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Grading Walt Disney World Throughout the Decades

ParentsOf4

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
I have a well-earned reputation for charts and decided it was time to create one with my own made-up metric; what I call the "Walt Disney World Historical Grade" chart. :)

Using a scale of 0 to 100, with 100 meaning "absolutely fabulous" and 0 meaning "it's a dump and should be closed", I graded Walt Disney World (WDW) for each year since its opening in 1971. Ultimately I decided to grade WDW against itself, using its peak years as the Gold Standard.

It's an arbitrary chart based on my opinion of the quality and value of WDW over the decades. It's not based on real data. You might very well have a different opinion.

Without further ado, my latest chart:

WDW Historical Grade.jpg


WDW was by no means perfect when it opened in 1971. The Magic Kingdom was a work in progress but still managed to blow the competition out of the water (only Disneyland was better) with an unflinching commitment to making its Guests happy.

Things only got better from there, with classic attractions such as Pirates of the Caribbean (POTC) and Space Mountain opening in the mid-1970s, River Country in 1976, followed by Big Thunder Mountain (BTM) in 1980.

WDW peaked with the opening of Epcot in 1982. Quality remained outstanding while total ticket price decreased. Previously, admission and attraction tickets were sold separately. Concerned about using that pricing scheme at Epcot, Disney leadership created a combined ticket, discontinuing attraction booklets. I recall many being upset about it but as someone who simply wanted to ride attractions all day long, the new tickets were perfect!

That perfection continued for a few years until Michael Eisner became CEO. One of his earliest actions was to increase ticket prices by double-digits. Those upset with the 1982 ticket change were furious with Eisner's massive increases, which continued from 1984 to 1988.

Attitudes greatly improved with the opening of Disney-MGM Studios and Typhoon Lagoon (TL) in 1989. Disney-MGM Studios got off to a rough start; there simply wasn't much to do. However, by the end of the year with the opening of the Indiana Jones Stunt Spectacular and Star Tours, Disney-MGM Studios finally felt like a theme park worthy of the Disney name. Typhoon Lagoon was amazing, unlike any other water park in the World. It made the quaint River Country seem amateurish. By 1990, the anger resulting from the price increases had been largely forgotten. With 3 theme parks, 2 water parks, a shopping district, and a nightclub district, WDW finally felt worthy of a week's vacation.

By the early 1990s, the wood was starting to rot beneath the glittering façade. Disney’s Strategic Planning unit began to micromanage theme park decisions. Gone was the uncompromising commitment to excellence, superseded by a cost-benefit-analysis of every aspect of the resort. Year-by-year, quality slipped, replaced by a "good enough" attitude. Many devoted frontline Cast Members remained but senior management was forced out, supplanted by those "sharp-pencil guys" Walt Disney had warned about decades before. Externally, all was well. Internally, Disney’s Old Guard was fading, never to return.

Still, the 1990s experienced many exciting additions. Splash Mountain (SM) opened in 1992. Arguably WDW's best attraction, Tower of Terror (TOT), opened in 1994, followed by Blizzard Beach (BB) in 1995. To the casual Guest, it was a glorious decade.

Perhaps WDW's last gasp of true greatness occurred with the opening of Disney's Animal Kingdom (DAK) in 1998. It should have been WDW's high-water mark. Instead, DAK opened with too few attractions and struggled with an image problem. (Remember the 2001 "Nahtazu" campaign?) Hardcore Disney fans were disappointed.

The slow decay continued as Eisner was under increasing pressure by Wall Street to improve margin, yet WDW still was an excellent resort, still the best in the World.

The vacation industry took a nosedive after those horrific events of September 11. WDW was not immune. Projects were cancelled, hotels were shuttered, Cast Members were laid off. Operating expenses were slashed and, for many, declining quality became visible for the first time.

After the initial shock, Disney took steps to correct its downturn in business, primarily through deep discounts such as the "Buy Four, Get Three Free" campaign. WDW's affordability improved even as the economy struggled.

WDW experienced another uptick with the introduction of the Magic Your Way (MYW) ticket in 2005 and the opening of Expedition Everest (EE) in 2006. Using an a la cart pricing scheme, the MYW ticket improved WDW's affordability for those seeking an entry-level theme park experience, while EE represented WDW's last great attraction to date.

The late 2000s arguably represent WDW's low point. Even though Strategic Planning had closed shop in 2005, budget cuts continued as corporate Disney increasingly nickel-and-dimed its Guests. Worse, for the first time in its history, capital expenditures were not keeping up with depreciation. The parks were aging yet Disney was deferring basic maintenance. It showed, with each year getting a bit worse than the year before.

Opened in 2012, the New Fantasyland (NFL) represented a change in direction, expanding WDW's most popular land in the World's most popular theme park. Yet ultimately it added only 2 attractions, replacing 2 that had closed. It was a small improvement but with much unrealized potential. NFL could have been so much more. NFL should have been more.

It's difficult to grade WDW since 2012. There have been several modest improvements yet there also have been more cost cutting and price increases, largely cancelling each other out. The net effect is a WDW no longer at its nadir, but not yet on the mend.

That brings us to today. Pandora promises to be WDW’s first major addition since the opening of DAK, with more planned for later this decade. Let's wait for its opening before grading 2017.

And let the debate begin! :)
 
Last edited:

MagicKingdomKing

Well-Known Member
Advertisement
I have a well-earned reputation for charts and decided it was time to create one with my own made-up metric; what I call the "Walt Disney World Historical Grade" chart. :)

Using a scale of 0 to 100, with 100 meaning "absolutely fabulous" and 0 meaning "it's a dump and should be closed", I graded Walt Disney World (WDW) for each year since its opening in 1971. Ultimately I decided to grade WDW against itself, using its peak years as the Gold Standard.

It's an arbitrary chart based on my opinion of the quality and value of WDW over the decades. It's not based on real data. You might very well have a different opinion.

Without further ado, my latest chart:

View attachment 200175


WDW was by no means perfect when it opened in 1971. The Magic Kingdom was a work in progress but still managed to blow the competition out of the water (only Disneyland was better) with an unflinching commitment to making its Guests happy.

Things only got better from there, with classic attractions such as Pirates of the Caribbean (POTC) and Space Mountain opening in the mid-1970s, River Country in 1976, followed by Big Thunder Mountain (BTM) in 1980.

WDW peaked in the early 1980s with the opening of Epcot in 1982. Quality remained outstanding while total ticket price decreased. Previously, admission and attraction tickets were sold separately. Concerned about using that pricing scheme at Epcot, Disney leadership created a combined ticket, discontinuing attraction booklets. I recall many being upset about it but as someone who simply wanted to ride attractions all day long, the new tickets were perfect!

That perfection continued for a few years until Michael Eisner became CEO. One of his earliest actions was to increase ticket prices by double-digits. Those upset with the 1982 ticket change were furious with Eisner's massive increases, which continued from 1984 to 1988.

Attitudes greatly improved with the opening of Disney-MGM Studios and Typhoon Lagoon (TL) in 1989. Disney-MGM Studios got off to a rough start; there simply wasn't much to do. However, by the end of the year with the opening of the Indiana Jones Stunt Spectacular and Star Tours, Disney-MGM Studios finally felt like a theme park worthy of the Disney name. Typhoon Lagoon was simply amazing, unlike any other water park in the World. It made the quaint River Country seem amateurish. By early 1990, the anger resulting from the price increases had been largely forgotten. With 3 theme parks, 2 large water parks, a shopping district, and a nightclub district, WDW finally felt worthy of a week's vacation.

By the early 1990s, the wood was starting to rot beneath the glittering façade. Disney’s Strategic Planning unit began to micromanage theme park decisions. Gone was the uncompromising commitment to excellence, superseded by a cost-benefit-analysis of every aspect of the resort. Year-by-year, quality slipped, replaced by a "good enough" attitude. Many devoted frontline Cast Members remained but senior management was forced out, supplanted by those "sharp-pencil guys" Walt Disney had warned about decades before. Externally, all was well. Internally, Disney’s Old Guard was fading, never to return.

Still, the 1990s experienced many exciting additions. Splash Mountain (SM) opened in 1992. Arguably WDW's best attraction, Tower of Terror (TOT), opened in 1994, followed by Blizzard Beach (BB) in 1995. To the casual Guest, it was a glorious decade.

Perhaps WDW's last gasp of true greatness occurred with the opening of Disney's Animal Kingdom (DAK) in 1998. It should have been WDW's high-water mark. Instead, DAK opened with too few attractions and struggled with an image problem. (Remember the 2001 "Nahtazu" campaign?) Hardcore Disney fans were disappointed.

The slow decay continued as Eisner was under increasing pressure by Wall Street to improve margin, yet WDW still was an excellent resort, still the best in the World.

The vacation industry took a nosedive after those horrific events of September 11. WDW was not immune. Projects were cancelled, hotels were shuttered, Cast Members were laid off. Operating expenses were slashed and, for many, declining quality became visible for the first time.

After the initial shock, Disney took steps to correct its downturn in business, primarily through deep discounts such as the "Buy Four, Get Three Free" campaign. WDW's affordability improved even as the economy struggled.

WDW experienced another uptick with the introduction of the Magic Your Way (MYW) ticket in 2005 and the opening of Expedition Everest (EE) in 2006. Using an a la cart pricing scheme, the MYW ticket improved WDW's affordability for those seeking an entry-level theme park experience, while EE represented WDW's last great attraction to date.

The late 2000s arguably represent WDW's low point. Even though Strategic Planning had closed shop in 2005, budget cuts continued as corporate Disney increasingly nickel-and-dimed its Guests. Worse, for the first time in its history, capital expenditures were not keeping up with depreciation. The parks were aging yet Disney was deferring basic maintenance. It showed, with each year getting a bit worse than the year before.

Opened in 2012, the New Fantasyland (NFL) represented a change in direction, expanding WDW's most popular land in the World's most popular theme park. Yet ultimately it added only 2 attractions, replacing 2 that had closed. It was a small improvement but with much unrealized potential. NFL could have been so much more. NFL should have been so much more.

It's difficult to grade WDW since 2012. There have been several modest improvements yet there also have been more cost cutting and price increases, largely cancelling each other out. The net effect is a WDW no longer at its nadir, but not yet on the mend.

That brings us to today. Pandora promises to be WDW’s first major addition since the opening of DAK, with more planned for later this decade. Let's wait for its opening before grading 2017.

And let the debate begin! :)
how did you make the chart?
 

Mark Dunne

Active Member
I have a well-earned reputation for charts and decided it was time to create one with my own made-up metric; what I call the "Walt Disney World Historical Grade" chart. :)

Using a scale of 0 to 100, with 100 meaning "absolutely fabulous" and 0 meaning "it's a dump and should be closed", I graded Walt Disney World (WDW) for each year since its opening in 1971. Ultimately I decided to grade WDW against itself, using its peak years as the Gold Standard.

It's an arbitrary chart based on my opinion of the quality and value of WDW over the decades. It's not based on real data. You might very well have a different opinion.

Without further ado, my latest chart:

View attachment 200175


WDW was by no means perfect when it opened in 1971. The Magic Kingdom was a work in progress but still managed to blow the competition out of the water (only Disneyland was better) with an unflinching commitment to making its Guests happy.

Things only got better from there, with classic attractions such as Pirates of the Caribbean (POTC) and Space Mountain opening in the mid-1970s, River Country in 1976, followed by Big Thunder Mountain (BTM) in 1980.

WDW peaked in the early 1980s with the opening of Epcot in 1982. Quality remained outstanding while total ticket price decreased. Previously, admission and attraction tickets were sold separately. Concerned about using that pricing scheme at Epcot, Disney leadership created a combined ticket, discontinuing attraction booklets. I recall many being upset about it but as someone who simply wanted to ride attractions all day long, the new tickets were perfect!

That perfection continued for a few years until Michael Eisner became CEO. One of his earliest actions was to increase ticket prices by double-digits. Those upset with the 1982 ticket change were furious with Eisner's massive increases, which continued from 1984 to 1988.

Attitudes greatly improved with the opening of Disney-MGM Studios and Typhoon Lagoon (TL) in 1989. Disney-MGM Studios got off to a rough start; there simply wasn't much to do. However, by the end of the year with the opening of the Indiana Jones Stunt Spectacular and Star Tours, Disney-MGM Studios finally felt like a theme park worthy of the Disney name. Typhoon Lagoon was simply amazing, unlike any other water park in the World. It made the quaint River Country seem amateurish. By early 1990, the anger resulting from the price increases had been largely forgotten. With 3 theme parks, 2 large water parks, a shopping district, and a nightclub district, WDW finally felt worthy of a week's vacation.

By the early 1990s, the wood was starting to rot beneath the glittering façade. Disney’s Strategic Planning unit began to micromanage theme park decisions. Gone was the uncompromising commitment to excellence, superseded by a cost-benefit-analysis of every aspect of the resort. Year-by-year, quality slipped, replaced by a "good enough" attitude. Many devoted frontline Cast Members remained but senior management was forced out, supplanted by those "sharp-pencil guys" Walt Disney had warned about decades before. Externally, all was well. Internally, Disney’s Old Guard was fading, never to return.

Still, the 1990s experienced many exciting additions. Splash Mountain (SM) opened in 1992. Arguably WDW's best attraction, Tower of Terror (TOT), opened in 1994, followed by Blizzard Beach (BB) in 1995. To the casual Guest, it was a glorious decade.

Perhaps WDW's last gasp of true greatness occurred with the opening of Disney's Animal Kingdom (DAK) in 1998. It should have been WDW's high-water mark. Instead, DAK opened with too few attractions and struggled with an image problem. (Remember the 2001 "Nahtazu" campaign?) Hardcore Disney fans were disappointed.

The slow decay continued as Eisner was under increasing pressure by Wall Street to improve margin, yet WDW still was an excellent resort, still the best in the World.

The vacation industry took a nosedive after those horrific events of September 11. WDW was not immune. Projects were cancelled, hotels were shuttered, Cast Members were laid off. Operating expenses were slashed and, for many, declining quality became visible for the first time.

After the initial shock, Disney took steps to correct its downturn in business, primarily through deep discounts such as the "Buy Four, Get Three Free" campaign. WDW's affordability improved even as the economy struggled.

WDW experienced another uptick with the introduction of the Magic Your Way (MYW) ticket in 2005 and the opening of Expedition Everest (EE) in 2006. Using an a la cart pricing scheme, the MYW ticket improved WDW's affordability for those seeking an entry-level theme park experience, while EE represented WDW's last great attraction to date.

The late 2000s arguably represent WDW's low point. Even though Strategic Planning had closed shop in 2005, budget cuts continued as corporate Disney increasingly nickel-and-dimed its Guests. Worse, for the first time in its history, capital expenditures were not keeping up with depreciation. The parks were aging yet Disney was deferring basic maintenance. It showed, with each year getting a bit worse than the year before.

Opened in 2012, the New Fantasyland (NFL) represented a change in direction, expanding WDW's most popular land in the World's most popular theme park. Yet ultimately it added only 2 attractions, replacing 2 that had closed. It was a small improvement but with much unrealized potential. NFL could have been so much more. NFL should have been so much more.

It's difficult to grade WDW since 2012. There have been several modest improvements yet there also have been more cost cutting and price increases, largely cancelling each other out. The net effect is a WDW no longer at its nadir, but not yet on the mend.

That brings us to today. Pandora promises to be WDW’s first major addition since the opening of DAK, with more planned for later this decade. Let's wait for its opening before grading 2017.

And let the debate begin! :)
Great post I mean great post.o my word where to start, ok I've been coming to Disney world since 1993, 6 times this November.I remember my cousin taking a trip round the world and telling me she stopped off at this place called Epcot the centre,I was just amazed and had to go there sometime, well of course I did,and it's my favourite park by a mile. I love it, still gives me bumps when we turn up under spaceship earth and walk through, i remember when Epcot had a giant telephone you could call all over the world from,amazing we are talking 1993 mind, before mobile technology etc, everything was great honey I shrunk, the land, universe of energy, body Wars, it was so futuristic far above anything from the uk at that time and even now In fact, and now fast forward 2017 still love it , but please Disney invest in some of the older attractions, all that money they have how cool could universe of energy look now, with 4K screens and the latest animatronics i really don't understand why they don't update things quicker, I mean it only took 2 years to build pandora how long would these upgrades take . weeks I bet maybe a few months, if they are not careful the golden days will be gone for the must have franchises, marvel Star Wars ,etc.I even tryed to e-mail bob igor once.to say remember the soul of these parks,that innovation was everything and keeping things for nostalgia was NOT Walt Disney 's way, the man moved mountains to create these family parks, but these ceo's will always want more and investors to, you know the funny thing is if they did manage to cryogenic freeze Walt , it would be a brave CEO to unfreeze him, cos walt would spend much of his time kicking corporate butt big time. anyway sorry got of the rails a bit there, but really we all love Disney ,movies with no Gore , no swearing,I say hats off to them for that,but please please make it fair for all family's to afford it,thanks for your time Mark
 
Last edited:

disneygeek90

Well-Known Member
In the Parks
Yes
Great post I mean great post.o my word where to start,ok I've been coming to Disney world since 1993,6 time this November.but remember my cousin taking a trip round the world and telling me she stopped off at this place called Epcot centre.i was just amazed and had to go there sometime.well of course I did,and it's my favourite park by a mile.i love it,still gives me bumps when we turn up under spaceship earth and walk through.i remember when Epcot had a giant telephone you could call all over the world from.amazing.we are talking 1993 mind.before mobile etc.everything was great honey I shrunk.the land.universe of energy.body Wars.it was so futuristic.far above anything from the uk at that time and even now I fact.and now fast forward 2017.still love it .but please Disney invest in some of the older attractions.all that money they have.how cool could universe of energy look now.with 4K screens and the latest animatronics.i really don't understand why they don't update things quicker.i mean it only took 2 years to build pandora.how long would these upgrades take .weeks I bet maybe a few months.if they are not careful the golden days will be gone for the must have franchises.marvel Star Wars ,etc.i even tryed to e-mail bob igor once.to say remember the soul of these parks,that innovation was everything and keeping things for nostalgia was NOT Walt Disney 's way,the man moved mountains to create these family parks,but these ceo's will always want more and investors to,you know the funny thing is,if they did manage to cryogenic freeze Walt ,it would be a brave CEO to unfreeze him,cos walt would spend much of his time kicking corporate butt big time.anyway sorry got of the rails a bit there,but really we all love Disney ,movies with no blood and guts,no swearing,I say hats off to them for that,but please please make it fair for all family's to afford it,thanks for your time Mark
I think paragraphs and spaces might do you some good. This hurts my eyes to even attempt to read.
 

HMF

Well-Known Member
I have a well-earned reputation for charts and decided it was time to create one with my own made-up metric; what I call the "Walt Disney World Historical Grade" chart. :)

Using a scale of 0 to 100, with 100 meaning "absolutely fabulous" and 0 meaning "it's a dump and should be closed", I graded Walt Disney World (WDW) for each year since its opening in 1971. Ultimately I decided to grade WDW against itself, using its peak years as the Gold Standard.

It's an arbitrary chart based on my opinion of the quality and value of WDW over the decades. It's not based on real data. You might very well have a different opinion.

Without further ado, my latest chart:

View attachment 200175


WDW was by no means perfect when it opened in 1971. The Magic Kingdom was a work in progress but still managed to blow the competition out of the water (only Disneyland was better) with an unflinching commitment to making its Guests happy.

Things only got better from there, with classic attractions such as Pirates of the Caribbean (POTC) and Space Mountain opening in the mid-1970s, River Country in 1976, followed by Big Thunder Mountain (BTM) in 1980.

WDW peaked in the early 1980s with the opening of Epcot in 1982. Quality remained outstanding while total ticket price decreased. Previously, admission and attraction tickets were sold separately. Concerned about using that pricing scheme at Epcot, Disney leadership created a combined ticket, discontinuing attraction booklets. I recall many being upset about it but as someone who simply wanted to ride attractions all day long, the new tickets were perfect!

That perfection continued for a few years until Michael Eisner became CEO. One of his earliest actions was to increase ticket prices by double-digits. Those upset with the 1982 ticket change were furious with Eisner's massive increases, which continued from 1984 to 1988.

Attitudes greatly improved with the opening of Disney-MGM Studios and Typhoon Lagoon (TL) in 1989. Disney-MGM Studios got off to a rough start; there simply wasn't much to do. However, by the end of the year with the opening of the Indiana Jones Stunt Spectacular and Star Tours, Disney-MGM Studios finally felt like a theme park worthy of the Disney name. Typhoon Lagoon was simply amazing, unlike any other water park in the World. It made the quaint River Country seem amateurish. By early 1990, the anger resulting from the price increases had been largely forgotten. With 3 theme parks, 2 large water parks, a shopping district, and a nightclub district, WDW finally felt worthy of a week's vacation.

By the early 1990s, the wood was starting to rot beneath the glittering façade. Disney’s Strategic Planning unit began to micromanage theme park decisions. Gone was the uncompromising commitment to excellence, superseded by a cost-benefit-analysis of every aspect of the resort. Year-by-year, quality slipped, replaced by a "good enough" attitude. Many devoted frontline Cast Members remained but senior management was forced out, supplanted by those "sharp-pencil guys" Walt Disney had warned about decades before. Externally, all was well. Internally, Disney’s Old Guard was fading, never to return.

Still, the 1990s experienced many exciting additions. Splash Mountain (SM) opened in 1992. Arguably WDW's best attraction, Tower of Terror (TOT), opened in 1994, followed by Blizzard Beach (BB) in 1995. To the casual Guest, it was a glorious decade.

Perhaps WDW's last gasp of true greatness occurred with the opening of Disney's Animal Kingdom (DAK) in 1998. It should have been WDW's high-water mark. Instead, DAK opened with too few attractions and struggled with an image problem. (Remember the 2001 "Nahtazu" campaign?) Hardcore Disney fans were disappointed.

The slow decay continued as Eisner was under increasing pressure by Wall Street to improve margin, yet WDW still was an excellent resort, still the best in the World.

The vacation industry took a nosedive after those horrific events of September 11. WDW was not immune. Projects were cancelled, hotels were shuttered, Cast Members were laid off. Operating expenses were slashed and, for many, declining quality became visible for the first time.

After the initial shock, Disney took steps to correct its downturn in business, primarily through deep discounts such as the "Buy Four, Get Three Free" campaign. WDW's affordability improved even as the economy struggled.

WDW experienced another uptick with the introduction of the Magic Your Way (MYW) ticket in 2005 and the opening of Expedition Everest (EE) in 2006. Using an a la cart pricing scheme, the MYW ticket improved WDW's affordability for those seeking an entry-level theme park experience, while EE represented WDW's last great attraction to date.

The late 2000s arguably represent WDW's low point. Even though Strategic Planning had closed shop in 2005, budget cuts continued as corporate Disney increasingly nickel-and-dimed its Guests. Worse, for the first time in its history, capital expenditures were not keeping up with depreciation. The parks were aging yet Disney was deferring basic maintenance. It showed, with each year getting a bit worse than the year before.

Opened in 2012, the New Fantasyland (NFL) represented a change in direction, expanding WDW's most popular land in the World's most popular theme park. Yet ultimately it added only 2 attractions, replacing 2 that had closed. It was a small improvement but with much unrealized potential. NFL could have been so much more. NFL should have been so much more.

It's difficult to grade WDW since 2012. There have been several modest improvements yet there also have been more cost cutting and price increases, largely cancelling each other out. The net effect is a WDW no longer at its nadir, but not yet on the mend.

That brings us to today. Pandora promises to be WDW’s first major addition since the opening of DAK, with more planned for later this decade. Let's wait for its opening before grading 2017.

And let the debate begin! :)
This is painfully accurate. So according to your chart 2011 was the worst year in WDW History. I think that's pretty fair.
 

MerlinTheGoat

Well-Known Member
This is painfully accurate. So according to your chart 2011 was the worst year in WDW History. I think that's pretty fair.
It was also one of the worst years for maintenance and cleanliness as well. The 2010-2015 period in general has been a downward spiral. There have been some signs of improvement lately at least in some areas, but boy have the parks been in rough shape up until very recently.
 

bethymouse

Well-Known Member
I still think the competition is quite fierce! Since the Harry Potter craze, Disney has had a hard time keeping up. IMHO. Now Pandora has quite a hype to live up to!:eek: They have promoted the river ride well, but they still have kept under wraps what the "banshee" ride is going to be like... so many rumors... even Whoopi only rode the boat.;) The technology age just put EPCOT "out of business" so to speak. Disney hopefully has some good ideas for the 21st century and beyond!:) The "city of tomorrow" is actually the city of the past now. There are so many new opportunities to make EPCOT wonderful again... we'll see.;) Hollywood Studios refurbishment is long overdue IMHO. I think Disney is finally "catching up" with the times. It's quite difficult to please today's families. The demographics have changed so much... people have changed!:(
My favorite time in WDW was the old days ( the 70's) when it was just The Magic Kingdom. I have to admit though I was excited when EPCOT first opened.:p
 

yeti

Well-Known Member
My chart takes into consideration 3 factors:
  1. Price
  2. Quality
  3. Content
Taken together, "value" probably is the single best word to describe it.
I don't want to sound too much like a talking Disney head, but I think the great irony is how in the years ahead, now that Disney is finally spending worthwhile investments on WDW again, and finally starting to uphold these factors again, it's possible that they'll change the resort in ways you couldn't even graph. We're getting the type of expenditures we've wanted for over a decade, but to a lot of us it could be our worst nightmare. Take Frozen Ever After, a high quality new ride that replaced a subpar (classic) ride where Disney demonstrated absolute callousness with regards to its placement. Or the idea of a swanky new Star Wars resort, which sounds neat, but a world of difference from the WDW as we know it. Nothing is really all that sacred anymore, anything can go or be done without batting an eye. Unfortunately I fear that this more than anything will distinguish the next era of WDW.
 

ParentsOf4

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
I agree with most of the chart, but I think 1996-2000 should be rated higher. We probably went 8 or 9 times during those years and thought service and quality were still very good.
I scored WDW from 95 to 97 for 1990 to 1999, seems pretty high to me. ;)

Remember that each year is relative to WDW's peak years, 1982 to 1984. During those peak years:
  • The Magic Kingdom was in its prime, with all major attractions except for Splash Mountain open. It even had a couple more since closed.
  • Epcot was brand new and represented WDW's single largest construction project ever, larger than the 1971 opening.
  • Prices were at their historical low, with a 3-day hopper ticket costing today's equivalent of about $85, less than $30 per day!!!
  • Commitment to quality was unwavering. Disney's pre-Eisner's management was still in place and always put Guest satisfaction first. This is the era when the "Disney difference" really meant something.
All things considered, the late 1990s didn't score too badly. :)
 
Last edited:

rob0519

Well-Known Member
I scored WDW from 95 to 97 for 1990 to 1999, seems pretty high to me. ;)

Remember that each year is relative to WDW's peak years, 1982 to 1984. During those peak years:
  • The Magic Kingdom was in its prime, with all major attractions except for Splash Mountain open. It even had a couple more since closed.
  • Epcot was brand new and represented WDW's single largest construction project ever, larger than the 1971 opening.
  • Prices were at their historical low, with a 3-day hopper ticket costing today's equivalent of about $85, less than $30 per day!!!
  • Commitment to quality was unwavering. Disney's pre-Eisner's management was still in place and always put Guest satisfaction first. This is the era when the "Disney difference" really meant something.
All things considered, the late 1990s didn't score too badly. :)
We went once in 1978 and then not again until 1996, so I had no frame of reference for anything in between. I probably should have stated that in my comment.
 

POLY LOVER

Well-Known Member
Let's face it, when Walt created these parks of course the goal was to be successful and make money but he never lost site it had to be as perfect as possible, it had to impress and give great value with a wow. Unfortunately what sguashes innovation and great things is CORPORATE GREED! CEO,s who don't respect or love the product they are a temporary custodian of will put profits ahead of the product. It's the amazing shrinking package. There is a just make it ok attitude. The employees seem to be the ones that love it more than the CEO's and keep the feeling alive. I see many things today that would not have been acceptable before. People do notice! My prediction is that Disney will be passed by universal soon and the only hope will be to totally separate the parks from their other business components. It has to operate on its own, the profits have to be poured back into the parks. The crowds keep coming so it gives the company the view that everything is ok. They think ok is good enough. Wrong it will catch up and when it happens it happens fast. I've seen popular clubs and restaurant riding high then puff its over.
 

L.C. Clench

Well-Known Member
I don't want to sound too much like a talking Disney head, but I think the great irony is how in the years ahead, now that Disney is finally spending worthwhile investments on WDW again, and finally starting to uphold these factors again, it's possible that they'll change the resort in ways you couldn't even graph. We're getting the type of expenditures we've wanted for over a decade, but to a lot of us it could be our worst nightmare. Take Frozen Ever After, a high quality new ride that replaced a subpar (classic) ride where Disney demonstrated absolute callousness with regards to its placement. Or the idea of a swanky new Star Wars resort, which sounds neat, but a world of difference from the WDW as we know it. Nothing is really all that sacred anymore, anything can go or be done without batting an eye. Unfortunately I fear that this more than anything will distinguish the next era of WDW.
We're getting talks of expenditures at the same time we're getting talks of cuts to Toy Story and hiring freezes. At this point I don't see any reason to actually trust anything they hype until it hits.
 
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