Park of the Week: Islands of Adventure

What makes Disney World so Amazing?

Walt Disney World: Has to be something more than just rides.

From Dan S
Posted May 1, 2011 at 10:04 PM
I have always wondered why I love WDW so much.I mean, the rides are fantastic, but there has to be something else that keeps people coming back again and again other then the rides, which is what most people associate Disney World with, but I think theres something more.

From James Rao
Posted May 5, 2011 at 3:41 AM
Disney parks are wildly immersive. For the most part Disney attractions tell a great story that lives on with visitors long after the thrills of the rides have faded into memory.

Further, Disney seeks to entertain and educate, so not only do visitors get these amazing experiences that they remember for a lifetime, but after they leave there is almost always something about their visit that inspires them to learn more about a place they visited. For example, after people visit Expedition Everest (at least the way it used to be), how many of them will want to go back home and learn more about Nepal, and Mount Everest, and the legend of the Yeti? Or after experiencing Mission:Space and the surrounding pavilion, how many kids develop a deeper interest in becoming astronauts? In other words, Disney parks inspire people to do something, even after they leave the parks.

Let's face it, we all love other amusement parks and when we visit them we generally have a great time. But those visits don't inspire us to go beyond the theme park and learn something new, we just go there for a good time and leave. But because Disney tries to entertain and educate, visitors are often inspired to continue their park adventures even after the vacation has ended.

That's what Disney Magic is all about, and that's what keeps hundreds of millions of people returning year after year, generation after generation.

Of course, having boatloads of cash to invest in amazing ride and show experiences that are unparalleled at regional parks, adds a touch of magic as well!

From TH Creative
Posted May 5, 2011 at 4:29 AM
While (believe it or not) I agree with everything J-Rao posted he forgot the number one reason "Disney world is so amazing": The Walt Disney World cast members.

"You can design and create, and build the most wonderful place in the world. But it takes people to make the dream a reality." - Walt Disney

The second most important thing that makes "Disney world is so amazing": Hippos.

From Albino Pygmy
Posted May 5, 2011 at 9:53 AM
Daggum TH Creative beat me to it, it's the hippos of course. Awesomely trained hippos that go leaps and bounds, and blow bubbles even to inspire the most inspiring cast members all throughout the parks at WDW. It is a known fact, that if you want to become a CM on WDW property, you MUST spend 1 hour bathing with the hippos. Bathing in the Indian Elephant pool is sooo 1970's, and also frowned upon if you forget to pack your trunks. When you have completed your hippo bathing training/therapy, you would then undergo a series of mental evaluations to see if you have received enough of their hippo "pep" or more commonly referred to as "Disney Magic." If you happen to actually last longer than a year working for WDW, you are required to go back into the hippo pool, as the effect of the hippos only last about 11 - 13 months. This, my dear friends, is why the Jungle Cruise Skippers are by far the BEST and ONLY highly trained CM's that you can depend on to help YOU achieve a perfect vacation.

This post was brought to by the Jungle Navigation Co. Sending unsuspecting tourists throughout all ends of the earth, and if we're nice we'll bring you back.

From James Rao
Posted May 5, 2011 at 10:48 AM
You're right, TH. Without those wonderful Disney Cast Members, none of the immersion, entertainment, and education I discussed would be possible. Other parks have some great Cast Members too (Silver Dollar City comes to mind), but none offer as complete a package as Disney.

From TH Creative
Posted May 5, 2011 at 11:53 AM
The birthday buttons that people write their names on was genius. Cast members saying happy birthday and referring to the guest by name. Very pleasant interaction for pennies (cost of the button).

If you've darted over to Soarin' at the opening of EPCOT, you've probably seen the Land's food court cast members dancing and welcoming guests as they arrive. Genius!

The cast members at Walt Disney World are the cornerstone of its success.

From TH Creative
Posted May 5, 2011 at 11:55 AM
Okay Albino Pygmy seems a little obsessed with the whole hippo thing.

From Joseph Catlett
Posted May 5, 2011 at 12:10 PM
My first trip ever to Disneyworld was when I was a 19 year old college kid. Living on the West Coast i knew Disneyland like the back of my hand, but Disneyworld promised vast open spaces and the land to truly flesh out ideas that Anaheim is truly lacking in (land wise, not ideas that is).

The first time I saw Spaceship Earth I was blown away. I had seen photos before but the sheer scope of EPCOT just knocked me back on my heels.

So, for me, the real magic of Walt Disney World lay in the concept of size and feeling like you've seen something that you will NOT see anywhere else in the world.

From Albino Pygmy
Posted May 5, 2011 at 4:29 PM
Apparently someone's overdue for their dip in the hippo pool. Watch out for Clarence, she's a bit feisty. You'll know which one is her within 5 minutes :)

From Anthony Murphy
Posted May 5, 2011 at 8:46 PM
James pretty much has it right!

Disney really does have something for everybody. Plus, adults can act silly and get away with it!

I enjoy a good German dance!

From Terri Pierce
Posted May 5, 2011 at 10:51 PM
Ice Cream with ears. That's it, that's all there is to the magic!

From Lauren Hayhurst
Posted May 6, 2011 at 1:33 AM
For me it's the music. Music that emerges from every subtle area like bushes or hedges or walkways, in the bathrooms, the ice cream parlours, the the obvious collaborations of the shows, the films, the rides. All the music is so emotive and heartlifting, it gets inside your body, highjacks your nervous system and triggers your tearducts into overdrive. I can feel my stomach wobbling as I write this.

For me it has to be the music to Electromagic, the new Electric Parade was brilliant, but the music to Electromagic just carries me back to that very point, I can see the colours, the floats, feel the excitment of seeing the characters come close, maybe even shake your hand (or in the case of the Queen of Hearts, demand you kiss hers!)...

...I guess what I'm saying is, by using such powerful, emotive music, the whole experience is captured in it's entirity, ready to be recalled with a quick tuneful trigger. That's the Disney magic for me.

From TH Creative
Posted May 6, 2011 at 4:47 AM
A-to-the-M writes: Plus, adults can act silly and get away with it!

I Respond: EXACTLY!

From Lauren Hayhurst
Posted May 6, 2011 at 4:58 AM
Exactly! ;-P

From Scott B
Posted May 6, 2011 at 5:34 AM
To me, all the magic lies in the cinnamon rolls from the Main Street Bakery.

From Terri Pierce
Posted May 6, 2011 at 10:32 AM
But Scott! The cinnamon rolls don't have ears! That' CAN'T be it!

From Scott B
Posted May 6, 2011 at 11:00 AM
Good point Terri. Let me think about it some more.

On a side note, those cinnamon rolls are pretty amazing.

From Terri Pierce
Posted May 6, 2011 at 1:03 PM
Scott I've got it! You have to buy three cinnamon rolls. If you put all of them together you get a mickey... You will have to eat the outside layers of two of the cinnamon rolls so the ears are proportional! BUT the magic will be there.

From Donna McKay
Posted May 9, 2011 at 9:25 AM
For me its the atmosphere in the evening. Just after it gets dark and everything is lit up all pretty with the music wafting past....pure magic!

From Scott B
Posted May 9, 2011 at 9:28 AM
Haha, awesome Terri. A perfect solution!

From aj geez
Posted May 9, 2011 at 1:57 PM
Overall it the atmosphere and the park .. itself .. i mean ... whene ppl have kids the first park they think about is WDW ... which amazes me ... i wonder what ppl would do if there was no Disney

From Thomas Caselli
Posted May 10, 2011 at 5:09 PM
As great as the rides and attractions are, it is definetly more then that. I have been to WDW 19 times and I am 46 years old and still get thrilled every time I know that I will be going back. To me it is the most amazing place in the world. As soon as I get on WDW property, I get so exited and can't hold back. Every place in WDW including the parks, the hotels, the shops and the restaurants are magical. I definetly feel like I am a million miles from any other place. The sheer size of the place will do that for you. I have done the Back Stage Magic tour twice and doing that shows even more how amazing the place is. I would recommend that tour for anybody.

From Anthony O'Neal
Posted May 10, 2011 at 8:08 PM
I agree with James on his assessment.

In my mind, the proof is in the details. I have never been anywhere that is as detail-oriented as Disney. You could go a bunch of times, and always see new things.

From Thomas Caselli
Posted May 10, 2011 at 9:21 PM
Yes, the details. Nobody does details like Disney.

From Lauren Hayhurst
Posted May 11, 2011 at 12:20 AM
This is why I would urge everyone to save up and go on a Disney Cruise. They are everything we've been talking about...without the crowds and the rides! Characters are walking around unhindered, just checking out the ship. I had a brilliant conversation with Daisy, apparently - from the miming - she'd left Donald swimming and he was late meeting her!

The food is the best I've ever experienced...In addition to the breakfasts, lunch, dinners on offer, you'll come across random buffets, like the seafood buffet and the dessert buffet (starting at 10pm!) The shows can imagine - Broadway / West End quality. (There was one called Villains Tonight which told how Hades had lost his 'evilness' and needed the help of all the other villains to get it back.)

And then of course there's the details...hidden Mickey's everywhere, plush carpets (no two are the same!), the fireworks at sea (the only cruise-line with permission to do this) and Disney's private island Castaway Cay... where you get to experience the Disney magic on a desert island!

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