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Yearning for a younger Disney World

Discussion in 'General' started by DisneyFreak, Aug 25, 2014.

  1. DisneyFreak
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    DisneyFreak Serious Forum Regular

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    I've just started a long process at home. I'm converting all my family movies from VHS to DVD.

    I began last night with our 1989 WDW trip (5 tapes total). After watching/dubbing tape 1 that started out with Epcot Center and a brand new one month old Disney/MGM Studios I began to think how simple Disney World used to be. For instance......
    • We never had to make a reservation for ANY restaurant at Epcot or the Studios.
    • After Illuminations were over at 10:20pm you could still ride the Future World pavillions on the way out to the parking lot or Monorail
    • There was no stupid hat and you could see Grauman's Theater in all it's glory
    A couple other fun things I saw in the video from last night was the full Horizons ride. The video quality was poor (these tapes are 25 years old and have been through a couple of hurricanes after all) but the sound was pretty decent so I just closed my eyes and listened. There was no stage in front of The Fountain of Nations. There was no Sunset BLVD at the Studios yet. What was there was a stage. It looked weird being there. Have almost a full video of the backstage tour including Residential Street. That was fun to see that again. Also going through NY Street with no one walking around. Back then all that was allowed there was the tram cars.

    This is where the first two hour video ended. I hope to have time to dub tape 2 tonight but class homework might put a damper on that.

    I will keep posting fun things in the videos that I find.
     
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  2. keith
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    keith Camera nut Staff Member Administrator Forum Host

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    I try not to think too much about it and enjoy where it's at right now but sometimes it's hard.

    One of the best meals ever was when we "discovered" le cellier one day by thinking ooo what's down there and just walking in. No problem getting in and we had a nice chat with the CMs etc. Food was great, nothing rushed.

    The other thing I miss terribly is being able to walk down the residential street at MGM with the osbourne lights done properly as they were meant to be, on houses.
     
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  3. DisneyFreak
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    DisneyFreak Serious Forum Regular

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    Keith, that's how we discovered 50's Prime Time. I remember walking in there the very first time and thought WOW! We had to wait about 30 minutes for a table but it was well worth it. We have been going back there ever since.

    As for Residential Street, we saw the Christamas decorations there once before the street was removed to make way for Lights, Motor, Action :)thumbsdown:). It truly was special.

    I just feel Disney is trying to control too much of the experience. Controlled fun if you will and it's beginning to wear thin on me. Don't get me wrong, I still love going to Disney World and I always will but I think after this December trip and the cruise in February and a three weekend in April with my Mom, I think we are going to take a few years break from the land of the mouse.
     
  4. Deafjeff
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    Deafjeff Serious Forum Regular

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    Mmhhh are we saying that Disney has gotten worse?
     
  5. uscwest
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    uscwest Senior Cast Member

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    Yes we are.
     
  6. Tink
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    Tink Cead Mille Failte! Staff Member Administrator

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    I don't know if I would say worse, but I also know that is because I simply can't think of Disney as worse ... worse than what? Changed? Absolutely. For the better? Depends upon who you are, I guess. I miss so much now, that it's really hard to go sometimes.

    I'm looking forward to DL in December. I've had any number of people tell me that it continues to be authentic, with excellent food and no need for over planning. I love to plan, but planning down to the minute bothers me. What if something comes up? A whole day's plans wiped out? :unsure: And like Dawn, although we are here, we are being priced out. :sigh:
     
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  7. keith
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    keith Camera nut Staff Member Administrator Forum Host

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    It's my special place :( before Disney I simply didn't go on holiday so I have to keep giving it the benefit of the doubt but it gets harder and harder.
     
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  8. Tink
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    Tink Cead Mille Failte! Staff Member Administrator

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    Yeah. That's the gut wrenching hard part. Our special place. So many wonderful memories intertwined with all things WDW. :sigh: It's actually sad in some ways. I think I'm just a little tired tonight, so ignore me. :)
     
  9. Johnie
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    Johnie Budget Queen Forum Host

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    It's a different place. It's grown. Things can't stay the same forever :-/ I do wish I didn't have to plan every detail but I'm lucky enough that I've been so much that I don't need to. I also always have a car so that I don't have to be.
     
  10. Deafjeff
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    Deafjeff Serious Forum Regular

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    Would be interesting to see how we feel about it after this trip. As we still love WDW, it is still magical place for us.
     
  11. keith
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    keith Camera nut Staff Member Administrator Forum Host

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    totally agree with that and in fact WDW has been criticised for not moving quickly enough v universal etc. plus Disney has that age old problem, if you remove/change some ride which is a "memory" for someone, that'll be a moan.

    I think my problem with the changes are I can see why Disney the company would be happy with restaurants overbooked, massively expensive restaurants, packed out parks and not many new bits but I can't really see what's been made better for me ;-)

    I'm thinking about my fave park EPCOT. The price of admission in my case annual pass, has increased enormously over the years but what's been added to justify that? hmmmm I'll have to google and see if I'm overlooking some stuff because right now I can only think of things that have stopped... parade etc.

    There's the new area at MK but does it have the same "WOW" as the harry potter area at Universal?

    Even the paid for events like the Christmas party have lost events and become a lot more busy.

    Not trying to be all gloomy and WDW is a business, but their selling point was that holiday of a lifetime, brilliant experience and service. At the moment it feels like they're simply trying to put the price up and up and up and up without much justification to see how far they can get. A valid business strategy for sure but as regular visitors, I'm not sure we have to actually like it ;-)
     
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  12. Deafjeff
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    Deafjeff Serious Forum Regular

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    I think you have made some fair point. We have noticed that prices are going up quite fast..... however we have not reached a stage where we say that the costs is too much and we have to bow out. I won't be surprised if it happening sooner or later.

    We tends to enjoy every single thing about WDW for example magical express and other little magical things. This what keeps the magic alive for us. I guess we both are in demanding job and we have to be responsible for many things in our home and working lives. Coming to WDW, we can be two big kids and have simply wonderful holiday. Granted more planning required but the way I see it, it is fun part of holiday and it does give an impression that the holiday has began before we even arrived at WDW.
     
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  13. Oreo
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    Oreo Addicted to Mickey

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    The thing is, the stuff they could do to improve it is fairly straight forward.

    Things like bringing back the old fast pass (but instead of cards you use the bands).

    Making merchandise available in one or two shops and not have generic 'Disney Parks' merchandise throughout all shops.

    Bring back year of a million dreams. Make peoples day special. It doesn't have to be massive stuff like staying at the Cinderlla suite.

    It's all little changes that won't cost a lot.

    It just seems Disney wants to squeeze every last dollar out they can.
     
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  14. keith
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    keith Camera nut Staff Member Administrator Forum Host

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    yeah that's absolutely right and I think it's just that the stage when the cost is too much differs for different people. I imagine it comes at a lower point for a family with 4 kids struggling to make ends meet but trying to plan a holiday than it would for a couple with no kids both working etc. of course for us UKers we have to add in the ever increasing cost of the plane travel in the first place too! Pretty soon that'll be £1000 per person economy in my opinion with all the taxes etc going up.

    It's a valid business strategy it really is. If you can get 10 people each paying a million pound a visit then that's an easier way to go then having to provide for a million people paying a pound each ;-) but it certainly changes the game.
     
  15. keith
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    keith Camera nut Staff Member Administrator Forum Host

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    yeah really agree with that!

    It wouldn't take much to make their repeat guests feel appreciated IMHO but with every announcement they actually seem to be saying "we don't care about you because we're busy now".

    Heaven forbid they have another 2001 event or recession where they NEED the locals and repeat guests
     
  16. Johnie
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    Johnie Budget Queen Forum Host

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    I agree 1000%!!
     
  17. Wendy
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    Wendy A hui hou kakou makuakane Staff Member Administrator

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    :yes: sad but so true Keith :sigh:
     
  18. Oreo
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    I think September 11th gave Disney a kick up the back side. However, for us guests it was probably the wrong direction.

    I feel since then it's been about maximising profit, with little to no effort.

    And when effort and theming is key (like new fantasyland) it takes them an age to get it done.

    They are always second guessing themselves.

    Take for example Universal. They planned to open the second stage of Harry Potter in 2016. However, what they hadn't planned for was the sales of butterbeer to be so great that they could open it up two years earlier than originally planned.

    They went for the entire/complete experience and are now being rewarded for it.

    As a result guests have an excuse to come back and see the new bits of Harry Potter.

    Disney in turn invest billions into this magic band stuff which I would argue has made it more difficult for guests to use, except of course being able to spend on it. That's a little too easy to do.

    Frozen becomes this massive hit, instead of opening a small attraction they decide that they want it everywhere. Fine, until people get sick of it, then what?

    Universal announce Harry Potter, Disney announce new fantasyland.

    Unversal announce Harry Potter part two Disney announce avatarland (which by the way won't be finished for some time probably when Harry Potter part 3 is open).

    Disney have one advantage over universal. They have the back catolog.

    They have two parks in Animal Kingdom and MGM that are struggling (and will continue to struggle).

    I am no expert, but Disney don't help themselves.

    Get rid of avatar, replace it with Beastly kingdom. Create an area full of mythical creatures.

    Two years later open Star Wars at MGM. The crowds will flock back to Disney then the ball is back with them in their court.

    All this dilly dallying around has cost them but they won't admit that.
     
  19. Tony G
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    Tony G Serious Forum Regular

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    Couldn't agree more, Oreo.

    Disney need to realise that the pace of change is only getting quicker, so there needs to be a plan in place. I said this before somewhere, so forgive me if I'm repeating myself but I think Disney should make three new attractions at each park. These attractions should rely heavily on screens and experiences, rather than physical effects and animatronics. These can then be used to keep up with current fads/popular movies/popular games by simply changing the movie and re-theming the area. This obsession with the old way is fine when we're discussing classic rides, but there needs to be a balance with new attractions, too.

    Oh, and if they want to pay for it quickly - release some non-generic merchandise! People are desperate for this stuff.

    On a related note, my family and I were discussing another trip next year and we spent a long time considering whether to skip Disney altogether. The price is becoming a real issue. :(
     
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  20. keith
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    keith Camera nut Staff Member Administrator Forum Host

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    I agree SO much with that! I cant believe they're doing avatar :( what a waste and yeah wow star wars land would just ROCK
     
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