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Are the memories > the present?

CP_alum08

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
With the 50th coming up I've been thinking a lot about past trips and the memories/nostalgia and wondering if those memories are better than the present.

Between, let's say 2000-ish and 2016, I went to WDW at least once every year, and now I'm coming up on almost 5 years without a trip. My last trip was my honeymoon so obviously there are great memories tied to that, lots of early 2000's memories of September trips and having entire sections of the parks to ourselves, being there as a kid with my parents, the list goes on. There have been massive changes in the past 5 years to attractions, pricing, ticketing...seems like just about everything. So to anyone who hasn't been in a few years, whether that's 2 or 20, are you worried the current state of WDW won't live up to your memories?
 

Queen of the WDW Scene

Well-Known Member
In the Parks
No
I may not be the best poster to give an answer since I only haven't been since July 2019 but this will be the longest time I have not been in my entire life at 25 months (my next trip is August).

I'm going into this trip knowing it will likely still not be 100% "normal" so I think that helps with expectations.
But I do think I will find it to be just as magical and fun no matter how different this trip is vs my last trip because I have been dreaming of returning.

I think a lot has to do with your attitude. By creating a thread questioning how fun the trip will be you're setting yourself up to find the not so magical parts of the trip you have not even taken yet.
 

Pepper's Ghost

Well-Known Member
With the 50th coming up I've been thinking a lot about past trips and the memories/nostalgia and wondering if those memories are better than the present.

Between, let's say 2000-ish and 2016, I went to WDW at least once every year, and now I'm coming up on almost 5 years without a trip. My last trip was my honeymoon so obviously there are great memories tied to that, lots of early 2000's memories of September trips and having entire sections of the parks to ourselves, being there as a kid with my parents, the list goes on. There have been massive changes in the past 5 years to attractions, pricing, ticketing...seems like just about everything. So to anyone who hasn't been in a few years, whether that's 2 or 20, are you worried the current state of WDW won't live up to your memories?
I think I qualify to respond to this. I went to Magic Kingdom for 1 day while on a business trip about 4 years ago, but prior to that it's been 12 years for me. You really just can't experience WDW in 1 day, so I don't count it. I just wanted a taste while I was there. It's been 12 years since I visited any of the other parks. For the first 5 of those years it was personal circumstances, but honestly over the last 7, I haven't had a strong desire. Lately, I've really been itching to return, but I'm petrified that it just won't be the same anymore. There are several rides that have been changed, removed, or I hear are in disrepair that I really don't have a strong desire. To name a few TT2.0, SotW, PotC, Spaceship Earth, etc. Those rides specifically have been changed in a way that I fear won't be enjoyable when I finally do get back.

I really am not looking forward to exiting those rides and having no desire to go back on before leaving. They're all rides I have a strong sentimental attachment to back in the 2000s, so I fear it'll have been ruined for me after my next trip, whenever that will be. And that's not to mention rides I've heard are in a bad state of disrepair like Dinosaur, Everest (d@mn yeti), Peoplemover, Splash Mountain, on and on. Despite the few thrill rides WDW has, for me and I'm sure most on these boards, the biggest part of why Disney is a favorite is due to the theming, the pre-show, the attention to details, the submersion. It's hard to be submersed in a ride when the human element of disrepair is introduced. That really kills the buzz when a dinosaur you know is supposed to eat you because you rode it before is not replaced with simple darkness. Or Yeti that's supposed to lunge at you and take your head off is just dancing in a nightclub. Or the Peoplemover which for a long time wasn't moving people. It's such a simple ride, but I loved the theming, and audio. They changed the audio for the worse, so even if it is working, it's just not the same anymore.

It's really such a sad state. I mean, I'm sure first time visitors will love it as is, but those of us blessed to have visited the parks in a better era know what it could be and once was.
 

Goofyernmost

Well-Known Member
I first went in 1983, I was 35 years old. I was with my wife and two girls age 6 and 9. Nothing that has happened since that week has surpassed that trip. Not even my European adventure. So I will go with the memories. There is, of course, a lot more to see now then back then but the memories have lingered forever. My daughters and I were just having a discussion last Saturday about that trip. They remember it as clearly as can be expected after 38 years, but they remember the entire trip. Everything from the planning we did as a family both with things we wanted to see, plus financial considerations. All four of us were in that conversation. The trip down from Vermont was just plain exciting and fun. We didn't have a lot of time to stop, but this road trip was something that we had never done before. The live Oaks and Spanish Moss was a highlight. At the time many of the old tobacco shacks and some of the very old wooden buildings from the 1800rds were still visible from I-95. We drove on the beach in Daytona before hitting I-4 to Kissimmee.

The next morning driving on World Drive under the big Welcome sign, tuning in the radio to get Disney directions and arriving at the biggest parking lot and most organized parking lot we had ever seen. The tram ride where the guide had us repeating our parking row and number over and over. (no cell phones back then to take a picture of it.) The monorail ride to MK, Main Street and the Castle. The dark rides, the shows and the atmosphere. The fun we had as a family going on all the attractions and even standing in the switchback lines, meeting and greeting the same people every few minutes. Even taking half a day off and going to the Kennedy Space Center.

We didn't want to leave, but since we all wanted to be able to continue eating and having a house to live in, we had to return to my job, but on the way back we did two things. We drove up the west side of the state and paid a visit to Silver Springs and the famous glass bottom boats. When we got to D.C. we arranged for a bus tour of the massive number of things to see in Washington. We set it up for Sunday Morning and what arrived instead of a bus was a passenger van. It appeared that we were the only ones that reserved a tour for that day. The driver said that if we wanted to see something special that wasn't on the schedule all we had to do was ask. We, being new at this, didn't really know what. We saw all the stuff like the White House and the Capital building, but I suggested the Vietnam Memorial and my Wife wanted whatever Smithsonian building that had old first ladies gowns, etc. The kids and myself wanted the Air and Space Museum as well. The driver started to talk to my 6 year old and wanted to know what grade she was in and what she had been studying the previous week. Well this was in February and it was the celebration of Washington's and Lincoln's birthday and she had been learning about Lincoln just before we left. The driver said, then I know just the place to go and he brought us to the Ford Theater and the house across the street where Lincoln died and the bed he died in. What a vacation report she had when she got back in class.

We got home and still had $200 left over that we didn't spend. Still not sure how that happened, but I think you can see how difficult it would be to beat that memory. So my short answer after a lot of written diarrhea is the memories are the best.
 
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JustAFan

Well-Known Member
We generally tend to romanticize the past anyway. Good times are multiplied in our memory. As adults, we also poke holes in what we see currently. If we're honest, most people will answer this as memories are greater than the present. Whether or not that's true - and how you quantify that - will surely be debated.
 

Minnesota disney fan

Well-Known Member
I first went in 1983, I was 35 years old. I was with my wife and two girls age 6 and 9. Nothing that has happened since that week has surpassed that trip. Not even my European adventure. So I will go with the memories. There is, of course, a lot more to see now then back then but the memories have lingered forever. My daughters and I were just having a discussion last Saturday about that trip. They remember it as clearly as can be expected after 38 years, but they remember the entire trip. Everything from the planning we did as a family both with things we wanted to see, plus financial considerations. All four of us were in that conversation. The trip down from Vermont was just plain exciting and fun. We didn't have a lot of time to stop, but this road trip was something that we had never done before. The live Oaks and Spanish Moss was a highlight. At the time many of the old tobacco shacks and some of the very old wooden buildings from the 1800rds were still visible from I-95. We drove on the beach in Daytona before hitting I-4 to Kissimmee.

The next morning driving on World Drive under the big Welcome sign, tuning in the radio to get Disney directions and arriving at the biggest parking lot and most organized parking lot we had ever seen. The monorail ride to MK, Main Street and the Castle. The dark rides, the shows and the atmosphere. The fun we had as a family going on all the attractions and even standing in the switchback lines, meeting and greeting the same people every few minutes. Even taking half a day off and going to the Kennedy Space Center.

We didn't want to leave, but since we all wanted to be able to continue eating and having a house to live in, we had to return to my job, but on the way back we did two things. We drove up the west side of the state and paid a visit to Silver Springs and the famous glass bottom boats. When we got to D.C. we arranged for a bus tour of the massive number of things to see in Washington. We set it up for Sunday Morning and what arrived instead of a bus was a passenger van. It appeared that we were the only ones that reserved a tour for that day. The driver said that if we wanted to see something special that wasn't on the schedule all we had to do was ask. We, being new at this, didn't really know what. We saw all the stuff like the White House and the Capital building, but I suggested the Vietnam Memorial and my Wife wanted whatever Smithsonian building that had old first ladies gowns, etc. The kids and myself wanted the Air and Space Museum as well. The driver started to talk to my 6 year old and wanted to know what grade she was in and what she had been studying the previous week. Well this was in February and it was the celebration of Washington's and Lincoln's birthday and she had been learning about Lincoln just before we left. The driver said, then I know just the place to go and he brought us to the Ford Theater and the house across the street where Lincoln died and the bed he died in. What a vacation report she had when she got back in class.

We got home and still had $200 left over that we didn't spend. Still not sure how that happened, but I think you can see how difficult it would be to beat that memory. So my short answer after a lot of written diarrhea is the memories are the best.

Our first trip was in l983 also. Our kids were 5 and 7. I remember how clean everything was kept, the smiling happy CM's we encountered, that there was no need to plan the day. We just went where and when we wanted. We stayed off site at a hotel in Kissemee and the kids loved the pool as much as disney, LOL>
We also went to Silver Springs and rode the glass bottom boats and saw the Mermaids at_____, LOL, can't remember the name.
It sounds like you had alot of great memories with your family on trips and they are precious.
We (husband and I) have been going to WDW yearly or more since 2010. The magic was always there for us, along with a big dose of the nostalgia. As it has become more and more crowded, we tend to see the neglected and not working attractions a little more, I think?
Disney holds many happy memories for us, and the Nostalgia is still there, though the reality is making us stay away this year with no plans right now to return.
 

CP_alum08

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Disney holds many happy memories for us, and the Nostalgia is still there, though the reality is making us stay away this year with no plans right now to return.
I think this is my biggest fear, if you will, is having all of these great memories tarnished in some way. Obviously that may not happen! We may go again this year, next year, whenever, and have an excellent trip! But even as I'm saying this, I'm thinking to myself that there are always reasons to not do something and that shouldn't ever stop you:)
 

Goofyernmost

Well-Known Member
Our first trip was in l983 also. Our kids were 5 and 7. I remember how clean everything was kept, the smiling happy CM's we encountered, that there was no need to plan the day. We just went where and when we wanted. We stayed off site at a hotel in Kissemee and the kids loved the pool as much as disney, LOL>
We also went to Silver Springs and rode the glass bottom boats and saw the Mermaids at_____, LOL, can't remember the name.
It sounds like you had alot of great memories with your family on trips and they are precious.
We (husband and I) have been going to WDW yearly or more since 2010. The magic was always there for us, along with a big dose of the nostalgia. As it has become more and more crowded, we tend to see the neglected and not working attractions a little more, I think?
Disney holds many happy memories for us, and the Nostalgia is still there, though the reality is making us stay away this year with no plans right now to return.
If I recall the mermaids were at Weeki Wachee Springs. I went there as well but I was with my parents at the time in 1963. I'll be honest, I have never focused on the CM's or the cleanliness or much of anything except my (or our) experiences. I do remember that the colors are a lot brighter now and even back then I found things that weren't working. The animatronic chickens on Tom Sawyers Island were covered with dirt and some were moving (slightly) but naturally and others looked like they were having seizures. In my mind it was less likely that things would be broken when the park was only 12 years old back then, since then those same things have been operating for over 38 more years. One thing I know for sure is the past 38 years have affected my movements as well. :D
 

Pepper's Ghost

Well-Known Member
We generally tend to romanticize the past anyway. Good times are multiplied in our memory. As adults, we also poke holes in what we see currently. If we're honest, most people will answer this as memories are greater than the present. Whether or not that's true - and how you quantify that - will surely be debated.
This is very true, although I think both can be true at the same time.

I have a friend who is king of telling stories and romanticizing the past. He always tells grand stories of spring breaks to FL as adults with our other friends. He does it with everyone. I've never gone with them, and as he does every year he asked me profusely to join them. I declined, and when they got back he spoke of how awful the trip was and all the reasons. That was about 12 years ago, and every year since that trip, as he retells the stories from that awful trip, and they've become more fantastic and spectacular each year. I always call him out on that jokingly, but it is what it is. So I definitely agree with your premise. So I agree with your premise, but also think the parks just aren't what they used to be.
 
My first time at Disney was 1980. Went every year for 5 years then off and on for the next 5. I was a lot younger then. My next trip was not until 2011. Of course things were different and continue to change. However, my mind always reverts back to my initial memory of Magic Kingdom, EPCOT and MGM Studios. I have now been multiple times every year since 2011 ( yes even last year). I’m a lot older now but every time I‘m at Disney I think of my 5 year old self and quite frankly still shed a tear every time we leave.

So, no. I have never been nor will I ever be worried that Disney won’t live up to my memories.
 

cdatkins

Member
1983. EPCOT. Hard to describe but EPCOT at its inception had an optimism about the future that reflected the larger society. It was a special place. We really believed we would live undersea or in outer space someday. And EPCOT gave us a glimpse into that possible future.
 

eliza61nyc

Well-Known Member
i'm the outlier in the group, when we first went to Disney my family thought it sucked. My siblings and I thought it was cheesey and corny, I think it was 1971. They didn't have 4 parks back then and the best thing we thought about the trip was the monorail, lol although my father did joke that in NYC we had a monorail we could ride all day call the "el". we never returned until

In general humans tend to "romanticize" the past, I've watched almost all of Martins old time videos and can honestly say nothing I've seen made me say "wow". I think the only thing I wish that would have remained is the Adventurers club.

now the price of things?? that too is as old as time, as long as I've been here folks have been griping about how expensive it is and how it's going to be the downfall of wdw. that's been about 10 years now.
 
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Goofyernmost

Well-Known Member
i'm the outlier in the group, when we first went to Disney my family thought it sucked. My siblings and I thought it was cheesey and corny, I think it was 1970. They didn't have 4 parks back then and the best thing we thought about the trip was the monorail, lol although my father did joke that in NYC we had a monorail we could ride all day call the "el". we never returned until

In general humans tend to "romanticize" the past, I've watched almost all of Martins old time videos and can honestly say nothing I've seen made me say "wow". I think the only thing I wish that would have remained is the Adventurers club.

now the price of things?? that too is as old as time, as long as I've been here folks have been griping about how expensive it is and how it's going to be the downfall of wdw. that's been about 10 years now.
WDW didn't open until late in 1971 and it did indeed suck. As theme parks go, at the time it had almost nothing to do and what they did have was very much not advanced technology.
1983. EPCOT. Hard to describe but EPCOT at its inception had an optimism about the future that reflected the larger society. It was a special place. We really believed we would live undersea or in outer space someday. And EPCOT gave us a glimpse into that possible future.
Perhaps in late 1983, but in February of that year it was nothing but long, long lines. We didn't get into SSE and there wasn't much else. Imagination only had the 3D kodak movie and the line ran for the Imagination Pavilion all the way back to CommuniCore West. We waited in that one line expecting a ride, and we got a movie. It was a good movie, but not that good. That day we decided that since we liked WDW so much there was a better then even chance that we would be back so we decided to leave and drive to Kennedy Space Center instead. I feel that it was a good choice. When we returned in 1985 it was fleshed out and far more what you are describing.
 

eliza61nyc

Well-Known Member
WDW didn't open until late in 1971 and it did indeed suck. As theme parks go, at the time it had almost nothing to do and what they did have was very much not advanced technology.

Perhaps in late 1983, but in February of that year it was nothing but long, long lines. We didn't get into SSE and there wasn't much else. Imagination only had the 3D kodak movie and the line ran for the Imagination Pavilion all the way back to CommuniCore West. We waited in that one line expecting a ride, and we got a movie. It was a good movie, but not that good. That day we decided that since we liked WDW so much there was a better then even chance that we would be back so we decided to leave and drive to Kennedy Space Center instead. I feel that it was a good choice. When we returned in 1985 it was fleshed out and far more what you are describing.
thanks. 1971. agreed. I was a kid but absolutely remember me and my siblings were like "really? " how quick can we get back home.
 

Mr Mindcrime

Well-Known Member
I first went in 1983, I was 35 years old. I was with my wife and two girls age 6 and 9. Nothing that has happened since that week has surpassed that trip. Not even my European adventure. So I will go with the memories. There is, of course, a lot more to see now then back then but the memories have lingered forever. My daughters and I were just having a discussion last Saturday about that trip. They remember it as clearly as can be expected after 38 years, but they remember the entire trip. Everything from the planning we did as a family both with things we wanted to see, plus financial considerations. All four of us were in that conversation. The trip down from Vermont was just plain exciting and fun. We didn't have a lot of time to stop, but this road trip was something that we had never done before. The live Oaks and Spanish Moss was a highlight. At the time many of the old tobacco shacks and some of the very old wooden buildings from the 1800rds were still visible from I-95. We drove on the beach in Daytona before hitting I-4 to Kissimmee.

The next morning driving on World Drive under the big Welcome sign, tuning in the radio to get Disney directions and arriving at the biggest parking lot and most organized parking lot we had ever seen. The tram ride where the guide had us repeating our parking row and number over and over. (no cell phones back then to take a picture of it. The monorail ride to MK, Main Street and the Castle. The dark rides, the shows and the atmosphere. The fun we had as a family going on all the attractions and even standing in the switchback lines, meeting and greeting the same people every few minutes. Even taking half a day off and going to the Kennedy Space Center.

We didn't want to leave, but since we all wanted to be able to continue eating and having a house to live in, we had to return to my job, but on the way back we did two things. We drove up the west side of the state and paid a visit to Silver Springs and the famous glass bottom boats. When we got to D.C. we arranged for a bus tour of the massive number of things to see in Washington. We set it up for Sunday Morning and what arrived instead of a bus was a passenger van. It appeared that we were the only ones that reserved a tour for that day. The driver said that if we wanted to see something special that wasn't on the schedule all we had to do was ask. We, being new at this, didn't really know what. We saw all the stuff like the White House and the Capital building, but I suggested the Vietnam Memorial and my Wife wanted whatever Smithsonian building that had old first ladies gowns, etc. The kids and myself wanted the Air and Space Museum as well. The driver started to talk to my 6 year old and wanted to know what grade she was in and what she had been studying the previous week. Well this was in February and it was the celebration of Washington's and Lincoln's birthday and she had been learning about Lincoln just before we left. The driver said, then I know just the place to go and he brought us to the Ford Theater and the house across the street where Lincoln died and the bed he died in. What a vacation report she had when she got back in class.

We got home and still had $200 left over that we didn't spend. Still not sure how that happened, but I think you can see how difficult it would be to beat that memory. So my short answer after a lot of written diarrhea is the memories are the best.
That .... was a memory that has obviously lasted a lifetime. That is the way life should work :) Thanks for sharing!!!
 

JIMINYCR

Well-Known Member
I know my memories of past trips are better than the present Disney. Even though Disney continues to add new experiences and change up attractions that many see as improvements to the old, I treasure the simpler, less crowded, better operated Disney. And there was no need for advanced planning of every move you made with the possibility of being blocked out of doing something you looked forward to experiencing on your trip. I couldnt help on my just recent trip to make comparisons of the old and the new as we visited the parks. I do enjoy and welcome some of the new, but its hard to forget those pieces that made Disney special long ago.
 

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