Is This What Walt Would Have Wanted? Fans Cry Out “I Miss What Disneyland Used to Be”

cinderella castle disney world
Credit: Disney

This is definitely one of the most controversial talking points in the Disney community.

In recent years, there has been an uproar from fans who miss “the old Disney.” Long-time Disney Parks fans have witnessed firsthand the massive developments and changes that have happened within the Parks. Many fans are critical of Disney for the increase in prices and the size of crowds within Disneyland Resort and Walt Disney World Resort. It begs the question…”is this what Walt Disney Would have wanted?”

Disney World Changes

Credit: Disney

Fans Reminisce on The “Old Disney”

When fans say they miss “the old Disney,” what do they really mean? Are they referring to the increased prices? The longer lines? A new ride/attraction in the Parks? It seems perhaps the answer is all of the above. One Guest took to Reddit to share their thoughts, thus sparking this heated debate once more. They say;

“I miss what Disneyland used to be.

Anyone else? I feel like it’s such a worse money grabbing, overcrowded experience from when we were kids. I don’t think it’ll ever be that way again either. Feeling nostalgic for the old days.

I’m not saying that it wasn’t always a money grab and sometimes overcrowded. But it’s gotten so much worse. I enjoyed it even as an adult and paid for my own pass. Idk if anyone will ever experience getting to walk off a ride and right back on again. One of those things that passed with time. I mourn it.

Not to brag but my now wife and I used to park at down town on a whim. Buy and snarf a beignet or a snack that I could validate parking. Then take the monorail right into the park no crazy lines. Kids today will never know.

Totally get why they are gone but the smoking sections always got a little crazy.

Edit: I know things change. I don’t expect it to go back. Just nostalgic.”

I miss what Disneyland used to be
byu/Nerakus inorangecounty

Is Nostalgia Creating Stubborn Fans?

While some fans empathized with this poster’s qualms, others were more critical of this take. Is changing and updating the Parks really such a bad thing? Would Walt Disney, an innovator/visionary of his time, really be upset with how the Parks are now?

In many ways, Disney has survived this long because of its ability to adapt and change to the growing times. It is also important to note that Disney Parks are for fans of all ages, and just because something does not interest you as an adult does not mean it would please a younger fan. As for the prices, the increases seen at the Parks are conclusive with the increases seen in other entertainment venues such as movie and performance theatres.

roy and walt disney holding newspaper

Credit: Walt Disney Hometown MuseumIs Disney Losing Its Magic?


It is totally understandable to miss certain elements of the Parks that are no longer here. It is said that the most perfect version of the Parks is the version that Disney fans are first exposed to. Nostalgia can taint a person’s perspective and make it hard to accept change. However, writing off this era of Disney Parks just because it is evolving with the times seems like an oversight. Regardless of thoughts or feelings, Walt Disney World Resort and Disneyland Resort will continue to evolve and move on.

About Eva Miller

Eva was born and raised in the beautiful state of Oregon but has since relocated and lives in New York City. Since she was young, Eva has loved to perform in musicals, especially Disney ones! Through performing, Disney’s music became the soundtrack of her childhood. Today, Eva loves to write about all the exciting happenings for the Walt Disney Company. In her free time, Eva loves to travel, spend time in nature, and go to Broadway shows. Her favorite Disney movie is 'Lilo and Stitch,' and her favorite Park is Disney's Animal Kingdom.