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I Remember... Lost Attractions of WDW & More Discuss Remember When... in the I Remember... forums; As I was showing my husband some of these pictures I've scanned in we both remarked at a "Remember When" moment. Some of you are too young to remember this ...
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    BamaJenn's Avatar
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    Arrow Remember When...

    As I was showing my husband some of these pictures I've scanned in we both remarked at a "Remember When" moment.

    Some of you are too young to remember this but there was actually a time where characters roamed the parks freely and you could just walk right up to them and give them a hug. No lines, no hour long wait in the heat. People were just polite.





    Sometimes all you need is a reminder that out there lies a better place... a better world... a Walt Disney World.
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    bowlingman7's Avatar
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    Yep, totally remember that. I have some pictures of me with some of the robin hood characters from back in the day. Unfortunately no scanner.
    If we can dream it, we can do it!

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    Tinker Bell is offline DisneyWorldTrivia.com Lifetime Pass
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    I remember that too, back then it wasn't too tough getting a photo with both Mickey and Minnie, I think I have some in my gallery from '84.


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    Wow, again great pictures....The lady in brown behind Donald is a Character Lead named Bette Buckley. She is a wonderful person, but is unfortunately now in a nursing home...if you guys remember, please keep her in your prayers.

    I am so loving seeing your pictures BamaJenn...and you are right, the character experience was completely different back then, more laid back and enjoyable, not a craze for autographs and fights.

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    Caribbean Lady's Avatar
    Caribbean Lady is offline Por favor mantangense alejado de las puertas
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    I think I'm too young to remember that... I wish I could have had that experience though!
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    Does anyone know when this changed? At what point did they say "ok things are getting crazy around the characters, let's form lines instead"?
    Sometimes all you need is a reminder that out there lies a better place... a better world... a Walt Disney World.
    Visited In: 1983, 1988, 1989 x2, 1991, 1992, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006 (passholder), 2007 (x2 x3), 2008, 2009 (x2), 2010, 2011 (x2)
    “Detail is there to make you believe in the reality of the story you’re immersed in.” - Joe Rohde
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    It was kind of a gradual thing that occured throughout the late 80s and early 90s. The introduction of Autograph Books for sale in the park led to that situation as people began to go nuts over getting their books filled, mostly the adults because the kids didn't have a clue about what autographs were for, they just knew mommy and daddy told them they had to do this.

    The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles was the first real continuous mob scene so they devised queues for them during each show with two attractions people to help maintain the queue and cut it off when the Turtles needed to return to the stage for their finale performance and depart.

    Then came the idea of a VIP character area for Mickey Mouse so that he would be regularly available to the guests and they could be told where and when to find him.

    That idea soon branched to the character breakfasts for Aladdin and Jasmine and the face or look-alike characters. Eventually moving throughout the department as standard procedure for meet and greet appearances everywhere.

    With the advent of the Internet and the "Tigger punches kid" type stuff going on, it seemed more prudent to the company that each character be accompanied and have a line. That way they could reduce the vaguenesses of accusations like that.

    As a former performer (wow say that 3 times really fast), we miss those days of just being able to go out and "get into the moment" with the guests as much as the guests do.

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    BamaJenn's Avatar
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    Thanks for all that great info! Totally makes sense too when I think back to all my trips. It was definitely gradual and ironically the first thing that came to mind when I saw it was "those darn autograph books changed it" so I'm glad to know I wasn't far off in that.

    Gotta say, unless Aaron truly notices another child with one and says "mommy can I have one", I won't be suggesting it... sorry... aint happen'. LOL!!
    Sometimes all you need is a reminder that out there lies a better place... a better world... a Walt Disney World.
    Visited In: 1983, 1988, 1989 x2, 1991, 1992, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006 (passholder), 2007 (x2 x3), 2008, 2009 (x2), 2010, 2011 (x2)
    “Detail is there to make you believe in the reality of the story you’re immersed in.” - Joe Rohde
    Avatar Image Used with Permission from °O°Joe

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    Oh my goodness, I remember those days (and miss them) so much. I have some of the BEST Disney stories from way back when. It's kinda sad that now you have to wait in a 15 minute line to get your picture with Donald Duck, then wait another 10 minutes for a picture with Tigger, and so forth.

    Correct me if I'm wrong, but I recall characters roaming around a little bit more freely in Mickey's Starland in the early '90s. You actually felt like this is where they truly hung out, and I don't get that at all from Toontown.

    Anywho, thanks sharing your pics BamaJenn!
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    Veritas's Avatar
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    When my folks took me to WDW as a kid in 73 Mickey was at the front as you cam ein. I remember being way excited about that!
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    OMG I love that idea!!!! You would think that they would still do that as so you are greeted by Mickey to begin a magical day at MK.

    I do understand why he's in the Judge's Tent in Toontown, however, I feel like he's tucked away in a small corner of the Magic Kingdom.
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    WoL Fan's Avatar
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    Aw, now you're going to make me have to scan in a bunch of pictures I have from my family trip back in 1980 with dorky me and several of the Robin Hood characters. Watch this space in a few days

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    Tinker Bell is offline DisneyWorldTrivia.com Lifetime Pass
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    Quote Originally Posted by BamaJenn View Post

    Gotta say, unless Aaron truly notices another child with one and says "mommy can I have one", I won't be suggesting it... sorry... aint happen'. LOL!!
    Same here! I would rather be waiting in a ride queue than a character greeting one! Unless my boys really want to see a specific character, of course.


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    Fantasyland used to be the best place to have close encounters with the characters.

    I love telling people about what Tigger was famous for back in the early 1970's. Tigger would run through Fantasyland while kids chased him and tried to grab his tail! My younger brother and I did this on several trips - it was always wild. Once you gave his tail a slight tug, he would stop running and pose for pictures. Could you imagine that happening now?

    There was also a better variety of characters wandering around. I wasn't just the Fab Five and whatever recent movie characters. We have pictures (somewhere) of us with the Walrus from Alice in Wonderland, several of Snow White's Dwarfs, the mice from Cinderella, numerous characters from Robin Hood, Peter Pan and many others. People were very courteous while pictures were being taken and the crowds were smaller than they are now.

    The last time I remember the characters roaming freely was during a trip in 1987 with my young niece. When we started taking our daughter in 1992 and there were a few roaming characters, but not as many as before.
    Lisa

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    You are all remembering this differently than I do. I remember going to the parks in the 79' and '82 and spotting Mickey was like hunting for lost treasure. I don't recall how long we had to wait to have our pictures taken with him, but I do think it took us longer to find him. I like the background that echoscot gave as to how things progressed to current day. At least now I know where I can find a character and if I want that picture, then I just have to devote the time to get it.
    mini-V What will you celebrate?

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