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  1. #1

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

    Looking around on these boards, I've come to think that we may have a bit of a generation gap here at Mice Chat.

    Many of us "old timers" have posted or started threads calling for Disney to "bring back this" or "restore that". We maintain that something has been lost at the Park; that the themeing was better, the CM's more helpful, and the experience more immersive way back when. As a result we are often called reactionary, or against change. We are reminded ad-nauseum that Disneyland is not a museum.

    Could it be that we are actually looking at the past through rose colored glasses? Is it just nostalgia for our lost childhoods that make us pine for Disneyland the way it used to be? Or is it that we have experienced both the then and the now of Disneyland and have the capacity to actually measure the difference?

    I don't wish to be divisive and I'm not trolling for an argument here, but I would really like everyone's thoughts on this. My only request is that responders to this thread begin there first post with the year that they first experienced Disneyland.

    For me it was 1965.

    Last edited by BigThunder; 03-31-2007 at 08:08 AM.
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  2. #2

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

    My first time at Disneyland was in 1973. I think I was around 14 years old at the time. I lived in a very small one horse town in Idaho, and this was quite an experience for me. I had been to Knotts but that was when I was about 4 or 5 and I don't remember a lot about that.

    There are a lot of the old attractions I miss. The various forms of the Carousel, Journey Through Inner Space.... But I enjoy many of the new attractions as well. Although I would rather see any form of the Carousel brought back as opposed to what is there now, but thats another debate.

    I think with the passage of time everyone begins to get nostalgic with the memories of their past/youth. Memories blend together and become a "pastel past" with a lot of the finer details blurred. As we get older and have to deal with the stresses of everyday life, we long for the simplicity of our youth.

    Then too, it was a different time and people as a whole were different also. The attitudes of both the guests and the CM's has evolved over the years. Its inevitable. We has a species are socially continuously evolving, based on events and times. Generally we are more cynical, more impatient, more self centered than maybe we were 30 or 50 years ago.

    Time always keeps moving. It will be interesting to see 20 or 30 years from now, how the people who are in their teens/early 20's look back to this time in comparison to what they will be experiencing of Disneyland when they are our age.




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  3. #3

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

    Quote Originally Posted by BigThunder View Post
    Could it be that we are actually looking at the past through rose colored glasses? Is it just nostalgia for our lost childhoods that make us pine for Disneyland the way it used to be?
    I think you hit the nail on the head on this one. I see people who are much younger than I am talking about the good old days of the 80's, for me it is also the early 60's whan I made my first trip to DL. I look at how DL was back then with great fondness and I think of a time when my life was much simpler.

    The best way to look at DL is how it is now, it is different than when I made my first trip. I don't think is better now nor is it worse. I see young micechatters saying I wish I could have done this at DL but I cant because it has gone to yesterland. I like to say just look at the things that have not even been thought of yet. you will get to see things at DL in your lifetime that wont be be built till long after I am gone.
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  4. #4

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

    I think one thing that Disney has improved upon is their food. I was talking to my mom about Disneyland food awhile ago and she was like "We never ate in Disneyland. We either brought our own or went to the McDonald's across the street because the Disney food always got you kids sick." And for some reason as a kid I always spilled grape juice (rare treat, didn't get to drink grape juice at home) down my favorite outfit (which I had to wear to the parks...). So in pictures you always saw me as a kid with the sailor skort set with the grape juice, the hot pink leggings with the splattered t-shirt with the grape juice, the baby dress that my mom sewed for me (with hand embroidery) with the grape juice. My Disney memories are all of me thinking "uh-oh!" Now because I go so much I tell my preschoolers "Miss Kim wants to live at Disneyland!" and I don't drink grape juice at the park.

  5. #5

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

    I remember being happy as a kid at disneyland - I think my first trip was around 1976. I am still happy at Disneyland. There are a bunch more "big" rides now that I love. So, the customer service may have been better, but there were also fewer people in the park I'm sure.

    I still love it - and can't wait to see what's new everytime I go!

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

    i think disneyland was or never will be perfect. im too young to have experienced the "good old days" but the truth is there were people who enjoyed the attractions you talk about and people who wanted them gone and like the new changes better. the changes wouldnt have happened if someone didnt want them too...doesnt mean thats the majority though. anyhoo i think disneyland has made great improvements but i do wish i could go on the skyway! i also dont understand buzz but many people enjoy it! the point is they would have had to redo the attractions you speak about to update them and for whatever reason they got rid of them...maybe the update would have been too expensive or too complicated...or maybe they didnt even have technology to make it more appropriate for today. i think even in the golden days as more changes came people were saying they missed the old disneyland...and i dont think one entire period can be completely better than now...just think of what we wouldnt have...and the long lines!

  7. #7

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

    I liked Disneyland back in the late 60's early 70's, into the 80's and maybe early, early 90's. After HM, after BTMRR, after BT Trail from Frontierland to Fantasyland.

    Some other things I liked:

    1. Mark Twain after dark.
    a. Mint Julips sold on Mark Twain
    b. Jazz band and dancing on Mark Twain

    2. Natures Wonderland (I know, does not reconcile with BT Trail to Fantsyland)

    3. Stroling around rivers of America, NOS after dark, pre-Fantasmic crowds.

    4. After hours corporate parties.

    5. Big name big bands at Carnation Plaza Gardens

    6. Crowds much more manageable, not often as crowded as "normal attendence" is now.

    7. Tomorrowland in the 60's 70's, maybe 80's and early, very early 90's.

    8. Peoplemover

    9. Did I mention Frontierland NOS after dark and rides on the Mark Twain, and just strolling around Frontierland NOS after dark?

    10. Main Street Vehicles run open to closing.

    11. Rocket to the Moon / Mission to Mars

    12. Motor Boat Cruise.

    13. Less crowded!

    14. MSEP on Main Street in Disneyland!

    15. The parking lot!

    16. Parking lot tram!

    Yep, the good old days. Gone forever, but still in my head, always will be, they can't re-imagineer them out.

    Just my little trip down memory lane.

    Now back to DL of 2007, I'm going tomorrow (well at least something is still here).

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  8. #8

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

    I remember Disneyland back in 1997. The was my best trip ever.

    Parking lot
    Submarines
    Country Bears

    Ah, The good life.

  9. #9

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

    My first visit was in 1973 with my aunt and uncle. Once I met my husband we started going at least yearly from 1986 on. I do miss a lot of old attractions (people mover, sky buckets) but I also appreciate a lot of the newer attractions. As far as CM and service I still think DL has best all around.

  10. #10

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

    Quote Originally Posted by BigThunder View Post
    Looking around on these boards, I've come to think that we may have a bit of a generation gap here at Mice Chat.

    Many of us "old timers" have posted or started threads calling for Disney to "bring back this" or "restore that". We maintain that something has been lost at the Park; that the themeing was better, the CM's more helpful, and the experience more immersive way back when. As a result we are often called reactionary, or against change. We are reminded ad-nauseum that Disneyland is not a museum.

    Could it be that we are actually looking at the past through rose colored glasses? Is it just nostalgia for our lost childhoods that make us pine for Disneyland the way it used to be? Or is it that we have experienced both the then and the now of Disneyland and have the capacity to actually measure the difference?

    I don't wish to be divisive and I'm not trolling for an argument here, but I would really like everyone's thoughts on this. My only request is that responders to this thread begin there first post with the year that they first experienced Disneyland.

    For me it was 1965.

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  11. #11

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

    As CuatDL touched on....it was "less crowded" once upon a time.

    Why? Many reasons including far fewer AP holders, no fast pass, and because they had the A-E ticket system, there were more of the smaller attractions available to help distribute the crowds better(also, because of the ticket system people didn't feel like they had to "gorge" themselves on the rides, a more leisurely pace was felt in the park--not frantic, like now)

    Disneyland use to be a special place where locals would visit once or twice a year and non-locals once or twice in a lifetime.
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  12. #12

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

    Quote Originally Posted by BigThunder View Post
    Looking around on these boards, I've come to think that we may have a bit of a generation gap here at Mice Chat.

    Many of us "old timers" have posted or started threads calling for Disney to "bring back this" or "restore that". We maintain that something has been lost at the Park; that the themeing was better, the CM's more helpful, and the experience more immersive way back when. As a result we are often called reactionary, or against change. We are reminded ad-nauseum that Disneyland is not a museum.

    Could it be that we are actually looking at the past through rose colored glasses? Is it just nostalgia for our lost childhoods that make us pine for Disneyland the way it used to be? Or is it that we have experienced both the then and the now of Disneyland and have the capacity to actually measure the difference?

    I don't wish to be divisive and I'm not trolling for an argument here, but I would really like everyone's thoughts on this. My only request is that responders to this thread begin there first post with the year that they first experienced Disneyland.

    For me it was 1965.

    I think that there are less adult-oriented things than there were in the past. Seems like everything built these days either has to draw in big bucks (foods and vending) or be spectacular and appeal to the thrill seeking kids and teens.

    Not that such things don't have adult appeal, but a lot of the entertainment things and tamer rides that suited a wider demographic seems to be long-long-gone.
    Last edited by JeffYardDog; 03-31-2007 at 10:36 AM.

  13. #13

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

    Quote Originally Posted by JeffYardDog View Post
    I think that there are less adult-oriented things than there were in the past. Seems like everything built these days either has to draw in big bucks (foods and vending) or be spectacular and appeal to the thrill seeking kids and teens.

    Not that such things don't have adult appeal, but a lot of the enetertainment things and tamer rides that suited a wider demographic seems to be long-long-gone.
    Amen to that.........seems like Walt spent a lifetime trying to bring families together; building attractions that all members of the family could experience together.

    Now we have attractions like The Maliboomer, Indiana Jones, Space Mountain, and even Splash Mt. on one end and ToonTown and Bugs Land on the other---how are these attracitons bringing families together???
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  14. #14

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

    1993
    I was still a baby, so I can't remember. I had always wanted to go to the Swiss Family Robinson Treehouse, but never got the chance. Same thing goes for the Submarine Voyage. I miss the Big Thunder Ranch.
    The daydream princess

  15. #15

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

    My first visit to Disneyland was in 1987...but I wasn't even a year old, so I don't remember anything from the trip But I kept going back often enough, and I've always loved the place.

    It's easy to have fond memories of the happiest place on earth as a child...when we are children, life is more simple, and we're not so judgemental as we are when we're adults.

    But I agree with belleariel412, I don't think Disneyland ever was or ever will be perfect. Why? Perfection is not the same for everyone. Even if every MCer agreed on a year that Disneyland was at it's best, there would still be members saying, "Oh, but Indy wasn't there yet..." etc. Disneyland is ever-developing, ever-changing, and that's the beauty of it...it will live on for future generations to come. All we can hope is that when an attraction or whatever else goes away, it will be replaced by something better. There will always be people that feel that the replacement isn't better, but that's okay...we're all entitled to our own opinions and feelings of nostalgia. If we continue to voice our own feelings and concerns, Disney will hear us and consider us.

    But overall, even if something is gone...just like any beloved thing or person in our lives...what is important is that we had those special experiences and memories of that thing or person. We treasure them.

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