Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Disneyland is NOT a Museum!





How many times have you heard it?

Walt Disney’s famous quote: "Disneyland will never be completed. It will continue to grow as long as there is imagination left in the world."

…Or the oft-repeated WDI slogan: “Disneyland is not a museum.”

In any serious discussion of Disneyland’s preservation or restoration, it’s likely that one or both of these statements will crop-up as a conversation-stopper. These not-so-magic words are invoked to shutdown debate, often by those with a personal stake in the outcome.

Spouted as Gospel, such polarizing rhetoric implies that only the most stubbornly nostalgic, progress-resistant purist would dare to disagree.

Yet Walt invited each of us to feel an ownership of the park: “Disneyland is your land. Here, age relives fond memories of the past... and here youth may savor the challenge and promise of the future.” So when those fond memories are tampered with, we take it personally.

From artists to everyday guests; the dreams and wishes of untold Disneylanders are all-too-easily dismissed by the ever-ready excuses.

These tired old warhorses are trotted out regularly for the press whenever there are controversial additions or subtractions in Anaheim, such as the political correction of Pirates of the Caribbean, the eviction of the Swiss Family Robinson, or the twilight of Tomorrowland.

"I'm as pure as Disneyland fanatics can get, “ Tony Baxter told The Los Angeles Times in 1995 as the park embarked on a fateful program of change, “When a new ride comes and an old one drops out, there are bound to be twinges. But it has to happen, or (Disneyland) becomes a museum and an arthritic collection of things people were attached to in the '60s."

"It's always been this way at Disneyland," added Marty Sklar, who began working for the company as park publicist before it opened in 1955, "It was like on opening day, the one real dynamic was change… Walt's famous quote was 'Disneyland will never be completed as long as there's imagination left in the world.' "

"Pirates of the Caribbean has become the standard by which our guests measure every other attraction,” Sklar offered in 1997, “But it's not a museum piece either. We want to keep adding to it and improving it like everything else."





As Tarzan’s Treehouse came online in 1999, so did a chat with Imagineers:

“Master_Gracey: Bruce: Pleeeeaaaase don't make any radical changes to Haunted Mansion or Pirates! I'm beggin' ya!

Bruce_Gordon: I was just using those as an example...

Bruce_Gordon: But you've prompted me to type out my "Disneyland is not a museum" speech.

Bruce_Gordon: The park needs to constantly change....

Bruce_Gordon: When Walt was around, attractions came and went like you wouldn't believe.

Bruce_Gordon: He put in the Viewliner train of the future in 1957 -- then tore it down in 1958 to make way for the monorail.

Bruce_Gordon: He's the one that said it would never be finished....”

But in the post-Walt era, is every change equal?

Are we to blindly accept all revisions to Disneyland, good or bad - - from the nifty New Fantasyland to the aesthetic assault of Winnie-the-Pooh and Tomorrowland ’98 - - as if each new scheme were preordained by Walt?

Surely sacrificing Mary Blair’s handcrafted tile murals for printed billboard wraps was not Walt’s treasured dream for the future. Nor do long-abandoned attractions in full-view of the paying public seem much like Progressland.

So who decides for all of us? Can anyone with a wrecking ball and a dream become the next Walt Disney?





What did the maestro really want? In various interviews, Walt expanded on his expansion theory:

“Disneyland is like a piece of clay, if there’s something I don’t like, I’m not stuck with it. I can reshape and revamp.”

“There are many ways that you can use those certain basic things and give them a new d├ęcor, a new treatment. I’ve been doing that with Disneyland. Some of my things I’ve redone as I’ve gone along. Reshaped them.”

“The way I see it, Disneyland will never be finished. It’s something we can keep developing and adding to. A motion picture is different. Once it’s wrapped up and sent out for processing, we’re through with it. If there are things that could be improved, we can’t do anything about them anymore. I’ve always wanted to work on something alive, something that keeps growing. We’ve got that in Disneyland.”

…So, Walt clearly expected his heirs to create thrilling new additions for Disneyland’s future and fix the problem areas.

But did he also intend that we turn our back on the past? Quite to the contrary, nostalgia was part of Disneyland’s very concept. After all, the great castles, parks, monuments and museums of European antiquity had inspired its design.

Walt elaborates:

“I love the nostalgic myself. I hope we never lose some of the things of the past.”

“Disneyland will be the essence of America as we know it, the nostalgia of the past, with exciting glimpses into the future. It will give meaning to the pleasure of children – and pleasure to the experience of adults.”

“The idea of Disneyland is a simple one. It will be a place for people to find happiness and knowledge. It will be a place for parents and children to share pleasant times in one another’s company; a place for teachers and pupils to discover greater ways of understanding and education. Here the older generation can recapture the nostalgia of days gone by, and the younger generation can savor the challenge of the future. Here will be the wonders of Nature and Man for all to see and understand. Disneyland will be based upon and dedicated to the ideals, the dreams and hard facts that have created America. And it will be uniquely equipped to dramatize these dreams and facts and send them forth as a source of courage and inspiration to all the world. Disneyland will be sometimes a fair, an exhibition, a playground, a community center, a museum of living facts, and a showplace of beauty and magic. It will be filled with accomplishments, the joys and hopes of the world we live in. And it will remind us and show us how to make these wonders part of our own lives.”

Hey - - Did Walt just say Disneyland was sometimes a museum?





“To co-ordinate the ‘Progressland’ project, General Electric assigned a vice-president whose previous expertise had been in heavy machinery,” Bob Thomas relates in Walt Disney: An American Original, “He listened impatiently as Walt outlined how the show would trace the American household from 1890 to the future. When Walt finished, the vice-president remarked, “Well, that’s not exactly what we had in mind. We’re in the business of selling progress. What do we want with all that nostalgia?”

“To the WED staff, the room temperature seemed to drop perceptibly. Walt replied with an edge to his voice, “Look, I built this studio on the basis of nostalgia, and we’ve been doing a pretty good job of selling it to the public all these years.” Afterward he was so incensed that he ordered the legal department to determine if the General Electric contract could be broken. When the G.E. president, Gerald Phillippi, visited the studio on a vacation two weeks later, Walt told him, “I’m having trouble with one of your vice presidents.” The man was instructed to stay out of Walt’s way.”

We all know the Old Man never intended the phrase "Disneyland will never be completed…" to mean "Disneyland must always change in the name of progress.”

Surely, Walt wanted the best of both worlds: to perpetuate the classic, ageless art of Disneyland to our kids and grandkids - - just as he had reintroduced his film library to sparkling new eyes every seven years - - while still adding startling new breakthroughs in technology and entertainment to keep the mix ever fresh.

It probably never occurred to him that executives would one day choose to downgrade extant facilities in the name of progress, and sometimes without a replacement on the horizon. After all, he was about building, adding, “plussing.”

"The fun is in always building something. After it's built, you play with it awhile and then you're through. You see, we never do the same thing twice around here. We're always opening up new doors."





There is no doubt Walt built things to last. Of the attractions designed for the New York World’s Fair, he said, "After the fair these attractions will all move to Disneyland, where they will find a permanent home."

“Disneyland is not just another amusement park. It’s unique and I want it kept that way. Besides, you don’t work for a dollar – you work to create and have fun.”

As Roy O. Disney confirmed in a tribute to his late brother, “Walt used to say that Disneyland would never be finished; that through his creations, future generations will continue to celebrate what he once described as "that precious, ageless something in every human being which makes us play with children's toys and laugh at silly things and sing in the bathtub and dream."

On this we all agree. While the new Walt Disney Museum prepares to open in San Francisco's Presidio under the watch of Diane Disney Miller, it's not enough. It will be a more typical museum, a collection of really cool things to observe under glass.

But Disneyland is the real deal. A physical, environmental creation of Walt's own making, a living museum of wonder. There, we can leave the real world behind and enter Walt's personal vision. It's a landmark shaped by the very hands of this remarkable artist and entrepreneur, a man who gathered some of the foremost talents and tastes of the 20th Century to create an amazing treasure park of art, color and beauty. What a shame it would be not to preserve and restore those precious ideas, artifacts, shapes and colors for our progeny. No matter what you want to call it.

“To Baxter,” The Los Angeles Times reported in 1995, “…it's the Tiki Room that is untouchable -- in contrast to his anti-museum stance.”

"It revolutionized the industry," he says. "It's the first time sound and movement have been sequenced to a three-dimensional performance. To me it's important. It should belong if only as an institution."

I guess sometimes Disneyland is a museum after all…






52 comments:

Jeffery said...

There you go then, a proposal for a new park... Disney Retro.... A park where all the old yet important pieces of Disney Imagineering are rebuilt and kept as a permanent museum to yesterdays dreams.

BratStarMan said...

Interesting comparison to museums. As a child in Chicago, my favorite place to be was the Museum of Science and Industry. In some sense, MSI pre-Disneyed Disneyland, using concepts such as forced perspective and art-to-sell-science. So what is MSI today? A shadow of it's former self with dumbed-down exhibits and lots of empty space. Corporate sponsorship has evaporated, hands-on experiences have disappeared, and as in Dineyland much of the motion has become static displays. Are we seeing a Disney-unique fadeout, or is there a bigger cultural change at play?

Anonymous said...

Great post! If there is a design that is designed to replace an existing attraction it better well be MUCH better than the existing one. Your photo essays prove that point, how many millions were spent taking a "TommorowLand" and making it MUCH worse than it was originally.
No point in spending millions for nothing while also destroying a part of the park. Strange! Hopefully the new management will have learned the lessons of the past 20 years on how NOT to design a park or attractions.

Anonymous said...

Great post! If there is a design that is designed to replace an existing attraction it better well be MUCH better than the existing one. Your photo essays prove that point, how many millions were spent taking a "TommorowLand" and making it MUCH worse than it was originally.
No point in spending millions for nothing while also destroying a part of the park. Strange! Hopefully the new management will have learned the lessons of the past 20 years on how NOT to design a park or attractions.

Anonymous said...

I think your headers, rather than read "Museum" and then "Not a Museum," should read "Beautiful" and then "Ugly."

That about sums it up.

Karl Elvis said...

The pictures tell us everything - before - good. After - bad.

God, tomorrowland is such an eyesore now...

ChristianZ said...

When Walt said that Disneyland would never be completed I don't believe he meant that worthwhile attractions should be taken away, or taken away and replaced with inferior ones, or bending over backwards to appease rabid PC fanatics.

Anonymous said...

"from the sublime Star Tours and New Fantasyland to the aesthetic assault of Winnie-the-Pooh and Tomorrowland ’98 "

Were you being sarcastic when you referred to Star Tours as sublime ? I see Star Tours as a preview of the "aesthetic assault" that was coming to the rest of Tomorrowland. No offense if you weren't being sarcastic. It just surprises me because I have always agreed with your evaluation of things since the "Save Disney" days. When people have seen me get worked up about things happening in the parks I would (and still do) refer them to your articles. keep up the great work !

Mr Banks said...

My biggest problem with the phrase, "Disneyland is not a Museum" is that it stops discourse dead, a big finger to the possibility for passionate heartfelt debate on the best direction for the Disney Parks. There actually is some merit to looking at Disneyland as a museum of sorts in that the best museums of the world were never 'permanent' but plussed their exhibits as new technology and new discoveries unfolded, just as Walt did when he tinkered with his park. At the very least it's helpful to look at Disneyland as a sort of museum to the theme park princples of Walt himself. Otherwise we might as well re-name the parks after the current CEO of the company; say Eisnerland or Bob Iger World, in the name of being 'progressive', 'relevant' and as far from the constraints of museum-like permanence as possible.

pariartspaul said...

Fabulous post Merlin. The pictures are great. The 'not a museum' line has become a corporate buzz phrase for the past 20 years and I'm glad to see it exposed for what it is. Another excuse.

Merlin Jones said...

Of my earlier quote:

>>"from the sublime Star Tours and New Fantasyland to the aesthetic assault of Winnie-the-Pooh and Tomorrowland ’98 "<<

Anon. wrote:

>>Were you being sarcastic when you referred to Star Tours as sublime ? I see Star Tours as a preview of the "aesthetic assault" that was coming to the rest of Tomorrowland.<<

You know, Anon., I totally agree. I had a momentary lapse of generosity. Adventure Thru Inner Space was ans still is far more sublime to my senses.

My change:

"Are we to blindly accept all revisions to Disneyland, good or bad - - from the nifty New Fantasyland to the aesthetic assault of Winnie-the-Pooh and Tomorrowland ’98 - - as if each new scheme were preordained by Walt?"

BratStarMan said...

I found these incredible quotes by Ray Bradbury on another site (wdwmagic.com) and had to share them here:

“I came back from Paris one time about ten years ago, went to Disneyland, and I looked at the side of Sleeping Beauty’s Castle, and I called John Hench over at Imagineering, and I said, ‘I noticed something about Sleeping Beauty’s Castle: there’s a spire there that I saw last on top of Notre Dame in Paris! I said, ‘How long’s that been there, on Sleeping Beauty’s Castle?’ He said, ‘20 years.’ I said, ‘Who put it there?’ He said, ‘Walt did.’ And I said, ‘Why?’ ‘Because he loved it.’

I said, ‘Ah! That’s why I love Walt Disney.’ It cost $100,000 to build a spire you didn’t need! That’s the secret of Disney, is doing things you don’t need and doing them well, and then you realize you needed ‘em all along.”

"Because he built Disneyland, because it was full of things we didn’t need but really needed, ‘We don’t need a lot of trees.’ You plant them. ‘We don’t need a lot of benches.’ You put ‘em down. ‘We don’t need a lot of flowers.’ You plant them.

So he built Disneyland as an example of a way of living – not just an entertainment center. You could go there and sit on a bench and people-watch because it’s a happy experience. Why? Because of the flowers, the trees, the fountains, all over and above all of the other elements."

Disneyland is not a museum or a business - it is a way of living - so very well said.

Erica said...

GREAT article, I completely agree. And actually, the pictures say it all. Thanks for the inspiring article.

-erica

Anonymous said...

I think you guys need to quit living in the past. I agree that when an attraction is taken out it should be replaced by something better. But preserve it, please.

Merlin Jones said...

>>I think you guys need to quit living in the past. I agree that when an attraction is taken out it should be replaced by something better. But preserve it, please.<<

"I love the nostalgic myself. I hope we never lose some of the things of the past." - - Walt Disney

yensid98 said...

The funny ting is, that even with the awful New Tomorrowland, Disneyland is still full of nostaliga for me. A stroll down Main Street or New Orleans Square is all that it takes to transport me to another time and place.

For me nostaliga is a HUGE part of my love for Disneyland. Nostalgia for an America that never really was and nostaliga for a time when big dreams could be realized in such a beautiful way.

Great article. The pictoral essy is just painful to see. How can the execs not get it?

April said...

Let me echo the others who said "Great post."

Question though, what are your sources for the history of Disneyland and what Walt said and did before, during and after production?

All of this has me wanting to read more. Can you recommend some good reading material?

April

Anonymous said...

The picture were really funny and loaded to glorify the past. It looked like all the old pictures were taken during the busy summer season and all the new pictures were taken on a Febuary Tuesday!

I am bummed abour the Depp POTC.

I have hope that Mr. Pixar is a Disney geek

Merlin Jones said...

>>All of this has me wanting to read more. Can you recommend some good reading material?<<

The quotes were sourced from all over - - but my favorite overall book on Walt Disney and his way of thinking is:

Steven Watts - "The Magic Kingdom"

Mellie Helen said...

So, let's say Disneyland is not a museum. All right, then: what precisely is it? Something to be turned into a Six Flags amusement park, where the emphasis is "extreme" rides? Or a giant retail center with a few attractions tossed in (a la those little kiddie rides skirting the entrances of grocery stores)? Perhaps its sole purpose is a backdrop; a prop to support the machinations of Disney Consumer Products (like the Fairy movies being made purely as a support to DCP's Fairies brand merchandise)?

Disneyland could be many things -- museum, not a museum, something entirely different altogether -- but as long as it lacks clear direction, purpose, and understanding of itself and its raison d'etre, its compass will continue to whirl unreined, and the results will be as haphazard as the "not a museum" photos demonstrate.

I remain cautiously optimistic that those now at the helm will create a cohesive vision for Disneyland which honors its past while embracing imaginative and thought-provoking experiences for the future.

And your pics? Priceless.

Will Robison said...

The irony of the whole thing is how little respect current management has for the past. The whole reason amusement parks still exist is because the people who love them like going back to see the things they fell in love with as a kid. I just recently rode the Cyclone at Coney Island for the first time. That roller coaster has been around far longer than anything Disney ever built and it will probably long outlast many of the creations that are coming online today. Why? Because the people who own it, care about it. They don't tear it down and replace it with a new steel roller coaster and call it the new Cyclone, or add Bugs Bunny and Friends to its theming to make it work as part of a corporate strategy. They recognize it for what it is and have faith that people will come again and again to ride it and feel connected to that little bit of the past that we have access to.

Merlin Jones said...

Perhaps debaters should spend more time chanting "Disneyland is not a Disney Store!"

Anonymous said...

You know, Merlin, using a Disney quote as a response to one of the only negative commments here when you ranted against that at the beginning the entry is a PERFECT example of irony. Fortunately, it didn't stop the conversation here...


Sure, the park has had some misfires, but isn't that the way things always work? It seems that large portion of Disney fans out there would like the park to remain the same, to help preserve your memories of it. That's perfectly acceptable and understandable.

But...

Disney's trying to run a business, and some of their most important customers are children. Some of the changes have obviously been so that attractions remain relevant to today's kids - I don't know about you guys, but I'd bet most seven year olds have seen Tarzan but haven't seen or read Swiss Family Robinson. The same goes for the Tiki Room at WDW - most kids entering the park would be familiar with Zazu and Iago, so it's a draw for them.

I think it's hard to argue that, without updating and adding attractions, Disney would eventually fade away. Look at all of the advances in robotics over the past two decades. Think about where w could be in ten, twenty, fifty years and tell me that Pirates of the Caribbean will still wow kids like it did in the sixties. It won't. Technology is a key part of many of the rides, and as time goes on, changes are almost mandatory.

With all of that said, it still doesn't justify doing things like taking out the Bears and putting in a Pooh ride with Disney Store-quality models. Even if Disney needs to keep up with the world around it, that doesn't mean they can do that at the expense of creativity.

But even with that point...if the kids that visit the park get more out of the attractions that you all loathe so much and have a better time with Pooh than the Bears or with Stitch instead of Alien Encounter, is it really a bad thing? They're getting a chace to make memories just like we all have. The content may not be the same, but something tells me the nostalgia they'll eventually feel will be.

-Paul

Merlin Jones said...

>>But even with that point...if the kids that visit the park get more out of the attractions that you all loathe so much and have a better time with Pooh than the Bears or with Stitch instead of Alien Encounter, is it really a bad thing?<<

Can you assure me "Kids like" the Observatron better than Rocket Jets, empty sky better than Skyway, empty beams more than PeopleMovers, non-moving Poohs better than fully animated Country Bears, no waterfalls better than waterfalls, no pirate ships better than pirate ships, closed fort instead of fort, no hula dancers and can-can girls better than hula dancers and can-can girls, ugly colors better than cool colors...?

You are speaking for them on authority?

"Mummy,, we simply MUST go to Disneyland now that the horrible Mary Blair mural is down and those foul old Robinsons have been replaced by that hotness Tarzan."

Uh huh.

Anonymous said...

Yes, Walt Disney said Disneyland will never be complete as long as their is imagination left in the world. Sadly the Disney© Company has no imagination.

Slowjack said...

"Some of the changes have obviously been so that attractions remain relevant to today's kids - I don't know about you guys, but I'd bet most seven year olds have seen Tarzan but haven't seen or read Swiss Family Robinson."

I loved the Swiss Family Robinson Treehouse when I visited WDW as a kid. And I had never seen the film or read the book. What's cool about that attraction is the sense of adventure it contains, the cleverness of the inventions running off the water wheel, and for a young boy at least, it's the ultimate "climb a tree" experience. If that doesn't appeal to a particular kid, stuffing a Tarzan mannequin in there would hardly seem to make a difference.

I loved 20,000 Leagues--same deal, never seen film or book. It wasn't necessary...and indeed, if I had seen the film and seen what Nemo was like, the ride would have made less sense, not more.

And of course, we all loved Pirates and the Haunted Mansion, even though their film adaptations were decades in the future...

I just don't believe that the corporate synergy strategy makes the rides more enjoyable for today's kids--or is even intended to.

Anonymous said...

Wow, Merlin. Could there be anymore condescension in your last response? While I have respected what this blog site is all about, and followed it’s posts regularly, I can’t agree with what is going on in these “comment” pages. Anyone with an opposing viewpoint is instantly demonized as a corporate sympathizer, talked down to, or openly mocked. Whatever happened to an open and fair exchange of opinion and thought?

Paul, who posted above, may not be able to speak for all children “on authority” but then again, neither can you. That’s what makes the back and forth pull of a good discussion so compelling. There are better ways to prove a point than using snide “quotes” to lower a person’s opinion.

In regards to the original posting, which I thought had a lot of good points, there is one thing that sticks out to me; the Mary Blair Mural and it’s admirers. To be sure, it was a wonderful piece of artwork by a very talented woman. But let’s be honest, the painting had a distinctly several decades ago feel to it. There are countless balls that were dropped during the creation of “New TomorrowLand”, but I don’t think that replacing what was admittedly a very loved, yet very dated mural, was the wrong thing to do. Add the fact that the piece of art work they replaced Mary’s with beautifully incorporated images of ride vehicles from the nearly five decades of Tomorrowland’s existence with a modern aesthetic and the new mural stands as possibly the only thing that wasn’t fumbled, in my mind, during the revision of TomorrowLand.

Jesse James

Mr Banks said...

My goodness, it's getting hot in here.

Admittedly I cringe everytime the issue of an attractions specific relevance to children comes up. The best of Disneyland didn't play to just children. The whole genesis of Disneyland, infact, concerned the shared experience of children and adults together. Start marketing Disneyland soley to children (OO! They'll like Iago in here...Tarzan... Stitch!) and you're starting down a slippery slope. It may not be easy to shape the Disneyland experience around both children and adults but it's infinitely more rewarding for everyone involved.

Swiss Family Robinson Treehouse, for instance, played to all camps. Now it just plays to kids. Keep going and you'll find that if it's a CLASSIC Disney attraction then both children and adults have always enjoyed it together.

Imagineers should probably start designing attractions that THEY love and watch how the kids follow.

It is, infact, a huge part of Pixar's success. Not for one second did the studio ever ignore the adults.

pariartspaul said...

I don't know... New Tomorrowland.... When it first opened, the most popular thing there was little refrigerater magnet models of the old attraction vehicles (they had just torn out!) and the create your own cd stands featuring old ride background tracks for sale in the shops. It was sad and made no sense at all. Also, the mural that replaced the Mary Blair mural...showing the things they just tore out! Again made no sense. It was exactly like if they had torn out say, the Snow White ride and replaced it with a shop selling posters and models of things that used to be in there and put a mural up in homage to it. Where's the substance gone?

Montresor said...

I just wanted to commend every contributor to this blog. It has been one of the most fascinating things I've readon online in a long time.

Growing up in Southern California, I've been to Disneyland more times than I can remember. I was there before and after the transformation of Tomorrowland and the removal of the Submarine Voyage (which was one of my favorite rides).

These entries have been spot on in pointing out Disney's missteps. Hopefully it will make a difference in where Disney goes in the future.

Anonymous said...

I agree with Jeffery at the top of this post. For years I've joked that there should be a Retroland added to the park. Walt had his nostalgia for the early 20th century and we have our nostalgia for the mid-20th century.

Newrush said...

Last month I took my 6 year old daughter for her first time to Disneyland, and what she saw and talked about blew me away. She did not care that this attraction was with Snow White or Winnie the Pooh, what she wanted to do was ride the attractions regardless of what they were. She liked the train, the autopia, the dark rides, Pirates, the Mansion and everything else. And you know what, it was not becuase of "who" was on the ride, but what the ride was. As we sat there eating a burger and watching people walk by, all she said was.."Dad, this is a fun place."

Branding and story telling all have there place at Disneyland, but a quality attraction is really what kids remember.

Yeah, we can sit and debate the old vs. new, but the one thing to remember is quality. The old tommorowland was not pretty, but it had quality.

Ted said...

I think that alot of the attractions that are removed are for other reasons than old vs new.
Most had good reasons, whether you agree with them or not is another story...
The peoplemover: although I really enjoyed this ride, it had it's own maintenance staff. It broke down all the time.
The Skyway: it required a very large attractions host staff (and they almost all HAD to be strong men). It also had a number of accidents (I was working there when one happened).
The original rocket jets: it was a loading nightmare with the elevator, that is why they moved it.
America Sings: Again, I loved this attraction, BUT it didn't belong in Tomorrowland.
Submarines: Come on people! The concept was good, but the attraction was LAME! AND very low capacity. Finding Nemo looks like it has tremendous promise.
Mission to Mars: LAME! nuff said
Country Bears: no good reason, Disney really sucks for this one. I always thought that there should be a Winnie the Pooh attraction, but why there?!? There is tons of room in Fantasyland!!
CircleVision: another tragedy. A GREAT attraction. Although Buzz Lightyear is a good replacement.

Digital Jedi said...

Quote:
>>>Disney's trying to run a business, and some of their most important customers are children. Some of the changes have obviously been so that attractions remain relevant to today's kids - I don't know about you guys, but I'd bet most seven year olds have seen Tarzan but haven't seen or read Swiss Family Robinson. The same goes for the Tiki Room at WDW - most kids entering the park would be familiar with Zazu and Iago, so it's a draw for them.<<<

I believe one of the points made here was that Disney is not a museum or a business, but a way of life. Disney’s philosophy was to improve upon what was, not arbitrarily replace something because you think it’s old. In any case, when did Disney become all about the children? I hear this argument all the time, and I’m confused by the logic. “Here the older generation can recapture the nostalgia of days gone by, and the younger generation can savor the challenge of the future.” I’ve read various quotes form Walt to that same effect. This tenet is what made Disney Theme Parks a success to begin with, and what kept them a success for generations later.

It wasn’t conventional business philosophy then, so it is surprising that it still isn’t today. With so many years of success under their belt, what exactly prompted the administration responsible for all the questionable changes from making the changes to begin with? When did Walt’s business philosophy start failing, so that we can now say they HAD to do this in order to keep the business going? From where I’m standing, it looks like the changes were made because they thought they could make more money, more quickly and “damn the consequences.” Those who’ve read my previous posts know that I’m fond of comparing this trend with a disease. Well, this is prime example of an acute case of “what they can get out of me instead of what they can give me”-ittis.

Another problem with the argument that all this makes sense if you want to appeal to the kids is, what logic exactly are we using to justify that? I’m no expert on classic literature, but isn’t Tarzan based on a novel that’s a century or more old? The last successful rendition I can remember of Tarzan starred a young Bo Derek, and I don't exactly think that was intended for an adolescent audience. So where, when deciding what cartoon Disney was going to make for this generation, did the logic that “relevant”, “hip” material must be used otherwise the kids won’t buy in, enter into it? If the logic is good business sense for the park, why is not applicable to the movies, as well?

Quote:
>>>I think it's hard to argue that, without updating and adding attractions, Disney would eventually fade away. Look at all of the advances in robotics over the past two decades. Think about where w could be in ten, twenty, fifty years and tell me that Pirates of the Caribbean will still wow kids like it did in the sixties. It won't. Technology is a key part of many of the rides, and as time goes on, changes are almost mandatory.<<<

I would find that remarkably easy to argue, in one respect. Nothing about what has been done to Disney, that has been critically addressed in this blog, has been an improvement. Did you really believe the nostalgia that is so fervently embedded into the hearts and minds of (what are commonly called) Disneyphiles, something that happened by accident? “Look, I built this studio on the basis of nostalgia”, “I love the nostalgic myself. I hope we never lose some of the things of the past”, “Disneyland will be the essence of America as we know it, the nostalgia of the past” “Here the older generation can recapture the nostalgia of days gone by”.

The nostalgia, the desire to cling to the old and be overly critical towards the new, the fond recollections of days gone by and the lamentation of discarded or neglected attractions, was all put there by The Man Himself. These are the feelings that nostalgia generates. These are the feelings that Walt’s attractions where designed to generate. We were supposed to cling to them. We were supposed to demand better with future additions.

I would submit to your argument, if you could say that the “updating and adding” that has been done lately, has been largely for the greater good, if it were enriching anything else besides Disney executive wallets. Disney wasn’t fading away for decades. Additions were made, I’ll grant you, but with the attitude that this one better top the last. EPCOT, Animal Kingdom, I’ll even through Alien Encounter into that mix. Again, progression was being made, why fix what isn’t broken? It’s not like the philosophy that churned out the classics we so fervently cling to was a bad one. If you’re business survives, thrives, for decades on the basis of it’s quality, it’s generosity, its concern for the family as a whole, why suddenly pigeonhole yourself into just focusing in on the kiddies and for as little money as possible? The answer is that they saw a way to make a bigger buck faster, with little regard for the consequences it would have on the future of their product.

My beef? I don’t see where any genuine updating and adding has taken place. I only see cheap knockoffs, half-financed show pieces and misplaced attractions. I’m not forgetting the few hits, but the misses are too numerous to ignore. Can you really call them additions, when you look at them and something inside you says something is missing? Can you really call them “updates” when less money, time and/or effort is put into them then ever before? What you call updating, I call regression at the expense of quality. What you call additions, I call subtractions at the expense of nostalgia.

Quote:
>>>With all of that said, it still doesn't justify doing things like taking out the Bears and putting in a Pooh ride with Disney Store-quality models. Even if Disney needs to keep up with the world around it, that doesn't mean they can do that at the expense of creativity.

But even with that point...if the kids that visit the park get more out of the attractions that you all loathe so much and have a better time with Pooh than the Bears or with Stitch instead of Alien Encounter, is it really a bad thing? They're getting a chace to make memories just like we all have. The content may not be the same, but something tells me the nostalgia they'll eventually feel will be.
<<<

Perhaps, but that’s not even really the problem. Where’s my nostalgia? As Walt states in his opening day speech, Disney is “your land”. He didn’t say it’s your kid’s land. Ignoring any portion of the family, of your customer, IS a bad thing. Disney was supposed to appeal to the whole family, not just my kids. If we are to go to Disney just for the children, then we could entertain them just as easily at Chucky Cheese and for less money. My family doesn’t need to organize trips for 8 people in a rented SUV and a group owned time-share anymore, because it’s not for them, it’s just for the kids.

You see, the problem is and always has been, that Disney parks started ignoring what made Disney, Disney. Nostalgia, quality, innovation, all these seemed to have largely gone out the window and been treated as bad, unprofitable things. We get it in bits and pieces now. It’s not the rule anymore, it’s the exception. These parks were created so families and friends could create memories together. That’s something very different from a business and a museum. That is, as the post aptly puts it, a way of life. Ways of life are something that families share. Something that brings parents and children together, not something that the kids drag their parents to.

In the end, it all comes back to the same things each and every post. Quality over content. Attention to detail over attention to profit. The needs of the consumer over the needs of the holiday bonus. I’m open minded about the Pirates of the Caribbean update. I really am. But if turns out to be another half-financed, half-realized modification solely made to profit from the hype of an already assured summer blockbuster, then we’re going to bring up the exact same arguments. And that is exactly what Walt intended when looking forward to new attractions. Nostalgia demands that if something must replace the old, it must be infinitely better then before. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again (Obviously I don’t mind milking a metaphor. ;)), Cubans trump cheap cigars any day. And if you get me used to them, don’t expect me not to complain when suddenly all you buy me are Black n’ Milds.

Merlin Jones said...

digitaljedi, the Force is with you! Applause.

Anonymous said...

Some of the changes have obviously been so that attractions remain relevant to today's kids - I don't know about you guys, but I'd bet most seven year olds have seen Tarzan but haven't seen or read Swiss Family Robinson. The same goes for the Tiki Room at WDW - most kids entering the park would be familiar with Zazu and Iago, so it's a draw for them.

I'm curious how you go about explaining the cross-demographic success of Splash Mountain. Most people under 25 (including all those squealing 7 year olds I see getting out of their logs saying "again again") have probably never even heard of Song of the South, and many of us under-35s who were old enough to see the last theatrical release weren't old enough to remember it very well. Despite being based on a property kids have no familiarity with, Splash is one of the most popular attractions with people of all ages in every park it's in.

As a retro-futurism fan, I immediately saw the intent of Tomorrowland 98 and fell swooningly in love, only to be crushed and disappointed when I realized how much had been lost in order to gain a spiffy new (badly needed) coat of paint. Change can be good, but icing tends to collapse in on itself without some cake underneath.

Davelandweb said...

Really enjoy your blogs; part of my daily Disney online reading. Very insightful and unfortunately, dead on the money. Keep up the good work - great pics, too! And yes - I totally agree with Karl Elvis - Tomorrowland is not only an eyesore, it's just trashy looking. Nothing very tomorrow about it.

meekorouse said...

wonderful photos.. and yes, I wish there was a true "YESTERLAND" of Disneyland.. the reason there are rides that are classic is just that.. they are classic all-family attractions that was in the original park. Walt knew he didn't have enough room here in Anaheim.. but still a "LOST KENNYWOOD" type place where we could bring back those types of attractions instead of just tossing them when they seem out of favor or age for when they were replaced (although it seems Disneyland has literally become a darker place.. not the bright and happy place of the 50s and 60s).

Quality over quantity, yet... we have yet to see this with consistancy.. I never experienced the original Disneyland and the 'new Tomorrowland' seemed a strange place when visiting it the first time for me in August 1999, (I had only been to MK's Tomorrowland of WDW, previously). Getting to know Walt's Disneyland wasn't to be, however, you could still see the homey quaintness of what used to be.

I don't blame the Imagineers or the park so much.. Imagineering and Innovation just seemed to disapear and lose it's way after Walt.. I hope it comes back but let's not put all our eggs in one basket. A little constructive observation is alway good, and keeps one from setting yourself up for dissapointment, or worse making Walts out of Lassiters.

I'm willing to let it go for now and see where PixarLand takes us.. but I hope we do get some of that magic back.

Disneyland isn't a museum.. but we can't forget where it came from either. Inspiration. Innovation and a big bag o' pixie dust..

ps: I want to amend the comment (with apologies to the original poser) "disneyland isn't a disneystore" with Disneyland isn't a pin shop. =) that's my personal complaint about the over-merching of the stores outside the attractions. IMHO of course.. I'm just one person.

meekorouse said...

wonderful photos.. and yes, I wish there was a true "YESTERLAND" of Disneyland.. the reason there are rides that are classic is just that.. they are classic all-family attractions that was in the original park. Walt knew he didn't have enough room here in Anaheim.. but still a "LOST KENNYWOOD" type place where we could bring back those types of attractions instead of just tossing them when they seem out of favor or age for when they were replaced (although it seems Disneyland has literally become a darker place.. not the bright and happy place of the 50s and 60s).

Quality over quantity, yet... we have yet to see this with consistancy.. I never experienced the original Disneyland and the 'new Tomorrowland' seemed a strange place when visiting it the first time for me in August 1999, (I had only been to MK's Tomorrowland of WDW, previously). Getting to know Walt's Disneyland wasn't to be, however, you could still see the homey quaintness of what used to be.

I don't blame the Imagineers or the park so much.. Imagineering and Innovation just seemed to disapear and lose it's way after Walt.. I hope it comes back but let's not put all our eggs in one basket. A little constructive observation is alway good, and keeps one from setting yourself up for dissapointment, or worse making Walts out of Lassiters.

I'm willing to let it go for now and see where PixarLand takes us.. but I hope we do get some of that magic back.

Disneyland isn't a museum.. but we can't forget where it came from either. Inspiration. Innovation and a big bag o' pixie dust..

ps: I want to amend the comment (with apologies to the original poster) "disneyland isn't a Disney store" with Disneyland isn't a pin shop. =) that's my personal complaint about the over-merching of the stores outside the attractions. IMHO of course.. I'm just one person.

Anonymous said...

I have a comment to add, and I apologise if it has already been stated, as I have not read the full length of the replies.

"I think it's hard to argue that, without updating and adding attractions, Disney would eventually fade away. Look at all of the advances in robotics over the past two decades. Think about where w could be in ten, twenty, fifty years and tell me that Pirates of the Caribbean will still wow kids like it did in the sixties. It won't. Technology is a key part of many of the rides, and as time goes on, changes are almost mandatory."


It seems to me that you are saying this: "Because technology increases, older rides will go by the wayside". I disagree. The same old rides can be improved and preserved with new technology.

An example: Lets say someone wishes to preserve wine. I personally do not drink wine, but this is a hypothetical situation. In this day and age, just about anyone can preserve wine in their own house, regardless if they live in a Manhattan apartment, or in a blazing hot Mexican condo- All they need to do is be able to control the climate of a specific room in their house to optimum conditions.

Before this technology was available, the only place to really store wine was underground, in some hidden crypt or cellar. Not all people were able to do this.

Now, back to Disney.

I will make another example, but this time Disney related: You mentioned Pirates. You said that kids will not be wowed by Pirates in fifty or so years. Well, if they are still using the animatronics at that time,then yes, they may not be amazed.

But, the chances are that the technology will change immensly by then, and you may have charachters that have extremely fluid movements,; that can use sight and sound recognition software like Turtle Talk with Crush already uses now.

Imagine floating through the auction scene, and hearing/seeing one of the Pirates admire a woman in your own boat- by name!

You see, what drives Pirates of the Caribbean is not technology. If that were so, it would be shut down now. No, story drives this attraction. Technology can be used to plus this story, and possibly make it better that before.

Anonymous said...

I think that I agree with a little bit of each of the posts. Disney is unlike anything on earth. It is unique and it always has been. To me it seems as if people believe in one extreme or another- change everything or change nothing.

My concern is that not that Disneyland becomes a museum, but the powers that be allow something to get to such a stste of disrepair that it HAS to be taken out. And then what happens? Do they use the imagination of a Disney loyalist or do they buy something off the shelf? We have all seen this happen, and it is not only the attractions that are effected. It is the little show details that are only missed when they are removed.

I can only hope that the new gaurd remembers that the Disney Theme Parks are unique. They should be on the cutting edge of new when possible, but respecting that there is heritage that goes with along with the name.
Bring people with dreams back into the fold because that is how it started.

Anonymous said...

"My concern is that not that Disneyland becomes a museum, but the powers that be allow something to get to such a stste of disrepair that it HAS to be taken out."

Anonymous may have just touched on the one item that has been continually overlooked in all this debate. The tragic and historical truth is that during the Pressler years, and continuing to this day, the Parks and Resorts business unit of the WDC is underfunding the sustainment of the Parks. Due to the age of Disneyland, it's core infrastructure and it's dependent attractions are all failing. Years of neglect are taking an enormous toll on the life support systems buried beneath the clay.

Paul's Resort wide reorganization of the Engineering and Maintenance Divisions is now just a footnote in history but the resulting legacy keeps on giving. "Run to Fail" may no longer be the mantra but the process continues. Bit by bit, this has left classic attractions ripe for the wrecking ball. It is a well known fact that T Irby simply declared the Subs unsustainable because he simply made them so by not maintaining them. Pretty clever plan he had there and look at all the money he saved....

And while WDI certainly deserves their fair share of responsibility for the situation, they also deserve some credit for keeping whats left intact.

A few examples to consider.

The 50th. During the early phases of preparation for the 50th, the Resort executives at the time were, well, basically clueless.

Time and again, many Imagineers tried to stress the need for a cohesive plan.... any plan. The response ?

"Paint the entire Park ? It doesn't look that bad and according to our calculations that would take years and require a massive influx of new hires! "

Truth... It took WDI a handfull of months to organize and execute a full scale restoration of the entire Park. Not only did they paint the whole dang place with the wonderfully skilled talent already on property, they also directed the restoration of almost every single major attraction..

Haunted Mansion
New audio
new projection systems

Pirates
major efx restorations
major paint
lighting upgrades

Small World
New audio system
Set Restoration
Show Lighting
animation restoration
facade restoration

Star Tours
Total efx restoration
show lighting
AV systems

Space Mountain
EVERYTHING !

The list goes on and on.

Guess how many of these efforts were initiated by Resort engineers or maintenance leaders ? ZERO, NADA, ZIPPO. All of it was identified, planned and executed by WDI with the help of the few remaining Resort Facilities team members who "still get it".

And that's just the stuff you can see. It doesn't include all the behind the scenes refurbishment of the core infrastructure that had to be done just to accomodate the the show restorations. Many of the very attractions WDI struggled to save were already being considered for the wrecking ball.

Example TIKI Room This classic attraction was destined for closure but saved by brute force WDI persistence. And it was lovingly restored to it's Museum quality status.

The point here is that WDI only got to "fix" about half of the Park. The balance ? Not gonna happen now that the Florida regime is coming to Anaheim. In Florida, the Resorts plan their own work without much WDI input and they really don't believe WDI has much to offer in terms of sustainment. In Anaheim, nobody in TDA actually knows anything about show so they don't actually know HOW to sustain it. Without WDI at least pointing them in the right direction, it's safe to assume that the Resort will fall back into the slow painful death spiral it was in. And, by result, more attractions will be closed or replaced .

Don't just assume WDI is willy nilly picking attractions to mess with "just because". Many times it's in response to critical decay conditions that mandate a quick response. As any Imagineer will tell you, it's very hard to innovate when you are reacting to someone else's self inflicted wound. Imagineers didn't sign up to do triage at a poorly run park. They signed up to be Imagineers and to create classic family entertainment. It's a testement to their integrity and passion for Disneyland that they fought so hard to get it up to some sembelance of quality for the 50th. Not only did they have to put up with a revolving door dysfunctional executive team at TDA, they had to deal with their own leadership vacuum in Glendale.

Thank God Matt Quemett showed up when he did.

You might want to cut some of WDI a little slack on this one. Just a little.

dan_steinberg said...

Yes, Disneyland is most certainly NOT a museum - museums change their exhibits more often than Disneyland does!

But seriously, museums figured out long ago that to keep people coming in the door they needed to have new - and here's the key point - high-quality exhibits every year or two. And while most museums can't afford to create their own new E-ticket exhibits every year, they came up with a clever solution to the problem: the traveling exhibition. A bunch of museums get to share a new exhibit as it travels. Thus, the "static" museum isn't so static after all: there's a core collection that doesn't change much but that is supplanted by the traveling exhibitions that change every year or so.

So maybe Disneyland should be a "Museum" in that sense - have a set of core attractions that don't change much (the Pirates and the Haunted Mansion, the Jungle Cruise, etc.) but also have another set of attractions that are changed much more frequently (say, the Buzz Lightyear or Star Tours type of attractions). This way we could keep the heart of Disneyland alive yet also have a vital, exciting set of new attractions that even non- -Walt-worshippers will want to visit.

Merlin Jones said...

Dan, that's a really interesting idea. If (without replacing any of the Walt classics, which remain in place as evergreens) at each park there were one temporary travelling darkride template showbuilding that had several potential track layouts.

The show/props could be interchangably rotated around the parks for a limited time - - like the stage shows are - - and based on the latest film or character. This year it's Monsters, in two years it's Cars or whatever. Until each park has seen them all. Keep rotating the good ones, phase out the lame ones for new ideas.

It would be hard to do with properly ambitious rides and attractions, but it would suit dark rides and marketing initiatives. The problem is that they never seem to want to reinvest in the replacable things they have now (3-D theate, Star Tours, etc.)...

For example, there is no reason they shouldn't have Mickey's Philharmagic running instead of Golden Dreams right now. That is the perfect kind of rotating exhibit.

Helping Henry said...

I think you have some very interesting points about the difference between Disneylands expected evolution and our own personal desires for it to stay as it was. I am a 31-year old kid who grew up on Disney and had the good fortune of visiting Walt Disney World often as a Florida Resident. Fate took over when I was hired and a small dream of mine came true. I continue to work there after 12 years and you know what, things change here too. Some good, some not so good. But Walt was a risk-taker. That's how Disneyland got here in the first place, he took a big gamble and it paid off.

As a kid I watched every clip of Disney and Disneyland that I could get my eyes on because that was the Holy Grail of Disney in my eyes. I dreamed every day about what it would be like to step through the gates of Disneyland.

On January 3, 2006 my dream finally came true. As my friend and I drove out to Disneyland from our hotel I was so excited that I didn't know what to say. I was speechless. Questions raced through my mind

"What will the entrance look like?"

"When will I first see Mickey Mouse?"

"Where is the Haunted Mansion?"

"What I am I going to do when I see the castle?"

I could list about a hundred million other questions but I Won't. My point, and I do have one, is that I knew there had been changes. I knew it was not the same park from Day One and I accepted that. I didn't need a park map to get around. I let me senses do the trick. I let every corner I turned reveal something new so it was a surprise for me.

It may sound silly, but it wasn't the small pink the castle or seeing Mickey Mouse that made my emotions go awry, I first broke into tears when I saw the Alice in Wonderland attraction. Seeing it with my own eyes was so special to me because my grandparents have 8mm footage of themselves riding it with my father who was about 10 years old. He passed away when I was 16 so getting to be someplace special like that and being able to relive that memory was a dream come true.

Every step I took in that park reminded me of Uncle Walt. (as my high school drama teacher would say) I stood where he did for some very famous photographs as I am sure many others have done before and me and will continue to do as long as there are dreamers in the world. I loved walking in the park, I loved realizing I was sitting at a table that was near the famous rising stage where Donny Osmond and his brothers once performed. Where Annette Funicello was able to sing her heart out while teens danced the night away. My Mom being one of them.

No one can chance our memories. No one has the right (or the technology too) I am sure that each generation of "kids" will have their favorite experience. And some will have an appreciation for the history and some will not. We cannot force them to know the history the same way we cannot force them to sit in school and learn about the civil war. The tools are here for them to learn about it. And thanks for people like us who will never let the memory of Walt and his original theme park go, those who come after us will have a way to learn about it if they choose.

So bring on the change, the heart of the matter is never going to go away. It was and will always be a place where parents can take thier children and enjoy the fun together. That's what Walt wanted in the first place, and that's what it still is.

shatterdaddy said...

My head hurts from reading all of this. Merlin - you're amazing man. Of everything I've read about Disneyland, this is the most spot on to me.

For me, I wouldn't actually mind new things coming in to Disneyland. My problem is that the new stuff is so poorly designed. From top to bottom, the stuff just looks and feels cheap. Man - I can't even go on the Buzz ride. It gives me hives! Cheap!
If I'm WDI, I go out and hire some top notch designers. Graphic, Art Directors, Interior Designers, whatever. They need help...

Anonymous said...

Buzz at WDW does look very cheap, but Disneylands looks a little better. Back when I got out of college in 1999 I tried to get a job in Graphic arts at Disney and was tould I was not very good, but when I was on Buzz 4 weeks ago. I know I could have done better than what they had done.

JiminyCricketFan said...

The main problem is that Disney management has lost sight of what an improvement is. To Walt it was an improvement to the guest experience. Today Disney management sees it as improvement to profits.

Anonymous said...

I like the idea of travelling attractions. If nothing else, it's a way to audition new attractions. It could be like what Walt did with the World's Fair's.

I guess I'm in the minority here, but I like to see new attractions and shows. As long as they're well done.

I also have had a thought recently about all the corporate bottom line mentality stuff. I'm not sure even Iger can make that go away. The problem isn't solely within Disney, the problem is fickle shareholders who value short-term gains over the long-term health of the companies. And, unfortunately, it is any corporation's legal obligation to be accountable to the shareholders, no matter how greedy and short-sighted the market may be right now.

I think Disney is lucky in this sense because they do have a core of loyal shareholders who truly care, but the majority are still driven by financial goals.

Remember, the Eisner revolt was not due to the fact he was messing up the parks, it was due to the fact that he was blowing big deals and causing the stock price to drop in the process.

As great as the addition of Lassetter is, I think what Disney really needs is someone who can convince the shareholders that investments in long term goals like customer service and quality attractions and shows are worth the short-term hit to the bottom line.

Greg said...

Not a museum!

If the revised Pirates ride is as good as this review suggests, it is a perfect example of how to keep an attraction current without sacrificing the baseline charm.

Baseline charm? Did I just type that? Geez...

Anonymous said...

Was I the only one who noticed that the "Museum" pictures of tomorowland were filled with people enjoying the attractions and the "Not" pictures had fewer or no people visible?

This is not because of when they were take but that most of the attractions (Peoplemover, Rocket Jets, Skyway, Subs, etc) in those photos were removed without decent replacements.

Replacing things with better well thought out attractions would not raise this debate. The problem is the awful drek they've been giving us.

eyduck said...

Beautiful post! I enjoyed this so much! I'm going to throw my hat into the fray...

As an artist, one of the things that bugs me so much about the Pirates update and the Tomorrowland changes and some of the other things going on in the park was that someone decided that these creative, technically astounding, pieces of art that people get to ride and interact with and experience needed to be "Improved Upon".

It is like looking at the Mona Lisa and going, "No one will relate to some painting of a chick wearing what she's wearing. What she needs is a halter top and some makeup."

Get your own ideas! Quit pissing people off with messing with other people's work! How about coming up with completely new things to delight people?

These classic rides have stood the test of time. They were born from some of the most creative minds of the 20th century. When I first went to Disneyland as a kid in the 1980s, some of the rides of the 1950s were, and remain to this day, my favorite.

And looking around, Captain Eo, which was made to "Appeal to My Generation" with "Astounding technically advanced 3-D effects!" isn't the attraction that brought me back to the park twenty years later.

It was the orginal Pirates. It was the original Haunted mansion. It was Fantasyland and the original Tomorrowland.

I don't need the Mona Lisa to wear a halter top for me to be able to appreciate Michaelangelo's work. Kids today, no matter how cool their Xbox is, don't need the Mona Lisa to wear a halter top to see why she is an astounding work of art.

Same with Disneyland.

Make new works of art. And let the old stand as shining examples of genius.