05 September 2011

A world we've yet to see

There are a lot of construction walls and scrims up and visible heavy machinery around the Magic Kingdom these days. Some are for applying fresh coats of paint, or sprucing up a beloved attraction, but mostly it is for the expansion of Fantasyland. I’ve heard from friends and family that the walls have negatively impacted their trips to Walt Disney World over the past year or so. However, if I had my way you’d be seeing a lot more walls, not just in the Magic Kingdom, but all throughout Walt Disney World.

First off, let’s address the issues caused by the current Great Wall of Fantasyland. Do the construction equipment, unfinished structures, and rather unembellished walls take away from the overarching experience of Fantasyland? Yes, no question. And I do understand that some families save for years to be able to afford their perfect trip to Walt Disney World. However, the parks must change, for better or worse, and in order to create new experiences much of that work has to be done within guest areas during daytime hours. In a perfect world all the fairies and wizards, magicians and sorcerers Disney has created over the years could magically build entire new lands in an evening, but us mere mortals take longer and cannot cover our tracks with a fancy spell.

Now, why would I want to spread this barricade nightmare throughout the other parks? Simply put, the parks new some new adventures, especially Disney’s Animal Kingdom and Disney’s Hollywood Studios. These are the two parks that are most commonly referred to as half day parks. Now, I’ve done my best to show that either park could easily handle an allocation of an entire day of park time, but I realize that most guests are going to hit the big attractions, maybe a couple of short queue favorites, and then jet off to another destination. That means that both of these parks need some new, serious draws, to retain the guests coming through their gates.

Disney’s Animal Kingdom has the entire world and realm of mythology to play with, surely there is an exotic locale just waiting to be discovered by fearless guests. As for the Studios, empty stages and a catalog of Marvel and Pixar stories to explore would definitely bring guests down the red carpet.

Announcements like these were what diehard fans expected to hear at last month’s D23 Expo. What they were left with were a few new details about projects that had been announced at either the 2009 D23 Expo or in the interim. I see both sides of the argument. For fans, they want to hear about something new that is coming down the line, something that sets their minds to salivating. On the flip side, Disney does not want to announce projects that are several years away, projects that may very well be altered or canned before they can be built.

I’m a reasonable man, I truly am. I understand that budgets have been tied up in Magic Kingdom’s Fantasyland and Disney California Adventure. I also do not want to see guests taking that one time vacation of a lifetime leave dejected because there are a ton of walls lining every park in Walt Disney World. So, what would I like to see? How about some continual expansion for the next several years? As Fantasyland starts to wind down, ramp up a new continent or fantastic destination for Disney’s Animal Kingdom. As that starts to come to fruition, begin adding in some new stories to Disney’s Hollywood Studios. And somewhere in there, maybe we get a couple of new pavilions scattered between Future World and World Showcase? That doesn’t seem like too much to ask, does it?


Ben from RI said...

I agree that the construction is distracting to visiters. I was in WDW with my family in Jan of this year and alot of main street was covered, as well as, walls in fantasyland, the back side of cindy's castle. And quite a few rides were closed as well, i.e. Splash Mountain, Tiki room, Star tours. But I have a word of advise for those families who saved and saved for that once in a lifetime trip (which is what mine did). If your going to be upset by the betterment of the park then you're missing the point. Walt didn't risk it all so that we could all eventually get bored he wanted it to grow. It's a place of magic and wonder where a 57 year old man (my father) can dance in the street with a 4 year old (my son) and not only do people not look at them as odd but they join in and dance too. It's about making memories and being silly and having an adventure. So to those who feel the walls should come down I say stay home. Walls up and rides closed only means improvements and as for me it just renews my drive to save for our next once in a lifetime trip.

Bartsy said...

Well well well... Where to start. I do agree with you quite a lot Ryan about sprucing up Animal Kingdom... However let me start by saying that I DO consider it to be a full day park. It is rich in detail and there is so much to check out in every land. When we go to Disney we always spend a full day at Animal Kingdom and don't get to see absolutely everything. Because we are fortunate enough to go on a yearly basis we split the walking trails in Africa and Asia... We will do one on the current trip and then do the other one on the next trip. We also split the two live shows the same way... Nemo current, Lion King the following year. I am somewhat dismayed that there hasn't been much added to Animal Kingdom in quite some time. All I can say is...Beastly Kingdom! Add that and no one will be debating whether it's a half or full day park experience!! As far as Disney's Hollywood Studios goes, (again a definate full day park for my family)they have had quite a few new attractions pop up over the passed several years... Toy Story Mania, American Idol Experiencce, And Star Tours 2 (I included Star tours because it was more than just re-imagined... It's pretty much an entire new attraction...). And I have always stated that I would love to see at least 2 new pavilions in World Showcase with one of them having an attraction attached to it.
And I too was hoping for some big news to come out of the D23 Parks and Resorts demo. But after it was over and the more I thought about it, just 2 years ago they were unveiling the mega Fantasyland expansion and also talking about Star Tours... I'll give thnem a pass on this one because how much more could they really be putting out in just 2 years... (Especially with the size and scope of Fantasyland alone)?
Anyway, those are just my basic thoughts on this subject... keep up the great work with the Main Street Gazette!! Oneof my favorite Disney Blogs out there!!!!!