Vote of the Week: What Should Walt Disney World Fix (or Build) Next?
Spend a little time reading about theme parks online, and you won't miss the frustration coming these days from some very vocal Walt Disney World fans. They don't like Frozen coming to Epcot
. They complain that the MyMagic+ has been more trouble than it was worth. They want more new development in the theme parks, but they don't want Avatar
. And they'd love to see Disney CEO Bob Iger replaced
, preferably by someone who can get that darned Yeti fixed.
Hey, fans want a better experience. That's normal. The worst thing that can happen to a theme park — or any consumer brand — is for its fans to stop caring, to stop wanting anything better from it. "The opposite of love isn't hate; it's indifference."
But no amount of complaining can change the past. Disney World is where it is right now. Debating what should have happened when might be great for pageviews, but does nothing to help anyone make a smart decision about where to spend their money on vacation. If fans want to have a productive discussion about the condition of the Walt Disney World Resort, that conversation needs begin with the question: "What should be next?"
A model of Disney Springs, the transformation of Downtown Disney now under construction
We know what Disney's working on right now: Disney Springs, Avatar, and a replacement for the Backlot Studio Tour at Disney's Hollywood Studios. Frozen and new Soarin' movie are coming to Epcot in 2016. We know that Star Wars Land is in development. And that Disney still doesn't have the right to use the classic Marvel franchises in its Walt Disney World theme parks. (So, please, let's not go there.)
So... what should come next? What could Disney do that would make you want to start saving money and clearing time to take an extra trip to the Walt Disney World Resort to experience that project in the future? On which theme park should Disney focus its attention to win more love (and money — let's not forget the money) from its always-demanding fans?
Walt Disney World has four theme parks and fair amount of land still to develop at the resort. What do you think should be Disney's top theme park development priority in Florida? It's Vote of the Week time.
Let's hear your wish list for the Walt Disney World Resort, in the comments. And, as always, thank you for being part of the Theme Park Insider community. We hope that you've been enjoying our new look this week and will let other theme park fans know about our website!
I say it before, I say it again. Back when I went to Epcot in the 80s. Epcot Needs More Rides! Wold of showcase is not fun. Shops, restaurants, & drinking is not an attraction, and I don't mean new country. Build rides for the counties already there. Japan could have a gray ride like bullet train simulator, or Germany River boat ride or Italy dark ride. There are some bloggers & podcast against rides at World of Showcase cause they like the family free environment. But they are too selfish & only want to drink. Epcot needs to bring more attraction and fix ones like in Future World. Imagination comes to mind, bring Dreamfinder back, make a new Horizon ride. There's so much work and rides needed at Epcot. How about Mr. Toad Wild Ride at UK. Oh, is that ok or is Forzon just too much characters at Epcot? Jousting saying.
I would like to see some of these attractions we see overseas brought over here immediately...update the monorails..and stop leaving empty buildings like we see at Epcot
I agree Epcot needs more rides but not in WS. Put them in FW. Everything there is out dated.
I think believe it or not that epcot and magic kingdom are okay(for now). I think DHS and AK need the work right now. And it seems Disney is eventually going to bring is something in the form of Star Wars and Avatar (reiterating eventually). Once those are in I would worry about epcot. I haven't been in 5 years but those were the 2 parks I felt needed more. I don't think epcot is so bad and why can't you grab a beer on a hot day WITH your family along?
No! Leave Epcot world show case as it is, it's my oasis of tranquility. There are plenty of rides elsewhere to satiate the adventurous but the world restores my balance between hectic days elsewhere.
As the photo suggests, please, please solve the yeti problems. There is a generation of kids who've never seen this awesome effect.
Bring back the wonders of life pavilion (or whatever it was called)
PLEASE fix Hollywood Studios! It's just BAD mostly. It's so tiny. They got rid of American Idol and Backlot Tour.... so please build a new land (Pixar, or preferably Star Wars) with 3 or more NEW rides!
All Disney World parks have systemic problems. I like Iger and think he should remain CEO for as long as possible. He is a plus for the parks and very good for other areas too. All parks except for the Magic Kingdom have a problem with ride count. DHS looks horrible. DAK is beautiful. EPCOT is disappointing.
I voted for DHS because it's the park I want to love the most, but it's so hard. Getting rid of the Backlot Tour is a great first step, because expanding Pixar Place would be a great idea. As much as I'd like to see a really well done Star Wars Land, I'd prefer a major expansion of the Pixar library, including a clone of Cars Land or Ratatouille. Or both, if they can get rid of that awful stunt show spectacular. Put Star Wars in its own park in the same layout as Magic Kingdom, where each "land" is a planet from the Star Wars mythos.
Disney Hollywood Studios now has every opportunity to transform into the single best theme park on the planet.
I personally would love to see an overhaul of EPCOT's Future World section. They've forgotten the most important letter of the name, the 'T' for TOMORROW. Bring back the Communicore feeling with things that are on the cutting edge for the near future.
Presuming the following: "We know what Disney's working on right now: Disney Springs, Avatar, and a replacement for the Backlot Studio Tour at Disney's Hollywood Studios. Frozen and new Soarin' movie are coming to Epcot in 2016. We know that Star Wars Land is in development..." then DHS and DAK are getting significant expansions, while Epcot is likely to only get a Frozen overlay on Maelstrom and a Soarin upgrade. Therefore, I think Epcot still needs the most help - even though it is my favorite park.
The real answer is EPCOT and Hollywood Studios. Still, EPCOT"s always been my favorite park, so I'll pick that one. What they need to do is re-do a good portion of Future World. Imagination, Energy, and the Wonders of Life building all need to be re-done and used for something new that actually fits with the Future World idea. They also should fix the descent at Spaceship Earth and do something that's actually innovative at Innoventions.
I really don't get worked up about the Yeti as many posters on this site seem to. It is really a set piece on one ride that other than the Yeti, is working and is still an enjoyable ride..... why worry so much about it when we could be focused on getting a new ride. Spending tons of money to fix a fancy animatronic on an otherwise working ride seems less important to me, but maybe I just don't understand how great the non disco Yeti supposedly was. I'd rather see that money go to bring the Cars attraction (or something cool) to Florida though.
I say Epcot has to be redone. I would like more countries in the world showcase, make a second street behind the first one with six or seven more nations. Also, I agree that the front part of Epcot "thr future" needs to be updated. While I like the new fast track by chevy the only thing in the future is the walk through to the ride. I know they are limited on space, so I don't know how or where to update the front of the park would take place. Lastly, do things fast, nobody wants to wait 4 years for something new. I am not renewing my annual pass this year because there is no need. I will not need to get another one till 2017 when Avitor opens up. Diagon Alley was made in 2 years while Transformers and the Simpsons Springfield was made, as a result you did not wait 2 years for something new.
The answer I want to give is EPCOT...it's my favorite park, and anything new added would be welcomed. But my vote has to go to Disney Studios. That park needs an overhaul - and not just new rides. It needs new focus.
DSH needs some major attention - This is just my known list of items that need some attention
Build 3 0r 4 more countries in Epcot. Bring back Adventurers Club to DTD.
I would love Disney to duplicate Harry Potter at Universal but with Star Wars. More rides, great theming, a cantina restaurant, areas with Endor, Tattoine and Hoth. Do that and I will schedule another trip even though I am going to Disney next month already.
They need to do something about the monorails, I rode the one from the TTC to the front gate and it seemed rickety as all get out. Swayed from side to side and you could hear the cabin creaking and brakes squealing, left me feeling not very safe on it at all.
As it's my favorite park, give some attention to Epcot. My list, in order of need:
If I made a wishlist of new projects, it would basically be for all the parks but the Magic Kingdom because I think with the new Fantasyland it has the most to do and has had the most recent injection of "newness," but the other parks are lacking more in that area.
I think some kind of zip line ride that is actually outdoors and mimics a zip line through trees would be a hit. It would need to last 15 minutes or so, obviously, and let several people go at once, but it would be fun. A few scares and maybe going through some kind of eaterfall?
I say IF there are still enough land or IF Disney can still buy more land. Expand each of the parks with new rides or an area(in the Magic Kingdom). Don't close up a ride in order to have a new one. Same goes for the shows and the stores. The ONLY reason to close a ride, a show or store is IF it not doing so well. IF they want also slowly start planning a fifth park.
For someone that loves attractions Epcot is by far the weakest park. If Disney want to get more attractions in their parks they should probably start at Epcot.
All of these comments are good. How about implementing these ideas across all parks. Hollywood studios is disappointing today. It doesn't have residential street, or the back lot tour. Epcot has closed Wonders of Life and uses the building for garden shows. My wife and I went there during the International Flower and Garden show, but we were disappointed in the displays/shows, and were disappointed with the variety of food/drink in the pavillion.
Epcot and Hollywood Studios need the most work.
The most correct answer would be both DHS and EPCOT, but as I have only only selection, I've voted for the latter as I think that is where Disney could see any improvements have the maximum return on investment.
I understand all the fans that don't like Iger because Disney World may seem "too outdated," but if it weren't for Iger, there would've been no California Adventure overhaul!!!
Get rid of the "Make a difference" horror at the entrance of EPCOT. It looks like a mausoleum, a cemetery! Move the tiles with the pictures to another area, rebuild the Lucite fountain and create a new environment for those who enter EPCOT. Please, please, get rid of that horrible cemetery!
Refrain from vote - I visit Disneyland and California Adventure and they are amazing parks. Disneyland is Walts original park and still provides the magic and charm that Walt envisioned due to its quality and manageable scale. California Adventure got off to a very poor start but has since brought extreme high quality, and most importantly "story and a sense of history" into the park. The combination of these elements and the "walk anywhere" logistics (no buses) make this an unbeatable combination. It's The Happiest Place on Earth.
Living on the west coast and a visitor to both US Disney parks, I would like to see the Indiana Jones ride at Walt Disney World.
Epcot's countries should double in space. They seem to have lots of empty plots of land that are perhaps reserved for new countries. Since it is obvious that adding new countries is not something that's feasible due to costs, why not save some money by extending the country theme by adding a new wing with attractions, stores, and restaurants. Immediately, a Ratatouille attraction comes to mind. Use the empty plots to house a new ride building. Create a plaza similar to what's available at the Paris location.
I chose Animal Kingdom for a variety of reasons:
I really think that since there is a west coast and an east coast Disney there should be one right in the middle of the US, and I think that Texas should be the next site to build one. Look at Grayson County, Denison TX, it is half way between Dallas Tx and Oklahoma city, OK. This would be the ideal spot. I have even seen the land that could hold the Disney Parks. On hwy 75 one side of the hwy has 87 plus acres and the other side has 125 acres. Just let me know if you need any info on this and I can set you up.
Epcot in the early 80's and 90's it was a place of knowledge and learning. I would love Disney to bring back the old school rides and attractions that were replaced. Horizons, Wonders of Life, Body Wars, World of Motions, The Living Seas, CommuniCore, Universe of Energy.
As for rides Disney needs to get rid of, Stitch's Great Escape and Ellen Degeneres Dinosaur Ride (too old).
Indiana Jones. If you're gonna buy my favorite movie franchise (minus the last film), then at least do something amazing with it! There's not a lot of ways to mess it up!
The problem is that all of the parks are currently broken with the wait times. They must do something to fix that issue. They really need a fifth gate to help solve some of those issues. When we went a few months ago, it was not fun. You had to rush to bet there before the park opened, and three fast passes just did not cut it. One easy way is to cut out fast passes on attractions that traditionally don't need it except on days with extreme crowds. I do not think Epcot is bad. I really enjoy the World Showcase. So, back to the fifth gate. It either needs to be an explorers park with Mystic Manor, Journey to the Center of the Earth, and a resurrected 20,000 Leagues or just a park with nothing but Star Wars. I do think the current management has no idea that there are problems with the parks.
Who is against Avatar?
The whole resort needs to be redone as it's just an incohesive mess right now.
DHS has the most room for improvement. Expand Star Wars. With the new Star Wars movies in production, they've got built-in publicity.
My current Disney World annual pass expires at the end of the month, and I am not renewing. I will eventually, of course. But until I know more about what Disney's plans are for the WDW Resort, I'm going to wait it out and save my money. I went to EPCOT and DHS today and I'll go to AK next weekend. I already have MVMCP tickets for mid-November, so I have MK covered. And that park is fine. I still think they missed a great opportunity with New Fantasyland, but attendance at Magic Kingdom will never be a problem.
Firstly I am excited for Avatar and Disney Springs. That being said Hollywood Studios needs a revamp with Pixar and Star Wars. Epcot needs some cleaning up. Get rid of the extremely outdated like the Ellen Ride and put in some fun technological based rides. Maybe one or two rides added to World Showcase. A roller coaster would be a really nice addition to this park.
I love Disney World and our family probably has spent 2 (ten day) vacations per year over the last 14 years. My daughter is now 17 and other than the obvious fun we are looking forward to - I must say this new reprogramming of the fast pass system is ruining the excitement. I feel like this will be more confusing than our first trip some 14 years ago. Whatever happened to keep it simple - I love Disney but big pat on the back for always trying to improve. But I am not looking forward to this trip, there is too much structure and stress.
Disney World needs to stop building hotels until it fixes wait times and concentrates on improving the experience. It is becoming too crowded to enjoy the rides.
I say AK because there are many of us that find the park rather dull. I've noticed that Epcot is getting a bit stale.
As for available open spaces in EPCOT World showcase, there are the following:
I simply can't understand a desire at current for a fifth gate, and am surprised at 18% voting for that. Only perhaps in a hypothetical "How awesome would a fifth park be?!?!?!?!!" type of way, perhaps, without actually considering the reality of the current state of the existing parks. But when -- in my opinion, and clearly in many others' -- three of the four existing parks right now need a substantial amount of improvement, the idea of adding a fifth gate just seems ridiculous to me. My actual vote would probably go to Hollywood, though both EPCOT and Animal Kingdom are right there along with it in need of improvements.
I'd love to see some attention bestowed on the Imagination Pavilion at Epcot, and of course I'd love to see some version of the original Journey into Your Imagination with Figment AND Dreamfinder! Captain Eo really needs to move on and the rest of the pavilion isn't much fun either. It is (ironically) the least imaginative pavilion in the park!
What I'd really love to see in the short term is adding the Indiana Jones Adventure ride somewhere either in the Hollywood Studios or Animal Park. It remains the one thing that makes me sad to visit Florida instead of California (even if the Disneyland version seems to be very poorly maintained these days). Aside from that, I'd love to see Epcot come back in full force as a proper worlds-fair sort of thing. I love Epcot for what it is right now, and I'll sorely miss Maelstrom when it becomes Frozen: The Ride, but the whole place seems like such a shell of it's former wonder.
It is important to remember that each park was designed with a different theme.
How many E-ticket attractions could have built with the $1.5 billion spent developing mymagic+/magic-bands? Would fastpass even be needed if Disney had spent that money on 15 new E-ticket attractions instead? Does anyone still think that mymagic+/magic-bands was a good idea?
Four easy things: 1) Get Yeti working again. I mean, really! How hard could that be? It's the only E-ticket attraction in the park, and it's been broken for ages. 2) Utilize the Wonders of Life Pavilion. Anything in there is better than nothing. They should have left it running, and updated the body wars film. It would be feasible to rotate/update the demonstrations inside about new concepts and advancements in health and healing. 3)Bring Off Kilter to Disney Springs as regular performers. They would draw a crowd, since they were always fan favorites in Epcot and lots of people would go see them just for the memories. 4) My son has a whole list of ideas for updating Blizzard Beach with a Frozen theme. Makes so much sense! The theming would make the land much more appealing, up to date, and fun! And it could basically be an overlay, not too tough!
I think that Hollywood Studios has the potential to be better than EPCOT and AK if they try a little harder it can be the best theme park ever
Studios first, then Epcot and then the fifth gate. What the fifth gate should be is more elusive. Really, it ought to be the Star Wars park. But then what do you do with Studios? One half of the job is obviously Pixar stuff, but what would you do with the other expansion/redevelopment area? It wouldn't make much sense to build up a Star Wars environment then render it redundant like that, but Marvel properties are unavailable and there's really no more compelling concepts for an entire park than Star Wars and Marvel so if you do build the Star Wars land, what do you do with it once there's a whole park within the same resort? I know Walt Disney's The Jungle Cruise has survived DAK but this is a much more significant overlap. I've never much cared for the nebulous "Villains" park concept. Perhaps a solution would be to build the Star Wars expansion in such a way that it could be shuttered for a relatively brief window to be transformed into a (say) Guardians of the Galaxy environment after the Star Wars park opens. A more obvious solution would be a behind the scenes theme, leaving the total themed environment stuff for the park. An explorable Skywalker Ranch experience would be compelling in its own right, and would allow Disney to rope in Indiana Jones and basically any property they have or can acquire rights to with ILM effects, but they seem to have gone off the behind the scenes concepts.
How about a more radical idea? Mothball EPCOT. Then declare theme park war in Orlando. Create a Star Wars experience that will rival or surpass Harry Potter in DHS. Round it out with a true Pixar Place. Test Track will be gone, so Cars will fit in. Ratatouille ride could go here too. Go for Sea World and Busch Gardens'jugular by making Kali River Rapids better and replacing Dinosaur with a next gen Indiana Jones ride. Then put in a couple more coasters to rival the best SW and BG have to offer. Journey to the Center of the Earth could fit here as well. Some of the Living Seas could be relocated here to fill out the Animal Kingdom.
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