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Old 01-13-2013, 01:32 PM   #1
DVC-Landbaron
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A question regarding the growth of WDW

I grabbed this from another thread and thought I’d start a new one in order to get a feel for the opinions on this board after being gone for so long. Please let me know how you feel about things.

Thanks.

Quote:
Oh Baron. I only expected affirmation on the Iger portion. Plus my description of Eisner was simplistic just to show that no matter how bad he may have been by the end (yes, it was real bad) the Disney decade DID at least grow WDW to what it became, on his watch, even if his motives weren't pure, or was pure greed. How's that?
So the question is, did that “Disney Decade” really exist? And no matter what you think about that, you have to admit that a whole heck of a lot of change took place then. Peter contends that:
Quote:
at least grow WDW to what it became, on his watch
Are you pleased with what it has become? Do you think the resources of the company, personnel, land, capital, etc. was used the wisest way possible, or was it squandered in money grabbing, short-sighted, anti-Disney “things”? Probably a mixed bag for most. But I am curious about the current thinking of this board. So post away!!!
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Old 01-13-2013, 03:02 PM   #2
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I'll bite: I vote glass half full.

Bottom line: I'm still chomping at the bit to go back.

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Old 01-13-2013, 04:25 PM   #3
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I visited the parks in the 70's and then in 1985, I returned to the parks in 2004. It was almost like I had planned to miss the entire Eisner period.

I had to do a little research and found this article from the NYtimes in 2005 about Eisner's "departure".

I found this quote interesting because it is in contrast to much of the discussion I read on those archived threads:

"Under Mr. Eisner's tenure, Disney grew from a small theme-park operator and movie studio into a sprawling media company." ... "Thomas O. Staggs, Disney's chief financial officer, noted that while Walt Disney created the original theme parks, they were now populated with characters from "The Lion King, "Beauty and the Beast" and "Mulan," which were developed during Mr. Eisner's tenure."

But does this legacy address the question posed> Are you pleased with what [WDW] has become?

I owned a small chain of video stores in the 1990's, and I can tell you that VHS releases and re-releases of Disney Classics during that decade dominated the entertainment world and was fueled by the meteoric expansion of Blockbuster. All of my customers wanted to own every Disney animated classic, they couldn't wait for the next re-release. Disney teased everyone by letting one video out at a time and then proclaiming to put it "in the vault" for another lifetime. Because of this new technology (vhs players) and this marketing campaign, all the Disney classic animated films were re-introduced to an entire generation of kids (my own children were heavily invested in this phenomena).

An aside that could be discussed on another day in a different thread:
I don't see much evidence today (I am a middle school teacher) of students watching the Disney classics. I know kids are watching the Disney Television programs, but I don't think they know about the classics or the mystique of Disney.

Looking back on the 90's based on that incredible strategy of hyping ALL the animated films in conjunction with the fantastic run of films (Little Mermaid etc) I would have thought that the Theme Parks would have been keeping up. When I finally made it back to the parks in 2004, I was thrilled to see that the old standbys from my youth were still there. My kids enjoyed Pirates and Jungle Cruise, the Tree House and the Raceway. Splash Mountain was incredible. No matter what we were going to have fun.

But I did notice that the Magic Kingdom park did not capitalize on that sudden demand and interest in the movies. For nostalgia the older rides still pack a wallop! So what happened in the 90's in MK?

Less than exciting:
- Mickey's Toon Town Fair
- More structured Meet and Greets
- Magic Carpets of Aladdin
- Refreshes to Carousel of Progress and Hall of Presidents
- ?? I don't know of anything else

Exciting:
- Splash Mountain (to me this is one of the great Disney rides - amazing theme, fun ride, and classic connection to music and story) But this had to have been developed before the Disney Decade (I guess that is ok).

Just using that example, I wouldn't call it a great Decade for the Magic Kingdom. And I wouldn't touch the new resort additions with a ten-foot pole after reading the Caste System proposed by the Baron in the archived threads and the discussion about the blandness of the resorts being built in the 1990s!

After watching the Documentary about Walt Disney and 1964 World's Fair I think Walt set a standard that only the strong and courageous could attain. Nobody has been able to step up yet.
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Old 01-13-2013, 04:28 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mrsR123 View Post
I'll bite: I vote glass half full.

Bottom line: I'm still chomping at the bit to go back.
You gave me a false sense of security to jump in here, and then you bailed! What's going to happen? A Baron attack?
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Old 01-13-2013, 06:52 PM   #5
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Smile ~I don't know...

Quote:
Originally Posted by DVC-Landbaron View Post
I grabbed this from another thread and thought Id start a new one in order to get a feel for the opinions on this board after being gone for so long. Please let me know how you feel about things.

Thanks.


So the question is, did that Disney Decade really exist? And no matter what you think about that, you have to admit that a whole heck of a lot of change took place then. Peter contends that:


Are you pleased with what it has become? Do you think the resources of the company, personnel, land, capital, etc. was used the wisest way possible, or was it squandered in money grabbing, short-sighted, anti-Disney things? Probably a mixed bag for most. But I am curious about the current thinking of this board. So post away!!!
~I'm going to have to read the other thread sometime later -- in order, to gain a broader perspective on this. But I will say -- just off the top of my head, I'm pretty sure I agree with the Pirate.

~Disney under Iger is reactive. Iger's leadership sort of emulates that lucky "in line" relative who finally chances upon the opportunity to manage a fortune built by those who preceded him. I sense a lack of discipline, as well as a lack of respect for what it took to build this vast Disney empire. So, the philosophy of "creating" & "innovating" & "plussing" is abandoned altogether -- and replaced with what seems to be "let's go shopping" -- "our competition did this, so we'll just go & buy that."

~With Eisner, Disney was more along the lines of -- "what competition?" I've seen a lot of "gimmicks" -- too many -- under Iger's leadership -- decisions I once thought were well "beneath" Disney, are now commonplace. I've lowered and adjusted my expectations from Disney, as a result -- just so I could stop complaining and continue to be excited about my Disney vacations.

~Disney under Eisner was proactive. Eisner set Disney up in every way to succeed. The parks just needed to be maintained & "plussed." Instead, they were just neglected -- enter Harry Potter -- and Disney has been playing "clean up" and "catch up" ever since -- it's embarrassing.

~I don't dislike Iger, there is something likable about him, but I think Eisner was better. I don't find it necessary for Iger to step down, I believe he finally "gets it," in regards to the theme parks & resorts division -- at least, it's a start -- albeit a very late one. With that said, Disney as a whole has done very well under Iger, he's modern thinking & quite stylish, too -- that's good for Disney's image (branding power).
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Old 01-14-2013, 10:57 AM   #6
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That old linked thread is interesting. I'll go OT on this thread instead of bumping that 10+ year old thread up. I stayed at the PC for a couple nights last fall and what really struck me was the lack of theme inside the room. Is using yo-yos for drawer pulls or towel hooks, mini hulahoops for shower curtain rings, or maybe wiring some frisbees together for a lampshade that expensive? Vaguely Scan-design mid century modern tribute hotel furniture, a Disney print, and Mickey pattern bedspread and shower curtain was it. Is Art of Animation the only value with the theme convincingly carried into the rooms?

Edit- I looked at all the value pix. I now get that they were trying for a mid-century modern streamlined look in the Pop rooms. I wish they'd used the classic toys of that era instead to bring fun into the rooms.

Last edited by Q-man; 01-14-2013 at 11:07 AM.
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Old 01-14-2013, 02:07 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bcrook View Post
You gave me a false sense of security to jump in here, and then you bailed! What's going to happen? A Baron attack?
sorry! I had a lenthy post with bullets and paragraphs, and then i reaad the 2001 Eisner thread and AV smashed all my thinking-- along with the Baron. So I deleted the whole thing. I'll come back and re-do it; I promise.

We Disney-loving middle school teachers have to stick together.
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Old 01-14-2013, 02:33 PM   #8
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Quote:
I looked at all the value pix. I now get that they were trying for a mid-century modern streamlined look in the Pop rooms. I wish they'd used the classic toys of that era instead to bring fun into the rooms.
Just wondering. Is the following equation true?

“Classic toys” decorations = Disney experience

I think it should be written…

“Classic toys” decorations < Disney experience

But maybe you disagree.
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Old 01-14-2013, 07:03 PM   #9
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So here's the thing. The "Disney Decade" was now 20 years ago-- at least the beginning of it. We have some hindsight, and I think it did revitalize the company overall. My recollection was backed up by the list of animated feature fims released that is in that 2001 thread. (I had never read that, btw, because I didn't start coming here until early 2002, I think.)

I'm a lowly school teacher, but my understanding of how business works is that the CEO gets to take a lot of credit for what happens under his watch. Eisner oversaw a lot of good stuff. Should more credit go to Wells, or Katzenburg? Maybe. But it was Mikey on TV...

We also have to, at this point, evaluate what we ACTUALLY GOT, not what we might have had, or should have had. Overall, there's not that much of the expansion that I think we would be better off without.

1) Pop is just ugly. The rooms are too small for what they charge and the decor contributes to the idea that theming=decoration. It makes me sad to read people say they don't get "that Disney feeling" as one poster put it some years ago when they stay at one of the themed resorts other than the values. If Pop were truly themed, it would look like a typical motel room of each time period would have looked, not have giant bowling pins outside or due respect to PP above, yo-yo's for drawer pulls...

2)Hester and Chester's area is probably a pretty faithful replica of a traveling carnival, right down to the pavement lines. Now whether that was a theme they had any business doing is another story...

3) I do think the DVC expansion has been a money grab. Don't get me wrong: I loved staying at BLT, but the finishes they used are not holding up and will have to be replaced earlier than the owners are going to want to pay for. It's ludicrous to me the prices they are asking for new points currently and it makes me very appreciative of my 2004 OKW resale.


The things that most disappoint me are actually from the mid to late 2000's. Do we blame Eisner for those? or his successors? The Living Seas with Nemo is not good enough. I miss the real Figment. Stop messing with SSE...

But in the last couple of years I'm seeing glimmers again. The attention to detail in FLE looks promising and the reviews have been pretty good. Carsland has been very well received-- may we please have some of it at WDW?

Surely I'm coming up on the space limits, so bottom line: I think we're better off than we were and I can't wait to go back.
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Old 01-14-2013, 07:26 PM   #10
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The Disney decade was great, but the big change IMO was the untimely passing of Frank Wells. He was to me more of a creative type.

The same way Walt needed Roy, Eisner needed Wells, and the decline in quality between 1994 and the early 2000's was obvious.
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Old 01-14-2013, 07:46 PM   #11
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My turn

Baron, all those years ago you were technically right and I was technically wrong. However, as time has gone by it is obvious that I was 'practicaliy' right and you wrong.

Yes, Mikey could have done better with what he did right but in the long run he did enough right to call it successful. Should all of his elements, MGM, AK, DCA, etc been better? Been much, much better? Yes! Yes! Yes! But he still implemented enough shell pieces to get us where we are today, which is a still salvageable Disney should someone have the balls to do it. (I'd hire you Landbaron).

Mikey's biggest failure was to himself. His legacy. He could have and should have been the modern day Walt. He was smart enough, personable enough and he had the chance to put his name second level to Walt but his insecurities or greed failed him.

Current Disney, Iger, is a far, far bigger failure. They have implemented a profit only, PR driven structure with no regard to what Walt stood for. It is very sad to see people worshiping at the feet of current Disney as if they have done anything that could be construed as magical. Cars land, while acceptable is hardly revolutionary and FLE is pretty underwhelming if they were looking to make a theme park statement in the city of Orlando (if you catch my drift).

Iger bought Pixar, a company that by all reason should have been Disney in the first place, if they still hired imaginative people with enough free reign and clout to produce quality without being hamstrung by synergistic detail. But they didn't and don't.

Disney's next and maybe last hope is Lasseter. He has the brains and imagination to do the right thing but can he please Wall St. too?
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Old 01-14-2013, 08:02 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mrsR123
So here's the thing. The "Disney Decade" was now 20 years ago-- at least the beginning of it. We have some hindsight, and I think it did revitalize the company overall. My recollection was backed up by the list of animated feature fims released that is in that 2001 thread. (I had never read that, btw, because I didn't start coming here until early 2002, I think.)

I'm a lowly school teacher, but my understanding of how business works is that the CEO gets to take a lot of credit for what happens under his watch. Eisner oversaw a lot of good stuff. Should more credit go to Wells, or Katzenburg? Maybe. But it was Mikey on TV...

We also have to, at this point, evaluate what we ACTUALLY GOT, not what we might have had, or should have had. Overall, there's not that much of the expansion that I think we would be better off without.

1) Pop is just ugly. The rooms are too small for what they charge and the decor contributes to the idea that theming=decoration. It makes me sad to read people say they don't get "that Disney feeling" as one poster put it some years ago when they stay at one of the themed resorts other than the values. If Pop were truly themed, it would look like a typical motel room of each time period would have looked, not have giant bowling pins outside or due respect to PP above, yo-yo's for drawer pulls...

2)Hester and Chester's area is probably a pretty faithful replica of a traveling carnival, right down to the pavement lines. Now whether that was a theme they had any business doing is another story...

3) I do think the DVC expansion has been a money grab. Don't get me wrong: I loved staying at BLT, but the finishes they used are not holding up and will have to be replaced earlier than the owners are going to want to pay for. It's ludicrous to me the prices they are asking for new points currently and it makes me very appreciative of my 2004 OKW resale.

The things that most disappoint me are actually from the mid to late 2000's. Do we blame Eisner for those? or his successors? The Living Seas with Nemo is not good enough. I miss the real Figment. Stop messing with SSE...

But in the last couple of years I'm seeing glimmers again. The attention to detail in FLE looks promising and the reviews have been pretty good. Carsland has been very well received-- may we please have some of it at WDW?

Surely I'm coming up on the space limits, so bottom line: I think we're better off than we were and I can't wait to go back.
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Old 01-14-2013, 08:24 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mrsR123 View Post
So here's the thing. The "Disney Decade" was now 20 years ago-- at least the beginning of it. We have some hindsight, and I think it did revitalize the company overall. My recollection was backed up by the list of animated feature fims released that is in that 2001 thread. (I had never read that, btw, because I didn't start coming here until early 2002, I think.)

I'm a lowly school teacher, but my understanding of how business works is that the CEO gets to take a lot of credit for what happens under his watch. Eisner oversaw a lot of good stuff. Should more credit go to Wells, or Katzenburg? Maybe. But it was Mikey on TV...

We also have to, at this point, evaluate what we ACTUALLY GOT, not what we might have had, or should have had. Overall, there's not that much of the expansion that I think we would be better off without.

1) Pop is just ugly. The rooms are too small for what they charge and the decor contributes to the idea that theming=decoration. It makes me sad to read people say they don't get "that Disney feeling" as one poster put it some years ago when they stay at one of the themed resorts other than the values. If Pop were truly themed, it would look like a typical motel room of each time period would have looked, not have giant bowling pins outside or due respect to PP above, yo-yo's for drawer pulls...

2)Hester and Chester's area is probably a pretty faithful replica of a traveling carnival, right down to the pavement lines. Now whether that was a theme they had any business doing is another story...

3) I do think the DVC expansion has been a money grab. Don't get me wrong: I loved staying at BLT, but the finishes they used are not holding up and will have to be replaced earlier than the owners are going to want to pay for. It's ludicrous to me the prices they are asking for new points currently and it makes me very appreciative of my 2004 OKW resale.


The things that most disappoint me are actually from the mid to late 2000's. Do we blame Eisner for those? or his successors? The Living Seas with Nemo is not good enough. I miss the real Figment. Stop messing with SSE...

But in the last couple of years I'm seeing glimmers again. The attention to detail in FLE looks promising and the reviews have been pretty good. Carsland has been very well received-- may we please have some of it at WDW?

Surely I'm coming up on the space limits, so bottom line: I think we're better off than we were and I can't wait to go back.
Thanks for coming back! And YES we should stick together.
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Old 01-14-2013, 10:38 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DVC-Landbaron View Post
Just wondering. Is the following equation true?

“Classic toys” decorations = Disney experience

I think it should be written…

“Classic toys” decorations < Disney experience

But maybe you disagree.
I'm looking for fun and immersive experience from Disney. Not a faint homage to mid century modern decor in a any motel, on steroids, setting. I found the interior and exterior theme coordination at the Pop lacking. I grew up in a mid century modern with Scan. design furniture and didn't get that theme when I was there. What do you think most value vacationers are getting out of the experience?

Of course nostalgia for the toys of the era I grew up in could be clouding what is left on my brain as I'm now envisioning a Toy Story, or maybe a Cars' Wheel Well Motel, motif being the answer.

Last edited by Q-man; 01-14-2013 at 11:02 PM.
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Old 01-14-2013, 11:20 PM   #15
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Quote:
I'm looking for fun and an immersive experience from Disney not a faint ode to mid century modern decor in a any motel, on steroids, setting. Interpret that however you wish.
I wish I could interpret it! Honestly, I don’t know what that means!
Quote:
I found the interior and exterior theme coordination at the Pop lacking.
Lacking!? Lacking!!!!???? I’ve thought about it many times over the years and “lacking” was never a word I thought of! Unfortunately, most of the adjectives I did think of can’t be printed here!!!
Quote:
What do you think most value vacationers are getting out of the experience?
NOT a Disney experience!!! What do you think they get?
Quote:
I'm looking for fun and immersive experience from Disney.
Are you getting that from the "Values"?
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