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  1. #16

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    Re: Do We Let Nostalgia Cloud Our Vision of Present Day Disney?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bill View Post
    Well, imagine another unit of your company cutting the maint. budget even farther because their side of the company didn't do well this quarter. That's how bad it has gotten. This is why some of us are upset.
    I don't have to imagine it, it happens. When the company as a whole is not producing the expected revenue budgets across the board usually have to present some savings the following year. It is the reality of the business.

    I understand the frustration. Most people probably feel as though the theme park operations shouldn't have to suffer because the movie division produced too many duds. For a company that is as diverse as Disney when it comes to entertainment everything must be looked at as a whole.

  2. #17

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    Re: Do We Let Nostalgia Cloud Our Vision of Present Day Disney?

    The central question ("Do we let nostalgia cloud...", aka "Is WDW actually better/worse today than in, say, the early 1990s?") being discussed has so many varied component pieces that it could hardly be covered in 10,000 words, much less a couple of paragraphs. And any attempt to give a brief overall answer frustrates because of the many "moving parts" to assess. It's akin to asking "Is America a better country today than it was 30 years ago? "I say 'yes/no' because...[insert three sentences]."


    Quote Originally Posted by DisneySam View Post
    Preface: When I refer to Disney in the following I am referring to the Disney company but specifically to their theme park operations.
    To take it further, if we look first specifically at WDW's theme park operations (versus WDW's design/creative piece, e.g. new rides replacing old ones), I, unfortunately, have seen a significant, fairly non-subjective decline at WDW - mostly in show/maintenance. This would be expected when one understands the changes/reductions to the maintenance department over the years, among other factors. The most simple example to use are the light-bulbs. In its day, the Company line was to boast (rightfully) about lightbulbs being checked and replaced nightly. Today (and for the past decade at least), anywhere you find popcorn lighting (Boardwalk, Beach Club, Main Street), you will find lots of individual burned out bulbs: http://farm1.staticflickr.com/162/34...4da37fde_b.jpg. A small thing, perhaps, but one of many symptoms of a reduced emphasis on show (via meeting performance goals). So, operationally, I am hard-pressed to think of things being better at WDW now than they were when show trumped efficiency (profitability).

    Merchandise/Retail is another operational area where I think there has been a drastic change for the worse, but won't get into the details on that.

    And regarding the need to meet performance goals of a for-profit business, I think Quality (premium offering) remains the best way to sustained financial success. WDW could decide to re-adhere to the Gold Standard of operations it once defined.

    ***
    So there is nostalgia for an Operational Standard and then there is nostalgia for a Creative Standard (e.g. WDI's new rides/lands). The second is much more subjective. I think in some places the Creative Standard of the past was superior to what's there today, not just in specific rides, but moreso in cohesiveness of theme, non-brandedness (new word) and sophistication of content (Future World being the main case). But there are also areas where I see a big improvement: my opinion is that the New Fantasyland exceeds the 20,000K, Skyway and Toontown Fair it replaced and certainly strengthens the theme and aesthetics of the land. So, I don't think nostalgia for the past is clouding my vision.

    Another example at Big Thunder: The former "shaking rock cavern" of old was much, much better than the current "still rock cavern". At the same time, I think the new queue is a great improvement.

    Again, nostalgia hasn't that much to do with it (for me); more one's judgment of Quality, piece by piece by piece.

    ***
    Last edited by RandySavage; 04-02-2013 at 02:42 PM.

  3. #18

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    Re: Do We Let Nostalgia Cloud Our Vision of Present Day Disney?

    Once again, it's Randy for the win!

  4. #19

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    Re: Do We Let Nostalgia Cloud Our Vision of Present Day Disney?

    Quote Originally Posted by RandySavage View Post
    The central question ("Do we let nostalgia cloud...", aka "Is WDW actually better/worse today than in, say, the early 1990s?")
    That really wasn't the question but your interpretation. For me it's not a matter of whether WDW or Disney in general is better or worse than the 90's, 80's or even the 70's (when I first experienced it), it's whether or not people actually take in to account the complexities of business operations today versus when Walt Disney ran the company when they make negative comments.

    Obviously the interpretation of the question is going to be up to each individual that reads the post but I just want to clarify that this is not at all what I meant.

  5. #20

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    Re: Do We Let Nostalgia Cloud Our Vision of Present Day Disney?

    You wake up each new day, and open Disneyland.

    If you stick to sweeping floors and replacing bulbs and other maintenance issues, the way they were performed yesterday and the day before, then you don't need to account for complexities of business operations today.

  6. #21

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    Re: Do We Let Nostalgia Cloud Our Vision of Present Day Disney?

    Quote Originally Posted by DisneySam View Post
    it's whether or not people actually take in to account the complexities of business operations today versus when Walt Disney ran the company when they make negative comments.
    To answer: Yes. I take all such complexities into account whenever I make negative comments.

  7. #22

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    Re: Do We Let Nostalgia Cloud Our Vision of Present Day Disney?

    Quote Originally Posted by RandySavage View Post
    The central question ("Do we let nostalgia cloud...", aka "Is WDW actually better/worse today than in, say, the early 1990s?")
    ***
    of course I can't speak for the OP but that's not what the question was at all. Regardless of whether WDW is better or worse now than before is irrelevant. The question is about whether negativity towards certain things is clouded by nostalgia, and if such negativity is truly deserved or a result of nostalgic impulses and people's bitterness towards losing the source of many memories.

  8. #23

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    Re: Do We Let Nostalgia Cloud Our Vision of Present Day Disney?

    Quote Originally Posted by CaliforniaAdventurer View Post
    You wake up each new day, and open Disneyland.

    If you stick to sweeping floors and replacing bulbs and other maintenance issues, the way they were performed yesterday and the day before, then you don't need to account for complexities of business operations today.
    These things don't just happen for free. You need labor to sweep floors and replace bulbs. You have to buy the bulbs, and the screws and the paint and all the other items for maintenance. I'm sure you think that these are trivial things but they can really add up especially when dealing with a property the size of WDW.

    My point is that Walt never had to deal with issues on this level. So it is an unfair comparison when trying to bring up why things just can't happen the way they would when he was around.

  9. #24

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    Re: Do We Let Nostalgia Cloud Our Vision of Present Day Disney?

    Quote Originally Posted by RandySavage View Post
    To answer: Yes. I take all such complexities into account whenever I make negative comments.
    As do I. We obviously can still have different views on what constitutes a challenge for Disney to operate the way they do.

  10. #25

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    Re: Do We Let Nostalgia Cloud Our Vision of Present Day Disney?

    Quote Originally Posted by Witches of Morva View Post
    ORDDU: My sisters and I look at all this a bit differently. Instead of seeing that nostalgia 'clouds our vision' of what we have a right to expect from the Disney Company, we see nostalgia as something to never forget because--once fans DO forget how much better things used to be--it's all too easy to give current management a free pass to lower standards and that is something that should never be acceptable.

    ORWEN: Just because Uncle Walt is dead and gone is no excuse for those who are still alive and know what quality could and SHOULD be like, to just roll over and pretend they don't see the glaring faults that need to be corrected.

    ORDDU: Of course it's a tricky tightrope to walk because when you try to uphold the same standards that Walt created, you risk being called a 'whiner' or a 'chronic complainer'--particularly by the younger crowds who weren't around to see what the glory days were really like at Disney.
    Bingo x 3!
    "With the acquisition of Marvel and now of Lucasfilm,
    Disney may have finally found the grail. You don't need
    imagination or art. All you need is a brand."

    - Neil Gabler


  11. #26

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    Re: Do We Let Nostalgia Cloud Our Vision of Present Day Disney?

    Now also bear in mind that we are talking about a premium product here.. This isn't a B rate theme park. This is the highest level park and vacation experience. I do not care if they have to hire more people now to sweep floors and buy bulbs then they did years ago, or that labor costs have gone up. I am paying a PREMIUM price for their product... Prices for the parks have consistently risen... I expect a level of maintenance equal to what I experienced when I paid $21.95 for park admission to now when I am paying $80.00. Disney set the standards for park maintenance...I expect no less than the standard they marketed to us to make us loyal customers. I am not blinded by the parks of the past, but do expect for the parks to continue to be operated in the same quality they were known for, which allows them to charge the PREMIUM prices that we pay. When we begin to accept a decline in show while swallowing another price increase without being justly critical of what is going on, we all lose. let's not forget the legendary salaries the Disney Company executives make...and the golden parachutes they floated out on...while scrimping on the budgets on park attractions and maintenance during the Pressler/Eisner era... I applaud the new Fantasyland and some of the new interactive things they are doing...Those things help justify the ever rising costs of a Disney vacation.

  12. #27

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    Re: Do We Let Nostalgia Cloud Our Vision of Present Day Disney?

    Example: When I was a third grader, I first visited Disneyland. Everyone rode everything together. I felt so grown up.
    Then all through much of my adult life when I visited Disneyland it made me feel like a kid again.
    I believe this was the key to huge success of this park.
    The last time I visited the park, even after three days, neither me nor my wife was feeling youthful.
    And I'm sure not many kids who were too short to ride thrill rides felt very grown up.
    The ability to make adults feel young again? Priceless!
    Without it, Disneyland is just another fancy amusement park.
    It can only go downhill unless someone in charge understands what has been lost.
    Any old timers agree?

  13. #28

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    Re: Do We Let Nostalgia Cloud Our Vision of Present Day Disney?

    Well put. This old timer agrees.

  14. #29

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    Re: Do We Let Nostalgia Cloud Our Vision of Present Day Disney?

    Quote Originally Posted by fnord View Post
    Example: When I was a third grader, I first visited Disneyland. Everyone rode everything together. I felt so grown up.
    Then all through much of my adult life when I visited Disneyland it made me feel like a kid again.
    I believe this was the key to huge success of this park.
    The last time I visited the park, even after three days, neither me nor my wife was feeling youthful.
    And I'm sure not many kids who were too short to ride thrill rides felt very grown up.
    The ability to make adults feel young again? Priceless!
    Without it, Disneyland is just another fancy amusement park.
    It can only go downhill unless someone in charge understands what has been lost.
    Any old timers agree?
    Here here I agree :-)
    while the parks need some thrills I think that the loss of attractions everyone can ride together, ESP in EPCOT is a loss - similarly lack of maintenance upkeep just makes things look seedy IMO.

    It will be interesting to see if the little people of today feel the same about Disney when they are bigger as we do now or if the short term cuts will end up in long term losses

  15. #30

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    Re: Do We Let Nostalgia Cloud Our Vision of Present Day Disney?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Wiggins View Post
    Bingo x 3!
    Bingo x 4!!!

    Just because I hold Walt's standards (aka "nostalgia") highly does not mean I'm a "doom and gloomer" or a "whiner," I just want to see the Disney Company try to perform at their peak, where both guests (new- and old-timers alike) as well as management are happy with the way the parks are run.

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