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Disney Charm. Where have you gone?

Phroobar

Well-Known Member
I think we need to define the difference between charm and nostalgia. The park is still beautiful and has the best theming in the world and is still charming. However it is losing items of nostalgia that us 40-60 year olds remember from our childhood. The park needs to change to remain relevant to today's audience. That is the reason we got things like Space Mountain, Big Thunder, Star Tours and Indy.
 

George Lucas on a Bench

Well-Known Member
Why does it need to stay "relevant"? Historically, the park became most crowded when it was fairly stagnant. It was when they started making huge changes to keep it "relevant" that everyone stopped showing up.

Irrelevant and charming:

0124_FEA_OCR-L-DIS-STARWARS-FEATURED-1.jpg


Relevant charmless barren wasteland:

5cef19c2594ea51a7b30d2d6.jpeg
 

Brer Oswald

Well-Known Member
I think we need to define the difference between charm and nostalgia. The park is still beautiful and has the best theming in the world and is still charming. However it is losing items of nostalgia that us 40-60 year olds remember from our childhood. The park needs to change to remain relevant to today's audience. That is the reason we got things like Space Mountain, Big Thunder, Star Tours and Indy.
Not true. I’m around 20 years under your minimum target, and I’ve been to Disneyland once. Yet I completely understand what people are talking about in this thread.

The “more relevant argument” is the biggest fallacy in the history of theme park design. “More timeless” is what should be the target. Current fads will eventually become irrelevant. But great ideas, and proper effort, have no expiration date.
 

mickEblu

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
I think we need to define the difference between charm and nostalgia. The park is still beautiful and has the best theming in the world and is still charming. However it is losing items of nostalgia that us 40-60 year olds remember from our childhood. The park needs to change to remain relevant to today's audience. That is the reason we got things like Space Mountain, Big Thunder, Star Tours and Indy.

So in other words, one day we’ll be nostalgic for Galaxies Edge? I agree nostalgia plays a part. However, that’s not the main thing that’s going on here. We re talking about the fact that the people that are the calling the shots just don’t get it. That’s the main issue. They don’t seem to understand the intangibles that’s made Disneyland what it is. And yes the park (it’s becoming less and less of one each day) is still beautiful and a great place to visit when it’s not insanely crowded. We can thank Walt Disney and all the people who worked on the park the first four decades for that.
 
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George Lucas on a Bench

Well-Known Member
Disneyland works best when it gives you those warm fuzzy feelings. Newer additions are cold and offputting, downright disturbing in the case of Galaxy Edge AKA 2020: The Land.

The reason he hates everything they do now but liked Grizzly Peak is because they made it warm and inviting with trees, an old car, Smokey Bear ads and inspiring symphonic music.
 

mickEblu

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
If someone said I could push a button right now and turn Disneyland (except Tomorrowland) into a museum for all time I wouldn’t hesitate. Just the ability to freeze the West side of the park as it is today and spare it from any future BS would be worth it.

On second thought I would probably push it with Tommorwland included too. It’s just a matter of time until we lose Autopia, all those trees, the longer monorail route and maybe the lagoon too for some huge E ticket show building that will be seen throughout the park (because that’s just how they roll now) and a soulless boring trackless Frozen ride.
 
Hello, welcome to the Disneyland forum! :)

I believe @mickEblu is here like the rest of us, because he likes Disneyland and its long history and enjoys talking about it. Just look at his avatar; it's a clip of the first drop on Pirates taken from the 1967 episode of Wonderful World of Color titled "From Pirates of the Caribbean to the World of Tomorrow", and if that's not a cool way to announce your Disneyland street cred than I don't know what is.

I would also have to agree with his assessment of the recent smaller projects added to Disneyland that still have an element of that classic Walt charm. From most charming to not quite as charming, I would rank that list;

  1. Fantasyland Faire (a super cute way to extend the land, and extend its 1983 remake very nicely)
  2. Cars Land (it's big and bold, but the details were never overlooked and it's amazing what you can find there)
  3. Grizzly Peak Airfield (setting it circa 1961 was a surprising move, but it really works! That 1960 Studebaker is brilliant)
The one thing I didn't see him mention that I think deserves recognition is Buena Vista Street, especially when it first opened in 2012. They really worked hard on that, and it shows. Sadly, the mall managers who are in charge of those stores got to redo stuff after the Imagineers moved on to their next project, and the window displays have devolved from their circa 1928 Historic Americana brilliance into circa 2019 Made In China Crap You Don't Actually Need.

But Star Wars Land? And Pixar Pier? And The Little Mermaid? It's either bland, or vapid, or cheap looking. Sometimes it's all three of those things, in the case of most of Pixar Pier.

As a reminder of how cool and charming everything Walt made for Disneyland was, here's the 1967 episode of Wonderful World of Color that should be mandatory viewing for any Disneyland fan and whoever the latest Burbank executive is who sits in the Disneyland President office for six to 18 months before moving on. It's fabulous!!


I've always thought it bizarre those who criticize others for creating content on a
Hello, welcome to the Disneyland forum! :)

I believe @mickEblu is here like the rest of us, because he likes Disneyland and its long history and enjoys talking about it. Just look at his avatar; it's a clip of the first drop on Pirates taken from the 1967 episode of Wonderful World of Color titled "From Pirates of the Caribbean to the World of Tomorrow", and if that's not a cool way to announce your Disneyland street cred than I don't know what is.

I would also have to agree with his assessment of the recent smaller projects added to Disneyland that still have an element of that classic Walt charm. From most charming to not quite as charming, I would rank that list;

  1. Fantasyland Faire (a super cute way to extend the land, and extend its 1983 remake very nicely)
  2. Cars Land (it's big and bold, but the details were never overlooked and it's amazing what you can find there)
  3. Grizzly Peak Airfield (setting it circa 1961 was a surprising move, but it really works! That 1960 Studebaker is brilliant)
The one thing I didn't see him mention that I think deserves recognition is Buena Vista Street, especially when it first opened in 2012. They really worked hard on that, and it shows. Sadly, the mall managers who are in charge of those stores got to redo stuff after the Imagineers moved on to their next project, and the window displays have devolved from their circa 1928 Historic Americana brilliance into circa 2019 Made In China Crap You Don't Actually Need.

But Star Wars Land? And Pixar Pier? And The Little Mermaid? It's either bland, or vapid, or cheap looking. Sometimes it's all three of those things, in the case of most of Pixar Pier.

As a reminder of how cool and charming everything Walt made for Disneyland was, here's the 1967 episode of Wonderful World of Color that should be mandatory viewing for any Disneyland fan and whoever the latest Burbank executive is who sits in the Disneyland President office for six to 18 months before moving on. It's fabulous!!


I've never understood criticizing a poster for contributing content to a forum. I don't know maybe I'm a speed reader but I've never found it overly time-consuming to parse through threads. Even if someone goes slightly off topic there is still potentially a lesson or data set to be gleamed.

Anyhow to answer OP, Trader Sams opened in 2011 so that falls within their ten year time frame.
 

TP2000

Well-Known Member
I’d also add the altered train route but that’s just me.

Ooh, that's right! The redone Rivers of America from 2017 turned out really nice.

I still maintain that after that upgrade, Disneyland has the absolute best looking and most entertaining Rivers of America complex of all the Castle parks around the world. And yes, the most charming.

WDW's River is a sad shell of its former self, and basically looks like an overgrown flood control channel now. Paris' River was Imagineered beautifully, but fell to the wayside and the only thing they have there now is a single riverboat. Tokyo's River is very good, and they have a great Island and the Canoes and the maintenance is absolutely top notch; but it's still only a close second to Disneyland's reinvigorated River complex.

So Disneyland wins for most charming Rivers of America with the most rides still operating on it! (Mark Twain, Rafts, Canoes, Columbia)
 

Model3 McQueen

Well-Known Member
In the Parks
No
There goes @mickEblu hitting the nail on the head yet again.

Folks, since the mid 2010's the Disneyland of today has been hell-bent on advertising as much Intellectual-property as possible.. and apparently as fast as possible. There is NO real other explanation for a Pixar Pier, Marvel Land, Hyperspace Mountain, Star Wars Galaxies Edge, Star Wars Beta (Tomorrowland), Mission Cheapout, High School Musical advertisement in the Tomorrowland theatre.. etc. You could argue that the evil Splash Mountain is being changed because somehow it's you-know-what.. yet here we are with an Intellectual Property proposition which will I guess sell more merchandise maybe.

And on the whole, with perhaps a reasonable argument to be made in favor of SW:GE and Tropical Hideaway - the replacement product has generally been atrocious, unnecessary, and downright dumb.

MMRR i'm sure will be fine. At least. So how excited are you to spend $200 a day to see plastic figures of the Incredibles on a rollercoaster? Or some washed out projections on Space Mountain that are supposed to be star cruisers and tie fighters?
 
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SplashGhost

Well-Known Member
Authentic charm isn't something that can be created on demand. The strict corporate structure of modern Disney is not about creating art, it is about find ways to maximize profits. While Disney has always been a business, it used to be a business that balanced artistic achievements with financial success. Now, it has become a soulless corporate entity that cares only about maximizing profit for the current quarter above anything else. That kind of stifling corporate environment is not conductive to creating experiences that have authentic charm.
 

TrainChasers

Well-Known Member
Authentic charm isn't something that can be created on demand. The strict corporate structure of modern Disney is not about creating art, it is about find ways to maximize profits. While Disney has always been a business, it used to be a business that balanced artistic achievements with financial success. Now, it has become a soulless corporate entity that cares only about maximizing profit for the current quarter above anything else. That kind of stifling corporate environment is not conductive to creating experiences that have authentic charm.

"Creativity is an organic human behavior... It's perfectly orderly but in the next moment will do something nobody can predict. And prediction is the obsession of organizations. So there's inherent conflict, never to be resolved. Only negotiated." - Joe Rohde
 

Rich T

Well-Known Member
I’d be happy if Disney would simply get back to being hyper-creative and origjnal and stop designing attractions based on franchises they purchased. The name Disney is rapidly being rendered meaningless.

Unless they really want the world to associate “Disney” with “Overpriced and Creatively Bankrupt.”

Even Joe Public has noticed the repetition, the vapidness and overall decline in quality in Disney’s recent output.
 
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