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  1. #1

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    Disneyland 1997-2007: Was it a good decade?

    So it's now third month into 2008. 2007 is behind us and we're looking to the next decade of Disneyland goodies. How has the past decade been to you guys? Disappointing? Great? I'll try to list everything for your convenience.


    1997
    -Aladdin's Oasis opens
    -Light Magic opens May, closes September
    -"it's a small world" holiday begins

    summary: Small World Holiday is a success but Light Magic ended tragically after only one summer.


    1998
    -Mulan Parade opens
    -May is the new Tomorrowland!
    -American Space Experience
    -Cosmic Waves
    -Observatron
    -Honey, I Shrunk the Audience
    -Rocket Rods (closes officially september 2000)
    -Astro Orbitor
    -Innovations (November)

    summary: Although Mulan Parade entertains, new Tomorrowland disappoints.


    1999
    -Fastpass premieres
    -Tarzan's Treehouse replaces Swiss Family Treehouse

    Summary: pretty quiet year and we lose another beloved classic. Fast Pass, I have a love / hate relationship with. Mostly hate.



    2000
    -Woody's Roundup opens (1 year only)
    -Believe: There's Magic in the Stars debuts
    -Parade of the Stars opens
    -Autopia reopens with major Chevron renovations
    -Rocket Rods admit defeat. Close for good.

    Summary: Another relatively quiet year, but the fireworks are great! Autopia's track is perhaps an improvement but the car designs and the queue are something i was never a fan of.


    2001
    -Downtown Disney opens
    -Disney's California Adventure opens in February
    -Club Buzz stage replaces Tomorrowland Terrace
    -Disney's Electrical Parade returns
    -Country Bear jamboree closes
    -Who Want's to be a Millionaire - Play it! opens at DCA
    -First year of Haunted Mansion Holiday
    -Blast! replaces "Steps in Time" at the Hyperion Theater at DCA

    Summary: DCA opens to overwhelming amount of negative reviews. Horrid Club Buzz stage is an eyesore like the rest of Tomorrowland. Electrical Parade comes back to offer guests SOMETHING to do at DCA. Haunted Mansion Holiday a success. Blast! is a great show!


    2002
    -Soap Opera Bistro closes
    -Blast! ends its performances
    -Superstar Limo closes either 2002 or late 2001
    -Eureka! Parade shows it's last performance at DCA

    Summary: 2002 was a disappointing year


    2003
    -Disney's Aladdin-Live on Stage premieres at DCA
    -Flik's Fun Fair opens in DCA
    -Playhouse Disney Live! replaces Soap Opera Bistro at DCA
    -Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh opens in Critter Country
    -X-Games Live at DCA
    -Space Mountain closes

    Summary: 2003, Aladdin is a highlight, Flik's Fun Fair and Winnie the Pooh's opening, Space Mountain closing is a disappointment. Death on Big Thunder tragic news.


    2004
    -Tower of Terror opens at DCA

    Summary: ToT helps make DCA a better destination but still fails to match the greatness of Florida's original.


    2005
    -50th Anniversary
    -Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters opens in Tomorrowland replacing the Rocket Rod Queue and Circle Vision building.
    -Space Mountain reopens in Tomorrowland with new effects and new track... and white!
    -Turtle Talk with Crush opens in the Animation building of DCA

    Summary: pretty good year! A return of a classic as well as something new in Tomorrowland. 50th Anniversary Fireworks are amazing.


    2006
    -Monsters, Inc. Mike & Sulley to the Rescue! Attraction replaces Superstar Limo in DCA
    -Pirates of the Caribbean gets movie upgrades

    summary: meh


    2007
    -Tom Sawyer's Island changes to Pirates Lair at Tom Sawyer's Island
    -Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage opens in Tomorrowland
    -Disney Gallery closes

    Summary: major changes are met with high guest volume at the parks, disappointed die-hards.



    so I think that's it for the past 10 years. I think because of DCA, it really set everything at a stand still in Disneyland for the most part. The disappointment of Tomorrowland lingered and problems with DCA meant that imagineering and management spread their resources too thin to think of something to keep the guests coming back. Disneyland suffered neglect until 2004 when preparations for the 50th began... with new management of course.


    I think the last decade was pretty disappointing. The damages done have delayed fantastic things for both parks. I think the next decade is far more promising...


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  2. #2

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    Re: Disneyland 1997-2007: Was it a good decade?

    It was not an ideal decade, but a decade that ends with Disneyland existing in the state it's currently in is something to be thankful for. Things could be better, yes--much better. But for all the hot air we love to blow around online...I dunno, I still have an awesome time when I go. I pick everything apart in my head (just as Walt did ) but I have a total blast.

    Well, okay, every time I'm in DCA, I feel a strong magnetism pulling me toward the other side of the esplanade, but that's why I don't buy park hoppers.


  3. #3

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    Re: Disneyland 1997-2007: Was it a good decade?

    Quote Originally Posted by Coheteboy View Post
    I think the last decade was pretty disappointing. The damages done have delayed fantastic things for both parks. I think the next decade is far more promising...
    Most of the decade in question included the disastrous Pressler-Harris era, where Pressler anyway seemed hell-bent on making the park into a glorified shopping mall (with each store selling the same goods, apparently).

    Over the past couple of years things rebounded a bit when Matt Ouiment was running the parks, and optimism is still pretty high with the return of John Lassiter and others to the park's management team.

    Time will tell.

    -- Barry
    God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.

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    Re: Disneyland 1997-2007: Was it a good decade?

    Love the timeline. Seems like most years had at least one good attraction or show. For the most part though, I think it wasn't the best decade for Disneyland.

    Am I the only one who think Superstar Limo is a cult classic kind of ride? I finally saw it on Youtube and thought it was so bad it was good. I am sure most people just plain hate it though. lol.

    - Anatole

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    Re: Disneyland 1997-2007: Was it a good decade?

    OFF TOPIC -

    I know that this isn't the question being asked, but I just thought I'd offer the opinion that besides the park's opening decade, the ten years between 1977 (Space Mountain's opening) and 1987 (when I believe Star Tours opened) were likely the best overall decade.
    God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.

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    Re: Disneyland 1997-2007: Was it a good decade?

    I liked the Mulan Parade. That almost makes the whole decade worth it.

    Just for reference here are the attendance numbers for 1997-2007:


    97
    Disneyland: 14.2 million

    98
    Disneyland: 13.7 million

    99
    Disneyland: 13.5 million

    00
    Disneyland: 13.9 million

    01
    Disneyland: 12.3 million
    DCA: 5 million
    Combined Resort Attendance: 17.3 million

    02
    Disneyland: 12.7 million
    DCA: 4.7 million
    Combined Resort Attendance: 17.4 million

    03
    Disneyland: 12.7 million
    DCA: 5.3 million
    Combined Resort Attendance: 18 million

    04
    Disneyland: 13.3 million
    DCA: 5.6 million
    Combined Resort Attendance: 18.9 million

    05
    Disneyland: 14.5 million
    DCA: 5.8 million
    Combined Resort Attendance: 20.3 million

    06
    Disneyland: 14.7 million
    DCA: 5.9
    Combined Resort Attendance:20.6 million

    Another interesting thing to note: From 97-06 the average yearly attendance at DL park was: 13.55 million. From 87-96 the average yearly attendance was: 12.78.

  7. #7

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    Re: Disneyland 1997-2007: Was it a good decade?

    Quote Originally Posted by Radiobarry View Post
    OFF TOPIC -

    I know that this isn't the question being asked, but I just thought I'd offer the opinion that besides the park's opening decade, the ten years between 1977 (Space Mountain's opening) and 1987 (when I believe Star Tours opened) were likely the best overall decade.
    I agree 100% FWIW.

  8. #8

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    Re: Disneyland 1997-2007: Was it a good decade?

    Anyone care to post a timeline of 1977 -1987 for comparison's sake?

    I would also think the decade that had the creation of New Orleans Square, Haunted Mansion and Pirates was a pretty good one too.

    - Anatole

  9. #9

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    Re: Disneyland 1997-2007: Was it a good decade?

    Shouldn't 2005 also include the Remember fireworks and the Parade of Dreams? I mean you have other fireworks and parades listed why not those?

  10. #10

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    Re: Disneyland 1997-2007: Was it a good decade?

    Hmmmm, to look at the past 10 years
    doesn't make too much sense, since there
    has been such a diverse style of management.

    Usually when looking at decades, you look at
    fifties, sixties, seventies, etc. For DL it would
    make sence also to break it up from 1955 to 1965,
    1965 to 1975, etc. Since that would be the
    1st decade of DL, the 2nd decade of DL, etc.

    Looking at individual years would seem more
    appropriate, as management has changed
    considerably over the past 5 years, alone.

    TL'98 Was an obvious Blunder. A complete failure.
    This one project alone brought what used to be the
    optimistic world on the move to what became TL's
    sorriest weakest period of time during '93 to '95.
    Yeah the only things open in TL were Autopia, the
    much in need of an update Star Tours, and the
    rushed to get it open Buzz Lightyear . Space Mt,
    was BARELY open in time for the 50th!

    It was a black hole sucking up any and all of what
    used to be the most vibrant part of ALL of Disneyland.
    TL is still sputtering in few areas, even with a COMPLETE
    redo- of Autopia, Subs, and Space Mt! The remnants of
    TL'98 still haunt TL today. Star Tours long overdue, the
    people mover/rocket rods track desperately crying for
    attention, the new Monorail still being worked on, Innoventions
    still crappy, HISTA cited by many as the weakest part of TL,
    Astro Orbitors still "grounded".

    Separate Project ~ Winnie the Pooh debacle in Critter Country
    once again bad management, removing a more technically advanced
    show with a cheap looking flawed dark ride that just doesn't fit.
    Not to mention the wasted resources. Would have made SO MUCH
    MORE sence to devote a separate area in the NEW PARK that was
    being developed to this new attraction, They could have certainly
    fit Winnie the Pooh's 100 acre woods into the Redwood Creek Challenge
    Trail area ~ Give them a new home in the new Park. Would certainly
    be more popular and a bigger draw than "Brother Bear".

    Of course the BIGGEST debacle over the past decade was the
    initial design, layout, theme of that new Park in the old Parking Lot.
    And THAT alone has been substantiated by Iger, himself, not to
    mention the Billion Plus growing budget to correct the new Park,
    Of couse $100,000's of millions have already been spent, trying
    to "fix" these major errors already, in addition to the millions being
    spent on the new Toy Story Ride, and the World of Color show
    that aren't in the Billion $ Plus program.

    Obviously, it was way past the time that Disney SHOULD HAVE
    Expanded to a 2nd park, so that was done. BUT it was done
    poorly, laid out poorly and executely poorly, that it will cost
    $100,000's of millions more than what it should have, to correct
    what can be corrected. But obvious errors from the initial building
    of DCA will continue to haunt this park because the inept way
    management expanded the resort.

    Of course, don't forget the Light Magic debacle. That was really
    the 1st MAJOR sign, evident to all that DL had some SERIOUS issues
    with management, and the direction of the WHOLE resort. YES, it
    was at that time that the board should have come down hard on
    Eisner and Pressler.

    But of course their "Run to Failure" "Build on the Cheap" practice continued
    even when those lead to the "Run to Collapse of Structures", and "Run to Death
    of Guests".

    And haven't even mentioned attractions closing without replacements,
    Skyway, Subs, etc.

    Yeah, It was a Decade of Disasters, or at least 8 to 9 years, thereof.
    And it will take a couple decades minimum to get back to where it should
    have already been. That is the sorriest part of the whole story.

    Of course, It's been several years since Pressler and Harriss have left,
    and the parks were shined up as much as possible for the 50th, but so
    much is left to do to get TL and DCA back to where they should have been
    15 years ago.

  11. #11

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    Re: Disneyland 1997-2007: Was it a good decade?

    You're right, Aladdin, it is an odd period to look at. But for me, 1995 was the last year that was really amazing. The only really good year since then was 2005, but it wasn't good because it was that amazing. It was on par as what Disneyland should have been every year.

    Looking at it 1997-2007 is a period of time in Disney history where things didn't get done and only now, a decade later, does it feel like progress is really on the move.


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  12. #12

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    Re: Disneyland 1997-2007: Was it a good decade?

    Overall, there were some good and bad things during this period. The one that just still sticks with me is TL. The mismanagement of that land is something that bugs me to no end. But, on the bright side, at least for me, its not totally infested by characters like the TL at WDW.

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    Re: Disneyland 1997-2007: Was it a good decade?

    It was good to say the least DCA did open in the last 10 years, and it may be just an ok park but Hell its still a new Park. Nemo just opened, monsters is the first good dark ride at DLR in a while, ToT rocks, put I think next Decade will be better with the new Cars land, Toy story ride, Little Mermaid ride, (hopefully) something replacing the PM.

  14. #14

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    Re: Disneyland 1997-2007: Was it a good decade?

    Personally speaking, I think the 97-07 decade was a very bad. in fact, IMHO
    the worst decade for DL. And the root of the problem is the management who
    seemed to be so into their spreadsheets & presentations and not looking into
    the actual business at hand and completely ignoring the practices that made
    DL great.

    The only good thing to say about it is now over and the last few years (new
    management!) have been much, much better.

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    Re: Disneyland 1997-2007: Was it a good decade?

    Quote Originally Posted by Coheteboy View Post
    I think the last decade was pretty disappointing. The damages done have delayed fantastic things for both parks. I think the next decade is far more promising...
    Wow. Tough critic. I think any decade (so just use any 10 years in sequence I guess...) that included a time that took maintenance, paint and refurb into a direction of actual preservation of Disneyland and stopped years of neglect of my favorite park is a great one in my mind. I think that we all could find things to applaud in the last ten years. So much of what I appreciate about Disneyland is not tied into how many attractions opened when. I guess we all have our priorities and concerns.
    Permanecer sentado por favor...

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