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  1. #1

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    Cool Who else thinks the 90s was when WDW was at its best?

    Does anyone else think that WDW experienced its best times during the late 80s-early 90s? If so why do you feel this way?

  2. #2

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    Re: Who else thinks the 90s was when WDW was at its best?

    I was fortunate enough that my first childhood trip to WDW took place around this period (91). I was 7 at the time so I don't remember much but I can say yeah anyway!
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  3. #3

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    Re: Who else thinks the 90s was when WDW was at its best?

    I've never been so I can't say for sure but I can imagine so.
    I'm not fond of all the new things WDW has related to the disney channel and other off brand type things. It doesn't feel like real "Disney" to me and it almost ruins it for me, while things from the late 80s and 90s still feel like they were classic Disney if that makes sense? So yeah I can imagine that probably had something to do with it too!

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    Re: Who else thinks the 90s was when WDW was at its best?

    Absolutely! Unfortunately, the parks have become so commercialized lately and management is trying to incorporate so many new attractions/changes that it has really taken away from the 80s-90s nostalgic feel (which isn't always a bad thing, but many of the latest changes and additions have been rather questionable. And some are downright BAD.)

  5. #5

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    Re: Who else thinks the 90s was when WDW was at its best?

    Quote Originally Posted by WDW1971 View Post
    Does anyone else think that WDW experienced its best times during the late 80s-early 90s? If so why do you feel this way?
    This is pretty much the fan consensus. Most would say that 1983-1993 was the best decade in the resort's history. It all started to go downhill in 1994. (If you're looking for a detailed explanation of how/why, I'd recommend Realityland by David Koenig, or for the Reader's Digest version you can check out this episode of WEDWay Radio featuring respected Disney Historian Michael Crawford of Progress City, U.S.A.) Though things aren't as bad as they were from 1995-2001 when everything just went to crap, the resort still hasn't fully recovered. Sometimes I wonder if it ever will
    Last edited by PSUMark; 09-02-2012 at 09:59 PM.
    I knew if this business was ever to get anywhere, if this business was ever to grow, it could never do it by having to answer to someone unsympathetic to its possibilities, by having to answer to someone with only one thought or interest, namely profits. For my idea of how to make profits has differed greatly from those who generally control businesses such as ours. I have blind faith in the policy that quality, tempered with good judgment and showmanship, will win against all odds.
    -Walt Disney



  6. #6

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    Re: Who else thinks the 90s was when WDW was at its best?

    I visited WDW 7 times from 1989 - 1999 and loved it. Haven't been back since for personal reasons and never visited in the 70s or early 80s so I don't know what the resort was like then but from what I've seen its sad to see the resort decline over time. The last time I went on 99 things were starting to slide we stayed at Dixie Landings and the food court which used to be open after the parks closed shut before as an example or late night opening was replaced by e nights at extra cost and rather like euro Disney hotels and vacation clubs were springing up everywhere rather than new attraction or TLC on existing parts.

    To me I guess the peak was in the mid to late 90s but everyone will have their own view.

    I'd love to see a return to the glory days let's hope the management realise that the great big beautiful tomorrow is just a dream away!

  7. #7

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    Re: Who else thinks the 90s was when WDW was at its best?

    I only went twice in the 90s but definitely have fond memories. Aside from the Castle Cake, it was nice not having any DVC ads in the parks, much better prices/values on food and hotels, loved the day parade for the 25th and Spectro was still fairly new, Discovery Island still open, Polynesian lobby in it's original form and not so neutered commercially, Pleasure Island functioning at 100%, Horizons open and Spaceship Earth on the Irons version, Wonders of Life still attracting a crowd, Great Movie Ride not obstructed by a hideous hat, and more.

    The trouble is, you can't reminisce about it too often or the current WDW will do nothing but disappoint you...
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  8. #8

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    Re: Who else thinks the 90s was when WDW was at its best?

    I don't know if it was at its best, but I can tell you why it was a special time.
    1. Much of the technology for the rides was still cutting edge. This is a time when a computer in your home was still somewhat rare. It made the various experiences that much more special.
    2. The MGM studios were new and very exciting in their first few years. It brought both Star Tours and the Tower of Terror to Florida. Getting "Behind the Scenes" was also an even more unique experience before the age of the internet, 500 channels, and easy access to every movie ever made.
    3. Pleasure Island was all new and also very exciting. It was not only New Year's every night for guests, but it was drawing in the crowds from all over central Florida - a hot hang out for college kids. Ultimately, this outside crowd factor seems to have also led to Pleasure Island's downfall and eventual conversion to what it is today...a glorified mall. A fun mall, but a mall nonetheless.
    4. One last reason, all of us kids growing up in the age of the VCR were literally raised on Disney movies. It engrained Disney in our psyche in a way never before experienced. As we came of age and went to Disney World - look out! There's no doubt this also led to a heightened experience and an explosion of Disney's popularity.

    I'm sure there are more - feel free to add yours!

  9. #9

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    Re: Who else thinks the 90s was when WDW was at its best?

    I went 3 times from '86-'99 and thought the changes each time seemed for the worse. My favorite park EPCOT replace the dorkey stuff I loved with "hip/edgy" stuff that slowly killed off the sophisticated and uplifting World's Fair vibe I loved. I could not see the love, thought and craftsmanship put into replacements.

    "Improvements" also killed my interest for ever staying at the Contemporary again. The money they spent building new parks in the 1990's should have been put into improving old ones, making them multi-day parks.

    I'm not counting WDW out, but it's going to take 10-20 years to get the magic back. Avatar and Hollywood Studios improvements will be an important first step that will need a good second act.

  10. #10

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    Re: Who else thinks the 90s was when WDW was at its best?

    Quote Originally Posted by airick75 View Post
    I'm sure there are more - feel free to add yours!
    Maintenance, cleanliness, and customer service at the parks were 100x better. Much of the charm had not yet been removed from the parks by the Strategic Planning Department. The classic Future World attractions had not been removed in favor of sub-par replacements, and there was a lot more live entertainment available throughout the resort. Those are the biggest reasons.
    I knew if this business was ever to get anywhere, if this business was ever to grow, it could never do it by having to answer to someone unsympathetic to its possibilities, by having to answer to someone with only one thought or interest, namely profits. For my idea of how to make profits has differed greatly from those who generally control businesses such as ours. I have blind faith in the policy that quality, tempered with good judgment and showmanship, will win against all odds.
    -Walt Disney



  11. #11

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    Re: Who else thinks the 90s was when WDW was at its best?

    My Favorite Times To Visit Disney Were 1989-1999...I Did Visit The Parks Religiously From 1990-1994...Then My Visits Dwindled Much Due To...divorce...However, I So Remember How The Parks, Especially Epcot For Me , Had That Special Magic I Have Yet To Feel Again...But I Still Come! To The Most Magical Place On Earth ! And Even Though My Golden Years Are Gone Along With...Horizons,World Of Motion,Dreamflight,The Sky Ride,Etc My Memories Of That Special Time Will Live On..Mostly On Youtube !

  12. #12

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    Re: Who else thinks the 90s was when WDW was at its best?

    I think it may be too soon to tell. Disney's surge in the late 1980s and early 1990s in all areas has come with some very long term consequences.

  13. #13

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    Re: Who else thinks the 90s was when WDW was at its best?

    I can't remember my trips to the park in the 90s, but I love everything else about Disney in the 90s. The shows, the movies.. I do love Disney's Pop Century Resort..It feels very 1990s, and very fun!

  14. #14

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    Re: Who else thinks the 90s was when WDW was at its best?

    My reasons that it was best in the early 90s:

    Horizons
    World of Motion
    Wonders of Life
    Journey into Imagination (original)
    El Rio del Tiempo
    hydrolators

  15. #15

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    Re: Who else thinks the 90s was when WDW was at its best?

    For someone who will be visiting WDW for the first time next Spring, I'm very sad Horizons won't be there....

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