22 August 2011

The opus unfolds

I have talked before about how my aunt who worked at Walt Disney World was my first behind the scenes source and also one of the resort’s biggest fans. She would talk up new experiences and give me a hint of what was coming next, always in an upbeat manner. The last few visits I had with her at Walt Disney World, however, had a decidedly upsetting tone. She talked about light bulbs that had not been fixed and paint cracking around the Jungle Cruise outpost. I chalked it up to someone who had been through the trenches for over twenty-five years, someone who knew the potential and wanted to see every corner live up to it, but that doesn’t mean I didn’t keep that critical eye component in my bag of Disney tricks.

There are still times that I see something that doesn’t quite sit right with me because it wouldn’t have sat right with her. By the same token, when I see something that is given some love and attention, I think of how happy it would have made. The latter is the reason we’re having this conversation today.When Fantasia Gardens opened in 1996, there was an obvious focal point to the entire course, Mount Olympus. In those early days, however, the mossy green and rosy pink mountain was the home to a river of wine and a babbling waterfall and, perched high atop the forty foot mountain, was the column and domed abode of the Greek gods. Then, sometime between 2006 and 2008 the home of the gods vanished.

Though I was unable to verify what caused the mysterious disappearance, I would imagine the temple on Mount Olympus was caught up in, and damaged by, the tropical weather that is common throughout Florida. Nonetheless, Mount Olympus was left without a home atop it for a good many years. I, like many, felt that it was gone for good. Fast forward to this spring the mystic mountain topper magical reappeared. To say I was stunned or to say I was overjoyed would both be understatements, but it is the simple pleasure of seeing my favorite recreational diversion once again whole for all to enjoy that truly made my day.My aunt would have been happy to see Fantasia Garden receiving the attention it so richly deserves. This is, of course, the same thought I have every time I see a ‘Wet Paint’ sign, refurbishment wall, or little noticed touch ups. I think there is a lesson in there somewhere. We all want to gripe when Walt Disney World doesn’t do precisely what we want or expect of it, which can detract from the overall experience. That isn’t to say that there isn’t room for constructive criticism, but seeing the attention to detail and the continual upkeep on a smaller level should give each guest a little smile and every Cast Member a sense of pride.

1 comment:

Gator Chris said...

Nice story. Always good to see evidence of TLC at WDW.