Tuesday, December 31, 2019

Walt Disney World - State of the World 2020

Walt Disney World - State of the World 2020

In this series of posts, I will examine each of the four major theme parks in the Walt Disney World family, and give you my assessment of:

1) Where they have been
2) Where they are
3) Where they are going

Keep in mind these are my thoughts, reflections, analyses, wishes and prognostications only. Everyone else's likes and dislikes about Walt Disney World are different than everybody else's. This is mainly a way to organize my own thoughts, look back on my own experience in the parks and with Walt and the Disney company, and offer some little bit of insight and opinion on what I feel works and what doesn't. And to invite _respectful_ and positive conversation.

My background

I have visited at least one park in Walt Disney World on a total of twelve separate occasions/trips:
  1. 1988 - Fall
  2. 1990 - Mid-summer #1
  3. 1990 - Mid-summer #2
  4. 2000 - Fall
  5. 2004 - Fall
  6. 2007 - Fall
  7. 2009 - Spring
  8. 2015 - Late Summer
  9. 2015 - Christmas
  10. 2018 - Fall
  11. 2019 - Halloween
  12. 2019 - Christmas
In 2019 we become Annual Passholders, and plan to visit at least once more before our Pass runs out in late September 2020.

I also visited Disneyland Paris in Christmas 2010 and Disneyland/California Adventure in Summer 2017.

While this may seem like a relatively small number of times to visit the parks to offer this type of analysis, I have adopted WDW as somewhat of a hobby and followed news and discussion of the resort very closely for almost the last 10 years or so. I feel like I have enough insight into the history and workings of the parks to offer what I hope is an interesting and engaging analysis.

My philosophy

I'm not a pixie duster, nor am I someone who only exists to criticize. I love Disney, I love theme parks and I love theatrical-type entertainment. I love immersive experiences, and I love the occasional adrenaline rush. I love movies, I love TV and I love storytelling of all kinds. I expect excellence and hope for the best out of everyone and everything, but I am not so naive as to believe all my Disney dreams will be fulfilled and also not so cynical as to believe it's all only about the money. The Walt Disney Company is filled with dreamers and executives, Imagineers and bean counters, cast members who love their jobs and cast members who are only there to grab a paycheck. It takes all kinds to run the world and it takes all kinds to run a resort. The one commonality I do firmly believe in is that everyone is trying to do (pretty much) the best they can within the parameters they feel are important and expected of them. So I give everyone a lot of benefit of doubt when it comes to certain things like planning, building, implentation, running, operating, hosting, decorating, cleaning, serving and paying. We're all trying to make our way in the world, support ourselves, support our families and maybe make a little magic for someone. When everyone's interests coincide - bonus! It happens more often than not at a Disney park. But it doesn't always happen the way we want it to, and we (as fans on the outside) don't know 10% of the reality in some cases. So while it's nice and convenient to be able to sit from my easy position and either praise or criticize, it's with as much acknowledement as possible of the work that thousands of people are doing every day, in their own way, for a large multi-national corporate conglomerate. Walt's spirit may live in the parks, but he's been gone for 53 years and we all have our own interpretations of how he did things and what he would have wanted. So I will endeavour to by fair, honest and helpful in all that I say.

These individual park posts may run a bit long, and I may break them into multiple posts per park - I don't know, I haven't written them yet :) But please bear with me as you read, and please feel free to offer comments, suggestions or criticisms as we go. Just keep it civil and helpful.

I'm also not certain how long it will take me to write all four park analyses, so they will likely be published at an undefined schedule over the next couple of days. 

I'll edit this page and link to individual park posts as we move along, for later convenience.

1) Magic Kingdom (Part 1)

As Peter Pan said, here we go!!

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