05 July 2010

No privacy at all

Walt Disney World never misses the chance to add a minute detail to enhance a given attraction, environment, restaurant, or restroom. While restrooms may seem like an area that could be left bland, including them as part of a given theme only enhances the stories being told throughout the parks and resorts. With so much variety to choose from, the Gazette Roundtable chose to pick up this topic and run with it.

Credit for the idea for this session goes to George Taylor of Imaginerding who wanted to see something relating to restrooms. If you have an idea for a roundtable topic, by all means, send it our way, we’d love to discuss your burning questions!

Roundtable Topic: What is your favorite thing about the restrooms at, or where is your favorite restroom in, Walt Disney World?
Roundtable Guests: Eric Hoffman (Netmongrel), Fiona Doyle (DF’82), Elizabeth Caran (Take the Monorail), and myself.
Fiona – For those of you who know me, you will know how much I love the hidden treasures at the Disney theme parks - and the restrooms are no exception. The fact that Disney even thought to 'theme' their bathrooms is just fantastic! To not only think about the outsides of the restrooms, but to also think about the smallest detail inside, well, that's impressive.

I think my favourite bathrooms in the Walt Disney World Resort are those infamous ones in Fantasyland - the ones that say 'Prince' and 'Princess'. Although not the most imaginative bathrooms inside, the outside signage is what makes them my favourite. For as long as I can remember, just entering under 'Princess' is enough to make anyone's day (or 'Prince' if you are not a girl!). It is such a simple idea, but I'm sure it's one that brings a smile to many faces, young and old.

And one of my other 'favourite' locations of restrooms are those situated in Fantasyland, at Columbia Harbor House. This is another fantastic detail from the Imagineers, by keeping Liberty Square true to its heritage and not having any restrooms in this land, they place the bathrooms in the restaurant so far back that they are technically in Fantasyland. Fantastic!

An honorable mention should also go to the restrooms - or toilets, as we call them - in the United Kingdom pavilion, as they are the choice of celebrities! Well, Donny Osmond anyway.

Eric – My favorite bathroom (I have so many favorites my wife terms the bathroom my favorite ride at WDW) is the one behind Pete's Garage in Toontown. The simple reason for this is how the Imagineers added a little comic relief to the themeing of this building by having the rest room keys "accidentally" dropped into the gas pump out front. In reality the entire bathroom building is themed so well looking like a cartoon version of an old gas station you might find on a trip out west on Route 66. Classic Disney plussing.

Elizabeth – As odd at is seems, I determine my favorite restrooms not so much for ambiance, but practicality and cleanliness. I seem to always gravitate toward the restrooms at the American Adventure in Epcot. I can't speak for the men's rooms, but the ladies' side has plenty of stalls so that I have never had to wait in a line there. The room is large and long and roomy as well, which sometimes doesn't seem to be the case around Epcot.

Ryan – The list of my favorite restrooms, and things I find intriguing and entertaining about the restrooms, of Walt Disney World could go on and on and on. From the character inclusion audio in Adventureland to the various figure silhouettes used for the restroom signs, the details add so much to the story of an area. As for the restrooms themselves, I have always been fond of the plain square facilities of Future World East, no matter how crowded they are, Fort Langhorn offers an off the beaten path bathroom, and the garage restrooms near Lights, Motors, Action! are always deserted, provided a show hasn’t just let out. However, to find my favorite facilities, you have to venture over to Disney’s Animal Kingdom.

While Camp Minnie-Mickey has no real draw for adults, outside of Festival of the Lion King, it does offer some of the most detailed restrooms this side of Asia. The bathroom features wooden light fixtures, a camp heater, gorgeously crafted mirrors, and a mesmerizing tile pattern. While the lavatory may be overrun by small children at times, it can very quiet after the Festival of the Lion King has finished its performances for the day, and the camp characters have headed for their bunks. While this usually means there is no real reason to be in Camp Minnie-Mickey, trekking back in this direction offers a unique perspective on this out of the way land, without the tripping hazards of children and strollers.

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