I agree that nothing seems to have changed (to enough of an extent, at least) at TDO. What I think, however, we are seeing is that Burbank is slowly starting to step in and realize that TDO is just not cutting the mustard.
As for New Fantasyland? The New Fantasyland is beautiful....and once the Seven Dwarves opens up, it will have everything one could expect from an expansion of an existing land. As you said, the original plans where horrid.....but they were changed (and I’m pretty sure it was not TDO that motivated that change). There seems to be a lot of misplaced disappointment in New Fantasyland. If you were expecting a full blown response to Wizzarding World, or a CarsLand type addition....well then, you will be disappointed. These where both brand new lands. They were both huge budget projects meant to re-launch parks that had either failed (DCA) or grossly under-performed (IOA) since their conception. That, however, was not what New fantasyland was. It was the expansion of an existing land. In this expansion we got 2 new rides, increased capacity of another, a small water play area, a beautifully themed area.....and yes a meet and greet (that is frankly better described as a show). Added to this was a restaurant that is stunning. If DL had gotten that much in a new expansion, of say, Adventureland....we would all be ecstatic. But we were all looking for MK to respond to potter; we are all comparing New Fantasyland to Carsland. So yeah, it's unfairly coming up short. Will WDW get the huge project that is so desperately needs? lordy, I hope so. We see that certainly SOEMTHING big is coming (although that may be another fight altogether). Until then, however, i think the new fantasyland, if we let it, gives us a glimpse of light. A hope that things might be getting better.