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Opening Magic Kingdom

Opening Magic Kingdom

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Things At Disney That Cause Us to Ask "Why?"

Inside every Disney fan and frequent visitor to Walt Disney World is an inner skeptic that doesn’t understand or “get” why things are a certain way at Disney.

Chris Barry wrote about his top 5 things he doesn’t “get” at Disney on Mouseplanet.com and I responded with what we do “get” at Disney—click here to read more.

At the same time, there are still some things at Disney that leave us shaking our heads.

The Magic, Memories, and You photo show projected on Cinderella’s Castle between the parade and Wishes is something we don’t understand.  We saw it during our trip in July and I use the word “saw” loosely.  We could see the projection, but had no clue what or who was in the photos and we were in the hub area of Magic Kingdom.  Yes, the special effects of lighting and design were interesting, but if the point is to be able to capture memories from the day and display them, then we lost the point because we couldn’t see the memories.  I’m not envisioning us trying this again.

Resort Food Court design is another “what were they thinking” in the normally efficient world of Disney.  Let me first say that we appreciate food courts for their selection, location, and drink refills of our refillable mugs.  Having said that, navigating a food court, especially with a child or children in tow is, well, frustrating.  Guests go to several different counters to order depending on the preferences of their family members—sandwich counter, pasta counter, etc.  Then, go to another location to get a “side”, another to get dessert, especially if it comes with the dining plan, then another location for a drink, then get your trays through the kiosks to pay, then get silverware, napkins, possibly drinks, etc. then find a seat and enjoy your meal.  My wish is that the person who designed food courts will have to use them with at least one child by their side and have to order for at least 3 family members.

In addition to not understanding food court design, we don’t understand why they are so crowded in the mornings when the parks are opening!  One might ask how we know this if we are at a park opening ourselves.  Well, we try to plan in at least one “break” day in our Disney vacation where we have a leisurely morning and then hang out at the resort, go to Downtown Disney, or a water park.  On these mornings we typically have breakfast in the food court and it is usually quite busy.  Why aren’t these people at the parks?  They are missing out on valuable touring time when the parks are less crowded!  They are missing out grabbing Fastpasses for popular rides and attractions!  What are they thinking?  Yeah, they could be having a break day, too, but how likely is that?

This is going to be controversial, but we don’t really get the draw of Wishes, the nightly fireworks display at the Magic Kingdom.  We have seen it several times. . . from land, from water, from a reserved spot at the Wishes Dessert Party, and each time we leave wondering what all the fuss, planning, and clamoring for a spot was all about.  We have also seen HalloWishes and Holiday Wishes that coincide with Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party and Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party.  Again, nice, lovely, etc, but it doesn’t give us goose bumps like we have heard for others. 

Our final “we don’t see the point” are the parades at the Magic Kingdom.  Seems like you can’t cross the hub without running into a parade of some sort during the day.  Why?  Well, I think I know why. . . reduces number of guests in the “lands” temporarily, provides “day guests” with at least one parade opportunity without having to stay until later in the day, etc.  So, I get the Disney why, I just don’t understand all the fuss.  The two exceptions are during the Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party and Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party parades with the shovel carrying ghosts and the marching, trumpet playing, soldiers.  Yep, those get me every time!

There you have it.  Yet, my fall back position is that there is no one right way to do Disney.  Every person, every family, has to figure out for them what works best, what their priorities are, and how to best meet their needs in the 47 square mile world of fantasy that Walt dreamt and built.

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