I know this is a longshot, but with all the bashing of WDW and Disneyland going on lately- I've noticed a few very small changes in the US Parks in which they seem to be taking some notice of what is going on & working overseas in Japan. These are just a few of my own ideas and opinions and am sure will be debated, but here goes.
I know they first tried to copy Cinderellabration & then destroyed it in WDW, but I've noticed now with the street parties in both California and Florida, they somehow are adding a third parade, similar to what TDR has been doing with the smaller, sort of more meet and greet, mini parades. Still, they have much work to do since the experience in TDR is far superior to the Celebrate it or Celebrate today shows here. I also think that they shouldn't have too much audience participation since some of the ones they drag out on the street to dance, really shouldn't be.
A few other things I've noticed as well- it may have been this past Christmas- I recall seeing photos of a dessert you can buy at Disneyland that came with a souvineer cup-it wasn't as nice as the ones from TDR, but it was at least something. Also, when the snowman Mickey and Minnie first began at TDR 2 years ago, this past Christmas both Disneyland and Disneyworld had their own version of the Mickey & Minnie plush- they were almost the same, except for the stiched on eyes- but the quality was so much better once again in TDR. They also had some ornaments and other things fashioned after them as well, yet I don't think they caught on as well as they did in Tokyo.
The next thing I noticed that Disney is caught up on, not from TDR, but Japan as well- is the whole new Vinylmation- it started up small, but after visiting the WDW Disney Village the other day- they whole line is going to explode into next year and beyond.
I've seen for years about those vinyl characters painted in different ways and packaged in sealed boxes were very popular in Japan and China. Now Disney decided to mold Mickey and paint him in hundreds of different ways. Some of them are cute, but lets hope they don't kill this market the way they overkilled the beanie and pin markets in the past.
I still don't think that Disney knows the whole pin trading thing has died off yet. I know I've gone off topic now.
Anyway, all in all- I think Disney is looking at what is going on in Japan, and is making some small attempt to copy them- they aren't doing a very good job of it yet, but lets hope they someday open up their wallet and give the US parks the love and care they deserve.
I like the way they are improving California Adventure and some of the other additions to Disneyland, but WDW needs to really do more than they have been doing & get out of their rut that since they are known to be a vacation destination, that people will come. I can only wish that they do more and take the examples of what works to make a great theme park like the OLC has done with TDL and TDS.