Get the Marvel license and bring in Iron Man or AvengersA WALL-E dark ride where Stitch and the two gift shops currently areTron Coaster where the Speedway is
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.
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.
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
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?!?
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.
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.
TH, what about a Jungle Cruise with happy hour? ;)
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...
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.
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)
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.
I Respond: Every hour is happy hour on the Jungle Cruise.
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)
Actually I haven't been to MK park in some time, but at least that big castle'd park will always be #1!!!
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)
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.
With the trees, shops, E-Ticket Ride & a restaurant overlooking the Rivers of America."
I respond: HELL NO. TSI is classic.
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.
I respond: You are absolutely 100% correct, sir.
USF is starting to show real progress on the Transformers ride and HP area, but they are hardly mentioned.... oh well.
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+.
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.
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....
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."Rinse, Repeat.
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.
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.
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
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.
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?!
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.
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.
"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.
More unique shops
1. Rip out stitch and replace it with a more mellow version of ExtraTERRORestial2. Move Monsters inc. to DHS, COMPLETELY ruins the theme (although I do enjoy the show) I'm not sure what to replace it with3. Make animatronics for Buzz instead of cardboard cutouts4. Update all the façades that depict a more fantasy version of the future5. If possible, build in audio speakers to vehicles to add music to actual track design6. 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 cliffs3. A Brave ride in between VotLM and BatB (if room) that you would enter through witch's lair/cave, only a D-ticket4. New interactive queue to PPFIn New Fantasyland also add new Alice in Wonderland area; relocate tea cups there and add in new Alice ride5. 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 Mountain2. 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 PotC2. Rip out magic carpets along with spitting camel3. 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
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.