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Opening Magic Kingdom

Opening Magic Kingdom

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

The More Things Stay The Same, The More They Change

The more things stay the same, the more they change. Seems this typical axiom is a bit reverse when it comes to Disney.

The Williams Family blog is just a month shy of being 1 year old. And, I was thinking about how much change has gone on at the most magical place on earth since I started writing about it. Yet, the Magic Kingdom, even all of Walt Disney World Resort is still, mostly the same, even though many things have changed.

Let’s take Magic Kingdom for example: Friday will be the last day guest can find Princesses at Toontown Hall of Fame or Fairies in Pixie Hollow. Ariel’s Grotto is nor more as is Pooh’s Playful Spot. And, Snow White’s Scary Adventure is on the list of things to go away as the Fantasyland Expansion continues.

Just last week, guests experienced using lap bars as they rode Splash Mountain. Space Mountain got a total redo and let’s not even bring up the short lived Stitch show on the stage in Tomorrowland. Speaking of Tomorrowland, the Tomorrowland Transit Authority was renamed within the last year.

Shall we also mention the changes to Cinderella’s Castle? Ok, not so much structural changes, but how the castle is lit or displayed at night with “The Memories, The Magic, and You” projected onto the castle each evening.

Animal Kingdom has added dining options with its “picnic lunch” reservation and an exciting new tour behind the scenes on a Wild Trek.

Studios has changed the daily “parade” and how kids get into Jedi Training Academy, and the characters found at the Magic of Disney Animation. High School Musical 3 was traded for Disney Channel Rocks. And, how the characters met in the courtyard in front of the hat are now sporting new outfits.

For EPCOT, change is the standard, the norm, as this park hosts varies experiences throughout the year—the Flower and Garden Festival, the Food and Wine Festival.

Adventures By Disney is offering new tours this year and Disney Cruise Line added a whole new ship along with a first itinerary to Alaska.

When guests experience Disney, they are exposed to the “show.” Walt never wanted guests to know or experience the behind the scenes workings of how the “show” was created or delivered. He wanted guests to be transported to a magical place, a happy place. A place full of fantasy, dreams, and wishes. And whether guests came in 1971 when the park opened and returned in 1991, Walt wanted guests to have the same magical feeling when experiencing Disney or Walt Disney World.

Well, he’s done it. Guests do experience the magic each and every visit. Even when so many things change between visits, the magical Disney experience stays the same.

What is even more interesting is how the giant Disney machine is able to change and adapt so quickly. This doesn’t happen as quickly or as easily in other organizations. Can you imagine a Disney Imagineer saying that they just don’t want to do something or just can’t do something when it comes a change that will be happening to the parks, resorts, or cruise line?

Instead, I imagine a creative place to generate ideas and possibilities. A place where one ideas breeds 100 more that are better or build on the original idea. A place where creativity synergizes people, teams, and productivity. And, again, a place where the more things stay the same, the more they change.

Ah, Disney! Thanks, Walt, for the most magical place on earth!

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