It’s always wonderful visiting Disney World, but somewhat less wonderful during a vacation week when attendance is simply insane. Like any system, digital or analog, too much traffic causes it to break down. I saw 100 minute waits for rides, with the norm for popular rides often pegging 70 minutes. I don’t understand people who stand in a line for over an hour for a 3 minute experience. That doesn’t seem to be much of a value proposition to me. As for the Fast Pass, because of the numbers, rather than being able to return in an hour for the ride, your return time was generally 4 or 5 hours later in the day.
Fortunately we’ve done the rides on past visits and found plenty of other things to do. Epcot Highlights included the excellent food throughout the World Showcase. We regret we didn’t pig-out more, or at all, really. Next time. The Canadian and China 360-degree country films were great, and the Canadian film has been updated with Martin Short narrating. Turtle Talk with Crush was one of the most technically impressive things I saw, with a screen-animated Crush interacting with the audience in real time with not only words in full sync but his bodily movements as well. On the Epcot bummer list, Spaceship Earth was closed for renovations, and that’s my all-time favorite ride. We also were in the front row for Soarin’ (a good thing!), which is superior and much more realistic to the 2nd and 3rd rows because the view is more all-encompassing and you don’t see dangling feet in your view from above. To me that’s a definite design flaw of the ride that Walt never would have accepted.
Magic Kingdom highlights included the first time on the refurbished Pirates of the Caribbean. It was fun before, but definitely improved with the addition of Johnny Depp’s character. The Hall of Presidents show is always inspiring and it was good to see Minnie’s and Mickey’s houses again. On the Magic Kingdom bummer list, it’s sadly apparent that The Carousel of Progress really needs some love. The animatronics is the same as it was in the 60’s and showing its age, and the final “futuristic” setting is embarrassingly dated. Walt Disney had a wonderful concept and executed flawlessly on Carousel originally, but I suspect current management will continue to neglect it until they have a reason to shut it down.
Disney World is still Disney World, a special place any day of the year. It’s special to me for a number of reasons, but two reasons I’ll mention in my Disney World 2007 Wrap is its focus on the imagination, and when I’m there I sense how I’m experiencing one man’s imagination made reality. That’s very inspiring.