have seemed to decrease greatly the last 10 years(with the exception of Nemo). Indy was the last great attraction built in the park.

    Yes, and Indy was 12 years ago! 12 years! :o

    (I know we got DCA during that time period, but DCA is a seperate park, and even with a one-day park hopper, that's still additional admission, so it doesn't quite count the same . )

    With the not enhancing the land or the park as a whole, it scares me a little to think that the Monster's Inc. facade in the middle of HPB might be the future of Disney "theming", but I hope it's just an anamoly .

  2. #47

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    Re: Was Disneyland really better in the "Good Old Days"?

    I was born in 1977, and I had my first of countless visits soon thereafter.

    Having lived my entire life in southern California, I always considered Disneyland important in shaping the child and adolescent I was, then, and the adult I am, today.

    I also have an eidetic memory, so I can recall in great detail my observations from many of my earliest visits. The Magic Kingdom from my memory had dignity and class. The entire operation showed such competency and professionalism, and the attention to detail in all aspects of the experience was extraordinary.

    Disneyland impressed nearly everyone with its almost superhuman feats of showmanship and hospitality. The very carefully-crafted culture there was clearly the result of a remarkable assembling of just so many brilliantly-talented individuals who were working in concert according to the founder's immortal and formidable philosophies and principles. Every department and every person seemed to be dedicated to contributing, in its, hers, or his specialty, the highest quality, first and foremost, to the guest experience. And, these people had a passion and an obsession for these standards and for delivering on something that was obviously a labor of love for most everyone involved.

    Disneyland was considered, at that time, a public treasure and a cultural institution. It held such a prominent place in the hearts and minds of the general society. People felt proud of it in some way, as if, perhaps, Disneyland gave us all a faith in humanity and in its potential to achieve something wonderful and beautiful and to surmount the seemingly insurmountable. The commercialism and the overt and crass attempts to take advantage of the guests (and their wallets) weren't there, then. Everything seemed more respectful of and less insulting to the guest.

    There also was an aesthetic to Disneyland that is difficult to describe. Indirect lighting was everywhere, and all the direct lights were either dim and diffused or bright and tiny. There was none of the harsh glare that Disneyland has, currently. The lighting, combined with Disney's rich library of music, made for such a surreal and otherworldly atmosphere that one could easily allow himself or herself to become lost in the movie-movie romance of it all.

    The multi-page guidebooks were also wonderful, and I would regularly pore over them between visits. I always marveled at Disney's use of such elegant turns of phrase. They all seemed to preserve the specialness of the experience one would have visiting the place. Those momentous occasions were rarer for most people and were more treasured for that reason than they are today. To me, The Magic Kingdom seemed to be a land faraway, even though an hour's drive is really all that separated Disneyland from my home.

    I appreciated the times I did visit all the more back then. And, like many others, I wouldn't even be able to sleep the night before a trip. The place held just that much meaning and esteem with me.

    In 1985, I became much more involved with Disney when, at the Storybook Store, I bought my first issue of Disney News, which was one of the best magazines anyone has ever made. "The Golden Girls" were on the cover, and I soon became fascinated by all the information the periodical offered regarding Imagineering and the rest of The Walt Disney Company. I subscribed, and I've been keeping track of Walt Disney ever since.
    Last edited by PragmaticIdealist; 04-01-2007 at 06:47 AM.

  3. #48

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    Re: Was Disneyland really better in the "Good Old Days"?

    Quote Originally Posted by Wendygirl View Post
    One more quick story about my past with Disneyland.

    I graduated class of 1966. I did not go to my grad night at Disneyland. It was (and still is to some respects) a big disappointment.
    If it's any consolation to you, the last thing a local high school senior wants to do for grad nite is to have to go to Disneyland. Don't get me wrong. For all the kids Bakersfield and north its a dream come true. For anyone living within an hour drive especially, it's a prison sentence!

    But I am sorry to hear this. My advice... Don't equate Disneyland with anybody else. For me, it has defined who I am, especially when it comes to my optimism on life. I have gone with people who have ruined it for me, but the next time I go with someone else, or even better, myself sometimes. I don't let anyone else ruin my experience of the place.

  4. #49

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    Re: Was Disneyland really better in the "Good Old Days"?

    `Just a couple observations.
    1. Pre AP days, most families made it once a year to DL.
    2. Disposable income wasn't even thought of let alone exercised.
    3. No Disney sites since there was no internet.
    4. No instant gratification. (That's what a hug was when I was young)
    5. Less people in California. (Over crowding is a huge irritant)

    The beauty of DL used to be that everyone left their "attitudes" at home. Now everyone brings their bad habits and bad manners to the park where we have to deal with them. So, my statement here is DL han't changed as much as the people who inhabit it. We are our own worse enemy.


    This has been a Filmways presentation dahling.

  5. #50

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    Re: Was Disneyland really better in the "Good Old Days"?

    Quote Originally Posted by RenMan View Post
    Can you be specific? I'm not doubting what you say, I'm just curious what thematic elements have been lost.
    Where to begin? Hmm.
    Well, just off the top of my head:

    Tomorrowland used to be about an optimistic view of science and the future. Today that theme is significantly dilluted by abandoned tracks, Pixar cartoons, Star Wars and the loss of the entire World on the Move scenario.

    Frontierland used to be a celebration of our pioneer past that also merged seemlessly with New Orleans Square and Bear Country. Today the frontier theme is marginalized with the loss of the Golden Horseshoe Revue, cloned, non-frontier specific merchandise in the shops, Jack Sparrow on Tom Sawyer Island, the invasion of Pixar characters like Woody and Jesse, the closing of Fort Wilderness, the demolition of Cascade Peak, the sinking of Mike Fink's Keel Boats, and Fantasmic on the ROA. Bear Country has lost it's theme altogether to become a woodsy outpost of Fantasyland with an English bear living right nextdoor to the very Southern Brer Rabbit and Brer Fox. New Orleans Square remains well themed but its losing its connection to Frontierland more and more with each passing year.

    Adventureland is still pretty well themed, but Aladin's Oasis is no match for the Tahitian Terrace of old, and Tarzan's-Disney-Store-Treehouse pales in comparison to the far more immersive Swiss Family Robinson version. Thank god (or Matt) they at least restored the Tiki Room to its former glory.

    Fantasyland remains the best themed land in the park, mostly because its hard to screw up a place where almost anything is possible. As mentioned often elswhere on these boards, Skull Rock and Captain Hook's pirate ship are sorely missed and would make a welcome addition to the old Motorboat Cruise area. This is the Land where the cartoon characters and the Pooh Bears belong. Disney should keep them there.

    Main Street used to have wonderfull shops filled with merchandise themed to turn of the century America. Today it has become the Disney Mall, with plush, pins and t-shirts in almost every store.

    Theme is often in the little details that one hardly notices, but, when added up together make for a truly immersive experience. Sadly, its the little details that are being lost or ignored in favor of more movie tie-ins, merchandising opportunites, and a bottom line mentality that sees us not as guests, but as walking wallets.
    Please visit my Big Thunder/Disney Inspired Model Railroad


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  6. #51

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    Re: Was Disneyland really better in the "Good Old Days"?

    Quote Originally Posted by JeffYardDog View Post
    On busy days, it's often all you can do to just keep guests shoved through the rides, deal with irritated guests tired from waiting in long lines, deal with breakdowns, and on and on. It's gets hard to keep the magic under that kind of stress. That works against the 'immersive experience'. And its due to to much success, too many people in the parks at the same time. That atmosphere is a victim of its own success.
    I am truly sorry if I appeared to critically judged Cast Members. You really do a wonderful job. Some things, like crowds, costuming, etc. are beyond your control. It is just my rememberance of the past. Darn you Rose colored glasses.
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  7. #52

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    Re: Was Disneyland really better in the "Good Old Days"?

    Exactly what BigThunder said.

    Jeez, dude - get outta my head!
    "Say, uh, ever hear of the devil's paint pots? Real mystery of the desert. Bubblin' pots of mud in all kinds of colors."

  8. #53

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    Re: Was Disneyland really better in the "Good Old Days"?

    The first visit that I remember was 1969-1970. I was 3 years old. I had been going once or twice a year since then.

    While I have great memories of DL when I was kid, there are some attractions that I like more then then old ones:

    Star Tours better then Inner Space (but we loved Inner space too)

    Buzz Light Year better then Circle Vision (as a kid it was pretty boring to my brothers/sisters and me)

    I don't really miss the Motor Cruise, but something is better then nothing.

    Was never thrilled with Mission to the Moon/Mars. I do remember the pre-show and that was cool.

    Of course like others have said, now we have Splash Mountain, Space Mountain and Indy.

    We lost some favorites, Peoplemover, Skyway.

    So, is it better then or now? I dunno. It is different now then when I was kid. But even if DL hadn't changed at all, it would still be different then when I was a kid, because I have changed.

    I still love DL. I take my kids at least once a year. Sometimes twice. I hope my kids will take my (future) grandkids to DL as well.

  9. #54

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    Re: Was Disneyland really better in the "Good Old Days"?

    Quote Originally Posted by NWRREngineer View Post
    Exactly what BigThunder said.

    Jeez, dude - get outta my head!
    Train heads think alike.
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  10. #55

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    Re: Was Disneyland really better in the "Good Old Days"?

    First trip I remember was in 1966 when I was three years old. I have been visiting once a year or so ever since, and now that I am out of state we visit for 3-4 days at a time as opposed to an annual day trip.

    Although I have as much nostalgia as anyone, and consider myself a traditionalist, I would say DL is better today.

    I never really liked Space Mtn all that much, but the new version is just so much better. I remember when I was a kid (in the A-E ticket days - and prior to 1977) the only real thrill ride was Matterhorn, and the line was just as long then as now if not longer. Now there are five bona-fide thrill rides at DL, plus several at DCA.

    Tomorrowland was better in the "old days". I never liked the People Mover that much, but the SkyWay was great. Even if the PM was not a favorite, it contributed to the motion and energy of Tomorrowland - as did SkyWay. They need more motion and energy there today, so hopefully a PeopleMover type ride will return (even though I will probably not ride it LOL).

    FantasyLand seems the same today as 30-40 years ago.

    I never liked ToonTown, and avoided it for many years. I visit now because I have kids and have gained a grudging acceptance/appreciation of TT.

    I remember lots of crowds, and only remember going to DLR on a non-crowded day once in January when I was a teen on a coldish, dreary day. But there were no lines for anything. Other than that day, it seems it was always pretty crowded when we were therre.

    I know today's CM's are working under more difficult conditions that those of years past, with less mutual company/employee loyalty (or so it seems) but from what I experience the CM's today do as good a job as those of years ago. On the surface I do not see a downward path here, but I can imagine how that downward path exists with the incredibly high turnover. That the CMs still project a comparable magical experience is amazing.

  11. #56

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    Re: Was Disneyland really better in the "Good Old Days"?

    My first visit to the park was 1965. My first year as a cast member was 1977. I sure miss those nice easy going days and the simple things, like ticket books, COP, Capt. Hook's ship. Sunkist Citrus HOuse, Disneyland being closed Monday and Tuesdays. Not huge crowds like you see today. Sleeping Beauty's walk through attraction being opened, Mission to Mars and the original gray subs attraction, Skyway. Friendly and courteous cast members. More diverse merchandising than there is today. And of course lower pricing.!!!

  12. #57

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    Re: Was Disneyland really better in the "Good Old Days"?

    Quote Originally Posted by Druggas View Post
    `Just a couple observations.
    1. Pre AP days, most families made it once a year to DL.
    2. Disposable income wasn't even thought of let alone exercised.
    3. No Disney sites since there was no internet.
    4. No instant gratification. (That's what a hug was when I was young)
    5. Less people in California. (Over crowding is a huge irritant)

    The beauty of DL used to be that everyone left their "attitudes" at home. Now everyone brings their bad habits and bad manners to the park where we have to deal with them. So, my statement here is DL han't changed as much as the people who inhabit it. We are our own worse enemy.
    I agree completely. DL seemed much more "out of this world" when I only went there once a year. But then I got an AP, and then I was a cast member...and although it's still awesome...it's just different.
    The Kid

  13. #58

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    Re: Was Disneyland really better in the "Good Old Days"?

    First Visit - August 1955

    Love DL no matter the decade!! But, there were times that you could COUNT ON the park being much less busy. Parades, entertainment, etc., did not tie up the sidewalks, block passage in certain areas, etc. Those are the biggest differences to me.

    Lots has come and gone, some of it makes me sad, but some of it makes me glad....and ANY DAY at DL is better than a day away from it!!!
    Sharon
    Next Trip - Nov. 13-19 2011

  14. #59

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    Re: Was Disneyland really better in the "Good Old Days"?

    Quote Originally Posted by Garrett240 View Post
    Was never thrilled with Mission to the Moon/Mars. I do remember the pre-show and that was cool.
    That's interesting, I went for the first time about the same time you did, but I was only a baby. But in all the years I have been going I can count on one hand (ok maybe ond and a half hands) the number of times I went on Mission to Mars. I never see anyone saying, "Bring back Mission to Mars!" Maybe that ride wasn't that good after all. I know it wasn't too exciting for me. My favorite part was taking off and seeing Disneyland below you and then California as you got further up. So that's probably something about the good old days that maybe wasn't all that good after all.

  15. #60

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    Re: Was Disneyland really better in the "Good Old Days"?

    Quote Originally Posted by DisneyIPresume View Post
    That's interesting, I went for the first time about the same time you did, but I was only a baby. But in all the years I have been going I can count on one hand (ok maybe ond and a half hands) the number of times I went on Mission to Mars. I never see anyone saying, "Bring back Mission to Mars!" Maybe that ride wasn't that good after all. I know it wasn't too exciting for me. My favorite part was taking off and seeing Disneyland below you and then California as you got further up. So that's probably something about the good old days that maybe wasn't all that good after all.
    Bring back Mission to Mars!

    Just kidding. I agree. That was an attraction that never quite lived up to it's full potential. It was really Disney's first movie-motion simulator ride (the seats vibrated, woohoo!) and repeatability was low.
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