So believe it or not, the 90s are trending right now. People everywhere are looking back and reminiscing about the grunge decade; and that got me thinking. You see, my 90s childhood and Disney are inseparable from one another; and while Disney is still great today, I think the 90s were definitely a peak in the company’s career and a great time to be a Disney fan. How? Read on to find out what I think are the top 10 best things about Disney in the ’90s!
1o. The Little Mermaid, Aladdin, and Timon and Pumbaa TV Series-Back in the 90s, characters from hit Disney movies continued their stories in several animated television series! The Little Mermaid series let us watch more of Ariel and Flounder’s adventures before she met Eric, while the Aladdin series thrilled us with Aladdin’s daring adventures in Agrabah with Jasmine and the Genie. The Timon and Pumbaa series was a non-stop gag session with these loveable sidekicks. Hey, it wasn’t Emmy award winning television; but it let us live in the 90s movie world a little longer.
9. Live Action Movies-We all knew that Walt Disney could not only entertain us with animated characters, but live actors too in such films as the Parent Trap, Mary Poppins, and 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea; but in the 90s, Disney did it again with lots of new live action movies. Like what? How about the Parent Trap remake with Lindsey Lohan, the Mighty Ducks, Honey, I Shrunk the Kids, Angles in the Outfield, or the Santa Clause? Okay, so maybe these films aren’t in the same league as Mary Poppins, but they still were quality, family-friendly entertainment and big hits.
8. 90s Disney Channel-Oh the good ol’ days… Back in the 90s, Disney Channel was awesome! Not only did they show reruns of the World of Disney at night, they also had shows such as Boy Meets World, The Famous Jett Jackson, Brotherly Love, and Bug Juice. Is anyone else a fan of these? Not to mention their surprisingly good TV movies, like Brink, Johnny Tsunami, and Zenon: Girl of the 21st Century!
7. New Ways to Get Wet-If you visited Walt Disney World in the 90s, you knew that there were whole new ways to beat the Florida heat! Typhoon Lagoon opened in 1989 and its famous Surf Pool “blew” guests away; and then in 1995, Blizzard Beach helped guest “cool” off with its unique theme!
6. Cool Parades-The 90s truly had some great park parades. If you visited Walt Disney World time or two throughout this decade, you know what I mean. The 90s gave us that giant balloon float at the Magic Kingdom, the Party Gras Parade, as well as parades themed after new films like Aladdin’s Royal Caravan Parade, Hercules Victory Parade, and the Hollywood Studios Mulan parade.
5. VHS Tapes-Kids today will probably never understand the famous “Be Kind and Rewind.” But in the 90s, VHS tapes allowed us to take Disney Classics home for the first time and let us relive our favorite stories over and over and over again. Speaking of which, does anyone else remember those special sneak peeks on Disney VHS tapes? The ones that showed viewers a quick behind the scenes of Disney animators working on the next upcoming film? I still remember watching animators draw early sketches of the Beast for Beauty and the Beast.
4. Big Drops-Walt Disney World brought us some new thrilling attractions to draw thrill seekers to the park and appeal to a whole new generation; and they sure did a good job! The 90s gave us such iconic attractions as Splash Mountain and the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror. Disney Imagineering had definitely hit a high point in these years and still have us screaming and holding onto our Mouse Ears today.
3. The Birth of Pixar-While Pixar had been around before Toy Story, this film’s debut was our first introduction to the world of computer animation and classic Pixar storytelling. I still remember being awestruck watching this film in theaters and what a phenomenon it was, do you?
2. Two New WDW Theme Parks-A Disney World Vacation in the 90s usually meant getting to explore new theme parks! In 1989, MGM Studios, now known as Hollywood Studios, opened and was the first Disney theme park that was completely independent of Walt’s vision. New attractions were added throughout the early 90s, offering new experiences to visitors in those years; and then, in 1998, Animal Kingdom opened to guests and immersed us all in a whole new them park experience. Do you remember those early commercials for Animal Kingdom, or thinking that Dinosaur (then known as Countdown to Extinction) was the scariest thing ever?
1. The Disney Renaissance-Above all, the 90s were great to us Disney fans because it was the era of the Disney Renaissance, an nickname for the string of blockbuster Disney films which breathed new life into the Disney Company. Once The Little Mermaid debuted, it started a movie avalanche that brought us classics like Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin, The Lion King, Pocahontas, and Mulan! Almost every year we had a new film to enjoy, many of which are some of Disney’s biggest films of all time and are still being celebrated and implemented at the parks.
So did I miss anything? Do you agree? What about Disney in the 90s do you miss?