I’ve been to Disneyworld three times since the mid 1970s. The first two were consecutive years, 73-74, iirc. The park was only just recently opened. There was a parking lot and then a ferry ride over a man-made lagoon to get to the park. I noticed that the place wasn’t as well maintained the second year we went. There was more trash and cigarette butts than the first time. They had staff that had the small brooms and hinged dustpans, they just weren’t as prevelant. I was in my early twenties then. The last time was maybe twelve years ago. The ferry boat ride was gone and the ticket book was gone as well. Early Disney issued a ticket book with tickets marked A-E. The E-ticket rides were the most popular and you could purchase extra tickets if you needed more. There used to be a phrase that compared a desirable event to an “E-ticket ride.”
The business side of the park was much more apparent on the last visit. There was a price on everything. I went down to the hotel convenience store and got a six-pack of beer and I was astounded at the mark-up. The park wasn’t as carefree in the last visit and it was apparent that this was all about revenue. The first times, we were younger and less jaded. WEe may have missed the “about the money” aspect the first times. To be fair, everything related to business, has become more obviously about the money. Maybe an illusion, but we used to disguise the hunt for money better.
There were stories that made the news in the years between visits. The one that stuck with me was that the employees that dressed as Disney characters, had to “hot bunk” the costumes….eew, just eew!
The one thing that still impressed me was the monorail that passes through the lobby of one of the resort hotels. Still there 40 years later.
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