/ Monday, November 23rd, 2015

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Join me as we travel back in time to discuss The Disney Decade, the brainchild of Michael Eisner, which transformed not just Walt Disney World, but lead to unprecedented expansion across the Disney Company. We’ll look at Eisner’s original plans, what was supposed to be  built, what was and what wasn’t (and why).  Beyond the theme parks, we’ll look at the what the Disney Decade meant to the Company, the impact it had (and has) on Disney fans, and on Michael Eisner’s legacy.

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QUESTION for YOU from this week’s show: What are your thoughts about the Disney Decade, Eisner’s legacy, etc.?  Share your thoughts in the comments below!

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7 thoughts on “WDW Radio Show #426 – The Disney Decade: Walt Disney World Wayback Machine”

  1. Chuck Zitta says:

    In my opinion, the Disney Decade with Michael and Frank was one of the most important and inspirational segments of time in Disney history. As you mentioned in the show, without it, who knows if Disney would still be standing today? I’m still listening to the show as I’m typing this, so not sure if you mentioned it or not. But, to get a idea of what went on during this decade, people should buy/rent and watch (if they haven’t already) the Waking Sleeping Beauty documentary. It’s a great ‘in a nut shell’ look behind the scenes of what went on within Disney’s animation studios during the Disney Decade. I know the documentary is primarily focused on the animation segment of the Disney corporation, but it is well worth watching. Over and over. Possibly some day there will be an additional documentary on the Disney Decade which focuses on the parks? That would be a great addition in my opinion. It’s unfortunate, after all he did, how things ended for Michael with Disney. Agree, the Disney Decade was a ‘win’. Focus on the positive. Thanks again for another terrific show AND have a GREAT Thanksgiving, Lou!!!

  2. William Bragg says:

    Another great show Lou. I actually did my Master’s thesis on Michael Eisner and Disney. You hit the nail on the head…he definitely led the Disney Renaissance and forged the Walt Disney World that we know today. His working relationship with Frank Wells was very reminiscent of Walt and Roy, and when Mr. Wells tragically passed away, it was the beginning of his downturn (I liken it the phrase he was all thrust and no vector…Mr. Wells provided that vector). Those two had terrific synergy. It was sad to see how he left the company. Robert Iger has done a tremendous job as his replacement.

  3. chris g says:

    If the 80’s was the Disney Decade.
    With Star Warsland, Toy Story Land, and Pandora all coming within the next 10 years to to the world, what will the NEXT 10 year be called in the future?

  4. Marty says:

    I recently started a blog where I am detailing my choices for people who deserve the Disney Legend honor. Michael Eisner is my third choice. Granted he left the company unceremoniously and that fact has denied him the honor. but if Art Babbitt can be given the honor, surely Eisner can!
    My blog site if you are interested – http://disneylegends.blogspot.com/

  5. Brian Walton says:

    Great podcast, as usual, Lou! i was privileged to work at WDW from ’86-2003, right through the heart of the Disney Decade, and it was, indeed, an exciting time. One other factor to keep in mind that happened in the ’90s — The INTERNET! In 1995, I started the first Disneyworld.com website. When the executives were planning out the Disney Decade, in the late ’80s, nobody could have anticipated that the Internet and all the associated websites were going to be such a major part of the company’s marketing and branding during the ’90s. What a surprise to be thrown right in the middle of such a time of growth.

  6. hayley says:

    I have discovered these podcasts this week and have been thoroughly enjoying listening to them. This one was fascinating. I live in England so the American parks are a bit far for me to travel, however the 90’s were the main part of my childhood and I’m extremely grateful for the Disneyland Paris park. My parents took my younger brother and I as surprise and it’s one of my favourite childhood memories to the point I can remember all this time later what I had for breakfast that day as well. The dragon under the castle was so real to me I has frightened and intrigued by it as a child that I’d watch her from a safe distance behind one of the rocks and I still love seeing her their today, Captian Eo also blew my mind, when it returned to Disneyland Paris I went back especially to see it. Having this show as background of the changes going on at the time has increased my appreciation of what went into it. As for the education aspect that briefly went on I think I may have seen some of what you were talking about in programs aired at the time and I really would of loved to do the animation course. I’m a bit sad to here that element isn’t going on now.

    Though in the Disney Studios in Paris there are short drawing lessons on mickey mouse shaped light-boxes, and even though I now have a degree in animation today I still found it thoroughly enjoyable part of my holiday. So I hope they do try again with it in future.

  7. Jim Smith says:

    Lou, I’ve been listening to your show for only a few months, but in that time I’ve started searching back for older episodes, in addition to your current shows. Your episode #426 on Michael Eisner and the Disney Decade was incredibly fascinating and informative. You and your guest did a great job being objective and explaining both the successes and issues associated with Eisner’s tenure at the head of Disney. It’s easy to dump on Eisner after the way things ended, so thanks for reminding us of all the incredible (and a few not-so-incredible) projects he pushed forward. Well done Lou!