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  1. #1

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    In your opinion, how has the show quality/cleanliness of the parks gone down?

    I haven't been to WDW since 1991. Since 1978 my family and I would go every summer. The last time that we went was 1991. I reported on these boards that I was possibly going for a day soon, and asked about which park to visit. Some people on these boards have told me that I will be amazed at how the show quality and cleanliness of the parks have gone down! How has that happened? How has the quality gone down? Tell me more! Your thoughts?

  2. #2

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    Cleanliness - no, it hasn't gone down IMHO. However, some things are getting "old" looking. Disney tries to refresh and refurbish as much as they can, but this takes money and planning, etc.

    As far as the quality of the "shows", it depends on what you mean. Some are better, some are not as good. Mickey's BBQ is a new dinner show, and it's great. HDDR is as good as ever. The old Luau has been replaced by an updated "Spirit of Aloha". Some like it and some don't. We thought it was pretty good.

    For live shows at the parks, animatronics, and rides that have showmanship (like Jungle Cruise), it all depends. Many think that Tarzan is not as good as when it first opened (I agree). Mixed reviews on Cinderellabration (I was never big on the show in front of the castle, anyway. The theater in Tomorrowland is seldom used now except for special events. Lion King is better than ever, I think. Older animatronics, like CBJ, and CoP need some TLC. CBJ could definitely use new audio, but I hope they don't change anything. Jungle Cruise can be great or terrible, depending on who's working your boat. The new Tiki-tiki room ("under new mangement") I think is really, really bad (but the kids seem to like it). I understand they restored the original show in DL in Cal. I hope they do the same in WDW in FL soon.

    The new show at MGM - LMA - is supposed to be great (we missed it).

    I can't remember if the Tomorrowland refurb was before or after 1991. If it was after, you'll be surprised. Some good things, some bad. I don't remember when they changed out the ride vehicles in SM, but the new ones are great. They totally destroyed the peoplemover for me. And I wish they never got rid of If You Had Wings. But I digress.

    Lots of things are different since '91. I hope you enjoy your visit, and be sure to report back and let us know what you like and don't like about your experience.

    BTW, if you're there for one day, I'd split my time between MK and Epcot. But there are lots of arguments for other combinations as well. Especially since you mentioned you want to try the new rides at MGM, so for you MGM and Epcot might be the answer. And a single park will be a lot cheaper (unless you're planning to buy more tickets for a future trip back. It's too bad you won't be there for two, you could at least get an overview of everything. Trying to do three or four parks in one day can be a killer.
    Last edited by KingStefan; 06-13-2005 at 07:25 AM.

  3. #3

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    I think it's gotten better at DL. Not like the 70s, but better. I'll go through and litter trash and gum all over ther place and vomit on a few benches, then turn on my stopwatch. After an hour, it's all cleaned up like nothing happened. Great job TDA!
    "As usual he's taken over the coolest spot in the house"- Father re: Orville 1963

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  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by KingStefan
    Cleanliness - no, it hasn't gone down IMHO. However, some things are getting "old" looking. Disney tries to refresh and refurbish as much as they can, but this takes money and planning, etc.
    Cleanliness has indeed gone down a lot since the good old days at Disney. All you have to do is go to Tokyo DisneyLand and DisneySea to put it in perspective since they are the epithomy of what a Disney park should be in terms of cleanliness and sanitation. One visit to TDR and you'll never think the other Disney Resorts in the USA and Paris are clean. There were times when you didn't see a discarded napking on the floor for more than mere seconds before a custodial showed up and picked it up. There were no untidy tables at restaurants, restrooms smelled clean and sanitized even on busy days...etc etc. Those days at WDW and DLP are gone. The over-abundance of vending carts throughout the parks and the constant output of "to go" food items in wrappers and baskets etc have contirbuted greatly in triplicating the amount of trash that is now found at every turn and every corner of the Disney parks. It's a domino effect of sorts... More food items sold outdoors, more trash it created... Then when you add the short-staffing of the custodial crew to the equation, the results are disastrous to the overall quality of Disney's parks.

    As for the "refresh and refurbish" comment above... Again, go to Tokyo Disney and compare with the other Disney Resorts. WDW is in major state of neglect because it's sheer size would mean huge operating cost to refurbish on a more on-going schedule. Yet..in the good old days.. WDW, DLR and DLP looked pristine. TDL at 22 yrs of operation still looks better that the rest because of OLC's aggresive maintenance schedule. Why can't WDC uphold the tradition set forth by the founder and keep up?? I think it's obcene that Japan's OLC is doing a much better job at maintaning their Disney Resort over Disney's very own facilities. A true case of not following up on what they preach.

  5. #5

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    wem1985, with all due respect to my friend TDLFAN, please don't be disheartened by stories of bad show and horrible cleanliness. I don't doubt that, compared to the early days, Disney isn't quite as good as it used to be at keeping the place spotless. That said, unless you're specifically looking for it, you'll still have your eyes filled with wonderful sights of old favorites and new discoveries. Unless you go frequently and with the mindset of trying to spotlight what's not perfect, you're going to have a great time!

    And I've said it before, TDLFAN - keep the pics coming, and keep the company's nose to the grindstone, my friend!

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by danyoung
    Unless you go frequently and with the mindset of trying to spotlight what's not perfect
    I disagree with you. I go to WDW often but never go with the so-called mindset of trying to spotlight what's not perfect. Au contraire (that means 'quite the opposite' for those of you in Texas) I always go hoping for the best, but the things that are not perfect seem to stand out at any given moment while out there dodging strollers.

  7. #7

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    WEM1985, I can only reiterate what I've told you privately. There is a huge difference in the way things are maintained now vs. 1991. I could talk about filthy bathrooms (especially at Disney-MGM Studios) when they used be so clean it was amazing. I could discuss how effects on E-Tickets like Haunted Mansion, Pirates and Splash Mountain haven't worked for years (things that in the past would have been fixed in hours or days). There are many areas where woodrot is apparent because instead of treating or replacing the wood, Disney has just put coat after coat of paint. I could point out how many great attractions have gone to Yesterdayland, replaced by less imaginative, less costly fare or not replaced at all leaving parts of the parks feel empty and desolate. I could point out how hours have been cut back, entertainment taken away or how shops all sell the same WalMart quality merchandise ... in other words, I could go on for quite a while, but you know what? It doesn't matter -- in your case that is.

    You haven't been there in 14 years. That's an eternity. Go. Have a great time. Appreciate all the really cool stuff. There's plenty of magic there. Some new quality too! Things like Mickey's PhilharMagic at the MK, ToT at MGM, Mission Space at Epcot, all of DAK, and any of the fireworks shows.

    So don't let the realties of WDW 2005 get you down. The place isn't a dump. Far from it. The problem is Disney is capable of so much better and has conditioned us longtime fans (not geeks, they love anything) to expect something amazing only to have them go beyond our expectations. That's why the past decade has been a major downer for a lot of us. But you're different, you're unique.

    You likely won't notice most of what I do. And, if you do, don't let it ruin your time.

    Now go, have a great time and report back to all of us!
    Last edited by WDW1974; 06-13-2005 at 07:35 PM.

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by danyoung
    wem1985, with all due respect to my friend TDLFAN, please don't be disheartened by stories of bad show and horrible cleanliness. I don't doubt that, compared to the early days, Disney isn't quite as good as it used to be at keeping the place spotless. That said, unless you're specifically looking for it, you'll still have your eyes filled with wonderful sights of old favorites and new discoveries. Unless you go frequently and with the mindset of trying to spotlight what's not perfect, you're going to have a great time!

    And I've said it before, TDLFAN - keep the pics coming, and keep the company's nose to the grindstone, my friend!
    I remember once seeing a picture of Walt Disney standing next to a Teacup and the Cup was so beat up and scratched it wasnt funny. It stood out in my mind and ive never been able to find it again. Sometimes when it comes to perfection, our memories sanitize and romanticize things.
    "As usual he's taken over the coolest spot in the house"- Father re: Orville 1963

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  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by TDLFAN
    I disagree with you. I go to WDW often but never go with the so-called mindset of trying to spotlight what's not perfect. Au contraire (that means 'quite the opposite' for those of you in Texas) I always go hoping for the best, but the things that are not perfect seem to stand out at any given moment while out there dodging strollers.
    I can only say that (as usual) I agree. I never go 'looking' to find something wrong. I hope I never see anything askew. That said, I have a discerning eye, and I know how things are supposed to be.

    I can't ignore a pile of vomit sitting in front of Ice Station Cool for over an hour. I can't pretend I don't see filthy sidewalks and walkways in the MK (that Al Weiss swears on his exec team's lives) that are pressure-cleaned everynight (good old Al thinks it's 1994). I can't pretend I don't hear the awful audio screetching in my ears on the Mansion or that I don't smell anything funky on Splash Mountain.

    Some ... no,many folks, go through life in a haze (often not even with prescribed anti-depresants). They could step over body parts and swear they never saw any blood. I have an eye for details, especially Disney Details.
    I won't grade Disney on a curve. That's the worst thing I could ever do.

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cousin Orville
    I remember once seeing a picture of Walt Disney standing next to a Teacup and the Cup was so beat up and scratched it wasnt funny. It stood out in my mind and ive never been able to find it again. Sometimes when it comes to perfection, our memories sanitize and romanticize things.
    You know what? I find that terribly condescending. I'm not saying you meant it that way, just that us 'oldtimers' who do remember what WDW upkeep was like shouldn't be brushed aside in a simple blanket statement discrediting all of our experience and knowledge.

    Things weren't perfect back then ... even in Walt's time. But they were a helluva lot closer to perfection. Indeed, that's what Disney shot for. Now they shoot for the lowest possible target and if they miss that, well ... no one gets that upset.

    Again, I don't mean this as an attack Orville. But I, as old Ben Franklin would say in the American Adventure (until they close it down for a 20 second rolley coaster painted red, white and blue and called the American Eagle),
    'these bifocals aren't rose-colored.' I understand what things were like and what they are like now. It's perspective. And it's something that many here simply don't have.

  11. #11

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    I'm not saying upkeep hasn't slipped, it has. I've certainly posted enough about it and experienced it at a perhaps a more internal level than most. I'm an oldtimer as well. Having said that, I wanted to say (as you stated) that things weren't perfect in Walt's day either and I agree that the benchmark was higher. But some look only for faults and carry that to an unachievable extreme. Perspective, is the right word and that's all I was attempting to lend.
    "As usual he's taken over the coolest spot in the house"- Father re: Orville 1963

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  12. #12

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    ^^^Then we are in complete agreement.

  13. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by WDW1974
    I'm not saying you meant it that way, just that us 'oldtimers' who do remember what WDW upkeep was like shouldn't be brushed aside in a simple blanket statement discrediting all of our experience and knowledge
    In my case, not only do I remember what the MK was like in 1972 and forth thru the early 90s, but I also suffer from being conditioned to expect the same quality I experience visit after visit at TDR, where after a million visits, I still marvel at how freshly painted everything looks, how well manicured and perfectly cut the grass and flowers are, how all animated and EFXs work in the rides and how overall wonderful and varied the food and souvenirs are... Then I return home to WDW and it feels like I am being dropped thru a trap door into a money pit where not much is done to surpass my expectations and make me think my dollars are well spent.

    I darn myself for loving Disney parks so much. It's quite painful to say these things about my hometown resort.

  14. #14

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    Great thread, the one thing not mentioned yet is the Cast. Now maybe it was just not mentioned because nobody else feels as I do, but I think the Cast has gone far down hill from 1991, and I think that adds to the sorry state of WDW. Unlike DL, I think the WDW has digressed over the last 14 years. I'm sure a lot of this has to do with the dependency put on cheap, Disney-innocent, College interns looking for an extended break from classes. I'm sure some of it also has to do with WDW not keeping up with a living wage.

    I would say that if I were to visit WDW for the first time since 1991, after getting over the growth, the next thing that would shock me would be CM demeanor and communication skills. Especially at Disney Hotels.
    -Mike

  15. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by ChiMike
    Great thread, the one thing not mentioned yet is the Cast. Now maybe it was just not mentioned because nobody else feels as I do, but I think the Cast has gone far down hill from 1991, and I think that adds to the sorry state of WDW. Unlike DL, I think the WDW has digressed over the last 14 years. I'm sure a lot of this has to do with the dependency put on cheap, Disney-innocent, College interns looking for an extended break from classes. I'm sure some of it also has to do with WDW not keeping up with a living wage.

    I would say that if I were to visit WDW for the first time since 1991, after getting over the growth, the next thing that would shock me would be CM demeanor and communication skills. Especially at Disney Hotels.

    Actually Mike, I posted at length about CMs at WDW on another thread about working at WDW ... I think I posted it yesterday. But my bottom line was the same as yours, anyway.

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