"I'm doing this because I want to do it better."
- Walt Disney
Walt Disney strove to improve his product every chance he got. So much so, that when Disneyland became too small, Walt decided to re-build it and to make it bigger, and better than before in Florida.
Even still, Disneyland was always intended to be a work-in-progress. Never-Finished Land. A breathing, living, and constantly-evolving place for Walt to enhance, add to, or recreate whenever he wanted.
"It's something that will never be finished.
Something that I can keep developing...and adding to."
- Walt Disney
And to this day, Disneyland is still evolving, still being added-to and still a living, breathing thing that can be enhance, add to, or recreated whenever needed.
But with Walt Disney's passing, his words became champions for change that, in the past, probably wouldn't have happened. One could deduce that, for Walt, the closing of an attraction meant that an attraction no longer met expectations and a replacement that was inherently better than its predecessor was implimented.
In recent times, this has not always been the case, and if a replacement attraction is better than its predecessor, it's not exceedingly better by any stretch - a goal that Walt-era WED Imagineering would strive to achieve.
Of course, this is all subjective, however many would agree that attractions like The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh, "Honey, I Shrunk the Audience," Innoventions, Princess Fantasy Faire, or Monsters Inc - Mike and Sulley to the Rescue! are all instances where replacement attractions are questionably less impressive than their predecessors, even if their predecessors had seen better days at the time of their removal, or if the attraction is better than its predecessor, its not by much.
Areas like Big Thunder Ranch, the Festival of Fools Arena, Hollywood & Dine, Who Wants to Be A Millionaire - Play It!, Lucky Fortune Cookery, or the Motorboat Cruise areas have been left closed with no replacement, except in some cases, seasonal entertainment. The lack of replacement attractions and proper utilization of unused space at the Disneyland Resort is the antithesis of Walt Disney's mantra of constantly improving Disneyland.
Likewise, adding new attractions that do not match the quality or entertainment value of its predecessor is directly violating the mission statements of Walt Disney.
So I wonder, is the Walt Disney Company no longer in the business of exceeding expectations? Is it no longer in the business of offering an entertainment experience that intentionally, purposefully, and carefully exceeds its own quality standards and that of its competitors? Or is the Walt Disney Company only in the business of keeping ahead of competitors instead of keeping ahead of itself and blowing competitors out of the water?
I think it's time that the Company once again gets serious about its product. No more mediocrity. No more cookie-cutter or duplicate attractions. No more force-theming. More plussing. More replacement attractions that flat out WOW its guests instead of merely entertaining them. More quality.
You can't say you're the best, unless you truly are the best.
Disney needs to show us once again that it IS the best. Hands-down, no competition. The best.
Where to start? How about revisiting Walt sometime:
Whenever I go on a ride, I’m always thinking of what’s wrong
with the thing and how it can be improved.”
- Walt Disney