Thursday, December 4, 2008

Declining or Just Fine?

I was thinking about this as I read other blogs today. I really enjoy reading the Disney critics' work; people like Epcot82, the guys at Reimagineering (their blog has been quiet of late, but a couple of posts in the last week livened things up), and the guys at MiceAge, Kevin Yee and Al Lutz. I think it's clear that these guys love Disney and they make an effort to point out the good things along with the perceived bad. (Perhaps this is because there always seem to be some responses taking them to task for being so negative, or accusing them of hating the very things they obviously love so much.)

Is Disney really and truly declining, or is it just the inevitable effects of age? I sincerely do not know, because while I've been a Disney fan all of my life, I really only became "crazy" about Disney in the last 5 years or so. I know, from reading the bios of Walt and Roy and reading something about the history of the company, that the film division really fell off after Walt died, and maybe some before he passed on, if only because Walt's attentions were focused on other projects (like Epcot and the "Florida Project").

I know that when we go to Disney World (next trip: January of 09 - coming up!) and the one time we've been to Disneyland Resort (next trip: April of 09 - but not sure how much time we'll spend at the Disney parks), we had wonderful times. We had good meals, we had fun on the rides, at the shows, and even in the stores.

I'm all for making it better. Newer, fresher - these are good things. But is it really going downhill? Or is it just, as I'm sure Team Disney would say, catering to what the paying guests want, and don't care as much about?

Walt did everything to please himself, I believe. Who's the "Walt" for this bunch? Lasseter? Maybe he can partially fill those shoes, but with Disney being the huge corporation it is, controlled by huge stockholders and institutional investors, can ANYONE be the "Walt" of the 21st century? I really don't think that there is anyone who can do things just to please him- or herself, and there will likely never be such a person again, at least not with Disney. Maybe Steve Wynn comes close with his Vegas creations, but I can't come up with anyone else.

They did all this with virtually no competition, the first time around. Maybe competition is what they need.

Or do they need anything at all?

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