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.
In 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.
The current incarnation of Journey into Imagination is a meta plot where Figment's antics are actually him taking revenge on Dr. Channing for replacing the original ride with Journey into YOUR Imagination.
Duffy is this for Walt Disney World and Disneyland fans, while he still remains popular at the Tokyo Disney Resort.
Stitch is an odd example; despite being well-liked as a character, especially in Japan, fans were unhappy with his aggressive marketing and general Sixth Ranger status in the American parks. It culminated with Stitch's Great Escape!, which was very poorly received, especially compared to the attraction it replaced, ExtraTERRORestrial Alien Encounter. As a result, the presence of Lilo & Stitch in the American parks is minimal (especially after SGE!'s steady reduction in operation) and several American Disney Parks fans continue to hold a grudge against the latter title character to this day. On the flip side, the franchise still has a large focus in the international parks, including a different attraction, Stitch Encounter.
While the majority of Walt Disney World fans were happy that Duffy stopped meeting at Epcot, he still has fans who are upset that he no longer meets guests outside of Japan.
A similar reaction was given to Stitch's Great Escape! upon its apparent—and later official—closure, given that it was a long-running ride and it had built up a surprising fanbase of parkgoers who enjoyed it for what it was, either detached from or unaware of Alien Encounter. That, and Stitch is still a big-time Ensemble Dark Horse among Disney characters.
You can expect this reaction any time a long-standing but poorly attended attraction is removed, especially if its exterior had a distinctive appearance—people may not have liked it enough to actually stand in line for it, but they still liked seeing it there, as part of the whole.
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 their 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 the one exception being the Disney World version of Snow White's Scary Adventures until its 1994 renovation.
Author's Saving Throw: As mentioned in this video, Disneyland Paris (formerly known as Euro Disneyland) was able to compensate for its failure to market to French residents with the creative direction of Imagineer Tony Baxter, whom designed the park to suit the needs and tastes of French culture. As a result, many of the rides are more elaborate, and are even given backstories that add a new layer of immersion to the experience. They've even substituted Tomorrowland with a Jules Verne-themed area known as "Discoveryland", which also bypasses the ever-problematic issue of Zeerust faced by other parks.
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 it—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 prefer the original, grungier look.
Opinions on Disney fan boards are heavily split over whether or not Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge belongs in Disneyland, and whether or not the modifications the Imagineers had to make to the rest of the park (like the Rivers of America and the Small World plaza) were 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!. 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, Taylor Swift songs and "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 its a welcome addition to the park. Opinion may soon be downplayed since, as part of Disney's acquisition of 20th Century Fox in 2019, Disney will get to distribute the Avatar sequels.
Guardians of the Galaxy Mission: BREAKOUT! at California Adventure has its many detractors who still miss its predecessor, The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror, as well as its many supporters who not only think the ride is nothing more than unabashed fun, but because of that, and the fact that the ride has six different drop sequences that go with six different songs from the mixtape, makes it BETTER than Tower of Terror. Others however felt that the Tower was abundant with intriguing mystique, atmosphere and storytelling and was simply just too much of an icon to ever be re-themed. Also they argued that The Twilight Zone (1959) was a timeless TV series while Guardians was only made to capitalize off of a flavor-of-the-week trend. It should also be noted that many detractors weren't against a Guardians-themed attraction (in fact they thought it sounded helluva lot of fun), they just preferred that it'd be a separate ride rather than replacing a classic.note Of course, the Twilight Zone version still exists at Disney's Hollywood Studios and Walt Disney Studios Park (the latter being a near-replica of the DCA version), and Disney's claim that these versions will remain intact has helped cool the fires regarding Mission: BREAKOUT!. With the Guardians attraction at Disney World being an entirely separate roller coaster ride (replacing the less-beloved Ellen's Energy Adventure at Epcot), it seems likely the promise will be kept.
Walt Disney World's own base. 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 much thanks to Disney's aggressive marketing. It gets worse; on March 14, 2018, Disney announced that they will start charging Walt Disney World resort guests fees for overnight parking beginning March 21,note although this will not apply for guests with disabilities, guests staying at Fort Wilderness, guests visiting for just one day, or other certain types of guests meaning that guests planning to drive during their Disney vacation will either have to pay more money out of pocket or stay at an off-resort hotel. Unfortunately, all these increasing and additional fees are a result of the record attendances the resort keeps getting.
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 their trumpet performance while most are heard singing.
Critical Research Failure: In the 2017 version of Mission: SPACE, the Green Team experience involves an Earth orbital flight. This would be fine, except for the fact that the spacecraft is travelling opposite of Earth's rotation. Anyone who has at least played Kerbal Space Program would know that this is a blatant violation of basic orbital mechanics.
WED Enterprises had one shortly after the opening of Tokyo Disneyland, where the staff was greatly reduced by Ron Miller, resulting in mass layoffs around Christmas and development slowing to a crawl.
Disneyland had one in the mid-'90s through 2003, when it was run by Paul Pressler and his successor Cynthia Hariss (under the management of Michael Eisner, of Defunctland infamy). 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-to-maintain attractions (like the PeopleMover, Skyway, Submarine Voyage and Country Bear Jamboree, oftentimes with infrastructure left in plain view to rot), an ugly rusty colored redo of Tomorrowland (although the H.G. Wells and Jules Verne-inspired theme was well-received, just not the execution) and the poor replacement of the Main Street Electrical Parade with Light Magic. This was also the era in which California Adventure opened. By the end of Pressler's regime, the park was falling apart at the seams from deferred maintenance, new rides were either off-the-shelf models (like many of the rides in Paradise Pier) or reused existing infrastructure poorly (the infamous Rocket Rods come to mind), many rides exited through a gift shop as a form of aggressive and forced marketing, and the park was essentially turned into a giant shopping mall. Worst still was the fact that this cheapness led to metal cleat being ripped off Sailing Ship Columbia because an elastic nylon rope was used instead of a breakable hemp rope; said cleat hit and killed a guest waiting in line.
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 The Gap in 2002, but his effects on Disneyland were felt till Hariss (who also had primarily a retail background) left in 2003. Matt Ouimet, former president of Disney Cruise Line, stepped in, and things turned around immediately. Chief among Ouimet's decisions included reestablishing upkeep, restoring the Enchanted Tiki Room, rebuilding the roller coaster track of Space Mountain and updating its theming and special effects in a massive two year long overhaul project, reopening the Submarine Voyage with a Finding Nemo theme, and overseeing the 50th anniversary celebrations in 2005.
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 TRON: Legacy came out, but due to popularity its run was extended to summer of 2012. After this, it was rethemed to Mad T Party, another darkhorse which ran through 2016 (with a brief hiatus where it was rethemed to Frozen).
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, Mine Train Through Nature's Wonderland, and ESPECIALLY the PeopleMover 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.
The Yeti from Expedition Everest. A technological marvel when he was first built, unforeseen technical difficultiesnote The yeti, the mountain, and the track itself are three separate structures, who all move independently of one another. The problem with this is that the yeti is twenty feet tall, moves with approximately the force of a single-engine jet turbine, and is so much heavier than any other animatronic that his movement was literally shaking the track out of alignment, and the ride is constructed in a way that would require them to literally disassemble the entire mountain in order to fix him - not something Disney is inclined to do mean that he hasn't actually been mobile in over a decade, and yet there are still many people who consider the "Disco Yeti" one of the best animatronics in any of the parks. Every month or so, someone excitedly posts on Twitter that "The Yeti is moving again!" Nope. Your eyes are deceiving you, but the animatronic is such a realistic-looking technical marvel that, even motionless under strobe lights, you can't help but feel like he's actually coming for you. That's the power of one well-placed strobe light.
For that matter, Everest itself is something of a darkhorse among the parks' large E-Ticket thrill rides: thirteen years old but still feels brand new, beautifully themed, a very creative concept not based on a merchandised IP, and the fact that it's one of the last remaining connections to the "Beastly Kingdom" themed area that never was, all combine to make it one of the most beloved attractions of the new millennium among hardcore purists and casual fans alike, and it's arguably one of the most popular of the Disney "mountains" despite being decades younger. Its introduction is largely considered the moment that turned Animal Kingdom as a whole into a viable theme park that could proudly hold its own against all the others.
S.I.R., the robot in the preshow for the long-dead ExtraTERRORestrial 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.
Among the actual parks themselves, Tokyo DisneySea is considered to be, if not the best, then certainly the most underrated of the parks, due to its incredibly beautiful steampunk theming and a higher proportion of attractions with original stories (rather than licensed IPs) than any other park, which is always a hit with the fans.
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.
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!)
For nostalgic fans who actually liked said California themed park, The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror was never converted into a Guardians of the Galaxy ride, Soarin' never had its original "Over California" film replaced with "Around the World" and Paradise Pier was never converted into Pixar Pier.
First Installment Wins: Within the domestic parks, there has been a tendency for unique elements of some of Walt Disney World's versions of iconic attractions to be chipped away in favor of maintaining consistency with their original Disneyland counterparts.
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. This detail is a remnant from when McDonald's used to sponsor the attraction.
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 parks (combining the best aspects of the two), 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?
Disneyland Paris is full of Spanish guests, with many people wondering why the park wasn't built in Spain instead.
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. Obviously, Disney removed the line from the Jungle Cruise immediately after the fact.
Disneyland was originally designed to stand out from other common amusement parks at the time, namely boardwalk amusement parks. Fast Forward 50 or so years later, California Adventure's Paradise Pier was 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. Indeed, the resort ran into space issues when expanding, leading to additional parks being built on separate plots.
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.
Tokyo Disney Sea introducing Younger and Hipper counterparts to the villains becomes this when Disney Channel put out their own take on the concept the same year. Granted, one is a group of their subordinates while the other is a group of their kids, but their interactions are remarkably similar.
When the Avatar-themed section of Animal Kingdom was announced, people complained about a non-Disney property being a major component of a park. Fast-forward to March 2019, and Disney bought Fox, making Avatar a Disney film.
Because Magic Kingdom at Disney World was the only park there for 11 years (and likely due to its many similarities to Disneyland), many people refer to Magic Kingdom 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.
Something similar happens in Europe with Disneyland Paris, with many people still calling it Euro Disneyland. The resort changed its name in 2002.
A frequent complaint from Southern California residents about Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom is that it's almost exactly the same as their local Disneyland. This may very well be the point, as both sides of the United States can partake in the same experience in their respective places. The real incentive for a SoCal resident to visit Walt Disney World would be to visit the additional theme parks in the area, which, when combined, make the California Disney Resort look humble by comparison.
Conversely, Floridians visiting Disneyland for the first time tend to brush it off as a smaller-scale copy of the Magic Kingdom, especially comparing the diminutive 55-foot Sleeping Beauty Castle to the 189-foot Cinderella Castle. Of course, directly to the right of the castle is the towering Matterhorn, which should tip off that Disneyland has its own unique flair compared to its East Coast cousin. (Part of the appeal is also knowing that it's the only park Walt Disney personally oversaw.) It does help, however, that both the Magic Kingdom and Disneyland have a few attractions that are exclusive to them as far as the North American resorts are concerned (Seven Dwarves Mine Train, the upcoming Tron coaster, etc. for Magic Kingdom and Indiana Jones Adventure, The Matterhorn Bobsleds, etc. for Disneyland) and others that are similar in name, theme and story, but executed noticeably differently from their opposite coast counterparts like Space Mountain, giving West Coast and East Coast residents some incentive to visit their respective opposite coast's main park.
They're going to add a loop!note The Disney Theme Parks, being geared towards families, have been historically aversive to rides that are overly intense for children or many adults (i.e. the kind Six Flags is known for); rides containing inversions were ruled out by principle. The debut of the California Screamin' (now known as the Incredicoaster) at California Adventure's grand opening was seen as a major deal because of its loop, which indicated Disney's intent of attracting guests with a higher tolerance for intensity to the new park. That said, the first ride to have inversions at a Disney park was actually Rock 'n' Roller Coaster at Hollywood Studios.
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.
"Remain seated please. Permanecer sentados por favor."
"Please stand clear of the doors. Por favor mantengase alejado de las puertas."
The first unveiled pictures of the Trump animatronic in the Hall of Presidents quickly went viral for its....questionableresemblance◊ to the man himself. Some people even joked that it was clearly a re-skinned Hillary Clinton animatronic that Disney had built clearly expecting her to win and then panicked when it didn't turn out that way.
"Walt Disney attending the opening of X (1955)", photoshops usually produced when an attraction is closing or some new controversial addition is announced or opening up.
Among Defunctland fans, treating Michael Eisner as a Sitcom Arch-Nemesis for poorly-thought-through business decisions like Euro Disneyland and California Adventure.
"Thanks Shanghai" note During construction of Shanghai Disney Resort, Walt Disney World and Disneyland started budget cuts for both parks (such as attractions, shows, and meet and greets) between 2015 and 2016 until the parks opening. During this period, longtime fans of Walt Disney World and Disneyland on WDWMagic coined the term "Thanks Shanghai" (based on "Thanks Obama") as a sarcastic comment, to Disney's desperation to reach it's grand opening after many delays.
The July 2020 commercials showing masked employees prepping the Walt Disney World parks and hotels for visitors or welcoming back guests after four months of closures due to the COVID-19 Pandemic — despite the fact that the number and rate of infections were RISING in Florida at the time — quickly were subjected to this, with the music for the former substituted with the music from The Shining in one particularly popular case.
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 Jungle Cruise became this when the animatronics did not age well, and they re-tooled the script to generally mock them.
Necessary Fail: Expedition Everest Legend of the Forbidden Mountain has a Yeti animatronic that isn't working anymore and has the nickname "Disco Yeti" due to the strobe light operation of it's B Mode. Due to the complications of the installation of the character, the animatronic has not been repaired since the ride's opening. As a result, several newer rides that have animatronics have screen based B-Modes to continue the narrative without detracting much from the experience. Rides such as Guardians of the Galaxy Mission: BREAKOUT!, attractions at Galaxy's Edge and Na'vi River Journey.
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 '30s/'40s 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' '90s heyday! It seems that they're attempting to compete more with Islands of Adventure, Universal's sister park, given the focus they've given to the Toy Story and Star Wars lands.
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, was all about modern-day technology. 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 was also the now-gone Ellen's Energy Adventure, 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. 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. The announced plans to retool the park and integrate more IPs have been... a hot-button issue, to put it lightly.
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-acquisition-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.)
America Sings, a cheesy walk through America's musical history meant to celebrate America's Bicentennial that replaced the Carousel of Progress, will forever be remembered not for its songs or its characters but because of the absolutely horrific death of an 18 year old worker named Deborah Gail Stone just nine days after opening when she got caught between one of its rotating walls and a very very stationary one. Reportedly, the crowd could hear her dying screams but thought they were part of the show until it was too late to save her. Though the ride was closed down and received heavy refurbishments to ensure such a tragedy would never happen again, the memory of the incident hung over America Sings until it finally closed down in 1988.
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.
The Producer Thinks 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.
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 pavilion'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. The ride was effectively a kid-ified version of the very frightening and teen/adult oriented Alien Encounter, which had and still has a notable cult following. Unlike the Imagination ride, Disney hadn't done anything to significantly improve it despite an alarming number of complaints from diehard fans and ordinary parkgoers alike! Even the end of its lifespan was tumultuous; it was reduced to seasonal operation in October 2016, operated sporadically until January 2018, and it was kept "temporarily closed" until it officially became permanent in July 2020.
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.
California Adventure's 2017 replacement for The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror, Guardians of the Galaxy Mission: BREAKOUT!, garnered a rather large hatedom among people who dreaded the ToT's disappearance even from before the rumor was confirmed. That hatedom still exists even after Mission: Breakout's opening in 2017. This also goes for its Florida counterpart, Cosmic Rewind, which is replacing Epcot's Universe of Energy, with a photoshopped picture of a young Peter Quill at Epcot that was shown as a Handwave for the franchise's incorporation into the park becoming instantly reviled.
"Light Magic," a short-lived nighttime parade at Disneyland, was slammed for many reasons—particularly the creepy masks on some of the dancing characters—but one of the biggest strikes against it was that they canceled the still-popular Main Street Electrical Parade in order to bring in the new show.
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.
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 did not get the appeal of this new character, Mickey Mouse's little plush friend brought to life, and he was ousted just as quickly as he appeared.
For a ride example, there's the infamous Superstar Limo, as mentioned above. Boring, unfunny, cheap, painfully outdated, a weird premise, and filled with horrible animatronics, it is perhaps the only Disney original concept dark ride who no one on the planet was upset to see closed and a branded attraction themed around a more recent IP. As the most unpleasant manifestation of Michael Eisner's worst instincts, it was a manifestation of a core sickness that nearly left California Adventure dead on arrival. How bad was it? Well, for starters, it's the shortest-lived attraction in Disney history - lasting less than a year before closing - despite being California Adventure's only dark ride (at the time.) It was such a sour note that the park was literally better off with no dark rides at all than it was with Superstar Limo. One thing's for sure, nobody's clamoring to have this one come back to the parks any time soon.
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 and 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. And it isn't one of the Fastpass attractions, so it's considered to be one of the toughest to get into.
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. River Country closed at the end of the 2001 season just a week before 9/11; it never reopened following the downturn in business.
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 Effect 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 emulate a real-life jungle cruise, but nowadays everyone just mocks the special effects.
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 ensued as the seagulls spouted out "MINE" non-stop.
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).
Part of the criticism behind some of the changes has to do with the thinly-veiled Product Placement they've brought to the rides, and doing away with classic attractions to accommodate more recent movies and TV shows.
Stitch's Great Escape! got a lot of flack for not being the ExtraTERRORestrial Alien Encounter.
The abrasive "under new management" version of the Enchanted Tiki Room, which ran from 1998 to 2011. Thankfully, it's gone.
And don't even get us started on the Guardians of the Galaxy: Mission Breakout ride replacing DCA's Tower of Terror. Quite a lot of people who missed the latter attraction complained about its demise, and now that the former has officially opened, a lot of them are STILL complaining.
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. However, Disney eventually 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, 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 its 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 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 unique, individual qualities in the name of brand homogenization. One illustration comes in the apparent fact that products bearing the logo of either Disneyland or Walt 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 abusing these words, focusing only on the "never be completed" part and dismissing the "imagination" part, that they're 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 more realistic Audio-Animatronics. Many of the original "human-like" animatronics, like on Pirates and the Haunted Mansion, were lightly caricatured to compensate for the limited technology; the more recent ones, especially on The Hall of Presidents, have a very realistic appearance that falls hard into the valley◊.
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.
The animatronic celebrities featured in Superstar Limo weren't too easy on the eyes either.
Figment's flat, cartoony 2D character design? Adorable. Figment in some comic art with a more realistic art style and buggy, spherical eyes with a tiny pupil dot and a constantly-open toothless mouth? Not so much... Also applies to the revamped ride's very-aged CGI version of him, with an unsettling expression and too many wrinkles on his face.
Unexpected Character: The shops in Epcot's World Showcase sometimes carry merchandise of works from the country in question, meaning you can be wandering WDW and run into merch of Doctor Who, the latest Pretty Cure season, or even the Touhou Project. Anime merch in particular has its own section in the Japanese store now.
Some meet and greets characters at the parks can be very unexpected, mainly the rarely-seen characters at Disneyland and Walt Disney World. For instance, Clarice from Two Chips And A Miss, a one-shot character who picked up a fanbase in the Japanese parks, or Scrooge McDuck and Launchpad McQuack, who made a comeback at Animal Kingdom to promote DuckTales (2017).
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.
As explained in part of this video, the story being Pandora The World of Avatar can come across as this. While the gist of the story is that humans and Na'vi have settled their differences and now coexist in peace, there are no Na'vi available for meet-and-greets. This is understandable due to how tricky it would be to have ten-foot-tall characters stroll around the park, but still can give off vibes of humans taking control and speaking over the Na'vi (including an image of Na'vi and humans at a groundbreaking ceremony) and selling their culture. What really makes this uncomfortable is how Na'vi are analogous in the movie to Native Americans.
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 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 (though it still has yet to fully recover from its initial financial woes).
Many rides, including the Pepper's ghost effect on Tower of Terror, the light effects inside Space Mountain, and the fully-operating Yeti 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, 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 CGI. It's beautiful, if a little "plastic" due to its age.
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.
20,000 Leagues and Submarine Voyage were this until their closures. The Californian replacement, the Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage, has kept up the tradition.
Like all of her sisters, Tower of Terror at DisneySea has some incredibly awesome visual effects, but one of the highlights is Shiriku Utundu disappearing in literally a split second. An incredibly simple visual trick that any thinking adult will probably be able to figure out, and yet even when you know how it works, you still won't believe just how freaking fast the little bugger vanishes.
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 ride are still impressive even after a full decade and a half free of changes or upgrades.
Despite the constant technical difficulties going on with Rivers Of Light, the water effects and various special effects are truly beautiful. Same goes for seeing the Tree Of Life at night.
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 Retool 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 at the 2016 Christmas event, features a song about texting loved ones on Christmas, complete with the characters pulling out oversized prop mobile phones. Thankfully the rest of the show isn't as bad, with appearances by fan-favorite characters like Clarabelle Cow, José Carioca, 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 dark 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.