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?