Some people complained that Jack Sparrow wasn't in the Pirates of the Caribbean ride, not realizing that the movie was based on the ride instead of the other way around. To appease them, Disney put Sparrow in the ride, along with Barbossa (replacing Paul Frees' iconic pirate captain), the image of Davey Jones and snippets of Klaus Badelt's movie score. Reactions from longtime fans of the ride were... mixed.
Duffy is this for Walt Disney World and Disneyland fans while he still remains popular in Tokyo Disney Resort.
Alas, Poor Scrappy: While the majority of Walt Disney World fans were happy that Duffy stopped meeting at Epcot, there have been a couple people sad knowing that he no longer meets guests at WDW and Disneyland.
Snow White's Scary Adventures, Peter Pan's Flight, Mr. Toad's Wild Ride and Alice in Wonderland originally didn't have the title characters in them - the idea was that you were the heroes and that everything in the dark ride you saw was through his/her point of view. However this was changed because a lot of people were asking "Why doesn't the Snow White/Peter Pan/etc. ride have Snow White/Peter Pan/etc. in it?" It was one of the reasons why Disneyland's Fantasyland was overhauled in 1983; not only were the title protagonists added to their respective rides, but the overhaul added another ride called Pinocchio's Daring Journey, which had Pinocchio in it from the start. Since 1983, along the same lines, new dark rides have been created themed to such films as Winnie-the-Pooh or The Little Mermaid, and they, too, have always had their main protagonists (i.e., Pooh or Ariel) visibly present from the start. Snow White and Peter Pan rides in the other parks have also featured their title characters since their respective openings, with one exception.note The Walt Disney World version of Snow White's Scary Adventures didn't show Snow White until the 1994-2012 Lighter and Softer renovation.
Disney's Animal Kingdom park is this to some. Despite being the biggest of the four main Walt Disney World parks, most of the space is given over to the animals and can't be accessed by the public. Thus, it has the smallest number of conventional rides and attractions and the walking-to-experiencing ratio isn't very high; those not fond of experiencing the wonders of nature especially don't find it appealing. With one of the the park's main selling points being based on one of Disney's most obscure and least popular movies, and their biggest-ticket attraction essentially being Disneyland's Matterhorn on steroids, very few people who visit Disney World consider Animal Kingdom as their favorite of the parks. This may change with the recent opening of Rivers of Light, followed by the opening of Pandora The World Of Avatar a couple months later.
Many decisions that have been made with the parks have been met with division among theme park fans. The division at times can get particularly vicious, with theme park forums practically being reduced to war zones over controversial changes, no matter how slight. Even on This Very Wiki some entries on this page had to be seriously edited due to them coming off as Flame Bait.
In fact, Miceage.com (where a lot of these fans go for news on the parks) has coined names for the two factions: foamers (i.e., fans who "foam at the mouth" with excitement over the next product announced and love Disney so much that they will tolerate no criticism AT ALL of the product) and gnashers (i.e., fans who "gnash their teeth" at Disney for Jumping the Shark (at least at Walt Disney World (though Disneyland is certainly not immune to this, given that this is the only Disney park Walt actually lived to see)) and that Universal has created so much superior product that anything Disney does is automatically ridiculed and that Disney has so declined that it will never recover). There is a whole article on that very subject here.
The updated Test Track has received praise from some fans for its more futuristic aesthetics compared to its predecessor, while others say it looks too artificial.
Opinions on Disney fan boards are heavily split over whether or not Disneyland's upcoming Star Wars land belongs in said park and whether or not the modifications the Imagineers are having to make to the routes of the Rivers of America and the Disneyland Railroad to accommodate said land are necessary.
The decision to replace Maelstrom at Epcot with a ride based on Frozen. While many fans are happy to see such an incoherent and outdated ride replaced with a guaranteed, visually stunning draw, others worry that giving World Showcase a ride set in a fictional country (even one with a culture inspired by a real place) deviates too far from Epcot's original purpose.
The character dance parties. While some enthusiasts enjoy them for bringing out rare characters, others feel it's just an excuse for Disney to say We're Still Relevant, Dammit!.
That, and the music can get really off putting when outside. Take Hollywood Studios for example. One minute, you're hearing music from movies made during Hollywood's golden era, when suddenly, you start hearing Disney trap remixes, and Taylor Swift songs.
They also played "Footloose".
The "princesses uber alles" attitude is a great example of an issue that splits fans. A lot of them — especially those who are also parents of female children — love the princesses. Adults without children and parents of boys are not so thrilled. Childless adults want more adult-aimed fun in the parks, while parents with boys are wondering why Disney is ignoring their kids, who generally aren't into princesses at all.
What should go on the unused Disneyland Peoplemover tracks? And let's keep it at that.note Due to Safety, Legal, and Architectural issues a new ride cannot be put into place nor can the track be removed.
Journey into Imagination, to an extent. The ride has gone through three different versions - the first version seems to be the most popular overall, although you'll find some fans of the third (current) version who claim it's better. The second was considered so awful it set a new record for number of complaints about a new ride and had one of the shortest run times ever before getting revamped.
Pandora The World Of Avatar at Animal Kingdom is yet another example. Some say it doesn't belong at the park, especially since Avatar is not a Disney movie. Many of them still want to see Beastly Kingdom appear in some form. Others, however, say that it fits with the park's major theme of conservation and that it will be a welcome addition to the park.
Walt Disney World has broken its base in recent years. There are those who still love it near-unconditionally, but many longtime fans and/or travel writers such as Bob Sehlinger of the long-running Unofficial Guide guidebook series have been embittered by systems such as Fastpass+ and dining plans that require huge amounts of confusing pre-planning and have killed leisurely touring altogether, a noticeable downturn in customer service and general upkeep, and the soaring prices of tickets, food, lodging, souvenirs, etc. all effectively rendering a WDW vacation out of reach of middle and lower-class families in The New '10s. As Sehlinger bitterly notes in the The Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World 2017, this is all the more painful for children of said families who are effectively cut off from the characters they love so well thanks to Disney's aggressive marketing.
Creepy Cute: The Spectromen from Walt Disney World's Spectromagic can come across as this due to their bizarre movements and behavior. However, they also act very happy,energetic, and cute around certain guests such as the Trumpet Spectromen blowing a kiss to the guests when they finish there trumpet performance while most are heard singing.
Dork Age: Disneyland had one in the mid-1990s through 2003 when it was run by Paul Pressler and later his successor Cynthia Hariss. Pressler focused on shopping and dining at Disneyland at the expense of attractions. He started by cutting off a lot of the upkeep budget, closing down classic yet expensive rides to maintain attractions (like the Submarines, Skyway and Motorboats), an ugly rusty colored redo of Tomorrowland (although the H. G. Wells and the Jules Verne inspired theme was good, just not the color) and the poor replacement of the Main Street Electrical Parade with Light Magic. This was also the era in which California Adventure opened...
The reason it was so bad was because Pressler used to head the Disney Store chain and his background prior to joining Disney was retail, so he only knew how to entertain people through shopping. Unfortunately he became Parks & Resorts Chairman in 1999, and had a role in the planning of Hong Kong Disneyland (which likely influenced its small size). He finally left Disney for Gap in 2002, but his effects on Disneyland were felt till Hariss (who also had primarily a retail background) left in 2003.
It might not have a tune, but how about "Please stand clear of the doors. Por favor mantenganse alejado de las puertas." They actually sell T-shirts that say this along with an image of Mickey and the monorail!
Along the same lines: "Remain seated please. Permanecer sentados por favor."
Or, for us older kids: "The MAIN STREET...ELECTRICAL...PARADE!!!"
Two old-school cuts from Epcot: "Veggie, fruit-fruit! / Veggie-veggie, fruit-fruit!" (Kitchen Kabaret) and "I-MAAAAAAAAAA-gin-AAAAAAAAA-tion!" (Versions 1 and 3 of the Journey into Imagination dark ride)
The theme song of the former Animal Kingdom parade as another one. "So sing it out (and bark and growl and screech and roar), and dance along!"
On the safety announcement front, special mention goes to The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh for having an in-line safety announcement by the very energetic Tigger (and Piglet in Spanish) on a NON-STOP LOOP. It's a wonder the poor cast members who have to listen to that for a full shift don't develop a complex.
Hoo-hoo-hoo-hoo!! The thing Tiggers love betht is thafety! Tho grab those adorable little tyketh by the hand...."
Peter Pan's Flight is still quite popular. Guides will tell you that it fills up the quickest next to Space Mountain and Splash Mountain. What the guides don't tell you is the real reason it fills up so fast: not necessarily because it's popular, but because the ride isn't designed for such capacity. In November 2014, Disney decided to accommodate the long lines at Disney World's ride, by replacing the bathrooms next doornote rendered redundant after Disney opened some Tangled-themed restrooms in New Fantasyland with an extended queue.
Alice in Wonderland over in Disneyland. IN part because it's the only ride of its kind in the theme parks; it's not in Disney World, or the Asian or European parks.
ElecTRONica was supposed to be removed at summer's end AFTER the movie came out but due to popularity its run was extended to summer of 2012.
Dumbo the Flying Elephant, the little carnival-style hub-and-spoke ride that could, is THE big ticket ride for preschoolers at the Magic Kingdom-style parks. Walt Disney World's New Fantasyland not only added a second Dumbo ride (as well as Fastpass) to handle demand, but built a whole subsection (Storybook Circus) around the two.
As far as retired attractions go, the ones that maintain the biggest popularity among Disney fans include Horizons and the original Journey into Imagination at Epcot, Adventure Thru Inner Space and Mine Train Through Nature's Wonderland at Disneyland, as well as The ExtraTERRORestrial Alien Encounter and 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea at Magic Kingdom. All of these attractions often rank right at the top of "What old attraction would you bring back?"-type polls.
Dreamfinder, from Journey into Imagination, is often idolized by the fans as a representation of the ride's original (and arguably most popular) incarnation. That Ron Schneider, the original voice actor and walk-around cast member to the character, is still passionate about his role and continues to write online about it only adds to the mystique. When Schneider was given an opportunity to reprise the role onstage at D23, his appearance sent the entire hall to its feet.
S.I.R., the robot in the preshow for the long-dead Alien Encounter, is generally well-liked among the fandom. So is the alien Skippy, who actually was popular enough to survive the transformation of Alien Encounter to Stitch's Great Escape!
Even though it was never built, the concept of Animal Kingdom's proposed land Beastly Kingdom has gained some popularity among fans, even with Pandora The World Of Avatar being built in the area where it was supposed to be.
The Recruiters of Disney Sea's "Villains Halloween" event are a fan favorite among Japanese parkgoers, especially Eight-foot Joe and Marfie.
Epileptic Trees: This fansite for Snow White's Scary Adventures raises the possibility that the ride, or at least its Disneyland and Disneyland Paris incarnations, takes place mostly in Snow White's nightmares.
Evil is Cool: The classic villains tend to get almost as much attention as their more heroic counterparts, if not more.
Fan Myopia/Opinion Myopia: A look at old editions of tour books like The Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World and its Disneyland counterpart reveal that certain rides that were controversially closed, replaced, or retooled — 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, Mr. Toad's Wild Ride, the original Journey into Imagination dark ride, etc. — weren't nearly as well-regarded by the masses as the fans by the time they closed.
There never was a replacement for Disneyland's Main Street Electrical Parade called Light Magic that involved Celtic remixes of Disney songs and stepdancing characters.
Nor was there a replacement for Journey into Imagination that removed Dreamfinder, reduced Figment to a cameo and insulted the guests' intelligence right at the beginning of the ride. (Since this one lasted barely over two years before the Figment-centric retool kicked in, and the other versions are Long-Runners, it's easy to declare discontinuity!)
Genius Bonus: At the boarding station for the Dinosaur ride, there are 3 tubes with different chemical formulas written on them. The chemicals actually do make very real, very common mixtures. Even the pipes are color-coded as a clue. The white pipe is carrying Glycine Soja, Ovae, CH3COOH, H2O, NaCl, C6H12O6, and Citrus Limon note Soybean oil, eggs, vinegar, water, salt, sugar, and lemon juice, the red is carrying Lycopersicon Lycopericum, C6H12O6, CH3COOH, C6H12O6n, NaCl, and Allium Cepanote Tomatoes (slightly misspelled), sugar, vinegar, another sugar (a clamp on the pipe blocks the symbol listing which type), salt, and onions), and yellow is carrying CH3COOH, H2O, Brassica Juncea, NaCl, Curcuma Longa, and Allium Sativum note (Vinegar, Water, Mustard Plant, Salt, Turmeric, and Garlic). Those with enough chemistry knowledge to decipher the formulae, enough botanical knowledge to identify the plant names, and enough background in cooking to recognize the ingredient lists will be able to identify the substances running through the white, yellow, and red pipelines: mayonnaise, mustard, and ketchup respectively.
Germans Love David Hasselhoff: Disney in general is very popular in Japan. Even Tokyo Disneyland, the first park to open overseas, was done in the style of the American park (Combining the good aspects of both Disneyland Resort and Walt Disney World in the US), compared to the massive changes made to Disneyland Paris a decade later. Disneyland and Walt Disney World in the US still receive a massive amount of Japanese tourists, who treat the American parks as a sort of "Mecca".
When Dave Barry went to Tokyo Disneyland, he was amazed at this. Why would the Japanese feel nostalgic about The Gay '90s version of small town America?
Glurge: The overt cloying sentimentality of the Disney parks makes you try to forget the fact that they really want your money more than anything. On the other hand, this is one of the greatest aspects of the park – just going there will put a good smile in your face ASAP and stop any unhappiness from that point onward.
Growing the Beard: In its early years, many fans considered California Adventure a mediocre, generic park with only a couple good attractions. This changed with the creation of Toy Story Midway Mania, which marked the end of the park's adherence to its California theme and the introduction of more Disney-themed attractions.
Harsher in Hindsight: The Jungle Cruise originally had a line warning parents to "Watch your children, or the crocodiles will." In 2016, an alligator in the waters of Disney World killed a two-year-old toddler. Obviously, Disney removed the line from the Jungle Cruise immediately after the fact.
Disney originally designed the theme park (Disneyland) to stand out from other common amusement parks at the time, namely the Boardwalk Amusement parks. Fast Forward 50 years later, California Adventure Park is actually being (re)designed to bring back the feel of those Boardwalk Amusement parks now that they're pretty much extinct, and more people are familiar with the Disneyland-six-flags style park.
Disney originally considered building Walt Disney World on a site near the intersection of Interstate 4 and Florida's Turnpike, but ultimately deemed it too small. What eventually ended up being built on this site? Universal Orlando Resort.
You know how the grandmother at the modern day/future segment of Carousel of Progress is wearing a virtual reality headset? When that was first implemented, it was (and still is) a cool idea, but didn't seem feasible at that time, especially after the failed virtual reality fad of The '90s. Come The New '10s, we now have the Oculus Rift. Now if only Disney could update that old VR simulation with one that has better graphics and get grandma to put on a Rift headset.
I Am Not Shazam: Because the Magic Kingdom park at Disney World was the only park there for 11 years, many people did refer to that park itself as Disney World even after the other parks started opening. "We went to Disney World and Epcot." Also a case of First Installment Wins.
The Imagineers Think of Everything: Even the most mundane elements of the resorts adhere to strict theming. Really, where else on the planet are you going to find miniature golf courses with such elaborate backstories? The one time they really dropped the ball on this, we ended up with California Adventure, and now they're paying the 2 billion dollar price to rectify the situation.
The WDWMagic community has The Ladder, whose presence at any construction site is a good sign for the upcoming attraction or, in its initial appearance during Mission Space's construction, being the epic ride itself.
The phrase "The moon will always be with us", referring to Nigel Channing's appearance as a singing moon at the end of "Journey Into Imagination with Figment", became very popular amongst this community after the user [insert name here] said it on a thread where someone complained about the ride's current state. This phrase also spawned a meme where people would use the image of said moon to react to people on the forums.
Please stand clear of the doors; Por favor mantengase alejado de las puertas.
Misblamed: It happens; many an Urban Legend around the park stated stuff that Walt did that he didn't have as much involvement in. Really minor and/or innocent examples. One common one was that Walt ran and owned the company named after him. Yes, he was the creative driving force, but no he wasn't the person running the company; that was actually Roy. You can read more on Snopes for the urban legend that he made a film telling his employees what to do after his death.
The No-Longer-MGM-But-Hollywood Studios park has geared most of its attractions, such as Disney Junior Live, towards very young visitors. This seems very odd to some, given the movie-making theme of the park at large. Another notable theme violation is Rock 'n' Roller Coaster, as its modern LA theme completely contradicts the 30's/40's theming of the Sunset Boulevard area. Meanwhile, the rides and shows that actually fit the theme are (while still good, and fan-favorites) getting on in years. Furthermore, remember when it was an actual working studio? This is made even more humiliating when you consider that its main competitor, Universal Studios Florida, continues to focus its rides and shows on movies and television series and still be a working film studio after all these years, despite not being as active as it was during both parks' 90's heyday!
EPCOT Center-or, *ahem*, "Epcot" has also been suffering this in the eyes of many Disney fans. The Future World area no longer seems to be about the future or really inspiring people. For instance, Innoventions, which replaced the futuristic CommuniCore is all about modern-day technology and the Finding Nemo overlay of The Living Seas strips the pavilion of its futurism and leaves behind nothing but references to the movie all over the place. Then there's also the dated Ellen's Energy Adventure that's still around, and the Wonders of Life pavilion has sat dormant without a replacement for almost a decade. The common consensus is that the removal of Horizons also damaged the theme of the area, as it was seen as the pavilion that tied everything together and left you intrigued about the future. As of now, fans feel that there's no consistency to the Future World's theme and that it has no idea what it wants to be anymore. World Showcase doesn't have it as bad, but the addition of The Three Caballeros into the Mexico pavilion was a mixed bag with fans, feeling that it dumbs down the cultural elements a smidge. Currently very controversial among theme park fans is the fact that Maelstrom, the ride at the Norway pavilion, was replaced with a ride based off of Frozen, an American-made movie based off of a Danish fairy tale that only has loose Norwegian connections in its art direction and costume design. Maelstrom, on the other hand, was a ride that was firmly rooted in Norwegian culture, touching upon all the different aspects of it. Additionally, as alluded to earlier, even the park's name change comes off as this. "EPCOT Center" described what the park was meant to be - a permanent World's Fair, but many feel that "Epcot" comes off as, to put it bluntly - a gibberish word.
Also, both California Adventure and, oddly, Disney World's version of Tomorrowland seem to have a lot of tenuously linked rides and shows based upon Pixar movies. Granted, that's where there's room for them, but it's still odd.
California Adventure was actually criticized for "not being Disney enough"...not to mention if you think about it; it might be a nice place to put Pixar-and-recent-themed attractions given that space is limited in that specific park. (Disney did not actually have a lot of money and was almost broke when they bought the land. This is why a lot of attractions are sponsored by companies such as Dole, Mattel, Brawny, and why the park is practically surrounded by third-party hotels that have little to no association with Disney; compared to other parks where they were able to build their own resorts.)
Dr. Nigel Channing at Epcot's Imagination! pavilion, who replaced Dreamfinder — a tough act to follow even for Eric Idle. He actually predated the revamp of the Journey Into Imagination ride (via Honey, I Shrunk the Audience) and was being used to knit together the pavillion's multiple attractions thematically. Alas, beyond the Dreamfinder fans objecting to the change, the penny-pinching Disney parks were suffering at the time crippled the ride's chances of comparing to the original, resulting in Fanon Discontinuity and a second revamp (making Figment the dragon the lead character and Dr. Channing a Straight Man to him, bringing back the "One Little Spark" theme song, and throwing in a few Easter Egg references to the original). That version is still up and running.
Don't get fans started on Stitch's Great Escape!, which replaced the ExtraTERRORestrial Alien Encounter. Unlike the Imagination ride, Disney hasn't done anything to significantly improve it despite an alarming number of complaints from diehard fans and ordinary parkgoers alike! It has only recently changed to a seasonally-operated attraction, which its detractors have been happy to hear about, but it still had already outlasted Alien Encounter by that point.note Alien Encounter lasted for less than a decade, while Stitch's Great Escape! ran daily for almost twelve years.
Back in the 1970s, The Walt Disney Story became a Replacement Scrappy when it opened in the building that previously occupied Great Moments With Mr. Lincoln. As a result, Disney decided to replace Walt Disney Story with a shorter tribute (that bore the same name), followed by the Mr. Lincoln video and speech. (Currently, the attraction begins with mementos and videos from the history of Disneyland, instead of a Walt Disney tribute.)
And there's The Enchanted Tiki Room (Under New Management) at Magic Kingdom. Many viewed it as more cynical and bizarre than the original show, which was more relaxing, charming and classical. Even after a fire in the attraction's attic caused it to revert back to its original form, fans aren't really missing it because of how polarizing it was.
Rescued from the Scrappy Heap: They spent four years doing this with California Adventure. New additions included a re-themed entrance, a trolley system, a new land based off of Pixar's Cars, the first The Little Mermaid themed ride in Disney Park history (surprised it took this long!), and the nighttime show World of Color. It ultimately succeeded in getting more business for the park, and brought forth some of the Disneyland Resort's most awe-spiring attractions and shops.
You want a Scrappy? Then look at Hester and Chester's Dino Rama at Animal Kingdom, a spoof of Souvenir Land that's a little too good; casual parkgoers see the overly tacky, "thrown-together" look of the land and rides and honestly think that it was thrown together on an old parking lot (there was never a parking lot there, and the cracked pavement, faded lines, and silly doodads on the rides are actually painstakingly put there on purpose to give the impression of a cheap carnival just like the other lands in Animal Kingdom give the impression of towns in other countries). More hardcore fans just think the atmosphere they were trying to go for is a bad fit for the park, and the Poe's Law thing doesn't help.
As far as more traditional Scrappies: Duffy the Disney Bear. A huge hit when he was introduced in Tokyo Disneyland, he was brought to America in 2011 to many delighted cries of, "Who the hell is that?" and "Why is he everywhere?" It appears as though America does not get the appeal of this new character, Mickey Mouse's little plushy friend brought to life. It doesn't help the fact that, especially in Epcot, he is also a particularly ubiquitous Creator's Pet at that.
For an older generation, Stitch. He started out overtaking the niche left open when Roger Rabbit became a victim of offstage studio politics in the mid-1990s. Now he's practically part of the Fab Five! Then again, one of the main reasons the little blue guy got to that point is because he's one HELL of an Ensemble Dark Horse, making him more of a Base Breaker. At least he's actually from the Disney Animated Canon.
Then there was the revised Enchanted Tiki Room in Florida, which in 1998 found itself "under new management", in the forms of Iago from Aladdin and Zazu from The Lion King. Read here.
Rex from Star Tours seemed to be disliked by the time he was replaced.
S.I.R. from Alien Encounter has gotten a lot of flak just because he killed Skippy.
Seasonal Rot: Some of the attractions took a hit in quality over time. For example, the Magic of Disney Animation attraction was originally a fully functional animation studio that people could actually walk through and see the animators working on real scenes for the Disney movies (the centerpiece being a giant room with soundproof glass windows that was jokingly named "The Fishbowl" by the staff). By the time the Disney Florida animation studio moved out and was subsequently shut down by the late 90's and early 2000s, the Attraction was heavily stripped down into a bare bone meet and greet attraction, with the only part truly related to animation being the drawing class. Even the gift shop had almost nothing related to actual hand-drawn animation.
Some of the attractions, especially the original ones in the California park, seem like boring stuff compared to other theme parks that came after and catered more on the thrill side, rather than immersive side. The park thrives a lot on the Nostalgia Filter as it isn't uncommon to see parents taking their kids to the parks and talking about how they went there when they were their age.
Several rides have a lot more staying power than you would assume: It's no secret that people LOVE Space Mountain or Splash Mountain. But you know what ride is still one of the most popular, even amongst adults? Peter Pan's Flight. Along with Splash Mountain, Space Mountain, and the Matterhorn Bobsleds, that ride fills up fast.
River Country, Disney's first water park and one of the first ever of its kind, was revolutionary when it first opened in Walt Disney World. Later on, Typhoon Lagoon and Blizzard Beach proved to be far more sophisticated making River Country horribly dated in comparison and unable to keep up with the competition due to its small size. Following the post-9/11 downturn in business, River Country closed at the end of the 2001 season and never reopened.
Whenever Disneyland revives their first fireworks show, 1958's Fantasy in the Sky, fans of newer, longer, more elaborate displays (such as 2005's Remember...Dreams Come True and 2015's Disneyland Forever) seem to dismiss it as quaint.
Special Effects Failure: Sometimes during shows and rides, special effects don't work as planned. Sometimes if a special effect in a ride doesn't work, the cast members don't bother to fix it until closing time, so a lot of people can see something wrong.
The Jungle Cruise gets this a lot, perhaps the most out of the original attractions. Originally it was meant to pretend to be a jungle cruise, but nowadays everyone just mocks the special effects. Storybook Land does have some of the same plants that were there in the 1950s. (They only grow a quarter of an inch every couple years!) but the idea was to see the plants. Plus it's not like the display of the small sets in said ride really do anything other than look cool. (Which they are!)
One particular mention. In Epcot; they replaced "The Living Seas" with a Finding Nemo-themed attraction, with a couple of the seagulls programmed to move their beaks and shout "MINE" every now and then. One time, it malfunctioned. Hilarity Ensues.
Once in a great while, the "Queen transforming into and old hag" part of the Snow White ride malfunctions, and the old hag animatronic is ALREADY facing the audience when the riders enter her lair (she's supposed to have her back to them at first).
Adding Disney/Pixar characters to Disneyland's "it's a small world".
The Fantasy Faire at Disneyland has received some derision due to it replacing the Carnation Plaza Gardens, though others think a Tangled-inspired village sounds like a promising use of an under-utilized piece of land. Don't panic, though, Disney has recently made good on its promise to retain the nighttime entertainment and activities, like Saturday night swing dancing.
On the subject of the original Disneyland, A very vocal group of that park's fandom has been crying fowl over the fact that in order to provide more room for the upcoming Star Wars land (itself already a Base Breaker), the Disneyland Railroad track will be rerouted and the length of the Rivers of America (one of the few areas of the park to have been virtually untouched since it's opening in 1955) will be shortened by about 30%, eliminating much of the river's original backwoods section. This was abated somewhat by a piece of recently released concept art◊ revealing that a good chunk of the river's original scenery will be preserved to an extent despite the shorter length.
The "One Park" advertising campaign abandons the idea of making individual advertising and merchandise for Disneyland and Walt Disney World. Instead, commercials feature clips from around the world, and merchandise says "Disney Parks" instead of the name of which park you bought the merch in. The public seems to interpret this as Disney stripping their parks of their individual qualities in the name of brand homogenization. One illustration comes in the apparent fact that products bearing the logo of either Disneyland or Disney World outsell those with the "Disney Parks" logo.
While on the subject of Walt Disney's words of wisdom, some members of Disney's fanbase have thought that, given all the bad things that have happened over the years, a classic line of Walt's, "Disneyland will never be completed as long as there is imagination left in the world," has taken on a negative tone: these purists have accused the company of so abusing these words, focusing only on the "never be completed" part thereof and dismissing the "imagination" part, that these words are now used to justify a lot of shenanigans they don't like and try to muzzle any criticism of same.
However, there are other fans that do support and defend these changes, which tends to lead to fandom wars amongst the Disney community.
Particularly prevalent in Epcot. Among other things (including the Journey Into Imagination situation mentioned above), the revamp of both Spaceship Earth and The Living Seas has received a great deal of criticism, as did shutting down the entire Wonders of Life pavilion, World of Motion and Horizons. Even the park's name change from EPCOT Center to what it is now has been a common target of criticism, with fans believing it gives evidence that the current management doesn't understand the meaning and message behind the park.
The initial implementation of the FastPass system got this criticism. Then, when it seemed like everyone had gotten onboard with the idea, Disney changed it up again and completely overhauled it, leading to even more complaining.
The conversion of Pleasure Island from a set of themed, adult-only nightclubs into an extension of Downtown Disney (with said clubs all getting overhauled into stores) was a controversial decision, to say the least.
The addition of Mickey's arm waving a wand over Spaceship Earth at Epcot, which was initially put up for the Millennium Celebration for the year 2000 (with the number appearing over it, later replaced with the word "Epcot" in 2001). It was thankfully removed in 2007.
Like the above, the Sorcerer's Hat in Disney's Hollywood Studios (then Disney-MGM Studios), put up for the celebration of what would have been Walt Disney's 100th birthday in 2001. It even dethroned the Earful Tower (the water tower with Mickey ears on top) as the main landmark for the park, and was a glorified Disney pin trading station blocking the view of the classic recreation of the Chinese Theatre (which houses The Great Movie Ride). It was up for nearly twice as long as Mickey's wand over Spaceship Earth before it was finally removed in January 2015.
The Audio-Animatronics on rides like Pirates of the Caribbean sometimes fall into this.
Some fans find various newer Audio-Animatronics' "video faces" (such as those found on the characters of the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train and Frozen Ever After) to be more this instead of technologically impressive.
Unfortunate Implications: Epcot's Habit Heroes attraction initially drew controversy for "fat-shaming" (put simply, guests literally fought obesity). It got a bit worse when the online gallery of villains - each representing a bad habit, like "Sweet Tooth" for eating too many sugary foods and "Drama Queen" for gossiping - included insecurity. The Huffington Post said it best: "Who knew that lack of self-esteem was a bad habit?" In response, Disney closed the ride and retooled it for about a year to be a bit gentler, to a much warmer reception.
To some, when the sun on California Adventure's Ferris wheel was painted over with a Mickey Mouse head, and the Mickey Mouse head on the roller coaster was painted over with a sun. Defenders counteract by pointing out that the current emblems have more old-fashioned charm than the old ones.
Mattel's sponsorship of It's a Small World saw the facade of the Disneyland version recolored in pastel shades. This makeover apparently seemed so unnecessary, that a few years after Mattel's deal ended, the building changed back to its original white and gold design.
The original Carousel of Progress attraction, in which an American family rhapsodizes about the ability of electric appliances to ease the woman's burden of housework. Since much of the attraction's script was written in the 1960's, it never occurs to any of them that her burden could have been eased a long time ago if her husband and children had pitched in more.
Universe of Energy:
In the original version of the ride, there was a long video at the end talking about how great Exxon was and how awesome their lovely oil rigs and tankers were. Three guesses as to why that was removed (just one guess if you live in Alaska).
The "I Love Fossil Fuels!" Script Wank in Ellen's Energy Adventure.
The emphasis on literally fighting obesity in the original "Habit Heroes" game at Innoventions drew a lot of fire from this.
Vindicated by History: Disneyland Paris had abysmal attendance in its first few years of operation, but has become one of the top tourist attractions in Europe.
Many rides including the Pepper's ghost effect on Tower Of Terror, the light effects inside Space Mountain and Bigfoot on Everest, but The Haunted Mansion takes the cake.
The Paris version of Big Thunder Mountain is more heavily themed than the others. For example: the roller coaster's trains are actually painted to look rusted and unused, compared to the other versions of the ride which feature clean trains. The ride also features heavy theming on all three lift hills: bats and a flooding cave in the first lift hill, a rundown mining camp on the second lift, an an earthquake inside a tunnel being dynamited for the third lift.
Mickey's PhilharMagic 3D, due to the Imagineers working directly with the team at Walt Disney Animation Studios. Legendary animators like Glen Keane and Nik Ranieri returned to animate their characters (Ariel and Lumiere, respectively) in 3D. It's beautiful.
The Disney Parks in general go to truly extraordinary effort to maintain the parks' illusions, with painstaking attention to detail. It shows.
Hong Kong Disneyland's Mystic Manor had jaws dropping for its beautiful effects.
Paint the Night did make its way stateside (with new Tangled and Frozen floats) as part of Disneyland's 2015 "Diamond Celebration" for the park's 60th anniversary. It's one of three new visually stunning nighttime shows commemorating the occasion, with the other two being a special version of World of Color, subtitled "Celebrate! The Wonderful World of Walt Disney" and focusing on Walt Disney's vision for Disneyland, and the firework and projection show "Disneyland Forever", whose projections actually stretch all over the park, including the castle, the Matterhorn and It's a Small World. Just take a look.
20000 Leagues and Submarine Voyage were this until their closure. Their replacement, the Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage, has kept up the tradition.
The dark rides in Disneyland's Fantasyland had some nifty projection effects added during The New '10s. Particular standouts include Queen Grimhilde's throne room transforming into a decrepit laboratory, the Cheshire Cat vanishing, and Tinker Bell creating pixie dust showers.
The over a dozen full-size or near full-size animatronic dinosaurs in Animal Kingdom's "Dinosaur: Countdown To Extinction" ride are still impressive even after a full decade and a half free of changes or upgrades.
We're Still Relevant, Dammit!: Just about every addition and/or change that Disney has ever made to the parks involving contemporary IPs (even if it's one of their own) has provoked accusations of this from hardcore old-school fans. Although they're not entirely wrong because there has indeed been more than a few times where they were guilty of this trope...
The entire Disney Dance Crew show. They even turned "A Pirates Life For Me" into a rap and changed one of the lyrics to "Drink up me Gangstas Yo-Ho!"
Disney World had "The Enchanted Tiki Room: Under New Management", in which Iago and Zazu host a Totally Radical '90s-targeted Re Tool of The Enchanted Tiki Room. It lasted until 2011, when one of the Iago figures became damaged in a fire, leading the Imagineers to make the show much closer to the original Tiki Room.
Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween Party, the Magic Kingdom's annual event, turns the Diamond Horseshoe into a character dance party playing various family friendly "party music", only to suddenly switch to "Tik Tok" by Kesha that's poorly censored either by cutting out the "bottle of Jack" part of the lyrics or the DJ desperately shouting into his microphone to cover "plenty of beer."
Mickey's Most Merriest Celebration, the new seasonal castle stage show that debuted during Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party 2016, features a song about texting loved ones on Christmas, complete with the characters pulling out oversized prop smartphones. Thankfully the rest of the show isn't as bad, with appearances by characters like Clarabelle Cow, José Caricoa and Panchito singing popular Christmas songs.
What Do You Mean, It's Not for Kids?: Mostly averted, but Magic Kingdom's former The ExtraTERRORestrial Alien Encounter attraction was advertised as being for the older crowd due to it being much more darker and violent than the typical Disney fare. Unfortunately, many parents taking their children into the attraction didn't listen to the warnings. It was then redone to feature Stitch as the alien and renamed Stitch's Great Escape! Unfortunately this didn't actually make it much less scary, and even parents who paid attention to the warnings often saw Stitch and figured it couldn't be all that bad. Goes even further when the alien was originally meant to be the Xenomorph!
You Look Familiar: Martin Short has starred in four different Disney attractions, the Monster Sound Show at (then known as) Disney-MGM Studios, The Making of Me and O Canada! at Epcot, and CinéMagique at Walt Disney Studios Paris.