Things were much different in the 1950’s and even in the 1970’s when it came to acceptable practices. Construction projects were rushed to completion with minimal thought to safety. And nothing was off-limits for entertainment if it put a smile on the face of a paying customer!
We can’t judge Disney too harshly for any of the questionable things on this list as they were common practice in the past. But now in a world ruled by the PC Police and environmental concerns, there is no longer any room for the Top 5 things Disney wouldn’t do today:
NO-NO NUMBER FIVE
Orange groves? We don’t need no stinking orange groves! Cut them down. Bulldoze the landscape. We have a theme park to build! This is very close to the mentality of the builders of Disneyland back in the 1950’s. It was better in the 1970’s when Walt Disney World was built, but things were still done that wouldn’t fly under today’s environmental rules and regulations.
Of course, all things were done within the current understandings of those days. It is good to see that Disney is in the forefront of modern environmental practices today!
NO-NO NUMBER FOUR
Paying Women Less
This could easily be Number One. But back in the early days of animation, no one was making a good living, and this lasted longer than you might think. Just read this informative post by Floyd Norman called There’s No Money in Animation for confirmation of that.
But if the average guy was having a hard time making ends meet, the average gal was practically working for charity! And women, or girls as they were called, were not allowed to be animators. Ink and Paint was the highest rung of the ladder for the ladies!
Times have changed with more female animators and Imagineers, but I think we still have a way to go.
NO-NO NUMBER THREE
Disneyland was built in just over a year. A single year! The entire park. No wonder most of the rides were broken down at the end of Disneyland’s first day! It can take up to five years just to build a single attraction today.
Would you have wanted to trust your life to an opening-day attraction in Disneyland? Again, it’s good to see that Disney has slowed down and made safety and longevity the keys to every building project today.
NO-NO NUMBER TWO
Doesn’t that look beautiful? How many balloons do you think are in the sky in the above picture? Now, how many birds do you think died because of choking on these same balloons when they finally deflated and landed on the ground?
For an eye-opening education into this problem, check out balloonsblow.org to have your mind blown and your view of such beautiful spectacles changed.
NO-NO NUMBER ONE
Foreign Waters in Small World Ride
What could possibly be wrong with doing this: Bringing actual untested water samples from some of the dirtiest rivers of the world and dumping them into a clean water source in the United States? This is just another example of money being able to do whatever it wants in the 1960’s.
Fortunately the samples were dumped into a closed water system that was likely highly chlorinated or otherwise treated. But still! Any number of foreign and dangerous parasites could have been released into the greater water sources of the park, and thusly, the US!
Being as you can’t take an apple across international borders today, I’m guessing that untested water samples would probably get you detained in Customs.
So what do you think of my list? Are you glad things are different today?