These are what we call the 'YMMV items.' Things that some people find in this work. We call them 'your mileage might vary' because not everyone sees these things in the same way. This starts discussions in the trope lists, a thing we don't want. Please use the discussion page if you'd like to discuss any of these items.
YMMV: Disney Theme Parks
Adaptation Displacement: 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.
Alternate Character Interpretation: More of an alternate story interpretation, but for Pirates of the Caribbean, the old man in the bayou is reminiscing about the days of pirates, which is why it goes from the bayou to skeletons to real pirates.
Audience-Alienating Premise: 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.
Even then, Snow White and Alice only appear one time each in their respective Disneyland rides, and Peter Pan appears twice (three times if you count his shadow on the wall in the Darlings' nursery scene), while Pinocchio appears no less than four times.
Since then, 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.
The Tokyo Disneyland and Disneyland Paris versions of Snow White's Scary Adventures and Peter Pan's Flight, and Walt Disney World's Peter Pan ride, all had their title characters visibly present since opening day.
Award Bait Song: "Destiny" by Louise Warren, for the Mission Space ride, hits all the right notes for this trope and then some.
The exit music for the "Wishes" fireworks show at WDW's Magic Kingdom is also a textbook example of this trope.
Disneyland's rumored Iron Man ride has created a Broken Base. Will it add another shameless movie tie-in to Tomorrowland, or will it embrace Tomorrowland's intent, to showcase the effects of evolving technology on our future, strongly enough for visitors to overlook the shamelessness?
In keeping with the general They Changed It, Now It Sucks attitude old-school Epcot fans have had to Epcot's Journey into Imagination pavillion, the announcement that the whole thing will be given an overhaul in 2014 has already triggered rumors and grumbling that whatever is going in there won't live up to the original incarnation of the pavillion. There are people who won't be happy with anything short than a return to what the dark ride and interactive playground areas were in 1983. Elsewhere there are Captain EO fans despairing that it will be replaced again.
This is mostly a result of Duffy being a Cash Cow Franchise in the Tokyo parks with desperate efforts to re-create the success abroad without realizing the cultural differences.
Dork Age: Disneyland had one in the mid-1990s through 2003 when it was run by Paul Pressler, a man who thought people came to the parks for shopping and dining, cutting off a lot of the upkeep budget, closing down classic yet expensive to maintain rides (like the Submarines, Skyway and Motorboats), an ugly rusty colored redo of Tomorrowland and the poor replacement of the Main Street Electrical Parade with Light Magic. This was also the era in which California Adventure opened...
Drinking Game: Drinking Around the World at Epcot. Really. Based on the experiences of others, you don't want to go clockwise, starting with Mexico's Tequila Cave...
Despite what you hear, you CAN drink in Disney World, just not inside the Magic Kingdom — unless it's dinnertime and you're at the Be Our Guest Restaurant in New Fantasyland.
Ear Worm: Most attractions with some sort of musical theme are like this, especially It's a Small World. Sing it with us now: "It's a small world after all..."
It's even worse at Christmas time! They mix in "Jingle Bells" as well!
"There's a great big beautiful tomorrow/Shining at the end of every day!" (Carousel of Progress)
The Enchanted Tiki (Tiki, Tiki, Tiki, Tiki) Room.
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."
The music playing in Innoventions Plaza. Gah!
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)
How can the Animal Kingdom parade not be mentioned? "So sing it out (and bark and growl and screech and roar), and dance along!"
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. Or maybe it's because the ride isn't designed for such capacity.
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 to handle demand, but built a whole subsection (Storybook Circus) around the two.
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.
Fan Nickname: The perpetually inoperative animatronic Yeti in Expedition Everest, complete with flashing strobe lights to give the illusion of movement, has been nicknamed "Disco Yeti".
When Fantasmic at Disneyland was updated in 2009, the dragon that Maleficent turns into had so many technical problems at first that the fans dubbed the dragon Murphy (as in "Murphy's Law").
Fanon Discontinuity: 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!)
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 Nineties version of small town America?
Hate Dumb: There are people who hate the parks for not being "thrillish" or "adultlike" enough without realizing how one, many of the customers are LITTLE KIDS and two, you actually CAN buy alcohol at several Disney Theme Parks (alcohol is available at all of Walt Disney World's parks other than Magic Kingdom...and even there you can enjoy a dinnertime drink at the Be Our Guest Restaurant).
Hilarious in Hindsight: 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.
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 themeing. 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 it's initial appearance during Mission Space's construction, being the epic ride itself.
Misaimed Marketing: The Character Greetings are a good idea. Meeting the villains? Well, Evil Is Cool (especially at Halloween) but some villains might be a bit too terrifying.
Running a commercial for New Fantasyland featuring Regina Mills. On paper it's a brilliant idea considering Disney's love of cross-promotion, but in practice it just screams out Unfortunate Implications given the presence of Belle and the Beast who in the OUAT universe is actually Rumplestiltskin.
Mis-blamed: 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.
Overshadowed by Awesome: The miniature golf courses and the DisneyQuest arcade in Orlando are amongst the best there are at what they do... except for most people, what they do is, at most, a side-trip compared to what the main four parks do. This is also true to a certain extent for the two water parks, especially when it's cold.
Replacement Scrappy: Dr. Nigel Channing at Epcot's Imagination pavillion, 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 lasted a decade.
Don't get fans started on Stitch's Great Escape!, which replaced the ExtraTERRORestrial Alien Encounter. And 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!
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.)
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.
The Scrappy: You want a Scrappy, look at Hester and Chester's Dino Rama at Animal Kingdom, a spoof of Souvenir Land - and not a very good one at that.
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.
And 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.
Seinfeld Is Unfunny: 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.
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.
Many feel the same way about It's A Small World. Disney itself has acknowledged this, throwing in a joke about in The Lion King.
Scar: Don't be so glum, Zazu. Sing something with a little more bounce to it.
Zazu: ♪It's a small world after all♪
Scar: No! Anything but that!
Theme Park Decay: The No-Longer-MGM-But-Hollywood Studios park has geared most of its more recent attractions ("Playhouse Disney Live" (now "Disney Junior Live"), a giant pin-trading kiosk placed awkwardly in front of the park's original iconic Chinese Theater replica, the inevitable Disney Channel live musical show towards pre-teens and very young children. This seems very odd to some visitors, given the movie-making theme of the park at large. 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?
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.)
Sometimes it reaches staggering proportions. Visit any Disneyland message board and find the discussion about the 2009 changes to "it's a small world". You can't miss it — it will be dozens of pages long and dripping with so much acid that you'll need to put on a haz-mat suit before you click the link. And the thing is, as video of the refurbishments have surfaced, it turns out that you probably wouldn't even notice most of the alterations unless you purposefully looked for them. (But look at the vitriol in the comments in the link...)
Another anal example involves the 2009 music for the Disney Electrical Parade. "Oh noes! They're using a different synthesizer! Even though the melody hasn't changed, Disney's greatest parade of all time is now Ruined Forever!"
Part of the criticism behind some of the changes has to do with the thinly-veiled Product Placement they've brought to the rides.
Doing away with classic attractions to accomodate more recent movies and tv shows.
Mickey's Toontown Fair has been torn down to make way for a new circus-themed section named Storybook Circus. Chances are it'll get some really bad flack for, not replacing a ride, but an entire section of the park.
The Fantasy Faire at Disneyland has received some derision due to its 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.
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 Unpleasable 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.
On the other hand, there are those who contend that "Disneyland is not a museum" and thus has to keep changing.
Particularly prevalent in Epcot. Among other things (including the Journey Into Imagination situation mentioned above), the revamp of Spaceship Earth has received a great deal of criticism, as did shutting down the entire Wonders of Life pavilion.
Uncanny Valley: The Audio-Animatronics on rides like Pirates of the Caribbean sometimes fall into this.
Unfortunate Implications: Certain scenes, particularly those depicting women and minorities, in The American Adventure. Probably inevitable when you decide for some damn reason to bring up everything from slavery to women's rights in a theme park stage show.
Pay close attention to the background during the pre-show of The Sum of all Thrills. Can you spot the Mudkip and Bulbasaur? For those of you who don't get it, the Pokemon anime is broadcast in America by Cartoon Network, a subsidiary of one of Disney's competitors, Warner Bros.. Not to mention that Disney formely owned the dubbing rights to Pokemon's main competition during the late '90's-Early 2000's.
Not quite; Mudkip may be a intentional reference to the meme, as well as Mickey Mouse in a Game and Watch title (Eggs). On the other hand, Innoventions had a exhibit on Sega Consoles in the Console Wars.
Knowing the background of Splash Mountain can invoke some of this, considering Brer Rabbit's "lesson" is to stay where you're "born and bred in". Not ringing any bells? Before the Civil War, blacks were... strongly discouraged from moving about. With violence.
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.
Values Dissonance: 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.
Not to mention the "I Love Fossil Fuels!!!" Script Wank in Ellen's Energy Adventure. At the end of each of the ride's "acts", an announcer would ask everyone to "stay in your seats or we'll have to shut down the whole show!" Which implies that people had been walking out of the theater!
And note that this is actually a safety issue, as the "theater seats" are actually enormous ride vehicles that move from one theater to another. Getting up from ones seat (not to mention being eaten by a dinosaur) is a lawsuit waiting to happen. So you're just going to have to sit there and take the wank.
This actually used to be worse. In the original version of the ride (before Ellen was added), 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 emphasis on literally fighting obesity in the original "Habit Heroes" game at Innoventions drew a lot of fire from this.
Visual Effects of Awesome: 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.
We're Still Relevant Dangit: 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!"
Earlier than that, 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."