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The Changing Demographics of Disney Fans

KDM31091

Active Member
People don't care about the Epcot FW pavilions now because, with the exception of Spaceship Earth and I'll throw in Living With the Land as its a personal fave, they honestly are trash. No care has been put into maintaining FW and it shows badly. Test Track is a snooze now, Mission Space is meh, Seas offers nothing exciting, and the new Soarin is an inferior CGI extravaganza to its predecessor, while the current Imagination is horrendous and deserves to be ripped out and put to the history books. There is nothing inspiring about Future World anymore. I would love to see the direction of FW go back to its glory days but it ain't happening. Its fine to be upset at the basic tastes of the new fans, but really the blame should only be placed with Disney....not the fans the Company has conditioned to accept the "new"
Yes, unfortunately, as much as I like the classic Epcot, the fact is that Future World as it stands is embarrassing. It probably should just be all torn out and started over (except Spaceship Earth). There is no cohesive theme, no backstory, and no purpose. But as stated earlier in the thread, the majority don't care. Build popular IP attractions and people come.

We are a devoted subset of fans who like things the classic way, but Disney will ultimately do whatever is going to make them the most money. Appealing to masses with easily recognized IP seems to be the way they want to go, and obviously it's working for them. I don't like it any more than anyone else, but from a business POV, it's selling and selling well. As stated in other threads, crowds are almost never light anymore.

I wish we could see things restored, like Imagination, but I just don't think Disney feels there's enough of a market.
 

erasure fan1

Well-Known Member
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all I know is that it is alleged that Walt essentially stole the idea for Mickey from Ub Iwerks and I've put up an example of someone else, besides me, saying that.
I see what you are saying but you can't really use stole. It might not be fair but unfortunately it's the way the world works. I have to agree with @Goofyernmost, if you work for a company, your creations are theirs. Should Ub get more credit for his contributions? Yea, just like jack kirby and steve ditko should get more credit and not just stan lee. Unfortunately that's how history works most of the time.
 

tigerlight

Well-Known Member
I see what you are saying but you can't really use stole. It might not be fair but unfortunately it's the way the world works. I have to agree with @Goofyernmost, if you work for a company, your creations are theirs. Should Ub get more credit for his contributions? Yea, just like jack kirby and steve ditko should get more credit and not just stan lee. Unfortunately that's how history works most of the time.
Actually if you read what I wrote, I'm not saying he stole Mickey. I'm saying it has been argued or alleged (I first heard this while working for the Company in the 90s) and there is some historical evidence - NOT just the link I posted, but much more than that dating back decades.

What I am saying is that Walt was absolutely NOT the person most of the "super fans" think he was... he was a cunning and shrewd business person not terribly different from today's entrepreneurial moguls/titans.
 

Goofyernmost

Well-Known Member
Actually if you read what I wrote, I'm not saying he stole Mickey. I'm saying it has been argued or alleged (I first heard this while working for the Company in the 90s) and there is some historical evidence - NOT just the link I posted, but much more than that dating back decades.

What I am saying is that Walt was absolutely NOT the person most of the "super fans" think he was... he was a cunning and shrewd business person not terribly different from today's entrepreneurial moguls/titans.
When did any of us say that wasn't true about Walt. But, to say that the person that had the final say in absolutely everything made public for many decades didn't create the idea of the character and, by absence of any other recognition created the image the he did everything. But, to steal his own product from a paid employee just isn't possible. After it was decided that he wanted to go a little further and review different ideas of what Mickey would look like and what type of personality he would have I'm afraid that those very traits that you mentioned are still part of the creative judgement from the person with the final say.

How he ran his business or how he treated his staff is entirely a different subject and a reason to be less then admiring Walt, however, saying that Mickey wasn't his creation is just wildly false. Very few people know about how the internal operation was handled by Walt, even though there are a number of books that spell out Walt's way of treating the staff, the admiration was in what he pushed and in that sense created. His decision to do color, his decision to add sound to cartoon, his decision to make a full length movie of animation, his quest to build a completely different family theme park and insistence that it be high quality and different is what is admired that is what the vast public knows him for.

Rumors circulating 25 years after his death are hardly a reason to erase that massive good that he did, no matter what his motivation. We all have enjoyed the end product or the place wouldn't be packed 53 years after his death. And, by the way, you did say that he stole Mickey! You know better than that or at least you should. Millions of people have heard of Ub now. His name isn't given equal billing because the Disney Company was not called the Ubney Company.
 

tigerlight

Well-Known Member
When did any of us say that wasn't true about Walt. But, to say that the person that had the final say in absolutely everything made public for many decades didn't create the idea of the character and, by absence of any other recognition created the image the he did everything. But, to steal his own product from a paid employee just isn't possible. After it was decided that he wanted to go a little further and review different ideas of what Mickey would look like and what type of personality he would have I'm afraid that those very traits that you mentioned are still part of the creative judgement from the person with the final say.

How he ran his business or how he treated his staff is entirely a different subject and a reason to be less then admiring Walt, however, saying that Mickey wasn't his creation is just wildly false. Very few people know about how the internal operation was handled by Walt, even though there are a number of books that spell out Walt's way of treating the staff, the admiration was in what he pushed and in that sense created. His decision to do color, his decision to add sound to cartoon, his decision to make a full length movie of animation, his quest to build a completely different family theme park and insistence that it be high quality and different is what is admired that is what the vast public knows him for.

Rumors circulating 25 years after his death are hardly a reason to erase that massive good that he did, no matter what his motivation. We all have enjoyed the end product or the place wouldn't be packed 53 years after his death. And, by the way, you did say that he stole Mickey! You know better than that or at least you should. Millions of people have heard of Ub now. His name isn't given equal billing because the Disney Company was not called the Ubney Company.
Wow lots to unpack there, but thank you for giving me a great laugh this morning.

1. So you don't really have any objection to the fact that he was (apparently) awful to many of his employees, and an avowed McCarthyist? I realize the young people on here don't probably know what McCarthyism is, but you certainly should. If not, here's a link:

2. Your focused on the legal definition of theft. I don't know of anyone (credible) that has claimed Disney didn't LEGALLY own Mickey. The questions raised were more ethical in nature, which speaks to character.

3. You probably also know (and don't particularly care) about how Uncle Walt was known to treat gay people? Ironic given the billions of dollars the gay community has paid into Disney (even back when he was still alive)... And NO, not everyone in the 60s behaved that way, particularly in Hollywood.

4. I get many people have an oddly personal/emotional attachment to Walt (pictures of him on the walls, etc.) and are personally offended when someone raises questions about his character, who he really was, and the embellishments made by the company about him for marketing purposes (i.e. to make money). Still, that's no reason to resort to fibs like "...you did say he stole Mickey!" because all I did was bring knowledge of these reports into the discussion, with a link to an article that uses THOSE WORDS as the headline (I didn't write that article), and a book where THAT is the contention (I didn't write that book.) In both cases it appears that the "stealing" contention is based on an ethical definition rather than a legal definition. Again... character.

5. As I've said REPEATEDLY, Walt was a great business leader: shrewd and smart. He did lots of great things. What I question is the constant glorification (almost worship) of him, and definitely statements like "We all have enjoyed the end product or the place wouldn't be packed 53 years after his death." Statements like that disrespect the thousands of people who worked for the Company after 1966 and who are the ones actually responsible for MOST of things you probably love... Did you experience DL in the 60s? Here's some of my favorite pictures:
Most people's definition of the "glory days" of incredible detail came AFTER Walt. People like Jack Lindquist deserve credit for that (and if you read his autobiography you can tell he didn't exactly love Walt...)

FYI.. I am WDW AP holder (many years), past DL AP holder, former employee, etc... I love Disney the organization, but I hate "alternative facts" and all I'm trying to do is provide other data points for people to consider.

Excellent Article:
 
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Goofyernmost

Well-Known Member
Wow lots to unpack there, but thank you for giving me a great laugh this morning.

1. So you don't really have any objection to the fact that he was (apparently) awful to many of his employees, and an avowed McCarthyist? I realize the young people on here don't probably know what McCarthyism is, but you certainly should. If not, here's a link:

2. Your focused on the legal definition of theft. I don't know of anyone (credible) that has claimed Disney didn't LEGALLY own Mickey. The questions raised were more ethical in nature, which speaks to character.

3. You probably also know (and don't particularly care) about how Uncle Walt was known to treat gay people? Ironic given the billions of dollars the gay community has paid into Disney (even back when he was still alive)... And NO, not everyone in the 60s behaved that way, particularly in Hollywood.

4. I get many people have an oddly personal/emotional attachment to Walt (pictures of him on the walls, etc.) and are personally offended when someone raises questions about his character, who he really was, and the embellishments made by the company about him for marketing purposes (i.e. to make money). Still, that's no reason to resort to fibs like "...you did say he stole Mickey!" because all I did was bring knowledge of these reports into the discussion, with a link to an article that uses THOSE WORDS as the headline (I didn't write that article), and a book where THAT is the contention (I didn't write that book.) In both cases it appears that the "stealing" contention is based on an ethical definition rather than a legal definition. Again... character.

5. As I've said REPEATEDLY, Walt was a great business leader: shrewd and smart. He did lots of great things. What I question is the constant glorification (almost worship) of him, and definitely statements like "We all have enjoyed the end product or the place wouldn't be packed 53 years after his death." Statements like that disrespect the thousands of people who worked for the Company after 1966 and who are the ones actually responsible for MOST of things you probably love... Did you experience DL in the 60s? Here's some of my favorite pictures:
Most people's definition of the "glory days" of incredible detail came AFTER Walt. People like Jack Lindquist deserve credit for that (and if you read his autobiography you can tell he didn't exactly love Walt...)

FYI.. I am WDW AP holder (many years), past DL AP holder, former employee, etc... I love Disney the organization, but I hate "alternative facts" and all I'm trying to do is provide other data points for people to consider.

Excellent Article:
I'm going to use the same old thing as everyone else, if you hate him so much, why are you on a Disney discussion board. If we compare his behavior with what is presently acceptable behavior he will fall short, but, we are not in the 30', 40' or 50's anymore. To a man, the ones that you're trying to posthumously defend, almost unanimously stated that he drove them to greatness by demanding more then they thought they were capable of. Just because today's society is a massive pile of milksops and get upset every time someone looks at them funny is not comperable to what happened in the past. I don't look at him as a god and I probably wouldn't have wanted to work directly for him, but, they did and they stayed. There is no reason to get ones knickers in a knot almost 100 years later. Work on the injustices of today, you cannot change yesterday. Point your anger in the direction of today serious human rights problems. How Disney did or didn't act is unchangeable history from a much different time and outlook.
 

tigerlight

Well-Known Member
I'm going to use the same old thing as everyone else, if you hate him so much, why are you on a Disney discussion board. If we compare his behavior with what is presently acceptable behavior he will fall short, but, we are not in the 30', 40' or 50's anymore. To a man, the ones that you're trying to posthumously defend, almost unanimously stated that he drove them to greatness by demanding more then they thought they were capable of. Just because today's society is a massive pile of milksops and get upset every time someone looks at them funny is not comperable to what happened in the past. I don't look at him as a god and I probably wouldn't have wanted to work directly for him, but, they did and they stayed. There is no reason to get ones knickers in a knot almost 100 years later. Work on the injustices of today, you cannot change yesterday. Point your anger in the direction of today serious human rights problems. How Disney did or didn't act is unchangeable history from a much different time and outlook.
LOL. So if I don't worship the myth of Walt then I don't belong on a Disney discussion board? What a nice thing to say. You must be a big fan of free speech in general (as long as it's speech you agree with). Everyone else should just shut up, right? I'm glad worshipping Walt WASN'T a requirement to work for Disney....

I love the Disney Company and Disney Parks. Proudly worked for Disney. Current out-of-state WDW AP holder, former DL AP holder. Does that qualify me to share a different point of view based on my experiences, and share links to research/articles that support my view?

Also a big fan of Michael Eisner (someone who in-person is almost exactly the same person you saw on TV - unlike Walt..), ALSO a big fan of Bob Iger (who figured out how to justify massive domestic theme park investment to Wall Street -enabling it to occur- something Eisner wasn't able or willing to do in his last decade.... and YES tying much of it to IP is part of that). But to those kids on here (or others who are still formulating opinions): Walt was absolutely NOT the person the marketers would like you to believe. Don't take my word for it, plenty of people have already done the research for you, including the two books and two articles I reference above, one of which was written WITH the cooperation of the Disney Family Museum.
 

eliza61nyc

Well-Known Member
Yome.

We are a devoted subset of fans who like things the classic way, but Disney will ultimately do whatever is going to make them the most money. Appealing to masses with easily recognized IP seems to be the way they want to go, and obviously it's working for them. I don't like it any more than anyone else, but from a business POV, it's selling and selling well. As stated in other threads, crowds are almost never light anymore.

I wish we could see things restored, like Imagination, but I just don't think Disney feels there's enough of a market.

So this is an open question, not necessarily aimed at you.

Does anyone every wonder why is there not enough of a market? it's easy here to blame today's consumers, to some how say they are "stupid", "lazy" or any other adjectives I've heard used to described today's guest. but I think with all the options that are out there in vacation land for today's family that's not correct. I've seen a lot of Martins videos, showed them to my kids, nothing in them has ever produced a reaction that it was necessarily way better at most we say "oh that looks cute". Now I never experienced those rides live so it could very well be a thing of it's hard to picture yourself there.

I guess I wonder if pre 2000 Epcot appealed to the masses, it would still be relevant.

lol, people make it sound like giving today's consumer stuff they would actually like is a bad thing.

just pondering
 
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Sneezy62

Well-Known Member
So this is an open question, not necessarily aimed at you.

Does anyone every wonder why is there not enough of a market? it's easy here to blame today's consumers, to are some how say they are "stupid", "lazy" or any other adjectives I've heard used to described today's guest. but I think with all the options that are out there in vacation land for today's family that's correct. I've seen a lot of Martins videos, showed them to my kids, nothing in them has ever produced a reaction that it was necessarily way better at most we say "oh that looks cute". Now I never experienced those rides live so it could very well be a thing of it's hard to picture yourself there.

I guess I wonder if pre 2000 Epcot appealed to the masses, it would still be relevant.

lol, people make it sound like giving today's consumer stuff they would actually like is a bad thing.

just pondering
My personal theory is that the dividing line is January 28,1986. Media companies including Disney (ABC)were blamed by a handful of special interest organizations of inflicting trauma on youth by promoting the teacher in space program. As far as I remember that was the last live launch of a space shuttle to be carried nationally on network TV. Media tech began to change rapidly about that same time . I’m not saying there was any conspiracy against “futurism” per se, just that the circumstances of the time. It was the first time most people had that moment of knowing exactly where the were when it happened...live. Even the JFK assasination was not as immediately defining as Challenger. Kennedy’s death had at least a modicum if filter. There was no filter on Challenger.

The generation that saw it live from their classroom rose above it I think. Those too young to remember or not yet born just grew up with a different outlook about science and technology. It was a defining cultural shift. Cowboys in spaceships didn’t carry the same risks as somebody’s real life teacher or mother or friend. JMHO.
 

iHeartDisneylandCats

Proud Member Since 2016
Original Poster
My personal theory is that the dividing line is January 28,1986. Media companies including Disney (ABC)were blamed by a handful of special interest organizations of inflicting trauma on youth by promoting the teacher in space program. As far as I remember that was the last live launch of a space shuttle to be carried nationally on network TV. Media tech began to change rapidly about that same time . I’m not saying there was any conspiracy against “futurism” per se, just that the circumstances of the time. It was the first time most people had that moment of knowing exactly where the were when it happened...live. Even the JFK assasination was not as immediately defining as Challenger. Kennedy’s death had at least a modicum if filter. There was no filter on Challenger.

The generation that saw it live from their classroom rose above it I think. Those too young to remember or not yet born just grew up with a different outlook about science and technology. It was a defining cultural shift. Cowboys in spaceships didn’t carry the same risks as somebody’s real life teacher or mother or friend. JMHO.
The Challenger disaster certainly was a tragedy. :(:grumpy:
 

Goofyernmost

Well-Known Member
My personal theory is that the dividing line is January 28,1986. Media companies including Disney (ABC)were blamed by a handful of special interest organizations of inflicting trauma on youth by promoting the teacher in space program. As far as I remember that was the last live launch of a space shuttle to be carried nationally on network TV. Media tech began to change rapidly about that same time . I’m not saying there was any conspiracy against “futurism” per se, just that the circumstances of the time. It was the first time most people had that moment of knowing exactly where the were when it happened...live. Even the JFK assasination was not as immediately defining as Challenger. Kennedy’s death had at least a modicum if filter. There was no filter on Challenger.

The generation that saw it live from their classroom rose above it I think. Those too young to remember or not yet born just grew up with a different outlook about science and technology. It was a defining cultural shift. Cowboys in spaceships didn’t carry the same risks as somebody’s real life teacher or mother or friend. JMHO.
The Kennedy Assassination didn't have filters, I had lack of technology or constant national coverage that newer technology provides. They had to find random people that happened to be filming it (literally filming) for it to be shown. Believe me when they did show it, seeing the mans head explode was pretty intense. Along with that we got to witness a murder, live on TV. We watched Oswald shot in real time. Although the Challenger was as tragic, we never saw anything pertaining to the people in the craft, all we saw ever, was the explosion. Having lived through both, the public shock and scaring emotionally generated by Kennedy and that immediate time after was much more traumatizing to all ages, then the Challenger.

Concerning the Challenger I remember one of my daughters coming home from elementary school that afternoon with a joke she had heard it went... "How many astronauts can fit in a VW Beetle?" The answer was 11. Two in the front seat, two in the back seat and 7 in the ash tray. That was just hours after it actually happened. There was no joking after Kennedy if for no other reason then to be freaking out about what was going to happen to the government. However, the danger factor of riding in a car in public with thousands of witnesses and being shot into space in what is primarily a flying bomb has a certain real expectation of possible disaster. It was awful, but, there was hardly a person that didn't have that possibility someplace in their minds.

The Kennedy thing burst our happy bubble, the end of innocence, as has been said by many. After that we were dealing with death after death, and watching death in Vietnam nightly. Most of the country had so much scar tissue that there was no emotion left to express.
 
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Tony the Tigger

Premium Member
The Kennedy Assassination didn't have filters, I had lack of technology or constant national coverage that newer technology provides. They had to find random people that happened to be filming it (literally filming) for it to be shown. Believe me when they did show it, seeing the mans head explode was pretty intense. Along with that we got to witness a murder, live on TV. We watched Oswald shot in real time. Although the Challenger was as tragic, we never saw anything pertaining to the people in the craft, all we saw ever, was the explosion. Having lived through both, the public shock and scaring emotionally generated by Kennedy and that immediate time after was much more traumatizing to all ages, then the Challenger.

Concerning the Challenger I remember one of my daughters coming home from elementary school that afternoon with a joke she had heard it went... "How many astronauts can fit in a VW Beetle?" The answer was 11. Two in the front seat, two in the back seat and 7 in the ash tray. That was just hours after it actually happened. There was no joking after Kennedy if for no other reason the to be freaking out about what was going to happen to the government. However, the danger factor of riding in a car in public with thousands of witnesses and being shot into space in what is primarily a flying bomb has a certain real expectation of possible disaster. It was awful, but, there was hardly a person that didn't have that possibility someplace in their minds.

The Kennedy thing burst our happy bubble, the end of innocence, as has been said by many. After that we were dealing with death after death, and watching death in Vietnam nightly. Most of the country had so much scar tissue that there was no emotion left to express.
Thank you for putting that into perspective.

I watched the Challenger from my classroom. It was crazy, but I don’t see how it affected Disney.
 

networkpro

Well-Known Member
My personal theory is that the dividing line is January 28,1986. Media companies including Disney (ABC)were blamed by a handful of special interest organizations of inflicting trauma on youth by promoting the teacher in space program. As far as I remember that was the last live launch of a space shuttle to be carried nationally on network TV. Media tech began to change rapidly about that same time . I’m not saying there was any conspiracy against “futurism” per se, just that the circumstances of the time. It was the first time most people had that moment of knowing exactly where the were when it happened...live. Even the JFK assasination was not as immediately defining as Challenger. Kennedy’s death had at least a modicum if filter. There was no filter on Challenger.

The generation that saw it live from their classroom rose above it I think. Those too young to remember or not yet born just grew up with a different outlook about science and technology. It was a defining cultural shift. Cowboys in spaceships didn’t carry the same risks as somebody’s real life teacher or mother or friend. JMHO.
It's matter of perspective which colors any personal filters you may or may not have had in place. In my personal existence, I was a few miles south of the DMZ in South Korea where I'd been stationed for the past two years. The world is not a safe happy place, only some places in some countries are at times.
 

MickeyLuv'r

Active Member
A couple things:
This whole discussion about IP or no IP really has to go back to this-for every member of this forum, what first attracted you to Disney?
Alas, ORIGINALLY - like many folks, going to WDW wasn't MY choice. It was my parents' choice.

I'm sure Disney movies and characters were a factor, but they weren't the main factor.

My folks respected anyone who could educate and entertain at the same time: Word of Disney (weekly tv show), Fantasia's classical music, Hall of Presidents, Mission to Mars (allowed folks to imagine space travel), and the Contemporary hotel. The monorail was also very popular! Back then, the route between the TTC/MK was populated with topiaries.

WDW didn't just have bushes, they had topiaries!

WDW had a monorail, and it ran through their hotel!

Disney's stuff wasn't just fun, it was also intelligent and educational! THAT was the big draw!
 

MickeyLuv'r

Active Member
I think one thing lots of people will never understand or care about is that the parks were always designed to be large works of art. Those of us who are considered "old school" fans don't necessarily visit the parks just to ride a bunch of rides, we go to appreciate the care and talent that was put into every little detail.
I mentioned topiaries, but the landscaping has always personally been a big deal.
Just seeing green is a treat in winter, and palm trees are special, but WDW's greenery is just overall amazing! the plants are always and have always been stunning!

As you say, the care and talent that goes into WDW.

We also always loved the little twinkle lights on the trees in the hub. Little details like the good night kiss, and hidden Mickeys.

What kind of crazy place goes to THAT level of detail?
 

MickeyLuv'r

Active Member
I'm really not looking to get into another day long argument about how just because an opinion isn't yours doesn't mean it isn't valid. I think I've been pretty civil about it so far, but seriously guys. It's a little absurd it even has to be said.
(The pp paraphrased a famous quote from Animal Farm. More or less, Orwell was criticizing the USSR.)
 

Trackmaster

Active Member
Alas, ORIGINALLY - like many folks, going to WDW wasn't MY choice. It was my parents' choice.

I'm sure Disney movies and characters were a factor, but they weren't the main factor.

My folks respected anyone who could educate and entertain at the same time: Word of Disney (weekly tv show), Fantasia's classical music, Hall of Presidents, Mission to Mars (allowed folks to imagine space travel), and the Contemporary hotel. The monorail was also very popular! Back then, the route between the TTC/MK was populated with topiaries.

WDW didn't just have bushes, they had topiaries!

WDW had a monorail, and it ran through their hotel!

Disney's stuff wasn't just fun, it was also intelligent and educational! THAT was the big draw!
Yeah.... but other parks have parking lots that are right next to the park entrances. You know... where you can park your car and walk right in. If they want me to ride a monorail that goes around stuff, they can make that a ride that's optional. Otherwise, it is what its, but the mandatory monorail is a big negative in my book. I know this ruffles some feathers, but that's just my opinion. I think its more of a benefit to the park than the guests.
 

eliza61nyc

Well-Known Member
I mentioned topiaries, but the landscaping has always personally been a big deal.
Just seeing green is a treat in winter, and palm trees are special, but WDW's greenery is just overall amazing! the plants are always and have always been stunning!

As you say, the care and talent that goes into WDW.

We also always loved the little twinkle lights on the trees in the hub. Little details like the good night kiss, and hidden Mickeys.

What kind of crazy place goes to THAT level of detail?

lol, quite a number of places actually nowadays.. That's why I think Disney is actually smart to give it's public what it wants, even if it is IP heavy.

years ago, Disney may have been the best game in town for family vacations. Now, many, many vendors have stepped up their game.
Now of course it's hard to compare apples to apples because of the size of Disney but we've been to two all inclusives in Playa del Carmen where the attention to detail was insane.
 
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