Published: September 17, 2012 at 10:43 AMAfter Fantasyland is done, do Tomorrowland. Here's what I'd like to see:
Get the Marvel license and bring in Iron Man or Avengers
A WALL-E dark ride where Stitch and the two gift shops currently are
Tron Coaster where the Speedway is
Published: September 17, 2012 at 11:14 AMI don't think the overall quality of the Magic Kingdom or WDW in general has much to do with the alcohol outcry. There are many Disneypark fans who, with rationale or not, simply do not like changes.
Personally, I'd like to see an E-ticket addition to the park. I do like the sound of the Fantasyland changes, even if they're not groundbreaking, but MK has a lot of space to utilize for a truly major addition.
Published: September 17, 2012 at 11:03 AMThe first thing they need to do with Magic Kingdom Orlando is to make it pristine again. The whole park needs to be spruced up and then maintained. Adventureland and Tomorrowland are especially is bad. Paint it, clean it up, add some interest to "dead" areas, make it sparkle again. Then they need to make everything work...Splash Mountain, I'm looking at you, I love the ride, but it isn't what it used to be at all.
After everything is spruced up, MK needs a new 3pm parade! How long has that parade been there? A whole new parade needs to be done, new floats, characters, music, the whole kit n' kaboodle. Remember the Magic was an awesome parade with awesome music. The current parade is ho-hum and it's time to make it go away.
I haven't seen Dream Along with Mickey in years...that says something, a new stage show is in order too, it's less of a priority than the parade in my opinion, but it should be on the list.
Too many characters have been retired, bring out some of the
harder to find characters more often. People get so excited when they happen upon a different character, especially unexpectedly, do some unscheduled "surprise" meets. Much as I love them, I get bored seeing the same characters over and over.
Fix the merchandise!!! Quality has gone down and every shop has basically the same thing. Haunted Mansion needs it's own gift shop with it's own unique merchandise. The Christmas Shoppe in Liberty Square is boring, time to come up with some new Christmas items. The shop at the end of Hall of Presidents is just embarrassing...put some thought in to what you sell there and you will sell stuff.
Published: September 17, 2012 at 11:11 AMThey need more rides that older people would enjoy going on. Many young adults don't enjoy going there because there is barely anything to do. They should look at their rides which aren't doing well and transform them into something enjoyable.
Published: September 17, 2012 at 11:45 AMRobert I agree with you on the grounds that out of all the magi kingdoms, wdw is the least unique in the fact with there being three other parks, Disney has kinda just let this or become sort of a readers digest version of all other magic kingdom. Still I think the problems with this part are a little exaggerated in terms of mantainence and lack of attractions, yet there are still a few things I think should be done
Main street-this area needs to stop being a mall. Disney is moving in the right direction with the sorcerers of the magi kingdom and town square thrater(it's better than it just sitting dormant) but I do understand in terms of attractions there's very little you can do. So instead of the entire west side of main street being the emporium, break it down into smaller unique shops
Adventure land- I actually like this section, but if I had an unlimited budget, I would get rid of the Aladdin kiddy ride and gift shop and make an Aladdin rise along the lines of the new little mermaid ride. Of money was still a factor I would just replace the she of the adventure lad veranda with the Aladdin walk through from Paris and keep the spinner ride
Frontier land-first off, I'd return the diamond horseshoe to its former glory with ALL DAY entertainment, alternating in and out from probably 12-8 pm. This area is pretty well off, but in a perfect world, I would love to add an Indiana jones/dinosaur type ride themed to Disney new version of the line ranger, if it turns out good.
Libert square-it's fine just get rid of the eyesore thats the old keelboat dock
Fantasyland-obviously nothing bc it's already gettin a lot of new stuff
Tomorrow land- ill be honest, I'm not one of this people whose all "rip it up an replace it with stairways/marvel"(really ppl your the first to jump on how serving alcohol would go against Walt but your willing to get rid of his favorite land for a corporate license -__-) Id be the first with a sludge hammer to destroy stitches great mistake and add a wall-e ride in it and a gift shops place. I also HATE monsters inc laugh floor, it was a gimmic attraction whose time has passed, so I'd replace it with a copy of the 20000 leagues ride from Tokyo disneysea. There's probably not enough space for it, by the show building could be modified to take up space formerly from the old theater next to carousel of progress. I'm not sold on taking out the speedway either, unless it's bein replaced by something amazing, and I'd rather see tron light cycles in MGM instead of tomorrow land. PLEASE get rid of that crappy little stage from the old stitch show though. Don't replace it, it's jut an eyesore so get rid of it
Published: September 17, 2012 at 12:12 PMI know I am going to be unpopular, but I think that the Fantasyland expansion was the right choice. Disney is playing to it's strengths which is character driven and families with younger children. It also helps that it supports a $1 billion franchise.
Although I've never been to WDW, it sounds like the Magic Kingdom is the least of their worries in Florida. It sounds like Disney needs to concentrate their money and efforts on (in order) DHS, AK, and Epcot (to a lesser extent).
I think that it sounds like they need to do more of a "Disneyland pre-50 anniversary" type cleanup and refresh. Step up maintainence, add new shows and a new parade. Spend the BIG money on making DHS and AK full day parks.
And to the comment about fans disliking Avatarland, my BIGGEST complaint is that Disney has one of the LARGEST catalogs of characters in the world (even subtracting Marvel). WHY spend the money, headache and MORE importantly, the LOST opportunity costs to license someone else's characters?!?
Published: September 17, 2012 at 12:16 PMI didn't realize some of the issues with the Walt Disney World Magic Kingdom until I visited Disneyland Paris back in 2006. It was even more evident when I went to Disneyland this year, which was a lot better than the one in Florida.
I think that Disney has taken the Magic Kingdom for granted because it draws so well. They don't need to do as much with it. The new Fantasyland will help, but it's just the start. They need to do a major overhaul of Tomorrowland and replace Stitch and the Monsters, Inc. Laugh Floor with top-notch attractions that truly represent some vision of the future. I'm keeping an open mind about it.
I love the Carousel of Progress, but they need to fix that final scene if it's going to remain. Also, the Space Mountain overhaul helped with the track, but it still feels unfinished. The Disneyland version is much better. I like Buzz Lightyear, but even that is starting to show its age. Finally, the Speedway needs new theming or should be replaced. It takes up far too much room and doesn't move crowds well at all.
If Disney World fixed Tomorrowland, the rest would fall into place with just a few tweaks. I hope that's the next move after they finish the Fantasyland upgrade.
Published: September 17, 2012 at 12:21 PMAdd more rides to the old Fantasyland; instead of the future meet and greet (how cheap!) at the former Snow White space, bring back Mr. Toad's ride. Build a second level (like Alice at Disneyland) and add another ride.
Tomorrowland needs a change in its facade; it looks old and ugly. Stitch and Monsters Laugh Floor must go! Space Mountain should add space effects. Carousel of Progress should update the last scene. If the people mover is the future, then make it wheelchair accessible.
The rest of MK is alright.
Published: September 17, 2012 at 12:37 PMDaniel, can you get out of your wheelchair? They'll slow down the ride to accompany you, it's just the escalator that doesn't allow wheelchairs.
Published: September 17, 2012 at 12:50 PMI agree that the whole park needs to be fixed and the New Fantasyland needs to be fixed as soon as they finished the half-assed effort. Beer and Wine will save the public from noticing how lame the whole project is.
Published: September 17, 2012 at 1:05 PMIn my humble opinion, the biggest problem with the Magic Kingdom is that there has been a lack of attractions that have been introduced in the past years. The newest attraction has been Monsters Inc. and that was like five years ago!
Published: September 17, 2012 at 2:00 PMRevamp the Jungle Cruise (keep the skippers). Shut down the Disney raceway and replace it with a Tron Light-Cycle simulator (multiple tracks, multiple endings.
Published: September 17, 2012 at 2:10 PMDon't foeget that Disneyland had the wonderful CLUB 33 which serves alcohol
Published: September 17, 2012 at 2:12 PMA decade of theme park neglect is catching up with Disney Orlando. That's what makes the situation so tough for them. Sure they did the new hotels, DVC and New Gen band aid, but that's certainly not enough. It seems that Disney Orlando just quit listening to their customers. The Theme Parks, not the infra structure and window dressing, drive the franchise. That seems to be where they're going wrong. And the Universal success blind sided them. Even Iger admitted its effects. Now there is serious competition. Something which they were unprepared for..... Magic Kingdom, more specifically, is a great big beautiful park. Lots to do, entertainment & ride wise. But a good example of Disney not listening is the new Little Mermaid attraction. The Little Mermaid at California has universally underwhelmed. It's a nice ride but most reviews say it lacks a lot. Instead of spending a little more on the New Fantasy Land version to improve the Mermaid shortcomings, they are doing the actual ride exactly the same as California, according to official Disney releases. That tells me that Disney is not listening to it's customers. Common business sense says that if you have a product that your customers are not satisfied with, and you have the time & money to improve it, then do it..... Of the four Disney Orlando parks, Magic Kingdom probably needs the least improvements. But changes probably are needed for Tomorrowland, since it's becoming more like Yesterland. A new E attraction and a tweak in theming would be helpful.....Magic Kingdom's big weakness was a crowded and underwhelming Fantasy Land. The New Fantasy Land will add much needed space. Though the new attractions could have been better, they should be good enough to satisfy the interests of families with young children.Magic Kingdom is certainly easier to fix than the other three Disney Orlando theme parks..... When you put together an entity the immense size of the Disney Orlando Resort, you need to constantly spend a lot on capital improvements. Backing off for a number of years, then trying to catch up, puts everything in jeopardy. But with so much to do with only X number of budget dollars, it will be tough to fix a decade of neglect. Not impossible, but difficult.
Published: September 17, 2012 at 2:21 PMDominick, I can't stand up by myself, and they don't allow wheelchairs on the ramp. So I can't get even close to the vehicles.
TH, what about a Jungle Cruise with happy hour? ;)
Published: September 17, 2012 at 2:41 PMI think this website may need to be renamed, The Really Awesome Disney California Parks and the Crappy Florida Ones. That seems to be on ongoing theme the last month or so.
Published: September 17, 2012 at 3:11 PMBrandon; "Castle Envy", I think you need to copyright that. You deserve a +1 for Best Phrase of the Month.
Published: September 17, 2012 at 3:24 PMDaniel, if you get the help of someone from your family or a CM, you can get up the escalator.
Published: September 17, 2012 at 3:33 PMI should preface this by saying that my wife has visited WDW somewhere close to 70 times. I think that I have 30+ visits. We love WDW (and also love Universal and Sea World).
As I see it, the problems at MK (and really WDW in general) is simply that the suits have forgotten why they have the parks.
New hotels? Sure... lots of money to keep building those along with DVC buildings. If they put half as much money and planning into the parks that they did in some of the hotels, we wouldn't be complaining...
Somehow, the concept of improvements went off the tracks. Instead of new ideas, we get "plusing up". Now how adding Disney characters to a ride without them (like Jack Sparrow in Pirates) makes it such a great improvement is beyond me.
Ditto the much talked about NextGen. If attractions and ride capacity were increased in step with attendence, they wouldn't have to keep us amused for longer and longer periods in the queue. The Pooh queue is cute. But it does nothing to fix the slow gradual decline in the actual ride. Money should have been spent instead to refurb the interior to the Tokyo version.
Fantasyland expansion was needed and is appreciated. But... what about the rest of the park? Adventureland is looking pretty tired. Where did they invest money? A meet and greet area and refurb refreshment stands! When are they going to refurb the jungle cruise?
Tomorrowland. Sigh. So much that needs help. Stitch has never been that good. Hopefully, they fed the person who came up with the idea to the real Stitch. I agree that the Stitch Stage also needs to go. (I miss the old marching band that has long ago gone away...) Fix/Refurb Buzz (lots of people like it). Do a real rehab on Space (not just paint the walls). And FIX THE DAMN TRACK. I had dreams that they would replace/repair the track. They didn't. Each visit the vibration gets worse and my enjoyment drops lower. Replace the Laugh Floor. But most of all, paint/clean/repair. A couple of new rides (to replace Stitch and Laugh Floor) would go a long way. But fixing what they have would go further.
Overall, MK suffers from "must be good enough." Without the huge percentage of repeat visitors that DL has, WDW in general suffers from the "they won't be able to tell the difference" syndrome.
Maybe Disney will wake up when MK becomes the "extra day" park for folks going to Universal...
Published: September 17, 2012 at 3:47 PMRob Pastor writes: "Now there is serious competition."
I Respond: What's your definition of "serious competition?" If you believe the TEA/AECOM attendance report, you could add together the annual attendance of both Universal Parks and the Magic Kingdom would outpace their attendance by almost three and a half million guests.
Published: September 17, 2012 at 3:53 PMLike others have said, while Magic Kingdom does need to be fixed, the other parks need it more.
As for the Fantasyland Expansion (skip this paragraph if you don't want to hear a long rant/praise), I think it is a very good step in the right direction, despite some flaws. Story Book Circus is a well themed mini-land (Seemingly far better than Toontown Fair was) with a greatly updated Dumbo, a decent retheme of the Barnstormer (though I wish they did more), a new highly acclaimed water playground, and an upcoming store, restaurant, and meet and greet (m&g). The whole vibe and artistic design of the area so far looks amazing. I am upset that they are just turning Snow White into a m&g, but I think this will change in 5 or so years. The castle walls is a great idea! They look awesome and will give the area a whole new feel. The new (rumored) Tangled area is looking to be very well themed, but I wonder if might be something more than just some bathrooms. The whole beauty and the beast area looks great (apart from booze and a lack of a ride). The revolutionary m&g will be a major hit, a good thing for Magic Kingdom along with themed areas the park has never known. I think the facade of the Little Mermaid is awesome, but i assume the ride will be the same (However, the building is larger than DCA's if you look at the north east corner of MK's, a cut off corner at DCA). I think the extra 100 million dollars pushed into the expansion will provide an E ticket in the Dwarfs (new tech, AAs, family coaster). But the main prize of the land is the enveloping themed area, something that is really only seen at Epcot, Animal Kingdom, and Islands of Adventure (out of Orlando Parks).
Back to the main topic, here's what needs to be fixed:
-Main Street: individuality of the stores; more minor attractions (Sorcerers and Mickey are great!)
-Adventureland: make sure everything is in working order; ANYTHING new; but other than that, good!
-Frontierland: Splash Mt; something new, but it would require a big expansion behind Thunder MT; update stores, restaurants, and country bear jamboree
-Liberty Square: something small, but new
-Fantasyland: Snow White placeholder; update at least one of the following, peter pan, Pooh, or small world; This is really wishful, but big beauty and the beast dark ride behind village that uses trackless ride tech( but bigger vehicles), includes sections where vehicles become locked into simulator base for thrilling movement, and amazing AAs
-Tomorrowland: redo it. All of it. (this would require a separate post altogether)
Published: September 17, 2012 at 4:14 PMMr. Niles: "It's great to be inspired by Walt's vision and to try to live up to the standards of quality he set."
I Respond: Oh sir! This is not about aesthetics. This is not subjective. This is not a guess in response to a question "what would Walt do?" Those critical of the decision to liquor up the kingdom have FACT not OPINION on their side of the case: "No liquor. No booze. Nothing."
Mr. Niles: "But you're never going to create the great entertainment Walt wanted from his company if you let a guy who's been dead for nearly 50 years micromanage every decision you make."
I Respond: This is not "micromanaging every decision" (the captain has turned on the self-serving exaggeration sign). This is a long standing hard an fast rule that allows no room for interpretation.
And one more thing: Walt's not dead.
Published: September 17, 2012 at 4:02 PMWhen there were rumors of a fantasyland expansion , I REALLY wanted the expansion to be filled with neverland and wonderland. Not Disney princess paradise. I would also like for Tommorowland to get a makeover expansion similarly to fantasyland.
Published: September 17, 2012 at 4:02 PMDaniel Etcheberry writes: "TH, what about a Jungle Cruise with happy hour?"
I Respond: Every hour is happy hour on the Jungle Cruise.
Published: September 17, 2012 at 4:15 PMI personally think Disney bought up the license to Avatar just to keep it out of Universal's hands. Avatar would really fit in better there.
Published: September 17, 2012 at 4:30 PMI find the Magic Kingdom to be quite thrilling. Not everything has to have a 300 foot drop or seventeen loops to be thrilling (there is something to be said for the sublime thrills of a well-themed, immersive, narrative attraction like those offered in spades at the Magic Kingdom). However, some changes should be made.
In Tomorrowland, I agree with most everyone else: out with the Speedway, in with some new E-Ticket.
Stitch has to go or be completely re-imagined - although I think the preshow is pretty good.
CoP needs to be refurbed and moved to Downtown Disney or (if it fits) Mainstreet, USA. Furthermore, it should be renamed to something like "Walt Disney's: A Century of Progress" then WDI can redo the final scene to showcase events of the year 2000, but keep all the other scenes intact, and the show will be preserved but improved. This attraction should never be destroyed, but it does not fit in Tomorrowland anymore.
With the extra space from CoP's removal and the dead area nearby, Mission:Space can be moved into Tomorrowland from Epcot, and Horizons can be rebuilt in its original location at Epcot. =)
Adventureland needs a complete redo. I like the idea of going with a Pirates theme, adding a Pirates coaster instead of Jungle Cruise (sorry TH), a Pirate Ship (the Black Pearl) to explore instead of the Tree House, a table service restaurant (with a Monte Cristo) instead of the current counter service joint, and just about anything instead of the Aladdin carnival spinner. Furthermore, I think that PotC needs to be reworked to be a LOT more like the version in Disneyland. And there should be guy-liner stands everywhere!!! Incidentally, the "new/old" Tiki room can stay.
The Riverboat attraction needs more eye candy on the shoreline or should be replaced with elements of the once intended Western River Expedition attraction.
The Country Bears should be converted into a shooting gallery with targets on all the bears, or replaced with a western themed "Stagecoach" simulator show.
Fantasyland is already getting its redo, but can we also refurb and upgrade Peter Pan at the same time?
Casey's needs to sell all beef hot dogs again, not dawgs made from chicken parts and sawdust.
Finally, all the current table service restaurants at MK (except the Plaza Restaurant, which I like) need to have their menus and prices revamped. The food at these establishments is way too expensive and very average. Better food, more reasonable prices, and better theming will make me a happy boy.
AND BOOZE!!!! LOTS AND LOTS OF BOOZE!!!!! FOUNTAINS OF BOOZE!!!!!! A BOOZE WATERFALL!!!!!! KEG PARTIES EVERY HOUR ON THE HOUR!!! BOOZE!!!!! BOOZE!!!! BOOZE!!!!!!
(oops, I just had a sargasm)
Published: September 17, 2012 at 4:42 PMI just thought of something new for Adventureland: An indoor Aladdin flying carpet coaster.
Published: September 17, 2012 at 4:48 PMWhoa!! Hey now! Them is fighin' words Brandon! Our Disneyland castle may be small, but....um, let's see, it is actually small, but uh, um, oh yeah.....Cars Land! (That will be the default DLR answer given from this point on :-)
Actually I haven't been to MK park in some time, but at least that big castle'd park will always be #1!!!
Published: September 17, 2012 at 5:53 PMSurprised no one has mentioned a beloved area that is not popular enough to merit its area.
Tom Sawyer Island needs to re-purposed with a draw bridge from the old Keel Boat Docks near Haunted Mansion and another from the Island(s) to the exit for Big Thunder.
This would eliminate the dead end and traffic issues near Splash & Big Thunder Mountains.
The Islands would be rethemed to Sleepy Hollow as a complete immersive experience on scale to Mr. Potter's.
With the trees, shops, E-Ticket Ride & a restaurant overlooking the Rivers of America.
Next close Village Haus and make that the Meet & Greet and allow Classic Snow White to remain a Fantasyland ride.
Bring the Swan Boats back with a Storybook Theme to increase capacity for the park.
Re-theme Peoplemover for Meet the Robinson's "Keep Moving Forward"
(Save Wall-E for reborn The Wonders of Life at Epcot presented by Waste Management)
If you wanna go cheap on Stich, make The Incredibles Show
Individualize Main Street Shops
POTC move the Mist Wall before the Drop and use Geoffry Rush as the second most enduring charcter from those movies.
Convert Speedway to a John Carter themed land (just kidding)
Published: September 17, 2012 at 5:56 PMTommorrowland
1. Do not add any more movie related rides in Tommorrowland. It needs to be unique attractions there.
2. Get rid of Stitch and bring back a refurbished ExtraTERRORestrial Encounter. That was a wonderful, wonderful attraction.
3. Do not bring in the Nemo subs. Bring back 20,000 Leagues.
4. Bring in a space simulator ride like Mission Space, but do not mess with the Carosel of Progress.
5. This may actually be my number one request in this entire post: Bring back the retro-space announcer for the TTA.
1. Add a castle walk through like Sleeping Beauty.
2. I am a sucker for dark rides, so add a Pinnochio or Mr. Toad.
1. Expand Pirates to make it as long or longer than Disneyland.
1. Leave the Haunted Mansion alone.
2. If you make a Haunted Mansion gift shop, have it in a seperate building. If you have to do this, then make a Haunted Restaurant with a gift shop in it.
1. Don't you dare touch the Country Bear Jamboree.
Published: September 17, 2012 at 7:25 PMRobert Morris writes:
This would eliminate the dead end and traffic issues near Splash & Big Thunder Mountains.
The Islands would be rethemed to Sleepy Hollow as a complete immersive experience on scale to Mr. Potter's.
With the trees, shops, E-Ticket Ride & a restaurant overlooking the Rivers of America.
I respond: HELL NO. TSI is classic.
Published: September 17, 2012 at 7:45 PMMaybe its just me, but I miss how Magic Kingdom was before all the character tie-ins. I'd say Disney really did a great thing in restoring the "Enchanted Tiki Room" attraction to its original glory without the need to include Zazu and Iago. As far as I'm concerned, the only two attractions I don't mind having film references outside of Fantasyland is Splash Mountain(referencing the film Song of the South) and of course Pirates of the Caribbean. With Tomorrowland, I'd prefer it if both the Buzz Lightyear, Stitch and Monsters Inc. attractions were booted and replaced with attractions that didn't have a Disney character tie-in. Loved Alien Encounter, or better yet when it was Mission To Mars. I miss Tomorrowland's sense of wonder it had. The speedway could use an update to give it a more futuristic look, however the concept should remain the same, obviously keep both Space Mountain(for the thrill factor), Astro Orbiter(cause its the centerpiece of Tomorrowland), as well as both the Peoplemover and the Carousel of Progress for nostalgia purposes. I would say the paint/color scheme in Tomorrowland is due for an update. With Fantasyland, once the expansion areas are opened, the only concern remaining is the gridlock passage area between Peter Pan's Flight and It's A Small World, because there's still not going to be a lot of room even once the new Tangled area opens. Hopefully it will at least provide relief from the stroller parking. I also agree with the anonymous persons notation that the characters need to come out to surprise people sometimes, not just the scheduled times because that is part of what makes Magic Kingdom "magical". So to sum things up, keep the "character attractions" in Fantasyland aside from Splash Mountain and Pirates and revamp Tomorrowland's color scheme and attraction selection.
Published: September 17, 2012 at 8:10 PMPeople bitching about booze need to get over it. Disney is going to make tons of money off it and they don't care what you think. Also some of these ideas you people have are NEVER GOING TO HAPPEN so be realistic here.
Published: September 17, 2012 at 8:19 PMI love Robert's idea! Legend of Sleepy Hollow was one of my favorite Disney classic shorts. If you could have Bing Crosby crooning in the back ground, I would probably never leave the area. That would be brillant themeing! To have an E-ticket ride with the Headless Horseman chasing you would be just amazing.
I just want to see the Magic Kingdom use the plethora of characters and stories they have to create rides and shows. Go back to the old classics. Don't worry so much about all the princesses and such. Look how beloved Splash Mountain is with Brer Rabbit. Use Sleepy Hollow, Robin Hood, Brave Little Tailor, etc. Just bring something new with these wonderful stories.
Published: September 17, 2012 at 11:00 PMRob Pastor writes: "Now there is serious competition."
I respond: You are absolutely 100% correct, sir.
Published: September 17, 2012 at 11:15 PMBrandon, I am going to have to +1 your comment since there is no "like" button. I like TPI because Robert doesn't allow any profanity and the conversations are mostly civilized, but the bias towards anything Disney related is fairly obvious.
USF is starting to show real progress on the Transformers ride and HP area, but they are hardly mentioned.... oh well.
Published: September 17, 2012 at 11:37 PMI've never been to Magic Kingdom or Walt Disney World (or Florida for that matter), but based on the current offerings at the parks as well as the confirmed additions, I think I'd prefer to spend a week at Universal, SeaWorld, and Busch Gardens instead of Walt Disney World. In fact, I actually got to Disneyland Paris this summer, yet still haven't visited all the US Disney parks (although that was more by coincidence), and if given the choice between a trip to Tokyo Disney and Walt Disney World I'd probably pick the Tokyo parks. Based on what I know about Magic Kingdom as well as being a Disneyland passholder, here's what I'd say Magic Kingdom needs for it to be of interest for a Florida trip.
Adventureland: Add a new E ticket that is not a copy of Indiana Jones Adventure.
Fantasyland: Once the refurbishments are done, this area will be good.
Frontierland: This area looks pretty good, although perhaps it is time to retire the Country Bear Jamboree for something new.
Liberty Square: Other than possibly giving Haunted Mansion the holiday overlay used in California, this area is good.
Tomorrowland: This looks like it is in serious need of updating. Tear out Stitch, Tomorrowland Speedway, and possibly Monsters, Inc. and replace them with new attractions, either unique or themed after Disney movies (no Marvel attractions in the Magic Kingdom parks). Add an on-ride soundtrack to Space Mountain instead of just putting speakers next to the track, and re-do the effects to match the current California version. Carousel of Progress can stay, but it would be nice to upgrade the show a bit (at least the ending scene).
General: As always, upkeep like repainting and fixing small issues can go a long way. I'd also like to see more of the Next Gen stuff added to the parks, although I disagree with Fastpass+.
Published: September 18, 2012 at 1:53 AMMy family and I visited Walt Disney World for the first time last year and we were very disappointed. The park doesn't compare to the quality of Universal or Seaworld. The park is drab, and needs sprucing up. One thing that irritated us was the lack of drinks booths & there should be Disney refillable drinks too.
For me, one of the biggest issues is just getting into the park. It took us an hour to get in. You have to either travel on the boat or monorail, but they can't cope with the number of people arriving at the same time. I can see it was a great idea when it started, but it needs a nice simple way to get in too.
Published: September 18, 2012 at 2:25 AMTH ....that's exactly how GM was thinking about Toyota in the 80s.
Published: September 18, 2012 at 4:42 AMWhat does stand out for me here is the wealth of opinion available that appears not to be tapped into by Disney.
Published: September 18, 2012 at 4:39 AMDisney is losing the Disney difference, that's for certain, and it's a shame. But in addition the Be Our Guest restaurant is to be a family restaurant where lots of little girls will be doing some fine dining with their families, maybe for the first time. Can we not have alcohol with all the little kids around? MK is the only place in the resort, if not the Orlando area (except Holy Land park???), that doesn't serve alcohol. Can't we just keep that ONE place that way? Is that really too much to ask?
Published: September 18, 2012 at 4:59 AMThis is not about fixing up the MK, it is about booze in the MK.
Look, here is my 2 cents for what it is worth:
There are four parks at WDW. MK is the CHILDREN'S PARK! The rest of the parks are more gauged for grownups with maybe the exception of AK.
Is it too much to ask to keep one park free of adult beverage? Is it too much to ask for parents to spend a day with their children on vacation without taking a snort? I don't even want to hear the "wine with dinner" bullcrap.
Just one park out of four where kids can truly feel like kids and not have to worry about waiting for mom and dad to chug their beers to go hit a ride?
The whole thread is a sad commentary about where things are going.
Why did Disney remove all the clubs at Downtown Disney? Wasn't that something about making the area more family friendly?
Let the kids have their day. If you still want a drink to unwind AFTER the kids have their day, then by all means head to Epcot or USF/IOA where you can pretty much grab some booze every 50 feet.
Robert, I usually love your articles, but I think you were amazingly presumptuous to think people's outcry regarding booze at MK equates to their real deep down feelings about fixing the park.
Actually, it is quite absurd really....
Published: September 18, 2012 at 6:07 AMTo a degree you have a point, Robert. My consternation is mostly experiential in source (specifically with the drunks at Epcot), but part of it IS the fact that Disney seems to be going for singles and doubles, maybe triples (Fantasyland/Cars Land), while Universal is going for homeruns (Harry Potter), but the bigger issue is that Disney has become reactionary rather than innovative...making advancements/upgrades in reaction to, rather than driving the industry forward as a big #1 could and should. I love both Universal and Disney so this isn't angst about Disney "losing" to Universal. I just want more drive from Disney that isn't born out of being woken up out of a stupor by the "competition".
Published: September 18, 2012 at 6:20 AMIt's funny to read theme park fans comments...
Monday: "We hate change, don't change my favorite rides and parks!"
Tuesday: "My park hasn't made enough changes to keep up"
Wednesday: "I am mad at the corporate big shots who don't listen to me"
Thursday: "I am so excited for the changes that are coming!"
Friday: "Do you think the proposed changes are good for the park?"
Saturday: "I can't believe they are changing my favorite park"
Sunday: "I think my park should spend a Gazillion dollars to add this crazy ride I came up with yesterday while I was bored at work."
My two cents...I think it's a poor comparison to take Magic Kingdom and compare it directly to Universal Studios or Islands of Adventure. MK is more of a kids' park and great for families. My family of 5 with kids 13, 11, and 9 LOVE it still to this day. They also love Universal but for different reasons. Sure MK could do with some updates in other areas of the park but don't think for one second that the Fantasyland expansion won't be a big success with kids. My kids are super excited about it as well as most of the other "Disney" families that we talk to on a regular basis.
Published: September 18, 2012 at 6:24 AMI was just at WDW for the begining of the month and the thing that stuck me the most is that Illuminations in EPCOT seems really stale to me. I don't think it has changed in at least 5 years (maybe it has even gotten smaller--at least the final piro shot from around the lagoon seems much less impressive.) I do some technical theater work and would be glad to hire on to develop a new show and increase the pop of that experence as long as they would be willing to invest in some additional lights for the show, it could really be special again. I have to agree the Magic Kingdom is in need of some reform. It's hard to enjoy it right now with so many temporary walls up for new constuction, they are not really nicely themed or anything. It's like taking a vacation in a consturction zone. Not enough quality dining options and at least one of the better options closes at 5PM when the park stays open till 9PM. (PS don't go to Cosmic rays with kids for lunch, although the ribs and chicken is a great meal at night on the dining plan, kids at lunch only get 4 nuggets for $6) and the idea of bridges to Tom Sawer Island on both ends is a great one as well as some sort of update to the Speedway or replacing it altogether, Disney should send a few exdecutives to drive the speedway themselvse, it's gotten pretty beat up.
Published: September 18, 2012 at 6:28 AMThe first time I visited Magic Kingdom it was....magical.
The theming is often off. A magical carpet ride in a jungle is silly. Meeting toys in a shooting gallory in tomorrow land has nothing to do with the future and althoug Alien Encounter was a great fit the current one is horrible. And how is a Monster Inc "comedy" club a fit?
Tomorrowland is a mess. I LOVE the horizontal people mover but the rest is outdated, smelly or out of place. Get that theme togethter and it will be a much better land.
But please get the magic back. How can magic begin and ends with shops? Fastpass+ is even more restricting and cattle moving than it is now and the magic is sucked out of this park. When I visit I do Splash Mountain, Haunted Mansion and the horisontal people mover and I'm out.
Published: September 18, 2012 at 7:10 AMDisney world days are numbered because I rather spend a week @ Universal, or SeaWorld/Busch Gardens deals instead. Currently, Universal is beating Disney in key areas like despicable me, transformers, and Harry potter.
Published: September 18, 2012 at 8:27 AMSometimes this website frustrates me with its Anti Disney threads. I am a resident of the UK and I must say that the US is very lucky to have such variety of theme parks. I think the lot of the threads seem to miss the point with Disney (especially those consistantly pitching Universal and disney) anyone understanding business and marketing can see that they are two completely different demographics, Universal competes against six flags and Busche Gardens not Disney. Disney targets families, Im sorry teenagers and young adults dont think much of Disney, you want to get a thrill day, universal and co are right up your ally, its the same in the UK were I live, we have many theme parks that do excactly that, they thrill you, but i dont holiday or take my family there. There is a reason why disney has such a strong following and repeat visitors. The best way i can describe Disney compared to Thrill parks in general is like like the movies, the latest block buster has lots of hype, effects and noise but most often once the novailty wears off the end result is actually a mediocre film, this is the problem with generic thrill parks they need to spend vasts amount of money reinventing themselves. Prime example is Universal, the orginal Universal park had so much potential but has lost the fundemetals that made it great, why rip out King Kong and Jaws, People remeber thos movies they are classics, who will remeber twister or transformers in 10 years time. The SKG franchises are so under utilized in Universal. Apart from Harry potter IOA is so forgatable. This brings me onto the main point Disney get it right, their 4 theme parks provide its visitors with choice of expereinces not just a onslaught of manic rides. I do strongly believe that disney needs to stop getting drawn into the Universal vs Disney competition and BOTH parks concentrate on what they do best which is TWO very different expereinces, Disney needs to enbrace its Disneyness making better use of its classic characters and its ability to bring new technology to these amazing creations especially the creater use of Pixar. Universal bring back the magic of the movies and make better use of dreamworks and get rid of the awful cartoon lagoon and make better use of jurrasic park... who doesnt like dinosaurs !!!!
Published: September 18, 2012 at 8:33 AMTSI was a classic...now its a closed restaurant, a broken down fort, some un kept caverns that is open half the day and has low attendance yet occupies a large partial of land in the middle of the MK.
In addition to that with the Keel Boats and Canoes shut down the Rivers of America no longer have the energy they once did.
Along with the traffic jam in the mountains area and Haunted Mansion is eliminated and the MK gets its immersive area that will accent their Halloween Festivals.
Of course rehab everything, but if your looking to truly upgrade the MK its not redoing paint jobs or a dark ride addition.
Its an E-Ticket Ride and a immersive area and that means giving up an existing attraction and what is the most under used area that ongoing construction would not detract from the park operations.
Any other practical ideas
Published: September 18, 2012 at 1:16 PMGive each land a consistent theme and stick with it. This park was built with extreme attention to detail. Most Disney fans know that even the lamp posts are a critical part of the atmosphere and help make the transition from one themed land to another. Start with each land and pick a fairly consistent theme. If something doesn't fit with that theme, get rid of it or re-imagine it to make it fit. Plopping an Aladdin themed ride into the middle of Adventureland completely kills every bit of detail that was put into designing the park. Stop making short sighted reactionary changes. This will kill your success. Look at the original Disney Store. They noticed all of the Winnie the Pooh merchandise was selling like crazy, so they got rid of all of the adult merchandise and 80% of the store became Pooh related. Should have made tons of cash right? I stopped going into the stores and so did everyone else who didn't have 3 year olds. I knew all I was going to find there was Winnie the Pooh, and whatever bad disney cartoon was out at the time, so why even go in.
When I worked at the park I was told many times by management that people don't come to the park for the attractions, they come because of the cast members. They had survey results that proved this. This line of thinking led to the neglect of attractions and the neglect of the overall themed atmospheres. I hope that they have realized by now that their precious surveys are flawed. Of course someone who stops to take the survey is going to put more emphasis on cast members. They took time out of their day to talk to the cast member doing the survey. The majority of guests say no thanks, because they don't want to use precious attraction riding time standing there talking to a CM. The majority of the success Disney has right now is nostalgia from people like me who went as a kid, international guests who have nothing close to the experience at home, and people whose families never went when they were kids, but they have heard all of the hype and want to check it out. I don't think that the 3rd group is all that impressed anymore. Over time this will shrink the first group.
Walt's parks were unique not just because of the quality of the attractions, but also because of the story and theme of each land the attractions were in. This atmosphere is why Disney has gotten away with letting the attractions decline. People still come to be immersed in the atmosphere. When you start to lose this unique atmosphere, your collection of thrown together attractions better be and stay top notch if you want people to continue to come.
Published: September 18, 2012 at 1:39 PMMichael; Your comments, coming from the viewpoint of a former cast member, are interesting and somewhat unique. It goes a long way to explaining why Disney Orlando management has been so arrogant in their decision making process. Very few new attractions in the past decade but a plethora of new Meet & Greets. Yes, I think you are right, that they have misread the tea leafs. And you made an excellent point regarding how surveys can be misinterpreted.
Published: September 18, 2012 at 3:28 PMAn anon IP above said to add a "Haunted Restaurant with a gift shop in it."
OMG that is the best idea ever. You can pull off a great number of the haunted mansion effects above the heads of the diners (especially if the rooms are small + tall.
I smell money raining down... WHY HASN'T THIS BEEN DONE?!
Published: September 18, 2012 at 3:36 PMThe comment about surveys made me think about survey takers. I hadn't thought about it, but there has been a huge decline in the number of survey takers that I've encountered over the past 6 years. I honestly can't remember seeing a single one during our last 4 trips to Orlando. If my non-random sample is true, it might help explain misread tea leaves by the suits.
And for those who think that Universal has no impact on Disney, go visit during the "Brazil" months. Before HP opened, I can't recall ever seeing Brazilian groups at Universal. Now, they are just as numerous as at WDW. That should be a tea leaf that worries Disney.
Published: September 19, 2012 at 7:16 AMHere are my thoughts:
Main Street USA: Disneyland is modeled after Walt's hometown so why not retheme Main Street USA to a real ToonTown with classic Disney Character theming. perhaps even a new residential street with Mickey's House, etc. Roger Rabbit's Cartoon Spin, or a Mickey's Wild Ride.
Adventureland: Was always my favorite but lets face it is lacking excitment. Build the Pirates up, at least bring it up to California quality, or even better The Paris Version. Yes The Swiss Family Tree House is classic, but how many people even know what The Swiss Family Tree House is anymore? The Interactive Pirate Ship would be great. An E Ticket Aladdin or Sinbad flying Carpets ride would be fantastic. 20,000 Leaques would also fit nicely into a new Adventureland. The Jungle Cruise could use some sprucing up, maybe even some new rivers; Yellow River(China), maybe The Darling (Australia).
Frontierland: Great already, improve the fixes on Splash Mountain, Tom Sawyers Island could use a major refurbishment. Retheme Liberty Square to be part of Frontierland. Move The Hall of Presidents to Epcot near The American Adventure. Replace it with something more exciting. Puta new facede on the Haunted Mansion. Similiar to Phantom Manor.
Fantasyland: Agreed that it needs more than its cheap refurbishment. Spruce up existing attractions. Bring back Toad, add some more dark rides, Dalmations, Mary poppins, Etc. Why not build Matterhorn. Yes Expedition Everest is great but what about a water toboggan type attraction similiar to Dollywood's Mountain Sidewinder.
Tomorrowland: Oh Sigh. The worst and most impractical land of all. Retheme to The Disney's Sea Discovery type theme. Space Mountain needs new track/storyline. Gut Stich, Buzzlight year, Caroseul of Progress, and Laughfloor. Lets seem some new fun attractions. What about a walk thru Innergalactic Zoo with some state of the art animatronics, a time machine attraction, The Speedway how about a hoover craft racers?
Just some random thoughts... Oh and Why is this the only "Magic kingdom"? Why not rename The park; Disneyland Florida? Makes since.
Published: September 19, 2012 at 9:56 AMVery good point on people not minding alcohol in the other parks. Very few actually go only to the Magic Kingdom. Walt Disney is the father an visionary of all theme parks. He built Disneyland and set the tone, but he never faced competition. Competition drives all in the theme park world. Disney can not stay still or will languish far behind eventually. You may not like it, but they need to do whatever it takes.
Published: September 19, 2012 at 10:10 AMI think Disney should just fire all the imagineers and just get their ideas here!
Published: September 19, 2012 at 12:26 PMWould love to see Indiana Jones ride like the one in California in Orlando. The dinosaur ride is supposed to be a spin off of the Indie ride but is no comparison. Also at old MGM studios they did away years ago with one of the best shows around Notre Dame they could bring that back maybe at Epcot France??? Thank you for your great web site.And what about Toon town in CAlifornia??Florida has never had anything close to that..Can't wait for cars land in Florida also.....
Published: September 20, 2012 at 2:42 AMAn anonymous writer wrote:
"People bitching about booze need to get over it. Disney is going to make tons of money off it and they don't care what you think."
They dang well better care what I (and other shareholders) think.
"Also some of these ideas you people have are NEVER GOING TO HAPPEN so be realistic here."
LOL! You realize that you're talking about a park called MAGIC KINGDOM? Yeah, that's a place where realism is, uh, king.
Published: September 20, 2012 at 4:09 AMMAGIC KINGDOM
More unique shops
1. Rip out stitch and replace it with a more mellow version of ExtraTERRORestial
2. Move Monsters inc. to DHS, COMPLETELY ruins the theme (although I do enjoy the show) I'm not sure what to replace it with
3. Make animatronics for Buzz instead of cardboard cutouts
4. Update all the façades that depict a more fantasy version of the future
5. If possible, build in audio speakers to vehicles to add music to actual track design
6. Change TIS and make cars go through futuristic things ex: A Wall-e scene, an alien spaceship, and a flying car wreck. Also, update all vehicles to make them more futuristic and, if possible, hovering above the ground.
7. I love the peoplemover…but please, build the speakers INTO the vehicles instead of letting people hear the same thin over and over again on the ground. It gets annoying to hear the Mickeys Star Traders but play over and over again.
8. Take the arcade OUT OF Space Mountain, just, doesn't belong.
1. Update all facades except Pooh (is already updated) to look better
2. Add on to New fantasyland by building an E-ticket BatB ride through the movie. Would have a MAJOR amount of animatronics and would be accessible through the jagged cliffs
3. A Brave ride in between VotLM and BatB (if room) that you would enter through witch's lair/cave, only a D-ticket
4. New interactive queue to PPF
In New Fantasyland also add new Alice in Wonderland area; relocate tea cups there and add in new Alice ride
5. Add on to mermaid and make it have a more complete ending
1. Add in PatF ride if room
1. Fix all effects on Splash Mountain
2. Add in old concept western river expedition in between Splash Mountain and Adventureland somehow
3. Bring back Columbia (or whatever the heck it was called)
4. Bring back Davy Crokket canoes
1. New E-ticket ride built in man made volcano, called Atlantis expedition the story would be that an Atlatean has sent you and your group to go search for cave robbers, they suspect they've built their own tunnel, but be warned, for volcano may soon erupt and rumors are an unfriendly lava monster lives in the soul of the volcano. Would be near PotC
2. Rip out magic carpets along with spitting camel
3. Between jungle Cruise and treehouse would be a new E-ticket themed to riding around on magic carpets in Alladin.
And that's JUST The Magic Kingdom! Don't Get me started on the other Parks. But I will say that I love that park and it holds a special place in my heart
Published: September 20, 2012 at 11:19 AMJust start adding new rides that are not refurbished as the new ride of the year. What was the last ride that opened that made you want to visit Magic Kingdom.
Hopefully with fantasyland finishing up in 2014 the momentum will carry over and Disney will start adding new attractions for the 50th coming up. If attendance would fall we would see new attractions right away.