Many a time we have heard the question from a friend: “Is there anything new for us to see?”. Amazingly I’ve never heard someone ask me: “What did Disney take away this year”. I believe this comes from the general desire for every parent to show something new to their family. Yet, many in the Disney community will lament the loss of an attraction/show/parade/live entertainment act that they have become attached to over the years. It is very easy to understand the “loss” of an old favorite…yet over the past forty years, Walt Disney World has shown us that in the wake of retiring something old, something new is born. It’s that something new that many of us look forward to each time we visit.
This year we witnessed the introduction of an instant family favorite: the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train in Fantasyland…or should I say New Fantasyland. I believe that the name itself probably irks some who grew up in the original Fantasyland of small dark rides and timeless classics. Alas, even one of the WDW originals, Dumbo, received an overhaul and move to a new location in the park. This “change” managed to take one of the most unbearable experiences for parents to deal with in order to satisfy their children and turn it into a relaxed, comfortable experience for the entire family. It was not a new attraction, but a new way to experience a classic one. The mine train, however, replaced the old Snow White scary adventure..a ride itself that had to be changed several times over the years. A completely different experience than the original dark ride, the mine train coaster is full of light and laughter and will be a fixture for years to come…unless it also needs to change over time.
One of the other “new experiences” is the Festival of Fantasy Parade, also in the Magic Kingdom Park. This parade was introduced to great expectation ..and managed to deliver on every one with its impressive floats and combination of characters. It became so embraced..so quickly..that I cannot honestly even tell you what parade it replaced…nor do I ever hear of anyone discussing that topic.
Speaking of parades…this summer in introduced Frozen Summer Fun. This new themed event was celebrated over at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, a park that has often needed a reason to stay current with today’s movies. The layover of parades and shows was a favorable ..and unexpected lift to a visit to that park. It may not have replaced anything specifically..but it’s introduction may have come at the expense of closing down some other attraction or event in Walt Disney world. In the meantime, it has made DHS a more enjoyable destination.
In the next few years we look forward to a new land in Animal Kingdom where we will get to experience a Disney imagined world of Pandora…as well as the eventual introduction of attractions based on the spirit of the Star Wars trilogies…all of which will have replaced an attraction or few that many have built enjoyable memories on. The beauty of Walt Disney World lies in that opportunity to build a new experience on top of those wonderful memories of old.